One-Year Anniversary

It’s official.. we have been blogging here at And Foster Makes Five for a full year! Can you believe it? Georgia has become such an integral part of our lives, that it is difficult to remember what life was like before her. I love to read back to old posts, and the memories come flooding back. Like when we first met her, finding her flaw, and her best trait. Then there was the time we discovered her talents as a housewife, her beauty marks, and her Halloween costume. Ohh, and what about the time we shared everything we were thankful for? Some might say that was the beginning of the end… Of course, there is the letter to Tonk, one of my favorites. Then we begin the journey into the shadows, when we have our first meet and greet, and that result.  I begged Santa for a home for our girl (he is a trickster, that guy), and showcased the bond I share with her. And what about our friend Charlie, do you remember him?! We helped to save him from NYC death row! As the new year rolled in, we shared the Top 10 Reasons to adopt Georgia, and our tips and tricks for integrating a new dog into your home. Then we talked about The Vow that we as adopters make to our pets… we should have known then that it was all over! And what about the day we finally integrated all of the pups into the house! That was cause for celebration. Finally, by the end of February, after lots of back and forth discussion, we’d done it… we adopted our girl!

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Of course, those are only a few of the highlights. What is your favorite post? Do you like the fun, photo-filled adventures, or do you come here to hear advice and insight that we may share on dog ownership? Maybe you like to hear our perspectives on rescuing, overpopulation and other animal welfare issues, or instead want to know about the latest trends in pet products. Or maybe it’s the contests you are here for. Perhaps you are more interested in daily updates, or instead our philosophical ponderings (ha!) or the times we stray off subject… I want to know what brought you here, what brings you back, and what you look forward to!

Thanks to Sweeter Side Mom for the photo shoot!

Thanks to Sweeter Side Mom for the photo shoot!

In this past year, we have officially become a 3 dog household. We have focused on training and thereby improved communication with our dogs (and each other!) We have celebrated our first anniversary as a married couple. I have tried on a few different job hats, and J. has excelled in his field. We have traveled, laughed, learned, cried, hurt, and healed. We have celebrated and sympathized. We have saved and spent. We have grown and regressed. We have met new people and new animals… sometimes even at the same time! We have tried to help our communities to become better places, in the little ways that matter to us individually. Mostly, we have supported one another in getting one step closer to the people we strive to become.

Genevieve Stewart Photography

Genevieve Stewart Photography

In the past year, our blog has had over 21,000 views and 987 comments. Our most popular post was in August, and received 545 views. The most astounding fact? We have readers in over SEVENTY-FOUR countries! The top ‘clicks’ on our blog (meaning, the links that our readers clicked on which took them outside of our blog) go to some of our favorite bloggers: Temporary Home, Permanent Love (our BBF, no surprise there!) and Peace, Love, & Fostering (that girl is wise beyond her years, and always has something insightful to share.) Conversely, aside from facebook and google, our readers most often found us via our friends at Two Kitties, One Pittie and Pitlandia (thanks, guys!). We have made 164 posts and generated just under 200 followers. Our most regular commenter was our friend Emily from Adventures of a Dog Mom (she is just the sweetest!).

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Thank you to all of you who have made us feel so welcomed over the past year. I have a lot of goals in mind, personally, professionally, creatively, and in my many diverse relationships. The only constant is that in each of my endeavors, I look forward to growth and change. This is a big step for me! As someone who embraces organization and consistency, I have a difficult time appreciating where I am and enjoying the journey. Nevertheless, I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store for all of us, and more than that, I feel so grateful to have so many friends and loved ones along for the ride. If you know me in real life, you know that I am not a big hugger, but I am all about words of affirmation. So I am not afraid to say that I truly love you all and this space we have created together. I hope I am the first person you come to if you need some words of advice, a helping hand, or someone to cheer for you on your way to victory, because that is exactly what all of you have done for me.

 

LOTS and lots of love, and a little bit of slobbery kisses… (from the dogs, of course!)

Stephanie

(and Jonathan, Tonka, Gaige, Georgia, and even little Bella!)

And Foster Makes Five