When I started blogging in 2004, it was a journal of sorts. I shared what I was up to on a day-to-day basis, and it continued that way for the next 10 years or so. However, over the last few years, as the nature of blogging changed. It’s no longer a casual, throw a post up in 30 minutes type of thing, but rather a process that takes weeks, involving SEO research, photography, editing, linking and more. Additionally, over the years, my approach to blogging changed as I desired a little more privacy and also adjusting a few approaches to my business once blogging became my full-time job.
However, lately I’ve been feeling a desire to go back to my blogging roots and share more of what’s on my heart and mind, beyond the quick snippets that show up on Instagram. I’m hoping to make Letters from TeriLyn a monthly thing, without putting too much pressure on myself, and I hope you enjoy it too.
Letters from TeriLyn will probably evolved over time, but for now, I’m separating things by topic and simply sharing what I’d share if we went for a run together. It’s New Year’s Eve so it’s a bit more reflective than I envision future letters. Either way, I hope you find it interesting!
I just published a reel of moments from 2022 and it’s a great reminder of all the good times I had with family and friends. My parents visited a couple times, which I’m extremely grateful for since I haven’t been home to Utah in a year and a half. It’s really hard being so far from most of my family, especially as my parents age.
2022 was a big year of big moments. We sold the home that we moved into after we got married, the place where we said goodbye to Maizey, the house where we brought Thomas home, and the place where we shared so many good memories with family and friends. I recently met the family that moved into our old house and they are so lovely. And it made me so happy to think of them making new memories in that special house.
Renovating our current house was a doozy and took six months longer than planned, but we love being here. I also love that we had a gap from when we sold our other house to when this house was liveable because it gave us the opportunity to live in Boone for an extended period. Our few months up there were absolute heaven. I ran the trails, I had playdates with some of my very favorite people, Thomas became obsessed with cows, we enjoyed taking him to the golf course almost every day and we had great visits with Tommy’s parents.
I’ve lived in NC for 14 years and to have family live here now still doesn’t feel real. I’m so grateful that Thomas will get to grow up with cousins (there aren’t cousins his age on Tommy’s side) and I’m grateful for the kind of ease that only exists with family. (At least in my family… and I don’t take that for granted.) My brother is one of those people who will show up to help anyone with anything. And he’s such a great example to me and such a big help.
I’m nervous and sad to leave Thomas but I know it’s really important for us to have that time together. We don’t prioritize date nights as often as we should. But I do feel like we are pretty well connected despite that, which is a huge feat given that we both have intense jobs, working for ourselves, and have a toddler. Plus, we truly love spending time as a family. We aren’t the couple who is dying to get away from their kid. 😉
On the friend front, so many of my closest friends are friends that I rarely see but text or Vox almost daily. It can be hard to get together with friends — sick kiddos, work schedules and living in different states creates challenges — but I’m glad I have women I can connect with about work, parenting and life. I’m grateful when I do get to see my friends, whether it’s watching our kids run around in the backyard, going for a run or playing 9 holes of golf. I hope that I’m the type of friend people trust to keep confidences, show up when needed and give the kind of support that only girlfriends can.
I just wrapped up the busiest time of year. Once September hits, it feels like I’m pressing my foot all the way down on the gas until December 26. But I honestly love my work during the holiday season, especially since I get my shopping done early, by nature of prepping gift guides in advance. I enjoy feeling like I’m helping others shop during the holidays and truly hope that my job helps make your jobs — whether that’s a mom, wife, sister, daughter, employee, boss, or all of those — easier.
I also enjoy partnering with brands during Q4. It can feel like a lot — and my November sponsored content calendar was packed — but I’m always honored when a brand I love wants to work together. I know many bloggers, influencers and creators don’t like sponsored posts, but it’s rare that I don’t enjoy them since I only work with brands I truly like and I only share in ways that I would be sharing anyway. And if I don’t like working with a brand, I end the relationship. It helps that I have a brand manager who is my biggest cheerleader and always has my back. Doing some LTK campaigns have also been really fun this year since they’re a bit hard to get!
I’m particularly thankful for my content manager, Hannah, since she is truly the glue that holds the craziness together during the holidays. She keeps the sponsored content organized, the gift guides updated and makes sure I don’t forget to post anything. There is never a day that I take it for granted that I have such a wonderful employee.
I asked her to take a few photos for me once and realized quickly that she is a NATURAL. She knows the angles to look for, she’s already learning how to use my DSLR and she’s great at providing adjustments in my stance, hair, etc to make a great shot. Getting good photos has always been a challenge in the nearly 20 years I’ve been blogging (so many logistical challenges with hiring a professional photographer and, uh, it’s not my husband’s strong suit). It’s a HUGE sigh of relief every single time I have her take photos. She’s also helping me with my YouTube channel, which I hadn’t touched in over a decade.
However, work hasn’t been all roses this year: my blog traffic is steadily declining, I’ve dumped thousands of dollars into a Pinterest team that isn’t working out and Instagram continues to be a challenge. Sometimes I feel like I’m missing a secret for success, but I know there is no “secret.” My business is so different from others who have huge success on those platforms and that’s one of the reasons I helped found How She Grew this year — to help show women that there are a variety of ways to grow a business online and overnight success isn’t reality, as much as it may seem that way.
Ever since I left the Mormon church, faith has not come easily to me. (That could be a novel in itself… which is something I’ve actually thought about writing for years.) However, we started attending Two Cities Church almost two years ago and it’s been exactly what I need.
Going from the LDS church to mainstream Christianity, I’ve told Tommy that often times I feel like I’m trying to get mud out of a rug. Two Cities Church is straightforward and bible-focused and I love it. We also have started going to a community group and to say that I love that is a huge understatement. I’m so grateful for the couples in that group, including a few who have quickly become dear friends.
Faith is something that’s very hard for me to talk about (which is part of why our CG has been so good for me), but I hope to continue to share more over time.
I have a very crazy family history of autoimmune diseases — celiac, type 1 diabetes, alopecia, multiple sclerosis, lupus, addison’s disease, vitiligo, and more — and when I have periods of not feeling quite right, it’s easy to get in my head and worry that I have something going on. I often feel like a ticking time bomb and it’s only a matter of time until it’s my turn. Perhaps that will be the case, but perhaps not. While worrying doesn’t help anything, being proactive does. It’s one reason that I enjoy working with InsideTracker and it’s also a major reason that I’ve been on the hunt for a PCP that is a good fit. I have two that I’m going to visit in early 2023 to see if one of them is a good option to establish a relationship of care with.
My desire to run has slowly dwindled throughout the year and while Strava informed me today that I logged nearly 1000 miles in 2022 (I honestly am doubting that accuracy), that drive to train intensely is just gone. I’m only running 1-2x a week and instead doing pilates, megaformer and Peloton classes. I don’t know if it’s my medication (I went on Zoloft shortly after having Thomas since I dealt with pretty severe postpartum anxiety and depression) or if it’s simply the natural ebb and flow of training.
Every year when I was training intensely for a race, I had big blocks of time off due to injury. Since I’m not training hard enough to get injured, maybe this is my body’s way of telling me to take some time off. I’m not forcing myself into running and I’m not upset about it… but it’s just an odd feeling since it was such a huge part of my life for so many years.
While I ran throughout my pregnancy, I am conscious about not training too intensely while trying to conceive. We are hoping to grow our family in 2023 and being kind to my body as we prepare for that is a good thing.
Alright, that’s it for this letter!
If you have questions about anything I shared, or if you’d be willing to share things about your life that hit home with you while reading, I’d love to hear. Thank you for being here!
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31 responses to “Letter from TeriLyn, December 2022”
Loved this recap!!! Thanks for sharing ?
I’m so glad to hear it!! <3
You might have dwindling blog traffic, but not because of me! I read it often!
I am cheering you on! Your space on the internet is one of my faves! Happy New Year!
You have no idea how much your sweet comment means. Thank you so much for being here!!!
I LOVED this blog post! I’m such a big fan of the “OG” style of blogging that feels more personal. Sending you all the best of luck in growing your family next year. Also, we hope to see y’all at the playground or greenway next time you’re in Boone!
Thank you so much! It was honestly really refreshing for me to write it!
And yes, we should just plan a playground date next time we’re up there!
Teri, I love how real you are and have enjoyed watching your journey from our working time together in the corporate world when you first moved to Winston. I’m so happy for this life you have created! Thanks for sharing!
Oh gosh, so fun to see your name pop up! Thanks for your kind words! Hope you’re doing well!
Thank you for sharing! Love your content! Happy New Year!
Thank you Susan! Happy New Year!
Loved the letter! How can we best support you while your blog traffic is decreasing? Love your content!
Oh gosh, that is so kind! Clicking links from my newsletters to blog posts helps a lot and then clicking on a link within a blog post. Clicks and time spent tell google that the post is valuable! 🙂 Sharing anything I post on IG is also HUGELY helpful. Thank you so much for asking – that means a lot to me Shannon!
Love all of this and super proud of you! Happy New Year!
Thanks friend! Hope to see you soon!
I don’t usually hop over to your blog these days (sorry!) but I’m so glad I did – this was such a treat to read! Hopeful that 2023 brings all that you hope for – happy new year!
Thank you!! Hope you’re doing well!
Thanks for being so raw and open. I would love to hear more about you leaving the Mormon faith. My neighbor is a Mormon but really questioning it all. I’m a Christian, grew up in a conservative Christian family and I want to help her understand that it’s not about religion and doing good but a relationship with Jesus and knowing we aren’t perfect and are sinners but forgiven. Any advice is appreciated. Enjoy your blog and Instagram so much!
Thank you so much for your encouragement and kind words! You said it so well!
Love the Blog and all that you do!!
Thank you so much for your support!! <3
I really enjoyed reading this post and look forward to reading more like it in the new year! Also if you wrote a book, I’d totallllllly read it!! Happy New Year and enjoy your trip away!
aw, thank you friend!!
Thanks for sharing! Love updates as I’ve followed you for years ?
TeriLyn, I love your honesty and vulnerability in this post. Regarding your decision to leave the LDS and embrace Christianity, I applaud you for making this very difficult decision. As a long time Christian, I encourage you to continue to attend your. Community groups, read your Bible, and ask questions (to God and your Christian friends). There is always so much to learn but so much joy and peace in the journey. God has an amazing future for you and your family. Keep seeking Him.
Thank you so much Ann <3
Love the letter, it has a nostalgic feeling to it and makes me miss the days of having pen pals! I’ll make a point to visit the blog more, love your Insta content! XO
Aw thank you so much! And yes, it made me nostalgic too, like the good ol’ days of blogging and writing letters to friends! Thank you for being here and for your support!
I always love your blog posts and fashion posts as I never take the time to shop for myself! I love how you’re real, Terilyn, and how you’re a good mom, a loving wife and a solid human through your posts and social media. Keep being you 🙂 I also love your local recs so thanks for those too!!! (Who do I go to for a hydra-facial!) haha! <3
I’m excited for letters from TeriLyn! I have loved following your business as you’ve gone to full-time working for yourself and added Thomas to your family. Thanks for sharing in the way that you do!
This makes me so happy!