History of a Blog & a Give-Away!!

5.02.2016

HELLO!  I am so excited you are joining me for my Official Re-Launch Week!  I wanted to start today off with sharing why I started this blog, how it has changed my life, and the great things that have happened!

HISTORY OF A BLOG
In December of 2009 I was reflecting on the previous year and areas in which we could strengthen our family in the coming year.  And one things was glaringly clear. We SUCKED at holding Family Home Evenings.  We had two little girls at that time (ages 5 and 3...pictured below) and I'm pretty sure we had had fewer than a handful of FHE's during their lifetime.


Being stressed-out and feeling frazzled all of the time I made a plan: If I sat down on Fast Sunday and completely planned out the Family Home Evening plans for the entire month, I could print them all at once and be completely ready when I was feeling tired and overwhelmed on Monday night. I mentioned my plan to a few of my girlfriends who were also stressed-out Mormon Moms of small kids.  They asked if I would share my lesson plans with them. I did. Then their friends wanted copies too.

Soon I decided to just throw a free blog together to post the lesson plans so I didn't have to email a growing list of Mommies who wanted them.  A Year of FHE was born.  And then the blog took off.  More and more LDS moms shared the blog with their friends. And they shared with their friends.

When the first year was over, comments and emails started pouring in, begging me to write lessons for the following year.   During that year I had my third baby girl.  The blog and lessons were a lot of work, but the comments I got that year (and every year) from LDS parents, just like you, telling me they were using my lessons to teach their children the gospel, made me want to keep going. So I did.

In 2012 Mitt Romney was running for President of the United States.  I received an email from a producer at ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer. They wanted to profile LDS life of regular families in order to increase awareness since we had an LDS candidate. A crew drove to Philly, where we lived, interview me for an hour, and then filmed my family holding a FHE.  It was a pretty crazy experience. You can see the clip by clicking HERE (we are shown at 2:55).  I also got contacted by Church Headquarters to play a part in their very first set of campaigns working with LDS Bloggers.


In 2013 I continued writing weekly lessons, spurred on again by amazing emails and comments I was getting from all over the world.  I felt I was using my talents to make church stronger in a very small way,  By the end of that year I had published 150+ Family Home Evening lessons and I felt I had covered every topic there was!  So I left the blog up for people to use and didn't add more content.

In 2014 we moved from Philadelphia to Utah to be near family.  I now had five kids and was more frazzled and stressed than ever!


But I felt the pull to re-visit this blog.  Some amazing and fortuitous things fell into place and before I knew it I was at the Build Your Blog Conference and a month later I was at the first ever LDS Blogger Workshop.  And I was INSPIRED! I took furious notes as ideas and inspiration flooded my mind!  I realized that this blog needed to be added to and expanded. I made a survey and my readers let me know exactly what they needed help with and what LDS info they wanted and needed to make life easier.

I can't wait to share with you the new vision for the blog and the HEAPS of new content, posting schedule, and ideas I plan to share with you. Come back tomorrow for that info and another GIVE-AWAY!  (I promise tomorrow's post won't be this long!!)

GIVE-AWAY STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW:
All give-aways this week will start at 7:00 am MST on the day the post goes up and end at 7:00 am MST the following day. Prizes can only be shipped within the US. International winners will receive a digital file via email from the Momo Prints shop.  All winners will be announced on Saturday, May 7th on this blog and winners will be notified by email.  Winners have 48 hours to respond to the email notification (notification will come from aYEARofFHE@gmail.com). If winners do not respond a new winner will be chosen.  You may not choose which prize you win on a given day.


01. Wood Connection $25 Gift Card.
I'm kind of in love with The Wood Connection.  It's like a Crafty Wonderland!  They have a lot of amazing unfinished wood items, including LDS-themed shapes!  And their stuff is amazingly inexpensive, but high quality.  They have stores in Utah, but also have an online store. 


(Pssst.....here's a special coupon code from The Wood Connection to help celebrate my re-launch!)






02. Press Forward Digital File from Momo Prints.
For a few years I have had a shop for modern LDS prints.  This is a great print for any home, but especially meaningful for Young Women since it is the theme for 2016!


(Pssst.....here's a special coupon code from Momo Prints to help celebrate my re-launch!)




03. Wooden Temple with Pink Ribbon.
Remember how I was just gushing about The Wood Connection? Well, you get a chance to win a white Temple with low-shed glitter and a pink ribbon!  This is the perfect gift for LDS girls of any age!

P.S. This entire week The Wood Connection is giving you a special promo code to celebrate my re-launch!!!  Visit TheWoodConnection.com to start shopping!


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In exchange for providing free lesson plans I just ask that
you SHARE these lessons with others! 
Join me on Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest
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This post may contain affiliate links for products and services I love and whole-heartedly believe in. Thanks so much for your support! See the full disclosure.

39 Way Righteous Comments:

Anonymous said...

I love doing FHE lessons from your blog! So easy because most of the work is done :) thanks so much! Can't wait to see what's to come. (Julee Irish) jbirish AT gmail.com

Anonymous said...

So grateful to have found your blog. Thanks for all you do! kathleenlane337 AT gmail DOT com.

MrsOldenburg said...

I have loved your blog and all the lessons, I am so grateful for all of your hard work and I can't wait for the relaunch.

Wendy G said...

So excited for your relaunch! (wenghimire at gmail.com)

Alannah said...

I'm so grateful for your website! I'm the only investigator in my family and I always want to do FHE but your plans are a good way for me to study on my own until I have my own family or join in with others

Alannah said...

a.brumhead.0116@gmail.com

JCotton said...

I just recently discovered your blog and I am just so thrilled about it! And what a perfect time to have found it 😉Jeffandjoleen at gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for what you have done. Now my 7 have grown, and I am Nana to 16 I'm going to put this into practice!
Hugs,
Vicki Richardson
sunraesban@yahoo.com

Shannon said...

I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old and we have yet to have FHE. I am excited to follow your blog and start the habit that will bring blessings into our home. Thank you for your hard work! Xax.shan.berry@gmail.com

Shannon said...

I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old and we have yet to have FHE. I am excited to follow your blog and start the habit that will bring blessings into our home. Thank you for your hard work! Xax.shan.berry@gmail.com

Alison said...

I'm excited to explore your blog! Amficklin at gmail dot com

Stephanie said...

I recently found your blog from a link on Instagram and I love it! We are going to do one of your lessons tonight. And my little family looks a lot like yours, 3 girls, 1 boy, then a baby girl :)
semarks @ gmail dot com

jeanine said...

I been following your blog since 2011! I'm glad you are back!

Jeaninecrane@yahoo.com

Katie Hansen said...

I have followed your blog for some time now. A few years ago I was in a group with some ladies and we would meet once a month and exchange FHE lessons. It was fabulous but you can go through those pretty fast. That is when I found your blog. It is amazing that you have almost every topic covered and I can go there and find a lesson and have everything ready to go in 5 minutes. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication so I can help teach my children important principles and not pull my hair out while doing it. And did I mention, my kids love the lessons! My oldest is getting to the age she can teach some and its perfect how it is all laid out for her. So once again, thank you and great job!!! I'm excited to see what the future holds. hansen.katielyn at gmail.com

Cathoux said...

I'm a French speaking mom, but I used your lesson plans a lot! Thank you for your inspired work and to share it with us!
cathoux_ AT hotmail DOT com

Lindsay said...

Thanks so much for the chance! lv2scrap at hotmail dot com

craichel said...

Thank you!! I would love to win!! hopemadsen@gmail.com

annalisa said...

I love your blog and am excited for the new content! I found your blog when I was doing preschool with my daughter and used a lot of your ideas to coordinate with what we were learning that week. I run the NewTestament365 Instagram page and it made my day when you started following us. ��

Tasha P. said...

I'm so excited to have come across your instagram account a couple weeks ago. I have recently made the goal to be diligent in having fhe and your blog is so incredibly helpful! Thank you! Crossing my fingera for the great prizes too! t_nikki04 @hotmail .com

Missy said...

You are awesome at what you do! Thanks for making my life easier!

Amber said...

Thanks for inspiring us all, Emilie!

Kathleen said...

Have I really been blog stalking you for almost 6 years now???

Noelle said...

This is so exciting! I'm on my second rotation through your FHE lessons and still loving them!

Katya said...

Did not know you had a FB page too! Totally liked it :) Thanks for your huge help to our family for the past two years!!!

mandy said...

Thank you so much for your FHE lessons. Sometimes I remember to come up with my own, but more often than not, your lessons are the only reason my family has FHE as often as we do.

Becky said...

Emilie, you are always so talented! Congratulations on the relaunch!

mas said...

I'd love to win this prize. One more excuse for a trip to Utah.
mas10284@aol.com

ArlaMo said...

Just found your IG and blog recently through Emily - so glad I did!

mandy said...

Thank you so much for your FHE lessons. Sometimes I remember to come up with my own, but more often than not, your lessons are the only reason my family has FHE as often as we do.

Unknown said...

You have a great blog. I'm inspired to go to each of my children's homes once a week and join them for FHE. Wonderful ideas. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is listed as a resource in our ward's RS binder! So glad to have found your blog!! emchamois at gmail dot com for my entry!

Christine Jensen said...

Thanks for the fantastic giveaway! I am crossing my fingers for the youth theme print (for my teenagers). Kissyjensen@gmail at gmail dot com

Jessie said...

I've been horrible at FHE but started following you on Instagram recently and decided that I really wanted to try to be better at this. Thanks to you for putting all the lesson material together (including song and coloring pages)... We've had FHE for three weeks in a row and my kids (ages 5, 4, and 21 month twins) get so excited for Monday nights!

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...


I am grateful for your blog and look forward to what's to come!
Sjmcmurry at hotmail.com

Shalee said...

Happy to be able to use this as a resource. Thanks!

Christine Jensen said...

So, your rafflecopter is acting funny. It doesn't seem to be retaining entries. Once the page is refreshed it defaults to 50 and all of my entries disappear.

Jenniflower said...

You go girl!! I love your FHE blog! I have been so inspired by your posts and love following it! Thank you for all your hard work!!

Amberly said...

I didn't realize you were in that video in 2012, that's so cool! :) And hooray for a year of being back. I love the reason behind your starting the blog in the first place.

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