Christmas in July and Why I Almost Quit Blogging {Giveaway-CLOSED}

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It’s a Christmas in July Giveaway! I recently celebrated my blogiversary and wanted to celebrate with a little something for you too. But first a little explanation…

So about a month ago or so I was this close to quitting my blog. I was just so overwhelmed with trying to take care of Sophie, keep the house clean, laundry done, dishes washed and also have time to play with Sophie, oh and work out to lose this baby weight too…that blogging was just getting to be too much. Plus we also have a couple of other charity events we are in charge of planning so that played into everything as well. And, if I’m being honest, I got caught up in the comparison game and focused too much on how many site visits I have per day or if my blog is as good as so & so’s, which is just silly! I mean I’m 32 years old, and I should be over worrying about what other’s think of me where it causes me to stop doing something I love. (So God is teaching me a lot about just being myself and being open, hence the reason for this post).

Sophie 9 Months Week 1

I’m so thankful that I get to stay home with Sophie, and really do love it, but sometimes it’s just hard to fit everything else in. The pics above are a glimpse at my week (the teething monster is visiting so it’s been a bit of drama this week, but lots of fun moments too). So all that to say, I began to seriously pray about whether or not I was supposed to keep blogging. Mostly because my family definitely comes first and I want to make sure I’m giving them my best and the time, love & attention they deserve. But, every time I would be on the verge of quitting someone would share my facebook page with sweet comments or send a message or comment on the blog with how much they loved it and how it helps their family find easy meals to make.

 As of July 1st, I’ve had my blog for 6 years. It’s been such a wonderful creative outlet for me and I think I just had to get down to the core of why I do it. It’s fun for me to make new recipes and be creative and to edit pictures and it also stretches me to try new things. But mostly I do it for you, I love helping people find new recipes or try something they wouldn’t have tried before and spread love and joy to their families. That’s what food & recipes are about really, sharing love with others through delicious food.

Benton Falls

So, for now I decided that I’m supposed to keep going here at Macaroni and Cheesecake. God really showed me a better schedule during the day. If possible, I take her afternoon nap time and blog/network then and just do a little bit everyday during that time and I’ve found I’ve been able to stay on top of things much better. I think I just got into a bit of a rut and needed to take a step back and get some clarity.

So I just wanted to say thank you to all of you. For your encouragement, support, thoughtfulness and for continuing to read and visit me here. As a token of my appreciation I wanted to give away a $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Here’s how to enter:

Scroll down and enter in the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends at 10:00 pm EST Thursday July 24, 2014. One winner will win a $50 Amazon gift card. This is sponsored by me and paid for out of my pocket as a thank you to you. {GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED-Winner has been contacted}

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    Comments

    1. Good to see that you’re getting a balance in place. I really enjoy finding new recipes on your blog, but of course family comes first ;)
      Anne recently posted..SummerMy Profile

    2. I really like O Holy Night.

    3. i’m so glad you didn’t quit! i love your site!

    4. Oh Come Emmanuel.

    5. We 3 kings is our family favorite. I’ve been in a rut too…it’s so easy to get overwhelmed with all that has to be done. God always gives us the focus we need, exactly when we need it. Read jesus calling, dec 19th, it really helped.

    6. Joy to the world!

    7. carol clark says:

      joy to the world its heavenly

    8. O Holy Night! So pretty.
      Tara Lynn recently posted..Other Kids and Their ParentsMy Profile

    9. Pam Sohan says:

      O holy Night is my favorite christmas carol. Martina mcbride’s rendition is my favorite. Not sure why this is all in caps LOL

    10. Auntiepatch says:

      White Christmas

    11. Little Drummer Boy is my favorite Christmas carol, what’s yours?

      I ‘hear’ you, Stephanie on feeling overwhelmled. I love your blog, but maybe you could post less often if that would work better for you. Works for me!! Blessings to you and your family… Hugs!

    12. Amazing grace

    13. Stefanie E says:

      The Little DruMmer Boy is my all time favorite! So happy that you didnt give ip Blogging!

    14. Kristin t says:

      Silent night :)

    15. Silent Night is my favorite. God bless you.

    16. Stephanie says:

      O little town of bethlehem is my favorite christmas song, one that really brings me back to the true meaning of christmas. “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” So glad god gave you the desire to keep writing macaroni and cheesecake. He’ll carry you through when things seem overwhelming. Family first…we’ll all be here whenever you post! Hugs to you and sophie, too!

      • Stephanie says:

        And for some reason everything was in caps as I typed but changed when it posted! I do know how to capitalize names….God and Sophie, specifically!

      • Thank you so much for your encouragement Stephanie!! So very true, He will carry us through!! (And sorry about the all caps thing, sometimes my comment box does that and I don’t know how to fix it).

    17. Heather B says:

      My favorite is Mary, Did You Know?

    18. Christmas Rock…love it!

    19. Silent NIGHT IS SO beautiful.

    20. Susan Spaanbroek says:

      I can only imagine how overwhelmed you have been! I love your food blog but my favorite content are the pictures of you and your family! Be happy dear Stephanie!

    21. Candace s says:

      O holy night

    22. Jennifer says:

      Im so glad you didnt quit!! And i completely understand where you’re coming from, im glad things are getting better :)

    23. Elizabeth says:

      O Little Town of Bethlehem

    24. Oh come, Oh Come Emmanuel, Mary Did you know and many others!

      PS – glad you are sticking with the blog! I too know how difficult it is to juggle kids (3), a house, a dog, a blog…..and a life:)
      Ally’s Sweet and Savory Eats recently posted..Stuffed Strawberry Cheesecake Baked French ToastMy Profile

    25. Lisa Green says:

      SIlent night

    26. I’m glad you didn’t give up blogging – I love seeing your recipes and your photos are gorgeous! My favorite Christmas carol is O Holy Night – I’ve loved it ever since I was a kid.
      Jamie Lynn recently posted..Harveys Summer SaleMy Profile

    27. I love Mary, Did you know? You are doing a great job! Thanks for your hard work! :)

    28. Kirsten Corbett says:

      Carol of the Bells. eSPECIALLY WHEN THE mORMON tABERNACLE cHOIR PREFORMS IT.

    29. I’m so glad you’re going to keep blogging. I would really miss your easy family food and all the cute Sophie pics. My favorite Christmas Carol is Carol of the Bells. (Though I pretty much obsess over Christmas music and love all the carols.)

    30. I love Carol of the Bells. So glad you’re going to stick with blogging. But I totally get how hard it is to juggle it all! Stay strong!

    31. Danielle says:

      Silent nighT

    32. Jodi pavlik says:

      I am glad you aren’t Quitting!! YOur life changing rice really did change my lIfe!! You got this!! My favOrite Christmas carol is up on tHe houseTop!

    33. piCKING JUST ONE CHRISTMAS SONG IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE – BUT SILENT NIGHT IS ALWAYS A TOP PICK.

    34. Annika e says:

      Not true christmas carols, but all of mariah carey’s christmas songs :)

    35. So so glad you didn’t quit blogging! I know exactly how you feel though. Once i stopped playing the comparison game, my outlook on blogging really changed for the better. I think my fave christmas carol would have to be Oh Holy Night. So pretty!
      Leah | So, How’s It Taste? recently posted..Ranchero CornMy Profile

    36. Courtney robbins says:

      I enjoy your blog and am so glad you are going to continue. Love you friend!

    37. Caitlin Mino says:

      I holy night for sure so besutiful. Actually now i have a million songs running through my head and i love thrm all ni start my christmas tunes in novemeber!!!

    38. Stefanie says:

      I Saw Three Ships

    39. Taylor moehl says:

      Hey,
      I am chad & jennifer’s cousin. I’ve heard nothing but good things about your blog and i’m glad yOu didn’t quit you haVe some great recipes!

    40. meghann says:

      Oh Holy Night :-) Love checking in on your easy family RECIPES!

    41. Michele E says:

      I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

    42. Little Drummer Boy :) SOOOOOO happy that you aren’t leaving blog world!

    43. christi Davidson says:

      O Holy Night!

    44. as a new mom to a five-month-old, I can totally relate to feeling overwhelmed by how little time you have for yourself these days. and when we do have a little free time, we don’t always have the energy to use it the way we want!

      I’m glad to hear that you are going to continue blogging, not only do i come here for the food, but I love the sophie updates, especially since she and my connor are so close in age. she shows me what i’m in for! :)
      Stephanie recently posted..Connor: Five MonthsMy Profile

    45. v. familiar with the blog burnout — glad you’re continuing! I always enjoy your posts!

    46. what a cutie pie she is! Hang in there, it gets easier. My favorite christmas song is silent night.
      Miss recently posted..Strawberry Lavender Mousse for #CookfortheCureMy Profile

    47. Thou Didst Leave they throne

      Thank you for your many efforts to share yummy recipes on this blog

    48. So glad that you foUnd that you are able to continue your blog. I really enjoy reading it and trying your recipes! I love the picture of the 3 of you! Sophie is absolutely adorable!!
      I suppose my favorite Christmas carol is The Holly and the Ivy.

    49. Silent night

    50. So sweet of you to do this giveaway! It’s hard to pick just one Christmas Carol because I love them all, but I really like “Mary Did You Know.” :)

    51. Hark the herald angels sing is probably my favorite Christmas Carol =)

    52. let it be Christmas
      the angels cried
      the Christmas shoes

    53. My favorite is o how a rose ere blooming. and also i wonder as i wander.

    54. Lesley M says:

      My favorite is Jingle Bells!

    55. Mary Beth Elderton says:

      My favorite is “Carol of the Bells”

    56. Debbie caraballo says:

      I think o holy night says it all – the true meaning of christmas!

    57. Karen Harris says:

      My favorite hymn is Silent night. I love this blog. Sophie is a beautiful baby. god bless you and your family.

    58. The Christmas song is my fav

    59. Heather W. says:

      Silent night

    60. I’ve been in a funk too…I totally get it. I don’t want to quit, but I am slowing things down a good bit since starting a new job. :-)

      My fave carol is “12 Yats of Christmas”…it’s a New Orleans spin on the 12 Days of Christmas. :-)

      • Yay for your new job! That’s exciting! I think sometimes it’s good to slow things down a bit. I just had to realize it’s ok if I don’t post as much as long as I’m doing it for the right reasons. Glad I’m not the only one feeling this way! :)

    61. jessica z says:

      I love away in a manger

    62. Melissa saenz says:

      My faveorite song is silent night!

    63. Nancy lee says:

      I found two good things this week. Edys PomegraNite popcicles and you. Just got back From the store where were out of the popcicles. Now you. So glad you arnt leaving. It would be harder to replace you than those dang popcicles.

    64. The little drummer boy

    65. Martin Ochoa says:

      O holy night or ave maria. There is a Christmas album by the group Barlow Girls, can’t go wrong with that one.

    66. Christy Spurlock says:

      O Beautiful star of bethlehem.

    67. Crystal says:

      I’m so glad you didn’t quit!!! I may not always comment on your blog, but I read it faithfully and am always inspired and encouraged!! Congratulations on 6 years! My favorite carol is O Holy Night :)

    68. kristen mcclary says:

      amazing grace is my favorite christmas song

    69. Oh come all ye faithful!
      Jenny recently posted..Freckles, swimming pools, and Spaghetti O’s.My Profile

    70. Linda Hopkins says:

      Joy To The World

    71. I HAVE BEEN FEELING THE SAME WAY FOR THE LAST YEAR. i FEEL LIKE i NEVER HAVE TIME TO SIT DOWN AND BLOG. I’m finally at a place where I realize it’s okay to not blog all the time and that i don’t have to be as good as everyone else {thank you pinterest}. I’ve been following your blog for years and i love it! do what is best for you and your family. but i’m glad you’re sticking around. {i also don’t know why this is in all caps lol}.

      • It’s so hard to fit it all in, isn’t it?! I had to realize that too, that I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing or be perfect, so hard to learn that sometimes! :) Thank you for your sweet comments!

    72. I’m glad you aren’t quitting! i love your blog!
      my favorite is O holy Night .

    73. Rachel Henthorn says:

      Silent Night !! Its the first one my daughter tried singing with me.

    74. Nicole Millheim says:

      I love Silent night. we play it all during christmas eve

    75. Kim Henrichs says:

      Silver bells is my favorite!!

    76. Thanks for sticking with it! I am somewhat new to the chattanooga area and love your blog, both for the recipes & your every day posts! I’m always learning something new about the area.

    77. Kimberly says:

      Im so glad that you did not stop! I enjoy all your posts and have tried many recipes from. I totally get the rut and am feeling it right now myself, thanks for sharing, sometimes you feel as though you are the only one who has those weeks. Take care.

    78. Kimberly says:

      Angels from the realms of glory

    79. YAY! I know life must be SOOO hectic and busy but I’m so glad you’re keeping the blogging up :)

      and my fave christmas carol is silent night :)
      Kayle (The Cooking Actress) recently posted..Engagement Photos by JTate DesignMy Profile

    80. I feel you, it’s really hard. There’s definitely not enough hours in the day to do everything I want. But, I figure I’ll squeeze blogging in when I can. It takes me 3+ days to bake/photograph/blog now but I still enjoy it (usually) so I’ll keep on for now.

      My favorite Christmas carol is little drummer boy, lately. It changes :)
      melissa {persnickety plates} recently posted..Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Bon BonsMy Profile

    81. My favorite Christmas Carol is O HOly Night

    82. libby rouse says:

      I love Silent Night

    83. Michelle says:

      Please don’t quit.i love all the Alabama Christmas songs but thistle hair the ChrisTmas bear is my favorite lol

    84. i appreciate the work you do on this site! the recipes are simple and good. I’m glad you found a balance.

    85. I love silent night! My son’s favorite is rudolph, so that goes at the top of the list too!

    86. I can appreciate your quandary and your soul searching. YOu did the right thing in the process of coming to a decision. I am new to following your blog, so from a selfish point of view I am glad you decided to hang in there. integrating a baby into your routine is not an easy thing to do for anyone. I think all the parents in your readership would agree. to change gears your husband is handsome. you baby is adorable. makes me want to start singing summertime where the living is easy. hugs—–
      Carol at Wild Goose Tea recently posted..Iced Chocolate Chai Coffee & Rounded BottomsMy Profile

    87. I didn’t comment about my favorite carol. with my name I love them all!!!
      Carol at Wild Goose Tea recently posted..Iced Chocolate Chai Coffee & Rounded BottomsMy Profile

    88. Nicole S. says:

      oh Holy Night

    89. Amie S. says:

      Away in a manger

    90. i LOVE YOUR BLOG AND THE RECIPES–GLAD YOU WERE ABLE TO PUT EVERYTHING IN PERSPECTIVE AND HAVE HELP FROM THE LORD.

      aWAY IN A MANGER.
      Jan C. recently posted..Christmas in July and Why I Almost Quit Blogging {Giveaway}My Profile

    91. Monica Lavoie says:

      Angels we have heard on high!

      Thanks

    92. i’M GLAD TO HEAR THAT YOU ARE STAYING. I like your S’Mores Cupcake Recipe.

    93. Loving the blog :)

    94. glad you didn’t leave!!

    95. O Holy night!!

    96. you are a rockstar and that’s not my fave christmas song.
      Krystal R. recently posted..Spinach Yogurt Pesto Pasta with SausagesMy Profile

    97. Chelsey Jones says:

      Let it snow!

    98. RANDI COOK says:

      Silver Bells

    99. April was in CT now CA says:

      Frosty the snowman!

    100. Lisa Brown says:

      walking in a winter wondreland

    101. O Holy Night

    102. my current favorite is away in a manger because atalee insists on singing everyday in the car:) glad you chose to stick it out!

    103. o hOLY NIGHT IS MY FAVORITE, BUT THERE ARE SO MANY GREAT CHRISTMAS SONGS. lOVE YOUR BLOG!

    104. Silent night and amazing grace !!!

    105. I love Christmas music!! I really enjoy non-traditional Christmas music, not so much the standard carols but more along the lines of Mariah Carey or Kenny G’s Christmas music. It drives my husband crazy (but that’s part of the fun!)

    106. i LOVE WALKING IN A WINTER wonderland

    107. sILENT nIGHT IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE

    108. Just found your blog! am loving looking at all the wonderful recipes!

    109. O Holy Night.

    110. barbara n says:

      My favorite christmas carol is do you hear what i hear?

    111. I can definitely relate when it comes to feeling overwhelmed sometimes. My favorite carol is the “Twelve Days of Christmas” because my mom made signs for each one and every christmas we all gather around and sing it, each individual person holding up their sign at the appropriate time. It is hilarious especially when someone can’t sing well, forgets which sign they have, or is overly dramatic with their singing. Memories that I will never forget!
      Terri/LoveandConfections recently posted..Chocolate Avocado Bundt Cake #BundtBakersMy Profile

    112. Michelle J. says:

      I like Oh Holy Night!

    113. away in a manger. and i’m glad you will be continuing to blog, though i admit i have thought about quitting too for some of the same reasons. just do what you can and have fun with it :)
      sarah k @ the pajama chef recently posted..Layered Asian DipMy Profile

    114. I love jinglebells.)

    115. I like Silent Night, so peaceful.

    116. Sharon O. says:

      My favorite is O Holy Night. Thank you!

      I’ve been reading and following your blog for a few years now. I don’t know how you do it all, especially with a baby, but I enjoy what you do here and am glad you’re going to continue.

    117. Cheryl Newton says:

      I love, love, love o holy night. Any version will do, but if I have to pick a favorite, it’s josh groban’s.

    118. I love it must have been the mistletoe

    119. Just like everyone else here, I’m so glad you didn’t quit! But, I also understand where you are coming from… it’s very hard to keep a balance. I’d love to tell you it gets easier, but it doesn’t. You just have to keep in mind that you do the best you can, and never compare yourself to other (easier said than done, for sure)!

      You’ve got a great blog, and one of my personal favorites. Keep it up, girl! :)
      nikki @seeded at the table recently posted..Gladd Family Beach Trip 2014 [Wilmington, NC]My Profile

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