Life

C&G’s One Year Blogiversary!

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Happy Wednesday and Happy Birthday Classic & Gray! I planned on doing a fun shoot to celebrate the occasion but given I’ve been dealing with the #migrainechronicles for the past 10 days, we’ll just have to save that for next year. After all, the very basis of this blog is built on the premise that we need to make the best of our situation and find ways to overcome the obstacles in our way so it’s actually pretty fitting. Just pretend I’m twirling around with some balloons or holding fun cake with a sparkly candle m’kay?

I can’t even believe that it’s been an entire year since my first post and what a year it’s been. This anniversary means so much more to me than celebrating one year of blogging. I can so vividly remember laying in bed, fed up with how helpless and sick I was feeling, and facing the scary realization that each day was blending into the next because they were all basically the same. Life wasn’t on medical leave just because I was and it was passing me by before my eyes.

I desperately needed a distraction from my reality and the debilitating health issues that were controlling my life. On top of that, due to the very sedentary lifestyle I was forced to live, leggings and a t-shirt was my daily #ootd which was A, an accomplishment in itself because it meant I had energy to change out of pajamas and B, acceptable for a day or two but seriously pushing it after 10 months. My wardrobe was going to waste and regardless of whether I was spending each day in the house or not, I wanted to look like myself again, even though I didn’t feel like myself. I needed motivation. I had no control over my medical situation but I did have control over how I spent my days and one thing was for sure… it was time for a change.

I’d tossed around the idea of starting a style blog long before I became sick and last August, even though I had more limitations than ever before, it just felt like the right time. I knew I had to begin immediately before reality sank in that I wasn’t even able to shower most days, let alone pick up a new hobby, so I signed up for WordPress that day. I had no idea what I was doing, like, at all, and asked my husband to take some photos of me awkwardly sitting on a bench with my iPhone (apparently looking in-focus and effortlessly candid does not come without the price tag of a DSLR camera and practice). After two full days of creating my site and drafting my first post, I was ready. Pedialyte in hand, Miley Cyrus blasting, I hit “Publish” for the very first time and it was one of the most scary and cathartic things I’ve ever done. Looking back, as primitive and simple as that first post was, it’s still one of my favorites. Classic & Gray was born.

Style has always been the foundation of my blog. It’s my creative escape and what I’m passionate about but in order to be true to myself, I decided to delve deeper than that. Throughout this past year, I have shared it all with you. In addition to outfits and beauty buys, I’ve openly documented my struggles and triumphs, good times and bad, sickness and health (okay, pretty sure that was a part of my wedding vows), and you have been along for the ride. One of the toughest parts about making the decision to be so personal in my posts was that I was opening my life to everyone and anyone…judgement, criticism, and speculation included. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made because in addition to that, I opened the doors to so much more.

As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, blogging is hard work for anyone. Add chronic illness into the mix and things really start to get challenging. I’m not asking for pity by any means but I’m not going to sugar coat it either- this journey has not been easy for me in the slightest. However, as difficult as it’s been, all of the time dedicated to C&G has been 10 times more rewarding. I never imagined how much this hobby would grow over the course of a year and all of the amazing opportunities that would come along with it’s success. I have been so blessed and have a lot be thankful for.

In Oscar award-winning speech fashion, I’d like to thank my family and friends for all of their love and support, especially my parents and in-laws who figured out how to use Instagram just to like my posts, my mother (a.k.a. C&G’s part-time editor and run-on sentence breaker-upper), and my photographer, biggest fan, and package delivery man…my husband. Eddie, I could’ve never done this without you. Despite how many hours you work, how tired you are, or how much of a burden my blogging adventure puts on you, you never complain and you always encourage me. Thank you for believing in me, even when I’ve racked up the Nordstrom bill and we can’t go out to dinner that weekend 🙂  I love you.

I am so thankful for the sweetest sisterhood of blogger friends I’ve met along the way, the amazing brands I’ve been given the privilege of working with, and most importantly, the readers and followers I’ve had the pleasure of engaging with. YOU are what make this all worth it. The countless hours spent building this online diary have had such a positive impact on my life and every encouraging comment and email I’ve received is a reminder of that.

I can look back on each post and watch myself progress not only a blogger but as a person. Classic & Gray has given me purpose. It has inspired me to be a better version of myself. It has pushed me to get dressed, even when I have no where to go. It’s motivated me to get up and create content when all I feel up to doing is rest. It has challenged me mentally, physically, and emotionally, and I’ve grown from it. It has been more beneficial to my well-being than any medicine or treatment has been in two years. It is my source of pride.

Thank you to each and every one of you. Whether you’ve been following along since day one, pop in every now and then, or are here for the first time today, I genuinely and sincerely appreciate you. It is your support that has given me the opportunity to do what I love and I am forever grateful. As always, thank you so much for reading. I can’t wait to see what year two has in store.

Classic and Gray Post Signature

Jean Jacket // T-Shirt // Wide-leg Pants– similar here, herehere // Panama Hat- sale option herehere // Michele Watch c/o

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Kristin Kruse
    August 10, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I love this and I LOVE that blogging has brought us together!! You’re inspiring, strong, gorgeous and your determination & attitude are incredibly contagious! Cheers to year 1 & for all that is to come!!! <3

    Xox,
    Kristin

    • Reply
      Michele
      August 11, 2016 at 12:11 am

      Thank you so much Kristin! I completely agree. I wish I could’ve individually named my blogger besties but you know you’re one of them! You have always been so supportive of me and I appreciate that more than I can express. I can only hope that one day we can meet in person because I know it’d be like we’ve know each other for years. I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately and sharing your fertility struggle is very brave. I know it must be hard for you to write but know that you’re comforting so many women going through the say thing. Stay strong and thank you for everything. xo

  • Reply
    Vanessa @ Living in Steil
    August 10, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Congratulations on your blogiversary! I remember reading your first post and I instantly knew that we had so much in common. I’m glad blogging has been a cathartic outlet for you. I’ve found that my own blogging journey has helped me find my voice and my passion. Each time I read one of the earlier posts I’ve written I realize how much I’ve grown as a person and as a writer. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for you in the future!

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

    • Reply
      Michele
      August 11, 2016 at 12:19 am

      Thank you Vanessa! That means a lot to me 🙂 It had been far more time-consuming that I originally thought and a year later, am still trying to figure that part out. It’s a lot to keep up with and leaves little time for other things but as you know, it’s so rewarding. I hope you’ve been feeling well and enjoying your summer. I’m always running around to the doctor when I’m in NY but one of these trips, we’ll have to get together! xo

  • Reply
    Amanda
    August 11, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Love this!! Congratulations on the one year, C&G has been nothing short of success!

    • Reply
      Michele
      August 11, 2016 at 12:17 am

      Thank you future sista! (Don’t tell Nick I said that). Thanks for all of the encouragement over the past year and letting me borrow that quilted beauty. I think that’d be a lovely anniversary gift to myself, don’t you?! xo

      • Reply
        Amanda
        August 11, 2016 at 4:41 pm

        ITS A MUST!

  • Reply
    Elise
    August 11, 2016 at 12:41 am

    I love your outfit in this and the post is beautifully written! Congrats on 1 year. xo

    • Reply
      Michele
      August 11, 2016 at 1:24 am

      Thank you Elise! I really appreciate that. Thanks for taking the time to read it and for the well wishes xo

  • Reply
    Brianne George
    August 11, 2016 at 1:36 am

    What a sweet post!!! Love it. Great job at making it to a year! I recently just had my one year blogiversary as well 🙂 It’s hard work, but so worth it!

    Xo, Brianne
    http://www.scrubsandsparkles.com

    • Reply
      Michele
      August 11, 2016 at 2:09 am

      Thank you Brianne and congrats on your 1 year as well! You are so right. It’s a lot of dedication but so rewarding. Have a good week xo

  • Reply
    Jenny Hall
    August 11, 2016 at 1:42 am

    Congrats on one year! You should be so proud of all that you have accomplished. Cheers to many more years of fun, fashion and life!

    • Reply
      Michele
      August 11, 2016 at 2:10 am

      Thank you so much Jenny! That means a lot to me 🙂 Have a wonderful week! xo

  • Reply
    Camille Emmett
    August 11, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Love you blog, web site and gorgeous figure. You wear the clothes and accessories so well. I enjoy reading and watching ! Keep up the faith and positive attitude! Feel better. Listen to the song by Chicago “Feelin’ stronger every day” !

    • Reply
      Michele
      August 11, 2016 at 2:17 am

      Thank you Camille! I’m so happy you’re enjoying following along. Hopefully one day I’ll be feeling up to taking it full time. I will definitely check out that song and thanks for all of the support! xo

  • Reply
    Maggie
    August 11, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Oh congrats on 1 year!! Mine is coming up this month and it’s crazy to see how far some people are able to go in just a year 🙂

    http://www.maggiealamode.com

    • Reply
      Michele
      August 11, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Thank you so much Maggie and congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! Didn’t the year fly by?! I’m so looking forward to seeing what year 2 has in store 🙂 Have a great week! xo

  • Reply
    Rachel Moore
    August 11, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Congrats!!!! I hear the first year is the hardest. I wouldn’t know because I’m still in it. But it’s definitely a hustle and grind job so hats off to you for making it a success while battling health struggles!!!

    • Reply
      Michele
      August 19, 2016 at 12:31 am

      Thank you Rachel! Congratulations on all of your success within the first year! That’s amazing. Wishing you a wonderful weekend xo

  • Reply
    Ruthie
    August 15, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    You my friend are the definition of a warrior! Your constant fight and drive inspite of your health is an inspiration to me! I have loved following your blog this entire time. SO thankful our paths crossed. You are such a breath of fresh air!! This is my fave line of many fave lines in this post… “Style has always been the foundation of my blog. It’s my creative escape and what I’m passionate about but in order to be true to myself, I decided to delve deeper than that.” Proud of you! You are stronger than most!! Love ya babe!!

    • Reply
      Michele
      August 19, 2016 at 12:45 am

      That means so much to me Ruthie! We are all warriors in our own way and this struggle has just allowed me to find mine. Thank you for always being so supportive of me, giving me advice, and sharing your wisdom (and Phi haha!). I am so lucky to have met you and gotten a glimpse into your perfect little family. I still think y’all need your own show 🙂 I look forward to continuing our friendship and hopefully meeting in person one day soon xo

  • Reply
    janna doan
    September 6, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    michele–FINALLY stopping by to check out your reflections on one year. ONE!! ACA-BELIEVE IT (quoting Amy from pitch perfect). it seems like you’ve been doing this for years, you’re a natural girl. well, i’m here to toast to YOU babe on this milestone, it def ain’t easy work but it is fo sho worth it. your oscar speech has me in tears, and i cannot explain in words how thankful and glad i am that you started blogging. the sense of purpose and how it has created a sense of well being for you during good and difficult times. opening up is always the hardest i would have to agree. but i strongly believe there is so much beauty in that. you are an inspiration to me and so many other and i’m so lucky to call you my friend. ps–do not have your mom look at my blog bc its run on sentence HEAVEN. love you. cheers to C&G! xoxo,

    janna | http://www.jannadoan.com

    • Reply
      Michele Shapiro
      September 8, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      I can’t believe it’s been a full year either! When I repeated that in a Amy’s British accent I laughed out loud. Thank you so much for all of your support over the past year, I really mean that. You have been the sweetest, most encouraging friend and I look forward to the day we can finally meet in real life! I know you’d have me purchasing things left and right and laughing until I passed out, so maybe it’s for the best we live a few hours apart 🙂 Love you and your run-on sentences to pieces xoxox

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