Hooray! The Sweetest Occasion is Five

Sep 16

Happy Birthday Cake

It’s hard for me to believe that The Sweetest Occasion marked five years old at the beginning of September. Five years! If we want to get a little statistical for a moment, that’s 1/6 of my lifetime. It feels so short and yet so long all at the same time. I never imagined five years ago that my first post would lead to all of this. Not even in my wildest dreams did I think that in 2011 I would cross into the territory of full-time blogger. That this site and my freelance work would lead me down the path of building a career that is so gosh darn fun and fulfilling it’s utterly overwhelming at moments. I never imagined it. But I am so deeply grateful for everything that has brought me to where I am today.

Kay Sweet

When I founded The Sweetest Occasion in 2008, I had recently lost my maternal grandmother. Kay Sweet was, well, about the sweetest lady you ever did meet. In a total spitfire kind of way. (That’s her along with my mom, my sister and I celebrating my graduation from grad school in 2007.) She was also the ultimate hostess. I have no doubt that my love for entertaining came to me by way of some genetic code inherited from my mother and her mother. When you showed up at my grandmother’s house, I’m here to tell you what, every detail was in place. The music was on, the candles were lit, her hair was done, and her shoes always matched her earrings and her handbag. Always. Even if it was just for a party of two. I would come home from college, go over to her house for dinner, and she’d have that dining table dolled up like I was the frickin’ Queen of England. Because to her, that’s what inviting people into her home was. The chance to show her love and appreciation for them in the littlest of ways. So she’d wander out into her expansive gardens, snip a big bunch of peonies for the center of the table, and she’d make sure she had Elvis playing on the stereo. Because she was a Red Stripe drinking, laugh until her sides hurt, Elvis listening kind of lady. And she was every color of awesome you can imagine.

It dawned on me recently, that despite full intention of doing so a long time ago, I’ve never shared how The Sweetest Occasion came to have her name. (And, yes the blog is a girl. Clearly.) In short, The Sweetest Occasion is my ongoing love letter to my grandmother. “The Sweetest” part is a play on my mother’s maiden name, Sweet, and a celebration of the kind of woman my grandmother was. The kind of woman she taught all of her girls (three daughters and four granddaughters) to be. No matter how big or how small, every occasion that brought us together as family was the sweetest one of all in my grandmother’s eyes. And now, five years later, you know that without this one incredible little lady (all five feet and zero inches of her), I literally would not be here today doing what I’m doing. Just like The Sweetest Occasion, Grandma Kay was also a September baby. She would have been 77 this year.

To all of you who come here every day and grace me with your friendship and unending support, I thank you with all of my big sappy heart. To the sponsors who help keep these little girl dreams of mine alive, I’m endlessly grateful. To the amazing photographers, designers and stylists who have shared your work with me, I could not do what I do without you. To all the amazing contributors I’ve been proud to call a part of The Sweetest Occasion team over the last couple of years (Alice, Chelsea, Jenny, Stephanie, Kelly, Andrea, Samantha, Jade and Morgan), you ladies have inspired more than you’ll ever know. To my family, especially my parents, lil sister, and Grandma Converse, thank you for believing in me and always supporting my crazy ideas, even when it means leaving the land of paychecks and health insurance behind to write a blog. To B, my best friend, cheerleader, coach, and confidant, there are no words to express how much of what I do is because of your love and support.

The day to day operations of The Sweetest Occasion are still an entirely one woman show. I could not do it without amazing friends like Ami, Carolynn and Erika who have supported me over the years in countless ways. That said, the daily grind of producing content, writing and editing posts, working on sponsorships, responding to emails, working on business development and keeping on keeping on is just me, myself and I. Plus I freelance and try to have some semblance of a personal life, at least on the weekends. I’m not perfect, I’m far from where I want to be professionally, but I can’t wait to see what the next five years bring. I want to bring renewed energy and life to the posts and columns I’m producing and I’m making strides right now behind the scenes to try and do just that. Each year just keeps getting better and I can’t wait to make year six just as awesome as it can be.

And because I hate to go out on a total cry-faced sappy note, although that is absolutely what writing this post has resorted to for me, a few more stats from the last five years! (Because if you’re like me you’re a number geek and stats make you happy!)

The Sweetest Occasion is Five

Whoa. Sometimes looking at those numbers I can understand why I’ve spent a rather embarrassing percentage of the last five years in yoga pants with no makeup on. That said, I’ve got so much more to accomplish before I’ll do what I’ve set out to do. And what’s that you ask? Hopefully you’ll be here along for the ride to find out! With all of my heart, thank you thank you thank you. xoxo

post-line-before-credits

[Top photo by Elizabeth Messina of Kiss the Groom and Elizabeth Messina.]

22 thoughts on “Hooray! The Sweetest Occasion is Five”

  1. CONGRATULATIONS Cyd! I absolutely loved the reading the story about your grandmother. I know she would be absolutely, 1000% proud of you. My grandmother was similar, so I like to think that I’m honoring her every day by making pretty things. Just sayin’, I get it ;)

    Here’s to many, many more years! And know that you’ll always have a reader in me! xoxo

  2. Congratulations on an outstanding first five years. You will always continue to inspire me and I am forever grateful that you took a chance on little old me. You are the are the sweetest and most driven gal I know and I wish you another five years and more that your wildest dreams will come true. No matter how wonderful these next years will prove to be, they will only be a glimpse of how amazing a woman you are. Your grandma would be so proud of you.

  3. Thank you, Joelle! I am so glad you had the awesome privilege of having an amazing grandma, too. Isn’t it amazing just how inspiring they can be? Some people think I’m odd when I say I want to be a kick ass old lady some day, but it’s not because I want to life to go quickly, but because I hope when I get to that point I’ve got the same sort of inspiring stories and energy as my grandmother did. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! xoxo

  4. Laurel, thank you so much! Your words mean the world to me. I still miss her every day, so I know exactly what you mean. Hugs and love!

  5. Jenny! I am bawling right now. Thanks for making a lady cry ;-) You are an amazing friend and I’m so grateful that this weird little world of blogging brought us together. It’s those kinds of friendships that make the tough days, the exhausting day, so very very worth the effort. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you…I’m so excited to see where the next several years take both of us. Much love!

  6. I think this calls for a drink. In a pretty glass with a rad stir stick and proper lighting. With a little bowl of salty snacks. And a bit of cheese. And a cloth napkin. Cheers, lady. Love you to pieces.

  7. E, I can think of absolutely no better way to celebrate! Because we know stir sticks and good cheese are the secrets to a happy life. ;-)

  8. Thank you, Carina! It means so much to have so many amazing friends cheering me on. Can’t wait to see your beautiful face again! xo

  9. Congratulations Cyd.
    What a nice tribute to your Grandma Kay. I’m sure she is looking down on you and grinning from ear to ear.
    I’m also amazed at the accomplishments you’ve achieved in such a short time.
    You’re young, you’re beautiful and you’re very smart. As the old saying goes: “The world is your oyster.” Grab it, squeeze it, do with it as you wish.
    Love you
    Grandma C.

  10. Congratulations Cyd on a great five years. Looking forward to the next five years.
    Also-congratulations on the nice tribute to your grandmother Kay. I can see her now looking down on you and grinning from ear to ear. I’m sure she is as proud of you as I am.
    Love you
    Grandma C.

  11. Congratulations, Cyd! It has been such a pleasure to get to know you over the years and an honor to have some of my photos grace your pages. Cheers to much more! Xo, Kallie

  12. Well, think I have dried my tears enough to let you know just how special you are. The light you bring into every day is astounding and I am so proud to be your Mom. Keep rockin’ hon.

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