The sad news is, it’s the end of an era. My firstborn baby-blog, the one I called Spilled Milk and Sunsets, the one I dreamt of, nurtured, and birthed with trembling, awkward hope into the online world, has grown-up, left home, or whatever it is that firstborn blogs do when they are no longer with us.
Thankyou so much to everyone who welcomed it, and encouraged it (and me) to grow. I am so very grateful.
The good and very exciting news is that it now has a sibling, a big sister if you will! And big sister blog plans to do more of what first sibling-blog did, but better. At least that’s the plan. And I’m hoping you will join me in celebrating by reading along, telling your friends, and helping make the new website welcome in the world. So, without further ado let me introduce you to [drum-roll, pencil tap, click click click of keyboard]….
Because, well, that’s my name, with an F in the middle, which stands for Florence. All through school I avoided and hated any mention of ‘Florence’ for its long, flowery connotations, except when I met my dear friend Katelyn, who also shared this middle name, a highpoint in what I viewed a turbulent sea of name-owning moments. My surname back then was ‘van der Kwaak’, a good long dutch name I am now very proud of, but not so good when you are a teenager with bad skin, and a highly sensitive temperament, trying to hide in the shadows of mediocrity. But these days, I think Florence is kind of cool too. Plus it was my Grandma’s middle name, and since she recently left us, I like to think a bit of her remains here.
For the last few months I’ve been busy working on this new online space for these words to live, a renovation if you will, a place that I hope will be a hospitable and cosy place for a bit of a word-wander, a window of hope, and a gathering of stories. Just like in Spilled Milk and Sunsets I’ll be writing about hope in the dark, about leaning into light, and you can find all the old stories in this new space.
Most of all though, my hope for this site is that my words, as C.S Lewis believed, can make you feel less alone. In your loungeroom, in the car, on the train, locked in the bathroom crying hot, frustrated tears, wherever you are, I hope these words meet you, smile gently, and tell you it’s all going to be ok, even when it seems like it isn’t. Not because of my words, but because of The Word, the one who holds every loose paragraph and unfinished sentence together.
So….I’d love for you to drop in and see the new digs, and if you like what you see please pass it on to your friends. And if you aren’t already a part of the story, sign up and come along! Meanwhile, I’ll keep tapping away, both online and behind the scenes. I’m working on another project – my big heart project – and hopefully one day soon I’ll be announcing its birth to you too!
A shoutout to Jeremy Ward of Teleios Design for his amazing, and patient work on the design, and all aspects of this process. You can find him @teleiosdesign, and on Facebook, instagram, and twitter. If you are looking for a web designer, I highly recommend him. And he’s currently accepting new projects! And special thanks to the talented Inge Flint, @thinkingwithouttalking for her beautiful photos. To both of you, thanks for bolstering this trembling introvert along the way and supporting these words.