A year ago this month, I began this whole blogging thing. I started a blog my freshman year of college, but it was for when I felt like it. It was before I even knew people did this for a living. I didn’t have an Instagram and it was not even classifiable as a hobby, merely a space to sporadically write on when I needed to vent or a make a statement. We are talking maybe twice a month… maybe. It was called Mostly Because It’s True, a Blogspot (oh geez) really only known by my parents and DBU campus. After I got married, life sped up and I stopped writing entirely. For almost a year I did not write anything other than emails for work.
Today The Cake by Hannah is what it is. There is so much more I want to do, so many more ideas for my site and things to navigate, but I am stoked about where life has led me. Being real the last year of my life for all of you has been the most fun adventure I could ever dream up. Being real is why I chose to do my ‘blogiversarry’ (that’s embarrassing to say… but y’all get the gist) shoot in my pj’s at my little apartment. Rather than doing a super glam shoot with balloons, I wanted to show a peek into my little life on the daily. Reality is- I sit in my pjs until about 11 o’clock in the morning everyday curled up on the floor between the sofa and the coffee table before I head to Pure Barre or Zyn22 (it’s the perfect little nook for me to work in.) I didn’t want to show y’all something that isn’t me, I wanted to show y’all as me as it gets: coffee drinking (black), pajama wearing, live life by my planner, and golden doodle obsessed. Although, disclaimer, I obviously DON’T wake up like this. Ha. I put on some of my favorite BareMinerals nude pallet for this shoot. And, Hannah Hagaman makes everything look better.
Why The Cake?
I get asked this a lot, and the usual assumption is that I like to bake. This is hilarious because, although I can cook, I am a lousy baker. My sister got the baking gene in the family. (Emi is a professional baker for a restaurant in Durham.) So no, definitely not because I bake cakes. The Cake actually came from while I was an intern at D Magazine. See, I was the D Weddings and D Mom’s blogger (<<<That is also hilarious) all while being engaged myself. After months of writing about other couples’ love stories and extravagant nuptials, I decided to create a wedding blog within Mostly Because It’s True where I documented my wedding planning journey- much like what I was doing for other girls at D Weddings. This portion of Mostly Because It’s True was called “The Cake”. When I decided last christmas to start blogging for real, I chose to take The Cake and make it the title of my revamped blog.
It’s the idea that what is said here is sweet. It ‘takes the cake’, so to speak. Amidst all the messiness in the world, I hope when you come to The Cake you read something refreshing. I hope it brings joy, life, and satisfaction. When I take a bite into a good piece of cake, the world stops for just a second and I forget my worries. I go to cake when I am sad, I go to cake when I am happy. Cake is just good, you know what I mean?
I blog not because I have a glamorous life worth a whole lot of money or full of adventures. I lead an extremely normal life. I am 23 and have a husband, we have to sit down and budget together, we live in an apartment in a suburb, eating out is a treat, and as of last week, we are a one car family until we figure out how to replace my old Escape, Angie. (RIP.) We are nothing special, BUT that is what pushed me to start writing for others to read. All over Instagram are these “insta famous” bloggers who live glamorous lives, documenting their trips and all their designer bags. (Now, I do want to establish this: Making a lot of money or having nice things is NOT bad, I repeat, those things are not bad! It’s just not the norm, and that is fact. People need to realize that.) At first, I felt like I couldn’t even be a blogger, because I don’t own designer things and I don’t hardly have enough gas money to get me from point A, B and C some weeks, let alone cool trips all over the world to write about. Truth is though, that is the case for like 90% of the world. What we see in social media isn’t real life for so many of us, but we allow ourselves to believe we aren’t normal. So in order to fit in we have to present to the world via social media a “better” self. We get sucked into believing we are a sub-par group of people because we don’t make massive salaries or have camera crews follow us around. We allow ourselves to feel embarrassment or shame if we have to budget our money or say no to eating out sometimes.
This is where I saw a need that I could help fill. I learned really quickly when I started writing that people just want to hear they are normal. I write about my life to shed light and reveal hope. The Lord gave me the gift of being unashamed, and if my shamelessness can help someone else find freedom, then I have done my job.
I put mine and Paul’s lives on display, honest and raw, for you to see a glimpse of reality in the midst of lies from the media or the 2% of people who actually do live glamorously plastered across T.V. and Instagram. I made a pact with myself that I would be shamelessly honest about myself, my marriage, and my struggles for the sake of even just ONE person feeling peace knowing other people struggle with the same things they do; for the sake of just one girl hearing my story, allowing her the confidence and freedom to talk about her own. It takes one person to start a wildfire, and I am willing to be that spark if it removes the hands that cover innocent mouths while the enemy whispers “hush” into your ears. I know what that feels like. You try to speak up, you try to say something, but it is the enemy who wraps his hands around your ability of speech. Sisters, all it takes is saying, “You are nothing compared to my God”, and the chains that have kept you stuck in silence will begin to fall. Satan wants you to be quiet.
If me sharing my life story on a normal basis gives you the confidence to speak up, to say “Hey, me too!”, then I have done my job. That is my mission. I am not hear to show off, I am not hear to brag: I am here to be real.
I love receiving emails from you, telling me your stories and asking me questions. My jaw still drops every single time one of you trusts me enough to share your story with. I want to know them. I want you to tell your story to everyone around you. Go speak. Remove the hands over your mouths and speak.
You are loved so deeply. I cannot say thank you enough for reading The Cake. However you found me, thank you. Cheers to one year, and here’s to many more. Who knows- maybe this time next year there will be a hard copy of things I have to say. My dreams are big, without limit, and I am ready to get after them in year two.