Heather Armstrong's blog, Dooce, was one of the very first blogs I read when I first started blogging 11 years ago. I loved her wry humour, especially since she was writing about mothering her brand new baby, Leta, who was exactly 1 month older than my brand new baby, Alex. I marveled at how openly she spoke about the ups and downs of being a new parent. I admired her photography. And I wasn't the only one: Heather was one of the very first personal bloggers to become famous for her words -- literally millions of people have come to her site to follow her life in Salt Lake City, Utah. So when I finally met her at a blogging conference a couple of years later, in 2006, while she is indisputably confident, I was surprised by how shy I found her, given that throngs of conference-goers followed her wherever she went.
Because of her shyness, out of respect I carefully kept my distance, and we maintained a cordial working relationship over many years. But then, a couple of years ago, we had the opportunity to spend some time together over a bottle of wine, and during that time our relationship officially morphed into friendship. It was also then that I discovered the word that would most come to mind when I think of her is this: Integrity. Heather is one of those honest and frank people who consciously wakes up every day trying to learn more and be better. There is no falseness with Heather: she is unfailingly true, down-to-earth, and what you see is what you get. This makes her my absolute favorite kind of people, and I'm so proud to call her a friend of mine.
Heather and I spent some time together at yet another conference a couple of months ago, where I learned that this year, she turns 40 -- and since I had my Hasselblad camera with me, I convinced her to be a part of my Thrive Portrait Project. So she sat for me, and today, two days after her 40th birthday, she sent me her words on what "thriving" means to her. They're beautiful, and you can read them here.
So, happy, happy birthday, dear Heather -- and thanks so much for sharing your beautiful words with me. And welcome to the other side of 40 -- you're going to love it here.
(Be sure to check out the wise words of all the other women who sat for portraits as well -- those are some wise women, right there.)