Breaking Radio Silence: The Much-Needed Update

Well, it looks like I did that “thing” bloggers do sometimes…where they quietly and without warning stop posting, and readers and blogging acquaintances are left to wonder: “Where’d they go? Are they ever coming back? I wonder what they’re up to now?”

I’m going to clear all that up for you today, even though I know you’ll say I don’t have to. But I don’t mind sharing an update–I want to.

Mimosa tree with blooming pink flowers, with the text "Breaking Radio Silence: A Much-Needed Update" written on an overlay.

Although my Google Analytics stats tell me the pageviews for this site have shrunk tremendously over the past couple years, I know I still have readers out there. I still get warm comments on old blog posts (and I’ve tried to keep up with replying!), and friendly emails land in my inbox every week. Some blog readers have literally been reading my online words here since 2011, when this site was called Back to the Source and I was a newlywed wondering where in the world we’d end up! What a journey, right?

The short version of why I stopped posting here over a year ago is that I didn’t have time, and there was nothing I particularly wanted to say.

The Fuller Picture

This blog was an outlet for many discoveries, recipes, experiments, and aspirations over the past decade as I started my homemaking journey. We spent the first six months of married life in Alabama, then up to what became our beloved Michigan while Eric worked a three-year grad school degree. God planned it so that Eric’s first job after grad school would be back in Alabama, and we moved into a rustic cabin on my parent’s property. That’s where I wrote my simple living book and it’s where we brought home our first baby.

Eventually we ended up in a house in the suburbs, where we brought home two more children. We’re in that same house now, which we’ve made a lot prettier even while we lament how much it’s filled up with stuff, oftentimes beyond our control (having rapidly-growing young humans will do that to a place!) My husband is becoming one of the “veteran” teachers at his school, and our oldest goes in with him every morning as a student. And, we’ll be adding a fourth child to our home in fall of 2023!

Since moving into the cabin, I’ve exclusively worked from home, making a tiny income from Richly Rooted and at times working as a virtual assistant or social media manager. In 2017, I took what I’d learned as a veteran blogger to start a second site, Tea and Ink Society, a blog dedicated to reading and literature.

Since Tea and Ink had a more niched focus, I knew it would be easier to grow an income on that site. In the last few years it’s gotten a lot more of my time than Richly Rooted, and I’ve worked extremely hard to make it a good site, also launching a subscription box business as an income stream.

Between kids, maintaining a full-sized home instead of just an apartment, and building Tea and Ink Society, I wrote here at Richly Rooted less and less, although I’ve still immensely enjoyed this space and posting here. Life was teeming full but moving along just fine, nothing we couldn’t handle with a little help and the usual dose of optimism.

Then in 2021, our lives had the biggest change yet when I lost my mom, decades sooner than I ever could’ve imagined. The bottom dropped out from under us and we lost the most significant part of our support network, one of my best friends and the person I was counting on to help me love and nurture my children throughout their growing up.

There have been many graces and even special memories in the months and now years since her death, but at the same time it was completely devastating for myself, my brothers and sisters, and my dad, and an irreparable loss for the many, many family and friends who loved her.

I can’t share a blog update here without mentioning this event, because it has undoubtedly played a role in my posting less. I felt like I was floundering in homemaking and life clarity, and that was a big piece of what Richly Rooted is about. I can write freely about literature, so Tea and Ink Society is a wonderful outlet and taps into my academic side and the bookish passions I’ve had since childhood.

But writing about hearth and home is a lot harder, because so much of what I wrote about on Richly Rooted came from my mom and what I’d learned from her and was putting into practice.

Couple sitting on a stone wall overlooking the Appalachian Mountain range.

What’s Next for Richly Rooted

Now that I’ve had some temporal distance from Mom’s passing, I’ve had a little time to process where our lives can go from here and how I’d like to spend my time.

I can’t, don’t want, and don’t need to pour as much time and effort into Richly Rooted as I did in years’ past. However, this is still a place I enjoy and am proud of.


My plan is to keep Richly Rooted up as an “occasional blog,” where from time to time I share what’s on my mind, maybe a good recipe we’re making on repeat, or a “Lost Arts” post. That type of content doesn’t really vary from what I’ve posted on here in the past. What’s different is the blogging mindset I have, and what goes on on the backend of things.

If you know anything about blogging or online content marketing or “influencing,” you know that there are a lot of pressures inherent in the industry to keep up and do “all the things.” I’m not even talking about maintaining a certain personal image or brand (that’s a whole different rabbit trail), but all the ancillary aspects to the blogging business: learning marketing and Search Engine Optimization; providing your own technical support; creating products; researching posts or creating recipes; taking, editing, or sourcing photos; interacting via comments and social media; reworking old blog posts to maintain their Google ranking; and keeping up with best practices and new industry standards for search engines, software, social media, image sizes, and website design…to name just a few things of many more.

It’s such a rat race.

Bloggers like myself who choose to go the more old-fashioned blogging route have to give some–or a lot–of that up, or we will lose our minds. The amount of income I make from this site is nowhere near worth it to invest all that time and energy that would be necessary in order to “keep up” (or to get things back to where they used to be).

What is worth it to me is if Richly Rooted can be a pleasant place for new readers to enjoy the archives, and for me to enjoy posting here when the whim takes me.

Even though the blog industry as a whole has become more headache-inducing than it was in its innocent olden days, I’m grateful for what this particular site has given me: friendships with people I might’ve never met in person, income when finances were tight, connections to other bloggers and virtual assistant positions, and an impact on thousands of readers–many of whom were fellow homemakers or new wives or mothers.

Although I won’t be posting here as much as I did in the site’s heyday, I’m leaving all the content up as a resource library for anyone seeking to create an intentional life and home environment. I’ve done a lot of work to organize everything and make it beautiful, clean, and easy to navigate. And when you subscribe and write to me, I do still get your emails and read every one of them! (and reply, sometimes!)

I feel like I’m moving into a different phase of my life and I don’t know what exactly the future will hold, but I feel an increasing peace about shifting gears as I get deeper into this next decade of adulthood and parenting. I’m really looking forward to it.

And after you have your life upended, it’s nice when you realize you can again look forward to the years ahead.


  1. This is a beautiful, elegantly written post, Elsie. It is so nice to have you back. My prayers are with you and your family as you continue to heal, transition, and look to the future. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you.

  2. Thank you for the update! I’ve missed your writings. I’m so sorry for your loss; I too lost my mother unexpectedly in 2021, and it changed my perspective on everything, especially how I wanted the rest of my life to look. It was a huge wakeup call that life is short and I can’t do all.the.things, and I need to be more intentional with my time. Saying this in case you’ve felt this way too 🙂 I’ll have to check out your other site, and am so glad to hear you’ve found something else that is both heart- and financially fulfilling! Thank you for keeping this one up as well.

    1. I have felt that way, too, absolutely. That is one of the blessings that can and has come out of this difficult time: perspective, clarity, direction. I am so sorry for your loss as well. Isn’t it crazy how much the loss of a mother leaves you reeling, even when you’re already a grownup with a life of your own?

  3. Elsie
    My sympathy is offered in your sadness. And you’ve reminded us all that recovering takes a lot of time.
    Your topics have been an encouragement to me and to others. Thank you for being willing to leave the site up. There is a wealth of online encouragement for us to share and you have been a huge contributor to it. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for those kind words. And thank you for adding your bit of realness, practicality, and encouragement to this online world as well!

  4. What a lovely post! Although I probably am the age of your parents maybe even older. (70), I’ve so enjoyed this website. I love young people who have decided to opt out of the “rat race” and leave it to the rats. Your homemaking posts have often taught me very useful things as I try to live my life intentionally in my later years. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mom but I know that she lives with you in your heart and everything she has taught you. I lost my own mom in 2020 and even as a senior citizen it was a loss which I felt deeply. So, your pain is shared by all who have gone through it. I so enjoy Tea and Ink and will continue to enjoy when you post here too! God bless you and your family with joy now and in the future.

    1. Thank you so much, Bobbie! Yes, I don’t think I could’ve been prepared at any age to lose my mother–older friends have shared with me how unexpectedly hard it was for them, even when they were farther along the road than me. It’s just hard to lose a mom, period! I’m so glad though for all Mom shared with me and taught me…I will certainly carry those things, and her, with me through the years!

  5. So glad you’re back! I’ve been a subscriber since your early days and currently subscribe to Tea and Ink Society. Looking forward to reading new posts here again.

  6. Richly Rooted was the first blog I ever went back to to read again, (and again) and subscribed to, and it is still one of only three (one of the others is Tea and Ink 😊) that I have ever read regularly. And the precise reason that I love your blogs is that they don’t feel like they are written just to keep up or make money (although I hope you do). They feel as though they are written by someone who actually has something to say. So, I will wait for the times when you have something to say. You have created beautiful, safe, inspirational, comforting spaces on the internet and I thank you for that. And I support you in your shifting focus.

    I also want to send you my condolences again. Even though I knew that you lost your mom I felt it in my chest reading it again. My husband lost half of his family while still in his 30’s and I have seen first hand how deep and long grief is. There have been many silver linings that have come into our lives because of these losses, and while they in no way erase the feeling of loss, they do help to move us through. I hope you too have had some silver linings to help you through your hardest days.

    It was nice to hear your voice in this space again and I wish you all the best.


    1. Maggie, thank you so much for your note, because it is so encouraging to me! That’s exactly what I’ve always hoped Tea and Ink and Richly Rooted would feel like and be, so it is special to me that you said that! And yes, the silver linings have been painfully sweet. I feel like I’m able to say what Anne Shirley is eventually able to say after her loss, “‘Dear old world,’ she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.'”

  7. Thanks for the update. My goodness, you have been through a lot. Give yourself some grace, raising a family is hard. And losing your mother is … well, there really are no words. To have your mom taken from you so early is simply devastating. I look forward to you popping in with a new post, every now and again. I sure enjoy them.

    Wishing you peace and lot of love~

  8. I’m so glad you’re writing off and on for Richly Rooted again, Elsie! I have missed you! I’ve enjoyed your articles through the years, and even though I’m older than you, your articles were encouraging and helpful.
    I’m sorry about you losing your mother. Losing a loved one is hard and grief is a heavy thing to bear.
    That’s so nice you’re having another baby! We have seven children, and our youngest just turned 18. We enjoy our big family and it sure is true what the Bible says- children are a blessing!
    May God continue to bless you!

    1. Thank you so much! I do feel incredibly blessed right now to get to be a mom to my own children, and add another one to our home!

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