FIMBY is a memoirist blog. My name is Renee Tougas and FIMBY is where I write our family story, through the lens of my personal perspective.

In other words, if one of my kids were to write our family story, it would no doubt read differently in certain aspects. Same history, different perspective.

FIMBY stands for Fun in My Back Yard. The story told here isn't always fun (once upon a time it leaned more that way) but it is fresh, honest, and beautiful.

Blog Mission

I used to have a mission for FIMBY. It was what blogging experts said you must do - have a mission statement.

I've moved through and past the painful phase (trust me, it was a self-worth nightmare) of following the blogging, marketing and online publishing experts so I've de-commissioned my blog mission statement, for now, though I still have a personal mission statement.

Encourage, inspire, inform... kindness, intention, beauty... these have all been words I've used in evolving mission statements through the years. None were false at the time, but none ring true, as my mission for this blog in the present.

Over the years FIMBY has grown a loosely knit community of lovely readers, and I now write for these people, whom I call my friends and sometimes refer to as "the choir". I sing second soprano, what part are you?

I welcome new readers. As a writer I love to have more people read my writing, but if you come and go that's perfectly ok.

If I was hard pressed to define a mission statement now it would be that FIMBY exists as my online home, a place to write my heart out and to help me fulfill the "using my talent in writing, photography, and communication and my heart for connection and expression, to mentor, encourage, and support people in building relationship, nurturing creativity, and living courageously" part of my personal mission statement.

As it happens, and as cliche as it sounds, I am in a "finding myself" phase of life.

My writing is part of this discovery process, as it always has been. Finding myself as a homeschooler, finding myself as a natural-living inspired homemaker, finding myself as a writer and photographer, finding myself as an outdoors-woman and adventurer. Now I'm just finding myself as me.

This discovery process is a courageous and creative act and so it may, in some small way, encourage other people to live with courage, creativity, and love. Love for family, love for nature, love for God, love for learning, love for self, love for the change of life seasons, love for life... Love for the things I write and photograph.

And if my writing and this blog moves people in those directions I couldn't be more pleased. And if you're only here because you googled "how to make soap", well that's good too.

History & Themes

I wrote my first blog post in September 2004. It was about my kids and the changing seasons. I had no clear purpose or strong intentions except to keep in touch with family.

Since then I have written about mothering and homeschooling, green and simple living, living in Maine, homemaking and health, outdoors and nature, creativity, the Big Move, living in Quebec, and thru-hiking the Appalachian Trial.

FIMBY's Best

Some of these topics I don't write much about any more, some are still very much current. FIMBY's best is where I curate the most popular and still relevant content from past and present writing

This is where you'll find the links to everything from how to make soap and lip balm, to personality typing, cheaper travel accommodations, homeschooling preschool through high school, and a kid's outdoor gear guide for 4-season adventuring.

FIMBY is a tapestry of diverse and colorful threads and depending on how you got here and where you click, you may be reading posts that are a few years old by now.

Through these many years of blogging things have changed in my home and in my back yard but there are definitely common threads. And as I grow and evolve - in mothering, writing, and "finding myself" - the stories you'll continue to read here will fit somewhere into the following themes:

  • healthy and natural-living inspired homemaking
  • freedom in education (specifically homeschooling) and livelihood
  • personal wellbeing and development
  • adventurous living and outdoor activities
  • appreciation and celebration of beauty and creativity
  • building relationship in family and community

I welcome you here. If you want to contact me, you can do so here. I look forward to hearing from you.

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