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(Want to help me celebrate? Read through to the end of this post to find out how!)

Five months ago today, I hit “publish” on the very first post for The Midlife Second Wife. What a long way we’ve come in such a short time! I thought you might like to hear about some of these developments, and a few new offerings planned for the coming months.

Last night, the blog welcomed its 12,001st visitor to the site. I have to say that this number has me a bit flabbergasted—I had hoped to reach 10,000 visitors after my first year of blogging. If the trend continues, 20,000 readers will have passed through these pages by our one-year anniversary.

Your fellow subscribers now number 273: 133 are following by email or readers, 25 are following the comments, and 115 join us by way of Twitter.

I’m going to add another opportunity today for readers to climb aboard: a site based in Sweden, Bloglovin.com, acts as a sort of storage locker for people who follow a lot of different blogs, organizing them all in one place. I’ll be adding a widget to my site so that Bloglovin’ lovers can share the TMSW love.

TMSW has won two awards from bloggers: the Liebster and the Versatile Blogger Award. In November, TMSW was featured on WordPress’ “Freshly Pressed,” an event that brought more than 5,000 visitors to the site in less than two days. Also in November, the highly respected publishing network BlogHer syndicated one of my posts. Fifty-five of you like me, you really like me, on Facebook, too.

So what’s next? Well, I’ll continue posting two to three times each week. (I also hope to pick a quiet month when my freelance work subsides and do another NaBloPoMo with BlogHer). You’ll see the recipe files getting thicker, and you’ll have more interviews with experts to enjoy. I’ll even begin sprucing the place up a bit. I’ll be asking for your opinion in a few readers’ polls, too.

We now have our 110 charter members of the Midlife Second Wives’ club, and they can expect to hear from me in the weeks ahead. I need to think of an idea for the second-tier membership group, too; if you have any ideas for that, please let me know! I’ll also get to work on our Midlife Second Wives’ Hall of Fame.

And by all means, please send me your ideas for articles, post your comments, and share the articles you like on Facebook.

While we’re on the subject….I have a favor to ask you. It’ll help us all celebrate this five-month milestone!

Close your eyes, think back, and pick out your favorite post from the last five months. Got one? Good. Now, email a link to that post to three of your friends, letting them know about the blog, and invite them to sign up. (This is important: send me a blind copy of your email so that I’ll know where the new subscribers are coming from.) I’ll enter your email in a drawing for a special prize for each new subscriber that comes my way through your efforts.

(I promise it will be useful and tasteful, not like the Leg Lamp “Major Award” that the Old Man received in A Christmas Story.)

Thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing!