Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Blog in Review

Did you know that I've been writing this blog since 2008? That is a long time. This blog has been with me through a very challenging part of my life (read: teenager) and also a lot of amazing experiences.

So to celebrate the end of an era and the beginning a new one, I thought I'd post the Top 10 Posts of ALL TIME (all time being the last 4 years) - this is a combo of my favorite posts and the most popular posts, as determined by my handy Blogger stats. Think of like when your favorite sitcom just does flashbacks to other episodes...

10. The Invitation is Open Jan 11, 2011
This post is special to me because I'm pretty sure that the Wheel of Fortune/microwave lasagna line helped cement a friendship with my then-coworker, Jodi. Also, it's just so me in its neurotic half-assed resolutions way.

9. The Incrediblest Ediblest Egg Apr 24, 2011
This is really a nothing post, but I'm including it to illustrate the wonders of Google search. This post has been viewed 446 times...and yet, my blog stats say that "egg" has only been the keyword used 32 times. What does this mean? I have no idea. 

8. Getting Oriented Sept. 2, 2008
Aw, back when my boys were just starting kindergarten and I had yet to understand the politics of elementary school. Religion remains a pretty ambiguous concept over here.

7. The Dealins Done Dec. 4, 2008
No list of my blog posts would be complete without at least one mention of Las Vegas. I have blogged about it 25 times and visited it at least 8 times during the life of this blog (yes, that's crazy and awesome!). This was a weird trip. I got sick. My husband had to work. We saw Robin Leach. Good times.

6. I Won't Worry My Life Away Jul 23, 2008
This is another one that made the list because of the number of views. Had it not received 111 hits, I probably would have forgotten about it, but I like it because it's like a little postcard from one of the many gut-wrenching periods with the teenager. Also, that song could be my ironic soundtrack.

5. Making a Pake Feb 6, 2011
Remember when I put a pie inside a cake on Super Bowl Sunday? It was so fun and exciting! And lots of other people apparently thought so too, because it's been viewed nearly 500 times! But my favorite baking adventure comes further down the list...

4. A Drive from Seattle to LA Aug 20, 2011
Although this one blog post doesn't do it justice, this roadtrip was more than a 40 by 40 accomplishment, it was something that I will remember forever and I hope my kids will, too.  So much fun!

3. 40 by 40 Jun 3, 2009
It was the day before my 32nd birthday when I decided to write my own 40 by 40 list. I didn't come up with the idea, but I like to think that I've spread its joy even further. I am so grateful for this idea and so happy that I've kept up with it and so excited to be able to look back, on my 40th birthday, at all that I've accomplished! If you haven't already done so, I hope this post will get you inspired to make your own...the new year is great time to start!

2. Potlucks R (Not) Us Nov 9, 2008
This is probably my favorite post of all time mostly because it still makes me laugh when I read it, but also because it so nicely captures the insanity of my life back then. It would have been #1 on this list, were it not for the crazy amount of attention that the post in the number 1 slot got. Still, I sometimes wonder if I could maybe just make a living by having baking disasters. (and no, I've never volunteered to bake another thing at school)

1. My Thoughts on Jenny McCarthy Sept. 25, 2008
This post has been viewed by more than 1100 people, making it my most popular by far, but it's also one of my favorites. I'm happy to say that Ms. McCarthy doesn't make as many headlines these days, yet, weirdly, this post still gets multiple hits per week. If I could find a way to hit that sweet spot where my maternal instincts, passion and fury all collide more often...well, I might have written a (very angry) book by now.

Do you have a favorite that I didn't post? Let me know.

As always, thank you for reading. My new blog (with an improved 40 by 40 list) is not quite ready, but I'll be back Jan. 1 with a link.

Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Your Troubles will be Out of Sight

Merry Christmas, blogosphere! I hope that you are all feeling merry and bright.

Even after being in the Christmas spirit for the past month or so, our actual celebration still felt like a whirlwind of family and wrapping paper. I suppose every Christmas has its own personality to it...this one felt very thoughtful to me on the receiving end and yet on the giving end, it felt a little flaky on my part. I just feel like I wasn't as thoughtful as I would have liked to be. I was proud of a few gifts that I gave because I knew the recipients would feel very loved when they opened them, but then I dropped the ball on a couple. Most notably in the video are department for the boys.

I believe the exact quote when Aidan opened his gift from Santa this year (following a look of confusion) was: "This is the first time I've ever gotten a present that I didn't want." He felt free to say this, of course, because stupid Santa wasn't there. I quickly remembered that while he HAD, in fact, been crazy for this game at one point a few months ago, we had rented it one night and it was total disaster and he decided that he hated said game. Maybe I blocked it all out...maybe I just had a lot on my mind. Oh well...I doubt this traumatized him any more than Gremlins did. (Friendly tip: if your kids still believe in Santa and also have never seen anything resembling a horror movie, do not let them watch Gremlins...especially not on Christmas Eve...big oops.)

On a related note, if you ever decide to put together a 25 Movies of Christmas list, I also suggest you leave off Love, Actually (naked people everywhere!), Edward Scissorhands (not really a Xmas movie), and honestly, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, because it's just not very good.

But whatever. All is calm, all is bright. We are still having a lovely, lovely holiday. My husband gave me guitar lessons for Christmas. This is possibly the most thoughtful gift I have ever received. "Learn to play guitar" is on my 40 by 40 list, as I've harbored a longing to be able to play since I was maybe 14, but it's one of those things I didn't think I'd ever get around to doing...even though I really, really want to do it. A seriously awesome gift. Plus that's one less revision I'll need to make to my 40 by 40 list when I move to my new blog, which I will be doing in the new year. Details to come!

I hope you all have ribs in your slow cookers like I do right now, because they smell amazing. Hope you have the merriest!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

33 is Off the List

I've returned to the blog to say that I crossed another 40 by 40 item off the list! I gave up dairy for a week, and honestly, it was so uneventful that it's taken me two weeks to blog about it.

Here's what I can tell you: Dairy isn't as hard to avoid as I thought, but I didn't feel any better from not eating it. In fact, I was just crabby about all the things I couldn't eat. Although coconut yogurt is quite good. I've been told I have to give it up for at least 2 weeks to notice a difference, but I think I'll pass.

So here we are, deep into the most wonderful time of the year. We've been doing the 25 Movies of Christmas, which was really fun to conceptualize and much harder to execute. Turns out that there isn't always time to sit down and watch a movie with the kids every single day, which means we've got a backlog...which means we'll be watching at least four movies this weekend, which is pretty much ok with me.

As we approach the new year, I'm trying to get motivated to start a new blog. I tried to get back together with this one, but it's not working out. I'm so not in the mommy blogger space anymore...I need a new focus. Travel, food, neuroses...Las Vegas, dessert, party planning for those with social anxiety? So many possibilities.

My big hangup about closing this blog down is my 40 by 40 list, so I think I'll have to give it a facelift and move it. I've got 4.5 years left to cross everything off and there are still a few things I want to take off the list, so I'll have to come up with some new stuff. Cheating? Well, sort of. Except it would be sillier to do things I don't really care about doing anymore just because they are on the list, than it is to just update the list.

If I really wanted to get crazy I would just have my blog be a list for each year...12 things in 12 months? I definitely couldn't keep up with my age, like 36 by 36. Hmmmm...well, I've still got more than 2 weeks to think about it.

May your days be merry and bright!