2014 Year in Review (and oh, what a year it was)

Thank you so much for spending this last year with me here!

  It was a wild and rough and joyful and crazy one, no doubt.  I don't really realize the enormity of all that it held until taking a moment to look back on the thoughts and memories and moments I captured here.  It was a full year.  So full.  I second guessed this whole blogging thing a lot (a LOT) this past year but when I look back and see the posts I collected here, I'm so grateful I took the time and emotional and physical energy to do it.  It's funny how our minds mess with us sometimes, isn't it?

Here's a little year in review of a few of the more popular and noteworthy blog and family moments of 2014 (and it took way too long to put together so just pretend it's super mind-blowing and helpful and awesome, okay?  Great.):

For the Whole Year



Most Pinned Post:  Scriptures for Miscarriage

January

We celebrated the remainder of Christmas.  We battled flying rodents.  Our family bore the heartache of losing baby Charles.  I tried to find a little beauty in the winter and I finally wrote out Michael's quick and crazy birth story.

The post that blew all the others out of the water view and pin wise was Scriptures for Miscarriage.  What a grace it is to see that the suffering of losing a child years ago and the grief we endured as our family lost baby Charles was able to be used to help other people.  I hope and pray that those Scriptures I collected there have been a comfort for people enduring that same cross.


February

I ignored football.  We endured February during one of the worst winters ever.  And we entertained more rodents in the house while calling it educational.  During the first few months of the year I pondered a whole lot of Chesterton with Sarah and at the end we unexpectedly lost Brian's dad.  That was (and is) hard.

The post that was seen the most was my Five Favorites {The Somehow Staying Healthy Edition}, i.e. the ways that we were staying healthy last winter.  What a gift it was to not deal with any big illness last year!  It would be wise to keep up that plan for this year as ugly things have already started invading our area.  I really need to get me some more smoothie making motivation.


March

March found a lot of new people making their way here which was fun!  I let you all in on my crazy and explained how (and why) I have white couches with a house full of boys.  I hosted a Chesterton weekend for Sarah and thought deep thought about forgiveness.  We celebrated Michael's First Reconcilation.  You all helped me do my doulaing a little bit better and shared your thoughts on labor.  I also shared what I thought were some great ideas for celebrating the Annunciation.

But the posts that generated the most discussion and views and were dearest to my heart?  
and
The response to these two overwhelmed me and was a huge blessing as a I bore a whole lot of my wounds and heart here.  Thanks for that.

I shared with you my wedding day crazy-eyes.

April

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I showed you our new laundry room done on the crazy cheap and we talked about preparing a child's soul for First Holy Communion.  

But WE WENT TO ROME!!!  Remember that??  And then I blogged about it each day!!!  Because this family (but apparently me in particular) is completely nuts!!! What an amazing joy it was to have Michael receive his First Communion on Easter Sunday in St. Peter's Square and we got to be there for the canonization of Saint John Paul the Great!  Wow.  I still can't believe that that (and the whole trip) really happened.  I am still humbled and surprised when people to this day tell me that they followed the trip each day we were there.  I don't even know what to say except thank you for sharing in that joy with us.  Thank you for letting me pray for you while we were there.  The most popular post from that whole trip was the very last one as I wrapped it all up.


May

I shared our travel tips and we had the greatest John Deere party for David's fifth birthday (if I do say so myself).  The most viewed post was about Our Little Oratory, thanks to Leila's linkup.

I'm torn about my favorite post for this month, though.
It's either The Romance of Running Shoes wherein I tell you a little why my husband running a marathon helped heal our marriage.  (Who'da thought?)
Or
Of Breastmilk and Suffering.  I totally forgot I had written this.  I'm really really glad I did.  If you haven't read it, I hope you do.
  

June

 I talked about my homeschooling ways and how I'm laying the cultural smackdown with my graying hair and both were pretty popular.  So were my reasons why I like when my husband leaves.  

I think my favorite post from the month and the one making me sob my eyeballs out right now is How Did I Not Know You?  

The one that's received the most attention via views and pins is my post on my Scripture Cards for Labor and Birth.  I truly hope they have blessed other women out there and helped them have a beautiful and holy birth!


July

We visited Presque and I decided to try my hand knitting female reproductive organs and reading scifi.    I talked about my theories of breaking up with your OB and shared my curriculum choices (which, yes, have changed).

But by far the post that generated the most discussion and support was my post Dear Small-Time Mediocre Blogger, I Think You're Great.


August

This summer was a hard one emotionally.  I struggled a lot and I shared some of my heart on that here.  I made the brave admission that I don't hate laundry and how I keep it under control.  Oh, and that time I almost died at the lake

My first post of the month, Why NFP Matters for Your Birth (an important topic, right?!) was the most popular of the month.

Oh, and this awesomeness happened.

September

We ditched school for the pool, we tore down decrepit outbuildings (happy birthday to me!), and I reminded myself why I need to fast a whole lot more.  I talked about all the things I wish God would explain (and why it's okay that He doesn't) and why the angel Raphael is one of my faces.



October

Bonnie invited me to share our Autumn home with you.  I meditated on guarding our hearts and souls from the ugly and I began a role as contributing writer at Elizabeth Ministry with my opening piece on labor, doubt, suffering, and the beauty of it all.  We celebrated Saint John Paul's first official feast day with a feast and had some fun little saints to show off for our All Saints' celebration.

Oh, and I let you in on our grape baby news.  That was kinda big :)


November

I thought some on the relationship between All Saints' Day and our miscarried babies as well as angry Jesus.  John Paul also shared his latest stick bomb hobby and impressed a whole lot of folks.

But clearly out of all the deep thoughts and meditations and sharing of precious childhood memories, it should have been obvious that the most commented on and popular post was about things I buy at the dollar store, right?  Ah, blogging ;)


December

Advent began and I couldn't keep my mouth shut...again.  I tried to reach out to other women and remind them that Advent is for them, too.  Brian and I got an overnight away (and met Marian Grace)!  A post that I thought would receive a little more response was Dear Friend Joining Us for Christmas Mass.  It's always interesting seeing what clicks and what doesn't!  (And all the other bloggers said amen.)  

The post with the most views was pretty much due to the fact that almost everyone loves a baby bump
  
But I think this is one of my favorite photos of the month.


What. A. Year.
Thank you.  Thank you all so much for reading here.  For the support, love, and prayers you've given over a really hard year.  Thank you for letting me share my heart here.  For rejoicing with us in our joy and grieving with us in our pain.  Thank you for the emails, the comments (here and in person), the conversation.  Thank you for forgiving me when I mess up, for giving me the benefit of the doubt, and for remembering that the things I can post here are just one little snippet of a much bigger picture.  I am truly grateful for each person who comes to this little place.  I don't think I'll ever get over the fact that the words I type from my little head get read by real people.

I pray that God blesses all of us in only the way He can this 2015.
A blessed and happy new year, friends!


(Oh, man, it is hard picking just one photo for each month!  Some are from the calendar I gave to Brian for Christmas.  But I tried so I'm going ahead and linking up with Dwija's 12 in 2014.)

4 comments

  1. It is SO hard to pick just one, isn't it? It forces you to really look and think and then be all nostalgic and on and on and every photo is an hour long endeavor! But I love it and I'm so glad you did it. Happy 2015, Mary :)

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  2. Oh I remember all these, yes what a year indeed you survived! You even thrived (at times my dear friend I know you were just hanging on;) :) xx

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  3. I think I started following your blog after the Bible verses for labor post. Update to the comment I posted on that post: I was able to have a natural birth that I had wanted, and those verses, although I didn't use them come time, I spent a lot of time with them in the month before hand and they brought so much peace.. So thank you again for sharing those!
    Also, my condolences to your family on the loss of your father-in-law. My FIL passed this year too. On the same day. He was also 59. (Although we had been expecting it for some time).
    I've loved reading your blog these last few months, and look forward to more in the coming year!
    ~Ruth Anne

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    1. Congratulations!! I'm so glad you were able to use them somehow! But how crazy that my FIL was also 59?! He was 3 days shy of his 60th birthday. I'm so sorry for your loss. Since we don't live in the area, it will hit us at odd moments and we re-remember that he is gone. It's tough.

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