Since we are only just a smidge over a week into 2020, I am calling it perfectly acceptable to still do a 2019 rewind. I know, I know. Most people do that kind of stuff in the day or two surrounding New Year’s Eve and Day, but who says I have to be like most people? Not I, said the fly! Therefore, I humbly offer you, the A Welcome Grace 2019 Highlight Reel: A Year in Review.
I’m kind of excited to intentionally look back through the year. Month-by-month, breaking down personal and blog highlights gives an excellent opportunity to practice some serious gratitude? It’s a chance to remember, appreciate, and discover what worked and what didn’t. And here’s something I’d love to know… What were some of your favorite things around here? Let’s take a look, shall we?
This month’s most popular post — Stay-at-Home-Mom is a Misnomer…And Other Lessons from 15 Years as a SAHM.
This month’s Blessed is She post — Making Un-Resolutions for the New Year
Family highlights for January included the most expensive case of back spasm and upset stomach ever. As you’ll notice in the picture, we took a kid to the ER. Of course, who wouldn’t if their kid had severe pain in their right side, a fever and an upset stomach? We were sure that our family was going to be minus one appendix before the day was out. After several hours, an ultrasound, a surgical consult, and a CT scan, it was determined that it was simply bad timing that had combined a pulled back muscle and a touch of the stomach flu. Live and learn!
Also that month, our youngest daughter played her first season of basketball and our boys turned 14 and 17.
This month’s most popular post — 8 Things This Church Singer Wishes You Knew About Music Ministry
This month’s Blessed is She post — The Ordinary Romance of Marriage
One personal highlight this month was the trip Greg and I took to Colorado. Kinda funny considering that BIS post, huh? God’s timing is fantastic! Here’s the post I wrote about our chilly and mountainous adventures.
Two other big happenings that month were the birth of our niece Bridget and our second son receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. Thank God for both!
This month’s most popular post — The Lent “Do I Gotta?”s and an Old Grade School Prayer
Family highlights this month included our youngest being very ill with flu-A (hello, second ER trip of the year). She recovered in time for her 8th birthday, though, and bought herself a new bike with her birthday money. Our boys took simultaneous yet separately planned school trips to Washington, DC. Oh! And it was spring break month. In related news, this was a month where I lost my ever-loving mind.
This month’s most popular post — Sisterhood of the Ill-Fitting Pants
This month’s Blessed is She Post — 5 New Titles for Your Catholic Bookshelf
Happy Easter from my family to yours! As we do every alternate year, we welcomed about 40 of our friends from church into our home to celebrate together. It was pretty awesome. This month also saw an epic date night, dance team performances, and opening up our pool for the summer.
This month’s most popular post — SUPER Moms are MARVELous! (Loved this one inspired by the Avengers! So fun!)
This month’s Blessed is She Post — The Constancy of God in Our Times of Transition
Oh, crimeny, folks. What didn’t happen in May 2019? Looking back, I can’t believe I made it through in one piece. We had Lucy’s First Holy Communion, Josh’s 8th grade graduation, a band concert, a dance recital, a trip to Nashville for my niece’s baptism, and a solo trip for me to Indiana for my 20th college reunion. We also had Mother’s Day and my husband’s birthday to celebrate. In addition to all of that, we had swim practices times four kids and all of the general May craziness that comes with kids in school. Lord, have mercy. I’m tired all over again just thinking about it! But it sure was fun.
This month’s most popular post — Cruising on Disney Without Kids? Yes, Please!
Happy 20th wedding anniversary to us! Also, happy Father’s Day to Greg and happy 42nd birthday to me. School was out and swim was in. We had all four kids on the neighborhood swim team (of which I served on the board), so that was a big time commitment. I took our oldest son on his very first college visit and we generally had some good old fashioned family time.
This month’s most popular post — Widening the Lens on NFP Awareness Week (one of my most popular post’s all year!)
This month’s Blessed is She Post — Public Schooling Catholic Kids (another super popular post!)
Wow! I guess I had my controversial pants on this month, didn’t I?
The biggest highlight of July was our family vacation to the springs of central Florida. We rented a really cool house on the Santa Fe River, kayaked, swam, floated on the Ichetucknee River, and visited Blue Springs. It was such a good time to all be together without the stress of the world or the coming school year.
We also made another college visit with our oldest and finished out the swim season.
This month’s most popular post — I think I’m having a midlife confusion.
This month’s Blessed is She Post — Scripture Verses to Pray When You’re Missing Someone
School is in session! We have two high-schoolers now, one in middle school, and one in elementary. So crazy. Other highlights include our oldest being made brass captain of his marching band and my getting to have lunch with some other lovely Blessed is She ladies who happened to be in town.
This month’s most popular post — Catholic Books I Don’t Want to Read Because I’m a Wuss
This month’s Blessed is She Post — A Beginner’s Guide to the Archangels
A huge highlight of September was going to Nashville for the Blessed is She Shine retreat. I got to see Beth and Jenny, Patty and Bonnie, Lindsay and Allison and Marley…so many friends! It was wonderful. And my mom got to join me, which was the icing on the cake. Let’s just suffice it to say that I am still chewing on some of the lessons I learned at that retreat. If you ever have the opportunity to go to a BIS retreat, do it!!!
This month’s most popular post — 7 Siblings, 300 Years, 1 Amazing Milestone
This month’s Blessed is She Post — Faith and Friday Night Lights
What a month! We took our girls on a one-day excursion to Disney World, which was amazing. We had taken the boys a couple times by themselves before the girls were born, so it was really neat just to spend time at the happiest place on earth with just our sweet girlies. There were fall festivals to attend, pumpkin patch visits, and of course…Halloween! It was kind of weird to only have two kids who dressed up and went out trick-or-treating this year, but that’s how it goes with growing kids, I guess.
This month’s most popular post — Talking Turkey: The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving Sides
This month’s Blessed is She Post — The Deeper Meaning Behind the Prayer Before Meals
November highlights definitely included these cupcakes I made for our daughter’s 12th birthday. She requested chocolate cupcakes, half with vanilla buttercream and half with peanut butter frosting, and that’s what she got! She also got two tickets to see the Broadway show Wicked while it was here in town (which means that I also got to see it — bonus!). There were football games and band performances, too. And, of course, who can forget Thanksgiving!! We had a lovely day with family and friends gathered around our table.
This month’s most popular post — Christmas Past: The One Where God Used His Powers
This month’s Blessed is She Post — On the Feast of Stephen
December was all things Advent and Christmas. Our oldest son traveled to Tampa to be part of a Festival of Winds, which was quite an honor. Both boys battled the norovirus (which I successfully kept at bay from the rest of us, thankyouverymuch). Our younger son survived his first round of high school exams. We made our 18th annual family visit to Santa. And lastly, we traveled up to Tennessee for a week to spend Christmas with my parents, siblings, and their families. We couldn’t be more grateful.
AWG By the Numbers
In 2019, I wrote 66 blog posts for this blog, 13 for Blessed is She, and wrote 5 days of their annual prayer pledge. Of course, you can add to that countless posts that didn’t publish and hundreds of Instagram and Facebook posts. This blog was viewed over 22,000 times in 2019 and had over 13,000 visitors. Here’s to ALL of those numbers increasing in 2020!
But I would be remiss, dear reader, if I didn’t thank you (yes, you!!) for that. Thank you for being here, for reading and sharing and liking. It means the world to me that you appreciate this hobby of mine.
All the best to you and yours in 2020!!