As we wave goodbye to 2016 and welcome the new year, it’s always fun to take a quick look in the rearview mirror. We covered a lot of ground together in 2016. We’ve thrown parties and prepared a host of simple but delicious recipes. We’ve reflected on our most important relationships, the wisdom of strangers, and the people and places who’ve made us who we are. We’ve celebrated each of the seasons in pictures and words. We’ve taken time to think about what matters, and we’ve seen our own dreams reflected in others. We’ve celebrated achievements and set new goals, taken trips and taken photos, read books and listened to speakers.
In short, we’ve spent some pretty good moments together during the last 12 months! Thanks so much for sharing your time — and yourself! — with me this year!
When I looked at this year’s most popular posts I found a few surprises. Did any of your personal favorites make the Top 10?
The Top 10 Reader Favorites
Whether you think Cupid is the coolest dude ever with his little bow and arrows, or whether you would like to shove one of those little arrows into his little red heart, we can all agree on one thing: love should never be reserved for just one day a year. It is easy (and important!) to say “I love you” everyday, but sometimes I forget to show it. You, too? It is the little, everyday things that can make any day feel like February 14th.
You know the stereotype: mothers and daughters in constant tension, eyes blazing as wills clash over every. little. thing. There will always be a little tension — and occasionally, more than just a little! — between every parent and every child. Despite the crazy and often unpredictable ups and downs, should we really expect a daughter to grow away from her mother as she grows toward that exciting thing called adulthood? With full calendars and full lives, time is always in short supply. However, a stolen few hours here and there can reap benefits far beyond the teen years and well into the rest of both of your lives.
What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you? If someone asked you that question, would you be able to answer it immediately? I could not. My mind went to so many different people, so many different times, so many different acts of kindness. How could I ever select the one that was the creme de la creme? I wish I could share each one, but in this post I am going to tell you about two. First, a group of perfect strangers who surrounded me like family during a time when I was helpless to return any of their kindness. Second, my cousin, who loves my daughter like her own.
Some of the most beautiful Polish pottery on the East Coast is nestled amid rolling hills, hidden down back roads, and tucked into the basement of a sprawling farmhouse in Maryland. A visit to Twins Polish Pottery is not just a shopping trip; it is an excursion and coffee with a friend when you get there!
It is exciting to introduce Holly Trevino and Jenny Puckett in the debut feature of Bold Pursuits: Conversations With Women Who Are Redefining Possible! Holly and Jenny are identical twins and owners of Twins Polish Pottery.
The time I spent talking with them, visiting their store, and touring their farm was truly a treasured experience. I even got a peek inside their home, the “Twinplex!” We laughed, we cried, and I left with two new friends.
Seven years. That’s how long I searched for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I scoured the internet and combed the culinary files of family and friends for seven years! At long last, I’ve finally attained a certain degree chocolate chip cookie success. Hear the taste buds cheering?
Little clues like “round up,” “add a full cup,” and “it’s all in the vanilla” mixed themselves together for a final recipe of just the right consistency. Every taste bud is a little different, but given that my husband no longer asks me to call his mother for her recipe (which is amazing!), I think I finally have a keeper! 😉 Don’t forget the milk!
With March comes blustery winds and all things Irish. No one can keep those feet still when a good jig is playing! Just as Irish music starts your feet moving, thoughts of Saint Patrick’s Day will invariable cause a few familiar lines to bounce around in your head. That sharp Irish wit doesn’t pull many punches, but even when it bites, it does so with a smile.
If being the parent of an Olympian were itself an Olympic event, Lynn and Rick Raisman would win the Gold! They have become the world’s favorite Olympic mom and dad. What made us fall in love with the parents of Olympic medalist Aly Raisman? Why do we relate so vividly to every wince, every peek through fingers covering the eyes, every “I can’t watch this but I certainly can’t miss it” moment? Why do we, all the parents who’ve never stepped foot inside an Olympic stadium, understand exactly what they are feeling?
I talked to several friends about what we see when we watch the Raismans. We all draw on our own experiences, but it’s never just about winning.
One a day in late May, my Military Man stood at the front of that church all decked out in his sharp, handsome uniform. On that hot Florida afternoon, I did not know the places we would go, the incredible times we would have, or the struggles we would face. And I certainly did not know all the ways he would find to say, “I love you.”
When she was two days old, she almost died in our arms. What I learned about myself in that moment is just one of the many lessons her life has taught me. I wrote this for her on her 19th birthday, and it has remained in the top 10 for a second year running.
10. A Grandmother’s Handwritten Notes, an Ornament Collection, and the Importance of Writing Things Down
My grandmother wrote little notes and attached them to her belongings. After she passed away, we found these handwritten reminders inside small vases, taped to the back of items, and tucked into plastic baggies with small pieces. From collectibles to jewelry, she took the time to tell us why the few things she had were special. Those notes were so important after she was gone — few of her treasures had much monetary value, and I don’t think many of us would have known the significance of these items without those notes.
Whether you have been along on this journey for a while or you are visiting for the first time, I would love to know which posts resonated the most with you. Please share them on your favorite social media and let me know in the comments below! Here’s to your wonderful 2017!
Don’t miss these “almost top 10” posts!