Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 :: What I Read, What I Wrote, What I Loved, What I Learned

It's time to wrap up 2013.  In some ways I feel like it was one of the most low key years we've had.  (Either that, or I just have a really bad memory regarding all the impressive and important things that happened.)  No babies born, no new cars, no big vacations, no books published, no sponsors banging down my door to support this little blog ;)  Just messy, crazy, lovely life; long days in a year that flew by.   

I have only a short re-cap of things that may interest the blog-reading world (lucky for you!!)  So, here's a little look-back at some of how I spent 2013...  

* * What I Read * *

It wasn't that much compared to some other lists I've seen! So, in no particular order, and most of which I've already mentioned at some point on this blog...  

The Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family, Mary Ostyn

Style, Sex and Substance, Hallie Lord

Grace for the Race, Dena Dyer

The Temperament God Gave Your Kids, Art and Laraine Bennett 

Children and Parents, Fulton J. Sheen

Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth, Dion Dimucci

My Sisters the Saints, Colleen Carroll Campbell 

Who Gets the Drumstick?, Helen Beardsley 

The Pope and the CEO, Andreas Widmer

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, Anthony Esolen

Dad is Fat, Jim Gaffigan

Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton (still reading struggling through this one for my prayer group.)

American Diabetes Association Guide to Raising a Child with Diabetes, Jean Betschart Roemer 

, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin Erik Larson (currently listening to this one via Audible)

Uh... if I have a reading goal for 2014, it seems pretty obvious that it should be Read Some Fiction!!

* * What I Wrote * *

These were some of my favorite posts from the past year.  (Or if they weren't my favorites, they were at least my most thought out.)

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the iPad (May)

Headline: "Mom Test Runs New Scare Tactics in Home" (July)

Siblings: My Gift to Myself, My Gift to Them (October)

Chopping Onions for Moms Because Our Lady Did it for Saint Elizabeth (October)

My most widely viewed posts were:

10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids That are Not Stuff (November)  This one made the big time due to Pinterest, but interestingly, not very many people had anything to contribute comment-wise...

Toddler Apron Tutorial (September) Another popular Pinterest item.  I wonder how many aprons have actually been attempted?!

the Kids and Classical Music mini-series (November/December) Even though I did get some lovely comments and encouragement on this series, I'm suspicious of the number of "clicks" and suspect wacky internet spam-related issues had something to do with it! 

The Fall Soup Party - Planning and Prep (October) I didn't think this post was particularly noteworthy, but I think that soup parties are spectacular, so I'm happy for people to join the fun!

* * What I Loved * *

Family: watching my husband compete in the International Barbershop Harmony Society Competition ~ seeing how the Holy Spirit touched the hearts of our children in so many unique and specific ways this past year ~ seeing Aaron mature into a second-grader (!!) and excel at Lego engineering ~ witnessing Dominic's amazing smiles when he started to READ!! ~ Ruth's growing enthusiasm for drawing, impressionist artists, and dress up ~ Clare starting to talk (only we can understand her still!) and her overwhelming love for her dad ~ the birth of my first nephew! ~ our own pregnancy announcement! ~ my amazing parents who are constantly blessing us with their generosity, love, and wisdom.  

School: Popcorn and Poetry Night, using our new iPads, that the boys got to participate in an archery class and soccer clinic, Dover coloring books (of course!) ~ time at the creek, nature hikes, fruit picking.

For the Kids: lots of lovely new art supplies this year, instant downloads of Jim Weiss story recordings (very important for quiet resting time!) ~ farm camp 

For Me: lovely home improvements including very romantic gifts from Russ like a new shower head, new toilet seats, and a new washing machine door gasket!! ~ a vegetable garden that we managed to keep the bunnies out of ~ a prayer group with wonderful ladies who try not to let me get away with spiritual sloth ~ summer fruit jam ~ filling my freezer with meals this fall ~ stolen moments for sewing, painting, and crocheting ~ sushi :) 

* * What I Learned * *

Since Dominic started first grade this year the biggest thing that I already *knew* in my head but had to adjust to in practice was that my children are very different from one another and I have had to keep that in the forefront of my mind when working on lessons with two very different kiddos.  It's so much easier said than done...

This blogging thing isn't as easy as it looks and none of my New Year resolutions have to do with this blog.  (Hope you weren't expecting anything new and improved here!  It'll be pretty same ole - same ole!)  

Another epiphany from 2013 was... well, I'll keep you in suspense.  I'm writing a post now that I'll hopefully publish in the next couple weeks on something that I've been pondering a lot!  Stay tuned :)  

* * * * * *

Our lives are made of days and nights, of seasons and years, for we are part of a universe of suns and moons and planets. We mark ends and we make beginnings and, in all, we praise God for the grace and mercy that fill our days.
(from Blessing for the New Year,

* * * * * *

Happy New Year from our family to yours!


  1. Off to read your posts I missed the first time round. and I love Who Gets the Drumstick!

  2. Happy New Year to your family as well!

  3. Such a beautiful family photo!
    Happy New year to you.
    Blessings and magic,

  4. I don't have any big resolutions either and certainly nothing to do with the blog! It is definitely harder than it looks to keep it going! Excited for your mystery post :)

    1. Maybe I shouldn't have made a big deal about a "mystery post" - now there's pressure to deliver something spectacular ;)

  5. Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing so much with us this year! :)

  6. Theresa! Don't know if you remember me from your tutoring days, but I stumbled upon your blog through "Catholic All Year" and was so excited to see that it was you! I am excited now to explore your blog. What a beautiful family you have. Won't get too personal here, but still remember you fondly as the first teacher to get me excited about reading Jane Austen haha.

    Former student, Johanna M.

    1. Hi Johanna!! Of course I remember you! What a great surprise to see you show up here. I hope that you are well Happy New Year!

  7. This is the first time I've gotten to read your blog this year...Looking forward to more in 2014...The family picture is beautiful too!!! With Much Love, Aunt Claire


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