Friday, January 4, 2013

The Best of In The Warm Hold: 2012

For the past few years, every January, in addition to my review of the year, I do another separate post that is my favorite posts from the year. As my blog has changed, and as I've changed, these posts have changed, too.

Every year I say that my blog feels like such a smorgasbord and though that bothered me at one point, every year I affirm that that is exactly the way I like it. However, this post seems less indicative of what my blog actually looks like as a whole and point more to the posts that were serious and meaningful. The first time I shared my favorites, there was a big mix. More serious stuff than otherwise, but definitely other stuff mixed in. The next year I included links to humorous posts and "fun" posts about baby clothes and that kind of thing. Because I did enjoy those posts. But this year is different. It's not all heavy, but it's all meaningful. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, I guess I'm just kind of making an observation on what I tend to favor in my own writing these days. Anyway, here are my favorites from the past year:

Honestly, I wrote no super significant posts last January. Possibly it had to do with the blogging pressure I put on myself to write lots of "catch up" posts, to do several Christmas recaps and to do a handful of this type of year end tying up of the loose ends. I thought about just picking the one I liked best from that month, but it was still "meh" and that felt dumb and forced.

I guess I made up for it in February. Because I wrote a crap ton of really important (to me) stuff.
Photo A Day Challenge: January- I'm not going to link to all of these, obviously. But I will say that, while I grew weary with the project towards the end, I think it was a really neat thing to do. It provided a daily opportunity to capture a little slice of beauty in our lives. The whole creative process- thinking up the shot; picking the favorite filter; and of course my favorite, creating an accompanying caption- was all very interesting and a neat exercise in creativity.
Farewell, Clifford- I sold my car. It was hard. I needed to share the backstory of this lovely vehicle and his place in my life.
Words and Pictures- This was one of my favorite posts because it's the first time I can remember really talking about how much I cared about writing. It was prompted by Photo A Day and some photography goals I had for myself. It was freeing to realize that I needed to, and wanted to, invest a similar energy in another craft that truthfully really meant more to me.
Five Minute Friday Prompt- Delight- I wrote a quick post about finding a new way to delight in things.
Marriage Letters: My Job-Your Job- This is seriously one of my favorite posts to date. It may well be my favorite from last year. It's definitely in the top three, I'd say. I wrote about mine and Peyton's job in what basically amounted to a love letter to him.

I didn't write just a ton in March, but there was one that still speaks to me.
Five Minute Friday Prompt: Brave- I wrote this post as a reminder to be be brave in facing the fears I have as a parent.

Again, I didn't have as much to offer in April. But the two things I did write were both really important to me.
Romney and Rosen and the Hard Work We All Do- I wrote a pretty opinionated little piece on the work we ALL do as mothers. Because I'm just a little bit passionate about that.
The Ugliness of Pretty- This is another from my top three. I wrote about a struggle that I have- that it seems a lot of us have- desiring the "pretty" too much and failing to embrace the beautiful mess that is life.

Yeah, May. A lot of sharing what was on my mind and heart. Like a lot. Emo SD, to say the least.
For Peyton: A Series of Lists on the Eve of Your Thirtieth Birthday- another love letter, this time in list form. Which is like my second language. I speak list, didn't y'all know?
Low- I wrote about anxiety and dealing with it and how I was having a hard time. As usual, it seemed to resonate.
Enough for Them- I got fiery passionate again over another current news story. Of course, I shared my opinion (and a little of my heart, too).
The End of an Era- I got serious emotional and wept on my keyboard as I shared with y'all about a group of women that over the last few years had become my family in a very real way.
Meet Me in the Land of Hopes and Dreams, Part 2: Jazz Fest with the Boss- I let go of my insecurity about looking like that weird girl and let y'all in on my fascination with this man for the first time. It felt way good to put it out there and try to make y'all understand a little about the power he and his music have.

Conversely, I spent a lot of June writing about practical stuff- the overwhelm I was experiencing from my drafts folder, my then one year's inability to nap for longer than an hour, my Summer "uniform" and the reality that a vacation with two toddlers is really no vacation and is better to be dubbed a "trip" and prepared for with the intensity of marathon training. However, I did manage to write one post that's become another one that can still speak back to me when I doubt myself.
Five Minute Friday Prompt: Risk- I juxtaposed risks that my kids take with the risk that is letting someone see the most secret parts of myself, and scarier still, allowing his dreams and desires to become my own. It did me good to read it back to myself tonight, honestly.

July was again filled with lots of pragmatic things- issues of Southern etiquette, a post detailing my wardrobe for the week, another one on how we use meetings in our family, a meme and a long vlog where I answered questions and a guest post. I did write a couple of things toward the end of the month that are significant to me.
What Is Saving My Life Right Now: Dark Place and The Boss- I shared how Bruce- his music, his words, his struggle- help me when I encounter my own dark places.
Hurting Our Daughter's Future-- My Opinion on a Recent Forbes Article- I shared some of my opinions on gender roles, which is something Peyton and I apparently care more about than we realized we would.

August brought a lot of changes and milestones. Everyone seemed to be growing up so fast. Too fast. Annie started school and Graves got his first haircut (a big deal to me) and I started the process of weaning him.
Repost: The Best Laid Plans- One of my favorite posts. Parts of it appear in my "Our Story" page at the top. It was feeling very timely, so I reposted. 
Picture Post: Mister Graves Goes to the Barber {August 14, 2012}- I put up a bunch of pictures and sprinkled the post with my thoughts and feelings on our boy getting big. I analyzed it all a lot. I do that sometimes. 
More on the "Princess Cult"- I wrote more about my thoughts on this stuff and a lively and interesting discussion ensued in the comments. I love when that happens!

September brought up a lot of raw emotions specifically in the form of a writing prompt which asked me to write a letter to my teenage self. I found a lot of enjoyment in my newfound hobby of creating a monthly playlist and Annie started to school, which was not quite as Earth shattering as I had worried it would be.
A Few More Inches- I just spit out a quick post in response to a writing prompt (something I love to do).
On Starting School and Entering a New Era- Such a big deal for a little girl [And for her momma. Mostly for her Momma.]
Tunes for the Month: September- Like I said, for some reason this creative process has been life-changing for me. Not to be overly dramatic. But I am. Sorry. It's just been really interesting to pick songs, analyze them and then relish them non-stop for a month.
Letters to My Teenage Self- This is one of the boldest, hardest posts I've ever written. A friend emailed me and told me that she thought it was the most vulnerable. And it was, in many ways. It gave me a lot of courage to blog more transparently and it brought me a lot of peace to think about those years and how far I've come. How far the Lord has brought me.

October has little in the way of heavy or significant stuff. I think that was the Lord's provision and I'm being totally serious. The months that followed would deplete me emotionally and it was good to focus on things like our library trips or Annie's obsession with hotel rooms and our beach trip which was, at that point, three months prior.

I started out the month of November with a near nervous breakdown and ended it with one of the most joyous occasions of my life. And there was a good deal of stuff between.
On Surprises, Letting Go (a Little) of Being in Control of the Situation, and Being Married to the Kindest Man I Know- I had a hard weekend and just lost myself for a bit. Peyton was the patient man he's always been and helped me collect the pieces and put myself back together again.
Because the Night Belongs to Us: On Seeing Springsteen a Second Time- It was so powerful again and I can't help but have a huge respect for this man and the way he engages so intimately with his audience.
Multitudes on Monday- I'm just linking to one post, but this whole exercise is one of the most edifying and encouraging things I do all year.
When Everything Feels Like the Movies- Writing this post scared me alot. Alot alot. Sometimes I'm kind of protective of mine and El's relationship anyway and writing vulnerably about it is hard. And then there's the added stress of feeling like I might be understand. I've had people express discomfort with our friendship and I know there are people (in the general, not necessarily who read my blog) whose disapproval would be ardent. But that was a big part of the post- the absence of that in our spouses. I thank the Lord (literally) every time I talk to him or her that Minda is not one of those people.

I didn't write a whole lot in December and again, that was a good thing. I needed to breath.
You Call It a Great Day- This is my favorite of recent posts. Sometimes life can be so simple and yet so very full.

I am so incredibly thankful for this space. Sharing our lives and having a place to come to articulate my thoughts and examine my feelings has become such a big part of my life. I really can't overstate what it all means to me. I know 2013 will be filled with so many varied experiences, ideas and emotions and I look forward to sharing them here.

The Best of In the Warm Hold: 2010
The Best of In the Warm Hold: 2011

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Just stopping by to let you know I love reading your blog. You do a wonderful keeping up with your week in review posts. I know you will appreciate looking back on them someday. I don't always comment, but I am always reading.