Here are the big 6 - the "highlights" of this year's blogging adventure...
1. Recording our Kawasaki Disease story
I am so glad to have a record of the rollercoaster this year has been. Somehow, although I find reading back through it all painful, it also helps me to process all that has happened, and see God's hand throughout it all. I am so glad to have it all documented for Heidi too; she will never remember any of this year, but if the disease does have lifelong consequences for her, it's important for her to understand, to read, to get her head round these few months too. So that she, too, can somehow come to terms with all that has happened. Writing throughout those awful weeks also brought me great strength; I was able to untangle some of the thoughts that knotted in my head, and know that by keeping people informed, they could pray more specifically for our baby girl's needs. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of you for your support through this trial.
2. Being shortlisted in the Britmums Blog Awards "Inspire" category
This came like a shock out of the blue. I couldn't believe it when I saw my name on the shortlist! I had thought my little blog was still relatively unknown, so it was lovely to know that people enjoy the blog and somehow find it "inspiring" if that's the right word... Thank you so much to all of you who voted - I feel truly humbled.
3. Starting my first weekly linky
I started #SavouringtheSeason back in September with the intention of running it until November as an Autumnal linky. Well, it's January, and its still here; and it's grown! It's so nice to see some lovely bloggers linking up their ideas and sharing inspiration every week. It's hard work to run, but such an honour, and I'm looking forward to seeing all that 2014 will hold for it!
4. Seeing my readership balloon
My little blog is growing! It's been so exciting to see the blog reaching further afield, and I love seeing where readers are checking in from. This past year, the readership has quadrupled, at times hitting six times the readership I got in January! Wonderfully exciting, but It's easy to get caught up in stats. As the numbers go up, you start getting more interest from companies wanting business, but I'm as determined as ever to keep this little space personable and genuine... And more than anything, I want to honour God as the readership goes up. It's such an opportunity to show how he is at work through the good, the bad and the ugly in our lives, and how he is steadfast and certain when life is tough, beautiful, or just plain ordinary!
5. Going viral on Pinterest
This is perhaps the thing that has made me chuckle and taken me most by surprise. In February, my Father-in-law turned 60 and I put together a fun present for him... Anyway, turns out some people kind of liked the idea... Like 62,723 people! Ridiculous right?? The things been pinned thousands of times and it just seems funny to me to think that it's got so ridiculously out of hand! But hey-ho, if you're turning sixty soon and you get a newspaper headline present, just remember - you saw it here first!!
6. Attending my first blogging event
In November, I headed to the Britmums Christmas do and finally got to meet some lovely bloggers who I'd wanted to meet for ages! It was a really fun day and means I know a few friendly faces for my intended trip to Britmums Live in the summer... Need to go buy my ticket!!
So that's my blogging year... It's been a rollercoaster ride, but a really big one for the blog and I know ALL of that is down to you - my lovely readers. Thank you for continuing to support me here, THANKYOU for sticking with me through the highs and lows. Thank you for every comment and Facebook share and retweet. Thank you! This little blog keeps me sane somedays when I'm buried in my third pile of washing and up to my eyeballs in baby wipes, nappies and princess dresses, with playdough squashed into my jeans, and yesterday's baked beans wiped through my hair. Seriously. I'm so glad I started this little blogging adventure, and never could have dreamed it would have gone this far.
Looking forward to sharing 2014 with you all.
Thank you again,