2012 Year in Review

Blogging has continued to amaze me in the way that it has enriched my life, especially over the last year. 2012 in particular was one that was blessed by new friendships and an expansion from my little blogging community that I had known in 2011, to a much larger one that included a group of mothers. I remember thinking about the “Mom Blogger” title and cringing a little–imagining that it was about posting pictures of my kid on the potty or writing paragraphs with motivational sayings like “You were meant to do this.” It sounded terrible to me. Yet somehow, in the 9 months of blogging about my pregnancy, and the last 10 months of practicing what I call “Mommyhood,” I can say that choosing to blog this journey has changed me. I have connected with mothers via the comments of my posts in the middle of the night (Hi Meta!), and struggled over the words to describe this joy that I’ve found this year through the birth of my daughter. I’ve written letters to my sweet girl to try to capture my heart in its more vulnerable moments. Countless posts dedicated to sleep (or lack thereof), and even more words spoken about this beautiful and challenging role of “Mama”…

Thank you for sharing your hearts in the comments. It is through this vulnerability that I find the rarest form of friendship. I appreciate every single one of you, for cheering me on in my moments of victory, and offering words of advice and sympathies through my biggest defeats. We are a community, and I am grateful to all of you for creating it.

Most Popular Posts in 2012:

1: Why I Will Never Get Married, a post by my dear friend Liz during our Marriage Series (which I should note was the highest traffic day ever

2. Dangerous Theology, A post that brought some offensive to the comments section 🙂

3. Reflections on the Future, A vulnerable post by my friend Josh about his divorce

4. This is Not My Body, A post about my struggles with my post-baby body

5. Mama Instinct, where I discover that I actually have some (instincts that is)

Candid

I had just finished making little Kinsey lunch on Friday when I read a tweet that simply said, “An elementary school? Is this for real?” I turned on the television, and could not believe my eyes. I grabbed my little girl, sat her on my lap, and wept while I watched the news coverage. Something so barbaric, and so disgusting, did not seem possible to me. I responded as a parent, though I have not been one very long. The idea that I was able to hold my little girl close, while the parents of 20 children would never see their babies again, broke me.

Our country is broken. And, I am doing my very best to stop asking the question “why?” Because, if I try to understand the “why” then I am drawn to the details of the shooter, who I do not want to remember. I do not want to know about his secret journals, or his Facebook page. I do not care to read about his personal life, or  how long he was planning to commit such a horrific and unconscionable act. I’ve seen many articles posted about mental illness, one in particular stating “I am  < insert his name >’s Mother,” describing what her life is like dealing with a mentally ill child. And while I was amazed at this mother’s vulnerability, I could not accept this as an explanation for what happened. We do not know the true details of the shooter, and his mother is dead, and I can not sit back and listen to the speculation and “why’s” from people, because 20 children and 6 heroic adults, are dead. I could not help but worry about the autistic children who will now be labeled as “dangerous” because of the conclusions that the media is choosing to give America. We assume too much to answer the question of “why?” We forget to consider who we are hurting by trying to find answers to our questions that ultimately, will probably always be left UN-answered. In our determination to find the “why”, we put a sick individual at the center of this tragedy.

I do not want to remember his name. I do not want others, with minds like his, to think that they can do better. In a celebrity driven culture, I do not want anyone to think that this is how they can become famous.

This tragedy has to be different from the others. As President Obama stated in his speech last night at the memorial service, we must do better.

“We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.

But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.”

President Obama, December 16th, 2012

So, I am choosing to forget his name. I am trying to remember the names of the victims, of the precious children who’s lives, entire lives, were taken from them. Will you help me remember them?

They deserve to be remembered.

– Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
– Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
– Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
– Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
– Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
– Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
– Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
– Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female
– Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
– Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
– Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
– Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
– James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
– Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
– Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
– Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
– Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
– Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
– Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
– Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
– Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
– Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)
– Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
– Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female
– Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
– Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female

Huffington Post)

If I Could Guess My Baby’s Wish List…

This is my pathetic way of sharing a few of the gifts that Kinsey is getting for Christmas, and a few things I stumbled upon that are just too cute for words. I am so excited to see her eat all of that wrapping paper and not care about what is actually inside of the boxes! Anyway, if you have a niece or nephew, or you need ideas, here is a short list.

1. Baby’s First Dolly

Land of Nod has some adorable handmade dolls this year. Bryant and I picked out a dolly for Kinsey together, and, at least for me, it was tough to choose because they are all precious. We went with one of the Hillary Lang Wee Wonderful Dolls. They have the cutest little outfits and adorable yarn hair–I could not resist.

wee-wonderfuls-winx-doll

2. Uncle Goose Blocks

These blocks make me swoon. Uncle Goose’s blocks are all hand-manufactured, and they are absolutely beautiful. You can get them in different languages, and even nursery rhyme. A tip: I ordered mine from Yoyo.com. You get 30% off one item on your first order, and they are already $32.99 versus the $34.00 from Uncle Goose’s site. You are welcome.

classic-abc

3. The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie the Pooh

A childhood favorite and library staple. We make a point to read to Kinsey everyday, and I personally would rather read stories that I cherish and love, versus ones that make me stabby. Another tip: Bookworm.com  offers 30% off up to 3 books on your first order, and many of their books are buy 3, get the 4th free.

hp-1547_1

4. A Rocking Horse

Both of Kinsey’s grandma’s bought Special K a rocking horse, making it a must-have item. I felt terrible about it, but we returned one and picked out some other things for Kinsey instead. Regardless, a child’s first rocking horse is a pretty perfect gift for baby’s first Christmas. This one is Melissa & Doug’s Plush Rocking Horse.

melissaanddougrockinghorse

5. Melissa and Doug Puzzles

I really love Melissa and Doug toys. They are really great quality, and they make the cutest puzzles. The wooden one’s with the larger peg pieces are obviously better for toddlers, and if you start a large collection, they have a puzzle rack you can buy for storage 🙂

melissadougpuzzle

Some other ideas I am loving?

Pinhole Press’s Book of Faces: You can personalize a photo book for your child of your family members to help them with face recognition.

Music N Play Table

Olivia Books : Favorites in our house!

Jennifer Adams Baby Lit Books

Sophie: the Teether that I am so thankful we have in our house (and tip! On sale at yoyo.com)

Happy Christmas Shopping!