This week after Christmas but before the New Year has always been a favorite of mine, though this year I’ll admit my enthusiasm has been dampened a bit by the fact that I still have some lingering nausea and fatigue at the end of my first trimester. Over the years, I’ve done a lot of different types of “Year in Review” posts, but this year, I’m going easy on myself and borrowing last year’s idea of simply including my top pics from Instagram from the year and the blog posts with the most views.
I’ll go into more detail about the craziness of this year for us when I do my 17 Things I Learned in 2017 post sometime next week, but I’ll briefly mention that this year has been absolutely crazy, full of some of our scariest lows and some of our most thrilling triumphs and joys.
Not surprisingly, the top posts of the year mimic that roller coaster feel, as the most viewed post of the year was the one where I talked about the miscarriage I had in March, closely followed by the post exulting in the fact that we were finally homeowners for the first time.
So, starting with the post with the most views, here are my top 10 blog posts for 2017:
As mentioned above, this is the post where I talk about how we learned that I’d miscarried in the same weekend that Matt’s grandma passed away and his dad got home after having been in the ICU for almost two months.
Buying a house this year hadn’t been part of The Plan at all, but since NOTHING this year went according to plan, it totally makes sense that everything would fall into place for this to happen this year. After looking at only a few houses on the market in person (but having looked online at hundreds over a period of several months), we ended up putting in an offer for a house we drove past while on our way to look at a different one, and everything just felt RIGHT about it. (And I can say now, 6 months later, with 100% confidence that we LOVE our house and neighborhood and that we made a GREAT decision!)
Back in January, we got the unexpected news that Matt’s dad was in the hospital. We didn’t realize initially just how serious it was, but the next several weeks were brutal as we waited and waited to hear what would happen. Even now, every time we are with my father-in-law, I am filled with gratitude that he is still with us, and that we experienced the miracle we did earlier this year that spared his life.
We hadn’t really announced our plans to move forward with purchasing a home to anyone other than our parents, so I’m sure this post came as a pretty heavy shock for some people!
Obviously posts about us buying our first house were popular this year.
After my body took an unexpectedly looooooong time to heal from my miscarriage, I was thrilled to announce just last week about my current pregnancy!
Apparently everyone else was getting tired of all the books set during WWII, as this was my top books and reading post for the year. (But in case you aren’t sick of them, I also did a post on 10 fabulous books that ARE set during WWII)
This post was more of a humorous thing than anything else, but what ended up being REALLY fun was the comment section, both in the post itself and on the Facebook page.
Another one published last week, but people like Best of the Year posts! (I also just did a Top 10 Fiction Reads of 2017 post if you haven’t seen that yet.)
I was pleased to see this one was pretty popular because it took me a decent amount of research to figure out which local grocery store had the best prices. What was really surprising for me on this one though was that people are FIERCELY loyal to their favorite grocery store, even if they know it doesn’t save them the most money.
I think this might just be my very favorite picture from the month of October! In case you didn’t know, I’ve been taking a picture of my daughter every day since she was born, and every month, I try to compile the best of them into a massive blog post all about what we’ve been up to. That’s up on the blog today if you want to check it out! (Link is in profile.) #blogpostalert #ravenandmatt #daddydaughter #familyfun #piggybackride #laughing #happymoments #familytime #pictureaday #project365 #toddlerparents #favoritepic #favoritepicture #favoritepeople
And of course, I can’t wrap up the year without including some of MY favorite posts (both blog and IG) of the year, even if they weren’t the most viewed. Here are a few:
One of my new year’s resolutions was to severely cut down on my social media use, and I stuck to a pretty rigid schedule the first two months or so where I hardly checked in on social media at all. Though I’ve since relaxed my parameters quite a bit, I learned a LOT from those weeks of more restricted use, and whenever I feel like I need a social media reset, I revisit this post to remind myself of all that I stand to gain by abstaining more.
Throughout my life (mostly my youth), I experimented with different hairstyles a LOT. Throwback posts like this always takes me FOREEEEEEEVER to put together, but they’re almost always among my favorites. (Also in the throwback posts this year was the one I did where I went back and combed through old yearbooks of mine and Matt’s…classic.)
Basically as true now as it was back in March, though I’ve sworn to myself numerous times over the past year that I’m going to STOP PUTTING BOOKS ON HOLD ALREADY. Although I’ve maybe gotten just the tiniest smidge better at this, it’s still a problem.
Last night, I finished making dinner late. We didn’t eat until almost an hour after I’d planned. All three of us had to use the bathroom (and with one of us still in the potty training stage, this action can take awhile). In other words, by the time we got out of the house, we were looking at each other and saying that it probably wouldn’t be worth it–we were losing more light by the second, the temperatures were dropping, the lure of the warm, cozy couch piled high with blankets was calling our names. WE WENT ANYWAY. There will always be reasons not to enjoy life, but TAKE THOSE OPPORTUNITIES TO ENJOY IT ANYWAY. That’s all. #doitanyway #fallcolors2017 #seasonsofraven #familyouting #itsthelittlethings
After spending years chasing a more minimalist/simplistic lifestyle, I had a massive life realization in April that sometimes, being content with exactly where I am is exactly what I DON’T need to pursue. This post is largely what spurred Matt and I on to look into buying a home this year, as well as pursue some of our other personal goals.
This is probably my favorite motherhood-themed post all year, and my feelings on it now are exactly the same as a half year ago when I wrote it.
I particularly love all the pics in this, but I also just love that this captured for me the feeling of being in our own place for the first time picking blackberries in our own yard…Plus I talk about a big dream I (still) have in this post, and it’s one I’m hoping to implement within the next year or two!
Good thing we had a killer time last weekend going on birthday dates and visiting gardens and feeding fish and eating all the french fries and ice cream we could handle because Monday hit with a bit of a vengeance today in the form of toddler meltdowns and an unusual amount of sass (including Raven repeating, in her best “stern mom” voice all through lunch–Get over here NOW). It was definitely a grab-an-emergency-Dr.-Pepper kind of day, but at least I have lots of fun pictures from the weekend to cheer me up a bit! #motherhood #toddlermom #thanksgivingpointgardens #feedingfishies #mondaymonday
This was a hard post for me to write, not least of which is because it’s about a topic that can become heated (being a SAHM vs. being a working mom), which I usually try to avoid at all costs. But one of the major things I grappled with this year was finding my purpose as a stay-at-home mom. Since making the decision (again) to stay at home and eschew working outside the home for now, I’ve been much happier, but for a month or two, I was seriously floundering as I asked myself a lot of soul-searching questions.
I’ve had some issues moving comments over from when I switched over to my new blog name/hosting, and I was SO SAD that I still have been unable to move the comments over for this one because there were some great suggestions in there! I loved this post because I felt like it neatly wrapped up basically everything I’ve learned about keeping a clean house over the past decade of adulthood, and though it took me longer than it takes some people, I think I finally found a system that works for me.
If I was forced to pick a very favorite post from this year, this one might be it, as I feel like it is the one that best represents all that this year has been for us, and the growth that it’s forced us to have. In it, I also share some of the resources that best helped me get through the toughest times this year.
It’s been a busy year, and I won’t lie—I’m hoping life will slow down a bit for us in 2018, but we’ll just have to wait and see what the new year brings!