Top 10 Blog Posts and Pics of 2016

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This wasn’t originally the post I’d planned to publish today, but I had the unexpected (and happy) surprise of being able to get together with some of my old college roommates today for lunch (see pic below), so the longer post I had planned will just have to wait until the new year to publish (even though it won’t seem *quite* as relevant then).

I’m so happy that I was able to get myself back into the blogging groove again this year, after having been so sporadic about posting for a long time before. And even though growth and gaining new followers and getting my posts shared isn’t really why I blog, it’s still been great to connect with new readers this year and to be told that my posts have made a small impact on the lives of those I share them with. I love all the connections that blogging has allowed me to make with people.

This was also the year that I finally relented and hopped on the Instagram wagon (@torriemeidell), and while there is sometimes crossover between the images I share on the blog and those I share on Instagram, I’ll often post several images exclusively to IG that never make it anywhere else, so I thought this would be a good time too to share some of my most-liked photos from over there on this post today.

So, in no particular order, I’m presenting the top posts (and IG photos) of 2016:

1. What I Will (& Won’t) Miss About Teaching

This post, which I wrote just days after leaving the teaching profession to be a stay-at-home mom, ended up being my most-viewed post of all time. I feel like I could edit this post and add a bunch more things to both sides of the list, but I think I’ll keep the post the way it is for now, in all its fresh and raw honesty.

2. Scenes From a Busy Weekend 

This post, which included pictures from my cousin’s wedding dinner, a photo shoot I did with my sister, and my nephew’s baby blessing, ended up being one of the top-viewed posts probably just because I tagged so many people in it on Facebook so they could see the pics of themselves (and because wedding-related stuff always seems to get a lot of hits).

3. Our Current Fork in the Road

This post, from back in March, ended up being one of my other top-viewed posts of all time, which I guess makes sense when you look at the #1 post because this post was all about whether or not I should quit teaching to stay at home or not. I guess the tension between the decision to work and the decision to stay at home is still alive and well and compelling enough to attract a lot of readers.

4. Finally Fitting Into the “Goal Skirt”

Overall, my Body After Baby series (of sorts) was pretty popular this year and last, but none were more so than this post from May, where I talked about how good it felt to finally be fitting into the “goal skirt” I’d set for myself at the beginning (and which, many times, I’d despaired of ever being able to fit into).

5. The 10 on 10 Series (particularly this one)

Honestly, the 10 on 10 posts would take up about four of the top 10 slots if I let ’em, but we’ll just group them all together here. Apparently the world likes lots of pictures of my cute kid since these posts always seem to get quite a lot of clicks.

6. This Is What Aging 15 Years Looks Like

I was happy this one did pretty well because it took me FOREEEEEVER to put it together. Basically, this is where I found a photo of myself around my birthday every year from age 15 to age 30, and I’ve decided it’s pretty nuts to see yourself age like that.

7. When You Know It’s Worth It, But It’s Still Hard

It’s always interesting to me which posts end up getting the most feedback and views. This post was basically a “throwaway post” (meaning I just kind of sat down and word vomited everywhere because I couldn’t think of anything coherent to say). And apparently, people understand that. Thank you, people, for understanding my word vomit.

8. The Blessings and Burdens of Getting Older

This was another heavy post, written after I found out that my dear coworker had passed away in a tragic climbing accident shortly before the end of the school year. I’ve been through some pretty hard times in my life, and something I’m glad I learned early on is that writing REALLY helps me to work through grief. This post gave me the opportunity to not only reap the cathartic benefits that writing it out has for me, but it also allowed me an outlet for reaching out and sharing my grief with others going through the same hardship. I’m not always good in person at reaching out or talking about hard things, but blogging has helped me to open up and connect with others in a way that I probably wouldn’t otherwise.

9. An Adventure That Didn’t Go As Planned

Oh man, I loved the pictures we got from that (very) short-lived Moab trip with my family, but I’ll be happy to NEVER have strep throat again. EVER. And especially not while on a big family vacation.

10. How Our Lives Have Changed Lately

This was one of the first posts I wrote after I quit teaching, and I am still astounded looking back at how much our lives changed over the course of about two short weeks. Pure insanity, I tell ya! I mean, I know they could have changed even more, but I’m glad that we *just* had to go through the changes we did because I’m not sure if I could have handled much more at the time.

And, finally, in case you needed more (possible) reading material, I give you some of my own personal favorite posts of the year (that were, for whatever reason, not as popular as some of the others):

5 Pep Talks I Frequently Need to Give Myself as a Teacher (one of my last teaching posts!)

Today, You Are One (+Thoughts on My First Year of Motherhood)

Choose Your Path, Choose Your Problems (I come back to this philosophy anytime the stay-at-home mom life gets a bit challenging or when I feel stuck)

Paying the Price of Improvement (For a long time, I thought that the reason my photos were lacking was because I needed better equipment. This year showed me just how wrong that thinking was.)

Bippety Boppety Boo, We Went to the World’s Smallest Zoo (this blog piece, which details how I became friends with one of my besties Mary and how she and her husband moved away this year, is by far one of my most favorite things that I’ve written this year)

How I Keep My Creative Mojo Going (I remember feeling sad that hardly anyone–relatively–clicked into this post because it was definitely written at a time that I felt the most fired up about everything, and I’d hoped to spread some of the love and excitement to others)

This Would Have Been the Last Weekend (there are 3 blog posts that I would have to say tie for my absolute favorites this year, and this is one of them)

– I feel like the moment I quit teaching and started life as a stay-at-home mom, my blogging juices (run with it—it’s a thing) just went all sorts of crazy with all the energy and time I now had to devote to writing, and I wrote some of my favorite posts soon thereafter, including This Is How I’ll Measure You (one of the other top 3 posts from the year for me), the This is What Turning 30 Looks Like posts (both the Matt and Torrie editions), and Holding On and Letting Go (my third favorite post from the year).

Overall, it’s been a great blogging year for me, and I’m so proud of myself for sticking with my resolution to start blogging again regularly (at least 12 times a month).

For now, I’m going to sign off and enjoy the rest of 2016, but you’ll definitely be hearing from me early in the new year! Hope you enjoy the rest of your holidays, and thank you so much–yes, you–for coming and reading and commenting and liking and talking with me about this here blog.

It really does mean the world to me.

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