Posts I Loved (but maybe you missed?) in 2014

by | Jan 14, 2015 | Blogging, January | 34 comments

Hey, I’ve (finally) got my first OB appointment today. Who wants to guess how far along I am and how many very small people are in there? *I* think twelve weeks and one person, but I really don’t know for sure. I wasn’t charting. I’m against charting.
And now . . . I already did my Ten Most Popular Posts of 2014, and it turns out maybe people don’t love recap posts. But I’m doing another one, because I already made this graphic. And I like it.

Plus, I feel pretty good right this second, but that might change.

AND Haley did one of these, and I want to be like Haley. So, here it is: My ten favorite post of 2014 that just didn’t have the legs I hoped they might. I loved these, but not everybody who reads my blog now saw them. So here’s another chance. Click on the title (not the photo) to read the post.



This post is really long, and even *I* get exhausted reading it. But, almost a year later, it’s still pretty accurate. Lulu still often sleeps in until ten, because she’s really, really nice. But now it’s in her own bed. And I get to nap all alone. Three year old Frankie is a lot like two year old Frankie. But I do sometimes get to go to the bathroom alone.
If I ever write a parenting book, this post is going to be the heart of it. But I keep thinking probably I shouldn’t write a parenting book until I have at least some grown kids, because I don’t want to jinx myself. But still, I think this post is the key to successful parenting as I know it. Figure out what works for your family, and OWN it. Be awesome. Your kids will get on board with it.


This post, and the lessons learned that allowed me to write it, really do make a big difference in my state of mind and my effectiveness as a wife and mother. ESPECIALLY when I’m feeling barfy and exhausted like I have been the past few weeks. If I make myself get dressed, I really do feel a bit better than if I look schlubby all day. I can’t guarantee that it will work for you, but it works for me.


This post was actually pretty close to making my top ten most popular for the year, but I’m including it here because it was a post that really came to me all of a sudden, and then basically wrote itself. I love those. It also links to my first appearance on Kristin’s This Inspired Life podcast. I’ve been on two episodes so far, and really enjoyed both. If you’d not familiar with Kristin and her blog or podcast, you should check them out!


I loved this post, which originally appeared on my friend Mandi’s blog. And not JUST because it allowed me to disagree with Frozen. I’m a big fan of marrying young and marrying quickly. It sure worked out well for us. I would have gotten married even younger and even faster, if only we had met earlier. That is the main limiting factor for this philosophy. :0)


Oh Cranky Frankie, how I do love thee, and your hilarious grumpy resting face. I was going through my pictures from the neighborhood parish carnival, to choose one to put on Instagram, and there was just no way. It was impossible to choose. I had to share them all. So I started a blog post. But then they were just so good they deserved captions. So I had to do that. And this is the end result. I still can’t scroll though it without snickering out loud.


Just when I thought Frankie was going to be the first failure of the Three Days or Bust method, he pulled it together on day three! Actually, it always kind of seems like it’s not going to work with any kid, then somehow, it does. I mention in this post that day potty training is different than night potty training, and that has really, really been true for us. I’ve had to keep day and night training completely separate. We have had some success with night training as well, eventually, but with a completely different system. Stay tuned for more details in a future post. It’s on my list.


The topics I cover on this blog are varied to say the least. I write about family and parenting and homeschooling and Catholic life, because those are the things that are most important to me. But I also write about backyard chickens, and Netflix, and zombies, and biathlon because I’m pretty passionate about that stuff too. I try to just write what comes easily on that particular day, no matter what it is, because I want this blog to have an authentic voice and really be ME. And, since that’s the case, I try not to have expectations about how popular any one particular post is going to be. I wrote it, because that’s what *I* was feeling passionately about in that moment, but that doesn’t mean other people will share my passion. Still, I was shocked, SHOCKED, when this post making fun of soccer wasn’t more popular.


This post published on a Saturday, which isn’t a great day for blog hits. And it was the day after Halloween, so there were fun-sized candy bars to think about. Plus, the title was kind of a bummer, so I’m thinking a lot of people avoided it even if they did come across it in their feed readers. Still, it’s one of my favorite posts I wrote all year. I do try to be funny most of the time, but this was something I was glad to have put out there.


Speaking of titles, I really blew it with this one. The original post title was “I Want it All: a Nourished Baby and My Dignity (Also Superpowers).” Almost always, the title of a post is the first thing that comes to me, and this one was no exception. I watched the video I mention in the post, of a woman breastfeeding her son, in a way that felt very exposed, on live television. The thing that came to my mind was that it was a lovely thing to do but the way she was doing it didn’t seem to show much respect for how her body was being exposed, and to whom. And, in that moment, to me, it seemed undignified. So that’s the word I used. 
But it wasn’t the right word, because even though that was how I perceived her actions in that moment, breastfeeding is the right and proper use of breasts, and therefore cannot be undignified. Upon further reflection, what is was, for me, was not good manners. Which, is of course, a much less grave thing to say about another person. 
The original title really informed the very spirited comment discussion that occurred all day on the post. I was really impressed with how polite everyone was, when clearly there were strong feelings all around. But, really, I think much of the disagreement was a product of my having prejudiced readers for or against the content of the post with an unnecessarily provocative title. 
Then again, maybe it’s just breastfeeding. The first “controversial” post I ever wrote was about breastfeeding. People have strong feelings. Maybe I’ll learn. But probably not.
Okay, I’m off to get some sleep. I’ll update this post this afternoon once I know the particulars of the OB appointment.

I’m back! There’s just one in there. (Whew!) And it looks like my guess was pretty good. The ultrasound date is 12 weeks 4 days, which means July 25th, and I was guessing July 27th.


  1. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    Ok, if there was a Sheenazing for best homemade graphics, you'd win, hand-down, no contest! Honestly, your graphics draw me in even more than your titles! Love 🙂

    • Theresa

      ditto! (I've also always liked the family culture post!)

    • Kendra

      Awww, thanks ladies. I do enjoy making them. 🙂

  2. Ashley

    I actually reread the potty training post last week while training my daughter, and the poop catching (sorry fellow commenters) totally worked and changed my experience for the better. Thank you (and whoever gave you the tip in the first place)!

    • Kendra

      Yes! It worked really well for us too. Seems crazy. But you can't argue with results. 🙂

  3. Rebecca

    For the record, my husband and I LOVED your soccer post and killed ourselves laughing. Our sentiments exactly!

  4. Ashley Sue

    Number 1 was my favorite. I'm nosy by nature. It was fun to see how your day went.

  5. Hannah Gokie

    My guess (just to be different!) is two babies and 14 weeks along! But that's maybe just because I have a healthy (or perhaps, unhealthy) obsession with twins and I want some of my own really bad. 🙂 Also, I loved the soccer post. I read it to my soccer-player husband and he even laughed out loud at most of it!

  6. Amy D.

    Ooooh. Are people guessing that because you've been so sick, there might be multiples in there? The odds of fraternal twins do increase with age. I will guess twins and an EDD of July 24, because that is my twin niece/nephew's birthday!

    • Kendra

      There has been that speculation. But I really do think it's just one pesky one. We'll see.

  7. Tori

    I'm glad you included the breastfeeding one. It really stuck out to me last year, and I loved your perspective. I was surprised it wasn't on the list of most popular after all the discussion it sparked.

  8. Anna

    I am going to guess one baby, just cause I still think those are better odds. And I will be super excited for you if I'm wrong. It's probably a little man-child, since I've come to view those as the more pukey ones. You have more experience than I do though, so I guess if that were true for you you'd already know it. I'll guess 13 weeks, based on no info at all except your guess+a bit if optimism.

    I liked your family culture one a lot too. And your marrying quick one, since it reminded me so much of my own dating/engagement.

  9. Schafergal

    Ok – upon further reflection – not ruining. Just creating an opportunity for a conversation about death with grace. Not death without pain, or feeling. So we'll read Charlotte's Web again in a few years. And have that conversation. And I'll be grateful for the opening to a difficult topic. Thank you for that.

  10. Kendra

    Hah! I laughed at your first wording, Ashley! But yes, that's where I've ended up with it too. Some things are imperfect, but a good inspiration for discussion.}

  11. Rose G.

    Your "Day in the Life" post was my favorite, and it's not totally hyperbolic to say that it changed my life. After reading it last April, I put into practice your rule about knowing what's for dinner by 10AM. This one little change has removed a major source of stress every afternoon/evening, and made me a much more peaceful wife and mother. I am a new-ish stay-at-home-mom (quit my job when my daughter was born 10 months ago), and your blog is a huge source of inspiration to me. Thank you!

    Also, I'm going to guess one baby and 13 weeks along. Congratulations on the newest little Tierney!

  12. Karen Perez

    I loved all of these, and just re-read the potty training post. When you're feeling better, would you mind writing one about nighttime potty training too? I would love to hear how you handle it. Praying for you and your in utero baby (or babies)!

  13. Amanda

    I think I've read all these. But I think I might read them again.

    I say 14 weeks (you feel so well! one can hope…) and I think it's time for twins. Those are both just hopeful answers, since you're probably 12 and having a singleton, but I think you'd ROCK twins. I'd love to read about that.

  14. jeannemp

    I really enjoy the recap posts, just in case I missed anything during the year (even though I obsessively click through to my favorite blogs any chance I get!). I'm going to guess just one baby who will be a dream baby since he or she bugged mom enough in the first trimester, and I'm going to say 13 weeks along, just to give you a glimmer of hope that you're almost through with the barfiness!

  15. Trista Roehl

    These were some of my favorite posts this year as well. 1) The family culture piece really encapsulated what I was floundering to do and gave me a goal. 2) I hope to transition from a very formal office environment to full-time homemaker later this year; one of my fears is becoming schlubby. Thanks for the motivation to report to my new job properly attired. 3) I've shared your piece on marrying young/quickly with several single and engaged friends. 4) And I'm with you on BFing whenever, wherever, and always with a little decorum.

    It's been a big 2014 on "Catholic All Year"!

  16. Anonymous

    This list is so surprising to me! These were some of my favourite posts last year on Catholic All Year! Especially #s1-4. Number 1 actually got me starting think I'd like to consider homeschooling… But really, everything you write, I find pretty stellar.

  17. just another Jess

    I am addicted to "day in the life" posts, so that was one of my favorites of the year- and I enjoyed 're-reading it. Some days I feel like I accomplish nothing, and seeing a day written out like that really shows how much we do as mothers. Plus, it makes me so excited for the days I have a little more help from the older kids!

  18. Stephanie Trouba

    When I saw your post announcing your pregnancy I thought that we conceived around the same time, and it looks like we conceived at *exactly* the same time because my due date was July 25 too. Except I lost my baby at 7 weeks. So I will be jealously watching your baby grow and I will ask my sweet Marie-Louise to pray for the health of you and your little one.

    I found your blog a few months ago and I've gone back and read pretty much every post. The day-in-the-life one was one of my absolute favorites. I'm really bad at remembering to comment, but I really do appreciate your blog!

    • Kendra

      Oh I'm so sorry Stephanie. I have a good friend who also lost a baby who would have been born just before mine. Every time I start to feel fed up about morning sickness . . . I don't. I'll be praying for both of you.

    • Stephanie Trouba

      Thank you!! I did not intend for you to feel guilty in any way – we all have different crosses! And I really am excited to watch your little one grow. I just thought it was a crazy coincidence that we conceived about the same day, but I do miss my baby, so my tone might not have come off the way I meant it to! I really admire all the moms who deal with morning sickness time after time – though I am excited for whenever God lets me keep a baby, I am not looking forward to that part. 🙂

    • Kendra

      Oh, you didn't at all. It's just with so many friends and readers who have experienced miscarriages, I try to keep them in my thoughts and prayers. That's all.

  19. Sara Nguyen

    I'm a new reader, so thanks for the recap. I also really liked you Day in the Life post, and also your capsule wardrobe post (even though that didn't make the list). I keep hoping that you'll do a post on your capsule for the other seasons, just in case you feel like pulling out all the clothes in your closet to take pictures of them. 🙂

    • Kendra

      Thanks Sara! I have kept up the capsule wardrobe and currently have a transitional maternity winter capsule going, but the other wardrobe post was SUPER time consuming, and just as I switched over, I started feeling sick. It's possible I could manage it now. We'll see!

    • Kendra

      It went well! One baby, 12 weeks, 4 days, which puts the due date at July 25th.

  20. K

    That's great!!!!!!! I love reading your blog…all the way from the great state of North Carolina…thanks for your humor, helpful tips, and thought provoking pieces…thanks for sharing your joy for your faith and your joy for your vocations with us…I'm a homeschooling mom to 4…ages 8, 6, 4, and 2…again, thanks for the blog…I'm so glad to have recently found you!

  21. Marie

    Those were some of my favorite posts! And I thought the soccer one was great.

  22. Brigid DeMoor

    Thank you for sharing your life with us! Your stories help me be a better wife and mother. I am so grateful!

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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