So, this pregnancy has been a more-sick-than-most pregnancy, and I’m still feeling pretty dead to the world in the evenings, which have always been my prime blogging hours. BUT. I don’t want to just disappear forever. I have about a zillion things bouncing around in my head that, hopefully, will get written up in the relatively near future. But, until then, I’m going to throw together a couple of quick best of the year posts.

I know, I know, most people do those in December. But, hopefully, most people didn’t barf as much as I did in December (or yesterday).

1.

OUTSIDE THE BOX: 66 THINGS TO GIVE UP OR TAKE UP FOR LENT (IN BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE, AND ADVANCED)

This was far and away the most popular post of the year on this blog. It’s my most popular post, all-time, in fact. It was linked to all over the place. And, as much as I recognize Lent as a challenging season, I love that it’s something we Catholics do together. Even Catholics who aren’t quite on board with ALL the Catholic things, mostly give up something for Lent. It’s nice to be in this one together.

2.

DEAR NEWLYWED, YOU’RE PROBABLY WORRIED ABOUT THE WRONG THING

I have to admit that most things I write just pop into my head and I type them up and send them into the blogosphere. Usually I ask the husband to tell me if he thinks very many people will be offended by them, but then, off they go. But this post was different. I really wanted to say this right. This post went through many versions, and was proofread by friends and approved by the sister and sisters-in-law I mention therein, before I hit publish. So, I really did hope it would be well-received. But the success it found exceeded my greatest expectations. If you only ever read two posts on my blog, I’d want it to be this one, and Hey America, Pregnancy: You’re Doing it Wrong.

3. 

NOT BELIEVING IN SANTA CLAUS IS LIKE NOT BELIEVING IN JESUS . . . OR GEORGE WASHINGTON

Folks have strong opinions about Santa and how he does or does not factor into their family celebration of Christmas. And that’s okay. I support people having their own family cultures. This post was MY strong opinion about Santa, and a description of how he fits into our family Christmas.
4. 

SUNDAYS IN LENT: WE CAN’T ALL BE RIGHT ABOUT THIS

I wrote a handful of posts this year that required a follow-up post. But this one took THREE! In the end, after reading encyclicals, and consulting experts, I stand firmly behind the content of this original post. But the whole thing was certainly an interesting exercise, and one I won’t soon forget.
5. 

WHY I’M LETTING MY HAIR GO GRAY

This is the post that started a movement! Dozens of you have written to me to say you were letting your hair go natural. Now that I think about it, I actually haven’t heard back from anyone on how that went, either way. So, I’m just going to assume the best and figure you all love it. Anyway, if you’ve ever wondered why I have GRAY hair, this post will explain why.
6. 

I HAVE SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT FROZEN

If you’re new to the blog, I should probably just get it out of the way and tell you now that I have this thing where I don’t like the movie Frozen, but I can’t stop writing blog posts about it. Seriously, it kind of kills me that this review of Frozen is still getting hits. And the Melted Olaf Snow-globe I made for Anita’s birthday party gets pinned all the time. I feel like I’m just enabling you guys now.
7. 

THE PERKS OF STAY AT HOME MOTHERING, AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT

Some folks pointed out that my response to what the president said in that speech of his, wasn’t in fact a response to what the president was actually talking about in his speech, but rather to what members of the media willfully misrepresented him as having said, by taking one line out of the context of his entire speech. To that I say: perhaps. But he DID say it. And I thought MY response was way more fun than any of the other responses out there.
8. 

SEVEN REASONS MY KIDS DON’T NEED TOYS THIS CHRISTMAS

This post got me a guest spot on Jennifer Fulwiler’s radio show which was pretty great. Getting to the point where I could write it — and mean it — though, was the work of many, many Christmases, and many, many great toy clean outs. And even though it wasn’t a perfect success, it’s what was right for us this year. I look forward to heading into Christmases-future confident that it’s okay to make decisions for that year based on what will really benefit our family, not on what “everyone” says we need to do for Christmas.
9.

THIS JUST MIGHT BE THE BEST DEFENSE OF CATHOLICISM SINCE AQUINAS

I am proud and happy to be in any way associated with this fabulous YouTube video created by SoulPancake and featuring my real life bestie, Blythe Fike.
10.

WHY I STOPPED SAYING THAT ALL I WANT IS A HEALTHY BABY

This is another one I was really happy to see make this list. It’s a lesson that was a long time coming for me, personally, but that I’m so happy to have taken to heart. I had the idea for this post three days before it needed to post, and all of my contributors really stepped up. Reading it again as a currently-pregnant lady, it gives me such comfort.
So that’s it. The ten most popular posts of the year. Thanks to each of you who read and commented and shared these with your friends, and helped me and my blog grow this year.