I have always loved sharing a New Year’s post here…For the past 11 years (!!) it’s been a fun way for me to reflect on God’s goodness over the past year and talk about some of the things I hope to share with you in the year ahead. Also…since I began blogging on January 1st 2011, it’s extra special to celebrate this site’s BLOGIVERSARY here! Some of you have been with me from nearly the very start, and that…well, that just blows my mind!
While less people seem to be reading blogs these days, I will always love and treasure the chance to share articles or even just-for-fun posts here. I love podcasting and I do enjoy posting on social media as well, but my favorite will always be a blog post! (kind of like how I will always say step aerobics is the best I don’t care what anyone says! 😀) And though I’ve kind of lost track of numbers, my year end report did show that over TEN MILLION people have visited my blog over time. Wow, that’s a lot!
Let’s start with a quick look back!
Despite the obvious challenges related to the Pandemic, I am grateful to say I had a packed and truly exciting year last year. I’ll start with some work/online highlights and then get a little more personal down below.
- I launched the Character Training Course three times, and cheered on families all over the world who said yes to fostering godly character in their kids! What an honor!
- I signed a contract with Zondervan for my next book (which is now just over a year-out from release…yay! 😉) More on that soon…
- I released a Boy Mom Podcast every single week (that’s 52!!) and got to know so many incredible guests! I also really enjoyed being a part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network.
- Boy Mom came out in German!
- I’ve emailed my online subscribers every week to touch bases, share updates, offer links and laughs, and a happy place to connect. (weekly emails are my fave. If you’re not on the list yet, sign up here!)
A few fun lists from the end-of-year reports…
Most Read Blog Posts of 2021
Most Downloaded Podcast Episodes of 2021
Episode #97 Raising Kids to be Strong and Kind (with Korie Robertson)
Episode #95 Taming Your Child’s Tongue (with Ginger Hubbard)
Episode #106 Help for Destructive Mommy Anger (with Natalie Hixson)
Episode #98 Raising Differently Wired Boys to be Emotionally Intelligent and Resilient (with Colleen Kessler)
Episode #114 The Most Important Thing a Parent Can Do (With Brooke McGlothlin)
My book: Boy Mom: What Your Son Needs Most from You has nearly 950 ratings and reviews on AMAZON! wow! That’s a lot! Thank you so much to those of you who have left a kind review. If you have not yet, I’d soooo appreciate it if you would use that link ^ and leave a rating and/or review. Wouldn’t it be fun to have over a 1000?
Here’s a recent Amazon review that meant a lot to me…
titled: “The most essential parenting book!” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (thank you! 😉) :
“I’ve read a LOT of parenting books that were really good but this one by Monica Swanson is THE BEST! This one had everything I needed to know about raising boys. So practical and when you read it, it feels like a friend talking to you about what it’s really like raising boys. It’s fun to read, easy to read, and I don’t feel I need to search for another parenting book. This one covers it all. Get it!” –JxDxPxPx
In my family and personal life…2021 was full of new and normal, challenges, and blessings.
11 highlights from 2021:
- Practicing more stillness in my devotional time with God…Quiet meditation on Scripture, worship, and listening. Used the Dwell App, Lectio 365 app, and of course TLC’sBible Recap for my reading plan! (also both this book and this (new!) one are great prayer and quiet time guides.)
- I became a #golfmom (thanks Levi! So proud of you!) and continued in my role as #grommom – #surfmom. (I’ve had a blast cheering on Luke’s surf career!)
- Building our marriage daily. (less restaurant dates, more runs and walks, writing chats, beach days, and house-dances!)
- De-cluttering. I’m not “there” yet. But wow, what a difference every little bit makes.
- Letting my bangs grow all the way out. Then cutting my hair into a long bob. (this was all a bit revolutionary for me, in a hard-to-explain-way.)
- Asking more of my family in the way of teamwork. Meals, laundry, etc. *And then–the key– following through (😳)
- Cheering on my college boys at Westmont. I love this stage so much!!
- Home remodel. Woah, we lived a long time without a dining table (in the house) and I am soooo glad we finally went for it. (see December Coffee date post for all of the pics!)
- My new favorite “sleep tea” (that’s what I call it.) Game changer for my sleep habits. AND my first 4-month (120-day) wall calendar. Wow. Where have I been all these years?
- Planning and executing our family snow trip over Christmas break. Big, big success. God was so kind.
- Still homeschooling! (almost threw in the towel this year, but so glad I didn’t.)
One thing I know to be true: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9)
I am so grateful that His ways are much better than mine!
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2022!!
WRITING/ONLINE world… What I’ll be doing
- I’ll be speaking at a church women’s retreat in San Diego in February!! (if you happen to be in the San Diego area and would like to attend, message me and I’ll give you more info!) I’m so excited and working hard on the message God has put on my heart to share!
- I’ll be turning in my new book MANUSCRIPT in March!! (pray for me! This is the fun/hard/crunch time!)
- I plan to update and add to the Character Training Course this spring (for an early SUMMER launch!)
- Of course — I hope to make the Boy Mom Podcast better and better!
- I can’t wait to connect more in my Skinny Friends online community (don’t let that name fool you if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check this page out.) BEGINNING with an online study next week! (sign up on interest page if you want to hear more!)
- What else?…I’m hoping you will tell me what you’d like more of from me!!
BLOG TOPICS? PODCAST TOPICS? more recipe posts? (I’ve been slacking!) How can I show up on Social Media better? (Lives? Reels, etc…) I’m listening!
In my personal/family life…things I hope to do or improve on! (in no particular order…)
11 THINGS I’ll be working on:
- Bible study! — I want to dive into more Bible study this year.
- Take Sabbaths. Like a real day off. Rest. Worship.
- Read more! For pleasure. 🤓 (good book recommendations appreciated!)
- Get strong. Yep, after nearly 3 years of frozen shoulder (1.5 years for each shoulder) and feeling weak and wrinkly (haha) I am so ready to get strong again! We are setting up a pretty sweet gym in our garage (supposedly for the boys, but, Dave and I are also thinking our 50’s might be our time to 💪🏼!)
- Follow a good show or series for entertainment purposes. Because I don’t do that naturally, and I honestly think it would be good for me. (good, clean show suggestions always appreciated.)
- Get the family serving more. Covid cancelled or changed so many things, but I want to plug the boys and I back into serving in a practical way.
- Use more of the fruits we grow on our property. (first learn what they are 😛)
- Start growing a veggie garden. It’s a little complicated up here with the bug culture and all, but we need to figure it out and do it.
- Get to know our (actual) neighbors.
- Continue decluttering and have a daily system to keep things tidy so it doesn’t build up. Seriously how could it be that hard?
- Regular bedtime routine for all.
OK Friends, that’s a start anyways, right? How about you?
I’d love to hear what you are taking away from 2021 AND what you’re looking forward to in 2022!!
ALSO: How can I serve you better here? What would you love to see, read, hear, do with me in 2022? Share in comments!
big hugs and ALOHA to all of you. I am so grateful for you!