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  1. Transitioning to the new year has been a good one for my family. I just started homeschooling my boys this school year. The beginning of the year was an adjustment getting started, but things are going great now. Listening to your podcast brings me so much inspiration and peace. Your podcast also gives me new ideas to apply to my daily life and how I parent/homeschool my boys. For example, the last podcast I listened to with Carl Laferton made me immediately go by his newest children’s book because I had to have it for my boys! 🙂
    Going into the new year I would like to continue hearing more podcasts about homeschooling and ideas for raising boys in today’s world. A book I think you should write is a children’s book for boys! You could even have your sons help write it with you! Another idea is a boy’s devotional. Also, a definite yes on a Hawaiian retreat. My husband and I have been to Oahu once and we are dying to go back. It is so beautiful there! Anyway, thank you so much for your website/blog and podcast. I just love reading and listening to it every week! Wishing you and your family the best in 2021!

    1. Kimberly — Thank you so much for taking time to comment on my new year’s post. I LOVE hearing your updates and truly appreciate the ideas for my blog/book writing. Thank you for listening to the podcast– I’ll keep all of your ideas in mind for sure! Big hugs to you! XO

  2. 1. I’m tired. Mostly because I’m jet-lagged form visiting my family over Christmas and New Years! God answered many prayers and we were able to visit the Big Island for 9 days covid-free! But I am starting this year fresh with no social media and it’s actually been pretty great! Determined to spend more time in the Word – really enjoying the Bible App 7-day devotional on Wendy’s Social Media Fast.

    2. A retreat? How heavenly! That would be amazing. Until the world opens back up, an idea would be “How to Pray for Your Son’s (possible) future wife” or even “How to raise sons just like Monica’a” – well, I guess the latter is why you wrote your book! But seriously, love listening to them speak of their walk with God and I hope my son turns out just like them!

    1. Awww, thank you so much Trisha! So glad you had a healthy, safe Hawaiian getaway! And love your thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to comment and enjoy some social media -free, restful days giving more time to the Word! 👍🏽 ❤️

    2. Trisha! I LOVE your comment — thank you so much for taking the time. So happy you were able to travel to Hawaii and sounds like you are starting the new year well! Love your ideas and appreciate the kind words so much. Big hugs to you! xo

  3. A new year is always exciting because it seems like the best time to start fresh! Like, we’re more motivated or something.
    I am excited to welcome baby #8 in February…we think it’s a boy (which would make boy #4!) The Lord gave me the word “moments” a couple of months ago. So, I hope to take each one for what they are…allowing them to be holy….eternal. This will take a lot of training on my part to recognize and become intentional about every usable moment, so I’m depending on God’s grace in that area!! I know I can’t do any of this mom thing well know my own.

    I also have a goal to let go of my disappointments and to choose gratitude instead. I’ve allowed some bitterness to creep in, and boy does it really affect me…and my home! I don’t like it, and I know it grieves the Lord. We have four young ones still at home (not including baby) with the oldest having just turned 13 yesterday. He’s a one of a kind, in an awesome and God-is-ganna-use-him-for-amazing-things way…and in a he-has-given-me-so-much-grey-hair way!! So – yea, we really need God’s grace and wisdom in our parenting. And to make each moment count!
    Sorry I got so long winded. 😬

    Thank you for what you do for the rest of us! You encourage me greatly to be a better mama!

    1. Amie! WOW WOW — you are amazing! I’m so excited for baby #8! (😲🙌🏼) Love all of your new years’ thoughts — sounds like you’re off to a great start. Keep enjoying that house full of kiddos and please keep in touch with me as this next one comes along. I pray blessings over all of you in 2021!! Thank you for taking time to comment! xo

  4. 1. The new year is awesome! A fresh start-for healthy eating and exercise. I’m on the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan and trying to teach myself Pilates with a book because I’m not quite ready to go back to a gym yet due to Covid. My dream and goal is to be a healthy person and hopefully lose some weight along the way! I’ve read your Skinny Friends book and James Clear’s book on habits… it really is about identity and who you are and becoming that person you want to be. So my dream and goal is to BE a healthy person, not just striving for unattainable goals, but to automatically think and act like a healthy person does who makes healthy choices. Does that make sense?!?

    2. I listen to your podcast every Tuesday! I’d love to have you pray for us at the end. The Don’t Mom Alone podcaster does it ( I learned about her from you….Heather McFadyen) and I love it. Brings me such comfort and peace and encouragement. I want you to pray for me!!! Because I’m with you every Tuesday and I just need a momma to pray for me. 🙂

    Thank you, Monica! Hugs!!

    1. Hey Holly! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I’m excited for your new years– it sounds like you have all the right intentions to get where you want to be!! I haven’t heard of James Clear but now I’ll look into it! Thank you for listening to my podcast! I do love your idea of praying at the end..>Sometimes it is hard as there is so much to fit into each episode, but I will definitely consider that! Big hugs to you!

  5. Monica!
    You look gorgeous in your family pic. So lucky you can rock bangs/ no bangs 😋 happy New Year!
    Question 1: transitioning well into 2021. My sweet family had covid over the New Year, and I’m grateful God designed our bodies to heal!
    Are you a Charles Martin author fan, or Annie F Downs fellow podcaster fan? Her first interview with him in the new year, especially spot 18:15-20:20 is such beautiful imagery of the Father’s love for us! I wish it could be heard by all.
    Question 2: gosh you just relate to me on multiple levels, I for one think a Hawaiian retreat sounds fantastic – someday! Blessings my online friend as you continue to walk in the grace, faith, and gifts God has given to you. I always look forward my inbox emails from you.
    Katie Ray

  6. Dear Boy Mom! Love your last year blessings & thankfulness to the one who made it happen, Glory to Jesus. I’m always inspired after reading your blogs; one of my goals this new year to follow closer your work & comment more often, I’m Fairly new to Boy Mom, tan unto you in one of Wendy’s writing pieces if I’m not mistaken – I’m part of the 40day fast, my 2nd time 🙏🏼😊 I’ll answer to your 1.
    Transitioning full of Hope last year was simply rough, yet also full of joy in sweet areas; lost my job at the beginning of pandemic, had to learn to push kids to distant leaning, my 16yr. BOY had a beyond challenging yr. Him (character/games/discipline), my love child after my 16yr. Boy turned 1 year, yes I have a baby girl in my 40’s, though I was done but God’s love is sweet, He knows what we need 🥰, so much more in between, but lastly 12/30 I lost a love one in my homeland Honduras due to COVID, devastated to the fact of so much suffering, he was the rock of his family & im unable to travel & be put at risk (due to baby & my auto immune Illness) feel a bit uneasy & trapped. Transitioning this new year full of HOPE; my Daugther is doing a slide/short film about my mom this month to remember her in her 30yr. Anniversary since she pass (I was 11) I’m so excited & happy for this project, my 16yr. Boy got accepted to a military academy 🙏🏼 Prayer answer! God never leaves us & knows what we are in need of! Gathering a group of friends to help me intercede for his life, that God can radically change & mold him for His Glory (GOAL; read BOY MOM) be a better mom to my boy, this year my husband & I reach our 20yr. Anniversary of marriage – we need a revival in our marriage, Fire of love & vision together (cant fully explain – our union needs Jesus), I’m part time working from home, this might be the year that God opens my imagination and do a home business (I’m in the apparel development field, my dream own my own custom t-shirts business), continue to love on my girls (19 & 1yr), successfully complete this year 40day fast, getting closer to the lover of my soul! as you see if you read this far, I’m full of hope! Praying great things will happen this year 🙏🏼♥️

    1. Evelyn— YES TO HOPE in 2021!!! Thank you for sharing from your life — I read it all and I’m stopping to pray for you now. You are amazing and I hope you know that. Keep the faith as you press on in this new year. God sees your heart’s desires (all so good) and I pray you flourish in all that you set out to do! Happy New Year!!

  7. 1)e decided to end 2020 with a bang and my husband was diagnosed with an appendicitis 😳appendectomy surgery new years day- yay! 🤪😩 needed to say we are laying lot this 1st week off the new year. Being intentional this past year- with 1) my words, 2) my time, and 3) my focus is a goal I will continue to pursue here in B 2021.
    2) i started following your blog when it began. I’m right in step with you: i turned 50 last year and my kids are 19, 17, 15, and 13- except we have one girl. So as your content changed to reflect your life, that works for me.

    1. Kelly! Wow, appendicitis!! Happy New Year, right? 😫 You have been with me from the start!? WOW WOW WOW!! Thank you for your endurance, haha!! Big hugs to you and Happy New Year. Let’s keep doing this together!! 🙂

      1. Yes! Let’s! Happy 2021

  8. Thank you so much for your blog, your book, and your podcast. I have been a “follower” for several years. I really enjoyed your podcasts this past year! I too felt so blessed in 2020, and really loved most of it. God really took me “deeper” this year in many ways; my relationship with Him and with others including friends and my family grew so much. I am looking forward to more growth and deeper relationships in 2021.

    As far as future writing – there are so many areas that I continue to see the need for growth/change with my 3 boys (16, 12, and 6)… but right now I am really struggling with my 6 year old, so any advice or guidance where to turn would be helpful! I am struggling with him in a way that I don’t feel typical parenting books/blogs address… He isn’t hyper, he isn’t “all boy”, he doesn’t hit or fight physically… It’s his negativity and his “I am always right” attitude.
    I didn’t know a child this young could be so negative about everything. My older boys have always been best friends, doing most everything together, they are flexible, giving, generous, and enjoyable to be around and have conversations with… The youngest boy, is now getting older, but honestly he isn’t enjoyable to be around and his brothers really don’t like him. He is extremely intelligent (like oddly intelligent and very verbal, he has been speaking in complete sentences since he was a year old). He complains about everything, he is negative about everything, he disagrees with EVERYTHING you say or do, he is an absolute perfectionist and has terrible meltdowns if you correct him, or he thinks he has done something wrong, or thinks you are saying something that he perceives as correction. He alternates between being angry with you for disgreeing with him or correcting him and self-loathing (I should just die, I am a terrible child, etc).
    We have tried all sorts of methods of discipline and none seem to work… I really enjoyed listening to the podcast with David Thomas and have listened to his “all about boys” podcasts, but I would love more guidance specifically around this age and correcting a very negative attitude.
    … Sorry I wrote you a book 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Jessica! Thank you so much for your comment. Oh I hear your heart… in some ways my youngest reminds me of your son and I know we are not alone. Personality can vary so much between our kids and it can be both mysterious and frustrating! I’ll be pondering your situation and hope to address it more in a podcast episode (and definitely in future writing. :)) Thank you for all of your kind words. I am so happy to ‘know you’ here in this online community! Big hugs to you –

  9. No answers to your questions, but instead a grand thank you and congratulations on all the great content you have brought us! 10 years is no small thing! After ditching social media(FB) this last year I am grateful for your weekly email reminder of your blog and podcasts…plus the sharing of life pictures. We don’t “know” one another but you are one of my homeschool inspirations so it is encouraging for me to see your evolving journey. You sharing your thoughts are truly like having coffee with a friend in a time when that is in short supply. Keep up all the great work!

  10. Tania Kallish says:

    I am happy to transition to this new year. I feel like while 2020 was rough I learned so much. Being home with my two boys, while working and trying to help them home school (my husband is essential, a mail carrier, and wasn’t home during the day) taught me a lot more about each of their personalities and what they need. I also learned that I need to slow down, stop stressing as much. So, I hope to go into 2021 armed with this new knowledge and tackle the continuing challenge of virtual school, while working, with a much better, much calmer mindset.
    I would love to continue to hear from you on parenting boys in a Christian way. Sometimes it feels like the world tries to pull them away constantly. My current challenge is that with the church being virtual, and most youth activities on hold it’s been difficult to keep them connected. Happy New Year Monica to you and your family! I look forward to what you will be bringing us this year.

    1. Thank you, Tania! I really appreciate hearing from you and while I’m sorry you had a rough year, it sounds like you’ve grown from it and have such great perspective. I hear you on the challenges we are facing — and I do hope to continue to offer resources and ideas for facing things with confidence in the year ahead! Big hugs to you!!

  11. Monica-
    I first found your blog about seven years ago when missing Hawaii and searching for blogs to help me find a little aloha via the internet. I never expected to find such support and wisdom as a mom of boys. More than you could know, your blog has been an encouragement, a source of entertainment, a recipe book, and an overall happy little part of my day. I appreciate you and admire you! Congrats on ten years!
    To answer your questions:
    My goal for the year is to delight in the moments, big and small, and to help my children do the same. 2020 has certainly brought challenges, but we are healthy, employed, and connected. I want to truly find joy in the everyday life God provides for our family. I want to learn to ignore the “teen tone”. Correcting this tone leads to many arguments with my 13 y/o. Because most of life is delightful!
    Ideas for blog topics…. I love the topics you choose! Helping your teen find balance… Anything Hawaii… Advice for raising a competitive athlete… Tips for traveling w/ teens… Teens and finances… All things teens… Connecting with far-away family… Dates and girlfriend meet-up ideas that do not center around food…
    You are the best!

    1. Shannon — YOU are the best. Truly, I have felt like I know you for many years now. It is people like you that make me keep coming back and doing what I do. I adore you from a distance and maybe one day can hug you IRL. 😉 Thank you for the comment and I love your ideas! XO

      1. One day we will have coffee in Turtle Bay!

  12. Katie Fischer says:

    1. I’m looking forward to the new year. I turned 40 last year, and something about that number gave me confidence to complete goals. I’m ready to let go of excuses, pity parties and expectations and I want to begin to appreciate the life God gave me (despite the fact that it looks nothing like I would have expected. My dream is to write a book about our experience with adoption, foster care and special needs.
    2. I have loved all that you have written. Boy Mom spoke to me in ways that other books have not been able to. Right now, I think I am looking for encouragement as a mom and simple ways to connect with my boys. Ideas for discipline and character training would be awesome too; I can’t always think of things in the heat of the moment and my boys need things addressed immediately or they don’t remember why they are being disciplined.

    Thanks for all that you give to us boy moms! If you ever have a retreat, I am in! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Katie! I love this and I think you’re gonna rock it in 2021!! Big hugs to you!

    2. Katie! I LOVE your comment. You have so many awesome hopes and I believe you can and will do all you set your heart and mind to! I am thrilled that Boy Mom spoke to you in a special way. You are not alone in your parenting challenges– that is all so common! I hope to meet you at a retreat one day, but until then thank you for being a part of this community! XO

  13. I love ALL things, Monica Swanson. I am so thankful that I found your podcast in 2020! I enjoy listening to you on my neighborhood walks and have implemented so many of your ideas into parenting our two boys, who are 12 and 9.

    For 2021, I just started Wendy Speak’s 40 Day Sugar Fast (my fourth time) to break a long time chain and focus more on Jesus in my daily walk. Breaking the chain won’t be easy, but with a lot of support and prayer, I feel like it’s possible to keep if going after 40 days!!

    I have so many goals for 2020, but my biggest and most important is teach our boys to keep Jesus in their heart and to love BIG! As we are facing the “teen years” I feel it’s more important than ever!! I know your podcast will help support this goal of mine!

    Thank you, Monica, for blessing so many of us! You are truly a gift.

    1. Thank you so much for this awesome comment! big hugs and God bless you in 2021!! XO