Happy New Year!!!!
And also: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to this BLOG! We just turned TEN, and that makes me a feel a little like…
A LOT has happened in ten years! A lot of hard work…a few years wondering what the heck I was doing/where I was going…(nearly quitting)…Some highs, some lows, and more hard work. But also tons of blessings and fun along the way.
Now, if I had more forethought…time/energy, I might have put together something really special for the occasion. You know, a slide-show or a commemorative t-shirt, or something. 🤷♀️ But, I am just coming off a healthy break from social media (and work in general – as much as I was able,) and it’s taking all I’ve got just to re-enter the blogosphere. I’ve still got a house full of boys/men, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it until the two college boys head back to California next weekend.
But I am happy to take a hot second to celebrate the blogiversary. After all THIS is where it all began!! I know a few of you have been with me since almost the very beginning…And my heart is so full of gratitude for the journey we’ve been on together! Thank you!
I know that 2020 was downright rough in so many ways, and I can’t say enough how sorry I am for those of you who have suffered in real ways due to the Pandemic (not to mention other challenges of 2020.) You are in my prayers. I do feel like this world has changed in the last year, and I wonder if things will ever really feel the same again. (I kind of don’t think so. 😢) However, besides some inconveniences (cancelled travel and speaking engagements, college campus shut-downs, and
the joy of mask-wearing with glasses 🤓 😷 ) I’d say our family has not suffered too much this last year. In fact, I hope it’s ok to say that in many ways 2020 was a really good year for us. (Please don’t hold it against us.)
Some of my life/work highlights: I had way more family time than I could dream of for this sweet season of parenting. I launched 3 online courses (the Character Training Course, The Raising Tech-Smart Kids Mini-course, and a homeschool inspiration and resource course – more on all three below!) This stretched me in a big way, but I’m so happy with how they all turned out! I released 52 podcast episodes with nearly 400,000 downloads and well over 500 podcast reviews! I made it through the most awkward stage of growing out my bangs, and it has not been nearly as painful as I had imagined. 🙈 My family (mostly) gave up meat. I learned to cook tofu 20 different ways (my new air fryer wins!) and I’m enjoying getting creative with vegetables and beans. We did a lot of house projects and began making plans for some bigger ones ahead. (yay!) Dave planted heaps of fruit trees. And…we BOTH turned 50! I also officially started taking Levi through the Character Training Course (gulp) and finally got my dream coffee machine. (because character training and coffee are a good pair.) Dave helped a lot of people in the hospital, (bless the frontline workers!) and we have all stayed healthy…🙌🏼
I’d say that’s a pretty solid year… Thank you God for every blessing! — Even those that felt more like a challenge than a blessing in the moment.
I hope that in the midst of kissing 2020 goodbye — perhaps with gusto, you, too, can look back and treasure some good from the last year as well. (I hope you’ll share one or two in comments below!)
For the new year I typically like to highlight a few fun stats…and talk about hopes and dreams for my writing in the New Year. I haven’t dug in to share a lot, but this I do know…
Most read Blog Posts of 2020:
(if you’ve missed any, feel free to click through and have a look!)
What a Teenage Boy Needs Most from his Mom (some things never change…haha.)
ALSO: The Boy Mom 5-Day Devotional on the Bible App. has continued to be quite popular!
Over the summer I joined the Christian Parenting Podcast Network which has been a huge blessing! (I now have a real editor and producer, which means Jonah and I get a little break!) I love what CP is all about and am proud to be on their team!
BOY MOM continues to make it into the hands of more amazing moms around the world (sales are as strong now as they were at the beginning…I’m so grateful.) There are nearly 600 Amazon reviews and it is currently being translated into German!- Who knows what is next!…Most importantly, I want to cry with joy every time I get a message from a book reader who is inspired to raise her son(s) with love and intentionality because she read my book! 🙏🏼 😭
So: What’s ahead in 2021?
While 2020 was not all bad for me, it indeed did shake and shape my perspective. One thing it taught me was to hold loosely to plans, and to live in the present a whole lot more. It also reinforced for me that my family is my absolute greatest gift, and I must steward it well. With that in mind, I am excited about some dreams and goals, but taking it all very much: one…day…at…a…time… ❤️
The Boy Mom Podcast is going strong and I am so excited for a lot of great guests and topics planned for this year! I have felt like such a newbie in the podcast world, but as I always say “You have to be bad at something before you get good at it!” I truly enjoy it so much, and I feel like I’m starting to get my stride. My podcast community is growing every month and I am so honored that so many of you keep tuning in. (thank you!)
ON COURSES: I will be launching the Character Training Course again soon (I think early February but be SURE to leave you name on the course interest list so you don’t miss the announcement!) I will also offer the Raising Tech-Smart Kids mini course this spring, though dates are yet to be determined. I am considering putting the Homeschool Inspiration and Resource mini-course on the blog so people can get that as they need it (because sometimes homeschooling comes up when you least expect it — right 2020?!)
And now in the New Year, after all of the work creating my courses last year…I am excited to be back to MORE WRITING!!…Hopefully I’ll have more to share on that in the coming months. But for now, it even feels good to be back here on the blog!
Beyond that, I will keep showing up on Instagram and Facebook, sharing our honest-every-day life in a way that I hope inspires and blesses you. Especially as you realize how honest-every-day we really are. 😉. I’ll also be putting together my regular Tuesday Emails to my awesome Tribe of subscribers! (if you’re not on it yet– Sign up to join my email list here.) While I keep the emails short and sweet, I try to make them worth opening every single week.
Now: Finally… I’ll wrap this up with a big Swanson Holiday photo dump, compliments of my son Josiah, (and my iPhone. )
That time Saturn and Jupiter did that thing… ^^ #conjunction junction. 😉
^^^ A real-life MOONBOW! 😯
Our little house in the country…Christmas edition:
I love that Christmas is still magical for this sweet 10 year old…
^^ My personal favorite. I titled this one “The forced awkward Christmas pose — pet edition.”
Something about boys and fire..
A New Years’ Day hike…
And a New Year’s day photo complete with Thor, and my parents! 🙂
COMMENT, WOULD YOU? I’ll send a COPY OF BOY MOM to 4 commenters!!
I’d love love love to hear from you on either, or both of these things:
1. How you’re doing as you transition from the old year to the new one…goals? Dreams? Things you are ready to let go of, or begin….? and…
2. How can I best serve YOU in the New Year? What would you like to see more of? Topics for the Podcast? A book you think I should write? 😉 Invite you to Hawaii for a retreat? (ok, the world has to open up first, but…we can dream, right!?) Anything goes!
I’ll choose winner and reach out to you by next week, Tuesday, (the 12th!)
Thank you so much for allowing me the joy of sharing these annual update posts with you. I hope you sense my genuine gratitude and humility for all God has done and this community He has blessed me with. I adore you all!
With Aloha 🌺,
PS The annual 40-Day Sugar Fast group, led by my friend Wendy Speake, launched MONDAY! This has become a great movement every year…and if you haven’t joined it yet, I need to warn you – IT IS LIFE CHANGING! (even way beyond the physical part!) if you are feeling so led, JOIN WENDY AND THE SUGAR FAST CREW HERE!