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2015: A Year in Review

2015. What a year.

There were way too many broken things, hearts included, but an incredible amount of joy through time with family and celebrating milestones and sacraments. That sounds like most years. None of them are void of pain or of joy, we just have to pray through the suffering and lean into the beauty.

Every December, I take time to reflect on our life through the blog. This month marks eight great years of blogging. I’m no Big Mama, Pioneer Woman or Ann Voskamp, but that was never my intent. I kinda like being Kathryn.

TOP POSTS

The One Thing Every Parent Needs to Stop Doing
Sometimes the hard things need to be written

There's one thing every parent does. And we need to stop doing it.

{Before & After} The Guest Bath
Who knew toilet paper and paint could be so exciting?

This guest bathroom features neutral colors, a textured shower curtain and some unexpected pops of fancy, including a painted ceiling and faux wood floor tiles.

The One Thing I Wish People Would Stop Telling Me
Nothing sells like sex, evidently

People say it all the time. And I really wish they wouldn't.

Gamers Gonna Game Birthday Party
I do so love a good partyTime to get your game on. This video game birthday party has activities, creative (and tasty!) favor ideas and a rockin' dessert table.

A Family Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Y’all knew HP would crack the top ten some way!Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure? This post shares tips and ideas on how to tour Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley as a family. Ideas on which Ollivanders to visit, things to put on your "must-do" list and more! Wands at the ready!

How to Plan a Multi-Generational Vacation to Disney World
This 10-part series may have been one of my favorite favorite series to write, everPlanning a family vacation to Disney and Universal Orlando? This step-by-step post is full of ideas for touring plans, Disney themed clothes, snacks, character autograph books, packing suggestions, pin trading, Fast Pass information, photo suggestions and more! Take away the stress of planning and find the joy in planning a magical Disney vacation.

What We Wore to Disney
I know. I just can’t quit itPacking for Disney? This 7-Day guide to dressing for Disney shares practical tips, whether to make or buy your Disney clothes and some awesome links to some pretty fabulous stores. Time to get your Mickey ears on!

To My Friend Who is Grieving
This fall, our hearts were broken wide open with grief. This one comes straight from my soul, to you.To my friend who is grieving

The Day the Preemie Went to Kindergarten
While you have the tissues out, the photo on this post pretty much tells the storyfirst day_3301

Advent: You’re Doing it Wrong
Aren’t we all?Advent just started and you're already feeling stressed. Right?! Maybe we're all just doing it wrong. At least, that's what I think.

I loved how this top ten rounded out – motherhood, faith, DIY, parties and kids. That’s pretty much what you’ll find at Team Whitaker. There were several 2013 and 2014 posts that cracked the “official” top ten and here they are for your reading pleasure: A Brilliant Harry Potter Birthday, 7 Things I Wish People Knew About Prematurity, A Mom’s Letter to Her Teenage Son, HDYDI: Pack For Summer Camp and HDYDI: Make Lent 40 Days of Awesome.

TOP REFERRERS
My thanks to those of you who visited via Facebook, Pinterest, Blog Lovin’/Feedly, Mama Needs Coffee over at Catholic News Agency and the Jennifer Fulwiler Show on Sirius XM Radio. I’m deeply grateful to each of you who share what I write with your personal friends and family. The emails and kind messages I receive throughout the year keep making blogging fun.

It was a joy to be featured at Catholic News Agency and Patheos, too.

TOP SEARCH TERMS
These crack me up. Aside from the obvious team whitaker and harry potter birthday ideas, people landed here searching kids having sex (what?!), texas forever route (now we’re on the right track), how to set a first communion table (awww), i’m stressed quotes (join the club, sister) and my personal favorite, rockin’ mom birthday quotes.

ST. PINTEREST LOVE
This virtual pinboard has become one of my favorite social media channels. There is so much beauty and creativity there. It was fun to see these pins get some love, although I must admit this is my favorite board!

Pin it! https://www.pinterest.com/pin/266838346647887190/

Time to get your game on. This video game birthday party has activities, creative (and tasty!) favor ideas and a rockin' dessert table.

Pin it! https://www.pinterest.com/pin/266838346648489515/

Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure? This post shares tips and ideas on how to tour Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley as a family. Ideas on which Ollivanders to visit, things to put on your "must-do" list and more! Wands at the ready!

Pin it! https://www.pinterest.com/pin/266838346647440286/

Pregnancy is supposed to be easy, but sometimes your baby girl or baby boy ends up in the neonatal intensive care unit. Some friends and family think they understand what you’re going through, but here’s 7 things I wish people knew about prematurity, its effects on a family and how to help someone in the NICU.

2016: WHAT’S TO COME
I’ll still be sharing bits and bobs of how do you do it (HDYDI), week in my life and reflections on faith, motherhood, parties and organizing/DIY. It’s possible Sassy Kathryn will make a few more appearances.

You’ll benefit from a few fun giveaways from companies and people I love. I always consider it an honor to connect you with products I adore.

From a personal viewpoint, I’m going to do my darndest to get my knee back 100% after that nasty fall this summer. It’s been so much harder than I thought it would be. There’s a few pounds I’d like to shed and some lifestyle changes to make. You might see me writing in a few other places, tackling a big new project (more on that to come), debuting a new blog design, taking on a speaking gig here and there and maybe crashing Jen’s show. But, most importantly, I’m looking forward to living 2016 with a more merciful heart.

I would be remiss without sharing just how much I’ve come to sincerely appreciate your beautiful comments, your kind emails and your encouraging words. We’ve built a lovely community here and I love each and every part of it. Thanks for always supporting me. You da best.

Happy New Year. Let’s go say howdy to 2016!

4 Comments

  1. Claire in the UK on January 1, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Thank you Kathryn for letting us strangers from around the world share in you and your family’s life. You are an inspiration to us all.

    Wishing you and all your family a wonderful 2016.

    Claire

  2. Karen on January 3, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Yours was the first blog I found from CatholicMom when I began looking for more support as I sought to grow my faith and develop my vocation as a mom. Thank you!

  3. Nicole on January 5, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Happy New Year to you! Yours is one of my all-time favorite blogs. I only read a few on a regular basis. I love the honesty, heart, and spirit that come through in your posts. And as I welcome child #3 in just a few weeks, I am sure I will search your site archives for doses of clarity in those foggy newborn times. I look forward to seeing all you have to provide in 2016, too!

  4. Gina on January 5, 2016 at 9:51 am

    I LOVE your blogs, Kathryn! Yours is the only Blog I read, and I enjoy it so much! Nice to read about someone else who is real, and shares both ups and downs!

    Happy New Year, Dear ISU Friend!

    Love ya!

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