In my basement there are a few old shoe boxes. Within those boxes are the journals I kept from the time I was 10 years old. On a particularly heavy day last fall I felt the need once again to get my stories out somehow. My thirty-six year old carpal tunnel wrists don’t much like scribbling with pencils anymore. I also wanted more than a book I would store in my basement, only to pull out and reminisce over once every five years. So I started a blog.
Looking back after a year, I am proud of where it has gone. Mostly, I appreciate every person who has taken the time to read what I write. I am thankful for your enthusiasm, support, challenges, thoughts, advice, and respect.
This blog has led me to new friendships with people all over the world. I am in awe of the number of people in different countries that accessed the blog this year (whether on purpose or by mistake!).
In total over its first year, the blog has had 24,710 hits. The best views ever in one day was December 4, 2014 with 1,835 views.
The blog has also led to some neat publishing opportunities: one is a book in the works called Mama Said that will include one of my articles. The other site where I am proud to have an author page is The Mighty. I have had three articles published there, and hope to have more. They are a great power for increasing acceptance and understanding for people with differences (which is all of us, really).
Another interesting part of the blog experience is the search terms people use to arrive at my site. Mostly it is accidental, but if the search terms appear in my blog stats, it means someone clicked on my blog from their search results. As entertaining as enlightening, the most common or notable search terms from the past year were:
- club foot before and after
- sorry messages to send for missing a friends wedding
- will a pediatrician know if a baby has down syndrome at birth
- termination for down syndrome at 41
- can clubfoot come back
- blog down syndrome family
- sibling and parent child relationships in praying with lior documentary
- newborns being put in nicu unnecessarily
- how can i deal with jealousy over my friends not having a child with down syndrome
- do not judge those who terminate for down syndrome
- receptive and expressive language development chart
- telling the mom of down syndrome kid that she should have had an abortion
- the sad truth of down syndrome
- speech language development poster
- false positive maternit21
- premonition about down syndrome
In terms of number of views (many influenced by the above search terms), the top 10 posts and pages from the past year are:
- Bye Bye “Talker” (for now)
- I’m so sorry I missed the wedding.
- Holiday Joy–what a difference a year makes!
- What They’re Missing
- The “Down syndrome disconnect”
- The dual diagnosis merry-go-round (private)
- Waxing Philosophical: musings about prenatal genetic testing
- A healthy dose of Mommy Guilt (private)
- The Post-Birth Experience: expectations vs. reality
The hardest part of blogging is not the time commitment or the writing. For me, the hardest part is getting over the fear. Fear of putting yourself out there. Fear of ruffling feathers (which I am fully aware that I do). Fear of making grammatical mistakes. Fear of negative comments. Fear that no one will read what I write.
That’s where the thanks comes in. If you have read this far, then you are especially deserving of my thanks. If you have ever commented on or shared a post, either from here or from my blog facebook page, you have given me the greatest gift as a blogger. My hope is always for my writing to reach someone–to make one person feel like they are not alone. And in sharing or talking about for Elysium, you readers help me do that. Thanks for a terrific year.