Monday, January 23, 2017

#WhyIMarch(ed)


This past weekend, I participated in the Women's March on Washington's sister march in Cincinnati. Obviously, I would have loved to be in DC where the action was, but with two little guys who need their Mama, it just wasn't realistic. So a couple of my friends and I piled into a minivan, I strapped Crosby to my chest and away we marched. The day before the march, the Facebook event said approximately 6,000 participants were expected. Obviously, there's no way to pinpoint an exact number, but some estimated shows appoximately 12,000-14,000 in attendance. My group and I were toward the front of the march and as we completed the 1.5 mile loop, some participants were only just starting. It was crazy! Nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands in DC, LA, and Chicago, but more than enough for me.


Although my husband expressed interest in attending, I was apprehensive about bringing Charlie and was glad I didn't. It was a LOT of people. That being said, it was the most harmonious, unified, and peaceful protest I've experienced. It was very family-friendly and I witnessed several other Mommies with their babies strapped to their chests, as well as a lot more men than I was anticipating. We stood in Washington Park and listened to several speakers representing organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, and the Cincinnati Islamic Center (as well as locally elected officials, an organization for disability rights, worker's rights and a few others that I'm forgetting). Once the march began, there were chants of "Love trumps hate" and "This is what democracy looks like." It filled me with such hope to be in solidarity which such a large group of people fighting for equality and justice in this country.


Prior to the event, people who were planning to march used the hashtag #WhyIMarch to explain their reasons for choosing to participate. I had my own reasons.

1. Because I am a sexual assault survivor who believes that no person should be victimized because of their gender.

2. Because I am raising two sweet boys who will be taught to fully understand what consent means.

3. Because I want to stand in solidarity with my Muslim sisters, my black sisters, my native sisters, and my Latina sisters who have been told that they don't belong. They do.

4. Because I want to protest an administration that openly discriminates against and objectifies half of the citizens it has sworn to protect.

5. Because I want to look back in 10, 20, 30+ years and know that I was on the right side of history.

6. Because I want to be an example for two impressionable children who will no longer be able to look up to the President as a model of decent, gracious, and kind behavior.

7. Because I believe that a woman's body belongs to her and her only.



It has since been reported that approximately 2.5 million people turned out worldwide for this event and I am so glad I can say that I was a part of this movement. However, I was also convicted by a friend who posted that this movement was primarily white women and it was now up to us to fight alongside women of color in their fight for equality.

Smashing the patriarchy is exhausting.


Did you march? What was your experience?

Friday, January 20, 2017

On Inauguration Day


I was thinking about the post I wrote eight years ago when I listened to President Obama's inauguration and the post I wrote four years ago when President Obama was re-elected. Thinking about them both fills me with a deep sense of sadness. To me, this isn't about bipartisan politics. It's about a huge blow to the dignity and integrity of our democracy and the position of Commander-in-Chief. It seems that every day when I think President-elect Trump can't stoop lower, appear more ignorant, or be more offensive, he finds a way to top himself.

I feel the need to state that this isn't a post I want to write. But it's a post that I feel that I should write. I want to lay out my hopes and fears for the next four years and look back in 2020 and be pleasantly surprised that I was proved wrong. I hope to God I am wrong.

  • I fear that President-elect Trump's thin skin and unfiltered mouth will damage our relationships with other countries, our reputation in the world, and put us at greater risk of international conflict.
  • I hope that by some miracle, perhaps President-elect Trump will improve diplomatic relations with Russia which will help put an end to the conflict in Syria and save countless lives.
  • I fear that Trump's economic policies will undo all the work President Obama did to lift us out of the recession and that quitting my job to stay home will have been a big mistake. 
  • I hope that the uprising of love I see in my own circle of friends and larger community will overcome and drown out the hate motivated by Trump's rhetoric.
  • I fear that President-elect Trump will cave to the peer pressure of his fellow Republicans and make significant cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid which will majorly impact my parents and other hardworking Baby Boomers who have paid into these systems for decades.
  • I hope that the Obama family will remain at the forefront in the fight for civil rights, social justice, and economic reform.
If I'm being honest, this list is incredibly abbreviated and could go on for far longer, but right now I don't have as many hopes to counterbalance the fears which is sad, scary, and upsetting. The silver lining of this entire election cycle has been the fire I've witnessed within my circle of women. Recently, some of us decided to meet monthly to discuss how we may be more politically active, but mostly how we can take it upon ourselves to bring more light and love into the world, To be a part of this group of women is such a blessing and gives me such hope on days when I would much rather cave into despair.


Be the light, friends. Be the love. It's on us now. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

New Year, New Me: A Reintroduction


In talking about my 2017 goals I mentioned that I don't believe in New Years' resolutions, but I get why people like the idea of a clean slate. I've gained a handful of new followers over the last few weeks and have obviously gone through some pretty big life changes, so I thought I would do a "reintroduction" post of sorts. I always enjoy reading these kinds of posts when other bloggers share them, so why not?!


  • My name is Kaity. Middle name, Best. When I got married, I had some reservations about changing my name, so I dropped my middle name and took my maiden name as my middle name. The weird part is that the federal government allowed the change, but my state did not. So my license now reads all four names. People at the checkout counter get so confused when I present my ID.
  • I'm 28 years old, going on 29 in just a few months. I'm not afraid of aging or turning 30, but I must admit 30 feels so old. When I was younger, I just assumed I would be a full-fledged adult and have my shit figured out by 30, which is so not the case.
  • For the last three years, I worked at a food bank. My position was in charge of coordinating all of the food bank's produce programs for a 20-county area. This may not sound that impressive, but our food bank distributed approximately 36 million pounds of produce annually. So yeah, I was busy and I loved it.
  • Despite the fact that I adored my job, I left at the end of November to become a full-time Mom. The change has been unnerving at times, but for reasons that I won't go into right now I know it's the best one for our family. 
  • Which reminds me- I haven't yet mentioned my babies! I'm the proud boy mom to Charlie who turned two the day after Christmas and Crosby who was born on Labor Day of this year. Apparently, I like those holiday babies! I've never been a "kid person," so it's surprised me how well I've taken to motherhood. My boys are truly the loves of my life.
  • Their Dad is pretty cool, too. Chuck and I got married on September 2, 2012 at our friend's farm in a beautiful rainbow-themed wedding. He works in sales and in his spare time he loves watching movies, playing disc golf, and occasionally performing live with his brothers on the drums. He has an amazing work ethic, is the most loyal person I've ever met and a recent Hogwarts house hybrid quiz determined that he's a Huffledor (Hufflepuff/Gryffindor) which couldn't describe his personality any better.
  • In my spare time I'm reading or...yeah, that's pretty much it. I'm a huge bookworm and only live 2 blocks away from our library so the boys and I visit at least once per week. I try to be active which generally amounts to a lot of walking around our little town. I used to run once upon a time and hope to eventually train for a half marathon.
  • Some fun facts about me: I studied abroad in Uganda my junior year of college and got to bungee jump over the Nile River which is pretty much my most badass claim to fame. I once slept on the sidewalk of the U.S. Supreme Court to get in to hear the oral argument for Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. I was a vegetarian for five years, before I got lazy and didn't feel like cooking separate meals for my husband.



That about sums up life around these parts. Next time, I do this, I'm going to have to make myself sound more interesting. Ha!

> > >

So, welcome newbies and welcome back to those of you who've managed to stick around. Say hello and tell me a fun fact about yourself! 

Monday, January 16, 2017

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me about Postpartum Sex




I distinctly remember the moment it all began. I was laying on that crunchy paper, my midwife had just completed her physical examination, and she hit me with- "So have you attempted intercourse yet?". I bust out laughing, noted the serious expression on her face, and realized she was not actually joking. It was my 6-week postpartum visit after the birth of my first son and the idea of having sex again after going through childbirth downright terrified me.

...continue reading over on Dayton Moms Blog!


Monday, January 9, 2017

CROSBY | 4 Months


STAY-AT-HOME MOTHERHOOD
I already feel so much more comfortable and content in this role than I did a month ago. I have some professional projects and potential opportunities in the works, so fingers crossed that I can continue to use this brain for something other than figuring out how to switch between our DVD player and Amazon Fire Stick so that Charlie can watch Frozen for the umpteenth time.

BREASTFEEDING
No real change here. Crosby still wakes up 3-4 times/night to eat which is a bummer for someone who requires a full 8 hours to function in life. I read a little bit about sleep training, but the thing is- he doesn't have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, he's just always hungry! I wonder if it's because my breastmilk maybe isn't as fatty or calorie-laden as other women's? Is that a thing?

BABY FAT
I got down to my lowest weight since college and then the holidays happened. Now that they're over and done, we're back to not eating snacks and sweets. Couple that with chasing Crosby's older brother around and the weight is practically melting off! Haha

As for Crosby...

Those chubby thighs!!!



LIFE
It really is amazing how two babies can be so different. Charlie was pretty independent, even as a baby while Crosby quite literally wants to be held all the time. As someone whose love language is not physical touch, this has been tough for me. I want to be able to set him down to be productive and accomplish things around the house and he is not having it. I've finally resigned myself to the fact that I need to stop being the Mom I want to be, and start being the Mom Crosby needs me to be. Plus, I know there will come a day when he won't want my snugs. My days have become a lot less productive, but a lot more cuddle-filled and my sweet boy is happier for it.

MILESTONES
He rolled over!!! Another huge difference between the boys is that Crosby loves tummy time. He's constantly got his head up and looking around, so I've been putting him on our bed with a few toys and he loves it. He's also been chatting up a storm. The volume level in our home has increased significantly this month as he's started playing with his voice. 

STATS
He had his 4-month appointment on Friday where he weighed in at 14 lbs 10 oz. Size-wise, he's in the awkward stage of being too big for 3-month clothing and too small for 6-months so he's been wearing some combination of both. He's also in Size 2 diapers. I was trying to stretch the stock of Size 1's I had for as long as I could, but he has long outgrown them so we ended up donating the unused diapers to our local homeless shelter.

> > > 

Happy 4 months, Crosby Loren! Can't wait to see what surprises you have in store with us this month!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

17 Goals for 2017


I admit, I am a New Years' resolution nay-sayer. My theory is this: if you can't resolve to do something at another time during the year, what makes you think you'll be successful on January 1? I think any goal worth committing to needs more motivation and incentive behind it than the beginning of a calendar year. Which I realize sounds completely cynical, but it's honest.

That being said, I do believe in goal-setting and there are things I'd like to see happen for myself in 2017. (Does that sound completely contradictory?)

PROFESSIONAL
Because although I am doing the SAHM thing, I'm still an ambitious person and strive to use this time to build skills and commit to projects and opportunities that I haven't had time for in the past.

  1. Submit a grant proposal. This is also one of my 30 Before 30 goals. I've never done any grant writing in the past. However, the fact that I love to write and that I want to further my career in the nonprofit world makes this goal a no-brainer. What better way to combine my two passions than grant writing? I have some friends that work and volunteer for local non-profits, so I'm hoping to use those relationships to work my way in and do some volunteer grant writing to get some practice and build my portfolio. 
  2. Continue working with my former employer. I'm not exactly sure what this will look like just yet. However, there was some discussion before I left of me doing some temporary work when a co-worker goes on medical leave. There also may be opportunities for me to do some consulting, so fingers crossed that this works out! 
  3. Apply for Advocacy Corps. Advocacy Corps is a program of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Although I have my degree in Political Science, I've never done any kind of lobbying or political organizing so this part-time role could be an amazing opportunity for me (if I get in!). I'm currently working on my application, so keep your fingers crossed!
READING
I already mentioned my reading goals for 2017, but for the sake of having them all in one place (and because I don't expect that people read every single one of my book posts...), here they are again.



  1. Read 52 books in the year. This averages to a book a week, which is definitely a stretch, but I read 60 books in 2016 so I think I can pull it off.
  2. Hit the pause button on reading challenges. I am hardcore addicted to reading challenges (as you may have noticed), but seeing that they caused me to read several books that I didn't enjoy has forced me to reevaluate. I like that they force me outside my reading comfort zone. But I also really don't see the point in reading books that I don't enjoy. I'm not swearing them off for good because they're great motivation to skip Netflix and opt for a book instead. But I want to focus on only reading books that I want to, and not because I feel obligated to. 
FINANCIAL
Now that our household is down to one income and I'm more closely monitoring our budgeting and spending, I want to get more serious about the financial goals that we've shrugged off the past few years.
  1. Pay off a credit card. Obviously I would love if we could pay off more debt than just one credit card, but since money is tight, I would be content with just one less monthly bill to pay. 
  2. Open up college savings accounts for the boys. I still haven't even opened one up for Charlie, so this should happen sooner rather than later. 
BLOGGING
I've long since given up on growing my blog. I don't have the know-how nor the desire to do all the work required to gain a huge following. That being said, I don't want to stop improving as a blogger, or writer so I do have some blogging goals.
  1. Publish at least 3 posts per week. I really hope to become better at publishing content more regularly. When I was working full-time, I was lucky if I published a post a week. Now that I'm home all the time, I'll have more opportunity to write.
  2. Have one of my DMB posts garner more than 1,000 pageviews. In July, I started writing for Dayton Moms Blog. In October, my post Why We Chose Not to Share Our Baby's Name received 971 pageviews- just shy of 1,000. I've absolutely loved writing for DMB. It's forced me to write more thoughtful content and I really do think it's helping me to improve as a writer. I would love to see DMB's readership continue to grow and for one of my posts to get at least 1,000 pageviews in a month!

HEALTH
Currently, I actually weigh less than my pre-pregnancy weight, but I'm not in great shape. I want to find a realistic way to balance getting my fitness on with the sheer exhaustion of keeping these humans of mine alive.


  1. Do the splits. Yep, one hundred years ago I was a high school cheerleader who could do the splits. I now can't touch my toes. So that feels awesome. Setting a goal to do the splits feels like a tangible goal I can work toward that's more specific than "improve my flexibility."
  2. Run 13 miles. Since we're pinching pennies, paying to run a half marathon doesn't rank on the top of my priorities (even though I would love to do one eventually). So if I can get back into good enough shape to run 13 miles independently, that would make me more than happy!
  3. Hit my goal weight. I've been using my Fitbit to track my weight loss. Weight loss isn't as important to me as just generally being more toned and in better shape, but I wouldn't hate it if I could shed about five more pounds.
HOME
We've lived in our house for nearly a year and a half and it's ever so slowly coming together but there are a million and one things I'd like to do to make it more of a home. I have some really fun ideas (posts to come!). I'm doing things little by little as I have the time, and money for home improvement stuff and decor.


  1. Convert basement into playroom. I have a really fun vision for our awkward semi-finished basement that involves chalkboard paint and foam flooring!
  2. Finish painting and designing upstairs bedroom. So far, I've already removed an ugly light fixture and wallpaper border. I plan to remove some paneling, prime and paint all the walls, turn the fireplace into a chalkboard, and eventually install a window (because weirdly, there is no window in the room).
  3. Plant a backyard garden. This past summer was the first summer in our house and I was hugely pregnant, so obviously that didn't happen. But I now feel like Charlie will be a perfect age to love getting dirty and watching our seeds turn into tomatoes, peppers, and onions. I can't wait!
MARRIAGE
After two kiddos, there is zero time for romance. Period. On our last anniversary date, both my hubby and I committed to one date night per month and haven't been great with you know, having a kid and all.


  1. Go on monthly dates. The key here is getting out of the house. Because time spent together at home binge-watching The Office does not count as a date. This means there needs to be a change of location, I need to be wearing makeup, and it needs to be just the two of us.
  2. Take a weekend getaway for our fifth anniversary. Every year we say we're going to get out of town to celebrate our anniversary, and without fail, every year as the day comes closer, we push it off and don't do it. Since 5 is a nice round number, it's happening!
> > >

What are your goals for 2017?




Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My 2016 in Books (and 2017 Goals)


Last week, Kristen shared her Best (and worst) books of 2016 and I loved the format that she used to track her reading stats. So with her permission, I'm stealing borrowing her idea and looking at my 2016 in books:

Last year, I finished 66 total books - 6 cookbooks = 60 books read in 2016.




25% audiobooks (15)
27% ebooks (16)
48% hardcover & paperbacks (29)

I feel like the audiobook percentage is a little high because I borrowed The Chronicles of Narnia from my mother-in-law which is a 7-book series. I only listen to audiobooks in the car, but I just so happened to do a ton of driving this year (my hour-long work commute, driving across the state for site visits and trainings, and then a few long trips to visit family and friends on the East Coast). I've always been very opposed to e-books, up until this past year. I have the iPhone 6s Plus which is perfect for using my Kindle app. Between lots of late night feedings and the desire to review new books through NetGalley, I read an uncharacteristic amount of e-books this year. 

28% were male authors, 72% were female.
I pretty much stick to female authors the majority of the time. Partly because I intentionally seek out female authors, but mostly because I don't read a lot of male-heavy genres like thrillers, fantasy, mysteries, etc. Once again, I feel like this number is a little skewed by The Chronicles of Narnia (written by a man, C.S. Lewis). 


52% were from the library, 48% were pre-owned, borrowed from someone, or received through NetGalley. 
It's actually kind of crazy that my library percentage isn't higher because pretty much all books I read are through my local library. I would say The Chronicles of Narnia + all my NetGalley books for review are the reason for this.

33% were nonfiction.
I really enjoy celebrity memoirs (Amy Schumer, Trevor Noah, Kristin Chenoweth) and inspirational/Christian nonfiction (Shauna Niequist, Rachel Held Evans, Glennon Doyle Melton) so this category is pretty unsurprising. 

Star rating breakdown:
★★★- 23%
★★★★- 33%
★★★ - 31%
★★ - 11%
★ - 2% 


I do enjoy a good 4-star rating, but I have a ton more 1, 2, and 3 star ratings this year than I've had in prior years. I think this is because my standards are higher and I've gotten a bit more brutally honest when a book disappoints me. I also think it could be in part that I've participated in so many reading challenges this year. I read a lot of books that I would usually never choose or were in genres I don't prefer. I like broadening my horizons and reading outside my comfort zone, but I tend to rate books lower in genres I don't enjoy (duh). 

The first book I read: Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #3) by Ransom Riggs
The last book I read: The Mothers by Brit Bennett




Longest book: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling 
Shortest book: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling





Favorites
I already posted my 10 Best Reads in 2016, but here's a quick rundown:
Cravings by Chrissy Teigen
A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay




The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer



The Royal We by Heather Cocks
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton



             
Duds
The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
Falling by Jane Green
Women are Scary by Melanie Dale




> > >

With that in mind, I'm also setting some personal reading goals for 2017. 

My first goal is to read 52 books in the year. This averages to a book a week, which is definitely a stretch, but I read 60 books in 2016 so I think I can pull it off.

My second goal is to hit the pause button on reading challenges. I am hardcore addicted to reading challenges (as you may have noticed), but seeing that they caused me to read several books that I didn't enjoy has forced me to reevaluate. I like that they force me outside my reading comfort zone. But I also really don't see the point in reading books that I don't enjoy. I'm not swearing them off for good because they're great motivation to skip Netflix and opt for a book instead. But I want to focus on only reading books that I want to, and not because I feel obligated to. 

What are your 2017 reading goals?


Monday, January 2, 2017

How I Cut My Food Budget in Half



My husband and I had just had our second baby and my maternity leave was winding down. The months I had for maternity leave dwindled down to weeks and I was feeling the same nausea-inducing anxiety about leaving my babies to go back to work as I did the first time around. This time was different, though. My husband was at a job where he was making better money than he did with our first baby, and this time our childcare expenses were going to be twice as much. Couple that with the fact that my commute was an hour long which meant even more time away with my children and an outrageous gas bill, and I began to seriously doubt whether it made sense for me to return to work as I had originally planned; even if it was a job I loved.

...read the rest at Dayton Moms Blog!


Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 | Year in Review


I must be feeling oddly nostalgic because it feels like every other post I've written this month is some kind of year-end recap. First, I wrote about my favorite bloggers. Second, I wrote about my favorite reads. Yesterday, I wrote about my most popular and my personal favorite blog posts for the year.

However, I feel like I can't let the year end without taking some time to reflect on life in 2016. 

JANUARY



We found out we were expecting Baby #2! Though we weren't not trying, we weren't expecting to get pregnant so it was a bit of a shock. I had pretty bad morning sickness, so I didn't do much but rest and try not to throw up this month.

FEBRUARY



Charlie's cousin twin, Lucie (they were born 6 weeks apart) turned 1! We had our first doctor's appointment to confirm our pregnancy and made the official announcement the day before Valentine's Day (because I just couldn't wait any longer!). I hosted a Galentine's Day brunch and managed to take zero pictures of our awesome lady gathering. I also did something I've always wanted to do- met a blogger friend in real life! Jenn and I took our boys (who are only 2 days apart in age) out for breakfast. 

MARCH



March was another month plagued by morning sickness, so not much worth noting occurred. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the Ohio primaries and we celebrated Charlie's second Easter with family.

APRIL



Jenn and I got our boys together for a play date. We found out Baby #2's gender! After months of speculating that we were having a girl, we discovered I was about to become a #boymom times two! Chuck celebrated a birthday (though for some reason I have no photographic evidence of the surprise family brunch I planned) and I turned 28 a week later. We drove up to New York to spend a long weekend with my family and had a Mommy/Daddy date night.

MAY



In May, we started trying out Blue Apron deliveries and grew to love them. I drove to NY again for my sister's graduate school graduation. It was the longest amount of time I'd ever spent away from Charlie and though my sister and I had an awesome time together, I was ready to come home to my baby boy! On the drive back, I managed to meet up with my high school best friend who was also in NY for her sister's wedding. We had a much too short breakfast together before we had to go our separate ways, but it was such a blessing getting to see her at all since we now live 4 states apart. 

JUNE



I was pretty much on the road 24/7 doing site visits and trainings for work. I made my first East Coast-road trip in what felt like decades to meet up with my college besties for a girls' weekend. I ate pizza, stopped by Wawa and spent a day on the Jersey shore. It was everything my newly Midwestern heart could have asked for. My sister moved in with us while she was job hunting to be a live-in Nanny for Charlie. My Mom came into town the last weekend and managed to pull off a surprise baby shower. 

JULY



We spent a weekend with Chuck's aunt and uncle and started getting the house ready for the new baby. I joined the Dayton Moms Blog team as a Contributor. I was fat and hot so that was pretty much it.

AUGUST



We prepared for baby to be born at the end of the month. I took my maternity leave a week early so I could spend some quality time with Charlie. 

SEPTEMBER



Crosby decided to be born 8 days after his due date. While we waited, Chuck and I went on two date nights to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. My Mom stayed with us for a week to help. She wound up barely getting to see our newborn grandson before she had to return home. After Chuck returned to work, and our family members departed, I was on my own with two baby boys! At the end of the month, we attended our friends' wedding and had a few hours away from the boys. 

OCTOBER



My sister came into town to meet her new nephew and we got matching sister tattoos together. On a whim, I decided to take advantage of the time left I had on maternity leave to drive to North Carolina by myself with a 22-month old and 6-week old to visit my high school bestie. A 25-hour round trip drive with babies was not ideal, but I figured I could go crazy at home by myself, or go crazy and be with my best friend whom I never get to see for a few days. I coordinated our family's adorable costumes and we went trick-or-treating downtown, followed by passing out candy at our friends' house who live two doors down. I made the impossible decision to quit my job and submitted my letter of resignation. 

NOVEMBER



We started regularly attending our local Friends' meeting (aka: a Quaker church). I cried for 48 hours straight after the Presidential election and then got side-swiped while driving on the highway. My Mom came to visit for a weekend. I returned to work for 3 weeks to tie up loose ends before saying by tearful goodbye. My sister spent Thanksgiving weekend with us. Charlie was sick the entire weekend so we stayed in and watched Friends while Chuck brought us leftovers from his family's Thanksgiving. My Dad was hospitalized after a mild heart attack.

DECEMBER



I hosted a ladies' book and Christmas cookie exchange (and once again, took no pictures). I got to see The Nutcracker as part of a Dayton Moms Blog sponsored post. We had an early Christmas with Chuck's family and then attended our friends' annual themed birthday party. Chuck got rear-ended two days before we were set to leave (boo!). We traveled up to New York once again for Christmas with my family. where my Dad (who was home from the hospital) and step-dad got to meet Crosby for the first time. Charlie celebrated his second birthday with bounce houses, balloons, and eating his cake like a little piglet! 

> > >

I get why people are ragging on 2016- it was rough on all of us. There were some definite low points for me, but overall, I got to spend a ton of time with loved ones and welcomed a beautiful, little boy into the world, so I'm not ready to write off 2016 just yet. 

As the New Year approaches, I will be praying for new opportunities for growth and professional development. For opportunities to pay down debt and become more financially secure. For blessed time spent with friends and family. But most of all, for the health and happiness of my little family- they are my most (bee)autiful blessing.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Favorites and Popular Posts


I feel the need to differentiate between my favorite posts (as in, the ones that aren't book or baby updates, but the few occasions when I actually sat down to write something real about things happening in my life or the world) versus my most popular posts which are the ones that received the most pageviews this year. I didn't include guest posts (though none of them were in the top 10) and I indicated which of the most popular posts was also a personal favorite with an asterisk.

Most Popular Posts vs. My Favorites




10. 12 Months as Mommy vs. 30 Before 30 | 1 Year Check-In | I'm confused about why Charlie's 12-Month update was more popular than any other month?  My bucket list check-in won't be winning any literary prizes by any means, but I loved that I could track the progress I made in the last year. It was better than I was expecting! 
9. Crosby's Birth Story*  vs. A Week in Tears | I'm kind of irrationally upset that Crosby's birth story wasn't higher on the list- who doesn't love a good birth story?! I wrote "A Week in Tears" as a kind of stream-of-consiousness way of sorting out my thoughts about the election. I got some positive feedback on it from some people in my personal life and wasn't expecting it to resonate with people as much as it did.
I've debated sharing this because the truth is, I still have a lot of mixed emotions about it. But here goes.  Anyone who knows me knows I love my job. I love my co-workers. I love my organization. I love that I play a large part in connecting low-income Ohio families to fresh, healthy foods. Last week, I tearfully sat down with my supervisor and resigned from my position. As of December 1, I will be a stay-at-home Mommy. Although I love the idea of being the one to raise my boys during their formative years, the truth of the matter is that I wouldn't have had to make this difficult choice if we had adequate family leave in this country.  That, among other reasons, is why #imwithher. I encourage everyone to vote today. Hopefully for the candidate who will do better by American families. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ #nastywoman #electionday #SAHM #breastfeeding #wearwhite #pantsuitnation
A photo posted by Kaity | (Bee)autiful Blessings (@beeautifulblessings) on

8. Dear Husband (On Your Birthday)* vs.  Why Blogging is Safe | I wanted to talk about my insecuritues and fears of rejection as a writer, and "Why Blogging is Safe" is what happened.
7. That Time I Threw Up into a Diaper Box and my One-Year-Old Laughed at Me* vs.  It's Labor Day Weekend and I'm NOT in Labor | Both Mommy posts. The first was how I announced my pregnancy with Crosby and the second was how defeated I felt at being 8 days overdue. Ironically, it was pre-scheduled and published as I was in labor. 

6. Baby 2.0 Gender Reveal vs.  3rd Trimester Thoughts* | I really wish I had had the patience to do a more fun gender reveal, but our pictures still turned out pretty cute. My second pregnancy felt like it flew by in the blink of an eye, so the latter post was my attempt at taking a moment to capture how I was feeling at the onset of my 3rd trimester with Crosby.
5. Baby #2 is a... vs. On Bittersweet Changes | I talked about the terribly emotional experience of quitting my job to become a Stay-at-Home Mom. It's been a month since I posted it, but already I'm doing and feeling much better than I was.

4. What I Read: January-April vs. That Time I Threw Up into a Diaper Box and my One-Year-Old Laughed at Me* | I think the only reason this particular reading recap got so many views was because it fell smack dab in the middle of my other pregnancy announcement/gender reveal posts. 
3. 3rd Trimester Thoughts* vs. Crosby's Birth Story* | I feel kind of guilty that Crosby's birth story isn't my absolute favorite. I do love it, and will always be thankful I wrote it down to look back on, but in terms of the feelings and emotions associated with it, it just doesn't feel as genuine as my top two.

2. Baby Registry: Round 2 vs. Dear Husband* | I wrote this letter to my husband on his birthday, but it was really a "thank you" to him. He has grown up so much in the time we've been married and goes above and beyond every day as the Daddy to our boys. This love letter was a testament to that.
1. He Grabbed Me by the Pussy: My Sexual Assault Story vs. A Letter to my First Baby | Although I'm proud that my sexual assault story resonated with a lot of people, it isn't one of my personal favorites simply because it's not a great memory. On the other hand, as I was feeling anxious about becoming a Mom to two, Charlie and I shared a wonderful night together that I hope I remember forever. It was a memory that left me with so much peace about the impending change in our family dynamic and was my absolute favorite post of the year.
> > >

If you're a blogger, did you notice a discrepancy in your popular vs. favorite posts of the year?