Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blog Year 2012 in Review

We are approaching the end of 2012, and surprisingly, the world did not end.

2012 has been a great blogging year. It was my first whole calendar year to blog. All the seasons.  I think I can say that confidently. I don't plan to throw in the towel over the next 5 days.

Blogging with Meres. Not the best pic of me, but its real, folks.
Hopefully I haven't permanently scarred any of you by sharing.
I usually am a bit more pulled together when I blog, but it is Christmas break.
Long live messy hair and yoga pants!

Winter, spring, summer, fall and winter again. Joy and sorrow. School, busyness, ministry. Vacations. Dreams. Seasons and life seasons.

In 2012 I celebrated my first blogiversary.

Barefoot Hippie Girl went from 10-20 page views per day, to an average of 300-400.

I attended my first blogging conference. It was a very focusing experience. It spoke to my heart, more than just blogging technicalities. I made new friends, and met a bunch of online friends IRL. And, I have tentative plans to attend Allume next fall.

Speaking of online friends, I didn't have any this time last year. Now I am blessed with many, many. I am so thankful for each and every one of you. I would list you, but I would forget someone, and that wouldn't be cool. Know that I appreciate all of you.

I met my goal of posting at least 5 times every week. This has been challenging. I found a rhythm to my posting schedule. Something devotional, something "controversial"( or what makes me-me), something lighter, and a recipe all make it in to most weeks.

I tweaked with my design, and came up with something I really like. My friend, Ben, made me a groovy logo, I cleaned up my look-from 3 columns to 2. But, I kept it unique and Barefoot Hippie looking.

I learned what HTML is, and how to make buttons. I learned how to schedule tweets and posts. I learned the wonders of pic monkey and image maps.

I have been stretched and grown in many, many ways. Technically and life wise.

See, when you are blogging real life, God doesn't let you get away with faking it. He is stretching and molding. Changing the status quo.

Blogging has made IRL friends closer. It also has made me vulnerable. When you put everything out there people feel free to attack your stand. That can be hard.

Blogging has changed me. I think it has changed me for the better.

I want to thank all of you for being part of the Barefoot Hippie community. Thank you for faithfully reading my posts. Thank you for the comments. Thanks you for sharing my posts on google + and twitter and Facebook. Thank you for your love, support, and friendship. Thank you for your vote of confidence in me, when you sign up for the email updates, or click that "follow" button. It is profoundly humbling and encouraging.

Some of you are newer to Barefoot Hippie Girl, so I decided to share the Top 10 Barefoot Hippie Girl posts of 2012. They tend to be the posts that I really open my heart, or that I share why I have chosen to do something...(titles are links)

1. Open Hand Policy-letting God set the parameters for how He wants to use me.
2. Hippie Method-Homebirth-the Hippie Method series has been very popular. This is my treatise on why I don't feel I checked my brain in at the door when deciding to do home births.
3. How We Homeschool-fairly self explanatory
4. Rhythm Method-Scheduling homeschooling Barefoot Hippies.
5. A (Baking) Day in the Life-Christmas Baking
6. Looking for the Silver Lining-thankful list when my heart is heavy with pessimism.
7. Don't be Scammed-a public service announcement about online scams
8. Proverbs 31 Woman Vs. a Virtuous Woman-is there a difference? I think so.
9. Potty Training: Rome Wasn't Built in a Day- is potty training in a day a myth? wishful thinking?
10. IRL-how different are you online than in real life?

I am praying about the direction of Barefoot Hippie Girl for 2013. I plan to continue sharing my heart. Continue to grow. Continue to build friendships.

What keeps bringing you back to Barefoot Hippie Girl? Share with me in the comments.