The most popular posts of 2015 {and the ones I wish had made the list}

The most popular posts of 2015 {and the ones I wish had made the list}

Most popular Life Your Way posts of 2015

I love the New Year and the opportunity to reflect on everything that’s happened over the last year and to make a plan for the upcoming year.

Because Christmas is enough for me to think about on its own, I always wait until the last week of December and the early part of January to do my review and planning, so I’ll be sharing what that process looks like for me and my intentions for 2016 in the upcoming weeks.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for something to read, I’ve put together a list of my most popular posts from 2015 (calculated by pageviews, social shares and/or comments) as well as my favorites that I think should have made the list.

{Click on the post titles below for the full post.}

1. What I really want to say about vaccines

“I read a lot about vaccines, trying to make sense of the information on both sides of the issue. The thing that stands out to me—more than any of the facts spouted by either side—is the hate and vitriol coming from both vaccine supporters and those who believe vaccines are harmful.

As much as both sides try to pretend that the issue is black-and-white, the truth is there are no easy answers. It’s a complicated and scary issue. Babies die from preventable diseases, and babies die from vaccines.

But the problem with this topic is that it’s become a battle, with each side defending their ground at all costs, attacking the character of the people who disagree with them, and digging trenches rather than furthering the conversation.”

Honorable mention: When you find yourself in the middle

2. Remember, Classical Conversations is just ONE option

“First, let me say upfront that our family loves Classical Conversations. We may not do everything by the book, but as hokey as it sounds, I often say that when I went to my first informational meeting, the things I heard resonated in my soul. I just knew it was the right fit for our family, and we plan to stick with Classical Conversations through all of the Challenge levels for all five of our kids. Basically, it is our curriculum of choice, and one we’re very happy with.

But here’s the thing…it is just that: a curriculum choice.”

Honorable mention: Why homeschooling is not a year-by-year decision for our family

3. 25 novels and biographies about World War II

“I’ve always been a fan of both history and historical fiction, and last year I picked up a couple of different stories that sparked a desire to read more and learn more about World War II. Reading Unbroken solidified that new passion, and I think I could easily read nothing by WWII biographies and fiction this year and be very happy!

This list includes both the books I’ve read and recommend as well as a (much longer) list of the books I’d like to read. I’m not sure I’ll make it through this whole list this year, but we’ll see.”

Honorable mentions: Where intentional living and self-care intersect and Why I love Liane Moriarty’s novels

4. How giving up “real food” made our family healthier

“I have a confession.

At the beginning of this year, I decided I was done with “real food.” Just done.

Done reading labels. Done feeling like I needed to make everything from scratch. Done worrying over every little thing that passed through our kitchen or ended up in our stomachs.

I was tired of the pressure, stress and guilt.

So I decided to give up real food.”

Honorable mention: On healthy living, burnout and settling somewhere in the middle

5. Have you bought new underwear this year?

“When was the last time you bought new underwear? Not Dora underwear for the two-year-old or boxers for your husband, but new underwear for you.

I know that’s a pretty bold question to ask, but bear with me for a minute.

In some ways, this question has become an archetype for self care, an example of how women in general and moms specifically tend to put themselves last. And we’re going to talk about that in a minute. But first, let’s focus on the question itself.”

Honorable mention: Why I’m scheduling rest in 2015

6. Why we don’t talk about miscarriage {and why I AM}

“When ‘we’ (meaning society as a whole) talk about pregnancy and miscarriage, we usually approach it from one of two angles—the heart-wrenching pain of a baby lost or the relief of a pregnancy that’s made it through that ‘danger zone’ into the second semester.

Talking about the fear of miscarriage while actually in the first trimester feels a bit taboo, as if we’re tempting fate or claiming the inevitable. If we’re really honest, sharing your pregnancy at all during the first trimester is a bit taboo itself (and it seems as if the number of people who wait to share their pregnancies has grown even in the past 12 years since my first pregnancy). I’m not criticizing anyone’s personal decision to wait—and I think it would be fun to keep it a secret that you share only with your husband, even if there is no way I can personally pull that off for more than 24 hours—but I do disagree with the cultural pressure to wait to announce a pregnancy in case you miscarry.”

7. Why it’s okay to believe your way is the best way

“I talk a lot about respectful dialogue, listening to what others have to say, and living in the middle, so the title of this post might surprise you.

Let me clarify: I think it’s okay to believe the decisions you make and the way you do things is the best way for your family.

Actually, I don’t just think it’s okay; I think it’s good.

There’s a lot of peace and confidence that comes from being sure of your decisions. And while I think there’s value in hearing what other people say, seeking advice, and keeping an open mind, at some point it’s okay to follow your gut and take ownership of your decision.”

8. How we’re using spiral notebooks to simplify

“A few months ago, Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things shared that their family has been using spiral notebooks for handwritten, daily checklists for each of the kids. At the time, I’m sorry to admit, I scoffed at the idea. Who has time for that? And besides, our printed checklists were working just fine.

Except they weren’t really.”

Honorable mention: Discovering the joy of morning time

9. When what you’re doing isn’t working and your home feels chaotic

“I started blogging about organizing, home management, decluttering and other related topics more than 7 years ago. Back then we had three small children (and then four under five), and I was working full time, but our home ran smoothly, without much clutter.

I don’t know exactly what happened—whether it was the addition of two (soon to be three) more children or their growth as individual people—but our home has felt chaotic lately. Really chaotic. It’s always cluttered, even after a round of ruthless decluttering, and we just haven’t been able to stay on top of things no matter how hard we try.”

Honorable mention: On regaining control of our home

10. Why, yes, we do have our hands full

“Easter this year didn’t go quite as planned. Instead of Easter lunch and an egg hunt with Sean’s mom’s side of the family (something we’ve done every year for the last 9 years), the kids and I headed to church without Sean, grabbed pizza and Starbucks, visited urgent care and then grocery shopped and filled prescriptions.

While having a husband with the norovirus and a sinus infection myself was not part of our plan, it really wasn’t a bad day, and I have to admit there was a sweetness to seeing my big girls step up to the plate and help with the baby through the appointments and shopping.

But what really struck me were the number of comments about our family size that we got while we were out.”

Honorable mention: The “more” of a big family

***
What was your favorite Life Your Way post?

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