My 1st Year as a Blogger- Top 5 Highlights

I'm afraid to admit this, but this time last summer, I don't think I had ever read a blog. Wait, maybe just a handful from a couple of friends locally. But definitely didn't follow blog world.

In just a few days I'll celebrate the one year anniversary of starting this blog, after my husband encouraged me to, followed by my daughter convincing me to keep going when I wanted to quit (before I even started!) I'm so glad they both kept me going! I love it now.

Looking back, there are a few moments and comments that stand out from this year that have been fun, encouraging or thought provoking.

1.  The incredible message I got from a teen girl in Maryland, who after reading an anonymous story on our blog of a woman telling her experience with dating abuse, felt equipped to understand her friend who was in the middle of an abusive dating relationship. She said, "I'm sharing this with you to let you know that your blog helped me realize that as much as I felt helpless, I was able to read the stories on your blog to get a sense of what my friend was feeling. It's hard watching your friend get hurt, but helping her out of it makes you realize how much friendship really does change lives." I have two friends who glady shared their stories anonymously, in hopes of helping someone else not make the same mistakes. You can read them HERE and HERE.

I was already grateful for the women willing to share these difficult stories, but then to know that it helped empower  a girl currently IN the situation, as well as a friend know how to help, blew me away. Mission accomplished.

  2. A 13 yr old girl in New York made the observation that girls her age are more concerned about what other girls think about their appearance than what boys think. I mentally zoomed in on that topic and have been intrigued ever since. Why is this?? I'm still thinking about that. (Her comment came after the post about what teen boys really think.)

3.  I covet and adore and appreciate more than you know those who take the time to write, make comments, share thoughts, opinions (even when different than mine), and encouragement to me. It makes it all worth it! Sometimes it can be lonely in blog world. Blog statisticss are that about 1% of readers stop to make comments. So with a start up blog, just building an audience, often that has been 1 person! or 2! Comments keep me going, though I had to learn to put on my big girl panties and just move on without them- I couldn't stop writing just because there was little feedback. Comments have grown over time and I'm less dependent on them, though never have they become any less appreciated! Hearing what you think helps me in so many ways. I have gotten to know people through comments. It makes me so happy when I see you in public and find out that you follow this blog. Thank you!

4.  An unexpected blessing has been the offline conversations, in person, via email and private messages of moms who have talked to me about all kinds of things. Private issues with their girls that are being sorted through, moms of boys share their thoughts and struggles too, teachers have shared things. This all helps me so much to understand even more the real world, behind the scenes, real lives of teens and the moms raising them. Having a clear picture of the reality of how things are helps me have the outlook needed to write on timely relevant topics.

5. It has been fun to expand my horizons and read blogs, articles, research and websites of other organizations and people who care about cultural issues for our children. Through social media I've even been able to "meet" and communicate with some of these women I respect who are doing great works.

Among them:
Michelle Icard of Michelle loves to help tweens and moms transition into a fabulous middle school experience.
Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker of "Don't Conform...Transform" at Her site explores the sexualized media messages that are sent to children.
Twin sisters Lexie and Lindsay Kite over at who are transforming culture's definition of beauty.
Dr. Meg Meeker, a pediatrician and author who speaks out on raising teens, importance of fathers in our daughter's lives, and healthy sexuality. See her at
Dannah Gresh at Dannah covers purity topics for girls.
Laura Wells at Insightful reads for moms of girls.
I like to follow and Among others!

To celebrate a year, I have a giveaway planned! Everyone who comments on this post, either on the website, Facebook or Twitter, will be entered into the drawing. Drawing will be held at 10:00pm central standard time on Thursday, July 5, 2012.

Answer this:

Please share with us your favorite blogs or books you like to read for encouragement on raising kids.

If you don't read other blogs or books much, answer this one: What is one thing that meant something to YOU or has inspired you...some favorite thing that you have read over the last year on 5 Things?

The winner will have a choice between 5 of my favorite books (depending on your age and stage, and if it's for you or your daughter!)

Shaun Robinson is weekend co-host for Access Hollywood. She has collected quotes, encouragements and advice from many famous successful women from various roles- singers, actresses, athletes, scientists, news anchors.

A favorite mom-daughter Bible study to do together. An elementary or a tween version available.

Scripture based approach to dealing with mean girl issues

A favorite read from my first days of being a mom.

A well known book by a girls issues guru. Cheryl Dellasega was among the first to speak to these issue.

Leave your comment now! and thanks!


  1. Holly...So many blogs. So little time! My favorite thing on 5 things? I don't even know how to pick one. I love the hard conversations series you just started and the posts from experienced moms. Can't wait to check out your other favorite blogs! Maybe we should all band together and do some kind of event.....

  2. Thank you so much for including me in this! I am grateful to know you! AND I would encourage you to enter the Yeah Write competition I just did. Usually my sister-in-law comments on my blog and for that I'm psyched! But one entry into Yeah Write and I have 52 comments on my blog today. You can imagine how that feels. The blogs are all different in nature. You should do it! That aside, keep up the good work and I'm right here with you!

  3. I have enjoyed your blog, Holly, and I love this post! It is very encouraging. In addition to reading posts from our family, my other favorite posts are the interview with your Mom and you and your sister sharing the 5 things you were glad your Mom did when raising you. Even though I do not have a daughter (, I enjoy your blog because as a new Mom any information is helpful. I also have a passion for seeing young girls grow up to be the women God called them to be, so kudos to you for starting this blog and God bless you with many more years of wonderful writing and insight!

  4. I was so blessed by momma Peppin's post just a few days ago. Such a wonderful outlook on alowing kids to learn to be independant, As a momma of 3 girls, I am storing away this knowledge for when they are in the teen years. Keep it up, I plan on gleening all the wisdom possible to help me do my best with my girliess.

    Congrats on one year!

  5. My favorite 5 things blog was your comments on music with your girls. Having them read you the lyrics and discussing it with you! What a great idea and I have started doing this some with my boys. Thanks, Holly, I really enjoy your blog.


LOVE to hear from readers! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.