I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville wife and mother with a passion for family travel, (mostly) healthy cooking, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries with you, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark.
December 30, 2013
2013 has come to an end, and that means it’s time to take a look back at all that’s happened here in a year- and this year, there’s quite a lot to look back at!
I started off January defending myself against some outrageous claims made by my daughter. Remind me to stay on that girl’s good side! Adding to the very long list of bizarre things I’ve done as a blogger, I became a Real Housewife of the 1800s alongside ‘Real Housewife of New York’ Alex McCord. Good times, y’all. As if chopping wood wasn’t hard enough, I endured a road trip with the kids all by myself, in which a four-hour drive turned into a four-million-year one. My daughter dealt with her first bully, I dealt with the Soft Surroundings catalog (It’s arrival in the mail is basically the equivalent of receiving your AARP card), and I had some fun with my son.
In an attempt to avoid the post-holiday season doldrums, I turned our house into a Winter Wonderland. I’m doing it again today, actually.
I wore a duct tape outfit and I also tried out… well, you’ll just have to see it to believe it… for what I believe was the funniest and possibly most embarrassing episode ever of I’ll Take That Dare. I shared my favorite recipes for Ridiculously Delicious Beef Stroganoff and the World’s Best Banana Bread. I told you all about Bruiser’s legendary “wo-bop projick,” shared with you how to get your name and address off the Internet (something I spent WEEKS figuring out myself), and ended the month with a very vulnerable post on how it felt to have spent a total of three months on the road without my kids in 2012 (hint: It felt not-so-great). Wow. January was sort of a busy month, wasn’t it?
In February, I wrote a strongly-worded response to the blogger judging moms who dared to look at their iPhones on the playground. I struggled with the small signs that my daughter was beginning to grow up, waged DVR war on my husband, and came across a letter I wrote to my grandparents when I was ten years old, which showed that not a whole lot has changed! I told you about my family’s longstanding and not-so-fun game of Musical Beds (which we’re still playing, by the way), made a tough parenting decision at a very awkward kid party and ended the month with yet another raw and vulnerable post.
March began with my kids learning some very, very bad words. Awesome. I got a painful reminder of my second wife status, celebrated Bruiser’s sixth birthday, and shared one of my favorite recipes for healthy Crispy Fish with Lemon-Dill Dip (You’d never know it, but the crust is actually soy chips! So cool!) and the best Homemade French Fries I’ve ever tasted. I wasn’t around that much on the blog in March– Here’s why.
April brought with it perhaps the worst-ever (and most hilarious) school photo of my son. I asked a controversial question that’s plaguing parents across the nation: Why Does Your Kid Need His Own iPad? I wrote one of my favorite posts of the year, about reaching the halfway point of my daughter’s childhood *sob* and shared with you the awful tale of a typical trip to the supermarket with my kids (It hasn’t gotten any better, by the way). I tried to make sense of the Boston Marathon tragedy. I bemoaned standardized testing and shared a great recipe for chocolate-chocolate chip muffins. Yum.
In May, I wrote a heartfelt open letter to my kids’ teachers, who have all been amazing. In honor of Mother’s Day, I shared the stories of several of the mothers in my family tree. I gave you my recipe for what I’m pretty sure is the best Macaroni and Cheese in the world (I made it for Thanksgiving AND Christmas this year, if that gives you any indication) and Bruiser got a painting makeover in his room that I continue to LOVE and would highly recommend to anyone looking to redo a little boy’s room. A chipmunk died and my front yard became a pet cemetery. I got crazy crafty for about five seconds and made probably the best snack I’ll EVER make for my daughter’s classmates. I gave you 50 awesome things to do with your kids in Nashville and wrote my son’s soccer coach an e-mail I’m proud I actually had the guts to send.
June provoked another Bad Christian post, which always seems to strike a nerve with you guys. And then I wrote a follow-up post while on vacation. More on how that religion stuff is going at the end of this post. I traveled to Savannah and Hilton Head with my husband for our annual Honeymoon Trip and wrote a complete list of things to do in Savannah WITHOUT kids.
In July, my daughter said goodbye to all things Princess-y. That was a tough one. I wrote a post containing 10 Brutal Truths About Being a Stepmom (Seriously. Brutal.) that has ended up being one of my most popular posts of all time. I shared a future Pulitzer Prize winning book from my six-year-old son and told you about an awesome day trip you can take with your family from Nashville. I told you about the man I love most in all the world and shared recipes for Blueberry Pie (fantastic with fresh-picked blueberries) and Chicken Salad-Stuffed Eggs. Yum.
In August, my kids FINALLY learned to swim! Hallelujah! I told you about my nightmare dental experience in two separate installments (which is STILL ongoing, believe it or not) and then I wrote this post in about 15 minutes, on how to get rid of fruit flies. It seemed like a pretty boring month on the blog. But just wait.
September was the month for my family’s long-awaited Disney trip. While I was there, my blog exploded. Literally. And I had that dang fruit fly post to thank for it. Somehow, it went viral in September, getting millions and millions of views from the fruit fly-plagued all over the world. As of today, that post has been shared more than 700,000 times on Facebook and pinned nearly 100,000 times. Eight years of blogging and I’m best known for killing fruit flies? Okay. I’ll take it.
September wasn’t all good, though. My dental woes continued (I don’t really enjoy writing about my teeth, but it is an outrageous story, I have to admit- and you guys seemed to really enjoy the schadenfreude-ness of it all.) I also faced off against the food police after getting a little tired of the sanctimonious moms who love to judge others by what they’re giving their kids to eat.
I figured all the fruit fly traffic was a one-time thing– Oh no. In October, a post I wrote a year ago about Restoration Hardware went viral, and once again, millions of people visited my blog. With all these new readers, blogging was way more fun, and I found plenty to write about. I officially withdrew from the mompetition (although some days are harder than others), stirred up some controversy with a post about slutty Halloween costumes for girls and tweens, expressed my pure hatred of homework, composed a (sharable! I’m here to help!) Application for a Playdate, mulled over the definition of success when it comes to our kids, exposed the unbearably sad reality of catalog models, and shared the kind of personal experience that pretty much defines my existence. I also made it clear that Your Nine-Year-Old Should Not Be on Instagram (which, WHOA. Nerve struck, Internets!) and wrote about the 25 Habits of Highly Annoying Parents. Trust me, those lessons were learned the hard way. And I ended the month with a review of my family’s last ten Halloweens. Time passes quickly, y’all.
In November, I covered Chronically Late Parents (no, I’m not talking about you), showed you 13 Awesomely Bad Thanksgiving Outfits, and was unfriended on Facebook by my mail carrier. That was just a little bit devastating. I wrote another volume of Warped Childhood, Restoration Hardware-Style, which ended up being a good idea, because then iVillage, Curbed and the Huffington Post picked it up. I showed you some unbelievable Playhouses of the Rich and Famous, told you The (Mostly) True Story of My Car Rider Pick-Up Line, and found 17 Pinterest Thanksgiving Crafts I Will Never Make. November was a great month on this blog. I found my blogging mojo again.
Then came December, which I basically spent trying to keep up with all of my responsibilities to my family and work. I’m amazed that I was able to post anything here at all, but I somehow managed in December to make my husband’s ugly-ass ushanka world famous, celebrate Christmas, Restoration Hardware-Style (sorry, couldn’t resist!), present the very best of 6 years of Bad Santa posts, and endure another very bad Santa in our very own mall.
And that brings us to NOW. I thought 2012 was the most interesting year I could possibly have, but I thought wrong- 2013 has brought all sorts of surprises, and the strangest part of all is that I haven’t really written much here about any of them. That’s because 2012 taught me that you all really don’t want to read what I have to say about being on television or interviewing politicians or going on brand-sponsored trips. When that all became a big part of my life in 2012, I thought you’d want to know about every moment of it– I was wrong. The silence that year was deafening, both from my readers and from online friends. And although it hurt my feelings, if I’m honest, I sort of get it now. Nothing’s more irritating than seeing the status updates of bloggers in my Facebook feed who’ve become high-profile AND WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW ABOUT IT, or who feel the need to self-promote at every single opportunity. I’m afraid I came across that way, too, even when I didn’t intend to. And… yuck. Sorry.
And so I’ve tried this year to simply keep you entertained, and to give you the kinds of posts you seem to want to read. That means leaving my professional life, mostly, out of it.
However, because it feels weird to keep you completely in the dark, please indulge me as I spend the last few paragraphs of the last post of 2013 telling you what’s been going on around here that I haven’t covered on the blog… because it is a part of my life, after all– it’s a big part. I’ve spent most of this year as a partner in the creation of a new travel/ reality show for PBS, called Tout Your Town. The basic premise of the show is that locals tell my family and me where to go and what to do in the towns that we visit. Creating a show, as I have learned this year, is a very long and difficult process, but after much hard work, season one of the show has been accepted by American Public Television and will air on most PBS stations in June 2014. I’ll be shooting the remainder of the season over the next three months. Obviously, for me this is a dream come true and a chance to combine all the various skills I’ve collected over the last 15 years into one job.
In addition to the show, the blog traffic explosion has created all kinds of interesting new opportunities, including calls and e-mails from some really wonderful literary agents. I would love to write a book- I don’t know if now is the time, but I’m excited to have hopefully bypassed the begging-agents-to-look-at-my-proposal stage when the right time arrives.
Honestly, though, the greatest thing that happened to me- and to my entire family- this year was that we finally found a church that feels like home, and it has made every aspect of our lives better. Our new church is small and fairly traditional, but what made us fall in love with it was the people, who really, truly love one another despite their differences, and who have made serving others a way of life. Our church has become an integral part of our lives and has helped make 2013 our best year yet.
What a year, huh? I have no idea what 2014 will hold, but I hope that for you, it’s filled with more love, laughter, and happiness than you ever dreamed possible.
Happy New Year, everyone. Thanks for reading.