Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Seven Posts of 2011

I've seen a few blogs doing "top posts" of 2011 and I like the idea too. I looked back at the 7 most visited posts from 2011 and here is the countdown:

This post was about some family visits to Dallas/Fort Worth back in March. We went to the rodeo two weekends in a row and loved it!  We also toured the awesome Fort Worth Botanic Gardens and I had fun with the photogenic gardens.

Here's where I shared tips I learned as I searched for a new job after I moved to Minnesota in November. It was my third job search in three years (we've moved to a different state each time too, whew!), and I know how difficult it can be. I've been very blessed to find jobs each time, and I put together this post to help others job seeking out there.

I still can't believe I went without using shampoo for a year! It seems weird, I know. It was really a learning year for me to learn about what my body absorbs through the products I use daily (shampoo, lotion, soap, makeup, etc). The funny thing is, in early December, I ended my over-a-year long stint of not using shampoo. My hair "performs" better now and I'm happy I went back, and I now use shampoo free of parabens and sulfates (along with other harsh chemicals).

This was a look at our drive as I moved from Texas to Minnesota (Nick had moved to MN the month before). It was a bittersweet weekend to leave the roots we grew in Texas, yet we were so thankful to get our marriage back under one roof (after nearly two months of Nick living in MN and me living in TX).

Here's a glimpse of our apartment search, my techniques of comparing them, and lots of pretty pictures as I toured around our new town. It also includes our first bigger snowfall of the year (we had a dusting before that), and a few snapshots of our {empty} new place!

I let out a sigh as I wrote the title of that post. It's truly been the most challenging aspect of 2011 for me. This post is where I "unveiled" the daily battle I face with fibromyalgia (widespread chronic pain). It was the first time I really opened up my heart on the blog to share my emotions with the ups and downs of physical pain. I wrote this post in March and in the months after, I shared more updates about techniques and medications I tried. 

My big trial was the 4-week chronic pain course I took consisting of biofeedback/relaxation therapy, physical therapy, and group pain education/discussions. I have to say, progress was made as far as education goes. Other than that, I'm still working toward acceptance and pain relief. I remain hopeful to find a comfortable balance to lessen the struggle, and I'm so excited to read FibroWHYalgia in the coming weeks. I'm praying progress is made in all areas in 2012!

1.  BIG News!
I have to chuckle a little at this one, realizing many people were hoping for {bigger} news (as this post had the most page views of 2011, and the fourth most page views of all time!!), but our big news was that we were leaving Texas after just over a year there to return to Minnesota. Sorry friends, I do realize I misled you with that title, but at the time, it was huge news for us, just maybe not the huuuge news some of you were looking for :) In this post, we also laid out a few reasons we were sad to leave Texas and a few reasons we were looking forward to Minnesota. That was our big news of 2011!


Looking back, 2011 was a really great year. We did a lot of exploring, learning, and trusting. It was a trying year - but aren't they all? I'm thankful for all of our wonderfully supportive friends and family that have helped us through some of our trials. I'm looking forward to seeing what 2012 has in store - hopefully some healing!

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