another year

2011 was a good, but tough year. It was a year where I saw my little kids become bigger people. We started our last little kiddie off in her brothers' school, we visited wonderful places, and did lots of projects around the house and garden. We threw fun parties and started new traditions, and kept old ones. We worked really hard on our marriage and are better for it today because of it. We planted seeds of new goals that may take much longer to come to fruition, but seeds they are. We started thinking of travel plans for 2012, and 2013. We made even more changes in our diets and groceries and vowed to eat healthier, more organically, and locally grown. We purged and donated and cleaned, and realized that we pretty much have to continually do this or our neighbors will think we are hoarders. We attempted new skills and crafting and have ones that we haven’t even touched the surface for. We set goals of reading as a family and individuals. We are looking forward to the next year with a whole lot of hoping and planning and enjoying of the moments that seem to fly by too quickly.

This little blog here of mine has grown a lot too. It’s grown right with me, and I love this space more now than ever. I feel like this year I was able to enjoy it more, without the pressure of posting X amount of times or X amount of days. I share what I share here so that ultimately it can be in my blog books and the kids and I can look back and read all about the things we experienced and the conversations we had when our memories fail us. Thank you for taking this little ride here with me and my family. Thank you for enjoying the funny moments of my life. I love the comments I get on my blog. I read each and every one of them and they all make me smile. The fact you took the time out of your busy day to stop in here and check in on my little family, and even take the time to write means a whole lot to me.

So how did the blog do? Well, I had 235 posts. And who visits us? Usually I have between 100-150 visitors each day, but August 31st that doubled with 300 visits, thanks to my sweet daughter and her Alice party. My Life at Playtime was discovered by other blogs this year and we received more and more visits from these new sites. Where do these visitors come from? Mostly the United States, but the United Kingdom and India are very close behind. Who knew?! From North America, My Life at Playtime had visits from USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Within Europe we got visits from the UK, Greece, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. Within South America, we had visits from Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile and Colombia. Within Africa, we reached Namibia, South Africa, Egypt, Tanzania, and Kenya. Asia brought us visits from India, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. We also had visits from Australia, New Zealand and Guam. Crazy no?! It kind of blew my mind.

We have 83 Wordpress followers that receive emails/updates every time I post something new. And 18 subscribers in Google Reader, where my blog posts are immediately updated to their feed. I’m a huge fan of Google Reader. If you have a gmail account, and you read more than a handful of blogs, it’s the best and easiest way to keep track of blogs you follow. No clicking on their websites checking if something new has been posted. Google Reader is just one place you go for all your blog subscriptions and you can read all the new posts in one place. It’s a huge time saver. For me, I subscribe to over 80 blogs ranging from kids crafting, photography, cooking, home decor, travel, you name it. So if I had to sit and click on 80 different sites just to check if they posted something new, that’s a lot of time. Now I just go to my Reader and see only what’s new.

So there you have how this little space is doing. We can’t wait to start 2012 off with all of you! I promise it will be filled with fun and laughter, a few tears and rants, some awesome vacation trips, some fun crafting and house projects, and a whole lot of pictures of three kids named Gunnar, Sawyer, and Greta.