2011 Year End Review

It is with great humility and gratitude that I look back upon the year 2011.

Family Brings Joy has come a long way this year.  From the creation of this blog in August 2008 until March 2011 I used the blogger platform.  For those 2 years and 4 months I was blessed with about 3,000 Pageviews from wonderful people like yourself.  In March of this year I released a new design and began a new journey by using WordPress.  Since March…excuse me while I break down a little here…sniffle & tears…I have been blessed with 29,324 Pageviews.  Oh my goodness.  This is a monumental moment in my blogging life to see these numbers.  You know why?  Because there are many days I wonder if my little ‘ole blog in this huge blogosphere is making an impact on families.  That is why I do this.  You see, the family in general, is under attack.  Every where we turn we see families that are broken.  Divorce is prevalent.  Marriages are torn apart and kids are separated from the parents they love.  I believe with all of my being our Creator wants our families to stay together.  It is not easy; not at all.  It takes work to create a family who loves and respects one another.  Sometimes this work can be so difficult that we want to just give up, but we can’t.  We have to work together, strengthen one another, encourage one another.  The family bond is so precious, and time is precious.

Here is the ironic thing.  My most viewed posts for 2011 don’t have much to do with helping the family.  So I have to sit back and reevaluate.  Does it matter?  Obviously the content does matter to me or I wouldn’t have written about it.  My intentions have never been to become a hugely famous blogger.  I only want to make new friends and have a community of people who are passionate about family.  So have I succeeded?  I believe the answer is a resounding yes!  34% of my visitors are “returning visitors.”  You 34% are my friends and community.  I am honored to call you friend.  I am honored you bring me into your home on a regular basis.  You bring me joy and happiness.  Every time you visit, every time you comment, you make a difference to me.  I hope that together we can continue to share the importance of the family.

Last but not least, I want to make special mention to my own family.  I think they finally “get” this blogging thing.  They realize it makes their Mom/Wife happy.  DH (Dearest Husband) has been known to actually comment on the site.  Thank you hubby for encouraging me to go to Blissdom last year and again in 2012.  Sometimes the kids might say, “You’re not going to put that on your blog are you?”  I love it when I catch one of my children scrolling through my posts on the computer.  I want to thank them profusely for their support.  Not only my immediate family, but my extended family.  My Mom is a regular commenter and continues to be my biggest fan.  She is always happy to hear me talk about my latest projects and posts.  Thank you, Mom.  Now if I can only get my siblings and the rest of my extended family to write a comment or two! {Hint, hint!}

Enough of all this mushy stuff.  Without further ado, here are the top 4 posts for the year 2011:

Grateful for my Craft RoomI continue to be grateful for my craft room and the creativity that is cultivated by my family in this special room. {55 generous comments}

Dreams Do Come TrueCraft Room for RoomspirationThis post was somewhat of an encore/update of the previous post.  It was an honor to write this on behalf of the Roomspiration Blog Hop & Link Party. This post brought Family Brings Joy 873 Pageviews in one day!  A monumental milestone for this small blog.  {36 generous comments}

Mudroom ArtworkMudroom ArtworkI never in a million years thought this post would receive the kind of attention it has.  I quickly put the post together one Saturday morning.  Out of the majority of the posts I have written, I spent the least amount of time putting it together.  It is very simple and inexpensive, yet the artwork continues to make a gigantic impact every day I look at them. {39 generous comments}

 Favorite Outdoor Family Portrait PosesI struggle adding this to the group because I feel as though I shouldn’t receive the credit.  All I did was find poses and put them in a post.  Nothing truly original from me, photography or writing.  Yet, again, I am reminded at how a collection of photos can be inspiring and helpful to others.  And as you see this is the only one out of the four that has to do with the importance of family…the importance of capturing your family before time gets away and everyone is grown and out of the house.

Posts I Wish Were Viewed More

Family Theme SongFamily Theme Song

Dinner Time is Golden Time for Your FamilyDinner Time is Golden Time for your Family

Treasure-Trove Thursday {Etiquette}

 Way to LOVE doing ChoresWay to Love Doing Chores

Treasure-Trove Thursday {Benevolence}

I look forward to what God has in store for Family Brings Joy in 2012.

Linking Up:

Happy New Year & Thank YOU,

Are You Taking Command? {Roomspiration Closets & Nooks}

It’s Closet & Nooks day for Roomspiration Blog Hop & Link Party.  I decided I would include what I call my Command Central.  It is a nook between our Kitchen and Master Bedroom.  I spend a lot of time here.  This is the hub of all the important papers etc.  As a Family Manager, it is my office.

There used to be a picnic slideshow here.  Since picnic closed their website I will have to come back and add photos instead.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  Ugh…just one more thing to add to my TO DO list… 🙁

The host for today’s Roomspiration Blog Hop & Link Party is the genius mastermind of Roomspiration.  I have written about my sweet friend Ange from The Blooming Hydrangea before.  I love her to pieces!  Ange is very talented when it comes to making her house a home for her beautiful family.  Before visiting The Blooming Hydrangea I had never heard of the term “cloffice.”  Not sure if she coined the term herself, wouldn’t surprise me, but she has a good eye for transforming a plain closet into a beautiful, organized and functional office.  She has her newest cloffice reveal on her site today.  You won’t want to miss it!  This is the first one I saw on her site:

Roomspiration Closets & Nooks

Courtesy of The Blooming Hydrangea

Head on over to the Blooming Hydrangea and see the creative uses of a closet and nook that have been linked up.  I am very impressed!  I think it will help inspire many of you to use spaces you have in your home in a way you never thought about.  It’s fun to think outside of the box! 😀  Maybe you already have one yourself you’d like to link up?  PLEASE!!  That’s what the party is all about, join us!
The Blooming Hydrangea

Time for Lunch,

Join Us For Roomspiration

abodelove viewalongtheway

You were needing a little inspiration for your family’s abode, weren’t you?

OR maybe you have a room you would like to show off and help inspire others?

OR maybe this is the motivation you need to finish a room you have been working on…or even BEGIN!

Well this is it!  Grab your camera and start clicking!  We NEED YOU!

That’s right; we need you to link up, share with your friends & family and come be inspired!

It all begins September 12th.  You have 2 weeks to prepare…plenty of time!

I can’t wait to see everyone’s spaces.

We even have a button, grab one and post it on your site to spread the word!  

<div align="center"><a href="https://blog.familybringsjoy.com" title="Roomspiration"><img src="https://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd408/lizzygal18/orangebackground.jpg" alt="Roomspiration" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

abode love: a man\" height=View Along the Way
  Involving Color
{ All Things Bright and Beautiful }  Touch of Gray
The Blooming Hydrangea  The Mustard Ceiling
 The DIY Show Off
Get ready,

Treasure-Trove Thursday {Bloggers}

Bloggers are awesome people!  They care about themselves enough to write about their lives.  They care about the readers they write for.  They do this by sharing ideas, photos, podcasts and videos.  Comments are exchanged and relationships are formed.  Oh how I wish there was blogging back when my children were younger.  As a full time family manager, I would have benefited greatly from them.  When you work from your home, it can be isolating and lonely.  To be able to share ideas, struggles, passions, etc. would have helped to lessen the isolation some.  It does for me now.  Even with my children home, yes, I’m not entirely alone…they are my children.  Adults need interaction with other adults.  And I’m not talking about conversing with the person who checks out your food at the grocery store.  Better yet, you want someone who has the same interests as you.  This way you have something in common to talk about.  This is where blogs & bloggers come in.

I have made some very special friendships with other bloggers.  I want to share a few with you today.

Pam from Random Pocket Notes

Last week my blogger friend Pam surprised me in such a fantastic way.  She wrote a post expressing her gratitude for me.  Blush…  She is super sweet and I’m extremely grateful to have met her.

Laura from Our House of Joyful Noise

I found Laura’s blog by googling “Tuesday Link Parties.”  I knew the instant I saw her blog, we had lots in common.  I decided to link up to her newly introduced link party.  The rest, they say, is history.  We began commenting on our posts and twitter.  She became my very first guest post writer for Family Brings Joy.  Remember her beautiful post about 4th of July treats?  You can read it here if you missed it.

Ange from The Blooming Hydrangea

I don’t remember how I found Ange, but I am so glad I did.  She has been visiting and leaving me messages of joy since the beginning of April.  Her family is in the middle of a move right now.  She still finds time to comment and give me encouragement.

Bloggers bring Joy,