The Best Of 2013, As I See It

Let’s face it: not everything we bloggers put out there is a gem. In fact, if I had to estimate my gem to non-gem ratio, I’d say it’s about 10% gem/90% non-gem, and that’s probably on the generous side.

Anyway, I thought I would comb through every post I published in 2013 to create an end-of-year wrap-up list, in case you want to do a little reminiscing on the cusp of the new year, or maybe you’re just looking for reading material.

By the way, just so we’re clear, each post I qualify as a “gem” must satisfy one or more of the following Melisa-determined requirements:

1. well written
2. got a great reaction from readers
3. favorite family story
4. good recap of a milestone
5. none of the above but I just liked it a whole lot

Pretty strict guidelines, you know?

In January I wrote about my extremely odd struggle with the constant desire to write warm and fuzzy posts and wondering if I was annoying people. As usual, I over-thought it. In the end I decided to just stay here and wait for another message…from myself.

In February it started to sink in that Jim and I would really become empty nesters, in real life, for real starting in the fall.

In March I wrote about how the grass is greener where you water it. Living in the moment can be a big challenge and I work on it every single day.

My cousin got married in April, and I headed out to California for the weekend to attend the ceremony. I visited a couple of friends, did some sight-seeing, and really just thoroughly enjoyed the solo trip, which even came with an anthem. Once I returned from my trip there was no time to waste, as I had a show to prepare for.

The first weekend of May brought the second annual LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER show in Chicago, and a whole bunch of related stuff along with it, like how Tracey—who is normally the Phoebe to my Monica—turned into the Monica to my Phoebe for one glorious week.

In June I applied to be a FUNshine Distributor (a position I made up) with Carnival Cruise Lines, and although I never heard from them I’m still holding out hope.

I landed in the hospital at the end of June and started July off by writing a “Take Care of Yourself!” PSA that was later syndicated by BlogHer. Late in the month I had a little adventure in the O’Hare parking garage that I wouldn’t wish on anybody.

My struggles with my impending empty nester status came to a head in August, but in the end the transition was made successfully, with a little emotional help from others. I also wrote a love letter to my Dailey Method family on the occasion of my one year anniversary. Er, fourteen month anniversary. (I was busy.)

At the beginning of September I published what is already my second most-visited post of all time, the Portillo’s Chopped Salad recipe. (Yum.) Also food-related, I had a crisis of epic proportions when I ran out of chocolate chips. I ended the month trying to convince you to go somewhere—anywhere!—all by yourself.

In October I vlogged the “Office Space”-style destruction of my cell phone (SO satisfying!) and celebrated six years of Suburban Scrawl with a list of some of the amazing things I’ve gotten to do because of this here blog.

In November I spent five awesome days with my sistuh-from-anuthuh-muthuh in New Jerrrrsey, and wrote a recap of the trip that included some of my favorite moments with each person in her family. I also gladly released some parenting angst, and closed out the month by live-blogging our Latke-palooza. It was hilarious. (To me, anyway.)

Finally, December. I showed you what goes through my head every time I hear one of the most famous songs from the late 70s. I wrote a tough post about the personal growth I’ve experienced when it comes to body image. I let you in on why I love to give gifts, and I wrote about my mad pomegranate smacking skills during “Jew Help A Christian Day”.

2013 was quite a year. Most people would say, “I don’t know how 2014 could possibly top it,” but I’m not most people.

I say, “2013 was pretty awesome but I’m going to make 2014 even better!”

I hope you do, too. Happy New Year! Group hug!