Wednesday, August 24, 2011

7 Links Challenge

Today, I was invited by my friend and fellow blogger, Abby at R is for Ronnebeck to participate in something called the 7 Links Challenge. After clicking back through the chain of blogs that led her to this challenge, I learned that it was created (I'm still not sure by whom) to connect bloggers from all over the world to share old and forgotten posts that deserve recognition. I thought I'd give it a whirl.

The rules are this:

  1. The blogger who is nominated (me, in this case) must publish 7 links from his/her own blog; one for each of the categories below.
  2. The blogger then nominates 5-7 more bloggers to take part, and the beat goes on...
Are you ready? Get set! Here I go...

1. Most Beautiful Post
Of course, it has to be the blog announcement of my precious baby boy, Welcome to the world, Owen! Probably my most favorite picture of all time lies on this page (albeit in a much too small collage of other memory-inducing photos). Here, I'll let you gaze at it again, this time bigger. Ah-mazing!

2. Most Popular Post
This one was easy. I just went through my post stats and found the one with the most comments. This Disney "Dream" Vacation post was the big winner at a whopping 6 comments! I'm so popular.

3. Most Controversial Post
Just a few weeks ago, I wrote this post, Highs and Lows, which sparked quite a bit more discussion (and controversy?) than I ever anticipated. It began as a mere journal of how emotionally draining it can be when you get so personally invested in your child's achievements — both positive and negative not-so-positive. But by the end of it, I was going on about all my "worry/guilt/doubt/fear" issues, which, evidently, struck a chord with some other moms out there. I always appreciate feedback, and — even though my original intention for this post got misconstrued somewhere along the line — I am so blessed to have such supportive family and friends.

4. Most Helpful Post
For me, the most "helpful" post I can recall writing was this one, titled 37 weeks (5:00 a.m.) Nearing the end of my pregnancy (and little did I know just how near I was to the end — I delivered Owen only 4 days later!), I recall waking in the wee hours of the morning in a sheer panic. Even during my pregnancy, when sleep could be disruptive, I have never been the type of person to have such trouble sleeping that I actually get out of bed. (My bed and I have always been dear, dear friends, you see.) But on this day, I was on extreme red alert and, fortunately, jotting down my thoughts in this post helped me to feel a little more at ease. I followed it up with another post a few hours later — after going back to bed, of course — where I recorded feeling "a bit less overwhelmed." Whew!

5. Most Surprisingly Successful Post
Perhaps this one, 18 Months (warning: long post), which, sadly, was given a wildly inappropriate title considering its fairly heavy content that was so difficult for me to share. In it, I discussed a somewhat life-altering episode for this relatively new parent, providing the details of Owen's fall down the stairs and the immense guilt and shame that I dealt with in the days and weeks following it. I didn't even really go into just how harrowing an experience that was for me and how desperately inadequate I felt as a mother. (Let's just say, it was a very rough time for me.) But the comments I received as feedback on this post helped me to heal. One comment by my sweet brother, in fact, made me tear up even as I re-read it now. Touching. And I have moved on, of course. But it was definitely life-altering.

6. Post That Didn't Get the Attention It Deserved
I was a bit surprised that the post titled, What once was lost, but now is found didn't receive a single comment. I know it's not earth-shattering news or anything, but I thought it was pretty remarkable that my missing pair of glasses turned up the after getting a new pair (and that was after waiting months for them to turn up.) I mean, that's odd, right? And I think the word that I was looking for in this post to describe this scenario was maybe irony?

7. Post That I Am Most Proud Of
Hmmmm...this one was a little tough. But after reviewing a few options, I have to go with this one, A few thoughts on the past year. Documenting my thoughts on my first year of motherhood was good for my soul. So was going back and re-reading it just now.

On that note, here are the 5-7 bloggers that I am nominating to pay this challenge forward. I won't be offended if you choose not to participate. It is a little narcissistic to bloviate about your own past posts, after all. (Yes, I did just channel my inner Bill O'Reilly.) But who among us doesn't like to go back and revisit our own personal history?

1. Jackie — My baby sister and author of P's And Their Pod. I love this woman like crazy and am so impressed by her newfound talent in photography. Lucky for her she has the most photogenic and adorable baby on the planet as her muse. Watch out for this local up-and-comer!

2. Rachel — My next-in-line sister and author of She is such a strong, giving, and charismatic woman and I am proud to love her! I can't wait to see what the future holds for her as she embarks on a new life journey. Of all the people I know, this tough lady can do whatever she puts her mind to!

3. Mary — My former Muscatine soul-mate and author of Blessed in the Midwest. I was shocked when I discovered how much younger she is than me because I kind of tend to look up to her as a mom who seems like she knows what she's doing (a lot more than me, anyway). I miss having her closer, but look forward to reading her blog and catching up when we can.

4. Rebecca — Another local momma that inspires me by what she can manage on top of having two more kids than me. I love reading her blog, A Beautiful Life and always get a giggle out of her charming way of sharing those all-to-familiar mommy moments.

5. Chuck — Who I know will not be participating, as he is anticipating the arrival of his first child in a few short weeks. Plus, he hasn't posted anything on his blog, Made in Texas, since Memorial Day, so I know what to expect here. Still, I love this guy and am so impressed by who he has become. His wife Randi has had such a tremendous impact on him — their joy for life is evident!

Ah, well I would have liked to have continued the "7" theme going on here, but alas, those are all the bloggers I know personally, so there you have it.


  1. I am so blessed to have a friend like you in my life! This was a fun post, I just completed this - it was so fun to go back through old posts that I had completely forgotten about!

  2. How fun! Thanks for Sharing Mary!