Top ten blog posts

Top ten blog posts

I’ll share my favorite blogs soon, but today’s list are my top ten favorite blog posts of 2012.   Some are from blogs I’ve been reading for a while, others are blogs I don’t normally read but stumbled across via facebook or a news article or who knows how else.  Some are funny, some are challenging, some are moving, some are informative.

In no particular order, my top ten blog posts of 2012:

10. How to Load a Dishwasher by Faith on Domestic Kingdom: A really challenging piece about the mundane things in life needing grace the most.

9. YouTube Video Date (aka 2.5 hours of free laughter) on Friday We’re in Love: A fun playlist of funny YouTube clips… some I’d never seen before.

8. If I Grew Up in Gaza on inexhaustible significance: We are really careful how we talk about events going on in the region, especially when politics are involved.  We obviously have a very different perspective living here but we feel conversations dealing with things like the bombing in Gaza are best had over a cup of coffee, not through a blog post.  But every once in a while we come across something that’s too good not to share.  This is one of those posts.

7. I Am Not a Human Pacifier on Nurshable: A sweet letter from a mama to her three week old from an attachment parenting blog I enjoy reading.

6. On Insulting Muslims on Beirut Spring: When all the violence broke out in response to the film Innocence of Muslims, many in the west were asking if the violence was truly an extreme reaction, where are all the moderate Muslims denouncing it?  Here is one (of many).

5. where is the mommy-war for the motherless child? on Rage Against the Minivan: A beautiful post on what we Mamas should be fighting for.

4. Pumpkin Patch Babies on Pinstrosity: Okay, everything on pinstrosity is just hilarious, but I crack up every single time I see this post.

3. Flat Out Segregation at Lebanese Beaches – part II on Anti Racism Movement: A video depicting the racism against domestic workers at beaches here in Lebanon.  Just one example of the rampant racism those from the Phillipines, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar and many other countries face.

2. 46 Reasons My Three Year Old Might be Freaking Out on Jason Good: I think this man is spying on our life and writing about Isla.  I cried I was laughing so hard!

1. The Mom Stays in the Picture on Huff Post Blog: I cry every time I read this post.  A must read for every mom out there!

Top Ten beautiful feet

Top Ten beautiful feet

Okay, I admit it.  I’m a bit obsessed with all the year end top ten lists going around.  There’s a list out there for everyone, really.  Top ten movies, check! (haven’t seen a single one.)  Top ten photos, check!  (so sad that most revolve around disaster and war.) Top ten new species discovered in 2012, check! (what!?)

So to join in on the fun (for me at least), here’s the start of my own annual top ten series!

Top Ten blog posts in 2012

10. Ruby, neighborhood celebrity

9. The Mommy Wars

8. Isla’s first day!

7. my wife says i should blog more

6. Interview with a 2 year old

5. Okay, I’m kind of cheating here.  I grouped together all the posts I wrote when Ruby was in the hospital for her blood incompatibility, because if I didn’t, they would take up nearly half the top ten, and that’s not really a very fun list!  Bedtime story…, View from the pediatric unit, Just kidding, and Sunday 11:56pm

4. An open letter

3. Ruby’s Birth Day

2. The Lebanese Beach Scene

1. Delivery Wishes

Top Ten Isla-isms

Top Ten Isla-isms

Isla actually didn’t really start talking a lot until this summer, when her vocab just exploded.  Now we can’t get her to stop talking.  Like any toddler, she’s had some funny ways of expressing herself, funny pronunciations.

Here are my favorites:

10.  “One two fee dubba vee” (when she was learning to count at the beginning of the summer)

9. Caleb: Does Daddy love you?
Isla: NO!
Caleb: Who loves you?
Isla: Elmo loves you!

8. Isla saw a few minutes of So You Think You Can Dance on TV.  She then wanted to dance and “almost fall down” like the dancers on the show.

7. “Booty bears” (blueberries)

6. “Shoo fly, don bama you” (she thought that meant bug)

5. Waking up crying in the night, “Isla’s room said bonk!”  (I think maybe the neighbors upstairs were moving furniture or something)

4.  She adds “es” to any word to make it plural, including Arabic words: “hillses, bookses”

3. “Throw it up.”  (Blow it out)

2. Caleb: You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Isla: Lion in a manger!  RAWR!

1. While talking about how God is with us when we are afraid (Isla is afraid of the car), “God is not in Mommy and Daddy’s car.  Silly God!”

Top Ten beautiful feet posts

Top Ten beautiful feet posts

I know, I know… we are well into 2012, so what’s with all the end-of-year posts in January?

Eh, I thought it was a fun idea and didn’t get around to it with all the busy-ness of the end of holidays.  So, to continue… here are the ten most read posts from our blog in 2011:

10. Flash mob Beirut: Easter edition

9. Isla spells her name

8. Switching normals

7. Good numbers, bad numbers

6. Isla in America

5. I wish they all could be California girls…

4. Advent 2011

3. The culture shock that no one tells you about

2. You are fat.

1. I have a dream… (interestingly, I wrote this in 2010… but it still gets read more than any other post!)

Thanks for reading… hope to keep more fun and interesting posts coming your way in 2012!

Top Ten Blogs

Top Ten Blogs

My favorite blogs from 2011… maybe you’ll find a new one to follow!

10.  Awkward Family Photos

I imagine most of you have seen this already… if you haven’t, make sure you aren’t drinking anything when you check it out… unless you want to be cleaning coffee off your computer screen!

9.  Enjoying the Small Things

I’m not sure how I stumbled across this blog, but it’s so sweet.  A mama to two little girls, who is an incredible photographer and has quite the zest for life.  Start with Nella’s birth story… amazing.

8.  in real life with Jamie Jo

One of Women of the Harvest’s current blogs exploring life as a woman serving cross-culturally.  If you are a gal working overseas, I’d definitely encourage you to check out Women of the Harvest… a great resource!

7.  “Stuff” my Kids Ruined

Title says it all… pictures of the creativeness of children.  (Technically, the title has a swear word in it, but the site is clean!)

6. Beirut Spring

A Lebanese blog about life, culture, politics in Lebanon.  Since I don’t like to read the news, this keeps me up to date on what’s going on without all of the threats and “war talk” that you find on the news.

5. Blog Baladi

Another popular Lebanese blogger.

4.  The Meanest Mom

A funny funny mom blogger… basically just stories about her kids and all the shenanigans they find themselves in.

3.  I Heart Faces

A really fun photography site.  They do weekly contests and photoshop tutorials.  Photography is a hobby of both Caleb’s and mine, and it’s always fun to get new ideas!

2.  I Heart Organizing

I want to live in this woman’s house.  She’s seriously amazing.  It’s a good thing we don’t have Ikea, Home Depot, etc in Lebanon or decorating and organizing could easily become an addiction.

1.  The Livesay [Haiti] weblog

I started reading this blog just after the earthquake in Haiti.  They were there and were giving really good updates from the ground.  And then I continued reading… they have an incredible ministry in Haiti and some really insightful thoughts on short term trips and trans-racial adoption (which has great principles on the issue of race that I’ve been working on with the girls).


So any great blogs out there that I missed??

Happy reading!


Isla’s Top Ten

Isla’s Top Ten

Isla’s favorites from 2011 (in no particular order)

10. Airplanes


This child will probably grow up to be a pilot.  Her excitement about airplanes leads her to do crazy things, like stay awake for 26 hours straight so as not to miss a minute of going up, flying, going down, running through airports and going through customs.  Even drugs have little affect on Energizer Isla when it comes to airplanes.

9. Animals that you can touch (aka not street cats)!


Cats are at the top of her list, followed closely by dogs, donkeys, horses, cows and butterflies.  Pretty much anything but ants.  And snails.  She’s terrified of snails.

8. Swimming


Taking swimming lessons this summer was definitely a highlight of her year.  She loves the water!

7. Family


Isla had so much fun with her family this summer.  Grandpa Dave, Grandma Jane, Aunt Charity & Uncle Nathan, Uncle Cody, Zippy, Grandpa Bill, Grandma, Uncle Adam & Aunt Jade, Annelise and Uncle Evan….  she loves and misses her family so much!

6.  The Beach


While the sand took some getting used to, Isla had no problem running straight into the water!  No surprise there.  :)

5. Being a Flower Girl


Having a one year old as a flower girl can be risky, but Isla did amazing.  She was so excited she ran down the aisle.  She’s blurry in all the ceremony pictures :)

4. Turning 2!


What child doesn’t love having a birthday?  Isla was totally into the cakes, parties and presents this year!

3.  Music Class

Music class is the highlight of Isla’s week.  Play dates with her friends when we don’t have music class is an added bonus to her life. She loooves her friends, loves to sing and dance, and loves her teacher!

2.  Snow!


If you can eat it, Isla likes it.

1. Playing with the girls


This year Isla has been going with me to the girls a few times each week.  We have two new girls, one is just a year older than Isla, so she has such a blast going to play with them while I study with the older ones.  It took her a while to get comfortable, but I love how she just walks right in and heads straight to where the girls are playing.  Ahhh, life with 11 big sisters… Isla is loving it!

Top ten things I will do in America

Top ten things I will do in America

So, besides the obvious seeing family and friends, here are the top ten really not important but kind of important things that I will do when we set foot on American soil for the first time in two years:

(In no particular order):

1. Flush my toilet paper.  (I might just throw a whole roll down there, just because!)

2. Roll around on a carpeted floor.

3. Get fat eating at all the restaurants I miss… Panera, Taco Bell, Goodberry’s, Freebirds, Jamba Juice, Casablanca, Paradise Bakery, Sweet Tomatoes, Fiesta Mexicana, to name a few.

4. Introduce Isla to grass.

5. Eat green mint chip chocolate ice cream.

6. Not plan my outings around Isla’s eating schedule, because if I want to, I can actually feed her in public.

7. Put Isla in the nursery so I can sit through a church service (first time in almost a year!)

8. Drink one or two or maybe ten chais at Starbucks.

9. Target.  Enough said.

10. Wear shorts in public.

There you have it.

Just kidding, I have one more.

11. Put all my jeans in the dryer to shrink them back to their original size!