This year in blogging

More than 5,400 people visited Butterscotch Sundae in 2011. This is not, in terms of the “big blogs” or even the medium-sized blogs, a large number at all. But it’s big enough to blow my mind a bit. You came from all over the world this year, including Chile, Ghana, Iran, Indonesia and a surprisingly large number from Russia. In what I believe to be a first for the site, we had visitors from every state in the United States. Not very many from Wyoming or South Dakota, but enough to color them in on the map!

2011 visitors map
2011 visitors map

I’d like to send each of you a rose and a personalized poem, but I do not have that many roses on hand. Instead, I will say Thank You For Stopping By. (And maybe I will send a rose and a personalized poem to our No. 1 Fan.)

I would also like to say thank you to the top referral sites that weren’t Facebook and Google, both of which I also appreciate and am quite sure are run by humans. But you know.

  1. Homeschooling site Heart of the Matter Online sent 253 people our way.
  2. I’m an Organizing Junkie — home of the Menu Plan Monday link-up — sent 251.
  3. The rather fabulous Rootie Toot at Because it Really is Personal After All sent 246.
  4. Fellow BlogHer member Daddy Scratches sent 183.
  5. And Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers sent 173.

And what are most people reading once they get here? This stuff, mostly:

  1. Four fun places in Atlanta to visit with your kids. I take this to mean I should travel more frequently.
  2. Going to Atlanta? Here’s a peach of a giveaway. Clearly, I should be sending you places more frequently, too.
  3. How to choose a baseball team is a very amusing graphic that I can take no credit for whatsoever.
  4. A homeschool plan for a first-grader. Unlike our kindergarten plan, we’ve actually stuck pretty closely to this.

I don’t have any plans for dominating the internet, so I’m not setting any goals for 2012 numbers. I would, however, like to see more green on that visitors map. So if you know anyone in Greenland, Khazakstan or Mongolia, please send them this way.

But not until January 1st.

2011 in retrospect

I’ve done this All & Sundry survey for four years now (2010, 2008, 2007, 2006), so I thought I’d go ahead and fill it out again this year. I didn’t have an answer to some of the questions, so it’s somewhat shorter than the past years have been.

What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
I went to Mississippi and Louisiana. And we bought a house!

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make any resolutions last year. This year, I pledge to make more deviled eggs. They’re delicious and so easy.

January 2011. It snowed. A lot.
Did anyone close to you give birth?

A few friends did, I think. Unless I’m thinking of babies you had last year, in which case I apologize for my terrible memory.

Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully.

February 2011. Sketching at the Georgia Aquarium.
What countries did you visit?

What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A new couch would be nice.

March 2011
What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I doubt that any dates will remain etched upon my memory, because I have a horrible memory. I will always remember walking into our house for the first time, though. That would’ve been in early July.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably guessed it was the buying of the house. My glass-half-empty self is still surprised that we actually were able to make that happen!

April 2011. Hula-hooping at a friend's Easter/birthday party.
What was your biggest failure?
Well, I still haven’t lost that weight I’ve been trying to lose for the last 4 years. So there’s that.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing significant. (Knock on wood.)

May 2011. Ballerinas.
What was the best thing you bought?
I’m pretty sure we all know the answer to this one.

Where did most of your money go?
Our ongoing efforts to pay off the credit cards. We’re getting closer!

June 2011. Getting ready for Rockford's grandfather's 90th birthday party.
What did you get really excited about?
“The Muppet Movie.” The “Friday Night Lights” finale. Oh, and buying a house!

What song will always remind you of 2011?
Probably “Man or Muppet,” because the kids sing it all the time.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Saying yes to the children. I’m working on doing more of that.

July 2011. On the All Thrifty States road trip.
What do you wish you’d done less of?

Stressing over things over which I have zero control.

How did you spend Christmas?
Surrounded by friends and family and more friends and more family. Just as it should be.

August 2011. Las Vegas.
What was your favorite TV program?
“Friday Night Lights.” And also possibly “Doctor Who.”

What were your favorite books of the year?
I didn’t keep careful track of my reading this year, so I can’t say definitively. The most memorable was definitely the “Game of Thrones” series. I got very much swept up in it.

September 2011. Schoolwork.
What was your favorite music from this year?

Neither Mumford and Sons’ “Sigh No More” nor The Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” came out this year, but I bought both of them in early 2011. They’re both tremendous. I like Wilco’s “The Whole Love,” too, but I didn’t connect with it as much as I did the other two.

What were your favorite films of the year?
Did I even see any movies this year? I’m sure I did, but I don’t remember any of them at present.

October 2011. A walk in the woods.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33 this year, but I don’t remember what we did on my birthday. I’m sure it was fabulous.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
My year was pretty close to immeasurably satisfying already. It was a very nice year.

November 2011. A Thomas cake for a 4-year-old.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Nonexistent. I’d like to develop one of those.

December 2011. A cat and her jellyfish.

A dream deferred

“I have a saxophone in the basement,” I said. “I’d like to clean it up so I can practice playing it again.”

“Why?” Poppy asked.

“So I can play saxophone solos,” I told her, “and maybe join a band.”

“You have a family already,” she said. “It’s too late. You should’ve done that in your earlier years.”