327 Gallons of Blood, Sweat, and Tears

What an amazing nine months it’s been since I began writing here on in these small moments.

Nine months, 178 posts, and 327 gallons of blood, sweat, and tears.

I sat down to write a top ten posts list and quickly realized that I couldn’t do it. I have too many that are close to my heart. I sensed that a top 178 list wouldn’t fly, so I’m presenting you with my top 20.  A fair compromise, no?

Please view this list as you would a menu at a restaurant. Read the descriptions and choose what looks good to you. You wouldn’t order the whole menu, so please read only what looks interesting.

In April, I was still trying to find my voice, but I am especially proud of If I’m Being Completely Honest, a post that was difficult to write, as I bared a part of myself that felt broken.

In May, I sat down and immersed myself in memory; Memories of a Childhood and Home was what came out of it. Reading this one truly takes me back to a happy place.

Later in May, Katie turned three and I wrote And Just Like That, She Turned Three, a birthday letter to tell her how amazing she is.

June was a month of tremendous sadness and reflection. Craig’s mother passed away that month and as we struggled as we waited by her bedside, I wrote So Much to Say, a piece that I’m still so proud of.

I wrote about my struggles with accepting the fact that we were having a boy when pregnant with Matthew, in Gender Disappointment, Unanswered Prayers, and Getting Lost.

I also posted what I believe are the only photos of me on this entire blog in the post Feeling Nostalgic … Remembering our Dream Wedding and Honeymoon.

In July, I spent some time thinking about my father’s murder. Does Google Make You Real? explored the role of the internet on my reality.

In August, I apparently had a ton to say.

As Katie’s last speech therapy with her therapist, Lyndsey, was approaching, I wrote The Gift of Voice, a piece about our journey and my tremendous gratitude.

Later that month, Craig and I celebrated our anniversary and I wrote An Anniversary Letter of Love, piece that sheds light on just how remarkable he is.

When Katie and I butted heads a bit, I wrote Tender as a Whisper, a piece documenting the push and pull of our relationship.

I wrote the super short Traces of Sugar as I felt Matthew’s babyhood slipping through my fingers.

In September, I was all sorts of helpful with Ten Things You Might Be Tempted To Do If You Lose Internet Access.

I wrote The Way That You See Me, a letter to Katie that still chokes me up when I read it. The words are every bit as emotional today as they were on the day that I wrote them.

I also wrote And I love That About Her, a letter of gratitude to the very first commenter on this blog, a person who has believed in me from the very start, and who has since come to play a huge role in my life.

October began with yet another letter, An Afternoon on the Lawn Swing with My Father.

I also had entirely too much fun with a piece called Pooh Gone Wrong, a post told through tweets.  So much fun!

I was also inspired by an amazing blogger to make a list of things that I hope to always remember: If My Memory Should Ever Fail Me.

November was spent knee-deep in NaNoWriMo and memories of my childhood.  I wrote Waiting for Headlights for my brother and all of the forgotten children who are abandoned by a parent.

I bared my soul in Never Far from the Door, a piece where I talk about my anxiety and just how crippling it has been for me at times.  It was a tough post to publish, but I am so happy I did, as I gained strength from learning that I wasn’t alone.

In December I wrote Immediate and Tremendous, the story of my grandfather’s death.

Whether you read one post or twenty, I thank you for being here.

Thank you for taking moments out of your days to visit me and get to know me through my words.  I can’t thank you enough for your presence in my life.

Happy New Year!


  1. Megan-Best of Fates bestoffates.com

    I can't believe you've been blogging for such a short time.

    How are you so much freaking better at it than I am?


    (I still love you though.)

    (But still… unacceptable.)

  2. gigi kludgymom.com

    I just read the speech therapist story. it was near and dear to my heart because we went thru
    the same with my son, and had a similar relationship with our ST. You'll hear more about the story on an upcoming guest post I do for a mutual friend.

    They are truly miracle workers in so many ways. I'm grateful you found a good one, too.

    Happy new year!

  3. wow, all your post were so beautifully written. The post you wrote about gender disappointment really touched me. Not that I have had those feelings, but because you were so honest about them.
    Thank you for sharing these.

  4. Alicia shakennotblurred.blogspot.com

    I can totally relate to you in your post Never Far From the Door. I struggle with anxiety as well. In fact I am debating about whether or not I should write about it or not. I am seriously struggling with my blog, and finding my voice.

    I am so glad I found your site! You are def one of the bloggers I look forward to reading each day!!!

  5. Clare foursillykids.blogspot.com

    I love this "Best of" idea and plan on borrowing it! Hope you don't mind… :)
    Thanks for sharing these, a few of which I hadn't read yet. Can't wait to read what 2011 brings! Keep up the great work!

  6. CDG

    I don't know how you can distill a year down like that.
    Or how it's possible you've been blogging such a short time.
    Or how it's possible I didn't find you until … when? not soon enough, anyway.
    Happy New Year!

  7. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    Cannot wait to sit down and read the ones I haven't yet.

    So glad you decided to share your amazingly beautiful voice with all of us.

    Even happier to call you my friend.

    Much love to you..

  8. @elissapr twitter.com/elissapr

    Your blog gives provides me – and so many of us – with a small moment everyday that you post. When I take a few minutes out of everyday, no matter how busy I am, to sit back, read and take stock in what you have written.
    In so many ways not only are you finding your own voice – but in sharing it with all of us, maybe, just maybe, we're recognizing some of our own 'small moments' within.

    So. Thank you.
    And Happy New Year to you and your family!

  9. Alexandra174

    I love this list of your best, rather than the "best of" that stats and visits show.

    A tremendous idea.

    Now, I'm going to put some tea on, keep the kids busy, and sit down and get to know you, my special friend.

    I can't wait.

  10. Allison @ Alli n Son alli-n-son.com

    I love posts like this because I can get caught up on everything I missed before I followed your blog. Looks like you had a ton of wonderful posts this year.

  11. You've been blogging for such a short time?! You're a rock star!! i'm off to read more of your awesome work!

  12. Sherri

    I can't wait to read some of these that you wrote before I followed. I'm teary just reading your descriptions, so I'd best get my cup of coffee and tissues!

    You have an amazing gift, my friend, and I am blessed to have met you this year. Many hugs to you as you embark on another great year!

  13. ksluiter

    I really love this post, Nichole. it's funny that you did this, because coming soon to Top Ten Tuesdays is Top Ten Fave posts. I wonder if I can narrow 3 and a half years down to only 10 faves? probably not.

    I just read through a few that I missed. Your post about finding out Matthew was a boy hit home. I was sure Eddie was a girl, but I felt the OPPOSITE way about having a girl. A girl terrifies me. When they told me he was quite undoubtedly a boy, I cried too…with relief.

    I have so enjoyed reading your writing…and even more? I have loved having you as a friend.

  14. HOW on earth did you choose?

    I could not have picked my top ten, twenty or thirty of your posts, dear one.

    I am so honored that such a talented woman is my friend.

  15. Yuliya shesuggests.com/

    I know everyone has said this, but I must say it again…you are tremendously talented. I can't wait to see what you'll delight or gut us with in the New Year . (yes gutted is how I feel when I'm all cried out from reading your blog)

  16. bywordofmouth

    What a delight you are 'new' friend … and what insight to your life!
    btw, your students must really miss you!
    Happy new year Nichole xxx

  17. Tonya lettersforlucas.blogspot.com/

    I'm with Lori… how on earth did you choose? You truly have a gift and I love everything you wrote! I can't wait to read some of the posts I missed and to see where the New Year takes you. Wishing you and your family all the very best in 2011. xoxo

  18. kris

    I read all of these posts as you posted them.

    And I remember each and every one.

    Because you? Are a remarkable writer, Nichole.


    Without a doubt.

  19. @CoolWhipMom twitter.com/CoolWhipMom

    I am delighted to meet you and get to know your blog. I just read your Christmas after miscarriage post on BlogHer and I am hooked. You are an amazing writer and you share of yourself so generously. I am excited to see this list of posts, so I can easily pop back through the year and read some of your favorite posts. I hope you have a wonderful New Year and I look forward to reading more of your writing and getting to know you better. Love and peace. xoxoxo

  20. Jaime ainsleylynn.blogspot.com/

    How could I possibly choose? Of course, I'm going to have to read them all…

  21. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    You are silly. Completely silly.
    You have an amazing blogging voice.
    Much love to you!

  22. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thanks, Gigi.
    It is such a difficult thing to go through and the right ST makes all the difference.
    I look forward to reading your post!
    Happy New Year to you!

  23. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you so much, Cristina!
    I truly appreciate you reading my words. :)
    Happy New Year!

  24. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Anxiety is such a beast.
    I highly recommend writing about it. It helped me to feel so much less alone.
    My lovely friend Katie wrote a great piece that helped her to process her anxiety. Here's the link: http://sluiternation.com/2010/11/and-so/
    I am so happy that you visit me. I look forward to reading your words, too. :)
    Happy New Year!

  25. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I will be stopping by to see what you've come up with!
    Thank you for reading, Clare. It means the world to me.
    Happy New Year!

  26. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    There were so many posts that I wanted to include. It really did feel like I was trying to pick my favorite child.
    Happy New Year, my gorgeous friend. Our friendship was one of the highlights of 2010!
    Much love to you!

  27. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you for reading, my friend.
    It means so much to me that you went back to read my favorites.
    Thank you for your friendship!
    Happy New Year!

  28. Wow you are such an amazing writer. Loved reading your posts, they are always so heartfelt and inspiring :)

  29. Rachel mommyneedsavacation.com

    You have so many wonderful posts!!! I think I need to borrow some your sweetness and heartfeltness this year…I am very cynical. Love you!

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