As many of you now know, I am not going to be blogging anymore. The day before my announcement post went up I was treated to a complimentary night’s stay at the Inn At Laurel Point in Victoria, B.C. It was such a wonderful gift and the perfect way to end my past two years of blogging. Bonus that it was the biggest piece of swag I’ve ever received! I left feeling refreshed, almost re-born somehow, ready for a new beginning. And as I walked out of the hotel, it started to snow. I LOVE snow and I have been missing it since we moved. My kids have been asking me “if it is Winter then why isn’t it snowing?” It was like a sign. Like, yes, I am doing the right thing. So, I start off this gratitude post by thanking Avril at the Inn at Laurel Point, and Mother Earth for giving me snow.
Breastfeeding Moms Unite! wouldn’t be the blog it has been without the support and inspiration of a number of people. Many of these bloggers I consider good friends. If we lived in the same town I would invite their kids to my kids birthday parties, bring them chocolate ice cream when they had a bad day, and call them up when I needed help to problem solve my latest parenting crisis.
Gina from The Feminist Breeder. Gina is someone I admire greatly for her honesty and openness about her life and her unquestionable passion and commitment to increasing VBAC and breastfeeding awareness. I appreciate people who are comfortable enough in their own skin to be as real as Gina is. I was completely stoked when she asked me to be the first guest on her Feminist Breeder and Friends Blog Talk Radio – “Breastfeeding Broads” last year. I only wish we could meet in person. One day my friend!
Amber from Strocel.com. Other than CaroLyn from Breeder Brain who I went to high school with, Amber is the one blogger I have met face-to-face. She is as smart, witty and down to earth in person as she is in her blog, and I am forever in debt to her for all the thoughtful comments she has supplied me with. Amber is someone you’d want to make a date with to take your kids for a ride in a wagon down the street to the neighbourhood park, if only to ensure she invited you in later for some of her homemade ice cream.
Annie from Phd in Parenting. Annie’s blog was the first blog I found that immediately clicked with me and hooked me to reading blogs in general. That was about two weeks after I started blogging when I didn’t do what I was doing or how the whole “blogging thing” worked. I approached her and asked if she could put my brand new breastfeeding blog on her blog roll. Not only did she do so but she became one of my loyal readers and commenters too. I’ve watched Annie’s blog soar over the past couple years and have been humbly grateful for every link she’s given me. Her friendship and support have meant a lot.
Lauren at Hobo Mama. Lauren is the most thorough blogger I have ever read. She is super nice and I love pretty much every single post she writes. She is a fantastic writer and her writing has inspired me to do a better job in my own posts. I look forward to someday having a beach date in Seattle with her and her family. Especially since we are practically neighbours!
Dionna at Code Name: Mama. Dionna is amazing. You know how new parents wish someone had written a manual on how to parent? Well, someone should commission this woman to do just that. Not only does she parent in a way that would make Dr. Sears blush, she runs three sites, hosts two monthly carnivals and always finds time to send a kind and compassionate message to her readers. Dionna is my hero.
Alex at A Moderate Life. I need to thank Alex who single handedly convinced me that even though I am vegetarian, I too was a real food blogger. She has been unwaveringly supportive of all of my food-related posts and manages to be one of the most personable bloggers out there.
Melissa at Stork Stories…Birth & Breastfeeding. Melissa has been working as a maternity nurse and lactation consultant for over 35 years. Her wealth and breadth of experience and her gentle, non-judgmental demeanor attracted me to her immediately and led me to ask if she would volunteer to be my Certified Lactation Consultant for my Ask an LC series. I was so thankful she said yes!
I feel like I could go on about a lot of other people… so I guess I’m gonna do just that!
Heather at All About The Hat – Thank you for educating me about unassisted birth. Even though people say I was brave to have a HBAC, your steadfast courage inspires me. If I ever had another baby I know I’d do it differently thanks to everything you’ve blogged about.
Elita at Blacktating. My fellow breastfeeding blogger. What can I say. I love what you do for breastfeeding mothers of colour. You rock.
Heather at Mommypotamus. I was so thrilled to find your site. If I ever start another blog it will look a lot like yours. Real Food, Health, and Natural Parenting. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Alison at Blue Bird Mama. Finding your blog through Amber and connecting with your posts about figuring out schools was one of my best finds ever. I hope we can meet someday.
Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom. People who like reading about breastfeeding NEED to read Jenny’s blog. I daresay she has the best one out there. I love learning about breastfeeding from a Philippine perspective too. Thanks for being so awesome Jenny.
Sally at Seashells and Snowflakes. I think I’ve been following Sally’s blog longer than Annie at Phd in Parenting. I wish Sally was my next door neighbour. She radiates light and love and has certainly brought some of it into my life.
Betsy at Honest to Betsy. Betsy has made me want to be funnier. I’ve never been the funniest person but Betsy inspires me to pull it out of the bag. I love her blog so much I could eat it!
Hilary at Infinite Learners. You know those blogs that make you slow down and savour the moment? Hilary.
Sara at One Starry Night. Thank you Sara for being the web mistress I really wanted. Thanks for taking the time to show me how to do things myself. I’m sorry I never ended up changing the site. I guess I knew that this might happen. But again, if I ever start another blog I know who I’ll be calling. Hugs.
Jake at Sustainable Mothering. Jake is like my blog mom, but she didn’t know that until now. I have so much reverence for you and your experience. I’m always thrilled when you leave a comment. So thanks for that.
Maman A Droit. My most conservative friend but just as crunchy a mom as the rest of my crew. I always appreciate reading her point of view. Thanks for inviting me to do the Body Image Carnival with you!
Karen Angstadt at Intentional Birth. Karen had me as her guest on A Labor of Love, her Voice America show where we talked about Breastfeeding a Toddler. It was lots of fun and a great experience. Thank you for inviting me to do that with you.
More people who have touched my life with their blogs: Paige at the Baby Dust Diaries, Judy from Mommy News & Views, Tanya at Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog, Chandelle at Chicken Tender, Summer at Finding Summer, Christina from Spoonfed, Joni from Tales of a Kitchen Witch, Luschka at Diary of a First Child, Dagmar from Dagmar’s Momsense, Tabatha from Tabulous, Kelly from Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Kirsten from Food Renegade, Glenda from Me and Mine in a Small Town, Starr from Taking Time (formerly Earth Mama), Upstatemama from Our Life Upstate, Amy from Crunchy Domestic Goddess, Arwyn from Raising My Boychick, Deborah from Pure Mothers, Bettina from Best For Babes and finally, even though she stopped blogging quite some time ago, Emily from Adventures in [Crunchy] Parenthood was a big influence on my blogging in the early days. Thanks Emily!
Thank you to all the bloggers who linked up at my Vegetarian Foodie Fridays carnival. There are too many of you to list so I will just name a few. Riddlelove, Anktangle, US Masala, Trina of the Beans, Comfy Cook, Food. Soil. Thread., Living Free of Dairy, Gluten and Sugar, 21st Century Housewife, Treat & Trick, Debbi Does Dinner Healthy, Health Food Lover, Girlichef. I know I’ve missed tons of you. I’m sorry!!!
A huge thank you to my sponsors.
To Momzelle Nursing Wear who has sponsored me for two years straight, thank you! I have been proud to represent you and to have a company like yours support me. You truly are a “Liquid Gold” sponsor.
To Snugabell, for sponsoring me for so many months this past year. It’s been a honour. Thank you!
To Little Nurslings. I’ve loved having you as a sponsor month after month too. It’s so great to work with mom-run small businesses.
More thank yous to all of the businesses big and small who have sent me products to review and giveaway. While I haven’t been known as a giveaway blog the giveaways I have come from wonderful companies who I have been happy to sing praises of. The perks of increased traffic and freebies was great too!
Extra special thanks to To Bravado who has helped promote my site, and sent me two beautiful nursing bras that I will likely wear even when I am finally done breastfeeding, and who have given me the chance to do two big giveaways. Thank you!
Do I have any regrets?
Yes! One. I never did a review of a book I said that I would do. In fact, if anyone would like to review The Nursing Mother’s Companion (2010) by Kathleen Huggins for me (and the publisher) then I will send it to you free of charge. Just let me know. It comes with the promise of a three book giveaway. Let me know if you are interested and I will choose who I think would be best to do the review to make up for my not doing it.
Also, I said I would do a follow up review of Sweet Songs, a beautiful children’s CD put together by a number of very talented artists in Texas, some who wrote songs specifically for the album. It is our favourite family CD and I am still so impressed that 100% of the proceeds goes to the Austin Milk Bank. If you are looking for a special gift of incredible music for your child or another, please order one (or two). If you still aren’t sure, head to the site and listen to the free clips. You will be glad you did. So I never got around to doing a full length blog post feature, but if I can tempt any bloggers to buy the CD themselves maybe you will post a review of your own. Thank you to Monica Cravotta of Attachment Mama.
Special thanks to my wonderful readers! The ones who leave comments and the ones who don’t, the ones who share my posts and the ones who don’t. If you read me through Facebook or twitter – I will still be there so don’t go away! I’m grateful to you all. It feels amazing knowing I have made a difference in some of your lives. I appreciate everyone who has come out of the woodwork to tell me so over the years. That was why I started blogging and it is a goal I am proud to have achieved.
Lastly, thank you to my husband and my daughters. I got married, had babies, breastfed them, and started a blog about breastfeeding. If it weren’t for you Breastfeeding Moms Unite! wouldn’t be here. I love you all so much!
I hope I didn’t miss thanking anyone. I probably did. If so (and you are feeling bummed out about it), I apologize.
I am going to try to continue to follow everyone’s blog on a somewhat regular basis, so you haven’t necessarily seen the last of me, but I just wanted to say thank you for inspiring me, making me laugh, making me cry and making me think about things in a new way. Thank you for opening me up, teaching me things, sharing your lives, your recipes, your knowledge, passions, hopes, dreams, and sharing mine. Be well my friends.
And I meant it when I said I would send you that book for your blog to review. So let me know if you’re interested and I will get back to you within a few days.
Roses photo credit: Biewoef