Right out of the gate, 2011 has proven to be a crazy year, full of unexpected surprises.
It started out with VFH* knocking me off my feet for almost 2 months. I was beginning to think it would never end... but thankfully it finally did.
That was followed by the news that my daughter had a very nasty ear infection, causing a temporary loss of hearing in both ears. Two courses of antibiotics later, she has regained the hearing in one ear, but we're still waiting for the other ear to clear up. I'm hoping that tubes are not in her future.
Add to that the fun of planning and carrying out my first conference, which was a completely new experience for me, and surprised me in ways both expected and not expected. I now have a great deal more respect for people like Holly Hansen and Paula Hinkel who do this on a regular basis (you ladies are SAINTS!).
Finally, top off with an insane amount of reports - more reports than I think I've ever written in my life - and trying to establish a semi-regular homeschool routine for my daughter. Her voracious appetite for learning reminds me of that robot in the 80's movie Short Circuit... "More input, please!"
I can also say that I've had some wonderful genealogy news during this time. One lead in particular solved a puzzle that I've spent almost 20 years trying to crack. Another came from a man who used to correspond with my aunt back in the mid 90's. I took a chance and sent him a letter last spring, and he finally answered me a few weeks ago. In addition, a relative of my husband's left a comment here on my blog, which started a great dialog between the two of them.
So... as if this year hasn't been enough of a roller coaster already, I got the news on Wednesday that "Little Bytes of Life" had been selected as one of Family Tree Magazine's 40 Best Genealogy Blogs for 2011 for the second consecutive year. I really don't know if I'm more surprised that my blog was selected, or that some truly outstanding blogs were not selected.
But either way, I'm very happy, very humbled, and very honored. I thank the panel of experts for their vote of confidence. But most of all, I thank YOU, my readers... for coming back, for commenting, and for keeping me inspired and on my toes.
I'm hoping that the craziness will let up in the next 2 weeks, and that I'll be able to return to regular blogging at that time. If all goes as planned, the "Best Bytes" series should return on March 25.
In the meantime, I hope the Leprechauns bring you a genealogy pot of gold!
* Virus From Hell
Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal
UPDATE: I was trying to compose this post while my husband was interrupting me with tsunami news every 8 seconds, and my daughter was screaming that she wanted to watch cartoons. I neglected to congratulate the other 39 amazingly wonderful bloggers on the FT40-2011 list. Being included on any list with all of you really makes my