Friday, March 11, 2011

A Year of Surprises (Already!)

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 day year. MWAH!

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Cheryl Palmer said...

Congratulations Elizabeth!

Bill West said...

Congrats again, Elizabeth!

Greta Koehl said...

We've missed you! But glad to hear things are on the mend and hoping your daughter's ear problems clear up completely (been there...). And finally, congratulations!

Sheri said...

You are one of the best, Congratulations!

Janice said...

Glad to hear that things are better and to see that you are back. Congratulations again on making the Top 40!

Lori E said...

Let's hope the year continues to improve. Your poor daughter. One of my sons had regular ear infections as a child and it was terrible. Just when we were waiting for summer to end before we put tube in they just stopped and he never had another one.
Congrats on your blog. Well earned.

Fi said...

And just to add some icing, I've awarded you the One Lovely Blog Award. Have a look -

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Thank you for your kind words, everyone. I'm hoping life will return to normal (whatever that means) very soon!

I think the worst thing for a mother is finding out that her child is actually sicker than she thought. My husband is the "freaker-outer" in our household, meaning that he worries excessively over every sniffle and sneeze. If he could wrap our daughter in bubble wrap and never let her out of the house, he'd be happy.

I'm the opposite. I'm the "just brush/wipe/shake it off" parent, and seldom get overly upset over anything that doesn't involve massive amounts of blood (I think it was my years teaching 1st grade that gave me this attitude). Anyway, when I found out how bad my daughter's ears were, I must have cried for 2 hours. We moms hate knowing that our child is suffering, and my little girl is such a trooper. Thanks for the encouragement of you moms out there!

And Fi, thank you for the "One Lovely Blog Award!" That certainly was a nice surprise!

Southwest Arkie said...

Congratulations Elizabeth!

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Thank you, Southwest Arkie!

Linda Gartz said...

2011 certainly threw plenty of troubles your way -- glad you're feeling better. I'm thrilled for your win as a top blogger of the year! Well deserved. Now for things to stay settled down!