Favorite Posts of 2012 and Reflecting on a Crazy Year


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I can’t believe it’s already 2013. The last year has gone by so fast. As I was thinking about writing this post, I couldn’t help but smile at all the wonderful (and trying) things we’ve experienced in the last year. It’s truly been a whirlwind.

2012 was definitely a year of journeys – from our travels to our health scares to new experiences.

January 2012

We embarked on a two-month trip in Hawaii. Looking back, it was a blast and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but oh man there were some trying times. My middle son had the hardest time transitioning and traveling all the time. Sometimes it felt like we were dealing with tantrums all the time, but after a while we developed a routine that helped him to settle in better.

It was amazing to “homeschool” (even though my kids hated doing homework) and travel throughout Oahu and Kauai. My boys perfected their surfing, climbed trees all day, and ran around the beach like a couple of bums. They learned so much about marine life. It was glorious.

February 2012

We continued our Hawaii trip and stayed in Kauai (check out my post on things to do in Kauai with kids) for three weeks. I would do anything to go back for an extended period to Hanalei. It has easily become one of my favorite places in the world. It’s gorgeous, peaceful, full of hippies, and just got so much natural beauty.

In the last few weeks of February, we made our way back to Oahu to finish up our trip and stayed on the North Shore. We were in the heart of surf country – my husband was in heaven – and my boys just loved the laid-back lifestyle. I was so so sad writing this post on the end of our Hawaii trip.

March 2012

Back to reality in San Diego. The kids went back to school and did amazingly well considering they were out for so long. On the other hand, I returned to work after maternity leave and after a few weeks decided that my full-time job wasn’t for me anymore. I wanted to spend more time with my boys so I gave up my management position for something more flexible and just a few hours a week. I definitely feel blessed to still have the opportunity to work a little, but spend most of my time with my boys.

April 2012

For some reason we always do a lot of craft projects in April. Maybe it’s Easter. Maybe it’s the cold, rainy weather in San Diego – yes, I know it’s not that bad but remember I’m a Hawaiian girl and 70 degrees is cold to me. My son got hooked on DIY friendship bracelets and I admit that I did too.

I also noticed that when we did make it to the park, parents were going a bit too crazy on “the right way to play.” What the hell does it mean to go the right way down the slide? Frankly, I encourage my kids to go a little bananas at the park, so they won’t do it at home. I mean, they’re not knocking kids down or anything. They’re perfectly polite as they climb the outside of the play structures or run up the slide. So what’s the big deal?

May 2012

I got hooked on Fifty Shades of Grey. Like really obsessed. I stayed up nights reading it. I snuck in time in the bathroom and at the pick-up line at school. I read the trilogy within a week. And then re-read them again, and again. I told you I was obsessed. And then I wrote about my obsession with Christian Grey and a Men’s Guide to 50 Shades of Grey – and these continue to be the most popular posts on Don’t Mess with Mama. Yeah, Fifty pretty much took up my summer.

June 2012

I know it doesn’t seem like big news, but really this was to me – I pretty much gave up paper towels. I was using up to 10-12 paper towels and baby wipes a day to clean up messes and use a mealtimes. We ditched the disposable for cloth kitchen wipes and cloth napkins and never looked back.

July 2012

My husband celebrated his 40th birthday – and then 2 weeks later he got back surgery. Yeah, that sucked. He had been living with chronic pain for years due to herniated discs and finally one of them began protruding into his spine. Ouch! After surgery, he found out he had spondylitis and our journey with dieting and pain management started.

August 2012

Summer came to an end and I finally got my middle son to get a haircut without pitching a fit. Win! Then I tried to wrangle the monkeys for a back-to-school photo shoot. FAIL! I couldn’t get a single good shot.

September 2012

My husband and I celebrated our 20-year anniversary of being together (9 year wedding anniversary). I had these big plans of an international trip with just the two of us. But it never happened. Our youngest son was nearly a year old. And my husband was recovering from the back surgery he had in July. So we celebrated with – hold on to your hats – burgers and a movie. Oh well, at least we could celebrate.

October 2012

I had long suspected my oldest son had an underlying health issue. He was always the one person in the family who got the stomach flu when no one else would get sick. He constantly complained of stomach cramps – yet when we talked to his doctors about it all they just said some kids get more sick than others. Really? That’s it?

So after my husband was diagnosed with food allergies, we had our son tested. Let’s just say collecting samples for that test was not fun – especially when I did it for both of my older boys.

November 2012

I did something I never thought I would. I got a psychic reading, and I was actually pretty impressed. Carpe diem, right? Well, actually yes, because I also went ziplining for the first time ever. It was terrifying but exhilarating at the same time.

And a huge highlight for the year was getting featured in Redbook Magazine for No Judgment Day and HuffPost Live as a panelist to talk about mommy guilt.

December 2012

We caved and finally got Elf on the Shelf and the competitor in me got caught up in all the mania. It was definitely a good time to reflect on values to teach my kids about the elf and the holidays.

elf on the shelf

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DISCLAIMER: The content on the blog Don’t Mess with Mama is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. I am not a medical professional and the information contained on this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented here. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
About Tracey Black

Hi, I’m Tracey. Welcome to Don’t Mess with Mama. Join me to stand up against junk food, processed food, and anything artificial. I’ll show you how to cook wholesome, gluten free (and grain free) meals with real food ingredients to nourish your family. Plus, learn how to get the toxins and chemicals out of your home for good with my favorite DIY and homemade recipes for beauty, personal care and cleaning products.

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