Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Thank You Notes (and a Giveaway!)

It has been almost a year since I started this here blog. And what a year it's been. You guys are the BEST! I can't believe I get to harangue the interwebs with my opinions on everything from Irene Adler to Cryin' Babies to Quitting NFP and you good folks are here to read it. 

But none of those gems would be there if it weren't for some other bloggers who have really helped me along my way. Today I'd like to thank them. And to show my appreciation to them, I'm going to do a giveaway for everyone!



Update: Bonnie points out that, really, you should all be listening to this music while reading my thank you notes. . . 




Dear Jen and john,

Before I knew what blogs were, I read Cake Wrecks. I still do. Then you started writing Epbot and I loved you even more. You're funny and crafty and smart and geeky. You somehow always manage to walk that line between snarky and sappy.

I love that even though you write two HUGE blogs, you are totally engaged with your readers. You always seem so grateful that all these people read your blog.

When I decided, in a fit of impulsiveness, to start a blog, I wrote an email to a few bloggers to ask some questions. And john actually wrote back. It was a very encouraging email and really meant a lot to me. And then Jen wrote to me about another post, which made me feel all squishy inside.

I'm not sure I manage it, but it's my goal to write like you do.

Thank you for being awesome and for teaching me that even big blogs can keep that small feeling. And for introducing me to Doctor Who.

Cheers, Kendra








Dear Marquette,

Back before anyone had ever yelled at me in church, I didn't have a blog . . . I just had an itch to write.

I found your awesome craft fail blog, Pinstrosity, when Jen from Epbot linked to it and I got to watch it quickly become a HUGE blog. Like Jen, you and Emilie manage to be funny but not mean in the face of hilarious failures. I loved reading your blog. So much, in fact, that I up and wrote you an email with some suggestions (I know, I'm insufferable) and an offer to help write some posts from the perspective of someone with kids.

You wrote back to say no thanks, but were awfully nice about it, so when I decided to start Catholic All Year I wrote to you again and your advice was really helpful. And now I'm pleased to count you as a friend!

Thank you for teaching me that part of being successful is just being in the right niche at the right time, but the other part is having a great idea and executing it really well. Congratulations on your new baby, the blogosphere looks forward to your return! 

Cheers, Kendra

Post to check out (hey I got to write for Pinstrosity after all!)"Hooo" dat?





Julie,

When I googled "Catholic Blog" you were the first result. So, I emailed you to ask all the nuts and bolts questions I had about becoming a Catholic blogger. And not only did you respond (as I recall it was while you were supposed to be getting ready for a dinner party) you gave me all sorts of insights I hadn't even known to ask about.

And even now, when I have a question about what to do when faced with a blogging situation, I know you'll have the answer.

Your blog is about . . . everything: books, art, faith, photography, TV, movies, liturgy, the Onion. 

Thank you for teaching me to blog about what I care about, whatever that happens to be. Because nothing else is going to be interesting to me or anyone else.


You were my introduction to link-ups and the community of Catholic bloggers. You invited me to participate in your Lent link-up, and that post is still my most viewed post ever.

THEN we got to talking and realized that in addition to being Catholics and bloggers, we are both mothers to, um, challenging little guys. We got to bond over the fake correspondence of our sons.

Thank you for teaching me that blogging can be a vocation. Unlike you, the Pope didn't specifically tell me to do this, but I'm still going to keep at it.

Cheers, Kendra

Post to check out: My Direct Order from the Pope







Dear Bonnie,

I found you when, a month into my blogging career, some kind soul nominated me for one of your "Sheenazing Blogger Awards." I didn't win, but I did find some great new blogs (including yours) and some new readers found me.

Then, I picked a fight with you over a movie, which you handled pretty gracefully. And then, while I was in your home state for the summer, you invited me over to visit and now I feel like I've known you forever.

Thanks for teaching me how a blog can be honest and "real" but still uplifting. You write about Truth. You write about Important Things. And you write about pop music. And you do it all with charm and a personal touch.


I think you are probably my favorite person that I've never met (Benedict Cumberbatch and Pope Francis are tied for second). 

Your blog is just so hip. Classic literature, homesteading, simple gourmet cooking, clever satire, defense of mothering, love of the Catholic faith, and a gentle evangelization -- it's all there. 

I feel like that girl you don't like from the books you don't care for. I'm suddenly friends with the coolest kids in school. But, fortunately, I'm pretty sure you're not a vampire. And even when we don't agree, you always challenge me to really figure out what I think about an issue and why.

Thank you for teaching me how bloggers can support each other and help each other become better. 

Cheers, Kendra

Thank you for hosting this link-up every week. Thank you for bringing together all of these bloggers and all of their blogs from different countries and different perspectives so we can share what we think about stuff with each other.

Also, thank you for assuming that the self-published romance novel about a very multicultural love-triangle that comes up when you put my name into the Amazon search engine was probably not my book.

Cheers, Kendra

Post to check out: My answer to “Do you want more children?”

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And now for the giveaway! To say thanks to my fairy godbloggers and all of you, I'm going to give away a copy of my forthcoming book <cough, available now for pre-order on Amazon, cough> AND a custom made baby blanket (like the ones in take 4 of this post) made to order for the baby of your choice. Both to be delivered in March (if not earlier).

To enter, leave a comment here answering this question: 


What blog or blogger has been 
helpful to YOU this year? 

A winner will be randomly selected from all the comments on January 1st. Please make sure your comment profile is linked to your email address (here's how) so I can contact you when you win!



For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!



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37 comments:

  1. I have LOVED getting to know you through blogging, emails, and now Facebook. You amaze me! We treasure the sweet blanket you sent, love your blog, and count you as a friend. I am so glad you sent us that first email (for so many reasons), it started such a fun friendship! You make me excited to return to the blogosphere and back to this fun circle of cyber friends. Thanks for your awesome blog, great example of faith, motherhood and femininity, and your sweet support. I hope I can meet you in person some day!

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  2. Oh my stars. Your book and a custom-made baby blanket??? That you will make in less than three months? With 7 children, one of them new? Woman are you fo' real?
    Okay, I promise I am not pandering, but I would absolutely be remiss if I did not thank you for YOUR blog, which I am pretty sure I've read all of in about a month's time. I also second your salutes to Haley, Bonnie, and Jennifer. I also would add Rhonda to the list. You guys are all helping me find my way as I uncover more and more of the fulness of Truth. That's like "storing up treasures in Heaven" type service you're rendering, so thanks. And now I'll have to check out the other blogs you listed because I'm sure they are great too. Too many good blogs, too little time!

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  3. I really admire your blog (and I'm super impressed that your grew it SO FAST in such a short period of time). I love the way you write about "real topics" and share your thoughts in an honest way (even if I don't always agree with them). I like reading blogs that talk about issues and ideas and "thoughts" and not just "hey, look at these pictures, this is what we did type stuff" (although I like those too) Hey...I might just email you for some blog advice. ;)

    Other blogs that have been insprirational....probably Cam at A Woman's Place Depends on her Vocation (don't know how to link it). Mostly just because I met Cam in person before I found her blog and in many ways she was my inspriration to start blogging. I know that sounds silly, but meeting her made me realize that bloggers are real people too, and that *I* could blog. I just appreciated meeting her, before meeting her blog (if that makes sense).

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    1. Okay..and i just saw you cheat sheet for linking, so the link is
      A Woman's Place Depends on her vocation.

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    2. And, I like to reply using differnet handles so I have a better chance of winning. (kidding, kidding.)

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  4. You! Because you wrote responses to two of my questions about homeschooling/big families. And because your parenting posts gave me more confidence dealing with my own challenging one-year old.

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  5. Sarah at www.amongstlovelythings.com has been so helpful to me for our little homeschool. I have so enjoyed your parenting tips as well. Thanks for being authentic. God bless you!

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  6. I think probably the most helpful blog I read is Like Mother, Like Daughter (www.ourmothersdaughters.blogspot.com). Auntie Leila's writing on following the Church year, and just child-rearing and homemaking in general, have been really inspiring for me, especially because she doesn't hold up an impossible standard, but rather reaches out and says "Look, you can certainly do this if I can!" :-) And she does, always with grace and ingenuity.

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  7. I love your blog about real life -- the successes and not so much successes. I really enjoy reading about the little things that make life matter (like 7 little blessings)! Conversion Diaries and Carrots for Michealmas are two of my favs. AND the first and my number 1 favorite Catholic Mom blog is Elizabeth Foss of In the Heart of My Home (http://www.elizabethfoss.com) -- she is a rocking homeschooling gardening soccer/dance mom to 9. I find her insight invaluable! Above all Thank you for investing your time into your blog!

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  8. I'm going to go with Leila at Little Catholic Bubble (http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com)

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  9. I think the blogger I have most admired is Grace at Camp Patton. My husband works a lot too, and my kids are pretty terrible, but cute.

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  10. Your blog! I have pinned and bookmarked so many of your posts regarding discipline and being more stubborn than your 1 yr old. As a young mother of an 11 MO, I so admire and look up to your view on your vcation, Joie de vivre attitude, and great style. You make motherhood look beautiful!

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  11. My favorite blog and one that I continually am inspired to live a holier Catholic life is Elizabeth Foss' who blogs at In the Heart of My Home.

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  12. I just discovered your blog this year (through carrots) and, honestly, your blog has been the most inspiring and helpful blog for me this year! I am inspired by the way you raise your family, your parenting advice, how you live the liturgical year, your skill at sewing and embroidery, and your willingness to speak out about controversial issues. Oh, and your approach to NFP--letting God plan your family. Basically, I want to be you when I grow up :) I also appreciate that you took the time to personally answer a question I left you in the comments. Your blog now joins My Child I Love You as one of my favorite big family Catholic homeschooling blogs. Thank you for writing!

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  13. Aw, this is so sweet and thoughtful, Kendra. Exactly what I would expect from you. :)

    I'd have to say Cari Donaldson of Clan Donaldson was the biggest influence on me as a blogger. She found me when I was still very obscure (read: even more obscure than I am now) and befriended me. Through her I found virtually every Catholic blog I follow.

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  14. This year, my biggest bloggy influence has probably come from Amy at Blessed By God (ekblad9 dot blogspot). She is a lovely girl raising some amazing kids! It's hard to believe that your blog is only a year old! Love hearing from you!

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  15. The most helpful blog for me is Conversion Diary (although Carrots is a close second). I love reading convert blogs because I realise that my conversion (though young) is not bizarre, and sometimes they answer the questions I'm too embarrassed to ask - like which knee to genuflect on. PSA: its the right.

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  16. I love Auntie Leila over at Like Mother Like Daughter. I have been reading her blog for years and it is always helpful and inspiring.

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  17. Oh, Kendra, it is hard to choose just one... Yours, A Woman's Place, My Broken Fiat, Catholic Inspired, Catholic Icing... Yes, I'm coming out of hiding to comment just because I'd like to win a copy of your book *wink*wink*

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  18. Of course, I read this blog faithfully through bloglovin' but I also really like Memories on Clover Lane. Sarah comes across as a real mom (read not trying to act perfect!)...she's a SAHM like me yet she just seems so even-keeled and has a quiet, gentle strength about her (so not like me--I'm loud and over the top, mostly!). I really wanna be like her someday...it'll probably never happen but I have something to strive for.
    I don't need to win the giveaway (I like to keep my email/profile private), I just wanted to share Sarah's blog!

    Memories On Clover Lane

    Thanks for blogging and saying things that don't seem to be in sync with pop culture these days! It brings me comfort knowing I'm not alone!

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  19. I think the previous commenters have pretty much covered all my absolute favorites but I'm also going suck up and say I have really loved your blog this year and really appreciate your thoughts and willingness to say unpopular things! I also don't generally have big time bloggers link to my little mostly just updating the in-laws blog so you pretty much made my blogging year and made me feel super fancy when you did :) Thank you for your great advice and kindness!

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  20. Jessica at Shower of Roses
    2nd place to Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things
    plus your blog, but since I'm here reading this post, you probably could have guessed that already

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  21. I love this thank you list! What a great insight into how people get to where they are - as a non-blogger who has contemplated one, I tend to assume that if you have an attractive page and are linked on other bloggers' pages that you've been there forever and have your blogging game down! It's great to see how these relationships lent you support and inspiration in your first year.

    I think it's hard to answer this question, because I hop around about 5 blogs super regularly and probably 10 more intermitently! But Dwija Jen & Bonnie, and also Kaitlin from More Like Mary, are probably the top ladies in my book. Dwija's humor, grace, generosity and quirk (a noun?! is now!) are so comforting to me that I am always going back for more, and never disappointed. Bonnie too strikes such a great balance and often articulates thoughts I'm already experiencing myself, maybe not yet teased out. Jen is the ultimate in hilarity and self-depricating humor while evangelizing the universe - it's really an amazing act to watch! And Kaitlin is just such a fun & real peek into motherhood with such a deep faith that surfaces in beautiful ways in between doses of toddler and baby moments and love - I love having glimpses into her world to relate to in my own journey with my 2 & 5 y.o. These ladies have definitely made my life richer and offered beautiful reflections that made me laugh and think throughout the last year.

    Here's to more amazing blogging in 2014!

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  22. Your blog, Elizabeth Foss's blog In the Heart of my Home, Ginny' s blog Small Things, Dwija' s blog House Unseen, and Sarah's blog Amongst Lovely Things have been the most helpful to me as a Catholic homeschooling mother.
    Thanks for writing such interesting and informative posts!

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  23. Elizabeth Foss's blog, and Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things are my "when I grow up I want to be..." blogs. Your blog is my "but this is where I am right now" go-to blog. Happy blogiversary!!

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  24. I've loved Carrots for Michaelmas, Teaching Good Eaters, Simple Mama, and Patron Saint of Poopy Diapers.

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  25. I would like to give a lot of credit to you and Haley @ Carrots. You both are sweet, wonderful ladies. Both of you answer questions and offer great advice. I love reading and learning about what I have to look forward to when my little one gets older.

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  26. The blogs that have been most helpful to me are: Conversion Diary, and This Cross I Embrace.

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  27. Happy Blogoversary! Mine is yours and A Knotted Life!

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  28. My faves are Small Things www.gsheller.com and Carrots! Cheers to a happy new year, fun to find out your faves. :)

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  29. Your blog has helped me so much this year! As a first time mom, I especially enjoy reading about how you handle your kids. My 18-month-old now hears "Crying babies go to bed!" quite a lot at our house. I am also in RCIA this year, and observing how you celebrate the liturgical year is wonderful and inspiring. I love your writing style, and your topics. You are my go to blog!

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  30. I love so many blogs, but I especially love Elizabeth Foss's blog, In the Heart of my Home. It always puts a smile on my face.

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  31. Dweej at House Unseen. I have had the glorious pleasure of hanging out with her a couple of times, and not only does she influence my blogging, but my life too!

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  32. I really enjoy your blog. I love the advice you give and I enjoy seeing your children. This past year was a major growth year for our family in our Catholic faith. I have read and followed blogs for many years. This was the first year I actively looked for Catholic blogs. It started with my looking for Catholic knitting blogs but what I found were many Catholic writing blogs ~ those who blog because they enjoy writing and sharing. I am currently following a variety of Catholic blogs ~ Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer; Life of a Catholic Librarian; The Catholic Young Women; Traveling Home; and The Catholic Lady. I find a little something for myself and my daughters on each one. I enjoy reading about and seeing others living their faith. It has helped me to grow in confidence as I truly enact my faith in my every day actions. Thank you for sharing all that you do!

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  33. I find my life is enriched by the following blogs: Modern Mrs. Darcy, Carrots for Michalmas, My Child, I Love You, Moxie Wife and yours!! Thank you so very much for your knowledge and humor and willingness to write about all things. Best wishes for year 2!! :)

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  34. Just now catching up on blog reading and I wanted to use my one free hand (the other which is holding a fussy baby) to say thanks! I'm honored to be included on the list.

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  35. Shocked to find that I didn't comment here. Thanks for including me in this...I'm honored! Your blog Kendra...is one of my favorite blogs and I can never resist clicking to read more!

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