Disability Humor Life Writing

The Christmas Cow & Year In Review

16th December 2018

Last week, Isla and I went to pick out our Christmas tree and sat in the car while my Dad played Clark Griswold and he and Anne fought over knots tying their tree and our tree to the roof.

Over this one, over here, clap your hands, make a wish.

Apparently, it is a military exercise, and it does have to be that complicated.

I insisted on a fat tree, which I got. But it might be too big for the living room. 

That’s OK. I don’t have to sit on my couch.

Last weekend, we took Isla to see Santa and had a much more pleasant experience than that time Santa called me the Grinch.

There was excellent people watching in line, and even dancing penguins and Elf playing on a big screen while we waited. Although, unpopular Christmas movie opinion here, Elf is not the greatest Christmas movie there ever was.

We got in to see Santa, and Isla might have said, ‘Santa’s my Campah. I don’t know you, though.’

How we all laughed.

She still got a Santa gift and we actually wrapped up in fluffy blankets and drank hot chocolate while Neil brought the car around. There were blankets in the cafe bit. I don’t bring my own blankets.

So, Santa and a Christmas tree, but I’m still not feeling festive. I’m trying, though.

And I have to tell you, when we were going through the Christmas ornaments and found the talking Maxine from Hallmark from years ago, Isla switched her on and said ‘Nana’s here!’

And I laughed. Because Mom sent me Maxine and approves of the comparison.

Some of you may remember our Christmas road trip last year, complete with my Mom.

Mom isn’t coming over this year, which has become a bit of a tradition, so I feel not so festive. Yet. 

I’m working on it, and Isla is working on me. She even had a line in this year’s Christmas play.  She was a cow, but she was a cow with a line. And the best cow ever.

Isla as a Christmas cow.

I need to get better at my linking sentences, but I thought this year’s Christmas episode was a good time to look back on my blogging year.

I’ve written 86 posts so far in 2018. This is 87.

At 47,037 words that’s almost a whole NaNo draft.

And 8 out of my top 10 posts this year were actually written this year. That’s kinda neat.

Gin & Lemonade’s Top 10 Posts of 2018

10.  Please Don’t Tell Me To Enjoy My Kid is a parenting rant. Because I do enjoy my kid.

9.  That’s Just How I Roll: Thoughts on Inspiration is an um, discussion on the death of Stephen Hawking, media representation of disability, and my normal disabled life.

 8.  8 Years of Gin & Lemonade: It’s Not About The Gin is a look back at 8 years of blogging.

7. The One With The Award Nomination is the one where I mentioned I was up for Best Overall Blogger at The Bloggers Bash Awards in 2018. I managed second place. Onwards and upwards.

6.  More No Bullshit Blogging Advice was the second in a kind of series where I shared blogging tips and then referred you to bloggers less sarcastic than me.

5. Anxiety & Us is a true and honest account of my dance with post-natal anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder.

4.  Finding Zen on An Ordinary Day was written as a list of stress-busters in 2017, that still ranks today. Thanks, Pinterest.

3.  A Day In My Life As A Disabled Mother is a kind of behind the blog look at my every day, no complaints, but always interesting life as a disabled mother.

2.  My Flat Ass: What Disability Means To Me is a post about my definition of disability and how the world needs to be a more accessible, inclusive place.

1. 10 Things I Learned In 7 Years of Blogging was written for my 7th blogging anniversary.  Not this year.  Thanks again, Pinterest.

So, did your favorite make the list?

Last year’s year in review is over here.

I’ve had more traffic and visitors this year than any other blogging year so far, and 25% more traffic than last year.

It can only get better. 

This year was my first full year self-hosted with Lyrical Host,and the the first year I attempted to make an income from the blog itself.

Any money I’ve made this year I’ve invested back into the blog.  

Thank you, my groovy readers, for the support.

Next year I hope to connect with more parents and disabled people and maybe even more disabled parents. Also, shout out to my fellow third-culture weirdos, writers, and recovering procrastinators.

Next week, I plan to share my favorite books of the year, and any other Christmas week posts might happen on the road.

How was your blogging year and what are your plans for next year?

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  • Reply Ritu 16th December 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Aw you’ve had a wonderful year!!!

    • Reply Lorna 16th December 2018 at 5:06 pm

      With a little help from my blogging friends. <3

      • Reply Ritu 16th December 2018 at 5:28 pm


  • Reply Susanne Swanson 16th December 2018 at 5:36 pm

    That is one cute cow!

  • Reply Kat 17th December 2018 at 12:38 am

    Congratulations on your award! 😀

  • Reply Fiona Maclean 17th December 2018 at 9:31 am

    Wow, I didn’t know you’d moved to skye – it’s where my grandad came from! And I’m thinking of moving to Edinburgh… – in answer to your question I haven’t really thought through 2019 blogging yet..I am sure it will be fun though!

    • Reply Lorna 17th December 2018 at 9:47 am

      Hi Fiona, the fam and I are working on moving back to Edinburgh! We should do lunch. 🙂

  • Reply Debbie Harris 17th December 2018 at 11:05 am

    A fab year of blogging for you Lorna, huge congrats on all your achievements. Love the Isla as the cow 🙂

  • Reply rachaelstray 17th December 2018 at 11:15 am

    I bet she was a brilliant cow! I don’t feel festive this year so you are not alone! I hope I feel festive soon seeing as it’s Christmas next week! It sounds like you’ve had a great year on your blog. I hope 2019 is bigger and better!

    • Reply Lorna 17th December 2018 at 11:34 am

      But there was no FRIENDSFEST like you, though, ha!

      • Reply rachaelstray 17th December 2018 at 1:20 pm

        Well remembered. It’s back next year and might be coming near to you definitely recommend it.

  • Reply johnrieber 17th December 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Great look back at the year – I procrastinate about such things as I may not like what I see in the mirror, but on the other hand, it’s just a reflection! Enjoy your blog, enjoy the others I have met through your blog, and look forward to pushing myself to post better stories in 2019 – including (here’s a deep tease) my “taste test” of some “fish skin chips” from China!

  • Reply Katie Arnold 17th December 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Isn’t Pinterest great sometimes? haha! All of my top posts this year are OLD and prior to 2018. I’ll take it! hahaha!

    • Reply Lorna 17th December 2018 at 5:45 pm

      It’s a long game for sure, but fun to research and use all the tips, find stuff that works and then see the traffic creep up, ha! I wish you a Merry Blogging Year.

  • Reply Lauren Becker 17th December 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Sounds like you had a really great blogging year. I definitely need to see what posts performed the best this year, and keep that in mind for 2019. I also want to invest in Pinterest more.


  • Reply Beth 17th December 2018 at 7:11 pm

    So many great posts, I obviously love the one about don’t tell me to enjoy my kid since I think I wrote something similar around the same time. Love it!

  • Reply justmuddlingthroughlife 17th December 2018 at 11:43 pm

    A busy blogging year and good posts! for me I just need to gain experience, aiming to make some money from my blog but I have loads and loads to learn, I need to get my head round Pinterest. Thanks Lorna for all your support since I started blogging about 66 days ago.. I honestly appreciate it. Isla the cow looks very cute!

  • Reply Narmeen 18th December 2018 at 1:50 am

    I just started my blog a month ago. Looks like you had a year full of fun and blogging. Very cute cow!

  • Reply Rebecca Moon Ruark 18th December 2018 at 3:55 am

    Love your recap. Will probably steal the idea!

  • Reply Charlotte 18th December 2018 at 4:36 am

    What a great year you’ve had. Also I enjoy your narrative always, particularly where Maxine ornaments and Christmas trees on tops of cars are concerned 🙂

    That is one adorable cow ❤️ Hope you are enjoying the season and congrats on the bloggy award—that’s incredible!

  • Reply Summer Mitch Ryan 18th December 2018 at 6:26 am

    Blogging in 2018 for me was financially productive although I went hiatus for a few months. In 2019, I hope to be consistent and persistent with my blogging. And I hope to grow my following.

  • Reply Erica 18th December 2018 at 4:16 pm

    It is amazing that when you put all these posts together, it’s like you wrote a novel. I don’t know how many posts I wrote this year, but I’ll have to check. Looks like you wrote a lot!

  • Reply Mary Jane Lopez 18th December 2018 at 7:36 pm

    wow 7 years of blogging? congratulations! I wish I could write the same post in my 7 years of blogging too but I’m still very far from 7 yrs. hopefully I would reach that long!

    • Reply Lorna 18th December 2018 at 7:58 pm

      I’m on 8 now, it’s just my 7 recap is still my most read piece.

  • Reply Claire Saul (PainPalsBlog) 1st January 2019 at 5:30 pm

    The most beautiful Christmas cow I’ve seen!! You remain such an inspiration, my bloggy pal!! I have shared your fab year as it seems perfect for this week’s “Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!” going into 2019……Happy New Year, Lorna to your whole lovely family, Claire x

    • Reply Lorna 1st January 2019 at 5:33 pm

      Thank you, Claire. I’m so happy that we’ve met. Happy New Year to you and your crew as well. The most recent family photo of you guys is THE BEST.

  • Reply Laurie Stone 8th January 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Congratulations on your blogging award! Well deserved.

  • Reply broadsideblog 9th January 2019 at 12:55 am

    Now up to 2,000+ posts…so pooped.

    I usually post every 3-5 days and will likely do so in 2019 — probably posting less as making $$$$ for 2019 is a real necessity when paying $$$$ for American self-employed health insurance.

    I took a break for two weeks over Xmas, the first blogging break since my first post on July 1, 2009. I needed it very badly; it had been a very rough year with my breast cancer diagnosis/surgery/treatment and the loss of morale, energy and income.

    I am finally feeling more myself again and have, not surprisingly, a somewhat different view of my life and how I hope to live it while I have it.

    Still trying to figure out who the “new” me is…and what she will write as a result. Stay tuned.

  • Reply Ellen @ If It Brings You Joy 9th January 2019 at 2:05 am

    7 years is an award – what an achievement!

    • Reply Lorna 9th January 2019 at 9:06 am

      8, but who’s counting?

  • Reply Jennifer 12th January 2019 at 4:47 am

    I had a difficult time getting into Christmas this year too, but for very different reasons. I was in the middle of packing for a big move and mom was in Hospice. Just not the best of holidays in 2018.

    • Reply Lorna 12th January 2019 at 10:58 am

      I hope the move is going well, I loved the last photo you posted in BSL. And I wish you all peace this year. <3

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