Each year around this time I like to sit down and take a long look at just how much this little “hobby” of mine has grown. Clearly, it’s gone well past my original vision and I can take only partial credit for its success. This site may have started as one mom’s adventures in Huntsville but quickly grew into a community of local parents (moms and dads) who shared their parental experiences, knowledge, and more than a few mistakes.
As we head into our fourth full year of Rocket City Mom, I’d like to thank each and every one of our regular contributors and guest writers for honoring this site with their stories. I literally couldn’t have done it without them.[sws_pullquote_left]I’d like to thank each and every one of our guest writers and regular contributors for honoring this site with their stories. [/sws_pullquote_left] In the past I’ve listed our most popular posts of the year, but for 2014 I decided to make a minor adjustment to that formula. Many of the 12 posts listed below were very popular with our readers and others were chosen just because I felt they most exemplified my vision for the site way back in the fall of 2010. My mission from day one has always been to provide a resource for local parents that helps to make the incredibly difficult journey of parenting just a little easier.
I hope we’ve done that this year and that we will do even better in 2015. As always, thank you for following us and spreading the word.
#1. What Happened When I Asked If Guns Were In The House
I am so incredibly proud of this article and its author, my lovely business partner and RCM’s Managing Editor, Stephenie Walker. Unlike many websites, RCM usually tries to avoid rather than court controversy but when it comes to something we consider important, we are happy to take a stand and gun safety is an easy stand to take.
#2. Date Night Paso Fino Farms
Date Night in Huntsville was a new series in 2014 that grew out of frequent requests we received from readers looking for ideas that went beyond dinner and a movie. After all, parents are people too and when they get a much deserved night out they should be able to have a little fun. The entire series has been a big hit but this post, about a couples sunset horseback ride, went positively viral. No doubt inspiring couples all around the Tennessee Valley to channel their inner John Wayne.
#3. Huntsville to Go : A Parent’s Guide to Food Trucks
Food trucks were the “It Girl” of 2014 in Huntsville thanks in large part to Downtown Huntsville Inc.’s popular food truck rallies and new laxer rules about when and where trucks could set up. These rallies featured several local favorites along with a few new trucks which made the rallies a huge success. It also made for long lines and parents with little ones were skeptical if their families could handle the wait and if the food would be worth it. Christa stepped up with this great breakdown of what to expect if you go to a rally and other places you could find your favorites (with shorter lines).
#4. This is What Homeschooling Looks Like
Karen has been writing about her personal homeschooling adventure here on RCM for a couple of years now but in 2014 she invited homeschooling friends to share one of their “typical” school days and the results were eye opening for those who don’t homeschool and inspiring for those who do (or are just considering it).
#5. Musings from a Tattooed Mom
The only article on the list this year from a guest contributor, this post struck a chord with our editorial team as well as our readers. Take a minute to read it and you’ll see why. Leah Farrow, a local tattoo artist and mom, does a wonderful job of answering the question so many pose to her, “Why do you have all those tattoos?” and you might be surprised at how much of the answer has to do with parenting.
#6. Back to School Weeknight Dinners
Brandi is another new author who joined our ranks this year and boy, did we need her help. No one on the RCM staff could claim to be the next Julia Child and cooking is, by necessity, one of the primary tasks of parenthood. So when we discovered Brandi’s blog Aunt Bee’s Recipes, we were excited to share her work with our audience. You seemed pretty excited too since this was the second most popular post of 2014!
#7. Ten Easy Parenting Hacks
One of my favorite articles from the year not only because it was so helpful but because our readers helped to write it!
#8. Parent Review: Girl Talk at Huntsville Hospital
This post perfectly encapsulates everything I originally envisioned RCM to be. A local parent sharing information about a valuable local resource that makes parenting easier. Perfection. Also, this is a really cool class if you are closing in on having “The Talk” with someone in your life.
9. Crafting with Kids: Recycled Crafts
How lucky were we to find Shannon this year? Not only did she help us update our logo and streamline some of the design of our site but is she an accomplished local author AND she agreed to write a monthly article for RCM! Since March of this year she’s brought us step-by-step instructions (with photos) of crafts to do with your little ones. My favorite so far is this post about using old pasta boxes, soda bottle tops, and tin foil to create robots!
10. Parent Review: The Original Public House
After Meg posted this review (which did incredibly well on Facebook and was viewed by more than 6,000 people in the first day!) we heard back from the owners who added a changing table to their restroom. That’s right, RCM is now saving the world one changing table at a time.
11. A Mother’s Love
Bo Williams may be one of only two (sometimes three) Rocket City Dads that write for this site but what they lack in numbers they more than make up for in content. Bo contributes not only a wonderful monthly column (about Fatherhood among other things) but at least one restaurant review each month and for that we are very grateful. For beautiful, heartfelt, touching posts like this one he penned for Mother’s Day we are verklempt. Thanks for bathing in this estrogen bath, Bo!
12. The Bullet Journal Breakdown
I’m a fan of Kim’s personal blog Miss Zoot and have been almost from the beginning of RCM. So when she agreed to write for our site every once in a while I was thrilled. Over the years she has contributed several gems on subjects as varied as running, photography, miscarriage and religion. But it was this simple little post from January 1, 2014, about how to use a a blank journal to organize your life that completely took over the internet. Every month thousands of people from all over the world visit this post and Kim has become the de facto Queen of bullet journals. Who knew?
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.