FNFF’s Top 5 Posts of 2012, As Chosen by Us

A couple of days ago we published a list of the Reader’s Choice Top 5 Posts of 2012, based on overall views.

The funny thing is, the posts that have gotten the most traffic aren’t necessarily the ones we would pick as our personal favorites. As the writer of these little ramblings, I’m generally partial to the posts that I think contain the strongest prose. The ones that I’m personally and professionally proud of. They are sometimes the longest ones, or the ones with a more limited interest to the general public, but they’re the ones I like all the same. So here are, in no particular order:


day of the dead mural

1.  Day of the Dead, Oaxaca, Mexico

  • We absolutely loved living in Oaxaca, and Dia de los Muertos is such a uniquely Mexican festival, a bizarre blend of the merry and the macabre. Unlike our other travel posts, this one offers no tips about the destination – it’s simply a description of customs I found deeply moving.

stone man

2. Too Much of a Good Thing: When You Need a Break from your Kids

  • I try to be as honest as possible in writing about being a parent, in part because I think people appreciate knowing that they aren’t alone in finding parenthood an often messy, occasionally debilitating experience. We’re all just groping our way through this thing, and if you feel inferior to the family that seems to have it all together well, don’t. They don’t have it all together, probably any more than you do.


3. People Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend…

  • Wherein I bemoan the tendency of many modern parents to try to be ‘friends’ with their kids, and by so doing fail to set appropriate behavioral boundaries. As a former teacher I’ve met a lot of great parents, but also quite a few who fall into the aforementioned category. Not a good thing.

Duck breast with streudel

4. Upscale Dining with Kids: Delicious or Disastrous?

  • Here’s an example of a post that’s simply too long for a lot of casual readers, but that I think provides a good deal of useful information. We love to eat out, and have never been willing to abandon that just because we now have two kids in tow.

D jumping on hay, Skanzen

5. The Cure May Be Right Outside Your Door

  • This is one of my personal favorites simply because it deals with a topic that’s deeply important to me – sharing the natural world with children. If we want our kids to be happy and healthy, as well as responsible stewards of our environment, we need to get them unplugged from the ubiquitous electronic devices and plugged into the world around them.

I hope it doesn’t sound narcissistic to say that it was difficult whittling this list down to just five. When you have an emotional and intellectual attachment to what you write about, almost everything you put out there is important to you. That’s true for me,  anyway. Let me know what you think of our choices, and feel free to criticize, critique, or even castigate. I’m open to all.

Well folks, we wish you all a healthy, productive, and very happy New Year. I feel certain that great changes are afoot in 2013, and we’re looking forward to sharing them with all. Cheers!

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