It’s the end of a year.

Tonight we gather with a few friends and usher in the New Year.

I’m making Swedish Meatballs.

My cookbooks are in storage and so I’ll be depending on my memory.  I guess it will be a splash of this and a sprinkling of that.  But, mostly, I’m hoping that they taste like I remember.  Because today, I have a yearning for the familiar.

Memory lane can be a lovely beautiful place filled with blooms and petals drifting in the sweet breeze.  Or…not.  Most of us like to travel down memory lane for the good remembrances.  Often those remembrances are triggered by aromas.  Seriously, each March or April I’m transported back to Europe and my college trip by the whiff of a truck traveling by with its diesel fumes.  Strange aroma…pleasant memories.   Of course, foods are a trigger for many of us, too.  Which is why my Christmas season needs to include a serving or two or three of Swedish Meatballs.  What are your memory triggers?


This morning I spent a wee bit of time going over blog stats from the past year. 

Including this post….I have published an article here at An Extraordinary Day 257 times in 2013.  That’s a lot of writing and photo-taking!  What’s even more amazing…is that you and lots of other people have stopped by, regularly to be inspired.  Last year (2012) I blogged for just 8 months and started very slowly…second-guessing myself and over-thinking things every step of the way.  But, things changed in early December and the blog started to take off bringing my total views in at over 31,000.    This year…the growth has been amazing….despite the craziness of my life.  You are reading this correctly… 300,000 views.  Yes…I know this is just a small blog and some of my favorite bloggers whom I have followed for several years get more views than that in a single month.  But, I am so very grateful for this blessing.  And for you who read and comment.


Speaking of comments…

The most commented on post this year was one of my favorite projects: Create Your Own Spring-Flowering Branches :: A Book Page Flower Tutorial.  It received a whopping 229 comments.


Create your own spring-flowering-branches-a-book-page-flower tutorial :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


I loved this project because it was super easy and made my heart sing each time I walked into the sun room.  I was not happy with the photos I had taken and couldn’t seem to get better photos no matter how hard I tried.  But, I made the best of it and somehow, this post got featured all over the place and lots of people, like you, loved it.   Wow!  Thank you so much!


What is really interesting is that three posts from last year were in the top five views from this year.

I know you won’t be surprised to see How to Make Folded Paperback Book Christmas Trees {a Tutorial} or From Sweater to Christmas Stocking in 12 Easy Steps in that list as they have been flying all over the world, literally, this Christmas season.


Top Posts from 2012 in 2013 :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


But, what is most interesting to me is that my post: {Annie Sloan Chalk Paint} Transforming a Vintage Sideboard with Paint comes in at number three in views.  I’m flabbergasted as it has not been featured everywhere like the others.  These are last year’s posts when I had few readers and yet, they are now getting read.  It makes my day.  What doesn’t make my day is the photography or the graphics for the Annie Sloan paint project.  I’m grateful that I’m learning to be better in both of those departments.



The top viewed posts from this year and beyond were all tutorials, how-tos, and tips.  Those of you who are regular readers recognize that this is a lifestyle blog.  It’s a broad niche if we want to call it that.  My thought pieces and Joy Day! inspirational pieces are not well read.  Stats tell the story.  I could tell you that I am disappointed.  Well…actually I am.  Then again….I’m not.  If you’ve been reading here for a while you may have a sense of my pragmatic side.  Reality is just that.  And though I will continue to strive to write better, exercise my creativity, and strive to inspire, I know that most of us give a very small percentage of time and thought to faith and spirituality.   So, in the end, it makes sense.  And most of all, I know that I am doing what I am called to do.

Sorry if this post seems a bit introspective.  As my friend often tells me, “Diane, you think too much.”  Thinking gets me in trouble.  It slows me down and prevents me from accomplishing all that I would like to in a day.  I’m hopeful that it has in some ways prevented me from getting into trouble as well. [cheesy grin]

In the end.  Bottom line.  I am blessed.  Blessed to write and hone the crafts necessary to be a blog publisher.  Blessed to have people like you read and comment and return regularly.  Blessed to have a place like this to exercise my creativity and give me a place of ministry.  And blessed to have a new friend who helped give us another year together.


The New Year…

Most people set goals and agendas and projections for the New Year.  I’m going to confess….this year I am not doing that.  I am going to live day-by-day until I sense that I can actually do that.  But, I will give my best.  Every day.   Always striving to be joyful, more disciplined, and improve in every way I can.  And I will trust God to guide me and bless this blog in the way he chooses. I hope to come back next year at this time and report blog stats indicating our little corner of the web has grown, amazingly more than we could ever ask or imagine.  Because HE is able.

And…I am praying that the blog will produce a significant income stream for our family in this New Year.  Will you make that your prayer for An Extraordinary Day, too?

So tell me…what are you hoping and anticipating in the New Year?   I can’t wait to hear.

Much love to you my dear friends…


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  1. I enjoyed An Extraordinary Day extraordinarily in 2013 and will continue to do so in 2014! Happy New Year, Diane!

  2. Suzi says

    What a grand way to close out the year! God has obviously given His blessing on this endeavor. Could you ever have imagined putting His Word and attitudes into women’s lives 300,000 times in just eight months? And though I did not find you until you were well into blogging i have been blessed by both the tutorials and the inspirationals. Sometimes I am in such a tight place emotionally or get so overwhelmed by the nearness of God reading the inspiration posts that I CAN’T comment…where as i find it easy to leave comments on posts that are not so personal to where I am living right now. Perhaps others do the same thing. Perhaps you might want to consider that you may not see “those” stats this side of heaven 🙂 I am not making new year’s resolutions, just recycling those from 2013! this was an unkind year for us so I want a do-over. I am hoping/praying for real and lasting change in several areas of our life, including much better physical health and clear direction for work & ministry. Yes, I will pray God’s hand of financial blessing for you, your blog and your husband. Wouldn’t it be just so fun to be able to say in a couple of years…oh, Diane’s blog? I was reading her before she was rich and famous! 😉

  3. You are such a blessing! Wow, look at all that God has done through you. I’ve been blogging for over 5 years now and by stats, my blog is relatively small still. But I know that I write for Him. Let’s lean into Him this year and grab a a hold of all He has for us! Blessings!

  4. Gail says

    I like your mix of pretty, but achievable, crafts and decor ideas along with Joy Day.
    We worship on Sunday and are busy with family things, so we either don’t have time to read blogs on Sunday or our spiritual “tank” is full. Maybe post Joy Day midweek when we need the pick-me-up.

    Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2014 with a well payong job.

  5. Gail says

    I like your mix of pretty, but achievable, crafts and decor ideas along with Joy Day.
    We worship on Sunday and are busy with family things, so we either don’t have time to read blogs on Sunday or our spiritual “tank” is full. Maybe post Joy Day midweek when we need the pick-me-up.

    Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2014 with a well paying job.

  6. All your hard work is paying off. Your page views are amazing! When you get a book deal, we will all cheer!

  7. How EXTRAORDINARY!! I’m praying for you my friend!! Be Blessed!!!! ~ Hugs, Jennifer

  8. Gwen says

    First off, I did not make Swedish meatballs again. I even had Curt buy the stuff!! But we had all been sick and so it goes…but a place in my home town has a butcher who has made potato sausage for over 50 years so we did have that and rice pudding and lefse since I am Norwegian too! But I adapted my Grandmas 25# recipe but when beef and pork became extra lean I had to readjust again!! I use hotdog buns to make risks. That’s what makes them so good! And I grate onion and use 1/16 tsp of allspice !! We roll ours the size of a walnut and brown on all sides. Then put into large roasting pans. With drippings I add some water and Better Than Bouillion plus some Creme of Mushroom soup (2-3 cans) and a lid full of Kitchen Bouquet. I bake them covered about two hours and uncover then for thirty to forty more minutes. Then we put them in the refridge to reheat the next day how many we need. Usually a casserole. And bake one hour. It’s funny but they are better tasting this second baking. We usually made ten to twelve pounds but I think with Dad gone, we wouldn’t need so many!
    The good old days.
    Yes. Ill pray for your blog. Well you know what I mean!! And for the path ahead. I remember a poem once a phrase My Fathers way may twist and turn, He maketh no mistakes….
    Let us remember…and God made us over analyzes so accept it and move on!!! It has its good points too!! You won’t be burning your fingers on a hot stove or touching a wet railing though the sign warns wet paint!!! We all have colds and coughs and bronchitis and laryngitis so there’s no party at our place!!! We are all tired!!!
    I am writing Happy New Year with chalk on black paper just for fun!!! And may The Lord bless you with a blessed 2014

  9. Gwen says

    Umm auto correct changed Rusks to risks

  10. Renee says

    Have enjoyed following your blog durig 2013! I especially enjoy Sundays and being grateful-taking that time to reflect.
    2013 ended unique for me with a car accident on Dec. 22nd, and now a long recovery……but I am thankful and blessed to have a wonderful family, a great job. Thank you for being a bright spot in my day.

  11. Mel says

    I’d definitely say you were blessed beyond. It makes my heart happy for you. As one of your readers, I know we’re a lot of work. LOL So I thank you for all the efforts and hours and energy.
    I also think we’re good for your soul. Well, I hope so anyway–you’re definitely good for mine. Just sayin’……

    You just continue to do what you’re called to do–the rest will fall into place, yaknow. That’s how it works! Innit cool? 🙂


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