Miles to Go Before I Sleep – Fierce Diva Anniversary Edition


Fierce Diva 2.28.12

I was going for witty and slightly profound.  I thought I’d sprinkle in a little bit of my
“yoga talk,” as I often do.

But the words weren’t there.

So after 17 drafts or so, I scratched the idea of writing a "first anniversary of blogging post" and decided to
speak my post instead. I created a vlog.

In the words of Lisa and Ashley, "Oh. honey! No!" 

That vlog was disastrous – like bad enough for Lisa and Ashley's pinboard disastrous. 

My eyebrows move when I talk. 

A lot.

When I viewed the video I took of myself standing by
the kitchen window, all I saw were those eyebrows moving up and down…up and

So, back to my not at all witty or profound first anniversary of blogging message:  

One year ago February 28th, with nothing more than optimism to go on,  I published my first post.  

Not once have I ever looked back. 

I love blogging. 
It’s been good to me.  In the wise
words of Justine, “Without
all of you, the spoken and unspoken witnesses, the words are just
electrons.  You are the ones who make the words live…”

So thank you for helping to make my words
live this past year.  It means the world to me.

But enough about me.  I’ve talked about myself for a whole year
now. Today is about twenty-one fabulous bloggers that you need to meet.

So, scroll down and say
“hello” to my amazing posse, and go read their incredible work. 

Mad love and gratitude,



Christine at Love
Life Surf:  Am I a Hypocrite?

Christine is a mother,
surfer, yogi, fitness enthusiast, and all around adventuresome spirit.  I've watched her surf, stand up paddleboard, rock climb, and the list goes on.  She's also not afraid to  be honest when honesty is difficult. This post above hit home for me, especially since I tend to get all preachy about letting
go of limiting thoughts and behaviors when at times, I am hanging onto my
own.    I am fairly certain that Christine
was my first friend in the blogosphere.  Even
if it’s not true, I’m sticking to this story, because I like to believe it
happened that way.  C. – I'm sending you an insanely big hug and just want you to know how much your support has meant to me. xo

Kiran at Masala Chica:
  You Don’t Have to Eat My Samosas

Funny, poignant, and
powerful Kiran's posts literally give me the chills.  This woman packs a punch every time she publishes.  It was hard for me to pick just one post from
her, but this one moved me for very personal reasons.   Sometimes, we look back in life and see
something we did in the past with a moment of pride.  Yet, for many of us, it’s difficult to feel
that pride in real time.  After reading this post, I had a moment of
“real time pride” for some of the things I’ve done the past few months to keep
my family going.

Mary at A Teachable
Mom:   Definition of Grace 

Mary's writing is pure genius. I could gush about how talented Mary is for an entire blog post, and perhaps one day I will! She's brilliant at conveying her daily experiences with honesty, artistry and humor. I
loved this guest post she did over the summer about her day of love.  I’ve tried the good old “Day of Love”
myself  and my outcome was similar.  

Kim at Too Darn
Happy: Starting Conversations with Your Kids – Pillow Journals

Kim is like this wise
big sister who provides hope and inspiration for me every time I visit her. She
also has great parenting advice.  After
reading this post, I began to keep a journal with my oldest daughter. Sometimes,
when in real life, the situation is too hot for us to discuss with each other,
I put my feelings down on paper for my girl to read when she’s ready and she
does the same for me.  The Pillow
Journals have been life changing for us. 

Galit Breen at These
Little Waves : I’ll Never

Galit lights up the blogosphere.   There is so much warmth in her words, it's like I'm sitting in front of a campfire with a friend when I read her. This post discusses
the complexities of choice  – and how in
order to pursue one goal, we often have to let go of others.  

Jessie at Jester Queen: Eleven

Jessie is a gifted writer, with an incredibly wide range,
from humor to memoirist to fiction. I absolutely love this post, which is a
love letter to her husband Scott on their eleventh wedding anniversary, which
recounts their first date, and also reaffirms my belief in the transformative power
of love.

Shell at Things I
Can’t Say:  You Must Be a Runner 

Shell is one of the
most supportive figures in the blogosphere. She also runs my favorite weekly
link up, Pour Your Heart Out.  Last year,
Shell wrote a post about her relationship with her father that circled around
running.  It’s a riveting piece and echoed certain aspects of my relationship with my own dad, complicated in
different ways, and to which running played a significant role. 

Michelle at Callias
Corner: Image Overload

Michelle inspires me.  She's a mega-talented photographer, who, over the year, has turned her passion for taking pictures into a profession.   In
this post, she wrestles with influences of other photographers and the quest to
find her own style.  As a writer as well as a yoga teacher, I can relate into having to "come into one's own," yet I personally believe Michelle is farther along on this journey than she may realize.  You're awesome, girl! 

Martha at  Monday Morning Opportunities

I found Martha when
Christine re-tweeted a post of hers back in May.   Martha is another stunning writer whose material
covers everything from fashion to yoga to parenting to personal relationships.  I love this post from last June about how,
“Opportunities must be taken when they appear.” 
My favorite yoga instructor often says that Yoga is
preparing us for the great things to come, as it helps us build the awareness
we need in order to recognize those great things when they are happening.

Kristen at The Preppy Girl in Pink: What Traditional
Marriage Should Be

No one writes from the heart like Kristen.  Every word is compelling and sincere, whether it be about
raising tween girls, coaching field hockey, her marriage, or her goals, whether
they be near or far reaching. This post made me jump for joy.  Because when we can get the politics out of
marriage – or out of anything for that matter – and put love first, the world
will be a better place. 

Tricia at Raising Humans: Be Kind in the Morning

is a gem of a blogger who masterfully captures the small moments with her
children honestly, fearlessly, and eloquently.   When I read Tricia’s blog, I am reminded that these
small moments are much more than “small.” For, the small moments in life are
really the big moments, are they not? 
Here is a recent post that gives a reminder that we could all use when
trying to get out the door with children in the morning.

Eli at Coach Daddy: What
Sandy Hook Taught Me – Keeping my Girls Close

A brilliant story teller, there are times I just don’t want Eli’s posts to
end. Eli chronicles life
and parenthood with humor and heart,  from anecdotes about coaching soccer, to some of the unusual questions he fields from his daughters, to his "almost" convincing justification of Chick Fil A not being a fast food.  Out of the many
reaction pieces I read after the shootings in Newton in December, Eli’s was my
favorite.  Yes, I appreciate the conversations
on gun control and our country’s mental health system, however, Eli’s resolve
was more personal, and it touched me right down to the image of a trophy being
tossed into a dumpster.  Go read it and
see what I’m talking about.

AnnMarie  at Tidbits
from the Queen of Chaos:  Distorted View

AnnMarie's beauty, both inside and out, shines through her words. I am trying to figure out why it took me almost an entire
year to get to AnnMarie’s blog.  Every time I visit, I feel like
I’m sitting across a table from an old friend engaged in a great conversation.  Distorted View tugged at my heart  – because I think AnnMarie spoke for many
women – about how sadly, most of us view ourselves – at least our physical
selves  – differently – and much more
negatively – than what really is.    

Ashley and Lisa at The Dose of Reality:  True
Confession:  I am a Hoarder of Coffee

Once again, how on earth did it take me almost a year to
find these girls?   As laugh out loud funny as they are kind,  their blog
promises to "tell it like it really is"  - whether it be forgetting to pick up
a child at an after school practice or by catching me up on the Bachelor, or revealing to us what's in their pocketbooks.  They may have actually turned me on to  Pinterest!  Who else could make the topic of coffee creamer fun?  The Dose Girls.  That's who! 

Jennifer at Another Jennifer  Blog & Writing Lab:   Philanthropy Friday: Reclaiming a

Jennifer blogs about family, life, her love of bacon, and
offers many resources for bloggers by way of the online classes she teaches.  Jennifer is not only a fantastic writer, but she is out there
making a difference.  Jennifer is extremely socially conscious and
brings awareness to various non-profit organizations dedicated to social good
through her Philanthropy Friday series.   This inspiring Philanthropy post is about how one man was able to make a difference in a
tough Orlando neighborhood.      

Justine at A Half Baked Life: Enjoy You

Justine’s writing is wise and mesmerizing.  With many parallels in
our lives, from our love of yoga to difficult endings to our long term careers,
I feel like I am checking in with someone familiar every time I visit her
blog.  This post was a timely reminder
for me to be a little nicer to myself. 
In Justine’s words,   “Scrubbing something with an abrasive cleanser
makes it look shiny, but actually weakens it in the long run. Enjoying you
means being gentle.  Taking care of yourself.  Feeding yourself
nourishing foods and thoughts.  Getting enough rest so that you can
appreciate the marvelous manifestation of being that you are.”

Adrienne at The Mommy Mess: When I want to Be a Better Mom

A highly supportive member of the blogging community, Adrienne is warm, funny, encouraging, reflective.    I admire her strong
faith, and her commitment to being the best parent she can be, even during the difficult moments.  In this post, Adrienne takes an honest look
at herself in a difficult moment of parenting, and reminds me that, “Motherhood
is not about me, it’s about my kids.” 

Alison at Writing Wishing:  Labels are Bullshit 

When I think of Alison, the word passionate is the first
word that comes to mind.  She is passionate
about parenthood, her new business, blogging, and for the topics in which she
writes.  In this post, Alison discusses a
recent evaluation given to her son and her feelings about the “label”
attached to it.  We all, at times, consciously or
unconsciously, label ourselves and those around us – and when you think
about it, that’s pretty limiting.

Missy at Literal Mom – A Love Letter (of sorts) to my

Another warm, wise, eloquent soul, every topic Missy covers holds some gem of an
insight for me.  I remember reading this
post over the summer and thinking to myself that I needed to appreciate my mom
more – and to let her know that.  How
many times do we neglect to tell the people who are most important to us that
they are the most important to us?

Maribel at Food 4 Thought NYC:  The Red Lipstick Manifesto

I just love Maribel.  Honest and wise, Maribel chronicles her quest for a healthier,
balanced life.   She pays a sweet tribute
to one of my posts in this particular blog entry and manages to retell my own
story in words that helped me understand myself a little better.  Miles to go before we sleep, my friend.  Miles to go. xo


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Miles to Go Before I Sleep – Fierce Diva Anniversary Edition — 40 Comments

  1. Great list! I can’t wait to come back and read them later!
    I feel the same way about blogging. I am constantly complaining about having too much on my plate and not getting enough done, but I wouldn’t dream of giving up blogging. It’s my therapy and creative outlet!

  2. Wow. I want to curl up on the couch and just read these posts all morning! I love that you are celebrating your blogging anniversary by sharing other people’s blogs. You are awesome, Ilene. I’m so glad we connected this past year. And thanks for including me on your list. I am honored.
    Oh, and I bet that vlog wasn’t as bad as you think. I’d love to see you vlog some day!

  3. Happy blogging anniversary!! I am beyond touched and honored to be mentioned here and those sweet, sweet words…made my whole day. I don’t know how it took a whole year either but I’m so glad our paths finally crossed. I love your blog. It’s a staple over here. Thank you for your words, today and always!

  4. Ilene, Happy 1st Blogiversary (blogversary? No idea)!
    Hasn’t it been a wild ride? One that continually takes your breath away, and saves your life (and mind) daily? That’s how I feel about blogging, I just want to do it forever.
    Thank you so much for including my post. That one was a hard one to write, it took me nearly 2 months after the fact to put it down on paper (or type it out on the screen). Also? A great honor to be in the ranks of so many amazing writers.
    May you have many more terrific years of writing, connecting, and loving.

  5. Happy anniversary, Ilene! The year just flies by, doesn’t it? I’m so glad I found you, and look forward to much more!
    Oh, my. You humble me with your words. I am thrilled to be included in this talented group!

  6. You made me cry. Thank you and yes I like your version of the story too (which I do think is true, no?). I’m honored to be included here with so many amazing women. We still need a real life coffee/yoga date. Happy Blogoversary! Thank YOU for all your support and kind words and everything. xoxo

  7. You just made me cry. My life is so crazy out of control right now that I haven’t even looked at my blog in two weeks. It made my heart swell to know that you thought of me while writing this post.
    I am incredibly fortunate to have found you through the blogging world! You always seem to know when I need something good to shield me from the bad. Much love to you, Ilene! Thank you from the whole of my heart! xo

    I really have to thank you Ilene. And not just for the mention (which was incredibly sweet!), but for what you’ve contributed to the blogospere and more directly, what you’ve done for me. Your words of encouragement in response to my writing always remind me to stay focused and positive, which are two things that can be so challenging for me in the day to day. Additionally, your posts always seem to be timed with something I’m working through at the moment and reading your words helps me think of the situation from a different perspective. That insight is invaluable to me, and I am truly grateful for it. You’re an amazing talent Ilene and I really wish the best for you in all of your endeavors, especially with your writing. Your kids are lucky to have such an incredible mom who has been able to reach people through your stories. Congratulations for reaching this landmark and I can’t wait to see what you’ve got cooking in the years to come!!! Miles to go friend….xo 🙂

  9. Happy blog-i-versary! I’m so honored to be included in your posse of bloggy friends! I remember the first we met, you blogged about green smoothies. And as I drink my morning green smooth, I will visit the other amazing blogs on this list!

  10. Ilene, you are such a loving, generous soul. And a gorgeous, spirited, brave warrior. I’m so very grateful for your presence in the blogosphere and can’t thank you enough for all your support and love. Thank you for your kind words and for being you – fierce, funny, wise, talented. I am lucky to have you in my life, even if it’s only via the internet for now! Happy, happy anniversary my friend.

  11. Happy Blogging Anniversary!! Whoo Hoo!!
    (Your eyebrow story left us both laughing for 5 minutes straight!! Bwahaha)
    We absolutely *LOVE* your blog! You are the embodiment of fierce!!
    Thank you so much for mentioning us!! We are so flattered!! You’ve made our entire month!

  12. Oh … I can’t even express how honored I am to be included here … what a fabulous gift to give to all of US on your blog’s birthday! Here’s to one fabulous year, and looking forward to many more. You are full of awesome, Ilene.
    I can’t wait to read the others!

  13. Jennifer, I am so glad you are in my world – and thank you for shedding light on the underdog and the underrepresented the way you do. This world needs more Jen B.’s.
    And as far as that vlog goes – oh, it’s pretty deep in the vault – maybe one day I’ll drag it out if Lisa and Ashley agree to put it on their “Oh Honey No” pin board! xo

  14. Alison, Thank you for your beautiful words. And as far as what you said about blogging, yes, yes, and yes! I love all of your posts but this post was riveting. I *felt* what you were going through and even though I have not had an identical situation, I have had similar experiences with my kids being labeled and the labels ARE bullshit.
    You are a wonder. Thank you for being part of this wonderful and crazy experience with me.

  15. Kim, you were such a huge part of my year! In addition to my loving your blog and appreciating the support you have given to mine, I really do take every bit of your parenting advice and that pillow journal has been life changing. Thank you for being the catalyst for something that significant. Much gratitude always. xo

  16. You were my first blogosphere friend, and if not, the first long lasting one – so yes, it’s true regardless! There’s a little piece of my heart that belongs to you, Christine Yu. I can’t imagine this journey without you. And yes, we need to set up a date. I am going to work on that stat! xo

  17. Girl, how could I NOT think of you when I reflect on my first year of blogging? You were such a huge part of that for me and whether or not you ever blog again in your life, you are in my posse. And if you need ANYTHING to help you get through what you’re going through, you know how to reach me. Love always xo

  18. Maribel, thank you for your kind, kind words. And as much as I may encourage you, you do the same for me. I am always impressed at your insight and at your willingness to reach farther, and go deeper. Every little step of that takes courage. I still often think about “Red Lipstick Manifesto” and not just because of the thoughtful mention you gave to me but because as I said in my post, I was able to learn something about myself through a different voice that day (yours). It will forever be one of my favorites. It is such a gift to know you – and I can’t wait to see how your journey unfolds. xo

  19. Mary, you blow me away with every post you write – awed by your talent, your humility, your honest, and your humor. Thank you for sharing this special day with me and for spending the year by my side! I am forever grateful for your support and for sharing this space in the blogosphere with me. xo

  20. Happy Anniversary!!! I am so honored to be included in your posse! What an amazing group of women to be a part of. I love your blog and your writing. Keep up the great work!

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