Top 11 Most Meaningful Moments Of 2011

Yeah, it’s a little early for the “year in review” post (well, maybe not) but I feel like this year has been full of so many ups that I need to revisit. Check out my top 11 meaningful moments of 2011.

1) Getting to work with the Crittenton Foundation again, this time to learn more about the trying times that young girls and women in foster care face. (And it gave me a chance to see Lisette again!) I love everything I do, but when it comes to working with nonprofits who are out in the field, taking care of the young mothers that I write to every day, well, it just doesn’t get better than that!

2) Publishing my first book. And looking forward to more. I learned a lot from my old job, but thank God I was able to leave it and start my own thing, which gave me time to start my first book. How incredible is that? I thank each and every one of you for your support and encouragement because you all are my rock!

3) Making it a full year on nothing but my hustle, intelligence and talent for writing. Thank you, Jesus. I wavered so much about whether I was doing the right thing or if my stubbornness was going to get in the way of seeing my family thrive. But I pushed through my doubts (and there were a crapload of ’em) and wound up ending the year on a sweet note. It feels good to be self-employed.

4) Watching my daughter go from a sweet and shy four-year-old to a sweet and shy five-year-old who can READ. She makes me proud. I wanna be more like her.

5) Potty training my son and watching how much of a mama’s boy I have on my hands. He loves me like only I love him. And it’s amazing to see his capacity for caring. I’m raising a real gentleman and it’s awesome.

6) Celebrating four years of marriage with the guy who makes all this possible. It’s very difficult to balance all that I do and not have an incredible support system. You need someone to tell you, “It’s going to be alright,” when you’re doubting yourself and second-guessing every decision you make.

7) Sponsoring the very first YML scholarship for young mothers. I know it’s hard. Trying to go to school and raise kids and work and have time to sleep – it’s very challenging and I wanted to help any way I could. So I raised money for the first YML book scholarship. It was, by far, one of the highlights of my year.

8) Making it a full year of being self-employed with no babysitter! In hindsight, I should have put my son in preschool sooner, but my pride got in the way. I wanted to prove that I could teach him his basics AND make dinner AND clean AND be productive AND go to school myself. Who was I kidding? Now he’s in school for three mornings a week and I have time to have phone calls and clean if I want to and everything is all right in the world.

9) Maintaining a 3.8 GPA. When I took statistics this summer (shiver), I was struggling. I couldn’t grasp the concept of t-scores and z-scores and covariance. It might as well have been German. But I buckled down and got a B.  I can’t wait to walk across that stage and wave to my babies. I can’t friggin’ wait.

10) Growing and building this YML community into something…big. When I started blogging here almost four years ago, I had no clue what I was doing. I just knew there was stuff I wanted to get out and it had to get out now.  I was 22 with two kids and I didn’t know any other young mothers. Using the power of the internet, I was able to find thousands of you. Now I have tons of young mommy friends. :)

11) Finally, finally, finally accepting ME. I’m 26 now and in my mind, being closer to 30 than to 20 puts you at official grown woman status. I’m tired of trying to please everyone and am instead trying to keep my inner peace. I no longer need validation from anyone else and I’m comfortable with who I am. I do my best every day and that’s all that counts.

What are some of your top meaningful moments from 2011? Do share! 


  1. Congratulations, Tara! You have a lot to be proud of. xoxo

  2. You are so the bomb!!!!

  3. Very impressive list! You have a lot to be proud of. I think it’s great you realized your own limitations and didn’t let it bog you down. We can’t do it all, and its okay (and no shame) admitting it). Only the smart ones call out for help. :-)

  4. 1)Starting my own blog site & building a bigger platform to reach the world in a larger scale. I have a lot to say & needed a grander way to express myself. (Thanks for your advice) 2)Also doing a lot of my video blogs let me reflect on how far I’ve come. 3) Lastly making time for myself & not adapting to everyone else’s schedule, its a work in progress, but people are getting the hint & giving me my space too.

  5. Okay. How did I miss this one?! Talk about GROWTH, T!!! This is a beautiful reflection. Ditto on the “not needing validation and being comfortable with who you are” concept. I’ve learned that over and over again this year. And I am truly thankful that I did.

    Go Tara! And go YML! Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for this community! xo

  6. Woohoo! Congrats on a fulfilled year!

  7. Love it! You’re an inspiration! I want so badly to do what you have done and break out on my own as a writer!

  8. Wow! Congratulations on a fantastic year. I’m sure 2012 will be even better for you.