Tag Archives: Kristin Mitchell

State of the Blog: My Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2014

Delaware State Fair 2010

In some ways, 2014 was not my best year of blogging.

In other ways, it was excellent.

The not-so-good was in the quantity of posts.  I ended the year with 137 new posts. By my standards (admittedly, pretty high to begin with), that’s pathetic. How do you call yourself a blogger when you ONLY BLOG FOR A THIRD OF THE DAMN YEAR?!

But you know what? We’re not going to dwell on that. Another year is here and there’s always room for improvement, right?

Instead, I want to focus on the 10 most popular posts in 2014 here on the blog. By most popular, I’m talking number of views.

Unless you happen to be a big-name blogger with thousands of followers and a book deal (or three), every blogger wonders if anybody is out there reading. Even when you check your stats and see numbers that indicate that someone, somewhere in the world is paying attention, there’s still a lingering doubt that wonders if what you’re saying in this space makes a difference.

I’m not a big name blogger and I certainly don’t have a book deal (yet), but I know this: I’m incredibly proud of the 10 blog posts I wrote that received the most views in the past year. thanks to all of you. (Some of these were written pre-2014, but for various reasons, experienced a bit of increased traction over the past 12 months.

Links take you to the actual post.

10. The Sunday Salon: Yet Another Best Books of 2014 List
I love lists. I especially love lists that feature books. So, when everyone was sharing every possible incarnation of best books lists several weeks before the end of the year, I had to jump into the fray by offering up my list of “best books I read in 2014 that were published in 2014.” Apparently, other people like lists of books as much as I do. (That’s good because I have more such lists from 2014 in the works.)

9. Book Review: My Beef with Meat, by Rip Esselstyn
A post from 2013 that continues to get a decent amount of traffic. I’m not sure if this is linked someplace, but it resonates with people for some reason.  

8. Book Review: The Returned, by Jason Mott
I’m guessing that this review got some attention because of the TV show that it is based on. Of all the books I’ve reviewed, it was just okay … not one of my favorites.

Seinfeld - show

7. Punch Lines: On Jerry Seinfeld and Autism
When comedian Jerry Seinfeld mentioned in a November 2014 interview with Brian Williams that he thought he might be on the autism spectrum, several people saw Mr. Seinfeld’s statement as less than … what? Less than genuine? Less than heartfelt? In the ensuing backlash, I wrote, “If we truly believe that there isn’t one autism, then there’s no room for throwing punch lines when one of our own is vulnerable.  We need to truly reflect on what the meaning of “not one autism” means and we need to truly embrace the spectrum for what it is – as a place where we all need to co-exist together.  This isn’t a battle of who has the more difficult autism – because we are all fighting difficult battles.  And through it all, there is too much at stake for us, for our kids, for our friends and our loved ones.”

Kristin text

Text message Kristin Mitchell sent to her boyfriend, who was later charged with killing her. Photo credit: The Kristin Mitchell Foundation, www.kristinskrusade.org

 

6. forever 21: remembering kristin
I never met Kristin Mitchell, yet her murder at the hands of her boyfriend has profoundly affected me in a way I can’t quite put into words. I am humbled to use this space to remember her with this post (which has been repeated here several times) and to honor her memory however I can.

5. Book Review: Sea Creatures, by Susanna Daniel
My most popular book review, one that was written for TLC Book Tours in August 2013 but continued to get a lot of traffic this year. 

Philadelphia Flower Show

4. For Sonya
Probably my most controversial post, but one that I don’t regret publishing.  This case brings out the nasty in people in a way I never imagined.

3. #SaveDallas and a Piece of Our Childhoods
I was pretty active on Twitter during the six weeks after “Dallas” was cancelled by TNT and fans were trying to save this iconic show. Unfortunately, our effort wasn’t successful but I still think it was worth it.

Daffodils in snow 4

2. On National Adoption Day, Baby G. Still Waits
I am beyond humbled that this post is #2. Thank you for caring so much about Baby G. As we go into Year 4 of this ordeal, her story and that of my friends becomes even more heartbreaking and maddening. I hope and pray that 2015 is the year they are reunited as a family … because as we turn the calendar to another year without a resolution in this case, they are still waiting. (A disappointing update on this is that the ACLU of Wisconsin declined to take the case.)

And the most popular post of 2014?

1. Weekend Cooking: Hits and Misses with ALDIs LiveGFree Products
Seriously, I should send ALDI an invoice for this one because this has been my #1 top-ranked post since I hit publish on it back in May 2014. I even had the guy who worked on the LiveGFree packaging email me! For real. This has to be on some website someplace (I can’t figure out where) but it is has staying power. Who knew?

As I typically do at this time of year, I’ve been reflecting on the blog and my writing and what I want I do here. I have some thoughts and goals, but would like to hear from you. What posts resonate with you most? Do you most enjoy the book reviews? The food posts? The advocacy posts, such as the ones about Kristin and G.? What do you want to see more of in 2015?

Wishing you and yours a very happy, healthy and safe New Year!

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still remembering kristin

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (30)

You are not forgotten today.

http://melissafirman.com/forever-21-remembering-kristin/

Remembering you and thinking of your family with love.

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forever 21: remembering kristin

KristinAt 21, Kristin Mitchell had her entire life ahead of her.

She had a brand new college degree from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

A family bursting with pride, with love. A wonderful job lined up with a well-known international food company.

And a boyfriend who killed her – three weeks after this photo was taken.

Three weeks.

With her entire life ahead of her.

Kristin was in the process of ending the relationship when her boyfriend came to her Conshohocken, Pa. apartment. He had some possessive tendencies.

Kristin text

Text message from Kristin Mitchell to her boyfriend.
He would kill her just a few hours later.
The message was retrieved after her death by Kristin’s father, Bill.

Kristin didn’t know that breaking up with her boyfriend – something that young adults do every day – would leave him so violent, so enraged that he would stab her more than 50 times in her own kitchen. She didn’t know what domestic violence experts know, that statistics show that the leaving is the most dangerous time in a relationship.

She didn’t know that she was, at 21, a victim of domestic abuse.

It is because of the efforts of her friends and family, who established The Kristin Mitchell Foundation in her memory, that many more people now know what Kristin and her friends tragically did not.

That dating violence is real.

That it is prevalent.

That women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rate of dating violence – almost three times the national average – according to the Bureau of Justice.

That there are warning signs.

That there is help.

That it can and does happen on idyllic college campuses to 21 year old students whose whole lives are ahead of them.

We worry about our kids as we send them back to school, as we let go. We worry about who they choose to accept into their midst, whether it is on an innocent playground or an idyllic college campus.

We worry about what they don’t know, and what we also don’t know.

And we worry about what we do know, about what lurks, who is plotting harm, who we know (and who we don’t) that has the capability to stab us 50 times, in our kitchen or randomly on the street in broad daylight.

Sometimes, as in the tragedy that befell the Mitchell family eight years ago, our greatest fears and those we didn’t know were our greatest fears actually become our own personal reality show, one with reruns nonstop on every unchangeable channel of our lives.

And then it is back to the beginning, of trying to prevent and spread awareness and educate and inform of the dangers we know are out there.

Of keeping vigil for a daughter and remaining vigilant for all the other daughters in name only.

Of keeping hold of a memory and letting go of privacy.

Of keeping one’s age forever 21 instead of laughing about turning another year older.

Today would have been Kristin Mitchell’s 30th birthday. I’ve repeated versions of this post on special days because doing so might make a difference in the life of one person and one family. Because if one family doesn’t have to live the nightmare of the Mitchell family, and if one person is saved, then that is all that matters. 

I never met Kristin, yet my posts about her are among the most-read posts on this blog, according to the search term statistics. I don’t know whether that is good or bad. All I know is that she continues to help save lives and make a difference. I’m only the messenger here. 

Click here for more information about The Kristin Mitchell Foundation, the annual Kristin’s Krusade event, and information on dating violence and domestic abuse.

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