This year has been an interesting one for me. In January of 2014, I took over the GUFC blog. After being a reader for many years, I saw an opportunity and seized the day without truly understanding the amount of time and effort that goes into writing a blog for a community. I have worked in the web industry for many years now and I wrote blogs several times a month, but nothing to this caliber. I had also had my second child in May of 2013 and quit my job to pursue a role that I could create and have total control over.
Since then I started at Colorado State University in their graduate program for Public Communications and Technology. I teach at CSU, while blogging and running my own web marketing business while taking classes on campus as a full time student. Life has gotten real busy with two kids and this desire to learn all the things. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s work that I am so passionate about. In order to do these things, I went from writing two blog posts a week to one (hope you guys are ok with that). I’ve also been able to accomplish these things because of my wonderfully supportive husband (thanks love).
It took me a while to get settled into these new roles, but now I understand that I have to make this blog mine. I can’t leave “me” out of it. I spend a lot of time with my children and my husband and in each post I try to focus on the product or the story in terms of what I believe my readership will enjoy, but this year, I must also embrace that this is my blog, too. I have a story I’m telling. In 2015 I think it will be revealed, but I have to open up and let it be told.
With that being said, I look back at some of my favorite posts of 2014, and look forward to what I can provide to GUFC for 2015. Cheers!
A Look Back
1. City of Fort Collins: Mulberry Pool Needs Some TLC
In September I put my toddler in a swim lesson at Mulberry Pool and was not impressed with the facilities. This post had the most interaction on the GUFC Facebook page. Many people felt the same way about the facilities at this particular city location. Visiting many other places and having taken lessons as a kid, I expected more from Fort Collins. I hope the City of Fort Collins heard our plea.
2. 2014 Back to School Bash Photo Story
In August I threw a back to school event for our community. Many people got involved ( thank you to those who supported this first year) and the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery was kind enough to partner up with GUFC and allow us to use their parking lot for this kid’s event. I learned a lot about this type of thing. This upcoming year it will be $2 a family instead of $5 a person. I’ll also try and get more people to share the news. We had a decent turn out, but I would love to see more of our readers turn up for this event.
3. Little Shop of Physics- A CSU Professor’s Amazing Contribution
While I was gearing up for graduate school, I had the opportunity to hear a “pep-talk” of sorts from Professor Brian Jones. He shared with us his passion project, Little Shop of Physics and I was enamored with the way he spoke of the kids and how he lit up. I had to learn more about this project so I did a little digging online and found out more about his program. This was one of the posts that made me feel so proud of Fort Collins and the type of people who make up our community.
4. Take the Time to Volunteer at Your Child’s School
One of the things that makes communities really stand out are the schools within the city’s school district. Poudre School District is pretty awesome compared to other school districts around Colorado, but I think that teachers work really hard and parents should also be accountable for their child’s motivation and achievement. I think parents should be seen as partners in learning with their child’s teacher. I wrote this post as an extension to these thoughts as I also believe it takes a village to raise a child up and Fort Collins is our village. And you are the village people (I had to…). It’s not just parents who can volunteer at PSD; Anyone who wants to volunteer can spend time aiding teachers within the school district.
5. Race Against the Odds: Part 2
Over the summer a reader reached out about an event she was hosting in memory of her little sister who passed from pediatric brain cancer. I was so touched by her story that my oldest son and I (along with some great friends) decided to run the 5K, Race Against the Odds. This post showed the photos of the days events. I plan on running this with my son again and would love to see more of our readers show up for this event to help raise money for the Home Run Cure they hope to find. I really enjoyed running this with my five year old as I explained to him why we were doing it and although it was hard, we had to keep going because we could.
I have a few more favorites…. If you want to check out some lists, I’ve listed them below (how meta):
- Christmas Trees Going Up
- 10 Signs Your Child May Need Speech Therapy
- Fort Collins Neighborhood and Summer Pools
- Easter Egg Hunts in Fort Collins
- Kid Friendly Great Plates
- A Mother’s Favorite Places: Part One
- A Mother’s Favorite Places: Part Two
What to Expect in 2015
This new year is an extension of the past, but I’m going to be more open about myself and my family. I want to truly embrace this role as the writer for Growing Up Fort Collins and I hope you also find your way within this community. I truly want this to be a place that is not just a resource, but a platform for those growing up in Fort Collins. Even at 29 I am still learning, growing, embracing. I am growing up Fort Collins and so are you. Check us out on Facebook or on Twitter. Email me at June@growingupfortcollins.com if you ever want to see something specific and you can always sign up for our weekly Parent Planner!