Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Greatest Hits 2013 (and Taking Requests 2014)

The past couple of years on this blog I’ve designated the week of New Year’s as “Highlight Week.”  In addition to reflecting on last year’s goals and next year’s goals (that post will be up on Thursday…), it’s a chance to revisit posts that were particularly popular (that’s this post!)  For those of you that are relatively new Cragmama readers, here’s some goodies that you may have missed throughout the year.  And for those of you that have been reading for a while, it’ll be a stroll down memory lane!  Posts were selected based on initial visitors, long-term traffic, and overall “buzz” (comments, shares, and likes via social media.)  So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a stroll down memory lane…


C offers a warm, happy belay

3 Ways to TRY HARDER So You Can CLIMB HARDER – This revelation came to me last January, and applying it to my mindset really helped!
How Parents (and Other Busy People) Can Still Find Time to Train in the Climbing Gym – the name says it all.

All of this year’s crag logistic posts were geared towards toddlers, but it’s a safe bet that next year will bring back the CREATING A CRAGBABY category in full force, with the addition of our new little girl in early March!  But here’s the toddler climbing posts that got the most action this year.
Keeping Your Toddler Warm on Winter Climbing Trips – Tips for how to make cold weather trips fun for the whole family.
Strategies for Rainy Day Climbing (With a Toddler!) – How to keep wet weather situations from being miserable.

Sometimes we spend our green hours in fun and adventurous places, but more often than not, we take advantage of all there is to explore in our own backyard.  These two got the most hits out of this category…
Toddler Bikes and the GOOD Kind of Peer Pressure – An ode to the benefits of children learning from other children (and the merits of a balance bike!)
Why You Should Let Your Kids Run Around Barefoot – A list of all the benefits of barefeet for young kiddos!

Life Lessons You Can Learn From a Rock Climber – How each climbing discipline offers metaphors for life.
Indoor Climbing vs Outdoor Climbing – Which one do you excel at more?
New River Rendezvous X – A Recap of the Rollercoaster – Shuffling between roles as “Mommy” and “Athlete” at my favorite climbing event of the year.





Once again this year we were blessed with the opportunity to try out a lot of really cool gear, in exchange for providing a truthful, unbiased opinion.  And many of the reviews this year were coupled with a giveaway for all of you, courtesy of the awesome companies that provided us with the gear!  Here’s the top-searched-for reviews from this past year.
Trango Junior Harness: A Great Option for Kid Crushers! – Our go-to harness of choice for the crag-kiddo.
Keeping Elbow Tendonitis at Bay with Armaid – A secret weapon every climber should have in their injury prevention arsenal.

This guy won't be getting tendonitis...

This guy won’t be getting tendonitis…

Reflection posts are the kind that always make me nervous before I hit “Publish,” since it often means I’m putting a big vulnerable piece of myself out there for the world to see, but they often end up generate the most sincere dialogue and discussion!
Just Like You Mommy! (aka “The Story of the Striped Pants!”) – A subtle reminder to take the time to enjoy the precious moments life throws our way.
A Year Ago Today: Reflections on Health and Happiness – Counting my blessings on the one-year anniversary of breaking my ankle back in 2012.

Everyone loves inspiring stories, but these in particular got the most clicks!
The Lightner Family: Teenage Champion, and Urban Mama turned Mountain Mama…Sort of – The endearing story of a climbing prodigy and the mama behind the scenes that’s sacrificed it all.
Fellow Cragmama Charmagne Cox: Inspiration Multiplied!  Think it’s hard to climb consistently with just one kiddo?  Try triplets and a singleton!

It seems like every year I have to write a few of these, and they certainly don’t get easier.  This year I just had to write one, but due to the nature of the story, it made quite an impression.
In Memory of Axel Charrette 

Now it’s your turn…What would you like to see more of on Cragmama?  With a new arrival expected in just a couple of months, it’s a safe bet that 2014 will bring a lot of “baby-related” gear and logistical posts once again – as our family dynamics change, so do our adventures!  But I’d love to hear of anything specific you’d like to see – an issue to be addressed, a specific product reviewed, a certain individual interviewed?  More or less videos?

Any and all feedback would be much appreciated, and as always, thank you so much for your support this past year!  I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings for us all!  : )

Kai Lightner in action!

Kai Lightner gettin’ it done in the Madness Cave, Red River Gorge



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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN