- December 31, 2013

2013, Oh What a Year!

My girls (and the coat I got for free at the Really Really Free Market)

When I started Free Fun in Austin in 2010, it was with a vague plan that in 2013 I would commit to making it a “real” website.  2013 was the year my daydreams were made of.  The year when the last of my four children would start kindergarten.  The year when I would be free to work eight hours a day, after 13 years of having littles by my side.  The year my house would finally be clean (just kidding, my dreams aren’t that fantastical).

As you know, if you have ever read about one of our family outings, my plans never quite work out the way I expect.  Things go awry, chaos ensues, and in the end we are all exhausted but glad we made the effort anyway. That pretty much sums up my 2013.

Here are the highlights:

  • Poppy was born, months before my son started kindergarten.
  • We went to Disney World for a week with all five kids, proving (to myself) that ginormous families can still travel. 
  • Poppy and I spent a week in Nashville (because babies fly for free!).
  • Over the course of the summer, we spent 14 days at different water parks and amusement parks because, yeah, I’m not sure why.  That’s nuts.
  • Poppy tagged along to MomCom Austin and to two blogging conferences in San Antonio. 
  • I had the opportunity to guest post on Three Things for Mom.
  • I continued working with the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau as a True Austin local expert, answering questions for families planning trips to Austin.
  • Free Fun in Austin started a partnership with KXAN, where the morning news features our top free events every Monday and Friday.
  • I launched Orange Wall Collective with Catherine of LiveMom
  • We started two new websites, ACLwithKids and SXSWwithKids, with the help of Heidi Okla. We have a third new site in the works.
  • I started writing for Groupon.
  • I roped Emily into becoming our new calendar gal and her handiwork was voted Best Online Family Event Calendar in the 2013 Austin Birth Awards.
  • I brought on more contributors, to avoid having a nervous breakdown. As it turns out, they are all better writers than I am, so win win!  
  • Free Fun in Austin won Best Website in the 2013 Austin Family Readers’ Poll. 
  • We spent a few months working on a top secret project that will be a free gift for you when it’s ready in 2014.  
2013 may not have turned out the way I expected, but it sure wasn’t boring. Thank you for sticking with me as we try to make Free Fun in Austin a great local resource, without coming unglued in the process.  We’ll get there.  In 2018, Poppy starts kindergarten!

Image credit: Sarah Siller Photography