Monday, December 31, 2012

10 Most Popular Posts of 2012

Note:  Photos and blog links will be added to this post tomorrow evening, January 1 [Update: photos added, with links in blue].  Tonight we're heading downtown to get our New Year’s Eve on!

All good things must come to an end.  Parting with 2012 is such sweet sorrow.  A bird in hand… well, enough of the clichés.  2012 was our best year so far!

The overseas journeys (some of which were not even mentioned here on Garth’s Blog), the growth and development of Baby Lena, the unforgettable time spent with God, family, ministry partners, and amazing friends… 2012 has been a banner year.  Thus, I’m taking a different approach to choosing the year’s highlights.

It has been humbling to see the readership (aka, page hits) of “Garth’s Blog” grow exponentially this past year.  In honor of both our loyal and newly discovered BlogSpot audience, it seemed best to let you, the readers, pick the highlights of 2012.  In order of page rankings, here are the most popular “Garth’s Blog” posts of 2012 (links are in blue): 

Runner-up:  Twitterfied

A reluctant blogger’s leap aboard the Twitter bandwagon

10.  The Face of Fear

AER03006_edited-1.jpg  A silly throwaway teaser for my upcoming skydiving post, which has yet to see the light of day.  Early 2013, anyone?

9.  (TIE) Tokyo Drifting, Part 1

This post from Japan fared slightly better than my sequels:  Tokyo Drifting 2: Senso-Ji Temple, Tokyo Drifting 3: Fleeing Sumida, and an educational encounter with a Japanese toilet.

This was just one of my many brief overseas trips to sample the Japanese (and many other countries') nightlife in 2012.  In early 2013, I'll try to blog about some of my other previously unmentioned 2012 international trips.

9.  (TIE) Thankful for Lena

CameraZOOM-20120825182638905  A Thanksgiving-themed update on Baby Lena, brimming with photos

8.  Tomato Battle: Portland


Portland’s biggest, rowdiest, messiest food fight

7.  Happy Halloween from Delta Airlines

Absurd, nonpartisan nonsense from failed VP nominee Paul Ryan and the A-Team

6.  Coldplay Put a Smile Upon My Face

IMAG2262.jpg   A taste of Para...Para...Paradise from Coldplay’s final Portland show before announcing their three year hiatus

5.  Belgium- Spring Break in 

the Low Countries, Day 3

IMG_4041.JPG   The most popular of my Benelux countries travel series with my dad, which also included stops in Amsterdam, Luxembourg, and EuroRail purgatory

4.  Backpacking Elk Meadows

An example of the many types of outdoor adventures that we provide for our students


Before we reveal the top 3 “Garth’s Blog” posts of 2012, here are the two other most highly read E.P.I.C. student ministry updates from this past year:

International Youth Convention: Denver

DSC_0657_edited-1.JPG  A rare appearance by guest blogger Kathy, who puts to shame my earlier post about this year’s IYC trip with high schoolers

E.P.I.C. Student Ministry Update- Feb 2012

IMAG0109.jpg  Serving the homeless, worshiping God, boating, camping, and shaving cream fights

And now,

the Top 3 most popular posts of 2012:

3.  Intermission: Banks Lake Wakeboarding

 This was the Hamilton family's annual Banks Lake camping trip in eastern Washington, a.k.a. an excuse for a week of wakeboarding, waterskiing, kneeboarding, and white-knuckled tube riding.  Lots of great action photos in this post!

2.  Behind the Scenes in L.A., Pt. 2

IMG_5569_edited-2  Decisively trumping March’s blog post about Lena’s first ever plane ride to Los Angeles, this 2nd chapter of the making of our “Delta Wanderland” holiday video focused on the music video shoot itself.  Part 1, technically #8 on this 10 Most Popular countdown, shared the blood, sweat, and tears (okay, maybe just the sweat) that we dancers shed at the International Dance Academy on Hollywood Boulevard.

I milked the video shoot’s ridiculously lax policy (compared to the countless other film sets where I've been shot) on cell phone cameras for all it’s worth, and these posts are the result.  A brief, professionally made behind the scenes video was also added here last week, including some all-too-brief clips of our Soul Train dance-off.

1.  Lena’s First Christmas

DSC_0808_edited-1.JPG  Was there ever any doubt?  Lena starred in the first “Garth’s Blog” post of 2012 and also tops your year-end Top 10 list!

Sadly, that cute little 15 ½ month old is currently ill for the first time in her life.  The promised Christmas 2012 update will be rolled into a Lena retrospective, and it’s coming in early 2013.

So there you have it.  Some of my personal favorites didn’t come close to making the Top 10, but that’s life.  Note that this list excludes those oft-viewed posts from years past which refuse to die:  Touring London, Kathy’s baby announcement, Banks Lake, randomly popular ministry updates, the Black Crowes, and boogie boarding.

Addio, 2012!  It’s been another riveting year!!

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