We asked … Can You Inspire?

And boy did we get a flood of responses! Our Blog to Inspire contest has been so. much. fun. The amazing support and wonderful feedback from the bloggers involved has been fabulous. We couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic group.

I loved reading all of the posts and personal stories sent to us for consideration. We wanted to share a few of our favourites while you’re all waiting on pins and needles for us to announce the winning finalists (tomorrow, my pretties!).

The dedication and determination that mother’s share when it comes to breastfeeding their little ones (and older ones!) is absolutely incredible. We learned of Lacey’s struggle to overcome the often unspoken about ‘pain’ that can accompany breastfeeding in her post Mother’s Milk and we loved reading the stories that prove you can persevere against many odds such as the ones shared by young mother Valerie at Truth Be Told and full-time working mother and student Gina of The Feminist Breeder.

Gina’s words encourage other mothers in her post,

Let no one determine what you are capable of except you, and trust me, you are probably more capable than you may think.

Oh the places you’ll go when babywearing! We read about how many parents enjoy bonding through babywearing, even with an older child, but surprisingly what stood out most was where parents were going!

I think Deanna said it best in her post at Of Gypsies and Cowboys,

Through forests and across lakes, on horseback and at the kitchen sink, while nursing, cleaning, and conversing, in the company of mop, dog, or guest, my baby boy has been tucked in closely with those who love him.

Deanna’s beautiful words made me miss my snuggling newborns I’ve worn close to my heart.

We’ve said it many times before, but we’ll say it again – there are many reasons to choose cloth diapers.

Whether you’re considering cloth diapers because of the money you’ll save, or because of your hope to improve our earth, our contestants prove that cloth diapering can be easy and fun. If you haven’t considered cloth diapers yet please take a browse through a few of the entries from busy, modern parents using cloth diapers. I think you’ll find they are definitely worth trying.

With holiday celebrations right around the corner, we were excited to read some of the natural play posts submitted to us. Amber wrote about Battling the Toy Catalogues, Kealy offered suggestions for Keeping Christmas Simple, and with a little girl almost the same age, I loved reading about Paige and her creative idea for her 5th birthday party. Her mother Julia offers many suggestions for alternative gifts in her contest entry.

Gwen’s post Old Toy Trains, Little Toy Tracks struck a cord with me. The image of her little boy playing with his train set is a similar one in my home. With two girls under five and a bucket full of wooden train parts our living room floor is very often transformed into a blanket of tracks with farms, cities and parks spaced out along the way.

With each entry that came in to us, we often found ourselves reading the blogs of our contestants to learn more about the authors.

I enjoyed reading Lacey’s post about becoming a new mommy and Dagmar, a devoted breastfeeding advocate that we have admired, has a wonderful blog that touches on many natural parenting subjects.

Calley writes about her journey in reducing her family’s footprint on the earth at The Eco Chic and Kim writes an informative blog that centres around using cloth diapers at Dirty Diaper Laundry. There is much to learn from reading the blogs of these two ladies!

Another blog we loved was Urban Mommies, a hip Canadian online resource for new and expecting parents. Mom’s in Canada – be sure to bookmark this site!

And finally, if you’re a sucker for a birth story, you really must read about the ‘unplanned’ home birth of Sacha James Chase and how he made his quick entrance into the world. His story had me sobbing tears of joys. Go ahead … call me a sucker.

With more than 40 entries to our contest, narrowing down our favourites has been difficult. We’ll post a list of all the entries we received shortly so you can read them at your leisure. We’ll also be featuring many of the posts on our blog over the coming weeks.

So don’t forget to subscribe to our blog or add our feed to your favourite reader so you don’t miss reading any of the entries that were sent to us. Our hope is that they will help inspire other parents to embrace natural parenting in ways they might not have done so before.

And of course, check back tomorrow when we announce our six chosen finalists!