Byzantine Life: A Look Back at The Year

Hello Readers of The Byzantine Life! I just want to take the time to thank you for taking the time to check out our blog, We are approaching our 3rd year of blogging! It’s amazing. [To me anyway – time flies].

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To celebrate this milestone, I’m putting out an article full of TOP 3s. That way I get to write a fun article near my birthday, and you get to know me better. And I’d absolutely love it if you left a comment telling me about some of your favourites!

Top 3 Byzantine Life Articles

  • Most read mom article:

  • Most read Byzantine article

  • My favourite article from this past year

Top 3 Things I’m Thankful for

Aside from my family/God, that is. Because they would obviously take the top spots and then you wouldn’t learn anything more about me.

I am definitely thankful for the blog support on patreon (speaking of which, there were exactly three different people who have helped support the blog over the past year)! Hosting fees, security fees, and theme fees occur yearly. And they also are what reminds me how long I have been blogging… haha. The Badger Dad and I have been talking, and we think if we make it to 10 patrons we might go ahead and invest in equipment to make videos. I did a year of media school in high school, and I remember how much work it is to edit a video. But it is so much fun, and there is a lot we could do for byzantine content.

I am also thankful that we have started spending more time with my children’s Godparents. Little Fox is starting to be interested in playing with others. And while sharing is hard, the delight she has when she tells me about playing with her friends leaves me with a thankful heart.

And finally, I am thankful for our new home. Our new icon corner is lovely. There is a corner nook which makes it perfect. Plus the walls are green which is great. (I never thought I would get to live somewhere with green walls while renting). Plus in the same room as the icon corner there is a walk in closet which we have turned into library.

Top 3 Books Read in the Past Year

Category 1: Kids

So this category goes to God Gave us Thankful Hearts. It is a book about a wolf family teaching their little pup how to be thankful when he is sad. My theory is there’s a Protestant author, due to the presence of a harvest festival instead of Halloween. However, the Badger Dad says that this makes it quite Ukrainian since “Ukrainians are all farmers anyway.” The best part is when Little Fox is having a tantrum we remind her about having a thankful heart. We use the book as a bedtime story as well since Little Pup goes to sleep at the end of the book, all the while thanking God for all his blessings.

Category 2: Religious

True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis-Marie de Montfort is absolutely great. I have it as a free ebook on my phone, and I have been reading it while traveling or nursing Little Badger. The way he talks about the Theotokos really brings you in. In fact, I am lost for words to describe the book. All I can think is that “it is beautiful, clear, easy to read, and fills my heart with love and appreciation for the Theotokos.” While St. Louis is a RC, I just think Theotokos every time I read “blessed virgin.” (I have to say, the Byzantine tradition is naturally ordered toward devotion to Our Lady. So even though I’m still in the Roman Rite, my prayer life with Mary is very very Byzantine).

Category 3: Other

This was a difficult choice. I took a look at our home library and thought abput which book I was happiest about reading this past year. I decided it was The Glory of the Crusades, a book published by Catholic Answers. There was so much history (with references to sources) that I hadn’t learned about in school. So interesting! I’m grateful I had the chance to read this book in the last year.

And Standard Top 3 – A Quick List of What People Usually ask About

Colours: Green is the best, and after that I like purple and silver.

Animals: I love foxes, dogs, and snakes. (I know snakes are supposed to be bad but I think they are cute. I love the feel of their skin).

Smells: So my favourite smell is Vanilla, which also explains my taste in cakes. After that I really like shea butter, and the smell of things baking in the oven.

Activities: Before I met my husband this list would have been reading, writing, and doing colouring pages. I still like all those things, but now my list of favourite activities looks like this: play Skyrim, read books, and organize the house.

Subjects: Usually people like maths and sciences, or the humanities. I actually like both. Math is my favourite subject, along with History. After that I really enjoy the study of, and learning a Foreign Language.

Top 3 Edibles

Foods: I love nachos (Make your own/taco bar style). I’m also big into pasta (especially angel hair), and sandwiches.

Drinks: my favourite drink is rootbeer. I prefer either Barqs or Jones. I can sometimes drink Mugs, but I have never liked A&W brand rootbeer.

Snacks: We call Sour Cream and Onion Chips (which became my favourite during my pregnancy with Little Badger), perogy chips. I also really like chocolate bars from Perdy’s chocolate. And if I want to snack healthier, I like to eat cashews.

Top 3 – Religious Topics

Saints (Not including Holy Family): St. Rita of Cascia is my patron, so obviously she is one. I also really like John the Theologian, and St. Gregory the Theologian.

Books of the Bible: Two books automatically come to my mind here: Tobit, and John. Tobit was my favourite when I was reading the bible in grade four. As I grew up and learned about some theology, John became my favourite. There is no close third, so at the moment I’m going to have to pick James, since we recently heard a talk about him and his epistle in Byzantine Lay Formation. (I wrote an article about what I learned, which you can read here).

Songs: I really like O Holy Night, which is slightly sad for me because it is only really appropriate at Christmas. I also like Cry of the Poor, which is really just Psalm 34. And as a Mama, I like Do Everything by Steven Curtis Chapman. It’s the perfect song for remembering I’m doing it for God when the kids are making life difficult.

Prayers: The Trisagion, the Byzantine prayer before communion, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet are my favourite prayers.

Icons: I like the Image not made by Hands, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and Our Lady of the 7 Sorrows.

Feast days: Definitely the Annunciation is my favourite. After that, I like Easter Sunday, and now I really appreciate the Presentation of Mary in the Temple. I’m not sure what it is about that last one but it is certainly my number three right now.

The Byzantine Life

So tell me, what are a few of your favourites/top 3s? Or even just a few top 1s. Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for checking out this week’s article. If you enjoyed this week’s article, you might also be interested in reading about last year’s Blog Milestone Article (which was a family update), or our Best Year Ever plans.

On our Pinterest we have boards full of icons, organization ideas, and faith-based activities! New posts are always shared to Facebook, and my husband runs our Twitter (@TheByzLife) and Instagram accounts (username: thebyzantinelife)! And if you want to support our work at, consider joining us on Patreon. For as little as $5 a month you can get exclusive access to special posts, photos, and updates from our family!

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