Changes Are Comin’ to Little Bytes of Life!

If it ain't broke...

Hey, Hi There!

Hello, friends! It’s been real quiet here at Little Bytes of Life.

But actually, what you don’t know is that I’ve been very busy behind the scenes redesigning, moving, updating, etc. You can’t see any of that yet, so I’m sure that everything just looks like a big mess. Which it kind of is.

There’s a very simple explanation for why this blog is a mess: I broke it. Not on purpose, of course. It just sort of… happened.

On the bright side, I am basically an expert at fixing broken WordPress blogs by now. I am not kidding. 😕


So, as I enter my 10th year of blogging, I have decided to make some changes.

  • For starters, I am changing the name of my blog (Yay, finally!). Why? Because I have never liked the name “Little Bytes of Life.” Seriously, I cringe every time I hear it. I’m cringing right now just thinking about it. And no, I am not going to tell you what the new name is until I officially launch the site in a couple of weeks, but I’m pretty sure that you are astute enough to figure it out on your own. Just shhhh, don’t tell anyone yet, ok?
  • Next, I am bringing the Genealogy Blog Party back (apologies if you thought I was bringing sexy back). That’s right, the GBP will be back in June with all new goofy thoughtful and relevant themes, and I hope you will join in the fun! 😀
  • Finally, I have been begging bribing asking nicely for my descendant to write some stories about her ancestors and/or genealogy in general, so there may be “kid perspective” here at some point. No guarantees though, because she is fighting it tooth and nail. I just wanted to mention that there is an extremely remote possibility that she will cooperate at some vague point in the future if the incentive is right. Probably not. But maybe.

The focus of my blog will, of course, still be genealogy, as well as the tech and blogging stuff that I love. Plus, some REALLY AMAZING “found” family treasures have come across my path, and I’ll be sharing those in hopes of reuniting them with families who will appreciate them.

Get ready to party: The #Genealogy Blog Party will be back in June! Click To Tweet

If It Ain’t Broke…

Ok, so now it’s time to address the elephant in the room. And by “elephant” I mean the ugly, red “Not secure” notice in your browser’s address bar. Go ahead and look. Yuck, right?

UPDATE: Apparently not everyone is seeing this error – yay! But if you are, try clearing your cache, which solved the problem for me. If that doesn’t work… read on.

Let me assure you that your information is secure. Or, at least, it is no less secure than it was before that stupid notice went up.

Grandpa always said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But I just can’t help myself.

➡ If you don’t like boring tech stuff, skip this part.

So, here’s what happened. For a variety of reasons (not the least of which is improved SEO rankings), I decided to install the shared SSL certificate that Bluehost now offers for free to WordPress users. “Cool!” I thought. “Another layer of security is always a good thing, right?” 

Yes, it is. Unless you’ve got two different domains duking it out for Ultimate Supremacy of your server.

See, I had already added the free SSL certificate to about 5 of my other WordPress sites, and everything went smoothly. So really, why shouldn’t this one go smoothly, too, right?

Then came The Eerie Quiet.

Apparently, you cannot have 2 domains pointing at the same thing AND a properly functioning SSL certificate. Who knew (not tech support, unfortunately)? But hey, no problem. I’ve already got a 301 redirect, so I’ll just unassign the parked domain, and all will be right with the world.

And it was! Everything was glorious… until a few hours later when I noticed that my email had gone strangely quiet. Because OOPS, when you unassign a domain, all of the email that should go to that domain now goes into the black hole of cyberspace. Mmmhmm. 🙁

Thanks for the warning, Captain Obvious.

➡ Come back now if you skipped the boring tech stuff.

So, long story slightly less long: until I get my email forwarded and remove the parked domain you will continue to see that ugly message in the address bar. Please just ignore it. Thanks!

It’s All Good

Last, but not least, I want to thank everyone who emailed, called, or poked me on social media over the last few months. I went radio silent for a while because I needed some time and space to process a few things that were happening in my personal life. I won’t get into any of that here, but I did want to say thank you.

In the immortal words of The Beatles, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” <3


Congrats to the December Genealogy Blog Party Top Vote-Getter!


December’s Most Popular Post

The votes are in for the December Genealogy Blog Party! It was very close this time, but I am happy to report that the top vote-getter was “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your 2016 Dear Genea-Santa Letter” by Janice M. Sellers of Ancestral Discoveries

Janice was a very good girl in 2016, attending many genealogy conferences and educational opportunities, as well as giving back through volunteer work. She has quite a few requests on her wish list, but here is her #1:

My top priority is still that I want to help my now 91-year-old aunt find and make contact with Raymond Lawrence Sellers, the son she gave up for adoption 71 years ago. We haven’t made much progress since last year. She did a DNA test through Family Tree DNA, the results of which I’ve uploaded to GEDMatch. (Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to manufacture enough saliva for a successful AncestryDNA test, so we aren’t able to search directly in that pool.) The bad news is that she doesn’t show any close matches besides her siblings, her son, and me (i.e., family members we already knew had tested). It’s possible that her son didn’t have any descendants, or that absolutely none of them has decided to try the whole DNA thing. It is so important for her to find him, so I’m really hoping for this one. It’s the number one item on my list.

Hopefully, Genea-Santa will make this wish come true in 2017!

Be sure to visit Janice’s blog and the other blogs in the December Genealogy Blog Party. Many thanks to everyone who wrote a post for this round and to all who voted!



Congrats to the November Genealogy Blog Party Top Vote-Getter!

Genealogy Blog Party November


November’s Most Popular Post

The votes are in for the November Genealogy Blog Party, and I am happy to report that the top vote-getter was “Something’s Fishy…” by Karen of Ancestor Soup

Karen tells the sweet story of how her grandma served a traditional Norwegian dish one Christmas Eve and her family’s reluctance to try it. I’m not sure I would have been as brave as Karen, had I been in her shoes!

Be sure to visit Karen’s blog and the other blogs in the November Genealogy Blog Party for some wonderful stories of family traditions!

Many thanks to everyone who wrote a post for this round and to all who voted!



Congrats to the October Genealogy Blog Party Top Vote-Getter!

Genealogy Blog Party - October's Top Post


October’s Most Popular Post

The votes are in for the October Genealogy Blog Party, and I am pleased to report that the top vote-getter this time was “The Lantern in the Cemetery” by Nancy H. Vest. 

Nancy tells the strange story of a mysterious light in the cemetery, and how it scared the local dogs and sent them running. Oddly enough, nobody was ever seen to be carrying the lantern. Spooky!  😯 

Be sure to visit Nancy’s blog and the other blogs in the October Genealogy Blog Party for some strange and wonderful genealogy stories!

Many thanks to everyone who wrote a post for this round and to all who voted!



Celebrating Nine Years of Blogging!

9 Years of Blogging at Little Bytes of Life


It’s my ninth blogaversary!


Nine years ago today, I published my first blog post. It was fairly terrible, not to mention uninspired.

While I’ll admit that I had no idea what I was doing, I definitely knew why I was doing it: I was a stay-at-home mom with a working husband, no family nearby, and a 1-year-old daughter to care for.

And while my descendant was very cute and sweet (still is), and I was fortunate to be able to stay at home with her… I really wanted to speak grown-up with somebody – anybody – who would listen.

Even the deep echoes of cyberspace.


The rise and fall of a mommy blogger.

For months, I had been reading the blogs of several popular “mommy bloggers.” You know, moms who blog about mom stuff.

So I thought, “Hey, I can be a mommy blogger!” I mean, anyone can write about the thrill of peppermint mocha season, or how they are emotionally scarring their kid for life. Or wallow in self-pity about being sick with a young child in the house.

In fact, life as a SAHM was so full of excitement that I could hardly find time to write about it.

Good times.

Sadly, I hit a new low when I wrote about the time I bought chocolate milk that was made from dairy instead of soy. 🙄 

At that point, I knew that mommy blogging was not for me.


 Little Bytes of Life - June 2008


You mean, people blog about genealogy?

So one day while I was surfing the ‘net for new blogs to read, I stumbled across Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings. Randy was happily blogging away about – get this – GENEALOGY, like it was a perfectly normal thing to do.

I was stunned. People actually blogged about GENEALOGY? 😯 

I had been a genealogist for almost 20 years, but it had never occurred to me to BLOG about it.

What was even more surprising was that people were READING blogs about genealogy!

Although, at that time, there weren’t many to read.

Aside from Randy, there were only a handful of people blogging about genealogy in 2007. Certainly nowhere near the 3,000+ listed today on Geneabloggers. In fact, Geneabloggers wasn’t even around back in 2007.

Just the few trailblazers, dropping “cousin bait” here and there, sharing stories of their ancestors.

And to quote the 9th Doctor, “It was fantastic!”


The times, they are a-changin’.

While in some ways it “seems like only yesterday,” so much has changed since 2007.

Most of the changes have been really good, like better and easier blogging platforms, for instance.

But I miss the sense of community we had back in the day. Even though most of us had never met in person, we weren’t just a group of bloggers. We were a group of friends.

And with so many genealogy bloggers out there now, you would think that each of our blogs would be overflowing with comments and encouraging words, right?

They’re not.

Perhaps this is due to the rise of other forms of social media. It is quicker and easier to share a link on Facebook or to retweet something cool on Twitter. And it’s an inconvenience to have to click over to a blog from your feed reader or email just to leave a comment.

We’re all short on time. There is no way that any of us could read the posts of 3,000+ genealogy bloggers.

But I’ll bet we have time to read one.


So make a difference to one.

Remember the Starfish Story? The one about the man picking up the starfish on the beach and throwing them back into the ocean, one at a time?

“Made a difference to that one.”

It’s one of my favorites.

And though we don’t usually exchange gifts on blogaversaries, I’m going to be bold and make a request:

Please read somebody’s blog today. And leave a comment.

Just one.

It won’t take much time out of your day.

But it will make a difference to that blogger, I promise.


Thank you, and a secret.

THANK YOU to everyone who has visited, commented on, liked, followed, etc., my blog over the past 9 years. Your support, friendship, and encouragement have made a difference to me.

Here’s the secret: I’ve always hated the name of my blog. For. Nine. Years. 🙁

Why did I pick it? I have no idea. I think it had something to do with the fact that I thought I was going to be a mommy blogger, and my family and friends thought I was a bit of a computer nerd. Little bytes (bites) of life. Short stories about daily life. Get it?

Yeah, me neither. But it stuck.

So, I’m finally getting ready to re-brand, hopefully before the end of the year. I’ve dropped a few little hints in this post. 😉

Here’s to another year of blogging!


Image of my site from June 2008 courtesy of the Wayback Machine.



Little Family Tree, A Genealogy App for Children, Now FREE to Download


Herriman, Utah, October 1, 2016

Yellow Fork Technologies LLC has just released a major update to their app, Little Family Tree, making it FREE to download through the mobile app stores. Little Family Tree is an app that teaches children about their family history through interactive games and activities with information obtained from an online family tree.

Today’s children intuitively understand how to use touch devices such as smartphones and tablets. Little Family Tree brings a child’s personal family history to them through this learning medium and shares it in a way that is accessible to them. An adult logs into an online family tree account, such as FamilySearch, and the app synchronizes the data while children play. There is no need to manually upload or enter family history data into the app and any changes made or photos added to the online tree will synchronize with the app. The app is read-only and does not change the data on the online tree.

Playing Little Family Tree teaches children to: identify family members by name, relationship, and picture, understand who and where they come from, and recognize and navigate a family tree, all in a fun and engaging way. Most importantly, they will feel a connection to their ancestors as they learn about them.

Little Family Tree is available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets and may be downloaded directly from the app stores. The FREE version includes five games; five additional games are available in the premium version for $3.99 in the U.S., priced accordingly in other regions. More information, videos, and tutorials can be found on the website at


About Yellow Fork Technologies LLC:

Little Family Tree is the inaugural product of Yellow Fork Technologies, LLC, of Utah. Yellow Fork Technologies, LLC was founded in 2015 with the key mission to make family history more accessible and engaging through technology. 



My Thoughts

I downloaded the app to my iPhone 6 Plus and played around with it for a while. Unfortunately, my FamilySearch family tree is basically just a stump, and the lack of pictures meant that everyone on the Little Family Tree had the default image of an old granny or grandpa. Even me. And I’m not quite ready for that image of myself just yet!

Anyway, I will add some photos to my FamilySearch tree and try again. I’m afraid my descendant is in the eye-rolling, I’m-too-old-for-that phase at the moment, so I will probably not be able to get an objective opinion from her. 🙄 

At first glance, the app is very cute and engaging, and I’m sure that young children will find it to be a lot of fun. Try it out on your descendants, and see what they think!



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