Friday, November 16, 2012


Is it November already?  Not only does that mean finding every excuse to bake things with pumpkin and apples,  raking up freshly fallen maple leaves in the backyard, and reading everyone's "gratefuls" on facebook everyday, it also means it is probably time to start looking back over 2012.  Since we know that once December hits I will be distracted baking everything with cinnamon and eggnog, cutting out snowflakes with my kids, and reading about everyone's shopping deals on facebook everyday. By then, I will have completely forgotten about my New Year's Resolution Word: Give. (You can read about my Word here.)


I remember someone saying on my mission "You are only as good as your follow up."  Which meant: It is pointless to set a resolution or make a commitment if you don't intend to follow up on it.  So here goes.

Give my attention to my children.

I have to say, this is the one that I am most proud of! (*pat on my own back before I look at the rest of my "Give"list which includes some major failures... remove my hand from patting my own back and start typing while looking around to make sure no one saw me congratulate myself*) I have really tried hard this year to dedicate more attention to my children.  I started by trying to follow their lead and do what they would want to do.  I am not a stay at home mom for my own pinterests.  (Did I say that? I meant to say interests!)  I am at home so that I can be with them.  I have spent a lot more time riding bikes, taking walks, having picnics, playing board games, eating ice cream, doing art projects, riding scooters (sounds similar to riding bikes-but don't worry, it's different), giving "under dogs" on the swings, and getting to know them better.  I feel a huge difference in my relationship with each of them individually.  And I have come to enjoy my "career" as a stay at home mom much more.  I hope my children will look back on their childhood and know that I was really there for them.

Give my heart to JT

This has been a good one for me to do.  It has been a hard year.  Changing direction from New York to Seattle, downsizing and leaving our home, JT starting a very intense program, giving up our income and living off student loans - it seems like everything has flipped upside down.  And let's be honest - you can't flip things upside down without a little conflict. (or throwing up- that is what I do when you flip me upside down) But JT and I are in this together.  And I have given him my heart and my support.   It isn't always easy to give someone else your heart.  It takes a lot of trust, and in my case - humility.  But I can't think of anyone who deserves it more than him.  Man, I am in love with that guy! (8 years in December!)

(Sad that we only have 3 pics of the two of us together all year :( we need a getaway!)

Give my thoughts to prayer.

I wish I had done better on this one.  My Testimony and my Faith seem to be riding the same Roller Coaster as the rest of my life.  Sometimes it has been great and sometimes it is upside down (remember the throw up??).  But I have learned a lot about prayer from Blake.  He gives the most sincere, thoughtful, faithful prayers.  Anyone who has heard him pray can tell he has a true relationship with his Heavenly Father.  (And it really isn't anything we taught him- he honestly just has a very deep Spirit that connects with prayer.)  To help with this one, I have gone back to an old trick - where I make my bed in the morning. (yep, for some of you this is an obvious habit- nope, not for me.  I never had to make my bed growing up, and I had thoughtful companions on my mission who often made it for me, so it really isn't ingrained in me.) That really helps me to kneel down and pray first thing in the morning, which has really helped deepen my prayers the last few months.  Still, as far as my original intention- I am getting a thumbs down here- Ok, Ok, let's just go with a sideways thumb. Not up, not down.  (Like the kid who can't tell if they "thought they felt someone touch them" in Heads Up 7-Up whose thumb is optimistically turned sideways, not quite down, not quite up.)

(Blake, my example of prayer, on his first day of preschool.  Yes, that is a Hello Kitty ring on his hand.  He is cool like that)

Give my time to those who need me.

This is a tricky one to measure.  I am sure I have missed some opportunities, but I have really tried to be there.  And I can think of a few cases where I know I have been there for someone at exactly the right time.  (*considering another pat on the back, but that seems a little bit self serving... doing it anyway, no one is looking*)

(This was the only picture this year of proof that I even have friends.  Sorry, guys, I know this pic is lame!)

Give my energy to my calling.

This has been better at times than others.  But even when I am not at my best, I love my calling in the church.   The youth I teach in Sunday School are pretty amazing.  We have fun, we learn, we laugh, and hopefully we are all feeling uplifted.   I think everyone has weeks where they haven't prepared as well as they should have. (oh wait, that is just me? awkward ) And weeks when you have put it all together and it feels wonderful.  I am thankful for my calling (and not just because I am afraid of other possible callings, which I am) and especially thankful for the kids in my class.

Give my talents an opportunity to improve.

Bomb.  Epic Bomb.  (and I don't even use the word "epic", but that is about the only appropriate description)  I guess this wasn't the year to win an Academy Award or any other talent contest.  Better luck next year.

(If I had improved any of my talents -- say: taking pictures -- I might have something to put right here.  Nope.)

Give my forgiveness to those who have hurt me.

I am so grateful that I included this.  I doubt anyone realizes that they received this from me this year, but I have appreciated giving it.  I have felt burdens lightened and peace restored.  I am grateful for JT's support in this- because it has been difficult at times to forgive people who have repeatedly hurt me (and I think it is challenging for him- no one likes to see their loved ones hurt).  So, if any of you have any intentions of offending me- do it in 2012.. because I will not be doing this in 2013. ;)

(Looked for a picture to put here, but that would just be awkward to post a pic of the people I have forgiven this year, and I didn't want them to be mad at me and have to start the whole process over again.)

Give my body better care.

I don't even know how to score this one...  I have consumed more fast food this year than any normal human should in a lifetime. And I spent more (in student loans, that I have to pay back with interest) at the drive thru purchasing "happiness" for $1 (which means that Dr. Pepper will end up costing $2 by the time we finish paying off our loans, and for that price I should have had two sodas!) than I care to admit.  (especially for someone who has "given up caffeine"...)  But I have been working hard at the gym, and even running again (which my body and soul love!).  One thing I have done better for my body is to try to accept it.  I have tried to be OK with my flaws and my quirks and not allow myself to dwell on them-- especially in front of my daughters.  JT, again, has been a huge help with this.  He is so good at loving all of me, and helping me to look past my flaws.  (what? flaws?  I know you are all confused because I am practically the most glamorous person you have met in real life. *sarcasm dripping all over my lap top*  But, yes, I do have physical flaws that I don't even know how to photoshop.)

(It would probably be more appropriate to have a giant McDonald's soda here instead of my actual body.  But I have had sooooo many requests for pics of me in a bathing suit I just finally gave in.  You're welcome.)

Give my love wherever I can.

I guess this one isn't really measurable.  So we will go with Pass/Fail -- and I give myself a "Pass".

There you go.  My word.  My success, my failures, my year in a glance... I do still have a month or so to work on some of these... but with all of the baking, playing, and partying- I doubt I will have time. :)