New Year’s Resolutions 2019

After trying and failing multiple times to find time for our annual New Year’s resolution setting (we were too pooped, or had plans every night), Andy and I finally set aside a special breakfast date to get it done. It was, as always, really fun to look back and look forward.

As is our pattern, we killed it on some resolutions and really sucked on others, though we gave ourselves partial checks on goals that we at least attempted to some degree. And, to be fair, though it doesn’t look like our “Communication and Bearing Burdens” category fared well, we have been working really hard on improving our communication skills, so I feel pretty good about giving us a check there overall.

I’m really excited for the Come Follow Me program at church this year (not to mention, two hour church! Wahoo!); it’s only been a few weeks, but we have been diligent about preparing lessons every Sunday, and we have felt the blessings in our family. I think this program will help us improve in places we fell short last year.

As far as personal goals, the one I worked on the most was writing the draft of my first YA novel. I finished it early in the morning on December 31! I never EVER in a million years thought that I could, would, should write a novel. In fact, when I first started writing children’s books, I swore up and down that I would never write anything beyond picture books. Novels seemed too complex, too long, too impossible to even attempt writing. But, after I read The Hate You Give, by Angie Thomas in he summer of 2017, I was inspired and felt prompted to try. Even though it’s just a draft and needs a TON of work, I’m really proud of myself for finishing it.

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Here are our family goals for 2019:

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Here are our personal resolutions:

In addition to writing goals, I’m really excited about my sleeping one. I’m determined to get so much sleep that the bags under my eyes go away! HA…hopefully that’s even possible.

This goal isn’t purely aesthetic, I have finally learned that I cannot, in fact, function without sleep. Postpartum depression has forced me to really understand that my emotional health is directly tied to how much I sleep. So, I’m really going to try to sleep more even if means I can’t meet the other goals I set for myself. So far, I have been doing a little better, but I still have a ways go to!

This year, Carter told me some of his goals as well. He came up with all of them himself, in this order, and I love them:

  1. Give toys to kids who don’t have toys.
  2. Take guitar lessons.
  3. Share toys more.
  4. Read with mommy more.
  5. Give packages to people.
  6. Play with more people at home (invite more people over to our house).
  7. Listen to people when they’re talking.
  8. Swim (with people).

I feel like this will be a year of changes and miracles. I’m excited for 2019!

A Word on Thoughts and Prayers

After every tragic – and preventable – mass shooting, the offering of “thoughts and prayers” via Twitter and other social media platforms has become customary. Following swiftly behind is the derision of these offered “thoughts and prayers.” While I tend to agree with the perspective that many of those offering these thoughts and prayers – particularly GOP officials and supporters – are dangerously hypocritical, I have also felt torn by the shredding of “thoughts and prayers” as political rhetoric with no inherent power or value. Continue reading “A Word on Thoughts and Prayers”

My Stake Conference Talk: Willing to Be Disturbed and Willing to Disturb

The Backstory
A few weeks ago, President Hancock (side note: a man who gives me hope in the Church, and whom I deeply admire) asked me to speak at the adult session of stake conference. Talk about whatever you want, he said. I felt honored, blessed, excited and overwhelmed. I would be camping with my family for most of the time I had to prepare, and the conference session fell on same day as Carter’s fourth birthday party. It was a veritable outpouring of blessings (and work!) in a short period of time.

Preparing for the talk was perhaps the greatest blessing of all. I hauled my quad to Colorado as we camped all over the state, reading scriptures and swatting mosquitoes each night by lantern light as the kids slept in our tent. It was a welcome reminder that there is no excuse for shallow scripture study. Deep and meaningful scripture study connects my Spirit with God and gives me power. Recommitting to make my daily scripture studies more meaningful…starting now.

As I prayed fervently for inspiration, the Spirit guided me to study specific topics and read the book of Matthew. I didn’t receive any clear direction for my talk for several weeks. Instead, the Spirit seemed to tell me, as long as you are spending time asking for answers and searching the Word, inspiration will come.  Continue reading “My Stake Conference Talk: Willing to Be Disturbed and Willing to Disturb”

My Easter Miracle

Since my baptism in August 2000, I have asked many questions about the gospel, church history, Mormon culture, and modern day revelation. I am often critical – as I also am of society in general. I am constantly aware of things we can do as a people, and as a Church, to be better. This questioning and critical lens come from a place of love for people and the Savior. Continue reading “My Easter Miracle”

New Year’s Resolutions 2018

I have long contended that the person who sets goals and who strives to attain such is the master of his own fate. – Carlos E. Asay

I love new beginnings and New Year’s resolutions.  Every year, Andy and I reflect back on our personal and family goals and make new ones each year. We write family goals on a little chalkboard and personal goals on paper underneath. We display them all year so we can attempt to keep ourselves on track. Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions 2018”