end of '15

Slice is gone to a fire, and all the kids are in bed (at 8:53) thanks to a feverish illness that has been hanging around here all week. I guess it's a good time to blog.
I've been thinking about the past year, what I've done, and what - if any - progress I've made.  Only came up with a few things. I guess that's better than none?

In 2015, I:

1. Started collecting art ... really collecting it. Growing up I never thought about having original art in my future home. It wasn't important to me. Now it is! And I'm grateful for a husband who not only humors me, but participates in the process. I discovered some new artists this year and gathered a few meaningful pieces, some after extensive searching. (Of course, my poor phone photos don't do them justice.)
my own Annie K. Blake painting! I love it.
2. Dreamed of starting a business. I am seriously racking my brains for career/life solutions that don't involve Slice working 14-hour days. Chalk it up to the many days I spent as a single parent this year. Still working on on it, guys.

3. Sang. This year I had the opportunity to do something for myself, and I took it. I sang in UBOC for two semesters and loved it. So many times in my BYU choir days I thought I'd never have a chance to sing in a good choir again. How glad I am that I was wrong!

4. Let go. Of a lot of things. I was trying to impress certain people, trying to do as much as I see so many people doing, and I. just. can't. I'm trying to accept that my health/energy level/kids will not allow me to do it all. I'm trying not to compare myself to them, and I AM at least getting better at it.

5. Failed at a LOT of things. Like giving my kids regular chores or even a regular schedule (except for naps, of course). Keeping on top of my callings, kids' school and extracurricular stuff. Organizing and printing family photos the way I'd like to. Maintaining a yard or even generally-clean house.  Posting regularly in a blog.  Not getting pregnant. 

6. Succeeded in figuring out what I really want in life. Not a bigger house or more clothes/toys/products/whatever! Not more things to take care of! But more carefully gathered things to love, and more deliberate moments with the PEOPLE I love.  I resolve to be more deliberate in 2016.


Emma's 4th

Dear Emma girl,

You are four! Finally!! You've been asking for months when you'd be four because your cousin and bestie Gracie is four. This morning you asked to Skype Gracie, so you could ask if she's still four like you. Some things are realllly important.

You're starting to LOVE paper and writing utensils. Crayons, pencils, markers, pens, paintbrushes, it doesn't really matter, you just want to use it. You leave artwork all over the house and throw a fit if you find any of it in the trash later. I'm getting better at taking out the trash consistently!

It seems like you have to wait forever for everything, because you have an older brother. In the last year you started going to primary, preschool and ballet, all of which you begged to do for a long time before you were able to. I love to watch you dance! You're picking up on ballet pretty quickly, and I'm not surprised.

I think you'll be reading soon. You already know all your letters and sounds, and you've started writing out your own versions of words. Will's just ahead of you but it's my FAVORITE thing in the world to hear him reading to you. The two of you are frenemies in the truest sense of the word. You really love each other, but boy do you know how to push each other's buttons. You are also a sweet, doting older sister to Lex. Anytime she is crying you will bring her something to hold - blanket, soft toy (hers or yours), whatever is handy.

Your personality is getting stronger and stronger! I can't count how often other people tell me how much they love you (ward members, mostly). You can be really hilarious sometimes. Other times, we aren't sure what to do with you. I tell myself that this is a good sign of things to come. I seriously hope you prove me right on this.

It's been four years since you came into this world, and it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  Thanks for letting me be your mom!