Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Review Extravaganza--Part 4

Once again I am linking up with Emmy mom for the 2013 Review Extravaganza--four posts over four weeks dedicated to reviewing my blog entries, one quarter at a time, for the entire 2013 year. I look forward to this every December, because it gives me a chance to reread all I've written about my family over the last year and remember.  Emmy Mom has also requested that we include five New Year's resolutions in this post.  I will write my concluding post for my 2013 goal on December 31st, then post my new word for 2014 on January 1st. Here is the final installment.

After more than three years of piano lessons, Micah learned to tell stories with his music.

I rewrote one of my most popular posts--written just before Heidi got married--as a final assignment for my first grad school class.

With months between start and completion, I finally posted the instructions for my giant photo wall, and The Handmade Home featured my post in their weekly roundup.  I was so happy!

After five years of blogging, I decided to share the birth story of my fifth child, our stillborn daughter.  I know it will never erase the pain for my dear friend Heather, who lost her twin sons that week, but it helps to know you're not alone in your suffering. So many women either commented on my blog or Facebook or emailed me to share their stories--thanks, friends.

I sneaked in a peek of Evie's Tinkerbell costume:

Evie's frequent bouts with nightmares reminded me of my recurring childhood nightmare of Pancho Villa.

And an offhand comment from Micah during Ben's football game sent me off philosophizing about my children and who they are.

 Grad school took a turn for the not-so-fun, and my baby turned four.

Benjamin won his homecoming game, lost homecoming king--then won homecoming king on the same night.

Miss Lily got her braces off.
And I retold one of the most important lessons I learned all year long--when Ben taught me the importance of not reacting in anger, even when anger was fully justified.

I celebrated my fifth blogging anniversary by listing the four reasons that I continue blogging after all these years.
I continued my yearlong writing obsession about gifted kids by revealing why Ender's Game is one of my top-five all-time books.  This may be my favorite writing piece of the year--in the top three for sure.

We had a do over morning that I documented, just to keep life real around here.
Evie went to the fire station on a school field trip.

Ben's football team won the semi-final game, then lost the state championships a week later.

I posted nine lessons I've seen my son learn from playing football, and I will always be grateful that he was able to play for such amazing coaches.

Hyrum learned to ride his bike with a single push, and Micah reminded me that little boys really do think their moms are perfect.
I dedicated a post to what I'd wished I'd said about my views of marriage, and I was surprised when it received over nine hundred views. This post was my most popular unlinked post of the year.

Then I closed out the month with a final post detailing my ACT goals for the final month of the year.

 My bestie, Karen, and I Black Friday'ed it, and I hated how stores were open all night.

Micah played in sacrament meeting, and I recorded his practice session:

I hosted a formal dinner for the widows in our neighborhood.
 I wrote a post dedicated to all mothers everywhere, spurred by lessons I learned from a mama spider who unfortunately chose the bumper of my Suburban as a place for her web.

"Bob Denton" had a memorable weekend and my little boys built a geodesic dome out of newspapers with their favorite teacher.

We went to the Mesa Temple's Christmas Lights.
And Evie surprised us all by actually singing at her preschool program.
I got to spend the weekend with Heidi's family, enjoying winter and my grandkids.

We hiked to the Wind Caves and went to the zoo to keep us all occupied as we waited for Santa, and we celebrated Christmas Day with a funny rendition of Rudolph.


The year I went back to school as a champion for gifted education.

The year Tucker and Karli got married.

The year Hyrum got three black eyes in two months.

The year my baby turned four.

The year Micah learned to make music.

The year Lily got her braces off.

The year Ben taught me about instant forgiveness.

The year I took time to really write and marked five years of blogging.

The year Heidi and Tucker both announced they're expecting babies in 2014.

I look back on this year as an amazing ride, full of ups and downs and joy and sadness.  Thank you, 2013.  What a great year.


  1. Wow! What a post. It was fun to read all of the adventures you have had. You are such a great writer.
    It was good to catch up as it feels like I've been out of it for so long.

    I love the going for a hike to work of the energy of Christmas. Such a great idea.

  2. Love that they had a 40's style dance, that would be so fun to go to. Crazy how they messed up the count for the winner. My goal next year is to keep up with your blog better so I don't have to go back and reread the whole thing at the end of every year like I have been this morning; I love all your posts!

  3. was the haircut incident on there? i missed it? (it was my fav)

    but i will admit reading that heidi and tucker are both expecting babies in 2014 had me giddy with joy joy joy! i can't wait to see the family grow!