I wasn't sure I'd make it to think through my favorite things of this past year. I usually think through my favorite movie, song...but I am not sure I really have one for those categories...I think my favorite overall 'thing' that happened this year is actually 2 things: the Pew Reunion and the Louw Reunion. Both were different but similar in that familial bonds were strengthened. The Pew Reunion was a large group of 51 people. My kids loved seeing their cousins from different parts of the country come to Utah. They love them and miss them. It was fun to see them enjoying each others' company. They are lucky because they still have their cousins that live here. The Louw reunion stood out just because I am not sure my dad (who is struggling with Alzheimer's)will make it on another outing like that. He stays close to home these days. New settings unnerve or exacerbate his condition. Family is such a blessing especially to me where I feel loved and supported from both sides. Sure we are NOT perfect but as far as getting along and helping one another I find that I am the luckiest person to have these families behind me (and my kids)!
Another favorite thing that I got a lot of fulfillment from this year has been seeing my children develop their talents and skills. My heart almost bursts when I hear them play a song (I actually recognize) or sing in their choir or perform in a play or work hard on the soccer field...all the practices and running around... all worth it!
Learning to be more grateful has been a real favorite blessing from this year. Although we just started this this past November we have a gratitude journal for our family. It has shifted my focus even more to the many blessings I have been given. I notice that most days the list we put down RARELY is something monetary--mostly things that involve spending time with each other, extended family or friends. Of course we are still grateful for a flushing toilet and amazing inventions like that but it has been great to remember that "the things that matter most are NOT things!"
Another favorite has been getting up early before my family and studying the scriptures and words of the living prophets. My VTs shared last year with me the 10-10-10: 10 minutes Book of Mormon, Ensign/Conference, Rs or Sunday School lesson. It has given me the structure to stay mostly on top of the readings for Sunday and has made a difference in my personal life. I am not super patient now or am I super organized because of it but I do feel closer to my Heavenly Father and Savior, this in turn has brought me great peace and comfort in my challenges and worries I face. I can not say enough about this and it's worth to me. Being able to trust in them and their promises--how can I not be happy knowing they are there for me? I am hoping by keeping this schedule some day I will be more organized but I have noticed that it has helped me make more of my day and be inspired to what I should do.
Other favorite things I have encountered this year: Biggest Loser Exercise DVDs, Vitamin D (helped with PMS), teenagers who are almost friends built in to the family, a certain preschool girl who makes everything new and exciting and fun, the three musketeers who challenge my parenting abilities more than I like but also love me despite it all, a husband who rocks my world, sweet potato chips, fries and just about anything else made out of them, beautiful nature--it's everywhere, friends who seem to know when I need them most, my kids' friends, music from MoTab to Tokyo Hotel--I know that seems weird...Tangled the new Disney movie--it was such a fresh, upbeat show...good people who inspire me with their stories of courage to overcome amazing challenges...Graham Canyon Ice Cream--so YUMMY! But it is only made by the BYU Creamery so we rarely get it and barely discovered it this past summer! Aloe infused socks...they are so FLUFFY! Pringles Honey Sticks another yummy find...facials and eye brow waxing...we read the whole Book of Mormon this year as a family--our Primary Presidency asked that every child read the Book of Mormon this year, then our Stake Presidency asked us to do it also--very inspired. We have read the Book of Mormon before as a family but it took us about 2-1/2 years! This was a great blessing and we finished it this morning!
I was going to post some of my photos this past year but it keeps timing out. Owell...I'd love to hear what some of your favorites were last year and maybe they'll make it on my favs post next year!