When I went into 2016, I had no idea what the year would bring.
One of my goals this year was to know my purpose in life better. And a scripture I’ve thought about quite a bit is this: “Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:40-41).
Patricia Holland put it this way: “You don’t have to worry over so many things. The one thing that is needful—the only thing that is truly needful—is to keep your eyes toward the sun—my Son.” I don’t have my life all figured out, but I do know that if I try to focus more on Jesus Christ and make following Him the purpose of my life, everything else works out just fine.
So here is a list of many of the things that happened over the last year, in no particular order.
- My husband got a job as an assistant park manager and we moved.
- I went to a Twenty One Pilots concert (floor tickets).
- Went hiking a few times.
- Went swimming in the lake by our house.
- Took up wildlife photography (particularly Dillon, but I did some too).
- Went snowshoeing early in the year.
- Got a canoe and learned how to canoe.
- We got a bike for Dillon and he took up mountain biking and I realized I hate mountain biking.
- Swam in a hot spring swimming pool while it was raining.
- Caught a frog (and let it go).
- Ate a whole lot of chicken nuggets from McDonald’s.
- Got an inflatable swimming pool and put it under the slide.
- Saw a rainbow during sunset.
- Went camping (once, up the street from our home).
- Went to the state fair.
- Dillon went hunting with other people, but didn’t hunt himself.
- Went sledding.
- Dillon went to Washington and Oregon.
- Went to the Ft. Collins. Temple open house and Provo City Center Temple open house.
- Took a trip to Denver and visited the natural history museum.
- Went to Mt. Rushmore.
- Visited Utah a few times (after moving away).
- Went to lots of places in Wyoming, including Ayres Natural Bridge, Martin’s Cove, Independence Rock, National Trails Museum, various other museums, etc.
- Moved in, which included getting everything unpacked and eventually organized.
- Decorated my new house, including getting some new orange chairs and bar stools, putting up pictures, and rearranging a whole lot.
- Removed cabinets in the kitchen and the pantry door.
- Designed and built a new computer desk.
- Painted shutters the front porch.
- Put in a front garden.
- Did some gardening (mostly just snap peas and some flowers).
- Cut down all the dead trees in our yard.
- Cleaned up the yard, including removing a lot of dead grass.
- Sewed my first zipper and made a bean bag.
- I made a doll house and furniture for my daughter.
- Lots of other little projects throughout the house.
- I finished a history of my Grandma Walker and Grandpa Claude, and started one of my Grandpa Walker.
- I moved my three websites, and did some redesigning.
- Found a few new ancestors’ names to take to the temple.
- Finished a draft of Ned and Nancy.
- Self-published Super Strong for Kindle and paperback.
- Prewrote for a nonfiction book.
- Helped Dillon with lots of graduate school homework and his final project—he’s almost done now.
- Edited school pictures for my local elementary school.
- Got my DNA tested (I’m 60% British, 30% Irish).
- Watched a crash course chemistry class.
- I came up with twelve picture book ideas; I also wrote six children’s books and put illustrations with two of those six.
- I started blogging more frequently.
- I read or listened to 57 books.
- Became a scout leader of eleven-year-old scouts with my husband.
- Played the organ in church.
- Played the piano for primary (and at other times).
- Spoke in church (twice, I think).
- I read the entire Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price in roughly chronological order
- My kids met a whole lot of new friends, particularly MM.
- MM finished preschool and had a party with her friends.
- MM started kindergarten and started to do basic readings.
- MM learned how to ride a bike and tie her shoes.
- SR learned how to walk.
- SR said his first word and then a great many other words.
- SR grew up a whole lot this year.
- BB went to preschool.
- BB is now potty trained.
- BB can identify a great number of dinosaurs and animals.
- Both MM and BB did t-ball and tumbling class.
- I hit a deer.
- We had a child poop in the public swimming pool.
- I bruised my tailbone (don’t do it, ever).
- We had a tire go flat and I took it off, got it fixed, and put it back on, all by myself.
- On my daughter’s birthday, I got lost and went 100 miles in the wrong direction and just had to turn around and come back.
- Finished watching all the episodes of Doctor Who (new ones, not old ones).
- Got a Flowbee.
- Increased savings and stayed out of debt.
- My thyroid started functioning right again.
- I went on my usual emotional roller coaster throughout the year.
- I got pregnant and I’m now expecting a baby in June 2017.
- I made a lot of new friends and got involved in a new town and community—really two different communities, the small town I live in, and the bigger town where I got to church.
- I volunteered and did story time at the library a few times.
- I joined the PTO.
TIME WITH FAMILY
- Lots of family came and visited us in our new house. Liz twice, once for Thanksgiving. My sister Clarissa came twice as well. My sister Emily came once. My parents came quite a few times. And my in-laws came as well. We love visitors.
- We visited family in Utah—in May for MM’s birthday, in July for a Walker family reunion, and then in October for hunting and just because—I went with the kids the first two times, and with Dillon in October.
There we go. It was a good year. Sort of crazy year.