2012 Overview in Pictures
2012 Overview in Words
Every year, as I look back through blog posts and photos of the year and get ready to write our Christmas letter (or New Year’s letter as this one has turned out to be), I’m amazed at the number and quality of adventures we’ve had and realize why “overwhelmed” and “busy” have been the adjectives that come to mind most when assessing our lives. Moving forward, perhaps we need to replace “overwhelmed” and “busy” with “full” and “exciting” when we think about the constant swirl of activity that makes up our lives and keep reminding ourselves how much fun we’re having!
Here’s a quick overview of some high points this year (we’ll skip the low points for now…):
- Saint George in January and February: We tried to sell our Saint George house but it just didn’t happen. Still, we had great times hiking through our beloved red hills down there while working on the house and holding open houses. Eventually we found great new renters.
- Australia in March: As April (my Power of Moms partner) and I had the privilege of presenting 2 Power of Moms Retreats in Australia, we decided to bring our oldest children (both 12) along. What an amazing trip it turned out to be! We hung out with kangaroos, explored rain forests, enjoyed gorgeous beaches, marveled at the Sydney Opera House, got to know scores of fabulous Australian mums and even got to be on a big-deal morning talk-show. I loved sharing it all with Ashton who took care of the technological aspects of each Retreat, did a bit of presenting with me, and helped watch a few babies of attendees.
- San Francisco spring break in April: Our kids know their birthplace well. We spent over a week exploring old favorites and finding new favorites in the Bay Area plus had great times with family members who live there. We hiked along the coast and through the Redwoods at Big Sur. We walked across the Golden Gate Bridge. We drove up and down roller coaster hills in the city. We explored Berkeley and Stanford. And I did a Power of Moms Retreat with an old college friend and a bunch of excellent moms in Palo Alto.
- Pioneer Trek in July: We had the rare opportunity to spend a few days reenacting experiences of our ancestors through a family pioneer trek with our stake. We were able to camp and trek along the original Mormon trail with dozens of other great families and had lots of fun alongside faith-building experiences. How blessed we are by the sacrifices of those pioneers! And how grateful we are for their example of faith and hard work.
- Bear Lake and the Farm in July and August: As always, we had some wonderful times at the Loosli Farm in Idaho (attending the annual bull sale, Jared and Saren running on the Loosli team in the Grand Teton Relay, going on tractor rides, laughing and talking with plentiful relatives, building an exciting new zip line) and at the Eyre compound at Bear Lake (water skiing, swimming and running, playing “Fear Factor,” logging about 100 hours of playing in the sand, laughing and talking with plentiful relatives)
· Ashton (13) had a great season in flag football, is at the top of his robotics class at school, brought his grades up dramatically and has become a very responsible student, was ordained a Deacon and coordinates the passing of the sacrament each week in church (we went on a very special snowy hike to commemorate his ordination), improved his snowboarding and guitar skills, insists on long hair, is the go-to babysitter for our neighborhood, and is working on being nicer to his parents and siblings.
· Isaac (11) became a serious runner (was selected to go to state on the cross country), decided he quite likes reading, was his dad’s right-hand man when it came to the big fat project of building a new fence in our backyard, is pretty amazing on skis, has a following of several little neighborhood kids who think he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, and is about as social, friendly and helpful as a kid can be.
· Eliza (9) loves her dance class, is always working on writing a book, creating an art project, or organizing a play or performance, is the star of the family when it comes to getting her chores done and memorizing quotes and scriptures, is getting into photography, has become a great skier, and enjoys going to art galleries and other cultural events every chance she gets with her mom.
· Oliver (7) always has his nose in a book and loves being on the computer, really wanted to be the star of his basketball team this year (but needs a few hundred more hours of practice!), rides his bike and scooter like a pro, is a great lego and K'nex builder, is very conscientious about doing his school work and gets perfect grades, and tells his thankful mom that she’s the best mom in the world about 10 times a day.
· Silas (7) is always up for adventure (was the first to volunteer to sleep overnight in the snow fort the kids built – and followed through!), loves cooking (can make cookies all by himself), enjoyed playing on his basketball team and didn’t let their losing streak get to him, builds awesome stuff with legos and K’nex, and sings his grateful mom a special “I love you” song he made up about 10 times a day (even when the other kids tell him how annoying the song is).
Jared and Saren (who cares how old we are) Saren’s work on Power of Moms was intense all year as she helped to organize and present TEN Power of Moms Retreats (8 in various places across the U.S. and 2 in Australia), helped launch several new programs, and was super excited when a viral post brought over a million new viewers the website. Jared started a new job – he’s now the Director of Software Architecture for a dynamic, growing company called Tire Company Solutions, and commutes each day from Ogden to Salt Lake City (luckily he can ride the train and get work done during his commute). Plus he continues to support the tech needs of Power of Moms. At church, Jared is serving as the Scout Master in our ward and loves all the camping and knot-tying involved and Saren is in the Primary Presidency and loves being in there with her kids and the other very diverse and very sweet kids involved.