At the end of every calendar year I do a fair amount of reflecting. I look at my goals from the year--review the lists (I love lists) that I've created in my bullet journal, and begin a new plan for the upcoming year. I'm still mulling a few things over, still deciding on how to rearrange some of my life's puzzle pieces... Mainly, my writing.
Two and a half years ago, when I pulled my son out of public school, my whole life shifted. I knew I was giving up my writing life so that I could invest more in a living, breathing human. It was a good decision; we've seen so much beautiful growth come from my efforts. It's big work, though. Really big, creative work, and I am exhausted at the end of every day.
So most of 2016 was about John Ronan. He's eleven now, and absolutely, undeniably adorable.
2016 also meant for me:
Head lice. I seriously started 2016 with lice. No one else in the family had it, and I think I cried when I found the first nit in my hair at about midday on January 1st. I slept in my son's bed for two weeks, washed my hair with shampoo drenched with tea tree oil, blew dry my hair until my head burned every single day. I wore my hair up, and ran my sheets and towel and blankets and pillow case through the hot dryer every day. And vacuumed. I didn't do anything else. No combs, no special shampoos. It worked, so that's why I'm telling you, but I'm hoping we never, ever encounter head lice again. Especially on the first day of a new year.
The release of two picture books. When God Made You was released in March and A Book of Questions was released in May. Feels like so long ago! That was a busy time, but so fun to see a project all the way through to completion, and then hear from children that they like the words!
I read several books this year, a few novels with John Ronan but most were grown up books that I read alone in the evenings. I struggled through The Idiot, completely enjoyed Laurus, and Jayber Crow, and was fascinated by And God Came In. I finally finished Kristin Lavransdatter. That was a feat. This year was my first time ever reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, and I would definitely recommend A Year Without Mom, a touching graphic novel written for kids. All in all, I read about twenty books (not counting picture books). That's a lot of extra curricular reading since I wade through about a novel's worth of words every couple of weeks in manuscript form as an editor.
I wear glasses almost all the time now.
But I am not complaining about the glasses! I love my job as a children's book editor and this year I edited and helped produce four books for Ancient Faith Publishing: When God Made You; Hear Me; Goodnight Jesus; and Shepherding Sam. And I'm working on another four that will release in 2017, plus ready to contract another batch that will be published in 2018. :)
In 2016 my son and I finished up our dyeing projects! That was a blast. We fiddled with oak galls, sycamore, coffee, cochineal, and indigo.
I played a whole lotta monopoly. Please don't make me play any more in 2017.
With my daughter at school in downtown Los Angeles, our family had a chance to explore beyond the traffic and visit museums and hang out in Japantown where we like to buy tea and eat ramen. We were also fortunate to visit Arizona, Mammoth, and the Seattle area a bit, plus I got to go to Wisconsin and Chicago for work. What the heck! What a year filled with gifts and blessings and good things! Have you looked back on your year and realized how many good things came your way?
My hair grew very long this year. My garden is a mess. Our dog is adorable. And I'm making pine needle baskets again after a short hiatus...
My brother and his family moved to town this summer!
Then my sister and her son just moved to town last week!
Sunday night family dinners are going to be something else!!!
And I'm learning Finnish. Hei! Moi! Kiitos!!!
Hard things happened too in 2016. At home we are constantly both at war and in harmony with autism. And when I look at the world outside my window, sometimes I cry. People are frustrated, some are unstable--mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. Some are running from ruin or war. Whole countries are collapsing, and many people around the world are living without warmth and clean water... Sometimes I will pass the night in prayer, just hoping that we might bend, and allow God's mercy to heal the world. But we're stubborn. I'm stubborn.
Here's to a new year. May 2017 be one free of head lice! May you fight to achieve your goals, and see the good things that undoubtedly will come your way.
Happy New Year!
Published: December 31, 2016 | Filed under: Me