Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011: A Look Back

As the new year begins, I think it’s appropriate to take a look back on the year we said good-bye to.  2011 will go down in the books as being a difficult and extremely rewarding year.  I’m thankful for the experiences I got to be a part of, for lessons learned, and for relationships developed and nurtured.  Here’s a walk down the road that was 2011!  (Thanks to Megan of My Stubborn Little Miss for the idea!)


Me.  Josh took this picture so I could model the baby wrap I made after Daniel’s birth.  I never would have guessed that I could have such an emotionally and physically challenging year.  I am constantly amazed at how richly I have been blessed.

I Love You

I Love You.  As steady as they come.  As good as they get.  Jared is my rock.  He has cried with me.  He laughs with me.  He makes me want to be better.  I am so proud of him for making the leap to a new job, and for his ability to balance his work and church responsibilities with his family life.  Like I said before, I am constantly amazed at how richly I am blessed!

Still Laughing

Still Laughing.  Well, sort of!  Caleb and Rachel make quite the pair!  Un-stuffing the chair (which already had a hole in it) is something I would have never guessed they’d do.  Boy I’m naive!

Winter wonderland 

Winter Wonderland.  This was taken in early November and may have been the first snowfall of the season.  There’s something magical about the first snowfall…even though I hate winter!  I was certain we wouldn’t see the ground again until Spring.  March-like weather the last several days has melted all but a small pile of snow in our yard.

birth day 

Birth day.  Daniel’s birth was definitely the highlight of our year.  With all the events surrounding his birth – a 90-mile ambulance ride to deliver him, being born one day before the last day of tax season, a known heart defect, and the unknowns of how he would be after his birth – I was one stressed-out mama!  He is a ray of pure sunshine and an absolute delight.  I am so thankful I listened to that little voice that said, “There’s one more.”


Friends.  Taken on a rainy fall day, I think this one speaks for itself.


I Was Inspired.  A Pinterest find gave me the idea for this gift for Grandmas.  I am happy to be able to say that I actually created something that was inspired by Pinterest!

Spring Fever 

Spring Fever.  Crazy things happen when it’s still too cold to go outside, and Mom has that end-of-pregnancy allergy to moving!


Travel.  All packed up and ready to hit the road.  Our vacation to Denver was a lot of fun and a lot of work, and we came home with some really fun memories.

A Day in my Life

A {rare} Day in My Life.  Sunday naps are almost as necessary as the consumption of large quantities of chocolate.  It’s a good day when I can snuggle up with Daniel and one of the other kids!

All Smiles 

All Smiles.  This is the first time we were able to capture Daniel’s smile with the camera.  He has been smiling since he was 4 weeks old, and we couldn’t get one on camera until July!!  His smiles have the power to melt your heart and light up the room.

Autumn Harvest

Autumn Harvest.  Beans and tomatoes grew in abundance in our garden this year.  After canning 61 pints of crushed tomatoes, I had had enough, and we left at least another 61 pints worth of tomatoes on the plants.  I also processed 21 quarts of beans, 18 quarts of raspberry jam, and 10 quarts of corn for freezing, as well as canning at least 12 quarts of pears.  And this was all within a couple weeks before and a few weeks after Daniel’s surgery.  I have never been so happy to see the first freeze of the season!


Home.  After spending 7 days in the hospital for open heart surgery, Daniel {and mom} were able to spring the joint and come back to the peace and comfort of home.  Putting your child through surgery is a humbling experience.  Watching him fight his way back to health is even more humbling.  This boy continues to amaze me!


Celebration.  Jared had the fabulous idea to make Memorial Day a little more special for our kids.  We celebrated by visiting the graves of some of our ancestors that lived in the valley.  In all, we stopped at 4 cemeteries and found the gravesites of several ancestors.  As we traveled from one cemetery to the next, Jared told us stories about the people we would be looking for.  We are definitely going to continue this tradition.

Let's Do It Again

Let’s Do It Again.  The girls and I (along with Daniel) had a girl’s night out while the boys were gone to the Aaronic Priesthood Commemoration in May.  I’m not sure why we haven’t really done this in the past, but we’re all excited to go out to eat, make indoor S’mores, paint nails, and watch a girly movie again this year!


Beautiful.  The roses Jared gave to me for our anniversary.  Twelve years of marriage to the best man out there is truly a beautiful thing!

Dressing Up 

Dress Up.  New uses for a Boppy pillow and borrowed jackets (from a sister) make for lots of dress up fun!


Holidays.  I think this picture is a perfect representation of our holidays…a little off, but still good!  With the usual craziness of December, church responsibilities, a job change, and last minute gift emergencies, we didn’t get to do some of the things we normally do.  Add that to our interesting Christmas day, and it made for one very unusual – but memorable – holiday season!

My Favorites 1

My Favorites 2

My Favorites 3

My Favorites.  These are my favorite photos of each of the kids this year.  Daniel looks like a sweet little angel with eyes that sparkle.  Caleb’s smile – with the dimple in his right cheek – is priceless.  Rachel looks so confident and self-assured.  Emily is growing up so quickly and turning into such a beautiful young woman.  And I love this one of Josh because he thought I couldn’t catch him with the camera, so I got a look other than disgust at having his picture taken.  I am one blessed mama!

Don't Ever Change

Don’t Ever Change.  The older kids absolutely adore Daniel.  It started the moment they saw him and continues still.  I hope the relationship they have with him, and the feelings they have for him, will never change.  I hope they’ll always want to be a part of his life and fight over who gets to hold him next!

Just Because

Just Because.  I’m posting this one just because I don’t think I ever told the story here.  It was a Saturday evening – the day of the General Young Women’s broadcast.  I was in a hurry to get dinner for everyone so I could watch the broadcast.  I decided to make pancakes – a quick meal – and asked Josh to grab some syrup from the storage room in the basement.  Somehow he managed to drop the container, spilling 1/2 gallon of syrup on the carpet.  Jared scooped up as much of the syrup as he could and then started pouring water on the area to dilute what was left.  We had the spot professionally cleaned the following Monday.  And there is still an awful spot where the spill is.  Ughgh!  We think we know what needs to be done to make it look better, but haven’t been able to take care of it yet.

Hopes and dreams

Hopes and Dreams.  When it all comes down to it, these five kids are where my hopes and dreams lie.  They are the fire that keep me going {in a more literal sense than I thought possible}!  Almost every hope and dream I have involve each of them.  I am so very richly blessed!

1 comment:

  1. Heather, you are an incredible woman and mom, and I love you to pieces. I do. I've never met you in real life, but that doesn't matter. This little recap of your year had me laughing and crying and just marveling at your family. Thank you for sharing this. You're awesome! (And I love, love, love Daniel. Oh, that kid melts me! He and Colin need to meet some day!)