My son was sealed to his sweet wife in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple in September. What an amazing experience to watch him pledge himself to his wife and the Lord for eternity. It's hard to even find the words to express my gratitude. Definitely a parent "payday."
I survived all the wedding preparations, including all the house projects we had to finish before the open house. I had no idea how much work was involved in preparing for a wedding, and this was for a son. I'm sure I have no idea what's involved in planning a wedding for a daughter (hopefully I won't find out for a while). I breathed a huge sigh of relief when it was all over.
I lost 30 lbs before my son's wedding. I'd been struggling with this extra weight for a few years and was really happy to finally get rid of it. Now if only I can keep it off.
My daughter just finished her Associate's degree at Snow College. I'm really proud of her for sticking it out and for figuring out how to pay for it herself. She's grown tremendously. She was also the featured artist at Snow for a week.
Another daughter graduated from high school. She performed in two plays, The Curious Savage and The Clearing during her senior year and I was blown away by her talent and her ability to make me believe she was truly the characters she was playing. Both of these plays made me teary. She was awesome.
Another daughter was inducted into the National Art Honor Society and she has just been cast as a lead in her high school's production of Noises Off. She received her driver's license--I'm not sure that's necessarily a highlight :).
Another son received his Life Scout rank and is close to earning his Eagle. He also received his Duty to God for Deacon and is now a Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood.
Another son was baptized. His service was so sweet and we all felt the Spirit. His biggest accomplishment for 2009 is that his front teeth are finally growing in.
My other kids have been busy developing talents and working hard in school. While I love watching my kids perform and develop talents, my greatest joy comes from seeing them choose to keep the commandments. My most important goal is to have an eternal family and when I can see us, as a family, make progress toward that goal it makes me sooooo happy. In a world where it is so easy to make bad choices and temptation lurks around every corner, I am so grateful when each of us makes good choices. I don't want any empty chairs . . .
My youngest son has Down syndrome. I've been thrilled to see his progress this year. He has learned and developed so much. He has such a fun personality and makes us laugh all the time. I'm so grateful Heavenly Father chose me to be his mother. If I'd known then (when he was born) what I know now, I wouldn't have worried a bit about raising a child with DS. It's a great experience and I look forward to seeing him grow and develop even more this next year.
My LDS romance, Altared Plans, was published by Cedar Fort in June. It's loosely based on my courtship with my husband and I've loved receiving comments from readers who've enjoyed it. It's currently in a contest for the cover at LDS Publisher.
We've had our share of trials in 2009 but I'd rather focus on the good things and the progress we've made. Heavenly Father has blessed me so much and I'm so thankful for my wonderful family and for the gospel. No matter how bleak things may look, the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us hope and I'm grateful for that.
May we all have a wonderful 2010!
(PS If you've read any great books by LDS authors be sure to nominate them at www.whitneyawards.com. The deadline is December 31st).