Things I Learned in December

1. My attitude sets the tone for the whole house. Um, hello? Parenting 101, right? I’m a slow learner. And stubborn. And prideful. But the closer we roam into pre-teen territory, the more acutely aware I am of how my tone of voice and response to conflict impacts our children. I saw this wonderful verse on Pinterest yesterday, compliments of (in)courage:

ephesians verse via incourage

I think I need to display it in various prominent locations. Do you think a tatoo would be overdoing it?

2. Handcrafted gifts are the best kind to receive: I’m thankful for the many wonderful gifts I received. Truly, my cup runneth over. But the photo calendars, handmade Minecraft creepers for the boys and my planter are all very special. In the era of one-click, online purchasing and the impersonal cardboard box doorstep delivery, gifts that someone took the time to build with his/her own hands brings out the true spirit of Christmas for me.

2013-12-24 20.47.32 (1)

3. Modern technology still blows my mind: A sharp contrast to item #2 on my list, I know, but I’m still amazed at the wonder that is Skype. We clip a tiny camera onto the top of our laptop, log on and make a simple phone call via our computer. Voila. My parents, as well as my sister and her family (geographically positioned on the opposite coast), appear on our laptop screen. I love it. Mind officially blown.

4. Letting our family photos accumulate on various hard drives, a smartphone and old cameras was a very poor choice. While a trip down memory lane is enjoyable, slogging through three years of photos and making sure they are properly archived is a time-consuming and overwhelming task. I once heard a Creative Memories consultant say, “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be JPEG’s.” So true. I’m not one to make resolutions because they never last beyond Groundhog’s day and I spend the rest of the year feeling like I failed … BUT … I’m diving into Project Life this week and I’m determined to organize our photos on a monthly basis. Hmmm. That looks and feels an awful lot like a resolution, doesn’t it?

5. Receiving my first publishing contract was just as exciting as I hoped it would be. 2013-12-26 19.37.28

The fine people at Winslet Press would like to publish my novel, Unraveled. I am over the moon with excitement. More details forthcoming in the new year. It’s definitely a dream come true and this is a very exciting time to be an author.

I’m linking up with Emily Freeman over at Chatting With The Sky today as we share things we’ve learned in December. Join us, won’t you? 


  1. Lyli @3-D Lessons for Life:

    You got me at #4. I am still working on finishing the album for 2009, and haven’t touched a project in about a year. I think that makes me Queen Procrastinator. At this point, I am just praying that the rapture will come and save me from my photo library.


    • Heidi:

      Heaven will be great for so many reasons but especially because we won’t care about our photo albums and scrapbooks anymore. Happy New Year!


  2. Diane W. Bailey:

    Congratulations on receiving your first contract!!!! Whoohoo! Stopping by from Emily’s place! Happy New Year!


    • Heidi:

      Thank you, Diane. Happy New Year to you and yours.


  3. Stacey Thacker:

    Congratulations on your book contract! It is a very exciting time to be a writer! Love the title!

    Blessings for 2014!!!


    • Heidi:

      Thank you, Stacey. Blessings to you, as well. I’m looking forward to reading your post.


  4. ~Karrilee~:

    Congrats on the publishing contract! How exciting!!!

    I am with ya on the whole where did I put those photo files thing? Our computer crashed last year and oh my goodness how is it that I only uploaded those photo’s to facebook? Facebook! I spent yesterday going through them and trying to make some sort of digital scrapbook and am praying that they print out ok… 2013 will look similar I am afraid – but 2014… well… we don’t want to get crazy with resolutions or anything?

    Facetime and Skype still freak me out! I love it!

    I am linked up with Emily today as well! I always love these random lists of things we’ve learned!



    • Heidi:

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m sorry about your computer crash. That’s heartbreaking. I’m glad you had Facebook to document some of your memories. I’m hopping over to read your post in a minute. Happy New Year!


  5. bluecottonmemory:

    One of my sons didn’t hear tone – so I had to learn also to not “shout” with my face. EX – when you’ve just lectured one son, and your face still has that stern look – even if you’re talking in a calm tone – he would “read” it as shouting – I had to learn to say things like, “Is my face shouting at you? Oh – well, that was just left over from a conversation with your brother?” There’s so much more to communication that words or tone – it was a huge lesson for us.

    Congratulations on your book! That is so awesome! Wishing you much blessing this year – so enjoyed your list!


    • Heidi:

      Wow. That must have been a bit of a parenting challenge. “Is my face shouting at you?” It makes me smile now, but it probably wasn’t at all funny in the moment. Thank you for the reminder that communication is so much more than words or tone. Thanks for stopping by my blog, as well. Happy New Year!


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