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I turned 35 on Sunday, and my tradition for the past couple of years has actually been to make myself create a very time-intensive post that information what I learned in the in 2015. This is how I celebration. Pretty soon, I believe I’ll be too old to put this all in one post. Eli, my three-year-old would probably agree. This morning as we played together, he stated to me, “I need a new Mommy.” I said, “You do? What’s wrong with me?” “You’re getting old. I require a brand-new Mommy.” I asked, “What would your new mommy resemble?” and he said, “As tough as a beast truck.”

Well, great.He sulked

when I informed him that he was stuck with me. So, year thirty-five is beginning off fantastic. Here are some highlights of what I have actually learned/discovered/tried in the last year:1.

I write young adult fiction.I had a terrific strategy

this year to not just compose YA fiction, however to add”sweet love with adult characters “to my repertoire.(Sorry for the clunky phrasing. Saying I wish to compose” adult love”sounds scandalous, even with the sweet included.)When I had my writing retreat with Roseanna White in the spring, I brought my notes and was determined to crank out this novel.Those adult characters drove me crazy. Despite the fact that I liked them, I felt very little compassion

for their struggles.”Look, simply be an adult and look after it,” is what I wanted to say to them throughout the whole book.The just scene that I definitely loved writing was a flashback to when they were in high school.

I completed that scene feeling like that was the story I wanted to be telling, and I stated to Roseanna,”You know what I believeI simply learned about myself? I’m a YA writer. “Nobody has actually appeared blown away by this discovery.2. Naan and Pretzel Bread Seriously, how did these not enter my life up until 2018? 3.

Immigrate and Emigrate imply two different things.I didn’t even understand emigrate was a word up until reading a book about the U.S./ Mexico border history. To emigrate is to leave your country,

To immigrate is to come to a nation that isn’t your own.4. All Business Things The kids were incredibly thrilled when they discovered that Ben and I were beginning an organisation. Till they discovered out that we would both still be doing the same things we always have been, Ben taking pictures and me composing books, plus blogging and teaching.I have actually found out a lot about taxes, Quickbooks, documentation, bank accounts, and so on. There’s also been the odd mental shift of when I sign things as Stephanie Morrill, President. I still laugh whenever.5. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter For McKenna’s 10th birthday, we shocked her with a trip to Orlando to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.(This was also my birthday and Christmas presents … and part of her college fund too.

)We had a respectable time.Look at her face! This is

my preferred photo of her EVER since I did not ask her to do that. We bravely rode the two roller coaster/thrill trips in the park (neither of us are roller rollercoaster people ), we delighted in Butterbeer in all its forms(ice

cream, frozen, hot, and cold)

, and we Ubered like champions. (Which takes some skill at Universal.)6. How to make great hot Butterbeer in the house I have actually tried a couple recipes now, and this one is my preferred.7. Treadmill desk awesomeness In the spring, Ben made me a treadmill desk, and it became one of my preferred things ever. I

likewise discovered that our treadmill automatically shuts off when you reach 100 minutes.Typing on the treadmill certainly aggravated my wrists, however, so I likewise discovered:8. Dragon Speak dictation software application This is what Ben offered me for our anniversary, in addition to a small bit of grumbling however it’s still been a really practical tool with marriage, parenting, and self-discovery.21. The distinction between being accountable TO somebody and being accountable for someone.Boundaries is another one of the booksthat I read this year. Two times, really. I listened to it in audio, and after that I studied it with 2 of my good friends. One of my preferred concepts in that book is that it’s great to be accountable TO people but not responsible FOR them.22. Having a word for the year.Over the last couple of years, much of my friends have actually picked a word or expression for their year, however I never ever have. Then a couple of my good friends(the very same ones who I studied Borders with)took an online test from Dayspring to find theirs. I’m not a big test taker, but I had a couple of extra minutes that night and decided,”Why not?”I was stunned when the word that came up for me for 2018 was”Brave.”Specifically as I was facing a frightening cancer diagnosis with my father, some moderate anxiety, and trying to compose Within These Lines. For a while, the word “Brave”was the wallpaper on my phone, simply to remind myself. Having that word on my mind this year has been remarkably valuable as I’ve dealt with challenges.23. Having a mid-year evaluation of objectives In June, I found myself at a conference with a spare lunch hour to myself.

I chose to examine my goals for 2018 and see how I was doing. I definitely prepare to do it again next year, due to the fact that I

was like,”Oh , right! I planned to renovate the laundry space. And Jill and I were going to re-release the Go Teen Writers book. I should most likely get on that if those are going to take place!”They both did, however just since I reviewed my objectives! 24. The Stretch This is a sci-fi

series that Ben loved.

He read all the books, and had actually taken pleasure in the TV series too. I’m not a big sci-fi person, but Ben believed I would like the characters. He was. I loved the program, and I ca n’t wait for the next season! (It’s absolutely a show for adults. Proceed with essential caution.) 25. I have actually stopped watching films and TELEVISION programs that I don’t think Ben will like.I had this awareness a couple of weeks ago, that we have such restricted time for TELEVISION and movies that both of us are mostly seeing things that we both like. Next year, I wish to be better about making time for stories that intrigue me, despite if Ben will like them.26.”Discipline, not desire, determines your destiny.”This is an Andy Stanley quote that has become a mantra in our home. It’s even hanging up in our kids’restroom due to the fact that of how constantly we all need the suggestion that it’s not just enough to desire something. We need to choose to work for what is necessary to us.27. What it resembles to see without contacts Back in December, I was fed up with my eyes and had a hard time to discover contacts that fit correctly. Although it felt extremely frightening, I decided to have Lasik surgical treatment. Life without contacts and glasses has been fantastic. As someone who had a prescription bad enough that EVERYBODY at the surgery center discussed it, the surgery has actually made a substantial difference in quality of life. Specifically when we

‘re camping! 28. Zion and Great Sand Dunes National Parks (and I can camp when it’s truly cold!)These were 2 new nationwide parks for us this year, and we enjoyed both! We camped both times, even though it was very cold. I never thought I would be alright camping when it remained in the twenties in the evening, but we made fantastic household memories.29. I

‘m a boat girl.This summer, I had my very first experiences with kayaking and being on a pontoon boat.

I liked both and want to do more.30. Yes, I can make time for it.Somehow I handled to make time for training for a half marathon on top of raising 3 kids and composing. This was a terrific suggestion for me that I can make time for what is necessary to me.31.

Re-releasing a book.Next week, Jill Williamson and I are re-releasing our initial Go Teen Writers book as Go Teenager Writers: Modify Your Unique. Neither people had actually ever gone through the process of updating content, and it was more intense and involved than either of us expected. However we’re extremely proud of our completed product! 32.

The joy/freedom/delight of having no school lunches

to pack.With Connor being off his diet plan this year, he started buying school lunch often. It’s been so fantastic to often have NO school lunches that require packing.33. The appeal of celebrating a birthday when you didn’t believe you would get to.In May, we had the happiness of commemorating a birthday with my daddy that we didn’t think we would get. You stop complaining about aging when it appears like there’s an opportunity you won’t get to. He stated,”Every birthday I get to celebrate now is a bonus offer. “34. Having all 3 kids in school … occasionally.Eli began preschool 2 days a week, and I like the balance of devoted work time and devoted mom time. Plus, how charming is he with his backpack?? 35. Manzanar is hot and unfortunate and beautiful.One of the highlights of the year for me was getting to go to Manzanar Historic Website, which is the internment camp where part of Within These Lines happens. It was July, so it was crazy hot. The screens were

thought-provoking and sad. When Eli saw what the showers appeared like, he told me they were broken, and I started to cry.But there

‘s also something beautiful about being there. The mountains are lovely (when it’s not hazy from wildfires )however likewise it’s lovely that our country preserved our mistakes so we can gain from them. I hope as I make errors in my life, I can be as transparent.That’s it! I’m anticipating soaking up everything year 35 has for me!