Thursday, January 1, 2015

Our Biggest Year!

Hey y'all,  

At some point each day, I think to myself "MAN! I just learn something new, and I better write it down now or else I will lose it."… As you can see from the frequency of my entries, I have an incredible  ability to resist the temptation to do what I should :-) That said, it's the first day of 2015, and 2014 deserved more attention than I gave it. Here's to repentance!

I believe in premonitions…andthat my eyes are unevenly placed on my face. Both points were reconfirmed to me the other night when Amy pulled up a Facebook post from this time last year. 

Beside the Picasso-esque selfie, the caption reads: "Hey 2014, watch out. Seth just announced that we're going big this year. Whose with us?" What Amy's caption did not capture was that I said this less of a statement of determination, and more of a statement of a feeling. While I would like to say that 2014 went according to my master plan, looking back, there is NO WAY we could have planned last year… to be honest, not a single significant step was clear as we took the previous step, but each step was necessary to get to the next or next-next step. To illustrate:
  • Feb 9:   A wonderful, generous family makes an unsolicited offer on our Redmond home
  • Feb 14:  I have, after a priesthood blessing, a 180° change of heart, and feel strongly to accept
  • Feb 21: We accept the offer without knowing where to go...I'm ok with anywhere but Salt Lake
  • Mar 28: While on a weekend trip to Salt Lake, we walk through a home that feels like HOME
  • Apr 16: The wonderful, generous owners accept our unsolicited offer on their unlisted home
  • May 2:  While pulling it behind the U-Haul, my dad shows the Camaro to his auto body shop
  • May 5:  We arrive at our new home in Salt Lake City
  • Jun 6:    Over dinner with friends, ALS Crowd is born
  • Jun 7:    The Utah Auto Body Association choses the Camaro as their 2014 pro bono project
  • Jun 16:  We are invited to fill a June 18th cancellation at the UofU ALS Clinic
  • Jun 18:  KSL (our NBC affiliate) is at the clinic; their subject cancels; they ask permission to film
  • Jun 26:  ALS Crowd Radio does it first of nine 2014 episodes with KSL present and filming
  • Jun 30:  KSL films Sam working with the Utah Auto Body Association on the Camaro
  • Jul 2:     On Lou Gehrig's speech anniversary, KSL airs a piece about ALS and our projects
  • Jul-Aug: The Ice Bucket Challenge changes the trajectory of ALS forever  
  • Oct 4:    "Life's Miracles: The Project", a documentary about our family, airs October 4
  • Since:   We have been invited to lead national ALS projects, and are running to keep up
Even if these events had little significance for anyone outside our family, the significance of these events TO our family was monumental. It's hard not to be overwhelmed and emotional as I think of the moments listed above and the millions of seconds, impressions, and thoughts that came between them. I  think of our desires, look at the cadence of events, consider the events' impact on our family, and am blown away by how perfectly the cadence matches the impact and exceeds our desires…I  have no choice but to recognize A) the UTTER impossibility that there is no greater/higher power than me; and B) God's involvement in--or ability to be involved in--the intricacies of our lives. 

This is not to say that 2014 was easy… Fun, yes… Easy, no. 

Amy: I've begun, half jokingly, to tell people that we did our best to break Amy this year. Imagine, in the middle of a health ordeal, dealing with a husband who has refused to consider "moving home" for 13 years, and then, in one afternoon, changes his mind? Imagine keeping the above schedule and take care of all of us, while moving states… and somehow being energized by it rather than broken down?  Imagine allowing a camera crew into not only your half-moved-in home, but also into the most private areas of your life… All in the hopes that it will benefit others? How can she keep this up? There is simply no one like her.  Other highlights include:
  • Hawaii trips
  • Old & New friendships
  • 5:30 AM workouts
  • New portraits in her photography portfolio
  • Our new home
Sam: Despite his mother's concerns that we asked too much of a junior high age kid (to leave his friends,  home, and teams), I hope someday Sam will know what it is like when his 13-year-old son comes to him and says,  tearfully, "Dad, I feel like this move is the right thing to do… I've felt we have been frozen for a a while now ." I can tell him how he'll feel…his heart will well up to the point of breaking, and he'll feel hope that his boy has already mastered life lessons that the boy's father is just now learning. Highlights include:
  • Returning to Seattle to break his leg at Scout Camp
  • Stripping the Camaro
  • Visits from Seattle friends
  • Joining the mountain biking and wrestling team
  • Is currently in Rwanda Africa
Ellie: How do you keep moving ALL THE TIME? Who teaches themselves how to do an aerial? How can you be SO much like your mother? How can you, at 11 years old, have so much faith, be so good, and take care of everyone? Highlights include:
  • Finally has a trampoline
  • Required stitches only once
  • Reached the Washington state semifinals with her soccer team
  • Is currently in Rwanda Africa
Jayne: How can you be so dramatic and yet so selfless? How do you handle these teasing of your siblings and still adore them? How will you feel when your seven-year-old request something, like being baptized, by a dad who is currently more than a little wobbly? I will tell you… You will be proud and confident in your daughter's ability to choose what's right! Highlights include:
  • Was baptized by her dad (with helpers)
  • Has chosen basketball as her sport
  • Had her ears pierced
  • Has turned into a reader…She loves Laura Ingalls Wilder
Jacob: How can you be so intelligent at four years old? Complexity of thought and love for our family. Idolizes his brother. Highlights include:
  • Learned new things like- riding a bike, playing soccer, and going to a new school
  • Rides a jazzy like a race car driver
  • Loves cousin day (Monday) and being the triplet to the cousin twins
  • Love for the snow and hiking and camping
If "going big" refers to the comparative size of leaps made, the number of people met, the number of new experiences, or the potential to influence, this was our family's biggest year yet.