2018: the year of excitement

Every year since 2013 I've had a "word for the year."
I don't choose this word so much as it chooses me,
and this year is no different.


These words tell a story,
each one representing a chapter,
and each teaching me unexpected lessons:

2013: hope I learned to see beyond my little world and forseeable future.

2014: go My year of hope prepared me to move to Kansas rather unexpectedly and travel a lot for my new job.

2015: love Going to Kansas resulted in meeting my future husband, though we didn't begin to fall in love until halfway through the next year.

2016: adventure The friendly love of the previous year blossomed into romantic love as we individually stepped out of our comfort zones in big ways and found ourselves drawing closer.

2017: together I had prayed for years that my husband and I would marry only when we would be more powerful together than apart and that prayer was answered.

2018: excitement This year, as in years past, I have an idea of what this word could mean for the coming year. Still, if the pattern holds I am certain that 2018 will bring plenty of unexpected exciting lessons too!

To read more about 2017's lessons and 2018's plans, visit this collection of year-end reflections.

on kinship {a letter to my little one}

Dear Little One,

You are a member of the Aspen family
and as such you have a special identity
as well as a unique responsibility.

As Aspens we are very tight-knit
and as Aspens we reach out to others.
This is a part of our legacy.


When I was small a woman named Yvonne
was a part of most every
family gathering.

I wasn't exactly sure how she was related,
but it was never a question:
she was kin.

Eventually I learned she isn't related
by blood or even marriage.
Still, she is kin.

There are those who are not Aspens
who are still family—kin—to us.
People like Yvonne.


People like CK
who have blessed us deeply
as they grew close.

And others who grew close
as we blessed them
when they needed it most.

My sweet child
you have already blessed
family and kin alike.


May this always be a part of your identity
for it is a part of our legacy
as members of the Aspen family.

The topic of this letter to my little one was inspired by Sakura Bloom's Sling Diary prompt: Kinship.