Year in Review

How has your year been? Have you learned some important lessons? Have you had fun? Have you read some good books? Have you experienced any losses?

For me, in a way, 2015 has been the year of sudden death: my dad in January; my children’s friend in November; a youth camp counselor in June (while my son was at summer camp, but they did not tell the little guys about this incident which took place on a lake nearby, at a sister camp focused on wakeboarding); 140+ Parisians, people with whom I feel I have a cultural connection; Scott Dinsmore, an inspirational blogger I have followed for more than a year now. Every one of these deaths is too sad for words.

All this has lead me to appreciate Today. Today. Tomorrow is not promised. Today is all we get.

Boy and girl reading a music program together

My children checking the piano recital program as they waited for their turn.

In 2015, I have published four books: 101 Tips for First Grade Homeschooling, The Homeschooling Mom’s Devotional Journal, Life in the Smoky Mountains and Kitten in the Storm. Or 11 if you count the seven bilingual editions of Kitten in the Storm as a new book, which, truth be told, that’s what they are. Each of them needed translation, layout, design, a new cover, editing, copy-editing and so on. 

I am thankful for finding a great illustrator for my picture books (Carla Lavorgna) as well as a layout and cover designer (Marian Oprea). This takes a lot of pressure off me, as design is not my cup of tea. I can do layout for a paperback and a Kindle book, I just don’t delight in it and I feel like I don’t have the time for it.

I can now focus on writing and delegate layout to Marian, while Carla does her sketches and illustrations for my bilingual series. There is a lot of wisdom in delegating responsibilities. And productivity shoots through the roof, of course.

My oldest started piano lessons in January. He and I learned to ski (at Ober Gatlinburg). This coming January, we will go back for lessons, but now we are on the Intermediate level. So proud of our progress!

My second child has started kindergarten. During the summer, she finally learned to swim. She has also started both piano and violin lessons, which is a lot, but she wanted to and I gave in. Oh, and she also joined her brother on the soccer field, so now I have two running around and expanding energy while I rest on the bleachers and read read read.

All in all it has been a productive year, a year of growth, and a year of many lessons. Oh, yeah, and homeschooling. Which is how things should be, right?

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