making plans for 2012

If you know me well, you know that I love lists. I make lists for everything (this goes back to my high school year book days where list-making was mandatory). So it may be surprising to know (especially to Melissa–Hi, Melissa) that I don’t make lists at the new year.

Years ago, I found that I was making the same lists each year. You know, more gospel study, more exercise, more adventures, etc. Obviously the yearly lists were not working.

So, I decided to go a different route.


Now, I choose a word or a phrase or a scripture to be my theme for the year. (A few years back there was an article about this very thing on Bloom. You can read it here.) I let the word/phrase/scripture guide my choices for the year as they come around. Usually, by the end of the year I have internalized my theme and it’s a part of me. I really have changed. I really have made progress. And that feels awesome.

This year I’m aiming for the essentials.


Here’s the back story. (The back story happens to be personal, unlike the craft tutorials I usually post about around here, but I feel like I want to share.)

A couple weeks before Christmas, I miscarried my little baby bean at 12 weeks. The whole experience included passing out in the ER in the wee hours of the morning, very kind doctors and nurses, heartache for the little one we lost, and a deeper awareness of how precious life is. I still get teary thinking of all the angels (seen and unseen) who came to our rescue when we needed back up. Words can’t express the feelings of gratitude I feel for them.

At the end of the day, I’m glad I’ve had this experience. I better understand other women who have had similar experiences (there are a lot of us!). I realize how amazing Chris is. I care more tenderly for my three healthy, darling boys. My trust in God and the Plan of Salvation has deepened.


The experience has left me with a deeper awareness that some things are essential and some things are just nice to do.

My husband and kiddos: essential.

My relationship with God: essential.

My role as a nurturer: essential.

My connections with my family, friends, and neighbors: essential.


I hope that in 2012 I can keep the essentials in the spotlight–giving them the most time, attention, and loving care.


Good reads if you are interested in the essentials, too:

Good, Better, Best by Dallin H. Oaks

Finding Balance by Julie B. Beck (listen to the audio clip)

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11 comments to making plans for 2012

  • Ariane

    I appreciated your testimony on Sunday. When I look back at our path (2 miscarriages, fertility treatments, failed adoption), it was super hard but I’m so grateful for it. Like you, because of that path, my understanding of the atonement changed and my relationship with the Savior grew. Now that I’m on the other side I can say thank you to Heavenly Father that this was our path because of the wonderful blessings that came from it. I think The Essentials is a great theme.

  • Jenny O

    I choose themes for the year too! This year my theme is “Be Still.” Love you Sarah.

  • Oh, my heart. I went through a miscarriage last fall. I’m sorry you had to go through it. I’m sorry anyone does. I’m glad you’ve wrestled some good out of it. The Essentials. Good plan.

  • karen

    oh sarah, i’m so sorry. life comes with a lot of heartache but it makes us better in the end. great goals for 2012! hope you are doing better now. love you!

  • MelissaPete

    I am so sorry about your heartache. I’m glad that you have a great support system and wish you much love and comfort.

    Your word for the year is wonderful. I’m not sure who the Melissa is that you refer to, and I hope I’ve never offended you. I don’t make lists too often because they stress me out, but I use them when necessary. New Year’s resolutions freak me out too because I tend to sabotage myself and fail. But I also got the one work idea from BLOOM and have loved it. Still thinking about a word for this year. Anyway, although I don’t think you meant me, I have spoken about similar things on my blog and want to make sure I haven’t ever offended you. You have a darling family and I’ve enjoyed following your blog for a while now.

  • Thanks everyone!
    @JennyO – great theme
    @MelissaPete – not offended at all! I was talking about another Melissa who happens to tease me for making so many lists. Ha I guess it’s an ongoing joke between us. Wishing you all the best in 2012!

  • melissa

    Hi, Sarah. I love your silly checkboxes and I love you. You are definitely essential to me.

  • Kathy

    Sarah- So sorry to hear of your loss. I hope that you and your heart are healing. Love you posts and love your ideas about new year’s resolutions. I wish I was as wise as you when I was a young wife and mother. I love your 2012 theme- important for us all to remember. Happy new year to your darling family.

  • Cori

    I heard another wise person say the same thing just yesterday about choosing a theme for the year. I guess I had kind of ended up with the same conclusion, and mine is still a little hazy, but it’s about joy. Thanks for all you share. You are beautiful in every way.

    Love you, friend.

  • Tammy

    Hi Sarah! So sorry to hear about your loss. I know that pain well. I will be thinking of you!!!

  • Emilee

    Sarah I too enjoyed your testimony a few weeks ago. This subject of the miracle of life has been on my mind a lot this month & I am aching for your loss. I have another friend who just lost a full term baby- his heart stopped right before the c-section. Tragic. Life is fragile & our Heavenly Father DOES have a plan for each of us. I feel that we are given experiences so we can learn from & rely on Him. Bless you in this stage!

    On another note- I love your word for the year! I’ve done this before too & I love it! I also saw the home tour you did with Bloom—looks like it’s time for me to take some decorating pointers from you. :)

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