Looking back on 2014 - and my word for 2015

This is the time of year when the world is full of actionable plans (seven steps to a healthier body, five ways to be happy, 3 secrets to conquering the world... you know what I mean) and I found myself wondering if any of these well-laid plans ever come to fruition. Can we actually shape our futures by following lists? When you look back on the year, did any of last year's resolutions come true?  And if not, what else happened? Probably something more wonderful than you could have conceived on that dark, midwinter's night a year ago.

My dad used to say, "When you make plans, God laughs."  It isn't malicious laughter, though, it's joyful laughter, because God's plans for us far exceed our own limited imaginations.  Our little lists and goals can never encompass all that is meant for us.  At least I choose to believe that.

Last year I chose the word "


" as my guiding word for the year.  I intended to build my career, my relationships, my homes... never in a million years would I have imagined that I would actually spend the majority of the year


my daughter in utero.

Words are powerful things, they can change who we are.

I've pondered my word for 2015, and I'm proceeding cautiously. At the moment "


" seems to be fitting for my situation. I want to embrace motherhood, embrace my new life in London, and embrace new routines for my studio practice; in short, I want to embrace all the wonderful, new possibilities.  But is embrace the right word?  What other meanings or applications am I overlooking that might surprise me in a few months' time?

There's the big structure for the year, and then there are the small goals that knit the days together: knit, purl, drop a stitch... clickity-clack, pull some more yarn.  These little rhythms are what give our days structure, they are the warp and weft that catch the minutes.  Some of my small goals are: to drink more water, to do sun salutation yoga sequences daily, to write (and write and write), to draw every day for my own amusement (or my own amazement, as an elderly friend once remarked), to read, and to kiss my little girl's cheeks at every opportunity.

Are you choosing a word for the New Year? And, what are a few of your small goals? Please share it in the comments below!

2014 by the numbers

Number of books published: 1

Number of illustrated books completed: 3  (2 are coming out next year)

Number of flights: innumerable

Number of cities visited: 5 (Cape Town, London, Winnipeg, Amsterdam, Delft)

Number of babies born: 1

Number of books read: 39 (My goal is always 52, one for each week, but this year I faltered)

Number of diapers changed: don't even ask....!

Also! Start off the New Year by refreshing your social media streams... I'm trying to post a sketch a day on




, and


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