Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Recap

It's funny how aside from the daily ordinary, I can sum up some highlights of my year in one post. Here it is....

January: I learned that I'm not very good at making Cinnamon Rolls. but my sister is. I spent most of January organizing my house, hating the cold, & reading books on my new Kindle. January was relatively event less.

February: I cooked some new dishes...with my sister. This is my favorite. They were much better than my cinnamon rolls. I had a playdate with Charlene & the kids to cure the winter boredom. Sister & I ate a lot in February...We also decided to sponsor another child through Gospel for Asia. We currently sponsor 2 children from there & I enjoy writing & receiving letters from them.

March:  Spring starts giving me little peeks of it's wonderfulness in March so I
refurbished a lamp, marveled in some early spring wonder weather,  & highly anticipated spring by planting a few things & making a family plaque.

April: I celebrated Easter. Zeke went to his first parking lot carnival where he rode the Ferris Wheel and I ate a hamburger on a Krispy Kreme doughtnut. We saw the Fresh Beat Band and for the first time EVER - Charlene & I did not get lost on a road trip. <---major a="a" and="and" blessed="blessed" deal.="deal." even="even" get="get" god="god" href="" i="i" made="made" means="means" new="new" roof="roof" the="the" to="to" us="us" with="with">pallet herb garden
& "Stars in a Jar" from the frequent pins I kept seeing on Pinterest.

May: I turned 25 - prime of my life. Zeke turned two. Our marriage turned 6. My pallet herb garden began to flourish. We had the "supermoon" and for once - I got a clear picture.

June: I felt particularly energized in June. I worked on a bajillion projects for our bedroom, painted our front door purple, made a summer wreath, confessed to my sister that I hated her lamps & made her new ones. Natalee turned 5. We caught fireflies & stayed outside until dark.

July: We celebrated the 4th. I enjoyed the summer by hiking, canoeing, taking Zeke swimming. He loved swimming this summer. I didn't do a lot of anything outside of work that didn't involve being outside.

August: Nathan turned 6 & started first grade. Yikes. He's lost several teeth this year & I began to realize that the prime of my life is going to happen fast. I vowed to enjoy the outdoors more so we did a little more canoeing and I did more exercising.

September:  Life happened - it got all flipped upside down. I spent a lot of this month learning to find my peace in God. By far the worst month of the year but one that opened up the door for better things. I took a fun road trip with Charlene and we did get lost but it was a great day. I discovered that I am "that somebody."

October: Zeke was Superman for Halloween. He really hated his costume and I forgot to take a single picture. I officially accepted that the seasons had changed & it was fall. We had the most awesome Halloween costumes ever.

November: We took our annual family photos. It was a disaster but I realized that I love my family real. I finally figured out what to do about the fact that I wanted stockings but didn't have a mantle. We were thankful & enjoyed family time. I finished almost all my Christmas shopping.

December: I did 23 Acts of Kindness which probably ended up being more like 15 acts but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I set up a Reindeer Food Bar for the kid's to come make treats for the reindeer. I had a bad hair day. We celebrated the o-so-wonderful birth of our Savior and had a blessed Christmas with our families.

And now - it starts over. Hello, 2013!

Fresh Starts & Clean Slates

In my 2012 resolutions, here is what I aimed for:
  • Become more "balanced". With baby, a husband, a house, a full time job, & owning  photography business - life get's a little hectic. I will become better scheduled, better organized, spend more time with Zeke, & make dinner more often. I can say that I made strides in this's going to carry over into this year because frankly I still have room for improvement. I do make dinner more, I did get very organized, & I did learn to slow down a bit.
  • Take more pictures (not only professionally, but especially personally) I did do both.
  • Lose 30 lbs. (Yea, I know. Everyone has the same resolution year after year. I've lost 45, now I just need to lose the last 30 and I'll be one happy chick.) Ok, this didn't happen. I have lost another 10. I'm still hoping to lose 30 more after that and I WILL accomplish it this year.
  • Practice a healthier lifestyle. (Among these things - finally quitting smoking hopefully, eating less processed foods, trying more natural foods & products.) I did not quit smoking *sigh* but I have practiced a healthier food lifestyle. I enjoy it - Noah & Zeke not so much.
  • Make a serious tackle down on paying off our "debt" off everything except our mortgage. (Of course, this requires a lot of actual work for Noah but I know he's on board with me.) We have made some really awesome strides here. We are not debt free but we are on our way & it's getting closer!
Last year, this reason I wanted to do most of this was to be able to "declutter" my life and find ways to release things that distract me so I can accomplish what God wants to accomplish through me. 2012 has been eye opening. He's brought me to some interesting places this year...some awesome and some really not so awesome. There are aspects of 2012 I would never want to live again but at the same time I can see how He orchestrates things to grow us - to break us out of our complacency about life and to Him. Jesus - my King of Kings - is shaping me to be the best daughter of God I can be. Through it all, I see His work for me...His plan unfolding even though I don't have the slightest idea what it is. So this year, I vow to do just three things:
  • Learn to listen to God. Spend much more time in His Word instead of making it a last priority & frequently skipped time.
  • Be a better person. 
  • Lose the last 30 lbs I need to drop. It would be nice to be at my optimal health and to feel that great sense of accomplishment of meeting my final goal.
You know, I have the greatest confidence that I can do all of the above It's a new year - a time for fresh starts and clean slates. I'm looking forward to the freshness tomorrow morning will bring. 2013, I'm looking forward to you.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Literary Junkies #2

I've been slacked off on reading lately - Christmas is upon us, the kiddo got sick, work & duty calls. It doesn't mean I can't join in the Literary Junkie's Link Up this month though ;)
By the Porchlight

1. What are you currently reading?  Tell us about it.
Um, this is unusal for me but....nothing. I've been trying to enjoy the Christmas season/get things accomplished so I put reading back on my things to do. Otherwise, I would find a couple new books and neglect my duties for a week. ;) I'm looking forward to picking up something to read after Christmas though.

Technically, actually, I am reading something. The good ol' Bible. I'm going through the New Testament daily now. The same 5-7 chapters for 30 days over and over then moving on to another 5-7 chapters for 30 days. It will take me about 4 years to do it but will be really amazing once I'm finished.

2.  If you could choose any author in the world to write a story based on your life, who would you choose to be the author and why?
Yikes. I keep coming back to this one because I'm not sure. Still not sure. I'm gonna have to come back & edit this later.

Later (after reading a comment) I decided that  C.S. Lewis would be an interesting choice. Dr. Suess is a close second.

3.Tell us about your favorite place to read.
Outside...on a blanket or chair...on a warm sunny day.

4.  What books would you buy for lovers of:
a) Suspense/Mystery  - Mary Higgins Clark books. I haven't read her stuff in a long time but I always enjoyed what I read.
b) Chicklit - Nicholas Sparks books. I think they are always good.
c) Literary Fiction - The Girl from Junchow, The Russian Concubine, or The Red Scarf all by Kate Furnivall. I suppose this counts as Literary Fiction? Whatev. ;)
d) Classics - I don't read a lot of classics (though it's been my intention to start reading a few lately.) I really do like "To Kill a Mockingbird" though. After reading another link up, I would have to say the Secret Garden as well.
e) Comedy - The Stephanie Plum series. While it's technically a suspense/mystery series, it's packed with funny.

If you don't link up & love to read, then you should join in Literary Junkies linkup with By the Porchlight. If you love to read but don't blog, then tell me who you would choose to write a book about your life? I would be interested to see what you have to say. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reindeer like food, too.

I was feeling festive yesterday. At about 3:30, I decided that I wanted to have a "Reindeer Party" (Yes, I made that name up) for the kids. Luckily, I have a few wonderful friends who come to my house when I say "I want to have a literal last minute party for the kid's..."

At about 5, I left work, ran by Walmart for cookies, & picked up Zeke from school.

At about 6:30, I had accomplished this:

Not too too shabby if I say so myself.

What is a reindeer party? It's kind of like this really cute North Pole party I saw here; just not as cute. I would really like to fancy it up & make it pretty like hers next year. I might even find an elf. Our party involved milk and reindeer cookies and making treat bags for the reindeer to eat while they waited on Santa Claus to deliver the presents at their house. (Honestly, I'm still debating just not really pushing the whole "Santa Claus" thing with Zeke and I may not still cause he's a little young this year but all the other kid's believe so why not? While I don't want Zeke's emphasis to ever be on presents & Santa during Christmas, I could never be a dream squasher for other children. No one likes a dream squasher.)

In my head, it was going to be magical & the kids would be in awe of the wonderfulness. They would be really quiet & happy and gently play together.

In reality, they destroyed my house within 30 minutes, played tag, & cried a lot once the sugar high was gone. Admist the chaos though, I had fun. They had fun. And it was a little magical when the kid's made their reindeer food because their obvious belief in Santa & reindeer was showing. I had this humorous exchange with my niece, Natalee:
"Auntie, Reindeers can eat glitter?"
"Um....sure they can. Reindeers are extra special so it's ok for them to eat glitter."
"Well, that's just weird."

A good night for all of us, I hope.

In other child-related news, Zeke went to bed without his paci last night. He didn't ask, cry, scream, or beg me for it. In fact, I was the more emotional of the two of us. This was a kind of last milestone of "baby" stuff for him & I'm left with a lingering sadness over it. Temptation almost sent me to the kitchen to scrounge up the spare paci just to see his chunky little face light up. Luckily, unless it involves brownies, I'm pretty good at ignoring temptation.

13 days till Christmas people, 13 days.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bad Hair Day.

Mornings for us are....usually hectic. We always wake up late. Zeke has decided to become a sleeper-in kid. (Unless it's a weekend or any other day that I'm actually off work.) Therefore, this morning I had approximately 24 minutes to get both of us ready and get dinner started in the crock pot.

Sometime during the multitasking, child hustling, verge of a freak out 24 minutes I had this morning,I put my hair partially up in preparation to straighten the lumpy mass it had formed into overnight. I got dressed, got Zeke dressed, put dinner in the crockpot in record time & ran out the door.

Erm, did I mention that I totally forgot about straightening my hair? Attractive.

In happier & even more random news: Zeke loves to vacuum. And I forgot to put the lid back on my trashcan.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Since it's officially December...

 Merry Christmas!!

" shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household."
Deuteronomy 26:11

 (The real cards are a bit prettier with scalloped edges & our family verse on the back.)