Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014 "Try a Little Harder to Be a Little Better"

This year has been full of MAJOR events for our family.

Here's a little recap of our crazy awesome year! 
(This was a Christmas card video I made for our family)

(If your viewing this on a mobile device I'm not sure if it will work… but here's the link:

As the year came to an end 
I tried to really think of ways Michael and I could improve our lives in 2014.
Some family traditions I wanted to start & some goals for our family for the next year.
Some new things we tried this year that will hopefully turn into family traditions:

For Michael's Birthday the past two years we have gone to Conference 
and visited our family in Utah. Although it might not be possible every year to go to
conference we really want to make the effort to go see our family in Utah so hopefully 
we can stick with this :)

Also for Michael's Birthday I surprised him with 24 (small presents) for his 24th Birthday. I really want to do this for each of our kids 16th birthdays because it was so fun to do and made it extra special (well at least I thought so ;) )

At the end of October we participated in the Down Syndrome Awareness Walk with my two favorite girls Mikayla and Kelaya. We will definitely be doing this every year, we had so much fun and love the kids so much! The best part was after the walk and seeing all the kids dances, we had so much fun and were so excited to be apart of it! 

For thanksgiving we went on a walk on the greenbelt with Kya and my parents and there pups Callie and Ceadar. Although I loved the walk it was really a replacement for what we were really wanting to do that morning which is the Annual Idaho Food Bank Turkey Run 5k. I did it last Thanksgiving and loved it! It's a perfect way to start a day full of eating food! So were hoping that next year we will be able to go and get a bunch of our family to participate as well.

On the 23rd of December so Christmas Eve-Eve Michael and I watched The Nativity Story Movie that Jackie, Michael's mom let us borrow. I can't think of a better way to start the Christmas celebration. I'm so glad we watched it, and I definitely want to start watching that every year as a tradition!

On Christmas Eve Michael and I spent time with both our families,
first at Erin (Michael's Sister's) House- We acted out the nativity scene from the bible with our niece and nephews and then watched Elf. This is michael's family's tradition and we will definitely be continuing this, loved it! 
second, we went to my aunt andrea's house with my side of the family for a beautiful dinner she had prepared and a white elephant gift exchange where we had family all over the country skyping in to participate, it was so fun to see their faces on the ipad and to socialize with everyone who was there in person as well :)
Michael and I also decided to start the tradition of exchanging our gifts to each other on Christmas eve. We figured the next morning we would be rushing off to our parents houses and once we have kids we will be so focused and excited on them opening their gifts that it would be more fun to have a special moment together to exchange gifts the night before. I'm really glad we did it and we will definitely continue that! 

Christmas Day was spent with all our family, we had breakfast and gift exchanges in the morning with my parents and my brother and then went to my mom's parents house for lunch and another white elephant gift exchange. Then to Michael's parents house for dinner and on the way home got to stop and see my dad's parents again although it was a quick visit since we saw them the night before. 
It was crazy running around to all the different houses but I'm so glad we got to spend our day with all our family. There is nothing else I would have rather done than be able to be surrounded by so much love! 

New Years Eve has never really been that big of a deal for me in the past. Before being married I was always so concerned as to what my plans were for new years eve that I never really focused on the fact that there was a whole new year ahead and time to refocus on certain goals and to really look back on my year. But this year as a married woman, who for the most part just stayed home and enjoyed new years eve with my hubby it wasn't as chaotic and I really had time to think about what my hopes were for 2014. 
I started a new tradition that I'm hoping sticks, since we don't have our own kids and since we wanted to do something with friends that night as well, we invited our friends Hannah & Austin to come with us on this new idea. Michael and I went to the store and put together a basket of New Years Eve goodies, party hats, light up necklaces, sparkling cider (thanks hannah for bringing that!!), some plastic fancy sparkling cider cups, & some coloring books and crayons to bring to the hospital for all the kids stuck in there that have had a rough year. I don't honestly know where the idea came from I just knew I wanted to do some form of service on new years eve & the thought came to my mind, so we did it and I'm so glad we did! :) 

I found this quote that really made me realize what I want to focus on this next year:

So on new years day I did try a little harder to think of ways how Michael and I could be a little better and this is what I came up with & these are some of our goals for 2014:
-eating our meals together at the table
-remembering to kneel when saying our prayers together every night & morning & in order to do this we need to get on a more scheduled routine where we try to wake up and go to bed at the same time everyday
-Nightly scripture study
-working out together daily
-organizing our finances more & start saving for a down payment on a house
-go on at least one date a week whether its something really laid back and at home or actually going out and doing something
-having family home evening EVERY monday night

This was just some of the things we could come up with but we know there is alot more we can work on together and we both have individual goals for ourselves as well.

& I'm proud to say we didn't waste anytime getting to work! On new years day I planned out 52 date night ideas and put them in a jar so we could always have something planned. I separated them by dates where we stay in the house, date nights that cost money and we go out and date nights that don't cost money but that we do go out and do something. I give all credit of this idea to pinterest, such good ideas on there!!
We also have already planned our next family home evening, we are going to do something very similar to my other idea, and we are going to plan 52 family home evening ideas to put in a jar so we have them all planned out for the year. Hopefully this will help us be more successful with actually having family home evening.

2013 was definitely one of the greatest years of our life. It's going to be hard to beat!
But I am so excited to see what this new year has to bring!

& what better way to start the new year with more pictures of Kya :))))


Thats all for now!