Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

We spent our (early) New Year's Eve in Copper Mountain. Started with some sledding on the tubing hill. No photos, but it was FUN (and COLD)!

We passed some time playing on the ice rink and warming ourselves by a bonfire.





Had a wonderful fondue dinner complete with toasts, a 2011 family review (we all agree that Samuel's death was our saddest event and Hawaii was our favorite), and a discussion of what we are looking forward to in 2012.














Have to admit that 2011 wasn't my most favorite year, but tonight makes me hopeful for 2012.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Cross Country Skiing

Took a family lesson yesterday morning. Something so peaceful about cross country. I like being away from the chaos of downhill skiing during a holiday week.


I also tried skate skiing. It's a lot of work! But fun.


Matt gave me the promise of cross country skis for Christmas LAST year. Still can't decide if I want traditional or skate. Maybe I can get both...

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hello Mornings Challenge

Despite feeling slightly overwhelmed with all the goals I have blogged about the last two days, I've also signed up for the Hello Mornings Challenge at Inspired to Action. I really am a morning person once I drag myself out of bed and if I go to bed at a decent hour. Hoping that participating in the challenge will give me the inspiration, motivation and accountability to make that happen. It doesn't start until January 16th, so I have a couple weeks to sleep in...
 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

One Bite At A Time

I'm excited about my 40 for 40 list, but I also want to do some sort of self-improvement thing for 2012. I've decided to work through Simple Mom's One Bite At A Time ebook. Originally I thought I would just do one project each week (there are 52 total), but now I'm planning to do multiple projects each week. Later on I might just tackle some of the tougher (for me) projects one at a time, but I'm hoping to knock out a bunch right away. Plus I know some other project will catch my fancy by mid-year...

The projects I chose for next week are the projects that fit into my normal beginning of the year plan and are projects that I've mostly already accomplished. This week and next, Matt and I (well, mostly me but with a little of his input!) will balance our budget and plan our spending/saving/giving for the upcoming year. I also usually use this week to work on my goals, but right now my goals consist of my 40 for 40 list and this ebook. Pretty easy for planning.

Next week's projects:
  • Make a debt-free plan - except for our mortgage, we are already living debt-free. Big Dave Ramsey fans in this house.
  • Create a regular monthly budget - fortunately we don't have to be overly strict with our budget, but we do a have a rough plan of our monthly expenses, our monthly savings goals and how much spending money is available.
  • Set up sinking funds - got this already done also.  We set aside funds for vacations, a new vehicle for Matt (although that one doesn't seem to grow very quickly), landscaping and major home projects
  • Use the envelope system - I'm calling this done because we will never be completely on board with the envelope system. But we do what works for us. We use Mvelopes and have virtual "envelopes" for all our expense categories. However, we use it more for tracking our expenses rather than budgeting.
  • Make annual goals - I've already announced my annual goals, but Matt and I are going to discuss family goals this week. (Prior to now there was NO WAY Matt would have ever done this with me, but lately he is much more willing to accommodate me. I'm absolutely taking advantage of that.) I'll share our plans.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sewing

We are now a 2 Bernina family! Loving the side by side sewing.





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40 for 40

I turn 40 years old (yikes!) in 2012, so I've decided to switch things up with my resolutions this year. Instead of just writing out a short list of goals/accomplishments I'd like to achieve, I've decided to do "40 for 40" (I borrowed the idea from an IRL friend who also turns 40 this year). I'm going to make a list of 40 things I want to do in the year I turn 40. Only problem is that I haven't completely decided what to put on my list and I only have about a week to decided.

I want my list to be a combination of activities that are easy, are a challenge, prove that I am still as young as I feel, provide an outlet to contribute, are healthy, are inspirational, are indulgent, are fun, are individual, are family focused and help me ponder the past 40 years as well as the upcoming 40 years.

Here are the ones I've officially added to the list...

40 for 40
  1. Go to a drive-in movie
  2. Do a back flip off a diving board
  3. Climb a 14er
  4. Go camping
  5. Visit a national park
  6. Leave the country
  7. Run a 5K in less than 30 minutes
  8. Do the incline
  9. Complete a half marathon
  10. Complete a marathon
  11. Complete a triathlon
  12. Make 40 new recipes
  13. Ski a mogul run
  14. Go water skiing
  15. Host a party
  16. Have a full day spa day
  17. Fast for a day
  18. Attempt to donate blood
  19. Join the bone marrow donation registry
  20. Sponsor a child
  21. Go cross country skiing
  22. Ride a motorcycle
  23. Go snowshoeing
  24. Fly a kite
  25. Go horseback riding
  26. Complete a quilt each for Kate & Jack
  27. Make cinnamon rolls
  28. Learn to play 4 Christmas carols on the piano
  29. Get chickens
  30. Secret one that I'm not sharing on the internet :)
I'd love some help coming up with ideas for my last 10! Please leave me a comment if you have something to add to the list (although don't bother suggesting skydiving or a tattoo! Not going to happen!).

Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Resolutions - Final Review

Christmas is over (well, Christmas Day is over... as Aunt Elizabeth says, "Christmas is a 12 day holiday!"). Time to get ready for the New Year. This may be one of my favorite times of the year. A time to reflect, a time to plan, a time to relax.

Doing my final review for my 2011 Resolutions. Came up a little short, but that's okay. I recently discovered from the book The Pursuit of Perfect that I am a Optimalist rather than a Perfectionist. I set goals but also accept reality and realize that I can't always meet those goals as planned. I look at the reasons that may have contributed to unaccomplished goals, revise and reset my goals, and move on.

  • Run a 5K in goal time (unaccomplished the last 2 years...) - DONE!
  • Visit one state I haven't been to (I'd like to hit 2, but I'm not sure that is realistic. States left on the list are Michigan, Oregon, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Delaware) - FAIL. Plans just didn't work out.
  • Visit 2 new national parks (I'm being conservative... I think we might visit 4 new ones this year!) - FAIL. We got to one, but not a second. And I thought we might make it to 4?!?
  • Build one carpentry project (a new skill I'd like to add to my repertoire) - big, fat FAIL. Too many other hobbies right now. Carpentry might go on the back burner until the kids leave for college.
  • Make quilts for Kate and Jack - FAIL. Although I did get the quilt tops done. I guess there is a chance I could get them both basted, quilted and bound by next week. But not likely.
  • Play an official tennis match - DONE!
  • Complete a second triathlon race - DONE!
  • Run half marathon race - DONE! Thank goodness I did that half in July since I bailed on my Dec half. More about that when I do a running update.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blogging

All of the sudden today I feel the inspiration to start blogging again (I mean really blogging, not fake blogging which is what I am doing when all I do is post photos). The inspiration came after reading an email from this blogger. A Minnesota blogger, and I love all things Minnesota (except mosquitoes - did you know that there are basically no mosquitoes in Colorado?). Anyway, despite mosquitoes, sometimes I wish I lived part-time in Minnesota. Not sure if it is Minnesota itself or the people I know and love that live there. But I dream about having a lake house escape. Maybe someday.

But back to blogging. As I've mentioned before, I sometimes feel like I have too many people I know IRL reading this blog to be completely honest in my writing. Some stuff I feel like I have to edit for my mom (hi, Mom!), husband, in-laws, friends, etc. So I was once again pondering the idea of starting a new blog, until I got this idea in my head that I should just be authentic on this blog (well, not that I'm not authentic right now, I'm just skipping some details. And those crazy thoughts I'm supposed to keep to myself!). I quickly realized that this is a bad idea if I want to stay on speaking terms with most people I know. So I'm going to attempt some middle ground. Telling more details while trying to be mindful of my audience.

Or maybe I'll just keep blogging photos.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Right Now

Yum! Although I didn't have quite enough Worcestershire sauce so it is a little bland for me. But the kids love it!


And I failed miserably at documenting our day... I might try to just do it often through this week.


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Right Now

Making chai tea concentrate


I'm thinking I might do "Right Now" posts throughout today to sorta document a day in the week before Christmas.


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Monday, December 19, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday Afternoon To Do List

First day of our school break. Matt is working this afternoon, and I'm letting the kids do whatever they want while he is gone. They are pretty good at entertaining themselves, so I should have some time to do what I want/need to do. Here is my list for this afternoon, in no particular order.

  1. Shower (priority since running this morning)
  2. Work on a quilt (while listening to the second Hunger Games on audiobook)
  3. Make some Christmas cookies (what kind depends on if I'll have helpers or not)
  4. Nap
  5. Figure out dinner
  6. Review family gift list and start wrapping
  7. Hang Kate's IKEA mosquito net thingy above her bed
  8. Finish our 2005 family photo album that I've been meaning to do for an entire year now
  9. Plan out my running schedule for the first half of 2012
  10. Work on my list of goals for 2012 (it is going to be a little different this year)
Now that I see my plans in writing, I realize that I better get moving!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Right Now

Maybe storing my recipes on the computer isn't such a good idea...



But waking up early with no alarm puts me in a good mood. And these muffins for breakfast is icing on the cake.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Daybook 12.12.11

FOR TODAY
Outside my window... chilly, overcast. Hoping the sun comes out later for my run.

I am thinking... that I haven't blogged in almost a month. What can I say? Life happens. I got really sick after we got back from Hawaii (I'm certain it is because I left Hawaii. I should have stayed there forever.). It was awful, and I was almost completely down for 12 days. Then I was crazy tired for another couple weeks - I started to wonder if I had mono. Anyway, better now. Just still feel a bit behind and overwhelmed by everything.

I am thankful for... tea parties.

From the kitchen... started brewing my own chai concentrate. Still tweaking it. We've had a sick boy this weekend, so last night we had grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner. So easy and so good. Need to do some menu planning for this week.


I am wearing... terry cloth yoga pants and a big fisherman's sweater. And my slippers. I was looking at pictures the other day and saw that I wore the slippers in the hospital after Jack was born! I didn't realize they were that old!

I am creating... oh so many things. I need to do a WIP list again because I've lost track of where I am. I can tell you that I have NOT been creating all the Christmas quilty house projects that I had planned.

I am going... to finish up some Christmas shopping today.

I am reading... almost done with The Glass Castle. Really good. Have a couple nonfictions that I need to finish up - I always get bored with them by the last few chapters.

I am hoping...
 that this week goes by fast and smoothly. Looking forward to having my babies home for the holiday break.

I am hearing... nothing. It seems to be crazy quiet right now.

Around the house... we just did a big switch-a-roo this weekend, and I like it. We moved Matt's office/guest room to Kate's room, Kate to Jack's room, and Jack to Matt's old office/guest room. Nothing is up on walls or organized, but it is going to be a much better setup for us. It seemed silly to have a big room sitting empty for guests most of the time, while Kate had barely any space to play in her little room. There will still be a twin bed in Matt's new office for single guests, and Kate can move to the office or Jack's top bunk if we have more people visiting.

One of my favorite things... Christmas cards

A few plans for the rest of the week: lots of holiday events this week - tea, lunch, school parties, sing-a-longs, etc.

Here is a picture I am sharing: My dad sent me this photo. It is the top of their Christmas tree. I made the topper when I was in early elementary school (maybe 1st grade?). A few years later my mom bought a BEAUTIFUL angel for the topper. I was so offended that they wanted to replace MY angel, that she has held the place of honor ever since.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hawaii Trip Out Takes

The photos that didn't make the "official" blog posts...
The kiss that started to get a little inappropriate!
Kate at the luau. Can you say "tired?"
Jack getting in on a photo
Jack underwater
Good one of me!
Kate's hand
Lovely face
Jack, do you not like shave ice?
Functioning with only half a brain
Not happy about hiking
Kate scratching...
Kate picking...
Jack giving the hike a thumbs down!
My beautiful babies!
When will Jack learn to smile normally? 
And keep his shirt down? 
Maybe when Mom learns to open her eyes!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hawaii Trip: Catamaran

On Day 7 our family went on a catamaran boat tour. It was a smaller boat and we had an AMAZING time. We saw bottle nose dolphins close up. The captain had the kids and me lay on the trampoline at the front of the boat. The dolphins were swimming between the hulls right below us. The photos make them seem so far away, but they were so close we could have reached down and touched them.
 
We also got to see a pod of porpoises in a coved that had a bunch of babies. The little ones were jumping out of the water. So cute! But too fast for any photos. We saw a bunch of waterfalls, sea caves, and beaches. We stopped for snorkeling, but the deep water scared the kids. Plus it wasn't very clear that day. And then a shark (tiger? reef? can't remember, but it wasn't supposed to hurt people) swam below us. That freaked me out, so we got out to eat lunch.
Getting splashed by a waterfall
(That's Kate's *friend* she met on the boat.
Not liking this boy stuff.)



Some famous beach scene from lots of movies
quick snorkel excursion
 The kids had a great time and were in a great mood for the ride back. Goofy and silly and fun. Plus no one got sea sick!


Hawaii Trip: Surfing

Day 6 we spent on the beach while the big guys learned to surf (I didn't want to surf because I learned years ago on Maui... and even have a scar on my foot to prove it!). The moms and kids played on the beach and watched all the surfing attempts.
Waves!
Getting brave about going deeper
Land lesson


Paddling out
He's up!