Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year :: New Goals 2014

We all get in the goal-setting mood at this time of year, yes? Well it's upon me again. However, I've been in the goal-setting, motivational mood for about a month. I've just been a bit busy with work and church Christmas things that I haven't been able to do anything about it. I've just been stashing ideas away in my brain and hoping I don't forget anything.

I figure I should look back and review how I did on my goals for 2013. 
Here were my goals for 2013:
-Keep a cleaner/more organized home. - Eh, not much improvement here.
-Make more lunches at home for us to take to work.
-Keep doing the dinner meal plans each week.
-Follow our stake goals: 1 Christian act per day, arrive to church meetings 10 minutes early, and study scriptures for 15 per day.
-Do something active to help me feel healthier.

Well, I don't know that I followed all of these throughout the entire year. But I know I did all of these at some period of time during the year. I know for a fact we did much better at being a bit more active (thanks to an assignment to go on a 3 day hiking/camping trip with the youth in our ward). I did yoga at work with a friend for about half the year as well. But the second half of the year got away from me. Whoops.

We also did pretty well on planning meals and taking more lunches to work. There is still room for improvement, but I feel we did much better.

Here are my goals for 2014:
-Keep my kitchen clean.There are many things that go into this goal. But our kitchen often just gets overtaken with dirty dishes all over the counters. I usually blame this on our lack of a dishwasher. (Oooh, how I long for a dishwasher.) However, I know plenty of people that also do not have a dishwasher and keep their kitchen clean every single day. So I have no excuse....except that I hate doing dishes more than nearly anything else in the world.

-Do some sort of physical activity at least twice per week. I don't care what this activity is...but something. Through some funny circumstances, we got a treadmill for free! And it works great. We are very excited about this so we can walk inside and we don't have to breathe our dirty winter Utah air.

-Drink at least one water bottle of water per day. This may seem silly for most people. But I really don't enjoy water. People say, "but it doesn't even taste like anything!" But it does to me. And it's not my favorite. But it's good for me (if only that logic helped me with my picky eating) and helps me feel better about myself if I ever start to count calories again. (Which I won't because it's really discouraging for me.)

-As time and funds permit, I want to get things done in the house, DIY style. We are currently saving up for new windows, which will hopefully help with how drafty our house is. And I need to paint, upcycle, and plan some things.

These are my biggest goals/resolutions. These are parts of and include many other smaller goals. Obviously I want to lose a little weight and be healthier in general, and I want to have an immaculately clean home all the time. But we are trying to make goals attainable so I don't get too stressed and upset when failure happens...because it almost always happens at some point.

But if there is one thing I needed to hear at church today, it was that we do not need to be perfect today. We just need to be trying to improving every day. And I think we are all doing that as best we can.

Have a happy new year!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Fun

I can't believe how quickly Christmas has come this year. I have been busy with a winter talent show for my division at work and helping Steve plan the Christmas program for church. We decided to do a pretty small Christmas for each other this year. It's been nice to not worry too much about gifts. It was nice, not only because we were busy planning other things, but because it helped to encourage us to think of the real meaning of Christmas.

Here has been a little bit of what's been going on around our house as Christmas has been nearing.

We've been getting snow! Usually we don't get much snow until after Christmas. So we're excited to have a white Christmas.

We went with family to the Christmas Village in Ogden. It is always fun to see the lights and displays companies come up with for this fun tradition. It is stinkin' cold lately, so we were very bundled up!

PS - I figured out that Google is what makes my pictures do cool things. So fun!

We also made some treats as thank you gifts for those that helped and participated in our ward Christmas program. We made chocolate covered pretzels and my favorite Christmas cookies for the choir members and speakers. We had a hard time not eating them along the way. Luckily there were a few cookies left over for us.


And I've still been crocheting up a storm in our home. I've gotten most of the gifts finished, but there are still a few more I need to finish up quick!!

Steve and I planned our ward's Christmas program today and it turned out so wonderfully. We are so grateful for all that helped us pull everything together. All the singing and speaking was perfect and really helped invite the spirit of Christ into our meeting and our lives. We are so grateful for our talents and the talents of those around us.

Merry Christmas friends and family!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

DIY Paper Christmas Trees

Here is this year's first Christmas DIY project! Woohoo!!

I made these right after Thanksgiving, so I'm not sure why it took so long for me to post this.

And this is a post where you really get to witness my skills at NOT being a photographer. You are welcome.

To get started I gathered a bunch of paper. Some paper was Christmas-y, some was only somewhat Christmas-y. But putting some papers together makes it all look Christmas-y.

I made a template on Microsoft Word of a Christmas tree. It probably wasn't perfectly symmetrical, but I was just hoping for it to work out.

I traced and cut out a ton of little trees. Then I put the trees into groups of 4. I'm sure this could work in groups of 3 or even more than 4. I tried to make each grouping have something like 2 mostly-green and 2 mostly-red trees. And I didn't plan it that way, but I actually had the perfect amount. I'm obviously a genius.

I folded each tree in half. Then I got the little scrapbooking sticky square things and used those to stick the trees together. I just lined up the folds because I knew the outsides probably weren't symmetrical.

I moved some of my mantel pictures and put all the trees on my mantel around my stocking hangers. It was like a cute little colorful forest. And it was free! Can't beat that!

Again, my phone does random, cool things to my pictures.

That is our family Christmas card this year. Love us. I have the coolest family. Not exaggerating.

I love these little trees!!! This craft was so easy and I really enjoyed how they turned out. I'm excited to be able to use them year after year.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Salt Lake at Christmastime

We finally got down to Salt Lake to see the lights. It was freezing cold, so we saw everything quick and got the usual pictures.

Ooooh phone pictures...

Can we talk again about how my phone will randomly add cool things to my pictures? It's one of the reasons I keep using my phone for pictures...I have never seen this feature. Yet, when I was uploading pictures for this post, this snowfall just showed up on the picture!! I originally took this picture because of the really cool mohawks the sheep had.

Because it was so cold, the water had a really cool fog over the nativity.

Not only did we see the lovely lights, our neighbors were kind enough to give us tickets to the huge Christmas concert with the Mormon Tabernacle choir and other special guests. We were so excited because we have been trying to get tickets to this concert for years, and we were never lucky enough to get chosen.

This year the guests were Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies. Deborah Voigt is an internationally known soprano - it was pretty amazing to hear her voice. John Rhys-Davies is a British actor. You may remember him from Indiana Jones or The Lord of the Rings. He was narrator for part of the concert.

Seeing that amazing organ solo by Richard Elliot really inspired me. Now that I've started playing the organ, I really want to learn it well. His solo was incredible!!

After I took this picture, we realized that we were in the balcony and our tickets said terrace. So we got to move even closer!

My phone did all the work for me again. I'll take it. Here are many of our attempts to take a good picture. I like that it progresses from regular smiles to really excited smiles. Enjoy that!

What a lovely night we had together enjoying music, good stories, and the Christmas spirit! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Grandma's Sugar Cookies

First, I must say that I love Christmas treats. It's one of the best parts of the Christmas season. I'm not an expert baker, but what I make is still pretty yummy!

Making sugar cookies with my grandma's favorite recipe is one of my very favorite Christmas traditions. I will always remember my mom rolling out the dough and then letting me do the cookie cutters.

Don't mind the slightly burned snowman - he was a little too thin. But for the second time I've ever made this recipe by myself, I'd say it turned out pretty well. I may need to make them again to prefect my baking techniques. ;) And I guuueesssssss I could give some away to neighbors. Or eat them all within 24 hours of making them.

I hope your Christmas season has gotten off to a merry start!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

Did you have a good Thanksgiving weekend?? I hope so. Ours was great. Very relaxing and nice to be around family. It was so nice to eat good food and just chill in our family cabin.

Here was one of my favorite little passing moments with one of our nephews. He loves his uncle Steve.

Playing on Steve's phone

This game never gets old with little ones

Then we got to enjoy a lovely sunset on the drive home. We have so much to be grateful for this year.

Can't wait to immerse myself in Christmas music, Christmas crafts, and Christmas traditions!!