Thankful

Every once in a while I’m struck by how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life. My friends and family really step up for me, in big and small ways, when I need them. I’m thankful to have people who love and care for me, and I hope they know how much I appreciate them.

A Look Back at 2014 Resolutions

2014 is very quickly coming to a close, so I wanted to check in on how I did with my 2014 resolutions. Having this blog makes it easy to look back at this time last year and see what I was thinking. Here I posted my goals and mini resolutions for 2014.

The biggest thing I was hoping for out of 2014 was direction: a year ago I felt like I was just floating through my days waiting for my real life to start. The big question- What do I really want to do for work?- didn’t get answered this year. I still work at the same place, and though it’s a good fit for now, it’s not fulfilling or what I want to do for the rest of my life. I’m not necessarily any closer to figuring out what I want to do for a living, but I’m feeling less stressed about that now. Other pieces of my life fell together in 2014, and I definitely feel like I have a direction now.

Alex graduated from college and decided not to pursue graduate school right away. Instead he got a full time job at a credit union, so he’s working regular hours. (Woo Hoo!) His job has given us a very real sense of security and comfort- he’s joined the real world and it’s working out.

I got a promotion this year, which was wonderful. It came with a pay raise and new responsibilities, and I think no matter what I decide to do after this, it’s a beneficial step. The promotion came with a 3 year contract, which has helped give Alex and I an outline for the next few years. We know we’ll be here until the middle of 2017, and after that we’re planning to move. We spent a week in Seattle this year and both fell in love, so the plan is to move there after my contract is up.

Another resolution I made for 2014 was to travel more, and we certainly did that. This year we spent a few days in Austin, a week in Seattle, a long weekend in Breckenridge, and then a couple weekends in Kansas City with friends. I also spent a couple weekends in Columbia, Missouri visiting my sister, and a couple weekends in Lawrence. Those trips are definitely the highlights of the year for me, so hopefully the traveling will continue in 2015.

On top of those two big resolutions, I also made a couple small resolutions:
1) Eat healthier. I really concentrated on this resolution, and spent the year committed to exercising and eating better. It was a great success, and if you don’t count this holiday season’s stumbles against me, I lost 23 pounds this year. (And I really don’t think you can count the holidays against me. It’s impossible not to indulge!)
2) Spend more time doing my hair in the morning, because life is just better on good hair days. Looking back on this made me laugh, but it’s something I really did this year. I’m in a good place with my hair, and I’d say at least twice a week every week this year I spent the time to blow dry and curl my hair. And you know what? Good hair days really are the best days.
3) Grow my savings account. Ok, this is one area I didn’t do too great on. Saving is hard and I like to shop.
4) Finally get my room put together and decorated. Yeah, this didn’t happen either. We’ve lived in our house for 3 years now, and my bedroom walls are still bare. I think I’m okay with it though, or at least I’ve accepted it. All we use our room for is sleep, so I’m not too concerned with it looking great.
5) B
e more intentional with my time and stop spending so much of my life on the couch. This was another success. I spent many many hours at the gym this year, which significantly cut down on my evening couch time. On evenings when I didn’t go to the gym, Alex and I spent time either hanging with friends or enjoying time together. (Though admittedly some of that time together was spent on the couch.) We packed our weekends full of fun with friends, which has been great. I’ve slowly become less interested in spending time alone to recharge, and more interested in packing in as much time with friends as possible.

I’d say in general, 2014 was a successful year for keeping resolutions.

 

End of Year Review/The Things I Love

I’ve been terrible at this whole blogging thing for the last couple months! Life is busy and I just don’t think about it much. But I thought I would do a quick recap of my highlights from the last couple months.

bastilleAlex, me and a couple of our friends drove to Dallas in November to see Bastille. They were AMAZING (of course), and we had such a great time. I have been obsessed with them for a while now, so it was awesome to finally be able to see them.

stephen kingStephen King is Alex’s favorite author. He just put out a new book, and came to Wichita on the book tour. We waited outside for hours in the cold to get good seats, but I think it was worth it. My parents came too, and we all really enjoyed it.

reindeerOne of the perks of working at a news station- you never know what you’re going to see!

friendsThe night before Thanksgiving we had our friends over for Friendsgiving. Everyone brought sides and desserts, and I cooked up a nice dinner. These boys are wonderful, I can’t imagine my life without them.

familyHere’s the family on Thanksgiving. It’s rare we’re able to get everyone together at once, and even more rare that we get a picture together.

alex and pupsThese boys are my life.

frosting cookiesThe boys took part in one of my favorite holiday traditions- frosting cookies! I baked a few dozen cookies and they helped me frost them. Usually we make plates of sweets to give to the neighbors, but I just haven’t been able to get myself together this year, so I don’t think it’s going to happen. I bought supplies to make two batches of fudge but still haven’t gotten around to making them.

santaLast night Alex and Josh outdid themselves. I had asked the boys when they were over frosting cookies if they would be interested in going to Botanica to see the lights display. (It’s the largest in Kansas.) I was met with grumbles, so I dropped it- they already humored me enough by decorating cookies, I didn’t want to push my luck. But then the other night Josh said we should all go! Jared was busy, so it was just the three of us. The lights were beautiful, and after some begging the boys agreed to pose for a picture with Santa. I felt super spoiled and I loved it!

Tonight the family Christmas festivities kick off with a dinner and gift exchange at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. The next three days are going to be a busy blur or family, presents, food and friends, and I can’t wait. It’s my favorite time of year, and even though the lead up has been weird, I know it’s going to be a wonderful couple days.

 

Christmas Sponsorship Time

It’s time to sign up to sponsor a New Day Foster Home child for Christmas. This is the 3rd year I’ve sponsored a child- the first year was Tally and last year was Asher. (I’m happy to report that though they are both still at New Day, they have each been matched with a family!) This year I’m sponsoring Jack, and he totally melts my heart.

Jack

Look at those adorable dimples!

Jack is a sweet 1 year old with GI and urological defects. You can read more about him here. I’m so excited to shop for this little man! He’s younger than my past sponsor babies, but I’m sure I can find some great gifts for him.

Every time I talk to someone new about the Christmas sponsorships, I inevitably hear the same thing- “It’s a scam.” I think either people think I’m stupid and don’t know how to research an organization, or they’re just generally skeptical of programs like this. I can assure everyone that the gifts I send to China are reaching the children they’re intended for. I’ve been lucky enough to see pictures of both of my past sponsor children with their gifts.

Merry Christmas Asher

Asher in his hoodie

talley

Talley with her blanket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sending Christmas gifts requires such a small amount of effort, but it’s so fun! I love knowing I’ve delivered joy to a needy child on the other side of the world. And seriously, how could you not fall in love with these adorable kiddos?

There are still children who haven’t been sponsored for this Christmas. If you’re interested, learn more here.