Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 In Review

My friend Katie, at Tomorrow With A Smile, is hosting a link party with one of her friends to review this past year. I thought I would join along in the blog fun. While looking back I realized some months were packed while others were more transitiony...

We looked at our one and only house on New Years Day...and put it an offer on it Jan 2!
We found out the house was ours on Jan 5! Here is a before picture...

We packed and said our goodbyes to our view (the one bonus to our apt)

We moved into our house on a snowy day, and we painted almost every room. 
We used over 20 gallons of paint!
And the outside looks much better than the picture below...

We raised nearly $1,700 through our garage sale fundraiser for the Traffick Stop 5k!

My brother, Kevin, and I ran the Riverbank 5k

Corey, my parents, and I celebrated Mother's Day in Saugatuck, MI

We visited Stac and Adam (and other fabulous friends!) in Muncie, IN!

I started working at Fossil...and started spending more at Fossil ;)

We had friends over for Corey's birthday

The Reed family all went to a whitecaps game for Dad's 69th birthday

Corey and I had a blast visiting his mom's relatives in Pennsylvania with his parents. 

While in PA, I had my 2nd phone interview with Rockford Public Schools. 
I was offered a job with RPS on the rainy car ride home!

For my birthday, Corey and I each got new ink. Mine is a verse on my rib, so I don't have a stellar picture :)

Corey and I taught at an English-Language camp for high school students in Ukraine as a missions trip
Below is just a picture of a few of us leaders and translators

3 days after returning from Ukraine, we got Maggie!

My family went camping at Stony Haven, MI and tubing out to Lake MI!

Luna turned one!

I co-hosted a baby shower for a lovely woman in my small group

We had the 2nd annual 5k!

I started a new job with RPS! 
I love working at Lakes Elementary and Meadow Ridge Elementary.
Here is a picture of me with a co-worker for Halloween :)

I had a reunion with my college besties in Chicago...oh how I miss them!
(This is our classic pose).

Corey and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary with vacation in Grand Rapids
We had a glorious view at the JW Marriott!

I began my new workout routine of 4-5 days a week at the gym (and I've been sticking with it!)

I co-hosted an Expressions of Christmas table at church

We had a craft party/sleepover with nephews

We had an annual Christmas party with high school friends

All in all, it has been a wonderful year that we could not be more thankful for!

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Years Resolutions

I've been reflecting a lot in the past month, and I have decided that this year I am going to make resolutions for new years...and be serious about them. 

Although I'm typically a goal-oriented person, I think new years resolutions are kind of lame. Who actually follows through with them? Well, this girl is going to attempt to!

Here are my goals for 2013:

1. Live a healthier lifestyle
2. Read the Bible in a year
3. Save more, spend less
4. Serve Corey more

Now that I have the goals, I need action plans right?

1. Workout 4-5 times a week. I've been doing this for the past month now, and it feels great! I run and weight lift 3 days, do a Zumba class one night, and then one day is only for running to train for the Riverbank Run. I'm also planning to run either a marathon relay or another half marathon in October 2013. Moreover, I've joined a fitness group with a friend, and I have Corey take my measurements bi-weekly rather than going solely by weight. (He was confused at where my waist was the first week :))

2. I tried reading the Bible in a year one time...and only made it to February. I think if I vary it by reading old and new testament each day it will be more profitable. And I know the fruits that come of it, so I am eager to be more consistent! Here is a plan I am following.

3. I cannot believe it's almost been a year since we've been in our house! We have definitely made it a home, but now it's time to put a halt on some items and begin saving for bigger projects like a new car. I started saving for retirement last year (and Corey started a few years before) which has been rewarding. However, in our personal account we plan to save so we can have more to give away. How do we do this? We revised our budget. We haven't been as hard core as Dave Ramsey or, but that is definitely something we plan to aspire to.

4. This week off work with Corey has been tremendous. I love it when we can take time to relax and just enjoy each other. I feel I can step it up in the wife category though. I plan to find ways to serve Corey each week. It may be as simple as meal with extra effort, a walk around the neighborhood, or more prayer time for him. He is a gem, and I need to treasure him more.

So those are my goals and plans. 
Will I fail some days? Absolutely. 
Will I give up? I don't plan to!

Do you have any goals you'd like to share? 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

What a wonderful Christmas we had this year. On Friday we had some friends over, and the fab four was finally reunited. It had been over a year since we were all in one place!

On Christmas Eve we ate breakfast in downtown Rockford--a tradition we started when we were dating. We spent some more time with Stac and Adam (who are basically family), and then later that evening we went to Corey's parents house. It was a relaxing time with the pups and celebrating with his parents. (We didn't want Luna to be harassed, so we gave her some space at home :)). We are very thankful for their continued thoughtfulness and support in our lives.

Christmas morning we had to ourselves, so I decided I was sick of the Christmas decorations and put our house back to normal. In the early afternoon we hit the dog park with family!

Here is Maggie and Murphy (my brother's puppy) playing

Moses is my parent's new dog. He is such a gem!

And Murphy is passed out in Megan's arms :) Maggie and Murphy played all evening. 
Corey also got some Uno games in with our nephews, while I played card games with the ladies. On the car ride home, Maggie had fallen asleep...and it only was 1.7 miles to home!

Today we bought items to update our bland fireplace, so hopefully pictures to come soon. Corey has also taken this week off of work, so we are loving our time together!!

We are very thankful for the time that we could spend with family and friends. We know that we are very blessed, and the people in our lives are something we deeply treasure. The Lord is certainly good, and we praise His name for the gifts, and most importantly, for his sacrifice and pursuit of our hearts.

Hope you have been filled with joy this season as we have been!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Little Addition

This is just a silly post, but I thought something light-hearted was in order.

So my love for Hobby Lobby continues...
I recently found a tall vase and mini green house-looking thing for 50% off!
(They are saavy with their continual sales...)

I decided we needed something on that high ledge by the entry, so here it is now:

Some of these old books were gifts from my Aunt and some I found in random shops
If you know me well, you know I love love old books...especially related to the social sciences or Nancy Drew

I must say that this ledge looks better in daylight rather then the stark picture above. 
But you get the idea.

I am continually thankful that I can keep making our house a home. 
We are so blessed.

What little additions have you added recently?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mighty to Save

A heart break. 
Words truly cannot express the sorrow I feel for the students and families at Sandy Hook.

I work with students who have experienced trauma each day, but I cannot imagine witnessing anything so horrific--especially at such a young age. It is hard not to think 'what if that happened at my school or my nephew's school?'

This experience deepens my desire to spread Christ's love to all people. Not just the ones that are easy to love. I pray the Holy Spirit will give me courage and strength to do that better.

And I pray for those families. And the aggressor's family. 

Lord, we thank you that you are good. All the time. Encompass those families with your hope. Descend wisdom onto parents who have to explain the situation and professionals who investigate, counsel, protect, minister, and educate. May Your unfailing love be seen despite this tragedy. Have mercy on those affected, through your steadfast love (Psalm 51). Thank you for redeeming those you called, and allowing us to take refuge in You (Psalm 34). I praise you for giving us the gift of the Holy Spirit who can intercede and provide the words that I simply cannot. Amen.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Bundle of Boys

We had four of our nephews spend the night on Friday, and boy, it was fun!

We ate pizza from Fatzo's (yum!)
Made a super simple craft of filling ornaments with paint
Then they chased each other around the house (I seriously think they could do that for hours)
Maggie was dumbfounded by the 4 boys runnin' and hollerin'
We watched The Sandlot 
And then we settled in our "camp out" in the living room

Guess what happened next?

6am wake up call. Except I wasn't the one calling :)

Here are some photos:

It is always a joy to have the boys over, as well as watch them grow and play together! 
This past weekend we also celebrated Hunter's NINTH birthday. Wowza.

Their adorable new puppy, Murphy!

Hope your weekend was just as fantastic!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Expressions of Christmas

Last night I had the privilege of hosting a table at Expressions of Christmas with my dear friend, Alicia. She is  such a friendly, wise woman of God, and we had a blast! All the tables were decorated so beautifully and uniquely. It was fun to be at an all-women's event with such talent.

Unfortunately I did not realize my pictures were blurry until today (major bummer), so I apologize in advance. Our Rustic modern look (I think I accidentally wrote "vintage modern" before which makes no sense) included chevron, mason jars, a lantern, fresh greenery, pine cones, lights, blubs, and home-made truffles. See for yourself...

Love this gal :)

Chris Manion, our main teaching pastor's wife at Ada Bible, spoke last night. Her message was very uplifting, and the scripture reading at the end of the night was just what I needed.

I was also able to invite Jenny, and what a treat it was for me. I am so pumped that she is going to be my sister-in-law come June! Our family is beyond blessed.

What fun events are you partaking in this Christmas season?