}

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January...we survived!

It is no surprise to people who know me that I am usually not a fan of January. It is always cold, the holidays are over, the snow starts to get brown and ugly, and there is no paid holiday in sight for a while (how's that for negative?) 

However this January has been different. This month I've really done some reflecting on my life, what I'm doing, who I was last year, and improvements I'd like to make. I've decided to make a few changes in my life, and what has historically been a gloomy January for me has actually been pretty nice this year! 

In all honesty I've made a sincere attempt to focus on my fitness, health, and meditation (I feel so hippie-ish saying that but it's true). I've also focused on my spirituality and personal relationship with God. I've focused on my marriage, and putting my husband first. I've tried to focus on positives at work and in other daily situations. I'm trying to "unplug" more and actually went to the library to get back into reading! I read somewhere that asking yourself each day, "Did I like myself today? Was I my best?" can change your life. I am learning that daily self evaluations, stretching and meditation, can do wonders for stress, anxiety, and overall happiness.

I've realized it's exhausting to try and be perfect, and I am far from it. Some days I don't work out. Lots of days I still eat like an 8 year old child. Some days I have pity parties, and some days I'm just a grump. Looking back at last year I've learned that change doesn't come overnight, and the false thinking that it does gets me overwhelmed and I quickly give up on improving myself before I even start! Making gradual changes to my habits each day is slowly getting me back on track and focused on the person I want to become. In this month I've felt happier, more relaxed and more confident. I am truly, sincerely happy, and so grateful for all of the wonderful blessings I have in my life.

Nothing too crazy or exciting happened to us in January, but Andrew and I have really had a fun time getting back into the routine of work, school, and the simple joys that come along with the daily grind. We are currently watching The Office on Netflix and have enjoyed laughing our heads off every night. Jim and Pam are the best. Michael and Holly are great too. 

A few highlights from this month...

^^Pushing the couches together for weekend movie marathons^^
^^We've been diggin' Utah basketball this year. ^^

I am eating fruits and vegetables. This is huge! I've learned that if you put spinach in your smoothies you can't even taste it! It's fabulous. Try it, it will change your world.

We've really had bad luck with cars this month (it's part of my January curse). Both of our cars have had to be fixed and we are so over it it's not even funny. My hood latch broke, and after a few sketchy trips on the freeway with it flapping up and down we decided to take it to the mechanic and get it repaired. Andrew's car decided to be annoying as well and completely break down last week. We had it towed and found out the entire battery needed to be replaced (it's a 2010, seriously?). Super awesome. Naturally ice cream was in order. Only Andrew can take a sucky situation and turn it into something enjoyable. :) 
^^Sub-Zero is the bomb. Go there, it will change your world.^^
My second favorite boy in this world is my nephew Owen. He is seriously the most hilarious, sweet, curious little man. I can't get enough of him. Face-timing with him is always a good time and I love seeing him growing up and developing his awesome little personality. Serious stud in the making right there.

We finally caved and took our Christmas decorations down. After some of our neighbors stopped by to drop of some cookies (I think it was like the 16th of January or something...) I decided we needed to get it together. We ended up taking everything down and our house felt so empty! We put up our Christmas decorations right when we moved in so I didn't realize until now that once we took everything down we had nothing to replace it with. I'm not very good with this cutesy tutesy stuff but I ended up gathering some odds and ends from random places around the house to decorate our mantle. There are still things I want to change but we're getting there. We are loving our house more and more everyday and can't wait for this Spring to start working in the yard!
Lastly, we had a fun night babysitting this week. We got to hang out with Aaden and Kate while Ashlee and Sy had church obligations and it was a blast. We love being aunts and uncles and can't believe how much we love our nephews and niece! We had a good time making a sweet fort with Aaden and watching Emperor's New Groove while Kate slept! (sidenote: can you believe that movie is FOURTEEN years old? Yikes, I'm old) 

I also was able to go up to my sister's house and spend the night last night since Andrew and Danny were both busy boys. We had a fun time hanging out and I just love watching her be a mama! 

January has been fun and 2014 is already proving itself to be a great year. I can't wait for some of the adventures that lie ahead of us! 

xoxo
steph

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Another Year!

Holy smokes, another year gone. I can't believe 2013 is already behind us! If I had to put 2013 into one word I would call it the year of "change". Looking at my below list, almost all of these are changes for the good and I know we have truly been blessed. We've had a blast taking on the crazy "changes" life has thrown us, and I couldn't be happier that I have someone as fun, optimistic, and straight up nice as my husband to go through life with. I can't wait to see what 2014 brings our way. 

Looking back at our "changes" this year, there have been a few...

Andrew's Changes:
-graduated BYU, worked full time for a law office
-got accepted to BYU Law School
-changed from a full-time job to a full-time law student (rough stuff but he is a crazy person and really likes school. opposites attract much?)
-changed hair (from the spike to rocking the combover. seriously. dreamboat, he is.
-changed phones (this was a huge milestone getting him to upgrade)
-changed callings at church (went from self-proclaimed ward "basketball player" to 10-11 year old primary teacher, where he was loved by his class)

Steph's Changes:
-changed jobs (SEO.com to CLEARLINK)
-started brushing my hair and stopped biting my nails (if you know me you know both of these are huge)
-hair color (don't ask, it was bad and it was my fault)
-church callings (from Relief Society to Sunbeam teacher)
-workout schedule...(whoops)

Changes for Both of Us:
-Moved from Orem to my mom's
-Budgeted and saved
-House/lot hunted a "lot" (get it?) and built a home
-adjusted to the loss of my dad (super boo)
-Stopped caring about the Jazz (just for a season, they break my heart)
-Moved from my mom's to our crib (we miss her but we love our house. bittersweet.)
-got skiis (best day of my life)
-Got used to commuting
-became a 3rd time aunt and uncle to Mister Owen (we are smitten)
-Canceled Cable! 
-started being grownups and paying bills(it feels weird)

Overall, solid year. This year we thought it would be fun to throw a New Year's party with Andrew's family and it ended up being a success! We had around 20 something people and enjoyed a fun night of food, games, and fun. Andrew and I both love having company and entertaining (I like decorating and he likes cooking so it works out) We had lots of food (thanks to Andrew's mom for helping us out and bringing some yummy treats) Andrew made some bomb shishkabobs and hamburger sliders, and I baked a few goodies as well. I am convinced good food (and lots of it) makes a good party. Here are a few pictures from our fun night.
^^Getting ready. We served cream soda to match the "gold" theme. Yum!^^
^Andrew's shish kabobs were bomb. I made these fun drinks with lots of glitter^
 We set up a photo booth area in our breakfast room (I copied this from a party I went to last year...I do that a lot...) It ended up being a huge hit and we all had a lot of fun taking fun pictures with some of the little props.If there's one thing I learned from this party it was that glitter is the most fun thing. Ever. 
^^We took lots of pictures. These are just a few^^
After we eating and pictures came the games. We played some minute to win it games and things got intense. I know people sometimes don't like party games but I don't care. I love them. We went boys against girls and kept score and everything (I'm not competitive at all...) It was so funny and awesome because everyone participated and we all laughed really hard on some of the challenges. It was a lot of fun. 
^^Jasmine rocked the ping pong bounce^^

Overall it was a fun, crazy night. So glad everyone could make it! Happy New Year! 

xoxo
steph