Monday, January 27, 2014


With the start of 2014 it is so fun to look back on 2013 and also to feel excited about a brand new year ahead! We had an incredible year last year with our trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, running a half marathon together, 3 family reunions (Utah, California and Texas), hiking a freakin' huge mountain with Oliver in the hiking pack, celebrating Oliver's 1st Birthday, buying a sailboat and sailing all summer long, visiting Maine and the Atlantic Ocean (my first time), renting a cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with some friends, and spending our first Christmas alone together here in Michigan! Whew... it has been a whirlwind!

Austin and I are just so happy with our lives here in Michigan, our relationship, our little family, etc. Life just couldn't be better. And, the only way all of this has been possible is because of Heavenly Father. He has blessed us so much! Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve half of what he gives me and my family. I am so grateful for the happiness and pure joy I feel and I know it is all because of Him. 

So, as this new year is beginning I have set a few reasonable goals:

  • Read the entire Book of Mormon again from the beginning
  • Run a full marathon (I signed up for one in May)
  • Attend the temple at least once a month (this has been really hard since the Detroit temple is almost an hour away and finding a babysitter for 4ish hours is difficult)
  • Do something crazy like skydiving 

I try not to set too many goals because then I will feel overwhelmed. I have a few spiritual goals, a physical goal and just a fun, personal goal. I am determined to do all of these!!! So, by Christmas of 2014 these had better be completed or you have my permission to scold me...

Snowshoeing  on New Year's Day

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Although this was our 5th Christmas as a married couple it was our first Christmas all on our own. We decided to stay at our humble little abode here in Michigan and start our own traditions. We had so much fun! Ann Arbor was a perfect winter wonderland! 

The day before Christmas eve Austin got the 24 hour flu! The poor guy was throwing up constantly and totally drained of energy. It was hard to not feel down. That day, while Austin and Oliver were sleeping the day away, I missed my family more than ever. 

But, the sickness was kicked out of our house really quickly. On Christmas Eve Austin and Oliver were mostly back to normal. We decided to carry on with our festive plans and make this Christmas a memorable one. 

On Christmas Eve we attended the most beautiful Christmas pageant at a church here in Ann Arbor where they re-inacted the nativity including LIVE animals!! It was seriously cool and also very entertaining as they pushed and prodded the stubborn donkeys through the church towards the front stage. Not all of the animals cooperated. haha. But, it was still very special. All the prayers and Christmas songs really gave us the Christmas spirit!

Then we went home and had our first ever "Christmas Eve in Bethlehem" dinner. I had been wanting to do this for years and we were finally able to. We had a very simple meal of lentil stew, artisan bread, fattoush, cheese, olives, grapes, nuts and juice. It was so delicious and as we ate we read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible. It was really nice. 

Then we set out Santa's cookies and milk and sent our little Oliver to bed. The next morning was a pretty normal Christmas morning. We all opened up our presents and took a million pictures. Then we had a really big breakfast. I made homemade croissants, bacon, eggs, fruit, juice, etc. It was yummy!

Later on Christmas day the La Croix family came over and we all had Christmas dinner together. They are from France and this was their first Christmas in America so we couldn't wait to make them a traditional American Christmas dinner. We love them so much! They are the most incredible family. Baptiste (9) and Louise (7) love to run around with Oliver and their baby, Leon, is the cutest little chunk in the world. I hog him as much as I can when we are together! 

All in all, it was an amazing Christmas! We made tons of memories, started some new traditions and feel closer than ever to each other and also to Christ. Christmas success! :)

The house right after we decorated for Christmas
Oliver loved getting under the tree and checking out all the mysterious presents!

We had a Christmas fondue party with some of our Ann Arbor friends before they took off for Christmas! It was so much fun and we all felt fat afterwards.

This was the day before Christmas Eve when Austin was sick with the flu. Oliver kept him company! 
Saying "hi" to the sheep, donkeys and the camel before the Christmas pageant began!

Such a beautiful church!

Saying "hi" to the camel after the pageant
Our "Christmas in Bethlehem" dinner

Santa's cookies.
Oliver eating Santa's leftover cookie on Christmas morning- don't judge us. We know we're not model parents. haha
Opening a present from Mimi 
He is obsessed with these trucks!

Austin made him this train table. The top is reversible with roads on the other side. Santa brought the train set

Oliver thought it was funny to make me kiss his bugs

Wow. He is one spoiled kid!

My family always does a puzzle together during the holidays. So, I just had to buy a puzzle and complete it by myself. :)