Rounding up to Two Thousand Fourteen

Oh my, here it is. The very last day of the year. And really it's just another day, but it gives us a chance to look back and ponder and look forward and plan. Two things I like very much to do. 

I started the year by planning the garden. A perfectly appropriate thing to do when the weather is ridiculously cold, wet, and foggy. I posted photos from our trip to California and thought about goals for the new year. Then I got brave and made my Grandma's oh-so-delicious cornmeal buns. They were easy and yummy. Double awesome.

We all spent too much time indoors and on computers, but managed to get outside to slip and slide on the frozen lake at least once. And since it is the month of survival, I wrote a post including 8 Ways to Survive Motherhood {more of a spoof than anything} and made these snowballs to keep us cheerful.

We went sledding in the mountains. It was sunny up there! And I made a yummy coconut-based potato corn soup. We went geo-caching and dirt-sliding. See? We're getting our mojo back. :)

The weather is starting to warm and soon we're back at the lake, this time playing in the mud. I made another handed-down recipe -- this time plum kuchen. So good. We played outside a lot more and I began to think very introverted thoughts.

I made these apple muffins that got accepted onto foodgawker and were viewed over 900 times! They taste even better than they look guys. I sewed a bunch of blankets for my etsy shop, the boys played in the dirt some more, I posted our recipe for thai pizza with cauliflower alfredo sauce, and we took a trip to the Oregon coast. Yes, it does rain there in April, thankyouforasking.

I turned thirty this month and shared some of the things I've learned. I made these almond honey butter cookies which are just as good as they sound. I wrote a rambling post about snuggling with my boys and Pete's blackberry plants and birthday pancakes.

It was on one of these days in June that Buzz went flying by the front door on Pete's motorcycle. That was a surprise. We went cherry picking together and they climbed ladders and smiled juicy smiles. I wrote about my emotional needs and couldn't believe how many people commented on that post. We jumped at the chance to splash in puddles and I wrote about all the things I learned in June. Busy month.

I'm still thinking about how introverted I am. We got new neighbors and all the neighbor kids are home all. day. long {it's summer, right?!} and I'm in survival mode again. We pick blueberries and eat ice cream and play with the hose in the front yard {and get in trouble with the HOA for that} and find bridges to play under. We pick apricots and blackberries and made a blackberry rhubarb crisp and ate more ice cream. I share 15 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage and made a video all about our everyday summer fun.

I took photos at our church's VBS and posted the famous banana chocolate muffin recipe. We went tubing down a crazy cold river and Pete took his first ride on a big waterslide. We hiked up to Gorton Falls with some friends {so fun!} and found a geocache. And we put up a whole bunch of corn and zucchini and some other stuff.

Before school started, I took the boys on a last hurrah sort of trip -- to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. Yes, it rained. But we've now earned our Camping in Rain badge. We totally survived and made some fun memories. Finding pre-made driftwood forts on the beach and having a water-fight in the lake were some of the highlights.

We got kayaks this summer and have enjoyed paddling whatever water we can find. They are the best. School starts up again -- Pete is in first grade and Buzz in preschool. We decide to take another trip...this time with daddy and the boats. We take the ferry over to the San Juan Islands. It's awesome.

Daddy taught the boys how to use a fire extinguisher and taught them about oil fires. I wrote a letter to my boys. I figured out how to make a pumpkin pie easily {it has a press-in crust}. And I share information about my two favorite non-profits.

I share some of our favorite tunes and our visit to the Guler Ice Caves near Mt. Baker. I write about emotion coaching and start telling people about my eBook {at this point, I'm nearly finished writing it!}. We go hiking at the lake again and Pete loses his fourth tooth! I make these muffins probably four or five times until I'm satisfied with how the recipe is coming out. And I post two holiday gift guides -- one for babies and one for your home.

We go cross country skiing and decorate our house for Christmas. I share the recipe for the most delicious chocolatey coconuty treat you'll ever eat. I'm thinking more about how kids learn and formulate a plan so that Pete will have more time for free exploration. We make a gingerbread house and I share my blueberry pancake recipe. I share my plans for posting here in 2014, work on my first sponsored campaign, and tell you all about our Christmas cabin adventure in McCall, Idaho.

Wow! What a year! I kinda thought we were boring, but after taking a closer look...we had so much fun!! Reflecting on all that really helps bring the best things to the surface -- good food, fun outdoor play, and travels. It's what we love. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I get depressed and start thinking that nothing matters, that we're just floating through this meaningless life. IknowIknow. Ridiculous.

We have tons of fun together.
We enjoy life and the world we're living in.
We are silly, creative, thoughtful, ambitious, and adventurous.
We choose each day to be happy, to find things we're passionate about, and to be authentic.

So -- my resolutions for next year? Let's keep being awesome and not doubt it! Let's be intentional about the friendships that we want to invest in. Let's choose our priorities and own them. Let's continue to practice gratitude. And let's recognize the potential for joy in each day!

Let's spend less on food and save up for more trips.
Let's grow better tomatoes than last year.
And let's take more photos{!} that tell our family story

Cheers to 2013!! It was a good year!!