Weekend fun

We had an excellent jam packed weekend. Chris and I headed on an overnight to Park City for some music ( Mike Gordon), shopping and food. Kind of an early birthday celebration for Chris... The boys hung with cousins and had a blast! Around the Park City trip we packed in soccer, baseball, haircuts, and a fun trip to the Zoo. I like busy, fun weekends.

2014 - Bring it on! OLW

You may remember my post last year about choosing a word and making goals for the year surrounding that word. I think I may have grabbed this one little word theme from Ally Edwards. I can't remember but she is good inspiration to follow from. It was a nice exercise in 2013 and worked pretty well for me. I thought I might try it again.

My word for 2014 is CONNECT.  
To accompany my word is rough and rapid doodle from my sketch book. 

CONNECT...  It's quite broad and I feel can encompass many of the things I would like to try an accomplish in 2014. So, without getting too specific or personal:

Connect with family, friends, self, passions..., in various ways— phone, email, snail mail and in person.  Connect (meet) new people, which can be  hard for me. Connect spiritually, professionally, physically... etc.

And I like that I can easily changed up the interpretation of this word with a little prefix or suffix.  Disconnect from (my phone, tv, etc.), basically be more present in the moment.  Reconnect with old friends, old hobbies and passions.  

So there SHE be... that one little word.

My 2013 word was DO. Holding myself accountable.... here is what I actually DID in 2013. Long post for me - be warned.

1. DO service for Grandma LaRue.  I am working on random ways to help Grandma out through out the 2013 year, more on this in future posts. #service

THIS I DID.  With my spare time I was able to help Grandma with all sorts of projects and if was super fun to be able to hang out with her more.  This was a tough year for Grandma.  Van ended up moving into the veterans home and then in late December passed away.  I hope my tiny bit of service helped Grandma just a little.  Some of the highlights I really enjoyed; typed up finished her address book (actually bound), made many meals, organized her bathrooms (including a serious dejunk - trashed prescriptions from the early 90's people!), and helped her with Christmas cards. I sure love my GRANDMA.

2. DO more family stuff.  I have the great pleasure of being with my kids everyday and I need to make this time count.  We need to incorporate more fun and less routine activities. #family

THIS happened too. I found this hard as our routine became very ROUTINE.  We did hit the Zoo, Aquarium, various friends houses and parks.  We took lots of mini trips - packed with fun.  Crafts.  I wish I could have done a better job of infusing fun into everyday life.  McDonalds play place and the library counts, right?

3. DO a new and improved website and blog. My blog is tired. And, I would love to create a website to house my portfolio, business stuff, etsy stuff, projects, blog, etc.  I have purchased a URL but now need to learn some stuff in order to design this puppy. #web

Not so much.  So the blog... still is very tired.  And, I accomplished less posting than in years past too.  Oh well.  I did design a website for my Painted Orange business (literally in the last few days of december).  It's all laid up in illustrator and ready for coding.  That website will house my newly designed blog.  The code part I'm hoping dear Geoff with help me with.  Otherwise I might scrap what I designed and purchased a canned site for the URL I've been paying on for the last TWO years. 

4. DO! Personal health improvements (diet, physical and mental).  I turn 39 at the end of this month.  This year will be the last year in my 30's and I have some health goals to reach before I am 40. #health

So I had this great goal of 40 lbs x 40 (not totally realistic I know, plus I probably only needed to loose like 30 lbs.  ASPIRATIONS. It would have been totally ambitious to loose 30 pounds.  I ended up loosing around 15.  Better than none.  I spent a good 6 months of the year with a serious work out schedule of 4-5 times a week. I did improve my health and learned a few new exercises.  My exercise routine  has seriously tapered off the last two months.  UG - 1st world problems.  I still have a almost month until 40 and I am committing, again, to live a HEALTHIER 2014.  

5. DO, brain improvements:  I have some new things I need to learn. While I don't have a formal plan yet, I do intend to learn new things more often.  Web tutorials, build to think, etc. #feedthebrain

This happened just by living my life and the desire to try new things (no formal plan was ever created).  I took a few online courses, attended some seminars/events and took a ton of free online instructional tutorials.  I do have some new tricks in my bag.  Again - I could have pushed this further...

6. DO more freelance. I have a number in mind. #workit

WOOHOO for goals.  Somehow I reach my number, amazingly so, and also picked up a few repeat clients. I am so grateful to have developed this skill set.  It has provided me with a much needed creative outlet and a little play money.

7. DO creative things.  Perhaps a painting class? Nothing is in stone but simply I know I want to DO more creative things. #create

Surprisingly... Not so much.  I did continue with my monthly card club and a few random projects throughout the year but no formal painting classes.  I will have to carry this goal over. 

8. DO travel.  I traveled so much with work in years past and over the last 7 months of being home St. George and Bear lake have been the only destination points.  This year we will travel.  Can you say ROAD trip? #travel

We DID travel.  Lots of new places for fun, a little work and family visits.  Nothing international - may in 2014?!

9. DO happy things.  Happy begets happy.  Be happy, think happy and do things that make ME happy. Figure out things that make me happy. #happyxhappy

I'm not sure how to measure this.  Perhaps a bad goal but a nice mantra?  Hmmm.  I'll be thinking on this one. 

10. DO document life. #lovinglife

This was an easy goal.  Over 100 blog posts, easily 20,000 photos taken (16K by phone alone). Yeah for the easy ones.

Vote Ben for president!

Ben for president!

School elections were held last week. It was a hard fought race and Ben worked hard. In the end, Ben was the runner up... conceding by a mere 3 votes!

The candidates were not allowed to campaign outside of a video and two double-sided posters.

Here are a few photos of his posters and here is the link to his election video.

Ben is excited to try again. He announced he'll be running for 7th grade President this spring.  He already has an idea to make his video funny - as he determined that was how he could improve.

Way to go Ben. We are proud of you and so very proud you put yourself out there.

UEA weekend

Chris had a business conference in California that coincided with UEA weekend. Since the boys were out of school we decided to head to California for our long weekend and meet up with Chris. I took the boys to Disney solo while Chris worked. As a family we spent a few days at the beach. We are driving home now. It was a great long weekend.

Halloween banner

Halloween is one if my favorite holidays because it is just so fun to decorate for.

Last week I met up with Paula and we stopped by Tai Pan. The place was decked out with crazy Halloween decor. Usually I find Tai pan somewhat inexpensive - not this time around. While there we saw a super cute, small Halloween banner. Not wanting to spend the $30.00 we decided to make one. 

After little time and a lot of conversation we finished our banners. Much cuter and a little larger than the original. Besides our time, it was basically FREE.  Another excuse to use up some of my crafting stash.  

Most product is SU. The base is made from large manilla folder tags (penny a piece). Letters use black glitter paper.

Paula's house always has cool decor. Check out this amazing Halloween advent she made a few years ago (hopefully you can see it well enough with the crappy phone photo). Totally awesome!