#thankfultuesday - Degree of Gratitude

Our degree of gratitude is a measure of our love for Him. - Russell M. Nelson

"How much better it would be if all could be more aware of God’s providence and love and express that gratitude to Him. Ammon taught, “Let us give thanks to [God], for he doth work righteousness forever.” Our degree of gratitude is a measure of our love for Him." 

I know I'm not consistent with these posts but I have a goal to not just do them around Thanksgiving so hold me accountable!

1. For this little boy growing in my belly. Always grateful for him.
2. For the "warm" days we've been having.
3. For my planner. Sounds strange but with my serious case of pregnancy brain it has been a lifesaver!
4. For our new prophet, President Russell M. Nelson. Read more here!
5. For dresses. Pants are not my friend right now.
6. For my husband. I know everyone says it but he really is!
7. For clementine oranges that are going to save me while I'm off sugar.
8. For my vans and rain boots that mean I don't have to try and bend over to tie my shoes. 
9. For a body that is healthy and strong enough to grow a baby (post coming soon)!
10. And for those who forgive my faults and have patience with me as I strive to change and grow!

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Lake Wenatchee & Leavenworth Christmas Tree Lighting

Look it only took me a few weeks to get this post up, unlike some other posts that are a year overdue....#newyearsresolutions.

Blake finished up his quarter on Dec. 14th so we hurried out of town for a little getaway before all the family started coming to town for Christmas!

We decided to check out the Leavenworth tree lighting and surrounding area. It has been a bucket list item to go to Leavenworth at Christmas for a long time so I took full advantage of Blake being out of school!

The day before the tree lighting we wandered outside of Leavenworth to Lake Wenatchee State Park and honestly, we wish we would have spent more time there. It was BEAUTIFUL! Freezing, but beautiful! Blake and I are definitely planning on going back this summer. 

It was so nice to be outdoors again. If you've followed along for a while Blake and I love outdoor adventures and we try to get outdoors as much as we can. But my 1st trimester rocked me and Blake's school was so busy we haven't been on many adventures at all. So both of us were in complete heaven! No school and no nausea!

But let's be honest about the tree lighting. Cool experience, glad we did it, but we probably won't ever do it again. And we were very glad we did it before we had kids. It was so cold, and there were so many people! And as cool as Leavenworth is, it isn't really a kid friendly town. You can only look at each of the shops so many times, and with little kids, I think they'd be bored till the tree lighting time. 

But let us talk about the food. The brats were the bomb at both places we went to! I seriously dream about going back just for the brats. And all the little German pastries, treats, etc. were everything this pregnant mama dreams about!

But this isn't me discouraging you from going to Leavenworth. Everyone should experience it once, and I've also heard it is beautiful (and warmer) in the spring/summer! And we plan on taking our little guy back for a camping trip this summer and you better believe we will be stopping by Leavenworth for a brat, or two!

Lake Wenatchee
 Let me explain these photos....Blake just walked up to Rudolph and said: "Can I hold you?". Not a joke, those are his exact words! It sounded so creepy I was laughing so hard. But Rudolph said yes and before you knew it he was asking all of the characters. We got some good laughs from the onlookers! I guess he is going through withdrawals because I can't pick him up anymore......

My Favorite Quote

Have An Attitude of Gratitude - Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday night our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson, passed away. It is very much a bittersweet experience for me. While I'm sad he is gone I am incredibly grateful for the life he gave and that he gets to return home to be with his beloved Francis. When I think of President Monson I always without a doubt think of this quote (which I love so much I have on my wall in my living room) and I think of kindness and service. 

Seeing this quote on my wall each day during my first trimester is probably the main reason I got through it without losing my mind. Seriously. It was rough, but being reminded to be grateful no matter helped me remember to be grateful for the experience and for the journey. And many other times in my life where being grateful kept me from getting to low. Here is a link to this talk

President Monson, thank you for your life of service and all the many lessons you taught me. You truly were a prophet of God and you touched my life more than I can count!

New Years Resolutions Thoughts

I'm one of those people who every year rushes to make New Years Resolutions in between Christmas and New Year and then manages to maybe keep one of them throughout the year. But with my huge life change coming in three months (guys I'm going to be a mom, I'm going to be responsible for another human life!!!) I've been thinking a lot about who I need to be becoming and who Heavenly Father wants me to be for this little guy. Millions of thoughts, a few sleepless nights (all though that might just be pregnancy....) and here I am January 1, 2018, without a list made or resolutions set. 

Here is why: I'm taking change seriously this year, probably should have years ago, but can't look back right? I don't want to make a list just to make a list. I want to really ponder who I want to become and who my Heavenly Father needs me to be. I want to pray about what habits I should be gaining this year to prepare for what is ahead. I want to be 100% committed to my goals and habits for 2018 that I don't give up in 2 weeks or 2 months. Now I know come December 31, 2018, I won't have been perfect and I'm preparing myself for that, but I do want to look back and be proud of what I've learned, gained, become this year.

BUT I also didn't want to drag it out and hit March and still not have any goals or habits I'd like to create set in place. Because let's be honest, I'd totally do that. I thrive off of deadlines. So as I was scrolling through the Instagram world one day I found a great idea from @Momstrongutah. See here. One of her clients said she spends all of January and does a lot of self-reflection. 

"How she takes time to sit down and truly write down realistic goals... how she turns that “full steam ahead” movement into one of slow and steady consistency so she feels prepared."

So this is what I'm doing this year. I'm going to slowly start creating habits I'd like to see in myself. You know the usual, be healthier, exercise etc. but I'm also going to really spend January to self-reflect, to ponder and pray, and seek guidance from the spirit of what goals I need to set for 2018. Now some of my goals are pretty simple and don't need a lot of self-reflection but this little guy growing in my belly has me wanting to become the absolute best I can be for him and so I'm going to really take that serious this year. Because, and I may be biased, he deserves the best! And (I can't believe I'm actually saying this) I deserve the best for myself. And so do you. We ALL do! 

I do have to admit I love the idea of "New Year, New You". I know it isn't literally a clean slate but it feels like another chance to become a better version of myself. It may be all mental but I'm completely okay with that. So stay posted for a February post where I'll share my goals/habits for 2018!

So enough ranting - tell me what you do goal setting or new years resolutions or whatever you want to call it, or just thoughts on new years in general!

2017 - What A Year!

WHAT A YEAR!!! I could probably write a full essay on this year but I'll spare you the details. I thought I'd share our year in pictures instead. 

The lake we lived on froze over for the first time in 9 years! We feel so lucky to have lived there to experience that.

We got outside A LOT the first half. Pre-pregnancy and morning sickness. Which was one of our new year's resolutions!

We went to Disneyland!!!

We explored our hometown and found some cool colored walls!

We drove the PCH down to San Francisco...post to come. Clearly way behind.....

We camped together for the first time and most definitely not the last time. 

Went to our first tulip festival

Did more hiking and spending time with family!

And more family.

And even more. Just can't get enough!

I got a new job a few weeks prior to moving to Tacoma at Premier Media Group!

We celebrated one year of marriage! And just a week or so before we found out we were pregnant!

We've watched our little baby boy grow!

Squeezed some last minute adventuring in (post to come).

And soaked up all the time we possibly can together when Blake isn't in school!

And some other things we didn't take pictures of, in no specific order.  

- Blake finished up his 2nd quarter of nursing school.
- We moved to Tacoma.
- I had to quit my job after only four months due to a pretty rough first trimester. Huge disappointment but worth it for the huge blessing we had received.
- And I'm sure a million other things!

Boy (no pun intended) are we excited for 2018. We have lots of exciting plans but the biggest being welcoming our little baby boy into our family come the beginning of April. I've been searching for years to find a real purpose through work etc. but something tells me the end of my search is just around the corner!

What are you most excited for in 2018?

#thankfultuesday - Choose to be Grateful

Choose to be grateful no matter what. - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

It is easy to get caught up in wanting/expecting the perfect Christmas gift. But how about we get caught up in being grateful, no matter what? 

1. The wonderful Christmas season.
2. Believe it or not, the cold weather. Now it just needs to snow!
3. For the #LightTheWorld campaign that is helping me be more service-focused this year. See here.
4. For the little kicks, I've been feeling from my baby boy. 
5. For Blake and his never-ending love and understanding.
6. For Hallmark Christmas movies. THE BEST!
7. For my family. All over the country and I love every little bit of interaction I get with them.
8. For a tight budget during the Christmas season (Sounds crazy but I'm a little grateful for it. It is really helping us pay attention to the reason for the season.)
9. For warm blankets.
10. For Christmas lights. 

What are you grateful for this Christmas season?

Oh Christmas Tree!

 Last week we got our Christmas tree! Growing up we always went to this wonderful little place called Tom's but last year they got new owners and totally killed the Christmas spirit by upping the prices a ridiculous amount! 

So this year for the first time we went to a place called Hunter's Family Farm down in Lacey. You can either cut down your own or they have some pre-cut you can choose from. For the first time in my life, we didn't cut it ourselves but that is okay because we still had a good time and got the perfect little tree for our tiny apartment!

I absolutely love getting the Christmas tree though. It has to be one of my favorite traditions. I don't know if I can even say why. Maybe because it is usually the kick-off of all the Christmas traditions, it is an excuse to have a tree in your home, they look so magical all lit up. I'll stop there before I get too crazy! 

Blake has this thing for goats. Don't ask me why.

Blake holding our Christmas tree.
What is your favorite part of getting a Christmas tree??

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