Saturday, January 4, 2014

the rest of my resolutions

Aside from my resolution of reading more this year, I decided to make a short list of some other goals I have for myself and our family this year. It's been fun reading all of the tweets, Facebook statuses, pictures, and opinions of what it means to make New Year's resolutions. Some people get really detailed and specific, others say we should all just resolve to be our best selves every day. I agree with both. So really you could say that my list is more of a goal list than a resolution list.

Goals can be a scary thing. Scary because the possibility exists that you won't reach it. And then that just stinks because who wants to feel like a failure? I make enough mistakes every day as a mom/wife/friend/human to make me feel like a failure, why add one or six more things to that count? I boiled mine down to things that are really important to me. Or things I've been meaning to do for awhile now, but have just been too afraid to attempt to really conquer. Perhaps sharing them will keep me more accountable and motivated to reach them? I hope so.

Momastery's most recent post really impacted me. I would have to say my first and most important goal this year would be to truly seek out experiences that fill me with beauty. To ignore the hundreds of distracting, negative, or unimportant thoughts that enter my head on a daily basis, and instead choose to seek truth and beauty, even if it's a challenge. More often than not, I find myself giving into the easier path than choosing the better, less easy one. While I was thinking about what I was going to make a priority this year, this verse popped into my head:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate to do.

Romans 7:15

Ok, so I didn't really know this whole verse by heart, just that a bible verse existed somewhere that I heard once that talked about continually doing what I don't want to do. And because that's my life in a nutshell, it stuck.

There are dozens of situations I could apply this verse to every day. I mean, this is really the story of my life.

I want to lose weight, yet I continue to do nothing different with my diet/exercise.

I want to be more engaged with my kids throughout the day, but I frequently choose other tasks over them.

I want more time to myself to pray, meditate, read, reflect, but I continue to be a lazy butt who lets my children crying be my alarm instead of setting my own.

And so on and so forth...

So here's the short list of what I'm choosing to focus on:

1. Be in bed before 10 pm during the week (I need to feel like a rebel and stay up past midnight watching trashy TV at least one night a week).

2. Wake up before my kids. Which will greatly depend on how committed I am to #1.

3. Finally lose my baby weight which is around 8-10 lbs. I really, really suck at losing weight, so this one will be tough.

4. Find time every day for prayer, reflection, and reading.

5. Spend at least 10 minutes of one-on-one time every day with each of my children/husband. I saw this idea awhile ago and it sounded super easy at first, but it's proven to take some planning.

When I look at this list, I know it's not some fleeting list of resolutions that I'll never look at again after the month of January. I think they reflect the things that are most important to me in my life, and while there is no way I will be perfect in accomplishing all of these on a regular basis, I really want to commit myself to them. In the past, I have had a habit of being really gung ho when I take on a new challenge, slacking a little, then throwing in the towel. Then being back to square one of desperately wanting my life to reflect what's in my heart, but feeling defeated once again because I'm, well, human.

So here's to living a life in 2014 (and beyond) that's full of hope, love, grace, and FUN!

Wishing you all the same. :)


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas 2013

What a month December was around here! We had a wonderful Christmas in the Nevels house this year with our three monkeys. I remember Christmas being fun last year, but this year it was brought to a whole new level. We traveled less than we usually do around Christmas Eve/Day, and it made things so much more relaxing and enjoyable. Here are a few highlights (read: boatload of pictures) from our celebrations.

Christmas Eve we headed to my parents for our immediate family Christmas.

I could eat this Christmas baby boy up.

Sara and I both have the Elf on the Shelf (Mike and Sparkle, respectively). My dad thought it would be funny if they both showed up at their house on Christmas Eve. So we put them both on the diving board where they could see them from the living room. All of the grandkids thought it was the greatest and kept checking all night to make sure they were still there! 

The girls and Bubba

Sophie wearing her Thomas fleece poncho from her Aunt Sara. Yes, that's right, I said Thomas fleece poncho. That she now insists on wearing over every.single.outfit. Payback is coming, Sister.

Campbell playing with her beloved princess wand.

Christmas goodies for Santa and presents!

Christmas morning fun with these two

Burke on his Y-bike. He has a serious love of pushing/riding anything with wheels right now, so this has been a big hit.

I've never used the self-timer on our camera, so I thought Christmas morning would be a good time to try it. This pic now cracks me up. The kids were so confused with what was happening!  

My twin cousins, Patric and Hayden (who also incidentally look nothing alike!) with the girls. 

My dad has continued the tradition that my Papa started of dressing up as Santa every Christmas. 
Can you tell Sophie sticks out her tongue when she gets nervous? ;)

Campbell giving Santa a cautious hug.

All the cousins. Poor Burke. He actually started running a fever during this particular celebration. 
Not a happy camper. 

Still not quite old enough to get into opening gifts, but fun nonetheless.

Burke visiting his favorite friends, Papa's ponies. It's so much fun watching him grow into a little boy. This kid can't get enough of horses, doggies, trucks, and being rowdy in the great outdoors.

Little boy, big country.

Little man checking out the loot.

When I first took this picture, I almost deleted it because of the blur. However, after looking at it more closely, I really fell in love with it. All the rush and madness of opening gifts, but the light and happiness in her face really is what Christmas is all about. 

Burke was in tractor heaven at Papa and Nana's. He even added "tra-tra" (tractor) to his vocabulary after this Christmas celebration.

Campbell's favorite gift from Kyle's parents most definitely had to be her new pair of boots. She wore them around all night and kept calling herself Cowgirl Campbell. :)

Our little cowgirls getting ready to go feed the cows with Papa and Daddy. They also made their first trip to the co-op to visit with all of the local farmers. They were a big hit, as you can imagine. 

Burke stayed behind with me and Nana to spend some quality time with his tractors and trucks.

After every Christmas, although it's exhausting, my heart is beyond full. On our way back from Taloga, I asked Kyle if he ever felt like our life was sometimes too good to be true. We and our families are far from perfect, but at the end of the day we have so many people that love us, three healthy, incredible children, and so much to look forward to every year. 

I'm so excited to experience all the fun and love 2014 brings!  


P.S. Christmas 2012. It goes by too fast.