#1: Create a better system for my influx of photos. Between this blog, my photo storage systems, and Cruz's photo books, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to taking, storing, editing, deleting, and displaying my pictures. I also received my very first Photoshop for Christmas, which overwhelms me all on its own. My photo editing doesn't extend much past cropping, and I'm interested in seeing how Photoshop adds to my growing hobby.
#2: Start a garden this summer. Keep my pantry organized and stop wasting so much food. Cook dinner and sit at the table a minimum of three nights a week; stick to 'easy' and leftovers the rest of the week and if we succeed, reward ourselves with a night out to eat one day a week.
#3: Be more thoughtful. Send cards. Remember birthdays. Compliment others. Be random with kindness throughout the year. Be happy with less. And show love to others....all the year through.
Tonight, I am excited about a black dress, a new pair of earrings, and a night on the town with good friends. While Beau's parents plan to ring in the new year with Cruz, we have reservations at Galleria de Paco, the best dining experience in the Cedar Valley. I'm looking forward to adult conversation, lobster bisque, and a purse that doesn't include a sippy cup and Goldfish crackers!
2011, you've been good to us! This week, I've spent lots of time rereading old blog posts and reflecting on the year past. And when your days are measured in your toddler, it's amazing to see evidence of the growth that's taken place (especially on the top of Cruz's head!).
Our Year in Pictures...
We had a few great trips this year. We had a wedding weekend with good friends in Des Moines for Heiney and Danielle's wedding. We let loose just the two of us on a trip out East for Chris and Carlie's wedding on Cape Cod. I had my first big work trip to a leadership conference in D.C. And finally, we had a super fun family trip with Cruz to Chicago. Top that off with a few 'over-nighters' to Williamsburg and Minneapolis, and I'd say we put some miles on the car.
We finally accomplished our refinished basement. I've never been so thankful for a finished toy room than when I packed away Cruz's truckload of Christmas presents this week. After a couple frustrating years with water issues in our basement, we feel confident the problem is resolved. Now, we're enjoying additional living space, as well as a cozy little play space for Cruz. I feel like we're finally to the point where we have exhausted our major home improvements on this house and I'm looking forward to just enjoying our cozy abode in 2012 (with a few minor projects, of course).
We celebrated one year of Cruz. On an unseasonably warm day in October, we celebrated Cruz's first year with a sock monkey party. We had balloons and homemade fabric banner, a candy table and a puppet show. We grilled burgers, opened presents under a tree, and sang 'Happy Birthday' to Cruz just before he stuck his fingers around the flame of his single candle. It was a fun day and I am continually reminded of our sock monkey adventures by the pictures that hang in his toy room.
We did a lot of enjoying the simple things. From Farmer's Markets to 'Movies Under the Moon,' boating on the Fourth of July, and picnicking at our 'secret garden,' the year was filled with the simple pleasures of starting and raising our family. While 2010 was about preparing for Cruz, 2011 was about living with Cruz. I learned important lessons of balance, and made some pretty awesome baby food. We celebrated Beau's 30th birthday with a grill out, bought a new car, and watched the Hawkeyes from the Roy Carver Suite at Kinnick. And of course, we learned to never give Cruz his fruit first at dinnertime, that the surefire way to cure a crabby baby is a bath, and that in order to get supper made, it's okay to let him bang on pots and pans.
Happy New Year, everyone. Here's to good things (and you becoming a 'follower') in 2012!