Happy 2017!

I’ve been thinking a lot about this New Year… a chance to start new, start fresh, start over and my New Year Resolutions. Typically every year, I will put a quick list together in my head of the usual: 1. lose weight 2. get in charge of my finances… etc… and those are great resolutions, but this year I’ve been concentrating on a few other things.

Looking back at this past year, OH BOY what a year its been! In a nutshell: We sold our house, bought a new house. Paid off all of our debt and finally went on our honeymoon (8 years later). Everett turned 2 and we had a great summer in the pool. I left my job for a new job, then the new job didn’t exactly work out well. Then I went unemployed for a few weeks (or as I like to call it, a staycation) waiting for the perfect job to come along. After a ton of patience and trusting God had a plan for me, I was hired at Studio R Design in Denver doing Commercial and Residential design. Nick got promoted and celebrated 10 years with his company. We both turned 33 (yikes!) and the Holidays were festive and fun. We hosted Christmas dinner for the first time, in our new house and it was one of my dreams, come true.

I feel like there were a lot of highs, a lot of lows and a TON of events that have set us up for success. Never in my life have I felt more in the exact place I’m meant to be, than right now. Our hard work all of these years has paid off and we are living a dream. This year has been great, but I’m looking forward to whats in store for us in 2017.

Here is a list of my resolutions for 2017. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory but here are my thoughts:

  1. “Enjoy each moment with my family” – I know I take each day for granted. Not only the day itself, but each day with my family. I am more than blessed to have two wonderful men in my life and need to put more effort into capturing moments and creating memories with them. When I start to think something is more important than the time spent with them, I hope to realize in that moment to stop and drop what I’m doing, focus and be present.
  2. “Reduce stress and focus on health” – My stress over the past couple of years has accumulated and gotten out of control. I realized very quickly how stress overcame me and has messed up my body and head. Earlier in the year, I was going to therapy which has helped tremendously. I feel that was the first step. Now I’m on anti-anxiety pills and am slowly working towards recovery. I was at a point where I was remembering a time before the stress took over my body, how wonderful it was, and I am praying for that day to come again. I am serious about getting better and creating a stress-free life.
  3. “Read (or listen) to more books” – I’ve never been much of a reader, but I’ve found it relaxes me and since I do about an hour of driving every day, books on tape are convenient. My best friend Laura recommended a book for me to read “Uninvited” by Lysa Terkeurst after I went through one of my life’s worst experiences. I thought “I don’t have time to read, but I have time to listen”. I downloaded the book and started listening right away. Now I’m hooked. I started a membership with Audible and I’m on another book that was recommended by with the first one called “Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist (I’ll let you know how it goes, but so far so great!). I feel as if these books are speaking to my soul!
  4. “Less social media” – You know that quote “if it doesn’t help you, get rid of it?” Well, this kind of applies. I’m at a point in my life right now where I would completely ignore all social media because I have felt lately that it has done more harm than good. I’ve been noticing the feelings I get when I check my Facebook feed: I get jealous of friends who post a photo of them traveling across the globe and I start to compare when I watch a video post of a friend’s kid’s achievement. Don’t worry, I think its just a phase and I won’t completely get rid of social media because of Everett. I have loved ones across the country that love to see Everett and I couldn’t get rid of it completely. You just might notice I won’t be like-ing your posts as much or in the “know” on the latest gossip.
  5. “Post on my blog” – If you couldn’t tell by the first 4 resolutions, I’m tuning into my inner self and am listening to my inner calling. For a few months now I have been on myself to get back to blog posting again. But then I think “when do I have the time”? I NEED TO MAKE TIME! <— thats my answer. I brought up a fear to a co-worker/friend of mine, Jenny, about how I want to write about my life experiences but I don’t want to offend anyone or be as specific as to get me into trouble. She said something that has been in my head “you should do it, there’s ways to write generally about events that could really help others” (or something similar to that). She is right. I just need to start and the rest will follow.
  6. “Let go of the unnecessary” – This one is simple (or so I think). Anything that I am holding on to that is unnecessary, I need to LET GO!
  7. “Make our house a home” – This will probably be a forever-long process, because the “Interior Designer” in me wants our house to be perfect and picture-ready all the time. I’m realizing I need to (#6) let it go and have that live-in look because, well, we do live here. My focus is shifting from a perfectly designed house, to be a place of gathering, of creating memories, of connection, of fellowship, of beauty, of warmth, of a home, our home! Don’t worry, it will still be beautiful, just not “perfect”!
  8. “Purge and simplify ‘stuff’ ” – Goes hand-in-hand with #7. I definitely have too much “stuff”. I know that, my husband hates it and I’d really like to focus on cleansing this part of my life. Keeping whats necessary, purge items that are not needed, and get rid of things that don’t have a place, meaning or simply make me happy.
  9. “Start painting again” – Its been heavy on my heart to start painting again. Every time I’m searching for artwork at work, I think to myself “I could paint that…” There are so many things I want to paint and its so relaxing for me, I just need to start. My mom gave me acrylics for Christmas, so now its time… get ready for some paintings and if anyone has requests, let me know!
  10. “Find places of serenity” – I absolutely love to travel and lately, I’ve been dreaming of a cabin vacation where I imagine a home deep in the woods with a wood burning fireplace, no cell reception and quality family time playing games and sledding in the snow. Its going to happen… oh, its going to happen real soon. I want to find places where I can marvel at the architecture and design, find peace in my surroundings, experience new wonders with my family and create traditions of experiencing life outside our bubble. New places… here we come!

Well there you have it. My top 10. I feel like there could have been a lot more, but I was afraid then this post would have never been posted. Cheers to you and yours and Happy New Year!


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Fall Family Photos

Last week when the trees were at their peak, we scheduled a photo session with our friend Daniel Balboa who is an AMAZING photographer. We are so blessed to know him and be able to use his talent for our family photos. No need to say anymore, the photos pretty much do the talking…

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Nick and I were even able to squeeze in a few head shots:



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Managing our Finances: Part 1

For years Nick and I have been struggling with managing our finances. We didn’t think it was that bad until it got to a point where we both had enough. I started Pinterst-ing a few ideas on what to do and came across this awesome post:


It’s a must-read, but basically it talks about how most people have two bank accounts, one for savings and one for checking (that was us). In this post, it recommends having 7 bank accounts (YES 7!) to help you organize where your money is going. Nick and I sat down and discussed this and decided to start first with opening a new bank account at a different bank that was going to be our “every day expense” account. So at one bank we have our savings and a checking, but our checking we wouldn’t use other than for auto bills and all expected expenses spent every month (mortgage payment, utilities, phone bill, etc.) Most of our paychecks go into this account as well. For the new account, we figured out how much we spend a month on food and extras for ourselves and direct deposit from each paycheck into this account. We set a goal for ourselves that this is only what we get for each month and when its gone, its gone and we cannot dabble from the other account.

So far we only have 3 accounts (technically 4 accounts with the HSA account). We are currently working towards setting up the Husband’s Checking and Wife’s Checking as well as the Emergency Savings. I think its so important to keep these organized so you know exactly how much is going into each and there are no more guessing games as to where your money is going.

Please keep in mind, this is a learning process and it wont be perfect right away. Try it out at first and make adjustments as needed. We have now been doing this for 6 months straight and its constantly changing, but we are much better at recognizing where exactly we want our money to go. We talk about it and think it through. We also set up monthly money meetings to get together and talk about it, so we are always on the same page.

Along with the advice of organizing our bank accounts, Nick started listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts and this really jump-started our focus on money management. Along with his book “The Total Money Makeover“, Dave Ramsey has shaped our image of money and the step-by-step process to becoming debt-free. Nick and I never realized how much debt was a burden until now and we are doing everything possible to get rid of it.

I know money can be a sore subject, or something most people don’t like to talk about (just like me). But rather than ignoring the money issue, take action and learn how to manage your finances!

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Our House: Before & After

Two and a half years ago, we bought this house with the intentions of making it ours and thats exactly what we did. With a lot of hard working hours put into this beauty, it has come out exactly the way we wanted! Take a tour through our diamond in the rough with the before (when we bought this house) photos and the after photos.

The Front: (please ignore the fact that the before photo was taken in the summertime and the after was taken in the dead of winter)



When you walk in the front door:



The Living/Family Room:



The Dining Room:



The Kitchen:



The Kitchen:



The Kitchen:



The Bedroom/Office:



The Bedroom/Nursery:



The Master Bedroom:



The Guest Bedroom:



The Bathroom:



The Backyard: (please ignore the fact that the before photo was taken in the summertime and the after was taken in the dead of winter)



The Patio: (please ignore the fact that the before photo was taken in the summertime and the after was taken in the dead of winter)



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Watch Me As I Grow: 18 Months

I wish I could keep up with the monthly posts just to see how much Everett grows and changes from month to month, unfortunately thats just not possible. But every 6 months I might be able to do!




We couldn’t be more proud of our little 18 month old, he is amazing! He’s talking now and can say words like excuse me is “zshuzshe”, thank you is “tankoo”, “up”, “mama”, “dada”, “Zsa-Zsa”, Grandpa is “Granpa”, banana is “babana”, “truck”, “tractor”, Harley (our dog) is “arly”, horse is “orssss” and “go boncos” for Go Broncos… just to name a few. Then the other day he learned his name, “Ebret” and he points to himself. Its awesome!

Everett’s favorites:

  • Color is “orange”
  • Food is raisins
  • Animal is monkey and he starts making noises “eee ooh ooh”
  • Cartoon is Curious George
  • Toy is the iPad and yes, he knows how to use it… he finds his own apps and movies.
  • Person is mama (he melts my heart being a mama’s boy) and Grandpa of course!

He’s 25 lbs and in the 75% for his height. He has 14 teeth, still needs his bottom canines and his 2 year old molars.

He eats with a fork and a spoon, and actually gets food in his mouth about 80% of the time. He can also drink from a regular cup which they teach really well at school.

My goodness he is growing up fast and my heart couldn’t be more full of love for this little man of mine.

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Everett’s 1st Birthday

He’s 1 year old! Wow how that year flew by and I couldn’t be more excited for and proud of my little one year old! Of course, I wanted to have a HUGE part-ay to celebrate my little guy, but the more I thought about it, the more stressed out I got. So, we decided to keep it small with family and our closest friends.

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Watch Me As I Grow: 11 Months

Woohoo! We made it to 11 months! Now we are in the home stretch to being a year old! Here’s what this little man is doing:

  • Eats everything! Favorites are pastas, guacamole and cheese puffs
  • Walks around while holding on to things, climbs stairs, pulls up and can sit back down on his own.
  • Favorite toy is boxes.
  • Has 7 teeth!
  • First word is going to be “Book” (he says “ook”) and “Dada”
  • He can turn pages to a book
  • Can point to things and slide the pages on the iPhone


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Watch Me As I Grow: 10 Months

Our little baby boy is growing TOO fast and is 10 months old! WHOA! Here’s what he’s been doing:

  • He’s CRAWLING! AH!
  • He can pull up on his knees
  • Says “DADA” and mimics sounds.
  • Loves spaghetti and guacamole
  • LOVES food… he just can’t get enough of it
  • Very observant – he has to know what, where and who! He takes in the whole room and can’t miss a thing!
  • Started sitting up in his crib, so we had to lower it… Again!
  • Had his first fall, thanks to mommy (don’t ask!) which gave him a nice bump on his head.
  • He’s already impatient (like his dad) and likes to go go go!
  • I swear he remembers which shows he’s already watched because when a repeat comes on he’s only interested for about 5 minutes and wants me to change it. Crazy!
  • He discovered is “Peep” and plays with his belly button.
  • Started swimming
  • Has #7 and #8 teeth coming in.
  • His teachers say he’s the “class clown” and loves to laugh and be social!
  • Yes, his hair is coming in quite Red and is due for his first haircut very soon!


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Watch Me As I Grow: 9 Months

9 months? Where has the time gone? See what this little guy has been up to:

  • 19 lbs. 4 oz. (27%) and 28.75 in long (72%)
  • In 12-18 mo clothes
  • Loves food – favorite food is avocados or guacamole
  • Wants to be on the ground to move around
  • Get up on his knees and rocks, but not crawling yet…
  • Loves to be in the stroller looking around



(more photos to come)

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