It’s getting about that time when people start writing and receiving those ‘year in review’ letters from friends and family. They always come and I don’t know about you, but I read them top to bottom because I’m a sucker for stuff like that.

I’m as guilty as the next blogger – I’ve written an annual ‘review’ the last four years, courtesy of nicholersmith.com. But I’m almost certain you know what we’ve been up to the last three sixty-five… engagement, Vanuatu, wedding, marriage, a new job… it's been a big year. So instead of a review post Jeff and I put together a list of resolutions for 2014. 

1. LESS TECHNOLOGY

We spend a TON of time on our phones, computers, and iPads even when we’re not working. We both agree this isn’t always bad, I mean, that’s how we get our news, entertain ourselves, and catch up on friends and family - technology is the bees knees. But we also know there are other ways of doing these things that don’t involve a touch screen. We look forward to spending less time with deadlines, emails, and social media and more time offline doing… ??? We’ll keep you posted.

2. MORE BIKING & WALKING

Last year we got rid of one of our cars (long live the Jeep Liberty!) and became a one car couple. With us both walking to work it didn’t make sense owning two cars. Then Jeff bought a road bike (to compliment mine) and we started biking places instead of driving altogether. We biked to church out in Grandville, to dodgeball games off Plainfield Avenue, and we even made a trip to Rockford. So this year, we aim to bike even more and see how long we can keep up this one car couple routine.

 BIKING AROUND ARTPRIZE 2013

BIKING AROUND ARTPRIZE 2013

3. A LITTLE FUTURE PLANNING

I know my Mom’s reading this and her interest has been immediately peaked… no we are not talking about kids. Yet. But we are talking about where we see ourselves in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years and we’ve already started planning. We love Grand Rapids. We have friends, family, and careers here. It’s a solid and active community that is continuously growing. We love that. Over the next year we look forward to planting even deeper roots here.

4. MORE PASSPORT STAMPS         

Jeff and I both have always loved to travel. Not to mention, I didn’t go to all that trouble of changing my last name on my passport for nothing! The exact plans for 2014 aren’t nailed down quite yet but we’ve got some ideas up our sleeves. I foresee much adventure, good food and drink in our near future.

 VANUATU TRIP 2013 - THIS VOLCANO JUST MADE THE TOP 10 LIST OF THE WORLDS MOST ACTIVE VOLCANOES 

VANUATU TRIP 2013 - THIS VOLCANO JUST MADE THE TOP 10 LIST OF THE WORLDS MOST ACTIVE VOLCANOES 

5. CONTINUE MAKING GENEROSITY FUN

Last year Jeff and the crew at Byron Center Young Life recruited me to lead with them - I jumped at the chance. Selfishly, I think it’s just as much fun for us as leaders it is for the kids, which makes it quite perfect. Joining YL has refreshed my perspective on generosity and how it can be fun. In 2014 we aim to continue finding enjoyable ways to give. 

6. MORE REST

People say you can rest when you’re dead, but we’re both pretty partial to our sleep. And while Jeff might be a better napper than most (including me – I can’t sleep during the day to save my life) I can rest in other ways: read a good book or magazine, write/blog, and believe it or not, clean and organize. While I’m not necessarily resting my body, when I organize it rests my mind. Taking more time to just be. 

7. MORE BOARD GAMES

If I’ve learned anything by becoming part of the Kladder family it’s that games bring them together. If 9 hours (that’s not a joke, 9 hours) of quality family time is the result of dice, cards and a board with resources on it… we’re not complaining. More board games means more family time. 

8. MORE COOKING

Before Jeff, I did more eating out than anything else – and so did Jeff. But now we eat dinner together at home 1 to 2 nights a week and I cook. I like it partly because I find it relaxing (my mind is no where else other than pots and pans and sometimes the show playing on my iPad while I work), but I like it mostly because if I cook I can control what we eat and how it’s prepared. In 2014 (this resolution is more for me than Jeff – he eats anything I make) I’d like to get more creative in the kitchen. 

And with that... bring on the new year! Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Cheers. 

{  N.R.K & J.M.K. }

 NOVEMBER 2, 2013 - THE DAY WE BECAME MR. & MRS. 

NOVEMBER 2, 2013 - THE DAY WE BECAME MR. & MRS. 

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