We kicked off the New Year a little differently than last year by joining a group of friends for a house party - kids included. The only photo I took of the entire night was of some of our kids eating together... like I said, totally different than last year! But, alas, with baby #2 on the way I didn't mind the change of pace and neither did Jeff - with a built in designated driver he had a very happy New Year indeed! 

 Dinner dates at our family friendly New Years Eve party. 

Dinner dates at our family friendly New Years Eve party. 

Jeff and I talked about (very briefly because he's not into this sort of thing) setting some resolutions for 2017. Our list includes: replacing TV shows that we aren't really that into with reading books before bed and so far it's a success - I finished Girl on the Train last night. Don't get me wrong, you'll still find us Sunday night tuning into HBO for Westworld and as soon as Walking Dead is available on Netflix... forget books for a while. Moderation my friends. We aren't TV haters over here. 

We also talked about getting rid of stuff we don't use anymore and again, success - I dropped off another load to Goodwill this past weekend. Last summer a friend turned me onto The Minimalists and thereafter I listened to their entire podcast up to date. Recently the duo released their documentary on Netflix which inspired the need to purge. Feels really good to declutter. Less stuff to clean. I'm also tempted to try The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up which is a book that everyone went mad over a while back. I could consider this a twofer: reading and decluttering. Boom. 

And a third item we discussed was adding more faith practices. Sure, we already go to church on Sunday, but we certainly know we can be more intentional in other parts of our lives regarding this subject including prayer, especially around the dinner table as our family grows and Natalie learns more about what 'folding her paddies' actually means. We'd like to do more through small group, generosity and service, and even nature walks which I look forward to trying out during our annual trip to the U.P. this summer. I also really like the idea of feasting with friends over a meal. This is something our pastor AJ at Mars Hill speaks about; he says there's something very special about breaking bread amongst friends and I agree. We love hosting friends for dinner so this should be an easy one. Who said resolutions are suppose to be hard?

Another thing we plan on doing this year is giving birth to our baby boy and, gosh, it's coming up fast. I'm officially in the 3rd trimester with 3 months to go and I'm glad to say we're prepping for the arrival. With the playroom now complete, furniture is now moved: the 4th bedroom that once served as the landing place for toys is now the guest room which then opened the 3rd bedroom up for setting up the new nursery. My heart melted as Jeff put together the crib with the help of soon to be big sister Natalie. A real hormonal mom moment I'd say. 

Baby is growing perfectly and moves around a TON. My body is feeling great and now with the awesome news that they won't have to induce this time around, I plan on working right up to the time when he's ready to arrive. It'd be fun to go into labor at work... a bit more dramatic than last time when we had an appointment to arrive at the hospital. Also, a very solid excuse to leave work early I'd say. 

On Saturday we went to breakfast and bowling with Jeff's family and even at 1 and a half Natalie had a blast. I honestly thought she'd be more interested in pushing the buttons on the ATM machine. With the ramps and bumpers she just needed help getting the ball onto the start of the ramp then she handled the rest. I sent my Mom and Dad a video and my Dad made a solid joke asking if I had gotten stopped at the door as we were leaving - pregnancy jokes are fun. 

 Bowling with cousins at Clique Lanes on the Westside. 

Bowling with cousins at Clique Lanes on the Westside. 

And this coming weekend we look forward to spending time with friends enjoying some of the winter awesomeness that Michigan has to offer. I'll share more about that next time. Have a great week everyone! 

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