Caberfea Peaks in Cadillac, Michigan. 

Caberfea Peaks in Cadillac, Michigan. 

Happy New Year my friends! Twenty-seventeen was so-so good to us and we are confident that twenty-eighteen will be equally as great. Last year, as far as resolutions go, we focused on three things: 

  1. Less TV, more reading.
  2. More faith practices. 
  3. Getting rid of useless stuff. 

All in all, we did a pretty stellar job. We joined a new house church with friends in our neighborhood, Jeff participated in a weekly mens prayer group, we broke lots of bread with friends around our dinner table, we tried Vesper Services through our church and we continued to fill those grey chairs at Mars Hill each Sunday morning with our kids in tow. Our house continues to be a landing zone for all things 'kid' (especially after this holiday season) but I've been very diligent about keeping the clutter to a minimum. If we don't use it, we lose it. If I don't wear it, I sell it. And I'm a repeat offender of the Goodwill drop off drive through. Where we found room for improvement is with less TV and more reading - something we found extremely hard to do with there are so many good shows on Netflix and Amazon. I think I read two books in 2017? Pretty terrible showing. 

Looking ahead, here's what we're planning for 2018 Resolutions: 

  1. More golf. We've heard that the couple that 'plays together, stays together'... or something like that, so in 2018 we are putting a priority on golf. I've been given the green light for a new set of sticks this year which means I am motivated to lower my handicap. Golf is something we hope to continue doing together well into our old age and so our future on the course together begins this year. 
  2. More passport stamps. Borrowing a resolution from 2014, this year we hope to add a few more stamps to our passports. 
  3. More patience. This resolution is a personal one rather than for us Kladders as a whole. Patience has always been something I've struggled with and in 2018 I'm going to focus on slowing my roll. I'm extremely type A and I'm very good at managing and organizing things. I can multitask the poo out of life and it takes a lot to get me off balance. I work quickly (sometime too quickly if I'm admitting my faults here) and understanding and respecting that not everyone works the way or at the pace that I do is where I could do better. 
  4. More compliments. You guys are super pretty and I really like your outfit... and I need to tell you more. I notice things. I pay attention to details and when I have a positive reaction to something I need to say the words out load. Furthermore, verbalizing our gratitude. Saying 'thank you' for making dinner or taking out the trash.  

To ring in the New Year we had a weekend of fun activities... 

On Friday we ditched the kids for dinner plans and Star Wars. We left the theatre as a house divided: Jeff thought it was fantastic while I was left wanting more. Without ruining the movie for you, there were some parts that I just found completely unnecessary. But more than anything, I was disappointed that certain scenes didn't take themselves more seriously. I appreciated the new found humor this movie took, but really missed the 'importance' that the old style placed on certain aspects of the story. Overall, I was entertained and remain a Star Wars fan. 

Saturday morning bright and early my Mom came up to stay with the kids and we headed north with friends for a day of skiing at Caberfea Peaks. It was a small victory getting Jeff to agree to the outing since his vow to 'never ski in Michigan' again after a disappointing experience at Crystal Mountain a few years back - Jeff believes the hills in Michigan pale in comparison to the mountains out west. But despite his still valid opinion, we all had a really great time. I hadn't been on skis since high school so I was pretty thrilled about my balance on the slopes which I likely owe to my many years of figure skating. 

And on the Eve of the New Year Jeff and I played hosts and planned a night of fun with friends. We began with happy hour at Rockwells followed by The Ruse Escape Rooms, a recent addition to downtown Grand Rapids. The escape room was a blast! We booked both rooms, split into two groups and competed against one another and while both made it out in time (60 minutes) Jeff and I were on the losing team. We were crushed. But not for long because food and drink immediately followed our defeat at The Wheelhouse where they had a fantastic atmosphere complete with live music and dancing! After dinner the group retreated back to our house for the ball drop. The champagne and midnight smooching were plentiful! A big shout out to my in-laws for taking our kiddos overnight. 

And with the Christmas tree fresh on the curb ready for pick up, we look ahead with excitement for all the good things to come in 2018. 

POSTSCRIPT... stuff we're into lately! 

  • Vikings on Amazon Prime - We are hooked. 
  • Crio Bru - 100% ground cacao beans. Super bitter chocolate taste but great for taming my sweet tooth at night. 
 Our very happy 9-month-old Thomas Kladder. 

Our very happy 9-month-old Thomas Kladder. 

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