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Twenty-eighteen has been good to us. A lot has happened and just for fun we created a list of notable numbers commemorating the year. Counting down from ten here’s the summary of our 2018:

TEN adults + five kids + one baby + one sprinter van + a giant Airbnb in Orlando, Florida = a very memorable family vacation at Walt Disney World.

NINE years since I first started blogging.

EIGHT hours in the car traveling to Ontonagon, Michigan for the annual Smith Family U.P. cabin trip.

SEVEN years of business growth for Jeff at Pro Legal Systems.

SIX years worshiping together at Mars Hill Bible Church. That old strip mall out in Grandville has served us well.

FIVE years of happy marriage celebrated! Looking forward to the adventures yet to come.

FOUR cities visited during our trip to Spain: Barcelona, Granada, Sevilla & Madrid.

THREE-year-old Natalie started Pre School this year, moved up to a big girl bed and completed her first dance class.

TWO cars completely totaled. Two is also the number of car crashes we (and everyone else involved) walked away from unharmed.

ONE-year-old Thomas started walking and talking this year. He’s loud and proud and cruising towards turning 2 this coming March.

ZERO is the number of kids we plan to have moving forward! Kladder Family, party of four forever!


As far as resolutions go, twenty-eighteen was the year of ‘more’: more golf, more passport stamps, more patience and more compliments. Both golf and passport stamps were measurable which means I can actually share a progress report. First, for golf: I joined the Watermark Women’s Association Board and golfed enough in the preseason to acquire an actual handicap which lead to joining the partnered league. I’ve already confirmed with my partner Jamie for next year and I’m pretty confident this golf thing is going to stick long term! As for Jeff, if he golfed more than he already did… well. You do the math. For passport stamps we took an incredible trip to Spain with friends Nate and Cara checking that off our wish list.

As for more patience and more compliments, the less measurable of the bunch… I truly hope those were felt in our household through our kids as well as among our friends and family. I did get chatty with a few strangers out in public letting them know ‘I really liked their sweater’ and that ‘their hair looked nice’ - and it was likely during a time I was waiting (patiently) in the check out line for groceries - haha! After naming them as part of our resolutions for this past year I did find myself paying more attention to these things and do feel like I built new habits from setting the goal.

And in anticipation for twenty-nineteen, here are our resolutions for the coming year:

  • Reduce Our Use of Plastic - We recently watched a 60 Minutes episode focusing on recycling, specifically plastics. My mind was blown and I’m inspired to do better. I started thinking through how to accomplish this and got a bit overwhelmed so I’m going to start small with things like replacing plastic grocery bags with paper and going with no straws for drinks at restaurants. Baby steps.

  • Learn a New Go-To Karaoke Song - This one is certainly measurable and I promise to report back a year from now. Jeff is going to take some convincing on this one, but I’ll do my best.

  • Learn How to French Braid - I’ve always wanted to be able to French braid my own hair. It’s just one of those things I never took the time to learn and just had my friends do for me. I also think Natalie can benefit from my learning this new skill. I give myself the same chance of convincing Jeff to participate in this resolution as I do the karaoke one. But again, I’ll try my damnedest.

It’s not too late to make your own resolutions. We’ve been going strong every year since 2014. And when I say ‘we’ I mean mostly ‘I’ but include Jeff anyway because the thought of him mastering a new karaoke song in 2019 could be hilariously fun. My recommendations are to keep them simple and attainable which will in turn, set yourself up for success. And I gotta tell you, hitting those goals feels so good!

Wishing you and yours the happiest of new year celebrations! May twenty-nineteen be filled with everything you desire and much much more!