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Delightfully

19 Feb

Steve, Reggie, and I are incredibly happy to announce the arrival of our baby girl, Amelia Grace Behnke.

Amelia Favorite Hospital

Amelia was born on January 25th, 2013 at 12:11 pm.  She was 7 pounds 3 ounces and 19 ½ inches long.  We feel very lucky to have welcomed a healthy baby girl after a high risk pregnancy and a not uneventful birth.  Luckily, Amelia has always been healthy and she made it through both the pregnancy and birth beautifully.

Amelia Favorite 2

Amelia Favorite Sleeping

Since she’s been home she’s been enjoying time with her mom and dad and her big brother Reggie.  She’s sleeping lots but getting more wakey with each passing day and she’s eating and growing like a champ.

DSC_0225

A few people have asked how we came up with her name.  It’s a rather uneventful story.  When we found out we were having a girl, I made a list of names that I liked and then Steve chose his favorites.  Amelia was a front runner from the start.  One of the reasons we enjoyed this name, however, is because it has some personal significance.  I have a great grandmother named Anelia so the name is a nod to her.  Additionally, Amelia is the patron saint of farmers in the Catholic church and Steve comes from a family of dairy farmers.  So we felt the name pays homage to both our families.  Grace we chose because we like one syllable middle names and it’s the name of a great aunt on my mom’s side of the family.

DSC_0362

She’s an amazing little girl and we’re so blessed to have her in our lives.

Maptly Put

17 Apr

Stevareno and my one year anniversary with our house is coming up.  We moved in last year at the end of May.  To be exact, May 20 was the day we closed on our house and the first night we slept here.  My parents were coming the next day and we wanted to spend our first night in our house just the two of us (and Reggie).

I was happy we were able to move in during the nicest weather of the year.  There really isn’t a better time to move since it’s still cool but there’s no snow on the ground.  But, one of the sad parts of moving in at that point is that we had a TON of yard work to catch up on.  Plus, we missed some of the early blooming plants in our yard.

So imagine my surprise when this April, the tree that was planted way to close to our garage, flowered!

That hottie with a body in the flannel is my hubby. What a fox.

I think it’s so pretty

But the tree is not really what this post is about.  I wanted to show you guys what I bought for myself for my birthday/built this weekend.  What I bought is: a gigantic map!  What I built is: a frame for a gigantic map!  Actually, Stevie Wonder built the frame (mostly) but we are both going to reap the rewards.

When we bought a new mattress in January, we decided to pull the box spring from our old queen bed apart and use the wood for other projects.  We ended up building a bed for the mattress that didn’t need a box spring so it was no loss.  And we used part of that wood for this framing project.

First we measured the map and then Steve McQueen cut the wood at 45 degree angles so that they would fit together well.  We laid them out and squared them up.

Then, we glued the corners together and put them in our corner clamp while we screwed into one side.

We also added a center support for extra support of the frame.

After building the frame, we laid the map face down and centered the frame on top of it.  We wrapped the map around the frame and stapled it to the wood.  After that, we had this:

Here’s a close up shot:

We are going to hang it in the hallway by our front door so that we can use it to give directions if we need to but that project is on hold because we’re waiting for a Dremmel bit to make a T-slot that we ordered online to come in the mail.  Long sentence.  Sorry.  I’ll post some final “after” pictures once we hang up the map.  Incidentally, that map will be the FIRST thing we put on our walls in this house.

I’ve heard hanging things on your walls makes your house your home but I think our house became a home when we put in 100+ hours to take down wallpaper.  We know this house intimately.

On a side note, we had to lock Reggie out of the living room while we were working on this for fear that he’d come in and step all over the map and put his toe nails through it.  So we blocked him off with some chairs.  He was in the dining room which is right attached to the living room and could see us the whole time but he still whimpered and whined like we’d left him forever.  Then, he tried sneaking under the chairs and through the chairs.  Then he did this:

What a boy!

The Great Minnesota Get Together

25 Aug

Steve and I are super busy this week.

We’ve got at least four ongoing projects.

We’re reaping the bounty of our garden.

We’re having friends up this week and we’re all going to the State Fair…here known as the Great Minnesota Get Together.

And it’s Al’s (our uncle’s) birthday.

So posts coming up.  One on my favorite place in Minnesota.  And another on our latest project.  And another project progress report.

But for now, I leave you with this.  It’s a video from my favorite band ever.  I’ve been listening to our  radio station that plays mix music (Jack FM) and I’ve enjoyed this band quite a lot in the past couple of days.   Enjoy!

Amanda

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMz-wi50ACU

And a close second (with, quite possibly, one of the best videos ever):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hMrY8jysdg

Kah-razy

13 May

Did you all watch last nights TWO episodes of Parks and Rec?  Snake juice!  (Sorry for the long, repeating video but it’s the only one I could find.)

Do you know that we close a week from Friday?  One week!  That’s all the time that is left.  And it’s further diminished by the fact that we need to go to work, we need to eat and our dog needs to be walked.

TANGENT ALERT:  We took Reggie for a walk yesterday and I was dying in the heat.  (So was Reggie.)  I thought I was really losing it since I couldn’t stand 80 degree heat.  I mean, we just lived in Virginia for a year…I should be able to tough it out through MN “heatwaves”, right?  But, alas, I was sweating in places I didn’t even know existed.  But I felt better when we got home because Stevie Wonder looked up the weather and it was actually 87 degrees outside.  With no breeze.  So it felt like 92.  Which makes me feel like less of a pansy.

I digress.

Anyway, we’ve been super busy and I’m sorry for neglecting you all.  Therefore, get ready for the wordiest, long-windiest super hero this side of the Mississippi – (TANGENT ALERT: I just realized that I am now on the other side of the Mississippi than most of you…seems like it’s so far away, doesn’t it?) – “MEGAPOST”!  (Women faint, men gasp, small children ask for autographs and villainous “Shorty McPosterson” flees in despair.

Ah, we’re having fun.  And, go.

Easter was fun.  I spent a total of 11 and a half hours at church between Palm Sunday and Easter.  And Steve even came with me to the Easter Vigil.  I always get teary eyed when I watch the baptisms.  Though I always enjoy when we head to Clintonville for Mr. Wonder’s family Easter celebrations, it’s awesome to be able to attend the Easter Vigil and see those happen.

We had Easter dinner at James and Al’s.  All the food was good.  I ate a beet and some ham and some cheesy potatoes.  I made a spectacular artichoke and spinach dip.  AND, I got to use me travel companion for my casserole dish.  I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures for this portion of the post.  I was going to take a picture of my casserole carrier, just to have one, but I decided to post that video instead.

TANGET ALERT: Steve and I have never used the casserole traveling case before.  We way over heated the heat pack and were thisclose to having sticky, gooey heat liquid all over our microwave.  That’s what she said.  Sorry grandmas.

The week after Easter my sister, Vicki, and her family came up for a visit.  I wish I had gotten more pictures but I didn’t want to carry my camera around the Mall of America all day.  And I think that was the correct choice.
We had a jolly good time.  We went to the University of Minnesota campus Friday during the day:


And then headed to IKEA for a bit of shopping.  Steve and I bought some rubber gloves:


But my favorite purchase was one my niece made: two of these hooks:

They make me want to sing “I like big butts and I cannot lie…”

They also make me want to get another dog.  Oh wait.  That’s any dog butt.

After IKEA, we had pizza and beer at our house with my sister, her fam, our dear cousin Claire, and Claire’s boyfriend Stu.  Steve went in the hot tub with the kiddos and I told a story about how I pooped in my pants one time.  When I was young.  **Cricket, cricket**

The next day we spent the WHOLE DAY at the Mall of America going on rides and shopping. We left for a brief dinnertime window to hit up one of Steve and my local dinner haunts: The Longfellow Diner. Good food.  I had the Cubano sandwich which was a little light on the mustard so I had to ask for more.  But otherwise good.

Sunday we just ate breakfast and lazed around for a bit before my sister and her family left.  I tried to make monkey bread.  EPIC FAIL.  I don’t know what I did wrong but none of the bread in the middle was cooked while everything on top got kind of burnt.  Does anyone know what it was that I did wrong?  Anyone?
Despite my monkey bread mishap,  it was a delightful weekend full of family fun.

But it doesn’t stop there.  Oh no.  We had visitors this past weekend too.  Steve’s aunt Julie and a foreign exchange student from her Rotary club and his aunt Nancy and her daughter Emily came for a visit.  Steve and I had already booked Saturday to price shop the home improvement stores for everything from a garage door to a shovel.  So we didn’t get to see them until Saturday night when we had dinner together and played Bananagrams and Apples to Apples.

TANGENT ALERT: A lot of games nowadays are named after fruits.  Obviously, there is a fruit game market and I am calling the rights to “The Grape Escape” and “Catch the Melon Felon” right now.  Also, I’m writing this during my lunch hour and I’m eating an apple that sat too close to the freezer portion of the mini-fridge.  I will tell you this: frozen apple that becomes unfrozen in a warm office = NOT GOOD!

Okay, okay.  Back on track.  Saturday we took all the family to see the new house.  Mark this as the third time our new neighbors have seen us bring hoards of people to the place to peer into windows and remark on the backyard.  Hopefully they get it but if they don’t, they’ll know in a week!

We also spent Mother’s day hanging out with my friends Amanda and Ryan.  They were in town for another friend’s wedding and we were blessed to have brunch with them at Perkins.  And Amanda is one of my Harry Potter friends (one of the people who loves HP as much as I do) and you can bet we talked about the awesomely upcoming movie.

And, of course, we started packing.

And we took Reggie to the dog park.  I love the dog park here.  It’s just spectacular.  Better than any I’ve been in before.  If you have a dog, or want a dog in the future, move to Minnesota where our dog parks are like windows to Heaven.  Oh yeah.  My heaven is full of dogs and trees.  You betcha.
Anyway, I was going to throw a little dog park video in here for you all but this is getting to be LONG so I will wait and put up another dog park post in the near future.  I also owe you the upstairs floor plan of our house.  It’s coming but please bear with me during the next week as we pack and plan and purchase and purge. Lots of “P” going on over here.

Heh, heh.

Amanda

I Housed Her

17 Apr

Anyone who knows the title reference WITHOUT googling it will get treated to an ice cream cone the next time I see you.

And now for the real news: Steve and I bought a house!  Yay!  Inspection is complete, the loan process is well underway, and Steve and I are on a no-spending spree for the next month while we accumulate the last of our funds needed for closing.

But I’m sure you guys probably want the juicer gossip such as details on the house.  We’ll get there but right now I don’t have good pictures to show you.  Therefore, this post is going to instead be about the house hunting process.  Allow me to begin at the beginning.

Steve and I met with four Realtors before we chose the person we worked with.  The first was, frankly, not our style.  The second was a little too intense for me.  The third I really liked because a) he had a bald head, b) he wore sunglasses on a cloudy day during almost our entire interaction with him, and c) I kinda felt like he didn’t really give a damn.  I know that makes him sound like kind of a jerk but what it really felt like was someone with whom I didn’t feel pressured to buy, or even like, a house.  We’ll call him Red.  The final Realtor we met with was John, who was a friend of Steve’s uncle James.  We liked him from the beginning and, much like Red, we didn’t feel pressured with him.  He also talked a lot, which I think is why we picked him since neither Steve nor I is much for making small talk.

The first house we fell in love with was one I affectionately refer to as Boy Blue.  Here he is:

Red showed us this house on our trial run tour with him.  What we liked was that it was a house we could stay in for a LONG time since there is room to grow; it was on a biggish lot that could support a vegetable garden, a dog, and some flowers, and the layout provided a lot of light and great flow between the rooms.  What we didn’t like was the price tag.  At $60,000 over what we originally capped our budget at, and at $30,000 over what we could comfortably afford, this house was way too expensive.

Nonetheless, we were so enamored that we had John take a tour of it as well.  He was just as enthusiastic about the house as we were and so, after much debate and discussion of mortgage payments and taxes and IRAs and the like, we decided to put in an offer.  We offered $25,000 less than what they were asking and after a few days, we got a counter offer back.  We raised our offer and told the seller it was our final one and…he countered.  He only countered back $4,000 more than what we had offered the last time but something felt wrong about the house.  We had said that if our offer wasn’t accepted, we would walk and after much consideration, we did just that.  It was sad to do because we both really liked Boy Blue but in the end, we both felt we were making the right decision.

After we recovered from the loss of Boy Blue, we both found another house that we liked.  Steve liked this short sale which we called Great Oden’s Raven:

It was at a great price and in a good location and had almost everything we were looking for.  However, something about the house felt wrong to me.  I couldn’t put my finger on it but I just didn’t feel good about the house.  I liked the layout, the yard could be dealt with and the house was a great deal, especially for a starter home.  But I just couldn’t bring myself to agree to putting an offer in on it.  We kept an eye on the house, but kept searching.

The house I next fell in love with is one we referred to as “the little house on the prairie”.

We called it this because it was a small house (about 900 square feet) but it sat on a large acre lot in the middle of a somewhat prestigious neighborhood.  I had grand dreams about custom building a house on that lot while living in the little house on the prairie (and simultaneously caring for and reaping the abundance of a large vegetable garden).  However, when we saw the house in person, Steve was less enamored.  Additionally, the seller’s weren’t very motivated to sell and were asking far too much for what they were trying to sell as only land.  I still see that house in my dreams but it wasn’t an appropriate choice for us at this time and so, we kept searching.

Finally, we found another house that we both loved: Plymouth Rock.

While this wasn’t a place we could stay forever, it is a place we could stay through the next 7-10 years and where we could save up money to buy a “forever” home.  The house was in an area that we hadn’t originally been looking in but had a great school district, a large yard, and enough bedrooms.  The only problems were the bathrooms but at the price we could get it, we could afford to renovate the bathrooms sooner rather than later and the fact that the house was on a busier street.  Still, Steve and I were ready to put in an offer.

But, lo and behold, while we contemplated an offer on the Plymouth house, our original love, Boy Blue, was not selling.  We’d been keeping an eye on it and for one month, Boy Blue didn’t sell.  Finally, April 1 came and as we prepared for our meeting the NEXT DAY to put an offer in on the Plymouth house, Boy Blue’s price dropped $30,000!  I only noticed because good old Red sent me an FYI e-mail.  I immediately called Steve to see what he wanted to do and we agreed that, since this asking price was less than our original offer, we should put another offer in.  We waited on Plymouth Rock and decided to try again for Boy Blue.

We put in an offer on Friday and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Then, on Tuesday we got the news: Boy Blue had multiple offers put in on it that weekend.  Since we had offered before, the seller was kind enough to offer us one final “take it or leave it” chance at Boy Blue.  I quickly called Steve to confirm but it didn’t take long for us to conclude that it was a great house at a great price.  And we accepted.  So, introducing once again, as our official new home, the handsome Boy Blue:

We’re both so excited to close and move in a few weeks and overjoyed to be finished with our house hunting process.  We have a list a mile long of projects to do (including removing about a mile of wall paper) so look forward to those posts in the future.  We will hopefully close May 20th and then you will get more than a glimpse of Boy Blue.

Here’s his measurements:

36-24-36 (wink, wink)

But really:

4 bedrooms
3 ½ baths
2800 square feet
2 car garage
½ acre lot
1 basketball hoop

And, just to give you an idea of how much we looked, we saw:

24 houses over about 45 days

But in the end, we only made two offers on one house.

Boy Blue.  Love it.

Amanda

Happy Birthday!

3 Mar

I turn 25 in exactly 18 days.  And apparently, that is a pretty significant birthday – proven to me by the fact that I often get facebook invited to 25th birthday parties for people I have not seen since high school.  Not that I mind that.  One day I’d like to just show up to one of those parties and see what happens.  It would be like an even more awkward high school reunion because at a reunion everybody is kind of out of the loop but at the birthday, you’d be the only one out of that loop.  But I digress.  The point is, I get a lot of these invites and since I am not having a spectacular birthday party (though I should!) I am not going to be able to facebook invite all my old high school homeboys to any sort of festivity.  Therefore, I thought that instead, I’d make them a list of things that they could send me for my birthday!

But before I do that, which I know you are all eagerly awaiting (I’m lookin’ at you Jake Smith), let me first tell you what Steve and I got each other for Christmas so as to assure that these gifts are not repeated on my most spectacular upcoming day!

My gift was a very long time coming.  You see, when Steve and I moved to Virginia we generously gave our couch (a Behnke original) to one of Steve’s cousins.  She has since put it to grand use, I am sure.  But while getting rid of the couch left us with a lot of spare room in the Relocubes we were moving with, it also left us with only a futon on which to rest our weary, um,  behinds.

And let me tell you: a futon is not the most comfortable thing to sit on.  In fact, there isn’t really any lumbar support so your back sort of curves into the cushion and you go all Quasimodo.

(Source)

So, for Christmas, Steve bought me a couch.  Ta da!

She’s lovely, isn’t she.  Unfortunately, she spends most of her days covered up by a blue sheet, but that just protects her from the inevitable poopy paw or spilled ketchup or, let’s be honest, dog hairs.  Steve and I have grown very much attached to her.

She was a custom order (just the fabric) so she wasn’t supposed to be in until January but lucky for us, the delivery guys came in mid-December and so were able to comment on our ridiculous looking Christmas tree.  Looking extra ridiculous because I can’t get wordpress to rotate the photo.  Such is life.  The point is that the tree is all scraggly and is as tall as our 9 foot ceilings.


Anyway, our couch is from Room and Board and cost a pretty penny.  Probably the most we will ever spend on a piece of furniture…except maybe a new mattress.  But I convinced Steve that it was worth it because if you divide her total cost by three (for Steve, Reggie, and I) and then divide by the next 20 years or so, we’re really only spending like 1/108th of a cent every time we sit on her.

Total logic.

Kind of like that thing that people used to do in high school that made girls the devil.  You don’t know what I mean?  Remember:

(Source)

Anywho, let’s move on.  Steve wanted something equally as useful so he went to Sears.  (Where else?)  There he bought the item that has since been my greatest joy and the bane (it took me three tries to spell that word) of my existence.  Our treadmill.

I love it because a) it is helping me get back to my pre-Virginia weight, b) it is helping Steve get back to his pre-Amanda weight, and c) it is helping Reggie get back to his pre-winter energy level.

I hate it because I hate running.  Surprise.  I ran cross country for years and have since tried to keep up a “steady” level of jogging and even once participated in a 5K for fun but the truth is, running sort of sucks.  I mean, it’s nice to feel good and accomplished and such but really, when you’re actually running, admit that whenever you aren’t jamming to “The Final Countdown” you’re wondering, even in a tiny little part of you bran, “why am I doing this to myself?  I should just sit down right now.”

But, really, the treadmill has been good to have and I usually just drown my thoughts in extra loud 80s power hour music.

Here’s the working girl (in use even):

Apparently all of the things in our house are girls.  I never knew.

So, now that you are all caught up on what we got for Christmas (and you, Carolyn, can return the treadmill you bought me) let me tell you what I want for my birthday:

1.        More acreage closer to the heart of the city.  Do you know, in order to get the 10 acres of land that Steve and I want, we have to travel almost 45 minutes outside of the city?  Quite the commute!  Let’s just say that we probably will have to come down on our property size before we actually buy a house.

2.       Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt to get together on Parks and Rec.  Something tells me I might get this birthday wish.  But not too soon because then they are going to have to break up and get back together and be all dramatic a la Meredith and Derek or Rachel and Ross (Hi, Erin!).

3.       A large heat wave to melt the snow.  Rather, we are getting another 12 inches or so (supposedly) in the next couple of days.

4.       An ice cream scoop that functions.  Steve and I broke ours a few months back and have never gotten around to replacing it.

5.       I have been in love with this chair for years:

(Source)

and this one for weeks:

(Source)

6.       The will power to donate more of my books.  Well, only kind of.  I want more room to have new books but my old books are taking up all my available shelf space and I can’t seem to part with them.  Maybe I actually want more shelves…

7.       $5000 cash.  Or $10,000.  I’m not picky, really.

8.       The FlipUltra HD Video Camera.  CNET’s best rater under $200 model.  Yowza!  There are definitely better cameras but I’m really only looking to record Reggie playing so that I can post it on the blog and make you all jealous that my dog is so spectacular.  Steve and I have talked about buying this but never actually done it.

9.       Someone who can get all the pictures and music and documents off my old computer without charging me a ton of money.  (My old computer is kaput, FYI.  It still turns on and functions but the power cord won’t charge it any longer (or it doesn’t recognize that the power cord is in there) so I only have like 46 minutes of battery life left EVER.  Very dramatic.)

10.   Comments!

And there you have it, dear readers.  My most spectacular birthday list ever!  I can’t wait until the suburbs rezone themselves so that Steve and I can buy a huge parcel of land.  Ah!

Also, did you know that my darling baby boy turns 2 years old in 11 days!  He’s growing up so fast I can’t hardly bare it!  Here’s his list:

1.       Bones

2.       Pets

3.       Bones

4.       Trip to the dog park

5.       Bones

6.       More bones

7.       Peanut butter

8.       A nap

9.       Bones

10.   To sleep in the family bed

Steve has recently re-relegated Reggie to the floor.  Sad, I know.

Anywho, hope you enjoyed this month’s post.  (Ha!  I’m doing pretty bad on that resolution.  I’ll keep trying anyway!)

Happy New Year!

7 Jan

Happy New Year Everyone!  I’ve heard that 2010 was a less than stellar year for a lot of people so I hope that you are enjoying your 2011 much more than your 2010.

(After I wrote it, I realized this was a very text heavy post so I’ll start it off with a picture.  For anyone who didn’t get to see it, this was our Christmas card this year.  I stole the idea from www.younghouselove.com but the dog is ours.)

I decided to share my new year’s resolutions here on the blog and then maybe update you all in a few months to see how I’ve been doing.  I read an article that said that if you share your new year’s resolutions with other people, you’re more likely to keep them.  Accountability and all that.  I asked Mr. Steve if he would like to share any and he said he forgot his.  I can’t blame him.  By the time I made this list, I had forgotten some of mine as well.  But I just made up new ones because, really, how would you all know?

So, here they are, my new year’s resolutions.  Only one week in and I’m already kicking ass!  (In no particular order.)

1.       2011 – the “year of the house”.  If all goes according to plan—though, let’s face  it, it never does—Stevie Wonder and I are going to buy a house this year.  While we’re doing well in the saving money department, we’re not quite there on the agreement department .  We’re still not sure what kind of house we need, or where we want it.  But we’ll get there.  We’ve resolved to, after all.

2.       31 books in 2011.  A good friend of mine (Hi Danielle!) did a similar thing in 2009 (I think) but her goal was a book a week.  She ended up reading 100 that year but I was thinking that 52 sounded a little ambitious.  So, I decided on 31.  Why 31?  20+11.  And re-reading all 7 Harry Potters will not count.  Unfortunately.  I’m already well on my way, with one book under my belt!

3.       A year of great gratitude.  Personally, I don’t find myself to be particularly unappreciative but it can’t hurt to remind myself of all that I have.  Therefore, I am starting a gratitude journal.  I would like to write down one thing each day for which I am especially thankful.  And I’m going to try to be specific and not repeat.  Rather than writing “Steve” I’ll write “Steve did the dishes without my asking him to” or “Steve picked up all of Reggie’s poops from the yard”.  What a guy, eh?

4.       Which brings me to number 4 which is act more Canadian.  (Wink, wink.)

5.       Work out at least 5 times a week.  Since Steve and I bought a treadmill, I figure we should use it.  So both of us have resolutions to use it more.  I have committed to 5 times a week which, at least for this first week, has gone very well.  I’m hoping that if I get into the habit, I can stay in the habit.

6.       Pare down.  I didn’t really know that Steve and I had a lot of stuff until his friend Otto walked in and said, “Wow.  You guys have a lot of stuff.”  How very direct, no?  And while I don’t feel like we need to get rid of everything we own, I know that at least some of what we have is excess.  So I want to get rid of that excess.  I started today by selling all the books that I have duplicates of—which is good, because Steve heard on that TV show “Hoarders” that keeping duplicates of things is a hoarding tendency.  Here’s to not being a hoarder.

7.       Make time to spend with friends twice a month.  We’ve learned that when you move you need to make a concerted effort to meet people and make friends.  So, we’ve decided that we’re going to make an effort to maintain the friendships that we have and build new friendships in the area.

8.       Save money to go on our “honeymoon”.  Yep.  We never went.  Steve quit his job instead.  But we’d like to go on a substantial vacation sometime in 2012 so this year is the year of saving money for it.

9.       Use the fourth stall.  At work.  Really, this is just an example of the bigger goal and that is to get out of my habits.

I’ve noticed that I tend to do all the same things every day (I eat the same lunch, park in the same spot, use the same bathroom stall) so I want to try and mix it up more this year.

10.   Learn how to use my camera well.  And I am well on my way, having found the user’s manual!

11.   Post to the blog once a week.  I like to post to the blog, even if I don’t do it too much.  It’s kind of like journaling, which I always wanted to do but never did, so even if I don’t do it all the time, I still like it.  And I know you all love when I blog. So your new year’s resolution can be to read my posts and give me lots of positive comments.  Yeah, I got you.

12.   Throw a party!  Gotta have a fun one and I love to entertain/have guests/throw parties so I figure this is a great resolution.  I’ve already offered to have Christmas if we have a house and I think we’ll try to have a party for our friends this summer.

As I said before, I’m already kicking ass on these resolutions!  And I intend to continue doing so, though I assume some will be a lot easier than others.  You gotta love the beginning of a new year.  You can make all these goals to be a better person.  And hopefully do them.  What a great time of year.

Amanda

P.S.  Did you guys make any new year’s resolutions?  Did you tell anyone about them?