Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012!

Last New Year's Eve I posted about what a hard year 2011 had been for our family and how I had high hopes that 2012 would be much better. was!! Praise the Lord, our lives seemed back to normal this year and we had a really smooth, non-eventful year. I am so thankful for that.

Each year for the past few years, I have had fun looking back over the previous 12 months and recounting all the ups and downs. I found some questions on a friend's blog one year that I liked and I have been using them ever since. So...New Year's Eve has rolled around again and I just wanted to take a minute to look back on 2012!

1-What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
*Visited Portland, Oregon(which I loved!)

*Made my first homemade strawberry-rhubarb pie.

*Was part of a flash mob!
*Discovered Downton Abbey & Instagram.

2-Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but Ashley found out she is expecting baby #2!

3-Did anyone close to you die?
No one really close to me died this year, thankfully. But it did seem like there were so many young people who died this year. It seemed like a sad year because of that.

4-What dates from 2012 will remain etched in your memory and why?
I will always remember Mark's graduation from NC State. We were so proud of him!

We were also so excited for Laura this year. She interned at Digitas in Boston and then ended up getting hired there!

And I will always remember calling our new pastor, Alex Kennedy, to our church and all the neat stories and ways that God led that whole process. So thankful he is here!

5-Did you suffer any illness or injury?
Thankfully I have been pretty healthy this year! So glad I have been protected from all the stomach viruses and flu out there.

6-What was the best thing you bought?
My Kindle Fire! I love it and use it all the time!

7-Where did most of your money go?
Most of our money continues to go to our kids' college and feeding this crew! That is all about to change soon, though!

8-What song will always remind you of 2012?
I think Pontoon by Little Big Town is always and forever going to remind me of David. He loves that song and every time it comes on he starts dancing to it and making us laugh. He loves for us to stand around him in a circle and he's in the middle doing all his moves. It's the cutest thing ever.

Big Green Tractor by Jason Aldean. Need I say more??

If we put this on You Tube, David becomes mesmerized!

Good Night by Gloriana. Steve and I must have heard this a million times on our trip to Portland this summer. It reminds me of the day we spent driving up to Mt. Hood and going to Hood River and all the fun we had!

Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. That is just a fun song. I always think about the US Olympic Swim Team when I hear it!

9-What do you wish you'd done more of/less of?
I am noticing a theme here that every year I wish I would have blogged more! I need to work on that again. And each year I want to try and spend more time reading my Bible and in prayer. I want to grow closer to God every year that I live!

10-What was your favorite TV program?
My new favorite is Downton Abbey...

but I also still love Hoda and Kathie Lee and Amazing Race. Over the summer I LOVED NY Med. And I have heard that Parenthood is really good. I think I'm going to catch up on all the old seasons and maybe try to watch that this year!

11-What is the best book you read this year?
One of my goals this past year was to read more and I actually did it!! Woo hoo! I think I have read about 10 or more books this year and that is an accomplishment for me since I am so busy.

The best book I read this year was Same Kind Of Different As Me--hands down. I absolutely loved it!

12-What was your favorite movie this year?
Hmmmm....I really liked Les Miserable, but I think Argo might have been my favorite.

Honestly, I didn't think there were that many good movies out this year.

13-What did you do on your birthday? How old were you?
Apparently birthdays are becoming less and less important to me because I didn't blog about it again this year and I have no clue what we did! Haha! I do know I turned 48.

14-Did you travel anywhere this year?
Yes, we went on a Maddox Family trip to Europe this summer which was really fun.

Steve and I went to Florida and Portland...


and twice to the NC Mountains.

It was a fun travel year.

15-What national event stirred you the most?
Unfortunately, I will never forget the Sandy Hook shooting this December. It really feels like the world has spun out of control sometimes and it makes me so sad. I am so thankful for a God who is here with us and comforts those who are in pain.

Also, the 2012 Election was important and memorable.

Plus, I loved the Summer Olympics in London! That was so much fun to watch!!

16-Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
This year I am reminded of what a good God we have. He just showers my life with so many blessings. Anytime I feel sad or down, I remember His love and faithfulness and focus on all He has done for me and I am humbled and so grateful. I am praying that 2013 will be another year of learning and growing closer to Him.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lazy Saturday are a few of my mantras just for this week. :)

So far I'm doing a pretty good job living up to them! Haha!

I know next week it will be back to crazy so I'm just enjoying it while it lasts.

This morning we took Steve's mom out to breakfast at a little place that serves really good home-cooked food. I never eat a big breakfast, but it's fun every once in a while!

We came home and Mark got ready to go to a wedding. I thought he looked so handsome. (I know I'm a little prejudiced.)

Did I tell you he just got accepted to American University Law School in Washington, DC? We are so proud of him. That is one of the top law schools in the country for international law (which is what he wants to study). He worked really hard to get to this point, so I am excited for him.

I was in sleepy mode all day today. I went to get my hair cut this afternoon and when she was blow drying my hair, I literally almost fell asleep in the chair. SO relaxing.

Everybody is gone out tonight, so Steve and I went to get some dessert and coffee and now we are just hanging out and watching TV. Tomorrow is church and then back to relaxing. Next week is going to come as a shock after all this being lazy!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

All Is Calm (Finally!)

Don't you love the days after Christmas? I think I might enjoy them as much or more as the days before! It just feels so good to have all the busyness and rushing around behind me and nothing to do but totally relax!

I have been cleaning and doing some laundry, but I haven't tried to do much else. I am not one who takes all the Christmas stuff down the day after Christmas. I know a lot of people do, but I usually leave mine up for about a week or so. That way I can continue to enjoy it for a while longer. I usually try to take everything down around New Year's Day. As long as I get all the rest of the Christmas clutter put away, I am okay with the tree and the lights staying up.

For the past two days we have been doing a whole lot of nothing really. We have just been reading and running little errands and relaxing. David and Ashley have come over and hung out with us so that he could play with his new tractor and I kept him for a while today while Ashley had a doctor's appointment.

Is he the CUTEST thing or what?? He loves Mickey Mouse and got this big one for Christmas.

Last night Steve and I took Laura and Lindy out to dinner and to see Les Miserables.

I thought it was so good. We had a little bit of mixed reviews about it though. Laura and Lindy didn't love it, but Steve thought it was great! (That is a real twist. Usually L & L love musicals and Steve is not so big on them!) I loved the themes of redemption and forgiveness and I thought Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway did an amazing job. It was really long though. And I didn't know that they literally sang every single word in the whole movie practically! I'm sure it is going to win all kinds of awards.

Today was a very cozy, peaceful day at home. It was so cold outside, so I made my friend, Sophia's Creamy Cheesy White Chili for lunch. It was delish! Everybody loved it.

And I finished my latest book on my Kindle Fire. It was Mary Beth Chapman's book Choosing To See. It is just about her life and how God gave her the strength to get through the death of her sweet little girl, Maria, whom she had adopted from China. It was an easy read and it didn't take long at all to finish it.

My kids have been in relaxation mode today, too. Mark is a big reader and he got some good books for Christmas...

And my artsy child, Laura, sat at the table coloring for the longest time today! :)

Steve and Lindy had to work today, but tomorrow is Saturday, so they get to join our relaxation party! The only thing we are missing is the snow that all my blogging friends in Arkansas are getting. That would make it all perfect!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December & Christmas 2012

I think it's pretty obvious from this neglected little blog that December was extremely busy at our house. But it was all good. It was full of time...all the things that make December so special. It would take me a really long time to tell you all about it, so I am just going to highlight some fun things we did.

*Took David to a live nativity scene. We took David to the same live nativity scene that we used to take our own kids to when they were little! It was so sweet. He was really curious about everything and he knows the story of Baby Jesus, so I think it was neat for him to see it acted out.

*Did "Christmas-y" stuff.

Decorated the tree...

Went to look at lights...

Watched our favorite Christmas movies...

And listened to lots of Christmas music...

*Took a trip to Portland, Oregon for Steve's company Christmas party.

I have never been to Portland before this year, but I really like it! Steve and I had so much fun having a weekend away to Christmas shop and relax. It was cold and rainy, but we had the best time anyway!

Plus we got to get all dressed up for a big party with lots of good food, friends, and dancing!

*Chili and Cheer

Every year for the past 12 years, we have gotten together with our neighbors for chili and just hanging out together. Our kids have grown up together and we all feel like one big family. This is one of my favorite nights of the whole Christmas season. Our kids are all grown up now, but they still love each other and have lots of fun getting together.

*Bouldin Family Christmas

In my family, we have decided to stop exchanging gifts with the siblings and instead, we just enjoy getting together and spending time together. We all bring something yummy to eat so it is easy on everybody. I am so thankful for one less stress in our life of trying to figure out what everybody wants and spending more money. All we really want is to spend time together anyway! In this picture, my brother, Blake is telling some kind of funny story and he has everybody listening intently.

This year was extra fun because David is old enough to understand Santa Claus. Plus, my little neices Bailey and Brooklyn are at that magical age where they are really excited about Santa, too. Blake decided to call Santa and he had the best time pretending to see if all of them were on the "naughty" or "nice" list. This was their reaction when they found out they had all made the "nice" list!

I love our family times.

*Christmas Eve

This year, we had one of the BEST Christmas Eve services at our church that I can remember in a long time. I love our new pastor and I loved what he had to say. We had a candlelight service this year and ended the night singing Silent Night accapella and it was just beautiful.

After church, we went over to my parents' house for dinner. It was a nice night.

*Christmas Day

This is the last year that Santa is going to visit our house. All my kids are going to be grown up and out of college, so we decided that it was time for Santa to focus on seeing the kids who need him more. :)

We woke up and opened presents with just our family, then my parents came over along with Ashley, John, and David, and my brother Brent and his family. I always make a big breakfast for everybody and then we opened presents together.

The best part of the morning was David getting his "big green tractor" that he has been wanting for so long! We couldn't wait to see him open it. He had so much fun riding it around in the street. Bless his little southern heart!

Christmas night we went over to Steve's mom's house. We had a good time eating some delicious food and exchanging gifts together! We even did a white elephant ornament exchange this year and that was fun.

It was a wonderful Christmas. I am so thankful and blessed!