family retreat 2014


this weekend was our family retreat. my very favorite weekend of the year!












this year we decided to stay in town rather than renting a cabin in the woods. because december was so busy with holiday travel, it was nice to just settle into home. our little farm feels so cozy with our wood burning stove, animals at pasture, a walk down to the pond & a big table for feasting. we all agreed that it might be nice to just stay here every year. 

our family retreat tradition is always shared with luke's parents & siblings. his parents' decision years ago to begin this tradition of getting together at the start of every year is one i greatly look forward to & will for certain continue as our little family grows. as always, the activities of the weekend were the same- fun, meaningful & relaxing. 

we spent time outdoors together, but this year's added bonus of goat kids made our weekend even sweeter. we played family games (my first time playing settlers of catan! i lost miserably) & enjoyed delicious meals around the table. we reflected on 2013 & the many adventures & disappointments it held for our family.

we also looked into 2014 with intention. individually we made goals & commitments for the new year, but we also did this as a family. as luke & i spent a couple of hours together envisioning what 2014 might look like for our family,  i realized that we hadn't done this in some time. 

when we first married & we were learning what life looked like together, we discussed our goals often. as years have passed & we have grown busier, we have let these conversations go. not intentionally, of course, but more so absentmindedly. we still have goals together as a family, but this last year has made it incredibly difficult to focus on where we are going when each day we feel so tired with the balance of our work life & the farm. it was so good, so healthy, to sit down together & refocus our lives together. i cherish my husband & the threads that weave our lives together as one. this year i want to fight for time together. he is my favorite person after all.

love,
natalie

11 comments:

Jackson Love said...

Love this!! So excited to see what comes for you guys in 2014! the pictures are beautiful... Grace and I need to come see the farm and those kids before they get too big to be enjoyed by admirers!!

Happy New Year!!

Kelly said...

Natalie... What a refreshing way to start the new year.... Thanks for sharing... I love your whole heartness towards family and life.... and can never get enough of the baby goats....

PS. What are your thoughts on that game? I almost bought it at Target this past weeke-end but it was kinda pricey and don't know much about it? Would you recommend it?

natalie said...

Kelly, I would definitely recommend the game. Super fun & enjoyable for all ages!

The Stanfields said...

Great tradition! My hubby and I actually talked about doing something similar but just for us (no kiddos or other family) so we could discuss goals/budget/etc for the upcoming year but I love the idea of including everyone! Thanks so much for sharing!

jen said...

i love this idea; what a great tradition to start for a young family.

i just started reading your blog, and my non-resolution new year's idea is to relate with other bloggers instead of just reading their blogs. so i'm timidly beginning to make comments.

i enjoy taking peeks into your farm life. we were hoping for a farm, but God has other plans for us right now. thanks for sharing.

Alison @ Notyetwhatweshallbe.wordpress.com said...

Sounds - and looks - like such a sweet weekend :) I'm glad you and Luke were able to take some time to refocus on your marriage and excited to see what God has for you in 2014, both individually and as a couple :)

Hayley said...

I am so in love with this idea and your precious family. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us and inspiring us all with your wonderful words and photos.

Kaylan said...

Beautiful post Natalie! Your goats are just darling and I so appreciate that last paragraph about your personal family goals. xo

Mary said...

that pic of you is PERFECTION.
perfection! so so gorgeous!
and this tradition is so very special.

love ya!
xo

shayna said...

i love settlers of catan! also, after being married for 8 years, i have recently (sad to say, just recently) realized the importance of fighting to spend time together as husband and wife. happy 2014!

Fanny said...

I love this idea!! I just have to try next year!! Thanks for sharing!

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