Happy New Year! and goals for 2015

For us, the only successful New Year’s Eve parties are planned at the last minute. Try to schedule a week or two ahead of time and it all falls apart. Invite your friends the day before and everything comes together beautifully.

My sister was in town and we decided to split the responsibilities– I did food and cleaning up the house, she did decor and activities. Mine was the better end of the deal by far; but Ruth made it magical. Since these are the only photos I took while they were visiting, I’m including quite a few.

While the little boys helped me peel potatoes, Ruth went shopping with the girls.

Eighteen balloons with helium and a bag of fifty to scatter on the floor.

Molly chased the balloons all night long.

We thought we were SO funny, filling the bathroom with balloons. Even more amusing is none of our guests mentioned the orb filled room– they just pushed them aside.

Big parties always call for butcher paper covering the table. We scattered pens all over the table so everyone could write New Year’s predictions.


By far the best activity of the night was creating New Year’s hats. Trust me. You need to make these at your next NYE party. It’s the perfect ice breaker and creative outlet.

Even the missionaries made party hats. I sent photos to their moms.

Hans didn’t want to leave the pets out.

As friends started arriving, the kids were more than happy to help them with hats.

Writing predictions on the table, while Hans embellishes Ellie’s phone with a few stars. It was a very, very good night to be a teenage boy. Our house was full of beautiful girls.

Thinking hard about his predictions.

Next, CANDY GAMBLE. I’m sure I’ve talked about it on this blog before. The rules are simple: gather a basket full of candy and a pair of dice. If you roll doubles or a seven you can take candy out of the basket or from another person. Stop when all the candy is gone or three people cry–whichever comes first.

I love that I can spy Hans eating clementines in every photo.

After the gamble, some cute people went home early.

and others had trouble staying awake.

But at midnight everyone came to life:

poppers, streamers, horns

the can-can

 a conga line around the kitchen,

and a photo on Instagram.

After everyone went home, we had a table covered with abandoned hats and predictions… approx. 50% included kissing and/or Taylor Swift. The bag of confetti stars covered every surface. As our friend Rich began sweeping up he said, “It’s such a big mess it seems pointless. But then I thought, “it matters to this star…””

Raise your hand if you’ve heard the starfish on the beach story ten thousand times.

EI3C5710 copyIt was futile, the stars are still everywhere– all over my front porch and stuck in the cracks of the floor. Every time I sweep one up it makes me happy– I hope they never disappear.

p.s. I’ve decided to forego all goals that require luck, like losing weight or winning the lottery (equally unlikely). Instead, I’m trying to enjoy life. To focus on everything good and forget the bad. And to roast more vegetables. ‘Cause I love roasted vegetables and I need to expand my repertoire.

December 31, 2014
January 15, 2015



  1. Kerri

    January 11, 2015

    What a happy party! I may steal many of your ideas for another year…this year we had 50 14-15 year olds at our house and the remnants of that party are not as fun as confetti stars!

  2. catania

    January 12, 2015

    Beautiful post.

    And I love roasted veggies, too… Lately my favorite has been roasted carrots and broccoli, with olive oil, Kosher salt, garlic, and about a tbs of dried dill. 🙂

    Happy new year!

  3. Emily C.

    January 12, 2015

    This simple broccoli has become one of our favorites. Enjoy 2015! http://shaunaniequist.com/saras-broccoli-game-changer/

  4. Kathleen W.

    January 12, 2015

    What a fun party ! Candy Gamble sounds like a great game, will remember it for our next party. I agree, no resolutions, just going to enjoy life and not worry about the little stuff. Best wishes for 2015!

  5. ellen patton

    January 14, 2015

    now that’s a party!

  6. Kim

    January 14, 2015

    So festive! I love it! I predict…lots of fun memories for the Lehnardts in 2015!

  7. Cath

    January 16, 2015

    It mattered to this star! Hehe! love it. And what an incredible party! Loved every photo.

  8. Thor Lindstrom

    February 4, 2015

    Thanks for your article @ young men and young women serving missions. I’m so torn whether to like your article via FB, as I’m currently serving as a bishop in a ward along the Wasatch Front. I so agree with your comments. We’ve had a combined 5th Sunday with all adults, sharing the message of how to treat those who don’t serve or who (for whatever reason) end up coming home earlier. Have 7 priests who are all seniors, met with them and parents a month ago and shared alot of pre-mission information. First and foremost, quoted President Monson’s comments about the age change.
    Best wishes in your efforts to change this aspect of our “culture” that needs to change.

    Thor Lindstrom

  9. Katie W

    December 2, 2017

    That missionary is my cousin! Elder Connell is my connection to Michelle Lehnardt, famous person ?.

    As always, thank you so much for your blog. It uplifts and inspires me! I don’t think you will ever know the true positive impact of this blog.

    • mlehnardt8@msn.com

      December 4, 2017

      He’s your cousin! How fun! I am so not famous but I appreciate your kindness and support!

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