Category Archives: making stuff

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April ING Journal | doctors and dentists


After a nice morning walk with my Mom, I pulled out my ING Journal and took about 10 minutes to jot down what’s been going on in my head and heart and life lately. I didn’t write in the journal in March, but that’s OK. It can be done whenever, as often as you want. No rules. What matters is jotting down these little snippets of your life, a simple record of what’s happening on that day.

My life lately has been full of a lot of book preparation, but there have been other things going on in our daily life as well. Things that, to me, are stressful. Doctor and dentist appointments, especially, which I mentioned in the journal.

I’m not very good when it comes to needles. When I had my blood drawn or had an IV during my pregnancy, I could not watch. I had to look away. Last week, I took Chloe to the doctor because she had a bump on her eyelid that the doctor thought was a simple cyst that could be drained. He had to numb her eyelid and make an incision then stitch her back up, all with me sitting across the room. She was so brave, but I could see her legs tense up every time she felt pain and I felt so helpless. It took the doctor forever to stitch her eye, too, and I was starting to feel very queasy. Thankfully, there was no fainting on my part. But it was not just a simple cyst. It was more of a hard bump that needs to be removed surgically, so we have to take her back again. :(

I also had to face my fear of the dentist this week. I’m embarrassed to admit that it has been many years since I last went, due to childhood fears. The hygienist was so wonderful and got me through it with a lot of kindness and patience. She was very happy with the condition of my teeth and gums. I told her I can’t stand to start and end my day without brushing and I floss fairly regularly, so I know that helped. My teeth were not free of cavities, though, which I pretty much expected. But there was only one that needed immediate attention, so I go back … tomorrow to have that taken care of. If you think of it, say a little prayer for me. I could use it. One of my big fears is that needle. I’m also going to try to do it without the “laughing gas”. Last time I had the nitrous, it made me super dizzy afterwards, which I did not like. So I’m going to attempt it without. Extra prayers that I can make it through without, but the doctor said it’s there if I need it. ;)

Today, we go back to the doctor to get Chloe’s stitches removed. That should be an easier appointment than the last one. I hope.

Here is the full ING Journal page. Click for larger image.

You can purchase your own copy of the ING Journal.
Available in these colors:
GREENGREYBLUE
Click color to place order.!

hello, monday


• Longest weekend ever. Jake had a bad cold a couple weeks ago and, when he sneezed, he ruptured a disk in his back. Because of this, he’s had pain in his shoulder and arm and can only sleep on his right side at night. This means that he is facing me. Not that I don’t love his face, but he snores loudly, which has woken me just about once every hour for the past week. Needless to say, I’m tired. One night, I just couldn’t take it and I went and slept on our uncomfortable couch. I don’t think I’ve gotten more than 1-2 hours of sleep in a row in the past five days and that is wearing on me.

• The BEST news of the weekend is that I finished editing Goodbye, Magnolia and some of my “Launch team” (more on that in a day or two!) has started to read the manuscript. I had this moment the other night, where I was in the final read, down to the final few chapters. I added a sentence to one chapter and then, when I reached the end, I referred back to it and it wrapped the whole thing up so nicely. I started crying because I was so happy, and I really felt that God gave me that specific line just for that purpose. It’s so amazing when that happens.

• Got my proof of the little Helen Keller quote notebook I put together and that is now available in my Etsy shop HERE!

• Because of the lack of sleep, I was not feeling well to go to church on Sunday. The day was spent resting and catching up on laundry and dishes. Chloe helped me so much the last couple days. She cleaned and vacuumed our stairs. She washed the bathroom sink. She washed her own bedding and a load of her clothes. And she cleaned and organized her room. Now if only I could get Zach to do even one of those things. ;)

• Chloe and I made “lip balm” together. She had seen a YouTube video explaining how to make it and asked me to help her. Basically, you melt solid coconut oil in the microwave for 30-60 seconds (depends on how powerful your microwave is), put a chunk of old lipstick you don’t use on a spoon and heat the spoon from below with a lighter until the lipstick melts, pour that into the liquid coconut oil, stir the two together, pour into a small container or old lip balm tin, refrigerate for like 30 minutes. Voila! It was fun to try. You have to keep rubbing your finger back and forth on it so the heat from your finger will melt the oil so you can use it, and it’s very oily as coconut oil gets when it melts, but it does give you a little tint of color along with moist, shiny lips. DIY fun!

• THIS WEEK. I’m working on book promotion stuff while the team is reading the manuscript. Also planning a little “me time” with my Project Life albums this week. And very soon … I’ll be sharing the BOOK RELEASE DATE! Yeah!

Happy Monday, everyone!

hello, monday’s list



Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend. Monday morning posts around here are usually lists. A couple years ago, I started posting them regularly and called them “Monday’s List” until I changed it recently to “Hello, Monday”. It’s basically a breakdown of what we did over the weekend. I like lists. I like bullet points. It’s how I usually lay out these posts. Today, I thought I’d do a random bullet point list of the kinds of things I’ve shared on Monday’s posts over the past couple years.

• It’s a Monday. I can tell. 5.6.13

• Jake went to hang out with his nerd friends (hehe! Love you, honey!) on Saturday. 6.24.13

• We watched Nik Wallenda walk the wire across the Grand Canyon with no harness on the Discovery Channel. Oh my goodness. I was so nervous, especially since it was live. 6.24.13

• At the farm, I got stung on the forehead by a bee. 7.1.13

• Chloe taught me and Tim “The Cup Song” from Pitch Perfect. That was fun. And loud when we all did it at the same time. 7.22.13

• Went to our first drive-in movie theater. We really enjoyed it and even saw a shooting star! 9.9.13

• Zach had a friend over after school on Friday. I got a taste of what it would be like to have two teenage boys. 9.23.13

• Had more than one splurge meal this weekend. Back to healthy eating today. 10.7.13

• We are home from Florida and already wishing we were back beside the pool in the warm sun. Everything is covered in inches upon inches of snow that fell while we were away. 12.16.13

• Finished the final edit (I hope!) on my book. I’m so excited about this. I want you guys to read it and hope that will be a reality very soon. 2.24.14

• Spent several hours scanning more of Grandma’s negatives. Every time I scan, I find new moments to cherish. 3.24.14

• The message at church on Sunday was so good – all about overcoming your past. A good message for anyone to hear. It doesn’t matter what your past looks like. God will forgive. It may not be easy to let go of the things you can’t change, the things you wish you could take back, but God promises hope and a bright future. Just hold on. 5.5.14

• The thunder is booming outside and heavy rain is pelting the roof, but I am remembering the warm sun and lovely breezes at Mom + Dad O’s on the east side of the state. 5.12.14

• This weekend was ALL about the book launch. It was kind of a quiet moment, actually. Alone in my office, no big fanfare or anything. I hit the “approve” button and, soon after, it was out there for the world to see. 5.19.14

• Amidst the weekend fun, the family time, the bbq’ing, and the extra day off, I’m remembering the reason we get to enjoy such things, the reason we have the freedoms we have in this country. It’s all because of the men and women, who have lost their lives protecting those freedoms. And I am so grateful. 5.26.14

• Mom and I went to Sam’s Club to pick up some glorious coconut oil. Do you know how many uses there are for that stuff? We were introduced to it by Marsha when we were on vacation. Had to go get us some. 6.23.14

• Ever have one of those nights where you spend most of it staring up at the ceiling, unable to drift off to sleep, your mind whirling with things you have to do, need to do, want to do? Yeah, that was me on Sunday night, which is probably why I did not feel very well yesterday. 7.1.14

• I am very heartbroken to hear of Robin Williams passing. He was so beloved by so many, us included. 8.12.14

• My weekend was spent with Michael, Jim, Pam, Dwight and the rest of the gang on “The Office”. 8.18.14

• Welcome to the first full week of November! I was awakened to the sound of a Christmas song playing on the radio on my alarm clock. What? 11.3.14

• The highlight of Chloe’s day was getting to meet 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist, Carly Patterson. She was star struck. It was so cute to watch and Carly was as nice as could be. 12.8.14

And TODAY’S LIST …

• The kids had SNOW DAY #9. Really, it was “Extreme Cold” day since the wind chills were like -30 F. We were happy to have a long weekend.

• I worked like a mad woman on my book and made it through the big edit. Editing can be tedious, but I’m loving every minute of it and I know it will be so worth it when I’ve got the finished product in hand and available for all of you to read.

• All this time I’m spending at the computer is making my eyes/head hurt. Guess it’s time for an eye exam.

• We had an extra daughter around here since Chloe had her BFF over for a couple days. It’s nice having another girl in the house and listening to them giggle and talk and sing. We ate too much pizza and junk food, watched lots of tv and movies, took the girls to open gym to flip around for a while on Saturday, and took her home after church on Sunday.

• Jake and Zach had a guys night with some of Jake’s friends, hanging out, playing a nerdy D&D game. ;)

• Jake finished creation of a ship almost completely out of foam core board. He made the entire thing from scratch, did all the painting and everything. It’s very impressive! (SEE HEADER PICTURE at the TOP of this post!)

And … on to today’s giveaway!

GIVEAWAY INFO: There are four ways to enter through the giveaway box below and each will get you five entries in the drawing.

• The first option is the only one you HAVE to do in order to be entered. I’ll ask one question in every day’s giveaway. You just have to enter your name and email address, give a brief response to the question, and you’re in the drawing.

If you want more chances to win, you can …
• Join my mailing list (if you already have, enter your email address so I can verify)
• Tweet about the giveaway and copy/paste the link from Twitter
• SHARE about the giveaway and the BLOG-IVERSARY on your own blog, Facebook*, Pinterest, etc. and link to that as well.

All giveaways will end on my actual BLOG-IVERSARY, Thursday, February 26th, so the giveaways will all be OPEN until then.
The winners will be announced in a blog post on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27th!

* Note: If you share on a private Facebook account and we aren’t “friends”, make sure you change the audience of that one post to “public” so I can see it. ;)

TODAY’S GIVEAWAY

Last month on Instagram, I shared this b&w striped graphic that I created using a Helen Keller quote I’d seen one day. I liked it so much that I decided to make it into a notebook that will soon find its way to my Etsy shop. It’s about 6×8 in size and has little dotted line pages inside.

Enter below. Tell a friend!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CLICK HERE to see all the GIVEAWAYS on one page! Make sure you enter them ALL! ;)

Happy Monday! See ya back here TOMORROW!

so many pages



These are just some of the scrapbook pages I’ve shared here on the blog over the years. I love this hobby. I’ve gotten away from the traditional style of scrapbooking in favor of the simpler Project Life way of documenting our life, but it’s all good. I love that I’ve got those old scrapbooks that show my style at that time and that it keeps changing as I grow and change. It’s been a big part of my life and a big part of this blog from the beginning. I’ve shared many traditional scrapbooking pages, digital layouts, pages I made when I was on Heather’s design team, and layouts from my time on the Project Life® Creative Team last year.

Because of this hobby and this blog, I have found many wonderful ladies that encourage and bless me with their friendship. Each one documents their life in creative ways that inspire and motivate me to do the same. Some I have met in person, some I only know online. All are so special and I’m thankful for each one of them.

If you’d like to see all the posts I’ve written under “scrapbooking”, click HERE and when you get to the bottom of each page, just keep clicking “Older posts in this category”. There are like 15 pages of posts, so grab a cup of coffee or tea, sit back and enjoy.

On to the giveaway …

GIVEAWAY INFO: There are four ways to enter through the giveaway box below and each will get you five entries in the drawing.

• The first option is the only one you HAVE to do in order to be entered. I’ll ask one question in every day’s giveaway. You just have to enter your name and email address, give a brief response to the question, and you’re in the drawing.

If you want more chances to win, you can …
• Join my mailing list (if you already have, enter your email address so I can verify)
• Tweet about the giveaway and copy/paste the link from Twitter
• SHARE about the giveaway and the BLOG-IVERSARY on your own blog, Facebook*, Pinterest, etc. and link to that as well.

All giveaways will end on my actual BLOG-IVERSARY, next Thursday, February 26th, so the giveaways will all be OPEN until then.
The winners will be announced in a blog post on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27th!

* Note: If you share on a private Facebook account and we aren’t “friends”, make sure you change the audience of that one post to “public” so I can see it. ;)

TODAY’S GIVEAWAY

This year for me is all about the one little word LEARN and one of the things I wanted to learn to do was design a scrapbook kit that would work for my Project Life albums. So a couple weeks ago, I sat down at my computer and gave it a go. This kit was totally inspired by a Bible verse I read recently, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24. As soon as I read it, I thought it would make a great theme for a kit, so I took the honeycomb idea and went crazy with it. This kit is what I came up with!

I’m giving this digital kit away to 5 WINNERS! This is not a physical product. It is digital, but you can print the cards to use in physical albums if you want.

Enter below. Tell a friend!


CLICK HERE to see more images of the cards!
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CLICK HERE to see all the GIVEAWAYS on one page!

Hope you’re having a wonderful week! SEE YA BACK HERE TOMORROW!

10 YEARS!

You’re here! I’m so excited! On February 26, 2005, I started this blog, and for the next two weeks, I will be looking back at the past TEN YEARS of blogging!

Ten years has gone by in the blink of an eye. At least, it seems so at times. I’ve been browsing back through old posts and, while the style of my photos (lots of borders and filters in the early days) has changed, the core of the posts has not. It started with a few posts about my kids and that’s pretty much the same today. I wrote about things we did, places we traveled, movies I loved, following my love of photography into a business, family, friends, parties, scrapbooking, memories, happy times, sad times, publishing my novel. So much of our life.

Ten years is a really long time.

So, for the next TEN DAYS, I will be looking back, sharing old photos and favorite posts, and there will be GIVEAWAYS!!!

GIVEAWAY INFO: There are four ways to enter through the giveaway box below and each will get you five entries in the drawing.

• The first option is the only one you HAVE to do in order to be entered. I’ll ask one question in every day’s giveaway. You just have to enter your name and email address, give a brief response to the question, and you’re in the drawing.

If you want more chances to win, you can …
• Join my mailing list (if you already have, enter your email address so I can verify)
• Tweet about the giveaway and copy/paste the link from Twitter
• SHARE about the giveaway and the BLOG-IVERSARY on your own blog, Facebook*, Pinterest, etc. and link to that as well.

All giveaways will end on my actual BLOG-IVERSARY, next Thursday, February 26th, so the giveaways will all be OPEN until then.
The winners will be announced in a blog post on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27th!

* Note: If you share on a private Facebook account and we aren’t “friends”, make sure you change the audience of that one post to “public” so I can see it. ;)

TODAY’S GIVEAWAY!

I’ve got a paperback copy of my first young adult novel ready to sign. The Truth About Drew was published last May.
It’s a sweet, uplifting, heart-warming story full of friendship and family with a journey to faith and a mystery surrounding a boy and his notebook.
Enter below. Tell a friend! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions at all about the giveaway, feel free to ask.

SEE YA BACK HERE TOMORROW!

something new


Happy weekend, guys! This is rare since I don’t usually post here on the weekends, but I got the itch to create something and I decided to share.

Last month, I read through the book of Proverbs. A chapter a day. One of the verses I came across was Proverbs 16:24, which says “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” I loved that and jotted it down in my notebook. And it crossed my mind that the verse and the honeycomb theme would be a cute idea for cards for my Project Life album. It’s been in the back of my mind for a few weeks now and on Friday evening, I dove in.

This is my first time designing cards to use in my albums and it was fun. Slow at times with lots of mistakes and scrapping things I didn’t like and redoing cards that needed a little extra something, but I enjoyed putting this together.

Click image to purchase

I’ve had an Etsy shop for several years, but haven’t really done much with it. Recently, I listed my pocket calendars and The ING journal and a print I designed there. So that’s where you’ll find this kit and any other future creations. :)

I put together this layout using my cards and pictures from my cousin Sarah’s wedding. The colors went so well together. I love how it turned out.

Click for larger image

LEFT SIDE

Click for larger image

RIGHT SIDE

Click for larger image

SUPPLIES USED: (click the product name to purchase)
Honeycomb Pocket Scrapbooking Kit
Project Life Design A pocket pages

Have a wonderful Sunday!

best of 2014

Happy Christmas Eve!

This will be my last post of the year (unless I decide to pop in once or twice next week) and I wanted to again share the “best of”, some of my favorites from 2014. I did this back in 2002, too. It’s such a fun post to put together – looking back through all the photos from the year, reminiscing, thinking about all we’ve done, the good times, the challenges, all of it. Choosing just the highlights is tough. I went through each month’s photo folder and copied all the favorites from that month into a separate folder on my desktop titled “Best of 2014″, then pared them down more once the folder was filled with hundreds of photos.

There are still a LOT of photos in this post, so be patient while they load, then sit back and enjoy my favorites of 2014!

Click above photo to see all my Project Life posts from the year





Click above photo to read about Chloe’s elementary principal jumping from an airplane












Click above photo to see more from our nephew Alex’s wedding”







Click above photo to visit my SHOP and purchase any of the above books/calendars

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you! THANK YOU so much for all your love and support in 2014. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings.

Click above image to read today’s devotion over at She Reads Truth!

our christmas cards

Yesterday was my second day of Christmas shopping. I don’t love to shop, especially at Christmastime when the stores are packed full of people, but I went to Barnes & Noble in the morning and there was barely anyone there, which was so nice. I’m not a fan of crowds, so it was wonderful to browse the store without having to maneuver around people or wait until they were finished looking at something I wanted to look at. Jake and I used to go to B&N all the time and just browse the books and have coffee. I need to do that more often. I love it there, surrounded by all those books.

Today, I thought I would share what I did for our Christmas cards this year. I had grand plans. On Thanksgiving day, we went to my parents’ farm and my plan was to take the usual family picture for Mom in front of the Christmas tree with Mom & Dad, my brothers, and us. Then we would go outside and take some pictures of just our little family. It’s been a couple years since we had our last family picture taken and I wanted new ones to make cute cards with.

But things don’t always go as planned.

As I’ve already shared here, I got a nasty stomach bug while we were at my parents house that day and spent the whole time lying on their bathroom floor trying not to lose my lunch. I was able to take the big family picture for Mom when the stomach cramps took a little break, but things only got worse for me as the day went on and Jake took me home early. So … no family pictures this year. :(

I was sad and decided I would just go with regular cards this year with … no picture … gasp!

So I picked up a few designs of boxed cards at Target (these three and the “happy holidays” design – below left). I love all of the Green Inspired brand of cards there.

But I was still sad, knowing how much I love getting cards with family pictures in them. It was bugging me every time I thought about sitting down to work on them. So I decided to make a little collage of a few favorite photos from the year and include a sentence or two about each of us. I used a card from the digital version of the Project Life® Seasons Mini Kit and came up with this.


Prints were made and attached to the inside of each card. It wasn’t what I had originally envisioned for our cards, but it worked.

Thank you to everyone who sent us a Christmas card this year so far. They’re all tucked among the branches of our Christmas tree with messages of hope and joy and love and your beautiful smiles greeting us daily. We are thankful for all of you.

hello, monday | cards and calendars


This was my weekend. Well, not all of it, but a good chunk. My hand had a serious cramp in it after addressing envelopes. But I loved every minute of it, the entire process of going down the list, addressing each card, checking off the names as I go. Maybe I’m a little crazy, but it’s seriously fun for me.

Our weekend started off with some shopping with my Mom. Finally! Crossed a lot of things off my list. Best moment of the day … after searching for a very specific shirt for our picky girl, we stopped into Old Navy and I found the exact one, except they only had size XL women’s. I was so bummed, but then Mom noticed that the display shirt on the end, which had been all styled up with a sweater and belt over it, was a size XS petite! You better believe we disassembled the nicely styled display and snatched it up as quickly as possible. LOL!

Then our girl spent the night at a friend’s for a birthday party. She was so tired when she came home. Ah, I remember that sleepiness that comes from staying up until the wee hours of the morning at slumber parties. Good times!

Besides the Christmas cards, I photographed The Truth About Drew in front of our tree, because it’s on sale 15% off for the holidays (see yesterday’s post), and I took a few pictures of the calendar I made for myself that I’ve made available for you.

Very simple 4×6’ish (a little bigger than that) two-year calendars with just the monthly calendar and a space for notes along the left. I did not to include holidays or the cycles of the moon or anything like that. ;) I wanted a small blank calendar just for jotting down our plans, the kids school schedule, gymnastics practices, etc. Something I could keep in my purse or on my desk to refer to and not have to lug a big planner around. I still prefer to write things down rather than rely on my phone calendar. I’ve tried the electronic calendar route, but I just don’t like it. So I made this for myself. They are available to purchase through a link in the SHOP!

Hope you have a very happy last full week before Christmas. Yikes!

the ING journals


They’re ready! You guys, I have been working really hard on these, designing the pages, laying them out, resizing, uploading, proofing, fixing issues, proofing again, fixing more issues, proofing again. And they are finally good to go!

I’ve had it in my head and my overflowing idea notebook to make a journal of some kind for a while now. I jotted down a list of a zillion different ones I could make and one of those ideas was inspired by bloggers posting “ing” lists or “Around Here” or “Today” or whatever they call their lists. I’ve called mine various things. But I thought “What about people who don’t have blogs?” and then I thought it might be fun to put together a list of “ing” words in book form. So, I decided to JUST GO FOR IT!

I sat down and wrote out as many “ing” words as I could think of and narrowed it down to my 14 favorites for this journal. There are 24 “ing” lists amidst blank pages for journaling or making your own lists or traditional journaling or thoughts or ideas or whatever you want to use them for. I think the most important thing is just documenting where you’re at on one day in your life. And you don’t have to be a writer or spend a ton of time on it. Just a few minutes to jot down what you’re doing, reading, eating, watching, thinking, planning, feeling, etc. Easy peasy!

You can purchase your own copy of The ING Journal. Available in these colors:
GREENGREYBLUE
Click color to place order.

If you have ANY questions, please write me HERE. I will be offline a bit over the next few days for the Thanksgiving holiday, but I will reply as soon as I can.

BLACK FRIDAY is COMING! If you’d like to be included in a little COUPON CODE, sign up for my newsletter. Subscribers are the only ones who will get the code, so sign up today!

I will also be releasing little 4×6’ish (they are a tad bigger than that), pocket size Month-at-a-Glance calendars in the same colors as the journals. Those are still in the proofing process, though, so it might be a little longer before they’re ready to go. Here’s a little peek at what those will look like.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving! Love you guys!

AJAXed with AWP