Category Archives: Monday’s List

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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!

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!

hello, monday


Hello, Monday.

We celebrated my birthday on Friday (a couple weeks late ’cause it was the only day that worked) at my parents’ house with dinner, cake ‘n ice cream, and movie night. We finally watched Gravity. Oh my goodness. On the edge of my seat the whole time. Sandra Bullock is such a great actress. If you haven’t seen this one yet, I highly recommend it. We sat and watched the documentary afterwards about all the trash up in space. Kind of crazy to think about all the dead satellites and other junk that is just floating up there and what damage all that debris can do to the space station and other satellites. Scary.

Saturday was a day of rest. We were gonna go see a movie, but I have been sick for the past week with a bad cough and I needed that day to just relax. And I ran a bunch of loads of laundry, too. ;)

Sunday after church, we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy. Yes! We love the show Parks and Rec and Chris Pratt as Andy on there. He is the lead in Guardians and I didn’t think it was possible to love that guy more than I already did, but I was wrong. He’s so great in this and the movie was just a lot of fun. Very funny and entertaining with a few tear-jerker moments thrown in, too. Chloe and I were almost bawling in the first five minutes.

Today is when Becky will be choosing a winner for the giveaway of a signed copy of my book, The Truth About Drew. There may still be time to enter HERE! And thank you to everyone who entered and left such nice comments on Becky’s blog for me. You are all so sweet. <3

*Note: The link to Gravity is an amazon affiliate link.

monday’s list


Favorite 4th of July photo from this year! Jake ended up being the one to light all the fireworks over at his sister’s house and this type of bottle rocket had a little more get up and go than he expected. :)

The 4th
We had a nice long weekend together. People in our neighborhood started shooting off fireworks on “Independence Eve”, so Chloe and I turned off the lights in her room and watched out the window. Lots of big ones on all sides of us.

On the 4th, Jake and I were up before the kids and we watched THIS CLIP from the movie John Adams that I always love to watch on Independence Day. I also saw online that the Star Spangled Banner is 200 years old this year. :)


In the evening, Jake’s sister Brenda invited us over to their house for some fireworks. It was a lot of fun. They invited all their neighbors and several came. The kids enjoyed sparklers and s’mores while Jake lit all the fireworks. They picked up some pretty big ones this year. It was pretty impressive. And, once again, just about every neighbor was lighting off the big ones, too, so it was like a nonstop show for a couple hours. We even saw some chinese lanterns floating by at one point, which was so pretty. I love those.

BOOK SALE!
I realized today that I posted this on every other form of social media except my blog. :P But it’s not too late. My book’s on sale for $1.99 on KINDLE through tomorrow, Tuesday July 8th. Snatch it up now before the price goes up. CLICK HERE!

If you are someone who would rather read a physical copy of the book, sign up for my NEWSLETTER now to receive a special coupon code for a discount off the paperback.

Also, I want to say THANK YOU to those who have taken advantage of the sale and purchased the book. My book bumped up to #15 on the teen religious fiction top 100 best sellers list on Amazon this weekend and has remained in the top 100 ever since.

THE NEW BOOK
“You have to be willing to open your heart again, even at the risk of being broken.”

This is a line from my new book. Last night, Maggie (my main character) learned something huge about her “adversary” and took a big step forward. It was inevitable really. If you stay in one place for too long, wallowing in your past hurts, you’re never going to grow or be able to move on. I actually felt really proud of her.

And … I think I have a title for the book. Not sure I’ve settled on it. We shall see.

Happy Monday, everyone!

our weekend and mini album sneak peek


I was a little under the weather yesterday and didn’t touch my computer all day, so Monday’s List did not happen. But it was a nice weekend. Here’s a quick rundown:

• We took the kids to the beach on Saturday and relaxed for a few hours then got some ice cream on the way home. Then Jake took me out that night for dinner at Olive Garden and to see The Fault In Our Stars. Our first date in what seems like forever. Must really make date nights higher on our priority list.

Did you see The Fault In Our Stars? I actually liked it much better than the book. That seems the opposite of how it usually is with books made into movies, but I did.

• Sunday afternoon was spent at my parents’ house celebrating my brother’s birthday. It was kind of muggy out, so we stayed in and played Sequence, our new favorite.

When we got home, we finished the final few episodes of The Office. We’ve been slowly working our way through the entire series over the past few months and we were very happy with how they ended it. Very fun and heartwarming ending. So sad when you finish a series. What shall we watch next? Any recommendations?

• 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.

Despite my lack of sleep, I had to take Chloe to gymnastics practice. Then she hurt her foot and I had to go get her early ’cause she was freaking out that she broke it (nope!) and needed to go to the hospital (nope!). Silly girl. We iced it for twenty minutes and she was back to running around the house like normal. Drama drama drama!

• You might have noticed the album pics above. That is what I’ve been working on over the past week. A completed Project Life® mini album from our OBX vacation. I’ll be sharing the full album within the next week. It turned out really cute and was so simple and quick. Love that the memories are off my computer and in a book that we can all look at and enjoy.

monday’s list


It was a lovely yet emotional weekend here. Jake and the kids went to his sister’s house to celebrate our niece, Scarlett’s 4th birthday, while my Mom and I traveled north to celebrate the marriage of my dear friend, Beth, and her hubby, Jeff.

• Friday •
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.

Took the kids to Chuck E Cheese for lunch. No, my kids are not little anymore, but it’s been kind of a tradition to go there every year or two, ever since my brothers and I were kids. We even went when we were in our 20’s and had no kids. haha! Yes, we are crazy, but it’s one of those fun traditions that we still continue.

Chloe had a fun gymnastics party. All the team girls spent the evening jumping around at the gym, eating pizza and lots of junk food, then spent the night in sleeping bags spread out all over the gym – some on the floor, some on the trampolines, etc. Fun! She had a blast!

• Saturday •
Jake and the kids headed across the state. I was so sad to miss sweet Scarlett’s birthday party. My little family spent the night, so they got to spend lots of time there with the family. Jealous!

But I would not have missed Beth and Jeff’s wedding party for anything. They were married back in February, on Valentines Day actually, down in North Carolina, where they live. It was a small justice of the peace ceremony, but she knew she wanted to have a renewing of vows ceremony here in Michigan so her Dad, who has not had the best health in recent years, could walk her down the aisle. On Saturday at 3pm, that happened. It was very sweet and a couple of her nieces walked the aisle with her as well, so that was really special. I took pictures, of course. She had asked me to stand up with her, but I just knew that she would love having those pictures and I couldn’t be in two places at once. She agreed. I was standing up there, I was just taking pictures instead of standing next to her. :) It was a very nice afternoon with friends.

When I got home, the house was empty and quiet. Sometimes I crave the quiet, but when my family is gone, I miss them. And the quiet makes my mind wander and my thoughts turned to the past and I shed more than a few tears. I think I needed the time to myself. They were healing tears.

• Sunday •
I had pretty much all day to myself with Jake and the kids still gone, so I started sorting through pictures from our vacation for this month’s Project Life. I’m going to fill up a cute little mini album with my favorites from our trip. Excited to get those printed and pick out cute cards to use with them in the album. It’s been a few weeks since I did any Project Life and I’m itching to get some more memories recorded.

Jake and the kids arrived home around dinnertime. It was good to have them home. I missed my cute little family. They shared photos they took and I was thankful that they like to take pictures as much as I do. Even though I wasn’t there, we’ll still have lots of photos for the Project Life album.

All in all, a very good weekend and official first days of Summer!

monday’s list


• It’s the first Monday of summer vacation! Yeah!

• Chloe went to a birthday sleepover on Friday night for some new friends (twins) that she made in her class this year. They stayed up late, ate junk food, and jumped in the cold pool on a 60 degree day for a “cold water challenge”. She had a great time and we discovered that her friends live only five minutes from us, so I’m sure there will be lots of hanging out and sleepovers this summer. Nice to have friends so close since most of her friends live about twenty minutes away.

• Went to the park with Heather and the girls on Saturday. Took a bunch of pictures of them as a gift for their daddy. Got a few where they were actually looking at me and sort of smiling. hehe! Above are a couple of my favorites.

• Jake and Zach hung out with my brothers and some friends that night, so it was just us girls. We got Taco Bell and watched a movie together.

• Father’s Day was spent at my parents’ farm. A nice lunch and hanging out on the porch talking and taking selfies with Retrica, a fun camera app with lots and lots of filters. Here are a few we took. ;)

• Off to see my friend Heidi later tonight and take some pictures of her cute baby belly. So excited to meet this new little one very soon.

• Today is one month to the day since my book launched. I would say it’s been a pretty good first month. I’m excited to see where month two takes it. :)

monday’s list

obx01
This week, I will be posting less than usual as our family is on vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with dear friends we have known since I was in middle school. Our Friday evening through Saturday afternoon was spent getting here and we’ve spent the past two days hanging out, laughing, catching up, sunning, swimming, having great meals together. Very laid back. Very relaxing. Just what we need.

I’ve been getting several emails and comments on facebook in the past few days letting me know that people have finished reading my book and have been loving it and crying lots of tears over it. I’m so happy that people are liking the story and can’t seem to put the book down. Best compliment ever.

I’ll share some more pictures as the week goes on. Gorgeous sunset tonight. Perfect weather. Feeling very blessed that we were able to tag along with the Young family this year.

OBX! Yeah!

monday’s list | memorial day edition


Happy Memorial Day!

Our Memorial Day weekend has been awesome. They say this is the “kick off to summer” and it has definitely been gorgeous weather here. But our summer doesn’t really get started until school lets out in a few more weeks, thanks to all those lovely snow days we had this winter.

I’m loving all the emails and texts coming in from everyone who has read the book. I’m hearing a lot of “thanks a lot for making me cry” comments (even from my brother). My mom made me sign her book this weekend. My first autograph. We even had Zach sign it since he was the model for my book cover. hehe! So fun!

I whipped up three more Project Life layouts on Saturday afternoon. Already had photos, stuck them in the pockets, pulled out a few kits, started flipping through cards and laying them out on top of the page protector until I got the look I wanted, did the journaling, slipped them in the pockets, DONE! Seriously, three weeks of our life documented in about two hours (I didn’t time it. Just guesstimating.) ;)

Our church is so much fun! On Sunday, Pastor Joel had us all do a group selfie to send to his wife, who was out of town visiting family. Her whole family was sending out good morning selfies to each other from wherever they were, so Joel wanted to join in. Such a riot. Jake, Zach and I are in the upper left corner of the photo (above). It’s fun to have him as our pastor now, since his family and mine were friends growing up. We attended the same church and went on vacation together. He was just a little guy when I was a teenager. I’m so proud of the man he has become.

What Memorial Day weekend would be complete without a BBQ? And what better place for one than at my parents’ farm. So, I basically invited us and my brothers over there on Sunday afternoon and told Mom I wanted to grill out. We had such a nice time sitting outside on their new back porch, enjoying the nice weather, the glorious breeze, chatting, watching Chloe flip around in the yard and play with the hose and water balloons. We ended up staying for both lunch and dinner. It was so nice.

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.

monday’s list


• 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.

Want to buy my book? Order the Paperback HERE or the Kindle eBook HERE (special introductory price on the eBook!).

• Spent most of Saturday afternoon trying to get the book formatted and uploaded to Barnes & Noble for the Nook. That will be coming soon. Their system did a number on the layout of my book, so I had to figure that out. It’s currently processing on their site and will hopefully be available there in the next couple days.

• Had a nice quiet Saturday evening with my family, a little Chinese takeout, and some old episodes of The Office (we’re working our way through all the seasons). Just what I needed after a frustrating day in front of the computer.

• Worked on the journaling for a few Project Life® pages using the new Stampin’ Up kit. I really love the colors and designs in that kit. Makes the layouts fun and bright. And it worked really well with some photos I already had printed for my 2013 album. Will share those soon.

• End of the school year slacking off has commenced. A certain boy’s math grades have plummeted, so I’ve been emailing his teacher today. She’s so nice and really wants him to succeed. He is very good at math, but his effort lately hasn’t been what it should and the grades reflect that. Only 17 days of school left to work on that and study to get a really great grade on the final.

• Looking forward to summer, family vacation with some of our dearest friends, no more F’s on tests, no more running the kids back and forth to school daily. Time for a much needed break!

AJAXed with AWP