Category Archives: goal setting

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a fresh start


Anyone else feel like July 4th is the real start to summer? I know most people are so excited when Memorial Day hits and then school’s out and “it’s summer!” but maybe I’m just slow to transition from the school year schedule. It always feels like I don’t quite settle into it until July. (Plus, it’s my birthday month, so yay!)

Another thing about July … for me, it always feels like a new beginning. Maybe it’s because my planner is an academic one and starts in July. Maybe it’s because we’re halfway through the year and it feels like a fresh start for the second half. I don’t know. But I like the feeling anyway.

What are your goals for the second half of 2017?

Mine …

• Get to the gym or outside running at least 3x/week
• Healthy meals at home (we have eaten out so much lately and I feel blah.)
• Catch up on my Read the Bible in a year reading plan.

Happy summer!


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. ;)


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.


planning ahead

Ever have those days when you feel super productive and you have all sorts of ideas coming out of your brain and you’re just really excited to start working on them, so much so that you don’t even feel like sleeping. That was this weekend for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt organized and like I’m getting things accomplished work-wise and I attribute it to a list I jotted down in my idea notebook. This list consists of all the posts I want to write for the blog in the month of February.

I’ve never planned out my posts on the blog. Well, maybe a few here and there, but I’ve never worked off of an “editorial calendar” and scheduled posts ahead of time until this year. Usually, I’m very much like this when it comes to writing blog posts …

“Hmmm. What should I write about today? Maybe I’ll share some pictures from Chloe’s gymnastics meet. Maybe I should write about my book progress. I really should post more Project Life layouts. Oooh, I love this picture on Instagram. What a cute baby. Pretty sunset picture. Nice picture of a coffee mug. That reminds me … I need coffee.”

That’s pretty much my brain. All the time.

But planning things out like this, especially with a BIG couple weeks of posts coming up next Monday, is working so well. I don’t feel panicked or bored or unsure what to write about. It’s nice to get blog posts done in advance and schedule them so I can work ahead a little and have that extra time I would have been scrambling for something to write about to work on other things, like my novel, Goodbye, Magnolia, which will be releasing very soon.

Speaking of novels (nice segue, huh?), The Truth About Drew is a Kindle Countdown Deal starting tomorrow. If you have yet to pick up a copy and have an e-reader (Doesn’t have to be a Kindle. There is a Kindle app that works on most e-readers.), NOW is the time to get it at a great price. 99¢ for the first few days, then it goes up a little every couple days until the clock counts down. Let me know how you like it. Honest reviews are appreciated.

Such a sweet review. :)

spring break goals

As of 4pm today, Spring Break will be officially under way. Very much looking forward to a week off with no set plans and nowhere we’ve gotta be. No big trip planned this year. Last year, we were in Myrtle Beach laying out by the pool. A lot of people we know are headed south for break this year, especially after this very long and cold winter. Part of me wishes we were, too, since the forecast isn’t looking that great for this week, but it wasn’t in the cards (or bank account) this year.

I do have some things in mind, some goals I’d like to accomplish during our week off, besides sleeping in. ;)

PAINT the kids’ bedroom – they are sharing one room for the moment and are surprisingly fine with it.
SORT the kids’ clothes – they’ve both outgrown a lot this year. need to bag up the good ones for donation or sale.
MOVE Chloe’s armoire – it still stands in her old bedroom, so she’s been living out of laundry baskets and that just will not do.
MOVE Chloe’s desk – it’s also still in her old room
PAINT the downstairs bathroom – walls and trim
NEW MIRROR + LIGHTS for the bathroom
FINISHING TOUCHES – door handles, white light switches and switch plates, rugs, etc.

Those are the two rooms I want to focus on. We’ll see how it goes. I also want the week to be fun for the kids.

MOVIES – I’m sure we’ll watch Frozen a time or two at Chloe’s request. Might rent some, maybe go to the theater if there’s anything new playing that looks good.
GAMES (video and board) – I see Settlers of Catan in our future. Maybe a little Forbidden Island and Sequence as well.
PICTURE TAKING – I’m going to try to pick up my big camera more to capture our week. I will also be photographing Zach for the cover of my book. He’s agreed to be my model, but only if I give him some kind of bribe (money, gift card, candy, etc.).
PROJECT LIFE’ing – Hoping to sit down with Chloe one day and help her get going on the journaling in her album. She’s got a lot of photos in there but nothing written yet.
ICE CREAM – or slushies from Taco Bell. I’m sure I’ll hear many requests for these.
DINNER OUT – the kids always feel special when we take them out to a restaurant since we don’t do that very often.

I thought about getting out the calendar and scheduling out each day, but I always end up shuffling things around when I do that anyway, so I’m going to have a list on my desk to look at each morning and we’ll go from there.

Heck, I may get nothing accomplished at all if we make last minutes plans with family or spontaneously decide to hop in the car and drive to Florida if it starts snowing again. ;)

AJAXed with AWP