Category Archives: ten years ago

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put it out there



While browsing through my old posts, I came across one written on June 3, 2005, the night I went to see The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie. I loved that book series and I remember loving the movie. One other thing I remember about that night was going directly to Best Buy afterwards to purchase the soundtrack because of the song “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield and driving home with windows down and moon roof open with that song turned up so loud. (OK, I’m playing it right now while I write this post and it’s still awesome!) I love how a blog post can remind me of those feelings.

Here’s what I had to say that night:

“I like to read, but I LOVE when books are adapted into movies. I’m a visual person, a huge movie lover. So to see a story adapted for the screen and done well really thrills me. This was adapted really well. I think there were a few things here and there that they changed for movie purposes, but for the most part it was true to the book.

I think the character that I relate the most to is Lena, the quiet one. Afraid to really let go, trying to figure out who she really is, not the most outspoken of the group. That’s totally me. A little reserved, doing what I think others want me to do, wishing that I had the strength to stand up for myself more, a little shallow with my feelings, mostly to protect myself from being hurt, but wishing I felt more deeply sometimes.

These kinds of stories really make me think and they get my creative juices flowing. I began writing a book in 1997 based loosely on my time at the church camp I used to attend for a week every summer in high school. I finally finished the first draft last year, but I’ve done nothing more with it. I feel like pulling it out and working on it now. It’s so fun to read through it and see these characters that I’ve created with little bits of myself and my friends in them and the adventures that they go through and the lessons learned during the week at camp. I’m proud of my book. It needs a lot of work and who knows if it’s something that is good enough to be published. It’s the “Lena” in me that is afraid to put it out there and see what might happen with it. I need to let it go and see what God can do with it.”

Reading this made me smile so big. I had not forgotten about my camp book, but I had forgotten how even ten years ago, I was thinking about publishing, wondering if I should try, afraid to put myself out there. That book, the sweet little camp story, will find its way into book form. Not as it is now, though, because I was being honest when I said it needed a lot of work, but it’s already being re-imagined and rewritten in my brain. It even has a title already, which I’m pretty excited about. But, I’ll try not to get too far ahead of myself. ;)

OK … 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, 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’m getting so excited for the release of this book! It’s totally my heart and so much of myself is on these pages. This giveaway is for an Advanced Reader Copy of Goodbye, Magnolia. The winner will receive a copy of the manuscript in paperback book form in its still-being-edited, not quite polished to perfection, almost final state. It will be about a month or so before the ARC copy is ready.

If this is the first you’re hearing about my new book, here’s a little bit of the synopsis for you:
Wedding photography is Maggie’s passion. The art of capturing a moment forever in time is magical to her, and she’s worked hard to become the best of the best. Week after week, she works with couples as they plan their happily ever afters, but she hasn’t been so lucky in love. Behind the camera, it’s easy to hide from the pain and rejection of her past. The life she has made for herself is safe and predictable, until the owner of a rival photography studio sets up shop in her small town and comes to her with an unexpected proposal. Suddenly, everything she has worked so hard to build is threatened and her simple, controlled life is thrown into chaos.”

Eeeeeek! I’m giddy. ;)

Enter below. Tell a friend!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CLICK HERE to see all the GIVEAWAYS on one page!

SEE YA BACK HERE TOMORROW!

a few numbers


In looking back at ten years of blog posts, I’ve written about all sorts of topics. The big ones have been my family, my kids, photography and scrapbooking with lots of other things throw in. I’ve posted in recent years about my writing and publishing my books. There are always annual posts about camping trips and “girls days” and any vacations we take. Some days I’ve shared what was on my heart, struggles I’ve had, and how my faith in God has seen me through many situations. Music and movies and television pop up every once in a while. And the weather. There are probably far too many posts about how much I hate the snow. ;)

I thought it would be fun to put together a few stats for you.

There are 105 posts about faith, 62 holiday posts, 55 posts on writing, 50 about healthy living, 21 throwback thursdays, 18 posts about my “one little word”, and many more.

So many words typed. So many thoughts shared. Seeing it by the numbers was interesting. Some years I posted a lot. Some years not so much. There were times when I was very busy with my photography business that I posted twice in a month and times, especially in the past couple years, when I posted every weekday, Monday to Friday, without fail.

The most important thing to me is that this blog is here as a record of our life. It’s a document of us and lots of things that have happened in our life since 2005 and that’s what I love most about it. I don’t often sit down and read through my old blog posts, but putting this Blogiversary stuff together has pushed me to do that. And what I’ve found is that I’m very familiar with the photos I’ve shared here, but I’m not always clear on the exact things that were going on in the photo or at the time I took it. So many posts I stumbled upon told the details of the photos, something the kids did or said, what they were doing when I took it. Like this post I shared last week. I’ve looked at those pictures a ton of times, but I had forgotten that Chloe was making “snow angels” on the kitchen floor. And the picture of Zach playing video games, well, that’s a very familiar site, but I recorded what he was playing that day here on the blog. I love that.

I also love that this blog has brought me new friends – scrapbookers, photographers, writers, readers. It’s not something I expected when I started this, but it’s been a wonderful gift.

Now, 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, 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 posted on Friday my latest entry in my ING Journal and I wanted to give away a copy of the journal to one of you! I’ve designed them in three colors, so the winner will get to choose the color of their choice. Grey is my favorite!

Enter below. Tell a friend!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CLICK HERE to see all the GIVEAWAYS on one page!

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!

throwback thursday | my third post


Looking back today to my third blog post ever back on February 28, 2005! It was four sentences long:

“Winter Storm Advisories today in our area so we’re stuck indoors for the day. Here are the kids this morning – Chloe playing around in the kitchen, laying on the floor doing “snow angels” and Zach playing “Shrek 2″ for Playstation 2. Me … I’m trying to type in between Chloe throwing stuff at my keyboard. Kids … gotta love ‘em.”

Reading back through old posts, there are so many little details that I mention that I had forgotten about. As more and more time passes, my mind just doesn’t remember the little things like it used to. This blog is a record of so much of our life and I’m infinitely thankful for that.

ten years ago


Though she barely had enough hair to style, I put curlers in Chloe’s hair for the first time. Her hair was so fine that they kept slipping out, but I got them in. I sat her up on the kitchen counter and she wiggled around the entire time. The result was wispy curls, if you could call them that. And I loved them.

She was a couple weeks from her second birthday. And now she’s a couple weeks from her twelfth.

I love the girl that she is now and the young woman she’s becoming. But I miss that spunky little two-year-old.

AJAXed with AWP