Monthly Archives: January 2014

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Chloe loves pugs

Came across these selfies Chloe took during Christmas break while staying with Jake’s parents for a few days.

Chloe and Annie. Adorable. <3

throwback thursday

Since I’m getting ready to work on a Project Life® album about living in Germany with the Army in the late 90’s, I’ve been poring over old photos and journals. Thought I’d share this wintery photo today, which was taken in January 1997 out the kitchen window of our apartment. The weather there was pretty similar to Michigan’s. I remember some really pretty days like this one when the fog was thick and would stick to the trees.

around here | january’s end

January has been such a weird month and I feel like the blog has suffered for it. I’m usually pretty consistent with my blogging, but having so many snow days this month with the kids here and not as much of a regular routine has messed that up. But, this month has given us more time to hang out together and that’s important, so I’m OK with it. Tomorrow is another day, right?

I’ve gotta say, I am loving being a part of the Project Life® Creative Team this year. If for no other reason than it is really pushing me to work on my albums more because I want to keep up and have plenty to share with you all. Today, I had some prints made at our local Walmart. Close, fast, convenient. Not my favorite photo place (I <3, but it works in a pinch. Got all my January photos in the album and ready to work on the journaling. Feeling accomplished. ;) If anyone has questions for me about my Project Life process, photography, editing, etc., please feel free to ask in the comments section and I will do my best to help. I plan to share more as the year goes on.

Today makes Snow Day #8 for the kids this school year. 3 this week. We’ve been inside for days. Cabin fever has reared its ugly head, so Chloe and I finally ventured out this morning to run errands. Bitterly cold. Even the coffee I got on the way home did not take away the chills. Brrrrr. I want spring and summer!

The end of January is all about taxes around here. I work part time for my parents’ small business doing their bookkeeping, payroll and annual taxes. So this week I’ve been surrounded by all sorts of withholding forms. 940, 944, W2, W3, etc. Such fun! Getting everything ready to work on our personal taxes, too. Papers, papers, everywhere!

Been getting a little knitting in while watching episodes of Castle on DVD. (Mom O, please disregard the above photo. You aren’t supposed to see that yet!) This is always the perfect time of year for knitting. Freezing cold outside while I’m on the couch under a blanket making something with my own two hands that will keep me (or someone I love) cozy warm. Love knitting.

Hopefully we are done with snow days for the year. Weather permitting, I will get back into a more regular routine as we move into February and will be blogging more often again. We’ve got some fun things coming up – a late family Christmas, Chloe’s birthday celebration (she turns 11 on the 11th!), more gymnastics meets, more Project Life pages. And maybe a nice shift in the weather with a big February thaw. One can only hope. :)

monday’s list

• Zach’s class made up their ice skating field trip on Thursday that was cancelled because of one of the many snow days we’ve had around here. He had a good time, but texted me after a couple hours and said “Ice skating is too hard.” I’m proud of him for at least trying.

• Winter storm warnings on Friday. The kids already had no school for a teacher records day, but all the schools had a snow day. Just before Jake got home from work, I heard a loud crash on the kitchen roof and looked out the upstairs window to see that a big branch had fallen, one that had been dangling above after the ice storms in December. No damage done. Not a huge branch. Just scared me because it was really loud and I was in the kitchen at the time.

• Lots of movies and TV watching and games played over the weekend.

• Ventured out into the snow on Sunday for church. Very chilly. Lots of blowing and drifting. Took it slow and got there and back safely.

• There was a snow day for the kids today and they’ve already cancelled school for tomorrow as well. Craziness!

• Started my day off with half an hour on the elliptical. Time to really start training for the River Bank Run. Only a few months until the big race! Yeah!

throwback thursday

February 15, 1997. For Valentines Day, Jake took me on a little day trip from Baumholder, Germany to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. We wandered around the old part of the city for a few hours and took pictures. Oh, the joys of living in Europe and being able to drive a couple hours in any direction and see amazing old cities.

project real life class

Click image to see a slightly larger version

Right now, I’m taking Becky’s Project Real Life class over at Big Picture Classes and I’m really loving it so far. (registration for this class has ended. sorry!) We’re starting out with setting goals and thinking about our priorities, talking about how we can’t do everything, even though sometimes we wish we could. Lots of great quotes and little nuggets of inspiration.

This is my week 1 layout. Please pay no mind to the photo of our shoes with the lovely backdrop of my nasty cupboards and kitchen floor and the beach towel for a rug. She said to take a photo of where we kick off our shoes, so I did, even though I hate it! LOL! It’s real life, right?

I love layouts like this, though. A little snapshot of things, daily routines and such, that will be so fun to look back on in the future.

I’ve decided to do all my class layouts digitally for now and maybe order a little photobook when it’s done. :)

Title card and quote card were included in the Project Real Life class supplies. (I tweaked the color of the title card in Photoshop to match the other cards I used, by the way.) The rest of the cards are from the digital Jade Core Edition. This is the Design A digital template.

Thanks for stopping by!

Project Life® is a system designed by Becky Higgins. To learn more, click HERE!

monday’s list

– Friday morning, I had a wonderful coffee date with my dear friend Kelle. So good to chat and catch up and spill all as you only can with a true friend. <3

– Chloe had a gymnastics meet in Kalamazoo on Friday evening. She did awesome! They are so fun to watch. Long, but fun. My parents came to watch and cheer her on, too.

– Saturday was dishes and laundry day. I also worked on catching up on a little journaling in my 2012 Project Life album. I shared a couple videos of the before and after on my instagram. Felt good to get a dozen layouts finished. Still have the second half of 2012 and almost all of 2013 to finish, but at least I’ve got most of the photos printed and in the books.

– On Sunday, we went to my parents’ church then to their house for lunch. The kids hung out at the farm for the afternoon while Jake and I drove up to the Grand Rapids Fire Fighter’s Hall for his Uncle Ted’s memorial service. It was nice to listen to family and friends share their memories of him and to see some of Jake’s dad’s side of the family that we just don’t see much anymore.

– This morning, I dragged myself and the kids out of bed at 5:30am to get them to a 7 o’clock dentist appointment before school. So very tired. I don’t love getting up that early, but I do like that Zach doesn’t have to miss more than an hour of school and we still have time to get Chloe to her school before the bell rings. It works.

I think I need a nap now. Nighty night.

life in germany album

I am very excited to start working on another project this year, an album of pictures and stories from our time in Germany with the Army. Project Life® style, of course. Today, I worked on designing a title page using a digital template and digital kits. The actual album will be the regular physical Project Life® album using cards and page protectors, but it helps to design it digitally ahead of time so I know which cards I want to use.

I used Photoshop to add text to one of my photos. Other text, like the dates we lived there, will be handwritten by me onto the actual cards.

For this page, I will use cards from the Coral, Jade and Cinnamon kits. I love that kits can be mixed and matched and go so well together.

Used on this layout:
Hello World card – Cinnamon core kit
Yellow, camera and grey cards – Jade core kit
“Recorded by” card – Coral core kit

All of these kits are available for download from You can use them for digital projects or even print the cards out for personal use in your albums.

One of the things I am so thankful for going into this is my journals. I wrote out a lot of the stuff we did when we lived in Germany and I also printed out emails that I wrote to my Mom detailing trips we took, so having all those things written down is going to be so helpful when putting this album together. I’m so excited to get into this more and remember everything as I put the pages together. It was a once in a lifetime experience for us and I think it’s about time to properly document it. :)

Project Life® is a system designed by Becky Higgins. For more information, click HERE.

monday’s list

• I’ve been sick with the flu for a week now. Not the best way to start the new year. Jake started coming down with it on Friday, too. Two sick parents is not good. Our poor children have had to fend for themselves. :( Pretty much spent the past week on the couch. Am more than ready to get my energy back!

• Only two days of school last week after all the snow days. Such a weird January so far.

• Good news for Zach. They have rescheduled the class ice skating field trip that was cancelled due to a snow/ice day. I was so disappointed for him to not have that last fun Christmas event his last year of middle school. Good call rescheduling that.

• Loving all the Project Life Creative Team girls sharing their pages this week. If you get a chance, check out their blogs. They’ve got some great layouts.

Here’s to a healthier week ahead. hopefully. ;)

project life

Over the past few years, I have really loved getting photos off of my computer and into albums, where we can enjoy them. It’s so exciting to be a part of the Project Life Creative Team this year and I will be sharing more of my pages as the year goes by. Hopefully, the simplicity of this system will come across in my pages and encourage you to go for it if you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure where to start.

I thought I’d start out with a couple layouts from December. This was the week of the big ice storm here that knocked out power to our whole town. For my 2013 album, I used the Seafoam Core Kit. Click the images to see a slightly larger version of each side of the layout.

This was from the second day of our Florida vacation. I normally do one 2-page layout for each week of the year, but when we go on vacation, I usually add a few extra layouts so I can include more pictures. Because I take a lot of pictures. ;) Again, click the images to see a slightly larger version of each side of the layout.

And here is the first page of my 2014 album! Simple is good! I’m using the Midnight Core Kit this year.

Project Life® is a system designed by Becky Higgins. To learn more, click HERE!

AJAXed with AWP