Monthly Archives: May 2014

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the sweetest email

This is my Aunt Rosie. Isn’t she cute? Here she is holding her sweet little grandson, Roehn, at our annual family reunion last year. We only get to see each other a couple times a year, which, in my opinion, is just not enough.

I received the sweetest email from her the other night after she finished reading my book. There is only so much I can say about my own book. I could go on and on about the reasons why I think it’s a good story and why I love it so much, but I think other people’s opinions and experiences reading the book will mean more than the words of the one who wrote it. I asked her if it was OK to share an excerpt from her personal email to me. She said, “Sure … I’ve never been blogged before!” Like I said, cute. ;)

Here is what she had to say:

“I couldn’t put your book down!  My nose is all stuffy and my cheeks wet from crying!  I’ve been reading it all night on the living room couch.  I can’t tell you the last time a book moved me to tears.  It is really fantastic how you wove that story around and tied it all up at the end – lots of surprises! And when I thought it couldn’t make me cry anymore, you put another (zinger!) touching part in and I started crying all over again.  I thought it was amazing how well you could take the reader into the world of a 14 year old (but then, I know that you live with a teenager).  It actually took me back to high school days. I love how you portrayed the love and loyalty of friends and family – best friends, brothers, grandparents, Mom and Dad. And the best part was how you integrated the Lord, scripture and prayer throughout the whole story.”

Isn’t that sweet? I got teary-eyed reading her email. To me, hearing how my words touched someone’s heart, is the best gift in the world. <3


a few new Project Life® layouts

This past weekend, I put together these three layouts in the period of about two hours. I already had the photos printed a while ago, so I’m not counting the time it took to choose those, edit them and order my prints online. But it was quick! And so easy. Seriously, anyone can do this. You don’t even have to journal if you don’t want to. Just get the pictures and some pretty cards in the pages, maybe write the date if you know it and who are in the photos, and call it good. Better than hidden away on your computer for nobody to see.

I had fun playing with three different kits this time around. Jade and Seafoam, two of my favorites!, and Dear Lizzy, which I picked up at Michael’s a while back. It’s fun to pull out all the cards and lay them out on top of the page protector and shuffle them around until I get the look I want. I love this whole system. Thanks, Becky, for creating it! ;)

APRIL 8-14, 2013 • Jade core kit
This was the week we got back from our Spring Break in Myrtle beach. It snowed (ugh!). Jake ran from our house to my parents’ farm (14 miles) in training for a 25K. We had a nice birthday lunch there to celebrate his 40th birthday!

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APRIL 22-28, 2013 • Dear Lizzy core kit from Michael’s
This was the week after some very bad flooding in our area. The river was still really high, but I didn’t get a photo of it at its peak. Chloe was in her school musical, The Jungle book, as a bee. What a production those kids put on. We ended our week at Heather and Jeff’s house, celebrating Jake and his brother Nick’s birthdays.

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JANUARY 7-13, 2013 • Seafoam kit
This was the week Mom and I started our new year’s resolution to walk daily together. Someone in town made some awesome ice sculptures. Glad I always have my phone with me so I could capture those. Went to a promotional event for the Fifth Third River Bank Run at Craig’s Cruisers for Jake’s Road Warrior team. Mom and I went up to Chris and Rhonda’s house for lunch and to take Sophie’s one-year pictures. So fun! Zach finished his Animal Cell project. It turned out so good.

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Project Life® is an amazing and oh-so-simple system created by Becky Higgins to help you get your beloved photos into albums. More information can be found on her website HERE.

I wrote a book! Now what?

Write, write, write. That’s the goal of NaNoWriMo, to just get the story out of your head. It doesn’t have to be perfect (what book is on the first draft?), just get it written. So, that’s what I did and there my book was in its most raw form. I thought it was a good story, but it needed so much work, which is probably why it took me so long to really dig into it. Editing takes a commitment that I guess I wasn’t quite ready for then. So the book sat on the back burner for a long time.

Not forgotten, just for later.

But I loved my little story. Claire and Drew. Best friends since childhood, only Drew isn’t who he appears to be. The journey Claire goes on through the story, finding out who Drew really is, and learning so much more about her family and friends and God along the way, is special. I’m sure every author loves their own book, but I really feel it’s something that God can use, even if it only touches one person’s heart in even the tiniest way.

Last summer/fall (2013), I finally knew I was ready to get serious about it. I had put it off for a long time, making excuses, filling my time with other things. But I finally said, “I’m gonna do it. 2014 is the year I’m gonna publish my novel.”

It took about 8 months to get the book ready to publish. I read through the chapters over and over, correcting punctuation and grammatical errors, making sure it flowed well, etc. Then, once I thought I’d found everything that needed changed, I read through it backwards, from the last chapter to the first, and found more things to change. Then I read through it again, front to back. Same thing. More changes.

When I got my first proof copy of the book (I’ll share more on formatting and self-publishing in a future newsletter. Sign up HERE.), I made even more changes. I actually think editing a physical copy was much better than editing on a computer screen. There’s just something about having the actual book in your hands. I checked over each page and made notes all over. There was no page left unmarked. Then I read the book aloud to my daughter, Chloe, and made all sorts of changes to the dialogue, per her suggestions.

“Mom, a teenage girl would never say it that way.” Thanks, Chloe! ;)

When the second proof copy arrived, I asked my husband, Jake, who is a writer himself, to read it over. He came out of our room, fighting back tears, gave me a kiss, and told me, “It’s perfect.” I respect his opinion so much because he’s been an avid reader since childhood and if he doesn’t like a book, he will be honest about it. We sat together and went over a few small changes he thought needed to be made. He talked about how he felt the emotion of the book was the perfect balance and the story was so much more filled out than when he read the first draft. I made the changes he suggested and it was ready!

So, 4 years, 5 months and 16 days after writing the first draft, I hit the “approve” button and my book was out there for the world!

Editing a book is hard work. It’s tedious and time consuming. But, I really hope that all the hours I spent on it will show. I hope it will be enjoyed and, like I said, if it just touches one person’s heart, it will have been worth it all.

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.

a lot of emotion

I’m feeling a little emotional today. I think it’s a lot of things combined.

The end of the school year is almost here, and I’m a little sad knowing the kids will both be moving to new buildings and leaving elementary and middle school behind. During the winter months, this school year seemed to drag, but now, I’m wondering where it went. That’s how it goes with each passing year, I guess. Some weeks we just get swept up in the routine of it all, but I’m trying to stop and look around every once in a while. I don’t want to miss a thing.

The principal of Chloe’s school told the kids that he would jump out of an airplane if they read over 860 books for Battle of the Books this year, and they did, so he did! Yesterday, he tandem jumped and landed in the field behind the school. The kids were so full of excitement watching him parachute down. It was a very cool moment to see the kids swarm him when he landed, giving him hugs and high fives and just so much love. What a wonderful principal and what a moment those kids will always remember.

My book is starting to arrive on people’s doorsteps this week. That seems weird and a little surreal to me. My sister-in-law wrote this morning that she was just discovering “the truth”, when she had to stop reading because she was on an airplane and she was starting to really cry in front of everyone. ;)

My friend and childhood neighbor, Holly, shared this picture with me on Facebook yesterday. Her book arrived! I love it!

If you ordered my book, I’d love to see pictures of you with the book. Share over on instagram with the hashtag #thetruthaboutdrew and @kristajean.

Looking forward to a nice long Memorial Day weekend! Yay!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hey there! I’m back with a fun giveaway over on Goodreads, a fun website to share books you’ve read and connect with friends to see what they’re reading. I’m giving away 3 books to Goodreads members. Follow the link below to enter by June 20th. Sign up as a new member on their site if you haven’t already.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Truth About Drew by Krista Noorman

The Truth About Drew

by Krista Noorman

Giveaway ends June 20, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Good luck!

Project Life® Stampin’ Up kit

The Project Life® Creative Team had the opportunity to work with the fun new products from Stampin’ Up and I jumped at the chance. I actually wasn’t sure from looking at the online photos if the kit would really be my taste, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well the cards coordinate and how nicely they went with my photos. And with lots of fun extras (stickers, die cuts, stamps, etc.), I got to step out of my comfort zone a bit and add a few little touches here and there. Still my very simple style, of course. Here are a few examples and some close-ups where I added extra embellishments.

July 15-21, 2013 – my 40th birthday week!

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February 11-17, 2013 – Chloe’s 10th birthday week!

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March 11-17 2013

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I still have lots of kit left to play with, including some really cool stamps, which I need to pick up some ink in order to play with. Will share more as I make more layouts.

HERE is where you can buy these great Project Life for Stampin’ Up products!

Happy Wednesday!

Facebook author page

Yes, the blog posts have been very “book heavy” lately. I promise things will go back to normal soon after I finish getting things all set up. But for now …

• I put together a Facebook Author page to share info about the book and interact with my readers. You’ll see this cute banner (above) when you stop by there. Pass the link on to your friends and feel free to hit the “like page” button while you’re at it. ;)

• The book will be available on Apple iBooks very soon. Will be working on that later today and I’ll let you all know when that’s ready so you can download it to read on your iPads.

• Thank you all again! I appreciate your support so much. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet and would like to hear from me every month or so with book news and such, sign up below.

the truth about Drew | Nook Book

The book is now LIVE on Barnes & Noble site for the NOOK! Click the image to go to the site, purchase at a special introductory price, download and start reading tonight!


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