Monthly Archives: October 2014

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Happy Halloween!

My blog has been loading intermittently since Wednesday, so if you can see this post … AWESOME! Hopefully next week, the blog will be back up and running correctly and I will be posting regularly again.

Hope you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween!

week in the life 2008

Back in 2008, I did Week in the Life the week leading up to Halloween just as I am this year. So it was fun to look back through all those photos and see how little the kids were six years ago and how our daily routine has changed since then. I’m sharing just a few favorites here today.

The above photo was taken at 10:28 AM on Monday, October 27, 2008.

At that time in my life, I was still shooting weddings and family photo sessions. So a lot of my days (and nights) were spent editing pictures, sitting at my computer for hours on end, sometimes letting a movie play in the corner of my screen while I worked on the pictures. I may have watched Bridget Jones Diary (and the sequel) several dozen times that season.

9:35 AM. I was really into freezing grapes for snacks then. Mmmmm.
10:25 AM. Making my morning coffee. Not much has changed there. Except maybe the creamer I use. I used to try different kinds all the time, but now I mostly stick with hazelnut.

Tuesday. October 28, 2008.
8:48 AM. Dropped Zach off at school. He was in 3rd grade. 8 years old. Oh my gosh, my little boy. I want to go back in time. That little smile. Adorable.

Wednesday. October 29, 2008.
9:22 AM. Chloe was five and in kindergarten this year, but only had class Tuesdays and Thursdays and every other Friday. So, my Mom would take Chloe most Wednesdays for “Grandma Day” so I could get some undistracted work time in. She still mentions that every once in a while and wishes she could still go to Grandma’s on Wednesdays. Good memories for her.

9:25 AM. Jake was home sick this day. Poor guy.

Thursday. October 30, 2008.
5:54 PM. Went to my parents house for my brother Rick’s belated birthday dinner. The kids put on their costumes for Grandma and she gave them a bag of Halloween candy. Chloe was Dorothy. I’ve always loved this photo of Toto peeking out of the basket.

Friday, October 31, 2008.
5:55 PM. Time for trick-or-treating. We always stop by Jake’s Dad’s house first before going to the houses in town. Our niece and nephew, Lexy and Austyn, were there, too.
6:50 PM. Isn’t this tree gorgeous? I loved the lanterns hanging from the branches. This was the most beautiful year for this tree. It’s never been as bright orange as it was that year. And they never again hung those paper lantern lights. I don’t know why ’cause they were so pretty. I drove by there the other day and the leaves are dull now and some have fallen. Thankful that I took a bunch of pictures in 2008 to remember it.

6:16 pm. Zach was Boba Fett. See those little pumpkin bags? I don’t remember what year, but my Mom got those for the kids and they have used them every year since (except for one year when we couldn’t find one of them). We tied a little white ribbon to one so they would always know which one was Chloe’s.

While looking through these photos and the dates, I realized that this year – 2014 – the days of the week and the dates are the same as when I did Week in the Life back in 2008. It didn’t stand out to me until I realized that Halloween was on a Friday back then and it’s on a Friday this year. How funny is that?

Halloween night 2008 was also the start of my first time participating in NaNoWriMo. I finished a 50,000+ word novel in the month of November. My first full novel written. A big accomplishment. That novel was Goodbye, Magnolia (only it didn’t really have a name back then), the book I will be releasing next Spring!

Other things that happened that week in 2008:

• Took photos of Heidi’s baby boy, Grady.
• Bank and post office runs.
• Too much fast food.
• Chloe got a touch of pink eye.
• Zach got head lice. (THAT was a long day. Luckily, I found the nasty bug right away after he complained of his head itching and I squashed it. The process of shampooing his hair and combing all of the eggs out of his hair was long and tedious and tear-inducing for both Zach and me. Thankful we caught it before all those little eggs hatched. That was a long day of washing bedding, vacuuming, spraying this special spray on bedding and anything he might have laid his head against. Glad we only had to deal with that once in all of the kids’ elementary school years.)

I did Week in the Life in May of 2010 also, so I may go through those and share some pictures from that week as well.

So, for those of you doing Week In the Life this year, how is it going? I’ve been doing pretty well with it. I thought I might use the big camera this time, but so far I’ve only used my iPhone and I’m OK with that. It’s with me all the time, so it’s so easy to just grab it and snap a photo when I’m out and about. My daily routine, especially in the mornings, is the same, so I’m trying to take different photos of that routine so I don’t end up with 7 photos of an above shot of my coffee mug. ;)

week in the life | day two

Welcome to Day Two of Week in the Life. :)

These are just a few of the photos I’ve taken this morning. My normal routine. Get up. Shower. Make coffee. Get on the computer. Write a blog post. Today, though, I spent some time in Photoshop digitally laying out my Week in the Life layout for yesterday. I’ve decided to do a full page spread for each day and just add it into the 2014 album. I’m going to keep it very simple, mostly all photos with just a few cards from the Amy Tangerine Plus One kit. I used the digital version to design with and will probably print the cards out on my own since I will probably use the same cards for each layout to keep it consistent and there aren’t enough of each card in the kit.

I’m enjoying this process so far. I don’t know that I will share stuff every day this week, especially Friday when we hit the Halloween festivities and everything. But I will share all the layouts when I finish them up.

Come back tomorrow for a peek at some of my Week in the Life photos from the past. :)

Happy Tuesday!

hello, monday

How was your weekend? Ours was spent as I knew it would be … working outside on the leaf-covered lawn. Only, it was so windy on Saturday that all my leaf blowing did nothing and now our lawn is completely covered again. Ah well. It was a nice weekend to work outside, that’s for sure.

This week, I am taking part in Week In The Life. I didn’t think I was going to do it, but woke up this morning and thought “Why not?” So I’m going for it.

Week In The Life is simply the process of documenting your week in pictures and words, capturing the little things, the routines of your days, and the little stories along the way. I’ve done this a couple times before and it’s always fun to look back on those weeks and remember what we were doing then and what our daily schedule was like. It’s fun to do this every once in a while. I’ll be adding a few layouts into the Project Life album to cover this week’s pictures and stories. Above are just a handful of the pictures I took today.

Ali Edwards has a couple great posts on her blog about Week In The Life. THIS ONE and the post she links to for inspiration. She also has some great Daily Sheets that you can print and use to document your days HERE (link to download at the bottom of her post).

I think it will be a very fun process! Here we go!

happy fall

The colors sure have been beautiful this year. I don’t know about where you live, but here in Michigan, the fall colors have peaked and the trees are starting to really drop their leaves now. So, our weekend will be filled with raking and leaf blowing, which I actually don’t mind.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Amazon Exclusive with KDP Select

If you come here daily and read right from my blog, you may have noticed a few of the options to buy my book, The Truth About Drew, missing from the top of the page. If you read through an rss feed or blog reader, you won’t know what the heck I’m talking about. ;)

I recently made the decision to remove The Truth About Drew EBOOK from places other than Amazon and enroll in their KDP Select program. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a few months now, not just a decision on a whim.

When I initially launched the book, I thought I needed to make it available on every platform right away instead of keeping it exclusively with Amazon. Obviously, Amazon is a huge site and it is definitely the one that has brought me the most sales. Though I have sold some eBooks on other sites, not enough to keep me from trying out Amazon exclusively for a few months. This will allow the eBook to be available for special pricing or free promotions and will be available to more people through their subscription service, Kindle Unlimited, as well as their Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

While I continue to work on the new book, I’m going to give Kindle Select a try and see how it goes. This will help me decide whether I will do the same with Goodbye, Magnolia.

So watch for special pricing as we near the holidays (you know I’ll announce it here, too!).

Note: If you have a Nook or other device that is capable of downloading apps, you can still read my book using the Kindle app that is available for just about every phone, iPad or other device. And the book is still available through my Createspace storefront or from Amazon in PAPERBACK form.

And speaking of GOODBYE, MAGNOLIA … this month’s newsletter includes an excerpt from the book. I will be sending out another round of the newsletter later tonight that will go to anyone new who signs up today. Click HERE to subscribe!

on this day

On OCTOBER 22, 2005, Mom and Dad O, Heather and Jeff, Jake, the kids and I spent an afternoon at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids. It’s hard to believe nine years have passed since that day. It was a nice time just walking around, looking at the sculptures and gardens, letting the kids play (and throw a few tantrums … scroll down for that one). I never really did anything with these photos. I think a few of them made it into a year in review book. But looking through them all now, there are so many special pictures here. I may have shared a few at some point along the way, but I never did an entire blog post on it. Probably because this was my first full year of my wedding photography business and I was starting to get very busy.

It’s been several years since we’ve been back to the gardens. I shot a wedding there in the winter of 2007 and we took the kids to see the butterflies that same year, which actually became a scrapbook page that I had published in a scrapbooking idea book once.

Gosh, Chloe was loud back then. (Still is, actually.) I can almost still hear her screeching at Jake because she didn’t want to be up on his shoulders.

Such fun memories. Loved this day. Love these pictures.

Happy Wednesday!

one little word

I remember the kids always doing acrostics at school with a personality trait for every letter of their name. I don’t know why, but as I was writing this post, I kept staring at the word “OPEN” and this acrostic (in the photo above) just popped out at me. Old. Pain. Ends. Now.

I love this quote:

     “Listening to the pain of loss and heartbreak can wake us up to who we are, where we come from, and what matters most.
     But only if we open ourselves up to them.”

– Emily Freeman, A Million Little Ways

I jotted this down when I was reading Emily’s book. It’s so true for me as I’ve moved through this past year with my one little word … OPEN.

Being open to that pain is hard. There have been plenty of days when I went back to my old habit of closing the door on it and pushing it deep down inside. There have been others when I’ve laid on my bed in a puddle of tears and sobs and let all the feelings and emotions just come out, the pain and bitterness and sadness and regret overwhelming me.

But on the other side of all that, I do feel like I’m more awake to who I am. And I’m able to use what I’ve learned (and continue to learn) in my writing because I’ve listened instead of hiding from it.

Old Pain Ends Now? Yeah, I like that. Sounds pretty good to me. :) But I will continue to be open to what God wants to show me this year, dealing with the pain and loss, and on into the next and the next and the next.

hello, monday

Not the greatest weekend. I’ve felt a little under the weather since Friday, so most of the time was spent on the couch or at my desk. Still not feeling great today. Kind of wish I could just stay in bed all day or laze on the couch, but I’ve got things to do.

I’m on a roll with the book editing. Spent several hours this weekend on it and made it through the first big edit.

Scanned a few more rolls of Grandma’s negatives. Found some more wonderful treasures among them. Including a great shot of Mt. Baldy 30+ years ago when you could still see all the way to Gun Lake. So awesome to find that.

Bright spot of Sunday. Gilmore Girls Episode 1 on Netflix. Favorite line by Rory: “Are you my new daddy?” And when Rory first met Dean and asked him, “Do you like cake?”, Chloe almost spit out her popcorn, then commented on how bad Rory is at talking to boys. :)

The fall colors are at peak around here now and the leaves around our house are really starting to drop. The entire lawn is blanketed in them. Very pretty.

Hope you all had a wonderful fall weekend.


These are the words God spoke most clearly to me this morning. “My sweet child, I love you.” I already know it, but I needed to hear it. I needed the reminder.

Emotions are heightened on this particular weekend. Feel like I’m floating alone in a little row boat, drifting away with no oars or motor. And there, on the shore, where I want to be, is everyone else. Leaning on each other for comfort and support. But I can’t get there. I’m not supposed to, because I don’t really belong. I’m on the outside looking in.

And so I drift.

I watch the ripples come across the water, expanding further apart, further out.
Each one the evidence of choices made – the cause and effect.

I am a ripple.

AJAXed with AWP