Monthly Archives: November 2014

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the ING journals


They’re ready! You guys, I have been working really hard on these, designing the pages, laying them out, resizing, uploading, proofing, fixing issues, proofing again, fixing more issues, proofing again. And they are finally good to go!

I’ve had it in my head and my overflowing idea notebook to make a journal of some kind for a while now. I jotted down a list of a zillion different ones I could make and one of those ideas was inspired by bloggers posting “ing” lists or “Around Here” or “Today” or whatever they call their lists. I’ve called mine various things. But I thought “What about people who don’t have blogs?” and then I thought it might be fun to put together a list of “ing” words in book form. So, I decided to JUST GO FOR IT!

I sat down and wrote out as many “ing” words as I could think of and narrowed it down to my 14 favorites for this journal. There are 24 “ing” lists amidst blank pages for journaling or making your own lists or traditional journaling or thoughts or ideas or whatever you want to use them for. I think the most important thing is just documenting where you’re at on one day in your life. And you don’t have to be a writer or spend a ton of time on it. Just a few minutes to jot down what you’re doing, reading, eating, watching, thinking, planning, feeling, etc. Easy peasy!

You can purchase your own copy of The ING Journal. Available in these colors:
GREENGREYBLUE
Click color to place order.

If you have ANY questions, please write me HERE. I will be offline a bit over the next few days for the Thanksgiving holiday, but I will reply as soon as I can.

BLACK FRIDAY is COMING! If you’d like to be included in a little COUPON CODE, sign up for my newsletter. Subscribers are the only ones who will get the code, so sign up today!

I will also be releasing little 4×6’ish (they are a tad bigger than that), pocket size Month-at-a-Glance calendars in the same colors as the journals. Those are still in the proofing process, though, so it might be a little longer before they’re ready to go. Here’s a little peek at what those will look like.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving! Love you guys!

hello, monday


Last week was so crazy with all the snow days. Today, it’s raining and 50 degrees. All the snow? Gone. I wish it would stay this way. Sigh.

How was your weekend? We woke before dawn on Saturday to travel an hour to Chloe’s first gymnastics meet of the season. It was her first USA Gymnastics meet, where she was given actual scores. She did really well. She got 1st place on beam, 3rd on floor, 4th on bars and 5th overall. Pretty good for her first meet. I’m a very proud mama. When I get the pictures loaded off my big camera, I will share some.

I’ll also share some from our niece Violet’s 2nd birthday party. I was so tired from getting up at 5 a.m. so I was a bit of a zombie, but I did take quite a few pictures. It was a good time with family, celebrating this sweet girl who brings so much joy to all of us. Such a cutie pie.

This morning, I thought I would get to catch up on a little sleep, but a text from Jake woke me up. He was stranded at the high school. His clutch was sticking and so he could not get it into gear. We had to pay to have it towed to our house ($$$) and then I had to take him to work. We’ve lived as a one-vehicle family before and it’s not fun. This kind of stuff always seems to happen at the worst time. Praying that it’s not an expensive fix or we will have to decide between fixing the vehicle or buying Christmas gifts for our kids. Ugh! :(

On a happy note, when we arrived home from Heather and Jeff’s yesterday, I found a sweet gift in the mail from Becky Higgins, this pretty Lisa Leonard necklace that says “I am Project Life”. Totally made me smile from ear to ear. These necklaces are available for sale in Becky’s shop and I believe there is a limited quantity. You can get one HERE!

week in the life | wednesday


Planned out another layout from Week in the Life digitally and edited/sized photos to be printed. I’ve got a few other projects going on all at once right now, so it’s one step at a time with my Project Life. Designing one layout for my Week in the Life about once a week is working for me. When I get all the photos ready for all seven days, then I will order prints and finish the layouts with my handwritten journaling.

This day in photos:

• Me making my morning coffee (used the timer on my iPhone camera)
• The thermostat reading 62 degrees in our house. Brrrrr. Cold days.
• All the leaves that had fallen from our big trees.
• My notebook, which I fill with ideas and thoughts and to do lists.
• McDs hamburger and small Coke for lunch this day.
• Chloe’s BFF rides the bus and we always end up behind her bus on our drive home.
• Zach working on his homework while I played a little Bubble Witch 2 and watched Dr. Oz and Ellen.
• Dropped the kids off at youth group.
• Got myself a coffee at Biggby.
• Sat at the park and listened to Elise’s recent podcast while waiting to pick up the kids.
• Snagged the picture of Chloe in the red puffy outfit from the youth group’s Facebook page. It was a game they played that night. Crazies! :)

As with my other Week in the Life layouts, I am using the Amy Tangerine Plus One Mini Kit (printing these from the digital kit) and Design A pocket pages.

Project Life is an amazing and simple system created by Becky Higgins for getting your photos and stories into albums. Learn more HERE.

*some affiliate links used

a year ago


A YEAR AGO YESTERDAY, I received this email from Becky welcoming me to the Project Life Creative Team for 2014. It came at the perfect time when I really needed something to life my spirits and that it did. I wanted to shout from the rooftops and share the news with everyone as soon as I heard. And it was so hard to keep the news under wraps for a couple weeks until the big announcement was made public.

I feel very blessed to have been a member of this team of wonderful girls that I’ve had the privilege of sharing alongside throughout this year. It has flown by. Really, I remember thinking how long a year was and how many pages I was going to crank out. Of course, I wish I’d had more time and gotten many more layouts in the album this year, but I’m proud of the ones I’ve finished and shared here. And I will continue to share here, just as I did before I was a member of the team. :)

Very soon, a new group of wonderful Project Lifers will be receiving a similar email and will feel the same excitement that I felt. I’m so looking forward to following along with them and all that they share in 2015!

the first snow day


Today is the first snow day of this school year. Last winter, we had so many snow days that the kids’ school year was extended into the middle of June. I’m praying that doesn’t happen again this year because that was not fun at all. Not that I mind a snow day now and then. To keep a positive attitude about this, I made a list of some good things about our snow day:

SLEEPING IN. Yes! I didn’t roll out of bed until 10 this morning and that was a blessing for sure. The kids got up a little later than me even. ;)

WORKING FROM HOME. It’s already a blessing for me to be able to work from home, but Jake was able to stay off the roads today and work from home, too. Technology is wonderful and he’s able to hook up to the office and still attend his conference call meetings from the safety of our house.

PJ’s and NO MAKEUP. I’m actually not in my PJ’s. I’m in jeans and a sweatshirt and cozy slippers today. It’s nice to not have to put on makeup or do my hair to go out. Chloe, however, is all dressed with her hair done. She also applied eyeshadow, mascara and lipgloss just for fun ’cause she’s not allowed to wear makeup yet.

BEING INSIDE. I am so thankful I don’t have to go out in the cold today. Temps are in the teens and it’s so nice to be able to stay in our cozy house and not have to go anywhere. Jake and Zach are going out in a little while to snow blow the driveway. Have fun, boys!

NO PLANS. Tuesday is already our family night, when everyone is home, no practices or youth group or library study sessions or other after school activities. It’s one of my favorite nights of the week. The night I don’t have to run the kids all over the place. So to have a snow day on a Tuesday … AWESOME!!!

It seems so weird to have half a foot of snow on the ground already. It’s not even Thanksgiving or officially winter yet. Last winter was a hard time for a lot of reasons, but I think I also get a little touch of the “winter blues” and I thought it would never end last year.

Several times this past week, I heard or read someone say, “Happiness is a choice we make.” You can choose to be happy in every circumstance and dwell on the positives or you can think about the bad side of things and be miserable.

Trying to start off the season with good, happy thoughts this year. I know it will help.

hello, monday

I said I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t listen to Christmas music or watch Christmas movies or make a space for the tree until after Thanksgiving.

But that’s exactly what we did this weekend. All of it!

The plan for Saturday was to have a day with my girl while the boys went to hang out with a friend of Jake’s. So we turned on Christmas music and danced around while straightening up the room and making a place for the tree. My brother, Rick, stopped by and hung out with us for a while, probably thinking we were crazy girls. When the guys got home, we watched Elf.

So, yeah. That happened.

I also spent some time working on a little something special for people who subscribe to my email mailing list. Anyone who subscribes from here on out will get this downloadable 8×10 print I designed using Psalm 91:4, one of the verses from my book, The Truth About Drew.

If you already subscribed, don’t worry. I will be including this in the next newsletter, too, which is coming later this week!

If you haven’t signed up yet, enter your email address below and watch for instructions in your email inbox. Don’t forget to click the link in the email to confirm your subscription, too.

And I would love to see what you do with the print. If you get a print and hang it up, show me! Email a picture or comment a link. :)

happy things


I’m looking at my calendar today and kind of freaking out that we’re only a couple weeks away from December! How did that happen? I am looking forward to the holidays and the nice winter break we get for Christmas and New Years. We got that snow I talked about the other day with more on the way. The roads yesterday and last night were not pretty. No snow plows were out until after the snow fell and melted on the roads and then refroze to sheets of ice when the temps dropped into the 20s. That seemed a little backwards to me, like they could have at least been out putting down some dirt on top of the ice or something. People were off the road everywhere.

On a sidetone … yes, I know it’s not smart to take photos while driving, especially in this kind of weather. I held it up in front of me (not blocking my view) and pressed the volume button on the side of my phone letting the phone focus and snap a few photos on its own and that was that. I did not look at my phone screen to make sure it was in focus at all and it took me all of about five seconds. My eyes never left the road and there were no other cars around. And I did not look at the photos to see if they turned out until I arrived at my destination. I do not recommend this behavior at all. If my son or daughter did this, I would take their phones away forever. ;)

Kind of a funny story about this bad habit of mine … when we were in Yellowstone, I drove through the park and also had my big camera sitting beside me or in my lap the whole time. It’s mostly slow driving through a lot of areas and I would whip my camera up and take pictures out the window or through the windshield. We were driving like 5-10 mph through one area where a lot of cars were stopped or creeping along to look at a little bear that was off the side of the road. There were park rangers nearby kind of directing people through the area and making sure nobody approached the bear. As we drove by slowly, I lifted my camera and the ranger said, “Driver, please pass your camera to a passenger in your vehicle.” haha!

I didn’t listen very well, though …

Since the snow is not my favorite, I thought I’d share some things that are making me happy this week:

• Zach and I found THIS at the grocery store yesterday! What? Love these. We are SO making them this weekend. Mmmmmm.

5 Hymns on She Reads Truth this week. So many beautiful songs. My favorite has always been It is Well With My Soul. But I really love so many. Including this one:

• We’re only a week away from The Truth About Drew’s Kindle Countdown deal. Starts next Friday (the 21st) at 99¢ for a few days, then bumps up to $1.99 and so on through the day after Thanksgiving when it goes back to regular price. If you haven’t bought it yet in eBook form, this would be a great time to pick it up! One of the most important scenes in the book takes place at Thanksgiving, so this would be the PERFECT time to read the book!

• Finally listened to my first Christmas song of the season. “O Holy Night” sung by Mercy Me. The snow this week has kind of put me in the holiday mood, so it might be time to turn it to the Christmas channel.

• Knitting! I’ve been doing quite a bit of knitting lately. I always get into it more in the colder months. Sitting under a blanket on the couch, knitting away. My favorite winter pastime. I recently finished this great big bulky infinity scarf for myself and, after seeing Elise’s cowl tutorial yesterday, I decided to give that a try, too. I’ve never really knitted in the round before. I have circular needles, but just never tried. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be.

That’s it for today. Have a wonderful weekend!

week in the life | planning tuesday


Week in the Life was a lot of fun to do this year and I’m still going through the pictures I took and planning out my pages before I get the prints ordered. This is my Tuesday layout, which I laid out using the Design A digital templates (available HERE for FREE!) and Photoshop. I’m working on one day at a time from that last week of October. No pressure to get them all done at once. Just whenever I feel like it or when I’ve got an extra half hour. That’s about how long it took me to choose the photos, resize and save them for printing, drag them into the templates in photoshop, and shuffle them around until I was happy with the look of it. That’s kind of how it goes sometimes. When you’ve got a little time and you feel like making something, you just go with it.

our Fall so far


This lovely heart-shaped leaf flew over to us and landed right by our feet on Halloween night when we were eating hot dogs at the trunk-or-treat that always sets up at the end of the street each year.

We’ve developed a nice routine since school started. It took a little while to get adjusted to it, but now we are on a roll. And I feel completely exhausted. I’ve got more time to work during the day with this new schedule, so I’ve thrown myself into editing my book and this new project, and I feel like I’m just working, working, working. Not slowing down much. I have a killer knot in my neck that could use a really good massage. All my stress ends up in my shoulders.

But this is how it goes. I put a lot of work into my projects and then, once they are finished, they can go out into the world and just be. And I can just be for a while, too.

I am longing for that right now. A real break without thinking about the work that still needs to be done. I thought photography stuck me in front of the computer for too long and then I started writing. ha!

Here’s what’s been happening around here with the rest of my little family:

• Jake is working extra hard at his job after the two people who worked with him left for other jobs. Such a bummer. But he will soon get a new person to help, so that will be a big relief for him.

• He is also a creative person like me and has started making mini terrains for games like D&D out of styrofoam, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, whatever he can find. It’s pretty impressive the stuff he comes up with. He just started a You Tube channel, Mini Terrain Domain, to share “how to” videos and other fun stuff. If there is a guy (nerd!) in your life, point him to JAKE’S CHANNEL.

• Zach is doing pretty good so far his freshman year. He seems to have adjusted just fine to the high school. His computer class is his favorite. They are doing all kinds of programming and he is very into it. We knew he would be.

• Unexpected stuff already his freshman year. Yearbook orders were open like the first couple weeks of school. I don’t remember ever ordering them that early. And already the kids ordered their class rings. Freshman year? I think we got ours maybe when we were sophomores. Maybe I’m wrong. I just wasn’t prepared for it when the packet came home and showed me all the $$$ we needed to come up with.

• Chloe is our busy girl. She’s in gymnastics again this year and is gearing up for her first meet of the season. This year is the first she will compete for a score. Her shiny new USAG # arrived in the mail the other day (you have to be registered with USA Gymnastics to compete above Level 3 Fun Meet status) and I think she’s ready!

• She is also in choir at school this year and they have been preparing to put on a little musical, Beauty and the Beast. I was really proud of Chloe for trying out for an acting part. She didn’t get one this time, but I’m so impressed she did it. Such a brave girl, always wanting to be a part of everything. So very much her father’s daughter. :)

• It already snowed once this fall, but we are about to get our first real, stick to the ground, get out the window scraper and maybe a shovel kind of snow this weekend. If you’ve followed this blog for very long, then you know I am not a fan of winter. Ugh! But I do enjoy snow leading up to and through the holidays. Once January 1st rolls around, it can stop, though. Last year was the worst for snow days and we ended up extending the school year into mid-June. Forecasters are predicting a worse winter than last. Double ugh!

• The snow does make me want to get the house ready for the Christmas tree and pull out all the Christmas movies and start watching, though. That might have to start happening this weekend while the snow is falling. :)

• Have a wonderful Wednesday!

project life® | a wedding and a day on the island


I finally used the Heidi Swapp Project Life Foil Value Kit with some pictures from Alex and Shay’s wedding from back in September and I love it for this layout. A little bit of blue to match the car she arrived in and the gold foil looks so pretty alongside wedding photos. <3



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Also put together a layout from our day on Mackinac last month and I love how well the Amy Tangerine Mini Kit cards went along with the colors of my photos from the island. The cards for this layout were printed from the digital version of the kit. I just had them printed at our local Walmart along with my 4×6’s and wrote on them with the Project Life Pens and it worked out great.


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It’s been so wonderful to be a part of the Project Life® Creative Team for 2014! Can’t believe there’s only about six weeks left. :( Project Life is an amazing system created by Becky Higgins for getting your photos into albums in an incredibly simple way. Learn more HERE!

AJAXed with AWP