Monthly Archives: December 2014

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one little word 2015

When I think back on my one little word for 2014 – OPEN, I feel like it has been a good word for me this year. I’ve been (tried to be) open to what God wanted to show me this year. I’ve been studying the Bible more (the She Reads Truth site has helped so much with that) and really taking everything to heart. I opened up and got over my fears and insecurities enough to share my book with family, then published it and shared it with the world, which was terrifying. I’ve been a little more open-minded (a teeny tiny bit … this needs work), opened up my heart some more for healing, and been open to new things, new ideas, new people.

At the same time, there were not so happy things about my word as well. When you open yourself up, sometimes it hurts or can bring pain if you allow it to. And I did at times. I let old ways, old feelings, and old pain affect me and my mood and the way I functioned as a wife and mother and writer. I wouldn’t say that it was really a bad thing, though. I did learn more about myself as the months went along. But some days I was just in awe of how God still loves me even when I have to be taught the same lessons over and over and over again. It’s got to be so frustrating for Him to deal with me sometimes. ;)

Overall, I’m happy I chose “open” and I want to continue to let that word be a part of who I am.

I’ve had my word for 2015 stuck in my head for months now. Seriously since the fall.

Project Life® card from the digital Dazzle mini kit

definitions: to gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in something by study, experience, or instruction. to hear or be told something. to find out.

synonyms: get, master, pick up, get the hang of. ;)

Back in September or October, I made a long list of things I want to learn. Quilting. Calligraphy. Sewing. Book binding. Letterpress. Watercolor painting. A bunch of fun crafty things. And lots of people and topics I’d like to learn more about. Former presidents. More history of Biblical times. Fascinating people. Books I’d like to read. Movies I’d like to see. As I get older, more and more things interest me and that thirst for knowledge that just wasn’t there in my younger years is alive and well now that I’m in my early 40’s.

So what I hope to accomplish with my word this year is to learn at least three things from my list of crafty skills and to read a few biographies (not sure of who yet) and older classic books I’ve never read. I’m not going to make a list a mile long of things I want to learn because I know that’s just setting myself up for failure, but I think just a few is totally doable. We shall see. I’ll be posting about them here on the BLOG under the category in the archives – one little word.

What’s your ONE LITTLE WORD this year? Leave a comment below! :)

hello, monday

Well, Monday is almost over, but I thought I would check in with a little Hello, Monday post after all. Did you have a nice Christmas? Ours is still going. ;) We had Christmas at our house on Christmas morning, then at my parents’ that afternoon, then with our Ohio family on Saturday, then Jake’s dad’s side of the family on Sunday. One more with his Mom’s side to go.

After being in such a sicky fog around Thanksgiving, just being together, watching all the little cousins enjoying the magic of Christmas, catching up with family, it was exactly what I needed. We had such a nice time at every family gathering.

And it’s so fun giving our kids gifts now. They gave us great ideas this year and we were able to surprise them with some of the things they asked for but didn’t really think they would get. In Chloe’s case, she asked for an Instax camera* and then forgot she asked for it, so she was very excited when she opened the box and exclaimed, “No! You did not!” What a girl. She’s been having fun with that, but it takes a lot of self control for her not to use up every photo on the 10 photo roll of instant film in the span of ten minutes. I’m loving those little instant photographs. Brings back memories of my Grandma always taking pictures of us with her Polaroid camera. Another special gift was from my Mom, who got each of the kids something to remind them of their faith in God – for Zach, a statue of a suit of armor to remind him of the verses about the armor of God, and for Chloe, a necklace with one of her favorite verses – Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” :)

It was a really wonderful Christmas!

*affiliate link used

On a more somber note, we had a couple losses this week. We learned on Saturday that Annie, Jake’s mom’s pug, passed away. RIP, Annie! :(

Then last night, we learned that Jake’s cousin Denise’s husband, Dale, passed away. Denise passed away a couple years ago. Prayers would be appreciated for the family and especially for their daughter, Ashley, as she grieves the loss of both of her parents. Thanks so much.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday this year. <3

best of 2014

Happy Christmas Eve!

This will be my last post of the year (unless I decide to pop in once or twice next week) and I wanted to again share the “best of”, some of my favorites from 2014. I did this back in 2002, too. It’s such a fun post to put together – looking back through all the photos from the year, reminiscing, thinking about all we’ve done, the good times, the challenges, all of it. Choosing just the highlights is tough. I went through each month’s photo folder and copied all the favorites from that month into a separate folder on my desktop titled “Best of 2014″, then pared them down more once the folder was filled with hundreds of photos.

There are still a LOT of photos in this post, so be patient while they load, then sit back and enjoy my favorites of 2014!

Click above photo to see all my Project Life posts from the year

Click above photo to read about Chloe’s elementary principal jumping from an airplane

Click above photo to see more from our nephew Alex’s wedding”

Click above photo to visit my SHOP and purchase any of the above books/calendars

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you! THANK YOU so much for all your love and support in 2014. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings.

Click above image to read today’s devotion over at She Reads Truth!

hello, monday

What a weekend! Between Chloe’s gymnastics Christmas party, the guys’ late game night with friends, staying up too late watching Gilmore Girls, splitting wood at my parents’ farm, and Christmas shopping today, we are totally exhausted! It’s so nice knowing it’s just the beginning of two full weeks off for Jake and the kids. Besides all the family Christmases, we plan to do a whole lotta nothin’ and enjoy every second of it. There may be a little cleaning and organizing and planning for the new year thrown in there, too. But mostly lots of relaxing together time.

I’ve got one more post planned this week, then I will be taking a little blogging break to relax and enjoy the holidays with my family. Merry Christmas! <3

our christmas cards

Yesterday was my second day of Christmas shopping. I don’t love to shop, especially at Christmastime when the stores are packed full of people, but I went to Barnes & Noble in the morning and there was barely anyone there, which was so nice. I’m not a fan of crowds, so it was wonderful to browse the store without having to maneuver around people or wait until they were finished looking at something I wanted to look at. Jake and I used to go to B&N all the time and just browse the books and have coffee. I need to do that more often. I love it there, surrounded by all those books.

Today, I thought I would share what I did for our Christmas cards this year. I had grand plans. On Thanksgiving day, we went to my parents’ farm and my plan was to take the usual family picture for Mom in front of the Christmas tree with Mom & Dad, my brothers, and us. Then we would go outside and take some pictures of just our little family. It’s been a couple years since we had our last family picture taken and I wanted new ones to make cute cards with.

But things don’t always go as planned.

As I’ve already shared here, I got a nasty stomach bug while we were at my parents house that day and spent the whole time lying on their bathroom floor trying not to lose my lunch. I was able to take the big family picture for Mom when the stomach cramps took a little break, but things only got worse for me as the day went on and Jake took me home early. So … no family pictures this year. :(

I was sad and decided I would just go with regular cards this year with … no picture … gasp!

So I picked up a few designs of boxed cards at Target (these three and the “happy holidays” design – below left). I love all of the Green Inspired brand of cards there.

But I was still sad, knowing how much I love getting cards with family pictures in them. It was bugging me every time I thought about sitting down to work on them. So I decided to make a little collage of a few favorite photos from the year and include a sentence or two about each of us. I used a card from the digital version of the Project Life® Seasons Mini Kit and came up with this.

Prints were made and attached to the inside of each card. It wasn’t what I had originally envisioned for our cards, but it worked.

Thank you to everyone who sent us a Christmas card this year so far. They’re all tucked among the branches of our Christmas tree with messages of hope and joy and love and your beautiful smiles greeting us daily. We are thankful for all of you.

in a fog

Our niece turned 2 and I barely remember it. A lot of things happened that week – snow days, Chloe’s first gymnastics meet, Violet’s birthday party, Chloe’s choir concert, a visit to my friend Jen’s new apartment – all leading up to the horrible Thanksgiving Day stomach flu. I have a feeling that I was already getting sick during that time and I didn’t know it. It’s like I was living those last two weeks of November in a fog. I remember being at each place, but like it was a dream or something. It’s really weird. And that led into our two weeks of vehicle problems and having to wake at 5:30 a.m. every day to get everyone where they needed to be, which left me a complete zombie (I am SO not a morning person!), perpetuating the fog-like dream state I’d been living in. Top that with the fact that I haven’t been running in over a month and haven’t had much of an appetite lately and you can obviously tell I need to take better care of myself. It’s a good thing Christmas Break starts on Friday. I need it. Bad.

So after three weeks, I finally looked through the pictures I took of Violet’s birthday and here are a few that I took before I fell asleep in their recliner and missed half the party. :(

Isn’t she precious? My goodness, we just love this little girl so much. And even though I have a vague dreamy recollection of this entire weekend, I’m happy that my camera trigger finger knows what to do even if I’m not completely myself. ;)

hello, monday | cards and calendars

This was my weekend. Well, not all of it, but a good chunk. My hand had a serious cramp in it after addressing envelopes. But I loved every minute of it, the entire process of going down the list, addressing each card, checking off the names as I go. Maybe I’m a little crazy, but it’s seriously fun for me.

Our weekend started off with some shopping with my Mom. Finally! Crossed a lot of things off my list. Best moment of the day … after searching for a very specific shirt for our picky girl, we stopped into Old Navy and I found the exact one, except they only had size XL women’s. I was so bummed, but then Mom noticed that the display shirt on the end, which had been all styled up with a sweater and belt over it, was a size XS petite! You better believe we disassembled the nicely styled display and snatched it up as quickly as possible. LOL!

Then our girl spent the night at a friend’s for a birthday party. She was so tired when she came home. Ah, I remember that sleepiness that comes from staying up until the wee hours of the morning at slumber parties. Good times!

Besides the Christmas cards, I photographed The Truth About Drew in front of our tree, because it’s on sale 15% off for the holidays (see yesterday’s post), and I took a few pictures of the calendar I made for myself that I’ve made available for you.

Very simple 4×6’ish (a little bigger than that) two-year calendars with just the monthly calendar and a space for notes along the left. I did not to include holidays or the cycles of the moon or anything like that. ;) I wanted a small blank calendar just for jotting down our plans, the kids school schedule, gymnastics practices, etc. Something I could keep in my purse or on my desk to refer to and not have to lug a big planner around. I still prefer to write things down rather than rely on my phone calendar. I’ve tried the electronic calendar route, but I just don’t like it. So I made this for myself. They are available to purchase through a link in the SHOP!

Hope you have a very happy last full week before Christmas. Yikes!

The gift of Drew

Hope you’re all having a nice weekend. I’ve got some of my Christmas shopping done finally! Yes! I wanted to share that THE TRUTH ABOUT DREW paperback is 15% off in my Amazon Createspace Shop HERE. It’s not too late to order a copy and share the story with a family member or friend. Enter COUPON CODE: BTY75ZUT.

Merry Christmas!

Project Life® Creative Team 2014!

I really wanted to get the prints made for this for my last Creative Team submission, a little layout in honor of this year’s team, but I didn’t get it done in time. So, I whipped up a little digital layout instead. Enjoy!

Here is the LEFT side.

And the RIGHT side.

And the FULL LAYOUT. Click for larger image.

It’s been an awesome year! Thanks again, Becky and Kari, and my wonderful Creative Team girls!

Project Life® December layouts

Well, it’s time to share my final Project Life pages of the year as a member of the 2014 Creative Team. So bittersweet. I will still be sharing layouts here on the blog going forward. In fact, several of us from this year’s team will be sharing each month and linking to each other’s blogs. A fun little blog hop!

Here are this month’s layouts. All are from the fall of 2012. I realized while looking back through my albums with Chloe recently that I have pictures for the end of that year, but I still had not finished journaling. So I chose a few weeks and finished them up.

All layouts use Design A pocket pages and the JADE Core Kit.


October 8 – 14, 2012 • This week we worked on painting the house, finished running Couch to 5K, painted Chloe’s room, and ended the week with a fun family pumpkin carving party at Jake’s sister Brenda’s house. Good times!

Click for larger image

October 22-29, 2012 • This was a week full of home improvements. Painting the garage, cleaning the house to start painting, putting new roofing on the roof above our kitchen. It was also the week of Hurricane Sandy. I had printed a couple of pictures of NYC I saw online and used them for this layout. The high waters and NYC without power.

Click for larger image

November 12-18, 2012 • Had the first snowfall of the year, our annual family photo session with Heidi and family, some Christmas shopping, movie watching, and the Santa Parade in downtown G.R.

Click for larger image

I have one more Project Life layout to share for the year. Check back soon. It’s a special one. :)

AJAXed with AWP