Sunday, May 09, 2010

One month

That's how long it's been since my last blog post.

Clearly I am not doing a better job at staying caught up.

This seems to be the trend in many areas of my life!

I have the DESIRE to do so many crafty things but can't seem to finish any projects that I've started.

The WORST has been scrapbooking. The most recent entry in my scrapbooks is November 2005. Which puts me about 4 1/2 years behind. I love scrapbooking. And I have a group of friends that we go scrapbooking at a local scrapbooking store about once a month. It seems to be the ONLY time I can get any scrapbooking done anymore. The past month or so has been "slow" as far as things-to-do around the house (just STRESSFUL with a bunch of other stuff), and I have not scrapped a single page. I even joined a scrapbooking page kit club - - in hopes that perhaps this would add to my motivation. I LOOOVE the kits, but have not gained any new motivation.

Then there's the knitting and the sewing and the crocheting and the reading and the cleaning and the getting rid of junk and BLOGGING............. oh the list is endless.

Where is this going? I don't even know. I just know that somehow I need a kick in the pants and a dose of motivation to get better at BEING CAUGHT UP on stuff. :)

Friday, April 09, 2010

My poor neglected blog :(

So it's been, what, 3 months? Yeah... ME = FAIL! I have no words! I want to say I haven't forgotten about you............ but I have. I really honestly have and can't think of anything to blog about now that Project 365 version 2009 is over. We've been busy... but I just haven't had the energy to keep up with the catch up. We celebrated the boys' birthdays in the past month, as well as a two week spring break full of sickness. A bunch of other birthdays of family and friends. Easter. Valentine's Day. St. Patrick's Day (also B's birthday). A job change by Rob. I've been keeping busy with some photo sessions. And a 4 year old and a 6 six old. I hope to think of something clever soon, but for now... a few pictures. :)

Brayden blowing out his birthday candles!

A couple of stray Easter bunnies, getting ready for church....
Jack enjoying his birthday cake, even though he was sick and we spent much of the day at the doctor's office and then the pharmacy!

That's all I've got! If you're still around, say hello!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Last two Project 365 shares...

Back when I started the Project 365 journey, I downloaded these quick pages from I'm using the first one as a cover page, and the second one as the last page of the book. The second one includes on picture from each month of 2009. I think it's a nice finishing touch. Hoping to send the book off to print today... :)

And with that, my 2009 Project 365 journey comes to a close.

I've had a lot of people ask me if I'm going to do the project again in 2010. The short answer is NO!

The long answer is, while I love the idea of having a book like this every year, I'm burned out. By the end of the year (the last several months in fact) I just didn't know what else to take pictures of. If there wasn't a specific event to document, everything felt repetitive. I can't even count how many nights, an hour before sending the boys off to bed, I realized, "Oh no! I haven't taken a picture yet!" and had to scramble for an idea. While the project was absolutely rewarding, I feel it wouldn't be as special to do it again this year. I don't expect the day-to-day life will change much from last year to this year. I'll still take pictures, and somehow I need to figure out a way to get better at scrapping them (I'm still torn between traditional paper and digital scrapbooking... and I take SO MANY PICTURES that it's hard to decide what to scrap and what not to... I'll probably never figure this out!).

I do want to share though... I do think I will do another Project 365... someday. One of my 2009 P365 friends (Hi Margaret!) who came up against similar struggles by the end of the year suggested the idea of doing it again in 5 to 10 years. And I looooove that idea. I'm thinking 2014... what a fun way to document how the day-to-day changes over time.

For now, I have a few other photography challenges to conquer for 2010... not the least of which is continuing to pursue the building of my own family photography business (link in the side bar). I am also planning to participate in a weekly, theme-based photography challenge (although I already missed out for week 1). And hopefully I'll still find something to blog about here and there. :)

Thanks to everyone who followed me through this journey! I'm sure I'll take pictures of the finished book to share when it arrives!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Week 53 Layout

Week 53 layout...

(click to see a little bigger)

Credits: Kit is Plaisirs d'hiver DigiCrea collab kit; Template by IkeaGoddess; Fonts are Pea KatieH, Pharmacy, and Tahoma

I have a couple more pages to share... front and back cover pages (but not the actual covers)... then Project 365 for 2009 will be ready to put to bed!

Week 53 (12.28 - 12.31)

I disappeared! In the 11th hour to boot! No, I did not abandon Project 365 during its final week for 2009... I took my final pictures, started working on my layout... then the clock struck midnight on December 31 and I think I had built myself up to that meaning I was "done," even though the project itself was not done yet.

During the final week of 2009 I went through and proofread and color-corrected (long story) the first 52 weeks worth of layouts. I also uploaded them to a photo site that makes photo books and expected that all I had left to do was add the last two pages for week 53 and I'd be done. I started assembling my book, at which point I discovered that "100 pages" means "50 pages front and back" not "100 pages front and back." My book is 106 pages long. ACK! Okay I knew this was a possibility, but really hoped my version of 100 pages and the site's version of 100 pages were the same. Needless to say I was a little bummed about all the wasted effort.

But do not fear... I found another, more expensive site which will create my longer than 100 pages book. I spent a good portion of the day on New Year's Eve uploading and assembling my book on this new site. Only to run into another road sblock... some of my pages had text and pictures too close to the edges... close enough that they could be cut off in the printing. So once again I went through my layouts one by one working to ensure that my text was far enough away from the edges that it would not be cut out during production. Check.

So I'm done! NO! There's more! Now I need to design a COVER! A cover???? Okay I probably should have planned for this as well. But after the New Year's Eve resizing fiasco, I was BURNED OUT. I took a week off. :) After my brief P365 vacation, I went through all 365 photos a couple of days ago, and chose a few (24 to be exact) for my cover design. And I opened up that week 53 layout and started putting the finishing touches on it. And I figured... I better blog that last week before I bury this project forever! Very likely to happen as soon as I order the book!

So without further ado (or long-winded story telling).... WEEK 53 in pictures!

While cleaning the boys' bathroom last week, I was nearly knocked over by the smell of the boys' bath toys. I knew our water and years of baths had done a number on them, but I didn't realize just how bad they were. Sooo... we decided to use some of the boys' Christmas money to buy new bath toys. I threw away a ton of the old, stinky toys, and replaced them with some new ones. There was a bit of a fuss about the toys that were tossed, but overall, I think the boys are enjoying the new lineup!

For Christmas, Jack and Brayden got sleeping bags from the Easter's. With all the craziness of the new toys the received, they kind of forgot about their sleeping bags until tonight. I unrolled their bags for them and kind of showed them how sleeping bags work. Immediately, they decided they wanted to change into their pajamas, turn off all the lights (except the Christmas tree), and have a pajama party! We set their bags up by the tree and they had their little party. It didn't last long, but it sure was adorable!

The past few days... maybe because of some of their craft-related Christmas presents, the boys - especially Brayden - have been very into "coloring." Something that has never held their interest for very long. Still, they sat and colored in their old Tonka coloring books for at least an hour tonight. Brayden chose to use markers in his book, and Jack opted for crayons. They were both very serious about the task at hand, and did not want to put their coloring stuff away when it was time to eat dinner!

New Year's Eve! It's hard to believe the year is already coming to a close... the time goes by so fast! We spent our morning at Monkey Bizness with our neighbors so they kids could all play! Then the Johnson's had us over for dinner and games, and this was the sight outside our front door as we left to walk over to their house. A full moon, the last full, "Blue" moon of 2009. It took me a few tries to get my settings right, but I love the outcome of the photo. We had a great New Year's Eve, and a fantastic 2009!
Coming soon... the week 53 layout... and then I'm going to need to figure out something new to blog about! :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Week 52 Layout

Ta da! Week 52 is done! 4 days to go!

Click to see a little bigger...

Credits: Kit is Candy Cane Christmas by Miss Mint of Peppermint Creative; Font is Pea Heather Michelle; Template by Simply Yin

Week 52 (December 21-27)

Well first and foremost... Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a blessed Christmas surrounded by loved ones. I know we did!

So it seems I've taken to blogging once a week... the whole week's pictures at once. Not sure if it's easier this way or not... but here in the home stretch of 2009's Project 365... it works!

The boys were long overdue for a haircut, so we gave them our usual "at home" haircuts tonight. Although tonight was different, because they were both completely miserable about the whole process! The whining and complaining started before the scissors even came near their heads. Usually haircuts are a slight hassle, but tonight it was like pulling teeth! Jack pouted and complained of hurting feet, Brayden cried, and Rob and I were generally stressed out!

Brayden randomly started playing "Santa" tonight... he was using the love seat as his sleigh, and had packages (block boxes) in the back to deliver to all the good boys and girls. After we caught on to what he was doing, I put one of our Santa hats on him - "Santa Brayden!" Of course, then I tried to get a picture and the fun ended. Still, if even for a moment, he was very cute driving his sleigh yelling "HO HO HO!" over and over again!

On our agenda today was baking and decorating gingerbread cookies. The boys helped roll the dough and make the cut-out shapes. We had gingerbread men, snowmen, snowflakes, and Christmas trees. They love helping with baking projects right now. Then our whole family together had a great time decorating the cookies after dinner. I think the end result was one of our most creative batches of decorated cookies yet!

At long last... Christmas Eve! We mostly spent a low key day at home... I did some baking while the boys played and Rob rested his back. (It's not Christmas without Rob's back acting up!) We went to mass at STM, then had my mom over for dinner. She gave the boys some gifts, then they changed into their new, annual Christmas jammies! We left a snack for Santa and his reindeer, read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," and hurried off to sleep so Santa could come!

Merry Christmas! Jack was up at 6:01am (earlier, but that's when he got out of bed!) despite telling us the night before he was going to sleep until 8 or 8:30! Ha! Brayden, however, slept till 7:30! We headed downstairs to see the goodies Santa left for us! It was truly a magical Christmas with the boys this year. We had a nice morning at home, and took (via self-timer - thus, not focused well) our annual Christmas jammies family photo. Then we headed to Uncle Brian's for the afternoon and evening with the Roe's.

Over the course of the holiday, we did our fair share of baking... and also acquired, as gifts, even more baked goods and sweets. On the counter is the collection of our spoils... gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies, shortbread cookies, brownies, peppermint bark, chocolate covered pretzel sticks, skittles, reese's pieces and peanut butter cups, milk duds, tootsie rolls, salt-water taffee, and more... and not shown are the leftover apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake in the fridge.

The Broncos' second to last game of the regular season was today, an important game to win if we want to make it to the post-season. Jack was super excited to wear his new Brandon Marshall jersey during the game today - a Christmas gift from Mommy and Daddy. Over the course of this season, Marshall has become Jack's favorite player. Sadly, the team lost in a very close game against the Eagles. Jack played his own pretend football game for almost the whole game!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Week 51 Layout

I had my layout done before the end of the day Sunday... that hasn't happened for awhile! It seems I must be motivated to get this project finished up so it's ready to print when the end of the year arrives!

So without further ado... Week 51. Click to see bigger....
Credits: Kit is "Evergreen Holly" by Miss Mint at Peppermint Creative; Font is Pea Candice; Template is by Scrap'Anges

Week 51 - on time! :) (12.14 - 12.20)

I "stole" the idea for this year's teacher's gifts from one of my Scrap Mania friends, Jennifer. She made these adorable little tins, and let me borrow her die-cut supplies to make the materials for my own tins. They turned out so cute... I can't wait to give them to all the boys' wonderful teachers! (The final product will be filled with hard candy and chocolate!)

I went into Brayden's class today and decorated cookies with the preschoolers! Each child got to decorate three cookies with icing and sprinkles. They all had so much fun! By far the favorite part was the sprinkles... as you can see by Brayden's plate! And most of all, Brayden was thrilled I finally helped in his class!

Every year, the boys make little craft ornaments for their teachers, family, and friends. This year's ornaments are little foam wreaths which the boys decorated with foam stickers and glitter glue. I added a picture of the boys to the wreath's opening when they were dry. There is nothing better than stickers, glittle, and glue to these two!

An impromptu dance party broke out in our home tonight... dancing to the music on one of the old toy cell phones. Brayden's dancing was complete with wearing the toy goggles that go with our Snoopy stuffed animal. Wearing them, everything looks green. The faces he makes when he is rocking out are hilarious! The song selections were mostly classics they know from the Little Einsteins.

We took the boys to the Wildlife Experience tonight for their "Winter Wonderlights" display. It was nice because they had the lights outside, then activities inside too, to warm up after the cold! The boys wrote letters to Santa inside... here Jack is writing, "I have been very good this year." We finished the trip off seeing The Grinch on the big screen!

We hosted a pre-Christmas dinner for the Martin families at our house this evening. The kids all wanted to sit at our already-to-small table, so we improvised and had our infamous picnic dinner instead, while watching The Polar Express. Carter and Noah joined the big kids for a quick photo... Carter was so cute resting his head on Jack's back! All in all, we had a great family night!

During our get together last night, the kids all opened their gifts from their aunts and uncles. The boys love the play food they got from Uncle Chris and Aunt Sarah, and the Shel Silverstein poetry books from Uncle Ryan and Aunt Pam. Jack was asking to read poems from "A Light In The Attic" all day, and Brayden spent his day "grocery shopping." He's carrying his bags to the checkout here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Week 50 Layout

At worst, from here on out, I'll never been more than a couple of weeks behind! Yay! Kind of loving the Week 50 layout... :)

Click to see a little bigger...

Credits: Kit is Hermitage by Amanda Dykan; Font is Century Gothic; Tempate is by M Originals

Week 50 (12.7 - 12.13)

At long last, we've worked brushing teeth in the morning into our "get ready for school" routine. Jack has gotten very good at brushing his own teeth, but Brayden still usually needs some clean-up work. This morning though, he was trying to shard to do a good job and get all his teeth clean! And the bed head is tremendous!

Tonight the boys (finally, a little late!) made their construction paper ring countdowns to Christmas. Brayden had fun making the first couple of rings, then he was ready to move on to other things (like playing cars). Jack, however, was very dedicated to the project, and wrote numbers and drew little festive pictures on every ring! I love his little Santa!

I bought this big piece of brown fabric awhile back to make myself a big "blankie." I've used it as a photo prop a few times, but finally decided to sew it up into my blanket. All was going well till I attached the satin border... which didn't really match and was super difficult to put on straight. So now I have a big ugly (warm) blanket, and need a new photo prop!

Brayden has become quite the whiner and pouter in recent days. I can't remember exactly what he was whining to me about, but my camera was right there so I snapped a picture of his pathetic whiney face. Which, for whatever reason, caused him to crack up. So I got a picture of that too! I like the happy face better than the whiney one!

We had a playdate at the Gumm's house today. Alyssa and I went down to the basement to check on the playing boys, and were surprised to find that, of all the things they could be doing, they were all playing together in the play kitchen area! They were cracking themselves up making "water soup." Who said that playing kitchen is just for girls!?

Basketball continues to be a lot of fun! Today was the second to last practice. Rob has been working with Jack before the formal practice begins on shooting from his chest. His technique really is improving... we really can see changes from one week to the next!

We made our annual visit to see Santa at Park Meadows today. The boys could have sat and atlked to Santa for hours I think! This is the first year there were no real nerves, just smiles and excitment! Okay, Jack was a little nervous. ;-) They also enjoyed playing around on the reindeer bench after visiting with Santa!