Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December Daily 2009: Day Twenty-Three

The presents are wrapped, and the bows are tied. Our tree is decked, and stockings are hung. Cookies are baked and cards are mailed. And through it all it’s been the advent light that kept us focused on the true meaning of Christmas.

Right before Advent I decided I wanted to create an advent wreath. I was desperately needing something that would be center of our Christmas season. Yes, I could have bought one but in my head I envisioned something simple and beautiful. So Thanksgiving weekend I headed to Hobby Lobby to check out their sales, and what I assumed would be an easy purchase of purple and pink pillar candles. Well, not so easy. I settled for white and pink as an alternate and quickly lowered my "simple and beautiful" expectation. Then I headed to Kohl's to pick up some pants for Sean (at the low, low price of $5 a pair!), and thought to check out their candles. And there they were. EXACTLY what I envisioned in my mind. Throw them together with simple greenery and voila! The advent wreath was complete.

These simple candles have indeed kept us focused on the true meaning of Christmas. Every evening, as a family, we have looked forward to sitting down together for dinner and lighting the candles and saying grace. Each week the excitement grows as we light one more candle. This week all four candles are glowing brightly. A pure and simple reminder of Christ. The Light of the World.

Thanks Kohl's for making my Christmas complete. And at 50% off? Priceless.

Credits: Ali's December Daily frames (edited), Ali's holiday words, font - Ali's and Mom's Typewriter

December Daily 2009: Day Twenty-Two

The cutting room floor. Outtakes. Left behinds. Whatever you want to call em, they happen. In movies, music, and yes in scrapbooking too. One of the things I love about digital scrapbooking is these pictures are still intact and can be used over and over again. In all their glorious imperfection!

These are only a handful of the shots taken in December that haven't made it into my December Daily book. They were either out of focus, low resolution, or just didn't fit into the story I wanted to tell about that particular day. Today I didn't take any pictures and honestly didn't do anything worth documenting or capturing. Laundry. Cleaning. Exercising. All boring every day things. Sean and I did sit in the big comfy chair in the evening, played with a Santa Winnie the Pooh and giggled under a blanket. I thought it would have been uber-cool to be able to capture it on film, but settled instead to just enjoy the moment. I hope to remember it forever.

Meanwhile these moments were worth capturing too. Even if in just a teeny-tiny square. All together they create a beautiful mosaic that tells a rich story about our life right now.

Credits: Katie Pertiet's Santa Baby & Krafty Christmas papers, scraplifted Paislee Press press plate No. 25 available for free here, Ali's 31 Days brushes, fonts - Mom's Typewriter.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December Daily 2009: Day Twenty-One

It is in giving that we receive. One of my most favorite things about Christmas is wrapping presents. I love picking out the right paper for each person and tying the pretty bows.Today was a marathon wrapping day. I was determined to get all the presents wrapped so I can spend the next few days doing laundry, cleaning the house and relaxing before Christmas Eve. Only three more days!

Credits: Katie Pertiet's Krafty Christmas paper, Ali's Holiday Word Art, Jesse Edwards Ribbon Strips, Font - Ali's

December Daily 2009: Day Twenty

Sean loves to dip just about anything. So this morning I introduced him to the fine art of dunking cookies in milk. He of course LOVED it! Nothing better than a homemade chocolate chip cookies dunked in ice cold milk. Add to it the soft glow of Christmas lights, and you have yourself a memory in the making. Except now I think we’ve created a monster. At dinner tonight he wanted to dip his bread in his milk. We have some learning to do.

Credits: Katie Pertiet's Krafty Christmas paper, Katie Pertiet Christmas Word Art, Jesse Edwards Ribbon Strips, Font - Ali's, Template scraplifted from Ali's Template No. 39

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December Daily 2009: Day Nineteen

Tonight was family movie night. Time for us to snuggle up on the couch and watch a new flick or an old favorite. This night we picked Jungle Book since Sean had never seen it, and it was nice and short. He loved Baloo and of course the elephants. And he laughed at all the right moments. After the movie we were off to bed, but first a bedtime story. This week we started reading The Polar Express, and Sean cannot get enough of it. He says “wow” at every page turn. Of course it helps that he loves trains. Maybe Santa will bring him a train of his own!?!

December Daily 2009: Day Eighteen

Cookie day! Today was a day for baking. Grammy came over and we made chocolate chip cookies, and only screwed up the first batch. The smell of cookies baking always reminds me of Christmastime. In the evening we traveled into town to see Santa with our friends Kelly, Teagan and Addison. Sean was hesitant but willing to sit on Santa’s lap. Addison not so much. Sean most enjoyed getting a lollipop, but was very sad to say goodbye. Maybe he thought of one more toy he forgot to tell Santa?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December Daily 2009: Day Seventeen

This picture is from 1971 when I was the same age Sean is now. I can see him in my eyes. . . and in that lollipop in my hand.

December Daily 2009: Day Sixteen

Do you see what I see?

A Christmas tree full of stories. The cutest little boy that ever lived. No more teaching for eight weeks. A beautiful advent wreath focusing on the reason for the season. Multicolored sparkly lights that look so cool when you squint. Visions of a sweet baby in 2010. The spirit of my dad in every corner of my house. Perfect and pure white snow that reminds me of God’s awesome power and beauty. Me wondering how I’m going to get through Christmas, New Year’s, Sean’s Birthday and prepare, plan and pack for our trip to Disney all in 30 days. Dreams of leaving the everyday behind on vacation and let the magic consumer me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December Daily 2009: Day Fifteen

This morning I set out to do my Christmas cards. Sean was dying to help, so I set him up with some alphabet stamps at the table with me. After a while I looked up and saw he had stacked them six tall. The kid amazes me with his creativity! The rest of the day was consumed with final grading on the laptop. I’m officially on break! No more school until February. Today was all about lists and order and accomplishing things. Such peace & tranquility.

Credits: Ali's December Daily Template (Vol 1), Katie Pertiet's Between the Lines Journaling Brushes; Katie Pertiet's Santa Baby papers, Fonts: Ali's Handwriting & Rockwell

December Daily 2009: Day Fourteen

A typical Monday in our house. Laundry, Sesame Street, allergy shots, and grading. This is my final week of class, and the end cannot come soon enough. Jeff installed our new Wii game system over the weekend. A family Christmas present. After dinner we took a break to play bowling. I won 2 games to 1. YES!

I lifted this from MajicInOz in the December Daily Flickr group. Since I didn't take any pictures today I figured it would be a good creative experiment. I'm not totally sure if I love it or hate it yet. But me thinks it's going to stay this way.

Credits: Katie Pertiet's Santa Baby Paper, Jesse Edwards Simple Flourishes Brushes & Stamps No. 6

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December Daily 2009: Day Thirteen

I caught Sean this morning reading his Pajama Bible in bed. What a sweet memory. Today we’re enjoying a quiet day at home enjoying all of our Christmas decorations.

OK, I admit -- these pages are nothing like what I originally designed! Shame on me. But the story of today just didn't fit into the design. And I love how it turned out.

Credits: Katie Pertiet's Santa Baby papers, Ali's Grid Template Pack No 1, Ali's 31 Days Brushes; Fonts: Mom's Typewriter & Susie's Handwriting

December Daily 2009: Day Twelve

What's so fun about the month of December is that it's not ALL about Christmas. Normal things happen. And special celebrations too. Like this day where we celebrated my nephew Corey's 11th birthday. A fun, relaxing party. Sean had a blast playing with his cousins, trying out all the musical instruments, and putting angels on his head.

I forgot my camera... again!... you would think I'd learn?!?! Luckily my brother has a good camera so I was the official photographer for the day. The bummer was I didn't realize his point and shoot was set for 800x600 resolution. Ugh! So while I captured an awesome shot of Corey blowing his candles out, I couldn't enlarge it very big. I had visions of the shot filling up alomost the entire spread, but had to settle for this smaller version. Even this one is going to be a little grainy when printed since it's about 200% the original size.

I have to remember... it's the moments captured that matter!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December Daily 2009: Days Ten & Eleven

A normal December day. We stayed inside all day since the weather was frigid cold in the single digits. Tonight was my last night of class (yippee!) and Uncle Mikey came over for pizza, a movie and to hang with Sean.

I didn't take very many pictures today, and glad I snapped this one of Sean and his uncaMikey!!

A busy day! We all had an appointment with Dr. Lewis this morning, and then off to go Christmas shopping. Sean loved the car cart at IKEA which made it easy on Santa’s elves. Next up, McDonald’s for a quick lunch. And then off to Grammy & Grampy’s to play with all the Christmas toys. On the way home we all wanted to nap...

I forgot my camera today. Ugh! And my cell phone. Double ugh! Luckily Jeff had his phone with him so I was able to snap a few pictures. I found it's ultra-shaky, so unfortunately a few of the shots are pretty blurry. Oh well. At least it's documented, right?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December Daily 2009: Day Nine

Our first major snowfall! Last night, more than six inches of snow blanketed our neighborhood. It was still snowing when we woke up this morning. We felt like we were in a snowglobe! Thank goodness we don’t have to go anywhere today. A day for Sean to play in the snow. Get stuck. Whine. Eat the snow. Fall down. Laugh. Pull off wet mittens. Eat more snow. Laugh. And cry when it was time to go inside. The snow will be here tomorrow, buddy!

Credits: Katie Pertiet's Santa Baby Papers

December Daily 2009: Day Eight

While we were on our honeymoon in 2002, Jeff & I decided we would buy an ornament on every vacation we would go on as a couple and, eventually, as a family. This has become a cherished tradition. Each Christmas when we decorate our tree we think back to those vacations and all the "stories" that go along with them. I wasn't able to snap pictures of every vacation, but most of them. From top to bottom, left to right -- Door County, WI, San Francisco, Ireland, Disney (we've been there 3 times since we married! so we have tons of Disney ornaments. This is Sean's first visit ornament), Kansas City, Jamaica, Hawaii, Shipshewanna, IN, and London.

Credits: Katie Pertiet's Santa Baby & Krafty Christmas papers; Katie Pertiet's Red Punched Chipboard Alpha.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December Daily 2009: Day Seven

December 7, 2009

Dear Sean, my sweet little buddy,

Ho! Ho! Hop! At twenty-three months you have quickly gotten to know Santa and what he says. I love how you add the “hop” at the end. Must be a subliminal longing for your favorite pop-pops (lollipops). You’re talking A LOT these days, and most of the time we have no idea what you’re saying. But you’re determined and repeat it over and over again until we understand.

All of the Christmas decorations and festivity makes you a little giddy. When we first put up the tree you danced all around and said, “pretty, pretty!” And you just can’t help yourself to not touch the ornaments and lights on the tree no matter how many times we say “don’t touch”. You also love the dancing and singing snowmen, turning them on and off over and over again. The other holiday decoration you love is your Little People nativity set. You’ve come to love baby Jesus, and have all of your friends -- such as Piglet, Mickey, a gorilla -- kiss him. Sadly baby Jesus has been thrown across the room a few times, but you’re learning!

Right now you’re into cars, trucks, and trains, trains, trains. Once Daddy put up the train tracks around the Christmas tree you immediately went to get your little Thomas the train and started pushing him around the tracks. Maybe you should ask Santa for your own train set?! You also love Woody and Buzz from Toy Story, and will quietly sit and watch the entire movie. Recently you really like watching Sesame Street. When it’s over you ask, “More? Ses-steet?”

Your birthday is right around the corner, and soon you will be TWO!! You’re growing so fast. Last week Daddy was getting you up from your nap, and I heard you talking & laughing. You were so happy. It made my heart smile. I quickly asked God to help me remember these moments and to cherish each and every stage of your childhood. I love your laugh, your bright eyes, your inquisitive nature, your naughty boyish charm, and your many kisses and hugs. I’m blessed to be your mommy.

Love, hugs, and lotsa tickles,
Mommy (age 39)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December Daily 2009: Day Six

Sean placed his boot outside his bedroom door last night in hopes that St.
Nicholas would drop off some goodies. He was thrilled this morning to find the
caring and generous saint left him his favorite pop-pops and cookies. Yummy!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December Daily 2009: Day Five

Today was a day for relaxing and catching up on grading papers. Only one more week of school and then December break... and a full session off in January. What bliss!! This evening we decorated the front room tree. Our decorating is going very slowly, but it’s nice not to rush. We’re really just enjoying the season and time together. A time for hope. A time to believe. Our Believe ornament was bought the year before we conceived Sean. This year we pray God blesses us with another little miracle.

December Daily 2009: Day Four

Today was our annual outlet mall shopping day. Sean and I joined Aunt Maureen, Aunt Shannon, Kari, Beanie and Annie for a day full of good conversation, great deals, and bitter cold weather. Baby, it’s cold outside! It’s funny, I rarely do Christmas shopping on this day but instead buy things for myself, the house or Sean. It’s more fun that way!

I picked up a pair of monkey slippers for Sean today. He's never worn slippers before, and he thought it was best. thing. ever. to happen in his young life! Couple this with the fact he ate a whole piece of chocolate cake for dessert, and he was bouncing off the walls. Literally. Ah, the joys of the season!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Daily 2009: Day Three

The first snow of the season! It didn’t stick around, but long enough for Sean to want to play in it! Today was a day for groceries, laundry, and baking a cake just for the fun of it. And the window gels were clung to the transom window. Slowly the house is starting to look... and smell like Christmas.

It's only day three of my December Daily project, and I already altered my original design. Uh oh. I'm honestly trying very hard not to be a perfectionist and change everything every day. The good news is I didn't change it too drastically. The shot of Sean at the patio door needed to be vertical, and the original layout only had two horizontal photo spots. So I flipped it 90 degrees, added another photo, and opted to have the journaling in the red bar with the number. I really like the final layout much better -- focuses more on the story, don't you think?

Here was the original layout:

Ali Edwards December Daily layered template #4
Katie Pertiet's Santa Baby Paper

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Daily 2009: Day Two

~ Wednesday ~

Oh Christmas Tree! What a joy every year when you’re dragged out of the garage and life is breathed into you. The day we decided to build our house Jeff said, “We’ll put our Christmas tree right here. And imagine all of our (future) kids waking up on Christmas morning and looking down from upstairs to see what Santa brought them!” Our dreams are coming true. Now, if only we can keep Sean from climbing up the tree before Christmas day!

December Daily 2009: Day One

~ Tuesday ~
The first day of December is here! Can you believe it? And the weather was so gorgeous, it's hard to believe that snow will be here sooner than we know it. The high today was 54. Wow! Sean and I took advantage of the nice day, and played outside for a little while after he woke up from his nap. Soaking up the sunshine while it lasts! I had class tonight, but then we started to decorate the big tree. It has been up since the day after Thanksgiving with no ornaments. No excuse except lack of time, but in the end it has worked to our advantage. Sean has gotten used to it being around, and hopefully won’t be as tempted to play with the ornaments! I also had to doctor our star. We bought a barn star in Shipshewana, IN a few years ago and Jeff rigged it with lights. It’s perfect for our tree, but the delicate assembly of the lights needs attention just about every year now. It’s worth it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

December Daily 2009

The beginning of a season. And the end of a year. A time for shopping, decorating, wrapping, parties, traditions, and more. But most of all it’s a time for hope. Examining those areas of our lives where we need to focus more attention. Our families. Our children. Ourselves. Our faith. This December I dedicate a little bit of time each day to document in words + photos how we are preparing our hearts and our home for the coming of Our Lord. It is my hope that we enter this season with grace, and slow down to enjoy the time together. A time of joy and wonder.

December Daily 2009 is here! Last year I watched wistfully from the sidelines of all the scappers who partook in this project inspired by the blog of Ali Edwards. I hoped this year I would be brave enough to jump in with both feet. And here I am! I've already gone ahead and designed all of the pages for each day of the month. Quite a feat! Hopefully they easily fall into place once the day comes -- we have no idea what we'll be doing on what day! I've promised myself not to be a perfectionist and simply document. It's the moments that matter, and worth capturing.

My goal is to snap pictures & journal each day, and then quickly grab a JPEG of the page to share with you. No promises! So no complaining if I miss a day or two.

Following are the credits for all of my pages to come:

Krafty Christmas by Katie Pertiet
Santa Baby by Katie Pertiet

Holiday Magic, Christmas Trees by Shabby Princess
December Daily Frames by Ali Edwards
December Daily Templates by Ali Edwards
Holiday Words by Ali Edwards
Christmas Memories Circles by Danelle Johnson
Ribbon Strips by Jesse Edwards
Between the Lines Journaling by Katie Pertiet
Christmas Word Art No2 by Katie Pertiet
Count Me In Photo Frames by Katie Pertiet
Holiday Dots No1 by Katie Pertiet
Mixed Stamped Titles No2 by Katie Pertiet
Red Punched Chipboard Alpha by Katie Pertiet
31 Days Circle Accents by Ali Edwards

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A giant among little people

It's such a joy to watch a toddler explore and immerse himself into the world of imaginative play.

Project Big Boy Bed

One morning this past week I was up early to get myself showered and ready for the day before Sean woke up. When I stepped out of the bathroom, Jeff said, "It sounds like Sean is playing with his humidifier. We'll have to move it out of his reach." In my head I was thinking, that's strange, it's already out of his reach. Lo and behold, it was definitely in his reach. When I opened his bedroom door I found him squealing with delight running around his room with the humidifier canister in his hand. Yep. You guessed it. He scaled his own crib unbeknownst to his parents and without a scratch or bruise.

That evening Jeff proceeded to convert his crib into a toddler bed. Then right before dinner we had Sean check it out and explore his room. He was giddy and kept climbing in and out of his bed. His tiny world is expanding quickly.

Meanwhile, daddy and I watched with admiration. And a watchful eye to see what he would get into on his own. We had never baby-proofed his room. Crazy, I know. We dug up some outlet plugs, strapped the tall furniture to the wall, and installed a door lock thingy so he wouldn't escape in the middle of the night.

Bedtime was the real indicator of how easily this transition would be. Normal routine: books, brush teeth, prayers, kisses & hugs, snuggle into bed with blankies and friends. Before I even closed the door he was climbing out of bed with glee & laughing. Then I heard "dark, dark", followed by a scared crying. I went back in and laid down next to the crib, but then it was all play. Let him cry it out. Next I heard rustling in a drawer and sent Jeff in to find him in the drawer with the medicine, etc. in his changing table. Oops, we forgot about that potential hazard. Then Daddy tried laying down next to the crib, but again, all play. Let him cry it out. Followed by silence and I think we're golden... *thump* followed by I'm hurt cry. Daddy finds him crying hysterically by the door and thinks he ran into the door. Daddy decides to rock him in the chair where he falls asleep promptly. All is quiet now. Fingers crossed.

Since then, naptime and bedtime has been a cinch. No issues. Crisis averted, and transition completed without lack of sleep. Whew!

Mmmmm... Halloween Candy!

Pinch me. Heck, slap me. I need to be reminded not to take this all for granted. Sean's second Halloween season proved to be a memory-maker. First, he was sick. Runny nose and the works. It goes with the territory, so we went with the flow. He napped well, and then dressed in his lion costume. We decided to do trick-or-treating lite, only four neighbor houses. He doesn't "get it" so this was a good introduction. He LOVED it, and hated to leave each house... crying until he got to the next. He didn't quite understand why we weren't going in and playing with the kids.

But the most memorable part of the season was his instant affection for all things candy. Every morning after breakfast he would seek out his halloween bag, and say "candy? peas?" (please for all you non-toddler speaking humans). Then he'd spend a good 3-5 minutes investigating all the candy he had, and handing it to me to open. Lollipops and M&Ms were about all he can handle right now. Mommy ate everything else. A tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

A successful childhood tradition accomplished. Runny nose and all.

Friday, October 30, 2009

First Jack-O'-Lantern

This goofy ole' grin is Sean's very first Jack-O'-Lantern. You might be thinking, "hey, isn't this kid going to be 2 soon?"... yep! Not only didn't we carve a pumpkin last year, I don't think we even bought one. Hence, no visit to the pumpkin patch either. We kept talking about it, and the next thing you know it was Halloween. Oops. This year we didn't make that mistake, and interrupted the nap schedule (oh my!) to head over to a local pumpkin patch for a few hours. The day was gorgeous, and perfect for walking through corn mazes, climbing huge haystacks, checking out pigs & chickens, and picking out pumpkins. OK, it wasn't exactly 'oh my God' perfect since there was a ton. of. mud. everywhere from the gazillion inches of rain we've had (I'm still banging the dirt off Sean's shoes out the back door). But eh, beggars can't be choosers.

This lucky pumpkin was picked to come to our house. And Sean and I had at it! I was anticipating a much messier affair, but I've come to appreciate my son's dislike of all things slimy and messy on his hands. He much preferred banging a spoon around inside and whipping out pumpkin guts on the fresh, clean floor. After about 5 minutes of that fun, he quickly bored with the whole activity and climbed down to go play with his cars and trucks. I LOVED doing it all by myself. A rush of childhood memories came back to me, carving pumpkins with my siblings and dad (mom couldn't stand the mess!). I'm blessed. And it looks like Sean likes the family tradition already.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Personalized Photo Board Books { Hello You Books }

Now you can create a personalized picture book durable enough for your baby or toddler! Hello You personalized photo board books engage little ones with familiar faces. Each story line gives you many opportunities to feature photographs of family, friends and his/her favorite things and places. Your child will turn to these books over and over again! All stories are simple, original and feature imaginative designs. And the books themselves are durable, waterproof and professionally printed. Each story is available in multiple sizes for a perfect fit!

Browse the story lines below, and check back often for new stories & designs. We're just getting started on this new product line! Feel free to email me if you have a story idea not featured and I'll be happy to create it for you. We can even print up your own original designs, contact me for the specifications.

– 5x5" Size = $24.99 + S/H
– 8x8" Size = $34.99 + S/H
– 6 x 8.375” Size = $29.99 + S/H
– 8 x 11” Size = $39.99 + S/H

My Very Own Alphabet Book

hello, baby - The story of your birth

~ Boy version also available ~

11 reasons to smile - The story of your birth

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Love Captured. Newborn Book (Twins) .... { Hello You Books }

My niece and nephew were born 8 weeks early, and stayed in the NICU for about one month. I created this book as a birthday gift for my sister-in-law. They are truly little miracles, and we are blessed by their arrival in this world.

Some of the pictures were their hospital pics taken by bella baby photography (they use freelance photographers). A far cry from the "slap your baby on a table and we'll take a picture with a camera that looks like an xray machine"!! I'm hoping my hospital contracts them when/if I have another baby!!

The design of this book was inspired by Paislee Press ( It's simple, clean and captures the moments perfectly with just words and photos. Email me if you're interested in creating a book like this for your newborn or twins!!

Front Cover
Title Page

Pages 2 & 3

Pages 4 & 5

Pages 6 & 7

Pages 8 & 9

Pages 10 & 11

Page 12 & 13

Pages 14 & 15

Pages 16 & 17

Pages 18 & 19

Page 20


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