Monday, February 28, 2011

Frozen in time ... 59::365

We listened to sleet hit our window all night long. Spring is coming, right?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Comedian ... 58::365

Sean has this new look he gives when he's trying to be clever. I didn't quite capture it here (but I love this shot)... he tilts his head down, and then looks up with his eyes. Then he laughs at himself. A few weeks ago I told him he was a comedian. He laughed, so I asked him if he knew what a comedian was. He said, "yes, I change colors".

When did my three-year old learn what a chameleon is?

Red Barn ... 57::365

We decided to go for a drive today. For no reason. We headed north in the snow, and happened upon all sorts of lovely red barns. This one was the most interesting. Love that blue boat.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Disney 2010 Vacation Photo Book { Hello You Books }

The story of our 2010 two-week vacation to Disney World.

Whew! This is a BIG book. I never imagined it would be so big when I started it. Thankfully I decided on using Ali Edward's Week in The Life layered templates, which made this easy peasy. Not a whole lot of fuss. Just photos, journaling from my blog, and 14 monochromatic patterned papers... oh, and Mickey ears. We can't forget Mickey ears.

Ali Edwards Week in The Life layered template album
Word Art by Ali Edwards
Mickey gel from the Dreamin Kit by Digi-Designs by Nicole
Striped Multicolor Paper -- Shabby Princess, Happy Go Lucky
Grey Linen paper -- Katie Pertiet, Enchanted
Blue Ornamental Paper -- Shabby Princess, Happy Go Lucky
Green Leaf Paper -- Dianne Rigdon, Made in the Shade
Gold Ornamental Paper -- Shabby Princess, Happy Go Lucky
Red Squared Paper (altered color) -- Scrap Girls Refresh
Paislee Paper -- Shabby Princess, Happy Go Lucky
Yellow Squared Paper -- Scrap Girls Refresh
Aqua polka dot Paper -- Denise Liemert, Be Free Add-on pack
Green plaid Paper -- Denise Liemert, Be Free Add-on pack
Red with white circles Paper -- TaylorMade, Shine On
Yellow & White Striped -- Britt-ish Designs, Leave the World Behind
Green Diamond -- Shabby Princess, Promise

And I was definitely inspired by how Kayleigh handled her journaling in her Week in The Life album.
Fonts used: Century Gothic, CK_AliEdwards, Barbaras Hand, Twentieth Century, Courier New

Friday, February 25, 2011

Eye Spy with My Little Eye ... 56::365

Sean's favorite game lately. He doesn't get it, but loves to look with the magnifying glass.

Maintenance ... 55:365

I started getting allergy shots probably seven years ago, but my husband can probably tell you the exact date and day of week (he's like it... it's spooky). About five years ago I had reach maintenance level where I only had to go once a month to get the full dose. But then I got pregnant {finally!} with Sean and was afraid to continue them. I didn't have a clue why we had trouble conceiving, and I certainly didn't want to take any chances even though all research indicates that allergy shots are safe during pregnancy.

Shortly after Sean was born the sinus infections started coming back. And so I went back to the allergist and started the shots over again. With a green vial... then yellow... and finally red. Week after week. Sometimes twice a week.

Today I reached the full dose maintenance level. And it feels good.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rhythm of life ... 54::365

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.   -- Ecclesiastes 3:1

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dreaming ... 53::365

I made reservations today for a September trip to Disney World. Four nights at Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary, and five nights at the Beach Club Villas. I now have seven months to dream and plan.


My daily photos have been piling up on me. Hence, lots of posts today!! But I'm all caught up. You can now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Beautifully Messy ... 52::365

Memories of Maastricht ... 51::365

Wow, it's hard to believe that it's been twenty years since we studied overseas in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Today I met Paul and Rita for lunch to catchup and reminiscence about our days riding bikes, traveling on trains, and staying in youth hostels. Oh, and yea, celebrating Carnivale. Some of us forget the sordid details.

I haven't yet scanned my photos from twenty years ago, so I'll leave you with this video my dad took when he & my mom came to visit. This was where we lived, affectionately called "the Heug". Paul, what the heck was going on with your face here? Is it sunburn?

P.S. I kind of cheated on my daily photo today. This was really taken on Rita's camera by our waiter at CPK.

Family ... 50::365

We celebrated five birthdays this night. What a great time!

Family. From 3 to 95 years old... we're blessed.

I forgot my DSLR and had to snap this photo with my point and shoot. Which clearly didn't do a very good job in the moody lighting. But memory captured. That's what matters.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Grandparents ... 49::365

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.

-- Alex Haley 

Sean and I spent the day shopping the outlet mall with Grammy. And then we came home and joined Daddy and Grampy for dinner. Boy, we had such a great time. Thanks Grammy & Grampy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Meltdown ... 48::365

It's 53 degrees outside right now. Hard to believe that we were buried in two feet of snow two weeks ago, and then battling subzero temps a week later. And while I'm wearing my windbreaker today, I'm not packing away my winter coat just yet. This is Chicago, you know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Uh Oh Spaghetti-O ... 47::365

Sean is very much a peanut butter & jelly kid. He would eat it eagerly for lunch every day if he could. But every day I give him a choice of two things -- PB&J or something else. Today I offered ravioli, knowing we had a handful of the { very healthy! } Chef Boyardee in the pantry. Much to my surprise he chose ravioli. So I asked again... this time saying PB&J last because I think most of the time he just chooses the last thing I say. Oh wow, he chose ravioli again. And then he added all-excited-like, Dora ravioli!

Spaghetti-O's. And he ate almost the whole can. Dora does it again.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pen Pals ... 46::365

In the third grade I had the opportunity to get a foreign pen pal for $1. It was the best dollar I ever spent.

Ute and I have been friends now for 33 years. We've met in person on a number of occassions, and she even came to my wedding. But the letters are at the heart of our friendship. We have written to each other about friendship, boy crushes, struggles at school, marriage proposals, pregnancy news, and losing our fathers. There have been many a letter received where I've cried... and plenty more where I've laughed out loud. Oh, the lost art of writing letters. In the new age of technology our written letters are few and far between. We're now friends on facebook, and Ute follows my blog regularly.

But today. Oh today, I received a letter. And these scrumptious chocolates Ute picked up for me while she and her family were on ski holiday in Austria (doesn't that sound divine?). Sean promptly dug into the chocolate, but I sat and devoured the letter. There's just something about reading the written words of my dear old friend that make my world seem more peaceful and lovely.

The chocolates are (definitely) an added bonus.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Child's Play at Heart ... 45::365

Happy Valentine's Day!

We don't do a whole lot around here to celebrate Valentine's Day except for lots of hugs & kisses and zinging lovey sentiments to each other all day long. This year I decided to pick up a little gift for Sean -- Learning Resource's Hide 'n' Peek Chocolates. He's in love. And while I like little gifts and sentiments of love on Valentine's Day from my sweetie, seeing the pure joy in Sean's face while playing with this new, simple toy makes my heart bubble with happiness. I'm in love.

Photo edited with Coffeeshop's Orton Effect action.

Happy Valentine's Day

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Goodbye Reports ... 44::365

Yes, this is a boring.

It's not a creative photograph in the least. And yes, it is of my computer screen. But this is what I worked on for the better part of my day... while Sean destroyed the house to the point where I can't walk out of the office/playroom without stepping on something.

For 10 years I have generated these catalog circulation reports for Learning Resources every month along with various sales summary reports. This was one of a handful of projects they asked me to continue doing after I quit working full time, and it's the last. I decided not to do them in 2011. I need to focus more on my teaching and being a SAHM. So this weekend I'm finishing up 2010, and then I'm done. Finished. Goodbye reports.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to me! ... 43::365 { One Photo a Day }

This is what 41 looks like today...

A work at home mom who can grade papers and sing Down By the Bay at the same time. Slightly weathered. Confident, yet a tiny bit reluctant. Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend to many. Loving. Patient. Known to be a bit emotional at times. Talkative. Perfectionist to a fault, but working on it. Creative. Flexible. Fluffier than I'd like. Loyal. Faithful. Child of God. Blessed... oh so blessed.

I decided to go with a self portrait for today. Being behind the camera all the time means there are very few photos of me. Which is pretty much A-OK since I don't normally like the way I look in pictures. But I realize that some day Sean will appreciate seeing me, and sharing photos of me with his grandkids.

So here I am. In all of my 41st birthday splendor.

And now I have a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting calling my name. It is my birthday. Just one slice. I promise.

Friday, February 11, 2011

How do I love thee? ... 42::365 { One Photo a Day }

Let me count the ways.

It's no secret that I love a good doughnut. So when Jeff brought these home from Jewel a few days ago I just about decked him. In my quest to move more and eat less, a yummy doughnut doesn't equate.

I'm happy to report I haven't eaten a doughnut. This is Sean's... he clearly knows how to get my goat by only eating half of it and leaving the rest on the table. My only saving grace is it's not chocolate. Cuz I'll eat just about anything if it's chocolate.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jelly Belly ... 41::365 { One Photo a Day }

OK, I'm cheating today. I took this picture yesterday on our field trip (but it is my project, and I technically don't have any rules... so there!). After the Dinosaur museum we stopped by the Jelly Belly warehouse for a tour and some yummy taste testing. Can I just say Sean LOVED this day? Two of his favorite things -- dinosaurs and jelly beans in one day! And to top it off we stopped by one of Jeff's ever-favorite pizza joints, Ruffalo's, for dinner. YUMMY!

This photo was enhanced with Coffeeshop's Bold Pop action.

Dinosaurs! ... 40::365 { One Photo a Day }

We went on a field trip today, and traveled up to Kenosha, WI with Grammy & Grampy to visit the Dinosaur Discovery Museum. There was only one gallery but it was incredible. They house the largest collection of meat-eating dinosaurs in the world, and the most complete collection of theropods. Sean was in awe. And I have to say I was pretty impressed myself.

More than just one photo today... you wanna actually see some the dinosaurs, right?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shiny Sink ... 39::365 { One Photo a Day }

We've always struggled with clutter in our house. Particularly the dishes in the kitchen sink.Who will do them. When they do them. And that's if they get done at all. Many days you would find our sink and counter full of dirty dishes. It was a constant struggle.

And then I was introduced to and her beginner baby steps to get control of the chaos & clutter. The very first step is to shine your sink every day, every time you run the water. It's taken me some time, and some days are better than others. But I think I've gotten a hang of this first baby step. Every morning I empty the dishwasher after breakfast, and then load it as the day progresses. After dinner everyone pitches in to clear the table and load the dishwasher. Voila! We're done.

In case you're wondering I have also gotten through baby step two... but not much else. Baby steps. Baby steps.

PS. I spent way too much time figuring out the set-up for this photo today. This afternoon I took pictures of the sink and faucet with different compositions. But when I pulled them up on my computer... BORING. And then I had the idea to include water droplets and thought "easy peasy"... nuh uh! My settings were right (I think), but found that I had to turn out all the lights and use my flash. My settings were ISO400, f/1.8, ss 1.6 sec. Critique welcome!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Balance ... 38::365 { One Photo a Day }

I bought this book a long time ago, and never finished it. A few weeks ago I came across it during one of my purging/decluttering binges. And of course, I had been talking to God about this exact thing. He always answers prayers! So I immersed myself in it and found it much more poignant and real to me this time around. I finished it last night. I pray for the grace to choose the "better part".

As you can see, Sean left his mark on the book which gave me the idea to photograph it. I'm not thrilled with my shot... I waited too long and the lighting was poor. But it captures the essence of the book.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rubber Ducky ... 37::365 { One Photo a Day }

Sundays are a bath day around here. And this cute little yellow fella has been a regular lately. Rubber ducky, you're the one! 

Today You ... 36::365 { One Photo a Day }

Today, you...

Love playing with with Rescue Heroes, trains, and dinosaurs. In that order.

Prefer to watch Curious George for hours on end.

Are learning to sing your ABCs, but always get stuck at H and Q.

Like to dance. A white man dance, but dance nonetheless.

Love to jump even more. Like a Tigger.

Enjoy scribbling on your easel... and the walls... and the rug.

Talk nonstop sometimes, and can engage in real conversation about your day.

Are becoming a picky eater, and don't really eat much at breakfast. But you love candy any time of day.

Are not taking many naps. But when you do you're much happier in the evenings.

Love saying, "what the heck?"

Are my sunshine. Always.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blizzard 2011: A Photo Book { Hello You Books }

Blizzard 2011 by Amy Hipelius | Make Your Own Book

My mom had a brilliant idea of designing a photo book of some of my blizzard photos. And I always do what my momma tells me :-) Plus, it helped that I have over $150 in Blurb groupon certificates that I need to use by Feb 18 or I lose them. Yikes! I have some designing to do...

This layout was inspired by Ali Edward's Love You Because templates. I also used several of her word art, and her font. Love her work. The frame on the front cover is from the Leave the World Behind kit by Britt-ish Designs.

Do you need help documenting a story in a photo book? email me. I'd love to do it for you.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Yin and Yang .... 35::365 { One Photo a Day }

I'd like you to think that this is what my house looks like. Clean, pretty, and simple. But it doesn't. It looks like this...

We have some work to do around here.

I couldn't decide which photo to choose for today... and then I decided to share both. They truly represent the yin and yang. What we like people to think & believe, and what's really going on. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Right?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

BRrrr .... 34::365 { One Photo a Day }

If there ain't snow, there's ice... temperatures dropped today significantly. Right now it's 10 degrees... tonight it will be hovering around zero with wind chills 10 to 20 below. I don't think the twenty-some inches of snow dumped on us yesterday is going anywhere anytime soon. Time to snuggle up!

365 :: One Photo a Day { January 2011 }

My 365 project is coming along, and I'm really enjoying it. Most days it's easy for me to pick up the camera and snap a photo or two. But some days I forget all about it until late at night and then I'm really challenged to 1) find something to photograph and 2) get the right lighting. I only missed two days, so not bad. I'm not going to beat myself up if I miss a couple days here or there.

I decided I'm going to build a Blurb book (size 7x7") with one photo a page or spread. The maximum page count they have for the 7x7 book is 440 so I have a little wiggle room to add monthly title pages, and include a full photo spread here and there.

Here's a glimpse of the book with January. What do you think? I'm definitely going simple. Not just because I like simple books, but because if I do anything fancier it just won't get done. The cover is just for placement. I'll design it once the book is complete. Now that I look at it in book form I'm wondering if I should go all black & white with the text/background. What do you think? Is the color distracting? Or does it add life to the book for you? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Janauary 365: complete!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SNOW DAY!! { Blizzard 2011 photo essay }

Snowmageddon, snOMG, Snowpocaplypse... whatever you call it -- it was BIG! It started yesterday late afternoon, and we were happy to watch it until about midnight when we went to bed feeling the wind literally shake our house. If I wasn't such a big believer in God, I would have been scared :-)

This morning we woke up excited to see what had developed over night.

And our windows were frozen over in VERY cool patterns. The snow/ice was caught in the screen, and clearly the copious amounts of wind created this pattern.

We couldn't get out our front door... or our back door. Thank goodness the wind was kind to us, and didn't pile up snow drifts right in front of our garage doors. In fact, there were some clear spots where we could see the blacktop. Right next to 3 foot drifts.

I whipped up some melt in your mouth pancakes for everyone. YUMMY!

And then Jeff started layering on the clothes to battle the snow. I went out into the garage to see him get started, and turned around to find Sean looking longingly at the snow piles. He REALLY wanted to play. At least he had the sense to put on Daddy's boots before coming out into the garage.

There was just so much snow, it was hard to fathom where it was all going to go. But my big eagle scout husband was prepared, and I had no doubt we would be free to roam soon enough.

The snow drifts were intense, and honestly hard to capture on film. And some of the wind patterns that emerged on the snow were so beautiful.

When we started out this morning it was still kind of crazy windy with snow flying everywhere. But slowly the neighborhood started coming alive with children playing and parents shoveling and snowblowing.

The snow plows were a welcome sight in the neighborhood, even if they dumped piles of snow at the end of your driveway.

And then the sun started to peek it's nose out to blanket us in its warmth, and to remind us that everything was going to be OK. Spring is coming soon enough. Hard to believe, I know. But I'm certain it will.

I finally bundled Sean up like Kenny from South Park, and sent him on his way to conquer the snow drifts. He was thrilled to be in a huge snow playground where he could climb and jump anywhere. He checked the mail, investigating the ice age, played king of the mountain with Makayla across the street, and learned how to eat snow.

But eventually the cold snow started to run its toll on the little man. And he started to ask for some hot cocoa. So we made our way inside.

That's not to say the work ended outside. In fact, it took at least four hours to dig everyone out of their driveways in our little corner of the neighborhood. It was definitely a community effort. Nothing like a good snow storm to get everyone out of their house.

The rest of the day was spent eating homemade cookies (thanks to our neighbors!), sipping hot cocoa, snuggling on the couch, and skillfully avoiding any kind of housework. Well, it was a snow day. Right? Momma gets a snow day too.

Keep warm! It's gonna get mighty chilly out there, folks.


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