Category Archives: my life

Celebrating Fiona

I am working on updating my photography site and I am reformatting all of my posts for consistency like a crazy person and this morning I started in on Katie and Fiona’s Tutu/Princess Elsa set from last summer. I snapped these at the end of their session – Fi is such a little ham and so easy to photograph. I just love these shots. With everything she has been through she is still a kind sassy soul. And the best part – she started kindergarten this week! Her mom said she was so excited to go to big kid school. Here is a excerpt from the Fighting for Fiona Facebook page:

“Parents who have or had children with cancer or any other type of life threatening illness will understand how overwhelming these little milestones are. The moment the Dr. tells you that your perfect little child has cancer, you constantly wonder and worry if they will see their next birthday or get to ride that school bus for the first time. Fiona was jumping up and down today in excitement to go to big girl school completely unaware of how emotional this day is for us. She has been through so much and deserves all that life can offer her! Hugs your babies everyday and enjoy all these moments.”

FiKCB 2014 b02 FiKCB 2014 b01

Love you little girl. Don’t lose your love for school or your hamletness. xx

Grandpa’s Surprise 80th Birthday Party

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Hello, 2013.

Hello, blogland. I really have been thinking about you lately. Its hasn’t been you, I promise, its been me. But I’m here now, committing (again!). Phew, got the hard stuff out-of-the-way! But really, in all honesty, I’ve been thinking about this blog a lot lately. I really do want to keep up with this, keep going. Sorry, but not for you, readers (who ever you are), but for myself, for my brain, and mostly because if I keep writing here about my 2013 goals, I feel like I might stick more to them. I have also decided to take a different approach to this blog. I have this thing with chronology, order, first-second-last. And when life spun a little out of control after our wedding I couldn’t get out all I wanted to say about it, and then other things, big and little, kept happening, and I didn’t get to write about them, I got all bottled up and just couldn’t write anything. Not that I would have had time, my grandparents just received their Christmas gifts yesterday and I still have literally everyone else in our families gifts to work on. And I no longer sit in front of a computer all day, so I no longer have the luxury of writing posts on my lunch breaks, either.

But I have set some pretty lofty goals for 2013 and I am really excited about them. So far its been pretty good. I actually started subconsciously working on them before the New Year because I felt a shift in consciousness prior to that and wanted to get started and did not need to wait for January 1 to get going. 2013 manifestoI think it was actually a couple of days before Christmas when I sat down and wrote out my “2013 Manifesto”. It’s just kind of came out. I wrote out a 4 page to-do list to wrap my brain around the ridiculous self-imposed tasks I still had to complete for Christmas gifts, as well as things I still needed to do to just exist but had been scrimping on since my schedule changed (I’m now doing 12 hours a day of caregiving, and a special shout out to my awesome husband for doing my part of the household chores 2 weeks in a row!). Then I wrote out a list of potential words for my 2013 One Little Word  and while I am not participating in Ali’s class this year, I still wanted to pick a word (or two) to focus on and to drive my goals for this year. My words are Forward and Magic, but I’ll talk more about that later. Once I had that worked out I wrote out a list of things that I wanted to “choose” to do in 2013. I don’t make resolutions, I never have, other than the usual “lose wight” thing I think everyone does. So here is my lofty list:photoThings that I am going to choose to do or work on in 2013:

1.Cutting spending. On everything. No more new stuff that is not a necessity. I have made a short list of things that fall under this list such as 2 sets of scrubs, under garments, supplies that run out like thread, glue runner, ink and paper for my new printer. Outside of that anything that I want to buy has to be saved up for and put on the “30 day list” and only after that waiting period will I be able to purchase that new item. I realize once we get our own place I/we will have to alter this but I have a lot of stuff from college apartments that should get us off the ground and we can make big purchases over time instead of having to do so all at once.

2.No new crafting stuff received its own line item in the manifesto because there are no exceptions to this rule. I have amassed a mountain of crafting stuff and I am going to use every single usable thing in my stash before I get anything new. No matter what.

3.Substantially cut down my clothing. I have attachment issues with clothing. If someone has bought me something, I keep it. They spent their hard-earned money on me and this thing that they wanted to give me. So I hoard, trinkets, clothes, etc. So this year, especially with having to drag our shit all the way back across the country I really want to down size. Way too much “stuff” especially clothing. In line with this goal I want to work on selling some of my extra camera equipment, nice bags, etc.

4.Use my camera more. I feel like I say this a lot but I need to follow through on this one. Having an Iphone has really cut down on the amount of time I have my dslr in my hands and I am mad about it.

5.Blog at least twice a week (I know, I can hear your eyes rolling). But it will happen!

6.Start an address book. We are married, we are both college graduates, we need a damn address book. I sent out our wedding announcements in October and went to send out a quick set of handmade Christmas cards and realized I was in fact going to have to ask every single one of my family members for their addresses again and that is the entire reason as to why I did not send out cards from us this year. The thought of getting addresses made me physically tired. So, I purchased a cute clearance address book from The Container Store (before The Manifesto) and wrote in all of the names and now have to obtain addresses again.

7. No more pop (soda for you southerners), candy, or fast food. Pizza only once a month.

8.Love, with my length and width.

9.Be nicer. I really can be quite a mean person sometimes in real life, but unfortunately it ends up directed at people I love and I want to work to change that.

10.Work out every single day. Yup, 365 days out of the year. So far so good on this one. I know the body needs rest and will not beat my self up for missing a day, but I have flat resistance bands in my purse, and there is always down time so there is not really an excuse. I am also not putting any limits on what exercise is or is not. 200 crunches and yoga in one day counts, but I am actively making an effort to put in big work outs at least 3 times a week. I have 2 different no equipment routines that I do every other day so I have something to keep me anchored and then I throw in weights when I have enough time at home, running on my days off, and lots of yoga. *I have added in some fish to my diet because of my lofty work out goals.

11. And last but not least, I want to have better posture in 2013! My posture is literally ripping my left shoulder out of its socket! I have a ligament thing, where I am too stretchy, and when I do not work out or keep up with my PT exercises I get too weak and cannot hold my joint in their proper place. I regularly roll my ankles by walking, in flat shoes, on flat surfaces. So my shoulders have become weak over the last few months and with hunching my shoulders in front of a computer all summer/just being slouchy my left shoulder is just, wrong. So not only do I need to focus on getting stronger, I need to focus on having better posture when I am at rest or standing still, and not just when I am on a yoga mat.

So! That’s The Manifesto. If you have made it this far, I commend you! And if you’re here I am sure you’re asking, “But how?!”. Well I am working on that portion too. I have my Russel+Hazel planner (in plate) with extra planning pages where I write down what I eat, how many ounces of water I drink, and what workouts I do each and everyday. I have missed writing some days down, but know that I have worked out every single day since January 1. I am also journaling on Project Life 3×4 grid cards every single day. I am working to simplify my Project Life for 2013 by journaling 7 days/week and filling the middle pockets of “A” and “D” pages with those and pictures/scraps in the 4×6 pockets, and including inserts when needed. I am not sure if this will work long-term but wanted to give it a shot anyhow. As things progress and I tweak how I am documenting my progress on my goals for 2013 I will keep you updated.

I’m looking forward to see all that you have in store for us 2013.


Well, it has been quite sometime hasn’t it?

This has really been the first time I have felt that I could get on here and write. A lot has happened in my personal life in the last month and a half that it has not been feasible for me to get here and write, mostly because I couldn’t really go forward without talking about what has been going on, and I haven’t been able to talk about that until now.

Now that everyone is in the know, I can officially say, Steve and I eloped back in October! When we were in Colorado, we said our vows at the base of 2 mountains next to a river, and it was perfect and beautiful, and everything I had hoped it could ever be. It took me  FOREVER to get our announcements out due to working long hours/weeks when we got back from Colorado and having to go to 7 different places to get the damn picture printed. We will be having a reception in the spring in Ohio, but we’ll get back to that later.

I can also officially say that I quit my job, today in fact. This was not a decision that Steve and I made lightly but I know that for me, my marriage, and my family it was the best decision. I am going to still be working but in a position that will allow me a lot more flexibility over the coming months that both Steve and I will really need from me and my job. I will still be working full-time, no worries, family. And I have nothing against my employer, we are not separating on bad terms, it’s just life is taking me in a different direction right now and I am completely open to the change.

Which brings me to the third point. I will need that flexibility to be able to travel, because Steve and I will be relocating in the spring of 2013. It has been something that we have talked about and discussed for a very long time and it is what will be best for the 2 of us. There are 3 or 4 different locations that we have thoroughly vetted, but for now, life is up in the air. It is very painful to think of leaving Steve’s parents and Sid, but Texas just is not a good fit for us, and me quitting my “real” job was one of the first steps in the transition. The second is Steve receiving his degree in December. Then we are going to take our time working out the details during what everyone is predicting will be a potentially hazardous January/February weather wise here and even hairier January/February/March in the north and then we are going to see what happens. Which rounds it back out to why we are waiting 6-8 months or so to start having wedding festivities with both sides of our families.

So, now you know where I have been hiding. And honestly I have had no creative energy what-so-ever. Its been horrible and I know that anything I could have written would have been stressed/anxious/forced babble. So really I was saving anyone who could be reading this blog from that. Because I promise, I have not been fun to be around lately trying to make all of these life altering decisions. The only thing I have been doing during my free time is sit in front of my sewing machine and sew and sew and sew. It’s the only thing that has made sense to me. After I made our announcements I put away my paper crafting items and they have just been collecting dust in their respective corners. I have been making blankets for family members for Christmas, starting with the matriarchs on both sides and working my way down the family tree, because that is about all I know how to make, but I really, really enjoy it. I share random pictures on instagram and twitter if you are interested.
So, now that all the big news is out of the way, I will be working this week to share more pictures from Colorado, including our wedding, and my Project Life Updates (I even made our wedding in the Project Life style, and had enough pictures to fill an entire white album!). I also have my December Daily album ready and rearing to go.

Here is to a wonderful and exciting end of 2012 and beginning of 2013!

Project Life Update September 16th-22nd

Oh Project Life. I am so glad that I am able to keep plugging away at this project, even when I don’t have that many pictures to share. Lots of private stuff this week on the right (it will be shared over the next week though!). There is a small insert this week with sequins in the center pocket to celebrate me opening my Etsy shop. This week and the 2 weeks that I will share next Sunday are simple. I have  a lot going on personally and professionally and while I wish I could put an entire day into PL as I was able to do over the summer, it has just not been in the cards lately. Once Steve and I get back from Colorado and take a week or 2 to settle back into our normal routines I know that I will have more time to dedicate to this project. I am usually not one to half ass things, no matter how tired or sick of something I am, I give it my all. With PL it is nice that I can give myself that leeway to not put as much into it when life is busy and not really picture worthy. I know that I will look back on these “lite” weeks and remember the excitement of working my ass off to prepare for our trip and the craziness of work finally picking up at the same time and being part of a small business that is finally taking off (no matter how stressed out I am).And with that, another easy week, done, and into the book. Thank you for stopping by!


Happy Sunday!

List(less) Wednesday

Us with Greg and Mitch from Moving Mountains, circa October 2011.

1. October. So good to see you again. It is starting to feel like fall about once a week here, one day in the 60’s or 70’s, then the rest of the week is in the 80’s or 90’s. This time last year it was still sweltering, when we went to the Moving Mountains show it was 98 degrees!

2. Vacation countdown has officially begun. We leave in less than a week! Can’t wait to see you Colorado!

3. I made myself a Wedding minibook to take on our trip next week as well as a delicious December Daily minibook and had tons of leftover paper (I cut paper for 6, yes SIX, hours on Sunday) and listed the extras in the shop. I have tons of minibooks and albums in a giant box in our closet but this was the first time I decided to do something with my left over paper. Quantities are very limited.

4. Some asshole hit my car today. And no, I do not mean with his car, I mean with his little fists and feet and spit. I angrily posted about it on Facebook like any upstanding individual does now-a-days as twitter is public and not a place for my sailor mouth because I am pretty sure my boss secretly follow me. My aunt ask me why this happened and here is my best approximation as to why “I was merging from a service drive into traffic coming off a ramp from the highway, i had a yield sign (not a stop) and there was a spot for me to merge into, so I did. He flew up my ass and laid on his horn so obviously I flipped him off (my bad I know) but that’s just how I’ve become down here. And didn’t think anything of it until he was banging on my car calling me a stupid bitch and a c******* and telling me that I needed to yield to him like he was my master or something. Great display of tiny penis syndrome. Oh yeah! He was in his silver KIA SOUL.” so yeah, that happened. And to answer the impending questions, yes I have reported it to both cities that we were potentially in and yes I did get a really good picture of his stupid car and license plate with my Iphone.

5. Nothing else really matters after an experience such as the one mentioned above, so go watch this.

Happy Hump Day!

Project Life Update September 9th-15th

This week was the epic 50 hour work week, broken down car, super stressed out, week. Not many pictures were taken so I was able to work some of the new stamps I have into the layout. I’m learning that I love a good chevron pattern, whether it be paper, stamp, or fabric. This stamp and this stamp are featured in the 3×4 slots on the last page of the layout. I love them both. This was also the week that we spent 4 hours trying to locate the owner of “Fluffy” (who was an ungrateful brat, by the way) after I had worked that super long week. I added some patterned paper to the back of the insert (I am hoarding so much paper!) and with the lack of pictures it was a good opportunity to get rid of some of it. And yes, that is a sloth in the bottom right hand corner (it was part of my work week, strange, I know). Another easy week, done, and in the book. You can’t really tell from the pictures but my second cobalt binder finally arrived from Amazon and this layout, along with the rest of Year Four are resting comfortable inside of it. This is the longest I have stuck with a project of this sort and I am proud of myself.

I also love the sense of community that comes along with doing Project Life and keeping up with everyone’s updates each week. Its nice to be able to scrapbook without children filling up the pages, and its nice to see other people doing the same. I love that each page doesn’t have to tell a specific story. Traditional scrapbooking and I never really jived in that sense. Every page had to tell of an event or something monumental (in my mind) and Project Life is exactly opposite and I love it. It makes each week, note worthy, not just the big events. With being so far away from family and friends sometimes it feels like we aren’t doing anything so “monumental” here in Texas and its nice to have something to anchor to, to look back on and remember what we did each week.

As always thank you for following along! Happy Sunday!