December Daily 2014 | Days 08-15

I made seven mini-books (6″x8″) and one large (12″x12″) Project Life style album as gifts this past December. Gathering the photos for those books took a lot of time — and then I still had to assemble them in time for Christmas. Those gifts were all special and unique for each recipient but that was just too much.  Glad I did it but that was way too much.

So here were are.  January 2015.  I just finished my December Daily album. The month of November and December are looking bare in my Project Life album.  And the book for 2015 is sitting around waiting for some attention too. Ha!

I’m excited to share my December Daily album – days 08-15.

December 08
2014 DecemberDailyThe story of Samuel’s ornament — Jim and I thought we found the perfect ornament for Samuel (Mickey on a motorcycle to celebrate a big milestone – learning to ride without training wheels) but we failed to look at the details!  The motorcycle had training wheels on it … and that was the first thing my detail-oriented boy noticed.

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I wanted to create a shorter page here so I trimmed off half of the 4-pocket page protector. I then realized that I need more room to complete the story so I stitched the part that I cut off back on.  I must admit — I like the end result.

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After we trimmed the tree, he did a happy dance before settling down to admire the tree. I love the image of him under the tree.

December 09
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I love the idea of documenting nine things I was still looking forward to in December (thanks, Ali) and I did just that (left page). Today was also a big day in shrinky dink art ornaments so I decided to make day nine a two-pager.

December 10
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Samuel asked to make a stocking to surprise his friend.  He made her a shrinky dink ornament and we delivered it to her house by bike. Such a sweet gesture.

December 11
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Our Christmas cards arrived this evening and I spent the evening on the couch addressing envelopes.

2014 DecemberDaily-19I included the family letter that accompanied our cards here.

2014 DecemberDaily-21Back in November, we had a family photo shoot with the talented Jenny Lin.  The session package came with a set of holiday cards so it was appropriate to add here.

December 12
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Wrapped gifts tonight.  I like giving gifts — but I don’t enjoy the wrapping part so much.

December 13
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Family tradition – Santa Parade (which almost did not take place due to a lack of funds).

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We really like parades.

December 14
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Horse riding lessons have become part of our weekend routine. Samuel has been riding regularly for a little over a year now and continues to enjoy it. He looks so confident and proud on that horse.

December 15
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First Santa letter.  He worked so hard.  Proud mama over here.

Will share the rest of my book in the next day or so.  Thanks for visiting.

December Daily 2014 | Days 01-07

The month of November flew by and then before I knew it, December came … and the month is flying by.  Hanukkah is 3 days away.  And Christmas is right around the corner. The list is long but things are getting crossed off.

I’m a bit behind in December Daily.  I have the photos and words for each day but the actual documentation is a bit slow.  Today, I’m sharing days 01-07.

December One
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We started the advent calendar with Samuel last year and he loved it.  This year, we kept things simple — we went with a Playmobil Advent Calendar I picked up on clearance at the end of last year.  It’s working out great so far.  He looks forward to it each morning.  We just keep it on the dining table (where he eats breakfast) and he enjoys playing with it each morning.

December 02
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Samuel and I went to the Lego store for the free mini-build giveaway today.  He’s almost four and has decided that he’s ready for Legos.  The pieces are small and he sometimes struggles to put things together, but he loves the challenge. This evening, we made a little gingerbread house.

1412 DDOneToSeven-5I’m using my sewing machine to add some texture to the layouts. I’m experimenting with other stitches on the machine — really love the x’s here.

December 03
1412 DDOneToSeven-20Crazy weather in Sacramento today.  I left work at 3:20 to pick up Samuel and within 5 minutes of my drive, the heavy rain made it impossible to see.  Freeways were backed up and roads were flooded.  It took me over an hour to get to Samuel.  As soon as we got home, Samuel helped me rake leaves from the gutter to allow for proper drainage on our street. He’s a great little helper and I am so thankful for this little guy.

1412 DDOneToSeven-21A close-up shot of more stitching.  

December 04 (left) & December 05 (right)
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We pulled down our small stash of Holiday decorations and ornaments and gift wrap. Samuel is pretty excited that “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”

1412 DDOneToSeven-10The “Bring on the Joy – ‘Tis the Season” masking tape in the Ali Edward’s December Daily kit is pretty bad ass.  I love it and am using it a lot … I will definitely be sad when I use it all up. And I can’t get enough of the gold stars.  

1412 DDOneToSeven-12Saucy, Samuel’s Elf, made a comeback on the fifth of December. I used my sewing machine to stitch the red boxes and a sharpie to write in his name.

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The story of Saucy’s visit is behind the photo.

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The components of Day 05 — I printed a couple photos and adhered them back to back and used the masking tape to attach it to Saucy’s note to Samuel.  It folds up and fits in the 4×6 pocket.

December 06
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We picked up a tree at a new tree lot this year. I’m in love with the place and think we will be back next year. Our favorite tree is the Noble Fir (from Oregon).

1412 DDOneToSeven-29I’m still looking for the perfect journaling pen.  Haven’t found one I really love but  the Uniball Vision Elite is becoming a favorite.

December 07 (Left)1412 DDOneToSeven-30
I spent most of today at home at my computer. I made and ordered our holiday cards.  I also processed and exported photos for several holiday projects.

1412 DDOneToSeven-31A close-up of day 07.

Day 08 is in the works.  And so are days 10-12.  I have a story for day 13 — but want to live out the rest of the day before I decide on which story.

Thanks for visiting!

December Daily 2013 | Day 01-07

“Tis the season.  Tis the season.  Tis the season …”  chants my little one.

I love this time of year.  I especially love documenting our December Daily stories.  This year, I am really focusing on documenting one story per day with just a few photos I love.  I am also continuing with Project Life this month (although it seems like I’m over documenting – ha!) but am capturing a different part of our day there.  I am really trying to keep things simple and my time is limited.  The volume of grading I have piled on my desk seems to grow taller with each passing day because I’d rather be documenting our story than grading my students’ papers.

Here’s a look our first week of December.  I quickly took the photos this afternoon with my iPhone – not super happy with the images so I will take better photos later this week.

Day 01 – Getting our tree.  We have never gotten our tree this early.

Day 02 – I wanted to decorate our tree but Samuel had other things in mind.  He discovered a new skill so he spent most of our tree decorating time hopping on one foot.

Day 03 – Santa sent us an Elf.  And Samuel named him Saucy.  I still have some journaling to do on this layout.

Day 04 – The last night of Hanukkah.  Ended up being a four page spread — I often give myself a 3×4 space for journaling because I think I do not have much to say ….


Day 05 – Starbucks + shopping with one of my girls.  Girl time is awesome.

Day 06 – My brother came for a short visit.  He and Samuel had concerts in our living room all evening.  I so love watching and listening to them.

Day 07 – Samuel turned 34 months!  Can’t believe he will be three in two months!  We celebrated with a trip on the Polar Express to the North Pole.  Samuel loved it all — except for the creepy looking Santa. The story of our magical adventure is tucked in the 3×4 pocket.  I think this will end up being a four page spread once I get some images from my brother.

I am in love with this project.  So looking forward to experiencing and documenting more magical moments this holiday season.

December Daily 2011 :: Days 16-25

December Daily 16 :: Our last day of school for the year!  We were given permission to leave campus at 12:45 pm so we left as soon as we could to pick up our little munchkin and enjoy some much needed sunshine.  I created another 3×3 grid using my sewing machine and added photos to document the course of the day.

December Daily 17 :: Samuel’s first visit with Santa was traumatic.  We went at a good time — we were the only people there so we were able to give Samuel some getting to know Santa time.  Unfortunately, that didn’t help.  He wailed and screamed as soon as I left him in Santa’s arms.  It must have been really traumatic for him because he woke up 3 times that night screaming.  Ha!

December Daily 18 :: Had an early Christmas dinner and gift exchange with some dear friends.  K and J both gave Samuel some awesome books to add to his growing library.  I love the sparkle in his eyes and joy in his face when he looks at books.  I hope he continues to be fascinated with books as he grows up.

December Daily 19 :: Our friend Mee Cha and Alfred came to visit with their 6 weeks old bundle of joy, Benji.  Love the two boys in their matching hats!

December Daily 20 :: Celebrated the first night of Hanukkah with latkes and good friends.  Samuel had a great time playing with his buddy Simon.

December Daily 21 :: For each night of Hanukkah, we gave Samuel a new book.  I was thrilled to capture these two photos of Samuel before and after opening the book.  He’s such a character.

December Daily 22 :: Although he can’t spin it yet, Samuel loves watching the dreidel spin.  It will be fun next year when we can actually play dreidel.  (I used washi tape at the bottom of the right page.  I am really diggin’ the washi tape and would love to play with it more in 2012!)

December Daily 23 :: Annual Hanukkah dinner with family and friends.  This year, there were 13 of us at the table!  There were plenty of latkes and cannoli to go around.

December Daily 24 :: Around here, we had a sick boy on Christmas eve.

December Daily 25 :: Busy Christmas day for us.  We slept in, had breakfast and opened a couple of presents at our house.  I baked a cobbler and we were off to my mom’s.

This layout took me a long time to put together because I wanted to incorporate as many photos as possible along with a story (in the form of a letter to Samuel) for the day.  The letter to Samuel is behind the photo collage on the left — you actually have to pull out the page and it fold out to reveal the story of the day.

The circle above is a mini album I found in my stash.  It opens up to reveal more photos from the day (see below).

My sister — the amazing knitter — made each of us a hand knit item for Christmas.  The other side of the circle mini-album shows some of the items she gave us.

For Christmas, everyone in my family got an “I heart Samuel” shirt from Samuel.  To make sure that everyone knows who Samuel is, we ordered Samuel an “I am Samuel” shirt.  There were plenty of laughs from all of my siblings.

That wraps up December Daily 2011.

Some thoughts …

  1. I love this project and want to do it every year.  I spent some time this December going through my albums before Samuel and love seeing all the stuff I documented before becoming a mom.  Samuel makes this December a bit different and awesome and special.
  2. Having the foundation pages done ahead of time is key.  It serves as a motivation because I don’t want to see any blank pages in my book.
  3. I love the size (6″ x 8.5″) of this album.  I wonder if American Crafts will make more albums this size in the future.  I would love to get another and transfer last year’s DD into it.
  4. I spent way more time on this book than in years past.  Because it was Samuel’s first holiday season, I didn’t want to miss a thing.
  5. I did not document anything about school or grading papers this December.  Yay, for me!
  6. Photo collages and grids are awesome.  I was able to incorporate more photos into my album this way.
  7. I love that all of the pages are protected in sheet protectors.
  8. Some days were chalked full of events I did not have time to complete a layout.  For those days, I jotted notes and sketched a layout to help jog my memory when I did get to it.
  9. I switched over to Aperture and love it as a photo organization tool! It makes selecting photos a breeze.
  10. Keeping up with Project Life and completing December Daily was a bit challenging.  I had some late nights (stayed up til 2 am once) but I ended up with an awesome project that I can share with Samuel in the years to come.

December Daily 2011 :: Day 08 – 15

I have been on winter break for almost two weeks and I have not posted anything on this blog. Some of you probably visited my site daily for December Daily updates and are probably tired of seeing the Rock Band video. I promise that my intentions were good — but the reality is — a little mobile person can suck the life and energy out of you and all of your good intentions just get tossed out the window. I had no idea what having a mobile ten and a half month old is like. Absolutely clueless … until it happened to me.

Determined to finish my December Daily (and get through a long list of other scrapbooking related projects), I have stayed up into the wee hours of the morning printing photos and working on layouts. I am happy to report that December Daily 2011 is finished. Something else to check off my list.

Because my last December Daily update was back on the 7th of December, I am going to post my entire album in two posts. Here is a look at the cover of the album and days 08 – 15.

December Daily Cover :: Because I love the outdoors, I wanted to incorporate that into the cover of my album for this December.  I chose the wood grain paper from Jillibean Soup and added red/white/green accents to give it a festive touch.  I wanted the spine to be completely red but I ran out of fabric tape so I used washi tape I picked up at West Elm sometime last year.

December Daily 08 :: My mother is a knitter and specializes in hand knit vests.  When we were kids, she would knit each of us a vest for the winter.  When we got to be teenagers, we told her that hand knit sweaters were so uncool, she stopped making them for us.  She now knits for herself — until I asked her to make a keepsake vest for Samuel.  One vest turned into two … which then turned into three … and now, Samuel has half a dozen hand knit vests from my mom.  On this day, she sent two vests — made with such attention to detail and love.

December Daily 09 ::  For this layout, I wanted to showcase a series of photos of Samuel “helping” Jim build his early Hanukkah/Christmas gift and of him playing with it.  I love the look of photo strips taken at photo booths so I created that look in Photoshop.  I really like the way it turned out.

December Daily 10 :: Inspired by Ali’s page from Day 8 that shows a grouping of holiday stuff , I created the grid below on my sewing machine and included photos from the day’s events.

December Daily 11 :: Our holiday card — I did not make any handmade cards this year!  The cute gal on the right came over for a holiday photo play date.  Her mama loved Samuel’s pajamas so much we let her slip it on for photos.

December Daily 12 :: Time to trim the tree!  We got a little tree this year and put it on top of a little side table.  Surprisingly, Samuel was not all over the tree like we originally thought.  It is in his play area but he was only over there half a dozen times — most of which was to get his new rocket pillow.  The page on the left showcases our new ornaments.

December Daily 13 :: Documented a mobile and happy ten month old here.

December Daily 14 :: Wrapping gifts this year was more challenging with a little guy to help you tear paper and unravel tape and ribbon.  He was everywhere — getting into everything and opening gifts that were wrapped.  I wasted so much wrapping paper this year … had to buy more wrapping paper (unheard of for me since I always buy it on clearance after Christmas).

December Daily 15 ::  Journaling here done in Samuel’s voice — we were out buying Christmas gifts and we found some gifts for me!  This winter, we added four new hats to my collection: brown bear, giraffe, Cookie Monster, and Yeti the Abominable Snowman!

This project was definitely a labor of love.  I am so glad that I took the time to document our stories this December.  What a treasure it will be for Samuel in years to come.

Thank you for visiting.  Leave a comment with a link to your project.  I’d love to see your December Daily too.

5 Things

1) Winter break officially started at 12:45 pm on Friday.  Yay.

2) I am a bit behind in documenting December Daily.  I am having to make a few last minute gifts so there isn’t much time to update December Daily.

3) I am doing my best to get caught up.  Here’s a peek at what I’ve been working on …

I actually took pictures for days 08-11 but they didn’t turn out very well — I was balancing my little guy in one arm and trying to snap photos with my 5+ pound camera in the other.  Look for an update later this week.

4) I asked for more animal hats for Christmas and several of them are here. 🙂

5) Lots of firsts for Samuel this week —  sitting up and holding his bottle by himself, crawling on his knees and feet (he has somewhat of a Gollum crawl — i really need to get it on tape), pulling himself up to a standing position and cruising along furniture (and toys), eating cauliflower (and loving it), visiting Santa (somewhat traumatic experience) and getting a kick out of watching + helping me wrap presents.

December Daily 2011 :: Day 07

Samuel turned 10 months today — that’s two months away from being a year!!  Oh, my!  Where did the time go?

Because it is my little man’s 10-month birthday (and since it is his first holiday season), I thought it was appropriate to devote a page to him.  Here’s a look at Day 7.

Journaling :: 10 at Ten Months — Samuel, at ten months, you …

1.     Love to climb all over us.  And pull yourself into a standing position.  You love viewing things from this new vantage point.

2.     Rock on your knees more and more every day – getting ready to crawl on all fours.  You army crawl like nobody’s business – especially when you spot something you want.

3.     Clap your hands in excitement.

4.     Fight sleep.  Everyday.  Would rather play than sleep – that’s why naps at school are only about 30 minutes per day.  You are so interested in other things; you can’t lie still while we change your diapers or clothes.

5.     Reach for us all of the time.  You love to be held most of the time.  Occasionally, you wiggle your way down to stand.  And when you want to stand, you won’t bend your legs to sit.

6.     Love your toys.  You especially love to knock down blocks.

7.     Whine and kick your legs when you see a bottle.

8.     Are a scientist in the making.  You like to pick little things up with your thumb and pointer finger, hold it out in front of your face, and examines it fully by moving your little hands around.

9.     Adore your dad.  You like to visit him in his office.  When you see him, your eyes light up, you squeal in excitement and flash the biggest smile ever – a smile that shows off your two adorable little teeth!

10.   Love to snuggle and rest your head on our shoulder.  We must admit – we love it too!

Tucked in this envelope is the story of Sarah’s quilt.  I helped my friend, Jeanne, turn an idea of a photo blanket into a cherished heirloom.  I designed the quilt and  Debbie from the Creative Needle meticulously pieced everything together and quilted it with love.  Debbie, your work is absolutely amazing.

Samuel loves to take the books out of the basket and look through them.  Tonight, he did just that.  He took them out one by one — touching and examining each with eyes of wonder and delight.

December Daily 2011 : Day 03-06

I am tired so this will be a short but photo heavy post.  Enjoy!

Here’s a look at day three to six.

Day 03 :: Star party.  I included the star wheel (a tool you use to view the constellations) as a fun souvenir.

Day 04 :: Dinner with the Shraders — fun evening with friends and babies.

Day 05 :: There’s a story behind the “I heart Samuel” shirt — can’t reveal it until Christmas day so I hid the journaling inside.

Day 05 :: The green bear with the word love came from a West Elm catalog I picked up last winter.

Day 06 :: Samuel’s stocking arrived today!  The ornaments are slowing making their way out of the garage.  Holiday books are in a basket in Samuel’s room waiting to be read.  It is beginning to look a bit like Christmas around here.

Please excuse the crummy photos — took the photos this evening under fluorescent and the colors are a bit off.  I’m too tired to make any adjustments.

Thanks for looking!

December Daily 2011 :: 01 + 02

Hello December.  I am glad you have finally arrived.  This week has been hectic to say the least so I am having to stay up later than usual to complete my December Daily pages.  I was behind last year and never got caught up so this year — even with an active 9 month old — I plan to stay on top of it.  (I am also updating my Project Life so stay tuned for an update on Project Life for the month of November.)

December Daily Opener :: Hello December.  We welcome you with open arms.  Oh, what a year it has been.  We are excited to celebrate this holiday season as a family of 3.  Hello new traditions (and old ones too).  Hello Hanukkah.  Hello Christmas.  Hello joy, delight and wonder.  Here’s to a month of many firsts.  Let the celebration (and documentation begin)!

December Daily 01 :: Looking back at my December Daily from 2009 and 2010, I notice the emphasis on dinner and enjoying comfort food on the first of December.  I did the same this year — documenting our meal at Leatherby’s, our favorite family creamery — except this year,  we have a new little person in the picture!

December Daily 02 :: It doesn’t look like Christmas (or Hanukkah) around here until the second week of December.  Even then, we don’t do much decorating– just the tree, stockings and a display of holiday cards.  This year, we will display a wall hanging advent calendar for Hanukkah for our little love bug.

So for today, I documented what December looks like in my neighborhood.  We live in a neighborhood where the streets are lined with beautiful old trees.  And during this time of year, the changing of the leaves makes for a spectacular sight.  And with the recent blustery days, there are piles and piles of leaves lining our street.

This evening, we made a huge purchase — we invested in a nice set of pots and pans.  An early Christmas/Hanukkah gift to ourselves.  Our little man had a great time making music with some new kitchen tools.

Thanks for looking.  I’ll be back tomorrow with day 3.

Goodnight, folks.

December Daily :: 2011

Hello December Daily.  I welcome you with open arms.  I am more than excited about you this year — mainly because it is an important year for new family traditions.  I look forward to telling a story a day, documenting the joy and magic of the holiday season as a family of three.

Here’s a look at my foundation pages:

December Daily 01 :: Once again, I decided to follow Ali‘s simple design — a 3″ x 8.5″ transparency for each day (with some baseball card sheet protectors in the mix) and her 2011 December Daily digital overlays.  I am trying to keep it real simple this year because this sweet little boy keeps me busy.

December Daily 02 :: Love the extra large numbers in the Studio Calico kit.

December Daily 03 :: Love what Ali did with day three so I decided to do the same with the flowers from the kit.

December Daily 06 :: Joy came from an LL Bean catalog.

December Daily 10 :: Corrugated letters are from Jillibean soup.

December Daily 12 :: Borrowed this idea from Ali too.  Love the letter stamps — I got the set a long time ago — not sure who makes them but they are the perfect size for this!

December Daily 17 :: the piece of canvas came from an earlier December Daily album.  I found a strip of it in my stash and stamped the number right on it with Momento ink in black.

December Daily 20 :: I may have to switch the red star out with a blue one for Hanukkah on this day.

So far, it looks pretty plain — and simple.

I cannot wait to add photos and tell stories of our December — our first holiday season together as a family.