Day in the Life | 05.08.14

7:00am | Samuel comes into my room asking for water.  Since the light is still blue on his tot-clock, we go back to bed + snuggle.  He’s an early riser.  I’m not.
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8:02am | up + put on contacts.  Make coffee.140508 DayintheLife-13

8:30am | It is garbage day around here so the making of breakfast is interrupted with trips outside to see the garbage man + truck.
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8:45 am | He keeps me company at the counter while I make breakfast.
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8:54am | Breakfast.  I’m a big fan of turkey bacon.
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9:15am | Dishes.  Samuel pretends to be cowboy Small and rides his horse in a show.  I’m asked to be the announcer.

9:30am | Sword fight.  He is strong.  And he takes it pretty seriously.
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9:51am | And we are finally out the door for a run/walk.
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10:40am | There is a group of men removing a tree in the neighborhood and there is a BIG crane involved so we stopped for the show.
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11:30am | Safeway trip for fruit.
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11:50am | Jamba Juice stop — we love pomegranate pick-me-up.
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1:30pm | stories + snuggles before afternoon nap.140508 DayintheLife-97

2:18pm | While he naps, I eat a late lunch, unpack groceries and pick up around the house. Call Hobby Lobby to locate the new Project Life Aqua Edition.  No luck.
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3:10pm | Check on Samuel.  Call for eye appointment.
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3:30pm | Reading the new copy of Click magazine.
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4:02pm | Wake Samuel up from his nap.  The first thing he asks me, “Mom, where did you put the mints that we bought today?”  He’s a big fan of Andes mints.
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4:20pm | Wash grapes for a snack + head outside for some fresh air.
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4:35pm | Transplant green bean plants.  My goal of keeping the garden green is working out beautifully so far …
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5:15pm | Impromptu family picture.
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5:24pm | Jim and Samuel sent me some flowers for Mother’s Day.  Jim left them at school so we decide to make the drive to Elk Grove to pick up my flowers + have dinner at El Novillero’s.
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7:15pm | My boys sent me tulips for Mother’s Day.
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7:40pm | Evening snack — outshine popsicles.
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8:00pm | Read The Three Little Pigs.  He found the story pretty amusing.
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8:05pm | Give Samuel a shower + get him ready for bed.
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8:50pm | my turn to read to Samuel.  There’s a great collection of books to choose from.140508 DayintheLife-296

9:15pm | I settle on the couch to record notes + watch an episode of CSI.

9:45pm | Late night snack – cucumbers + tajin seasoning.  Gotta stop these late evening snacks if I’m ever going to lose some weight …2014-05-08 22.02.44

10:02pm | Too tired to work.  Decide to watch a second episode of CSI.

11:16pm | Off to read + sleep.

Happy Easter.

As a kid, I remember setting up all the Easter egg hunts for my siblings.  It has been quite awhile since then so I feel a bit out of practice.

There has been a lot of talk about the Easter Bunny lately.  Samuel is curious about how he works — whether he operates like Santa or not.  He woke up this morning forgetting all about Easter and played quietly in his room until about 8 am (so we got to sleep in)!  Shortly after 8, I hear his feet pitter-pattering into our room and he announces, “The light is yellow!  It is time to get up!”  (We use the tot-clock for naps/quiet time and sleep.)

We both tell him that our light is blue and he quickly looks around the room for a tot-clock. He tells us that he doesn’t see a clock but his clock says yellow and it is time to get up.

We slowly make our way out of bed as he returns to his room for some more quiet play.

I walk past his room and say, “Happy Easter.  Today is Easter.”  He stops what he’s doing and quickly says, “Did the Easter Bunny come to our house?”

We make our way to the table for breakfast and he finds this…140420 Easter-2
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We open the egg to find a couple of marshmallows (which he consumed in an instant) and a clue to the next egg.

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After breakfast, we go on a little scavenger hunt for more eggs.

140420 Easter-8He loves marshmallows so I’m surprised he only ate the two at the beginning of the hunt. Perhaps he was more focused on the clues than the treats themselves.

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There was even an egg in the horse trailer!

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The last clue lead him out to the cardboard stable in the backyard.  He went in there to find the last remaining egg … but totally missed the big basket of gifts.

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He made his way back in for the basket.

140420 Easter-24He’s a book lover so he was content looking at the new sticker book in the basket.

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The love affair with Legos has begun.  I got him a Lego Junior kit and he is enjoying his first build.

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140420 Easter-64140420 Easter-69We took a break from Lego building to go to the Farmer’s Market.  When we returned, he settled in his big boy chair to work on a couple new puzzles.  He is now doing 35-piece puzzles with some guidance.  

140420 Easter-36Happy Easter, friends.

Around Here | March 2014

Around Here is a new addition to my Project Life album this year.  It’s a place where I can add additional photos to tell our story.

140308-Ba74thBday-27Around here, we celebrated my mom’s 74th birthday.  She is beautiful, strong and independent.  I love you, mom.

140305-MSDN-115Around here, I helped organized the 7th Annual Math and Science Discovery Night.  I was thrilled to be able to organize the science portion of the event.  Honestly, I’m good at it and it feels good to be back doing something Jim and I started (and love).

Around here, Samuel and I went to Paradise Beach and enjoyed getting sand between our toes, dipping our toes in the freezing water, trying our best to skip rocks and building a lovely little sand castle equipped with a stick-leaf flag.  Wednesday afternoons are ours – now and for always.

Around here, we were thrilled with the change in daylight savings.  We love the extra hour of light.

Around here, there are lemons and tangerines on our trees.  We are drinking lemonade and fresh tangerine juice daily.

140323-BanhXeoAround here, I am bringing back the Vietnamese dishes (specifically, banh xeo and spring rolls) into our weekly meal rotation.

Around here, spring has sprung and Samuel’s allergies are worse than ever.  We are also noticing a lot of dry spots and bumps on his skin.  We can’t figure out what his skin is allergic too.

Around here, Samuel continues to take riding lessons and music classes.  He decided that soccer isn’t his sport so quit it in the middle of the season.  We are not thrilled that he quit soccer so we continue to have conversations about finishing what we start.  It has not worked yet.

140325-Swing&Birthday-49Around here, Samuel is fascinated by the swing.  It’s about time.  Ha!

Around here, I’m starting an exercise routine (again).  My ankle injury has healed and I am ready to shed some pounds.

Around here, Samuel has been eating a peanut butter & jelly sandwich for breakfast every morning.

Around here, I just booked our Disneyland vacation.  We are also talking about a couple other summer trips.

Around here, Spring Break is just 9 days away!  And summer vacation is 39 days from today.  Yippee!

Around here, I am thinking about my garden but I haven’t put my thoughts into action yet.

Around here, we have many unfinished projects.  We’re hoping to knock a couple of those projects out during Spring Break.

Around here, I am making smarter financial decisions.

Around here, I am reading Catching Fire (second in the Hunger Game series).

Around here, it feels like winter. I’m really enjoying the much needed rain.

140330-FamilyPhoto-15Around here, I am 3 for 3 for monthly family photos.  I’m hoping to get one where we are all looking at the camera.

Around here, we are happy.  We are having fun.  We are thriving.  That’s how it should be.

Project Life 2014 | Weeks 2, 3, 5 & 6

Last night, I went to our monthly Project Life Crop and got caught up on my 2014 album. 140329Crop

Week 02 | Jan 6-122014-Week02



Week 03 | Jan 13-19



Week 05 | Jan 27 – Feb 2



Week 6 | Samuel’s 3rd Birthday Celebration (just the three of us).

I am experimenting with how to take decent photos of my pages.  This afternoon, I found myself using my iPhone for all of the photos in this post.  It was way faster — and I didn’t have to fight the glare as much!  Interesting, huh?  How do you take photos of your pages? Feel free to share your tips in the comments.

Weeks 9 – 13 will be on the blog later this week.  Thank you for stopping by!

Project Life 2014 | Samuel is THREE!

I remember lying in the hospital bed after giving birth (via C-section after 40 hours of labor — yeah, crazy right?) and the nurse asked me, “Would you like to hold your baby?”  Really, all that and she wanted me to hold my baby?!?

I vividly recall my quick snarky response, “How am I supposed to do that?”

She looked at me and said three words. “With. Your. Arms.”

I was in a fog and was numb all over.  My response at that point was slow and methodical — “Oh, yessssss.  I doooooo have arms.  Ok, I’ll hold my baby.”  Honestly, I didn’t know what to do with him at that point.  He’s here.  So now what?

I struggled as a new mother.  I questioned myself and everything that I did to care for him. I worried all the time.  But he thrived. We thrived.  And just like that, he turned three.

At three, Samuel is an inquisitive, detailed-oriented, happy, energetic cowboy who has a passion for horses, garbage trucks and stories.  He is a problem solver and loves piecing together puzzles.
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We celebrated THREE with a hoe-down at our house.  Here’s a look at what went down …
140301 PLFeb-15I sent out personalized invites.  I spent hours making stick horses and painting cardboard boxes to create an old western town.  My sister made the awesome carrot cake.

140301 PLFeb-25Because of rain, we had the party indoors. Seven toddlers. Seven stick horses. Nobody tripped. Nobody fell. Nobody cried. It was joyful. Jim and I enjoyed watching him interact with everybody.

140301 PLFeb-32I left a basket of blank 3×4 cards out for birthday wishes.

140301 PLFeb-33The stick horses and buildings were a hit.  They didn’t care about the color station or games I had planned.

140301 PLFeb-53He was especially happy because his best friend came for the celebration.

We also had a birthday shindig at my mom’s house the following day for the family.
140302 PLCut&Paste-9Great day for all of us.  

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Products used | Project Life Themed Cards, Celebrate & Coral Edition.  Project Life Cut & Paste kit by Amy Tangerine. Studio Calico wood veneer. Word Stickers from Cosmo Cricket.

Project Life 2014 | Weeks 4, 7 & 8

I’m getting back into the swing of things around here.  And it sure feels good.  The house is a mess (and so is my work space) but all is good.

Since I’m so behind in this year’s Project Life album, I decided to tackle the present and slowly work my way backwards.

Here’s a look at Week 08 | February 17-23
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I went to Portland for a week to help my sister and her husband welcome Bodhi into the world.  Bodhi was born on February 16 at 3:57 pm.  He was 6 pounds, 2 ounces and 18 inches long.  He is little and precious with a fine head of hair.  I am excited about being an aunt and Samuel is excited about having a baby cousin.  Only thing is — I wish we weren’t so far away.

140301 PLFeb-66It was hard to be away from my little guy for a week.  Grateful for my brother’s iPad because we were able to FaceTime every night.  Not the same of course, but it certainly helped.  (For this layout, I used the new Project Life Azure Edition.  Maybe it’s because I’m a teacher, but one of my favorite cards is the T-chart card shown above.  I used it to compare Samuel and Bodhi at this point in their lives.)

Week 07 | February 10-16
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Samuel’s first visit to the dentist was a success.  He climbed up on the chair and sat there with his mouth open without any hesitation — this surprised me (and the hygienist).  Go, Samuel.  Go.  (Project Life, Azure Edition)

There were a lot of snuggles and family time this week as I prepared for my week-long trip to Portland.

Week 04 | Jan 20-26
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Obviously, I’m not doing things in any order at the moment.  Kinda going with what inspires me — and the photos that are speaking to me right now.  I remember being really sick this week.

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I love the “I want to remember” stamp and the cards in the Jade, Midnight and Coral Editions.

Project Life | Week 1

The first two months of the year came and went in a flash.  Seriously.  And just like that I’m behind on my Project Life album for 2014.  I’m on week two folks.

Here’s a take a look at week one of 2014.
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I managed to knock out some layouts for Samuel’s year three album.
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140201 FebProjectLife-5Samuel started drawing stick people on the whiteboard at 35 months.  I love including his artwork in the album.

140201 FebProjectLife-16The Project Life zoo themed cards are pretty awesome — so appropriate for us since we visit the zoo so often.

Things are finally slowing down around here and I am beginning to feel some kind of normalcy.  Stay tuned for more Project Life layouts as I get the ball rolling on playing catch up!

Thanks for visiting, friends!

Around Here | January 2014

Around here, Samuel is excited about turning 3.  He asked his teacher if she’d sing him Happy Birthday on the big day.  He told me today that he wants cupcakes brought to school to share with friends but does not want me there.

Around here, I am planning Samuel’s third birthday party.  He decided on a cowboy theme so I’ve been busy whipping up stick horses and cutting up boxes for a western town.  I love planning his birthday parties.

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Around here, my house smells clean because the housekeeper just made her appearance.

Around here, Jim is buried under a pile of math assignments and attends too many parent conferences.

Around here, Samuel is taking riding lessons.  We take him every two weeks but I feel like we should be taking him there for observation and exploration on weeks we do not have lessons.  He is sometimes distracted by the older riders — that’s because he wants to do what they are doing.

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Around here, Samuel is still obsessed with horses.  He cares for, rides, races and shows them on a daily basis.

Around here, Samuel enjoys doing puzzles.  He completed 13 24-piece puzzles in one day and asked if there were any more.  It takes him anywhere between 3.5-5.5 minutes per puzzle depending on the level of difficulty.

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Around here, Samuel and I are enjoying our Wednesday afternoon dates.  We enjoy playing at the park the most.  This afternoon, we had imaginary horses and lead them all over the playground.  He is very creative and imaginative.  Lots of pretend play happening over here.


Around here, I am reading Hands Free Mama.  I am hoping to get through more books this year — actually finish ones I start rather than just starting a bunch and having a pile sitting on my night stand.

Around here, the weather is amazing.

Around here, Samuel asked to go on the swing!  This is huge for him.

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Around here, I am thinking of ways to get rid of the skunk hanging around in my back yard.

Around here, we are always telling stories.  Our car drives and evenings are filled with stories — directed by our one and only Samuel Honey Bear.  We are also really into the Berenstain Bears.  We love reading the books and watching the cartoon.

Around here, I am working on Samuel’s year three book.  He is growing up way too fast.

Around here, I am addicted to pomelo + tajin seasoning.  For real.

Around here, I am addicted to thrifting.  I find the most amazing toys and books and games and costumes.   I love the thrill of the hunt.


Around here, my closets need to be cleaned out.  I would like to be able to walk into it sometime soon.  Unfortunately, it is not high on my list of priorities right now.

Around here, I have been running and walking an average of 2 miles a day up until a couple of days ago when I got sick.  I am coughing a bit and feel a bit drained.

Around here, I feel frustrated with apathetic students.  I am letting negative folks weigh me down.  It is time for an attitude adjustment — on my part so that I do not feel emotionally and mentally drained by my students.

Around here, I am working on being present.


Project Life 2013 | December

It is 9:30 pm and my boy is still awake — asking for hugs and kisses and stories.  I would really like to get some work in — or at least be able to finish my train of thought.

I am sharing my Project Life album from the month of December.140101 PL2013Dec-2Dec 02-08, 2013 | Full spread.  I was a little behind in getting the pages done for this month because I spent every evening working on holiday projects and/or December Daily.  We gave Samuel a book for each night of Hanukkah.  He does not like the jacket covers so I stuck a few of our favorite jackets in a 12×12 page protector.  Since I do not do much traditional scrapbooking anymore, I try to use my 12×12 page protectors whenever possible.  

140101 PL2013Dec-3Left page, close up.

140101 PL2013Dec-4Right page, close up | Just realized that I need to print a photo for Dec 8.  Ha!  Thought I was done but it looks like I have a couple of holes.

140101 PL2013Dec-7Dec 09-15, 2013 | Left page, close up.  (Looks like I forgot to snap a photo of the full spread for this week.)

140101 PL2013Dec-9I printed my bio from Becky’s blog and inserted it in the 3×4 pocket.  This whole thing is RAD.

140101 PL2013Dec-11Right page, close up | Loving the “i love –” cards from the Sunshine Kit.

140101 PL2013Dec-12December 16-22, 2013 | Full spread.

140101 PL2013Dec-13Left page, close up | yep, I got a holiday card from THE Becky Higgins.  

140101 PL2013Dec-15Right page, close up | Samuel received his first message from Santa (via Portable North Pole). Pretty cool to see his response to the message. There were brief moments of joy and elation — but it was mostly moments of wonder..

140101 PL2013Dec-16December 23-29, 2013 | Christmas week, full spread.

140101 PL2013Dec-17Left page, close up | I am enjoying Samuel’s stick people.  I took a photo of it and made 3×4 tags for gift bags (far left).

140101 PL2013Dec-18Christmas insert, front side | Christmas morning at our house.  Page protector from the Just Add Color Kit from HSN.  

140101 PL2013Dec-20Christmas insert, back side | We gathered at my mom’s house for Christmas in the afternoon.

140101 PL2013Dec-19Right page, close up | Had a PL crop night with my girls on the 27th.  I usually include a photo of all the girls who attend but this photo of Becky was just too funny!

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December 30-31, 2013 | We celebrated the last couple days of December with sword fights and a trip to Leatherby’s (our favorite creamery).

140101 PL2013Dec-232013 Year in Review | Jim and I went through the books (all three of them) and came up with a list of major events, including many firsts.  I then selected a photo from each month and included numbers to indicate the months.

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And that’s a wrap.  Huzzah for 2013!

Huzzah for Project Life!  Huzzah for documenting daily stories!  Huzzah for 2014 and all the adventures that await us!

The Gift of Photos

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We had a memorable Christmas.  Samuel insisted that Santa could not come into the house so we left cookies and milk for him outside.  Santa left a note on the front porch to look for gifts on the back porch.

Santa brought Samuel a Pony Cycle.  He did not show the kind of excitement you would expect from a kid on Christmas morning.  Samuel looked at the pony with inquisitive eyes. He wanted to know if it talked — and spent a great deal of time examining it from a distance, looking for buttons and noise making features.  Once he was certain that it would not make a sound, he slowly made his way onto the horse and rode it “into the midnight sky.”

One of the best gifts Samuel received on Christmas day was the gift of photos:  a book of stories and memories from all of his horse riding experience over the course of this year.
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This photo really says it all.  He loved the mini-book and spent a good chunk of time looking at it and recalling all the names of the horses he’d ridden over the year.

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He was super thankful.  This kid really likes hand made gifts.

Here’s a look at his book.
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