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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Project Life 2014 | Title Page

131230 PLTitlePage2014-2I have several projects to wrap up around here (including Project Life 2013 and December Daily) but I am really excited for 2014.

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Jim recently made this cross-stitch of our family.  I love it so much — makes a perfect addition to my title page for 2014.  I used the Martha Stewart Cross-Stitch Family Portrait tutorial to draw the figures and he stitched it up.  The Cross Stitch Family Patterns are here.

131230 PLTitlePage2014-10The This is Our Story stamp is from Catslife Press.  Definitely one of my favorite stamps.  The 4×6 card is from Project Life Midnight Edition.

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The page protector came from the Just Add Color Kit on HSN.  I love all of the 2×2 pockets. I split the kit with three other friends but am considering ordering one for myself because I want more of those page protectors.  They are so fun.

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Samuel started drawing people this month.  I made an overlay using a couple of his drawings.  I look forward to doing this more this year and incorporating more of his artwork into our family book.  The 4×6 card is from the Project Life Jade Edition.

131230 PLOrganized-4I will be using the Project Life Jade, Midnight, Sunshine and Seafoam editions for my 2014 albums (I say albums because I can never fit a year into ONE).  The Coral Edition is on its way from Oregon — I decided to split it with my friend and she’s shipping half of the kit to me.

131230 PLOrganized-7The 4×6 cards are organized by kit (and theme) here.

I will be using the We R Memory Keepers 12×12 binder album in black again this year. When I started in 2010, I went with the We R Memory Keepers albums in Buttercup. Unfortunately, last year’s shade of buttercup was more of a pastel yellow so I decided to go with black for our family albums.  I figured that black is easy to find — and it’s hard to mess up black.  Ha!

 

 

So this happened …

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I submitted work in October and tried not to think about it.

Then in November, I get an email from Becky Higgins.  Yes, THE one and only Becky!  I could not believe my eyes – had to blink several times and refocus my eyes to make sure I was reading it correctly. I was having soup on the couch while reading my email and I nearly spilled the entire bowl on my lap as I lunged forward to tell my husband.

And now, the entire thing is made pubic on Becky’s blog.  Yep.  It’s really happening. I am excited and honored to be among these talented ladies.
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I look forward to getting to know these lovely ladies and to also be inspired by them.  And I am thrilled to be working with my longtime hero, Becky Higgins!

 

2013 December Daily | Day 08-14

Day 08 | ‘Tis the Season for hand knits.  My sister is the expert and her pieces are beautiful.  Samuel is the lucky recipient. 131215 DD-13 Day 09 | (Left page) Each evening, he spends time with his beloved Hercules.  Tonight, he decided that he’s an elf and that he and Hercules are returning to the North Pole to inform Santa of all that he has seen.131215 DD-14 Day 10 | (Right page above) Letter to Santa.  He scribbled the note and told me what to write. 131215 DD-15 Day 11 | Still in the works. Day 12 | 12 blessings on day 12. I was originally going to do 12 things about him/us right now but I loved Ali’s idea to do 12 blessings idea. 131215 DD-16 Day 13 | The Spirit of Giving — part of his Advent Calendar activities for this year.  Now that he’s a bit older and has a better understanding of giving, I decided to add some action advent cards for him to do for others.  Tonight, we made stockings and surprised our neighbor. 131215 DD-17 Day 14 | Santa Parade.  We love parades around here — we usually have several a week in our own home.  So when there’s a parade in town, we make sure to go.  I used Ali’s 4×6 Layered Templates, Vol 2 for the photos below. 131215 DD-19

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.
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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.
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Day 03 – Santa sent us an Elf.  And Samuel named him Saucy.  I still have some journaling to do on this layout.
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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 ….
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Day 05 – Starbucks + shopping with one of my girls.  Girl time is awesome.
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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.
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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.
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I am in love with this project.  So looking forward to experiencing and documenting more magical moments this holiday season.