Monday, December 13, 2010


Trying my hand at the half full perspective today. Looking towards all the possibilities that are ahead. So far December has been a whirlwind. My focus this week will be to enjoy all the fun that this season has to offer. The kids are just full of the Christmas spirit and I am really trying to get on board. All I can think about is everything that I have to do! :) I tell you, I learn things from them everyday!

I will make friends with you December...starting now.

Sharing a few photos from my date with Tanner at his school gingerbread house making party. He told me before the parents left "Thanks Mom for coming today...I really appreciated all of your help." It was lots of fun! My first time volunteering in his new classroom (3o kids and all.) His teacher is a saint.

And in other weekend news...Minnesota's weather officially sucks. It has been snowy and stormy for the last 3 weekends. When is a girl ever to get her Christmas shopping done? Seriously? This is a shot that Chloe snapped on Saturday out the 3rd story hall window. We got at least 18 inches of snow Fri-Sat and had blizzard conditions to go with it. I had a 5 foot drift in my font was 12 degrees below zero. NOT a fan. Especially after chatting with my sister who informed me it was 60 degrees at home in Colorado.
But I will remain to have the "possibilities" mind frame this week. After all, it could not snow again the entire winter. OR warm up to say...I don't know...above freezing?? That would be nice!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Those are the thoughts running through my head tonight. I am sitting amongst a pile of boxes (yes I still have them everywhere!) but most of these boxes are Christmas decorations so that makes things a little bit better. My parents had to leave this week which is always such a bummer. I seriously cried when I hugged my sweet mom front of everyone eating lunch at Noodles & Company...and I didn't care who saw it! I enjoyed them so much! So I am trying to get the house picked up today and I am happy to report that all 4 loads of laundry today are folded and put away. I hung pictures in the kids room which was fun, and it's finally starting to look like home in here.  Since I never got a chance to share the photos of Thanksgiving and my parents visit, I thought I'd better do it before Christmas! LOL!

When we used to live with my parents before moving to Illinois, my Dad would buy us donuts every Saturday. The kids called it "donut day." They would frequently ask if it was "donut day." So it so happened that Nana and Papa were here on a Saturday so we just HAD to keep the tradition alive! Here we are at the Starbucks that's inside of my new Super Target. You can see the parking lot from the 3rd floor of my house! :) Love having it so close!

On Thanksgiving day, my new bosses had us all over to their house for an amazing feast! We all contributed and my Dad made a fantastic turkey (just like he always does.) The cutest guest award definitely goes to their sweet pup "Brinkley." He has stolen my heart I tell you.
This girl is pretty cute too though! And tonight she read me an entire book that she didn't know! I am amazed at how fast she is learning to read! Amazing! She also won the "Citizen of the Month" award at school for being an outstanding student! (Pretty impressive for it being her first month there and the fact that there are over 600 students!) She was so excited and got her picture taken to be hung on the wall in the front hallway. I can't wait to see it!
The adults table...minus me. Did you notice my sweet friend Amanda and her husband Eric? Super excited to have them around again. We are going to have SO much fun!
After dinner Papa entertained the kids with some conga-line fun! He is always doing something silly to entertain them. They had a blast!
Papa told us that he and Halle (my niece) had made up "fist bumps" for each month this fall. Novembers was folding your hands in prayer (being thankful) after the fist bump part. Here he is teaching Tanner the proper technique.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where has the time gone??

I must apologize for my enormous lack in the blogging dept! My parents arrived safe and sound Tuesday evening and have been spending the week with us...attending grandparents day at the kids school, cooking a fantastic turkey for Thanksgiving and also spoiling us rotten. I do mean rotten. Not like a $4,000.00 shopping spree rotten, but more like a "I'll paint some of your hideous walls a neutral color" rotten. Let's just say the house I bought had an "interesting" color scheme. Now if you have walls painted this color...please do NOT be offended. To each their own I say. I love color. LOvE. But the previous owner had painted my walls every shade of ugly. I mean not just once...but there are at least 4 coats of paint on any surface that has been painted. Right now I would like to give some mad props to Behr paint with the primer in it. Because other than my Dad who is doing all of the hard's pretty much my hero right now. Awesome...with a capital "A."

This hideous green wall is no is now painted a beautiful shade of grey. Hallelujah! I walked in Saturday afternoon and thought I must have walked into the wrong house...that is how much of a difference it made! Don't get me wrong...I love green, in fact it's my favorite color. But this green with burgundy, gold yellow, and turquoise painted under it...was just TOO much. The kitchen and the powder room has the darkest turquoise color painted all over it...and that will be transformed tomorrow also...I WILL be showing the transformation! Next up after that is the kids room. Oh my word...of all the walls in this house...these are hands down the worst. I would show them to you because I have taken before and after shots...but blogger isn't letting me post any pictures anymore. Boo!

You'll just have to stay tuned I guess. I also have lots of fun Thanksgiving photos to share and so I will end by saying that I hope you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving! I have so much to be grateful for!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Did you see that all my old posts have arrived! Woo hoo! The whole blog switch-a-roo was a little more complicated than I had anticipated. But Elaine (now new owner of Freehand Scraps) is blog savvy and she hooked me up! Thanks Elaine!! As we were trying to come up with a solution to swapping blog names I was reminiscing about all these years of blog posts and how much they really mean to me. It's been an online "journal" of sorts and I am so happy to have it all here. They say a picture is worth a thousand words...but with the words...they absolutely take me back to the moment I wrote them. How I was feeling, what was running through my head, and how much my life was changing at that time. I can't tell you how therapeutic it has been for me. I went from being married and being to a stay-at-home mom to a single mom who was taking on the biggest adventure of her life up to that point. Starting a business and trying to make sense of what was left of the pieces of my life. Sometimes I would write a blog post just to encourage myself. To remind myself that the sun would come out tomorrow! To focus on the strength that I knew God had promised me if I would just trust in Him. I learned so much, I grew so much, I had the highest of highs...and seriously the lowest of lows of my life. I am so grateful for this little place to just be me. And be real for heaven's sake! After all, life is just whizzing past. I'm so happy to have a little slice of our lives here. Thanks for reading...

and for cheering me on...and believing in me. You have blessed me so much more than you know. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Saw these on Design Sponge...and am in love. If you collect globes like I do, this would be such a lovely addition! Don't you think? The one that says Bon Voyage is pretty awesome.

I think the "peace" themed one is pretty much perfect. Take a closer look HERE.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Snowy Saturday...

After a busy, busy work week I was really looking forward to today. NO plans, and snow in the forecast...means a guaranteed day at home! Just what we all needed I think. Even my silly dog was so excited that we were home with him all day long...he just kept coming over and playing with all of us...or at least trying to talk us into throwing a toy for him. The kids watched cartoons this morning as I continued to unpack. I was unpacking boxes...I just wanted to throw a ton of stuff away! I'm not sure how some of this stuff made the cut and got packed into boxes to make it all the way here. I cannot believe how many toys we have! I went through a bunch of books and toys and made a donation box. I just can't stand clutter and being stressed out by all of our "stuff!"

The kids played in the snow and sledded down the small hill in our front yard. They loved it, and finally came in for some lunch and hot chocolate. The temperature is supposed to be in the 30's all week long with more snow fore casted so it looks like there will be a lot more snow to play in. I just hope my little car gets us to church in the morning.

The best part of the snow today...besides being that I did not have to shovel. The association takes care of that. Hallelujah for snow removal. But I didn't get any photos taken and I do regret that. Maybe I'll get a few tomorrow? Hope you are warm and cozy!

P.S. I got this posted before midnight!! Woo hoo!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's nearly midnight...

Why on earth do I only have time to post on the blog here at midnight? My bed is calling my name, but I still want to remember this day. It was busy and stressful at work today and I almost forgot to pick the kids up for school on time. I was one of the last mothers there. (Not a great feeling!) But they were happy as clams when I got there chatting with Chloe's new teacher all about how dogs can die if they eat chocolate and Mrs. Brandeen was telling them that if you give them hydrogen peroxide it makes them throw up and saves their lives. The kids thought that was fascinating.

They are excited everytime we pull into the garage that there is the possibility that there could be a dead mouse in a trap. So weird.

Chloe is eating bagels and cream cheese like they are going out of style. It's never a question what she wants in her lunch everyday. Don't even bother to ask if she wants turkey or peanut butter and jelly. It's always a bagel. I'm fairly certain I could wrap some up for Christmas and she would be over-joyed! :)

Tanner brought home a book tonight called "The Little Panda" which we have read the past 2 nights. He says now that the panda is his favorite animal and rode to school with his stuffed panda on his lap and played all afternoon with it. When it was nearly dinner time he came in and gave me a big kiss on the cheek and asked in his sweetest voice if we could please eat dinner at Panda Express? Of course the stuffed panda came also and one of the employees there told him she would trade him dinner for the panda. Tanner wasn't game, so she told them if they ate their dinner she would bring them both a treat. They both got a free chocolate chip cookie and I have a feeling they will be asking to eat there a lot in the future.

I cut Chloe's super long hair last night and we can finally brush through it again easily. It was out of control long. She wakes up in the morning and looks like she lived through a tornado.

I was uploading my iphone photos the other day and found roughly 245 photos that she had taken the first day we moved in to our new house. I thought it was super interesting to see the things she thought were worthy of taking photos of. Here are a few.

My new couch! :)

Looking through these just makes me laugh, those 2 bring joy and laughter and life and brightness to my life everyday! Just remembered I haven't made the kids lunches for the morning yet. Better wrap it up here! Good night!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

So. Very. Tired.

This will be short and sweet. I am SO very tired. I have a mile-long to do list. It's really overwhelming. I have a house that is painted every shade of ugly. And there are at least 2-4 coats on nearly every wall...except for the closets. So it's hard for me to visualize the end result. I like what is in the works so far....but it's hard to hang any kind of picture on a wall that's so ugly. The ugliest room is the upstairs bedroom. The nicest room is my bedroom. Wasn't that nice of the previous owners? Oh my word. I have so much work to do. I can't wait to show before and's going to be EPIC. (By the way that is my word of the day today...I put it in a few emails too. I haven't used that word in forever.) I need some time to get those plans underway, not to mention pick out paint colors. I spent 2 hours last week scraping with a putty knife, none the less, glitter glue off of the hard wood floors in the kitchen. And today I caught the 5th mouse in the last 3 weeks in a trap. Tomorrow is another day...and it's a good thing Jesus is waiting there for me with new mercies.  I'm ready for it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ahhhh...a new home!

ahhh...a new home for the little blog. A new home in Minnesota. A new school for the kids. A new job to top it all off. I have to say that I am more than a little over-whelmed. I haven't had to juggle being a single mom and working full time up until this point. To top it all off, the kids have both been sick with colds since we moved (TWO WEEKS!) they are more like the colds that NEVER end! Tanner's turned into an ear infection. Not to mention that we are still trying to find a schedule that works for us all. It's amazing how a change in location can do that to you. But instead of dwelling on the boxes that I still need to unpack, and the worries I have through all of this. I am focusing on the positives. Like how much fun we are having here!

We have a park that is right next to our townhomes. The kids are BIG fans. The dog barked his head off at anything that moved while we were there but it was otherwise pretty uneventful. We walked all the way out to the middle of the lake on the dock and back again. It was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
You can barely see the dock that leads to the water, as the sun was setting, and as Tanner was planning all of our future fishing trips. I thought to myself how blessed I am.
I should have taken my real camera because the light was good and the weather was warm, and the kids were having so much fun.
How was your weekend??

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Second Try...

Apparently I am blogger challenged! LOL! Sorry everyone for the glad you stopped by!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Freehand Scraps Newsletter!

Wow! It feels like it's been forever since I sent out a newsletter, so I hope this finds you all doing well. If you have been following the blog then you will already know that I have accepted a position working for October Afternoon as their Marketing Communications Manager, and that we just moved to Minnesota. Talk about BIG change! I had been thinking about what I would do with Freehand Scraps and was pretty sure that I might be able to find the time to put together some project kits and keep up with it on a part time basis. However, I found that there wasn't much time to even unpack the house...let alone put together kits! (Can I get a good amen from all of the single Mom's out there?) Seriously, there are not enough hours in the day! LOL! So I was approached by my good friend Elaine about the possibility of her taking over Freehand Scraps. I knew I wasn't going to have the time to dedicate to it and make it great, and so Elaine is the new owner of Freehand Scraps! She is so very excited to get started and to "meet" all of you! I am confident that she will provide you with the same awesome customer service and creative inspiration every month that you have come to expect from Freehand Scraps. We truly have the best customers! She has updated the website with her biographical information and is ready to hit the ground running beginning with a brand new kit for January! I can't wait to see how cute it all is! She will be sending you out a newsletter with more information and will also be taking over the Freehand Scraps blog. So from here on out if you want to follow my new blog you can find it here. I hope you'll come over and stay in touch, as I will miss you all so much! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support and friendship...I am truly grateful!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Catching up!

Hello my blog friends! Just stopping in quick to let you know that I finally have internet at my new house here and am super excited to get all of you caught up to speed on the latest with me and also with Freehand Scraps! :)
We said goodbye to our "Illinois family" and packed up a big moving truck and put smiles on our faces, and left. (Especially me as I am trying to show the kids my positive attitude about it rather than shed tears about all that we'll leave behind.)
It's a 7 hour trip so napping was involved...which made for a nice, peaceful road trip. :)

We are getting settled, and I am trying to juggle everything and get unpacked and organized. The kids were excited for trick-or-treating this year, I don't think I have ever seen them running from door to door quite like this year. Our neighborhood has some awesome houses in it...they had fog machines and decorations that put Pottery Barns catalog to shame. Seriously. I have never seen anything quite like it. We had a blast!
Tanner was an astronaut this year...hence his slight obsession with space and anything related! Chloe decided at the last minute to be a ladybug...I told her how smart she was because it was a really warm costume. Minnesota is not warm my friends, and it kind of feels like winter already here. I was warned though, and am hoping that I toughen up as the time passes. :)
She was very concerned that her nose and freckles (liquid eye-liner...and it stayed perfectly all night!) would get rubbed off. And was the cutest little bug ever!

And here is a picture of our new house!
I'll be back tomorrow with more a newsletter to update you on the latest with Freehand Scraps! Stay tuned...and I hope you had a great day!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Monday!

Hello my friends! It's been way too long! I have been a very busy girl for the past month or so. I took a job in Minnesota working for October Afternoon in marketing communications. I am loving this job so much and found a cute new house that I can't wait to start decorating and making it feel like home. I must admit that I am going to miss all of my friends and family here in Illinois, but I am excited for some change. In my book...change is good. And this life my friends is a journey. So far mine has been a good one! :)

I am also preparing for my sweet little Chloe's birthday this week. How is it possible that she is going to be 6 years old? I am in disbelief. That number seems so big for such a little peanut who still crawls into bed with me when she gets scared, and wants me to carry her around at the store, and covers me in kisses all day long.
We will be having a "little deer" party for her that she specifically requested and I will be back to post some pictures of the event. Hope you all have been well!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Good times...

Scrap Fest was a totally fun event! We (October Afternoon) taught 2 classes there, both were mini albums and we used two of my very favorite October Afternoon lines, Fly A Kite and Thrift Shop. I left feeling inspired, and with the urge to scrapbook! Thanks ladies for making it such a fun weekend!
The only unfortunate part of the venue was the definitely wasn't good for photography!
I had some ladies that were totally prepared with a shiny stack of photos to be added to their pages, and were some of the fastest scrappers I have ever seen. (I'm totally jealous by the way...I am not a speedy scrapper at all!) I had others that collected the contents of the class kit and sat back and relaxed...ready to take their project home to complete where they had all the time in the world and ALL of their supplies. To each their works!

October Afternoon had lots of fun giveaways and their class kits were packed with products! We had a great time! The ladies all raved about how cute everything was!

It was so much fun to get to see what Scrap Fest was all about! My girlfriends and I have always talked about going for a weekend getaway...and even though I wasn't actually taking the classes, I had a blast watching everyone else get to! Thanks to each one of you for coming!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Still here...I've just been out of state. Headed a week ago to the very (so far) rainy state of Minnesota to work at Scrap Fest for October Afternoon and teach some classes and do some make and takes. I can tell you this.

1) Minnesota girls are s-e-r-i-o-u-s about scrapping!

2) The people here are super sweet.

3) I still have NO idea which direction I am heading and got lost again today...thank the Lord for the GPS on my iPhone. I may still be lost.

4) I have already met some beautiful people...and I love that scrapbooking has the ability to link you with so many people who are so very kind.

5) I kind of freaked out when I realized I was teaching a class with a microphone strapped to my head and the fact that Kelly Purkey was teaching right next to me didn't help much. :)

6) If the rain here is any indication of the amount of snow that will be falling this car is going to hate me. I may need to apologize to it in advance.

I'll be back to post some pictures from my MN adventures this weekend!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Birthday mini book!

Well it's not easy to be away from family. Especially when you miss out on all the parties! And believe family, well we know how to celebrate! So my sweet little Grandma celebrated another birthday and I decided to use these silly photo booth shots of the kids and me to make a little book for her.
The mini book alternates with one chipboard page and then one acrylic page. The acrylic works really well for the cover and backing of the helps keep your embellishments from getting ruined.

The worst thing about the acrylic though is taking pictures of it!! :)

The album is by Fancy Pants, patterned paper is Heidi Swapp and My Minds Eye, I also used some Martha Stewart doilies, and a few American Crafts chipboard shapes. The little journaling spots are made by Colorbok. The bird die cut and daisy on the last page are by October Afternoon. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

La Vie En Rose...

The last time I was perusing my favorite local store I came across these little itty bitty white letters. Let me just preface this with the factoid that I took 3 years of French in high school and so I actually figured out what they said, which was an accomplishment in itself! I feel like I don't remember half of what I learned in high school.

The translation: Life in pink. Or for us westerners...more like the saying we "see the world through rose colored glasses." I just love them. And I am working on seeing the world through my rose colored glasses MORE. Optimism shall be my friend!
The best part was the the store owner is from France so he whipped out his laptop and began to play me a beautiful (and very famous I might add) French song. Guess what it's called? :)

And just for good measure...and English is another version that's awesome by Louis Armstrong. Ahhh...makes me want to hop on a plane to Paris and stroll down the Champs d Ellesseys. Yeah that is going to happen!! Oops...rose colored glasses, rose colored glasses. See why I need a daily reminder? :)

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Big Adjustment" is really an understatement...

I'm back to share a layout that has been sitting on my desk for a good 2 weeks now. It was all laid out and ready to be tacked down and finished. Good grief, I never thought I would get a minute to work on it! I'm thinking of making a 6 x 12 page to go just to the right of it to add even more journaling. There are just things I don't want to forget about how much of a change it was to move from the city to the country. Like the fact that instead of sirens and traffic, I was lulled to sleep at night listening to the cows mooing in the fields all the way across the river. (At first I thought it was a cell phone ringing on vibrate when I heard it! LOL.) That my fridge was stocked with worms for fishing down on the river. That the fawns would frolic around the yard and not really care if we were watching. That it is a 30 minute drive to the nearest Target (BiG change!) That you don't have to ever worry about traffic...because there isn't any...but you do have to alot time because there is a good chance you will get stuck behind some kind of farm equipment that takes up both lanes of the road. That everyone knows everyone. That people here are just plain old good...deep down in their hearts. That you will hear the expression "Good Gravy!" and that they call it supper here instead of dinner. That they are proud to live here and think I'm crazy for missing "city life."
I splattered some charcoal paint on the kraft cardstock and added a few rows of the dots from the Creative Imaginations die cut paper I had also used for my PB&J layout I last shared here. And I STILL have some of it left! :)
I layered the KI Memories felt letters over a strand of ribbon. The silly cow die cut (Paper House Productions) is the first die cut I've bought in a long time. I just knew he needed to go on this country life page.

What's your or country? Hope you all have a fantastic Labor Day weekend!!

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