Sunday, March 9, 2014

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

No? Well, me either! But I am a wee bit obsessed with Frozen. :)

I didn't LOVE it at the movies. I think this is mostly because it's hard to really soak a movie up when you are trying to make sure your daughter doesn't eat popcorn off the ground and your son doesn't "shush" everyone to death. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. I thought it was good, but not amazing. No Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King. The music was a mix, I thought driving home from the theater. Some GENIUS, some Tangled rehash, some way too cutesy, and one song that had me gritting my teeth.

But the kids couldn't stop singing it. And I couldn't get it out of my head. And on our first (No)Snow Day, we watched clips of Frozen on youtube until the kids couldn't stand it anymore. Then I bought myself the soundtrack. - The kids think it's theirs but they are wrong. - And then I had every intention of waiting for the DVD release to buy it, but caved last week and have blissfully seen it 4 times. (Which if I was the kids it would be more like 10 by now. Obsessed!)

And now I am wholly converted and agree with the advertising tag line, the best animated film since The Lion King. And it's the first one since the switch to computer animation that has captured me so completely. I love Brave (Emma Thompson and Billy Connelly are fantastic as the parents!) and Wreck It Ralph and Monsters Inc and Toy Story. But Frozen just speaks to me.

"The sky's awake so I'm awake!!"
"We're not saying you can change him because people don't really change/All we're saying is love's a force that's powerful and strange/People make bad choices when they're mad or scared or stressed/Throw a little love their way and you'll bring out their best"
"Let it go, let it go/I'll rise like the break of dawn/Let it go, let it go/That perfect girl is gone!"
"Some people are worth melting for."

So. Awesome.

Then I read this. It's awesome. Go read it. I'll wait. Here's a tissue.

And, on a far less life-changing note, this pin cracks me up.

So I made a couple of cards inspired by it.

This is one is inspired by everyone's favorite snowman.

And this one is inspired by the end credits. I loved the snowflakes against the black background. I'd love to work on this again as I don't feel I did them justice, but it was a fun experiment all the same. Sidenote: I'm pretty sure it's impossible to have too many snowflake dies or too many colors of glitter paper.

I am a super nerd when it comes to animated movies like this so feel free to tell me what you loved/hated/or otherwise about the movie!

Thanks for looking!

Stamps - Paper Smooches Swanky Snowman
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - PTI Spring Rain, white glitter paper (Recollections maybe?), and GP white
Other - Copics, PTI In the Meadow hill die, Recollections wood veneer, cutterbee scissors

Warm Hugs:
Stamps - Lawn Fawn Milo ABCs
Ink - Versamark
Paper - GKD black, assorted glitter and foil papers (from Michaels and Hobby Lobby, nothing super fancy)
Other - xyron (could not have survived without it on this one!), Zing light pink embossing powder, Impression Obsession Small snowflake set dies, Memory Box Lindeman Snowflake die

Also, nothing from Disney, Momastery, or Pinterest belongs to me. The cards are mine. Well, not anymore because I mailed them, but they were mine when I took the pictures. PS, I love Disney, Momastery, and Pinterest and you should check them out if you haven't. And if you haven't checked out Disney in some fashion yet I would just like to say "Welcome to civilization!"

Friday, January 31, 2014


It's been a long, busy, full, and emotional month. Lots of loved ones going through some very difficult things. Lots of exhaustion from the awesomeness of a house full of mostly healthy kids going on for others, including me. Two (No) Snow Days. A birthday. Lots of things.

I am working on an art project for my goals, but it's taking it's time so I'm going to list them here for now.

My 2014 Goals
Focus on homemaking not housekeeping. - Obviously the former requires some of the latter, but it's not the most important part. Jeff and I both want to make our home a cozier, warmer, more welcoming place. We've gotten started and I'm very excited about the plans we have for this year. And, of course, you can't focus on homemaking without focusing on the people in the home.

Be a soft place to land. - For my kids especially, but also for friends, family, Jeff, and even myself. Softening both my words and my tone are where I need to start.

Buy things that do good. - There are so many ways to do this: support small businesses and artisans, shop secondhand, buy things that are ethically sourced and produced, buy products that give back to charities, and probably lots of other ways!

Eat cleaner. - I have a mission this year to find at least one vegetable per child that they will eat without too much fuss. And I will totally count green smoothies. :)

Self-care. - Reading, exercise, sleep, creative time, and actual hair cuts every now and then are all on my agenda. So far, I've read 2.5 books, made time for yoga, gone to bed before midnight many nights, and stepped up my water intake.

Connect with the Word. - I want to do a way better job reading the Bible regularly, but I also want to study, to memorize, to discuss it. Put in place family rituals and seek out fellowship to help our family grow together in this.

Play. - With the kids and without them. Dance, sing, laugh, be ridiculous, run, color, be more spontaneous, look for adventure in every day.

Learn to speak the love language of each person in my family. - The kids don't care if I lovingly paired all their socks, cleaned the bathroom, and picked up dog poo in the yard so they can play. They will. (You know, when they have kids.) And I'm not going to stop doing those things! But it doesn't count to them and it's important that I make them feel loved. And I think Jeff and I are pretty good at being awesome for each other, but 11 years in is a great time to be even awesomer. ;)

Have less stuff. - Abundance is one thing, excess is another. We need to share. This ties directly into so many (maybe all) of my other goals.

Connect more with others and be more hospitable. - We need to get out more and also have more people over, host-stress be darned. Also reach out to those in need, awkwardness be darned.

Trade feelings of scarcity for gratitude, worry for prayer, and feelings of urgency for peace. - If all else fails, sing show tunes until I can't remember what the issue was in the first place.

Do one important thing every day. - If I can do one important thing every day, one thing worth making time for, one intentional thing, then that's enough.

Happy February, y'all.

Posts with way more pictures and way less talking coming soon!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Happy 2014! I hope you had a great first day of the year! I went to the grocery store without children, did yoga in my living room with no one climbing on me, called a good friend, made cards, did a little home remodel dreaming with my husband, and hung out with the kids. It was simple beautiful and enough. 

Enough is my word for the year. I'm not exactly sure how to express why I picked this word. I read Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection last year (so awesome, read it in a day, bought it) and in the chapter on gratitude and joy she says that we fall asleep thinking of all the things we didn't get done and wake up thinking about how we didn't get enough sleep. SO ME. Scarcity pervades my thoughts. There's not enough time, money, sleep, quiet, energy, joy. Sometimes I'm just not enough. But the whole book starts off by talking about how people who live their lives with their whole hearts do so because they believe that they are enough. No matter what. That you have to believe it in order to really love the people around you. And I think it's true.

So I've decided that there is reality and there is truth. Reality is I will never be enough/have enough/do enough. The truth is I'm enough already. I'm enough like the loaves and fishes, on my own not enough to feed many, but through faith enough to feed everyone present. Nothing extra, but enough. And because of that truth I can kill the scarcity in my head. And good riddance, too!

So my vision for this year is to stop worrying about not enough. To start living as though there is time for what's important because there is and to stop wasting time on what isn't important because ain't no one got time for that. And what is important to me? To make sure that my kids know that they are enough to me, right now, just as they are. To teach them compassion and boundaries and a love of service by modeling it for them. To realize that I have more than enough things already and that it doesn't matter how awesome, cute, or great a deal whatever I'm thinking about buying is if there's no darn place to put it in my house. To get rid of our excess so that we have enough, but not tons more. (Pretty sure the Bible says if you have an extra shirt give it away not buy 8 more on sale.) To make time for yoga and hair brushing and Bible reading and pushing kids on swings. To make our home beautiful with love and art and things that have meaning not just random stuff that was on sale at Target. To have energy for dance parties and patience for eight loads laundry because people want to pour their own juice. To shop ethically, from secondhand stores, small businesses, and places that do good work. To feed our bodies good food. To not be a slave to the urgent. To do more things that fill me up. To notice the good as much or more than the bad. To encourage people.

I'm saying yes to books, to crafting, to singing, to going outside, to play food picnics, to trying new recipes, to yoga, to people, to playdates, to bringing food to people even though it makes me really nervous, to sending cards, to dinner parties, to budgets, to building rituals even when it's awkward, to decluttering, to dates, to being still.

I'm saying no to comparison, to shopping for the heck of it, to lots of sugar, to worry and anxiety, to free cell - is it ever really fun?, to my own crazy expectations, to judgment, to gossip, to being passive aggressive. And I hope to diapers. Because she'll turn 3 this year. It's time.

That is quite enough for now. I'm not used to being this wordy. :) Check out Lara Casey's posts on goal setting for 2014 so you can write your own mini-novel! It really is great stuff.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Shalom Y'all

Good-bye 2013, hello 2014, peace everyone!

So I haven't posted in ages. What else is new? ;) Well, I'm doing the 2014 Goal Setting plan from so there's that. :)
This is a rambly post so consider yourself warned.

It's been a good year. I've learned a lot. Good things have happened.

A great family trip where I stressed less planning than I ever have before.
A great Christmas project with my cousins - I learned both that my cousin Ashley gets stuff done and that we all feel like the awkward less eloquent one.
My son started Kindergarten and we are all doing okay with it. And he's reading so well. It makes my heart practically burst.
I tracked my craft spending and did okay keeping my spending in line with my use.
I hosted a challenge for Hope You Can Cling To on Splitcoast. It is my favorite crafty event of the year and I was so honored to participate as a hostess. You should check it out next year. October 1 and the rest of the month.
We got a dog. We lost him. We got him back.
I went to a Carry On Warrior book signing with my mom. So fantastic. It was spur of the moment, I loved meeting Glennon. And it was the first time in ages my mom and I did something just us.
I learned to knit and crochet pretty much entirely thanks to my friend Jaala.
My sister came to visit. We bonded over how weird our parents are. :)
Good friends had beautiful, healthy babies.
An awesome mommy date with one of my dearest friends for her birthday. Definitely repeating this year!
I read more books than I have in ages! - Carry On Warrior by Glennon Melton , Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson, The Gifts of Imperfection and  Daring Greatly both by Brene Brown, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. All good!!!
I gave up sugar for the month of June and 2.5 weeks in November. June was easier.
We sent a lot of happy mail including art and cards to Jeff's dad.
 I paid more attention to how my clothes make me feel. I like boatnecks and stripes and especially boatnecks with stripes. I'm getting rid of everything that doesn't make me feel awesome.
Lots more things, but that's a good start. :)

There were not so great things, too.

I worried a lot. I need to stop that. Worrying is not the same as thinking things through. We went to an absolutely amazing wedding and I truly loved being there, but leading up to it I was a mess. It was black tie and I felt very not enough going into it. Such wasted energy.
Keeping a household budget was such a fail this year. I just did not do the work.
I yell too much.
I have expectations that no one knows about and I get grouchy when they don't happen.
We have too much stuff. Dealing with this stuff takes energy and time away from people.
We don't have good spiritual habits and rituals and are more catch as catch can when it comes to teaching the kids.
My teeth are in pretty bad shape. Flossing is definitely on the agenda.
I so want things to go organically that I tend to give up when there isn't any flow. I'm learning, slowly, that flow usually comes later so stop giving up.

There will be more coming. I will do posts on what fires me up, what my vision is for this year, and why I chose my word for 2014, Enough.

Here are some challenges I'm doing at the start of this new year:
The 100 cards or projects in 100 days challenge on Splitcoast with no shopping. Man, I need this. Am I going to love it? Doubtful, but I need it.

Stamp to Spend. I did this last year and it really helped me. The basic idea is you "pay" yourself a certain amount for each crafty thing you do and then when you shop you don't spend more than you "earned".  I need to do better with my spending in the first place, but I am ending the year in the black on stamping and knitting, and I rocked it with sewing.

A Target fast.  I spend a lot of time and a lot of money at Target. They sell cute stuff and it's pretty cheap and there is nothing wrong with cute, cheap stuff necessarily. A lot of my favorite things including one awesome friend have come from Target. But just like sugar, too much is not good. I need to clear my head a little and make space in my house and my heart. I do get a lot of necessities there and I use their pharmacy so I will have to go occasionally. (For example, I have 10 Dollar Spot calendars to take back.) I'm going to try to limit it to once a month and only shop from my list then get out. No coffee for me, no icees, cake pops, or popcorn for the kids - no wonder they love Target as much as I do! I can check Cartwheel and the target coupons for things that are already on my list, but not add things to my list because of them.

There will be more. I'm hoping to do the contentment challenge later in the year and do more no-sugar months. This is enough for now.

Oh, here is my to read list so far. If you are still reading this post and have any book suggestions please let me know!

The Night Circus - recommended by my mom and my neighbor, on request from the library
A Confederacy of Dunces - one of my husband's favorite books
Where'd You Go, Bernadette - recommended by the tiny twig on IG
Interrupted - recommended by Lara Casey
The Story of Stuff - just looks interesting, on request from the library
It''s All Too Much - a reread from 2012, but it really fired me up
Say Goodbye to Survival Mode - Crystal Paine's (Money Saving Mom) new book, I really enjoyed her first one.

And my one bona fide resolution for 2014? Buy comfortable bed pillows. Ours are all lousy.

I'll end this terribly long post with one of my favorite cards from 2013.

Shalom y'all!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

School Rocks

So I always mean to do all these challenges and blog posts. Sometimes I even have cards made or drafts started and I just forget to finish them. Others, like today, I pretty much forgot everything until the very last minute. I wanted to get the kids, or at least the oldest, to do the Simon Says Stamp Back to School Vacation kids challenge. Which ends today. If Patricia hadn't posted the fantastic card her son made I wouldn't have remembered at all! Thanks Nick and Patricia!

Here is Archer's card. He decorated the front, back, and inside. I think I need to start letting him (and ONLY him) use my ink pads. The kid ones are extremely juicy.

And, yes, that is our update after one week of school. So far, school rocks. He has had great teacher feedback, has been getting ready without complaint, and is excited to go back. I'm very grateful and happy!
Thanks so much for looking!
Stamps - Paper Smooches Smarty Pants
Ink - Hero Arts kid ink
Paper - PTI white, Pure Poppy, SU designer paper
Other - PTI pumpkin die shaped into an apple (these were leftover from a project I did last year)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Beginnings

First day of school in the morning. Kindergarten for my first child. Clothes are laid out, school supplies ready to go. Wow. It's just so hard to believe. The days are so long and slow, but the years just fly by. He rides his bike without training wheels and has a tooth loose, too, just for extra emphasis. It's true, the saying that when you're a mother your heart is now outside your body, but it seems so much harder to have it walking around in some other building from 8-3. This is faith and vulnerability right here, y'all. He is so excited, though, and I think he will have a wonderful time mostly. He is amazing and I hope Kindergarten is ready for the awesome!

I made this for him for in the morning using the MFT weekly sketch. My awesome friend Jaala sent me the papers and they are perfect. (My husband told him "the journey of 1000 miles begins with one step" proverb the other day so this seemed like the perfect sentiment.) The banners are handcut and I enjoyed stapling everything for once. :) I have another card for when he gets home and, of course, one for his brother. It's a big change for him, too! (The girl will also get a card, but I'm probably just going to glue random die cuts to a base because tearing cards apart is kind of her thing right now.)

I'm linking this at the MFT Sketch Challenge and Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge blog for their back to school challenge. If you have a baby starting school tomorrow - or high school or college - I'm thinking about you!

Stamps - MFT Clearly Sentimental About New Beginnings
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black, Distress Ink Antique Linen
Paper - DCWV school papers, cork paper, PTI Rustic White
Other - Tiny Attacher, pop dots, MFT red hot felt, Jolee's red twine

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lost in Blue

Finished up another monochromatic card tonight. I've been admiring all the beautiful mixed media work people have been doing lately. This is me dipping my toes in. ;) Lots of ink, a little fiber paste, smooch spritz, and glitter paper. I sponged blue ink on the glitter paper so it has a mottled appearance up close. I also gave a few swipes with a white crayon for some resist action. I had fun making this card and getting out of my box. Linking this at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog.


Stamps - Studio Calico What a Wonderful World
Ink - SU Cool Caribbean, Memento Paris Dusk, Teal Zeal, Bahama Blue, Nautical Blue
Paper - PTI White, Recollections glitter paper
Other - Simon Says Stamp Leanna butterfly die, Fiber Paste, Studio Calico Intertwined Circles stencil, Smooch Spritz Sea Breeze, blue rhinestone, Ranger ink blending tool pad (but not the handle, which explains some of the harsh lines. No idea where it's disappeared to.), white crayon