Friday, December 12, 2014

Now You are Five

Dear Hollis & Naomi--
I wish I could say that this year went by with no hardships, tears, or troubles. We had our fair share this year. But, one of things that I am most proud of is how much you both have grown. You started going to school full time so Mommy could work. You love your school and often ask for more time to stay and play instead of coming home. Both of you have begun the first steps of reading and love to write in your school notebooks. 
You've both taken a fancy to doing almost everything on your own. It makes for interesting outfits, hairstyles, and shoes that don't always match the weather outside. It can be hard to let go and let you do things in the name of independence. However, I know it's a necessary step to growing up.

You are my morning bird--often up just moments after I wake up and make my tea. You love the quiet time when it's just us and we can cuddle, read, or you can quietly play without the noise of your brother and sister. I love our morning conversations and time together--it's easily one of my favorite parts of the day. Just you and me before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. You are my grocery shopping companion and happiest when you get one-on-one time with us. We need to make more time for dates with just you. You love Little People, stuffed animals, wearing dresses, singing, and dancing. You are often fearless and strong---the most independent---and I know these traits will help you grow into an amazing woman someday. 

This was the year that we saw you really turn into a little boy. You love Star Wars, pretend fighting with sabers, swords, and laser guns. You love to wrestle and often hug harder than you should. You have this energy about you that is wild and fun. However, you also have a softer side to you that is perfect for cuddling with Mama, playing board games with Daddy, and for listening to your teachers. You are a talker and will often tell stories and have conversations with anyone that will listen. You have so much to share with the world and I can't wait to see this carry you as you grow. 

There is not a day that goes by that I don't feel lucky to have the two of you. You make me smile and laughing with the two of you is one of my favorite things ever. I'm not always the most patient and attentive Mama, but I always strive to end the day with kisses and love. You deserve all of that and so much more. I was really worried about going back to work full-time. I would miss time with you and I worried that you both would fall apart without me. The truth is that you both have flourished at school and love it so much. You have amazing teachers that encourage you to learn, play, create, and socialize with other kids. It's been an easier transition than I thought and I am so grateful. 
We have another big year ahead of us. We are taking our first big family vacation. You will start Kindergarten in the fall. You will probably start reading and lose your first tooth. 
I don't want to rush it because it's all going so very fast.
No matter what, I'm along for the ride, because I love you.


You can see last year's birthday post here

Monday, November 03, 2014

Sharing Project Life

Today I took the day off work and spent the morning doing all the things that I love to do but rarely have the time for. That includes getting all caught up with Project Life. Like I've said in previous posts, I didn't stop altogether over the past few months, but needed to journal and pull everything together.

Lately I've been playing with not having set weeks represented in our book. Instead, I've been using pages to document certain events or collecting moments from a whole month. It's what is working right now as far as our story-collecting goes. 

I do know, that in the two weeks since having a new camera, I've taken a ton more photos and have been really excited to print them and add them to our book. I feel like a new creative person lately & finding that footing is really nice. 

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Fall Photos

Today was our annual "clean up the yard before the snow hits day" and we took advantage of the leaf piles to let the kids play in them a little bit. Mark and I took turns playing with my new camera and got some fantastic pictures of the kids that I wanted to share with you. I didn't quite realize how much I missed having a real camera to shoot with. While the iphone does a pretty good job capturing the moment, the crispness and quality of the new camera (for curious folks, I got this camera) is making me really happy!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Project Life Catch Up

It's been a while since sharing Project Life pages here. I took a few months off to get my bearings and to hopefully breath some new life into my creative spirit. Truth is, I didn't quite realize how demanding work and family would become. But, I didn't stop working on our Project Life pages. Somehow, I just couldn't get them from the book to here. I blame losing my ability to shoot with my fancy camera for some of that and I've recently become the owner of a fancy Olympus that will help my picture taking self become whole again. 

So, to appease family and friends that have been asking, I'm sharing a few spreads from the last few months! I should have some more pages to share with you soon.

The rest of these pages were done in the new Project Life app. I am super impressed with the ease of using the app and the quality of the prints from Persnickety Prints is totally top notch. I slipped these directly into 12x12 sleeves and they look great mixed in with the other pages.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Radio Silence

You'll have to forgive the silence--the lack of words here in the space. 
I've been doing a lot of soul searching. Trying to figure out where I'm headed and what my goals for the future are. I've been blogging for over 10 years and in various formats and to be honest I've felt a little lost when it comes to my own creative self lately. 
It's been too easy for me to compare and feel critical about what I'm doing and that's not fair given how much has changed over the past few months. 
I haven't been great at balancing everything and that has meant that Project Life, quilting, and all of the things I really love to do have fallen to the side.
 I believe it's temporary. I have to believe that this is a natural creative ebb & flow. 
I'm not ready to throw in the towel. Yet. 
I hope you'll be patient with me as I figure it all out. 

Don't worry too much. I am working on things here and there. I have some projects lined up. But, most importantly, I'm very busy tending to three little people that need me more lately than they have in a long time. 

And that feels pretty darn good. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Saying Yes to Adventure

We've hardly had time to catch our breath lately. The start of school meant the start of dance classes, piano, full-time work, and barely enough time to just be in the moment. After the first week, we settled nicely into the routine and it didn't feel so hard. Granted, the house is a mess and dinner has been a mish-mash of whatever is in the fridge and quick. I had forgotten what the hustle and bustle of working and tending to the family is like. I don't love it, but I see how, for right now, it's what we need. 

The frenetic energy of our days means that in the evenings and weekends I try to be as present for the kids as possible. The connections with the kids is important because their time with me has been cut so much. Getting just a little bit of undivided time makes everything else go smoother. 

This past weekend we found ourselves with a day that had no plans. We decided to head out the door and to a new park/lake. The kids played a little bit on the playground and Mark and I had some time to breathe without the background noise of bickering siblings. We wandered around the lake and the kids threw rocks in the water. Naomi took off her shoes at every chance, preferring to ground herself on the shore line with bare toes. 

This lake has paddle boats that you can rent and we spent time on the dock watching the young workers try out the rescue jet ski and maneuver all the paddle boats into the water. I spotted something swimming in the water and it turned out to be a baby snapping turtle. It found it's way to the loading dock and Naomi went right down and snatched it up. This little visitor was a bright spot of the day and we spent time passing it around and sharing it with other lake visitors. We found a quieter spot with more protection and let it go. All of the kids wanted to keep it. I kinda did too, but how do you tend to a snapping turtle when it gets bigger??

Mia begged to take out a paddle boat. With five of us we weren't sure we could do it, plus, we anticipated it costing more money that we wanted to spend. But, once the offices opened, we realized they had a couple boats that would work for us and it only cost $9. So, we went for it. Mark and I paddled and the kids enjoyed the views. 
It was one of those times that saying YES to a plea for adventure really paid off. There was no bickering, no grouchiness. Just all of us out on the water, chatting, laughing, telling stories of Loch Ness creatures. 

We ended up heading to lunch, ice cream, and a pinball arcade after. 
We didn't want the magic of the day to end. 
We have some more adventures planned in the weekends coming up and I'm so excited to get to spend more time with just the 5 of us. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sharing Project Life

In mid-July I realized that I was taking less and less photos and feeling way too much pressure to get a layout done every week. I was knee deep in a quilt project that I was loving and spending less time in the craft room too. Then I had a grand realization that when my family looks back at our Project Life book, they aren't going to wonder what happened on the Thursday in the 2nd week of July. They just want to see themselves and our stories. So I gave myself permission to back off slightly. Now don't get me wrong, I love Project Life. But, I'm also wise enough to know that when life gets busy something's gotta give. 

For this spread I printed anything in my feed that told the story of the last few weeks in July. Journaling cards and labels help tell the stories. Really, that's all you need. 

When in doubt, pick orange as your color focus for the week. I can never tire of orange!
On this side: the summer slip and slide, my favorite zucchini cake, a trip to the zoo, basting with the best ladies in the world, and Mia's first solo Pokemon tournament. I had to take the photo of her on the sly because it's totally "not cool" to take pictures of your 9 year old unless she can ham it up for the camera.

On this side: A new haircut for me and an unplanned haircut for a certain 4 year old, the Denver County Fair, mean-mugging at the Rapid's game, and a quiet moment at our public library.

Tucked in between this week are two 12x12 photos that Mark took. I had intended to cut them down and fit them into the Design A protectors, but when I opened them they were just so pretty! 

This photo so perfectly captures the kid's spirits! Naomi is headstrong and stubborn, Mia is a performer and dreamer, and Hollis is our little reserved boy. Love it.