In November 2011 I climbed aboard the gratitude train and posted a Facebook status each day in regards to what I was thankful for. I so enjoyed doing it that I decided to bring our family blog back with a little twist... to devote the year of 2012 to gratitude. This will be my platform with which to journal our thankfulness throughout the year along with just documenting the daily fun that is our family! Hope you'll join me for the journey!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

She's Already Amazing...

So in honor of this book that I'm about to read there's a party going on over on here on Holley Gerth's blog that I really wanted to participate...

The year was 2002... It was an ordinary fall day... I walked into my mom's group meeting at St. Francis in the Fields church in Louisville, KY expecting our ordinary meeting... but little did I know that God was about to drop an EXTRAORDINARY gal right into my life!

A new girl arrived and began to tell her story... her husband's job had moved them to Louisville, KY from Australia and she was nothing short of miserable over the whole experience. My heart broke as she described the loneliness and sadness she felt being so far away from family and friends. The more we chatted the more we found we had in common... she had a little boy the same age as mine named Harry... My little boy was named William! (Um hello!?! William and Harry??? OK seriously we HAD to become friends if for nothing else but the sake of our boys sharing names with the royal family).... We shared the same birthday (well technically she's OLDER than me but we both celebrate on April 17th)... We planned a playdate, and then another playdate and we connected in a way that I can't even put into words. Over the course of that year we became the best of friends. I had my daughter Campbell, she had her daughter Sophie. I cooked traditional American Thanksgiving dinner, she cooked the most amazing chocolate sauce pudding thingie that I've ever experienced. Our boys connected over Thomas and the Wiggles (OK who are we kidding!?! Will was not the easiest toddler to connect with so they were forced to tolerate each other for the sake of our friendship:))

Then it happened... she tearfully told me they were moving back to Australia! So as quickly as she came into my life, she was going home. I was sad. Really, really sad. I mean in that year she had truly become like a sister to me. I questioned whether we would keep in touch, remain friends?

Fast forward to April 2011... my sweet husband plans a surprise 40th birthday luncheon for me. As he is thanking everyone for being there he mentions one person in particular that he needed to thank for being there... she took time off work, her husband was kind enough to keep her kids so she could come and I thought "what's the big deal with that?" and then he said it... She. traveled. thousands. of miles. to be. here... and before I could even process it there she was. That EXTRAORDINARY gal was standing in front of me. That EXTRAORDINARY gal traveled across the globe to surprise ME!

I could sit here and type all day and truly not be able to adequately put into words what an AMAZING, SELFLESS, LOVING, FORGIVING, ENCOURAGING, FUN, EXTRAORDINARY woman, mother, wife, and above all friend she is!

And if you are wondering if we kept in touch the answer is yes! We talk, text, facebook almost daily. Just the other day she was giving me grief for not blogging recently and wanted to know when I was going to blog again... So to my EXTRAORDINARY friend Sally I hope you enjoyed this blog post! You are amazing and beautiful and my life is fuller because of you! Thank you for your love, encouragement, and joy... can't WAIT to hug you in person in November!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Project Life Tuesday

The Mom Creative

Lots and lots of pictures and stories this week! This week was the father/daughter dance that Kip and Campbell attend every year and I had a lot of pictures from that night that I wanted to include... I've seen others include a smaller page protector to include lots of pictures from one event... problem being I didn't have any 6X12 page protectors which is what I wanted to use... so it was on to plan B... which included page protector design B from Becky Higgins... I took a design B page protector and basically trimmed along the seams to cut it down to the size I needed to accomadate all my pictures! It worked great and I was pleased how it flowed with the rest of the page! Again, I am sooo loving Project Life and getting our weekly life documented in 2012! I had plans of doing multiple albums at once to catch up on the last few years but so far have not had much success in carving out enough time to make that happen... rethinking the possibility of using the new digital option on Shutterfly... we shall see!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Project Life Tuesday... but on Wednesday

This week-end was a fun but busy week-end for our family... amongst the activity I did not carve out time to get my PL layout done... but Tuesday being Project Life Tuesday gave me the motivation to take time yesterday to get my pages done! I seriously love this project and am really determined to NOT fall behind! It really is so easy to get it done if you stay on top of it... a few thoughts on this week's pages... I had lots of pictures and had several individual stories that I needed to document and want to remember about several pictures... so lots of journaling! Secondly, I did most of the journaling in my own handwriting! This is a HUGE great bid deal for me because I hate my handwriting and usually try to avoid using it in my scrapbooks at all costs! I typically type my journaling as I want things to appear neat and clean... but when I started Project Life I decided that with this project there would be NO rules... I really wanted to give myself the freedom to be successful at completing this album and really wanted my focus to be on memory documentation and not on technique, style, etc... so I used my handwriting this week and am pretty pleased with it! So, since I didn't get my pages finished until last night I am a bit late with my Project Life Tuesday post... but again the rules are out the window on this one! So Wednesday it is and here are my pages for this week...

Friday, January 27, 2012

For the love of Pinterest...

I have a confession to make... I am completely, utterly, constantly consumed with Pinterest! Like I seriously think I may need an intervention to allow me to resume my normal state of living! Now for those of you that just asked yourself, "what the heck is Pinterest?" please, please, please think very hard before typing that word in your internet address box and above all don't say I didn't warn you when you can't help but become consumed with it because IT WILL HAPPEN! It. Will. Happen. People.

Now for my "non-pinning" friends let me share with you why I love Pinterest, First, it is the perfect place to organize ANYTHING you see, find, like on the internet. Seriously, anything from fashion to furniture, fitness routines to family fun, organizational tools to original artwork, decorating ideas to do it yourself projects, recipes to rumba tutorials, hairstyles to hamster habitats, scriptures to sewing projects... did I mention you can pin ANYTHING??? Secondly, you can follow other people's pinboards and they can follow yours. I typically log in so I can see mainly things pinned by those I follow. I LOVE seeing a pin and thinking "that looks like so&so's style or taste and upon looking at the name of the pinner realizing it was pinned by the person it reminded me of. So much fun to know your friends' tastes and be able to pick them out among all the pins to see! Anyone with me on this???

Once you find yourself glued to your computer screen, you can then repeat these words that I say over and over while "pinning"... "this is productive!" I mean just this week I've found amazing ideas for my kitchen renovation, planned meals for the week, begun planning Campbell's 9th birthday party (yes I am well aware that it's not until April but who doesn't like to be ahead of the ballgame???), created a piece of artwork for my guest bathroom, sewn a really cool camera strap cover for my camera, made another really cool camera strap cover for a friend's birthday, made yummy banana crunch muffins, redecorated my craft room/office based on one I saw on Pinterest, made a homemade king cake, done an upper body workout I found (to balance out the king cake and muffins:))... oh the list could go on and on.

so here's a little glimpse of this week's Pinterest action...

So there you have it... the confession of a Pinterest addict! Are you on the Pinterest bandwagon? If so, what is your favorite thing about it? If not, what are you waiting for? Join! You'll be glad you did but please remember that you may not blame me for the subsequent addiction... I warned ya! Now to do that laundry that I've neglected due to my Pinterest obsession... oh wait maybe there's some really cool laundry secrets on Pinterest! OK you get the picture! Happy Friday and happy pinning!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hair bows, body odor and Project Life...

The Mom Creative

This week I read this brilliant article Don't Carpe Diem and seriously could have written (well not really with my serious lack of writing skills) this article myself... I just loved the comparison of cronos vs. kairos time and just felt so relieved of the stress of thinking we are the only family that doesn't live "blue ribbon moments every single moment. I love how this thought process goes right along with what I'm attempting to capture in my project life binder... those kairos moments that I need and want to remember every single week. both good and bad. both happy and sad. both big and little. Those moments that I want to remember. I need to remember.I am not a mom that typically gets sad over my kids growing older. Now don't get me wrong... I often reminisce of the days gone by and often wish we could go back to the days before homework, tests, peer pressure, etc. However, I also enjoy watching my kids learn and discover new things every single day of every single season. It seems there's something new and exciting about them each year that I love and appreciate. But this week, I had two moments of gut-wrenching sadness that completely took me by surprise. something about both my kids this week that stopped me in my tracks...

1. Campbell doesn't need me to do her hair anymore.
Like "she does her own high pony and bow" doesn't need me anymore! What!?!

2. Will has body odor. Like "not cute little boy playing in the grass" smell but real adult man B.O. after a hard workout smell. What!?!

Now those may seem like ridiculous things to cry over but cry I did my friends... But I'm better now and you know what... both of these silly but important milestones are now documented in my 2012 week 3 project life layout... I want to remember. I need to remember.

I also tucked a printed copy of the article I m
entioned above in my page protector for this week as well. Something else I want and need to remember!

So here's a peek at this week's pages (hair bows and B
.O included:))...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Project Life Tuesday

The Mom Creative

OK... I am seriously in LOVE with Project Life!!! I worked this week-end on getting all my supplies organized and printing pictures... I really, really wanted to wait for they type A page protectors tocome in before I started but when I saw that they wouldn't be in until February I realized it was time to throw caution to the wind and dive in with the page protectors that I could get my hands onnow! So I completed my cover page (thanks to Cathy Z for the title page downloads) and my first two weeks of my 2012 Project Life binder... so exciting! Now that I've taken the plunge I'll share a few things about how I think this will work forme... definitely not going to be a "must take a picture every day" kind of girl... I'mfocusing more on our weeks rather than days... I will include pictures from the week that capture the moments that I want to remember... those moments that I need to remember. I also know now that I want to be more conscientiousabout saving things such as movie stubs, receipts, lists, etc. I also need to start keeping a little notebook to jot down what we listen to on the radio, talk about in the car and watch on TV... these are the "little"things that I know one day I willforget and really hope to document in this scrapbook. I purchased 4 of the signature black binders and really hope to get to a point that I can complete the week's pages for 2009-present each week. I can't tell you how exciting this venture makes me! I love the way the binders look on my shelf, I love the way the pages and elements work so well together to complete pages that tell a story, I love that I don't get so caught up in tricks/techniques (now don't get me wrong... there's still plenty of me that loves trying new tricks/techniques in my other scrapbooks) but rather in telling the story, I love the idea of a completed project at the end of the year and I love all the inspiration found on Project Life Tuesday on Jessica Turner's blog! So here's my title page and my pages for weeks 1 & 2 of 2012...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Champion in my book...

This week-end Will and I were in Lafayette for a horse show. The more I watch him ride and show the more I see the pure joy this sport brings to him. He is calm, focused and above all full of joy when he's at the barn and/or on Hollis' back. From what I've seen thus far, this is a predominantly female sport. I saw one other boy at the horse show on Saturday and yet that is the furthest concern from Will's mind. I remember the first time we went to the barn to pick up Campbell from a camp she was attending and Will asked "mom, why didn't you sign me up for this camp?" I gave him a quick response regarding the fact that it was ALL girls at the camp. To which he came back with "SO!?!" From that day forward the boy has been consumed with horseback riding!
Will hoped to get his first blue ribbon in this horse show but that was not to be... he came home with 3rd, 4th, and 5th place ribbons. I was a little disappointed for him but the entire way home he talked nonstop about how two months ago he would have been terrified to trot x's and now he was doing it and how two months ago he would never have dreamed of cantering and now he's doing that too. About half way home it hit me... it's NOT about the ribbons! Oh sure being a champion is great and what he strives for but just as importantly in that horse show he gained confidence, responsibility and of course pure and radiant joy!

As a mom of a child that often struggles with appropriate social behavior and skills, I am often one of Will's hardest critics. Luckily, the amazing trainers at Sommerview where he rides are the first to tell me how much they love Will and how fun he is to be around! A comment was made Saturday that he was going to make the best boyfriend and husband one day... So tonight I am thankful for the way riding has filled my boy's heart with joy. I am thankful for the kind words of others about my sweet son and am thankful for the opportunity to take a break from being the "bad cop" mom and being able to brag on my son that is such a special part of our family. I hope one day he is a champion at a horse show but until then I'm content with him being a champion of our family! Thanks Brittany (who I totally did not get a picture of Saturday:(, Emily and Catie for your kindness, patience and dedication to my kids and all the kids that ride at Sommerview... You all rock and I am thankful for you!!! Oh and am also thankful for Hollis and the amazing place this horse holds in Will's heart!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Project Life Tuesday

A friend of mine with grown children and grandchildren was recently asked if she could have pictured life as it is now 20-30 years ago... she said no and that while she has enjoyed every stage of life, her one wish would be to be able to "remember every single moment"... my initial thought was "this is why I scrapbook" but then I realized that I don't scrapbook every single moment.

Most of my friends know that I don't go many places without my camera... I love capturing both the big "moments" as well as the little "moments" in photographs. I have very few pictures of my childhood... although I have very fond memories of that time, I have very little tangible evidence of those memories. I can't put into words the emotions I go through looking backthrough pictures of years past particularly the last 11 years of this season of life I've known as motherhood. I want my children to have a tangible piece of their childhood to remember and I want to be able to look back at photos and remember those moments as well. I scrapbook most of the big things such as birthdays, vacations, first days of school, and most of the firsts my kids experience; but I have so many "everyday" pictures that sit in boxes or on my hard drives hidden away from view.
For 2012, I decided to begin a project created by Becky Higgins known as Project Life. The basic premise is to capture everyday life. As I read more and more about this project I realized it was a great way for me to capture and document my family's everyday life. My goal is to take a photo a day to capture and remember moments. I know there will be days that I may forget or for whatever reason not take a picture... and that's OK! I can still document our daily, weekly or even monthly moments in 2012.

I have ordered my supplies but the photo protectors I want to use are out of stock so I haven't begun actually putting my album together. However, I really want to participate in Jessica Turner's Project Life Tuesday (a wonderful source of much Project Live inspiration) so for today I'm just going to share some of the pictures I am documenting our first week of 2012 with...

Campbell and I at our fun bowling adventure
with friends to celebrate the new year

a picture of my running shoes to
signify my resolution to run 600
miles in 2012

Will jumping x's for the first time on Hollis.

Campbell doing homework in the passenger
seat while we wait for her brother in middle
school carpool... our daily afternoon routine.

a glimpse at the week's weather... warm,
warm, warm!

I am so excited about this project for 2012 but as I began to gather my supplies and get organized I came to the realization that I can also do this for year's past. I spent a few hours this evening going through pictures from 2009. My kids were 6 & 8 that year. We got a new puppy that year. Kip and I went to our first Mardi Gras ball that year. We saw the Eagles in concert that year. I can't begin to tell you how much fun it was to revisit that year of our lives and all the "moments" I want to recall and remember. I seriously think Project Life is about to impact my memory keeping in a huge way and I can't wait to share it with you each Tuesday as I not only document this year but revisit years past in the process! If you are looking for a simple and fun way to document "moments" then I encourage you to check out the links above! There are so many different ways to do this project that I am confident that anyone can find a way to fit this into their lifestyle! So as I end this really, really long post I am beyond thankful for my camera, Project Life and ALL the MOMENTS that make up my life!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

School Days

So today it was back to school for the kiddos after a long two week break for Christmas. I remember a few years ago when I dreaded the breaks from school and couldn't wait for them to go back... they were young, they were busy and they were exhausting:)... never did I imagine a time when I'd dread them going back after a break but alas they are older, more independent and honestly a lot of fun to have around! This was Kip's year to work Christmas week and work he did! He was either at work or sleeping most of the week but the kids and I managed to have some fun! We went to two movies, roller skating, shopping, the park and of course the kids did a lot of horse back riding! Will started jumping x's and verticals during the break and is so excited with his progress! Campbell had taken a break from horseback riding while she participated in Girls on the Run and rehearsed and prepared for the Nutcracker... she was very excited to be back on Sassy and picked right up where she left off! So proud of both of them! After all the fun, I guess it's understandable that neither of them was ready to go back to school today and I was just a little sad dropping them off and not having anyone in the car to talk to! Although I must admit the sadness didn't linger too long and began to dissipate as I slid into the chair and got a much needed haircut & color! Ahhh! Plus one day of school down and it's already time for Friday! Love a two day school week for sure! Bring on the week-end!!! So today I am thankful for a short school week, week-ends and of course my sweet friend Tammy and the rockin' hairstylist that she is! And here's a lovely, no make up, I'm tired photobooth photo of the new do! Happy Friday eve, y'all!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Focus on Joy

Today was riding lessons for the kids... they both have discovered a true love for horses and riding and I love watching them develop new skills and get better each week. As I watched them today I really thought of something I read here in a friend's newsletter today...

Trade exploration for FOCUS.The younger you are, the more experimenting you should do. But once you’ve found what you were created to do, stick with it and continue to learn.

Will has always struggled with "focus" whether it's in the classroom, in a conversation or an activity... something has to be really good and/or important to hold his attention for very long! So as I watched him ride today and go from walk to to trot to canter over and over and jump x's over and over it hit me how FOCUSED this boy is on horseback. He has discovered something that he is passionate about and truly loves to do. The joy and determination are written all over his face when he rides. He intimately cares for those horses and just loves being in their presence. So today (day 3-01/03/12) I am grateful for Brittany and the wonderful trainers/staff at Sommerview Farm for allowing my kids the joy of horseback riding and particularly for helping Will find what he was created to do and to trade exploration for focus... focus on riding well, focus on safety and above all focus on joy!

New Beginnings and Running Shoes

Day 2 (01/02/12) Today I am thankful for my ability to run and the fact that I live somewhere that I can run outdoors year round...

As we begin a new year I can't help but feel giddy as I always do at the possibilities of new goals and resolutions for the upcoming year... and yet my success rate at keeping most of my goals/resolutions is not that high! But there's just something about a new year and a seemingly clean slate erased of past failures, past mistakes and lack of success in previous years. So today I embark on new goals for 2012... I have 12 goals for 12 months in the year 2012... My first goal is to run 50 miles a month for a total of 600 miles this year. I'm planning on running the River Run (a 15k) in Jacksonville March 10th then perhaps a 1/2 marathon in the fall. What are your goals/resolutions for this year? Whatever they are... here's to much success in 2012!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


what if you woke up with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?

This past November, there was a movement on Facebook to post something each day that you were thankful for. I participated and through that month I began to really take stock in everything, both little and big, that I had in my life to be thankful for. As I created our Christmas card (a year in review) and took a look back on 2011, I must admit that my family had an amazing year. We traveled a lot, my kids participated in many wonderful sports & activities, we had visits from many loving family and friends, we experienced many "firsts" and the list could just go on and on... but as I reflected on our very blessed year I couldn't help also reflecting on a year that was also painful and hard for so many of our dear family and friends... the loss of Kip's grandmother Mimi in June, a friend that lost her father very unexpectedly, two friends that buried their husbands much too young, a precious young schoolmate of my children that fought so hard but lost her battle with cancer, the state of our economy and job loss for so many, several friends that are experiencing the pain of separation and/or divorce, friends diagnosed with and battling life-threatening illnesses, major weather disasters that devastated entire cities and unfortunately this list could go on and on as well.
As I reflected on these two lists I was torn between multiple emotions... joy for the amazing things we were blessed with in 2011, sadness for those things that stole joy from so many and then somewhere in the middle was a strange sort of guilt that our year was such a joyful year while others had more pain than I can honestly even wrap my mind around. Comfort came in this verse... 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 be joyful ALWAYS, pray CONTINUALLY and give thanks IN ALL circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
So this was my challenge to myself in 2012... to really strive to live out this verse every moment of every day. So for the next 365 days I'm going to focus on the things that I am thankful for (even the hard stuff)... and I'm going to try really hard to use this blog as both my journal and accountability on this gratitude adventure! Hope you will come along for the ride and share your thoughts as well! So here we go...

DAY 1 (01.01.11) Today I am thankful for my family. My husband that truly loves me unconditionally and my sweet kids that bring so much joy into our lives it's crazy! This was Kip's year to work Christmas and he worked a 24 hour shift Christmas Eve... no matter how many holidays he works, I still have the tendency to get a little cranky and sad that he's not home with us... but I am thankful for these two pictures of my kids and me on Christmas Eve and my sweet, exhausted hubby opening gifts Christmas morning in his scrubs because they are snapshots of our "real life" and remind me how truly blessed I am to have these three!