linked 52 | temptation

i’m a salty girl. potato chips are my downfall. keep your cupcakes, candies and sweets. just hand over the salted chips + fries and no one will get hurt!

yes, this is what temptation looks like to me…

see what temptation looks like to these girls also participating in linked 52: Stacey, Michelle, Tracey, Heather, Jenn, Jessica, Amanda, Amanda, Sara, Lesli, Janet, Naomi, Rhonda, Rose, Carla, Heidi, Kristin, Heather, Amy, Liza, Veronica, Jean  and Kristi.

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my one wild + precious life

“… but there’s beige, and there’s color. there’s one life and one wild and precious life.” ~ kelle hampton

i finished reading kelle hampton’s memoir, bloom. and these words from the last chaper titled becoming real really resonated with me. i stopped and read over these words again and again. they made me really think… what am i doing with my one wild and precious life? am i really living? being present for myself and for my family? am i making the most out of every day? creating an amazing life for myself? choosing to see the good? or am i just existing? floating along? reacting to things instead of preparing? am i waiting for things to happen so that i can then live my life?

why not now? why not live in full color today? enjoy the little moments. make things happen. create the life i dream about.

i am just approaching the last six months of my 30′s. yep, the big 4-0 is only half a year away. and i find myself reflecting on where i have been, what i have done and where i am going. but most importantly, what do i really want out of my the next half of my life? my one wild and precious life. it is only going to be what i make it to be. what i create and what i celebrate. what i focus on and what i let go of. what i love and how i live.

i don’t want to just exist in my one life. i want to really live my one wild and precious life.

kelle wrote bloom about finding the beauty in the unexpected. her second daughter was born with down’s syndrome, which she did not know until the moment her baby nella was born. i have been following kelle’s blog about her life and her family for over a year now. i went to the store to buy her book as soon as it was published last month. (i considered the e-book for my kindle app, but to fully experience this wonderful book you must get the print edition. it is filled with beautiful images that help to tell her story.) kelle’s writing in this book is just like her blog – so honest and real. i cried through a good portion of the book as my mother’s heart ached for her pain. but i also learned from her strength, courage and amazing view on moving forward. and loving life.

just after kelle’s book was published, i found out that she was having a book signing in her hometown of naples, florida – which just so happens to be a hour away from me on the other side of the florida everglades. i wanted to go and meet her. to say hello and tell her that her words and her story and her honesty touched me. they changed me. they encouraged me to really live my life.

but i hesitated. it seemed a bit silly to drive an hour away with these crazy gas prices just to meet someone who had no idea who i was. even though she felt like a friend. but, a friend who did not know me. i almost felt a bit like a crazy blog fan. i knew her life story. her kid’s names and faces along with lots of her other family and friends.  just when i had almost talked myself out of going, my good friend (who is a teacher and lover of books) told me this: if you have the chance to meet someone in person that has touched your life, the do it. just go and meet her. you will be so happy that you did.

so i did.

we made it a mini-family get away day. mark and the boys came with me. we drove over to naples. we had dinner with the kids and then headed over to the bookstore to meet kelle. she read from her book, she answered some questions and then i got in line to meet her. and she was so real and sweet. she chatted with me for a few minutes, signed my book and said hello to my boys. then we stopped at mcdonald’s to get the boys a treat for the drive back home. it was a good night.

my husband is so great for going with me. he even took a few photos of me and the boys meeting kelle. they didn’t exactly come out in focus. but he still gets an “a” for effort.

a few days after the book signing, kelle wrote about it on her blog. and guess who just happened to be in a photo meeting her in the blog post? yes, that is me and my boys…

i am happy that i went to meet kelle. i am filling my life with experiences now. not excuses and should haves. i am creating my very own wild and precious life. and i thank you kelle for putting your life out there with your honest writing. daring me to embrace whatever life gives me. challenging me to “look for the good… and you will find it.”

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personal yearbooks for preschool

i have been working on a special project with quinn’s preschool class this year. personal yearbooks. inspired by becky higgins and this blog post. memory keeping for their preschool year.

i brought this idea to quinn’s preschool teacher at the beginning of the school year back in august. she loved the concept so we started to make personal yearbooks with the kids in the class. i downloaded the free templates from becky’s blog and then made some changes to make them work for preschoolers. every month i took photos of the kids, edited and printed them. then i went into the classroom to work with the kids on their monthly pages.

this project has grown and evolved over the past nine months. we got into a good groove with it all. documenting their little milestones along the way. handwriting. drawing. cutting. pasting. spelling. their progress can be seen with their work each month.

we surprised the parents with their child’s own personal yearbook on the last day of preschool last week. their very own memory keeping of their preschool year. something that we hope the parents and the kids will treasure for always.

here is a peek inside of quinn’s personal yearbook…

the first page included a photo of quinn on the first day of school and how he wrote his name that day.

the kids decorated the pages to go along with the theme each month. in the beginning of this project, the kids told me what they drew a picture of and i wrote it in yellow marker so they could trace over the letters.

eventually the kids started to write letters and sound out words all by themselves. we let them write exactly what they thought the letters were even if it wasn’t the correct spelling. i would write on the bottom of the page what words they were trying to spell if it was not clear. (below quinn sounded out and wrote lego all by himself! proud mommy…)

i have no idea what quinn wrote here, but i do love the picture he drew of the two of us holding hands.

we added some pages that the kids worked on throughout the school year including these coloring pages that they did at the beginning and the end of this preschool year to show their progress.

i love how this project turned out. i am so grateful that i had the permission of the teacher to take photos and work with the kids on these books. it makes my heart so happy. i hope to keep doing this personal yearbook project with quinn’s classes (and tate’s too!) in the years to come.


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linked 52 | anger

sometimes i have to remind myself that he is only four years old. learning to deal with his feelings. today it was frustration + anger. he ended up in time out for something. and when he looked up to see that i was taking his picture, he was not a happy camper. but oh how i still love that face!

see what anger looks like to these girls also participating in linked 52: Stacey, Michelle, Tracey, Heather, Andrea, Jenn, Jessica, Amanda, Amanda, Sara, Lesli, Janet, Naomi, Rhonda, Rose, Carla, Heidi, Kristin, Heather, Amy, Liza, Veronica, Jean  and Kristi.

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project life | march 2012

i have been keeping up with my weekly project life journal pages. and i am so happy with this project! i love it to pieces. i keep looking back over the past few months to see what we did and how life is flowing and moving forward.

so i was thinking about why i am sharing my project life pages here on my blog. and the thing that i kept coming back to was paying it forward. i found out about becky higgins’ project life because other people shared about it on their blogs. and i was inspired to document our everyday story because other people shared their lives through their project life pages.

i am doing project life my way – simple stories, simple design and lots of photos. but there are so many creative and talented people out there doing project life their own way. and i love to see how they put their project life pages together. i gather inspiration from them. (check out the project life creative team for some amazing inspiration.) so perhaps sharing my project life journal will inspire someone else to document their very own life. in whatever way works for them. i want to pay it forward. pass it on. spread the love of project life. as becky higgins says, cultivate a good life and record it! 

in my pages from march, i’m seeing a pattern with a few things. i like the week in review card placed in the first pocket on the top left each week. it tells me the week and the date. i need that for my chronological order obsession. i am also keeping up with always including a 4×6 collage of six instagram photos each week. just random favorites i want to include from the week. the rest is just words + photos with a few fun things sprinkled in here and there – like quinn’s writing or drawings.

week 9 was spent outside playing in the nice weather.

i asked quinn to write his name on a blank journaling card. he also wrote tate’s name and drew a picture of his little brother. i love that quinn is getting involved in this project already.

i also noticed something interesting. as quinn is just learning how to draw stick figures, this is where he started out with the legs coming down from the head (so cute!). when i jump to week 13 (at the end of this post) i noticed how different the stick figures look because they include a body too. a tiny little change that happened in just a few weeks. something i wouldn’t have noticed if i was not documenting these things with project life!

quinn started soccer at the ymca this week and  i worked on editing photos. tate rode his green scooter bike and quinn played light sabers with daddy outside. an instagram photo and a little story from a grocery shopping trip with the boys.week 10 had the boys splashing in some puddles left by all the rain. i also included a few things going on with me.

we love to have dance parties in the office. i turn on itunes on the computer really loud and we all dance and sing together. i thought it would be fun to write down the names of the songs we danced to.mark got a photos of himself, quinn and my dad at the doral golf tournament they went to. it is only an iphone photo, but i’m happy that i can include it in this week. there is also a quote from quinn about what he wants to be when he grows up (darth vader’s clone trooper) and a card with our weekly routine. playing sports and a sick quinn too.week 11 included a visit from some family with photos and stories. and i love the photo of tate’s hair after he woke up from a nap.

i added a 6×12 pocket page to hold extra pictures from the st. patrick’s day parade we went to this week with my sister and her kids.

here is the back side of the 6×12 pocket page and the rest of the right side of the weekly pages. more everyday things like dinner, bike riding, going for a walk with tate in the red car, tate painting with watercolors, green ketchup for st. patrick’s day and our weekly instagram collage.

quinn’s funny quote this week. i believe he got it from peppa pig (a cartoon). a photo i took of spring flowers in bloom and the boys sharing some popcorn.

week 12 included quite a few instagram photos including the fridge magnets on the side of my car, quinn’s artwork, my newly organized pantry and tate’s first hockey game. i also included the lego x-wing star fighter that daddy built for quinn to take to show and tell this week, a photo of quinn’s organized legos on his bedroom shelf, some food photography i’m working on and what is inside of our kitchen cabinets today – because those colorful sippy cups and little plastic bowls and plates will not be there forever. but they are there now.week 13 included a cute story about tate and the blue puppet, my weekly six instagram photo collage, quinn’s and his friend coloring, some yellow tulips and tate working on his computer.

a silly quinn quote and my old dallas mavericks business card that quinn found this week. he wanted his name on the card, so he wrote it. funny that he found this card the same week i went to dinner with an old friend from the mavs while she was in town with the team for a game against the heat.

i used a lot of pictures that i customized to fit in the smaller pockets. some photos are instagram photos (like the miami skyline, the boys eating spaghetti and the cards with the two photos placed vertically) and some are from my big camera. i also included a photo of all the things that tate sleeps with in his crib each night.

quinn drew quite a few star wars pictures so we hung them in the playroom. i love all the little stick figures with light sabers! so i took a photo of the wall of art and added some text on the photo. so different from the stick figure of tate from week 9 above.

how are you documenting your life? i’d love to see it. leave a comment and share a link.

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