Merry Christmas!


We've been busy baking and crafting in these days leading up to Christmas...seems like right up to the very last minute we were planning and organizing. Feeling so very thankful that we were all healthy today since we know a lot of friends and family right now that were otherwise.

Here is a picture of Zoey in front of the tree on Christmas Eve before the candlelight church service that we go to each year. My favorite is singing Silent Night by candlelight. So special.

Then, fast forward to Christmas morning, Zoey was awake at 5am! Ready to get the show on the road. She had to wait for her super sleepy parents to get with the program though. She couldn't even get the dog to come out to the living room with her until she bribed him with some peanut butter!

Santa came...funny thing, he brought Zoey a remote control car that's being touted as a STEM toy since it utilizes batteries, wires connecting a + and - charge and water (for steam fuel) and Zoey LOVES it! She's been burning it throughout the house both upstairs and down. So hilarious! Our poor dog though.

Leo of course had some special treats...he got a squeaky toy pterodactyl and some holistic peanut butter snacks.

It was a very special and quiet day for us which was greatly welcomed after being so busy for far too long. We relaxed in pj's and enjoyed playing together. It was even kind of nice that it was freezing rain outside since it made us stay in and be cozy.

Feeling thankful this evening for so many things...the health of loved ones, the love that we share, time spent together and good friends that step in to help us along the way!

Merry Christmas!

The Nutcracker | 2016


This weekend was the Nutcracker performance for Zoey's ballet. She was in three dances this year, two en pointe and one lyrical in her ballet flats. She was pretty nervous this year but she had a smile on her face and she danced beautifully. I am so proud of her.

It's kind of crazy to think back to when she first started dance and to see where she is now.

This year things were a bit of a struggle, she couldn't feel good about her pointe shoes, she got them quite late in the season due to being back-ordered and they didn't fit comfortably or stay up on her heel when dancing initially. Thankfully, with a bit of re-arranging (but sadly with having to remove her toe covers) they stayed as long as she tensed her toes while dancing. Not ideal, but got her through this weekend.

I'm proud of her for getting through the two shows and dancing with such grace, despite her feet hurting and her worrying if her shoes would fall off. Sometimes it's just about showing up. She was happy that her shoes didn't fall off once on stage, only off stage while in the middle of a she was able to get them back on quickly and go back on.

Show up she did. So proud of her and all of the hard work that she does when it comes to working on her ballet skills.

Halloween 2016


Today we picked up some of Zoey's friends after school and headed over to our church for some Trunk-or-Treating fun...since Zoey was a mad scientist this year for Zoo Boo she decided to be something else for actual Halloween Trick-or-Treating, she opted to be an Aerospace Engineer.

We met up with some other friends while Trunk-or-Treating which is pretty much what it's all about!

Bonus of Trunk-or-Treating is that you get some yummy homemade treats once in awhile too (ones that you know are safe to eat!).

I was happy to get a picture of Zoey and her old friend Daniel. I'm pretty sure that we went to our first Trunk-or-Treat ever with this guy.

After Trunk-or-Treating we headed downtown to Trick-or-Treat at our local area businesses. Our community is so very spread out that there aren't enough true neighborhoods for kids to go Trick-or-Treating so this is what we do instead.  It's kind of funny for me to think about Zoey not knowing what it is to go Trick-or-Treating at dusk and in the dark around her hometown, but it is what it is and we are thankful to the businesses that participate.

Our local frozen yogurt shop gave away as much free frozen yogurt and toppings you could eat! This was a pretty cool stop!

And I think that it's safe to say that Zoey is not lacking in the candy all!

Hope you had a happy and safe Halloween!

Love You & Me


I was absolutely tickled the other day when I saw this photo that Ethan snapped of Zoey and I. I wasn't too hopeful when it came to looking over the shots he took of me on our hiking adventure this past weekend since I hadn't showered that day and wasn't feeling exceptionally photogenic (though, when do I?) so was pleasantly delighted when looking through my camera once at home and discovering this sweet shot of the two of us. I knew I wanted to use it on a layout right away.

Every day I keep waiting for the tween/teen angst to show it's roaring colors when it comes to Zoey and I and am so happy that so far, we're continuing to meet each other half way 99% of the time. I love this girl of mine so much and am so proud of who she is becoming and that she is still holding on to respect, kindness and courage when it comes to fostering her relationships. With her peers, younger kiddos and adults's a pretty brave thing to do at this age when girls tend to become followers and feel most comfortable being just one among a crowd. I hope, hope, hope that she continues to see what a gift it is to continue to just be be comfortable in her own beautiful and unique skin. I want that freedom for her.

For this layout design my inspiration came from this sketch from Page Maps.

For all of my recent layouts I've been using old papers and goodies from my scrapbook stash...I have no idea what the trends are in scrapbooking these days since it's been awhile since I've been scouring blogs and crafting sites and I have to say that it feels somewhat liberating just to dig in to my supplies and get to it like I did in the old days when I didn't know any better.

One thing that I'm finding disappointing however (getting into this again) is the lack of being able to purchase supply staples in my hometown like I used to be able to do. I'm having to order online. No more runs to the craft store for white cardstock, kraft cardstock, getting my favorite adhesive, etc. Bummer. I have discovered though. I think this may be a good thing?

And on a completely different note, those pumpkin seeds that I roasted the other day...YUM! So good! After baking them up in the oven Ethan came home from work at noon and made sure to share the sentiment of please saving some for him for when he was done with work. They are a new favorite snack and so very easy to make! Can't wait to try different seasoning variations sometime.

Happiness + Scrapbooking + a Little Bit of Life

Gosh. I'm having fun getting back into this hobby. I'm allowing myself the indulgent gift of time. Time to sit at my desk for no other reason than to be inspired. Inspired by perusing old blogs that were favorites and discovering new ones. Inspired by old magazines. Inspired by my supplies that have been sitting and patiently waiting for me to come back to them. It's exciting I tell you!

I think that Zoey telling me that she missed seeing our previous years' Christmas photos on my blog here combined with the fact that I caught her looking through old scrapbook albums with a wistful look on her face almost gave me the permission that I needed (without knowing so) to go ahead and get back to this business of memory keeping.

I was talking to Ethan about how good it feels to be blogging again as well as scrapbooking and shared with him that when I was scrapbooking on a regular basis and working here and there for manufacturers or kit clubs or submitting to magazines consistently I felt like my most authentic self. I have missed this. It's been almost 6 months since I've been creative in this way and it's a bit like a period of mourning went by. Mourning consisting of job responsibility changes, subtle changes in lifestyles, everyone growing a bit older, change in general is sometimes tricky business. It's almost as though I am feeling myself thawing as though I've been hardened the past several months. It's so easy for me to brush off this hobby and tell myself that it's silly or indulgent when in fact it's something that really matters to me and to my family. It's interesting how the seasons in our lives affect all these different little pockets throughout all of our days. was the perfect pumpkin carving day the other day, and it was the perfect evening for scrapbooking so...


Roasting Pumpkin Seeds


We're trying this for the first time this year...just doing them up with salt, butter and perhaps a bit of olive oil. I'm tempted to try the sweet versions that I see recipes for but am not that brave yet. Maybe next time around.

I love this time of year!


Our Start to the Week


I knew the weather was going to be pretty nice today and sunny (compared to the rest of the week that looks chilly and rainy) so had hoped that we would have time to carve our pumpkins at some point today. In the middle of school (for Zoey) and my having to do some food prep for my upcoming Zombie Bash library program (making jello brains and pretzel zombie fingers) we were able to do it!

I know that after the Zombie Bash tomorrow I will feel better about life + school things...I always get a bit harried when I've got so much stuff going on at work. Taking a break to carve pumpkins today was just the thing to keep me in check though. It was so nice to feel the sunshine on my face and get a little messy with my girl. She might have jumped in some leaf piles at some point this afternoon too. Lovin' life!


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