Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

When I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season, I'll know I'm growing old.
                                                                            --Lady Bird Johnson

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
                                                                  -- Emilie Buchwald

Reading with Daddy

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
                                                                - T. S. Eliot

January Sun.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Organizing Paper

I am always revamping and tweaking my organizational systems.  As I wonder why that's the case, I realize the only ones that stick are the ones that work.  There is a lot of  paper clutter in my house and I can never find the system that sticks.  In order that I don't forget things, I have to keep many papers within easy reach, but then I suddenly find that the counter is piled with bills, letters, recipe clippings, you name it!

When we moved into this house 6 years ago, I tore out a bit inspiration for the office and never used it - a wall of clipboards. It's one of those ideas that always keeps coming back to me, so I finally decided to try it in our kitchen.  To tame the paper that needed more immediate attention, I had the perfect unused space on the wall that divides the kitchen and the living room.  The only issue was the fact that this wall can be seen from most angles in our open-concept living area.  I didn't want bills and random papers creating a un-sightly mess.  It finally occurred to me that I could make the clipboards work!  I found different papers I liked that had a similar color scheme and mod podged them to the back of the clipboards.  Now I can clip the papers on the front side and simply flip the clipboard over so no one has to see all the papers.  I added sticker letters to indicate what goes where and have created some calm where there was chaos.  So far, I love this solution!  The papers are off of my counter, I've added a bit of pattern to my kitchen, and it has the clean look I was going for.  Phew.  Now onto the closets . . .

Does January turn you into a mad organizer?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Wrap-Up

I'm starting to see Valentine's Day stuff everywhere, so I thought I'd better finish up my thoughts on Christmas.  It's hard to give it up - the lights, the decorations, the activity - but I have officially put everything away for the season and have been tidying the whole house.

The last thing I do before putting the boxes in storage is write in my "Christmas Memories" book.  This book chronicles 20 years of Christmases, asking what we did, who we saw, what we ate, what gifts we received, and what special memories we want to remember!  The last page of each year has a space for a favorite holiday photo or card.  It's shocking to admit that we're half way through!  It has been such a joy to be able to look back and see what we did and how we felt over the years.  I've learned that we like to keep things low-key, love making special food for the holiday, and that my friend Becky gives the best cards (hers are in our book twice already!)  I remember Ali Edwards writing that it was the journaling in her scrapbooks that she loved the most, so I think this book will be a treasure for our family.

Do you have any traditions for putting away for the season?  How are you feeling about it all being over?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Overwhelmed with Photos

Sunshine = happy boy

It's that time of year - the time you realize you should have been on top of all of your photos all. year. long.  Well, I'm the Queen of Procrastination.  Remember when I mentioned that I have issues completing projects?  I have been stewing over here thinking about how I'm still working on the scrapbook of Beansprout's First 19 months.  A book that was supposed to be his First year, and then his First 15 months, and then I realized I would have to have it end with a calendar year in order to get back on track somehow.  I'm still not on track, of course.  It's an A-Z book, and I'm only on G, H, I.  Sigh.  

Tracking Photos

It's a lot of work documenting our lives.  So many questions to be answered: Where do you store your photos?  How do you organize them?  What do you want to do with them?  Not to mention keeping on top of actually snapping the photos!  I'm determined to make a digital photo album of 2011.  I think I may even let MyPublisher fit it altogether for me and figure it out from there.  I decided this only this evening and feeling a slight sense of relief was sent back 1000 paces when I realized that the new camera I got in January of 2011 had the wrong date.  Yes, that's right.  I set the date to 2010!  I have an entire year's worth of pictures with the wrong year on them.  OoPs.  How I went the whole year not realizing this horrible mistake is beyond me.  At this point, I will have to carry on with my plans to do something with the photos and maybe I'll slowly change the dates over.  Maybe.  When I complete the photo book, I will be sure to share.  I love that feeling when a book is complete and you know it's on its way to bringing you simple joy.

How do you approach documenting your life?  What do you do with your photos in this digital age?  Any favorites as far as photo books go?  I would love to hear you handle the enormity of it all.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

A Basketful!

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
                                                                               - Charles Dickens

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking Back on 2011

Looking back

The 1st of January always inspires at least a bit of reflection on the previous year.  Here's a quick look back at some of my 2011 highlights:

Started Darrah Parker's Slice of Life Project - the beginning of my new-found hobby!

Continued to find ways to capture our beautiful everyday moments.

Second annual trip to the Aquarium - it was so fun to see Beansprout mesmerized by all the sea life.  I was happy to see he was especially fascinated by the belugas!

Hosted an egg hunt for the little ones - I had a blast putting together a kids party!

Started my blog on May 3rd and enjoyed a play-filled visit with Grammy and Papa.

Quality time with Dad gave me a boost into summer.

Spent a week on the Sunshine Coast - really enjoyed exploring a new place with Beansprout!

Visit home to Michigan for my 20-year reunion - still having a hard time admitting that one.

Put away my German dictionary to teach Psychology and have loved every minute of it!

31-day Challenge inspires me to write about play all month!  A wonderful experience that showed me I've  found something I'm really passionate about - writing and photographing.

An overnight conference at Harrison Hot Springs reminded me how much I love learning about and reflecting on teaching!

Celebrated Christmas in our home with Opa!

What are your highlights of 2011?  I would love to hear about your own personal successes!