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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Quick and Inexpensive Valentines

It's been kind of a rough couple of days.  Not in the classic sense of the word - I haven't had a bad day or anything.  But my kids have been sick and in Mom World, that's rough.  Not only do we not want our precious little ones to feel badly, but we end up putting almost everything else on hold simply to be around and take care of them "just in case."  So here I sit on day 2 1/2 of house arrest, with the TV tuned to the Disney Channel, the humidifier going and trying to do low key things while the kids endure it (and hoping that I DO NOT catch whatever it is they have.  Knock wood).

It just hit me how close we are to the end of January.  February is tomorrow!  And with it will quickly come Valentines Day.  Seems like we just finished Christmas, doesn't it?  With a bunch of family and friend's birthdays in January, it kind of feels like we haven't had much of a break from gift giving and big events.
 I'm afraid I don't often have much motivation by this point to get really creative and crafty when it comes to Valentines.  This year I pretty much just jumped on the first idea I spotted - which happened to be some fun mini puzzles at Michael's.
I added a quick chalkboard style tag and they're all set to go out.  Just one more example of things not having to be complicated or pricey to be cute and effective, right?
I also picked up these cute monogram notebooks for the teachers and added a few pencils I already had on hand.  That's it - school Valentines DONE!
Which leaves me two weeks to get the kids to work on their Valentines for their grandparents and the other special people on their lists.  Kaitlyn got the paints out (which are now residing on the coffee table until everything is finished - yay) and started on hers today, but Tyler didn't get any further than figuring out a plan before having a coughing fit.  *sigh*

I have a fun project in the works that I'm going to give the kids.  I will work on that some more after I get them to bed (T minus 5 minutes until bedtime - woohoo!)  No idea what to do for the hubby though - ideas??!

Friday, January 30, 2015

One Little Word 2015 - January Workshop Prompt

January.  My month of reflection, reevaluation and motivation.  I do this in bits and pieces as life keeps whirling along at high speed, but throughout the month I do spend quite a bit of time thinking about how my life is going, what I like/don't like, and what direction I want it to take in the next year.  Part of that process, for quite a few years now, involves choosing my Word for the Year (you can see the word I selected for this year here) and figuring out how to incorporate that into my every day life.  Last year, in a bid to keep my goals and intentions more present in my daily life I joined the year long online One Little Word workshop - such a great decision!  So I happily joined the workshop again this year.
While I shared most of the layouts resulting from the workshop prompts last year, I don't intend to post quite so many of them here on the blog this year.  However, I did want to start out the year by putting it out there - making myself accountable and sharing what I have been thinking about lately to clarify some of my intentions and goals.

My word for this year is Light.  I used my previous blog post for the journaling section on the "reason why" cards.  The photo was one I had snapped with my phone at sunrise during our vacation to Utah this past summer.  And while I'm not a "yellow person" I decided that my word practically demands that yellow be used, so I'm going with kind of a yellow/gold and blue color scheme.  I think.
That little heart is a wooden one I found in my stash.  I just used a little chalk to give it a blue tint and free-hand cut out the star, folding the paper back-to-back first so that the back matched the front since I knew I wanted to just slip it into the pocket and leave that section open to the next page.
Page two and so on.  I'll let the photos tell the story from here on.

So as January comes to a close, here's to seeking out and finding the light and the joy in everyday life.
What are you hoping for in 2015?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Crochet Boot Cuffs

Quick Show and Tell today.  

Seems like I have plenty to blog about, but am finding it hard to get on a regular schedule to sit down and put together blog posts.  That doesn't, however, mean that I haven't been finding time to craft.  In fact, earlier this month I dusted off the crochet hooks (which haven't been used in who knows how long) and tried out a pattern I saw on Pinterest months ago.  With our move back to the mountains, and a friend with a birthday in January it seemed like a good idea to make a pair of the boot cuffs I kept running into online.  I think they turned out nicely for a first attempt and I'm happy to report the pattern was a very quick and easy one.  (that should be my tagline, right?  Quick and Easy ;) )
 Pattern found here

I now have a second set (different pattern) in progress - finish date to be determined ;)
I'm curious - what's on your crafty To Do List?  What have you been meaning to try but haven't found the time for yet?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Around here - Snow!

 If I had to use one word to describe what we have been up to the last few weeks, it would have to be snow.  After taking a four year break from the white stuff I had almost forgotten how often the snow affects daily life - from the frustration of cleaning 6" off the car in the morning or the worries of driving through a storm, to the fun of watching the kids sled down the hill or throw snowballs at the dog, to the daily beauty of this place.  The kids are in love with the snow and Tyler in particular can spend hours out in it without complaining he is cold.  And for myself, I find that I am experiencing it and appreciating it in ways I haven't before.

I've also been having a lot of fun with the camera so I thought I would share a few photos.

Ok - not snow in this one per se, but I loved the photo and it's wintery ;)  Shortly before Christmas we took the kids to see the lights at Temple Square - the first time we had ever taken them.  It was beautiful.
 Horse photos in the snow with my brother.  He has had this horse since he was um...9 years old?  Forever, really and she's the best horse ever.  Anyway, it has become his tradition to go out for at least one bareback ride in the snow and I went out with him to get some photos.  I also rode bareback and without a bridle for probably the first time ever - pretty proud of myself for that one!

This is the view I have every morning at 8:15 AM while waiting for the bus with this happy kid.  The sun is just coming up at that point and though often freezing, it's gorgeous out there.  Plus the company is great!  (Sam waits for the bus stop with Kate an hour before this then heads to work himself)
Huge snowstorm last week dumped many many inches.  I never did look up the final count, though I know it was over 6" in the three hours I spent working in the shop that morning.
 And then there was the day the we woke up to over an inch of frost coating everything in sight.  So pretty.

I may have tried cross country skiing once or twice as a kid but have only recently discovered I like it quite a bit.  A couple of days ago I went up the canyon with a few friends and we had the best time figuring out how to ski and enjoying the views and the weather.  It looks like we will be making it an almost-weekly activity, and I'm excited about that.

 And these two - that's my dad and Tyler has him wrapped completely around his little finger.  Tyler wants it, Grandpa is game to do it.  Night before last I guess Ty and Gpa were having a talk about playing in the snow and Tyler came up with the big idea to use the trackhoe to build some sort of elaborate snow cave.  My dad knew the trackhoe wasn't the ideal tool for the big plan, but was excited to get Tyler on there and let him move some snow around.  They fired up the trackhoe as soon as they both got home yesterday and were out there for over an hour, with Tyler operating the trackhoe for much of that time.  They didn't end up with anything more than some random piles of snow, but they sure did have fun.

So, what do you like to do in the snow?  Still on my bucket list for this winter is tubing (we got the kids tickets for one of those places that pulls the tube up the hill for you), seeing the Ice Castles, and maybe snowmobiling...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My One Little Word for 2015

Happy New Year!  Have I said that yet?

I have loved the holiday break.  Lots of fun, lots of time with the kids and extended family, plenty of down time to recharge.  But I also found myself a bit on edge - quick to lose my patience, cranky, maybe a little out of balance emotionally.  In among all this, I had been thinking about and selected my Word for this year (this is something I've been doing for the past few years in addition to setting goals.  It works as more of a touchstone or focus for me throughout the year.  See previous posts here) and one hit me out of the blue.

I think I'm pretty good at buckling down, working on the To Dos and Have Tos, being proactive, recognizing priorities, setting goals, looking for balance, and so on.  I've done plenty of work on being efficient, setting routines, and following through and I will have plenty of that going on this year without having to put extra focus on it.  Instead, I find myself wanting to reach for the softer things in life -  to be goofier with the kids, to be more patient, deal with interruptions better, more work on relationships with the people that mean the most to me, the fun, the laughter, peace, positivity.  Things that don't come as naturally to my mostly-serious self.
The word that came to me a couple weeks ago and has felt more and more right for me each day is

To me, light means joy.  Beauty.  Warmth.  Love.  Inspiration.  Giving.  Sharing talents and creativity.
So many many different ways and directions I can go with this and that's exciting.

This is the first year that my word comes to mind with its own visuals - light streaming through a break in the clouds on a stormy day or that hazy glowing backlight photographers are always trying to capture - lots of moods and nuances and all of them positive and affirming.  And that's what I want in 2015.    light

Do any of you choose a word for the year?  (ie: One Little Word along with Ali Edwards)  Set goals?  I'd love to hear about it.