Throwback Thursday Story

The Mom Creative is starting a new weekly link-up for “Throwback Thursday Stories” and I think it’s such a great idea. I haven’t actually ever done a #tbt post on my Instagram feed, but I think I might start doing that as well. So here goes my first one …

scan0094I’m not sure what year this was taken or my exact age – I’m guessing somewhere between 5-7 years old. This was our dog Gypsy. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized that not everyone views their pets as another family member. I get my love of dogs from my dad who made sure that Gypsy went everywhere with us (camping trips, etc). The first time I ever saw my dad cry was the day she died. I wish I could thank my dad for showing me how important pets can be to me and my family.

We currently only have one dog in our house:

Leo, the day we brought him home

Leo, the day we brought him home

Loralei passed away in February (I’ve mentioned her in my PL layouts):

Loralie aka "Little"

Loralie aka “Little”

And Chewie passed away about three and a half years ago …

Natalie with Chewie when she was 2-3 yrs old

Natalie with Chewie when she was 2-3 yrs old

I may have added more than one #tbt photo, but they all help tell the story, right? :) I think this is going to be a fun thing to keep up with. How about you – do you post Throwback Thursday pictures on social media/your blog?


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Blues on the Green (2013 family album layout)

So one of my goals for this year was to include more than just my Project Life spreads on this blog, so I guess it’s time I actually do that!

IMG_2321I got the idea for this layout after looking at that Amy Tan cityscape patterned paper. I’d used it before on another layout, but had a 2nd one because I loved it so much.  I only had two decent-enough-to-use photos for this layout, so I wanted to make the layout itself spectacular. I started with the black paper at the top and heat embossed several different star stamps in gold, silver and opaque white.


I also added some gold star sequins from Studio Calico for some variety and interest. Beneath that I added two layers of torn dark blue paper (night sky fading into the black) and then sat and cut along one of the cityscape lines (while watching a show) for the next layer and then finished the bottom with green (along with a few torn edges of green).

IMG_2324I wanted to add more detail and stumbled upon these cute lawn chairs on the Silhouette website. And a cute picnic basket for the bottom next to the journaling … (with some Lawn Fawn apple stamps)

IMG_2326I had so much fun doing this layout – I was actually giddy about it. Best of all? When I showed my husband, his response was “Wow!” Again, here is the full layout:

IMG_2321Short and simple :)





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Project Life – Weeks 10 and 11

I have to say that I am having a lot more fun putting my layouts together this year since I am no longer confining myself to one core kit for the majority of the page. I have most of a Honey and Blush core kit, but I’ve also cut up some 6×6 Amy Tan paper pads to use. And if I can ever find the Plus One mini kit, I will be adding that to the mix! Here we go with week ten …




For this week’s layout I wanted to mostly stick to black and white journaling cards/paper because the colors in my photos were all over the place. I had two different Amy Tan patterns that I used for the weekly card. When I put the March calendar card in, it was green (which thankfully went with a couple photos) and then added the teal (Tim Holtz Peacock Feathers ink), so those are the color enamel dots I pulled out … and then an orange one to pull a color from the right half of the page.

(wow, that was a long description for one pocket!)

(wow, that was a long description for one pocket!)

On Sunday, Natalie went to do some baby-sitting of sorts. She goes to her 3rd grade teacher’s house (she’s in 4th now) and plays with the kids (3 year old and 2 year old twins) so that Magen can get something accomplished :) Magen is also great about taking pictures of Natalie with her kids and sharing them. I had Natalie do her own journaling.



I’ve mentioned in previous weeks that my husband is redoing part of our bathroom. I’ve been trying to document the process in our PL pages instead of doing a mini album or something along those lines, because really, who wants to look at a bunch of photos of demo? He has some work jeans that had a rip in the back and this particular day, the rip, uhhh … became more than a rip …


The Friday before Spring Break always seems like one of the busiest days of the school year. This year Sydney (and the entire 2nd grade) presented their endangered species projects in the hallway. Then I photographed first graders releasing the butterflies they’d had since the caterpillar stage (LOVE doing this every year) and then I spent quite a bit of time with Natalie’s class trying to get caught up on 4 months of scrapbook layouts that they were behind!


this little guy was on MY arm ... he didn't fully form and wasn't able to fly well, so he stayed with me

this little guy was on MY arm … he didn’t fully form and wasn’t able to fly well, so he stayed with me


And now on to Spring Break!!!!


Here’s a look at the full spread:




You know you’ve trained your children well when they bring you stickers from their stash to match photos you’ve taken of them.

Syd was kind enough to share her Lego Chima stickers

Syd was kind enough to share her Lego Chima stickers

Monday Jason took the day off so that we could do something together. One of the nearby theaters has gone thru several changes over the years, closed completely and then reopened as a dollar theater. It also happens to be the theater I was working at when a new guy started working there and we started dating …and then five years later we ended up getting married. Needless to say, it’s a special movie theater to us.


I love this filler card from Studio Calico and it seemed to be the perfect card for spring break.

IMG_2419Thursday we met close family friends (our kids actually tell people they are cousins and call us adults “aunt” and “uncle”) at the newly redone children’s museum. All four girls had a blast!

(I forgot to photograph it from the layout, so here's the original photo)

(I forgot to photograph it from the layout, so here’s the original photo)

They came back and spent the night and then the next morning Jason took off work and went with us to the recently opened Austin Aquarium (other friends/family met us there, too). The hands-on things were what the girls loved best. The lighting was not the greatest for taking pictures, so the ones of them petting rays and little sharks were not quite as good as the ones of them petting lizards and feeding birds.


IMG_2423The above photo earned the “epic” flare because Sydney won’t go near our parakeets at home when they are out of the cage, so the fact that she actually agreed to feeding a much larger bird AND didn’t freak out was just awesome!

After the aquarium and lunch at Rudy’s (outside), we went to the park by our friend’s house and let the kids play for another few hours. Monkey taught Syd how to play hacky sack.

IMG_2424By Saturday morning, I couldn’t get out of bed (thank you, Lupus) so Monkey, Brenna and the four girls played a board game all morning until it was time for the girls to leave. I didn’t have any photos, so I got a picture of the game they played (see above right card).

That is where I am with my PL spreads. I have two more weeks worth of photos in pockets just waiting for journaling. Thanks for reading along. I will also be linking this post up to The Mom Creative and would love to read your comments!




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Project Life – Finishing Up February

Okay, so much catching up to do, so here we go, starting back at…



left side, week 7

left side, week 7

right side

right side


I don’t usually include weather snapshots, but because of all the craziness I decided to add it in for this week. I snapped a photo of the tv screen because I have no clue how to do a screen print on my phone :)


I got some “currents” cards a while back and never seem to have space to use them. I wanted to include this selfie of my “work in progress” where it comes to getting better at makeup, but didn’t necessarily want a full size photo of my face, so now I have a spot for the currents card.

IMG_1907My youngest got her new glasses this week as well. She hadn’t been wearing her older glasses at school as much as she was supposed to (and it’s really hard to keep on her when I’m half a mile away), so her vision got worse and now she needs to wear them ALL the time. For her first pair, I tried to steer her towards neutral colored glasses so they’d look okay no matter what she wore. This time I realized that she needs to really like them in order to actually wear them, so we let her get the ones she really wanted. And they look awesome on her – they fit her personality so well!

IMG_1908This was the week of Valentine’s Day. I got photos of the girls at school during their parties:


… and then had Natalie take a picture of Monkey and I at dinner that night. We went out as a family mostly to celebrate that he got the job he’s been waiting on for several months.


Going out to dinner was also our way of having a little bit of something positive before we sat down to tell the girls the next day that the Monday coming up would be the day we were having Little put to sleep (I hate that phrase, but don’t know any less tacky way of saying it). We wanted to give Little some pampering/treats for her last couple of days to remind her how much we love her. She loves popcorn and when Monkey makes some as our late night snack, he always gives her a few pieces. Well, on Saturday, he made her a bowl of her own and then put her up on our bed to be more comfortable as she ate it. It was a very sweet gesture from him.



That was the way we wrapped up week seven; now onto

(my first time using the Cameo pens)

(my first time using the Cameo pens)

This week started out very emotionally draining and the rest of the week we had so much going on. I kind of felt like I was just going thru the motions and I wanted to convey that with color (or lack thereof).



IMG_1920Monday while the girls were at school, we had the vet come to the house and end Little’s suffering. Monkey and I took her out to his parents’ land and buried her right next to Chewie (our Rottie that passed away a few years ago). Then we picked the girls up from school and took them out to see where Little was buried. What made it even more difficult is that my youngest thought that Little would still be there when she got home and that it would happen later that day, so she was even more upset that she couldn’t see her to say good-bye. She kept trying to pick up the rocks (on the burial site) and wipe the dirt away because she thought then she could see Little. Like I said – emotionally draining day.

the 4x6 pocket is actually a flap with another photo/more journaling underneath

the 4×6 pocket is actually a flap with another photo/more journaling underneath




Moving on to



I felt the need to use lots of bright colors this week after the monotone feel of week eight.




IMG_2381Monkey and the girls took advantage of another random beautiful day that Sunday and went for a long bike ride. I’m so glad that my girls are learning now to have healthy habits and that they look forward to/constantly ask to go for long bike rides and want to do obstacle course races like their daddy.

(I put stickers on a little too low, but they were NOT coming off to redo the placement ... oh well)

(I put stickers on a little too low, but they were NOT coming off to redo the placement … oh well)

I have a love for all things colorful, including sequins. The problem is that sometimes I have a hard time finding a good place for them in my layouts without it looking overdone or tacky. I felt like the journaling card/stamp needed a little something more, so sequins it is!


I recently got Shimelle’s  Nailed It stamp set (LOVE that someone finally made a phrase stamp set that wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns and “best day ever!”) and got to use it a couple times on this week’s layout. Case in point:

(I scrapbook with a few classes at school on a monthly basis)

(I scrapbook with a few classes at school on a monthly basis)

and also here:

("brownies" came out more like heavily buttered pancakes - gross)

(“brownies” came out more like heavily buttered pancakes – gross)

Now that Monkey knows he got the new job (which he actually starts next week) , he made himself a list of tasks to get done/finish up at his current job before leaving. He’s very excited about his new job, but I’m glad that he is being responsible and not just leaving his current one hanging because he’s got “short timer’s syndrome”.

IMG_2387Sydney has taken to writing down notes when she is not comfortable saying the words out loud or when she needs to work out her feelings. I left her a little note on her desk and so she wrote me a note back and left it on my desk. Love it! (Sometimes when I give my girls a compliment, I’ll say that “I’m not just saying that because I’m your mother”)


I documented what might seem like a random thing to someone else because I wanted to show Syd how proud we were of her. She is at that stage where she feels we should leave every store with her having *something* new, even if there’s nothing she *needs*. The fact that she was willing to wait for the pair she really wanted impressed both my husband and me quite a bit!

IMG_2391Okay, that wraps up February’s layouts and this blog post. I have a few more weeks to share, but I will make that a separate post. I’ve had a lot of these weeks just waiting to share. I have this mental block that I have to have my Project Life posts ready to share on Tuesday and if I don’t, then I might as well just wait until the following week (due to sharing on The Mom Creative for so long). Now that she’s gone to a monthly blog link up instead of a weekly one, I’m still adjusting :) I also have been working on some “regular” layouts for our family album and will share those soon as well.

I will be linking up with The Mom Creative for her Project Life post. If you made it this far – thanks for staying with me!


Project Life – week 6


I think that week six has been my favorite week so far in regards to the color and putting it together. The way this layout looks? *That* is why I chose to use the Honey core kit this year. On to the close ups:




When I was first trying to decide what cards to use with this layout, I noticed I had a lot of strong colors, so I pulled out one of the title cards with a lot of color. The actual “week 6″ part was getting lost against all of the color, so I recut it on gray to make a bit of a shadow.


One of the photos was of my girls at a birthday party that I didn’t make it to (Monkey, aka daddy took them). Instead of trying to reword what they told me, I made room to have them both journal about the party. Aaaaannnd because they are kids and listening is not a skill they are always familiar with, this was the second version of the journaling cards because the first time they wrote with the arrows pointing up, even though I said I needed them to point down. See, don’t you feel better that it’s not just your kids? :)


Something I’ve been wanting to try is using pockets in the pocket pages (there’s a joke in there somewhere). I picked up a couple of Simple Stories’ sets when Archiver’s was having it’s closing sale.  Here is my first attempt – it’s holding hockey tickets.



A good friend of ours really wanted an excuse to see the Lego movie that recently came out. Since he has no kids of his own, he borrowed ours and another close friend’s and took all four girls, the other girls’ mom and my husband (we’re all friends) and they went to the Lego movie. I was more interested in some kid-free scrapbooking time at home. I wanted to do something fun for the girls to remember the movie by, so again I turned to a magazine (see this layout where I used a photo for Breaking Bad). I found this photo/synopsis of the movie in Entertainment Weekly. Also, my husband was sweet enough to remember to take a photo for me!

(journaling made easy)

(journaling made easy)

Finally, I had a small 6×8 insert this week for the start of the Olympics. I found some free journaling/filler cards online and used those along with the photos my husband found online. The Olympics have always been a really big deal for him, so I left the journaling and choice of diecuts up to him (I just did the work).





I knew I wanted to use the Silhouette die cut of the flaming torch and finally decided to put it on this card and loved the final result:


For the back two 3×4 spots I knew I wanted to use the Silhouette to cut out dies of my husband’s favorite winter Olympic events. Hockey was a no-brainer. He also chose snowboarding and I thought just a black silhouetted image of each was the best look.

(flying off the card)

(flying off the card)


Okay, that about wraps up our week six. I will be linking up to The Mom Creative for her first of what will now be a once monthly link up. Thanks for reading along and I would love to hear from you!



Project Life – Week Five


Week five was the last week of January. Here are the close ups of each side:





The title card this week was one of those that I had NO IDEA where I was going with it. I knew that I wanted to do the “week 05″ part in gray since there are a lot of gray tones in the photos for this week. After that I wanted to get some bit of green on there and spotted the Doodlebug mini icon stickers (green arrow)I had recently picked up at Archivers.  Lastly, after combing thru my washi tape I found this arrow one and there ya go, done!



My husband and I started watching “Breaking Bad” after the series ended. We were watching several episodes a night (after the girls were asleep). I spotted this photo in a magazine and held onto it. I took a photo of the tv screen as the credits rolled on the very last episode. I thought the caption  on the magazine photo was very appropriate!


This week the girls had their second “ice day” – now technically, there wasn’t really any snow involved, but living in central TX, I almost NEVER get to use snowflakes on anything and I absolutely love snowflakes, so I went with it.



In the interest of putting information about *me* in the albums, I made a note about my love of nail polish. I’ve quite literally been painting my nails a different color several times a week since I was about 9 or 10. I think it just falls under my general love of all things colorful :)



Lastly, I got a reminder of why I rarely use rub ons with this last photo. I *barely* set it down to get the spacing right and it stuck to the photo. <sigh> I had to order another copy (so glad we just got a new Costco less than 10 mins up the road).


I will be linking up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday.  Thanks for taking the time to check this out!





Project Life week 4



As always, I will be linking up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. Here goes …IMG_0876


Here is week 4, the end of January. The left side is the back of that Simple Stories page protector from the week before. Instead of journaling, I used it to be able to add multiple photos from one day (Sunday).





I was having issues with my Cameo (which thanks to my husband/call to customer service is now taken care of), so I didn’t cut out “week 4″. I used a SC stamp and decided to play around with the title card – I usually keep them all looking the same.



The girls were home from school and Little (our older dog) had a really bad day. I really thought this was the day we would have to call the vet to come over to put her to sleep. It was something my husband and I had discussed, but were waiting to tell our girls. She is very old, has lost control of her bowels, can barely walk, recently lost her sight (and had a few other problems). I felt a little weird taking these photos, but as I’ve said before, it’s important to me to document the good and the bad and every aspect of our lives.



On Wednesday, Sydney told me that her reading/writing teacher wanted to talk to me. We waited for her to finish after school duty and she told me that she was so proud of Syd’s writing. She said she did a great job with the writing prompt for the day and even asked Syd to read it to the class. My poor daughter was too shy/doubtful of her writing to do so (or even tell me about this, thus the teacher asking to talk to me).  I am so proud of her writing skills and I’m hoping to get her to the point that she is okay sharing – but I understand, I hated to share my creative writing in school, too.

how are an orange/banana the same/different

how are an orange/banana the same/different


Speaking of Sydney, we finally got around to taking her to get her bangs cut properly. Back in December, she randomly decided one morning she wanted bangs – so she cut them herself after breakfast! I have to admit, she looks great with bangs and it’s improved her confidence quite a bit. Her goal after having “boy hair” for so long was to grow her hair out long again, at least enough for ponytails. After getting her bangs cut/the back evened out, we tried out ponytails and it worked!


This was the week that my husband finally hooked up my Cameo. The circle that I journaled on was the first shape we cut (as practice), so I thought it was an appropriate journaling piece.


This was also the week that January 24th fell on. That is the day, back in 2006, while I was pregnant with Sydney that my father passed away from lung cancer. For the first time I was busy enough that day that I didn’t spend the whole day thinking about it, but I did want something to show that it’s still (always) on my mind.


The white ribbon is a pin that I used to wear on my purse and sweater for the longest time, until it broke. I keep it on my desk and thought this was a good place to keep it.


As a last note, I found it kind of ironic that this was the week that was up next to blog about. TODAY actually turned out to be the day that the vet came to our house and ended Little’s suffering. We made the decision last week and scheduled it for today while the girls were at school. My husband was home, so we cleaned out a big work wagon we have and loaded it up with pillows, put her in it and took her for a long “walk” around our neighborhood one last time before sitting out in the front yard with her for a while. Little (nickname for Loralei) has been a part of our family since before we even had kids, which makes it all the more difficult. She was the sweetest dog and will be missed.

at a little over a year old

at a little over a year old


in August of 2010

in August of 2010


on our walk this morning

on our walk this morning

Thanks for letting me share that.


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