Thursday, July 28, 2011

Joy Journal

Hey Friends--

I am up to my elbows in last-minute family reunion stuff, so I thought I'd pull a post from my SoVeryVicki blog for you to enjoy.  I love this little joy journal I made last year.



Here’s a peek at the Joy journal I’ve been working on.
Isn’t it happy?
I just fell in love with that piece of vintage material on the cover.
So I decided to plan a whole book around it.
And how about that vintage green trim?
Love it!!
I plan on filling this journal with all the joyful things in my life.
(Click on any photo to enlarge).
Some of the photos are new, like this one from my parents’ 50th Anniversary party.
Isn’t that a great family photo?
And some of the pictures are old.
I just love this picture of my kiddos.
It’s just the kind of cheesy I love! : )
I left plenty of space to go back and journal.
Which I will do.
Eventually. : )
I will write about each of the fabulous people in all of my pictures.
I will be sure to include how each of them brings happiness to my life.
This picture’s been hanging on my bulletin board for years.
We took it at a 4th of July parade during a family reunion in Iowa.
Good times!
This is a little note that Christy wrote me last year.
It brings me JOY.
Of course I had to have a favorite books page.
It’s so hard for me to come up with a complete list of my favorite books.
It changes all the time.
I think I’ll just slide more cards in the pocket as my list changes.
I used a lot of vintage and found papers in this book.
The words on the left page are from an old children’s book.
I will write all my secret wishes about John and I and our kids on those two pages.
Last fall Christy and I spent one whole morning sipping lattes and making lists.
(I love lists!)
This list is of our Top 10 memories.
We’ve had a whole lot of fun together over the years.
(Isn’t her handwriting fun?)
Do you have a happy place?
Another list.
This one of 99 Happy Things.
A favorite picture from Paris.
My own list of happy.
A Vicki/Christy Bucket List.
A list of streets I’ve lived on.
I’ve been fortunate to have lived in so many great places.
As you can see, there’s still an awful lot I need to fill in before this journal is complete.
But that’s half the fun!
Journals are like mini time capsules, a step beyond a photograph.
Some day my kids will look through this and see “mom.”
Hope your day is happy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Am I Brave?

Hi Friends--

I've had this poster in my Pinterest for months now.  I love it because I think it's so true.   As a parent, I know my kids are constantly watching me to see my reactions to things.  There have been so many times where I've had to be braver than I thought I could be.  When they were little, they watched my reaction to things like killing a spider or going down a steep slide.  Now that they are older, they watch to see if I'll confront someone or stick up for what I believe in.   They hold me accountable.  Being a mom forces me to be braver than I feel sometimes.  It's the hardest job I've ever had.  But it's also the only job I've had that forced me a better person.  I hope that when my kids are all grown up and parents, themselves, they will tell their children that Grandma was brave and true. 

Oh, and funny.  I hope they describe me as funny.  ; )

Have a great day!



Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Hi Friends!
I just got back from a 20-mile bike ride.  It. Was. Awesome!!  Did I mention that I'm doing the biking portion of a triathlon in August?  It will be my first triathlon since the 1/2 Ironman I did in California.  I'm a little bit giddy and more than a little bit nervous.  It's so different just training for one part of a triathlon--I'm not going to lie--I'm so glad I don't have to train the run.  Now I just have to focus on getting my butt on that bike and training hard so I don't let my team down.  Our swimmer is one of my former swimmers--she's a rock star!  And our runner is an ace--girlfriend loves to run.  Hopefully I won't be the weak link!  : ) 

Since it's been a while since I've done this, I thought I'd check in with where I'm at right now:

Feeling:  Sweaty.  I haven't showered yet.  I'm still in my icky bike clothes.
Loving:  Hummus.  And cottage cheese.  (But not necessarily together).  Can't get enough.
Hoping:  That I have everything covered for this weekend's big family reunion.
Listening:  To Maddie and Jack play together.
Looking Forward to:  Playing with some pictures and paper this afternoon.
Thankful:  That the NFL season is back on (GO BEARS!).  Yes, I am a football junkie.

What's going on with you today?



Monday, July 25, 2011

Loving My Groovy Glasses

Hi Friends!

Check out my groovy new sunglasses!  Aren't they fabulous?  My swimmers bought them for me.  They said, "These totally reminded us of you!"  I'm not quite sure how to take that. : ) I think they are totally fun and silly.

Maybe they were trying to tell me I'm fun and silly?

I've actually worn them quite a bit in the last few days.  They make me giggle.  Sometimes ridiculous is good.

Have a groovy day!



Linking up this silliness to Life Made Lovely

Playing Catch Up

Hi Friends!

Sorry about the lack of posts the last couple of days.  Things with the Joplin fundraiser got a little crazy and then I spent the weekend recovering from it all.  : )  We ended up raising $1,259 for Joplin swimmers.  I am pretty darn excited about that.  The actual evening was completely fun.  It makes my heart feel good to do good things for other people.  And then if we can have a fun time in the process, even better!

This week my focus has shifted to getting ready for the upcoming family reunion.  I can't believe it's this weekend!  It seems like we've been planing it for forever.  I've got a pretty good handle on things, but I still have a few creative tidbits to get done before we go.  I bought a whole big bunch of fun door prizes and prizes that we're going to pass out to game winners.  My Uncle Ken really wanted me to plan some "good old-fashioned games," so I found some good old-fashioned prizes to go with the games.  Details and pictures to come, I promise!

What are you up to this week?



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jump in for Joplin

Hi Friends--

Three years ago I had the privilege of writing for  During my time with SwimNetwork, I travelled to Omaha to cover the USA Swimming Olympic Trials.  Needless-to-say, I had an amazing time being up-close and personal with so many fabulous Olympic swimmers.  I watched World Records tumble as Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin and Ryan Lochte competed through the week.  It was awesome.  As fabulous as that week was, swimming-wise, the very best part of my SwimNetwork experience was getting to meet so many fantastically-committed swim coaches and fans and to work with a whole big bunch of talented writers who are passionate about the sport of swimming.  One such coach and writer is a man named Shawn Klosterman.  I have never met Shawn in person, but he was one of my biggest fans while I wrote for SwimNetwork, and we have since become friends through e-mail and Facebook.

As you know, the city of Joplin, MO was devastated by tornadoes that ripped through their community on May 22.  I'm sure you remember the coverage--the pictures of the wreckage were hard to look at.  When I realized that Joplin was were Shawn lives and coaches, I knew I wanted to do something to help.  I contacted Shawn in the days after the storms.  As you can imagine, life was chaotic for Shawn at that time; several of Shawn's swimmers lost their homes, and one lost a grandfather.  One thing he did mention was how much he appreciated the outpouring of support he was receiving from the swim community.  Like so many sports, the swim community as a whole is an incredibly supportive group.  I am proud to be part of it.  I knew the swim community up here in Wisconsin would want to help out, too, so I organized a fundraiser called "Jump in for Joplin" which will take place tomorrow night.  My little team will host swimmers from all over the Fox Valley.  Our hope is to collect as many cash and equipment donations as possible to send down to Shawn's team, the Jasper County Killer Whales.  The best part of this whole thing has been the response I've received from other local swim teams.  The Y team, FCYST, literally jumped at the chance to be part of our fundraiser.  They have thrown their support behind us 100%.   I am so proud of the response from our local swimmers.  It makes my heart so happy.

I heard from Shawn last week.  He said that the FEMA trailers have finally arrived (can you imagine being without your own place from May 22-until July???), but most of the relief effort has been turned over to the local chapters.  He has been so impressed by how his community has come together in the face of this tragedy.  But make no mistake, Joplin is still hurting. 

Tomorrow night, swimmers from all over my area will gather to swim and race each other and have fun.  At the end of the night we will box up the donations and some happiness to send down to Joplin.  I hope they feel love and support from Wisconsin. 



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Simple Beauty

Hi Friends!

Is it hot where you are?  It is "Africa Hot" around here!  And while I may be melting every time I step outside the house, my garden is completely thriving!  On Sunday I played around in my garden and I was thrilled with what I discovered.  There is so much beauty to be found this time of year--even in a vegetable garden!  My green beans went from teeny-tiny little strings to this all in the last week:

They are gorgeous, aren't they?  I only need about 30 more to feed my family!

I also spotted this beauty:

I'm seeing lots of cucumber salad and homemade pickles in our near future! 

I love having my own garden.  Growing things from seed is nothing short of a miracle, isn't it? 

Hope things are thriving where you are!



Monday, July 18, 2011

It's Good to be 10!

Hi Friends!

Well, the big party is over, but the fun memories will (hopefully) last forever!  Jack + 4 of his good buddies + lots of sugar + Harry Potter = lots and lots of birthday fun! 

Believe it or not, Jack is not a big fan of cake (gasp!), so he decided he wanted a make-your-own-sundae-bar, instead.  I've been seeing all kinds of adorable ice cream bars on the blogs lately, so when I heard that's what Jack wanted, I got pretty darn excited.   I tried hard to restrain myself with the decorations;  ten-year-old boys aren't usually big fans of fru-fru. I decided go just use my blue Mason jars for the toppings, add a couple of signs on sticks and call it a party.  Voila:


Jack thought it was pretty important to have a variety of ice creams available, so we went with mint chocolate chip, vanilla, chocolate and rainbow sherbet.

After careful consideration, I decided Mason's sundae was the most photogenic.  Thanks, Mason, for letting me take a picture of your bowl!  : )

He wasn't as excited about letting me take a picture of him, though!  :)

Carson is always up for getting his picture taken, but Mason was more interested in eating ice cream than posing for pictures!

Of course, there were lots of fun gifts to open.  Isn't Maddie's card cute?

Emily made Jack a cute card, too!  The girls bought Jack Super Mario Brothers for the Wii.  He was thrilled!

The boys got to take home fun balls filled with candy.  Jack put their names on them with paint pens.
I wonder what Jack was talking about?

Emily and Maddie hung out with the boys while they were at the house.  Emily even went with us to see Harry Potter (again!).

I can't believe my little man is 10 already!

Jack couldn't decide between mint chocolate chip and sherbet.  So he had them both.  In separate bowls (only on your birthday!).

Jack's big gift was his electric bass guitar and amp.  He is already rockin' out on it!  And he sounds good!!

After ice cream and a game of Capture the Flag, it was time to pack up the boys and head to the theater to see Harry Potter.  They all gave the movie 2 enthusiastic thumbs up. 

And I got two thumbs up for putting together Jack's fun little party.  It doesn't get better than that!

Happy kids are the BEST!!



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday, Jack!

Dear Jack,

Today is your 10th Birthday.  Holy cow, double digits!  I'm not really sure how you went from being the tiny little baldy baby who made everybody smile to the tall, goofy, super-smart, funny, artistic, musical, lovable guy you are today.  Time flies when you're having fun, and life with you is always fun!

You know what?  I love pretty much every single thing about you. 

I love how you never, ever fail to make me laugh. 
I love how you tell me 852 times a day how much you love me. 
I love your awesome hugs and your silly faces and groovy dance moves. 
I love spending time with you, even if all we're doing is laying on the bed together reading. 
I love that you think about other people's feelings.  You're kind, Jack, and that's a very good thing. 
I love when you tell me one of your "Deep Thoughts By Jack Terlap" ideas. 
I love that you have a grateful heart. 

You know what I'm grateful for?  That God sent me such a wonderful son.  You bring me so much joy, Jack.

I love your awesomeness.

I hope today is the start of a year filled to the brim with love, laughter and good memories.

I love you,


Friday, July 15, 2011

Confession #57

Hi Friends--

It's confession time. 

Yesterday I borrowed Amy's minivan so that I could take the girlie-girls and their friends to the movies.  I was tooling around town running some errands and stopped by the bank.  When I came out, Amy's van wouldn't start.  I turned the key:  click. click. click.  I turned it again:  nothing.  I immediately began to panic.  John is out of town this week.  Without John, I didn't know what to do.  I called Amy to see if she had AAA.  She didn't answer.  I began to sweat.  Buckets.  Even though it was 3:00 in the afternoon and I was perfectly safe, I began to freak out.  I literally did not know what to do.  Luckily, Amy called me right back.  She wasn't phased at all.  She told me she'd be right over to give me a jump.  After I hung up, I tried to start it one more time and it turned over.  I called her back, thanked her, and cancelled her service call.

My little panic at the bank really got me thinking about how much I count on John for.  I literally go through life knowing that John will be able to rescue me from pretty much any sticky situation I get myself into.  Stuck in a snowbank?  Call John.  Printer not working?  Call John.  Flat tire?  Yup.  Call John.  The problem is, sometimes John isn't in town, and I'm afraid that my lack of know-how is eventually going to bite me in the butt.  I secretly want to be more like Amy, who knows how to use power tools and jump dead batteries.  Heck, I don't even know how to start the lawnmower...and don't even get me started on the snow blower.  That thing scares the heck out of me.  I read all these blogs about women who own their own safety glasses and build their own beds.  I'm not sure I really want to go that far, but I do what to feel confident the next time I have a dead battery.

So, in honor of the Dead Minivan Battery Scare of 2011, I've decided I'm going to compile a list of things I want to learn how to do before the end of the year.  And then I'm going to get to work and learn some new things.  Scary things. 

Here's what I've come up with so far:

1.  Jump a dead battery
2.  Put on a spare tire
3.  Cut the grass
4.  Grill a perfect steak
5.  Back the boat up into the water
6.  Load the boat back onto the trailer.

Whew.  I think that's enough for now.  If I master all of that, I will feel pretty darn proud of myself.   Want to join in on the fun?  Let me know what you'd like to learn how to do before the end of the year.  We can cheer each other on!

Here's to learning new things!



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter Mania!


Hi Friends!

Well, we finally (!!!!!) made it! Tonight's the *big* premier of the very last Harry Potter movie. All three of my kiddos are HUGE Harry Potter fanatics, so the excitement level is pretty much at a fever pitch around here today.  In a moment of clearly-I-don't-know-what-I-was-thinking, I not only told the girls they could go to the midnight showing, but I volunteered to drive.  It seemed like a good idea two months ago.  All I've got to say is they better remember this the next time they are mad at me!  : ) 

Do you have Harry Potter fans at your house?



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scenes from A Perfect Weekend

Two Dear Friends
One Adorable Godchild
Papa Dells Pizza
Urbana Farmer's Market
Lazy River
Cassandra and the Gravel Road Band
Gourmet Cupcakes & Extra-Large Cookies
Fools for Rowan
17 Miles on the Open Road
Shopping in Campus Town

One Perfect Weekend