Thursday, January 31, 2013


enjoying watching old episodes of Breaking Bad.
planning a Valentine's dinner with friends for after John returns.
thrilled with how all four kids did on their report cards.  They're a bunch of smarties, for sure.
praying for wisdom and guidance.  Always.
celebrating the success of "Less" in January.
looking forward to watching "Twelve Angry Jurors" at the high school tonight with Maddie and Raffi.  Emily is the Sound Crew Leader for the production.
making thank you cards for all the neighbors who have helped out while John's been away.
carrying my camera everywhere.  Practice, practice, practice.
resisting the urge to volunteer to be the coordinator of this year's After Prom party.  
writing my goals for "Less" in February
preparing to root for the Ravens on Sunday.  John seems so much more fun than Jim.
eating lots of salads with feta or bleu cheese.  Yum.
loving all the snow we got yesterday.  I'm anxious to get out and do some snowshoeing.
sleeping on only my side of the bed.  John's side of the bed gets used to hold all my books (and the alarm clock) while he is gone.

What's going on with you today?



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Project Life {January 21-27}

 Hi Friends!

Last week is in the book!  I realized on Sunday night when I went to print out pictures for my spread that the only pictures of people I took all week were of the boy's swim team.  Hmm...I will definitely fix that this week. It is so weird to have a whole layout with no pictures of my family in it!  : )
 It was actually hard to find enough pictures to fill my slots.  Last week, all my pictures were of my tuna sandwich, a set of books, and my gym shoes, which I took for class.  On the plus side, I had a lot more room to add a bunch of journaling and quotes this week.  The "Grass is Greener" quote is one of my favorites.  And the heart picture I'm using for the date was part of a postcard set I found here.  When I saw the green and yellow direction this layout was heading, I knew it would be perfect for that spot.
I repeated the card I did last week to talk about what is going on in John's life.  I don't want to leave him out of the book when he travels.  Reality has set in, and we are all missing him a lot this week.  Only a few more weeks!!

Thanks for looking!



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Feeling Like a Rockstar

Woo-Hoo!  I just got home from my photography class.  The picture above is what I captured last night and turned in for my homework.  My teacher said, "It looks like an album cover."  High praise, indeed!  : )  I'm not going to lie, I did a little happy dance right there in my chair. Yay!



PS  My Project Life layout is coming tomorrow--sorry about the delay--I was busy having fun with Amy today.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Oh! Now I Get It!

Hi Friends!

So.  Week #1's homework for my photography class was an epic fail.  Apparently, I missed the whole point of the assignment, which was to work on depth of field.  It's really hard to show depth of field when you are a) taking pictures of flat things and b) standing 20 feet away from your subject.  Oops.  On the plus side, he did like my subject matter and composition.  Too bad neither of those were what he was looking for.  Undeterred, I set out the next day to redo the assignment, and I think I nailed it with pictures of my tuna sandwich.  Voila!  Because I put the Diet Pepsi can behind my sandwich, I was able to show depth of field.
Same shot, three different apperatures (f5.6, f11, f22).
This week's homework deals with shutter speed.  Maddie and I are heading out to stand on a bridge and shoot the cars whizzing by tonight after practice.  Wish me luck!  : )



PS  Great Harvest has the best tuna!  Sadly, I didn't get to eat the bread.  I wish they would make gluten-free bread!

Friday, January 25, 2013

What I Read {January 2013}

Hi Friends!

Gosh! January isn't even over, and I've already read some *amazing* books!  Looking for a book suggestion?  I'd recommend any of these!

The Middlesteins, Jami Attenberg.   I'm still thinking about this book's quirky, messed-up, lovable characters.  Edie Middlestein, the novel’s larger-than-life protagonist, is killing herself by overeating, and her family can’t bear to watch.  When her husband, Richard, leaves her after 30 years, Edie's kids step up and try to pick up the slack.   Each of Attenberg's characters are flawed and make bad choices, but in the end, I cared about each and every one of them.  There's a whole lot of heart in this book.

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson.  Oh, Allan!  You adorable centenarian, you;  you had me a page one!  We meet Allan on his hundredth birthday, minutes before the big party at his retirement home, and just as he decides he's going to climb out the window and escape.   What follows is an amazing, Forrest Gump-like book.  Allan is a man who spent his life finding himself put into a whole bunch of amazing, almost-too-hard-to-believe situations.  The story jumps back and forth from his current (almost-too-hard-to-believe) situation to his past escapes.   The 100-Year-Old Man is a fun book.  I loved it.

Seven, Jen Hatmaker.  I read about Seven on a blog, before I even knew I was going to pick "Less" as my One Little Word for 2013. Once I picked "Less", I knew I had to read this book.   Seven follows Hatmaker's journey as she worked to remove excess from her life in seven different categories:  food, clothes, shopping, waste, media, possessions,  and stress.  Each category had its own set of rules, focused on the number 7.  Her premise was that she could do with less, way less.  Some of the months I think I could do, others, like wearing the same 7 clothing items every day for a month, seemed kind of hard.  Spoiler alert:  she succeeds in every category.  This book really made me think about my own excess. I highly recommend it.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan.  Clay Jannon, an unemployed Web designer, takes a job working the graveyard shift at a 24-hour bookstore, owned by the strange Mr. Penumbra.  It doesn't take long for Clay to discover that all is not as it seems at the bookstore.  This book is filled with lots of code-breaking, and Google geniuses, and techie-talk that went a bit over my head at times.  But in the end, this is the story of friendship, and trust, and taking risks.  It's definitely worth reading!




Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I Made Wednesday//Dainty Daisies Edition

Hi Friends!

Welcome to What I Made Wednesday, my attempt at sharing 52 handmade projects throughout 2013.  This week's project was actually done at Dainty Daisies in downtown Appleton.  Michelle, the incredibly adorable owner, was celebrating her one year anniversary, and she invited 3 of her fabulous crafty friends to come and craft with her customers.  Amy and I were in!  Now, I know I'm kind of cheating here, making something not from my stash, but how cute is that bracelet?  I had so much fun stamping my own bracelet.  Kind of made me want to buy all the stuff I need to keep making more  appreciate the bracelet I made.  The process was super easy!

 The hardest part was picking the string colors for the bracelet.  Amy and I both chose "Blessed" and added little beads representing our kids and husband.  My four birthstone colors were all red, white, and blue, so I went with coordinating string colors.  Amy's colors are all blues and greens, so she went with pastels.  As I was hammering "Blessed"  into my charm, I realized that "Blessed" contains the word, "Less."  Hmm.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Anyway.  A few taps later, and we both had fun bracelets.  Mine is the one above, and this is Amy's:
If you'd like super detailed instructions to make your own bracelet, here is a good on-line tutorial.
 Made anything fun lately?  Leave me a link in the comments--I'd love to see what you've been working on!



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Project Life//January 14-20

 Hi Friends!

Woo-Hoo!  I love, love, love Project Life!  Here's the layout of last weeks' big events.  Last week was finals week for the girls, so there was a whole lot of studying going on around here.  I tried to plan some fun study breaks, but all they really wanted to do when they needed a break was watch old episodes of How I Met Your Mother.  I did drag them out for a quick meal on Wednesday night--they needed some fresh air! : )
Jack and I both had big weeks.  Jack competed for his school's math club and took 2nd place, and I started my photography class.  I also got to spend some fun time with Amy on the weekend.
All three girls went to Cotton Club on Saturday night--a night where the cafeteria is transformed into a 1920's nightclub.  The jazz band plays, dinner is served, and there's dancing.  I  took some portraits of each of the girls before they left, which I plan to put on the blog later this week, but I decided not to put them in this week's Project Life.

The quote card is from Elise and is a nod to completing the homework for my photography class.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek at my week!



Monday, January 21, 2013


 Hi Friends!

Guess what!  I started my photography class last week, and I'm not going to lie:  it intimidated the heck out of me!  : )  The first thing my instructor said was, "I am going to teach you the physics of photography."  Um...what?!?  I about fell out of my chair.  Thank God he didn't say the "chemistry of photography," or I would have probably had to drop the class.  : )

So.  It started with physics.  Then there were a whole lot of numbers:   numbers, fractions, and charts.
 The first thing he did was take away my "automatic" option.  We are to shoot in manual, and only manual for the rest of our lives.  Amen.
 I have owned my camera for a year and have never moved it off of the "automatic" setting, not even once.
 I swear I spent the entire 3 hours in a brittle, tense state.  The only plus side was that everyone around me seemed as panicked as I was.  My table partner and I whispered back and forth throughout the class.  "Do you understand what he just said?" "Nope.  Not a clue."  "Me either."
And then at the end of the 3 hours, he sent us out into the world with our vague understandings and told us to take 15 pictures--three pictures of 5 different subjects.  All photos were to be taken at 400 ISO.  The first photo was to be at 5.6, the second at 11, and the third at 22.  We were to figure out the correct shutter speed.

Each of the pictures above were taken at 5.6.  I would have posted all 15 photos, but to me, they all look exactly the same, which I am hoping is what was supposed to happen (fingers crossed).

Here's to life on "manual".



Friday, January 18, 2013


Time: 9:12 am
Location:  sitting in the recliner in the family room
Drinking:  3 pump chai latte from Starbucks
Wearing:  workout clothes from this morning's spin class.  I am yucky.
Watching:  nothing--the TV isn't on.  It's quiet.
Loving:  that it's Friday.
Not loving:  that we still have three more weeks until John comes home.
Looking forward to: cleaning out some closets this weekend (LESS!)
Feeling:  relieved that the girls are all done with finals and all three did well.
Wrapping up:  the last of 6 recommendations that I had to write this week.  It's that time of year.
Inspired by:  the book, 7 by Jen Hatmaker.  I loved it.
Grateful for:  the help of our neighbor who rescued Emily from the NHS parking lot last night when her car wouldn't start.
Needing to:  do my homework from my photography class.
Worried about:  doing my homework from my photography class.  I am scared of manual.
Trying:  a new recipe for dinner:  Chorizo and Shrimp.

What are you up to today?



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I Made Wednesday #3--Felt Ball Magnets

Hi Friends!

Welcome to What I Made Wednesday #3!  This week's project is about as simple as it gets.  In fact, it took me way longer to photograph this project than it did to make it (true story).  

I've had a crush on all things felt for quite a while now, so when I saw these amazingly bright, happy felt balls over at Ornamentea a few years ago, I fell head-over-heels in love. I immediately ordered a set and then tried to come up with something to do with them.  For a while, they sat in a bowl in the middle of my dining room table.  Then, they went into a vase.  Then, they got shifted into the den.  A few weeks ago, I found them in a box.  Clearly, that's no place for them, so I decided to give them a new life as magnets.  Thankfully, I had a whole bunch of assorted sizes of magnets laying around from a previous project, so I just fired up the glue gun, and stuck them on.
Then I had fun sticking them all over the place.  I think I like them best on the big chalkboard in my office: 
 Hooray for another simple, fun (and functional!) project!
Have you made anything fun lately?



The "Long Live Handmade" postcard came with an order from Elise's Etsy store, back in the day.  It's been hanging in my craft room since the day it arrived. These days she sells handmade goodness here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Project Life//January 7-13 + 2013 Title Page

 Hi Friends!

Yahoo!  Another week, another fun Project Life layout. Yesterday my Seafoam kit arrived--I love it!  You will start seeing all kinds of Elise's fabulous designs showing up in my pages in the next few weeks.  The top picture is the title page for this year's album.  The "Hello 2013" is a free printable from here--isn't it cute?  The words for the journaling on the the "one week at a time" card were found here.

Last week was full of busy goodness:  Maddie's birthday, Raffi's return from California, John's new glasses and Jack's field trip.
I am still working on using what I have, which is easy right now, but might get harder once all the good letters are gone from my sticker sheets.  : )  The quote on the middle is a free printable from Elise's blog.
 I recreated the little card I made for the top of Maddie's cake to include in my layout (she wanted to keep the original). There are a whole bunch of colors going on in this week's layout and I'm okay with that.  It's fun when everything goes together, but some weeks the colors just don't match.  This week I just tried to celebrate color.
And that's that!  I love this project.

Thanks for looking!



Monday, January 14, 2013

If You Are Married to John Terlap

If you are married to John Terlap, your life will be filled with unwavering love, true support, and stability.

If you are married to John Terlap, you will learn all about disc golf, you'll watch a whole lot of the Golf Channel, and you will gradually learn to love listening to ESPN radio in the car.

If you are married to John Terlap, you will never have to mop the floor or clean a bathtub.

If you are married to John Terlap, you will need to have a basic understanding of how a budget works, be ready to leave the house early, and you'll have to resist the urge to turn the air conditioning down to 65 degrees during the summer.

If you are married to John Terlap, you will always have at least one bag or suitcase in your bedroom that is 87% unpacked.

If you are married to John Terlap, you will never have to understand mortgage rates, or how to file the taxes.

If you are married to John Terlap, you will never have to worry that he won't be where he's supposed to be.

If you are married to John Terlap, you will learn that it's okay to have to wait for some of the things you want.

If you are married to John Terlap, you'll get used to people telling you you're married to a good guy, because John Terlap is one of life's good guys.

I'm so thankful I'm married to John Terlap.



PS  How hot does John look in his new reading glasses?!?  He just got them before he left for Russia on Saturday.  Hurry back, John, so I can watch you work on the computer in your new glasses!  : )

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Look!

Oh. My. Goodness!  Can I just say how much I absolutely LOVE my new blog design?!!?  My fabulous design-goddess sister, Christy, created my new look, and I couldn't be more pleased!  I told her I wanted clean and modern and she made some magic!!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Christy!  You are my hero.

I'd also like to give a big shout out my fantastic coding-goddess daughter, Maddie, for installing all of Christy's goodness.  Maddie, you are a genius!  I don't know what I would do without you!  Thank you!!!!

Here's to Joyful Whimsy's new look for 2013!

Thanks for making me look good, ladies!

I love you both!


Friday, January 11, 2013

Nope. Still Not a Fan.

Dear Chemistry,

Let's face it;  you and I have a history, and it's not a good one.  You made me cry.  A lot.  You tried your best to ruin my junior year of high school what with your formulas and periodic tables and hot plates and Bunsen burners. You and your equations and your molecules and such.   The truth is, I hated you.  When I walked away from your lab, I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our relationship was over.  I want you to know that you have not been missed.  There has not been a single day that I have looked back and felt any kind of warm tingly feelings about you.  

But now, by some weird twist of fate, I have given birth to children who are intrigued by you.  They talk about you and your chemical properties.  They are actually fond of you.  I am sure that this fondness comes from John's side.  I know I did not contribute any positive chemistry genes.  

Today, I chaperoned a field trip Jack's class took to UW-Oshkosh.  I knew it was a science field trip, but nobody told me it was a chemistry field trip.  It wasn't until I was already trapped on a vinyl-covered bus seat that I found out that the 6th graders were going to do chemistry all day.  I immediately went into panic mode.  I seriously had to calm myself down on the trip to campus.  I worked hard to try and convince myself that I might actually like you this time around, now that I am older and wiser and stuff.

But no.  You made me squirm today, chemistry.  You were just as "chemistry" as I remembered.  By the end, I was literally desperate to get out of that lab.  I kept watching Jack to see if he could tell that I was freaking out on the inside, but he was too busy enjoying himself to notice my discomfort.  He was smiling and engaged in all the discussions.  It was amazing.  As I was sitting there willing myself not to start repeatedly bang my head against my lab table, he was over there having a blast making Gack and liquid soap, and other sticky things.  He looked like he was having the time of his life.  Go figure.

The good news is that it doesn't seem like any of my kids have inherited my dread of Chemistry.  The better news is that I can't think of a single reason why I will ever have to step foot in a Chemistry lab again.  You better believe I will be asking for more details before I sign up to chaperone another "science" field trip again.  : )

Goodbye, Chemistry.  It's not me.  It's definitely you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Words to Live By

This print hangs in my kitchen.  It pretty much sums it all up, doesn't it?  

You can get one here.



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What I Made Wednesday//Less Wall Art

Hi Friends!

Check out my new artwork!  I wanted to make something with my One Little Word on it for this week's "What I Made Wednesday", and I just happened to have an empty cubbie in my new wall now that the Christmas decorations are put away.  Since my word is "less," I wanted to keep it simple.  I checked my supplies and discovered I didn't have any blank canvases.  Bummer.  I knew I would be totally busted if I went out and bought craft supplies, since my whole goal with this weekly challenge is to use my stash, so I scavenged in the garage.  Guess what I found?  A perfect, already-cut piece of plywood leftover from the wall project.  I checked with John, and he said I could have it.  Then I raided his spray paint supply.
After a couple coats of matte white spray paint, I had a clean canvas to work with.  Next, I went through my stash and found some large stickers. I didn't want to actually use the stickers, I just wanted to use their outlines as stencils. I gently pulled the outlines from the stickers, lined them up, and stuck them to my board.  After many attempts at getting them straight, I pushed them down to seal them.
 Then it was time to paint.  I used some red craft paint I had on hand and filled in the stencils.
 After the paint dried, I gently removed the stencils.  For the most part, the stencils worked great, but you need to be careful not to get too much paint on them, because they stuck where they were wet.  Then it was time to call in John to have him drill a hole so I could hang it (I am not allowed to play with his power tools.).  : )
 Then, all that was left was to hang it up and enjoy its awesomeness.

I love how it turned out.  I love its sparse look--it's so perfectly "less".  : )

Have you made anything crafty lately?  Leave me a link in the comments!



PS See that fabulous photo of the vintage camera in the middle section?  It was a free download from Catherine over at Design Editor.  I absolutely love it.

PPS  John asked me if I was going to take a picture every time I changed something in one of the cubbies.  This is the second time this week I've asked him to help me move the dining room table and chairs out of the room so I could get a clean shot.  As I type, my dining room table is smack dab in the middle of  the main hallway, and all the chairs are in scattered in my family room.  It's basically the biggest fire trip, ever, and kind of a pain to get around, but totally worth it so I could get a good picture.  : )

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Project Life//December 31st-January 6th

Hi Friends!

The first week of 2013 is in the books!  I know I've said it a million times, but I really love Project Life.  I love that I am back to documenting our life in such an easy and fun way.  I love that I'm capturing all kinds of little moments--not just the big ones.  It's so much fun to go back and look at these albums.
 Last week was filled with New Year's Eve activities, a special Austrian dinner prepared by Raffi, and a Sunday trip up to the UP to ski at Pine Mountain. As promised, I broke out my stash and went to town.  I am determined to use up what I have before I buy more this year (with the exception of the Seafoam kit. I am totally buying Elise's fabulous kit as soon as it gets listed on this weekend.)  But that's it.  Seriously.  Less in 2013.
Speaking of "Less", I made sure my One Little Word 2013 was documented in my spread.  I'm thinking of documenting my monthly goals in PL, too, but maybe not.  This is supposed to be a family album, after all. The "January 2013" card on the top left was a free printable from here.  I liked its simplicity, especially since the rest of the layout is rather busy.  I also liked how it balanced the "All you need is less" card on the upper right.

On to week #2 of 2013!  Are you doing Project Life?  I'd love to see your layouts--leave me a link in the comments!  Thanks!



PS I'm linking up with Jessica over at The Mom Creative.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy Birthday, Maddie

This girl.
This girl loves music,
and HGTV,
and football,
and chai lattes.

This girl.
Has the biggest heart.
She's loyal
and true.

This girl.
Feels deeply.
She'll cry with me,
and make me laugh loud and hard.

This girl.
Has worlds going on inside her head.
She doesn't miss a thing.
She sees.

This girl.
Is strong
and brave,
and wise beyond her years.

This girl.
Lives deep in my heart.
I love you, middle girl.

Happy 15th Birthday, Maddie-Boo.  I'm so glad you were born.  I hope this year is filled with love, laughter, and good memories.




Saturday, January 5, 2013

January Goals {Less}

In {January 2013} I Choose to…*

*Unsubscribe from all store emails.  {Less temptation & impulsive on-line buying}

*Make no unnecessary purchases in January.  {We really don’t need anything}

*Go to the grocery store no more than 2 times per week—{Less trips & excess buying each week}

*Try one new recipe from Maria’s book per week—{Less gluten}

*Limit myself to 2 hours of screen time per day. {Less wasted time}

*Arrive 5 minutes early to everything.  {Less being late}

Let's do this!



*If my format looks familiar, it's because I am taking Elise Blaha-Cripe's "I Choose" class in 2013.  I'm not going to lie, I'm feeling a little empowered using the words, "I Choose" as I set my goals. : )

Friday, January 4, 2013

Best. Wall. Ever.

Hi Friends!

As promised, here are a few photos of the incredibly awesome wall John built in our dining room. I absolutely love it. Start-to-finish, it took John about 3 months to complete. I basically gave him a sketch, and he made it happen. There was a whole lot of measuring and planning, and re-measuring and more planning. And then, the day after Thanksgiving it was done--just in time to decorate for Christmas. Isn't it magical? I love that each cubbie is filled with its own goodness: antique treasures accumulated over the years, favorite photographs, and of course, books. It's like having my own museum to curate--I can change out the little cubbies whenever the mood strikes.
The left side of the wall is filled with a good mixture of new and old treasures.  The "Oui" letters were found in a small town in Texas while I was shopping with my friends, Doni & Bonita.  The large #3 is an Etsy find.  The blue Mason jars, Santa tray, white button collection, and letterpress "1992" were found out antiquing with my dad.  The Chicago board is from Red Letter Words.  The skinny Santa's were carved by my Papa, and the round Santa was made by John's mom.    The top left photo is from our honeymoon, and the book tied with a ribbon on the bottom was made by my sister in college.  The photo matted in green is a picture Christy took of me in Paris (love it!).
 The middle section holds my blue bottle collection, along with some blue-spined books.  The antique fan was found with my dad at Alida's Antiques in Paris, Texas.  It still works!  All four of the sparkly cones were found at a little shop in my home town.  I think I picked up the "READ" letters on that same trip with Doni and Bonita.  I won that "Important Dates" print from Melissa at The Larson Lingo.
The right side's antique treasures include a bowling set John's dad played with as a child, books from my mom's childhood (and her high school graduation picture), a window and a jar of ornaments found in Texas, fishing bobbers I used to catch bluegills as a child, a camera my dad gave Maddie, and some keys John's mom bought me at an antique store.  The right side also holds a framed piece of sheet music containing a song one of my staff members wrote for me, three mini albums I've made over the last two years, the "Don't forget to be Awesome" felt piece I made, a little Jack-in-the-Box ornament John's mom made, and a little camera painting I won from Lindsay at Pen & Paint.  The big sparkle tree I got last year after Christmas on clearance at Pier One.  I love how it looks in that long space.

There are a few sections that will probably always stay the same, but for the most part, nothing is permanent. In fact, the cubbies above that hold Christmas decorations are now standing empty, ready to be filled up with new things later today.  I can't wait to see what I can come up with!

And there you have it, the best wall ever!  Thanks, John, for making my dreams come true!