Wednesday, May 29, 2013


time : 9:06 am

location : Sitting in John's chair in the family room.  Buster is right beside me.wearing : Yucky workout clothes from this morning's spin class.  I haven't showered yet.  Yes.  I am completely lovely.

eating : Cherry tomatoes right out of the plastic container.

listening : To nothing.  It is completely silent except for the clickity-clack of my fingernails hitting the keyboard.

on my desk : all sorts of supplies for this week's PL layout and the scrapbook Raffi is working on to take home with her.

loving :  Arrested Development on Netflix--my latest obsession.

feeling : excited that summer vacation is almost here.

wondering : why Emily gets so many headaches all the time.

enjoying : going to Greg's lacrosse games.  Between Raffi and Greg, I have developed quite a love of lacrosse this spring.

looking forward : to meeting Raffi's mom on Friday.

on my nightstand : A whole big stack of fabulous books to read:  A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, David Sedaris, Toughness, Jay Bilas, The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout, Life After Life, Kate Atkinson, and And the Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini. 

What's up with you today?



Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday Project Life Blog Hop!

Hey Friends!

Just stopping in today to tell you that my Project Life layout from this week is being featured over at Michelle's Project Life Blog Hop.  Head on over to Busy Being Happy to check it out and to see the other fabulous spreads being featured!!

Thanks, Michelle!



Friday, May 24, 2013

For Always

Dear John,

You promised to love me forever.
And you have.
You promised to always take care of me.
And you have.
You promised to be a good husband and father.
And you have.
I am the luckiest girl in the world.
I am living my happily-ever-after
with you.

Happy Anniversary.



Five For Friday

1.  This amazing video about Zach Sobiech's last days has made the rounds this week, but just in case you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth watching.  "You don't have to find out you're dying to start living."  What a remarkable young man.  Warning:  this will probably make you cry, but watch it anyway.

2. I've been dreaming of getting away with John and the kids.  If money was no object, I'd totally rent this private island just so I could say, "Oh, yes. I remember that summer we rented that private island."

3.  On a far more serious note:  The weather around here has been so lovely that it's hard to imagine what has happened down in Oklahoma.  One of my favorite bloggers, Ashley Ann, lives down in OK and put together this list of ways we can help the victims of the tornadoes.

4.  As a Bears fan who grew up smack dab in the middle of the Ditka era, I was thrilled to hear this news.

5.  Jack and I really want to see this movie.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Those of us in the US will celebrate Memorial Day on Monday--a holiday set aside to honor those who have served our country.  It's also the "unofficial" start of summer, so there will definitely be a parade (Emily will play in the marching band), some grilling out, and maybe a boat ride (yahoo!).



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What I Made Wednesday {Book Journal}

 Hi Friends!

Check out my new book journal!  As someone who has had a life-long love affair with all things paper, I have had more-than-my-share of journals over the years.  I don't think I have ever completely filled one before this one:
One of my Fab Four down in Paris, Elle, gave me this journal after she took my writing class.  I decided to use it to write book reviews in.  The idea was that I would have a permanent record of each and every book I read.  Unlike most of my big ideas, I have actually religiously stuck to this idea over the years.  I started filling in this journal in January of 2005.  I love looking back through this journal and seeing what I wrote about various books over the years.  I especially like it when I find a little note written in the margin, like the one below.
Well, 8 1/2 years later, the journal is filled, and I needed a plan.  When I spied this journal on the Saturday Morning Vintage blog, I knew I had found my new book journal.  I dug through my stash of vintage papers and odds and ends and decorated the cover.  I also added a few simple embellishments to the inside pages.
 How awesome are these S&H stamps?!?  I remember them from my youth (that totally makes me sound like I'm 100!).

 All of the embellishments are vintage, including this cigar label:

I am so glad this journal is done, because I have a backlog of books to record.

Hooray for new fun journals filled with blank pages just waiting to be written on!



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Project Life {May 13-19}

 Hi Friends~

Another fun week is in the book!  I ended up with tons of pictures from last week, including a bunch of all the fabulous flowers that are finally (!) blooming up here. There is no shortage of color on this spread, huh?
On the left side I included a picture of a journal I am working on, as well one of my favorite sandals.  Yay for sandal weather!   I love, love, love that picture of the girls in the lower right corner.
The girls were down in Chicago with the Drama Club.  In the space of about 24 hours, they went to Second City and saw Oliver! and the Blue Man Group.  They had a blast!  I stole the picture of Jack off of his Facebook page.   I'm not sure exactly what is going on there, but it totally captures his goofiness.
 The right side contains my favorite (of about 25) pictures of Greg from his lacrosse game Monday night.  A cold front went through Wisconsin that night, and Emily and I ended up freezing our tootsies off, even though we were snuggled up under blankets.

I also included a shot of some of the notes I took at my swim conference.  The polka dots are from the bedspread in the room I stay in at Tom and Tommy's.  So fun!

Okay.  I know I am a total geek, but I had to include a shot of the Beautiful Mess app I bought last week.  It is so much fun.  I have been adding text and cute doodles to all of my pictures (it's kind of addicting!).

I love this project!

Thanks for looking!


Linking up with Jessica over at The Mom Creative

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five for Friday

(My brother, Tom, at his swearing in ceremony this week.  He's now an alderman in Blue Island, Illinois!  I'm so proud!)

Hello Friends!

It's Friday!  Yahoo!  All six of us are scattering in different directions this weekend.  The boys (including Buster) are heading down to John's parents' house for the weekend.  Jack is going to hang out with Grammy while John plays in a tournament.  Emily and Maddie are headed to Chicago for the drama club trip.  They are going to see Oliver and Blue Man Group (I'm so jealous!).  Raffi will spend the weekend with her friend, Klara--they have a lacrosse game tomorrow and they are going to Wisconsin Dells on Sunday.  I am heading to a coaching clinic in Oak Brook, Illinois.  I'm not sure who is going to have the most fun.  Ready for some link love?  Here's five things that caught my attention this week:

1.  Two things that are making me super happy right now:  my new sandals and the A Beautiful Mess iPhone app.

2.  I bought this book and plan on bringing it with me this weekend.

3. This post by the inspirational Lisa Leonard really made me think.  Everything doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

4.  This pizza looks divine.  She had me at caramelized onions and blue cheese.

5.  This video of kids trying new foods is completely adorable.  I wish I had captured my kiddos making these faces.

Have an awesome weekend!!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Project Life {May 6-12}

 Hi Friends!

I had so much fun doing my Project Life spread from last week--I think it was because the week was jam-packed with activities, so I had no problem filling up the spaces.  I decided I'm going to do prom as its own 2-page spread so I don't have to try and cram it in an already busy week.  I'll be sure to show you the prom layout in another post.

 Last week was a big one, even without prom!  Maddie started Driver's Ed on Monday.  Holy cow!  I can't believe it!  It seems like Emily just finished Driver's ed!  Maddie is in the classroom part right now.  She'll get her temps in July, and then she can get out on the road.  As I mentioned in a previous post, Emily started her AP tests last week.  I was so excited to stick those "I heart math" pencils in her good luck bag.  She loved them.  : )  Last week also included Jack's last archery club meeting and Emily's final band concert.  Time is flying by!
 Of course, the other highlight of the week was Mother's Day.  Christy came up on Saturday to help Emily get ready for Prom (she is the best Auntie!!), and I loved getting to spend some alone time with her before she left Sunday morning.  We spent Mother's Day at Amy & Bob's house.  It's the second year in a row that we spent Mother's Day together--it's such a fun tradition!
After Emily and Raffi left for prom, Christy, Maddie, and I went to see Gatsby while Jack and his friends saw Ironman 3.  I completely enjoyed Gatsby-- it was grand and lovely.  Jack & his friends loved Ironman 3.  Did you see the awesome blueberry bush I got for Mother's Day?  It was a total surprise.  Blueberries are one of my all-time favorite foods.  I can't wait to be able to pick my own berries!

I love this project.

Thanks for looking!



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

Monday, May 13, 2013


 Hi Friends!

Prom was every bit as magical for Emily and Raffi as I had hoped it would be.  Both girls looked completely lovely.
 I had so much fun taking their pictures.

 Raffi got ready over at her friend, Klara's house.  Klara is an exchange student, too.  We zipped over to Klara's house to get some pictures of Emily and Raffi together.  Raffi went to prom with a huge group of girlfriends.
After a few pictures of just the girls, it was time to head over and let Emily begin her Prom night with Greg.
 Greg and Emily have been dating for 7 months.  They looked completely wonderful together Saturday night.
 Emily & Greg went to dinner at The Melting Pot with their friends, Luke & Kirsten and Ben & Charlotte.
 Don't the ladies look lovely?
 It rained and hailed pretty much all day on Saturday, and then about a half hour before we were supposed to meet to take pictures, the sun came out.  Magical.
 Greg and Emily were very patient as I repeatedly asked for "just one more picture, I promise!"

 I love this picture of Emily laughing:

Hooray for magical Prom nights!



Friday, May 10, 2013

Five For Friday

1.  Emily started her AP (Advanced Placement) tests this week.  First up:  Calculus.  I marvel at the fact that someone who is part me loves math.  It just doesn't make sense.  I tucked a set of these into her good luck package this week.  They said it was the first set they've sold, which did not surprise me at all*.

2.  I liked this article about Grandmothers and their best meal.  If my grandma was alive, I'd take her picture with her spinach ravioli.  It was magical.

3.  Even though I know I'm not supposed to, I often judge a book by its cover.  I never buy a book that has the movie tie-in cover with the actors and actresses on it.  Yuck.  This article about gender-specific covers was interesting.  In every case, I preferred the "male" cover.  I wonder what that says about me?

4.  Do you like Arnold Palmers (the drink, not the golfer)?  Jack is obsessed with Peace Tea's Caddy Shack, which is basically an Arnold Palmer without his name.  It comes in humongous cans, and he can down one in a jiffy.

5.  Maddie is counting the days down until Lollapoolza.  She loves music.  Loves it.  She wants to start collecting vinyl records.  I think she needs this gem to play them on.  Isn't it cute?!?

Have a wonderful Friday, friends!  I'm off to celebrate Amy's fabulousness--it's her birthday!



*They didn't really says this.  But really, how many sets of "I heart math" could they have possibly sold?  : )

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Smile and Wave

Hi Friends,

Every morning after I drop off the kiddos and go through the drive through to get my chai latte, I pass by a crossing guard at the corner of Lake & Caroline Street.  Every morning, without fail, that crossing guard smiles and waves at me.  Every morning.  I have no idea who that woman is.  In fact, if I fell on her at the grocery store, I might not even realize it was the same person, but her smile and wave never fails to make me happy.  

She waves when it's bitter outside and all you can see is her eyes and nose peeking out from under all the layers of clothing she's wearing.  She waves when it's raining and the water is dripping off her yellow reflective vest.  She waves when it's sunny and the birds are singing.  She waves when the Packers win (I know she's a fan because she wears a Packers scarf), and she waves when the Packers lose.  Each and every day she waves.

One time I was picking up a friend who lives in the neighborhood around Lake & Caroline Streets.  The crossing guard was standing at her corner.  I said something about how I always got excited when the crossing guard waved at me.  She said, "Oh, she waves at everybody."

I thought about that for a while.  Here's a woman who is known for her waving;  she's the woman who smiles and waves at everybody.  There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of crossing guard action at the corner of Lake & Caroline Streets in Neenah.  It's not an especially busy intersection.  I'd imagine that job could get downright boring day after day.  But this woman (who I lovingly refer to as my favorite crossing guard) has chosen to make the best out of every single day.  Who knows how many people she waves to each day?  Who knows how many people look forward to her wave as they pass by her each morning*.  Who knows how many people have a bit brighter day because my favorite crossing guard took the time to see them as they passed by her each day.

I tell you what;  I love her spirit.  I love that she takes the time to smile and wave at me each day.  I don't know her, but I am so fond of her.  She completely makes my day.  

Such a small thing done with great love.  



*Full disclosure:  I always put my tea in the cup holder before I see her so I can wave back to her.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Project Life {April 29-May 5}

Hey Friends!

I did it!  I am all caught up!  Yahoo! I am totally doing a happy dance this afternoon!

 Emily and Maddie were back working in Pickard Auditorium getting ready for the big Vintage (swing choir) finale on Saturday night.  When Emily is not involved in a show, she gets paid to work in Pickard, Maddie just volunteers (she's hoping it will turn into a job for her, too).   I did manage to snag some time with Maddie on Tuesday night.  We had so much fun shopping and laughing together.  After shopping, we went to Olive Garden.  Maddie loves their bread sticks.  We had some gorgeous weather last week (and some rain), and Amy and I got out to swing buckets of golf balls at the range.  Very fun.
 Raffi had a tournament in Sun Prairie on Saturday.  John, Jack, and I went and cheered her on.  The teams were much tougher this week, but the NHS girls did well.  That night, we went out with Bob and Amy.  Super fun.  I will leave you with a little close up of my soup chowder from Tuesday night--it was completely delicious:
Hope you have a fantastic day!



Linking this one up with The Mom Creative, too!