Saturday, December 31, 2011


You kinda kicked out butts this year. We were going along pretty smoothly and in April decided to move into a much smaller place so that we could save money, then a week after we moved...changes in Shaun's employment left us struggling...hard. So even though this last part of the year has been very tough for us, good things/lessons have come out of the whole situation. Thank goodness for our families, who have been an amazing support. And thank goodness we are employed, so many in this economy don't even have that. I am grateful for what we do have, our health, and each other...I do love this little family of ours so very much and looking back on the year, there have been some great times:
*click collage to view bigger*

Lots of beach time, tooth fairy visits, snuggles, giggles, candles on cakes, visits from grandparents. Lots of kisses, stories read, messes made, pictures painted/colored. Looking back at the pictures from the year, my heart is happy seeing how the relationship between A+K has grown. 

I have no idea what 2012 has in store for us. I am feeling the anticipation that a new year brings...and I like that. Things feel possible.

So I am wishing you a 2012 full of laughter, love, and opportunities.

Friday, December 30, 2011

my top ten

Now that we are coming to the end of the year, I wanted to share some (there are a few I can't share until they are published, so that is why I say some) of my favorite layouts from the year.

This was a big year for me in terms of scrapbooking. It is funny to me how it all seems to happen at door opens and then more and more.I am so very thankful for the design opportunities and publications I have had this year, I still can't believe half of it!! One of the best things that I have met so many more great girls through these opportunities, and that I have had my eyes opened to many designers I wasn't familiar with before!

okay, I will quit rambling and share my personal favorite layouts from the year:

and just for fun, some of my favorite cards:
Did you do a similar post?! Link me up, I would love to see your favorite things you created in 2011!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

christmas 2011

Did everyone have a wonderful Christmas? We did....I love the ages the kids are at right now, it makes is so magical:) Santa was good to us all and I was so thankful to have some family in town! My camera battery died early Christmas morning and I have yet to find the charger. So there will be lots of camera photos until I find it! To keep up with my December Daily (my goal is to have it done before January ends, ha!), here are the photos+words from the last part of December:
writing letters to Santa. It amazes me to see how everything (handwriting, spelling, etc.) improves each year.
When I was at work one day, Shaun and the kids created a "winter wonderland," as A called it, using Kieran's train tracks, "snow," and the ice cream cone Christmas trees we made:)
Christmas stories. I love pulling all of the books out in the beginning of the month. We didn't get any new books this year, but the favorites stayed the same, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher.
decorating gingerbread men:)
When we were done, they each ate one and Kieran kept exclaiming, "I ate his eye!" "I ate his nose!" It was so funny!
Love all the fun mail that comes in December:) There were even a few dt box surprises in there, so extra happy mail!!
making peppermint bark:) These guys were such helpers in all the baking we were doing right before Christmas!
My Mom requested an updated picture of the kids, so this was the best we got:)
Uncle Phillip helping out decorating cookies for Santa:)
They had quite the assembly line going on here!
Setting out cookies and milk (and 9 carrots for the reindeer) on Christmas Eve.
Christmas morning. Santa brought Kieran some trains and tracks, and Aislynn some Twinkle Toes shoes and oil pastels:) And he filled their stockings with all sorts of goodies, which they are for breakfast;)
A Merry Christmas indeed. Now that we have that all wrapped up (well...our tree is still hanging in there and we are almost done eating the peppermint brownies and cookies and treats we had laying around here), we are ready to ring in 2012! I hope to get up a year-in-review type post if time allows!

Friday, December 23, 2011

merry christmas!

Are you ready for Christmas?! Aislynn and Kieran are so excited, I love it! We are going to be baking lots of goodies today, including Santa's cookies:)

Before I sign off for the holidays, I wanted to share a few Christmas cards I have created over the last
couple of weeks.

I created this using American Crafts Hollyday line. I love those tags so much, so this was just a quick card to focus on them. I added some twine from The Twinery, and it was done!
Another card using Hollyday. I love the classic colors in that line! I also love the dimensional cute is that Christmas tree? It had the presents attached to it already, talk about easy embellishing!

I created this card for Ormolu. Each member of the creative team made a card to wish Ormolu fans Happy Holidays...check out the rest of the cards here!!
Finally, I have this card, which I created for the Let it Snow card challenge on the card forum at the Nook. I used the December kit, as well as twine from my stash.
I hope everyone has the Merriest Christmas!!! Sending much love and joy to you and your family!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ten on tuesday

1. Sometimes I should not stay up past my bedtime to bake. Because I might add 3 sticks of butter in the dough for cookies instead of 1 1/2 sticks. And they will be thin and crispy and nowhere near as tasty as our favorite cookies normally are.
p.s. try them, but don't add 3 sticks of butter...I guarantee they will become at least in your top 3 favorite cookies;)
2. I have a lot of kitchen mistake confessions...another one added to the list yesterday. I got dinner all ready in the crock pot but um...forgot to turn it on. It "cooked" for 5 hours, then the timer went off for Shaun to add some stuff in, and he finds it off. oops!!
3. These cookies were made for Aislynn's class party last Friday and they were awesome. No mistakes were made in making these;) I am thinking these are the cookies Santa wants this year. 
4. I made this for my lunches this week and it was freakin' yummy. Roasted broccoli, who knew you were so tasty?!
5. In an attempt to incorporate more leafy greens in my diet (after I eat all of those cookies), this is next on the menu.
6. Moving on from food...I had a layout makeover on the American Crafts blog yesterday. Go check it out (p.s. there is a giveaway of the Chap collection on there!).
7. I have a page featuring Mr. Kieran in the December Bella Blvd newsletter. Check it out...there are some pretty things in there with their Christmas and Winter collections!!
8. The January My Scrapbook Nook kit is shipping to subscribers and it is beautiful. I looooove it so, this collection (Lily Bee Head Over Heels) was one of my favorites from the last CHA.
9. Don't forget to leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a 3 month subscription to the Nook!!
10. The Nook is doing another card kit/class and this time it is a Valentine's themed class...featuring the yummy Crate Paper Paper Heart collection! Snag your kit and spot in class HERE.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

catching up a bit

with my photos for December. Some days I have taken more than others and have more stories to tell, but the way I am approaching my album is to include 25 stories from the month, rather than 25 days. Some of my album was posted on the Ormolu blog here, take a peek if you'd like!

Now on to what we have been up to...
I saw this in Disney Family Fun magazine. The first time I made it, we used olives for the eyes, but theses kids eat olives like they are candy, so we ran out pretty quickly. So weird, Shaun and I both don't like olives, but the kids love them! The photo in the magazine had red pepper strips for the mouth, but the ones at the store looked not so good, so we used pepperoni.
Aislynn's school Christmas program, The Incredible Reindeer:) I could tell she was searching the crowds for us, and once she found us, she kept on waving!
The red cups. Even though I *know* you can still order holiday drinks not at Christmas, there is something about the red cup that makes me happy:) This year, my drink of choice is an eggnog chai latte. Try it, it is so yummy! The eggnog really compliments the spices in the chai!
We heard about a 14 feet high gingerbread house in the lobby of one of the hotels around here, so we went to check it out. They had a train running around and around it, can you guess who just loved that (and threw a gigantic fit when we were leaving the choo choo)?
There was a giant column in the middle with marshmallows...any guesses on how many?
over 3,000! When Aislynn heard that, she commented on how she wished she could eat the gingerbread house!
We drove around and looked at lights and we saw this house which was insane how many lights it had! The kids were amazed...heck, Shaun and I were amazed! This photo doesn't even do it justice, the front, side, and back of the house were covered in lights, and the front had a little pond in the yard, so there was a beautiful reflection of the trees in the water.
Battling the sickies...every year around this time, it seems like something goes through all of us. Shaun and I got over it fairly quickly, but the kids are just now starting to get over it. Nothing serious, just low-grade fever, sore throat, congestion, cough...that kinda stuff.
Meeting Santa. The last 2 years, Kieran was so unsure about Santa, but this year, while waiting in line, Kieran kept calling out Santa and waving...trying to get his attention! Once he got on his lap, he totally turned shy!
Aislynn drew Santa a picture of her and him on his sleigh, with a note asking if she could go on his sleigh with him;) He said a lot of kids ask him that and that if he took all of the kids that asked, there would be no room on his sleigh! He also told her that her parents might be worried about her when she was gone;) Then Aislynn told him she wanted oil pastels. When Santa asked Kieran what he wanted, he just smiled at Santa. Santa asked him if he liked cars and Kieran said yes, then Santa asked him if he liked trains and he said yes, with more enthusiasm. Then Santa asked him if he liked Thomas the Train, and Kieran replied with a very VERY excited yes!!
and finally a craft inspired by this pin. The kids enjoyed this so much!! We have plans to do our gingerbread houses soon.

I hope everyone is enjoying their December!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

more december nook

I have been playing more with the December kit from My Scrapbook Nook. I am a little bit sad because all of the paper from the kit is chopped up into little bits:( This has definitely been one of my favorite kits to play with, love Crate Paper!
Pictures of us decorating the tree last year. I was in love with the chipboard from the kit, how cute are those ornaments?!
Meeting Santa last year. We saw him again last night, and I will be hopefully posting pictures soon!! Can you believe it's only 9 days to Christmas? Goodness, this month is flying by!
The thickers are from my stash, and are not included in the kit;)
A card I made that was inspired by this pin, and I created it for an origami card challenge, Jessy is hosting on the Cards forum.

I was responsible for the Altered Item class this month, so I put together a jar of hot cocoa mix. You can see the step-by-step with photos here.
That's all for now...I will hopefully get some pictures+stories up here to keep my December Daily going, as well as a couple of American Crafts shares.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!