Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Big Questions

When is the ideal time to brush my teeth in the morning if I'm drinking coffee nonstop? (BEFORE is not an acceptable answer since I need the first thing to touch my lips to be coffee or the entire day is officially shot. Obviously.)

How long can I put off opening the sandbox and avoid the piles of wet sand and dirt that will walk back in the house stuck to little Hobbit feet? 

Do you think he knows this isn't actually a helmet? 

If a toddler drops a jar of pickles in Aisle 4 of the grocery store, but no one is around to see it, does it still make a sound? 

Why does my three year old think "being Iron Man" means dunking his foot in the toilet while he poops? 

What is so great about dirt, ashes, paper wrappers, pine needles, leaves, and used gum that they are infinitely more appealing to my son than a home-cooked meal?

How do I make every cup in my cupboard into a "favorite cup?"

Is there a way to make every vegetable disguise itself as chicken nuggets and French fries?

Why is it that these creatures seem to want to eat every. Single. Day. I swear, I just get cleaned up from feeding all these people and then they want me to do it all over again. Like, multiple times each day. Is this normal behavior? 

How much would it cost to soundproof my bathroom?

How much would it cost to stink-proof my bathroom? 

Please advise. 

Your friendly neighborhood philosopher

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - Pop o' Red!

Ever since I found this gem of a necklace in my last box from Stitch Fix, I've been loving tossing a pop of red into my outfits. 

 White T-shirt - Target, Polka Dot crop pants - Target, Flats - Target, Necklace - Stitch Fix

Please pardon the wild hair in this ensemble, but really this is a typical kind of casual outfit for me.  And if the source of these items is any indication, it's probably something I wore to Target to buy toilet paper and diapers only to somehow end up spending $100.  Because there is some kind of weird voodoo curse on Target that stops me in my tracks as I reach for the AA batteries and suddenly I'm saying, "Ooooo look! A floral ottoman!"

Gray T-Shirt - Target, Jeans - Plato's Closet, Leopard flats - Target, Necklace - Stitch Fix

I wore this outfit to go get a haircut on a Saturday morning and I always like to look somewhat put together without going overboard to head to the salon.

 Jacket - Target, Rest is same as above

Of course after Haley has her way with me, I get to walk around with flat ironed hair for a couple days so I feel like a new woman!

Polka Dot Blouse - The Limited, Red Belt - The Limited, Hudson Jeans - Macy's

I wore this outfit on Mother's Day and my pop of red obviously came from the belt this time.  

Black Tank - Target, Maxi Skirt - Target, Flip Flops - Old Navy, Necklace - Stitch Fix

Have you ever had that moment when you're wandering through Target with your cart already full of diapers, wipes, and a floral ottoman and suddenly you see it.  Over on the Clearance rack you see what can only be described as the Holy Grail.  That's what this skirt was for me.  I was just doing a quick pass through the racks of women's apparel and I saw this fantastic black and white maxi peeking out from under the bright red CLEARANCE! sign.  My heart skipped a beat as I checked the size tag and then I saw it was marked down to a whopping $5.48!!!  Oh. My. Word. 

Cue happy dance in the middle of Target.  You betcha.

Linking up once again over at The Pleated Poppy for some amazing fashion inspiration!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Falling Behind and Falling Asleep

It's been a good run, folks.  Looking back at Tuesdays round these parts, I've done a pretty darn good job of having a brand new Project Life post for you every week, but I just wasn't able to pull it off this time.

I have four weeks' worth of planning pages laying in a pile on my kitchen counter that I've been plugging away at with every spare moment over the last week or so.  But then I worked a 14 hour shift on Saturday and we went out on a date (wait....WHAT??!!) on Sunday that I kicked off with a two-hour nap because I was dog tired.

So tired that I fell asleep in minutes under a pile of laundry.

On Monday we visited my in laws for Memorial Day and my oldest son had one of the biggest meltdowns of his life on the drive home because he had to leave behind a foam sword.  The child was wailing.  And sobbing.  And shaking.  There was blubbering, folks.  Blubbering.

We had a tough time getting the kids to sleep when we landed back home and all I could think about was snuggling under a blanket with a bowl of chocolate fro-yo and The Voice on my DVR.

So I'm hoping I'll get to work on Project Life a bit later today, but if the last couple days are any indication I might end up just falling asleep instead.  I hope to have some brand new material for you next week!

Wish I Could Nap Every Day,

Thursday, May 23, 2013


We have a new rule in this house. 

Nobody under the age of 25 is allowed to lock a door.  

Why the tyrannical violence against the juvenile privacy of our residents?  I'll tell you why.  Because when I have about 15 minutes allotted to get myself ready for work before I have to start throwing together some semblance of a dinner for the kids to eat while I'm off schlepping drinks and pizza, I need things to be efficient.

What I do NOT need is to find my the door to my master bathroom locked.  From the inside.  As in, I could not open it. 

As it turns out, my two older boys had needed to take simultaneous poops earlier in the afternoon and so Isaiah had bolted to our bedroom to relieve himself.  Sorry I just wrote the word "poops."  For some unknown reason, he felt the need to assure his privacy and locked the door while he did his business.  Unfortunately, he failed to unlock the door when he had completed the job.

Closed the door behind him and trotted off to build a gun out of Legos without a care in the world.

Until Mommy needed to get work and suddenly I found myself bending a wire hanger and calling Evan at work, trying to hold back the tirade of curse words running through my head.  

Evan arrived home and had just as little luck as I did, so he had to bust out the drill to bore holes in the handle, sending metal shards showering onto the floor below. 

Thankfully, my shift at work was cancelled so I was able to tag along as we took our circus act to Menards to find a new door handle.

Never a dull moment around here, folks.  I posted these photos to Instagram and tweeted the whole ordeal with the hashtag #kidforsale.  There were several moments there where I was ready to make someone a really good deal and possibly even throw in a set of ginsu knives.

It's a good thing he's cute.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Waiting Out the Storm

A breath of fresh air can come when you least expect it.  When we were making the drive to the location of our family photo shoot, the text message I received from our photographer was enough to rattle me instantly:

There was a severe thunderstorm heading directly toward our shoot location and it was going be hitting precisely when we were supposed to be there.

Super duper.

The rain started pelting our van and the hail rattled on the windshield and I mourned the immanent loss of the photo showing a reasonably sane family and tried to get my head around the idea that I might not even be able to hide the Crazy of our world in front of a camera lens either.  It actually made sense that we would be shooting in a thunderstorm because it's very representative of the chaos of life with three boys sometimes.  You can go from sunshine and tulips to lightning bolts and hail in about four seconds flat.

We sat in our van inside a parking ramp for a while to try to wait out the rain and I kept the kids entertained by giving them snacks while they watched The Princess Bride on the DVD player.  (Isaiah makes me skip the part where Wesley fights the Rodents of Unusual Size in the Fire Swamp.)

Eventually we meandered up to the capitol building under the protection of our golf umbrella and got in a few sheltered shots under the safety of an overhang.  But before long, the clouds moved out and the rain started to dwindle.

And just like that....the sun came out once again and the water left covering the stone of the building made it almost look like it glistened.  The drops on the tulips seemed to make them sparkle just the tiniest bit.

I said a little prayer that the boys and my hair would behave and we started posing and smiling.

Friends, our photographer posted a single "sneak peek" image from our shoot on Facebook last night and I felt like a weight had been lifted.  Because even when the storm clouds roll in and the rain and thunder seems to take over everything, you can rest assured that there will come a moment when the sun returns and things start to look hopeful again.  It might take a while.  The waiting will seem frustrating, disheartening and pointless.

But waiting time is never wasted time.  (Thanks to She Reads Truth for that lesson.)

If we hadn't waited out the storm, we would have missed the sun gleaming on the granite.  When I saw this photo, it felt like I had been given a gift.  Like the Lord was saying to me, "Look daughter.  Just wait until the storm passes and I will bring to to a beautiful place."  Persevere.  Wait it out.  Stay hopeful.  And the time spent in the storm will most certainly come to an end.

Praying today for so many in Oklahoma for whom a devastating tornado was only the beginning of what may be the worst storm of their lives.  May this time of darkness be short and may those who have lost so much come quickly to a place of peace and grace, where the light begins to shine once more.

"In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  (John 16:33)

"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." (Psalm 27:14)

P.S.  I will share more of the photos from our family photo shoot when I get them, but I was just too excited about this first image not to show you all!

Project Life Tuesday - Thomas' Baby Book (Part 5)

The Mom CreativeWelcome to Project Life Tuesday!

It's been a while since I've shared some pages from Thomas' baby book and since I'm a few weeks behind now on my regular Project Life album, I figured it was a good time to toss a couple up here.

Thomas is most certainly no longer a baby, but is now a full blown toddler.  That's why I'm glad Project Life has come to the rescue!  I went a totally different route for this project and I bought the DIGITAL version of the Baby Edition for Him when it was on sale for 20% off when it was first released.  Because I went this route, I have been able to tinker around with it here and there as I have found time.  It's been nice to be able to work on my album without having to bust out my huge storage tote full of Project Life supplies and clutter up the kitchen table with my gear.  All I need is my computer and a planning sheet!

If you're looking for inspiration on what others are doing with their Project Life, you can check out my board on Pinterest and be sure to link up on The Mom Creative!

Did you catch the previous posts about Thomas' baby book?

Ali Edwards' stamps really came in handy for this book.  :)

The seventh month ended up with a lot of photos because that little stinker was just so darn cute!!!

I got a lot of photos of Thomas with our dog and then a whole series more of him outside wearing his little sunglasses.  I love that I don't really have to pick and choose, but can include as many of these photos as I want.  I clustered them together in an attempt to present them as a series. 

And then we have this final page for this week:

Much more colorful! 

This arrow brush was perfect for highlighting the hemangioma on his arm and how much it grew darker.

 Seriously.  That face.  There's just something about that last baby. 


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Zombies and Hail

You guys.

I promise at some point to do my best to entertain you with some witty and slightly off-color comments about what I did over the weekend.  At the moment, I am just trying to listen to the rain falling outside and breathe in the fresh smell wafting in through the windows and find some kind of calm there.

There was a small incident at work on Friday night and it was like I could literally feel the rubber band snap inside my brain.  Before I knew it, before I could control it, I had tears running down my cheeks in rivers.  Waves of shudders shook my shoulders and I struggled to catch my breath as I fought against the panic attack that was threatening to cripple me while I was still on the clock.  I stacked bread baskets, folded napkins, wiped counters, all in the name of keeping my hands and mind occupied. 

When I got home, I felt like a battered woman trying to hide her black eye.  The evidence of my pain was written all over my puffy red face and it took Evan all of four seconds before he wanted the details. 

I had swollen eyes when my alarm went off early on Saturday morning and despite my desperate need to go for a run before the boys got up, I was even more desperate to stay under the comfort of my covers because the prospect of having to climb out and face the day simply felt too daunting.  I had an old friend coming into town later to run a race and I knew I was going to need to have my smile on so I could give her a decent cheering section.

People dressed like this guy where stationed all over the 5K obstacle course, threatening to "infect" every runner as they passed by.

While it made for a pretty cool race, these zombies sure reminded me a lot of how I'm feeling.  I trudged back into work on Saturday, knowing full well that word of my little meltdown would have spread like wildfire.  I'm pretty sure zombies aren't afraid of much, but I think I am legitimately afraid of my boss because I cowered like a puppy when he approached me on Saturday night.  Without even meaning to, my eyes hit the carpet and I could feel my shoulders hunching toward my toes. 

I'm just not me lately.

And it's hard to try to get your brood ready to smile pretty for the camera so you can get a gorgeous shot of your flawless family when the Mama feels like a zombie, the oldest boy has a busted face, and dad insists on wearing a hat that reminds you of the umpire in A League of Their Own who, in the immortal words of Tom Hanks, looks "like a penis with a little hat on."  But we drove off anyway, in search of that perfect family photo where every kid is actually looking at the camera, nobody has a finger in their nose, and my hair isn't a frizzy ball o' crazy.

Then the storm hit.  As the rain pelted our minivan and I tried to keep from losing it as my husband asked, "Is that HAIL??" (and yes, it was most definitely hail) all the images of the portrait above my fireplace with the smiling kids and the blooming tulips disappeared. 

Oh, and don't even get me started about what this kind of weather means for my hair.

In the midst of all this mess, I unintentionally hurt someone's feelings because my zombie brain was too overwhelmed by the near nervous breakdown on Friday coupled with the stressfest that is Family Photo Day to remember to think outside my own self. 

But I find myself struggling to do that more and more lately.  I'm stretched so thin that it's very difficult to see past what's right in front of me, kind of like driving in a downpour like you see above.  I'm doing my best to remain sensitive to what's going on with those around me, but it's like my vision is impaired and my zombie brain is working at half speed. 

Except instead of craving brains, all I seem to want is to sleep for 18 hours straight and then be hooked up to a coffee IV all day.  In the meantime, I'm going to need to go buy some more under-eye concealer.

Up too late again,
Zombie Mom

Friday, May 17, 2013

I'm Worn.

I haven't participated in Five Minute Friday for a couple weeks.  Thomas has been in real mood today and has refused to stop crying all morning and has insisted on me holding him in my lap pretty much constantly.  It's made it a little tough to pay bills, register Isaiah for summer camp, and do all the other things I needed to complete on the computer today.  Quite frankly, writing on the blog was the last thing on my mind today.  But then he suddenly calmed down for five seconds and wandered off to seek a toy in his room.  I breathed a short sigh of momentary relief and decided to scan my blog roll real quickly to see if there was anything calling my name I could read in the four seconds he would be entertained. 

I saw the topic for 5 Minute Friday and my heart jumped into my throat.  I set the timer and went for it, resolving to write for the full 5 minutes, even if Thomas wailed through most of it.

He was quiet the entire time. 

Here are the rules as laid out by Lisa-Jo, aka "Gypsy Mama" -

Basically, you set a timer for five minutes and just WRITE.  No editing, no stopping to second-guess yourself, just a free flow of your thoughts hitting paper....keyboard....whatever.  She gives the topic and then you just GO.   Then you link back to Lisa-Jo and invite others to join in.

So this is me....taking the Five Minute Friday challenge.

Today's topic: Song


Get out of town.  I can hardly believe the prompt today is on SONG because I have been thinking about writing about this song for about a week, ever since the big announcement of my train bound for Crazytown.

Saturday night I came home from a really tough night at work.  It was the kind of night that left us all so bent out of shape that we sent someone on a run for shakes and malts.  Rough nights sometimes call for a cocktail, but horrible nights require a chocolate malt.  I stumbled into my bedroom after work and managed to hold my eyes open long enough to tell Evan that I had come to a startling realization.  In my most "this is so obvious and I can't believe it's just dawning on me voice" I proclaimed to my love:

"I've decided that I work way harder than you do."

In retrospect, I blame my prideful assertion on the exhaustion, but imagine my surprise when my darling just chuckled and agreed with me 100%.  "Totally," he said, "there's no doubt that you are the hardest worker in this family."

As much as I thought his acknowledgement would make me feel proud, it just reminded me yet again that I need to get my schedule and priorities (and my overblown ego) in order, but not in the expected way.  I need to push PAUSE for a little bit.  I need to turn the radio off and just be still for a bit.


"I've lost the will to fight, so Heaven come and flood my eyes."

This song by Tenth Avenue North moved me to tears as I drove to preschool the morning after realizing I needed to admit my anxiety and seek help for it.  It also provided me with a poignant reminder that, more than any other remedy, I need to find rest in the quiet presence of the Lord and reconnect with my Father.  And I intend to do exactly that. 


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Avoiding the Awkward Family Photo - (Guest Post)

Last year we got some family photos taken by my college pal, Jenn Van Wyk.  It was March 18, 2012 and it was just over 80 degrees.  In Madison, Wisconsin.  Right next to Lake Mendota.  In March.

Talk about Heaven on Earth!  We actually had to stop at a shoe store on the drive to our shoot so we could buy sandals for the kids because clearly the socks and shoes we had originally planned on were not going to cut it with the shorts the boys were now wearing.  It was absolutely amazing.

In retrospect, I wish I would have put a little less thought into picking out our outfits for those photos.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Less thought.  Anyone who has known me for longer than five minutes knows I am a compulsive planner who tends to over-analyze pretty much everything.  I ended up choosing outfits for our photos that looked fine, but were a little too matchy-matchy.  I picked out different shades of blue for everyone and also incorporated different patterns, but I wish I would have thought outside the box a little more.

The previous year, Jenn shot some maternity photos for me and I had my two older boys in a few of the shots.  Here, I took some more freedom with the color palate of our clothes and I really loved the results.

Yellow, orange, brown, teal, and blue all make an appearance here, but the result was still cohesive and carefree.

So here I sit a few days out from our family photos for the year of 2013 and I still haven't picked out what we should wear.  I reached out to Jenn and she not only responded, but did me one better - A guest blog post!!

I'm going to turn the rest of this post over to Jenn and let her school us on how to prepare the outfits for your family photo shoot.

By Jenn Van Wyk of Jenn Van Wyk Photography

If there is one theme that runs through all of my photo sessions, the burning question everyone asks me, the one thing everyone wants to know is…

* Que dramatic music please *

What do I wear to our photo session? Dun, dun dunnnnn.

This question has always caught me off guard. I dig through my closet for way longer than I should in the morning, buy things on super clearance, don’t have any subscriptions to fashion magazines, and I’m lucky if I can dig out a pair of matching earrings. My friends and I have talked about submitting each other for “What Not To Wear” just so we could start over from scratch and get some fashion advice. Plus who wouldn’t want to meet Stacy and Clinton? But as I continue to grow as a photographer and I get asked this question again and again, I see the need for a little shift in how we think of dressing for family and engagement photography.

First off. It is not 1990 anymore. It is out of date to wear white shirts with blue jeans to your family session. Or any other kind of matching shirt with matching pants. It looks dorky. Trust me, I know. I am a dork myself. Dressing your family, or significant other like this creates is a flat, boring photo. Everyone looks the same. Plus, you might end up on, and I want to spare you and I the hassle.

So, what is one to do? Forget matchy matchy. Instead, think coordinate. Pick colors that go well together. Think of it this way. If you decided to paint the walls in your living room red, you wouldn’t buy all red furniture, accessories, and coffee tables. You would buy accessories that coordinated. Dark woods, browns, oranges, and you might even get a little adventurous and throw in some pink. You get the picture. Do the same when choosing your outfits for your photo session. This will help build depth, character, and give your photos a little personality. Since I am a visual learner, I am going to go “shopping” online and put together some affordable (I chose to “shop” exclusively at Old Navy) and cute outfits for all sorts of different photo shoots. 

First up, an engagement session.

Right away I am breaking the “matchy matchy” rule! I decided on a warm color palette because I really liked the bold citrus colors of this sun dress. Since I wanted to keep our color scheme warm, I added in the brown shirt for our lucky groom-to-be. Add in a few cute accessories and wa-la! I chose a cardigan for the bride-to-be to add a little variation to her outfit. She can wear it buttoned or opened, have it on or off, or it would be cute off slug with one hand sassy over her shoulder. Plus, an open cardigan over a form fitting bottom piece can make the bride-to-be appear slimmer. Another thing I like about this combination is the variation in textures of the clothing. The dress is a nice soft linen, the cardigan a fine gauge sweater. The guy’s shirt is smooth cotton, combined with the rugged dark jeans. All of this creates visual interest in the photo. These bright colors are fun and flirty, and would be great for a summer or fall engagement session.

Next, let's visit an example of what to wear for a family photo session:

I again decided to go with a theme of warm colors. I started off with this cute top for mom in pink, and found a yellow shirt for dad. I opened up the color palette to some browns for the little guy, and found this cute little summery shirt. And good grief, I can not resist those adorable sun dresses for the little girls! So I chose this one in pink and white. I also liked the texture of the dress which will also create visual interest. Again, notice that everyone’s outfits coordinate and are not “matchy matchy”. Mom will look great with daughter, son with father, son and daughter, mom and dad, and so on and so forth. Have fun, use bold colors! These will pop in all of the photos and add some visual interest. I also threw in the hat for the little boy. Don’t be afraid to add some fun accessories to your outfits. Hats, scarfs, and even props like wagons and toys work great and will add a touch of personalization to your session.

Now as for the Arena Five family, we are headed to the Wisconsin State Capitol in spring time with the tulips in full bloom. Incorporating the tips above, I would also suggest coordinating your clothing with the red and yellow color of the tulips. Not match the colors per say, but make sure that what you are wearing will not clash with them. The Capitol also is neutral backdrop with little texture or interest, so I would wear clothes with a variety of textures and colors to standout. I would avoid wearing white, creme or grey tops with little texture or visual interest. As for the boys, spring for a few things that would be outside of the "everyday"; think about cute hats and perhaps a casual tie for those little guys who are willing to wear them. The Capitol also has a great lawn, so bring along a blanket (or borrow one of mine!) with a coordinating color and great texture. This will allow us lots of space to let your little buggers run around and be boys. I love capturing brothers and families for that matter outside of the traditional posed photography. This gives you the most genuine and authentic smiles of them all! I hope this helps in planning your photo session, and I would love to hear your tips and tricks for coordinating your family's clothing for a photo shoot!

Have questions for Jenn?  Feel free to leave a comment here or email her at!

(Now, I'm off to dig through our closets to find the winners for our shoot.  I can't wait to show you the finished product!) 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - Teal Maxi Skirt

Oh my gracious heavens to Betsy jumpin' jehoosaphat.

It's finally warm enough to wear skirts.  Can I get a "Hallelujah!!!"

(Everyone who just arrived on my blog from California just decided I was a freak and high-tailed it outta here.  Everyone who is reading from the Midwest just hollered, "Amen sistah!!!")

So here's what happened.  While Evan was in China, my mother stayed with me quite a bit to watch the kids for me while I was at work.  Micah and I popped into TJ Maxx one day to find a little thank you gift for her and the strangest thing took place.

A teal maxi skirt literally jumped off the rack and attacked me, shrieking "Try me on!! I'm perfect!!!"

 Skirt - TJ Maxx, Teal top - Maurice's, Necklace - Lisa Leonard Designs, Shoes - Payless

And when a possessed skirt jumps in your path friends, you buy it.  Especially when it is marked down from $75 to $24.99.  Yup, you betcha.

And then you wear it with pretty much every solid colored top you can find in your wardrobe.

 White t shirt - Target, Necklace - Stitch Fix, Feet - God's handiwork

I seriously lived in this skirt for a solid week.  I washed it, dried it, and put it right back on.

Grey T Shirt - Old Navy, Wedge Sandals - Payless

Due to my terrible body position in the photo above, I look like I have a baby bump.  I am not, repeat, I am NOT pregnant.

Teal tank - Old Navy, Jacket - Target

Yup, the teal maxi skirt totally stole my heart that day.  And of course I found my mother a suitable gift.  Just ask her - the wire basket with a chicken on it plus the flavored olive oil and gardening gloves were a win.  But still, maxi skirt for the win.

Has anyone else struck wardrobe gold recently?  Have you ever had an inanimate object like a skirt leap off a rack at you and demand you purchase it?  Must just be me then.....

Linking up once again over at The Pleated Poppy for some amazing fashion inspiration!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Busted Face and A Truvy Moment

For goodness sake, these kids are going to give me gray hair, crows feet, and an ulcer.  All in the same week.  After a Mother's Day that gave me a teeny little breath of rest, we jumped right back into a new week and within 48 hours, my husband dropped another Business Trip Bomb on me, Micah nearly got clipped by a car, and then Isaiah tripped and face-planted on the sidewalk.

He came in the house just as I was about ready to leave for work, screaming his head off and looking like this:

So I drove to work, leaving my bloody and road-rashed kid for Evan to deal with.  Later it dawned on my husband my oldest child was still going to look like he had been attacked with a potato peeler on Sunday.  The day we are getting our family photos taken.

Add in the fact that I am apparently suffering from a little thing called "Premenstrual Syndrome" (spoken in the voice of Truvy from Steel Magnolias) and as a result I had consumed far too many pieces of pizza, Teddy Grahams, and chocolate chip cookies at work and I skipped my usual Monday night workout at the gym to come home and eat popcorn while watching Castle with Evan.  

And I suddenly realized that writing this post while watching an old episode of Glee that showcases Kate Hudson's amazing abdominals was a huge mistake.  Yowza.

Me and my soft and plushy midsection attended a couple classes for leadership training at church today and the class tonight was called "Simplexity," taught by the marvelous Laura Sandretti.  When I met back up with Evan afterwards and he asked how it went I responded with:

"Well, it was a class about how to manage the chaos of life and seek God for peace when life gets crazy.  I was basically just trying not to cry for the last hour."  

He laughed out loud and then chided me a bit, telling me that I really should have taken a class that had some bearing on my life.

I can't really remember if I smacked him one, but if I didn't.....I should have.  I love that guy.

I love all my guys. 

Project Life Tuesday - Week 13

The Mom CreativeWelcome to Project Life Tuesday!  Every week I share photos of a layout I've been working on, either in my family's weekly book or my son's baby book. 

I started using the Project Life system in 2010, so this will be my fourth full year!   

I am not a "fancy scrapbooker."  There are so many people out there doing some very impressive things with their Project Life albums that involve a combination of digital skills, pretty embellishments, and other fancy-pants techniques.  I'm not one of those.  I keep it pretty simple so that I know I can keep up and avoid becoming overwhelmed.  To me, it's more important to keep the memories than it is to make them look like they came out of a magazine.  I'm totally fine with it if my layouts feature more iPhone photos than DSLR shots and Instagram is my friend.

I do like to have fun with it though.  :)

If you're looking for inspiration on what others are doing with their Project Life, you can check out my board on Pinterest and be sure to link up on The Mom Creative!

Week 13 - I combined the Jade kit with a couple elements from the digital Honey Kit and just a dash of Seafoam.  Sounds like a recipe.

For the tile card, I used a card from the Jade kit and added some letter stickers and a strip of washi tape.

I love how the collage in the bottom right corner turned out.  It really shows a lot of my favorite moments from a crazy cool playdate!  The grey grid 3x3 card is the only element from the Seafoam kit that I used in this particular week.

And jumping over to the right hand page:

On this page I used the old split a 4x6 photo in half across two spots trick and it worked out nicely!  I just had too many cute shots of Thomas with his crayons not to include them all!

And then there was this little moment.  Too cute not to document.

Thanks for stopping in today.  I hope you have a wonderful week!

Did anyone score an autographed Core Kit at Hobby Lobby this weekend?  If so....I'm super-jealous!

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