Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What I'm Working on Wednesday...

I craft.  I have kiddos.  This meaning that sooner or later, the two of them will cross paths. With living in the North and temperatures reaching almost -50* we have had several school closures this week.  This means lots of time to play and create. My girls have the crafting bug much like I do, but my oldest loves all the supplies and tools when it comes to school projects. And in our house this week there has been a lot of school "projecting".   Her latest assignment was to create a Country; create a flag, an anthem, and an introduction page.  The other parts of this assignment were divided up between a few other students.  I was so proud of her design skills and her creativity :)  She used lots of tools like her favorite, The Silhouette Cameo.  The new Deer Head punch by EK Success, and my trustyFiskars paper trimmer.  I hope you all enjoy her work, these pictures will be making it into my Project Life this week for sure!!!



Introduction Page

Do your kids raid your stash when it comes time for school projects?

Monday, January 27, 2014

A look back at some of my work....

Mothers Day AlbumValentine BannerReady Set GoFlowerCabinHome
MinibookShadowsGirls Gone WildWreathGrowGrow Details
BeautyWhat a CharacterDzia DziaSquirtSo SweetHappy Details
HappyBelovedColor-FallFamilySisiter ActDelight-Fall
jenmacknick's photostream on Flickr.

Today I was looking through pictures on my computer and I came across some of my work.  I have been focused on Project Life lately, and had forgotten about some of these gems!  Join me for a peek back at some of my favorites:

You can find more of my work here on my Flickr.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Project Life 2014... Has Begun

If you read my last post BE. you know that I have over come a few challenged in the past couple of years.  I have learned the hard way that things can change suddenly and unexpectedly. This is why I do Project Life!  Because I want to have things documented for my kiddos, for me, for my family.  I want them to have our lives recorded.... the good the bad and the everyday.  That is something that has become of high importance to me.  I completed my 2013 PL album and it warms my heart that my kiddos can page through it and remember something small, so I wanted to continue that into 2014.  Here's the start of my 2014 PL album-
Intro Page 2014


Welcome January: Iowa road trip, Local hockey player added to Olympic Team, One Little Word class and gearing up for PL 2014

Week 1: Arctic Blast, Cookie sales, and play time with friends

Week 2: Daddy-O's home, camper, model cars, and Basketball

Week 3: Dental care, visits with friends, dance camp, sickness and MLK Jr. day

Thanks for looking at my Project Life pages :)  Please, let me know if you're on this adventure too!  I love to look at every ones pages and inspiration!  

Friday, January 24, 2014


I joined in the One Little Word movement this year with my word, BE.  I am really looking forward to working on this new project, on the new me.  I adore Ali Edwards and her work, so deep down I knew that this was the right time for me to take this on, that this was a good fit.  I welcome you to pull up a chair.... this might get a little long!

I have been working on getting back to BE the real me again.  Over the past couple of years I have been forced to overcome some pretty enormous events.  For those of you who may not know me that well... let me share my story.

 In the Fall of 2010, I unexpectedly lost my dad.  Now my relationship with my dad wasn't like most.... he was an amazing father!  And on most days one of my best friends.  He was there for my kids when others weren't.  My girls and I lived with my parents until 2008.... my dad hated us moving out, but we needed to do so to grow as a family.  So needless to say, we were close.  Losing him was devastating even on the best of days.  I often describe this feeling as losing my left arm.  There was a very large piece of myself that was missing once he was gone.  It took everything I had at the time but I picked up what pieces I could and continued on... my girls needed me.

Shortly after we lost my dad, my moms health started declining.  We faced issues not often found in a 57 year old, more common in like an 87 year old.  Her kidneys were failing, she had stomach issues, and she was suffering from severe depression.  I, am an only child so she became my responsibility to take care of.  With the increase of the health issues, came the increase of medications.  Some good, some bad, and some completely unnecessarily prescribed.  I had the feeling that some of her Doctors were just writing prescriptions just to get her out of the office faster. This only added more problems to our already growing list.  Early in 2011 I found her unconscious at home, and was forced to call 911.  The entire incident with my dad flashed before my eyes and I was positive that I was going to be an orphan before I was 30.  I was terrified!  After this incident came several more.  Taking care of my mom became a full time job for me on top of my family and kiddos.  Eventually after going back and forth we decided to end our lease on my house and move back in with my mom, so that it was more convenient to take care of her.  Once we moved back in there were improvements and her depression seemed to get better.

While we were at the lake in July of 2012 my mom had an accident at home.  She had fallen and hit her head resulting in a Traumatic Brain Injury.  She was taken to our local hospital, and later transferred to a Brain Trauma Unit about 45 minutes from home.  She was placed in the ICU for three nights and then as she started to wake up she was put on the Brain Injury floor.  I had no idea what to expect at this time.  I was mad, I was hurt, and I was so upset that my dad wasn't there to help me.  She eventually came to, with a large amount of memory loss.  She saw lots of doctors, lots of specialists, and continued to improve.  But unfortunately she just wasn't my mom.  In all actuality, I was an orphan.  I no longer had the parents that I had known and loved as a child.  At this time I was at my lowest of lows.

My mom wasn't allowed to come home, she faced months and possibly years of rehabilitation.  I was left to take care of her bills, her papers, her insurance, everything.  And it was much more that I ever could have expected.  My days were spent on the phone, sending faxes and emails and making countless trips to meetings for my mom.  My life, my family, my well being, fell down the drain.  I was just existing, I wasn't BEing. 

In early 2013 after six months, my mom regained most of her memory.  She was released from the rehabilitation center, and returned home.  Some things have gotten better, some things remain forever changed.  But this is the year, this is the time that I am taking ME back.  That I am going to live the life that makes me happy, and that's best for my family. I want to be crafty again, I want to play,  I want to blog again... I want to BE!

(Thanks Steph for giving me the courage to be real)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Throw Back Thursday... 2013 In Review (A few days late)

We rang in 2013 while in California, and ended it while in Iowa; to say the least 2013 was our year of Travel.  We put on over 5,000 trip miles, over 3,000 Frequent Flyer Miles, and stepped foot in 16 states.  Needless to say, we have this packing thing down to a science.  Our adventures were truly Epic, and something that none of us will ever forget.  Here's a run down on how we spent our 2013:

We all drove out to California to visit Daddy-O.  Stopping along the way at some great landmarks like Mount Rushmore, Wall Drug, and the Corn Palace.  We spent time in San Francisco at the Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 watching the seals.  Peapod even rode on a train for the first time.  And all of us traveled back in time riding on a Street Car.  The girls also started basketball, and kept me running to and from practices and games.  I also started a new adventure called Project Life.  With our busy schedule it was fitting for me to try and keep up with documenting our memories.  

Ice fishing is what it's all about!  No record breaking catches this year, but lots of fun to be had on the ice.  We celebrated Nana coming home, and she had milestone birthday.  There was a lot of time spent outside on the snow hill- sledding and building penguin slides.  There were also school field trips for Peapod, and the final games of Livydoodles basketball season.

Livydoodles celebrated her birthday, and I cannot believe how fast time flies.  It seems like she was just born!  We even had two separate parties for her!  Rainy weather made it hard to enjoy all the snow that we had, so there was lots of time to snuggle and craft indoors.  I also met a new group of ladies have become very important to me.  This is one reason that I craft, and I am so thankful for the many friends that I have made.  Squirrel Power!

We became a family divided... over the new Doritos Locos Tacos!  One vote for Cool Ranch, One vote for Nacho Cheese.  We carried on a old family tradition and played in the annual World's Largest Trivia Contest.  The weather was quite the tease here in the Northwoods, leading us to believe that Spring might actually make an appearance.  But we were smarter, and headed South for some sun and fun time with Daddy-O.  We played on the beach, camped out, and even got to see a TV show in the making.  Our trip was quite the adventure.  The girls were real troopers and stuck it out until the end, even though I thought we were going to float away with all the rain.

The girls finally got to enjoy some time outdoors and spent it riding bikes, flying kites, and creating chalk drawings.  Livydoodles had an amazing field trip to a wildlife area that I was lucky enough to go on.  I felt honored that she still wanted me to chaperon at her age.  Peapod graduated from 4K, and attended her Kindergarten orientation.  I can't believe she's ready for school!  This also kicked off the fishing season, and that means countless weekends on the lake.

Summer break officially began and so did the craziness that follows.  Livydoodles attended Hunter's Safety and passed with flying colors.  Not to mention a surprise visit from Daddy-O.  We were so excited to have him home, even if it was only for a few days.  We celebrated my birthday at the lake.  We spent the day swimming, mini golfing, and going to see Monsters University.  Peapod ended up with bacterial pneumonia and we spent a lot of time cuddling and watching movies.  Who gets pneumonia in the middle of summer anyways?  

Fishing, Fireworks, and Fourth of July pretty much sums up this time of year!  We also threw in another road trip for good measure.  Apparently I like to drive, which is news to me :)  Back down South for round #2 and another visit with Daddy-O.  Only, this time we didn't have to rush back for school.  We visited some old friends along the route and caught up over dinner.  We stopped in St. Louis, and took a moonlight carriage ride.  And we even cranked "Walking in Memphis" once we hit town.  The weather was beautiful on the coast and the girls enjoyed the beach and swimming pool daily.  I swear there is still sand in my car.

Summer came to an end way too fast, so we tried to fit in everything we still wanted to do.  A family wedding kicked off our month, I love getting to see family and friends.  Daddy-O started a new project close to home and we've never been so darn happy.  We spent most of our weekends together.  Going to the zoo, swimming at the hotel, and just hanging out together.  This is something that is a rarity and we never tire of! Peapod attended Back to School night and met her teacher.  I have never seen someone so thrilled to start school.  

Back to school, and back to the schedules!  I cannot say that we were all thrilled about this, but apparently it's the law somewhere- so off to school they go! LOL.  I had time to myself again, which is something that was a totally new concept for me.  Peapod signed up for Girl Scouts and volunteered me as the Leader, this is a new journey for all of us.  Duck hunting opened, which also meant the first license purchase for Livydoodles.  She's so proud to carry around her little piece of paper.  I also took a trip to Minnesota for some much needed "MOM" time and to visit Scrap Squirrel Fest.  It was a blessing in disguise and definitely what this girl needed.
The Rainbow Loom Obsession joined our household and continues.... I cannot buy them fast enough!  Youth hunt opened for Livydoodles and she was victorious with her first deer.  I'm not sure I've ever seen her so proud.  I'm so thankful that my dad taught her how to shoot!  He would be so proud.  Peapod celebrated her birthday for the first time in school.  She was so excited that I think the celebration continued for a week here!  Zoo Boo was a huge hit for another year, and I loved dressing as the Scooby Doo Gang.  We even placed in the costume contest!  School events are keeping us busy, and there's always something around the corner to attend.

Orange, Orange, and more Orange.... That's all I'm seeing this month!  It's hunting season in the Northwoods and Daddy-O came home to take Livydoodles.  Peapod and I kicked off the holiday season in style and walked in the Christmas Parade with our Daisy Troop.  We celebrated Thanksgiving together as a family, and I feel so blessed that we had that time together.  Daddy-O even extended his trip by a few days to spend some more time here at home.  Dare I say, he's homesick?

I can't believe how fast this year has gone!  Livydoodles ended up with a viral infection that kept her out of school for almost two weeks, which means lots of homework- for US! Holiday programs at school, volunteering in the classroom, and Daisy Scouts sure keeps us busy.  I'm currently working on my December Daily Album, as well as finishing up my 2013 Project Life.  Daddy-O made it home for a 48 hour Christmas visit.  Which was just enough time for Santa to stop by from the North Pole.  We ended our month by traveling to Iowa to surprise a dear friend for her New Year's Eve Birthday.  Spending the day together for lunch, pedicures, and Starbucks was better than I could have imagined to ring in the New Year!  We all even made it until the ball drop!

HAPPY 2014!