August 26, 2014

Elementary Scrapooking, My Dear Mabel

So the Moo Rae came back from her dad's house all eager to scrap with her mama. I told her that I taught Hayley about scrapbooking while they were gone, so Mabel was eager to catch up.

I had a feeling she would want to join the fun, so I went through all of my old scrap supplies and put together a little "kit" for her that included the following:

solid papers, cut to 8"x8"  (to keep it simple, I chose this size and pretrimmed the paper)
patterned papers, cut to 8"x8"
also, stickers
large purple glue stick
safety scissors
embellishments like alphas, buttons, or gems 
container - hers was a shoebox to start, has since upgraded to a drawer

I wanted teaching the little girls about memory keeping to be fun and not stressful. I wanted to keep it easy and age-appropriate for them. On Mabel's first day, I told her why I scrapbook - to capture memories forever and celebrate my favorite things, moments, and people. I explained that there is no "right" or "wrong" way to document memories. But I did ask her to follow some rules.

1. Be respectful. Clean up your supplies when you are finished and no markers on the carpet or scissors in the bed. Don't waste!
2. Tell the story. Write something about your picture, or a favorite memory.

That's it. She was free to use as many or as few photos, papers, or embellishments as she wanted. She knew the background had to be 8x8, but after that, I didn't guide her. Like, at all.

She took to it like a duck to water.

She asked me what year this baby photo of her was taken, and then wrote "2008" at the top. I love her woodpecker.

She loved the gemstones I had in my stash.

I even found a photo of her and her grandma back east. She scrapped that right up!

Mercy, she was proud. I couldn't believe how great she was doing with ZERO bossing from me.

Oh for cute!

Who says an elementary schooler cannot scrapbook? I would argue that her memories are even more important than mine. And so she scrapbooks almost every day. When I get home she says, "Mom, I made [this many] pages today," and my heart swells dang near out of my chest. Love, love, love, love, LOVE.

August 25, 2014

Hello, Project Life

I still have some readers who remember when I used to scrapbook like it was going out of style. Pregnant with Mabel and all that jazz. And then our lives exploded, we moved and moved again, and then I scrapped a little and met a man who rocked my world - and scrapbooking did, in fact, go out of style. For me anyway.

It's been four years since I scrapped. Yes, I was kind of shocked, too.

One day this summer I felt wild and free and rebirthed with my new job and yoga classes - I felt unstuck, creatively. Bryon had a heavy hand in it but I can't tell you how because well, you know, we were naked and giggling and that'swhatmarriageisabout. Ahem. But I got unstuck, creatively - is what I'm saying.

I got up the next morning and my brain was on FIRE with creative ideas. I suddenly wanted to write and paint and scrap and sew. I wanted to reorganize every closet and made dozens of lists.

The first thing I did was make the quilt I've had on my mind for a while. I got it off to Topquilter Mary (more on this in a separate post) and then started hunting for scrapbooking inspiration. For the first time in four years.

I found the most inspiration in the form of PROJECT LIFE.  Project Life is a type of scrapbooking, where instead of adhering everything to a piece of paper, you use page protectors that have 3x4 or 4x6 slots in them. It cuts down on the planning and execution and totally allows all of the same creativity.  I have been so inspired by the girls over at Studio Calico (

And because we are each other's person, you know I had to tell Mindy what I was lusting about and you know she picked up and did it with me. Project Life will cure a scrap hiatus in a hurry, let me tell you!

Many people just ... scrap. They scrap whatever they want. Others do a weekly book, where one or two pages will document a week in your life. Mindy is doing a monthly.

These are some of my pages from my personal book. It's a scrapbook that is only for me. It's OF me and for me and includes some very personal journaling, which previously has never had a home in my scrapbooks. Not all of it is serious; some of it simply documents who I am as a human. Some of it is simply an excuse to get paint on my fingers.

In addition to my personal book, I've begun scrapping Project Life in a weekly format for 2014.  I have weeks 11-31 completed so far and it feels amazing! I will share more pages soon. Look me up on Studio Calico, as I post there as well.

I love scrapbooking again and I'm so excited about that.

August 22, 2014

Glory Be, The Last Door

While the kids were back east with their dad for 9 weeks, Bryon and I worked on finishing the basement (among other things).

After years struggling with solid wood, 6-panel oak doors that were stained and then reprimed to go with white woodwork... we donated those 5 doors to Habitat for Humanity and moved on. The doors simply would not work in the jambs left by our builder. Hmpf. I could write paragraphs on how and why and tell you all of the cursewords than ran through our heads, but it was time to cut our losses and move on.

We moved on to Menards's, who was having a sale on solid core, 6-panel white doors. These suckers are heavy and sturdy - and sound proof! My amazing husband hauled them home with me, busted out his air compressor and tools, and hung all of those doors in two days - except for one.

The linen closet was a special-order 18" door and when it arrived and came home in the truck, we had a little door party that looked like this:

Glory be! Thank you Jesus!

And also Menard's, for having that sale on the exact weekend we had free to do doors.

Mabel, Hayley, and Trev can now pick their noses in privacy.

They have each been issued the same warning, however: privacy is a privilege and not a right. Do not do naughty things behind closed doors. No friends of the opposite sex in your room. And a slammed door becomes mine immediately.


August 21, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

1. Always.

2. I love this rug. It wants to live in my bathroom.

3. Botanical arm tat on a girl? Favorite.

4. I just love this.

5. Hello, my name is Rachel and I'm addicted to fashion illustrations by Garance Doré.

6. Loving these darling clogs from Totokaelo.

7. This We R Memory Keepers corner rounder is by FAR the best tool I have used for scrapbooking. I love it so, so much.

8. I love these Project Life layouts. Love.

9. When I saw this illustration, I printed it immediately on a little piece of paper to include in an upcoming Project Life spread. This is how I feel in the mornings before coffee.

10. Love this hair.

11. I listen to this soundtrack every day. Literally, every day.

12. This grilled buffalo shrimp (with homemade buffalo sauce and ranch dressing) looks both Paleo and delicious!

13. I think my Roo needs this project for Christmas, no?

14. Oh Black Hills, you're callin' me!

All images are Pinned for sources.

August 20, 2014

I Mustache You a Question

To say that Hayley has an obsession with mustaches would be a heavy understatement. She has mustache washi tape, mustache duct tape, mustache scrapbook paper, mustache socks and shirts...

She also loves plaid, suspenders, and ties. She asked me to take a picture recently of her full get up. I love it. Get it, girl!

She has passed her love for mustaches on to Andrew in full and together, they've convinced Mabel that she needs a mustache as well. While at the party store recently, I came across a package of hairy mustaches in the cowboy-party section. And duh, had to bring them home!

This might be one of my favorite photos of all time. It's one I will certainly share with all of their future spouses.

August 15, 2014

A Welcome Home Party

Weeks before the kids came back, we began planning a welcome home party for them. And end of the summer part of sorts. A SURPRISE party.

I called their best friends and their best friends' mamas. I made arrangements and made them promise not to squeal once the kids came home.

I looked into fancy cupcakes and abandoned that idea when they were $4 each. Yowza. I got cookies instead.

We also planned chicken legs and hot dogs. And lots of water balloons. Seriously, I bought up the last stock of water balloons at two party stores in town.

I found decorations and hid them in my closet.

Then the night before arrived... and we decided to tell our four so that they could try to sleep through the excitement AND help us clean the house for guests. And clean they did.

The weather was perfect. About 90 degrees and high humidity - perfect for wanting to get wet!

One of Trevor's besties was first to arrive. He's a 6'1",  7th grader. He'd spent the whole week with Trev at football camp and the kid didn't say a word. Love him.

Andrew's best friend was at his dad's wedding on the day of the party. So another friend came to rock it out with Andy at the party. Wicked good with a balloon, too, that kid.

Trevor, Andy, and the two boys spent more than an hour filling up over 400 water balloons.

Which were gone in less than 5 minutes.

I took one in the face from Someone. Trevor took one in the ... boy parts. Bryon took eleventy five of them in the head from the boys. Inherent water balloon risk, see. Nobody was injured.

There was lots of football passing and trampoline jumping.  

We made a huge slip and slide and soaped that sucker up. Children were running everywhere through the water - little, soapy people slipping everyplace. Bryon gets Best Form award. All in all we used up 3 bottles of dish soap (thanks to our neighbor for not getting upset when her son swiped it from beneath their sink - twice).

I enjoyed the slip and slide, too, but don't have any pictures of me in my Ice Man tee shirt to prove it. Bryon and I raced a few times and overlaunched the tubes. Funny. Love him so much.

Around dinnertime, Hayley's best friend came to spend the night. The girls ran and played hard through the sprinklers!

The twins from next door (including Mabel's bestie Peyton) came, too.

Grandma Sharon and lots of neighbors were there to welcome the kids back. We listened to Neil Diamond, Journey, and Def Leppard all day and soaked in the sunshine with our babies. Who aren't babies.

We had a bonfire and roasted marshmallows for s'mores.

Overall a raging success.  I'm sure I won't be able to surprise them again, but I'm also sure we will repeat this party. It was a blast. Felt so good to smoosh them and kiss them and hear them giggle. They deserve to know how much we love our family of 6.

And all is right in the world again.

August 14, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

1. Sometimes!

2. I have a kiddo who needs these badassed shoes. I had a pair in high school - granted my Docs were plain black combat and not floral - but these are amazeballs.

3. Dear JCrew, lower prices. Mmmm-kay? Love this skirt!

4. This coat from Zara is amazing.

5. I adore this living room. Warm and rich and lived in.

6. Love this.

7. I am certain one of these will exist in my life. Right now, its in the Black Hills of South Dakota and I'm'a gonna go get it soon.

8. LOVE this sink and mirror. SO simple and perfect.

9. Beautiful mix of styles. Love this bedroom.

10. And this one.

11. I absolutely LOVE this rug.

12. My Andy Roo needs this in his room.

13. Hello, Beautiful. Seriously love her style.

All images are Pinned for sources.