{twenty sixteen} summer road trip

i’m really excited for our summer.

it’s still four months away, but well into the planning stages.

one of the adventures i am most excited about is a road trip i have planned.

my family lives in colorado, and we are past due for a visit there. not to mention, it’s a fabulous place to to spend a week in the summer!

the kids and i are going to hit the road and explore on our way from the state of oregon to  colorado and back.

my plan is for us to stay in historic hotels in the cities we stop in along the route. i have most of it researched, but need to finalize the details and start making reservations!

once we get to colorado, we will stay at my parents beautiful house in the foothills west of denver.

from there, we can hike on beautiful trails in their neighborhood, swim at the pool with a view of mt. evans, venture into denver for a colorado rockies baseball game, head up to boulder to visit my alma mater, check out rocky mountain national park, and head up into the rocky mountains for some crisp mountain air.

i cannot wait for this adventure to explore new areas of the west with my kiddos!

easy christmas card photo books

I just finished putting our Christmas card photo book for 2015 together. We now have SEVEN years of Christmas cards collected into little flip books! I looked through the archives and found my original post about how I put them together.

One of my favorite parts about Christmas is receiving the cards from all of our friends and relatives. I especially like the photos.

They make me smile from the day I receive my first card until the day I finally take them down from their display…which is usually one of the last things to come down.

Over the years I have been saving the photos in a drawer in my desk. You see, my aunt had albums full of christmas card photos and every year I loved to sit down on Christmas day and look through them. Although I didn’t know all the people, I learned to recognize the familiar faces year after year and enjoyed seeing how families had grown, adult children had gotten married, etc. My plan was to eventually start some albums of my own.

As I was trying to find space in the drawer in my desk for our cards from Christmas 2012 I finally decided to just put the books together. I mean, for goodness sake, all I needed was a hole punch (I used a 3 hole punch and a single hole punch), some chipboard, some rings, and a glue stick!

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All of my cards were organized by year, so I started punching holes.

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{That’s my mom and dad in Italy}

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I used two holes of a three hole punch so that I would eventually be able to line up the cards that were differing sizes and shapes.

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Then I cut some chipboard that I had from the back of some thrifted frames that I won’t be using. I cut the chipboard a little larger than the largest card…three of the books ended up being 9″ x 6″ and one is 8″ x 6″.

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I punched holes in the chipboard and glued our christmas card to the front.

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I also made back covers for the books so the cards are protected on both sides of the book.

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This year our card was a post card and I wanted to include the back of the card, so I put it on the inside of the back cover.

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In less than an hour (it actually took 2 days, but I had to start and stop multiple times for various reasons…kids, dogs, cats, husbands, etc.) I had books from the last 4 years put together!

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For now, they are in our basket of photo books in the family room. I think, eventually, I will put them in the attic with the rest of the Christmas decor so they will be a fun tradition to pull out of the bins each year.

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{twenty sixteen} first ramblings

10 years ago  i woke up…

in a new house…

in a city i had only visited once before…

only knowing a handful of people…well really, fewer than you can count on one hand.

this morning i woke up…

in our home of almost 8 years…

in a city that feels like home…

with my children snuggled up under blankets…

and, my husband on a conference call in his home office.

twenty sixteen.

already giving us surprises…welcome ones.

today,  the kids were supposed to be headed back to school, but they are not.

we are enjoying a slow morning.

a dusting of snow, freezing temperatures, and then freezing rain on top of that has shut down our city.

as much as i am ready to get back into a routine, get the house clean, and figure out what i am going to do with this brand new year, i am thankful to have one more slow day to spend with our family.

home is…new year surprises.

{at the craft table} vintage wreaths

my holiday crafting is in full swing.

while i am not ready to decorate for christmas, i am definitely getting ready to decorate for christmas

this weekend i pulled out some of my vintage stash and made some really whimsical wreaths…


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looking forward to sharing more holiday craftiness…including some pics from our {mother-daughter} crafternoon from last friday!

home is…playing reindeer games.

hello, november!


october is now just a memory.

and, here we are…

dark at 5 pm.

wearing jackets and rain boots.

flag football season is over.

thanksgiving is coming.

christmas displays and merchandise are all over the place.

my husband and i celebrated his fantastic year at work and our 15th anniversary at a fabulous resort near playa del carmen, mexico.

it was our first kid free getaway in over 6 years.

i have been blessed enough to go on some pretty fabulous presidents club vacations that my husband has earned through his hard work. this one was, by far, the most amazing one we have ever been on.

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it was a quick trip…three full days in paradise. one full day of travel on either end.

my parents came to stay with the kids and the dogs.

we returned to happy {but tired} kids and tired {but happy} grandparents. i know they all had a fun adventure of their own together.

the first week back was filled with hours spent volunteering at the kids school.

art lit.

baby girl was star of the week.

normal volunteer hours.


finishing up the rest of our family halloween costumes…

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it was a dark and stormy halloween night here in portland. we braved the downpour to go up and down the street.

ryan was the yellow brick road, the little guy was the tornado that landed dorothy’s house on the wicked witch of the east, i was the wicked witch of the west, and baby girl was dorothy.

one of my favorite family costumes to date!

i was hoping to have some much needed “normalcy” in our routine this month, but the kids had three days off from school and then we have thanksgiving late this month!

so, we’ll just be THANKFUL for our extra time together…i figure there will be nothing “normal” about our routine until next year given the coming holidays…but that’s what makes life fun, right?!

{october 21} happy corners of our home

these letters and this print have found themselves in many happy corners of our home throughout the last few years.

now they reside in the playroom next to a thrifted light from our 2014 trip to kamiah.

dogs and words have a prominent place in all happy corners of our home.
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{october 20} happy corners of our home

large letters spelling out a favorite word cam e into PLAY in our playroom years ago.

they have moved down the wall, but are still there…with rainbowtized books and baskets full of toys…along with our PS4.october 20

  • lights: IKEA {discontinued}
  • shelves: IKEA {discontinued}
  • letters: joann fabric {painted them black}
  • xylophones and tennis ball basket: thrifted
  • books: thrifted
  • chair and fisher price toys: thrifted

{october 19} happy corners of our home

my newest addition to my barn owl primitives collection has found a home in our kitchen.

this way, we see it first thing in the morning, all day long, and before we head upstairs to bed.
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{october 16} happy corners of our home

our office supply wall outside of ryan’s office is still one of my happy corners of our home.

we display our favorite art, school and sport schedules, homework charts, etc. right here where everybody can see them.
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  • ruler growth chart: DIY
  • clipboards: goodwill