December Daily Installment #3

Still loving this project. I still have a ways to go before it’s finished but I’m actually going to be a little sad when it’s done. It’s just been so fun! But that’s ok cause I have a new project in the works (more on that soon). I decided to start taking the pictures of the entire book instead of each individual page because the way the book is coming together is really fun.Girls night at the movies. We had dinner and saw New Years Eve. Lots of fun!Pancakes in the morning by Justin. These are the little things that are making this book so fun.Weekend date with the pony. I also started adding in the photo Christmas cards that we got. This will be fun to add into each years book and look back on. A page dedicated to our favorite diner in Sioux Falls. Yummm! The picture I took ended up turning out pretty cool thanks to the misty rain.Sioux Falls and more Christmas cards.“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas but all I’m Getting is a Brown One.” I had some fun with the new glitter glue I picked up in JoAnns dollar spot.The left page is about my BFF Christmas date. We had dinner, did a little Christmas shopping and got facials. Obviously it’s a little tricky to get a picture of a facial so I opted for the stock photo route. The right page is about my new iphone and how santa came early.

So that’s where I’m at so far. I think I’ll probably get it finished up by the end of next week. We are driving to Milwaukee next weekend for Christmas with my mom’s side of the family so I’ll put that in there as well.

Hope you all have a wonderful New Years Eve! I will be stunning in my carhartts at the barn for a party out there. Most girls get all dressed up for New Years. I put on carhartts and go to a bonfire at a barn. Only seems appropriate 🙂

Ornamental Amazingness

My mom totally outdid herself with the ornaments this year. As I said in an earlier post, she always comes up with the perfect ornament for each of us every year. But this year she pretty much left Justin speechless. As some of you know, beanbags are a pretty big deal around here in the summertime. The boys get together and play almost everyday. It’s quite the neighborhood tradition.This year, Justin and our neighbor/friend worked extra hard to prepare for a tournament. It was their first time playing together in a tournament and they took it very seriously. I’m sure that the fact that guy time while playing bags was what it took to prepare had nothing to do with the seriousness 😉 But all their hard work paid off and they took 1st place out of over 50 teams. Miss America was not as excited as these two when she received her crown. I suppose her crown can’t quite compare to their awesome fish plaque though.See what I mean? So anyways, when Justin opened this ornamentyou can only imagine how excited he was. My stepfather actually made it for him which makes it even more special. Yep, safe to say my mom totally nailed it. And of course my ornament was dead on as well.A pretty good representation of me hanging on the tree if I do say so myself. And it’s so pretty!

It not quite as exciting ornament news, I made some ornaments this year as well. I couldn’t share before Christmas though because I didn’t want to ruin the recipients would have seen them.Sorry the pics are so bad. Not the easiest thing to photograph. I poured gel medium into the bottom and then added glitter to make it look like snow. Then I printed a picture on a transparency so that you can see it from both sides of the ornament (should you try this yourself, make sure you wait till the gel medium dries or the picture will “melt.” Learned that one the hard way). I just rolled the transparency up and when it was almost in I grabbed the top with a tweezers so that I could move it around. Then I added some rubons to the outside of the ornament. I really love how they turned out but they were definitely a labor of love. Not the easiest project I’ve ever attempted and there were lots of “shoot!” and “oh nos!” coming from the craft room. But I think they were worth it!

Iphone Love

I am LOVING my new iphone. Seriously. And of course my favorite part is the camera. It’s just too much fun for me to have a camera in my pocket all the time. Add in the fact that I can edit the pictures right there on my phone with all kinds of apps and you have my very definition of bliss. I’m hopelessly addicted to Instagram, which I played with a little on Justin’s iphone but now that I have my own it’s a whole new level (if anyone else is one there and would like to follow me and my fascinating feed 😉 my name on there is jackiep1102). Here are a few of the pictures I took yesterday with it on our walk (it was 50 degrees!!!).Add in the fact that ios5, with icloud, allows me to set up all my devices so that my pictures are on each device as well as my computer and I am about as happy as one girl can get with a company. I can take pictures with my phone, edit them on my phone or my ipad, then print them from my computer. It’s amazing. Oh how I love Apple. So so much.

And some photobooth strips because they are just too much fun (and needed to go in my December Daily book!).I realized last night that I have a photobooth that adds bokeh to the pictures so you know I’m going to have to try that out as soon as possible. Oh yes, this phone is just way too fun. I’m sure there will be lots and lots of post just like this to come!

Christmas Recap

After an awesome lazy day with the hubs yesterday, I am slowly emerging from the Christmas frenzy. It was a wonderful five days filled with family, fun and love. But it was also exhausting! In the best possible way though. So, picking up where I left off, Thursday was Justin and my Christmas, just the two of us (well, and the animals of course). We started off at the zoo, which was super quiet, just the way I like it. The bears were all snuggled in together for a winter nap. Then we headed home to make dinner together and open gifts. Paris got a few toys and some fresh catnip, which makes her crazy! We love it 🙂Maggie likes to open her own presents and we are only too happy to oblige. So entertaining. After the kids opened their gifts and we finished dinner, Justin and I opened our gifts to each other. Sufficient to say that I got spoiled rotten. He even shopped for new cowboy boots and blingy spur straps for me! Way outside the typical husband expectations if you ask me. I’m a lucky lady, who now happens to have fancy feet when riding my horse 🙂 I’d have to say though that I think my favorite memory from this Christmas was giving Justin the soundbar I got him. I hid it in my closet because the box was huge and would have been a dead giveaway under the tree. I cut out the letters to spell “my closet” and wrapped each one so he had to open each letter and figure out what it spelled (we’re big words with friends fans so it seemed fitting). Then he had to search my closet for it, where I did a great job hiding a huge box in a smallish closet if I do say so myself. We both had so much fun with it and I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to give him a gift before. Now however I think I may have created a monster. That thing is loud! I can hear his movies all the way upstairs in my bathroom. What have I done??? 😉

Friday morning I had soliris and then we headed to church for the 6 o’clock service. Our church does Christmas a little untraditionally with services held on the two days before Christmas. Some people find it a little strange but I personally love it. It allows our family to enjoy church without trying to squeeze it in amongst all the Christmas craziness. As you can see, the place was hopping! As usual, the service was amazing and it was such an awesome experience praising God for the gift of his son with so many people. All in all, the four campuses our church has ended up having over 29,000 people. Pretty crazy, huh! I never really planned on being part of a megachurch but Eagle Brook just kind of grew around us and we couldn’t be happier there. If anyone wants to check out the amazing sermon pastor Bob gave about God’s promise to do the impossible, here is the video of the service. The entire “Inked” series was awesome so if you’re looking for some encouraging words to start off the new year, here you go.

We went to church with my sister and her fiance, my mom and her husband, his son and daughter-in-law and their adorable daughter Stella. After the service we all headed to the nearby diner for some shakes and hang out time. We don’t get to see my stepbrother and his family nearly enough so it was great to get some time together.

Afterwards, we went to see “We Bought A Zoo” with my mom and her husband. I was so excited to see it and it totally lived up to my expectations. So adorable!

Christmas Eve started at Justin’s dad’s house where there was lots of wrestling to be done with the kids.Oh how those kids love their Uncle Justin.

Then it was back to our house for Christmas with my family.Once again, I got spoiled 😉 We had lots of good food and fun just hanging out. And just wait till I share the ornaments my mom got Justin and I this year. She really outdid herself this time. Pictures coming soon… And because I am still in such amazement, I have to share that my sister (who is a hair stylist) got Justin and I a new blowdryer. Ours has been dying a slow death. Honestly, I think this blowdryer has changed my life. I had no idea that my hair could dry so fast! What would I do without my sister to guide me in the world of hair… Anyways, I didn’t take a lot of pictures throughout the day, just focused on enjoying the time.

Christmas morning my dad came over and we all had cinnamon rolls for breakfast before heading to Albert Lea for Christmas at my aunt’s house. I scanned a bunch of my old pictures and put them in an album for my dad which turned out to be the perfect gift. My dad’s not big on presents so finding something that really makes him happy and excited is no easy task, but this year I think I nailed it. And it was fun to bring to my aunt’s house and share with everyone. There were pictures of the whole family in there so it was entertaining to look through with everyone. There’s all of us lovely kids packed into the back seat. Good thing we like each other so much. While we were there I got to spend some time getting to know this lovely ladyShe is the newest edition to our family and belongs to my cousin who lives about ten minutes away from me so I am looking forward to some quality babysitting time in my future (now that I know she doesn’t cry too much 😉 ).
So there you have it, our busy but wonderful Christmas. I hope your Christmas was as happy as ours!

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to you all! Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas filled with memories to treasure for a lifetime.Love, Maggie and Jackie

For God so loved the world that he sent his only son, so that whosoever shall believe in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

10 Years Ago

Ten years ago today, this boy

asked this girl

to be his wife. And she could not have been happier to say yes.(This picture was taken about 5 minutes after that handsome man put the ring on my finger. Notice the smile???)

Good Memories, Not So Good Pictures

Being the photo/scrapbook nut that I am, days like today drive me a little nuts. Why you ask? Because I spend the day making great memories, but the lighting makes it darn near impossible for me to capture the moment in a decent way. It’s not the worst problem a girl could have, but what can I say? I am who I am. And the truth is, I do my best to make sure I enjoy the moment first, and worry about the pictures second. There are days that I get stuck behind the camera and feel like I really missed being present in the moment, so I’ve tried to learn from that. That means that sometimes I don’t get a lot of great pictures. And sometimes, especially at Christmas time when good, natural light is so elusive, the pictures just turn out frustrating. But in the end, I have pictures that I will treasure forever, even if they aren’t perfect.

Well, now that I got that little photographers rant off my chest, lets move on to our super awesome day with the family. We started our Christmas celebration out at the barn where Miss Lily was sweet enough to take everybody for a ride. I would like to take this moment to point out that she is pretty much the most amazing horse ever. I have never trusted a horse as much as I trust her and she’s only three! It may have something to do with her very lazy, Eyore approach to life. She was so great with everybody and let the kids pet her nose till they were sick of it. I could not have been prouder of my (big) kid!Havana and IDon’t even try to pretend that you aren’t jealous of my sexy carharts cause we’ll all know it’s a lie. That’s right, they’re amazing.Maia’s turn. Please ignore the fact that my horse is in dire need of a haircut and clipping. The clippers will be coming out next week and the mane is just staying out of control long for now because it’s actually laying flat unlike the crazy mohalk action we had this summer. You have no idea how much this is driving me nuts though. I think the main theme behind this post may be that I’m a BIT of a perfectionist sometimes…My nephew Austin, who has cerebral palsey. It was a really cool experience for him to ride by himself. I was extra proud of Lily for being so gentle with him. He had so much fun!My mother-in-law took Lily for a spin, but somehow Lily always found her way back to me… I’m sure it had nothing to do with the thought that she could be lazy and stand still by me and had everything to do with how much she loves me, right?My sister-in-law with little Alana.I think we did pretty good getting the girls these horses for Christmas, seeing as how Maia ran around yelling “This is awesome” after opening it. The girls and I peeling apples for the apple crisp. All three girls ended up helping, all lined up on chairs next to me. I’m bummed I didn’t get a picture of all of us, but like I said, it’s more important that I was making the memories than having the perfect picture of it. Color time! The girls drew me some great pictures that I’m going to put in my December Daily book.You know it’s time to go home when your niece is out cold by the door. I think this means we’re a lot of fun 😉

So there you have it, day one of our five day Christmas extravaganza. Like I said, the pictures aren’t great but the memories are, and I am so happy to have the pictures that I do have to remember the day by. They may not be perfect (you may be noticing that I’m a bit of a perfectionist with my pictures…) but they preserve some great memories, and what more can you ask for?