layouts {spencer 5x7}

many moons ago, i started a 5x7 album for spencer to highlight his professional portraits. it actually started as something matt would keep on his desk at work, but turned into more of a memento we keep at home. and i love that i started it. i love having these all in one place. i have all intentions of doing the same thing for coleman. i'm tempted to do a different size, but will probably go with 5x7 so that the boys' mini albums are consistent.

anyway...when we get a new professional portrait of spencer, i slip a wallet or 3x5 into the next page protector in his album. every so often, i play "catch up" with the actual scrapping portion of it. as he's gotten older, this album has really started to fill up. in a normal year he has two school portraits, two baseball (spring and fall), and one basketball...plus any we actually have done on our own (which is usually at least one). that's six per year!!

i had gotten behind so the last couple of weekends, i tackled getting caught up.

i apologize for the poor photo quality. as you can see, i keep these super simple (so they are quick to create). the key is to capture the date/age and showcase the portrait.



photos {coleman's first birthday; family}

this is one of those random posts that is so late, it's pretty much pointless. i honestly can't believe that i put so much thought, planning, time and heart into coleman's first birthday party (4 months ago)...and then barely blogged about it at all.

two months after the party, i did this post: photos {coleman's first birthday: decorations}

i meant to follow up with this post (and others). i do apologize. as you will see noted at the end of the post, we had a professional photographer come to his party. totally worth it. the shots below would have never happened otherwise.

~the birthday boy~

~coleman + daddy~

~coleman + mommy~


All photos were taken by Lindsay Alexander Photography.

You see all of the professional photos here and non-professional here.



this week {6.21 - 6.27}

~ spencer had baseball camp in the mornings ~

~ i finalized the powerpoint presentation for our community meeting ~

~ i voted in the republican primary runoff ~

~ i took tuesday off from work and coleman went to daycare late so we could spend some time together ~

~ i shopped at bi-lo and cvs ~

~ i ordered photos online (70 free through flickr/snapfish) ~

~ i went by the church where our community meeting was being held to drop off some stuff ~

~ matt went to support his brother, while i went to the hoa meeting ~

~ aj watched coleman for us on tuesday night ~

~ i grocery shopped at harris teeter (super double coupon week) ~

~ coleman played in mulch. surprise. ~

~ matt and i tried to watch sherlock holmes and fell asleep; we finished the next night ~
i would recommend this movie. i fell asleep because i was super tired, not because the movie was bad.

~ i finally got one of spencer's prescriptions converted to mail order ~

~ i caught up on my photo process for the past two weeks ~

~ i set up our HOA on facebook and twitter; made lots of blog updates for the HOA and summarized survey results ~

~ i linked my blog to facebook and twitter ~

~ my snapfish order arrived ~

~ we watched the gamecocks beat clemson in the college world series, twice ~

~ we watched the US lose in the World Cup ~

~ warren came over and watched part of the US World Cup game with us ~

~ i made firefly jello shots ~

~ coleman got sick. bad cough. ~

~ matt and i cleaned out the garage ~

~ matt, spencer and i watched the race to witch mountain ~

~ i took a nice long bubble bath and finished reading stuart woods' short straw ~

~ my sisters, mom and i set up a scrap weekend in july ~

~ i realized i barely took any photos. i actually got more picture message on my phone that photos that i actually took. what's up with that???? ~

{savings tracker}

spent = $134; saved = $149 (53%)
ytd savings = $2,385
weekly average for family of 3.5 = $136


{on the floor}

i've seen it on tv. i've heard people talk about it. and last night i did it. at 4 a.m. i cuddled up with a pillow and blanket on the nursery floor just so i could hear him breathing.

backstory: yesterday, coleman came down with a bad cough. he was having a rough night after we put him to bed. even with the benadryl and humidifier, he started not breathing as easy. at one point, all three of us (me, matt and spencer) were in his nursery, lathering him with babyrub, and trying to soothe him. poor spencer. he has such a big heart and worries so. he was convinced little man was going to the hospital. after the gamecocks pulled of their win (yaaay!), we were able to get a few hours of sleep while coleman slept and sounded better. around 3 a.m. i woke to hear him struggling again. i went to his room and immediately upon picking him up knew he had a fever. his entire body was on fire (he was at 100.6). i brought him downstairs to the recliner hoping he'd sleep better being more upright. it worked for a little while, but he was just not comfortable. that's when i decided to let him get back in his crib where he could be more comfortable. and i spent the rest of the night on his floor.

update: he seems better this morning. no fever, even after the tylenol wore off. he obviously doesn't feel "normal", but he's better. right now he's reading a book in the den floor.



{the picture}

so, you know how sometimes you get *that picture*? the one that makes the other 200 that week totally worth it? ok, maybe you don't. i honestly have no clue whether the average person feels these things in relation to photographs (like how i cried when i saw our family portraits last year), but for the sake of this blog post, i'm just going to pretend i'm normal.

so, i take a ton of pictures - sometimes of expected events, sometimes of totally random things, sometimes of just hanging and doing what we do. this was one of those. it was after work, just hanging out in the yard. i took some pictures of coleman playing with his big orange ball, sliding on his slide, and playing with the neighbors' rocks.

i think it can *hit* you when you get one of these at different times. it's possible (though rare, i believe) that you realize it as you take it. it's quite likely that you might see it when you first load them to your computer and see them on the bigger screen. and sometimes it takes time. when i saw this photo, i liked it. a lot. but it took going through my photo process (meaning, i probably "touched" the photo several times), before the intensity of it stuck with me.

and the crazy thing about getting "the" picture is that it probably only means that much to you. maybe your family or some friends or something. but i guarantee that most of you will look at the picture below and just see a photo of the top of a kid's head that is sitting on some rocks. but when i look at it, i see everything that my 16-month-old baby toddler boy is right now.

so, this is it. the picture. i plan on printing this large (probably 8x10 or 8.5x11) and letting it serves as it's own layout. cuz it rocks (pun fully intended).


mini album {beach vacation 09}

this mini album has been a long work-in-progress.
quite a while ago, i happed upon a digital "blog hop".
i downloaded a ton of these summer/beach themed quick pages.
i opted to use them (with some editing) to highlight photos from our beach vacation last year.
i gradually completed the digital pages.
though they were 12x12 designs, i didn't want anything that large.
then eventually had them printed in 5"x5" (on 5"x7" prints - for free through artscow)
they arrived. and sat.
eventually, i trimmed the prints and added them to cardstock.
i bound the album with my bind-it-all.

if you're interested in seeing all of the digital pages, click here.



coleman {16 months}

today, coleman is sixteen months old! here is a little update on what he is like right now with some phone snapshots from the past month.

~ he still totally loves balls ~

~ and he still really loves rocks, mulch, dirt, etc. ~

~ he loves to play with q-tips and sunscreen bottles in our bathroom ~

~ he transitioned from crib to mat at daycare ~

~ he loves bathtime ~

~ he pitches a MEAN temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way...which is often ~
hard to believe that this precious face can pitch a tantrum, huh???

~ he's a budding artist ~
this was taken at daycare. i vow to do more art projects with him at home!

~ he loves playing with his little people school house~
thanks aunt michelle

~ he's a messy eater ~
some of his favorite foods include:
green beans, chicken (most meat, really), yogurt, cheese, and obviously...chef boyardee.

~ he still loves country music (music in general, but country is definitely his favorite) ~
he is starting to dance more, and still claps his hands excitedly when it's a particularly good song
current favorites include: lady a's "need you now" (he's not tired of it yet), martina mcbride's "wrong baby wrong" and miranda lambert's "the house that built me"

~ he still loves playing with his friends at daycare ~
and thoroughly enjoys doing "on your mark, get set, go"...which is what they are doing in this photo
he's the one in the back, by the fence...he must be giving the other kids a head start!

~ he is starting to use his sign language a little bit, particularly "more" ~

~ he loves climbing up stairs ~

~ he is showing more interest in riding ON riding toys, instead of just playing with them ~
though he may still be a bit disoriented :)

~ he is starting to talk more...especially the last week or so ~
he has many of the same words as he did for last month's update: thank you, cheese, uh-oh, mama, dada
thankfully he is not saying the sh*t word as often :)
he says something that sounds like "duh" and can mean either *dog* or *done* depending on the context.
at daycare, he just started saying AJ!
i have a feeling this month ahead of us is going to be full of new words. so exciting!!!


guest post {simple scrapper}

part one of my guest post at simple scrapper went up yesterday. the article is a three-part series, with parts two and three going up today and tomorrow. it's called dealing with digital overload and is a detailed description of the process i use to manage and organize my digital photographs. i'd love for you to swing by the site and read part one. please leave a comment over there as well! i love comments!

edit: below are links to all three parts of the series

dealing with digital overload
part one
part two
part three


{he did it!}

i am very proud to announce that my brother-in-law, Dr. Britt Blackwell, is the newly elected member of York County Council District 6! Of the four candidates in the race, he won the most votes back on the original election day (June 8th), but did not get the necessary majority. Britt had 43% of votes (as opposed to the incumbent who had 35%), and was ahead by 270 votes. As a result, he and the incumbent had a run-off election this Tuesday and he WON!

Tuesday's results...Britt took 55% of the votes (1,679...which is 323 more than the incumbent). He won 14 precincts, lost 4. (The precinct that I called...250 calls...he won 62%...that's right!!!) The cool thing about his winning is that he didn't just beat the incumbent, but also the 12-year council member, who is also the CHAIR. That's pretty impressive.

You can read the articles in yesterday's newspaper here and here and here. One of them was on the front page, above the fold. Now, it's pretty amazing that there is even a picture of Britt, because most of  one article is actually an interview with the loser. But our local paper isn't exactly known for being "fair and balanced" :)

Wanna hear a random fact... the two main candidates in the race were both Spencer's uncles (Matt's brother and then his mother's brother-in-law). Weird. (For what it's worth, Spencer was supporting Britt!).

As I was searching for some neat tid-bits to include in this post, I realized I never watched the news video that was taken at Britt's official campaign launch. You can see it here, and it turns out there's a little shot of Coleman and I!



creative boot camp {day 9}

day 9
random word prompt: drizzle

this was a strange one... i thought of drizzling rain, but my mind definitely kept coming back to the drizzling of some type of icing on something super sweet and yummy. yesterday, we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, so i took a few snapshots while i was drizzling the tasty glaze over the hot rolls!

editing notes: used a pre-set PSE7 effect called *old photo* which i think is super cool! font name is *cocaine sans*


accessory obsession {shoes}

as promised in this post about scarves, here is more about my accessory obsession. this time, we are looking at my shoe collections.

i have to start by saying that i'm VERY proud of myself because i've done quite a good job of purging shoes that i no longer wear. i truly only have shoes that i wear on a regular basis (depending on the season, of course). the one exception is that i can't part with my wedding shoes.

this first photo shows part of my shoe collection...probably half of it? maybe a little less. our closet floor is lined with 5 of these shoe shelves (available at most home improvement stores). three are mine, two are matt's. the solution has worked well for us. they are right under where our clothes hang so they don't actually take up usable floor space.

i currently have 33 pairs of shoes (matt has 17).

here's a close-up of a few colorful selections.

and here are my flip-flops. i keep these in a basket which is in a bench type thing at the foot of our bed. it's a very tight squeeze. i might be taking over the second basket soon!
i have 12 pairs of flip-flops.



this week {6.14 to 6.20}

~ spencer went to improv comedy camp in the mornings. and loved it. ~

~ we did improv comedy games to *practice* with spencer ~

~ we watched last comic standing with spencer (see a theme?) ~

~ i worked on the powerpoint presentation for our hoa meeting (a lot) ~

~ i made returns/exchanges to wal-mart, target and kohl's...all during the same lunch hour; i was impressed with myself ~

~ i got a free limeade sparkler from taco bell ~

~ we had some police action in the neighborhood. interesting. ~

~ matt was still feeling under the weather and didn't go to work on tuesday night ~

~ i worked from home ~

~ i cleaned out the junk drawer in the kitchen ~

~ i made chocolate chip cookies ~

~ coleman and i played in the yard after work ~
~ i made a glass of cucumber water for the first time ~

~ i hosted a hoa board meeting ~

~ i got behind on my photo taking for creativity boot camp; played some catch-up later in the week ~

~ i summarized the results of a homeowner survey and sent to the board ~

~ i shopped at old navy and rite aid ~

~ sherry and i went to spencer's improv comedy show ~

~ spencer, sherry and i went out to lunch and then hit an antique store, where spencer purchased a large box of old antique matchboxes ~

~ i watched ghosts of girlfriends pastcute movie. highly recommend ~

~ we shopped at tj maxx and ross ~

~ the four of us went to a cookout/party/celebration thing at bowater park (put on by matt's company) ~

~ spencer and i played a new board game: trivial pursuit - bet you know it. i won ~

~ i made about 250 phone calls on behalf of britt's campaign ~

~ we celebrated father's day ~

~ i made a white wine cake ~

~ we had lunch at matt's parents' house ~

~ we gave matt his gifts (gamecock apron, shirt and two glasses ~

~ the gamecocks played in the college world series and lost to oklahoma (after many hours of weather delays)  ~
how could they have lost with all of us decked out in our gamecock gear?!?!?

~ spencer started taking photos for his summer project ~

{savings tracker}
spent = $61; saved = $21 (26%)
ytd savings = $2,236
weekly average for family of 3.5 = $136