Monday, March 13, 2017

Miami Summer of 2016

I never did come back and share photos from our time living in Miami last summer.
So here we go with a few of my favorite memories in no particular order...
Evan finally getting to catch a little bull shark!
The view of downtown Miami from our apartment complex.
Peaceful  mornings on the bay wall next to the path around the complex.
My family at the Everglades <3 p="">
 And just the two of us in the Everglades
Snorkeling and hanging at the beach every week.
Feeling more relaxed and happy than I was back in STL. This was taken on a small island in the middle of the bay that we kayaked to from our apartment.
From that same island kayaking expedition :)
My family on our Key Largo trip
 Beaches almost all to ourselves on weekday mornings
The Serenity Pool at our apartment

My family surprising me with a birthday party <3 p="">
The view from our balcony
These are just a few great memories.
I will admit it.
We were spoiled last summer.
It was relaxing, amazing and fun.
And I don't take it for granted.
In fact, I am a little homesick for it at times.
No stress. No worries. And lots of family time. :)
It was a summer we will never forget!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Blog Your Heart - August 2016

I had to come out of blog hibernation to join in once again with a Stephanie Howell Blog Your Heart post. I have been thinking about doing a blog post with photos from our summer cause it was a big and pretty exciting one. But I think I will kick off my return (however temporary) to blogging with this.

I was literally truly thinking the other night that I really liked doing the blog your heart posts and kind of missed them because it seemed to have been awhile. Then today I looked at Stephanie's blog, and there it was. A challenge for August. :)

Blog Your Heart is just a post where you talk about what is on your mind and in your heart. Just let it out!

So here it goes. What is on my mind and in my heart most right now?

1. I have a son in high school. High school! How is that possible that my 14 year old son is in high school? It seems like just yesterday, he was this cute little guy off to kindergarten
 (no 1st day of school photo for high school though. He didn't allow it)
And now he has entered the world of high school. It's mind blowing to me. And he has embraced it! Two days in of classes (not counting a few days of orientation) and he loves it. I am so happy for him and know he picked the right school because he just seems so comfortable there. That's all a parent can ask for right?

I may have cried a little as I drove away the first day of orientation, with Erin in the back going,  "it's ok to cry mom. It's a big step." I had to laugh at hearing that little bit of wisdom coming from my nine year old daughter.

2. Which brings me to the next mind blowing thing.
 (Photo taken on her birthday)
She is nine! Could someone please tell me how to slow things down a bit? She loves her dolls and babies still. Loves to dance and do gymnastics. She is obsessed with Shopkins and all things collectible. And thankfully, really loves to still hang out with me
(photo taken on my birthday!)
We have a lot of fun together, and she never ceases to amaze me. But sometimes I feel this overwhelming responsibility as her mom that I need to get everything just right and be the perfect mom. I know there is no such thing as perfection, but I feel I have only one chance to get this right. To be a good role model for her in a time where it feels like there aren't many good role models in society is so daunting. 
But I just keep trying to be the best mom I can be for my kids. Not perfect but doing my best. :)

3. And lastly, we had a great summer! I want to post about it more another day because I have a lot to share. I will say having a husband who travels a lot for work can be extremely hard and extremely rewarding at the same time. Our year started out with Mike living in Miami working on a project only home every other weekend. I'm not going to lie. It really sucked sometimes. We miss him when he's gone and I feel so tired and overwhelmed sometimes. Thank goodness for my village of family and good friends who help out though. They keep me sane for sure!
(view from by our apartment)

But on the positive side, when school got out the kids and I packed up and drove down to Miami to spend the summer with Mike. He still had to work a lot, but he was home in the apartment every night! We were able to see him every day even if it was only for an hour or two. We swam and went to the beach and the Everglades and so many places. We made new friends and learned a lot about our temporary home. It was a great experience for our whole family. 
 (our family in the Everglades)
I am so glad we had that time together this summer. It wasn't always easy, but getting to spend more time as a family was so worth it! With Evan starting high school, I feel like our time together as a family of four is so fleeting. What happens when he goes to college?? But I'm getting ahead of myself as I'm prone to do. I need to focus on the now. :)

And right now is all we need.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy New Year!

So I know it's been a very long time since I posted. I don't know that I will blog regularly and if I do it will be mostly for journaling purposes.

The photo above is how we spent our New Year's Eve. Mike, the kids and I went to the Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Gardens this year and it was cold but fun!
I seriously can't believe how quickly 2015 went by though.

I have been super busy doing anything and everything besides really scrapbooking, so I don't have any pages to share. But I am doing a major organization and clean up of my scrap office, and that has really put me in the mood to get back into it. Here's hoping this time it takes! :)

Christmas was pretty good to these two. His big gift an expert Detective's office Lego set. Her big gift a guitar.

And Mike gave me my favorite gift. A Fitbit Flex! Can I just say, this little gadget is truly motivating. Last night I did an extra workout before bed (even though I had done one earlier in the day) so that I could reach my 10,000 steps. I reached ten and surpassed to hit 12,000. There have been a few days where this happened.
I gave Mike a Fitbit Charge and so we have some friendly competitions going. Also motivating ;)

(photo from Mother's Day 2015)

2015 has really been a year to connect with my family. She has had dance and violin lessons. He was in the Christmas musical and has started Lacrosse. 
We have gone to several concerts together including U2, Alabama Shakes, Awolnation, Alt-J, Elle King, The Sheepdogs, LouFest, and El Vy (which involved a "just the two of us" road trip to Milwaukee). What can I say? We love music!

We did lots of swimming this summer as we had a pool pass that let us visit various pools around the city one time each. It was fun trying out all of the different pools. Especially the ones with cool lazy rivers!

We had a blast on Halloween with our creepy circus theme and even took first place for trunk or treat at the kids school. Erin didn't want to dress creepy circus so here is a pic of her in her costume...
our sassy little witch!

As we head into 2016, we are facing another year of change. Evan will be heading into high school next school year which is a little mind boggling for me. But at the same time, cool to see how much he has grown over the last year.

I am truly looking forward to this year and making more memories with my family!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Just Popping in...

because I actually made a few layouts at an on-line crop with the Paper Issues Facebook group.
Although these are actually several weeks old now and I am just finally getting around to posting them here. :)
The challenge for this page was to use something sparkly I if I remember right. So I used the glitter alphabet Thickers because this is a page I had been wanting to do for a while. I always thought those fun red glitter letters would be great for a "Wizard of Oz" page.
Unfortunately just now, I see a typo in my journaling. I always check and double check and somehow still manage to miss typos all of the time! Oh well.

The challenge for this page was a simple one. Just use an alphabet on your page. Truthfully, I was actually already in the middle of creating this page and the challenge actually gave me the push to finally finish it!
And this page makes me so happy! The challenge - use a large title. I loved these letter stickers I received with a $10 Studio Calico kit I got way back at their Black Friday sale. I just think they are so pretty. And paired with a favorite photo of my dad and son at the zoo, it was just perfect.

The story behind the photo is very special to me. I have a very vivid memory of going to the Zoo with my grandpa (my mom's dad) when I was small. As I walked behind my dad and Evan seeing their arms around each other, I had a flashback to that moment in my youth. How amazing to see my son enjoying a trip to the zoo with his grandpa, just like I did all those years ago with my own grandpa. :)

The on line crop really pushed me to get some layouts done after a long, long dry spell.
And tonight I just finished another page that I had started last Saturday on National Scrapbooking Day. I really miss scrapbooking sometimes and wish I could just make it a priority again.
But it may be a little bit longer before I am creating pages on a regular basis. And blog posts may still be few and far between.

But we are doing well and gearing up for summer vacation which should be here in four short weeks. I have never been more ready for a summer break! No big plans right now, and that sounds perfect to me. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I'm at a Point...

where blogging just doesn't appeal to me right now.
I have gone back and forth the last year or so wondering should I blog,
or shouldn't I.
Why do I even have a blog?
I have really enjoyed it in the past, but right now it feels like a chore.

So for now I am going to take some time off writing blog posts.
Probably a very long time. 
I still hope to read blogs and keep up with everyone,
but just in case you can find me on Facebook and Instagram if you would like.
My Instagram account is private, but you can request an invite.

Since leaving the design team scene behind, I don't really feel the need to blog as much since I have facebook and instagram for sharing with family and friends. In fact, many blog posts here are just a repeat of what I have posted there.
I am feeling the need for less of an online presence these days,and more privacy for me and my family.
So less blogging it is.

Thanks for hanging with me here at The Scrapbook Treehouse for so long.
I am super grateful for all of the fun women I have met through my blog!
And I am thankful that many of us already follow each other on FB and Instagram.

I am not going to take my blog down just in case I do decide to come back in the future once I start regularly scrapbooking again.
I've learned never say never!

We shall see. :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Kind of Fitness Friday + What I Love Right Now

Let's just say that being sick for a whole week didn't make for the most fit week.
But a not so bad one either.
Quite a few sleepless nights in there.
But then a few nights where I was in bed super early.
Vitamins not taken.
But lots of medicines to soothe symptoms and the antibiotic of course.
Exercise didn't happen like I would have wanted.
But then again I felt like garbage. And I did manage to fit in a few weight and stretch workouts when I felt up to it.
I did drink more water than anything.
And had an Arby roast beef sandwich and Dr. Pepper the day I went to urgent care because I was starving afterwards and Arby's was right there.
But that was the only soda for the week.

So not too bad for being sick.
I will cut myself some slack. :)

And just for fun today, I was inspired by *This Post* by Jen over at her It's My Life blog.
What I am Loving right now.
1. What I'm Wearing...
I got *These Boots* from Nordstrom recently. Super comfortable for such a high heel. Well, high for me that is. Thankfully, I had two gift cards saved up. I had been wanting a pair to go with some new pants I bought from Anthropologie (also with a gift card). I must be the queen of saving up gift cards!
Anyway, new boots for me.

2. What I'm Reading...

OK, technically, I have already finished reading this book, but I really want to talk about it.
I know, I know, everyone is talking about this book!
Mike bought it for me for Christmas upon my request, and lately I have to really want to read a book to buy it not just find it at the library. And I really wanted to read this book.
I find her so smart and funny. She is my age and I loved her stories from her younger years because I could relate to so many. Although, I guess I could relate to a lot of her stories she shared about being a mom as well. The design of this book is pretty fun with so many great photos and bits of old letters and other "scrapbook" type material. Very cool! I have to admit that I liked this book better than Tina Fey's who I also find hilarious. Anyway, it was a good read that was hard to put down and I really hated when it ended. She needs a sequel. :)

The actual books I am reading right now...
The first book was a little slow in the beginning and I almost gave up. But I hung in there and now it's starting to get interesting. I have pretty much read all the books in the JD Robb series by Nora Roberts and this one is a page turner for me. Reading as fast as I can to get to the end!

3. What I'm Watching...
Glee, could it be? Could you possibly have one me back for the last season. We will see. So far so good.
I have such a love/hate relationship with this show. And last season I completely hated it. There are so many poor messages in it at times. And so many bad things have happened to the characters that it seems enough already. So many poor story lines that just don't make sense.
But it almost seems as if they are finding their way back to what made this show fun to watch in the first place.
I hope so.

As for Sleepy Hollow, my must watch show of last season...
well I have to say it has almost lost me. It sounds like it went a bit off track this season for awhile there. So I am seriously behind in episodes. But from what I have been hearing through the grapevine, I might just want to start watching again.

In my to be watched queue on Netflix...The Walking Dead. I hear nothing but good things about it. But so far behind in that show, I would need a serious marathon weekend or something. Those just really don't happen.
Although I am rewatching Friends on Netflix, but those are only 22 or 23 minutes long. So I can knock one out while I eat lunch or fold laundry. :)

Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend!
And I will leave you with two fun Valentine ideas for kids to give to classmates that I found on Pinterest recently.
Both super cute and maybe an idea for the future. We are done with Valentine's for this year.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

On the Mend

Just a quick post today.
I have been sick since last Wednesday.
Started off innocently enough I think as just a cold, but developed into a sinus infection.
By Sunday, my throat was so sore and the head pain so bad I went to an urgent care center.
Thankfully, antibiotics have helped a lot.
But Sunday night after Mike left, I pretty much lost my voice.
So Evan took over the nightly story time with Erin...
reading books on her bottom bunk.
I can't tell you how grateful I was!

And as sick as I was, I still managed to take Erin to dance class on Saturday afternoon (after I took a long nap in the morning) and shopping for a dress for the Father/Daughter dance that night.
We found the dress on sale at Nordstrom after having absolutely no luck at a variety of other mall stores. She picked it out herself along with the hair bow.
Unfortunately I did not get a good picture of Mike and Erin together. We were just too rushed. I am hoping the professional shot of the two of them at the actual dance is better.

Now that I am feeling better, hopefully I can get caught up. I am getting there.
And my project to do list is pretty long as always, but I feel like I am making progress!
Anyway, thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fitness Friday

Checking in!
So I have been trying to exercise 4-6 times a week and have been successful with that goal. I am on pace for 4 times this week. But I was feeling pretty crummy on Wednesday night so didn't exercise Thursday like planned. Which is why I am going to hit 4 instead of five this week.
Although I do daily push ups so that counts as a form of exercise right?

I also realized that to fit exercise in, I may not get a full 45-60 minute workout done.
Sometimes it's 20-30. And this past Tuesday morning it was a 12 minute ab workout.
In the past, I might have just said forget it. A workout that short is not worth it.
But now I know that some exercise is better than none!
For one, it keeps me on track. Once you start missing exercise days, it's easy to just let it slide.
Also, if I do a shorter workout, I try to make it a HIIT workout or strength training because those help boost the metabolism. Then you are burning more calories throughout the day!
So my exercise goal is going well.

Fast Food:
I have been avoiding it like crazy, but once a month I allow myself to have it if I feel like it.
On Wednesday I was running errands all day and decided to treat myself to Culver's for lunch and have my weekly Dr. Pepper.
Once again I realized that fast food really isn't much of a "treat" anymore. Ugh.
Except for my one Dr. Pepper a week, I am drinking mostly water.
I want to add some hot tea in the morning back into the mix as well. I really do like hot teas.
And I had a Pina Colada type smoothie on Wednesday at lunch with my tuna salad. They make the best smoothies at a local coffee shop here.

Yikes! The first three days this week I totally forgot again. But I am getting back into remembering. I have to set the bottles on the counter first thing when I come down in the morning as a reminder.

Sleep (my goal for this past week):
Success! The goal was to be in bed by 10:30 at the latest, lights out at 11pm for sure.
Plus, no screens after 10:30
Well, Monday night I was in bed by 9:45 and lights out at 10:15.
Tuesday night in bed by 10:00 and lights out by 10:30.
Wednesday night I was not feeling great, so I was in bed by 10:00 and lights out by 11:00. I did not sleep well overall that night because my throat hurt but at least I was in bed on time.
Thursday night more of the same as far as success.
I really want to keep this trend up on school nights!


I discovered a seriously fun little craft store called Upcycle Exchange which is only a 5-7 minute drive from my house. In fact, I could probably walk there in about 20 minutes if I wanted. If you bring in items on their "wish list" you get a store credit. Scrapbook items are definitely on the list. Then it's a "pay as you wish" for items you want to purchase.

I ended up picking up a few things but still have a credit left over from the huge stack of patterned paper I brought in. I bought all that you see in the photo for $3.00. A real bargain considering I really wanted that Studio Calico stamp set and it is definitely worth a lot more than $3.00. The little "sorry" flair badge was sent to someone with a Studio Calico kit because there was a mess up in some product in their kit apparently, but I think it will be fun on a scrapbook page.
It was fun to look through the bins and come up with some treasures that were considered giveaways to someone else. :)

So now I just need to make some time to actually scrapbook. Truthfully, I could have the time, I just haven't been making it a priority. Other projects, errands and chores are getting in the way. Maybe this weekend.
Hope you have a great weekend!