Sunday, May 17, 2009

I {heart} bronzer

In the past couple of weeks, I have noticed this heart revealing itself in my bronzer. I probably wouldn't have been led to take, let alone post, this amusing picture if I hadn't seen this post recently! How fun to have a blog... it gives me an excuse to make note of simple things that make me smile.

Join Emily for Tuesdays Unwrapped at Chatting at the Sky for more moments worth noting.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Sweet and Easy Gift!

I like to send cards and notes to those I care about.

For a birthday or other special occasion, I would also love to lavish them with gifts. But there are a couple of problems with that: 1) I don't have unlimited funds, 2) some people are really, really hard to buy for, 3) do they really need more "stuff"? and, 4) I don't have unlimited funds. Yet, for certain people and occasions, while a gift may not be necessary, a card just does not seem like enough!

My favorite choice in that situation is to make a quick and easy Paper Album!

These images are from a beautiful Paper Album that my sweet friend Robin made for her husband. This precious little book celebrates their 10th wedding anniversary! The 12 pages showcase pictures from their years together, with memories recorded by Robin's hand.

Ronnie keeps this on his nightstand.

In honor of Father's Day, Creative Memories is offering this limited edition "Make it for Dad Featured Project Bundle" which includes everything you need to make a quick and easy gift! Last year, my kids and I made a paper album to give to Gil, with each child completing two of the pages themselves. You can see part of it here. I offer workshops to help families make their Paper Albums, too.

Paper Albums Kits are sometimes called our "15 photos in 15 minutes" album. You can definitely finish one in about an hour. Everything is included, and beautifully coordinated, so it is fun and easy to put together. And, with a variety of options, you can find one for almost any occasion. They even come with an envelope to make them easy to mail!

It is also fun to have a Paper Album Party! These make a fun girls-night-out where everyone brings 10-20 photos. It is also a fun birthday party project. When my daughter turns 10 this summer, we will be making "all about me" albums using a couple of photos and Paper Album Kits.

These make awesome gifts when you put them together for someone special. Think about teacher gifts, grandparents, coaches... so many possibilities! Or, for a crafty kid, give them a Paper Album Kit to complete on their own. Who can you bless with a Paper Album?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Meditation on Motherhood

Last week was one of those weeks. I found myself feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated. I feared that no one around me valued the contribution I was making. I even started to question all I do and my worth. I was feeling discouraged. And it started to affect my actions as I approached the "why bother if no one cares" downward spiral.

Through my discouragement, I clung to the Lord. I was reminded of Colossians 3:23-24, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

Convicting. Whether I am appreciated or not, forge ahead in excellence, doing what He called me to do. Be the best mother and wife I can be, in His strength. Another verse, Nehemiah 8:10, propped me up: "...for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

This year for Mother's Day, I asked not for cards or gifts, but for letters from my family. The letters I received from my kids were sweet and funny and encouraging. Especially from my nearly-10 and 12 year olds... I could see that they "get" it. They know I try make them a priority, that being their mom is important to me, that my many mundane tasks matter. I appreciated the letters and felt loved.

Last night, though, I was moved to tears when my husband came home from work and handed me a letter he wrote. How my heart melted and my spirit soared. I am happy to serve the Lord. But it is so, so nice when my man acknowledges me and my contribution to our family. God truly gifted my heart through these words from Gil:

You are the rock in the midst of the constant roll of life. It is because
of you our children have security in their place in the world. You are steadfast in your direction and love for each. Different in style -- you meet them where they are in life.

At times, it may seem they choose me over you. But I think it's because they are so secure: Mom is their rock, she is our constant.

So if you ever have days when you wonder what your life is worth, stop and think of Zachary, Abbie, Jacob, and me, for that matter. For without you we would all be rolling, rolling with no direction of home.

What a gift these words were to me. It was a holy moment... my heart cries to God reflected back to me through sweet, thoughtful, unexpected words from my husband.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Where's Mom??!?? Part 2

In March, I wrote this post called "Where's Mom??!??" In the past couple of days, Emily at Chatting at the Sky visited this very topic. Of course, she is far more eloquent than I am. Her post is definitely worth a read, as are all the comments.

The question is, are we in our pictures? In years to come, will our children know we were present in their lives, or will they wonder where we were? Emily, and another blogger, Karin, encourage us to take self-portraits if we have to. So in that vein, I decided I would do that with my kids tonight! On a whim, I picked up the camera, we all piled on the playroom couch, and took a few pictures.

I actually had to hand the camera to Zachary for him to take the photos because I couldn't keep my arm out of the shot!

This Mother's Day weekend, let's make sure Mom (you!!) are featured in some photos... preferably with your kids!!

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