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December 31, 2008

one little word for 2009

I've decided once again to join Ali's one little word project again for 2009. I seriously love the simplicity of this idea. Selecting one word as a point of focus for the year ahead. I truly love this.

My word for 2009 is now.

Notice it's not "NOW" or "now!" but just plain all lowercase letters. It's now spoken in a whisper as opposed to being yelled by a boisterous two-year old saying "I want dinner NOW!"

So why now? (I love the double meaning of that, by the way.)

Well, now because life is "now." Now is all we have. Our life is just one continual unfolding of nows...nows that turn into "thens" in just the blink of an eye. Life is all about the decisions we make right now.

Right now I can choose to be happy.

Right now I can choose to take care of a task so that it doesn't linger on my psyche for many more nows to come.

Right now I can choose to take the first step on my next big dream or goal.

Right now I can choose to love and listen and really pay attention to the people I care about in my life.

Right now I can choose to snuggle with my son...because who knows how much longer snuggling with Mom will be acceptable in his world.

And that last one is the reason for my word. One night earlier this month I snuggled with Collin before bed, part of our nightly ritual. I was getting up to leave...or maybe I had already left and he called me back in. Could I snuggle for a little bit longer?

Now, I had close to a million things left on my to-do list for the day...but I knew my chance to snuggle a little bit longer was right then. It was now in the context of that evening. This chance to snuggle just a bit longer might not be there tomorrow, or the next day, or the next. In ten years of snuggling with this boy, it's been very rare that he has asked for just a bit longer. The moment was now.

I keep hearing that John Mellencamp song in my mind...(or perhaps he was John Cougar at the time, or maybe he was in the transition stage of John Cougar Mellencamp—but either way you know who I'm talking about.) The chorus to the song is "your life is now." Yes it is. And I will remind myself of that for the entire year to come.


My life is now...not tomorrow, not yesterday. But now. And it always will be.

Here's to a joyful 2009! I wish you and yours the very best both tonight and throughout the year. And if you're participating in the one little word a link or comment about your word. I'd love to know your point of focus for 2009.

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are having a wonderful day today! We've finished unwrapping the gifts and the kids are happily enjoying their new things. I've started the annual ritual of putting the new things away. If you're taking my Clear Out the Holiday Clutter workshop we decided to release the first lesson today, a day early, just in case you're like me and want to start getting your home settled now. I find it hard to relax amidst the holiday clutter....but maybe that's just me. ;)

Anyway...however you choose to spend your day...I hope it is a wonderful day for you and yours.

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2008

it's a wrap!

Spent the day wrapping favorite holiday task of all.


This year I used things I already had on hand. Just bought one new roll...the "Santa wrap" shown above. This is the never-before-seen wrap that is used for Santa's gifts. This year Santa wants the kids to open gifts in a certain order...from least exciting to most exciting. So I created number tags and initial tags, both of which can be reused next year, as can the ribbon. Thinking a bit more about the environment these days.


Here's one for Jay...


I made that tag years to recycle them year after year. I just wanted to share some last-minute gift wrapping ideas.

If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you and yours have a truly magical day!

December 21, 2008

joyful anticipation

Lots of anticipation is in the air today...

  • Putting the finishing touches on Christmas preparations...running a few final errands and getting ready to wrap (my favorite part.)

  • Grandma Suzi, my Mom, is en-route via train from Michigan. (Hooray!)

  • Enjoying my newest adventure in crafting...knitting. Finally taught myself how to do this, thanks to giving Kailea this book for her birthday. This is such a fun thing to do with my girl...I'm loving it.
  • Enjoying quiet time with my family, watching Christmas specials, football and Food TV, with a fire crackling in the fireplace.

I love this place where we are right now...just a few days before Christmas, relaxing, and just enjoying the anticipation.

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, too. Are you ready for the big holiday? How are you spending your time in these final days before the holidays?

December 17, 2008

it's quiet...

...for the first time all day. It was our second "snow day" of the week here. I put that term in quotes because really, if the grass is still showing through the snow, is it snowy enough to call off school? Apparently it is here in Southern Illinois. This just isn't Michigan. Completely different snow day standards around these parts. ;)

So I'm going to go enjoy the quiet and get some things done before bed. Here's wishing you quiet if you need quiet...and if you need noise...well, feel free to stop by my house may snow flurry tonight and my kids will probably be home again... :)

are you having a diva day?

I am! Come join the fun on the Diva Craft Lounge radio show. Show airs at noon pacific (or 2 PM central for those of you in my neck of the woods) today! 

December 16, 2008

winners have been notified...

...but just in case you're curious, or just in case you won but so far pinching yourself hasn't helped it sink in are the winners, as selected via the handy, dandy random number generator at

The winner of Organizing 101 is Kari S. from Texas!

The winner of the goals online workshop is Susan B. who is also from Texas!

And the grand prize winner of the Epson Stylus Photo R1900 is Vanessa P. from Georgia!

If you aren't sure if you're Kari S., Susan B., or Vanessa P., go check you email in-box. If you are one of these three lucky ladies, you'll have a happy email from me letting you know you won. ;)

Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to complete the survey and join in all this fun! If you had your heart set on the looks like Epson has $150 in rebates and free shipping going on right now. I realize this is not quite as good as free...but it's still a great deal on a mighty fine printing machine. 

If you were one of the people who mentioned in your survey comments that the workshops are on your wish can help that wish along by letting Santa know about simplify 101 gift certificates. Sometimes Santa needs a nudge, you know. :)

Thanks again...that was great fun! 

December 12, 2008

(the ultimate) freebie friday!

Friday! Friday! Friday! Woohoo! It's Friday...and what's better than just a regular ol' Friday?

Freebie Friday!

But if you thought Freebie Friday was exciting in the past...todays will knock your socks off.

Here's what's up for grabs...

Catalog Photo-cropped

One spot in Organizing 101, my online workshop that makes it simple and fun to get organized! If "get organized" is on your list of New Year's Resolutions for 2009, Organizing 101 will help you achieve that goal with the support, friendship and fun of an online workshop!

Do you want to get more organized…but don’t know where to start? Organizing 101 is the fresh start you crave! In this online workshop, you’ll learn how to move from feeling overwhelmed to feeling motivated, inspired and empowered to get organized—once and for all. You’ll learn a simple approach for decluttering your home. Plus, you’ll find out how to organize and store all the things you keep, so they’re easy to use (and put away when you’re finished!) This workshop is loaded with empowering information that makes it simple to create a plan for decluttering and organizing your home and begin taking action right away!

The second item up for grabs is...


One spot in my just-announced workshop "How to Achieve Your Goals and Create a Life You Love!"

Here's a little bit about that workshop...With each New Year comes new possibilities. Why not turn 2009 into your best year yet and transform your dreams into reality? In Create a Life You Love, you’ll learn how! Set goals and take action using simple, effective and powerful techniques to create a life you love!

The grand prize give-away is...

(drum roll please....) of these!


That's right, an Epson Stylus Photo R1900! Woohoo! This is one heck of a sweet printer...if you're the lucky winner you will just love it!

By the way, if you are the winner and you live in the United States, we will ship your printer to you via ground service. If you are outside of the United States, we will contact you about shipping the printer to your location and the cost associated to do so. Also, we may not be able to ship the printer to you out of the country due to restrictions and regulations on shipping electronics...but we'll cross that bridge if and when we get to it!

To enter, simply fill out a brief survey.**Survey is now closed.** The survey is designed to help me help you. What topics are you interested in hearing me blog about? What types of workshops are you interested in...or are you interested in workshops at all? It's short. It's sweet. And the payoff...well that could be pretty sweet, too! Deadline to enter is Tuesday, December 16th at 9:00 PM Central. To enter, you simply fill out the survey, including your first name and email address. I will contact the winners via email (so it is vital that you provide a valid email address) with your entry. Your email address will not be shared with anyone and you will not be added to any list.

Good luck!! And thank you, Epson, for the phenomenal grand prize!

December 08, 2008


The winner of the first copy of the November / December issue of Simple Scrapbooks is:

Tracy who said "A healthy family." Posted by: Tracy | December 05, 2008 at 09:24 PM

The winner of the second copy of Nov./Dec. is:

Abby who said:  "I am grateful for being able to stay at home with my son (20 months). Thanks for the giveaway!"  Posted by: Abby | December 06, 2008 at 09:46 PM

And the winner of the hot-off-the-press January / February issue of Simple Scrapbooks is....

Emma who said " I am grateful for my loving family!"  Posted by: Emma | December 06, 2008 at 07:33 AM

If you are Tracy, Abby or Emma, email me your mailing address. Thanks everyone for playing along. That was fun. :)

December 06, 2008

Gratitude Project Update

Having so much fun reading what you're all grateful for! Thanks for sharing...

And I'm having fun with my little gratitude project, too.

Here's yesterday's photo...


It's a mombo IKEA bag (one of those really big blue ones) loaded full of little white pots and the IKEA 2009 catalog. I'm grateful not just for the big, bag full o' pots, but also for my friend Janine who purchased the pots (and wrapped all 30 of them!) on her recent trip to IKEA. Now that's the sign of a true friend. The photo I wish I had gotten was of Janine lugging this bag from her car to mine...that's when I realized I might have gone a tad-bit overboard on the pots. (More on the pots later...I have ideas for days on how to use these little cuties to organize stuff. And thank you to Karyl, too, for her help in the pot-wrapping frenzy.)

Here's Thursday's photo:


Grateful that: the weekly cleaning and grocery shopping are done. Homework is done and planners are ready to sign. And the receipt in the background is there because I saved $19 on groceries that night (and the total was under $100 before the $19 savings) and this, my friends, makes me happy.Oh and the wine...I was getting ready to go relax with Jay. Ahh...the perfect end to a productive evening. to answer a question I had about using the two brag books. Here are a couple more photos:


This shows where the tape is. See how invisible it is? You can't even see it. But, what you can see is that I just stacked the two books on top of each other (after removing the front of one and the back of the other. Then, with the two books sandwiched together, I just taped along the spine.

Here is one more photo. Once the books are taped together, I ran ribbon from the inside around the outside, to cover the (already invisible) tape. :)


Let me know if there are any other questions...and thanks for inspiring me with your gratitude comments for Freebie Friday. I've gotten (as my Dad would say) chilly bumps reading them. :) Now that's good stuff.

Have a happy Saturday. We're going to cut down our tree today...and there's a bit of snow on the ground. I'm grateful already.

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