Showing posts with label About Me. Show all posts
Showing posts with label About Me. Show all posts

My Scrapbook Gallery

One of the "non-visible" projects in organizing my scraproom, was to take pictures of all the layouts I have done, and post them to my gallery. This is a big, over due project!! I first had to wait for a some what sunny day, which here in Chicago, in the middle of winter, is hard to come by. Once my lighting was good I snapped away. 

I then did a little brightening, cropping and a few other edits in Photoshop and was ready to upload. When I went into my account at I had to make some edits here too. First off I was still 34!! Nice!! The boys were a little bit younger too. I also need to shift around some of the previous layouts I had in there, and separate out my paper layouts from my digital layouts. 

It took awhile to complete this project but I am so glad I got it done. I have learned so much from others sharing their techniques and tips that I just want to do the same -  pay it forward. So hop on over to my gallery and let me know what you think. 

Thirty Days of Thanks

What are you thankful for??? Join me in doing the Thirty Days of Thanks. Thirty Days of Thanks is where you post something you are thankful for each day. Post it on your blog, Facebook, or just jot it down. I did it last year and loved doing it as it really made me realize what an amazing life I am living and all the wonderful people in my life. It was also awesome to look back on what I wrote. If you have a blog or social media site where you are posting please feel free to link up below. 

Nov 1: Today I am thankful for Advil. I know that is silly but there are days that I just don't know how I would survive with out it.....being a woman and all!

Nov 2: I am thankful for my son Nathan. He is such a thoughtful kid. I am so blessed to have his positive energy in my life!

Nov 3: I am thankful for my son Trace. He is the sunshine in my day! 

Nov 4: Today I was thankful for coupons. Did some Christmas shopping and everything is so expensive but with coupons I got some good deals!  

Nov 5: I am thankful my husband takes the financial burden so I can stay home with my boys. I love that I am there for them everyday, in anyway!

Nov 6: Today I am thankful for my parents. I love hanging out with them and making them laugh! They have always been there for me, supported me, and help me become the woman I am today! Love you both!

Nov 7: After watching Greys tonight I am thankful that both my babies were born with no complication and remain healthy today! 

Nov 8: Today I am thankful for my girlfriend who always make me feel special around my birthday. 

Nov 9: Today I am not feeling very thankful. Having a terrible day! But I guess I have to be thankful for bad days so I know what good days feel like. 

Nov 10: I am thankful for another year in my life. As much as I dislike getting older on my birthday, I love to add another year that I have lived in the physical world!  

Nov 11: I am torn on my thankfulness today. I can be thankful for more than one thing today right? First I am thankful to my Father, Grandfathers, and best friend Michael Buck for their service to our country. Today and everyday my thoughts, prayers, and thanks go out to those who have served, and those who continue to serve our country. 

Today I am also thankful for Grandpa Kotwica. Today is his birthday.Even though he is no longer with us here in the physical world, I know he is with us in spirit. I am thankful for the time I got to spend with him. He came into my life through marriage but filled a void in my heart from losing my own Grandfather so early in my life. Love you and miss you tons Grandpa! 

Nov 12: Today I am thankful for quite in my house. There are just some days I enjoy the kids being in school all day and the husband in the office! 

Nov 13: Today I am thankful for the love that my kids give me everyday. I know someday to soon they will no longer want to crawl up in my lap and cuddle with me so for now I will cherish those moments and be forever thankful for those moments of love! 

Nov 14:  Today I am thankful for my car. She is getting old but runs great and I love not having a car payment!

Nov 15: Today I am thankful for my husband for giving me a break from my daily routine. He is such a great husband and dad I never worry leaving him for the weekend

Nov 16: Today I am thankful for my mom teaching me it is better to give than receive. As I sit here making my Christmas cards I am thinking about the smile it may bring to a friend or a family members face when they receive it. I am also thinking my extra cards should go to a good cause.

Nov 17: Today I am thankful for love. I watched my parents today and even though they drive each other crazy once in awhile they truly love each other. They get each other and accept each other for who they are. Almost 45 years of marriage will do that to one another :)

Nov 18: Today I am thankful my dog Hazel is still here with us. She is almost 11 years old and her age is starting to show. She is such a good dog and I love that she still wants to play with me at night!

Nov 19: Today I am thankful for my bed. Silly but true. We spent a good amount of money on our bed and I love it. I sleep so much better and it really helps my back.

Nov 20: Today I am thankful for candles. It is amazing to me how a scent of a candle makes me feel. I love it when my house is filled with a wonderful scent.  

Nov 21:Today I am thankful for coffee. I treat myself to coffee at Starbucks and today it was just extra yummy!

Nov 22: Today I am thankful for my a day with my husband. I love spending time with just him even if we are just running errands.

Nov 23: Today I am thankful I got so spend time with my husband's side of the family. We don't get to spend much time with them and I really enjoyed my time with them. I am glad it worked out for everyone and we were able to get together.

Nov 24: Today I am thankful for my cooking. My mother taught me well as I made a wonderful dinner for my parents and my family!

Nov 25: Today I am thankful for how I was raised. I had my boys teacher/parent conferences today and got nothing but praise for how good my boys are doing in school - from school work to their behavior. I have to give some credit to my parents and how they raised me, as this is where I learned it from. I also needed this myself as I feel I am too tough on my boys but today help me realize there is a reason why I have rules and expectations.  

Nov 26: Today I am thankful that my husband and I can be silly and make each other laugh. I really think it is a strong trait and helps us to have a great marriage.

Nov 27: Today I am thankful for my neighbors. We have been in our new neighborhood for a year now and could not have asked better neighbors! 

Nov 28: Happy Thanksgiving. Today is the day I should be thankful for all my loved ones in my life, but this is a Thanksgiving I will never forget. I guess for today I am thankful that I now know the truth.

Nov 29: I am thankful for my friendships. I have so many amazing friends and even though some of us are so many miles apart our bond is still so strong.

Nov 30: On the last day of thanks I am thankful for sleep! Wow this holiday was exhausting and now on to Christmas!! 

Happy New Year!! Do you have your one word?

Yep.....that my one word for the year! 2012's word was change and I did that in a big way by changing my address. My husband and I moved into our new home at the end of October and as you all know after you move you have to organize everything! I also picked organize as my 2013 word because I function better when I have a plan and my day is organized. 

There will be two areas my one word will focus on; organizing my home and organizing my life. I am not sure which one will be easier! If any of you are like me I have a tornado of ideas going on in my head of how I will accomplish organizing my home and organizing my life. My strategy is to take it one day at a time and start small so that I do not become overwhelmed and give up on my plans.

Last year I printed out several copies of my one word, and laminated them. I placed them in areas of my house that I frequented such as my vanity, my kitchen, my planner, and my car. I am a visual learner and having that visual of my one word reminded me daily what my one word meant to me. It help to keep me focus on my goals. I also created a One Word 2012 board on Pinterest to place quotes or pictures that included or represented my one word. I plan on doing my print outs and I have already started my board with my one word for 2013. I challenge you to pick one word that represents what you want 2013 to be for you and make it happen. I would love to hear what your one word is. Please feel free to leave me a comment with the link to your blog or link to your one word Pinterest board! Happy New Year!

One Word

My one word for 2012 was change. Well I guess you can say that was a perfect word for me. The biggest change for me was our address. We moved this year to a beautiful new home. In my previous post about my one word for 2012 I can say I continued to carry a 4.0 GPA, I did make more time for me (as much as I could), I learned to say no (that was big for me as I was always saying yes to everything and everyone). There are so many things that I changed in my life this year but I still have more to change. 

Now as 2013 is just around the corner I am starting to think about my one word for 2013. Reflecting back on what the purpose of the one word challenge is. One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live or what you want to achieve by the end of 2012. I am now asking myself what the word is for the answer to that sentence for 2013. What is your word for 2013??

31 days and counting!

OMG I have been so busy with packing and getting ready for the move. On top of school, state test, kids and life in general. We are officially 31 days out and I can barley stand to wait! Even though I feel a little overwhelmed I am still organized. I am to the point where most of the house is packed and I will only have the last minute packing of stuff we are currently using or need. My organization system is working out great! Here are a few new pictures of the house

Front of the house 

Back of the house 

Wood floors before the stain 

Wood floors after the stain 

Title in the shower 


Let me repeat.....I can not wait to move in!!!!

Pre-drywall House Pictures - So Important!!!

We just had our pre-drywall walk thru on our house. I can not stress to any future home buyers who are building a home how important it is to take pre-drywall pictures! We did it on our first home and I can't tell you how many times we referenced those pictures to "see" what was behind the wall. However on our first house we did not take enough. So this time thru I took about a 130 pictures!

On our first house we also made another mistake. We took the pictures and then downloaded them. That's it. I did not label what room it was, or make any notes about the pictures. When it came time to look up a picture it took awhile to find the right wall as they all look alike! So this time I took the pictures and then did some editing. Thank goodness for Photoshop! I was able to bright the pictures and then write right on the picture as to what room it was. Here is just a few:

See that big pole??? I know I would more than likely want to hang something on the wall and would hit the pole with my luck! 

The house is moving along so fast! I can not wait to get into it! And when I need to "see" what's behind the wall.........I think I will be ready!

We have a roof!

They are moving so fast on our new home! I can't wait I am so excited.

They have moved our closing date up twice which is awesome as I can't wait to get into the house but that means less time for me to pack! My packing/moving system is working well so far. I will be posting about that really soon!

Longboat Key, Florida

How fast time flies when your on vacation! My husband and I traveled to Longboat Key in Florida at least once a year. We love it there. We just got back and I think this was the first time we went that it was cooler in Florida then it was here in Chicago!!! We add a short stop in Clearwater this year and the kids had a blast at the pool in the hotel we stayed at. Just a short ride down to LBK and fun in the sun began! The kids swam at the pool or played at the beach everyday! I even got a great family photo of us. 

On our return flight home we end up stuck at the airport for over 5 hours due to mechanical issues. The airline was very nice about and even gave us all free round trip tickets for a future flight for our inconvenience.....Florida here we come again! 

It's official ~ We are moving!!!!

I am so excited because the construction on our new house has begun. See me and the boys and our hole :)

So I have already begun our moving plans. I have created a moving binder, color coded system for the boxes that will correlate with what room in the new house they will go in, tabs in the binder such as address changes, moving to do, a moving calendar tracking the progress of our house as well as packing schedule and so much more. If anyone has moving tips or organization ideas for making a smooth move please share!!!

My One Word - Change (update)

In January I picked one word to be my word for the year. I choose CHANGE. There were several things I wanted to change in my life. One thing I wanted to change was my grade point average. In high school I was for the most part an honor student but always felt I could have done better. After almost 7 months in school I am currently holding a 4.0 GPA!!! Another thing I wanted to change was more "me" time. I have sacrificed for years between family, friends, and life style choices. Now don't hate me when I say this, but I decided to change, and become a little more selfish. I was always trying to help others, and always saying yes to others. This year I took a step back, not that I don't want to help others, or say yes to others, but I think I learned to say "how will this affect you and how will this affect your family." If I found that saying yes meant sacrificing time with my family, or something that I wanted to do on my priority list I have learned to say no. I also wanted to change my diet and exercise. I can say I have made some minor changes but I need some bigger changes to happen there. My relationship with my husband has changed. Changed for the good. I think we have learned to appreciate each other more and we have had some of the best talks. My favorite time is sitting with him on the sofa just talking after we get the kids in bed. We have had so many great talks that I have logged in my memory banks! The biggest change is yet to come (I'm so close to telling) be continued!

My one word for 2012


That's my word. So many things in my life need to change and I need to change them for me. Sorry if that sounds a little selfish but this year I need to stop putting so many of my efforts into everyone else and take care of me a little better. I have started a pinterest board to remind me of my word thru out the year. You can see it here

Here's to a Happy New Year!


Everyday in November I will post what I am thankful for. I have seen this many times but I feel I want to do just to remind me how blessed my life is:

Nov1: I am thankful for my husband. He is a wonderful man.
Nov 2: I am so thankful for my kids. They have brought so much joy to my life and I am truly blessed that they were brought into my life. I could not imagine life with out them! Love you boys!
Nov 3: I am thankful that my husband is employed. Just over a year ago he was laid off from his job of 9 years and it was the scariest moment in my life. I believe things happen for a reason and now he is more than happy with the job he has moved into.
Nov 4: I am thankful for my dog Hazel. She has been my companion since my journey with Ron started. It is hard to watch her age.
Nov 5: I am thankful for the marriage I have. My husband and I are really a team, best friends, lovers, and at times annoyances to each other. It makes our marriage strong!
Nov 6: I am thankful for my Aunt. I really don't know what I would do with out her. She always gives me a helping hand. I am so lucky to have her!
Nov 7: I am thankful for coffee! I really don't know what I would do with out it!
Nov 8: I am thankful for my mother in law. I'm so lucky to have such a loving, caring mother in law. I know so many who don't get along with their mother in law but mine is the best. She loves me and my kids and everything about us! Happy Birthday Mom!
Nov 9: I am thankful for bad days. Yes I know. Sounds silly right. But today I am having a bad day. This helps me realize and be thankful for the good days.
Nov 10: I am thankful I was born on this date!
Nov 11: I am thankful for my father in law. He is a sweet, wonderful man and is so good with the boys. I see so much of Ron in him. He loves me like I am his own daughter. Happy Birthday Dad!
Nov 12: I am thankful for my little brother in law. I am so lucky to have such a great relationship with him. He makes me laugh so much and brings so much joy to my heart!
Nov 13: I am thankful for sleep. Oh boy did I need it today!
Nov 14: I am thankful for my best friend Carey. She is truly the definition of a real best friend in every way!
Nov 15: I am thankful I made my decision to go back to school and get my BA in Elementary Teaching
Nov 16: I am thankful for the feeling I have when my house is all clean and in order. Nothing beats that feeling.
Nov 17: I am thankful for my Dad. He is my hero and always will be!
Nov 18: I am thankful for my Mom. She is such a strong woman and sometimes I don't know how she does it.
Nov 19: I am thankful for the team effort me and my husband have. We really do work well together (most of the time).
Nov 20: I am thankful for the time I got to spend with my Dad today. It was wonderful!
Nov 21: I am thankful I made it thru my first week of school!!! Hopefully reaching all points!
Nov 22: I am thankful for that all the necessities in my life are provided for me and that I never have to want for simple life necessities.
Nov 23: I am thankful for Christmas shopping. I love trying to find gifts and imagine what there face and reaction will be to it. I love it when I find that perfect gift for someone that they really wanted!
Nov 24:  I am thankful my families live close and I was able to spend time with both sides of the family!
Nov 25: I am thankful for Black Friday! I love getting up early and shopping.
Nov 26: I am thankful for my neighbors Ron and Tanya. They are really great neighbors and that is so rare to find good neighbors now a days. We may not always get together do to our schedules but we really do appreciate their friendship
Nov 27: I am thankful for Christmas music. There are so many memories that are brought back to me every year I hear them. I love seeing my kids now sing them.
Nov 28: I am thankful for the joy on my kids faces when we do our family holiday traditions. They love them all and I am so thankful I am able to share those traditions with them.
Nov 29: I am thankful that I get to spend the holidays with my family every year. There are so many that have to miss holidays because they are out defending our freedom. God bless them all!
Nov 30: I am thankful for my friendship with my friend Mike.  I am so proud of all his accomplishments in his Navy career and the man that he has become. Today he is being deployed :( Stay safe Mike and I will see you when you come home!