January 31, 2011

Wall of Fame

I have a wall in my house with several family pictures. It's my way of keeping those who we love the most close to us. (And, let's be honest, my way of decorating cheaply.) Every January I pick my favorite photos from the year before and I switch out the pictures. I guess I don't want them to ever feel stale and it's also a fun way to reminisce on the previous year.

My goal is to include at least one picture of every extended family member. I never have space to fit ALL of my favorite photos. But, here are some of my favs from 2010. They all just got hung in my living room yesterday.

They look great! What a beautiful family.

I've also been busy this month putting together a photo book in Snapfish of our photos from 2010. I've been thinking for a long time how I can print our photos so that we can not only have a digital memory of our past, but also a tangible, physical memory for us. I loved flipping through our family photo albums (each of us kids had one of our own) when I was a kid and I guess I want to create the same type of experience for my family too.

I created the book off and on throughout the month and just ordered it today - taking advantage of their 25% off + free shipping on photo books offer! I can't wait for it to arrive in the mail! Our first family photo album. (Insert "awww" here.)

January 30, 2011

Birthday in the Mail

I sent Emily her birthday gift this year . . . late, as usual. I swear at some point I'll get better at that.

What I like about her birthday (and Marie too) is that I can send something very random and it's always received well. This year was no exception.

I was browsing on Etsy for something handmade, quirky and fun. I ran across this little necklace and knew she had to have it. We were both in Seattle for Christmas this year I was feeling a bit nostalgic for the homeland and I knew she would be too.

It's made by a designer that I can no longer find there. That's weird. Anyway, it's simple and really fun.

The inspiration for the ring came when I ran across this blog (via delia creates) and saw that she had turned a mini fabric rose into a ring. Are you kidding? So cute and so Emily. I don't think I can pull this off, but she totally can.

January 29, 2011

Gifts at Christmastime

Yep, that's right. Christmas gifts. I've been putzin' around here in Iowa this January. I have been working on a few things here and there, but clearly none of them are blog related.

So, now that I'm getting around to it I figure I should post about Christmas before I move onto anything else. And, nope, I'm not ashamed. So, here goes:

We got to go to Seattle this year to visit my family for Christmas. I loved it. A whole ten days to hang out with my family. It was really good.

We rotate who we buy gifts for at Christmas and this year we had my sister, Marie, and her family. So, of course, I can't help but sew a little something. I lost a couple of pictures (really not sure how that happened), but I can at least just tell you what I made.

photo courtesy of soozs.blogspot.com

Marie got a beach tote - made from this tutorial. For some reason my logical sense didn't coincide with the author's and I had a VERY hard time with this seemingly simple tutorial, but it turned out pretty cute. Seriously, it should have taken about 60 minutes and ended up taking at least 3 hours. Marie's was a blue/brown print with a white linen/canvas on the inside.

Her beautiful new son, Tommy, got a couple of things. First, were a couple of bibs. His were orange polka dot (love that fabric) and another with numbers all over. Really cute, but lost the picture.

He also got this ball. I got my inspiration from house on hill road, and she got the pattern here. This was fun and easy.

Jude, in turn, received a beautiful knitted hat made by his Aunt Marie. It's gorgeous and fleece-lined. I hate to say it, but I think we got the better end of the deal.

Isn't that amazing? You can click on the picture to look at it up close. I'm telling you - wow.

And, last but not least, we gave Tommy a childrens' bible. I must recommend it to you all just in case you're in the market to purchase one for your own child or a child you love. It's seriously the best and everyone should know about it! We received it from some dear friends when Jude was born and every time I read it to him it makes me cry. The words and the pictures capture God's story so well. I'm not kidding. It's fabulous.

Here's an excerpt from the intro:

"No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne - everything - to rescue the one he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!

You see, the best thing about this Story is - it's true.

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling on Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them . . . "

I'm telling you . . . it's beautiful. You might even want it for yourself. Because everyone should know about a Jesus who loves them and wants to rescue them. Don't you think? I do.