Wednesday, March 30, 2011

an album from mypublisher

For our anniversary, I decided to finally get around to ordering a wedding album. We have hundreds of prints from our wedding, and I'd always envisioned making some sort of high-end scrapbook in place of a traditional album... but, given that I can barely get a shower in every day, scrapbooking is currently on the back burner.

ha. ha. ha.

{I really do get a shower in every day. moving on.}

I picked MyPublisher because (1) they were having a sale, (2) I've done albums with them before and loved the way they turned out, and (3) I'm a sucker for good branding:

We went with the leather option, which comes with a cloth sleeve:

I was nervous, going with leather, because I wasn't sure if it would look chintzy or not.

The verdict? Definitely not chintzy ;) Excellent quality, in my {very humble} opinion.

Here are a few of the layouts I threw together, using their software. {It was really, really easy to use, btw, and I'm a huge fan of clean designs with extra whitespace.}

We also opted for the lay-flat pages. It upped the cost significantly... but, like I said, they were running a great sale :) I'm glad we did, too -- It makes the album feel much more "album-y," and less "book-y"... if that makes any sense at all.

I'm super happy with the way this turned out! It's great to have an album to pull out and flip through...

until, you know, I get around to making that scrapbook.


p.s. I've also used Blurb in the past, with excellent results. Their software is also really simple to use, and the quality was superb; they've just got different style options and such.

p.p.s. Has anyone else ever done a DIY album {wedding or other}, or used a different photo book company? I'd love to hear about it...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

3 years

Three years ago, at almost this exact moment...

Like Marty said to me this morning: it's been the hardest, craziest, happiest three years of our lives :)

Marty... Happy anniversary.

I love you a million red jelly beans.


{and, as always, photos courtesy of Marcia Tumminaro, our rockin' wedding photographer}

Monday, March 28, 2011

9 ways to make it to May

Here in the midwest, we just experienced a tiny taste of spring... followed by temps more typical of December than March. I try not to complain about the weather, but this spring, I'm getting antsy. We've got icicles instead of puddles, flurries instead of flowers. My 1-year-old has cabin fever, and I'm getting tired of putting gloves on when I go outside.

So... for a bit of Monday morning entertainment, here are nine things to do while waiting for spring to really arrive:

1. Pretend its October, and you're falling in love {again} with brisk walks on a crisp, blustery afternoon. Bundle up, and take that walk. While you're walking {and freezing}, remember that 80-degree weather is a few short months {weeks, for the optimistic?!} away.

2. Make a "spring cleaning" list. Next, pat yourself on the back because it isn't really "spring" yet, and put the list away for a warmer day. Then, go snuggle up on the couch with a good book.

3. Plan out your garden.

4. Now that everyone has spring fever, go shopping for winter clothes on clearance.

5. Pull out all your cute scarves that you'll miss so much once summer rolls around {right}. Wear one every day, until temperatures break 60-degrees.

6. Have a campfire. Make a mug of steaming hot chocolate. Snuggle under your down comforter. Wear fuzzy socks.

7. Tickled pick with the thought of summer? Jesus compares our anticipation of the signs of summer to the coming of His kingdom. We're supposed to look for the signs, and get excited about it. Summer's coming... and so is the King of kings :) Read Luke 21, and think about it.

8. Scout out a magnolia tree in your neighborhood. Get ready to watch it blossom.

9. And finally... remember how far we've already come since February:

Never fear, friends. Spring is on the way :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

this is it

Saturday morning, 6:49 a.m. Charlie, wailing from his bedroom down the hall. His nose is audibly stuffy. He's hungry.

Sometimes, I try to remember what life was like before diaper changes, or Saturday morning wake-up calls, or Cheerios crunched underfoot for the millionth time.

And then... oh yeah.

It was life without baby kisses.
There were no chubby bellies to tickle, or fat baby feet to smush.
There weren't any trucks, or balls, or blocks to trip over.
Things were easier. {which, in our case, means that we were more selfish, and less creative.}
We had more money...
But now, life is richer.


By the way... take a look at this Etsy seller.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, right?

Her watercolors make me wish that I could paint with watercolors, too. But my dear cousin Michelle, artist extraordinaire, has already tried to teach me. It ended rather miserably. Thus, I'll be buying prints like the one below, instead of painting them :)

Photo credit: Katie Daisy of The Wheatfield,

Friday, March 25, 2011


Lent was never really emphasized in my family or my church when I was growing up. I pieced together a superficial understanding of what it was all about from little observances: gray smudges on foreheads, my grandma eating fish on Fridays, relatives stuffing their faces full of chocolate on Easter Sunday.

In high school and college, Lent became a comfort to me. I drew closer to God by giving up television, or committing to pray for so many minutes every day, or whatever. I didn't do it because I had to -- my faith didn't dictate a set of rules that I was required to follow -- but instead, I did it because I wanted to. I wanted to draw nearer to God.

Now, Lent has evolved into a time of preparation for me {which, of course, is what it should have been all along}. It might sound silly {or not?}, but in years past, I've never really prepared my heart for Easter. We'd go to church on Good Friday, somberly, quietly... and come back on Sunday for the grand slam -- Easter lilies, orchestral arrangements, and Christ risen from the dead. Sunday morning was followed by Sunday afternoon: glazed ham, mashed potatoes, and too many Cadbury eggs.

This year, however, I'm getting ready. I haven't "given up" anything. Instead, I'm reading through Elyse Fitzpatrick's Comforts from the Cross. Every day, I've been pointed toward the incredible truth of the gospel: that Jesus loves me, that He died for me, and that the Law no longer applies to me. It's Christianity in its most basic form, and its refreshing to my soul. No more "doing." Just "being."

So, in other words... happy Lent :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

contentment, take 2

As a quick follow-up to Monday's post on contentment and such: later that day, Rochelle told me about a new book coming out from Crossway at the end of April on that very subject. She highly recommends it, and I'm excited to read it.

{For those of you who don't know, Crossway is the last company I worked at before I left for a new adventure. I honestly, truly can't say enough good things about Crossway!}

*Also, don't you like those flowers in the picture? They're the survivors from a Valentine's Day bouquet, and they're doing a good job of adding cheer to a dining room table that happens to be covered in receipts, check stubs, and other blah-inducing tax-related items...