Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a dozen layouts!

This past weekend I got to spend time with some of my favorite scrapbooking buddies in Des Moines at Walnut Place Retreat Center. The center was so homey and nice. A great setting to catch up with friends and be productive. Even better - it was only 5 minutes from my parents' house, so it was easy for me to come and go when I needed to be with Lachlan and Kenley.

inspired by this page by Kinsey Wilson

On the way home I listened to this episode of the Paperclipping Roundtable featuring Stacy Julian. It definitely inspired me to get the journaling down on the layouts ASAP and put them into my albums today. If you're a scrapbooker and have never read Stacy's book Photo Freedom, I definitely recommend it. She changed the way I think about scrapbooking (along with Ali).

I have organized my layouts into four albums: 1. "Our Daily Life" 2. "Places We Go" (vacations and everyday places) 3. "Celebrations" (includes weddings, showers, holidays, etc) and 4. "Christmas Through the Years" (because I always end up scrapping lots of Christmas pages, and it's fun to have them all in one place). I also have a baby album (birth-age 2) for both Kenley and Lachlan and I've started another album for Lachlan now that he is getting older.

I love Stacy's approach because there's no "getting behind" as there would be in a yearly scrapbook. Do I feel "caught up" on my scrapbooking? No, because there are plenty of photos + stories I want to scrap. But I also feel free to scrap a brand new photo before I scrap an older page on my list (Lachlan's 2nd birthday party for example). I also love my 3 ring American Crafts binder scrapbooks because the pages are easily reordered, and I can mix 8 1/2"x 11" and 12" x 12" pages and even add sleeves of 4"x6" photos.

inspired by this page by Alexa Gill

Now that I'm doing some digital scrapbooking, I can't quite figure out where I want to fit in those pages. One option would be to print the single 12"x12" pages and slide them into my albums alongside the traditional paper pages. Another would be to make a stand-alone photo album at some point featuring all the digital pages. Does anyone out there making paper and digi scrapbook pages have some insight on this topic for me? Thanks! You can see the rest of my pages from the weekend on Flickr.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kenley's Party: the food & decorations

Kenley and her great grandmas at the birthday party

I've been wanting to share a few more details from Kenley's party. I should say, "the birthday party brought to you by Pinterest". I went back to my bookmarked ideas and chose my favorites, then made the ones I had time to accomplish. I think it is important to credit where the ideas come from, although I did put my own spin on them. (side note - have you heard about Link With Love? Very cool and important message about making sure artists and other creators get credited properly on the internet.)

I made three decorations for our kitchen/great room to create a festive atmosphere.

I saw this banner by JustAPharmGirl and knew that I wanted to do something similar to showcase a photo from each month of Kenley's life. Another inspiration was this simple banner via The Macs (wow! another awesome 1st birthday party! Wish I would have clicked through sooner to use her time capsule idea and other great party details!)

The light in our great room is not very good, so I took the banner and the vases outside to photograph them.

The vase idea came about when I saw these great bottles at the grocery store a few months ago. I started saving them to use for a decoration. I also had some chalkboard paint, and was inspired by these bottles via Ruthi Auda. I used a paintbrush to paint two coats inside the debossed glass design and then drew the designs with chalk when they dried. The cool thing is that I can erase and reuse these for any theme!

I *loved* this 50 photo decoration by Martha, so I recreated it with B&W photos (2"x3") in the shape of a 1. I printed photos from birth through the current day, then taped them to the wall with masking tape. It is still hanging up today, but I'm planning to take them down soon and put them together in a mini-scrapbook to save.

And now... the food! My grandma made and brought krumkake, a traditional Norwegian dessert. I made chocolate and sprinkle-dipped rice krispie balls (recpie here) and crunchy chocolate peanut butter bites (via Iowa Girl Eats).

I've seen the cake banner around the web in a few places, but I thought this one via Hello Lucky! was sweet & simple, so I made my own version for Kenley's cake. The little pinwheels were saved from her baby shower!

The cake was made using Sophistimom's recipe for all-natural Red Velvet cake. The color comes from beet puree instead of food coloring, and it was delicious! The beets made it moist and dense and a great color, but you could not taste them. It was chocolatey and yummy!

And the rest of the appetizers:
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips via The Girl Who Ate Everything
Veggie Crudites
homemade jalepeno jelly with cheese and crackers (my sister's contribution)
chips and my favorite fresh salsa
some Suddenly Salad pasta salad with added chicken & tomatoes
and my favorite, the Watermelon and Goat Cheese bites via The Meaning of Pie
(I had some help on those)

Phew! I think that covers it! I know she won't remember her 1st birthday party, but I still enjoyed spending time making these special touches. Someday she can look back at the photos and see what a fun day it was.

Linking up with Motivated Monday over on Be Colorful.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kenley at 12 months

Kenley is 1! Yay! You couldn’t be a sweeter baby girl. Everyone comments on your calm and content demeanor. “Doesn’t she ever cry?” You do have your moments when you are tired or hungry, but overall you are just a happy soul.

Last week we had your first birthday party and it was lots of fun! Most of your extended family was at our house to celebrate and you loved all the attention. The same afternoon as your party you finally started to do the army crawl. You are also quite skilled at turning 360° while sitting on your bottom, and you’re getting better at balancing while pulling up and standing.

Your growls and coos have been replaced by sounds that seem more like words every day. “Dada” comes through pretty clearly, and you’ve made the Sss for our dog Sadie and “Ca” for your favorite babysitter Carissa. When you want mama, you usually just grunt at me or make a cute face that I can’t resist.

You’re a great eater and becoming more interested in what the rest of us are eating. You try little bites of all our table food, and still gobble up the fruit and vegetable purees at breakfast and dinner. Now that summer is warming up, you’ve had a couple tastes of ice cream and you are a big fan (who wouldn’t be?). I still nurse you about three times a day – early morning, midday, and before bedtime.

This month we traveled to Decorah for Aunt Bethany’s college graduation. Then we visited Grandma and Papa in Des Moines while Dada was fishing in Canada. You had your first ear infection that week, so we saw the rare “sad and grumpy” Kenley.

Last week you started waving and it is adorable! You do a funny side-to-side hand motion that looks like you are in a parade or beauty pageant. You also love patty-cake and “Kenley is SO big!” You like to play games where we pass things back and forth, and you even played fetch with Wrigley in Des Moines when we visited. Your favorite things to play with are: my car key, an old hacky sack ball, and your rhythm eggs. It is common for you to carry any of them around for hours at a time.

I have been looking over the photos from this past year and reminiscing about the fun we have had. I can’t wait to see what this next year (and all the many more ahead) will bring! Love you!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day and thank you to the great dads in my life.
You've taught me so much about love, strength, commitment, courage, kindness, generosity, and fun. Love you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kenley's Birthday Party

This weekend we celebrated Kenley's first birthday with a family party at our house. It was wonderful to have everyone here and Kenley enjoyed being the star of the show. The timing worked out perfectly (sandwiched between her morning and afternoon nap) for a happy girl.
I love this photo of Kenley with her two great grandmas.

She was not too interested in opening presents, but luckily she had plenty of help in that department! The gift opening was fast and furious thanks to L and our two nephews.
I baked a tiny version of the birthday cake for Kenley to use as her "smash cake". She touched it for a minute or two and then went for it. Soon after she seemed upset by the sticky frosting on her hands and traded cake for a crunchy krumkake pastry made by my grandma.
This is about as good as it gets for a family photo these days. Still happy we have it!

More photos from the party are on Flickr.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A run through the sprinkler

This week I picked up a sprinkler to provide Lachlan with another fun hot weather activity. I love these photos because they capture how much fun he had running and jumping through the water. It was such fun to watch him. Sometimes the simplest things really are the best.
I've been spending all my creative energy this week preparing decorations and a menu for Kenley's first birthday party on Sunday. Be back next week to share! Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Check out my Flickr stream for a few fun videos of the kids.