ONE Photo

It's a new month and that means another blog circle of beautiful images!  I'm so excited for the eye candy.

Above is my one photo that stood out to me this month.  I snuck out of the house one cold morning with my camera before Bron mowed the lawn for the last time, successfully eliminating our yard of all its fallen brown leaves.  The icy edges of the leaves coupled with the soft November light practically begged to be photographed with my cheap little close-up lens that I use to capture details like this.  November isn't my favorite month because the colors of October are all gone, but it's still a really beautiful month.

Please click on over to Tara's blog post to see her ONE photo!


Christmas Cards: One of My Favorite Holiday Traditions and a Coupon Code

 Jed and Levi circa 2014

It's officially the Christmas season and I'm ready to bust out all the traditions.  I've turned up the volume on the Christmas music, gotten the majority of the gift shopping done, and tonight we'll be decorating the tree together as a family.  I bought a little live four foot tree this year just especially for Conrad.  I'm betting he'll pull the tree over at least once.  A smaller tree means smaller damage done, right?

One of my favorite Holiday traditions is receiving cards in the mail!  (Admittedly, I started thinking about my own Christmas cards sometime in June this year.  Haha.  That's just how excited I get.)  Every day is a happy mail day when I rip open envelopes to see my family and friends' faces smiling back at me.  I especially love seeing pictures of the children: how much they've grown and how much they look like their parents!  Some cards make me laugh and some make me sigh out loud, "Aww!"  I hang the cards up on my wall and have a hard time taking them down in January.

If you're on the fence about printing holiday cards this year, I'm here to encourage you to just do it.  I appreciate them so much!  Minted just posted THIS AWESOME ARTICLE to help get your creative juices flowing.  Their website also makes it easy to see your picture inside all their card options too!  And since today is Cyber Monday, they're offering a sweet discount code.  Use CM2017 for 25% off everything.

Happy Printing!


Arizona for My Sister

During the last weekend of October, Conrad and I flew down to Arizona to visit my sister Lauren!  I'd been looking forward to the trip all month long.  We talk on the phone often, but my heart has been aching to give her a hug, to be there physically.

(For those that don't know Lauren's story, check out THIS POST and the TAIL END OF THIS POST). 

Lauren is doing well.  I am continually impressed with her grit and attitude.  Lauren puts on a brave face and smile; she's good at finding the silver linings and things for which to be grateful.  If you need someone to laugh with, Lauren is your girl!  But it's hard.  Cancer sucks.  She is tired.  Lauren just survived 8 rounds of chemotherapy and all of its noxious side-effects, including but not limited to: the loss of her hair (including her eyelashes and eyebrows), sores in her throat and mouth, painful knife-like stabbing neuropathy in her hands and feet, and feeling so tired and heavy that even watching tv was too much.  It makes my eyes tear up just writing about it.  But she did it!  Now Lauren is anxious about the next phase in her treatment which is surgery to remove both breasts next week.  We're all praying that surgery goes smoothly and complication free.

Cancer will forever change my sister, in every way imaginable.  From her physical looks, to her energy levels, to her outlook on life, she (and her family) will be changed because of this experience.  But for all the negative, I'd like to think that the little tender mercies of becoming a better and more intentional person will ultimately win out for Lauren.  I also think her family will be tighter because of it too.     


This is Halloween 2017

Another exciting and candy-filled Halloween is over and down in the books.  The boys had so much fun this year.  I love that Jed and Levi can pick a costume theme, actually agree on it, get super excited, and stick to it!

This season, Jed and Levi wanted to be characters from Guardians of the Galaxy.  They happened to choose their theme just as the second movie made it to Red Box.  Naturally, we had a movie night with popcorn to watch it--crude jokes and all.  Ooops.  Mom fail; I should have previewed it.  Fortunately, most of those crude references seemed to whisk right over their innocent little heads.  Haha.  Whew!      

It was Conrad's very first Halloween!  He just began walking this month.  I actually thought he'd make a better Frankenstein with that funny little hands-in-the-air toddle than anything else, but he didn't have a choice.  Conrad is a member of the Nelson trio and therefore a part of their shenanigans.  It's so strange to think I was hugely pregnant just last year.  And now my baby is walking!  After handing Conrad a lollipop, he surprisingly caught on to the festivities as well.  Conrad insisted on a combination of walking and crawling up to the front door for candy with everyone else!  Smart kid.