July 4th

Happy Independence Day!!! After my brother spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have felt different about these American holidays.  Today we celebrate our freedom from persecution.  Today we celebrate that we have the freedom to say, do and spend our lives as we please.  Our country is not perfect but I enjoy the fact that I can wake up each day not wondering if it will be my last; that planes can fly over my house and I don’t worry that it might be carrying a bomb.  Today we salute our troops who have fought for our freedom to sleep in peace tonight; our troops who gave their lives so that we may have ours.

Today I celebrated this beautiful Minnesota day with my family.  My husband, myself, his grandma, aunt and his brother’s girlfriend all had lunch together.  My husband and I rode the motorcycles to and fro.  This weather is perfect for motorbiking.  LOVE IT.

Current weight: 148.6 lbs

Goal weight: 125 lbs

Days remaining: 88


Tomorrow is back to work and back to early mornings.  Ugg.


Cleaning House

I work full-time.  I also pick up hours at a local hospital.  My husband works full-time and is also working on finishing the remodel of our bathroom and kitchen.  We have two large, furry, bringing mud and dirt into the house dogs.  To say the least, our lives are busy.  Sometimes our house gets a little on the messy side.  It has been a busy two weeks and it was beyond messy.

Last night we cleaned house.  Not only did we clean, we also purged.  We have a tiny bathroom.  Tiny.  I purged under the sink and in the cupboards, in my bedroom closet and our ‘throw it in the step closet’ closet.  It felt amazing.  Today getting ready for work, I felt accomplished, like an adult with a life that is somewhat organized and put together.  I look forward to the day when I live in a home that I love and everything has a place.  For now, I will work on getting rid of the things we don’t use, haven’t used and mostly won’t use.  Organization is a part-time hobby.  I get inspired by others, living in a small house in Italy or a large house with kids in North Carolina, to make my house a home.  We continue to reorganize, rethink our purchases and make the most of the small space we have.  I hate dusting so the only things on my shelves are books or photos.  “Knickknacks” are not a part of my domain.  My mother loves knickknacks and that’s probably part of the reason I can’t stand them.  I like clear tables and clean spaces.

Anywho, I wanted to share my excitement of a clean home with the world!  Hope you get to spend your weekend enjoying your home and not cleaning, like me!

Get inspired by some of the blogs I follow:

Emily A Clark

Miss Minimalist

Small Notebook




Hello from Colorado Springs, Colorado!!!  We made it here in pretty good time.  We drove through the night on Thursday night and have been enjoying the wonderful mountain air.  Kristofor even got up at 7:30 this morning, ready and raring to go.  I think that might be a record.  We are having so much fun and we are so lucky that we could stay with Allyson.  Today we did Garden of the Gods and hiked up one of Allyson’s favorite trails with her dog Panzer to get some awesome views of the mountains.  Andrew has also been a wonderful host, when he’s not working.  Stupid Army……   I also got to go to Archiever’s today 🙂  Since we don’t have one near Winona, that is always a treat.  Mom has called several times but all is well.  I wish I could wake up and see the mountains everyday!!!!  Pictures to come! 🙂

Rochelle and Duane’s Chipboard Mini Album

My friends Rochelle and Duane had a “Christmas in July” wedding on July 31st.  Rochelle LOVES Christmas.  She also loves dogs.  Our pups in particular.  Duane and I share a birthday as well.  Anywho…. I made them a mini album with Christmas, July and wedding elements.  This is my first experience with a chipboard album.  I really enjoyed making it.  I got the actual album on amazon.com and was inspired by many creative ideas on etsy.com.  Katrina at Scrappers-Haven (www.scrappers-haven.com) in Winona was also helpful in getting my creative juices flowing!

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Wedding Album

I’m so excited that I finished our wedding scrapbook.  We’ve only been married for 3 years….. but progress is progress.  Its interesting to me that I can tell which pages I did a year and a half ago and which are newer, just by the style and techniques I used.  Some of the pictures of the pages aren’t spectacular, but I get to keep this album so I’m ok with it.  Enjoy 🙂

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Kjersten Ann Snell

This has been a rough couple weeks for us.  My good friend Kjersten passed away on July 14th.  She was only 30 years old.  I still don’t know what to say to make anyone who didn’t meet Kjersten know how amazing she was.  It was also the longest funeral I’ve ever been to; almost three hours.  My mother-in-law, Michelle, went to the funeral in Iowa with me.  It’s funny how little things remind me of her; how my planner can just pop open and there is a date I had with her.  How my phone will go straight to her name.  I hope to never bury another friend at such a young age.

I think of my grief and I can’t begin to imagine what her husband, Travis, is going through.  Or her mom and dad, brother and sister.  Thankfully, her death has made me reevaluate my life.  I’ve decided I have it pretty good.  🙂  I know that she always told her loved ones how much she cared and always gave you a hug when you left.  I have a wonderful husband, amazing family, job I love, puppies to kiss goodnight and the freedom to do what I choose.  Our bills are paid, we have a nice house to live in, cars to drive everyday and things that make us happy.  I am hoping to do a lot of reorganizing of my priorities.  Kristofor and I are planning a road trip to see Andrew in Colorado in August and then stop in the Black Hills on our way home.  Kjersten said it perfect, “The work will always be there, but lunch is lunch.”

Me, Melissa and Kjersten at Jason Aldean!

Me, Amy, Kjersten and Melissa in April after our overnight scrapbook event (none of us showered before coming to see Kjersten in CCU).  Kjersten was supposed to be with us in Pickwick.  This was our first scare and realization that we didn’t have much time left together.

I love this picture of Kjersten and Travis.  After she was released from the hospital in May, the Snell/Hanson family had family pictures taken.

This picture also reminds me of Kjersten and I joking about her having hair.  For the duration of the two years I knew Kjersten, she was on chemo or just finished chemo etc, so I never knew her with hair.

Kjersten has a blog that followed her through her five-year battle with gastroesophageal cancer.  If you’d like to read more about this amazing friend I lost, visit her blog at caringbride.org.

I am also participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Houston, Minnesota on August 6-7th.  For more information or to donate visit my Relay for Life page!


A few cards I made for wedding showers.

I made Phil and Mary’s little girl, Elise, a 12×12 spread for her room.

Kristofor made a frame for it.