Santa Claus is coming to town …

I have so much more to say about the goodness of strangers, and friends and just people in general because I think that message needs to be trending: most people are mostly good!!

But … for now I have this little gem to share – a wonderful story about such kindness and a little freebie from another kind stranger for my crafty friends.

Santa Tracker

Tracking Santa on NORAD is one of our favorite traditions. We LOVE it.

I also LOVE a good story about the kindness of strangers. So, it was fun to learn that the whole thing started with a misprint and a a deliberate choice a busy man made to be a kind instead of cranky.


Sears error

National Public Radio recently publicized this awesome story: NORAD’s Santa Tracker Began With A Typo And a Good Sport

Santa Radar capture

Download this digital awesomeness at Digital Design Essentials for free by clicking here.

Follow along with us at the Santa Tracker here.

To read my most recent column “A Very Merry Mess” click here.

To contact her, visit or find her on Facebook at Nathalie’s Notes.

Meditating through the Mayhem

Peace is that moment when you give in to fully embracing your life exactly as it is instead of lamenting the one you thought you would, or should, have.

I am still pinching myself to see if it really happened that someone I admire as much as Becky Higgins liked something I wrote enough to share with her readers who, in turn, have been so kind with their comments and emails! Thank you.

There’s a story of divine inspiration, and timing, behind this that I’ll share soon but for now I’m just super grateful.

I have two sick kiddos so we’re a little off around here but I’ll be back to posting shortly. In the meantime, here’s a link to my most recent column.  I’m not exactly sure why but it’s one of my favorites. Hope you like it, too.

Meditating through the Mayhem




I’ve been meaning to follow up on the Christmas Pajamas from this post as well as a slew of  other things but being as how it’s after midnight, I’ll let the  pictures speak for themselves. My sister-in-law took them at the hotel and you can see why it was a fun task to pick “the” photo for our cards.

(I got the template from Becky Higgins and played with Photoshop.) I’d do a few things differently – but it’s done. Some are mailed. Some came back without postage and the rest are in a pile waiting … for someone else I guess. I hope these outtakes make you smile. They crack me up. The bottom one is my favorite.

{insert something meaningful and deep about my gratitude for my friends, family and readers who are mostly friends and family … kidding. Not the part about being so grateful for you all though. That is as real and heart-felt as it gets.}

IMG_1698 IMG_1697IMG_1696IMG_1695IMG_1694IMG_1693IMG_1692IMG_1691IMG_1690IMG_1689IMG_1688IMG_1687IMG_1686IMG_1685IMG_1684IMG_1683IMG_1682IMG_1681IMG_1678

Merry Christmas and Vesele Vianoce!

{December Daily–Day 1}

12-4 (2)

Oh, did you guys think I was doing December Daily for this year?

I kind of did, too. But alas … it’s looking like a repeat of last year where I end up finishing the project in the spring … Except that this time last year I think I had more than a mere pile of scraps, sticky notes and intentions. I am still taking pictures and jotting notes here and there so we’ll see what comes of it all.

I am planning to use this blog to record my journaling so I can cut and paste it into the book whenever I get back to it. So, lucky you, you get to see my album-in-progress!

{December Daily – Day 1}

We started the month with walking downtown to watch the festivities of our town’s tree lighting. Stuff like this really makes me miss our old town, Carlton, where we knew people instead of being just part of an unknown crowd. I suppose participating in things like this will eventually make some of the faces more familiar. Attending community events, just showing up, is part of cultivating community connections. We almost went to Carlton’s tree-lighting but it’s kind of like spending your freshman year of college coming home every weekend with your old friends and wondering why you haven’t met new ones. We should’ve gone though because I heard Darci Haney was involved and that girl has enviable style and taste! Have I mentioned I miss our old town and the people in it?!

Note to self: for this page use all three pictures so there’s one of each of us actually looking at the camera. Maybe find a good one of the tree lighting on Google or in the paper?

{December Daily} revisited; deadlines avoided

I’m on deadline. So, naturally I’ve written the thank you notes from Sam’s birthday – in October. And one to the staff at the hotel we stayed at over Thanksgiving – Holiday Inn Express in Troutdale. And the Mayor and Council of my town … I’ve scrubbed random spots on doors and walls I’ve managed to ignore for 18 months and after this post I suppose I’ll have to actually get back to it.

Or … I could spend 40 minutes messing with my  December Daily video because I’ve been meaning to do that since April when many of you couldn’t see what I’d posted. Turns out I used a copyrighted song in the background and that killed this video star.

Inspired by the awesome Ali Edwards, December Daily is a project I will hold dear because participating in it brought me light and kept my focus on the positive during a particularly dark period of my life. Anyway, here’s take 1,000 for those of you who asked:

December Daily 2010

This album turned out exactly the way I wanted. How often does that happen? My favorite part though is that it’s the first time I’ve finished something I’ve started just for myself. If there’s a deadline or it’s for someone else I’m all over it but things that are just for me get put on perma-hold. Or, rather, they used to.

I thought that was my favorite part until Sam saw me get the album out with our other decorations and has asked to sit down and read it together several times a day. I love, love, love that!

For more about my whole December Daily process, click here for archives or on the “December Daily” in the category cloud to your right.

I would love to hear from any of you planning to join in this year. I’ll share more about my current plans for THIS year’s book … but first I have to write the final drafts for my column and book review. Really. I’m on it.

{December Daily – 12-14}


Day Twelve

these three pages are super simple. I almost wrote “this page intentionally left blank” because my heart cracked open somewhere between day 12 and 13 but I’m happy with it this way. It felt like the worst day of my life but with some space I’ve come to see it’s been a good thing. Day 14 Matt and I took the boys to pajama story time at the library – Sam fell asleep in the car on the way there … and then rallied like a rock star. 

Day Thirteen & Fourteen

{December Daily – Eleven}


Day Eleven

Dear Santa,

I made a letter Santa. I am thankful for God. I would like a big bull dozer for Christmas. And a forklift. And Jake would like the moon, a bigger one. I’m thankful for McQueen. Dear God, or is that Santa? I want a … actually is there anything you want?



For this pages I let the letter speak for itself. I tucked it in an envelope behind this card I’ve been saving for years. Eventually I’d like to embellish the envelope a bit. Maybe.

{December Daily – Ten}


Day Ten

Today I focused on our Christmas cards – I love doing photo cards partly because I remember how much I used to love getting them in the mail growing up. My mom kept a special basket out on the counter to tuck them into – I loved looking at our friends near and far … and now I have the collection and enjoy looking back through them. I also loved getting Christmas letters and might do one some day. Or not. Seeing as how I’ve only mailed half of ours this year and may, or may not, do the rest. I can’t seem to remember to buy more stamps. I must not be the only one having a hard time getting them out this year because we’ve gotten a fraction of the cards we’ve received in other years. Journaling on this page will likely be a print out of this blog post – keepin’ it simple, baby!

{December Daily – fifteen}



What do you do with three children and two babies while stuck in a waiting room? Well, if you’re desperate to keep their minds off the soon-to-come flu shots a.k.a. “poke in the arm,” you play:

Ring around the Rosie, London Bridges, I Spy, Simon Says, Whisper Caroling and anything else you can think of to keep their interest.

Today we did a less festive seasonal thing. My friend Mel and I figured we’d make a stressful thing more fun by making a flu-shot & fun date – it went so well, I’m thinking this could be an annual thing.

As a reward for being good sports about the whole thing, Cassia and Sam got hot chocolate treats while Sofia opted for a little toy. Love those girls.