{December Daily – nine}

Day Nine 

Walking Sam to school is one of my favorite things about our new house … I need to print one more picture of Sam at the gate (with a coat!) for this page. Jake snuck a two cars out of the house, tucked them in his hands and then snuggled into me as we walked his big brother to school. As soon as Sam was out of sight, Jake started waving the cars in the air victoriously … love these little guys!

{December Daily – eight}


The irony of this page makes me laugh through my tears!

Without going into details – ahhh, you might be thinking, there IS a line for how much she will put out there – this has been perhaps the hardest week of my life but I am okay. Better than okay, which is a surprise even to me. So this page is just perfect – divinely inspired, if you will.

I cut this out of a magazine “a constant calm” because I loved the sentiment. The affirmation is from my daily Science of Mind reading (which is not to be confused with Scientology). The little post card is one I’ve saved for a couple years because it makes me happy. That’s it. I love this page.

{December Daily – seven}

 IMG_4797 - Copy

IMG_4799 - Copy 

And then nine days happened ….

Journaling for Day Seven: A day to Remember, a day to honor … a day to be thankful for our freedom, because it is not free… December 7th, “a date that will life in infamy.” ~ President Roosevelt

On this day in 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked, pulling our country into WWII, changing the course of history for all of us.

So many died. So many suffered. And still do. Some veterans are here, if they’ll talk … listen.

I am beyond words thankful to live in this country where I can speak my mind, celebrate my faith and let my children run free …

{December Daily – six}


Note: December 6 ended up being totally different  - this is material I plan to fold into another project but above is the spread I ended up going with - the only journaling on the page is my handwritten: "I love watching you play."




Uh-oh, this is rapidly become a collection of digital sticky notes. I have a couple deadlines that got bumped up so I have to shift gears a bit but am delighted to share that that little saying “creativity begets creativity” is so true! I’m re-energized to write a column that had started to feel stale.

Today’s theme is about HEALTH. Obviously it’s been on my mind since the whole “you’re too fat for surgery” thing. (And to whom it may interest I’ve let go of 5 pounds so far).

In this busy, gloriously gluttonous season it’s easy to overload on sugary treats and throw good eating habits out with the packing slips. Yesterday’s post about the Bomber cookies? The part I didn’t share is how difficult it was for me not to binge on them every time I got a little overwhelmed or stressed. Sugar is my smack, and I think I need some kind of rehab. Since checking into a spa anytime soon is unlikely, I press on, as do all of us.

Laying a solid nutritional foundation for the boys is better than any gift I could think of to wrap under the tree. I want them to grow into people who instinctively know how to fuel their bodies appropriately, to know when they are full, to honor that, to enjoy food – the making and the eating of it – to feel confident in the kitchen and to find grace and gratitude in all of it.

That’s kind of a huge goal for someone who went crazy in the cafeteria my first year of college, seriously, I put sugar in my processed cocoa which I ate with bowl after bowl of Lucky Charms. For lunch.

But I feel good about how things are going on that front around here. The boys eat chunks of tofu and black beans as happily as they munch on Cheerios. Ruth Yaron’s book “Super Baby Food” has been among my biggest blessings on this parenting path.

Tonight Sam and I made a lentil soup with kale for dinner and reserved some of the kale for Jake. I blended it with applesauce and as you can see from the pictures, baby’s first Kale went over pretty well.

To your health,

- Nathalie

{December Daily – five}


Note: Updated 12.8.2010 - I think this might be my favorite page so far - I love how it came together. I printed a picture on velum because I couldn't get it to print right at Walgreens as an enlargement. I love having a copy of the recipe in the album for future years. When I was done I was happy to see the beater in the picture of Sam comes through on the velum and makes a cool backdrop. Couldn't have planned it better myself. Oh, wait.

Err...I managed to get behind. I think this project is a little bit like laundry. Rinse and repeat. 
And no sooner is everything put away (by which I mean piled near the appropriate dresser) before the hampers are overflowing again. Only this is waaaay more fun and even more rewarding than clean socks.

I hope it's not too weird to be "seeing" the pages in process but this is what's working for me. I think doing the foundation pages in advance is great but I also am enjoying making the layouts match the event - so it would bother me to put our tree trimming pictures on a page with Santa on it. Some day I might be less picky, or not - this works for me, too - just takes a little more time. All that is to say I've gone back and posted pictures of the completed layouts for Days 1-4. Which is the most pages I've completed in years, if you don’t count the ones in my head.

December 5: Baking cookies with Daddy ... the story here is one I’m not super proud of but if you’ve spent even a few minutes on this blog you’ll know I’m not about making things all “pretty and perfect.”

I’m a planner, Matt is not. I had planned to make cookies with Sam this week. In the middle of a football game, Matt grabbed a cookbook and decided to make sugar cookies with Sam. I am sorry to share that I got unreasonably ticked. Matt called me on it and I finally said it was because I had wanted to do that with Sam. As I said the words out loud I realized I sounded like such a jerk and that Matt deserved special moments like this with the boys, too.

The cookies were out of a vintage Betty Crocker cookbook, Matt said “These are going to be bomber!” So Sam called them “Bomber cookies” and I suspect Bomber cookies might be a Hardy family tradition.

IMG_4696 IMG_4704

Notes to self: scan images from cookbook – journal re: love of old cookbooks with handwriting in them – got it for art projects and decoration but Matt actually cooks out of it and got this tip: lemon curd and orange marmalade in the middle – print actual recipe – ask matt which one he used because he didn’t ask for shortening and all of the ones I saw call for it …

{December Daily - four}

My day four happened kind of organically - I happened to tuck my camera in my pocket on the way to Fred Meyer. I thought the picture of the day was going to be family movie night featuring Rudolph but we never got around to it. Instead, I decided to do this page about giving. You probably know to click on the picture to see a closer look, but just in case - double click for a closer look, if you'd like. I lovethis project! I can't tell you how long it's been since I've actually scrapbooked instead of organized my stash and made sticky notes for future projects. Enjoying the present!

This is the first time I've ever tried to make a page entirely on the computer. As you can see, I couldn't do it and had to add a few 3D accents with a copy of a 4 of hearts playing card and tearing the definition of salvation out of the dictionary. My stapler is one of my new favorite scrapbooking tools.

Day four journaling: As I walked by the bell-ringer holding my $4 coffee-treat, I realized I’d nearly missed an important opportunity to teach Sam about how blessed we truly are, and that we have a responsibility to help those we can, when we can.

I gave him a dollar to put in the Red Kettle. He asked the lady why she was ringing her bell – she explained it was a reminder to help the less fortunate. May we be blessed to hear—and respond to—the ringing bell, always.

{December Daily – three}



Matt and Sam went out to dinner to spend some one-on-one time together while I took Jake grocery shopping. I walked into the house and the smell of Christmas filled the whole house – Matt and Sam made a detour on the way home and surprised me with a Christmas tree! They even brought home my first wreath, which Sam handed me like it was a bouquet of roses.

Tonight we decorated the tree after our first cocoa of the season. {Matt and I added a little liquid cheer to ours}. Sam didn’t want hot chocolate. He wanted cocoa. I could’ve wiped it off his face before taking the pictures. But that’s what baths are for.

You can tell where Sam’s stool was positioned by the clusters of ornaments. Also, we only used half of our ornaments because with two little boys running around we decided to minimize the heartbreak/danger of breakable ornaments. You’ll also notice that for sweet Baby Jake’s sake the tree isn’t decorated on the lower quarter … looks a little odd but I love it!

I especially love that there was no drama around getting the tree this year as opposed to last year!

{December Daily – two}



I can totally see why it would’ve been better to have the foundation pages made before starting this project. Maybe next year! For now, my goal is to keep up with the photo and story per day. Breaking it down farther, I need to learn to narrow my focus. I have 7 pictures for my first day focusing on advent calendars and old traditions. Seven! For an album with 8x8 pages …

But how cute is this one of Sam eating his advent chocolate?.


Or this one:


An example of going with the flow on this project: I was going to start Day one with old and new traditions but changed it to making the first day just about our tradition of advent calendars starting with my childhood felt one up to the ones we use today from both of our moms.

Day two – the story: creating a new tradition of opening Christmas pajamas to wear all month and how hard it is to get just one good picture of these little monkeys – I finally got it first thing in the morning when everyone was feeling more cooperative. They are looking for squirrels outside my window, a favorite “activity.”

Goal for today: Finish making my office a studio space where I can work on the “scrappy” part of this after the boys are asleep. I can’t wait to see it coming together!

{December Daily – one}






December first …

the hardest part about picking my story for the day was narrowing it down to one, there were so many fun things today: my article ran in Metro Parent, we got our Christmas cards in the mail, we started decorating and started our advent calendars.

I think the story I’ll pick though is traditions.

Celebrating old favorites – Advent calendars! Every year my mom got us advent calendars with little chocolates in them. She sent Sam one for this year and I suspect this daily piece of chocolate will be one of Sam’s favorites, too. We also brought down our advent tree from Matt’s mom and put the first ornament on last night:


And creating new ones:

Christmas “peejamoz” (Pajamas). The boys got to open one present last night – Christmas pajamas and then I spent 20 minutes trying to get just one good picture. I think I’ll change my definition of a “good” picture!


{Notes to self: use the tags from pajamas on the page, try to get pic with boys in jams at window standing still, take picture of advent calendars before they're opened/decorated - end albumn with a picture of them opened and decorated. Make a list of filler pages for days I come up short on ideas/time/inspiration}

{December Daily} Let the games begin!



Happy December!!!

Normally I abhor exclamation points but I, for one, am excited to turn the calendar to a fresh month. Plus, I’m committed to celebrating the season’s festivities as well as connecting more deeply with the spiritual reason for the season.

My little cuteheads, who are even more adorable to me after sleeping through the night for the first time in forever, are going to open some fun surprises to kick things off today: Christmas pajamas, a chocolate advent calendar and the first advent tree ornament – more on all these later. In fact, a lot more on all of this throughout the month because I think I finally figured out a way to keep up on my December Daily project without re-inventing the wheel: I already try to blog regularly and enjoy sharing pictures – duh! Stories + Pictures = blog posts and the rough draft for this project. Not, I suppose, that I need a rough draft, mostly I need a “container” for the stories and pictures until I print and scrapbook them. Honestly, mostly I need a way to keep myself accountable for staying on top of it because I really want to do this. I need something that is fun and not about food. So there’s that.

A key part of being successful with completing a December Daily project, as noted repeatedly on Ali Edwards’ blog, is building the foundation pages of the book before December rolls around. But that didn’t happen here. This year.

I did feel confident though that I had enough page protectors and 8x8 pieces of paper. Until I started this afternoon – and no, I do not. The pages I thought would fit don’t. So I’m winging it.

I hope some of you will consider doing this with me – there is no better gift to leave behind than your stories. Pictures are nice, but without your stories … they’re just pictures. Stories combined with pictures, now those are memories.

(If you’re tempted but know this month is not the time for you to tackle this, I’m starting Project Life/Project 365 in January and would love for you to do it too!)