Silva lining

Thought you might like to see my picture of the day taken this morning when I found Sam zipped in Jake’s crib. What you can’t see in this picture is the sound of their laughter. 


I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to share those with you because I know most people don’t want a daily play-by-play of our life. But for fellow Project Lifers and my mother, I’d like to find a happy medium.

Meanwhile … Have you heard of the Silva Method? For most it’ll sound like mental voodoo but I think it’s kind of like meeting God in my heart. I have only just started this week but am already a little surprised at what has opened up for me. In its most elementary explanation: it’s a matter of mental programming. It is the easiest thing I’ve ever done and I hope to have more to share about it later. For now, a small example: Forever I’ve told anyone who’ll listen that I simply can not figure out where to work fitness into my life. So I kept picturing things exactly as they are now and they stayed … the same. With two little kids and a husband with long hours working fitness in meant walking late at night, swimming during our family dinners or before the kids woke up but they range between 5 and 7:30 a.m.

Finding a window when they were both happy enough on their own for me to squeeze in a workout and shower seemed impossible, until I stopped thinking of it that way.

Yesterday I worked out during Jake’s afternoon nap, with Sam by my side and occasionally on top of me. Today, Sam was up at 5 a.m. and we had an early morning workout before Jake woke up. I couldn’t get Day 2 of the Shred on my On Demand so I scrolled through my options, most of which contained the word “booty” or, my favorite, “work your boa.” I picked some random lady who had a circuit style work out sans boas and poles.

Maybe it was the early hour, but she was too perky. Otherwise okay, but really, too perky.  She kept saying “This is great! You feel great!”

Again maybe it was the early hour that made me argumentative but I yelled back at her: “No! It does not feel great. It feels jiggly and awkward, plus I have to pee. None of that feels great.”

What did  feel great though was getting that knocked off my list first thing! And the last two days it was easy for me to fit a good workout in. Super easy. What was different? I’d spent just a few moments using the Silva method to affirm that it was, in fact, easy for me to workout during the day. Kinda cool.

This post brought to you by:


Jake’s wonderful nap time and Sam’s new train table Matt built for Santa.

{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.


{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 …