Five simple things

Hello.

Good week, I hope. It's been a messy week here with the hard rains, cold, and wind that comes and goes. There is 45-inches of snow up on the Cascades right now and the snow is still falling. We are extremely jealous of that and wish the powder would grace us with its presence. My dad told me that even Arkansas has snow on the ground. Last year, at this time, we had snow already and it stuck around awhile, but years before it has come around December, so we are still holding out hope that it will come sooner than later. Other than that, we have had such a fun week. We purchased a Smart Fortwo on Saturday and have had a lot of fun zipping around in it this week. It's a fun, little car and I am loving it! I have wanted one for a few years now and this one is perfect for a starter to the Smart cars. It's a lot bigger than people think it is, but it has the look of a smaller car. I've added a picture of it below as part of the five things that made my week because it truly made our week a lot of fun. Here are the rest of the things that made this week.

1. Door knob.

I've always swooned over glass door knobs and in this old house it seems to fit in perfectly. I picked this up at the local antique store here and just felt it calling my name.

2. Copper rods.

We've replaced all of our curtain rods in the house to these copper hardware rods. We needed something more sturdy and less of an eye-sore. Regular curtain rods are so loud and busy that these worked out perfectly. Each copper rod is made up of a copper tube (cut to size), a copper strap, and a copper cap. We have plans to replace the screws with copper screws, but for now, they look wonderful.

3. Bank "W."

There is a great story behind this weathered copper "W" and I am so thrilled to share it. Our local bank here, Willamette Community Bank, remodeled their building and removed the lettering from the side of the bank. The remodel happened a few years ago and the metal letters have been laying in the elements on the side of the bank ever since. I always remarked that it would be neat to have the "W" because of our last name-Wilkerson. It took me a couple of years, but while I was at the drive-up window a few weeks ago I asked about it. The teller said she would ask and get back to me. The Mr. went to make a deposit this week and the branch manager said she meant to get back to us sooner, but she got permission and we could have it. The Mr. brought it home to surprise me and I was overjoyed. I think it means more than just a simple "W" sitting in our house, it now also has an old history and now it will have new history.

4. Grove Collaborative.

I took advantage of the Grove Collaborative introduction and received everything above for $20. Not sure if we will continue it, but for now this was a good haul. You can get it here.

5. Smart car.


Again, we are loving it! I enjoy being able to hop in, jot to the store, library, or lunch, and know that I'm not burning a lot of gas. The practicality of it is just a great thing for us. Check out the inside.
Side note: We've never purchased a car from Carmax before and I have to say, we will definitely give them another shot in the future. Carmax of Portland(Clackamas) is a great group of people and we had a blast purchasing a car from them!

A few more things:

Vintage wire food cover.

Buying milk in bulk? (but the waste)

Sustainable clothing companies.

Grow a Redwood tree in your living room.

Stock your spice cabinet.

Have a good weekend!

Five simple things

Hello.

I've been reading a lot of random blogs this week and blogger's resolutions for the year. I see a lot of them posting about wanting to change their eating habits and some sort of diet they're trying now-Whole 30, 21 Day Fix, The Raw Food Diet, Weight Watcher's, Paleo Diet, etc. The list goes on. Some of these bloggers have tried these diets in the past and are trying them again, or using the new year as a chance to start a different diet. The problem with these diets is that none of them offer lasting changes. In my experience, the only "diet" that you need is to eat less calories than you burn. Meaning, don't eat over your daily caloric intake and burning off your daily calories each day. It's the one and only approach that has and will work long term.

There isn't any plan, diet, pill, or magic that is going to help you keep pounds in check other than your plan to eat less than you burn. That's the magic solution and overall it will be a lasting approach to weight loss. Here's the key points to this plan: Eating less processed foods (most processed foods come in some sort of box), make more food at home (you can whip up a quick meal in a matter of moments), snack on fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains (honestly, it's the only snacks you should be popping into your mouth), keep processed sugar to a minimum (I hate to say it, but it's true). Treats are just that, treats. If you're eating them daily, or more than once, or twice a week, they aren't a treat. These are the key points we've been following in our house and have had great success. Of course, we are an active family, so weight gain isn't so much an issue with us, but keeping and staying active will not only help you shed extra pounds, but it will help you keep sickness at bay. I believe the two weeks we were under the weather could have been worse had we not been active in our lifestyle and helped out immune system.

Now that our house is on the mend and we are all feeling at least 90% (silly cough) we are already planning our weekend. We have a lot of road trips we've spent the last two weeks planning out. I am really excited to share these trips with you and hopefully, these road trips posts will influence you in wanting to visit Oregon, or plan a road trip yourself.

Here are five simple things that made my week.

1. This lantern.

There is an amazing antique store here in Lebanon, Oregon, and I love browsing their many rooms full of great vintage goods. On a recent trip there looking for a typewriter for The Bean I spotted this vintage lantern. It was hanging over the checkout counter and I scooped it up. I think it looks lovely hanging in our little vestibule.

2. This vacuum.

We test drove several vacuum cleaners this week and agreed on the Miele C1. Such a great vacuum and with our "almost" carpet-free home, it works wonderful on bare floors. 

3. First aid.

We've been on a hunt for awhile for a metal, first aid box and finally found one. I'd like to say that we found it at the same antique store, but we didn't. This one we picked up on one of our road trips this past year. It will eventually hang in our kitchen where it is easily accessible. 

4. Homemade vanilla.

This week another vanilla bean was added to the homemade vanilla vodka-making it a total of three. We'll check it in month and see where we are. See that jar with the red lid? Picked that jar up at our local co-op to place the first vanilla bean in and I've been using it ever since for v-beans. The smell in that jar is heavenly!

5. Swedish dishcloths.

Mightnest this month was Swedish dishcloths. These are a game changer. Grab next month's Mightynest here.

A few more things (What I've been reading this week):







Have a great weekend!

Going waste free

We have gone down to a smaller trash can in our house in order to help reduce our wasteful habits. There is so many things that contribute to waste that all of us take for granted every day. I am having the hardest time cutting the habit of buying milk and cheeses in some sort of plastic. The local food co-op here sells milk in glass jars, but the cap on top is made of plastic. So either that goes into the recycle bin, or I find another way to reuse it. I hate plastic. It's one of the many things, including Styrofoam, that I honestly can't find a reason why it even exists. In the 1800s, and even the early 1900s, there wasn't plastic-there wasn't even tape. People will argue and say that plastic has helped a lot, but there has to be another way before depending on plastic. Plastic and Styrofoam are not for the environment. Period.

Our smaller trash can has been a change for us. The first week was embarrassing, to say the least. 
The poor can was stuffed to the brim with things that couldn't be recycled. Meaning, it was all waste headed straight for the landfill. I had a thought of, maybe some of that could go into the recycling: The plastic takeout container, the paper coffee cup, the plastic spoon from some random stop for ice cream. Unfortunately, that thought came as the big blue garbage truck was dropping the can back on our green-ish lawn. How upsetting. And how stupid we had been bringing those wasteful items into our home in the first place. So from that point on we have made it our mission. A pact, so to speak, to reduce our waste. 

I'd like to say we have another theme for the blog, like a Waste-free Wednesday, or something just as catching, but the thing is, I want to be waste-free every day of the week. Waste-free Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, etc. You get the point. My only issue is, in order to go completely waste-free there are certain things we have to make a decision on and we just aren't there yet. I love milk, and I love cheese. I love dairy anything, but until we can find a way to get around the plastics issue with buying those items we have to accept the fact that this isn't the 1800s, or even the 1900s and some plastic has to go to the recycle bin after we consume it. 

Here is a working list of items we've stopped using and their replacements. Maybe this list can help you go waste-free too:

1. Paper towels-Cloth napkins
2. Plastic-wrapped toilet paper-Paper wrapped version.(Cardboard rolls get used for seed starts in spring)
3. Paper cups-Say no to disposable and use your own. All you have to do is ask.
4. Take out containers-Bring our own reusable containers instead.
5. Plastic bottles, cans, glass bottles-We recycle everything, if it can't be recycled, we don't buy it, or use it.
*One more item that might get a nose snub is the reusable cloth pads. I've been using them for several years now while supplementing the cotton/plastic pads. This year I hope to be less dependent on the cotton/plastic ones and rely on the cloth ones more. The ones I like are from here.

It's no easy task going waste-free and those around you that aren't going waste-free might make it more challenging, but don't lose sight of what your goal is. It's so easy to get into a routine and lose track of what bad habits we've let ourselves get into. Start like we have and make five simple changes and when those become routine, add a few more. Making simple changes is what it's about. 

What constitutes a small space?

I recently picked up this magazine.


Not really big on bringing unnecessary paper waste into our home, but I figured I would be using this magazine for awhile and gaining some sort of grounding into a future home. Well, needless to say, this magazine ended up in the recycle after a few short days of thumbing through the pages.

No home in this magazine rang true for a small, downsized, or even tiny home to me. I'm not sure where these homeowners lived before "downsizing," but there is one in the magazine that's over 3,000 square feet. That's twice the size of the home we currently live, which sits at a little more than 1,000 square feet and we're always saying that it's too much space for us.


The above photo is reposted from Truilia.com

The Mr. and I recently looked at a cabin in Philomath, Oregon, that sat at 400 square feet. The little cabin had such a great history, but the problem with it was the fact that it was used as a hunting cabin in the 1800s and didn't have any sort of insulation. We figured if we purchased the cabin and added insulation that it would take away from the square footage. If the cabin had been insulated already and stood at 400 square feet we would have purchased it.

After looking at the cabin and getting a tour of the inside we realized that we need wanted more space for our lifestyle. We figure about 600 square feet, or even 800. According to the Downsize magazine, the home we live in currently is considered a small home. I'm not sure where the size for small homes got misconstrued, but it seems like houses are getting bigger and bigger and people are filling them up with more and more things. Things they don't need, or really want in the long run.

The photo above is from Downsize magazine

My parents built a three-story home over 30 years ago with a basement, main floor, and third floor. There is also an area we called, "cubbyholes." These cubbyholes were tiny rooms connecting the bedrooms with a small crawlspace. Both upstairs bedrooms had two cubbyhole rooms. It's sort of like a hidden, secret passage. All of my friends thought they were the coolest thing and we would use them sort of like indoor forts. The cubbyholes now house most of our childhood memories. My parents built a house that accommodated their growing family.  As I was growing up I never thought of my parent's house as a big home. My childhood home was just that, our home. When my sister, my brother, and I moved out and left the nest, my parents built onto their home a two-car garage with a loft bedroom above it. My parent's home is beautiful and it will always be my childhood refuge, but speaking of space, it's just the two of them now. It's a lot of space for two people.


The photo above is from Downsize magazine

When The Mr. and I decided to minimize and downsize our possessions there was one constant in the wake of letting go of things we had purchased-It was the fact that we would never go back to how we lived before. We have looked and scoured over pages of books and magazines, and clicked through websites on the internet to gain a perspective of what we actually need compared to what we want. We all know the basic needs for living: Food, water, shelter, and clothing. It's weird to me that clothing would be on the list of basic needs. If you think about it, technically, we don't "need" clothing. If you lived in the forest with no surrounding people we could technically live naked. I mean, there are shows based on being naked in the forest. But anyway, our basic needs of food, water, shelter, and  clothing have subcategories. Food would include, food we've grown and groceries we buy. Water would include, the actual water supply to our shelter, or delivery/purchase of water. Our shelter would include, electricity, gas, heat, shingles, inspection costs, material to build shelter, etc.-You get the point. Clothing would include, things we wear daily, warm coats in the winter, shoes, etc. Let's also throw in hygiene products so that we can take proper care of our body-Toothbrush, hairbrush, soaps, oils, etc. Now with the basic needs listed everything else is a want, or so we should begin to think of it as a want.

If you begin to think everything is either a "basic need" versus "basic want" you see how much you can truly live without. The problem with this thought process is, most people have lived so long in the "want" category that they can't see the "needs" anymore. And that's where minimal living comes. It's just a matter of changing the thought process and practicing it.

Telling my sister that we were minimizing our belongings and she replied with, "I could never do that. I have too much crap." It shocked me to hear her say this. I wanted to correct her, but I remembered that it took us years to get where we are now. But the process to getting here was hard at first. It is easier now, but we have to practice this process every day. If you start letting go of small things once a week it becomes and easier process over time. We had the thought process of  "10 more things" every week and we started to realizing how liberating the process really was. It felt good. Not only were we changing our lifestyle, but we were also donating a lot of good, usable items, that other people would actually want. We will always be buying something: Food, clothing, gifts, etc., so it's not a complete stopping of purchases, it's a reorganizing of those purchases. We are not done in our minimizing, but we are in a place where we feel comfortable with what we have and there is nothing in our home now that doesn't deserved a place. Each week is still the process of, "10 more things."

If you need tips on getting started in this process check out my minimizing tips here.


Five simple things

Hello.

So I noticed something this week. The sun doesn't actually brighten the sky in the west until 8:30 a.m. Making it incredibly hard to have the energy to get going. I'm not the best "morning person," but I think I can venture to say that most people find it hard to get their engines going before the sun has lit the day. Especially, after being sick for so long. I can safety say that I don't like the northwest winters without snow. 14 years of living here in Oregon and the only winters worth excitement are those with powder. We still have our hopes up that it will fall a bit before the spring season starts waking up. We still have plenty of time, so here's hoping. This past weekend we got rid of more things-this time in the yard. Yard ornaments, decorations that serve no purpose, solar lights, etc. What is it with wanting to hold onto random things for so long? The attachment to stuff is so unpredictable. I have found that we are going through the changes in this house. We see stuff that we wanted at one time, but now we are okay with letting it go. I don't know if it's part of the great matter of us changing every season, or if it's just the simple fact that we just don't like being surrounded by things that we don't find useful and don't love anymore. Loving things is a weird concept to me. How can you love an object? I don't think it's so much that we love the object as it is we love the emotion attached to the object, or the person that gave us the object, or the moment in which we received/bought the object. I think that's the struggle that people have to get over in order to get rid of and let go of said object. It's not an issue with us anymore it seems because I get into these moods where I want to "clean up" my space. "Clean up" as in I feel surrounded by clutter and I have to clear the space in order to find some calm. I will go through the house and find "10 more things" to get rid of and in the process I feel a sudden rush of excitement. It really is a pretty liberating feeling when you are finally able to let go of something that ultimately was holding you back and making you feel trapped. Give it a go this weekend. Let go of somethings around you house and keep saying to yourself, "10 more things." Then bag them up, donate them, and breathe.

Here are five simple things that made my week.

1. Sage smudge.

The New Year is always a good time to refresh and restart.

2. Moscow mules.

The Bean's Christmas gift to me. Breaking them in soon.

3. Elderberry cures.

Leans toward homeopathic and it works.

4. Yogi Surprise.

Received the January boxes this week and the theme, "Crown Chakra." Perfectly for January.

5. Organic logos.

Just a reminder to take pride in what you eat and where it comes from. These are the only three labels you need to look for. Read about them below.

A few more things.

• Build a tent.

• Trader Joe's thoughts?

USDA Organic labeling is important.

If the economy did collapse. What then?

• "...hope people will forget their problems for awhile."

Have a nice weekend.

Sometimes wants

When it comes to minimizing there's always that chance that we may purchase something we don't need. All in all though, it's nice to dream and imagine what it would be like to buy things at a certain time. It's window shopping at its best. Here's a list of things I'd love to have, but don't really need.
January edition of  "Sometimes Wants."



1.2.3.
4.5. 6. 
7.8. 
9.10.  





These items seem to call to me and one, or two, of them may join me in the coming months. Market baskets have peeked my interest for awhile now, but I haven't liked the colors of the ones I've seen at our local co-op lately. Bright red and oranges just aren't my style when it comes to basket colors. I've had my eye on the market basket above for some time now and I feel from this list it is the only thing I can say for certainty that I will purchase. The rest of this list is amazing items from some extraordinary companies. Ethically sourced and environmentally sound companies. And for me, some of them are even local. Give them a gander and see what items peek your interest. 

New year's resolutions


New Year's-the time for renewal, refresh, and restarting. The New Year also prompts us to want to get things done, and a few habits changed. It seems that everyone is always ready to go with changes when the New Year hits, but they soon die out once the spring is here. I always try to keep the best goals, and the easiest goals, so that I don't fall back on bad habits. We are working on keeping some of the resolutions we made New Year's night. Of course, it is still January and easy to keep those resolutions so far, but we are doing well so far and I feel these new resolutions are worth keeping in order to be better for us and the environment.

1. Buy a new calendar and keep track of goals. I'm liking these from Orange Circle Studios this year, or pick up the same one The Bean is using this year from Just Seeds.

2. Walk 10-30 minutes every day (stairs, mailbox, grocery store, library-we are within walking distance of them all).

3. Meditate 15 minutes, yoga 15 minutes, and weight resistance 15 minutes-three times a week.

4. Stop hate. Start by not saying the word.

5. Drink more filtered water and green tea.

6. Track calories in and calories out. Modify if needed. (Eat a big breakfast-8:00 a.m., a medium luncheon-12:00 p.m., and a small dinner-5:00 p.m.).

7. Eat more foods grown on plants and less foods manufactured in plants-good start: blueberries, broccoli, almonds, and walnuts.

8. Purge old habits: Leaving shoes in the doorway, glasses on the nightstand, dirty clothes on the floor, wet towels on the bed, getting upset over the past, snacking mindlessly, skipping exercise, comparing anything to anyone, eating dinner late, settling, etc.

9. Make bed every day.

10. Shop more frugal and cut waste. Plastic is the goal-find ways to cut the dependency on plastics. Buy in bulk, use glass instead, and recycle what can be recycled in plastics that do come through the door. And for crying out loud make more fruit leathers and freezer pops!


Things to purge in January:

In order to keep from having piles of anything it's best to purge a few things at the beginning of the new year. Here are the things we purge in January in the SNS house. If any of the items on this list raise a red flag to you, it's best to hang onto them until you are sure they can be thrown away.

• Insurance policies from the year before: Auto/Health/House/Renters' Insurance/etc. It's a good idea to update your insurance policies each year just to make sure you are getting the coverage you need and the savings you deserve. If something in your life, auto, or living situation has changed be sure to inform your insurer so they can get you the best rate possible. Never go without insurance on your car, your home/rent, or life. It's not worth the risk.

• Warranty papers: If the start of the new year means a warranty or contract has expired toss it. There's no need to keep expired paperwork laying around. If it can't be renewed, or updated, then get rid of it.

• Paid bills in paper form: Any bill that was paid, even monthly utilities, can be tosses in the trash at the start of the new year. Don't throw away current bills that are due for the month, and the best way to avoid paper with this is to go paperless and get your monthly bills emailed to you. Some companies even have a way to set up text reminders when your bill is due, or if you're late on a bill.

• Paycheck stubs: Once you file your taxes and see that your W-2 numbers are correct you can toss these in the trash each year. Keeping all of your pay stubs until you file taxes is a great way to check that the numbers match up and your defense when you receive your W-2 from your employer.

• Old to-do lists: If you are a list maker make January the month that you get caught up on all of our to-dos. If you have a lot of them, start with the biggest one and work your way down to the smallest to-do. Work through the entire list for the month and get it done. If it's something that isn't that important to do then mark it off.

• Clothes you haven't worn all last year: Trust me on this, if you didn't wear it in a year you aren't going to wear it in another year. Just donate it and let someone else enjoy the threads. Here's what we do in our house. We turn hangers around and face them backwards so the hook part of the hanger is facing you. We hang every piece of clothing we own, t-shirts, pants, etc. The only items not hanging in our closets are delicate sweaters, undies, socks, and sleeping wear. As far as the closet goes, once you wear something turn the hanger around the right way. At the end of the year you get to see what you've worn and what you haven't worn. Also, if you keep to a certain number of items, say 20 hanging clothes, if you purge five items in January that leaves you five spaces to fill with something new throughout the year. It's a pretty good method and works well in our home-still working on the hats with the boys though.

• Dishes, appliance, or utensils: If you didn't use the large platter the entire year, or a small crock pot, chances are you aren't going to use it again. Donate it. We have a lot of things we either get as gifts, or buy thinking we are going to use them regularly and we use them once then there they sit. I bought a small white crock pot, similar to this one, and I thought I would make small meals in it during the day for The Bean and me, but I didn't. I used it for corn at Thanksgiving, but that was it. It's a cute item and would work great with someone that does small meals, or entertains a lot, but that just isn't us. So I donated it and I don't miss it.

• Purge old habits: Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Invest our energy in the positive, the present moment, and the little things that make life wonderful. Spend your moments with people that build you up and less time with those that tear you down. And do the same for others. Remember, life isn't always fair, but it is good and most of us forget that we live a pretty privileged life. Don't waste your time hating anyone-life is too short for this. When you hate someone you give them control over you. Move past the hate, forgive and move on. You aren't so important that you have to win every argument. And don't take yourself so seriously, believe it or not, no one else does.

• A few more items: Donate these items!
-Board games you didn't play.
-Playing cards you didn't use.
-Sheets and pillow cases not used.
-Blankets not used.
-Makeup that's expired.
-Lotions/creams not used, or expired.
-Books not read.(unless you add them to this year's resolutions)
-Flower pots not filled.
-Gardening tools not used.
-Pet supplies not used.
-Coats and jackets not worn all year.
-Pens, pencils, markers, crayons not used all year.
-Household cleaners not used all year. (check with local laws to make sure you can dispose of these safety. The best way to avoid having chemicals like this on hand is to use greener cleaners-vinegar, baking soda, castile soaps, essential oils, etc.)
-Old paints. Donate to a local Habitat for Humanity, or other similar facility. If no facility is available in your area, allow the paint to dry with the lid off and dispose of in trash cans. (Which I find disturbing, so be sure to use water-based, nontoxic paints. White, flat paint goes a long way when giving a fresh coat to walls, or furniture. To avoid having excessive leftover paint, never buy more than you need for a project.)

Happy New Year!

Five simple things

Hello.

It's raining here and cold, but there is a peek of sunlight struggling between the clouds. The Mr., The Bean, and I are slowly recovering from a 'bout of sickness that seemed to knock the stuffing out of us for a few weeks. I feel like I've been talking about "being sick" for weeks now. Hopefully, we will be back in the groove soon, but as for now, we all seem to lose steam about 5:00 p.m. each night. Eating dinner earlier was one of our New Year's resolutions, so at least we are keeping up with it. Have you made any resolutions? I seem to make a list each year without fail just to keep me on track with goals, even long term goals. I'll be sharing some of my resolutions on the blog soon, but for now, here are five simple things that made my week.

1. Ice lanterns.



Water, cranberries, boxwood leaves, and a tealight never looked so pretty. 

2. Porch lanterns.

Loving them so far. 

3. Sugar cookies.

Because what's better than homemade sugar cookies in Christmas shapes after Christmas.

4. January's book.

Find out more here.

5. And finally.

Thoughts on blogging: It's always an interesting thing to see nonbloggers reactions when I tell them I am a blogger/website owner/writer/or whatever we are classified as nowadays. I used to write for a few online newspapers. Today.com, 451 Press, Examiner, and even Yahoo for a short time. All of them gave me so much experience and each one of them were different in their own way. For the curious, I had the most fun with 451 Press and Steve Shickles-the boss. The writers at 451 Press were all like a family and we talked to each other daily. I'm still in contact with a few of them through Twitter. 451 Press was based out of Alabama and I live in Oregon, which means I worked from home mostly. Unfortunately, the demand for news articles weren't enough to keep any of these outlets going. I was with 451 Press for over five years, Examiner for almost 10, Today.com for about four months, and Yahoo, well, they are still going, but ended up outsourcing to other writers that don't even draw a Yahoo paycheck. So blogging just seemed to be in my blood, but I don't blog for a paycheck, or even notoriety. I'm a personal blogger and the best thing about it is the fact that I can look back three years ago and relive the moments over and over again. It's like an online scrapbook that gets shared with the world. Blogging is like social media sharing, but in a timeline form. If you share pictures, videos, or moments on social media, blogging is no different. You take the time to recall the moment and put it into words with a few pictures along the side. A lot of people think blogs are too much work, or time, or don't make any sense, but yet these same people with that thought are sharing to social media daily-Facebook'ers, you know who you are. Bloggers are a certain type of person and it takes dedication even on the days you don't feel like sitting down and sharing anything with anyone. Writers' block, a bad comment, negative feedback, or even no comments at all to encourage you to keep going. It's all part of it. I don't get the comments, or the return visitors on my blog-if anything, I get the "lurkers," and it gets me down at times, but then I remember why I am blogging. It isn't for that. It's for me to share my piece of knowledge, pictures, or just a weekend trip/vacation with others and hope they take away something in the process. 2018 is a good start to sharing more of myself and my knowledge with anyone that comes to this space. For anyone that is just a "lurker" and reads regardless, thank you for returning to this space and checking out even just one blog post. I love blogging and I love the fact that I can see on my stats that over 100 people took time out of their day to see what my little family was up to this week, or this past weekend. I hope I share more of our life with all of you and grow with my piece of the internet. Here's to a great year of blogging and sharing!

Have a good weekend.