Yesterday I pinned something and if you don’t know what “pinned” means I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.

Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite blogs and ended up pinning something from her page. THIS just totally and completely inspired me! I knew I wouldn’t get around to family photos this year. I know Kim is super busy and it would be so hard to coordinate. Which was totally fine, I was just getting depressed about our Christmas card. So I contemplated not sending any (to save money AND time) but we moved this year and I wanted to make sure people had our new address (because of course I never sent out “we’ve moved” cards). That’s why when I saw what Ashley had done I knew that would be our Christmas card!

I’m not sharing our card but here is our version of her project!

I’m in love.

The Thanksgiving Mantle.

I’m already brainstorming for my Christmas mantle and I loved the Halloween one so much I almost considered keeping it until red and green can come out but then my mom guilt over forgetting the poor little step-child called Thanksgiving kicked in and last night I whipped this up. At dinner I made a list of things we’re all thankful for, the best being Grayson’s two… 1. two new blue keychains and 2. guns. Awesome. And then there were the kiss-up answers the girls gave like “family” and “God”. I feel like when someone pulls out God everyone else might as well just shut it. Made my “Mountain Dew” seem childish no?

Anyway, then around midnight I cut a bunch of paper strips, wrote the thankful list one them and glued them together making a paper chain. I’ll admit that once I finished our list I ended up writing out a lot of our family and friends by name because I needed more strips. Apparently we weren’t all that thankful last night, at least not enough to cover the mantle.

So it’s super simple and kind of bare but I think that’s ok as I rev up for Christmas. And I like that the sweet pumpkins can stay out. I love pumpkins. We will have a bunch rotting on our front porch until December 1st guaranteed. The day the lights go up then maybe the pumpkins will come down!

Anyone else have any good ideas for a Thanksgiving transition to Christmas mantle?

Next year I’m going to have the girls do the writing!

The Halloween party game I invented that kind of flopped.

When emails from the room moms in Bailey’s class started circling about the Halloween party I decided against my better judgement to get involved. If you aren’t a photographer you might not understand my love-hate relationship with the fall, but that’s just what it is… my absolute favorite season leading up to my three favorite holidays while also the most intense time of the year for me work-wise. Between SO many sessions each week, trying to balance my job at KCCI and Kim stepping back this fall has already kicked my tush a few times. But I signed up to be a room mom and I decided it was important for me to be involved.

So I invented a game to play at the party.

I think I invented it at least. Honestly, there were about a million emails that went back and forth about that damn party so I could be mistaken but I THINK I came up with this idea.

Here was the basic premise…

First I created an empty pumpkin patch/farm on a large art board from Art Mart. I used scrapbook paper I had on hand and just freehand cut the paper. On the bunting I wrote “Eaton’s Pumpkins” because that’s her teacher’s name.

Then I stopped by her class one morning and took head shots of all the kids sticking out their tongues (I got smiles too!).

I sized them all 3×3 in PS and printed them in black/white on plain orange card stock, cut them into pumpkins and added stems+leaves with scrapbook paper.


We hid the pumpkins all around the classroom while the kids were still at recess and the idea was that the kids had to find themselves. I thought it would be a good game for the transition time… like as the main games ended we would say, “find your pumpkin, bring it to Mrs. Allen and then go sit down for snack.” And I guess it worked. I mean, it filled the transition! But I guess I thought the kids would think seeing themselves as pumpkins would be cool or something! Maybe they were too hopped up on candy but they totally didn’t care! Whatever.

As the kids found their pumpkins they brought them up to me and I glued them to the board.

They might not have been super impressed but it DID turn out cute right?

Next time I’m totally going to say I can bring the paper plates and leave it at that!


Ugh. I am SO sick of bandwidth issues! Before it happens again I will fix it, it’s just expensive (I have to buy my template and add to my website options all about $300 which drives me insane) and confusing so I’m forcing Kim to help me!


I’m so bummed because right before it went out I had some posts planned. Now I don’t remember all that I wanted to blog about but I do have some back-logged photos to share… instead of going in order though I’m going to start with Halloween!

Kids costumes are up first!

The night before Halloween at 10pm I realized I couldn’t find Bailey’s black shirt for her cat costume. It was too late to run to Target so I searched and searched for a substitute… which is when I came up with my “cat obsessed with yarn” idea! HA!

All I did was take a piece of red felt, hand stitched “yarn” on the felt, cut out a heart and hand stitched it to a while shirt. Then I took yarn and made a yarn ball necklace (it fell apart during school).

She couldn’t wear her ears to school so although it’s hard to see I made little yarn puffs for her hair.

While I was totally grasping here she ended up loving it!

Parker was Super Girl until just the day before Halloween. So again I improvised. Last minute.

This was my favorite and happened around midnight the night before (after I finished Bailey’s) because I am neurotic! I just hand stitched the hat (it’s crappy b/c I just free handed it) and then at the last second I decided to cut off the ring part of the spider ring and tie it to a string I added. She LOVED it! There’s no way it would have survived a wash so I tossed it in the trash after Halloween which was PAINFUL because I loved it so much! The spider just swung around on her shirt and she thought it was so cool!

Most boring costume but funniest photo! He ended up being a spiderman pirate (he didn’t have his eye patch on for this but that’s how he trick or treated!) and I asked him to make a good Spiderman face. He looks like he’s pooping or something! HA! Totally makes me laugh!

Oh and at the first house we hit up for candy they asked what his joke was and I said, “Oh no, he doesn’t have one this year” but he cut me off and said, “YES I DO!”

“The mouse crossed the road and he never came back.”

HA! Our neighbor Kelly joked that he was the Halloween downer!

More Halloween stuff coming soon!