Sunday, December 30, 2012

Our Week in Pictures: Christmas Edition

Hi friends.

Did you all have a wonderful Christmas? I hope so. Ours was fantastic! We made it to all three families with minimal chaos. Hooray!

We made cookies.

We went up to Michigan the weekend before Christmas to see Matt's mom, step-dad and half-sisters.

There were dancing lights.

And lots of new toys!

And even more One Direction.
( be a tween again!)

There was a hilarious grocery store combination.

And bowling (who doesn't love bowling? Especially when you get to use bumpers because your 3 year-old needs them!)

(now how is that for some joy?)

We headed back home on Christmas Eve, and guess what was waiting for me in the mail?

MY DIPLOMA CAME!!! (cue wild running, and arms waving, and happy dancing). I am done. Done, done, DONE!

I got the privelege of hanging out with some pretty cool kids in our Special Needs activity room for one of our Christmas Eve services. Love them.

We've decided on having the "open your Christmas jammers on Christmas Eve" tradition. I like it.

Matt and I went to 11:00 service on Christmas Eve. 11:00 is my favorite service because you leave and it's CHRISTMAS! It's even better when you leave and it's snowing, but that wasn't the case this year. (p.s. isn't the Sanctuary at my church pretty? We got married right up there!)

Is there anything better than setting up your child's first bike on Christmas Eve? Especially when you didn't have to build it! (Thank you, Walmart, for pre-assembled bikes. I don't usually like you very much, but in this case I am willing to make an exception!)

I don't typically play the "Look what I got!!" game, but...I got a Better Life Bag for Christmas!! (again with the arm waving and the happy dancing)!!!! If you don't know about Rebecca and her amazing company, go spend some time on her blog. She's got some cute kids, too! They're worth the trip by themselves!
(She's so pretty. Her name is Molly!)

And then...the best gift of all...a massive head cold! Boooo!

So, there was lots of this

And even more of this

All is well now, though. And I appear to be the only one who had to deal with the yuck, so for that I am grateful. We got the chance to spend the day with Matt's other side of the family yesterday, but Instas. Bad blogger.

I hope you feel as blessed as I do this year!


life rearranged

Friday, December 21, 2012

DIY gifts for Little Ones {that you still have time to finish!!}

Hi friends!

So...who isn't done with their Christmas shopping yet??

I know it's hard to believe, but I actually am! It's pretty much a miracle.

But, considering the fact that I have spent many a Christmas Eve finishing gifts, I wanted to give you all a list of things that you still have time to get finished. All of these can be put together after the kids go to bed, and still let you get to bed at a decent hour!

Toddler Boxes
What little one wouldn't love a whole new set of fun things to play with? Put together a bunch of Toddler Boxes and let them go to town!

Magnetic Play Sets
Dress Up Doll

I made Abbey a magnetic Dress Up doll for our road trip over the summer, and she loves it! This one is completely backed with magnetic sheets.

Fill-A-Dot Games
So, it turns out that large, flat sequins are the perfect size for Bingo Dauber sheets! Who knew!? A piece of magnet on the back and you have dots that can be used over and over again. Print off your favorite Bingo Dauber sheets (my favorites are from DLTK), laminate them if you like, and play away!

Play Scenes
I found this adorable nativity scene at Babalisme. This girl has some ca-uuuute printables, so go check it out!

Light Table
A light table is such a fun play toy, and can be used for so many activities! This one is so simple to make, and fits into anyone's budget. Don't forget to throw in some DIY Color Discs!


You guys. I am in LOVE with Olliblocks from Caravan Shoppe! These simple play sets are easy to make, and offer endless combinations of fun! I made Abbey the Christmas set last night. It took about 2 hours, including waiting for the ModPodge to dry, and doing 2 coats. She loves them! Bonus: They fit in the boxes I use for Toddler Boxes! Win!

The fantastic people at Caravan Shoppe have given me a 20% off coupon to share with you!
Use the code longstory20 (all lowercase!) for the next week! Yay! get those gifts done!

Be blessed!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Silence and Support for Sandy Hook

"Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.


Go to THIS PAGE to make your donations.

Thank you.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Our Week in Pictures

Hi friends.

My heart is so heavy today, following yesterday's tragedy in Newtown, CT. It almost feels silly to share the normal parts of our week knowing that 26 families have lost normal forever. My heart aches for them.
However, I believe that the best thing we can do in the face of tragedy is remind the enemy that we know exactly how blessed we are, and that he has not shaken that. Yes, the world seems scarier and even more broken, but my God is bigger than all of that, and that is what I will cling to.

So here they are, our blessings for the week.

Abbey had her Periorbital Dermoid Cyst removed this week. She was amazing, and told everyone she saw that she was "getting her bump off!"

It required general anesthesia, which is always a little nerve wracking, but she came out of it beautifully, and was enjoying a purple popsicle before we knew it!

Like everyone else on the interwebs, I documented 12/12/12. If you know anything about me and finishing photo projects like this (photo a day? don't make me laugh!) you know that the fact that there is actually a picture for every hour is a pretty big deal.
Christmas is coming faster than I can deal with. So much wrapping to do. Yet another reminder of our blessings.

life rearranged
Be blessed!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Deck The Halls with Duck Tape®!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Duck Brand® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Hi friends!
So, everyone knows that duct tape fixes everything.
I knew that right? It's pretty much truth.
But, did you know that duct tape can be cute?? Enter Duck® Brand duct tape. Friends, duct tape is all sorts of fancy now!
Look at these holiday prints! I pretty much need a roll of that candy cane print. For real. My Mother-In-Law is notorious for taping up every. single. edge. of our Christmas gifts. Maybe I'll one up her this year and wrap her gift with (very cute) duct tape!

I think Abbey and I would have a lot of fun making holiday decorations with Duck Tape®.
Look at these cute ideas:
I love this Christmas Tree from What to Expect. It's simple enough that Abbey could do most of it herself, if I make the strips for her. It also gives her a great chance to decorate it herself. I think I need some green duct tape, now!

Duck® Brand has this Christmas tree on their website. Not gonna lie, it's a little "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That" for me, but it's WAY cute!

My Sisters-in-Law (Sister-In-Laws?) are 10 and 14, and I think they would love these earrings from Brit & Co! Maybe we'll make them when we visit for Christmas.

To see some seriously amazing duct tape projects, head over to the Duck® Brand facebook page and check out their photos. Make sure you like the page while you're over there!
Now...go make something fun!
Be blessed!
Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, December 10, 2012

DIY Color Discs

Hi friends!!

If you were paying attention to the DIY Light Table post, you may have noticed a little sneak peek of today's post.

Light Tables are such great learning tools, but the toys made specifically for them can get pricey. Today I have for you...

Have you ever been walking around your favorite craft store just waiting for inspiration to strike? It's dangerous, I know.
I was doing just that when I spotted these...

They're simple keychains. Probably meant to hold a picture or something, but I saw their hidden potential. At the time Abbey had a set of color discs that came with a play set she had brought home from school. She loved using them on her new light table, but we were going to have to give them back. I knew that these keychains were the answer to my problem! All I needed was a way to color them...

Cue inspiration number 2! Abbey loves those paint-your-own "stained glass" kits, and that glaze was exactly what I needed.

I used the glaze to fill up a keychain in each color.

and set them out to dry. Aren't they pretty?

They're PERFECT on Abbey's light table!

They live on a binder ring, and just get tossed into the bin when we're not playing with the light box. Easy peasy!

These would make great stocking stuffers for a little one who already has a light table.

Don't have a light table? You could make your own, and one of these color disc sets for less than $40! Sounds pretty budget friendly to me!

Be blessed!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Our Week in Pictures: AZ edition

Hello friends!

We just spent a fantastic week in Arizona visiting friends. This was the first time we had been back since we moved a year and a half ago, and it was so nice. It felt like we had never left.

Here's a quick re-cap, Insta-style!

We left early...I mean REALLY early...

If you've got to take your shoes off at security, you might as well have interesting socks, right?

Comfy clothes are a must.

Sunrise...from the plane. I told you it was early.

We had a week of amazing weather! These two got to playing like they had never been apart!

This happened. Twice.

We went up north and rode on the Polar Express! So much fun.

We saw a parade...they played in the dirt.

More beautiful weather in Prescott!

I love the Lighting of the Courthouse! How often do you hear the Christmas Story straight out of Luke read on state property?

All lit up and pretty!

A certain little girl got a bunch of new dress up clothes from her Mimi! Heaven.

I celebrated my birthday while we were there. Hello, last year of my twenties! And hello super cute shirt from the hubs!

We went to one of those All Trampolines, All The Time places. So much fun, but FYI...I'm old. I was SO sore!

Abbey made herself comfy on the plane ride back. Who needs personal space anyway?

She slept almost the whole first leg home. Hooray!

This is only a fraction of the fun we had last week, but it's all that made it onto my phone! The rest is hiding somewhere in the 750 pictures I have to go through on my camera!

Speaking of which....can I digress and SQUEEEEE a little bit about my new camera? It was a Black Friday surprise from Matt!

I looooove it! And yes, I realize that is the wrong lens sitting next to it. We figured that out before we bought it, thank goodness!

Are you on Instagram? I'm Its_ALongStory!

I'm linking up with Jeannett!
life rearranged

Be blessed!


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