creative projects in 2017

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At the start of every year, I start thinking about which creative projects I'm going to commit to. And in the past few years, that's been about the extent of it...I commit, but don't actually complete. Will this year be different? Time will tell! Here's what's on my creative mind...

Scrapbooking - I am a lapsed scrapbooker, and I am in good company. I may get back to traditional layouts this year, and I may not. I've been thinking about cardmaking a bit. I had been scheduled to do a card project with MC's class, but had to put that on hold due to the unexpected BC trip. I'll get that back on the books and see where the inspiration takes me. 

Project Life - I only completed spreads through March of 2016, and I'm still committed to having an album for last year. I've organized photos into Smart Albums, and narrowed down to a handful a month. My plan is to "print & pocket" and pretty much be done. I still love the idea of PL, I'm just not sure how extensive I want my 2017 PL to be. Digital maybe? Hybrid? 

One Little Word - I signed up for Ali's class in 2016, and never completed a month. I wasn't really connected with my OLW. This year already feels differently. So, I may follow the prompts from last year & complete a "Celebrate" album.

Photo Prints - One of my 2017 creative intentions is to print more photos. Chatbooks, Collage Posters, and simple 4x6 prints are high on my list. I love the idea of having a small basket of 4x6 prints that the Littles can look at when they are with us. It's so inexpensive to have 4x6 prints done these days that I won't worry about them getting torn/fingerprinted/etc. 

Photo Collections - I've done photo collections (in the form of scrapbooks) in the past - A Week in the Life, A Day in the Life, December Daily, etc. - I've had other collections on my mind lately - photo collections about our house, about what the Littles are into, about our travels, etc. I'll likely end up dong Chatbooks instead of scrapbooks.

and finally...non-photo related...Writing! Once upon a time, I not only blogged a lot, but I was also a contributing writer for Parenting Squad, and P&G Everyday. Given that I have Littles in my life again, I may delve back into the parenting world. Or perhaps I'll pursue a new path? Either way, I think that I'll rekindle my relationship with the written word. 

What's your creative plan for 2017?

dominican republic : january 2017


Hello Punta Cana! Yes, we spent almost 10 days in December enjoying the Caribbean. Yes, we went back last week...'cause, y'know, why not?? Actually, it just so happened that Dan's company incentive trip was scheduled for January. SO MUCH FUN!

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We went zip-lining! Totally out of our comfort zone, and I am so glad that we did it. We couldn't take any photos (what with holding onto the cable for dear life and all) go check out Canopy Adventures Punta Cana for a look at action.

Dan holtz vt starfish

We had an amazing day trip to Saona Island - speedboats there, with a stop for starfish, and then a catamaran back. Beautiful beaches, fun with friends, AND a chance to use the underwater camera that Dan bought me for my birthday!


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So love celebrating life with this guy.


celebrating forty-six.


I turned forty-six yesterday! It was a wonderful day, full of celebration, friendship, & laughter. In honor of both my birthday and my OLW, here are 10 (b/c 4 + 6) people, experiences, and things that I plan to celebrate this year...

  1. Dan. Sometimes I'm sad that I missed out on so many years with him...and then I remember that we have so many years ahead of us. 
  2. The Bigs. My baby girl will be 25 years old this did that happen? I really do celebrate the fact that she still calls her Mom pretty regularly. And Mister Mister certainly keeps us hopping with medical challenges...but aside from that, he's just a super interesting & creative guy.
  3. The Littles. McCartney is learning about a million new things every day, and that is worth celebrating! We love crafting together, and I hope that we'll celebrate a few roller coaster rides this year. Wilder Our can be a handful, AND he has the best laugh ever. He is learning & growing, and is so full of energy. I love when he gives me a kiss attack and says "you my best fwiend, Tweena!"
  4. Our far-away family. Our sets of parents, my brother, Aunt Betty Jo, and a variety of Aunts, Uncles, cousins...looking forward to celebrating the love that brings us together, despite the distance.
  5. Getting hitched! We're planning a very small wedding in Hawaii in May...and then all the parties when we're back on the mainland.
  6. Coffee, wine, brunch, etc. All the coffee. I'm looking forward to the return of coffee dates at Scout...especially with Dan, and with Mary Beth. Evenings hanging out with Dan & a bottle of wine. Brunch at The Spot is always a win.
  7. Friendships. I seriously have the best tribe ever. I'm looking for more ways to celebrate them in the coming year. 
  8. Our neighborhood. I've missed a few Lake Ladies get-togethers due to travel, so I'm really looking forward to reconnecting in the new year. We made great use of the park & the bike path last summer, and I'm looking forward to even more outdoor fun this summer.
  9. Travel. As I type this, we're finishing up packing for a trip to the Dominican. Exploring & adventuring is my favorite
  10. Creating a life that I love. That is definitely worth celebrating.

martinique & dominica : december 2016

Finishing up posting our December vacation photos before we head out on our January vacation (see how we're avoiding winter??)...



We docked in Martinique after a sea day...perfect timing since I spent most of the sea day recovering from a stomach virus (which many people succumbed to over the course of the week). We walked & explored a bit, but were a bit disappointed that many of the cultural sites were closed! 


Love this group! 


Our next dock was far, our favorite. We took an excursion into the rainforest, and hiked to the Emerald Pool. 


Waterfalls are surprisingly difficult to photograph!


Definitely happy to be in the nature.


After the rainforest hike, we spent a couple of hours at a cute little beach (made even cuter by the rum punch). 



2017 One Little Word® : celebrate

So...I wasn't sure that I was going to choose a word for 2017. 

I pretty much abandoned my word in 2016. I realized the other day that I never even blogged about it! My word was and...meant to honor all the parts & pieces of my life, to encourage inclusion, and to replace "but" in decision making. Anyone who has been to my house knows that ampersands are prominent in our decor. Maybe that even made it a little too everyday for me...didn't give me something to reach for? Anyway...

I hadn't really given much thought to OLW for 2017. And then a word started showing up. I've found that those are the words that end up having the most impact for me...the words that I don't look for, the words that find me. What's my word? 


We already have a lot of celebrations planned for 2017...the "usual" birthdays & holidays, D&K get hitched (hint: aloha!), seeing friends & family, neighborhood parties, etc. I want to celebrate the little moments...the quiet mornings, small victories, date nights, family adventures, my tribe...all the pieces of our life. Celebrate is also choosing to see the good in the challenging moments...I'm sure I'll be asking "what can I celebrate in this?" often. It's about finding the fun, and continuing to create a life that I love. 

Here's to a year to Celebrate - bring it, 2017! 


saying so long to 2016...

This year was a, moving, changes, more travel, Landmark, little kids, big kids, many (many) bottles of wine, laughter, a few medical pauses, friends, family, and so much love. There were parts of 2016 that were, well...not so lovely (ahem)...but all in all? It was a pretty awesome year. 


January : hola Mexico!


February : we got engaged! (that's Mackie's "oh, you're kissing, aren't you?" face)


March : we moved into #thepalace, and traveled to Los Angeles for work (Kat) and the Advanced Course.


April : Hopey came home for a visit! And Mackie started looking like a teenager...


May : we visited Bubbe & Disney World and Austin came home!


June : back to California for work (and good friends), and spending summer nights with my favorite.




July : what a big month!! Bubbe, beach days, Barb, and the Bigs! Plus...Vegas, baby! 



August : my brother came to visit, Mackie got ready for kindergarten, and Austin headed back to University with Emily & Nate...


September : Dan celebrated 42, and we celebrated 2 Baltimore, where we met.




October : I visited the 'rents (+ more) in Texas/Oklahoma, we celebrated Halloween with a fabulous neighborhood party, and the Littles continued to entertain us.



November : #BarbandKatsExcellentAdventures in Chicago, plus a trip to British Columbia & Los Angeles for me & Dan.



December : (not pictured) an unexpected trip back to British Columbia, a Caribbean cruise, and celebrating Christmas with Bigs and Littles. 

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!  

old san juan : december 2016

Our December adventure started with a couple of days in Old San Juan...


We loved the colorful buildings & interesting architecture - and learned that the colors are assigned by applying for a painting permit. How fun is that??




We took a walking tour of Old San Juan - our tour guide, David, was terrific...and funny. "Come here. Look at this!



He proceeded to feed the birds - uhm, no thank you.



So grateful to travel with Dan's Mom, Iris, and her friend Don.





this Christmas...

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Wishing you all the merry this Christmas. Dan & I are spending Christmas Eve in San Juan, and will travel back to VT in the morning to join the Bigs for Christmas Day. The Littles will join us early in the week, and we'll celebrate Hanukkah & Christmas with them. The entire month has been a bit untraditional for us...unexpected travel, medical concerns, choices/changes, and guess what? It's all okay. We are happy & healthy, and will soon be all together for a few days of love & family. Sending y'all love & light...and all our best. xoxo