The Dreaded Basement

This is the first time our family has had a basement. We had a second story, for just a few months, in Arizona, but never a basement. I always thought I would LOVE having the space in a basement! The extra storage, bathroom, bedroom (or bedrooms), family room, etc. Sounds amazing, right?

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We’ve lived in our house for about two and a half years now, and I have yet to decide it is, in fact, amazing to have a basement.

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A Little Catch Up

I tell you what, I’m trying SO HARD to get my pictures under control. I heard such wonderful things about Adobe LIghtroom. Over and over again, people said it was a “must have” for my photo editing! This year I bit the bullet and bought it.
Now, here’s the thing. I’m not a photographer. I’m just a mom blogger with a decent camera. I’ve done tons of reading, tons of research, and tons of practicing, but I still don’t claim to know what I’m doing. At all. I’ve had Adobe Photoshop Elements for years, and I like it. I can crop, brighten things up a bit, increase the contrast, fix little blemishes (or hide a candy wrapper that got caught in a shot), and then SAVE the edits. And none of this took very long.
But, over and over again, people said APS doesn’t compare to LIghtroom!
Well, maybe I’m just not all that smart, but I get so frustrated with Lightroom I could scream. Then, because it’s a “non-destructive editor”, if I go to my regular picture folder and look at my picture, the edits I worked so hard on aren’t even there! (Many swear by this feature, but I hate it.)
Anyway, one of these days I’m going to dedicate a whole post to why I, in my ignorance, prefer APS any day of the week.

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Silver Dollar City in the Fall

Still trying to get caught up from last year. Sad, isn’t it? I seriously hang my head in shame when I think about how far behind I am. Although, I haven’t taken as many pictures yet this year, so I SHOULD be able to catch up.

Anyway, last October, while everyone was here for our Halloween party fun, we made a trip to Branson to go to Silver Dollar City.

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I take a lot of selfies, since I’m the only one taking pictures. So pardon my giant arm in all of the pictures of me…

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Yay for Cloud Storage!

Oh, my goodness! This, my friends, has been such a long road! Don’t fill up your laptop, then change formats and try to redo everything in your digital world at once, k? It’s craziness, I tell you!

I still have, literally, weeks of uploading to do before all of my pictures are in “the cloud”. Weeks. It’s a slow, painful process, but I’ve finally got it figured out at least, so it’s truly a day for rejoicing! Can I get an “amen”?? I dread having to MANUALLY upload around 40,000 pictures (seriously Apple people, isn’t there a better way?) but I really think I’ll be super happy once they’re all there. The best part of the whole thing is that it has forced me to sit down and look at some of my old pictures.

Just look at this:

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The Source of My Frustration

Hello, friends. It’s been far too long, no?

You see, I’ve reached the limit of my laptop’s capabilities. She’s all filled up. She simply can’t handle any more of my memories. She’s holding 251 gigabytes of pictures, and she’s put her foot down.

Therein lies the problem. I’m not finished making memories yet. I have years and years to go. And, since I blog, I need access to those memories. It isn’t good enough to just stick them on some discs for safe keeping. And I don’t want to mess with an external hard drive all the time.

There’s only one answer that I know of.

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Holy Redesign, Batman!

This post contains affiliate links. Click here for my full disclosure.

Notice that things look a little different around here? I’ll be honest with you-I’m in looooove! I spent years (for real) designing and redesigning my blog. I studied, I created buttons and menu bars and headers. I tried to make a sidebar that looked like it was supposed to be there. I coded, mapped images, made social media buttons and STILL never felt content with what my blog looked like. So, if you’ve been here a while, you’ve seen lots of designs come and go. And even a name change!

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Lots of them.
Sorry about that.

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Sometimes I would find a design I liked, but then I would struggle to get everything else to look like it went together.

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Anyway, this year I finally decided to check into having someone ELSE design my blog. Go figure! The first thing I did was look at a couple of blogs that I really liked, and checked at the bottom of the page to see if anyone specific had designed them. I found several designers and sent out an email to find out what the cost would be to have my blog redesigned.

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Trunk or Treat 2014

Happy Tuesday to you! I’m still trying to get caught up on all of the family stuff I missed over the holidays, so bear with me. And thanks for being here!

Every year our church has a Trunk-or-Treat. Do you guys do that? I love it! It’s so fun to get together with amazing friends and eat good food, play games, and get candy!

Somehow, this is the only picture I got of Conner all night.

Makenna is Ms. Social Pants, and I love to watch her with her friends. This little friends has moved across town, so we don’t get to see her as much. Sad face! It was so great to have her family at our Trunk-or-Treat this year!

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Halloween Party 2014

What do you mean “It’s the end of January”?

Since I totally slacked off for a while, I really have to jump back and get all caught up on my family stuff. So here we go.

Every year we host a family Halloween party. See here for last year’s party. It’s always so much fun, and the one time a year that we get together with some of the extended family.

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Incredible Pizza, Incredible Deal

This is a sponsored post from US Family Guide and America’s Incredible Pizza Company, but the opinions here are 100% mine. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Hey there, friends!

Is it cold where you live? It’s January, you know, and that means winter. I try not to complain because this winter has been so much warmer than last winter! Oh, my goodness, last winter was crazy cold. This year we haven’t even had a good snow!

That said, it’s still cold. It’s too cold to hang out outside, for sure. Lucky for us, I know the perfect place to spend our cold winter days!

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Scrapbook Candles

OK, friends. This is seriously the cheapest, easiest décor idea ever! If you’re like me, you’ll read this post and be like “Duh! How did I never think of that?!”

Ready for this easiness?

Just get some scrapbook paper, cut it to size, and tape it onto your candles! Ta da!

These candles are 6 inches tall, so I cut the paper to five inches. You can also layer the paper, like I did Christmas of 2013. I totally forgot to snap a picture of the candles that year, but you can see them in the background in this picture.

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