Tuesday, January 17, 2012

crazy little thing called LIFE

I had every intention of hitting you guys with a super sized, jacked up on steroids, mother of catch-all, Ten on Tuesday post of enormous proportions. Christmas programs, Disney, every day fun, you name it! But then, this crazy little thing called LIFE got in the way.

My father fell late last night. This landed him in the hospital with a gash in his head and a fractured hip. If you happen to follow this blog then you may know about my father's health issues. They are many and they are serious. So this little accident,... Yeah, not so good!

I spent most of last night and all of today in the hospital with him and my mom. All of his doctors are consulting to make sure he is good to go for surgery. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it happens tomorrow. He is in a lot of pain! And he is feeling pretty down!

So, if you happen to remember, could you please say a little prayer for him? For his surgery, for his healing, for his recovery, for his spirit,...

I promise I will update you soon. But for now, I feel like I am where I need to be.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

We are family...

 ♩ ♬ I've got all my brothers and me!  ♪ ♫ 

Well, really there's only two brothers. But hey, when we get together it feels (and sounds) like there's like twelve of us! Not to mention what happens when we gather with our respective families. We're many and we're loud and we're intense and oh, SO FUN!

My older brother and his family decided to surprise us with a visit from Florida. And surprise us they did! And even though we had the pleasure of getting together with them while we were in FL for our Disney trip (photos to come,... I promise!),  it was wonderful getting to see them all again. We got to spend New Year's weekend together and it was absolutely glorious.

Here are a few shots of our few, but awesome, days together.

The boys (old and young) held a poker tournament:

The girls,... yeah, not so much!

We took the kids out for a cousins photo session. 
It was SO much fun getting all these goofballs together.
I love being around them.

Their energy is contagious...

and exhausting. 

But their love for each other... well, it's beautiful!

Would you believe that I didn't take a single picture during our New Year's Eve family celebration? 
Not a single one!
It was THAT much fun just talking and eating and drinking and playing and counting down and being together and just living in the moment.

Thank you, guys, for taking the time, making the drive and coming to see us. 

We love you!
And we're next!

There are fewer places I'd rather be than with my entire family.
I am so BLESSED!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My first Project 52 - {2012}

I first read about Project 52 last year in the Handbags & Handguns blog. I was quite intrigued, but for some reason opted not to participate. I mean, the truth is I have a hard enough time sticking to a few "resolutions", so the thought of putting 52 goals down on paper made me a bit leery, to say the least. But then I started really looking into what people were including in their Project 52 lists, and I knew this year I had to do it!

Project 52 is about setting goals, not resolutions. It's about doing things to better myself and my family. It's about helping others. It's about remembering some of the little, and not so little, things I'd love to accomplish. It's about making 2012 the Best. Year. Yet!

So, here are 52 things (in no particular order) I hope to accomplish in the 52 weeks of 2012:
1. Pray more often
2. Cook healthier meals and eat more meals at home
3. Read the daily devotionals; my own and the kids'
4. Read 50 books (up from last year's goal of 45)
5. Create a photo gallery wall
6. Teach the kids Spanish
7. Go to a Redbirds game
8. Try a new recipe every week
9. Blog at least 3 times/week
10. Grow Liz Butler Photography
11. Start a prayer/gratitude journal
12. Lose 40 pounds by my 40th birthday (June)
13. Throw a winter spa party for Isabella and her little girlfriends
14. Drink more water and less Coke
15. Join a Hope Small Group
16. Have a garage sale
17. Go to at least 2 shows at The Orpheum
18. Call my friends more often
19. Get Sam off overnight pull-ups
20. Complete at least 4 Pinterest projects
21. Host a summer gathering at our house
22. Move more
23. Significantly improve my photography skills
24. Remodel our kitchen ~ paint, cabinets, backsplash
25. Have a weekly family fun night
26. Celebrate our 10th Anniversary (February)
27. Read the Bible in a year
28. Go on a beach family vacation
29. Do more crafts with the kids
30. Teach Isabella to ride her bike without training wheels
31. Go to one concert
32. Get a massage
33. Go the zoo at least 4 times this year
34. Declutter our house
35. Sign up for a 5K
36. Go on Hope's Belize Mission trip this summer
37. Create 1-2 scrapbook layouts each month
38. Paint our master bedroom
39. Volunteer at a shelter/soup kitchen with the kids
40. Take a monthly family photo (four people twelve times - like the amazing Tara W.)
41. Go camping with the kids
42. Improve my Photoshop skills
43. Organize my office/craft area
44. Clean out our garage
45. Teach Isabella how to tie her shoelaces
46. Celebrate mine and Scott's 40th BDays
47. Block out some "me time" on my calendar on a regular basis
48. Gut and remodel our master bathroom
49. Go to at least one show at The Playhouse
50. Landscape the front yard
51. Have a picnic at the Botanic Gardens
52. Take down upstairs bath wallpaper and paint

And I think that about does it!

I'll be posting progress updates on the blog throughout the year.
If you think this might be something you'd like to do as well, please let me know.
I will gladly support any and all of you in this fun journey!

I am really excited about this new year.
The possibilities make me absolutely giddy.
I am starting to say no to some things, so that I can focus on others.
And the truth is I have a few very specific things I definitely want to focus on.

Here's to a brand new year and a fresh new start!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a 2012 filled with lots of 
health, love, prosperity and happiness!