It’s been a while {Journal} 4

It’s been way too long since I’ve blogged, my deepest apologies! My blogging hiatus hasn’t been intentional, it just kind of happened gradually as I started using my little “free” time for other things and enjoying the warmer weather. But I still love blogging and will try and go back to a more regular schedule. A little Journal post will help get back to speed.

Outside my Window (saturday night when I started this): Rain!!!! It’s been so warm and windy and our poor grass is so when we saw the thunderheads rolling in today (Saturday) we got a little excited and hoped for rain. It looked like it was going to skip us – again! – but then my sister and daughter did a fun rain dance and my daughter told the clouds to “Let it Go!” in her loudest Frozen singing voice – and it “worked”! It’s so nice to have a regular spring thunderstorm – without any major destruction to go along. (Today, Sunday: Windy!!!)

Bringing me Joy: Lots of joy, so much joy. My family, my husband is so wonderful – the way he loves his children and play with them – they are so blessed to have him for their daddy. He and the kids did a great job making Mother’s Day nice and relaxing – just the way I like it. My children, my daughter brought me breakfast in bed today – my favorite cereal! My son made a special hand-printed flower at school and was so excited to give it me, my four-year old learned how to pump the swing up and down and he is SO excited about it. And the baby-toddler – oh what joy he bring me! I want him to grow and develop but I am holding onto this precious time with him as tight as I can before it slips away.  I love my mom and mother-in-law and so glad we I got to spend special time with them twice this weekend! Oh and also – the smell of rain, the sound of thunder and the flashes of lightning streaking across the night sky. And dozing in the hammock with my baby toddler was my favorite part of Mother’s Day.

Around the House: We’ve been wanting to re-stain our swing set for a while and get new swings but just kept putting it off. The swing set came with the house and I’m not sure how long it was here before us but from the looks of the wood a good long while! So long story short, my husband started working on it slowly and then we finished it off together last weekend and then went out and got the new swings and voila –

A “New” Swing set!

The kids love it! Their excitement makes the time and effort we put into it totally worth it. (But we don’t want to do that again for a while!)

The best part is that all four of the kids can swing at the same time now! (Yet, they still manage to argue about who gets which swing.)

Even the “baby” who really thinks he’s a big boy and should get to swing in the big boy swings. (I let him try but he doesn’t quite understand that if he lets go of the chains he’ll lose balance and fall to the ground. A few falls and bruises might be the only way he’ll get it though.)

Working on: So what have I been so busy with that I can’t crank out a simple little blog post anymore? I scratch my head and wonder the same thing sometimes. I think it’s gotten harder to find time for a few reasons, one being that the baby-toddler doesn’t take very good naps anymore so my usual blogging time has disappeared with his naps. When he does nap, he wants me to stay with him the whole time or I end up dozing off myself – which is probably good since I’ve been trying to get up earlier.

Another reason is because I started using my afternoon “rest & quiet” time to do some online graphic design courses through It’s an online video tutorial and training site my friend told me about and I LOVE it! It fills me with nerdy giddiness! I have been interested in graphic design for a while but didn’t really want to go back to full-time college just to learn the specific things I want to know about. (Not that we could afford the money or time for that anyway.) I even looked into some online graphic design classes but didn’t know how I’d be able to swing that. So this program is really quite amazing. The tutorials are WAY better than any Youtube videos could be and they are done very professionally. I chose the option to get the exercise files so I can work along with the instructor since I’m pretty much a 100% visual and “action” learner. I feel like I’m taking “real” college classes for it but for a MUCH better price and at my own pace and with my own customized courses. They have courses and tutorials in a variety of subjects so if you’ve been wanting to learn something new you should check it out. 

Creating: With that, my friend and co-graphic addict and conspirator at, Sarah Reinhard, introduced me to Canva – and I’m totally hooked. It’s like PicMonkey – on steroids!

I  had some fun creating a new blog profile pic and new subscription buttons over on the side bar there. Isn’t it purty? (It might look funny on a mobile device but sorry I’m not advanced enough to fix that.)

Since Sarah is the one who so graciously shared the amazing Canva with me – and since she asked so nicely – I figured I’d pay it back and make a couple graphics for some cool things going on over at

This book sounds so interesting, I might have to join the book conversation and then get my own copy. 

And talk about an AmAAAzInG Giveaway!

 I’ve always wanted a Vera Bradley bag – wouldn’t it be cool to THE bag used in THE movie too! Those are all the colors I love too! It took me a few tries to come up with the graphic – and now I kind of wish I would have made it a white background – but all in all I had a lot of fun making both the graphics and am excited for more work like this!

Watching: Speaking of movies, I did get to go watch Moms’ Night Out this weekend! I took my mom and mother-in-law and sister so we had our own girls time too. I really enjoyed it. I laughed, I cried, I sighed and pondered and felt generally uplifted and grateful to be a mother. I’ll write out a separate review for it another time this week – so I can enter the giveaway! 

My husband and I also watched Gladiator -again. Such a good movie. Hard to watch at times but I still really like it.

Reading: I mentioned I read Jennifer Fulwiler’s Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It and really enjoyed it. Here are 7 tongue-in-cheek reasons you should NOT read it followed by honest reasons why I did like it and you probably would as well. 

Now I need a new book! 

Ok, the baby has been sleeping on my arm for a while so I can FINALLY finish this post I started a WEEK ago. My arm is all tingly and my back is aching and my eyes are drooping and if yours aren’t by now they will if I write any more! So I’m stopping and going to bed now before my bed time.

{Tangent – I’ve been trying to get to bed at a “decent” time so I can wake up earlier to so the morning time isn’t such a HOT MAD AWFUL RUSH and it’s been helping. So goodnight now my friends. Sleep tight and I promise to come back here again soon – with something more exciting! (No, I’m not pregnant. There now you don’t have to wonder.) }


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4 thoughts on “It’s been a while {Journal}

  • Monica DeGraffenreid

    I really like Gladiator, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t really like movies.
    In fact, that’s where we got our dog’s (Max, Maximus) name.

    The swing set looks great!

    i have several VB bags and really like them a lot.

  • Erika Marie Post author

    That’s cool – about your dog Max. If we had a dog, I’m sure my husband would want to name him Maximus also. 😉

    We’ll have to have your kids over to swing in the new swings soon!

  • Jackie

    Way to go on the swingset, it looks great! And the online graphic design sounds like its a great fit for you, so happy. Right now I am reading “The Shallows” (non fiction), and am enjoying it. Another recommendation is C.S. Lewis’ “Till We Have Faces.” A book of his that I had never heard of, but I think it is one of his best.

  • Erika Marie Post author

    Hey Jackie – sorry I thought I replied to this but I guess I didn’t push “submit”.
    Thanks about the swing set, it’s fun feeling like we have a “new” one.
    I added those books to my “to read” list so thanks for the suggestion!