Memory Keeping Monday

For the past three years I’ve used Project Life to document our day-to-day memories. Honestly I was getting a little bit burned our. I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to continue or find something new. I’ve heard this sentiment from a lot of people it seems. This thing is though, I LOVE having our past three years document like this. These are my favorite albums to look through and my family feels the same. So, while I was trying to sort this all out, I started playing with the Project Life App. I’m an Apple girl so my photos are synched through all of my devices which makes it really simple. Now I can work on my pages from my iPad anywhere!

I’m having my first set of pages printed (I love and I can’t wait to see them! I love the versatility of the app and one of my favorite features is being able to turn off rounded corners (I was tired of punching out all my corners!). I’ve been using the Over app to add text to my photos (but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this gets added as a feature) and plan on still using a 12×12 album so that I can include additional page protectors for some of the random stuff that gets collected in our album.

Anyway, all that to say I’m really excited to be starting again! Here is week one…

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Memory Keeping Monday

The best part of scrapbooking a vacation is that it’s a chance to relive the trip! For our Christmas trip to Maui I used this template set by Ali Edwards. I’ve used one of her template sets to document a vacation before (you can see those layouts here). What I like about the week-in-the-life format is that it helps to keep the trip organized. I took just under 800 photos on this trip and for me that can be overwhelming. When looking only a day at a time it really simplifies things.

For this album, I’m planning on using a 6×8 Project Life Album and page protectors for these pages as well as some smaller pocket pages to include some of the other stuff we collected on our trip (maps, Instax photos, brochures, etc.). Along with Ali’s templates (which I made some modifications to) I also used some of her digital stamps (here, here, here and here).

This was really fun to put together and I can’t wait to get the printed pages in my hands!
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I’m having such a great time participating in Layout-A-Day once again and this time I was so excited to be asked by Lain to be a featured scrapper! I was so honored when she asked and had a great time coming up with my layouts.

My featured layout today included some 3×4 cards that I created that would be great on a layout or in Project Life or a similar pocket style layout. I created some without my families initials to share. They come in both .jpeg and .psd files to print or maybe adapt to your needs. If you’re interested, you can find them here.

Here’s my layout:


The photo was one taken when we were in Disneyland in March. I feel like we all look relaxed and happy. Perfect!

Here are the rest of my layouts so far. Click on any of them to see it larger.

I love this…

I love this 4.14

So him right now.
Nose in the computer, totally engrossed.
He’s been taking lessons at Microsoft and loves it.
Our own little Bill Gates… or maybe Steve Jobs?

I want to remember: Disneyland

I want to remember how much Alex held my hand through the park

I want to remember how much more independent Alex was this year. Getting in and out of rides, buckling in, even using the single rider line.

I want to remember the leisurely pace that we held during this trip. We only used two of our “magic mornings”. Lines were short and we never felt pressured to hurry.

I want to remember the pure tears of joy when we sprung the surprise on Alex. It was my favorite part of the trip.

I want to remember my first Dole Whip (yummy!)

I want to remember watching Alex experience ride on Goofy’s Sky School over and over all by himself.

I want to remember experiencing the magic through his eyes again and hoping that the magic of Disney captures him every time he goes.



This sweet boy asked if I would snuggle with him “just five more minutes!”. How could I possibly say no when all that was going through my mind was this thought -

How much longer will he want to snuggle with me at all?

We are blessed with a sweet, sweet boy. I can still see glimpses of the little guy that he was.

But more and more those moments are being overshadowed by glimpses of the young man he’s becoming.

I like what I’m seeing so far but I can’t help but also feel a little bit sad at what we’re leaving behind.


2013 in Review

It’s sort of unreal that 2013 has come and gone. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite memories from the year…






The beginning of the year brought an exciting adventure – Costa Rica! It was a work trip and unfortunately the boys had to stay at home, but it was a wonderful opportunity to see coffee farms first hand and experience that part of the coffee business.
Alex was finishing up basketball and also started his first year of lacrosse which he loved.
Mark and I made our third annual trek to La Paz, Mexico for some sun and relaxation.







Mark had the chance to drive a Lamborghini come springtime. It was raining that day, but he left the car with a huge smile on his face so I’d say it was a success.
Alex ran the Color Run with me, his first 5k. He did awesome and is ready to do it again this year.
Alex also was a driver in the Stanwood Soapbox Derby this year. He and Mark spent several weeks building his car and he made it through several rounds on race day. He also had a big smile on his face most of the day… what is it with boys and fast cars?





going down



Summer always goes by so fast, but we made the most of it!
I ran my first half-marathon in Seattle with my dear friend Sarah {yikes!}
We dropped Alex off on Orcas Island for his first week of summer camp at Camp Orkila! We all survived and he’s already been talking about next year.
Grandma Hazel and Grandpa Keith joined us for an exciting zip-line adventure on Camano Island.
We spent a few days at Long Beach with some friends for the kite festival. We had some beautiful weather and Alex worked to master the skim board.



Shepler Family 2013 (26)Shepler Family 2013 (41)

Shepler Family 2013 (28)



Fall brings cooler temperatures and soccer! Alex improved over last year and spent a bit more time as goalie this year.
Alex also turned 10 – I’m not sure how that happened and I’m not sure I approve.
We also hit up the pumpkin patch. Alex was the only one of us who got taller.

We made some special memories this year – many more than can be recorded here. We spent some great time with friends and family and with each other. I’m so thankful for another year, for our health and happiness. Happy New Year – here’s to a magical 2014!

Blowing Glass

My mother-in-law found a brochure for an art festival that included an opportunity to blow your own glass float. I love experiences like this so we were in!

The glass blowing happened at Shack Art Center in Everett. There is a small gallery space in the front of the building, but they offer a lot of classes. I’m looking forward to looking into more of them, but for now it’s glass blowing.

First, the gal who was helping us gathered some clear glass. I think she said that there’s about 300 lbs of molten glass in the furnace that holds it. Then, we learned how to turn the pipe in the second, “working” furnace. It was hot work!


Next, we added the color. We did this depending on the end pattern we were looking for; I was going for more of a “spotted” look, while the boys chose a “swirl” pattern.


(I love the concentrated look on Alex’s face here!)

The color went on in layers. A couple pats into the color (or rolls in my case) then into the furnace. A couple more pats (or rolls) then back into the furnace. Since the boys were going for a swirl pattern, they had an extra step – they had to actually make the swirls! Really cool to get to “play” with the glass like that.


After one last trip into the furnace to smooth things out, it was time to blow our glass blobs into glass balls. While we blew, the gal that helped us actually helped form a nice ball and worked to get it ready to separate from the pipe.


And with that, our glass floats were born! After they were blown up, she sealed up the hole at the bottom with more glass then they went into an oven so that they could slowly cool down. We had to wait two days to pick them up, but totally worth the wait. Here’s the fruit of our labor:


I’m so happy with how they turned out and I’m also really happy with how hands on the process was. This was a really fun experience and I think we may go back in September to try our hand at making some glass pumpkins. Seriously, you need to check this place out!

Now, to find a safe place to display them…

I want to remember : camp


I want to remember how antsy Alex was all morning the day we dropped him off.

I want to remember that when we were leaving he almost didn’t want to say goodbye. Mark thought that Alex maybe thought he was too old or it wasn’t cool. I think that maybe he was worried he’d cry.

I want to remember the helpless feeling when we heard that he’d gotten sick. Even though he was fine and it was likely just nerves it was so hard to hear.

I want to remember the smile on his face in the pool and the pure joy that we felt when we saw that photo.

I want to remember how nice it was to have time to reconnect as a couple and how quiet the house was.

I want to remember how cool he tried to play it when we got there to pick him up.

I want to remember his tears of joy to see us and how that moment totally made me lose my cool.

I want to remember the first hug.

I want to remember how excited he was to share his stories and how curious he was to see if they matched up with my camp experience.

I want to remember how proud of him I felt for getting through the week all on his own and for wanting to go back next year.

Good bye and good luck…

me and matthew orcas

Even when they are for good and noble reasons, good-byes are hard.

My dear friend Matthew is moving to Cambodia for the next three years to do some amazing work with rescued victims of sex trafficking. I didn’t want him to leave without sharing how very proud I am of him. It takes so much courage to leave what is familiar and comfortable, even in small measure – to be moving halfway around the world to take on such a worthy effort is stunning.

Matthew, thank you for your support in achieving some of my dreams and thank you for the example you set in going after yours. You will change the world. I love you.

If you’re interested in knowing more about what Matthew will be doing in Cambodia, please visit the Justice and Soul webpage.

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