I’ve moved!

11 May

If you remember back to my 40-at-40 list, you may recall item #4 – “build a website”. I called it complete, but this blog wasn’t exactly what I had in mind… I really wanted to see if I could figure out a .com and do a couple of things that I was limited to in this space. Well, I figured it out! I hope you’ll visit me at my new web home: SheplerFamily.com.

Thanks so much for visiting!



25 Apr

I’m not sure why, but this year’s list was a little tougher than last year. I did include a couple of things that were incomplete from last year and there are also a couple of returning favorites. I have some big goals for the coming year and I’m looking forward to getting them all accomplished.

  1. build a regular fitness habit
  2. 30-days of real food
  3. run a 5k
  4. create 100 scrapbook layouts
  5. conquer the kitchen counter
  6. plant a garden
  7. go kayaking
  8. learn Spanish
  9. knit a pair of socks
  10. practice writing
  11. hang family photo wall in the family room
  12. establish a meditation practice
  13. take the time to take photos for me
  14. move the clock
  15. make a plan
  16. sew a quilt
  17. visit Vancouver Canada
  18. establish a weekly meal plan
  19. clean out the pantry
  20. start a daily juicing habit
  21. run another 5k
  22. plant spring bulbs
  23. camp eight times
  24. plan a Disney surprise
  25. audit “The Pursuit of Excellence”
  26. make one active step to my “next thing”
  27. keep current with Project Life
  28. clean out the playroom
  29. have a party
  30. upload all my digital photos to Flickr
  31. scan 10 more albums
  32. knit a hat for myself
  33. build a blogging habit
  34. make a vision board
  35. have Grandpa Keith over for a sleepover
  36. schedule a girls weekend
  37. go skydiving inside
  38. take a trapeze lesson
  39. schedule a weekend getaway with Mark
  40. plant tulips in the fall that will bloom all through the spring
  41. un-ugly the backyard

i love this…

16 Apr


spring has sprung
so happy that I took the time to add some color to our yard!

March daily

9 Apr

Hello March…
MPhoto365Tphoto-4photo-3photo-5photo-7photo-8Photo365photo-9photo-30Photo365photo-11photo-13photo-14photo-29photo-15photo-18photo-17photo-16photo-19photo-20photo-21photo-22photo-23My afternoon snackphoto-28photo-25photo-27photo-26Photo365

40-at-40… the final results

25 Mar

Now that my birthday has come and gone, it’s time for the final roundup of my 40-at-40 list. I really loved tackling this project; so much so, I’m already working on my 41-at-41 list. It made me a little more mindful as I went through my life and I think it stretched me in a couple of areas. As I work on my 41 list, I think that I’m going to put a little more bravery in my list and push myself a little outside my comfort zone.



1.    paint the master bathroom
2.    paint my office
3.    have a zip line adventure
4.    build a web-site
6.    create and use a weekly menu plan
7.    plant spring bulbs
10.    clean out & organize all closets (I went through them all at least once… not all of them stuck!)
12.    finish small dresser*
13.    finish Alex’s quilt*
14.    plan a weekend getaway for Mark and me
15.    start a date night habit
16.    clean out kitchen
17.    use our Metropolitan Grill gift certificates (finally – they’re years old!)
19.    knit a sweater (finished this week! see photo above)
20.    make strawberry jam
21.    move my month-by-month album to 12 x 12 (I actually decided to nix this one and go in a totally different direction)
23.    use the fire-pit
24.    make Jello shots
25.    schedule a Bunco night
26.    schedule a massage
27.    catch up on laundry
28.    take a hike
30.    take a class
31.    teach Alex organization
32.    go to the coast
33.    scan at least 10 albums
34.    have a party
35.    finish a Disney album
36.    add a stamp to my passport
39.    drive the trailer for at least an hour


5.    run a 5k (I’m looking forward to THIS run in May)
8.    plant a garden (this will go back on my list this year)
9.    learn Spanish
11.    make a quilt for the family room (in progress!)
18.    start a yoga practice (I’d gotten into a good habit, but it all fell apart in October)
22.    finish my “Me: The Abridged Album” album
29.    create a video tutorial
32.    go to the coast (not complete, but scheduled for June!)
37.    build a blogging habit
38.    knit socks
40.    plant the front yard

I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, but will be looking for better than 75% completion this coming year! Stay tuned for my 41-at-41 list.

happy birthday to me…

22 Mar

Scan 25(photo taken 40 years ago today on my first birthday)

I love my birthday.

It feels like a personal fresh start every year.

I make the same wish every year – to grow a little wiser and a little happier along with a little older.

What more could a girl ask for?

10 things that could have been…

10 Mar

I’ve been plugging away on my 40-at-40 list (see my last update HERE). It’s been a really great experience and something that I plan on repeating next year for my 41st birthday, but while I was reviewing my list, I realized that there were quite a few things that have happened this year that could have made the list and I thought that for this month’s installment of “10 Things” I would list them here.

1) Be in a parade: One of my stores participated in a parade in their community and I got to tag along and hold the banner. It was a fun day with nice weather and lots of happy coffee fans!

2) Make cake pops: I tried these out only once, but as you can see from the photo, they weren’t exactly a success.
cake pops

3) Take a rafting trip: We had a great float while in Leavenworth this summer. Alex had a great time and even rode right in front through the waves!

4) Go water skiing: The last time I water skied was more than 20 years ago. This summer, we spent a week on a lake with some friends and spent lots of time on the water. Skiing might be like riding a bike – I was able to get up on the first try! I also had some spectacular spills, but that’s a story for a different day.

5) Have a family photos taken: Our last family photos were taken when my darling eight year old son was two months! It was long overdue and so much fun! I’m glad that we finally took the time.
family photos

6) Break a toe: OK, so this wouldn’t have made my list, but breaking a bone was a first for me and this year was all about firsts!
broken toe

7) Have a reading with a famous psychic: This really deserves a blog post all on it’s own. What a great experience.
me & mom & James Van Praagh

8) Sing karaoke in a foreign country: On our recent trip to Mexico, we had one crazy night out that involved dancing, singing and generous amounts of tequila, not necessarily in that order.
Mexican karaoke

9) Pet a whale: On that same trip to Mexico, we went on a whale watching trip. Unlike whale watching trips here, in Mexico we got up close and personal with the whales. It was pretty unbelievable.Apetting a whale

10) Take nearly 6,000 photos: As I was going through my photos looking for these, I realized that my photo count for the year is at 5,928. Plus, I still have a couple of weeks to go!

To see more about 10 Things, check out Shimelle’s blog HERE.

the rest of our vacation…

2 Mar

So I last shared that Tuesday may have been the best day of our vacation. That’s true, but the rest of it was pretty great also.

Since I was in the middle of my Layout-A-Day challenge, I had to continue scrapbooking in Mexico. I took the opportunity to scrap our vacation photos as I went. Here are the layouts from the trip (click on any photo to see it larger):

MondayOur very first day consisted primarily of travel. We landed and got to our hotel just in time for a margarita. I included a photo here from the air, as well as a couple that replicated photos that we took on our first day last year.

TuesdayDay two was a lazy one by the pool. As the sun was starting to go down, we heard a racket out in front of our hotel. It was the Mexican version of Mardi Gras and the parade was lining up in the lot across the street. Conveniently, it was also sunset so we grabbed our cameras and captured what struck us. I also documented our Skype dates with Alex.

WednesdaySome photos of our daily lunch (BLT’s… yum!) and a couple from our evening walk into town. The journaling on this page comes from a story that Alex told us while we were talking over Skype that became a running joke for the rest of our trip.

ThursdayWhen every day of a vacation is about the same, it takes a little work to come up with new photos, but I think I’m doing OK! I played with my new remote control for the camera to catch us “in the act” of doing almost nothing.

Friday1Friday2Today was our one “excursion” day to go whale watching. There were too many great photos for one layout, so I had to do two. We had a fabulous day!

SaturdaySaturday was our big night out on the town. We had so much fun! I love La Paz!!

SundaySunday was spent mostly recovering from Saturday night. Ugh… I’m getting old!

Monday2Monday we headed for home. A couple more hours to lay by the pool and that was it.

Although I have never scrapped a vacation like this before (as in, while it was happening and every single day) I really, really liked it and would consider it again. I kept it really simple by limiting my supplies –  I used THIS template set from Ali Edwards at Designer Digitals. I love the clean lines and all of the journaling space, although I did alter a couple of the photo groupings to better fit my needs. The cardstock I used for the backgrounds came from HERE (a great link I found on Pinterest.

Thanks for sharing the rest of my vacation!

the best day of vacation…

29 Feb

Tuesday might have been the best day of our vacation.

Mark and I just got back from a great trip to Mexico. Our days, for the most part, were very much the same – coffee in our room in the morning, breakfast in the cafe, Skype with Alex, out to the pool, BLT’s for lunch at the pool. More sun, perhaps a dip in the pool, maybe a beer or two, back to our room to get ready for dinner, Skype with Alex, out to dinner and home. With only a couple of exceptions, our days all were exactly like that. Wonderful, relaxing, quiet, sunny and warm.

Tuesday, though, was the day we got home and brought Alex lunch at school.

He was so happy to see us! During lunch, he kept sneaking his hand under the table to hold mine and at recess, he was playing tag with his friends and would keep coming back to where we were standing to give me a hug. He must have said “I love you” about 50 times. He seems to have grown – his hair is too long, his front tooth is growing in, he feels taller. Seeing him after a week is such a clear reminder of how fast he’s growing, how quickly this season of our lives will pass.

I am so thankful that we have grandparents that live near by and are willing and able to watch Alex for a week. I am so thankful that we are able to get away, just Mark and me, and be grown-ups. I’m thankful for a son who can go with the flow.

But today, I’m also thankful for the small reminder that Alex loves us more than anything.


i love this…

26 Feb


I love vacation
I love having nothing to do but lay by the pool
I love traveling with people I love