The Vacation is Over

30 Sep

I knew I was forgetting to say something the other day…

I received two “Vacation” friendly things via my silly mail art contest, so I need y’all to pick your favorite :-D

Contestant #1: Nancy from New Jersey:


Contestant #2: Amy from Pennsylvania:


Ugh. WordPress is being mean to me and not letting me include a poll, so you’ll have to vote in the comments. I will announce the winner as well as the last theme of the year on the 5th! Ciao for now, Bleaders!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Letters, Shows, and Letters about Shows

25 Sep

September 15th: This time around my mail call is starting with a letter from Allison, the pen pal I’ve had the longest.

September 17th: The bad news is that both mailboxes were empty, but the good news is I was more excited about Logan coming home anyway. I declare his/our first week of preschool a success!

September 18th: I got Kayla’s letter in the mail that afternoon, and picked Tiffany’s up in the evening.

September 19th: Jody’s letter came as I expected, but what I didn’t expect was this puzzle letter from Ashley for me and the Loganator.


September 21st: Not long after I got Logan on the bus, the DirectTV guy came to hook us up– literally– and not long after he was gone the stamps I ordered arrived.

September 22nd: It’s been a good week to have “real” TV, because Laura’s letter has been the only one I received yet. It’s been a good excuse to start letters for Jody and Ashley thanks to the premieres, too.

Well, if you’ll excuse me, I have new episodes of Heroes Reborn and How to Get Away with Murder waiting for me.

Sincerely, Kate

26 Letters- Back to School Edition

20 Sep

Hola! The Loganator has just finished his first week of school so I thought this would be a good time to share some of our ABCs with you. How do posts like this work? I take each letter of the alphabet and come up with a word that not only starts with them, but fits my theme. My previous posts include the Original Edition, the Birthday Edition, the 100th Blog Post Edition, and the Christmas Edition.

Logan seems to have really liked going to school. Like literally. The bus ride to and from is his favorite part of the day. Logan was so excited about getting to ride the school bus, on Monday he couldn’t care less about us dropping him off, and as soon as the bus was here I barely got a “bye, mom.” Him being as independent as he is helped this be a smooth transition, though I still bawled as the bus pulled away.

I asked Logan what he likes best about his classroom, and he told me about how they have mats to lay down on and that they also sit on the carpet to listen to stories. He since has demonstrated to me and Gabe how he sits pretzel style for the latter.

The day before he was off to preschool, Gabe, his parents, and I took off with the little guy to get him some shoes (more on those later). On a whim my father-in-law grabbed some socks to put a pair on Logan as he tried things on, and when we got home I realized they were day-of-the-week socks. Logan now insists on wearing the appropriate socks on each day he goes to school, and he told me I needed to wash them this weekend so he can do the same this week. They are in the dryer as I write this.

The good news is that things like dated socks make things in the mornings easier, though the “early hour” isn’t too hard on Logan. He’d get up when Gabe gets up for work if we let him. I had to put a digital clock in his room so he knows that unless the first number is a 6 he needs to stay in bed.

As you can imagine, I asked Logan about his first day when he got home that afternoon. He told me how he got to play outside, how he got to use the Batman blanket he brought at naptime, and that for a snack he was given a football-shaped cookie. The same things were the highlights on the second day as well.

You may be wondering what I’m going to do now that Logan is napping and eating cookies elsewhere, and I don’t particularly have a goal. At some point I’m hoping to try out an online class via to see how I like it, but right now I like being available should I be needed.

Harper is not too happy when Logan leaves in the morning to the point I need to have her crated up when Logan and I go outside to wait for the bus, and she spends most of the day napping a lot. She loves that kid. I think 3:20 is her favorite time of day now that that’s when we go outside to wait for Logan. Her tether was a fantastic investment.

Gabe’s aunts– AKA my aunt in-laws— are amazing. On Monday they thought I could use some chocolate therapy, so they asked me what I would like, and an hour later double-chocolate brownies arrived fresh from the oven. It was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it.

As awesome as brownies are, this time of year is also the time when Johnson’s Pumpkin Farm opens back up and we can get their amazing cinnamon sugar donuts. Gabe and I grabbed a dozen yesterday morning, and I’m sure we’ll be back for some more next weekend, too.

If a blog post like this is any indication, I have given quite a bit of thought to this time of year. One thing I haven’t really considered though is starting a school scrapbook for Logan. Despite my love of an old-school hobby like pen palling, scrapbooking is something that now seems really outdated to me the more I can share pictures with friends and family via social media. However, Keisha, a fellow LEPeep, decided to send us some scrapbook supplies that would lend themselves nicely to such an endeavor so maybe I will try to find a use for them.

Speaking of fellow LEPeeps, I recently acquired two new pen pals from that group by the names of Lauren and Dena. Both of them also pushed their little birds out of the nest so our letters are letting us not only vent about our fears and frustrations, but compare our experiences as well.

One thing I plan to “compare” with the ladies above is the first art project that was sent home to each of us. For me, it was this picture with popsicle sticks that conveniently had magnets attached to the back. Obviously it has been on my refrigerator ever since.


Things that are going to be on my TV in the next week– while I’m Logan-free, of course– include The Big Bang Theory, Scream Queens, Heroes Reborn, How to Get Away with Murder, Once Upon a Time, and Nashville. Fall premieres is definitely one of my favorite things about this time of year!

Going to Logan’s Open House earlier this month was something I had mixed feelings about. On the one hand, I wanted to see where Logan was going to be spending his time and who he’d be spending it with, but on the other hand $#!% just got real.  His classroom seemed a bit small to me, but at the same time that seemed like a good thing because it wouldn’t overwhelm my little guy.

How could I not use “preschool” for the letter P? Despite this blog post’s blog title, I’m a bit annoyed by “Back to School” commercials, promotions, and aisles since when your child is starting preschool they’re not actually going back to school. I’m well aware that for most children it’s back to school, but it’s kids who are Logan’s age that are the most excited about going to school, so I think more commercials should be geared towards that demographic.

Since I have quite a bit of quiet time a few days a week now, I have decided to make myself a bit of a schedule. Mondays will be when I clean the kitchen, Tuesdays will be when I do laundry (minus the load with Logan’s socks ;-) ), Wednesdays will be random chores like cleaning the bathroom one week and organizing my crafty stuff another, and on Thursdays I’ll tidy up the living room in time for the boys and puppy to destroy it again, haha.

But that’s not the only routine we’ve started here. On Sunday evenings Logan and I pick out the clothes he wants to wear throughout the week, and in the mornings we wake up only for him to watch an episode of Dinosaur Train or Handy Manny before he puts them on.

Usually after another episode and a half Logan and I head outside with the Spiderman backpack my in-laws got Logan. He loves his backpack and the fact that there’s a matching lunchbox I can hook up to it. You can’t really see the backpack in this picture, but this seems like a good place to show you the mandatory first-day-of-school photo.


Around this time next month Logan gets to see his other grandpa– my dad is coming back to Michigan! Normally he only comes to Michigan once a year, but he’s making an exception now that he has yet another grandson to visit now. After his visit, I’ll be the one with some travel plans. The following weekend my oldest brother is getting married in Florida! Between school and fall harvest it is just going to be me that heads south in October, but in January the three of us will try to go when we all can actually enjoy the trip and spend time with the newlyweds.

As for my mother, I get to see her quite a bit now that she’s in Michigan. She is doing the “back to school” thing herself as she’s teaching a couple classes at Saginaw Valley State University. She posted this on her blog a little over a month ago, should you want to know more about what she’s up to.

As promised, I have some shoes to tell you about. Logan knew for quite some time that he wanted shoes that lit up, and for almost as long I wanted him to have something with Velcro. Fortunately we were able to find a pair of shoes that had both of these qualities, and we’re both incredibly pleased with the purchase! I attempted to get a picture of them “lighting up” but this is the only one even remotely successful, haha.


My next post is going to share some of the “vacation” friendly things I got via this little contest, but for now I’m going to tell you about three things that were sent via a swap I arranged called “What I did on my summer vacation.” I, for starters, sent Ashley a pocket letter I made incorporating bits and bobs from the past few months like arcade tickets, movie stubs, and even one of our family pictures. Allison drew a map of the places she traveled to, writing a few descriptions about each of the states she visited. Then Ashley sent me movie reviews for each of the movies she saw and included a box of Reeses Pieces and a bag of popcorn.

Xenotarsosaurus is the “X” dinosaur the train picks up when they collect each dinosaur in the following song. I’ve been no stranger to this in the mornings.

Between the mornings where Logan and I wait for the bus to pick him up, and the afternoons where Harper and I are waiting for his return, I find myself wanting something for our yard. A bench. Well, a porch swing would be even more preferable, but I’m cheap. I just think it would be nice to have a place to sit instead of standing around the driveway, and if I wasn’t worried about them falling into the ditch I’d settle for plastic lawn chairs.

Well, I think this blog post can die now… like the mosquitoes in our yard now that we finally invested in a bug zapper, haha. Hope you have a great week, but I hope Logan’s is even greater :-P

Sincerely, Kate ~!~





Things to be Treasured

15 Sep

September 5th: Because of Labor Day weekend I was quite happy to get all the mail (and the unicorn!) below. The letters were from Ashley, Laura, and Jen E.


September 8th: After the long weekend I was pleased as punch to get a postcard from Justine and letters from Kari and Marinka, and Logan was pleased to get the Magic Pens my mom ordered for him.

September 9th: Not mail related, but check out the dinosaur Logan won at the arcade!


September 10th: If the postcard before from New Orleans wasn’t enough, Justine also sent me some novelty beads along with her letter. Some blank note cards, too!

September 11th: As per usual, I got Jody’s letter via Manolo. From Pablo I got things like an intro letter from a fellow Michigander and this pirate booty per a Treasure Hunt swap:

Elizabeth from the UK is amazing!

Elizabeth from the UK is amazing!

September 12th: Gabe got yet another firefighter t-shirt, and I got Stephanie’s letter and yet another batch of postcards from my dad.

September 14th: Yesterday was Logan’s first day of school– AHH! I was very happy for the distraction letters from Kristy, Rose, and Leslie provided. He seemed to love it, by the way, and couldn’t wait to get back on the bus this morning.

I find myself incredibly grateful this morning now that Logan’s first day is out of the way. I think I appreciate each of the things I/we got in this post more now than when I received them now that I don’t have that cloud hanging over me. And I even find myself excited about what the next ten days might bring.

All the best, now and always!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Pen Pal of the Month- September

10 Sep

Before Gabe and I became something of an item, I lived with roommates and Stephanie– this month’s honoree– was one of them. Although she is a few years older than I am, Stephanie went to the same high school as me and was also a fan of writing. The more she saw me write to pen pals, the more she became interested in the hobby and it is something she has done off and on ever since. Now, more than ever, she seems to be “on” and that’s why she got to have her round of Q&A with SK :-D

stephSK: How do you feel about being Pen Pal of the Month?

Stephanie: I feel really special and honored. It really made my day/week thus far. It also makes me happy that I have a pen pal that does something so cool.

SK: What has been your favorite thing about pen palling?

Stephanie: I love my old pals because I have had two since I started penpaling –you, Kate, being one of them. I love knowing what your life is up to. I enjoy my new pals as I am learning about new people. But I love the art of putting pen to paper.

SK: What, if anything, is your least favorite thing about it?

Stephanie:  I don’t like that I tend to write long letters and some pals respond with a paragraph. Also the waiting, I feel like I stalk the mail man.

SK: Why do you like writing me?

Stephanie: I like writing you because you’re dependable; I always know I’ll hear back from you and you give me honest advice in a lovable way. I enjoy your letters; you use a lot of creativity in them. I wish I had that talent. You’re the pal I’ve had the longest and I really enjoy having you as one.

SK: And what do you like about September?

Stephanie: I normally enjoy the cool weather. And I get to start planning for my daughter Zoey’s birthday that’s in October. I love the fall. And the trailer park is silent cause all the kids go back to school. At the end of September the apple cider comes out and pumpkins! Fall is my favorite season after all.

Fall is my favorite season, too, though it seems crazy to me that it’s here already! Just a few days until my little guy starts preschool! I have a feeling I’m going to be incredibly grateful for whatever letters I get over the next few weeks and the distraction they provide. Hopefully Stephanie’s are among them :-D

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Special Deliveries

5 Sep

August 25th: I may not have gotten any letters today, but what I can tell you about the 25th is that Harper’s appointment went very well. Not only is she a healthy puppy, she’s a spoiled one– everyone at the vet’s office was just loving on her.


And of course I loved on her afterward.

August 27th: After two days without any letters, I was relieved to get Jody’s letter from one mailbox and Amanda’s from the other.

August 28th: It’s my sister-in-law’s due date! My nephew didn’t come yet, but Kristy’s letter helped hold me over.

August 29th: I was really excited to hear from Kari once again.

August 31st: August ended not with a bang but a whimper. I’m not complaining though, I love postcards from Kära.

September 2nd: Prior to heading over to Logan’s open house, I acquired a couple things from Pablo like Friendship Books from a LEPeep and a postcard from a postcrosser. His open house, by the way, went well and he quickly was interested in playing legos with the other kids.

September 3rd: After two days without letters I wound up getting two. Thank you, Jody and Kayla.

September 4th: I woke up yesterday morning and found out that my nephew was born the night before! Meet Jack!


I have yet to meet the little guy, but I adore him already. He was 6 days late, just like his cousin Logan, so those extra days really do make all the difference! I love the mail I acquired, but Jack might have been the most special delivery this past week, hehe.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~


The Whatever Book

30 Aug

As of this month I have been pen palling for 10 years! In honor of this occasion I decided I wanted to make something I could send out to my pen pals, and as I was conceptualizing, I kept thinking “What would 18-year-old me have done?” And so The Whatever Book was born.

Or reborn rather. As a tween I remember being at my Golden Granny’s and feeling a bit bored. I wound up cutting random stuff out of her magazines and collaging everything in a notebook. It was like an impromptu art journal. Several years later when I was a nanny for two little girls, I encouraged them to make something similar, and they enjoyed putting whatever they wanted into their books as well.

So now I’ve started this:

I am going to let it float among me and my interested pen pals; I added whatever I wanted so now they can do the same. When it comes back to me I’ll share some highlights. TTFN!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~


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