Archive | January, 2015

January’s Mail Call

30 Jan

Not going to lie, the absence of Miscellaneous Mondays this year has felt like a weight off my shoulders. I did, however, very much enjoy the 14 “Hail the Snail” posts where I showcased some awesome mail from 2014, so at the end near the end of each month this year you can see/ hear about the awesomeness yet again. Like now, for example.

January 2nd: The first piece of mail I received was this postcard from Russia:

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January 5th: My first letter of the year came from Jody which is why she was the first Pen Pal of the Month!

January 6th: This day has always been significant as it’s my dad’s birthday, but this year it was significant because I got my first pieces of mail via the P.O. Box– three postcards via postcrossing. I was especially excited to see this one considering the whole sheepish thing:

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January 8th: Logan and I both got letters. His was from his little pen friend in New Jersey, and mine was from a pen friend I’ve had since 2005! Fun fact: When Allison and I first started writing, she lived in New Jersey.

January 9th: Gabe not only checked the regular mailbox for me (which had Sarah S.’s letter inside), but escorted me to the post office to check the one there (which had one from a LEP named Stephanie).

January 10th: I received a letter from the one person from high school I still talk to, at least outside of Facebook. Will she become an official pen pal? I don’t know. What I do know is I’ll keep responding to Krista’s letters for as long as she sends them.

January 12th: As of this day I have received six letters in 2015, and Jody was responsible for a third of them.

January 13th: Though I think it is awesome Logan gets books monthly from Imagination Library, I thought my husband was even more awesome as he picked this stuff up from the P.O. Box for me:

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January 15th: While three pieces of mail were quite “extraordinary,” it was the Chipotle gift card from my brother Erik and his wife Mindy that really excited me.

January 16th: In addition to an awesome letter from Justine, I also received this awesome postcard:

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January 17th: I love that the first of Logan’s birthday cards came on his due date. I also love that between both boxes I received three letters (from Ashley, Kristy, and Charmaigne) and more blank postcards from my dad.

January 20th: After two days without any mail I was pleased as punch to get two letters. One was from Jody and the other from Amethyst.

January 21st: Nothing but a package for Logan came to our regular address, so I had Gabe check the P.O. Box after work and his trip wasn’t in vain thanks to a letter and an ATC 🙂

January 22nd: Two more birthday cards came for the Loganator.

January 23rd: And another two birthday cards came for him as well as a bit of other fun mail. I also got a postcard from Emily over at Nerd in the Brain.

January 24th: The regular box had both a letter (from Kayla) and a postcard (from Kära) in it for me, and the P.O. Box had a letter (from Eileen) in it, too.

January 26th: Although I got a letter from my birthday buddy, Sarah (AKA S’Moore), this day was a much happier mail day for Logan. He got a birthday card from his Uncle Tom and Aunt Megan, a package from Emily, and his own letter from S’Moore’s little guy.

January 27th: I was excited to see yet another letter from Allison in my mailbox this month.

January 28th: There was nothing in the regular mailbox, but the P.O. box didn’t disappoint– it had a postcrossing card and a nice gesture from Mary over at Snail Mail is Still in Fashion.

January 29th: As neat as it was to get a couple of the things I ordered (like international stamps!), I love that the first person to send me a letter this month was the last person to send me one prior to this post. Thanks, Jody!

I hope you have liked this new feature here on Sincerely Kate. It only makes sense that a pen pal-friendly blog includes the letters from friends the pen pal has received on some sort of regular basis 🙂 . If you have any suggestions for the Mail Calls to follow, I’d be happy (almost) as happy to read them as I am the letters I receive.

Dasvidania!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Footnotes

25 Jan

Rest assured this post has nothing to do with feet. The following are just things I want to write about, but they don’t necessarily need a blog post featuring each of them. I suppose it’s a bit like “If we were having coffee,” or in my case, not-so-mad tea parties.

Logan’s Birthday

Though we originally didn’t plan to celebrate our 4-year-old’s birthday for 4 days, that is definitely that wound up happening…

Thursday: For kicks and giggles, Gabe and I took Logan to Pizza Hut on his last night of being 3. Not only did we have a gift card for the restaurant, we had one last gift we wanted to pick up for him– The Boxtrolls on BluRay. Logan might have grabbed a balloon too 😛

Friday: The Lognator was up and at’em at 6am ready to tear into his presents. His Planes toy and (replacement) doodler were immediately played with, and once he gets into the swing of things I’m sure he’ll be playing a lot more of the Disney Infinity. But that’s just his gifts from us! Between playing with presents here he went out for McDonald’s breakfast, stopped for a couple sweet treats, visited Gabe’s aunts, napped, decorated his cake, had dinner at his grandparents’, and then spent the night at their house.

Saturday: Around noon we picked Logan and his cubby tablet up from my in-laws’ then headed over to my grandparents’ house for a little pizza party. Logan was so excited to go as my youngest cousins were going to be there, so much so he didn’t eat anything but black olives because he wanted to keep playing with them and the Plasma Car they brought for him. As soon as we got home he wanted some pizza, and as we watched The Boxtrolls he played on his new wheels yet again.

Sunday: Okay, so technically we haven’t done anything yet, but we’ll be heading to the Children’s Museum this afternoon followed by some noms at Logan’s Roadhouse. It should be a fun day, though I think we’re all feeling grateful for this downtime this morning.

Sincerely Logan

In my last post I said that Logan and I would send postcards to four of my readers regardless of where they live or our relationship. Only one person has taken me up on this offer (Thanks, Julie!) so if you’d like one– even if you’re from Bulgaria and have never commented on my blog before– go to Sincerely Logan and tell me so in the comments.

The Year of the Sheep

Another previous post you can look at is my first from this year. It’s a bit of a contest, encouraging anyone and everyone to decorate an envelope or make a postcard with sheep/rams/goats and then send it to my P.O. Box. I will post everything I’ve received on the 25th of March for my readers to pick their favorite from. Go to the link at the beginning of this paragraph for more information, or to the next paragraph if you’re just in need of my address 😉

My Monthaversary

addressAs of today I’ve had this address for exactly one month. I definitely enjoy having this extra mailbox as it has given me some peace of mind; in addition to feeling comfortable leaving it here and in the LEP’s database, I also decided to send letters to two inmates. Though I haven’t received a lot of mail at this address yet, the few letters– including a response from one of the inmates– have already made this whole endeavor worth my while. Shout out to Gabe who has mostly been the one to check it a couple times a week. He may not get why I like this hobby so much, but he’s definitely supportive of me doing it.

Well, that’s all I have for you for now. Take care, Bleaders!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Sincerely Logan

20 Jan

In just three days my little guy will no longer be three years old. It is because of Logan’s 4th birthday on Friday that I thought now would be a good time to tell you what he’s been up to mail-wise since the “From the Desk of Mr. Logan” post. It may not look like much but it warms my heart.

As you can see, Logan was excited to hear from Cole again.

As you can see, Logan was excited to hear from Cole again.

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Like I said it’s not much, but hopefully over time this will encourage Logan to try writing like it has done for Cole. My pen pal Sarah (M.) has a little guy a little older than Logan, and they’re going to start exchanging mail as well so maybe with the increase of happy mail it will increase Logan’s desire to pen pal, though I doubt it will ever quite match mine, hehe.

In the meantime, he/we will start putting the thank you cards I got him to use once again soon. If they look anything like the ones from Christmas, not only will he have decorated them with the rubber stamps he got from my grandparents, but he will have told me random letters (P, T, X!) when I ask him what else he’d like me to write on his behalf.

Something else we will try: sending postcards to people like YOU! In honor of his fourth birthday, the Loganator and I will send four postcards to people. If you’d like to be one of the four, simply tell me why in the comments and provide an email address where I can contact you. The first four to do so, regardless of where they live, will get them. If you are either of my parents or a pen pal in my Sincerely Kate group on FB, DON’T SIGN UP! You’ll already be getting one… eventually 😀

Well, I think that’s all we have for you for now. In a couple months I will share Logan’s incoming and outgoing once again.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

 

 

The Obsession Strikes Back

15 Jan

Ever feel like when you write something down you jinx yourself? When I was in Honors Psychology– a class that started prior to reconnecting with Gabe– I surveyed people to find out in what circumstances a baby-to-be would lead to marriage. The following semester I wrote an ISearch paper in Honors English 112– around the time Gabe proposed–where I looked into whether egg donation was for me or not, saying I had no intention to use my eggs. Though Gabe and I were engaged prior to becoming pregnant, I couldn’t help but find it ironic that our wedding plans changed because of a pregnancy, and obviously I wound up using an egg after all.

Though how I store things is a far cry than what happened to me/us before, I still can’t help but feel like once again I jinxed myself. Last February I shared the way I stored the bulk of my pen pal-friendly stuff, and while I still keep my letters in binders and stationery (mostly) in a file drawer, enough has changed to warrant a new post for the new year.

First of all, the “OCD book” and stamp pouch from before now hang out in this generic trapper keeper. Also enclosed are a few writing utensils, a smaller yet more organized address book, a notebook I can use paper out of, and a folder that (could) house whatever letters I have yet to respond to and the stationery/ note cards I intend to use. I like having all of these things in one place, especially if I’m ever in a situation where I want to take my supplies with me somewhere.

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For several months now I’ve been on a note card kick. I have a plethora of partially used notebooks I want to finish off, so what I’ve been doing is starting my response on a note card to dress the letter up a bit, then tucking additional pages inside it and its matching envelope. It’s a bit ironic; I want to use up old notebooks, yet bought tons of note cards to do it, hehe. Prior to Christmas they all fit in one box, but as you can see, I have two boxes full of letter dressing now.

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In the event I use something that doesn’t come with a corresponding envelope, I head over to these drawers as the bottom one houses all of my store bought envelopes (and ones poached from junk mail) and the middle one has some supplies I can use to make my own envelopes. Also in these drawers are address labels, my “business” cards, BIC pens, stamps like Marsh Mailow and the tools I used to make him,  and my copy of Good Mail Day.

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The happy meal bucket of washi tape used to fit in the above, but the washi collection outgrew the bucket. They probably don’t need to be in a box this size, but I think when it comes to washi, it’s better to have too much room than not enough. One of these days I’ll have to decorate the box.

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As I mentioned earlier, I still keep my letters in binders. What I didn’t tell you though is that the LEP members I’ve written to have a binder all their own (minus that Othella person 😉 ). I decided to separate the letters by member, keeping each member’s section still in chronological order.

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I have received a lot of things from Othella over the past year– 31+ postcards, a notebook, a letter written on the back of a puzzle, etc. etc. It’s because of this stuff I decided this cute box would be better suited for the stuff that came to me from Oklahoma. At the moment it’s also storing the postcards I already know I’ll be using for her when we do the March of Postcards this year.

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I feel like I am leaving something out, but I suppose I could just include it if/when my storage techniques change again. I’d like to thank a crafty maven named Jenn for asking if I had a blog post where I showed a picture of my binders because A) I realized that things have changed quite a bit since the last time I posted anything of the sort, and B) I wasn’t sure what today’s blog post was going to be until then, haha.

If any of you have a question you’d like me to answer, I’m always up for that sort of thing– you could even send it to my P.O. Box if you wanted to remain anonymous!

addressAll the best!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Pen Pal of the Month- January

10 Jan

I acknowledged 12 pen pals back in 2013 and I decided it’s time I acknowledged another dozen. Sure, there will likely be some familiar faces from the first round, but now that I’ve made more pen friends from the League of Extraordinary Pen Pals (and another via postcrossing), it only seemed fair that they had a chance at the spotlight.

The first pen pal I heard from this year was Jody, a familiar face, so she is 2015’s first Pen Pal of the Month!

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

Jody: Oh wow, that’s awesome. Im thrilled and shocked to be the PPOTM.

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

Jody: My favorite thing about it is meeting new people. I feel it is so much easier to talk to people than in person. I think it’s because I’m really shy in person. With a letter I can stop when I can’t think of anything and come back later with more to say. 

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

Jody: When you take time and write a long letter and then all you get is a paragraph back. I would say every letter from an old pen pal of mine was like that. I used to wait till I didn’t have any letters to write to reply back.

SK: Why do you like writing me?

Jody: I like writing you because I feel like I can tell you anything.

SK: And what do you like about January?

Jody: I like January because even though I love the holidays I’m glad they’re over.

It has been great talking to Jody for over the past six years, especially since I can expect her letters weekly. With the return of Glee this week something she can expect is me getting a head-start on her letters until the show’s demise come March. At least Once Upon a Time will be back from their excruciating break by then, which means I probably will still be making head-starts on her letters, hehe. I gave her a few options for what homemade prize I could send her when I write her next– a postcard, an ATC, a bookmark, or a magnet– and she chose to have me make her a magnet to join her collection:

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You may be wondering how PPOTM 2.0 is going to work. Though it made sense for me to choose the person I heard from in 2015 for January, my game plan for the next 11 months is to pick an honoree raffle style. Who will be in the raffle to decide February’s Pen Pal of the Month? The people who sent me letters in January. Those I hear from in February could potentially be March’s, those in March April’s, etc. etc. Just like before no one can win more than once. So, for example, even though I hear from Jody weekly, her name won’t be included in any of the upcoming raffles. I’d be happy to answer whatever questions you may have!

Warm wishes from the mitten!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

 

The Year of the Sheep

5 Jan

Happy new year, bleaders! I hope 2015 has been treating you well so far! Things have been rather good in my neck of the woods, though they’ll be better once my P.O. Box gets its first piece of mail, hehe. Despite not receiving anything from it yet I still love having it. It’s nice being able to provide an address here and in the LEP while not publicly giving away where the boys and I live. The world can be a scary place so this box has not only given me an opportunity to do the things I’ve mentioned here, but it has given me peace of mind.

Anyway, last year I thought it would be fun for those who were interested to make mail art for me with a Halloween theme. There was one fatal flaw though: I only let those who have our street address participate since I wasn’t comfortable letting anyone else have it. Now that I have the P.O. Box I think I need to revisit this idea!

In honor of the new year I thought I would choose a theme that literally honors it. When the Chinese New Year begins in February, 2015 will be considered the year of the sheep. I imagine monkeys or dragons would be a bit more fun to work with than sheep, so should you find looking at sheep tiresome I wouldn’t mind expanding the theme to sheep and other farm animals.

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So here’s how it will work! Now that you have the theme, you can make or decorate an envelope or postcard that reflects it– there’s no rush as you have up until the 25th of March to get these creations to me. I will post everything on that day so those who read this blog can vote for their favorite piece of mail art. The winner will be announced in the post that follows (on March 30th) and they shall receive a prize. All are welcome to participate!

The rules are simple!

  1. Make something that can be sent in the mail (letters and/or notes are optional) that fits the theme.
  2. Include your name and email somewhere on/in it so I can notify you should you win.
  3. Send it to:

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Best of luck and all the best!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~