Archive | July, 2015

The Year of the Wood

30 Jul

It was exactly five years ago that this happened:


In a way it feels like we’ve been married even longer, though these past five years have just flown by. As cliché as it may sound, Gabe is my best friend and I couldn’t imagine my life without him and our little boy. They make me happy and they drive me crazy, but I would not have it any other way.

In honor of our 5th anniversary– the wood anniversary– I wanted to share these songs from The Book of Life. Not only is the movie full of wooden-looking characters a family favorite around here, we constantly listen to these when we’re out and about because they mean so much to us.

I Love You Too Much
“There’s love above love and it’s ours ’cause I love you too much.”

No Matter Where You Are
“I’ll take care of you and love you just because. You and I are better than forever. Nothing can stop us.”

Random note: it is because of the main male character that I call my regular mailbox Manolo 😀

Pretty soon some friends and family will be getting some pictures my friend Therese recently took for us, though I thought I’d leave one of them here:


All the best from my family to you and yours!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Secret Santa and the Mail Lady

25 Jul

I’m so glad I decided to post about my post more often. I find myself much more rejuvenated here at Sincerely Kate; I hope you see that below and in the mail calls that follow.

July 15th: My last mail call ended with a “Postcard from Wonderland,” and thanks to Emily this entry is starting with one.

July 16th: Nicole hooked me up with yet another Wonderland postcard, and Jody and Erika both hooked me up with letters.

July 17th: Pablo not only had Leslie’s letter for me, but two envelopes full of tea.

July 18th: Another two envelopes full of tea came today plus a letter from Sarah S.

July 19th: Despite there being no mail because it was Sunday, I still had a great day because the boys and I saw Minions. It was a fun movie, but I kind of feel it should have been straight to DVD and blu-ray rather than released in theaters. And the rich get richer…

July 20th: I got more tea (for reasons you’ll read about later) from both mailboxes. I got some from Kayla via Manolo, and from Charmaine via Pablo.

July 21st: A moving announcement was all that came, so I prepared the ATCs like these for the LEPeeps who hooked me up with some tea.


July 22nd: Neither mailbox had letters for me, but I did get some things I was expecting like tea, a gift for my almost-here nephew, and preschool hoopla.

July 23rd: Finally some letters thanks to Jody, Justine, and Stephanie. *Throws confetti* I also got a postcard from Ashley, and Logan got half a year older.

July 25th: Over the past few years, July 25th has been when I’ve done Christmas in July posts (Exhibit A and Exhibit B), and so I wanted to share some pictures from my annual Secret Santa swap once again, though I only have these two so far:

Speaking of Christmas in July/ Secret Santa, Emily over at Nerd in the Brain borrowed my idea. I signed up, of course, and was given a wishlist that consisted of books, tea, and coffee. It is because of this I acquired all the tea I mentioned above, hehe. I told my pen pals and the LEP how tea was not a forte of mine but that I wanted to give her a variety, and a bunch of people came to my aide, as you can see:


For the record, I sent the person a book too, but I thought the tea would be an extraordinary extra. I have yet to receive either of my gifts, but I don’t doubt they’ll be worth their wait!

Thanks to everyone who sent me anything, and to my mail carrier for making sure I receive/d everything, hehe.

Sincerely, Kate

Postcards from Wonderland #6

20 Jul

While the Walrus and Carpenter have been walking close at hand, I continued to collect more Alice in Wonderland friendly postcards. Just last week I acquired three of ’em! I had two from previous weeks so that means I now have these five oysters for you to indulge in.

Jenn sent me this per a little swap I arranged

Jenn sent me this per a little swap I arranged.

A member of my Postcard Posse decided I needed to get a postcard too.

A member of my Postcard Posse decided I needed to get a postcard too.

When Helen, a LEPeep offered Alice postcards, I couldn't resist!

When Helen, a LEPeep, offered Alice postcards, I couldn’t resist!

Emily helped me out and sent this postcard back to me filled out.

Emily helped me out and sent this postcard back to me filled out.

Nicole, too, made sure this postcard of mine was utilized properly.

Nicole, too, made sure this postcard of mine was utilized properly.

I’m so excited to have these postcards be a part of my collection, and I love the fact that after 31 I have yet to receive any duplicates. To see what I’ve received in the past, the following links will take you through the looking glass.

May your week be filled with wonder!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Happy Mail and Other Happy Things

15 Jul

Hello there! In my post from 10 days ago, I told you how I wanted to start sharing my incoming mail here more often. Below you’ll find what I’ve been up to, both via my pen pal hobby and in life in general.

July 6th: I caught up on all the mail I received from the week before just in time to get Kristy’s letter from Manolo and Eileen’s postcard from Pablo.

July 7th: I actually didn’t get anything, but Gabe got the postcard I sent him from Wisconsin, and Logan got a book from the Imagination Library. If you have a child under the age of 5 and they’re not receiving monthly books, you should look into Imagination Library— the best part? It’s free!

July 8th: A cute lil’ note came for me from a LEPeep in FL.

July 9th: It’s  just not a full week if I don’t get a letter from Jody, hehe.

July 10th: Neither mailbox had anything fun for me, so I tackled some crafty pursuits like these ATCS I’ve been meaning to send out. One is the prize I owe June’s PPOTM, and the other is the “trophy” per my Gnome Work contest.

July 11th: I received Kayla’s letter prior to going to my former coworker’s wedding. It’s because of Ashley and Brett’s wedding I didn’t get to respond to her right away, but while Gabe and I were killing time between the ceremony and reception I found note cards, hehe. All in all a great day.


July 12th: No mail on Sundays didn’t stop Logan from getting a huge delivery. Gabe’s aunt saw that a friend of hers wanted to find a home for all her boys’ old toys, and Tia Marilyn claimed them for the Loganator… as you can see.


July 13th: This week started on a high note because I got letters from both Krista and Ashley.

July 14th: And so far, the high has continued. Yesterday Pablo had Charmaine’s letter and another Postcard from Wonderland for me.

This is, what feels like, my first official mail call post since the switch. Sure, there is still a bit of “if we were having coffee” in it, but it’s way more about mail this time around like how I envisioned these new and improved mail calls. I think having these posts 10(ish) days apart has not only allowed me to focus in on my hobby, but mention some things I guarantee I talk about in my letters. I imagine if/when I finish reading anything, this will be a good venue for book reviews. It’ll be interesting, and I think it’s already an improvement. I have a lot to be happy about, and I hope your week is full of happiness, too.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Pen Pal of the Month- July

10 Jul

When my dad was visiting me last month, he asked me where I kept my letters so I grabbed one of my binders and told him how I keep everything in the order received. He seemed pretty shocked when I told him that it was one of several binders, and even more shocking was the fact that the binder I grabbed was the one reserved solely for Justine’s letters. It was a bit of a peculiar moment for me. My dad shares my love of writing, yet seemed surprised that Justine and I have such long exchanges and so regularly, hence the need for her own book. I simply explained to him that when it comes to Justine, out of all the pen pals I have she is the one who I’d likely hang out with the most often if for some reason everyone was close enough I could see them whenever I wanted to, and our letters have become a reflection of that. I’m both glad and grateful that she is my Pen Pal of the Month again.

This is Justine, and beside her is the binder my dad saw:

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

Justine: I’m honored and humbled. My work won’t ever interview me for the monthly office newsletter because the HR assistant is afraid I’ll give really sarcastic answers to subtlety make fun of the hoity-toity attorneys I work with. 

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

Justine: My favorite thing would be meeting people that I get along with and really like talking to. Plus, if we stop talking it’s not super awkward when I see you out at a restaurant or bar because I don’t live close to any of my pen pals. 

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

Justine: My least favorite thing is that sometimes when I’m super busy I can’t write for a few days or even a week and I feel bad.

SK: Why do you like writing me?

Justine: My favorite thing about having you as a pen pal is that I can tell you anything and you don’t judge me (well at least not in your letters back to me). I think that if you lived closer we’d be good friends that hung out on the regular. 

SK: And what do you like about July?

Justine: Summer is halfway over! Fall is my favorite season! But I do love that the sun comes up earlier so when I get up at 5am to go to the gym it isn’t pitch black. Oh and I love to sit and read at the pool. And when there aren’t any kids at the pool I’ll even get IN the pool with my book to keep cool. I know, I know. I live life on the wild side.

A fun fact about July? It was in July of 2011 when I got my second letter from Justine, and I already knew she was going to be a favorite.

Have a great month!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

A Mid-Vacation Modification

5 Jul

gooseWelcome to the second half of the year, Bleaders! This is a pretty exciting time for me for a handful of reasons. 1) I got to go to Wisconsin last weekend. 2) The boys and I celebrated the 4th of July yesterday. 3) My Christmas in July Secret Santa is happening in my group again. 4) There’s a new mail art contest theme to be announced. 5) It’s an opportune time to shake things up here.

Because this is a pen pal-friendly blog, I decided I wanted to start sharing my incoming mail, like that postcard above, more often. Because today is the 5th, you’ll find my recent haul below, and on the 15th and 25th of each month you’ll find my mail here as well. At least until 2016 rolls around, haha.

June 30th: I was able to see Pablo one last time before June was over, and it was worth the wait. There were letters from Jen E. and Laura, and postcards from three other LEP members.

July 2nd: I got a little note from Kära via Manolo, and when I saw Pablo, a letter from Whitney came too.

I’m still responding to some of the mail I mentioned above. I’d be further along if I didn’t send my pen pals postcards from my recent travels 😉 . Last weekend there was a family reunion on my dad’s side in Hayward, Wisconsin, and I joined my dad there. We drove through most of Michigan on Friday so on Saturday morning we could just focus on finding the resort. Below is a picture of the room we shared with my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Randy, and another from behind the cabin where we spent most of our time. It was a nice place to spend the weekend, and the company was even nicer yet.

THIS REMINDS ME! I need to announce a new theme should anyone want to make me any mail art via my latest contest. In honor of my travels, the new theme is Vacation! There are so many directions someone could take with a theme like Vacation. You could, for example, take the map you used to find your destination and make an envelope out of it. You could also make your own postcard from the place you visited (Note: store-bought postcards DO NOT count as mail art!).

Take the envelope or postcard you make– however you made them– and send it to me by September 25th. My address, should you need it, is.

addressI find it a bit funny that my new mail call technique looks a bit more like an “If we were having coffee post,” but now that we have our first pancake, the following posts will hopefully look a bit nicer. Thanks for hanging in there, and thanks in advance to my contest’s participants for whatever you’re about to send me.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~