Tag Archives: 26 Letters

26 Letters- New Year Edition

5 Jan

It’s been over two years since I’ve done a blog post like this, so allow me to tell you how this works! I take a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet, and build a paragraph around it (e.g.”a” is for alphabet). Since this is the “New Year” edition, the following will mainly be about things we have done in 2017 and things to come in 2018.

First and foremost, know that the boys and I have been doing well! Logan has been doing great in first grade; Gabe’s cardiologist recently decided he needed fewer medications since his mild heart attack last NYE; and things remain pretty “no news is good news” with me. Our Christmas, for the record, also went very well. Logan says his favorite part was getting his favorite presents like the guitar that was on the top of his list, but we had a handful of really nice visits that included some really yummy food, too.

Speaking of Christmas, since I barely found any time to make Change Cards before the 25th, I wound up making some festive ones after our festivities thanks to a handful of Christmas cards we received. Hopefully I remember they exist come next December, lol. My goal for ATC the Change in 2018 is to stop fretting over weekly phrases and coordinated sets to potentially sell, and just make what I want to make when I want to make it. As much as I’d love for other people to get involved, the key to my happiness belongs in my own pocket like the ATCs below suggest. The hope is that I’ll now make and distribute more Change Cards since I’ll feel less restricted, and therefore have more to share in my monthly “Two Cents” series here.

Another series is coming to Sincerely Kate. On the 20th of this month I’ll be posting “Dear January,” and the other months will follow suit. This series will basically be a take on those “If We Were Having Coffee” posts, but in a more pen pal-friendly format. At least that’s the plan!

If you’re curious about this sporadic series, here are the links to the Ghosts of Editions past:

As for this specific edition, I’m posting it today of all days because I wanted to start posting on the fifth of every month again. Though I haven’t missed the obsessive schedule where I posted on the 5th, 10th, 15th, etc. of every month, I never wanted my blog to just be home to mandatory series. Having one day each month where I blog for the fun of it–but just one day– will hopefully help make the blog more fun to keep up again. Posts about Little Cards or Postcards from Wonderland may show up on the 5th in some of the months to come should the timing work out, but we’ll cross those bridges when we get to them.

Something Gabe has recently gotten to with the help of his dad, brother, and maternal grandfather? Putting the drywall up in the basement! Sure, there’s a bunch of mudding and sanding yet to do, but considering the boys and I have lived in our house for over five years, we’ll take any progress down there we can get! I think I’m more excited for Logan’s upcoming playroom than he is, lol. I’ve made it no secret to my pen pals how much I’d love for the upstairs to stay more presentable!

Thanks to my Hail the Snail series, by the way, it’s no secret how much happy mail I tend to when I’m not tending to the house. I’ll continue these mail calls at the same regularity, though I’m omitting numbers like 2.43 because I think that count has become absurd.

I have now talked about my blog quite a bit, but for the letter “i” I thought I’d share with you my Instagram handle: sincerelykaterz. For the most part my page is full of a lot of posts per ATC the Change, but Logan and I make several appearances as well as Bridget, my Build-a-Bear buddy. Looking forward to seeing all the additions 2018 will have to offer, and you’re more than welcome to come see them, too!

I was hoping to have a few “kodak moments” to share via Instagram already this January, but sadly my mom needed to cancel her plans with me and the Logantor. We’re a bit bummed, but my grandparents’ needs are more important than our wants right now. There will be other opportunities to go to my mom’s, especially with Logan’s birthday around the corner.

Oh, if you were hoping for a fun NYE story, you’re about to be a bit bummed, too. The boys and I didn’t even try staying up past 10, nor did Gabe and I make a point to kiss at midnight. Our celebration basically consisted of having food at Gabe’s aunts’ for dinner on the 31st, and then during the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day– thanks Marilyn and Jennifer!

Though my post about Little Cards last year didn’t drum up much interest, we did get a few new members! There are 6 of us currently participating in the Legendary theme–a bonus “L!” Any day now I should have the rest of the ATCs from December’s Clothing/Accessories theme. Not that I’m expecting anyone to notice (or mind if they do), when I start sharing the Little Cards I receive in 2018, instead of including the month in the title, I will use the theme itself now that there are no longer two swaps a month.

While you’re excited for those upcoming posts ( 😉 ), Logan is excited for his 7th birthday less than 3 weeks away, and the Monster Jam show we’ll be going to in about 4 weeks in honor of it! Technically this adventure is his birthday present from us, but because of how big of a deal it is, spilling the beans was a Christmas present, lol. Should you like to read about that, I’m sure it’ll come up come my “Dear February” post next month.

Around the same time I’m posting that, I’ll also be preparing for the March of Postcards soon to follow. Once upon a time this endeavor consisted of me sending daily postcards to one of my pen pals, but when I did a postcard-friendly take on NaBloPoMo this past November, I decided to mesh that challenge with the March. I still have other pieces of the puzzle to fit into place yet, like whether to answer novelty questions rather than write about day-to-day happenings, but I still have a little while to figure that out.

As cool as it might have been to sell more of my Change Cards online, ultimately I’m glad I didn’t put the time or energy into setting up an Etsy shop. If you’re reading this, I adore the crap out of you, but you’re a member of a very minute fan club. It seems like no matter how many blog posts I publish, pictures I upload to Instagram, or Facebook groups I run, my audience will remain a small one– at least it’s loyal!

But enough melancholia– let’s talk about pizza since I have 3 things to say about the stuff, lol. 1) When Logan goes back to school next week, his reading calendar from December will go with him so it can be traded in for a BookIt coupon. For every month of reading we log, he earns a free personal pizza from Pizza Hut, and he has done so twice already. 2) The school’s annual Box Top contest is also about to begin. The class who brings in the most Box Tops by the end of it wins a pizza party, so we’ve been stocking up since last year’s contest. 3) Whether Logan’s class wins or loses, they’ll still get at least one pizza party. Logan isn’t into sweets so his Papa brings pizza for his class as his birthday treat, haha.

How Gabe and I celebrated our 7th anniversary last July? We saw Queen with Adam Lambert in concert! It was easily the best concert I have ever been to. Going in I was a bit worried that it was going to feel like Adam Lambert singing Queen covers, but not only did he gel brilliantly with Brian May and Roger Taylor, they incorporated past footage of Freddie Mercury seamlessly into the show so in no way, shape, or form did Adam come across as an imitation. I’d see him perform with Queen again in a heartbeat!

Technically I have used “resolutions” for “r” before, but this is a New Year post so I think a little cheating is warranted here! As you’ve already read, I have plans for this blog as well as ATC the Change. Other goals of mine include doing a deep clean of the upstairs once the majority of Logan’s toys move into the basement; writing fiction(!)–even if it’s just a paragraph–every day I have the house to myself for a few hours; and something else I’ll elaborate on when I get to the letter “w.”

But let’s get back to that goal about fiction. For a while now I have been wanting to flex my creative muscles via writing, but because of my other hobbies, it was never very high on my list of priorities. At least it wasn’t until I got an idea for a story. I’m not ready to give too many details away just yet, but I was inspired by a cute road name we drive by from time to time, and I managed to tie the characters in with my affinity for the Seven Deadly Sins. I have a pretty solid first draft of the first chapter, and the motivation to add to it once Logan goes back to school on the 8th.

The inspiration along with the motivation for the above was definitely a highlight last year; my mom taking me to Troy, MI the weekend before my 30th birthday was another. Knowing how much I wanted to A) go to a Wonderland-themed bistro called Mad Hatter’s and B) make a celebratory stuffed animal at Build-a-Bear Workshop, she arranged for an epic overnighter full of  yummy food, a handful of fun stops, and even 30 presents! We enjoyed the getaway so much…

We’re going back for another Unbirthday celebration! We have yet to finalize when exactly we’re going back to Troy, but so far we know that Mad Hatter and Build-a-Bear are musts again. For the record, I don’t plan on making another stuffed animal since there’s no topping Bridget; I just want to pick out another outfit or two for her. Here are a few cute pictures of her in some of the cute outfits she has already acquired:

I was hoping to have a visit from Sarah earlier this week to write about now, but sadly she hasn’t been back since Labor Day weekend 2016. With any luck she’ll be able to make the trip in 2018, though it’s hard to stay optimistic when all of our plans in 2017–mainly the one for this past Labor Day weekend–never came remotely close to fruition. At least we have our own stuffed animal, Chester the Dino, who can travel back and forth. He is currently visiting me and so we’ve been sending Sarah pictures so she can live vicariously though him.

Pen palling and my other hobbies will have to share me soon. Months ago my oldest brother encouraged me to offer my proofreading services on Wyzant, a tutoring website. I have since signed up and aced their little quiz, but that’s the furthest I’ve gotten. Since I’ve never proofread at any official capacity, I struggled writing a sales pitch because I don’t have experience to list, or know what sets me apart in this department, if anything. My mom has offered to help me, though, and so hopefully that means I’ll be able to help others in the near future and make a little money.

Though this girl with a knack for English isn’t one to write “Xmas” instead of “Christmas,” I think the letter “x” calls for a little more rule-bending 😉 I have mentioned some Christmassy things already, but one thing I didn’t share is what I received. For the most part I just asked for clothes for Bridget, but she’s not the only one who got new clothes since I got some Lularoe as well as a couple Wonderland-friendly tops. And oh, the other Wonder-ful presents! I received several ornaments, a 3D Cheshire Cat puzzle, and the Splintered series by A.G. Howard to name a few new treasures.

I won’t get this treasure until my 31st birthday, but my mom has been making me a temperature afghan that she started on my 30th. Usually these projects feature a rainbow of colors, but the yarn we picked out for mine include shades of pink to represent warm weather, shades of blue for the cold, and a light shade of purple for in between. Though it’s not the best picture of the corner-to-corner WIP, here is the most recent picture I took:

Bonus: my nephew Jack is with his daddy in the background, hehe.

It’s fortunate that “z” is the last letter of the alphabet because I have zip, zilch, nada left I think I need to add to this! I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed putting it together with a little help from my mom and Nicole. I also hope 2018 will be an amazing year for you and yours. Cheers!

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 coursea.org 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 😛

Sincerely, Kate ~!~