Tag Archives: pen palling

Hail the Snail #18

1 Nov

October 15th: My dad sent the Loganator a John Deere encyclopedia of sorts (and the little farmer has been having us read to him about tractors in lieu of reading him bedtime stories ever since, haha).

October 17th: Logan got a postcard next, but it was from his teacher ( ❤ ).

October 18th: Thanks to my mom, I also received books this month. I also got some reading material in the form of a letter from Jody.

October 18th: Pablo hooked me up with the last batch of Little Cards from the Other Worlds theme and the first letter from a new pen pal named Amber.

October 23rd: After a few days without any happy mail, a few postcards from Krista arrived.

October 24th: I got a letter from Sarah as well as her batch of Little Cards per the final theme, Tim Burton movies.

October 26th: Another letter from Jody arrived.

October 27th: Pablo had three postcards via postcrossing waiting for me.

October 28th: I got two more postcards from Krista, a thank you card from the hospital (lol), a letter from Kayla, and my latest stamp order– not a bad way to start the week, eh?

October 31st: October ended with a letter from Heng-Yu in my P.O. box.

I’m pleased to report that though there were a couple days following my surgery (on the 25th) I didn’t do much writing, I have since been staying on top of my reply pile which makes me happy. The surgery, by the way, went well and my recovery has been going pretty well, too– the worst is definitely behind me, thank goodness!

In other news, Logan made out pretty well for Halloween despite not trick-or-treating for very long. Looking forward to seeing how we’ll make out in the happy mail department in November! Cheers.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

 

Advertisements

Hail the Snail #16

10 Oct

Before I tell you what the mailboxes have had for me in October on the 15th, I have a bit of catching up to do as I haven’t “hailed the snail” since the middle of August. Without further ado…

August 15th: When Logan came home from his first day of second grade, he found a little box from his Papa Halvorson, the last part of our Target order, and a book via Kids Read Now. I, on the other hand, found a letter and a batch of Little Cards in my P.O. box.

August 18th: When I came home from an overnight trip with my mom, letters from Ashley and Kayla were waiting for me.

August 20th: Joining my reply pile was a letter from Allison.

August 22nd: Sarah sent a little note along with her Autumn batch of Little Cards.

August 23rd: While I got a letter from Jody, Logan got two more books via Kids Read Now and a postcard from my dad.

August 24th: A few more books arrived for the Loganator, this time from my mom.

August 25th: Today was the day I finally got the last of the Little Cards from JUNE.

August 30th: Speaking of finally, thanks to Jody I got my first letter in a week, and I also got something highly anticipated from my dad.

September 6th: Manolo hooked me and Logan up with some happy mail from Sarah, while Pablo hooked me up with four postcards and a batch of Little Cards.

September 9th: Another letter from Jody arrived.

September 10th: Logan got a postcard from his great Aunt Ruth, while, thanks to Ashley, I got an unbirthday card that Alice (not pictured) and the Mad Hatter signed at Disney World!

oct1

September 11th: Much like the last time I saw Pablo, I got a couple postcards and a batch of Little Cards.

September 15th: I got yet another letter from Jody, and Logan got the postcard Ashley sent him from Disney.

September 17th: I also got a Disney postcard from Ashley along with A) a postcard from India and B) the last of the Little Cards per August’s Autumn theme.

September 20th: Kayla’s letter arrived today.

September 21st: Othella’s letter arrived next along with my latest stamp order.

September 23rd: This was my first postcard (and happy mail in general) I received this fall:

oct2

September 25th: Logan got his first postcard of the season thanks to my dad.

September 27th: The month ended with Sarah’s letter for me and a Halloween costume for Bridget.

And that’s all, folks! Tune in on Monday to see what the month of October has started out with.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

 

Hail the Snail #15

15 Aug

August 2nd: This mail call will mention several postcards, and the first two were from Krista’s recent trip to New Orleans.

August 3rd: The first letter I received this month (not including the one from Logan’s school) was from Kayla.

August 4th: Each mailbox had another letter for me– Manolo had Ashley’s and Pablo Rose’s.

August 6th: The next letter to arrive was from Jody, and the next postcard was one my dad sent Gabe.

August 7th: Manolo added Sarah’s letter to my reply pile while Pablo hooked me up with a postcard from a postcrosser in Switzerland.

August 9th: Othella hooked me up with the next postcard that arrived.

August 10th: Thanks to his Grandma Kraklow, Logan received the last few “back-to-school” things he needed.

August 11th: This was the postcard my dad sent the Loganator, lol:

oct1

August 13th: Dad sent Logan a little bubble mailer next while I got a letter from Jody and a postcard from Kira.

August 14th: More packages arrived for Logan thanks to his Grandma Kraklow, but these ones are for his freshly cleaned and organized room 😀

It’s been a pretty full month for me and the boys (for reasons I’ll write about in a few days), but somehow I’ve managed to stay on top of all of the incoming mail I just listed. Looking forward to seeing what else the mailboxes have in store for us during the second half of August, and hoping I can continue to respond to everything with little to no delay.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

A Blog Post About My Blog Posts

5 Jul

It would be easy to blame my apathy towards blogging last month on my grandmother dying, but the fact of the matter is I was feeling apathetic prior to that happening. When 2018 started, I had a game plan for Sincerely Kate, starting with my mail calls continuing to happen on the 1st and 15th of every month, and my Two Cents series staying on the last Wednesday of each month, too. Next the 5th and 20th of each month became scheduled days as well. The latter has been a play on the “If we were having coffee” posts, while the former was more of a wildcard. Sure, other posts were peppered in occasionally, but these scheduled posts were the staple.

Well, as June 5th got closer and closer, the more at a loss I was regarding what I wanted to post about. The best idea I could come up with was bitching about how some new pen pals weren’t working out, but just because it was my best idea, didn’t actually mean it was a good one. So the fifth came and went with no blog post.

Then the 27th was approaching. I knew I was supposed to post about Change Cards via “Two Cents,” and though I did make/leave a few cards in June, those things alone just didn’t seem worth sharing at the time. I will show you these donut-friendly ATCs I made to leave as RAOK now, though, lol:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I do NOT want this blog to just become a place where there are mail calls twice a month. Prior to June I do think I was on the right track, but now that we’re into the second half of the year, it’s a good time to make a couple more modifications.

The biggest change is going to be that the “Two Cents” series is no more. Rest assured, this doesn’t mean I will no longer share what I do per ATC the Change, but instead I’m going to change how I go about it—still on the last Wednesday of each month. After all, Change Cards are not the only ATCs that ever get featured here on Sincerely Kate; I also share the Little Cards I receive through monthly swaps that I organize. As much as I love sharing what I receive via Little Cards on Big Adventures (LCOBA), when I have gotten those cards has been SO sporadic. As I write this, I’m not only still waiting on ATCs from June, but a batch from May as well.

That all said, between how unpredictable LCOBA can be, and how sometimes my own motivation per ATC the Change can be unpredictable, rather than posting about these two endeavors in different posts, I’ll be merging them into what I’m calling “The Card Catalog.” How will that work? I’m not entirely sure yet, lol. My hope is merely that the merger means the posts will become more worthwhile, and that maybe one side will compensate for the other should its content not be very sufficient at the time.

Well, what about the fifth, Kate? Though I’m posting this very post today, I don’t know whether or not posting on the fifth is something I’m going to continue just yet. It’s certainly something I’d like to do, though. It would be easy to fall back on a series of some sort, but the whole point of posting on the fifth of each month this year was to give me a break from the series and do things more relevant to what’s happening at the time. April, for example, I wrote how I sent a few pen pals a total of 31 postcards throughout all of March.

TL,DR: Moving forward on this blog is basically crossing bridges as I get to them. I don’t know if my idea for The Card Catalog will work, nor if I’ll continue posting on the 5th of each month; these are merely things I’d like to happen and therefore I pray they will. Wish me luck!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

 

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 ~!~

Hail the Snail 2.26

15 Apr

Although this may be the first time I have “hailed the snail” since January, I assure you what I’ve gotten from Manolo and Pablo over the past couple months has still very much been “happy mail.” Below you’ll find everything I’ve received so far this month.

April 1st: The month started with a letter from my most consistent pen pal, Jody.

April 3rd: And then last week started with a letter from Kari and a random intro letter from someone in Germany. For the record, I only responded to the former since I’m not in the market for new pen pals.

April 4th: Thanks to Jenn, I had all of the Little Cards per my Enchanted theme.

April 5th: Pardon the bra strap, but the “perfect T” was a perfect mystery, hehe. It came in the mail along with a letter from Sarah:

April 6th: Not only did I get letters from Justine and Kayla, I got a “friendly reminder” it’s time to schedule another OB/GYN exam– joy!

April 7th: Joining the little reply pile I had was a letter from Ashley.

April 8th: Thanks to Sarah, the reply pile grew even bigger yet.

April 10th: This week started with another letter from Sarah, and one from Kristy, too.

April 12th: Though the hooks failed to come with it, I got a shoe organizer in the mail so I can store/ display my LulaRoe leggings, hehe.

April 13th: The more I got caught up on letters, the more happy I was to get the one from Jody. Also happy? Logan because he got a couple books in the mail.

April 14th: More books came for the Loganator, and a batch of Little Cards came per my current theme.

Whether there’s any mail today or not, it should be a good day between seeing my mom’s side of the family, and then seeing some animals per the MembersFest at the Children’s Zoo. Plus our plans this weekend don’t end there! I hope your Easter is a happy one!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Highlights from the Hiatus

7 Apr

In another week I’m planning to resume my Hail the Snail posts where I log my incoming mail, but for now I thought I’d log some of my happiest mail from during the hiatus, along with some of my happiest times, too.

February 8th: This was the 3rd day in a row Logan got books from my mom, and I got to listen to him almost read ’em by himself, hehe.

February 12th: For a little Valentine-friendly outing, Gabe and I took Logan pottery painting for the first time. Here he is painting his “calico cat.”

February 21st: Manolo had two packages for me. One had a rather belated letter from Allison, and the other had early birthday presents from Sarah.

February 24th: The weekend before my 30th birthday, my mom and I went to the Troy area for a bit of a pre-party where the main objections were to go to the charming Mad Hatter Bistro, and make a celebratory stuffed animal at Build-a-Bear Workshop. Not only did those endeavors not disappoint, my mom made sure the rest of the weekend was awesome, too. The quilt included in the pictures was just one of many surprises!

March 1st: My first letter as a 30-year-old was from Jody, and my first postcard was from Sarah.

March 3rd: Today was the day I got my new journal from Wonderland 😉

March 6th: Not only did I get some fun birthday presents from Nicole, both the Inchies and Boy Bands sets of Little Cards came from Jenn along with her Hearts batch per my February theme.

March 15th: I should preface this chunk by saying that having to have a tooth pulled was not a happy experience. What made me happy, though, was 1) saying goodbye to a month of agonizing mouth pain and 2) no longer stressing over the procedure and taking valium for the first time. In fact, I quite liked my sole valium experience since it made me feel nothing but content. I feel like it “calmed the waters” more that day than the weeks I tried Prozac and Zoloft years ago. I don’t know; I guess I was just thankful for the temporary peace of mind.

March 16th: Sarah went to Florida for a large chunk of March, and though I got postcards from her while she was gone, I was so excited to get a letter from her upon her return!

March 18th: Though Gabe had presents for me back on March 1st, he knew what I really wanted for my birthday was to see Beauty and the Beast. Though the movie was not without its faults, overall I was so incredibly pleased with it. I’ve been telling my pen pals how I believe the movie was not made for kids, but rather people like us who grew up with the animated classic. I feel as though that is why they stayed so loyal to the original, mainly only fixing what was broken and giving the characters more depth.

March 28th: For reasons irrelevant to this blog, a young lady from Sweden was visiting my mom. And when I say young, I mean she’s a young adult into things like Glee and Disney movies like me. It’s because of this my mom had the brilliant idea for us to go back to Mad Hatter’s– the bistro in Troy we liked, this time for afternoon tea. Though the tea party is not something I’d do again, I am glad for the memories and for the fact I found a tea I actually enjoy (hot cinnamon spice). And icing on the cake? I came home to leggings in the mail, hehe. Here’s a group picture, by the way, though those leggings are a more older pair 😉

March 31st: The last thing I got in the mail last March? This adorable ATC! Fitting, since this is the last ATC I will get via private trades.

More happy mail to be posted about next Saturday, and maybe some more happy times, too. Thanks for reading this if you are, in fact, still reading this, and for tuning in this week at all.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~