end of the year

So, if you know me, you know I love a couple of things – arts and crafts and personalization. I worked with many, many amazing people this year, but I wanted to share my gratitude to two of my coworkers who picked up my slack, poured in ideas, took great initiative, and truly eased the burden of so much “stuff” that had to happen this year. Enter Treat Greeting Cards. You know Shutterfly, right? You may have ordered Christmas cards from them like we have! …. Well, Treat a newer brand of theirs! This website and their products have absolutely stolen my crafty, personalized loving heart! The specialize in cards, phone cases, and mugs; fun, useful items like that! I went to order these two gals cards thinking I would just be able to add a picture and my own greeting/signature.  I was already stressing thinking I had to find a card that would communicate something close to what I wanted to say. I even feared I’d have to be uber creative in making a card “work” that really didn’t. But, when I say I personalized just about EVERY aspect of  these cards. Ya’ll I was in heaven. Heaven. Heaven. Heaven. The fact that I was able to personalize the message sent me over the moon!! Annnnnd, then they came on the day they Treat said they would. Yes, they give you an accurate delivery date and will even send the card to your bud or stud if time is of the essence. THRILLED. I mean. I couldn’t be happier! The gals seemed to really enjoy them and one of my other coworkers is already planning and creating cards for a few of her friends! I mean, who wouldn’t want their face with a personalized message on a card?!

Check these out! while simultaneously excusing my work area. I live/work/paint/etc here!! amy2dewalt2Yes, I threw in a little Aibileen from The Help!!

Then… Two more of my favorite things in the entire world – painting and personalization collide…. Every single cheer or classroom gift I’ve given my kids has been an initial, a personalized picture frame (complete with their name & photograph!), SOMETHING with their name on it… and, I’ve made it myself. With attempting to not make it look homemade. lol. 

This year, my vision for my cheerleaders’ gifts were chalkboards. And, as frustrated as I was about the paint pens not making precise, clean lines – it does kinda look like chalk. I had to seriously fight my inner perfectionist and not focus so much on what is “wrong” or why it isn’t perfect and delight in the fact that it looks just like what I wanted it to look like. (Doesn’t life just work out that way sometimes?) I love that the black paint has a slight, slight shimmer to it, too!!! Annnnnd, I didn’t get paint of any furniture or carpet this time!! Woooooot!!!

Here are a few of the finished “chalkboards” aleshadanielle And, then my heart was happy.

… cheers to finding new ways to love on those you love and appreciate most!!!
(And, you still have time to love on your kiddos’ teachers, your fave coworker, classmate, teammate or WHOEVER before that very last day of school!!!)


… happy 31st birthday to me!!!


I absolutely love, love, love birthdays!!!!! They’re such a wonderful time to spend a day (or enjoy an event!) celebrating the people you love most in life. Right? There’s nothing better than showering those you love & being there to make the good stuff, great stuff!

And, I don’t think I’m on my own when I say that I love my very own birthday! Its probably more of an unhealthy obsession. It always starts so incredibly slow then gains a tremendous amount of momentum the days leading up to it. I just can’t help it. 🙁 “The Devil comes in……” every year and causes me to do the absolute most in a very low key, Alaina kind of way!

20140111-093136.jpg The big thing this year- pictures. This is the first time I’ve ever taken pictures for my birthday & I enjoyed. every. minute. I have the most amazing, crazy talented sorority sister who does fab work; I sent her my theme/vision for the shoot & prayed she would be able to hang out with me for a little bit to bring it to life. I loved this shoot because it totally embodies who I am today. Simplistic, chic, girly. I think its so important to capture life and capture it just as it is in that specific span of time! Ya know? I look at these pictures and see me. The joys, triumphs, goals, loves, & heartaches donning all my favorites. And, I’m grateful to have been able to document myself at such an important time of my life.

So, today is my indulgence day. My cheat day. My have your cake and eat it, too, day. The day that isn’t about adoption, infertility, children, heartache, and effort put forth in managing emotions & dealing with the process.

…. But, before I cry anymore, the next post will honor the journey. It will include a few less pictures (lol… are you annoyed by the flood yet?! IG & Facebook have been hit hard!) & more lessons I’ve learned over the course of my 31 years! Lol.


…. thank you all for loving me! I’ve enjoyed the growing friendships and the community of ladies & mamas who have grabbed my hand & held on tight committing to walking this journey with me. A billion thanks, air kisses, & bear hugs to you. 🙂