people who/things that have changed my life in 2010

happy 2011! i keep thinking that 2011 sounds like the distant future, but the future is here, i guess.

of course, this is the time in which we reflect on the past year and set goals for the next. this post is not a full reflection of 2010 (some thoughts and events are not for everyone to know about), but i did want to share some highlights from the year. hence, the title: people who/things that have changed my life in 2010. i don’t use the phrase “changed my life” lightly. i really mean it. here we go!

:: caleb and hannah! ::

 caleb sitting in his dad's lap at thanksgiving

hannah laughing at Christmas

2010 was the year of aunthood. caleb was born in december 2009, but i’m including these two lovies under 2010. :) caleb recently celebrated his first birthday and hannah is just a touch older than four months. what precious gifts these little ones are from head to toe. christa introduced me to the wonder and softness that is a baby thigh. amazing! looking forward to meeting the babies who will be born in 2011. we have more family and friends who are expecting!

:: two books: shopping for time by the mahaney clan of women and notes from the tilt-a-whirl: wide-eyed wonder in God's spoken word by n. d. wilson ::

first: shopping for time. if you clicked on the link above, you'll might assume that this book is geared for a 15-year-old girl. i feel like i can say this because i'm in publishing, but this book needs a better cover! the slim volume gives incredibly practical and encouraging wisdom on time management for women of all ages. the authors relate use of time to use of money—shopping wisely and buying up the best deals. this book has encouraged me to rise early and sit at Jesus's feet before anything else. they've made their own 5 a.m. club, but i've adapted it to make my own 6 a.m. club. i love rising early, especially on the weekends, to get the day started. i can't believe how productive i've been by really "making the best use of the time because the days are evil." (ephesians 5:16)

second: tilt-a-whirl. probably the most unique book i've ever read. i posted about it here when i read it last january on our trip to florida. (something about that book renders it especially wonderful when read in flight—i reread a portion on our recent trip to california.) i won't repeat myself, but it is a delightful book that i certainly plan to read more than once. this leads nicely into my next item . . .

:: our new camera ::

how can a new camera change my life? simple: it helps me worship God by capturing the details of day-to-day life. i'm not much into large-scale landscape photography. as amazing as it is to stand in the mountains and feel the weight of the 360-degree views, a photograph can never capture that beauty like experiencing it firsthand. i felt this frustration on our trip to california.

but a camera can capture the little things—the everyday events that happen when you come down from the mountain. these small details can sneak by unnoticed, but are actually rather amazing once you stop to consider them. this is part of the thesis of the tilt-a-whirl book mentioned previously. ants, pine needles, indoor plumbing, and skyscrapers are some amazing ideas from the mind of the Creator Himself. the colors of leaves, the textures of pebbles. the blur of movement and the brightness of sunshine. seeing things through the lens of a camera helps me worship that Creator. He created our eyes, and gave us the technology to mimic that science with a camera lens. studying shutter speed and aperture and looking at pictures that make use of these creative tools is a worshipful experience for which i am very, very grateful.

:: evernote and google calendar ::

i think 2010 was the year when i finally came 'round to technology. the part of me that works in print publishing almost feels a little guilty preferring a computer calendar to a print one. oh well! the times they are a-changing.

ben and i use google calendar and it has definitely been life changing. you can layer calendars on top of each other to compare them (or, turn one off so you don't see it). we can see conflicts and "invite" each other to events we want to do together. (literally, we can send emails that add events to the other's calendar. like if ben thinks "hey, we should go to the gym on wednesday night," he sends me an invite. when i click yes, it adds it to my calendar.) additionally, i made a calendar for work that i can turn off when i'm at home, and the other way around. i just love google calendar and i don't think i'll go back to paper!

second, i think i've been threatening to write about evernote for a while, but the time is now! the tag line for evernote is "remember everything," and that pretty much sums it up. i composed this blog entry in evernote over the past few weeks when something would pop into my head.

evernote icon pillow for sale on etsy from seller iconpillows 

 evernote is like one big scrapbook for anything you want to remember. you can treat it like a searchable notebook for your own scribblings, anything you find online, or scanned documents. for example, i clipped the design*sponge post about the fabric headboard into evernote when i first read it (evernote grabs all the photos and links back to the original post, too). that way, i know where it is instead of having to hunt through blogs for "that one headboard project i saw somewhere . . . ". and, since i combined a few sets of instructions on the headboard, i had them all in one place.

i have all sorts of notebooks for things i come across online, such as sewing projects, photography tips, recipes, or a wish list for gift ideas. i also have a notebook with documents i want to review on a regular basis, like my personal goals and a shopping list "template" i cross-check against every time i go to the store. i also just started a notebook for work stuff. evernote is web-based, so you can log in to access your notebooks from any computer.

seriously, i challenge you to try evernote. it is so amazing! plus, i love the little elephant logo.

:: moving downstairs ::

i've been meaning to do one big final master bathroom post for a bit now, but i've been waiting until i finish a roman shade for the window. 

honestly, moving from the temporary upstairs bedroom into our master suite was a huge step in our home life. we have a clean, new place to sleep and prepare for each busy day. please understand that i realize what an undeserved blessing this is—that we have the means, resources, an physical ability to renovate our home. but working on our house together has helped me and ben develop our marriage in unexplainable ways. we've learned compromise, how to deal with disappointment (i certainly haven't mastered this yet!), and when to just "let things go." ben is such a blessing to me and i am just so darn thrilled to have him as my husband. being married to ben is a great sweetness in my life.

kind friends ask if we are finished yet, and i never really know how to answer this! i'm just now getting into the decorating portion, and i can say that after almost two years, this house is finally starting to feel like a home as we hang pictures on the walls and figure out lasting furniture arrangements. but so, so far yet to go!

:: every-other-day hair washing ::

does this seem trivial to you? it's not to me! for a long time, i've been told that it is best to not wash hair every day, but i never felt like i could make the switch. for some reason, it never clicked that i could still shower every day without washing my hair every day. but this fall, i gave it a go.

i figure i save 30 minutes on the mornings i don't wash my hair. that is extra time to spend planning the day or squeezing in dishes, cleaning, or picking up before i get to work. combined with the 6 a.m. wake up, mornings have been transformed by this new routine.

oh, and p.s., i've been using tresemme fresh start dry shampoo on non-wash days. i like it, except it does turn my hair gray until i comb it through! (it has clay in it to absorb oil.) perhaps best for blondes.

that's my list—at least the ones that came to mind over the past week or so. it is certainly not exhaustive and there are a lot of steady people (friends and family) who change my life and aren't named here. you know who you are and i love you tons!

2010 included some difficult situations, some which still continue. in this past year, i am especially thankful for God's enduring faithfulness to me. in times of discouragement, i have felt so lifted up by His Word. i know it is only because He opened my eyes that i can say that.

looking forward to what God will do in 2011. thank you for sticking with me, dear readers! your comments and kind words encourage me. take care!