Wednesday, November 30, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

i want to share a sneak peek of a new print i've made and will be selling in my shop!  

inspired by my darling friend who raised 6 amazing children in a tiny house.  she believes small homes help create the closest relationships.  she explains, "there isn't room to hide from each other.  families are forced to interact, play & learn together!"  I LOVE THAT!

i'm planning for these be customizable- allowing an address below (as shown).
i've pretty much settled on these two colors (putty & slate) for neutrality. 
i'd love to hear any comments/critiques you may have!  i've been starring at these way too long and would love some feedback!  be totally honest!  i'm new at this!
we have glitter and gold all over the house.  
and, the Lord works in mysterious ways.  that's all i'll say about that.
we pulled out my favorite Christmas book,  i believe in santa claus.  it's beautiful.  it's simple.  it makes me cry.  i believe every family should own a copy.

yay!  the tree went up relatively pain-free yesterday... besides the fact that i fell down the stairs while on my way to put a big ornament bin away lol.  i landed on one of my ankles.  ouch!  not good.  the strange thing is, after shaking it off and putting weight on it, it felt fine the rest of the day.  but when i went to bed last night, it got very sore.  i crossed my fingers and prayed i could walk in the morning.  there's just too much to get done!  thankfully it feels much better today.  i'm walking :)

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Monday, November 28, 2011


i hope all you fine americans had a sensational thanksgiving!  it was the BEST holiday weekend we've had in a long, long time!  ya know, some just don't go smoothly.  it seems like someone is always sick or the kids are driving us bonkers or something.  but we ate up every minute of this one! the kids all got along, the food and company were delicious, we got a lot done around here, i scored a few Christmas gifts, and no one threw up!  i couldn't ask for anything more!

how was your weekend?

i've been frantically working on our etsy shop while taking time to enjoy the festivities- i'm getting very close!  just working out the details! 
these beautiful pillows by pillowation caught my eye.  check them out!  the red origami pillow cover is one of my favorites. 
man, the more i "etsy" the more i love!  i'm obsessed!  there are so many incredible Christmas gifts to be found on here!
now back to all my monday stuff.  have a great day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

gobble gobble!

image via

delicious wishes to you and your family this thanksgiving day!
i'd like to thank all of you who visit here and inspire me to keep creating!  it means the world!

as a follow up, my hope to open brightsidesdesigns on etsy today is not going to happen :(
i honestly don't know what i was thinking!  there is so much more that goes in to this than i ever dreamed.
 however,  i found an amazing company that will rock all our printing & fulfillment... providing us with much better pricing so you'll pay less!  yay!
we're close.  thank you for your patience and please hang tight.  we'll get there soon!  i'll let you know as soon as we open!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

fox makes friends

 this book it too cute.  it's just fitting for this time of year.  friends, apples, orange... it just feels right.  such a darling read.  i can always count on annie to snuggle up with me and read.  she's our little bookworm for sure.

i've been cranking away at getting our etsy shop up and going; trying to get it ready for business before Thanksgiving if possible!  i'm sure many of you interested in purchasing my items will want to buy them for Christmas gifts soon!  i'm hurrying :)
enjoy your tuesday & stay tuned for brightsides designs on etsy!

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


the never ending photography business battle haunts me in my sleep.  okay, i'm not that disturbed, but i hate it!  do i take on clients or do i not?  this has been a constant debate of mine for a while now and it's been making me ca-razzy!  a bunch of you have been asking me about taking your family pictures lately, and i've been humming and hawing over it, probably driving you crazy.  but i've come to the decision that right now i just have to say no :(  it's simply not fair to my family right now.   

i took on a few small projects over the last couple of months just to see if i could possibly do some holiday work, and that confirmed my suspicion... it's just too much!  ahhh, why can't i just do everything!  i have to admit that i'm kind of glad i didn't start into this whole photography passion before i had kids, or i'm not sure i would have had any-certainly not four.  that makes me sad to say.  the Lord new better :)  choosing a career you love over a family would be extremely difficult!  now that i have my favorite little people and know what a blessing they are, i would choose them over anything in a heartbeat.  with that being said, i choose them now too.
there is a season for everything.  i must wait.  for now i will enjoy my hobbies, be grateful that i'm able to be a stay at home mom (thanks sam!) and chase around my little biting baby.  ouch!!
thank you so much for your interest and understanding.  i am flattered beyond belief!
best wishes to you all!

p.s. please don't be offended if you see shoots that i may do in the future... you know me, i get the itch every once in a while to take a few.  it's not personal, it's just timing.  and don't be afraid to ask- i just may say yes- just not before Christmas :)

p.p.s. stay tuned for my up and coming etsy shop!   that, [i hope] is something i can manage.  i'm excited!

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

[farmall parking only]

all the little kids with their pump pump kins they better run, better run!
i completely forgot to post these pumpkin patch pictures.  
weeks ago we met the cousins to pick out pumpkins one toasty saturday afternoon last month.  
liv had just finished her soccer game and the kiddies were pumped to search for their perfect pumpkin, make their way through the corn maze, and of course take a turn on the tractors.  i admit i went a little nuts snapping pictures of jack tom on these bad boys!  it's so fun to do boy stuff with him!  all he needs is a little cowboy hat and boots!  
i think he looks so much like his  great grandma hansen (who happened to be a beet farmer) in this picture below.
cute aunt bek happily supplied the wheelbarrow rides.  that must have been a pretty good little workout!  
those kids and pumpkins get heavy!  what a champ!  pumpkin parading is the best!  until next year...

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


don't ya just love it when you feel like your fast forward button was pushed?  like you're on triple speed or something?  it's the best!  i can accomplish so much when i have those sudden spurts of energy!    yesterday was one of those for me!  and no, i'm not prego lol...  just in a little pre-holiday nesting phase i suppose :) 

check it out!  my mom found this amazing bird's nest in her backyard and gave it to the girls to show their school classes.  i just can't get over the intricacy.  how does mama bird do it?  to gather all the mud and grasses and mold them into this tight, strong little nest is a miracle.  nature is so fascinating isn't it?      
i found this object lesson i plan to use in our next family home evening lesson:
*if any of you neighbors are interested in borrowing this nest, you're welcome to!
Lesson: This nest is a marvel of engineering. The birds made it without studying any books, without any tools except their beaks and their legs and they didn’t even have an instructor tell them how to do it! Somehow, in their little heads, God just gave them the sense of what to do and they did it! Have you ever watched a bird building a nest? They really work hard at it and keep trying until they get it exactly right for them – or they finally go and start over another place.
Do all kinds of birds build the same kind of a nest? No. Some build with sticks, some with leaves, some with more mud. Some put theirs on or near the ground, some put them way up in trees, some put the door in the bottom, some sit on them and act as the roof, some put them in trees, etc., etc.! One interesting thing is that every bird of one type makes the same kind of house.
Application: That fits with what the Bible says. Each bird is made after its own kind (Genesis 1:21) in its own wonderful way. And God teaches them and takes care of them. They are important to Him! (Luke 12:24) Jesus knew this and talked about it.
Conclusion: We are important to God, too He teaches us through the Bible and He takes care of us. You do not have to worry or be afraid. If you have a problem, call to Jesus and God to help you. Say as Hebrews 13:6 says, “The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid.” You can trust God! Let’s pray and thank God for His goodness and trustworthiness. (Pray)

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Friday, November 11, 2011


out the door and off to school the two olders went.  while juggling a fussy baby and trying to dry off annie's wet little post bath body, i trip over clothes, shoes, pillows and toys in their disaster of a room.  this is the second morning i've hit my head on something in there- maybe i'm subconsciously trying to knock myself out as to avoid the massive laundry heaps today!

while in the middle of frustration and head pain, i look up and notice my oldest's bed.  cute little liv had once again made a unique space for herself.  draped carefully with one of my scarves, her headboard holds all of her special little treasures;  her library card, ctr ring, duct tape pen, journal, sticky notes & more.  i had to smile and laugh.  i know she longs for her own room, but rarely complains.  sharing a room with two little sisters can be painful at times for her, i get it!  someday when she does get her own room, i can almost guarantee she'll miss when her and her sisters talk & sing each other to sleep every night.  i did.  the highly anticipated day when my sister and i acquired our own rooms, we were terribly lonely.  for months, kate would sneak back to my quarters and sleep next to me.  

last night a few of my friends and i were discussing november's power of moms article valuing motherhood. we were asking each other, "what makes motherhood rewarding for you?" this (seeing olivia's decorated headboard) was mine today- to see the treasures she values made me proud inside.  it's incredibly validating to see her love & cherish good things. 
now if only i could curb all this unnecessary junk that accrues!  i swear it hops out of the trash like little elves in the night and reproduces in their room!  
i'm so overly excited it's friday!  are you?  this week has been way, way too long!  have a great weekend!

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

[a birth story]

thee sweetest job ever!  i think i'll eternally be baby hungry... this was a great little fixa.  samantha grace's birth story here.

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

[doughnut ya want one?]

happy halloween! over a week late!  there's been a lot going on around here!
so here is my cute mom making her traditional spudnut halloween doughnuts!  we look forward to their warm chewy goodness every year!  i've gotta get the recipe from her!  the fam gathered together at their home halloween eve for our annual festivities.  the cousins showed off their costumes and ate up every chance they had to play together!
we had captain america, pippi longstalkings, a vampire queen, pirate princess, dog dog, and a lion king to name a few :)
we could not get jack to dress up!  like father like son!  he did however sport this little hat for a few minutes.  better luck next year!
i kinda can't believe halloween has already come and gone!  thanksgiving & Christmas will be here in a snap!  so much to do, so little time!  hope your tuesday treats you well!
good bye.

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


annie & i playing with photo booth on this cold snowy november 1st morning.  she wouldn't hold still to save her life.  we're goofin' today.  love. 

©2011 brightsides, all rights reserved.