Sunday, November 25, 2012

Giving Thanks

This year's Thanksgiving was an interesting one.  Usually my mother and her brothers spend it together along with their children and grandchildren at one of their houses.  For whatever reason, that did not happen this year.  I spent a great day with my brother and mother as they were both nursing colds and preferred not to be around anyone else.  I ended up doing a lot of the cooking which was different, but I truly enjoyed it.  My uncle called my mother and said that Christmas we as a family all need to get together.  I totally agree.

This past year and a half has been a trying year for us.  My mom lost her sister in September of 2011 - she fought a long fight with colon cancer.  Then a few days before New Year's, another aunt passed (my mom's younger brother's wife) after battling a lifetime of illness.  In March, my other aunt passed (my mom's older brother's wife).  Now she is the only girl left.  I know it has been really hard on her - but it has been hard on all of us.  To lose 3 strong women so closely - I can't imagine.  She lived with me for about 3-4 months during that time.  She just couldn't bear to be by herself.

So when I think I Thanksgiving, I think of how grateful I am that God has truly been there for my family.  Even in times of sorrow and recently in times of joy (a cousin was just born), I can say that we are truly blessed.  I am thankful for all of the time that I spend with my family and look forward to many more wonderful times. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Erin Condren Life Planner review

It arrived!  I received my Erin Condren Life Planner 2 weeks ago.  It was soo worth the wait (and the online stalking).

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Erin Condren is a stationary designer that designs personalized stationary, planners, and journals.  With products made in the USA with lots of love, whatever you buy is well made and worth the wait.

Here is my planner.  I debated long and hard to find a cover with purple in it that would really compel me to use my planner.  I chose the Rad Plaid design.

The first section lists special dates and anniversaries in a perpetual calendar format.
Each month has a two-page spread in which to highlight special dates and appointments, etc.
Weekly pages are divided in 3 sections daily - morning, day, and night.  I use these sections mainly for my work tasks and it works great.  The main reason why I purchased this planner was to be able to see all of my tasks in one glance.  The Erin Condren planner has been a tremendous help for me in this area and I am able to stay on top of all of my to-dos.  I use sticky notes to list any messages are immediate things that I have to take care of.
One of my favorite parts has to be the Keep it Together folder.  I am bad for having scraps of papers and notes stuffed into other notebooks.  Then whatever happens and they are gone.  This folder keeps everything in one place.  Right now, I have coupons in it as well as some mail that I need to follow up on. 
All and all, I love my Erin Condren planner.  I have only had for about 2 weeks and I take it everywhere with me.  I don't have a color-coding pen system like some other people do.  I may do a post later to show you how I am using it - haven't decided yet.  As I get new tasks or have appointments, I list them in the appropriate weekly section.  Once I have completed the task, I put a little check mark.  This way, I know I have completed the task, but I don't make through it so that I can refer back.  Also, the Erin Condren team is very responsive.  I went to a conference last week and was afriad that I might not get my planner in time.  They assured me that it would ship and I received it very quickly once I explained my concerns.
Some of you may wonder why everyone is obsessed about Erin Condren and her life planner.  Once you get one you will see!