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“I didn’t know you felt that way about me, we don’t really talk much.” Those words hit me like a pile of bricks. It’s not something you’d expect to hear from your little sister.

My youngest sister is 13-years-old. Yea, 19 and a half years younger than me, and it’s true, in the past we haven’t spoken much. We never lived under the same roof. In fact, I was married before she was born. When she and my mom moved to Texas a few years ago things didn’t change a ton. I still saw her as a little sister (little sisters can still be annoying even when you’re an adult). As time has gone by though I’ve watched her grow and mature and I’ve been really impressed with her.

She gets good grades, is a good role model, helps me with my pictures, puts family before friends…. All things I wrote in a card for her for her birthday. I didn’t really realize it but I’ve never stopped to tell her all of these things. So how could she know?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell people exactly how we feel. Sometimes a card can find the words we can’t form ourselves. And sometimes a card is the perfect channel for putting down words you otherwise would find hard to say. Writing down those words gives a gift of good feelings to relive over and over every time they read it.

Getting all sentimental and mushy isn’t easy for me. Especially not with my little sister who is a teenager now. But it’s not a great excuse for not telling people we care about how we feel.

Hallmark has launched the Put it into Words campaign. Now more than ever the world needs more caring, and Hallmark cards can help.

Being a part of this has really helped me to realize how many people in my life inspire me and make my life better. And it’s helped me see how impactful letting them know can mean for both of us. I’m making it a point to put those feelings into words and giving more cards to share how I feel. Because if not now. Then when?

Have you sent a card recently? Think of someone right now who deserves to know how you feel about them and go put it into words. Send a card and see what a difference it makes.

Visit Hallmark for inspiration or click here to see more cool stories of how cards made a difference. There you can also enter for a chance to win free cards for a year and a $500 gift card to use on someone special in your life.

put it into words - hallmark cards

I vividly remember being obsessed with lockets as a kid. Anyone and wearing one in my vicinity dealt with my reaching hands pawing to open it and see if anything was inside. Most of the time I was let down. Nothing was inside.

I loved the idea of having pictures of someone you love inside a necklace. You could open it and stare at it all day. Show them off when you’re out and about. And carry him over your heart.–Ok, so I’ve always been a bit of a romantic.

I’d almost forgotten about this fascination I had as a little girl until Hallmark wrote and asked me to pick out a special piece of jewelry for Mother’s Day. I was scrolling down their new collection at Kohl’s and was instantly drawn to a locket. I was finally going to get one! And it was going to be everything I’d always wanted as a kid.

When it arrived I was stuck by how beautiful it was with the jewels on the front and inscription on the back. Then I opened it up and pictured my pictures inside and got all giddy.

But my giddiness began to fade a little as I struggled to figure out how to actually get photos inside. ‘Now I see why everyone’s lockets were empty’ I thought.

Printing the photos took some trial and error getting the size just right. Luckily I have a photo printer and lots of photo paper on hand. Choosing the photos to go inside wasn’t easy either. I really couldn’t print any photos with more than one person in them because they’d be too small to make them out. So I had to narrow it down to two people instead of three and as much of a romantic as I am at heart, the two spots went to my kids. It’s ok though because my husband LOVES it.

In the middle of the process I had a moment where I thought ‘In an age where I have a thousand photos of my kids on my phone, why am I even doing this?’

Then finally I got the sizing right, and I slid the photos side by side in my necklace and felt a sense of satisfaction. Or was that relief?

The real joy came when I called my kids over to look inside and my daughter joyfully pawed at the chain around my neck to see what was inside. And she smiled to see a picture of herself and her brother. I’d come full circle. But this time, I have something I could pass on to her someday. I’ll teach her how to place the pictures, and maybe someday she’ll wear it around her neck and her daughter will admire the photos inside.

I plan to update the photos every year near Mother’s Day.

The idea of a locket may seem a little outdated, but there’s something sweet and nostalgic about it. It’s not necessarily a way to say “Oh, you want to see my kids? Here they are!” But another way I keep them close to my heart. And hopefully what was once a sweet obsession that started when I was a little girl will become something special we pass on.


I love starting new meaningful traditions with my family, which is why I partnered with Hallmark and Kohl’s for this post. Hallmark Jewelry at Kohl’s is a great Mother’s Day gift. If lockets aren’t your thing, that’s ok because there’s a lot more styles. The heart-felt jewelry is made with quality materials and has a sentimental message to share with someone special (or keep for yourself). Check out the jewelry collection here. 

The perfect gift for any mom. #giftsformoms #mothersdaygifts

 

I don’t think I can ever forget the first time my now-husband said “I love you.” We were (sorta) watching A Knights Tale. He was freaking out a little bit about moving to a new school come fall that would be three hours away from me. I was trying to keep him calm, and thinking of ways we’d make it work. We’d known each other about two weeks at this point, but I knew this guy was it for me.

He was explaining to me why he was nervous about moving away and blurted out that he loved me, then kissed me before I could say it back. If I could have my life played back to me on a movie screen, that would be one moment that I’d request to make the cut.

I like to think of myself as someone who is good with words. But my words are most definitely better when they’re strung together in writing.

It’s always been easier for me to put my emotions to paper than say them on a whim. For our anniversary just over a month ago I drafted an email on my phone listing 10 facts about our marriage and sent it to my husband. It was moving reading it together. I love writing letters, sending emails, or little love notes now and then. I’ve saved many of the cards and notes he’s written to me through the years, tucking them away in my journal.

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Since having kids we haven’t had as much time for romance. My drawer that was once filled with lace things has been replaced with yoga pants and t-shirts. I swore I wouldn’t be one of those parents who let their kids sleep in their room with them yet, that’s exactly where we’ve wound up. A few months back Lil’ J became terrified to sleep in her own room and she started sleeping in a corner in our room.

We still make time to go on dates, either a full-on night out with an actual babysitter (aka Grannie) or we’ll do a date night in after the kids go to sleep with takeout and a movie.

Despite the dynamics changing, I feel like I love the quality time we spend together as a family as much as the time we spend alone. Just in a different way. And watching my husband interact with our kids has me loving him more than ever, and I’m trying to tell him that more. I mean I tell him all the time. Every time we hang up the phone, leave for work, or go to bed, then other random times through the day. But it’s nice to be told in a note, a text, or more specifically with the reasons why I do.

Let the one you love know how you feel and #PutYourHeartToPaper. Tips on expressing your feelings this Valentines day. (This may be the first time I’ve successfully photographed something other than people)

Hallmark is asking all of us to #PutYourHeartToPaper. And let the ones we love know how we feel by writing it down so they have a tangible, long-lasting reminder. They have tips to do that on their website.

I watched one of the videos about a couple each taken to another room and recorded answering questions about their spouse. Then they were brought together to watch what the other said, and by the end they were each in tears. I think along with putting our hearts to paper, putting it to video works too.

I’d love to talk my husband into doing something like this. Of course I wouldn’t publish it for the world to see, but I’d cherish it forever. I’d write us each a list of questions to answer in a recording on our phones. Then we’d share them with each other. Hmm… Maybe it’ll be a good idea for this month. And maybe it’ll even be a good time for me to start restocking the pretty lace things too.

How do you tell someone you love them? Do you prefer cards, letters, poetry, or saying it face to face?

Let the one you love know how you feel and #PutYourHeartToPaper. Tips on expressing your feelings this Valentines day.

 

I’m passionate about making and saving memories. This post was a part of an ongoing partnership with Hallmark to share some of my life’s special moments and occasions. All opinions (and typos) are my own.

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Growing up my parents drilled in us that we were to be respectful of adults and have good manners. We called adults Mr./Ms Last Name, answered yes ma’am/ sir, and always said please and thank you. I have found we haven’t been as strict with our kids so far, and there are some things we definitely need to work on.

With our daughter we’ve taken to having her call adults either Mr./Ms. First Name or Last Name, and we’ll continue that with our son. Lil’ J was good and learned how to say “please” and “thank-you” at a young age. We had a little lapse in saying “please” recently, but after a couple weeks of correcting I think we’re back on track.

My son however… *Sigh* … My son, I don’t know if it’s just that he can’t quite speak as well as his sister could (see the adorable video above of her spouting off all sorts of things at 19 months). Or if he just is refusing to be polite. I know you probably think I’m kidding, but really I have to wonder.

He can sign “more” “bath” and “eat” and he can tell me when he wants to play in the backyard, or get his shoes (that’s his favorite word, seriously). He can also communicate when he wants to leave and go “bye bye” or have a bottle. But when I try to get him to say “please” the closest thing that comes out is “PAR!” and that’s if I’m lucky. Usually he’ll just scream at me and I help him sign “please” before I give in.

serious-ty

If he can sign bath he can sign please, so I think this kid is just trying to get to me. He’s just too cute to stay mad at.

Saying “thank you” is a little better, but still not as often as I’d like it to be. One way I’ve been working on it is when we play “ball”. We roll it or pass it back and forth, and each time I ask him “please” before he hands it over, then say “thank-you” when he gives it to me. Every once in while he chimes in with some thank yous of his own and then I feel like all hope isn’t lost for my sweet little caveman.

Fun ideas to introduce our children to different ways to say thank you.

My daughter loves art, and writing letters to people, so I’m trying to incorporate more thank you letters into her repertoire. I let her choose if she wants to design her own using her card stock and stationery kits, or pick some out from our collection of cards. And like with my son, I try to be an example and tell her thank you, write her thank-you notes, and sit down with her to write my own letters for those who have helped me. Walking the walk is the best way to teach a lesson.

It would be beautiful if someday my kids can look back and remember us writing weekly thank-you notes together. How’s that for a legacy?

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Hopefully some of these lessons will stick and I’ll raise some polite and thankful children. Maybe some day my son will even manage more than a pleasant grunt for “please.” It’s a work in progress, but I think we’ll get there.

How did you teach your children to say thank you?

Here are some more thank-you note ideas from Hallmark.

Fun ideas to introduce our children to different ways to say thank you.

This post was written as a part of an ongoing partnership with Hallmark. All opinions are my own.

As I unpacked our Christmas decorations, and hung our old treasures on our tree, I noticed a framed ornament holding a picture of Lil’ J’s first ultrasound. It’s one of my favorites. And although that was five years ago, I can’t bare to change out the photo, because it reminds me of the excitement I felt that year as our first baby grew in my belly.

Each year when we put up the Christmas tree, I look forward to hanging up the ornaments we’ve collected from years past. It’s like a walk down memory lane, and every year we try to add to it.

I’ve all but given up on attempting Pinterest crafts, but I can’t help myself come Christmas time. Last year we made these Santa hand prints.

santa-hand-ornament

This year we did these snowman handprints, and I must say, they were harder to make than I thought it would be, but they turned out better than I expected.

nowman fingerprints

The little keepsakes like these are by far my favorites on the tree. If you ask me, nothing beats a tree decorated with personal treasures.

Along with making our own homemade ornaments, we each also pick out other keepsake ornaments to commemorate the year. Each of us chooses one to add to the tree.

These are the ones we picked out this year:

nativity-ornament

princess-ornament

angel-ornamentChristmas-keepsake-ornaments_0019-copy

Lil’ J says the angel I picked out looks like her Aunt Kimberly. The ornament holding our family photo from this year also holds our voices together saying Merry Christmas (Ok, I chose that one for my husband). I’m looking forward to listening to that one in years to come. Big T didn’t care much, but the ornament of Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus reminds me of my sweet son, so that represents his this year. Then of course Lil’ J wanted a princess ornament, but I love that it holds her photo.

While I could change out her photo each year, I’m thinking I’ll leave it the same. To remind me of how sweet she was the year she picked it out. And just like her ultrasound photo, each year I can look at the treasure and smile at how much she’s grown since this Christmas.

What ornaments do you treasure most?

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I’m passionate about making and saving memories, I’m partnering with Hallmark to share some of my life’s special moments and occasions including getting ready for Christmas! All opinions (and typos) are my own.

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magical-christmasIt seems that no matter what is going on in the world, I can look at my children and get lost in their innocence. Oh how I wish they could stay like this forever.

I love the spirit of Christmas, the enchanting lights, our family traditions, warm coco, and more lessons on Christ. We’re only a week into December and we’ve already been enjoying the season. Here’s a special look at what we’ve been up to:

Lil’ J was in her first parade, and danced at a Christmas Festival. We’ve seen/ talked to Santa about five times already, started reading Christmas stories and stories about Christmas. We’ve watched Rudolph movies and danced with Rudolph toys, and there’s still a lot of time lefts for crafting, baking, service and caroling.

santa photo

Now that my youngest sister is close by, I feel like the Christmas spirit is magnified times 5. The light in her eyes helps that in my kids shine brighter.

Take out your camera or phone this season and capture a few seconds of your favorite merry moments. String them together in a video over Christmas music and you’ve got yourself a beautiful keepsake.

What holiday traditions are you taking part in this year? How do you save your merry moments?

sisterly loveChat with me tonight at 8pm CST on Twitter. We’ll be discussing how you make merry memories this season. RSVP to be entered to win $500. Also, tomorrow Hallmark is having a sale for 20% off on Rudolph merchandise as a part of the 12 Gifts-A-Giving celebration.

*This post is written as a part of a partnership with Hallmark. All opinions expressed are my own. 

If you’re from Utah or have ever lived in Utah you may be familiar with a popular bad joke:

“What’s the difference between a University of Utah bride and a Brigham Young University bride?”

–At the U of U wedding the bride is pregnant, and at the BYU wedding the bride’s mom is pregnant.

*ba dum dum tsss*

Fun family games: Sometimes aunts can feel more like sisters. So I was the stereotypical Utah bride (appearances aside). 18 (almost 19) marrying my 22-year-old RM (return missionary) and my mom was pregnant with her 5th child (whoops!).

I suspected something was up when one of my younger sisters told me she had found baby gear and pregnancy tests hidden around the house. Then at my wedding open house at my parents house I pulled her ultrasound photo off the side of the fridge so it wouldn’t be mistaken as my own.

Fast forward 10 years. My sister Kimberly is now nine and I have a daughter of my own just five years younger. She loves and admires her.

Fun family games: Sometimes aunts can feel more like sisters.

The greatest thing is when she comes over, Lil’ J (and Big T) immediately cling to her for entertainment… Which means a break for me, YAY!

To keep her happy and coming back for more fun, I try to come up with fun ideas for activities they can do while they’re at my house. It can be something as simple as a new library book, puzzle, coloring pages, or an activity I found on Pinterest.

Fun family games: Sometimes aunts can feel more like sisters. Fun family games: Sometimes aunts can feel more like sisters.

Kimberly is off from school this week and she came over to try some new games I had set aside. The hilarity at followed was awesome.

Fun family games: Sometimes aunts can feel more like sisters. Fun family games: Sometimes aunts can feel more like sisters. Fun family games: Sometimes aunts can feel more like sisters.

I smiled as I watched them aim the snowball cannon at the targets, danced around to silly prompts like “wiggle your reindeer tail” “stir the hot chocolate” and “ski down the mountain.” And finally, they chased each other around trying to put rings on each other’s elf hats (Kimmie knelt down to make things a little more fair).

Fun family games: Sometimes aunts can feel more like sisters. Fun family games: Sometimes aunts can feel more like sisters. Fun family games: Sometimes aunts can feel more like sisters. I’m so thankful that my little sister, who I only got to see a couple times a year, now lives just up the road, and gets a chance to grow up with my kids and be a good role model. I’m thankful I get the chance to be a big sister again, though in a very different way than I was growing up.

I’m thankful for so much this year: My family, my home, my faith. And I’m thankful for a sweet little sister, who’s become a big sister to my kids.

Are you and your siblings spaced out or close together?

I’m passionate about making and saving memories, I’m partnering with Hallmark to share some of my life’s special moments and occasions including getting ready for Christmas! All opinions (and typos) are my own.

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bam-bam-baby-costumeThere’s something about my son’s shaggy fro that always brings a smile to my face. Several months ago it struck me that he reminds me of a tiny cave man. His grunts, destructive nature, and, you guessed it… His wild head of curls all reminded me of Bam Bam from the Flintstones. Sure, the little cartoon character had bleach blond hair, but it didn’t stop me from somehow seeing a resemblance.

After deciding that would be his Halloween costume I realized it would be fun for all of us to be characters from the show and I set out to do some Flintstones DIY costumes. My daughter would be Pebbles, my husband Fred, and I Wilma. If I can find a purple dog shirt I’d love to paint dots on it so Snoop can be Dino.

flinstones-family-costumes-sewingI didn’t want to spend a ton of money on costumes, and I’m happy to say I spent a total of less than $30 on all of these costumes. I bought a thrifted orange t-shirt for my husband, small pieces of fleece for my son’s costume, a quarter yard of cotton fabric for my daughter’s pillowcase top (luckily the ragged tattered look is in for cavegirls cause I didn’t hem it or anything), and some thrifted blue shorts.

wilma-and-bam-bam-costumeswilma-and-pebbles-costumes

I pulled together my costume from a skirt and swimsuit cover-up I had in my closet, and made my necklace using thread and some styrofoam balls.

The “big spending” came from ordering a felt club for Big T and a plastic bone headband for Lil’ J off Etsy.

loving-girlsAside from costumes I haven’t done much else in regards to Halloween prep. I took my sister and Lil’ J to a neighborhood pumpkin patch to pick out some pumpkins to decorate… Right, decorate, not carve, cause frankly I just didn’t have the energy for that this year. Lil’ J painted one at preschool, and the rest we did up with this Hallmark Jack-o-lantern sticker set.Halloween-Pumpkins_0010-copy

Halloween-Pumpkins_0001-copyFun and easy ways to have a festive halloweenMy son even got in on the action, but I’ll admit, I helped him with his Halloween sticker jack-o-lantern because Lil’ J wouldn’t let me help her with hers, which turned out like this:

Halloween-Pumpkins-HallmarkYou have no idea how much willpower it took not to get in there and put the eyeball stickers where they belong, and take off a few of the extra mouth and mustache stickers she stuck on there.

“Don’t you think one beard is enough?” I asked her.

“NO! I like all the beards!”

… And eye-patches and other accessories, all in one clump.

Despite my frustration with her lack of anatomically-correct pumpkin faces, it was still 100% fun and 0% messy.

Halloween pumpkin decoration.I’m planning to paint our last pumpkin teal this year and give out glow sticks and bubbles in lieu of candy. It’s keeping kids with food allergies in mind. Hopefully the neighborhood kids won’t TP my house later. I mean really, who needs one more piece of candy at the end of all this?

We’ve also done just a little bit of yard decorating. I bought this cool Halloween sign from a neighbor who hand made it for $10!

Halloween-Pumpkins_0012-copyHalloween-Pumpkins_0009-copyMy family got all dressed up for Trunk or Treat at our church and surprisingly we won the costume contest (we didn’t even know we were entered!). It was a pleasant surprise. My husband is actually off for Halloween this year so I’m excited to go through the neighborhood all dressed up in my handy creations.

flinstones-family-costumesAfter Christmas, Halloween is probably my next favorite holiday. It’s the beginning of the end of the year, and I get to dress up my kids like adorable little characters (for a limited time).

Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? What are your costumes?

PS: I let my daughter pick out another costume because she wanted one to go with her Aunt’s and we have enough Halloween events to dress up for that I’m ok with her having two costumes. Bonus points to anyone who can name who she is:

Sailor Scout CostumesSailor chibi moon costume

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I didn’t even get around to sharing all my other fun Halloween stuff, like our trick-or-treat greeter, drop and greet spider (which we actually had to put away because it gives me nightmares) and check out my Instagram for a video of Big T dancing with our dancing treat bag. If you’re still setting up for the holiday, or getting ready for the next, pop in your local Hallmark to get inspired for other ways you can get festive.

I’m passionate about making and saving memories, I’m partnering with Hallmark to share some of my life’s special moments and occasions including getting ready for Halloween! All opinions (and typos) are my own.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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