Tuesday, December 25, 2018

2018 - A Year in Review

As 2019 is looming in the future, I look back and ponder the type of year that 2018 has been for me. In noting a few things, 2018 has definitely been quiet a year for me and my family. A year full of blessings indeed. God granted me the opportunity to do a transfer to another department at the company I work for. This was a huge blessing and helped to reduce the amount of stress that was on my shoulders. It is also a much better fit for my skills and personality. Shortly after that (around February), we found out that we were pregnant and expecting baby boy #3. At first, the discovery of this had me fearful and anxious, considering just several years prior we miscarried a beautiful child - one whom we will get to meet in Heaven. Therefore, this pregnancy taught me a lot about trusting in God with not only our children, but in everything.

In July, we took a week long family vacation to Aberdeen, Washington and Ocean Shores, Washington. We even got a day trip into Fort Stevens down in Astoria, Oregon. The weather was beautiful the whole time. We went swimming in the ocean, and one of my favorite experiences was having breakfast on the beach. My husband brought along his grill and cooked us bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns for breakfast, while I sat in a camp chair and watched our kids play in the ocean. It was perfect, and still puts a smile on my face to this day. We even got to tour two classic ships with the boys. One of which was actually on the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. They both were beautiful ships to view!

Jon cooking breakfast on a beautiful sunny morning on the beach. Ocean Shores, WA.

Elijah playing in the ocean.
Tanner next to one of the ships in Grays Harbor.

The pregnancy went very well and on October 1st, Caleb Shell was born. Between the farm and my three boys, I have been staying fairly busy. I hardly get the chance to journal and use my pens. Even finding time for photography gets difficult. But in the end, it is all well worth it. Seeing my children grow up into young men makes my heart fill with joy. It was bittersweet seeing our son Elijah start Kindergarten this year. He is becoming such a well-rounded young man.

Elijah and my dog Lily posing for his fall school photos.

However, the year has not been without it's downs. During most of my pregnancy, I experienced upper abdominal pains daily. It was nothing that I couldn't handle most days, and it didn't affect the baby. Two weeks after delivering Caleb, I took a long ambulance ride to the hospital (a disadvantage of living out in the country). I experienced pain that I had never felt before that took my breath away and left in me tears and dripping sweat. Turns out I had Gallstones, which caused the discomfort I was feeling through the pregnancy and got significantly worse afterwards. This also created serious issues with my ability to eat. Therefore, a day after my birthday, I had surgery to remove my Gallbladder. Who knew having Gallstones was a great way to loose weight! Great, but not fun.

So with the surgery and issues that I had since delivering Caleb, we were unable to celebrate my birthday, my mom's birthday, and my oldest son's birthday in November. My husband was ever so thoughtful and caring and did what he could to not only be supportive and helpful during my down time, but gifted me with something I enjoy having. So, he picked up a beautiful handmade fountain pen for me at a local craft show. He knows the way to my heart, besides horses. Now all that is left is to finish the year and get ready for 2019. InCoWriMo/LetterMo in 2019 may see me passing on the opportunity to participate this time, especially with a new baby and just returning back to work. I will try to respond to the letters I already have before then, and continue to write my current pen-pals. So please accept my sincerest apologies for my delays in letter writing. I look forward to seeing what 2019 has in store for my family and this blog :).

Some additional photos from 2018...

Twin doelings born here that we hope to add to our small milk string in 2020.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lamy Love

My oh my has it been some time since I last posted in my blog! I suppose that is what happens when life takes you for a roller coaster ride. Between work, the farm, my husband and his health, and then our two rowdy boys, I think I am plain exhausted by the end of every day. I was able to get some times to snap some pictures of my favorite brand of pen – Lamy!

Lamy love, call it what it is! I can say with confidence that this is one of the best brand of fountain pens out there. They stand by their products and when something goes wrong, they are there to promptly repair it or give advice. These pens are workhorses. Every single Lamy I have has stood up to purse abuse, slippery hand abuse, unknowledgeable fountain pen user abuse, and much more.  Out of all the Lamy pens I have so far (and I do not even have that many compared to all the models they have), I would have to say the Al-Star is my favorite. It is affordable, flashy, and a work horse. Starts every time, strong enough to take a beating, and very versatile. Daily user, weekly user, doesn’t matter what type of user….this pen will take the challenge.  Even with shimmer inks, this pen writes well (just don’t let the shimmer ink settle too long or you may get some hard starts – as with any pen and shimmer ink)


While I would love to sit here and do a review of each Lamy brand I have, I can promise you that there are already dozens and dozens of Lamy reviews online that would have similar opinions. I suppose I just wanted to brag and show off the collections thus far. Currently I have 6 different Lamy’s inked up. If you want a pen that is easy to use, easy to clean, can stand rough handling, then a Lamy is what you want.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Noodler's 54th Massachusetts - Ink Review

Noodler's 54th Massachusetts is one of those inks that goes well with just about anything. It is beautiful and has good shading qualities, yet it can still be used in a professional setting. I like a good ink that can be used in a variety of settings. It is a wet flowing ink. I have used it in Pilot extra fine nibs, to the Lamy Joy with a 1.1mm italic nib. The wider the nib, the better the shading. However, this ink shades beautifully in a fine nib too. In this review, I used a TWSBI Vac 700 with a fine nib. So let's get down to the nitty gritty.

This ink honestly is a great all around ink. It passed a variety of tests. The paper that I used was a high quality printer paper (in which most of my fountain pen inks do not feather or bleed through. So I decided to do some of the tests on another type of paper that was more familiar to people - Clairefontaine.
The Smudge Test:
This ink is 'almost' completely smudge resistant. I admit, that I probably should have done a 1 second test, but it managed to pass the 5, 10 and 20 second tests. This test was done on both types of paper. Clairefonetaine is known to increase dry time for many types of inks, however this ink performed and dried beautifully.
The Highlighter Test:
This ink performs well under the highlighter test. Due to the fact that this ink dries fairly quick, it also performs well under highlighter use. I would say that it did smear a hair where my pen left more ink towards the end of the line. However, it was very minimal. Writing papers, making notes, and highlighting? Then this ink will perform well for you.
Feathering Test:
While feathering does in part have to do with the paper you use, it also has to do with the type of ink that is used. Noodler's 54th Massachusetts does not feather, which is great.

Noodler's 54th Massachusetts - 3oz bottle
Price: $10.50-12.50 (depending on the vendor)

Other Images:

Via: Goulet Pen Co.