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Hey guys, let’s catch up! I am finally dusting off my keyboard to share what has been going on with me. November was crazy and December was even crazier!

November has me driving to Hyannis practically everyday for physical and occupational therapy for my Parkinson’s Disease. It was good. I learned a bunch of exercises I can do at home to improve my balance, strength, and coordination. Some of the exercises I can even do with my kids like throwing a ball back and forth while walking and the funny face game where my kids make a funny face and I try and copy it. They gave me a bag of materials like foam tubes and sticky sheets to modify household items to make tasks easier. It was good. It felt proactive. Now I just have to make sure to keep up the exercises!

Then December came and each week had a different family member sick with a flu-like bug. Somehow I did managed to get out with Mr. Doodles and Jots for his holiday work party which was a lot of fun (here’s our selfie). Did you know we met at my holiday work party 20 years ago?! It was hard though getting everything done for Christmas with kids home sick. Thank goodness for Amazon. I ended up getting the mystery illness Christmas week. I was wrapping presents and shopping for a roast on Christmas Eve with a temperature of 101! Luckily I felt better Christmas day and it was a perfect, perfect day.

Did I mention too that I have also been doing work for my brother? I helped him with a new logo, website, magazine ad layout, and I started on some renderings. My father and brother build the most amazing luxury homes in Naples, FL! It was nice to earn extra money for Christmas. In fact I still have more to do. It is also nice to work for family. There is less stress. Stress makes my symptoms crazy.

Now with everyone healthy and the kids back in school I have a little time to think and plan. I have a few fun things that I am working on. This Friday it is my turn to share a Picture Book of the Day and I have a fun, amusing, entertaining, enjoyable one to share! I really love being involved in that group and the selections have enriched our story time reading immensely. You can follow along by liking Doodles and Jots on Facebook. I am also reviewing a book for Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th which I learned about from my friend Mia at Pragmatic Mom. It is so refreshing to read books that that reflect our diversity and there simply isn’t enough of them so I am looking forward to helping raise awareness.

My daughter got the book My Crochet Doll for Christmas. I made the doll and she is working one some of the clothes. I will share a photo on Instagram once she is fully dressed! It is a really fun book but don’t learn the hard way, like we did, that a UK double crochet is a US single crochet! It has renewed my interest in crocheting and I am working on a pattern of my own which I hope to share here soon. By the way, if you are looking for a free crochet doll pattern, my friend MaryAnne at MamaSmiles has one here. She provides very clear instructions and I love that she uses cotton yarn. It is a great doll for a small child! I also shared a crochet pattern for a fast and easy mini tote bag here.

I have a great idea for a cold weather craft planned (that could go terribly wrong!) so stay tuned. I also have an fun concept (if you can believe it!) for a picture book about Parkinson’s Disease which I am starting to outline.

The last thing I want to tell you about is my craft book idea. Mr Doodles and Jots thinks I should put together a craft book. I said how about a book of paper chains (inspired by all my recent holiday paper chains)? He said that was too limiting. I said I bet I could come up with 365 paper chain ideas. He said that was impossible which only motivated me more!

I don’t know if I will get everything accomplished that I would like to in 2015. I am finding it harder to do the work. I definitely didn’t in 2014 although my diagnosis really threw me way off track but that is okay. My most important goal for 2015 is to enjoy spending time with my kids and husband and everything else is just gravy.

What have you been up to? What are your plans for 2015? Please share!


I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


  1. Your brother builds stunning homes!

    Your tote bag is adorable! Thank you for linking to my little doll pattern!

    I LOVE the idea of a book featuring 365 paper chains, and you would be the person to do it.

    I hope you also get your picture book about Parkinson’s Disease written. That would be great for our family as my dad has Parkinson’s and there is a good chance I will eventually (his dad also had it).
    maryanne @ mama smiles recently posted..Easy Cloth Napkins Sewing TutorialMy Profile

    • It really affects so many families and it isn’t always obvious how it affects people especially early on. I want the book to explain to kids what it feels like with analogies that are not scary and I think I have an idea for how to do that :-)

      Glad you like my crochet pattern. We have similar interests don’t we? :-)

    • Thanks, it was not the best news I had in 2014 but I intend to grow from it not the opposite.

      Even though they were sick the extra time with each kid was kind of nice :-)

      Happy New Year Nina!

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