New Blog Design!

December 16, 2010 | My Jottings

Welcome! It has been almost two and a half years since I started this little blog, and a while back I got a hankering for a redesign. Some bloggers like to update their sites every year or so, some even seasonally, but I tend to hyperventilate and develop hives when too much change happens in my life, so it took me a long while to decide to have Just Julie redone. The talented web designer who did all this is named David Salinas — he listened to what I wanted, worked cheerfully at making the little tweaks I asked for, and the result is something that I’m pretty tickled with.

You may have noticed the quick flash of a cardinal at the very beginning, showing the loading progress of the site. Cardinals are very meaningful to our family, and if you don’t know the story, you can read about it by clicking here.

Once the blog’s header has loaded you’ll see a number of items that are like keepsakes sitting on an opened book. Take a second and see how nifty it is to be able to click on the items one by one and drag them around with your mouse. What, exactly, is the purpose of being able to move the items around? I don’t know. I just like it!

Every component you see has personal significance, whether it’s as trivial as the black and white toile wallpaper Michael and I have in our bedroom, or as profound as the two things I cherish most in life: my faith in Christ, and the family He has given me.

The yarn photograph is of an actual skein that my oldest daughter Sharon hand-dyed herself. This yarn colorway with the deep red, blue and green I love so much is called MacBeth and is one of dozens she has created. I encourage you to visit Sharon’s website to see some of the most beautiful yarns in the world. (I’m not much biased.)

The old-fashioned playbill of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella represents my middle daughter Carolyn. She has loved films and theater since she was a little girl, and she’s an amazingly accomplished actress and singer. She has played lead parts in many of our local community playhouse’s productions, including Carousel, The Philadelphia Story, Fiddler on the Roof, The Last Five Years, Hello Dolly and Cinderella, to name a few.

The long-stemmed rose symbolizes my youngest daughter Sara. She has been a floral designer for several years, and has a seemingly effortless gift for creating beauty in her surroundings, often from simple and unexpected things. Our home is frequently graced with small arrangements of flowers, pods, fruit and lush greenery that Sara puts together, and her creations are inspiring and remarkably unique.

Every keepsake on this page lands on an old, open book — I love to read and cannot imagine my life without a pile of books nearby. And I try to make my own life, with appropriate disclosures, an open book. I try to live honestly and transparently, but I still fail at this and am definitely a work in progress. I appreciate these qualities in others and hope to better cultivate them in my own life.

The scrap of paper has one of my favorite Bible verses written on it. It is my prayer that this verse will someday more authentically summarize my life as a follower of Jesus. I love God’s Word; I want to love it even more. And the key symbolizes my belief that Jesus is the key, and that He holds all keys.

From Isaiah 33:6:
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.

I love the old fashioned postcard with the two cardinals on it, because for our family, cardinals have come to be beloved reminders of hope. Like me, you’ve probably had times in your life when you’ve felt completely without hope. For years now God has been teaching me how to trust Him more fully, in good times and in sorrowful times. He has lovingly encouraged me and shown me that even when I can’t figure out His ways, I can rest in the knowledge that He is the God of hope.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

I have found the above verse to be true. When I trust in Him, He pours out joy, peace and hope. When I choose to fret and complain instead of trust, joyless living commences and hope seems elusive. The many treasured cardinal gifts around our house and the rare, real flesh-and-feather visitor at our bird feeder always remind me that God is at work no matter how bleak things seem, and that He is worthy of all my trust and hope. He is the God of hope!

Only the design of the blog has changed — all the old posts are still archived over at the left, and the various links are still the same.

The My Jottings link is just that — my day to day jottings about our lives — past, present and future. I like to show you things you never knew you were interested in, such as pictures of our two schnauzers, how my office looks before and after clutter, my geeky elementary school pictures, bunnies in our garden, a muskrat in our fence, recipes, odd thoughts and inane ramblings.

The My Joys link is updated occasionally with posts about dearly loved people in my life. It is not complete yet, so I encourage you to check there once in a while. I have more people I want to share about, including my husband and three daughters.

The My Journey link is just a short bio on me. Maybe I’ll add to it someday.

A friend asked me the other day why I blog. I told her I blog to have a place to say what’s on my heart. I can always put my thoughts into print better than I can say them out loud. I blog to invite others to take a peek at our family and share our days with us, albeit somewhat vicariously. I blog because it’s my form of creative expression. Some people paint, some play an instrument, some sculpt, some build, all with varying levels of expertise. I blog. I may not do it as well as others, but that has never been my objective. I blog to celebrate my children and grandchildren, and to memorialize the precious parts of their lives that change so quickly. I blog to work out my thoughts and struggles. I blog to speak out my praise and thankfulness to my heavenly Father. I blog in hopes that someone will read, perhaps even relate, and visit the site again. I blog so that when I die, my daughters will print out all my posts, and give them to my beloved grandchildren, so they can see what was most important to me. And I blog with the hope that on occasion what I write will encourage someone and/or bring a smile to God’s face.

I hope you enjoy the new design and will come back and visit now and again. I’d love to know what you think –I truly enjoy reading your comments, so I encourage you to comment often. If you’ve never left a comment before, maybe this is your day….it’s easy to click on the comment link at the bottom of each blog entry.Β  πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading! May God bless you today…


  1. Sharon says:

    Beautiful! It’s very you. πŸ™‚

  2. Just Julie says:

    Thank you…yours is very you too. πŸ™‚

  3. Mindy Schenck says:

    Thank you Julie! It is beautiful and I love it!

  4. Just Julie says:

    Thank you for visiting and commenting Mindy. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  5. Ember says:

    Gasp! OH! WOW!!! How cool is this! It’s beautiful, Julie!


  6. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Ember. πŸ™‚

  7. Larry says:

    Love your blog, though at a internet speed of 24.6, it sometimes takes hours to down load the photo’s – it still is a blessing to follow my family that I love.

    Sis, you have always had a way with words, makes me want to be in a state of excalceated but I love my sandles far too much and so I just enjoy your abilities in much the same manor as your multitudinous readers :-)- to me you have always been the bletonist with loving benevolently and your blog is like stelography for mind – – Love you bunches and gobs “-) πŸ™‚ P.S I always could make better smiley faces!

  8. Deb says:

    It’s a beautiful new look Julie!

  9. Tauni says:

    Well done! It is beautiful and I love it!

  10. Just Julie says:

    Wow Lar….I’m going to have to look some of those words up! Thank you…LY

  11. Just Julie says:

    Thank you dear Deb!

  12. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Taun…talk to you soon!

  13. Sue Raimo says:

    LOVE IT!

  14. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Sue!

  15. Debbie says:

    Wow Julie, just gorgeous!!! I don’t like change either, but I love the Vintage feel! You did an awesome job!

  16. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Debbie – I love old things too. The designer who did this was very talented….his name is David Salinas.

  17. Judy Dahl says:

    It s lovely – and it is fun to move things around!

  18. Just Julie says:

    Thank you for visiting Judy! Have a merry Christmas…

  19. Kay says:

    It’s Perfect!

  20. Just Julie says:

    πŸ™‚ TY.

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