Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Post Holiday Let Down

At last, its over...




To be perfectly honest, I'm a little depressed.

I don't know if its because it all happened so fast...First Jayden, then recoving, then Thanksgiving, then back to work, then Christmas...

Or perhaps it could be that being away from my own family this year was especially hard...Hard because I now have a son of my own and I want him to be near both sets of grandparents, hard because they were just here and its been 10 years since my parents visited one of my homes, hard becuase my sister and parents were together but we weren't there.

Perhaps its becuase I felt a little bit like many of the people in my life were not really trying all that hard this year, sort of like it was a chore and not a pleasure for them, like they felt put out or bothered to do something for some one else.

Perhaps its becuase we didn't really go look at lights this year as we normally do, or that I didn't watch all my holiday movies as I normally do, or that I didn't listen to "A Christmas Carol" over and over again like I normally do.

Perhaps its because I feel as though I just put the last Christmas decoration up and now its nearly time to put them all away again.

At any rate, Christmas has now offically come and gone...and the clean up has begun, the "North Pole" wrapping room has been put away, I've started sorting the gifts, making the "Thank You" list and working on my "Power of One" plan for the new year.

Peace, everyone!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Power of One

There is a theory in sales that has to do with the power of one.

What would happen today if you called one more client, made one more sale, cut one dollar from your expenses, etc. Its about how making one small change in approach and habit can result in dramatic change over time.

Think about this…

If you saved one dollar a day, every day, you’d have $365 at the end of the year. If you cookie-jarred the cost of one coffee at Starbucks a day (lets just call that $5 a day for arguments sake…or because, like me, you like expensive coffee!) the result would be $1825 saved a year.

The power of one can really be driven home with a new baby in the house. He’s one person in one household. But his arrival required tons of shopping and preparation. His one arrival generated three showers, two significant trips, a newly decorated room. He is one person in our household, but our entire schedule and lives were rearranged to accommodate him. As one very small thing, he has completely changed our lives.

And (this really does tie together) I was pondering how in the world I manage to keep the shower clean and sparkly all the time, but that other housekeeping chores are not so successful.

And in pondering my shower, I realized we spend a couple of seconds a day on the shower squeegee-ing the glass and spraying shower spray on the tile every day. That one small effort every day saves lots of time and frustration later.

So…(here is where it ties together)…I’m constructing my goals for the new year based on this power of one. Small changes done daily – one of this and one of that – in order to make a dramatic impact in my life in the future.

Its not all fleshed out yet, but it will be something like this:

One book of scripture a day. Easy, right? I get very caught up in “Read the Bible in a Year” and all that. And frankly it gets in the way of me just digging into my Word. I’ve heard it is more effective to memorize one verse and store it in the heart than it is to read the entire Bible in a year and not recall a single word. Makes sense.

One bit of exercise a day. This is a biggie for me. I don’t really WANT to go to the gym for an hour. I don’t really WANT to do arms today and legs tomorrow. But if today I focus on walking to and from lunch, I’m already doing more for my body than I was doing. And if tomorrow, I take the stairs all day, it’s a huge leap from getting on the elevator every day. If I tackle it in small habits, its not so overwhelming. (Don’t ask me why I do not consider myself “worth” the one hour of exercise a day. That’s a whole different set of “ones.”)

One scrapbook layout a week. Ok…this seems like it shouldn’t even be here. But I have had the tendency over the last year to plan my layouts and not to execute. Now I have all these baby pictures and if do not focus on getting at least 52 layouts done this year, its going to be a disaster in my scraproom. Perhaps I’ll get started on ONE and will find inspiration for another while I’m at it. What is that Julia Cameron says? Something about how starting the process of creating is the hardest part? I think I remember that in her books. (Note to self…re-read Artists Way)

One non-maintenance cleaning thing a day. This seems odd…but I’m just so enamored with the success of our shower maintenance process. So, the dishes, laundry and, of course, the shower, are on regular schedules. They are already part of our daily processes. I want to add a cleaning thing to that each day. My theory being that I’ll spend a few moments each day cleaning something in order to save myself hours on my weekends. So today, I’m going to dust and tomorrow clean the toilets and the next day mop the kitchen floor. One thing, each day.

So, the beauty of this proposed process is that it feeds my need for goals and organization, but it has room for my life to develop more organically and less on a clock. It really makes of my own life what I’ve been trying to put into process with the Bug – goals, things we have to get accomplished each day, but not a rigid or uncompromising schedule. Its not about being tied to this hour or that hour. Its about accomplishing a little something each day – small steps.. It gives me the power to look at my calendar for tomorrow, note my appointments and then build my little tasks in here and there. And it also gives my life room for God to move. If I’m not so tied down to my big calendar, I’m not at one appointment looking toward the next, I can breath, take a look around, NOTICE my world.

Besides, as a Christian I am taught that God only reveals the NEXT step to me, not the entire journey. If I’m only focusesd on the next step, God has more room to move.

So, that’s it…This next year, I’m focusing on the power of ONE.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Back to Work!



The monkey shrunk again....

Two months today...

23 inches long...

12 pounds, 1 ounce...

Smiling all the time...

Kicking and reaching and loving new things...

Sleeping through the night...

Today he got his shots...

And he hated it, he cried, he fussed and he was just miserable...

And tomorrow I go back to work...

I'm excited...

And I'm dreading it...

And I feel bad that I have to leave him...

We just got into a groove with life here...

Regular time getting up, and going down and feeding and playing...

I was looking forward to those times...

The library, the playground, the playdates...

But I DO have to leave him...

Sigh...

What will I miss???

Will he miss me?

Will he even realize I'm not here?

Oh...new layout in the gallery - click the link under my pic...

Peace-y'all.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Same old thing, new version

So...

I'm a dork for Christmas music...

Sigh...

Yes...even BEFORE Thanksgiving...

I always buy a new selection or two each year...

Here are my faves THIS go 'round:

Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong - River is absolutely beautiful.

and...

James Taylor at Christmas - Jingle Bells is really great.

Both are a little bit unconventional and a little bit traditional and just yummy for the Holiday.

Enjoy, everyone!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Recipe Love

Found this little piece of recipe heaven...

Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

I'm in love...

Its cold in Charlotte today...

Well...

50 degrees...

Which, for this SoCal girl, is COLD...

I'm not used to it getting below 60...

Its a good day to stay inside, drink coffee and decorate...

Which is exactly what I'm planning on doing...

J says, "I WIN!"



Peace, ya'll...

Friday, December 01, 2006

List to start the lists....

Fed the baby – he slept until 6 WOOHOO!!!!

Had an orange cranberry scone…

Drinking my coffee with Eggnog creamer…

Reading my e-mail…

Watching a recorded episode of Naked Archeology…

And I have TONS to do…

I need to make a list...

Read my Scriptures…

Finish my Christmas decorating…

Bake 6 dozen cookies…

Finish my laundry…

CLEAN MY MESSY HOUSE!!!!!

Christmas shopping…

And, somehow, all between feedings…

Thank goodness for the carrier…

I think Jay will be in it a lot over the next few days…

(Don’t worry. He likes it!)

Being inspired by the (Red) campaign… http://www.joinred.com/news.asp

Which reminds me…TODAY is World AIDS Day…

Have gifts to wrap...

And I need shoes for work!!!

I leave you with this happy face:




Happy Day, everyone!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thankful

As of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we have been in North Carolina for one year. Its so hard to believe that its been only one year, considering all that has happened. At the same time, its difficult to remember that we have been here a year already – its gone by so fast!!!

I’ve been taking stock this week, paying attention to details, and feeling so amazed at what God has done in this year. I’m thankful for so much.

I’m thankful we made the choice to move from here:




To here, our first and very own home:



I have an amazing job with wonderful people and work that challenges me.

I’m thankful for this man, for his love and his effort and his vision and his overwhelming desire to be the best dad and husband in the world:



I’m thankful for this cute little furry creature, who continues to delight me and love me, even thought I brought another human being into our home to challenge her status as pack leader:



I’m thankful for this amazing group of women who have adopted me into their lives and given me so much wisdom and love:



I’m thankful we were able to do this:



I’m eternally grateful for these amazing women:



This stunning woman:


And this little one for his energy and adventure:




And this little one for her never-ending love and sweetness:



I’m ever so thankful for this experience and what it taught me about my body, my heart, my mind, my feelings and the amazing things that happen that affirm my God in my life:



I’m so very, very thankful for the amazing Blessings of this little one:



For his grandma’s and grandpa’s:





His beautiful aunt Kellie:



And for a surprise from this amazing friend – Aunt Kathy:



For this lady and her sense of controlled insanity and just-rightly-timed encouragement and love:

http://www.ktnryansmom.typepad.com/

I’m thankful that life is both predictable and an adventure, that my days include both a schedule and surprises.

I’m thankful for my scrapbooking and all the amazing people I have met with my hobby.

And I’m thankful for the kindness of strangers who, thanks to the wonderful internet, have become friends and encouragers and mentors.

I’m thankful that I had the chance to chase a musical dream and that it ended so that I could have a chance to dream today’s dreams.

And above all else, I’m thankful that there is a God in Heaven, who sent His only Son to die for MY sins that I might have eternal life.

Peace, everyone…

And today, may you count your many blessings and challenges and count them ALL joy!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

One Month

I've seen the e-mail about the difference a month, day, moment can make...

Here is my version...

If you ever wonder how much difference a month can make, ask the monkey:

One Week:




One Month:

I can't beleive how fast he's already grown!!!

Praise God, I'm a picture taker...I'd have missed so much already!!!

Peace, all!!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Surprises!

My friend Kat came all the way across the country in secret to surprise me!!!

BOY was I surprised!!!

So, Jayden got to spend some time with his Aunt Kathy…and he loved it!!!

2006.11.12 Aunt Kathy 02

She managed to coax my second surprise of the weekend from him:














What’s that?

Yes…I think it is…

The first real smile!!!

Yup…all the way to the eyes….

Its hard to see, but he even wrinkled up his nose…

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to have her here!!!

You see…she REALLY fooled me…I was thinking she wouldn’t be here until the end of January. Scott told me he was going out to his parents’ house when he was really going to the airport. I had absolutely no idea…and considering that I have been home pretty much 24-7 for weeks now, its QUITE a surprise.

So, I don’t know if I’m suffering residual pregnancy brain challenges or if I’m just clueless or if they are really, really good.

BUT I don’t care, because it was a FABULOUS visit and I loved having her here.

Yes, we DID try to convince her to move…

I’m not sure it worked…she is a born and bred California girl…

Still…she did say that NEXT time she came she was bringing her husband and the kids…

WOO HOO!!!

There’s going to be a next time!!!

Sometimes…it’s the NOT SO LITTLE things…
Peace, everyone!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

INSANE!!!


Yes…Its offical…4 weeks today that I’ve been in either the hospital or at home. For the first two weeks, it was nice…

Rested lots…

Hung out in my robe…

Got to know my new little man…

Enjoyed that fresh baby feeling…

Now…

I’m going mad…

I feel insane…

My entire life is in 3 to 4 hour intervals…

Not that I’m not enjoying my new guy, who, incidently, already has several nicknames that all involve the word “bug”…

I’m just not exactly being intellectually challenged…

How in the world do you stay-at-home moms do this?

To comfort myself, I've been indulging in really weird tv, coffee with holiday creamers, Christmas present browsing and scrapbooking...

Here is my list of favorites'o'the day (to make things interesting, I could decide on different favorites tomorrow!!!)

Eggnog Coffee Mate

Basic Grey Fruitcake

Tis the Season Holiday Idea Book

KnockKnock

The Naked Archeologist

The A-Team

Banana Republic Alabaster

Privo Tequini

Photo-opoly (and virtually anything else this site has to offer!)

ps....I've changed all my links on the right...there are some new blogs, some new music, updated scrap sites and so on and so forth. I've not really update the shopping...I'm still working on that...

Peace, Everyone!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Good Monday Morning!!!

First of all…how stinkin’ cute is this????

2006.10.31 Sleeping With Daddy copy

This has now happened twice…because my son wakes up at 3 am stays awake until 4, wakes up at 5, stays awake until 6, sleeps until 7, stays awake until 8, then wants to eat, then sleeps again…we bring him to bed, give him a pacifier and try like mad to get a cat nap in while he’s sleeping.

Incidently, I think BOTH occasions preceded growth spurts…

This is today’s scripture:

To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. – Romans 8:6 NAS

I found it especially relevant considering that we are all looking at Christmas stuff in the stores.

I’m as excited for the Christmas season to begin as anyone. In fact, I can be like that crazy Christmas lady from “The Santa Claus” – you know, all Christmas, all the time.

Its always especially disturbing to me to see the Christmas things out before Halloween. Even more disturbing to me is to find the Christmas things and Halloween things in the same aisle – one on one side and one on the other. It’s a rather stark statement of the commercialization and secularization of Christmas, no?

There is continuous hot debate over Christmas – its at the wrong time of year (true), it shouldn’t be celebrated in schools (ok..as long as we don’t celebrate or acknowledge ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY, including the holidays of atheism) that government agencies shouldn’t recognize and/or celebrate Christmas (again, ok…as long as they WORK on Christmas like its any other day…), and so on and so forth. There are sound ways to debate the issue. Unfortunately, passion and personal interest enter the argument on all sides…there is just no way to be objective if we are going to talk about a holiday that has come to represent the polarization of our culture.

The plain and simple truth is that you either believe there was a Christ sent to save us all or you don’t. And for those of you who are firmly riding the fence – who believe there was a Jesus, but that he might not have been the salvation of the world – well…I hate to break this to you, but you are actually in the “I don’t believe” category.

It is made plain in Revelation 3:16: 1”So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Even Satan himself believed there was a Jesus…and Satan himself believed that Jesus was the Savior of mankind. Why else would he appear to tempt Jesus to sin DIRECTLY if he did not believe that Jesus was the Savior? So, to say you believe but to not accept Jesus into your heart…well…then you are in the company of Satan himself.

So…back to my Scripture of the day – I’m so tempted to be one of those that would argue my position, that would state Christ’s case, that would rail against the commercial establishment and debate the issue with my non-believing friends…

But this Scripture advises me otherwise…I’m advised to dwell in what I know is the Truth, to revel in the joy and peace of knowing the Lord. It prompts me to settle into the quiet place beneath his wing, to live a life of worship and love, to set an example by my actions for my son, my family, my friends, my acquaintenances and those strangers I will meet in my Holiday travels from shopping mall to grocery store.

Be the change you want to see in the world. Give somebody else the parking space up front, the last Elmo doll, the place in front of you in the grocery store check-out. And smile and laugh and enjoy that we are about to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Accept Jesus into your heart (again if necessary – I know I sometimes have to do it several times a day!)…
And then let Him shine this season!!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Victory!!!

2006.10.23 copy


Jayden had his weight check this morning…

This child has gained a pound and three ounces in two weeks!!! WHOAH!!!

He is now a very healthy 7 pounds 12 ounces.

Soon, he will be big enough for his carrier…and I get a whole lot more mobile!! WOO HOO!!!
Peace, everyone!!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Motherhood Musings

Some observations from my vast experience as a mother – my son is a week and a half old…HA!

No matter what the books say, you do what works. If you read enough books, you get lots of ideas you can try out. Sooner or later you try (or stumble upon) the right thing for your relationship with your baby.

A 6 ½ pound infant is a fantastic teacher.

Fatherhood is a surprising aphrodisiac! I’ve never found my husband more attractive than he is to me while caring for my son.

Even whey they cry, they are cute…Not sure this feeling will last, but for now, I’m enjoying it.

You hear EVERY noise your baby makes, even from a sound sleep.

I have new admiration for single parents – I know I could never do this on my own. I don’t know how they do it. It takes all my strength and powers of concentration to do this even though I have the greatest teammate in my husband. My hats off to you single parents!

Every child is really a miracle – there is no more God-confirming thing than to be a part of or witness the birth of a child.

Medical science is a wonder – there was a time when Jayden and/or I might not have survived his birth due to our combined complications. Praise God for good doctors and advancements in medicine!

I’m so glad I waited to be a mom…I know there are lots of theories out there about having kids young or older…but I can safely say that for me, this was the best thing in the world to wait for. I have a peace that I would not have had 10 years ago, and I’m far more willing to roll with the punches now than before. There is something to be said for knowing that the timing is right and understanding who you really are before you embark on parenthood.

Peace, everyone!!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I'm Here!!!

Jayden Scott Krech arrived on October 12, 2006 at 1:34 pm.

He weighed in at 6 pounds 7 ounces and is 18 1/2 inches long.

Mommy and baby are now home, healthy and resting.

Pictures to follow SOON!

Peace, everyone!

Monday, September 25, 2006

37 weeks.

37 Weeks

QUICK update:

I'm actually 38 weeks right now...

WHOAH!!

BUT, This was taken by Jerry at Matthews Portrait Gallery last weekend. If you are in the Charlotte, NC area and you have children, he is the most amazing photographer of children…he takes these great pictures outside, basically chasing kids around in their own element. It’s fabulous!!!

Anyway, there are two more that I ordered, but I have to wait 3 weeks to get them…sigh!

Most of all, I’m just blown away to see myself this way…it brings the experience of carrying Jayden home, right to the heart…and I appreciate my own beauty, the beauty that God gave me as a woman, perhaps truly for the first time. Honestly, it takes my breath away to see myself like this.

I believe so thoroughly that we are all made for certain things in God’s plan. I’ve gone through much of my life thinking, “Is this it? Is this one of my things?”

As I’ve moved though the recent months, I’ve come to realize that, though things may not be EASY, it’s the things that we surrender to that are those things that we are meant for. When I’ve struggled and fought and tried to control, things do not turn out. But when I surrender, when I say, “Ok, God. Here’s where I am and here’s what is going on and this is how I feel about it and I just can’t wrestle with it anymore, so take me where you want me to be and lets just do this.” THAT is when the magic happens…that is when we settle in and the grace of God shines through us.

And for me…this is one of those times.

Have an amazing day!

Peace everyone!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Nursery and Planning Ahead

With the exception of the glider, we are done with Jayden’s nursery:

Nursery

Nursery 2

Some of my favorite details:

Quilt

Pictures

Jayden

Zebra and Giraffe

Monkey in crib

Wooden Giraffe

Tooth Alligator

I've been finding recipes to make ahead this morning. Going to do some cooking over the next week or so to put easy-heat meals in the freezer. The more prepared I am for the changes to come, the better. I'm thinking spaghetti sauce, chicken pot pie and chili. Lots of things that are good for our autumn weather and also easy to freeze and re-heat!

Been cleaning and cleaning...partly nesting and partly becuase my fabulous ladies group is coming on Monday night. They are doing a Blessingway...I'm so excited about having company in our house...it will be our "first" company! Its the little things, remember?

Peace, everyone!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

09.11 and Little things:

“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.”
- Robert F. Kennedy -


Ok…so I avoided it…

Whether from pregnancy or from residual emotion, I avoided it all together – any and all reference to 9.11.01 – it was just to tender a spot to touch…

I didn’t personally lose anyone in the tragedies of 9.11. But, like a nation, I lost all of those people.

I watched the towers fall on that morning…from my sister’s living room in Colorado. It was horrifying. I felt that sense of panic, of urgency, like I needed to DO something. But I wasn’t even in a place where I could donate blood.

I prayed. And cried.

And yesterday amidst the memorials and songs on the radio and newspapers and tv specials, I just couldn’t immerse myself in that. I still cry at just the thought…lets not even get into anything else.

I don’t know if 9.11 or the baby had anything to do with it, but I cried simply because I needed gas in my car. I can’t even imagine what would have happened had I engaged in the emotional remembrance.

So, I avoided it.

-----------------------------------------------

I had an epiphany a few days ago…pulling tiny socks out of my dryer.

“Oh, my goodness, there is going to be a little boy in my house.”

And I was reminded once again that it’s the little things that make a world of difference to me. Its in the details that I become aware of the significance of things. I’m generally a big picture person, but I am learning that its when I pay attention to details that I find meaning in things.

Little socks…

A precious stuffed zebra from Kathy for Jayden’s nursery.

The little blue feet that Kathy put on everything for the shower she gave me – such a small but precious detail. She knows everything will have tiny blue feet – thank you cards and birth announcements and scrapbook pages…so she took the time to put tiny blue feet on everything – even the invitation!

The fact that Kathy saved boxes in advance because she knew I’d need to ship things home.

The kiss to my belly from Ryan, who was uncertain why I could not take the baby “out” for him to see. In the end, he didn’t care. He kissed the baby anyway.

The sweet dimples on Ryan’s face, when he smiled his adorable little smile.

The way that Haley helped out with gifts for the shower, sitting on the arm of the chair I was in. She wanted to help so badly and she did a fantastic job. And even more rewarding was the pure joy she got from being able to keep the tissue paper from each package.

Haley telling me that for a few days I was “Queen.”

The lemon cake from my favorite bakery that Sareta and Gina D got decorated with fresh flowers…it was lemon…it was from my favorite bakery…it had all the details.

Sareta’s wooden giraffe.

Gina’s reigndeer sweater and matching hat and gloves.

The signatures on the scrapbook pages created by my friends.

The fact that my wonderful ladies group wants to perform a blessing over Jayden’s nursery!

The fact that my co-workers gathered together for fellowship and to give us a tremendous gift!

The people in my life bless me so much!

And in the million beautiful, little gestures, the gestures that take time and thought and love, I find how loved I am.

In the little things, I realize that God’s hand is in my life and that He has surrounded me with the most amazing and wonderful people!

Peace, everyone!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

California Bound...

Had a Dr. Appointment this morning...all is well...

Wonderful even!!!

Filled he tank with gas...

Filled my tummy with a yummy Caramel sauce latte and cranberry-orange scone from Dilworth...

Packing up the last of my things for my 3:20 flight today...

Gotta be at the airport at noon to get through security and all that lovely jazz...UGH!!!

I'm so excited to go and see my "peeps" as Scott calls them...

Wish he was coming with...

I'll post pics if I get a chance...otherwise, I'll give ya'll the new prego pic next week!!

Peace, everyone!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

31 Weeks and Peace

31 Weeks copy

Well….

Jayden is getting bigger and bigger…and boy do I feel it!

We’ve been able to tickle him and have him move…And I’ve had to physically push him to one side or another when he is camped out totally on one side…Its so amazing and so weird and so totally cool!!!

He LOVES to kick me in the ribs, especially on the right, but not necessarily. He still moves mostly in the morning when I first get up and at night when I’m settling down for the night…and he’s still a very polite little guy…doesn’t wake me up or keep me up. He’s started to kick strong enough that I can see it as well as feel it! To me, though, its fun. It makes me giggle and I always talk to him when he’s moving around so crazy.

Had a couple of days last week when I found myself feeling heavy all over…As long as I stay mostly restful and force fluids, it passes after a few hours.

I can say that I feel so priviledged to have had such a beautiful and amazing pregnancy…Its been a completely joyful and fun experience with none of the stuff that makes women miserable.

I have been doing a lot of reading about all the mental and emotional things that are “typical” for this stage…the worry, the anticipation, the crazy dreams… and I’ve had NONE of that!!!! I’ve been so overwhelmed with the joy of this! Me, who has a pain threshold of zero and who worries about EVERYTHING, is totally at peace. I don’t worry about the pain…I just know that my body is made for this and that any pain will be momentary. And, while I know that this whole parenthood thing is a trial and error things, I also know that every woman settles into her mothering style and that it’s the right style for her and the baby. I really just want to enjoy this process and enjoy how my body changes, how my body adjusts and to each of the momentous but tiny steps along the way!

Praise God for the blessings of this child and for the peace He’s given me along the way!

Peace, everyone!!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Latest layouts…

Did some work on Easter pictures Of the Divine Miss H and Mr. R. Since I’m doing an album for each of them, when there are lots of together pictures, I do duplicate layouts (these are on opposite sides, but the exact same individual layouts.)

Ryan Easter Full copy

Haley Easter Full copy

It’s been so long since I did some true layout scrapping and it was SO rewarding. So nice to just spend some time creating and enjoying the feel of paper and pictures.

I forget sometimes how rewarding it can be to spend this time…how it recharges my spirit to just submerge into my hobby, forget some of the other stuff going on right now and just focus on the pictures and the art in front of me. I should really carve out more time for this…more time to disconnect from the computers and phones and tv and all that stuff and just create.

I get inspired by the things I see all the time…Green trees, pink flowers, magazine covers, stripes in a shirt, a restaurant menu, baby stuff catalogs, you name it. To try to figure out what my HOME style is, I’ve started asking, “What is it about this that I like?” Its been revealing and helpful in thinking of creative ways to scrapbook. If I just give myself the room, the creative possibilities are really amazing…

So…off to ponder that…

Peace everyone!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

28 Weeks

28 weeks copy

Mr. Jayden is still sitting up, up, up…He’s quite the mover, but he’s completely courteous – he only wakes me up at a reasonable hour and he doesn’t keep me up past my normal bed time…such a good baby!!!

Dr’s appointment on Friday…all GREAT! - Blood pressure normal, weight gain a larger than I would want, but still well under “normal.” The doctor said he was impressed with the ideal progress of my pregnancy! YEA!!!

That’s the baby update for now…

Peace, everyone!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Morning Coffee…

If you know me, you know I LOVE COFFEE…yes, it is my “drug” of choice.

I find it interesting, after reading this, to note that the best coffee is made from beans that are the greasiest, oiliest, most “unclean” beans…

Anyway…cannot claim this. My friend Sareta sent it to me…It’s a fabulous message! ENJOY!

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to
visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into
complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and
returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups -
porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive,
some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

All the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If
you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving
behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want
only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and
stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee - it's just
more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.

What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you
consciously went for the best cups ... and then began eyeing each
other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee. The jobs, the money, the
positions in society, etc. are the cups.

They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we
have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee
God has provided us."

Commentary: (Important, I think!) That the jobs, money, positions in society, etc are just TOOLS to hold life…and as any skilled craftsman will tell you, JUST having the tools is not enough. You also have to know the proper and appropriate way to use those tools to their best effect.

God brews the coffee, not the cups ... enjoy your coffee.

Friday, July 14, 2006

You know you’re in the south when…

Today I saw a lady leaving the office who was just a beautiful lady.

She had on a crisp white button down shirt with short sleeves.

And bright salmon colored pants…

But the thing that got me was that her shoes AND her handbag AND her
necklace MATCHED that bright salmon color…

Perfectly matched…like they were all made from the same dye batch!

And I felt so inadequate…

I can’t say that my shoes, bag and pants never match…they frequently do…

Its just that when they match its because they are all black, brown or
navy…

And I thought to myself…how do you shop for an outfit like that?

Do you remember the color and buy the pieces when you come across them?

Do you actively go hunting through the mall to find just the right shoes
and bags?

Are there special stores that put the matching-pants-shoes-and-purses
outfits all in one section?

Do you buy one piece because you love it and then cart it around to
every store you go to until you find just the right other pieces to go
with it?

Do you carry swatches or photographs?

I will admit…in the 80’s I had everything-matches outfits…lots of
them…in the 80’s…did I say in the 80’s?

I will also admit to being on a quest to make sure that my navy’s
match…because you know they don’t sometimes…and I always bring along
navy pieces I already own so I don’t have different navy’s floating
around in my closet…

Lucky for me, I usually (non-pregnant self) shop for my clothing in only
a handful of stores and my work clothes almost exclusively at casual
corner…so…my navy’s are usually easy to match…

I thought the idea of fashions and colors these days was sort of this
anything goes, don’t mix your warm and cool neutrals, buy colors and
cuts that are made for your body, and blend or compliment the color
family rather than matchy-matchy…

I must have missed something…

I don’t know how to accessorize an outfit that matches perfectly…does
the lighting your in matter? I mean, do you have to verify the color in
both sunlight and fluorescent? Candle light or incandescent?

What about the season? Do you only wear salmon in the heat of summer?
And if so, do you only buy open-toed salmon shoes?

Do you buy a few matchy-matchy things in lots of different colors? Or
do you choose one or two of your best colors and have lots of pieces so
you can “mix-and-match”? (which is really just matching, if you think
about it, because there is no mixing when its all one perfectly chosen
color)

I mean, I about have a heart attack when I think of all the shoes I
would have to own to match all my tops in my closet…I have lots of shoes
already…and the turquoise flip-flops were a splurge purchase…I don’t own
a turquoise outfit! I wear them with black capris and a white shirt!

Speaking of which….when the shoes wear out, do you have to throw out the
rest of the outfit? Or do you go on the great salmon-colored-shoe-hunt
extravaganza across three cities to replace the shoes?

See this baffles me…

Oh, what the closets must look like!

Mine is a disaster with my basic neutral, tried and true classics and my
shirt-o-the-month choices! How, exactly do you organize a closet with
all these matching things? By color family? “Here are all my salmon
colored clothing pieces.” Gosh, I think I’d have to do it that way, or
I’d never find the appropriate shoes to wear in the dark of the morning…

And God-forbid I wear my salmon pants and handbag with my hot pink
shoes…

Oh the shame it would cause…

Peace, everyone!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The devil is such a good liar…

That we don’t even know when we are being lied to!

Ok…that’s powerful…

(I can't claim this one...its from our pastor's sermon last Saturday night.)

The devil is such a good liar that we don't even know we are being lied to.

Makes you look with new perspective at the world around you and the
things you think, say, feel and do, doesn’t it?

Makes you want to examine and back-check, to determine if what you
believe is really what you believe…and to determine if what you believe
is based on truth or on lies.

Makes me want to ask, “Where did that come from and why is it part of my
world?”

Good stuff, I think, to review and check myself, to validate what is
habit or life-style against what I am called to be as Heaven’s
ambassador…

Really good stuff to ask the question, “Why do I think that?” and dig
deep enough to find some real answers…and where there are no answers,
find a new thought…a new perspective based more on truth than on shadows
or memories or on what somebody else fed me…

This was in my FC planner today as the quote of the day:

“Everyone has his burden. What counts is how you carry it.” – Joe Brown
and David Brown.

This, too, has me examining and checking myself…

Now as burdens go, mine, frankly, is not all that dramatic…but in my
comfortable life, do I carry it as though it were bigger and more
debilitating than it really is?

What do others see and know of me carrying my burden?

It’s a good question…a very good question.

My burden is light…I could help somebody else with theirs…

I could not whine and complain about mine so much…

Happy pondering!

Peace, everyone!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Living in the moment…

As I read blogs and understand how other people see themselves, relate to the world, build relationships and get their work done, I find out so much about “us.”

How similar we are…

And how different…

One thing I’m not good at…I’m not good at living in the now…

I’m constantly remembering a past event and marking it…”I remember when such-and-such happened. I’m not going to let THAT happen again!”

Or reaching for a future event…”When such-and-such happens, then I can take a rest.”

In its own, way, this kind of thinking is a driving force…it keeps me from the bad and propels me toward goals. It keeps me organized and mindful of the details. It helps me to pay attention to things going on around me and judge a situation for positive or negative content.

On the other hand, it keeps me from taking risks that would have great reward. It keeps me “inside” myself with new people. It keeps me on my couch watching events, or in my studio documenting events, but does not get me into the world experiencing events.

A great example: my life group. I’ve got an amazing life group! They are truly the most STUNNING group of women – beautiful and willing to share and be open to one another. And me…I have to FORCE myself to connect.

Why? Because I’ve pre-judged this experience…I would not call myself stunning…I would call myself awkward…or large…or loud…or something not quite adequate to the challenge of sitting in a room discussing my spiritual search and the answers I’ve found with so many gorgeous women...

And why? Because somewhere in my past, I’ve made a false connection between beauty and not having any “real” problems…Somewhere, I got the impression that I can’t belong to a group of real beauties because they are a level above me and I cannot possibly relate to them…Somewhere, I have marked an experience that says, “I’m not a beautiful and my problems are too huge for this group.”

Now, let me say, I believe every girlfriend I have is beautiful. And with each and every one of them, I’ve forged meaningful relationships…but these relationships I have are hard won and have existed for many years…I was not prepared to be matched with a group of 9 gorgeous women, all leading amazing and diverse lives, and then be called to be honest about my feelings and impressions and spirituality and life.

As easy as it is for me to strike up a conversation and get to know people, this level of involvement isn’t usually part of the bargain…there is just no shallow stuff possible here! I cannot hide behind small talk and current events conversation while feeling out the situation, if you know what I mean.

Now, when I say I want to grow, I mean it. When I say I want to leave these things behind, I mean it. But as I’ve written before, when so much of one’s definition of oneself depends upon the baggage carried, its difficult to find the core of your being without all those suitcases.

One really amazing thing about my life is that I’ve learned that God puts me RIGHT where He wants me and no where else. And a further amazing thing, my husband can usually vocalize this concept with great candor and caring for my fragile feelings.

And so, when I said, “God, what are you doing!?!?!?!?!?!” He said, “Putting you RIGHT where you need to be!” And, of course, Scott echoed this by telling me that this is the perfect time and place for me to deal with this issue – this nagging feeling that I am not as beautiful as other people, this issue that I’m too something and not enough something else.

If you have read the Eldridge’s book Captivating, you will recognize this concept…too much and not enough. After reading that book, I realized just how many women in the world struggle just as I am..

I read somewhere…I cannot now remember where…that if you are still struggling with God, you have not yet reached the end of yourself…

That is so true…and I am unequivocally not at the end of myself.

But I heard some more words that I’m putting on as my mantra today:

I'm gonna stop lookin' back and start movin' on
And learn how to face my fears
Love with all of my heart, make my mark
I wanna leave something here

Go out on a ledge, with out any net
That's what I'm gonna be about
Yeah I wanna be runnin'
When the sand runs out

Peace, ya’ll!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Today’s happiness:

Tinted lip balm from Goldie in a luscious color called “Monk.”

Funny how a tube of lip balm can make me so happy…

So, all you men who think that women are complicated – sometimes all it
takes is a new tube of tinted lip balm.

For me, a package in the mail (that’s not a bill or a sales
advertisement!) will do it. Or a single bloom in a bright color. Or an
“I love you” phone call from Scott (with no subtext…just I love you!).
Or a scoop of ice cream. Or a “just because” note or card. Or one
great cup of coffee. Or looking around my house and NOT having one
single thing to “do.” Or a cool spritz of body splash when it’s hot out.
Or one fabulous found quote. Or finding a dollar in my winter coat
pocket. Or somebody saying I have pretty hair. Or a pre-teen gentleman
holding the door for me.

And from this list I can safely say, if I could have one or more of
these simple pleasures on any given day, it would be a fantastic day!

My hypothesis is this:

Women are not really complicated at all…

Its not about some big scary complicated thing for women…it’s about the
million tiny happies that make up the day.

Its about those tiny moments that let us know we are alive, that we have
senses, that we matter, are seen, thought of, appreciated, or that we
are just human and on a fantastic journey that make a woman’s life a
pleasure.

This, I think, is a critical thing that men miss…it’s not what you say
it’s how you say it.

It’s not the dozen roses that we love (although I’ve never turned away a
bouquet!) it’s that somebody thought enough to bring one bloom.

Its not the expensive gift purchased online, it’s the 99 cent card that
you chose yourself.

It’s the “lets go get ice cream” when its warm and the night is pretty.

It’s the consciousness that goes into the details…these tiny things add
up to lifetimes of extraordinary happiness!

One more happiness for me…

Found this song…

I’m in love with the words…

It’s Rascal Flatts…

And it makes me think of Baby Jayden and get all teary…every single time
I play it…

It’s going in his book.

The Day Before You

I had all but given up on finding
The one that I could fall into
On the day before you
I was ready settled for
Less than love and not much more
There was no such thing as a dream come true
Oh, but that was all the day before you

In your eyes I see forever
Makes me wish that my life never knew
The day before you
The Heaven knows those years without you
Shaping my heart for the that day I found you
You're the reason for all that I've been through
Then I'm thankful for the day before you

Now you're here and everything's changing
Suddenly life means so much
I can't wait to wake up tomorrow
And find out this promise is true
I would never have to go back to
The day before you

Peace, everyone

Sunday, July 02, 2006

25 Weeks…

25 Weeks…

25 Weeks copy

As you can tell, Jayden has grown…and flipped forward and is sitting much higher. Now he is no longer sitting between my hips, which is good…because that way, my lower back doesn’t hurt any more. Unfortunately, my little angel is now throwing off my balance. Just call me GRACE! HA! (ps...do I look pregnant NOW, Dad?)

We found this child-sized monkey at Babies R Us the other day…I just HAD to have it for the jungle nursery…Scott says Jayden is going to want to be an animal trainer from the nursery d├ęcor…well…I can think of worse things!!!
Monkey copy

We got the BEST box from my friend Teri on Friday…it was a “year in a box” kind of box…because she, too, has Barb’s disease…sorry mom…I guess its contagious! (Barb’s disease is where you don’t go mail your packages until long after you are supposed to, just in case you’ve never seen me mention that before…I have the WORST case.)

ANYWAY…it had birthday gifts, Mother’s and Father’s day gifts, a new house gift, some Trader Joes treats – OH how I miss Trader Joes!!! – and this absolutely adorable Happy Baby gift…a “diaper cake.” Its got a blankie, diapers, washcloths, a bib and a rattle…and it comes packaged in a cake box!!! SO completely adorable!!!

Diaper Cake copy

THANK YOU, miss Teri!!

That’s my Sunday morning stuff…

More insightful stuff to come soon…

Peace, everyone!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Foot Fettish

Don’t ask me why these things even rise to the surface of my consciousness,
but they do…

I was in a meeting and the chair of the meeting took off his shoes in
the middle of the meeting and put his feet up on a chair…

And then…he wiggled his brown-socked toes…

Um…ok…

First note to self…don’t ever sit in THAT chair.

Second note to self… “OH, no he DIDN’T!”

Yes…he did.

And here we are, in this meeting, talking about serious issues and
resolutions…the shoeless man, three other men (who’s feet remained
firmly in their shoes) and the one lone woman…

All I can think about is those shoeless feet…over there….on that
chair…toes a-wiggling…

Yea…my focus is gone…

Is this appropriate meeting behavior?

Not for me…I cannot imagine ever…EVER…sitting in a meeting with several
other people, kicking of my shoes and plopping my feet up on a chair.

Now…I’m not a fanatic…really…

Ok…I have issues with the women who wear sandals and they sort of have
hooves…you know…that hard, cracked skin on the heels…I just don’t do
that…and frankly seeing other women do it grosses me out. I keep
thinking, WEAR TENNIES OR BUY A PUMICE!!!!! Or, gasp, get a pedicure…

But other than that, I’m just not that radical about feet…

I think shoes should be polished and have complete shoelaces…but that is
about where my fanaticism ends…unless of course you are wearing
sandals…in which case, see the above paragraph again…

And I’m a bare-footer. If I’m home, I’m barefoot or in my stocking
feet.


I prefer to be able to kick off my shoes and put them back on very
quickly…hence a lot of shoes that are the front-only or sandal kind…

I am a year-round flip-flop wearer…

If I’m in my best friends house, I’m barefoot or in my stocking feet –
as is she…they do not wear shoes in the house AT ALL! (note to
self…should start this in my own home to save the carpet.)

I have been known to kick off my shoes under my desk on hot days…You
know…when I’m ALONE!

I’ve been shoeless in groups when the occasion called for it…pool party,
on the beach, in Hawaii it seemed like everyone was barefoot everywhere,
at a party where we all left our shoes at the door, at my mom’s where
you take off your snowy boots in the hall so you don’t track a bunch of
muck all over the house…

But I can safely say, I’ve never gone sans-shoe in a meeting…it just
shouldn’t be done…and one should ESPECIALLY not wiggle their toes so as
to draw attention to the shoeless meeting feet.

It got me pondering my rules of etequitte…or…at least where I think a
shoeless foot is inappropriate…

Here’s my list..

Meetings, of course were at the top…because…well…you know…

ANYWHERE that food is within inches…so…if you are serving some snacks on
the coffee table, bare feet (or even those with socks and/or shoes!)
should not also be on that table. Not that I’ve personally ever seen
it, but I think I probably MUST say it…not on the dining room or kitchen
room table either!!!

In the mall…

In any store that doesn’t sell shoes…and let me further qualify this by
adding – AND you are trying on some of those shoes for sale. And let me
qualify this further…the grocery store sells flip-flop shoes…just by the
$2 things and leave your own tootsies ON, for goodness sake!

Any home where you have not been invited to remove your shoes…

Or where the floor is filthy…

Or where babies are crawling around…strange bare feet should not be on
the same floor as a crawling baby….

At church…unless you go to a church that has services on the beach…and
if you do, where do you go to church? I wanna visit!

In restaurants…again, unless said establishment WELCOMES such a
thing…like a taco stand on the beach or an ocean-facing walk-up ice
cream vendor.

Driving the car…this really bothers me…barefoot drivers…don’t ask me
why…I have no answer.

Riding any two-wheel (or three wheel) transportation…lets see…that
includes bikes and trikes and scooters and skateboards and motorcycles
and atvs and any number of other things…these are places to ALWAYS wear
closed toe shoes…I have an ugly toenail to prove it…I’ll post a picture
if you need further encouragement to protect your tooties and our
streets while riding such transportation…

In school…any type of class…college, grade, summer, basket
weaving…whatever…one exeption…if you are the recipient of a pedicure in
a cosmetology class.

At the doctor…really, ladies…barefoot and pregnant is an EXPRESSION…they
DO, indeed, make shoes in your size, even if that size has changed
considerably from what it was 9 months ago…

And finally, on the walk from your hotel to the pool…

One more thing…

Barefoot babies are cute…that’s allowed…but once they can walk and are
not obsessively removing their footwear, they should have their shoes
on…

Peace everyone!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

24 Weeks

This is me….24 weeks…yikes…

24 weeks copy

Status: Healthy baby, healthy mama (who has only gained ONE more pound his month…that’s a total of 6 for those of you counting).

Who knew I could eat so much and not really gain any weight? It helps that I don’t like things like chocolate and French fries so much, don’t you think? Its all about the watermelon, strawberries, pears, salads, cottage cheese, grilled chicken…is TRULY what I want…no cravings for weird stuff….I DO love my ice cream! BUT have found that a little is quite as satisfying as a lot and so I’m just good about portions. THANK GOODNESS I’m pregnant in summer when all this fruit is available and the ice cream is abundant! HA!

Mr. Jayden is right on track, measuring just as he should for 24 weeks.

Been busy on the nursery and spent the morning downloading some new music and checking up…I feel like I got all caught up! WHEW!!

Scrap room is done and I’m ready to start the “pre-album” for Jayden…if I get really ambitious, I will post some pics…I’m not making any guarantees, tho!!!

Got my plane reservations for CA…all of you in CA will be getting e-mail, invitations or SOMETHING soon to let you know all about it…YEA!! I’m so excited…

OH, and Kathy – just for you…here is my BIG TOE!!! Not the funky one…but the pretty one….and just because you asked.!

big toe

Peace, everyone!