Monday, November 30, 2009

Manic Monday (After Black Friday)

I’m sad to report – I did ZERO scapping or crafting this weekend…sad, I know.

But I’m HAPPY to report that I am pretty much done with my Christmas shopping.

I confess…the internet is my huge friend…

And I’ll tell you why…

I use Amazon.

And I use it to my HUGE advantage…

First of all, I use the Wishlist Feature . This is where I keep track of things I see that I would like for myself. Its brilliantly easy to use and takes pretty much no time to set up. Its also sharable. So if you would like to share your wishlist with somebody for a birthday or Christmas, you can just send them a link.

You have the option of setting up baby and wedding registry's this way as well.

The next thing I did was set up a Gift Organizer for all the people in my life. This magnificent thing lets me keep track of gift lists for those that I buy gifts for. As I am browsing and see something that might be perfect for one my gift recipients, I simply add it to the gift list for the right person. You can set up birthdays, ages, interest profiles, notes, etc. to keep track of things you see that you feel would be a good fit for those on your gift list. You can schedule reminders to come via e-mail…and if you are like me and building a potential gift list all the time, when you get a reminder, you just go out and see what’s on the list of interesting gift ideas. One of the coolest things about this is that I can mark any purchase I make using Amazon.com as a gift for anyone in my Gift Organizer.

Lastly, I’ve set up the Universal Wishlist button. With this button, I can add anything from any website to my wishlist. Talk about AWESOME! Since I browse and keep track of many sites, I LOVE this button. It puts all my wished for items in one place.

So, with the exception of one trip to Target and one trip to Walmart, I pretty much did all of my shopping on line.

I even cheated a bit…

You see if you add things to your shopping cart while logged in, Amazon holds those items in the cart. If they go on sale between when you put them in the cart (or go up in price…which also happens) the shopping cart will tell you that a price has gone up or down. I put my gifts into the shopping cart before Thanksgiving day. But as Amazon posted their daily sales last week, I would check my cart to see if anything in it went on sale that day…I lucked out and got everything in my cart on sale!

My only problem now is getting all these lovelies wrapped and tagged…did I mention I didn’t spend any time in the craft room?

Peace, yall!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Fill In Friday

1.Wait! Wait, don't forget to get a bottle of water! (Water must go EVERYWHRE we do!)
2. Coffee is the first things that must be consumed in the morning followed at once by a few minutes non-movement on the sofa.
3. The trouble is there is not enough time between now and when the baby comes to get everything done all by myself. I need a clone. Where can I get a clone?
4. My family lives far too many miles away.
5. With a faint pop I heard my visions of time spent scrapbooking this weekend disappear.
6. I don’t believe our future needs to be shadowy and ominous.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Pizza Night, tomorrow my plans include cleaning, organizing, putting up the tree and taking things to the Good Will and Sunday, I want to finish the pencil holders for Jayden’s class, wrap the Christmas gifts I’ve received and make some gift tags!

Peace, ya'll!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Remembering Thanksgiving

With me being all pregnant and sentimental, I started to reminisce through my Thanksgivings past.

Sadly, I have no pictures for some of them…

And frustratingly, I have pictures for others, but they are not currently with me as I write this post…

My childhood Thanksgiving memories are few…I remember sort of flashes… We lived most of my childhood in a small town in Colorado. Its so cute, right???? Its one of those terribly small and close-knit towns…it IS cute…but I couldn’t wait to get to something bigger.



It seemed like we often had company for Thanksgiving and that Turkey might have NOT have been on the menu. There always seemed to be something more exotic…like rabbit. I do always remember there always seemed to be Pistachio Salad or Ambrosia Salad. My parents are from the mid-west….no mid-west meal is complete without a pudding/cool whip or jell-o type salad!

It was always snowy.

Speaking of snowy, when you live in Colorado, Thanksgiving weekend means one thing – opening ski weekend. Once I could drive, my Thanksgivings were often spent working at a local ski area.



When I went away to College, it was far far away – to California. I think I only made it home one Thanksgiving in the four years I was in college…Let me ask you – If you could spend Thanksgiving HERE wouldn’t you?



I have a very fond memory of sunbathing in the back yard here one Thanksgiving…this was the house I shared with my first husband.



You know those Thanksgivings were the craziest I’ve ever experienced. There were usually between 15 and 20 people in attendance – the food was outrageously abundant…and after the dinner was all over, we’d sneak away to a movie while everyone else slept. Fond memories!!

Then I went through a divorce...and had a few more "single" Thanksgivings. I have these amazing friends – Jackie and Trent – who are married, but seemed to know only single people at the time…so they would have “Singles Thanksgiving” and invite us all over to their house to celebrate the holiday with other people who had no family in the area. Those were wonderful moments!!

When I got married again, my hubs wanted to live in the mountains…something I have always been reluctant to do since my Colorado days..WHY? I don’t really like snow! And in the California mountains, there tends to be a lot of it all at once...And in California, you have to put on CHAINS to drive in it…not something I was interested in. So…I reluctantly agreed as long as I never had to shovel. He thought that was a good bargain. I thought I was crazy – here I was agreeing to live in a small mountain town again!



Well…guess what? The VERY FIRST Thanksgiving, he was playing football and separated his shoulder…GUESS who shoveled the snow all that winter? The boys down the block, of course – you didn’t think I was going to do it, did you? (this is an old layout of that very first Thanksgiving…just the two of us and the dog – and his shoulder sling!



The next year, we moved off the mountain…and started having Thanksgiving with the hub’s parents…These were a far cry from the huge Thanksgiving gatherings I had been used to up to that point in my life…I have to say…they are charming, and calming and the most peaceful celebrations of Thanksgiving I remember!

We did have on year we spent with some of our friends. I mention it because I almost lost my husband that year – you see my friend T made an apple pie FROM SCRATCH…and my husband just wanted to move in with them and stay forever ! HA!


But perhaps, the most memorable of my Thanksgivings have been in recent years. You see, we moved all the way across the country the week before Thanksgiving…arrived in North Carolina the day before Thanks giving. Talk about a change! No palm trees...no 80 degree weather...and are those changing leaves I see!?!?!?!?



And you might be surprised to find that it is a “small town” tucked just outside a major city…and that it snows here! Not really enough for me to have to shovel, but enough for me to enjoy the experience. It’s another gorgeous “little town” and our lives are forever different than they were in California.




Just 11 months after our arrival, our little Bug got here…and Thanksgiving is now about building traditions with him. So far, he likes cranberries, turkey and ham…and pumpkin pie.



Thanksgivings for me have been traditional, contemporary, hot, cold, snowy, sunny, huge, small, with children, without, with turkey, without, single, married, single again, married again…whew….

So…I guess my truest Thanksgiving traditions boil down to these:

Enjoy great food
Love your family
Spend time with friends
Expect change
And above all - be thankful for both trials and blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fun Inspiration

I started reading a new blog…

The name of it makes me giggle every time.

Its called Be Different...Act Normal

Fantastic name, no?

There is a fantastic post over there with the cutest (although kinda labor intensive) Thanksgiving treats…



I’m in love with the stinking things…so cute!

Click Here to see more!


Peace, ya'll!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme


TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?

* A healthy baby
* family pictures
* towels
* a number of books
* a large format printer


2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?

Slippers - where are long worn out!

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?

Card sets for a whole year, Cookie cook books

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?

Books - I remember the books!

5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?

This would be a shorter list if I put what ISN'T on his list...he sees something and tells me to put it on his "Santa list."

6. What is your favorite holiday food?

Cookies

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?

Pencil holders, candy bar wrappers and tags - the list is short as I'm due on 12/21.

8. What is your favorite holiday movie?

The Polar Express and Miracle on 34th Street.

9. Favorite holiday song?

Sweet Baby Jesus Boy

10. Favorite holiday pastime?

Christmas Eve Star Wars Movie Festival - we've done it every year we've been married.

Friday, November 20, 2009

All I want for Christmas…



I read an interesting book called Gilead some time ago and the narrator of the story is a third generation pastor. He talks a lot about how tradition ties one generation to the next. I too believe that our traditions are the fabric upon which our families stand. Its so important to remember where you came from.

I’ve got a post in the works for next week about Thanksgiving’s past and where my idea of “our” family traditions have come from…what has stayed constant and what has changed dramatically over the years, what I have a huge, full heart of love for and what I wish I didn’t ever have to remember.

But sadly, my memories are clouded, uncertain and full of gaps. I’ve got some very clear memories, but they tend to be moments – bits from here and there. And don’t happen to be very fluid…Doesn't that seem a little strange...I've got very firm ideas about what Thanksgiving is about...yet my memories are not as solid as my beliefs!!!

I scoured the photos I’ve got available to see if anything jumped out at me from Thanksgivings past and realized I have very few pictures of my childhood to jog my memories.

So…I asked my mom for one and only one thing for Christmas – pictures. I would like pictures of my childhood, the moments, the craziness, the fun, the love, teh little things that seemed important enough to take photos of. I would like to see photos of my parents wedding, my grandparents anniversary celebrations, Christmases past and those moments that can only be remembered when you look upon a lovely 3 by 3 photo and something dawns on your heart.

I long to remember some of those things…and to share them with my boys…I am ready to have the “family photos” entrusted to me for scrapping and safe-keeping.

It seems a simple request, right? I’m a simple woman – I don’t need expensive, extravagant or copious gifts…I just want something simple that ties me to the past and to the future.

No pressure Mom…but all I want for Christmas are my memories! HA!

How about you? What is the one thing you want under your tree?

Peace, ya’ll!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Easing Back into This

Ok...feeling more like "normal" than I have in a while...

I thought today I'd use a list from Friday Fill-ins to jump start my blogging:

1. The last band I saw live was the band at church. Seriously - the last concert I went to? Um...it was in California...more than 4 years ago!
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is the time with family making some cozy memories.
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is not even CLOSE to being on my mind at the moment
4. Thoughts of baby/hospital/baby clothes/nursery/preparations fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear skinny clothes.
6. Bagpipes are not on my list of top instruments to listen to.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to pizza night, tomorrow my plans include laundry, grocery shopping and maybe some crafting and Sunday, I want to have a true day of rest!

And one more thing for the road:

New Jaydenism: Mocha Nut Troll....can you guess what it means? I'll use it in a sentence for you: "Mommy, can I push the buttons on the Mocha Nut Troll?"

Peace, ya'll!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Sidelined by the flu

Be back soon enough...I don't know how much more of the confinement with a sick child and a sick husband I can take...3 days is certainly more than should be expected from any women...

Peace, ya'll!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I Jam, therefor I Am

I must have been a SIGHT this morning!

I was playing the classic rock station...a little bit of Bob Seegar, a little bit of Aerosmith, a little bit of Foreignor, a little bit of Journey...mmmmmmmmm Hmmmmmmmmm!!! and as my son would say...I was playing it "WOUD!"

After all this time, I have not outgrown my rock-star ways.

Its still in me...

YES I WAS a wannabe rock-star!

See!!!





Just can't let go of the dream...HA HA!

I even did a layout about imagining 30,000 fans screaming my name (among other things):



Ok..but seriously...picture me...in my little Honda Civic, cruising down the road, radio blasting, 7 months pregnant (along with ALL that entails, singing at the top of my lungs, with my hands doing some kind of stage motion and my head bopping...

I must have been a SIGHT!

Cool, right? NOT!

What are YOU doing today?

Peace, ya'll!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I Get Around…

I love the internet...How did generations of people grow up without this wonderful tool?

I'm not exactly a surfer, spending hours and hours gliding from one place to another. I tend to “hop.”

I read some blogs and go some places all the time…and then I find little linkies at my normal haunts and follow those to new and wonderful places.

When I find something that I like, I either add it to my reader or bookmark it. I pay fairly close attention to the sites I have marked. I'm always on the prowl for something inspirational or informational.

Lately, I’ve been hanging “at home” in my normal places…but I’ve gotten TONS of inspiration from these little places (and a few products too!) I won’t lie – I’m totally an enabler…I cannot be alone in my addiction of all things bright and beautiful...just don’t blame me if you click and find something wonderful waiting for you!

Always and forever I will be a fan of Ali Edwards (Thanks Karen!). I love how she tells today’s stories in a very frank and emotional way and I adore her style. I adore her style of scrapping, her thoughtful approach to everything and mostly her philosophy that imperfection is pure beauty!

Scrapbooking from the Inside Out has grown to be one of my favorite places to go each day. I’ve been a member of this community for SOME time now…they are simply a fabulous group of people who are really focused on getting YOU in your scrapbooking or journaling. There is a monthly theme, a fantastic kit to go along (you don’t have to be a kit buyer to be part of the fabulous community!), great designers, challenges that really inspire and make you dig deep…and, the process of creating pages for these challenges is SO Cathartic. Less baggage and more pages are a seriously good combo in my world!

Log your memory is my new favorite place…I am especially fond of the new bookthat this site will support come 2010. I already gushed about it HERE and I’m even already using some of the sections! Plus - an organizational support community (I am a Type A after all!) that is parlayed into scrapbooking!??!!? Seriously on target for my personality!!!

Stacy Julian – of course!! I like her regular blog, her Sprinkles, the things she manages to find on the internet…She is just like an inspiration shot in the arm. I don’t know when she sleeps, she has so much going on!

I’m always on the prowl for fun things to do with my son…I’ve found that my best resource lately for cool ideas is a happy little site called Family Fun. You may either hate me or love me that it is a Disney site…regardless…this is the BEST place to find fun food and crafts for all ages. I ADORE it!

For spiritual inspiration, I find myself often at the Rebelution site . This is a site primarily to encourage teenagers to do hard things with passion, to rise above the blight of low expectations. Is it any wonder I find it so inspiring myself!?!?!?!? I’m ready to go out and conquer the world after reading the things on this site!!!

One final place I find myself frequently? Life Skills Network. This is a group of bloggers who write on various life topics like saving money, smart investing, simplicity, wisdom, organizing, etc…it’s a GREAT source of information!

So…Whatcha looking at in your world?

Peace, ya’ll!

Breathless

I have always loved children.

I just didn’t want any of my own.

In fact if anyone from more than about 10 years ago in my life were to read this right now, they would be side-swiped by my dramatic 180 degree turn on having children. Despite loving them, I didn’t every ever want to go through the pain, sacrifice, anxiety, mess and expense of having any "rug rats" of my own.

Little did I know when I had a child that such a little creature would be capable of stealing the very breath from chest.

I don’t think that this is surprising to anyone who already has children in their lives. But to me, to find out the power one tiny little boy would wield over my heart has been surprising.

He’s such a beautiful child – aren’t they all?????? – and has such a depth of understanding.

Children have a much simpler way of navigating the world. They say what they mean and they mean what they say. They like what they like and they are willing to experiment. They observe us and those of influence around them and they make their own choices about what seems good and right. They are brave and adventurous, strong and resilient, and more than any other creature on earth, they live in the now.

How much we could all learn from the simple and unadorned way a child lives, loves, grows and develops. All of our lives should be so pure and full of good intention and high adventure.

This one knows the inroads to Mommy’s heart. He is highly skilled at communicating with me exactly what he means.




Sometimes its how he acts – like a freely given hug, a kiss on the hand, a jump right into my lap, or wandering up to my side to take my hand.

He will clean his own plate, throw trash away and put his shoes where they “go” without having to be asked by me.

He will wander off to another room and come back with a stack of books, sit at my feet and read by himself.

Sometimes its in how proud he is of things he’s accomplished. I LOVE hearing, “Mommy! Look at me!” and then seeing him master a dance move, climb to the top of a very high slide, or race his trike around the kitchen island.

He’s always proud to show me the good marks on his school calendar, or describe how he made an art project.

I even love it when he “corrects” me with the right words to a song or a poem.

But the place where I catch my breath the most is when he speaks with me. I've always conversed with him as though he were an intelligent human being - no baby talk, no weird sounds. We just talk. As I’ve said often, he has been a very verbal guy for a very long time. And its in the sweet things that come out of his mouth that I find myself wanting to stop time, to hold just one minute, to rewind and play it again.

Like when he sneezed and his ears got plugged up. He said, “Mommy, can you fix my sound?”

Or when he asks, “Mommy? Do you want to be Princess Jasmine or Cinderella?”

Or when he says, “Mommy! We should pray!”

But never more…never more does my heart skip a beat than when he says, unsolicited and out of nothing but his own heart, “I wuv you mom!”

My whole world pivots on those precious words. There is nothing like it on the planet…and for that moment, all the world stands still and I am breathless.

Peace, ya’ll!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Best of Intentions

YESTERDAY was the start of Shimelle’s Blogging for Scrapbookers class.

Yes I DID get my happy little prompt.

Yes I DID read it and do some planning on my first post for the class. The prompt was for us to blog about our intentions for our blog during the time of the class and afterward…

I have intentions…I really do. I even wrote them down and started to ponder what sort of photo I could post that might be fun. She suggested several, but I thought something more tuned to my current lifestyle would be a neat way for me to personalize the post.

Maybe something like this because much of my scrapbooking is currently done at the kitchen table while Jayden paints or does his own "project."



Or maybe something like this one. See that baby gate that his desk is pushed up to? That is my office door. In order for me to have "office" time, I generally have to make sure that his own desk is set up very close by so we can "chat" while he works on his own "wook."



Or maybe something like this one...is there a computer in sight? nope. How about scrapbooking? Nope...but we ARE together and we ARE being creative. Well...HE's really being BOSSY and telling me how to be creative...but it works for us.



Despite my planning, writing and my good intentions, everything spun crazily out of control shortly after my considerations. I spent two extra hours at work and then had to rush to get Jay from Grandma and Grandpa’s. Thankfully dinner was in the slow cooker and I didn’t have to spend much time on dinner other than plating. But I was so late getting home that immediately after dinner, it was story time and bed time for the boy. When my head finally hit the pillow, it was completely blogless.

I’m NOW thinking maybe my picture should look something like this:



Yesterday's outcome drove something home for me: Intention is not a promise or a goal or a task on the to do list. It is somthing you think about. It is a direction you point yourself when considering action.

For me, intention alone is not going to get the job done. This has to be a priority - something I set aside to do for myself, something I place in a position of importance for me.

So, I thought if I'm going to get this moving and really reach my aspirations, I'm going to have to step it up a bit. Just intention won't be enough in my world. so I’m calling them goals. Its just that I know I will handle myself better and it won’t be so easy to let these things fall by the way side while I’m off trying to please everyone else!

My goals are these:
• To make the time to consider each prompt and write about the topic, regardless of whether I feel particularly inspired to do so.
• To blog any of the writings that move me.
• To post a minimum of 3 days per week – even if its not on a blog topic…Goodness knows there is plenty going on in the scrap/craft world alone to find things to post about.
• To focus on my craft and my inspirations and my desires and my goals and those things in my life that help me feel positive and focused and moving forward.
• To trust my own blogging voice. I’m not interested in alienating anyone, but I want to be me.


So...its actually day TWO of the class. I'm off to read the next topic and ponder my response!

Peace, ya’ll!