Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Feelings of Gratitude

As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, I am thinking about all of the things in my life that I am thankful for. This year I am giving thanks for a wide range of people, places, and things.

My family: I am so incredibly thankful for my amazing husband. He works so hard and sacrifices so much with his work. It's an entirely different list to name everything about him that I love and am grateful for, so I'll save that for later. But having him in my life makes every day brighter. And on that note, my children...both my biological children and my step-children light up my life and bring so much joy. They are such different people, each with his/her own personality quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. Seeing them interact with one another and watching them grow is such a blessing.

Friends: Both new friends and old friends that I've had for decades. My friendships nourish my soul and enrich my live. The love and support of my friends means the world to me and I thank God for them every single day.

Our home: By home I mean both the structure in which we live and also our nation. Our house is warm, and inviting. I have a whole room for a studio. My children have a yard to run and play in. As the economy struggles and our country feels the effects I am grateful to be an American because it is in these hard times that we reach out to one another and help each other through so that we can stand united and rise up again. The food drives, the Christmas giving trees. All reminders of things to be grateful for.

The Military: Being a military wife is both a blessing and a struggle. My husband has to be gone quite a bit for his job. Between trainings and deployments and multiple trips through out the rest of the year for days and/or weeks at a time, it adds up to a lot of time away from home. However, he is spending that time away doing a job that he loves and also protecting our country. The military provides a stable work environment and a lot of wonderful benefits that make life easier for us. Free healthcare, tax-free shopping, stability...

Starbucks: Nothing brightens a drab day than a caramel machiato with extra caramel and whipped cream and some good conversation with a friend. Time to unwind, revitalize, and be someone other than Mommy for even 20 minutes. A small blessing, but still a blessing.

My hobbies: They keep me sane. 'nuff said :-)

The fall foliage: HELLO Gorgeous! Walking outside and seeing all of the beautiful colors is an instant mood enhancer. I love it!

The drop in gas prices: My bank account is so thankful for the break :-)

Ok...I could literally go on all day here because my journal entry for this was pages and pages long. So just a sampling.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Some Enabling

I've been doing some random searching online (LOVE the internet) for random things. Home decor. New scrap supplies, etc. I thought I would share a few favorites for some shameless enabling!

First, I totally love this new Paperie line from Making Memories. SO fabulous. Here is a peek at one of the paper pads.And then there are these vinyl home decor products from Once Upon a Design. Jennifer McGuire has some posted on her blog (one of my faves), which led me to the designers site and there are so many designs to choose from. I found one to hang in our entry way, one for my studio, and a few that I could use on some gifts. They come in a variety of sizes all for very reasonable prices. You can find them here.

I took this photo straight off their site to just show what they look like. Nope, this is not my scrap space, though it looks beautiful in the pictures! (. (Stampin' Up offers something similar in different designs and they are also wonderful.) You can see more photos of them at Jennifer McGuire's blog here. Her studio is AMAZING! Love all of the storage ideas and little touches.

And finally, I LOVE all of the holiday gifts over at Pottery Barn Teen. Especially these adorable hair dryers...a little pricey for me to buy them just for cuteness when I already have a perfectly good (and kind of expensive) hair dryer already. But they are definitely cute!

And the Dottie Watch, which I may just have to pick up for myself at some point...or add to my Christmas wishlist.
That's all of my enabling for the day...Happy Monday, everybody!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

November Gathering

The November Gathering of the Carolina Girls mini-group swap was today and it was my turn to be the hostess. We had a nice time chatting and exchanging ideas and of course eating! Here is the project that I planned for everyone to make.

It was a 4x4 inch pizza box. We used the Always and Upsy Daisy stamp sets for this project. It's super simple to make these, and lots of fun. They are a bit addictive. There are tutorials for this on Splitcoast, I think, but basically what you do is

Trim a piece of cardstock to 6x11. Then use your Scor-Pal and score the long edge at 1, 5,6, and 10 in. Then turn it to the short side and score it at 1 and 5.
Then you turn it back so that you're on the long edges and cut the score marks in to the 1 in. score mark to make flaps. Then you just fold all your score lines, put some adhesive on the flaps and stick it together and you have a box. Then you decorate it however you want to. And we made these 3x3 cards to go inside. Very easy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Trying times as a Mommy...

I have been participating in the stories in hand class over at . Just reading through the prompts for the class brought back so many memories. It's been a little overwhelming. So many stories left untold. So I feel like I'm catching up on a lot of recording. But before I forget my exact emotions for this week, I wanted to record this story.

Yesterday started out like any other day. I got up at 6 am and woke Caitlynn to get her ready for school. I was a little surprised to not find Hayley asleep on the couch because it has become her ritual over the last couple of weeks to wander from her bed at night to curl up with her blankie on the couch and go back to sleep. So I woke Caitlynn and told her to be extra quiet because Hayley was magically still asleep in her own bed. It didn't last, though, and Hayley was up within minutes of me waking Cait, despite the fact that Caitlynn was tiptoeing around and was literally using SWAT team stealth to move around the house in her morning routine. So I made breakfast and on with the daily tasks of getting Cait off to the bus stop and getting Hayley and i up and dressed for the day. Hayley fed-check. Hayley dressed-check. Hayley's hair combed and pulled back out of her face-check. Cold medicine administered-check. So, my turn to get ready. I shower at night, so I just had to straighten and fix my hair and get dressed. This took me approximately 8 minutes. I noticed that it was extraordinarily quiet in the living room where I had left Hayley to watch a movie while I got dressed. When I didn't find her on the couch, I immediately went to the office (the one room in the house that is completely off limits to the kids) and found Hayley in the midst of dumping containers full of glitter all over the floor and my office chair. This is just a glimpse of the catastrophe that was my office/studio. Glitter literally everywhere that made it impossible to scoop up and salvage. So I sternly remove Hayley from the office and put her on the couch so I can clean up the mess. It takes me about 10 minutes to get everything vacuumed and for the most part glitter free. I go back into the living room to have a chat with Hayley about the incident and she is scribbling with a marker on the windows and back of our old couch in the sunroom. Mess #2. This time I put her in time out and started cleaning up that mess. After serving her obligatory 2 minutes of time out. She got up and skipped in her merry sing-song way down the hall and into her bedroom. Okay great, nothing she can tear up in there. SO I scrub the windows and sill to get the marker off. Thankfully it came out. I finish that task and here comes Hayley holding her hands out saying "it's icky! I poop!" She is pull-up-less (naked from the waist down) and has poop on her hands. My guess is that she went into her room so she could have some private time to potty and then decided to try and change herself instead of telling me like she usually does. Her pull up is on the bathroom floor and there is a bit of a mess where she tried to clean herself. Mess #3. I clean that one. And about this time Will gets home from being at work. So all of this happens before 11 am. What a morning!
Mommy is completely worn out, broken down, and downright overwhelmed. I am feeling bad for being mad at Hayley. Feeling like a bad mommy for having this child who can cause so much destruction in just a matter of minutes. And feeling like a failure for having an overall sense of defeat before noon. My day did not improve much from that point either. I know someday I will look back at the pictures of our glitter-covered cat, Jack, who will probably still be sparkling 2 weeks from now, and laugh like a crazy person. But for now I am searching my memories trying to think of a time that I could possibly have caused my Mom or Grandma (who watched us while Mom worked when I was Hayley's age) similar grief so that in some way I would deserve the experience of having to clean it all up. The what goes around comes around theory. Nope. Can't think of any. I had my fair share of naughtiness I know, but I don't recall anything like this.
A day for the record book of my life. And a story I look forward to telling Hayley when she has her own child who makes a mess of similar or (with hope) greater magnitude than this one! Does that make me a bad person? Ha...I hope not. But I think this whole thing would have been slightly hilarious had it happened to someone else and NOT to me :-).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election 2008

I am a little disappointed in the way that my county handled the election process. First we were separated by precinct into two lines. Ashley River (who's line by the way was EMPTY when I arrived) and Coosaw (a line of about 1000 people). I stood in line for 4 HOURS. The first hour of that was spent outside where it was chilly and rainy. We then get inside and wind around inside the building in line and a man randomly walked around calling people who's last names began with N-Z to the front of the line. Great for them, HORRIBLE for those of us who's names fall ahead of that and had been in line probably hours before them. Then when you finally get to the room where the booths were, the two lines of Ashley River and Coosaw combined, so it didn't actually matter at all which line you were in to begin with. So I stood in that forever long line for absolutely no reason because I could've gotten in the super short Ashley River line and been done way sooner. Did I mention that I had my kids with me during this whole ordeal??! They were troopers. Very very well behaved under the circumstances (Hayley had 3 shots that morning, and Cait had been at a sleepover--both were tired and a bit cranky). We arrived at the school, my assigned voting location, at 3:30 pm. Didn't get back home until 7:45 pm. I was not a happy camper.
Now I'm not usually one to complain much about such things, but that was ridiculous. So thank you for allowing me to vent my frustration.
Onto the actual election...I do not wish to offend anyone with comments made here. I think the day after the election is always the worst because no matter who wins, people are disappointed. My vote went to Obama, though my state went to McCain. While I do not agree 100% with Obama's ideals and beliefs, I agree with him on much more than I do with McCain. I am happy with the outcome, I am ready for our country to see some changes for the better to improve our present and solidify our future. And a new day has come. We will move forward. I hope that those who gave their support to McCain can do as he did and concede with dignity and grace. We are all Americans and divided we will fall no matter who is leading us.

"In this election- in this moment-
let us reach for what we know is possible.
A nation healed.
A world repaired.
An America that believes again."
--Barack Obama
I for one am thankful that we live in a country that allows us the freedoms and blessings that surround us every day. That we have the right to choose our leaders and have our voices be heard. God Bless America!!!! I believe.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy November 1

I cannot believe that it's November 1st already. This year has flown by, most likely because so much has happened this year. And the older I get, the quicker it all goes.

I am pretty excited for this week, though. I am signed up to join in on the fun for Jessica Sprague's new class. If you haven't seen it and want more info, check it out on her blog, here. I'm really looking forward to it. I also have been busy getting some product together to start on a December Daily album like this one I saw on Ali Edwards blog, here. I am going out on a little bit of a limb and designing some of my own digi embellies for this project. (I think I am getting a little more confident in my photoshop abilities.) And I'm excited to do my first actual hybrid album.

We had a fabulous Halloween, the girls looked ADORABLE!

Here is Hayley as Tinkerbell

And Caitlynn as Jasmine

Hayley did great with trick-or-treating until we ran across a group of boys that had some scary masks on and then she was much more cautious about walking up to the doors to trick or treat. Will or I had to take her up each time after the "monster scare". Poor baby. But she survived and ended up with tons of candy for putting on a brave face and getting through it. We managed to avoid the scary boys the rest of the night until of course we were at the house right across the street from ours on our way home and there they were again. Will wasn't quick enough about scooping her up and shielding the scary boys from view. So a little more drama right before we finished up for the night. All in all it was a great Halloween!