Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wow! Did that time fly! As we get ready to ring in the New Year, I have to look back at 2009.

A time when Nathan turned five and completely changed. He grew into a responsible, caring young boy! He just plain rocks! Ella turned us all on our heads and made us smile a million times. I have so enjoyed being their mommy and couldn't love them more!

It is our last year in this house that we have called home. We had our last pool party here, celebrated our last Christmas. It is very strange. We have adored our time here!

This year, we spent time with friends. We have traveled and BBQed and shopped. I reconnected with people from my past. I have also experienced the end of a friendship, which has been difficult.

We worked hard through all the transitions in education!

I have experienced some cool opportunities and moments in this industry. My name being up on the Cosmo Cricket finalist list being one of them! I have tried, through all of my attempts to reach my scrappy goals, to remember to create purely for the love of it all!

This past year, we suffered many losses. One so painful, it will never really leave me.

This year, we have all grown! I am sure of one thing for the upcoming will force me to remain open, will teach me how to overcome challenges and will bring many wonderful moments.

And I know that the not-so-great moments will only be an opportunity to grow.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Too Perfect!

These pictures...too perfect! They totally sum up Steve and I. We adore each other, yet bicker like no others! There is lots of teasing that goes on in our household. Two strong personalities, two people who have big opinions. Our conversations are deep and are dreams are wild. Yet, we are big homebodies. I truly adore him.

I have had these for a while but was waiting for the right papers to scrap them! Cupid, you are my other love! As a matter of fact, we have been having a love affair the past few days! LOL! (although I am not kidding!) 7 layouts made using The Nook January kit featuring the Cupid collection from Pink Paislee! It will go down in history as one of my favs!

Off to hang out with the hubs! He is feeling neglected. LOL!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Another Christmas

I am off to Christmas number 3 today! That means another time for Nathan, Ella and Christian to play! Nathan isn't excited or anything! LOL!

The holiday was wonderful--time with family and great food. Watching the kids take it all in was fabulous too!

Except Ella...who was so fresh on Christmas Day that I took all her new toys and put them in the garage. She is still working on earning them back!

Must make me the Grinch, huh? She has to learn because I can either stop it now or have to deal with it when she is 13. Eek!

I wonder why she is who she is. She is the center of attention and tries to weasel out of everything!

Proof right here:

Ahh, this too shall pass!

Hope you had a wonderful few days! I have the next week off and am super excited to just relax and have family time. I might be a little psyched about extra scrapping time too! LOL!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

To Ella

I stood in my kitchen today, prepping my appetizer for tonight's Christmas Eve celebration. Behind me, I heard the sounds of happy children playing, and, yes, sometimes fighting. I thought of Steve and how darn blessed we are. And I gave thanks!

This time of year puts me in place where I just want to acknowledge how grateful I am! So here is my letter to Ella!

Sweet Girl,

I will admit it. I can't get past your cuteness, how animated you are, and the clever things you come up with. To call you charming does not do it justice. See what I mean!

You are loving and cuddly. The day you were born, the doctors placed you in my arms so I could nurse. I realized after a few minutes that your tiny arm was wrapped around me and you were rubbing my back with your little hand. From hour one, you loved affection.

You are bright and witty, even manipulative. It keeps me on my toes! I love having conversations with you to see your perspective on life. I admire your strength and confidence. You will not be pushed around.

You can push my buttons like no other. It drives me nuts, yet I adore you with that same passion! Our family became complete when you came. I thank God everyday that he sent us YOU! There is no other you...

Loving you forever and hoping we will always be best friends!


I hope you are enjoying your blessings today! Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Getting Closer!

Only one more day of work, then a nice long vacation! Only two more days to shop! I can't believe Christmas is almost here! In preparation, we have started cleaning out the playroom. That means we donated a bag of gently used books to children in need! Just the other day, we brought three bags of baby clothes to a women's shelter. Feels good to give back to others this holiday season.

Just like reading our favorite Christmas books for the month of December, I am hoping to make participating in charitable activities an annual tradition! The girls over at The Nook have made this a huge focus this holiday season. Even Leah and Pam are in on the push to remember what is important this time of year. Check this out-It is a proposal from Leah and Pam:

We at the Nook would like to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and much Happiness in the New Year!

To get this season wrapped up with an extra helping of love and kindness, we would like to ask each of you to consider donating canned goods or a monetary donation to a local food bank, halfway house or homeless shelter.

If you do not have a local charity that can benefit your community, there are many places online that you can make a donation to help everyone have a Merry Christmas, and make sure food banks around the world are well stocked for the coming year.

If you take this opportunity to give back to your community, please pop in on this thread and leave us a comment! Let us know how you helped your community, and we will enter you to win a Nook kit!

Thank you very much!

Cool huh!

Here is a quick idea for a simple holiday gift! I simply took clear packaging and filled it with candy. A few decorations and we have a thoughtful, sweet present!

I had so much fun writing a letter to Nathan the other day! I will be back tomorrow to write my ode to Ella! LOL!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nathan, My Love

Nathan, you bring a smile to my face every day with your quirky sense of humor and your genuine consideration for others. You are a light in my life! I recently cleaned out the bins that hold all your baby clothes. I stood there and cried. Because I vividly remembered you that small, that precious! Now I look at you and you are a little guy! All boy and so grown up! You lost your first tooth today, encountering another rite of passage! Are you really old enough to lose a tooth?


Gosh, those eyes. They melt many hearts, including mine!

I have the extreme pleasure of watching you change each day. I have witnessed you transitioning to school and see you meeting with so much success. You have made many friends and no longer wait for me at the window to wave goodbye. It is bittersweet, but I know that you are busy! Your best friend is this guy. Your cousin Christian, who you adore. You would do anything for him! May your loyalty and bond last a lifetime!

I am blessed to call you my little man! I adore you more than you will ever know!

With love this Christmas and always,

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not a Creature Was Stirring

Twas the night before Christmas (well, not really) and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, DEFINITELY NOT A MOUSE! Why not? Because it was dead and under my floorboards in my office. Which used to be a sunroom so it is not on a foundation, but instead sits on stilts.

It forced me out of my scraproom and away from the computer for a week while we had to stay far away from the smell. Until my hero, Jerry, came to remove it. Because that is what he does for a living! Can you imagine?

So I am back now. Hope I didn't miss too much while I was gone! I promise to visit some blogs this has been too long!

In an effort to change the stench, umm, I mean mood, how about a Christmas card? I made it using my December kit from The Nook! It came with an embellishment packet that had this funky, glittery ribbon. The minute I saw it I knew I wanted to use it in a unique way!

So this is what I came up with!

Took lots of adhesive and some arm twisting, but it was fun to make! I also had this idea to make a cute gift bag full of M&Ms. But I think I ate too many of them!

What...something had to get me through mouse hell week!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pajama Day

There aren't many good things about the winter. I don't particularly like the snow, who wants it to be dark by 4:30 and outdoor recess is a drag! Losing my outdoor spaces because of cold, wind and snow has meant that I have to photograph my layouts inside. Why it is that they come out so much worse than my others? ACK!

Winter does have a few perks. Hot cocoa, cute scarves, and pajama days. You know those days when it is simply too cold to go out so you have a great excuse for staying warm inside. Steve calls it hunkering down! You will catch him in his pjs hiding under a blanket all day on Sunday afternoons! We play, cook and and do projects all while wearing our pjs!

Here is the proof!

Supplies: Very Merry by October Afternoon, Alphabet by American Crafts

This was the kids and I making cookies for Santa last year! There we are sharing a golden family moment all while doning our pajamas.

At least we have matching sets! Makes winter more bearable!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

This Holiday Stuff...

is exhausting! Trying to keep up with moving our Elf on the Shelf: Dash, taking train rides to the North Pole, reading a different holiday book each night, cookies, Santa on fire trucks...Whew!

But, it is also an amazing time. My kids are at an age where they are enchanted by Christmas. They are full of joy and wonder. I see it in their eyes and their smiles. I feel like a kid again! Steve and I often meet eyes upon watching our children absore some exciting sights and we connect. Connect over the love we feel for both of them and the memories we are building.

One of my favorite traditions involves this:

My friend Diane actually gave me the idea. I always had the intention to wrap each book like it was a little present, but laziness got in the way! LOL! I recently found these cute sacks that I put the books in and they reach in without looking to take one!

In celebration of the holiday, we are featuring a card a day over at The Nook! Come check it out! There are some beauties over there. I recently shared this card:

Both projects were made using the December kit! You can win one just by posting your work in our gallery during the month of December! How easy is that! Pop over and say hi while you are there!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Day

Woot! We have a snow is so nice to be all holed up inside the house with these guys:

We had chocolate chip pancakes and watched Ice Age under a pile of blankets. Just what we all needed.

The kiddos are actually quite cute, pretending that it is Christmas Eve. They are placing all of their toys underneath our Christmas tree, running to go to sleep in their make pretend beds (blankets and pillows) and then waking up for their "presents."

Hmmm, they might just be a little excited for Christmas!

Off to enjoy my second cup of java! Hope you have a cozy day!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our Inner Super Heroes

Super heroes! Such a big theme in my house right now. Nathan has moved on a bit from the whole Cars craze and is loving all things super heroes! We have costumes, books, toys and games. He is attracted to the theme because they help people and he loves to do that. So sweet!

If Ella has a super hero, it might be Barbie who always looks smashing! LOL! No, really, it is her brother. She adores him!

I was so excited when I got these photos because they show the love between them.

Funny, how the universe speaks to you. Actually, sometimes it is screaming at you, but you are failing to respond.

See, the thing about super heroes is that we all have one. That super hero within. The part that can move mountains. Who has strength and courage. But sometimes we fail to strip off our outer layers and reveal that person who can do anything.

With all the talk of super heroes going around in my house, you think I would have made the connection sooner. So, I am currently looking for mine. I think she will appear with the right amount of exercise, sleep, water, and hugs. I bring this up because it is time to look inward. To channel the best parts of me.

I found this quote (on my iPhone Quotes app!), "When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere."--Francios de La Rochefoucauld. Isn't it the truth? We can blame our past, look for what the other person did to push our buttons or feel helpless.

None of that will help though. And rather than wait to be rescued by that dashing guy, I think I will seek that tranquility within myself. All I have to do is listen!

(Of course, if that dashing guy came in the form of Zac Effron or Taylor Lautner, then I would surely play helpless. Even if it were only for a few hours...LOL!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Breaking News!

No, I am NOT the fourth woman to come forward claiming to have an affair with Tiger. LOL, even though it is not really funny...

I have great news! You have an amazing opportunity to win a December Kit from My Scrapbook Nook!

The same kit that helped our awesomely talented team produce these:

Yep, that beautiful kit featuring Making Memories and Prima! And it is super easy to win. Between now and Christmas upload your creations to our gallery and you will be entered to win a Free December kit! Really, that's it! Winner will be notified via Message Board pm.

Hope to see your work soon!

Good luck!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Magic

I am needing some Christmas magic these days.

I have lost a bit of my sparkle. I don't even mean with scrapbooking, but just with myself in general. Out of sorts, feeling moody, I am just not myself. Ever go through this?

You imagine yourself being the best you...but can't seem to bring it to fruition. I think of myself running, strong, fit...yet I haven't done anything healthy for my body in a long while. I want to laugh with my kids, have patience, yet I am short and sometimes overwhelmed. My intentions aren't coming across the way I would like. I know I will find my way, but the "I've fallen and I can't get up" phase is tough.

I guess it makes me feel better to share it. Acknowledge it. Forgive it. Even embrace it because phases like this ultimately make you grow.

So, I would love some Christmas magic right now!

Speaking of the big guy, here is a layout about how my little guy finally enjoyed Santa last year!

I think I will spend the next few days going to bed early or walking around with my IPOD in hopes of recharging. I think I will add me to my Christmas list this year.

Do you think Santa is listening?

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Christmas Season it almost Christmas already? Where did the summer go? I just finished scrapping Halloween...Thanksgiving dinner came and went! Time is flying...

I know it is Christmas because the beautiful December kit from The Nook arrived on my doorstep a week ago. I admit, it took me a few minutes to get into the Christmas spirit. I needed to see the yummy red, green and black paper line and all the embellishments. After a few minutes, I was ready to put on Christmas carols and have egg nog!

(Who doesn't like egg nog? That and popcorn balls are two holiday staples!)

I pulled out some photos from last Christmas and got to work. Here is a layout about my son's favorite gift last year, a toy train that goes around the Christmas tree. He played with it so much that it doesn't work anymore!

Here is a photo of the kit!

Be sure to visit The Nook as we are featuring a new and beautiful holiday card each day starting now until December 15!

I will share my first card on December 5th! Be sure to visit Scrapstreet tomorrow as the new December issue makes its debut!

Happy, happy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Part 2

Part 2 of my Halloween layouts

Part 2 of overeating as I sit here very full not only from food overload on Thanksgiving, but also food overload today

Black Friday shopping...the deals weren't that great, but it is nice to complete 90% of my shopping all at once. The best part is the time spent with the girls--one of my favorite days each year!

I was awake by 4:15 and in my car at 4:45. No one should get up that early...ever! LOL!

So here are two more layouts using Twilight by Pink Paislee! I can't get enough of this paperline!

Wrapped: Ella seems to be the center of attention! LOL--she has a way of wrapping all of us around her finger!

Cuteness Alert: My two cuties in the costumes!

Nathan is sooo into super heroes right now! He loves to wear his Mr. Incredible costume around the house! It is pretty funny!

Hope you are all recovering from your food comas. Anyone want to start an exercise group???

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Holiday Behind

Yep...I just scrapped the heck out of Halloween. Yeah, I know that Thanksgiving is is what it is! I got some awesome shots this Halloween and there is this little line called Twilight that has motivated me to scrap All Hallow's Eve like no other before!

I think I might have convinced Ella to buy a purple costume just because I knew it would match the paper...LOL!

Here we go:

Layout #1: Boo-tiful:
My DD melts my heart! Imagine Prima on a Halloween layout!

Layout #2: Beware
This is one of those layouts I fiddled with forever. It has a little more freedom that some of my stuff and I am experimented with not being so rigid. (And all the people who know me are laughing right now!)

I scrapped my little heart out last weekend...just because!

Tomorrow is Turkey Day! We will have a bunch of people in our backyard to deep fry turkeys, then will head over to my MILs for a delicious dinner with my lovely family whom I totally adore. Giggle if you are reading...

Tomorrow will also have a few moments of silence. For Jason, who we lost last spring and who always was a presence on the holidays. That boy could cook...and he was the gentle observer, taking it all in at the party. And for Baby James who should be almost 6 mos. old, sitting up, smiling. You are missed. We know you are watching over us.

So much to be grateful for too, mostly Steven and my two beautiful kids!
Hope you hug all the ones you love tomorrow!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Is There a Full Moon or Something?

because my kids have become possessed by something. Something that is resulting in constant arguing, hitting, high-pitched yells and lots of "No!'s". Seriously, it is a bit out of control.

I keep trying to use the Santa won't come lecture, but it doesn't seem to be working. LOL!

Here is a layout of them just being silly. They are with their cousin, Christian in this photo. See, they are starts off as fun, but then turns into mayhem!

Supplies: Paper, Chipboard, Journaling Tags: Earth Love by Cosmo Cricket; Alphabet: Nutmeg by AC; Mini-Alphabet: Jenni Bowlin, Trim: My Stash!

I love the concept of framing parts of or the entire layout! My friend, Staci Taylor does this so well! I really adds a ton of interest!

Speaking of full moons, I went to see New Moon and loved it. Really loved it. And I think I am switching teams. It has been great working with Edward, but I am all for Jacob now! Sigh...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Silver Lining

Every cloud has one right! Believing in a concept so simple can really help you march through life. Yes, terrible things happen, we don't always get what we want, we don't always act like our ideal selves. But after the rain, comes a rainbow. There are silver linings.

I have believed this for a long time. Adopted this attitude following hardships, mostly because I had to in order to survive and grow.

I wax philosophical because I could use a little reminder every now and then.

And because I literally created my own silver-lined clouds this weekend. Where you ask? On a scrapbook layout of course! I continue to have a thing for clouds. They have been totally overused everywhere, by everyone. But, gosh, they make me happy!

Here is a new layout about my daughter who never stops! I used lots of October Afternoon here. Gosh, there papers and products are so pretty.

Supplies: Paper & Journaling Card: Farm Fresh by October Afternoon, Chipboard Flowers and Woodgrain Letters: Cosmo Cricket, Buttons: BasicGrey, Clouds: Fancy Pants Designs, Foam Alphabet: American Crafts, Butterfly Punch: Martha Stewart, Bling: Prima

Who isn't happy just looking at these clouds? I am, even if I am exhausted after a day with my beautiful daughter!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In Between

You know that in between stage from when you first start dating someone to when you decide to make it more permanent. You know you are interested, maybe even in love. You so want it to be the one. You play a little hard to get, acting coy, yet you keep glancing over to see if it really does feel right.

I find that I no longer participate in this ritual in terms of the dating scene (since I am happily married). However, this describes my current relationship with a scrapbooking layout. It is in between. It could take me days to decide what to do next.

I know it needs something. So I experiment. I set it up one way and leave it in a visible place. I look away, acting shy and then look back. I will even leave the room and then come in as if I don't know its there. I am waiting for the "just rightness" to jump out at me. I will rearrange and then start the whole flirtation over again.

I need a life huh?

No really, do you do this too??? Be honest!

Here is a layout that I did the same thing with. I added and subtracted and finally arrived at this!

Supplies: All from My Scrapbook Nook Fall Mini-kit featuring Little Yellow Bicycle

LYB has these cool transparencies. I cut this one up to fit the layout of my page. I also hand-cut those leaves from a piece of paper! In the end, I am satisfied.

Here's to hoping that happens with the one waiting for me to come back into the room. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Time to Crop!

Who is looking for a good crop this weekend? I have the perfect place for you to visit! My Scrapbook Nook is hosting a virtual crop beginning today and going through the weekend! We have lots of very creative challenges, prizes and fun in store!

Plus, a lucky scrapper will win a January Guest Designer spot on the DT. All you have to do is play and make an impression and you could be the lucky winner. Details are here!

I am hosting a challenge worth a $5.00 gift certificate! I was inspired recently by the concept of opposites and decided to incorporate that into my scrapbooking. I pulled out my Graphic 45 and went to town! Here is what I created:

How would you incorporate opposites on your project? Using paper, shapes, sizes, photos or words? I would love to see so be sure to come on over to the crop and have some fun!

See you there!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My New Love is glorious, wonderful, keeps you happy and gives you lots to do! I am in love...

with my new iPhone. Who knew that you couldn't live without an app for the grocery store, being able to check your email every five minutes and unlimited access to Facebook? Giggle...not sure I needed another addiction, but here I am.

Speaking of great addictions, I scrapped on Sunday and actually enjoyed it again. LOL! I adore this hobby. It centers me and brings me joy. So, those moments when it is not flowing are difficult.

Made this layout using the November kit from My Scrapbook Nook!

We are about to host a great online crop this weekend! If you are looking for inspiration and good company, be sure to head over! I will be debuting a new layout for one of my challenges!

I am off to admire the shiny one I adore. Hope you get to spend time with your great love today too!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Double Trouble

Well, at least when I am referring to my two page layout! The subjects of such a layout involve three little rascals who love to do everything together! Nathan, Ella and Christian. They are all super-tight--call them the triple threat! My SIL, Sue, is such a planner. So she typically cooks up our seasonal adventures and I, thankfully, tag along! I am not taking advantage at all--things just go better when she is in charge! LOL!

Every year my hometown celebrates fall in a big way. Residents and business owners in the historic district create these elaborate and very cool scarecrows. We head down there each year and take a nice stroll. Well, I freak out about the kids being so close to the road and traffic and all sorts of irrational things. LOL!

I made a double page layout to showcase all of the cool photos I took!

All supplies are from the My Scrapbook Nook Fall Mini kit featuring Little Yellow Bicycle!

I am still in a funk--I have too many photos, too many papers, too many ideas. Couple that with a lack of focus and confidence. Double Trouble.

At least there is a great online crop starting over at The Nook! Leah just posted a great challenge with a cool prize up for grabs! The rest of the challenges will be up beginning next weekend! Be sure to stop by and check it out!

If time this weekend doesn't fix it, that probably will! Happy Scrapping!


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