Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tree of Memories

I'm in the most warm fuzzy, nostalgic Christmas mood right now. I've just finished putting up the last of the lights on our tree. There's a smooth jazzy Christmas CD lully me back to Christmases of past as I rummage through all of our ornaments. And I realize that yet again God has been so good to me and my family this year as He has been in years past. As I shift through our boxes, and I mean BOXES, of ornaments, I'm reliving all the memories that are attached to them. There's the silver photo frame of me and Josh on our honeymoon. It's only been six years but that trip seems like a lifetime ago, and we looked so young. We had no idea where God would lead us, and no clue what all we'd go through together but we knew we'd stick together no matter what. Then there's the medallion I made at "parents night out" at church when I was in 3rd grade with my permed 80s hair and my "Coca-cola" shirt. There's all my sport memorabilia, like the time I first made the volleyball team, and my All-star banners. I always loved Santa shooting a lay-up. I went through a Winnie-the-pooh phase in high school. I'm sure Caroline will love those. But then there's more sentimental ones too. I can't write more about them, because as I type I'm crying, no idea why. I guess it's the wonder of it all. The countless symbols that adorn my tree, my house, that are a reminder of my life. My memories, good and bad, represent who I am, who I've become, and how gracious, faithful the Lord has been throughout my life.

As I'm sifting through the ornaments and my thoughts I realize I'm setting a precedent for my baby girls. These are the traditions that have been passed down to me and now I get to pass it to them. Like red balls placed deep into the tree. Mom told me that Granddaddy used to do that to give the tree depth. And now I get to pass that on. It's such a precious thought to me. I can't even begin to explain it. But decorating the Christmas tree was such a big even in our family. Egg nog, Christmas music, retelling the stories behind the ornaments as we hang them, it's one tradition that I still cling to. I hope and pray that my girls have as many vivid memories of Christmas, of family, of friends, and of blessings that I have. Tonight they'll get to join in all the fun. I know that they won't remember their first decorating experience, but I'm looking forward to it. One day I'll tell them all the stories behind the ornaments just like they were told to me. And they'll begin to build up their ornament collection just like Mom started one for me. And tonight I get to watch my little girls' eyes glaze over in delight at the sight of their first Christmas tree. I get to enjoy that moment!

So I guess this was my Clark Griswald walk down memory lane (if you haven't seen Christmas Vacation, you MUST see it.) Thanks for letting me share, even though it's my own blog. I knew this thing would come in handy! :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Just settling back in

It feels like we've only just gotten back home when in fact we've been home for 2 days now. Thanksgiving was quite a whirlwind of excited family, yummy food, and traveling on the road. In all we ate 4 Thanksgiving dinners. That's a lot of turkey! But it was all yummy nonetheless. I did my best to take lots of pictures, and I'll share a few. We went to the farm (on Dad's side) and we went to J's parent's house. Most of the pictures were taken at one of the two spots.

My Grandfather bought this farm when he was a teenager. I thought it looked gorgeous with all the leaves changing colors.

This would be our Christmas picture if the girls were actually looking at the camera!

Caroline and her cousin Gracie. They're only 9 mos. a part, and just starting to play together. It's so cute!

Me with my baby! I can't believe she's almost 9 mo. old! Where does the time go???

And this is how we all felt when it was finally said and done!

Now that I'm feeling settled in, I just realized last night that we'll be out-of-town EVERY weekend in December. I guess it's a false sense of settled, then, because after these loads of laundry, I'll be re-packing everyone only to hit the road again! Sheesh! This time of year is CRAZY!!! But I wouldn't trade it either!


I am SO late in sharing this info, but it came on Friday, Nov. 16th. I saw a really foreign area code pop up on my cell phone, and I almost didn't answer it, but I thankfully I did. On the other end was Debbie, from Crop Addict, calling to ask me to be a member of the CROP ADDICT DESIGN TEAM!!!!!I was sooooo completely excited I couldn't stop smiling! But then I didn't want to seem like the big dork that I am, so I didn't say too much either. On top of that, the girls were both sleeping, so when I wanted to scream and shout and jump for joy, all I could do was call Josh at work and tell him in a muted whisper. Then after I'd accepted the positiion (like I'd decline it! HA!) she said that I couldn't tell until it was announced on the site! UGH! I thought I was gonna explode if I didn't tell someone, so I called my SIL Sarah and told her the big news. She's not into the online scrap scene, so I knew my secret would be safe with her. Thankfully, Debbie decided to announce the DT a day early. I was happily surprised to see that several of my other online friends made the DT (and CT) too. (In my delirious excitement I forgot to ask Debbie who else made the team when she called.) So now I'm beginning to stalk my mailman for my first DT kit to arrive! I CAN'T WAIT!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just a few fun quizzes for today! I love doing little quizzes like these. It's like I'm reading Seventeen magazine all over again! Hope you enjoy!

You Are 64% Creative
You are beyond creative. You are a true artist - even if it's not in the conventional sense of the word.You love creating for its own sake, and you find yourself quite inspired at times.

Here's another one:

Your 80s Hunk Is

Scott Baio

Okay, I think that it's really funny that Scott Baio is my 80s hunk. I LOVED him on Charles in Charge (too young for Happy Days). I used to daydream that he was my nanny! LOL! Anyway, about a month ago i saw some of his reality show, "Scott Baio is 40 and single" and HE'S SUCH A JERK!!! I couldn't STAND him! So, I think it's really funny that he's been deemed "my humk". No thank you, I'll keep the one I've got!

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's confirmed: we've hit toddlerhood

Yep, today calls for a 2 post day. It must have been deemed Rites of Passage day for Caroline, because I promise you if it's a toddler cliche then it happened today! First she woke up, opened her diaper, and played with her poop without making a sound. Then she climbed up onto the dining room table and destroyed the altered picture frame I'd made the night before. She tore all the flowers off! Later in the morning I caught her with 4 brownies in her hand and one in her mouth. She also got a hold of Josh's deoderant and had it caked underneath her fingernails. After her nap, which was not very long, she decided that she didn't want to wear her tights and skirt, so I let her run around bottomless. No big deal, we've been introducing the potty training concept. Well she had one accident (to be expected, not biggie) and DID pee pee in the potty. For that huge accomplishment she got to choose one piece of candy, a sucker. About 15 min. later she got angry with me, and threw the sucker at me. Tantrum #1 which was followed by #2 and #3. This came after she took my lipstick out of the diaper bag and painted her lips/hands with it! Then came time to make dinner. She was a huge help "stirring". She loves to help cook. Of course, as soon as Josh walks in the door all goes well. So, I guess we've hit toddlerhood. I would say it's "terrible 2s" but she's not 2 yet. And then I'm told that the 3s are worse than the 2s!!! What a rollercoaster of high highs and very low lows. Sigh, it may be a long year in 2008.

Scrapped ALL weekend

I got to scrapbook ALL weekend long at the Simply Obsessed online crop, and I loved every minute of it! Weekends like that are few and far between. And, I can honestly say that I'm all scrapbooked out! (Thought I'd never say that.) But I feel very accomplished! I got six layouts completed and two altered frames. I think I completed 12 of the 24 challenges. Half isn't bad, right? It's beyond what I thought I'd get done, so I'm VERY satisfied. Oh, and I also won 112 ft. of ribbon in a guessing game! You can't beat that!

This was only my 2nd online crop, and I'm thinking that this is the way to go. I know I didn't shower Saturday, just woke up and started cropping nice and comfy in my pajamas. I also usually talk too much at regular crops and so I don't get as much done. So, I really like having the challenges there for me to push me a bit, but I also could stay focused on the work at hand.

That is, until Caroline came creeping around the corner. She's obsessed with buttons! That's all she wanted to do--play with my buttons. But then again, that's all she ever wants to do. She snaps and unsnaps her clothes, her sister's clothes, and tries to undo Josh's collared button-down when he gets home from work! Buttons! She can only say "butt" not the whole word, so every time she starts unsnapping she repeats, "Butt, butt, butt..." It's actually pretty funny.

Well, that's what I got accomplished this weekeng. Off to clean up the house ;)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Everything I know is from HGTV

I think that I missed my calling in life as far as my degree is concerned. I majored in Elem. Ed. because I knew I loved children, liked working with them especially in Language Arts. But since graduating I've realized that I have a passion for interior decorating. I LOVE IT! Especially when I get to work with my mom. We call it "playing" with the house. (Some of my favorite moments with her have been when we're "playing".) I've jokingly told her to retire, she's also a teacher, and we'd start our own firm, J & D Design. Well, it's all been playful up until now.

I have a friend who's remodeling her kitchen and she asked me for some advice. She says I have "the gene". Guess where I got it? and my expensive taste? (haha, only joking, Mom) Anyway, she's consulted me on the tile selection, grout color, cabinetry, and hardware. I was afraid at first and kept telling her I didn't know was I was doing, that "everything I know I learned from HGTV." But she's been really pleased with all the decisions so far, and I've enjoyed giving my opinion. She even passed my name on to a mutual friend who was trying to pick paint colors. Being an impromptu decorator it's really gotten me thinking. Could I do this for real??? How would one go about doing design consultation from home? Can it be done with 2 little children? I may have to dig a little further. My design firm can be in the storefront next door to the scrapbooking store I'm gonna open! Ha! Ha! Yeah, right. Well, one can dream can't she????

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Look Mom! No hands!

Well, not really. Anybody who knows me knows that 1. I can't cook and 2. I don't like to cook. But when we went to the Apple Festival, Sharon gave me half of her apples and ever since then Josh has been begging for an apple pie. So here it is. I had to document it because it's my first, and probably my last. It's still cooling on the stove right now, but I'll let you know how it tastes. I'm very proud of myself though. It looks edible! AND I even did the crosshatching thing with the dough (felt very professional), and even basted it with egg whites to give it a golden glow---just like Martha Stewart! Don't worry Mom, I'm still gonna let you do all the holiday baking! :)

Friday, November 2, 2007

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the day after the chaos known as Halloween

Whew! Nobody told me how tired I'd be the morning after Halloween! It's a whole day after that and I'm still feeling the effects. We've been busy for sure. On Halloween we first went to Josh's office so the ladies there could see the girls in their costumes. Then we went to the Jones' to eat dinner and trick or treat in their neighborhood. It was Caroline's first official T-o-Ting excursion, and she wasn't quite sure what to make of it. It took her a couple of houses to get the hang of it, and even after that she immediately wanted to eat the candy that'd just been handed to her. At one point Josh caught her trying to eat a KitKat wrapper and all! Caroline and Kelsi did a great job a walking the streets (never thought I'd say that about my child and her friend), and they looked so darn cute in their costumes! Reagan and Sarah Kate kept the strollers warm. Well that is until Sarah Kate decided that she didn't want to have any part with the stroller anymore. Then Josh carried her until she almost fell asleep. It was a long night, but I loved every minute of it! My only wish is that I'd gotten a picture of my girls together in their costumes. In all the chaos of coaxing Caroline into her costume (for the longest she refused to wear anything but the pants) I forgot to get one of her with Sarah Kate. Oh well, I still got some good ones. Hope you enjoy the season! We have LOTS to be thankful for!