Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yes, Jill, I heard you...

...and I'm finally updating my blog! LOL! Would you all please tell me I'm not the only one unable to keep up with life? And if you are one of those perfect people who has all your gifts wrapped and under your beautifully decorated tree, your holiday candies made, your dinner parties organized, festive attire awaiting the next holiday celebration, handmade Christmas cards already mailed...well, I admire you and I HATE YOU! LOL! Just kidding! That used to be me...not anymore. Good Lord! I'm so behind. I mentioned in my last post how I have one tree decorated and the other patiently waiting to be "dressed". Well, I have nothing else to poor tree is still waiting for me. I did take time to fluff the branches, adjust the lights and add a few ornaments last night. Here's hoping I finish tonight. I truly hate to complain about being behind. It has been my choice to focus my energy on other things so I have no room to complain. I'm taking time to spend time with those who mean the most to me...pretty good reason to not sweat the unadorned tree, don't you think?

This past weekend was my girl's trip to Boston. What a trip it was!!! Although we had a rocky start, it was a fantastic weekend. You know, I think I sound like a broken record these days...every good event seems to begin with a challenge. This time it involved flight delays. I have never been one to enjoy flying. Makes me very nervous. Thursday was an extremely windy day meaning a very bumpy flight. What better way to ride out the air-born potholes than with a little Goose and Juice under your belt. Barbara shares my dislike of shaky flights so we downed a drink before boarding, thinking it would help. Ummmm, we didn't account for the hour+ delay in boarding as well as the 45 minute wait on the tarmac. Yep, the nice little buzz was long gone. Which is probably a good thing. Once we made the quick 30 minute flight to Atlanta, we had less than 10 minutes to get to the other side of the airport as our next flight was already boarding. We had missed our original connecting flight but the Delta agent had booked us through on the next one. And it appeared we weren't going to make it either.

Not being the wisest traveler, I was wearing clogs, a heavy winter coat, thick scarf and carrying a heavy tote bag. And a 10 minute sprint across the massive Atlanta airport was required. We took off a fast pace...which became a little slower as we went. We finally made it to the tram that would transport us to our gate but had missed it and the next wasn't due to arrive for another 3 minutes. I knew we could run the distance faster than the wait would be. OK, so I thought I knew it. My workouts are serving me well, but I've learned I need to work on increasing speed and endurance. We arrived at the gate huffing, puffing and sweating profusely just as the agent was closing the door and stating the flight was closed out. Darn!!! Unable to muster up the energy to be upset, we just stood at... well, hung over...the counter waiting to see what our options were. Fortunately, she decided to let us board. And we were on our way!

We arrived around 7:30 but our luggage didn't. No worries, a quick trip to Walgreen's to purchase a T-shirt for sleeping and life was good. When we awoke the next morning, our luggage was waiting for us. And we were off to explore the city. Friday was a day to shop til we dropped...literally. Twelve plus hours of roaming the malls and the streets and our bodies had had enough. We were in bed by 9:00. We're such party animals. :-) The weather on Friday was beautiful and spring-like. We even enjoyed lunch outside at a cafe. Saturday was rainy and cold. But that didn't stop us from sight-seeing. We boarded a trolley and went to the North End where we followed the Freedom Trail for a bit and toured Paul Revere's house. The wind and rain eventually got the best of us and we returned to the hotel and mall for more shopping. Sunday we awoke to snow and bitterly cold temperatures. The wind was brutal. Our walk to breakfast was less than comfortable. But we enjoyed it nonetheless as it was our last moments in the city. By 8:00 that night, we were home, sweet home. There is something warm and comforting about coming home after a trip.

I have always loved Boston and my time there only proved to strengthen my love for the city. But the best part was the time with Barbara. Reconnecting with old friends is the greatest!!!

I would say I will be back soon, but I've been a liar of late. So I will leave you with well wishes and cyber hugs. I will be back as soon as I can!!!

Love to all,

P.S. I thought I would share another layout from my current Serendipity kit. As I mentioned, there is something special about returning home...and this layout supports that statement. I scrapped my mom's door from a Christmas past with the saying "at the holidays, all roads lead home". This year I'm focusing on home...the "home" found wherever I am surrounded by those I love.

(You can click on the photo for a larger image.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Is It Wednesday Already???

Not only is it is a week and a half since I last posted! How in the heck did that happen??? To quickly catch you up on the comings and goings in my world...Thanksgiving was wonderful! It was probably the best I've ever had. I know you all are aware of the zaniness within my immediate family, ie me and mine...but we had to get it somewhere. Yep, we got it from my side of the family. My mother, brother, sister, spouses, children and friends all came to my house to celebrate. It's the first Thanksgiving I can remember that we all were together on the actual holiday. Laughter was plentiful... food was bountiful...hearts were grateful. Everything the holiday was meant to be.

The weekend was spent attempting to decorate for Christmas..."attempt" being the operative word. My mom came back on Friday night and we finished one favorite tree. The other tree that is the "main" tree...weeelllll, it is a little lacking...of ornaments. I will get it done. Just not sure when. After the decorating session with my mom, a couple of girlfriends came over and we spent the night doing the "girl" thing until the wee hours of the morning. Saturday consisted of a multitude of chores and errands then Sunday included a trip to Georgia to see my mom's new lake house. She had lunch prepared for Keri and me when we got there. We had a great visit but I then had a 2 hour drive home. After my late night the night before, coffee became my friend.

The lack of sleep hurt come Monday morning. Back to the old grind. But it is a short work week as I leave tomorrow afternoon for Boston with my ex-sister-in-law. We were quite the travel buddies back in the day. This will be the first trip we've shared in a long time. I'm really looking forward to it. There are rumors of snow and what a wonderful time as I'm sure the city will be beautifully decorated for the holiday season.

So there you have it, the reason for my absence. To top it all off I've been a scrapping fool as my Serendipity projects were due as well as a new challenge at These Are a Few of My Favorite Things. The current challenge at Fave Things is our favorite holiday. If you want to get in the holiday spirit...this would be the place to go. Inspiring layouts galore feature several different holidays but many revolve around Christmas. For my layout, I used the December I Deserve It All kit from Serendipity Scrapbooks to show my love of my mother's vintage Christmas. During the holidays, I can spend hours roaming around her house taking in all the ornaments of times gone by wondering about the stories behind them.

I know this is the busiest time of year but I hope you can find the time to play along with us. As always, there is a wonderful prize up for grabs.

Before I go, I will share one more layout from the Serendipity kit.

This kit is filled with gorgeous Webster's Pages papers, fabric tags and ribbons, plus Core'dinations cardstock, Kaiser pearls and rub-ons, Little Yellow Bicycle chipboard shapes and so much more. You will truly love this kit. But you might should hurry as I don't believe they will last long.

So here's an early wish for a happy weekend as my weekend starts early.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fun and Games

This weekend has been THE best. It started out as not-so-good but turned into one of the best I've had in ages. As with every work week, I was anxiously awaiting Friday. Well, my Friday was a bit like a nasty Monday...

a nasty Monday on crack.

Have you ever started your day by looking at the clock and saying "Oh Sh*t!"? That was my Friday. I overslept. Don't know how it happened but I woke at the time I should have been leaving. I sprang from the bed...not even sure my feet hit the floor until I was in the ready in 15 minutes...raced to work and hoped like hell I was fully clothed.

Remember my gotta-clean-for-the-cleaning-lady Thursday? Yeah, well, it became a much bigger task than anticipated. I had to also clean the game room in the basement as the cleaning lady only does the main 2 floors. It's been a few weeks...ok, a few months...since I cleaned downstairs. We never go down there. But having out-of-town guests will spur you into was time to clean that darned basement.

Well, my stinkin' vacuum decided to do nothing more than spit my super-sized dust bunnies back at me. Actually, if I were the vacuum, I would have done the same thing. Some of those dust balls were bigger than me! I would have choked on them...spitting should have been expected. So there I was, on hands and knees, wiping up the dirt and dust with Swiffer wipes. I never knew how large that room is!!! After what seemed to be hours on the floor and a lengthy scrub session to remove the pink and green rings in the toilet of the extra bath, I realized it was well past my 4 hours!!! You think that could have been a contributing factor to me oversleeping???

I get to work late and can't seem to find my focus. The first 2 hours of my work day were spent struggling to get my act together. Then a bomb was dropped. The cleaning lady called to say she couldn't make it. WHAT???? I wanted to be angry but just couldn't as her reason was more than valid. But what the heck was I going to do now. Unmade beds, in great need of clean sheets, dirty floors, ringed toilets and filthy sinks were anxiously awaiting her arrival...not to mention I was too. And my guest was arriving at time to get home and do it myself. To top things off, a nasty migraine paid me a visit. By noon, I was a wreck! lol! But somewhere, somehow, after that, everything began to get better. I ended the day with several work tasks completed. Leah, Taylor's girlfriend, offered to clean the house for me and even did the grocery shopping. And the migraine disappeared with only minimal damage. I made it to the airport in time and all was grand!

A quick recounting of the weekend:

Friday night - Dinner at a local tap room for pizza and beer followed by darts afterward in the bar upstairs. Made several new friends. Talked until 3:00 am

Saturday - Convertible ride around Asheville. Visited the area where I grew up and reminisced about days gone by.

Saturday night - Keri arrived home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Homemade chili, a few cocktails and board games until 2:00 am with my kiddos and several of their friends. Laughed so hard my sides ached.

Sunday - Visit to Grove Park Inn to view the Gingerbread House exhibit. Fun! Fun! Lots of themed Christmas trees and a roaring fire in the great hall left me wishing for a white Christmas!

Sunday night - Blog writing and passing out from exhaustion! :-)

I have always been one to only require minimal sleep...well, I WAS one to only require minimal sleep. Now that I'm an old lady in her mid-forties, I need all the beauty sleep I can get. And I got little to none this weekend. So forgive any and all nonsense in this post. I'm a walking zombie!

Before I go, I wanted to share the last of my Serendipity layouts from my November Just Enough Please kit. Remember you can click on the images to view a larger version.

Wishing you a Happy, Happy Monday!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

Wednesday is here...and almost over! And I feel like it is still Monday. Of course, this is usually a good problem to have. But given I have a butt-load of things needing attention before Friday...ummm, yeah...not so good. I have a friend coming from Texas so there is all the prep work that goes into hosting guests. Things like cleaning, grocery shopping, activity planning, etc. Good thing my once-a-month cleaning lady comes Friday. Yet that means I have to clean before she comes. Yes, I'm one of those people. I have to clean for the cleaning lady. :-0 Actually, I just make sure everything is in it's place so her job is easier. She is only here for a set number of hours and there is no point wasting her time picking up items when she could be doing the things I loathe. Things like cleaning the floors. Honestly, I don't mind any of the household chores. Give me toilets, showers, dusting, laundry, ironing, dishes...I don't mind those at all. I even find them fun...well, rewarding...ummm, OK, so I don't have the right word. lol! Let's just say I will do them with out growling or grumbling. But the floors??? We don't gee and haw...uhhh, that's country-speak for we don't get along. Lol! It takes over 2 hours to do the floors in my house...if done properly. And I could never half do them. So I gladly fork over my hard-earned money to have someone do them for me. Yep, I'm a bit spoiled.

I wanted to share a few layouts with you before the weekend. I fear I won't have the chance to post again before next week so I thought I would leave you with some of my latest. First is my These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things layout. Our challenge this time was to scrap our favorite decade. I seem to always have a hard time deciding on a favorite for each challenge but this one was easy. I love the 1950's. It reminds me of the simpler times of my childhood where the focus was on family and home. Entertainment was found in the front yard with a stick and a sock ball. Dinner was a family event. Although we lived a very simple existence, we never wanted for anything...we were oblivious to what more there was to want. I liken it to a Leave It To Beaver lifestyle. Sooooo, I centered my layout around...yep, you guessed it....Leave It To Beaver.

I hope you will play along with us. There is an awesome gift up for grabs. And you MUST check out the fantastic work from the other DT members as well as our guest member, Michelle. These girls totally rock!

I also thought I would share another Serendipity layout from this month's Just Enough Please kit. When I saw the little chipboard sticker that said "A Little Nutty", I knew exactly which pics I wanted to scrap. Keri and I are, at the very least, a little nutty. We are always taking crazy pictures. We take turns with a word and we quickly snap our reaction to the word. Words like "surprise", "stinky", "angry", "stupid"...get the idea? I have no idea what the words were for these photos but we were having fun.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week and the upcoming weekend is fab-U-lous! I'll be back early next week with the remainder of my layouts from the Serendipity kit and all the details from my weekend.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Technique for Sharing

Hi there! I wanted to pop in to share a technique I posted on the Serendipity Scrapbook forum this week. Every other Tuesday the DT is responsible for sharing a fun little scrapping trick...this week it was my turn. I cannot take full credit for this. I got the idea from a newsletter but I can't remember which one. I hate when I can't give credit where credit is due. Soooo, just know this is not an original concept...I stole it! :-)

The idea is to stitch a circular frame. Start by using a template to lightly draw a circle. Then use a paper piercer or needle to punch holes around the circle.

Stitch around the circle criss-crossing your stitches as you go.

Continue until you have filled every hole. Carefully cut the center from the frame. While you could cut the center prior to stitching, I don't recommend it. The center provides good support while you are stitching. Just use caution when cutting after the fact so as not to cut your stitches.

Once complete, the frame can be very versatile. Use it to frame a picture or a title. Embellish it with letter stickers or fun little embellies such as buttons, stickers, chipboard shapes. You can cut or punch around the outer edge to add interest. I hand-cut a scalloped border to create a flower.

I will admit, this larger one took a little while but I think it was worth it. The worst part is I ran out of thread. I started with the fuchsia colored thread from Making Memories and what I thought was more than enough. But I ran out with only a third complete. A quick run to AC Moore and Michael's yielded major panic as neither carry the Making Memories thread...most likely too old an item. I selected a similar color of DMC floss and headed home to start over. Must have been my lucky was a PERFECT match!!! Just to give you a heads up, I would suggest 2 "skeins" (don't know the correct term) of DMC floss for a frame this size.

I will be making many more of these in a much smaller size. I'm thinking a little flower garden would be cute. I can also see this making an interesting center on a larger flower. If you decide to give this a try, be sure an let me know. I would love to see what you do with it!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week and Hallelujah it's almost the weekend!!!

Hugs and love,

P.S. Almost forgot to mention the new Martha Stewart punch sets that include the border and matching corner punch...they are da BOMB, Baby!!! LOVE 'em! I bought 3 sets while on my "thread" run. Again, the shopping gods were smiling on me as they were on sale! I used the circular one on this layout. Be sure to check 'em out! Later!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Something Is In The Air

My oh my! There is truly something in the air...other than my hands thrown up in total exasperation. I cannot keep up with my life these days. It is always a matter of feast or famine and I'm currently in "feast" mode. My social calendar is filled to overflowing. So many plans that have been talked about for months...some for years...are finally becoming a reality. Visits from out-of-town friends, a girl's weekend get-away to a neighboring town, another girl's trip to Boston, casual dinners with friends and family, pre-holiday gatherings, actual holiday plans. Can you believe the holidays are knocking at our door? So much to exciting!!! Of course, the normal day-to-day chaos continues resulting in a life spinning out of control. I'm one exhausted but happy girl.

I'm sure many of you thought I had totally forgotten to post the winner of my give-away. Yes, my brain suffers the occasional memory lapse, but not this time. I laughed my butt off at a few of the comments on my last post. You guys are the best. So it is high time I post the winner, don't you think? And, ummm, yeah, I have yet to master the art of copying the random number generator so you are stuck with the lame version posted below. This is all I could get to copy. Anyone have any suggestion as to the generator I should use and how I should go about copying it into my post??? I'll take all the help I can get. Before I tell you who won, I want to thank everyone who participated and for the wonderful comments. I was touched by all the stories of how many lives have felt the sting of this disease. My hope is we can all make a commitment to being diligent with our self-exams and our screenings. Early detection is the greatest weapon we have for fighting back.

OK! Time for the good stuff! The winner is:


Min: 1
Max: 31
Result: 29

The 29th comment was left by Karen at Time Crafted! Please send me your addy so I can get a box of goodies headed your way!

I also need to mention an award I received last week. Three awesome blog friends passed this one to me. A big thank you to Kim, Jocelyn and Jessi! You know I love you girls!!!

Here's the rule: I need to pass this award on to five people, post on their blog to let them know I left this award, and then I need to answer a list of questions in ONE word

1. Where is your cell phone? purse

2. Your hair? curly

3. Your mother? mighty

4. Your father? hard-working

5. Your favorite food? healthy

6. Your dream last night? none

7. Your favorite drink? water

8. Your dream/goal? happiness

9. What room are you in? office

10. Your hobby? scrapbooking

11. Your fear? death-of-family

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? content

13. Where were you last night? home

14. Something that you aren't? bitter

15. Muffins? cranberry

16. Wish list item? happiness-for-my-children

17. Where did you grow up? Leicester

18. Last thing you did? swore

19. What are you wearing? jeans-and-a-turtleneck

20. Your TV? Ti-Vo'ed

21. Your Pets? Yorkie

22. Friends? awesome

23. Your life? full

24. Your mood? happy

25. Missing Someone? not-sure

26. Vehicle? Convertible

27. Something your not wearing? Chip-on-my-shoulder

28. Your favorite store? White House/Black Market

29. Your favorite color? bright

30. When was the last time you laughed? seconds-ago

31. Last time you cried? Monday

32. Your best friend? treasured

33. One place that I go to over and over? work

34. Facebook? rarely

35. Favorite place to eat? home

OK, so I don't follow rules very well. A few of my answers were more than one word. I couldn't help it. And number 30 happened because of number 18. LOL! I normally break the rules when it comes to passing awards on but since I didn't adhere to them when giving my responses, I'll go ahead and abide by them and pass it on to Tara, Chantal, Melonie, Stacy and Amy.

Since this post is already enormously long, I'll only post one of my Serendipity layouts. It is my favorite...I think...from this month's kit. The pic is of Keri and one of her favorite cousins. They only get to see each other on very rare occasions as he lives several hours away but the adoration is mutual.

I thought this was THE cutest paper and wanted to emphasize the cheery sunshine effect. So I machine stitched along each of the sunshine rays. It is more evident in-real-life.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week and your weekend is filled with fun!!!

Hugs and love,

P.S. Thank you to all who requested the link to my new blog. I've been overwhelmed with the wonderful comments and emails received as a result of the few posts made. Sadly, many can relate to the "hard" part of my story but here's to hoping there is an equal connection to the "happy" part!!! Again, if you are interested in the link, just email me ( I would love to have your feedback! xoxo L

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Haven't Forgotten!!!

I will be back to post the winner of my "Have You Squeezed Your Melons" contest along with an award and my Serendipity layouts. Busy. Busy. Busy. Love you guys!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One Day I Will

It is time for a new year...a new beginning. Yes, I know it isn't exactly January 1st, nor is it any monumental day that would typically mark a new year...a birthday, anniversary, etc. But I'm choosing to make today MY new year. To make this my new beginning and create a fresh start.

I've recently written of difficult decisions I've been facing and how there seems to be no good solution to any of them. Heartache, frustration and fear played a roll regardless of which solution I chose. I've wrestled with these decisions for months now. Although in my heart of hearts I knew the answers, I didn't want to go there knowing what it would require of me to push through the outcome. But I've been getting there little by little. During the trying times in my life, I've found that if I forge ahead, even when it feels there is no end in sight, eventually, things start to fall into place. And it usually means hitting rock bottom before I can begin the slow and steady climb back "up".

The past few weeks have marked the beginning of the climb. I feel lighter and more at peace with the decisions I've made and I'm looking ahead with optimism and even a little excitement. Today I heard a song that seems to encompass what I've been feeling. It spoke to me in so many ways. The song is "One Day You Will" by Lady Antebellum. Here are some of the lyrics:

You feel like you’re falling backwards
Like you’re slippin’ through the cracks
Like no one would even notice
If you left this town and never came back
You walk outside and all you see is rain
You look inside and all you feel is pain
And you can’t see it now

But down the road the sun is shining
In every cloud there’s a silver lining
Just keep holding on (just keep holding on)
And every heartache makes you stronger
But it won’t be much longer
You’ll find love, you’ll find peace
And the you you’re meant to be
I know right now that’s not the way you feel
But one day you will

I've eluded to the struggles Keith and I have been facing and it appears there is no solution to our problems. As I stated in my last post we are no longer engaged. Letting go is never easy, even if you know it is the right thing. It was a long, hard road coming to the conclusion that things are not meant to be, but I'm coming to terms with it. Due to this and all the health issues of late, I had been feeling as if I was "slippin' through the cracks"...wondering if the disappointments in my life would ever lead me to a brighter tomorrow. Since my divorce I've also felt like an alien in my own hometown. Family and friends that I had always known were no longer accessible in the same way. Having spent the last 3 years commuting to and from Atlanta didn't help my cause. It's difficult to foster friendships when you are not around to do so.

But lately I have been finding my silver lining to the dark clouds that have been hanging overhead. Attending the wedding of my "ex" nephew a few weeks ago opened the door to reconnecting with "ex" family. As you know, family dynamics can get really complicated during a divorce and we held true to the tradition and did not escape those complications. However, when I went to the wedding I was welcomed with open arms. It felt as if I had somehow come home. The family and friends I had known and loved for 20 years were there waiting for me with a true geniune desire to welcome me home. I have tears rolling down my face as I type this because I never knew how much I missed everyone.

I have long since come to terms with the break up of my marriage, but I don't think I ever resolved the feelings of losing my "other" family. Now...I have them back. Although it will never be the same, I have new hope that brighter days are ahead and I don't have to trudge through the dark times alone any more. And as the song says, I believe I will find love, I'll find peace and the me I'm meant to day I will.

So here's to new brighter days the beautiful silver lining in every dark cloud.

Much love,

P.S. I've started my new blog. Anyone interested in reading please email me for the link. ( Be is raw, honest, and not for everyone. It is nothing more than my journey as a single girl...a narrative of what it's like on this side of the fence.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Scrapping With A Sketch & Honest Facts

Kim and I have completed another challenge. This time Kim chose this gorgeous sketch from Sweeties Sketches.

I just discovered either this link doesn't work or the blog is no longer in existance but I wanted to give credit where credit is due. Here is my take on the sketch.

Instead of using circular paper, I chose to use a template to pierce the design on my Core'dinations cardstock and lightly sanded it to further enhance the core color. I then machine stitched the inner circle using brown thread. I used another Serendipity kit...September's I Deserve It All kit. Like the broken record I am, I must say this kit is awesome...tons of gorgeous products.

Here is Kim's take on the sketch.

I always love Kim's work. She has a way of using just the right colors... just the right pics... just the right titles... to draw you in. I love the clean and simple beauty of this one.

As always, I seem to be behind in most areas of my life so it is only fitting I am behind in posting a tag/award I received from three very special ladies.

The award is the Honest Scrap Award.

Here is how it works....

*Say thank you and give a link to the presenter of the award
*Share “10 Honest Things” about myself
*Present the award to 9 other bloggers whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design or to those who have encouraged me
*Be sure to tell the 9 bloggers chosen that you are giving them the Honest Scrap award and provide the guidelines for them

The first one I want to thank is Julie, a new friend from Serendipity. I've had a blast getting to know her through the message board and she is a scrapping queen. I love her style and she is a wonderful photographer. The second special lady kind enough to honor me with the award is, Chris, aka Chrispea. She is also an extremely talented scrapper with mad, mad photography skills. Chris is also a true inspiration to me. She is currently battling breast cancer and her willingness to share her story and her positive attitude touch my heart deeply. Last, but certainly not least is Julie, my "boss" at These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things. I have mentioned time and time again how much Julie amazes me. Now that I know she completes most of her layouts in 30 minutes or less... let's just say she is my hero! LOL!

Here goes with my Honest Facts:

1. Although I was initially shell-shocked when I became an empty-nester last year, I've come to realize I LOVE this phase of life. It is the first time I've taken the time to focus on what I want and what makes me happy.

2. I am no longer engaged. There...I've said it. I know I've eluded to it over the past few months but I have yet to say it out right. Time to be totally honest, huh?

3. With regard to #2, I am secretly (well, now not so secretly) afraid of never finding THE one. A failed marriage and a broken engagement makes you stop and think.

4. Building on #3. I am an eternal optimist so despite my fears of being alone, I'm not really worried. I'm a firm believer in what is meant to be will be.

5. Since my divorce 5 years ago, I have "sown my wild oats" so to speak. Nothing like being in your 40's and finally cutting loose...not that I'm loose! LOL!

6. I don't know how to snow ski. I've always wanted to learn. The only time I tried, it was really too warm to ski. I did fairly well considering I was navigating mud puddles. This winter I plan to take lessons. Now, cross your fingers and say a prayer that I don't break something! :)

7. I hate to sit in my kitchen or family room at night. These rooms have lots and lots of windows and I feel as if someone is always watching me. This fear comes from the peeping Tom that was a permanent fixture at my house during my teen years. While we would catch him at the windows peeking in, we could never actually "catch" him. I still feel "eyes are watching me" to this very day. ***shiver***

8. Growing up in a small community, everyone knew everyone else's business...or thought they did. When my parents divorced 15 years ago, many rumors were started as to why. The whole "affair" involved our church. Believe it or not, I was drug into the middle of it all. I actually received "hate" mail. It was an anonymous letter quoting scripture complete with all the words being cut from various magazines. I still have it... it's always good for a laugh. It serves as a reminder that things aren't always what they seem.

9. Lately I'm missing my grandparent's more than ever. They were a big part of my life. We always have our family reunion in October and this would be the first one without my grandmother.

10. The most honest fact of all...I love my life. It isn't perfect, but it makes me perfectly happy!!!

There you have it, my list of 10 honest facts. When selecting who to pass awards on to, I am never able to narrow my list to a select few. So, as always, I want to pass this to anyone who leaves a comment. Additionally, I want to offer it to my blogging pals from Serendipity. Let me know if you choose to snag the award. I don't want to miss your honest facts.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week. I hope to be back mid-week with more scrappy stuff. I've been working my can off so I must share.

Hugs and love,

P.S. There is still time to get your name in for my "Squeeze Your Melons" give-away. Go HERE.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lovin' Fall & Expectations of Others

Well, I did it again. I opened this big ol' mouth of mine and proclaimed a life void of wackiness. You know EXACTLY what that means. Craziness of every kind has found me! I'm not sure I had fully released the "Publish Post" button when I became surround my nuttiness. All good but wacked out nonetheless. Tons of deadlines at work ...a major crop at Serendipity issues of the worst kind ...that would be only a smidge of what has enveloped me. Isn't it just like a computer to act up when you need it to behave the most??? Kind of like a little child, huh? But you can't bribe a computer with a new toy or piece of candy...not that I ever did that with my kids.

Lots of changes have occurred in my world over the past 3 months. I haven't written about them yet, but I plan to soon. You will have to stay tuned. Lots of drama. My life could be a prime time soap opera complete with all the requisite heartaches, back stabbing, cat fights, sex (well, maybe not), hot sexy men (yep, that's right), fantastic gal pals and an exciting wardrobe (I treated myself to more retail therapy). I will admit to having debated starting a new blog...under an assumed name...where I can write about my antics. The life of a single girl over 40 kinda requires some anonymity if you disclose everything...

OK, so that wasn't what this post was supposed to be about but it's my blog and I can write what I want. LOL! I really wanted to post a few layouts I've done lately.

First is my Fave Things layout. This time it's all about our favorite season. Mine is unquestionably Fall. Everything about it makes me happy! So much so, I couldn't encompass it all in a single layout. So I made a mini album. I used products from this month's Serendipity Altered kit.

I hope you will participate in our challenge. You have until the 31st before the next challenge is posted.

The next few layouts were also done with my October Serendipity Altered kit. This is a gorgeous kit full of Pink Paislee's Amber Road and Scrap Within Reach products. I completed the mini (included in the kit) and 3 other layouts with so much product left over. The full altered kit has sold out, but you can get a mini version.

This first layout is a tribute to my dad. He is the hardest working person I know. Even at 64 he is still going strong. Although his up-bringing makes it hard for him to express his love in words, he has always worked hard to make my life easier.

I had fun with the next one. It was fun (not exactly...haha) making the half circle border. If you have anal tendencies and a strong need for perfection, I suggest you NEVER give this a try. LOL! It looks simple but my quirky personality flaws got in the way. I eventually took a deep breath and just let it go. I think it turned out OK. Funny thing, I have more crooked titles and tilted photos than I care to count. I try to turn a blind eye to them and just enjoy the process rather than seek perfection. But those little circles got the best of me, I tell ya!

My last layout from the kit is a hodge-podge of all the items in the kit. My kids have an incredible relationship with their cousins. While they don't get to see them as often as they would like, they are as much friends as they are family.

My final layout is for the current prompt at Forward Progress. The prompt asks us to explore the expectations of others and how we handle them. Do we allow them to effect our decisions? My journaling was very simple this time. This topic was a major source of struggle in my life when I was younger. I was so caught up in meeting other's expectations, or at least what I thought was their expectiations. But they say with age comes wisdom and I find that to be true with this subject. Once I let go of the expectations of others, life became so much simpler...easier.

Try to overlook the poor picture quality. The little "perfection" demon is having a hey day with me today. I'm not happy with anything I've posted today...just a barrel of complaints:).

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my ramblings. I will be around soon to say hello.

Hugs and love,

Don't forget to comment on THIS post to be eligible for my current give-away!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wacky Wednesday

***Go HERE for my current give-away***

Poppin' in to post about the wackiness in my life. I posed a blog challenge to the ladies at Serendipity Scrapbooks, asking them to do a Wacky Wednesday post. Weeelllll, I didn't consider that I would need to do the same. LOL! Actually, I did. I assumed it would be an easy one as there is ALWAYS something wacky going on in my world. But as luck would have it, not one crazy, zany, wacked out thing has happened this week! Huh? Yep, my life is a total snore. LOL! Sooooo, my wacky fact is my life is totally void of wackiness!!!!

(Lame...I know. But what's a girl to do????)

Hugs to everyone!!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Have You Sqeezed Your Melons Give-away

Time for a give-away! Anybody up for one??? As you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While I am very fortunate and have not had to suffer the horror of this disease I have experienced the fear of being called back for a more thorough "look". The results have been favorable but the suspect areas are being closely monitored each year. Every year, I have diagnostic mammograms rather than routine screenings. On Wednesday, I will be going for my annual exam. While no one likes to get their jugs squashed, I cannot stress the importance of having this done. I admit, I hate going. Hate it with a passion. And for whatever reason, it has nothing to do with the discomfort of the exam...I'm one of the lucky ones and have never found it to cause much discomfort. My problem is I sometimes like to live in denial. I subscribe to the old adage "what I don't know can't hurt me". But ladies, this is one time where what you don't know can kill you!!! In addition to mammograms, it is so important to perform self-exams. Knowing your own body is the quickest way to ensure early detection of irregularities. I will not lie to you, I'm not the most diligent with this. But times are a changin' and I'm now making it a priority.

As with any give-away, there is usually something asked of you. This is no different. Here are the details:

1. Perform a self breast exam. That's right...sqeeze your own melons so to speak. HERE is a link explaining how to do this in 5 simple steps.

2. Leave me a comment saying "I've squeezed my melons".

That's it. Rather simple. I would also like to encourage you to continue with your self-exams and if you are of the age, be sure and schedule your mammogram. I would also love it if you would please pass the message on. I'm not requiring it for the give-away, just making a kind request. You have until the 31st to leave a comment then I will randomly select a winner on November 1st. I'll be back later with a photo of what's up for grabs. I can promise you it will be worth the effort of a little squeeze!


Friday, October 9, 2009

My Favorite Time of Day Equals Hope

Is there a specific time of day you find special? A time of day that stands out to you? A time you look forward to? If so, you need to document that time of day in some scrappy need to get yourself over to These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things and enter it in our current challenge. And it doesn't have to be a "morning, noon or night" time of day either. Maybe it is your early-morning-cup-of-coffee-time. Or how about family-dinner-time. It may be time in the shower. LOL! I laugh now, but there was a time in my life when my kiddos were small that I lived for my shower was the only time I seemed to have to myself. I was never able to find solitude when sitting on the porcelain throne, but shower time brought blissful silence...if only for a few minutes. Makes you wonder why they would want to interrupt mommy's "potty" time??? Go figure. LOL!

As with most of our challenges, I find it hard to narrow the subject down to a single favorite. But once I give it more thought, it never fails that something begins to stand out. You wouldn't believe the choices I mulled over for this one. Quitting time at work, nap time, workout time, scrap time. As I was trying ever so unsuccessfully to narrow it down to one, I came across this photo. It is the view outside my kitchen window just as the sun is rising above the trees. I had totally forgotten I had snapped this's several years old. I knew then what I wanted to document.

The reason this holds such special meaning for me is wrapped up in when and why I took the photo. When I was first separated from my ex-husband, there were many dark days. In fact, most days were dark days. It was the only time in my life where I saw total darkness when I tried to envision my future. But one morning, just as I was getting ready to send the kids off to school, I looked outside my window and there it was....hope. From that day forward, I would take a few minutes to stand at that window and tell myself there was hope in every sunrise. At first, I wasn't sure I believed what I was saying. But as they say, if you repeat something to yourself enough, you eventually begin to believe it. I took this photo to carry with me as a constant reminder that a new day will come.

My journaling reads: This is the view from my kitchen window...early morning just as the sun is coming up. So many times I catch myself standing at that window contemplating all the new day will bring.

Funny how it took me stumbling upon this photo to remember this point. Don't get me wrong, I still frequently stand at that window and welcome a new day. But I no longer have the desparate need to convince myself hope exists. Hope is a part of my life...a huge part of my life. Something I pray to never lose sight of again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Can I Show You My Bra?

Time to expose my bra in mini Jogger Bra album that is. A few posts back I shared the super cute bra albums currently available at Serendipity Scrapbooks. As you will remember, 50% of the sales of these bras between Sept 24th - Oct 31st will go to the National Breast Cancer Organization. I was given the chance to play with the Jogger Bra album. I knew immediately that I wanted to create a mini about Keri's college pals. She has made some wonderful friends...the kind that will last a lifetime. Keri and her friends are definitely feminine girls but not "girly" girls, if you know what I mean. So the Jogger Bra was a good choice. I wanted to bling it up, but too much bling wouldn't really "fit". So here is my compromise:

Even though it is simple, it is soooo "them". I hope you will also remember to mark your calendars for our Pimp My Bra Crop next weekend. Pre-crop challenges start this Friday. I would love to see you there.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Howard Hoedown

This weekend was amazing with a capital "A". I was honored to be invited to my "ex"-nephew's wedding. I very reluctantly use the term "ex" as my neices and nephews will always be such in my eyes...divorce or not. And to think my oldest nephew is old enough to be getting married certainly helped me realize my current state of...well..."old". The ceremony was absolutely gorgeous...a wonderful outdoor celebration which more resembled a worship service than a wedding. I felt touched in ways one never expects from a wedding. The tears were plentiful from the moment Josh stepped up to the alter. All I kept seeing was the sweet little boy who was in my wedding so many years ago. Of course, I also had to suppress my chuckles over the memory of him disrupting our wedding ceremony because he was holding himself and very loudly proclaiming his need "to pee". He has grown into a strong and amazingly handsome young man. And least we not forget the bride...she was absolutely gorgeous! They make a BEAUTIFUL couple.

While the ceremony was light, yet reverent, the reception was done in true Howard tradition, was a "pah-tay"! Set outside under a massive white tent, the atmosphere was one of down-home elegance. It was finely catered but in keeping with the character of the bride and groom. Ribs, chicken and sliced pork with garlic potatoes, sauteed vegetables and field greens were served buffet style. Gorgeous wood carvings, lanterns and seasonal dried flowers adorned the white clothed tables. And the bar was open and happenin'. Add in a fantastic band and a partying group of people and you had the makings of a night to remember.

Here are a few of the random shots I captured with my point-and-shoot camera. I would love to show you pics of the bride and groom, but *sigh* I didn't get any. These are the most random, crazy shots...I guess that's what you get when you've had one vodka and cranberry too many.

A few Howard cousins:


Me and the mother of the groom, my ex-sister-in-law and good friend, Barbara:

Crazy boys:

A cutie groomsman (Colleen, this one's for you!):

The bouquet/garter catching couple:

It was one of the best nights I've had in a very long time. It was a homecoming of sorts. A time of reconnecting and re-establishing lost family ties and friendships. I hope your weekend brought you as much joy as mine did me.