Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Now, all you Facebook lovers, please don't hate me. I've come to appreciate it, but let's get real here. You can't actually learn that much about someone with no more than "Jeff is off to the the gym" or "Sarah is taking a nap" or "Jenny wishes the rain would stop" or my personal favorite, "John is petting his dog, Sparky". While I have used the site to reconnect with a few old high school friends, we have done nothing more than exchange a few pleasantries and moved on. I think I just have this need to connect on a deeper level. I will admit I love seeing all the pictures. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. I also realize that sites such as this are the wave of the future. I'm just a little slow on boarding the fast moving train into the unknown. I like my little comfort zone in which I surround myself. But we all have to stretch beyond our boundaries from time to time and this was one of those times.
So I disguised my uneasiness with feigned excitement and jumped in. I still feel like I might hyperventilate from time to time when I log on. So. Much. To. See. It can be overwhelming. But it has been the greatest way to see a bit of what my girl is doing on an on-going basis. She always informs me of her latest photo uploads and my heart melts that she wants to include me in all she does.
Today, she posted the following on my wall. See if you find any similarities in how we think.
Count Down....5 weeks left after this one....but basically it's only 4 weeks because the last week of finals doesn't really count...and then basically 3 weeks because the last actual week of classes doesn't really count either...but it might as well be 2 weeks because of our birthdays...but then I'll be home the weekend for Easter soooooo pretty much what we're left with is ONE week until I'm HOME with YOU!!!!I love you mommy and miss you like crazy! ♥ .
That wonderful way of taking any situation and spinning it exactly to your liking...well, let's just say, THAT is how I know she is MY daughter!
Edited: The fabulous Jill just left a comment hooking me up with THIS hilarious video about Facebook. It's a must-see!
Monday, March 30, 2009
"Well, you see, I spent the entire week catching up with my favorite blog friends and otherwise surfing the net in search of some scrapping inspiration because as of late, my scrappy mojo is avoiding me. Since you weren't here to keep me on task, I decided to take a mini-vacation into crafting cyber-space."
I'm thinking that would be the wrong response to his anticipated questions. Honestly,I worked like a mad woman and completed many projects while he was away and I plan to support my image of a very dutiful and competent employee and rush to him with the results as soon as he walks in the door. Maybe, if I'm really lucky, he be his usual self and not even care to ask.
Several posts back I did a give away with this Close To My Heart kit.
Random.org chose Jocelyn as the recipient. She and I have discussed challenging each other to help us think outside our usual scrapping box. Since we both owned the kit, we thought what better way to start our challenges than with these products. We were to complete a layout and a card.
Before I reveal my creations, let me state, with emphasis, that I wasn't kidding when I said I've lost my scrapping mojo. I attended a crop Friday night with some old friends and I walked away with nothing other than an addition to my laugh lines. I had a great time socially, but the creative juices just were not flowing. And obviously, my photography skills are on hiatus as well. These photos are quite crappy. I couldn't take these this morning when we had ample sunshine, I had to wait until this afternoon when we had overcast skies. See, even my timing is off. Ehhh. What's a girl gonna do.
Even though this isn't one of my favorite layouts design-wise, I LOVE the pictures. My grandmother (on the right) suffered from dementia the last few years she was alive. She had always been such a spunky lady and it was extremely hard to watch the loss of her mental faculties eat away at her existence. But something about my cousin (actually my dad's first cousin), Aileene, seemed to bring her back into this reality if only for a few moments. This picture was taken at one of the last family reunions she was able to attend. Watching my grandmother's show of affection for Aileene was such a sweet moment. I'm so glad I was able to capture it on film.
Creating this card was the real challenge for me. I never ever make cards. Don't know why. I have the requisite basket of scraps and any other supply known to man, but I just don't go there. I admit it was fun playing on a smaller playground. I think I will have to try this again soon. One thing, though, it took me forever to create this. I will blame it in part on my creative block as well as the fact that the smaller format kind of threw me off. Hopefully next time it won't take me as long to make the transition.
I'm so excited to see what Jocelyn created. You can see her take on this challenge HERE. Be sure to give her a little blog love today. We all can use some TLC on Mondays!
That's all I've got for now. Here's hoping your Monday treats you well and as always, thanks for making my day by sharing a little bit of it.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Actually, I think this is a pretty cool idea. The point is to grab your camera and take a photo at the exact second you realize you have been tagged. Well, lucky me! I was at work without a camera when I discovered I had been tagged. Of course I waited until I got home to snap this lovely little photo. And you know I had to ham it up a bit. Even with some lag time to prepare myself, the thought did not occur to me to touch up my makeup or slap some color on my totally colorless lips. I think it's obvious I am not a connoisseur of Revlon Colorstay 12 hour makeup. lol! And since I cannot tell a lie, this is actually the second (ummm, maybe third) photo I took. The other two really were frightening. I had this wonky eyebrow thing going on. Don't ask...you really DO NOT want to know.
So now it is my turn. I tag Antonella, Lisa Spiegel, Lisa Houpt, Peggy, Mandy and Ellen. OK, chickies, let's see them mugs! I'll be stalking your blogs more than usual in anticipation of seeing your lovely little faces!
In other random news, Lydia and I were finally able to begin month 3 of our ChaLEAN Extreme workout. We are two weeks late starting due to the fact that Lydia had to be out of town for work. We continued to workout, we just repeated workouts from months one and two.
(Pause for commercial break.) If you want a hard core workout, one that gives results like no other, one that is as fun as it is empowering, then ChaLEAN Extreme is the one for you! (Back to our regularly scheduled program.)
This is a pic of all the weights I use. Yes, I can be a bit anal. I do keep them all lined up. Just makes me feel good. Notice how they are not only lined up, but turned so the numbers are all facing the same way? For those of us with obsessive compulsive tendencies, this rights every wrong in our world. Can I get an amen? To prove just how strong I've gotten doing this workout, take a look at this next pic.
That's right. Twenty pound dumbbells, baby! All of my chest, back and lower body exercises are done with these big guys. If you think I am bragging, all I can say is, you bet your sweet patootie I am. This has been the hardest I've EVER worked. And I've had a few personal trainers in the past whom I've labeled Workout Nazis. So please forgive my moment of self infatuation...I've sooo earned it!
Before I leave you for today, I must also give a bit of blog time to my newest friend. Meet ...uhhh...the treadmill?!?!? OK, so I stink at naming inanimate objects. But I love him/her/it just the same. After saying my farewells to my last running machine, I realized just how much I missed taking out my frustrations on this highway to nowhere. So I bit the bullet and bought a new one. This is my way of reaching my goal of running a 5k this year....late, late, late this year. I'm really, and I do mean REALLY out of shape cardiovascularly.
I guess I will be signing off for now. BTW, if anyone has any suggestions for a name for my treadmill, I'm all ears. I'm thinking a studly name might make me want to climb aboard and give it a go a bit sooner than a girly name. But I'll leave it to you guys to help me out with that one. Thanks, as always, for all the incredible comments! You guys absolutely rock!
P.S. Late breaking news!!! GO HERE NOW for a fun giveaway! And please tell Pinky the crazy lady sent ya...that would be me! But you actually knew that, now didn't ya!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
This trip my bladder decided to have a mind of its own. About 50 miles prior to the half-way potty station, I had an overwhelming need to pee. I tried talking my bladder into submission, but it wasn't having any of that. And of course, the thought never crossed my mind to stop else where. To be honest, there weren't that many options anyway. So I suffered my way through 50 miles of squirming in my seat, doing everything except holding myself. Well, I may have even done a bit of that, but that will be our secret.
When I pulled into my relief station, I felt exactly that...relief. I tried not to give away the fact that my eyeballs were swimming, but I think my awkward walk/run straight for the ladies' room might have tipped a few people off. As I turned the corner, I practically died on the spot. The john was closed for cleaning!!! What the ....!!! Shouldn't they be doing that after hours? I walked in circles trying to appear to be making a snack selection, hoping like heck the dude in the ladies room would hurry up!
After what seemed like an eternity, he spotted me and spewed forth what I think was an apology but he spoke in what I think was Spanish and I no hablo espanol. He stepped out as I frantically rushed in. As you know, another 100 miles would not be so swell in a soggy seat. He didn't even close the main door, but what did I care. I hurriedly claimed my stall and assumed the position.
Now this is the part of the story that begs the question, "Have any of you ever had the following experience?"
After precariously perching myself over the toilet, I could finally begin to relieve myself. It was such a sudden rush of relief that I might have actually moaned an audible ahhhh! I continued to hover...and hover...and hover. My ahhhhs became ohhhs and eventually uhhhs! No amount of lunges or squats had prepared me for the marathon pee session that seemed to never end!!! I could only guess what the total strangers in the other stalls were thinking. Could possibly have been something along the lines of "That chick sounds like a freaking race horse!" Of course I finally finished, but what had been a walk-with-my-legs-squeezed-together waddle into the store became a hobble-like-I-had-spent-three-days-on-horseback hike back to the car.
So tell me ladies, has this ever happened to anyone else or am I the only one plagued with the inability to fully assume the position? I'm just wonderin'.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This morning Good Morning America showed short clips of a 10-year-old little girl's interview with Prince William. She had the loveliest British accent. One that begged to be imitated.
Actually, the dog thought it was pretty funny!
Guess you had to be there.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The conversation went something like this:
Keith: Hey babe, I've been giving Morgan that awesome multi-grain toast for breakfast just like you suggested. The little rat loves it so much, she asked for a second piece this morning.
Me: Oh yeah! Two pieces, huh? I thought she would like it.
Keith: I wouldn't let her have another piece since we are trying to eat healthier. She needs to eat something other than just bread.
Me: (a bit bewildered but amazed that he seemed to be on the nutrionally sound bandwagon) The bread probably wouldn't hurt her. It's loaded with fiber and even has some protein.
Keith: Oh. (insert pause) Well, I made her eat a Pop Tart instead.
Me: (gasp and double gasp) The only hint of nutritional value in a Pop Tart is the fruit filling and even THAT is mostly sugar!
Keith: Then I guess it's a good thing I gave her the chocolate one!
I don't think Morgan really cares that her dad is a nutritionally challenged dolt! She loves him all the same.
P.S. There must be a thing with us when it comes to Pop Tarts. I'll just blame Keith for my recent fascination with this nutritional wasteland of a treat. It's always nice when you don't have to take responsiblity for your own actions...lol!!! Happy Hump Day!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I want to send a massive and very heartfelt thank you for all of the comments left on my last post. I feel I need to clarify a few things. My whole intention with that post was to try to make light of a challenging phase in any mother's life. We tend to wrap ourselves in the motherly robe and when it is time for the birdies to flee the nest, we can't really figure out what our role is. Change of any sort is tough. No doubt about it. One of my main reasons for blogging was to document my journey through this phase of life. It is everything I thought it would be. Like I tried to portray in my last post, it can suck! No better word for it. But I do see and appreciate the beauty of getting to remake myself. To find out who I am. Once stripped of that motherly robe, you feel a bit exposed and vulnerable. But rest assured, I am not one to go down without a fight. Many of you offered some wonderful suggestions on how to redefine myself. Several of them have already been attempted...some with success and some without. But hey, that's how it goes. And for all of you who are totally disgusted with my lack of personal grooming habits, please know that I have not worn the sweats all week. I said my good-byes, held a mourning ritual then tossed them in the laundry.
I also need to mention for the sake of my newest blog friends that I do have a wonderful fiance. However, he does live 3 states away with a 3 hour commute between us. To prove that life can have an evil sense of humor, his world got turned upside down right as mine did. When I became an empty-nester, he became a full-time single parent. That has added to our inability to move forward with our plans to marry as we are awaiting the final court decision. Our weekend visits are not as frequent as they once were and the opportunity for lengthy phone calls has been phased out. So I guess I was having myself a good ol' pity party. Missing the busy-ness of my old life and realizing it will be a while before I can fully move into my new world. But as always is the case with pity parties, they can only last so long. Mine lasted a mere 24 hours. Now I am back to grabbing life by the horns and making the best of it. You will have to stay tuned to see how well I tackle this bugger of a challenge and what trouble I get into while doing it. I can bet you one thing, it will be a wild and crazy ride.
Before I go, I thought I would share a layout of me and my guy that I did for Antonello's Pinkilicous Sketch Challenge.
Hope you all have a super fantastic Monday! Hugs to you all!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Four years after divorce and with my youngest heading off to school last August, life as I had always known it came to a screeching halt! Gone were the teenagers who invariably found their way through my revolving door. Gone were the after school activities. Gone were the connections with the other "involved" moms. I was suddenly, utterly and completely alone. The just-me-time that had always been beyond my grasp was staring me right in the ol' eye! I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself.
It has been a trip, I tell ya. They always say be careful what you wish for, and that could not be more true than in this case. While I can say with all-out certainty, it isn't all bad, I have to admit it isn't always grand. The life of living singularly has led me to a few revelations. Thought I would share in case any of you are thinking the grass might be greener...
Pro - Peace and quiet. No loud noises. No one yelling for you just as you are planting yourself on the porcelain throne. No one blasting their music while demanding to know where they put........ Fill in the blank with absolutely anything and you will be on the mark! No bickering. No need to be peace-maker.
Con - Absolute silence. No one to talk to. You talk to yourself. No one to answer back. You answer yourself. You talk to the dog. The dog just stares with cocked head. You answer for the dog. The dog starts to think you may be crazy!
Pro - Evenings are your own. No more ball games. No more meetings. No more late night projects. No more study sessions.
Con - An empty social calendar. Get up. Go to work. Come home. Eat. Go to bed. Repeat.
Pro - No cooking required! Need I say more.
Con - Your diet consists of frozen dinners, macaroni and cheese...the Easy Mac variety...and soup. When nuking your food gets to be too much of a hassle, you switch to Doritos and Pop Tarts. And you don't even think about toasting the tasty little pastries. You eat them straight out of the foil packaging. You convince yourself you are getting a balanced diet...Doritos fill the need for a colorful diet and Pop Tarts do have that fruit filling!
Pro - Two measly loads of laundry a week vs. 14 hefty loads.
Con - Several weeks pass and you realize you have worn the same pair of sweats every night and every weekend...without washing them. Not that bad until the clothes start talking back to you. Of course, this solves problem number one.
Pro - No kid's clutter and no one to pick up after. You never have to make your bed. Heck, you all but live in your bed. No need to wash dishes. Trash cans can overflow and dirty clothes need never reach the hamper. Oh yeah, you just keep wearing your dirty clothes so no hamper needed.
Con - The clutter is worse than before and it is all your's. Chores belong to you and only you. You never realized how handy a teenager's helping hand can be.
Pro - No more setting an example, there's really no need to be your own teacher. Farting and burping at will is allowed and welcomed.
Con - Not really a con here as I see it. Of course, you must be able to control yourself should the need arise. Otherwise things could get embarrassing.
Pro - You can run around in your underwear or naked if you feel the urge.
Con - Can't fully appreciate this one yet. Got to keep working on my "lovin' myself" attitude to be able to do that. Ain't nothing pretty about pasty white cellulite bounding around the house even if you are alone.
Pro - There is no one to tell you what to do.
Con - There is no one to do anything with.
So what do you think? I think if you are lucky enough to still be experiencing the madness of mommy-hood you should embrace it and cherish it despite the fact it is an all-consuming-suck-the-life-out-of-you-never-let-you-get-a-moments-peace way of life. But what a life it is! Take it from the girl on the other side of the fence.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Last week I wrote about a challenge at my not-so-local scrapbook store. This week I tried to tackle what I thought would be a relatively easy challenge. I made the obligatory trip to the store, bought the required items, gathered my photos and actually carved out some time to scrap. It was going well until I reached for one of my favorite punches and realized I couldn't use it! The guidelines of the challenge state you must use the listed items and you can only use additional items that have been purchased at their store. Darn! That ruled out most of my options. While I have contributed many a dollar to maintaining this store's financial well-being, I can't exactly tell you what I've bought there and what has been bought via other scrappy sites. And due to the inconvenient location of the store, a quick trip to purchase additional supplies was out of the question. However, I pushed ahead and this is what I came up with. The layouts are extremely simple, but what more can a girl do when she only has 3 items to work with...lol! I had to use one of the 2 new Basic Grey lines, either Marrakech or Porcelain, Core-dinations cardstock and any Technique Tuesday item.
The first layout was made using Marrakech paper along with cardboard and chipboard stickers. I layered tons of stickers to create the flower border. I also used the Ali Edward's "Loving Words" Technique Tuesday stamps.
While the title is a subtle sentiment, I think it says it all..."there is no doubt - i just love you."
I created an additional layout using the Marrakech line. The colors are so bright and fun!
My frustration with this layout set in when I automatically reached for my ribbon stash and had to stop myself. I tried to purchase ribbon at the store, but could find no good options. So I created some faux ribbon with the paper. Again, I used the "Loving Words" stamps. I think these stamps have quickly become some of my favorites.
(edited) The final layout is probably the simplest of all, but for whatever reason, it is my favorite. The photo of this layout doesn't do it justice. I'm not as fond of the Porcelain line because the colors are softer and I tend to always lean toward the more vibrant colors. I originally had this layout as a "mostly cardstock layout". But you know how an idea will come to you after walking away for a while? My struggle had been the use of patterned paper. Couldn't get it to look right to save my life. Well, last night...ahem...or this morning (3:00 am), it came to me. I like this much better.
All accents are stickers from the Porcelain line. I traced the butterfly on cardstock, cut it out and adhered the sticker with pop dots.
I used Technique Tuesday Technique Tiles for the hearts, using the Cuttlebug dotted swiss embossing folder to "embellish" the smaller heart. Thank goodness I remembered that I bought this embossing folder on my previous trip to the store. The word "bloom" was included on the sticker sheet or I would have been in a pickle trying to create a title. lol!
So that's it friends! It was the best I could do with what I had. Now I just have to find the time to get the layouts to the store before Saturday at 6:00 pm. Something tells me I won't be participating in anymore of the store challenges...it's suppose to be a challenge, but I was counting on it being less stressful...lol!
On a side note, if you are interested in trying to win some awesome new paper, be sure to go HERE! Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend! Until next time!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I feel so honored and grateful Antonella would think of me when passing this award along. I'm relatively new to the blogging scene, at least from the writer's side, but I believe this means I can pay it forward by bestowing this award on several additional bloggers. I choose to pass this lovely award to the following:
Kristii Lockart (Honestly Speaking) - Not only will you find enormous scrapping talent on this lady's blog, but Kristii's wonderfully upbeat attitude and strong faith is a beautiful inspiration.
Lisa Houpt (itsjustlisa) - I recently admitted to being a stalker of this girl's blog...cannot wait for her to post her latest creations...'nough said!
Cassie (SomethingFromCassie) - You can actually feel this gal's energy leap off the screen...lol...and she can rock some layouts!
Jocelyn (Simply Me) - This lady is one of the sweetest, most encouraging people I know. She has welcomed me with open arms into this blogging world and made me feel so at home with her sweet comments. A visit to her blog lets you see straight to her heart.
Here is your award ladies...you SO deserve it!
Now for a few layouts. These are a few months old, but they are a some of my favorites. Not so much for the design, but for the emotion behind them. Friendships are something to be cherished and this first layout is of Keri and one of her best, very best, friends. They share one of those special friendships that is just there and will always be there. They no longer get to spend much time together, but the bond is strong...they always pick up right where they left off...and it usually involves silliness. One look at these photos and you get the idea.The next one is special to me because this photo is classic Taylor and Keri...now...lol! There was a time when they wouldn't begin to get this close to one another. They have a fantastic relationship, always have, they just forgot about that bond for a few years...lol! I think they really do feel lucky to have each other...and to me that is all I can ask for!
Before I sign off, I want to thank all of you who have made these first few months as a blogger such an amazing experience. I love reading all the comments. And I especially love getting a chance to know more about you. If you visit but usually don't leave a comment, please do so at least once. I would love the chance to say hello! Happy Hump Day...tomorrow! G-night!
Monday, March 2, 2009
Jocelyn!!! If you will please send me your mailing address, I will be happy to forward the stamp & paper kit to you!
You guys are AMAZING for playing along with me!!! Seriously!!! I was touched that so many of you would be willing to open up as you did. Of course I did give you the freedom to make things up if you had so chosen, but for some reason, I feel everyone was honest. Isn't it crazy how we as women have so much pressure to be "perfect"?
I know men have their own issues to deal with but after this weekend, I am more sure than ever most of them could not begin to conquer those mathematical gymnastics I mentioned. Let me play it out for you...
Keith: (knowing I have given up sugar for lent) You are gonna love me or hate me! (while smacking his lips) I bought two pieces of chocolate pie for us!
Me: (smiling through clenched teeth) Honey, you know I. Can't. Have. That.
Keith: (with as much sincerity as any human can have) I was afraid of that so I got you some fruit...fig newtons.
The man honestly had no idea fig newtons have sugar!!!
Happy Monday everyone!!!