Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One year ago today...

And, now, just look at my big boy. All grown up!

I can't believe it has already been a year! It has really flown by...a lot faster than I had anticipated it too. I'm so happy because, with this birthday, comes the near end of this deployment. But, it's also quite sad...Luka isn't my little baby anymore. Of course, he'll always be my baby, but he just isn't that little, cuddly baby anymore. He doesn't want to snuggle or be held; he wants to walk all over the place and terrorize his sister. *sigh* I miss that little baby that used to curl up and sleep on my chest for hours. But, I am excited to see him develop his own little personality. I just wish he could slow down a little bit...his daddy is missing out on so much. Actually, Bryan's gift was Luka's absolute favorite:

He loves that little dump truck. He couldn't have cared less about any of the other toys. In fact, Hazel ended up playing with most of them. He wasn't really interested in the cake either. He poked at it a few times, and took a couple of bites. But, when Hazel turned one, she was elbow-deep in cake. Luka? Not so much. After a couple of bites, he tried to toss the cake onto the floor. I took it as a sign that he was done.

In other news...look at this yumminess that has landed in my kitchen:

I have wanted a stand mixer for, oh, FOREVER. Every year, for Christmas, I have asked Bryan for one. He never understood why I would want some $300 kitchen appliance. Finally, my Dad and step-mom got me one, and at a total steal. Home Depot (or was it Lowe's?) printed an error in one of their sale ads, and listed the price on these Kitchen Aid mixers WAY lower than it was supposed to be. And, since it was their fault, they had to honor the ad if someone brought it into the store. So, now this little baby is mine! And, it's turquoise! You have no idea how hard it is to find turquoise things for my kitchen that is done in turquoise, orange and brown. Thank you so much, Dad and Carol! Having this delivered today totally made my day!

Happy birthday to my little man!

Monday, January 28, 2008

This weekend...

*I made this little card for our next birthday girl at the Poppy Ink boards:

Inside, it says, "To you!" I should have scanned that too because it was done in cute little felt pieces. Oh, well. It is already in the mail, and on its way!

*I took Hazel and Luka to Raleigh to go to Build-A-Bear. Hazel had a blast making a Valentine doggy! And, I got to eat at The Cheesecake Factory...my favorite! I had the yummy Thai chicken pasta! Everything I've ever eaten there is wonderful, but I always seem to go for that dish. I also made a quick run into Williams-Sonoma, where I bought some of these yummy homemade heart-shaped marshmallows:

*Our French bulldog puppy was born on Friday at 2:10 p.m. (Pictures to come soon!)

*I found out that they will be opening a Forever 21 at the big mall in Raleigh. Yipee! It's my favorite store, and now I don't have to make the 4 hour drive to Charlotte to go. No, if only we could get an Urban Outfitters...

*I also made this little heart-shaped ribbon wreath for the Poppy Ink birthday girl. It didn't turn out quite as cute as I had envisioned, but it's okay.

*I spent a great deal of time racking my brain for an idea on my next submission to the SIStv Fashionista try-outs. I can't believe I even made it through the first round! I feel honored to be included with so many talented ladies! And, I think I have finally come up with an idea for my next submission that will really stand out. I'm hoping it turns out how I have pictured it in my mind!

*I watched Wedding Daze:

Two thumbs DOWN! That movie sucked. I have no idea what possessed me to rent it on my Netflix. I'm all for silly movies...I needed a laugh. But, that movie was so stupid, it was painful to watch. Super Bad is on its way. I'm really hoping it is good for a few laughs.

I guess that about sums up my weekend. Did anyone else do anything fun?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Some new stuffs...

It feels sooooo... good to get some of my mojo back! I finally got around to scrapping my New Year's resolutions:

This LO was also for Elsie Flannigan's 52 Scrapbooking Challenges that I am participating in over at the Poppy Ink boards. The first challenge was to journal on strips of cardstock. Okay, so I didn't use cardstock...I used masking tape. But, same principal. This week's challenge is to select a single black and white photo, and create a LO around it. I haven't quite figured out what I am doing yet, but I will post it as soon as I am done.

I actually busted into my January PI kit just a little bit to make this card:

It's for one of my PI girl's birthday. I'm not as into this kit as usual. The colors aren't really something that I usually use in my work, so it has been a bit challenging to work with. Plus, I'm really into Valentine crafting right now, and I adore all of the traditional pinks, whites and reds when it comes to this holiday. V-Day is not my fave holiday...by a long shot. But, I am VERY into crafting for it. ;0) Here's a little wreath I made as a birthday gift for the same gal that will be the recipient of the card above:

It is made entirely out of vintage buttons. And, fortunately, due to the postal holiday on Monday, I was able to enjoy it hanging in my home for one more day! ;0) I've been making lots of other Valentine gifts too. But, I'll parcel out the eye candy throughout the week. So, until next time...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A little help from my friends...

Anyone still out there? I am. And, I'm back. Well, sort of. We'll be taking this slowly, but surely. I realized that crafting/scrapbooking is my release. It's hard to let it go. Why should I care what anybody else thinks of my work? I shouldn't. For those of you that find inspiration here, I'm glad. I will definitely be back with some more. For those of you that don't, just move along...there's nothing to see here. I also realized that I have made some great online friends through blogging over the last several months. I am really blessed to have this little circle where we can all share our creativity. And, I'm thankful for you all, and all of your support. I finally got up, got out of my funk, and got busy with some Valentine stuff. I'll be sharing that later.

Even though it has only been a couple of weeks, things are starting to get better with my daughter. Daycare and cheerleading are starting soon. Yay! A break for mom. A MUCH needed break for mom. While I was sitting in the doctor's office with Hazel the other day, the doctor (rather brashly) says, "Honestly, I don't understand why you women can't just ask for help." At the time, I took great offense to that comment. After all, I am "Super Mom"! Right, right? WRONG!!!

A couple of days later, I found myself in the ER thinking I was having a heart attack...pains in the left arm, crushing chest pain...the works. Thank, God, it was just a severe anxiety attack. But, I digress...as I was sitting in the waiting room WITH my 2 kids, I looked around at all of the other sick mothers who had dragged their kids along for the ride too. Probably for the same reason I did. Because I refuse to ask for help! And, because I don't know that many people here. And, the people that I DO know...well, I feel bad asking them for help. Most of the time, the "help" is accompanied by a major helping of guilt-trip. But, none of those kids, mine included, had any business being in that ER with their sick mothers. Not only because they could get sick with all of the yuckiness floating around there, and (for once) the mother should really be concerned with herself...not worrying about screaming, needy children. And, MOST OF ALL because...how scary is that for a child to see their parent in that much pain, and being that scared? The ONLY parent that they have right at that moment. Probably pretty damn scary!

I came home, and rested for the next couple of days. While I was resting, I came upon a blog from a fellow military wife. Military wives and mothers are a breed all their own. We are single parents for all points and purposes. But, most single moms live where they have the support of family and friends. Most military wives are moved around, unwillingly, from place to place...frequently finding that they know nobody when they really need someone the most. Most single moms have to work, which also, in turn, provides time away from their children. Most military wives are SAHM's that are stuck with their children day in and day out, constantly trying to come up with the next best activity to do that will prevent an utter melt-down. To that end, here is the excerpt from Kelly Wright's blog. Pay attention all you military wives out there...and all of you that have friends who are military wives...

Please don’t be fooled and marvel at how well I’m handling the deployment. We might look good on the outside, but there are plenty of trials and tears just inside the door that I don’t want to burden you with.

Please don’t just keep me in your prayers. Take an additional 30 seconds and write me a short note, too.

Please don’t wait for me to ask for help. I won’t. I’m a stubborn Army wife who thinks I can handle everything by myself. Except, I can’t.

Please don’t ask what I need. I’m likely to tell you, “Nothing, we’re fine.”

Please don’t accept that as an answer if you do ask. There are lots of things I need, I’m just too proud to admit it.

Please don’t just sit and wonder what you can do to help. Brainstorm for one minute about what a single mom worried about her husband might need and try any one of those things. Or read on.

Please don’t call between 5 and 8 p.m. unless you’re coming over to help. Trying to feed, bathe and bed the kid(s) is a two- to three- hour process.

Please don’t just wave as I pass your house trying to walk my two dogs and the stroller in the cold wind. Ask if you can walk my dogs for me — or with me — some time.

Please don’t say the time has flown since my husband left. It hasn’t, and the days are actually getting longer now that we’re past the half-way point.

Please don’t grouse to your spouse about my Christmas lights still being up nearly a month after Christmas. Knock on my door and ask if you can take them down and put them away for me.

Please don’t assume I eat three square meals a day. Actually, I don’t eat three square meals a week. Make a double batch next time you’re cooking for your family and drop one by my place. Don’t cook? Bring a bottle of wine.

Please don’t invite me over or out for dinner. You don’t want to deal with my toddler at meal time, I promise. Offer to baby-sit for one hour so I can take an uninterrupted hot shower, get a hair cut or go to the gym.

Please don’t think I don’t want to go out to dinner. It is hard to remember the last time I had a quiet, uninterrupted night out with other adults.

Please don’t forget our birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions. The one who usually celebrates with us is gone, so many of these days pass like they were any other.

Please don’t feel responsible for helping me with everything. Just do one thing, every once in a while. If you’re really inclined, recruit a friend or family member to do something else.

Please don’t underestimate how helpful you can be. Even a kind word or a hug would be great.

Please don’t be offended if I don’t thank you properly. Anyone who does anything for my family is a hero in my eyes. I feel guilty that I needed the help in the first place. I can’t thank you enough.

And, with that, I will end this mile-long blog post. And, as soon as I get some pictures, I will post up some of my Valentine projects. Thanks to all of you wonderful girls who have left me comments, or taken the time to send me a personal e-mail. It means a lot. And, I CAN'T THANK YOU ENOUGH.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Over and Out

After some very careful consideration, I have made the sad decision (at least for me) to put the brakes on this blog...if not permanently, than at least for the next couple of months. I have a major situation going on with my daughter that requires my undivided attention at this point.

I barely have enough time to spend with my son, let alone any "me" time anymore. So, the crafting has taken a major backseat lately, and I've pretty much lost what little inspiration I had left. And, this little scrapbooking/crafting "career" really isn't going anywhere for me anyway. You can only put yourself out there so much, ya' know? I really do appreciate all of your kind comments and support over the last few months. It really has meant a lot to me. :0)

I wish you all the best of luck in your crafty endeavours, and just with life in general. I will be visiting blogs on ocassion when I get the chance. And, you can always reach me via e-mail...I'll still be checking in there when I can find the time. Much love and best wishes to you all! Later days, and all that good stuff. I'm out.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Prayers for Rain...

Not just a good song by The Cure, but seriously, WE. NEED. RAIN. North Carolina has been in the middle of a drought since I left...LAST AUGUST! It has been cloudy and cold for the last couple of days, but only a few drops of rain fell today. What a tease. You should see me lawn. Drop a match on it, and the whole thing would go up in flames in about 2.3 seconds. The clouds also explain my no-show around here yesterday. I could never get good enough light to photograph my handiness around the house. Today wasn't ideal either, but I just made due. So, here's my 4 hour project from a couple of days ago (excuse the tool box on the floor):

That lovely little glass cabinet back there behind my couch (been wanting it from Target forever)...the instructions say "simple, and quick to assemble". Ha! And, I'm good with furniture assembly. Oh, well. It made good use of my sick kiddos' extensive nap time. Now, I just need to fill it up. And, once I pick up one of these, my entryway will be done.

And, I finally finished up with my dining room:

Painting, curtain hanging, and decorating...DONE. Well, the decorating is almost done. The walls are a little lacking in the prettiful department. And, I'm thinking that little wine rack on the wall is looking awfully empty. ;0) I might need to buy it some friends next week. And, that candlescape thingy in the middle of the table...L.O.V.E. I found it at Pier 1 the other day. I was actually hoping to find a wire bird cage to put candles in, and use as a centerpiece. But, the branches on this thing are cool enough. I'm thinking of buying some of those chipboard birds from Maya Road, altering them, and wiring some on the metal branches. I'll take pictures if I do. I think they would make cute accents to the bird curtains (yep, those are multi-colored birds and cute little wire cages on the curtains...very 1950's-ish). I got those from Urban Outfitters a couple of months ago, but they don't carry them anymore. :0( They're much cuter in person. I guess I should have taken a close-up of the actually print on the curtains. Oh, well.

Crafty-wise, I haven't accomplished much. I still need to put the finishing touches on my daily cards (need to go buy a new office date stamp), and then I'll post them. But, since I signed up for the "Birthday Girl RAK List" over at PI, I was under a little pressure to get something churned out. I wanted to make something handmade for all of the birthday girls, but the first girlie's big day came just a little too soon after my return home, and smack-dab in the middle of my unpacking. So, I bought her a little something instead, and made her this card:

To give credit where credit is due, this design is not completely my own. Although, I can't remember where I saw the original card (in a magazine probably...or online?), I am fairly certain it was by Jennifer Pebbles. And, who doesn't love her work?!? So fabulously inspiring! Of course, my card uses totally different colors, and has a few of my own touces (LOTS of glitter and bling because, well, because it's me, and I love SPARKLY things). I don't usually "lift" from other artists. But, her card was one of the most beautiful I had seen in some time...I couldn't resist!

And, sweet Nicki...she didn't think it was fair that I had to wait so long to get my surprises on my birthday RAK day (Dec 26th). Plus, she wanted to send me a little belated 30th birthday giftie. So, I got her lovely little package today...all the way from Australia!

Thank you, Nic! You totally made my day! Gotta' love some happy mail...especially when your kids are STILL sick, and your sanity is hanging on by a thread. I have a sneaking suspicion that another trip to the doctor is in the cards for tomorrow. Both kids still aren't feeling well. Luka barely wants to eat or drink a bottle, and they both just want to sleep ALL DAY. Better to be safe than sorry...I think I'll be calling my army health clinic tomorrow for some appointments. Ugh. But, I will also be back tomorrow with some exciting news (nothing scrappy related, though), and a fun little surprise. ;0)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Down with the sickness...

In good news, I'm back to the land of the living internet-wise. But, health-wise, the land of the living is a far cry from where I'm at. We all managed to contract some kind of nastiness. Who knows from where...probably the airplane. Sunday night, I had to take Luka to the ER with a fever of 105. That was the only symptom he had...no cough, no runny nose, no vomiting. That is, until we walked into the waiting room at the ER, where he promptly puked ALL OVER me. And, thanks to the ever-so-helpful military nurses that refused to give me a clean set of scrubs, I spent the next 45 minutes in the waiting room stinking of barf. I'm sure all of our fellow waiting-roomers were really loving us. I definitely caught more than one nasty sneer in my direction.

Alas, Luka had the flu. So, there was nothing to be done but alternate between Tylenol and Motrin, wait it out, and cross our fingers that nobody else in the house got sick. Ha! I should be so lucky. Hazel spent the night at our neighbor's house while I was at the hospital, and returned in the morning with a raging fever. "She Who Never Naps" spent the ENTIRE day on the couch asleep. So did Luka. And what did Mommy do? Tried, in vain, to unpack the suitcases and organize my over-flowing craft room.

Today, I woke up sick. Of course, both kids feel better. When Mommy would like to do nothing but lie in bed, and pray for death...the kids were finally wanting to be active. Go figure. And, so it goes with the military families of deployed spouses, and absolutely nobody around to help out...Mommy had to get up, get busy, and act as if nothing was wrong. But, one good thing about North Carolina...I have some AWESOME neighbors! That yummy chicken noodle soup up there...homemade from my very kind neighbor, Heidi. What a sweetie! And, it is YUM!

Surprisingly, I actually got stuff done today. I think I was operating under the delusion that if I just kept busy, I could forget about how absolutely crappy I felt. Not exactly true, but again, I got stuff done. I'll be back tomorrow with pics of the projects around my house that got completed today. Plus, some catch-up on my daily cards that I worked on tonight. I hope everyone is having a great week, and I'll be catching up on blog reading tomorrow. I feel so terribly out of the loop!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Yay! I made it home safely, and without strangling my children on the plane. Actually, they were quite well-behaved! I've been terribly busy unpacking, running errands, and in general, just getting back to my own little life back here in NC. I probably won't be around much until after Tuesday. I'm waiting for the phone company to hook my DSL back up, and without it, we get spotty WiFi signals at best. So, I'm taking the next couple of days off from the internet...and from creating. Honestly, I've got plenty else that I should be doing. But, I promise to return next week...hopefully with some crafty updates! Hope everyone's year is off to a great start! :0)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone enjoyed their New Year's Eve/Day celebrations! Me? I was in bed by 10 p.m. Sad, I know. I've just never been a big New Year's party person. I couldn't even tell you the last time I went out on NYE. Oh, well. I was happily snuggled into a warm bed, playing Mario Brothers on my mom's Nintendo DS. Man, I am ADDICTED to that thing. I've never had a hand-held game system. That's my husband's department. He has a DS AND a PSP...not to mention a couple of home gaming systems. But, I'm thinking I might need to get myself a DS! ;0)

And, since I didn't really do much of anything last night, I don't have any photos to share. And, since the majority of my crafting supplies have already been boxed up and sent home, I don't have much craftiness to share. I did, however, start my ATC card-a-day project today. My first card was all about resolutions:

There is a tag neatly stuffed inside with all of my resolutions listed out on it. In case you were wondering what they are, here goes:

1. Exercise more, eat healthier (If anyone has any work out videos that they love...I'm accepting recommendations. With my 2 kids, I don't get to the gym much. I need an at-home workout that I can get into.)
2. Organize and beautify my craft room (Some serious work to be done there...can't wait to get home, and get started!)
3. Save more, spend less
4. Open my Etsy shop (Be on the lookout for this sometime closer to summer.)

That's it. There are a couple more little goals here and there. But, I like to try to keep my resolutions on the achievable side. ;0) Well, I am off to pack SOME MORE! I can't believe how much crap I have accumulated in the 4 months that I have been in Alaska. Only 2 days left, and I'm on my way home!!!