Thursday, December 28, 2006

Oh, how the years go by...

With every passing year they seem to go by more quickly than the last. This year was no exception. And as we recall the fleeting moments which comprise 2006 and greet those which will fill 2007, I can't help but wish they'd pass a bit slower. Seems just yesterday, Cameron was Brady's age. This April, he'll turn 20 and my baby will be nine. Jeff and I will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. Time flies regardless of our bidding it to hasten. This past year I attended my 25th high school reunion and saw college friends I hadn't seen since graduating twenty years ago. Where does the time go? This year's time was marked with Cameron gaining independence-for good or bad and our first-ever family vacation and many other daily moments that we will recall in years to come. And tho they pass ever more quickly, I am thankful for our ability to remember and cherish our memories.

Jeff's grandma will turn 100 in 2007. As we visited with her yesterday, she recalled memories of growing up on her family's farm. Of horseback riding and what she was like as a young girl-long dark curls and all. How sweet she was as her memories seemed to comfort her as she recalled them. They keep her company these days she told us.

May you take pleasure in the memories of 2006 and remember to take time to enjoy all that the coming year has to hold. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2006

M is for Merry

Have yourself a merry little Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Lights and Charlie Brown

Just a quick post as I catch my breath this evening. What a whirlwind it's been this weekend. Shopping, wrapping and more shopping. Our church had it's children's Christmas program this evening. Our 2nd and 3rd graders did a great job with their little skit. All the kids were decked out in their Christmas finest and it's nice to be able to check that event off our list. Enjoying finally getting to know some of the kids and their families. After the cookie and punch fellowship we drove through Celebration of Lights. We're not real spur of the moment usually, but Jeff wheeled in on our way home. Fun to see the hundreds of lights in the park and to hear the sleigh bells on the carriages as they passed us. Now we're home to watch Charlie Brown's Christmas and Santa Claus 2. Thanks to TIVO we can watch as soon as Jeff finishes the Illini game he tivo'd. Gotta love that TIVO!

Suppose it will get even more crazy this week as we rush towards Christmas day. Hope you'll have many wonderful moments to cherish this holiday season. I was lucky enough to have quickly snapped this photo when we got home tonight. Brady has been enamored with snow globes this year and I have been searching for just the right one to give him. Found this today at my favorite store of all-Target. Santa with a lustre finish and snow rather than glitter. Kind of even looks like Tim Allen's character from the Santa Clause movies. This one is also a music box and plays a sweet tune. As you can see he was mesmerized. Yes-my hi-tech, video game addicted child staring in wonder at this simplest of pleasures. A moment to cherish-happy Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Making My List(s)

Christmas music playing, laundry going, Brady sleeping in. Thought it was a good time to go over my lists and create new ones. Trying to get a handle on what is left of my Christmas shopping. Still have snow and ice on the ground so it really makes me want to huddle inside and attend to homekeeping. Something that gets pushed aside most of the time. Those of you who visit often know this firsthand! So winter weather is good for something, right?

Poor Jeff bundled up and headed off to work for a full day of golf lessons in the cold. Can you imagine?!? Cold doesn't discourage alot of his students he says because most of them are only out in it for thirty minutes or so. He is, however, out in it all day. He's quickly learned to layer! Something so foreign to him when we met twelve years ago and he had moved from Florida and Texas. First winter together he wore a windbreaker-crazy!

So while he's bringing home the bacon today, I'm going to try to get some more of the never ending piles banished from our house. What a job! Where does all of this stuff come from? And why do we want to hold on to all of it?! Ugh! Later on, I'll dash out with all the other Santas and see if I can cross a few more items off my list and wrap up what I already have. My favorite part! Love making the gift even more special with the wrapping. Got to purchase new paper this year I'm so excited to use! Yes, I'm a wrapping weirdo. But I love to see the recipients faces when they see something really special handed to them.

That's my list today-homekeeping, shopping, wrapping. Oh, and homemade hot cocoa for my sweet husband when he gets home. Love him!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

be creative* be with friends* be inspired

Despite the freezing temps, sleet and snow and having to get up at 3:30 AM, we had a delightful day yesterday at The Scrapping Bee in Springfield, Illinois. Tammy, Cathy and I traveled there to attend classes with Ali Edwards. WOW! What a day! The drive across the northern plains of Illinois was beautiful as the sun shone on the grass and trees covered with ice and snow. We arrived in plenty of time to hit Starbucks and fuel up for our big day.

So impressed with the store the moment we stepped inside-bright, organized and the crop room was to die for. Comfortable chairs, sturdy, wide tables, vaulted ceiling, huge windows. Really liked the selection and the staff, too-just wished it was a bit closer to the Lou! Of course, the highlight of the day was meeting Ali and attending her classes. What a cool gal! So at ease and down to earth. Loved her before, but now such a big fan. The two projects we completed were really unique and simple with the focus on the pictures and the journaling-Perspectives and Discover Home. In fact, aside from the class she taught recently in Japan, we were the first stateside to create the Discover Home project.

Loved spending the day being creative and being inspired. But most of all spending the day with two great pals. Thanks girls for such a wonderful day. I'm looking forward to our next road trip to Springfield!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

random thoughts...

freaking out about all kinds of holiday stuff and it's not even december!
getting the tree up
shopping and picking out just the right thing for everyone
christmas program at church
but i do love the feeling of accomplishment as i get presents bought and cross them off my list.

love, love, love pulling out my christmas cd's year after year.
try to add a new one each year-this year it's jim brickman's newest.
we always listen to amy grant's christmas to remember on the way home from thanksgiving at jeff's parents-love that!

house is a crazy mess-worse than normal since i've made feeble attempts to clean and organize-always makes an even bigger mess. always start and never finish-need to stop the insanity!

totally psyched about class with ali this saturday, but have to kick it in gear and finish my homework. having trouble with the perspectives pics, but almost done with discover home assignment. so want to be prepared and organized so i can enjoy the process and not freak out in front of the pro!

seem to love the exclamation point lately!!!

got cute little $1 stamp again at m's-gingerbread men all in a row-cute!

finally got to k-mart to wander through marthaville-gotta love martha! picked up set of silicone spats in yummy martha green! more of the same in the christmas line this year, but sugar plums and candy cane line is cuter all the time. my collection of after christmas bargains in that line appear on one of my mil's trees this year. love the pom pom garland and the flocked picks. going to try to grab those after the holiday!

well, off to bed-beginning the cycle of diet and exercise tomorrow. hope i can keep at it. would really like to have family photographs taken in the spring. thinking of using photographer from marion-

have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Come Ye Thankful People Come...

Although it's filled with tradition and kicks off the holiday season, these days Thanksgiving seems to get pushed aside for the flashier more exciting Christmas holiday. But I hope you'll take advantage of this special day we set aside to officially be thankful. Take time to reflect upon your blessings, take time to be thankful. Take time to be with those you love even when they are unloveable. Take time to breath and prepare for the season yet to come. The season we celebrate that for which we should be most grateful-the grace of God.

Thankfulness is really an attitude and I'm glad we have a special day set aside to remind us to stop and reflect upon all our blessings. So, come ye thankful people come.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Update from Last Post

Here are a couple of the things I created at our last scrapbooking outing. This first one was a scraplift, but took me nearly 6 hours! How silly! But I'm really proud of it because I hung in there even when my circle cutter only went up to 8 in, I didn't have the papers I wanted and my first attempt used up my last piece of Kraft cardstock. Thanks to Tammy's encouragement, I even created my own patterned paper w/ foam stamps and paint! It must have gotten my creative mojo going because I then came up with the mini about Nick Lachey-totally fun with photos I actually never thought I'd use. Love, love, love the color combo-my favorite right now. Check out my Nick tribute here:
Hope to have more to share later this week before the holiday. Still lots to catch up on at home. Feeling the stress of the impending holidays, but starting to make some lists so I'll at least have some direction. Ah, lists!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Okay, first let me just say what a gift it is to have girlfriends. Girls who just wanna have fun. That's what this weekend was all about and it did not disappoint. It was so nice to get away and be creative. At times, it was really challenging. Confined spaces, thinking outside the box, forcing yourself to use what you had and not running to Archivers (for the third time!). But, all in all, very satisfying creatively and so good to experience Girl Power! Great time hangin' with my pals and meeting new ones.

Also, so proud of my husband. I felt a little unloved when he hadn't called me by Saturday morning. He did finally call about midnight on Saturday saying he just wanted to leave me alone to do my thing and have a good time. How sweet is that!?! Only complaint he had was that I did a mini of Nick Lachey instead of him!

Now, back to business and a new week catching up at home. Life does not stop for the creative! However, the next creative highlight is our weekend with Ali in December. SO nervous and worried about completing my homework in time and experiencing her philosophy of "It's all Ok"-not sure I can wrap my heart around that one yet. Oh, and looking ahead-spending 2007 with Heidi! My sweet, sweet hubby and his parents are paying for me to take her year long Big Picture Scrapbooking class as my Christmas present. I am one lucky girl!

This weekend I was reminded how special scrapbooking really is in it's most basic form. My friend, Tammy said over breakfast on Saturday. "It's like when the ladies would get together and quilt." Getting to know each other, sharing about each of their lives, weaving a tapestry of their stories and being drawn together by their very practical creative art. Now, their treasures are passed down from generation to generation, hung in museums as examples of works of art and collected for their uniqueness. Not unlike the art we will someday leave behind-a glimpse into our lives, thoughts and feelings. So thankful for this vast universe called scrapbooking!

I'll share more later this weekend about my creative accomplishments this weekend. So psyched about the mini I did just for fun about Nick Lachey. Totally, totally silly for a woman my age, but oh so fun!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Have Stuff-Must Crop

That's right! Loadin' up my stuff and headin' to a crop this weekend! I haven't done this in ages. I'm SO spoiled. We'll see how it goes. As always, I have such huge aspirations, but really just want to relax and create with my stuff and be happy. Even so, I can't let go of my laundry list, but I'll do my best.

Twenty-four whole hours of guilt-free scrappin'! Guess I'd better get back to packing and sorting. Hopefully, I'll have something to share after the weekend's over.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


I'll tell ya, I have had some awesome friends over the years. In fact, having dinner this week with two of my favorite pals from my growing up years. But one of my very best girlfriends is my friend, Tammy. We have SO much fun together no matter what we are doing-shopping, scrapbooking, talking on the cell phone. She just gets me-and I love that about her! Here's to you, chica and all my best girlfriends near and far!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Way I See It

Have you noticed "The Way I See It" on the Starbucks cup? I usually have a cardboard sleeve on mine, but often before I throw out my empty cup I slide the sleeve off and read the column. Little blurbs from the likes of Al Franken or Monique giving their opinion or perspective on a particular subject. Although I may not always share the writer's viewpoint, it is always interesting and often entertaining-a little something extra with your cup 'o joe!

Our perspectives-as unique as each individual, are formed by our life experiences and unique vantage point often evolving as our proximity or vantage point to events change. Often, even siblings from the same families do not share the same perspecitve. Each individual has their own take on things. Their own way of how they see or remember things.

As a scrapbooker or life artist, I am learning to document and share my own unique perspective. I have also realized that as my vantage point changes (I get older) I can enjoy a sharper perspective-a widening of the lense. I was reminded of this today at my Uncle Larry's memorial service. Such a touching service because of the honest reflection on a full life. A life filled with hope, heartache, regret, but also filled with much joy and success as witnessed by many different perspectives. It made me wonder how life's events shape how I see my own life or the lives of others.

Widen the lense-how do you see your life? the world around you? Then, listen as someone else tells their own unique perspective as they give witness to how they see it. I'm so grateful that we all have our own unique perspective-our own life stories. As a tribute to my mom's family and all the unique life experiences they have contributed to my perspective-my life story, I'd like to share a layout I did this past Spring about my Grandma Thiem. I have fond memories of following her and my mother and aunties along as they would wander through my grandmother's lush large flower gardens. At least that's how I see it...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Ah, how true it is! And yet, we never realize how truly blessed we are by something or someone until it or they are gone. What a cruel realization forcing us to recognize the blessings we should have been counting all along.

I have had so many blessings in my life. A wonderful family despite our dysfunction, dear friends-some of whom are already waiting for me in Heaven, opportunities-many taken, some overlooked and many, many second chances. One of which has been the greatest blessing to me thus far. My beautiful husband who often teasingly reminds me about the life from which he rescued me.

What would I do without you? My soulmate, best friend, lover, head of our home, my prince. I love you so and even more now that you have been gone for a week. I have a renewed appreciation for all you are and all you do for our family. Thank you for this "happily ever after" life you've given me. I love you more and more each day.

As we approach this season of thankfullness and counting our blessings, remember to start counting them today beginning with those closest to you.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Happy ME

Nothing makes me happier than a completed To Do List! And since it's been awhile since I've actually completed one, well today is cause for celebration. So I did me a little happy dance! Good day at work, dropped off Upward Basketball registration, home to pick up Brady from school, change and off to pedicure, then Tae Kwon Do then to pick up Brady's new release game and to Hobby Lobby. Whew! Now, if I can get a few things done after I watch Dancing with the Stars it'll be icing on the cake. Love days like today. Hope I have a few more since we have a full weekend including dinner guests on Friday night. Well, wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A New Outlook

Or at least something new out of which to look. What do you think? I was going for more modern than trendy. I wanted to look stylish and hip, but hoping not to appear trying to look young. My eye doctor said it was time to give my eyes a break from the contacts at the end of the day. My old eyes need a rest. Great! So at least having something new and fun like a new pair of glasses seems to cushion the blow a little when you realize things are going-like your eyes.

By the way, what is all this 50 is the new 40, 40 is the new 30 crap?!? Who are they kidding?! I do admit with the bad comes some good. I would say I am beginning to care a little less about what others think and I am quickly gaining an appreciation of time. I hope that I am becoming wiser. But chanting, "40 is the new 30" doesn't stop the aging process. Nor does hair color, new glasses or plastic surgery-unfortunately. But along with the gray hair, fading eyesight and other unmentionable gifts of aging there are some things we can be grateful for. For now though, I'll continue slathering on my Philosphy products and wear my hip specs and do my best to ease into middle age with a new outlook!

I'll be seeing you!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I Love A Good Challenge!

In the contemporary scrapbook world everyone is into Challenges or Dares. There are entire websites dedicated to them! Friends "dare" each other, designers challenge their fans and scrapbookers challenge one another. I've only participated in a couple thus far, but they really get you excited about scrapbooking and being creative. For me, a self-declared scraplifter, it helps me to think for myself and trust my own creative instincts. Although I have to say, it's baby steps for me.

The photo on this entry is one of the challenges in which I recently participated. From Ali Edward's AEzine weekly newsletter, the challenge was to create a summary type of layout for the month for your family. (A really cool concept for an entire year in review album). I didn't stray too far from the original, but due to the size of my collage print I did have "make it work" as Tim Gunn of Project Runway says.

So if you're a scrapbooker, I double dog dare you to try a challenge. Here's a link to one of my favorite dare websites:

Friday, October 06, 2006


Every now and again a gal needs a little inspiration and motivation. Hoping to get motivated to clean my house, I sometimes wander into a couple of my favorite shops. They make me happy and the seasonal displays always encourage me to clean. (My mother never let us decorate for Christmas without a thorough cleaning so I guess that's where that comes from.) Today my motivation was a little candle shop at the mall. I was so thrilled-they carry my favorite candles-Beanpod. They are so hard to find and when I do it's nearly impossible to find my fav scent (Cinnamon Bun). So I snatched up a candle and these great pumpkins. Saw these in Country Home Magazine two or three seasons ago and I just loved them. So there you have it-my motivation and inspiration for getting up tomorrow morning bright and early to clean and get caught up on all things seasonal. Add a little Harry (Connick, Jr) in the cd player and we're on our way!

Here's to a relaxing yet productive weekend!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

So It's About Time

that I start talking Scrap since that's really what this whole blog is supposed to be about. And to get my motor goin' tonight was the little indie, "Scrapped". Made me feel so proud to be part of something so multifaceted. As different as each and every person participating. Could get really philosophical, but not gonna do it. Just happy that someone has finally labeled the scrap action I'm into-artistic scrapbooking. YES! That's it. And talk about inspiring and exciting-have ya'll checked out Kristina Contes?! Amazing! She truly ROCKS. (She is featured in the November issue of Creating Keepsakes mag.) I am so jazzed about her and some of the products she is using. I love me some Hambly! Haven't been this excited to shop for product in awhile-really trying to be good. Also, love her idea of using early morning to start the day being creative. Can't get out of bed to exercise-let's see if I can get up to do art! Goodnight!

NOTE: Can someone please let the good folks at Archivers corp headquarters know that their employees need to start reading the scrapbook magazine adds? Can you believe they have never heard of Hambly much less Cosmo Cricket?!? Ugh! Thanks, Cath for trying!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Last Day of Vacation Blues

We are slowly easing back into reality after returning from a week's vacation. Enjoyed the day just doing absolutely nothing before we all return to work and school tomorrow. Looking forward to familiar routines, but sad to see the vacation come to an end.

I think I've just about caught up on all my TIVO while I was gone. What an awesome invention that is! Gone from my TV for a week and come home to find all my favorites waiting for me--Oprah, Ellen, Dancing With the Stars, Celebrity Duets and of course, Grey's Anatomy (I watched it before I even unpacked!) and my new favorite-Men In Trees. Very cute and another new McDreamy.

Just a few more pics from our wonderful vacation as I savor the last moments before heading off to bed.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dreams Do Come True

What an amazing trip! This was truly a remarkable vacation for our family. I cannot say enough good things about the Disney folks. They really know how to create a magical atmosphere in every way. We're absolutely exhausted, but basking in so many wonderful memories. I think our favorites change from moment to moment. It was so good to get away on our first ever family vacation. I enjoyed watching Jeff and Brady together and seeing Jeff discover just why it's good to have a little R&R. He's already talking about going back in two years! You don't know how remarkable that is!

Probably the most magical moment for me was, of course, watching Tinkerbell fly from Cinderella's castle at the start of Wishes on Thursday night. It brought back so many fond memories of Sunday nights in front of the T.V. watching The Wonderful World of Disney. As we discovered this week-it truly is Wonder-full!

P.S. I would love to know Disney Corp's process for selecting their employees and training them. Hats off to them and their cast members for their attitude of service and hospitality-with a smile. Every company in America should tap into what they are doing!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Let The Magic Begin

Because we are just about ready. Just a few more things to pack before we head off to bed. I have dreamed of this trip for a long time. As a little girl I remember every Sunday evening watching The Wonderful World of Disney. The show would start with Tinkerbell flying over the Castle sprinkling pixie dust while "when you wish upon a star" played in the background. Well, I've wished and wished and now we're nearly on our way. I can't wait!

Brady is of course excited and it makes me really happy that Jeff is just as excited as Brady and me. He's been in charge of the countdown since we first made our reservations. I'm a little nervous about the flight, but I'm sure it will be fine and since it's Brady's first time on an airplane I must be brave. Hope to have lots of photos to share when we return.

For now, we're off to bed with visions of Mickey and Minnie and friends in our head!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

"The best mirror is an old friend." --George Herbert

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Old friends often see you as you were. When you were at your best. At your full potential. They remember the good times, the fun times, memorable times. Often picking up where you left off as tho' not a day has passed since you were last together. What a blessing to see so many friends from my college days this weekend. Just a glimpse of the reunions we'll enjoy in heaven one day. Til we meet again,dear friends...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Change In Seasons

You can really feel it in the air today. Cool, dreary, a damp day. Makes you want to curl up under a soft blanket with a great book and a cup of tea. In fact, it's so autumnal here today that I nearly drove through Starbucks for my first cup of white chocolate mocha. But I'm not quite ready to let go and head into the next season.

My favorite part of fall is this time in-between--Indian Summer. Crisp, cool sunny mornings which lead to sunny afternoons ending in chilly evenings. Open windows, sweater days, carmel apples, warm, comforting seasonal drinks. Those days are coming. Mother Nature is just teasing us a bit today. For now, I'll enjoy another dreary day knowing it's helping to ensure a glorius display next month when the leaves don their spectacular colors. I'll enjoy a day to be quiet, to reflect, to slow down. To prepare for the change in seasons.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Do You Believe In Fairies?

I've had Faith Hill's song Fireflies on my mind alot in the past day or so. Probably because we're getting ready for a trip to Disney (our first!) and I've been doing alot of thinking about all things Disney, but especially about Tinkerbell. Anyway, I love that song! I love the fact that it was written by a mom with a dream. And that is was chosen and recorded by another mom with a dream. It also reminds me of my dear friend who is so good at instilling a sense of wonder and magic in her children. Check this song out today! To me it talks about how life gets in the way of alot of things. Especially our dreams, our ability to believe in ourselves, to believe in the impossible, the magical or of being creative. It reminds me that once I did believe. I have to keep saying to myself...i do believe in fairies! and in myself and my dreams-in my creative aspirations. Ask yourself today, do you still believe in fairies?