Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Just me being real

I just made a meatloaf for dinner and should be peeling the potatoes, but while I was loading and washing dishes my voice started running through my head. Not some kind of crazy, commit me, I'm losing it voice. My Blog voice. It's this little voice that starts spewing out all kinds of stories and things I could write about on my blog. I love that voice. I feel like I have lost it for a week or so, and I probably will every month (the only thing I hate about being a woman). I read in Life Artist that everyone goes through cycles of creativity, and that you should embrace this and work with it, knowing that if your mojo is gone, it's not gone for good. I also love knowing that this is the real me: the one who loves playing with her kids, loves creating, is balanced, free flowing, calm, patient, centered. Not that crazy, uptight, uncomfortable-in-her-own-skin, screaming banshee woman whose ugly head rears itself monthly. I need to remind myself of that often.

Enough about all that. Yesterday, I took a mini creativity field trip from my own desk chair and landed on the anthropologie website. Found lots of inspiration--colors, patterns, textures. Makes me want to whip out the brushes, dust of a canvas, and shake up some acrylic paint.

PS I love the Wye Valley Dress, and feel a field trip to the mall coming on just so I can try it on. Chill out, Perry, I won't be buying it: there aren't any garden parties on my calendar!

This is the cover to the card organizer I made for a class. Found the design on a card on SplitCoast (my go-to place for stamping ideas and inspiration) as well as the directions to create it. Loving my Bind-it-All!

The inside: one sheet of 12x12 double-sided cardstock creates each page which has pockets on both sides for storing cards by the month--super easy, fast, and fun!

Remember Today 1.30.08

{remember} Maddox, for the first time, telling me about a dream he had after waking up from his nap: "Guess what I did? I put on my Christmas jammies."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Remember Today 1.29.08

{remember} watching Camden play outside in the snow with his friends while waiting in the parent pick-up line a school.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Remember Today 1.28.08

{remember} getting a hug from Camden after a "not so great Mommy moment."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Remember Today 1.27.08

{Remember} that everday holds so many stories--make time to live in the moment, record the stories, and cherish the memories.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Remember Today 1.26.08

{remember} somedays you have to push extra hard to do something for yourself--do it, it's worth it!

Free Scrapbooking

This page was created with freebies I downloaded from the internet this week. A scrapbook page that didn't cost a penny! I could get used to this (and Perry could, too!).

Friday, January 25, 2008

Notes from the Sick Bay

I have a bit of cabin fever after being home with my sick children all week. The poor guys have had fevers, headaches, stuffy noses, coughs, chills, sweats, stomach pain--the whole gamut-- since Sunday. It began with Logan, who of course didn't complain of anything until the ride home from a friend's birthday party at 6:00 Sunday night: from the backseat, "I've had a headache all day." Temperature of 101. Like clockwork, Camden starts the fever about 24 hours later. I'll spare all the details, but this is one nasty bugger of a virus. It just won't quit. On Wednesday night, Logan finally got himself off his bean bag chair and wanted to dance around the family room with me. Whew, it's finally over, and he's bouncing right back. He made dinner for us (pasta, Ragu, and frozen garlic bread--right up there with his ol' Dad's culinary expertise!). But, nope, fever of 104 in the middle of the night, and crying on the bathroom floor at 4 am because his legs are too weak to stand. This week has held a whole lot of tv watching and video game playing, lots of snuggling on the couch, and laying on the floor playing toys. I've managed to stay virus free, at least so far (though Perry, who's not home with them 6 out of 7 days a week, is not feeling well). Isn't there a saying, "Mom's don't get sick." Let's hope there's some truth to that!

Needless to say, I'm a bit behind in my blog, but I did fudge the dates on my Remember Today entries, and at least got them caught up. Haven't been able to do anything creative all week to speak of, so am hoping to kick out, or at least get started on a page tonight. That is if I don't fall asleep on my keyboard first. ZZZZzzzzzz

Remember Today 1.25.08

{remember} Friday night pizza gives me extra time to spend with the boys --no cooking and little clean up!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Remember Today 1.24.08

{remember} after a week of being stuck in the house with sick children, a little girlfriend time is the best medicine.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Remember Today 1.23.08

{remember} it's ok to lift the rules on tv and Gameboy when the kids are sick (for the sake of everyone's well-being!).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Remember Today 1.22.08

{remember} it's awful when your children are not feeling well.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Remember Today 1.21.08

{remember} how nice a hot towel after a shower feels (thanks, Camden!)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I am an artist

I've been totally engrossed with Life Artist. In an effort to absorb so many of Ali's inspiring ideas, I will share some of my favorites so far:
  • Celebrate the everyday (already doing this in my "Remember Today" posts--yippee!)
  • Let go of perfection
  • Cultivate a creative lifestyle
  • Scrapbook rule free; it is ok; just be; let it go
  • Get to work making stuff; using supplies, not hoarding them, is freeing
  • Create in a way that reflects you at this very moment (don't wait until that perfect idea, or think that something better will come along to make a layout right)
  • Post the words "I am creative" or "I am an artist" someplace you look everyday
  • Keep cool ideas and inspiration in a notebook (love this! starting this, more on it later)
  • Take a creativity field trip: bookstore, antique shop, walk in the park, etc
  • Go beyond the scrapbook page to create life art to display; use something found at a yard sale, flea market, antique shop
  • Go through a stack of photos (old or new) and jot down notes. Take your time and go deeper than the surface of the photograph
  • Take a class: pottery, knitting, photography, writing, painting. . .
  • Use alphabet index dividers to create a "little things" album about yourself or someone you love. Use 4x6 dividers and a hole punch with binder rings and add to it continuously(will be doing this one)
  • Layouts don't need to have photos

All this in just the first 2 chapters!

Remember Today 1.20.08

{remember} how important making together-time for me and Logan really is.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Remember Today 1.19.08

{remember} how good it feels to set aside the chores to just "be" with the boys, and a reminder that I need to do it more often.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Remember Today 1.18.07

{Remember} the way Logan did the "yes" gesture with his arm when I walked into his class to be Mystery Reader. Missing teaching. . .

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Remember Today 1.17.08

{Remember} how Maddox never tires of watching Big & Rich, asks to put it on 4 or more times a day, and then turns the tv and DVD player on and pushes play all by himself--so stinkin' smart!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Life Artist

I got it today--Ali's latest book Life Artist. I've only had a chance to thumb through it and already I am in love. It is chock full of inspiration, not only for the scrapbook pages and art Ali has created, but for the eloquent words that describe her approach to scrapbooking and her philosophy on life in general. This is so where I am right now: living life, letting go, being real, creating, telling, the here, the now.

I think this book will make a great companion to Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, a 12 week program designed to help you find your creative muse. I see some similar themes: letting go, embracing imperfection, taking creativity field-trips (Julia calls these "artist dates"). I picked up her book at my church book sale for a quarter! I like to think it was divine intervention! I'm off to curl up in bed and begin my creative journey.

Remember Today 1.16.08

{Remember} Logan sharing info about an upcoming school art show--love how he's showing interest in things outside of our little world at home.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Remember Today 1.15.08

{remember} Maddox went poops on the potty today! Second time in under two weeks, but this time he sat there like he knew just what to do.

Conversations with Einstein

This morning I had a conversation with my middle that went something like this:
him: Mommy, what's 5 plus 8 plus 8?
me: 8 plus 8 is 16 and five more is 21. Why do you ask?
him: Because there's five grams of protein in my granola, and 8 grams in my milk. But I have double milk, one in my cup and one in my cereal. So that's 5 plus 8 plus 8. 21 grams of protein.
Are you kidding me? Do you think Einstein's mother had these conversations with 4 year-old Albert?

Note: Reading the nutrition labels is nothing new for my two oldest. It all started last Spring when their Dad went on this health kick with whey protein. The three of them would analyze the nutrition labels for protein, sodium, sugar, and fiber. One day Camden's teacher brought him to the car and asked, "What's going on with the nutrition labels?" Apparently he was insisting on reading the labels in order to choose the snack with more protein. It was a bit of an obsession. But then again, anything that interests this child becomes an obsession. I like to call it passion.

Somebody Stop Me!

I had a list a mile long of things to do tonight (I won't bore you with the details), and what have I been doing instead: surfing the internet for digital scrapbook stuff (it's all your fault Jenna!). You would not believe the amount of stuff for this exploding niche in the scrapbooking world. And lots of it is free--who can pass that up. When I get a chance I will post a list of links to some great sites that offer digiscrap stuff so you can check it out for yourselves (and so I can have a handy reference, too). So much for getting to bed early! And so much for those cards I should be making for my upcoming workshop.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Remember Today 1.14.08

{remember} Camden saying, "It's fun playing with Logan." completely out of the blue while sledding outside.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Shopping Anyone?

So after the day I had yesterday, I came home from work, fed the boys lunch and announced that I was going to the scrapbook store to do a little shopping. Shopping, without anyone in tow--pure Heaven! I browsed every single item in my LSS's tiny but jam-packed shop, some of them twice over. I found lots of stuff I wanted like acrylic stamp sets from Fancy Pants Designs and Basic Grey paper packs. But, alas, reality crept in (along with Perry's face when the credit card bill comes in), and I escaped with just the essentials: binding coils for my new Bind-It-All (a Christmas gift from Mom & Dad--thank you, I am loving it!!), the Bind-It-All idea book, a bottle of Shimmerz, and these adorable rub-ons from Hambly Screen Prints. I am so into these little owls and birds--brings me back to The Partridge Family and Tootsie Pop commercials. Anyway, so much fun to take my time, browse, and soak up the inspiration. And the best part about it? I returned home to my little Maddox opening the door for me, squealing, and hugging my legs (what could be a better welcome home than that?), and Perry saying, "You're back already?" Next time, I'll make sure I'm gone longer!

Are these not the cutest?! "Come on get happy. . ."

Remember Today 1.13.08

{remember} after a rough day, a couple of hours shopping for scrapbooking supplies is the best medicine.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Remember Today 1.12.08

{Remember} that after a rough day together, it was very therapeutic to build Legos with Logan.

Mama said there'd be days like this

Today was not my best Mommy day. Ever have days like those? Days when your patience is pushed to the edge, then you're dangling by your white knuckled fingertips, until finally you fall off. Days when it takes every ounce of your self control to not haul off and give your child the smack that he very much deserves. Days when your throat actually hurts because you screamed so loudly. That's the kind of day I had today. If you've never had one of these days, please tell me what meds you are on because I definitely could have used them today. Thankfully these days don't occur very often. Perry was spending his first Saturday of "busy season" at work, and I just was not prepared mentally and physically. My two oldest whined, demanded, disrespected, and conspired their way through the day. When I attempted to discipline one (mostly my middle), the other (mostly my oldest) would butt in in his defense. They demanded milk, whined for lunch, and said things like stupid, shut up, and even crap (yup, my 6 year old, thanks to Surf's Up). So after a day subjected to his older brothers, my youngest says to his father tonight, after being reprimanded, "I don't like you, Daddy. Shut up." So what do you do after a day like this? Put the twerps, er kids to bed, pour a glass of wine, take some time for yourself, then creep into their bedrooms as they are fast asleep, kiss them, whisper that you love them, and say a prayer to God that tomorrow will be better.

Soups On

There's not much I love about the cold winter, but delicious, hot, steamy soup is definitely a perk of this dreary season. Here is one the boys requested for dinner tonight:

French Bread Pizzza Soup from Taste of Home "Heartwarming Soups"

2 cans diced tomatoes (I like DelMonte Petite Cuts)
2 cans Campbell's tomato soup
3 1/2 c water

Bring this to a boil, reduce heat, simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Mash with a potato masher.

Add 3 1/2 oz pepperoni slices quartered, 1 each red and preen peppers chopped, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 4 cloves garlic minced, 1/2 t sage, 1/2 t oregano, 1/2 t basil.

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until veggies are soft.

Laddle into oven-safe bowls. Top soup with a slice of toasted french bread and shredded mozzarella cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Remember Today 1.11.08

{Remember} how good Pilates makes me feel!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Oh Baby!

My dear friend whom I have known for over 20 years called this evening to tell me that she and her husband are pregnant. Being pregnant is a huge enough deal, but what makes it even huger for them is all that they went through to become pregnant . I (and many of the people I know) am fortunate enough to have had no trouble conceiving. Heck, I just have to breathe the same air as my husband and two blue lines appear on the stick. But Marci and her husband have had numerous surgical procedures, countless doctors visits, and hundreds of injections to finally be able to say that they are having a baby. I am thrilled beyond words for them!

Doesn't show well in the low res pic, but the top tab says "dream come true" and the bottom right reads "wonderful"

Remember Today 1.10.08

{Remember} how lucky I am to be surrounded by people who make me happy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Remember Today 1.9.08

{Remember} how much I can get done when I don't watch tv. TV free for the year, save for a bit of news to fall asleep to.

Spring Teaser

I love a few warm days sprinkled among the frosty days of winter. That taste of spring is just what I need to recharge and to feel like I can get through the rest of the winter. The boys and I took walks, rode plasma cars, played street hockey, and made snow soup with the puddle in the driveway. Of course, with all the outdoor play, the inside of the house kind of falls to pieces: dishes left in the sink, laundry in every room, toys strewn about, sand-covered floors. Ahhh, spring. Guess that's what spring cleaning is for. My youngest sees some grass and wastes no time getting the mower out. Like father, like son!

Trying to do a bit of potty training around here. Don't really think it's going too well!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Remember Today 1.8.08

{Remember} how great a little springtime feels in January, and how my body, mind, and soul needs it to get through winter.

Monday, January 7, 2008

love reading, love Amazon

I ordered more than $70 in books from Amazon tonight. Here's what I got: 2 books on the human body because my middle has declared he wants to be a doctor when he grows up. I don't doubt this career path for a second: he has always been very interested in people's boo-boos from the smallest of paper cuts, to the wound left by the surgeons on his grandfather's hip after a replacement. My oldest nearly passes out at the mere sight of blood (takes after me), and my youngest won't allow me to touch him if I have a BandAid on my hand. Sometimes I put a BandAid on just so I won't have to carry him up and down the stairs! I also bought 4 Dr. Seuss books because C is beginning to read and Green Eggs and Ham is his book of choice. I ordered my oldest Book 1 in the Spiderwick Chronicles series. He announced tonight that he only wants to read chapter books like me, and then went to bed with a flashlight in one hand and a Laserbeams chapter book in the other. I love that! I don't care if my boys turn out to be great athletes, if they're the most outgoing, or the most artistic, but I really want them to have a love of reading. Then, of course, I had to get a little something for me, and was thrilled to see that Amazon had Ali Edwards latest book Life Artist.

Remember Today 1.7.08

{Remember} that Logan's New Year's resolution is "to learn more about the world" (and play more video games, but I'll forget that!)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

365 Memories

"Real happiness comes in small poritons, day by day. Take pleasure in life's little treasures for they are the most important in measuring happiness." ~Author Unknown

Once in a while I get a great brainstorm of an idea. This seems to happen less and less frequently since having my children, but none the less here is my thought for 2008: I want to do a layout, or maybe an entire album of 365 things I want to remember about 2008. These may be anecdotal memories of each day, or a life lesson learned. And I can use my blog to log them all! Join me in making 2008 a year to remember: grab a blog, journal, or just a piece of paper and make note of the little treasures each day holds.

Remember Today 1/6/08

{Remember} how great it feels to get together with family for Sunday dinner.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Scrap First, Clean Later

I have been making lots of "me time" this week. Of course, none during the day so it's resulting in some very late nights, or should I say very early mornings. As sleep deprived as I may be, I don't regret a second of it. I have done three layouts in two nights--something I haven't done in at least three years. Sure, the Christmas decorations are all still up (even the pizza delivery guy commented that I ought to take them down). The tree came down last weekend: my husband's doing. If he had his way it would come down on December 26th. Wait, if he had his way we wouldn't have a tree at all! Each year that goes by I get closer to going fake. The darn needles--it's amazing there were still any left on the tree. On day two, our trees always stop drinking, by day four the tree has noticeably lost its bright green color. And by the end of the first week, it has shed more needles than there are hairs on my entire body. This happens every year, despite cutting 4 inches off the trunk right before sticking it into the stand. This year I didn't think the tree was even going to make it until Christmas. I had visions of a completely needle-less tree on Christmas morning, and even briefly contemplated taking all the lights and decorations off, trashing the tree, and putting up a new one.

Anyway, the tree made it through Christmas, as did I, and now all our decoration boxes are strewn about the family room (Perry insisted on getting them out of the attic tonight, but then plopped down on the couch to watch football). And here I sit alternating between Andes candies and Baked Lays creating my second digital scrapbook layout using, for the first time, Photoshop Elements.

I'm not thrilled with the page: I am limited by my small collection of digital stuff. I do however love this picture, and I love how with digital you can make the image larger than you would with a printed photgraph.

I guess that's all I'm up for tonight. Now that I think of it, I should have cleaned my bathrooms and folded those two loads of laundry tonight. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Remember Today 1/5/08

{Remember} how Maddox is transfixed to the Big & Rich DVD, clapping his hands over his head, strumming his guitar, and wiggling his hips to the beat of the music.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Remember Today 1/4/08

{Remember}: how fun our Friday pizza and movie night tradition is.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Inspiration Everywhere

I am feeling incredibly inspired and motivated right now. Maybe it's the New Year, or being able to look at my Jan. issue of CK twice today (waiting at the doctor's office sans enfants & while the boys played at the Y because I took them out in the frigid 10 degree weather when I thought they had a swim class that doesn't start until next week). The January issue is packed with tons of great ideas if scrapbooking is part of your New Year's resolution. Here are a few I pulled out today:
  1. Make a layout with predictions for this year. Fun to look at at the end of 08 to see what came true.
  2. Use mini glue dots and glitter to create a cool background.
  3. Recycle your junk mail into cool elements for your pages.
I just spent the past 2 hours playing around online. I followed a Photoshop tutorial (also from CK) to create this:Doesn't look that great here, but the concept is to create a focal point within your photo by framing a portion and desaturating the background. I am now beginning to grasp the whole Photoshop layers thing: this project has 6 separate layers in it--yikes! Could I do it again? No way, but that's what tutorials are for! I also downloaded an adorable scrapbook planner to print out. If you check out this project, be sure to get Brenda Arnall's downloads from her blog as mentioned, too.

Well, the night is still young, and if I want to at least get started on a layout I better get off this darn computer!

Remember Today 1/3/08

{Remember} to take time for myself everyday--Doctor's orders (he's the best!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Late Night Ramblings

The best part about a New Year is buying a new calendar. I always wait until after the first so I can get mine at half-off--I'm cheap like that. So yesterday, while out with the hubby and kiddos I ran (literally, and through the snow, too!) into Borders to snag my calendars for 2008: a page-a-day with lines that I will use as a journal, and a smaller blank page-a-day I like to use for my scrapbook sketches (at the end of the year I have 365 page layout ideas.). Yeah, not 365 finished scrapbook pages, just the ideas for them, so that in the following year I can have on my list of resolutions to catch up on all the pages I didn't scrapbook the year before (and in my case, the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that. . .). I have come to the sad conclusion that I will never be caught up in my scrapbooking, at least not while I am still snapping 50 photos a week of my kids (who said it was a good idea to get a digital camera?!). But what the hay (or is it hey?. . .hmmm), it's a new year and I can embrace my imperfections (and let me tell you, not being caught up in my scrapbooking is the very least of them) and know that I've got exactly 362 days left in 2008 to make myself better.

Remember Today 1/2/08

{Remember} that Logan came home from his first day back at school after the holiday break and said, "This was the best day of school ever--it was better than all the other days!" This a day after he declared he hated school and didn't want to go back.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Resolved

I love a new year. It's a fresh start, a new chance to be a better person, a rebirth of sorts. I have been thinking about my New Year's resolutions since early December and here is what I resolve to do in 2008:
  1. Spend more quality time with my children and husband (better let Perry in on this one!)

  2. Make more time to be creative (aka, spend less time watching tv)

  3. Read more (aka, spend less time watching tv)

  4. Keep up with my blog

  5. Spend less time watching tv (really, I don't watch tv all that much, but I do use it as a crutch on the nights where I am too tired and unmotivated to do anything else--generally one week once a month. You know what I'm talking about ;)

  6. Organize my recipes (this one's been on my list for about 5 years now)

  7. Keep in touch better with friends--send cards just because.

Gosh, I feel like there should be more. Maybe it's best to keep it realistic. I'll keep out the eat healthier, exercise more, give up chocolate. Yeah, those will be broken by January 4th so it's best not to set myself up for failure!

Cheers and Happy New Year!

ps. Here's a little doodle I made using my new Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet (a gift from my in-laws)--very fun!