Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December is Eating Me Alive!

I am grabbing the few seconds I have before I rush my little guy off to school and head to the big guy's class to volunteer. I have been wanting to share video footage of the XLO Accoustic Christmas concert from last week. It was so fabulous to have my new mini camcorder to capture pieces of this amazing night. Here's a vid (not the best quality, sorry, we were 15 rows from the stage) of Ingrid singing possibly my favorite song of hers (but it's so hard to choose, really). She was phenomenal! I'll upload more when December stops gnawing on me!

Scroll down a tad to pause my music.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December!

So excited to start our December Daily to record and celebrate our family traditions during this holiday season.

Day One:

Traditions. I love traditions--little rituals that are repeated year after year. Growing up, our holidays were filled with traditions: opening the little paper doors on the advent calendar to get the chocolate treat hidden behind; attending church on Christmas Eve; listening to John Denver's Christmas album while waiting for Christmas Eve guests to arrive; Grandpa greeting us at the bottom of the stairs on Christmas morning to see our faces light up at the sight of our gifts under the tree; Christmas dinner at Grandma & Grandpa's house and bringing a favorite toy along with which to play; going to Auntie Carol's and Uncle Don's Christmas night and opening yet one last gift left there by Santa; filling up on homemade Christmas cookies (esp. Ethel's Sugar Cookies).

Since starting our own family, I have worked to establish some traditions that will help create warm memories for the boys: pictures with Santa, baking holiday cookies, decorating a gingerbread house, exchanging holiday ornaments symbolic of the year, creating and sending holiday cards, counting down the days to Christmas with daily toys and treats, lots of Christmas music playing all month long.

This year the boys took it upon themselves to write notes and cards to each other (and us) and tuck them into the stockings hanging on the fireplace. I hope they keep this up all month. And I have started yet another tradition of reading a Christmas story each night until Christmas. Tonight we read Merry Christmas Big Hungry Bear and Silent Night, Holy Night.
Traditions are a big part of this holiday season, and crucial to keeping the memories of this precious time in our hearts.

Monday, November 23, 2009

One Minute Writer

Prompt: Travel: What's the farthest you traveled as a child, and what was the experience like?

I ran to my room, slammed my door, and screamed, "I'm running away!" In went the essentials: teddy bear, favorite nightgown, and cherry chapstick all contained in a Strawberry Shortcake duffel. Out the front door and down the street I headed, the entire world open before me. But then I realized I was hungry for lunch. I was 5 years old, and back I turned to the safety of home and some Campbell's chicken noodle soup, my reason for wanting to run away in the first place all but forgotten.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The One-Minute Writer

I just discovered this blog in my travels. I'm already on a New Year's Resolution kick: making my list, printing my 2010 calendar. I'll be adding this one to the list. One minute, that's it. I think I can spare that. They give a daily prompt, and have a cute little timer that runs for one minute.
Today's is Bottle: What would you like to bottle and sell? Be creative. (Feasibility is optional.)
Here's what I wrote (remember it's only a minute, so there's no time for editing!):
My children's laughter rolling over the sun-drenched grass as they run barefoot to the swimming pool. Their squeals of delight as the first drops of water bead upon their sun-kissed skin. I would bottle it up to warm my soul on cold, frost-bitten winter days.
Guess I'm already pining for warm summer days!

Friday, November 20, 2009

So excited

to be seeing this incredibly talented girl in concert next month

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holidays in Hand {day one: goals}

Part two: Turn your values into specific goals.
  1. We will spend quality time together as a family each weekend in December.
  2. We will continue our family traditions (gingerbread house, baking a cookie a day for 5, church on Christmas Eve, ornaments and stories, reading Twas the Night Before Christmas, etc), and will begin one new tradition (have to think on this one!)
  3. We will choose a name from the giving tree at church.
  4. We will light our advent candles at dinner and say a prayer.
  5. I will log gratitudes weekly and remain thankful for all that we have.
  6. We will bake a cookie a day for the five days before Christmas, and give some away to friends.
  7. I will make at least three handmade gifts for my family/friends this year (I'm hoping for more, but let's be realistic--see #9 below) .
  8. I will record daily happenings, thoughts, rememberances in my December Daily album.
  9. I will not get caught up in the stress that often accompanies this season, but will relax and enjoy the beauty, peace, and gift of it.
  10. I will resume my photo a day for December.
  11. We will play Christmas music (lots of it) and dance around the family room to it!
  12. We will decorate our tree and home together (Perry, I hope you're reading this one!)
  13. I will take time for peaceful reflection each day, either in my head, journal, December Daily album, or here on my blog.
  14. I will reread my values and goals when I feel like I am falling off track.

Statement of Commitment:

I, Michelle Neddo, commit to live in the moment this December, to take time each and every day to reflect, record, and remember the beauty that is Christmas. I will slow down, no matter how difficult at times that may be, no matter what forces, thoughts, and stresses may be tugging at me. I will enjoy this holiday season for the gift that it is.

Holidays in Hand {day one: values}

Values of our holiday season

  • family
  • traditions
  • charity
  • the reason
  • gratitude
  • baking
  • gathering
  • giving
  • creating
  • together
  • remembering
  • appreciating
  • relaxing
  • enjoying
  • photographing
  • playing
  • music
  • decorating
  • peaceful
  • reflection

Just my brainstormed list for the assignment for Day 1 of Holidays in Hand.

What are the things your family values during the holiday season? Make your list--it would be a great scrapbook page.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Photo of the Day 11.3


Monday, November 2, 2009

Photo of the Day Nov. 2

mad scientists

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Create Art Everyday

I just landed upon this website. Sometimes these things have a way of serendipitously happening. I'm embracing the possibility that this month holds for me. I view November as the sort of calm before the storm that is the month of December. I'm hoping to find lots of time to create, or even small bits of time to create, as long as I can do it everyday. It fuels me.

Photo of the Day 11/1

better than a magic carpet ride
We've seen this ride before, but today they flew directly over our yard. The kids were yelling up to the riders, and they were waving and yelling back to us. So magical!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Photo of the Day #31

All Hallow's Eve

Friday, October 30, 2009

Photo of the Day 30

stUdio view

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Photo of the Day 28

decks and trucks

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Photo of the Day 27

art deco

Monday, October 26, 2009

Photo of the Day 26

homework time

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Photo of the Day {slacker} 25

summer longing

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Photo of the Day {slacker} 24

sailor's delight

Friday, October 23, 2009

Photo of the Day {slacker} 23

nocturnal dragonflies

I've been a POTD slacker (ok, I kind of forgot about my little project and failed to snap a single picture this weekend). Lucky for me I have some back-up shots from my parents' home on Thursday that I'm using to fill in a few gaps. That's cheating, I suppose, but really, who's gonna tell?!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Photo of the Day 22

maiden voyage

note: My dad built this boat. The pictures don't do it justice. It is beautiful. And it took to the water for the first time today. The first voyage of many in the deep blue. The life jackets and fishing poles are ready to go--the boys can't wait!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Photo of the Day 20

wii fight

Monday, October 19, 2009

Photo of the Day 19

i caved
i don't allow my boys to have screens m-th, but today i caved

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Photo of the Day 18

i'm a rainbow today

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Photo of the Day 17

reading now

Friday, October 16, 2009

Photo of the Day 16

Does your guy have one eye?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Photo of the Day 15

first field trip

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Photo of the Day 14

play time

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Photo of the Day 13


Monday, October 12, 2009

Photo of the Day 12

taking time to create

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Photo of the Day 11

tech magic
{Maddox delighted by the notion of drawing on the Wacom and seeing it appear like magic on the screen}

Saturday, October 10, 2009

making me happy right now



3. doing something creative everyday

4. 5. Photo of the Day and Blogging

(it's so good to be back on track)

6. {and late mornings made possible by number one above}


Photo of the Day 10

It's not often I'm on the other side of the lens. It's good.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Photo of the Day 9

body art

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Photo of the Day 8 {and then some}

so proud

The story: Last year, my oldest brought home every single piece of artwork unfinished. Every. Single. Piece. "Honey, why didn't you finish this?" "I didn't have time." This year he has art class twice a week (at least for now), and I couldn't help but think that maybe he might actually bring home a finished project every now and again. Well, even better. My friend, Kayla called the other day to report that her son was so, so excited to show her Logan's artwork hanging on the art board in the lobby of the school. Such a proud Momma Moment to hear this news. Of course, why I have to hear this from my friend's son and not my own is another issue altogether. So today's POTD is the photo Kayla took of Logan's art hanging on the board. Thanks, K!

Quotes for safe keeping

This one came off Ali's blog and is attributed to Mary Jean Iron:

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.

And this one that's been kicking around on my desk for over a week from Pablo Casals:

Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that wil never be again.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Photo of the Day 7

sew creative

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Photo of the Day 6

little teacher

Monday, October 5, 2009

Photo of the Day 5

pure joy

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Photo of the Day 4

the music in you

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Photo of the Day 3

flower garden

Friday, October 2, 2009

Photo of the Day 2 {ETA one more}

be happy

Just going through my photos to file from this week, and found this one. It took my breath away, so I just had to add it. (severely overexposed, but these kind are some of my most favorite) breathless

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Photo of the Day

I'm doing a trial run of sorts. For the month of October, I will (or at least I'm planning to, anyway!) post a photo from the day. I've fallen off the Remember Today bandwagon--though I've not lost all hope that I will jump back on it, so I'm trying this for a change of pace. It will also help me decide if I can undertake the big kahuna: a photo a day for a year. 365 days. We'll see!

opposites attract

Monday, September 28, 2009

10 Things I love about Me

I typically don't go around declaring what I love about myself, but this is a shameless blogpost of self-love so that I may have that much more of a chance to win a scrapbooking kit from Dixie Pieces (what one won't do for some scrapbooking product!). Anywho, here goes:

I love:
10. that I am creative
9. my fingernails (get these from my mom)
8. ok, this is harder than I thought, um...my ability to organize, yeah, I really love that about me--I'm good at organizing.
7. that I gave birth to three beautiful boys without any pain meds (and without kicking my hubby in the you know whats!)
6. my emotionalness (is that even a word?) I cry during movies, the news, a good song, while reading books, blogs, looking at my children, just about anything can move me to tears.
5. that I can still do a cartwheel
4. that I see the glass as half-full, always
3. that I'm independent
2. my sense of humor (get this from my Dad)
1. and the number one thing I love about me: hmmm...I can make up recipes that taste halfway decent sometimes (just don't ask me to replicate them, 'cause I don't measure anything!)

Instead of blogging tonight I...

cleaned out my inbox from 480 messages to 40--ooh that feels so good!

I might be onto something here: the anti-blog. Since I am having so much trouble making time for this little blog (which I hold so dear, really, I do) in my life, perhaps I should list the reasons for why I am not writing my Remember Todays. Yep, maybe that'll work!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Right Now, I am

  1. settling into our fall routines, despite L already missing two days of school.
  2. praying for a list of people longer than I wish it to be, all with health issues, some very serious.
  3. chipping away at a list of chores a mile long, slowly, ever.so.very.slowly.
  4. overwhelmed with the number of creative projects I need/want to work on, many of which center on the holidays, which will be here before I know it!
  5. closing the door to a small piece of my life (being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator), and watching for the window to open.
  6. doing some soul searching about where I want to head in the next couple of years
  7. in constant awe of the creative talent that exists in this world, many of which I see from everyday people following their creative hearts.
  8. feeling like I am ready for something big to find me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Remember Today 9.9.09

{remember} realizing how much I am enjoying our new routine: one-on-one time with M, time for just me, and quality time with L & C in the evenings. Having them gone all day, makes our time together more special. I miss them!

Remember Today 9.8.09

{remember} Camden admitting to me as he makes an attempt to stay home from school that "the real reason [he doesn't] want to go to school is because he misses me." Thanks so much for your honesty buddy. Here's a humungous hug, now off to school with you!

Remember Today 9.7.09

{remember} taking a walk in the woods with my boys. So nice to spend time together as a family getting up close and personal with Mother Nature. The boys totally love this kind of thing--they are such little explorers that thrive on adventure. So sad I did not bring my camera--next time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just spread your wings and fly

There’s something about the possibility that lies in a full day stretched out in front of oneself. An entire day just for you. Such was the gift I was given today by my parents when they loaded up the three boys, with their three suitcases and three activity bags, three scooters and three helmets and headed north to Maine. It was a bittersweet departure, perhaps slightly more bitter than sweet as I turned and walked alone into the house. . .the very quiet house.

I had big plans to clean and then do something creative. I was brought up under the “work first play later” ethic. That coupled with the fact that my bathrooms were starting to smell, how should I say, less than fresh (I know, eewww!) sent me on a scouring spree. The counters, the floors, the toilets and showers, sinks, dishes. There was so much more to be done, but I had promised myself a hard stop at noon.

I kicked off my creative time with a bit of blog hopping to inspire me. Some good stuff here and a sketch over there. Checked in on the forums at Dixie. Glanced at the clock: just after 1. Something caught in my throat as a small panic came over me. I have this day off and it’s wasting away from me. Yeah, I had done some cleaning , but heck I still had a bathroom left and hadn’t vac'd rugs. There was something about this freedom of an entire day to do whatever I please that paralyzed me. I was overwhelmed at the thought of all the projects I could be working on. Or maybe I should clean out my 350 email inbox. Or how about unzipping digi downloads. Perhaps updating my desperately behind blog with our summer days. Or, yikes, should I just ditch the idea of doing anything creative and resume my cleaning stint. At least then I might feel accomplished.

I read a quote last night by Anne Lamott that pretty much sums it all up:

I used to not be able to work if there were dishes in the sink. Then I had a child and now I can work if there is a corpse in the sink. Because you’re always on borrowed time.

Since becoming a mother, my creative time is borrowed time. I snag a couple minutes while they eat lunch to pull photos for a layout. I sketch a page while they ride bikes in the driveway. On a good day, I can pull an easy layout together while they occupy themselves with a toy or game. When given the luxury of a full day, I, as my friend Kayla put it, am a bird whose cage door has been left open but doesn't know to fly out. So little birdie-self, the clock is ticking on this gift of a day, hop on over to the door, and just spread your wings and fly!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

If you've been online in the past month, you may have already seen this video. My sister was the first one to tell me about it a couple of weeks ago. Not having seen it, my thought was, "Why? Were they [the marrying couple] professional dancers? Do they work on Broadway?" Why else would a wedding party dance down the aisle to enter the church?? But now that I have actually seen the video, I have a whole new appreciation for this couple and their friends. How inspiring to take an untraditional stance on tradition, to mix things up, and show the world you're not afraid to have fun. I think Brene Brown said it best on her blog:

To choose joy over the fear and vulnerability of being different or weird or ridiculed is a tremendous act of courage - one that touches all of us.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Remember Today 8.6.09

{remember} starting our day early with a trip to the farm to

pick blueberries
play on the playground
and eat homemade blueberry donuts

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

He'll always be my baby

I should have realized it when he let me sleep until well after 7:00 am this morning. I should have realized it when he came into my room fully dressed. I should have realized it when he bounded down the stairs to pick out his breakfast without any whining. I should have realized it when he styled his hair and let me spray it with hairspray. I should have realized it when he accepted the phone call from his Auntie without running from the room covering his ears. I should have realized it when he went, not only willingly, but brimming with excitement and happiness to Target and lunch with Nani and his big cousin (and without me). I should have realized that my baby is growing up. He had no trouble realizing the effects that turning four has on a little boy. Today his smile was a bit bigger, his eyes a bit brighter, his expressions a bit more mature. He walked with a little spring in his step and talked with an older tone to his voice. And when the day was through, he snuggled up to me and asked if tomorrow was still his birthday. When I replied that no, your birthday only lasts one day, he looked into my eyes with desperation and asked, "But will I still be four tomorrow?" Oh, yes, little man you will still be four, and you will always be my baby. Happy Birthday, sweet thing!