Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Remember Today 3.31.09

{remember} dancing with Maddox to this song after the boys got off to school, his laughter, my spinning, his bouncing, my singing (scroll down to pause my music first).

This is such a cute video!

Day One

Today is day one. I completed my layout. I'll be posting each one at Life Made Creations. I'm going to be perfectly honest: I stink at commitment. I stink at this whole following-a-regime thing. When I read Patti's 37 Day challenge, I got so wrapped up in the idea of doing something worthwhile every day. But there was this little voice that said, "Don't do it. You suck at these things. You won't be able to do it. You'll fail."

Well, today is Day One, and I did it. And I'm one day closer to succeeding, to silencing that little voice of little faith. One down, 36 more to go. I'm not sure this is the attitude one should have on the first day of an endeavor like this, but it's my honest attitude. And my blog has always been good at keeping me honest. See you on Day Two!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Remember Today 3.30.09

{remember} how proud Maddox was of himself for jumping off the block all by himself at swim. After class he looked at me with this gigantic smile and asked, "Are you so proud of me?!"

37 Days

Tonight I found the blog of Patti Digh, author of 37 days, a book that poses the question, "What would you do today if you only had 37 days to live?" Right now she is challenging her blog readers to do something meaningful for the next 37 days straight. Err, make that the next 33 days, because, unfortunately, I'm 4 days late for this party. But I love this whole concept. So what would you do? Besides soak up as much time with my children, husband, family and friends (and say to hell with all the housework--they'll have to clean up the house after I'm dead), I would want to scrapbook as much as humanly possible. I do have this secret fear that I will not be able to tell my children's stories (or my own, for that matter) before I die. That hundreds of stories will be left untold, thousands of pictures will sit in envelopes or on a hard drive without stories and anecdotes matched up with them. It's one of the main reasons that I scrapbook: because someday someone will pick up these albums, look through the photos, read the stories and say, "So that's who so-and-so was."

I'm rarely on time for anything since having children, so I'm okay with being 4 days late. Tomorrow will be my Day One. And here's my contract: (copied from Patti's blog; I hope that's legal)

"I, ___Michelle Neddo___, being of kinda sound mind and body, have willingly decided to try to do one thing consistently every single day for the next 37 days. C’mon, self, it’s just 37 days.
The one thing I will try to do every day is this: create a scrapbook page (or some semblance of one) to add to my family's legacy.

I’m not going to pick two things or nine things because that will dilute my focus –- just one thing. One. One simple action. An action, not a goal. An action, not a value. An action, not a wish. Something I can DO.

I’m doing this challenge at this time because: with every day that passes I am one day farther from these memories and one day closer to not being able to record them accurately.

I’ve chosen this particular daily action because I believe if I do it consistently for 37 days with no (NONE, ZERO, ZIP) exceptions, I will: grow as an artist, feel more accomplished as my family's historian, be more aware and mindful of our lives, and feel generally better for having engaged my creative energies.

If I should fail, I won’t blame anyone but myself (not even my partner, that idiot with 29 items in the express lane at the Piggly Wiggly, the IRS (so needy!), the people who make frosted Pop Tarts and Lofthouse Cookies, or Fate).

I also realize that this contract is solely with myself and carries no rewards, penalties or punishments other than those associated with the reflection of the strength of my character.

New things will happen for me.

I’m ready.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Remember Today 3.29.09

{remember} Camden choosing me over his dad (only one of us could go because L is sick) to take him to skating lessons. I'm not sure why he did it (he offered up that "Daddy gets to brush my teeth sometimes"), but I was honored to be able to see this little guy on the ice, and that he WANTED me there (nothing against you, Daddy-O!)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Remember Today 3.28.09

{remember} finding out one of my projects was featured on One Pretty Thing--huge grins, lots of happy dances with the boys (who have now verified that their mother is certifiably crazy), and phone calls to people who truly "get" what this means. Oh happy, HAPPY day!!

A Little PSE Before and After

My photos usually need a bit of help to look their best (don't we all?) So here's a "before and after" of a photo I took today at a school playground.
First the before:
I had shot some pictures earlier this morning and changed my white balance to tungsten and had forgotten to change it back. Ugh, nearly every photo I shot at the sunny playground made my children look like Violet Beauregarde after she chomped on Wonka's chewing gum. But when I did an adjustment for skin tone, it altered the beautiful vibrant blue of the sky. Enter a handy tool I just learned last week in a new CK special issue. Using the Magic Extractor tool under Image, I was able to get Maddox on a separate layer from the sky (be sure to create a dupe layer first). Once he was his own layer, I could adjust his skin tone to its normal color (too bad I couldn't help poor Violet this easily) and keep the sky the vibrant blue that it was. I also used the Clone Stamp tool in the side bar to get rid of the unsightly monkey bar in the lower right corner. This is one of my favorite tools, that and the Spot Healing Brush, which I seem to need on pics of me a LOT lately! Here's the final, and much improved picture:

I used the same Magic Extractor tool to extract Camden's bandana in this photo, and change the rest of the photo to B&W. Super cool stuff! Try out the Magic Extractor on one of your photos. It's so easy, even I can do it (plus, there are great instructions in PSE when you open the tool!)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Me & You

Soaking in the final months of

Me & You

before You

head off to school with your backpack

to make new friends,

have new experiences,

and learn from someone other than me.

Many things get easier

with each child,


letting go only gets


Remember Today 3.27.09

{remember} attending Literacy Night at L's school and relishing in the community in which we live. Watching my three boys completely engrossed with this author's talk, and thoroughly enjoying it myself. Sadly, forgetting my camera and missing some great shots of LC&M having books signed, and Logan and his good friend hugging with crazy grins only true friends share.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Remember Today 3.26.09

{remember} volunteering in C's classroom, having to leave and him giving me the biggest hug ever, the kind where I have to be the first to let go. He had tears in his eyes because he couldn't be at the center where I was helping like he usually is. A reminder to me of just how sensitive this tough brute of a hockey player really is.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This picture about sums up. . .

the way I feel about laundry:

Remember Today 3.25.09

{remember} being totally inspired by this book I picked up at the library to create art.

I love when an art book moves me to create with both inspiring tutorials and inspiring theory.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Remember Today 3.24.09

{remember} Camden losing his very first tooth while eating tortellini soup at dinner tonight, and then negotiating some sort of crazy deal with Logan: if L puts the tooth under his pillow and the Tooth Fairy takes it and gives him the money, he'll give C the $$ and also one of his prized Bakugan. Not sure what the point of this deal was (Logan's attempt at being given a chance to catch the TF in the act, perhaps), but I strongly advised against it: "If the Tooth Fairy is confused about where the tooth is, or can't find it, she probably won't leave any money."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Remember Today 3.23.09

{remember} Camden coming home and announcing that he had invited his two friends over. Little Mr. Social grabbed his class phone list and the phone and proceeded to place calls to his two friends to firm up the plans for 1:00. Too funny--this kid will never be without friends!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Remember Today 3.22.09

{remember} Maddox telling Logan to "mind your own business"--so not nice, but it was hard to contain my stifled chuckle.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Remember Today 3.21.09

{remember} scrapbooking in the kitchen and listening to the boys playing in the backyard; serving the boys lunch on the deck--spring is in the air!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Remember Today 3.20.09

{remember} sharing our Friday pizza and a movie with friends, and looking over from my spot in the chair with M to see the 5 kiddos nestled on the couch with my friend--too cute!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Remember Today 3.19.09

{remember} celebrating the last night of winter with our favorite soup. Recipe to follow soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Remember Today 3.18.09

{remember} our first trip to the park this year. It was Maddox's idea and not until I flipped through the photos did I realize how utterly happy he was the ENTIRE time. And Camden, yeah he attached himself to a cute baby and didn't leave her side for a half hour--pushing her in the swing, playing peek-a-boo at her carriage. He'll make a great Daddy someday!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Remember Today 3.17.09

{remember} forgetting to wear my green or dressing the boys in it, but making up for it with green cupcakes and sharing a corned beef & cabbage dinner with my parents.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Remember Today 3.16.09

{remember} Camden home sick with a mysterious rash on his face--no other symptoms whatsoever--strange, very strange. But he was loving a day filled with lots of screens!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Remember Today 3.15.09

{remember} taking a bit of time for me at the LSS and stopping by an antique shop I've always wanted to visit. And then off to a hockey game where the boys (and I) got to see Sam from iCarly--I admit I'm a fan of the show. The three youngest boys were enamored, and the oldest guy was embarrassed that I was trying to snap pictures with his cell phone. Good thing we made the decision very early on not to wait in line to get her autograph. This was most definitely the longest line I have ever seen in my life (stretching around the entire perimeter of the arena).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Remember Today 3.14.09

{remember} opening the door to find this standing in front of me:
I've been holding onto some patterned paper that reads "boy (n.); a noise with dirt on it" I think I've just taken the perfect photo for that page!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Remember Today 3.13.09

{remember} a very full day: pilates, Maddox's preschool screening, grab C from M&D's, lunch for me & M, playdate with friends, quick change for Karate, Friendly's for dinner, and a movie in my bed where the boys were supposed to conk out. Well, at least the rest of the day went as planned!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Remember Today 3.12.09

{remember} a day of catching up with old friends--lunch with a colleague from my Master's program that I haven't seen in about 6 years; and drinks with co-workers from my pre-children days.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Remember Today 3.11.09

{remember} eating Oven Pancakes at Mom & Dad's with C & M--only at Grandma & Grandpa's can you have pancakes for lunch!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Remember Today 3.10.09

{remember} using the 'new' treadmill for the second time since we got it 3 years ago. I'm one step (pun intended) closer to understanding the craze that is running. I was feeling the burn, maybe sweating just a tad, and liking it!

Good Reads

I just signed up for Good Reads, a website that tracks what you've read, what you're reading, and what you want to read. I can't tell you how many times I have read a book and less than a year later can't recall the storyline (and forget about character's names). Someone will be talking about a book that sounds so very familiar, yet I can't be definite that I've read it at all. I have started books and abandoned them, then tried to pick up where I left off months later and have to start all over again. I've thought about starting a book journal, but it feels almost book report-ish. I'm hoping that Good Reads will help me track my reading and network with others to find books worth reading.

Please join me! I'm all alone out there, so sign up and add me as a friend so we can all share good reads together!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Remember Today 3.9.09

{remember} watching Maddox swim with no bubble for about 8 feet and managng to keep his tiny button nose above the surface of the water--a proud mommy-moment!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Remember Today 3.8.09

{remember} enjoying a sunny, taste-of-spring day outside with the boys, and being inspired by the warmth and sunshine to create this:

outside with L & M painting alongside me, while C & P played hockey in the driveway

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Remember Today 3.7.09

{remember} being inspired by the warm weather to go on a "run" with the boys. Maddox insisted on running, not going in the stroller, so it was a lot of me jogging in place while I waited for him to catch up, intent on getting my exercise-worth.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Remember Today 3.6.09

{remember} changing up the Friday schedule a bit: an earlier Pilates class, going to C's school sing-along (and loving his little waves and big smiles everytime he turned around to see us), no karate, and sharing our pizza and movie night tradition with my sister and nephews--change is good.

A recipe

A lot of what I use my blog for is to tuck away tidbits of information so I won't lose or forget them. So, I'm just tucking this little recipe right here so I won't have to go searching for it later. Don't these look scrumptious? Can't wait to see how they turn out--I'm a carb addict.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Remember Today 3.5.09

{remember} the relief (that I thought would feel so much bigger) after boxing up 165 invitations, and 320 envelopes for tomorrow's delivery.

Click, quick!

You have got to check this adorable little project out. Hurry and click on it, I'll wait. . .

Is that not the cutest thing you've ever seen? I can't wait to make one, though it may be May before I get around to it--lots of projects in the works right now. In the meantime, I will just study Liz's.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Remember Today 3.4.09

{remember} registering for CKC--my very first one!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Remember Today 3.3.09

{remember} giving Logan the "out" to quit his swim class (he's struggling at this level and one level down is full), and him looking right into my eyes and saying "No, Mom, I'm ok, I'll finish the session." I am so glad this kid is not a quitter!

Monday, March 2, 2009

4 bits of inspiration

Here's a bit of inspiration I have gleaned through my blog travels today:

1) From Liz Kartchner: "I confess. . ."
A little list of innocent confessions, good scrapbook page journaling
  • I just took down my Christmas cards
  • I finally cleaned my bathrooms this weekend after 2 weeks
  • I still have my Valentine decorations up
  • I add extra pasta and meat to Bertolli frozen (and overpriced) prepared dinners so that there's enough to feed my family of 5 (and I don't tell Perry it's not made from scratch!)
  • I put a fistfull of Jelly Belly's in my pocket and pop a little bean of sweetness in my mouth throughout the day.

2) From A Foothill Companion: "In Real Life. . ."

Take pictures of everyday things that show your "real life" and write a brief blurb about each (another great scrapbook page inspiration).

3) From Small Fry & Co.: Place Mat Purse compliments of Kayla!

A tutorial on making an adorable purse from a single placemat. I feel like I always run into great placemats at Target, Pier One, and even Christmas Tree, but never buy them because they don't match my kitchen. Now I have an excuse to buy them! Speaking of matching my kitchen, Perry is soooo lucky the new Orla Kiely line at Target doesn't go with our cream and blue color scheme. . . sooooo lucky!

4) And one I came up with while ironing my outfit yesterday for my nephew's first communion: a page of "right now" versus "back then" to illustrate how my life has changed since having kids:

Right now I iron for Easter and Christmas and maybe one day in between; back then I ironed nearly every weekday for work. Right now I clean my house one room at a time and by the time I get to all of them it's time to start over again; back then I cleaned my house every Saturday morning in one fell sweep. Right now I wake to the sound of Maddox's sweet voice saying "I'm hungry for breakfast"; back then I woke to the buzz of the alarm clock, or whenever I felt like rolling out of bed.

Remember Today 3.2.09

{remember} a day of snowy perfection: all five of us home, Perry working in his office, me working in the kitchen, and the boys kicking back doing whatever they want (Logan building Maddox's new Spongebob Lego set he picked out at the mall, Camden alternating between drums and guitar on RockBand, and Maddox switching between both depending on the next song that came on. Fun, relaxing, and productive day, but let's hope they don't have anymore snow days this year--I want them home when the weather is warm.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Remember Today 3.1.09

{remember} a loaded day: church for Andrew's first communion, party at Sherri's with family, Camden to ice skating (where he was bumped up to the next level), a trip to the mall (which resulted in zippo purchases by me, but Perry and the boys did ok for themselves) where I tried on this dress and loved it (aside from the fact that I couldn't get the darn zipper up!),

and then a stop for Teppanyaki on the way home (where I needn't wonder anymore why I couldn't get that darn zipper up!). A great (and rare, these days) day of togetherness!