Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

To celebrate the arrival of 2009 I'm giving away two of the little calendars I designed complete with cute little easel. The calendar measures about 4.25x5.5 and is designed to sit on a desk or small space. Each month has a different color and design but in the same format as what you see above. They are printed on an ivory/white sparkly paper.

If you would like to enter to win please leave a comment about what you are looking forward to in the New Year.

Unfortunately, I will not be sending international so if you aren't in the US, you aren't eligible to win. Not because I don't love you but because it requires a trip to the Post Office and I hardly ever go there so it would be ages before I mailed it out and since it's a calendar it's time sensitive. I know, silly, but it's just the truth!!

I will draw a name after 10pm tomorrow night.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Since Owen has not been feeling well lately I've been trying to occupy my time, and some of his, with some work in my craft room. The holidays are always a busy time in the craftroom and things tend not to get put away and Owen helps with the mess as much as he can! It was time to get things put back in order.

Today I sorted and reorganized all of my paper. I have drawers for all of my pattern paper sorted by circle, stripe, floral, text, and geometric. This is loosely based on Ali Edwards' pattern paper book. I do run into a bit of trouble with the double sided stuff but I let that go and put it in the drawer with the side up that I will most likely be looking for. Oh, and this reorganization of the paper was spurred by the 40% off sale my LSS had on pattern paper this week! I stocked up on papers I could use on layouts for O. Before Owen was born I had accumulated a lot of "girly" papers and every time I would go through my drawers when I was planning a layout for him I noted my lack of "boyish" papers. I thought it was a good time to get some new stuff! And I also needed to go through my CTMH papers and either purge them or incorporate them into my stash. Hence the organizing project.

I also went through all my scraps and reorganized those. I had been keeping them in a drawer for the colored stuff and a box for the netural stuff. This was not a good way to use the scraps. So I repurposed the drawers that had previously held some wood stamps (that have been purged) and put the cardstock scraps in them by color. Red/Yellow/Orange, Green, Blue, Purple/Pink/Mauve, Brown, Grey/Black. Now they are much more useful. I had been keeping a small box with scraps of pattern paper in them too. These scraps I put into some clear page protectors and put them into the pattern paper drawers.

Finally, I sorted all my 12x12 cardstock into my expandable file thing. I have two of these. One held just CTMH cardstock and then I had a drawer for other 12x12 cardstock. The LSS had a sale on discontinued CS recently, which I stocked up on, so my CS drawer was full. I relabled the slots in the expandable file by color and combined all the 12x12 CS into it. Now I can just take the whole thing when I go scrapping. There is also enough room in the back of it for larger scrap sheets. I have a file cabinet that holds all my 8 1/2 x 11 CS and that has been well organized for a long time.

Now I feel like I have a better idea of what I have and where it is and it's more accessible thus easier to use. I also don't think I'll be needing any paper for awhile!! Now I just need to get caught up on printing photos so I can get back to a regular routine of scrapping them. I fell behind on my monthly printing in September. I also need to purge iPhoto of crappy photos, burn some to disks, and move the rest to the external HD.

On another note, I've been having difficulty unwinding at the end of the night. After Owen goes to bed, which is around 9pm lately, I get busy doing things I want to finish up or haven't gotten to during the day (like my blog!) and then I get a second wind. Before I know it, it's midnight and I should be in bed. I also don't think my medication is helping me sleep like my dr. was hoping it would. I think it causes me to dream more which I find disruptive to my sleep. I also find Owen's night waking and Ludwig's late night potty breaks distruptive too! Oh, and Morgan's loud breathing and snoring! Sometimes it's easier to stay up than it is to try to go to bed!

We had a bit more snow today and a big temperature drop. Right now it's -2˚ (-18 for my Celsius friends)! Yesterday it started out at about 35˚ and dropped steadily throughout the day. I don't know what the average is supposed to be, it's been so eratic this winter.

Well, I'd better try to get to bed. I'm sure tomorrow will come all to soon and bring all kinds of excitement!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Heading into the New Year...

I am a person who likes beginnings and endings. I like a sense of accomplishment and having something be finished. I don't do as well with perpetually ongoing projects. However, I seem to be able to break up even the most mundane things so there is a beginning and an end.

I always like the beginning of a new year. It's like a fresh start. Last year I tried to make a list of resolutions, only to cast them aside not long into the new year. I didn't lose weight, I didn't start running again, and I didn't give up candy. What a surprise! Yesterday I was reading Jill's blog and she shared her intentions for 2008 and a few new ones for 2009. Did you see that word INTENTIONS?? What a great idea! So much better than resolutions. It just feels like a better word to me. Not resolving but intending. With purpose. With thought and purpose and intent. Doing things I love and enjoy and perhaps that are better for me than what I'm currently doing. It's another step away from my all or nothing thought process to a more gentle way of living and a kinder way of treating myself.

I think this year I'm also going to give up numbers. At least in relation to my age and my weight. I am not unhappy with BEING 35, I just don't like the number. I also don't like the fast pace of adulthood. Childhood was so much slower and leisurely. When I was a child it was ages, years upon years before I would be a grown-up. And now the years march past with a brisk and breathless speed. I want to be leisurely but I also want to accomplish things. In the middle is where I need to place myself.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The house is quiet. The boys are in bed. All our visiting family has left or is leaving tomorrow. We had a very enjoyable Christmas celebrating with both our families. Owen had a great time with his "primos" or cousins. He was unhappy when I told him today that they had gone home and we wouldn't see them for awhile. However, my SIL got a new iMac recently so if all works well we will be able to iChat with the primos! My youngest nephew wanted to stay at our house for awhile. That would be fine except that Kansas is 8 hours away! I made the mistake of teasing him that his mom and dad were going to leave him at our house and he'd have to sleep on the couch. He thought that was a great idea! Silly me. I forget that to a 4 year old everything is literal!

We had a nice dinner with Morgan's parents and then they attended church with us this evening. I love the evening service we attend. It's pretty contemporary but also very inspiring and uplifting. I always feel good going and enjoy being there.

We also attended a very nice service at my BIL's church on Christmas eve. It was a family service that had good music and some creative interpretation of scripture with the message from the pastors broken up into parts rather than one long 25 minute segment.

In years past I've felt a sort of let down after Christmas is over. I think that's mostly attributed to outside forces. The Christmas music on the radio stops. The stores change their seasonal stock to the next holiday and the world marches on to the next thing. I've decided to keep listening to Christmas music, leave the tree up for awhile, and keep lighting the candles of the advent wreath. The SEASON of Christmas has just begun and I intend to keep celebrating. After all CHRISTmas isn't just about one day but the beginning of something, someone spectacular and amazing. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A quiet little Saturday...

Today is a quiet day around the house. Mostly because Owen and Morgan went to the pool! I took Ludwig for a nice walk around the neighborhood in the snow. To be honest, I'm loving all the snow we've been getting. I know my mom is NOT going to like that statement. She's a Minnesotan who should have been born somewhere a bit warmer! It's been like a real December to me. The kind I remember from my childhood. Enough snow to actually play in. It's not blizzard conditions like some places are getting but it's some nice snow. Enough for Morgan to ski. Enough to make it look like winter. Enough to make it feel like Christmas. Which is still funny to me since the first Christmas did not have snow!

I'm also happy because yesterday I finished our Christmas shopping. Owen and I met my friend Lisa and her children at the mall for lunch and some playtime and after they left for school Owen and I finished up our shopping. Now I can wrap it all up and have it be done before all of Morgan's family arrives.

I've got cookies to bake for Morgan's dad. Ornaments to put on the tree. And some other decorating to do. I've also been working on a Daily December/Christmas journal. I think next year I will either not do this kind of project or it won't be a daily thing. I'm not good with these daily kinds of projects. I like events or instances better than recording things daily. It's a little too regimented for me. Which is contrary to my personality! I usually like regimented and orderly. I guess in my own way!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Are you ready????

Six days till Christmas!!! It's 13˚ here today with a forecasted high of 20˚. Warmer than it's been in quite a few days! But rest assured we will be dipping back down into the arctic temps again!

Morgan had yesterday and today off of work. Burning vacation time at the end of the year. Yesterday we took Owen to the Macy's display in downtown Minneapolis. We met some friends from ECFE class there. The boys had a great time seeing how a day in the life of an elf would be! Then we enjoyed lunch together and ran around the skyway system for a bit. Here are a few pictures from the display.

Today on my agenda I'm planning to finish up the Christmas shopping. We don't have an extensive list, which is nice, but I want to get it finished up. Morgan's family all arrives next Tuesday and I need to spend some time getting the house in order this weekend too. After the shopping I am off to work!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Randomness for today...

Owen is not feeling well today. He slept horribly last night. He and I were up most of the night. He dozed on and off. He didn't want to be in his bed or ours so we ended up on the couch with the Christmas tree light up. It makes me feel better too! I got him so Cloroseptic throat strips. They aren't for children under 3 so I decided to cut them in 1/2. I also got him so orange juice stuff but that isn't as acidic. He isn't napping well either even though he's really tired. Right now I've got him confined to his room with the Cars movie and the humidifier. Hopefully the warm moist air will help him to breath a bit better. I've also propped up his mattress a bit so all that junk doesn't collect in his throat. I think that's what wakes him up.

Not much going on around here this weekend. We have two warm days before it plunges into the single digits. Morgan is out skiing with his brother. First time this season he's gotten out. And probably the earliest in the last few years. Hopefully there will be more snow this winter so he can ski more. (I know Mom, you don't want to hear that!)

I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping. Just a few items left on the list. I'm going to start some baking next week. I've been trying to keep up on my Daily December mini album but I've not had much time to work on it. This was a busy week and with Owen's short naps and late nights it's been difficult.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday thoughts on toddlerhood...

1. I liked it better when Owen couldn't get into the fridge on his own.
2. I thought we were past screaming for attention!
3. "Owen do it" is one of my least favorite statements.
4. Learning that "no" is an acceptable answer even when you asked with a please and a cute face is harder than learning to say please.
5. Screaming "No, no, no" means the same as "no thank you". Which is what is implied when Owen says "right" after saying "no, no, no!" and we say "no thank you".
6. I seriously encouraged him to talk??? What was I thinking!?
7. Toddlers that don't like snow shouldn't live in MN in the winter. There should be a winter camp in Florida for these toddlers and their mommies and it should be free.
8. When I don't understand what he's saying it's sometimes best just to say yes and walk away.
9. A little sedative for mommies of toddlers should be a given.
10. Still the best thing I've ever done.

Monday, December 08, 2008

It's a date...

Yesterday morning Morgan decided we should do something fun together, just the two of us. We don't do this all that often. When we do have time to ourselves, it's usually separately. We dropped Owen off at Morgan's brother's house to play with his cousin and we went to downtown St. Paul. We don't venture to many St. Paul places so it's more of an adventure for us than Minneapolis.

We ate lunch at the Great Waters Brewery and then went skating in Rice Park. They flood an area right outside the Landmark Center for skating. And if you have your own skates, it's free!

Here's the rink and the Landmark Center.
Morgan practicing his mad skating skills! He's only been skating for 2 years. I guess ice skating isn't a big sport in Nebraska.
A picture of us together.

Linus and Lucy by the park.
Squishy bear came too. This was outside one of the restaurants in the Hamm Building. I can't remember the name if it. We didn't eat here.
It was not a warm day! I don't know what the temp was but it was blustery and cold. My skates are nicely insulated and warm but my face was really cold and got numb.

After skating we went to check out the remodeled St. Paul central library. It's an amazing library with all kinds of modern stuff but in an old building with an old library feel. It's beautiful. Then we went to Dunn Bros. and sat by the fire to read the paper and sip cocoa and coffee. It was nice to spend a little time together just having fun and relaxing. Not working on house projects or catching up on our zzzz's!

This week is a busy week around here. I work today. Wednesday is O's last toddler class and I have to bring something for the mom potluck. Thursday is O's physiatrist check-up and my bookclub holiday party. I've also got to edit a photo for my boss to give as gifts and work on the New Year's card to send out to our clients. The house also needs to be cleaned and I still have decorating I want to do and a bunch of other little projects going on! No rest for the wicked!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Celebrating advent...

This year for Advent we decided (or I did and told Morgan) that we should celebrate with a little more pause and purpose. First, I created an Advent wreath for us to light each Sunday and spend some time with scripture and prayer. I used greens from our own trees and some little pinecones I collected from somewhere and had stashed away. Owen loves the lighting of the candle and blowing it out.
Then I created a little advent activity calendar. When I was scrapping a month ago one of the other girls scrapping was creating one. I over heard her talking about it and thought it was such a good idea. I didn't see how she was doing it though so I just made mine up.
I used 12x4 pieces of cardstock to make pockets. Then put a number on each. The numbers were from a piece of pattern paper I found last year. I think by Making Memories. I reinforced each of the pockets with brads so they wouldn't come apart. Each pocket is decorated differently. Then I made a tag (6x2 1/2) on my cricut and then printed an activity on it. I bound the pockets together with my bind-it-all and then made the little stand with a wooden plaque, 3 dowels and two wooden beads. The stand can be disassembled so it will store flat.

This is just a random photo from last weekend. Owen and Morgan were scrubbing the kitchen floor. Owen loves to help daddy with whatever he's doing!
O's napping so I'm off for a bath and then to work on the things on my to-do list!