Friday, May 28, 2010

Getting Amped up!

So, this morning Mick and I decided we would let Ian get his birthday present a day early. I scrapped up a handmade card and wrote a little note in it that told Ian how proud we were of him and the "little Dude" he has become. I wrote that with increasing age came increasing responsibilities, including more chores. The card requested that he go put his laundry away and there he might find his gift. As he ran over to the laundry basket I had Mick call my cell phone, which was hidden beneath the clothes. It started ringing as he approached the basket. (Ian's been wanting a cell phone for quite some time). I think his heart started racing...and then skipped a beat or two when he heard the ring. Then he saw it was my phone. I know, wicked, cruel prankster Momma I am, huh? Anyways, I then told him his gift was beneath the towels. There was an amp. He immediately started  tripping out with excitement. Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!!!!!!! Jumping up and down trying to contain his excitement. I then told him to look behind the door to our closet for the rest of his gift. And to his sheer delight, here is what he found:
Excuse the blurry photos-there was a bit o' excitement in da house-lol!

A sneak peek of the gift!

Ya think this late "tweener" was pleased with his gift?
 I do!!
Here's hoping this Memorial Day weekend is full of family time and remembrance of those who have fought for our freedom and sacrificed so much.
Happy Birthday #12 Ian. You Rock Dude!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Back home. No matter how much fun I have getting away to visit friends and family, I always enjoy pulling into our driveway and being HOME.

And...speaking of home, the interest rates are still great on refinancing, so Mick and I are going through the process again, decreasing the term of our loan with no closing costs and keeping the same interest rate. (We could do a fifteen year fixed for 4.375% but felt that would not be the best choice for us at this time). So, we went with a fixed 20 year loan. Lots of benefits for us including paying off the house much faster and we are only paying about 80 bucks more per month than we had been paying. SWEET.

Back to piano lessons, tennis lessons, taekwon do, unpacking, laundry and more.
...Just in time to recharge for a weekend at the lake with family and great friends. Can't wait to celebrate. Ian turns 12 and there's no better way to celebrate than hanging out on the lake, wake boarding and skiing and soaking up all of the fun that the lake has to offer.
However, I'm trying to stay mindful amidst all of the fun ahead, that the WHOLE reason we can enjoy what we do is because of individuals who have made GREAT SACRIFICES for our FREEDOM to do so.

  Thank you to all of our veterans and to our troops currently fighting for our freedom and the freedom of others. Thank you for your sacrifices-they are great and many and are deeply appreciated.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Posting from the Road

So, I've been having a lovely time visiting Chicagoland and my dear old friends and neighbors. On Saturday, I got to catch up with my friend Jill and her Mom, Barb, to dine and reminisce along with me at Max and Erma's. Don't you just love having friends that (sadly) you haven't seen in years and yet you can still finish each others sentences? Comfortable, easy, unconditional friendships. True blue ones. That's the kind of friends I'm blessed enough to have.

This is Jill, Barb, and Greg. Where's Greg you say? Greg is Jill's Garmin GPS device. They were inputting directions to a favorite store of theirs; the next stop on their daily excursion:

IKEA., I've never ever been to IKEA. And yesterday, I was finally lucky enough to go with my friend Jan, and her two little twin bambino boys; Caleb and Joshua. WE had SO MUCH FUN! Picked up lots of lovelies and a few for my friend, Lexi. Just wish I had room for some big furniture items. I think I'll just have to make another trip up soon! :)
And today, I get to meet up with my sweet, dear friend, Tanya and do some scrappin' into the wee hours. I can't go to Chicago and not scrap!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Hippest Ride?

Afternoon Delight: Swagger Wagon
Seriously? Really? Is this ad real? I thought it was a spoof or parity or joke. Or SOMETHING!
(Now is this where I actually admit that my DH drives one and sometimes I do too? )

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On Waiting

I came across this excerpt, on a fellow scrapbooker's blog (Carrie Colbert Batt's) this afternoon. It resonated with me. Enjoy(Note - I’m assuming it’s okay for me to post here, as this excerpt is published in its entirety here on her website.)

“On Waiting”
by Shauna Niequist

I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin.
And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin.
I love movies about “The Big Moment” — the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies.
John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat. The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearls. And strung together, built upon one another, lined up through the days and the years, they make a life, a person. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies.
But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets. This pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience.
I believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without even realizing it.
I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting.
The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it.
I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage and parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look.
Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull off the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted.
Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is.
You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural.
You are more than dust and bones.
You are spirit and power and image of God.
And you have been given Today.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Story of Amanda McDaniel

Cheers for Amanda

The world has lost a beautiful being but gained a beautiful angel.

Amanda Joy McDaniel
August 12.1991 - May 14. 2010

Amanda lived her dash to the fullest. She will be deeply missed.

********Please read more about my beautiful cousin here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rain , Rain Go AWAY...

...come again some other day! This is really getting old, this rain we've been having. But, on the bright side, it does put me in the mood to hunker down and clean house as well as curl up with a good book or play a board game. I hope the weather is a bit nicer in your little neck of the world.

{photo source: via Google images}

At least it produced some pretties to look at. And speaking of pretties, check out my new rain booties. One happy reason to enjoy a rainy day!

Here's to rainy happiness!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

(Card I made for my sister who's going through some tough times).

was beautifully boyish. I mean, I am a momma to two blue-eyed boys, ya know! The day started with breakfast in bed at Big Grandma's Cabin-a homemade sausage, egg and cheese biscuit made with my new favorite bun:

and some beautiful cards with lovely sentiments inside:

How cute and how sweet! Awe...

And then it was a viewing of "Brothers" while the boys played some Game Cube. For lunch we had left over (divinely scrumptious) pulled pork sandwiches that I made the night before with an accompanying Ramen noodle coleslaw poppyseed salad complete with Craisins and sunflower seeds.

And some awesome gifts (as if the aforementioned wasn't enough):

I can't wait to give these a trial run, "Suzer Millan" style!
A hand created gift from Boo to cherish for years to come:

I can't wait to frame it. And it's a flower that lasts forever. Yeah me!

After lunch, the boys kicked the soccer ball around for a bit and played with the TV antenna (disclaimer: do not attempt this without adult supervision-lol). And we played some games.

Our evening ended after a trip to Sonic for some slushies and dinner; a yummy Caprese salad and a viewing of Sweet Home Alabama. The perfect end to a perfectly laid back Mother's Day.

Friday, May 07, 2010

They say...

...a picture is worth a thousand words. I can say it in one: PAYBACK.

Monday, May 03, 2010

As If...

...starting out the day at the dentist wasn't enough, I am still dealing with this. SIGH. So very ready to be done with all of the yuckiness. But, at least the sun is shining and the temp is great. Looking forward to a few more days of mild temps before hotter days ahead.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Before and Afters

Monday, the 19th, was a big day in the life of Ian. He began the morning like this:

And ended the morning like this:

Ethan's Monday, the 26th, began like this:

And ended like this:

Later in the week Daddy, Boo and I went to Australia. Yep. That's right. AUSTRALIA. As in Australia; land of the platypuses and koala bears. We found it to be beautiful and a bit cool-as in the air-conditioned, climate controlled IMAX we were sitting in to watch it. ;)
The very same day we attended Ian's band concert too. Needless to say, I was very happy for the weekend to arrive and the chance to have no set schedule-other than to have some fun. The post prior to this should've gotten you up to speed on that. :)

National Scrapbooking Day

Proved to be a fun one. Had a few of my "Sistas" over to play. Managed to get a layout done and some cards as well as more work on the summer arts scrapbook.