Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I'd like to write some poetic deep post about the past year, but I'm pretty much going to bite my tongue and sarcasticly wave buh bye. Along with many others who share my sentiment about 2008.

I'm optimistic about the new year, and wish everybody health, happiness and good changes.

Much love to my family and my friends. Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Just checking in, because I am soooo bored.

I'm feeling anxious tonight. I'm not even sure why. Maybe because of the rush of the holidays and now I'm feeling like I've got things to do to prepare, or what. I even caught myself today saying what became my mantra for over a month, "Before Christmas comes, I'd really like to....." Oh shoot. Christmas is over. And the layout above should be my proof.

Or maybe I'm really that excited about a new year starting. Who knows. :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008


LOL at Maddy's comment on my last post. Totally different than being snowed in here today.... I bet that Phoenix is actually colder than we are. How a place can have snow last week, be in the midst of an ice storm on Monday and Tuesday and then be in the 70's today is FREAKY.

Really, it is gorgeous out today. In the mid 70s and breezy. According to my little weather map on the side of my blog, a huge green blob is approaching the tri state area, so I guess we are supposed to get some rain tonight and it will start cooling off again later this week, but today is the perfect day to be out cleaning out the garage or doing anything outdoors.

Christmas was nice. I promised I'd post some pictures for the fam, but right now I am kicked off of my computer and using Mike's laptop. You know what it is like when the kids are home for a vacation... the computer isn't mine until they are in bed. Which makes me rethink why I thought it'd be a good idea for them to have a computer game to share for Christmas! ;)

So I'll update with some photos soon. I'm kind of glad Christmas is over. I was happy, but also felt a little off this year. I have no idea why. I think I always feel like this at Christmastime. I was in bed with Matthew at the end of the day, playing with his hair and listening to him talk. I just started crying. For a myriad of reasons....

The day was a nice one.
Mike was home for Christmas thanks to a delayed start with his new job.
Matthew going on and on about santa.
Loving the view out my window and loving Kentucky.
Feeling grateful for having a home when so many people are suffering right now because of this economy, and the lack of security I've felt about it over the past several months, and that cautiously feeling like I might be able to finally exhale.
Missing my family back home.
Missing my friends back home.
Realizing last year I talked to my grandma on the phone on Christmas and then losing her this year.

Just the changes in general. Good and bad. I think it is just overwhelming that you realize another year has come and gone (and trust me I am so incredibly happy to put this crappy one behind me!! Good riddance.) The whole passage of time thing. I'm not nervous about the future, in fact I look forward to it, but I also enjoy every moment that too soon becomes the past.

You just can't help but feel it smacks you upside the head at the end of the year.

Plus I think we spend so much time with anticipation, work and planning for Christmas that when the day is over you feel kind of ... off balance. At least I do. Or it could also be that the amount of garbage and new toys taking over my lower level has me hyperventilating and the OCD in me must have it put away and organized!! The organizing of it all is my favorite part!

Happy holidays still..... I'm in the camp that just because the day is over doesn't mean that the holidays are over. There's still another week and then we get to start it all over again.

Best wishes for a new and much better 2009!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Here are some crazy Canadian geese standing on top of a frozen fountain, for your Christmas enjoyment. ;)

Merry Christmas to my family and friends! I hope everybody has a wonderful holiday.

Much love.


Monday, December 22, 2008


Here is proof, for my kids to someday be able to say that they had to walk uphill both ways, in the snow to get to school. Because in the morning, they go up the hill to the corner to get on the bus, and in the afternoon they get dropped off down the hill and have to walk uphill to the house.

So someday they can honestly tell their children how hard they really had it. ;)

These pictures were from last week. All of that snow is gone now. BUT it is 4 degrees outside right now. That is not a typo. I didn't forget a number 1 or anything. Four freaking degrees. AND the 'real feel' with the wind chill is a sweet 16 below 0.

If you know me, I get obsessed with the weather talk. I remember every year around this time I would watch the news in Phoenix and see these temps back east and wonder how in the heck human beings lived in that. It didn't seem real. But here I sit, realizing that they indeed do. At least it is officially Christmas vacation, and we are all snug inside. It's still kind of an adventure for us.

Stay warm!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas movies

I have learned that being prepared for Christmas early makes for a more happy mommy. I started my shopping before Thanksgiving this year, and have been wrapping presents the past couple of weeks. So instead of stressing about so much to do, we've actually been able to enjoy things that I usually tend to blow off. Like Christmas movies....

We've watched our usual, Elf (The best one!) and the made for TV ones of the kid's favorite shows (icarly, Drake & Josh) I don't know what made me think of it the other day, but I realized the kids had never seen Home Alone. So with the beauty of Tivo, it recorded and we all watched it together last night. I don't think I've seen this movie since Mike and I saw it in the theaters YEARS ago. I forgot how funny it is. But even funnier than watching the movie was watching how my kids reacted to it. They loved it, and I laughed harder listening to them laugh so hard they'd start choking. That is a sign that something is dang funny to them. Nothing is better than belly laughs from kids. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Today is the last day of school until next year! YAY! I can't wait to have the kids home for a couple of weeks. Excitement is building around here now that there are some presents under the tree. - not even santa's yet!

The kids all have class parties today which means they'll be good and sugared up when they get home. ;)

All I have to do is wrap a few more presents! Woohoo! Which are hidden in plain sight in the garage. The best thing about moving is that the taped boxes with hidden presents don't look out of the ordinary. ;) haha, little do they know. I think I have more fun being sneaky than giving sometimes...heheehee.... it comes from me being the ultimate peeker when I was a kid.

We're going to lose our snow today since we are expecting a lot of rain. Megan told me a story about the snow yesterday. We were doing the typical hoping for snow on Christmas day especially since this is our first year with half a chance of that really happening.... but when she was talking about it at school yesterday one little boy said he hopes that it doesn't snow on Christmas day because his dad drives a snow plow and salt truck so that would mean he'd have to be gone all day on Christmas, starting very early in the morning.

So, hopefully no snow on Christmas. ;) We'll be inside anyway...for hours with all the things santa is bringing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Today was our first delayed start for school. I know the kids were really hoping that it would be a full snow day, but at least they got a little extra time this morning. Everything is really sticking this time, compared to the last time we had snow. I love being on top of a hill and being able to see everybody's snow topped houses around the neighborhood. I feel like I'm living in a Christmas card.

The other day after school we worked on our gingerbread house. I buy one of the kits from the store every year. This time I also had the canned frosting that I had bought on clearance from Valentine's day. (I love you Target!!) That is a must when there are THREE kids. I'm pretty happy with myself for thinking ahead on that one! It definitely cut down on the fighting over who got to do what on the house this year. Plus it was kind of neat since the cans come with four different tips. We have some pretty awesome looking snow on our little house.

Every year when we make one of these I think of the one year that I managed to pop my shoulder out of it's socket and ended up in the er. It was the one time it didn't roll itself back into place, and I had to ride in the ambulance with my arm above my head... then taking steps to the surgery that finally fixed it for good! But I remember my mom coming over to help Megan and Trevor decorate one. I think Megan was almost 5 and Trevor was 3. It seems like yesterday! So these little houses always remind me of the passage of time, and how somthing you don't mean to turns into a yearly tradition. (The house! Not my shoulder! LOL!)

Still working on getting Christmas stuff done, along with regular daily life stuff. - and enjoying the pretty snow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More snow!

One of the weirdest feelings is waking up from a nap, when you fell asleep to nothing and wake up with it snowing hard and everything outside is covered in white. I went back to sleep for a bit after the kids got off to school this morning. I think I have a sinus infection from hell, since my face hurts and my nose has swollen making me look like Jamie Farr. My nose has felt sore the past couple of days, but this morning when I woke up it looked like I was in a fight, complete with what looks like black eyes. So, with the headache that went along with it, I figured I'd sleep a little of the day away until my appointment at the doctor's office was closer.
No headache can squelch the excitement of new snow though. I'm still totally fascinated by it. So is Piper.... she was on the back deck plowing her nose through it and jumping up and trying to bite at the HUGE snowflakes coming down. They must be like dog toys from heaven to her.
Yesterday I spent most of the day wrapping presents. Here is a sneak peek, without any of Megan's things visable since she knows how to find my blog. I'm a mean mommy...haha, but I'm sure she'll recognize that Limited Too bag. Hmmm, what could be in there? Sorry Megan...I'm not telling.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It wasn't that cold today, this photo is from Megan's 5K race, but I just think it's cute. That's one die hard DS player when it's that cold out. But today's post is about Matthew and it is Christmas related.
A couple of weeks ago he came home from school and asked if he could use our video camera.
"What for?"
"I want to try to set a trap and videotape Santa on Christmas Eve."
"Don't you think that might scare Santa? Why do you want to catch him anyway?"
"There's a rumor going around my class that he isn't real and that it's really your parents that put the presents under the tree. I think that is too much work for parents to do, but I just want to make sure."
"You think Santa is real?"
"Yeah, I do. I just want to make sure."
I knew this would probably be the last year he'd believe in Santa, I guess I just wasn't prepared. I don't know why because both Megan and Trevor pretty much had the same conversation with me word for word back when they were around the same age. (What is it with the traps? I wanted to do the same thing when I was a kid... I think it involved strung pots and pans, and bubble wrap. The noise was going to wake me up and I knew I'd sneak out and catch him.)
I meant to write about our little conversation that day, but never did.
Then Friday he comes home from school waving a letter in the air. He has the biggest smile on his face and comes bounding in yelling, "A LETTER!! A LETTER FROM SANTA!! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!"
He handed me an envelope and we read the letter together. One was a letter he had written at school for Santa telling him that he wanted a Thomas set. (sure... we need more.) then there was another letter inside from santa. It said:
Merry Christmas Matthew! I got your letter. All of us here at the north pole are working hard to get ready in time for the holidays.
I will do my best to make all your wishes come true. In the meantime, always try to do your best and don't forget to be good.
I see you would like a Thomas the train set. I will do my best to bring millions of children just like you what they asked for. On the other hand, I am doing well (Matthew asked in his letter how Santa was feeling.) thanks for asking Matthew! Enjoy the holiday season and be good because you know I am watching!

See you sooner than you think!
Love Santa.
The poor kid was so excited he was literally shaking while I read it and I think the only time I have ever seen a smile that big on his face was when we went to ride Thomas. He has both letters taped up on his door right now. I don't think there is a doubt in his head about whether or not santa is real at this point. I love that we get another year of magic out of him. There really is nothing sweeter than a little one and all of the excitement surrounding the magic of Christmas.
We've been trying to keep busy with our normal Christmas time traditions. The kids were all invited over to a neighbors house last week to decorate cookies, and we try to go out every other night to look at lights up in the neighborhood. Tomorrow we are going to put together and decorate the gingerbread house and hopefully get a few things ready to be sent out. I plan on starting some wrapping tomorrow so I'm not up until 3 a.m on Christmas Eve. We're even supposed to get snow on Tuesday. It feels like the holidays are in full swing.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Little did I know that where I go to do some of my shopping across the river, that just a little itty bit further north on the freeway sits an ARCHIVERS!

I cannot even begin to tell you how exciting it was to be surrounded by scrapbooking materials again. Manufacturers I recognized, old standbys, new stuff.... I wanted to fall to my knees and cry.

I bought some of the new Bazzil dotted cardstock. How could they have come out with something so perfect after me leaving Arizona? What a tease it was to keep seeing it used on layouts online. But now I have some...which I'm sure I'll hoard and hyperventilate before making that first cut. You know the feeling.

I loved seeing all of the new stuff that I have seen online since moving. New KI lace cardstock, the plastic looking scalloped papers, everything. I was in my element. It was goooooood.

Now I am armed with some new adhesive, and a bit of new paper to keep me happy. So I guess this means you'll have to ignore my last post of being scrappy frustrated.

It is beginning to snow, which also gives me the perfect excuse for not leaving the house so maybe I'll get to play around a little today. :)

On a side note, I saw on CNN this morning that there are 19 days left in the year. That seems so hard to believe. As happy as I am to bid farewell to this past year, it still shocks me when I realize that another one has gone by.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

scrapping frustration

I'm struggling. I hate when you want to scrap, SO BAD, but you feel like nothing is right, journaling doesn't come to you, and you stare at blank paper (or screen) forever.

My biggest frustration is that I made a paper version of this same page, but with a lot more journaling, paper more suitable for summer and a different photo. BUT the frustrating part is that it sits in a pile now waiting for a photo order from Costco. A pile that is growing, waiting for a big enough photo order to justify a trip across the river, so I can finish all of my paper layouts. Dang, I miss having Costco 15 minutes away, and my little Costco photo guy who never laughed at me when I showed up almost daily to pick up even just one or two enlargements. ;)

But I was feeling a need to do something, and this is one of my favorite photos right now. I'm also really missing the fact that I can't go to Rosita's to have a greasy taco and chips and salsa. :p

It's time for a random post....

Sorry that there are no breaks in between the paragraphs. I don't know why blogger does that every now and then.

Here are the kids, watching one of the million Christmas specials on at night. (Mom...see the magic sleepy blanket?)
The blanket that Matthew has around him was mine when I was Megan's age. It's the best blanket ever. It's warm, magically makes you fall asleep when you have it over you, is comforting when you are sick, isn't very attractive anymore but I still love it, and is actually a bit of an antique. It has a tag on it that says that it was made in West Germany. I always think that is kind of cool.
My rant today is about how depressing Christmas music is. Have you ever noticed how many songs are about people being apart? It's not uplifiting. No wonder the suicide rate goes up around the holidays. It's because of Christmas music. I'm convinced of that.
So I'm listening to Christmas music while at the grocery store yesterday. I really really really hate that stupid Wham song... you know, "Last Christmas I gave you my heart... the very next day.... you gave it away..... etc."

I hate that song. LOATHE it even. WHY why why is that a Christmas song? And why does every station play it like it is 3 minutes of poetic and musical genius?? It has nothing to do with Christmas, and really, it's kind of sad. It doesn't sing about good memories.
Even the old standards. I'm tired of them. Rudolph. Ugh. Once in awhile I like it, but it's not really a nice song either. Santa and the other deer were not kind to Rudolph and that always made me feel uncomfortable. Rudolph was a pawn. He was used. Only when there was an emergency did they all of a sudden like him. Sure Santa, when your ass is on the line it's ok to be open minded about a poor deer with an oddity. That's not the santa I know. Other than the fact that I appreciate the antiquity of it, I could stand to only hear it once a season.
But what is with all the songs about being away for Christmas. Nobody gets to go back home, I'm missing you... etc. Why not more songs about the SEASON? I mean "Let it snow" has become a favorite of mine... it makes sense with the snow, and now living in snowy areas it gives me warm fuzzies. The image in my head of "The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful...." I GET THAT, and I love that.
We need some new songs to be written that will eventually become holiday staples. Please, no more groups covering old songs.... (with the exception of U2 doing Christmas Baby Please Come Home of course!) But I can't stand to hear ONE MORE girl singer of the year do her version of Santa Baby. And as if Bruce Springsteen's version of "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" didn't make my ears bleed, now I hear new versions of it from groups nobody cares about.
Please... I beg of the song writers out there.... please... can we have some new Christmas music? Play it with the old standards, the originals...but please no more depressing Christmas music. Please?

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Look what we woke up to this morning! Since I took this photo, it's actually snowed a lot more and my neighbor's grass is covered in snow. IT IS SO COOL! But it's a total novelty to us right now so we went for a drive and to go play in it a little.
Matthew running towards me with a huge smile on his face... no wonder, he has a snowball in his hand. (And as usual, Thomas in the other.) Ha, but he missed me.

One down....

- and a quick trip to Target. Is there anything prettier than Target in the snow? Maybe Target in the snow, and me with a $1000 giftcard. ha!

We're all snug in the house now, with the fireplace going and a lot of snow coming down outside. It is supposed to be like this tomorrow and Monday too.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

get comfy.

Can you stand a few more? Funny that my mom wanted to see this and she is doing her civic duty this week and hasn't been on her computer much. Jury duty. Bummer.

Yay, I'm finally in a part that looks like we really do have a place to sit down. Haha!
Here is my kitchen.

Now I'm standing in my kitchen, where there is a little dining area between it and the family room. The arcadia door leads to the deck, which is high above the yard in the back. Even though you walk in the front door and this is all on the same floor, the backyard is on such a hill that in the back of the house here, you are actually on the second floor of the house, with the basement below. There's a pretty big set of stairs to climb from the deck to the yard. Ask me how much I love those stairs after I've fallen on my butt from ice this winter.
But it's also nice because that large window in our family room is high up, so I get a nice second story view and never worry about anybody being directly outside.
My lonely scrapping table. I used to kind of hate that it had nicks and scratches in it from serious crafting... I thought I would DIE if Martha Stewart or the Queen Of England came by and saw my poor little table and yes this really used to stress me out. (those who know this table's history know that it's had a hard life, so it isn't exactly an heirloom, lol!) but now I look at those dents made from serious eyelet hammering at midnight, cuts from exacto knives and Stayzon ink smears and remember the good times at that table. *waving to the girls!!!*

I have to say that at first that fireplace smack in the middle of the room bugged me. I hated having the tv at an angle and cursed the person who made the fireplace the focal point of the room. (How dare they!! Don't we all decorate around the TV?!?) But that sucker isn't for decorative purposes... that fireplace puts out some serious heat which makes it really nice when we are all on the couch snuggling and watching TV together. We've made friends. I love the fireplace now. It can sit wherever it wants to as long as it keeps me toasty.

So that is downstairs. There is a laundry room, and a garage... pretty exciting stuff there. But for the most part this is where we are. If I'm feeling brave I might post some pictures of upstairs. ;)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

come on in, don't be shy....

So here is more to my tour. If you are interested read on, otherwise I know this is terribly boring. Unless you have voyeuristic tendencies. Haha!

Now I'm standing in my kitchen, looking out into one part of the big circle around the staircase. The house is basically a long rectangle. If I was as crafty as Michelle, I'd build a model, including my pretend furniture and then photograph it. (Michelle is a little OCD in house model building, so she knows I love her and am picking on her and her talent.) ;)

Oh lookie there, I felt good enough on one day to commit to putting a picture up. It takes me years to do that, so this is a huge step. LOL.
My mom said that she likes seeing things that she recognizes from my old house. Remember where that L.A. picture was before? Quiz time.

and my empty living room. The lampshade fell victim to the move, and since the couches are now gone there is no reason to have extra light in there. So it lives in the basement for now. There used to be a pretty chandelier hanging in the middle of this room, but it has been replaced after about the hundredth time of my cussing at it after hitting my head on it. It's in the basement keeping the lamp company.
Those pictures will go back up on my wall eventually too.

So that's that area of the house. Stay tuned... dun dun dun.... for the next post which will be... kitchen and family room! Woohooo!!

Monday, December 01, 2008

a little tour....

I have had a couple of people email me, and my mom has asked several times for pictures of the inside of my house. Being that there is not much to blog about, here we are. Some photos I took not too long after we moved in. So bear with the blank walls... which most are still pretty blank...

It's not spectacular, infact it's mostly empty of furniture when you walk in because of the whole Penske fiasco moving out here and us needing to ditch a lot of our furniture in Phoenix, but it's home. A little history of it though, before us one of the Cincinnati Bengals lived in it. I can't remember his name, but our house is called 'the football house' to the neighbors. This is of course before he started making 16 million per, then our little house was too little for him. Sigh...

This is coming through the front door. My wreath just got switched for a Christmas wreath. And that wall where the plant is sitting on the floor is where my someday entryway table will go. With a lamp, and a gorgeous mirror above it, and all sorts of entryway goodies...but hey, not being able to get a table there for awhile makes cleaning easy. LOL! But I like to picture all that in my head, like the cover of Southern Living magazine. Yeah... just picture that. You can go three ways when you enter the house from the front, which frankly is a pain in the ass when you are calling for one of the kids, and you go one way and they are going another. You end up both walking in a big circle around the staircase yelling for each other. Until I yell, "Stop where you are and I'll catch up with you!" If you go to the right.... there is the living room/dining room. It's our living room because we kept knocking our heads on the chandelier so we put up a dome light, and now it's an empty room. Void of furniture. Again, picture in your mind the most fabulous of living rooms from a Southern Living magazine. Haha. Because that's what I picture when I'm vacuuming and cleaning around my pretend furniture. ;)

Or, you look directly up the stairs and everybody's rooms are up there.

This is looking towards the door. There are two closets that flank the front door. I thought that was nice for storage until I realized that winter coats are puffy and take up most of one closet when they are hung up. I'm learning winter as I go. So some of my original storage ended up being moved into the basement.
This is standing in the living room, but the cabinet there is in a little nook in the hallway. You can kind of peek into the office, which is when you turn left when you come in the front door. It's part of our circle of, "Where are you!?!?"

Now I'm in the family room, which looks through a big opening into the office. I see little boys on the computer, more than likely playing Rollercoaster Tycoon together. (Their current obsession.)

I'll post more. If anybody wants to see....
But my mom specifically wanted to see where I sat when I was on the computer emailing her. Out that window right there is where I look out and take the pictures of my view of the street that I've had on my blog before. Which right now is dark. One neighbor has up Christmas lights.
So that's it. It's terribly boring around here right now. Which is not such a bad thing given how crazy life is most of the time. I'll take the boring. ;)
We're all crossing our fingers for some snow tonight! There is talk of ACCUMULATION! Woohoo!