Sunday, December 12, 2010

I :heart: easy

My son has a friend who practically lives at our house.  And he's just a really nice kid.  For a while I wrestled with the notion of him being a bit Eddie Haskell-ish, but after a while it just sunk in that he's one of those rare, honestly nice, kind people.  Because Ian (my son) can be sarcastic and has been prone to pushing the limits, I am very grateful for Jared's good influence. 

Last night my other son Ted came to me and asked he he could borrow one of my "tall" candles.  After some confusion and a "What the hey ho are you talking about?!", it finally occurred to me that he wanted one of the super tall birthday candles that I had gotten at Crate and Barrel a couple of years ago.  When I asked him why, he said it was Jared's birthday and they were going to put it in a Little Debbie strawberry shortcake roll and sing happy birthday to him.  One of the things that I like about Jared is that he has an infinite amount of patience for Ian's younger brother and sisters.  And they all adore him as well.

I decided to make Jared a card, and at the risk of looking like a really creepy old lady, when I came across this one in my Silhouette library I thought it pretty much said it all.  This was thrown together in about 15 minutes flat, which absolutely never happens, so it is, indeed, simple.  But I glue dotted a $10 Taco Bell gift card to the inside and signed it "Ian's Mom" and I was happy to have been able to do something for him...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let Go.

From Reverb10

What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?(Author: Alice Bradley)

This has been a year with so many changes.  It's funny, looking back, at the things that were easy to let go of, the things that I clung to until the bitter end, the things I subbed in for those that were going, at the grumbling that occurred at times, and the silent gratitude that happened as a result.

I let go of my apartment, and the idea of living quietly and alone.  That was hard.  I love my kids and I truly welcome this chance to live with them again.  But I never had a chance to be truly autonomous until my divorce.  After 15 years of putting myself at dead last, it was nice to have a chance to be concerned with just me.  I know that sounds so selfish, and I can't even begin to justify it.  But it's the truth.  And now I am loving coming home to a full house and talking to my kids every day and helping them and being part of their lives.  They're wonderful people and this won't last forever, so I will be present and grateful for being able to finally let go and really enjoy this.

I have let go of feeling powerless to control my direction.  Since my divorce, money has been a HUGE issue and driving force in every aspect of my life.  This whole goofy circumstance has freed me from paying rent, utilities, and internet access.  That's no small amount of money.  That, in turn, allowed me to go to a four day work week.  I'm still full time, but I do make less than I would if I were there 5 days a week.  The four day work week empowered me to the think that I do, in fact, have PLENTY of time for school.  Ha.  I don't know if I have "PLENTY" of time - there are lots of times when I feel overwhelmed and stressed, but for the most part, I've got enough time to get it done, and get it done to my standards. For the first time since I left I have this peaceful "I'm gonna be okay" feeling.  I have direction, a goal, really attainable dreams, a concrete road map...  It really would have been difficult to juggle work and my school when I was at my previous job.  But I think that it was easier to say "I can't", than "I don't want to work that hard."  I'm glad that things have changed to where I'm working hard, but it feels manageable. 

There are other things/people that I need to let go of. But it's not easy, right?  It's a process.  And frankly, it happens organically, and even though  know I need to let go of something doesn't mean I can just make it happen.  Would that it were so.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


So, because I'm a sheep, and what sheep do best is follow, I decided to follow Ali Edwards' lead again and try this whole weird Reverb10 thing.  I like the way I call it a thing...that's totally somebody's mother being all judge-y there, right?

I hope, over the next couple of days, to catch up on the three days I missed, but for now, I'm going to start on the 4th prompt:

 December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)


I think I cultivated a sense of wonder by signing up for the TEEL program at Notre Dame College.  Since I've been working towards my teacher licensure I haven't  stopped wondering...  Long parts of my days are spent wondering:

  • Am I doing the right thing?
  • Was this a wise investment?
  • Will I be a good teacher?
  • Will I actually get a job when this is all said and done?
  • Am I actually smart enough for this?
  • What the hell are Grade Level Indicators?
  • SPA standards??  Huh?!
  • How much money will I make?  Will it be enough to support me?
  • How long will this take?
  • Will I be able to get a job in a district I want to work in?
  • Am I doing this assignment right??
  • WHY do we have to upload stuff to Tk20?
And on, and on, and on...

Anyone that knows me will tell you I'm a worrier.  But it's not just worrying.  It's wondering, daydreaming, hoping... wishing.  I am so very excited about the changes I'm making for myself.  I am so grateful for the goofy circumstances I'm in that have afforded me this opportunity.  I'm so happy that the people affected by this are willing to stand by me and support me.  I'm eternally indebted to the people who have made concessions to my schedule, who have listened to me whine, who have given my children rides to sports practices...  I am fully aware that I'm not doing this alone, and I have not stopped wondering how this "chance" happened into my lap all these years after I thought that "chance" was gone.

There are lots of ways to wonder, and I realize mine may not be the most romantic, or touching, but to me it is the happiest bunch of questions that I could be asking myself right now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

October Joy Mini Album

blah blah blah, insert paragraph about absentee blogger here... 

One of the things I'm coming to realize about my picture taking habits is: I LIKE OCTOBER.  I mean, REALLY like it.  There's something about putting on a sweatshirt and dragging the kids out, the crisp air, the excuse for hot chocolate afterwards.  Everywhere you look the world is putting on a show.  The perfect background for portraits is all around.  Who doesn't glow when shot against those beautiful yellows, oranges and reds?

This day was supposed to be about hunting for pine cones.  Why?  Because this summer I bought big bottles of brown and copper glitter on deep discount, with the pie-in-the-sky thought that we'd find some cool pine cones, paint some glue on them, sprinkle them with glitter and voila, we'd have a cheap and easy craft and cheap and easy fall decorations.


I'm certain that there are plenty of pine cones laying around just waiting to be picked up for glittering, but very few existed at Squire's Castle on this particular Tuesday.  But that's quite alright - I'll take the pictures I got on this particular Tuesday over pine cones any day.  Besides....  You can buy pine cones from - really cool pictures of my kids leaping out of a castle window are much harder to come by.


I'm sure it goes without saying that the shapes are all cut from my Silhouette.  The album was purchased from TwoPeas last year, it's by Maya Road, and I'm fairly certain that this particular book is long gone.  Shame, really.  Turns out I love the visual cacophony that it creates.

Journaling reads:

Eleven months of the year, the answer to the question "What's your favorite month?" is, without hesitation, "June!"  After all, it is a month of birthday cake, long days, trips to the pool, flowering Bradford pears, and sleeping with the windows open.  That's the total package, if you ask me.

But then, October shows up and it, too, has birthday cake (thanks, Ted!), and it often offers the opportunity to sleep with the windows open.  Add in ghost stories and changing leaves, and suddenly I realize that it's wrong of me to hate a month just because it got assigned a space on the calendar too close to December for my liking.

So for one month of the year, October is my favorite month.

For one month of the year, I drive to work with a smile plastered on my face because the world is so crazy beautiful.

And if I play my cards right I get an afternoon with the kids to enjoy it.
Just a point of note, the page on the right is acrylic.  I like the way it allows what's behind it to show through, but I have to admit, sometimes it's intimidating to work with.  The control freak in me has to really let go.

Left page Journaling:
It was a lovely day, and I had my camera.  The children were clean...  It was a good day for a portrait.
Right page Journaling:
I like that they just know how to pose in a way that captures their individual personalities.

Two points of note:
I really dig the picture of Maggie.  Need to remember this for senior portrait time.
I really dig the leaves scattered under the tree on the right page.  I think I'm so clever because I folded the leaves in half and ran them through the Xyron so only half would be covered by adhesive, and therefore they're a little more three dimensional.  They're also falling off, so so much for my creative genius. :P


I want credit for including that picture of me with the kids. I practice what I preach, as PAINFUL as that may be.

Journaling reads:
They set themselves up this way, they knew I'd fall for it and shoot it.
But what's not to love?  The serenity, tranquility, the beautiful colors, the scale of the trees...   Beautiful.

The journaling for the three pages simply reads:

Molly is a timid jumper.
Ted is a fearless jumper.
Maggie is a showy jumper.
I'm not crazy about the extraneous journaling.  But then, I also don't care.  As Maggie said when she was looking through the finished book last night "It doesn't need to talk about how much fun we had.  The pictures show that we had a blast."  Fair enough. 

And now, back to my regular absenteeism.  At least until after Christmas.  I've got a pretty big assignment due at school soon, and then right into the dreaded holidays.  One of the many things that drive me to getting this school thing done and getting certified to teach is finally being able to relax during the holidays - or, if not "relax", at least be able to enjoy them to some degree...

Thanks for looking. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Holy cow.  I just glanced over at the calendar and realized that I have only 5 more days until my next semester starts.  I have so been enjoying the last two weeks of slacking that it's going to take a little effort to get psyched up again for buckling down and being all school-y.  Of course, I could mention that last semester was barely over before I was out buying new sprial notebooks, #2 pencils (which I don't need) and a CUTE Harajuku Lovers pencil case from Target to keep them in.  Always thinkin'...    Now, if I could only remember exactly what courses I'm signed up for. Seriously, can't remember and I can't find any confirmation emails or anything.  Am I panicked?  No, but I guess I have some work ahead of me.

So, in honor of my FIVE days of remaining freedom, things that I've been obsessing about:



Hyperbole: I haven't wanted anything this badly since my 4th grade birthday when I was getting a new bike. 
Reality: I haven't wanted anything this badly since my last camera purchase.  And this is reallyreallyreally close.

Too bad they're sold out EVERYWHERE.  Did you even watch that video?  So cool! 



I am not certain what it is about this that so has my attention.  His prison tattoos?  Her Hellen Keller bang job?  The total lack of underwear?  The fact that DJ Hi Tech rocks it on a PC computah?  Or maybe that this guy, who reminds me so much of Vanilla Ice, thinks he's "gangsta".  I'm willing to wager that South Africaan gansters are quite a bit different than those we think of in Jersey and LA.  The lyrics are foul at best, but there's something infectious about it.  I think I've watched this ten times in the last week.


Just picked up the Jeremy Fisher CD from the library the other day.  Some really good folksy/acoustic stuff, but I keep playing this track over and over.  I can't sing to save my life, but I've been having great fun hollering along with the chorus. 



Actually, THE ENTIRE "WHIP IT" SOUNDTRACK ROCKS.  The movie was incredible, a coming of age movie with so many layers, not the least of which is the mother-daughter relationship...  If I were a movie-buying kind of person, I'd plunk down money for it, but I'm not so I'll just settle for putting it on my library queue over and over and over again.  And in the meantime, my commutes are a less stressful as I rock out and try not to look stupid to other drivers.  Try.  Mostly unsuccessfully.


I can't believe I'm even admitting to this one.  But when I was taking my classes this summer, I "hated" my one class so much that watching this show was the carrot that I had to dangle  in order to get my homework done.  "Just finish the stupid (&#$@&!!) assignment by 10 and you can watch RHNJ!"  That's what the cool people call it....the cool, procrastinating, perfectionist, chip-on-their-shoulders people.  You know them.  They go by Caroline.  And talk about themselves in the third person.  And plural.  Sheesh.  Anyway, season finale's on this Monday, so I better find another carrot...

This is by no means a complete list.  A complete list would include Bella Blvd, Silhouette, The Next Food Network Star, Rolling Rock,  Keen sneakers, magic bananas, tattoos, money, and my bed.  But in the interest of "celebrating" (she says while making sarcastic air quotes and rolling her eyes) we'll keep the list to just five. 

Here's to five more days without homework.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Molly's Birthday

Molly's birthday is July 15th.  I think we always have the most fun on her birthday.  Everyone is out of school and it ends up being a whole day celebration for her, instead of just an evening thing.  This year we celebrated by going out to lunch at Steak'n'Shake (because she wanted chicken fingers), went to the Southpark Mall in Strongsville where we played Firefly Golf, saw a movie and then headed to Legacy Village to have dinner at California Pizza Kitchen.

Sadly, the layout only showcases pictures from lunch at Steak'n'Shake.  I can't quite figure out how to incorporate the rest of the day in a cohesive that stuff is just going on a separate page.  At least theoretically.  At this pace those pictures may never see cardstock.

The die cuts are all Silhouette.  The striped paper is Fancy Pants, the blue and yellow paper is Heidi Swapp - I love those papers, I've used them again and again and again.  The little tag-y thing is Creative Imaginations - just snagged at 50% off at 2Peas.  There's a Basic Gray covered brad, and the rub-ons are BG and Doodlebug.

I have to say...not loving this.  I don't know exactly why.  Is it because I really prefer single photo layouts?  Is it because the green mat ended up cut wonky and I had to place the tag on it to make it less obvious?  Is it the total discordance of papers?  Is it the overall flow?  I don't know...  But not every page is going to be a winner right?  So we'll just accept that this is a B layout and not an A layout.  We'll live.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Boy's Birthdays

Ted springs on me that he's going to a birthday party on Sunday.  Not "Hey mom, I got invited to a party.  Can I go?"  but rather "I'm going to a party on Sunday afternoon."  He cleared with his dad and arranged his own ride, so it's not like I'm upset, but as The Mom, I spiral into what-to-buy-yet-another-12-year-old-who-has-everything mode.  I ask Ted for input, and he says "I don't know...they have about a gift card to WalMart?"  Um. How about not.  I don't mean to sound snotty, but working in a small shop whose biggest competor is (sadly) WalMart and knowing that WalMart's stated business objective is to undercut the local I said....Um. No.

Now, because Target has had the good sense to keep their animosity of local small businesses to themselves, I'm all for a Target gift card.  So off I go to pick one up.  But of course, I enter the store...and get SUCKED into the dollar spot.  And worse, into the $2.50 spot. :P  Black handled bucket?  For $2.50?  I'll take it!!  I'll fill it with Twinkies!  I'll put a skull sticker on it!  I'll be the most hated mother on Bama (this kid plays on Ted's football team)!  Ok. Pause.  Rethink.  But I'm still taking the bucket! 

Aside: what is it about scrapbookers that make us so stubborn about just putting a gift card in a greeting card and handing it over?  I feel like everytime I give a gift card I'm challenged to engineer some presentation device...

Today is no different.

In an attempt to not bring on the hate from Tyler's mother, the bucket is filled with Rice Krispie Treats (c'mon! At least they're better than Twinkies!), Trident Gum, Target fruit snacks and a bag of Goldfish snacks.  When I got home I asked Ted if he was okay with my doing the monster and even let him pick which monster.  And I asked him "Are you sure this is ok?" about 6 times, and he enthusiastically said "I'd love to get this!  I'd take it downstairs and play video games with it all day." Um. Yeah.  Feeling the hate. (In my defense, at least it doesn't make noise or come apart to 200 tiny pieces that hurt when stepped on)

And then there's the gift card holder.  Cute, no?  I love the skinny monster, and I'm glad I finally had an excuse to use the talk bubble....kinda cute.  The googly eyes? Yeah. I dig 'em.

And I want to take a minute to talk about flash.

Poor, maligned flash.  Everyone hates him.  Especially everyone in the scrapbook world.  Heavy hitters like Karen Russell, Erin Terrell Clarkson, Maggie Holmes, Erin Cobb, Tara Whitney...etc, etc, etc...  they ALL say FLASH IS BAD.  Most even go so far as to say they don't even own a flash.  Seriously? 

And I am NOT saying that I am a better photographer or know more than the aforementioned heavy hitters.  They're ALL amazing shooters, and I wish I had half the talent any one of them has. 

But I just want to stick up for the poor, maligned flash.  He's not all bad.  He's just misunderstood.  You can't just use the one on your camera and expect it to do a good job.   Because aside from using it outside on a sunny day to fill in shadows, the on-camera flash just can't do a great job.  Why is it even there then?  Well, near as I can tell, it ads enough light to boost shutter speeds in order to avoid blurry shots.  Hopefully we can all agree that blurry shots are decidedly worse than shots with flash.   And really, if you're shooting with a point and shoot camera, your only option is flash on or flash off.  (Mostly...there are a couple of excpetions, but I'm not going there right now)

But if you're using an SLR you have another option.  A dedicated flash that slides into your hot shoe solves a myriad of problems: No red eye.  No harsh shadows.  No blurry pictures.  No whacked out color shifts.  The joy of the dedicated flash is that 9 times out of 10, the flash head can be aimed at the ceiling, and in so doing, the light bounces off the large white plane of the ceiling where it gets diffused, and rains back down on the subject.  It wraps around the subject - so the harsh shadows are eliminated.  The light is softer, which is really pleasing.  You can still set your camera to a very low f-stop so if you want a shallow depth of feild, you don't have give that up.   And it's not like you have be some tech-no whiz.  You put it on, aim it at the ceiling and fire.  The camera pretty much takes care of the rest.  Yeah, if you turn the camera sideways to get a portrait shot, you do have to have a flash that both swivels and bounces, but most flashes do that anyway.  (Let's say 7 out of 10 flashes can both swivel and bounce) As an added point, bouncing the flash keeps you from having that harsh shadow that just plain yucky, but it also prevents the flash glare that happens on shiney, reflective surfaces.  For instance, shooting the metal bucket with the flash aimed right at it would have  giant white spot, totally devoid of detail.  Not. Good.  Bring on the bounce.

At any rate, the shots above were taken at 10 o'clock at night.  No way could I have taken those without flash.  Even if I had boosted my ISO to 3200 and turned on the room lights, it still would have been iffy.  And I'd have to have made a custom white balance reading - there's no way that the three light sources in my kitchen would have come across cleanly in any of the pre-set white balance settings.  The joy of flash is that the camera knows EXACTLY what the flash is doing, and knows exactly how to deal with the white balance when you're using it (unless, you, the user, set the white balance to something funky - but under Auto or Flash, the light will be pure and whites will be white).   

Blah blah blah.  Too much lecturing.  Maybe I should do some before and after/good and bad shots to really illustrate why flash is so damn functional.  Next time the heavy hitter's voices ring in your head that FLASH IS BAD, say gently back NO. HE'S JUST MISUNDERSTOOD.

And that's what I'm working on.  I may finish sometime this month...
(also taken with flash.  :)  Just sayin...)

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's going to happen less and less frequently, but last night I actually kicked out a scrapbook page.  And no one could be more surprised about than I am.  And more surprising than the fact that I did a page is that the entire process took me less than 2 hours.  We're talking, 2 hours from pulling the pictures out to cleaning up the desk afterwards.  That's a record for me, and the fact that I like the page is even more surprising.

I think that it helped that I knew that I wanted the layout to fun.  Yes, it's a layout about the kid getting bit by the dog, but it's also about how goofy she is, that despite the fact that she was actually DRIPPING BLOOD from those cuts, she wasn't sure if this was an emergency.  So yeah, still not "fun", but I certainly didn't want to steer it in the direction of being morbid.  Plus, the focal point photo is her mugging...  I should probably come up with a way to put her big smiling picture on there, too.  Hmmmm.

The biggest problem I had was using that green polka dot paper.  That's from Scenic Route, and ever since they went out of business I've been using that paper ever so carefully...  Like the way a person would take hits of water out of a canteen when they're stranded in the desert.  I know that once that paper is gone it's GONE and that makes me a little sad and a little panicky.  Yes, I like it THAT MUCH. 

The title font is called "Gentle Redhead".  It reminds me of the colored acrylic letters that ki came out with a while back.  I definitely think it's fun!  The yellow paper is Little Yellow Bicycle, the backside of one of the Zinnia line papers, and the black patterned paper is sei.  The covered brads are Basic Grey.  I'm pretty pleased with myself that nothing here was "meant" to with anything else - I didn't take three different papers from the same line, a la Garanimals style.  (Did you know they still made Garanimals??  Holy Cow!)  Anyway, I don't always have the greatest amount of confidence with mixing and matching papers. 

And this is just too cute not to share.  I made a thank you card for the coworker that filled in for me when I had to run out to Maggie to the urgent care.  This isn't actually the card, but after making that card I got coerced into making a Father's Day card for Kerig's dad.  I absolutely love this little superhero boy, and the "D" on the shield just makes me happy - those yellow/oranges with that red is so happy... 

I probably won't have 10 minutes to be creative again until this semester is over, so I'm just going to soak up the much needed, all-about-me therapy that I got from whipping out that page last night...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Percolated Story

Every week I spend 90 or so minutes listening to a scrapbooking podcast called "Paperclipping Round Table". This week's show "The Sum of Our Stories", got me thinking about my story telling and my process, and how intertwined the two concepts are.

When I was relatively new to scrapbooking, but after I had identified the basis for "my style", I scrapbooked at the dining room table. I quickly came to realize that what worked best for me was to lay out my photos on the table early in the day. As the day would wear on, I'd visit them and fuss at them a little. First I'd chose a background cardstock...and then go put that load of laundry in. Next trip through I'd pick out some accent colors for use in the title and mats. Later on I might pull a punch that would help carry the theme, or rearrange the photos to play with the flow of the layout. Meanwhile, the time spent away from the layout was spent thinking about the perfect title, and what I wanted the journaling to say. By the time the kids were in bed I had the ingredients and mostly all I had to do was assemble.

And that, my friends, is a gross over simplification of the process. Because nothing is really that easy, but it is the basics of how things went, and it did make completing the page more efficient.

Fast forward to present day. I no longer have three very young children, two dogs, a cat, and a husband earning an MBA who wasn't around much and left me with almost all the chores. Now I'm divorced, have four big kids, 3 of whom don't need a mother as much as a taxi service, a dog and a full time job. Gone is the luxury or starting a page while the kids ate their cereal and finishing after they go to bed. Now it's more like starting something one day, futzing with it for a week (in snatches of time like the old system) and finally completing it a week later. This doesn't bother me. It's jut life. It's either this process or nothing. And, nothing really isn't an option.

Back to the Paperclipping Round Table and the concept of telling stories. I have come to be very grateful for how long it takes me to complete a page, or at least for what that span of time from beginning to end affords me. I have found that by pulling out the pictures and laying them out and then having a couple of day's worth of commutes to think about them, I end up with a story very different than the one I would have told had I just launched in as soon as I pulled the pictures out.

For instance:

These pictures are from a trip to park that Molly likes.  We've only been twice.  After our first trip Molly asked to go back there almost every month, but our time is special and I try to have new adventures when we're together.  So this second trip was pretty special, because it took over a year to get back there.  If I had had the luxury of time, these pictures would have been used on one layout and the journaling would have been brief and it would have centered on the trip to the park.  But because of my process, and the fact that I had lots of time to think about these photos and let my mind wander and think more abstractly about the story that I could tell, I had time for  new ideas to percolate to the surface. 

What would have been a layout about a trip to the park turned into a layout about Molly's courage and another layout about Maggie's amazing attitude about life.

Journaling reads:
Hey chickadee! Weigh the outcome.  How bad can it be?  A skinned knee? A bruised ego?  But what if things go according to plan?  What if you don't fall?  You'll have fun. You'll get that "I did it!" feeling.  You'll approach the next scary thing with a little more confidence.  Believe me.   I know how this drill works.  I know how discouraging failure can be, and how thrilling success can be.  But more than anything, I know how haunting not trying can - for days - you'll think back and say "I should have..." or "Next time..."
Go ahead and Jump
We stood and waited for you to muster the courage to jump off of this tire onto the rope for what felt like a half hour.  Ted, Maggie and I all offered you encouraging words. Ted and Maggie tried to show you how easy it was and gave you helpful hints. I know what you were going through, agonizing over all the possible bad outcomes and wanting, more than anything, to have enough courage to do it - to experience the thrill of floating through the air.  For long minutes the fear outweighed the rush, but finally a burst of courage came and you do it! I was so proud that you found it in you to just do it!  This is the very definition of courage: being afraid and overcoming it. You are courageous.

Journaling reads:
I had this physics teacher in high school.  He didn't like me very much and I didn't always understand the way he taught.  But there is one thing that I have carried from him, one of those life lessons that spoke so directly to me that I have never been able to shake it: "You have to go along to get along".  I find myself struggling against this notion, always resisting the urge to speak my mind, play the devil's advocate...and yet I still know the value of those words.  Maggie, on the other hand, seems to embody the very notion of going along and getting along...and does so without appearing to compromise her core beliefs.  This day, for example, was all about placating Molly, who had been asking to go to the wooden park for a solid year.  The playground is most definitely geared toward younger kids, it's not really the place that most (almost) 15 year olds would get excited to visit.  but Maggie didn't pout or act put out, she hopped on a swing; raced her brother down the side (although, she did cheat!); offered Molly encouragement on the rope swing... all with a genuine smile on her face.  I often think that Maggie was given to me as a gift, as a an example.  (oct 18)

Sometimes I wish that I had more time to scrapbook. But then when I think about how differently these pictures would have been treated if I hadn't had time to let those stories develop.  I really love the fact that I have two pages that offer positive reinforcement and recognition of my daughters' good qualities.  I don't need to record the fact that we went to the park - they'll remember our tips on their own.  What I value here is that I had the chance to say something nice to and about my girls and I took it.  When I'm gone I want them to know how much I loved and valued them as people.  And if that means it takes a week to finish a page, then so be it. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Post #18 w00t!

I mean, that's, like, a burning 2.57 posts a MONTH! Whew! No wonder I'm so exhausted!! :P

But it's Circle Journal time again! I loooooove this project. Every month (or so) I get all nervous and anxious about creating a new layout, and every month (or so) I get finished and think "That was fun!!" I would definitely do this again, and would recommend that anyone even remotely interested do it. So much fun!

This month's book is called "It's the little things that make life big" and it's all about the everyday things that we appreciate and make life more of a celebration than a chore. It was fun to think about the things that I just love, but a little harder to boil it down to things that I love *everyday*. And I don't necessarily think that Kathy meant it that way - not strictly everyday - more like ordinary, free/low cost things that occur that you take pleasure in. I guess I added the "everyday" twist. Oops. But still, fun to think about that which brings me joy daily...

So. Uh. Yeah. I used Glimmer Mist on the left page. Lovely. Except that it warped the chipboard! :( I feel like spilled tomato juice on my neighbor's carpet. I really did try to be careful. I even painted it on because I was worried about over-saturating it and ...warping it. I blame the Glimmer Mist!
The other big challenge was the acrylic page. I wonder if people before me went "I'm not dealing with that!" and just rearranged it further back in the book? If they did, I commend their resourcefulness! :P I hope that Bethany (next up in the book) doesn't hate me too much for this orange-y/yellow color that isn't exactly neutral.

Oh, and I have to point this out:

Look familiar? Seriously, why re-invent the wheel. I used this exact same arrangement for my "Play" layout not too long ago, only I used those weird waxy balls in the center. Thanks to a 40% off Michael's coupon, I now have a multi pack of these cute little micro beads. So out with the weird waxy balls and in with the cute little micro beads! And will Kathy know that I totally ripped off my own layout? Only if she reads this blog, which I'm thinking: NOT SO MUCH. Score one for the lazy scrapbooker!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Week in the Life Project

These are all from Wednesday. Hopefully I'll be able to organize and share some from the rest of the week, too.
Just before pulling into the store's parking lot. Should I be taking pictures while driving down Mayfield Road? Probably not.

Having some cream cheese on saltines while doing some photo editing between customers. Someone needs a damn manicure!
The view from my "spot". This is our classroom, you can see the LCD projector we use for PowerPoint presentations. I taught our Digital 101 class at the end of this day.

We currently have well over 30 tripods, probably close to 40 if you count monopods. It's becoming a bit of a running joke, so I had to get a shot.
Things are pretty casual at Dodd. I'm grateful that comfortable shoes are okay! Out the window you can see my Jalopy and beyond that is City Hall. The fire department is in the same complex, so we get a front row view of the trucks quite frequently.
My coworker Ken. He may be one of the loudest people I know, but he's a really good guy and fun to work with. God, I hope he doesn't see this... ;)
The Thomas the Train Engine table doesn't get a ton of action, since our clientele seems to be mostly older, but it's a great thing to have when we do have kids.

After teaching the class, which went really well, I stopped at the Speedway to get a beer. I probably make this stop twice a week, so it was a must get shot.

I got home just after 9:00. The little kids go to bed at 9 and read until 9:30, at which point it's lights out. This is Ted...

....and this is Ted's homework notice that I had to sign informing me that he forgot a homework assignment that day. Ooops!

This is Reba helping me make the rounds. As soon as I went into the girls room she assumed this position.

And this is Molly doing her bedtime reading. It was a joke book. She shared that she didn't get all the jokes. Like: "What happened when the garbage man went back to school? He got thrown out." Ba-dum-dumb!

Maggie doing her history homework in her dad's room. Molly put our old paintings up all over his wall. I love these paintings. But not enough to sleep with them!

Once I said good night to everyone I headed back downstairs for that beer. Reba had already made herself comfortable in one of her two favorite spots. Frankly, i think the fabric of this loveseat suits her perfectly.

And then there's this. Holy sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln, this sight just drives me nuts. Throw the soda bottle away! Throw the gross bananas away! Why can't we stack the dishes in the sink?? Usually I'd clean it up, but tonight I just took a picture and drank my beer. :)