Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I feel as though I've wrapped 7,483,290,483,274,032,784,932 gifts today, and somehow I'm still not close to done.  There is Christmas shrapnel covering every flat surface in the baby's room.  I don't know where we're going to store all this stuff next year when there's actually a baby in the baby's room.  And to top off the never ending holiday to-do list, Shannon was put on bed rest to keep her blood pressure down.  Sucks for her and for me both.  I'm handling all these final preparations solo.  Elves don't get paid enough...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


It's natural this time of year to want to slow down and count all the blessings in our lives, to give thanks for all that is good and right in our worlds.  I thought I knew what all my blessings were.  I try hard to be grateful for the many, many gifts I have, a continue to receive, each day. 

And then I sent out my Christmas cards and a letter to my extended family.  After nearly a decade, I decided it was time to share what's really going on in my life, who Shannon really is to me, and that we're starting our family.  I didn't know how the news would go over, but I definitely never expected the outpouring of love and congratulations and excitement and joy that we have been flooded with this past week.  Even a few colleagues at work, with whom I am *very* hesitant to share personal details, have put two and two together, and come to me to offer love and support.  I never knew I was surrounded by so many amazing, open-hearted people. 

I never knew I had this much to be thankful for.  I am so, so overwhelming blessed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I am thrilled to wish my father a Happy 80th Birthday!

I am excited to go see my niece's holiday orchestra concert.

I am proud of this. Can't wait to start digging into it with pictures this weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Cone Calendar

Just a quick repost from Oh Dee Doh.  Such a simple, sweet idea, and a fun way to showcase all your favorite holiday papers!

Monday, November 29, 2010

November Moments

Well, this has certainly been one of the most memorable - and B U S Y - Novembers in memory.  It went a little something like this...

  • Baby shower.  Nothing beats being, well, showered with adorable baby girl gifts from all the people you love and who love you back.
  • Rosie's cancer scare.  The words "negative" and "biopsy" are a beautiful pair.
  • Thanksgiving.  My brother and his wife actually both came, and brought a baby gift no less. Our whole crazy family of 8 +1 were gathered around our dinner table, and it was wonderful. Cooking, carving, eating, cleaning, throwing bags outside after dinner, and lots and lots of laughter.
  • Black Friday.  First in line at Wal-mart, baby.  Me in lane 6, Rosie in lane 7.  Mm hmm, that's right.
  • Decking the halls.  Normally we have the fullest, fattest 9 foot Christmas tree ever, chock full of balls and bulbs and a royal pain in the ass to put up.  This year, since baby A could arrive any time after Christmas, we wanted to simplify a bit.  So we put up an adorable 4.5 footer packed with just our most precious ornaments. And we figure this will probably be our tree for the next few years to get us through the destructive toddler phase.  It's really a very sweet little tree.... I'm adjusting. 
  • Winterhaven.  We're going on Saturday, December 11.  I love this tradition with all my heart.
  • The nursery.  All of Shannon's gorgeous artwork is hung, the drawer pulls have been painted just the right shade of green, and the carpet has been cleaned.  I couldn't imagine a more perfect room for our baby girl.
  • 12 Days of Christmas.  I've decided that the December Daily is just too much for me, and I happened to stumble upon a blog with an abbreviated but equally special version of it that focuses just on the twelve most important holiday moments and events of the season.  *This* feels much more manageable to me, and I'm almost done creating my foundation.  I'll post picks as soon as it's done.
  • Shannon's birthday.  We topped off the long holiday weekend with a simple celebration, just the two of us.  I made her breakfast, she opened gifts, we went to the movies together.  It was delightful. 

In fact, this whole month has been delightful.  Ending a rough year on a wonderfully high note, it seems.  I hope this keeps up.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Twas a busy Saturday - haircut, scrapping, brunch, movies, shopping, dinner, laundry, chores.  Now Shanni's asleep on the recliner and I'm watching HP and the Goblet of Fire and checking out SC's December kit sneaks.

A lot on my mind today.  We're missing loved ones.... Ruthie and Nervs.  While the holiday season is, of course, joyful, it also makes us long for those no longer with us.  Speaking of holidays, I'm sooo happy that Zach and Kenz will be with us for Thanksgiving.  Rolling meatballs for the soup, watching the parade.  But at the same time, I'm disgusted that their parents are going to spend the week hunting while they push their 4 children off on extended family.  I can't stand who my brother is as a parent anymore and it makes me sad.  And I'm feeling anxious... worried about finishing all the baby preparations and desperately eager to meet our daughter, hold her, smell her, count her fingers and toes, kiss her rosy cheeks.  Shannon is going to ask our doctor for one more ultrasound, just so we can see her.  January 19 will be here before we know it, yet feels too long to wait for a glimpse.

That was today's project, inspired by Tom Petty and everything I'm feeling right now.  Anyway, it's late. It's time to head to bed.  Hoping your hearts and minds are more settled than mine :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Miss You

It's mid-morning on a Tuesday and here I am.  Why?  Because I woke up at 3:30 this morning with my first bonafide migraine.  I've had headaches before, even severe ones with light and sound sensitivity that I *thought* were migraines.  I was so wrong.  This was the most excruciating pain I possibly have ever experienced, to the point of vomiting and other stomach catastrophes you don't want to know about.   Point is, Shannon helped me call the sub line in the wee early hours and I have taken today off.  Thanks to my wonderful teammate Tina who slapped some sub plans together for me this morning. 

I've spent most of the morning in bed resting, but I was bored.  So I hauled my butt outta bed and into the craft room.  I have had our sweet Nervs on my mind lately, missing her so.  After 12 years, our family feels incomplete without her around.  I was inspired by Studio Calico's Sunday Sketch this week:

Jen Jockisch posted it based on a layout by Waleska Neris.  I instantly fell in love with it, so this morning I created this:

I miss her so, so much.  Shocking how deep into your heart a pet can burrow, and how much their loss can hurt....

On another note, Kayla Aimee, Jeff, and their daughter Scarlette could use your prayers.  As we wait for the birth of our first daughter, KA and her family are on our minds and hearts.  Sending them lots and lots of love. 

A heavy sort of day.  Climbing back into bed for a while...

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Today is our baby shower.  I so wanted, needed, my mom to be lucid for this.  I just went over to help her get showered and ready, and she is.  Today she is strong and with it.  Daddy baked her muffins, she got up and in her wheelchair all by herself, they enjoyed breakfast together, and she took a fast shower with my help.  No issues at all. I am so thankful.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Belly Shots

We began our third trimester this week and wanted to take advantage of this beautiful day to snap some pics.  Annabelle, your Mama Shanni is such a dork! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Enjoying a lazy Sunday evening after a whirlwind weekend of shopping, shopping, shopping!  We finally got the right chair for Annabelle's room, one of $392 worth of IKEA purchases, three rugs for Shannon's show room at The Dump (h u g e store, cool stuff), groceries at Safeway, multiple stops for multiple items at multiple Targets, some camis and long pants at Lane, a few more frames for nursery art at Michael's, and a desperately needed bottle of water at Circle K.  We are now relaxing in the craft room, Shannon creating precious colored pencil art pieces based on the book Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell.
And I created this little quickie.  Had fun embossing the woodgrain background with a stamp from All Night Media.  The paper and stickers are part of the Blackbird collection from My Mind's Eye - love love LOVE this collection.  The foam letters and the green cardstock were in my Studio Calico On The Easel kit, and the punch is Martha.  I'm hopelessly in love with so many of her punches.... *sigh*

Scraps still on the table... off to see what I can do with them. :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Smidge of Fall

Today is the last day of my Fall Break, so Shannon and I decided to squeeze in a mini-road trip upstate to see if we could find some foliage.  I checked for scenic drives on the Arizona Highways website first, we grabbed some road food, filled the tank, and were on our way.  We headed up the I-17 to the Camp Verde exit, drove east in search of Forest Road 618 (which we never actually found), and ended up continuing to the 87 to come home through Payson.  We stopped off a tiny antique store to browse, ate lunch at Macky's Grill, and discovered that taking photos of trees from a car going 70mph isn't easy.  It wasn't exactly the drive we planned, but it was lovely nonetheless.  A fitting end to a restful week off.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thank you, Restoration

I've had this picture of my niece and nephew since last Christmas. I love the photo, and I've desperately wanted to work with it, but it was presenting quite a challenge. Obviously, they're a bit older now and the cutesy red and green Xmas pajamas don't fly anymore.  So they're wearing clothes of their own choosing that completely don't fit any holiday paper color scheme at all!  Jeez guys, you *know* I'm a scrapper.  Couldn't you have at least matched each other, if not the rest of the decorations??

Enter Restoration, a  non-holiday collection from Crate Paper with all the right colors for this photo, and this particular pattern feels celebratory enough to work for a Christmas layout.  And voila - this simple, pretty project.  I inked a Martha doily black, used an SC stamp, did a little handstitching, and it all came together rather well.  Thanks, Restoration.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Little One

Boy, it's been a while!  The first quarter of a school year is always like this.  For the first month, you're getting your class settled, teaching routines, organizing and communicating constantly!  The second month and a half, you're preparing for conferences and report cards.  I swear, I work enough overtime in the first nine weeks to cover all the weeks off we get in the summer.  It's not a vacation, it's comp time. :)

We've been crazy busy prepping the nursery, registering, making invitations to the shower.  It's all coming together so beautifully.  I'll take pics and share soon.  Shannon has been feeling great, thank goodness.  We're just so excited and having such fun waiting to meet our Annabelle.

Speaking of which, I created this layout today with our 20 week ultrasound that told us we're expecting a daughter.

This is my well-deserved fall break, and I've been scrapping it up!  Made a love l.o., the invites, and this.  My Studio Calico October Kit - On the Easel - and the Watercolor add-on arrived yesterday afternoon, so I busted into it first thing this morning!   In fact, I'm heading back into the scraproom right now! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Missing Autumn

I dream every day of living somewhere besides Arizona.  This time of year only makes it worse.  When the rest of the northern hemisphere is enjoying shorter days, cooler temperatures, and leaves turning shades of russet and amber and gold, I spent my afternoon running errands in 106 degree weather.  I can't stand it.

So today I created a little something with one of my favorite photos from our Vermont trip three falls ago. I thoroughly loved every moment of that vacation... every drop of rain that fell, every crimson leaf that fluttered to the ground. I cannot wait to again live in a place with four distinct seasons, autumn being my very favorite. As soon as I'm no longer needed here, I'm there.

Created for Studio Calico's Monochromatic Layout with Neutrals Challenge

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Perfect Sunday

Rare and delightful.  Today started with an early morning walk around the neighborhood under mostly cloudy skies. The weather is just beginning to feel like fall... cool mornings, comfortable evenings.  When we got home, Shanni made her famous, scrumptious breakfast burritos.  We then squeezed in a pinch of housework, took my dad grocery shopping with us, and ended the first half of the day getting pedicures together.  When we got home, Shannon kicked back to watch the Cardinals' season opener and I retreated to my craft room, where I created this - a sweet little decor piece for Annie B's nursery - inspired a bit by Martha Bonneau and a lot by the color scheme we've chosen. 

As far as Sundays go, it doesn't get much better than this.  Wishing you the same.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Every year, it seems I forget how chaotic the beginning of a school year is.  Between Meet the Teacher, all the work that goes into the first month or so, grading, lesson planning, Curriculum Night, all the meetings, and the trainings for new programs- it's freakin' exhausting! 

I did manage to squeeze in a bit of scrapping this weekend, though, even if I should have been grading papers... Aunt Karen gave me some birthday money and I actually spent it on me - at my favorite LSS, of course.  We had our gender ultrasound this week - it's a girl!! Annabelle Ruthmarie.  So the new u.s. pics went in the frame, and I was able to work with our 12 week pic.

Now I should actually get to that grading.  We're heading over to my folks' later for birthday cake with the family.  Happy Sunday afternoon.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Clearly, I need to quit my job.  This working outside the home thing is exhausting.  Alright, technically I'm not even really back to work yet.  And fine, so I only worked 4.5 hours today.  But after work, I took my dad television shopping at CostCo and Walmart, then gave my mom her nightly antiobiotic infusion, then came home and cooked dinner, and *then* put away 2 loads of laundry!  I'm pooped.  I'm whining and I'm pooped. :P

 Saw this today. Thought I'd share.

Now it's time for some mindless, relaxing tv.  Clearly, I've earned it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Enough Already

It's a cloudy Saturday.  I love cloudy days.  This summer being an exception, they are very rare in these parts.  And even rarer still... it's not hot outside.  Very humid but definitely not hot.  That's pretty special.

Mom's coming home from the hospital today.  This wraps up her 8th stay in 18 months.  Still fighting that diabetic ankle wound, although the vein doctor gave us some hope for healing yesterday, thank God.  I made a simple page about all of mom's hospital visits lately and my feelings about her whole diabetes/health situation. The journaling is hidden behind the photo, and I kept the layout very under-embellished on purpose.  There's really nothing pretty about what's been going on, nothing to beautify, but it still felt right making this page.  If scrapbooking is about documenting real life, then this is real and honest. Life isn't always made up of birthday parties and visits to the beach, right?

Thanks.  I'm off to enjoy this lovely gray day - a donation drop off to Good Will, a hair appointment, and bringing mom home.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Last Day

Not that this has been a summer I'm sad to see end, but this is my last official day of vacation.  Tomorrow it's back to my classroom...arranging desks, hanging new posters, prepping for Open House, and laying out new, exciting lesson plans to begin the year.  I love the rhythm of school years. I've been in this groove all my life, first as a student and now as a teacher, and I still get that same thrill, that same quickening of the pulse, when I think about new school supplies and fresh white board markers :)  I guess I'm in the right line of work...

All this doesn't mean, however, that I don't love me some vacation.  Believe me, I savor these no-alarm mornings and pjs-on-the-couch afternoons.  And to celebrate this final summer day, I slept until 9, then proceeded to plop on my sofa in said pajamas and am now leisurely surfing the inspiring internet.  I found some cute crafting tape on a site called, well, cutetape.  They carry washi tape, other tapes, rubber stamps, stickers, and all your stationery needs.  I've fallen in love with this stamp set in particular.  Blame it on the doilies.

And I discovered some new music from a group called The Temper Trap.  Kinda diggin it.  Hopefully the rest of my day with be just a lazy and enjoyable, and I wish you the same.  I'm thinking pedicure....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


So I never got back to the details on the baby banner.  Oh well... I'm over it :P  I've been scrapping like a mad woman; summer break is almost over and I'm feeling this push to cram in as much creative time as I can before going back to work. But today's layout is by far my favorite of the summer.
I've been feeling the love for my parents lately.  I mean, I feel it all the time, but sometimes all the care taking can get in the way of *loving* them, enjoying their company, having real conversations, laughing together.  I did a good job making today about the love. Feels good.