Sunday, December 25, 2011


A *perfect* Santa photo, but a bittersweet Christmas this year... Hoping yours was nothing but merry.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


watching:  New Girl
listening:  to the rain that's been falling for 2 days and I love love love it.
eating: a dark chocolate covered cherry. mmmm.
planning:  to get up and wrap some gifts
thinking: about Rosie, hoping she has a restful night after today's stent procedure
wondering:  how long until Bean is officially walking; she was doing her best to scoot around her play area tonight, taking 5, 6, 7 wobbly steps
talking: to my nephew Zach...makes my heart so happy when he calls me just to talk
enjoying: the soft glow of our lovely little tree
loving: this christmassy time of year
hope you are too....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Still a few things

This Thanksgiving was not easy for me.  All my life, this holiday has meant a big meal, lots of family gathered round, and loud good times.  It is Aunt Rita's soup and the parade and football and naps and planning the Black Friday blitz.  While some things remained the same, many things were quite different this year.   I realize lots of families can't be together because of work schedules or miles or having to split holidays with in-laws.  But I couldn't blame any of those things.  All I could do was spend my first Thanksgiving in 35 years without my mother or my brother for very different, very heartbreaking reasons.

By the same turn, I spent this holiday with my almost-81 year old dad, my almost-11 month old daughter, my dearest friend, and the love of my life.  Daddy came over early so we could all watch the parade together like always and we feasted on Aunt Rita's soup.   We took fun photos in the backyard and lamented the lack of Black Friday deals worth rushing out for. We stuffed the fridge full of tasty leftovers and went together to visit mom. The blessings in my life are countless and I am so, so grateful.  But there are still a few things I am praying for.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Instead of a mini, I crammed a dozen photos onto one page.  I think I really like it :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, at least not my words

For a while now, I have been an avid reader of Kayla Aimee.  Her voice, her wit, and her awkward escapades never fail to crack me up.  But for the past year and a half, I have prayerfully, tearfully followed her journey into motherhood.  Witnessing this journey, and the first year of her daughter's life, has been witnessing a miracle.  Happy, happy first birthday Scarlette.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Right Now

Right now at almost 10 months, you are amazing.

You can stand without support for 7 seconds, learned to clap your hands this week, and love to be tickled.  You are still working on your laugh - mostly it comes out as a short, hacking cough.  And when you're feeling the love, you mash your face, growling happily and giving open mouth kisses.

You adore "crack puffs" although we can't get you to feed them to yourself.  You will, however, eat them so delicately off mama's or mommy's fingers. You enjoy riding in you red wagon, drinking from your sippy cups, and tasting everything you can.  Mouth noises are your favorite right now - clicking your tongue, smacking your lips, and grinding your teeth, even though you only have four of them.  What is that?

Playtime on your blanket is your favorite time of day, and honestly, it's ours too. Your spirit is pure joy, your smile utterly contagious, and you get more beautiful every single day.  You are so, so overwhelming loved.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mama Loves You

So we got home Thursday afternoon from a fun little trip up to South Lake Tahoe.   Of course, I had to process the photos right away and found this precious snapshot.  It's not often I'm in front of the camera, but Shannon had a blast playing family photographer while we were on our lake cruise.  She was able to capture this darling moment, and I couldn't help but turn it into a layout asap.  I think this is one of my favorites of all time.

Speaking of all time, I finally put away the 100s of layouts I've made since the baby was born.  They were this huge stack in the craft room that I made time to organize and slide into sheet protectors and put into albums this weekend.  Albums fill up *fast*.  Who knew?  But a few post extenders, pretty baskets, and 6 binders later, everything is in its place.  

That trip to Michaels for the baskets and post extenders also yielded a super cute little Christmas journal from the dollar section.  I saw it and instantly knew it would be my December Daily this year.  I don't have time or energy to prepare a foundation this year, so I've decided to go smash-book style with it.  I'll get some cute tapes, a few embellies, bust out the myriad of holiday stamps I have, and go to town.  If it's daily, great.  If it's every few days, that's fine too.  No boundaries, no expectations, no disappointment. Love it. 

Know what else I love?  My adorable family.  They're waiting for me :)  Happy Sunday.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Mom's birthday is tomorrow.  77.  We are bringing her cake and love this afternoon.  She's had a great three weeks, lucid and happy and making a genuine effort to eat and think and connect.  It has been wonderful.

Annabelle is officially 9 months old, has two bottom teeth, is pulling up on anything she can, and is crawling like a turbo bug.  Unfortunately, she has decided this past week that she no longer likes naps.  We're hoping this phase passes quickly.

School is great.  My class is still spectacular and I've been able to take a half-day each week to spend with mom, which has been incredible.  I work for and with the kindest people.  I am so blessed and so grateful.

Fall Break is one week away.  We have booked an awesome getaway to Lake Tahoe.  I can't wait to drive through northern CA!  There's nothing that makes me happier than the changes of autumn - the change of color, of temperature, of pace.  Love it.

My SC Glee Club kit arrived and it's delicious.  So did my Autumn Press goodies.  Loving the fall feel of these and the projects I've been creating with it all.  

And now... we watch football.  Gotta love Sunday afternoons.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Beach Feet

Squoze in a bit of scrappy time this week, because that's all the time I had to give.  Life is so overwhelming busy right now.  And when it's not actually busy, I'm exhausted from all the stuff we were just doing.  Anyway, my Glee Club kit arrived last week and I dug right in.  It's gorgeous!  Love every bit and piece.

Love those crusty little tootsies :)  Also, I realize "squoze" is not a real word, but I enjoy it.  I did blow some of my students' minds this week by teaching them brang and brung aren't real words either.  Remind me never to use squoze in class.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Just in the last 7 days

Annabelle has learned to crawl, pulled up to standing position in her crib, sprouted a tooth, and developed this weird but adorable fake cough laugh.  She loves batting around these crunchy, jingly blocks and banging  playing her tiger xylophone.  She gnaws the heck out of her sippy cup sippers and bangs anything she can against anything else just to hear the noise. Putting on her "princess crown" makes her smile, and so does looking at herself in the mirror before bath time when we sing silly naked Bean songs.  We are even more in love with her than ever, if that's even possible.  She owns our hearts.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's official

I have the flu.  Doctor said so. And she put me on quarantine until Sunday.  No mom, no Bean, no work.  SUCKS.  She told me to choose a room in the house and stay there and rest.  Well, I picked two rooms - my bedroom and my craft room. :)  If I'm home, I *have to* do something creative with my time.  I'm sitting, I'm not overexerting myself. And don't worry - I'm Lysoling everything.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Here I am on day 3 of bed rest, miserable sick with this cold/flu thing and   For the 6 hours I'm awake each day, there's maybe one where I feel well enough to get out of bed and move.  Today I chose to spend that hour in my craft room - big surprise.  Studio Calico posted a challenge yesterday that really grabbed me. Kelly Purkey created this layout and challenged us to use rainbow hues on a layout.
Awesome.  I love how simple and graphic this is, how the colors and the large black and white photo compliment each other so well.

Then, being the *severe* Pinterest addict that I am, I had pinned this image over the weekend, courtesy of RoadTripinFinland.  There was something about the panels of color across the top and the fade to colorless at the bottom.

Kelly's layout and challenge combined with this pin instantly in my head.  Don't you love it when inspiration lightning strikes like that?  So here's what I made.  Thanks KP, SC, and Pinterest for sparking my creativity.  You never let me down. :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Busy Beginnings

So the new school year started here August 10th.  That means I actually went back to work the last week of July, spent countless hours arranging the classroom, lesson planning, attending professional development for the new math program we'll be using on our campus, and organizing boatloads of papers and materials.  Then I had to prepare for Meet the Teacher night, which is always fun but lots of work.

Then the kids came.  Getting to know them, teaching and reteaching and reviewing the procedures and expectations for our classroom. And the meetings came, faculty meetings and parent meetings and team meetings.  Last week was Curriculum Night when all the parents come to hear what their children will be learning, see how I teach and present, and get buried under district paperwork.

But I made it to *this* weekend, the end of the third week of school, finally past all the evening commitments and the beginning of the year chaos.  And to celebrate, of course, I got sick.  My immune system hung in there just long enough and when the tidal wave of stress and extra work passed, the germs took over.  Sucks. It's just a cold - tired, a bit achy, super snotty, lots of sneezing - but it still sucks. 

We did have birthday plans this weekend, movies and dinner and brunches, but it was all canceled.  I've been sleeping a lot and burning through tissues like nobody's business.  There have been some highlights, though.  I did get to go to my favorite LSS yesterday and use my birthday coupon, ordered the Glee Club kit and Debate Team add-on from SC using another birthday coupon, and ordered a bit from Twopeas using a gift certificate.  And after I woke up from yesterday's nap, I made this.

I suppose I can't complain *too* much then.  It wasn't the weekend I hoped for, but given the circumstances, it hasn't been all bad.  And that's that.  My Kleenex and I are ready for another nap...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011


If I don't go over there, I won't have to see how thin and frail she's become.
If I don't go over there, I won't have see her alone, in that bed, watching mindless tv, again like always.
If I don't go over there, I won't have to repeat stories or see and hear her blank silence when I ask a question.
If I don't go over there, I won't have to see all the medical equipment.
If I don't go over there, I won't have to witness Dad's sadness, as he sits beside her and barely speaks...particularly today, their 43rd anniversary.
If I don't go over there, I won't cry all the way home.

If I don't go over there, she could be perfectly lucid today, and I might miss having a real visit with my mom.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Some Cheese with that Whine...?

Unbelievably, it's that time again....

I've been working in my classroom a wee bit, basically cleaning and arranging furniture after summer school used our building.  But tomorrow will be a real work day, making copies, preparing lessons and activities, getting ready for Open House, etc.  The beginning of this school year is bitter sweet.  As always there's the new stuff, the anticipation of a great new group of students, and a clean, beautifully organized classroom.  But after spending this summer as a stay-at-home mom, playing and cuddling and reading and napping and watching our sweet girl grow and blossom, it absolutely breaks my heart to think about not seeing her for 10 hours a day.  The blessing is that she will spend that time with Mommy and Grandma Ish at their work, rather than surrounded by strangers.  And we will rush home every night to be together, not just as a couple anymore, but as a family.  So awesome.

Getting back into the swing of school things, and cleaning out cabinets and shelves and such, I stumbled upon a packet of school pictures.  Now, I understand they need the teachers' pictures for the yearbook.  I don't like it, but fine.  But why on earth do they print out a full package for us with an 8x10, two 5x7s, and a bunch of wallets.  I'm 34 years old - what the hell am I supposed to do with a dozen wallet-size professional portraits of myself?  Well, I took three of them and made this - cracked myself up.  The rest got shredded. 

Ah, school days.  The joy (?) of being a teacher is you never outgrow them...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Speaking of adventures...

Our little family just had a great one in California!  Hope your summer is ending on a high note, too!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Life's Best Adventures

...are the ones we have together.  I saw this sketch on the October Afternoon blog yesterday and just knew I had to play with it.  Problem was I didn't like it with two photos top and bottom, and I didn't have one big photo that worked.  So I reinterpreted it a little bit and came up with this layout.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I used mostly Studio Calico on it, but the chipboard frame and the Robot Blue Sprinkler are both OA.  Thanks for the inspiration, October Afternoon!  You guys never let me down :)