...Well, there are lots of things I love, including eating. Going to be using this kit for a long time! (And I was excited to get my first physical kit this month!)
...loved this kit, unfortunately I'm still playing catch up and I'm in the fall and not the spring. Still was able to use a lot of the great elements!
I promise I have a whole slew of non-scrapbooking-related posts in my head...Just need whoever came up with daylight savings time to also come up with a way to add a few extra hours in the day instead of taking them away!
...Bond, Laura Bond. Or
...I have already scrapbooked not once, not twice, but three times this month (and it's only the 15th)! Using Ali's products makes it easy. Here are my two layouts for the February digital release. Can't wait to do more.
...ahhh, Clara, Clara, Clara. You have a lot to learn about her, my friends. She feels everything BIG. She loves BIG. She is sad BIG. She is a BIG friend.
A few weeks ago, I had to work over the weekend and Ken told her she wasn't allowed to watch TV. She promptly went into the playroom and closed the door, returning a few minutes later with a note for Ken:
She recovered, they went on with their day, Ken joined me at my work event. I had to stay late, he texted me that he found a little...love note under his pillow.
Ahhhh, my sweet, sweet girl.
...SWEET! I remembered my password! The struggle is real.
I'm here. We're here.
This guy is now in second grade:
I know. It seems like the day he was born was yesterday. He loves Legos, Minecraft, soccer. Basketball and Lunchables (gross). Stuffed animals and his lovies. His dad.
...And she's in KINDERGARTEN:
I know. The day she was born feels like yesterday. She loves her friends, dearly. She has a boyfriend who she and two of her friends are all going to marry, apparently. She loves crafts and dogs. She loves me and her Ammy.
...We've done a lot in the last year.
Ken came home. Don't feel bad if you didn't know he was ever gone because it was never something we publicized. He took a job out of state (not in like, Virginia, like halfway across the country out of state). For 18 months, he traveled back and forth until last February when he was offered a position back home. And he came home. For good. Never to leave again. My sigh of relief was heard around the world.
This picture from my skating days broke the Facebook.
We saw The Lumineers in concert, twice. Phenomenal.
We went to DISNEYLAND! We woke the kids up one morning and went. I'll admit it...I liked it. We are NOT a crowd family. At all. But the joy on C&C's faces. Well, makes most things worth it, right?
My mom is...healthy. She's had a few setbacks, can't do nearly as much as she would like to do. But she is here and that's what we are grateful for every. single. day.
Ken and Charlie went to the WORLD SERIES! Yes, the best World Series of all time. Well, next year it will be even better when the Indians win.
It has been a good year. I am busy, all the time. I am up way too late, all the time. We celebrated 15 years of marriage.
There have been a lot of losses this year. Too many. A student at our school. My dear great aunt Sally. My dad's brother, my uncle Bruce.
There have been tears from laughing so hard. Last night, Ken and I were watching a video Clara made for her "YouToooobe Channel." (She doesn't have one, but makes videos nonetheless). During it, she leans in, whispering to the camera, "My mommy's on the toilet." Well, thank you, Clara.
There are times I can't remember who I was when I started this blog ELEVEN years ago. I had a good job, I was working on my master's, I had a husband and a dog I loved more than words. I loved the past almost as much as I loved the present. So much has changed, but I guess that never will.
I am still scrapbooking. As is the case with most things in my life, I am endlessly behind.
I will be working on Ali Edwards' Creative Team in 2017, which prompted me to not only dust of ye old paper trimmer, but also ye old blog. I miss it. And I miss you. xoxo
...life...don't know where it's gone. I was looking for Book Report ideas for Charlie on Pinterest a few months ago and got sucked into the vortex of looking at old scrapbook pages of mine. And I remembered that commitment I made to myself that I would never stop being a memory keeper, but in the last year it's the one thing that has gone on the back burner when everything else feels like it's on fire.
So I am here. Life has been happening, actively, sometimes too fast, sometimes too slow. Teeth have been lost and birthdays have been celebrated.
(Not on the same day, thank God, because the Tooth Fairy and the Birthday Fairy can only handle so much fairy-ness in one day). Speaking of the Tooth Fairy, that's Clara's go-to these days for what she wants to be when she grows up. Dream big, baby girl.
We've had Garage Sales and long weekends at the beach. We bought a new car! It has all these buttons that do things for you. I feel both amazed and lazy.
We've learned to swim and Nae Nae. We stayed up late enough to watch the 4th of July fireworks for the first time ever. We swam in the River. We've slept (very uncomfortably) in one bed.
We've gone to the Fair, Chicago, the Firefighter's Carnival, and Fun Land.
We've started pre-kindergarten and first grade. We've started to read, add, gotten our own e-mail address. We play the noun game at night. Think fast, is a blog a person, place or thing?
We've been tired, sick, rained on. Oh! We are playing soccer! And not just doing ninja moves in the middle of the field - real soccer!
We are here, we are fine. We miss you too. And we'll hopefully be back before the second grade starts.
Every day, I see teachers teaching children to LOVE learning. I see them hugging students, I see them guiding hands, I see them patting backs and clapping. And sometimes I see them pulling teeth out.
Every day, I see kids EXCITED about school. I see them skipping to class, moving around in the classroom, I see them welcoming new friends, I see them encouraging each other. I see them understanding that what makes someone different is actually what makes them unique, and perfect.
Working in admissions, I field phone calls and e-mails from families every day, families that know Radcliffe could change their child's life (and their family's). But the hardest part is when those families tell me there is no way they can afford the price tag that comes with an education like this.
Every year, the Run for Radcliffe raises funds to help these families. In the last two years, Team Mustache has raised more than $5,000! We're asking for your help again this year. But let's take it one step farther...Donate today and then send this page to one friend who you think would also consider donating. Trust me, there is no better cause.
Click here to support us today. Thank you.
...Six feels different. Five still felt almost like a toddler. Six seems like a little man. This momma gig, it never gets less emotional, does it?
Thanks for sticking with me. Life is crazy. Busy. Tough at times. It felt like a small miracle that I got his birthday balloons in his bedroom last night at the stroke of 12:05 a.m. and kissed him on his forehead at the moment he was born. I love you, best boy in the whole wide world.
...it was a good mail day.
...I am not big at endorsing things but I LOVE BIRCH BOX. Once a month, for $10, I get a box. Of things. FOR ME!
I asked my assistant to help me unveil this month.
My box included hairspray, face lotion, blush, shampoo, and lip rouge.
Again, mostly stuff I would NEVER buy for myself but so fun to have and to use.
Although, I have to admit it looks much cuter on her (especially with the pizza, or peanut butter and jelly, or whatever else she's got going on around her lips):
Here's my referral link if you want to get this excited about a little pink box once a month.
...was spent in Oklahoma.
Some day, I will go into detail about why we were in Oklahoma, but for now I will just leave it with we were in Oklahoma and we were happy about it!
We went to Legoland, the Aquarium, the Natural History Museum, and the Zoo (baby elephant alert!)
Going to the Natural History Museum prompted the, "Is it stuffed?" question several times at the Zoo.
We bonded at McDonald's, where Clara ate her first ice cream cone.
We made new friends (we seem to gravitate toward these types of friends).
And then we headed home.
...I have long admired Liz's work at Paislee Press. I am not a digital scrapbooker, at all, but her clean designs and clear appreciation for simple always drew me in. So it was a no brainer for me to apply to be on her Design Team. :)
...the kids and I took a leisurely trip down to Northern Virginia on Saturday to visit one of my oldest (literally, ha, we'll see if she reads this) friends, Laura (Laura who always makes me feel like I'm talking in the third person).
We went through a few flurries on the beltway. And then we got on the road toward Annapolis and the Bay Bridge and all of a sudden I was in a snow globe. I kept thinking, "Look at the yellow line on the left, then the white lines on the right." And then I couldn't see any lines.
Honestly, I have never been so scared in my entire life.
We pulled off the road, got gas, pull-ups (for me, ha, needed them at that point), water, and a hotel room.
Oh, and Play Doh.
...Some were a little more thrilled than I was.
Three Marines stood with Charlie in the lobby while I unloaded the car and Clara. They were showing him their swords (they had just come from a wedding). I walked up to hear him saying to them, "I got a sword like dat."
It was one of those times when you realized it might actually be a good thing that you generally have at least five full meals somewhere in your car.
It looks comfy.
It was an early morning wake up call with some cartoons in bed, Starbucks, and then home. Luckily we are all cuddled in safely for tonight's storm.
I am not a peanut butter person, it's never been anything I really craved. But this peanut butter? It has SEA SALT in it. And honey. Oh my. Which is good that it's a packet because if it was a tub there would not be much "better" in 2015, more, "bigger." You can buy the packets on Amazon. The cheese is a super sharp cheddar, and the bread is a raisin walnut from Whole Foods. And then there's an apple. And an egg.
Yeah, yeah, future food blogger here. Up next, my review of the new Cadbury Creme Egg. The DRAMA!
...I go out alllllll the time and I'm constantly needing new, awesome outfits.
But I actually had somewhere to go Saturday night so I decided to try Rent the Runway again. This was a little less formal of an event than last time so I went with...a jumpsuit. Oh yeah, I've made fun of people left and right wearing these. Eating my words, friends. And they taste good.
It's like Christmas morning opening up this box. I tried it on right away. "Those your new jammies?" Charlie asked. (Which is funny, because my jammie wardrobe consists of sweatpants and hooded sweatshirts, by that comment you'd think I wore things with lace).
I loved it. Anything that doesn't require spanx basically wins in my book these days.
An open back did require some interesting, um, undergarments. But I'll leave it at that. During several group photos, whoever was next to me put their arm around my back and said, "Woah! You have no back on your shirt." Living dangerously, my friends.
My sexy beach wave was brought to you by You Tube. Oh, and my earrings were rentals too.
I have really great friends.
And really incredible co-workers (although I'm not really sure whose leg that is).
...of Man. In Canoe.
Charlie's artwork was featured at a local art gallery last weekend.
In preschool, he was never interested in art. We just figured he didn't really like it. That was OK. He's allowed to not like things.
But he started Kindergarten, has a wonderful art teacher, and a wonderful occupational therapist who helps him with how to hold his art tools. He also has an uncle who got him oil pastels for Christmas (his favorite tool). He now says that, "Awt" is his favorite class.
(And much to his father's horror, he's also become quite the Raven fan).
...thank you for all your kind comments on my last post. I know if you've stuck around to read the last few years as my posts have become few and far between, you are true blue and have been through the gamut with my family. xo
My dear friend Carron is the best gift giver. I have always seen things about Birch Box on Facebook, etc., but I never really checked it out. I figured it was stuff I'd never buy. Honestly, cosmetics, skin care, and perfume are pretty low on the priority list right now. Deodorant and mascara, my friends. Deodorant and mascara.
But I love it. I love it because it's stuff I would never buy, in sample sizes. And if you want to buy the full size you get an awesome discount on it, like the first perfume I'm going to buy for myself since 1997.
And even better? It's $10 a month. So you get that Christmas morning feeling once a month for $10. Here's my referral link if you want to try it out. I can't wait to fill this box up with goodies.
...you are woken up by a text at 5:45 a.m. asking if school's delayed. Sometimes it's nice to be the school's messenger. Sometimes it's not. You immediately start. "Please let it be clear," runs through your mind.
You drive four children to school in precarious weather. "Let it be clear," you think.
You catch your breath in the copy room. You haven't thought about it for at least an hour, caught up in your daily grind. "Let it be clear," you think.
You worry when school is dismissed early because the last two times, you've been at school when you got the news. "Let it be clear," you think.
You drive home, saying, "Let it be clear," under your breath every few minutes. Superstitious that if you don't say it enough, it won't be clear. You know the reality. You know you could say, "Let it be clear," 8,000 times and that it's not in your hands. You know you could pray to God, Allah, Buddha, but it's not in their hands either. It's on a sheet of paper in a file folder in a doctor's office.
You snuggle with a sleepy girl on the couch for an hour with your phone sitting an inch away. You grow hotter with each minute that goes by the 1:40 p.m. appointment time. "Let it be clear," you say again.
...and then it's clear.
...and then you go celebrate. And build a teeny tiny snowman.
...while "home" for a few days over Christmas, Clara, my mom, and I went for brunch and shopping at Terrain, otherwise known as my happy place.
It was a very French morning, with french fries and french toast. And Elsa earrings.
The ice queen was entertained by big mirrors...
...and diffuser samplers to stick in her ears