Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Good Morning, Baby

Sunday morning was like any other morning. I woke up, had a cup of coffee, checked my email and got up to get my little bird as he called down the hall his daily, "Ohhhhhh Mommmmmy!"  I walked to his bedroom door that was shut and suddenly remembered something that was on our agenda for the day.  Putting the toddler bed together for him.  Our junior gymnast has, surprisingly, not tried to climb out of the crib.  It was a matter of needing to free up the crib for my mobile niece that I care for during the week.  He is ready anyway- he thinks he is 2 going on 9 in so many ways.  
So back to the moment in the hall.  It hit me, this is the last time I will go to get one of my own out of this crib.  This is the crib that all my babies have slept in (once they got out of our bed!).  This is the crib I laid next to when my oldest had his seizures and I was terrified to leave his side.  The crib that was barfed, pooped or peed in.  That held little guys with ear infections up all night.  It's the crib that would hold my sleepy little ones as I sang Happy Birthday to them on the morning of their first birthdays.  It's the crib that has been assembled and disassembled 3+ times.  It's the crib that held tiny baby boys as they grew into sturdy toddlers that greeted me with a smile, hug and kiss each day.
I open the door and there is my little bird, smiling and sleepy eyed.  Crazy hair and revving up to go.  It's one of my favorite parts of the day.  This busy boy is so cuddly and affectionate when he wakes up!
But I realize, I have had my time to be a parent of a newborn.  I'm going to travel into a new season of life, just as he is with his new bed and maybe even potty training (!).  Now I get to sit back and watch others go down this path and I have the experience and maybe some wisdom to offer along the way.  I am sad about this milestone, but I am so happy I have had the blessing to enjoy the gift of being entrusted with children three times over.
Now on to saying goodbye to diapers...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

She's a Senior?!?1? (#TBT)

I'm not sure when this happened, but my youngest cousin start her senior year of high school this week.  I couldn't be prouder of her.  She is such a smart, kind and generous girl.  And I can't forget beautiful!
Good luck Amanda (AKA 'Manda, Banda, etc.)!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Missing Him (#TBT)

Taken at J's first birthday party. (2005)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Right Now

Right now, I am sitting in a nursing nightgown (although my baby bird is weaned, I still love it).  I'm drinking my decaf with chocolate-caramel cream and thinking how I need to get a shower for our day out.

Right now, behind me is a bunch of pillows and toys from yesterday's "war" and a random undershirt.  I think it's my biggest bird's.

Right now, behind me on the floor there is also a sleepy head on those pillows.  He's talking about making a note so that his Daddy doesn't forget to wake him up early tomorrow for his visit to Daddy's work.

Right now, my baby bird is sleeping in his bed.  Probably for not too much longer.

Right now, my biggest bird is asleep on the couch, hands tucked under his body, just like when he was a baby.  A bowl with Cinnamon Life cereal crumbs sits on the floor next to him.  He turned the TV on to Phineas and Ferb long enough to fall back asleep.

 J thinks I need this device...

Keepin' it real...

I found inspiration for this post on Awesomely Awake:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Monster Playdough

I hope everyone had a safe and sane Fourth of July!  Ours wasn't exactly those things, but no one got hurt. :)

The heat was on yesterday at our house, so I needed an activity to get through those afternoon hours that are too hot to play outside and don't involve electricity.

I decided to make some Kool-Aid Playdough for the boys.  I didn't feel like digging up my playdough recipes, so a quick google search led me to this recipe from  It is simple and quick and yields enough for my 3 to each have a small amount.  I might double it next time.  We chose to do grape Kool-Aid, but any flavor would do.  The only thing I had to add to the recipe was a little more flour during the kneading process- it was still a bit sticky.  After it was cooled and ready, I set out pipe cleaners, craft sticks and googly eyes on the table to create monsters or whatever they were inspired to create.  It turned out to be quite funny.
 B's creation
 My personal favorite.  Creepy!

Stay cool and have a terrific day!

 Homemade Kool-Aid Playdough Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid mix
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
  1. Mix flour, salt and Kool-Aid in a large bowl.
  2. Add boiling water and oil, then mix with a wooden spoon until a dough ball starts to form.
  3. Once the dough is cool enough to handle knead by hand until you have a nice even color. Hint: Children love helping with the kneading process, it’s a great hand exercise and the warmth of the dough adds additional sensory value!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Take Action!

During the month of March, our One Little Word prompt was to Take Action with our word.  My word is TODAY.  For me, this meant setting a deadline for a project I wanted to finish.  It meant vowing I would take the time (even 15 minutes) a day to spend creatively.  It means I need to utilize those early morning hours when the house is quiet or stay up 15 minutes later at night to get something accomplished for me, not the home or my family.

I am actually going to use this prompt for the month of July.  I am hoping that this idea of intentionally making time every day for my creative side will help me make it a habit. What do you do to stay creative or make time for yourself?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

20 Years Ago (#TBT)

20 years ago this past week, I graduated from high school.  While it wasn't the best years of my life, I do have some fond memories of time spent with friends.
I was an average student that didn't work as hard as I could of.  Once I got to college, I got straight A's.  I was not into clubs or sports, but now I enjoy belonging to crafting groups and running.  I was the girl that wore lots of black and pale makeup to go with my Doc Martin's.  Now I'm the mom sporting flip-flops and badges of my little leaguers.  I was the girl ditching pep rallies, not cheering on the cheerleaders and dance team.  I was the quiet, shy girl.  Now I can be shy and quiet, but I have definitely come out of my little shell.  I had terrible skin...well, some things don't change :)
Anyway, I haven't spent too much time reflecting on this milestone, except with the occasional reminder that the big reunion is coming up.  A few times I considered going, but the more I thought and read about it, I realized that is an expensive party for people that really weren't my friends.  Of course with the wonderful invention called Facebook, I have reconnected with those that meant the most to me in that time frame.
No, I don't have the glamorous job, wear designer clothes or have traveled the world.  I don't have a fancy house or had the opportunity to go away to college.  But I did fulfill my dreams of teaching, for many years.  I am a mama and a wife.  Most of all I have love in my life. My home is happy and we are happy.   I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this time with the people in my life that are supposed to be here.  I would probably like to see some pictures or hear a story or two from the party, but I am living my best years so far RIGHT NOW.

My BFF, Shannon and I

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

OLW 2013

Now that school is out and the little league season is over, I feel like I can devote more time to my own projects.  One of these is Ali Edward's One Little Word.  
This year was my first year participating in this yearlong project.  Although I just recently started the creative, hands-on portion of the class, my word has been on my mind all year long.
My word for the year is, "TODAY."  I chose this word because I have been working with myself on staying in the moment, being present.  I have an issue with worrying or creating anxiety for what may or may not happen in the near or distant future, forgetting what is happening today and just right now.  I am a worse-case-scenario kind of gal.  I don't like it!  So I just visualize or say the word, today, to myself and it brings me back into the now.
I look forward to the creative part of this class.  I have already created 12 intentions for the year and plan on working on a vision board for my next project.
Do you have One Little Word for this year?  I would love to hear what it is!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Retreat Weekend

Hello friends!

This past weekend was a special one in our home.  As summer made her way onto the calendar, we kicked it off by staying extra busy!

The boys (even the smallest bird), went on their first camping trip of the season.  This was baby bird's first time and even though I was a little sad missing out, it worked out well for all of us.

So what did I do when all my guys were gone?  I retreated...

I had a few crafty family and friends over for a crafty "retreat."  It was a retreat from stress, expectation and responsibility.  We ate yummy food.  We talked and shared quiet times.  We laughed and laughed some more.  We played creatively.  We sat around a fire and listened to crickets.

It was pretty much near perfect.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

.99 Cent Craft Challenge

My super crafty Aunt Mary created a craft challenge event on Facebook recently and I love a good craft challenge.  This challenge involved purchasing something from the dollar store or clearance aisle and using materials from home to create something new.  I am always looking for ways to use up scraps and other leftovers.

I ended up making two projects for the challenge:

Project #1  Summer Passport

Our family has been sharing the tradition of making a summer wish list on the first day of summer for a few years now.  I don't want the boys to get bored, so I decided to change it up and make these passports.  I picked up mini composition books from the Dollar Tree and used scrap paper, leftover alphabet stickers, ribbon, stamps and a file punch.  I listed some of our favorite summer places/foods/things to do on each page in the section labeled, "Travels," leaving a few in the back blank for unplanned activities.  The second section is labeled, "Notes."  This is a place where the boys can draw pictures or write about their trips.  They are very excited for summer and for getting started on filling up the pages of their passports with stamps or stickers!

Project #2  Family Initial Decor

Mary gave me a thin wooden letter "u" from a dollar store to help me get inspired for this challenge.  Of course, our family initial is "N," so turn it over and Ta-Da!  You've got "n."

I spent some time looking on Pinterest looking for fun paint techniques and decided to go with an easy crackle effect.  

1.  I painted a coat of dark green acrylic paint on the letter.  It must dry completely.
2.  I brushed on a coat of Elmer's School Glue mixed with a tiny amount of water.  I read the more water you add, the smaller the cracks.  I wanted bigger cracks for this project.  Let this layer dry for about 45 seconds, so it's tacky to the touch.
3.  I brushed on a thick layer of a mixture of yellow acrylic paint and white acrylic paint.  The cracks start appearing immediately.  

I read a post suggesting using Mod Podge to seal the project, but I think I will skip that step for now.  I added a flower from my stash.

The finished product:

I was surprised how easy this technique was!  Here is a closer view of the crackle effect:

Home Sweet Home!

What have you created from dollar store or clearance buys?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Welcome Spring!

And that means we are one season closer to my personal favorite....SUMMER!!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fast Fact Friday @ This is Me Challenge 3/15/13

I enjoy reading the prompts so much on this blog, but I never sit down and actually do them.  Well, today it's happening!

Right now I'm:

Listening to the sound of my son's skateboard hitting the driveway.

Thinking about my beautiful new niece, Scarlett.

Need to work on my classwork for Finding Photo Freedom.

Eating Original Pop Chips.

Wanting to go visit Scarlett soon.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Photo Organization

As I work my way through Finding Photo Freedom for the first time, I am curious to see how others organize their prints and digital images.  I think I have finally found a digital work flow that works for me.

If you have a digital work flow or proven way to work with your prints I would love to hear about it. Also, how often do you print your digital images?  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Memory Jar

Good afternoon!

As I lay here, full of congestion and fever, I am catching up on email, blogs and such.  I can't sleep, so I might as well!

I received an email from Paper Coterie with this link for a free printable memory jar activity.

I love writing, so I thought it would be an easy, do-able journaling activity for me to do this year.

Here is my jar and journal:

I used a jar that I had saved from some jarred peaches a while ago.  The journal is a composition book that I covered with kraft cardstock and used Washi tape along the spine for color.  I added a ribbon to the inside cover to use as a bookmark.  I will pull a prompt out of the jar each week, adhere it to my journal and write.  Easy!  I know it will be something I will enjoy looking back on for years to come.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Confessions of a Former News Junkie

I have not watched the news since December 17, 2012.  Well, I guess I've watched the weather part, but that's really it.  I quit it.  I had to....

I grew up with the news on.  It was always in the background every evening while dinner was being made and homework was being completed.  When I was old enough to be home alone, I would turn it on.  I guess it was something about the sound of it, made it feel like home.  Up until a few weeks ago, it was the first thing I did in the morning and the last thing I did before I went to bed. I was always known as the one that had the information. But that all changed on December 14, when a young man took the lives of so many at an elementary school in a small town in Connecticut.

The day the mass shootings happened, I watched a little news and heard about a school shooting where a few people were injured.  By the time I returned from my daily school drop-offs, there were 26 children and adults that were killed.  It literally took my breath away.  I sat like a news zombie, reminiscent of 9/11, watching the stories come in.  I couldn't stop, even though it was so painful to watch.

Over the weekend, I was busy and caught the news here and there.  Monday morning I was back into my regular news watching mode when "Good Morning America" came on.  The show was centered around the tragedy.  I started listening as I went about my daily routines.  And then it happened.  The mother and father of one of the victims was being interviewed.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I cried. A lot.  My heart completely broke for this family and all the families.  As I was getting ready to send my boys off to school, these parents would never have the privilege again.  I decided then and there, I am done watching the news and any related story to the shooting.

It had bothered me from the start that they were interviewing children that had just lived through this scary event that happened at their safe place.  I got tired of hearing about the man's possible autism and social skills problems.  The media was running away with this story.  I knew the facts, enough to know I should pray and keep these families in my hearts.  There was nothing else I really needed to hear.

Since I have quit the news, I do not feel like I'm in the dark about anything.  I feel in the light, less anxious about life.  If I need to know the weather, I check my IPhone.  I can see the stories that are important to me when I log on in the morning.  I choose to read them or not read them.  I won't be hit with negative stories that I don't want to hear.  I am not hearing about what overpaid celebrity or personality did what with who.  My husband is also my source for news.

Yes, I realize some might see it as living under a rock, but for now, this is working for me.  I also know my children are not being exposed to as much negativity as before.  My 5 year old actually misses the news, but he is also my worrier.  Fortunately, my boys have no idea what occurred that day in that little school.

In just looking up some information recently, I found a blurb that the shooter wore earplugs.  Information I didn't need to know. It confirmed to me once more, that for now, no news is good news.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Good morning and Happy New Year!

Do you have any resolutions this year?

I have decided that I will absolutely, totally and in no way make even one this year.  I am learning        
to consciously live in the moment.  I have spent too much time and energy worrying about what may happen that I miss what's happening now.

I do plan on making a list of crafty goals, but this is just for my enjoyment.  Without guilt.  Without disappointment.

What are your thoughts?