Friday, December 29, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

So this is Christmas...

It's here and then POOF it's gone. Christmas 2006 has almost drawn to a close. The tree is still up but the boughs seem to be sagging with the knowledge that her days as belle of the ball are almost over. So with the end of the season and the close of the year I hope this holiday season brought you all you were hoping for and that the new year is more than you dare to dream.

Soooo now that all that mushy stuff is over (but I meant it - really I did!). Let's recap. Our Christmas was BUSY! We started out with Alex's birthday on Friday. Dinner at Timberlodge followed by cake and birthday gift opening. I wanted to go look at Christmas lights but was outvoted by the birthday boy.

Anyone know what this cake is? Anyone, anyone, Bueller??? Give me your guesses and I'll send the winner a hand crafted and GLITTERED monogram. I know it isn't QUITE scrapbooking but almost...

And here is the birthday boy blowing out his candles. This is the little soul that really showed me what it is all about to put someone else first. My firstborn, my guiding light to seeing all that is good in the world. There are days when I still stop and wonder why - what is the plan - but most days I don't wonder at all and just know I am incredibly lucky!

And just because I am feeling all picture posting like here is one I like just 'cuz I do, I was messing around with my manual settings. And lastly here are three monkeys anxiously awaiting the gift opening extravaganza.

So as you can see a wonderful Christmas was had by all. There were gifts to unwrap and goodies to eat and a real shower to use while visiting my parents (it's the little things (SMILEY)).

Oh and I almost forgot. STICKLES - I got STICKLES. ALL THE STICKLES. EVERY STICKLE COLOR MADE. My wonderful husband actually understands about my Stickle love. And frankly he'd much rather encourage that relationship than the one with Mario. I'll take a picture and post it tomorrow (of the Stickles - not of Mario - not that I wouldn't like to post a picture of Mario, or even better a picture of Mario using Stickles - but tomorrow it will just be the Stickles). ANYWAY, YOU'RE GONNA LOVE THE STICKLES.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

And the end is almost in site...

Okay, the baking is done (FINALLY), the presents are wrapped (FINALLY), the shopping is complete (FINALLY), the cards are sent (FINALLY), and I think I'm ready for Christmas to be here.

In all the busy, crazy, full days it is easy to forget to take a minute and reflect on what this season is all about. But now I have the time and there isn't a minute to waste. Seriously!

I think, no matter what your beliefs or religion, in it's most elemental form, this Christmas time of year is about giving to others. Doing for others what you might not normally take the time to give or do. Putting the wants and needs and well-being of those who are near and dear, those who may be mere acquaintances or those who may be total strangers, ahead of all else. It doesn't have to take a lot of money, it doesn't have to take a lot of time, but it does have to come from your heart. And even though I have been busy, and crabby, and dealing with Walmart traffic and trying to forget My Mario I have tried to give something from my heart each day. I really think this, this giving of self, is what a big part of it is all about. I hope you both give and receive an abundance of goodness this Christmas.

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Where did it go?

Okay so the pooping dog totally screwed up my to-do list. My girls, in less than 12 hours, have become Barbie addicts. They have savored the sweet smell of a vinyl body and have felt the power of fully jointed arms and legs (these dolls are GI Joe's dream girls - well of course they don't have the slutty Bratz thing going on but really who wants the cow when the milk is free). Anyway, THEY HAVE BECOME BARBIE GIRLS (and to tell you the truth I couldn't be prouder - I loved my Barbie). Which means that some of the Christmas gifts that I debated about buying and then didn't are what I should have (got all that - if you need it broken down just send me a note - I can give you the paint-by-number version).

So while I was searching the stores for Barbie clothes (which barely exist anymore - SERIOUSLY) I noticed a very strange thing. This week, one week before Christmas, the dog days of the Season, the stores were almost devoid of Christmas. The trees, the balls, the glitter, angels and wreaths - GONE! The remnants already looking bruised and beaten stacked up in discount bins to make way for Valentine's Day. WHAT? It made me sad.

Shopping yesterday was like looking at the Christmas tree a week after Christmas when the once beautiful and glittery tree looks more like a refuge for homeless birds and wayward squirrels. I mean really, it made me depressed. I felt like I was sinking into the depths of post Christmas depression before the pre-Christmas euphoria.

So what I want to know is where did Christmas go? How can it be gone when it hasn't even happened yet? Are we so full of hustle and bustle that we can't even savor events as they happen? Do we need to look to the future bigger and better before we have even experienced the present? Do the stores have to start pushing Christmas on us in October so that by the time December arrives we won't care if they are cramming Valentine's Day down our throats?

Frankly, I don't like it. Frankly, it sucks. Frankly, I'm not shopping again until after Christmas when I don't care if the stores are screwing around with my Holiday. Their quest for my dollar has failed. They are not getting my last minute ching. I have crafts. I have glitter. I can scrapbook. I'll get by.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Crazy Busy

Holy Bananas life is so crazy busy right now. I have so much that I want to cram into the next four days that I don't think I will be able to take time to sleep. There's baking and wrapping and Christmas lights - oh no!

This weekend we did some baking. Three kids (one who cannot have gluten), one Kitchen Aide stand mixer, and a jumbo bag of chocolate chips. How do you think things turned out? Let's just say that someone needed some very QUIET time later in the afternoon! So that, combined with the elusive Crisco incident (Three trips to Super Target specifically to pick up shortening. Three trips home from Super Target with NO shortening in the sack!) we did not finish all that I had planned. So tonight - more baking. I think I need to make a plan.

I should have been working on some of these things last night but my closest friend, Roxann, stopped over with gifts for the kids (and wine). The highlight of the night? The Dog Walking Barbie - with a dog that eats when you push down it's tail and POOPS when you lift up the tail. I'm not kidding, the dog does his deed and the Barbie has a pooper scooper to pick it up and put it in the trash can where it magically travels down a chute, lands in the dog food bin and becomes doggie treats!
I know you think I'm lying but I'M NOT! Just wait I'll find a link and then you'll know.

So as you can see I better quit writing and start working. I've got things to do, people to see, and a Barbie that has a yard full of fake dog poop to scoop. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's beginning

The Christmas hustle and bustle has officially begun at our house with the beginning of the birthday week extravaganza. Today is Dennis' birthday (next week is Alex's birthday). We have big things planned for tonight, like figuring out why our outside lights are acting flukey and more Christmas shopping and chaperoning Alex to a dance this evening. Such is the life of an adult on his birthday. But don't feel too sorry for Dennis, the kids will ensure he has a fabulous birthday with singing, and dancing and birthday festivities. The only thing better than their own birthday's are our birthday's. They know an event that calls for cake when they see it!

But really, since it is Dennis' birthday today and this may be the only present he receives from me (hey it's the Christmas season!) I will take a minute to talk about what a wonderful husband and father this man is!

This is a man who will get up in the middle of the night to take care of a crying child because he wants to let me sleep, this is a man who will IM me in the middle of the day just to say he is thinking of me, this is is man who will actually come to see what the problem is when I am slamming things around in my scraproom (yes it is true I have a scraproom) because my printer keeps jamming, this is a man who will dance around the living room like an idiot because it makes his kids laugh, this is a man who will not hesitate to join in the jingly bell parade through the house, this is a man who loves his wife and children beyond all else and isn't afraid to tell the world. This is a good man - and I fail to tell him often enough.

Happy Birthday Dennis - I love you!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What's with this TAG stuff

And what the heck is a MEME? I'm telling you I Blog but I have no idea what I am doing. I'm lucky I figured out how to post a picture. Anyway, I was "tagged" by my friend Steph (Skermit) who is well on her way to scrapbook fame (and if that doesn't deserve an I'm Purrrrfect sweatshirt I don't know what does).

So here it goes. Oh and I won't make a habit of this because really a girl needs more secrets than who she is stalking on


A - Available or single: Okay where is the I'm a married scrapbooker with kids and pets option? That's my category.
B - Best friend: Roxann, since we've been seven.
C - Cake or pie: Cake (white cake, white buttercream frosting, pink roses)
D - Drink of choice: Diet Coke - lots of ice in a glass glass
E - Essential item you use everyday: Car
F - Favorite color: Pink
G - Gummy bears or worms: ICK.
H - Hometown: New Hampton
I - Indulgence: See Cake :-)
J - January or February: ICK.
K - Kids & names: Alex, Sydney, Lauren
L - Life is incomplete without? Family, friends, Diet Coke and Cake :-)
M - Marriage date: 4th of July BABY!
N - Number of siblings: 2
O - Oranges or apples: Oranges I love oranges, so yummy, especially those little Clementine oranges. Yep I love oranges so much that orange used to be my favorite color. When I knocked my brother out of the high chair (by accident) at my grandma's and he split his head open on the heat vent thingy I was wearing an orange dress and asked for an orange balloon and an orange sucker at the doctor since my brother was crying too hard from the stitches and didn't want anything to do with balloons or suckers.
P - Phobias or fears: Fire
Q - Fave quote: I can't think of one right now but here is what is on my day planner today
"Some people wait so long for their ship to come in, their pier collapses. - John Goddard
R - Reasons to smile: My family and friends and pretty paper.
S - Season: Summer. Love summer.
T - Amy, Kelly E. and Jennifer S.
U - Unknown fact about me: Seriously, you read my blog right? I don't have any unknown facts.
V- Vegetable you don't like: Squash
W - Worst habit: Where do I begin... Impatience
X - Xrays: Ah-huh
Y - Your fave food: A good yummy steak.
Z - Zodiac sign: Pieces

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

All things Sound of Music

I know I have mentioned the Sound of Music before and how my friend Maria can invoke all the songs and lyrics from the movie but I haven't told you the entire truth. You see I LOVE the Sound of Music. Really. I'm not kidding. There are only a few movies I can watch again and again and again and the Sound of Music is one of those movies. I love the scenery, (some day I am going to Austria and I'm going to sing ALL the songs - OUTLOUD), I love the characters, I love that Captain Von Trapp is really soft on the inside, I love Edelweiss, I love the matching outfits Maria made for the children out of her bedroom drapes, I love that the nuns put sugar in the cars of the bad guys, I love the story and I don't care if the Biography Channel does say the story is not accurate. That the Captain was really a wimp and Maria wasn't really very nice and they didn't even Climb Every Mountain to escape (they took a bus - I KNOW - they just packed their bags, drove to the bus station, boarded said bus and LEFT - no music competition, no Lars blowing the whistle on them and breaking Liedel's heart, no narrow escape). I don't really like the real story much, so I just pretend I don't know anything about it. I believe in the fairy tale, I believe in Maria, I believe in the Sound of Music!!! So now you know my little secret. Sometimes I forget the secret myself and then it happens I see a commercial or hear a song (why is "My Favorite Things" considered a Christmas Carole?) and my heart is filled with my love of all things Sound of Music. Life is good!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Of Friends, Scrapbooking and Cupcakes

Happy Birthday Amy!!!

Yes, it is Amy's birthday today. We had a little celebration on Saturday while SCRAPBOOKING. And there was not one I'm Purrrrrfect sweatshirt in the group - SERIOUSLY. Anyway, Amy and I have only been friends for about a year but you know how there are some people that just get you and vice-versa? That's how it is with Amy. Most of my close friends are people I have known for years, people I have grown up with, people who have been there through dating and marriage and babies and mid-life crisis (okay so I don't consider myself mid-life yet but you know what I mean). And then there are those rare individuals you meet along the way that you click with right away. The ones that you haven't really known forever but it still feels that way. That is how it is with Amy. I am so glad I met her and that we have formed a friendship and support system even if she does think My Mario is gay and has Tommy Lee on her list (but really, you can't judge a person on their list - the LIST is non-judgmental). So Happy Birthday Amy. I hope you have a wonderful year!!!

I scrapped this weekend. It felt good. I haven't really worked on a page in ages. I missed my scissors and pretty paper and although I still have an undying love for flowers and ribbon I have begun an affair with glitter, specifically Stickles Glitter. I think the Stickles may be THE ONE. That special something that will never lose it's luster (literally) - Goll darn it I need a flippin' smilie. So I played with glitter all day and could feel the magic of the fairy dust drifting over my zen - and then I went home to get ready for ANOTHER party (one that involved adult beverages and content - the kind of party where you WOULD NOT want to be confronted with a pair of scissors because that could only lead to bad things - things like a kitchen counter haircut or a Flash Dance t-shirt) and as I looked in the mirror while getting ready for the "other" party I noticed that not only was my zen dancing in fairy dust but my face was a shining beacon of GLITTER!!! Now if you have ever dealt with glitter it is not easy to get those darn sparkles off. So I went to the party hoping that everyone would just think it was my sparkling personality shining through (you know what I need here right???) it all worked out okay - really.

And then there is that cupcake thing but this post is already far too long so that is just going to have to wait until another day. Just remind me to tell you about it.

Have a great day Amy and everyone else too!!! Bake some cookies, put a quarter in the Salvation Army bucket, let someone cut in front of you in traffic, do a little something to make someone smile, 'tis the season baby!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

At last, at last, I'm well at last...

So I'm feeling better as of about 2:00 p.m. today. For awhile there I thought I was actually going to have to go to the doctor. Now I've been spared that ordeal. There are few things I dislike as much as going to the doctor (the Walmart zone and those pesky slow drivers are among that group - oh, and Emmitt Smith and I don't think I need to mention why...). So in honor of feeling more like myself I took Lauren shopping after daycare (Syd got a daycare reprieve today because she was croupy coughing this morning, but it didn't take her long to recover. I received reports during the day, Christmas tree ornament kissing and pillow mountain climbing were the highlights). Anyway back to Lauren. She was supposed to be picking out presents for her brother and sister, to a three year old all presents are presents that should be for said three year old and I won't even go into the horrors associated with that dang wooden train set-up. All I can say is thank God I had the sense to only bring one child!!!

That's it. That's all I've got to say today. After spending 4 1/2 days in bed things are pretty boring. I'll see if I can't pump it up tomorrow. Maybe I'll be lucky and someone will run one of the imaginary stop signs and I'll get myself all worked up!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Will it ever end?

I am STILL sick if you can believe it? I can't. But I think I am feeling better so I'm taking that as a good sign.

So I know you have come to expect a little bit of crabby, a little bit of cynacism, a little bit of humor, from this blog, but today I am feeling a little bit of melancholy. I don't know if it is the sick or the Christmas carols I have playing in the background but whatever it is it's there.

Last night, for the fifteen minutes I wasn't running to the bathroom, Dennis mentioned that he wished we could just keep the girls at 3-1/2 forever. It has been so much fun to watch them enjoy all the excitement and anticipation and wonder. Yes, I said wonder, I know I know, so overdone, but true. Here is a scrapbook layout (hey you KNEW it was gonna happen sooner or later) that I did last year that I just love. To me this is what Christmas is all about.

This picture melts my heart everytime I see it.

And just so big brother gets equal viewing time here is a layout that also brings it all home to me

So anyway, I am loving the delight my kids are taking in this Christmas season. Everything is a discovery, from the windows in the little Christmas village, to adding handmade ornaments to the tree, to the challenge of being on good behavior just in case Santa is checking his list. It is too bad that the magic can't last forever (especially that Santa threat - Syd takes this VERY SERIOUSLY) but maybe that is what makes it magic...

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Life has been really crappy!

I have the stomach flu. I KNOW, it wasn't that long ago that I had a crummy cold and now this. But you know what the kicker to the whole thing is? MY IN-LAWS ARE STOPPING IN AGAIN! Now, you know, I can't lock myself in my room again. That could only lead them down two paths of thinking 1 "Holy Bananas she's sick again? I wonder if I have anything to wear to the funeral?" or 2 "Holy Bananas she just used this excuse, isn't there an original bone in her body?". I don't like either option, I don't want an emergency shopping trip to Walmart preceding my funeral and I am highly offended to think that someone would think I was unoriginal. Anyway, I will have to sweat it out. I can't wait.

Dennis and I were going to go Christmas shopping tonight, and we may still try if I can get more than five feet from the bathroom. Nothing like spreading a little holiday cheer and flu virus at the same time. Nothing says Merry Christmas like the stomach flu.

Last night when I woke up in the middle of the night I had written a wonderfully witty entry in my head but when I tried to remember today I couldn't so this is what you get. In-laws and the flu. What have I done to warrant such punishment? FINE I promise I will never bad-mouth Emmitt Smith again, let him sleep with what he has done...

By the way, my in-laws would never be unprepared for a funeral - attending funerals is their favorite activity - right after watching the Statler Brothers Christmas Special. SERIOUSLY!