Saturday, December 29, 2007

Yet Another Addiction

My arms hurt, the kind of hurt that will be there as an ache tomorrow, the kind of hurt that I can feel in my fingers, wrists, forearms and my right upper arm (nope, I don't know the name for it!). You would think it was from working today on my in-laws "farm" moving piles of earth. Nope. It is from something I can't even believe would do this to me. E got a Wii from Santa but luckily we haven't even had to open it yet, there was already one in use at the farm. Then my sister-in-law got her husband Guitar Hero III and it has been all down hill from there, a little. It is seriously one of the funnest games I have ever played. I have also been playing a lot of Wii tennis (my nephew has a mean forehand). I am not going to buy guitar hero for our family until I get a few things done at home - this will be my incentive. How ridiculous is all this? Now I need to go and get some Advil for the ache and a massage from D for the cramp that is happening between my right shoulder and right ear.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Flashback Friday!

Another holiday edition. I am five, sitting on Santa's knee (I am pretty sure that it is the same Santa from my 1 year old pics, of course it is, there is only one Santa) opening a present - bliss.

And here I am the same year, in a dress my mom made for me (I think I have used this picture before). I wonder where that nativity set is now? Christmas is just a few days away, and I am pretty excited for it to be over. Not that I don't love Christmas, I do, but there is a lot of pressure and hype to live up to. For instance, this conversation happened this morning:
W: E, what do you really want for Christmas?
E: A Wii.
W: I know you want a Wii, what else?"
E: Nothing. We need a Wii.
W: Remember in school when you learned about needs and wants? You need water, you need sleep, you nee...
E: A Wii.
I hope Santa delivers.
Also, we have another WHOLE neighborhood kids Christmas breakfast tomorrow. I'm helping, so I will be there, but I am not so certain about the kids. There is going to be a Santa there tomorrow and I just don't think he will be as good as the one they have already met with. And, I don't want them to be confused. I wish the excitement, parties, neighborly gifts and such would be spread out evenly through the year. And I should confess, I am holiday spirited out. I need to take a break from it, my kids need a break from it, before next week. There. I said it. I am a scrooge.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What I am eyeing this week

I was out shopping today (not for Christmas, which was refreshing - oh, I take that back, I am still trying to find a few things for E), got a new carseat for Girly and a new pair of pants for me, I went into a great store with sunlight and warmth outside. Five minutes later, I walk out to rock salt like snow and wind and lightning. What should have been a five minute drive home turned into about 45 minutes. It was crazy! Cars every which way, stupid drivers (don't stop driving on a hill unless you have to, keep your momentum!!!), scary drivers and me. Little ol' me. Luckily I am a fantastic driver and returned home to my family safe and sound.

All cozy, kids down for the night, husband shoveling heavy, wet snow, I am ready to show what I am looking at today.

So under the heading "I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS SHOP!" here it is: Sketchbook Crafts. You have to read the artists profile, she sounds quite amazing. In any case, if you want to buy me something for any reason, here are two examples. This Pink Pleat

And I have been looking for a new wallet, so I might just have to get this one. I think the leather looks so soft and touchable.

I saw this shop while perusing the gift guide and have to say, she does make some really fun, unique, whimsical and pretty things. This Ambrosia bag from Pretty Little Things is so fun, I don't think I could actually use it. I wouldn't want it to get the least bit dirty and in my bag it would have to battle binkies, crayons, searching sticky fingers, although I could just use with my clutch from Sketchbook up above. I love all the detail this gal puts into all the items in her store. Among other things, she has press-ons, dolls, owls, and this elephant purse. I bet she smiles the whole time she is making anything for this shop.

This gal is from my area, and she must smile the whole time she is creating these baby items. Every baby needs their feet covered and Piddies has made some of the cutest slippers ever. I think Joey wouldn't ever let go of his feet if these were on them. What a great gift to give to a new baby, so totally handmade and unique.

I am also in love with this bag from Pepperhem . I love the colors, the bird, the shape. I would use it to hold everything my diaper bag shouldn't. I'm being greedy, but I really want it. Everything from this shop is hand screen-printed and/or sewn. Just look at the color. It would really enhance the fading tan of my arm. It would dress up my shoulder...

And I like the kid tee's that are in the shop. They aren't your typical baby designs but still totally appropriate and original. Look at the colors and design on this tee to the left. Makes you want to see what else is in this shop, huh?

And finally, I wish I had found this shop before I had done all my friend gifts. Anything Jot It Down would have been perfect to add to the gift. The original menu planner would have been lost on me but I do love the Original This Week paper pad. It may have helped me remember that it was an early out day at Eli's school, although the way I have been this week, probably not. But I would have written it on here. I love the colors, the potential to add some organization to my life. I also like the Original BabySitter. Everything in one place, which is how I usually do it, but it doesn't look this good. These aren't just one sheet wonders, but a whole notepad. Great monogram notepads, too. In fact, I am going to order some of this tomorrow. And she is also in my area, lucky me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bon Jovi - (You Want To) Make a Memory (Official Video)

I've made dinner, eaten my portion and have left Dave to help the kids finish theirs. I had to escape for a minute and have some silence. Then I remembered that I caught this video on VH1's top 40 of 2007. I love Jon Bon Jovi. I thought he was hot way back in "Slippery When Wet" and especially now. So what do you think? Hotter then or now?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Congratulations Matt and Erin

My dear cousin Erin married Matt on Saturday. It was a beautiful ceremony and a freezing cold day. The reception was beautiful of course. I have told you about my mom's artistic siblings, my Aunt Julie being, among other things, a decorator/wedding artist. So of course, this was beyond beyond. The two sets of doors leading up the main room had their monogram on the glass, very pretty. Glittering lights on trees in the hallways. A 3x4 foot ice block with holes drilled in holding large candles at the entrance.

There was a table on the right full of candy: mint malt balls, pear flavored Jelly Bellys, milk and dark chocolate covered pretzels, green apple sour gummys, yogurt covered Gummi Bears, mint sandwiches and more. The best were the sugared grapefruit. Yum. The colors were all in chocolates, greens and whites of sorts. Oh, and suckers and candycanes. The table on the right had their guest book on it.

Her brothers are very protective of her. But we aren't worried about Matt, although he might be a little too perfect. And by the way, the handsome one in the background is available and a catch beyond belief. Seriously. Smart, handsome, my kids love him at every stage they are at, entering medicine, hard worker, artistic, photographer. You think I am over selling him, but there are about 439 more qualities that make him a catch, so I am not even scratching the surface. (Of course, Bry is handsome too, but quite married...)

The decorations were amazing. Using white birch, my cousin (the handsome, single one) cut large branches and lit them all, bundling them together, adding glittered birds, icicles, shards of glass and such. Very crisp and clean. Large cases held birch cuttings with white hydrangea, white roses and lilys.

The ice blocks were amazing. My aunt designed one with a winter foresty look, arranged it and this is barely showing how beautiful it was. Can you see the birds perched on the branches?

And of course, Erin looked beautiful. She designed her dress. It is very Audrey Hepburn. Cream silk dupioni, tea length.
I thought I had taken better pictures of the dress itself, but she was absolutely stunning.

And of course, her flower girl was too. Girly was in heaven and didn't stop dancing around the whole night. White silk gown, sparkly gold shoes, chocolate - this little girl was in paradise and had to be carried sleepily out, while protesting that she wasn't tired.

Erin, thanks for letting us be a part of this wonderful day. Congratulations.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Flashback Friday!

Tis the season, so I will share Christmas past photos. The kids have been watching me do these and Girly thinks I am her. When I tell her it is me as a little girl she asks, "You were a little mama?". I have been asked this quite a bit by her lately. It is fun to see and hear her thought process as I tell her about each picture, or share a toy from when I was little.

The above picture is me with Santa when I was 1 1/2 years old. We had a good relationship. The picture below is Christmas day of the same year, me in my Christmas Dress that my mom made. Based on the carpet, I am thinking this was at my Grandma McKean's basement. Who knows why I am crying, I'm one. But I love the dress and my gold bracelet that I wore until it wouldn't fit any longer. The bracelet is up in my jewelry box. I wish you could see more of the detail in the dress, it had a lot of detail, from the ribbons woven into the lace, the two tiered dress, the sleeves matching the bottom tier. Christmas is always a fun day and a tiring day for little ones.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

U2 - With Or Without You

If you know me at all you know that I think U2 is the #1 band ever! Ever. This song from 1987's Joshua Tree is the first song I remember falling in love with and never being able to listen to it enough. It is still that way. It reminds me most of stomps back in high school. For some reason it was always played as the last slow dance (does anyone else remember this?). It meant the stomp was over, good night. In any case, love this song, love Bono, the Edge, Larry and Adam. Wish they would invite me to their pub in Ireland just to be near them.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Things I am eyeing this week

A great way to see what is on Etsy is to go to the Treasury. It is a section that allows Etsians, whether buyers or sellers (usually both) choose and feature 12 of their own favorites, or something to this effect. It is a great way to navigate through the many that are etsy. So this week, I am choosing items from random treasuries, ones that caught my eye.

I love birds. And I love wool felt. So I saw this and of course loved it. This hand sewn bird by Kimmy Made is bright and colorful. The artist is a SAHM who just discovered that she loves hand sewing. I love to support stay at home moms. I think being a mom is the hardest thing in the world and the most rewarding, and having a creative outlet is a bonus.

This picture is me. Yes, I live where the snow is the greatest on Earth. Yes, I live near the mountains. I hate to ski. I do like to snowboard, I learned in college (thanks Tommy) but I haven't for a long time. And I hate to be cold. Really. So, I wish I had a red, six button coat, but this would be a portrait of me if I did. Reading the artist's profile, she seems very whimsical and lovely. I love her portrayals. She is quite talented, Hide n Seek.

I recently did a boutique and met this artist, Sarah Jane, who was there also. She is delightful. So nice. And I like her work, so win all around. This picture reminds me of Girly and any one of her girlfriends. Girly would were dress ups all day long if she could. So would I if it meant I didn't have to clean the bathrooms (I wouldn't dress up like a maid or a house mom that cleans bathrooms). Of course, look at all her creations, they would look great in any play room, nursery or bedroom. Any place, really. I will have to get it after the mad holiday rush is over and I can enjoy the process of buying, receiving in the mail and framing. Hold me to it.

It is only appropriate to include something Christmas-y. So here is a self-proclaimed Merry Christmas shout out from Pressa Russa. Very talented letterpress artist. Great cards in her store.

OH! I love these hats! She makes hats, I want to wear these hats. Where could I wear them? To volunteer at Kindergarten? To the store? I don't know, but these make me smile. Mission accomplished lady of Kankalin Hats.

I love this artist. I just found her today from someone's treasury. I loved reading her profile. She really is in love with her art. I am too. I would put this print over my kitchen sink, so I could look at it a lot. It is full of love. Well done Cathy Nicols .

There are lots more but I am tired and my feet are cold and I think I just heard our gate to our backyard open and shut so now I have cold feet and am a little freaked. I am going to wake D, tell him about the creepy gate noise and climb into my warm bed while he risks his life to see if someone is in our backyard.

You'll shoot your eye out!

So much has gone on in the last few days but I will tell you about tonight. Our great neighbor up the street had the First Annual ____ Street Christmas Party. With a Santa. I couldn't believe they were going to have Santa there. This family's youngest child is 10. How nice of them to invite everyone on the street including young CHILDREN. I almost forgot, after RSVP'ing last week. I found the invite on my counter while I was cleaning it off to roll out pizza dough for dinner. So I ran to the store to get the items to prepare the salad I was to take. We told the kids what we were going to do, and that Santa was going to stop by. E was great with this. "Good, I will tell him I want a Wii." Girly, " I don't like Santa. You can like Santa but I don't. I will stay here." I told her to come, play with the other kids and she doesn't have to even look at him when he comes.

After some time, Santa walks in. Apparently he doesn't have to knock, just always an open invitation (be warned, he might walk in to your house unannounced). Girly about falls backwards and runs over to me. We sit and the very back on the stairs. She then asks her dad to take her out to look for the sleigh and reindeer, not there, must have dropped him off. Then she and her dad sit on the couch near all the children who are attentively sitting at Santa's feet, listening somewhat patiently as he reads a book. Then, Santa invites the first kid up. After listening to the list of wants, he give the child a little tin of candy, a candy stick and makes this awesome hat from balloons. Girly moves on to the floor by E.

A few children later, E is up. "I'm E." "May I have a Wii?" Santa was great, "Wii's are hard to get this year, I will try my hardest." Good enough. Candy, candy stick and a balloon sword.

A few children later, Girly pops up there. My jaw drops. "I'm Girly." She tells him what she wants, I couldn't hear it, but E tells her she wants a Barbie. "A Princess Barbie please." Okay. Candy, candy stick and a red teddy bear balloon.

Such a fun night. Our street rocks. C is no longer afraid of Santa. But tonight, she went to sleep telling us she is a reindeer, putting her hands as antlers on either side of her head.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Am I the last to know?

Have you seen this site? I just came across it and love it. I especially love the papergoods section. This notebook by Nantaka Joy makes me want to write all sorts of important things. In any case, I will have to peruse this site more tomorrow, check out three potato four.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

How do people do it?

How do mothers who work outside the home do it? I have given myself self-imposed work lately, with the support of my darling husband, and I feel like I haven't sat still. I did that gift show a few weeks ago and it was great. There is a satisfaction in creating something I like or something I find useful and then finding that others like it too. So, I decided to do one more gift show that is today and tomorrow. I didn't do my nursing aprons. I need to get some more finished and my mom, who sews most of them for me (because she doesn't want me to be away from my kids), well, I haven't wanted to ask for more and more. I did just plaques. I had ordered more of them from the company and wouldn't you know, they didn't come, didn't come and then were delivered on the day I had to set up. So in the meantime, I used what I already had. So, although there is a satisfaction and a need for me to be creative (without little creators beside me), I have missed a few things that surprise me.

I missed doing the laundry more regularly, just holding J, tickling C, doing homework with E, just over-all interaction that is day to day and somewhat redundant. I missed relaxing with D, watching Heroes or Friday Night Lights. I missed sweeping and cleaning the kitchen floor. I am going to have to remind myself of this in the next few days when I will be cursing housework and diapers and tantrums and "Mo-ooo-m!" over and over again.
So on top of the fun me time, C had her first ballet performance. Yes, she was perfect. I can't believe she did it. I wasn't sure if she would get on stage but she did and she followed her teacher beautifully.

Here she is with her darling friend Rosie. The take their class together and love each other. And here she is warming up before the big debut - her legwarmers have a skull and cross bone design, to off-set the sweet ballet gracefulness.

E is with his friend Soli, who is Rosie's brother. The whole performance they wrestled or fidgeted together. You know those National Geographic films of the young rams playfully ramming into each other, locking horns... well, this is what these two reminded me of. They couldn't stop wrestling, grasping each others hands, twisting each other to the ground, laughing. And I think E has forgotten how to just smile. I don't know what this new look is.

So thank you D, for supporting my need to create somehow and miss my real life. I hope you read this, who knows when I might get finished cleaning and putting up Christmas and have time to tell you personally.

And E, thanks for taking this great picture of J and Oma.

Now I am off to finish some Christmas shopping and start some other Christmas shopping. Any good ideas for neighborhood gifts?