Monday, December 21, 2009

Magic Reindeer Food

I have seen this idea on several blogs...for the Reindeer Food that is. When I got the Gift Card Holders for the Shabby Princess's CT, I immediately knew I would use them to house my Magic Reindeer Food.

This is the first year that Nalley has really gotten excited about Christmas and knows what is going on. We will add this to our Christmas traditions, and leave food outside for the reindeer. The "food" is just oats with cookie sprinkles mixed in. I used small reclosable bags that I got at the dollar store in the craft isle to put a small amount of the oats in. I used these gift card holders (both of them are using the NEW Sugarplum Dreams kit from the Shabby Shoppe) and enlarged them slightly to accomodate the bulk of the food. I think that they turned out sooo super cute!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Stuff from the Shabby Princess

SP has 2 new kits, Clementine and Sugarplum Dreams available now at the Shabby Shoppe. The first LO are some of my favorite pictures of my Lawson, he is pure sweetness.

The second LO are pictures of the girls with the mini gingerbread houses that they made at our babysitter, Kristyn's house last night. She invited all 3 kids over for a Grinch party...they watched the Grinch that Stole Christmas and decorated those ultra cute gingerbread houses. It was the first time that Maybel had been with Kristyn. She keeps the younger 2 on a really regular basis, but it has always been during the day while Maybel is at school, or at times when Maybel is at her moms. Nalley A-D-O-R-E-S Kristyn...soooooo much! I can usually bribe Nalley to do anything I need or want her to do, by reminding her that Kristyn is coming over to play with her "next Wednesday" (yes, I have done that). Lawson obviously didn't decorate the gingerbread houses, but Kristyn's mom and dad were quite happy to have a baby around to play with for the evening. The girls talked about how much fun they had all day today...and I got some cute pics of them in their PJ's holding up their houses...before they ate some of the candies off!
I LOOOOOVE both of these kits...for different reasons! I love the fabulous muted tones and sophisticated look of the Clementine kit...it is an awesome collection and it was really nice to work with! But my, oh my...Sugarplum Dreams really speaks to my ultry-girly, happy, PINK LOVING fun side! Not to mention that I re-themed our tree this year to glittery, sparkling cupcakes, ice cream cones, lollipops and all things confectionery and SUGARPLUM-ish. So, I just ADORE this new kit! I can't wait to play around with it more, although it might be after Christmas.
We are hosting Christmas Eve this year for the first time ever. There will be about 15 or 16 people here...lots of fun!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies


About 4 years ago, I created a recipe for a Turtle Cookies after getting hooked on the ones from the Pita Pit. On our recent girls trip to Fargo, I picked up a bag of mint M&M's and my family was hooked! I also bought a bag of Andes mint baking pieces, and was inspired to create a mint chocolate cookie that was reminiscent of the flavor of the M&M's. All I did was add the baking pieces and some milk chocolate chips to the Turtle Cookie dough, and voila! I have included the Turtle Cookie ingredients at the bottom of the recipe card, if you are so inclined to make them! Please let me know if you make these cookies, and if so, what you think!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Santa and My Sweeties...

I have been absent for a while now. I am finding that being mom of 3 is a BIG job...especially being a crazy crafter and throw in the Christmas season...I'm in DEEP! But I LOVE every second of it and I am cherishing these fleeting baby moments, I can't believe my little man is already 4.5 months old! Would you just look at those chunky little cheeks and that happy grin...I could just EAT HIM WITH A SPOON! He laughs at us and brings us all such joy, but I must say he is partial to the ladies...watch out, he's gonna be a heartbreaker!

We went to the Children's Museum here in the Peg today to see Santa and show the kids the display that was in Eaton's for many years. Shayne's parents always took him there to see Santa, so it is important that we carry on this tradition with our kids. We let the girls go wild at the museum afterward and they both had a blast. Nalley had only been there one other time when she was about Lawson's age, so this was a totally fun new experience for her.

It is amazing to see the wonder and joy that the Christmas season brings to my kiddos. I love to watch them stare at the lights and ornaments of the Christmas tree and talk about all of the little things that are so exciting. Nalley watches Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer about 10 times a day...she knows all the songs and sings along with them. She talks a lot about Rudolph and how he lives in the North Pole. She asked Santa to see him today, but seemed to be okay with the answer that he was resting up for the big trip in a few weeks.

Speaking of resting up...I should go do that too...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quilt for Bed 18

There is so much that I want to blog about, and so little time to blog. This is something that I have been wanting to share because it was so special to me...

Last Monday, Lawson and I took this quilt down to the Intermediate Care Unit at Women's Hospital, where he spent the first week of his life. While he was there, the nurses placed small quilts over his isolet, to sheild the bright lights. Since I enjoy quilting so much, I told the nurses that I would make one and bring it down when life settled for us a little.

I wouldn't say that life has settled all that much, in fact it is probably even busier as the holiday season approaches. But the IMCU is so special to our family, that I really wanted to take Lawson back to see his nurses and take them a quilt. I made it specifically out of some of the leftover pieces of the Katie Jump Rope fabric that I made his quilt from.

When we got there, his nurses Sherri and Renee were there. They are so special and were so very appreciative of the quilt and a big bag of sleepers and stuff that we took as well. It was suggested that the quilt be donated to the baby who is currently in bed 18, the bed where Lawson stayed. It is a little girl who has been there for a while, so I couldn't be happier.

As I left that morning, with my son in my arms, I felt so blessed and overwhelmed with gratitude to be able to give back...just a little. I will make many more quilts for them, I feel compelled. I also plan to go cuddle the babies that are there who have no one to cuddle them or visit them...how very sad that makes me.

If any of you quilters out there would like to donate a block...let's say an 8 inch block...please let me know, I think that would be very cool to make a quilt that many people have contributed to and donate to the IMCU.



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shabby Artist

I have officially been on the Shabby Princess Creative Team since June, however, it was just announced in the newsletter that accompanied several new products yesterday. As I have said before, it is a HUGE honor to be included amongst so many incredibly talented girls...I am blessed.

Nalley in her skunk costume on Halloween last year, I swear, I crack up laughing every time I see these pictures. She was so cute and would sit her bag on the steps on each new house she went to, say "trick-or-treat" and then when they came to the door, she would pull something out of her bag and try to hand it to the person at the door. Precious.

She has been talking about Halloween for weeks now. She is going as Minney Mouse (the pink one) during the day to Maybel's parade at school, to Shayne's work, etc...and she'll be a monkey
at night when it's cold. She keeps telling me she's going to say "trick-or-treat" and then she'll get chocolates and suckers. LO made using the new Boo kit at the Shabby Shoppe.
Nalley on a huge pile of pumpkins at the corn maze last year...using the Bountiful kit available now at the Shabby Shoppe.

I always dress Maybel and Nalley alike at Christmas, but we were surprised when we showed up for Christmas dinner last year and their cousin Emily was matching as well. We sat them down and had to get a picture. LO made using the new kit, Believe available now at the Shabby Shoppe.
I was in for a HUGE adjustment when I moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg almost 5 years ago. Within the first few days, we had a blizzard that dumped 2 feet of snow practically over night. Shayne made me learn how to drive in the snow during that blizzard...this LO is all about just HOW much snow we got and my first driving experience...made using the new kit Brrr...now at the Shabby Shoppe.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Some Love for Brice

Christina, from The Sometimes Crafter, and I have become bloggie friends in past few months. She is an uber talented sewer, quilter, and crafter extraordinaire. She has helped me out and given me a few things of late and I wanted to thank her for her generosity...so I made this little mini accordion album (like the ones we will be making at my class on the 21st) of her little man, Brice. He is soooooo stinkin' cute and it was so much fun working with someone else's pics. I am using it as an example for my class and then it will be on its way to its new home with Christina and Brice. Thanks again Christina...you're a gem!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Accordian Mini Album Class

Well, I've done it...despite my insanely busy life as mom to 3...I've managed to get back to work. My first class of the fall will be the Mini Accordian Album Class on October 21st at Neil Campbell School. Come out and join in our crafty fun...e-mail me to register.

Apple Muffin Recipe

As promised...enjoy!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sweet Cheeks & Muffins

I have two super yummy things to blog about today...Lawson who is so sweet I could just "eat him with a spoon"...hope that isn't disturbing to any of you overseas readers...it is an expression used down south to describe a baby or child that is just too cute for words.

I mean look at those schmooshy lips...aren't they just so irresistable...kissing those little lips and cheeks is my favorite pass time these days.

At his 2 month check up on the 16th, he was 11.9 pounds...up 3 pounds since his 1 month which was 8.8 pounds. He's getting some chunk on him now. Still the best baby ever...sleeping through the night at 8 weeks...well anywhere from 6.5 to 8.5 hours uninterrupted, that is what I consider to be sleeping through the night.

He is soooo smiley and laughs at us all the time. He has great head control and loves to stand up on our laps and look around. The girls are completely in LOVE...they want to spend every minute talking to him and getting him to coo at them. Nalley's latest things to say about him are: "well I guess he's cooing at me mommy" or when he's hungry "we got a chirky (chirpy) birdie mommy" and when he's upset "mommy he's aaacking" (the "aaaaa" sound that a newborn makes when it crys). She keeps us in stitches wit the funny things she says.



These are my "famous" apple muffins. I took a recipe for apple bread off of the internet about 4 years ago and COMPLETELY changed it. I started making muffins instead of bread 3 years ago and they have been my families favorite since then. Each fall we get apples from friends (a huge bin from Shauna this year...thanks again Shauna) and I make applesauce and at least 12 dozen of these muffins to freeze. They are great for breakfast for the kids or as an afternoon snack with coffee. I'll post the recipe tomorrow...stay tuned!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lawson's Baby Quilt

I am ashamed to say that I started cutting the fabric for Lawson's baby quilt on the same day that I finished the binding on baby Ashlee's quilt...waaaaaay back in April. Now that it is the second week of September and Lawson is almost 8 weeks old, it is now finished...whew!

I LOOOOOOVE the way it turned out, but what's not to love about this Katie Jump Rope fabric. However, I am questioning it's use in my little BOY's quilt now that it is done. KJR is one of the only lines with any great boy-ish fabric these days, but the problem is that it was already discontinued when I bought this fabric and these were the only ones left that I could find. I know that it is a bit girlish with the use of the flower fabrics, but (PLEASE be honest) do you think that it is too girly for a baby boy? The jury is still out for me. Shayne says it doesn't matter (which means a lot coming from his daddy) and Maybel said, "it is a little girly, but not too much girly"...so I'm not sure!

Maybel helped me take the full shot picture outside, she is such a good little helper. Today was her first day of 4th grade, she is getting so old...it just kills me! Love that little stinker.

I have TONS more pics to share, like Nalley's photo shoot at the english gardens, our UGA outfit debacle for game day on Saturday, some cute randoms of growing Lawson...etc...but I haven't had time to edit them yet...one day.




Sunday, August 23, 2009

So Far Behind

It has been a whirlwind sort of month since Lawson was born! I knew to expect craziness, and that is what we've had. I remember when Nalley was born feeling like days just whipped by and I could hardly get a shower. That has happened again but I am running ragged trying to keep up with a toddler and a newborn while trying to keep a bored 9 year old entertained to boot! It's not easy...

My parents left yesterday after a week-long visit with their grand-babies. They lapped up every minute of the kids, although I think they were a bit bored being confined to the house with nap schedules and such. All in all it was a wonderful time with them, I celebrated my birthday with them on the 16th for the first time in 5 years. Nalley is already missing Nana and Papa and asking when we can ride on the airplane to go see them.

Just before Lawson was born, Jocelyne came over to shoot some pregnancy pics...something I was not really excited about (who really wants to remember how fat they were) but was convinced that I would want them later. I hadn't done it with Nalley and did sort of regret not having them. I also had her take a few pictures of the girls by themselves.

The last picture is Lawson on his first photo shoot at 1 week old. I have to do better and start posting more recent pictures, I'm sure it will happen...don't know when though!

Also...I am starting to think of getting back to work...soon. I will be teaching a digital scrapbooking class, a mini accordian album class, a Halloween-themed class, and a Christmas-themed class this fall. I am still in the organizational and planning phase, but as soon as I get the projects and schedule nailed down, I will post. Any suggestions are welcomed!












Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finally Here

Another LO I did for Lawson's album using the AWESOME new Shabby Princess kit, Giggle Box, which was released today!!!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So Happy to Have You Home

This is the Layout I did for my first official Shabby Princess Pre-Release. The new kit is called Giggle Box and the colors and feel were a perfect fit to celebrate our sweet Lawson coming home.

He continues to get stronger and as of our doctor's appointment yesterday, he had almost regained his birth weight.

There is a TON of journaling on this page to tell his story, if you are interested, keep reading!!!

"You were born on July 16, 2009 at 37 weeks. After the nurses gave you a bath, you were a bit cold, so they took you to put you under the warmers for a little while. When you came back to us, all bundled up for a snuggle, we noticed that you were making “kitty cat” noises. We soon found out that those noises are called “grunts” and are an indicator of a condition called Transient Tachypnea of a Newborn (TTN), which is fluid on the lungs. At 4 hours old, they took you off to observe you and you were soon admitted to the Intermediate Care Unit. You were a very sick little boy, hooked up to an IV, oxygen prongs and more wires and probes than any little newborn should be. Normal respiratory rates are between 20-30, yours were around 150, causing erratic breathing and making you struggle for every breath. In addition to TTN, the x-rays showed a small air pocket surrounding your heart and lungs.

You were on minimal handling orders because any stimulation you had would cause your respiratory rates to skyrocket. It was torture not being able to hold my precious new baby, watching you in your incubator, fighting so hard to get well. I was finally able to hold you and nurse you at 3 days old, it really was the best feeling in the world.

We had asked so many of our friends and family to pray with us for your speedy recovery so that we could bring you home. On Sunday, when many Sunday School classes and congregations had prayed for you, your most significant improvements happened. You were taken off of your IV as well as your oxygen prongs; your antibiotics were discontinued and you were moved from you incubator to a regular bassinet. You were on the mend. You just needed to prove that you could feed well and meet your minimum daily nutritional requirements.

I nursed you as much as I could, but it was exhausting to you with your respiratory problems. We had to bottle feed you with my milk as a way to supplement your intake. You continued to improve and get stronger and stronger and we were finally allowed to bring you home on Tuesday afternoon…you were 5 days old. I have never been as happy and relieved, yet I felt completely neurotic about having you at home with no nurses to help if something went wrong. Most of all I am thankful that you are getting stronger with every day that you are here at home with us. We love you so very much Baby Lawson, you are a fighter and a real trooper!"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lawson's Birth Announcement

Lawson was able to come home on Tuesday afternoon...and we have been so busy since then, holding him and cuddling him and giving some much needed attention to Nalley, that I haven't had a chance to update my blog. He is doing well, slowing getting the hang of feeding and sloooowly gaining a little weight. His breathing is getting better but I am still neurotic and find myself freaking out when it gets too fast...I am severely sleep deprived and completely unorganized. I forgot how much time and energy a newborn takes.

We went out for a "test run" to the outside world yesterday while I still had the help of Shayne, who will be going back to work on Monday. We tried at our first stop to go in the store without the double stroller..a.k.a. "The Bus", it was a gong show to say the least. Nalley was pulling feminine hygiene products off of the shelves and carrying them around with her. I was all hands with Lawson in the bucket seat, trying to wrangle Nalley back and do some shopping while balancing my purse on my shoulder. I didn't want any help from Shayne so that I could see what it would be like...let's just say I won't be doing that again!!!

Next, we used "The Bus" and it went much more smoothly, although I think I need a special class driver's license to operate that thing. At least I didn't feel like I was herding cats and both children were contained. I am so lucky and so thankful to have such a wonderful husband to do any and everything I ask, even when I change my mind 2 or 3 times as to what needs to be done first. Thank you Shayne for being the greatest strength and support during the absolute best and worst week of my life!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

First Date


LO I did of my first date with Shayne using the Wild Love kit from Shabby Princess. That date was magical...5 years, a wedding, and 2 kids later, I am more in love than I was then!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Welcome Baby Lawson!!!

Lawson Shayne Murray arrived on the scene Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 9:19 p.m. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 2 oz. and 19.25 inches. Proud big sister Maybel was on hand during some of the labor and just outside the room for the delivery. She was so happy to be a part of her brother's birth.

One of the first pictures of me with my sweet new little man!

He still looking rather new at this point.

Nalley is the only thing that would have made the occasion more wonderful, but she's not quite old enough to have managed the whole thing. She came to meet him the next morning.

Unfortunately, she didn't get to hold him because he was admitted to the Intermediate Care Unit at 4 hours old because his breathing was unstable and erratic. He was diagnosed with a condition called TTN (Transient Tachypnea of a Newborn), which means that he was born with fluid on the lungs. He also had a small pocket of air surrounding his heart and lungs.

He was a very sick little boy for a few days, hooked up to an oxygen flow, an IV with antibiotic drip, and more wires, monitors and leads than should be allowed for a tiny little baby. He was on no touch orders inside his incubator with minimal handling because his respiratory rates would skyrocket when he was touched or stimulated. He initially nursed in our room just after he was born, but after he was admitted, he was only allowed to take fluid from his IV for fear of aspiration for the next 48 hours. He was finally allowed to start feeding on Sunday and did amazingly well.
We have asked so many people to pray with us for his speedy recovery so that he will be able to come home with us. Many responded to say that they would tell thier Sunday School classes and church congregations to pray with us. Friday and Saturday were very critical and he was not doing well over night that night. However, Sunday brought so much change and Lawson came
out of his incubator into a regular bassinet. He also was taken off of his oxygen prongs, his IV came out, and he was taken off of the antibiotics. Each day has brought about more good news...Monday he was taken off all of his monitors. His respiration has leveled out, but it is still high (normal levels are between 2o & 30...Lawson's were originally as high as the 150's but were erratic and unstable) in the 50's to 60's. Shayne and I have been traveling back and forth to the hospital every 3 hours to feed him and Nalley has been farmed out to where ever we can put her. We are now just waiting to see if he has figured out how to eat properly and if he can meet his daily minimum requirements for nutrition. So far so good...it is looking like he might be able to come home with us on Wednesday. Pray with us that he can come home as soon as possible!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hybrid Welcome Banner

I am prepared for our little man to come home now (if he would ever decide to make his appearance). I had made this hybrid banner using the Barefoot collection from the Shabby Princess and finished putting it together this weekend. I had a really hard time deciding where to hang it though. I wanted to put it in the front entry way for everyone to see when little Lawson has visitors...problem being, I needed to take some pictures of it to post on the SP website for the Creative Team and the front room and entry have not been painted yet...what's a girl to do. So, I hung it (with the help of my fab hubby) in little Lawson's room above his crib. It doesn't match his bedding or decor at all, but it does coordinate with the birth announcements that I designed for him. I will in all likelyhood make him another banner of sorts to keep in his room more permanently...I just really like it!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Giveaway and a Pic

In baby news, still nothing...why, oh why, can't he just come already?!? But I am nesting like a maniac, that's for sure. I pulled out his half completed Pregnancy Mini Album, like the one that I made for Nalley a while back. I also had made a few others for some girlfriends who've recently had babies. I made an extra and I am going to give it away, fully completed (after the winner provides some info to me). Everybody loves a give away, right? Leave me a comment with your e-mail address and I'll pick a winner on Wednesday morning. ETA: Giveaway is limited only to Canada and the US...sorry to anyone else overseas...


I'm still playing around with Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets. Just another picture I was messing around with and I thought the effect was neat. This was at my friend Michelle's daughter's 1st birthday party that we went to on Canada Day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Nalley's Woodland Birthday Party

For Nalley's 2nd birthday, I decided to do a Woodland theme. I had never seen this done as a birthday party, but after falling in love with the Pottery Barn owl bedding that I bought for her new room as well as seeing all of the cute stamps and scrapbooking owl/deer/tree/mushroom stuff that is out right now...I just had to do it!

I said last year after her pig roast/Luau party was over that we weren't doing anything that big again, this year it was going to be hot dogs and cake...well, that just didn't happen! Although I haven't felt great during this pregnancy, it is her birthday after all, and she won't be 2 again...so it turned out to be 44 people with a bouncy slide, lots of food, and the kids made a container terrarium as part of their party favors.

For the cupcakes, I made my traditional yummy cupcake recipe with white liners and turned the tops into red mushrooms with white (yogurt covered raisins...thanks Sandra) spots. They really did turn out cute. I didn't get an artistic shot of the cupcakes by themselves, but you can see it in the picture where Nalley is blowing out the candles.

I had every intention of making Nalley a cute little dress that was red/white polka dots with brown trim, but there was just too much to do after moving in to our new house and trying to get ready for baby too. I also didn't get to make my famous iced sugar cookies that I make for every birthday for the kids...I was so bummed about that...I had even special ordered some mushroom, owl, and squirrel cookie cutters for the party. So instead, we did PB&J sandwiches cut them into shapes with the cutters.

I did a little funky photo editing and really like the way the pics turned out in a retro kind of look...

Next year, we really are doing hot dogs and cake on a weekday with 5 friends...I'll have another HUGE 1st birthday as well as a 10th birthday to plan all within the same month...so we'll be going small.