Monday, June 29, 2009

Down the Hill


I was playing around with texture overlays in Photoshop and couldn't help scrapping this picture of Nalley playing and running down the hill at the park recently. I am obsessed with the Shabby Princess's kit, Blossom lately, so it was of course, the natural choice for this one!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Birthday "Nalley Bo Balley"

Sweet baby girl, you made your grand entrance today, 2 years ago and my life was forever changed! I had never known love so deep, worry so overwhelming, or joy so immense. I had also never known I could be so tired. Until then.

We love you with all of our hearts sweet Nalley!




Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lessons in Life

Growing up, my parents both seemed to "torture" us with their broken-record repeats of important things to know that they would call "Lessons in Life". They would bring them up while {stuck} riding in the car with them, or nightly at dinner time when we sat down together and ALL ATE a home-cooked meal together. Looking back now, those times were invaluable parental teaching opportunities. As much as I would roll my eyes and wish they would quit it already, I really did learn some important values and morals during those times... things that I take with me to this day.

One of said "Lessons in Life" had to do with responding to how others treat you. My parents both believe in sticking up for one's self and not being pushed around, however they are also all about respect, living with grace and dignity, and know that exacting "revenge" is never the way to go. So the old cliche "what goes around, comes around" was used quite frequently in their "LIL".

In turn, since becoming a parent to Maybel, almost 5 years ago now, I too have used this old addage to help her deal with the "meanies" of the world who want to cause harm. It is far more difficult as a parent to sit back and take your own advice when people are unkind to your children. Wouldn't you parents agree?

At any rate, it is always so satisfying to me (maybe it shouldn't be QUITE so enjoyable) to see first hand the "come around" part fall in to place...and it is even sweeter to know that I have taken the higher road to follow an old "Lesson in Life".

Friday, June 12, 2009

Park Play

Well...it was supposed to be. It seems like everytime we go to the park to play, it rains! I did manage to get a few cute pictures of Nalley wandering around. She was just happy to be outside playing at all...it has been a terrible spring and early summer. Today was the warmest day we've had here so far, and it was still a bit overcast and sprinkled.

It is nice to have a break from all the demos and renos in our new house. We are on a bit of a time crunch for Nalley's birthday party on June 28th.











Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Taking My Mind Off Things

We have had a very stressful few weeks with moving, packing, un-packing and renovations. In the midst of it all we have had some very difficult personal and family issues that we have been dealing with too. It has been really emotionally draining, heartbreaking, and truthfully very hard to be diplomatic. If you think of me and my family, please just say a prayer that God's peace and love will shine on our family.

Because I am not allowed to do much in the way of lifting or moving, I am extremely limited to what I can contribute to settling our household. And I find that too many trips up and down the stairs, even without lifting or carrying anything, takes it's toll on my very pregnant body. 33 weeks and counting the minutes folks! So to occupy some time and take my mind off of things, I have been scrapping a bit more lately. I NEEDED to get baby Lawson's Birth Announcement done, so I did...I won't post it until he's here...but I was very pleased. So, at the same time, I re-did a couple of other things that I wasn't thrilled with.

I didn't even know what digital scrapbooking was really when Nalley was born and I did her Birth Announcement. I was only BEGINNING to self teach Photoshop and really went about it the long and hard way. I never really did get it exactly as I wanted it and have not adhered it to her baby book yet, because I just didn't love it. I know this doesn't really COUNT as being her birth announcement, as it is not the copy that I mailed out to everyone...however...it is the one I will paste into her book. I'm sure I'll throw the other one in too...but c'mon people...I'm a perfectionist and a proud mommy...so I wanted it to look GREAT!

This LO is a scrap-lift from the Shabby Princess using her kit Blossom. I just stinkin' love the dress that Nalley is wearing in her 1 week photos, I love the yawn, and I love the Blossom kit...it is perfect!

Lastly, I did another birthday LO of Nalley's 1st...as I am so painfully aware that she will be 2 soon. I love this kit so much, I'm planning on using it for all of her birthday LO's. I'll print them off for her 12x12 album, of course, but I'll also print out a 4x4 version too, and do a mini album of just her birthday LOs...something she can look through anytime she wants too...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cupcakes

This is my FAVORITE cupcake recipe. I wish there were an excuse to eat these cupcakes everyday...I'm sure I could find one, but I would be enormous! I just wouldn't be able to restrain myself. Maybel's birthday was this past Thursday and Nalley didn't get any of her cupcakes. That is all I have heard since Thursday from Nalley, "Mommy, I eat my Maybel's cupcake." SO, to save myself from hearing that again, and because it is dreary and cold outside today, we are going to bake cupcakes together for our activity.

Feel free to click on the image and save it. You can print it out as a 4x6 recipe card...I send them to Costco, it is inexpensive and easy. Tip: when you print out pictures like this digital "scrapbooking" style, that have already been edited, tell the photo lab to turn OFF the color enhancement option. They will then print with the "true" colors you originally worked with.





Friday, June 5, 2009

I Am Missing You Today

Last fall, I wrote this letter to my Grandmother, "Grammy", who passed away suddenly from conjestive heart failure on June 9, 2000. She was full of life, healthy and could work circles around me most days. She had started to suffer from arthritis a few years before she passed away, and had had a pacemaker put in a couple years prior as well. Other than that, she was in perfect health. I had moved closer to her about a year before she died, to help take care of/keep an eye on she and my Paw Paw. He was in failing health, and we had had a few scares with him before. We always thought he would go first.

The day my Grammy passed away was a Friday. We had a tradition that the 3 of us would go out to dinner somewhere each Friday night, and my Grammy and I would come home and watch Providence...we loved that show! Then on Saturday morning, I would go back to their house and set her hair and do any little chores that she wasn't able to do or pick weeds...etc... That day, she had watered the garden and weeded, made homemade applesauce, and because I was out with my friends that night (very unusual), they had gone out with my uncle for dinner. Not the typical day for someone who won't be around the for the next one. I am sharing this letter as a tribute to Grammy, but also as a means of therapy in a way...



"I am missing you today. I think about you lots and always smile at the fond memories and wonderful times we shared. Today is different. I can’t seem to find a smile, only tears. You were my rock, my world, my stability, my comfort. You were home to me. Through so much turmoil in my life, you always seemed to have the right thing to say, always the truth, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear at the time. I have come to appreciate that so much, especially since you aren’t here to give me your sage advice anymore.

When I lost you, my world came crashing down around me. The suddenness of it all took me out at the knees. I had thought about it before, knowing that one day, you wouldn’t be here. I had even taken the opportunity a time or two to tell you and Paw Paw that each day of my life was better because you were in it. You would say “Oh stop”, not feeling very comfortable talking about emotions. I never knew why that was, but I kept telling you how much I loved you, giving you hugs and kisses, until you finally just accepted it, and started giving them back. I always knew that you loved me, more than anything. I just never understood why you didn’t say it. I realized later in life that you would rather show it by living it, because words can be so empty.

A big part of me died when you did. I will never fully heal, I’m just trying to honor you by living with a fraction of the grace and dignity that you did. You were a lady in every sense of the word. Charming and charismatic, a true friend to all you knew. You were fair, compassionate and generous, always doing for someone else.

I would like to have just one more Friday night with you and Paw Paw. I want to go out for dinner and then come back home to watch Providence. I want one more Saturday morning to fix your hair and then do some little chores around your house. I want one more Thanksgiving dinner around your table, I would watch closely from start to finish as you made your famous dressing. I wish you could meet my kids, they are great and I know you would be so proud. I want them to hunt Easter eggs in your yard and drive around it in the golf carts. I just want one more conversation with you, to talk about nothing and everything, just to hear your voice.

I am so proud to have your name, Kathleen, and I proudly passed it on to Nalley. I hope that the choices I am making now and the life that I am living would make you proud too. Thank you for all that you have given me, Grammy.

Some of my favorite memories are with you, I remember the shopping trips that you and I would go on. I loved spending the weekend with you, because you always bought me something that made me feel special. Those times were fun, but the most special and important thing you ever gave me was your time, your love and your wisdom. The lessons I learned from you I will treasure always and I will teach them to my children as well. I am richly blessed because of you."

Accident Prone Already

I was standing in the back yard talking to Nalley's babysitter, Laura, on Wednesday when I went to pick her up. We were chatting while Nalley continued to play, as she is never ready to leave Laura's house. Suddenly I heard her screaming wildly and looked up to see that she had fallen in the rocks next to the house and her mouth had hit squarely on the corner of an electical meter box. I ran to pick her up and survey the damage when I saw a good bit of blood in her mouth. Now...let me clarify...I don't do well with blood of any kind, and I certainly don't do well with blood coming from the mouth of my sweet baby girl. I handed her to Laura and asked if she could make something of the damage. It was probably a good thing for Nalley and I both...I would have been panicky and she would have been screaming. Instead, she calmed down quickly with Laura's gentle voice and allowed Laura to open her mouth and see the cut.

It appears that one of her teeth just shredded the inside of her lip, but there doesn't seem to be any tooth damage or anything else. She just has a rather unsightly purple bruise and a small cut on the outside of her mouth. She has been a good sport though. She asked for another freezie when we got home that day (Laura had given her one to calm her down) and then had a bit of trouble eating that first night, but overall hasn't really given it a second though...except for when Shayne and I have said "poor baby, that must have hurt". Then she says her owie hurts...otherwise, nothing. So glad she's okay, but I must say, I hope the summer doesn't continue this way with a pretty decent accident happening 2 times in 2 weeks...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Work in Progress

This is the kitchen light fixture which was burnt to a crisp and was sparking like crazy...pretty scary isn't it? As you can see below, the connections were burnt completely apart from the connections.

This is my man...albeit quite scruffy these days...being all manly and installing our new granite top bathroom vanity. I love a rugged handy man!


My little punkin' playing with a blanket and her stuffed animals in the box that the vanity came in. She said she was going "nite nite"...so precious!







Monday, June 1, 2009

In But NOT Settled

We have moved into our new house and as of yesterday at 6 a.m. we no longer own the other one. It has been a LONG couple of months to get to this place and although it feels good to only own one house, I can't see an end in sight. Our new place was FILTHY and gross when we took possession. I cannot understand how anyone could, in good conscience, leave their house in the kind of shape we found ours in. They obviously had not cleaned it since they showed it in mid March. We knew when we purchased it that it would need some updating and some good ole' sweat equity to make it our own and what we had imagined it to be. We don't regret that descision at all...however there were a few surprises for us!

Firstly, the electrical wiring is a mess and needs to be dealt with immediately...I got zing-ed twice in one day at two different light switches. Our kitchen light fixture was literally sparking out the top, popped a bulb and when Shayne took the fixture down to look into it, the wires had burned the connection in two and the ceiling was scorched and the insulation was melted and black. TALK ABOUT SCARY...I am afraid that would have eventually burned our house down!

Apart from that, Shayne spent the first three days after we got possession stripping wall paper and scrubbing the walls. He has worked like a MANIAC to get stuff done, painting, changing light fixtures, packing, and get this...helping the PAID movers to move us. They should have had a 3 man team to do our job, but only showed up with 2 men and were half an hour late, at that. Shayne is dog tired and just keeps going...I know he's not the energizer bunny, as he's dragging butt at some times, but he does just keep going, pushing through the pain and exhaustion. Talk about committed and loving his family...we are SOOO Blessed! Love you lots honey!

I have lots of pics to upload and edit, it is taking shape slowly...but there will be some dramatic before and after pics. I just really don't have the energy or the time to slow down and do that right now. Hope you'll all understand. I am feeling "nest-y" and pressed for time to get all this done and get settled before our little bambino (who is btw, making me crazy at how active he is) makes his debut appearance!

But before I wrap this up I must say a HUGE thank you to several people who have helped us out in this, our time of need, while I am so helpless to do much! In no particular order...a big shout out to Sandra, Sheri, Lisa, Kris, Jason, Brent, Wendy, Tracey and Ian, and Tim! We REALLY couldn't have done it without you all...you really feel loved when your friends come out and pitch in to help you do the most unpleasant dirty work of packing and moving...especially at our age with all the stuff we have...we're too old for that! Thanks again guys...you're the BEST!