Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall in Minnesota

One of the best parts of Midwest living is the amazing change is season that we are able to have. And I LOVE the fall.
Nothing beats the amazing color change that you get, the smell of the leaves, the sound of the leaves crunching underneath your feet. And the great fall harvest that you get.
Apples would be the best part in my opinion. And if you've never had a Honey Crisp, your life is not complete. I'm serious.
If you are an apple eater, they are the best. Hard, crunchy, sweet, and so very satisfying.
Saturday was our annual trip to an apple orchard to do some picking, eating, and wandering through corn mazes.

Just look:

These my friends are Honey Crisps. Yummy, yummy, yummy!

Wandering through the orchard you get to sample one or two, if your a hungry 9 year old who needs to be fed every 2 hours.

I'm starting to cherish pictures like this, because my little boys aren't so little anymore and pictures like this are getting harder and harder to capture.

And mister "I'm getting to cool for stuff like this" even went and stood in the corn for a picture. (Look at the child's hair--anyone want to sneak into my house and shave his head while he sleeps?)

And if could have only heard the discussion that occurred leading up to this picture.
"Hey guys, go put your head through the ghosts."
"Mom, come we have to?"
"But mom, it's stupid"
"You're so weird"
"Thank you"
Insert groaning...something I hear a lot.

(To be followed later with a discussion that went:
"Mom, your not going to do anything with that stupid ghost picture are you?"
"Like what?"
"Like print it off and show it to people, or put it on your blog or something?"
"Of course not"--my fingers were totally crossed, TOTALLY!)

And after enduring such things, at least they each got one of these at the end of the day!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Join the Journey-year 2

Wow what a busy, busy week I have had. Sorry I've missed you all, I just had to put the blog on the back burner for a few days. But life is back to normal now, and I get you caught up on my little life.

For those of you that have read from the beginning, this will be a repeat of information, for those of you new to the blog, it's just one more installment in my life.

So, last June my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at 41. My mother is a breast cancer survivor, her sister died of breast cancer in her late 40's, and my father's mother had breast cancer. So you might say that I have a slightly higher risk of getting the disease (gee, ya think?) So last September we walked in our first Join the Journey breast cancer walk, that is a grass roots walk here in our community. The walk is only 4 years old and every year it grows and grows.

So last Sunday it was our second year to walk. 10 miles, by the way. I have to tell you that it is an amazing sight. Those that are walking that are survivors wear a pink shirt, and everyone else supporting them wears gray. I cannot tell you the lump you get in your throat watching this sea of over a 1000 pink and gray shirts walk through our city.

We start the day with a kick off speech at one of the high school stadiums.

Here we are sitting on the cold wet bleachers waiting to get our walk going. A little tough to not get a little choked up listening to the ladies kick it off.

Here we are on about mile 6. Me, the ever dopey clown that has to take a flying leap as my dad photographes from across the street.

I love my mom and sister laughing at me making a complete ass out of myself while the teenage girls behind us completely ignore me.
(Can just insert that it is killing me to look at myself in the picture-I'm going to go eat a salad. Don't you hate yourself in pictures?)

And at the end of the 10 miles they feed you an amazing meal. Here is my sister enjoying these amazing brownies with a fabulous ganache on the top.

The significance of this picture is that last year she was in the middle of chemo when we walked and couldn't taste anything because of the chemotherapy. So not only did she make it the 10 miles last year, but she couldn't taste a darn thing.

Here she is last year:

Just compare those 2 pictures. What a difference a year makes. Amazing gal she is, pretty amazing.

And they have all of this great information for everyone to have, including really encouraging everyone to do self exams. And these two gals walk around the whole day. Man they just crack me up.

And all I can think when I look this picture is, "I'm really glad I wasn't in a testicular cancer walk."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Summer Love

Shhhh....don't tell.

I covertly took these pictures of my oldest this summer. See, he really liked the little neighbor girl that was here to spend the summer with her dad. See, it all started out normal.
You know, they didn't want anything to do with each other. Yuck, I mean, who wants to play with a girl. They only like Barbies and wearing dresses and watching Hanna Montana right?

And then...well,

Turns out that home girl here, is well, a little bit of tomboy. Likes to skateboard, play guitar hero, and knows a thing or two about sports.

And so would be a 9 year olds version of summer romance. You know, adamantly denying to little brother and the other neighbor kids that you like her, yet spending more time with her than them, and finding out that some girls are "cool".

(Ahhh....duh....your mother is one of the cool ones....just ask your dad----insert eye rolling from all the males in my house)

But as with all good summer romances, they must come to an end. Saying goodbye is tough, especially when you are 9. I mean do you SAY "goodbye", or "see ya next summer", or do you hug-------no way! No this is what you do:

you stand in your front yard, making weird postures that involve crossing and uncrossing your arms and making a large spread leg male stance that shows your uncomfortable with the whole situation. Meanwhile your mother hides in the office and takes pictures through the screened window to document it all and post it to the world. See how cool your mother is?

And finally a quick "see ya", and you say "see you next summer" and then find out that actually, she will be back a Christmas for a couple of weeks and maybe you all can go snowboarding together. "Sweet!"
(what to the kids say these days that means "sweet" or "cool"---maybe I'm not so cool.)

So would end the first of the summer romances. You know the kind the mother finds sweet and innocent, because there was no kissing and hugging, and making grandbabies that I don't need at 43.
Whoa.........the reality of being a labor and delivery nurse does occasionally slap me in the face and remind me what a summer romance can lead to.

And those of you with teenage sons, you just keep your yaps shut, I know whats going to happen all too soon, and personally I like the state of denial I am living in--it works for me!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 do they do this?

In case you are just tuning in...I'm the mother of 2 boys. 2 VERY active, somewhat stinky boys, that are magnets for dirt. Not like the playing in mud puddles dirt.

Like outside sand and dirt.

There is some sort of molecular pull that brings the dirt to them.

Let me show what I mean.
Exhibit A: Son # 2's socks:

Now one might believe this child was outside for like 24 hours without shoes on, running across muddy fields. But no, this child was outside for a day playing, in shoes, not running through mud.

People...this is my life. Socks that have to immediately be taken off before entering my house. I have a bucket in my laundry room known as the "dirty sock bucket", (I came up with that clever name.) And every 3-4 days a cycle starts that involves soaking overnight in Oxyclean (the best product ever made!), and then HOT water and bleach in the washing machine.

Inventors of the world, I'm calling out to you!

Hello, do you hear me?

Someone, not me, needs to make disposable socks for boys. Something that holds up during the day and then disintegrate upon coming into my house in the evening.

Could you please work on that? I'll be a test marketer for you!

I'm off to clean some socks, aren't you jealous?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Scrapfest '08 Baby!

Last Friday I was able to attend my first ever Scrapfest, and it was a totally bitchin' time.

Okay....wait....I'm laughing so hard I might pee a little.

First of all Scrapfest-you know like saying "Summerfest, or Countryfest, or Octoberfest"....but Scrapfest...come on, it just sounds funny.

All right, for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, which I'm sure there are many, Scrapfest is this insanely large event held at the Mall of America by Archivers that involves buying a badge for $12 and being able to do a bunch of make and takes, and you could also sign up for classes with different companies and famous scrapping people and make stuff.

So let me tell you right now, I had no idea how out of my league this event would be. Two of my girl friends and I headed up to Minneapolis on Thursday, ate, drank, had some fun, talked about everything under the sun, tucked ourselves in bed and got up on Friday morning to head to the Mall of America.

Okay, seriously, I'm not sure I can even describe the insanity that we would witness in the next 7 hours. 27 make and take stations set up on the main level on the Mall of America. So we hopped in the first line we saw, and proceeded to stand in line for the next 40 MINUTES! Okay, this event makes Disneyworld look like a piece of cake.

And, the people that attend it...well...there are some very serious scrapbookers out there. We are talking matching t-shirts, hauling there own scrap tote things that double as a seat to sit on in line, and all they talk about is scrapbooking for HOURS on end. And that's fine...that's their thing....but wowsa....I was out of my league let me tell you! They know every product, who made it, who runs the company, when the next line is coming name it, they know it.

So, in 5 hours, we made 4 make and takes. Seriously, 5 freakin' hours, 4 make and takes. Finally we looked at each other and said screw this, and we went upstairs to the Mexican Restaurant, ate chips and salsa and drank some margaritas, and then we shopped.

So let me show you my rewards for standing in line.

First up, would be my favorite:

From a company called Bazzill. Now if you are a serious scrapbooker you will probably know all these names. But remember, I'm a Stampin' Up demonstrator that mostly makes cards...this is not in my little realm. Anyway, I have checked out their website...super cute ideas for you scrapbookers. (Betsy, I'm talking to you, so much inspiration there for you!)

Okay, the next one is this one. This is the first line that we stood in...our welcome to Scrapfest.

A company called Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI-for those of you "in the know".) Very cute little page. Here's their website. (Betsy, check their gallery out too!)

Okay, here's the shortest line I had.

Only half an hour for this baby. From My Mind's Eye, a company I had actually heard of.

And lastly this one.

From Hero Arts. Thankfully another company I know, a little more in the stamping world.

And there you have it, 5 hours, four projects, and some good time with friends. Scrapfest ' was something to behold.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

11 years ago....

11 years ago, on September 13th 1997, these two very young looking whipper snappers would make a vow to each other.

In front of the Catholic Church, surrounded by friends and family, they tied the knot. And now, 11 years later, I'm sitting here remembering....

Look at my pretty dress....

First one that I tried on, though there would be countless others that day, it was on sale...and in one day, yes ONE day, I bought my wedding dress. My sister made my vail, and the little netting piece detached so that when everybody and their brother hugged me that day they wouldn't rip my head off. I haven't worn panty hose and a dress since....maybe once...but seriously....if you know me....this was a monumental day in my dress wearing life.

And here is my FAVORITE wedding picture of all time...

Look at my stinkin' cute little nieces. Do you not just want to eat them up? Look at their little purple dresses, and their hair, and their baskets....oh my gosh that it like syrup with sugar, and honey, and whip cream on top. Yeah, they are almost 15and 16 now. They aren't that cute any more.
I mean they are cute and all, but in a teenage diva sort of way.

There it is, our first kiss EVER....

We saved ourselves you know, for that moment.
Wait... just a minute...I need to stop rolling around laughing on the floor.
Truth is, when our priest found out we had lived together (NO, I didn't lie about that fact, I just maybe forgot to mention it to him), he threatened not to marry us. But all was well when we did face to face confession after rehearsal...yeah...that was fun. (Fellow Catholics, do you feel my pain?)

So here's to us....

With love from all of our friends that day. Most of whom are still good friends. Looks like we've made it so far.

Good luck you two...

Truth is...the next 11 years are going to be a lot of up and down. You are going to have some serious tragedy come your way, along with some amazing joys. Don't tell anyone, but your going to have 2 beautiful boys. It really is going to get tough sometimes, and you may really want to give up, but remember you guys started as really good friends and that is what will see you through.

Good luck...and ahhh, have fun getting out of that body suit thing that you wore under that dress to keep all your parts in place. After about 5 hours it started to become a part of your body!

Good times, good times.....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

So I was feeling a little guilty about all my gushing over Tim McGraw and my unhealthy attraction to him. So today's it's my hubby's turn.

See we have an anniversary coming up soon (watch for that post) and the reality is that I am beyond grateful to have this man in my life.

He's loved me through thick and thin (literally), good and bad, and is an amazing dad. I so wish that I had is patience. Seriously, patience of a saint this one.

Over the years he has never once called me a name, or engaged in a real fight with me. He's only said one really stupid thing to me in all these years and I love to remind him of that. When I was pregnant with my first son, about 8 months, he said to me "You know, your belly is so big now that it makes your butt look small"--and no sooner had the words cleared his mouth than he knew it had made a grave error in judgement. It's all a very good laugh now.

He has tolerated me bringing home 2 dogs he didn't want, and blessed me with 2 boys.

He and I are very different personalities.

Me: spunky, slightly loud, a little dramatic, can't get enough people interaction, and maybe even a little neurotic.

Him: quiet, reserved, and well, quiet and reserved. Oh, and very thoughtful, and sweet.

What I'm trying to say is, I kind of like the guy and I guess I keep him for a few more years.

Oh, and he's kind of easy on the eyes too!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm better now.

Sorry to all of you that got a blank entry, I got a little click happy.

A huge thank you to all of you that left me a little comment and I enjoyed your choices. And I 100% agree with the Sam Elliot choice, one of the greatest voices out there. And if you don't know who he is, clearly you didn't watch any modern western movies or you have never see Mask or Roadhouse.

So today, for now you get a card. I used a layer of vellum over the top off white cardstock to get this card. The 2 flowers on the the vellum layer have the addtion of the outlined image. This is a new level 1 hostess set that was very easy to work with.

Sorry so quick today, a million things to get done.
It's mid week everybody!!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Tap, tap, tap.....

is this thing on?

Okay, it's Monday, a little gray here, only 50 degrees, I might be a little PMS-al, and a little self conscious.

Okay, that might be the dramatic side of me (I'm the last of 4-it comes quite naturally sometimes), but here's the thing:

I know you guys are reading this. I watch my little numbers over there climb. And well, I just need to feel the love today. I haven't be getting many comments lately, and that's okay, I like lurkers-heck I am a lurker on blogs-but today, because it's Monday and yucky out, I need to feel the love.

So lets go with a topic:

Let's revisit Saturday's post:

Who, other than your husbands, boyfriends, wives, just makes your socks go up and down? I mean who do you consider eye candy, hot stuff, "totally mint" (80's girls-there's a past from the past), hunky, hubba hubba, yummy sort of material.

In case you missed it, here's my vote:

That's me on the right.

Ha, ho, ha, ho,

I need to snap out of it. Where's a friend when you need her to smack you in the face?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Set this circus down

A week ago tonight this is what I was looking at:

Hmmmmm.....drink it in. It's nice right? Yes this would be the hunky and talented Tim McGraw. Okay, here is the thing. There is only one man other than my cute hubby that really does it for me. And here he is. Ahhhh.......

Oops, silly me, I accidently took a picture of his backside, however did that happen?

Okay here's the thing, I'm not one of those women that gets too "ga-ga" over famous people, but for some reason, Mr. McGraw is the exception. Let's look at some examples shall we:

So, I guess he's handsome. But he's got like 27 kids, I don't want any part of that!

Now this is a fine specimen. I can hardly wait to see him in Nights of Rodanthe. However I remember when Pretty Woman came out, my 70 something Grandmother said "he could leave his slippers under her bed anytime." I remember being horrified that we shared the same taste in men-I've never really recovered.

Yikes! Seriously, I just don't see it....I just don't. He looks like the dude that should be changing my oil at Jiffy Lube.

Now fellow country singers. Can't go wrong here, that whole cowboy thing is appealing.

So-so. Please just keep the hat on.

AHHHHH.....that's better. I'm pretty sure there was a moment when we locked eyes and we both apologized for being married to other people. You know, like star crossed lovers.

Then my friend slapped me, and said "SNAP OUT OF IT".

Finally did a little stampin'

So way back when, I started this blog because I stamp.

I haven't done so much of that for a while. But alas, (who says "alas" other than british knights?) I have made a couple of cards this week.

I got the chance to get my hands on the new goofy reindeer set from SU! There are also some silly snowmen and elves in this set.

I used aqua painters to do the coloring, and added a little glue and red glitter to the one reindeers nose, and there you have it folks.

Enjoy your weekend, it's beautiful, sunny and 65 here-I'm heading outside!!!!

Sets: Holiday Line Up
Paper: Kiwi Kiss, Real Red, Whisper White
Accessories: oval punchs, Staz On black ink, red fine glitter, crystal effects