Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve!

Hello, lovely people! I hope you all have some fun plans for ringing in 2011. I have to admit, I really don't have anything particular planned. Generally, if I'm going to do something, I go out with friends. Well, for the last couple of years, I've had a compelling reason to stay home. :P And while there was some talk about getting together tonight with Jo and James, I'm not sure we'll be able to do it because Daniel has to work tomorrow at an ungodly early hour. So, we might be homebound. But that's ok... we'll have fun no matter what.

I have another layout that I finished a couple days ago.

Sick Day

Joe is rarely sick, so having a sick day layout is a different thing. Sure, he had lots of bumps and bruises from learning to walk, but fever and stuff? Not so much. (Thank goodness!) So I had to take the opportunity and run with it.

Ok, no other big news to report... other than that I am *so* excited to start the Journey for Weight Loss tomorrow! I can't wait to see who are our fellow journeymen and women are. It's going to get exciting! :D

Have a safe New Year celebration, everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I don't know if I had mentioned this before, but I was lucky enough to lay my greedy little mitts on a copy of CS5 this holiday season, and I'm loving it! I finally feel like I'm starting to get the basics firmly under my belt, so here shortly, I'm going to have to start learning to get past the basics. The fun thing about this, is the basics I am learning are really the nadir of what I had learned to accomplish already in GIMP, so that means I'll be able to take my scrapping to a whole new level... in less than a month's time! Since I spent an entire *year* initially learning all this, I find this incredibly exciting. I know that it's because of the similarities between the programs, but that doesn't make me any less happy about it.

So, this is my latest creation du jour:


I am almost halfway through catching up with myself in Joe's 2nd year album, so I'm feeling good about that. I know I didn't finish it for the holidays, but at least I'll have it ready for the family reunion. :)

I am taking part in a great program this year, and I am really excited about it. Linda and Carolyn have done it again and come up with another cool idea. This time, it's an art journaling program called "A Journey in Weight Loss."

I have seen some of the material, and I think everyone is going to be really impressed with how well this is made. If you want a few more details, be sure to check out the store! If you want some awesome support on your weight loss journey, I think you'll be glad you did.

Ok, I've gotta hop back into things. I've accomplished so many things today, I'm pretty impressed with myself, but that's no reason to rest on my laurels! Until next time, my dears.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I hope this post finds you all well and happy. I've been lazing around today after going out to get Daddy (my husband Daniel) his big Christmas present; a new netbook. We really lucked out... the only one left of the one he wanted was a floor model, so we got a great discount on it. We didn't think that we would be able to afford to do that; he had already gotten some really nice work boots and a couple other little things, so he wasn't neglected. But that was partly because we had really thought there was no way to get him this. He's really sick, so he's been having a hard time getting all excited. But I can tell that he's really thrilled. So add him to the list of happy campers! Joe has been having so much fun. He was exhausted after that long day yesterday; he went from about 8 am to about 10 pm with only a 30 minute nap in the car between houses. Even so, he's still really excited and happy, which is a miracle when he's that tired. I'm proud of my munchkin; he was such a good boy all day yesterday and today. And I'm soooo glad he had so much fun for Christmas. Score!

In celebration, I decided to finally finish *last* Christmas' layout. So, here it is!

Christmas 2009

I hope everyone is still having a fantastic holiday season! Much love to you all. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Crossing the T's

I did an edit of all the names of the pages I had done for Joe's 2nd year album yesterday, and while I was doing so, I noticed something odd. Sure enough, a double check through the files confirmed it; I didn't scrap any holidays other than Easter! (hangs head in shame) So, I had to go back and fill in the spaces. No holiday should go unscrapped-ded!

Thanksgiving 2009

Poor thing, he had such a bad booboo on his nose. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I'm pretty sure it involved a faceplant into a table. (We got rid of that table, btw.) Nevertheless, he had a blast. I mean, what toddler wouldn't love a dog that is almost exactly his size and likes to play chase? Oh, and he thinks dressing is Thanksgiving's gift to him. Take my word for it; that plate may look huge in front of him, but it was ALL GONE by the time he got done with it.

Moving on to Christmas... Can't believe I did that!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thirty Days Hath September...

... but I took way more pictures than 30, and I'm having trouble catching up!

Trikin' It

When we are home, Joe often plays with the little girls from next door, but I often don't have the camera on hand to catch it. So I was glad I caught a couple for this layout. Too bad I only caught Andy's back in one blurry picture (that didn't make it into the layout, sadly). They really have a lot of fun together, even though both Hannah and Joe have trouble sharing. They're trying to learn, but it's so hard! :D I've got deets on my Flickr page for the kit.


This one was a different story. I had too many pics to choose from, and I was afraid I was going to overload this layout, even if it did have so many slots! Still, I wish I'd had a better one of Jo Ann and Joe together, although those two are sweet. I think Joe was a little young to really get the whole feeling for it, but we all had a good time. It was hard to leave New Orleans after that!

New Orleans

And this layout. Oh, I was so mad at myself when I saw how few pictures I had taken while we were hanging out in New Orleans. I didn't even have one picture of Jo Ann or me! Go figure. Cuteness abounded with Joe, though, so I was happy to make him a nice page. Don't you love how he and Grammy bonded? Just wish I had gotten a picture of the goodbyes between Joe, Grammy, and Gramps! Ah, the pictures not taken. ;)

I am belatedly attempting to finish all the pages for Joe's Second Year book so that I can give out dvd's of it to family. Shucks, I don't think I'm going to make it. I am, however, much further along this year than I was last year, so there's a possibility that I might, someday, catch up. Of course, I only started scrapping last week of November last year, so that could be why the first year scrapbook took further into the next year to make. ;) And some day, I may even finish my wedding album. But I'm not holding my breath on that one... each page seems to take longer than the last, but oh! it's worth the wait! :D

I don't know if I will be blogging again before Christmas. I rather doubt it, actually; I've been rather congested and running behind on, well, everything. My family is coming down from Pennsylvania this week, and I may not even get to see them. That is, I can't visit with certain family members if I have a virus or bacterial infection because their immune systems can't cope with the stress. I am going to be so disappointed if I can't see them, but I'm going to be especially disappointed if Joe doesn't get to see them; he still has trouble remembering them between visits because he's so young, and I want him to know them all. I hope we'll be able to work it out.

In any case, since this is the last time before then, I hope all my Christian friends have a wonderful Christmas, and to those who celebrate other holidays, I hope they are holy indeed. Take care, and blessings for all of you and your families.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

After a Bit

I know, I let things drop off right after I had been posting almost every day. I'm sorry about that. I've had a lot of drama going on, but I can't really talk about most of it. lol So, chalk it up to too much to blog about.

On a positive note, my husband went back to work full-time. Yay! So now we have health insurance again. This is a definite bright spot in a time when we have had a good bit to worry about. In light of this, I've been more relaxed and able to do some more creative things. I've even scrapped a few pages. I'm feeling good about it. This is good; I have so many Christmas things left to do, and the two year old is not helping. lol (He just made a sound like a wounded moose, according to the movie he's watching. Just had to share.) But he thinks that's a reason to start trying for a little girl. He must have missed out on the jealous fit Joe had when I picked up the 5 month old girl at daycare.

So, I'll be back again soon with some actual layouts and stuff, as soon as I get them uploaded. Until then, holiday love & joy to you all.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Christmas Tree (and a confession)

We put up our Christmas tree last night! Yaya! We got a short-needled tree for a change (DH normally prefers pines and such). We haven't gotten any "real" ornaments on it yet, just some (break-resistant) silver and gold balls. We wanted Joe to get used to those before we put on anything fancy. Oh, and tinsel and lights. Joe keeps saying "Pretty tree" every time he's in the living room. Now, if we could only convince him that he doesn't have to rehang a ball every few seconds, we'd be a little safer. lol I got some pictures of him admiring the tree and "helping," so I'll have to post them later after I get them out of the camera. :)

Sadly, it is the last day of the meme. Bummer!

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession.

Ok, I've wrangled this through my head for days now. What should I confess? I mean, I don't wanna go to jail over this one. I also don't wanna say something that will hurt someone's feelings too much... So what do I confess? Something unexpected? It's not like anything I confess will be earth-shattering. So, I decided to go for something bizarre that I don't think anyone knows about me (except for me, of course). So... ahem. I have to confess that I am... terrified of astronomy. Yes, absolutely terrified of it. When I was a little kid, I loved astronomy. I would look for the star formations, even had a telescope for a while. And I always loved looking at stars. But when I got a little older and started trying to wrap my brain around the reality of infinity... of what space is, and how it's formed, and what its properties are... Ok, I'm gonna leave it there. Yes. I am a (fairly) rational adult, I (mostly) function typically in daily life, and I am horrified about thinking too hard about astronomy. So there. Now you know.

This was so much fun! I'll have to see if I can find another meme. I have loved getting your responses. Makes the cyber world feel that much more friendly. :D So thank you so much. And I promise, as soon as I get my new Bamboo, I'll post some goodies for everyone! (((hugs)))

Saturday, November 27, 2010

One year of scrapping!

Omg! Omg! Omg! Omg! I've been scrapping for one whole year. I know, strange thought. Sometimes it feels like I've been scrapping my entire adult life. And sometimes, I'm such a noob! Anyway, I've been thinking of how I wanted to celebrate it, but my husband took it out of my hands. So, here it is.... he's been saving pennies, and today, we ordered a Bamboo Craft for Christmas! OMG! (Yes, I know I sound like a squealing teen girl. Get over it. :P) I'll be able to take my scrapping to a whole new level. It'll be awesome. :D

So, yeah. My husband wins Christmas for Mommy.

However, he kinda nixed what I was planning on getting for him. :( So I'm still working on him. We're going to get our tree tonight, so maybe I can feel him out. I know a couple of "extra" things I'm getting to go with it that he'll like, but they're not enough. And I need to get some yarn to make some things for our clients at work for Christmas. We can do it. :)

Alright, on to day 9. Almost done with the meme! Sadness. :(

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession.

Oh boy, this one is a bit tough. I don't do much variety in smilies! I have favs that I use over and over and that's pretty much it.

1. :P (my personal fav, always in season)
2. >:D (because I love to be naughty... lol)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 8 of More About Me

So, did everyone have a great Thanksgiving? We had a good time. Joe was out overnight with his Aunt Becca Wednesday night, which was good for Mommy (lol), but we were so glad to see one another when we got to his Papaw's house. He just laid on my shoulder for a couple minutes. You know, when your 2 year old does that, that you truly are loved. Definitely worth being thankful for. :)

Ok, so I took the day off yesterday from blogging, but in my defense, I did have said 2 year old sitting on my arm. I challenge you to write a coherent blog post with a 2 year old on your arm screaming for kitty kitty videos. lol

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession.

Wait, didn't I cover this when I did eight ways to win my heart? Well, maybe not. :P

1. Let me play with your hair, please? I mean, I love hugs and touching, but let me play with your hair. Mmmm.

2. I love to give massages almost as much as I love getting massages. Either one will do. Or both. ;)

3. Look me in the eye and tell me how much you love me. Or say something suggestive. Or both. I'm an equal opportunity listener. lol

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 7 of More About Me

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession

Ok, four things that make me go ick.
1. Being a braggart is one of those things that just make my skin crawl, and I don't mean just the obvious braggarts. I also mean those people who always have just a little bit more, get it just a little bit worse, have done just a little bit better than everyone. Please, don't try to compete with me. That's no way to enjoy our time together.

2. Snobbishness is a HUGE turnoff. Honey, I've worked in fundraising for the opera world. I have met and talked to real millionaires on a regular basis, and guess what? They're no more impressive than anyone else is, unless there's something INSIDE that counts. The money just greases the wheels. I don't like the millionaire snobs, either.

3. Physical things? Well, um, if I have to dig through your hair to find you, it kinda scares me. Sorry guys.

4. Rudeness and plain old meanness just make me hurt (and everyone around you). I don't want it near me. You may leave.

(((hugs))) and *kisses*

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 6 of More About Me

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession

I'm sorry I missed a day. :( Joe and I had to run all around town yesterday, so we were really tired yesterday evening, and, well, that's the way it goes sometimes. But I'm back! We'll get it squared away.

Gosh, I've gone round and round about this one in my head. I mean, what if someone's feelings gets hurt because I forget them? So I've been trying to figure out how I can make this list without making a bad one. :/ So. I thought I would make it a list of some of my new friends on the Internet. I know, I'm still not going to get everyone I want. I hope you can forgive me. (((hugs)))

1. Linda, I miss you! I hope that you find the house you're looking for soon! I want you to be able to hike that trail. Purple nail polish would be a must. :) Besides that, I'll be Carolyn would be by your side the whole time, and me too in spirit.

2. Sila, we have a lot of fun together! Besides that, it's so nice to talk to someone who relates. I don't get to spend as much time as I like, but I enjoy when we are able to get together. You make me smile, you make me laugh, and you give the best snuggles. I highly approve. :D

3. Dan, you are such an inspiration to me! I tend to get caught up in my own "stuff" and forget to think outside, except for one person at a time. I'm a little hesitant to be out there for so many to see. Thank you for helping me see out that window. :)

4. Jacquie, I've been worried about you. I've hardly seen you online at all. But I'm still thinking about you and Yvano and your family. I hope that things are going to get better for you soon. (((hugs)))

5. Penny, I'm so enjoying watching you learn new things while you design. Your enthusiasm makes me smile and reminds me of why I started digiscrapping in the first place. I hope we see one another more often!

5.5. Because I couldn't resist, frazzledmommy... :) I am so happy to see into your busy world. Between you, Bubbe, and your husband, it's so fun (and moving) to see your family go about their lives. All I can really say, is Thank you. You're wonderful.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 5 of More About Me

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession

This one is particularly difficult for me, because I generally adhere to the philosophy that I would never have gotten where I am today if I hadn't taken all these little steps, so I really can't waste time on regret. However, if I'm to do this list (lol), I guess I'll have to rewire this into my brain into "Six things I wouldn't have done if it wouldn't have changed my life's current splendoriferousness." Yeah, that's a word. Look it up. :P

1. I wouldn't have gotten a degree in music. Yeah, it was an amazing time of growth for me. But that medical technician degree would have been *much* more useful for making a living. Just sayin'.

2. I would have finished that library science degree. Because it really feels like a library is where I belong. Although I would prefer a medical library. But a public one would be fine, too.

3. I would have never given up playing the piano. It's one of those things missing in my life that feels like I lost an arm.

4. I would have never lived in a trailer. Sorry, this is my inner snob coming out. I like where we live ok. The last trailer (the one that we lost in the tornado) was a great place. But the whole tornado thing has really made me question my sanity in living in a place that can blow away. Just sayin'.

5. I wouldn't have taken the blame for others for lots of things. Yeah, I'm probably talking about that. I don't like being used. I like even worse being in the center of an argument that no one is willing to talk about but me.

6. I would probably have skipped the whole med tech thing and gone into psychology. Wait, I didn't go into med tech. Does this count?

6.5. Since the last one didn't count, I wish I could have been kinder to myself. My whole life. Including right now. Maybe that should be a goal instead of a regret. What do you think?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 4 of More About Me :D

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession

1. Where's my water cup? (Daniel "borrows" it a lot when he can't find his.)

2. Where are the diapers? (Joe likes to drag them around the house for fun.)

3. Is it time yet?

4. Goodness, he's so beautiful. (To my son. :)

5. Good grief, that makes my head hurt. :/

6. Wait, what did you say?

7. Ooooooooh.... that's so beautiful! (awe)

(It's kind of boring in my head. lol)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 3 of More About Me

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession

Gosh, this one is kind of hard for me.

1. Let me know that you find me attractive. I have yet to find something more attractive than someone who is actually into me.

2. Listen. I'm pretty good about giving you time to tell me about yourself. Why don't you extend me the same courtesy?

3. Be real. I have too many important things going on to play guessing games like "Who are you, really?"

4. Make me laugh. I love to laugh. Lots. :P

5. Share my reading interests with me. I'd love to read what you like, and I'd be shocked and pleased if you read some of what I read. Especially the fantasy and sci-fi.

6. Be gentle. They call me sensitive for a reason.

7. Challenge my mind. I love to learn about new things and think about deep things.

8. Let me win your heart. Sometimes, surrender is the only way to win the war of the sexes. And sometimes, a good hug is. :P

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 2 of More about Me

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession

So, nine things about myself. Let me see...

1. I am far more passionate than most people know, mostly because I am so driven to understand the point of view of others. So while I may disagree with you, I am always very interested to hear what you have to say, as long as you are not derogatory to what I think.

2. If you are derogatory to what I think, I'm more than likely to just drift away. I don't have the energy to spare to come to terms with more negativity in my life. And if I have to put up with you, look for the blank stare. That's me politely ignoring your bad attitude.

3. I love the wisdom writing of most religions and philosophies. Even if I don't agree with the gist of it, it makes me think, and I like that. Also, fascination and awe about humanity, life, and the way it works just plain does it for me.

4. I know that my baby is the most adorable thing he can possibly be, but it never hurts to remind me or him or to smile and let him know about it. And if I reciprocate, I hope you don't get mad. Your baby is sweet, too. Don't worry, I'm not the boogy man, and this is not a challenge to your au-thor-i-tay.

5. I miss making music every day, but I don't miss the time in my life when I did that. I can listen to my recordings now without flinching, and I couldn't say that when I was in school, or even a couple years after that.

6. Now that I know that I really *do* have physical coordination issues, I'm learning to be easier on myself. Besides that, I'm really grateful for my years of piano, gymnastics, and tai kwon do. Had I not had that, I think I'd be much worse off now.

7. I really wish I were better as a designer, or as a writer, or as a musician, or something. But since I'm just kinda good at a lot of different things, it's hard to choose one and stick with it. So sometimes, I have to step back and say that I'm doing it because I enjoy it, not because I want to impress someone.

8. I don't understand why I'm not led to write poetry now like I used to be led. I have lots of things in my head, but they don't necessarily come out poetically. Then again, maybe that's a good thing; poetry can be hard to read. lol

9. I always think about the Beatles when I see the number 9. Kind of like I think about the Answer when I see the number 42. I can't decide if that's a gift or a curse. But it's true.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More about... me? Day 1. :)

You know, I've spent more time on this blog showing pictures of my family and friends than talking about myself. That was somewhat intentional; I often feel a little out of step with the rest of the world, and while I might get along well with people one on one, a crowd makes me... nervous. Which is why it's so ironic that I was in performance, oh, a lifetime ago. lol

So, I decided to borrow a meme from my new friend Sila so that I might start being a little more personal on my personal blog. Hope you all enjoy. Feel free to laugh with me at my idiosyncrasies. And for you people who are looking for scrapping, never fear; I'm not giving it up. I just wanted to inject more of my personality on the blog. :P

Ok, so the meme goes like this:
Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession

So, as it is day 1 of this meme, here are ten things I'd like to say to ten different people right now.

1. Sila, I love this meme! You have set off my creativity just by sharing how wonderful you are as an individual. I hope you never lose your sense of joy and playful spirit. It's far more important than any of those silly things people have tried to make you do to "fit in" with the "normal" crowd.

2. Joe, I am almost envious of the joy and vivacity you show every day. Your intensity, your purity, I know they all most grow away eventually, but I am treasuring this brief time with you, whether you are laughing in complete abandon or screaming and crying as though your heart will break. I love you, my angel.

3. Daniel, I don't always remember how much I appreciate you in those moments where things seem to go "wrong." It isn't because I don't love you; it's because I feel safe enough with you that I don't have to hold back anything. Unfortunately, that means I don't even hold back my annoyance. Just remember, you are my one.

4. Linda, you have been such an inspiration and boost for me lately. Even without ever having met, you have gotten into my heart and made a special home for yourself. I know it's not much, but what little time I spend with you, I treasure it and your support. It means so much more to me than I can say.

5. Jo Ann, it breaks my heart to see you so sad and alienated. I wish there was a way I could show you that it doesn't have to be that way, but that would be assuming that I know the right things to do, and I'm not so sure I do. You are my heart sister, and I want you to be happy and fulfilled. If I can help you do that or give you some small encouragement toward it, I will.

6. Wayne, you are loud, talkative, and incredibly annoying when you get bored. But you know that already. But if you start sneaking up on me again, you might have a surprise. Pretend to hit me again just to jerk back just in time, and the surprise won't be pretty. I may care for you immensely, but pushing my buttons on purpose is so not cool. Oh, and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Love working with you, boss!

7. Diana, you've broken my heart a million times. And yet, I know that you didn't do it on purpose. Unfortunately, that doesn't erase what did happen. You've been a huge influence on my life, and the more I tease things out, the more I realize that to simply characterize you as a monster is unfair and untrue. But that doesn't make the hurt go away. I owe you debts I can never repay. Hopefully, we'll eventually be even.

8. Daddy & Nita, I miss you so much. I know you had to go away, but it left a huge hole in my heart and my life. And now that I'm finally beginning to heal from that, I realize that I was never really fully an adult until I didn't have you there for me in that way any longer. You've given me a gift I cannot repay, and even through the struggles, it's been worth it. But I still miss you.

9. Jesse, I'm sorry. I'm a fool and a selfish idiot. But then again, I always was towards you. Somehow, I got on a little high horse and never learned that you had a perspective of your own when we were kids, and as an adult, I'm learning more and more that you are the better man (or person, in this case). Doesn't mean we'll always see eye to eye, but as the years go by, I respect you more and more. Shalom, little bro.

10. Sarah, you're a pretty neat gal. I don't tell you this nearly often enough, but you are so interesting to watch and to work things out with. You are smart and come to some amazing conclusions that I never saw coming. Don't bash yourself or give yourself a hard time; it'll come together when it's time. Oh, and Sarah? A little less computer time wouldn't hurt. Get outside and pet the kitty kitty. :P

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Change of Pace

I recently had a request from someone at a board that I frequent on Sensory Processing Disorder to write a guest blog about being an SPD parent of an average-senses child (the board is called SPD International, check it out!). I haven't really talked about having SPD on this blog, primarily because I haven't exactly known about it for very long, and I suppose you could say I haven't "come out" about it to many people. Well, it's not really something that makes a huge difference to most of the people I know, you know? But the more people there are that have children who live in various parts of the autism spectrum, I think there is more of a dialogue about people who deal with sensory issues like mine, more or less. So, I was honored to be a guest at Living with Logan, a really lovely blog about a mother dealing with different issues her two year old twin son Logan has. I'm not the only guest there; she has had several guest blogs that are really moving and interesting, so, in addition to her own humorous, informative blogging, she also has all these other voices adding to the dialogue. Seriously, if you are interested in children with special needs, are a parent, or just want a laugh at the way life is, I think you'd enjoy visiting.

In addition to having featured a post that I wrote, she sent an award to me and some other contributors. So, I have an award! (blush)


This is definitely something I'll be proud to share.

In other news, I'm currently busy trying to figure out Christmas for the various people in my life, while frantically trying to finish up last minute stuff for Joe's birthday party. Yes, my little munchkin is going to be two next week. Eek! We're having his birthday at the park again, only this time, we're cooking burgers and hot dogs for the various folks in addition to the cake. Oh, and Aunt Jo is making a "surprise" birthday cake. She hasn't gotten to make a kid cake in years, so she's really excited to get a chance to do something cool. I don't even know what it's going to be, so I can't wait! We're getting Joe a big plastic digital camera so he can stop trying to steal Mommy's (shh, it's a surprise! lol).

I haven't felt so well lately, so I haven't done a lot of scrapping. What I have done, though, is all in the gallery over at The Digi Scrappers. I have a few cute things in there right now. ☺ Of course, they're all under mawkinberd's gallery. And if you haven't visited the forum yet, you're missing out. We have some fantastic information, including lists of places to get freebies and a list of current digiscrapping stores. Besides that, the people are nice. ☺

Alright, I'll stop bending your ear. Stay warm in this cool weather, mes cheris!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Big Cheese Contest

I may have mentioned it before, but I am taking part in a contest currently over at Scraps with a Mouse called the Big Cheese! This is actually only the second contest I've ever entered, so that is exciting in itself. Another reason I'm excited is because the participants are all so fun! Everyone is incognito (sh! Don't tell anyone!), so we all have our own little mouse personas. And... best part of all, the grand prize winner gets a Wacom Bamboo tablet! And that's a great reason to cheer! :D

Now, part of being a part of this contest is that I should tell people about the Bamboo tablet. Before I had entered my first contest, I had never heard of a Bamboo tablet before, so I was very confused about why everyone would be so excited about winning one. Well, let me tell you, if you haven't looked at one before, you are missing out. Computers have come a long way in the last few years, and a Bamboo tablet is one of those fantastic gadgets that a digiscrapper will find to be utterly AWESOME to use. You draw on it with the special pen, and presto! It draws on your screen. Maybe it's because I'm old school and am old enough to remember using a rotary dial telephone all the way through elementary school and programming on an Apple IIc, but this is incredible to me. You can use it like a mouse, moving around the screen and clicking, or you can use it like a paint brush, varying how hard you press to make thicker or thinner strokes. And you can even journal in your blocks with your own handwriting! I mean, I'm having a hard time trying not to sound like an informercial. lol

Perhaps, if you're like me, you would find all this versatility a little overwhelming. Well, fear not! Wacom also has a great site call the Penscrappers, where they can fill you in on ways to make your tablet work for you. They have wonderful contests, wonderful prizes, wonderful people to answer your questions, and so much more. It really is a beautifully done site, and the variety of information there to make your Bamboo work even better is really impressive. If you want to get a feel for just how versatile the Bamboo tablet is, this is a great place to visit and revisit!

Most importantly to me, though, is that the more I have been around the digiscrapping community, the more I have been impressed with Wacom and what they do. There are a lot of different companies that are trying to cash in on the digiscrapping craze. Many of them are just blips on the radar, really; they have this or that to sell. Wacom is really the only company I have noticed reaching out and making good to the community and the world at large. The prizes they have offered have gone to all kinds of deserving places, and that really impresses me. I like what they have done and what they are doing. Take a look, and I'll bet you'll be impressed, too.

So, cross your fingers. This mousie would love to win one of these, but if not, I'll bet Santa will bring her one (if she's very, very good! lol). In the meantime, check out Scraps with a Mouse and see those Big Cheese contest layouts. Heck, join in a challenge or two! They're nice ladies over there, you'll be glad you did. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

SWAM Blog Train! Choo Choo!

So, folks, it's the one you've been waiting for....

Doesn't it look lovely? :D I think there's a little something for everyone in this train. All different kind of styles and looks. Very fun!

Mawkinberd's Think Pink Blog Train Freebie Preview

(click preview to download at 4-shared)

So, ready for some more blog train fun? Give these other talented ladies a visit! I think you'll be glad you did. :)

Circle Of Life Scraps
Jacqui's Scraps
Mawkinberd's Nest (You are here!)
Happy Scrap Arts
Teresa Digi Designs
PJ's Designs
moments along the journey
Starlight Creations
mom2moo designs
Bonnie Blou Designs
Texas Girl Scraps
moments in times scraps
Get 2 Scrappin'

Thanks for visiting, and happy pink scrapping! :D

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pssst.... Hello?

I know, I've been hiding again. But it's been for a good cause; I've spent a lot of time working with Linda of Kelin Designs on changes and improvements to The Digi Scrappers' forum and galleries. Part of that task has been working on layouts for various things, so my gallery is filling up pretty well there. I'll eventually load them to Flickr as well, but for now, I've been concentrating on this place. Also, I've reposted some layouts I've done with Jacquie's beautiful word art in her special gallery, so if you missed 'em the first time around, you'll want to check them out. Her word art is the final word on these layouts! :P

In addition to that, I've also been helping out around Scraps with a Mouse. For instance, did you know that their first blog train will be starting Friday? Yep, we'll be doing a really fun theme, too; Think Pink! If you want to know a bit more about it, there are some previews in the forum, but I will also be posting the slideshow in the next day or so. And yes, I'm participating! I put together a little something pink for everyone to enjoy. And I have to say, there are some really beautiful entries in this one, so I think everyone will enjoy getting a chance to see these beauties! Don't miss this chance to get introduced to some of the Scraps with a Mouse designers and CT's!

Scraps with a Mouse is also hosting The Big Cheese Scrap-off in the next couple of weeks, and I am participating. Only catch is, I can't tell you who I am! We all have to be incognito as "cheesy" little mouse invaders. :P So, once the contest is over, I'll have a few layouts to show you that I'm doing "on the sly" with my little mousie friend. Don't worry, she doesn't bite anything but cheese!

So, lots going on right now. Hope you'll check out the new galleries (and the forum!) at The Digi Scrappers, and don't miss out on the Scraps with a Mouse blogtrain later this week!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Our Boys (and a little freebie)

I am finally getting around to scrapping all the fun we had while Juanita was in town. Interestingly enough, as many pictures as I have, it never seems to be enough. lol Despite that, I've managed to put together a couple of pages. Here's one of them:

Our Boys

I was really happy with how this one fell together, even though the GIMP screamed and kicked and fussed the whole way through. I guess it's time to upgrade. lol But I supposed I should have known; GIMP is notorious for not liking to make text on a path, which is one of the few complaints I have about this fantastic free program for scrapping.

Soooo... since it took so much trouble to make, I thought I'd share the little poem I made about our boys as a word art for anyone who liked it (it's the circular frame around the center photo). I have it at 4Shared for anyone who might be interested.

Ok, it's billing day at work, so back to the drawing board from my little break. Cheers!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Funny Faces

Funny Face
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
I think the only thing I could have added to this page were subtitles to each picture, like rawr! and yum! and grr! and hehehe! Joe had so much fun while my stepmom was visiting and while we went to New Orleans, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that Mr. Personality showed all different kinds of faces in his pictures. :D I really had fun with this one. Actually, some of the elements I used in this layout were part of a prize I won. Yippee! I hardly ever win fun prizes. :) Lie Fhong of Ztampf! Digital is celebrating five years of digital designing in her SBG store, and she graciously shared a coupon with me that covered some of these beautiful papers and such. If you haven't checked her out, you should; she has some really amazing things to offer, and I drool over her store a lot (especially since my wish list there is far too long!).

I've been having a grand old time lately. Daniel (my husband) will actually stop me in the middle of my surfing and ask what I'm so happy about, since I'm humming as a type. Why? Because I've been working on a project I really enjoy with people I really like. I haven't really had one scrapbooking "home" on the internet lately, mainly because I hadn't really found one place that fit all my wishes. Mostly, it was just too many restraints. I was constantly afraid I was gonna step on someone's TOU or toes. But luckily, I got in touch with Linda, the lady who intro'd me to the world of scrapbooking forums. She has made a new home, and I have been honored to help her out with getting the board humming along like it should. Linda has a store there, and there are some beautiful things there, primarily high quality stock photos. But the big thing forming up right now is the forum. Linda let me know that she has been dreaming of having a truly open scrapbooking forum, where people can share their pages and products and enjoy swapping information. Well, it's a match made in heaven. I highly recommend you come visit us at The Digi Scrappers forum and check out what we're doing. I think it's gonna be the next big fun scrappy family!

Ok, I've gotta get going. Having dinner tonight with the in-laws; should be fun. :) I know I'll be taking some fun pics, and soon I'll be sharing some amazing finds I've gotten from Joe's camera. Yep, our son actually took some fascinating pictures, so I'm sure you'll be seeing a crazy little layout with a Joe's eye view. ;) Until next time, mes cheris!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

With this ring

With this ring
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
One of my fav non-people photos from the wedding was this fantastic shot of the rings. Isn't it pretty? The furniture in the Dove House was so lovely, it really just made this photo happen.

I went to New Orleans this last weekend with Joe & Jo Ann. We really had a blast! We were able to go to part of the reception for the wedding, so that was so fantastic. We also got to eat at some great restaurants and to explore the Aquarium. It was awesome! I promise I will be doing some pages with these pics, although we didn't get nearly enough pics. :)

Until next time!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Feelin' Fine

I've been very busy. And I'm very tired. And I didn't get a lot of sleep last night. But you know what? I feel fine! I'm so excited about Juanita (my stepmom extraordinaire) coming to visit, I don't know what to do with myself. And we're making the last steps of getting the house ready, getting the couch over there, rearranging the living room and such. So it'll be awesome!

Part of the reason I've been scrapping so much lately is that I'm enthusiastic about sharing what I've done with her. She is, after all, the person who introduced me to paper scrapping. I loved the idea, but I didn't have the money available to commit to doing it by myself. So, when I found out about digiscrapping, it was a match made in heaven. I even get to learn new software all the time. That keeps me from getting bored. ;) And I know she'll enjoy getting to see some of the new stuff I've done. I'll have to save my new kits on a cd for her.

Speaking of which, I did a layout with my new mini kit to go with it on the challenge. :) See what you think!

Summer Evening

I had a lot of fun with this one. For one thing, I fell in love with this paper once I made it. And I was proud to learn several new things while I did it. :D That's really the reason I enjoy doing a mini every once in a while; it stretches my wings a bit. And the turtle was so cute for the "frame" for my little man. I really liked the idea of doing it as something boyish. Makes me smile.

I've also done another layout for a different challenge on Scraps with a Mouse, which I must say is a fun place to be. I know that I need to branch out and spend time in different places so I can get more views and ideas, but I get so caught in spending time with the people I enjoy. :) Anyway, back to the layout. It was from pictures from the reception after our wedding. Things were coming to a close, and we were opening gifts. But by this time, we were so tired and goofy, it was a minor miracle that we stayed serious enough to do what we should. So I loved how funny we looked here.

Summer Breeze

I know that I'm not going to be able to do nearly as many layouts after my stepmom gets here, mainly because I want to spend every moment I can enjoying spending time with her. But don't worry, I'll be back. Now that I found my mojo again (or my mojo found me, if you will), you won't be able to keep me down for long. ;)

Love to you all!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Challenge: Mini Kit

So there is a challenge going on at Scraps With a Mouse, where a color palette is given and you can make a mini kit or a layout with those colors. So, it's been a while, so I made a mini.

So, if you like it, feel free to run by and grab it. :) Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting closer...

Bridal photos
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
... to the wedding march (which had nothing to do with Lohengrin, thank heavens!). I really loved all the photos Josiah took of me in my wedding gown, and it was really quite a surprise, because we actually suggested to him that the light in that window might be really nice for photos. :) Of course, the Dove House was lovely all over the place for photographs, but this simple suggestion turned out to be quite fortuitous. It was especially lovely with the colors; I saw the originals in his camera right after he took them, and I can attest that there was little or no retouching for colors needed for any of them. Just happens that way sometimes.

Joe now has a new hobby; he is absolutely fascinated with all things cat. He constantly says "kitty" and will make meow noises non-stop to any audience that seems halfway interested. So, when Mommy turns on her computer, the first request is always for kitty videos. Yes, kitty videos. I now have a favorite list on youtube just of cats. Go figure. I find it particularly amusing since Daniel and his family in general tend to hate cats so much. We'll see how long this phase lasts.

Bonne nuit et belles reves, mes amis!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Veiling the Bride

Veiling the Bride
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
Ok, so I guess I got radical for a bit. I've gotten two layouts done in as many days. That hasn't happened in months. :) I'm happy that I've gotten it together that way, but I can tell it's been a while, because the process takes much longer than it used to. Guess my scrapping muscles are weak. lol

I am especially fond of this series of photos because they show Juanita pinning my veil into my hair. It was just such a sweet and special moment, and I was so glad that it was captured so well. I'm finding that, when I sit back and take a look, it feels like it was a different woman who lived that day, someone that looked a bit like me and was so happy. It's exciting to remember the incredible joy of that day.

The big boss man is coming in to town tomorrow to visit with the administrator here. I'm glad I have the day off; I won't have to sit and be polite and wonder what bombshell we'll have to swallow without cursing or acting too terribly upset. All the same, I have my day cut out for me; major house cleaning and clothes washing is in order. Yikes! Wish me luck! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010


Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
I am soooo so proud of this layout. I've been working hard to take my time with things and work to make them something that I can be proud to share. Well, this one really stirs me. For one, I rarely (if ever) use black and white photos, but I thought it really fit the theme of this one. Then, I really lucked out in finding the "perfect" kit for this one (the collab freebie "Blossom of Ice" by designers at Digital Créa, one of my fav scrapping places to visit), and then, I saw a template challenge I couldn't resist! Unfortunately, that site has really strict rules about posting things that are not by their designers in their galleries, so I refrained from entering the challenge, but I really, really like the template. Plus, it was a fantastic opportunity to show off the happening photo skills of our fantastic photographer, Josiah Kennedy, who is not only quite talented but also a precocious business entrepreneur. He had not even graduated high school at this point in his career, and he was already funding his college tuition. Sweet! Besides that, I was rather proud of my subtle colors, including recoloring my own skin tone in one photo for contrast. In short, I spent a lot of time and effort on it. :)

In other news, employers are still balking, and Joe is doing more talking. If it weren't for watching my amazing son and his little personality mature, I'd be a bit bummed. Still, it has been nice to stay home more, even if other luxuries are mostly non-existent. We do what we must, and we hope that the fall will bring (with renewed business) more hours and better pay.

Ciao, bellisimi!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Carousel ride

Carousel ride
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
We went out of our comfort zones last night and visited the mall. This was mostly because Daniel's little sister Becca invited us for free haircuts (she works at the mall). So we toodled over with Joe and had fun. Joe got to ride the little kid trucks in front of Mastercuts, but Becca really wanted him to ride the carousel. He had so much fun with that, I had to make a layout with his ride. I recently read an article on steps to help make more realistic drop shadows (I wish I could remember where for linkage! Sorry!), and it really inspired me to try a few new things. This is the first time I've really felt like the shadows were dynamic, and it was definitely the first time I had fun with the shadow making. I've got a long way to go with experimenting and getting better, but I felt like this was way closer to what I'd like to see.

On the home front, things continue to be difficult, but we're getting by. Daniel is doing well with his second job. It makes good money, but it's seasonal and variable. Luckily, it's been kinder to us lately. As long as it can last a bit longer, we should make it to when things pick up at his "main" job. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

Blessings to all of you wonderful people. Ciao for now!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

It's All in the Details

It's All in the Details
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
I've been thinking a lot lately. Sometimes, that's a good thing. And sometimes, thinking gets in the way of living and being. I did a bit of both types of thinking. Thankfully, I'm moving towards more of the good kind. Things are getting better. Not on the money front, but in my attitude and the way I handle things. Grace, as I've been reminded, grace when the unexpected happens. I'm not usually the most graceful person on the planet, but I'm getting a bit of it.

In honor of learning more about taking life gracefully, I've made a commitment to work more on my wedding album. It will mean so much to me when I have completed it. And not just slapping pages together to say yeah, I used that picture, or yeah, I journaled that detail. Putting it together so that the things I really want to remember and pass on are there.

I had difficulty doing that with this page. I wanted so badly to have it on record that Daniel said over and over to tell him where to show up and when, and he'd be there. Or that Juanita personally wrapped together my bouquet for luck. Or that Jo Ann picked out shoes and jewelry for my bridesmaids. And finally, I realized I would never be able to coherently journal so much and make it the central focus of a page. So it dawned on me; why not make it the background of the page? I hope that the title invites one to look more closely and see all of the loving detail that went into my wedding planning experience. It really all meant a lot to me. And it means a lot to me that I've now recorded it.

I'm thinking that I'm going to have to use this particular kit again and again in this album. It's the June designer collab for the site Scraptaboutic. Awesome stuff, and it's perfect for my colors. Way to pick 'em! I just can't get over how amazing some of the artists are online. It boggles my mind that they can create such wonderful things.While I may know (in theory) how to make things for kits (because I'm too curious to let things like that alone! lol), I don't have the time and patience these people have. It gives me so much pleasure to see and use their resources.

Ok, enough gushing for one evening. I guess I'll have to let everyone go, now that this storm is coming into the area. Stay cool, everyone.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

wanna play?

wanna play?
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
When I got done with this page, I felt like I had to take a step back and breathe.... Mmmmm.... aaaah! The title of it was such a reminder for me. I haven't really felt up to playing a lot lately. I've done a lot of whining and wallowing and bemoaning instead.

Of course, that doesn't help my several situations. Sure, Daniel and I have both been cut back on hours. Sure, Joe isn't able to go to his beloved daycare as often any more (although they were gracious enough to save his spot for him without extra charges). Sure, we're gonna be out of health insurance at the end of the month (it'd cost close to $1200 a month to keep carrying it through COBRA). Sure, even though I've been looking, I have yet to find another job (or even a good nibble). I've been putting things out of my life right and left trying to get rid of all this negativity, so what have I been making room for?

I don't have the answer to that question. And I know lots of other people less fortunate than I have been asking and failing to receive an answer as well. I don't want to be that broke, miserable, needy woman who can't provide what she and her family needs. But who said that I had to be miserable? Who said the challenges I face are insurmountable? I may have to give up a lot, but I don't have to give up certain necessities. Love. Laughter. Joy. Peace. Patience. Understanding. Sympathy. And when "realism" becomes a chain of self-hate and anguish, I have to step back, turn my head, and wonder... just how "real" is it?

I hope everyone has a "really" good day, no matter what their circumstances bring.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Been awhile

I know it's been a while since I've communicated on my blog, and for that, I must apologize. Truly, getting used to the way things are changing in my life right now has been a full-time job in itself, not to mention going on vacation and dealing with my husband and son. Plus, I've made finding help for myself a real priority lately, especially now since I have a better idea of what I'm facing. So here's the recent lowdown, for anyone who would like to know.

First, my greatest concern at this moment is my wonderful friend and godmother to my son, Jo Ann. She is facing a partial hysterectomy today. I doubt she's out of surgery yet, but I'm sure they're pretty close to done. Please keep her trials and upcoming recovery in your thoughts, if you are so inclined. It would mean a great deal to me.

Second, I did survive the Creekmore family reunion. :D Actually, we all had a blast. There are always minor bumps when it comes to that trip, but we weren't even closely related to the major family drama of this year, which included a bitter ex-wife with a restraining order coming to cause trouble. Luckily, the police could take care of that, so I feel like we got off rather lightly. This time. :P

Third, I have started using the FLY Lady method of home blessing as my template for getting my home under control. I've only been a FLY baby for a couple weeks, and I've only really been FLYing for a few days. But I feel like things are coming together miraculously. Do I still have dirt on my floor? Yes. Do I still have CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)? A definite yes. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And for anyone who really knows me, you know what a miracle THAT is. lol

Fourth but not least, I am getting edumucated on SPD far more than I had envisioned. I believe I mentioned before reading about it. Well, reading someone else's book and getting to ask your own questions are two completely different worlds. I would like to thank Dan (aka D1g1t) for starting up the boards at SPD International. I started posting there a couple days ago, and already I feel validation and hope about issues that have plagued me my whole life that I never before felt or even dreamed. Have you ever held your fist so tightly that it shakes, and you feel such exhaustion and relief when you let it go? I feel like I've been holding that fist my whole life, and the letting go I'm getting now is indescribable. (If you're actually curious about SPD and sensory defensiveness, his web page also has a wiki called the Sensopedia that has some basic descriptions that are clear and concise.)

As for other stuff, I finally broke my scrapping anorexia and joined in a Speed Scrap at My Life and Scrap, courtesy of my friend Jac. I'd post the pic here, but I haven't put it on Flickr yet, and I'm not a bandwidth thief. If you're interested, though, the page is here.

Thanks so much, everyone, for all your support. It really does mean a lot to me. I promise to keep up with my "me" time better from now on, including my blogging. ;) Dasvedanya, krasivi!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ho hum

So, my son has been a bit, well, on the mucus-y side for the past couple of days. So it's no surprise that Mommy is starting to get that sticky, itchy feeling in the back of her throat. Ahem. I am *not* pleased, but I have to admit that I'm overdue for something. I haven't been sick in three months, and that's a personal victory for me. I haven't been this ridiculously well in two or three years. So, even though I'm not pleased with the advent of the post-nasal drip, I can't say it isn't time for it.

Unfortunately, I've been spending so much time on other things lately, it may seem like I've been hiding. I kind of have, really. Not because I don't want to be digi-scrapping or designing or hanging out with my buddies. I promise, I'm not planning on disappearing. It's just that I've learned something important recently. Those of you who have known me a little while know that I've struggled with depression and anxiety for years. Some of you may even know that this recent bout was basically kicked into high gear by a tornado that tumped over my family's trailer with all of us in it in April 2009. What you may not know is that I struggle with it daily on a level that makes it difficult to even get out of the house and drive to work. It's incredibly draining and very frustrating. It's also not helped very much by the drugs that I take. They take the edge off the panic, but they don't take it away.

Recently, I've been bouncing around and reading various blogs. I don't really have an agenda; I just read what interests me. And my interests have surprised me. One blogger posted that her son had just been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, also known as SPD. I had never heard of that, so I started following links. And that led me to Tongginator Mama's blog (which I talked about in my previous post). Turns out, she's sensory defensive, and her daughter is sensory seeking. Gotta love how life hands you those curves sometimes. And the more I read, the more I realized that there were bells ringing in my lives.

Long story short (too late! lol), I got some books on SPD in adults. Right now, I'm reading "Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight: What to Do If You Are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World" by Sharon Heller. And I tell you, it was very stressful reading it because it was like a rerun of the hardest times and things in my life. I have not been formally diagnosed, but there is not a doubt in my mind that this applies to me. And really, that is both a relief and a bit of a downer. A downer, because it's not something that can be fixed with a pill or something. This is something I'll have to deal with for the rest of my life. But it's a huge relief to know that I now have tools I can use to help. According to the "scale" the book employs, I'm listed somewhere between the moderate and severe rating of issues with SPD. But the great thing about that, is now I can explain it. Now I can tell people, yes, this really does hurt. Yes, I really do have a rational reason for this. Yes, there is a physical problem here. No, I'm not just being a wimp, or a crybaby, or pretending. I now have validation and a road to a better place. I can't really explain how much that helps.

In the meantime, it also gives me some hard questions to speculate upon. For instance, am I having such a hard time emotionally with losing weight (a big issue for me) because the weight has helped me to deal with SPD in the past? Since so many of my emotional problems are probably dependent on this, what is it going to feel like to be able to cope more capably? Am I ready for the responsibility that comes with actually being able to handle this thing, rather than have it as an excuse? It would be way too simple to just say, aw, poor me, no wonder I can't do this. But that's just a path I am unwilling to take. Can I keep it real?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When you make a decision...

I was just talking about this the other day, but I think Dewey makes the point much more clearly than I could.

Unshelved web comic

So many times, it seems we want others to make our decisions. It seems like a safe way to do it; after all, you can blame the other person for bad ones. But, when one chooses to let someone else make a decision, one is still making a decision. A few years back, a man asked to take the rap for an illegal decision his wife made, stating that, since he was the husband, he was responsible for her actions. Thankfully, the court nixed that notion. Our actions (or lack thereof) are our responsibility and ours alone.

I know, kind of a downer this early in the morning, but I've seen too many bad decisions blamed on other people, outside entities, influences "beyond our control," and so on to see the blame game and be happy about it. I'm particularly appalled by the blame game that went on during the senate committee hearing on the oil spill in the Gulf with BP, Halliburton, and whatever that other company's name is. TransUnion? (shakes head) It was frustrating and annoying to seeing the blame shifting going around the room, like a well-choreographed dance on a floor littered with nails. Unfortunately, every one of those nails will eventually be used to seal a major money coffer, and rightfully so. But how long before they manage to pin the miscreants to the wall to do it properly? Not nearly as long as it is taking for the oil slick to ruin lives and livelihoods. Do they think they know more than us, are better than us, or are they trying to sell us something? Sure, they think they know what to say and what not to say, they think their money makes them above the "little people" affected by the problem, and they're definitely trying to sell us a line of bull. I, for one, am not buying it.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

To Love a Child

I've been reading rather widely lately, mostly blogs that interest me. I was fortunate enough to find this blog post today in my survey of goodies. And it just hit me right in the pit of my stomach.

I know that this article is about love for an adopted child, but what kills me, is thinking about all children, biological or adopted. What if we approached being parents to any children with this mindset? Or what about being spouses with this mindset? Or family members, or community members, or simply people in this world? What if?

So many people will quote the famous 2 Corinthians passage. So many will say that it is their favorite passage in the Bible. So many people know parts of it by heart. And yet, as the days pass, it sometimes seems to me that fewer and fewer truly look at this passage as a possibility, as a path, as a way to approach life. No matter the language, the creed, or the culture, one can find much wisdom in passages like these. And yet, as revered as it is, I have seen few people apply it to their lives the way this writer has done.

I know, none of this is anything new. And none of this is earth-shattering. Be kind. Look at things from the other perspective. Allow yourself to open to new ideas, new ways of seeing and knowing. Be true, not only in doing unto others, but also in not doing to others what you would not have others do to you. Being aware of consequences, and teaching those by example. None of this is new. But is it earth-shattering? Or perhaps, the better question is, could this be earth-shattering, if it were more common in our world?

How much do we change the world when we change the way we love a child?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just for fun

I have a *slight* addiction to cheezburger humor sites. Yeah, I started with I Can Has Cheezburger. I love funny cats. But things like Failblog also amuse me. But then again, just about anything can amuse me, if I'm in an amusing mood.

I also have an owl addiction. I collect snowy owls, but I also love just about any kind of owl there is. There's something about the mystery that surrounds them. Besides that, they're just plain cute on many occasions. And yes, I loved owls long before they became popular. It's amusing to me that my younger obsessions are now fashionable. lol

So, combine these two thoughts, and voilá! You get this:

Cute Baby Animals - A Very Fowl Friendship
see more

And I now share it with you, because everyone needs to have a smile. Especially on a Thursday. Well, especially any old day. Smiles are nice all the time. :)

Oh, and the mourning dove chicks are sleeping in the nest at night and moving around during the day. So at least they're not on the ground near the nest most of the day anymore. There may be hope for them yet! :D

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wedding album!

Page 1 title
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
Ok, so I've been saying for a while that I would start an album about my and Daniel's wedding after I finished the baby's first year album. And I am finished with the scrapping part of the baby's album; it's the adding music and making it a video part that is stumping me at the moment. Not the process, the music I should use. I still haven't decided what to do with it! I mean, I wanted to do the music myself, but that's just not turning out to be practical. I guess I'll have to go back to using someone else's recording. I'd love to post the album on youtube, but I'll have to use songs that are allowable there. So I'll have to spend more time on that when I have a considerable amount of time to concentrate on that alone. Oi.

So, in the meantime, there's no reason at all I should wait any longer on starting my wedding album! Here's my first page. I know I should have credits, but I forgot to bring them when I got ready for uploading! :( I know, bad Sarah. Don't worry, I'll update it soon.

I did some experimenting first, though. I made my first blinkie! Yippee! I have it up there at the top of the sidebar. Cool, huh? I know it's a little thing, but I was kind of scared to tackle it. Oh, and credits all go to me, cuz I made every last element in it! That makes me particularly proud of myself. ;) Hope y'all like it!

Ok, guess I should get back to work. (sigh) Hope everyone has a lovely spring day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Simple Thoughts for Today

Outside my window... an empty nest that once held dove chicks. They fledged yesterday afternoon.
I am thinking... that the breeze and the sound of the passing cars is soothing.
I am thankful for... the simple gesture of a hand clasp from my husband.
From the learning rooms... I must remember humility before I can release my frustration.
From the kitchen... pork chops on the grill, with veggies.
I am wearing... something comfortable and colorful.
I am creating... a new life, one day at a time.
I am going... to learn to enjoy the journey more.
I am reading... things that remind me that I am a gift from the divine to the world, just as each person is.
I am hoping... that I can avoid unnecessary conflict and not allow necessary conflict to cripple my dreams.
I am hearing... faint songs of mourning doves, passing cars, humming electricity.
Around the house... my flowers are beginning to open new buds.
One of my favorite things... is cheese.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Complete preparations for my mother-in-law's visit, make a blinkie for my blog, and maybe add to my new wedding album.

Meme courtesy of the simple woman's daybook.

I've been trying to encourage myself to blog more and journal more, so I thought this would be an appropriate way to begin. :) I enjoy the idea of simplifying my life. I actually have "grand" plans to continue to de-junk my life, but other things generally get in the way, whether they are more fun, less work, or are simply more easily available. I like this as a reminder.

Here's to all my friends having a simple day! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Fun in the Sun
Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
I was lucky enough to get the chance to win a copy of BrittBree's new kit, Spring Candy. How fun! I thought it only right that I share with everyone how cute this new kit is. I'm afraid I don't do it justice with my little layout, but as soon as I saw these elements, I fell in love. :) Very fun for a spring layout with the little ones in your life.

Today's been a strange day. I guess I'm not exactly feeling my best. Joe has been very mischievous, which is fun, but he hasn't liked being put in his pen for the number of times he's tried playing with the wires behind the television. He loves to pull plugs out and put them back in. Luckily, it hasn't been the dangerous cords, but we've had a time trying to convince him to come out and leave them alone. He's not terribly fond of being in his "box," which is what we call his playpen. Wish there was a way I could reason with him; I hate it when he's this upset.

Well, wish I had something exciting and interesting and fantastic to share, but I just don't. Which is probably a good thing; if every day was exciting, I'd have no need to blog. And I wouldn't want to miss out on that. lol Take care, everyone!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Meet Fred & George, or Struggling to Corral the Twins

Ok, so before everyone who knows me well has a heart attack, I'm not pregnant and I don't have twin children. lol But I do have some twins that everyone who knows me well knows about. And I've been struggling with them lately. You see, a relatively recent growth spurt has caused me to be unable to control them with the equipment I already owned. I know some that think that is a special blessing, but anyone who has personally faced the same problem knows that it's a real pain in the neck. So I've had to devote some special time and thought (and bucks) to helping take care of the problem.

You see, it's not that they're there. I mean, I've dealt with these two most of my life. The primary problem is that I've really never given much time to really getting a handle on the situation. You see, Fred is a bit smaller than George. Fred is a lot less trouble to corral. George, on the other hand, is always trying to escape or make things a bit more difficult. Unsightly, to say the least. I mean, I know everyone is lopsided, but this is ridiculous! And were you to just gaze at them, you might not notice. But giving them a close side-by-side comparison can definitely show the differences. And ever since I've had Joe, it's gotten worse. Maybe it's my own fault. I should have known that, once I had a new child, that it would be more difficult to keep other life issues under control. But the twins never really kick up much of a fuss on their own. It's all the other things that they affect that really shows the problems.

So, I had to chip in and get some new equipment for them. And boy, I knew I would have to change sizes of that equipment. So I tried several different models. And the model I ended up with was... a bit of a surprise. Perhaps a bit too personal to share online, but the twins needed a 42 DDD for their comfort! That can translate to 42 F, for those who are curious. Thus the new nickname of Fred for the twin on my left. But George is still causing difficulties! So, while the new solution is indeed an upgrade (in more ways than one!), I'm afraid that the next piece of equipment bought will have to be a whopping 42 G. (Thus the new nickname of George.) Sure, Fred will have a little extra space. Somehow, I think that's not going to be a problem. Maybe Fred deserves a little extra attention after all these years of George being the problem twin.

For the curious, here is the new equipment I acquired:

(grin) Y'all have fun now, you hear?

Friday, April 16, 2010


Originally uploaded by mawkinberd
I had a good bit of inspiration in the last few days, and for the first time in a couple weeks, my eyes are killing me with allergy fuzzies. Sooooo.... I have a couple new layouts that I did today alone! :) This first one was inspired by Jacquie's new fantastic Pets - Dogs word art set. Awesome, huh? She finds awesome quotes and stuff. If you haven't checked out her blog before, I highly recommend it, and not just because I'm on her CT. She's fantastic!

I've learned a few new things about GIMP lately, which makes me rather happy. I still feel like a beginner with GIMP, even though I know that I'm probably closer to intermediate. But there is a huge amount of things that one can do with GIMP that I have yet to tap. So, I'm enjoying learning new things, like new Script-fu stuff. There are so many Script-fu settings in the "basic" model of GIMP that I'm not familiar with that are really helpful with sprucing up one's layouts. Besides that, I want to do more designing. I really enjoyed making that first set. (It's still down there, if you want to look at it. Just saying. :P)

I also made a little layout with Daniel and Joe for Easter egg hunting. Joe didn't really get the whole hunting thing. He saw lots of kids running, so he ran after them. He saw one purple egg, so he picked it up. So, Mommy got him a few eggs. After that, he got Daddy to open his eggs. It was precious. I did it with this Font Challenge's font, Happy Days.

Font Challenge Layout

I also have a couple of cute baby moments to share. Joe is so funny these days! He's starting to show that he has a sense of humor. For instance, we're not certain if he really does think that unh unh (the no version) mean yes or if he's just pulling our leg. (He shakes his head no simultaneously, and we're pretty sure he knows that means no.) It's really cute, though, to watch him do it. Plus, he is such a player! He loves to do things to get your attention and then pretend like he wasn't doing it. That, and he loves to play kiss and hug. He'll do that over and over. Talk about making your heart melt!

Ok, this is late at night for me. Mommy is getting sleepy! lol So I'll let you wonderful people go. Have a great night!

Font Challenge Time! :D

It's that time again, ladies!

MLAS Font Challenge Ad
(click the ad to go to the challenge)

Whoot! I am excited to be the hostess for three times running on this challenge. Of course, the middle time was by accident, and I was kinda covering for the lovely lady Brandi so we could meet Karis (who is absolutely adorable, btw!), but that's a whole different story. :D Anyway, this and many other challenges are gearing up again at MLAS, so hope you'll join us over there. This challenge runs until April 30, so you have plenty of time to explore and see you like our challenge font, which is Happy Days, the font I used for the title in the ad. Isn't it cute?!

Oh, and I want to give a big shout out to my buddy Jaclyn. Today is her birthday! Yay! I hope she has a fantastic time, and her dh makes sure she gets some serious fun!

Enjoy, mes jolies belles, and have an absolutely lovely Friday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Yeah, I'm one of those late filers. Not because I'm not getting money back, but because I HATE the complications. So, here's my statement for tax day...

I'm, um, not a fan of taxes. At all. I like what they do with them and all, but... dude, why so complicated?

*ahem* Ok, you may return to your regular blogging experience.

In addition to this, I was honored to get my first blog notice on another blog. Whoopee!
Happy 101 Award

So, Yay! I got an award! Thanks, Leandra! And, if I recall correctly, I need to do a couple things! So, here goes. :)

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog. *check!*
2. List who gave the award to you and use a link to her blog (or hyperlink). *check!*
3. List 10 things that make you happy. (see below)
4. Pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know about the award. (see even further below! ;) )

10 Things that make me Happy:

1. Breathing deeply.
2. Smiling.
3. Loving my husband and son.
4. Watching the dove on her nest at work.
5. Seeing the leaves change day by day.
6. Morning kisses.
7. Hugs.
8. Unexpected breezes.
9. Watching the sun pass through clouds.
10. Remembering things that make me smile.

Who I am passing this Award to:

@ Jacquie's
Angi's Scrap 'n Blog
Confessions of a Digiholic
KajunKJ Scraps
luvbrd scraps
Of course I can do anything, I'm a mother!
Memoirs of a Southern-Yankee Girl
Raising Spirited Heathens

Whoopee! I'm sure you'll like giving these ladies some love. Until next time, ciao, bellissimi!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Boy's Picnic freebie

You know, I don't know how on earth I would have the chutzpah to do this, but I'm going to anyway. I have so many people that I've come to admire for their creativity and experience, but I've also just wanted to put my hand in for the fun of it all. So, I finally gave in to the craze. I made a freebie kit for scrapping!

Boy's Picnic freebie by Mawkinberd's Nest Designs

(I'm having issues with feeling pretentious now, so bear with me. lol)
Download elements at 4-shared
Download papers at 4-shared

Download elements at Mediafire
Download papers at Mediafire

Wow, I keep having to pinch myself. lol I had so much fun putting this together, that it felt like I was getting away with something. Besides that, it happened so much faster than I had anticipated! Don't worry, I didn't rush. I was especially careful with it.

Hope you like! :)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Easter Madness

I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend! Ours was busy, to say the least. First up was the Easter egg hunt at Clark Springs Baptist on Saturday morning. Joe was in his finest (as you can see in this video), and Mommy and Daddy were excited to see what he would actually do on his first egg hunt. I didn't get any good pictures of it, but the verdict was that he was more interested in chasing the other kids at top speed than actually searching eggs, so Mommy picked some up for him. Daddy trailed behind faithfully as he waved the one egg he picked up (purple, which is why it caught his eye, I'm sure) and chattered at the other kids. He had a blast. It would have been even better had it not been for Mommy's overprotective streak. I covered him with sunscreen. Unfortunately, some of it got in his eyes. He wasn't a happy camper about that, but since he got more chocolate than he had ever imagined existed, he was ok with it. He also got some cool cars from Nana in his basket. He really liked that. :)

After that, we loaded a (very very tired) baby into the car and went to the park to meet with Aunt Jo. It was a perfect day for Kiroli Park. We piled up on a table and ate fried chicken while Joe had fun on the "fire truck."

We also did the swings and stuff, but I haven't uploaded that video yet. Joe had the best time watching Daddy swing in the swing next to him. Unfortunately, that meant that the yellow baby swing wasn't good enough for him anymore. We'll see if that lasts when we get to the park again. We also did a nice walk through the (shortest) nature trail, and I got some good shots of azaleas and other things. If they turn out well, I'll try to extract them and pass them along for everyone to share. The colors are too awesome not to look great in a spring layout. ;)

As for Sunday, we chilled out. And it was a good thing, too... Mommy hasn't felt her best. Maybe it was the candy, maybe it was her body's way of saying "noooooooooooooooo!" Whatever it was, I could use another Sunday to make up for it. :) I guess I'll have to wait a few more days for that, though. Joe and I played a lot, and Daddy was the only one who woke up early enough for sunrise service. Good Daddy! :)

Oh, and one of my blogging buddies Brandi is supposed to have her third child/first daughter by c-section today. Happy thoughts for welcoming little Karis into the world!