Ahhh so many great things...

So many wonderful and exciting things are on the horizon for me. Each day truly has something to look forward to. Here are a few brief blurbs to catch you up to speed on my reality...

  • Kim has found an apartment! {Insert a huge resounding round of applause here}. We've been working with her to get everything she needs to have - talk about quick shopping spree's! She'll be completely in and living there by this weekend. Yay! Yes, I am WELL pleased. (and very excited for her to be beginning this fun, learning chapter in her life. I remember my first apartment. While there was MUCH to be learned, there was MUCH to be enjoyed at the same time - this will be GREAT for her)
  • So many fun projects are sitting on my table at the moment. Fun and creative samples for the Maya Road booth at Memory Trends. Fun layouts and altered projects for Scraptalk.com. There are some great challenges going on over there peeps! Check out the Pink Spark - lots of fun!
  • Autumn may very well have arrived in North Texas. I'm ready to start hanging my Halloweenie decorations - Steve's not so impressed. I {love} decorating for holidays! It's just FUN!
  • My family will be here to visit next month - there's nothing better than hanging with the parentals - and my youngest brother. We'll be having some serious fun!
  • Estella continues to ROCK my world - can't wait for next Tuesday!
  • The first of many vinyl pieces should be {hopefully} ready this week! It's going to look something like the image on this post - but in chocolate brown! Yummers!
  • Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies are on the menu for tonight! Steve will be a VERY happy husband!
  • I recieved the BEST fun mail package from Madame Cari {love} her blog. She's one of my SilverBella sisters - can't wait to meet her IRL! She made me this FUN 'Halloween Hester' altered book. It makes me laugh EVERYtime I look at it. Doesn't it do the same for you?

I know I promised answers to all of the many and various adoption questions. I promise I'll get them up here as soon as possible. I wanted to make sure I gave each of them my full and honest attention - I'm an open book and want everyone to know the realities of adoption. They'll be up soon - I promise!

Thank You!.... and a call for adoption questions

WOW… thank you so much for the many thoughtful words that have been both posted and emailed to me yesterday. My heart smiled!

I’m a very open person, and many of you had questions about adoption, about being a birthparent, about my choice, about my situation, about so many of the different sides of adoption. I plan on answering each and every question. I’m going to post all of the questions and all of the answers here on my blog. I’m sure there are more of you with questions, but perhaps were embarrassed to ask – or maybe even worried about offending me – to ask. Perhaps you felt that it was none of your business. Perhaps your curiosity is still peaked… In case it is, feel free to ask! If you want to ask anonymously, you can utilize that option when posting, or you can shoot me an email using the “Email Me” link on the right side toolbar under my photo. This is your chance to have a ‘no holds barred’, all of your adoption questions answered time!

I’m planning to post my responses tonight, with a layout I did with one of my favorite photos of Dylan and his father, Owen.

Some of the questions that have already been asked are:

~ How old were you when you had your son?
~ How could you have done this to your parents and other family?
~ What brought you to the decision to place?
~ Do you regret your decision?
~ How could you have done such a thing?
~ Do you communicate with his parents? Do you get to see photos of your son?
~ Have your feelings about adoption changed?
~ Do you attend parties and other family functions with him and his parents?
~ Was it hard?
~ How do you deal with it emotionally?

~ What happened to his birth father?
~ How did his birthfather react?
~ What’s it like being adopted?
~ What kind of relationship do you have with your birthparents?
~ How did your parents respond to your decision?
~ How did your parents respond to your birthmother finding you?
~ Do your parents and your birthmother get along?

~ Did your decision change how your family reacts or acts towards you?

Make it a great day!
~heather

Four years ago...

Four years ago today.

Wow... some serious thinking.... reminiscing.... emotions..... seriously.

Four years ago today... I was hugely fat. We're talking "OH.MY.GOSH... are you having triplets?" fat.
Four years ago today... I was in a hospital bed... giving birth to the most beautiful boy ever (don't challenge me - I'll fight ya over this one).

The most beautiful boy... that would go to the most perfect family that was meant for him.

The most beautiful boy... who went to live with two beautiful parents, who wouldn't be parents if it wasn't for him.

The most beautiful boy... that I will always hold in my mind and in my heart.

The most beautiful boy... that is like me in so many way, but is more like his parents - just as he should be.

The most beautiful boy... who will forever leave me a mother, but not a parent. I'm how he got here, not who was meant to raise him.

The most beautiful boy... who is loved by so many. So many who will also hold him forever in their hearts.

The most beautiful boy... who now has a most beautiful eternal forever family.

The most beautiful intelligent, adorable, outgoing, creative little boy who is being taught and raised by two incredibly awesome parents who love each other, who want nothing but the very best for him.

Four years ago (and two days) my heart was torn in half.

Four years ago (and two days), the Lord held my hand and guided me through the most difficult, heart wrenching, and overwhelming experience of my life.

Four years and two days ago, I learned what unconditional love was. I was given a tiny glimpse of the love Jesus Christ has for us all.

Four years ago today, I became a different person - and I am by far better for it.

Happy Birthday Little Man!

Other Favorite Blogs

Gosh, I have so many blogs I read on a regular basis; to list them all on the sidebar would make my blog look completely wonky. So, here's a list for your clicking pleasure:



Amanda Willey

Amy Powers

Beth Quinn

Cari Kraft

Carolyn Peeler

Charlotte Lyons

Cindy Gilstrap

Corrine Ayers

Dede Warren

Heather Bullard

Heather Rowley

Hope Wallace

Jennifer Ellefson

Jennifer Paganelli

Jenny Heid

My Favorite Etsy Shoppes

With so many interesting and fabulous etsy shoppes out there, it's easy to bypass something awesome without even knowing it. Here are a few of my favorite etsy shopping places:

Affording....

Sophia's Challenge Subject...
People afford what they want to afford, for the most part. List some things that you don't mind spending money on and some of the things that you don't spend it on unless it's essential or would never buy even if you were loaded with moola.

You know it goes right along with something that’s been on my mind lately. Have you ever heard the saying that goes something like “you’ll always find the time for things that matter the most?” I can’t remember exactly how the saying goes, but it’s something along those lines. With so many things on my plate sometimes it can be hard to get everything I need to get accomplished completed.

Purchasing things generally goes along those lines. While I’m not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, I (we) have enough for our needs… and more. We are very fortunate.

There are items and brands that I won’t give a second thought to purchasing even though they may be more expensive. For example, I don’t mind spending more money for quality when it comes to cooking/kitchen tools and supplies. I’d rather spend more money up front and get something that is of quality than skimp only to have to repurchase or replace the item later down the road. I will also spend the extra money for certain cleaning products (yes mom… Dawn, Tide and Downey all come immediately to mind).

Items that I wouldn’t buy – even if we were loaded with moola include certain brand name foods (if there’s a generic of same quality, flavor, and taste), certain brands of clothes, and certain automobiles. Granted, I’ve never been loaded with moola, so I might be talking and not knowing what it’s like to be loaded. If I was loaded, I might not even care what I spent it on.

Seriously. Seriously? Seriously!

So, tonight is the night… the Grey's Anatomy Season 3 Premiere. I am so excited. I have to see what happens with everyone at Seattle Grace. I know, it’s a sad thing when a girl is so looking forward to a tv show, but seriously… it’s awesome. Seriously!

For those of you, like myself, who are serious Grey's fans (let's face it... the world would call us addicts)… be sure to check out the Grey Matter ( the Writer’s Blog) The Nurses Station, the Emerald City Bar and the ABC Networks Greys site. There’s some fun stuff out there, including interviews with the cast about the third season.

So, seriously... I'll be in tonight, with pizza in one hand, a Sonic diet coke in the other (c'mon you already knew I would be off the wagon tonight), and quite possibly a handful of peanut m&m's in a bowl in front of me.

P.S. Seriously, I have got to have this shirt! It's so me - Seriously!


Please be aware...

A Public Service Message:

My heart is so full of sorrow today. A dear friend of mine’s 18 month old daughter died yesterday evening. The cause of death was something that could have been prevented. Her daughter was strangled in/by mini-blind cords while at day care. While, I cannot begin to understand the emotions or grief she is feeling at this time I can, pass the warning onto you.

Please check your window blinds at home. If you have a child in day care (or in the care of any provider), please do yourself a favor and check their home/facility for mini blind cords; make sure they’re tied up and out of the reach of children. Make sure that cribs are moved away from windows and blind strings are appropriately bound to prevent access by any child. Obviously this was an accident, but this is so sad and so outrageous because it's entirely preventable and should never happen to any child.

Weekend Update....

What a weekend! It was full of good times, great food, and incredible people.

Friday, we joined two couples from church for dinner. As I walked into our host’s home, I smelled something that reminded me of home! Turns out, Brooke was serving Savory Chicken (which is known as Party Chicken at my house, and as Chicken & Rice at Ryan’s house!). YUMMY! We had a fantastic time getting to know both couples, and learning fun little things about them. We’ve been invited to join them again next month, even though we’re not part of their dinner group. I’m so glad! It really was such fun!

After dinner Friday night, and after getting Steve off to work, I got my bake on. And bake I did. Unfortunately, a few of my treats met untimely deaths (mainly due to over baking, or new bread concoctions not working out), but I had plenty of yummies to take to our Garage / Bake Sale for Alexa and her parents.

Come 6am, I was on the road! After stopping by Sonic to pick up a tasty beverage for both Kristy and I, I arrived at Kristy’s home ready to do whatever it was I could to help get things ready to rock. Oh my. The sheer amount of donations was INCREDIBLE! Seriously, people were stopping by to drop items off all day long! It was awesome! Kristy was able to get an article into the Keller Citizen paper, letting the community know about Alexa and about our sale in addition to ads in the other local papers.

And did the community ever turn out. It was incredible. Seriously incredible. We had folks trying to talk us up on prices. Some stopped by and paid $20 for one cookie. One gentleman (covered in dirt from work) stopped by and just gave us a check for $100. Another community member paid $100 for a plate of cookies. We had other survivors (YAY!!!) stopping by to share their stories, and to donate what they could. A young boy came to the sale and then went home, cleaned out his piggy bank and brought what he had to us. People would stop by to shop, would go home, and then would return with items to donate to the cause. We were a little worried because the day started off really overcast, and had a chill to it (not a normal Texas day at all), but with positive thinking and a lot of prayers the day turned out just dandy!

The sale was a great success, mostly due to Kristy & Michelle’s hard work, and a lot of warm hearted community and church members. We were able to raise $2,500. It will be a huge benefit to Alexa’s friends and family. Thank you to everyone who came, everyone who thought of us on Saturday, and everyone who kept us in their prayers! (P.S. All the photos were hijacked from Kristy’s blog!)

Hard time...

This was set to post on Patriots Day, September 11th - but for some reason it stayed in draft mode. It's really posting on 9/15, but the sentiment and feeling remain the same.

Some of you may not know the impact that this day holds for me. It's still pretty full of emotions and feelings - even 5 years later. You see, I was traveling on my very first business trip, and was mid-flight when the first plane hit the first tower. My flight was grounded, and I found myself in Atlanta, GA for a week. How grateful I am to be alive today. How grateful I am that my flight was grounded and did not reach it's planned destination. How grateful I am to the men and women of various service positions that choose to serve us still - and for those who gave their lives (and continue to give their lives) to protect and serve us. I am grateful for so many things on this day, I can't completely share the range of emotions I have, but they are full and are very real.

A co-worker sent the following onto me today, and I thought it appropriate to share.

My Daddy

Her hair was up in a pony tail, her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy's Day at school ,and she couldn't wait to go.
But her mommy tried to tell her, that she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand, if she went to school alone.
But she was not afraid; she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates of why he wasn't there today.
But still her mother worried, for her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again, she tried to keep her daughter home.
But the little girl went to school eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees; a dad who never calls.
There were daddies along the wall in back, for everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently, anxious in their seats.
One by one the teacher called a student from the class.
To introduce their daddy, as seconds slowly passed.
At last the teacher called her name, every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching, for a man who wasn't there.
"Where's her daddy at?" she heard a boy call out.
"She probably doesn't have one," another student dared to shout.
And from somewhere near the back, she heard a daddy say,
"Looks like another deadbeat dad,too busy to waste his day."
The words did not offend her, as she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher, who told her to go on.
And with hands behind her back, slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child, came words incredibly unique.
"My Daddy couldn't be here, because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be, since this is such a special day.
And though you cannot meet him, I wanted you to know
All about my daddy, and how much he loves me so.
He loved to tell me stories - he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses, and taught me to fly a kite.
We used to share fudge sundaes, and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him, I'm not standing here alone.
Cause my daddy's always with me, even though we are apart.
I know because he told me, he'll forever be in my heart."
With that, her little hand reached up, and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat, beneath her favorite dress.
And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads, her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter, who was wise beyond her years.
For she stood up for the love of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her, doing what was right.
And when she dropped her hand back down, staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft, but its message clear and loud.
"I love my daddy very much, he's my shining star.
And if he could, he'd be here, but heaven's just too far.
You see he was a firefighter and died just this past year
When airplanes hit the towers and taught Americans to fear.
But sometimes when I close my eyes ,it's like he never went away."
And then she closed her eyes, and she saw him there that day.
And to her mothers amazement, she witnessed with surprise
A room full of daddies and children, all starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they saw before them, who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second, they saw him at her side.
"I know you're with me Daddy,"to the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers, of those once filled with doubt.
Not one in that room could explain it, for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her, was a long-stemmed pink rose.
And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,by the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing, that heaven is never too far.

Oh the Addiction...

Ladies and Gentleman, it is with great pride and enormous pleasure that I admit my addiction to Greys Anatomy. So much in fact, that I am now the proud owner of seasons 1 & 2. Tonight, as I'm getting my bake on, I'll be watching them both. Ahhhh such fun!

So many fun things happening this weekend! Steve and I were invited to join in with some other couples in our ward for Dinner Group. We didn't sign up for this round because of our crazy schedules so it was a great suprise when Brooke called to invite us to join with theirs for the night. I'm excited to get to know a few other couples in our ward. It's such a shame that I don't know people better - this will certainly help!

Also, tommorrow is the big Garage/Bake Sale! There are all kinds of great goodies packed into Kristy's garage. Baked goods (and baking mixes) will be available like you've never seen. I'm planning to bake Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Pink Lemonade (perfect for a princess fundraiser don't you think??) cookies in addition to the Beste Cherry Bread. My house is going to smell delicious tonight (and early morning)! If you're in the area, please stop by! We'd love to have you - and any contribution would be incredibly appreciated! (Plus, you can buy a raffle ticket! Wouldn't YOU love a ready made album??)

While baking, I have a list of things to get done at the house. Kimberlee is slumber partying it up with a friend (WAHOOO!) so I'll have the house to myself. If you drive into my neck of town, don't be shocked if you hear the tunes blaring! I'll be SO getting my bake and groove on!

Guilty as Charged...

Okay, I’ll admit it. The TV is back. Actually, it never technically left, but certain members of my household we led to believe that we weren’t able to watch television (that would be Steve’s doing – by the way). Anywho… with the fall TV season lining up, I knew I would want to watch some of my favorite shows. Tuesday night, the first two made their season appearance.

And I was happy.

Very happy.

I love to watch House and I am thrilled that Dancing with the Stars is back.

Dancing with the Stars is awesome. I am not a good dancer. In fact, many would say I’m a horrible dancer – or I once was. I spent WEEKS (yes, ladies and gents) learning the Electric Slide – and just pining away for the next youth dance so I could practice my steps, or make a complete fool of myself. Generally the fool won out. Over the years though, and after many nights out with my friends, I learned to listen for the beat and how to dance. I’ve taken oodles of dance classes but none beat the fun swing classes I got to take with Daryl and a bunch of church friends. I’m still not a good dancer, but I love to get my groove on.

Anyway, back to the show… there’s just something about watching others dance that gets me moving. (I get the same rush when watching cheerleading too!) I love seeing people at the beginning and each week as they continue to practice and gain more dancing skills. It’s too bad that anyone gets booted off because I could honestly watch all of them each week. But, where would the competition be, eh?

Don’t call me next Tuesday night – I’ll be watching TV!

And don’t get me started on the Thursday night shows…. I’ll be home for them too. Maybe we should get another DVR. That way, I can watch everything in one marathon sitting (skipping commercials of course) and my life can continue without interruptions.

Perhaps, we should have kept the TV working secret to ourselves…. I didn’t have to debate with anyone over what show to watch.

Princess Alexa.... a mini album

Heather challenged me yesterday to get one layout done. As I sat down to create it (it's actually sketched out and ready to start on), I decided to create a mini album to display at the Garage Sale, and here at work, for Alexa. It's not completely done yet. It's needing something, but I haven't determined what it is yet.
Some of the little details that you probably can't see include:

~ Distressed Edges
~ Machine Stitching
~ Oodles of Swarovski Crystals (what else would you use for a Princesses album??)
~ Paper Flowers (Prima for those of you who scrapbook)
~ Hand Stamping

I can't wait to finish this one up! It's going to be darling! Be sure to peek back in tommorrow to see the finished album!

Studio Photos

Earlier, I promised I would share a few photos of my studio. It's still in it's development stage, but I do have a few photos to share. My room is about 7'x10' (or just a tidge larger than an index card). Someday it'll be a great baby/toddler room - like when I move into the spare room. :)

And, just for good measure, I was honest and posted a photo of my workspace - or part of it rather. I am not a tidy creator.... :)

HUGE Multi-Family Garage/Bake Sale for a GREAT Cause!!


Yesterday, I promised the details, and here they are! On Saturday, September 16 starting at 8am (at 5208 Ponder Street in Keller, TX) there will be a HUGE Garage Sale to benefit the Aigner family. You can click on the flyer above for more details.

There's also going to be a raffle that I'm participating in! My contribution is a 20 page hand crafted photo album. The theme of the album will be decided upon by the winner, as will the color selection. Once this album is delivered, all the winner will need to do is add their photos and add any journaling they desire. Everything else will be completed. This album would be a wonderful Christmas gift for a friend or loved one – or yourself! Starting tommorrow, purchase a raffle ticket for only $1 for your chance to win this one-of-a-kind hand created album designed by yours truly! Talk about a GREAT deal!

I'm also going to add a second item - an accordian album - to the pot! I normally display my accordian albums on our fireplace mantle, or on my desk at work. They're also great to tuck into your purse (or briefcase) to show your friends photos of your friends and loved ones (way better than the accordian plastic sleeves you sometimes find in wallets!) The panels on this piece fold together (like an accordian) and can be stored flat, or displayed in your home. The winner of this piece will also be able to choose the theme and color scheme.

Starting tomorrow, I will have raffle tickets available for $1 each. I will also bring a sample album so you can see an example of the detail and work that will go into creating the winners album.

I'm also bringing at least two loaves of the famous Beste Christmas Cherry Bread (it's the SilverBella in me - I'm ready to start Christmas stuff NOW!) and a few other yummies to delight your taste buds!

Please be sure to stop by - this really is a great cause and any donation will assist tremendously!

Fun Times.... Fun Weekend!

I must admit, overall this weekend was full of lackadaisical bliss.

Friday night, Steve and I went to dinner (Fuddruckers) and a movie (You, Me, & Dupree) and let Kimberlee and a friend (female) come along. It was funny to listen to them talk in the backseat as they chatted about work drama (oh to be 18 again), about fashion and celebrities. So funny!

Saturday, I spent a fair bit of time in my studio poking around, fondling, clearing out (for Heather’s eBay shoppe), and tidying. All of the laundry got washed (and folded, AND put away - that's a feat for me. I'm the queen of just folding it and then later digging it out of the laundry basket!). I took a jaunt over to a cute little shop in Keller called “Sage House” (it's on 377 for those of you in my area). It’s a cute little home packed laden with antiques and other fun items for your creative imagination. While I was there to locate the perfect window pane to hang above my shelving unit, I found a grundle of other fun items to add to my d├ęcor. I decided to veto the window pane, and went with a mirror that is somewhat sectioned to look like a window pane. I think it will do quite nicely in my space. I also found a few vintage frames (I doubt they are vintage – just painted to appear somewhat so), some fantastic wire baskets, and a few other ditties. I’ll photograph everything this evening and share how the space is coming along. I’m still in hot pursuit of a great quote or saying to put onto the wall. Any ideas?

I spent Saturday evening with some of my girl friends from the North Texas Crop Group (This is NOT the North Texas Scrapper Girls group). Love to be around these women – they’re so creative! It’s fun to just sit and watch each of them create. I find it fascinating to watch others in their creative element doing what they enjoy. We get together at least once a month and it’s always fun.

Sunday brought me a wonderful gift – an allergy migraine. Ahhh… such fun. It eventually went away, but not after the day was almost completely gone.

And that, my friends, is my weekend. For me, it was uber lazy – and I LOVED it!


For those of you in the DFW area (or more specifically in the Keller/Roanoke/Trophy Club/Southlake/Northlake/Westlake area... etc. etc etc) a group of women from church are having a garage/bake sale soley for the benefit of Alexa Aigner. She is a darling two year old girl who was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. She and her parents are now in California, taking part in a phase II clinical study involving MIBG therapy, bone marrow transplant, and spot radiation. The financial impact that treatment has had on her parents is staggering. I'll post more details on the location later this week. Please make a point to stop by - I'm bringing a few items (including my famous Beste Cherry Bread!) and a few other yummies to donate.

Likeness...

Sophia issued a blog posting challenge today over on TwoPeas. It was one that spurred some thought on my part. So, I thought I'd share my response. Her challenge was:
Who are you most like? Do you have a friend who could be your twin separated at
birth. Not in looks, but actions, likes, dislikes..... Who are you most like? Is
there more than one person? Tell, tell! Otherwise, what's on your mind today?

Perhaps it is because being an adopted child gives me a different perspective, but I am most like all of my parents (my mother, father, and birthmother). Of all people I'm probably more like my mother than anyone else, but I am significant likenesses towards all three of them.

I have a lot of personality traits and actions like my birthmother Sheri. When we met for the first time (January 2001) it amazed my friends how much we were alike in our mannerisms and vocabulary. We tilted our heads the same direction and the same way. We said the same comebacks, with the same tone and manner. But, we had never seen or heard each other do them before.

I also have a lot of personality traits from my father. One way is that I try to figure out why people are the way they are. Why they act a certain way or react to a situation the way they do. We try to realize what it was in their past that created the pattern, and perhaps understand (and not excuse some behaviors) why people are the way they are.

I am a whole lot like my mother. I organize the way she does. I plan events the way she does. I do things with gusto the way she does. I cook the way she does. I get overwhelmed and overcommitted the same way she does. In many many ways, I'm very much a copy cat of my mother. I even find myself saying and doing the same things she did to me when I'm dealing with Kimberlee.

It's kind of fun to look back and see what and who shaped me into the person I am today. There are many, many people who've influenced me along the way but my parents (as with almost everyone) are the major contributors to my self.

If you have any complaints - they're the ones you can contact. :) Personally though, I don't think anyone could have done any where near as ubertastic as they have.

Inspired

I am feeling uber inspired today!

I am a serious blog stalker, and have lists of blogs that read. Some I read daily (I even check some of the blogs multiple times a day), some I read weekly. I'm always finding things here and there that inspire me to create. Sometimes it's an outfit on Dillards.com. Sometimes it's something on a message board, in a gallery, or in someone elses blog. But, regardless of where I find it - I'm constantly inspired by others.

Last week, as I started getting excited about SilverBella, I searched for the blogs of those who attended last years event - Jingle Bella (LOVE that word combination!) and I found some awesome posts! I was thrilled to see that some of the attendees shared their projects with readers. There was some major talent busting a move that weekend - and I'm sure there will be for this years event too. One of the classes that specifically caught my eye was a canvas project taught by Becky Novacek. I don't know what she called the class, probably something like "O Christmas Tree", but I LOVE it! I am dying to going to create one for myself!

So, I have it sketched out, products to use selected, and canvas purchased. Now, it's a matter of sitting down and getting it done. Becky's canvas is SO darling - I HAVE to do it! I wish I had made it to JingleBella last year - I know I would have had a blast!

It's an AWESOME thing that I feel inspired because Memory Trends is RIGHT around the corner, and I have a bunch of projects to design for Maya Road. Caroline and Deb have really put together a fun set of product releases for this show - I can't wait to show them to you!

Have You Ever...

Have you ever spent time getting something just how you thought you wanted it, only to realize that it's not quite right when you're finished?

That's how I'm feeling about my studio today. I bolted home, got dinner on the table, spent some time with Steve, and then made a Sonic run (haven't made it back on the wagon yet.... LOL) so that when I got home I could work on my studio - my creative space. I hung the curtains, and while I like the concept and design - I wish I had done them differently (longer and thinner panels). I love the colors I chose for the room (black, turquise/teal, and cream) but something's missing - and i don't know quite what yet. I know I want to find a vintage window pane to hang above my Expedit unit (from IKEA), but haven't made the time on a weekend to go find it in Keller. I need to simplify my display collections (oodles of stamps) and figure out a clearer way to display my "H" collection. I realized that my magnetic board looks plain, and I need to gussy/bling it up, but I haven't started to even think of how. I know, I know... such a trivial life I lead.

I guess I'm just kind of bummed. I had visions of grandeur - and they didn't come to fruition. Rather, they haven't yet.

Please note...

When reorganizing and moving a few things around on the right toolbar (before Heather saved the day and fixed my screw ups), I somehow pasted in an old list of companies that I have previously served on design team member for. I caught the flub and have updated the list. Also, I have re-evaluated my design commitments, and have made some changes - as reflected.

Going forward, I will continue to consider freelance design work (and design team work) from manufacturers and websites on a case by case basis.

Thanks for understanding! :)

Spaghetti Vegi Toss

I found this recipe in the September 2006 "All You" magazine that I read while waiting for the car to be serviced at our dealer. They call the recipe "Wilted-Spinach Spaghetti" but to me, spaghetti refers to pasta and tomato sauce. There's no tomato sauce in this one - so I changed the name. Works for me! :) I also changed a few of the ingredients to make it a bit more health friendly - and I have to admit, the taste was quite dandy. Steve gave this meal a 3 on our 1-3 scale. So, I guess it'll be appearing again on our menu sometime in the future!

Ingredients:

8 oz uncooked spaghetti
1/4 c. pinenuts (I used at least 1/2 c - I don't normally use them in my cooking and didn't want to waste the remainer of the package)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (I used SmartStart - the butter alternative. It worked GREAT in this recipe!)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped (I get the bottles of prechopped/minced garlic. Saves me time and it's cheap)
1 (6 oz) package of mushrooms, quartered (I used 8oz - the smallest size my grocery store had)
1 1/2 cups canned reduced sodium chicken broth (I used the whole can which is just under 2 cups and it was fine)
2 (5 oz) bags baby spinach (I used a 8 oz bag - again the smallest one at my grocery store. Was dandy!)
3 plum tomatoes, diced
3 oz. provolone, cut into small cubes (we used mozzerella because I had it on hand and it was in a brick. Definitely would have left it to be served on the side. Talk about melted cheese!)
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente Drain, set aside.

Toast pine nuts in a large skillet over medium heat, about three minutes. Remove from skillet and let cool. In the same skillet, melt butter. Add onion and garlic; cook for one minute. Add mushrooms; cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add broth, bring to a boil. Add spinach, stir until wilted. Add spaghetti and toss. Add tomato and provolone; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Top with pine nuts, if desired.

Note: I tossed the pine nuts in with the tomatoes. Worked for us! Also, leftover grilled chicken (or roasted chicken) would be an awesome addition to this recipe - and a great way to use up left over vegis and meat from a Sunday dinner!

Enjoy!

Reflections on a Long Holiday Weekend

I can't believe it's Tuesday already. I think I'll start calling it Estella Day, because quite honestly, every other Tuesday will never be the same in my household. Our She-ro's name is Estella and she is our housekeeper. She does the things that I don't have time to do, and the chores that I don't want to b*tch and moan at everyone else to get done (ie, the weekly rotating ones...). It has made such a difference in our home - and I'm uber grateful for it. I think we try harder to keep the house clean and tidy - and it ROCKS! I love coming home to our home smelling sweetly of Mr.Clean, and Endust. I love that the floors have been scrubbed clean - and that I didn't have to do it. Estella ROCKS our world. ... back to the weekend rambling...

This weekend was a different one for those Texans living in the DFW area. We had this stuff falling from the sky for hours (really it lasted the entire day on Monday). In Ohio, we call this stuff rain. In Texas we call it a miracle. Well, not so much as a miracle but amazing none the less. Even though most of us had the day off from work for Labor Day, I was okay with it raining. Heck - I was thrilled that it finally rained - and rained, and rained. (We have a SERIOUS drout problem in this part of TX). The rain cut the raging temperatures down, and shock of shocks - it's in the 70's today. Quite a change from the 100+ we've had for the last... oh... FOREVER! I'm decked out in tights AND a sweater today - and I'm comfy!

I did get quite a few things accomplished in my studio. Labels made, organizers relocated, papers sorted, magazines cleared out (and readied for eBay), curtains designed (and almost made). All kinds of fun-ness. I'm hoping to finish it up today. Something I knew already though was that I have entirely TOO much craft stuff. Well, it's not so much that I have too much - cause I can always use more - it's more along the lines of.... I need to keep it all organized. I'm sure you feel the same way too - right? (well most of you anyway. Kristy doesn't like doing crafty stuff. But, she's a cool chick anyway.)

Happy news! I registered for Silver Bella - and can't wait to go! I've even started looking at fun and cute winter clothes (gasp! Where do I live??).

Color me Silver!

Normally, I'd say "Color me Happy" but, the change in saying is perfectly applicable today! I'm going to Silver Bella! I'm super excited! I've thought that Nebraska was a hotspot for creativity for some time (Cari said "I don't know if we are creative, just uber bored and forced to entertain ourselves or watch football!"). Now I get to come enjoy and experience it first hand! Yay!

There are some INCREDIBLE classes lined up, it was so hard to choose. In the end, Steve helped me out. He asked me a few questions, and then made the decision. I wanted to take them ALL - each artist is awesome! But alas, you can only register for 5 classes (I did think about cloning myself though - and then registering twice so that I'd take all 10... wouldn't THAT be nice? LOL).

And, I could be wrong, but something tells me that it'll be cold in Nebraska in November. I might even get to wear a few of the sweaters I love but can't wear in the hot Texas heat! Double Wahooo! I can't remember the last time I got to drink hot chocolate because it was COLD outside!

What I Love About You: You stand up for me

I love that you love me enough, to stand up for me - even when I think it's not a big deal (any more). I love that you don't want our home to be a place of contention, and that you're willing to take hold of the situation and talk to those creating the situation.

CRAP!!! HELP!!

I don't know what I managed to do, but everything in my right hand bar is TINY. I can't find where I changed the font size. HELP! I'll RAK the first person who figures it out - and believe me I have some GREAT RAK-kin stuff!

Update: YAY! My incredible, fabulous, wonderful, awesome and not to mention HTML programming smart friend Heather B. fixed it for me yesterday afternoon. I tell ya, I don't know what I'd do without this girl as my friend! She ROCKS! Thanks babe!