Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is an Underwear Free Photo Zone

Probably going to get some weird hits from that title, eh? Anyway, I'm doing Project 365 this year (so far, so good!) with the result that there are more than a fair amount of end of the evening photos when everyone has settled in for the night and I realize that I forgot to take a photo earlier in the day.

My husband received a lovely new pair of "soft pants" for Christmas - they are a very soft fleece and as ugly as red and green plaid fleece pants can be. Like clockwork, when dinner is done, he will change into those soft pants and sit down to read or play with the kids. Tonight they are playing Pirates of the Carribbean something or other and I snuck over to get a shot of the family fun. He very emphatically told me "I'm tired of you taking pictures of me in my underwear!" So instead, I bring you the lovely shot of his coffee maker, set up on his birthday morning.

He gets to be the subject of my underwear free blog post for today because he had multiple ticket offers for the hockey game tonight and chose to come home because I had a rough couple of days and he thought I'd feel better if he was around. He was right. Aarrrr... even if he's shouted once too often about someone stealing all of his booty.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jack be nimble, jack be quick

I... I have a blog! Yeah. I don't expect anyone is still out there. But lately, I have things to say and nowhere to say them. I could dig out an old fashioned journal but that's never worked out too well for me.

So jack be nimble, blah blah blah... LIMBO! I don't think the game version is the right definition but I couldn't think of anything witty related to the existential version so I just went with it. In the photo above, Grace is duct taping Charlie's mouth shut. See how she's doing it nice and gently though? She is duct taping his mouth shut because we are always together. Always. And sometimes, it gets to be a little bit much. A bit much too loud. A bit much too crowded.

We are living in the space of what used to be the H&R Block office on the first floor of the historic hotel my parents own. See the very cool brick wall behind Charlie and Grace? This building is full of wonderful little architectural gems like that. Currently sharing this building is the law office, George my hair stylist/genius, and a nail shop.

Anyway, the H&R Block space (also local Obama headquarters during the 2008 election) is cozy. We share one big living room, one smaller room partitioned into two separated sleeping spaces, a porch where we store our clothes and a bathroom. There are no doors on any of these rooms except for the bathroom. Like I said, we are always together. Justin has taken to calling the room where the beds are the "reading room" because that's where he retreats to read in relative peace and the living room is the "media room" because that's where the tv, video games and computers reside.

We're here for exactly 28 more days until our new house is built and we can camp out there instead of here. The whole experience has been much better than I expected. I've enjoyed the cozy togetherness, I think it's really been good for us as a family; we've had to become more patient, more considerate and more willing to do things together rather than just go our separate ways. There are days though, like the duct tape day, when the ability to escape to our own rooms or the backyard or even the kitchen is sorely missed.

In addition to the limbo in our home situation, I am in limbo in my job. I'm going to save that topic for another post but it's something heavy in my heart tonight after a particularly trying day.

One unexpected benefit of this living situation is that it has provided much grist for the imagination, lots of stories and adventures and just silly tales that I want to record but I don't really have an outlet for outside of this blog. Today's silly tale comes from the laundromat. The kids didn't have school because of Dr. King's Day. I've been putting off going to the laundromat since Friday - when I went last Monday someone had been sick, and while I finished the laundry, I was not eager to go back. Today we went in and it was... worse. It smelled like dirty kitty litter. How can a whole laundromat smell like dirty kitty litter? It soon became clear it was thanks to one woman there who probably should have just stripped down to her underwear and thrown everything she was wearing into a machine.

Laundromat etiquette (as far as I'm aware) requires that you don't acknowledge unpleasant smells or odors. You don't even acknowledge other customers - you just go about your business quietly and quickly and keep your head down. Charlie is blissfully unaware of laundromat etiquette. He and Grace went straight into the game room (we'll call those video poker machines the game room, okay?), came out to see my progress and asked, at the top of his lungs, "Mom, why does it smell so bad in here? Mom, it smells just like Lucky!"

Lucky is the stray cat my husband rescued on my birthday last year. Lucky is Lucky because her microchip revealed that she was previously owned by a Chinese restaurant approximately 45 minutes away from our home. They didn't want her back. She was a lithe black bullet 7 months ago. Today, Lucky resembles Jabba the Hut and she is not a fan of grooming at all. Sam, our fastidious Siamese cat is forever trying to groom her but she tolerates only her ears and the top of her head being cleaned. Lucky does not always smell very good. In fact, Justin told Lucky last night that she needs a moist towelette.

I don't think that woman knew about Lucky but she packed herself out of there very quickly. While embarassed by Charlie's gaffe, I admit that I was also grateful. Because he was right, that whole place really did smell just like Lucky.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday to It Takes all Kinds!! I'm glad you're celebrating with us by taking part in our blog hop which runs until Sunday the 29th!

We will be giving a way the
August Scarlet Lime Kit, a grab bag of Pink Paislee stuff, a grab bag of stuff from Bella Blvd and more!

Since this blog hop is all about celebrating ITAK's 2nd birthday, I'm sharing a birthday layout I did at a recent crop.

I had a number of photos from this birthday that I wanted to scrap and I made several layouts using the same colors and patterned paper. This was just a simple layout I did using the last few photos I had and I created it just so I could experiment with a new-to-me technique: flocking!

I LOVE techniques but I almost never use them because they intimidate me and honestly, I have a hard time remembering how to do things unless the directions are sitting there in front of me. But many of the other women who were at this crop used lots of techniques and it inspired me to try something new. It turns out that flocking is so simple that it probably isn't accurate to call it a technique! I just used a glue pad to make the cupcake chipboard sticky and then sprinkled the flocking powder on top. I had to blow it a bit and use my fingers to make sure it was evenly distributed but it was as easy as can be!

I have lots of favorite birthday memories but the best in recent memory was when my husband surprised me with a weekend trip to Monticello for my 30th birthday. I was 8 months pregnant and it was really hot in Virginia! We had a wonderful time visiting the farmer's market, shopping for heirloom plants in Monticello's garden center and taking the scenic Skyline Drive home. And when we got home, my family organized a surprise party. It made turning 30 a very happy day!

Thanks again for participating in our celebration and blog hop. Remember that you can enter on each of the participating blogs and also on the It Takes All Kinds Blog, which means you have at least 7 chances to win!! Just leave a comment to enter. Then you can continue on with the blog hop by going to Vernell’s blog. Lots of great inspiration coming your way so be sure to check out each blog!

We will pick the winners on Wednesday, Sept 1 so be sure to check back to see if you have won. For additional chances to win:

Subscribe to the ITAK blog in a reader or by e-mail and leave us a comment here that you have. Like us on Facebook and leave a comment here that you have. Follow us on Twitter and leave a comment telling us that you have. Grab our blinkie and link to us on your blog and leave a comment telling us that you have. Blog about this blog hop and the giveaways and leave a comment telling us that you have.Each separate comment you leave is an additional chance to win! Thanks for celebrating with us!

Now click here to go to the next blog in the hop!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

We had a free Saturday morning

and a glance at my calendar tells me that between soccer, baseball, camping, vacation, holidays and other scheduled events, this just may be the only free Saturday morning we have had or will have this summer. Something seems wrong about that.

At any rate, we had a free Saturday morning. Justin went off to learn how to flyfish. The kids had birthday money burning holes in their pockets and on a whim, I decided I would take them to some garage sales. Off we went, first to a huge sale held at local church. And my kids went crazy. Books, webkinz (codes unused!), videos... one of the women helping to run the sale followed them around laughing at their delight and helping them carry their treasures.

And we did find some real treasures. This puppet theater which matches Grace's room and personality perfectly:

This Cinderella castle playset which she wanted to bring home from Disney as her souvenier but which was well out of her price range:

I found these adorable, unworn wellies which have no practical purpse but are well, adorable.

And these lamps, one for the pink girl's room and one for my scraproom.

And these chairs, perfect for camping.

Charlie's treasures were harder to photograph - a screen size U2 poster that I have no idea where we'll hang, dozens of Goosebumps books, 2 bright yellow bean bags for hanging out and reading in his room.

All in all, it was a morning, and a pocketfull of birthday money well spent.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Random raspberry ramblings

I received this print (My Brother) as a birthday gift from my father this year and finally decided where to hang it yesterday. It makes me cry every single time I look at it - in a good way. It's my first P. Buckley Moss print, we don't have much art to begin with and her style is not my first preference but this print speaks to me in several ways. First is the relationship between the brother and sister. It's how I see my children. It's how others see my children - it's the reason my dad bought the print. It's not always how they are but more often than not we can find him pushing her on the swing. The two of them playing tag in the yard. Lost in some fantasy world in their little fort. She has him wrapped around her little finger.

It also speaks of home to me for a place where I never really lived. I was born in central Pennsylvania and for the duration of my childhood, my parents regularly loaded us up in the car and headed "east" - where they felt most at home. My grandfather retired there and I followed soon after when I went to college. It's where I met my husband. Where we went to celebrate our first anniversary. Those rolling hills and old stone barns unlock a special place in my heart. We're heading "east" in a few weeks to go camping and I'm so looking forward to it.

And our berries came in early this summer. They usually show up around Grace's birthday but they've been ripe on the vine for several weeks already. I'm going to spend the afternoon picking berries because they are also out of control - it's the biggest crop we've had in the 8 summers we've lived at this house. I picked just enough to make desert yesterday and managed to ruin two white shirts with berry juice in a matter of minutes. My little secret is that raspberries are my least favorite berry.

The arrival of the berries means we're heading into what I hope are the lazy days of summer. The bulk of our travel is over, the weather will hopefully warm up this week and we will finally make it to the pool. I'm sure it won't be long before the kids are bored and I'm ready to pull my hair out but in the meantime, I'm enjoying the idea of one more summer at home.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

He is married to a scrapbooker

This morning Justin headed out to the local farmer's market to get some fresh corn for our holiday picnic. And because the farmer's market is just up the road from the farm pond where he likes to fish, he stopped there for a few minutes to try out his new lure.

I had just finished making the kids' lunches when his car raced up the driveway, he ran frantically into the house and grabbed my camera bag. He called over his shoulder on the way back out "I just caught the biggest fish ever!" He ran back to the car, turned around, called for the kids to come with him (because someone had to take the picture of course!) and they turned around to make the 20 minute drive back to the pond where the fish was (I'm assuming impatiently) waiting on the end of his rod to be released back into the pond to be caught another day.

I love that my craziness has rubbed off on all of them. I love that he didn't hesitate to make a 40 minute round trip to get the camera so he could record this memory. And I love that the memory will be something even more than catching the biggest fish ever.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This blog has not been abandoned

A random review of the last 3 months in photos:

I think I might have mentioned this here already but back in January, I had a dream that I woke up and it was June. I was heartbroken about everything that I had missed with my children and kept asking what happened to the other months. It's clear by now that this is one of those dreams that is going to stick with me - a little life lesson from my subconscious.

I reflect on that dream quite often, even more in the last few weeks since it was actually June. And now that June is gone too, I can safely say that I did not miss all of those months. We were busy living them. Because of my personality, I think I am more prone than some to fall victim to mommy guilt - I live with a constant sense of failure about everything I do wrong or don't do enough of or don't do at all. Sometimes it's good to be reminded about the things that are right.