Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just keep swimming....

          Source: flickr.com via jennifer on Pinterest


Remember how I said I'd be back to blogging after Thanksgiving?  Well, I'm trying.  I just can't seem to keep up lately!  Between my "real job" and my Etsy store, I'm working pretty much non-stop these days.  Plus, I have all kinds of things happening in my personal life.  {I'll share eventually, don't you worry.}   It's just a crazy season of life right now.  I hope you all know that it's not that I've forgotten you.  In fact, I miss you guys!  I even have some great giveaways lined up for you.  But, they'll have to wait a bit.  Perhaps I'll just save them for after the new year.  I mean, January is always so cold and sad, maybe we'll all be glad to have some great giveaways to brighten our days. 

Anyway, things may be a little scarce around here for a while.  I hate to do it, but I have to set some priorities.  Let's face it, hours must be worked, orders must be filled, husbands must be fed {who am I kidding, Jon feeds me most of the time!}, and a girl's gotta sleep too!

I miss you guys, and I hope you're all doing well!  I'm sure you all are experiencing the crazy that is the holidays...hang in there!  We can do this!  Don't give up!  Aaaaaahhhhhh!  {too many exclamation points!!!!!!}

Anyone else feeling the crunch?  What's your coping mechanism? 



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back at it...

I ate it all, in case you were wondering.  :)

So, did everyone have a nice, relaxing weekend?  Mine was great!  I'd be lying if I said it was enough, though.  The thought of going back to work tomorrow sort of makes me want to cry.  For reals.  Only 20 working days til Christmas break.  Yes, I will be counting down.  That will be a glorious 9 days off, for sure. 

Thanksgiving was great.  Delish food, and wonderful family time.  We even got in some laying on the couch...bonus!

Our Christmas tree is up, and prettier than ever!  I love it.  I could sit and stare at it for hours.  Our lights are up outside too.  None on the house this year, but the bushes and trees look festive!  And, I put out the vintage plastic snowman that we found....I seriously love him.  The best part?  We have a remote control on the lights so we can stand in the window and turn them on and off.  For some reason that is really exciting to me! 

Oh, and I got some Christmas shopping done too!  I need to write everything down and assess where we are.  I'd guess we're about half way there.  Jon and I decided that we're just doing stockings for each other this year, and then going shopping after Christmas.  Less stress before, and we get to take advantage of all the sales after! 

Our church worshiped in the school for the last time this morning.  We move into our brand new building next weekend!  It's so exciting! 

...Okay, it's time to grab some last minute relaxing before I head to bed.  Wish me luck in surviving tomorrow without crying. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving Thanks...


Remember about a month ago when I was so overwhelmed with how blessed we are?  Well, it's not that I don't think I'm blessed now, but let's just say it's been a rough few weeks.  Don't get me wrong, I know that we haven't much to want for.  We are very blessed.

Maybe I've just had a rough day, but things just seem hard right now.  {insert Debbie Downer noise here}

Is it bad that the thing I'm feeling most thankful for at the moment is the fact that there's a four day weekend in my immediate future?  For the realization that I can, for a brief period of time, have control over my own schedule, if only for a few days.

I'm feeling mighty crispy, folks.  Like the turkey on the Griswold's Christmas table. {Oh yes, we will be watching that this weekend, I'm sure.}

So, with that being said, perhaps it's the perfect time to make a little listy list of all the some things that I'm grateful for:

  1. My relationship with God.  I haven't always had the friendship I feel now.  That's cool.
  2. My husband.  For reals.  I got a good one!
  3. Our family.  It's a little bit wonky, but isn't everyone's?  I mean, we both come from "broken" homes, but I'd say they've healed in a most wonderful sort of way.
  4. Our friends.  I haven't always felt like we had friends.  Today, I know we do.  We have great friends.  Real friends. 
  5. Miles.  I miss him so much, you guys.  So, so much.  I'm so grateful for having had him.
  6. Our other kitties.  They're not Miles, but this house would be unbearably quiet without them.  They are sweethearts.  Not to each other, but each in their own.
  7. Financial peace.  I haven't talked about this much on the blog, but we're big fans of this guy, and I'm so thankful for his wisdom.
  8. The hope of tomorrow.  Of things yet to come. 
  9. For the success of the shop.  I've already tripled what I did last year, and we're not even through the holiday rush yet!
  10. And, of course you all, my blog readers. Thanks for making me feel like I have something to say, even when I really don't.
  11. For the fact that I have a warm house, and food to eat.  
  12. And, for the promise of a 4 day weekend if I can just make it through work tomorrow!  :)  {still sounding pretty amazing right now!}
 Thanksgiving for us will be unprecedented this year.  We have one place to go.  ONE.  For two kids of divorced parents, this is a big deal.  My dad is off to Colorado with his sweetie, we'll get together with Jon's mom as we always do later in the weekend, and we've combined my mom and his dad into one big family dinner.

I'm just gonna state right now:  I will not be back on here until next week.  There.  See what I did?  I just gave myself a little vacay.  Whoot, whoot!

What are your Thanksgiving plans?  And, pretend we're at the table and tell me what you're most thankful for. 

I hope you all have a wonderful, safe holiday!  

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Few Fun Finds...

Isn't this necklace bananas?
Erin Necklace by kristinbartlett on Etsy
 I sort of wish I owned this to wear on Thursday...
Fall Poncho via bysweetmom on Etsy
I sort of love these boots too...
via Old Navy

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I am linking up to Yes, Teacher's Tickle me Tuesday post . Hop over and check out the other great finds!

The First Ever Ladies Who Craft NIght...

A few weeks ago, I had an idea.  See, I have this long list of things I'd like to make.  {Most of them can be found on my Pinterest board of the same name.}  I got to thinking, the biggest problem is just finding the time to make them.  Then I realized that I probably have a lot of friends with the same issue.  What if we all got together with the purpose of making stuff?  We could chat, and have a few cocktails.  It'd be a girls night....with crafts!


I bounced the idea around with one of my best girlfriends, and she was excited too, so I sent out an invite and the First Ever Ladies Who Craft Night was Saturday night!  It turned out that there were lots of schedule conflicts within the group, but we ended up with 5 ladies.  Not bad!  We drank Framboise and ate some snacks while we chatted and worked on our projects.  Between us all we had photo books, scrapbook pages, headbands and ornaments.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  I know I did! I'm hoping to do it again in January when things calm down after the holidays.
 

You're probably wondering what I ended up making.  I did punch holes in my Christmas cards from last year, but I didn't have any rings to bind them with, so ribbons will do for now.

I also made some ornaments.  {Yeah, ended up going a completely different direction!}  I made them with polymer clay and stamped names into them.  They'll be just a little something for some neighbors and friends.  {Hopefully this post doesn't ruin it for too many people.}  I thought they were so cute, so I decided to add them to the shop as well.  You can find them here and here.

Ladies Who Craft Night was so great.  I'd highly recommend having one if you have friends who'd be interested.  Invite everyone, you might be surprised who'd be into it!

Are you making any gifts this year? 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Randomness...

              Source: busybeelauren.com via jennifer on Pinterest


Do they air How I Met Your Mother in Canada?  If so, do Canadians think we're total jerks?  I mean, Robin's character is hilarious, but I can only imagine what Canadians must think of her.

Have you seen that commercial with the unicorn that has 3 horns?  I've only seen it in fast forward on the DVR, but it's weird.  What would that be, a tricorn?

I really dislike it when people waste my time.

I've been watching 16 and Pregnant every night while I fall asleep in bed.  Why is that show so addicting?

Our neighborhood is having a holiday decorating contest.  First prize is $100.  I think if they really wanted to see some decorating, they should bump that up to at least $500.

You know when they do those segments where a reporter goes into public and asks people about current events or history and the people all come off as idiots?  I love those.  Makes me feel smart.

*******

It's Friiiiiiiiiday!
Thank. Goodness.

Next week is a short week, and I cannot wait for the long weekend!  But, in the meantime, I'm having my girls over tomorrow night for some crafting fun.  {I'm still deciding on what to make exactly.  I may or may not have come up with some other stuff.}

I'm hoping to get lots of painting done this weekend too.  This is my world right now.

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stressed...

                                   Source: funnyjunk.com via jennifer on Pinterest



I'm feeling a wee bit stressed as of late. I keep trying to pretend that I'm not, but it's catching up to me.   So much to do, so little time.  Feels like everything could come crashing down at any moment. {poor little puppy dog, above!}

Anyhow, I'm living for the long weekend next week.  Oh, it will be wonderful to have a few days to spend at home.

******{PAUSE}******

During that pause I looked over at my phone and realized that today is my mom's other birthday.  Yep, she has two.  Have I ever talked about this on here?  I know I've told Elisa about it, cause her dad has two birthdays too.  {I think it was her dad...Elisa, correct me if I'm wrong.}

See, my mom was actually born on Nov. 17th, but her birth certificate says Aug. 17th.  Her legal birthday is in August, and that's when we always celebrate, but today is really her for real birthday.

Yeah, I forgot about that when I talked to her this morning....#daughterfail.

I just called and confessed and told her Happy Other Birthday.  Apparently I'm the only daughter that did remember at all...score!  ;)

See.  See what the chaos is doing to my brain?  Makin' me forget birthdays and stuff.  Geez.

Time to lock it down and get some schtuff done around here.

Hope you have a fabulous, stress free day!

Are you feeling the crunch?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What to make? Help me decide! {Please}

I'm having some girlfriends over on Saturday for a Craft Night.  {More on this later!}

My problem is, I can't decide what I want to make!

Do I try to make something for Christmas gifts, or do something for myself?

Do I pick something that looks relatively easy since I'll be hosting?

I'm hoping maybe you all can help.  Here are the things I'm thinking of attempting...

1)  Maxi Skirt.  

pros:  I think I'd wear this alot {I think.}, and it would push me from my comfort zone.  {sewing}

cons:  My sewing skills aren't the greatest, so it could be a total flop.  Plus it would add the element of a loud sewing machine during the party.
                             Source: elleapparel.blogspot.com via jennifer on Pinterest


2. Wrap Bracelets.


pros:  So pretty!  Looks like fun to make, and could be potential gifts.  Also, looks easy to manage whilst sipping sangria and chatting.  ;)

cons:  I don't generally wear bracelets, so this probably wouldn't be for me.
      Source: makebraceletsblog.com via jennifer on Pinterest


3. Library Card Style Journal


pros:  I REALLY, REALLY want to make one of these for 2012.  Simple thought once a day turns into a cool journal for the year!  If I made it now, I'd have no excuses come Jan 1.

cons:  Completely frivolous and for myself and doesn't knock anything off the "now" list.

                                                 Source: stampington.com via jennifer on Pinterest



4. Bind Christmas Cards into a book


pros:  I love this idea for prolonging the life of Christmas Cards!  I never know what to do with them and they end up in a box in the office.  This way we could enjoy them forever!  I still have last year's to get started with.  This is also probably the simplest of all.

cons:  boring?




So, what do you guys think?  Which one{s} should I go for?  Or, do you have any suggestions of other things I MUST DO?  

Please help!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Few Fun Finds...

Today I'm drooling over these amazing accessories from Etsy...
I love the wood grain print, and the large size of this clutch.

This scarf caught my eye from the front page of Etsy.  So, so pretty.

Mamie Hat by piperandpaisley on Etsy
And finally, it's hat season again!  This one is too cute.

What are you drooling over today?


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I am linking up to Yes, Teacher's Tickle me Tuesday post . Hop over and check out the other great finds!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Football, Stealth Bombers and Card Stunts...

Yesterday, my dad took us to a Chiefs game. Now, it's no secret that football time is usually nap time for me, but it was so much fun! There really is something magical about being at the game, and Arrowhead does it so well!



Okay, I have to admit what a total dweeb I am.  We could see the stealth bomber in the distance circling and waiting to fly over.  For some reason I had a complete freak out about it flying over us!  I think this was partly because Jon told me it would be "just a little above that flag pole over there".  I had visions of it being EXTREMELY close to us and scaring the bejesus out of me.....it wasn't that close.


There was a card stunt too!  I've ALWAYS wanted to be part of a card stunt.  And, guess what?  We were one row away from taking part.  :(  ONE ROW.  But, that's okay, cause we got to see it without looking through the little slits in the paper.  It was pretty sweet.  Oh, and don't think for a second that there weren't hundreds of paper airplanes flying around after this.  You can't give thousands of people ridged pieces of paper and not expect them to make paper airplanes, despite how many times you tell them not to, Len Dawson.  {I think that was Len who was announcing....maybe I'm wrong?}




It was a beautiful day, and I'm so glad we got to spend it with my dad and Linda.  So. much. fun.

Oh, and of course the day wasn't complete without a dude puking in the stands {poor guy!  people were so mean to him!}, some incredibly drunk guys behind us who put "ski" on the end of EVERYTHING {i.e. "That's a first downski."  "That cheerleaderski is hotski." and of course "I need a brewski."}, and a crazy Brocos fan with full on face paint jumping up and screaming with his 6 month old baby in his arms...in the nosebleed section.  eeek!

What was the highlight of your weekend?  Have you ever participated in a card stunt?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Randomness?

                    Source: artige.no via jennifer on Pinterest


I don't have much randomness to share this week.  In fact, I can hardly keep track of what day it is.

Today, I am remembering the Veterans I've known in my life.  Each one of them had an impact on my life in their own way.  Specifically, I'm remembering Herb Ferney, Eldon Maize and Marty Stutsman.  All great men who have now passed on to the next life.

I'm also thanking God for our men and women in the service today.  The sacrifice they make every day never ceases to amaze me.  Thank you!

I'm slowly coming back to myself.  The pain in my heart is starting to turn to peace.  I still miss Miles terribly and think about him constantly, but my thoughts have started shifting toward the happy memories instead of the sorrow of the last moments.  Thank you so much for hanging in with me over the last week.  It has absolutely been one of the longest and hardest ones I've ever experienced.  I hope to be back to regular posting next week.

What's on your agenda for the weekend?

I'm contemplating pre-ordering Horrible Bosses from Redbox for tonight.  Have you seen it?  Should I?

I have LOTS of orders to paint tomorrow, and Sunday we're going to the Chiefs/Broncos game and have small group in the evening.

Only two weeks until Thanksgiving!  And Six until Christmas.  Deep breaths, people.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Christmas time is coming!


 
The orders have started flowing in over the last couple of weeks.  At one point I counted 15 piggy banks in the works.  I've since lost count, and sent many on their merry way.  I love this time of year.  As much work as it is, and as exhausting as it can be, there is something so wonderful about creating something special for someone to give to someone they love.  It's my favorite part of what I do.  Many times while I paint I try to picture the person who will receive it, and how excited they'll be.  It makes me smile.

I have gifts for all ages, and more still coming to the shop .  {For instance, I have ornaments, but I have yet to get any good photographs of them. boo.  Hopefully soon!}  Right now I'm still holding on to my standard 2-3 weeks for deliver, but that could change at any time, so place your orders early!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Few Fun Finds...

I think I might need one of these with Miles' portrait and some kind of wording...
by khara ledonne on Etsy

If you still have candy corn available to you, go make these homemade butterfinger bars NOW.  Do not ask questions, just go!  Trust me.  {Thank you Amber!}
                         Source: thesaltypineapple.blogspot.com via jennifer on Pinterest


I'm suddenly obsessed with my scarves again. There's just something so comforting about a good, snuggly scarf, you know?  This one looks nice...
by Happiknits on Etsy

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I'm linking up to Tickle Me Tuesday .  I hope you'll go check out the other great finds this week.

I hope you are all having a great week.  I can tell it's going to take a bit for me to feel back to myself.  Thanks for bearing with me. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blessed...

                                     Source: sparkbark.com via jennifer on Pinterest


First of all, I want to thank those of you who left comments for us on Friday .  It never ceases to amaze me how blessed I am by you, my readers.

The last few days have been hard.  Really hard.  I ended up staying home Friday.  I spent the day on the couch in my pajamas.  I cried when I needed to, I watched videos of Miles.  {Which was both heartbreaking and wonderful.  It was so good to see him, and to hear his noises.}  I needed that day.  I needed to let the grief wash over me.  And that it did.  It's still coming in waves for Jon and I both.

It's funny, because the last month or two have been such a time of gratitude for me.  I've been overwhelmed by how blessed I am, and by the glory of God and his people.  Looking at it now, if feels like God was preparing me for this time, so that I wouldn't forget how much he loves me.  I have the best friends in the whole world, and an amazing family.  I am so very blessed, and even in this time of great hardship, I know that.

I had a long conversation with my mom on Friday.  She helped me work through the feelings of "what if I didn't do enough."  I let them go.

Then on Saturday, my friend and pastor, Molly, called during one of my breakdowns.  We talked, and she prayed for us, and a peace came over me.  The pain is still there, but not as sharp.

God does answer prayers.  Miles' little heart couldn't take it any more, but I know he has a new one now.

My God is great, and my God is good.  The worst thing is never the last thing.

Even before Miles got sick last week, I was listening to this song.  We sang it in worship on Sunday, and it was stuck in my head all week.  Another reminder that no matter what, blessed is God's name, and great is his strength.  And that, my friends,  is the greatest blessing of all.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Miles...


Jon and I lost a piece of ourselves in the early hours of yesterday morning.  Our beloved Miles has passed. 

I still can't quite grasp those words as I type them.  I tried to write this post last night, but exhaustion had set in, and I just couldn't do it.  This morning, I find myself propped up in bed with my husband sleeping next to me, blinded by the only light coming from this blank white page and the tears streaming down my face.  I feel like I have to write this, and I have to do it now. 

There no doubt will be some who say, oh, it's just a cat, but Miles was far from "just a cat".  He was our baby, our best friend, our comforter, and our playmate.  I also know that they say the best sure fire way to lose readers is to post about your cat.  I can only imagine that the length of this post doubles or triples that threat.  So be it. 

The end was quick and relatively peaceful.  I don't think I'll document the details here because they are not what I want to remember.  His passing was related to his "usual" issue.  For those of you who don't know, he had a heart condition that caused him to throw blood clots about every three months.  They would lodge in the small veins of his back legs and cause him to lose blood flow to his back legs.  It was horrible, but he was so special and we loved him so much that we vowed to do whatever it took to help him through it.  As long as he was willing to fight it, so were we.  When this first happened they told he most likely wouldn't make it.  The only thing we could do was give him aspirin.  So, we did, and we prayed alot, and lo and behold, it worked.  That first time we tapered him off the aspirin therapy and then it struck again, seemingly 10x worse than before.  He pulled through again.  This time we decided to continue aspirin therapy every 3 days indefinitely.  {this was the max we could do.}  It continued to happen about every 3 months.  In the beginning I documented every incident here on the blog, but I eventually stopped.  It just became part of what we did.  5-6 times we helped him through something that no one thought he could get through once.  But this last time was different.  We think the clot lodged somewhere else, and this time was it.

But anyway, his illness far from defined him.  I know everyone says this, but Miles really was the sweetest cat ever.  He was the kind of cat that greeted us at the door when we got home and followed us around all day.  He'd sit and stare at us, and in the cold weather months would curl up on our laps.  When it was warmer, he chose to sit on the back of the couch, so he could be near us without getting too warm.    At night I'd say, "okay Miles, let's go to bed" and he'd follow me upstairs.  He slept at my feet.  Often I'd wake up with him sitting on my chest, tickling my face with his whiskers.  When I showered in the morning, he'd sit on the ledge by the shower and wait for me. He was with us ALL THE TIME.  And, I miss him so much that I can hardly stand it. 

It's not just that he was loving either, he was the best.  Miles was Jon's companion during the long months he spent at home fighting Leukemia.  He was the one who kept him company during the day and who cheered him up when he was down.  Miles loved giving Jon head buts, and rubbing against his goatee.  They were buds.  Jon and I often would speculate over which one of us he loved most.  In reality I think he loved us both as much as we loved him.  He was so, so special.

Miles was my comforter when Jon was in the hospital.  He was also at times the only source of love I could see for myself.  He was there when I was deep in a depression that I couldn't, or wouldn't let anyone else see.  He loved me anyway.  I used to go on and on about how cute he was, to the point of annoyance, but he just made my heart swell.  I love him so much.  Oh, and I took about a gazillion pictures of him.  So glad I did.

Even people who don't like cats liked Miles. 

I could go on and on about him.  About the cute look he'd get on his face when he was playing with a string, about how he'd roll around on his back, about his eyes, the prettiest shade of green, his white whiskers, always with one black one thrown in for good measure, his freckles on his lips, his sounds, oh, his sounds.  That boy was a talker.  I'd give anything to hear his chirps right now. 

When I first woke up this morning, I lay here and thought, okay, this is going to be okay.  And then, I rolled over.  Instinctively I moved my legs up toward my body before turning over, as that's what I've become accustomed to doing for the last 12 years so as not to disturb Miles between my legs.  And then, I lost it.  I've been crying ever since.

I've seen my husband weep many times since yesterday morning, and I know he's having a really hard time too.  Which breaks my heart even more. 

I went to work yesterday.  And yes, I cried most the day at my desk.  I tried to be as discrete as possible, but I'm sure it was horribly uncomfortable for my co-workers.  Especially the guys.  They gave me a card that they passed around.  It was sweet, especially knowing their varying degrees of love for animals.  It meant alot that they care enough about me to do that.  It did make me feel a little like Angela from The Office, but oh well.  I mean, her love for her cats is her one redeeming quality.

I do believe that Miles is in heaven.  He has to be.  After all, before God even created a wife for Adam, he created the animals to be his companions.  Miles was our angel, and our miracle kitty.  Anything that we loved this much and who loved us back with such passion has to be in heaven.  He was a gift from God himself.  I know that when Jon and I leave this life, we're gonna hear Miles greet us, and see a ball of orange fur come running.  And you know what?  It's gonna be glorious.  We'll be home with him again.

Miles taught me so much, but I think the biggest thing he taught me is that as long as there is hope, there is a way, and that God truly does answer prayers.  He also showed me every day what unconditional love looks like.  Over the last couple years, I've known that I had him on borrowed time.  I learned that even when he was waking me up at 6:00 on Saturday morning I was grateful for him.  I was so, so lucky to have him.  A lesson that should carry over to so many parts of life. 

Thank you for everything Miles.  We're going to miss you terribly.

Rest in peace, baby boy.  


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Household tips from around the web...

This might just change my life.  A tutorial on how to roll plastic bags so they dispense like wipes!  Yes, please!  {Although we try to use reusable bags every chance we get, we still end up with a gazzilion plastic bags in the bottom of our pantry.  This could change that!}

          Source: tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com via Raquel on Pinterest

Speaking of life changing...I have always wanted to know how to fold a fitted sheet, and this lady makes it look easy!
 Don't even pretend that you aren't super excited to wash your sheets now!

Has anyone tried this? Apparently if you rest a wooden spoon on the top of a pot, it won't boil over.  I would love it it this actually worked:
                                                            Source: asmallsnippet.blogspot.com via jennifer on Pinterest


I hate scrubbing the shower. I usually just use a sponge and some dish soap, which works pretty well, but this looks like an excellent way to re-use some dryer sheets. A few drops of water on a used dryer sheet and it will remove soap scum from your shower doors.  {Or so they claim.}
                                               Source: realsimple.com via jennifer on Pinterest

Okay, so lay it on me.

Have you tried any of these household tips and tricks? Have any good ones of your own?

The only one of my own I can think of right now is pantyhose as deodorant remover. You know when you put your deodorant on and it somehow gets all over the underside of your arms along the sides of your shirt? {Usually on dark fabrics.} If you rub pantyhose on it, it will come right off. No joke. I keep a knee high in my drawer with my deodorant for this very purpose.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Few Fun Finds...

I love the chunky quality of this necklace....
These ornaments are perfect for November...

And, this bag is super cool...
Vintage Czech Military Queen Bee I RULE bag by meatbagz on Etsy

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I am linking up to Yes, Teacher's Tickle me Tuesday post . Hop over and check out the other great finds!