Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 in Review

This has been a momentous year for me in a lot of ways. When I look back, I can hardly believe where I was a year ago today. Here are some highlights from my year:

January---I found out I was having a boy. I flew home to Dallas and went on a little baby shopping spree.

February--My husband and I took a babymoon down the California coast from Monterey to San Simeon.

March/April--I was lucky enough to get TWO baby showers. So much fun!

May--I had my baby on May 18 and turned 33 on May 25.

June--Almost lost my mind from lack of sleep and challenges with breastfeeding

July--Celebrated my second wedding anniversary

August--Prepared to go back to work and started my duties as a board member with the Junior League

September--Started life as a full-time working mom

October--Dressed Aidan up as a cowboy for Halloween

November--I watched a candidate I believe in win the election and started feeding baby solids at Thanksgiving

December--Looked back on an amazing year full of great challenges and great joy

Here are a few things I learned:

1) I wasn't sure if I would enjoy being a mom---I love it.

2) I discovered that I am strong enough to give birth to a baby.

3) I had to face the fact that I cannot be all things to all the people in my life and that I don't not have the power to make everyone happy.

4) Being a full-time working mom is harder than I thought it would be. I long to work part-time.

5) I am grateful for health insurance. I am even more grateful for a healthy family.

6) I am truly truly blessed.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!!

I will see you in 2009!!!!

Seven Months and Ready for Santa

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Couldn't Resist the Cuteness!

I was wandering around the mall last night after picking up the latest round of Make-a-Wish Santa letters at Macy's and I found this adorable outfit at Gymboree. I couldn't resist. How cute will my baby look in this? Maybe I'll pop him in it for his eight-month photo. (his seven month photo will be in two days!!!)

I'm almost done with the teddy bear that I knitted Aidan for Christmas. It just needs a face. I promise to post a photo when I'm done. Hope you are all having a lovely holiday season!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Carved Santas

There used to be a store in Dallas filled with crafts made by senior citizens. My mom and I loved shopping there because you could find truly unique gifts and the money benefited local seniors. Every year, we would stock up on handmade Christmas ornaments and we would especially look for carvings by Tom Blount. We picked up at least one Santa by him every year. Eventually, he was no longer able to carve so I feel very lucky that I have so many of them. They are all signed and dated. A few of my Santas are TEXAS Santas and I even have a Mexican Santa! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ornament Exchange

I recently received an invitation to a holiday ornament exchange. I'm very excited to go. Evidently, it is similar to a White Elephant Gift Exchange but instead you bring nice/unusual ornaments and people can "steal" from each other as they get unwrapped. I'm interested to see how it goes.

We've added quite a few new ornaments to our tree this year. We have a lovely gift store in town and they decked out there shop with lots of Christmas trees filled with ornaments. Aidan loves looking at all the trees and lights. My mother took him into the shop and let him "pick" some new ornaments for the tree. When we decorated the house on Black Friday, she presented us with the ornaments. They are all lovely. I love laying on the floor with Aidan in front of the tree and seeing him look at all of the lights and ornaments. If I'm lucky, I get about three hours a day with my baby and they are very precious hours indeed.

I have decided I need to get a photo of some of the decorations in my house and post it here. I have a great collection of carved wooden Santas that I'd love to share. We'll see if I can get organized.

Hope your holidays are wonderful so far!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grinch or Elf?

I have been really upset ever since reports came in about the poor Walmart employee who was killed last Friday trying to protect a pregnant woman. I do not participate in Black Friday nor will I ever if I can avoid it. There is something really wrong about a country facing an economic recession where people actually kill each other for a flat-screen tv. We are sending a message to the world now that material things are more important than human life. It is so awful I can barely think about it.


I picked up my first batch of Santa Letters for the Make-a-Wish Foundation yesterday. For every letter to Santa that Macy's receives, they will donate $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. As I counted the letters, I read a few of them and I could barely stop the tears. Along with the typical requests for toys and bikes, I found messages of love and hope and even a few of desperation. "Please let my Dad find a job." "Please reunite me with my estranged wife." "Please help us find a home so we can leave the shelter." "Nothing for me Santa. Just comfort those in need." It was just the shot in the arm that I needed. It was a reminder that we all need Santa no matter how old we are. That people still want to believe in something pure where a man gives joy and gifts to people expecting nothing in return. So, although I may feel a bit Grinchy at times, I still have hope this holiday season. And I think playing elf with these Santa letters will help me maintain it.

Here's wishing you peace and joy this holiday season...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Snowman (and Lady) Tutorial

The ever-fabulous Hippie Dog has posted a tutorial on how to make your own snowpeople. So cute!!! Hope I can find the time to try it! While you are there, check out some of Hippie Dog's adorable holiday designs. I have one of her Santas and I just love it!!! I can't wait to get him out this weekend.

Find the tutorial here.

(photo borrowed from Ms. Hippie Dog so you can see how cute her project is!)

Do You Believe?

I am a volunteer with the Make-a-Wish Foundation and this year they are partnering with Macy's on a very special project. Kids (and adults) can deliver their letters to Santa to Macy's and Macy's will mail them. For every letter that Macy's receives, they will donate $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. It's that easy! I am actively involved in this project as I will be collecting the letters from my local Macy's and counting them before sending them on to the North Pole. So, if you have a letter to Santa you'd like to mail, please consider dropping it off at Macy's so that Make-a-Wish can get a donation.

You can find more information here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I went to the doctor today and she offered some good suggestions and ideas for me so I think things will improve soon. As for my SuperBaby, he is as healthy as a horse and in the 99% for height and the 50% for weight. A long tall drink of water indeed. I'll post a six month photo soon.

As many of you may know, Karin over at Creative Chaos is in the process of becoming a Crazy Sexy Cancer SURVIVOR! She was recently diagnosed and is starting her fight. I ran across Karin's blog when she was offering tutorials on how to make fantastic paper crowns. She has an incredibly amazing attitude and outlook on everything and I'm sending lots of healing thoughts her way. Please do the same.

I may not post again before Thanksgiving so I just wanted to say how thankful I am for so many things in my life: healthy baby, family, home, job, personal health....and YOU!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Foot in Front of the Other

Hello Friends.
Thanks for your encouragement! I have a doctor's appt tomorrow and hopefully she can help me figure out how to deal with what is going on. In the meantime, I'm hanging in there. I would like to try and rest this weekend and maybe even do a little crafting. I would love to finally make one of Teresa McFayden's Cookie Sheet Advent Calendars. (see tutorial in my sidebar) Also, Beth Holcombe just posted a tutorial on how to make a holiday corsage here. Doesn't that look like fun?

I hope you are all preparing for a lovely Thanksgiving. I know I have lots to be thankful for. Especially blogging friends like you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can (and Did!)

Wow. What a day! I was literally on the edge of my seat all day long. I am so proud of our country. And not for voting for Obama (which DOES make me happy) but for getting out and voting in record numbers. People stood in long lines and faced many obstacles in order to make sure that their votes were counted. Amazing!!! I am so proud to be an American right now.

In other news, Joli Paquet has begun and they have GREAT tutorials already. I can't wait to try this one:

Isn't that great?! I am borrowing the photo so you can see the kind of great things they are doing over there. My mom is moving into a new home this weekend and she will have an office/crafting room. I'm hoping she'll let me use it as well so I can spread out and get some fun holiday crafty things done. Whoopee!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Holidays are Coming!!!!

The holidays are right around the corner and I've been looking for some safe toys for Aidan. We have a toy store in town that only stocks toys made in the USA and Europe. It's sad to think that we have to worry about lead in our toys and contaminants in our candy but that's how things are these days. Anyway, one of my favorite Mommy sites, Cool Mom Picks, has a new safe toy guide. I'll leave it in my sidebar through the holidays. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Five Months Old!

Sorry I have been negligent about posting. I've been keeping busy with work and this little guy. Isn't he wonderful? ;)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fun Thingie

I found a fun tool online that allows you to generate your very own realistic-looking newspaper front page. Find this nifty tool here:


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Holiday Meltdown Already?!!!

The holiday season is approaching and I couldn't be more excited. But I have to admit I am in a decorating rut. For baby's baptism two weeks ago, we decorated in a fall/harvest theme. After all that work, I didn't feel like taking down all that stuff just to put Halloween up and then taking THAT down in a few weeks to put the harvest stuff back up. SO...I just put a few Halloween things.

When I got married in 2006, we didn't have a guest book. Instead, we stuck some curly willow branches in a pot and had people write on purple paper grapes that we tied on green ribbon onto the branches to make a "grapevine." Our curly willow "tree" lives on top of our entertainment center throughout the year until the holiday season when it becomes a centerpiece. For Halloween, I hang little beaded bats on it. Then, for Thanksgiving, I hang up glittered fall leaves. For Christmas, I hang glittered snowflakes on it. It is fun to change the whole look of this simple piece with a few ornaments. It's so easy yet effective.

I finished baby's teddy bear. I'm not going to show it to you yet until I get the face on. My friend Monique is going to show me how to needle felt the nose and eyes onto it. So far, it's looking pretty good. Also, I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping!!!!! I'm so proud of myself! Now, if I can just get the decorating in gear...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Here's a meme from my friend Vieve:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

That would have been the fall of 1998. I was in the middle of graduate school for my master's degree in anthropology. I was dating a guy in the air force who was eight years older and ended up being one of the worst mistakes of my life.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today?

1. Publish the latest Junior League newsletter. (done)
2. Pump at least four more times.
3. Post the video of baby's baptism.
4. Upload the photos of baby's baptism and edit them.
5. Finish my current library book (GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO)

3. What snacks do I enjoy?

I am a cookie monster so if there is a chocolate chip cookie available I definitely go for that! Most of the time, i have a granola bar.

4. Where are some places I've lived?

Dallas, San Antonio, Denver, Sonoma County

5. What things would I do if I were a billionaire?

Pay off my debt and student loans. Buy a house. Donate to all my favorite charities. Buy my mom a house. Create a college fund for Aidan. I want a home of my own so badly. If I could win a lottery for just a couple hundred thousand I would be a happy happy woman. Real estate is so ridiculous in California that I doubt we will EVER be able to afford a house.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Joli Paquet Returns!!!

Well, I finished knitting the bear!!! He is felted and is currently drying. Once I get his little face put on, I will post a photograph. I think it's looking pretty cute so far!

I am so excited to find out that some of my favorite bloggers will be having a special holiday blog full of tutorials, decorating ideas and more! Last year, they offered kits to appease those of us who weren't able to make it to Silver Bella. It looks like it is going to be great!!! Find this wonderful holiday blog here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bellaween and Knitting

I signed up for the latest MY MINUTIA e-zine called Bellaween and so far it has some great projects. I haven't done any yet because I need to go out and get some materials but I can't wait to try the projects.
Tonight, my buddy Monique is coming over and we'll be knitting up a storm. Maybe I'll finish the teddy bear tonight! I'll post photos when I do. I just need to finish knitting half of the back of the bear and sew it all together. Then, I'm going to felt it. I've never tried felting before so this should be interesting.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Christmas Present Idea

Cooking is really big in my family. Everything seems to revolved around food. So, when I found TASTEBOOK, I got really excited. It is a website where you can upload your own personal recipes and photos and make a personal cookbook. Prices start at just $19.95. I've already starting loading some recipes and I plan to contact family members and have them e-mail their favorite/signature recipes. I'm going to compile a family cookbook and give one to each family for Christmas. Sounds like fun, huh?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Halloween Goodies

Halloween is coming up and I feel compelled to really go ALL OUT since this is Baby's first Halloween. I need to start going into the garage and finding all of my decorations. I didn't do much decorating for holidays last year because I was pregnant and lethargic.

In order to get a jump-start on the holiday, I just ordered this adorable kitty from HippieDog! (photo borrowed from Hippie Dog Primitives) Isn't she wonderful?! I have lots of Hippie's pieces and I love each and every one. What is not to love about black cats and Halloween!

I also got the new Grand in Road catalog and I am trying to restrain myself from ordering a $1000 worth of lawn decorations. Maybe when Baby is a bit older...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Smile Award

I have been delinquent in thanking my sweet blogging buddy Hippie Dog for giving me the Smile Award! I have to admit that I secretly get a thrill every time I get one of these little blogging awards. It is just a massive warm fuzzy! So, thank you Hippie. You made my day!!!

I am passing this award on to the following people:

Charles Batte

Heidi at Sweet Woodruff Acres

Sarah at Experiment Land

Mary Isabella at Daisy Bouquet

Vallen at Queenly Things

And to all my loyal readers who stuck with me while I was on maternity leave from my blog. You guys are the greatest!!!!

My Cutie Patootie

Here is my little guy at his first Junior League meeting....he wasn't impressed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Well, I had a nice weekend. Baby turned 16 weeks old on Sunday. I can't believe it! I am more than halfway done knitting the bear for baby. I'll post photos of it soon. In the meantime, you can see what the bear is SUPPOSED to look like in the picture above. You can find the pattern here. So far, it's not too hard. All knitting with some fairly simple increases. Next, I need to get back to scrapbooking and doing something with those baby formula jars. I've decided to decoupage a couple to use as vases. I'm thinking of doing a few more as "fairy dust" jars. We'll see how it goes.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. Fall is in the air! I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chas Batte Studio

My friend Charles finally has a terrific website to showcase his amazing art dolls. He will be showing at the Halloween and Vine show in Petaluma at the end of this month. The image above is borrowed from Charles' website and is copyrighted. Go check it out and prepare to be amazed!!!

Link to Chas Batte Studio

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back Online and Back to Work

Today I returned to work from my maternity leave. Sigh. So hard to leave my baby. I don't really want to be working full-time but I'm lucky to have a good job with good benefits.

In other news, I finished scrapbooking my pregnancy and I have knitted half a bear for baby. I'm using a FiberKnits patterns and so far it's going pretty well. I'm going to felt it. I really want baby to have something homemade from me. We'll see if I can wait until Christmas to give it to him. I can't believe I filled a scrapbook with ONLY my pregnancy! I'm going to have to get a new album and begin with the delivery story.

Glad to be back online. Hope you are all well!!!

(I still need more ideas on what to do with all these glass formula bottles! Keep your ideas coming!!!)

Friday, August 22, 2008


Hello my friends! I have a new computer and I am in the process of getting back online. Slowly but surely...

I want to pick your brains. Although my baby is almost exclusively breastfed, he occasionally gets feed some formula that we get in little glass bottles that hold six ounces. I have been washing and saving these bottles thinking they might be useful for a craft project. Does anyone have ideas for these bottles? I was thinking of decoupaging them and making little vases. Or jars of fairy dust? Or something for Halloween? I'll try to post a photo soon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


My beloved computer is dead. We had a good run, though. I've had it since 2001. And I didn't even start blogging until 2003. So, I'm sorry for my lack of posts. Hopefully, I'll get a new computer soon. Until then...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Blahs and Scrapbooking

Well, my husband and I are both down with colds. So far, the baby hasn't gotten it. (knock on wood) I have been working on baby's scrapbook and I am in month six of my pregnancy. Slow going! But at least I'm getting some done. I also got a new book on knitting baby clothes and items. I realized last night that I don't have the right size needles, however, so when I am feeling better I'll have to go acquire them. I have grand plans to knit a teddy bear for baby for Christmas. And, if I get done, to knit them for my friends with babies as well. We'll see...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thank You Hippie Dog!

I always say that crafty bloggers are the nicest most generous people I know. And I am proved correct yet again! I received the sweetest package from Michelle (aka Hippie Dog) today. She included a blankie/changing pad, a sweet little doll, a Serendipity book (which happens to be a favorite from MY childhood) and a WISH journal to record all my thoughts on motherhood in.

Thank you so much, Michelle! You really made my day!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sticker Mania

When I was a kid, sticker collecting was really big. I would hoard my stickers like they were pirate treasure. My favorites were a brand called "Mrs. Grossman's" because they had these great simple designs and bright colors. Little did I know that I would one day live in the same town where Mrs. Grossman's factory is located. Today was the annual Mrs. Grossman's factory sale. I was there when the doors opened. Now, I am stocked up on stickers and sticker accessories. It was so much fun! They have a terrific factory tour and store as well. Now, I can go straight to the source when I want cool stickers. Lucky me!!! If you are in the Bay Area, I highly recommend the factory tour.

(image borrowed from Mrs. Grossman's)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shhh! Baby sleeping...

Photo of my little one at 1 week, 5 days by
Becka Lynn Photography

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lazy Scrapbooker

Well, I'm still trying to figure out a gift for my hubby for our upcoming anniversary. Love the idea of a mini-quilt but I still don't know how to quilt nor do I have sewing machine. (Still!)

I am also starting on baby's scrapbook. The annoucements should arrive tomorrow and I want to make the annoucement the first page. I have also decided to try out How Fast They Grow. It's kind of expensive but the pages look nice. It's the quick and dirty way to scrapbook. Or for those people like me who seem to have no time since they are constantly breastfeeding! I'll let you know how the pages turn out!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hi Everybody!

well, the last month has been full of all of the joys and challenges that comes with new parenthood. The baby is absolutely wonderful. The struggles with breastfeeding and lack of sleep....not so much. But we're working on it! Everyone tells me things will get better around three months. Just in time for me to go back to work. Sigh.

ANYWAY...I need to pick your brains. My second anniversary is July 3 and the traditional gift for that is cotton. I need ideas of something to do for my husband. I thought about a robe but he has enough robes he already doesn't use. Does anyone have a creative idea for cotton? I don't mind making something.

Ideas please!!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Special Day

Thanks to Gary for posting about Aidan's arrival for me. It has been a crazy and wonderful week. Today, Aidan is one week old and I am 33 years old. Hard to believe. We are settling in so I won't be posting consistently but I promise I'll be back to posting soon! Thank you for all of your well wishes and kind thoughts. You are all the greatest!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

He's Here!

Aidan Gaetano Fusco was born a healthy baby boy at 2:30 this afternoon. Mom sounded great when I spoke to her on the phone this evening, though she had not really slept since night before last. Aidan has a strong set of pipes and I could hear him crying loud and clear in the background. He weighs in at a whopping 9 lbs. 2 oz. (and he was two weeks early!) and is 22 inches long. Mom, Dad, and Grandmother are happy and well.

Congratulations Amy and Gary!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

New Project Idea?

I'm REALLY tempted. Doesn't that elephant on the cover look adorable? And I'm going on maternity leave after today so I'll have a little time...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Reign of Ellen hits Etsy!

I have a very gifted friend named Ellen who is a talented artist/cartoonist. She has FINALLY opened an etsy store. I have been waiting to post about it until she got a few more things in her shop. Like many talented/creative people, she isn't so good with the business side of her enterprise so things are very SSSLLLLOOOWWW to trickle into her shop.

Ellen has some very special adoption-oriented items and will be putting many more lovelies in her shop soon. The item above is from her shop and can be personalized. She has a truly whimsical touch.

Find her store here.

When I got married in July 2006, Ellen created a children's book about it called "Malady Gets Married." (my nickname is Malady) See an illustration from the book below:

Isn't she great?!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Oh Boy!

Angelina is having a Fab Fifty sale! Everything is 50% off. Her cards are so lovely.

Find them here.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Joy of Puppets

When I was a little girl growing up in Dallas, there used to be a puppetry company called Kathy Burks Marionettes. My parents took me to many of the shows and they were always so magical!

I just catalogued a library book about puppetry and it made me think of those puppet shows from my childhood. I checked the internet to see if Kathy Burks' company was still in existence. It is! It is now known as Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts and they collaborate with the Dallas Children's Theater. Their latest production was of "The House at Pooh Corner" utilizing vintage puppets. (see photo above borrowed from the Kathy Burks website) I think there is something special about puppet shows because there is such a unique connection between puppet and performer. And it is always so exciting to see an inanimate object come to life! I hope that as baby gets older, we'll be able to find puppet shows in Northern California that are as unique and special as the ones that I experienced as a child!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy May Day!

Happy May Day! I would have liked to get organized enough this year to make little May Day tussie mussies to leave on the doorknobs of my neighbors. I have always thought this is the greatest tradition! And I doubt I will be dancing around a maypole this year. But I still wanted to wish you all a very happy Spring! I can already tell this is gonna be a big month!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Break on the Horizon!

I had an absolutely lovely shower on Sunday. My friend Laura really outdid herself! We had the shower at a local tea room and Laura made sure that every little detail reflected the colors of green and yellow which are the colors we are using in the baby's room. I had such a good time!

My official last day of work will be Friday, May 9. Almost there! I'm hoping I will have a week or two to rest before baby arrives. Maybe I'll even get some knitting and scrapping done! I checked out a book from the library called KNITTING FOR TWO that has some great baby patterns in it that I would love to try. After baby is born, I will have maternity leave until September 2. I know it will be hard to return to work but I am grateful for the time I will have off.

My birthday is May 25 and I'm still hoping for a sewing machine. Or a record player. I may end up getting a baby that day instead!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weekend Plans

Well, the weekend is almost here and it will be a full one for me!

I am running a booth for the Junior League at my local parade/festival tomorrow. It should be a fun time. Plus, I can do the whole thing sitting which is a definite plus at this point. On Sunday, my friend Laura is hosting a baby shower for me at a local tea room. I'm so excited! It will be great getting my friends together for tea and baby talk. I planned ahead and bought some thank you cards from Angelina's Cards and Paper Boutique and they are so adorable! Check them out here. I have always been a firm believer in the importance of a handwritten thank-you note.

My mom will be in town until Tuesday so she and I may need to make a trip to Babies R Us before she goes. I have already gotten a couple of gift cards and can't wait to use them. My husband wants me to be sure and buy the "machine that hermetically seals the dirty diapers." That seems to be a very important item on his list!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend wherever you are!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

That's One Big Belly!!!

Eight Months and Counting!!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Delinquent Blogger

Hello my friends! I hope you are all doing well. Things have been busy around here lately! I volunteer with several organizations and I'm trying to get all my volunteer work finished up in preparation for baby's arrival. Tying up loose ends and getting my board position ready to pass on to the next person. It seems like I go to a meeting almost every day! And I'm still working full-time. Right now, I'm planning on quitting work on May 16 but I may not make it that long. I feel like I need some rest to prepare for the Big Event! And there is still some scrapbooking and knitting I need to get to! If only I had more energy!

Anyway, I hope you are all well. Even when I don't post, I still check your blogs every single day!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Update on Griffin Family

Some of you may remember when I blogged about a local family that was involved in a car accident back in late January. Their car was hit by a drunk driver and the mother was killed. The two girls are now fine and back at school but the father is STILL in the hospital. He has undergone so many surgeries and had so many setbacks. Right now, it appears his legs will not be able to bear any weight for at least another six weeks. Then, he will begin the long arduous process of beginning to walk again. In spite of this, we are lucky he is still with us. It was very touch and go and it is so wonderful the doctors have managed to save his legs and his arm.

I was so happy to get an update on this family today. They have been through so much and still haven't had a chance to properly grieve for their wife and mother. It is an important reminder for me about how blessed I am in my life. I have my health, my family, my friends, my husband. I have a roof over my head, a job and plenty of food to eat. I have a baby on the way. So many blessings. I must never ever take it all for granted.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Creative Family

I saw this book on Charlotte Lyons' blog and it seems like it might answer some of my concerns in my previous post. This book offers ideas on creative play and activities that nurture family connections. The reviews on Amazon look really good so I might have to buy this one. Of course, it will have to wait until baby is a little older!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Back in Action

Hello Friends!

I'm feeling much better and I'm back at work. Trying to take it easy. Only about seven weeks left!!!

I have appointed my friend Gary as my "in case of emergency" guest blogger to keep you up to date of any changes.

I am one of those people who finds it really hard to rest and sit still. I have been trying to do lots of reading and watching movies but sometimes I get cabin fever! I just feel like there is so much I need to do to get ready for baby's arrival!

We watched "Dan in Real Life" a few days ago which was really sweet. I think Steve Carrell is best when he does really subtle comedic roles like this one. One thing that really struck me about the movie is all the "together time" this family has. They do things like have men vs. women crossword puzzle challenges, early morning aerobics in the front yard and Charades tournaments in the evening. No one turned on the tv or played video games. I thought that was so great! I know it's not always possible but I would like to be the kind of parents who really encourage creative play and don't use the television as a babysitter. We are really going to try and limit baby's exposure to television for at least the first two years. I hope we will eventually become the kind of family that has lots and lots of "together time!"

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hippity Hop Easter Swap Days 8-11

First of all, thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts and wishes. I go to see the doctor tomorrow and she'll go over all the test results with me. I am keeping my fingers crossed that bed rest is not in my future but I'll do whatever is necessary to take care of my little guy.

In the meantime, I thought I better post the rest of the wonderful goodies I received in the Hippity Hop Easter Swap!!!

This lovely hanging was done by Stephanie Ann Rojas. The colors are so great!!!

Miss Dolly made this sweet little box!

The fabulous Scrappy Jessi made this cute little collection of cards. Each one has something sweet on it.

And the grand finale was this sweet little basket by Bristol Snider!

Thank you so much to all the ladies for the wonderful goodies. And thanks to Heather Bluhm for hosting this massive swap!!! I'd love to do another!

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Little Scare

For the past few days, I have been having a sharp pain in my side just to the right of my belly button. Yesterday, my doctor sent me to the hospital. I was hooked up to monitors and had a myriad of tests while they tried to figure out what was wrong. Long story short...they still don't know what is causing the pain. However, baby is in good shape and very very active. While I was at the hospital, they discovered that I was having regular contractions. This was a complete and total shock as I didn't feel them at all. In the end, they decided to send me home with the caveat that I stay home from work today and stay in bed.

As you know, I am still nine weeks away from my due date. Much too early for baby to come. Although the situation isn't dire and I will get checked again next week, please send good thoughts and prayers my way that baby will stay in my belly until May.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pregnant Pause

Busy preparing for baby.

Be back soon.....

(here's a picture of Toulouse trying out baby's stroller)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hippity Hop Easter Swap Day 7

Carol Campbell of Sassafras and Lulu created this wonderful hanging that I immediately placed on my front door! It's adorable!!! Thank you, Carol!

(photo borrowed from Scrappy Jessi..again...until I get my camera working)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hippity Hop Easter Swap Day Six

Michelle from Life on this Good Day made me the most wonderful soldered pendant with a handstitched bunny! I am borrowing the photo of one side of the pendant from Scrappy Jessi. The other photo is from Michelle. I got the one with the bunny! It's just wonderful!!! Thank you, Michelle!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hippity Hop Easter Swap Day Five

Look at this adorable box that I got to open today! Isn't it sweet? This little treasure was made by Jennifer at A Charming Life.

(Photo borrowed from the fabulous Scrappy Jessi)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hippity Hop Easter Swap Day Four

Look at what I got from Nola! Isn't it wonderful? She created a mini-paperbag scrapbook for our fourth Easter surprise. I'm going to save it for Baby's first Easter next year.

Thank you, Nola!!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hippity Hop Easter Swap Day Three

I just opened my day three package and it is so cute!!! Teresa of Plum Water Cottage made us the sweetest papier-mache glittered bunnies! I'll try to post a photo later. Thanks Teresa!

(Photo borrowed from Michele at On This Good Day)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hippity Hop Easter Swap Day Two

I got to make the gift for Day Two (today!) and decided to do a little two-sided charm. I'm having trouble with the camera so I am borrowing this image from Scrappy Jessi!

Hippity Hop Easter Swap Day One

I got to open my first Hippity Hop package yesterday and boy was it a good one!!! The incredibly talented Cathy from Tadpoles and Teacups made a papier-mache bunny from a vintage chocolate mold. Doesn't he look good enough to eat? I just love it!!! Thank you so much, Cathy!!!

(my picture didn't turn out very well so I am borrowing Cathy's photo)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Vintage Flashcard Tutorial

If you haven't been over to Heidi's wonderful blog, you are in for a treat! Today, she has a tutorial on how to make your own vintage flashcards. I have really been wanting to try this and now I know how!!!

Find the tutorial (and Heidi!) here:


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dreaming of Warmer Weather

Still haven't chosen a paint color for baby's room yet but I'm working on it! Thanks for the suggestions. I am trying to match a yellow on the baby's quilt. The only problem is that there are three different colors of yellow on the quilt and I can't decide which one would be best.

My mother gave me this wonderful patio set last year for my birthday and my husband put it away for the winter. I can't wait to get it back out again. We got it at Target on sale and it is so comfortable! Now that the weather is getting warmer, I am fantasizing about filling our flowerbeds and getting our garden all tidy. I really want to get one of those free-standing patio warmers this year. I would love to sit outside on my lovely furniture in the evenings but it gets cold here in Northern California when it gets dark. We have a chiminea but it doesn't put out much heat. I think a patio warmer would be wonderful. Don't you?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Spring Fever

Hello my friends!

It's a beautiful day today in Northern California and I am wishing that I was not stuck at my desk at work.

I spent the weekend trying to choose a paint color for Baby's room. It is tough! There are so many to choose from and they look completely different on the wall than they do on the paint chips. I think we have narrowed it down. I really want a creamy pale yellow and there seem to be lots of different shades out there.

I also need to get out to the garage and find my Easter decorations. My mom's birthday is right around Easter and she'll be visiting so I want the house to look festive. I better get busy because I'm running out of time!

Hope you all have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Erin's Pretties

My friend Erin has finally opened an Etsy shop filled with her handmade jewelry. Lots and lots of pretties. I thought the green of these earrings was especially dramatic.

Find Erin's jewelry here.

Any day now, my buddy Ellen will be opening HER Etsy shop which is sure to be fantastic since she has such a wonderful sense of whimsy. I'll let you know when it goes live.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hippity Hopping Along

I have been feeling a little under the weather lately so I took it easy this weekend. I DID manage to finish up my contribution for Heather's HIPPITY HOP EASTER SWAP. I hope everyone likes what I did. It will be so exciting to get our Easter packages next month. I can't wait to a different surprise each day until Easter! I will do my best to post photos of each day's item.

Gary and I settled in for the Oscars last night. I just love the Oscars. This one wasn't my favorite but it was still entertaining. I was disappointed that Angelina and Brad didn't show up. I really wanted to see what she would wear. My favorite outfit of the night was Anne Hathaway. She just looked radiant. I think my least favorite dress was a tie between Kelly Preston and Jennifer Hudson. And why did Jennifer Garner and Cameron Diaz wear their hair like that? It ruined the effect of their lovely dresses. Not that I am in any position to judge. But the red carpet action sure is fun!!!

While we watched the Oscars, we put together our stroller. Yes, it's true! We got our stroller and carseat yesterday. It was on sale so we thought we'd go ahead and get it. I hope we can figure out how to use it before the baby comes. My mom is coming to town in mid-March to help me start setting up the nursery. The transformation from guest room to nursery is a bumpy one. Hard to figure out where to put everything. Slowly but surely!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Look What I Won!!!

If you haven't been to Heather Bullard's Present Past Collection, you must stop by. Her blog is so lovely. I keep hoping to make it to her shop sometime. Heather recently held a giveaway contest for some lovely calendars and I won one! I got one of the vintage letters calendars. I am borrowing her photo which I hope is okay. In any event, getting my lovely calendar in the mail made my day. Thank you, Heather!!!

Photo by Heather Bullard of Present Past Collection

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

California Coast Adventure

For Valentine's Day, Gary planned a trip for us along the California coast. We drove down Highway 1 from Monterey to San Simeon. We had lovely weather and saw all kinds of wonderful wildlife: sea otters, harbor seals, elephant seals, monarch butterflies and even zebras in the wild! We started our trip at the Monterey Bay Aquarium which was wonderful. We especially liked the sea otters because they are such playful and fascinating creatures. Later in the trip, we were lucky enough to see one in the wild!
On our first full day, we drove through the lovely Carmel-by-the-Sea and stopped at the Point Pinos lighthouse and the Monarch butterfly refuge. We then took the scenic drive through ritzy Pebble Beach. I stopped at the Golf resort to use the restroom. I wanted to get baby a tony Pebble Beach onesie but Gary wasn't having it.
We then spent a night in Big Sur and then headed to Hearst Castle in San Simeon. What a fascinating place! Hearst must have loved to entertain! The views were spectacular. We stopped several times along Hwy 1 to look at wildlife. The elephant seals were ashore for mating and eating. I couldn't believe how close we got! We spent the night at Ragged Point and then headed to Point Lobos for a few short wildlife hikes where we saw harbor seals and a sea otter! Now, we can't wait to go back with baby and Grandma!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008



When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least:
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,--and then my state
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings'.

-William Shakespeare

This is my favorite of all Shakespearean sonnets. It just really speaks to me. I hope you all have a lovely day filled with love, laughter and happiness. Now go out and hug someone!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Book Ideas

Wouldn't it be neat to publish your own book? I just found this website where you can do just that! It's called Blurb. You download the software, create the layout, and then have your book printed for as little as $12.95! Doesn't that sound like fun?! I can't wait to try it! I'm thinking it might make a fun project while I am on maternity leave this summer. Maybe I'll do a book all about baby. Sure to be a bestseller!

I also found this easy scrapbooking site that I want to try out. I know this is the lazy woman's way out but it sounds intriguing. The site is called How Fast They Grow. You lay out the pages online and then the company prints the pages and sends them to you. The layouts are really pretty. Wish they had a version for wedding scrapbooks. Still haven't started that little project yet. But I will after Valentine's Day. Seriously.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Clotheshorse Wannabe

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. My computer was broken but now I'm up and running again!

I work in a junior college library and one of my favorite parts of the day is unpacking the boxes of new books. Today, we got a set of books called "Fashions of a Decade." The books cover the 1920s through the 1990s. I just had to stop and thumb through them. I think it is so interesting how fashions have evolved. Especially women's fashions. We have done incredible things over the years to shape and mold our bodies. Even now, I laugh at myself trying to squish my body into maternity SPANX.

Some of the clothing in these books is just beautiful! My very favorites are the "New Look" garments that came out in the 1950's. The nipped in waists and the full skirts that could be covered with a dainty half-apron! So glamorous. I just love it! While thumbing through the 1920's book, I realized I would have made a lousy flapper with my copious curves. I would feel like "Thoroughly Modern Millie." (if you haven't seen that film, treat's really cute)

I am currently chairing a special event at my local woman's club that will be held in March. We are having a 1940's USO night. I'm really looking forward to it but I'm having a hard time picking a costume. I'd love to find a nice flowy vintage maternity tunic to wear over pants or a skirt. Or maybe I'll go as Rosie the Riveter. In any event, I'm sure people will find it amusing when I tell everyone at the event that my soldier and I had a quickie wedding and he went off to war leaving me "knocked up."

If anyone has good costume ideas for me, leave me a comment. I'd also love to hear what your favorite clothing styles and eras are.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Checking In

Hello my friends.

It has been a rollercoaster week! The Griffin family has been at the forefront of our minds this week. To update you, the two girls (ages 2 and 5) are staying in a hotel with their grandparents. The father is still in critical condition in the hospital but his vital signs are greatly improved. I know in my heart this is in large part due to the many prayers and good thoughts going out to this family. So, thank you all!

I am starting a new project this weekend. Gary and I will be picking out paint samples for the baby's room. I think it's just about time to start preparing the room! I am working on a knitted baby blanket that is going slowly but surely. I also grabbed a few knitting books from the library so I can attempt some other baby patterns. If only I didn't hate double-pointed needles so much!!!

I also need to start working on my Easter Swap project. I have an idea so I need to head to the craft store this weekend. It's hard to believe that Lent starts this week. In light of the events of the past week, I will definitely be counting my blessings!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thank You and an Update

Here is a link about the accident.

Thank you for your sweet response to my last post. I told my husband not to worry. I told him I was going to call upon the wonderful bloggers that I know to pray for his tenants. And I knew you would respond because you are the most generous and wonderful people I know. And I think your prayers and good wishes are helping.

The last we heard, the father and little girl in the hospital are doing better and will probably pull through. The youngest girl was released into the care of family friends yesterday. My heart breaks when I think about that poor family.

Nine years ago, my father was killed when he was hit by a courier van while walking across the street to work. At the funeral, one of his co-workers told me something that really startled me. She said that she heard about the accident on her way to work while listening to a local Christian radio station. Evidently, the radio station had a traffic helicopter that was flying over when the accident occurred. The pilot asked listeners to pray for the victim in the accident because it didn't look good. My father's co-worker didn't find out until later that it was my father who was the victim. She told me that she knew that my father's soul was carried to heaven on the prayers of all of those listeners. It's a nice thought. I always say a prayer now when I go past an accident. You never know what a difference it might make.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Favor Needed

Hello my friends.

I have a favor to ask of you today. It is so important to me that I am going to put the same post on both of my blogs.

Last night, my husband got a phone call that some of his tenants had been in a car accident. It's a family of four. The mother was killed. The father and one of the little girls are in the hospital and the little girl has yet to regain consciousness.

I actually believe in the power of prayer. I really do. I am asking you today to take a moment as you read this to pray for that family. It doesn't matter to me what you believe. I think that if we send this family our best wishes, thoughts and prayers, it will help them. I am praying that the father and little girl still in the hospital make it through this tragedy. They have lost enough already. And I am also praying that the father will have the strength to go forward with his little girls after such a horrible loss. I can't imagine going through something like this.

So, if you have a moment today, please send some positive energy to this family. They need it desperately.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Warm Fuzzies and a "Boo Hissy!"

Can I admit something silly?

I just get tickled pink when someone gives me one of those blog awards. It really gives me a warm fuzzy! It's always nice to be recognized and to feel valued. So, thank you to all of you who have given me a blog award and thank you to the creator of those awards too!

Now, for a "boo hissy."

I am a little over five months pregnant now and my belly really hasn't popped much. I know people look at me and are afraid to ask if I am pregnant or just overweight. I'm starting to feel self-conscious about it. At my prenatal pilates class last night, a woman who is a week behind me has a nice big belly. Not me. I seem to have gained weight all over but not especially in my belly.

A co-worker just stopped by my desk to see how big I am getting and he said, "You don't look pregnant at all! You're not trying to diet are you?!"

I know he didn't mean anything by it but it kind of hurt my feelings. Of course I wouldn't diet while pregnant!!! I can't help it if I have a small belly! I know it's a silly thing to feel sensitive about. I don't know why women get so competitive about this stuff. Myself included. It's not enough that we often fall prey to comparing ourselves with each other physically on a daily basis. But to do it while pregnant?! A good friend of mine is due today and she proudly told me that she has only gained fifteen pounds her whole pregnancy. That made me start to worry that I am gaining too much weight. I guess I just need to focus on being healthy and not worry about comparing myself to others. It's all so silly!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Back to the (Scrapping) Grindstone

Hello my friends!

I am back from Texas where I had a lovely long weekend with my mom eating and shopping. Got lots of fun clothes for baby!

I have been thinking that it might be a good time to knuckle down and get my wedding scrapbook done. I haven't even started it yet! (My wedding was in July 2006) I need to get that finished and then my honeymoon scrapbook done because pretty soon, I will have to start a baby scrapbook! It just seems like such a daunting task that I have been putting it off. I think I need a weekend where I do nothing but sit at my dining room table and scrapbook. I just never seem to have the time! And when I think about sorting through and organizing all my wedding photos....whew!!!

However, I have been spending too much time on the couch in front of the tv so at least this would be a productive sitting activity. I'm going to get right on it!

In a day or two... ;)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Shopping Trip

Tomorrow morning, I am flying home to Texas to spend the weekend with my mom in Dallas shopping and eating. I can't wait! I am going to get off the plane and head straight to my favorite Mexican food place, El Fenix.

Mom and I are going to do some shopping for baby. There aren't many good baby and maternity stores where I live so I'm looking forward to going to all the neat stores in Dallas.

I hope you all enjoy the weekend and I'll tell you about my adventures when I get back. If you are so inclined, please send good thoughts and wishes my way for a safe trip!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

To Valentine or not to Valentine?

Valentine's Day is coming up and I'm wondering if I have the energy to make homemade valentines for everyone.

When I was growing up, I really enjoyed Valentine's Day. In elementary school, we would decorate paper bags with our names on them and hang them around the classroom. On Valentine's Day, you were asked to bring valentines for EVERYONE in the class. Kids would come in and "deliver" their valentines into the paper sacks. Later, we would have a party and open our valentines. I just loved that! I remember all the thought that would go into my choice of valentines at the store. Store-bought or homemade? Should I include candy or not? If I give this valentine to "cute boy," will he think I like him?!

When I got older, I started to think Valentine's Day was mocking me. I didn't date in middle school or high school and this phony baloney holiday was a painful reminder of that. I decided that I would change the holiday to be less about romance and more about telling the people in your life that you love them. This has become more important to me over the years due to certain events in my life.

So, I'd like to make valentines this year for my friends and loved ones. We'll see if it happens. But if I don't, I want to tell everyone that I love and appreciate you. You enrich my life everyday!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Marley Baby

I find myself gravitating towards children's clothing stores these days. I'm curious about what is out there for little boys. So far, I have not been very happy with my findings. I'm afraid I'm just not the kind of person who likes trucks and airplanes and trains on baby clothes. It just seems so gender-specific to me. There just doesn't seem to be as much variety for boys as there is for girls.

A new store just opened in my little town that has "rocker chic" clothing for kids. I had to check it out. My husband is a big fan of reggae music, so when I saw this onesie, I had to buy it.

My mom tracked down some terrific CDs that she gave us for Christmas. One of them was a collection of holiday rock music that had been converted to lullaby-sounding songs. In the same series, they had a CD full of lullaby-converted Bob Marley music. I just love it.

When I was sick on Christmas Day, I laid on the couch in front of the fire listening to the CDs and dozed off into a nice nap. I'm looking forward to playing the CDs for our baby when he arrives.

In the meantime, I'm keeping my eye out for hip boys' clothing a la Kingston Rossdale.