Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thankful for Day #30

... that I made it to the end of the month with a post for every day! Woo hoo!

And because I went the whole month without posting the cliche things I am thankful for, I will now post them on this last day of November.

I am thankful for God and the blessings he has bestowed upon me.
I am thankful for my husband.
I am thankful for my two beautiful daughters.
I am thankful for our health.
I am thankful for our extended family.
I am thankful for our wonderful friends.
I am thankful for the roof over our head.
I am thankful for the food in our bellies.
I am thankful for the jobs we both have.
I am thankful for health insurance.
I am thankful for the military and their supportive families who defend our freedoms.
I am thankful for our safe neighborhood.
I am thankful for the good head on my shoulders.
I am thankful for our two doggies, despite how much they may frustrate me in the middle of the night.
I am thankful for the opportunity to do extracurricular things like craft, take vacations, run races, etc.
I am thankful to live in the U.S.A.

And for many more things I am sure that escape my tired mind at this moment.

Oh yes, and I am thankful for those of you who chose to read this blog for the past 30 days despite it's lack of pictures and non-scrapbook related content. I will try to do better in the coming posts.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful for Day #29

... for my Silhouette cutting machine. Man! I have had this thing working today. If you're a serious crafter and can afford to spend a couple hundred dollars on a tool, I highly recommend doing so. This puppy can just cut and cut and cut. I pick out any font, or digital design I want and size it to my specification. Then I load the paper, hit cut, and it does all the work for me. If it weren't so late, I would snap a picture of all that I have cut. It's literally at least 400 pieces in one day!I have had it for a few years now and would highly recommend it. If you're interested, go here. The things you can do with it. Here's their blog where you can see what some very talented people do with their machines. All I have ever cut is paper and one piece of vinyl which I have yet to adhere to my wall. But I am in love with this machine.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thankful for Day #28

... for Christmas spirit. Upon arriving home from visiting my inlaws over the weekend, we got out the Christmas tree and some ornaments. The girls were beyond excited! They just couldn't wait o be handed an ornament to hang on the tree. Each one that was pulled out got big "oooohs" and "ahhhhhs" (even the simplest little red balls). I don't think Hannah went 2 minutes without telling Joel or I that she loved us. A true sign of her excitement. I think it's her way of saying, "I am so so so happy right now!" It warms my heart! We certainly didn't finish the tree, but you can tell it's going to be a fun Christmas this year!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankful for Day #27

... for dedication. I am training for a 1/2 marathon right now. I am not a runner! But I got sucked into this race a couple months ago thinking that it would be a good way for my husband and I to do something together. Cuz I am not gonna get him to scrapbook anytime soon. And I realized we don't do a lot together that doesn't involve the girls. I thought we'd be able to train together and then of course do the race together. It was also going to be an exercise in positivity for me. Even though I HATE running, I figured I could focus on what it would do for my body (hello weight loss - hopefully) and it would bring Joel and I closer. So training was supposed to begin November 1st, but knowing how out of shape I was, I began the 2nd week of October. A sort of training for the training if you will. Well little did we know he would tear his ACL and be out of the race. I think the old me would have jumped up and down at this opportunity to bow out of the race. Or at least to not take it so seriously and therefore jump off the training schedule. I say the "old me" because this new me has done the complete opposite.

Yep, I have stuck to the traiing regimen. I even ran my training distance last Saturday in the rain! Yuck! But my dedication really set in today while up in Tehachapi visiting the inlaws. Tehachapi is a much higher elevation than where I live. I think the difference is a few thousand feet. With that comes thinner air and much cooler temps. Couple that with the fact that a storm was going to come in tonight and let's just say that last night I was less than optimistic about having to do this run. I found brain working to find an excuse not to run. Or to run later. But I couldn't find one and finally it just came down to me having to do it. So I did. I set out in the high 40 degree temps and started off on my 6 mi run. this is the farthest distance I have had to run in my traiing. Quite possibly the farthest distance I have ever one in one straight shot. I was prepared for it to be difficult. I was prepared for my legs to gas out. I was prepared to walk if I had to. But to my complete surprise and utter amazement, I ran the whole thing!!!! It wasn't easy by any means, but I did it.

I am not sure where this dedication has come from. I think a large part of it comes from not wanting to let my husband down. Not that he would hold it against me if I didn't do it. He knows I am not a runner. There's also the money I paid to be in the darn race. But it's coming from somewhere deeper and I am so thankful. I am proud of myself for having stuck with this so far. Let me tell you, not drinking soda the day before my run is not fun. I still can't fathom that my body will run 13.1 miles in just about 8 weeks. But I know if my dedication can stay strong, it will.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful for Day #26

... for good Facebook friends who warned me about the woes of Black Friday shopping. I was very much decided upon venturing out to see what all the hubbub was and sought tips via Facebook. Every response was related to advising me not to do it. I took them at their word and got a few extra hours of sleep. On my way in to work this morning I stopped by Kohl's just to see what I had missed out on. There was a line of people literally weaving and wrapping through half of the store. I counted 8 registers going (not including those in the customer service dept). I observed all the selections of the people in line and several had "big ticket items". I walked the store to see the deals. There were definitely some things I would have liked to have picked up. A really cute twin bed comforter/sheet set that would be perfect for Makaela's room was $35. They did have two of those prelit Christmas trees in pots that stand about 3 t0 4 feet tall that I have been wanting forever for $39. And some cute fleece blankets for $8. But none of it was worth waiting in line for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Thank you FB friends!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for Day #25

... for so much on this wonderful Thanksgiving Day! For my body that allowed me to run a 5K this morning with my fastest pace to date (still slow, but getting better). For my daughter her persevered through her very first 1K ever even though she was so tired and felt like she was going to throw up (I think she had a side cramp). For my husband and other daughter who came to cheer us on and congratulate us when we were done. For the nice 4.5 hour lull between getting home from the race and needing to leave for our Thanksgiving feast that allowed us to nap, relax, freshen up, etc. For the wonderful food that filled our bellies and warmed our hearts, prepared by many of the guests. For my dad and stepmom who hosted Thanksgiving dinner despite the fact that my stepmom is still recovering from a very invasive abdominal surgery. For my awesome family that provides so much love! For two little girls who kept good attitudes throughout the whole day. For heaters both in the car and in the house. For a warm bed to fall into at the day's end. It was a fantastic day! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for Day #24

... for Thanksgiving break! Hannah has been out of school all this week and it is SO SO SO nice not to have to do the morning routine of dragging her out of bed, making her go to the bathroom, getting her dressed, monitoring her brushing her teeth (which she manages to do much slower than anyone else on the planet I am sure), getting breakfast ready, packing her snack, getting Makaela ready, and getting out the door. We are loving being able to sleep in a bit, stay in jammies longer, and just go with the flow. I will miss these lazy mornings come next week.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful for Day #23

... for husbands who get up at 5AM to change the damn battery in the smoke alarm because it's been beeping every 20 seconds for the last hour and a half. Thank you dearet husband. I love you so much!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful for Day #22

... yummy Mexican food and buy one, get one free Coronas. I went out with one of my best friends last night (aka Maid of Honor, sorority sister, friend since Jr. High). When we got up to the counter to order our food, I pulled a Corona from their fridge and was informed that I got another one for free. Sold! Unfortunately, I am sure my body will feel it when I run tomorrow but I'll survive. It was worth it.

Thankful for Day #21

... tools. As in mitre saws, and nail guns, and air compressors, and levels. I can't take credit for the handywork performed in our garage today, but I can tell you that my husband did awesome work on a costume/dressup station we are making for our girls for Christmas! This thing is gonna be super sturdy, complete with show storage on the bottom, a hanger rod, and a storage shelf up top. I'll have to post pictures of it when it's completed and ready for paint (the part of the project where I make my debut). I am trying to decide if this project is saving us money. Naturally it's going to be much cheaper andbetter quality than the ones you see in catalogs, but we'd never buy those anyways. Now we have lumber costs and I am sure the girls will get a new princess dress out ofthe deal too. Oh well! Hopefully the girls will look at it with as much pride and their mommy and daddy will.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful for Day #20

... warm slippers!!!! I finally broke down and bought myself a pair of slippers. They're a cheap pair, but cute. They look like a warm, red knit sweater with cream faux fur lining. And they have a plastic sole on them so I can show them off to my neighbors whenever I wander out in the morning hours. I can't begin to tell you how long I have been wanting a pair. How long I have wondered why I don't have a pair. Especially considering how cold I get. It's been years people!!! So now I have them and my feet are already thankful.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankful for Day #19

... for perspective. As I was driving home today from work today, I happened to look into the eyes of two gentlemen. Not at the same time. One man was crossing the street in front of me as I waited for a light to turn green. His hands were folded up under his arms tight to keep warm. He wore loose, denim jeans, a ragged denim jacket, worn shoes, and he had no hat. His eyes looked sad. Or lonely. And my mind began to wonder about what his life is like. Does he have a home to go to? Is he hungry? Will he be able to keep warm as the rain comes in?

The next man was a young, black man. I am not sure if he saw me, but I caught a quick glimpse at his eyes as I drove past him. He was sitting on the bench at a bus stop next to several other minorities. He was dressed as a young, twenty-something black man would dress I suppose. Not all ganster/thug, but not as though he were on his way to a job interview either -- jeans, t-shirt, sneakers, black, flat billed hat. He didn't look sad, or happy, or anything. Perhaps I passed him too quickly. But my mind jumped to what his life must be like. His skin happened to be especially dark and I wondered how hard has it been for him to grow up as a black man. Has he been harrassed by the cops moreso than he deserved? Denied certain liberties I take for granted? Does he have two parents at home who love him, support him, encourage him?

Answers to these queestions will never be known. But these two men forced me (or allowed me) to take a moment to focus on my life and just how good I have it. And how good my children's lives are. We are all loved so very much. Have more than enough to sustain our bodies. We will sleep well tonight and be warm and dry as the rain comes down. It makes me sad that not everyone has this. I am not sure what I can do to help solve the problem. But I am happy that it gives me perspective.

Perhaps these men will stay with me in the future and I won't get so down when we can't afford to eat out at a restaurant when I am too tired to cook. Or when I can't go buy a new pair of brown and black boots despite how desperately I think my wardrobe needs them. Maybe I will be more conscientous about making sure all leftovers are eaten and not thrown away. Hopefully I will remember to hug my girls a few extra times each day; to say a prayer that they remain healthy, safe, and happy more often than just at night as I am nodding off to sleep. Maybe I will remember to thank my husband for all he does for this family. Maybe I will begin to think about how I can be more of a part of the solution for all those out there that don't have the luxuries I have.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful for Day #18

... for a nice, sunny day. Rain is in the forecast for the weekend so I took the opportunity to spend some time outside. Let the girls run around, ride their bikes, hunt for caterpillars, etc. And while they were at that, I mowed the lawn. Shhhh ... don't tell my husband, but I actually like doing this. I know ... total surprise to me too. He had to teach me because of his torn ACL. I thought I would hate it, but I don't. There's something I find very satisfying about doing such a male dominated task. I also enjoy the fresh air. And then of course there's the satisfaction of seeing a nicely groomed lawn as a result of your labor. Truth be told, it's not that hard to mow our lawn. We don't have any huge patches of grass and we have no real slopes. I will go on record and say I DO NOT like weed eating though. That task is for the birds! So I am thankful for a the nice weather and a chance to get the yard spiffed up before the rain comes and prevents me from doing it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thankful for Day #17

... for this recipe. Or should I just say I am thankful for Bakerella. She's awesome! And so is this recipe. It was a super last minute decision as a dessert for the fancy dinner I hosted several weeks back now -- as in the morning of, I decide that the cookie dough truffles weren't going to be enough so let's throw one more dessert on the menu.
Everyone swooned over it!
And don't tell them, but it is the easiest thing to make ever! I am making one right now because my husband loved it so much, he volunteered me to make it for his work Thanksgiving party tomorrow. I am so jealous I won't get any, but that's OK. I can ask the cook to make me one anytime.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thankful for Day #16

... a forgiving husband. He called me this morning and asked me to do two things for him. In the midst of my morning chaos I quickly OK'd him and had every intention of doing his bidding. However, the thought or memory of me having agreed to such tasks quickly evaporated from my mind. For I filled the rest of the day with a "berry hunt" with the girls, then a spontaneous trip to Chik-fil-A to meet up with a friend, and then a walk down memory lane as I sorted through a box of Hannah's baby keepsakes at her request. It was not until I finally entered my kitchen and saw one of the things I was supposed to do sitting there on the counter, that I realized I had COMPLETELY forgotten to do what my husband had asked of me. Doh!!! Mind you this was also coincidentally 5 minutes before he was due home. When I told him of my carelessness and my plans to remedy it tomorrow, he was quite OK with my blunder. Phew!!! I need to take a page from his book because I am not so certain I would have been as forgiving had he been the one to not do two tasks I specifically asked of him.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful for Day #15

... that I cleaned last night!!! I know this is related to last night's post but I was able to get up and breathe a sigh of relief that I didn't have to deal with the kitchen floor this morning before the babysitter got to the house. I was actually able to leave for work, feeling like my house was somewhat clean. Not the norm in my world I tell ya!

Now I get to look forward to going home in a few hours to play with my girls. The little one informed me last night as I was rocking her to sleep (something I rarely ever do and also something I am thankful for) that she wanted to play with her little toys and pretend that they're chefs. So in my head I have dreamed up this fun event where we'll get out their Thomas the Train tracks set them up, set up all the Little People figurines and house and tree house, and pretend that there's a baking section and then the trains will have to deliver the food to a party somewhere at one of the houses. I think they'll eat this up. I am guessing that later on I will be thinking about how thankful I am for the patience I am going to pray for because anytime I imagine anything, it never never ever plays out like I wanted it to.

Update: train tracks + Little People with the girls went well! Yeah! And I would like to add that I am also thankful for evening walks with Hannah, even when 3/4 of the way through she says she tired and her legs are going to go right into the ground. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful for Day #14

... the fact that I got my lazy rear up from the couch at 10:30PM to mop the kitchen floor and scrub the surface of my daughters' drawing desk. Now I can go to bed and know I don't have to rush around tomorrow morning to accomplish these things.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankful for Day #13

... for Starbucks gift cards that are old but still hold a balance large enough to cover 3 hot chocolates and a few goodies for me, my hubby, and 2 special little girls.

Yep, people give me Starbucks gift cards and guess what? I don't drink coffee. Nope, I drink soda. And too much of it I might add.

Anyways, I have been carrying around 2 gift cards to Starbucks and was very excited when I went to pay for our goodies, that I had enough to cover the whole charge. Hurray!

It was the perfect ending to a nice, late dinner with my family.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankful for Day #12

... for the opportunity to take photos of my good friends and their families. As a scrapbooker it would seem only natural that I be drawn to photography as well. For me, it's no longer about just a beautiful scrapbook page by way of paper and embellishments. Nope. It now is about a good photo as a base. So any time I get the opportunity to snap pictures of someone else in a photoshoot type setting, I am excited. Excited because I get to hone my skills. I still SO SO SO very amature. I do not aspire to ever be professional but I would not mind the capability of being able to be a wedding photographer for a friend or family member. Or the one all my friends call to take their Christmas photos.

So today I got to take pictures of two families where the mommies happen to be sisters and happen to be girls I went to college with and have developed even more of a friendship outside of college. Let me tell you ... I was NERVOUS. I have never really before been asked to do this kind of thing. I have certainly offered it up and done it, but then I feel like I am in control and hey, if I screw up, you didn't ask me to do it so I didn't disappoint you. Right? Well I am currently going through all 600+ photos I took today and am pleased enough. Enough to the point where I believe the mommy friends will be happy.

So far this is my favorite photo. No editing done to it. I just love his posture and half smile here. The one foot kicked out. And that everything that is supposed to be in focus is in focus. Nothing is too bright or too dark.

If all of my pictures come out like this, I can certainly tweek them a bit and have a nice little package to present to my friends. Fingers crossed that the remaining 500 photos are of this quality.
I am also thankful for the lessons learned from today's shoot. (1) remember the end of daylight savings happens in November and plan start times accordingly so you don't run out of daylight (2) memorize a specific flow of pictures you want to do - don't rely on a list because things get crazy when kids don't cooperate or adults get stuck talking (I suspect this is one of those things that comes with practice) (3) remember to actually bring the candies you brought to bribe the little ones with you instead of accidentally leaving them in the car - it's much more effective when you have candy in hand (4) if you bring props, use them

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful for Day #11

... for outside inspiration/motivation via complete strangers. In the past couple of days whether it be via talk radio or blog reading, I have come across a theme that is deeply resonating with me.

Earlier this week I was listening to Dr. Laura. [yes, I listen to Dr. Laura and I LOVE her! Sometimes I do have to take what she is saying with a grain of salt, but for the most part, I think she is right on the money with her advice. I think her standpoint on putting children first is excellent and I wish more people would listen to her.] She was either reading an email or tackling a call from a woman who was trying to her best to keep her house clean & be on top of the everyday duties and then was feeling bad because she didn't have the time to just play with her kids. At one point Dr. Laura asked her, "Would you rather be a bad housekeeper or a bad mother?" Let me tell ya ... a wake up moment for me! I am by no means a domestic goddess. But I do find myself telling my kids no when they ask me to do something or play something because of the laundry list of things I feel I need or want to get done. Straightening up the kitchen, putting a load of laundry in, paying the bills, etc. And then ask me what I do when they go to bed. I watch my DVR'd shows. I read my blogs. I play on the internet. I think I can reprioritize a few things so that I can say yes more often.

Then today while listening to whoever comes on after Dr. Laura these days (you can tell KFWB is experimenting with the 3:00-4:00 hour because for the past 3 weeks they have changes hosts each week). It was a woman and a man. The woman deems herself a "relationship expert". Hmmm is all I have to say to that. But anyways, I wasn't totally listening but my ears perked up when I heard the man saying something to the effect that we have such a short amount of time in our kids' lives to make an impact. That they won't remember the dirty dishes in the sink when they grow up but they will remember that you took time to teach them something, or play a game with them. I swear I almost started crying just thinking about the fact that there will come a time when my girls won't want to do anything with me. And the opportunity to play, be silly, make messes with them will be forever gone.

And then to top it off, today I was looking at The Idea Room's blog because I am doing a photo shoot for some friend's tomorrow and knew I had seen some photography tutorials there. One in particular was about decorating your home with portraiture. Yeah yeah yeah! Pictures are nice. They make a house a home. We need to get a lot more up in this here house of ours (it's only been 2 years since we moved in). But then I saw a tip about specifically putting up pictures of your kids and one of them with you (the parent) by their bed. That kids seeing pictures of themselves and ones of them with their parents is a surefire way to instill good self-esteem. Duh! Makes perfect sense. I never in a million years would have thought about this. But I am SO thankful that I read it.

My goals in the next couple of days is to dig out any pictures of myself with each girl, Joel with each girl and some family shots and get my house plastered with them. And to also say yes more than I say no to the girls and to surprise them with some fun activities. Maybe to let my sink pile up with dishes for a couple of days. Maybe to have races in the front yard instead of worrying about sorting out the junk mail and getting it into the recycle bin.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thankful for Day #10

... Facebook. Yes, I said Facebook. The reason being because it has a miraculous way of lifting you up and making you feel as though you are not alone. Good times are celebrated together via Facebook. Comfort comes during the hard times from little comments that people took time to post. You can laugh together and maybe even cry together. Information os shared, questions answered. You can make yourself a little more vulnerable, all the while remaining safe behind your profile picture. Yesterday I put up a quick status update calling for prayers as my stepmom went into surgery (see Thankful for Day #9). Some of my dearest friends and some friends who I haven't seen in years were quick to comment that they were praying and would be waiting for an update. I felt loved and truly believe that part of the successful surgery is due to the love and thoughtfulness that poured out because of a Facebook post. In the early days of my Facebook existence, I was pretty wary. But I have grown to see it's benefits and have determined that they far outweigh any negatives.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thankful for Day #9

... the wonderful surgeon who successfully removed a tumor from my stepmom's rear abdominal area, all the while saving her kidney. My stepmom is battling a very rather and most often deadly case of Melanoma. it's Stage 4. She Has undergone an insane amount of high dose chemo. At a scan around 1 1/2 months ago, all affected lymphnodes had decreased in size with the exception of one that had doubled (went from a golfball to a lemon in size). Today she underwent surgery to have this infected "bugger", as she calls, it removed. It was a difficult surgery in that the doctor needed to slice her in the front, remove her intestines, and then carefully navigate around her other organs to get to the tumor. For some reason I cannot recall, he was going to put a stint in her kidney to help it drain. If it didn't work, he would have to remove it. Another concern for all of us was what if the doctor finds more bad stuff when she's opened up? What if the tumor has attached itself to other important organs and tissues and arteries and whatnot? Her last scan was over 5 weeks ago and in the span of one month, the thing had doubled in size. Needless to say, lots to worry about. And by the grace of God, and with the help of many many prayers, she is recovering with the tumor cleanly removed. She is a wonderful woman and only 48 yrs old. It's way too soon for her to be taken from us and we are just so thankful we got some good news and she made it through this surgery. Recovery is going to be tough because she has a good sized incision, but she can make it. Please pray for her.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thankful for Day #8

... for old college friends. Tonight I got to share a really nice evening out with a good friend, sorority sister, and brides maid in my wedding. It was so fun catching up about kids, family, other friends, etc. Makes me realize how much I miss her. Thank you Jaque!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thankful for Day #7

... for crafty time. I love it! I love that I have a little room full of all my favorite scrapbooking supplies that I can sneak off to every now and again to create something. It's therapeutic. Admittedly, creating can be overwhelming, but it is ALWAYS fulfilling. No matter how late I may stay up to finish a project.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thankful for Day #6

... wine! Wine makes anything better. Not that I am advocating alcoholism or anything. But earlier today I was feeling a bit anxious about some things and after a glass of wine (yes, I am a lightweight) I am finding it was all for naught.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thankful for Day #5

... for Grape Pedialyte:

and Grape Children's Motrin: to help ease my 5 year old's aches, upset stomach and fever. Yes, this is the same 5 year old that just 5 days ago, I claimed I was thankful she was healthy. Life!

Thankful for Day #4

... for a husband that despite a recently torn ACL, will still dance and be silly with the girls. He's awesome!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thankful for Day #3

... a sweet little 2 1/2 yr old girl who races down the hall each morning to climb into bed with me. I love it! My oldest never did this.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thankful For Day #2

OK seriously I don't know why this picture is turning on its side. It does not look like this in my photo editing program.
Today I am thankful for these legs and feet and the fact that they can still run and allow me to train for a 1/2 marathon.
Back in August 1998 I suffered a compound fracture to my left tibia and fibula. Basically the whole lower half of my left leg was nearly severed when a sea-doo crashed into mine. I won't bore you with the details, but I was helivacked (sp?) out of the lake and taken to Loma Linda University Hospital. Fortunately they have a wonderful medical program and by the grace of God, one artery remained in tact and they were able to reattach my leg and restore it. I am sure that most of my family never thought I would be able to once again walk normally, play soccer, hike, and run. But here I am today. A few nasty scars but a fully functioning leg.
So I snapped this picture of my feet right before I headed off on one of my training runs. The only thing that would make this post better would be if I had reported my best time to date, but sadly it was my worst performance in this training regimen. Oh well. I could very well not have any leg at all on which to run. So I am thankful!

Things for Halloween I didn't get to this year ...

... but will make for next year.

And I also plan to take these bottles and jars I tucked away this past month and turn them into witch's brew and magic potions. Along the lines of these from here:

But ,y jars vary in size more. I have some pasta jars, one wine bottle, a small emptied Bath and Bodyworks candle jar, etc. I can't wait.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thankful For Day #1

I am thankful for a healthy and happy 5 year old who passed her 5 yr check up with flying colors. This year the doctor said she was back on track with the BMI chart. Last year Hannah had edged upwards when most 4 year olds were edging down. The doctor got me a little worried and I was dreading hearding today that she was still high in which case I am sure I would have gotten an earful about how I need to watch her food intake more closely and possibly think diet. All of which I would have ignored because my child is by no means sedentary, lazy, or unhealthy in her diet. But no parent wants to hear stuff like that from their doctor about their child, especially when it's a girl. So yay for you Hannah. I love you and am so very proud of you!!!

October 2010 Catch Up Post

So I managed to go through the entire month of October without one blog post. TERRIBLE! No other word for it. I certainly was busy. I had goals of getting more than I actually did done, but oh well. Gotta leave something for next year right?

So the first thing was Hannah's 5th birthday party. It was Candy Land themed. We tried to go all out but stay within a reasonable budget.

Here's her cake which I made myself. The biggest expense was the cake pan. I tried to make it resemble a game board.

Here are how the tables were set up:

Here are some of the things we had around the yard:

Then the husband and I hosted Fancy Dinner #3. It's a new tradition we've started with 3 other couples. Every couple of months, a couple hosts fancy dinner at their house. They provide everything. It's so fun! Next year we've decided the men will be in charge of it all. Which means BBQ's and sporting events on the TV but as long as we wives can drink and not have to worry about meal planning, table setting, and cooking, we're GOOD!

FIRST COURSE: bacon wrapped scallops, shrimp ceviche in cucumber cups and grilled prosciutto wrapped shrimp for appetizers. SECOND COURSE: Gazpacho soup with avacado creme fresche THIRD COURSE: scallop, mango and avacado salad FOURTH COURSE: seared beef tenderloin with cilantro & shrimp served with mashed potatoes for the main FIFTH COURSE: cookie dough truffles and peach cake with vanilla bean ice cream for dessert.

Here's a mini album I did for my youngest daughter's first 3 Halloweens. She loved looking at her older sister's mini album that I just didn't have the heart not to make her one of her own.

Here's a Halloween banner I did for our mantel:

Did I mention we had the fireplace area redone? Here are before and after shots of our fireplace area. We had it all made to look like a built in as you can see in the pictures.

The girls in their costumes:

Our carved pumpkins:

Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas:

Another version of Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas:

Zero from Nightmare Before Christmas:

Here are some super cute milk jug ghosts I made for our front lawn (got the idea from here):