Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Resume of the craftiness!!

As I alluded in a previous post, I have been crafting. YAHOO!! And one of the cutest things I have made is this wreath:

 Live in the Sunshine Summer Wreath
Paper: SU Designer Series Prints and Berry Blossom DSP
Ink: Lucky Limeaid, Wisteria Wonder, Calypso Coral, basic black
Stamps: Fruit and Flowers
Accessories: Big Shot, Rosette XL Die, Fun Flowers L die, 1 inch punch, glue gun, glue dots, generic wreath
 This was really really easy to make! It took a little time to make the rosettes but bam, after that, all you do is decorate them and glue them on!
 This is a close up of the sentiment circle made from the Lemon/Orange slice stamp from Fruits and Flowers.
 Here's a close up of some of the flowers with the rosettes..

And here it is on my door! I LOVE how it turned out!! I plan on making a fall one and of course, a Christmas one!

See how awesome the big shot is?! Definitely worth a "shot!"

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week 2: Meet the parents er I mean meet me..

So week 2 is apparently about causing torture. No longer can I lie to myself- I am definitely like my parents. However, in my ripe old age of almost 30, I definitely realize that this is not really a bad thing. Let's back up a little. I was born in 1982 into a 2 parent home with relatively young parents (24 and 25). My sister was already 8 years old. Thus, by the time I was 10, I was almost an only child (big age differences tend to do that I think). My dad worked 2-3 jobs at a time and my mom also worked full time all so we could have what we needed and wanted, a nice house, and cars to take us wherever we needed to go. Early on it was always taught to us that work ethic is important. My parents always took pride in our home, making it aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. School was always a major priority and I was always encouraged to do well so that I could (well, I think it was more I Would) go to college and do something I wanted and enjoyed doing- not working your butt off in something you had to do for your family.
Yet- my parents rarely complained. I mean it was extremely rare and it was never like we, the kids, were the burden when really, they would never have to work as hard as they did if it wasn't for us! Work was what you had to do- no questions asked. It's just what they did. They also always put family first and went the extra mile for everyone. That was something that came from my Pop (Dad's Dad) and so it was passed down.
I think I could write a whole book about my childhood and honest to God, there wasn't anything even remotely bad about growing up in my family. My teenage years sucked, but that was because of Lupus. I never felt like I had a bad childhood but looking back, I think I should've felt more privileged. You see, when you teach kids in an urban area that are lucky to have 1 parent in their lives, you realize how good you have it!
Anyway, this post is becoming rambling and I'm having a hard time keeping it straight so I think a bulleted list will be a nice summary.

How I am like my parents:

  • I am a huge advocate of teaching work ethic
  • I know school is a majorly important part of life and something we should ALL value
  • I like to have nice things and new gadgets
  • I don't do well with being fiscally responsible (just being honest- they've gotten a lot better but it wasn't something I was taught a lot about)
  • I work hard in my jobs
  • I am overly anxious about things and at time paranoid about the safety of my family
  • I love animals
  • When I am ready to do something, everyone else around me better be ready too!
  • I like my personal space: I don't do well staying with relatives.
  • I am picky about food and cleanliness (most of the time)
  • I care too much about what other people think of me by just looking at me
  • I love buying things for other people because I love the gift of giving
How I am different from my parents:
  • everything in the house doesn't have to be perfect all the time
  • The boys' faces and hands don't have to be immaculate when we leave the house
  • I don't use a new towel everyday
  • I don't think I have gotten to the point of sacrificing everything for my kids and families: they are some of the most Unselfish people in the entire world and I still have a hard time letting go of the me me me's.
  • My cars don't have to be immaculate
  • I hate getting up early
  • I don't like to give up food I like just cause my kids want to eat it..
So, in summary, I am pretty much like my parents completely. The differences are pretty minor and I struggled to find them. However, as I said, I've learned it's not a bad thing. I am lucky to have 2 awesome parents and I don't know what I'd do without them!

So, here's week 2 and here's another blog I love to visit. Lydia Fielder is a moderator for splitcoaststampers.com, an online stamping community. Her blog is hilarious as well as creative! Check it out here: Understand Blue.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Week 1: That's so, like, 10 years ago..

I'm going to choose to look at me 10 years ago almost exactly. Because in just a few months I will be entering my thirties so I want to enjoy the last view months of being in my twenties :)

So, 10 years ago, I was 19 and entering my Junior year in College at George Mason University. Sam and I had already been together almost 3 years at that point and had lived together for almost 2 years. We both worked at a small independent theater in Manassas and had this dream of making it an awesome movie cafe. That didn't happen but hey, we could dream.

I was already engaged and in debt. We had little to no money and not the best of jobs. We had 4 dogs at the time (Sabrina had not yet joined the pack!) and I was obsessed with Paul Frank. I ran up quite the hefty bill from ebay purchases. Oh yeah, and I think I just discovered for was just about to discover Harry Potter. And Owls.

I dreamed of being super crafty and sewing my own purses. I designed a couple and my friend Holly sewed them for me out of glitter vinyl. I was still driving my red Honda CRV and Sam had a blue Kia suv thingy that I can't remember the name of. I had no idea what I was going to do with my degree in history but I think I was starting to think about teaching college. On the music front, I was listening to Coldplay, The Thrills and The Strokes. Definitely The Strokes.

So, 10 years later, some of my expectations were met. I think i'm pretty crafty and still love designing stuff. I have 2 kids, as planned. I'm living in Lynchburg which was totally not expected and I'm a Special Ed Teacher. I never would've thought my M. Ed would be in this field! And that I'd love it so much.

Also, Autism never even passed my mind 10 years ago where as now, it's a way of life. I wonder what I would've thought or done differently if I'd known Autism would be such a significant part of our life. It doesn't matter though. I had my first son at 23 and love him regardless. Maybe I would've been better prepared, maybe not. Maybe my journey into special ed was God or the universe's way of getting me ready.

Sam also now has a college degree in education which I don't think I would've expected 10 years ago. However, the not having a job thing is also something I wouldn't have expected either.

All in all, not too many surprises here. I think I would've liked things to be somewhat different in regards to jobs etc but I think most of my expectations were right on target!

As for a blog I read, definitely check out my niece Kyra's blog: Mrs. Quartermaster Most of my other regular reading material is of the crafty nature (not that you're not crafty Kyra but ya know what I mean :)

Blog Challenge Accepted..

So, my niece by marriage is doing a blog challenge of sorts. It's a great way to keep me at least posting weekly so read the rules below and I hope you'll join. Or at least let me entertain myself by completing it!

This seems incredibly cheesy, so I am going to apologize in advance. But what it all really boils down to is: I need something to do while I procrastinate from working on my writing, and writing is the only thing I can think of. Ironic? Yeah, I thought so, too. 

So, I was talking with a few of my lady-friends (and no, not in the 70-year-old man in a nursing home sense of "lady-friends") and it has been decided that a blog challenge is in order. I've never actually done a blogging challenge before, and the ones I have seen seem kind of lame, so we're coming up with our own. 

Here are the rules:

  • The blog-every-single-day thing seems to be a little... scary for a lot of people. So, we're shooting for once-a-week blogging for 8 weeks.
  • Blog challenges will be "due"/rollover on Sunday nights at midnight. I know this sounds a lot like a class project, but hey, we're all gluttons for punishment, anyway, right?
  • Post the challenge/challenge rules before you write your first blog-challenge blog, and link back to it with each blog-challenge post (then say blog challenge ten times fast!). This way, your readers can join in on the fun.
  • And, just to shake things up, at the bottom of each blog challenge blog, post the link to another blog you read regularly. Think of it as a grab bag for your readers. Or just utter ridiculousness on my part.
  • Try to comment on other blogs doing the challenge. Let the blogger know you're reading and doing the challenge, too!
  • Take the topics as seriously or as lightly as you would like.
  • Write as much or as little as you would like.
  • Use visuals if and how you see fit.
  • Have fun and share!

Now... For the topics!

  • Week 1: Compare and contrast: yourself now vs. yourself ten years ago.
  • Week 2: How are you like your parents? How are you different?
  • Week 3: Who and what makes up your "community?" How do you define that community?
  • Week 4: A social situation you struggle with and why.
  • Week 5: How do you define yourself?
  • Week 6: What is a goal you have or want to set for yourself? How are you going to achieve it?
  • Week 7: A funny story about something dumb you have done.
  • Week 8: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Catching up..

So, I've been contemplating this blog post for like 2 weeks. June was an insanely busy month. Though I wrapped up the school year on June 7, we went straight to Williamsburg that day. We had a lot of fun at Busch Gardens and Water Country USA! It was great despite the fact Nate didn't sleep well there at all. We ended up coming back a little earlier than planned but he had a great time at Water Country. The resort we stayed at was literally next door so it was nice to be able to get up, go over, and come back after 4-5 hrs.
The week after we got back, we had a week long Science and Math Teaching institute at Randolph College. The following week, I spent all week preparing for my comprehensive exams to officially graduate with my M. Ed. I honestly feel like I finished 4 yrs ago since what was left was just tying up loose ends. However, it's very good to be officially done!
On June 29, the derecho (read HUGE WIND STORM!!) hit Lynchburg hard. It was rough. We were part of a small area with power- about 100,000 people near us were without power, including my parents who were without power for a week! Anyway, the morning after it hit was the day my comps were scheduled for. I and the other 4 people taking it was determined to do it. So we hand wrote it by window light and got it done.
Then, on July 7 I helped plan a 40th birthday for my bff. I spent most of that week running errands and creating some decor. It was good but hectic. July 9, my parents went on vacation and we watched their dogs for a week. Nate also decided he didn't need to sleep more than 1-2 hrs at a time so we were drained. Finally, July 16, we're getting back to some normalcy... except that our backyard is a giant mud pit as we're putting in an in ground pool in an effort to help Nate with his sensory needs!
So, even with all this I have found time to do some crafting and some soul searching. We're trying to figure out our future and where we're going. This includes Nate's educational needs, his life skills, X's needs, and our needs. We're back in a tough spot as Sam does not have a job for this school year. Long story short, he would've been better remaining in the position he started last year at. The economy is brutally tough and we're victims. If worse comes to worse, which it is looking like it will, Sam will have to work with my Dad at the steel shop. My Dad has been welding and building for well over 30 yrs and I have tremendous respect for him. However, the point of Sam getting his college degree was to open up his job opportunities and his ability to get a job. So far, the trend continues that no one really wants to hire a male teacher in elementary in this area. I have a lot of anger about this that I'm trying to let go but it is hard. Sam is extremely dedicated to teaching and its a shame that he can't find a school that will embrace him.
So the next few weeks before the school year starts will continue to be hectic. I'll continue to work on getting myself emotionally in a better place and hopefully all will work out in the end!
I'll be posting some crafty stuff soon- I've made some cute cards and a wreath that I hope you'll all like!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quick Update

Wow- nothing good happened this weekend. We were so looking forward to a 3 day weekend. Instead, Nate has a broken bone in his foot from an accident at school Friday, our septic tank backed up on the holiday, and we had an ER visit for Nate as well. Hoping for a calmer week- if we can just get through it!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Paper Players Challenge 96- Sweet Polka Dots!

Happy almost over the hump day!
So glad tomorrow is THURSDAY and we're heading into a 3 day weekend! I don't have to administer any testing tomorrow and we're in the single digits for days left in this school year!!

I managed to get another card done and used the Paper Players weekly challenge to do a CAS polka dot card. I pulled out some more items I hadn't used yet and came up with this cutie!

Sweetest Day Polka Dots
Stamps: SU Something Sweet
Ink: Island Indigo, Lucky Limeaid, Wisteria Wonder, Calypso Coral, 
Chocolate Chip
Paper: Chocolate Chip, WW, and Pool Party CS; Sweet Shoppe DSP
Other: Scalloped Chocolate Chip Ribbon

Hope you enjoy the quick and simple card!

Things I Love..

  • My Family
  • My Beautiful Boys!
  • My Dogs (all 5 of em!)
  • Stamping
  • Scrapbooking
  • Chocolate
  • Shoes and Purses!