Happy Birthday E!

Wow, here's the second birthday post in our family in as many weeks! We didn't really plan to have the boys during the same month, it just sort of happened that way. I've liked it so far, the first time around, because E doesn't have to get too jealous that it's W's birthday -- he knows is is just around the corner...

Well, what can I say? Having E certainly changed my life! I can hardly remember life without him. He's an amazing little boy -- so smart, so funny, so loving (when he wants to be). I had a fairly easy birth with him, and was really excited to start our family.

E has many talents, including telling jokes (ones he hears and ones that he makes up, which tend to be my favorite, haha), reading, writing, digging, creating 'inventions' (which remind me of my little brother thomas), and being a great helper to me. He is fast to do a favors for me when I ask him, and he loves to play outside. He's got lots and lots of energy, which is a blessing and a curse! He certainly keeps me on my toes.

The best part is being able to watch E as an older brother. While he gets annoyed at his little 'shadow' every now and then, he plays with him a lot and is always quick to share a snack, give a hug, and hold his hand. It's great to get to see.

We love you, E! Happy Birthday! :)


It's HERE!

Hey all, I just wanted to inform you that my new photography eBook titled "Let There Be Light: Basic Tips for Understanding and Using Light in Your Digital Photography" is now available in the Scrap Girls Boutique!

This is the eBook format of the class I taught at the Scrap Girls convention this past October. I put a lot of effort and work into it, and I'm pleased with the way it turned out. It's all about the different types of lighting that there are in photography, how and when to use them, and even a bonus section about lighting objects for creating digital scrapbook embellishments!

So go check it out, tell your friends and your mom, or even your postman. You never know who may be on the lookout for a good and easy read about lighting!


Random Things

Well, I dropped the ball and didn't post something about my Dad on his birthday, which was on Tuesday. In my defense, I was sick all day yesterday, when I had planned to post something, but it still would have been late.

So, boo.

In any case, my sister wrote a really glowing tribute to my dad over on her blog. You can read it if you're so inclined. And I would just say DITTO to everything she said. Except that my dad doesn't call me Emmie. But everything else works for me too. :D

Also, I have a new layout completed for my class. The assignment was to scrap about something people wouldn't necessarily know about you. This one was hard for me because I think most people who know me, know most things about me. I think I'm pretty transparent. But then I remembered that most people in my adult life may not know about an injury I had when I was younger that basically made me lose the sight in my right eye. You can read all about it in the journaling....

betcha didnt know_600

betcha didnt know_600_L

betcha didnt know_600_R


"One thing you wouldn’t necessarily know about me by looking at me is the fact that I can barely see out of my right eye. When I was about 11 years old, I was working at my parents’ bakery, and someone knocked a Rickey Lime Soda Snapple bottle off of a high counter and it exploded onto the ground. A small piece of glass shot straight into my right eye, shattering my lens and tearing a large whole into my cornea. It didn’t hurt very much, it just felt weird. My dad was there that night, and he drove home to pick up my mom, and they took me to the emergency room.

After that, it was all about surgeries and recovery and a replacement lens.

The accident left me with only a small amount of vision out of that eye - I can’t read or see distinct, sharp lines at all.

But the amazing part is how awesome the human body is! I can still use my peripheral vision, and my left eye has literally “picked up the slack” and has taken over for the loss. So much so that I don’t even notice it anymore. (Unless, of course, I’m asked what is something that people don’t normally know about me, haha.)"

The photos are just from my computer, so they're not great quality, but I used what I had to work with. :)

The layout uses: ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Pulled Stitches
From The Desk Of Collection Biggie
From The Desk Of Embellishment Mini 1 - Frames
Molly Milkshakes Collection
ScrapSimple Tools - Scripts: Supply Tracker 11101
ScrapSimple Tools - Scripts: File Save 2 11101

Oh, and one more thing -- anyone wondering how my discipline is going? This week it took a big hit. I started the week off lazy, then got sick all day yesterday (food poisoning, methinks) and now I've got lots to catch up on. And just to keep it real, by the time you read this post, the dishes that have been sitting in the sink for 3 or 4 days (seriously!!) will be done. Guaranteed.

PS: I love my husband. He's very diligent and hard-working and I'm just glad that we're together. This weekend I told him that I just needed a little break from the kids for a while, and so he watched the kids while I went to a fabric store all by myself and got to peruse and mull over samples and not feel rushed in the slightest. It was heaven, I tell you.

So thanks, babe, for all you do for me. You are appreciated. :)


What I Have Learned

Here's another layout from my class. The assignment was to scrap about a lesson you've learned recently. And I figured I've learned a lot about myself in the past few months (year, really), so I decided to scrap about that.

This layout is really simple because I wanted the journaling to stand out. And the photos don't really make sense with it, but I don't really care because I like them and I wanted to use them, haha.

PS: They're all taken with E's Fisher Price camera we got for Christmas, so the quality is terrible. But I love them anyway. :)

what ive learned_600

what ive learned_600_L

what ive learned_600_R

Journaling: "I have learned:

that i don't want to live on a budget and really watch my spending.
that i don't want to do the dishes every single day.
that i don't want to get sucked into watching american idol.
that i don't want to get on the elliptical and work out.
that i don't want to get out of my warm bed for a waking child.
that i don't want to be a pseudo-single mom while the hubby works too hard.

that some days i don't want to be tried and tested and challenged in order to show my strength as a woman, a mother, and a wife. BUT I WILL."

Supplies used: Splash Of Color Collection, Rollicking Collection, So Basically Collection Mini, ScrapSimple Tools - Scripts: Supply Tracker 11101, ScrapSimple Tools Scripts: File Save 2 11101, and ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Magnetic Poetry 5001.
I was just looking through some old pictures for a project and I came across a series of these.

I cannot begin to tell you how happy it makes me to look at them.

I get just a little sad that we've grown up so fast -- all three of us older girls are married and having families, my younger brother is off doing his own growing up on a mission for our church, Angie is dating and driving, and little Jeff is certainly no baby anymore!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I miss this time period a little bit. And looking at this picture makes me happy to remember it. Brings me so much joy. :)


Now Playing in my iTunes library

What is my current favorite song, you ask?

Oh, what's that, you say? You didn't ask? Well too bad, I can't hear you, I'm singing my favorite song...

And yes, I know, it's on the New Moon soundtrack. That's okay with me because I just really like the song. Ignore the video if you must, but listen to the song!

It's calming to me somehow....


There Once Was a Man From Nantuckett....

Just kidding. :)

But I did write a limerick today for the class I'm taking over at Scrap Girls. Our assignment was to scrap about a typical day and so after watching an episode of "Electric Company" on PBS and learning about limericks, I had an itch to write one. And darn it all, I think it turned out pretty good! One could say that I'm proud of myself even. Ha.

So here's the layout -- I have taken on the challenge of doing two-pagers for this class so that I'll have a full album when I'm done. So I'll show you the full spread, then the two sides so you can see the details close up.

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day in the life_600_L

day in the life_600_R

Here's the poem:

"At six I should jump out of bed
At seven I roll out instead
Wipe the sleep from my eyes
And try to arise
As I plan out the day that’s ahead.

Get breakfast prepared for the kid
Find the shoes and the socks that were hid
Get them dressed on the stair
Try to do my own hair
And remember with the keys what I did.

Driving to the doctor who’s far
Staying dry safe and warm in the car
It’s time for W’s shot
In his little leg spot
He’s so brave -- he’s my sweet superstar.

Naptime comes ‘round in a hurry
The time of the day that I scurry
Do as much as I can
In a two hour span
About what I don’t do? I can’t worry.

It is time for a lunch that is good
Though my stinker is picky with food
Try a sandwich of jelly
That’s good for his belly
Oh the challenges of this Motherhood!

Dinner’s here before I can blink
Let the kids watch TV while I think
As I try to prepare
Baby’s in the high chair
And I reach for my favorite soft drink.

Then hubby gets home pretty late
Some days not ‘til seven or eight
Long is his commute
He spends all day en route
Lots of patience he must demonstrate.

Going to bed now is sweet
Reading our book is complete
The kids close their eyes
And I do likewise
For tomorrow it all will repeat!"

I'm sure you moms (and some dads) out there can relate!

What would your limerick say about your daily life?

This layout uses Little Birdy Collection, Just Be You Collection Biggie, Sweet Whispers Collection, Dynamic Brush Set: Fancy Glitter 6401, Assemble Your Own: Alpha Strings Biggie - White, ScrapSimple Tools - Scripts: Supply Tracker 11101, ScrapSimple Tools - Scripts: File Save 2 11101, Scrap Simple Tools - Actions: Magnetic Poetry 5001, Extra - Tape Embellishment, ScrapSimple Tools - Styles: Watercolor 4901 - Biggie, Assemble Your Own: Spiral Bound, and Life's Canvas Collection Biggie.


I miss my girls...

Nobody makes me laugh like my mom and sisters.

Case in point:

silly familia collage

I miss you girls!! Wish we could see each other more often. Love you! :D


Happy Birthday W!!

Exactly one year ago today, at 2:23 pm, we brought our sweet little W into our family. It was such a great experience -- going through the whole process of labor again and the anticipation of it all, followed by that instant love that just knocks you off your feet. He was so cute, with that thick mop of dark hair and long, long fingers. I was so lucky to have a smooth birth, for which I'm very grateful.

First meeting

Hiya Mama!


West has brought a lovely spirit to our home, and has joined the family effortlessly. E loves being a big brother -- helping to get diapers when I need them or making W laugh when he's fallen down. And although we're now working on the whole 'sharing' thing, he mostly loves playing with his little buddy.

Now that W is 1, he's walking like a pro, saying "Mama" and "Baba" (which means his bottle), and he loves to do anything E does. He loves being chased around the house and climbs up on top of anything he can.

cute west

He has such a sweet disposition (unless he's teething, which he currently is), and is just generally a happy boy. We're so glad to have him in our family!

Happy 1st Birthday, W!!


For your viewing pleasure...

E should be the one trying out for American Idol! ;)



I have just started with a new class over at Scrap Girls. I am taking this one, not teaching it, which I am really excited about. It's a class called Who I Am and through taking it, I'm going to get to complete 20 layouts this month, all about me! And by the end I'll have a book all about me!

The reason I really wanted to take this class is because I don't do a lot of scrapping about myself. I mean, the ratio of cute kiddo pages to all about me pages in my arsenal is about 500 to 2.


And as I got to thinking more and more about that, I realized that I want my kids to be able to know a little more about who I am (was) when they get older and start to care about those things. Although, right now I only have boys and I'm not anticipating them wanting to know so much what my favorite color is (was) in ten years, but perhaps someday I'll have a daughter and she'll want to know more about me when I was young. Or maybe even a grand-daughter, who knows?

I seriously had to hunt to find this layout with a photo of me in it, and it's not about me as a person, it's about me being a mom! And it's really, really old! And while there's nothing wrong with being a mom, I want my kids to know that I am someone besides 'mom', that I have thoughts and feelings and hopes and dreams. Hard to believe, I know.

But wouldn't that be a treasured book to have, something all about your mom or grandma that talks about their interests, what they dealt with on a daily basis, what they love and fear? I would kill for something like that about my mom or grandmothers. And while yes, they're all still alive and I can ask them about it, it would just be special to have a time-capsule of some sort with that kind of information.

So that's why I'm doing this month-long class and forcing myself to take self-portraits and scrap about me. The first topic has already gotten me thinking and I'm going to share some of the layouts that I create here with you, and hopefully some of us women that are always behind the camera will be inspired to get out in front and create mementos of ourselves. Because we do exist, and our kids should know that with photographic evidence!

And in case you want to take the class when it is offered again (because I highly doubt I'll have anything but rave reviews about it when it's over), then keep an eye out in the
Online Classes section of the Scrap Girls Boutique for it. It won't be listed there until it's offered again, so check back often.

And I can't tell you enough good things about the instructor,
Anna. She's really such a sweet gal and I know if we lived close by each other, we'd be buddies. :)


Little by little

You know, I thought that when I chose my word for 2010 {discipline} that I was really setting myself up for some hard work. And I was right -- it is hard work to be disciplined! But what I wasn't expecting was for it to feel so wonderful!

Let me explain -- I have a personality that is more likely to leave a dish in the sink than to put it in the dishwasher right away. Some may call it lackadaisical -- I call it lazy. And I'm not excited to admit it, but I won't try to hide it either.

So when I thought about becoming more disciplined this year, I thought for sure that it would take me weeks and weeks to feel like it wasn't "work" anymore and that I would just be hating life until that point.

Truth is, it's SO much better than I thought! As I've been keeping up with the various "chores" around the house, little by little every day, I've noticed that it's not as hard as I thought it was going to be.

Now, granted, that is only while I'm keeping on top of things, which I was able to do all during the week. But the weekend came a kicked my butt a little -- I was more lazy because the hubby was home and I'd rather spend time with him than do anything else (cleaning included). So now I have to make up for that lost time today and tomorrow. So I'm definitely not perfect, but I am seeing how much better life is when I do these things.

And I know, this is old hat for probably all of you reading this, but it is a struggle for me and I'm proud of myself! And I'm not ashamed to admit it! :)


One Sweet Deal!

Hey friends!

I just wanted to let you know that BorrowLenses.com is having a sale this January for 10% off your order! It runs through January 31st (E's birthday!) and it's really easy to get your discount.

Click on the link below in this post, or on my sidebar or bottom bar, then type in coupon code "2010" before checkout, and you'll receive your discount!

Camera Gear Rental

Disclaimer: I do receive a small affiliate payment for each order that goes through from my blog and website. Trust me, it's nothing that will let me retire early, but it is there. Just want to keep ya in the know! :)

But seriously, I would tell you about this company even if that weren't the case. I only do this because I actually use them and love them. I've had great experiences with their equipment, and the shipping process is easy peasy! So if you want to try out a high-end camera for a week or you need to rent a lens for that upcoming event, I would totally recommend them.

Transmission End.


First Test...

Ohmygosh, today was a day to test my new-found 2010 word. Seriously? This early in the game??

Today West has been on one. I don't know if he's teething again or if this rash that just won't go away is really bothering him, or what, but he straight up
refused to take a nap this afternoon. And it's not for lack of trying on my part, trust me. I was in there with a bottle, alternately rocking him, letting him 'cry it out' {which, as a side note, worked really well with Eli but does not work in the slightest with West} and swinging him around in back-breaking positions hoping that it would do some good.

No luck.

So I took him downstairs, realized he needed a change {literally the 5th poopy diaper of the day. What gives??}, got him all ready to go and let him run around a little bit to try and wear him out. When he had yawned a sufficient number of times, I took him back upstairs to put him back down.

No luck.

After about 8 minutes of quiet, he started crying, again, so I went in and rocked with him in the rocking chair, singing
Love Me Do.


He fell asleep in my arms and miraculously stayed asleep when I lovingly set him down in his crib. Knowing that I was in the clear, I tip-toed out of the room and accidentally clicked the knob on the door too loud.

Game over.

He woke right up, started screaming bloody murder, and I seriously just about lost my mind.

But, I became my
disciplined self and did not scream "GO TO BED!!" at my poor child. Instead, I got him out and took him to Eli's room to play. So now he's sleep-deprived, cranky, and wants to play.

Wish me luck.

On another
discipline note, I did get all of the Christmas decorations down and packed away today. every. single. piece.

Not to mention the dishes. So yeah, I'm working on my goals for the day. :)


2010 Word of the Year

Well, this is it. I've decided that my new word for 2010 is going to be DISCIPLINE.

This is something I've thought a lot about lately, and I went through a few different words, trying them on for size, seeing how I felt about them. I kept coming back to this one for some reason.

At first glance, it seems like a pretty harsh word. To me, at least. Looking around blogland and such, you see lots of exciting, freeing and happy words. Well, this one is probably not going to be any of those things.

But you know what? I don't care. Because this is my word, this is what I need to work on this year, and this is something that I've been wanting to do for a while now and just haven't done.

I need more
discipline in a lot of areas of my life. This past year was a hard one, with lots of complications and money issues and emotional upheaval. I've dealt with many problems that have been brought on myself by my own laziness. Unneeded problems that compounded the ones that I didn't have control over.

So this year, things are going to change. I'm going to be more disciplined in the things that I eat, in the daily routine that the kids and I have, in keeping myself and the house in tidy order, in my spending habits, etc.

I know, there are a lot of things that need to be changed and I'm most likely not going to accomplish everything that I would like to. But I'm also not going to give up. Becoming more disciplined is something I need to do to become a better mother, wife, daughter, sister, disciple.

I will be checking in with this blog here and there, although I won't be giving myself rigid timelines in which to do it.

But don't worry, it's not all bad! :) I will also be working on being more disciplined in making myself happy. On working to be a happy person so that my family and those around me can benefit from that, and I will too.

Wish me luck! :)


Laughing so hard today!

Maybe it's just me, but today E gave us some funny lines.

First -- we were at a little breakfast meeting with E this morning to meet his new Primary teachers. He's moving up to the main children's Sunday School and so they had a little meet and greet to see his teachers. They asked him what his favorite song is and he said, "Shuge-shuge, dununu-nu-nu, shuge-shuge, dununu-nu-nu..."

Oh, what, you don't recognize that song? Here you go:

It's the beginning to "Come Together" by the Beatles. The hubby got the "Ones" album for Christmas and this is E's favorite song from the album (with "Yellow Submarine" a close second). Makes me so proud that we've got a Beatles fan at such a young age.

Second -- this one requires a little background info. I posted before about this cool ASL video that someone did using Mylie Cyrus' song "Party in the USA" and I was watching it the day I posted. E came in the room and just LOVED the video, made me watch it at least 5 times, learning the motions for the chorus.

Fast forward to now, it's another one of his favorite songs and he knows the whole chorus. So today we were uploading some photos from his own little kid digital camera he has, and there is a screen that shows up when it's connected that says USB Connect.

So he looks at the screen on the camera and starts singing, "Mama, it's a party in the U-S-B!"

Hilarious to me. Probably lukewarm to you, but I just had to post it. :)

He's just a funny little guy. I really should start writing down more of his little sayings -- I'm sure I'll love to read them years from now.

Hope you're having a great Saturday! See you soon!