Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fantastic Fours

My friend Maggie has tagged me for the four things here goes!

Four jobs you've had in your life
1.) Babysitter
2.) Waitress (I'm sorry if you're the customer I spilled the entire tray of water on...I am SO sorry.)
3.) Mail room helper (probably my favorite job EVER)
4.) Teacher

Four movies that you would watch over and over:
1.) Ocean's Eleven
2.) Notting Hill (my first date with H)
3.) Harry Potter (ANY of them)
4.) Narnia (I just watched the complete movie with my students. I can not wait to see it again.)

Four places you've lived: (in order and not all the places I've lived)
1.) Clarksville, TN
2.) Perry, GA
3.) Bowling Green, KY
4.) Muscogee, OK

Four TV shows that you love to watch (or used to watch):
1.) NCIS
2.) Numbers
3.) Criminal Minds
4.) CSI/CSI:Miami (don't like CSI:NY as much as the others, but will watch it)

Four places you've been on vacation:
1.) Washington, DC
2.) Chicago
3.) San Francisco
4. ) Disney World (Orlando, FL)

Four websites you visit daily:
1.) Splitcoaststampers
2.) All my bloggy friends
3.) Stampin' Up!
4.) My local news station

Four of your favorite foods
1.) Mexican
2.) Cheesy Chicken Soup
3.) Mexican
4.) Grilled Cheese
5.) Mexican...oh, wait...only four foods. Sorry.

Four places you would rather be right now:
1.) Snuggled in my bed
2.) Savannah (Watch out...we'll be there tomorrow)
3.) Rocking M
4.) Snuggled on my couch knitting

Five people I’m tagging:
1.) Andi
2.) Melody
3.) Golightly
4.) Kyla
5.) Zach

PS: Don't forget to check out this post. It's open until Sunday evening...then I'm drawing names!

Theme Thursday: Focus

Focus is such a great theme. In fact, each theme that Tracey (the previous hostess) or Stacy suggest are fantastic themes. There are a thousand ways to interpret focus, which makes is what makes it so interesting. M LOVES to paint. Crayons? Fine. Markers? Better. Paint? Squeals and bouncing for joy. She would paint for hours if I let her. Here she is extremely "focus"ed on her work.

Grab yourself a cup of coffee, schedule a some quiet time in your schedule today, and browse through Stacy's comments. It just might help you find your focus today.

PS: Check out one post below...I'm offering a fun treasure!

Posted by Picasa

302nd Post

Ooops...I missed the 300th Post, so I'm offered this fun treasure now. I can't believe I've been blogging long enough to have 300 posts! In honor of you, my dear blog friends, I'll give away one package of handmade initial cards (6 cards) if you leave a comment. Your comment must include the initial you want on the cards and a funny word that begins with that initial. (C: cunning) Please include an e-mail address so I can get in touch with you.

Pass the word... This is fun!!!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 28, 2008


A perfect new life. Miracle.

For other MBS, visit Mother May I?
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 27, 2008


My creative juices are running super hot and super cold. I'm either at one extreme or the other. For Theme Thursday: Books, I had NOTHING to offer. I had visions, but just couldn't get them to materialize. However, for the letter challenge, I could have snapped away all day. I'm loving the 365 Project. That's usually something I'll start, but give up on rather quickly. I really think this is something I can follow through to the very end. I've already learned so many little things and my relationship with my camera is deepening with each click.

There is another MAJOR thing I'm learning about myself as I work on simplifying: sometimes it is SOOO much easier to deal with the status quo than to change. Because I've lived with chaos for so long, I find I'm struggling with some aspects of this change in my life. I'm not one who resists change; I don't think I welcome it with open arms, but I'm fully aware that change happens all the time in life. With the idea of simplify, I just wanted my life to improve, not continue in a downward spiral into complete chaos. I'm having the hardest time dealing with all my STUFF. And truly, I since cleaning my desk, I haven't done much else to declutter this house. I'm keeping the sewing table clean and my desk is moderately clean. I just can't seem to tackle any other projects. Everything is a bit overwhelming.

On a positive note: just by cleaning those two small areas (my sewing table and my desk), I've found that creative place in me that was dormant for so long. I can't even imagine what will happen when I get the rest of the house under control!

Here are two projects that I've wanted to do and finally completed:

This is a journal to write my Phrase Friday quotes in during the week. I've found myself at a loss so many times on Friday morning when I want to post something sweet I've heard. Now I'll have a place to write it down. I also have a space for simplify ideas or photos and for blog ideas. As I completed the journal, I thought of two great 365 Project challenges, so I jotted them down. The journal doesn't LOOK quite like I envisioned, but it will serve its purpose. And what goes in is far more important than what it looks like.

This is a small canvas that I made so I had a visual reminder to simplify. It sort of took on a life of it's own as I worked on it. It looks NOTHING like I thought it would, but I'm pretty happy with it. I'm not sure where I'll keep it. Now it's on my desk. I'll definitely keep it in my "office" so I can focus on it when I need a reminder.

I hosted Stampin' Saturday yesterday with my stampin' club girls. I meant to take a picture of the sweet Valentine's Day cards we made, but I didn't. I'll take a picture and post it soon.

My friend, Ana, had her super precious baby boy last night. We were able to get to the hospital this morning to see him. He's beautiful and perfect. And boy did he ever ignite that baby fever in me. Sometimes I can supress the heat, but holding him caused an inferno in my blood!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 26, 2008

365 Project

Math at school: lots of manipulatives as students are learning to subtract with and without regrouping!

Another image of the letters on my overhead. That was such a fun project.

A tad bit unusual. M was so cute in her car seat one afternoon. I couldn't resist trying to take a picture in the little mirror I have to look at her. She likes to play "peek-a-boo" in the mirror. She'll look all around and wait until she catches my eye in the mirror. "Mommy! Pee-a-boo!"

These aren't dated because I don't remember exactly which day I took these pictures. I know I only posted six this week, but I took LOTS of pictures at school this week that reveal a little bit too much about my class that I feel might violate the privacy of my students. I'm just a too uncomfortable posting them on this semi-anonymous blog. I hope you understand that.

I'm not sure I want to give myself a challenge this week. I want to continue working on composition and becoming a more artistic photographer. Hm...maybe I'll give myself an easy challenge: take a picture of the every day things this week. The things we do every day: feeding the dog, brushing our teeth, cooking dinner. One little problem I'm noticing is that when I post pictures during the week, I don't want to repost the same images for 365 Project. While I DEFINITELY took more than 7 pictures this week, I only like a few from the same situation or setting. I think I'll also try taking only ONE picture of each every day thing I want to post...that really increases the challenge. I have to purposefully capture the image I want. Oh, yes...that will be my challenge: to take ONE picture each day of our every day life and post those--terrible, great, artistic, boring. I can take other pictures, but only ONE for 365 Project.
Posted by Picasa

365 Project

Sunday, January 20. Really worked on composition and getting an unusual angle. I zoomed in close and got close to the table to take this image. I like this.

Monday, January 21. Got down LOW on the floor to get this image. I like the perspective. If I had my druthers, I'd unclutter the background so M and her best buddy, Noah, were more prominent. The other thing that works in this image is the light coming through the window. Not normally something I like, but I do like it in this picture.

Tuesday, January 22. I like the shallow DOF in this image. Again, zoomed in close, got rid of some distracting background. I'm learning how much I can zoom and still get my camera to respond. Also, M was eating noodles for the first time. Had to capture that on digital film for posterity.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 25, 2008

Phrase Friday

I'm going to make myself a notebook this weekend because there were several phrases this week that I wanted to share, but they escape me as I'm trying to remember now.

Here is one from school. S is student (wearing a short sleeve shirt button all the way to his neck and a Valentine's Day tie).

S: Mrs. Benson, I wore this tie so you could take my picture.

Me: Take your picture for what?

S: To put it on the dotcom.

Me: (I busted out laughing) WHAT?

S: I wore this tie so you could take my picture and put it on the dotcom.

He wanted his picture on our class website, otherwise known as the dotcom.

If I remember sweet M's sayings, I'll edit after school. What fun things have you heard this week?

Just a little picture to tickle your funny bone: M's first pig tails!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Theme Thursday: Books

NOTHING creative today. My creative juices have disappeared, it seems. I had visions of beautiful photos of books. After all, books are some of my favorite possessions. But the teacher-mommy-book-lover in me couldn't resist this theme. The top photo is a picture of many of my cookbooks. The irony here is that I'm a terrible cook. The bottom image is a picture of about 1/2 of M's books. There are books in the car, in the tub, in my bedroom, beside the couch, on her table in my "office." M's book collection rivals my scrapbooking/stampin' collection.

Head on over to Stacy's library to check out other bookish images.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Letter Challenge

A new guy, Mike, stopped by MBS Monday. He offered up a challenge: a LETTER challenge. Oh, how the teacher in me jumped up and down for joy!!! There are no rewards, no contest, just fun. The challenge is simple: take pictures of letters where they might not be expected. I thought and thought about what I might want to do. The wannabe artist in me wasn't around today...I couldn't resist doing something a little more traditional. I did letters in my classroom. Here are magnetic letters placed on my overhead projector. I'm focusing on composition this week, so I worked with a shallow depth of field. H thinks this pictures is "freaky." I think I kind of like it.

I was so focused on the colored letters on the overhead screen that I didn't pay attention to the projection on my white board. I had to laugh when I turned around and saw shadow letters projected on my morning work for tomorrow. Never occured to me to practice phonics with the kids with magnetic letters on the overhead!! Learn something new everyday.

So, now that I've got you interested (I do, don't I?), go on over and visit my new friend Mike. He's got a fantastic photo up.

And don't forget Theme Thursday at Stacy's place tomorrow. Her theme is books. I'm having to supress teacher-giggles...letters and books in one week!!!

My very dear-real-life-friend has started a blog. You might have noticed her in my comments. Andi...she's completely delightful. Her words are beautiful as she is. If you have a moment, stop by and welcome her to the blogosphere. She's a wonderful addition to this world we (virtually) inhabit. I love you, sweet friend...welcome, welcome, welcome.

PS: Only five more posts before a FUN give-away. I'm working on something great. Tell EVERYONE to come on by.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Insta-improved attitude

Here's the scene:

It's past M's bedtime. She's HYSTERICAL about everything. She wants her OB. She wants her Nona. I tell her we'll see Nona and OB in a week or so, tears instantly stop. I kiss her, she's PISSED again and the crying resumes. I put her to bed without a story.

The walls are shaking.SHAKING.with M's melodrama. I listen for about five minutes, then I stomp up the stairs to tell her to suck it up and GO.TO.SLEEP.

I open the door.

She's bellowing. Shrieking. She jumps up and grabs the side of the crib.

M: "I need to hol-ju-me. I need you-ki-me." (I need you to hold me. I need a kiss. )

Slight pause. Tears stop.

M: "I getabed now?" (I get out of bed now?)

Um, no. You're good, but not quite ready for the Oscars. Maybe in another few years.

Monday, January 21, 2008


A glimpse into my future. On the surface I see my toddler talking to her daddy on my phone. In my mind, I see my teenager talking to her friends.

M will not understand life before cell phones and iPods. She'll have no concept of a time when you had to be at home to talk to your friends and family and you might have even been connected to the wall by a cord when you did that.

For other MBS, visit Mother May I?

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Simplification update

I love lists, so I'll do this in list form.

1.) My sewing table is STILL decluttered! YAHOO!!

2.) I've only made a few necessary purchases on my credit card....they were necessary. I'll pay a little extra next month to cover the charges.

3.) My desk is moderately decluttered...need to get control of it again.

4.) No gym this week, but the weather was completely crummy and I had a few evening commitments, to time was limited. I'm going tomorrow morning and will schedule a few more visits during the week. Did I mention that I'm "training" (in the loosest sense possible) for the local Labor Day road's a 5K. My goal is to be able to run at least one mile of it and walk in the middle, but finish with a good run.

5.) I only went to bed with dirty dishes in the sink one evening this week. Every other night, I ran the dishwasher just prior to coming upstairs.

6.) I think my effort to "simplify" is rubbing off on my husband. Don't tell anyone, might be a fluke. He's sitting downstairs in the middle of all his tools, organizing them and putting them back in their appropriate spots. Half of the utility closet is in the den. He swears he'll have it all put up before he comes up to bed. I think I even saw him throw something away, but I didn't check the garbage for the proof.

On another note:
I finished my project that I mentioned in my 365 Project picture. I took pictures of it tonight, so I'll post one later this week.

I feel like I'm in a totally creative place right now. There are many times when I'm so dry--no creative thoughts, aimlessly looking at my supplies, yearning for some idea to come to me. Rarely do I feel the energy like right now. I made a list of the projects I want to work on and will add to it as ideas come to me so I can have a list when I re-enter the desert of creativity and I'm all used up. I want to sew (have ideas in my head for several outfits for M). I'm dying to scrapbook some of my favorite pictures (even have a layout or two planned). I need to make some cards (know EXACTLY what I want to d0). I'm working on a special project for a spring birthday and I just don't want to stop working on it--I even started early so I could pace myself. I bought a book to alter for my inspiration book--I'm going to glue articles from my myriad of magazines in it and donate the magazines to the art room at school. My ultimate goal is to read the magazines as they come in, tear out the articles that I want, put them in this book and take the magazine to school the next day--no clutter!

So, what are you up to? Where are you with your projects? Homework? Talk to me...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

365 Project--Things I Love

I learned many things about myself as a photographer this week.

1.) I need to work on composing my shots. I need to be more thoughtful and conscientious as frame my pictures.

2.) I want to be more artistic with my shots. I've been trying to become more aware of what types of pictures I take. I find that I'm too predictable. There is very little that is unusual about my images. I want to improve that.

3.) Not every shot I post has to be great for this project. I took some pretty crummy pictures this week. THAT'S OKAY. This is NOT MBS. This is just a project...a project about growing. For the perfectionist in me, this is an important realization.

So, my challenge for myself this week is to:
Work on composition and talk about that with each picture next week.
Try to take a few artistic shots. Make something ordinary become extraordinary. Push myself.
Give up the idea of perfection. Slow down.

M playing poker with her daddy on a SUNDAY afternoon. Sometimes we're heathens. I love my girl and I love that her tongue hangs out of her mouth when she concentrates. We share that trait.

I did take this picture...we finished reading it in class Thursday and had a wonderful Narnia party Friday afternoon, snacks, movie, discussion. It was THRILLING to share with my second graders. I have some GREAT pictures from it, but can't share, as I'm sure you understand.
Shopping. I actually love the Hobby Lobby more, but didn't go there this week, so Michael's had to suffice.

I love the idea that cupcakes represent. We celebrated my best friend's child's 4th birthday today. He wanted green cupcakes with yellow icing and RED cherries. I love celebration, I love him.

How did your 365 Project go?
Posted by Picasa

365 Project--Things I Love

My plate rack...I don't know why. I just love it.

Vanilla Jasmine Tea. It makes me happy, happy, happy. (I love this picture...the dof, the tea ball with the chain coming toward the lense, the little bit of red from the eye on the stove beneath the tea pot)

Creating...I'm working on a project. Will show when complete.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 18, 2008

Phrase Friday

I had TONS of phrases, but of course because my life is so complicated, I couldn't remember any of them when I started to post this morning.

However, M, in her completely cute way, has given me a few things to write about now.

She wore a completely cute dress today and needed to wear tights with it. When I was helping her get dressed, I said, "M, let's put your tights on now."
"Types?" she said.
"No, tights" I replied with some emphasis on the T at the end.
"Oh, types. Okay. My wear types today."
They were the cutest types I've ever seen, that's for sure.

We ran a few errands after work today to get ready for the weekend. I called H on the way and she wanted to talk to Daddy. They talked for a good while before I took the phone away. H and I hung up, but M still wanted to talk to her daddy. So I just handed her the disconnected phone.
"Mommy...that phone BWOKE!"
Anything that doesn't work is bwoke. Just ask her about her paci. It's stil bwoke.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another 365 Project Link

Another 365 Project site

This lady puts up a quote and a picture every day. It's fascinating. She's even given a photography challenge! I think I'll make it my challenge for next week. Check her out!

Psst: I've post 289 times...on my 300th post, I'm offering a give away. Keep checking back!!!

Questions and Answers

My dear friend Arizaphale posed some provocative questions regarding my quest to simplify.
I'm going to quote her questions here, as they have resounded in my head for several days and I want to explore them in print.

"I'm still struggling with the concept of simplify. Can you tell me first what makes your life complicated? And what is the difference between complicated and busy? Or complicated and messy? I am really interested..not just having a laugh. I would like to consider the idea myself."

I'm definitely struggling with the concept of simplify. Perhaps that is not quite the word I was looking for. Yet, I return to it time and time again. It feels right in my mind, when I say it, when I talk about it. It feels like that SHOULD be my word for 2008...the word I strive to achieve, to become: simple.

When I first read the question "What makes your life complicated?" my response was EVERYTHING! I completely complicate everything. I'm the person who lives among the trees, never catching a glimpse of the forest. I never see the big picture because the details bog me down, tying me to whatever it is I'm working on. My friend, Barbara, is a magnificent caterer. Just last night, I was honored to help her cater a birthday party. She can give me any task without worrying about it again. I'll take care of it to the tiniest detail: dill sprinkled on the cucumber sandwiches, lemon wedges on the shrimp, napkins folded and placed on the table. I never see the big picture: the guests enjoyment, the beautiful table settings.

Now that I've had time to ponder that question a little more, I realize that I want to rid my life of all the things that complicate it. Credit card debt, overwhelming schedules, clutter, my extra weight. All of these things take time away from what I really want to be doing: creating and spending time with M and H.

How does credit card debt complicate my life? It's created an endless cycle of check-to-check living. Every month, in order to "pay down" my credit card, I put a huge chunk of my income on it. The problem with that is that we then have no money to live on, so I charge my card back up. My credit card RULES my monthly income. Up, down, up, down. I'm a slave to my credit card. If I could pay off my credit card significantly, my family would have more money to do the things we want and we would have the money to do it. I might even be able to stay home for a few years to do my favorite job: mother my daughter! Now the question is how do I break this cycle? Well, the credit card no longer resides in my wallet. No more mindless purchases. We're eating at home more. That's a significant money saver. I'm going to plan better and cut out some of the excess that we have. I don't need any more scrap booking supplies. I have enough to stock a moderate store. I'm going to use what I have--probably not all of it, but I'd like to make a dent in it before I buy more. M has entirely too many clothes. I'm going to cut back on what I get her. I've got a large basket with material in it. I'm going to make some sweet summer dresses for her. All of these things will result in a more simple life for us. And I'll get to do what I want: create.

And what is the difference between complicated and busy? Great question. I'm not sure I have a great answer. To me, busy becomes complicated. In December, we were busy all the time. We were exhausted. Christmas became a chore. Many days I picked M up, rushed her to H's office, picking up fast food for her supper, only to rush to my next engagement. Some engagements were necessary (catering paid for our Christmas this year), others were not. I want to be the type of mom who bakes cookies with M, who sits down to do the puzzle, who tickles and laughs. When I'm always rushing to get the next thing done, I miss all those special mommy moments. I want lazy summer days with lemonade and grilled cheese sandwiches. I want memories with my daughter, not a hurried childhood. I want there to be time to play before dinner and bubble baths.

Here is the best question: What is the difference between complicated and messy? I truly have no answer for that other than this. My house is TINY. TINY. We live in a little townhouse, two bedrooms, one bathroom. My kitchen could probably fit in your closet--your LINEN closet. We have entirely too much stuff for our house. H and I are both collectors. His is Star Wars. Or whatever the newest thing is. Right now he's collecting a type of alcoholic mixers and the sugar that goes on the rim. He tends to jump on a bandwagon and ride it for a while, then he jumps on a different on. It's just who he is. I'm the collector of STUFF. Now that I've learned to knit, I must have 10 skeins of yarn awaiting my attention. I've got massive amounts of scrap booking and stamping goodies. I like to make things, so we have tons of craft supplies. With all this stuff, we sort of live in a state of some-what controlled chaos. If we are going to enjoy the things we do have, I need to purge the things we don't want or need anymore. I took a gigantic box of magazines to the art teacher at my school. There is absolutely no need for me to hang on to magazines from 2002. H and I were newlyweds in 2002!! By managing the clutter better, I'll have more time to sit with M, to paint, to scrapbook, to sew, to knit, to read a book! I'll enjoy what I have and I'll have time to do it. I won't feel like there is always something that needs to be cleaned.

I want that idyllic childhood for myself: bike rides, kool-aid, baseball in the yard until the sky is too dark, fireworks. I feel like all of these extra things in my life are prohibiting me from enjoying life. By simplifying, by taking away, by clearing off, by purging, I will become something new and something better. The person I want to be.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

365 Project Links

Melody asked a great question. What is a 365 Project? Who is hosting it? Where do you find more information about it?

Well, OUR 365 Project is to take a picture a day for 365 days. Some of us started Jan 1, some of us started another day. We are each putting our own "spin" on it...there are no rules other than TAKE A PICTURE EVERY DAY. For ease sake, we're posting a week's worth of pictures once a week. I'm posting on Saturday. Some of us are putting captions with our images, some are not. Some are giving themselves a challenge every week, some are not. The rules are WIDE OPEN. There isn't really a host...we're just all playing alongside each other.

Here is the link that gave me the most information:

There is a blog that gives a 365 Project challenge each day. I can't find it right now, but will look after school this afternoon and post it.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Just 26 months ago, these sweet feet were on my tiny infant.
Just 25 months ago, one of these feet was casted for the first time.
Just 23 months ago, these feet were bound together in sweet white shoes with a shiny red bar in between them.
Just 17 months ago, one of these feet was molded for a beautiful blue and butterfly brace.

Now these feet walk. Now these feet dance. Now these feet run and jump and play. Now these feet ground my sweet 29 lb, 36 in. toddler.

It won't be long before these feet touch the ground when my girl sits in this chair. It won't be long before these feet carry my girl on a first date. It won't be long before these feet carry my girl down the aisle as a bride.

How can I stop time?

For other MBS that you'll enjoy, visit Tracey

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 12, 2008

365 Project: Our Favorite Things

H's remote control and his poker tumblers.

UGA. Enough said.

H's tools. ENOUGH said. (There is a funny story about this...will tell another time)

M's sweet night-nights. There are actually four here. She sleeps with all four of them EVERY time she goes to sleep: naps, night time, anytime. I'll miss the days when she doesn't need these any more (except the paci, which is "bwoke").

This week, I obviously took pictures of things that were important to the two other members of my family. This week I'm challenge myself to take pictures of things that are important to me and to be thoughtful about it.

I skipped two days this week taking pictures because life was so busy, so I'm dedicated to taking a picture every day this coming week.

I'll be checking around on your 365 Projects! I can't wait to see what everyone else is doing!

Posted by Picasa

365 Project: Our Favorite Things

Since finishing my thesis project, I'm a coffee convert. I NEVER in a million years thought that I would need coffee to clear the fog each morning. My sweet husband and I love Starbucks, so we're beginning a collection of flavored syrups. We LOVE to set up the coffee bar when we have guests over!
Ah, I love photography, but couldn't really take a picture of my camera with my camera, so I opted to take a picture of my new studio light (one of four!).

We love birthdays around here. We celebrated H's 38th birthday this week. Happy, happy birthday, sweet H!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Simplify Update

Simplify: To make more simple. To make less complicated. To reduce.

I just want to use forum to commit myself, over and over again, to the idea of simplification. After taking a nibble and chewing on the idea for a week now, I realize "simplify" is sort of like when you learn something knew that makes you realize how much you didn't really know or how much more you have to learn.

My dishwasher is running right now. The sound of the water swishing around is so pleasing to me ear. It's whispering "Good job, faithful servant. Your task is complete." I know that tomorrow with each meal, dishes will fill the sink and wait for my attention. However, right now, in this moment, that task is finished. I have taken one step to simplify. And it also means that we've spent more time at home, less time away. One more meal was eaten together, in our space, on our schedule. This is the essence of simplify.

I yearn to hear other spaces in my house whisper their congratulations, as well. Some already rustle when I'm near, not quite whispering yet, but letting me know they are ready for the decluttering process, the mess before the final product. It's the process that cathartic.

My desk whispers, "Thank you, dear friend, for sitting here, keeping me company, and leaving me tidy for our next meeting." I hear the quiet rumblings throughout the house. Each space wanting, desiring, to be useful. My heart echoes those rumblings for our small space to be used fully.

So I'm ready, as a runner stands on her block before her race, to tackle one small project at a time. Dinner on the table, prepared at home, check. A trip to the gym to unwind, check. Piles of magazines removed from the house, check. Desk and sewing table cleared, check. Telling someone no, well...not quite a check yet, but I'll work on that.

Simplify. To make less complicated.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Flower Power

Wow! Double WOW!

A few days ago (more like a week now), my super-sweet friend Colleen sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers! Imagine my complete and utter surprise to find that I'd received another bunch from my OTHER super sweet friend Christina. You might be thinking to yourself, they're just giving each other flowers because they all have toddler girls. But you'd be surprised. I've never met these ladies, and probably never will, but I get such a thrill when I get an sweet e-mail from one of them asking about me or my girl. We do have so much in common because we've got toddler girls, but we're FRIENDS. The kind of friends where you can cry when you're e-mailing, cry when they e-mail back, cry because your heart is broken or even breaking for them. Cry because you're worried about them (hospital stays) or because you're thrilled at their good news (pregnancy).

When I started this blog a year or so ago, it was simply to participate in MBS. I had no intentions of it being a mommy blog or a family blog or an online journal--and maybe it's still really not those things.

But it has become my voice:

where I speak to people who CARE about what's going on in this strange world of mine.

where I can find advice and laughter and common ground with strangers.

where I can be ME in my pajamas, my party clothes, my "I just wanna stay home all day" clothes.

Sure, I would love nothing more than to call my bloggy friends and ask them over for a cup of Vanilla Jasmine tea and fresh doughnuts, but that's not really practical. So, I come here. To this common place. Where "a click away" really means "just around the block." And "hugs" are given with the click of the "post comment" button.

I'm passing my flowers along to:

Maggie and her ducklings because she's joining me on an incredible journey

Arizaphale because she gives the MOST incredibly truthful, REAL advice ever

Kyla because how many hard knocks can one person take and still be so darn positive and beautiful???

Stacy because I want to be like her...artistic, real, funny, real, creative, real, ideal, real, and smart and did I mention REAL?

Rose because her little guy is just the most ingenious little guy ever and I think I want M to marry him

Melody because she always is so intuitive about when I might need a little pick me up...and she's one of the funniest bloggers I know

and finally,

Mrs. P because she's my real-life-actually-met-her-friend and I miss her more than you could possibly imagine.

Come collect your flowers, my bloggy friends, from this garden we have made together. Your friendship, strange as it may be and unheard of in previous generations, means so, so much to me. I'm so very, very thankful for you.



Monday, January 7, 2008

Ninety-Nine Balloons

I'm sad to say that I've never met Ginny or Matt Mooney, Eliot's parents, but it would be an incredible blessing to say that I had. Their little boy, Eliot, was born with Trisomy 18 and lived 99 days, defying the odds. Obviously, the Great Doctor had His hand on Eliot every moment of his precious, short life. Matt and Ginny are brave, honest, strong, weak, TRUE people. Ginny is also a jeweler. Her works is beautiful. After Eliot went to meet his Maker, Ginny designed a necklace in honor of Eliot. I'm proud to say I own one and I love to tell his story to anyone who will listen. If you've never noticed Ninety Nine Balloons on my sidebar, I encourage you to grab a box of Kleenex and go visit for a while. You'll be a changed person.

About an hour ago, I got an e-mail from Ginny's jewelry site. I've spent some time debating about posting this or not, but I thought if there is anyway I can bring Eliot's story to people, I'll do it. Maybe if I mention a sale, you'll go visit Eliot's site or maybe when you see his mother's amazing work, you'll go visit his site. Or maybe you know someone who needs to know more about Trisomy 18 and you'll send them to Eliot's site.

So, here is the e-mail from Ginny's site. She's got a sale going on right now. You might want to check it out:




Ginny Mooney

P.S. Spring 2008 is on it's way!!!



For other best shots, visit Tracey at Mother May I?
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Simplify: To make simpler, less complex, less complicated.

My defining word this year: simplify. To make our family life less complex, less complicated. To make things simple.

Tomorrow will finish the first week of 2008. When I choose the word simplify as my defining word for 2008, I thought it would be...well, simple. Declutter a few things, practice saying no, cook at home, go to the gym a few times. I've learned a lot of things about myself this week, just by focusing on the word simplify.

Nothing I do is simple.

I want things to get done NOW.

I need to relearn a lot of things about life.

I'm thrilled to tell you that my sewing table is still uncluttered. I've completed cleaned my desk (and even used a magazine picture as a motivation for how to organize it!). I'll take a picture and post it. I did take a picture of the cluttered desk. As thrilled as I am to tell you that these two tasks have been accomplished, I'm ashamed (yes, very ashamed) to admit that I've barely touched the tip of the iceburg. And I'm a tad overwhelmed by how much more work there is to declutter my home. When I committed to simplifying my life, I thought it would be an easy task to undertake. Not so much. I've had to remind myself a million times this weekend that I've made this committment for a YEAR. I don't have to finish everything this moment, this weekend, even this month!

This idea of simplification will probably take all year. I'm remaking my thought process, my relationship with my "stuff" and my ideas about home and family. This idea of simplify is NOT very simple.

One way I want to simplify is to enjoy the small things in life.

The feeling of cookie dough.

Cookies decorated by the three cutest nephews and the funniest two year old you've ever seen. (And their aunt who is the one who REALLY wanted to decorate the cookies!)

Warm cookies, cracked M and M's, and giggles of the kids who made them and the two year old who keeps sneaking M and M's out of the bag.

Simplify: To make simpler, less complex, less complicated.
Posted by Picasa