***this will remain at top of my blog until Oct. 3...see below this post for newer posts.
Hey everyone! Buy A Friend A Book Week is just around the corner (first week of October). I hosted one back in April and had 2 winners because I was feeling especially generous (or maybe I needed to make it even so that both my girls could pick a name out of the bowl). This time I want to know who's reading my blog. If you read my blog, tell me what book you're longing for. I want LOTS of participants. I don't care if you've never commented before and never plan to comment again...although I'd really like it if you'd comment : ) I don't care where you live. I will send you a book if your name gets picked. It can be a fiction book, a self-help book, a children's book, any kind of book you please...you get the picture. I need your choices in by October 3 since that's half way through the week. You can enter by leaving a comment below (click on the link that says "deep thoughts" with a number in front). If you'd rather not comment, email me: email@example.com with your pick. And even better, if you have a blog, I encourage you to host your own BAFAB contest. And if you don't have a blog just go buy someone a book for the sake of giving someone the gift of a book.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
***this will remain at top of my blog until Oct. 3...see below this post for newer posts.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Saturday was a long day of scrapbooking. I mean loooonnnnngggg!!!! It was from 9:00 a.m. until midnight. Yes...15 hours. We left shortly after 10 p.m. because I think our creativity just ran out. In the 13 hours we were there I actually made more pages than I've ever made in one day...7! Two double layouts and 3 singles. These are the three lovely girls I spent the day with (and I look stupid because I was laughing in the middle of taking a bite of my yummy chocolate puff wheat cake)
This one is to have her diploma in the big blank space, but I forgot it at home.
Then yesterday we went to Lindsay and Geoff's wedding at the Millenium Center. It was a lovely location and a beautiful wedding. Lindsay was an absolutely beautiful bride and Geoff just grinned the whole day. So cute. It was a privilege to be there to celebrate with them.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Yes I know you know I'm moving from my house, but I actually meant I'm moving in the blogging world. To a new home. Right now I'm tweaking it and figuring out how it all works. I got my own domain name (moving up in the world). I figured since I had actually stuck to blogging for a whole year and hadn't given up on it or run out of steam like I do with everything else I would reward myself and get a new blog. Give myself even more incentive to keep blogging. Maybe get even better. I've been really uninspired the last few weeks because I've been so busy and my brain has been on autopilot. I'm hoping with the down time now I'll be crazy inspired and awesome in my blogging. But don't count on it : ) So once I've done a few more tweaks and stuff I'll let you all know, or maybe I'll just surprise you and one day you'll come here, but you won't be here, you'll be there and that'll just be fun! Wait for it....
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Yup, that's right, folks. We are the proud owners of a...sold house : ) We signed the Offer to Purchase agreement 1/2 an hour ago and we are good to go. Our basement of our new house is scheduled to be started October 9 and we have to be out of here November 17. So that means a few months back at mom and dad's. I'm very excited and very relieved that it's over. No more stressing about a clean house...although I wasn't actually terribly stressed about that, it was kind of nice to have a perfectly clean house all the time. I think we'll try and keep the "up-for-sale-must-keep-it-spotless" mentality a little longer! Maybe I won't tell the girls and keep harassing them about keeping it clean for showings (they already know what that is, hee, hee).
So now I'm happy about the upcoming journey, but really, really sad about knowing the date I have to move from my cute house and lovely, wonderful, amazing, awesome, fabulous neighbors (did I get enough compliments in there to appease you, girls?) At least we'll only be one street over when we move into our new house. Just a short walk away to borrow garlic presses and propane (clarification, that would be US doing the borrowing from them...they are probably secretly happy that we'll be gone and they can get some normal neighbors. Unless of course they are crazier than us, and I mean crazy in the best possible way).
Friday, September 21, 2007
So today it is one year since I started blogging. When I started I was going to blog to post pictures, mainly. But somewhere along the way I found a voice. If you know me, you know I don't like speaking in public and this forum ventured WAY to close to that. Although when I started I didn't think anyone would read it regularly anyway : ) Thank you to all those who come back to see if I have anything to say (lately, nothing of any depth...sorry). I was going back over the last year of posts and these are some of my faves...
- My trip to Las Vegas (5 separate posts)
- The fight over the corner in our basement!
- Late night Walmart Rendevouz
- My pretty girls!
- My Big news April fools joke! Which was even funnier 3 weeks later when we went to some peoples house and she still thought I was pregnant because she didn't scroll down. So funny!
- Il Divo and William Joseph concert with Elin...mmm....good times.
- Fun with our neighbors! Always good times
- The lovely sky after the terrible thunderstorms
- Finding peace in the midst of turmoil
- Josh Groban, yeah...makes me smile : )
So those are just a few of the posts that make me happy and there are so many other things that I've enjoyed...the support and encouragement of the blogging community, meeting new friends, learning things about old friends, fun and laughter...and the list could go on. I think this experience has enriched my life in so many ways and I'm so blessed by the people I've gotten to know and know better. You guys rock!
What is your favorite type of art?
That's a tough one. I love classic art. I've been to a few museums in Europe and I love looking at the
old paintings and sculptures. I think other things like music is art, too, (like the master Josh Groban, sigh).
When was the last time you got a free lunch (or breakfast or dinner)? Who paid for it?
I can't remember...but it was probably my Dad who paid for it. He does that quite often.
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how emotional are you?
Probably an 8. I can get VERY, VERY excited!!! (right Val?) and I can cry pretty easily, but I don't cry about everything. I'm generally on the happier side of the emotions.
Approximately how long do you spend each day responding to emails?
Emails, maybe 10 minutes. Blogs...that's another story : )
To what temperature do you usually set your home’s thermostat?
In Summer I have it at 21 degrees celcius (69.8 degrees fahrenheit), in winter about 19-20 degrees celcius (66-68 degrees fahrenheit).
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Another not so busy day for me. Ella started her first day of preschool today (it's her second year) and it looks like she's going to enjoy it once again. She woke up really excited and then a few minutes before getting into the car to go, she panicked. She was still exclaiming that she wasn't ever going to school again until she saw her teachers and then she was all smiles and showing them her new shoes and outfit and snack box. So it was fine. Aidan figured she wanted to go to school too. Next year. So here's Ella in her new outfit looking pleased as punch:
I spent some time lining up coffee dates with friends I haven't connected with in a while. The beauty of being a stay at home mom...coffee with other stay at home moms!
Okay this is really, really funny. I got this email today about a public bathroom in Houston. If you've seen it, sorry, if not, enjoy!
Bathroom on the outside:
View from the inside:
Could you use it? I couldn't. Talk about stage fright! It's made of one-way glass. No one can see you from the outside, but you can see EVERYTHING from the inside. Crazy. Who comes up with these things?
Here's a meme that I thought looked fun and I was bored, so I did it. I think I found it over at Dedee's.
1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Cat Saturn (Wasn't sure if they wanted the pet type or pet name...if it's the latter then my name would be "Tiger Saturn")
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Vanilla Chocolate Chip (not very gangsta-y if you ask me)
3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)
Ewie (what the?)
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Joanna Winnipeg (yeah, that's just weird!)
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)
Wie-Er (add an "n" in the middle and what do you have? Hee, hee)
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The Brown Water (why is it brown? Don't answer that)
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
Isaak (my mom doesn't have a middle name, so I guess I'd just be a one-name person like "Madonna" or "Cher"...except that Isaak's a very masculine name)
11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Yogurt Apple Blossom
15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Scrapbooking Sunshine Tour
Monday, September 17, 2007
So I was over at Because I Said So (if you haven't been reading her regularly, you should. It's great!) and her latest post was about supper swapping. Apparently there's a book out there called "The Great American Supper Swap" by Trish Berg and it sounds like such a fabulous idea and I've ordered the book off Amazon so I'll let you know how it is (or you can order it yourself and see for yourself). Anyone want to do it? Basically what's involved is a group of 2-4 women create their own swapping group. You cook ONCE a week for the whole group (large quantities of whatever it is you're making...think of it like a great big dinner party but you don't have to entertain everyone, lol) and the other few nights you get supper delivered to your door. Doesn't that sound great? Home cooked meals and only one night of cooking. The author wants to promote family time and eating together and this is a chance for people to do that. Less grilled cheese sandwiches, too : ) I think this would be lots of fun. It could work. I mean, who wouldn't want to cook less? Here's a blurb from her site and here's a link to what a sample swap calendar would look like:
|Become A Supper Swap Mom!|
Moms have so many demands placed on them daily that preparing a nutritious and delicious family dinner becomes nearly impossible. Swapping suppers with a few "girlfriends" can be a simple, practical solution to your dinner time dilemma.
Supper swapping (also known as co-op cooking) is simple, and it simply works. It’s moms helping moms, friendship at its best! On your cooking day, you simply fix enough dinner for you and your girlfriends’ (like 4 baked spaghettis) keep one meal for yourself, and deliver the other 3 meals to the families in your group.
Then, the other four days of the week, sit back and relax as dinner is delivered to your door, hot, fresh and ready to eat. For about two hours worth of meal preparation, and thirty minutes of delivery time, you get a week's worth of stress free family dinners. That’s an 80% reduction in your cooking time - Talk about return on investment!
Supper swapping saves you time, stress and money. You also build deeper friendships as your journey through the adventures of motherhood together. Supper swapping will solve your dinner time dilemma. Through joining together, we will learn that we can go farther than any one of us can go alone!
Simple Steps to Supper Swapping Success:
1. START WITH WHO YOU KNOW – Ask a neighbor, a girlfriend, or a co-worker to give it a try.
2. HAVE COMMON GROUND – Either live nearby, attend church together, or work at the same company so delivery can be easily coordinated at that common location daily or weekly.
3. PLAN 3 MONTHS OUT - Choose and plan your meals for at least three months at a time, and write or print them on a meal calendar so each family knows what is being delivered for dinner each night.
4. START WITH FAMILY FAVORITES - Choose recipes to start with that are your family favorites. New recipes should be tried out on your individual family before they are introduced into the co-op.
5. AVOID PAN-DEMONIUM - Use 9x9 or 9x13 glass Pyrex pans with snap on blue lids, semi-disposable Zip-Loc containers, and Whale of a Pal Tubs for soups and stews. Rotate them through the group (See Pan Formula in the book)
6. HONESTY TASTES BETTER - When you establish your meal calendars, be honest and up front about food likes, dislikes, and allergies to avoid problems down the road.
7. BUDGET MEALS - Buy ingredients in bulk for your meals when items are on sale. Try to budget recipes so you don't make two expensive ones back to back. (i.e. pot roast is more expensive than pizza burgers)
8. ADAPT DELIVERY TIMES - Delivery times can vary depending on what works for each family. If you deliver at dinnertime, have the meal cooked and ready to eat. If you deliver in the morning, have your meal prepared but not cooked with baking instruction included.
9. BE FLEXIBLE - Be flexible with one another when life throws you a curve ball, like a sick child, a broken down car, or unexpected circumstance. Have a meal back up plan for those nights agreed upon at the outset, like switching days or having pizza delivered if you are in a pinch.
10. RELAX AND ENJOY THE RIDE - Relax and enjoy the ride. Don’t expect your supper swapping group to remain stagnant or to last forever; some families may swap longer than others. If a mom leaves, let them do so guilt free. We typically ask for one month’s notice so we can adapt our meal calendars
And there you have it. Doesn't that sound neat? I encourage others of you to think about this in your community of friends. Let me know if you try it! And if you're around here, let me know if you'd be interested in starting something like this. "Let's get together, na, na, na..."
Just been taking a little break from the world in general this weekend. I think I just tuckered right out. It was really, really busy for a while and I needed to sit back and take a deep breath. I had a great weekend. Lots of good times.
Friday I finished off the last minute things in the show home that I needed to do and spent the day at my mom's making more salsa. In the evening I went to a wedding shower for Lindsay. The shower was at one of our great restaurants, Buccacino's where we ate supper, visited and just had a relaxing evening there. After the shower I went grocery shopping. I'm telling you, shopping at 10:00 p.m. is so much better...there's nobody there! Imagine that : )
Saturday we had a lazy day and then we found out there was going to be a showing at 3:00 so I quickly tidied up and got us ready to go out the door for the bonfire/birthday party we were going to that evening. The party was great fun. We had a wiener roast and lots of good food. There were like 60 people there and it was such a nice evening. We've had so many weeks of crappy weather that it was a nice change to have 3 great days in a row. Today it was 28 degrees! Awesome.
Yesterday after church my mom and I took Ella shopping for a few new things for school. We went for ice cream and checked out my uncle's new scrapbooking kiosk in the mall. A truly successful shopping trip! In the evening we went over to Chris and Tara's for birthday cake for their daughter's birthday and visited with them.
Today was another relaxing day. I spent a good part of the day outside enjoying the lovely weather and visiting with the neighbor ladies. I picked up my passport today and I truly look grumpy in the picture : ( Then we had another showing in the evening so I packed up some stuff for supper and took it over to Chris and Tara's and she was kind enough to let us stay there. She made an amazing supper which I'm still stuffed from. Then she and I went to look at the 4 show homes in town. All very different and very nice. Great job to everyone!
So that's it. Nothing really exciting. My week is going to be filled with a few coffee dates and as much relaxing as possible. I think my body is in sore need of it. Hopefully one day soon I'll have some exciting posts. Nothing right now. I'm sucked right dry from all the busyness of the past month. It's a lot of work getting your house ready to sell and keeping it in that shape! I think I've got it down to a pretty good routine and so now my thoughts are...if it can stay this nice for this many days in a row, why can't it stay this nice all the time? Maybe it will become a habit and it will stick! We can only hope.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Okay, I've made some flickr sets of pictures of our house for anyone who cares to see what it looks like (although it doesn't usually look like these pictures...I do have two little girls, use your imagination and you can figure out that it's not NEARLY this clean and organized). So here's the set with our main floor, here's the set for our second floor, and here's the set for our basement. Hope the links all work and you can get a feel for my house. If you click on the pictures there are comments about each picture.
I just wanted to share this view as well. Isn't it gorgeous? We had this fabulous rain shower this evening while the sun was poking through the clouds and our street looked so beautiful. I'll miss the sunsets from my front porch, that's for sure. (if you click on the picture it gets really big and you can see all the rain drops)
Friday, September 07, 2007
I'm sitting here at my computer, reading blogs when I should be doing something. I'm sure I should be doing something. My house is officially for sale and if you know anyone that wants it, let them know showings start tomorrow, okay? Okay. So I'm down to the bottom of the barrel of things to do on my to do list.
- clean windows in my bedroom and Ella's bedroom
- wash kitchen floor (I'll probably do that as we're leaving tomorrow morning)
- weed garden
- fold one last load of laundry (that's it, we're going to be wearing the same clothing for the next week or so)
- wash dishes one more time (off to mom and dad's for supper so that we don't make more dishes before tomorrow)
Is that it? I think that's it! That sounds totally doable. Very funny how that would have been lots to do in a normal day for me and today that sounds like a very reasonable amount of work.
Very exciting for me, I got new lamps for our living room yesterday. $60 at Walmart for a pack of 4 lamps.
They're so pretty. Makes me wish I had them like 18 months ago when we moved in (kind of like I wish our basement was finished, walls were fixed, pantry was cleaned, mirror in our closet was up and knobs on entertainment unit had all been done before this last week...funny how no amount of nagging will get your dh's butt in gear like a for sale sign and the promise of a profit on your house). But the sense of accomplishment following the last week and a half of work is immense!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I know you are all probably getting bored of my posts lately, but I thought since you've all been so encouraging, I'd let you know what I've accomplished. I've got one of three walls painted, the whole main floor cleaned and Janice came to take pictures so that she could list our house tonight. I washed the pillars down in the front of our house, washed the walls in the main bathroom, cleaned all the main floor windows, vacuumed the whole house (except the basement...hoping to do that yet before bed), went to a preschool meeting and had our meeting with the bank.
On that note. It's all good. We've been approved for everything, got a good long mortgage term (since it's a flip house we figured we'd stretch it as long as possible so that we'd have a nice smallish mortgage...is there such a thing?), and as soon as our house is sold we'll be ready to go. Yeah!!! That is a huge relief! Now I'm just sitting and waiting for mud to dry so that I can paint the other two walls. Looks like it's going to be another late night : )
Oh, I forgot to mention all the wonderful salsa and apple pie filling my mom and I made yesterday. Oh yes, I found time to can with mom. We made 21 jars of salsa for us and 5 batches of apple pie filling from the absolutely gorgeous apples I picked off their tree. I even climbed a tree (which I haven't done in years and years!). I got 3 four gallon pails of apples. One pail makes 2 1/2 batches. We didn't have time to make all 3 pails so I gave one pail full to Tara. We will be eating lots of apple pie and apple crisp this winter and probably into next winter : )
SPINELESS jellyfish!!! I can't say no. A very simple word. One of the very first words we learn as children. The one that can save your sanity when you are crazy busy. And I can't seem to say it.
I'm going to do something I rarely do on this blog...vent. Sorry. I just really need an outlet. I'm going to do this as diplomatically as possible because I know some of you go to my church. You all read my last post, right? About how crazy my life has gotten? Yeah, well, I'm officially over my head. That takes a lot for me to admit that I've finally done it and taken on more than I can handle. You see, aside from all the other craziness I've been roped into Sunday School teaching. I said specifically, "I don't want to teach, but I can be a parent volunteer once in a while." And suddenly I'm on a team, teaching every 3 Sundays. I tried. I tried really, really hard to say no. But apparently I'm a big, old push over and people don't listen to me when I'm trying very hard in my quiet, roundabout way to say no. Yes, I said quiet...see, I'm a people pleaser. Don't let anyone down. Make everyone happy! Don't make waves or make anyone mad at you. Such a bad way to live. I like to be helpful, but there comes a point when you can't give to everyone.
Yes, I know my child is in Sunday School and everyone needs to do their part. I've spent the last 4 years in the nursery volunteering and doing my part. Yes I know that there are people who are busier than me and still do more, but I can only handle so much before it's too much for me. There are enough people in our church that there is no reason why some of the people who don't do anything can't volunteer to be in Sunday School. The child care and teaching of the little ones seems to be the hardest area to get volunteers. I understand. I don't want to be involved in that area, either. I am with my kids 7 days a week all day long. Sunday School is what gives me the chance to sit and listen to a sermon without my children while they still get their share of Spiritual guidance at their own learning level. I am finally able to sit through a service 80% of the time because my kids are old enough to stay in their classes. And now I can't even enjoy that????? Seriously.
Okay, I'm done.
So our house is being listed today! Isn't that nuts? The plan is to give it some exposure on the mls (multiple listing service) and then do showings on the weekend and start taking offers on Wednesday. If there is no response, we do it again next weekend and so on and so forth until it's sold. So I have a gazillion things to do to get my house in "showable" order and here I sit blogging because I'm just too overwhelmed to start. My game plan today is to wash windows, vacuum stairs and landings, paint 3 walls that look terrible (due to the paint having changed color over the last 18 months and when I did touchups on Monday it left big ugly patches on the wall that are very noticeably different colors), clean bathrooms and finish cleaning and vacuuming the basement. If my kids let me. I have to do as much today because tomorrow and Friday will be stuff with the show home. What have I done? Wish me luck and maybe send up a prayer for me.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
(Okay, as I was sitting down to type this post I realized something. Something quite important. In my life, that is. It's almost my one year bloggiversary! September 21! It's gone so fast...)
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. This is the week. Hopefully. It's a big week! Lots of things happening in our lives over here:
- Meeting with the bank on Wednesday to see if they will finance our big build
- Hopefully putting the for sale sign up by the weekend...if all goes well. You all know how things go and it might not be till the following week, but we can try!
- The Parade of Homes opens and my show home HAS to be done by Saturday at noon...AAAHHH!!!
See, that's 3 really big things. All in all, it may chalk up to be nuts around here because all the things that go hand in hand with those 3 items include:
* Getting all the rest of the quotes together for the bank
* Doing paint touchups around the house
* Cleaning my carpets
* Cleaning my windows
* Cleaning up the house of little stuff that shouldn't be out for selling
* Did I mention cleaning anywhere?
* Shopping for the show home
* Putting stuff together in the show home
* Miscellaneous meetings that have nothing to do with said 3 items above
* Yard work to tidy up for selling
* Making salsa and apple pie filling (Why this week? Because, of course, that's when the tomatoes and apples had to be ready!! What grand timing!)
I'm happy to say that with all that has to be done, lots has already been done. This weekend I washed my drapes, packed a lot of stuff, Jer finished the basement (Totally 100% done!!!), cleaned my oven and stove top, cleaned out the garage (ready to move boxes and bins into for storage), and even managed to find time to take the girls to the zoo for the day. Now I'm afraid to do anything in my house because it's getting cleaner and cleaner and I want it to stay that way. So let it be known that I would definitely not turn down any offers for supper in order to keep my kitchen and dining room clean, hee, hee : ) I'm kidding of course. I did, however, make mention of this to Jer, saying "I should tell everyone on my blog that I'd be open to dinner invitations. But of course, probably the only invitations will be from people who live in other parts of the world." And my dear husband snorts and says "And you'd be likely to take them up on those offers!" He knows me too well. All Val did was jokingly invite me to a housewarming party and look, I'm going : ) Okay, off to bed so that I can do all those things I need to do tomorrow. Well, some of them. I have to make the most of my day without the girls and get LOTS done.
I haven't had time to post about it, but last weekend (Sunday to Monday) my friend Janice and I went down to the States for the night. Shopping was the name of the game. I was going to try and stay away from black and brown, but you'll notice, it was very unsuccessful...in fact, everything I bought is either black or brown. I suck! Janice on the other hand, who has complained to me in the past that she doesn't have enough color bought pink and green and blue. Oh well, at least it's all nice : ) I also got the girls some little treats. Aidan needed new jeans. Ella got a new computer game and I got them both new plates and mittens. (click on the collage to see it larger...and don't you just love those shoes?)
And quite possibly one of the main reasons I go is for this...
Unfortunately Bath and Body Works was in the fifth week of their "5 for $15" sale on antibacterial soaps and the selection was very limited in Fargo. On our way through Grand Forks we stopped in at the Bath and Body Works there and found a few more.
And a big, bright, shiny moment for Janice and I...
...don't worry...we didn't eat it all right then. There are just so many fascinating treats that we don't have here. I brought most of mine home and shared with my family.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Maybe they called themselves "House of Pain" because they were packing up their house which IS a MAJOR pain. Okay, maybe not really. And I'm not actually finding it a pain. I feel good while I'm purging my cupboards and spaces. Making the house feel bigger. "Why didn't I do this months ago, while we were still enjoying the space as our home and not just a big fat profit waiting to happen?" I asked myself.
Well, regardless, I'm starting to pack. I've got a lot of my kitchen cleared out of all the stuff that isn't used regularly...so WHY IS IT IN THERE??? Yes, maybe I won't pack, but host a huge garage sale. That sounds like a marvelous idea! Anyone want stuff? I've got stuff. Lots, and lots and lots of it. I get in these moods where I just want to throw or sell or give everything away because it's just taking up space that I could be using...to put new stuff in, lol. Okay, it's just a cycle for me. Buy new, throw away old. I'm not terribly sentimental sometimes. I think I'm going to wake up one day when I'm like 84 and regret all the crap I threw away. Oh, well, by then who cares right?
If we're going to be moving a few times in the next few years, I don't want to haul all kinds of useless stuff from one house to another. Why even bring it if it's just going to sit in boxes? I mean there is the stuff you have to, like baby stuff (if you're not sure you're done having babies) and that takes up a lot of space. The big crystal vase you got as a wedding present and gets pulled out once a year for that token bunch of flowers your honey buys you to prove he's still got it going on. The engraved wine glasses you had for your wedding supper, but will never use again because you only drink wine with company and let's face it, you're not giving your guest a glass that says "This is my beloved!" The tea kettle that sits in the cavernous cupboard above your fridge just waiting for all those cups of tea you think about having with a friend, but never do but still plan, so you can't throw THAT out. The gazillion candles you have in a special cupboard because you LOVE burning candles, but can't because you have two children who might decide to play with the pretties, but you are definitely going to burn them one day, so pack them up! Can anyone guess what I've packed today? Go on, take a wild guess : )
Now I'm sitting here asking myself what I'm doing sitting here talking to you, my dear bloggy friends instead of packing away all the stuff that I've just finished telling you about that's sitting on my counters. My cabinets are cleaned out, but my counters and floors are a very different story. I'll let you know if I'm having a garage sale.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
...my business cards. I'd advise everyone to only leave me nice comments because I'm feeling rather vulnerable right now. I picked my name at 2:30 a.m. (yes, during one of my sleepless nights...I think I was eating the chocolate covered grapes at the time) and it's really the only thing I can think of. Maybe not very creative, but oh well. You want creative? Hire me. That's where I'm more creative. And...yay me, yay them...my furniture package has been approved at the furniture store, now it just has to be approved by the person who has to pay for it : ) I've also found someone who is willing to come to take pictures of the house for me when it's all done for my portfolio (Allison, Allison, you should have said you knew of someone...see, I said I'd expose you for reading my blog and not commenting...hee, hee, I know you're out there). I'll explain, you see I was at a wedding today (congratulations Jordan and Heather) and at my table was Allison. I said something and she responded, "I saw that on your blog." I stopped and looked at her and was like, "You read my blog?" It's really funny when you find out WHO reads your blog. Like when random people come up to you in church and say something about what they read and you think to yourself, "I wonder who all reads it?" I know what my stat counter says and there are a WHOLE lot more people reading this than commenting. Very weird. I'd love to know who my audience is. At least then I know who I'm writing to. Anyway, what a strange world we are in...the alter reality of the blogging universe. Okay, it's after midnight again, I'm off to bed.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Sorry for the over use of exclamation points, but what other word do you use to explain to your bloggy friends how excited (Val and I decided there is no other word to really explain how it is) I am than, well...excited. Okay maybe ecstatic, or thrilled (lacks something, I think), beside one's self, delighted...the list goes on. Why am I EXCITED!!!!!!!? Because I.AM.GOING.TO.VISIT.VAL. Yup. You all read that right. I'm leaving on a jet plane to go visit the dear friend I've never met. I can't even go to sleep because I'm so worked up. She made a comment on my blog today
"...So I get so excited for October. Speaking of . . . if you are free in Oct, we're having a huge Halloween/Housewarming party which you are so welcome to come to!!!!! (You know, because it's so easy for you to!) :)"So I emailed her and I checked flights and at 11:08 this evening after much hand sweating and back and forth emailing with Val, I did it. I booked a flight. I'm officially going to visit on October 19-23. It's my birthday present to myself. It's how I'm spending the hard earned money that I'm getting for this show home. Jer said I could do whatever I wanted to do with it since it's my first big job and that's how I chose to spend it. I even got a pretty good deal on the flight. Now I need to get a passport. Oh, I'm so excited I think I feel some hand flapping coming on. I did a happy dance...or three : ) Now I really have to go to sleep. Right...sleep. Ha. That's amusing, now not only am I nervous, overwhelmed, and busy, I'm excited on top of all of it. When will I learn.
Well, someone thinks I am. Two someones, in fact! Isn't that sweet. Alexis and Val both gave me the "Nice Matters Award." Wow. They have pretty long lists of people on their blogroll and I'm sure every single one of them are nice so it feels pretty special to be given this award by two sweet women who are extremely nice themselves.
Now I get to give this to the seven people I think are nice. Too bad my blogroll has like 40 NICE people on it. So this award is given because:
"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you've been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."
The seven of you encompass this award for me:
and all the rest of you, including Val and Alexis who gave me the award.
Does eating grapes dipped in chocolate at 2:00 a.m. count as a serving of fruit? Just wondering...
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Here's a run down of the days of our lives (my life) as my world turns and I deal with all my children trying to make my show home bold and beautiful. And I don't even watch soaps! Ha!
- Cabinets went into the show home yesterday, hope to go take some pics tonight.
- Still know nothing about the furniture...argh!
- Have drawn and thrown out 3 sets of floorplans for our new house (one complete set, a second one that isn't thrown out, just put on the backburner for a later flip and Jer beat me to a good one before I finished the third one). Have finally found one that I think will work and alas, it's a bungalow. Our wonderful Colonial was not deep enough to sit on a walk-out lot. So we'll build that one after this one : )
- The swaying has finally stopped, which is a huge relief. I found out after the fact that it is a wide spread problem after being at the lake. I actually talked to 4 separate people who dealt with the same thing. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, from our last day at the lake until 2 days ago (which was a total of 11 days) I had a complete loss of equilibrium. I felt like I was still on a dock (you know how when you've been on an elevator and you get off sometimes you still feel like you're moving? Like that.) and it was a very BAD feeling. The room always felt like it was moving even if I was lying down. I don't want to even get into all the worrisome things that went through my head!
- I spent a full day yesterday (10-5) cleaning out my house in preparation for selling. I got a big chunk done. All major and some minor closets and storage spaces decluttered and LOTS of stuff thrown out. It feels so good. I managed to take a whole bin worth of books off the shelves of my entertainment unit. Today I'm going to start in on toys...oh is that going to be a big job. My mom had the girls ALL day yesterday and I got to be by myself. It was so fantastic!!! I had Josh in the cd player cranked to the top and I didn't have to worry about feeding little grumpy people, working around naps, keeping them out of stuff, breaking up fights or cleaning up accidents. It was a very triumphant feeling to get so much done in one day. I think it's one of my most productive days in years!
- Jer and I snapped a chalk line in the basement yesterday (all while I was singing the Johnny Cash favorite "I'll Chalk the Line"...ha, ha...booo!!!) so that he can start the suspended ceiling, which he actually did end up starting last night. Go Jer, go Jer!
And now I'm going to go outside for a bit of fresh air to enjoy the nice weather. What a cold sucky August we've had. It feels like fall. Don't get me wrong I love fall, just not in August. August is supposed to be stinkin' hot so that when fall gets here it's refreshing. Jeans are not supposed to come out till later in September. Or jackets. It's been going down to 5 and 6 degrees celsius at night (celsius...what a dumb word, I don't even know if I spelled that right because when you look it up on Google it's also spelled "celcius"). Okay, enough rambling and I'll talk to you all later. And sorry I'm not doing much commenting on all your blogs, haven't had time to do a whole lot of blogging (reading or otherwise) so I'm going to have a HUGE load of blog posts to read when my life settles down. I haven't forgotten about you all...if you care...okay, bye!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Here's some pictures of Aidie-bug's birthday party. It was so nice to enjoy our backyard and all our wonderful friends!
Opening of all the great gifts (and Aidan's friend Mackenzie on the left playing with her belly button or something).
Friday, August 17, 2007
Do you think 4 1/2 hours of sleep is enough to survive a day...with 4 kids? I guess we'll find out now, won't we? I need to find better times to think and design than bedtime. I was a very good girl and went to bed at 10:45, the earliest night I've had in weeks. And then I laid there for almost 4 HOURS thinking about this show home. I actually got up at 1:30 and went to have a hot bath to try and relax. I got back to bed at 2:00 and I think it took me another 1/2 hour to actually fall asleep. No wonder my head hurts. But so far, so good. The girls are all getting along and the Tylenol seems to have kicked in. Maybe once the 2 littlest ones go down for a nap, I'll put a movie on for the older 2 and go take a nap. Mmm...sleep...
Part of my problem is that I'm a little stressed. I now found out that I may not get ANY furniture whatsoever for this show home because the furniture store that was going to supply it is so busy they don't know if they can do it. Argh! An empty show home is no good. So again, please pray, I'm going there today to see what they can do for me and I'm hoping for a good report!
On a good note, the house is painted and casings are up, railings and mantel are stained and up. It looks great! I went yesterday to meet with the people at the Tile Boutique to design an idea for the entry and backsplash. On Wednesday I had curtains priced out at our local hardware store, but I think I can either buy fabric and sew the curtains or find premade curtains for a LOT cheaper. Hundreds of dollars cheaper. I just about choked on my muffin when she told me how much they would cost. I mean, the fabric is fabulous, but not THAT fabulous.
Another HUGE accomplishment is that I designed our house (from scratch) that we want to build and Jer did the detailing yesterday and he said it's a good plan. We are going to price it out this week and we meet with the bank on Wednesday to see if it will work. We have a back-up bungalow house plan if this one is too much for us to carry. It's a beautiful 2-storey Colonial style house. It's a simple rectangle foundation, but the details would be what make it the "colonial" style (shutters on all the windows in front and pillars on the porch). There is nothing like it around and it would be so cool to build it. Not to mention it's a lot bigger than the house we live in now. It would be nice, but it can always be the next house we build, not this one if need be. Always have a plan B.
Okay, I'm going to go take the kids outside to get some fresh air before lunch. Hopefully I'll have some pictures to share with you soon. If anyone who is within driving distance of me has a great camera that takes professional quality pictures or knows someone who does and doesn't charge terribly much, please let me know because I'd like some good pictures of this house for my portfolio. Greatly appreciated. Have a wonderful day and a fabulous weekend.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Pause my player on the side if you want to view this. This is "February Song" and it is one of my favorite (all though that is hard to say because almost every song he played I'm like "Oh, I LOVE this song (more hand flapping)!" But this is one of those tear jerker songs for me and when he sang it yesterday I kept wanting to close my eyes and just let the song wash over me, but then I'd remember where I was and think "no, Erin you can't close your eyes because then you're going to miss SEEING him sing it live...silly girl, you can close your eyes at home when you listen to the cd!"
I kept squeezing Jer's hand throughout the concert because I was not sure that it was real. Now you have to understand something, I'm not putting Josh on a pedestal, he is just one of my absolutely most favorite artists of all time, I own every cd he's ever put out, I know every word (almost) to every song and I love, love, love his music. It's been a dream of mine to see him live since the first time I heard him. So if you can put that into perspective you'll understand how very exciting this was for me. I know he's just a guy, a regular person like you and me and that's what makes him that much better. While he was walking through the screaming throng of people he was singing "I am not a hero, I am not an angel, I am just a man..." and that really hit home. We were his adoring fans, but he's just a guy who's the same age as me and happens to have an AMAZING voice and is blessed to be able to share it with the world. But even so, just a regular guy and all that, I still had goosebumps for the better part of 2 hours. Next time I'll pay even more so that I can sit right up front. What a show. I'm still shaking my head in amazement that we were there. The wonderful thing about going to a concert for me is that now when I listen to the music, it has even more impact. I feel the music even stronger within me. Sigh...
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Okay...yeah...ummm...I have nothing eloquent to say except that I have stars in my eyes. That picture is Josh Groban like 2 rows behind us walking down the aisle. If I wasn't such a scaredy cat wuss I would have gotten up and gone closer. Never step out of the comfort zone. You know, I was guilt ridden for even pulling out my camera to snap this shot because there were signs posted all over the arena "No recording devices or cameras allowed!" Even though there are a thousand flashes going off every 2 seconds, Erin's scared to take a picture of the most amazing concert and live performer on the face of the Earth!!! See, Val, I told you I was a goodey two shoes!
Frickin' Awesome pretty much sums up how awesome this concert was. It was SOOOO good I didn't want to leave. He's funny! So very funny. What an entertainer. Not only is he amazing vocally speaking (not too bad looking either, might I add, but we all knew that), but he has such amazing stage presence and he really engages the audience. And now every time I wear my new shoes, I'm going to think about it. They have officially been dubbed my "Josh shoes" : ) We went to the concert with my cousins, Clint and Elin, and Elin says "If I was 14 I would totally get one of those t-shirts with his face on it!" and I'm like "Hello, I'm not 14 and I'd STILL wear Josh Groban on a t-shirt!" Hee, hee. I'm a total starstruck fan. I LOVE concerts. I love the experience of "Oh my goodness, I'm in the same building as JOSH GROBAN (insert hand flapping)!!!" feeling. Yeah, I'm a bit of a cheeseball. What can I say. And just like I thought I would, I cried. I know, I know, I'm a dork. I get so moved by music. Especially real raw talent. When he sang "So She Dances" I welled up. I got a lump in my throat. I felt a little flushed. And I enjoyed every second of that song. THAT is what I paid good money for. I felt very satisfied with the whole experience. He hit all the important notes, played all the best songs and gosh darn it, was just plain cute! I'm just so blinkin' tired right now, I'll probably have more amazingly wonderful deep things to say about it tomorrow when it's not midnight. I'm hoping to get some good sleep tonight. Maybe all the excitement and adrenaline of the evening will have exhausted me enough to tire me out. I'm just a little bit melancholic under all the excitement, though. I hate when concerts are over. But was it ever worth every penny. Every one of the 11,100 pennies I paid for it! I will definitely be seeing him in concert again. Until then, farewell to thee my sweet singing angel...oh am I tired...Good night...
This is what 5:33 a.m. looks like at my house. I can't sleep. I've been tossing and turning and thinking since 4:00. I finally got up because I was keeping Jer up. I think I'm just very overwhelmed. There is SO much floating around in my head. I figured if I got up and just thought about it, made some lists, then maybe I could go sleep for a few hours. What's so important that I can't sleep? Well, here, I'll purge to you, my wonderful bloggy friends and then you can think about it and I will go sleep...
- Of course, the showhome! It is 4 weeks from NEEDING to be done and there is lots and lots to do yet (draperies, accessories, furniture, details, details, details).
- I've been asked by the same people to do another home (not a showhome, just a basic house in another small town, spec home).
- we are weeks away from putting our house up for sale (hopefully in the next 3 weeks sometime) and there is lots to be done to get it to the point where it's ready to sell.
- all the details for our new house...the floorplan, the meeting with the bank, organizing trades, picking selections, moving!
- going to see Josh Groban in 14 hours and I'm so excited that it's just one more thing I'm thinking about.
- Aidan's birthday party on Saturday...making cake, buying food, get a present.
The one and only think I'm not having to think or worry about...what I'm wearing to the concert tonight. (Well, I have to decide which of the two shirts to wear that I purchased, but that's just a minor detail). Yes, dear friends, I bought myself something hot! Well, it makes me feel good, so that's enough for me. I even got new shoes. I NEVER buy new shoes. Sorry for the poor picture, I was guessing where they were when I took the picture because it's the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT and I couldn't see them!! Yeah, I'm taking pictures of shoes in the wee morning hours. I was in the city this morning (oh, I guess that would be yesterday morning) and I decided to go to Payless Shoes. I wasn't actually planning on buying anything. Then I saw these. And suddenly I needed an outfit to go with them. Kind of spontaneous, not terribly justifiable, but oh, so sweet! Besides, isn't Josh worth it? I think so... : ) (and who needs to justify 4 1/2 inch heels? Not I)
Okay, well I'm off to the land of nod. Wish me luck and sleep.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
It's really good to be home, but I honestly could have stayed at the lake for another week! We had SOOOO much fun. It was relaxing, fun, restful, busy and great all at the same time. We sat on the dock for the better part of 7 days (trust me, I still feel like I'm rocking with the motion of the water...it's a really odd, disorienting feeling and it made it REALLY hard to drive home today), went swimming, fishing, ate and ate and ate until we couldn't eat one more thing and then somehow still ate more! Visited with some of the most important and wonderful people in my life, played dice (a game called Ten Thousand, or Nuscht which is translated into "nothing" in low-German), did I mention all the food we consumed? I'm not sure what it is about the lake that makes us want to fill ourselves with everything and anything bad for you. At one point Jer was going up to the cabin and I said to him, "Jer, can you bring my ketchup chips down? And maybe some chocolate and the sunflower seeds...and OH, is there still raspberry cheesecake left?" Yeah, not a bright shiny moment for me (I'm telling you, stomachs look MUCH better tanned, so all the junk doesn't look like it did as much damage as it probably did). Okay, so here's a few of my favorite pictures (of the 99 that I took in the last 3 days of our holidays because the first 4 days I was too busy doing nothing to bother taking pictures. I wasn't sure where to stop, so there are 20 pictures below and then is Aidan's birthday post if you missed it.)
Three cute little girls on the dock.Jer being VERY lazy and sitting whilst drying dishes. Yes, sitting! Drying the dishes that he was too lazy to wash.
Aidan having a great time with Daddy in the water.Ella pretending to put Aidan to bed and saying prayers with her. Made my heart melt.
The girls having a blast on one of their many boat rides.
Just another one of Aidan's cute moments.
The fishermen going out yet again.
Rub a dub dub how many girls fit in the tub?
Me doing what I did best, NOTHING!! Relaxing by the lake working on my tan was my specialty.
I was elated to find out that my girls loved to be in the water (last year we couldn't get them near the lake). For someone who loves to swim as much as I do, it would be devastating to have kids who don't like water!
My two sweeties looking all cute in their pink "baby suits" as Aidan likes to call them.
Our view from the dock. Couldn't be better!
Okay, maybe it could. This was our sunset on Thursday night. Spectacular.
And even more beautiful!
Ella posing for Mommy on a rock outside our cabin. Reminds me of a picture of me that my mom took when I was Ella's age at Minaki.
Our convoy of vehicles winding our way around the curving road.
So there it is. My holiday. Sorry about all the pictures. I tried to get Flickr to work for me, but I'm just too tired to care. So maybe next time I won't have these long posts with all the pictures on my blog. Happy weekend everyone. I'm sure I'll have more to say soon. Always do : )