Red Hot Dots

I woke up this morning to an email from Mary at Shasta Creations telling me that she had included some gift tags made by yours truly in her treasury!
How can you not just be happy looking at all theses polka dots?!?

Be sure to head on over here and show these polka dots some comment love!

Picture of the Week

Yup, this sums up our week.
Is it possible to hit the terrible-two's at 18 months?!?
Girlfriend has got an a-t-t-i-t-u-d-e.

Lucky Me!

I wasn't even necessarily feeling so lucky, but maybe I should have been because I just won a Michael's gift card from Jessica over at Brixton Lane! Sweet!
Sometimes gift cards create a dilemma for me. I feel like I need to be certain to pick out the just right item when I pay with a gift card. And come on people, this is Michael's we're talking about, how will I ever narrow it down when there's so many things there I want?!?!
Is there something special you've been eyeing at Michael's? What would YOU pick out with a gift card???
Thanks Jessica! You made my weekend!

Happy Etsy Day!

Today, April 24, has been declared Etsy Day!
It's a whole day to get excited about Etsy and to spread the word about how many amazing artists and crafters are out there!
This and this will tell you everything you need to know.
Happy selling!
Happy buying!

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day 2009!

Polka Dot Parade

I'm so excited to be a part of this month's Polka Dot Parade over at On The Dot Creations!
Every month, Etsy sellers are encouraged to send in pictures of their polka dot creations to be included in a slide show that's chock full of polka dot goodness!
Thanks Julie for this great idea and for letting me be a part of it!
For info on how you can submit your own polka dot goodies, head on over here.

We're Back!

Vacation was WONDERFUL!
Yes, I missed my little girl, but to have a week of one-on-one time with my husband was great! Quiet mornings on our patio, long uninterrupted conversations, lounging by the pool, snorkeling together, and sharing fabulous meals every night.
If you want all the details, you can hop over here to our family blog.
But otherwise, just trust me that we had an amazing time!


Thanks to my brother-in-law Brian for emailing us pictures of Claire on Easter.
We really missed being able to spend the day with her!

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."

1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Vacation in 1 Day!

Well, we just got back from dropping Claire off at my parent's house. I cried like a baby, she was fine.
She's going to have a great time, I don't worry about that one bit, I just miss her already! It's very strange being in our house with peace and quiet!
So here's to a great vacation and coming back refreshed and ready to tackle every day life again!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Heather - this one's for you!
In the midst of trying to get ready for vacation, I was asked by our church to do a cookie delivery. We deliver cookies to families who have been visiting our church on a regular basis, but are not yet members. We don't pressure them with questions, or anything of that sort, we just want to say, "thanks for coming!"
This recipe that I've found is working out really well. Depending on how many cookies we snack on, I can make enough cookies in one batch to fill three Gladware containers. They freeze really well in the containers, so the next time that I have to do a delivery, I just pull one of the containers out of the freezer and I'm set!
(Unfortunately, I didn't snap a picture before putting them all away, but hey, they're chocolate chip cookies, you know what they're supposed to look like!)
Here's the recipe:
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks margarine, softened
3/4 cup oil
1 egg
1 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
3.5-4 cups flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
12 oz chocolate chips (1 bag)
Cream together sugars and margarine. Add oil, egg, milk, vanilla, flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and chocolate chips.
bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes

Vacation in 2 Days!

I got Claire all packed up to go to Grandma and Grandpa's today.
When Claire was born, some friends of ours gave us this large monogrammed canvas bag from Pottery Barn Kids. I think at the time, I appreciated the gift for the cuteness. But now that we've actually put it to use a few times, I fully appreciate it for it's practicality. It's so nice to have one big bag that fits basically everything she needs for the week!
Pottery Barn doesn't carry the exact bag anymore, but here's a really close alternative, so cute!.

Check it out!

Let Me Count The Ways...

My husband is wonderful.
I wish I could tell you all the reasons why I love him so much, but instead, I'll just give you a little glimpse into my day today and I think you'll understand.
When I checked my email this morning, there were two email messages from him waiting for me in my inbox.
The first read:
Two Days!!!
(See, I told you he sends me a countdown to vacation email every day!)
The second read:
How is monkey? I love her so much. I love both of my girls, okay, all three with Lyra!
Note: Monkey is Claire, and Lyra is our dog (aka, our first baby)
So as you can see, my day started out pretty good.
But then I got discouraged, so early afternoon, I wrote this email to him:
Here's my day...
it's 1:34
claire is finally asleep.
nothing has been accomplished.
the house is trashed.
no thoughts on dinner.
i'm not showered.
going to shower now.
then start cleaning bathrooms.
then i'll start packing claire's things for grandma and grandpa's
but i'll be wishing that i was in my studio
or blogging
or other fun things like that.
In reply, this is the email I got in reply:
I understand. I did the toilets this weekend, so the bathrooms will be easy. I will help you with that tonite if you want. Don't worry about dinner - I will figure that out. I know you want studio time...soon you will be by the beach!!! Love you.
And the best part is, he really will help me! It's so great to have my husband as my number one cheerleader and supporter, especially when it comes to staying home full time with our daughter. He knows me well enough to know when I've got it all under control, and to know when I'm feeling overwhelmed and he needs to step in and save me.
So to update you...
I am showered.
the bathrooms are clean (!!!)
Claire is still napping
and now I get to blog.
and no, you cannot borrow my husband,
not even to clean your toilets or make you dinner.
he's all mine!

Vacation in 3 Days!

I got my pre-vacation pedicure tonight. After a long winter, my toes were looking a little rough, so I've actually been doing "prep-work" every day for a few weeks now, just to get ready for my pedicure! (Kind of like those people who clean before their cleaning lady comes over because they don't want her to see how dirty their house really is!)
So my toes are now sporting OPI An Affair In Red Square and look fabulous!
And no, my pedicure was not the little-fish-biting-your-feet variety,
that's just gross.

Still Waiting

Still waiting on my sewing it's not looking like any projects are going to get done before vacation at this point. I was told it would be ready in two weeks, so when I didn't hear anything, I thought I would be one of those nagging people and call to see what the status was. Here's a little of how the conversation went...

Me: Hi, just calling to check the status on my sewing machine.

Store: Well, the status is that we're receiving 10-15 machines a day right now.

Me: Okay, so what does that mean?

Store: That means that it's taking longer than normal to do repairs.

Me: just how long do you mean by longer than normal?

Store: Well, it's hard to say and I have no way of checking. Just call us in another week.
Oh my. I tried so hard to be really polite and use a nice tone, but there were two problems with that conversation as far as I'm concerned. The first is that she couldn't even give me a ballpark estimation of when my sewing machine will be ready. The second is that it doesn't even phase this store at all that they're behind on their promised time. I don't think an "I'm sorry for your inconvenience" would have been too much to ask.
There, my venting is done. And my birds will just have to wait a little bit longer.

Vacation in 4 Days!

While I am so looking forward to this vacation, I am a little sad that we aren't going to be with Claire on Easter. To hopefully make it up to her (actually, she doesn't care, it's just to make myself feel better!) I've got a few special things prepared for her.
I made her a little yellow ruffle and ric-rac purse to go along with her yellow Easter dress. The funny thing is that this is her second Easter, and she will have worn yellow for both. I think it's just because yellow looks like springtime! She loves carrying my purses around the house, so I'm sure she'll think this is something special. I also made her up a little Easter basket to open up with Grandma and Grandpa. Most of the goodies for the basket were found in those fabulous dollar bins at the entrance of Target. (Dear Target executives who I know are reading my blog....give a big fat raise to the person who came up with the dollar bin idea. Brilliant. My whole shopping list is out the window and I've spent at least $5-$10 already when I'm only 2 feet inside the door!) Her basket includes eggs full of barrettes and lip smackers. She's also getting some bunny ears, a stuffed toy, stickers and a card from her mumma and daddy telling her how much we love her!
Because I couldn't stop there, I also put together a little Easter bucket for our babysitter who is going to stay at our house while we're gone. She's completely obsessed with pink, so she gets a pink bucket with a pink bow that includes pink-wrapped candy and a pack of pink tissues. I plan to leave it by her sheet of instructions so she'll have a nice little surprise when she arrives.

Palm Sunday

Luke 19:28-38

28After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

29As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them,

30"Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.

31If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.' "

32Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them.

33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"

34They replied, "The Lord needs it."

35They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.

36As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

Vacation in 5 Days!

So as it turns out, I've bought quite a few new clothes for vacation. In part because I wanted to, but in part out of necessity. Our trip to St Thomas last year was just 5 months after Claire was born, so the clothes that I wore then are a little bit big now. I know, what a great problem to have!
My absolute favorite item that I've bought though is this dress from Banana Republic. It's slinky, comfortable, (sexy), and stylish! I really think you could make it as dressy or as casual as you want. I'm so excited to wear it with some soft gold heals and chunky jewelry!
(The dress is on sale now,
so go snag yours before they're gone!)

Picture of the Week

It's unbelievable how into gadgets a one year old can be.
I can't even hold my cell phone without her getting upset when I don't give it to her.
I'm scared to think about when she's a teenager.
Will she ever talk to me? Will I ever see her?
Or will we just "text" and chat over video?
Oh wait, texting and video-conferencing will be ancient by then
and something else will be all the rage.
She'll probably be embarrassed someday that
I would even mention such "old person" things!

Vacation in 6 Days!

Today I started collecting all my reading material for vacation. I'm not a reader at home...for a long time I aspired to be, but I'm just not. I generally fall asleep while reading.
Magazines are my thing though, so I've got a whole collection ready for our trip. The nice thing about magazines is I'll leave them behind as I'm done with them, so my load will only get lighter.
I do have two books with me that I hope to get through while lounging poolside. The first is God's Whisper in a Mother's Chaos by Keri Wyatt Kent. And the second is The Mommy Diaries, Finding Yourself in the Daily Adventure by Tally Flint. (This was a book given to all the MOPS moms back in September and has been on my nightstand ever since. See I really don't read much!)
And yes, I do see the irony in going on a romantic getaway with my husband, and only reading material about parenting and motherhood. That's just my life right now!

Choosing Joy

We had a woman named Robin speak to our MOPS group this morning, and what an inspiration she was. This is a woman who was married, and then lost her husband of 15 years to a heart attack. After thinking she would never remarry, she did meet someone else, and not a few years after they were married, he was killed in a plane crash. In between those two losses, she also had to bury her mother. This woman had every reason on earth to just put her hands up and say, "I give up!" But she challenged us today that no matter what the circumstances, always strive to find joy. That means surrendering to God, even if you don't feel like it, and telling him that you trust his promise to always provide for us what we need, when we need it.
Her challenge to us included three steps:

1. Acknowledge God is God. Accept God loves you.
2. Cultivate an attitude of gratefulness. Try to look at your life from a new prospective, finding good in everything.
3. Mark where you are in your life, then look back at what you've done up to this point. You will see monuments through your whole life and will see where God was in fact with you each step of the way.
Through her entire talk, she kept using the line "count your many blessings" which kept reminding me of this song that we sing occasionally in our church...
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Vacation in 7 Days!

In just 7 days my husband and I are flying the friendly skies all the way south to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands! We can hardly believe it's only 7 days away as we've been doing a countdown since at least 77 days! (No literally, my husband sends me an email every day first thing when he gets to work with how many days are left!)
We vacationed in St Thomas last year, but were only there for 5 days, and we just felt like there was so much more ground to cover, so we're heading back!
I can always tell a vacation is near when my normal one to-do list turns into about twenty different lists, and they continue to get longer and longer as opposed to shorter. I have this complex before a vacation of feeling like everything in my house needs to be perfect. And I'm not just talking about surface cleaning. A deep cleaning is required, and it's sad, but I generally go so far as to start cleaning out closets and the works. Why? I have no idea. Maybe to make vacation that much more sweet? Maybe it's because our babysitter is going to house sit for us again, and I'm afraid that she'll just happen to be on the floor and see that we have dust behind our beds. Or maybe she'll glance in my closet and see that my shirts are slightly out of rainbow order from left to right? Who knows. But I suppose if it does make vacation that much more relaxing, it's worth it.

This was the view from our room last year...we're staying at the same resort and requested a room on the same side. Every morning we could wake up to the cruise ships coming into the harbor, and every night we would fall asleep to the glow from the lights all up the hillside.


April Fools

I've got no good April Fools joke for you. I don't necessarily think I'm that clever or witty.
I am the person after all who fell for TWO separate people announcing false pregnancies already this morning. The first one was slightly understandable...but I should have thought about the first one when I read the second one.
But I am glad to say that by the time number three tried to announce her false pregnancy, I didn't fall for it that time.
Nice try number three, I'm no fool!