Feb 2010

Flashback Friday part two:

A favorite (not necessarily the favorite) of February 2010:


Flashback Friday

I decided yesterday that I was going to make a photo book of 2010.  Very last minute, I know.  I'm crazy. 

Photo albums are becoming something of the past.  At least in my house.  I sort of miss it.  You can't just grab a book and flip through it.  I have so many photos I rarely go back a year and look through them.  So... photo book should be awesome!

Here are my two favorites from January 2010.  It's crazy how much is forgotten until you see a picture.

Almost one year ago exactly... Connor is still in a toddler bed.  He's still struggling with potty training (so still in diapers).  He's still wearing some 3T things.  Like this ultra cute sleeper.

Some things haven't changed.  We still haven't painted his room (this is how it was when we moved in).  He still plays with bottle caps for Mr. Nezzer's hat.

My next favorite photo of January 2010?

I was 18 weeks 6 days pregnant with my tiny Riverdancer.  We weren't completely sure we were having a girl yet.  She was very modest and evasive with the ultrasound technician. 

How fast a year goes by!



So much to edit! 

I am so backed up on editing my photos.  But I wanted to share this photo that Santa took before sneaking back out of our house, and what Connor said in the morning.

Normally Connor comes down the stairs and heads for the basement door to find us.  Today he came downstairs and found me in the kitchen.  He said good morning and then merrily ran off to the basement door where he said, "Lets go find Dadd- ... ohhh wow!  Is this for me!??"  He had spied the presents and promptly forgot his hand on the door knob and didn't even complete the word 'Daddy'.

I told him he had to wait for Daddy to "rib" open the presents.  (Connor pronounces rip, rib).  Daddy was throwing a load of laundry in the washer.  Connor kept staring and staring at each present and had to be reminded numerous times to wait.

After several minutes he spotted the stocking.  "How did Santa do it!?!? "

Merry Christmas!

I have been SO busy scrambling to get things clean and in order before Christmas, deciding on where we're going for Christmas, and dealing with a sick baby girl.  She is still battling a cough, 2 weeks later.  We're taking her back to the doctor after the holidays.  Her cough keeps waking her up and something needs to be done.  I am happy that the doc says her lungs sound fine though.  But still.  I worry.

I have tons of photos and stories to share, but so little time.  So before we head out I will share one quick thing.

This isn't my idea, I got it from a magazine, or somewhere.  I can't remember.  But I wanted to share for others that haven't seen it before. 

If you're like me you hate all the waste of Christmas.  Wrapping paper (which at least can be composted), bags... loads and loads of plastic gift bags.  Twisty ties.  Tape.  And so on.  I save all the bags, and some tissue papers, and ribbons to be used later.  Can't recycle it, but I can re-use it right!?

But what if you could make a bag that's almost entirely compostable or recyclable?  I'm in!

You save a cardboard box, and cut of the top flaps.

Then you take this box and wrap it.  Tuck in the wrapping paper at the top of the box, tape it down.  Then you punch holes where string, yarn or ribbon can go.  It'd probably look even better if you punch two holes each side like a "traditional" gift bag.  But, I only punched one on each side.

Is it cute or what!?  The ribbon I had saved from a baby blanket I bought for Emma before she was born.  I was going to use it for scrapbooking, but it works perfect for this too. 

A totally eco-friendly gift bag!  Well, besides the tape.  I suppose I could have used glue.  As an added plus, this gift box is much more sturdy than the plastic gift bags!

It looks even cuter with the tissue paper sticking out of the top, but I didn't take a final photo. 

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Wintery Time!

I wanted to share my newest photo, I just took about an hour ago:

I used to collect little erasers when I was in school.  I don't know why other than the sheer cuteness.  I could never actually use them, for fear of messing them up.  I completely forgot about my small collection until Connor snooped around in my stationary drawer and found them.  Score!  I think I need to take up eraser collecting again.

This next one I'm entering in Paper Mama's "Winter" Photo Challenge:

Connor gives sledding a thumbs up

Winter is not winter unless you can sled.

This was Connor's very first time sledding.  And it also happens to be the closest I think I ever came to having a heart attack.  Allan pulled little baby Connor up this huge hill, and then pushed him down, where upon I panicked wondering what the heck I was ever thinking sending him down.  He flew down so fast.  I don't know why I was so surprised with how fast he went... I mean... it's sledding.. it's fast.  I guess I just wasn't as fully prepared as I thought I was, to see my first born baby flying by me at mach speed.

He cracked up laughing the entire time.

The Paper Mama

Wintertime Blues

Every year I get the winter blues.  Skies are grey, nearly everyday.  Most days are too cold to go outside, and even when we do we can't stay out long, and it's a huge event.  Boots, hats, gloves, snow pants, scarves.  I rarely can take my camera since there's no place to set it down while I play with Connor.  Then we come in with extremities numb and glasses fogged. 

By the time April rolls around it's hard to remember why anyone lives in this environment.  Even more hard to remember why we wanted a white Christmas.

Sure, it looks pretty at first, but within a few hours it's yucky.  White roads turn to brown muck.  Snow gets "crisp" and we can't even make one snowball, let alone an entire snowman.

early morning and it's already on it's way to turning brown

Viewed from a far there is little to enjoy from yucky mucky crispy snow. 

But then I turned around and happened to glance in my backyard, where the sun was brightly shining.

It looks pretty, sparkling in the sun, doesn't it?  Then I took an even closer look:

I don't have a macro lens, so can't show it like I wanted to... but you could see tons of individual snowflakes!  Just sitting right there, in plain sight, back lit by the sun.

It was all melting together fast, in the direct sunlight.  I'm glad I took a moment to see it, up close, not from afar.

So, there are things to enjoy about winter.  There's still beauty to be found, it you take the time to look.

Just remind me of this in March.  And maybe remind me in February.  January too, to be safe.

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Twenty

Day Twenty: Post a photo of somewhere you would like to travel. Why this location? Is there something special you would like to do there? Describe for me what you imagine your perfect day there would be like.

This post took a long time in the making.  Eight days.  I've known for eight days what I wanted to say, but didn't want to "cheat" anymore and just grab a photo off the Internet.  But.... how do you post a photo that is yours of a place you've never been?  Hard, I know.  I started snapping photos of  a map.  I edited those photos and they turned out terrible.  I nearly posted anyways, because I wanted to move on.  Then I remembered... I do have a photo that is mine and I've never been there!  Awesomeness!

Back in November 2009 my in-laws paid for a cruise for us and other members of the family, for their 35th anniversary.  It was great!  We had tons of fun.

Only, we sailed right by a place that pained me to see from a distance, because I want to be there.  To be honest it made me sick to my stomach to eat that night.  Filling up my belly, floating by a country where little children go to bed hungry.  The next time I see Haiti I hope it won't be from a distance, on a luxury cruise liner where my hair is let down and my feet are up.  I want my hair to be up, and my feet planted firmly on the ground, hard at work.  I want to be feeding and showing love to children.   Making a difference and saving lives.  Physically and spiritually.

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My Dirty Little Secret

I have a dirty little secret.  No, seriously, it's dirty - literally.

Before Emma was born I would tidy each room, daily.  Then at least once a week I'd do a "big" clean, of all the major things, like toilet and floors, and dusting.

The daily thing is of the past.  Since Emma's birth I have tidied up the bedrooms... oh... maybe 5 times in 6 months?

It bothers me because I like things clean, for our health.  I used to watch "How Clean is Your House" for weekly motivation to clean.  Hearing what diseases and ailments you can get from an unclean carpet, or a neglected bathtub, or even a dusty corner would have me scrambling to mop up the filth of my house.

Cleaning helps keep your family (and guests) healthy.  What better reason to clean when all you want to do it be lazy, right?  And really, it doesn't take that long.  I could clean my whole house on a "big" clean day in about an hour.  Then I have the rest of the day to do what I want!

I can not even begin to say how happy I am that today I ignored my laziness quality and tidied up Connor's room.  SO.  THANKFUL.

He loves to wear hats.  Loves it.  So, it's a given that when I dug out his Santa hat they became new best friends.  Except that... for about a week now the hat has been missing.  It's been sort of nagging in the back of my head to find it.  But I kept getting distracted, and it didn't seem that big of a deal.

However, there was something else that had an "urgent" nag feeling in my head.  Fire.  I kept finding myself dwelling on what would happened if our house caught fire.  What if it started in one of the kids' rooms??  I couldn't shake my uneasiness over a house fire, particularly in one of the kids' bedroom.  I kept going thru the steps I would take to ensure I got my kids out, or die trying.

Then today came.  Connor was happily playing in the bath and I decided to attach the jumper to his bedroom frame, for Emma, while I tidied up his neglected room.  It never takes long.  I picked up the toys, straightened up his bed, put away his clean clothes, and then got on the floor for the usual cleaning up fallen toys under his bed.

That's were I found it.

The Santa hat.  There is was, resting on top of the baseboard heater, burnt!!!  The whole hat was hot.  I don't know if it would have caught fire.... but I am so thankful I will never find out!

If it would have caught fire.... it would have caught his bed on fire!  Right near his head!  How freakin' scary is that!?  He may have died from smoke inhalation before we would have even known there was a fire!!

So, I urge you all to tidy up your house.  For the health of your family, and who knows - maybe for the very life of your family!

I look at his sweet happy little face and I can not help but say a prayer of thanks.  Thanks for the nagging urge to clean.  Am I ever glad I listened.

Holiday Colors Photo Challenge

My entry for the Holiday Photo Challenge over at Paper Mama:

The Paper Mama

Fix-it Friday


This is my first time participating in something like this.  Looks fun!

The orginal photo:

A minor edit:

My final edit:

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Nineteen

Day Nineteen: Post a photo of someone close to you who has passed. Write a letter to them.

January 1998

I miss my Grandpa everyday.  I think of him often.  I have many regrets.  I have many happy memories that I cherish.

One of my biggest regrets is this:  I lived one mile down the road from my Grandpa.  I drove by his house almost daily.  I rarely stopped.   I was too caught up in my teen/young adult life.  I loved him, don't get me wrong.  I just always chose to visit with my friends instead.

I won't be doing this challenge, in that, I won't be writing a letter to him.  I don't feel it's appropriate, and doesn't serve a purpose.  If I wrote a letter to him, it would be private.  To him.  Not whomever reads my blog.

However, I will write a letter.  I will write a letter to everyone else that does have a Grandparent here on this Earth.  I have two particular people in mind when I write this, but it should apply to everyone.

Dear _____,

Grandpa will not always be here.  You are never too busy to visit your Grandpa.  Your friends and girlfriend/boyfriend will still be here when he is gone.  There will always be parties to attend.  You can skip them.  You should remember that he gets lonely too.  He can't just up and visit friends, as he sees fit, for most are gone or in homes.  He loves you.  He wants to see you.  Take the time now to visit, before he is gone.

When he asks for help, it's because he needs help.  Yes, he's also helping you and tying to guide you in life, but really, it's because he needs help.  Besides, Grandpa is wise.  Welcome his guidance.

Visit.  Even if for one hour a week.  Visit.  Sit and get to know your Grandpa.  Cherish the little time you have left, for that time will not always be there.

Love always,

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30 Days of Me Photo Challenge - Day Eighteen

Day Eighteen: Post a photo of your biggest insecurity. Why are you insecure about this particular thing? What can you do to change it? Do you want to change it?

If you asked any of my family or friends for a quality of me, no one would say secure and confident.  If they did, they'd be lying, or don't know me at all.  That being said, this challenge was.... well... challenging.  I do have insecurities.  I don't want to broadcast them publicly, because then I'd feel as if they'd for sure stick out the next time I see someone.  Neon signs pointing to my imperfections.

I don't really have anything that feels like that, anymore, to me.  You know.. the pimple on your face in highschool that you swear has fireworks and neon signs pointing right at it, for all to see.  You feel as if everyone is staring at it all the time.  Like it's whispering "hey!  look at me!" all day long.  As if everyone in the world don't have better things to do then stare at a pimple.

I don't really care anymore, that much, about any imperfection that I have.  We all have them.  I mean, I could talk about my ginormous forehead.  The scar near my chin.  How my teeth don't line up perfect with my nose.  My fat toes.  But really, the neon signs are gone.  I'm not in high school anymore.  (shocking, I know).  Sure they bother me, sometimes, but they don't consume my every thought when I'm out in public.  It's more like.. seeing a picture of myself and thinking "hey, I should lose some of that baby fat"... as I shove another piece of chocolate in my mouth.

However.  There is one thing that consumes my every thought, when I'm doing it.  Public speaking.  Huge insecurity.  Huge.  It so frustrates me too!  There is no solid good reason to be so insecure about it.  And I just draw more attention to myself, rather than the words I'm speaking, by being so insecure!  So annoying!

My lips suddenly become odd feeling.  Like I haven't been talking for the past 30 years.  I start stumbling over words, talking really fast and I sound anything but smooth.  I end up sounding like a moron.  How do morons sound?  Like me, public speaking.

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Aspire Photo Challenge

Aspire Photo Challenge

This is for Aspire's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas photo challenge:

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Seventeen

Day Seventeen: Post a photo of something that has made an impact on your life recently. Why did this impact you? Was it negatively or positively? What did it make you change in yourself?

Day Seventeen.  I've been postponing this blog, because what I originally thought as impacting my life I didn't want to publicly talk about, not yet.  It's something I'm reading for personal growth, and I'm not done with it yet.  I should have talked about it, as it's better than the most "recent" impacting thing.  However, I don't have a photo to share, of my own, as it's not something you can photograph.

Al's co-worker and friend was diagnosed 10 short weeks ago with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  He was an immigrant to Canada and had a wife and infant daughter.  He just lost his short battle yesterday.

This has impacted me so much.  It seems so random.  So fast.  One day here, healthy and happy.  The next day ill then gone.

His life puts back into sight, for me, what is important. 

Enjoy each day to the fullest.  Don't take things for granted.  You never know when your time is up. 

Would I be ready?

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Etsy and Facebook

I was reading The Paper Mama's blog about the Etsy app for Facebook.  Naturally, I was curious and hurried on over to try it out on my friends. 

Every person I was most interested in, for gift ideas, didn't show up, I guess because they don't list "likes" under their user info.  However, my cousin Holly, showed up!  Her gift ideas had me literally laughing out loud.

1st column, 3rd down ... bahhhahaaa!
 Holly loves Target.  I love Target.  According to Etsy we should proudly display our love by prancing around in spandex red tights with a target underwear.  h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s

I could even buy the "lol" stationary and write to her about how I laughed when I seen this.  Then maybe she could use the "wtf" stationary to write me personal letters in lieu of livejournal.  ??  ha!  But really, it would be sort of funny to get a letter from a friend with the heading "wtf".  That set would come in handy; sets the mood of the letter before the reader even begins.  Forgot to include something in your letter?  Forgo the traditional "p.s." and just send a whole brand new letter with the title "btw". 

Brilliant.  haha.

Cookies on Etsy though?  I don't think I'd go for that.  However, if she had  a little girl, the smores slippers would be a must buy.  Too cute!

Overall, the app is fun, but I didn't find one thing I would actually buy for any of the friends I looked at, and I wish it had the option to choose myself.

Advent Garland

I struggled all last month trying to think of something unique for Connor to do in December, in the way of an advent, but not the traditional 'chocolate santa' one.

Then the other day I happened upon this blog where a photographer is doing what she calls "photovent".  Each day you can download one of her images and then you laminate it, punch holes, attach a ring and in the end you have a beautiful garland to hang - at any time of year!


Only, I wanted to do my own photos.  Problem being:  it was already Dec 1st and I wanted to start asap!  There was no way I could choose so fast!  I thought about picking photos of the kids, but Emma is only 5 months so I feared it would be a shine/garland to Connor.

So I decided I'd do a craft with Connor instead.  I'd laminate them, punch holes, and hang it with pipe cleaners (I found some nice glittery ones).  I'd have this cute garland to hang on our tree each year and always remember my kids at this age.

Only..... I seem to have forgotten he's only three and can't do crafts with me very well.  I mean... he can draw and color and write letters, but he can't trace a cookie cutter, cut out the shape, laminate or hole punch ..... hmmm.

Good thing I have superbly awesome skills as a crafter!  I totally made it look like Connor did it all by himself! 

Ok, ok.  So I tried really hard to make it look not so childish, but I'm no artist.  So I went just went with the flow.  ha!

How cute are the hands though!?  I think over the years I'll replace the ... um..... totally awesome Christmas shapes ..... and replace them with the kids' hand prints.  It'll be neat to see all the different sizes, I think.

Connor loves it.  But, he doesn't quite get the one a day thing yet.  He wants to put it all together right now.

To make it even more special, I used my some of my Grandma's old Christmas cookie cutters, like the angel one shown above.

We won't win the most chic decorating award, but that's ok.  I like our homemade homeiness.  =p

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Sixteen

Day Sixteen: Post a photo of someone who inspires you. Why does this person specifically inspire you? Can you tell me a story about this person?

my cousin, Kelly

We all have those people in our lives that, when we watch them, you think, "when I grow up I want to be like him/her!"  For me, one of those people was Kelly.

You know how someones mood and demeanor can affect a whole room?  To me, Kelly was always like a ray of sunshine walking through the door. 

I am quite a sensitive person, and was a very sensitive child.  To me it always seemed everything said to me was negative.  It made me very introverted and withdrawn.  Then I would go to school and be picked on for thinking I thought myself better than others, because I wouldn't talk.  I would begin to think, honestly, that there can't possible be a God.  The world was so cruel.  Everywhere I turned to I would be slapped with a label.  Stupid.  Ugly.  It.  Dork.  And so on.

Just when it would seem I couldn't take one more cruel word, Kelly would show up.  Seriously.  One day I was curled up in a ball on my couch, I think everyone else was in town.  I was there on the couch hating my life.  Hating the world.  Feeling like I didn't have a friend in the world (it was around 5th grade so pre-Angie).  Then the back door opened, and in walked Kelly.  She sat down and she asked me how I was doing, said she was glad to see me.  And the biggest difference from everyone that had ever asked me that question?  She sat and looked me in the eye and waited.  She was sincere.  From that day on I decided I wanted to be like Kelly.  I wanted to be a sincere and caring person.  Not just to adults, but to children.  I wanted to grow up and look kids in the eye and show them they are valuable too.

It's more than that I want to learn from her.  She is also patient.  She had to have been patient, because I don't know for the life of me why she sat there, that first day, for so long waiting for a response.  lol.  I was terrified.  I was so afraid she wouldn't like me because I was wearing dorky clothes.  I was so afraid to speak because I was afraid to say the wrong thing, and afraid to see disgust in her eyes if she saw my teeth.  (they were quite crooked).  And there she sat.  It all seems funny to me now, how I behaved that day, knowing now how caring and accepting she is.  haha.

She is faithful.  She is courageous.

I remember one time, being at our Grandma's house, and her young daughter misbehaved.  Rather than berate her child in front of everyone she excused herself to a different room, got on her knees and talked softly to her daughter.  Then she said a prayer with her.  That was the day I decided I wanted to be faithful like Kelly.  I wanted to talk to God with my kids, and I wanted to speak softly to them, even when I was angry.  I'm still working on all that.

Kelly is the least selfish person I know.  I decided I also wanted to be like Kelly and adopt children.  Then I learned, as of right now, I am too selfish.  I enjoy what free time I get, and I don't want to give any of it up.  Yet, anyway.  Selfish, I know.

She has to be courageous.  To have 3 beautiful daughters, then welcome 6 more into their life, through adoption over the years, for a grand total of 9 children.  That takes courage.  Courage and a whole lot of love.

The story of her courage that sticks out most to me though.... when we all were gathered around Grandpa as he took his last breaths.  Most people are afraid of death and shy away.  I don't know about the others gathered that day, but for me I, in addition to being afraid of him dying, was afraid to approach him and say things I wanted to say.  I was afraid.  Afraid to wear my heart on my sleeve.  Afraid to cry in front of everyone.  Afraid of how I might look or sound.  Kelly wasn't.  She climbed right up beside Grandpa and gave him her full attention, and wore her heart right on her sleeve.  After he took his last breath she prayed.  Then she sang.  All by herself she sang.  Not afraid of looking silly, or sounding silly.  Not afraid to stand out.  Not afraid to do what she felt she should do.  Not deterred when no one else was brave enough to join in.

She inspires me to step back and take a look at myself.  Am I being the best I can be?  Am I following where God is trying to lead me?

Thank you Kelly, for all you have inspired me to be.

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30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Fifteen

Day Fifteen: Post a photo of something you want to do before you die. Why did you choose this? Do you have a plan set in action so you can accomplish this? If not, what can you do to be sure you do this before you die

Obviously this is not my photo, I got it off the Cruise North Expeditions Blog.  If it were my photo then it wouldn't be something I still wanted to do right?  

I don't know why I want to, other than the sheer beauty I would be sure to see.  I have a great fear of deep water.  I have a greater fear of deep cold water.  So what better thing to do than take a cruise in the Arctic, right?  Maybe I'm insane.  Maybe I love photography and beautiful scenery just that much.

I want to see Northern Lights.  I want to see icebergs.  I want to see polar bears and penguins. 

We don't have a plan set in motion.  Money is always an issue.  So this is on my "someday" list.  Hopefully, anyways.

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30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Fourteen

Day Fourteen: Post a photo of a person you could never live your life without. What is special about this person? Tell me the ten things you love most about them.

I could talk about SO many people for this one, but I think it's more of  people I don't want to live my life without.  However, we all have to say goodbye to loved ones eventually, at one time or another.

Then of course, I think it goes without saying that I love my kids.  I would need some intense therapy if anything ever happened to them.  Seriously serious therapy.

One person I don't talk often of though, my husband.  So, for this prompt I choose him.  Since I would never want to lose him either.  I would be lost.

The things I love about him (not necessarily what I love the most, and not in any order)

  1. He is patient
  2. He is forgiving
  3. He is very helpful with the kids (for a guy)  =]
  4. He helps out quite a bit around the house
  5. He has been known to cook a meal or two
  6. He rarely says a harsh word to me
  7. He is kind to others
  8. He works hard so that I can stay home with the kids
  9. He has the same views as me on the most important things to us
  10. He loves me

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30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Thirteen

Day Thirteen: Post a photo of your favorite band or artist. Why do you love this band/artist? What song(s) in particular do you love & why? Post the lyrics to your favorite song by this artist/band & bold the ones that hold the most meaning for you.

me with Justin Hines, Oct 2008
 I am the kind of person that has a new "favorite" song with every new season in life and it has to fit my mood of the day/week too.   There are SO many singers that I only like one or two songs from their album.  There aren't many I'll listen to the whole CD thru, and put on repeat.  Norah Jones is one.  Jack Johnson.  Justin Hines.

I was watching TV one day when a commercial came on.  It was for Wal-mart Walk for Miracles.  It was so cute.  It was this mom chasing a toddler boy around a house and the lyrics playing in the background caught my attention. 
No darling, I can't take your thirst away
but I can show you to the sea.
While you're walking on your path unknown, say, will you think of me.

Well time will tell
I wish you well.
I was instantly in love with the voice and the lyrics.  I wanted to know who the singer was.  It took what seemed forever to find out who he was, online.  Justin Hines. I started googling him trying to find more information.  At the time his first CD was just out or about to come out, I can't remember, so it was hard to find information.

I was shocked to see him and read his biography.  He is a man in a wheelchair - and he can belt out tunes like that!?  wow!  What an inspiration!  He has Larsen Syndrome.  One of the symptoms being incomplete development of the lungs.  I don't know that he has that symptom or not.  All I know is his voice is amazing.  Amazing!

I watched a video of him singing April On the Ground.  This guy has passion.  True passion.  You can see it in his face when he sings. 

Justin is so inspiring and upbeat.  Definitely a "glass half full" guy.  He is so utterly optimistic.  You can't watch an interview with him and not be happier after it is over.  You can't!

After finding his website I went to see where he was from and if he was doing tours.  As luck would have it he was coming to our area in 3 months time.  We immediately bought tickets.

He sounded even better in person.  As an added bonus he was so funny and charismatic!  There was an encore after the concert.  He finally, after much clapping from the audience, came back on stage and said, "Thank you so much.  oooohh.  How embarrassing would it be if we didn't have any more songs to sing? ...  Frère Jacques anyone?  ooohhh, I'm a dork."  Honestly, I love the guy.

Afterwards he stayed in the lobby and signed autographs.  You won't catch Bieber doing that!

We loved his show so much we bought tickets to one just a month later but then had to miss it due to the flu.

I haven't been able to find a show near us since, but you can bet I'll be going when there is!

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the Paper Mama Holiday Card Challenge

I have been getting in the Christmas spirit and songs keep randomly popping in my head.  This week I keep humming "Santa Baby".  While it's a 'lover' song I couldn't help but make a holiday card with my little 'Santa Baby'. 

I have made 3 different holiday cards over at Picnik, so far.  I am getting a little bit obsessed.  Seriously.  Too much fun.  This one is my favorite:

The Paper Mama

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Twelve

Day Twelve: Post a photo of something you love. Why do you love this? What specifics can you give me about why you live this item/person?

As usual with these photo challenges I struggled with what to pick.  Obviously I love my kids and I love my family, so I wasn't going to go that route.  But I do have a mad love for chocolate.  Mad I tell ya.  I love chocolate!  Love it!  I even took a picture of it, and will share because it's chocolate and I love it.  But that's all I can talk about with it.  What else is there to say?  It's yummy.  The end.  Right?  Boring.  Except I love chocolate and it's yummy.  Here is the picture of yummy-ness.

Did I mention I love chocolate?

Since it makes for a short and boring blog, I chose a new love.  Cloth diapers!  I was so surprised with how much I love them!  I was with most of society in thinking that it's something of the "old days":  how complicated, cumbersome, time consuming and annoying! 

I was only first interested because it's better for the environment.  But convenience always won out.  How convenient are disposables!?  Except that they leak.  AllTheTime.

The last straw for us was when we were all packed up, ready to go, and went to pick up Emma out of her bouncy seat.  For the 'hundreth' time she had exploded out of her diaper, all over her outfit, and out onto the bouncy seat.  We were just about to leave the house!  Instead we had to do a complete wardrobe change, diaper change, and dismantle the bouncy seat.  Allan was so upset he announced we were going right then to the store to get cloth.  Because we had heard it holds in the mess.  At least it would be worth a try.

I was excited yet nervous.  How inconvenient would this be?  How expensive??  And pins.... I don't want to use pins near my baby!

We got to the store and I asked for help.  There I learned that we don't use pins anymore.  There are Snappi's to use instead.  It's fast.  It's practical. 

I'll spare the details of what we bought and why and how many and so on.

I love cloth!  Soooo much easier than I ever imagined!  Not a nuisance at all, and not inconvenient.  I mean, think of it.  It's cold outside, below freezing and snowing.  The diaper pail is full and it is trash day.  I have to throw on all my gear, dig the bag out of the pail, make sure the kids are safe and go drag this smelly plastic waste to the curb.  Or :  I stay in my jammies with my hair a mess, drag the entire washable bag full of smelly diapers down to my washer, toss them in, turn it on, and go lounge around for an hour while they wash.  Talk about convenience!!  And when I get low on supply... I don't have to lug the kids to the store to stock up.  I just do the actions previously mentioned.  I don't even fold the diapers after they are dry.  I just stack them up and bring them to the nursery.

Really.  Washing is easy.  I promise you I don't hike 2 miles to a river and smack the diapers against rocks to get them clean.  I don't even have to use a washboard.  I swear.  It's just like the clothes I wear every day.  I throw them in the same machine and go through the same motions as I would if I were washing my clothes.

Easy peesy.

And the best part?  We haven't had dirty messy explosion all over everything since we switched.  How is that in any way inconvenient?

(and just so you know, don't go buying Wal-mart diapers.  Find a nice store that specializes in cloth diapers)

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30 Days of Me: Day Eleven

Day Eleven: Post a photo of something you hate dislike. Why do you hate dislike this? What is it about this item/person that you despise?

Today, I really wanted to talk about my neck.  It has a kink in it and it is very annoying.  I very much dislike kinks in my neck.  But.... how do you take a picture of a kink?  If anyone wants to send me balloons for my pity party, I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks.

Then I wanted to take a picture to show how much I dislike that it is Thanksgiving and I am here and my family is there.  How do I take a picture of distance?

Really, all these thoughts of things I dislike was to postpone one of my greatest "dislikes", which is also a fear.  I won't and can't even take a picture of the real deal, so I took a photo of the toy ring version.  Will.Not.Take.A.Photo.  So there you go.  That's how much I dislike it.  And fear it.

It's silly really.  Have you even noticed I have even named it yet?  Yeah.  That's because it is my blog and I don't want that name on my blog.  So there.  Rhymes with "rider" though.  lol.

I don't even know what it is about "rider" that I dislike so much.  It's gross?  It's creepy?  It moves too fast?  It stares at me while I sleep?  It jumps down my shirt while I am driving and nearly causes me an accident?  You pick.

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30 Days of Me: Day Nine and Day Ten

Day Nine: Post a photo of the person who has gotten you through the most.

Day Ten: Post a photo of the person you do the most crazy/silly things with.

not Gumby or Pokey, but their owner

Now, before you go thinking I talk to inanimate objects to get through my bad days.... well, ok, so maybe I do sometimes... but that's a different story.... anyways, Gumby and Pokey aren't my top choice.  Their owner is.  Or ex-owner I should say.  They have now moved on to the landfill, poor things.  How cruel.  Maybe I should re-think who I go to in my troubled moments?  Barbie's line in "Toy Story 3" is coming to mind:  "I can't believe she'd just throw me away!"

Anyways.  To get back on topic.  For privacy sake I don't want to post a picture of my bestest friend, and also, more importantly, because I haven't asked her permission to post a picture.  So, for now, Gumby and Pokey will do as stand ins. 

The subject of both Day 9 and Day 10 happen to be of the same person.  So in order to save my blog from becoming a two day shrine to Angie, I'm combining them.

Angie has been there for every major event in my life, from the bad to the good.  She's seen me at my worst, and she has seen me.... well..... I don't know that I've hit my best yet.

She is the one person I can call and expect good honest advice from.  The one person not afraid to tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear, and all with a gentle heart.  She never talks down to me, talks angry.  She has a knack for saying what is needed, and gracefully.  For that reason she is the person I go to first when I am troubled.  She knows the difference from 'I need advice' and 'I need to vent'.  And the most important:  she doesn't judge me.  I can tell her anything.  While she may not always approve, she has always loved me and accepted me.

As for the silliness..... the one and only person I can ever be truly myself around while remaining comfortable... Angie.  Hands down.

I mean... how many of you would spend your New Year's Eve outside building and naming a snow head, and loving every second of it?  Well, we would, and we did!  Now, a lot of people would think that is lame, or boring or maybe stupid.  Not us.  (Keep in mind we are silly, not wild).  We both have the same humor, and that's what makes our friendship so great. 

we even gave him hair
We got many odd looks from her parents.  I mean... here we were, 20 years old, acting.... well.... younger than our age.  A lot younger.  It's as if we check "maturity" at the door when we get together.  But, don't get me wrong.  We can be serious too.  For example, we are very serious about our chocolate.

Then, when we get on Skype we can't just talk like normal people.  No.  The conversation is not complete until we turn on the features that make our eyes bug out, or or chin hang down.  Then we laugh.  And that is how it always is with Angie.  We laugh.  A lot of times we laugh until we cry.  We have fun.  We can laugh at each other and ourselves and all the while remaining embarrassment free.  Well, embarrassment free of each other.  I think sometimes others are embarrassed for us.  haha. 

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