Monday, December 15, 2008

Grateful for... Your Patience, Love, and Understanding

Pick yourselves up off the floor. You're not hallucinating or imagining things--it's true!

I am actually blogging again!

First things first--thanks to anyone who has continued (in vain) to check this blog week after week, month after month, wondering if I was even still alive. Not sure what motivated you to keep checking, but thank you. It means a lot.

I've had a lot of ups and downs since I last posted. Unfortunately, those "down" times were a major contributing factor in my not blogging for so long. For those who aren't aware, I struggle quite a bit with depression (and have for the past 9+ years). I'm here to tell you that it's a very real issue and not something that you can just wish away or ignore. I have so much compassion for those who struggle with mental and emotional issues. It's a triumph some days just to get out of bed and get the kids fed.

I have spent many hours in prayer to a loving Heavenly Father, begging Him to take this trial away from me. I keep reasoning with Him that I would be so much better of a servant if I didn't have this cloud hanging over me. I'd be so much more outgoing and serve so much more if this was something I didn't have to deal with on a daily basis. But in the past few years I've come to realize that it's BECAUSE He loves me so much that I am tested and tried. If life were a bowl of cherries, how would we ever stretch and grow? I look back on the times in my life that have been the hardest and realize how much I gained from those experiences. Although I don't think I'd choose to repeat them, I do stand here now grateful.

I'm not out of the woods by any means, but I can see the Lord's hand in my life--guiding me and nudging me towards better things. I've been able to feel a lot more in the past few months and I know that it's time that I stepped up a lot of things in my life. I've let a lot of things in my life sit by the wayside and it's time to change that. The people in my ward/neighborhood probably think I'm a recluse/hermit and anti-social based on my behavior since we moved here. I'm usually the polar opposite and I think it's about time to start being "myself". So to those of you in my neighborhood who think I've been avoiding them on purpose, please know that's not the case! Give me a call and let's do something! Sometimes all I need is a nudge to get out and I'm feeling much better!

It's also time to let some things go. As many of my stampin' sistas know, I LOVE making cards/being involved with Stampin' Up! It has been a wonderful creative release for me over the past 5+ years. But right now in my life, I need to focus on the MOST important things in my life---my little family and my faith. I have 4 young children that are looking to me to teach them all they need to know to make it through this crazy world as unscathed by evil as possible. I can't do that when I'm being sidetracked by other fun, (still good, but not ESSENTIAL), things.

I attended an LDS Women's Conference earlier this year, and one of the speakers said something that REALLY grabbed my attention. She spoke about a hobby/side job that she had that she really enjoyed. But she found that it started consuming most of her time and was crowding out the responsibilities she had as a wife and mother. She told us that she prayed for direction, and the answer she received was that her hobby would still be there waiting for her when those critical child-bearing/teaching years were over, or that her strong desire for this hobby would simply subside. I felt as though the Lord was talking directly TO ME. I only wish I'd had the courage to follow that council back in May, but I had already committed to not only attend Stampin' Up!'s yearly convention, but to personally head up a major shin-dig for 200 ladies during that convention.

But that's the beauty of the gospel of our Savior. He is ever standing at our door, knocking, and waiting for us to Let Him In. He wants us to repent and change and come to Him. He doesn't care if we've been wandering for a few months or a few years. He loves us and wants us back. He forgives us freely.

So...hopefully that helps you understand a little bit about my blogging absence. I've been wanting to start back up for a while now, but didn't know quite where to start. I actually had great intentions to blog on Thanksgiving Day, fiitingly rolling out the new title/direction I'm taking my blog in, but it just didn't happen. We spent time with family on both sides, including a sister-in-law who flew all the way from Connecticut to be there. But thanks to an INCREDIBLE Bishop who gave such perfect advice to us at church yesterday, I decided that I just couldn't put it off any longer and today was the day!

Thank you to all who made it this far--you're wonderful!!! I haven't decided how often I'll be blogging, but at the very least, I'll be posting once a week (instead of once a year!!!). Thanks again for those of you who have been so very supportive of my ups and can't begin to know how much I appreciate it!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy 11th Birthday Big Al!

So as a mom, when do you become "officially old?" I feel it today. I honestly do NOT believe that my oldest child is turning 11!!! Today, just like the day he was born, is a Wednesday and a bit cold and rainy outside. I remember lying in the hospital bed, watching the rain hit the window pane and wondering what was in store for me as a brand new mother. I was terrified and overjoyed, all in the same moment.

Alex joined our little family at 4:16 p.m. The first thought through my mind after they handed him to me was, "Oh my goodness, they took my husband and shrunk him down to 20 inches!" He's the spittin' image of his dad and grows more handsome every day.

He is such a fun kid to have around. He's got a spunky personality and a great sense of humor. This story illustrates what a little corker he is: The other day after church was VERY cold and blustery (I used that word JUST for you, Diana!), but my other 2 sons wanted to walk home. I was inside the church oohing over someone's brand new baby and Alex disappeared. I figured he'd decided to walk with his brothers, so I drove home with Kenzie, expecting to see him along the way. When I finally caught up with Nate and Cam, Alex wasn't with them. Then from the very back of the van I hear a wicked little giggle, and he pops up and laughs his head off! He had been in the van the whole time and hadn't made a peep--hoping for the EXACT outcome he got! He continues to gloat about how he "got me good!" Oh how I love my Alex!

I went down to my "crapbook" room (as my 3 1/2 y.o. calls it!!) and whipped up a quick card for him. Hope it's not too 'girly' as I'll be taking it to school, along with balloons and treats for his classmates in just a few minutes.

Alex, my good man, here's a shout out to ya, buddy! Happy, Happy Birthday! We love ya!!

P.S.--I did do a drawing for the card I posted a few days ago. Ironically, I picked out the name of my cute friend Sara, whose birthday is today as well!!! Crazy, huh? I SWEAR I didn't rig the drawing! I'm going to go pick up something fun for her and drop it off along with the card. Happy Birthday to you too, Sara!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring, Glorious Spring!!

I LOVE Spring. Leaving the cold of Winter behind, the hope of warmer days to come, the renewal of life we see all around us, and being able to go OUTSIDE with the kids!!! My oldest sis Sherri and her fam came up over the weekend. We took the kids to a COOL place called Castle Park. The weather couldn't have been more pleasant--upper 60's/low 70's with just a slight breeze. The kids had a blast running, swinging, playing, and exploring. Other than the 20 minutes we couldn't find my 9 y.o. (we found him in the "dungeon" area of the park!), we thoroughly enjoyed the whole outing!
Other exciting news and happenings: Nate got his cast off for good!!!! He has a "totally sweet" removable black arm brace that he will wear for another few weeks, just to keep his bone protected for a bit longer. One of his happiest moments in weeks was being able to put his arm IN the bath water!! Nate's a tubby boy, and it has been really frustrating to have to keep his arm wrapped in plastic bags/duct tape and above his head while he bathed.
The highlight of our weekend was attending a production called "Joseph Smith, the Prophet" put on by members of our Stake. It was an INCREDIBLE performance giving tribute to this latter-day prophet. I have no idea why I even put make-up on--I cried my eyes out all evening!! We took Alex and Nate with us and they enjoyed it as well. The choir rehearsed every Sunday for 3 months, plus extra rehearsals the week of, so it was a very time-intensive thing. They did an absolutely outstanding job. They also had the neatest displays up with early 1800's period items--dresses, baby clothes/shoes, barrels, and many other items of interest. The whole evening was completely delightful.

And finally, my sweet Cam Cam has cornered me into giving him a solid date for when he gets a pet turtle (or two)!! He hounds me relentlessly on many things: how many more days til...(the next person's b-day, til we get to go to McDonald's again, etc. etc. etc.!), and he recently remembered that we promised the boys they could get pets once we moved in to our new house. Ummm, yeah. We moved in last June and we still don't have any pets!! I now have a firm deadline: there must be turtles in the house on the last day of school (hence the turtle-stamped countdown chain!!! 40 days left and counting...)
Nate's teacher at school has a big tank with 4 or 5 turtles in it, and Cameron LOVES to go in and see them whenever he can. I now need to pick his teacher's brain about all the details of owning turtles--what/when to feed them, when they need to get in/out of the water, etc. You can actually order baby turtles through the internet (the turtles you can buy at the pet shop are full-grown), so we'll be making that purchase soon!! Wish us luck and PLEASE let me know if you've ever owned turtles and can offer any advice!! The one thing that consoles me for the turtle's sake is that he has a very hard, TOUGH shell. In this crazy family, he will need it to survive!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

This could be "for you"!!

Card Recipe for my Stampin' Sistas: Wild Wasabi & Groovy Guava ink and paper, Versamark ink, One of a Kind Stamp Set, Cuttlebug--Swiss Dots and Script, Hodgepodge Hardware brads.

Hey everybody! I did something rather spontaneous and unusual (for me, anyway!) yesterday--I went down to my craft room and stamped a card, just for the fun of it! No swap, no b-day, just made a card because I had a few minutes!!

I'm not 100% thrilled with how it turned out, as I'm a total perfectionist, but overall I think it is pretty good. If you make a comment on this post, I'll choose someone randomly and send this card to you. Sound good?

It's soccer season and my husband, "Coach Cheney," already left with Alex for the game--so I need to round everybody else up and head out to cheer them on for the first game of the season. Goooooo Firebirds!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Live like you were Dyin'

I was listening to the radio this morning as I was driving kids to school. The DJ's were talking about a man named Randy Pausch who is dying of Pancreatic Cancer. They said how amazing this man is and the attitude he has towards life. I came home and googled him and found a ton of video clips on YouTube about him.

If I were more techno-savvy I'd know how to imbed the actual video right here. But we all know better, so here's the link:

PLEASE make some time in your day to check this out. It will inspire you to, as Tim McGraw sings, "Live like you were Dyin'."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tagged....Long time comin'

My neighbor Sara tagged me weeks ago and I'm just now getting back to my "bloggin' life." Sorry, Sara!! I wasn't dissin' ya, I promise! Here's the info I know you're all just waiting on the edge of your seat for:

One Word:
you're feeling: overwhelmed
to your left: frig
on your mind: kids
last meal included: cereal
you sometimes find it hard to: stop
something you have a collection of: Stamps!!!
a smell that cheers you up: Sam's cologne
a smell that can ruin your mood: halitosis
how long since you last shaved: Sunday
the current state of your hair: undone
the largest item on your desk/workspace right now (not computer): calendar
your skill with chopsticks: pathetic
which section you head to first in the bookstore: children's!!
...and after that?: self-help
something you're craving: quiet
your general thoughts on the presidential race: scary
how many times you've been hospitalized this Year: none
a favorite place to go for quiet time: tub
you've always secretly thought you'd be a good: author
something that freaks you out a little: children dying
something you've eaten too much of lately: candy
you have never: skydived
you never want to: disappoint

I tag: my cousin Becky and anyone secretly stalking my blog!!

I have lots of pics to share, stories to tell, etc. but I've got to go pick up my Kindergartener right now so they'll have to wait.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Diana!!!

Just had to dedicate this post to my sweet friend Diana! She's turning 29 (again, wink wink!!!) today and is just SUCH a great lady!! She's the first to say hello to a stranger, the first one there when someone is in need, and one of the first people I think of to call. She's an amazingly supportive wife, a great mom, and a tremendous friend to all.

Diana--here's a shout out to ya, girl! You rock! Hope you had a day as wonderful as YOU!!

I don't have a pic of her and I, but go check out her BRAND NEW BLOG (as in she created it this week!)-- They have the darndest cute little family eva!!

And don't forget, "You're not getting older, you're getting better!!"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

LOTS to catch up on--

So my bloggin' life has taken a pause, but my "real" life has been clippin' along at quite a fast pace! I was put in charge of our Cub Scout's Blue & Gold Banquet this year. The theme was Chinese New Year and I had a LOT of fun working with the committee to make it all happen! The top picture is my sweet little fam at the night's event.
My second son Nathan earned his Wolf award at the Banquet. I spray painted white envelopes red (to go along with the Chinese tradition of giving "good things" in them) for all the boys' awards.
The table settings were fun to put together. It's hard to see in the picture, but each person had an "interactive" Chinese New Year placemat with trivia questions and a word search. I also stamped/embossed Chinese symbols and added them to the napkins. And all my "hard work" of saving up every flippin' empty roll of toilet tissue for the past 4 months paid off with the darling "Chinese Firecracker" decorations that turned out really cool! We also decided to go Asian style and sit on the ground to eat, so we just put the tables on the ground and covered/decorated them there. It was fun!!

And yes, my stampin' sistas--that take-out box is stamped!! Our local craft store has a die cut for the box, so I went over there and cut out about 20 of them (1 for each Scout), stamped them with my Asian stamps, and then filled them with fun Chinese trinkets for the boys. They LOVED 'em! The night was TONS of work but so much fun! Thanks to all you ladies who helped make this night happen--you know who you are!

Next up was a super fun night at the kid's school. Utah State University has an incredible Extension Program that offers all kinds of great resources, one of which is something they call the "Junior Engineering Program." They have a big trailer filled with all kinds of really cool science/engineering hands-on exhibits and they come to the school and set it all up for a full day. The kids then get to learn about things like electricity, the water cycle, how things work, etc. The picture above is my oldest son Alex learning how hydrolics (sp???) works. He was completely fascinated by the whole night--at the ripe old age of ten, he's already set his sights on becoming an Engineer. And the kid has the brains to do it--go big Al!!

And here's the FUN we had today at the Dr.'s office with Nate's arm!! Those lovely "sticks" you see on the x-ray are the pins they put in his arm last Thursday (yep, we had to have surgery after all, darn it!) I'm sparing you all the gory real pics of those pins sticking out of his arm. Ugh--just thinking about it makes me queasy all over! Nasty business, I tell ya.

So Nate got his SECOND green cast put on today. What a little trooper he's been!! He's not looking forward to 8 more weeks of this beauty, but he really is making the best of it. The number one reason he chose a green cast again? To quote him: "This way, NOBODY can pinch me on St. Patrick's Day on Monday! Cool, huh?" What a great kid.
For all of you that made it this far--thanks for listening to my ramblings!! I really will try to post a little each day instead of saving it all up for a mega-post.

Have a great night!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's Easy Bein' Green (Casted)....for Nate!

Nate had his Dr.'s appt. this morning and he's ALL smiles! Why, you ask? He doesn't have to have surgery on his arm!! The doc is 95% positive that it will heal properly without having to put pins in it. Hooray for Nate and hooray for our checkbook! A huge thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers. The doctor was very pleasantly surprised when he saw today's x-rays--he really wasn't optimistic on Saturday because it was so tough for them to get his bone back in place. Nate chose his favorite color green for the cast color. In his words, "A green cast is just SO totally cool lookin'!" Nate--I LOVE your positive attitude and your strength! He told me it didn't hurt a bit when the Dr. was putting pressure on his wrist today to nudge the bone back into place. He just sat there and didn't so much as wince. Tough. Way tough kid. It really IS easy for him to be green!!
I also got the privilege of being the first person to sign his cast. I was such a dork as a kid--I always wanted to have a broken arm JUST so that I could walk around with a sling on and have people sign my cast! After seeing what a major inconvenience/pain it is, I'm SO glad I didn't!

Rock on, green-casted boy!

For my stampin' friends...I'll post my fave make n takes (from the Utah SCS get-together) tomorrow!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Our first broken bone

We knew it was only a matter of time before it happened. And we had our bets on this kid being the first. Now if only we GOT money for being right (instead of paying our lovely $1,000.00 co-pay to our insurance company)!! But what we didn't think would be the cause was something as simple as falling out of a bunk bed!! Nate's our high-adventure/no fear kid. We figured it would be sledding, tubing, the tramp, or a bike accident that would put our son in a cast. Instead it was a scout campout with his dad that ended in a trip to the ER at 3:00 a.m. Saturday morning.

They were staying in a lodge that had cement floors and Nate really wanted to sleep on the top bunk. My hubby let him, figuring he'd be just fine as he's 9 years old and sleeps on a bunk bed at home. Sam woke up to a big thud and Nate screaming. He figured he was just scared from the fall and brought him in to bed with him. But when the painful cry persisted, Sam flipped the light on to check it out. The second he saw his arm, he knew it was broken. Apparently there's 2 bones right where he broke his arm, and one of the bones completely dislogded and went "up and over" the other bone--YUCK! (I know all you moms out there are getting queasy just thinking about it--I am!!) So they packed up as quickly as possible, gave Nate a blessing, and headed down the canyon to the nearest hospital an hour away. A HUGE thanks to Ben Romney!! Poor guy had to get up at 3 a.m. and drive someone else's kid down the canyon to the hospital (Sam didn't take his truck)! We owe you your favorite treat, buddy!
Here's the x-ray of Nate's arm AFTER they "fixed" it. Do you see where it's still not lined up? That has me worried. Sam said they put Nate out and then 2 ER doctors spent the next 20 minutes twisting and wrenching on his arm trying to get it back into place. He stood there watching and bawling as Nate cried out in pain--even with being knocked out. I was glad I wasn't there for that! He broke it down close to his wrist, but VERY luckily missed the growth plate about an inch down (to the left). We go back in on Wednesday to see if it can be casted or if he will need to have pins put in (read: surgery). Keep him in your prayers, k?

This is the makeshift splint that my hubby used on Nate up at the Scout Lodge. Once they got the splint on, his pain eased up a bit. It just makes me cry to think of how much this hurt my sweet boy! And to top it all off--it's his left arm and he's Left Handed!! This should make school very interesting for the next 6 weeks. We told him it's a great opportunity to become ambidextrous!
On the upside of this whole thing, he's getting the royal treatment. No chores, staying home from school, get-well balloons, phone calls, presents. If it weren't for that pesky break in his bone, he'd be absolutely lovin' life!! Ah, life with kids--it's one big adventure, isn't it?!?!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Five Faves and a Favor to ask..

I went through the swaps I got on Wednesday and picked a handful of my very favorites...
The first card was made by Tina Larson (tinatuna) - Love her colors and layout!!
2nd card is Debora's (liandrin16) and it's just beautiful and sparkly!
I don't know who created the middle card, but I loved the color combo and pullout card.
4th card was Amy's (amysings)--it's a really cool fold-out card. Very ingenious!
And the last card was made by my darling friend Vicky (TTFN). Her cards are always a work of art--I luv them almost as much as I luv my sweet friend!!
Here's where the favor comes in....
For those of you who use blogspot, could you post a message here and tell me how on earth I get the text intermixed with the pictures? I would have loved to be able to indicate right below each pic who made it, but for some reason it never lets me do that. Do I have to pick something in the format to allow that? Thanks in advance for your help!!
Thanks to all who read my blog--it really does make my day to come and find more comments!!
Hugs to all!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Park City Stampin'

What a FUN day I had yesterday!!
I spent the good part of the day stampin' and chattin' with a bunch of gals at a Park City Lodge Clubhouse. There were familiar faces as well as new friends made. I forgot to take pics--even though I had my camera with me!! Tina Larson (tinatuna on SCS), who hosted the event, took group pics as well as individual ones, so I'll try to have her send me copies. Thanks again Tina and Evie for a great get-together!
We had a shoebox swap as well as a regular (pre-made before we came) swap and they were just AWESOME!! Some supa supa creative ladies out there. These pics are the swaps I came up with. The little 3x3 cuttlebug'd cards were my make n take swap and the pink criss cross card was mine for the other swap. I luv how the criss cross card turned out, but man did it take foreva to crank out 13 of those suckers!!!
I'll post some of my fave swaps from the other gals tomorrow. Thanks Utah girls for a fabulous day!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Quick post to let you all know I still have a pulse...

Sorry for the WAY too long absence from my bloggin' adventures. Our internet was out for almost 2 weeks (don't get me started on Qwest--it makes me swear in my thoughts!) and then I've been supa supa supa busy this past week with Valentine's parties, LOTS of sickness at our house, and a birthday.

My stamping friends....your lonnnnnnng wait to see some creations will pay off tomorrow--I went to a fun stampin' get-together today and have some FAB things to show you!!

Hugs to you all!!


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Music to my Ears

I am a music person.

I'm the person who is walking down the hall humming a little tune. I'm the one you hear coming around the corner in the grocery store singing to herself. When I'm by myself in the car, I'm belting it out at the top of my lungs along with whoever's on the radio.

Music moves me. It gets me motivated and going in the morning. It's my go-to when I need to tackle a big project. I guess you could say it's my "cuppa joe" since I'm not a coffee drinker! My husband has, on more than one occasion, come home to me dancing and singing with the kids instead of making dinner like a good wife should.

Music stirs deep memories for me. Just by hitting the play button, I can be taken to another time and place and remember details I would have otherwise forgotten. Some of those memories are bittersweet, but I'm still grateful for them.

I spent a bit of time earlier today revamping my musicplayer at the bottom of my blog to include many more of my faves. Ironically, some of my all-time faves still aren't in there because no one has uploaded them to the web yet and I didn't have the time (nor the computer-savvy skills--let's be honest!!) to burn a bunch of my CD's to the computer.

I've got a very eclectic group of songs on here--I don't think you could put me into one "category" of music. I'm all over the map from Enya to the Steve Miller Band to Country. Other than rap and hard rock, I'm pretty open and love A LOT.

So if you care to browse through, feel free. If you find a fave, go ahead and click on it and listen for a bit. If my style isn't your style, that's cool too--these are just the tunes that make my little heart happy!!

My little girl just walked in and wants to dance to my "sassy girl" music (as she calls it!), so of course I'll oblige...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am SO Blessed

Blessed - sung by Martina McBride

I get kissed by the sun each mornin'
Put my feet on a hardwood floor
I get to hear my children laughing
Down the hall through the bedroom door

Sometimes I sit on my front porch swing
Just soakin' up the day
I think to myself, I think to myself
This world is a beautiful place!

I have been blessed
And I feel like I’ve found my way
I thank God for all I’ve been given
At the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

When I, when I’m singin' my kids to sleep...
When I feel you holding me...
I know--I am SO blessed...

I really do KNOW how blessed I am. I have an incredible husband. I have four gorgeous, healthy children. We have a home full of love. I have amazing parents, sisters, and extended family. I have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. Truly, I couldn't ask for more.

I am so blessed.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The world lost a great man, Heaven welcomed home a good and faithful servant

Last night, the prophet of the LDS Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, passed away at the age of 97. He returned to heaven to be embraced in the arms of his beloved wife, Marjorie, who passed away four years ago.

I had the amazing privilege of meeting him on several occasions, as he was very close to my grandparents. He truly cared about *every* individual he met. His testimony of Jesus Christ was steadfast and his faith unwaivering. He had wit, charm, and a wonderful sense of humor. He was a true Christian in every sense.

This world has lost an incredible man and follower of Christ, but at the same time, Heaven has welcomed home one of its finest. I can only imagine the joy in heaven as he was greeted by countless individuals, including my grandfather.

And I know for certain that when he meets the Savior, he will hear those words that we all long to hear someday: "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

Thank you, President Hinckley, for being a true disciple of Jesus Christ and showing us the path we all should follow back home.

God be with you til we meet again...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Husband the Rockstar

I just registered my hubby to take the GMAT test for admission into Graduate School to get his MBA.

This seems fairly mundane--lots of people go to grad school, right? For us *right now* in our life, this is no small feat!

DH will be turning 35 this summer. We've been married for 13 years come June and we have 4 kids ranging from 3 to 11 years old. He just built our dream home (I really do mean *he* built it--he was the General Contractor and did most of the finish work himself!) this past year and we were finally hoping we were "settling down" into a slower-paced life. NOT!

On top of being a husband, father, and sole-provider for our family, he is also serving in 2 time-intensive positions in our church. He is the Varsity Scout Coach for the 14 & 15 y.o. boys in our area, and he is also serving as a Second Counselor in the Bishopric (a Bishop in the LDS church is pretty much like the pastor/priest of other Christian religions--so my husband is one of his 2 assistants).

Needless to say, the man is BEYOND busy--juggling work, family, church service, etc. So to say that it was a total shock when he came to me a few weeks ago and told me he was seriously considering getting his MBA would be an understatement. I've *always* wanted Sam to go back for his MBA, so I didn't utter a word of resistance (such as, how in heaven's name are you going to have time for that and where on earth are we going to dig up an extra $38,000 to PAY for this little activity???).

I've spent the last few weeks on-line gathering info and printing out applications. We got a bit side-tracked with the news about Sam's dad being diagnosed with cancer, but I asked him if he still wanted to pursue this idea and he told me he did. So when the screen asked if I was sure I wanted to commit to him taking the $250 test, I gulped and clicked "confirm." Here we go...

My husband is a Rockstar.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Life can turn on a dime

Hey Everybody.

Sorry it's been a week since posting--we've had A LOT going on.

Unfortunately, not all of the goings on are good. We received the news that my Father-in-Law has advanced prostate cancer. They're praying for a miracle, but based on the prognosis, that's what it would take to save him at this point.

We've got lots of emotions right now. Since the news only came late last week, I think the main thing is still shock. He's only 59 years old. And there's a bunch of other things going on in my hubby's family right now that only add to the tension.

Sam and I laid awake for a long time talking last night, trying to make sense of it all--trying to figure out God's purpose in everything happening. All we came to is that there's a reason for everything, God is aware of us and won't give us more than we can handle (although I do believe he takes us right to the edge sometimes!!!), and most importantly, it has reminded us again of how very fragile life is and how important it is that we cherish every moment with our loved ones.

Sorry for the downer post. I'm just still swirling in a sea of emotion trying to sort through it all. Thanks for being there for me, even if it's only on-line. I appreciate all of your comments so much--you have no idea how they make my day. I'll keep you all posted...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

This Birthday Girl is Spoiled!!

I've got such a sweet hubby!!!

Today is my 33rd Birthday. After volunteering at the kiddos school this morning, I turned up my street and saw a van in my driveway. As I got closer, I read "Jimmy's Floral" on the side. Luckily, I caught him just before he was about to leave. He said, "Young lady, I have a whole bunch of roses for you!" He then hands me this gorgeous arrangement of beautiful red and white roses--33 of them to be exact. I've got the best DH in the whole world!!!

Birthdays are an interesting thing. When you're a baby/toddler, you don't even have a clue what everyone is doing with those silly party hats on and why they think it's so funny that you're eating cake. Then as a kid, you figure out very quickly that birthdays are the fountain of all good things from mom and dad. You beg for a big friend party and hope for lots of hoopla and money.

Then as you get older, b-days are fun, but not as big of a deal as they used to be. It's great to be remembered, but you also start becoming aware of the passing of time and how quickly life seems to be passing you by. When you become a mother, birthdays are all about your kids and knowing that *you* are now looked to as the fountain of all good things! Your own birthday sneaks up on you, and before you know it, you're 33 years old sitting at the computer sharing your random musings on life with anyone who happens to log on to your little corner of the world!

When I'm older (of course 33 isn't old!!!), I might start resenting this marking of time as it will just remind me how much time has passed by, but for now, I'll enjoy smelling the roses (all 33 of them--thanks Sam!) and enjoying every little bit of my life as I know it now.

Thanks for sharing in "my" day! (I'm off to my stampin' room to go play with all my new stamps & toys I've received over the past few weeks...I'll be posting my creations tomorrow!)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Nestabilities are in Da House!!!

Oh yeah, baby!!!

I've been curious about the Nestabilities Die Cuts for quite some time. I remember the HUGE hype when Papertrey first stocked them and how everybody said they are a *must have item.*

My budget doesn't allow for me to hop on every bandwagon that comes along, so I decided to wait and see if they were as great as the hype surrounding them. I checked the gallery and watched the forums for reviews. I was impressed.

And then an opportunity came up last week on the BST Forum at Splitcoast for me to buy the Circles set (scalloped and reg). My Birthday is tomorrow, so I decided to buy myself what I really wanted and I grabbed 'em!! Thanks, meerkat3!

They arrived on Saturday and I looked up the Cuttlebug/Nestabilities Sandwich "Recipes" so I could play. Even with the short 20 minutes I had to mess around with them, I can tell you that I LOVE them! A lot of gals mentioned that it's a lot more time consuming than just grabbing a punch, but I found it to be a *really* quick process. AND the Nesties can emboss, too!!! AND they're a ton cheaper than the punches!!!

Needless to say, I have a new love! I'll definitely be getting all the different shapes/designs over time. This is JUST what I needed--something else to be addicted to!#*!#*

PS--When they arrived on Saturday in the mail, I got them out and showed them off to DH with all the glee of a kid at Christmas. He said, "Well, honey--Happy Birthday! I'm glad you got what you wanted, but I really don't understand what you're so excited about. They're just a bunch of metal circles..." Poor man. They just *don't* understand, do they!?!

Monday, January 7, 2008

I LUV these bundled up faces!

Here in Utah we've had a HUGE snow year! Storm after major storm have rolled in and we just keep getting dumped on! Not complaining at all--we need the moisture SO badly and the kids have had an absolute blast with it. The middle picture is the sledding hill in our backyard--how fun is that!!!
It's just so sweet to see my little ones all bundled up to go out back and have a great time.
For my stampin' sistas---don't give up on me! I'm in the middle of a MAJOR organization project (my whole house as well as my stampin' room!) which is taking up all of my "free" time. When I get to a point where it's feasible to start stampin' again, I'll be posting--no worries! I didn't get Christmas cards done, so I'm going to send out Valentines instead. And I betta get crackin'--I've only got a few weeks!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Resolving to make '08 Great

Can anyone else besides me NOT believe it's already '08??
There's a song by Kenny Chesney called "Don't Blink" that comes to my mind a lot. The chorus:
"Don't blink, cuz just like that
You're 6 years old and you take a nap
And you wake up & you're 25
Then your high-school sweetheart becomes your wife."
I sooo feel that way! I feel like just yesterday I married my sweet husband, and I woke up this morning with 4 kids!!! Where did the last decade go???
As have most of you, I've made some resolutions to do better this year. My number one goal is to
If you could see through your computer into my house, you'd tell me to RUN, not walk to the nearest store and buy every book on organization they sell! The most frustrating thing is that when I want to be, I'm actually a VERY organized person. In my 'previous' life (b.c.--before children) I was an Executive Secretary in charge of 29 faculty members, 70 graduate students, and more than 400 undergraduates. I was very efficient and didn't have to write down anything to remember it--I stored it all in my (then functioning) brain.
Since the kiddos have come along, my memory has gone to pot and I'm so busy playing taxi, chef, and maid that I spend little to no time organizing my life. Now that my youngest is 3 (going on 23), I feel like I've got a bit of time to get myself and my household back in shape.
So I think I'll involve you, my readers, in my journey towards order. Maybe I'll post ideas, tips, or just show pictures of my progress thru the year. I'm actually in the middle of organizing my craft room, and specifically getting a stamp set index put together of my 250+ stamp sets (I know, I'm out of control!) I've gotten a good start, but need to endure to the end and "git 'er dun!!!"
I'll leave you with the "half way done" pics of my craft room and then you'll know and understand why I'm not posting/stamping every day!!

Make it a great 2008!!!