Thursday, December 30, 2010


Year end review of previously set goals before I get around to posting my goals for 2011. Some of these that I didn't do so well on may not make on to my goals for 2011 - if I couldn't accomplish them at all in the time I posted them, clearly they aren't important enough to me.

Goal #1: Get my house clean, organized and to stay tidy every day.


Original Status: So far, so good. I started this the middle of last week. I assigned myself specific areas to clean every day and so far I've stuck to it. I also made a mini-goal of keeping the rooms I've already clean tidy for the rest of the week so when I get back to that room next week, there isn't as much to do.

October Update: Failure and success at the same time. I've since abandoned my prior method of keeping the house up and recently have started this Operation Purge & Simplify. So far the master bath and bedroom look pretty amazing and I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff. Ben's room always stays clean, as I help him pick up his toys in there several times a day. Our kitchen/dining room usually look like a war zone, as our island tends to be a dumping ground for just whatever. I'm working on it! :-) Less stuff = less to clean up!

December Update: Meh. It's hit and miss. I'll clean like crazy and keep up with it for a while and then slowly but surely it all is awful. I have some ideas on how to better keep up with it for next year. We'll see!

Goal #2: Try something new every month.

Original Update: This month is full of new things. We already took Ben on his first camping trip which was an overall success. Next up for this month are going to a concert with some girlfriends.

October Update: Awesomely! Our summer has been pretty busy and we're doing lots of fun stuff! I had forgotten this was a goal but I'm glad to know I've been keeping up with it! Ha!

December Update: Poo. Money blows. I'm not creative enough to come up with free stuff to do, so we haven't been doing much.

Goal #3: Make baby food myself.

Original Update: Awesome! I've made applesauce and carrots so far. As soon as he runs out of the boxed rice cereal I already bought, I'm going to make my own brown rice cereal.

October Update: Well. Again on this one is both success and failure. I made all that food listed above and he wouldn't eat it. He gagged on the applesauce (I think it was too chunky for him then) and refused to eat the carrots, so I went back to using the jarred stuff. Recently, as he's been eating more table food and less jarred stuff, I've been whipping up some things of my own. I made my own peach applesauce (I used some store bought, sugar free applesauce and then defrosted a few frozen peaches and blended it together) that he seems to like, along with some other things. I'm hoping that by the end of the month I've used up all the jarred stuff I have and don't need to buy any more.

December Update: Great! Ben doesn't eat anything from a jar any more - yahoo! Feeding is an adventure. Some times I have to offer him 3 different things before I feel he gets enough to eat for a meal, but we're getting there :)

Goal #4: Clean out the clutter & live more simply.

Original Update: Just started. I've gone through some of my stuff and boxed up the nicer stuff to share with Susan. The rest I'll donate

October Update: AWESOMELY!!! I have gotten rid of SO much stuff just this week and I feel SO good about it! Usually I have regrets about throwing something about like the instant it hits the trash can but not this time! I'm being ruthless and 100% honest with myself. There is no point in holding on to clothes that I simply do not wear for one reason or the other. It's not all stuff that doesn't quite fit, it's just stuff I don't wear and have to dig through to find the things I DO wear. Our bedroom is all clean and on my way to a goal I posted outside of this and that was to redo our bedroom. It's getting there!

December Update: Still pretty awesome. I even held back at Christmas (that was more "I have to" than "I want to") and several family members were treated to hand made gifties from me this year (and I really think they went over well). I'm still working to declutter my physical things (the Youth Ranch has GOT to be loving me) and made some moolah off Craigslist.

Goal #5: Spend less, save more.

Original Update: Haven't started. July is the month. We're going to try going Monday - Thursday of each week without spending any money. I've made a list of our most commonly bought grocery items to stock up on at Costco and see if I can't reduce our shopping from every week to twice a month. The last week of the month we're going to eat strictly out of our pantry to use up any straggling items so they don't carry over to the next month for infinity and beyond.

October Update: Oh super major fail. This is a constant work in progress that I'm not sure we'll ever achieve. Nick and I have no self control and we suck for each other in this department. He gets paid, we spend money stupidly, then we're broke until next payday. That payday rolls around and we spend stupidly again, excited to have money again to spend....and repeat. It's a vicious cycle. I'm trying to break it (because one of us needs to step up and be the money Nazi) so we'll see......

December Update: Well, I'm spending less that's for dang sure. How come it works on paper but very rarely IRL? I have plans for the saving for 2011, though!

Goal #6: Tackle some of those "I'd love to do ______" projects.

Original Update: Haven't started. We need to plan exactly what it is we want to do (travel to Ireland, travel to Florida, remodel our bathroom, plant a edible garden, etc) and do an honest cost approach for each and start SAVING. Then our dreams can become realities.

October Update: FAIL. See above. And honestly, I'd forgotten about this one too. Something to work towards until my next goal update!!

December Update: Still hasn't happened....maybe next year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Well I realized that I didn't blog about our Christmas 2 day extravaganza. Friday afternoon we loaded up and headed over to my mom's for our family gift exchange. There was an incredible amount of presents to be opened:

the insane amount of gifts - we do this every year (and by "we" I mean my mom ha ha)

It was chaotic and a bit frenzied and a little overwhelming for Ben & I. He again, didn't really seem interested in ripping the paper off his presents. I wonder if he might have been, had the setting been a bit more calm. As it was, he did have fun playing in the shreds of paper left in his cousins' wake and crawling off to play with their new toys.
Hannah, Emma, Ben & Connor
A good time was had by all and we took home a nice haul. Nick got the best present of all, which was completely wacky and weird but so totally appreciated and needed. My parents got him a pillow (at my suggestion). I had warned him ahead of time that he'd be getting a present that would make him scratch his head and make a "what the heck" face but that he'd really love. And I was right. I buy the cheapo pillows from Walmart and he is forever complaining that they suck. Nick bunches his pillows up and before too long, the batting is all lumpy and uncomfortable. So I told my mom he'd love a nice quality pillow. And he does. ;)

Christmas morning, Ben crawled off to the Christmas tree to see what Santa left him. He found a caterpillar tunnel, an airplane, a house and a teddy bear waiting under the tree.
Off to see Santa presents
The house pretty much stole the show, but he does love his tunnel. He played with the airplane for a bit and didn't even look at the teddy bear (whatevs, Ben).
He loves this toy from his Florida aunt & uncle
Christmas Day afternoon we headed back over to my mom's house for dinner and the gift exchange with my grandma, who didn't want to come out Christmas Eve. Ben spent lots of time playing with his cousins and being carted around by Emma. It's a good thing he likes her!
Cousin snugs on Christmas day
Nick's been out of school this week and last and it's been so nice having him home. Sunday we watched the Packers beat the Jets quite nicely (look at me, becoming a freaking football fan in spite of myself... sigh) and helped my parents eat some of their leftovers. Monday morning my mom went in to the hospital because she was feeling pretty badly. She's still there and might get to come home today. She had some internal bleeding, which she had scoped and it looks like the cause might be one of her arthritis pills, so they're taking her off that and hopefully the situation clears up. She was low on blood and fluids, so she got several units of each Monday night. Fingers crossed that she starts feeling better and gets to come home soon!!!!

We're taking all 3 of the kids on Friday to celebrate New Years Eve at our house and give their parents an opportunity to go out and have fun or just hang out at home, sans kids. I have some fun ideas planned for the festivities and I'm excited for them to get here!

I made the thank you cards for Ben's birthday and got (most of them - I ran out of stamps, so mom & Carin, I'll hand deliver yours next time I see you) in the mail yesterday and a thank you made for my neighbor (she brought over a big bag full of hand made treats like fudge, home made peppermint patties, home made peanut butter cups, etc) and now I just need to give that to her.

Hope every one had a great Christmas and wishing you a happy & safe NYE!

Saturday, December 25, 2010



I'm not so good at sharing my feelings. It's easier for me to make a joke or change the subject. That being said, I don't generally have the best poker face, so what I'm feeling is usually broadcast pretty loud and clear across my face. I know things are going a lot faster than we all anticipated and I thought why save these thoughts for after you're gone? I think it's better to tell people how you feel about them in the here and now, and not have (as many) regrets later. I know you've been so delighted and thrilled with your daily thank-you's from the kids that you wanted to share them with every one, so I thought why not post it on my blog for you (and anyone else you care to share this with) to see.

First and foremost, thank you. Thank you for giving me such a wonderful example of what it means to be a woman, a wife, and a mother. Thank you for teaching me that it's okay to have my own opinions, thoughts and ideas about things. Thank you for encouraging me to speak my mind (though some times I'm sure you wished I'd just shut up for a few minutes - I didn't earn the nickname motormouth for no reason!!). Thank you for always taking the time to explain the "why" of your decisions to me, and being willing to change those decisions if I could give a valid argument.

Thank you for the opportunities you gave me to visit the world. Growing up overseas was an awesome experience and it's truly shaped who I am today. It can't have been an easy choice to take your family and move away from everything familiar, and then watch your husband go off to war - having no familial support system around you. So thank you again, for showing me courage, and that doing the right thing isn't always the easiest thing.

Thank you for enduring ballet practice, Brownie meetings, late night video recordings for Spanish class, last minute projects, voice lessons, endless choir performances, and my one attempt at drama.

When I see yellow mums, I will always think of you. When I see a red sweater, I will always think of you.

I won't lie and say any of this is easy. None of it is easy. All of it is incredibly hard and heartbreaking. I don't know how to not have a mom. I'll learn and I have your lessons to guide me through it. I'm so glad you got to meet Ben and share in our joy of him. He lights up my world, and I'll be forever grateful that I got to share that light with you. I hope that by a miracle you'll get to meet any of my future children, but I know I'll have wonderful memories to share with them if that miracle doesn't happen.

And I will never, never, never let you forget Anne Frank's house. HA!

I love you, mama. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

12 Months.

milestones, first birthday and Susan's visit!

Well holy cow kids we made it a year. His 1 year check up isn't until Monday so I don't have any "stats" for you as far as height & weight.

He's accomplished many milestones this year. The big ones we haven't seen yet are standing unassisted and walking. His vocabulary will continue to grow and I'm delighted at the words (and signs) he can already use to communicate. He says: mama, dada and cat (but it comes out more "cack") and some times dog (gog). He points, claps, waves, and raises his hands up as if to say "what?", he can sign "milk" (which doesn't always mean milk, sometimes he's just thirsty for water and sometimes he's hungry) and we're working on "please" (he'll do it on me instead of himself). He clucks his tongue and is practicing lots of new sounds. He's discovering his own personality and experimenting with what gets attention (tantrums have been big at our house lately...yay...).

He's cutting several teeth (which is what I feared would happen when he teethed so late). One bottom tooth is poking through and the other is right behind it. I'm pretty sure his top two are coming in and he gums a lot on the sides of his mouth. I wish I could say mine was one of those babies that breezed through teething but he's been quite the crab monster through it. Poor boy.

He's transitioned to whole milk very well. I wasn't sure how he'd do so I started out small. The first time I gave him some, I replaced a few ounces of formula with milk and he didn't even show that he's noticed. He's had several bottles now of just straight milk with no problems. Yay!

Susan rocks!

Susan came out to visit for his birthday. I always feel bad when she comes, that I don't show her enough things to do. As a result, we spent a lot of quiet time at the house - crafting, party planning, some shopping and just general relaxing. I hope she had a nice time - while we may not have done a whole lot, I know these last few weeks have been stressful for her at home and I hope she enjoyed the opportunity to relax and sit back worry and care free. We went and saw Burlesque at the theatre, which we both really enjoyed (we went to see Love & Other Drugs but when we got there, the showing that was listed online wasn't showing at the theatre - rude) so we picked Burlesque instead. Cheesy, predictable and completely unrealistic but absolutely a lot of fun (and honestly, fairly clean, considering the subject matter).

Today was Ben's 1st birthday party. I've been working the last few days getting all his party stuff printed out, cut out and assembled and I think it came together nicely. I supplemented some of the party package I bought with things I made, as I blew through 2 ink cartridges. It was a nice gathering of family (one of his guests wasn't able to come due to a family emergency) that was relaxed and not too stimulating. He got an impressive array of toys from our modest group and he seemed to enjoy every one (the most impressive was the ride on excavator toy from his cousins, but I think he most enjoyed the light up snowman ornament from the Paquette's and the steering wheel toy from his Nana B). He made us all laugh with his cake - he pretty much dove in face first. I found a nice sugar free cake recipe on Weelicious that I made into cupcakes and a small cake for him and frosted with store bought frosting (I so wanted to make the frosting myself but I ran out of time and energy - but Candi, I'm absolutely going to try the recipes you passed on to me!!) which seemed to be a hit with him and every one else.

And so goes another year that I'm sure will be over in a blink of the eye. Hope you all enjoy your Christmas with your families!! :)

12/18/10 at 6:05 pm: exactly 365 days old

update with Ben's stats: 20 lbs (12th percentile), 31 inches (85th percentile)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Clothes Pin Wreath.

Back in September, I was perusing Martha's site and I came across this wreath. At first I thought I could make this for free - I had clothespins and I knew my mom had some embroidery hoops that she wasn't using any more. After a first dismal attempt {Martha's guide says to use mini clothespins and I thought I could use regular ones - turns out there isn't room for very many that way and they were too heavy to stay on the hoop with wood glue and hot glue wasn't a long lasting solution}, I splurged on $2.24 worth of mini clothes pins and set out to remake it.

The result:

All in all, this project probably took me 20 minutes (and half of that was struggling with the bows - I suck at tying pretty bows) and it was practically free.

I'm planning to leave this up all year and just switch out the ribbon for the appropriate season to display birthday cards and other mailed pretties.

What sorts of methods do you use to display your holiday cards?

Thursday, December 9, 2010


My friend Susan has a blog where she had made a commitment to post at least one positive thing every day. I harassed her tonight because she's fallen off the wagon a bit (hey, it's easy to do, but your friends are supposed to hold you accountable, right? that's my story and I'm sticking to it). I said if she could do it, I would do it.

So here you go. My positive things for today, Thursday, December 9th:

  1. I've made good progress on getting things done for Ben's party & have knocked quite a bit of things off my "to-do" list
  2. I made a really fantastic chili today that my family enjoyed (my corn mini muffins stuck to the pan and were visually unappealing but still tasted good)
  3. I had lunch with my mama
  4. I got to chat with Susan for a bit this evening (bonsu!)
  5. My son was extra cuddly today

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


And so Facebook has spurred a completely random blog.

You know, FB has rolled out it's new layout thingiemabobber and most of my FB friends have made the switch and are busily updating their info, which hits my newsfeed. One of the things that I see a lot is "hometown" - this is something that always stumps me. What do you consider a "hometown"? To me, it's a place you primarily grew up and consider your home. By that definition, I don't have a hometown, and thus I never know what to put - so I usually leave it blank.

You see, I was actually born very close to where I live now. My parents had a little house over on Cribbens Street in Boise and I was born at the same hospital that I had Ben (St. Luke's down town). Shortly after that, my dad enlisted in the Army and we moved down to Georgia while he went through basic training. From there we traveled a bit north to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina (that's where all my earliest memories stem - would that be considered my "home town"?). We lived in North Carolina for I think 3 years before we went overseas and lived for 3 years in Italy and then 3 more years in Germany. It was during our stay in Germany that my dad decided not to reinlist and we headed back states side.

I believe the original intent was to settle back in the Boise area, but during the 10 or so years we were gone from the area, Boise boomed. It wasn't the same town my parents remembered and some how we ended up further north, in Moscow, Idaho. My dad went to the University of Idaho there and we lived there for about 3 or so years before we moved down to Clarkston, Washington. We lived in Clarkston for again, the magical 3 years, before my dad's job was transferred to Salt Lake City, UT. That was not a good fit for us and the shortest I think we've lived anywhere. We lived there about 6 months before we again followed my dad's job to the Seattle, Washington area. We lived in Black Diamond, WA for several years before I graduated high school, went off to play at college at the U of I before becoming a dismal collegiate failure and dropping out to come back home (a decision I do not regret to this day).

After that, my moving journey fell on my own shoulders. Nick & I lived in sin in an apartment in Auburn, WA and then bought our first house in teeny Enumclaw where we lived til my family all abandoned us. First it was my brother - he moved to Boise. Then my parents went. Then my granny went. Then it was just us. So we up and sold our house - most amazing story: we talked to a realtor about what we would need to do it get it sellable and planned to work on those items and then list. Not even 2 or 3 weeks later, she called saying she knew it was an odd offer, but she had a buyer in from California that was looking for homes similar to ours and asked if we'd mine showing it. Seriously, she looked at it that weekend and made an offer that night. I quit my job in a whirlwind and we moved to Boise.

So what is my hometown? Is it Boise - because that's where I was born and that's where I've settled again (for now)? Is it the Seattle area, because that's where I've spent the most time in my life? I never know what to put, so I generally leave it blank if I can.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


for the record: This blog serves mostly as a journal for me to look back on later and see how things were going at this point in our lives. Since it's online and public, and I choose to import my blog to Facebook, you're free to read along. No hurt feelings if you don't ;)

I was reading through me old bloggeroo here and realized I haven't really blogged about Ben much, nothing too much on him since I posted he turned 11 months. To be honest, there isn't much new to report on him. I was going to try this week and wean him off the last feeding of the night (I go in to his room every night and do a "phantom" feed before I go to bed - I just get him out of his crib, give him a bottle and put him back down for the night; he never fully wakes up from that) but last night was not so fun (he woke up crying hysterically at about 4:00 and that's no fun for anyone). I don't believe I'll try it again tonight.

I am trying to get him down to 20 ounces of formula a day by the time he hits the year mark. At his 9 month check up, the doc said that's where he should be, so that's what we're aiming for. At 9 months he was eating a solid 30 ounces a day and now he's down to 24. She also told us that a few days before his 1st birthday that we can start adding milk into his formula so that when he turns 12 months, he's solely on milk. I figure I'll start that next week - I'll start adding milk to one of his bottles and see how he likes the change. If he's okay with it, the next day I'll change it to two bottles and keep diluting the formula til he's completely on milk and off formula.

He's starting to get a bit more picky on what he chooses to eat and some meal times are a bit of a battle. I have a love/hate relationship with him dropping food on the floor. When he's tired of eating, he'll pick up a handful and deliberately drop it on the ground - which on one level completely cracks me up and totally annoys me on another. He didn't care for turkey at Thanksgiving, but I honestly didn't think he would. He doesn't care much for chicken either. He does love ground beef and pretty much every veggie we've given him (minus peas - he's never liked peas and still doesn't and potatoes...he just isn't a fan, I think it might be the texture). I had a goal a while back of being completely off jarred stuff and I'm 99.9% there. I do buy baby prunes for him but that's it!

I'm busy planning away on his party. I decided to do a little circus theme. I know it's not entirely original or awe-inspiring but I thought it was fun. A found a seller on Etsy that does customized party printables for a pretty affordable price. I know I could have done all the things she created for me, but I'm not sure I ever would have gotten around to doing it, so it was worth the investment. I have so much to do between now and then - time is really getting away from me. I have plenty of time to do things, I just find myself NOT doing them. But no worries cuz Susan will be here a week from today and she'll help kick my rear in gear if I haven't accomplished much between now and then!!

I've been in a terrible funk slash borderline depressed recently. Lots of things happening in my life, both in and out of my control and it's all adding up. So many things aren't turning out the way I'd hoped and I feel often that I'm just on the sidelines looking in at every one having a good time. I try to find the rainbow in every day but some days it's quite a struggle. Like anything, this too shall pass. I do have a good life. Though we may not be in the financial position I wish we were in, I get to stay home with my baby; and it's a nice home. It's big enough, we've made a good investment in it and it's comfortable for our little family. It can even accommodate another lil one if we're still in this house by the time we're ready to expand again (which, depending on the day you ask, may or may not ever happen HA!).

Oh wow I'm jumping all over the place on topics. Back to Ben. :) He's safe to talk about. I'm positive that he's finally cutting a tooth. I wasn't going to say anything til it broke through because I feel like I've been saying he's been teething since he was 4 months old. But there is a definite white spot and a definite bump on his gums. I'm not making it up or imagining it - but you just watch. Now that I've put it out there, his elusive teeth won't make an appearance for months longer.

We took him to see Santa today. I wasn't sure if it would be a good day, he's been kind of a Senor Crabby Pants recently and today was no exception (he isn't sleeping so wonderfully recently and I'm wondering now if the aforementioned white bumpy on his gums has anything to do with it and the resulting clinginess during the day). I figured the worse that would happen is that we'd get there and come home empty handed (which is essentially what we'd be getting if we just stayed home). It went pretty much the way I expected. He bawled. It is the mostly classically priceless picture ever and it's probably one of my favorites. Santa looks absolutely delighted and Ben looks devastated. As my mom pointed out, it's quite similar to all of my childhood pictures with Santa - in some state of distress or another. Poor kid (she says as she giggles).

Speaking of my mom - thanks to all of you for your kind words over our latest news. Her doctor isn't finished fighting the fight and my mom hasn't given up yet either. If any good can come out of all the bad, it's that it's forcing us to remember to embrace the happy joys of every day. To truly enjoy every moment.

School started back up today. Nick got the same schedule he had last quarter: class on Tuesdays & Wednesday's with one online class as well. Not too shabby! I'm glad we're seemingly done with the Friday and Saturday classes (for now... we'll see what happens next quarter). He's almost done! He has this quarter and the spring quarter to go and FINISHED!!!!! We. Cannot. WAIT. It's been a long 3 years, but I'm incredibly proud of him for plunging in and sticking with it (and sticking with it with fabulous grades).

So that's it. I think. That's the news from the Idaho Beesley Household Chapter. Aren't you just so thrilled (ahhh I know some of you are ha ha)??

Sunday, December 5, 2010


By special request... :)

  • Watching dad & Jamie wave to us from every. single. landing on the Tower of Pisa, while we waited down in the rain because I was too little to go up.
  • Our walks through the forest in Kaltenbrun
  • First time camping once we came back to the States, and my major freak out session over not being able to see in the dark.
  • Anne Frank's house
  • Stanga
  • Mrs. Budd's house
  • ALL the round towers
  • Watching Unsolved Mysteries and being too scared to sleep (darn that Richard Stack)
  • The bee in the car
  • Our mixed tapes - they served as a soundtrack for our lives overseas, and I can't hear one of those songs on the radio without a memory attached
  • a la one of those songs: heave of construction
  • Loading up our belongings on the truck when we left Germany - my bike was the last thing in
  • The Great Beer Spilling Debacle
  • Driving you on the dreaded 405 to go meet baby Connor
  • Planning my wedding with you, choosing the music, making the invitations, finding THE dress, deciding on a place, hating our photographer, loving our DJ - cases and cases of left over personalized wine glasses....and who can forget Jackie's show.
  • the birthday banner you made and had strung up on the front lawn for my 7th birthday
  • the jewelry box and red dress Christmas
  • Christmas before dad shipped out to the Gulf War
  • Jamie coming home for Christmas
  • Sending Jamie off to the states after he finished high school
  • Muffin in my Ewok costume
  • home made Halloween costumes (the cat! the pilgrim! the witch!)
  • those play clothes you made for me that were so hard to get on and off
  • our house in Germany
  • Reginald and his mama (AND his daddy)
  • playing in the rocks in front of one of our houses in the south
  • the Easter picnic on the hills where the eggs kept rolling away
  • loads of people over for every holiday
  • Wendy's in Venice
  • First Frosty when we came back to the States, and dad smirking at me when I got a straw
  • cinnamon rolls in the hospital to meet Ben :)
  • watching you and Anne boogie woogie in the living room after far too many glasses of wine (and the time granny fell into the tree)
  • our trip to San Diego
  • our trip to Reno and the search for penny slots
  • our entire Boston trip - we had such a great time on the trip, the whale watching and the Salem witch trials, "seeing" like 12 states all at once
  • going to Green Bay - one of our most perfect trips ever
  • dolphin watching in Florida
  • "look at me, look at me"
  • getting our hair done for Jamie & Carin's wedding
  • the year of the giant sweat pants
  • the pen Christmas
  • the Berlin zoo
  • our first night in the Villagio - lawn furniture, fudge cookies and lime koolaid
  • riding the train to anywhere
  • doll shopping
  • buying the house in Enumclaw
  • going to see the Nutcracker in Seattle
  • Law & Order ;)
  • introducing you to HGTV
  • and the Deadliest Catch
  • Muffin & The Hot Dog Job
  • the cranberry toss
  • driving to Salt Lake
  • going to Hollywood
  • seeing Arches National Park (so very cool and I'd like to go again)
  • chanting WE'LL TAKE THAT as you pouted that the Packers weren't doing so well
  • the night I thought some one was breaking into our house...turned out to just be an elk looking for a snack outside my window
  • the bag of puke down the side of the car
  • when dad asked (oh-so-politely) if you wanted to drive
  • being serenaded by a drunk Irishman (twice) (in a row) (while he clutched my hand)
  • the Keukenhof
  • the crazy lady's house
  • field trip to Christkindlmarkt
  • spaghetti bolognese....
  • living in the hotel while we waited on housing
  • getting stuck in the bathroom on the bus to Holland
  • breakfast every morning in Germany
  • the 10 year scarf project
  • bike riding into the bush
  • family pictures in Italy
  • the Joey doll
  • the time I butterflied my knee
  • Sunday = dinner at mom's
  • did I mention Anne Frank's house?!?
  • ballet
  • when all our clothes where dyed blue by an errant shoe in the wash
  • European plumbing and toilets in the ground
  • discovering a love of toast & tea in England
  • seeing the giant Santa and nearly having a heart attack to get it in the craft store in Maple Valley
  • the giant peaches from Natches
  • "Better or worse?"
  • Butt Rice Butt Rice & the founder of Job's Daughters ;)
  • making Christmas cookies with you and the kids
There are so many more....

12/06 more added:
  • the free Christmas tree from the you-pick lot
  • blue berry picking in Germany
  • meet you at the next bridge!
  • the Susie doll (though I don't remember that one)
  • Zulu warrior dance
  • filming the Spanish movie
  • waiting for dad to come home from the Gulf War
  • the time the Tooth Fairy forgot to take my tooth
  • playing double solitaire
  • endless games of Yahtzee
  • the white & blue striped overalls I wanted soooooo badly
  • moving into Jim's house - what a 3-ring circus THAT was!
  • Greensleeves on a never ending loop
  • the birthday cake that part had been eaten...Grafi was an easy scapegoat
  • why I don't play Monopoly anymore
  • trying to learn how to drive that awful white pick up
  • meeting Nick & his mom for the first time - why were they the very last people off the plane??
  • somersaults in the living room
  • counting out 100 pennies for the ice cream truck in Ft. Bragg
  • why I'm still scared of tape measures
  • the first time I tried to make spaghetti for dinner, only to discover we didn't have any sauce (after I'd browned the meat and boiled the noodles). you ate it, insisting you liked it without sauce.
  • Friday night dinners out in Clarkston

Friday, December 3, 2010


I adore personalized anything. Put my name on it, and tiny hearts light up in my eyes. Every year I tell my husband that this is the last time I'm going to buy new stockings and every year I see a new one to fall in love with and promise yet again that this is the last time. Last year I hearted the classic red & white stockings with silver initial pins. This year I'm back to loving my favorite motif - country clutter. I found some pretty great stockings {polka dots! swoon!} from Ballard Designs that you could have embroidered with your name {double swoon!} but the price tag was pretty panic-attack inducing. Since I suck at embroidery but I really wanted to do something that put our names on our stockings and I wasn't about to shell out $30 a piece for stockings, I had to get crafty.

Enter Target. Oh Target, how I love thee and thy awesome dollar bins. In a recent stroll through my Mecca, I found these super cute wooden star ornaments with a simple hook to hang. Picture a light bulb going off over my head. I grabbed up three {one for me, the hubs and the bubs} and then went off to the scrapbooking aisle for some glittery funness by way of lettering. Side note: I could have used my Cricut to cut out the letters and embellished with glitter myself - however, I'm still in my infancy of collecting cartridges and I only have one font cart and it's not my favorite. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am. $4 later and I have my personalized plaques for our stockings {and the BEST part is that if I change my mind in the future, these tags go with!}

Here's your incredibly easy how-to:
  1. Gather blank ornaments
  2. Gather embellishments {as fancy or as plain as ya wanna get - I kept mine to just the name as the surface I was working on is quite small}
  3. Adhere your letters and embellishments to the ornaments {in the picture below I show ModPodge as part of the items used - I didn't end up using it at all}
  4. Hang on stockings.