Christmas Wrap-Up

It's hard to believe it's the last day of December. One might think that, as a stay-at-home mom, I have all the time in the world to prepare for Christmas. Before being a stay-at-home mom, I would have certainly thought that. Not the case, unfortunately. At least not for me. I've felt like December was a month-long marathon-run, not that I've ever ran 26.2 miles (but I've walked that amount AND MORE, thank you very much!). Despite keeping Greta fairly sequestered from the outside world because of limiting her exposure to germs (prematurity issues, doctors orders, blah blah blah), we've been go-go-go! I'm not complaining though. It's been fun! Celebrating the birth of Jesus is a magical thing in itself, but I must say it's all the more wonderful when celebrating it with a child.

Christmas was wonderful. Just a few days before Christmas, my sister from Chicago came down with her three children. For a couple days, we had a packed house -- two of my sisters! Four cousins! Greta! Me, Eric and Payton, too. Greta had a blast playing with her cousins. She loves to be entertained, and they love to entertain, so all in all, it was fun!

For Christmas Eve, we had Eric's family over for our pajama soiree, a tradition we started just last year. Greta had practiced opening gifts just a few days earlier, and she got more practice Christmas Eve. She definitely "got it" more than she did last year, but she still seemed a little overwhelmed by it all.

We woke up Christmas morning to a tree surrounded by gifts. We'd swore we'd never be THOSE PARENTS. We'd talked about just a couple gifts. Yep, we did. Then, the Elmo microwave screamed Mama's name while she was shopping at Target, and then Mama fell in love with Plan Toys, and then Amazon got a little too friendly with all their silly Prime free shipping deals. Damn them. Anyhoo, opening giffts on Christmas Day was a mini-marathon of the larger December marathon, but what I'm saying is A 17 MONTH-OLD TAKES FOREVER TO OPEN 40+ GIFTS. You live and you learn.

It was a wonderful holiday. Lots of baking, spending time with family, online shopping, sniffing of the fresh Christmas tree, sipping hot cocoa and napping with the dog. God is good, and we are blessed.


Our 2009 Mini Christmas Album

I need to get some photos uploaded to Walgreens.com, take advantage of their great $0.09 photo offer and fill up this album with all the photo memories of how we spent this Christmas! So far, I've filled it with ONE photo. (Hey, it's a start!) The photo is from our photo shoot with Jessica Ramirez, who took all the photos for our Christmas card.

After the Strippers Leave

I love 12-hour crops. It's the best way for me to get some scrapbooking done. Because once I dig all my crap out, I want to make it worth my while. Cropping for just a few hours just doesn't work well for me because, well -- it takes me a couple hours just to get into my groove and get started! I need that chunk of time if I have any hopes of accomplishing any thing.

I know a lot of people (my husband included) don't "get" what scrapbookers do for 12 hours. (And my answer to that? Well, honey, it's just the same as you sitting on your ass on a Sunday and watching football ALL.DAY.LONG.) My friend's husband insists that we have strippers come to the crop, and that "scrapbooking" is just a COVER for our scandalous activities. Like, we spend 10 hours drooling over sweaty nasty ding-dongs and shoving wadded-up ones down dirty g-strings? (Barf.) And then we scurry around the last couple hours gluing pictures to paper just to make it appear like we got something done.

Ahh, MEN. They'll never understand our need for some child-free time, all to ourselves, and moreso, they'll never understand that IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT SEX.

I digress.

Here are some layouts I did at a recent crop. They're not my proudest pieces of work, but I'm okay with them. My favorite is the one-pager of my sister, Cynthia, and me sitting on Santa's lap back in 1978. Look closely, and you'll notice Santa's eyes are shut. I like that. It makes the photo all that more interesting. I have yet to embellish the page, nor have I come up with a title. I'm considering: Drunk Santa? Sleepy Santa? Santa Hearts Eggnog?


When Sweet Turns Sassy


Merry Christmas (Eve)!

From me & my family to yours,
hope your evening is full of love & happiness!


Evolution of the Tantrum

Below is documentation of Greta's dissatisfaction of not getting what she wanted at the time. She wanted to play with my camera. I said no. And this is what ensued.

Perhaps I should remind my sweet Greta Laine that Santa is watching?


Album for Ansleigh

Here's an album I made for our friends' little girl, Ansleigh. I used My Mind's Eye's Whirly Bird Collection. This album was for a little girl who just turned one year-old, but the great thing about this paper is that it works for girls of all ages. It's just fun paper in fun colors!

Sock Monkey Photo Journal

Click here to view these pictures larger


Me @ 32

I turned 32 this past Sunday. The day was great. I rang in the day early with some pinot grigio. Slept off wine-induced headache while husband got up with Greta. Woke up and was greeted by "Happy Birthday" serenades from Eric, holding Greta -- and a plate of a delicious slice of carrot cake. We watched Greta unload her St. Nick's goodies from her stocking. St. Nick brought her the Little People nativity set. Greta chucked the angel and Baby Jesus three feet and dug for the Twinkies instead. I opened presents from Eric and Greta -- a new photo printer that I'd been eyeing for a couple months! I later napped. Then we went to Kimmswick's Christmas Festival, where Greta met Santa for the first time. She didn't like him. We later went to dinner. The day was good.

And here's a gross picture of me. Why do I dare post such a thing, you ask? Who would put such a photo on their blog and ADMIT to looking like that? Me. This is me, shortly after waking up on my 32nd birthday. I'd drank a bottle and a half of wine the evening before, stayed up until 3 a.m. and was a little, um, tired. I'm holding a little Hallmark washing machine Christmas ornament. Each year, I buy an ornament that represents our life that past year. And this washing machine -- SO MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. I do a load or two of laundry a day. Really. I don't know what people with big families do. Wear dirty underwear?

So. I am always writing about Greta and where she's at in the stage of her life, so I thought I'd write about me a bit. I think it will be interesting to look back on in a couple years. There are things I'm proud of; things I'd like to change; things that are what they are...


  • recently declared pizza as my favorite food.

  • drink way too much diet Dr. Pepper and not enough water.

  • am contemplating having braces put on my teeth again because they're crooked.

  • have yet to officially side with one political party over the other.

  • voted Democrat in the last election but secretly kinda liked Sarah Palin after watching her go rogue on Oprah.

  • hate unloading the dishwasher and putting away laundry.

  • clean my own house but would love to have a cleaning person. Or a personal assistant.

  • used to take a bath every day but now shower instead.

  • "fight" with my husband over who showers last because the last person has to squee-gee the shower.

  • brush my teeth in the shower. (Is that weird?)

  • often think of high school friends that I haven't seen in forever.

  • drive a Honda CRV. It's black.

  • keep a clean car.

  • wish I knew how to play the violin.

  • am not grossed out by my child's poop or boogers.

  • like hot wings.

  • am not a fan of the taste of beer.

  • recently became certified in First Aid and CPR.

  • got two speeding tickets this past year.

  • still love a good handwritten, heartfelt note.

  • am obsessed with crossword puzzles.

  • use Dove bar soap.

  • hate sitting still to have my nails done but still have acrylic nails because I like manicured hands and think polish stays on acrylic longer than on my real nails.

  • would love to afford everything at Restoration Hardware. Silver Sage makes me happy.

  • wish my house were smaller.

  • love my black Lab, Payton.

  • pray to God but never go to church.

  • cuss too much.

  • really want to become a better photographer.

  • want to learn more about investments.

  • wish I had more money.

  • wish I liked to run/jog.

  • stay up too late at night.

  • am not a morning person.

  • wish my hair was thicker.

  • wish I had prettier skin and not so many adult blemishes.

  • hate shopping.

  • am not into jewelry.

  • love monogrammed and personalized things.

  • don't work out but need to.

  • am overweight.

  • don't smoke.

  • drink rarely.

  • like white wine even though I'm fully aware that reds are so much more... sophisticated. ;-)

  • would like to get blepharoplasty on my eyelids.

  • love naps.

  • think sleep fixes most everything.

  • would seriously consider a minivan for my next vehicle purchase.

  • enjoy going to the movies all by myself.

  • have breastfed for 15 months. (Pumped for two!)

  • enjoy people watching.

  • no longer tan in a tanning bed and have grown to like my pale skin.

  • sometimes worry about too many things and often worry about things that are beyond my control.

  • like to cook and am having fun experimenting and getting better at it.

  • am the type of friend I'd like to have.

  • am loyal.

  • am honest.

  • am trustworthy.

  • am real.

  • collect coupons and save abot $20-$30 on an average shopping trip to Target or the supermarket.

  • love my husband even though he is snoring loudly on the couch as I write this.

  • like country music.

  • watch Glee, The Office and Ellen. Not regularly though. I don't like watching TV. Weird, I know.

  • have a masters degree but still don't know what my ideal career is.

  • could scrapbook every day of my life and still not be done telling my story. I have so many to tell, I feel.

  • feel fortunate to have friends who love me for me although I hate that it took me 30 years to get them. I guess that's just life though.

  • feel like I was made to be a mother.

  • constantly strive to be a better person.

  • love to make lists.

  • am happy.



Here are some recent layouts I did. The first few aren't my favorites. I used a "Six Minute" kit I'd purchased at Wal-mart. The paper is flimsy, and the overall quality is average, but whatever. It's nice to just get some stuff done and feel like I've accomplished something.

My apologies, too, for the awful quality of the images. I use a point & shoot and hate it hate it hate it. I'm hoping to purchase a super nice camera after the holidays. (Any suggestions, anyone, on make/model, etc.?)

Happy Thanksgiving

Greta Laine's 2nd Thanksgiving
Here she is, hanging out with her Uncle Jason & cousin Jaimee.
She didn't eat much of the Thanksgiving dinner,
except for the cookies I decorated to look like turkeys.
Oh well, more for us!

What Mamas Get Excited About

I had Greta's Bum Geniuses converted from velcro closures to snap closures. I found this fabulous girl on Diaper Swappers, and she did an amazing job. No more velcro-snagging. Yay!


I Couldn't Ask For More

It's Thanksgiving, mid-day. I slept in this morning, watched the Macy's parade, took a nap, lazed with Eric & Greta in bed, took a long hot shower -- and even had time to shave my legs! What more could a girl want?!

It's been a great morning, but even more so, it's been a great life. My cup runneth over in so many ways. Today -- and always -- I am thankful for so many things:

for this handsome feller...
who tolerates my cranky times along with the good...
who provides for us in so many ways...

for an awesome husband who is:
my one and only.

for this sweet little pumpkin
who makes me realize I never had so much love in my heart
& helps me see that there can be beauty in every day,
in the simplest of things.

for this dog
who keeps the floor clean from baby-thrown food
& reminds me to remember that love is always unconditional.

for my two favorite people in the world,
who made me a mother.

for this little family:
the hard moments, the tired moments, the cranky moments,
the funny moments, the silly moments, the beautiful moments.
For all of life's journeys.

I am blessed.