Tuesday, December 31, 2013


One thing I'm loving about living here is the snow. Yes, it takes about a thousand times longer to go anywhere… you have to layer up the kids, warm up the car, shovel the driveway… somewhere along the way I forget to grab my own jacket and end up tooling around town in a hoodie… but it doesn't bother me any. I could spend all day watching it snow. I love seeing those big puffy flakes float calmly to the ground. Theres something about snow that is so magical to me. Calming. Quiet. Serene.

The kids love it too. While I was expecting them to be all about sledding, snowball fights, building snowmen, making angels… all they really want to do is shovel. Hey! Fine with me, it solves one of those getting out of the door problems. Put these kids to work! -er, I mean, have fun kids, here are your very own shovels to use….

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Not a Creature Was Stirring...

well, except maybe a mouse.

So. We are moved. We left our house behind to sell and because we're still paying a mortgage in Lex we decided to cram into a tiny rental house in Ohio, temporarily. I'd love to leave it at that… tell you that everything is wonderful because we are all together again under one roof… and nothing else matters.

Everything is not wonderful. While I'm thrilled to have my husband by my side more regularly and the kids are soaking up every moment of the time he's home, some stuff is happening in this rental that I was not prepared for. I was ready for small. I was ready for temporary. I was ready for less than ideal. I was not ready for mice. flooding. animals in the attic. grime. safety issues. broken promises.

When freaking out to my sister the day after arriving I got my first hearty laugh over the situation. We decided that I thought coming here was finally the light at the end of the tunnel… but turns out that those were just the headlights of an ORKIN truck.

This is one of those situations that Hottie and I will look back on later and think, holy crap, that was terrible. How crazy that we lived in that hole! We will refer to this as our rough patch and talk about how grateful we are it's over…

for now?

Well, I'm living in my rough patch. I'm handling it the best I can (which is pretty darn good, aside from the occasional sos call to my sister.. or bawling episode to Hottie). I've looked at other rentals, even if it means a move before our next move I feel it would be worth it to get out of here…. the problems are too much for me to stomach, really… but having a large dog, needing to be on this side of the city, and our price range limits us.

temporary, temporary, temporary, I chant to myself. We will get through this, together… thank goodness. But it's a hard lesson. I'm angry that we are going through all of this, after everything we've already gone through. I feel like we've been tricked into living here. Promises were made to Hottie that two rooms would be finished in the basement (bedrooms for the older boys), there would be all new carpeting, deep cleaning, etc, before our move date. None of these things happened. Not one… and now we are stuck dealing with it, figuring out what to do… hoping that our house finally sells so we can get out of this dump.

and I'm mad that my kids had to spend their Christmas here in these conditions. I'm pissed that we have to stay here. I'm disappointed that I was looking so forward to us all being together and how relieved I would feel and now I'm here and there are so many issues I can't even enjoy it. It's a constant struggle. Every day is something new. I need some kind of relief, but instead things just get worse.

So anyway, that's what we are dealing with. I don't mean to rant, but I'd be lying if I said things were great… I so wish I could say that, but it's not the case. We will get through it. Our house in Lex will sell. We will find a house to buy here and move into it when that happens. We will look back and cringe. But for now things suck, and I'm trying really hard not to be angry about it.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Boxes for Christmas

Ever hear anyone say how they should have just given boxes instead of toys? Yeah, I think we have that covered. Sorry kids, no Santa this year… just boxes. ;)

at least someone(s) is enjoying the unpacking process!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


So we are winding up to move (moving company packs up tomorrow and loads the truck Tuesday and then we're out of here Wednesday)… but there are certain traditions that I just can not part with, even given all that's going on and the proximity to Christmas. Some things we will do without… but some matter to me and I feel like these are the things that my kids will remember when they are grown and have families of their own… and most are pretty simple, actually.

Like how every single year without fail Hottie buries his entire body in the tree, gives the OK sign, and says the line, "little full, lotta sap."…

making Grandma's sugar cookie recipe & decorating them together, which is like an entire days process

decorating elaborate gingerbread houses

reading and watching each and every Christmas title in our vast collection

making lots of deliciously terrible for you treats together

drinking cocoa out of Christmas mugs with extra marshmallows

giggling at Buddy's elf antics

opening special Christmas Eve gifts (pjs. always pjs.)

visiting Santa

trimming the tree while Christmas Vacation plays in the background, each person hanging their own baby ornament and stocking

singing every single carol we can think of, sometimes at the top of our lungs

finding the perfect tree while wearing silly Santa hats

& we always watch the original Grinch movie on Christmas Eve….

Yes, these are the things I want to do this year, not matter what. Because traditions are important, and so is documenting them… even the silly little ones

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Create Your Own Ornament

Did you all see my tutorial on the American Crafts Blog this week? (I'm just a tutorial making fool these days!) I love this idea of making ornaments as neighbor or teacher gifts. There's something so special about giving a handmade item that can be used year after year. And my favorite part is that they are so simple to make that the kids can help you out, and you can do just about anything with the design! Win, win, win. Winning!

Click this link to check out the tutorial, and see all kinds of other cool gift ideas.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DIY Marquee Lighting

This is easily the coolest thing I have ever made… and all for under $25

I've been wanting to do a diy marquee lighting project for quite some time. In fact, last year I planned on doing the letters L-O-V-E for Valentines day. With that in mind I purchased two strands of globe shaped lights on Christmas clearance 2 for $5…. and then they sat there in their boxes until today. I just decided, what better way to procrastinate and distract myself from our upcoming move than a good old fashioned DIY?! 

It's super easy, I'll show you how. First, gather your letters. I found these bad boys at Hobby Lobby on sale for $1.73 each…. pick up an exacto knife, pencil, and of course the lights. I used two strands with 50 bulbs each for this long word, so it depends on how long yours is… figure in about 10 lights for each letter.

Start by using the exacto knife to cut the top of your letter off. (Careful!)...

Take out all of the stuffing and clean up the edges a bit...

Then flip it over and mark where you want the lights to poke through. I left about an inch and a half between each bulb and tried to keep them centered in the middle of the letter. I think it makes the letters look more marquee-ish if they are pretty close to evenly spaced..

Next, use the exacto to splice little cuts into those markings.. this makes poking through to letter a bit easier...

Now poke. For the lights I chose this ended up being the perfect amount of space. You may have to play around until you get a good fit. But start small and go bigger as needed. The idea is for the light to fit through but also totally plug the gap so that there is nothing showing around it...
(uhhhhh. I guess I started to eyeball where I wanted my lights and not use the markings so much… but you get the idea. It doesn't have to be perfect.)


Take the last bulb off of the light strand. Be careful while handling the lights, if you bang them around   they could stop working… and also, plug the lights in before you start to make sure they work ;)...

Place the lights through the holes from the front of the letter. I had to use a bit of force to pop them down into place….
This is what the back side will look like...

Reattach the bulb to the strand. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. I plugged in the strand of lights after each letter to make sure they still worked and that I didn't have any connected improperly… much easier to check one letter than a whole "CHRISTMAS"...

Thats it! You're done! Aren't you impressed with yourself?! Pretty cool thing is that there are so many possibilities with these bad boys. When I first picked them up I considered spray painting them gold, or adding glitter, or washi tape to the outsides, or patterned paper. Maybe I will do some of those in the future… but for now I'm kind of in love with the raw material look of them. The frayed edges and brown mache, and messy cords in the back. I love it all. 

Nakiah walked in from school today and said… "WHOA! Where'd you get those?!?" When I told him I made them with my own two crafty little Mom hands he looked at me lovingly and said, "legendary." Props from an 11 year old, $25, and completion during nap time? That right there is what I call a craft win, my friends.. :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013


We're moving!!!! Finally. We haven't sold the house yet… but decided that it's important to be together and that it just makes sense to rip off the transition bandaid during Winter Break. It's officially happening now that Hottie has secured a place to live just minutes from his store. This means we'll be packed up and moved next week. Words can not express how relieved I am to have this on the horizon.  I can't believe what a wild ride this last couple of months of the year have been. It's felt like pure chaos, but I can finally breathe again. I'm so pleased to be putting our family back under one roof in time for the holidays. Sometimes that's all you need to make things feel right again. 

Now time to get busy…. lots to do before next week!

(and this is exactly how I feel...)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Cards

I'll be honest, I've never fancied myself much of a card maker. Growing up my family rarely gave each other cards, we never attached them to gifts or anything… more of a write To/From right on the wrapping paper kind of group (classy, right? hehe) So I guess maybe that's why cards have been somewhat of an after thought to me in the past…. but I must say that nowadays I do love receiving and giving the perfect card. You can say so much with them, and making your own takes that to a whole other level.

After creating these I found myself looking forward to making more!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It's That Time Again

Hello. It's December and I'm behind. Behind on gifts, December Daily (not even a framework set up!), decorating (should I even decorate with us moving soon?), pretty much everything. That being said, I'm kinda ok with being behind… yes, whenever I hear it said that theres only ** days 'til Christmas I get a few heart palpitations… but with all we have going on in our little family and Thanksgiving just being wrapped up I'm not letting it get the best of me. 

I will buy the gifts. I will do the family traditions that I am able to do, on the time frame that I am able to do them. The house will decorate itself (right? no? oh. darn.). December will fly by faster this year than ever before and I will do my best to keep up, and that will just have to be good enough! :) No Clark Griswold-ian expectations for the holiday season this year (ok. probably a few. i can't help myself.)

Now excuse me while I attempt to hunt down our elf, Buddy McElfersteen. He was a huge hit last year and Ev is already asking when he'll arrive… (must have been a blizzard somewhere, kid. he's probably just delayed due to weather.)  This is one tradition we can't do without!

Some of last years favorite antics on a layout, of course...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gobble Gobble

Thanksgiving week was a success. Our house was full to the brim. The turkey and all of it's trimmings turned out beautifully… if I do say so myself. We did some fun little things around town and a fair bit of lazing around doing nothing.  I love hosting this holiday and having tons of family around. It did my soul a lot of good. I needed that…. and am glad we decided to go ahead and host even though we are in the middle of house selling and transitioning. It was worth every bit of effort.

And here is the obligatory Thanksgiving turkey photo...

 and photo of the plate...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Each year around this time I do a gratitude/thankful for layout. I started this tradition three years ago and I just love comparing the projects from year to year. Sometimes I include silly little things like Instagram along with the biggies like a healthy family. It doesn't really matter what goes on the list or why. What's important to me is documenting it. This years layout even helped snap me out of my recent funk (at least momentarily).. it took my mind off of all the stuff getting me down and focused it on to all of the positives. Everyone needs that from time to time...

Here is this years layout and list….

What kind of scrappy Thanksgiving or Fall traditions do you have?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weeps and Weafs

Hey there. It's been awhile since I blogged. I swear I meant to… I even sat down a few different times to write posts but they just all came out way too depressing and whoa-is-me. (Two titles were- "This is How I Roll: Donezo Edition" and "I Got Nothing" to give you a clue of my mindset.) Simply put, this week was a bad one. Exceptionally bad… I was the girl crying in a McDonalds parking lot while her four year old told her to, "pull it together, Mom…. do you need a wipey?"

Suffice it to say that I reached my breaking point, shed a lot of tears, spoke up, and now we are figuring things out to move during the kids' Christmas break. House sale or no sale, we will be together. That makes me feel a little better, and now I can go back to having only minor nervous break downs… instead of major ones in fast food parking lots… lets hope.

Also, Hotties family are on their way for Thanksgiving so I will have a full house for a week which is awesome because it means plenty of company and distractions to fill my days with. Can't wait.

And to end things on a scrappy note… a project about "weafs."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Project Life

Popping in quickly today to share some Project Life spreads with you. (I read recently on someones blog that whenever she sees other peoples PL stuff it puts her instantly to sleep... so, if you're like that this post is not for you! If you aren't, hopefully I still won't bore you!-- but I probably will.) (Man! I am self conscious about posting PL pages!! I think I'm over thinking this..)-- and now I return you to your regularly scheduled Project Life programming....

and that's it for today... thanks for stopping by... are you still awake?!