Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Black and White

I've been majorly crushing on black and white photos lately. Don't get me wrong, I love lots of bright, bold colors in my life. (You can often find me wearing blue or red or sometimes even bright green pants.. I am all in on that trend, even if I have no business wearing skinny jeans.) But when it comes to photos sometimes nothing compares to having the image stripped down....

I find black and white photos to be timeless. and sort of... I don't know how to explain it... quiet, maybe? They seem more still. more contained. softer. I really have no idea why they makes me feel those things but they do. In the past I've kept a bit of a lid on my editing for these images, it just seemed like overkill. Now I'm thinking I'll just go for it... I mean, I take so many photos anyway, might as well have some in my new favorite. 

Especially since they are inspiring some different kinds of layouts...

Originally I thought about doing this layout all in kraft. Or all in black and white. Then some gold and sparkles weasled their way in. What do you think? Have black and white been rocking your world lately?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Oscars

It's the night of the Academy Awards and usually I get very excited to tune in and see all of the stunning gowns and red carpet fodder. The pageantry. The host (Seth Macfarlane is going to be a fantastic fit--- people will be shocked at how good he is... mark my words). The frazzled and eloquent acceptance speeches. But tonight I just pushed the record button on my DVR so I could take it all in at some later time, when I have time (so, next moth, probably. or never.). Also I'm spoiled by that thing and love to fast forward through award shows like nobodys business. (and also, Hottie could not be less into watching things like this so I spare him. I'm such a good wife.)

Anyway. File this under things you don't really care or need to know about. haha. Really the only reason I even brought up the Oscars is because I dressed my boy up in a bow tie. It seemed like fitting attire for such a black tie affair....... 
that, and he's already grown out of it so it was time to snap some pics.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Playing Favorites

Every once in a great while I get a serious surge of scrapbook mojo and I create a string of three or four layouts that I could not be more proud of. Sometimes they are out of the box for me. Sometimes they just sit right in the sweet spot. If I knew what caused this perfect storm of creativity I would most certainly bottle it up to take a swig daily. Alas, it only happens from time to time so I have to treasure those layouts when I can.

 This is my very favorite. By far.....

I cut strips out of all of my favorite Crate Paper, papers, and arranged them randomly around the page and things just sorta fell into place after that. Next I overlapped them randomly and then dusted off the sewing machine (what a difference making the time to sew on pages makes. they look so much more finished to me.). Next I threw on some of my favorite embellishments. Couldn't be happier with the results....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Things I learned in Virginia

Ok. So. A couple of weeks back we made the 6-ish hour trek to where Hottie's family lives in Virginia. We wanted to surprise his parents who were visiting there. It was fantastic. We were there for less than 48 hours, sadly. But still made the most of our trip and I'm so glad we went despite the snowy conditions on the roads.

Here's what I learned in Virginia....

I really miss these faces.

 I mean, I knew I missed them before the visit. But. This made my heart ache a little. We are so used to having them close by. It's bittersweet when we see them. It tugged at my heart a little when Evareaux's Grandma leaned into the car to hug her goodbye, tearing up. I hate goodbyes, they are the worst.

This is the cutest. sweetest. most laid back dog. ever. He'll always be the real Bolt in my mind. AND. I may or may not be actively making plans to steal him the next time I see him. If coveting dogs is wrong, I don't want to be right.

I LOVE running while it's snowing. I had no idea where I was going but I knew I needed to log 5 miles that day so.... I just went. And I swear I earned new wrinkles from smiling my fool head off for an hour straight.
Then I learned that Virginians apparently don't like sidewalks. Like, they have something against them, I guess. My options for safe running were fairly limited. So, Shel Silverstein, I have found it... Viriginia is where the sidewalk ends.

We are a crazy bunch of breeders. These are not even all of the cousins from Hottie's side of the family. We were missing four. These kids are just from two families worth..... (finally, after years, a cousin pic)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Vday ya'll. This layout has been living in my brain for quite some time. (does that ever happen to you? or am I a crazy person? --don't answer that!) What better time then the day of luuuuuuuuuv to share?

Three cheers for Crate Paper Paper Heart for inspiration and breaking out the sewing machine. Woot! Those kids can put themselves back to sleep!

and I leave you with the sweetest Valentine image you've seen all day...
who needs chocolates and flowers when you have this guy?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Must Love Dogs

It's love layout time. So this one's for my girl and a dog that we all wish was ours (Tater is THE cutest! and THE sweetest!) Truth be told, all of my kids could not love dogs more and I just know that it's really only a matter of time before we get one of our own. (ssssshhhhhh! don't tell them that! i'm not quite ready!)
*****Removed for Publication*****

I still want to add stitching on top of the tape to help frame the photo with my sewing machine. Does anyone else have a hard time sewing on their layouts? I have a stack of pages waiting to be sewn. Maybe it's because the only time I really get to scrap is while the littles are sawing logs..... why can't they make silent machines? or do they? am i missing the boat on something? or did i just come up with a great idea? hmmm. Well, I give you permission to steal this idea, manufacture it, and sell it to me. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

love love love

I'll be the first to admit that being a stay at home Mom is not easy. I'm still adjusting to this being my full time gig, even though I've been doing it for the better part of a year. There is a huge learning curve and some days feel like their own roller coaster. But. Even in the most hectic train-wreck of days you can find these happy little moments. Ones that make your heart swell with love, and laughter, and general goofiness. (and yes, she was in pj's all. day. hey, she had pants on. i'm calling it a win.) I cling to these moments with both hands and my whole being for sanity. and balance. and peace. There really is so much to love about this life of ours.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Three Words

As a Mom there are three words that I can not hear enough. I melt every time. Sometimes I even tear up. (cuz I'm a sap like that.) "Love you Mom." awwwww, tell me more.

Can't believe it took me so long to scrap this photo. I remember the day perfectly because he chose the shirt to wear himself. At five he still wasn't too "cool" to shout from the rooftops how much he loved me... and you know what? He's 10 now and will still hold my hand as we walk together. I'll take it. I really hope he never stops telling me he loves me, because those are three words I could not live without.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This is How I Roll: Home Edition

Do you ever come across a quote or saying that is so totally dead on and true to life that you stop dead in your tracks and immediately picture it on a layout (anyone? anyone? just me? crickets?... ok. I am truly a scrap nerd.) This one did that to me.....

"Please excuse our mess, we live here."

Seems like no matter how hard I try our house ends up looking like some version of the photo above. I call it a "Toy-splosion." Or if it's really bad, "Toymageddon." Some days I try to keep up with it and, like groundhogs day, clean the same mess about five times over. Other days I just throw in the towel and blog about it instead. What can you do? Let the kids live a little.... and scrapbook.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

Problems, Problems, How ya Gonna Solve 'Em?

I've written before about wanting to be more fit and healthy....
I've written about my concern about my size.....
my weight....
I wrote about how I felt as big as a house while I was pregnant....
how I was forcing myself to embrace the bump and deal with the weight later....

yikes. i still had over a month to go.

Well. The time has come.

I recently had a discussion with Nakiah (he's 10) about making bad choices, which causes problems.... I explained that in life when we do things like that we have to work hard to correct or fix the problem. Later it dawned on me that this applies to my current situation as well.

I'm not over weight because of the pregnancy... in fact, I have recently been working very hard and have lost 35 lbs. total since the day I gave birth. I'm 5 lbs. lighter now then I was when I got pregnant. I was overweight before him. I consistently made bad choices with my diet (think toooooo much fast food, and going from not eating at all to eating candy all day.). I worked out sporadically. I did not take care of myself.  Everything and everyone else came first.

What have I been doing to fix my problem? Lots of healthy eating.... tons of veggies, fruits, protein. Regular meals (attempting 3 meals, and 2-3 healthy snacks). Smart choices at restaurants. Regular exercise.

typical lunch these days....

when what I really wanted was pancakes i ordered egg white omelette with feta/spinach/tomatoes instead... and you know what? it was delicious.

It has not been easy.

For the first few weeks I felt deprived (of junk, really). I felt down in the dumps. How did I let this happen? Why can't I just be one of "those people" who get to eat whatever they want and not show it on their frame? I was ashamed, and mad, and frustrated. Then I started to make better choices and I started feeling prouder.. i got more energy... i felt like i was making progress.

I've been crowbarring workouts into my day. 30 minutes while one kid is at basketball. a long-ish run right before a band concert. workouts in the garage with weights. gym. runs outside in the snow. whatever I can get, I take it. even if I'm tired, or if it's the last thing on earth I want to be doing. One night I even had a 20 minute solo dance party in the living room... just to be moving. (ok, I also LOVE dancing... even if it is like a lunatic around the living room)

I'm getting faster, and can run for longer periods without stopping. I even sprinted some of this....

So changes are happening. The scale is moving (down, luckily). I'm feeling better about myself. More in control. Balanced (my, one little word, for 2013... balance). For the first time in about a year and a half I actually liked what I saw in the mirror after my run then zumba the other night.

I'm feeling stronger. Happier. I've still got a ways to go... but I am on my way. and nothing feels better than putting in the work and actually correcting all of those bad decisions I made that compromised my body for so long (oops, there went my 20's).