Tuesday, July 31, 2007

can you guess what this is?

This photo was motivated by the upcoming photography challenge I am involved in. Kinda artsy, huh?!
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Monday, July 30, 2007

scrapping news

Ok, I am so anxious for August to begin so I can officially begin contributing at My Digital Muse. I already have details for two of the three challenges I will be doing and one will have me working WAY outside my comfort zone. Once you see it, you will laugh b/c it is something I have mentioned not being good at on here...more than once! It will be good for me to stretch myself though.

Today I also dropped of my entry for the Memory Makers Masters contest. Hopefully not an exercise in futility. This could be my year, right?!! They are missing out on a good thing over there at MM b/c I am just a mere 15 minutes away from their office. Which also happens to be conveniently located next to the best mall, some of the best freestanding shops, and dining in the city. I'd love to spend more time there. Hint Hint. Just today, me and the girls ate lunch at a brand new Dewey's pizza location across from Kenwood Towne Center. Total yumminess. We had a 1/2 and 1/2: regular cheese and the Caprice which was out of this world.

The Kenwood area also has Cord Camera so I ran in there to get a back up battery for my Canon Rebel XT. I am "THE" photographer next weekend at my stepsister Mary's wedding. Which two months ago sounded flattering, now...daunting. I am not completely solo as her brother Jay, who has a great Nikon DSLR, will be shooting as well. Still though... Pin It

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Team in Training

Today I got my haircut, and my hairdresser (is stylist a more hip title?!) had a sign up that she is running the Columbus marathon to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She has never been a runner, she just decided to do this and today, she ran 10 miles. It is very coincidental since my good friend Tracey's sister in law, Katie, has recently been diagnosed with Leukemia so we had a topic in common, albeit a sad and unfair one, to talk about. Anyway, I am proud of Kay and the good she is doing for herself, and is going to do by raising money for a good cause. It was motivating just speaking to her. I am going to make a donation on Kay's webpage, in honor of Katie, and I hope you will do the same. Here is her website:

Kay's Team in Training Pin It

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

party of 5, nope make that party of 17

Remember us? I am in the center, and around me are 4 of my very best friends ever.

And see this? This is why we find it hard to get together more than 4x's per year for girls' only dinners. That's right, between us, there are 12 kids. This was after roughly 4 hours of swimming and playing. And heck, they probably look better than if we had taken another photo of the 5 of us! My motto for a successful photo of children, or families with children: If everyone is present, it's a keeper! The kids range from 15 months to around 10. They were all so well behaved. And although, we, their mothers, maintain a close friendship, the 12 of them rarely get together ,so that is a real compliment to the whole bunch of the crazy kids.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

here's my big news:

I am a new hybrid designer (meaning I use paper and digital products to make scrapbook pages) at :

I have wanted to be on a Scrapbooking Design Team for about two years and finally, someone is taking a chance on me and they are not going to be disappointed!!

Today, they are introducing a huge summer breeze kit, and this is the first layout I made using those components.
The site is just incredibly well laid out, and getting to know the other members, in the just this past week, has been a wonderful experience for me. I cannot wait to participate more and also contribute! Check it out.
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Monday, July 23, 2007


As a rule, I rarely take food pics, unless they are a birthday cake or something with a sentimental value b/c honestly, I struggle to make even something delicious, look appetizing. So, go with me on this b/c it was SO good and that very easy recipe below, is what delivered on this pan of goodness. I added a bit of onion to the ground chuck when I browned it, and only used 1lb of meat. That is for two reasons: I am cheap and too lazy to divde another 1 lb. package in half! Even so, yummy. I have been in such a mood to cook, and although it is June, it has been just gorgeous fall like weather here, so heating up the kitchen was not too much of an inconvenience.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

I could write a book..

Or more likely, a series of books. Getting to this point, celebrating Miss Shelby's 3rd birthday was a very long road. A few years of infertility before ever becoming pregnant at all. Funny, after 8 years, I do not remember exactly how many shots anymore, or how many follicles, or even which medicine I took each cycle but I do remember hope and disappointment. After turning to "injectible meds" we got lucky. We got pregnant on the first try. Only it was with triplets and had things ended better, it would not be bad news but in our case, I was just not meant to carry multiples despite all the medical intervention, multiple surgeries and a 5 week hospital stay. Those 3 babies came too early, at 24 weeks. Although it is still very sad for me, it did pave the way for what is my reality...being Olivia's and Shelby's mom. Olivia came about 14 months later, after more infertility treatment, a cerclage and a high risk, highly monitored pregnancy. She was safe in my arms after a 37 week pregnancy and all was right in my world. Around the time she was one, I knew I wanted her to have a sibling. And the goodness of motherhood clouded my memory, what it really takes for me to become a mom. So we signed back up for a round of fertility treatment and the first few times with the villain clomid, were not successful. Onto the shots again, this time I gave them to myself in the belly. And my ovaries began hatching eggs like a chicken. The devils, not content to work properly on their own, but prone to being overachievers when prompted at all. I got scared of multiples and almost backed out entirely. Thank goodness I proceeded but in a very conservative manner, and still became pregnant. With just ONE baby. Things were on track to run smoothly, like they had with Olivia. Only, one of my ovaries decided to blow up and rupture, and at 8wks pregnant, I found myself in surgery. And praying that just I would be safe so I could be Olivia's Mom. I had jeopardized that and felt very guilty. Somehow, defying all the odds, this baby and I came through. Her fate was less certain than mine. After 2 blood transfusions, I was going to be OK but every week, I went to doctors' appointments not knowing for sure my little baby was going to survive this ordeal. Even at 16wks, when I needed another cerclage, to ensure she'd stay put, I was still a bit skeptical. But it became apparent as I saw her heartbeats, my belly began to grow, and we confirmed she was indeed a girl, that we were on our way to having another baby in our arms. Things went mostly according to plan until late in the game, July 4th, I started contracting. I took some meds over that weekend until I got to the doctor on Tuesday and learned I would be on bedrest until I delivered. Suddenly the scheduled 38wk c-section seemed even more improbable. Well, Miss S, she held on until 35wks. She was born at 12:20 on Monday night, actually Tuesday morning. She came out crying and then decided not to, which landed her in the NICU. After all I had been through, even though she looked tiny and fragile, hooked up to to tubes and monitors, I did feel at peace. I had certainly seen worse and I just KNEW she would be OK. And she was. She is.
My girl is 3 today. She is as tough as nails. She has had a lot to overcome but it has just made her a sassy, little fighter and so full of life. I am blessed.
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Thursday, July 19, 2007


I managed to do 2 pages this week, despite my husband out of town and my two girls in full on "pay attention to me" mode. Oy. The top one is a hybrid layout...which most of mine are...but in case you are not a scrapper like me that just means I combine computer techniques along with traditional paper scrapping. So the swirls and the word scooter are printed directly on the picture. Cool, huh?
The second one looks all funky b/c I had to scan it and sometimes when it merges the two halves of my 12x12 page together, it can leave a really noticeable line or the shading like you see her. Hopefully you can see past that but it's actually cute irl.
Other than that, my girls have suddenly gotten very into Polly Pockets. Shelby has gotten some as B'day gifts and that has renewed the interest for Olivia as well. Those little buggers are hard to dress though, so that means more Mommy involvement than I'd like! I am going to die trying to carve out 30 minute niches of time just for me to compute and create :)
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

what's going on...

In a few days, I will have a pretty exciting, and big announcement to make related to my role in the world of scrapbooking. Wahoooooooooo!

Our pool, the one with the new liner, than the one with leaking liner, the pool that I have added so much water to, the Ohio River is probably low, the pool that as of Saturday began to grow algae (ewww, yuck)...that pool as of 4p today, became a pond. As in, could not see clear to the bottom of it in the deep end. $101 in chemicals had better get that thing back on the right and ready. My kids, and my neighbor kids, will revolt, I tell ya.

My baby turns 3 in less than 2 days.

I survived and nearly enjoyed, my visit to the priest's house tonight. And dare I say that other parents were describing their bi-monthly bingo work night, as fun?! Bring on August 14th. I can sell "rip-offs" with the best of 'em. It's all in the name of a little tuition reimbursement from the church, so who am I kidding, I'd sell my soul too!

I am exhausted and headed to bed NOW. Pin It

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

photos on the wall

So I finally did it! I created a photo collage in my hallway. I saw the idea here: Jamie Schultz Designs. She sells templates on ways to display photos on your wall. Very clever, very helpful. Her target market is professional photographers, and I think it is genius b/c it would really encourage people to buy larger photos once they can visualize how the display will look. Anyway, I am grateful I got a simple enough idea, and carried it out! Now, my hanging skills...not so good. They are not perfect, and my husband is going to die if he ever moves them and sees all of the nail holes underneath since I eye-balled the whole deal. I also tried to use a few existing nails, b/c was one was a big anchor that had held a professional baby pic of Olivia. That will have to find a new home. I also have one more 5x7 frame to fill w/ a photo of Olivia, and reprint our family pic as an 8x10 b/c Dave's head is pretty much cut off!
Now for the best, once I saw this layout, I happened to go to the Big "W" for some household goods and could not resist when I saw these frames...the large for $5 and the small for $3. Someday I will upgrade, but for now, they are just fine.
I have a collection of assorted black frames with white mattes, just waiting for pics. My goal is to begin a collage going up my stairs. Today, I feel like I can do it!!
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Sunday, July 15, 2007

doing laundry

I know it is called a chore, but today, I am not sure where I would categorize it...cruel and unusual punishment, maybe?!
So, first I lay with Shelby in my bed for a nap. Bless her heart, she slept over 2 hours. I never did fall asleep despite being up until 1:30 am (gasp!) and nursing a slight, vodka induced hangover. Unfortunately, I got up and left her in bed napping, in undies. So when Dave gets her up, she has soaked thru our King sized comforter, sheets, mattress pad cover, down to the mattress. So off to the Laundromat in search of a king sized washer. What an adventure. 32 quarters later, I had two loads going and then I drove home for more quarters and back to make the switch to the dryer. Can I say again, I am tired, hungover, it's hot as Haiti here today, and hotter inside that building. Ok, Dave picks everything up and I am feeling like I solved the problem in short order and then....
I open the washer from the load I had started earlier. Shelby had a few tinkle accidents (notice a theme?) at her overnight stay with my parents (reason I was able to earn a hangover)so I had emptied her bag into the washer. BUT, I apparently did not catch a stray Pull Up. No wonder people are up in arms over disposable diapers and them taking over landfills b/c what happened inside my washer, it wasn't pretty. That thing had blown up and then exploded, covering all the clothes and washer with gel type beads?! I am still in the midst of conquering them. I nearly cried. I still might. So, in 6 years I am now considering myself lucky to have never washed a diaper before, and if I ever do it again, I will throw away the washer, all the clothes, and start over.
Happily, I just checked the laundry and after being shaken outside, and then run back through the washer, it is now gel pellet free. Pin It

Friday, July 13, 2007

2 of my top 10

Cooking and Reading. Both are in my top 10 list of likes, things I enjoy, good things...not sure exactly what to call it, but you get my point, right? I sound like I am on the 10,000 Pyramid. I really loved that show back in the day, and I am sure I'd have been good at it. I digress...

Ok, first off...my friends came through with more recipes from our dinner together.
Here is a delicious, deceivingly simple, dip recipe:


1/2 Cup of bacon
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Tomato cut up (grape tomatoes)
Mix all together and serve with your favorite cracker

And our dipper was Baked Ritz Chips. Um, yum!! Where the heck have I been b/c those things are just plain good.

Next, the lasagna recipe. I have to admit, I am more of a frozen lasagna purchaser than maker of lasagna. It's typically time consuming and just too much for me (and I do like to cook) but this one looks manageable and it was darned delicious. Now, there are not many details here but I think I will still give it a try. I am guessing it has something to do with my friend's choice of sauce b/c I will say it again...it was good!!


Noodles enough for 3 layers
1 1/2 lb ground beef
favorite sauce (I use Paul Newman's Marinara)
Mozzarella Cheese
Cottage Cheese
Cook the noodles and the meat - separately
After that is cooked layer all the ingredients and put it in the oven on 350 until it is bubbly.

**I am pretty sure she puts the cottage cheese and mozzarella in the same layer, not mixed together first, but just spread about at the same time

Now, onto what I have been reading. I finished the latest Jonathan Kellerman novel, and those are always good. And then I read: Confessions of a Shopaholic. I admit, and nothing against the British, the slang and British humor was sometimes hard to follow but the tale was pretty amusing. Enough that I quickly ran to the library following vacation for, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan. This was even funnier. I mean, laugh out loud, funny. So I read that in just days. Remember, I do have two kids to attend to, otherwise, I am sure I could have read it in 36 hours or so, factoring in sleep. Now, I am just about finished with Shopaholic Ties the Knot. Again, just hilarious. This character, Rebecca Bloomwood, not only gets herself in the funniest pickles, but her daydreaming and passion for shopping, it's just good stuff. So, today I reserved the next installment at the library. I justify this by claiming to multi-task. While I am supervising assorted children in and around my yard, driveway, and pool, I am reading too. That makes me feel better about the HOURS I spend outside.

Happy weekend. Pin It

Thursday, July 12, 2007


These four girls are four of the most important people in my life. We have known each other now, just about 20 years and instead of being mortified by how old that makes me, instead I am thankful and blessed to have such a strong bond with each of them. We try to get together every few months for a girls only dinner. This past year, we reverted back to hosting, on a rotating basis, at one of our homes. We have had some divine meals...20 years has made us all pretty decent cooks!! And you know, it has forced a few us to break out the china, which none of us seems to make the effort to use much. But the nights are just as fun, the food just as delicious, on paper plates b/c it is the company that makes the nights worthwhile. We certainly have enjoyed some exceedingly good times, and we have faced a host of really difficult challenges too, some of us are facing the tough times right now. The common denominator is our friendship and being able to count on one another and for that, we are very lucky.

Now, we enjoyed some great food on Tuesday night, but the ladies (*cough* Mary Jo & Tracey) are a bit slow in submitting their recipes. So, we will begin in reverse order b/c Beth has already sent her divine dessert recipe:

Here is the recipe for the oreo ice cream cake:
1 tub of cool whip
1 pkg instant choc pudding
1 jar of hot fudge sauce
12 ice cream sandwiches
8 crushed oreos

mix 1 cup of cool whip with 1/2 jar of fudge sauce- add dry pudding powder and crushed oreos
need a sheet of aluminum foil and line up 4 ice cream sandwiches and spread the choc mix over and repeat with the next 4 sandwiches, choc mix and then the last 4 sandwiches. Use the remaining cool whip to spread over the cake and freeze for 4 hours.

Chocolate overload. Delicious!

I brought a variation on the salad course, which in fact, we ate as an appetizer instead. It turned out very pretty on the platter (even if I have to say so myself!) and was easy.

Insalata Caprese

4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
fine sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
On a large platter, alternate and overlap the tomato slices, mozzarella cheese slices, and basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper.

I found this on allrecipes.com. I love that site.

So, cheers. Here's to good friends and good food. Oh, and the YUMMY Jerry Garcia wine!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

birthday: round 2

And here is the 6 year old. We actually sang to her first. Frankly, I thought sharing the cake was going to be more of an issue. I probably will not do it again, b/c the 3 year old is bound to wisen (is that a word?) up and insist on going first too. Anyway, we sang separately to them but as you can see, they both worked together on blowing out the fire here!
Olivia got a razor scooter and she is working on those skills. It makes for a handy prop though to smile sweetly at your Mother to end the day with a nice picture :)

And speaking of the Mom. That's me. And I somehow managed to remember to get a picture of me at the VERY end of the day, so do not be too critical of my appearance, it was 95 and humid. Ok??

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birthday: round 1

Ok, this little one could not have been more excited to be having a birthday party in her honor. After enduring the July 4th extravaganza for her sister, it was her turn (to be shared by her sister but she's still flexible, thank goodness!) My mom made her an ABC book featuring pics of mainly her, and family members, and she was just tickled by it. Of course, her sister has one so it was only fair that she could star in a book as well. Really sweet.
Next, I introducte to you the fabulous cake that my friend Kim made for the party. Pretty great, huh? Shelby is soaking in all of the marvelous singers serenading her with Happy Birthday. And Olivia, she is still as close to the action as possible.
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Sunday, July 8, 2007


See those lights in her eyes? Those are catchlights. And when you are a photography nut like me, you try taking photos all day long with no flash, with your child close to a window but also interacting with you. Typically, these three things happen at once about as often as the 7-7-7 on a slot machine; so when I saw this tonight when I downloaded my birthday party photos, I got a little misty. Perhaps it is also due to the fact that my baby celebrated her 3rd birthday, is about 80% potty trained and the crib came down today. Who knows.
Prepare for much birthday related cuteness tomorrow.
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Saturday, July 7, 2007

imagine, no internet on the very day...

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my youngest flies the coop...I mean, gets her big girl bed. I was frantic not to be able to email or post any pics! But...No more crib over here. Pretty amazing since it has been in use for 6 years. The new bed looks nice, huh?? She said: cool, alot. And kept saying: look at my new room, I got a new room! Not exactly true but it is exciting and a mini makeover of sorts. Now, her sister was a little less receptive. The new digs down the hall made her room seem quite inferior. Afterall, it is July and she is sleeping on flannel sheets. By choice. Just as she is a fashion don't in her personal fashion choices, she is a bit eclectic in her room as well. So, she sleeps on flannel sheets year round, has not used a comforter in about a year, and sleeps in summer nightgowns too. Anyway, she wanted to spruce things up and asked me to take some pics of her room next.

This one shows the bubble wrap over the pillow. Seems her sister's new fluffy pillows made hers seem lackluster so she added that for comfort (don't worry we did not let her sleep with a wad of plastic!). She also noted me taking a photo of the floral print, and she added this beach towel so now her room will be following a loose animal, ocean-life theme.
I think the all about Shelby thing was wearing at her, don't you?
Going to sleep in the separate beds was no easy task, but after MUCH maneuvering, Shelby slept all night long in her new bed. It is way too high off of the ground though, and I slept with one eye open and both ears on alert, fearing she'd fall out. She did not; until around noon, right onto her head. So as lovely as it looks, I think the boxspring will have to come out for awhile.
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Thursday, July 5, 2007

and then she was 6...

{yep, another Webkinz, she now has 9!}

Last nite, she was still only 5 but she partied like she was 6! We had a great time, it rained right before the guests arrived and then cleared up. It rained again around 8:30, and chased them all from my yard into the driveways for a very loud fireworks display. I was inside, in the back of the house, firmly planted with the birthday girl's sister who is not digging the 'works this year. Not one bit. She would not even let me tackle the most monumental stack of dishes calling my name. I had to sit, on the couch, right next to her.

Proof of the fun is above. And it was mostly good times but my little quirky kid gave me a run for my money earlier in the day. Excitement, big events, they always seem to bring out the worst in her for a time. It then runs it's course and things usually go well. But during that spell of evil, I often wonder if one of us will not survive. Ugh. Any input on that??
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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

the celebrating soon begins...

And I am right between: oh schit, how the heck am I going to manage 35 people tomorrow, especially if it rains and thank you, lord for giving me a BIG reason to celebrate every 4th of July. It's true, I pretty much walked on hot coals to get my kids and long before I had any, I'd think of how fun it was going to be to throw big parties, and do kids crafts. Even though, I get caught up now in the work, and expense of it all, I do feel blessed that my Miss Olivia was given to me, and on July 5th to boot. It makes for a super fun time of year to celebrate and the kid, she does really think at least half of the fireworks are in her honor! So our goal this year was to only have neighbor kids, and keep the total to 8. We have rounded out at 11 but that is just fine. We just lined up and filled treat bags, which both Shelby and Olivia loved doing. They are so ready for tomorrow just to be here and hang all the signs, play the games, get tatoos, bust open the pinata, eat ice cream cake (see, I do got just a tad overboard). And so am I. I just prefer for all this to go on OUTSIDE, if at all possible.
Back to housework and enjoying the peace and quiet of one napper in the house. Off to the grocery tonight with the 2/3 of the population who is also throwing a bash tomorrow. Doesn't that sound like fun? Pin It