Saturday, May 31, 2008

swimming...


You'd never guess it was a mere 75 degrees in that pool, huh?? The girls were hardcore! Shelby, not so much but the other two were. The outside temp is definitely hot enough for some pool use so we just need to heat up the water so that if I am forced to jump in, I can survive!
You can see it is crystal clear, and a beautiful day. About 10 minutes after I took this little video, a strange gust of wind blew through, tossed our bar height table to the ground and the glass top shattered EVERYWHERE, while adults were sitting around it. So strange. and a HUGE mess.
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Friday, May 30, 2008

dude is a graduate!

A rare photo with me in it!
Shaking hands with that diploma in hand.
Cap and gown before the ceremony.


Yes, I am proud of this kid!! What a great day. I loved seeing him excited and so grown up and gracious...happily posing for pictures and giving out hugs.
And a Shelby funny about Tyler. Today she told me that a friend of hers does not have any "MaMas and PaPas" and I said, yes she does but they probably call them grandma and grandpa. Shelby said: Well, she doesn't have a Tyler!
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

a major outdoor renovation



AFTER:


BEFORE:

So, it was time for a new fence. Honestly, it was probably always time for a new fence based soley on the fact that the old one was ugly, but now it was rotten too. so the BIG investment was made. Last week, Dave, along with the help of friends, neighbors and a ton of work from his Dad, put this beauty up. It is completely finished as of today.
It has changed how the whole house and yard look. For the better. I almost feel at peace about the pricetag! Well, maybe not that good.
I need to take a few more photos of the deck side, b/c it looks a little different than the "higher" sides shown. So many people have commented on it and a few also ask if we will miss the privacy. No. The other houses are pretty far from us and the one above us could always see over anyway.
I am looking forward to some warm weather to heat up the pool so we can get out there and begin enjoying it.
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

photoshop actions and the army






Kacie asked me to take some photos of her and Craig (her b-friend who is currently in bootcamp but will be deployed to Iraq in June) and I never pass up an opportunity to photograph real live volunteers. Could I have been any happier to see him in his full outfit, er uniform?!

So, I believe I got some great stuff. Made even better by my new fav actions from Pioneer Woman. The above of "before and afters" or actually "afters and befores". SOOC means straight out of the camera.

Pretty darned fitting for the Holiday weekend too. Love that. And we found this flag hanging on a neighbor's front porch and Kacie and Craig were a tad embarassed but I said I was sure the homeowner would be flattered. Out she came, with tears in her eyes, shook his hand, thanked him and said it was an honor for them to stand by her flag. Loved that the most.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

shelby's last day of school


I certainly wanted to remember these two great ladies, Shelby had a terrific year at school this year! Most fun stuff from Little Dreamer Designs. See it all listed here.
Hoping for a little more ME time this weekend to make another page or two. Mostly depends on Olivia feeling better.
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Friday, May 23, 2008

they're here




The cicadas. Today they started coming out of the ground, in droves. Bleck. I remember 17 years ago when they were just everywhere and staying indoors ALOT. Now, I happen to live in area that is predicted to be "hardest hit". Yea, cannot wait for that. These were taken in my front flower bed and the gloved Michael Jackson shot, is my neighbor, Jeff. For now the kids are intrigued. I bet once those critters start flying about and becoming a real nuisance, we'll all be inside! If you don't know about cicadas, but want to, try this.

My little Olivia has been sick :( She started "shrowing up" (as her sister would say) right during the final 15 minutes of the American Idol finale. It was hard holding her hair back out of the toilet when I could hear my true love, David Cook, singing a few feet away! I wished I could be two places at once. She's a tough one though, we made it back out to see the last couple of minutes. She had a very loooooong night on Wednesday and had to miss Field Day at school which caused near hysterics a few times during the day. Girl, hates to miss a thing! Here is the cutest thing though, at 7pm last night she says:
Have I even ate breakfast, lunch or dinner today? and I say, No you have not eaten a thing yet. she says, I'd like pancakes.

Normally, I'd be moaning and groaning and very unlikely to make pancakes at that hour but under these circumstances, it actually made me smile. She is still peaked today and not full of much energy but she is getting better.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

an incredible story

Read this story and try not to poke around more on that blog for details. A double miracle, for sure!
I think that complicated pregnancies, and preemies, will always fascinate, amaze and sometimes sadden me, given my history. It will be 8 years this weekend that I had my own three tiny, amazing and sadly, too early preemies at 23w6d. When I read about this little miracle above, it brings back so many memories. One of our babies, Max, weighed 1lb 7oz, and in his short life, a good handful of doctors and nurses would comment on how "big" he was considering his gestational age and that he was one of three in there fighting for space and food! I thought they had lost their minds entirely but you know, I guess he was a big guy in his own right. His sisters were tinier.
Anyway, I speak openly about my babies, yet my two daughters do not know of them. I am not sure when the time will be right and how they will ever understand that there were babies before them. I think they need to be much older. In the meantime, I know that my experience, the saddest weeks of my life, ultimately brought me my two precious gifts. Certainly I wish I had not walked that road but I would again b/c I really wanted to be a Mom. And now I am. I was 8 years ago too, just with a big hole in my heart. Surviving that part of my life is one thing I am proud of. Pin It

Monday, May 19, 2008

into:

capturecincinnati.com--see my shots on the right, look for new ones and vote! how cool would it be for my fam to be in a book like this? You can click on my photos on the right and it will take you directly to them. Very cool the way the whole thing is set up. A big time drain b/c once you get in there, you just keep clicking through them.

reading--although I reserved a bunch of books based on a "summer must read" list in a magazine and this first one is not that great: Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA. I am over 100 pages into it so I will finish but I am disappointed. Coming off of the Jennifer Weiner books, this one pales by comparison.

Photoshop CS2--spending a lot of time learning new things. I am hoping to get into an online digital class here in June. Pin It

Sunday, May 18, 2008

pages



A few weeks ago, Shelby was such a little devil, so I made this to commemorate that. Then she had two good weeks but the past few days have been back to incessant WHINING!! And even throwing herself on the ground due to such large crises as not getting fruit snacks at 8:35 am!
The next is an ode to the butterfly and my butterfly lover: Olivia. I am sure there will be a few more layouts using the photos from that day. Too many good ones to ignore.
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Friday, May 16, 2008

the end of the school year




for Miss Shelby. Darn, that was a short one! She did so well this year and loved her teachers, who are pictured with her here. The bottom photo is the gifts I gave them: Vera Bradley ID holders with Panera gift cards inside. That is my new go-to gift!
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

glasses

before

after!

at home
It actually went well and she is still overall excited about her new accessory. I did not realize she was getting a pretty sizeable prescription so the sour face is her believing that the glasses were not working, or were working incorrectly! It is quite a transition from looking down through them for up close work and then trying to look up and function before she takes them back off.
As a mom, with HORRIBLE vision, I am a bit sad today b/c I think this is likely the beginning of lots of pairs of glasses and eventually contact lenses. There is a realistic part of me that sees the value in them them too. When she sat down to write her spelling words in ABC order, after she wrote the first word she said: is my handwriting better? And it is...much better. That has been her only poor grade during the entire school year, and here it is probably being caused by poor vision not poor writing skills. She also read later tonight and commented that the words looked bigger in the book. She is absolutely thriving in school right now, I cannot imagine the intellectual growth spurt she has in store for us now.
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reading

No matter how I try, when my issue of Creating Keepsakes comes, I get a little thrill when I slide it out of my mailbox and instantly begin thinking of how to carve out time to devour the whole thing!! The past few issues had left me a bit disappointed, not sure if it was so much a content change as much as me moving away from traditional paper scrapbooking? But I loved this issue, especially the Jessica Sprague article. There is also a freebie here. I dog-eared at least a dozen pages :)
So, I am still on a big reading kick. Turned out the first book the library called me about was Jennifer Weiner's Goodnight Nobody. I thoroughly enjoyed it so I am glad I reserved it even if it was unintentional. Next came Good in Bed. I had a harder time getting into this one but once I did, I could not put it down. I especially loved the last 1/3. So now I wait for my copy of Certain Girls to come in. I sure hope the local library has multiple copies b/c I am currently number 23 on a list of 23 :( Pin It

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day


I had a truly wonderful day and I just wrote a very witty and desriptive essay about that when my hand slipped, hit something and shut down my whole computer. So now you get the abbreviated version of goodness:
breakfast in bed Sunday morning
truly precious handmade gifts that the girls made at school (lots of pics, funny lists of my likes and appearance, things I say)
a hanging plant for the yard
spa gift certificate from my parents!!
potted plant from Dave's parents

I made these strawberries that I saw on a Paula Deen episode. Her son Jamie made them though. They were quite tasty and easy to do. My nephew ate about a dozen of them!

We tried to take a lot of pics of all of us together, or me with my girls, my mom with her girls but my kids look seriously wacky in most. I do LOVE this one though!!!
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Friday, May 9, 2008

oceans of fun





Olivia was in her first school play today. This is her first grade class. Oh my, a total 10+ plus on the cuteness scale!! She did so great. She had about 6-7 lines and sang in 3-4 of the group songs. I really commend the music teacher there, along with her teacher, and the ton of parents who volunteer. Three years ago, parents made these costumes which are pretty elaborate if you ask me!! Olivia was a zebra fish with spots instead of stripes. The gist of the story was that a shark wanted to be friends with everyone but other fish are afraid of him, and then a handful of other characters have little issues like Olivia's spots vs. stripes, an octopus with 7 legs, a blowfish with allergies and an inhaler. Cute and appropriate. Shockingly, I did not cry, I usually waver between welling up and stifling sobs at most any school function. I feel like this week has me feeling so grateful for my kids and feeling extra lucky to be a Mom.
Happy Mother's Day.
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Thursday, May 8, 2008

macgyver's dad


I have referred to my husband as Macgyver for a long time now. The dude is handy. But he had to learn it from someone and that someone is my father in law who made this very creative, custom lectern for Olivia's teacher. We gave it to her today b/c it is Teacher Appreciation Week. I think it turned out great. The kids were most interested in finding their name on the bulletin board. A few stood behind it like they were a judge, and I overheard one girl say: I am judge doody. And then the teacher said: I think it's judge Judy!
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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

the past


A few days ago, while searching thru pictures (and layouts) using Picasa, my digital organizer, I am came across scans of my old scrapbook pages. The first one shown here, of Shelby and I, is definitely one of my more cherished memories. I wrote that story down, "journaled" it, within weeks of having her and I am so glad I did. Otherwise, so many of those details would have been lost: the nurse's name, how it felt so hot in that NICU, the way her heart rate regulated itself...just so many details. I know one thing that has prompted me to take notice is Ali Edward's blog and her focus on words+photos. They really are the heart of the matter. To say I love to go back and read about my girls is an understatement. It is really a treasure, one that I am pretty darned proud of myself for taking time to create. The past few days have been a little push to keep it up even though I have strayed pretty far from my original scrapping style and products, I am still telling the story of my family. I really want to keep that up.
The second little page is from the pregnancy album/journal I kept during my pregnancy with Shelby. Again, a little trip (more like convoluted journey in the case of my pregnancies!) down memory lane. This one just outlines the basics, but I like it. I remember thinking how clever I was back then using the measuring tape paper and being creative to highlight the different numbers. Again, styles may have changed but I am glad to have the info recorded.
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Monday, May 5, 2008

see what i mean..


I got some good stuff! Little Miss Shelby was all about looking at butterflies, not so much about touching them. But look at my big ol' nephew folding her up in his arms like that and holding that tiny little butterfly for his cousin to see (and maybe touch??) up close. Melts my heart.
By the way, if you click on these images they will pop up much bigger, it is especially helpful on that one below. On this one, you can probably detect that I am no expert at Photoshop so this is only a semi-convincing job of doing a black and white with spot color!
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

not even close to doing these pics justice but...


Here is just a really quick sample of our great day at this year's butterfly show. Wow! I cannot wait to work on more of them and also do some digi scrapbooking. That place is a photographer's paradise!
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