Monday, April 27, 2009

My wish list ...

So I've decided to compile my wish list here for two reasons ...
1) There is a tendency for people to ask for ideas when a birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, etc. approaches and when that happens, I almost always immediately forget all these great ideas and end up mentioning a handful of things I don't particularly need or want; and,
2) I think of things from time to time that I'd like to have when the funds are available and then totally forget what they are when that situation presents itself (rare as it is ;) and then remember immediately after the funds are, eh, no longer available. Very annoying! Either that, or I write them down and then forget where I wrote them. So, this is going to be an organizational tool for me, as well as a way for me to document my interests & wants at this stage of my life ... you know, so I can scrapbook it later!!!
Anyway, if you don't like the whole concept of writing down and sharing a wish list, then this would be a good time to wander elsewhere on the Web... :)

Stuff I really don't NEED but would love to have:
• Gift certificates from Designer Digitals
• Gift certificates from Shutterfly
• Books:
- Photo Freedom by Stacy Julian
- The Big Picture by Stacy Julian
- Imperfect Lives by Tara Governo
• Renewal of my existing subscription to Creating Keepsakes
12x12 3-ring black leather scrapbook albums by Keeping Memories Alive
• 12x12 3-ring page protectors by We R Memory Keepers, with and without pockets for photos, including:
- these 6-up pocket pages
- these page protectors
- and these gated page protectors from Fancy Pants Designs
• the QuicKutz Silhouette Digital Cutter
• Software:
- Adobe CS4 for Mac OSX - Design Standard
• Digital SLR camera - haven't developed a preference yet ... thinking maybe a Canon Rebel SLR or a Sony

Loving this new digital world...

I had a blast this weekend in the chat room at Designer Digitals (DD). Spent way, way too much time on the computer judging from my sore eyes and shoulders, but it was soooo worth it. The occasion was the quarterly sale & all-day chat/challenge sessions at DD, my absolute favorite source of digital scrapbooking "stuff." Starting at 6 a.m. my time on Saturday and going all the way until after 10 p.m., it was a great chance to get in on some really inspiring, educational, oftentimes hilarious, and just plain fun chatting with a whole lot of people who enjoy digital scrapbooking as much as I do, not to mention a freebie digital kit every single hour. And in my neck of the woods, that kind of interaction with digital scrappers just doesn't happen. In fact, I do not know one single person outside of DD that scrapbooks digitally. Heck, I hardly know anyone who even scrapbooks. So it's a lot of fun to have a whole bunch of people with similar interests to visit with, including people from Norway, the UK, Australia, Spain, Canada... all over the world, really. I only missed one chat... the very first one. Just couldn't drag myself out of bed quite that early!!
It's a good thing the all day event only happens every three months, though. Jacques was very cooperative and took care of the girls all day for me so I could indulge. But I know I couldn't do that very often - and my eyes wouldn't let me even if I could. Thinking I need to invest in a glare screen, for starters... That and some new software - I took a lot of heckling for still using Photoshop 7.0!!!
With all of the chatting, I hardly did any scrapbooking. There are challenges every hour with prizes drawn from the list of people who complete layouts. But that was just too much multi-tasking for me. I was pretty content to just sit and talk. But I did get LOs done for two of the challenges, which I've attached below. One was for DD and one was for a sketch challenge for a birthday celebration chat at another site I discovered recently ... Get It Scrapped! (GIS), which offers lots of classes. In fact, I was pretty lucky this weekend, too. I won a free pass to a class at GIS, plus a free softcover 8x8 album from Shutterfly during one of the DD chats. So, it was well worth my time, even if I hadn't had so much fun!!
Anyway, now I'm back in the "real" world and have lots of "real" work to do, so I better get to it. Thanks for visiting ... and have a great day! :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Caught up ... for a few days, anyway!

Yay... finished the pages for Skylar's second birthday to go in her birthday album. With her 3rd birthday in just 10 days, I officially have one album caught up (if you don't count the fact that I haven't actually gotten the pages printed and in the book, yet!)
Here are the pages...
Now, to decide on a theme for birthday number three ...
If you are new to visiting my blog, thanks for visitng and please leave a comment and tell me how you found me!! I've been playing around with Twitter & Facebook in an attempt to find what works best in my effort to document my existence. It would be helpful to know how these things are working!
Have a great day! :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The birthday book.

As promised, here are shots of the first year's section of Skylar's birthday album...
Each year will start with a gated 6x12 inch spread like this ...
Followed by a full-size 12x12 page like this ...
Notice the gift list on the left ... and a pocket for cards on the right.
This opens to another 12x12 page on the back, followed by several photo pocket pages for all the pics I wanted to include but not necessarily scrapbook.
I created a few photo-size cards to highlight a few other memories, like the one you see here ...
But for the most part, the photos speak for themselves...
And that's about all. The next birthday will come next ... once I get it scrapbooked!!!
And speaking of birthdays, a big {Happy Birthday!} today to my dad!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Growing pains.

I still find myself tip-toeing around my office and avoiding all things that make noise, even though I moved Danica's napping crib upstairs today and I could probably scream and yell without waking anyone. Both girls are sleeping peacefully upstairs and this is my work time, so I guess that should be a good thing, right? But for a variety of reasons, I've been resisting this kind of "progress" ever since Dani was born.
I guess it's probably because Dani's my baby and I've decided she will be my last. I love to watch her grow and learn new things, but it's so bittersweet at the same time. When the boys were little, I don't remember it being difficult to make the decision to move them from our bed to the crib ... or the crib to a toddler bed. But with the girls, each of these has felt like an enormous step - one that I have to actually force myself to take.
Skylar will be 3 years old in less than a month ... and she is still sleeping in the crib. I tell myself this is because she is such a good napper, I don't want to upset the routine. And we don't have a bed yet to move her to. Or a space carved out to put it in. But I suppose these are all just convenient "excuses" to keep me from letting her grow up. I think it was easier when I didn't know from experience just how quickly that happens. Case in point: Karstin will be in HIGH SCHOOl next year!
Guess I know what we should get Sky for her birthday, eh? And I guess I should now try to focus on getting some work done, since these few short hours of uninterrupted quiet time are somewhat scarce. Then maybe when they do wake up, I'll be able to enjoy them without feeling guilty for not doing something else...
It's a vicious cycle.

Spring in Montana.

Need I say more? :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Trying to get back in the swing of things...

For some reason, I'm having a tough time getting back in the swing of things after returning from our Easter weekend. First the boys had Monday off from school even though most people had to go back to work, which I think threw me off a bit. Then Karstin ended up staying home from school today because he didn't feel well. I think this feeling of being just off balance is probably a combination of these scheduling variations and the fact that the weather has been pretty dreary. In fact at this moment, I am looking out at a whole new layer of snow. The forecast for later in the weekend is warmer, so hopefully this is more temporary than it feels.
In an attempt to get back into routine, I did manage to get two sets of scrapbook pages done - basically a set for each of the girls highlighting their Easter. The boys were with their dad this year, so I don't really have anything to scrapbook for them - at least not for this year. I have piles and piles of stuff from prior years, when I get around to getting it all organized ...

The album I'm using for Skylar's birthday book also arrived and I assembled her first birthday pages this afternoon. Check back in the next few days for pics of that... it's coming together quite nicely.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A quick look back...

We made it home from our Easter weekend in Minot. About a 7-hour trip ... not too bad but definitely glad to have arrived back home safely! Now to the task of unburying ourselves from the piles of stuff we brought in from the car...
But first, here's a few highlights from our weekend with Nana & Pop...
Skylar really enjoyed coloring eggs with Nana on Saturday evening.
Doesn't Danica look cute all dressed up Saturday to go to church? Too bad we missed the service because of a schedule misunderstanding, but we had fun going out for dinner instead at Up A Creek. We also ran into Jim Harris and his wife while we were there...
Each time Sky found an egg, she would rush back to empty the candy inside into the bowl.
Danica checks out her basket of goodies left by the Easter Bunny.
Not too sure she likes the extra long ears!!
A moment together before another egg is spotted...
Hope everyone had a nice Easter!!

She's my friend...

Just wanted to take a quick break from the Easter morning action to say hello and record a cute thing Skylar did... she had just found about the 40th egg and came running in, as excited as if it had been the first.

"I found one!!!" she squealed.

"I think the Easter Bunny likes you, Skylar," says Daddy.

With the cutest little smirky grin, Skylar turns around and says...

"She's my friend..."

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Because I'm a mom ...

• I vacuum the living room at least once a day … and my floor is still not clean.
• I know every word of at least a dozen VeggieTales tunes.
• My fridge resembles a community center bulletin board.
• I rarely wear white.
• I drive a mini-van.
• I take an average of 500-800 photos a month … and rarely appear in one myself. 
• I make a trip to the grocery store at least every 3 to 4 days, sometimes more.
• I can play LEGOS without feeling a need to explain why.
• My house is never quiet.
• I am in frequent contact with our community’s doctors and dentists.
• I always vote in support of the school levies.
• I will never have enough wall space to display all of my favorite photos.
• I live in a five-bedroom house.
• I have a tendency to repeat myself. 
• There are always toys in my bathtub.
• My schedule generally revolves around naptime.
• There are always band-aids in my cupboard.
• I still have homework.
• I hide my tape, permanent markers, glue, matches and chocolate.
• It is not unusual for me to be decked out in stickers.
• I can’t wait for garage sale season.
• There is always something – or someone – in my house that needs to be cleaned.
• I have the phone numbers of all five schools in Lewistown saved in my cell phone memory.
• There are always fingerprints on my glass front door. And the bathroom light switch. And the door to the fridge. And probably just about everything else in my house.
• I tend to find it difficult to concentrate.
• I’ve learned to watch my step, especially on the stairs or near any source of water.
• I frequently have to go looking for the phone.
• I can never seem to buy enough ketchup, cereal, milk, bread, or Ranch dressing.
• I appreciate my parents a lot more than I used to. Act like them, too.
• I have a stash of confiscated toys in my closet. Most of them make noise.
• The phrase “what’s for dinner?” can be like fingernails on a chalkboard.
• I get to wave bye-bye to “poopie” at least once a day.
• My shoes have a tendency to walk around the house without me.
• I use words like “nigh-nigh,” “sockies,” “cutie-bucket,” “boogies,” and “outchie” on a regular basis.
• My top wish list items include a personal chef, a housekeeper and free prints for life from Shutterfly.
• My yard could be mistaken for the city park or school playground.
• I own electric hair clippers and salon-quality scissors. 
• Hearing the word “mom” can bring both a smile to my face and get on my nerves multiple times a day … mahhhhh, ummmmmm!
• I am surrounded by laughter.
• I’ve experience true panic. And anger. And fear. And love. Sometimes all at once.
• My most recent restaurant visit was to McDonalds.
• I have the power to make pain go away instantly with a simple kiss.
• I consider a hot bath behind a locked door a decent substitute for a destination vacation. 
• My kitchen is never clean. Or my bathroom.
• I have chosen to work from home.
• It can sound strange to hear someone call me by my “real” name.
• I still live in a small Montana town.
• I’ve spent three entire years of my life pregnant.
• I make regular attempts at playing tennis. And Taboo. But not skiing. (The lodge suits me fine, thanks!)
• I voted for Barack Obama.
• I can get – or give – a hug whenever I want.
• I know what it feels like to have my heart walking around outside my body.
• There are diapers, wipes, Smarties & a bottle of acetaminophen in my purse. 
• You can’t walk up my stairs without stepping over a gate.
• There’s a good chance there will be someone to take care of me when I’m old.
• I rarely have a moment to myself.
• I will never catch up on or run out of stories to scrapbook or things to blog about.
• I consider LAUNDRY a four-letter word. 
• I could add to this list for days … and still have more to say.
• I am one of the luckiest people in the world.

Birthday #3 is just around the corner...

It's hard to believe, but Skylar's third birthday is now less than a month away. In addition to the urge to come up with a theme of some sorts so we can have a little party with her and her little friends (a theme which can be SCRAPBOOKED, of course!!), her impending birthday has reminded me once again that I have yet to get her birthday album together.
I did actually START it, though ... a couple months ago, in fact. I decided on an album and format, designed the pages for birthday #1, even ordered prints of the photos I didn't use on the layouts. I just didn't get around to actually purchasing the album ... until this week.


Fancy Pants Designs - 12x12 Fancy Gated Album

I just LOVE the album I picked out and I'm very anxious now for it to arrive. It's made by Fancy Pants Designs and what I love about it is that it is gated, meaning it opens from both sides, like double doors. PLUS the unique feature of this album is that it also has binder rings on BOTH sides. I have not found any other 12x12 albums with this feature (if you know of some, PLEASE let me know!!) So, what that means is that I can use the 6x12 clear protective pages, also made by Fancy Pants Designs, plus the regular 12x12 sheet protectors and photo sleeves, in all kinds of cool combinations. I plan to make this a combination album rather than strictly a scrapbook ... that way I can incorporate the zillions of photos I seem to take on birthdays, plus the cards, snippets of wrapping paper, etc., without feeling the need to scrapbook every single thing (which I would NEVER get done!!)


Fancy Pants Designs - 12x12 Page Protector Refills with 4x6 Photo Pockets


Fancy Pants Designs - 6x12 Page Protector Refills

I still need to scrapbook birthday #2, which may or may not happen before Skylar's birthday on May 2nd. I will follow the same format each year, though, so it should be a little easier once I get the ball rolling.
I will share photos of the album in progress once it arrives and I start getting it all together...  In the meantime, feel free to click on the links above if you're interested in getting one of these great albums for yourself! The link will take you directly to, where you can also make a purchase, if you so choose.
Have a great day!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Signs you’re ADDICTED to {designerdigitals} scrapbooking …
~ Your friends are known by usernames.
~ You prefer the “sound” of a digital staple over a real one.
~ Your first thoughts after waking up are “how could I use Katie’s negative sleeves today?”
~ Sleep takes a backseat to computer time.
~ You have nightmares about losing your hard drive.
~ You watch your baby’s first steps in the reflection of your computer monitor.
~ Your favorite day of the week is Sunday … because that’s when DD releases its new items AND offers two new goodies for just a quarter each.
~ Thursday is your next favorite day … (30% off sale).
~ The subject line on at least 75% of the messages in your inbox starts with “New reply to…” 
~  Photos are planned around items on your wish list (to give you an “excuse” to move them to your shopping cart!”)
~ You’d rather lose your car keys than your digital camera.
~ It takes months to notice when an actress has been replaced on your favorite soap opera because your eyes are on your computer screen.
~ You have more date stamps than shoes.
~ Your favorite brush will never be found in a beauty shop.
~ Imitation has truly become the most sincere form of flattery. (Can you say “scraplift?!”)
~ The idea of being limited to just one typeface is absurd (and horrifying!) 
~ You haven’t visited your local museum or art center in years, but your visits to your favorite gallery occur at least daily (if not hourly!)
~ Your kids recognize the back of your head more easily than your face.  
~ You think a “skeleton in the closet” could make a fabulous scrapbook page!
~ Your favorite font is more recognizable by your family than your handwriting.
~ You no longer feel silly for making a credit card purchase for just 50 cents.
~ One of the criteria for a family activity is whether or not it can be scrapbooked.
~ You’ve cleaned up your wishlist more times in the past month than you’ve cleaned your bathroom.
~ Your kids’ clothes for the day are chosen based on 1) the photos you plan to take and 2) the digital kit you’re dying to use.
~ It can totally make your day when a DD friend makes a nice comment on one of your LOs!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A short list: Life's little luxuries.

One more quick post to share the scrapbook page I put together tonight. It's basically a short little list of the little luxuries I'd prefer not to do without at this point in my life.
In case you can't quite make it out, the journaling reads: 
"Coffee. Big windows filled with sunshine. Cherry Zero. My digital camera. A hot shower. Cable TV. Most of all, my computer, complete with Internet access & everything I need to scrapbook digitally. I could live without all of them, but I definitely would prefer not trying. They are my ingredients for a good day at this point in my life ... the “things” that, combined with my family, good health & time, make life enjoyable."

Life by lists.

I love lists. I think maybe because they are so easy to write, much less intimidating than sitting down to write a paragraph sometimes. So when I see someone else making a neat list, I often feel compelled to follow suit.
That was the case when I happened upon the blog of one of my husband's co-workers. On her blog, Tracey has two lists - one is 100 things about her and the other is 101 goals to be completed in 1001 days. You can find out more information about the latter here. In the meantime, I'm thinking I'm going to start working on both lists for myself, which you can expect to find here on my blog at some point.
I also added another list here to my blog ... it's a list of the sites that I find inspiring, entertaining ... and often both. Check it out on the left-hand column of my site. Check back often, as I'm sure the list will be growing soon, especially since I've recently acquired a whole new list of blogs maintained by my fellow scrapbookers at Designer Digitals.
Until next time, here's my latest scrapbook page ...

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