Monday, January 31, 2011

A Piece of Time

Edited for PTI'S Anniversary Week
Since I've only been blogging for a couple of weeks and before that I never really took photos of my cards...I don't have a lot.  I've always made cards with specific purposes in mind...so I'm reposting this card from just earlier in the week...I've actually made a couple of these and I do love this stamp set and how it all came together...I apologize if you've already seen this! 




Children.

Our little pieces of immortality.

I cannot remember what I may have done last week...

or even yesterday...

but I remember each of my pregnancies...

each birth with absolute clarity.

And though admittedly the 9 months of pregnancy I had to go through for 2 of them...

6 months for the doubles but it was planned for 9...

were not my best moments...

I do not take pregnancy well...

I do shine in labor and delivery though.

I do not remember what I ever found humorous or laughed at...

what made me smile...

before I had children.

I don't remember what once brought me joy...

or what could once break my heart from the sheer volume of love that fills it.

But I know I am blessed beyond measure...

and if I was slightly younger...

and not quite so tired...

I would probably go for number 5.

Two girls...

two boys...

and a tiebreaker.

But I think it's time for me to enjoy friends, who are younger, having children.

To see in them what I have already experienced.

The past year has seen many friends and acquaintances now experiencing the joy that is motherhood for themselves.

Most are from our local school...

and I have avoided any contact with water in said building because I'm pretty sure there's something going on there...

and I've had my Mom so busy crocheting afghans...

the poor woman just started asking me "Next color?" as she would finish one and begin to start another.

This is the last one...

at least for now.



 
She crochets beautifully.

And it's almost a lost art form...

machines can now do what used to take human hands to stitch...

a human mind to count those stitches.

That's why we hunt for doilies, old pillowcases, tablecloths...

in antique shops...

at flea markets...

thrift stores.

They are a piece of time...

a piece of the past...

and we want to hold onto them.

Her afghans are beautiful beyond words...

and she has made them for as long as I can remember.

Sometimes...

they were the reason we would have groceries for the week...

or gifts under the Christmas tree...

and I still have every one she made for my children...

to someday pass down to them...

and hope they will cherish that it was their grandmother's fingers who wove these beautiful pieces of time.

I hope the person receiving this recognizes this afghan for what it truly can become...

a comfort when a child is ill...

a layer of warmth for chilly nights...

a lullaby sung in a mother's voice...

a childhood...

a piece of time.






Note*  I had to soften these photos because of very harsh shadows
           with the moon and stars on the card
            I know...Photoshop.
            Still taunting me!
            And if I CASEd this card from you...will you please let me know so
            I can give credit where credit is due.
            I honestly don't know if I did...I made a similar one a few months
            ago and I just can't remember.

Supplies: All Card Supplies PTI unless noted
               Cardstock: Sweet Blush and Stamper's Select
               Dies: Mat Stack 3 and Double Ended Banner (small)
               Ink: SU
               Moon and Stars: EK Success punch
               Misc: Ribbon and bling

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's War...

everyday.

In our house.

Why?

These two...


They wake up feuding...

they spend their days taunting...

they go to sleep fighting.

Everyday.

It is my life.

I am Sweden in this war...

I can't side with one over the other...

and I beg for peace.

The only time they are ever on neutral ground is when...

they are tormenting their sisters.

Or they are scheming to torment their sisters.

Or they have just tormented their sisters.

Again...my life.

I have grown accustomed to this...

and unless there is blood...

I'm usually not going to panic...

or stress.

Again...my life.

So imagine yesterday afternoon...

when hubby dropped #1 son off for a sleepover...



and #2 son came home in tears.



He missed his brother.

And when it became dark out...

he wanted to go and bring him home...

because he was too far away.

We promised he would be back home today...

not good enough.

So Hubby went upstairs into the attic and dragged down the small tent...

set it up in the middle of our living room...

complete with air mattress...

just for Dinky.

He was going on a LR camp out.

He was so excited...

couldn't wait for bedtime...

didn't want dinner...

was in his jammies before he had even had a bath.

He played in the tent...



jumped on the mattress...

yelled with excitement about how he was so excited...

(I could be wrong...but he may get his excitement levels from me)

to be going on a camp out that was just for him.

And we didn't see any tears...

hear any sniffles...

or even a mention of Robert...

until it was actually bedtime.

He couldn't sleep in the tent...

Robert wasn't there.

He couldn't go to sleep...

Robert wasn't there.

He climbed up beside me in the bed...

and snuggled close as he cried for the one he battles with everyday.

And this morning...

he woke up and went straight to the tent...

started jumping on the mattress...

yelling with excitement about how he was so excited...

Robert's coming home.




Saturday, January 29, 2011

I'm So Excited...

                                                and I just can't hide it!
                                                                                   The Pointer Sister's

And if you don't know who The Pointer Sister's are...

I don't wanna know.

But I'm excited!!

I'm like jumping up and down like a Mexican jumping bean excited!

I'm so excited I'm probably at some point going to faint...

Why?

Let me tell you.

Working on a post...

it just wasn't working so I started wandering...

around the house...

in my mind...

and then I wandered over to amazon...

because that's what I do.

I love amazon.

I really love when they send me things.

But I was looking in my cart...

thinking I need to order the things I have in my cart...

there's always things in my cart...

and Our Best Bites cookbook will soon be released.



I love Our Best Bites.

I found them because of Michelle Wooderson...

Mish Mash...

check her out here.

Check out Our Best Bites here.

So I'm about to place my order when I realized something was missing.

Which led me somewhere else...

which I'll soon get to...

and what I found is even more exciting than food.

And I love food.

I especially love food with bacon.

I made the Bacon Pasta again tonight...

I decided to live dangerously...

I add grilled chicken strips.

YUMMY!!!

Go here if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

So when I found out what I found out...

I called my friend Tanya...

this is Tanya...



And her gorgeous little girl...

love them!

And I'm just so excited!

First...let me explain.

I love books.

I mean, I love books...

even more than food.

In fact...

I could go longer without food than I could books.

So, I read.

All the time.

And there have been times I have been caught unawares and had no book...

and have actually read Field and Stream...

this usually happens at times involving car maintenance.

But see this...


and this...


and this...


we could be here for a while...

but I'm going to assume you've caught the pattern here.

Jodi Picoult.

Love, love, love Jodi Picoult.

And I don't even have my favorite posted...

you know the one...

the one that caused my hubby to find me curled up in a ball on the floor...

bawling...

I couldn't speak...

I couldn't breathe...

he thought something had happened to one of the kids...

life would never be the same...

My Sister's Keeper.

Seriously...

when I could finally sit up and finally started gulping air...

my eyes were so swollen...

so red...

for the rest of the day and half of the next...

I looked like I had just came off a 10 day drunk.

I love Jodi Picoult.

And her new book will be coming out soon...

I always preorder.

So...

before I placed my amazon order...

went to her site to check specifics on the new one...

saw where her tour schedule was up for the new release.

Now... when I saw this I became quickly depressed because my favorite book store...

Davis-Kidd Booksellers...

was closed this past December.

I always went to Davis-Kidd for authors...

I loved going there...

I was in heaven on earth while there...

surrounded by thousands of books.

So I see where her tour schedule is posted and because I had been begging Davis-Kidd to get her to Nashville for years....

and now there is no Davis-Kidd...

I grew sad because I realized I will probably never get to meet her.

But then I thought...

"Maybe she's coming to Louisville..."

maybe somewhere close by...

I'll drive...

so I clicked on her schedule...

and I see...

Nashville, TN!!

She's coming to Vanderbilt!!!!

I'm so excited!

Seriously...so excited!

Can you tell?

Excited!

I'm going to get to meet her!

I just can't even think now...

but believe me...

when I finally get to meet her...

you will know!

Because I'm excited!

Renee


Friday, January 28, 2011

It Was A Wonderful Day...

41 years ago.

Today is Hubby's Birthday!

This is Hubby.



His name is Patrick but...

Dinky named him Hubba Bubba.

Don't ask.

It's a Dinky thing.

So I thought I would introduce you to him with a few facts about him.

1)  He is Husband #1
     he is also only and current husband
     but...
     I have a list if anything ever happens.
     It consists of some of the following:
                      a) Aragorn...Lord the Rings movies...complete with costume
                      b) a teenage fantasy
                      c) a hockey player
    *I have omitted all names to protect the innocent
  **#1 husband is aware of said list

2) He knows stupid facts.
    No.  I am not calling him stupid...
    far from it.
    He's very intelligent.
    But he retains facts that other people seem to filter out...
    and I hate playing Trivial Pursuit with him because I cheat...
    and still lose.

3) He knows the entire dialogue to Wayne's World.
     Yes.
     And I still married him.

4) He imagines himself The Great Outdoorsman.
     He grew up in Detroit.

5) He also secretly fantasizes about becoming Bruce Wayne...
    aka Batman.
    ssshhh...
    don't tell him I told you that.

6) He is my balance.
    His calmness to my excitability...
    his logic to my imagination...
    his practicality to my impulsiveness.
    He is my better half...
    the reason I'm complete.

7) I love him more today than the day I married him.

8) He was born 41 years ago today...
    And I wasn't here yet...
    but it was a wonderful day.

The kids and I worked on cards for him yesterday during what will hopefully be our last snow day this winter...



 They did their own thing...

  
Haley made him a bookmark...

she sees us as the Partridge Family...

(we laminated and added ribbon after this photo)


Dinky wanted to use a bunny...


He drew on the inside...

he likes girls...

he only knows how to write his name...

he's 4.


Robert wanted to use an animal...

he thinks the stamping looks like there's shadows and claws...

the wolf is supposed to be howling...

"Have an ooouwwooo standing birthday"...

(he seriously came up with this idea all on his own.  Swear...I did not help him.)

 


but his way is so much cuter!


This is from Hunter.

Yes...

I did it for her.

And I so ripped off Dawn McVey's post today...

that sweet girl hadn't had it posted for 30 minutes before I was doing my best to CASE it.

I didn't have the same supplies...

had to improvise a little...

but maybe she won't be embarrassed by my attempt.

Go here to see the real thing...

she does it so much better.

Forgot to photo to photo the inside of Hunter's card but it read...
               To the world you may be one person
               But to me you are the world

She's seriously a Daddy's Girl.

Here's my card for him...


and the inside...


Don't know if I really like it...

I could have done some things differently...

but me and the pig had already been fighting over his color...

and I was too tired to start over.

Oh!

Another hubby fact!

He's a romantic...

married to the most unromantic woman in world...

(Isn't that supposed to be reversed...?)

and I've never given him a serious card in almost 20 years of knowing him.

We had chocolate cake...

chocolate marble cheesecake...

Double Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream...

and you're thinking Hubby's favorite flavor is chocolate...

Nope.

It's lemon.

So we also made him these...



so simple...

recipe below.

Chocolate is #1 sons favorite flavor...

okay...

he takes after me...

and he picked it all out!

January 28th was...is...

a wonderful day for us...

hope yours was too!



  
Supplies:  All supplies PTI unless noted
                   All cardstock: PTI
                   Bookmark, Cards #1, 2 & 3 stamp sets:  Little Bitty Bird,
                   TT Valentine's, TT Halloween and Inside & Out Birthday
                   Card #4 stamps: Whippersnapper
                   Dies: PTI Bookmark, Card #4 Nestabilities
                   Patterned Paper: Card #3 October Afternoon
                   Misc.: Brads, patterned paper #4, SU markers, Copics

Recipe:

1 flavored cake mix (any flavor you like: Strawberry, Chocolate, Orange, Lemon)
1 small tub Cool Whip (thawed)
1 egg.

Preheat oven 350.  Combine all ingredients and drop by small scoop onto sprayed baking sheet (I prefer Pampered Chef's baking stone for these). Bake for 5-7 minutes, do not brown! Take out of oven and let set on baking sheet for about one minute, then remove to cooling rack.  Sprinkle with powered sugar.
These are soft and gooey and so simple and delicious!

NOTE:  I did not help with making any of the kids things for Hubby except for cutting...and of course for Hunter.  They did it all: layout, colors, stamping, everything.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm Guilty...

of judging a book by it's cover.

I love a gorgeous cover.

A quirky title.

They get me every time.

Sometimes...I get taken.

The cover is the best thing about it.

And sometimes I find treasures.

This is one of those treasures...



I bought this book the night it was released a few years ago...

based solely on the cover and title.

I love the title.

I love the cover...

I love this book.

Maybe it's because I identified so well with the main character, Catherine Grace.

I know what it's like to grow up in a small town...

with a little, but not much more, than a Dairy Queen.

I remember wanting to get out...

and I was going to live such a big life...

big city...

big plans...

big life.

And well...life happened.

I met a guy.

He directed me out of a parking spot.

He had beautiful blue eyes.

I married him.

And I did escape this small town...

he took me to a big city...

and I cried all 800 miles of that journey.

I cried every time I came home...

every time it was time to go back.

And after a few years...

when we started a family of our own...

there was no other place I could ever imagine raising my children...

than home.

But just like Catherine Grace...

the place my heart called home was longer the home my heart remembered.

Life had happened.

Susan did not know me when she wrote this book...

but yet...

she knew me.

We became friends after meeting...

long story...

but I swear to you there was no stalking involved.

Just common interests.

Seriously...

4 kids = too tired to do anything illegal or immoral.

She is a doll and she does not know I'm writing this...

but she has been on my mind lately...

and just the way my mind works...

(no.  I can't possibly begin to explain that one...I don't understand myself)

I'm now telling you about her book.

I read depending on my mood...

and I've been in fantasy...

then thriller...

moods lately.

I need calm.

I need quirky characters.

And nothing does quirky better than a Southern novel.

OK...

the Irish are pret-ty close.

But if you like sweet, Southern stories that will make you laugh...

make you cry...

I highly recommend giving this one a go.





Note*  Cards tomorrow.  It's Daddy/Hubby's b-day...me and the kiddies have been busy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Gonna Take 2...


These are my girls.

They're twins.

Identical.

And I can't talk about one without talking about the other...

they came as a package...

but yet, they do not live identical lives.

Haley is in 7th Grade...

Hunter is in Life Skills.

They attend different schools...

Haley at one of our local middle schools...

Hunter at the school for the blind.

They were 13 weeks premature...

27 weekers.

We spent 95 days in a NICU...

not knowing until the very last one if we would ever bring Hunter home.

It was Twin to Twin Transfusion....TTTS for short.

And though far from accurate...

the only way I know how to explain it in a way most people...

without medical knowledge...

can understand is, it's the last step before conjoined twins.

I had an extremely severe case...

and statistically I should have never been able to have my girls...

they should have never survived.

I could be here for hours talking about how small they were at birth...

1 lb., 2 lbs...

all of the complications...

there are stories within stories with all that...

but instead...

I just want you to know them.


Haley is like every other young teenager out there...



trying to figure out who she is...

who she wants to be...

a child beginning the journey into adulthood.

She's extremely intelligent...

artistic...

loves to read and wants to be an author/illustrator when she grows up.

She plays the piano...

loves giant pickles...

hates math...

is starting to discover boys...

and has the ability to be perfectly serious while causing you to lay on the floor in laughter.

She's all her own.
  

Hunter is blind with cerebral palsy.



She cannot walk unassisted...

she didn't speak until she was almost 5 years old...

and I have never heard her spontaneously tell me she loves me.

She is susceptible to infections...

and statistically I will lose her to pneumonia...

so we are cautious with every cough, every runny nose.

She will never live independently...

never know the freedom of driving for the first time...

she will never know the blessing that is motherhood.

But she loves without conditions...

finds laughter and joy in the everyday...

has a smile that can light the darkness of night...

and a giggle that is so musical...

I imagine it's a sound that can only come straight from heaven's angels.

She is all her own.

 
I am blessed beyond measure...

the joy of healthy children...

the love of a special needs child.

They are twins...

genetically identical...

but they will live completely different lives.

Haley...

upon the birth of our oldest son...

and realizing not all babies come in pairs...

once asked why her and Hunter are twins.

And I simply told her...

"God said this life is going to be so special...

so incredible...

it's going to take 2 to live it".


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We Walk Different Paths...


If you are visiting here tonight for the PTI Blog Hop...
welcome and thanks for stopping by!
This is my first hop...ever!
And I'm still tweaking this little patch of blogosphere real estate (the pumpkins...) 
But I hope you'll enjoy yourself and stay for a while...
maybe even come back for another visit!
The challenge was to use a set that has never seen ink...or has been gathering a little dust...
Got this beauty over the Holidays and it's just been waiting for the right reason to show it a little love...
I think this occasion fits it perfectly.




She is a Grandmother.

My youngest is in pre-k.

She is a very liberal Democrat.

I am a conservative Independent.

She has lived and traveled all over the world...

taught school children in China.

And except for a few months living in a neighboring town while my husband served in the military...

then a few short years outside of Baltimore at another post...

I have lived in the same town that I was born.

I am a Christian.

And to be quite honest I don't know if she is an atheist...

and agnostic...

or even a Buddist...

but I do know we do not see eye to eye on religion.

We are so different...

sometimes at severe extremes...

but she is my friend.

She is someone who I look at with respect and admiration...

for the life that she has led..

the experiences she has had...

and I don't know anyone who has a bigger heart...

or more tenderness...

than she possesses.
 
And you have to wonder how two people so at odds with one another might come together...

how we managed to become friends...

and yet it was so simple...

so easy...

over our shared love of...

books.

Now...if only all the problems in the world could come together over a cup of coffee...

a glass of wine...

and a book.

She is moving away...

and I understand all the reasons for this...

but I will miss her.

She has touched my life in many ways...

and I am grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me to know her...

and I hope this card will express just that to her...
 





We may choose to walk different paths...

but we're really not so different...

we are friends.





Supplies List: All supplies PTI, unless noted, as follows
                     Cardstock: New Leaf, True Black & Stamper's Select White
                     Stamp set: YOF Morning Glories
                     Ribbon: True Black Party Plaid
                     Ink: SU Basic Black
                     Markers: Copics
                     Dies: Nestabilities

Monday, January 24, 2011

Honey...

Sweetie...

man that I married...

love of my life...

the-reason-that-Bonnie-Tyler's-Total-Eclipse-of-the-Heart-plays-in-my-head-complete-with-standing-on-the-edge-of-a-cliff-wind-whipping-my-hair-like-a-bad-80's-soundtrack-every-time-you-walk-into-the-room...

don't read this.

I mean it.

Stop.

You don't want to know.

And it will be so much easier to just never lie to you if you just never ask the questions.

So...love you.

Bye.

Now...

that hopefully we're alone...

I won some blog candy from Ellen Hutson a couple of weeks ago....




Beautiful papers...don't you agree?

I love the front one...

Kitschy Kitten from Melissa Frances...

it has GINGHAM!!!

I love gingham.

Give me, give me, give me gingham!

I'm begging for it over on PTI (along with others...maybe you?) and I just know they're going to answer those prayers this year because it doesn't matter where I find it, how much I buy...

I have yet to find a red to perfectly match my favorite Pure Poppy.

So...

I won these gorgeous papers and now...

I'm scared to use them.

Why?

Well...because upon receiving them...

opening the box and oogling all the prettiness...

I realized...

I am in deep, desperate need of...

patterned papers.

I have a few...

but very few.

And most are Holiday themed.

And it doesn't matter how much I may love it...

Christmas paper just doesn't work on a birthday card in the middle of July.

So...I need to go shopping.

And I need to fill this void in my stash that I just truly never really realized...

or thought about...

until I won some.

And the love of my life...?

He really doesn't need to hear this...

it's going to cost him and I have not been married to this man...

bled for him giving birth to his children...

listened to Bonnie Tyler in my head...

for almost 19 years without learning one little thing...

the less he knows...

the stronger our marriage.

And really...

if he never knows to ask the question...

am I expected to give an answer?





*Note*  I realize that some prefer full disclosure of all information in their marriage and I think that's wonderful.  I usually do tell him everything...even things he has absolutely no interest in...things he really doesn't want to know.  But when I know his first response is going to be "WHAT?!"...I find it's best to avoid all topics that generate that response.
I'm not a bad wife...
I just consider myself "learned"...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mama Always Said... (2nd Post)

life is like a box of chocolates.
                            Forest Gump





While this little blog is still new...

and I'm still writing on it...

I thought I would explain why I decided to call my little space It's A Patchwork Life.

Though I do not disagree with Mama...

you never know what you're going to get...

I believe life is also like a quilt.

And we are working on this quilt every day of our lives.

We start this quilt the day we are born...

and it is finished the day we die.

Every memory is a square...

a patch on this quilt.

And someday, as we are hopefully older...

and wiser...

we are able to look back and see our lives in the form of this quilt.

We will be able to wrap ourselves inside it...

to be warmed, comforted and to relive the memories of our lives.

Some of these patches will be bold...

bright colors...

I imagine them to be shiny and silky to the touch.

They are the fun.. 

happy moments of our lives.

Some will be pastel or neutral colors.

They will be soft...

smooth to the touch...

the calm, peaceful moments they represent to our lives.

And then... 

there will be the dark patches...

rough...

course in texture...

just like the painful memories of illness...

and loss... 

those dark patches are to our lives.

Life, when fully lived...

when fully assembled...

will look like a patchwork quilt.

And this is my life...

one moment...

one patch at a time.

Renee


Let's Talk...

paper, scissors, glue.

It's been one week since I started my little corner of this real estate world...

and one of my intents for doing this is to share my hobbies...

one of those being...

cardmaking.

I've shared a couple of cards but haven't really talked much about it; what I like, how I do this...

so today I'm taking a few minutes and I'm talking paper.

Most of what you see me do will be from Papertrey Ink...

here's a very small sample of their goodies...



 

And a little sample of some cards I made for a friend using one of my favorite PTI sets...


(I saw cards very similar on another blog but cannot remember whose that may be...if it is you...please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due)

I found them last Spring...

became addicted to their paper...

seriously...

the BEST out there...

ordered my first stamp set in August and have never looked back since.

If you're visiting from the PTI forum...I don't have to sell you on their attributes and the benefits of their products...you know.

But if you've stumbled across this little corner and you like crafting...

I honestly have nothing bad to say about PTI.

And not because they're paying me not to...

they're not...

it's just not there to say.

Exceptional product...exceptional value...exceptional customer service.

Oh!  Wait!  I thought of a negative.

I have yet to win an I-Want-It-All package during release.

Seriously...

I'm gunning for one!

Just like a 1000 other people...

but hey!

Someone's going to win...

let's just hope it's me...one month.

Or two...

and I won't even begin to discuss what would happen if that happened!

Go ahead...

you can thank me for that.

Because I love PTI and believe in the quality of their product...

it will be a lot of what you see here.

But they're also my good side...

my soft...

kind side...

I have another side.

It's called Whippersnapper.

And they get me.

They get my wicked...

sometimes-unmentionable-unless-I-know-you-better-than-your-own-Mother...

sense of humor.

Now, in all fairness...

they have beautiful stamps too...cute, funny, serious...a very broad selection...

but I tend to go to them when the mood just needs to be lightened.

And lets face it...we all have those days.

A little sample of some Whippersnapper.


And another...



I apologize for the picture quality...

again...
Photoshop for Dummies...

taunts me daily.

Now you can see I do do cards...

and you know a little of what you can expect...

And now you're asking yourself just who would I send the above card to and for what reason...

you're not alone...

Hubby asked the same question when I completed it...

and I never paused when I answered...

"A wedding".

Renee

Supplies:  Photo #1  All Supplies PTI

               Photo #2  All Supplies PTI unless noted
               Ink- SU
               Corner and flourish stamps- misc.

               Photo #3  Cardstock- SU
               Stamp- Whippersnapper
               Ink- SU
               Patterned paper, button and ribbon- misc.

               Photo #4  Cardstock- SU
               Stamps- Whippersnapper
               Patterned paper, ribbon and ink- SU

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'm Addicted...




to Mtn Dew.

I love Mtn Dew.

I love Mtn Dew so much I'm on a first name basis with my Pepsi Man.

OK...

that may also be because his wife taught my daughter 5th Grade Math....

and we're in a book club together...

and I go to church with her grandmother and aunts...

and someday we may be related because my Dinky (if you don't know who Dinky is...go here) is in love with her younger cousin and he says they're going to get married and go to Paris.

She's going to get a job to pay for it.

He doesn't want to work.

They're 4.

But I do love my Dew.

There's just nothing better on a hot, humid, Southern day than an ice-cold-in-a-can-straight-from-the-fridge Mtn Dew.

In the Spring...when TN was flooding and my husband was trapped in Nashville when the interstate flooded and had to be shut down...

and I was worried when they showed on the news a very pregnant woman who had to be airlifted to the hospital because she was in labor was actually a very dear friend of mine who was due at any time and I couldn't understand why she would wear those horrible shorts with those ugly shoes...

really couldn't understand why she would even own those ugly shoes and had plans to have a very serious talk with her when she recovered from labor about her choice in shoes...

but during all of this and not knowing when dear hubby would even be able to come home and since I had had plans of actually going to the grocery that day when he came in from work because it was just rain and I didn't think I had needed to stock up just in case we would need an ark to get around...

the first thing I did upon learning he wouldn't be coming home that day...

was to run to the fridge...

and count my supply of Dew.

It was not good.

Only 6 cans.

I'm pretty sure I had my first experience of how a junkie feels...

panic...

desperation...

and in my mind I was running through different ways that I could solve my Dew shortage...

and finally decided that it would just be easiest to have the National Guard airlift my Pepsi man with a load of Mtn Dew to me for the safety of my precious children, who were trapped in the house with me, before I made Jack Nicholson in The Shining look like a former Boy Scout who just won Father of the Year for the 10th year running.

Yeah...

I'm addicted.

Renee

Note:

That actually wasn't my friend being airlifted while in labor...

thank goodness too...

those shoes were really ugly.

Friday, January 21, 2011

We Call Him Dinky...

This is my youngest...

my baby.

We call him Dinky.

I love this guy.

And I mean love in the...

"how-did-I-ever-live-without-you-and-all-the-joy-and-happiness-you-bring-to-me-I-can't breathe-my-heart-is-just-going-to-explode" way.

I can't help but smile when I look at him...

not just with my face...

but with my heart.

He's full of charm...

smiles...

and kisses...

a politician in the making.

Whenever he hears the word "clean"...

he runs and hides.

He cries and says he doesn't want to go to college...

he hasn't made it out of preschool yet.

He colors on every surface in our home...

walls...

trim...

furniture...

and you...

if you stay still long enough.

He has his own theme song...

    Din-ky, Dinky, Dinky Doodle...


    Lazy as a little noodle...


   Mommy loves him oodles, oodles...


   Din-ky, Dinky, Dinky Doodle.


It's sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle...

and he will sing it louder than anyone.

He loves his theme song.

We planned his name for weeks before he arrived...

we went over and over the "playground" test with it...

you know the one...

what does it rhyme with?

And now...

we hardly ever use it.

He acquired a nickname...

and as cute as it was when he was much younger...

he'll go to kindergarten next year.

He's growing up and I will have to stop calling him by this nickname less and less...

Dinky will not pass the playground test.

I'm going to miss his smile that greets me every morning when I wake him to his song...

I'm going to miss him singing it so loudly and proudly...

I'm going to miss the little boy that Dinky is.

His name is Ryder.

But for just a while longer...

call him Dinky.

Renee

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm A 3 Year Old...

when it comes to my eating habits.

Literally.

I am the guest you never want to have for dinner.

And honestly, I want to eat whatever is being prepared...

I really do...

but I can't.

I have eating habits that are excused in a 3 year old...

but someone my age...?

Let's just say...it's socially uncomfortable.

I'll explain...

I don't eat anything that has been mixed together...

this also includes all stews and casseroles...

and in my entire life I have never eaten Chinese, Mexican, Indian...

this list is so long we could be here all night so we'll just assume you get the idea.

Really.

I don't eat any of these things.

I consider myself a basic meat and potatoes girl.

In fact, the more simple the dishes...

the more options there are.

Chicken.

I love chicken...

and as long as it's not buried in something...

I'll eat it.

Fish.

Southern fried catfish...

you just can't get any better than a Southern fish fry and if you have never experienced it...

well...you're missing one of the best meals of your life and you just need to put it on your bucket list because no one should leave this earth without experiencing it before they go.

My mouth is watering just thinking of it...

Steaks, burgers, roast...

simple food.

That's what I like.

But I'm also getting tired of it.

Seriously...

can you just get tired of eating?

And my poor hubby...

I married a man who will try any dish, eat anything...

my polar opposite.

So just imagine how tired he is of my limited meal options...

Seriously... pity him.

And I love him with all my heart, I really do and would do anything for him...

except try new foods.

It is the proverbial line in the sand in our marriage...

he tries to get me to cross it...

I run screaming.

So imagine how shocked he was when I happened upon Pioneer Woman a few weeks ago...

I read her daily now...

love her photography...

and there was a food post containing a dish that I said I might actually like to try.

What?!!

Me?

Try a "new" dish?

I thought I was gonna break something trying to get that man off the floor.

But I meant it...

and I've tried it.

And it's good.

Here it is...

Bacon and Parmesan Pasta.

My food photography is sorely lacking...

1) by the time I got dinner done it was already pitch black out and I had no natural light source

2) I've never actually taken pictures of food before

3) I have Photoshop...but I don't know how to use it to clean this up

4) I bought Photoshop for Dummies...it's on my table

it taunts me daily.

So go to Pioneer Woman to see a good photo of this dish

and get the recipe.

Here's the link:  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/01/goldmine/

And thanks to a woman living on a cattle ranch in the middle of OK...

my husband is a happy man tonight.




Note:  I substituted the penne pasta for bowtie, just because I prefer it.  It's delicious either way!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Love Snow

I love snow.

I love how clean and crisp a new fallen snow can make the world look.

How peaceful it makes the world seem...

I love snow...

for about 10 minutes.

Then I realize that snow means...

rushing to the grocery like a throng of teens rushing the stage during a rock concert and fighting the masses for the last loaf of bread and gallon of milk.

And why do we do that? 

Why milk, bread and eggs?

Why not chocolate?

Snow means...

no school.

Maybe not for everyone around the country...

but if you're in the South like we are...

there won't be school.

Snow means...

being confined inside with people that on any other given day you cherish any time spent together but when it's white, wet and cold outside...

it feels like a prison sentence.

You beg for prayers...

or drugs.

And as I learned last winter during a particularly long stretch of snow days...

sometimes you need both.

And on that, all I can ask is...

did you know that a little one's nails are so thin that when they poke you in the eye during one of your many "discussions" over picking up their toys, they can literally take a piece of that eye with them?

Neither did I.

But I'm much wiser now...

Prayers and drugs people...

prayers and drugs.

We have just came off a week of snow days and the weatherman is saying that word again for tomorrow...

I could become an endangered species if this weather continues...

much like these guys...


But I'm going to take it in stride...

I'm gonna hide from the kids.

I'm going to hide and disappear in Dublin...fighting the Fae.

(if you don't understand that comment...read yesterday's post)

I'm going to dream of my Southern Summer that I know is not far away...

heat...

humidity...

and frizzy hair.

Renee

Supplies:  card stock from PTI
                patterned paper from October Afternoon
                stamp from Whippersnapper
                markers by Copic
                ribbon, brads and embellishments: misc.















 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Best Friend Is...

...a person who will give me a book I have not read.
                                                                Abraham Lincoln


One.  I love quotes.

Two.  I love this quote.

And today...

my best friend is...

the UPS man.

Today...brown is beautiful.

I was so excited when I saw that big, brown box on wheels turning into my drive because I knew he was 1) coming to see me and not hold my package hostage because of the weather...
and 2)

he was bringing me a box.

And on the side of this box was written simply...

amazon.

I love when amazon sends me things.

Yes...

I have to pay them to do it but still...

it's a box.

From amazon.

And I have been waiting almost 1 1/2 years for this box...

And here is the treasure this box contained...


The 5th and final installment in the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning.

Isn't this cover gorgeous?

Now, this is not a cup of tea meant for everyone...

it's not my normal cup...

but I discovered this series a few years ago, became immediately addicted and have been eagerly anticipating the answers to all my questions...

Who is Barrons?

What is Barrons?

Does Mac defeat the Fae and avenge her sister's death?

Can Mac and Barrons put the world back to "right"?...

Do Mac and Barrons ever stop fighting and just get together?

If you are reading this series too, write me when you finish and we will dish.

If you are not reading this series...

and are now wondering if you should...

I ask you only if you are an adult Twilight fan?

Have you read the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse series?

Do you love Sookie and her paranormal relationships?

If you are/do and are over the age of 21 and a legal adult...then I can only recommend that you read...

no! Devour this series...

because Sookie has nothing on Mac and the Fae.

But I do warn...this series was not written for the young.

This is an adult series.

And if you decide to take a chance...let me know.

Now...I'm off to get a cup of latte...get in some comfy jammies...

and settle in with 600 pages of purely guilty pleasure.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Blessings...


We give blessings for so many things...

we give blessings for our food...

for the weather...

for our health.

And in the South

we even bless your heart.

When you sneeze...

when you stumble and fall.

We'll even bless you when we question your intelligence...

your beauty...

or lack of.

Example:  
Poor Mabel's boy...I just do not think he realizes that having 3 hairs on the top of your head does not constitute a hairstyle...
Bless his heart...
but he sure does try, doesn't he?

Really.

This is a normal conversation.

And I grew up hearing similar comments about various people...

situations...

my whole life.

Some of these blessings are actually covers or makeshift apologies for gossip...

I realize this...

but some are truly given with the heart.

They are worries for a person...

thoughts of that person or family when they have received devastating news...

the loss of a job...

the death of a loved one...

a diagnosis.

And in my heart, when I hear these stories of people...

some near and dear to me, some strangers across the country

I truly hope that the person, or persons, will be showered with blessings.

Blessings of hope...

blessings of comfort...

blessings of memories...

old ones..

and the ones yet to be made.

I hope that this card expresses just that...

that I am wishing a rain of blessings upon them.




Supplies:  All supplies PTI unless noted
                Patterned paper: Memory Box
                Ribbon and embellishments: Michael's

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ok...Here It Goes

Ok...

I'm joining this world of blogging...

claiming my own little corner of this world.

Hold on!

It may be a bumpy ride.

First...wanted to do this because I discovered stamping about a year ago

and I want to be able to join in on the fun stuff like Blog Hops and such.

Now...

I will probably show you more about what not to do than ever give you tips and show you amazing cards and projects...

but I promise

I'm going to try my very best to waste as few trees as possible.

And knowing this about myself beforehand...

I realized no one would ever join me if all I ever did was show you evidence of my pathetic attempts...

ok, maybe for a laugh you might decide to pop in...

so I decided my little corner of this world would be a little bit of everything I love.

My chaotic family life...

1 husband...4 kids.

WARNING: you will be meeting this family soon.

Papercrafts.

Recipes.

Though again, I have to warn you...

I'm not a good cook.

I do love chocolate though.

So maybe I'll just give you lots of dessert recipes...

that sounds good.

Because life is short, eat dessert first.

And last, though certainly not least...

Books.

I love, love, love, love  books...

all kinds of books.

Fiction...thrillers...fantasy...dramas

my list goes on.

And because I'm much better at books than paper, cooking and controlling my kids...

I'm going to start this journey...

with a book.

And this is it...



The Life You Longed For by Maribeth Fischer.

I love this story.  Just read it again the other day.

But I warn you (gosh..I'm giving you a lot of warnings tonight), it will tear your heart out.

Inside cover:


"When every mother's worst nightmare becomes Grace's reality, she must examine her entire life- from the wrong choices to the right mistakes".

Grace is a mom.  She's not perfect.  But she loves her children.  Most importantly she loves Jack.
Her youngest child diagnosed with a deadly disease.
And when she's accused of Munchausen by Proxy, she realizes that she also wouldn't trade her life for the road not taken.

Maybe it's because I have a special needs child that I identified so closely with Grace.  I don't excuse all her actions, but I do think I understand them.
I think I relate to questioning doctors, wanting answers, because isn't that what we go to them for?
I think I relate to the frustration she feels, the helplessness against something you just want to fix, to make better.
I know I relate to the fears.

Sometimes I questioned the language and situations the author used with Jack...but yet the way she draws you into this story, the way she flows, I literally read this story for the first time within hours of receiving.  I could not put it down.

And I enjoyed the revisit...with just as many tears.

So if you like dramas...Maribeth Fischer will rival Kristin Hannah, Jodi Picoult and will not disappoint.

Ok, how was that review?

Are you interested?  Want to read it now?  Check it out at amazon.

I don't work for them...

I just give them a lot of money.

That's it for now.

I hope someone will read this...besides my sweet hubs.

Renee

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Under Construction

Be up and going really soon...
Check back!

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