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December 2008

writin' on a wednesday!!

okay, folks ... here it is: the first writin' on a wednesday! this will be a bi-weekly challenge, for as long as you want to play. we could stop next week, for all i know. but prizes WILL be involved, so i suggest you stick it out a little longer than that ...

so for challenge one: TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF!

one thing i learned in the process of writing "your words, your story" and talking with other scrappers, is that we place so much pressure ourselves to make our scrap pages and blog entries perfect: entertaining, witty, heartfelt, grammatically correct, you name it. but when that need for perfection gets in the way of just getting it done, well, that's just not right. we're missing out on getting the stories written.

so for this challenge, remove all pressure from yourself. i suggest you find some lined scrapbook paper, or a journaling card, or type if that works best for you, and just get some thoughts down. don't stress over words, don't stress over picking the right font, just get some simple thoughts and memories down.

take this page, for example. harper and her friend, kate, at the park last summer. nothing monumental happened, but i still wanted to share some memories of the day in a quick and easy way:


patterned papers, letter stickers, and journaling card are all collage press

so there's your challenge: keep it simple and just get it written!! then, link me up here in the comments before 11:59 p.m. next tuesday, and i'll draw a winner next wednesday for a copy of my book!!

and have a happy thanksgiving!!

this and that

trying to get ready for the thanksgiving onslaught tomorrow. i think we're in pretty good shape - got the groceries, minus the turkey, last night. will pick up the bird this afternoon, then vacuum our room and harper's and the basement, after we move all the tile and fixtures to another corner of the room. purged a ton of toys and books from the sun room and harper's room while she was at preschool ... man, that felt good!

need to print out some photos for a project.
need to blanch the green beans.
need to bake the sweet potatoes and the pumpkin bars.
need to buy flowers.
need to find all the bedding and wash it for the guests.

contractor was here yesterday and today and got the new shower area all sheet-rocked. walls!! i'll take any progress i can get at this point. sounds like some tiling might even happen next week ... hallelujah!

marc DID make the early flight on friday (thanks to all of you who prayed!!). he was the last one allowed on a very full flight. no first-class upgrade like he usually manages to get, but still ... he got on the plane. they could have strapped him into the bathroom for all i care; he was HOME by 7:30 p.m.

speaking of planes, marc told me last night he had good news and bad news. the bad news, he said, was that all the dots on the calendar are days he'll be gone in december. uh ... it was EVERY day except four, not including weekends. good news? are you kidding me? then he pointed to the week before xmas, the week before we take off for 10 days in indiana, and he said that he's flying my mom up that week to lend a hand and hang out with the kids and me. wow. seriously ... he thought ahead, checked the flights, called my mom and worked it out, and then told me ... he knew he had to be armed with a plan before he showed me his december travel schedule. ha ha. but still ... wow. what a guy.

xmas shopping is moving right along. i'm doing a lot of "click and ship" so that the presents are in indiana waiting for us ... i tell you, that's the ONLY way to do xmas.

speaking of, henry has his heart set on this lego set for xmas. i told him that mommy and daddy are not made of money, and how 'bout he ask the grandparents and aunts & uncles for cash for xmas and birthday and try to save up for it. then the little bugger says, "well ... i guess i'll just ask santa. he always gets what i ask him for!" d'oh! crap. he pulled the santa card. now, this kid's faith in santa is dubious at best, but he's not quite ready to let it go. but this might just be the year, when there isn't a $400 lego set under the tree. our rule is that we try to get the kids whatever the one item is that they asks santa for whilst sitting for a photo op after the macy's holiday story. but thankfully, they've always been easy. (the year henry wanted green socks, for example.) this year, though? ugh. when i said daddy and i would foot the bill for half if he came up with the other half, he said no thanks ... something about wanting something to play with on xmas morning. drat. well, no time like the present to learn to deal with disappointment.

then there's harper, who wants earrings that play music. i've googled ... can't find such a thing. ruh-ro. both kids are gonna feel santa-letdown this year.

wonder if santa will put that 5d mark II under the tree for me ... ? something tells me the skinner house will be 0 for 3 on christmas morning. good thing marc bought himself a car this year ... he's already take care of.

have you seen "miss pettigrew lives for a day"? oh my ... loved this movie! but then there was michael ... the pianist with the soulful eyes and lovely accent. i was in love. but then ... why does he look so familiar? it was killing me. then - BAM! pushing daisies. ned. it was him. don't you love it when you finally remember something that's been bugging the heck out of you?

oh, and i spent the weekend scrapping at a great little house in waconia, minn., with my friend anne-marie and a whole list of new friends. i got crafty just for fun. man, it felt good!!

Alliwantforxmas Happiness

Harperlates Mypumpkins


there were two others, but i can't share either. one is for the may/june memory makers, and the other is for something else ... but i can't share that just yet. maybe tomorrow. or the next day.

also - tomorrow is writin' on a wednesday day, so come back! see the challenge! do the challenge! maybe win a book!!








alrighty ... until then, happy cooking and cleaning and grocery shopping and list making and liquor shopping and midol popping and deep, cleansing breathing and chocolate sneaking and ... see you tomorrow.

can we just say a little prayer ...

that marc can manage to catch the 4:40 plane home from denver tomorrow instead of having to wait for the 6:30? because then he could be home by bedtime. and the last six days could officially be behind me.

six days of harper screaming, crying, whining, scratching her brother, saying she has to pee then not peeing then crying that she has to pee then not peeing then keeping this up during the entire trip to and from henry's school even though we get out and try at each stop ...

six days of the contractor getting not much done, my bathroom still just stud walls, walls that used to have tile on them, and a few patches of black mold (*shudder*), and now his brother-in-law has been sent home for his final days so i highly doubt i'll see any action on the bathroom until AFTER thanksgiving. (not that i'm irritated that his b-i-l is dying ... that's a horrible thing.) so now i have LESS bathrooms than last year. and all the stuff that is supposed to be IN the bathroom is in the basement ... in the exact area that marc's brother and wife are supposed to put their air mattress for bedtime. hmm.

six days of dealing with stuff like getting the towels i ordered for the downstairs bathroom (the one that isn't even remotely ready for towels) only to find that all the bath towels are a different color than the rest. so now it's either pay an extra $15 to expedite four bath towels here by thanksgiving so my in-laws can dry themselves off (because i got rid of all our old towels, bought four sets for the updated upstairs bathroom and was awaiting these other four sets for the downstairs), or ship them ALL back and find time to trek to macy's or somewhere for towels (because i've already checked target, bed bath & beyond, linens & things, etc. and no one has a color that will work).

six days of trying desperately to clean the house, but with every project the mess just seems to get bigger or shift to another room.

six days of having to catch up on a ton of laundry because we were without water for two of those days while the contractor got the new plumbing ready for the shower, then the very next day home depot called and said the faucet for the sink won't be here until DEC-friggin'-15!! so now ... take it all back, buy off the rack EXCEPT the shower which is already plumbed, or keep it all and deal with the fact this bathroom won't officially be done until the week before we leave for xmas??

six days is too much when you have no support system, no village to rally and lend a hand or at least a glass of icy gin & tonic, and a plate that is way too full of cleaning and contractors and preparing for thanksgiving and the onslaught of skinners.

next year, if marc says he's leaving the week before thanksgiving (because this is the second year in a row, remember), i will be telling him that the house and kids and meal prep are all his upon his return. i've had it.

so yeah ... marc needs prayer right now that he makes it ON THAT PLANE. oh yeah ... and passes the test so we don't have to do this week over.

now, i need to go take out the trash and recycling and then crash. because i know harper will be up a few times tonight. it's her MO when daddy's gone. the mess will still be here tomorrow.

egads!! it's wednesday, isn't it???


i was going to start the bi-weekly journaling writerly whatever today.


it's been one of those day.

okay - how's this: we start NEXT wednesday, giving you all of the holiday weekend to cogitate and notate and decorate. good? everybody happy? okay. next wednesday.

i might just eat a dark chocolate-covered pretzel and call it a night.

damn, it feels good to be a gangsta.

well, maybe not a gangsta. but "office space"/that song is in my head right now ... last night i was doing some christmas shopping for the men in my life on and saw all these brilliantly funny "office space"-inspired gifts (such as this), and then a few minutes ago i was browsing the memory makers web site and noticed that my book is being debuted this week (!!), then i thought, "hey ... i should blog all this to pimp my book!" ... and then "pimp" became "damn, it's good to be a gangsta." (my brain is frightening. i realize that.)

don't know what i'm talking about? here (... but only if you're immune to naughty words. or not at work.):

and then, to the pimpage: feast your eyes on this and this!! and some friends blogged, too! and i believe there is an interview going up tomorrow, possibly a q&a session on, and a giveaway!! so, so much ... gasp.


baby on the brain

sort of. not really.

i was talking to a friend (who shall remain anonymous) yesterday about whether her husband should go in for the big V ... she's pretty sure, but wanted to poll some others who declared themselves DONE. then last night (technically, 3 a.m. this morning, because harper woke up, we had a battle about cold medicine, then i started obsessing about our bathroom that probably won't be done by thanksgiving) i was blog surfing and found this quiz on molly's. more baby stuff. so taking a sign from the universe, here are my answers about my first experience on the baby train. feel free to play along on your own blog:

1. Were you married at the time?
of course


2. What was your reaction when you found out you were pregnant?
"uh ... what??"


3. How old were you?


4. How did you find out you were pregnant?
i felt "off," and having been hanging out on a "should i have kids?" message board, i was hyper aware of those "off" symptoms.

5. Whom did you tell first?


6. Did you want to find out the sex?
nope. we didn't care either way.

7. Due date?
feb 29, 2000 ... how cool would a new-millenium leap day baby have been??


8. Did you deliver early or late?
two weeks early


9. Did you have morning sickness?
if throwing up and dealing with hellacious heartburn all day long for four months = morning sickness, then yes. (little did i know, his sister would be even less fun to carry.)


10. What did you crave?
egg mcmuffins and blueberry waffles


11. Who irritated you the most?
i don't recall being irritated. then again, i don't recall much from about a 14 month period surrounding pregnancy and the first eight months of henry's life.


12. What was your first child's sex?


13. How many pounds did you gain throughout the pregnancy?
19 through week 35, then 23 unexplained pounds of water retention in weeks 36-37.5, at which point i popped out the kid


14. Did you have any complications during your pregnancy?
nothing serious, but the last two weeks had my doc perplexed and concerned


15. Where did you give birth?
fairview southdale, edina, minn.


16. How many hours were you in labor?
21 hrs


17. Who drove you to the hospital?


19. Was it natural or c-section?


20. Did you take medicine to ease the pain?
not until hour 17, when i realized that hours of hard labor got me to two whole freakin' centimeters. the nurse recommended an epi so i could relax, then i had to get a shot of nubain while waiting for the epidural to arrive. (again, i had no idea at the time that this would be my "easy" labor experience.)


21. How much did your child weigh?
8 lbs 14 oz


22. Did your child have any complications?
no. he was 9 and 9 on the apgars and cute as can be! though nursing turned out to be a no-go.


23. What did you name him/her?
henry edward ... a name fit for a king!


24. How old is your first born today?


25. Whom does your child look like?
me and marc's brother, oddly enough.



it's scrap'n time!

that's the name of my friend's kit club web site ... scrap'n time. i was being witty.

i was also being her guest designer for the month of november.

(see how i try to tie stuff together? with whatever tenuous threads i can find?)

the kit will go up this week, but i wanted to post some sneakies before then. just, because.

Guestdesigndetail1 Guestdesigndetail3
Guestdesigndetail2 Guestdesigndetail4

if you like crate paper's prudence line, you just might like molly's kit this month. that's all i'm sayin'.

we have a winner!!

i gave henry and his friend, gabby, the important task of picking a random number for me.

they pondered ...


they consulted ...


then they agreed on a number and henry went all spastic ...


their consensus:

number 54!! SUSAN!!!

I love to journal, in fact sometimes it takes over the page and I have to back it down some to accomodate the photos, etc... So many stories to tell... so little time ...

    * Commenter name: Susan
    * Commenter email:

** susan - i've e'd you twice!! please respond before noon tomorrow (tuesday) or i'll have to draw another name!! **

thanks to everyone, and come back wednesday when i start the bi-weekly challenge. there might be just be other books up for grabs ...

CLOSED!! alright, kids ... let's get this party started!!!

CLOSED!! thanks for all your input, guys!! the winner will be announced tomorrow (sunday), and the first journaling challenge will take place on wednesday!!


(yes, i realize i'm reusing the same photo from yesterday. but, really ... it works.)

the book is OUT!! i've heard from a couple of sources that it is actually shipping from places, so the time is here to get it into your hands for FREE!! well, a couple of lucky hands, anyway.

let's do this the fun way:

leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts on journaling. do you love it? hate it? struggle with it? embrace it? if you love it, tell me why! if you hate it, tell me why! let's discuss, because i'm going to use the info you guys give me to build the bi-weekly challenges that will start up NEXT WEEK! and you never know ... the challenges just MAY have prizes attached ...

so here we go! comment away (one per person, please), and i will randomly select the first lucky number on sunday!! contest closes at 11:59 p.m. EST saturday!

and truly, thank you for your support!