Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I got ROSES last night! 

My husband ... he's a keeper.

One step closer

Yesterday I took another step towards getting back into scrapbooking. I cleared out space in what was first known as the Scrap Room, then the Sewing Room, and shall now be referred to as simply MY ROOM. 

Husband's computer got booted (hehe, get it - booted?) to the desk in the dining room, a new layer of butcher block on the table top for doodling and designing, totes of memorabilia and photos located, stacked and ready.

I don't have the paper organization that I had before. This  
will have to do for now.

Obviously I have plenty of paper. Markers, pens, chalks, stamps, etc have been sitting around patiently waiting on me to return.

I still have plenty of embellishments.
Hopefully I have enough adhesives to get started, something I need to check on.

Since I haven't scrapped in so long who knows what new products are out there now. However, I must refrain from spending much money. I really need to use up what I have first.

Both boys albums are pretty full so I will need to get new ones. I will have to decide whether to continue with 3-ring binders (I don't think Michaels is still carrying my brand or the page protectors) or switch over to strap hinge. I also need to decide if I want to continue in 12x12 or switch back to 8.5 x 11. The smaller size won't hold as many photos but it's easier for scanning and sharing here on the blog.  I will also need to decide if I am  going to scrap in any kind of order ie by date, by kid, by event, etc.

Lot's of decisions to make but I'm determined to not get overwhelmed by it all, to simply work and enjoy myself while doing so. I also need to stop thinking and talking about it and JUST DO IT!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Twenty-four years and counting

Twenty-four years ago I married my sweetheart, a man that I had only known for sixty-six days .... and forty-nine of those days we lived fours hours apart. Some people thought we were crazy, a few worried that we were headed for disaster, and a couple secretly placed bets on whether or not the marriage would last. Hopefully by now everyone knows that this is the real thing, a union pre-destined by God and blessed beyond measured.

 We only gave our families one weeks notice for the impending nuptials. Dale's parents were visiting from Ohio and we knew we wanted his dad to perform the ceremony. We decided it needed to be this trip because we had no idea when they would be back down here and we didn't want to wait!
 Obviously I was focusing on my happy husband and not that someone was taking my photograph. Otherwise, I would have been making a goofy face. I hate having my picture taken.
 Don't we look happy?! I bet we were really looking at each other and saying "what a crazy pose, will they ever stop with the cameras?"

 We are gathered together before God and our witnesses .... Maid of Honor and Best Man. Frances was my best friend and roommate in college and afterwards. Ken was a friend that Dale made after moving to Atlanta. His bestest buddies, Sam and David, weren't invited to the wedding because .... well, we only had a week's notice!
 Here we are with the obligatory cutting of the cake photo. While every wedding must have a cake, what I really wanted for our reception were those cheese wafers. Man I love those things and you usually only get them at weddings, why is that?

The top layer of the cake was saved, to be brought out for our first anniversary. Imagine our dismay when we took it out of the freezer and it turned to mush. Thankfully the marriage has survived much better!
 We vowed to civilized when it came to feeding the cake.
 No face smashes allowed here, though that was a pretty big piece there, bub.
 We opened gifts. I learned real quick that it is a Frazier tradition that after each gift is opened you have to have your picture taken holding the item up for show. For the record, I hate this tradition! The gift was a much needed cookbook. I can't remember who gave it to us but obviously they knew me well and that I needed all the help I could get. I still pull that thing out regularly, so if you are the gifter .... thanks so much!
 Here's a shot of us with our parents. How come I'm the only one who looks halfway happy in this shot? And wow! Look at the size of those glasses being worn. Thank goodness that style is no longer the fashion.
 Dale, surrounded by the women of his life. Good luck buddy!
 My family. It looks like whoever (whomever? where's my English major husband when I need him?) took this photo was laying on the ground - no, there was no alcohol involved at this event.
 Dale's family minus the Connecticut branch. Look how wittle the nieces and nephews are. Rebecca actually had the chicken pox and for the most part was quarantined from the rest of the guests.

So there you have it. The beginning of twenty-four years and counting.

We been through a lot - four homes, two kids, six cats, two dogs, two churches, six jobs, two job losses, several years of pre-school, four years of public school, ten years of homeschool, six automobiles, numerous additions :) and subtractions :( of extended family members, countless friends, and unending blesses from above. And through it all, we are still going strong and looking forward to the years to come.

And for the record - my mother was so afraid when we announced that we were getting married in a week's time, that people would gossip. No worries, nine months later the joke was on them - we had a speedy marriage because we couldn't wait to start our lives together...and since then, there's been NO regrets!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I got an amazing and encouraging text message from my oldest son the other night.

After looking at a friend's scrapbook he said "....nothing against it but the one you made me is pretty awesome I realized. I never fully appreciated it at first but now ... I've realized how good you are at what you do. So yeah thanks" He also told me to keep at it and to keep him updated on whatever I do.

How's that for making a mom's heart swell!

I'm sad to report that I haven't actually done any scrapping in a couple of years. It's not for lack of photos or memories to capture, there's plenty of both. Unfortunately I became the victim of burnout and rather than totally give up on artistic endeavours, I switched gears and found a new mode of release.

Scrapbooking was more than just a hobby for me. It was a passion. It also became a pretty lucrative source of income. I guess you could say that too much of a good thing led to it's demise. Business took off and it wasn't unusual for me to find myself working on several books at one time.  However as time went on, while creating scrapbooks for others, I discovered myself totally ignoring my own. I couldn't justifying spending time on personal stuff while customer's photos got pushed to the side.

It didn't help that I had nothing to show for all the work I did. All the blood, sweat and tears, sorta like birthing pains, and then my "babies" went off to live in someone else's home. All of that along with the pressures of deadlines and eventually the scrapping-for-others business created total burnout.

Gradually the scrapbooking stuff got pushed to the side. As a natural born creative person I couldn't just stop being crafty. I found myself gravitating towards other venues, some of which have been chronicled here.

Before I knew it all the photos, paper, and embellishments were packed away and yarn, felt  and other fabrics took over . The sewing machine took center stage

The idea board filled up with ideas for bags , weavings took the place of "photos to be scrapped," and the Scrap Room suddenly became the Sewing Room.

At one point I began to think about scrapping again. I thought maybe going digital was the key. Unfortunately I didn't have the funds to buy the "right" software and using what I did have just didn't feel right. Using the computer didn't give me the same rush that I got when using paper and markers. I missed ribbons and buttons, paper piecing, and cutting out letters.

I recently discovered blogging and have used it as an outlet for chronicling my life, using old and new photos, journaling my thoughts and such. But again it's just not the same. I need something concrete to hold in my hands, something  I can pass on to my children and grandchildren. Once again I'm thinking about scrapbooking and wondering if it's time to give it another try. Getting the text from Ian certainly seems like a push in that direction.

However, if I'm going to start back scrapbooking something is going to have to happen in the Sewing Room. I will have to make room for all my "stuff" which calls for yet another reorganization of space. I can hear my family groaning now!

For right now, I think I'll just mull it all over. And bask in the praise of my kid.

Here are a few pages from his scrapbook. I'm too lazy to scan and stitch them, so you'll just have to deal with photos of pages. 

So, what do you think. Is it time to give scrapbooking another chance?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's officially Spring now but todays temps and the wind is making me think otherwise. I guess I've gotten spoiled being able to have the windows and doors open, wear short sleeves, and sleep with a fan on. I think I heard the all knowing meteorologist say that it's actually the right temps for the date - bah, humbug to him.

Getting the mail today made me realize though, that it really is Spring. Here's why
 Her name is Bella. For many years I'd plant azaleas out front. And every year they'd die. Except this one. She hung on, so I gave her a name.

Bella started out small but each year she grew. And more importantly, she didn't die.

After awhile I decided to give it another try. I guess Bella must have put out some good vibes because Lila lived!

 Lila is much smaller than Bella, and somewhat delayed in her blooming. Tonight there's a chance of frost. I hope those buds don't die before they have a chance to bloom.

Since I seemed to be on a roll for not killing plants, two years ago I gave it another shot. This time I was successful with twins!

Betsy and Tacy.

They're fraternal twins and Tacy  is smaller than Betsy .

The twins aren't close to blooming. Hopefully all the surrounding pine straw will help keep them warm tonight. Meanwhile, keep your fingers crossed for a successful bloom.

And now, what I really want to know .... do you think these girls will ever bloom at the same time?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This morning before the boys headed out for Indiana I checked the washer and dryer for missed clothes. Like most college kids, they always come home with a boatload of dirty clothes. It never fails, something inevitably something gets left behind ... usually because someone is rushing to get it done last minute. In most instances Ian is the culprit which comes as no surprise because his middle name is procrastination (not to mention his brother is too anal to let it go last minute).

Yesterday Ian had three loads of wash to do. With a full day of hanging out with his friend, watching tv, surfing the net, catching up on a bit of homework, and attending YAF (otherwise known as Young Adult Fellowship, aka hanging out and goofing off), he had little time to devote to doing his laundry. Guess who was up 'til the wee hours washing, folding, and packing. Guess who went to bed at a normal time. 

A lot of people think that if I were a good mom that I would do their laundry for them. True or not, I gave up that job years ago. My thinking is that I am preparing them to either (a) successfully live on their own, and/or (b) make a really good husband some day.

I stopped washing the boys clothes when their ages hit double digits. Do they always have clean clothes? No, they both usually wait until they have to resort to wearing dirty underwear or clothes that are old and ragged before tackling the job. Do they properly sort by color and wash accordingly? Not always, but more so now that they're paying for their own clothing and it suddenly matters more that the white T-shirt stay white and not become the pink T-shirt. Do they grab the clothes immediately out of the dryer and hang them up so they don't get wrinkled? Sometimes, but it usually depends on if there is another load waiting to be dried. Do they fold their clothes and put them away? One does, one doesn't. I'll leave it up to you to figure out which is which.

Sometimes it bothers me that they don't "do" laundry the way I think they should. But then I quickly remember, I don't have to do it so who cares "how" they do it as long as "they" do it .... right? I still cringe, however, when we're headed out in public and a shirt looks likes it's been slept in. It bugs the crap out of me when I can't walk into their room because of clothes laying everywhere.  It drives me bonkers when I go to use the washer/dryer and can't because someone is doing a marathon of laundry. And don't get me started on how annoying it is to hear the washer running at 3 a.m. and to find the kitchen heated up at 7 a.m because the dryer's been running through the night.

But then I remember - oh yeah, I didn't have to do it, so who cares?!

I also remember how quiet it is when the last of the laundry is folded, the car is packed up, and my two hulking man-boys are headed back to school. Suddenly it's just me and the animals puttering around the house. At dinner Dale and I eat and chat about our day but there is no lively, boisterous discussions around the dinner table. Afterwards we retreat into our routine of watching the boob-tube .... without boy plopping on my bed making fun of my shows or suddenly wanting to talk about life.

And then I get a little sad.
I find myself missing them.
And all their laundry.

Fortunately this time around it won't be so long before I see them again. Easter break is coming up in a month,   two weeks after that Dale and I will travel to Knoxville to see Sarah graduate, and then another week after that school will be out and they will be headed home for the summer.

Well one of them will, the other is taking off for a summer job in Seattle. We won't think about that right now.

For now, I'm reclaiming the washer and dryer and tackling the piles that are overflowing from our hampers. Oh boy, I can't wait! And apparently neither can this girl. It looks like she's ready to get started. It's her job to check for socks left behind and after that a little nap on the warm, vibrating dryer. Ahhhhh, what a life!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I've been away far too long

I can't believe I haven't blogged since March  8th, I've probably lost all five of my loyal readers. Sorry girls, (hubby doesn't count because he's never allowed to "leave" me) please forgive me and give me another chance.

I had this really bright idea that it was time to re-do Andrew's room. The last time he was home he said it was a kids room so I decided it was time to  "age it up."  My idea of redoing a room is to paint it and then add on any other little touches that time and money will allow.

Previously when I've tackled a paint job I've always felt like I needed to do it all in one day. Consequently I'd spend an entire day working and then spend several more days nursing sore muscles and an aching back and feet. Fortunately I've learned the error of my ways and decided this time I would avoid the agonizing  aftermath by taking it slow and doing it in steps. The result - ten work days and ten recovery days. The verdict is still out on whether or not this was the best plan.

Day one - take everything off the walls, wipe them down, and spackle holes. I canNOT begin to tell you how many holes were in the wall ... this child had a penchant for hanging anything and everything on the wall.  Day two - sand spackling, remove all small items from the room, and move furniture to the middle. Day three - begin rolling paint on the walls. Day four - finish rolling; edge all walls. This is the day that kills because of going up and down a ladder 9876 times, and scooting along the floor. It's probably a really good workout - but not for a 50+ year old woman who's in terrible shape. Day five - second coat on all the walls. Day six - paint the trim (absolutely, without a doubt, the worst job!). Day seven - after failing to come up with a good replacement material, remove the cornice board and patch the wall which was damaged in the process. Day eight - paint the repaired wall and go around the room touching up where, despite two coats of paint, there were still spots of red showing through. Day nine - painting the walls was so much fun let's paint furniture! Chest of drawers, TV stand, and night stand. Day ten - move all the furniture back in place, clean out the closet, and vacuum the nasty carpet.

Done! Just in time for the boy to get home. Before shot  sorry, it's the best I have at the moment. Side note, my mother was horrified when I painted the walls red... "no wonder he's ADHD, having to look at that!"

Here's the place where I should post photos of the finished results. Unfortunately I forgot to take any before  Hurricane Andrew blew through. I grabbed a few shots this morning and you're going to have to take them with a grain of salt and remember he's a college kid home on spring break!  It's never going to be magazine worthy. However it's a great improvement, trust me. Don't you think that's a nice manly color? We still need to put some stuff on the walls and hang curtains. There are also two major things that need to be done.

First, his desk needs to be painted  but before we paint the top needs to be repaired. Years of abuse, specifically bowls of drinking water left for kitties, has taken it's toll. For awhile now the worst of it has been hidden by a printer. Now that the printer is off at college, it's time to reclaim it and hopefully return it to it's original splendor. (heehee, do you think anyone ever used the word "splendor" when referring to this desk? Probably not!).

Second, as I was vacuuming only hours before he returned home, I discovered this  I primed the door (yes, it was RED too, what were we thinking?) but forgot to go back and finish painting it! Also, don't you think a new doorknob and light switch plate would look nice?

So there you go - this is what has been keeping me busy for the last few weeks. Add to it multiple visits to see the MIL who's been ill, a few minor craft projects, and just the regular day to day drudgery and it all adds up to the fact that I've had little energy or creative juices left for blogging. Hopefully that's all behind me now ... even though the other boy now wants to know when his room is getting a makeover!

Help me now!