Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Skelly Couple Goes to London

The moment you've all been waiting for..... you just didn't realize it!

The big reveal is here...

The Super Sweet Skelly Couple

Saskia's winning prize for being the first to answer my question correctly when I posted this. I hope you like it. I enjoyed making it very much. They will be headed to London tomorrow, Saskia!

And, I can't take any credit for the design. I actually purchased a book with patterns in it of super cute little zombie and medieval amigurumi creations. Now I'm off to make my own Skelly Couple to set out as part of my Halloween decor!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Note to Self: Check for Doggy Gifts

Oh.... my..... gosh, I have something rather embarrassing to share with you. You might remember when I posted about a shelf unit that Hubby and I decided to sell. We moved it into our formal dining area for possible Craig's List buyers to be able to see it easily, and then it could be easily moved right out the front door if a sale was made.

Let me first say that this shelf was in pristine condition. It had a couple of marks that I touched up with a stain marker from when we moved it from my mom's house to ours, but seriously it was in fine condition other than that.

Until we moved it.

You see, I have a little Chihuahua named Sushi. Sometimes she tinkles in the formal dining area. It's so small that I sometimes don't even find where she pottied. Well, our Doberman Axel has started to mark over her spots in that room. Yuck. I'm sure you can imagine the volume difference when comparing a Doberman's urine to that of a small Chihuahua. Yes, I'm talking instant stench and puddle factor with the potential to consume the formal dining area.

And that's where we moved the shelf unit. Before we realized what our dogs were up to, of course.

This weekend we finally had a buyer! Hurray! The couple had been dying to come over all week but couldn't make it until Sunday morning. We wiped down the unit with lots of furniture polish so that it would be as pristine as possible, ready for its new home.

As Hubby was helping Mr. Buyer Hubby load it up he noticed some spots along the side. Mr. Buyer Hubby noticed, too. My Hubby tried to very quickly clean off the "I know what the heck that is...." stuff before Mr. Buyer Hubby noticed, but to no avail. Mr. Buyer Hubby silently wiped a bit on his finger and then sniffed. Yep. He sniffed. However, he did not comment. Neither did my hubby. They both continued to pack up the unit and move it to their vehicle. Later Hubby whispers to me what happened while Mr. Buyer Hubby is strapping down the furniture. We were mortified. Mrs. Buyer Wifey was so excited about finding this shelf unit, and I can't help but wonder if she smelled hint o' nastiness once she got it home. We said a few prayers that God wouldn't let that happen. I'm confident He loves those kinds of prayers... such a valuable use of His time, I'm sure.

Now the first thing we are doing with our moolah is buying doggy gates to keep those varmits out of that room, and having a professional come and clean the carpet!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

So many things!

What am I talking about you ask? So many things have been going well this week. Granted, it's been a stressy kind of week full of football practice, Team Mom stuff, chores at home, time with Hubby, time with the pups, time with The Little Guy, a very full work week and the usual commuting. However, the weather has changed and Fall has arrived, which has cheered me up to no end! I came home from work one evening, walked in the house to find that there was a new smell in the air. I found myself thinking, 'What is that smell???' Then when I realized Hubby had all the windows open that I was smelling clean, fresh air. Of all things. It was quite lovely once I realized what I was sniffing. (However, I managed to ruin the fresh-air scent a few nights ago when I fried some potatoes and onions with dinner. Now the house smells completely fried!)

Can the weather really be what's made such an impact on how I've been feeling this week? It feels as if life has slowed a little, despite the ongoing rat race that surrounds me. I feel that I've had quality time with Hubby and The Little Guy, that time at work has been productive, that I've enjoyed more of the pee wee football stuff, and I've even made sure to connect with friends on lunch dates. There has also been time for reading a great book (which I plan to review and recommend to you all once I finish), and for crafting.

The days have been shorter this week. So how is it that I feel like they've been longer? I guess I should stop overanalyzing. And just enjoy the rest of my week.

How is your week going?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Note to Self: Self-Protection is Key

If you've ever clicked on a link I've provided to Hubby's blog then you know he's a pretty tactical fellow. He's full of knowledge and resources when it comes to self-protection, self-awareness and what to do in a state of emergency. I, on the other hand, just ride his coattails and hope that if we ever do have an emergency he's right by my side to guide and protect me.

I know he wants me to become a bit more on the self-reliant side. And, I guess I can say that I have made improvements in the almost five years we've been married. Ok, I must confess that my improvements in this area have only been obtained in the past year or so. Because I'm a big chicken.

That's what happens when you have a 'worst-case-scenario' brain like I do. I talk myself out of a lot of things. Here are some examples:

No, I don't want to learn to shoot because I could accidentally shoot the wrong person; No, I don't want to skydive because I'd crap my pants and embarrass myself, then my parachute wouldn't open (which would make the crapping of my pants completely invisible); I really don't want to scuba dive because I'm afraid my breathing apparatus will fail and I'll drown; I don't need to go through the process of getting a license to carry my gun on me because if I actually carry my gun I will most likely get mugged and the robber will take it from me and use it on me; No, Hubby you don't need to make that eight-hour drive to a tactical class you've always wanted to take by yourself because you could fall asleep behind the wheel and crash...

My list could go on forever!

To aid in my educational process Hubby was recently turned on to a movie that we hadn't seen, with one of my most favorite male actors, Liam Neeson. It's called Taken, and Mr. Neeson plays a government agent who knows all about tracking and hunting bad guys. In the movie his daughter gets kidnapped in Paris while vacationing with her idiot friend, and of course the plot is all about his efforts to track down the kidnappers and rescue his daughter.

This movie is amazing. I loved it. But, my point is that Hubby wanted me and The Little Guy to watch it with him to hopefully learn some tips on paying attention to details if we are ever put in that type of scenario. I recommend you watch it, and if your child is close to teen years or older then let them watch it, too. (There isn't any nudity in it, but there is the topic of prostitution, but the subject matter is very delicately and respectfully filmed. I was quite impressed to say the least.)

Practice paying attention to details when you are out and about. Does anyone look suspicious? If so, what is notable about them... tattoos, teeth, eyes, hair, shoes, car.... What is around you that could help you defend yourself... a fire extinguisher you could bash over someone's head, a cart you could ram into someone... know what tools you have around you that could help you. And, always, always remember when you are being approached by strangers that you have NO IDEA what their M.O. is... are they just being friendly, are they seeing if they could mug you (which just happened to a personal friend of mine at a local McDonald's a couple of weeks ago), are they checking out your kids or your car... Be cautious and don't make apologies for it.

Kidnapping statistics are staggering. Phoenix, Arizona is second in the world for kidnappings, with the first being Mexico City. Bet you didn't know that about our nation, right? Probably thought it was Miami or New York City, or maybe not even in the U.S.? Read Hubby's post today to find out more about what you can do to protect yourself.

And, be safe, my friends. And, don't be a big chicken. I'm working on that as we speak...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Carm's September Block

Another virtual quilting bee block complete...

It will be in the mail to Crafty Carm on Monday.

Now, back to work on my spooky surprise for Saskia....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What 'do' to do?

This inquiring mind wants to know (as she is still struggling with disliking her hair-do) what is something you would most like to change about yourself right now?

You may recall that I tried cutting my own bangs. If you missed that story then check out these great side burns I gave myself a couple of months ago...

I'm STILL not content with my 'do.' I keep trying to fix it different ways (pin it back, pull it up, let it hang straight, flatten it even more with my CHI) but nothing is making me happy with my hair! My hair is very straight and thin but I have a lot of it, and it doesn't like to do much other than hang. I thought by letting it grow out it would look thicker. Not happenin'. It's just looking stringy to me. I'm thinking that maybe I need to go back to this length... What do you think? Just below the shoulder or longer and simply straight?

This is my hair back in December

My hair in July when I had just cut the bangs

Please help me out with your input! And don't forget to tell me what you're currently struggling with wanting to change. Inquiring minds want to know!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No. 1 Major Way Blogging Has Changed Me

If you found my guest post here then you already know that I blogged about five major ways that blogging has changed my life. You may have also noticed that I put out a little challenge in the last paragraph when I referred you guys over to trublubyu's blog.

What was that about?

Well, Saskia was my first responder to guess correctly...
"Common theme - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."

And why is this of importance to me?

Please allow me to explain. Before last year I didn't have a lot of knowledge about the Mormon faith. I knew that young men were sent on missions and a few of them have knocked on my door over the years asking to share their Book of Mormon with me. I had heard they tended to have large families. Then there was the stuff on the news... but that's not what my message is about today. Members of every faith have made the news from time to time, right?

Basically, Latter-Day Saint followers had been a mystery to me. But, last year that I began to learn about Mormon mommies through their blogs. And, I really admired what I was learning. I have come to have a very deep respect for some of these women, and I am grateful for the lessons they teach so naturally. Please note that I'm not referring to the "fundamentalists" (or FLDS) who've made the news, I'm referring to LDS women, women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And you will find links about their faith on each of their blogs.

The blogs that I referenced are all written by Mormon mommies. Each woman writes regularly about her child or children, her extended family, her faith and her husband. Each woman professes not only a deep love of family and Jesus, but of a passionate love for her husband. Of being enamored and totally in love with her husband. I enjoyed reading about that so much, and still want to read about it. I'm not a fan of the typical bash your husband kind of narrative. That mindset is too easy to fall into, as most negative paths can be. And, I'm not saying I don't feel inspiration and teaching from other Christian bloggers, I'm just telling you how my life began to change once I started blogging, and a lot of that change came from reading these blogs regularly.

You see, I come from a very cynical background. I've experienced divorce, my own first marraige and my parents marriage, and I became quite jaded about trust because of it. I'm currently immersed in my second marriage to a wonderful man whom I adore, however I used to habitually find myself thinking divisive thoughts when things wouldn't go the way I thought they should. I found myself shutting down emotionally and trying to get through life as an empowered woman, still married but with an "I can do this on my own" kind of mentality. By reading the thoughts and descriptions of these Mormon women I was reminded of my vows. To cherish my husband, to respect and love him until death do us part. And beyond. (After all, marriage is a 'together' thing, not a period of independence.) I began thinking that I didn't marry my husband with the intention of always being in agreement. I married him because of our intense connection to each other and the unwavering love we both felt for each other before we got married. I was reminded that we vowed to stick it out forever and that requires thoughts of unity. And, that's what I truly, truly want and am fully committed to making happen. I have acquired such a deeper understanding of marriage in the last year, and I'm so thankful for this.

I've also learned a deeper understanding of what it means to be a parent. Don't get me wrong, my son was brought to life through a totally planned out pregnancy. I stayed at home with him until he was a toddler, then I went back to work because I had to. But it wasn't long before I realized that I really liked being a working mom. So, that's what I've done ever since and now he's eleven years old. Sure, I've had 'the guilties' over and over again because I'm not always available to help in my son's classrooms or volunteer very often at his school, but I try to make up for it in other ways. My point here is that these ladies showed me how they cherish, respect and love their children every day. Granted, that's something I've always done, too, because I've always adored being The Little Guy's mommy, however I've tweaked my focus after reading about their interactions. I try to do more each and every week to interact with him on a deeper level, which helps us to connect more often despite the rush of the proverbial rat race we go through each week.

I've simplified some things and expanded on other things. I'm enjoying my faith and activities in the Episcopal Church again after keeping my distance for over ten years. Hubby, The Little Guy and me all make more things together and on our own. We play board games more together. We sit and have a homemade cherry limeade on the back porch and talk about whatever pops into our heads. We bake more. These ladies reminded me its ok to slow down and just let life happen. Just enjoy my son and husband in a seemingly inactive moment and revel in this gift of life from God. This is something that I've always felt like I do, but in the past year I've made sure to do it even more. To be even more aware. To be even more thankful.

Sure, I'm still in the rat race every day. Sure, I still get caught up in chores and duties and let too much time slip past me sometimes. But, I know how to come back into my true reality faster now. And, seriously... I attribute these things, this deeper understanding of faith, marriage and motherhood, to the leadership of these women. I see God working through them. And, I've been blessed more times than I can count. AND, it all happened by venturing outside of what I was familiar with. We can all learn so much from each other if we try.

Stay tuned to see what Saskia has won for accepting the challenge and being the winner!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Little Wedge of a Post

I was asked, ever so kindly, by a fellow blogger to be a guest on her site. At first I was a bit taken back. I asked myself, what on earth prompted this? Then I quickly slipped out of my overly-analytical mode and accepted this gracious offer.

What blog can you find me at today? Laughing at Life's Little Wedgies. Because after all, isn't that what life is full of? A bit of discomfort here, a rumple in your pants there. But once you put that wedgie back in place life feels good again.

So, please take a little trip with me today and click on over to trublubyu's blog. She's pretty funny, and she's one dedicated mommy, wife and child of God. She's got lots of great 'reads' for you to peruse!

(And, when you hop over there to check out my post, if you can guess what the common theme is with the blogs I referenced in the paragraph labeled '1.' you could win a prize! Just leave a comment back here on this post and make sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you are the big winner.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

What a Weekend!

It was certainly a whirlwind... it came and went very fast. But, it actually felt like a true weekend somehow. Hubby was gone to Big D (translation... Dallas) for some tactical training from Wednesday night to Saturday night, so The Little Guy and I had the place to ourselves. We watched movies, played games, talked and hung out with the pups a lot since his football game was rained out. I enjoyed our bonding time so much! I figure since he'll be a teenager in a couple of years these types of days are most likely numbered.

I actually completed a new block for my virtual quilting bee yesterday. So, stay tuned... I'll post a picture of it. And, something else to stay tuned for... I was asked to be a guest blogger! I think I'll be 'on' tomorrow, so more details will be available soon.

Have a wonderful Monday, my friends!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remember Today

I struggled with what to say on today's anniversary. 9/11. A date that is forever imprinted in our hearts and minds. A date that not only scarred Americans but human beings around the world.

I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news on the radio about the attacks. I remember wondering if there would be more attacks around our country, if schools and daycare centers would be next, because how cruel would it be to attack our most innocent of Americans.

I wish we could be a more tolerant species. Human beings are so violent. Everywhere across the globe you hear of violence. We are not wild animals, so why do we consistently have people among us who choose to live like them. I could go on and on in a discussion that would lead us nowhere. So, I'll stop.

But I want to lead you to a couple of wonderful posts, one written by JennyMac over at Let's Have a Cocktail, and one written by Hubby at ITS Tactical. They are both very poignant and reflective.

And, at some point today I hope that you will bow your head in remembrance of those who perished, those who saved lives, and those who honor the tragedy that occurred eight years ago. May we continue to fight the hatred that feeds terrorism.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Watch Out... It's Coming!

One of my favorite holidays is fast approaching...
Halloween is just around the corner and I can't wait!!!

A morbid skelly and his mother

A Zombie Skate Punk and his Cat/Bird Mother

I love having a jack-o-lantern that looks like Jack Skellington!

Rosie the Riveter and a Random Japanese tourist

We usually dress up, even if that means just finding stuff around the house that we already have. I have no idea what I'll be this year. I've got to start planning my costume! The Little Guy originally wanted to dress up as Doc Holliday, but now wants to be a Bear Mascot. (I have no idea where to find a bear mascot uniform that will fit an eleven year old.)

I can't wait to decorate my front porch, to 'Boo' my neighbors, to make some Salty Bones and come up with some new traditions if possible.

Salty Bones made from Pillsbury Bread Sticks and Sea Salt

What do your upcoming Halloween plans include?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Day Off to You!

I hope you are chillin' at your casa today as you read this. I'm happy to report I'm one of those lucky laborers who gets today off work as a paid holiday.

Hubby and I have been very busy around here working to finish organizing our 'gear room' and our master bedroom. We've made tons of progress!

Saturday we went to Ikea and purchased nightstands for the bedroom and a dresser. Yesterday we went to JCPenney and found some great curtains (in sun bronze), and to Bed Bath & Beyond to get some new bedding.

All of this possible because of the sale of these....

We are truly thankful!

Pictures will be coming soon when we've finished the entire room. We need our wall decor and we will be all set! It's looking quite modern and elegant. Can't wait for you to see it!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Life is so fragile

But, I know you know that already.

Yesterday we had a pretty big scare. One of Hubby's cycling buddies was hit by a car. He is ok, just really banged up with lots of bruises and road rash. There was a lot of Divine Intervention going on, I'm confident of that. We are amazed that a man riding 25 mph on a bicycle, hit by a large vehicle going even faster than that, could be found walking around after the accident.

The lady in the vehicle was talking to or looking at a seven year old child in the car; she didn't even see our friend until he was hitting the center of her hood. She had to have passed by Hubby and the other friend who were also cycling before she even got to the one she hit. Perhaps she didn't "see" them either.

Let this be a warning to us all: stay focused while you're driving. Don't take your eyes off the road, don't text on your phone, don't take it for granted that you're going to keep moving safely forward. Even as sober drivers we forget that we are manipulating a piece of machinery that can weigh thousands of pounds. We forget how fragile we are. We forget how quickly life can change, how quickly we can lose someone.

Let's take every precaution we can to be safe and to be conscious of who's lives we might unintentionally alter, including our own.

There is no good side to be on when it comes to an accident.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

To Be Or Not To Be... a fish out of water.

Today this is what I want to do.... jump from this fish bowl (aka office) that I'm sitting in surrounded by paperwork and numbers, and go ride my bike or hike at the nature preserve by my house. I'm tired of the rat race. I want a new career. Once again, I want to win the lottery. But yet I never play. Hence the moral of this story must be, make a change or stop complaining, right?

Guess I've got some work to do.

Like buy a lottery ticket tomorrow after work.