Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's Official, She's a STAR!

So yesterday I saw a commercial that on Regis and Kelly this morning they were doing their "Halloween Costume Parade" which I always like to see, so I set my DVR to record it. A few minutes ago when I turned it on to start watching it, what should I see but a picture of MY adorable niece right there on the TV screen!!
It was one of those "subject changers" they play between programs and there she was! Minus the nose, but otherwise completely in costume! I assume they took the picture of her at Night of the Living Zoo last weekend. Or maybe Lauren and Rich sent it in? I haven't heard back from her yet, so we'll see. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

5 Things I Hate To Admit

Another friend in Blog-land, Monica, has tagged me to continue with a "5 Things I Hate To Admit" theme. So I guess I have to think of five things that are either embarrassing or strange about myself that I would rather not disclose, and then type them here. What fun! *haha*

1. This is a bit of a copout, but I hate to admit that I'm getting sick! I told myself it was just a little congestion but goodness if I'm not croopin' and sneezin' with a full-on cold this morning. Phooey. Maybe I'm getting it out of the way early so I'll be healthy through January. :)

2. I hate to admit that I can't think of a single place I'm interested in working. Jeremy says my list of "will not work there's" is much too long and I know I'm being overly picky. But after working at my "dream job" for seven years it's hard to imagine another place. I thought I'd found it with the Humane Society but we all know how that ended and now I'm feeling a little disillusioned.

3. I hate to admit that I am a bad speller. Or so my new Macbook tells me. It's got a spell-check that works on every single document you type, including right here on my Blogger  screen. I don't know if I'm really that bad of a speller or if I've just gotten lazy because I know the spell check will catch it and then all I have to do is click on the word and it fixes itself! *haha* 

4. I hate to admit that I watch a lot of pre-teen TV programming. Most of you know that I had a bit of a thing for Hannah Montana a while back, even "borrowing" Michelle's daughter Katie to go to the 3D concert at the Warren.  I liked the innocence and "simple humor" on the show. I guess it made me feel young again, I don't know. Well miss Montana has lost a bit of the appeal she had now that she's trying to be more "grown up" and not so innocent. Why does that happen to these young girls? It's disgusting. Anywho, so while I was laid up  with my ankle on a pillow I discovered iCarly on Nickelodeon.  The main character looked familiar to me at first and that's why I lingered on that channel. (I think she was in School of Rock. Can anyone confirm that? I know, I'm not exactly talking to a crowd who watches Nickelodeon. You can't all be cool like me. *hehe*) And now I'm trying to figure out a way to see High School Musical 3 AT the theater without being too conspicuous. I didn't think I needed to see it at all, but then I read a review in Entertainment Weekly and if a jaded, grouchy, movie critic in that magazine could give it a B+, I feel it might be worth my time. Dang it, Michelle, I should have borrowed Katie again while you guys were here. ;)

5.  I hate to admit that I easily have over 500 photos that need to be developed. I managed (with the help of my amazingly smart and helpful hubby) to get all of my photographs OFF the old computer and uploaded onto this new one and I am SOOOO behind it's not even funny. I really should just hide my camera and not take any more pictures until I get caught up just developing the suckers, but we all know that's not gonna happen. 
Oh, I am super excited about the photo editing software on my Mac, though. There were some that were really dark and with the click of a button they were brightened up significantly! And I have even fancier capabilities that I haven't even begun to uncover! 

So let's I will tag MICHELLE and RICH to do this same exercise! Then you must tag two more people to do it after you. Yay for chains! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

An APPLE a Day!

Today I'm feeling a little yuckish. Drainage, sinus pressure, sneezy, snotty, burning eyes...I'm a regular ad for cold medicine. But it's all good, because I've got an Apple, and isn't that just what the doctor ordered?
By APPLE I'm referring to my new Apple MacBook!! 

Jeremy ordered it for us a while ago and it arrived yesterday. Our PC has been giving me all sorts of grief for many months. One of the most frustrating problems is that I haven't been able to access any of my photos on the computer (therefore not able to get any developed) and it's been driving me crazy. Originally we were both going to get laptops, but for now we're just trying the one. 
Switching to a Mac was kind of a big deal. They're just so daggum cool that they're hard to resist. Plus you've got those extremely clever commercials that make you feel like a big dummy if you buy anything BUT a Mac. *haha*  I found myself watching them thinking, "Wow, I wanna be a MAC!" Brilliant, brilliant advertising department. I felt they should be rewarded with our purchase. ;)

The best part of this is the wireless internet, so I can type this blog or check up on my Facebook all from the comfort of my couch. Or kitchen table. Or living room floor, if I so choose. (Would have been nice about a week ago when I was laid up with a bad ankle, but oh well.) I can also do whatever I need to on the computer at the same time I'm catching up on DVR'd TV shows. I'd like to think this multi-tasking will open up more time for OTHER activities...but I'll probably have to be careful not to turn into a big ol' couch potato with roots 40ft deep. *haha*

Sunday, October 26, 2008

DogTown it AIN'T!

As I type this, I could literally break down and sob. Not get teary-eyed, not sniffle a little, but full-on hiccup-inducing bawling. What could make me so incredibly emotional, you ask? I've just come from a job interview. The interview itself went very well so no, that's not why I'm crying. But the veil has been pulled back and I've lost some innocence I can't reclaim. I've taken a peek into a world that I was too naive to believe existed, and it's shaken me to the core. Let me explain.

A couple of weeks ago I asked Jeremy if it would be alright if I only found part-time work. That would give me an opportunity to volunteer in some capacity at a dog shelter, something I've recently felt a calling to do. (It's all the Dog Town I've been watching, I swear.) He said that would be ok with him, so I got online to see what kinds of volunteers the Kansas Humane Society was looking for. Lo and behold, they were actually HIRING! This, I took, to be a sign.
What's in the list of top 10 things Sarah loves? DOGS!
And who needs a job? SARAH!
And who's hiring right now? A place where you get to work with DOGS!
It seemed meant to be.

So I brought in my application on Thursday and took a look around. I've never been to the Humane Society. Both of my "pound puppies" were found online first, then we went to pick them up specifically. I always knew if I went "browsing" at a shelter I'd be wrought with guilt that I couldn't take them all home. Well as I roamed the halls of kennels that afternoon, I have to admit I got pretty emotional. Every dog gazed back at me frightened, shivering, so alone. The whines and barks echoed in my ears, bringing to mind the miserable song of the pound dogs in Lady & The Tramp. Remember it?
One little terrier mix that reminded me so much of Wrigley nearly brought me to tears. He was underweight and looked so cold...such a flashback to the sickly little dog we brought home over two years ago.

Though emotional, I left there with a bit of a hero complex. I was going to go in and help those animals find homes, daggumit. It wouldn't be easy, but I was going to make a difference! I knew they euthanized animals when they can't find them homes, but I told myself that it was only a small percentage and I could overcome it because of all the good I would be doing, helping families meet their perfect canine match. Everyone (including me) would live happily ever after.
Um, but that was my fantasy. And today I saw the real world.

The position I had unwittingly applied for is, and I quote, "the hardest position at the shelter." I wouldn't be adopting animals into happy homes, I would be taking them from the people dumping them off. People who have just lost a loved-one and can't take in their animals. People who are moving and can't take their beloved pet with them. People who love their carpet more than their new puppy. All-day-long, emotional, crabby and possibly sobbing people with unwanted animals. Animals that, as I found out today, don't have a promising future.

The shelter takes in from 80 to 90 animals each day. EACH DAY! Over 600 animals per week! As she told me this, I began to remember my visit on Thursday afternoon. I saw 20 dogs TOPS. And then I was suddenly struck with the ammount of animals that are being put down each and every day. I was completely horrified. Obviously, the sick, old or aggressive animals are the first to go. But still, they are left with too many happy, playful, young, GOOD animals. In the position I was applying for, it would be my job to decide who lives and who dies. In the little world of the Kansas Humane Society, I would basically be god.

You get a happy home with a yard and a warm bed and a little boy to chase and a bone to chew.
You die.
You get to live with a nice lady and chase balls of yarn and bask in the sun.
You die.

CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE?!?! I felt sick to my stomach. All this time I've been picturing the handful of dogs up for adoption and imagining that if THEY didn't get adopted, they would possibly be euthanized. It hadn't even crossed my mind that they were the lucky ones! They were the ones that made it past an initial choosing process, that hundreds of dogs weren't even given the chance at finding a new home.

My mind immediately traveled back to the lobby I had just come through. The little boy with his Mom surrendering the mild-mannered german shepherd. The frightened little pomeranian that was already behind the counter, panting and darting around nervously. The ROWS and ROWS of cats in carriers! Would any of them even have the chance?

It gets worse, though. The position would also require me to be present for the euthanization process. At best, hold the animal still. At worst, administer the injection myself. The woman interviewing me said that the first time she had to help, it lasted for three hours. One animal after another. She said she held it together the entire time and then afterwards went out in the hall and threw up. "Everyone reacts differently," she said. Well if by differently you mean having a nervous breakdown then yes, I would react differently!!!

Oh did I mention I'm NOT taking the job?!? If the information in the interview alone was enough to send me over this emotional cliff, there's no way I could actually experience it day after day. I would be the most depressed person in the world. Plus, I would end up hating people. Watching them drag in their loyal, loving pets, signing them over to a certain death sentence? job is definitely not for me.

So now I'm going to go sit in on the couch and cry into my dogs faces, trying to get my mind off of the horrible facts that now fill my brain. I wish there was something I could DO. The only suitable alternative I can think of is to actually MOVE to Utah and work at DogTown, which is a no-kill shelter. Or win the lottery and start my own. But for now, I'm a very sad, very umeployed, animal lover.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Too Cute Photo Shoot

Well Jackson and Livvie are well on their way to becoming models. That is, if one photo shoot puts them well on their way.

Our good friends Steve and Sonna asked if they could "borrow" the kids to model a few costumes Sonna had created. She's an amazing seamstress and is going to start her own costume business. These were some she'd made for relatives out of state, but she wanted to get pictures for her portfolio before sending them off. Jackson and Livvie were happy to oblige. (Well, EVENTUALLY Livvie was happy to oblige. *haha*)

This is Jackson, the fully roasted and stuffed turkey. He's all ready to be set out on the kitchen table and admired by the entire family. I won't take this analogy any further...that's just plain cannibalism, people! ;)

Livvie made a precious little pilgrim. She wasn't completely thrilled with the idea, but we decided her somber expression was only fitting. I mean, she's sailed across the ocean, probably lost half of her friends and family to various diseases and now would be starving to death if not for the few pieces of corn she's been rationed. And this poor pilgrim is ALLERGIC to corn! You wouldn't be happy, either. *hahaha*

This one cracks me up! She is really playing up that pout. And don't think it's because she's horrified that her baby brother is fresh out of the no, she just didn't want to smile.

Change of costume + prop = super cute pictures!! I don't know why but she liked this outfit much better and decided to cooperate. Steve was the photographer for all of these pictures. Aren't they fantastic??

Oh and just a bonus, here are Steve and Sonna with their kiddos last Halloween:
They're all animals from advertising campaigns! Can you guess which ones? :) Sonna makes all of their costumes every year. The year before they were pirates...and Grace (the bunny *hehe*) was a parrot that "perched" on Steve's shoulder. It was fabulously creative. We all can't wait to see what they'll come as this year! (So far it's been hush-hush. Such suspense!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I left my $$$ at JC Penny

I know you've all been DYING to find out how my shopping adventure went yesterday. Right? Well to my joyful amazement, I struck gold!!

I decided to go to Towne East since my Dad's firm is working on the remodel there and I was curious how it's coming along. (It's looking really nice! It's amazing how much brighter it looks already.) I was lucky to even see the rest of the mall, however, since I spent over three hours in JC Penny alone! *yikes* They were having some fantastic sales. Every item I bought was at least 40% off, some were 60%! They were also doing one of those "Buy one-get one for 88¢" specials and those always seem especially cool for some reason. "88¢?!? I get this jacket for only 88¢?!? WOW!!" Bargains just excite me, period. :) Especially when they're bargains that FIT! Glory hallelujah!

I got a pair of brown slacks and a pair of khakis. Then I got some blazer/jacket type things, one of which was only 88¢! *haha* One of them is denim, one is like a light tan pinstripe and the other one is soft green. They're casual, so I don't feel like I'm posing as Ally McBeal or something. (Wow, random 90's reference. Not sure why I thought of her.) Then I got a couple of button-up tops...again, one was just 88¢. So exciting. Then I also got this super cute brown suede jacket with some neat detailing around the collar. Not something I would typically be drawn to, it was one of the 60% bargains so I couldn't pass it up. Besides, it makes me feel kinda cool. :)

I embraced Fall as far as the color scheme goes. I look better in those colors, anyway. (Browns, oranges, greens, teals, etc.) Though I'm drawn to brighter colors, they aren't always the best choice for my skin tone. And there weren't many to be found, anyway.

Couldn't leave the mall without stopping at Payless for some BOGO fun! I needed some "dressy" shoes to go with my slacks, but I certainly wasn't going to give up comfort! I love Payless....they cater to my wide feet. So I found these classy little loafers:

And then since it's BOGO I needed to find another pair to get for half off, so I bought these:

I figured they would be a good casual alternative to my regular pink&white tennies. They're really comfy AND they're Velcro, which amuses me. :)

So by the end of the day, I'd dropped some big bucks. (Well, compared to what I normally spend on myself.) I was feeling pretty guilty about it but then I thought: #1 When was the last time I actually bought myself clothes?? It's been a long time. #2 When was the last time I found things that FIT?

Then I went to Von Maur to use their spotless restroom facilities and saw a cute sweater while walking through. Checked the price tag...yeah, that ONE sweater cost as much as ALL OF MY PURCHASES COMBINED! So then I really shed that guilt I had been feeling. I was a very smart shopper and got a ton for my money. Plus the things I got are versatile and mix&matchable. And I followed all of Stacey and Clinton's rules so even THEY would be proud of me. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My wardrobe = What Not To Wear

One of the first thoughts that crossed my mind after losing my job with Scrapbook Garden was, "Aw crap, I'm gonna have to buy new clothes!!!" It's true, I was allowed to dress pretty casually there and I got to hide behind that apron. Let's be honest, I've turned into a shlub. (Yes a shlub. I'm ignoring the spellchecker and pretending it's a word anyway.)

Though I had great success earlier in the year with losing weight and dropping a size, I've gone back to bad habits and those clothes don't fit anymore. And I've kept telling myself, "Once I lose that weight again, I'll buy some clothes." Well if I've heard Stacey and Clinton say it once, I've heard it a thousand times: "Dress the body you're in NOW." I've seen a dozen women on that show who are walking around like slobs because they don't want to invest in a new wardrobe until they're at their perfect body size. Well let's be honest, how many of us actually have success with that?

I hate shopping for clothes, not just because I have a poor body image, but also because I have no personal style. I'll look at clothes on the rack and think, "That looks like so-and-so." or "Oh that would be really cute on her..." But rarely do I see things and think, "Oh that's SO ME!" And if I do, it's usually in the toddler section so it's not in my size. *haha* You all know my love of bright colors, but I can't go around dressed like a piece of scrapbook paper. I'll look like a clown!

I'm also kind of in between. I'm certainly no teenager, but I also don't feel like I should be dressing like a "mommy" yet since I'm NOT a mommy. I'm not really a professional sort of person, but I know my t-shirt and jeans selection isn't appropriate for all situations. As I type this, I'm thinking I've heard this exact argument out of many a guest on "What Not To Wear" and I'm trying to remember what Stacey and Clinton told THOSE whiners. (Seriously, if someone would just please set me up to be on that show, it would solve all of my problems. I can put up with the evil mirror and their cruel comments about my wardrobe. Heck, I'll join in! "You're right, these jeans ARE horrible. Let's get me some new ones!" It would be worth it for the shopping spree in NYC and the overall makeover. I could totally handle it.)

So today I'm embarking on a little shopping journey. I have to get some nicer things so I can begin applying for jobs and hopefully interviewing as well. I'm feeling optimistic this morning, but I know by mid-afternoon these hips will have knocked this Pollyanna right back into reality. Wish me luck. I'm gonna NEEEEED IT!

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Take On Me" - Literally.

Just a little humor to make you smile. I've watched it 4 times already and have giggled the whole way through each time. Hope it makes you laugh too!


"Band Montaaaaaaage!"

"Show this guy then cut back to these two."

"What are they doing with our magic frame?!"


I AM annoyed that Blogger will let me add this video but not any of my personal collection from Liv's party. *grrrr*

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Olivia's Birthday Party. Extravaganza!!

(Don't you LOVE the word "extravaganza?")

Yesterday my precious niece turned THREE. While it's hard to imagine her ever not being in this world, it seems even less possible that she could be this old already! What happened to our baby? She has changed so much just over the Summer. Her hair has grown into these beautiful strawberry blonde ringlets. She's gotten much taller and has lost her baby "chubbiness." She's looking more a more like a "little girl" every day. And her personality just shines like the sun. She is so sweet and spunky. I have to say, and this isn't just partial Auntie Sarah speaking, that you will never find a more polite 3 year old. She says "thank you" about EVERYTHING without even being prompted.

"You did a good job blowing out your candles, Livvie!" - "Thank you."
"Livvie, you look so pretty today! What a cute shirt!" - "Thank you."
"Here's some more ice cream." - "Thank you."

And for the most part, she listens and obeys really well! When told to hand out goodie bags to her guests, she did so immediately. When told to give hugs and kisses goodbye, she tried her darndest but not everyone was in a hugging mood. *haha* She's even becoming more cooperative for pictures, breaking out a big smile with a "CHEEEEEETH!" So cute.

It is SUCH a testament to Lauren and Rich's hard work. They have been so consistent with her and everything they've been investing in this little girl is starting to pay off. Seeing her now, people would never believe what a strong-willed, stubborn, obstinate toddler she was. She still has melt-downs but they're nothing like they used to be. I know a lot of the shift in behavior has to do with her allergies and the strict diet she's on now. But you can't ignore the great parenting that's going on in that house. SHOUT-OUT Lauren and Rich! You guys are doing a terrific job. :)

So anyway...the party was so fun! We ate lunch together in their backyard and the weather was pure perfection. Such a great day for an outdoor party! Then Lauren had prepared some cute little activities for the kids to try: a pillowcase race (just like potato-sack except for short people *hehe*), an egg-in-spoon race and pin-the-tail on the donkey. All the children present were 3 and under, so there weren't any high expectations that they would even understand what they were attempting, but it was so cute to watch them!! I got some great videos of the games and if Blogger will ever cooperate and let me load them I'll post some. In the meantime, how about some pictures??? :)

How CRAZY that we have a kiddie table in our family now! When did this happen?

"Cousins!" Technically I guess they're 2nd cousins, but who's counting? :) Jovan just turned 3 and Juliana is 2.Jeremy was glad to see that Livvie hadn't lost her admiration for him. He was the person she kept calling for all afternoon. "Look Jeremy!" "Jeremy, c'mere!" "Where's Jeremy?"This is what Olivia got from us. They're like "animal tinkertoys." Each set comes with all the pieces to build your own animals, or you can mix and match them. We played with some in Branson and Livvie seemed to enjoy them, so when we got back to Wichita we got a couple sets at Imagine That Toys.It was quickly decided that maybe Jeremy shouldn't be allowed to play with these toys. Or children either, for that matter. ;)

Friday, October 17, 2008

One year later....

In October 2007, our family visited Cox Farms and enjoyed their corn maze, petting zoo and pumpkin patch. The kiddos (Livvie plus my cousin's children Jovan and Juliana. Lauren was very pregnant with Jackson at this point but he hadn't made his debut. *hehe* It's so strange to imagine a world without that little cutie!!) were SO cute to watch, just at the right age to begin understanding it all. It was such a beautiful Fall day...what a wonderful memory to look back on.

And now, exactly a year later, I'm scrapbooking these events! (Note: this by no means implies that I am caught up with every picture taken before or since then. It just means I was in the mood to do Autumn pages. Ok?)

I still haven't figured out how to photograph and crop these layouts properly. They're crooked in the photos EVERY TIME I shoot them, so then when I crop out the background, part of it still slips in. (The dark orange seeping in the corners of these layouts is my awesome couch, just so you know.)
This first page is actually the last one I did yesterday. I was struggling, trying to take these photos and stretch them into a 2-page layout. I just couldn't find a placement I really liked. So I stopped and thought, "Why not just do one page?" *GASP* I can't remember the last time I did a single page layout. Um..actually, yes I can. It was before I started working at Scrapbook Garden. Once I began talking to those scrappers, they informed me that you "must" have a double page layout or it won't look right in the scrapbook. I fell for it and started doing 2 page layouts for every set of pictures. Well, as I sat there considering the influences that had changed my opinion on this matter, I decided it was time to "breakaway" from that and try something new! What a liberating experience! I'm sad because the photo doesn't do it justice. It's really much, much cuter in person. The papers are Bo Bunny and Basic Grey and the little embellishments are from an amazing pack K&Company makes.

Again, I'm sorely disappointed with this photo/crop job, but oh well. Paper is all Basic Grey with more of those K&Company die cuts thrown in. They have little hints of metallic on them but you can't see that here. I love the picture of my mom and dad, the "toddler paparazzi." Jovan and Juliana are the cuties in the matching pumpkin sweaters and of course Livvie's the one in the black shirt. I can't believe how much her hair has come in over the past year. She's really changed so quickly.

This is made from nothing but Bo Bunny products. (You know, the more I type that name the more I realize it's completely ridiculous. BO Bunny? I mean, c'mon! Whatever.) This is their Fall line from last year. I'm so glad I bought it back then because their newer collection isn't nearly as nice. I also really enjoyed using this Double Dot cardstock from them. Makes me wish I had all the colors. It's just an extra punch above regular cardstock!

I decided to step away from Autumn colors for this one so I could use the Karen Foster petting zoo stickers I've had forever and a day. The layout is practically a direct scraplift from one of my Scrapbooks Etc. magazines. More Double Dot cardstock...LOVE that stuff! :) I also just love the picture of Juliana next to the Llama. She looks so tiny!

Well as you can see, I got a lot done yesterday. It was a nice feeling to actually accomplish something. I didn't feel like I wasted the day. I'm going to try and do some more today, if the creativity will just continue to flow.

Thanks for looking! Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Time Waster Extraordinaire

Sooo...I'm really bored. There's only so much sittin' around one can do without going completely stir crazy. I've spent so much time on the couch since last Friday, I think there's a permanent indention where my booty's been. I just haven't been able to get comfortable in any other position. Even sitting at the computer with my leg propped up beside me isn't great, but I've felt the need to see a different size of glowing screen from time to time. Today I am going to push past it and find some way to sit in my scrapbook room. I've been home for almost 2 weeks and haven't done a lick of scrapbooking! Mind you, the first week I wasn't exactly in the mood, if you get my drift, and then more recently I've been solely horizontal. But today I will find a way.

In the meantime, here are a few of the things I've run across that I might not have, had I been actually productive. (Hey, I DID run the vacuum yesterday because my friend Angie was coming over to watch movies with me. It wasn't the greatest attempt, but I'm still gimpy.)

I never knew we had so many television channels. It's really insane. But after a while, it becomes almost therapeutic to just surf up and down the lists of options telling yourself, "Look! You shouldn't be bored! Look at all of the adventures that await you!" Well, while doing this the other day I ran across a channel called "Fine Living," which I've never watched because I have no delusions of my "living" ever becoming "fine." But the show was called, "Whatever, Martha!" and it was these two women, watching OLD clips of Martha Stewart's TV show, making fun of her! I was hooked immediately! It's like Mystery Science Theater 3000, except instead of dissecting bad Sci-fi films, they're picking on Martha's perfectionistic tendencies and unrealistic project ideas. The concept became even MORE exciting to me when I found out that one of the hosts is Martha's own daughter! Alexis Stewart! (I'd never heard of her, either.) What a great peek into what it must be like to live in the shadow of the world's super-homemaker! I imagined that they must have had a huge falling out and now Alexis had made it her life's mission to expose the lies behind the Martha empire. How scandalous! How intriguing! How about a clip? :)

Well, that whole theory fell apart when I discovered that their show is actually sponsored by Martha Stewart Living . Bleh. Not nearly as fun. But I guess that could just be another way Martha is trying to control her poor daughter's life, right? Yeah, that adds the scandal right back in there. We'll roll with that scenario. If you get the Fine Living channel, you should totally check it out.

Now for a couple of websites you absolutely must check out. This first one was sent to me on Facebook and I spent a good 15 minutes just laughing out loud. Click on it, you'll understand. Upside Down Dogs. Really, click on it.

Secondly, a website for my scrappy friends. It's possible you've already discovered this blog and if you have, I'm mad at you for never showing ME! You know how completely out of the loop I can be! Help a sister out! :) It's called Pencil Lines and it's fully dedicated to scrapbook sketches! You all know how much I loooove sketches!! It's fantastic. Lot's of different styles to show how much variety one sketch can bring. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The girl who slept through Fall.

If there were a children's storybook written about my life as of late, that would be the title. *haha* I've never slept this much...not even when I have the flu. I did get out of the house and have a few adventures yesterday, but I paid the price with pain last night. My ankle hurt of course, but so did the rest of my body, which isn't fair at all. See, walking in the boot works totally different (and apparently unused) muscles in my leg, so it was really achy last night. AND the boot makes my legs uneven, and that hurt my back. Imagine that.

The Motrin just wasn't cuttin' it. So I got brave and popped another 1 & 1/2 Loritab. (Which, by the way, I have had an absolute brain-block on that name. I keep calling it Lipitor, which Jeremy tells me is for cholestoral or something. Yesterday I could think of every single "L" word BUT Loritab. Lancomb. Laptop. Legos. Lipsuction. Levis. Levitra. Jeremy was dying laughing but refused to tell me what it was REALLY called until I was red in the face. All of this while NOT under the influence of anything whatsoever.)

Last time I took it I was pretty much IN bed when the stuff took effect. This time I laid around watching TV and by the time it kicked in, I still had to walk upstairs, brush my teeth, take out my contacts, etc. I got the real Loritab experience. There is no way people could take this stuff and function in their daily life. NO WAY! I see what everyone's been saying about dizziness and everything. It was all I could do to get to bed.

Also, they say take it every 6 hours. Well, once again the stuff didn't wear off until about 12 hours later! I slept till almost noon again!! I don't remember even stirring. (I did have a crazy amazing dream about myself and some people I didn't recognize but apparently were my friends, rescuing dogs from an evil dog hoarder and then being chased through the mountainside. Yes, mountainside. I've been watching way too much Dog Town.)

You're probably dying to know about my adventures yesterday! Jeremy took me to lunch, then to Barnes & Noble where no comfy chairs were available so we didn't stay long, then to Wal-Mart for groceries. I got to ride around in one of those motorized wheelchair carts! When I say "got to," I really mean Jeremy forced me to. I was so embarrassed. People kept looking at me like I was just goofing around. I would avoid eye contact with the elderly...but I could feel their scorn. ;) I was wishing my boot was fluorescent pink or something so people would see it. Personally, I don't know why anyone who didn't NEED to ride one would want to. I can walk faster than that thing can move. It did steer amazingly well, though, I must say. The beeping noise it makes when backing up is a bit humiliating, but maybe that's just me. ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rainy Monday

Well if I had planned on going anywhere today, the weather would be enough to deter me. It's very drizzly and cloudy...perfect stay at home, sleeping in weather. Unfortunately, I've gotten more sleep than any human being NEEDS over the last 4 days, so I'm not very tired. Maybe I'll get something else of value accomplished.

Ankle update: still sore and not very bendy. I can walk on it (with the boot or without) but it's not pleasant, which makes me think I probably shouldn't be walking on it much. Or should I? I know I shouldn't drive IS my right ankle, afterall. That wouldn't be a good idea. But I can't decide if I should be stretching it in the directions that hurt or just leave it be. Any physical therapists out there with advice? :)

Subject changer! On Thursday afternoon, the day before the spill, I took the doggies to Chisholm Trail. It's a nature trail/picnic area waaaaay out east near the neighborhood I grew up in. We spent a lot of time there during my childhood; lot's of rollerskating and exploring. I've been wanting to take the dogs out there for a long time but never could find the time. Well guess what I've had a lot of lately! EXACTLY! :) So we made the drive over and took a walk around. The leaves hadn't turned quite as much as I'd hoped, but it was still beautiful. (Speaking of leaves, seems like a lot of them did their changing WHILE I was confined at home! Got out of the house to eat lunch yesterday and as we were driving I couldn't believe how many trees had embraced Fall while I was hunkered down in my basement!) Anyways, I snapped a few photos (as many as I could manage while also holding three leashes) and thought I should share them!

Shameless attempt at a photo op, I know. Poor things, they were so hot (as can be seen by Wrigley's posture) but I DID position them in the shade, so I'm not such a bad mommy. Cubby's the only one really posing for me. Funny, because he's sitting up so straight he looks way bigger than the other two. (Sidenote: The things on MoJo's and Wrig's snouts are called "Gentle Leaders." They are amaaaaaazing. If you have a dog that pulls on their leash, these really do work. MoJo never pulled until we got Wrigley, and Wrigley never pulled until we got Cubby. It's some kind of competition thing. Anywho, this contraption wraps gently around their snout and connects at the back of their head. When they put tension on the leash, it puts pressure around their muzzle, which is apparently how dogs correct other dogs. They both walk so well now, it's a miracle.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Snap, Crackle, POP!

Last night as I was waddling to the door to let the dogs out, I put some weight on my ankle and felt a pop-POP! At first I freaked out thinking, "Ooooh no! What did I just do? I should have been wearing my boot!!" until I realized that it didn't hurt, but actually felt really good. Really really good. Like in a chiropractor-popped-just-the-right-spot kinda good. I'm thinking maybe something had popped out of place when I fell and that's the snapping noise I heard. 'Course, I'm no doctor. This is just my best attempt at a self-diagnosis.

Anywho, this morning it is still very sore and even tender to the touch, but more in the muscles than the bones. (AGAIN, much like after you leave the chiropractor.) I can walk on it a little better, but I don't have a full range of motion. I'm still hobblin', that's for sure.

At some point today I'll probably strap on my boot and have Jeremy take me somewhere. I don't care where, I'm just so stir-crazy I need to get out and see street and sky. And I certainly can't drive myself anywhere, so I'll need taxi'd. :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is this what a hangover feels like?

I am amazed at the amount of "leftover substances" that are just hanging around peoples houses! Within 20 minutes of hearing about my plight, I had offers for both Percocet and Loritab. It's like my own personal little pharmacy. *haha* My good friend Courtney brought the Loritab by last night, including the "buddy" medication for nausea that came along with it. Oh goody! That was around 6pm, so I took one immediately and then then took 1 1/2 around midnight. Well that zonked me out GOOD! (Probably a good thing I didn't take 2 whole pills.) I can only imagine the kind of incoherent babbling I would have come up with had I been roused for any reason. I vaguely remember Jeremy coming in around 7:30am to let the dogs out...and I didn't even stir again until 11:00. I was OUT. And when I finally did wake up, I felt like my head was floating in a fishbowl and my eyes were moving involuntarily. Whoa, dude. Somebody make the room stop spinning!

My hubby brought home some "non-narcotic" painkillers he picked up at the jail's clinic for me to use this afternoon so I wouldn't spend the whole day sleeping. (Which is important, so I can continue with the important activities I participated in watching a mini-marathon of "What Not To Wear" and three straight DVR'd episodes of "Top Design." I'm fully aware that neither I nor my house has any style.) So now I've popped a Motrin 600...but I'm STILL groggy!!! Let's put it this way...I got out of bed at 11:00am, it's right not 2:30pm, and I've already taken about an hour nap. *haha* I guess that's one way to rest an ankle. Just sleep through life!!!

As for the ankle, it's feeling a bit better. Not throbbing as much when I'm just sitting. Getting around is still painful (and awkward) but as you can see I haven't been doing much of that. I think I'll go eat some lunch, watch some more tv, maybe take another nap...and then it will be time for more Motrin! WooHoo! ;)

Friday, October 10, 2008

What a Sprain in the Ankle!

This morning almost immediately after I got out of bed, I was going down the stairs, lost my footing and fell. This isn't an unusual occurrence around here, I fall down the stairs quite often. But THIS time, when I landed at the bottom, my right ankle bent in half and I coulda sworn I heard a snap. It hurt SOOOOO bad. I began rocking back forth saying something that amounted to "Ow ow ow ow ow ow" and ended in a "JEERRR-EEE-MMMEEEEEE!!!!" Poor guy had JUST gone to bed but he came bursting from out of the bedroom and rushed to my aid.

I was immediately drenched in sweat and felt like I was going to puke. Jeremy brought me a bowl and a bottle of water and began to make plans to take me to the emergency room. My first concern? Dang it, I haven't even brushed my teeth yet!!! So he brought me my toothbrush and I sat there on the floor, partially brushing, partially crying. He also brought me my bra. (I went in my jammies but the world doesn't need to see ALL of that!)

Well after swearing up and down that I'd broken it (it hurt worse than the time I broke my hand), the x-rays revealed no breaks. Just a severe sprain. Is it wrong that I was almost disappointed? I mean, obviously I didn't want to go through the recovery a broken ankle would have required, but the doctor was looking at me with much less sympathy after we found it was just a sprain. They gave me a boot, told me to "baby it" for a few days and sent me on my way. NO PAIN MEDS! What kind of trip to the ER ends with no pain meds?

So I'm doped up the best I can be on Aleve *tsk tsk* and hobbling around with a giant boot on my ankle. It throbs like the dickens, so I can tell I'll be couch-bound for at least the rest of the day.

It ruins my weekend, however, because our church friends are going to Worlds of Fun tomorrow and now we can't go. :( Why couldn't I have fallen at the BEGINNING of the week? It's not like I've been doing anything that couldn't have been rescheduled. *haha*

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Breaking up isn't THAT hard to do....

I am back from an involuntary Internet hiatus imposed on me by the tree trimmers who knocked a limb on our cable line early Tuesday afternoon. Could the timing have been any worse on that? Geez. Here I am with some *ahem* extra time on my hands and NO INTERNET or CABLE! I think the extent of my addiction can be best summed up by the warm fuzzy feeling I felt when I was finally able to log on this morning. Pretty sad when seeing the homepage gives me the same feeling as a bubble bath or a litter of puppies. *hahaha*

I was cleaning my house yesterday afternoon (probably, no, definitely because I had no TV or computer privileges...I guess something good came from the lack thereof) and put on some music to be-bop around to. I chose the fabulous miss Kelly Clarkson because I hadn't listened to her in a while. (She is THE American Idol, I hope you all realize this.) I put my iPOD on random shuffle through all of her cd's and was really enjoying myself. She's got some great songs...and I never realized till then how many BREAK-UP songs she has. I also never realized how fulfilling break-songs can be.

Did you know that "break-up" songs can apply themselves to other areas of life? Say, a career change, for example? I was just dusting away, singing along, then all of the sudden, BAM! It hit me! These lyrics are incredibly fitting!!! I have to share. This first song is called "Low."

Everybody's talkin'
But they don't say a thing
They look at me with "sad eyes"
But I don't want their sympathy

It's cool you didn't want me
Sometimes you can't go back
But why'd you have to go and make a mess like that?
I just have to say before I let go

Have you ever been low?
Have you ever had a friend that let you down so?
When the truth came out were you the last to know?
Were you left out in the cold?
Cause what you did was low

No I don't want your number
There's nothing left to say
Except I never thought it'd hurt this much to be saved
My friends are outside waiting
I've gotta go

(repeat chorus)

I walk out of this darkness
With no sense of regret
And I go with a clear conscience
We both know that you can't say that
This to show
For all the time I loved you so

I know it was probably written to some jerky boyfriend but WOW. I was belting it out right along side her. (But obviously not as well as she does.) I've always liked the song, but now I GET the song. *haha*

Then a little while later "Breakaway" came on. Again, a song I've always liked but suddenly it has a whole new meaning. I think it's my theme song right now. :)

Grew up in a small town
And when the rain would fall down
I'd just stare out my window
Dreaming of what could be
And if I'd end up happy
I would pray

Trying hard to reach out
But when I tried to speak out
Felt like no one could hear me
Wanted to belong here
But something felt so wrong here
So I pray
I could breakaway

I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly
I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky
Now, make a wish
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won't forget all the ones that I love
I'll take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
and breakaway

Wanna feel the warm breeze
Sleep under a palm tree
Feel the rush of the ocean
Get on board a fast train
Travel on a jet plane
Far away
And breakaway

(repeat chorus)

Buildings with 100 floors
Swinging 'round revolving doors
Maybe I don't know where they'll take me but
Gotta keep movin' on, movin' on
Fly away, breakaway

I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly
Though it's not easy to tell you goodbye
I gotta take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won't forget the place I come from
I gotta take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway

It's so important for me to look at things from this angle. I DID "take a risk, take a chance and make a change." Yes initially it was forced on me *haha*. But eventually I came to that fork in the road where I had to choose what I was going to do. Stepping out from a place I've been for so long is extremely frightening. But it was time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My last day in the Garden

I am officially unemployed. I worked through the day yesterday and by 5:45 I had mustered up the courage (with the help of many, many solicited prayers and text messages from friends and family) to tell them I was leaving...for good.

I had rehearsed what I wanted to say over and over and over in my head. When the time came to actually say it, words didn't come out exactly as I'd planned. But it did the job and now I'm moving on. There was no fanfare, no tears, no "Oh you'll be so missed!!!" And I'm cool with that. It just reaffirms my decision. I know I've done the right thing for me.

Why didn't I stay and finish out the week? There are many reasons. I couldn't shake the feeling of being used. "Help us pack up your livelihood and then we're through with you," is what it felt like. It was also too emotionally draining to walk in there and join everyone in the "everything is hunk-dory, business as usual, lad-ti-da" attitudes that they had. No one seemed to want to acknowledge that this was an unimaginably difficult time for us. Not all of us were leaving this situation with a job. Things are changed...forever.

And in the end, I just couldn't stand by and watch my fellow employees be treated so callously and unprofessionally. I don't like confrontation, so for myself to become a doormat wouldn't be a surprise to anyone. But when people I care about are thrown under the bus with no notice at all and expected to take it like a champ...that doesn't set well. I won't go into details because I'm sure Mary will want to on her new blog (YAY! Something good DID come out of this! *haha*), but basically she wasn't given the final week of employment we were all promised on Thursday night when the curtain fell. And the reason they gave her was completely bogus. I decided that staying around as if nothing was wrong was condoning their behavior and I couldn't have a part in that.

So after SEVEN, count em', SEVEN years (1,2,3,4,5,6,7...sorry, couldn't resist) I have left Scrapbook Garden. It wasn't an easy decision...and I probably wouldn't have ever done it on my own. I was comfortable there. It was what I knew. It was easy. But as I've told my hurting coworkers, it was no Holy Grail of jobs. It wasn't perfect. Yes, we liked the people we worked with, sure, but there's no reason we can't continue to be friends and get together! We can enjoy each others' company without boundaries of work. Yes, we love scrapbook supplies, but what's going to stop us from continuously surrounding ourselves with those? We all practically have our own stores in our scrap-rooms anyway. *hehe*

This is a chance for all of us to find something better. To break out of the shell we were in and discover what God has in store. I know it's hard and when it really sets in I'll probably be freaking out, but at this very moment I'm breathing a sigh of relief. I feel that the burden I was carrying since Thursday night has been released and now I can set my eyes on the future!!!

Here's a shout-out for my girls from the East store!!! I love each of're fabulous women. I REFUSE to lose touch with you! Let's never settle for "ok" again. We deserve to be appreciated and treated with respect. I pray that each of you will find a place of employment that TRULY values the amazing qualities you have to offer.
Mat 10:14 And whoever will not receive you, nor will hear your words, having gone out of that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.

It's not the end
But it feels like it is
I'm waking up
Like I'm back from the dead
I'm steppin' out
And I feel so afraid
But as long as I'm movin' it's all right
I feel alive
And it hurts for a change
No lookin' back
It's hard to believe
That I was cool
With the days that were wasted
Complacent and tasteless and bored
But that was yesterday!
We're never going back to "ok"
We're never going back to "easy"
We're never going back to the way it was
We're never going back to "ok"

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I published the post about our Branson trip but because I'd saved it as a draft before my post about this weekend's events, it's showing up BEFORE the "Emptiness" post on my blog. I tried to move it but it won't let me and I refuse to type it all again because I'd have to add in all the pictures again and that's just a major pain. Hope you can find it, just scroll down. Lot's of cute pictures of my wonderful family!!! :)

Friday, October 3, 2008


I had a very cheerful, happy post regarding our Branson mini-vacation all set and ready to post once I added pictures, but alas, something has come up that I feel I need to address more urgently. If a blog is to reflect my personal life, then something VERY personal has come up that cannot be ignored.

On Thursday evening, my coworkers and I were given the news that our store, Scrapbook Garden East, was closing. Not in the near future, not in the next week or so, but immediately. And permanently. It completely blindsided us all. Not only didn't we see it coming, but the way the news was revealed to us was quite surreal. All of us were left numb, wondering, "Did we dream this?"

We were informed that our help would be "appreciated" in the packing and moving of all merchandise to the West store, which is remaining open. We will be employed through the 10th, then that's it. They did say that some people may transfer to the West store, as their needs permit, but seeing as it's a well-staffed store to begin with, the available hours aren't plentiful.

So Thursday morning I went to work, not a care in the world, no idea anything unusual was on the horizon. Then this morning, I went in and began to pack up all of the merchandise I've been arranging, straightening and selling for all this time. It was incredibly bizarre and pretty emotional.

I am not pleased with the way any of this has been handled. I believe that my coworkers and I (especially my co-manager) deserved a little more than the notice we were given. (In case you're not following, any notice at all would have been more than what we were given.) The shock and despair could have been eased into a little more gradually. I would have also liked to have had the opportunity to say goodbye to the customers I've formed friendships with over the many years I've been employed at Scrapbook Garden. I'm sure they would have liked the same consideration.

I've had trouble managing my attitude since the news was given. Anger, frustration, bitterness, disgust, spite...all of these emotions have been overwhelming. I'm also experiencing sincere sorrow and pain because I have put in a great deal of years into this store. I don't know where to go from here or what I will do. It's a frightening position to find oneself in, especially for someone that suffers from a fear of change, as I do.

But I have found amazing comfort in my Savior's arms. It is amidst the darkness that light appears it's brightest. I've been having conversations with Him about this entire situation and while I know He feels my hurt because He loves me, I also feel His guiding hand, encouraging me to move beyond my immediate feelings and look to the horizon.

My Mom has been the most amazing support and encourager. (I love you mom!!!) Her immediate reaction when I called last night was to pray with me, as it always is whenever we face a crisis. She prayed powerfully while I sat on the other end of the phone crying. Her strength and faith is contagious. Then I can't even begin to list the verses and quotes she has been typing on my Facebook page, all day and all night. I do want to share one thing, however, that I found particularly uplifting. It includes one of mine and Jeremy's favorite verses.

These storms actually become occassions to cast ourselves upon God. We are NOT TO GIVE UP but to GIVE IT UP, casting our cares upon Him who is and who remains the same yesterday, today, and forever....Jer29:11-14 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord"...

I've also been meditating on a story from 2 Kings (that we talked about in my Tuesday night Bible study) about a woman facing a far worse situation than I. She had just lost her husband and because she was so in debt to her creditors, they were about to exercise their legal right to take her sons as slaves as a form of payment. She approached the prophet Elisha, asking that he work a miracle to save her sons. He asked her what she had in her house. Nothing, except a single flask of oil. Elisha responded, "Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting the jars aside as they are filled." (2 Kings 4:3-4) So she followed his instructions, and every single jar they gathered was filled to the brim! As soon as all the jars were filled, the oil stopped flowing. She was able to sell the oil, pay off her debts and take care of her family without further help from those greedy creditors.
What stuck out to me most in this story was that the oil stopped flowing as soon as the family ran out of empty jars. As our book put it, "Indeed, the more of our own emptiness we present to God in faith, the more He is able to pour into us from His abundance!" (from "Completely His" by Shannon Ethridge)

Well Lord, I'm feeling pretty empty. In fact, more empty than I've felt in a really long time. And I'm presenting that emptiness to You, knowing that You know how to fill it a lot better than I do. I don't know where to look for a job or how to handle the remaining time I have with Scrapbook Garden. But I'm counting on You to get me through.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

And now back to our regularly scheduled program...

It's been a rough weekend on so many levels. But at the same time, I've really been blessed by the overwhelming support and kindness I've received from my family and friends. I can't thank you all enough! I can, however, finally offer up this post about our Branson trip last weekend. :)

Branson - was - awesome. :) We had a super-fabulous time! Lot's of playing and eating and shopping...all with my favorite people!
Jeremy and I arrived Saturday afternoon around 3:00. The area we stayed in was GORGEOUS!! Beautiful rolling hills covered with masses of trees; we really felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, but were actually just minutes from "the strip." The townhome was perfect, too. We each had our own bedroom with private bath. The place was fully equipped with everything we needed, including dishes, pots and pans and a toaster. There was even a washer and dryer so we could do laundry. Sa-weet!! :)

This was an area by a playground near the townhomes. Isn't it gorgeous?

Probably the best part of this trip was Livvie's growing fondness for Jeremy. She's ALWAYS been shy around him because, out of everyone in the family, she sees him the least. Well she really took to him this weekend and they became good li'l buddies. Again, the townhome was great because we could all be together, even after everyone was in their jammies and winding down for the evening. One night, Jeremy and Livvie had disappeared and we couldn't find them. We'd looked in all of the bedrooms and they weren't anywhere! Eventually they emerged from our bedroom. They were both grinning ear-to-ear and Jeremy told us, "We were in our fort!" He had stripped ALL of the bedding off of our bed and hung them up in the closet to make a little tent, plus all of our pillows were in there lining the walls "so she wouldn't bump her head." It was the cutest thing and I'm SO mad at myself that I didn't get any pictures of it.

Earlier that same evening Jeremy had been watching the Bears game in our room. Livvie was in there with him, wrestling around on the bed. They took a break to come eat dinner, but afterwards Livvie knew exactly how to get Jeremy away from the table and back to playing. "Jer-me, go watch football?" Of course he JUMPED on that chance! *haha*

Here's the two of them stopping to smell the flowers. Aren't they cute?

We spent most of our days at outlet malls and shopping centers and everyone went home with SOMETHING. :) I got a new wallet from the Fossil outlet, and a cute daisy ring...and lot's of cute Christmas ornaments at the Kringles Christmas store. Lauren, Rich and both of the kiddos did great finding shoes. Jack was so cute in his. They're his first pair and he kept clunking his feet together trying to figure out what those big heavy things were doing on there.

We visited a few parks while we were there to give Livvie a chance to stretch her legs and work off her energy. I think the rest of us left more tired than she did!!

And of course, there was a visit to Lambert's as I predicted there would be. We convinced Mom and Dad to come with us and we all made complete pigs of ourselves. It was DELICIOUS as always! The people are always SO friendly and personable. One older gentleman came around with a pot of the "pass-arounds" (which are basically freebie side dishes! Yum!) and asked if we'd like any. It was macaroni and tomatoes (I'm not a fan) so I declined by saying, "No, there's just no room on my plate!" Well he reached over, took the bowl of green beans OFF my plate and proceeded to blop some of this casserole into the spot they had been taking! It was hilarious, we all just died laughing. You could tell he was just an ornery sort of guy. I'm sure he's a fun Grandpa to some lucky kids.

Picture time!! I won't post all of them but here are a few more favorites:

Jeremy was excited that Jackson was in full Bears colors and had to prove it by showing the hat matched. :)

Being Auntie Sarah and Uncled Jeremy to these precious kiddos is just too fun!!

And my FAVORITE picture of the weekend is.....

Is she cute or WHAT? (Mom deserves credit for this picture as well as many others I've used here. Thanks Mom! You're an excellent family photographer. *hehe*)