Friday, February 26, 2010

Guilty Pleasure Friday

Saw this poster, and laughed so hard.

This post is dedicated to the 19% of Michigan on the unemployment doles.

Thank goodness we get a new governor next year!

Have a fantastic Friday everyone.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Before/ After pictures

Thursdays just may be my favorite day of the week now.

I love having the "excuse" to play with pictures on my computer.

To see more before and afters, check out Monica's blog.

Anyway, here's my SOOC:
This was taken the morning that C. took on the crib.  The crib won. 
 (Note:  fat lip)

B&W, cropping, warming

I {heart} natural lighting!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Can you guess what I'm working on?

These photos were deliberately taken out of focus...
thought my camera was going to combust...
but I made it happen.  :)

Hint:  It involves the cricut machine.  And maybe a sewing machine.

And has nothing whatsoever to do with the project teased about in this post.

Actually, that hasn't even begun yet.

Partly because this project is so much more fun.

And C. has been crazy sick.
Crazy sick.

And work has been crazy busy.
Crazy busy.

And I am just crazy.

Yep, that about covers it. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday morning...and random giddiness.

The boys are sick.  Again.  Started as an innocent headache on A's part and has morphed into snotty, rashy, fevery crud.  I know its going around and all...but COME ON!  We've had our fair share of crud this winter (C. especially). 

I ended up taking the boys into the Dr. on Friday afternoon to get them both checked- the Dr. we saw was using the word "asthma" when talking about C.  I always knew that was a possibility with him, but it worries me that its now in his chart.  I guess I always picture the runty kid in grade school with the crazy-thick glasses with the snap-down (instead of button-down) shirt, carrying his inhaler to gym class where he sat on the sidelines more than he played.  Asthma means, for C, that I REALLY need to be vigilant about his allergies- since his lungs are already inflamed more than not.  I feel bad for the poor kid...he gets so scared when he can't breathe.

I'm still in the same pajamas I went to bed in on Friday night.  (change of underclothes, though).  Don't judge me.  My kids are sick.  And when they feel better (thanks to tylenol), they fight.  When they don't feel better, they are like velcro to me.  A shower is long overdue- hopefully coming soon. 

I did have a big day with my cricut machine yesterday.  I'm working on gifts, donations and wall art for our NEW bathroom in the addition- which is so close to being complete I'm giddy with excitement.  Pictures coming soon.  :)

I didn't have enough energy/time/leash from the boys to get the sewing machine out like I wanted to.  Hopefully today.  I'm working on a baby gift that I started with the cricut and need to finish with the sewing machine...I hope it turns out in real life as cute as it looks in my head.  I'll post pictures if it does!

I received a phone call on Friday which both excited and humbled me.  It's a new venture, but totally up my alley.  An announcement will come soon- vague announcement for bloggy world, but more detailed information for my IRL friends.  I'm praying hard about it and so excited...and giddy...about the direction its going in!

My MOPS group is doing a consignment sale this year.  I'm thinking about what I want to put in there.  Do I get rid of everything from the boys baby stages?  Why do I not feel ready for that?  I know I'm done having this normal?  Does every mom struggle with letting baby stuff go?

Dave took Molly for a walk this morning and came in the house smelling of spring air.  Does anyone else smell the change in seasons?  The smell had guessed it...almost giddy!  Why almost?  Well, we still have about 3-4 inches on snow on the ground and another bout coming this week.  But the tulips I won at MOPS last week are a nice splash of spring on my kitchen table!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Guilty Pleasure Friday

This post is dedicated to anyone who knows the difference between patience and wisdom.  And especially those of you who can apply both at the same time.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pictures before and after

I'm beginning to look forward to these Thursday before and after posts!
It give me an excuse to get into my photo archives.
You can see more by going to Monica's blog.

Here's a picture I thought about putting on our Christmas card, but another one won out.

I love that they are playing with the same ladder- could skip the sun overpowering them, but that's just me.

Straight out of the camera:


(cropped, sienna'd, warmed, saturated, and glowed)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Winter in Michigan

Last week, C. and I...

...went outside after our light...dusting... know...since it was warmer and all...

C. insisted...

...on wearing his brother's snow suit...

...which made him look more like an oompa loompa than a toddler...


C. played... it was summer.

I got snow in my boot.

C. discovered he may be too big for the slide next summer.
C. liked to say,
"Mommy, look at me!"

The trees...

...moaned and whispered in the wind.


...went crazy with pent up energy.

I started...
                                                                                ...craving s'mores.

We both discovered...                             

                                              ...snow can be as fun as sand...
...and you don't have to love snow...

to love winter in Michigan.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday wish list

I started by making a pet peeve post. 

Then, I realized that I'm more of a glass half full kind of person. 

I'd rather wish for something than against something else...

so, here's my wish list in no particular order.
  • I wish for everyone in the world to use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • I wish for everyone in the world (my children especially) to have great teeth with extra strong enamel
  • I wish to be independently wealthy and still work- because I love what I do
  • I wish to be a professional photographer
  • I wish everyone to be 100% healthy 100% of the time
  • I wish everyone knew God and had a great relationship with him
  • I wish I lived closer to my best friend, my brother, and my old neighbor
  • I wish it was sunny all the time.
  • I wish that all I saw were smiles out of my boys
  • I wish for new furniture
  • I wish for 10 minutes of peace and quiet
  • I wish C. liked to cuddle
  • I wish Dave liked to play board games
  • I wish the Love Shack was complete
  • I wish some insured's would call me back so I can complete their audits
  • I wish vegetables tasted better
  • I wish chocolate was a vegetable

Friday, February 12, 2010

Guilty Pleasure Friday

This post is dedicated to all the Valentine's out there. (Especially those of you that do um....crazy, bizarre things for your Valentine's)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pictures Before/After

This is a Thursday tradition for Monica.  If you haven't seen her blog, check it out. 
It's seriously one of my favorites!
Today, I'm shooting my Molly girl.


Not shooting her like *bang* with a gun.
Camera shooting.
Because the former would be dreadful.
And the latter, just tons better.

And more fun.

Straight out of the camera:


Funny, I had to saturate the color to get her fur to look like it does in normal life.

Isn't she cute?!?!?  Kind of makes me want to throw a treat at the screen.

Or not.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The wedding


Wedding Day Valentine's Extravaganza

I just couldn't leave you hanging at the engagement, could I?

At dinner after our engagement, Dave actually suggested we get married on Valentine's Day.  That would have given me approximately 4 months to plan the shin-dig.  Doable, yes.  But I opted not to.  Primarily because I was in two weddings that spring and it probably would have been too much.  Looking back, I probably would have gone for it...but we didn't.  It was a great day- here's the story.

We went for a September wedding.

September 22, 2001

You historians out there will realize that's 11 days after 9-11.

It was a beautiful day.  I spent the morning at my favorite hair salon with my mom, mom in-law (to be)  bridesmaids and a few friends getting our hair and make up done.  We had momosas, fruit and blueberry muffins.

After we were ready, Dave and I made the decision to see each other first and get pictures taken before the ceremony.  We had about 5 minutes alone before anyone else saw me.  I remember that 5 minutes better than any other moment in the day...well, almost...there's a lot of other moments I remember as well.
This is quite possibly my favorite picture of the day.  My nephew, Hunter was only 3 at the time.  My niece, Emily was only 23 months old.  We were warned not to have little ones in the wedding, but these two were awesome.  They were so good.  They walked perfectly down the aisle (linked arms even!) to my mom who was waiting with a babysitter to take them down to the nursery.  Seriously, they rocked!  On the video, you can hear a collective "Awhhhhhh" when they made their appearance.  I love these kids.
We had a large wedding party- 6 on each side.  Wouldn't change it now if you paid me to.  The interesting part was fitting a bunch of different body types, personalities and budgets.  After shopping with them all, I found a seamstress who would help me design them and totally rocked on the budget.

I loved my flowers.
I loved my bridesmaids.
I love the fact that we purchased our unity candle in Germany
(and smuggled it home in my mom's carry-on so Dave wouldn't see it and get freaked out because we had only been dating for 7 months at the time)
I love that a graphic designer friend of ours designed our invitations.
I love that my elementary art teacher made the banners in honor of our wedding.
I love that my dad turned into a soprano when he gave me away.
I love that God chose me to marry Dave.

We took the trolley to the beach afterward for some pictures.  On the trolley, Dave and I stood on the back deck and waved to people driving by.  There was a mommy and little girl walking on the side of the road and when I waved to her, she jumped up and down with excitement.  Totally made me feel like a celebrity.  Loved it.

We also stopped really quick at a local tavern to sing "Happy Birthday" to one of my bridesmaids and purchase our wedding party a round of drinks.

Then to the reception for dinner, drinks, dancing and lots of fun.

Quite honestly, one of the best.days.ever.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dave pops the question.


We had been dating a little less than a year (9 months to be exact, but who's counting...) when Dave started asking about what kind of rings I liked.
I found my ring at a friend of ours who was starting her own jewelry business.  I picked out the loose stone, and the setting.  She wrote it up and put her name and number on it.

I returned home from the trip, and handed him the paper saying, "When you're ready, just call Pam."

Now I know, he called her 4 days later.  This was August.

In September, he said, "Since we both like fall so much, we should find out when peak color is and go on a weekend trip."

We did research and found out that peak color in the U.P. is the first week of October.  Also the same weekend as my birthday.  Perfect timing.

The trip was set.

I thought perhaps he could ask me to marry him, but my father had left for our property up north (very north) a week prior.  I knew there was no way Dave would ask me to marry him without going through the proper channels first.  So, I didn't get my hopes up.

Friday night (my birthday) we got up to the U.P. very late since we had both worked a full day that day- we started out late.  It's like a 6 hour drive.  We ate a quick dinner and crashed in our beds.
No ring.

Saturday (my father's birthday) we had a full day planned.

First we went up to Lighthouse Point.  It's off of Lake Superior. 

Whoa, was is chilly.

We went to the Shipwreck museum and walked along the beach (freezing my bootie off...but it was still pretty).

I kept thinking, now's a good time to do it, Dave.

We stayed there for about 2 hours and left.

No ring.

Then we drove another hour to Taquamenon Falls.  There's two portions to the falls:  Lower and Upper.

We started at the Lower falls.  There's a little picnic pavillion there.  We had packed a lunch, so we picnic'ed.  It was a perfect setting...we were all alone.... 
We dined for about 30 minutes.
No ring.

Then we hiked around a while, found some water to watch.

There's a brewery there...we sampled some of their hard earned hops.  (pun intended)

Hiked some more.  Found a bathroom since the hops were talking.

Left the Lower falls.
No ring.

Then, to the Upper Falls.
It's beautiful.
Little hike.  Totally worth it.
We got to the observation deck.
A large family asked me to take a picture of them on the deck.
I did...with about 15 of their cameras. 

We stood there talking about lots of stuff.
Watching the water.
Holding hands.
Now's a perfect time, it now....

We left.
No ring.

We headed back to our place and I had realized that this probably wasn't going to be my engagement weekend.  Although disappointed, I was strangely ok.  I knew that I would marry Dave someday.  And, his birthday, the anniversary of our first date, Thanksgiving and Christmas were all right around the corner.  I knew eventually the ring would come.

By the time we drove back to our B&B, the dinner hour was upon us.  We were going to walk to find a diner and pulled in to realize that a ship was heading straight for the Soo Loc's.  We both wanted to see that, so we decided to walk there first.

Dave told me that he had to use the bathroom, and wanted to run up to the room real quick.

I followed him (it was a windy day, and I could use a combing and make up refreshing).

He was in the bathroom....for a long time.
I almost wondered if I had poisoned him by putting mayonnaise on his sandwich at lunch.
Long time...waiting.

He comes out and hugs me.
Says, "Sandy (insert maiden name here), I have a question for you."
(I seriously thought he was going to ask me where I wanted to eat)
Until he gets down on his knee, looks up at me w/ shaking hand and asks
"Will you marry me?"
"YES!" I said

And then we walked to the Soo Locks on the way to dinner.  I was **frigid** there.  I refused to wear my mitten on my left hand because I didn't want to cover up my ring.  By the end of the night, that hand was purple.

Little did I realize that he was carrying the ring with him the ENTIRE day looking for the perfect spot (read: nerve) to ask me to marry him.
See the picture below?  (taken at one of the falls) 
Yeah, it's in his left chest pocket.  You can see part of the outline of the box.
Seriously, it was right under my nose!!!

And that's how Dave proposed.

By the way, Dave did get a hold of my dad to ask my hand in marriage before he popped the question.  'Cause he's just a good guy like that.  :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekend recap and thought follow up

Remember last week's thought post (page down if you don't).  Anyway, I took the boys to that closing toy store that afternoon.  I figured that A. had enough money in this spending fund to allow him to purchase his own toy.  I saw this outfit in the store the week prior, and thought of A., but even at 30% off, it didn't fit into our budget.  At 50% off, it fit into his budget splendidly.  As soon as he saw it, he affixed himself to the box.  This boy was in heaven.  He now wears it every chance he gets.  He loves it.  I love that he takes pride in something he's earned himself.
He had .39 left over which he thought would allow him to purchase C. a toy.  Bless his little heart.  I chipped in some money and C. got a fire truck.

And of course, since I was in a crafty mood, I stopped at JoAnn Fabrics for a little inspiration.  And inspiration I found.  I spent the next day's nap time doing this:
It's a strap for my camera.  I saw an idea for this on another blog, and thought hey, I can make that!  I had to cut one of the sides twice, but if I hadn't, the entire project would have only taken me about an hour.  Sweet.  By the way, do you know how hard it is to take a picture of a camera strap attached to your camera?!?!

C. is showing signs of being ready to potty train.  I know I should be more excited than I am.  Basically, this means that I need to reacquaint myself with every public restroom known to man in every kind of public place.  I am *NOT* a public restroom kind of gal.  But, soon we will get through this and be on the other side of diapers.  Ahhhhhh.....
There's a lot of clearance sales out and about.  C. was modeling the shirt we bought for A.: Note the sunglasses.  :)

Saturday was crazy busy, but tons of fun.  I got to see two people that I really enjoy and would like to get to know even better.  Both of them are pregnant, so its tons of fun to talk about baby stuff with them.My hair stylist (D.'s cousin) was able to fit me in while I was in her neighborhood. I can safely say that I can no longer be considered a blonde (at least until summer).

Then back home to have an old friend and his pregnant wife over for dinner.  I totally messed up the timing of dinner and set off the fire alarm (for the first time in this house).  They were great sports.  It was A.'s Baptismal birthday, so I quickly pulled together some GF carrot cake cupcakes w/ cream cheese frosting.  (Thanks, Emily!)  This also opened the door to talk to our guests about our faith and how we're choosing to raise our children.  (Isn't God awesome when he opens opportunities like that?!?!)  Our guests were none the wiser that the entire meal was gluten free.  I thought that was awesome and gave myself a nice little pat on the back for that one.

Then, D. got sick during the night.  This put a kabosh on church and our SOUPer Bowl party that we usually attend.  I almost took the boys to church anyway, but I figured that if D. really is sick then we've all been exposed and we probably shouldn't expose others.  :(  On the plus side, we all slept in, had a softie day (sweats), and chilled as a family.  I got tons of audits completed (awesome!) and we made our own family soup and watched the game while throwing a ball with each other.  All in all, a good day.
When I asked A. what his favorite part of the day was (something I do every night), he said, "Just staying home playing with you and dad.  Can that be a favorite part, if it was the whole day?"

It sure can, A.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

How I met my man.

My bloggy friend, Mama M. is having a little fun w/ Valentine's Day.  And since many of you don't know the story about our little union, I thought I'd join in.

It was a hot hot day...(snicker...)
Actually, the first time Dave and I saw each other was at a wedding on a HOT August day.
He was in the wedding, I was a friend of a guest.
Out of 13 groomsmen, only 2 were hot.  Of the two, only one had a naked ring finger.
That was Dave.

We were each dating someone at the time, so we didn't even talk to each other.
It's funny to look at those wedding pictures and realize how close to each other we were...
totally oblivious to the future God has in store for us.

My future in-laws were at that wedding too.  Funny, huh?

Late in Nov, I was out with my guy friends- completely single. 

We were at a country bar drinking it up (but not too much).

In walks the groom from that wedding.
He knows the group of guys I was with, so he sits down with us.
In walks two more friends.

One of them is Dave.
He pulls a chair from another table and sits it right next to me.

We talked.
We laughed.
We slow danced.
We fast danced.

He asked for my number.
I gave it to him.

I told him, "I don't play games.  I don't like girly girl things."

He said, "That's very refreshing.  Will you marry me?"

I laughed.

He called me the next day at 4:08 pm.  (note: no 3 day waiting period)

He called me every night thereafter.

Our first date was Thanksgiving night.
I had butterflies.

The following Monday was his birthday.  He said that he probably wouldn't call me that night- his parents were having him over for his birthday.  I said, "ok, talk to you on Tuesday.  Have a happy birthday."

Monday night:  8 pm he called.  He left his parent's house (on his birthday) to go home and call me.

This is a good guy, I thought.

Our friends gave us 2 weeks. 
(Apparently, we both dated around a lot, and didn't tend to have long relationships- why hang on to them if they're not what I'm looking for, I always said)

I told Dave one night that even if we didn't see longevity in our relationship, we should stay together for 15 days- just to spite them.

He agreed.

Day 15 phone call went like this:  "Hey,, it's day 15."
Dave:  "Really?  Already?"
Me: "Yep"
Dave:  "Does this mean you want to be rid of me?  Cause, I'm kind of into you, and want to hang on to you for awhile."
Me:  "No, I don't want to be rid of you.  Not at all."
Dave:  "Ok, then we'll continue to proove them all wrong."

It was at that moment in time, I knew I had him, and he had me.

Hook, line and sinker.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Guilty Pleasure Friday

This post is dedicated to all the sideways glancers at The Children's Place this week when I gave in to Colin (purchasing him sunglasses) after throwing a fit. 

Apparently, there are worse parents out there.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Just my thoughts

I thought about taking part in a birthing story blog hop, but since I have no pictures of A's birth will have to wait.  So, I'm doing a thought post.

A's class led chapel today at his school.  It was adorable.  They sang, "I am Jesus' little lamb."  The song has been their memory work for the past few weeks.  All the kindergarten parent's heads were bobbing with the words since we all know it by heart too...I was in the back row giggling at the phenomenon.  Bless their little hearts- they were so cute.

C. and I went to Kohl's afterward to check out the clearance racks.  I often miss out on the good stuff because I wait too long.  Today I banked.  I found great stuff, great discounts, and spent the entire wad of my birthday money.  Plus, I got Kohl's cash to go back (enter:  commercial..."It's like getting paid to shop.")  There were a few things I put back in order to get to the check out within my I can go back and get one!  SWEET.

We went to The Children's Place at the mall today too.  At the check out, I gave in and purchased a pair of sunglasses for C. after he threw a fit.  (don't judge me)  I know there were people watching with many opinions on how I shouldn't have given in.  I'll settle for their sideways glances.  Yes, I'm still learning.

C. sucks on peanuts.  He requests them as a snack, and it takes him hours to eat them.  He sucks on them.  Don't ask me.

My dad has surgery next Tuesday.  Supposed to be routine.  We all know that things that are supposed to be routine sometimes aren't.  I'm praying this isn't one of those times.  God is in control.

Total pregnancy number is at 24.  Few have added, but two have now delivered.

I am jonesing to do something with my sewing machine.  I haven't had a sewing project since before Christmas.  Hmmmm, what to do....  Perhaps a trip to JoAnn Fabrics is in my future.

One of my favorite up-scale toy stores is going out of business.  Everything is 50% off.  It's next door to JoAnn Fabrics.  Hmmmm...perhaps a trip needs* to happen today.  Or tonight- without kids.

I found a recipe that incorporates 4 servings of veggies into one meal.  The boys both loved it.  Next time I make it, I'll post pics and recipe.

Dave wears his clothes inside out when he's spraying paint.  He looks funny- but still dashingly handsome.

I need a massage.

* the line between want and need is blurry at this moment in time.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Funny Story

There's nothing on TV on Saturday night at 7 pm.

We usually channel surf trying to find something that the boys can watch and help calm them down before bed.

Enter:  The Lawrence Welk Show.

Yes, we watch PBS.

Actually, some of the fashions could be worn today. 

And some should have never been worn at all.

We usually dance around the living room.  Trading boys.  Just the 4 of us.

Last Saturday, I was tucking C. into his crib.  Adam comes in to say goodnight to C.

Then he turns to me and said, "Mommy, can I have a pleasure dance?"

Me:  "uhhh....who did you hear that from?"

I tell D. what he said and he falls to the ground laughing.

D. sent him in to ask me "can I have the pleasure of this dance?"

I danced with my son around the living room.

Later, I jokingly chastised my husband for putting x-rated language in our son's mouth.