Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Again...

I can't believe that the weekend hascomeand gone already.  Why is it that they take so long to get here and then they go by so quickly?  Maybe because after working all week, I have so much to squeeze into two short days, including some much needed down time. 
Anyway, it was a very nice weekend.  Friday evening my sisters arrived around 5:00.  Although I had expected them earlier, they surprised me by veering off their route to take a side trip-something that Jenn is not one to do.  And guess where they went?  To Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey!  For those of you not in the know, that is the home of Buddy Valastro-the one and only Cake Boss. 

Here are Molly and Carly in front of the world famous bake shop!
They didn't come out empty handed either, they brought me an authentic NJ crumb bake, ahhh ain't nothin' like it! 
Saturday was the bridal shower, and it was a busy day.  I did a few things in preparation for the big event, but Brooke must have been working on it for weeks.  She did such a great job and everything was just perfect!  Brooke is totally addicted to Pinterest like me, the difference is that she actually has done some of the things that she has pinned.  She made votive candle holders to match the theme of the party with epsom salt that she dyed and Mod Podged on clear glass, she made a banner that said 'Love is Sweet' as well as a sign, colored glass vased for flowers, cake pops, a hot chocolate bar, just all kinds of goodies! 
Each guest was asked to write out a recipe on a card that was stamped and sent with the invitation.

The bride-to-be and her special 'maid of honor'

Bella records each gift and who it came from.

Michelle and her 'bouquet'.

It was a really special day and the people who choose to be there and celebrate my girl were there in person or in spirit.  We missed those who couldn't be there to join with us in sharing her joy. 
Then I went home and CRASHED! 
I could barely move.
I am getting so OLD,  Or run down.  Or OLD.  Oh, my Goodness! 
Yesterday I was good for nothing.
That's what happens I guess-but I need to rest from resting now.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Let the Revelry Begin!

The Sisters are getting together and fun is bound to happen!  My sisters are all coming to town!  Almost.  My younger sister Laura, will not be able to join us this weekend because of health issues and she will be missed.  But we will keep her in our prayers and have a glass of wine for her!  Tomorrow is Michelle's bridal shower and my older sister Susan and my baby sister Jenn will both come from Vermont for the Celebration, in addition my SIL Linda will be here from Pennsylvania and my Sister in my heart, Durinda is coming from Virginia.  I am so HAPPY and EXCITED!  They are all coming to share in Michelle's joy and excitement and what a Blessing it all is.  Michelle's Matron of Honor Brooke, is hostessing the shower at her Mom's house, which is right down the street from me.  Michelle and Brooke have been friends since we moved into our home when she was in the 6th grade and Brooke was in the 5th and they have seen each other through many of life's ups and downs.
This is a picture of Brook and Michelle from Brooke's wedding in October of 2010.  And a picture of Diane and I at the same event:
She is perhaps one of the nicest, kindest, most beautiful people you will ever meet!  We used to take our girls and go our for a day of shopping for school clothes together.  They were both a little difficult to fit, small and thin little things.  Worrying about braces, glasses, school, boys and being popular. (One more than the other!)  Now they are both women one married and one soon to be.  Look at our girls now, Diane!
So tonight Michelle and Shawn along with Bella and Aiden will join Jim and I and my two sisters and their two daughters for dinner, should be fun.  Then tomorrow, everyone will converge on Diane's home and celebrate a rite of passage.  I can't wait!  It will be an intimate gathering of people, those closest to her (minus a few exceptions due to health and distance-but we understand!) and she will be showered with love.  She will feel it and know that she is truly loved, by her family, by her friends, her fiance.  And most of all-by God,  who in His perfect timing brought Shawn and Michelle together so that they may know the love that they feel for each other now.  That they may live together as husband and wife and know the joys and blessings that can bring.  (The horror and pain too, but hey-gotta take the good with the bad!)
So, I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.
But before I sign off, here is Bella and her 'Aunt Brookie'.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Where does the time go?

I was reading another blog post this morning written by a young mother of two and she wrote about how she has so much that she wants to get done each day.  She writes lists and posts them on the refrigerator and doesn't seem to be able to cross anything off the list, her days are consumed by her baby and her toddler, bible studies, her husband, friends, doctor appointments, the normal, everyday stuff of a busy, wife and mother.  Daydreaming that she had Mary Poppins in her pocket!   And she poses the question at the end of her post asking 'What are your tricks to getting it done?' 

Now I'm gonna take a shot and assume that by 'it' she is reffering to the struggle that we as women all deal with.  The battle that we have waged for years.  Sometimes with success and sometime, well, not so successfully.  That is being all things to all people.  And I'm here to tell you-some times you gotta let something go.  That is the secret.  Because it is bound to happen no matter how hard we try, when juggling multiple balls in the air at one time eventually, you are bound to drop one.  We are women yes, but we are also human and as humans we are fallible.  Hard to believe but true.

So what are the tricks?  I can tell you without reservation after years of trying to get it all done; have a clean home, well-dress, well -behaved kids, been a classroom volunteer, team mom, homework aid, busdriver, Sunday school teacher, choir member, Deacon, student, wife, etc., somewhere along the line something gets missed.  You forget a practice, or a concert date or a meeting or dare I say it-a child waiting to be picked up after practice!  We can't be all things to all people and sometimes we have to just try to be the best that we can be and that has to be enough. 

Because the One most important, the One who sacrificed all for us, who gave His life for us-
He will understand.  For Him we are good enough.  He loves us as we are.  He rejoices in our one, true self. 
And when the burden gets to be too much, He is there to help us through it, if we just let Him.  If we just trust in Him. 

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

                                                                   Ephesians 3:19


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winding Down

Been a long weekend, or so it would seem.  I called out of work of Friday because I felt lousy.  It would seem as though the virus that Michelle and Shawn had last weekend they were kind enough to share with me.  I spent the large majority of the day moving from the couch to my chair with frequent trips down the hall to the loo.  (That sounds so much nicer that those other words I could have used now, doesn't it!)  Work called me just three times and I had to answer only a few emails, so I didn't even have to put my glasses on.  My emails may not have made any sense, but I still didn't put my glasses on so it was worth the it.  My head was killing me anyway.
But, you can't keep me down for long and Saturday I was booked for the day and had to get up and get moving whether I wanted to or not.  So I did my very best to act like I was feeling better thinking that if I acted the part, after a while maybe my body and mind would just fall in line. It didn't work, but I gave it the ole college try.  Anyway, first I headed out to pick up the wedding invitations and they are b-e-a-utiful!  Just love them!  From there I met Michelle and Shawn at a florist in town where we had a consultation and worked out all the details for the flowers for the wedding.  Wow!  So much to consider and flowers sure have gone up a lot since I got married.  To be fair,when Jim and I got married we had a very small wedding and my only attendant was my sister.  We had a small reception that while lovely, consisted of hot horsdorves, an open bar and a piano player playing quietlly on a grand piano.  So, there were not that many flowers.  Just what was needed for the ceremony at the church, but I seem to remember that they were somewhere in the neighborhood of $350.  Granted that was 31 years ago, but that was about what we paid for tax and delivery charges for this wedding!  Boy how times have changed. Ha!  But, we have only one daughter and she's only getting married once and she knows I'd do anything for her.
Michelle and Shawn had come from meeting with the photographer at the church where they went over what specific shots they wanted her to get, what they expected, and what she expected, that kind of thing.  It was a very productive meeting. 
Next, Michelle and I went up to Chambersburg for a dress fitting.  I had picked up her shoes earlier in the week, so we were good to go.  The place was mobbed as prob season is in full swing, but upstairs Michelle was the only one being fitted.  Her dress doesn't need too much done in the way of alterations, but enough.  Her next fitting is February 18th.  After she was done upstairs we went downstairs to shop for a dress for me. Honestly, I think that was more difficult than getting her a wedding dress!  For a number of reasons.  One: she is small and looks good in anything-Me-not so much.  Two: When we were shopping for her we had time to order a dress or buy direct so the selection was good. Me-not so much.  Had to buy off the rack and the selection was depleted.  Three: I don't like me in anything!!  Especially when there are these little girls next to me trying on dresses in a size ZERO and they are teeny tiny skinny little things but they still have BOOBS! There should be a law against that or something!   They should at least be segregated from the old, wrinkled, and saggy ladies like me.  I mean, I put on a strapless dress and the gal helping me said to put my arms up and I said I didn't want to.  Then I asked for a truthful opinion because I didn't want to wave and have half of my arm keep waving long after the rest of me is done.  That's just plain nasty.   Anyway, got a dress.  Wasn't easy, but I got one.

This is it.  Totally different from what I thought I might get, but I am happy with it.  It's hard to tell from this picture, but the color is espresso and it is chiffon and lace with rusching at the top and then a lace overlay skirt and jacket.  It fits well and it I can find the right shoes, then no alterations are necessary.  That's the best news! 
So all in all it was a productive weekend.   

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hopping on the Band Wagon!

In browsing some of my favorite blogs I've noticed a bit of a theme as of late that has less to do with resolutions and more to do with intentions.  I like that.  While in fact the definition for all iintents and purposes is the same, somehow it doesn't souds as severe.  As 'resolute'.  More like a hope, I'd like to do this or I would wish to accomplish that.  Do you see where I'm going here?  I'm not really tying myself down to anything here, so if in fact I don't stick to it-well hey, no harm, no foul.  Righ? 
So, with that in mind, I will now tell you what I have in mind for the coming year.  What my intentions are to accomplish, most specifially in my home, this year.  And since this could lead to the longest blog post in the history of blog posts if I put it all to words, I will keep it to the top 6.  (I picked 6 because it is a nice even number and I like the shape of a 6-it has nice curves.  Don't you think?) 

   1. My number one goal is to get myself more organized!  That is a huge one for me.  I try really hard to be organized and I can't stand not to be, but most of the time I just have too much going on any any one time to get myself together.  So, I feel like if I can just get things put away I'm in good shape!  This year though I want it to be different.  The kids are out of the house and with any luck, they won't be moving back in any time soon.  (Disclaimer: not that I don't love my kids, I'm just done playing musical rooms!)  We have a little more room and would like to make sense of what we have.  I would really like to talk Mr. Wonderful into finally getting rid of some of their 'toys' but he has a hard time letting go.

   2. My craft room!   This has had more transformations than Joan Rivers' face.  My room has been in so many different spots in our house that even I loose track of them all.  I kid you not!  Just as I get settled and think that I am there to stay, it seems like it's time to move again.  This time is it.  (I'm saying this with crossed fingers, toes, and everything else.)  I'm going to have to sell the house, or die to be moved out of that spot now.  IT WILL BE FINISHED!  I am going to actually get pictures on the wall and decorative touches up here and there and make it a nice space and not just before I die.  This year!  That one is more than a mere intention, just sayin.

   3. I would really, really love to replace the sliding glass door that is in our kitchen.  I HATE that thing.  It is loud, ugly, scratched and did I mention ugly?  Hate it.  I'd love to get one with the integrated blinds in it as then the dogs and Mr. W couldn't ruin them.  I think that they are pretty pricey, but not too sure.  I think it would be well worth it.  Also like to get a doggie door on there and I don't like my hubby's solution.  His is the redneck dog door.  (When the dogs ran through the screen and broke it, he just never fixed it and so they just continue to go through the big hole in the screen!)  It doesn't work for me. 

4.   My foyer floor needs to be refinished.  Desperately.  I would like to get that done.  It is difficult to do because in order to do it we need to get the dogs in a kennel for a few days and then get ourselves out of the house for a couple of days as well, because you can't get anywhere in my house without crossing the foyer floor.  Anywhere of note anyway.  Kitchen or bathroom or bedroom.  And at some point in the day you are going to need at least on of those rooms. Guaranteed.

5.  Okay, 4 is enough for now.  NOT that I don't have more, just because I'm bored and tired of typing.  So there you have it. 

Now, for giggles.  A picture or four!
Our little Miss with her Madame Alexander balerina
Junior Explorer at the National Geographic Museum
Happy Birthday Michelle!
Eating Japenese food with Chopsticks.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year, New Post

Happy New Year!  I know that I am a little late, but that is me lately, a day late and a dollar short.   Better late than never.  Ha!  I do hope that everyone was able to spend the holiday safe and happy with loved ones. 
I keep trying to write this post and am having a very difficult time getting through it.  Not that anything has happened, I am just having difficulty writing and I'm not quite sure why.  Although finding the time is part of the problem as always.  Things have not slowed down much now that the holidays are over, that's for sure! 
Though I'm not complaining, it's what keeps me getting up in the morning.  (So I keep telling myself anyway.)
Mr. Wonderful has been working at de-'Christmassing' the house and I help when I get home from work.  It is a task that's for sure.  Why is it so much more fun to get it all out than to put it all away?  There are boxes and tissue and stuff all over the house!  Nothing is in the right place and right now the house looks like a tornado has blown through it.  I am anxious for all of it to be put away.  I told Michelle that I was hoping for the Christmas fairy to come in and wave a magic wand and it would all be put neatly away and the house would all be back to normal.  Her response was 'Let me know how that works out for you!'.  It didn't.
In other news, I was able to hit some of the after Christmas sales-that was fun.  I saw on another blog a pretty little tree that was decorated with all sweet treats and I just loved it and decided I would like to do one like that next year.  (As if I don't have enough trees already.)  So, I had seen some really pretty ornaments that were candy and sweet themed that I liked, but were a bit too pricey for my taste.  After Christmas though they were 50% off and that was more to my liking and I grabbed them right up.  A few of my favorites?  Sugared ribbon candy, a cherry topped cupcake and a double dipped ice cream cone.  Yum!
So, now I am on the second full week of trying to finish this one post-incredible.  I am determined to get it done today! 
I had a very productive weekend, believe it or not, and I am feeling realy good.  Tired, but good.  Saturday morning I cleaned up around the house and finished getting all the last of the Christmas stuff put away and getting the house back to its pre-holiday normal.  It feels good to be back there.  Then Michelle and I went downtown with Shawn and Bella and went to look for invitations to the wedding.  Michelle had asked that I do them and I had every intention of doing so, but it suddenly occurred to me that I just didn't have time to do it and we really needed to get going on them.  So, we went into a local little shop and looked around.  What beautiful things she had to choose from!  Michelle is pretty decicive and knows what she likes and what she doesn't so she picked something out pretty quickly then looked around some more to be sure and she was sure so we ordered them.  Next we headed a few doors over to another shop that I love and looked at favors.  I had seen these a week or so earlier and told Michelle and Shawn about them and wanted them to look at them.  They are small bags of coffee.  Both Michelle and Shawn are mad coffee drinkers and so this suited them perfectly.  They could choose the flavor coffee, the color of the bag (silver, gold or black) and then have the label personalized with a picture or design on it too.  Very cute and the bag makes a perfect pot full of coffee.  Sold.  We placed our order.
Since we were downtown already, we stopped in at a local bridal shop and looked at their shoes.  Michelle needed to find some before we could begin to schedule her dress fittings so she looked and choose a pair that she liked and that suited her style.  When we asked for the price we found out that they were on clearance and they marked them down to $5.00-what a deal!  We also got her veil there and it was the one that she tried on with her gown in the same color and was also marked down from $225.00 to $25.00.  It was my lucky day and made up for the pricey invitations! 
Yesterday we met up with Justin and Carrie (my nephew and niece) and their son Austyn and all drove together to Pittsburgh to visit the rest of Jim's family for Christmas.  Bella came with us too.  It was nice to see everyone as it is a very rare opportunity indeed.  Only my nephew Ben was missing, and my kids-Ben had reserve duty, Tim had to work as per usual and Michelle and Shawn were taking a much needed day off.   We exchanged gifts and had dinner and it was mass pandemonium, but it was family, and it was good!  My SIL Linda gave me one of the greatest gifts, I was just tickled to death with it.  You may remember when I told you about a certain piece of pottery that I had and was cooking a pork roast in when I went to check on it only to find that the pottery had broken in half and the roast was now sitting on the rack in my oven.  I searched high and low for a replacement for that piece of pottery as it was one of my favorite pieces, but the company had gone out of business and I couldn't even find it on ebay.  Well, Linda gifted it to me for Christmas!  She had the same piece and didn't use hers to cook in and wanted me to have it so she gave me hers.  I was so touched and so happy to have it!  Thanks Linda, you made my day.  :)
Bella was thrilled because she got a little friendship bracelet kit and Carrie, Sarah and Tiffanie, my niece and my nephews wives' all played with her making bracelets.  She felt like the queen of the castle and she told us that she had new friends because they gave her the bracelets that they made.  Thanks girls, you really made my little girls' day!
The only bad part of the day was that the Steelers lost the game and we had to listen to it in the car on the way home.  Jim and Justin were both quite dissapointed and after we got home Jim called Tim to speak with him and he was so angry about the game he couldn't work-or so he said! 
Well that's about it for now.  I am hoping to have some new pictures soon.  As soon as I can load them from my new camera onto the computer that is.  Ha!  Until then-Karen