Project 365

So, I started Project 365....late. Because that's how I do everything. Late. lol  For anyone who's not familiar with Project 365, the challenge is to take a photo every day for a year. I'll be posting my photos here, and I have them up on my Flickr photostream.

Day 1 and the kickoff began with a photo of our paper snowflakes. When taking down the Christmas decorations, I decided the flakes could stay because the flakes are still flying like gangbusters here in MI.

1/365  Paper Flakes

Day 2 is a photo of a trophy that is waiting for his time to shine at our 2009 Halloween party. He was bought this past October on clearance and will be eventually taken to the trophy shop to be re-based and get his engraved plaque.

2/365  Patiently Waiting

And today's photo is of Madison checking out the latest Shindigz catalog. Shindigz is the place where we ordered the gossamer for our walls this past Halloween. It's a huge party supply store and they have some really cool stuff.

3/365  Loves to Party

Well, I'm really mentally drained tonight (though I'm not quite sure why) and I'm headed off to bed. Thanks for peeking at my newest project. :)

New additions, a lot off the top & a resolution

Today was a busy day but not that out of the ordinary. We did welcome into the fold a couple new fish. Our tank is finally cycled and we added 2 albino cory cats in with our hardy little danios. In a few weeks we'll take on the task of adding the final fish if water levels stay stable. I really want to add a betta as they are my favorite fish (maybe it has something to do with that first betta named Spike whom I had so many, many moons ago). Scott and Madison are convinced a betta will kill the other fish. I keep trying to explain to them that male bettas are primarily only aggressive toward other male bettas or other fish who have likewise showy color and fins (mistaking them for own kind). They're not buying it. I've successfully kept a betta in a community tank before, but they're just not listening to me. Because the cory cats and the danios aren't very colorful, I want a little flash in the tank. I am considering guppies. They come in many nice looking varieties and I won't have to deal with Madison being nervous when she gets up and checks out the tank every morning.

I gave Nicholas a hair cut today. I don't think I can possibly emphasize just how much he hates having his hair cut. Everything about it gets him going. The constant touching of his hair, the buzzing of the clippers, the vibration against his scalp, the tiny hairs falling everywhere.... Today's reaction was no different than that we've had during any other hair cut. Lots of screaming, crying, struggling and generally angry-sounding babble that makes me think he's definitely cussing me out in his own little language. I've given up on taking him to a barber for a cut. The same exact reaction happens, and at least at home I don't have to deal with trying to reassure the barber that this is a normal reaction for him, or have them look at me like 'why can't you just make him behave?' In the end it was worth it. I did a good job (I'm actually getting pretty good at it....starting to get very professional results) and Nicholas no longer looks like Johnny from Karate Kid. (I really let it get waaay too long this time! He had the blond, side-swept, huge bang thing going on...)

And finally, to top off the day, I've decided to join in Project 365....albeit late. As my friend Ami said, when I start doesn't really matter. 365 is still 365.'ll start seeing a lot more photos posted as I move through this daily photography challenge. I need the practice!'s bordering on 3 a.m. and tomorrow is a school day. I'll be kicking myself when that alarm goes off in 4 hours. I may just crawl back into bed once I get Nicholas on the bus since Madison has tomorrow off for records day. I'm leaving myself completely open to that option. ;)

TGIF...oh how I love thee!

I love Fridays...I mean really, really love Fridays. Why? Well, Friday is pizza night which means no cooking for me and I don't have to go anywhere to get it. Hey, this is a big deal when you live in a cold and snowy climate. Friday also means that I won't have to kiss my husband as he goes out the door to work for two mornings. Wait...that sounded bad. I like the kissing part. It's the "out the door to work" part that I don't like. Friday is the beginning of 2 whole, blissful days that I have a daughter who is happy. Madison is not a fan of school. She lives for Friday afternoons and her weekend cheer is infectious. And finally, Friday signifies that Nicholas, who has been sleeping soundly through the night but seems really tired on school days lately, will be all full of smiles and giggles because of the two day work break. School is hard work for him.

Have a couple photos today. The first one illustrates how, since becoming a mom and a family girl, nothing is 100% mine any longer. On Sunday morning I got up to use the bathroom. The house was quiet, everyone was still snoozing and I had all intentions on snuggling back into bed. Until I saw this (apologies for the focus in the wrong place. She's pretty camera shy so I just had to hurry)...

I was out of bed for maybe 3 minutes maximum and I lost my spot. *sigh* It's a rough life being a cat!

And here is that icicle I was talking about the other day. It warmed up a bit and Madison was able to play outside without her fingers freezing off, so I grabbed this shot while she was playing in the snow.

And I had a little surprise friend Christine thinks my blog is fabulous and gave me this little award:

I'm supposed to list 5 things I'm addicted to and pass the award along to 5 bloggers who I think are fabulous.

My 5 addictions would most certainly be:

  • caffeine
  • movies
  • cheesecake
  • designing
  • gaming

And 5 blogs that I really enjoy are (and I'm sad because I'm not able to put Christine on this list. I love her blog, her everyday life photos and her soulful posts):

  • Girly Do's by Jenn--I don't know her, but she is wonderfully generous with her time, posting hair styles for girls. Madison's long hair owes many cool styles to her!
  • A Walk through Durham--Kathleen Connally is very talented behind the lens. The photos on this blog take my breath away and inspires me to become a better photographer.
  • Hello--More beautiful photos from Alison Garnett's photo blog.
  • Bittbox--Ok, so this is a bit girly for him, but I had to mention Jay here. Awesome tips & tutorials, and even better design resources. Jay Hilgert ranks so high up in my book, I even overlook the fact that he uses a Mac. ;)
  • Lor's World--I love keeping up on all of her layouts and her scrap supply acquisitions. She's enabled me more than once!

And that's it for me today. I am going to try to squeeze in a little work before the little man gets home. Hopefully that will go better than the attempts on Monday through Thursday. :p


Well, I decided it was time for a bit of a facelift for the blog. The poor thing hadn't seen any significant changes since I started it and I was getting tired of the old look. Let's see how long this one lasts. ;)  I will admit though, I know people who update their blog look seasonally. If I were to try something like that, we'd have Christmas in July around here. In fact, my house would be like that too if it weren't for the fact that we have company and I'd be mortified to have guests over with my Christmas tree up during short-wearing weather. So...this new little change of pace for the blog was just about all that I got done today (regular everyday chores not-withstanding and I scrimped on those too) that could be considered even semi-productive.

I did manage to finish reading The Deep End of the Ocean today. I'd seen the movie many moons ago and I enjoyed the book equally. There is definitely something to be said for reading a book after watching a movie (or vice-versa) and leaving a lot of time in between. I really liked the movie as well, and if there were differences between the two, they were too minor to stand out in my memory. Reading a book and watching the movie it was based on can be a dangerous game for me. Especially if I loved either one with particular abundance. It's easy to find myself upset because whichever one came second isn't as good. This is why I'm nearly afraid to see Twilight. I really, really enjoyed the book and I'm afraid the movie will murder everything I loved about the book to the point where I can't even watch. I felt this way about The DaVinci Code. Great book, dismal movie. On the flipside, Fight Club, which is on my list of Top 5 Best Movies ever was not as good in book form as it was in the movie. What Brad Pitt and Edward Norton brought to those characters was unparalleled and I give them a lot of credit. I'm such a book lover that it is rare that I'm more impressed with a movie thank I am the book.

Well, I could prattle on about books and movies for hours. But I have a husband who is waiting on me, and he's going to start getting seriously impatient very soon, so that's it for me tonight.

Till next we meet again...

Digging Into The Way Back

One of the first things I did today was scrapped a layout and I dug into the old pictures for that. We're talking a photo that was taken before we went digital with our camera equipment. I've gotten so spoiled by the fabulous quality of my camera that the scan looked horrible so I did some selective coloring and turned the rest b&w.

Scrapping this one was a not-so-gentle reminder that my babies are certainly not babies any longer! My tiny baby Nicholas, just two days old there is now taller than 95% of other kids his age according to the height charts and little Miss Madison is now a impish 3rd grader who constantly keeps me guessing. I certainly don't know where 7+ years have gone, that's for sure.

I have been holed up in the house all weekend and I'm not really feeling too motivated to go outside. When looking out the bathroom window this morning I noticed an icicle hanging from our house that appears to be longer than I am tall. I considered going outside and getting a shot of it but quickly discarded the idea, not wanting to risk blowing snow touching my camera.

Ok. That's a lie.

I didn't want to bundle up and trudge through the snow in my front yard. But dismissal on the grounds of protecting my beloved camera equipment sounds a lot better than saying I'm not willing to go out in the cold for a few minutes.

My day wasn't didn't really consist of anything out of the ordinary. We did have a conversation with Madison about MLK day and why she has tomorrow off of school. We also played the I Have a Dream speech and gave her some background on why MLK is important to our nations history.

After the conversation I pondered something that I'd never really thought about before...I know that the hotel King was staying in is now a Civil Rights Museum and I know that they painstakingly recreated the room he stayed in as it was that day he was shot and I thought to myself...that's a bit creepy. Then I immediately felt guilty for thinking that. I'm sure the sight of that room has a very profound affect on many, if not all people who visit it, but I just can't get over how the concept weirds me out. I guess I think enshrining the room mere feet away from where he was gunned down is somewhat of a disservice and somehow contrary to his message. I don't know....but what I do know is that I wouldn't want anyone to create that sort of shrine in the event of my death.

And now you have a glimpse into some of the unusual thoughts my brain touch on throughout any given day.

Little Bit of Everything

It's late and I'm very ready for bed, but feeling guilty about the idea of sneaking off and crawling under the covers while Scott is stuck at his computer working. He's toiling away on a code deployment for work and it's not going as smoothly as it did on the test run. That's Murphy's Law, isn't it? The company that he works for provides call center services for credit unions across the nation, so they have to wait until late at night to update the call center software to mitigate down time. The company runs two sizable call centers, but only one is staffed 24 hours and the other shuts down at 11 p.m.

Anyhoo...that's while I'm still up despite the fact that I'm starting to feel the effects of a week of staying up late and getting up early. The kids' Christmas vacation from school kind of threw my sleep schedule for a loop. Because I didn't have to be up before the sun, I didn't get up. Which means that slowly over the course of the 2 weeks, I went to bed later and got up later. I'm still trying to adjust myself back to my normal sleep schedule. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly I can wreck my schedule and how long it takes me to get it back. :p

I scrapped a couple of layouts this week. Between working through my Everyday Inspiration book and the PGD challenges I've been inspired to scrap more since Christmas, which is good. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in designing scrap products that I forget to scrap. I love running a business, but I don't want to lose my hobby in the process.

This layout was inspired by a topic in my Everyday Inspiration book that focused on what I would miss from my daily life if it was no longer there. I know...scrapping the kids is cliche right? But it's true, I would miss what they bring to my life and the influence they have. The layout was also dually inspired by Gypsy Girl Lori's challenge to journal first, so I completely broke my normal scrapping workflow and wrote the journaling before I even picked my photos. This time around it went smoothly, but I don't think I could journal first for every layout.


And this second layout of Nicholas is for an upcoming PGD challenge. I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit and used some natural elements. Twigs and leaves usually aren't my thing, but I was pretty happy with how it turned out. All in all I think it's pretty good considering I was tackling a different style. Notice how I overall kept the layout pretty simple. Some habits are tough to shake. ;)


It's been really cold here in Michigan and I'm not loving it. I've been dreaming of moving to a more temperate climate each and every morning as I wipe snow off of the car and feel the tip of my nose turn into an ice cube. My friend & fellow PGDer Christine has helped this daydreaming. I've been feeling rather jealous while reading her blog knowing she's in sunny CA.

But, as much as I'd love to pack up and move to southern CA where I could enjoy blue skies in the dead of winter sans 15 layers of bundling I doubt the dog would enjoy it. Oh yes, my crazy Ajax is in heaven right now. Sub-zero temps? No problem! He has had even greater spunk and energy than normal. He came inside and hung out with me for a while this afternoon, but before too long he was standing at the door panting and giving me a look that told me he was "wearing too many clothes" to be inside. His coat has gotten extremely thick and wooly. Sure does make it nice to cuddle with him though. ;)  But I know come late spring when the temp starts to creep up, I'll have to push him out the door to go to the bathroom. He's a backward doggy.

Well, now that Scott is on a conference call I have the distinct impression he's not much closer to being done. I just might have to throw in the towel after all...

Christmas is Over & I'm Glad.

We did our last Christmas celebration on the 3rd of January and I'm happy to put the holidays behind me. I love the idea of Christmas. The reality is a whole different story. I know...that's a scrooge-ish thing to say, but it's the truth. Maybe it's because Halloween is such a big deal around here, and just about the time I feel recovered from that we're rolling into Thanksgiving. And well, let's face it....with the kind of 'official kick-off' of Christmas-prep activities of the day after Thanksgiving, there's no reprieve. With each year that passes October, November and December seem to move further into the classification of months I just try to survive.

Because of the rush I end up from October thru December I have looked at cutting something out, but the only thing I could cut out is our Halloween party. I refuse to do that. Out of all of the events, that's the only one we do 100% for us. We don't do it because we have the most space (like Christmas and Thanksgiving) or because it's convention. We do it because we love Halloween. Nope...not giving that one up. ;)  I'd rather pack my schedule a little tighter and have that to look forward to every year.

That said, January and February (months that I used to hate for their long nights and slow, boring tempo when I was young) are a welcome sight to me this year. I'm looking forward to slipping back into my regular routines like a comfortable pair of jeans. Like those old favorite jeans, my routine isn't glamorous or exciting but when I get out of them I realize how much I miss them. :)