Sunday, April 26, 2015

Snickerdoodle Sunday

It's another Sunday morning here, where I sit and marvel over how quickly a Saturday has said both hello and goodbye. I know if I could invent a way to slow down a Saturday that I could retire from work and become a full-time blogger. ;-) Alas, every day holds the same amount of hours and we are left striving to make the most of the best ones, and rush through the bad ones.

It feels a little like a Saturday here, as my husband has headed out for the rare non-Christmas season Sunday workday. Something about pre-sale pick-up day and he'll see me around 5:30. It's okay, though. I'm not alone. I have been embracing the camaraderie and collective creativity of a crafty weekend spent in the comfort of my own home among the ladies I treasure the most, my mom and my two sisters.

In 2006, I went to CKU, and then my mom and one of my sisters and I went to Creative Escape, and then I began thinking, "Why pay to go play when we could play together at one another's homes?" We did a few get togethers over a couple of years in the 2008-2010 range, and then life got a little busy. In 2011, I believe, we began a crafty weekend with our cousins, but something about the nest emptying and my house resonating in silence had me longing to get my mom and my two sisters back here and once again craft together as just the four of us.

They arrived Friday afternoon and I morphed my great room into a craft room and we have had a relaxing and wonderful time, just being together. One sister is working on appliqué projects, and one sister is quilting, and mom and I are scrapbooking. Truman is the weekend mascot, and hasn't let up in his pursuit of bunnies or anxiety over strange noises, so it seems like all is well in the world. This morning the four of us are going to brunch together, and I hope to squeeze in a photo shoot, and the day will go all too quickly I am sure. It has been a wonderful weekend, and leaves me wondering when we can do it again.

I have spent this weekend, and the last month or so, working on a vacation album. {I do my Month in Review layouts in the nooks and crannies of time. I did finish February and March two weekends ago. They come together quickly and I love how they document our life, encapsulating the high points.} But, this vacation album project is just that - a project. It has taken me all of the weekend to get my titles cut, and weeded off the Silhouette mat, taped together, and adhered to the layout page. I should wrap that up today and then move on to finishing up my journaling. 1/3 of that is done, and 2/3 needs to be typed up. Then I'll print them all out and put them down. 

My hope is to finish this album on or before NSD. {Which is just around the corner! Can't wait to play along online with SG!} I started this album in March and have photos and paper on 71 pages, and my title and itinerary page are complete. I now can say I have titles on all but a handful of those spreads that comprise the 71 pages. It's a lot of work in a relatively short amount of time, even though it feels like it has taken awhile. A peek at the album is below - the title page and the itinerary page. I am eager to finish it, and move on to the next vacation, because three weeks from today we leave for our 2015 family vacation, and I don't like to be so far "behind" on these trip albums. 

Yes, in three weeks we head out. Both boys are in different but final phases of their semesters. Philip is in the midst of final exams and Andrew is wrapping up his coursework and prepare for finals. Philip will finish on the 28th and Andrew will finish on or around the 8th of May, depending on his finals schedule. Philip arrives home on May 12 and Andrew arrives home on May 15. I am ready to see those boys and have some undivided time away together, working hard on resting and relaxing and having fun. It's hard to believe another year of their college life is done, but when I factor in that we are 3/8 of the way finished with paying for college, I can get a little excited. Needless to say, the next few weeks will be a little bit of a whirlwind, and I have lots of lists going on paper and in my head.

The sun is about to break over the tree top, my coffee cup has emptied, and two of my three houseguests have awakened and joined me. I better wrap up and get going on one of those lists here in Scrap Central. Today the weather is supposed to be another glorious day, as yesterday was, and the warm bright sun has been a wonderful relief after a week of stormy skies and pouring some much needed rain. What's going on in your world today? Anything scrappy happening? Are you with me?

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Our Bite of the Big Apple ~ NYC Family Vacay ~ July 2011

Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation
Paper: Simple Stories
Title Font: Rochester, Arial

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Snickerdoodle Saturday

It's Saturday morning. I woke up around 5:30 and laid there until about 6:15, Steve getting up for work in the process. I enjoy the idea of a leisurely Saturday morning, and sipping coffee while he gets ready for work and chatting about what the day and weekend can hold. In so many ways it feels like we are in our twenties again and childless, but we have only to try to remember anything, or stay up terribly late to realize we are indeed not still in our twenties. ;-)

We have had an unusual spring it seems. It's April 11 and here I haven't had one Saturday morning warm enough to sit on the back patio and have coffee. I did try to get out there about 2 weeks ago, and could only stand it for about half a cup before heading back indoors. {It's 50 degrees as I type this.} Truman is ready for it to warm up, too. Grass is still coming in and not yet fully green. It seems Mother Earth is sluggish this year with her shift. We are looking at cloudy today with a high of 77, and we get quite a breeze at our house, so I know that won't really feel warm to me. 

We have had another fast week it seems. Where do they go? Work has been crazy because the auditors are in for year-end work, and we are working of course on closing the first month of the new year. Our new system at work continues to be problematic for many, and since I hadn't worked with the old one that long, and since I can tend toward being a techie, I have developed a little finesse with the new system...which means I get all the "How do I..." questions and it can be four or five times a day when I am called to the rescue to assist someone with something. Even people outside my department come to me. 

It's a compliment to be sure {I think!}, but it sure does pull away from the time I have to do my own deeds. Two nights I worked past 6:00 and one night I worked until 8:20. We have one more week on the audit...but we won't get anywhere soon on the new system. I did change up my workspace at work and have more zen, and I can't ever complain about coming home for lunch, or dis my 3 mile commute. Work is good overall and that means life is good. I finished up my work week by leaving at 4:15 on Friday afternoon, and heading straight to my Pedi appointment. Nothing like a fresh coat of OPI's Lunch at the Delhi to kick off the weekend.

Steve and I didn't do any running around this week, other than heading to the pond to walk. We are in countdown mode to family vacation and so we are of course hunkered down on our fitness regimen and trying to look our best. We absolutely hate our metabolisms that seem to be at direct opposition to our foodie tendencies. ;-) I have been working, off and on, in a concerted effort toward health and fitness now for three years. I have made headway, but I am not yet where I want to be, so I press on. I am truly, truly hoping that 2015 is the year that I can CREATE a new way of managing my foodie/metabolism imbalance. It has been humorous to eat every meal at home this work week and we knew when we made it through "Friday night" that we had survived - for one week! - our cravings for date night dinners at our favorite dives. We had crab cakes here last night and watched the Masters tournament replay on ESPN. I just love watching that tournament each year. I plan to turn it on today and can't wait to see what unfolds.

Philip turned 21 yesterday. Hard to believe. I told someone at work that I had him when I was 18, and then winked. No matter how old you feel, or how young you look, an adult child definitely dates you. ;-) I am so proud of both of my sons and how well they are adapting to adulthood and managing college. I miss them every day, but it is exciting to see them mold into men and I am blessed to have a virtual front row seat to that. I did talk to Philip twice yesterday on the phone and was placated in my missing his big day by Andrew's presence there in Music City with him. They have all day together today and then tomorrow evening Andrew will head back to Rocky Mountain country. These boys of mine are living the high life. I did whip out a card for Philip this week, but I'll have to share that later as the USPS didn't do very well on delivery time. 

Today I am piddling around in Scrap Central. I just perked my second cup of my beloved Snickerdoodle coffee, Truman is camped out on the floor, and I am going to make a list of everything I have to get finished before family vacation. {Which is going to be INCREDIBLE! We will be in Florida for five days and then on a boat to the Bahamas for four days. I can't wait!} Thirty-six days to go!! 

On the top of my list is working on my February Month in Review (MIR) layout. This year I have been blessed to be part of a weekly challenge with my Scrap 'n Yap peeps, whereby each week I have to start and finish one page. Of course, since I dabble mostly in two-pagers, that means I have to finish two pages. And today finds me at the end of the challenge week, and I have yet to begin my layout. It just hasn't been a scrappity-doo-dah week. 

I have iPhoto up and running and need to pick my pictures to print. Man, oh, man, is this when my little Epson Charm comes in handy or what?! Seriously adore that little printer! I am convinced that the photos I get off of it surpass the quality I loved from I will take these pictures above and cull them down to eleven to feature on my February layout, that will resemble the design of my January layout below. You may remember I posted about my 2014 Month in Review album here. For 2015, I selected a new Scrapbook Generation sketch and am using Simple Stories Homespun paper, and I just love how my first month turned out. I now need to move on to finish up February before I get too terribly behind in the year. I keep all of my supplies for my MIR project in one Iris case, so grabbing that and getting this layout done today shouldn't be any problem. 

Okay, the coffee cup is empty, the sun is trying to break through the clouds, a mower is going somewhere and I think that's a wrap for my first installment of a new blog post I plan to do. Thanks for reading today's post on my weekly recap and musings on what life has been like, and a peek into what is perking in Scrap Central on any given Snickerdoodle Saturday. What's going on in your world today? Are you scrapping today? Are you with me? 

P.S. "LIKE" my penny{scraps} FaceBook page {the coral "f" button above} to follow me for blog updates!

Month in Review ~ January 2015

Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation
Paper: Simple Stories
Title Font: Ballerina Script (which is new to me, and I just adore it!)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Peanut Butter Eggs and Polka Dotted Swiss

Easter is kind of a crazy holiday. It moves all over the calendar, acting as capriciously as the very eggs themselves that you try to dye. I will never forget the very first year we lived in North Texas. My deep south Texas mom planning mode found the perfect short-sleeved pastel shirts for the boys that matched my sleeveless dress. A cold front blew in, and I have photos of us standing near budding trees, wind blowing our hair, freezing.

As a child, Easter to me meant matching dresses for me and my sisters that mother would whip out on her sewing machine, and specifically I recall the tortures of laced necklines and stiff polka dotted swiss that both itched like the blazes during church. I always loved picking out my new white patent leather shoes, and I remember being delighted the year that I graduated from knee socks to white tights. I also remember treading oh, so carefully on those virginal white shoes, not wanting any scuff marks to mar their sparkling new status. I also loved a little white beaded handbag one year. I believe it was the same year I got those white tights. Oh, I had it going back in the day.

As I aged and entered adulthood, Easter became a jumbled chaos of pinks and blues and baskets of candy, and Steve and I, childless at the time, were the designated egg hunt hiders, choosing to head outside with baskets overbrimming with eggs to be hidden, rather than stay inside and try to manage a herd of children eager to hunt for the chocolate that would be over their eating allotment, partially melted, and offer a perennial mess, including but not limited to the little discarded pastel foil wrapper balls that would be found in nooks and crannies for weeks to come. Children too eager to eat more candy on the sly could never be bothered to head to the trashcan with those. 

When Steve and I moved an hour north of my family in Houston, we became a tour spot on the Easter rounds, our home now perfect for hosting the family Easter gathering. Our heavily treed backyard and lush grass, along with our large deck, was an excellent spot for activities relating to Peter Cottontail, et. al. However, the Easter twenty-one years ago was slightly different. Instead of hiding the eggs, I was the egg. I was 38 weeks pregnant at the time, and decked out for the sunny spring afternoon in a jersey knit top that was full of tiny flowers. I remember going to the OB the morning after Easter, and him fussing at me over my weight gain. I assured him it was the salt from the Easter ham and the fluid would come off.

Well, indeed it did. That Easter Sunday in 1994 was April 3. The following Saturday, 11 days early, I went into labor and my own little bundle of joy appeared just after midnight on Saturday, giving our first child a birthdate of Sunday, April 10.  If I could have been a little faster, he would have had the coolest birthday - 4-9-94. Alas, I didn't make the midnight mark and settled for the 11 day early feat.

Easters took on another new meaning at this juncture. Little boys in dandy matching outfits with cute coordinating socks and shoes, Easter hunt outfits for playing in, and parents wanting a nap at about the moment the sugar high kicked in for the kiddos. We moved around the state, and took our little boys with us, keeping to the simple Easter traditions we had that of course always included starting the day at church.

While growing up in my house had included the age old tradition of dying Easter eggs every year the Saturday before Easter, as the photo above documents, Steve and I never implemented that tradition with our sons. I don't know if it has to do with the fact that Steve worked every year on the Saturday before Easter or not. It never was appealing to me. No one would eat those eggs, and they just easily cracked and were quite the mess. Warm gulf Easters could even have the dye coming off on your hand if the hunt ran long. We were none the worse for wear by skipping it. Paas had nothing to offer me and each year I skipped over that egg dying kit on the Target aisle, no regrets.

One year, 2010 to be exact, the boys got a wild March hair and wanted to pick up one of those Paas kits. Now, mind you, they are 14 and 15 years old at this point, and since I imagined the mess could be managed easily enough, I acquiesced. We bought the kit and the Saturday before another April Easter, we dyed Easter eggs. Our one and only time. I think the boys kind of felt like Steve and I about it - once you've done it, it's enough. They were really cute in the moment - quite proud of their feats. I still smile when I see these photos and remember these tall lanky boys, headed into manhood, wanting to dye eggs and really enjoying it.

Easter has changed once again. We celebrated our first Easter on Sunday where there were no Orange Danish for breakfast, no new clothes in the house, no baskets to prep, no candies to shove into eggs. It was a little melancholy to say the least, Reese's Peanut Butter eggs offering me no comfort. I was open to embracing the change as an opportunity to soak in the true import of the day, and we had an amazing worship service at church no doubt. We changed the restaurant where we ate, and invited two dear friends to go with us. We had a wonderful day, truly. But in my heart I was thinking about all the Easters past, full of baskets and boys and bunnies, and  wishing for just a simple case of Easter Egg-citement.

A Simple Case of Easter Egg-citement ~ Easter Weekend ~ April 2010

Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation
Paper: Echo Park, Lawn Fawn, October Afternoon, W R Memory Keepers
Title Font: Eggcream Title Stickers: October Afternoon