Friday, August 30, 2013

She's a Natural

Ever since I can remember, Lisa has said that she will never have children.  As a teenager when the other girls were babysitting to earn some extra cash, Lisa didn't.  She was never into buying clothes so who needed extra cash.  She said that babysitting wasn't worth it because "all kids are annoying and babies are scary".  When Christmas rolled around and she needed money for gift buying, I would set her up with some extra chores for cash.  I'd give her the chores I hated like washing down doors and cleaning out the pantry.  ;) She always did an excellent job.  One year she helped Grandma Shaw polish silver.  Needless to say,  Lisa is 24 years old and has never changed a diaper.

Two years ago, she started dating Steve.  Steve was already baby crazy.  The fact that he had a 4 month old nephew, Lucas, may have had something to do with it.  Steve would babysit his nephew when given the chance, even when Lucas was as young as 2 months old.  When Lisa would help to babysit, she would do anything but hold the baby.  For example, she would prepare the bottle and food while Steve held the baby.  Steve's family has been great with Lisa and understand her fear.  They never pushed her to be who she wasn't.

She no longer thinks that all kids are annoying.  Lucas surely isn't!   Great thought goes into gift selections for Lucas and a birthday party is never to be missed.  I also hear stories about how he is so much better behaved, or so much smarter than {blank's} kid.

Then along came a baby sister for Lucas last February.  Before McKenna was born,  I was quite thrilled to hear updates on pregnancy stuff.  Hmm Could Lisa actually have an interest and someday have a baby?   Yay, there is hope!  ;)  Uncle Steve and Auntie Lisa rushed over to see newborn McKenna on the evening that they arrived home from their winter get away to Mexico.  I even got a photo sent to me with evidence of Lisa holding the new little one.  Okay, she looked terrified, Lisa not the baby, but she was doing it.

Flash forward 6 months and here is Auntie Lisa and McKenna.  She looks like a natural!  Isn't McKenna just the cutest!?


Meanwhile, a college friend of Lisa's and her husband had a baby this month.  Once again I was getting phone calls with great updates on the pregnancy.  Lisa and a friend went over to meet baby Isla when she was only one week old.  Here is Lisa "holding" Isla.  ;)  {This is the little one that I knit the baby blanket in aqua for.}


Okay so she isn't quite a natural when they are teeny tiny.  Isn't this photo hilarious?  In Lisa's defence she did warn me before viewing the photo that she was not squishing Isla's head.  She knew I would worry about this sort of thing.  Isla's mom is very laid back for a first time mother.  Lisa "held" Isla like this for about a half an hour.  Yeah, I think I would have snatched my baby back.  ;)  I was the over protective kind.

I know that it will be years away before it is Lisa's time to start a family, but I am so happy to hear of her enjoying the gift of children.  Now if Lisa can just stop having "pregnancy nightmares".  So far there have been two.  In the first one, Lisa is at Wal-Mart and realizes that all of a sudden she is a mom and has a baby with her.  She gets mad at Steve in the dream, because he forgot to tell her that she was pregnant.  In the second nightmare, they are leaving the hospital with their baby girl.  Lisa remembers that they forgot to name the baby and do the paper work for it.  Steve then tells her that it is already done and he named the baby Sophia.  Keep in mind that their dog, in real life, is named Sophie.  Lisa then gets mad at Steve, in the dream, for naming the baby so close to the dog.  She knows that she will be questioned about this name choice forever.  Poor Steve.  He is always in trouble.  ;)

Jen


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

No Buy Challenge Update ~ Did I Say One Year?

Oh, the No Buy Challenge.


It seemed like such an easy declaration this past January.  Ha, What is one year?  It will be tough, but doable, I thought.  Then August came and I fell victim to my old buying habits.  Was it because I wasn't blogging and lost my accountability to my readers?  Was I grasping at straws to kickstart my mojo?  Maybe I just felt like having some fun shopping for supplies?  I am not ready to declare my challenge an epic failure, only a failure.  I am still feeling pretty proud that I did as well as I did and managed to stay the course for six months.  Here's how it went down.

With July came my birthday,  along with gifts of scrappy supplies from Rob, Susan and my parents.  I was still on task at this point, I guess. ;)   Then on my birthday, a Silhouette Cameo was given to me by The Big Guy.  Yay!! Thanks Rob!  He had ordered it months earlier and it was hiding in his office at work.  This gift made me feel like I had kind of cheated the challenge but I rationalized that it was a gift and I really had no control over it's purchase other than the fact that I did express interest repeatedly for one of these amazing tools. ;)  I didn't care.... I had my amazing Silhouette and I was happy and actually still am.  {On a side note, I am still a bit afraid of figuring this thing out.  Technology, why do you scare me so?}

So by the end of July, I was on shaky ground with the challenge.  Then by August I really fell off the challenge. Just went to the LSS and bought stuff.  It was these amazing new lines from Teresa Collins and Fancy Pants!  They followed me home.  At this point I surrendered.


But... I always look for the silver lining and choose to see the positive of this challenge.  I have learned some valuable things over the last 6 months.

(1)  Having less "new stuff" makes it easier to find, use and enjoy,  the "new stuff" as well as the old stuff.  I have reduced my supplies between doing some giveaways, swaps, donations and most importantly, not bringing new stuff in on a continuous basis.

(2)  Looking through a collection and only buying papers you love instead of the entire collection automatically,  can really stretch the budget.  {Clearly, I forgot that I learned this when last week I bought those 3 new collections.  ;)}

(3)  There is a supreme feeling of pleasure in finding older supplies at great discounts because you didn't run out and buy it when it was new.  My HomeSense gets in supplies that have been released only 6 months earlier and look at these amazing prices.  $5.99 for 4 packs of BG embellishments and $3.99 for a mini paper pad!   Peachy Cheap is also an amazing spot to pick up bargains!



(4)  As with everything, there is balance and moderation.  Sometimes it is just fun to go out and shop for goodies but, it is also good to have restraint and shop wisely.  Shopping for supplies less often will make it more of a treat.

I am hoping to maintain this balance.   Already, I am feeling that so familiar feeling of being overwhelmed due to my recent purchases.  So I will try to stay away from the LSS for a bit of time.  I can already feel the shift that I am a much more frugal shopper than I used to be and for this shift, I thank the No Buy Challenge!  I salute any scrapper out there who successfully completes a year with no shopping. In my opinion,  it is an accomplishment of epic proportions.

And so I say goodbye to the No Buy Challenge.  I failed.... and I'm okay with that.  ;)

Jen




Monday, August 26, 2013

Where are You Mojo?

Hello Bloggy friends!  It's been a while since I have been here so I figured that I would pop in with an update now that summer is coming to a close.  This has not been my favourite summer in history.  I guess the dislocated elbow set the tone in motion.  I am still in physio but I think I might be breaking up with my "physio boyfriend", as Rob calls him, this week.    Our twice weekly afternoon meetings now run for 1.5 hours as he adds more and more "weight bearing" exercises.  My arms haven't looked this good since my days of toting babies around all day.  The Bionic Woman has nothing on me!  LOL

This summer also brought dental surgery with a few complications including missing a tooth in the front of my mouth for a one month period.  I got really good at not smiling with my mouth opened and I think that Rob just may have been enjoying the silence as I chatted less while out and about,  ;)  Then for my 49th birthday I got shingles.  It was a good case of shingles though, if there is such a thing.  Not painful as you hear of how some suffer through them.  So, I basically have been living the life of a 95 year old for the past few months between afternoon physio with seniors, a somewhat toothless smile and my shingles rash!   But, enough whining.  As the saying goes, "this too shall pass" and it is time for new beginnings!  Yay!!

I can feel Fall in the air in my neck of the woods.  Nights are getting darker a little quicker and mornings have that slight chill in the air.  Colourful annuals have gone past their prime and are fading.


 Foliage is looking just a little bit less green and some trees are actually getting patches of yellow leaves.


The arrival of this new season excites me.  Something about crisp cool days and that awesome orangey glow that the sun has,  seems to make this my favourite season.  Fall approaching makes me want to make apple crisp and bake muffins.    Not that I have actually entered the kitchen to do these things.  ;)  The thought of Fall makes me long to go to the mountains and see the foliage.  I think a trip to Banff to relax is in order very soon.   Finally, with Fall comes routine and I am one who thrives on routine.  Somehow, it just feels like I should be blogging.

 I'm still looking for my scrappy mojo.  It is just nowhere to be found.  MIA if you will.  It has never left me for this long before.  :(  I have taken steps to recover it.  I have enrolled in Christine Middlecamp's Layer by Layer class.  ( More details on this soon.)   So far I have made this.



I have bought a  few new pieces for the studio and am planning a total reorganization where I will maximize storage and complete my turquoise decor.  So far, I only think about how I should set things up, at bedtime, and then I can't sleep.  LOL



And yes, I even slipped back into my old ways of going to the LSS and buying stuff!  Boo!!!  I have to declare the No Buy Challenge a failure as of August.  (More details on this soon.)  And yes, all of the supplies are still sitting in their original bags untouched.


I have been creative though!  I am stuck in another knitting vortex.  A happy spot that I am not quite ready to be spit out of,  as of yet.  It all started with a set of 18 new dishcloths for Diane for when she moves in with her boyfriend Eric, next month.  This lead to woolies.  Something about knitting woolies to prepare for the long Canadian winter makes me feel like a happy pioneer woman of days gone by.... minus the apple crisp and muffins of course.  ;)

I've been making these thick, cozy cowls in a roving yarn for Diane and friends of Diane and Lisa.  The gold and teal ones are 100% wool.  Yummy!


This scarf is for me!  I fell in love with the purple in this variegated yarn.  The colour name is "watercolour" and it makes me think of a Monet painting.  I just may make myself a matching pair of mittens too.


Now I am working on this textured scarf for Diane.  I love this pattern.  I have plans to knit one up for her girlfriend as well,  with matching mittens for both of course.  {As I do each Fall, I tried to convince Lisa that she would love some new woolies but she still declares that she just doesn't like woolies.}



And if I am not too tired with this pattern by then,  I'll knit one up for me in this amazing gold wool that I found on sale at Michael's for $3 a ball!


As much as my break from blogging did not help my mojo to return,  a break from it this summer felt right.  But, in the end, I realize that I miss the process of writing and recording the simple, uncomplicated, light and happy everyday things that really are the heart of my life even if many of them are not scrapbook related.    I miss not having my camera out, ready to capture that next photo for an upcoming blog post.  And so.... I blog on.  :)

Jen
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