Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Morning View from My Window!


I can't tell you how wonderful it was to wake up to see this out my front window!

I am a winter person and the snow is so beautiful and peaceful to me!

Thank you God for sending this girl into 2010 with such an amazing display of your handiwork. I've had some tough times this year but witnessing such a lovely snowfall this morning reminds me that you are greater than anything I encounter here on earth. I know you are here beside me and with you I can get through anything.
Have Fun!
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Today I Need to...

1. Find a home for and put away the Christmas presents.

2. Take down the Christmas tree and decorations.

3. Do laundry.

4. Pay bills.

5. Bake Banana Bread.

6. Work on my list of goals for 2010.

7. Write a letter.

8. Plan this week's menu.

9. Send pics to get printed.

Hopefully if I get all of this done today, I'll have the rest of the week to play with Allison.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009!

I'm just stopping by to post some of our Christmas pictures with our family and friends. I hope you enjoy them!

This picture says to me that she's growing up too fast! Please, how do we make time slow down???
Me and my baby girl!
We (the three of us) have our little family Christmas on Christmas Eve. We do too much traveling to both of our families on Christmas Day that we only have time for Santa's gifts on Christmas Day.
Our Princess kitty watching from back under the tree.
I love the expression on her face here. She really did not think she was getting the one thing that was on the top of her list.
Pure bliss!
Allison is a texture girl. She has slept with a velour baby doll since she was born. She can't sleep unless she's got the baby snuggled against her cheek. When she opened this fluffy fur-like sweater, she immediately rubbed it against her cheek.
And here comes Simba out from the back of the other side of the tree!
Woo Hoo! Santa has been here! Don't you just love the messy bed hair?
She definitely loves her books...even the World Atlas that Santa brought!
Santa did good!
Have Fun!

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of my family, friends and blog readers!
May you celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and enjoy every moment with those you love.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Last Minute Project!

I had planned on making these a couple months ago but never got around to it. I had some time yesterday so I went ahead and gave them a try. If you are reader of the decorating blogs around Blogworld, you've seen these fun silhouettes. Everyone has made them and they are one of the "in" things in the decorating world right now. Note: The silhouettes look blackish-gray in these pics but they are solid black in real life.

This one, of course, is my Allison. I'm giving this to my Mom but be sure I'm going to make myself one for my wall! Hmm, I have one of me that we did in 4th grade. I know it's in the basement in that back corner closet that no one ever dares to open. I'll have to be brave and pull it out to see if our profiles are close!

Since my sister doesn't have any kids and her dog is her buddy, I thought I would make one for her too of her Ginger. However...after I cut it out, it was boring. Ginger is an English Springer Spaniel. Her wavy fur on her ears is so pretty that I wanted to highlight it. So. I used an X-acto knife to cut thin wavy slivers out of the card stock to simulate her ear fur.

Now Allison wants ones of our cats. What did I start?!?

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On The Mend!

Hey Everyone!

I've had some inquiries about how I'm doing after that medical thing so I thought I would stop by and give a mini update.

I had my surgery on the 15th. It was going as the Dr. planned and then there was a...let's just say a speed bump in the final stretch. It wasn't one of those speed bumps that you slow down a little and glide over. No, of course not! Nothing ever goes easy or normal for me! It was one of those speed bumps that you think is a big one so you slow down cause you know you are going to hit it hard....but then when you actually reach the speed bump, it ends up being bigger than you thought. You of those REALLY big ones that you hit REALLY hard and scrape bottom. Ya! One of those! Yup, we scraped bottom...well not literally but metaphorically. You get the picture, right?

Well. Thank goodness for narcotics. Wow. Did I just say that? Actually, I'm quite proud. I only took three. Two the first day and one the next morning...mostly so I didn't scare Allison by being in so much pain. Since then I have been managing my pain with good old ibuprofen. I have my good days and bad. I've been to the Dr.'s office 3 times since then and he says I'm recovering well. I see him one last time tomorrow morning before he's out until the new year. I'll have his beeper number but please pray I'm not going to need it!

Thanks for all of your prayers and concerns! My friends and blog readers are the best!

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gotta LOVE a BFF & Her Hubby!

I'm going through something personal this month. It's a medical thing that I have to have done. It had to be delayed because I got sick the day before it was to happen. It's not life threatening but it just stinks. I'm really worked up about it. Externally, I've been putting on my usual smile in public. Internally and at home, I'm crumbling like a 2 month old baby who just had her pacifier taken from her. Please don't ask because I do not and will not share it here. I've only shared it with a few friends and some family. So, if you know me in person, please respect my privacy. It's nothing personal. It's just too emotionally painful for me. I know my blog is named "This is My Life" but I do not want to write about this part of my life here. I do not want to look back a year or so from now and relive this thing in detail via a blog entry. I try to focus on the positive here and I would rather not have the negatives of my life in black and white. Quite frankly, I'd like to deal with them, move on and then forget them. Enough said!

ANYWAY...with that being said...

Why do I gotta LOVE a BFF and her Hubby???? Well. Yesterday I was over at their house for our monthly Mom's Craft Night Out and when I went to leave she presented me with a Tupperware container. I immediately knew what was in there! LEMON WEDDING COOKIES! A whole batch of them! JUST. FOR. ME! I was so excited! They are my favorite Christmas cookie and Susan, my BFF, knows it! Her and her hubby, Brian, made me a whole batch to help me get through this ugly thing I have to go through. Now...THAT is just one of the reasons why she's my best friend!

Thank you so much Susan and Brian! I love you both so much!

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Twisted Tune"

Yesterday they delayed school two hours because the wind chill was below zero and the wind was fierce in the morning.

Anyway. Curtis has this odd ability to change the words of a song to fit what's happening in our world. Well. This is what happened in our house yesterday.

Allison was in the living room reading. I went into the kitchen to clean up the breakfast dishes. I started to sing....

O, the weather outside is frightful...
and I'm at home with my baby...
She has a two hour delay...
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

and then in this little voice I heard...
"Let it close! Let it close! Let it close!"

I laughed out loud. I thought it was hysterical! She didn't miss a beat!

Oh no! Has Curtis's strange habits rubbed off on both of us???

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Friday, December 11, 2009

A Christmas Memory!

We, meaning Curtis, Allison and myself, celebrate our little family Christmas on Christmas Eve. We save Christmas Day for traveling to and visiting our families.

Allison was 5 months old for her first Christmas. We had decided that there wasn't going to be many presents for her. She was just too young to get the whole Christmas thing and we were still adjusting to the cost of a new baby.

She had a few small gifts from us that we opened on Christmas Eve and Santa delivered a few for Christmas morning. Santa was instructed not to go overboard but he was stressing that he needed to get her just one more that would really make her make her first Christmas memorable. At five months old, this was a little difficult. What WOULD make her day? A teething ring? A rattle? Building blocks?

Hmm. He thought and thought and on Christmas Eve morning, he had an idea! Yes! Santa figured it out! He knew that Allison loved the cartoon, Rolie Polie Olie on Playhouse Disney. She always got so excited when her Mom put it on the television.

But this was Christmas Eve and his elves were packing up the sleigh. They didn't have time to go back into the workshop, make one last toy and get it on the sleigh before Santa had to leave to deliver all the toys for all the good boys and girls! What to do? What to do?

Well being Santa, he has all the answers. He put one of his elves on the phone and had her call all the Disney stores around Allison's home for a Rolie Polie Olie doll. She called every store from Youngstown, Ohio to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Yippee! After seven calls she found what was probably the last one in the Pittsburgh area. Now what? Santa had already left to deliver the toys and elves can't drive. How was he going to get it to Allison's house and under her tree by Christmas morning?

Again...Santa has all the answers. He called me and asked if I could make the 3 hour round trip to the Disney store on the other side of Pittsburgh. Of course I couldn't let Santa or Allison down! I bundled Allison up and put her in the car and went on my merry way! Thankfully I found a parking spot close to the mall entrance near the Disney store. I walked right in, told them what I was there for and they already had it in a bag ready for me. I was in and out of the mall in 5 minutes on Christmas Eve! Blessings!

The picture above is what Santa left for Allison that 1st Christmas morning. He didn't even bother to wrap Rolie Polie Olie. Santa knew what he was doing because she was so excited to see her friend under the tree! Unfortunately, the picture didn't turn out but I have that memory forever in my head!

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cousins on The Clipper!

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to take Allison, my niece, Mya, my nephew, Derek, and my sister, Alesia, on a cruise with Santa on the Gateway Clipper. For those of you who are not from Pittsburgh and do not know what the Gateway Clipper is, you can click here to find out. If you are from Pittsburgh and haven't been, I strongly recommend you take a cruise on The Clipper. It's a nice cruise up and down Pittsburgh's three rivers. I've been on several and haven't had a bad experience yet. Click on the previous link to find a cruise that suits you.

Anyway. Here are some pictures from our cruise. I hope you enjoy!

We were very lucky it was a beautiful day which enabled us to get some great outside shots.

I know I've said this before but every time I see the three of them together, I see in my mind my sister, myself and my younger brother when we were young...2 blonds and a brunette!

They were sitting on the life jacket box. My Allison was very concerned that there were 27 adult life jackets and only 10 child life jackets in there. Since it was a kid's cruise, she knew that 10 wouldn't be enough. Oh the things that pop into my kid's brain!

Here they are on the top deck almost at the point of the three rivers.

You can see Point State Park right behind them. It's going under a huge renovation but you can see the Christmas tree peeking out between the buildings.

There was lots of girl cousin fun...

...and more girl cousin bonding! Poor Derek!

There were several characters on the ship for the kids. Allison loves The Grinch so I was glad I got a picture of him!

There also was a disc jockey playing the tunes so they had fun dancing!

Even the characters danced! The kids loved it!

There was face painting on the second deck.

Here we have a poinsettia...

...and a snowflake...

...and an ornament!

I saved the best for last!

They each got to visit with Santa and receive a little toy from him!

Look at all the smiles!

I just hope he brings them what they want!

Have Fun!

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

My Mug Shot!

COFFEE mug, that is!

Those of you that know us in person, knows that Curtis is a coffee freak. Seriously. He drinks 8-12 cups a day. However. He does not like travel mugs, paper or Styrofoam cups. So what does that mean? It means he takes our coffee mugs with him to work every morning and wherever else he may be going. Most times they make it home and on a rare occasion, they don't.

This kind of stressed me out in the beginning. I don't know why. Maybe because I'm a sentimental fool and I'm attached to some of them! I know. I'm a little crazy but I have never denied it!

Anyway, I knew couples fought over much less (like leaving the cap off of the toothpaste), so I needed to find a solution. First I separated what Curtis could use and what he couldn't use. This worked for a while but then our stock of mugs that he could use depleted. Well then I decided that I needed to stock up his supply of mugs. You can call me cheap but I was not about to spend $6-$10 each on mugs for daily use that may or may not make it into next week.

My answer was Goodwill. You all know I love finding treasures there! I started to pick one up every once in a while when I saw one that I liked or fit us. This proved to definitely be the best way to go since their mugs are 25 cents and some of them are 50 cents if they deemed them as collector mugs...and most of them look as if they have never been used!

Since we are close to Christmas and I can't get the lyrics "These are a few of my favorite things." out of my head, I've decided to share a few of my favorite mugs here.

I'll start with the one above. I found this red snowflake mug just yesterday at Goodwill for 25 cents...and it's never been used! This mug is totally for me and not Curtis! It think it just screams WINTER FUN!

This next one was a gift. My friend, Missy, had some surgery years ago when we both lived in Ohio. Her Mom, who lives in Louisville, Kentucky, sent this to me as a thank you for being there for her daughter. It's Louisville Stoneware and my absolute favorite mug! This one is definitely off limits to everyone else in the house except me!

This next one is one of my favorites because it's Allison's. It reminds me of her Disney Princess phase. Curtis makes awesome hot chocolate and he uses this mug for hers.

If you live anywhere in or around Pittsburgh, you'll recognize this next mug. Yes! It's a Smiley mug from Eat 'n Park Restaurant! They sell them in their restaurants for $6.99 but I picked mine up at Goodwill for 50 cents!
This last mug I picked up years ago when I lived in Northern Virginia just outside of Washington D.C. I used to love going to the National Zoo and seeing Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing. They were the Giant Pandas that China gave to the United States after President Nixon visited their country. Okay...enough of the history lesson! This mug reminds me of the inner peace I would experience when I would sit there at the zoo and watch them. However. Years later this mug took on a whole new meaning for me. Shortly after I became pregnant, Curtis had a cup of coffee sitting on the nightstand next to my side of the bed. He asked me to pass it to him. When I went to pick it up, my perception of the mug changed immediately. I didn't just see two pandas. I saw a Mother-t0-be panda on the left and a Daddy-to-be on the right. They both looked as if they were connecting to their unborn baby. Now when I pour Curtis a cup of coffee in this mug, wash this mug or put this mug away, it still jogs a memory in me. It's not the old inner peace memory I used to feel watching the pandas at the zoo. It's a new inner peace memory. It's the inner peace I felt being pregnant because I was finally realizing my childhood dream of becoming a Mother.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Give My Baby a High Five!

I know it's been a couple of weeks but I'm still here. I've just had a lot on my plate and a lot on my mind. I've been thrown a curve ball of life and I'm just trying to accept it and adjust to it. I'll be fine. I always get through what's been thrown my way because I always try to remember to keep the faith. It's the only thing that keeps me going!


I just had to stop by and brag a little on my baby. Yes, I'm bragging. I'm's MY blog!

Allison is in third grade this year. One thing they are doing this year is that they are learning to study at home for big tests. Allison has had trouble embracing this concept. She thinks the reading and study guides they complete in school should be enough. Our first at home study session for Chapter 1 of Social Studies went I thought. When it came time to study for the Chapter 2 test, she "forgot" to bring her book home the night before. Thankfully, I empty her book bag immediately after she gets off the bus and noticed it wasn't in there. We jumped in the van and went to the school to get it. While we were there, her teacher informed me that she didn't want to bring it home because her "Mother would make her study for an hour." Hmm...forgot? I. Don't. Think. So!

Moving right along. It was now time to study for Chapter 3 and she fussed a little but played along with my quizzing. I was a little concerned because this chapter was much larger than the first two and so much more information. It was on so many different American Indians and how they were different from each other and their types of government and their culture and how they survived and on and on and on...WHEW....I got confused and couldn't keep them straight!

Well. She brought the five page test home on Friday and received 100% on it! Her teacher had written "FANTASTIC" across the front of it. I was so proud and gave her a high five, good job, big hug and so on!

However, it wasn't until yesterday that I found out that the overall class had a very difficult time with this test. In fact, 5 of her classmates failed it. Wow! My baby really did do great!

Let's just hope she keeps it up because she informed me over the weekend that she wants to go to college for as many years as you can! Please Lord, send some scholarships our way!

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