Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Enjoy the Season

Hello again. I have been away for some time. I have not been finding much time to blog nor craft. I was able to finish AND SEND out my Christmas cards this year, something that I typically do not do well.

I have been struggling quite a bit in the last few months. Probably in the midst of applying for, getting and having to turn down my dream job at a transplant center, I got thrown into a tailspin and probably into a little depression. DH and I found out just how poor the housing market was and we were not prepared to take such a hit on our home. In this economy, being financially stable is a good thing, and risking everything for virtually a lateral move, was not in our family's best interests. Every day, I am more all right with the decision, and there is less thought about what might have been.

Which brings me to my struggle. I am a happy person. I do well in my job, and with my kids. Lately, I have not found a lot of centeredness. I have not wanted to craft, go out, watch tv, or much of anything. The only thing I have been able to keep my focus on is cooking dinner and cleaning the house. The house is by far NOT spotless, but I am keeping it up. It is mindless. I do not think it is depression, but could be if I let it get worse. I know I must watch it.

This struggle has caused me to really reflect. I am not alone. I have my wonderful kids who I enjoy time with, while they grow, and a wonderful husband who is always interested in talking with me and being with me.

SO what is the struggle? I do not know. There are so many people out there who are really alone, who have little or no one by their side. SO I vowed this Christmas, that I was going to soak up the season. Soak up the process. It was NOT a chore, or a hurry up and get it done decorating session.

I baked Christmas cookies and fudge and almond bark (that is not really baking but so what). I cannot remember the last time I took the time to bake for Christmas. It was always a chore before. We made cookie press butter cookies, and some of them turned out kind of ugly, but they tasted oh, so yummy!

We decorated over a period of two days, and enjoyed the process. I made my Christmas cards, and sat down and hand wrote all of them, and mailed them this past Sunday. Historically, I have gotten caught up in making the cards, and forget to send them out, and end up giving them away to my mother-in-law, so this was a huge accomplishment for me.

My shopping is done. I focused on thoughtful gifts for those that I love and not so much on the $$ value.

I invited my brother over for Christmas Eve. He is truly alone, although that man has more friends than I can comprehend. We have not always seen eye to eye, but I will have him over, and enjoy having him with us at Christmas. we plan on eating yummy food, playing games, and maybe Texas Hold'Em.

Our parents now winter in Texas, and usually leave for there in November and spend the Christmas holiday with my sister and her husband in Austin, so we will not see them this year. I will miss them, and hope that one day, we can all get together for Christmas again, because I miss holidays with family. I always miss my sister, and hopefully we will be able to spend a Christmas together again someday too. But for right now, I will enjoy my brother and my little family on the holiday.

These two probably give me the most joy out of anyone. Fun and funky, goofy and silly, loving and smart and smart-alex, all wrapped up in the bright, wonderful almost grownup kids that they are! That describes DH also (he's almost gronwup also...teehee), but we rarely photograph together.

Well that is it. I hope and plan for time to blog. More time to enjoy doing it. It may not always be crafting, or lots of pictures, but hopefully it will be a place for me to put my thoughts down and in the right order.

Merry Christmas to you all! Love and Hugs, Lara

Sunday, September 11, 2011

6 months away


Hello. I am not sure anyone missed me but I am back. This spring and summer have been so busy with Graduating number one and adjusting to have an 18 yr old in the house, as well as hanging with my daughter as she adjusts to not having her older brother around as much. Family comes first in our house, so keeping her happy is important to me. DD is sometimes lonely. Having Aspergers makes it harder for her to make and keep friends and so she gets lonely and mom and dad have to step in and be there for her.

I have been crafting some, mostly cards and that keeps me a little sane. Just a little. Keeping my budget down too. Scrappiness comes at a price, and that is that if I am not using what I have, I should not be buying new stuff. I have made some card kits and I did do a mini smash book the other day in preparation for the news below:

Other news. Have applied for a job in Madison, WI. I found out on Friday that I will get an interview, so waiting on that. It will be a great opportunity for me professionally, and a HUGE move for all of us. Moving a house in the fall/winter, with a hubby with a bad back and waiting surgery, after being in this house for 17 &1/2 years, will be probably one of the biggest undertakings we have ever done in the 18+ years that we have been married. Everyone is on board with this and I am so itching to start packing and hubby is telling me to slow down, I do not have the job yet. So I am doing little things. Purging closets, marking stuff for giveaway/donation. I have to go, the linen closet is calling my name. Back later with a cool little card kit that I did craft. Love and Hugs, Lara

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Challenge for My Mind's Eye

Challenge 21 for My Mind's Eye.
I got to play with some Stella and Rose. Need I say more? The colors of this line are so amazing that I could not stop finding more patterns and combos that I wanted to put together. Sometimes you get a line where you like either the A or B side of a paper or just a few sheets, but there is not ONE paper that I do not like. The 6x6 pads are golden to me also, perfect for making cards and super easy to store!
This Card sketch:

Yielded this pretty card:

Supplies used: Patterned paper: My Mind's Eye (Gertie); Stickers: October Afternoon and Cosmo Cricket, Ribbon: craft supply; Punches: FiskarsThis Layout Sketch:

Yielded this fun layout (IF I do say so myself)...

Supplies used: Cardstock: Craft supply; Patterned paper, chipboard and dimensional stickers: My Mind's Eye; Stickers: October Afternoon, American Crafts; Rubons: K&Co, Creative Imaginations; buttons: Craft Supply

While I am almost certain that little old me did not win the prize, I loved working with the awesome papers. I seldom will buy something twice...usually I work with something once and then am so over it, but on my list is the 6x6 paper pads for MME for Hazel and Gertie AGAIN, as I have exhausted the stash quite a bit. I also made a wonderful "quilted" card for my mom's upcoming birthday using the scraps, so I am in the running for the 6x6 papers again! Have a great week! Love and Hugs! Lara

Friday, March 18, 2011

I'm Not Ready

June is bearing down on me. I feel the anxiety in my heart. I am so proud of my son, but realize, as a mom, that my initial job as a teacher and mentor and booboo-kisser and conscience-raiser is coming to a close and soon I will assume the role of consultant, looker-on, while he moves on toward adulthood and total independence. I realize he will be living at home, at least through the first year of college, but again realize that he will be an adult.

I am panicking a little bit here and there. What if I did not teach him enough? What if the life we gave him, did not give him enough reality? What if he really is not ready? My heart is so full of pride for the man he is becoming before my very eyes, and I see some of the choices he is making and I realize that most of what we taught him, he learned well. He said to me the other day...Mom, you raised me to think better than that...so maybe we did ok, but I am still anxious.

I know that growing up is an independent thing, that each of us have to learn for ourselves. I did, but as a parent, the anxiety is still there. I am sure this is a inner struggle for most parents, and letting go is so hard, but just yesterday, he was this little blond-headed rascal that giggled like there was no tomorrow and ran up to me to hug my legs and almost bowl me over with his force.

He is running towards his independent life just like that, and I pray that he does not run into an obstacle that hurts him or that he cannot handle. I pray that his adult life, will be filled with as much joy as we had, having him all these years so far. I know he is not going away, it's just that I look forward to seeing him every day, and I know that he will move on, and I will miss him. I do not want to be one of those moms that criticize his adult choices and meddle in his business either, so I will quietly look on, offering any support and encouragement that I can, while he becomes independent.

I truly am not ready for the day when he leaves our home for his own, and even now, knowing that graduation is just a couple months away, I recognize I am not ready for him to graduate and be ALL GROWN UP! I pray for his success and happiness, even now!
Love and hugs, Lara