Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I’m getting awfully good at this “drive by” thing…

Sigh. Sorry guys. I swear I’m not trying to avoid you all. I just don’t seem to find the time to get here most days. I swear, it’s like every day seems to fly by. And yet, most evenings, I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing that day. Whassup with that?

Anyway, this is going to be a very quick update post. Let’s see. Since Thursday night when I posted…

** Hannah played soccer in the pouring down rain.

** Grace refused to go to soccer (and I didn’t push it, because I didn’t feel like going either).

** I woke up to find (yet another) piece of one of my teeth in my mouth. (I have really, really bad, brittle teeth that crack at will. Sigh.)

** Made a dentist appointment for tomorrow at noon, where I expect to be told what I was told a year ago by another dentist (which, I can assure you, is not even remotely close to good.)

** Both Hannah and Grace decided to join Girl Scouts. This is now going to involve two separate meetings every Wednesday in two separate places at two separate times. Lovely.

** Hannah’s dance classes also start next week, so y’all know where I’ll be every Tuesday. Lovely.

** Steve and I watched one of the best damn Steelers games we’ve seen in awhile. WOOHOO!

** I won the football pool at work, beating out 17 other people (including my husband). I friggin’ rule.

** Was inspired creatively by a bunch of totally random things, which is always cool.

** Scored a Wii for me & Steve the girls for Christmas. It shipped today. And now  I have NO idea how the hell I’m going to be able to wait until Christmas to give it to them.

** Started spreading the word to family and friends that anyone who buys me Rock Band for it will become my new favorite friend or family member.

** Decided I need to start getting more sleep, which is why I’m ending this post now and heading to bed. Later gang.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

And you all thought I wasn’t sappy…

Yesterday marked 9 years that Steve and I have been married. We moved in together about 4 months after meeting each other, got engaged 5 months later, and we were married 9 months after we got engaged. So from the day we met until the day we were married was literally only about a year a half. By today’s standards, that may seem quick to some people. But for us, we just “knew”.

We met in a bar one night. I grew up here where we live now, but was living near Philadelphia at the time in my own apartment. I had been coming home on weekends though to stay at my parents’ house and go out to bars with my sister, who had just turned 21. I walked into the bar and my girlfriends and I kept getting whiffs of cologne. Upon further investigation, we pinpointed that Steve was the wearer of the cologne. My friend, Rosie, went over to talk to him. As soon as I saw him, I knew he was the type of guy I was attracted to. Two hoop earrings in each ear… longish hair… and a smile that lit up the room. Rosie talked to him for about 5 minutes, determined he wasn’t her type, and pulled me over to introduce us. The rest, as they say, is history.

We started talking and didn’t leave each other’s side the rest of the night. It was St. Patrick’s Day weekend, so we did green Jello shots together, chewed tobacco together (shut up… I’ve TOLD you I’m a redneck. And for what it’s worth, neither of us do that anymore. LOL!), and just talked and talked. Before we parted ways that night, Steve asked for my phone number, and having no paper on me, I wrote my name and phone number on a dollar bill. (I still have that dollar bill in my jewelry box in my bedroom).

He called me a few days later and we laughed because he couldn’t read my whole name on the dollar bill. All he could see was “Alli”, so he wasn’t sure what to call me when he called. I swear to god, after that first night, I walked outside at closing time, looked at my friend, and said, “I’m marrying him.” The weird thing is that when Steve left that night, he looked at his friend and said that he was marrying me. Funny how you just “know.”

I’d be totally lying if I said the past 9 years have been perfect. NO marriage is “perfect.” None. But the truth is that Steve and I both agree we have no real complaints when it comes down to it. We’ve had stressful times… hard times… times when we were learning about each other and dealing with it. But none that were so bad that we ever questioned being together. Ever.

The beauty of our marriage is that the longer we’ve been together, the happier we are. This isn’t the case with many of our married friends who throw out comments like, “If it wasn’t for the kids, I’d leave her tomorrow,” and “She’s such a bitch! I never should’ve married her.” Nope. Not for us. Sure, we both have little things we do that annoy the other one to no end. I HATE how Steve leaves damp, used paper towels all over the downstairs. And he hates that I throw my cigarette butts on the side of the house until I pick them up every few days. But we’ve learned to live with each other’s quirks and focus on the good things.

He’s an amazing, understanding husband and father. And as queer and cliche as I know it sounds, he’s my best friend. Some people’s marriages grow stagnant over time, but that’s never happened with us. In fact, I think the longer we’re together, the happier we get. We can finish each other’s sentences. We can read each other’s moods. We know when to push the other person and when to just back off and let the other one sort it out. We know what annoys the other one and try our damndest to not do it (but often fail miserably). Steve knows that after an argument, I need 5 to 10 minutes tops to cool down and then I'm cool with going back to normal with no apologies necessary. I know that Steve just sometimes needs to blow off steam and that the things he’s bitching about have absolutely nothing to do with me or us and that he’ll feel better after just getting it off his chest.

So yes, there are certainly some things you take for granted after being together for an extended period of time. But in our case, time has been nothing but positive. We’re not even remotely stagnant or bored in our relationship. We’re comfortable, which sounds bad, but it isn’t. It’s amazing. Positively, absolutely amazing. Steve, to me, is like that silk blankie or ragged stuffed animal you had when you were a kid. That comfort object that you knew no matter what your day was like, that lovey was going to get you through it. And that when the world was crumbling down around you, you could reach for that object and know that everything would be OK.

So for those of you out there that aren’t married yet or will be soon, please don’t listen to your friends who have grown bored and bitter in their marriages. Because although it certainly happens in some cases, if you’ve found the right person, you’ve found true happiness, regardless of how long you’ve been together. I can say, without an ounce of uncertainty, that Steve and I will be that old, gray couple, sitting on our front porch in 30 years, holding hands and still truly in love. Because I’m lucky enough to have found the person I was truly meant to be with. And that, my friends, is really all I could ever ask for. I’m not a big believer in that whole “soul mate” theory, but I will say that if there was such a thing, then I’ve struck gold and found mine.

Steve is my true love. And as gay as that sounds (and yes, I realize how gay it is to talk like that), I can’t help it. Because he really, truly is the person I was meant to be with….

PS: And so as not to make you think I’ve gone off the deep end, getting all weird and sappy, let me tell you about the anniversary card Steve gave me. Marge and Homer Simpson are dancing together on the front and it says, “With beer and regular bathroom breaks, I could dance with you forever.” The inside says, “Life is good.” LOL! See? He can read me like a book. You’ve gotta love the guy. ;)

PPS: I had every intention of including some of our scanned wedding photos in this post, but never got around to actually scanning them. However, tomorrow is Saturday, which means no work shit to deal with. So I will do just that and post them. Because, well, it’ll be fun. LOL!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Emma Tagged Me…

The "rules" of the game are as follows:
1. Post the rules on your blog
2. Write 6 random things about yourself
3. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
4. If you're tagged, DO IT and pass on the tag

Okay - six random things about myself...
1) Although part of me would love to be a professional photographer, I really prefer the post-processing in Photoshop more than the actual taking of the photos.

2) I have every intention of upgrading to Photoshop CS4 when it’s released next month, regardless of the fact that I don’t have an “extra” $200 lying around.

3) I’m getting really tired of straightening my hair, so I think I’m going to let it grow out a bit and go back to my natural curls again for awhile.

4) I’ve recently become addicted to Pandora, and am finding tons of amazing new singers (like Brooke Fraser) because of it. (Many of which can be found in my new Playlist in my sidebar over there. –>) Note: If any of you out there are also users on Pandora, let me know so I can peek at your stations, OK?

5) Many days, I would be perfectly happy to not leave my house for weeks, which is the total opposite of how I used to be.

6) If Steve and I weren’t so damn afraid to get on a plane, I’d be going to visit a ton of my friends, including going to an upcoming wedding in Florida that I had the honor of being invited to. Sigh. :(

I'm tagging...
1) Kim (kimmif)
2) Chelle
3) Tink
4) Geena
5) Lisa
6) Melly

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hola gang!

How was everyone’s weekend? Ours was really busy, actually. “Family Fun Day” for the local soccer club was on Saturday. Steve had to work, so I had the two girls on my own. I was totally dreading it, because it’s a LONG day and I end up dropping about $40 every year. I have to say, the girls behaved WAY better than I thought they would. We had a few moments here and there, but nothing that bad. (Photos from that day later… I didn’t download them off my camera yet.)

Saturday night we headed to my MIL’s just to visit for a bit. It gave the kids something to do right up until bedtime, which was my goal, really.

Yesterday, I spent the entire day cleaning up and organizing the kitchen. Man, did it need it. BAD. LOL! I’m happy to report that every inch of the room has been decluttered, right down to taking EVERYTHING off the front of the fridge (photos, papers, school lunch menus, etc.). It looks fantastic. It won’t stay that way, I’m sure. But I can at least enjoy it for a few days, right?

Other than that, I just spent some time playing around with some photos and scrapping a bit. See? I’ll be back later. Maybe. [shrug]


Daddy's Girl


Soccer Girl

# 5



Steve_and_Hannah []

Credits: Dot Paper: Jen Wilson Designs - Academy – Music; Solid Papers: Jen Wilson Designs - Academy - Elementary Solids; Photo and Paper Overlays: Something Blue Studios; Ribbons: Jen Wilson Designs - Holiday - Laced Ribbons; Pink Ribbon: Jen Wilson Designs - Laundry Line - Unwashed Ribbons; Alpha: Jofia Devoe Designs - Alpha Bead; Green and Pink Flowers - Trish Jones; Glittery Flourish - Trish Jones - Hot Spots – Sparkly; Leaves, Pink and Yellow Flower - Funky Junky Spring Fling - Kate Hadfield

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What I Get Paid For…

OK. Not really. It’s not what I’m supposed to get paid for. But some days, well, other projects “call” and work gets put on hold. Today, I spent the day making a magnetic weekly schedule chart for the girls.

The girls are on different soccer teams, which means games different nights of the week and varying from week to week. And Hannah is constantly asking me "How many more days until my soccer game, Mom?" It's actually sometimes annoying. LOL!

And now that both are in school, I get all kinds of confused about which kid has which “special” class every day (art, music, computers, library & gym). I have to know because on gym days, they need to wear sneakers, and on library days, they need to return their books. And of course, they don’t have these classes on the same day.

AND, just to f*ck with my mind a little more, they also have these classes on a rotating 5-day schedule. That means that as long as they have 5 days of school in a week, we’re golden, and nothing changes from one week to the next. But throw in an in-service or snow day and all hell breaks loose. Why, you ask? Because then when they do go to school that next day, they have the special class that should’ve been the day before and all of the classes shift again. See why I get confused? LOL!

So the bottom line is that I needed some sort of weekly planner type thing that could be changed when necessary without crossing things off on a calendar and creating a big old mess. Enter a cookie tray, some paint, some digital scrapbooking supplies and some peel-and-stick magnets. Put them all together and you’ve got yourself a magnetic weekly schedule planner. Sweet!

Hybrid Magnetic Weekly Planner

Hybrid Magnetic Weekly Planner

This was actually really easy to make. All I did was paint a cookie tray on the bottom. Then I opened up my digital scrapbooking supplies and created the actual weekly “calendar” and the “This Week” header. Those are just printed out on regular matte photo paper and stuck onto the bottom of the cookie sheet.

Next, I created the actual magnets.

Hybrid Magnetic Weekly Planner

Hybrid Magnetic Weekly Planner

I opted to put a photo of each girl on them, mostly because Hannah can’t read yet and I think they’ll get a kick out of it. I also choose to make the picture under each word relate to the event, again, because Hannah can't read. So there are paint brushes for art days, a stack of books for library days, a soccer ball for soccer game days, etc.

For those, I just printed them out on regular satin photo paper, cut them apart, and used a peel-and-stick magnet on the back of each one.

I also created a magnet that says "Today" so Hannah would know each day what's going on for her.

Hybrid Magnetic Weekly Planner

I also created little magnets for other "special events". If you look in one of the top two photos, you'll see a present between the two girls on Sunday. That's because Hannah has a birthday party that day. I also made a tree for Christmas, a bat for Halloween, an "It's Your Birthday!" magnet for, duh, their birthdays, etc.

The best part is that any magnets I don't happen to be using one week can just be stuck on the other side of the cookie tray, out of sight and ready whenever you need them (because otherwise, I assure you, I'd lose them).

So that was it. I figure each Sunday night, the girls can move their magnets around as necessary and they'll know exactly what's going on for the week. :)

Edit: I'm going to make this whole project into templates so those of you with a photo editing program can make your own. We'll offer it up (for free) on Jen Wilson's blog or on her site. I'll post here when we have it up and you can download it and make your own. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008


This, my friend, is hot bologna.

Hot Bologna

And it’s the best damn thing you’ll ever eat. It’s basically pickled bologna. Sounds disgusting, I know. But I assure you, it’s heavenly. Just heavenly… Mmmmm….

Holy crap!

Long time, no blog! Whassup with that? I didn’t even realize how long it had been. I don’t even have any good excuses. Yes, we’ve been really busy with school starting, soccer starting (for 2 kids, on 2 separate teams, with no games falling on the same night), open house at the school, homework, my job, etc. But nothing earth-shattering that should’ve prevented me from coming here to at least say hello to all of my fabulous fans. <--- Sarcasm there, people.

Let’s see… what should we talk about. I know! Let’s talk about I finally joined the rest of the free world and called the cable company for a DVR. Dear god, what did I do before this thing came into my home? I’m obsessed. I record TV series like it’s my job. I don’t even care if I don't ever watch them. I just like the comfort of knowing they’re there if I want to watch them. And I can pause live TV. Again, I, for the most part, have no reason to do this. And yet, I sit here pushing the pause button, just because I can. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing my friends. [happy sigh]


Let’s see… I’m still obsessed with America’s Got Talent, and Eli Mattson in particular. LOVE the guy. In ways no married woman should. And tonight, he made it into the top 10. And I’m very, very excited about that. (And thanks to the new DVR, have watched the announcement of him making it into the next round about 85 times. Sweet.)


What else. Ummmm… the digital scrapbooking designer I CT for, Jen Wilson, released a new line tonight. I freakin’ LOVE this line. Just cool, cool stuff. I had the pleasure of getting my grubby little hands on some of it a few weeks ago before it was released and I managed to crank out some layouts WAY faster than I normally do. It’s some good stuff. See?

Sweet Memories_English Challenge


Easy as 1_2_3

Evolution of Family

She’s running challenges with it, which are all detailed in the handbook here. And god bless the girl. Because her challenges ALWAYS make me really think about my layouts, which result in my favorite layouts of all time. That one on the bottom there (the “Our Family Evolution” one) is probably one of my favorite layouts ever. Not necessarily because of the scrapbooking part of it. Just because it has all of the important details of our family on it. It was so much fun to do!


Um, I think that might be it for tonight. I need to go to bed. I have shitloads to do tomorrow and it’s much easier to do when I have more than 3 hours of sleep. Later gang! :)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


So I stumbled on Blogger's new features! You can now "follow" a blog, (like in Twitter). If you go to your Dashboard, you can add blogs you want to follow. If a blog installs the widget (found in Page Elements in your Layout/Page Elements section, it actually displays those people that have chosen to follow your blog. How cool! Mine's over there. --->

But it's still empty, so can someone follow me please? LOL! And if you add the widget to your own blog, comment here and let me know so I can follow you. :)

AND, you can now add easy buttons to your sidebar so people can subscribe to your posts AND your comments in your posts in their feed readers. Sweet! Go people! Go! ;)

I know I haven’t been around…

Just been busy and don’t have much to blog about to be honest with you. Later tonight, hopefully. I got a bunch of layouts done over the Labor Day weekend though, which is cool. Here they are. All of these are “scraplifted” from other scrapbookers. That means I basically either use one of their layouts for inspiration, or basically copy it. I’ll post the credits for these later, but I really need to log into work now and get rolling.


Grace Closeup

Rock Star

Rope Swing