Image Slider

Thursday, January 26, 2012

When the Going Gets Tough . . .

You've heard it before: "When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping" Such was the case this week after learning that I am facing another tough surgery in the next couple of weeks. I mean, I didn't really set out to go shopping--I didn't even leave the house. But as I was browsing some Pinterest boards of friends, I came upon this sweet necklace from Jessica:

Source: via Susan on Pinterest

I loved her designs and decided to treat myself to a special little gift. Jessica will customize the necklaces to fit your hometown and she was great to work with--I just love it when someone takes the time to personally contact you. It makes me feel like I have a new friend. :-) The turnaround time was also amazing! This evening when I arrived home, I found a little package in my mailbox. It was packaged so cute!

I love the tiny handmade box and patterned tissue paper she used (not to mention the pretty twine).

Inside, I found the treasure!

Hammered silver with a tiny heart cutout over my hometown. Perfect!

I just love it and can't wait to wear it to work tomorrow. Thanks so much, Jessica!!!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Somewhere . . .

This evening, just as a really bad storm was clearing, this double-rainbow lit up the sky above my church. For once, I actually had my camera with me when I needed it!

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Monday, January 23, 2012


When I picked my word for this year, OPEN, I envisioned keeping an open mind, being open to people and possibilities. I never in my wildest dreams pictured being cut open with nerves, tendons and muscles exposed. But it seems that is the way it is going to be this year, or at least the way the year will start. At the end of last week, I felt a pop along the back of my hand as I drove away from Occupational Therapy. After about 24 hours of fairly intense pain, it gradually subsided. By Friday morning, that area of my hand/wrist was feeling better than it had in months, BUT, my thumb was bent and try as I might, I wasn't able to straighten it.

My therapist slightly panicked and immediately called the doctor, who confirmed what Kim suspected. She worked me in for an appointment this afternoon and quickly made a definitive diagnosis of a ruptured EPL tendon. Upon examination and several x-rays, she found that 2 screws are poking through my bone, one of which is positioned right where the tendon passes. Slowly, over the past 6 months, it has been rubbing and tearing that tendon until it finally broke last week. Unfortunately, that requires surgery. While a repair is not possible, a tendon transfer is in order. The index finger has two tendons (who knew?), so one of those tendons will be transferred to my thumb and then immobilized for several weeks. Yuck!! Not something I'm looking forward to at all, but at least it can be fixed. I have a couple of weeks to get things in order around here, which is a very good thing. And who knows, maybe Dr. Ritter can take a little look around while everything is OPEN and fix anything else that might be getting in the way for full funcionality!
Friday, January 20, 2012

Hot Cocoa Bar

This morning, my co-worker, Danette, and I set up a Hot Cocoa Bar at one of the daycare centers we serve as a special thank-you to the staff there. Using a bit of inspiration from Pinterest and the great sites here, here and here, we decorated cups, made cookies, dipped spoons in chocolate and set it all up on a table in the cafeteria.

Jana designed a cute little invitation for us, complete with folding cards and toothpick banners to label the different toppings available.

We set everything up on a table in the cafeteria and invited the teachers and assistants to join us as they brought the children to breakfast. Danette brought her Keurig, which made heating the water so easy, and we provided cookies, a breakfast casserole and toppings to go with the hot cocoa.
I decorated cups to look like snowmen.
Danette stumbled upon lots of fun, flavored marshmallows at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago and quickly snatched them up. We added mint morsels and candy bits, along with the chocolate "stirring spoons".

Despite the fact that the weather was quite warm outside, everyone seemed to really enjoy the morning, and even more importantly were touched that we actually put together something special for them. It certainly warmed my heart!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow Day?

I think that today could best be described as "balmy". Despite the calendar saying that it is the middle of January, the weather outside was unseasonably warm--even for the South. After a full day at work and an evening full of meetings, Callie came over and helped me with a little project. Friday, I am co-hosting a hot cocoa bar as a thank-you to some of the daycare teachers we work with. As a fun extra, we made chocolate spoons inspired by these:

Equipped with melting chocolate, butterscotch chips and marshmallows, (the peppermints will be used later)
Callie dipped the spoons and I built the snowmen.
Fearing that they were a bit unrecognizable, I decided that we should use toothpicks dipped in food coloring (just as my mom let us do as a kid) to add faces.
They are so cute----well most of them are.
Of course, there are the others! Note: the tiniest dot of coloring spreads, so even it starts out cute, it may end up looking more like some sort of Halloween decoration. I can almost hear some of them yelling, "HELP, I'm meelllttiingg!"
The temperatures are dropping tonight, so hopefully the cold will stick around at least until Friday.
Monday, January 16, 2012

Bird Watching (and a Squirrel)

This morning, after sleeping a little bit later than usual, I heard the chirping of lots of different birds in my backyard. Since Emmi's mission is to keep all birds and squirrels out of my yard, I kept her safely tucked into her kennel as I slipped outside with my camera in hand. The temperature outdoors was very mild, but it was clear that a change was coming. Birds of every variety were flying back and forth from tree to fence to ground to tree. Sparrows:
Cedar Wax Wings:
and Cardinals:

Even the squirrels were busy getting ready for the impending change in weather.

I'll leave you with my favorite shot of the morning.
I shot all of these on Manual Mode! Oh, I am so loving this new lens!
Sunday, January 15, 2012

Project Life Work Space and a Layout

As I said in my last post, I have set up my Project Life supplies on my dining table. It is not the most attractive table decoration, I suppose, but it is in plain view and I already find myself stopping by to look at it or make little additions as I walk by. Here's my work space:
I have a picnic basket next to the table to hold 12x12 paper, page protectors, and other over-sized supplies.

I completed my Title page! I included my "word for 2012" along with a quote about life.
The layout for Week One is completed except for one photo that I'm waiting on. I used a 6x12 protector for my worship bulletin.

And here is the right side--As you can tell, I didn't do much embellishing, but I like the easy way it reads across the page. I can certainly see why this particular layout design is a favorite among other Project Life participants!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Open and Jumping In

After lots of thought and consideration, I've decided to jump right in. I bought an album and ordered a few photo protectors and have decided to give Project Life a try. I love Becky Higgins' philosophy behind the project:
"Project Life is a back-to-basics approach to memory-keeping. This simple format requires no skill - only your pictures and a pen. No one's life is perfect but everyone has a story and every family has a collection of memories. Putting pictures + stories together in Project Life makes us more aware of our blessings and encourages us to cultivate a good life."
While I have a creative streak in my blood and most likely will embellish my layouts a bit, I love the organization of the slip-in pockets and the fact that I don't HAVE to be creative if I don't feel it that day.

While Jana was here, I picked up a package of chipboard words at Michael's and using those colors as inspiration, Jana designed a set of journaling cards for me that I just love!!! I knew the color palette was the right one for me when Valine surprised me with another set from the same Michael's line without knowing I had picked those colors.
I printed out the journaling cards on card stock and cut them out, using a corner rounder on each corner. She made 40 different designs in a .pdf file which I can reprint at any time.
She even made some great little calendar punches that I can use as embellishments.

Many of the page protectors have been back-ordered, and I worried that I would lose my momentum if I didn't get started, so I designed a template that I could begin to jot down my memories of each day. I already record these on the online journal Oh Life, but I wanted something that showed a week at a glance and even provided a spot for the memorabilia that I collect since I'm notorious for forgetting what I have with things like that. (inspiration from Marcy Penner) I decided to add a column for some words that I wanted to remember to focus on throughout the year---I might focus on one or two of these each week. I have mine saved as a Word Template so that I type directly on it, but you could also print it out to keep it with your supplies and write on it, as Marcy does.(click on the form below to download the template for your own use or click here)

Since the design A photo protectors that I wanted the most won't be available for another couple of weeks, I decided to take matters into my own hand. I purchased a pack of 12 x 12 divided protectors at Michael's yesterday (American Crafts $4.99 - 25% with coupon) and made my own "design A".
I cut a piece of cardboard 3"x4" (size of journaling cards) and slipped it into the left middle left pocket, sliding it all the way to the left,
then stitched right next to the card.
Sliding the cardboard as far to the right as it would go to serve as a cutting mat, I cut a slit with an exacto knife.
Repeat the process for the right side and you've got a "design A" protector that the journaling cards fit right into.
You can even embellish the stitching a bit with some decorative trims on a few pages, like I did.
Using this method really opens you up to some completely different layouts, as you can divide any of the pockets that you wish rather than just the middle ones.
My goal today is to get my space organized. I've decided to use my dining table, since I rarely use it for its intended purpose. Having it OPEN and in a spot I walk past multiple times will hopefully help keep me from getting too far behind.

This afternoon, I'm jumping in! It's time to begin! Anyone joining me?

Custom Post Signature

Custom Post  Signature