Thursday, November 26, 2009

November Thankful: Thanksgiving Day

I love the holidays!
There is something about the season that makes me just want to spend as much time with family as possible. To soak up all the moments and memories and make them last forever. To savor every moment with those I love. I have so much to be thankful for in this life. I have been so very blessed. I know this. That is why each and every day I am thankful for...

This home and all the hard work that has gone into it to make it ours.

I am thankful for him
for them
for this family
and this family.

I am thankful for moments like thisand this

I am thankful for...
Pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks,

and this.
I am thankful for her smile
and his willingness to always help.

I am thankful for their relationship.
and laughter.
I am thankful for a creative spirit
and for the evidence of such a rich and wonderful life. Especially the last four years. And for the ability to document it for future generations.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November Thankful: The 24th

Today I am thankful for forgiveness. It is such a simple word yet sometimes so hard to say or even do. I think the world needs more forgiveness.

Today I am thankful for the constant lessons my children teach me. And the growth I have achieved since becoming a mother. It is amazing what a tiny little baby or a 3ft. toddler can teach you about life, yourself and others.

Today I am thankful for the light in the dark. For beauty amongst the dreary. For the awesomeness of nature and the ability to create images like the one above.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

November Thankful: The 23rd

Today I am thankful for sitting down at the table as a family to eat dinner. This is something that I missed in the later (teenage) years of growing up. Something is lost when the schedules get busy and you become overwhelmed with obligations of adulthood. I know these moments that we get to share together, laughing, sharing stories of our day as a family are ones that will not last forever so I am thankful each and every day we are able to experience them.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

December Daily Album

I've been following Ali Edwards blog for a few years now loving her style and embracing her approach to documenting the everyday and not just the big events. I have seen her December Daily albums and have always wanted to get the courage to actually create one myself. You create an album before december than document your days throughout the holiday. Now in the midst of my Yesterday and Today class, craving information and knowledge of my past and my parents past, I am desperate to document as much as possible about our lives for Mason and Sophie. This is the year I decided to take the plunge and it came out better than I imagined. The first album I created using many different sizes. For some reason I felt that if you had a 12x12 album you needed to put all 12x12 layouts in it. Hello, think outside the box Rachel. I loved stepping out of my comfort zone. It was freeing and I think I create some of my best work when there are no rules.

So here are a few of the pages from my album. I haven't decided if I want to do like Ali and just document till the 25th or continue till the 31st or do more than one page for each day or what. I decided to stop numbering the pages when I couldn't figure it out. But that's part of the beauty of it. You just go with flow. No rules, no box. Just document and create. LOVE IT! I'll be posting my pages as I finish them throughout the month. Hope you enjoy.
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November Thankful: The 22nd

Today I am thankful for the opportunity to sit down with my dad and go over the many photos and memorbilia he gave me from his childhood. We shared many laughs and I think he liked to see all the old stuff. Especially his report cards in kindergarten and high school. I'm lucky and glad his mother kept all these things so I can have a peak into my father's life growing up.

This is why I am such a pack rat. Why I keep every little thing, remember every detail. To pass down to my children, my childhood and theirs. And right there in a nutshell is why I scrapbook.
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November Thankful: The 20th and 21st

Today I am thankful for my kids being good at the scrapbook store and Mason helping to clean the stickers with the owner even though he didn't make the mess. Renewed my faith in my own mothering abilities.


Today I am thankful for newly established traditions. Family movie night. After a hard day of working on the landscaping of our front house (it's getting there) we spent a nice evening enjoying popcorn, each other and The Incredibles. It was requested to be done again. So I think it will be a newly instituted reward for a good day.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

November Thankful: The 19th

Today I am thankful for the stranger at Home Depot who saw me with a quizzical look on my face as I pondered how I was going to get the gargantuan piece of homasote into my car, and offered his help. So thank you. You didn't have to, but I am grateful that you did.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November Thankful: The 17th

Today I am thankful for the funny things my son says.

Imagine this scene.

Father and son sitting together staring at the computer screen. They are watching guys do stupid things on motorcycles. Why do I know this? The oh's and oh no's followed by laughter. I'm working on my computer. Journaling for a scrapbook page I am working on. Mason busts out with the line, that was a stupid thing to do. If I had been drinking something it would have been spewed all over my work table, computer and clothes.

That's one for the album.
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Monday, November 16, 2009

November Thankful: The 16th

Today I am thankful for clean bathrooms that I didn't have to clean myself, and for Sophia rolling over for the first time all by herself.

I didn't actually see the whole process. I laid her on her stomach walked away for a minute came back and saw her on her side almost over but the side of the gym mat was blocking her. I moved it. She didn't do anything so I walked away again. When I came back she was on her back. Yay! The smile on her face when I was squealing with joy that she rolled over was priceless and worth the wait alone.
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November Thankful: The 15th

Today I am thankful for Grandma Sunday and that my Redskins managed to FINALLY pull out a win.

I can't tell you enough how grateful I am to have family living so close. This tradition of what is now known as Grandma Sunday started when we bought this house. It was a fixer upper so we spent every weekend over here working from sun up to sun down, literally. My mom was so gracious to take Mason most weekends so we could work kid free, which meant faster. Once we moved, after 4 months of grueling hard work, my mom missed her Mason time. So we continued with her taking him every Sunday, as those were her only day off at the time. It gave Fred and I some quality time together to see a movie, ride the motorcycle or just relax. And it gave Mason the immeasurable gift of getting to know is grandparents on a more deeper level. Now that Sophie is here, I love that he still gets this time with my mom. It has helped the transition, being able to keep a bit of the old routine. Not to mention the quality one on one time (soaking up all the attention) he receives. Something he lacks here at home no longer being the only child. Now Fred and I are counting down the days when Sophie can join him on Grandma Sunday and we can get our date day back. Our coupleness (is that a word?) has seriously been on the back burner since becoming parents for the second time. As I'm sure all couples experience in that first year when their baby is so demanding of their time and assistance.

On a second note. I am so incredibly thankful that the Washington Redskins managed to pull out a win after a four game in a row loss. So disturbing it has been to hear the once always loyal fans bashing our team. I've always been proud of the fact that we have never booed our team no matter how bad they played or how crappy of a season we had. Until now. I can't express how sad that makes me feel. Having been a fan since childhood it is a big part of my life. Forget about making plans with us Sundays in the fall. It's football season. So much so that I rushed through picking out a videographer and photographer for our wedding in record time to make it home for the game. Yeah, it's that important. So thank you my beloved team for getting your act together for three hours and being the successful talented team I always knew you were.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

November Thankful: The 14th

Today I am thankful for my husband letting me sleep in after a REALLY late night of scrapbooking bliss.

I was up till 4am working on my Yesterday and Today class and finishing up my album from Me: The Abridged Version. I've been behind lately due to life. But as I see it I am busy making memories that I can later scramble to find time to document and put in my albums. I've tried to take the approach of many professional scrapbookers and do a little here and a little there. For example I have only 30 minutes of free time when both kids are miraculously having naptime overlap. I will just adjust and crop all my photos to be ready to print at another time. Or do some journaling. Or maybe glue down all the photos that were printed and cut earlier. Anyway, I wasn't tired last night and not having done this time management in the past I wanted to catch up a bit and pulled an all nighter. My husband, being great that he is, didn't question or negotiate getting up when Mason pitter-pattered into our room this morning at 7am. And didn't have Mason come wake me up after an hour either. I roused myself out of bed at around 9:30am realizing that I can't just sleep the day away, as nice as that would be. So thanks babe for the simple generosity. I owe you one.
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Friday, November 13, 2009

November Thankful

Today I am thankful for the simple things.

After soccer class we spent the day at the mall scoping out ideas for Christmas presents. Mason played very nicely on the play area and made a friend while browsing Gymboree. He was being such a good boy. After lunch we shared some ice cream. Strawberry with sprinkles. It was the best ice cream I've had. We ended our day with a ride on the train. I often forget that it's the simple things that can be the most fun. The most meaningful.
I saw this on Ali's blog and thought, I love that idea too! So here is my attempt at keeping up with it every day until Thanksgiving. It is based off a prompt going around facebook to update your status everyday with something you are thankful for, from now until Thanksgiving. I might do it on facebook and Twitter too.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

All Aboard (a birthday celebration)

*Using PSE 4.0 I made this invite by scratch. The photo is from our trip to Strausburg for Day out with Thomas.

So the day finally arrived. So much preparation and planing. It was well worth it. It started with Mason's actual birthday. We spent the day dancing to Black Eyed Peas I got a feeling and KC and the Sunshine Band Shake, Shake, Shake. Mason's favorite song. Then he rode his bike to the park across the street. For dinner we headed to Red Robin, his favorite Restaurant. Got to meet Red Robin, give him a high five, and was sung to by the staff. He LOVED it.
We arrived home where he opened two presents. One being what he calls the eight o'clock, eight o'clock car. It's one of those cars from Target that makes noise and dances. It plays the song Rock around the clock. Of course I had to listen to that all week.

I woke up early and picked up the balloons for Mason's party. Then attached them to the party favors, wooden trains I found at Target. So fitting for the Thomas theme party.
I stuck with the colors red and blue throughout. Including the cupcakes. I made 24 chocolate and 24 buttercream the night before. As Fred and I debated on how to frosting them (see post below), I think mine turned out better and Mason agreed. I then put flags on the ones for the kids. I made the flags by using Thomas stickers and then cutting them out using my coluzzle and attaching them to tooth pics using my xyron machine.
Pin the tale on the donkey was a popular game. Each kid got to take a turn at least twice and even I gave it a try.
After the kids made a sufficient mess and making a lot of noise running around the house we brought out the pinata. Below is the video.

Then after the pinata, as if all that candy wasn't enough of a sugar rush we decided to have the singing of Happy Birthday and cupcakes. I was impressed that Mason actually blew out all his candles. See video below.
Then we opened presents. Of course he had to do it himself. When I asked him later what his favorite present was, he ran over to the Billy Fun Wheels remote control car and he and Fred proceeded to run around the house with it. *sigh* Boys. Gotta love 'em. Thanks Adrian, you got the #1 gift.
After all the chaos ended and we cleaned up a bit I was overly exhausted and ready for bed.

And now I get to take a breath before we have to plan for all the festivities of Christmas. It never ends.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Can you stay this age forever?

Today was Grandma Sunday and a beautifully warm day. Perfect for walking on the trail and trowing stones, leaves and sticks in the creek.

Tonight as Mason is recounting what they did, this is what I heard.

Mason: And nuts. We threw nuts in the water.
Fred: You threw nuts in the water? So does that mean they threw you in the water?
Mason: *laughing* No. They didn't throw me in the water.
Fred: They didn't throw you in? You said you were throwing nuts in the water so I thought they threw you in.
Me: *chuckling*
Mason: No. Mommy would be upset.
Me: *burst out laughing*
Fred: *laughing*

He really knows what to say to to make me smile. Like yesterday while frosting cupcakes for his party. I wanted to frost them with an icing bag and tip and Fred said it would take too long and just wanted to spread it on with a knife. I said he could do half his and and I'd do half my way. So I'm squeezing out the icing and it's looking pretty good. I'm happy. Then Mason, who is standing on the stool next to daddy looks up and says, "Mommy, that's beautiful!" God I love you buddy.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On this day

Three years ago, on this day, my son was born. And I became a mother.
Seeing his face for the first time, I fell instantly in love. Unaware of the adventure ahead of me.
A year later and I still couldn't believe I was a mom, or how much my son had changed over his first year of life.
Two years and entering toddlerhood. Looking so big, getting so smart and being so funny.
Now he is three. I can't believe my baby boy is three. Such a little man and STILL amazing me every day.
Tonight we plan on taking him out to his favorite restaurant, Red Robin, and giving him a present or two. How much he has grown in those few short years, in height, character and vocabulary. Can't wait till your party this weekend, buddy. You're such a goof ball.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

My name is...

I watched an episode on momversation the other day regarding the issue of what you prefer to be called by kids. Mr. and Mrs. or by your first name? I recently have found myself in this situation with my friends kids getting to that age where they talk to and address me frequently. I was even asked while on vacation this exact question. Would I prefer their son call me Miss Rachel or Mrs. Briggs? Um, well...

Here is where I am at a cross roads. Before I became a mother I never thought about it much. My friends daughter always called us Miss or Mr. (and our first name). I thought it was cute. Now used to being called Miss Rachel I get why they make their kids address adults in this way. It's a sign of respect. Now that I am a mom myself, I actually prefer that I be addressed as Miss Rachel as opposed to just Rachel. Hearing a two year old (especially my son) call me by my first name is awkward, annoying and just wrong. I am a/your mother, an adult, and feel I should be treated as such.

However, (and this is a big HOWEVER) upon hearing Mrs. Briggs I think, is my mother in law here? Strange I know. After all I am married and was introduced as Mrs. Briggs at my reception. And when it comes to filling out paperwork I always use the prefix Mrs. But at only 30 years, I don't see myself as being that old. For me, Mrs. Briggs holds the uber-mature status of those the age of my parents and grandparents. Not the young, hip, woman I have convinced myself I am. I can't see myself as this overly mature adult. I'm not there yet. Though according to my husband I'm not as young nor do I look as young as I think do. OK, I'm still not there yet.

I always had a hard time calling my friends parents by their first names. Prefix or not. It seemed odd and wrong. They were waaaay older than me and adults. Not my friends but my elders and deserving that respect. Even today, I have a hard time calling my son's pediatrician anything other than Dr. (last name) even though our sons and his wife and I are close friends. We attend birthday parties at each other's houses, have had numerous play dates, yet for some reason it feels awkward to call him by his first name (I feel like giggling as if I'm 10 and got away with something I shouldn't have).

So yeah. I prefer Miss Rachel. For the time being. Years from now when my kids are well into elementary, intermediate and definitely high school I'll probably want to be called Mrs. Briggs. Because then I'll be well into my 30's and even 40's. YIKES! And maybe, just maybe then I'll actually feel older and more mature. Like the parents/adults I grew up emulating.

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