Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mothers Day Cards

Love You Grandma Mother's Day 5x7 folded card
Find unique and elegant Mother's day cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

5 Tips for Editing & Creating Digital Photos

Do you ever see a photo and just drool over it? Wish that you could take a picture just like that? Well the truth is, that even those of us who aren't professionals can achieve professional looking results too. 

1. Camera - you don't have to have a professional camera to achieve professional results. I've seen some amazingly incredible pictures from a simple point and shoot disposal camera. The truth of the matter is, it's less about the camera and more about the person behind the camera.
That said, don't allude yourself into thinking that any ole' camera will do. Do your research. Compare! Compare! Compare! Go into the store - be it Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, etc, and feel the camera's - hold them - act like you are taking pictures. Does it fit your hand? Is it comfortable to hold? Can you imagine holding it for a long time while you take picture after picture? Keep in mind what features are important to you. You don't need to have a 12 mega pixel camera  if you are only printing up to an 8x10 photo. So take that extra you would have spent on getting a 12 mega pixel and put it towards making sure that you get other features you want. Make sure you understand the difference between optical zoom and digital zoom - they are two very different things. 

2. Manual and Tutorials - read your manual front to back. When you get your camera, you are going to need to charge the batteries to full power and so you will have plenty of time to get reading that manual. If you don't understand something, Google it. Watch tutorials on YouTube. Read books. Start out in Auto till you get a feel for your camera and then start branching out and take it for a spin. I know I learn best hands on or by watching. Find what works best for you and your learning style and then learn about your camera and photography in general. 

3. Be mindful of your background. I know sometimes it can't be helped - you have what seems like a perfect picture, then by all means shoot it and worry about the background later. But when given the opportunity to be a bit more mindful of that background, do so. I recently had the opportunity to go into my daughters preschool and do a class portrait and portraits of all the children. I am by no means a pro, my passion is just a hobby, but I knew I wanted these memories for my daughter. Well in all the commotion of the day, having 7 2-3 yr olds touching all your equipment, asking questions, hanging all over you, and suddenly the background wasn't even thought of and what do you know - I got a bit of a lamp in the background of some pictures. I was disappointed at my rookie mistake, but under the circumstances, I did the best I could. The parents are happy and that is what matters. 

4. Don't be afraid to edit your images. Again, if you don't know how to do something, Google is your best friend. Just Google it and you'll find a wealth of knowledge just at your fingertips. Whether it be red-eye removal or adjusting the curves of a image, there will be a tutorial out there for it. There are some really fabulous programs out there that you can use to edit your digital picture. I am a huge fan of the Adobe Photoshop and Elements programs! If you have no aspirations to become a professional photographer, then I'd say that Photoshop Elements would be a wonderful tool to have in your arsenal.

5. Duplicate! Ok, this is a biggie for me. Before you begin to play with your image - duplicate it then close the original and play with that copy. See, if you alter it and then save that alteration, you've forever lost that original and what happens if 6 months down the road you realize that you don't like that edit? You can't go back to it if you saved it as a .jpeg and redo it. I always keep my original photos in tact and just play with the duplicates.  Jpeg images lose quality every time they are opened, edited and saved. It's really important to keep the number of editing sessions to a minimum. To read further about this, you can check out this link here: JPEG Myths and Facts

 Just following some basic steps can have you too on the road to beautiful digital photographs. Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are endless. I use my digital photographs and Photoshop to create digital scrapbook layouts such as this:


 



 



 


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Adobe blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

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Holiday Survival Tips 101

It's Thanksgiving eve and I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off! It got me thinking about how others "survive" the holidays. Are you like me? Do you wait till the last minute and make a mad rush to get everything accomplished? Or do you start out weeks or maybe months in advance?
Here are my 10 Holiday Survival Tips:

1. Organize, organize, organize. I can't stress this enough! Even though I am running around tonight like a chicken with my head cut off, I still have my lists going. I have a list of things to do tomorrow - a list of things to buy Friday in preparation for Vicky's birthday party this weekend - a list of gifts to get - a grocery list. Keeping a list helps me from having total chaos. If you aren't a person who does lists, try it out. I bet you'll be surprised at how easy it is to keep things in check, so to speak, when you have a list to go by.

2. Plan ahead. If you are hosting a gathering for the holiday, sit down when you have some quiet time and think about the people who will be attending and what food you'll be serving. Does Uncle Pete have a onion allergy? Is lil Samantha gluten intolerant? Is cousin Julie a vegetarian? You don't want to wait till the last minute trying to come up with food ideas that will work for all your guests.

3. Baking! If you have the room or a deep freeze, don't be afraid to start baking ahead of time. There are plenty of baked goodies that can be made weeks in advance and frozen and still delicious. Just make sure to wrap everything properly to keep it from getting freezer burn or dried out and you'll be good to go. I remember my mom doing this when I was a kid and I'd sneak into the deep freeze and sneak a frozen chocolate chip cookie - oh they were so good frozen like that.

4. Handmade. Consider handmade gifts this year. Some of my favorite gifts have been the things that I know someone put a lot of heart and soul (and maybe blood, sweat and tears lol) into. In the summer you can make jams and jellies from all those fresh berries you picked. Grab a jar of each and a pretty basket, add the jars of jam/jelly, a nice bottle of wine, a cup wine glasses, a gourmet box of crackers, a couple fingertip towels and you've got a nice gift for someone. The sky's the limit - that or your imagination! LOL!

5. Shop ahead! Just because it is July doesn't mean you can't think about Christmas gifts. This summer I got numerous gifts for my kids at K-Mart. They had a 50% off sale on already reduced toys. I spent $30 and got remote controlled trucks, My Little Ponies, Disney Princess, Barbie, and other items. When you see an incredible sale, take it. Rather than spend $ all at once, spread it out over the year and pick up things when you see them on sale.

6. Don't overextend yourself! Don't feel obligated to say "yes" to everyone and anyone. It is better to take on a couple projects that you can really pour your heart and soul into, then a dozen projects that are done half arsed! Don't be afraid to say "no". Only commit to those things that really speak to your heart. Make priorities. And don't forget to keep yourself on that list of priorities. If you are rundown, then no one wins!

7. Help! Don't be afraid to enlist help! Have a gathering at your house? Then don't be afraid to ask/delegate some things to your guests. Most people (ok, most normal people lol) won't mind being asked to bring along something to contribute to the meal. It can be something as simple as some holiday napkins or a green salad or a bottle of wine. Maybe you know that Aunt Pam makes a fabulous apple pie - ask her if she'd like to make one - tell her how much you enjoy it and what an honor it would be to have her pie at your party.

8. Breathe! Take time to enjoy the holidays. Sit down with the kids and watch a Christmas movie. Pop some popcorn, make some hot chocolate (or frozen hot chocolate if you are feeling bold lol), curl up on the couch and just veg out. The most important thing at the holidays is family - make sure to enjoy your family!

9. Batteries! It seems that all toys these days take a plethora of batteries of all different sizes. Remember to stock up ahead of time, lest you have a bunch of grumpalumps on Christmas morning when they can't play with their toys cause they have no batteries. Nothing worse than getting that new handheld gaming device and no battery! LOL! One thing I like to do, is as I buy a toy, jot down on a sheet of paper what size battery it takes and how many, this way right before Christmas, I can go out and get all the batteries I need. Be prepared!

10. Decorations! Take your time putting up the decorations - don't get so rushed that you through together your tree and everything else and then never enjoy it. For us, the Christmas cards we receive are part of our decorations. We hang them around the doorways in the living room and we get to reflect all season on all the loved ones who sent us cards that year. A great place to get Christmas cards, is Tiny Prints. Tiny Prints Christmas cards are adorable cards and they really have things to offer for every taste and want.

Tiny Prints provides stylish, modern and unique stationery from photo cards to personalized greeting cards to thank you cards and business cards. Offering exclusive designs from the nation’s top designers, easy card personalization, a powerful preview engine and top-notch customer service and paper quality, their designs have been lauded by numerous television networks, publications and celebrities. With Tiny Prints by your side the Holidays will be a cinch! They offer adorable Thanksgiving Cards, Christmas Cards, Hanukkah Cards, and even New Years Cards. All fully customizable and personalizable.

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Tiny Prints helps you get together, keep in touch and share your love—one little card at a time. Tiny Prints was started in 2003 by three friends and a dream. With a shared a love of babies and an affinity for beautiful paper, they set out to create a stationery company that would offer the experience of a local boutique with the ease of an online retailer. Specializing in the celebration of all of life's special occasions, we're thrilled to offer a fresh selection of exclusive designs, from birth announcements and baby shower invitations to personal stationery and more, delivered with the best customer service you can find online or in stores.

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“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here.”


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Weaving the Hottest Runway Trends!

Do you ever watch TV or flip through a magazine and wonder how you can be as fashionable as all the celebrities? I know sometimes I look at those runway looks and think to myself, "that would look ridiculous on me" and that it would cost an arm and a leg. But really the truth is, you and I, can have those looks for less!

10 tips for weaving the hottest runway trends into your day-to-day looks:

1. Color - Don't be afraid to flirt with some color in your wardrobe. The truth is, there are very few people who can't pull off color! Don't be afraid to add some color to your wardrobe - be in through a scarf, shoes, piece of jewelry, article of clothing, etc. Take that plain black dress and throw on a geometric patterned scarf full of color - add a chunky bracelet - some fabulous rockin' pumps and hit the road! I find when I am wearing all dark (and yes, sometimes drab colors - black/brown/navy, I just feel kind of "umph", but when I put on something bright and brilliant (fuchsia, light blue, salmon, turquoise, red) I suddenly feel vivacious and alive. Color is your friend!

2. Accessorize - Play up your outfit with fun accessories! Maybe some chandelier earrings, a chunky bracelet, animal print pumps, a hair piece, a bright purse! It's the holiday season - sales are everywhere - next time you are in the mall, treat yourself to a fabulous accessory!

3. Shoes - Oh how I love thee! Shoes are my passion - my obsession! Sometimes I miss working in an office simply because I have no need to wear high heels anymore. There is something sexy about a nice heel in a fabulous color! These days as a stay-at-home-mom, I don't have many reasons to wear high heels, but I still try to find shoes that are in style and funky and fresh but still comfortable and practical for running after a rambunctious preschooler! If you are aren't sure what is in style or what is out there, do what I do and go to some shoes sites and window shop online - I love DSW.com and Zappos.com.

4. Hair - Perhaps you can't afford the stylist to the stars, but surely you can find a hair stylist in your budget who can give you that look you want. Clip pictures from magazines or print them out from the internet and take them with you. You can still get a fabulous cut even if you don't have the wallet that the stars do. I'll let you in on a little secret - I love my stylist - I love my hair cut - she does an awesome job and gives me exactly what I was hoping/aiming for each time and guess where I go? Wal-Mart! Yep, I get my hair cut at the salon at Wal-Mart - it doesn't break the bank but I still get that trendy hairstyle I love.

5. Goodwill/Salvation Army/Garage Sales - Gasp! Yes, it's true - you can sometimes find great items at a steal at the Goodwill/Salvation Army or Garage Sales. My sisters this summer scored some fabulous Vera Bradley purses at a garage sale for next to nothing. I've gotten brand new Tommy Hilfiger apparel before at Goodwill. I've even got the kids name brand clothing - "The Children's Place/Gap/Gymboree/etc" with the tags STILL on. A friend on Facebook just recently posted about scoring a "Coach" purse at the Goodwill. Sometimes people don't realize the treasure they are sitting on and they donate it just to get rid of it and so, you must never discount these places!

6. Shop your own closet - Sometimes we have little treasures hiding amongst our own clothes in our own closet or perhaps even your spouses. Maybe your spouse has a great shirt that you could layer with a cami and leggings. Don't be afraid to repurpose items. One of the things I am some in love with these days is repurposing kids clothing - one of my favorites is taking a girls long sleeve shirt, cut it in half and sew on layers cut from your own old shirts and make a funky and fresh new dress. Check out this tutorial for making a pair of long leggings from an old tshirt - http://kojodesigns.blogspot.com/2009/09/kojo-tutorial-refashion-tshirt-into.html. The possibilities are endless - go look in your closet without any preconceived notions - open your mind - don't be afraid to take outfits apart and pair them up with something else. Say you have a pants suit - take that jacket - put a cotton tank under it - skinny jeans - and a fun accessory or two and you've got a stylist outfit that didn't cost you anything.

7. Put on a little make up. This doesn't have to be a full face of caked on makeup - just some simple gloss and a bit of blush across the apples of your cheeks and some mascara and you'd be amazed at how refreshed you look! I admit, I don't leave the house without some make up on - even if it's just some tinted moisturizer, a lil blush, a sweep of eye shadow, some mascara and some of my chapstick! You don't have to look like you are headed out for Halloween - keep it simple and clean but it does make a difference. When going out at night, try for something like a "smokey" eye. If you are unsure how to accomplish certain make up looks, try googling for help or go to Youtube and search for tutorials. Unsure of what looks good on you, then head over to a place like Macy's where you can get a free makeup session. Yes, they'll try to sell you the products, but you are under no obligation to buy.

8. Jewelry - Sometimes it can be something as simple as putting in earrings that can pull an outfit together. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. There are plenty of good costume jewelry designers at there, that you don't need to break the bank.

9. Purge - Get rid of all the clothes that don't fit properly. There is nothing more depressing then wearing clothes that aren't fitting your body properly! And if you have something of good quality but the fit isn't right, don't be afraid to take it to a tailor. A tailor is your friend when you want clothes that fit you in all the right ways. As a plus size woman, I often find that clothes right off the racks don't fit right in every area - sometimes they need to be tweaked here or there. Don't get discouraged when you shop - keep in mind that you can have something altered if need be.

10. Don't stray - don't stray so far out of your comfort zone that you aren't comfortable walking out of your house. Being fashionable and trendy is all well and good but not if you are uncomfortable. Be you but only the fabulous you!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Kenmore blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here."

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Comfort & Joy

What brings me comfort and joy?

The answer is one word: 

Family

I am incredibly lucky to be married to my best friend. We celebrated our 11th anniversary this past April, though we've been together for a total of 16 years. I met him when I was a senior in high school. We moved in together a year later, much to the dismay of my family. People balked....whispered behind our backs....created false stories about where I really was...took guesses on how long we'd make it. But look at us now....I suddenly feel like breaking into that song by Shania Twain - 
Looks like we made it
Look how far we've come my baby
We mighta took the long way
We knew wed get there someday
 

They said, I bet they'll never make it
But just look at us holding on
Were still together still going strong
 
Yes, we've had our ups and downs, and plenty of tears have been shed. But we've always come out of it stronger and for the better. And really it's easy when you are married to your best friend. 
Together we've created these two most amazing little people. Two amazing children that I'd walk on coals for. Two children who are my whole world! It took a long time to get there - to become a parent - but once we got there, we couldn't have been happier. Life was complete. Our circle as a family was complete. 
 
When I think of my life without my husband and children, it brings tears to my eyes. It literally pains my heart to think of my life without them. I'd never be complete. I wouldn't be the woman/wife/mother I am today if it weren't for them. 
When I am down, I can count on my husband to make me laugh. He's got such a knack for being so crazy and saying the most crazy things are times when I just need it. He finishes my sentences - we share the same thoughts - we share the same crazy, sometimes twisted sense of humor. (If you are reading this honey, think of the bringing  home lost animals" lol) He works so hard to provide for our family, giving me the opportunity to stay home and be the mom I always wanted to be. 

And my children, they can make the worst of times, completely disappear. They cheer me up - they give me kisses and hugs - they color fantastic pictures for me. But really the greatest thing they do for me is love me. They love me as I am - unconditionally - mistakes and all. 
They love me! 

At this time of year, when the holidays are on our doorstep, I am ever so thankful and comforted by my family. 


What brings you comfort and joy? What makes you happy? 
 
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Fresh and Festive Holidays!

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away? Where has the year gone? Hardly seems possible that once again we are embarking upon the holiday season. I must admit, I positively adore the holiday season. There is something quite magical about this time of year.

I was given the opportunity to blog about 14 of my own personal ways for for a "Fresh and Festive Holiday"! So without further ado....

1. Holiday Baking - nothing says "Holidays" quite like the smell of baking.I love to make various kinds of cookies, bars, and candies to give as little gifts to family and friends. I love to watch the faces of those I love light up when they taste all the yummy treats that I've made for them.

Another fun thing to do when baking all those goodies is to host a cookie swap. Several years back I was invited to one and I admit at the time I had no idea what exactly it was. Everyone brought a tray of their favorite holiday goodies and then everyone went around and took some of everything and you got to leave with a tray full of yummy goodness!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies - a personal holiday favorite! 




2. Make your own ornaments! Last year was the first time we tried it in our house and it was a huge success! Trevor, who was 5.5yrs at the time, had a blast.We made Cinnamon Dough Ornaments and then snowflakes from plain paper. With the Cinnamon Dough Ornaments we cut them in holiday shapes and then after they were cooked and cooled, we painted them and sprayed them with shellac so that they would be preserved for next year. I don't know if I'd recommend that step though, because it takes away a lot of that smell you get from the cinnamon in the ornaments. On the other hand, if you want them to last longer, then shellacking is the way to go. The paper snowflakes we used glitter paint and decorated them. We also made a batch of plain popcorn in our air popper and strung that and put that on as garland. There really are so many fabulous homemade ornaments you can make. I think when you have small children, it's such a fun way to let them help in decorating the tree.

Cinnamon Dough Ornaments

Cinnamon Dough Ornaments

Paper Snowflakes

3. Create your own air fresheners - I know you are thinking that this sounds like a daunting task but I promise you it's really quite simple. What I love to do is get some whole cloves and poke them into a fairly thin skinned orange. The juice from the orange permeates the cloves and gives off such a wonderful smell. I can remember my own mother doing this when I was a kid. To this day I just adore the smell of cloves. You can see step by step directions here.

4. Holiday music - it's a must! Nothing says "holidays" like the sound of Bing Crosby belting out "White Christmas". I love having the all music channels on the satellite because I get to have a constant mix of holiday music - some new - some classic - no commercials. And even the kids love the music too - I mean, what kid doesn't love the "Christmas with the Chipmunks"?

5. Christmas cards - I love to give and receive holiday cards. Every card we receive I hang on the wall in the living room. I love to be able to look at all those cards throughout the holiday and think of all the wonderful people in our lives who sent us those cards. I just got done making our holiday card for this year. I decided to go a bit non-traditional as you will see. But the really exciting part is that this is our first year with a family photo! Woohoo! Finally, we have a family portrait. I've already had several orders for my holiday cards this year. I love being able to create a wonderful design for someone! It's such a honor!
Our holiday card for 2010. 







6. Holiday pictures - these don't have to be portraits done by a professional either. I did ours using a wireless remote and a tripod! But the truth is, you don't even have to have a "portrait"....just taking snapshots is wonderful. You'll want to capture all those memories - all the laughs - all the tears - all the excitement. Next year when you sit down and look back at those pictures, you'll be so happy you did. I love to look back and see the growth of my children from holiday to holiday.
Christmas 2009
7. Candles - I love candles especially at this time of year. I love the glow and the delicious smell. Some of my favorite scents at this time of year are cinnamon/apple and pine. I am very much a scent oriented person - be it in the form of the smell of cookies baking or homemade air fresheners or candles.

8. Cup & Book - there is something quite delightful about curling up on the couch on a cold winter day with a cup of your favorite hot drink, (be it coffee, tea, or hot chocolate) and a good book! Cozy sweats, fluffy blanket, cup of coffee and favorite author in hand = relaxation!

9. Movies - remember being a kid and begging to stay up and watch "Rudolph"? Now I get to watch that and other holiday movies with my own kids. It's kind of this surreal feeling that I have my own little people now to continue these family traditions. We pop some popcorn in our air popper, fill up our cups with drinks and up on the couch we go to cuddle and munch and watch!

10. Speaking of movies, "Miracle on 34th Street" is a must see! When I've seen this movie, I know we are really in the holiday season. It is another reminder of my own childhood!

11. Holiday Light Parade - here in our town there is a holiday light parade with all kinds of decorated floats and people passing out candy to the little ones. It's bitter cold but it's fun for the whole family. Does your town/city do anything like that? If so, be sure to check it out. Maybe you've never been before, but there is always a good time to start a new tradition. Take a look at pictures from ours last year -
Firetruck all decked out!

Beauty Queens

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive! Let the holidays begin! 

12. Reading with your children - reading "A Night Before Christmas" is such a wonderful tradition you can do if you haven't started it already. I remember being read this as a child and it was always such a fun thing. I would lay in bed listening to the words, picturing it in my minds eye, hanging on to every word. Reading to your children is such a splendid thing to begin with, why not make it extra special this holiday season? There are lots of fabulous holiday books out there - check one or two from your library today!

13. Visit - perhaps you have an older relative who is shut-in...or maybe a neighbor or friend from church. Take some of those yummy goodies you made, box them up and tie them with a pretty ribbon and pile the kids in the car and go visit. You and your children will make that persons day!

14. Play in the snow - put down the bills, push aside the vacuum, leave the unfolded laundry and head outside. If you are anything like me, you hate the snow and outdoors, but you know that once you get out there with the little ones, you will have so much fun and they will be ever thankful for it.

15. Be thankful - as you sit down to your holiday meal - be it Thanksgiving or Christmas, keep an attitude of gratitude. Go around the table and talk about the things you are thankful for this holiday season (and every day.) What a wonderful gift you give to your children when you teach them to express gratitude!

Oops I went one over - truth of it is, I could go on and on. These are just a few of the ways you too can have a fresh and festive holiday. Leave me a comment and tell me about some of your traditions! I'd love to hear them! 

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Snuggle blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Our kids teach us....

There is a saying that goes something like this, 
"While we teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life's all about."

It's so incredibly true! My children have taught me so much about life and love, more than I had learned in the 28 years prior to their arrival into our family. 

Trevor called me into his bedroom tonight to tuck him into bed. I had let him stay up for a while in his bedroom playing with his "Speed Stack" cups and he was ready to put himself to bed. I went in and tucked him in and gave him a hug and kiss. As I was bent over, he asked me if I was proud of him. I told him I was most definitely proud of him, how we could see how hard he was trying and how much I love him. He asked if I love him even when he's naughty. I assured him I love him just as much then as I do when he's behaving. I went on to tell him that I love him good, bad, happy, sad ....that he's in my heart always. I started tearing up and so did he. We hugged and kissed. We cried together. We wiped each others tears. He told me that he loves me so very much. He told me how he doesn't mean to be naughty or hurt me. I told him that I know he doesn't. We talked about how far he's come since the hospitalization. He's a different kid. He's our kid - the kid we felt like we "lost" just one short year ago. We ended up hugging and crying some more. 

He showed me where he had written his name inside a couple books of his - the inside cover. He said he wanted to pretend that he was the author. He was afraid I'd be upset. Instantly I was brought back to my own childhood and how I had wrote my name inside my books too. Heck, I still have some of those books and I've passed them on to my kids. But I remember how angry my mother would be. And here I was the parent in the same situation.  And I realized at that moment I had a choice to make. I could flip out like my mother did - I could rant and rave about how he was defacing books - books bought with my money. Or I could tell him it was OK and let him know I wasn't upset. Which did I choose? Let me just say we hugged some more and he knew I wasn't upset at all. Really, it's such a minor thing. He hadn't torn out pages - he didn't write on every page - he simply put one word on the inside cover - "Trevor". So much bigger than that one simple word was the fact he was using his imagination. He was pretending to be the author. How freakin' fabulous is that? 

These few minutes tonight have left me near tears the rest of the night. Tears of joy! I am so incredibly lucky...so incredibly blessed....so incredibly humbled by my children. 

I have two extremely smart children and yes, every day, while I am trying to teach them all about life, they unknowingly teach me about life and love!

It's been a really long year. Looking back at the beginning of the year - namely February, March and April and thinking about Trevor's three hospitalizations, and I am overcome with emotions. He's been home since April 12th and yet it's still so very raw for me. Having him hospitalized for a month was by far the hardest thing I've done as a parent, and yet, it was the most incredible thing I've done. We gave him a gift - we gave him back to himself. It was a sacrifice we made as a family but we did it for him. Seriously that was the longest month of my parenting life. But when I see the leaps and bounds he's made since then, I am so thankful that we did what we had to. Between that hospital stay and his behavioral therapist, he's made so many huge improvements. Trevor is trying so hard - we can see it everyday - in the big things and the little things. I'll be honest, I was terrified that Trevor would hate me for putting him in the hospital. So to have him tell me how much he loves me and to know he genuinely means it, to see the tears flow from his perfect blue eyes as he tells me, well its' the very thing my heart needs to hear in order to heal the pain that I experienced that month. 

I love him beyond words...to the moon and back! I catch myself starring at him as he talks to me and trying desperately to remember what he was as a baby...he's growing up so fast....I wish I could slow down time just a little. I wish I could go back to those first days and whisper in his ear, and tell him that the road ahead will present some bumps and struggles, but together will get through it and that we'll always love him. You know just recently I had blogged about how I worried about his future and yes, I still do in some ways, but I know we've been through such a massive hurdle and we got through it together, we can tackle any mountain that comes our way. 

Don't get so caught up in teaching your children, that you don't stop to recognize when they are teaching you! Sometimes we learn the most from those we don't expect can teach us!




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Autism Speaks Puzzle Builder - Add your photo to the world's largest digital puzzle

Autism Speaks Puzzle Builder - Add your photo to the world's largest digital puzzle: "

I have created a digital puzzle with Trevor's picture - it allows anyone to buy a piece of the puzzle and the money is used for Autism research! What a great cause and a fun way to go about it!

I try not to beg for money, and especially now with it being so close to the holidays, but I am going to make an exception right now and ask that if you donate to one cause this holiday season, you do so for Autism research! It's a cause that is so near and dear to our hearts and our family!

Thank you!

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I need your help!

I am in a rut!

A supper rut! I am sick to death of the same ole' same ole'. But it seems whenever I decide to get a bit creative, it costs a fortune by the time I am done buying all sorts of miscellaneous ingredients that I wouldn't normally have on hand. I love to cook and bake and try new things, but in these tough times, I can't be forking over so much just to create a new meal once a week. 

And by now you are wondering where you come into this? Well, I am in hopes that my readers have some recipes/ideas for me. I want things that are relatively healthy and yet easy on the purse to make. So lay it one me....give me your best ideas! 
What do you make that is healthy and isn't the same ole' same ole'? 




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Thursday, November 4, 2010

One more I must share....."And then God created this mother"....

And Then God Created This Mother….

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into his sixth day of 'overtime' when an angel appeared and said,"You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."


And the Lord said "Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have 180 movable parts – all replaceable, run on black coffee and leftovers, have a lap that disappears when she stands up, a kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair and six pairs of hands, ears that will hear things she doesn't want to hear, a mouth that can gently kiss away scrapes and bruises and yet tear the hide right off of those who try anything against the best interests of her child.


Yes, this model will have to be able to sit patiently and listen to outlandish reports about her child without flinching. She will have to hear how hopeless it all is and know that it isn't so. She will have to have those kinds of eyes which don't tear when she hears other mothers talk about how well things are going for their children."


The angel shook its head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands, yet? No way." "It's not the hands that are causing the problems," said the Lord. "It's the three pairs of eyes this mother has to have." "That's on the standard model"? asked the angel.


The Lord nodded and said, "One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, "What are you kids doing in there?" when she already knows. Another pair here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know and, of course, the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up for the 99th time and say, "I understand and I love you anyway" without so much as uttering a word.


"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve gently, "come to bed. Tomorrow…" "I can't, answered the Lord, "I am so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick, feeds a family of six on one pound of hamburger and gets her nine-year-old to stand under a shower." The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," it sighed.


"But tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure." "Can it think?" asked the angel. "Not only can it think," said the Creator, "it can reason and compromise."


Finally, the angel bent over and ran a finger across the cheek. "There is a leak," it pronounced. "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model." "That's not a leak, said the Lord, "it's a tear." "What's it for?" asked the angel.


"Tears are for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride… this model will know a lot about all that" answered the Lord, "But you know" He continued, "I don't even remember putting that tear there." "By the way", asked the angel, "what will you call this model?"


"I will call this one simply, the mother of an autistic child."

Author Unknown



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Beatitudes For Friends Of People With Disabilities

Beatitudes For Friends Of People With Disabilities


Blessed are you who take the time to listen to difficult speech,
If I persevere, I can be understood.

Blessed are you who never bid me to "hurry up"
Or take my tasks from me and do them for me.
For I often need time, rather than help.

Blessed are you who stand beside me as I enter new and untried ventures, Myself and You.

Blessed are you who ask for my help.
For my greatest need is to be needed.

Blessed are you who, with a smile encourage me to try once more.

Blessed are you who never remind me
That today I ask the same question twice.

Blessed are you who respect me and love me just as I am.

Author Unknown






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