Monday, July 27, 2009

Here are a couple new layouts. I can't even tell you how precious is was to watch Eva meeting her new little sister for the first time. I just had to make a layout with the darling photos. Little Maggie is really blessed for having Eva as a big sister. I also finally cut into these beautiful papers designed by fellow Fashionista Lucy Folch from Brazil. I just adore her bright, whimsical scrap-art. I love her! :) So. There's my two favorite girls, right there in that layout.

I "got" to take Emily to the dentist/oral surgeon - an hour and a half away - last week. Not only was I the "designated driver", but I was also the "designated holder" of little Maggie while Emily was getting her tooth most horribly yanked out. Yes, it was a tough job, but - sigh - someone had to do it! She was just an angel. I had to change her little diaper and she had her eyes open and was looking all around, just calmly and sweetly. Oh, wow. She only made the tiniest brief peeps in the car - as soon as we would slow down at our destinations - and otherwise she slept the whole time. Emily had ample time to nurse her before and after her procedure.

I don't ever want it to sound like I love one grandchild more than the other. I really don't think that's possible. I totally am going through "Maggie withdrawal", though, when I don't get to see her. And I haven't been able to see her as much as I'd like. I'm just trying to be respectful of their privacy and home time - I don't want to be the barging-in, interfering mother-in-law, ya know. But I really, really would like to see more of her... At least I can be thankful that they only live 15 minutes away instead of hours... I can't bear the thought of that and it gives me a whole new appreciation of how hard it must be for far-away grandparents.

The layout below is for the latest round of One Little Word, the word being "why". I'm not a person that questions "why" that much. I believe God is in control and, for the most part, I don't question that. So this one was a bit of a challenge for me in a certain respect. But, since Chris and I seem to have had this conversation several times lately, I thought it would be a good one to document. It was very gratifying finding out from my online friends (you can see their comments on the link coming up) that I'm not alone in my little neurosis! ;) The credits - and story - for the page can be found here.

Even though it started out looking like rain, it's turning out to be a gorgeous (albeit hot and humid) day in PA. Hoooooo boy, do I ever hope that holds out for our vacay to Blackwell next week. If there's anywhere we want it to be hot and humid, it's there, because we have such a fantastic natural swimming hole about 20 feet in front of the cabin we rent.

For some odd reason, I got up early-ish, for me, (7:30) so I decided to have my first cup of coffee and then head out for a walk while it was still somewhat cool. About 1/2 down my (1/4 mile long) driveway, I heard the "beep. beep. beep" of construction vehicles and here, they were doing something in a long line coming up the road. I circled around the cemetary and then came back home. At least I got 20 minutes in. When I got home I finally, finally, got back to my Wii Sports Active 30-day challenge I was almost done with right before I went to TN at the end of June. I had gotten sick, then I went away for the long weekend and then didn't get back to it when I came back. Until now. I think I have 4 more workouts to do and then I'll have finished it! Awesome. Yeah, it was a little harder this morning. The program has been really great - it builds up in intensity over the 30 days and, so here I am, coming back after 5 (wow! FIVE!) weeks off and, well, let's just say it wasn't quite as easy as it had been. I'm sure my thighs will be screaming tomorrow (can we say "squats"?). But that's okay. I really want to get it done. So, if I do it every day this week, I'll finish and then I can start another one after I get back from Blackwell. They're really fun and I like that you're doing something different all the time.

M & M are heading out to World's End State Park today. They called and invited Chris and I. (Chris is golfing right now.) I'm not sure if I'm going to venture back out today, although I can totally picture myself sitting in a lawn chair reading in the woods along the gorgeous creek. There WILL be burgers involved and, as much as we grill, we haven't done many burgers this summer and I'm really craving them... They said they were going to do the waterfall hike and, gee, I already exercised today. I don't want to become a JOCK or anything! Sitting home and reading and scrapping sounds like a great plan, too. Not sure which I'll decide to do as of yet. We'll see.

At any rate, it's already gearing up to be a great day!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ohhhh, having a new grandbaby makes for LOTS of scrapbooking inspiration! The top photo is a digi I did for One Little Word. The next two are "regular" paper layouts. For the one just above, I used BasicGrey papers (Urban Prairie) and their July sketch. And that layout is also featured in their gallery here. Cool!
It's been wonderful having taken the month of July "off". In other words, I really kept my schedule open because I knew the baby was coming. So consequently, once I got my scraproom back together, I've really had some lovely time on my hands. In addition to being able to scrap, I've also been cooking! I've made Baked Ziti for the kids (and for us) and also my Grandmother's Chicken and Broccoli casserole. AND I even made a fresh Blueberry Cobbler - a big one for Dustin and family and a little one (one serving each) for Chris and I. Mmmmmm, add some vanilla ice cream and, man, it was GOOD!

Having said that, I've been on the computer all morning and now I need to get my banking done. So, off I go!


Friday, July 10, 2009

Maggie Monet is here!

Our sweet little Maggie Monet Barlow

Her proud (and smitten) daddy. We're so proud of HIM! ;)

Watching Eva meet her sister for the first time was incredibly sweet...

Okay, I could pretty much do THIS all day! Wow! Amazing! Look what my baby made!
Well, it's obvious we can't take our eyes off of our little Maggie Monet. I do think I'm gonna like this grandmother thing pretty well. Of course, we've been grandparents to Eva for about a year now, but when she was a baby, well, we knew her, but we didn't know we were going to be her grandparents. (If only we could turn back the clock on that one!). All these photos were taken yesterday when little Maggie was about 12 hours old.

I was able to be at the hospital all day on the historic date of 07/08/09. We were thinking about how fun it would be if the baby could have been born at 12:34:56 on 07-08-09 - or even 10:11:12. But, as it turns out, she was born at 11:01 p.m. after a long day of laboring. Emily did just beautifully. She was induced about 2-1/2 weeks before her actual due date to prevent pre-eclampsia, which can come on pretty quickly. As it turned out, Maggie weighed in at 8 lb., 11 oz.! Imagine if she'd have gone another two weeks! And both mommy and baby are doing just great.

We had Eva overnight Wednesday night and so I was able to take her down to the hospital (where everyone else was already gathered) to meet her sister for the first time. Such a sweet, sweet (and tearful) moment. I think Eva is going to be a wonderful big sister. She's already as in love with Maggie as we are!

Well, it's truly difficult for me to think beyond wanting to see Maggie again, but darn if I don't have SCHTUFF to do around this house! Like, for one, I have to finish paying the church bills and etc., since I am the treasurer. And, it would probably be a good idea for me to do my own finance stuff today as well. Usually I do that on Thursdays, but schedules have been happily rearranged lately.

And, as you can imagine, I'm just DYing to get some scrapping done! It's been a while. And, speaking of which, here's a couple pics of the newly-wood-floored scrapping room, complete with cubicle shelving from Target:

I was kind of surprised at how little I actually ended up "purging" from my room. I definitely got rid of a good amount of paper, but only a few older, out of date stickers and things that I never use went into the "get rid of" boxes. Still, everything I do have has a cleaned, if not new, home and most everything is out where I can see it. AND, best of all, I can just roll myself from one station to the other or over to pull something off a shelf. You can't see my typewriter or sewing machine in these photos, but they are just a small chair ride away...
I have a OLW digital layout to complete by midnight tonight (If I so choose...). The word this week is "joy". Hmmmmm. I wonder what I'll scrap about?
Okay, my tummy needs breakfast and then I want to get this banking done. So I'm off. The little Barlow family will return home as four this afternoon. Can't wait to visit again! :)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Post SIS Live '09

I'm baaaa-ack! Wow, it was a whirlwind weekend! My flights all went smoothly. I found rides to and from the airport and, even though I was the last one to arrive at the event, it was just a fabulous weekend. Every time I meet up with the FGirls, I'm getting to know them (and they, me) a little better. And that's SO great. I also got to see a lot of SISters that I'd met before AND it was so fun meeting so many I hadn't met before.

I LOVED meeting my secret sisters - the one I had and the one that had me. I was secret SIS to Denise and she was great. She really reminded me of my sister irl, Sue. But with lighter hair. :) I so enjoyed getting to know her a little through our "secret" emails and, even if I didn't actually make anything for her, I sure did have fun buying her little goodies for the past few months.

And the SISter who was secret SIS to me, Aimee, well, oh my gosh, I just can't believe the time and effort she put in to the gifts she made for me. Okay, she taught me what a really good secret SIS is! Thanks so much Aimee for everything!

By the time we learned who had who, it was more than halfway into Saturday and we were well-ensconced in our scrapping territory. Well, I was. I would have loved to spend a lot more time with these ladies getting to know them better and just sharing the experience a bit more. That seems to be my regret each time I get together with either the FGirls or the SISters. I wish I could have spent more time with EACH of them. But I'm really glad I had the time I did with my roomie, and with my table-mates - meaning the scrapping table, the breakfast/lunch table and the dinner table! I really had fun getting to know Diane and Marnie, who sat across from me. And Diane and Martha, who sat next to me, off and on.

Here's what the chaotic room we were scrapping in looked like:

Sunday was my birthday and I got all sorts of little gifties, and hugs and well-wishes. It was swell (though I wouldn't have minded a bit forgetting altogether that it was my birthday!). The highlight of the day was dinner with some of my FGirls. I ordered a fabulous meal and then, even though I was pretty darn full, decided that since it was my birthday, I would order dessert - key lime pie. YUM! THEN I found out that my meal was being paid for! Awwww. How totally sweet. It was SUCH a fun time.

Here are the FGirls that were at the event:

And, much to my surprise and delight, I did actually get some scrapping done! (I was determined this year!). I did the layout you see below. And I finished up my ATC's for June, which was great. Well, they're so dang quick to do. Here's the layout I made:

That's Dustin's Emily with her Aunt Mary Joe. They were so fun to watch together, not having seen each other for a while - and I love the photos I got, so wanted to scrap them. And there you have it! ;)

In other news, I had decided about a month ago that I wanted to re-do my scrap room - make it a little sleeker, a little less "cozy" by removing the carpet and laying down some durable wood flooring. I also got some cubicle-type shelving so I can have my stuff "out" where I can see it. I knew I would have to light a major fire under Chris's, um, BUTT, in order for this to happen any time within the next century. So I told him about my plan, got my shelving and then asked him to go in and make the measurements to my room while I was gone to TN.

Soooo, when he told me on the way home from the airport that it was supposed to rain on and off all week, through Friday, I grabbed ahold of the opportunity firmly with both hands and I said, "Great! You can purchase the flooring on Tuesday (with said measurements in hand), help me move out the bigger pieces of furniture and rip out the rug on Wednesday and install the flooring on Friday! Yipee!". Heh. He hedged and squirmed a bit, but after confirming for me that each of those things wouldn't take more than the day I'd designated them for, he tried to make me feel only a little guilty (which I had none of) before throwing up his hands in utter defeat and giving in. Now, I think even he would admit that this is NOT the way I normally operate. But, after 34 years of marriage (which we also just celebrated - on my birthday - "we" meaning the SISters and I because Chris wasn't exactly around) I have seen how the project timeline goes down. So, being that it's my scrapbooking stuff we're talking about being tied up for the duration, I was NOT willing to let this become a long, painfully and ridiculously drawn out process. I just couldn't because I need to be able to get at my stuff. I'm a professional, ya know? This is my job. And, well, I just want it DONE! :)

So, as we speak (so to speak), here's what my scrap room looks like:

Tomorrow he only has a few more staples to remove and then the flooring will go down. It will be up to me to go through my scrap stuff and purge as much as possible and then slap together (yeah, right - I'm well aware of how THIS usually goes) the three cubicle shelf units that I purchased. I hope beyond hope that they're not too much of a pain to assemble. I have done that stuff before, so, well, we'll see. If I can go through everything and get those shelves together so that we can move stuff back in there Monday, that would be aMAZing and wonderful! I'm not saying everything has to be perfectly in its place by Monday. I'll give myself the rest of the week to tinker away at getting everything just where I want it. But, I just can't wait. I always get so re-energized when I re-organize. And I'm just really looking forward to getting rid of the stuff I know I'll never use. (I do hope there's enough of it to make a difference. I will have to be strong.) It's true that the less stuff you have, the more the creative juices flow. Don't ask me why, but it is.

So, that's all I have for now. I'm off to bed so I can get up early enough to not hamper the beginning of the work tomorrow...(you know, hammering, pounding, noise and stuff like that...).

And, happy July!