Tomorrow is Dec. 1st.

Manifesto: Noun. A declaration of one's intentions.

Starting December first, I will keep a Christmas journal. In it, I will write something every day to reflect on the holidays of my past, enjoy the holidays of the present and dream about the holidays of my future. To some, this will be a stack of papers and trivial scribbles, but not to me. I am taking back my Christmas, I am letting it be something I relish and, most importantly, I am giving at least fifteen minutes every day to myself no matter how crazy this season becomes.

I hope you will share, encourage and understand as I make something with my own hands, my own words and my own memories.I may post some or all of my entries here. Other artists are doing this with me, and you can see their work HERE. Or you may join us too by going HERE.

Above all: enjoy the season. I will.

I've decided to do my journal in an envelope type book. Using coin envelopes as the pages...with journaling to be tucked inside each envelope. My good friend Nancy Grant made an album like this once, for her boys...and I loved it. Then I saw a 12 Days of Christmas book (like this) in the latest issue of Paper Trends magazine and felt totally inspired to use a similar idea for my book. I'll be using the Basic Grey Blitzen collection from my stash for embellishing my journal. I'm trying desperately to cut back on my scrap spending so I decided to use what I have instead of buying new. (as hard as that was to decide on)

So...wish me luck! (and good luck to everyone else in the class too!!!) And check back here throughout the month to see some of the pages I've done in my new holiday journal.


Still around...

I've been dealing with a few medical issues the past week or so...I'm hoping nothing major, but they're doing tests to figure out why I'm extremely anemic and my hemoglobin levels are so low. I go in on Monday, the 4th for a Colonoscopy and an Upper GI to see what they can find. Waiting for an appointment with a hemotologist now to see if they want to boost my levels with a transfusion and then maintain from there. I'm not 100% thrilled with the idea of a transfusion but I've been feeling so sluggish lately, no energy, sleeping way too much and I have a lingering headache that won't go away. My mom and I are the same blood type and she's willing to give me her blood so that we don't have the higher risks of going through a blood bank. So....I just don't know at this point.

On a good note though...December 1st starts a couple of fun things for me. (and you, if you'd like to join in) Nancy's starting a "Photo a Day" challenge at Scrapforums. The goal is to take a picture each day and journal about that photo just a bit too. Some folks will be putting these pictures into an album of some sort. I just plan to do them here, on my blog. Wish me luck!

Another thing that I've decided to do is a Christmas Journal. My buddy Nicole told me about a class that she's taking for this and I couldn't resist signing up too. I love Christmas but always stress over everything being just right. I want to use my Christmas Journal to keep me grounded and to help me appreciate all that goes on around me during this joyful time of year. You can join this class too...it's not too late. You can read all about this class here...Journal your Christmas.

Oh, oh, oh...almost forgot too...I decided to give a scrapbook contest a shot. Another first for me actually...I've never done anything like this before. But, Memory Creators is having their annual Super Bowl of Scrapbooking contest. Everyone interested in "trying out" submitted their layouts and then they chose 40 entrants to move on to the "draft". I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the 40 to move on. Now, these 40 people have two layouts to do and submit to be voted on to move on to the next round. These entries have to be in by the 7th. I've got one layout finished and I'm very happy with it. (can't share it till after the 7th, but watch here soon) Wish me luck in moving on to the next round. This will be fun!

OK...I'm off. Need to get a few things done while I have the energy to do them. I hate being this lazy. It's soooooo not me!!


I got outta bed for this???

Today was supposed to be our last Regatta till the Spring Season kicks into gear in February. We had to be at the school a 4:30am...meaning we had to get outta bed at 3:30. That's CRAZY!! Not to mention the fact that the tempuratures here are about 11* less than "normal". So it was COLD! (for us anyway)

We got to the Sanford Riverfront...it was still VERY dark and VERY cold. The grass was wet with dew and even though I had two pairs of socks on, my little feet donned in my sporty Keds tennies, were freezing in no time. We couldn't just sit down and wrap up in our blankies either. Soon the sun was coming up and it was time for the parents to help put together our big canopy to give us all someplace to sit. That done, we finally get to wrap up in blankets and start thawing out.

I think I forgot to mention that it was really windy too. This made the water on the river VERY choppy! Our Varsity girls had to be on the water before 7am and the Novice girls (this being their very first race) shortly after. That's when the excitement began.

The first group of boats come in and the water was so choppy that as the girls rowed, the water sloshed up and into the boat. By the time they were at the finish line, some of the boats had taken on so much water that they were actually sinking. One of the boats (not ours) was underwater that the girls were under water to their chests. And that water was cold! Our girls took on enough water to be a little in the water...but not "sink". Didn't really matter though because when they lifted the boats out of the water and overhead to carry back to the boat trailer, the water they had taken in just poured right out over their heads.

Not a fun morning on the water...that's for sure!

Then a 4 girl boat came in with just two rowers in it. They were taking in so much water that two of the girls were pulled from the boat to "lighten the load" a bit. Then they called for a few of the guys to head down to the starting area because two boats had capsized and were on their sides. (rowers in the water, treading water till they were pulled out) They originally thought they'd have the boys go in the water to help get the boat back upright but someone thought that wasn't such a good idea. DUH!!!! Sheesh! (and yes, Josh was one that was ready to go in the water, no questions asked...goofball!) They ended up towing one of the boats, on its side, to the finishing dock. What a freakin' mess!!!

It wasn't too long after that they announced that the rest of the races were delayed...postponed till further notice. Our hospitality group kicked things into gear and cooked lunch for the team and the parents. We had hamburgers and hotdogs at 10:30 this morning. By noon, they called for a coach's meeting. Our head coach came back and said that they were officially going to go ahead and restart the regatta but that we were just going to pack up and head home. He didn't want to deal with what our girls dealt with that morning.

Soooooooo...we packed up and were home by 1:30 this afternoon. Alex and I both napped for a good 2 or 3 hours because that 3:30 wake up call kicked our butts! (I'm too old for that, LOL) It's been a quiet evening at home and everyone's in bed now. I'm headed that way now. Even after my nap, I'm ready to sleep tonight!

I've got a few things to do around the house tomorrow and then on Monday, I've gotta go back to the dr for more bloodwork. I had my physical on Friday and the nurse called back that afternoon to tell me that they've discovered that I'm anemic. They want to do a full Iron Workup on Monday to find out why...blah blah blah. Maybe this explains my laziness and need for the more than my average naptimes?? I guess we'll see.

Goodnight all...till next time!


I've been SCRAPPING!!!!

I've actually scrapped this week...surprise surprise!! It's really about the only thing I've gotten done lately, it seems. I feel sooooooooooooooooooo stinking lazy!! Maybe I've been just too darn busy and I need a little downtime?? Who knows!!

I've done a few digital layouts...like this one...A few pictures from our trip to the condo last month. Emily had a GREAT time, as you can see. Everything on this digi layout came from Kimberly Giarrusso's Jamba Jive kit. Love the colors in this kit. So "summery"...and we know how many summery pictures I have. (www.purescrapability.com)

I also did this layout of Em and her kindergarten teacher. These were taken LAST YEAR...can't believe my baby's in First Grade now. She's growing up so quickly! Mrs. Phillips is a wonderful person, a terrific teacher and we've

continued our friendship with her since leaving her class. I volunteer in her classroom every week.

That layout was done using Jessica Bolton's Delight in Photographs digital kit. Jessica's one of my absolute favorite digi designers and I think this is my favorite kit of hers. (www.eclecticscraps.com)

There were a couple of other digital layouts that I've done this week, but I won't bore you with all of them. If you really want to see them, they're in my gallery at both Scrapforums and The Shaker Box.

And here's my latest paper layout. Did this one

last night. Look at how long my girl's hair was. WOW! Now its so much shorter...and so sassy!LOL!!

Thanks for checking us out! Time for me to get up and get something done around here. I'm going to the Memories Expo tomorrow and I can't leave this house looking the way it does right now. I'd be horrified if anyone were to drop in right now. Its probably not as bad as I make it out to be, but to me, it's a wreck!!

I'll update after the weekend. Have a good one!


Busy busy busy!!!

Wow...time has gotten away again. Where have I been? Let's see...the last time I posted was a quickie on the 28th. Here's a bit of an update. Warning, this may get long. So grab a beverage and read on...if you're up to it. (not that too many folks read my random crap anyway, LOL)

10/29-Head of the Gator, Gainesville. Our first Regatta of the season. Josh's first regatta in the Varsity boats. Josh's first "Head Race". A head race is when they stagger the start times of the boats and they basically race against the clock. Josh has worked so hard this season to earn a spot in the Varsity 4 and the Varsity 8 boats. He's in the 4 with two seniors and a jr. He's only a sophomore...but has really become quite the rower. The Varsity 4 takes FIRST place and the Varsity 8 took 3rd. Definitely a fun and exciting day on the water! Even if we had to leave at 4:15am to get to Gainesville. It was well worth it! (I tried to insert a picture here, but blogger isn't cooperating)

10/31-Halloween. Emily had counted the days till Halloween. She'd decided to be a Witch this year and had her costume weeks before. She was dressed and ready to go almost immediately after we got home. Complete with the green face, black lips and we can't forget the whacked out hair too. (lots of gooey silver and green gel, thanks to our hairdresser, Song) And man, she sure played the part too...she's such a ham. We all joined our next door neighbors for the annual party in the driveway. Complete with homemade chili (and all the fixings), a few beers and of course, the great company too. Josh got home from Crew practice and took Emily trick or treating. Even though she'd already been to a few houses with our neighbor's great grandson. The trick or treating was non-eventful for us, thank goodness. But you always hear such horrible stories the day after. And we had the Sheriff's helicopter flying over our street right at about bedtime. That always freaks me out! I couldn't sleep till the helicopter was gone. I somehow convince myself at that point that all is safe once again.

11/1...Same ole schedule...same ole routine. Nothing exciting, or so we thought, right? I'm at Em's dance class waiting for her to finish and Josh to get there. He'd gotten a ride from practice with Teri and her mom. The three of them come into the dance studio and ask me to come outside...they have something to tell me and I'm not going to be happy about it. I go outside, having absolutely no idea what they're about to say to me. They quietly break the news that "BOB" (name changed to protect) is coming back to row and he's going to take Josh's spot in the 4 boat at the HUGS upcoming race in Tennessee. (this past weekend) You see, "BOB" was kicked off the team about a month ago. Maybe I should say that he was "suspended" and not "kicked off". All of this because "BOB" has a problem with his mouth and is terribly disrespectful...he's a Sr. and has been on the team for a couple of years now and apparently has been an issue for all the years that he's been on the team. Someone finally had enough and action was taken...and the big question was "when will he be back??". No straight answers were given until 2 days before the team is due to head off to TN for the Head of the Hooch...the 2nd largest Regatta in the US. Considering the fact that "BOB" hasn't trained with the team for a month, I had a hard time understanding why he'd be "rewarded" with this big race at the last minute. When the other boys had worked so hard and had been so focused on this big race. Long story short, Alex and I spent that night on the phone with the coaches and the president of the board, trying to determine why this was the right thing to do. Finally, at 11pm, it was announced that "Bob" would be invited to go to TN with the team to "cheer them on" but would not be allowed to row. He would rejoin the team on Monday and begin training for the next Regatta on the 18th of November. We're all fine with this...as long as he understands what is expected of him and we don't have the issues with his rudeness, moving forward. Yesterday "Bob" took a short cut on his run and he wasn't at practice today at all. Wonder if he learned anything yet??? I highly doubt it.

11/3-11/5...HEAD OF THE HOOCH...Chattanooga TN. Josh joined the team on the bus for the 10 hour drive to TN. I opted to fly into Atlanta and picked up Kyle to spend time with him too. This was his first regatta and he thought Crew was really cool. He had a really great time and I enjoyed being able to spend time with him too. It was really really cold up there...something like 29* on Saturday morning. Brrrrrrrrrrr...can't imagine being in that boat in basically just a unisuit. It was a looooooooooooooong day, but alot of fun! The 4 boat took 8th out of 39 teams and the 8 took 19th out of 36 teams. Not too shabby, IMO. Now the fun begins at practice to see who's in the 4 at our next race. I'm hoping that Josh can keep his focus and at least give "Bob" a run for his money. I would hate to see him just give up the spot in the boat to "BOB" without doing the proper seat races, etc. that will determine who's the best rower for that seat. Wish him luck!!!

Kyle and I stayed in Chattanooga Saturday night and then headed back to Atlanta on Sunday. We met up with his sweet girlfriend, Brooke, and went to IKEA. OH MY HECK!!! What a place! We have one coming to Orlando but I don't know when. I'd better start saving NOW!

I flew back home on Sunday evening and got home to a sick Emily. Fever, coughs, sneezing...the whole nine. She missed two days of school and just went back today. She's still coughing and has to keep the tissues close by, but her fever broke Monday night. She's on the mend. I kept her home from dance today because I didn't want her to get worked up and go into a coughing fit or anything. Another little bit of rest will do her good.

Now, we're back to another Thursday. Tomorrow morning, I'll be doing my weekly volunteer time at Em's school. Thursday is usually my busy day with all of that. Friday, I'll be cleaning and getting ready for the weekend. I'm going to the Memories Expo with my good friend, Nancy. I'm hoping to keep to the scrap budget but I've never been good about that in the past. Especially at the Expo. But lately, I've been so overwhelmed with everything piled up in the scraproom. I really want to remodel and reorganize everything in here. There really isn't anything that I "need" and I'm not really sure of anything that I actually "want" right now. I'll look around and see if there's anything that I just can't live without. Just hanging out with Nancy will be fun. She's always a hoot...I laugh till I cry when I'm with her. Gotta love a great friend like that!!

Oh...I did a few digital scrapbook pages last night and today. Got a few of my digital assignments out of the way! I tried to put one of them in this post but blogger still isn't cooperating. I did a total of 4 digi layouts and a digi card too. I've uploaded everything to my gallery at both Scrapforums and The Shaker Box. Pop over and check them out if you get a minute. I'm hoping to get the mess picked up enough in the scraproom to get a paper layout or two done by the end of this weekend. The picking up the scraproom seems to be the story of my life. Ugghhh!!!

OK...it's after 11pm now. A bit past my bedtime. I'll quit rambling now. If you read all of this...thanks! Now leave me some love in a comment.