30 August 2009

this is the type of post that happens when i've had only a few hours of sleep

The CD came from ASB Photography yesterday with all the family photos and Mabry's two-year-old pictures.

I thought I would share a few of the pictures from the end of the session when Mabry had pretty much lost her little mind. She was not a happy camper and refused to cooperate anymore.

I'm glad that Amber caught some of these moments. They make me laugh and I know someday I am going to be able to look at them and remember what a gremlin she was at this age.

This was the best one in this particular series. I think she had finally stopped pouting because she getting out of the chair and walking off.

To cheer her up Dan took her over to a stage and started dancing around her in circles. We were hoping to get her to twirl. At least she was smiling.

Our little Gremlin trying to run away. Right after this we scooped her up and went back to the car where she proceeded to cry for about 15 minutes at the very top of her lungs. Thank goodness we can put the windows down and the sounds of the highway can drown out screaming.

I didn't just say that.

Now just a little link love for you this beautiful Sunday:

Amazing Photos: From the wildfires that are going on in LA right now.

Win iPod Touch: Not to mention helping support a VERY worthy cause!

Pocket Stitch Guide: Good to know.

29 August 2009


Mabry and Dan must have some very sweet blood. Every time we even step outside they are eaten alive by the mosquitoes. Just look at Mabry's leg! We have an exterminator who takes care of all of the creepy crawly bugs, but the flying ones are a whole different problem.

Thinking we might be investing in some serious big spray or something. Anyone have a good recommendation for something safe?

28 August 2009

growing up is hard to do

(Mabry's first vaccination shots November 2007)

Right this very moment Mabry is at the doctors for her two-year-old appointment. (Isn't it great to be able to set your posts to publish at a later date and time?!)

I am willing to bet she is going to have to get some sort of vaccination. Poor baby is probably going to do her fair share of screaming and yelling.

Gone are the days of the quiet baby who just fell asleep right after her shots.

what you should see and what you get are two totally different things

You should be looking at all kinds of great pictures of Mabry with her Dada in the pool from this past week.

You should see how well she was doing and how he was able to put her under the water several times without her crying once.

There should be pictures of her splashing, floating on a big red mat and in general just having a grand old time.

Instead I have nothing to show you. I don't really understand what is going on, but the camera card I have seems to be going crazy. It will play back all of my photos and videos just fine in the camera. As soon as I put the card into the reader and plug it into the computer *POOF* they disappear. Put the card back in the camera and it says, "No images."

Has anyone ever had this happen to them? It was working just fine the other day. This is really frustrating and not good. Not good at all. If anyone at all has any suggestion, won't you please help me?

In the mean time I do have a couple of photos I can share. All of which were taken with my camera phone this afternoon, so please excuse the very poor quality. It was Mabry's last swim lesson and I took a couple pictures of her in front of the Y with her little "diploma."

I also thought I would throw this one on there too from the phone. This is how Mabry likes to entertain herself when we stop by Dan's work after swim. That would be her smooshing her face into the window and then reaching around to pat her face through the glass. Amazing what is considered comical when you are almost two.

27 August 2009

rick and bubba's guide to the almost nearly perfect marriage

This past week I had the pleasure of reading Rick and Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage.

You may know Rick and Bubba from their syndicated radio show. They claim to be "two [of the] sexiest fat men in America." In the book, Rick and Bubba try to impart wisdom that they have picked up over the years being married to their respective wives, Sherri and Betty.

Some of their stories are laugh out loud funny. One story in particular comes to mind, which includes the line: "The last thing I recall seeing was the pink of her bathing suit as her body left the ground." (You'll just have to read the book to get the full story on that one!)

Others are almost heartbreaking, as Rick talks about how he and Sherri have helped each other through the loss of their youngest son, William Bronner Burgess just over a year ago.

This book is so down to earth and easily relatable. I think that is why I had such a hard time putting it down and finished it in just over two days. No marriage is perfect, because no human being is perfect, a theme visited many times throughout the book. People tend to start keeping a list of pros and cons about their mates, forgetting that there is also a con list (maybe even longer?) that their spouse could have on them. It is how you learn to live with and even love the quirks about your mate, after all God intended marriages to be forever. So wouldn't you rather enjoy the journey with your mate??

This book is funny and heartfelt and well worth the time it will take you to read it.

the gremlin in the room

An angry gremlin has taken over our house. More specifically the body of one little girl who is about to turn two-years-old. What was once a happy little girl who (for the most part) obeyed her Mama and Dada, is now an angry little girl who not only says "NO" all the time but who also throws things in miniature fits of rage.

Case in point one otherwise delicious meal of shrimp linguine Alfredo:

Which she was promptly spanked and put in her room for a timeout for. Then she was brought back out to clean up her mess.

Not a very happy night in our house.

In other news, Dan took these photos and used one of the old camera cards. When I downloaded it onto the computer I found these old photos on there from last fall.

Back when Mabry was our angelic little girlie:Our old puppy Lucy:

Hope everyone is having a good week.

26 August 2009

A little over a week ago I found lines like these painted all over our front yard and neighborhood:

Over the weekend I spied a ditch witch on the corner:
I knew it could only mean one thing: that our back portion of the neighborhood was finally going to getting cable TV!!

When I told Dan about it, he didn't believe me. So we went down the street to where some men were working and asked them what they were doing. When he told us putting in cable I thought Dan was going to pass out. It was like meeting Santa Claus live and in person. Briefly I wondered if I would have to restrain my husband from hugging this stranger who was just doing his job.

You see we have satellite TV as of right now. This is the only kind of TV we can get, or at least it used to be. The problem is we have crappy satellite TV. The kind that goes out not only in the bad storms but also when there is a breeze or a butterfly lands on the dish. We also have a neighbor with a remote programmed to the same frequency as ours. So every once in awhile (despite the numerous calls to tech support) they will be sitting in their living room changing the channels in ours. Aggravating.

With Penn State football right around the corner, this crappy television service just won't cut it. We need to be sure we will get the big game every Saturday. Now we don't have to worry.

Well I am off now, it's time for another happy dance!

25 August 2009

saw this and thought i'd pass along

Southern Living Magazine for 1-year only $5.

photography part 2

I thought this photo of Mabry was appropriate. I am sure there are some of you who checked back into the blog yesterday expecting me to have made a real post, only to find I hadn't. I hate when people don't update, so I feel your aggravation.

After a lot of soul searching and much talk with Dan and lots of research online, I have decided to hault production of the shabbysheebus handbag line. Don't get me wrong, I love to sew. I plan to keep on sewing. It was just too much time and money going into every handbag that I made. Honestly though, not making money wasn't really the issue. It just wasn't the right fit. That is probably the best and briefest way to put it.

By the way, I do have some handbags that are still for sale over at shabbysheebus. I'm hoping to get what is there sold to help me pay for what is to come...

I'm not planning to close up the shop altogether. I have decided to try a different route; something that I am hoping is going to be a lot more fulfilling and enjoyable for me...photography. I am not 100% as far as the shop's inventory. I am thinking something along the lines of camera strap covers (see I will still sew!)--which keep well to the theme of photography, don't you think? Maybe someday (fingers crossed) I will even sell prints of some of the pictures I take.

The goal is to get to a point where I am taking good enough pictures to maybe freelance as an actual photographer. Maybe bring in some money and be able to have a link to the outside world outside of Sesame Street and cleaning and soap opera watching.

The first step in the process is to learn as much as I can about the camera. I am excited about a class I signed up for last week, Get Off the Green Square. Tracey from Nine Acres is teaching it. There is even going to be a chance to meet her and take photos and ask all kinds of questions in person in November. Woot! Talk about talent, just look at some of these photos that Tracey has taken. This is a particular favorite of mine.

The class is starting on October 7th. She still has a few spaces available. It is a great class for someone who just wants to learn to be able to take better photos. What good timing too with the holiday season just around the corner. Perfect for getting a great Christmas card photo. Check it out. I promise you won't be disappointed!

If you scroll down, since I made you wait so long for this post I decided to add a second post made up entirely of photos from the last few days.

(Wow do I have a cheesy smile.)
(Can't forget Dan!)

24 August 2009

in the meantime

I promise I really am working on a real post. Half the day has just really gotten away from me and there are few more things that I have told myself I must do before enjoying time on the computer.

In the meantime, can I just say that I love this:
Courtesy of http://ilovereadingandwriting.tumblr.com/

23 August 2009

ah sunday

I don't know if anyone out there uses the SIGG bottles, but if so you might want to read this.

I cannot get enough of this game. Not only is it highly addictive when you play by yourself, but it is even worse when Dan sits at his Army computer and plays against me for the better average.

I added a whole bunch of new tutorials to my Tutorial section. Including a drawstring pouch, chiffon flowers, fish in a bag soap (cute!), and this mason jar soap dispenser. Speaking of the mason jar dispenser, I would love to make a few of these for my house. Anyone have a good suggestion on where to find these kind of jars? They have been hard to come by around here.

I know on Friday I had said that I would put up my part two photography post. But this weekend has been all about spending time with Dan and Mabry, trying to catch up on a little sleep (not working out too well for me) and cleaning out and organizing all kinds of files both on the computer and around the house. The post is coming I promise you!

22 August 2009

thinking it is going to be one of those days

Woke up to Mabry's terrified screams. Raced into her room and found her like this:

I guess she didn't realize a very slight tug on the bottom of the shirt would un-trap her. Instead she stood there and screamed and flailed about and bumped into the wall.

(Ps. I helped her out. But not before sprinting to get the camera while laughing hysterically.)

21 August 2009

this one is all about photography part 1

I don't know if I have ever told you all the story of our wedding. If so, please just bear with me. Or skip down a few paragraphs. I'll try and keep it short.

In a nut shell, Dan and I were married in sort of a rush. Dan had spent the majority of 2003 in Iraq and was able to come home at the beginning of December to start training to be a MP (military police for all you civilians). The plan had been to get engaged over Christmas and married the following July. I had even gone so far as to buy my dress. Unfortunately the Army had other plans. Plans that involved sending Dan right back to Iraq and not MP school.

The decision was made that we would just up everything by several months and get married before he went back. There are few things that you need to know before I go any further. 1. Dan was stationed at Fort Campbell which is on the Kentucky/Tennessee border. 2. I was still in college about 45 minutes north of Little Rock. 3. Our families were both living at least 20+ hours away in Pennsylvania. 4. Dan was going to be sent back to Iraq a few days after Christmas.

Our hope had been to at least find a JP back home over Christmas break who would marry us in front of our immediate families in the middle of one of our living rooms if need be. The Army put a stop to those plans too. They weren't going to let Dan go home for Christmas. (Which a few days after we were married they decided to change their minds and he did get to come home and see our families and spend Christmas with everyone.)

So with just over 36 hours of prep time I managed to persuade the court house in Little Rock to open up on a Saturday so that we could get our marriage license, secured a married housing apartment on campus for the following semester, and had a friend's Dad and Mom generously cut their weekend getaway to Missouri short so that we could be married by a member of the church.

This left no time for things like getting the wedding dress I had altered. (Silly me, when I bought it I thought I had months and months for things like that.) It also left no time to find a photographer or any of that other wedding stuff people dream about. Honestly though, it didn't matter to us. We were getting married and that was what really counted.

My friend whose Dad married us said she would take pictures. Great. Something to have to remember the day and to be able to give our families. Except something was wrong with the camera or I don't really know what. All I know is all the photos were fuzzy, most of them I am missing my head or you only see the back of me. There was one really good one of just Dan. That sits framed in our room.

Probably the very best one of both of us together is this one:

Honestly, I know my friend tried. I wasn't mad. Really all Dan and I could do was laugh when we got the photos. What else could we do?

We had always said someday we would go and get some real professional pictures taken of us. Then life happened. We had to finish out the rest of the first Iraq deployment. Then there was moving to Tennessee, buying a house, another year long deployment, moving to Washington State, a baby, and on and on.

Last weekend we finally made it happen.

Last Sunday we drove up to Raleigh and met one of the sweetest girls, Amber of asbphotography. She spent over two hours with us taking all kinds of pictures of myself, Dan and Mabry. Talk about patient! Amber didn't get rattled at all when Mabry made the executive decision that she was no longer going to be a willing participant. She stepped up to the plate holding Sheebus and trying to get Mabry to laugh or even look in the general direction of the camera. We even had a rain storm come through where we were taking the photos at one point. I thought for sure that spelled disaster. But Amber was so calm and easy going about the whole thing. It really helped put Dan and I at ease.

I have seen some of the proofs of what she has so far. Awesome photos! We are so pleased with everything. It has just been an all around great experience.

I am looking forward to sharing some of our photos with you once we get them. For now if you click the link about and enter Amber's site the very first photo that pops up is my little gremlin and her Dada.

Part 2 all about photography tomorrow.

19 August 2009

i have a tendency to babble as seen here

We have had a very ugly set of mini blinds on our french door in the kitchen since we moved in. While the blinds provided privacy, they were ugly. I hated to look at them and the other day I hit my breaking point.

It was time for them to go.

I had found an easy enough project where someone took a cheap mini blind and turned it into a fabric shade. So a trip to JoAnns, $6.25 on fabric and a bottle of Fabritac glue later and I was all set to go.

Before I could get home and start working on my cheap window makeover I had several things I needed to do. First there was Mabry's swim lesson, then taking Dan his dinner, followed by a stop at the store to pick up some milk.

The biggest set back was when I got home I discovered Mabry had gotten very ill in the back seat. Which meant a strip down in the garage, the total dismantlement and deep cleaning of the car seat and a bath for Mabry. All of this resulted in an 8:30 PM dinner and a 9:15PM start on the project.

By that point I was a little tired and in no mood to measure. This would come back to haunt me.

In less than an hour I had transformed a mini blind, 2 yards of fabric and some glue into this:

It looked better when it was pulled up:

Unfortunately I am a little OCD and even though I kept repeating the Nester's mantra of "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" I just couldn't get over the fact that it didn't lay straight. I'm not sure how well it shows in the photo but trust me when I tell you that the curtain pulled to the right, by a lot. You could actually see through the bottom of the window when the curtain was down on the one side.

So while Mabry napped in the afternoon I took the whole thing apart. I measured to make sure there was an even amount of fabric on both sides and everything was straight. I even decided that rather than glue the seams I would sew them. Then I laid it out and glued it all back together again.

Only I glued the top on wrong. So I had to take it apart. Again.

By the time I was done there was so much dried glue on the fabric showing through everywhere that it looked really bad.

In an effort to keep it real, let me just say I had a really bad moment where I was so fed up I just ripped the dumb thing off the door.

I would have left the door without any covering, except Dan still has this 24 hour duty task and I don't like to be left alone in the house at night where people can look right in at me. So we needed something to cover up the window.

Thank goodness for my husband. He made the suggestion that we go to Lowes and see if they had anything and if not he promised we would go all the way across town to get more fabric and he even offered to help me make a new curtain. All it took, though, was the stop at Lowes, a trip down the home dec aisle and a military discount and we had an $15 Roman shade THAT HANGS STRAIGHT and was a stress free install.

I do plan to try a mini blind makeover again in the future. Now that I know what kind of fabric not to use.

Mabry is feeling much better. I am not sure if her tummy was upset from teething. I don't feel any teeth ready to break through, but you never know. My best guess is she drank some of the pool water at her lesson when she was trying to blow bubbles and that upset her stomach. Which is something she has been known to do.

Her car seat is looking really good now that it has been washed. She was funny after it was put back together I just left it on the kitchen floor. She climbed right in and started messing around with the straps. She wanted me to buckle her in. She just sat there with her Sheebus as happy as could be. What a weirdo.

I have lots more I want to tell you, but this post is just all over the place. Much like the day was for me yesterday. So I will hold off until tomorrow. For now I am going to try and get to sewing. I think it is about time I add some new purses to the shop.

to go black or not to go black

Dan was gone last night. Which meant a hard time trying to fall asleep for me. The up side is I took the computer to bed with me (not really conducive to creating a sleepy environment I know) and found lots of inspirational photos for the master bedroom.

Check them out with me, won't you?

I love the idea of taking a whole bunch of photographs and hanging them up on the wall and then putting a protective piece of plexiglas over top of them. Not really sure that this would work for the master bedroom, but might be really awesome up in the man cave.

I seemed to be drawn to the idea of a black wall. Not all of the walls. Just one. It is a little modern looking, which is the only draw back. I would have to figure out a way to make it still have that cottage like feel to it.

Maybe instead of a dark black I should use a grey like this:

What do you think? Would you be brave enough to paint a wall in your house black?

18 August 2009

all about mabes

Mabry has most definitely entered into the stubborn stage of life known as the terrible twos. I guess she didn't get the memo that we are supposed to be sharing a few more blissful weeks yet as she doesn't turn 2 until September 6th.

Her newest vocab word is "No." Which she has adopted for every other word that used to be in her ever growing vocabulary. The best is when she actually growls the word, thus showing that she means business.

Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself here:

The other morning I told her to scoot off the end of her bed. I want her to start getting off the bed on her own. She needs to learn sometime and it would be nice for her to just get down and come crawl in bed with me in the morning. I mean, you'd prefer that to screams wouldn't you?

Anyhow, I started making the bed around her because she refused to get off the bed unless I picked her up. It was a battle of the wills. At one point she even tried to blend in with the pillows and refused to make eye contact:

Oh child, you are so much like your Mama. Which is going to be the downfall of us both.

In the past week she has managed to reduce me tears in a WalMart, frustrate me to the point of not being able to find any words at all so I just looked like some sputtering lunatic, and causing me to put myself in a time out rather than throw the temper tantrum to end all temper tantrums in an effort to get her to do what I want.

In the past week she has also melted my heart on numerous occasions, hugging my leg for no reason at all. Showing just what a loving and caring little gremlin girl she is growing up to be. She is even sweet to her Sheebus, we catch her giving him kisses all the time.

Not to mention the funny little quirks she is establishing as she gets a little more independent that make me laugh. The basket is way more comfortable than the rocking chair for Sesame Street viewing apparently.

And those pigtails. Oh be still my heart. She will probably be able to get away with murder at 16 (I jest, people...the real plan is to lock her up in her room until she hits 40) if she will just allow me to keep putting her hair in piggies.

Don't feel left out. She has lots of love to share with all of you too!

Happy Tuesday to everyone!!

17 August 2009

monday night ramble

Hello bloggy friends. I feel like I haven't been on here all that much. It hasn't been for lack of a reason to post. I just haven't had much time at all to sit down at the computer, or to hear myself think for that matter, for the last few days. Thankfully this is shaping up to be a pretty low key week, which should do wonders for the fog on my brain!

For now though, I don't want to make a big post. I do have some photos I want to share and plan to get up early tomorrow and get them uploaded and all that good stuff. Of course that depends on Mabry, which means it could be noon before they are done. But they are coming!!

Just thought I would give you a few updates on how things have been. First of all both soldiers that I had mentioned before are back in the States. Which is awesome news!! The one is back with his family and I am sure that fact alone is such a healing factor for him and his wife. Hopefully in the next few days Jeremy will also be back with his family. His wife, Jessie, has been doing an awesome job with updating. You can read her blog here, don't forget to check out her cute little boy Connor while you are at it! Keep up the prayers for all of them.

Second, Tracey is starting a postcard campaign for soldiers that I am helping her with. This is super exciting and I can't wait to help her get it off the ground and running. As more details come in I will be sure to keep you all updated!

Dan is still plugging away with his 24-hour duties every few days as he waits for his school to start (for real this time we hope!) in October. It is starting to wear on him and me both. I think we have both realized just how precious sleep really is. Especially when we have an almost 2-year-old around who has so much energy she could probably bottle it and sell it with more left to spare.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Ps. I collect quotes. Odd I know, but I have a great journal that I have been writing them down in for years and years. Tonight I came across this video and couldn't resist posting it.

16 August 2009

spreading love

Thought I would share a little link love today with everyone. Enjoy your Sunday!

Awesome Photos: Never would have thought to do something like this. Makes me want to rumage for some old photos and have a go.

5 Good Things: Who doesn't need a little reminder sometimes? I think this booklet is AWESOME. Even better, it is free to you just by clicking on the link. Woo!

Another Free Notecard: Thought that these were very cute. Might have to print some out to mail off. I am sure it helps that these little elephants are too cute to resist.

Learning Projects: All kinds of fun projects here to do with the kiddos. If you have kids, seriously check this out.

Pretty Blog: This is just a pretty place to visit. One big virtual happy place if you will.

15 August 2009

finally the bedroom furniture

I haven't bothered posting about the new master bedroom furniture before now for a few reasons.

First of all, I have been really lazy when it comes to taking photos for the last several days now.
Secondly, the delivery men installed the mirror on the dresser upside down and there were a few other problems with some of the furniture and I wanted it all fixed before I shared anything. All in the name of perfection you know.

Life doesn't always work out the way we plan though. So while the repairs have yet to be made, at least Dan and I were able to get the mirror flipped and I finally took some photos.

Baby steps.

I love this new furniture. It is solid wood and has an old farm house/cottage/Pottery Barn/distressed look to it that I really like.

I also like that we were able to get it at a steal. This is all furniture that the store is no longer carrying. Something about the company that makes it takes their sweet time to deliver it and sometimes fails to deliver at all, so they aren't going to offer their products anymore. Add that in to an awesome tax free promotion and free delivery and how could we pass it up?

I found that navy blue blanket at the end of the bed on sale at IKEA last month. It works great with some clearance pillows from Pier 1 that I had picked up at the beginning of the year thrown on the bed. I know I want to add more photographs to the top of the dresser in front of the windows and hang more on the walls too. Of course this involves finding frames that I like and so far haven't come up with much.

I'm also trying to figure out what to do about the wall color. Dan and I are both leaning more towards a grayish color than anything at the moment. The thought did cross my mind to paint the walls all a white color and then use a really dark bold color on just one wall and then try and dye my sheers on the window to match the bold color. Not sure if that would be too much white for one room. I keep looking online for photos of inspiration. Sooner or later something will come along. In the mean time I will just keep on playing around with ideas in my head.

I doubt we are going to do much more to this room though until after the holidays. This room is just going to have to be a slow work in progress.

Mabry also got a new bookcase for her toy room. This is much more child friendly compared to the dresser we were using. She can actually access all of her toys now. The little baskets I found at Michael's last weekend on sale for 70% off. They were a good investment as they have become the most favorite of all the toys in the house.

Did you know how much fun you can have if you dump everything out and crawl into one of the baskets? Especially if Mama will grab a handle and drag you from one end of the house to the other. When Mama wears out, you just take the basket set it on the floor by the couch, crawl in and lounge while catching up on the latest in Sesame Street happenings.

It's a tough life but somebody has to live it!
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