28 February 2011

a whole bunch of randamity

I thought today would be a good day for a little housekeeping, or in the case of this blog a list of random things that don't have anything to do with one another.

1.  Last night Dan and I attended our third week of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.  Seriously, I love this class.  We are so pumped about getting out of debt (imagine angry fist shaking in the general direction of my student loans here) and really saving some money.  I can't speak highly enough of this class.  If you haven't been, I recommend you stop what you are doing and find the nearest class starting up in your area and sign yourself up.  Seriously.  

2.  Ok this actually does pertain to #1.  One of the big scams according to Dave Ramsey is credit cards.  Thankfully Dan and I both learned a hard lesson about credit cards when we were much younger and have managed to payoff all of ours long ago.  Last week I cleaned out our safe and found 10 cards all with a zero balance just sitting in one of the folders.  So I started calling up the 800 numbers on the back to close the accounts.  I figured we haven't used them and weren't going to use them then why keep the temptation around.  What should have taken me a total of 30 minutes maximum lasted all afternoon.  Each place would transfer me at least two or three times and each person I was connected to gave me all kinds of flack for trying to close the account.  From "How about if I offer you a 15% off coupon to keep the card?" to "Don't you know you will be loosing out on all kinds of special promotions if you go through with this?"  My favorite was the person who told me that I should probably take a day or two to really think about it and talk to my husband before making "rash decisions."  Can't say I am sad to have seen any of those companies go.

3.  There was a morning last week where Mabry and I were laying in my bed and we started talking about babies.  This girl has babies on the brain ALL OF THE TIME.  She likes to ask whose bellies Dan and I were in.  Once she asked me to tell her about my water breaking with her.  (WHAT?!)  Anyhow, she brought up that she wanted me to have two babies "a sister and a brudder."  Just to throw a wrench into her request I asked, "What if Mama had three babies?"  I wasn't expecting her to shrug and say, "That's ok.  I would name them Jack, Sleeping Beauty and Grandpa."  (Ps.  I am not pregnant that I know of.  We were just talking in the hypothetical.)

4.  In 4 days I will be 29 years-old.  This makes me very sad.  I don't think I am going to be ready to say goodbye to my 20s in only 53 short weeks.

5.  I have been in a crafty mood lately.  So far my design business has been keeping all of my spare time tied up.  I am really hoping that this will truly be the last week for a little while that I going to be working.  (I need to learn better time management skills!)  Some things that I have been thinking about making include:

Polka Dot Mobile:  I know Mabry isn't a baby, but I think one of these in soft pinks, greens and blues with a little bit of lace would be adorable hanging up in the corner of her room.  

Pom Pom Necklace:  I am in love with this necklace.  Looking at just how easy it is to make on the tutorial, there is no reason that I shouldn't have a half dozen of these in every color imaginable by now.

Ruffle T-Shirt Pillow:  These pillows always make me happy.  I have tried a few times to make ruffles and they never turn out.  Does anyone out there have a surefire tutorial or tip on how to accomplish ruffles?

Rosette Canvas Pillow:  Another pillow that makes my heart skip a beat.  

Fake Rosewood Wreath:  How great would this be?  No idea where I would put it, but I still love it.  Maybe a good gift for someone else??

A couple other websites worth checking out to get your creative juices flowing are One Pretty Thing and The Artful Parent.

6.  Parents, have you seen this video?  I like this guy's parenting approach.  No nonsense all the way.  Though I don't advocate making videos while you drive.

7.  Pallet Shelving:  Seriously, must find a pallet.  Stat.  Actually for the place I want to use it, two pallets.

8.  Mainly because I like ending on an even number, while watching the Oscar's tonight I am going to attempt to make a lampshade very similar to this one.  Bear in mind I have no artistic ability when it comes to drawing.

Ps.  Later today I will be posting again, this time photos for this week's iheartfaces challenge.

25 February 2011

through mabry's eyes: week 2

This week was very eventful for Mabry.  From beautiful weather which resulted in nice walks around the block with Daddy...
Through Mabry's Eyes Week 2
Through Mabry's Eyes Week 2
Through Mabry's Eyes Week 2

...to a trip to Hobby Lobby where Mabry took photos of Mama in her "That's What She Said" t-shirt and of garden gnomes. (Side note: For Valentine's Day I took her to see Gnomeo and Juliet and it was adorable!)
Through Mabry's Eyes Week 2
Through Mabry's Eyes Week 2

The only way I could get her to agree to stand still long enough for me to put her hair into a pigtail was by letting her photograph the process in the mirror:
Through Mabry's Eyes Week 2

She decided to try her hand at a 365 photo before bed just like her Mama:
Through Mabry's Eyes Week 2

No week would be complete without some princesses in it:  
Through Mabry's Eyes Week 2
Through Mabry's Eyes Week 2

Oh and this priceless number.  Mabry has taken to instructing us while she takes photos.  Here I was told to growl.
Through Mabry's Eyes Week 2

24 February 2011

the greatest show on earth

Circus 1

Dan's cousin, Lindsay, hooked Mabry up with some tickets to the circus which was in town last week.  Naturally she invited L and his mom to come along with us.

The kids had fun watching everything that was going on.  My only complaint would be that the circus people are out to really get your money.  They had people marching around selling $10 plastic elephant shaped cups filled with ice and syrup.  They also had $10 bottles of lemonade.  There was a clown who came out and tried to sell the entire crowd on the idea that they had to have this little plastic disc that when flung would come back to you, to the tune of $15.  Mabry and L were both frustrated that A and I weren't buying any of it.  Especially when we were surrounded by children whose parents (no joke) probably spent at least $100 each on tschotkes that would no doubt end up in the trash by the end of the week.

Instead we entertained them with my camera and pretending that they were acrobats in the circus.

Circus 2

Most of the acts were really interesting to watch.  There were a few that were really stretching it as far as being considered a circus act.  Also, a lion managed to throw two temper tantrums where it didn't want to move.  No amount of tugging on his tail or waving raw meat in his face would get him to move.  It brought the whole show to a halt for a few minutes.  
Circus 4

But then you had acts like this guy who jumped through a ring of knives that had been set on fire:
Circus 6

Now that is a circus worthy preformance.

The best part of the day...watching the elephants.

Circus 5

Ps. I was trying out a new camera and the lighting inside the arena was terrible. So I apologize for the sub par photography.

23 February 2011

soaking up the 70 degree weather

Soaking up the sun


Soaking up the sun

Soaking up the sun

Soaking up the sun

Soaking up the sun

Ps.  I love that Mabry pronounces the word hopscotch "hock-spock."

22 February 2011

iheartfaces: cell phone

This week's challenge over at iheartfaces is to capture/edit a photo using only your cell phone.  I love my iPhone for lots of reasons, with the biggest being some of the awesome photography apps I have downloaded over the last few years.  I am constantly snapping photos and then playing around with them on my phone.

This photo of Mabry was taken with the Instagram app (my current favorite):

cell phone challenge

I am a sucker for this kid's chubby cheeks.

If you have a cell phone, you have no reason not to enter this week's challenge.  To see more great cell phone photography be sure to check out this week's entries here.

Ps.  Some of my other favorite photography apps for those who are curious:

For quick edits I also like:

we didn't even fight or have to call anyone for help

....however we were grossed out by all the grime accumulated over two years, especially since I am such a neat freak.

The New Sink Install

The New Sink Install

The New Sink Install

The New Sink Install

The New Sink Install

The New Sink Install

The New Sink Install

21 February 2011

how we've spent our last few days

This week is shaping up to be somewhat insane.  Dan has a four day weekend -- thanks President's Day -- this weekend and next weekend he has a three day.  Which means that he is going to be home a lot.  Something Mabry and I intend to put to good use since he will soon be leaving us.

I have scheduled all of the posts for this week with the exception of Friday, when I will post photos from the week taken by Mabry.

Rather than do a lot of talking in these posts, I have opted to let the photos speak for themselves.  Mainly because I have about twenty things I need to finish in the next hour and don't have time to write.

So without further ado, I give you Monday's post:

Our Days

Our Days

Our Days
I post this last one because I want to remember those little feet dangling above the ground.  Too small to get herself onto the potty even with the help of a step stool.
Our Days

17 February 2011

quick check in


I just thought I would check in and say I'm still here.  This has just been a really long, hard week and I haven't had much to say.  Right now the only thing I can think about is how ready I am for it to be Friday.

There are several things I am getting ready to share with you, so I promise I will be back to normal next week.  For now I am off to finish cleaning up the house. Maybe I will finally get around to taking the photos of my living room redo that I have mentioned a few times.  =)

15 February 2011

through mabry's eyes


With deployment around the corner we have started to do things to prepare Mabry.  Especially since this will be her first experience with Daddy being gone for a very long time.  She is old enough to notice when he has to go away and it bothers her when he isn't the one to tuck her in at night.  We already know from past experience when Dan is away on training that Mabry tends to be more clingy to me and worried about people "leaving her."

One of the ways we are hoping to keep her feeling connected to her Daddy is with a camera of her very own.  That way she can take photos and email them to Dan so he can see what she has been up to and give them something to talk about.

I found a great Fisher Price camera on sale at Toys R Us on Black Friday.  A big selling feature was that it had view finders on the back for both eyes, rather than a single one--much more kid friendly.  I bought it with the intent that Dan could give it to her before he left.

This week Dan is gone for training.  The last time he should be away (fingers crossed) until deployment.  So we figured this would be the perfect opportunity to give her the camera and let her take photos to share.  This way she can see when Dan gets home that he is really interested in what she has to show him and in what she has done, etc.

To say that the girl was in love with her camera...TOTAL UNDERSTATEMENT.

Before nap today Mabry asked me to put her photos on the computer so that she could look at them.

Internets, this girl makes me laugh.  There were over 200 photos on the camera.  I thought I would share some of my favorites with you:

This was her first photo:
Through Mabry's Eyes

She also wanted to go out on the deck to take tree photos:
Through Mabry's Eyes

A series of self portraits:
Through Mabry's Eyes
Through Mabry's Eyes

This photo freaked me out, it looked like something was on fire or melting in the middle of the image.  Once I moved on to the next image I realized that she had captured a part of the Valentine's decorations hanging in the window:
Through Mabry's Eyes
Through Mabry's Eyes

Her view from the car seat (this went on for roughly 60 photos):
Through Mabry's Eyes
Through Mabry's Eyes

A random girl:
Through Mabry's Eyes

I love being able to experience the world from her perspective:
Through Mabry's Eyes

This was the photo she took of me while I was busy taking the picture featured at the top of this post:
Through Mabry's Eyes

Maybe I will start making a weekly "Through Mabry's Eyes" series.  What do you think?

14 February 2011

the letter

The Letter 1 copy

While in Asheville a few weeks ago we stopped in an antique store.  Only it wasn't so much of an antique store as it was a shop filled with an eclectic mix of....stuff.  From Army Ranger knifes to prints of Marilyn Monroe to oriental rugs and old fashioned cameras and tin signs with raunchy sayings - this place had it all.

One of the things that caught my eye as we were getting ready to leave was a basket filled with old envelopes and a sign reading, "WWII Letters" propped against it.

Curiosity getting the better of me I started to comb through the letters looking at the addresses and the postmark dates.  They were mostly from the summer time.  One letter, however, was post marked September 6, 1945.  62 years to the day before Mabry was born.  I pulled it out of the pile and showed Dan.

My husband knows my love for things like this and he insisted I buy it.

It wasn't until we were halfway home that I took the envelope out of its protective plastic cover and read the letter inside.

The Letter 3 copy

In it the wife talks about receiving her husband's first airmail letter and subsequent follow up letter later that same day.  She also talks for almost a full page about photography.  How she enjoys his photos and can't wait for him to hurry home so he can learn more about lighting and exposure.

She then goes on to talk about a man named Charles:

"Charles makes me mad.  He talks "big," etc., and they always want to tell me bad jokes, which I pretend not to understand half the time.  Besides that he's always half-hinting about seeing some girl walking and what she "had," etc.  I tell him I think he's all talk (and I say it in front of his wife).
Now he keeps talk about me posing for him, pesters terribly for me to put on my bathing suit or drape material in an off-the-shoulder pose, etc.  It doesn't worry me because I just say I'm too busy.  Who wants to expose them self for him anyway?  I don't want to and don't intend to."

I'm not exactly sure why but reading those paragraphs made me laugh and say "Good for you honey!"

She follows that up with news that she bought her parents an unbreakable teapot and an alarm clock for their anniversary.

I found it interesting that she mentions someone from the phone company dropping a form off for her to fill out.  Because she was married to someone in the service and living alone with their infant daughter the form gave her "some preference in obtaining telephone service, ahead of residential applicants whose applications had been pending longer."

Nowadays anyone can get phone service with a few clicks of a mouse button.

She wraps up the letter with:

"Have to do a few more jobs before bed, darling, so will say "goodnite" for now.  Sure hope you can be home for good real, real soon.  Maybe I'll see you soon, too.  Always yours, Gert (Mommy) & Pat xxx Your two ever-lovin' gals."

The Letter 2 copy

I did a little digging on the Internet using the addresses on the front of the envelope.  It didn't take me long to find Lt. Morey's obituary from 2009.  Reading it I was able to see that he did make it back to Gert, his high school sweetheart, and they managed to have two more children and remained married for 64 years until Gert's death in 2007.  Talk about a love story.  Sadly, I also found out their daughter, Pat, passed away in 1973.

I am curious how a bunch of 60-year-old letters from a woman in New Jersey managed to find their way to an antique/junk shop in North Carolina...
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