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Monthly Archives: November 2013


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On Facebook, several people have been participating in the “30 days of thanks” posts.  Since today is officially Thanksgiving, I thought that tonight I would make my own list of 30 things I am thankful for. 

I am thankful for the following:

1) Nora

2) Meredith

3) That my children are healthy and happy

4) That Dave & I have survived 7 years of marriage, despite many different hardships and challenges.  There is something to be said for strength in the face of adversity.

5) That my little girls give me an excuse to go see the Disney movies in theatres again.

6) For newborn Hunter

7) For all of my other nieces and nephews, both legitimately and in my heart

8) For my job

9) That technology makes it easier to stay in touch with some of the most important people in my life, even when they live all across the country

10) For IVF

11) For my extended family, both blood and by marriage

12) For my education, and that it’s paid off (thank you Mom and Dad)

13) For my creative side

14) For my own generally good health

15) For every smile and laugh I get to see on my kids faces

16) For my home and neighborhood

17) For parks and hiking trails

18) For my colleagues at the hospital, especially when they are working the holidays

19) For my camera

20) For things like hammocks and gliders that encourage me to take a minute to just relax

21) For really good books, preferably from the library

22) For coffee

23) For Mexican food

24) That my kids have such a love of life and people

25) For bubble baths

26) For all days that are headache free

27) That I have things in my life that I am passionate about

28) For Graeters

29) For the seasons, all of them, but especially Fall

30) For the opportunity to be a mother



Christmas Jellyfish

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Nothing says Christmas, quite like a jellyfish.

OK, not really.

Every year, I decide to get crafty and have these grand plans to make the cutest little Christmas gifts for my friends and family.  One year it was glass window block Christmas “presents” with white lights inside.  The year before that, it was painted wooden snowmen.  The snowmen are still my favorite, but I never actually ended up giving them to anyone but my mother.  In fact, most years, I chicken out when it comes to actually giving my projects as gifts because my husband thinks it’s lame.  I love my snowmen though… they get put out in my own house every year, so maybe one year I will try them again.

The bottom line is that I enjoy doing these projects.  Even if I don’t end up giving them out, I love trying to come up with new ideas and seeing if I can pull it off.

This year, my project is jellyfish.

On our summer vacation this past year, I came across a little jellyfish ornament in a local store.  It was overpriced, but very cute.  I decided then, that I was going to make my own.  And tonight I did.  It was actually pretty simple.

I ordered the little pink sea urchins a while back.  Add some ribbon, a pearl, a button and some hot glue and there you have it.  Adorable little jellyfish.



I made quite a few of these little guys.


So, beware… you may be getting one.

Merry Christmas.


Blog Sharing

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Today, I am just sharing this link to another mother’s blog.  The things she writes resonate strongly with me.

The Story of the Sled

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Every once in a while, I get it in my head that I want to refinish something.  I have refurbished a few old dressers, which actually turned out pretty good for the amateur that I am.

I like old things.  I like the stories that they hold, even if that story is left entirely to my own imagination.  I also like the work that goes into the refinishing process.  The elbow grease and seeing something beautiful emerge from something worn.  A month or so ago, I spotted this old sled in my in-law’s garage.


This sled belonged to the girl’s great grandfather.  Maybe it was also used by his children when they were young.  I like to think this sled was well loved.  The cracked wooden braces which had been messily glued together certainly suggest it had an active life.

I have never attempted to refinish rusted metal before, so it took a little research on the front end to figure out the best way to sand and prime the metal.


Once that was done, I added a little spray paint, stain and some new hardware and you could already see something pretty starting to emerge.


I then bought some craft letters from Hobby Lobby, used some scrapbook paper and Modge Podge to make the letters festive for the holidays and glued them onto the sled.


It still needs a new piece of rope and I will probably decorate it with some evergreen when it comes time to put it out on the front porch, but I am happy with the finished product.


I can’t wait to see this sled in front of the house this holiday season.  It is going to be a nice addition to our decor and I know it will remind me (and hopefully other family members) about family and childhood winter fun, past and present.

Dear Nora on Your 4th Birthday

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Dear Nora,

You are going to be four this weekend little girl and what an amazing year this has been.  Every time I think that there is no way I could be more amazed at the way you change, you surprise me again and again.  For example, once upon a time, you didn’t really like the swings and were afraid to go very high at all and now you will go as high as your Daddy and I can push you.  At the beginning of the summer, you were still learning how to pedal your bikes by yourself, but now you fly around the neighborhood on your big wheel and even ride a two wheeler with training wheels on it.  You also started out this summer, terrified of water, refusing to jump in, get your face wet or let go of us while in the pool.  By August, you were swimming good distances in both the baby pool and big pool at the YMCA with your face in, paddling and kicking with no fear.  You just decided you wanted to do it and so you did.

Your favorite thing to do this summer was go to the water park at Kings Island.  You like the side with the rides as well, (and even rode the “Beastie” roller coaster once), but I think your favorite was the smaller water slides and fountains in Soak City.  We also took you to your first Reds game, your first Oktoberfest and to Sea World, where you fell in love with the orca whales.  You now want to be a “fish feeder” when you grow up because to you, that means you will get to touch the orcas.  We spent the 4th of July down in Jacksonville and you really enjoyed the experience of the fireworks at the beach, which made me happy because that is a good memory I have from my own childhood.

Probably the biggest change this year is that you started preschool.  You are going to Villa Madonna Montessori and you seem to be really happy there.  You were so proud of yourself on that first day of school.  When we picked you up from school, you did inform us that you were disappointed because they didn’t teach you to read, but since then you have started to learn more about the sounds the different letters make, so I don’t think reading will be that far off.  You have also started adding numbers together and I was quite impressed at how well you were able to cut a circle one of the first times you used scissors.  Of course, you later used those same scissors to cut some of your own hair, but I guess that is a right of passage, even though it makes me sad to see those chopped bangs that you gave yourself.  You know the Pledge of Allegiance by heart and hearing you recite that is the cutest thing ever.

The other day, you were telling me how excited you were that you were learning so many new things these days.  I told you that it made me happy to see you learning and growing, but that it also made me sad because I wanted you to stay my baby.  You assured me that you weren’t going to get big for a while.  “At least 20 days”, you said.  And while I know I have longer than 20 days before you are grown, I do often wish I could freeze time and savor each moment with you a little longer.  Watching your children grow is frustrating that way, but it is also incredibly rewarding.

This year we are celebrating your birthday by taking you to see Disney on Ice.  Then, we will take you to get a birthday cupcake, as you still have an obsession for cupcakes.  I am really looking forward to your big day.  I can’t wait to experience it through your eyes and feel your happiness and excitement.  It’s been an incredible four years, sweet girl.  Thank you for making my life so wonderful.

I love you,