Friday, November 30, 2007

six years ago...

Strange to think of, but Six Years Ago, I was laying in a hospital bed, trying to deal with incredible back pain, while my sister and my husband both read "the Hobbit" to pass time!!!!! LOL I was in labor—but not in labor. Things obviously weren't progressing much in way of contractions coming closer together, but the pain was getting intense. My back was in SO Much Pain, that by one in the morning, I had finally caved in and asked for some Demerol!!! I wasn't planning to use that pain control option as I heard how it made my friend puke and my Mom spacey, but well, I was feeling desperate! Baby was "sunny side up" and we didn't know!!! So at this time (almost 11pm) I had already sent my sister home for some sleep, and was about to send Jonathan home as well since we were all so exhausted! Man, being in constant pain and being TOTALLY out of it and in a drug haze all alone is NOT something I would recommend to anyone!!!! (it was supposed to help me sleep… didn't)

Strange to think that this all happened Six Years Ago. Stranger how this is all coming back to me stronger tonight than any other year. But as we prepare to celebrate Abi's Sixth birthday tomorrow, I am remembering the whole process and her arrival and just how wonderful it was in the end. Totally worth it! ;) (at least, enough to make me want to do it all over again, several times, lol. Isn't it neat and wonderful and totally smart of God to create us women to be that way? To desire to go through the whole painful process for another child, to think that it was worth it in the end, to believe that the pain wasn't "that bad afterall" LOL)

Abi still delights me. I am constantly telling her about how much we wanted her, how I prayed and prayed for her to come, and how God blessed us with her at just the perfect moment, and how special she is to us. She is becoming immune to it now, and just smiles and says things like, "I know!" hahaha. Good to know that she's confident in herself and her position in our family! I just want to make sure she doesn't wonder, doesn't feel left out, or starts to question her being. I don't know how to make a child self confident or how to make them feel strong. I don't know if it is something that can be taught or something that is just passed down in our genes, but I've noticed that my mom and I both have a sense of self conciousness and low self esteem. My sister has that a bit too. Now, of course there are times where we've all been strong and felt powerful in ourselves, our beings, our talents…but for the most I'm noticing that my selfworth isn't as high as it 'should' be. And it makes me wonder why that is. It certainly can't be blamed on my parents! My mom did everything she could to show me love! I have a lot of happy childhood memories! (or course, there are the bad ones too, the sad ones, the ones where your parents didn't get you that pony or take you for piano lessons, lol) So where does it come from? Is it something we decide on our own? Or something that is passed down in genetics? Or something altogether different? I am trying to instill in Abi a sense of not only, Being, but in knowing that she is Special to us, her family, and to God. That no matter what she does, she is important to us all. Maybe that's all I can do. Maybe the rest is up to her. I don't know. But I do know that if I could, I'd hold her all day and cuddle her and remind her! :) (funny how I want to hold her all the time NOW, yet six years ago, sortof, I was so stressed out b/c all SHE wanted was that and all I wanted was some time free to myself! LOL)

Six years ago, Abigail 'tHart entered this world, a total blessing, miracle and gift from God. I asked and asked, (actually more like begged and pleaded and cried) for an Abi, and He sent her. (so be careful what you wish for, hahaha!) I am so lucky!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

shutting down

I think I took a nervous breakdown this week. Okay, maybe not in a mental-health way, but my body sure did! It was only through the strength of God that I made it. Because in my mind, I had given up! I just did NOT want to do A THING this week! But I am so proud of myself—I did manage to get Abi & Kai off to school, ballet and speech therapy. What I did not do is take Paisley to dog obedience class #3. I just didn't have it in me to stand in a freezing barn! I also didn't take Kai to his dental checkup (after his surgery)–but that's because I had forgotten. Oops! I also chose not to attend two women's group meetings this week (Wed and this morning). It's just… I need time OFF.

My body feels like it's Shutting Down. I'm dizzy. Incredibly tired and weak. Achey. (my thighs are in so much pain, it's so strange. I pulled out the Tiger Balm today for them!) The very idea of having to do something makes me want to cry, "Please don't make me go!" How sad is that?

It's just that days are going by so fast and I'm not doing anything but driving here and going there. It's getting to be too much. I am sick and tired of my days being filled with Something!!! I am so thankful that it's December (oh so close!)—soon school and ballet and speech will close for the holidays. I can rest on the couch! I can waste my day on the computer! I can do dishes, clean up the house,…things that have been neglected. :(

I just need a good 20 hours of straight sleep first! :p Ugh! In two days we are having family over to celebrate Abi's birthday, and I spent literally ALL DAY cleaning up. From 8:30am until 4pm (well, off and on, I did eat lunch, lol) ….and it doesn't even look it! Oh, well, if you had seen it this morning, you'd notice a difference, but to anyone else they'd see a messy house still! :P But as I was cleaning, I was thinking, 'hmm..maybe this is as clean as it gets today!' Not to sound like my family isn't important, because that is Certainly NOT the truth, but I remind myself, 'it IS *just* family, I don't have to have a sparkling house! they all know me!" *sigh* Hopefully tomorrow I'll still feel that way, but chances are I'll feel that typical last minute stressball for not having it clean enough! (roll eyes)

I can do it. I can do it. Just two more days. Lord, thank you for the stength. Keep it coming!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

look what I caught Bryn doing!

I had walked into my bedroom and found Bryn in front of my mirror, making faces with his reflection. But not only that, but he was KISSING the cute chubby baby in the mirror!!! How cute is that??? I knew I HAD to take a photo…or two!

I guess he's getting practice in! ;) Don't you love his impish grin in the last one? I don't know what made him want to kiss his own reflection, but well, he *is* rather kissable! LOL I love my Baby!!!

**ignore the dirty shirt and face, lol, but that's how he usually looks! I've given up on bibs!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

regifting etiquette

I read this via another blog and had to share since it's funny! Maybe this will help you prepare for the holiday gift giving season!

Twelve rules for 'regifting' without fear
If you're going to do it (and it's more common than you think), please update the wrapping — and remove the old gift card.

By MP Dunleavey

November 14, 2007

There are only three reasons you might be reading this column:

1. You think "regifting" is totally tacky, but you secretly hope there might be a polite way to get rid of that hideous scarf your Aunt Edna gave you.

2. You're a chronic regifter and you need some new ideas to get you through the holidays.

3. You've never heard of regifting. Really. You're just curious.

Welcome, one and all, to a frank discussion of a grand old holiday tradition we all practice and pretend we don't. (That includes you fibbers who picked No. 3!) Even Peggy Post, etiquette advice columnist for Good Housekeeping, admits she's done it.

"I was given two copies of a book, and I gave a copy to my mother-in-law," reports the author of the new 17th edition of "Emily Post's Etiquette." "(I) just said, 'Hey, I got two copies of this book. Would you like one?'"

The fine art of regifting
Like Post (who is the granddaughter-in-law of etiquette czarina Emily), I have no qualms about regifting when done properly. Carried out carelessly, regifting is a recipe for public humiliation and long-held grudges. Done with finesse and tact, regifting can be a happy holiday experience for all — providing you follow these few do's and don'ts. Starting with: DO take out the previous gift card. Duh.

A dozen rules for regifters:

-Don't mention it, please. While Post believes that "the best approach is to be upfront" when regifting, I have to ask: Why spoil the moment? If you tell your sister-in-law, in so many words, "I have no use for this nasty vase, so I'm giving it to you," even a person in need of a vase will hate you. I say, keep your yap shut unless there's a good reason not to.

-Do update the wrapping. The next most common regifting faux pas, after leaving the previous gift card attached, is to regift in the original, now crinkled and possibly torn (hello!?) wrapping paper or box. If the phrase "Hey, it looks almost new" crosses your desperate holiday brain, remember that it's the "almost" that's a dead giveaway to the new giftee.

-Don't give hand-me-downs as regifts. Novice regifters (and those who are terminally tacky) often get these two categories confused. Don't. A hand-me-down is an item you've already used that you'd like to pass along to someone who will enjoy it and use it more than you will. For example, a sweater you've removed the tags from and worn twice. You could wrap it up and give it as a "gift" only as long as another real gift is provided. A regift should be just that: a gift you've never used that you're giving away as though it were a… real gift!

-Do keep track of who gave it to you first. In her useful article on this topic, Joyce Moseley Pierce recommends creating a stash of regifting items you can always use in a pinch. I say, OK, but keep a small notebook of who gave you what. I had a harrowing experience that involved regifting a pair of earrings to a cousin — who had given them to me two years before. I forgot. She remembered. And she let me know about it.

-Don't EVER regift these items. Certain items are a total, dead, instant giveaway that you are not only regifting, but you're too lame to put any effort into it: candles, soap, random books, mysterious CDs (unless your brother wants the hip-hop version of "Man of La Mancha"), obscure software, cheesy jewellery, scarves (do we not all own a scarf?), fruitcake, pens, cologne, boxed sets of extinct bath products (Jean Nate? No, no, no), videos or DVDs obviously acquired on a street corner, socks and any appliances or electronic gear the giftee would be puzzled to receive because they probably just got rid of it (including hot-air popcorn poppers and anything with a cassette deck in it).

-Do have the courtesy to clean your regifts. I once got a rice cooker… with a couple of kernels of rice still clinging to it. Some hand-me-downs can be passed off as regifts if the packaging is intact, like the wine glasses you've belatedly decided to share with a loved one. Just wash the lipstick off the rim, 'kay?

-Don't give partially used gift cards. As technology pushes the envelope of regifting possibilities, the chance of looking like a ninny only grows. Don't give a $25 gift card to Chapters/Indigo that only has $14.56 left on it. Would you give a pie with a slice taken out of it? We hope not.

-Do remember that regifts can be funny. A friend of mine said that when he was younger, he and his sister would jokingly regift the same two board games back and forth to each other. If you think a friend would get a good laugh out of, say, a regifted self-help book, go for it — as long as you make the prank clear.

-Don't give something you've owned for a while. Not only is this in violation of the hand-me-down rule above, the giftee can and will recognize that picture frame from your living room shelf. (And while you're at it, don't regift picture frames, either.)

-Do regift champagne. You know the joke about fruitcake: There are only two fruitcakes made each year, and we just keep foisting them off on each other. The same is true of the 11 bottles of champagne that circulate during the holidays. But there are never hard feelings from regifting a bottle of bubbly, unless it's really cheap or given to a confirmed teetotaller. Eventually it will find a happy, champagne-guzzling home.

-Don't give products from defunct companies. Someone gave to my husband and me a lovely crystal decanter from a department store that no longer exists. The decanter is a classic. It was just a little depressing to think it had been in someone's closet for that long.

-Do sell your gifts on eBay. When someone first told me that rather than regift, they sell unwanted presents on eBay — and use the proceeds to buy real gifts, I was awed. Then I realized everyone is doing it. "My father gave my brother a boxed set of Kurosawa films, which my brother promptly sold for a pretty penny on eBay," one woman told me. So THAT'S where all that stuff comes from.

Well, it's about time for you and me to start rewrapping some of last year's presents, eh? But before you go, let me add that whether you find this column cynical, shocking or brimming with useful ideas — it's just the natural next step for an over-gifted society. Ever since the term "regifting" was introduced on "Seinfeld" in 1995 (see a snippet of the script), what was once a dirty little secret has become a way of life, and not a bad way to save money.

Of course, it's only a matter of time before someone does to regifting what eBay did with online auctions. Last year, one William Dodd obtained a patent on a new regifting technology that lets you regift something before you've even received it. (I'm not making this up!) Soon, that scarf you bought online for Jane could be virtually regifted via e-mail. ("Happy Holidays, Jane — Vera has sent you this lovely scarf"). Then Jane will either accept it or instantly regift it.

The only hitch is that a gift, unlike fruitcake, can't circulate forever. It's like the children's game Hot Potato: When time runs out, the loser has to keep the present.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oh how He loves us

"How He loves" ~ John Mark McMillan

He is jealous for me
Love’s like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me.
Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us so.

Yeah, He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves.

So we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way

That he loves us,
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves

He loves us,
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves

I have been listening to this song all day long, loud and often, dancing and praising, lifting my arms, and it's been awesome! I just came across this song by accident on a friend's Facebook profile SuperWall. I am in LOVE with it!!!! You HAVE to listen to it and check out the link above. It is being sung by Kim Walker of Jesus Culture. (neither of which I've heard of) I love her passion and her voice. "God wants to Encounter YOU!"

"I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;…since you are Precious and Honored in my sight, and because I love you."
~ Isaiah 43:1b-4a

I don't know what else to add to this. This song stirrs my heart. I pray that your heart may be open as well.

ETA: this video here is done by the writer of the song, and gives the explanation of it. It made me BAWL!!! It is emotional and powerful and joyful all at once. Check it out as well.

happy hump day

saw this on another blog, had to steal it and put it here. No reason. Just think it's cute! ;)

Abi read her very first sentance ON HER OWN yesterday from one of our books: "do you want to play a game?" I was SO shocked and thrilled for her! It's so amazing when your child learns something new, something that we've all taken for granted for years. I'm so excited that Abi will be reading on her own by the end of grade one! Yay go her! I hope she develops a love for reading like I have. I'm so proud of her!

I hope the rest of your week goes by smoothly!

Monday, November 5, 2007

card class and kits

I've got two classes coming up this week and next for my Stamp-a-Stack of Christmas cards. I'm offering it in two parts. Class #1 is this Wednesday, Nov 7th, for two cards. We'll be making 10 of each design for $25. Class #2 is on Monday Nov 12 for two more styles. So you can take one class for 20 cards, or both for 40 cards!

cards for class #1

cards for class #2

Let me know if you'd like to sign up, so I can prepare properly. As an alternative to those not nearby, I am offering these cards for sale. You can get kit #1 and kit #2 for $30 each, or them both for $60, and they will be stamped and ready to go with envelopes for you. Shipping/Handling is $5. If you do live nearby but those dates don't work for you, I would love to do a class in your home with you and your friends. Email me at themadstamper @ shaw dot ca today!

30 Thoughts

So the time has come…. I turned the BIG 3-OH!!! Wow! It's funny though… when you're growing up, you think that 30 is "SOOOO OLD", but as you approach it yourself you realize it's not as old as you remember! LOL I look at my friends and think, h'mm… not too bad! But then it came time for ME to become it, and that's different. I'm not "against" being 30 (if I actually Could be!) it's just hard to imagine. Thirty. Me. Wow. When Jonathan turned 30 last year I was so excited! Yeah, that sounds strange, I know; he was just as confused! ;) But it made me excited to realize that we were both getting older and we were together and we were going to age together and the romantic in me got giddy! I liked seeing that some of his chest hair was turning grey! :) But now here I am…. looking in the mirror every day and wondering with a bit of fear "is my hair grey? should I colour it? eek!" LOL Funny. Strange. Curious.

I have nothing to be upset about. I'm where I wanted to be. I always planned, hoped, dreamed (sometimes they're all the same thing!) that I'd be married with 3 children by the time I was 30. And I am. I am surrounded by all I wanted. God has blessed me and I am one lucky girl! I have a wonderful family, great husband and children, supportive parents, loving siblings…

But seeing "30" written on my cards still makes me shudder and want to scream, "NOOOOOO! That's not right!"

I think I need to figure out what the heck is wrong! My mind makes no sense!

I've been told that "30 is the New 20" LOL Really? My friend was talking to me about her birthday three weeks before mine, and how it was a BIG one for her. She only turned 27, but that was "hard" for her b/c now she was in the "late 20's". I can empathize. 27 seems so Tame to me though, lol, but I can see where her thought process is. I'm in a whole new Decade!!!! My 30's!!!! Eep!

I don't wanna grow up!!!!!!!!

I think that's what the whole thing is about. I don't FEEL like an adult. I feel so confused and have trouble making decisions. I don't feel strong enough to raise my children or be firm with them; I swear they're not going to learn the things that I feel are important for them. I fail at so many things. Most of the time, I want to rush over to my mom's and go back to being the Daughter, not the Mother! I just don't feel prepared. I suppose this is how EVERYONE feels. I think I just show my thoughts and emotions on my sleeve too well b/c everyone else looks like they have it together, that they've settled into their adult roles just fine. *sigh* Will I ever grow up and feel mature enough for my age? Will I ever just be Satisfied and content with ME?

****btw: I wasn't actually numbering my thoughts, I just thought it sounded like a better title than "thoughts on 30!" LOL
Powered by Blogger.