December 22, 2010


Notes from everyday life over the last few weeks (uh, months).

Today felt like the longest day ever. Ironic, no?

Jack's finally saying "with" instead of "wif" . . . but now instead of "whipped cream" he says "withed cream."

December 20
Kyle: Jack, why were you slamming doors? Jack: "I was telling Mary & Joseph there wasn't any room in this inn, and it made me mad."

December 18
Kyle just told me that he bought the sweater he's wearing 8 years ago on our honeymoon. Adding "new sweaters" to his Christmas list.

Just because you CAN do something on photoshop, doesn't mean you should. It's a rule to live by, people.

December 17
Yesterday, Jack asked, "If you put the sun in the freezer, will the freezer melt or the sun get cold?"

It's like living on an exotic island except Indiana and Ohio are just so clingy. RT @

December 16
Discount criticism from the person who hasn't created anything. Pray they get over their fear and make something terrific. RT @

December 14
Going to Subway with Kyle for an anniversary lunch, followed by a staff meeting. Yeah . . . we're fancy.

December 8
Jack just told us his favorite place to go out to eat . . . is Brian and Debbie's house.

December 7
I think Jack's most commonly used phrase is, "But I had it first!"

November 29
Jack's first starbucks treat. Long overdue.

November 27
"I'm gonna let you AND mom put me to bed! Isn't that amazing, dad?!"

November 25
Maybe he fell asleep while praying?

November 21
A customer just told me I'm like Super Woman. I'm totally buying a cape.

Ben is pulling ziploc bags out of the drawer and bringing them to me one by one. Which is a mess, but at least it's keeping him occupied.

November 20
Jack just walked into my office and said, "I've had a hard day today. I need to go potty."

Yesterday, I heard Jack telling Ben "I love you even when you're screaming because I took a toy from you."

November 18
7.99 + 1.89 = what?

November 17
During nap time, Jack removed every sticker from his growth chart. Awesome.

November 8
We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us. - Albert Einstein

December 21, 2010

Favorite Books GIVEAWAY: WINNER!

These two lucky girls will receive their Llama Llama Holiday Drama book in the mail tomorrow!

If you didn't win, now's your chance to get it for yourself!

December 19, 2010

Photo bonanza

I was really lazy about posting the photos I took this fall. Here are a few that I already have in my flickr account. After the first of the year, maybe I'll get the other ones uploaded and I'll share a few more. Because there were so many, I made them small . . . just click on a photo to see a full view.

Don't let this insanely long, photo-packed post distract you from the book giveaway going on down south. It ends tomorrow at 9:00 AM.


Ellie, november 2010



The Strods

The Correll Family

The Correll Family

Dax is one

the Cobbs

The Wilsons

emma is three!

Eli - 19 mos.

Owen Family

Eli - 19 mos.

Favorite Books GIVEAWAY: Llama, Llama Holiday Drama

Holiday Drama

Okay, I know what you're thinking . . . Llama Llama Holiday Drama would have been a great giveaway, oh, about two weeks ago. You're right. My apologies.

So we'll make this a fast one. I'll announce two winners on Tuesday morning and if you get me your address by 3 PM EST, I'll have the book to you by Thursday.

Wait, what? Two winners? That's right. My book commission will be depleted with the purchase of two more books, so I'm going to go ahead and do that before the end of the year.

Anyway . . . on to the book.

Holiday Drama

You know we love the Llama Llama books. Who doesn't? And when you throw a couple of Llamas and the holidays together? Now that's what we call a good time. We bought Llama Llama Holiday Drama when it was released in October and have read it enough that when Jack posed for this picture, he was reading it back to me.

Holiday Drama

So, leave a comment (only one per person, on the original post, Facebook comments won't be included) with your name and A WAY TO CONTACT YOU! If I can't contact you, I might not get your address on time to get this into your hands by Christmas. Comments will close at 9:30 AM on Tuesday and I'll post the winner soon after.

Holiday Drama

December 18, 2010

It wasn't even posed

I was sitting on the couch two weeks ago and looked over to see this . . . so I told them to stay there while I grabbed my camera. It's not properly exposed, and the focus was a little off, but I don't even care. I still think it's one of the best photos ever.

brotherly love

Come back for a Christmas book giveaway tomorrow!

December 13, 2010

Dear Jack, Month 42

Dear Jack,

Tonight I mentioned to Debbie that this was the first month I hadn't written you a letter since you were two months old. I'd thought about it several times and just decided that this would be the month that it ended. Life has been too crazy and after all . . . 41 months is a pretty good run.

But as soon as the words left my mouth, the guilt settled in. Not just because I hadn't written your letter . . . writing letters to your children isn't on the list of "things you must do to be a good Mom." I felt guilty because it's just one more thing in a long line of areas I've neglected over the last few weeks.

I think every Mom ends up feeling a little bit "less than" at some point. On some days, I let you watch way too much television. Your Dad has done most of the bedtimes lately and when I tried to do one the other night, you politely asked if he could instead. And today, you had popcorn for lunch. And hot chocolate.

I'm lacking in a lot of areas, and as you get older you might start to hold some of those things against me. And that's okay . . . I can take it. I just want you to know that I'm doing the best that I can to do what's best for you and your brother. I love you more than you'll ever be able to understand.

Also, I plan on continuing the letters. Not because I feel guilty, but because I'm not finished. There's so much more I have to tell you.


December 12, 2010

Tuckered out

I'm all tuckered out. Between late nights spreading holiday cheer, working during the day, and taking care of my family, I've been worn thin. I really needed this weekend.

Kyle and I celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary on Tuesday, so my parents took the boys for this weekend. We couldn't really go anywhere because I had so much work to do, but we did go out to eat, do some Christmas shopping and just enjoy a quiet house. Oh, and we SLEPT UNTIL WE WOKE UP. Not until we were woken up, as usual. Glorious.

Also, Kyle and I had some time to talk about . . . well, stuff. It's amazing how little time we actually get to talk about our lives, about the future and to just share our hearts with each other. When we do, we're usually interrupted by someone 3 or under, or we're talking as we drift off to sleep. During non-December months, we try to have a date night once a week, but let's be honest . . . dates usually involve running errands, planning the upcoming week's menu, and talking about work stuff. There are several things this weekend that have weighed heavy on my heart and it's been good to work through those with him, too.

We also got the chance to see a movie last night and it was really good. We hadn't even heard of it before last night, and it only played ONCE the entire weekend. We both really enjoyed it and I'm not sure why it hasn't received more attention. Maybe because there are no special effects, sex scenes or Harry Potters in it.

I've really enjoyed our time together this weekend but I'm also really ready to go get my boys. On Friday night, we both commented within our first ten minutes home how empty the house felt. Normally, they both would have already been in bed, but it still just felt so quiet. And while we enjoyed sleeping in and not having to eat our breakfast while serving two boys, the morning just felt a little lonely. When we went out to eat, I told Kyle that I felt the impulse to start cutting up bits of my food and putting them on the table next to me!

As I'm writing this, I'm looking at the snow coming down and hoping that doesn't delay our trip to pick them up today!

December 6, 2010

Holiday shopping

I've been a member of ebates since 2004. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that I was until Nicole wrote about it on her blog. I think about how many online purchases I've made in the last 6 1/2 years and it kills me that I didn't use ebates sooner.

It's so easy to be a part of . . . you sign up, and then when you want to shop online, search for the retailer on ebates and use their link to take you to the retailer's site. Nothing more to do. Your rebate is deposited into your ebates account. I have $80 in my account from purchases I would have made anyway. I think you get $5 just for joining . . . though I'm not 100% sure on that since I joined almost seven years ago!

Anyway, happy online Christmas shopping.

December 5, 2010

What I did last week

Here's what I did last week:

1. Sat in front of my computer making all of 500+ customers' Christmas card dreams come true. And lots more of that to come this week.

2. Cleaned up after Jack's nap.

What I mean by that is I cleaned aspercreme from every surface of my bedroom. He finger painted with it all over our dresser, mirrors, nigh stands, door knobs, books . . . and he opened the drawers of my jewelry box. We had to throw away several books. and there is still cream in several nooks and crannies that I fear we will never be able to remove.

I know that there was trouble when I heard noise from our bedroom and found the door locked. Jack kept telling me that he couldn't get it open and I was worried that the knob was broken and that he was stuck in there. It turns out that he just couldn't grip the doorknob because of the greasy mess all over his hands, arms, face and clothing. That stuff is greasy.

Guess who lost his "napping on mom and dad's bed" privileges? You might remember a similar incident from almost a year ago.

3. Tried to wade through the tens of thousands of envelopes in my office. Thanks to Debbie for all of her help with that! Actually, thanks to Debbie for helping in many different ways over the last few weeks.

4. Read to Ben. He's actually sitting for 2 - 3 pages of a book before slamming it closed and running away. Progress. And he's loving pointing to things on the pages and trying to repeat me when I tell him what they are.

5. Made too many mugs of hot chocolate to count. I'd love to try and perfect a recreation of Starbuck's salted caramel hot chocolate. And I shouldn't have linked to that, because I'm better off NOT knowing the number of calories.

6. Started my Christmas shopping . . . though I've got a long way to go. I'm kicking myself for stocking up on wrapping paper at the end of the last holiday season, because I'd love to have an excuse to buy some of this stuff.

7. Finished out the 2010 year photography-wise. All clients and all but one family member have their orders. Phew. I've stopped doing sneak peeks on the blog, but I might just do a post this week with some of the fall highlights.

8. Realized that Jack is talking like an adult more than a preschooler. He was telling me a story and I asked, "Was dad just teasing about that?" And he looked at me and said, "No, mom. For real." Later, we were in the car and said, " I really prefer the colorful lights to the non-colorful lights." Yesterday he said we should order pizza and then said, "Oh, but is that too expensive?"

9. Listened to Ben shout "NO!" and shake his head. This is a fun little development. Oh, the terrible twos are on their way, my friends. I think his devilish attitude also has something to do with the tips of the top of a molar I saw sticking through his gums yesterday.

10. Enjoyed Ben's "excited dance." I'd love to share a video, but it's nearly impossible, because whenever we have a camera in our hands, he just throws a fit untile he can hold it or we put it away.

11. Ate homemade cookies from Crystal while skimming a book from Jenny. Kyle calls the friends I've never met my "imaginary friends." I just call them my friends. I don't care if it makes me sound sad.

12. Playing wii with my boys. We did that tonight . . . it had been a while. But now it's time to get back to work.