Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coffee with your BFF

I have to apologize for the long absences between my posts as of late. In the grand scale of things, and the way things should be prioritized, this has fallen way down the list- but its constantly on my mind. I enjoy blogging, and I hope that in the future it will pick up again (to the once daily, if not nearly daily) status. For now, working on strengthening my relationship with Kyle is priority; and improving my relationship with my kids is a close second.

We have been attending marriage counselling for a couple of weeks, and its helped us overcome our pride and (on my part) fear of letting him get close to me. We still have a long ways to go, and I have a significant amount of 'baggage' that still needs to be dealt with, but we both feel confident we are 'coming along'. Certain concepts are totally new to me (such as an apparent fear of abandonment), and others are finally being seriously looked at and treated (such as post partum depression/depression). That, in itself, is an incredibly long story. In short, we're keeping an eye on my hormones (especially cortisol, testosterone, etc. because in the recent past, my testosterone levels have been low. It may account for my depression, anxiety and everything I've been feeling and experiencing towards/with the kids). To help things out, I'm on an anti depressant. Phew!

I am happy to report, in addition to working things out (satisfactorily, so far) with Kyle, I also feel like I've made a better connection with Maren. I am trying some different disciplinary methods, and they seem to be working. There's less stress in the house, less anger, and more happiness, and the change is welcome and positive. Things can only keep getting better from here!!

I just wanted to give y'all a little update and let you know how things are going, and where I'm at in my (our) life right now. I miss you and will check in as often as time allows!

In other news, I have a new layout to share!

This layout was completed for Miracles' Momma's Design Diva's. I followed Heather's sketch fairly closely this time. I wanted to pick up the colours the girls' cups are in the photo, so I used a lot of pink and blue. I thought coral worked so well with the pink striped paper, I had to throw that in, as well, and the green was such a nice complimentary colour. That explains my paper choices!

I began thinking of how I could incorporate the girls' new favourite thing into this layout- having 'coffee'. We call it coffee, but really its whatever they're drinking. When I'm pouring it, I pretend like its coffee. Then, they get a spoon to stir it with, and sometimes a snack- because when you're sitting and visiting with your BFF over a cup of joe, you need to have a snack! To tie that idea into this layout, I used the tea pot and tea cup stickers.

And, there you have it. When the kids go to bed, they get 'fresh ice', as we call it- just plain old ice water. Sometimes at supper time or throughout the day they'll drink it, but not often. And, when they do, it NEEDS ice in it. They're like their mommy- won't touch water unless its frozen.

I hope you're all enjoying the beautiful, cooler days! I'm so glad fall has rolled around- I love this time of year! Its got me to thinking that I need to hang my fall-y wreath on the front door. Do you decorate for fall? Any season, or all the seasons?


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

MOnster Jam

I have another layout to share with you tonight! Apparently I forgot to post this one!

As you may recall, we went to the Monster Jam truck show over at Castrol Raceway this past summer. Kyle had to be in absolute heaven--his idol, Grave Digger, was at the show. Unfortunately, his real idol, Mr. Dennis Anderson, wasn't in attendance. He wasn't driving the Grave Digger truck.


We still had a good time, though. My BIL and Kyle's friend (and swamper) tagged along with us.

This layout was made using sketch 24 over at Miracle's Momma's Designs. It is a two page sketch, but I whittled mine down to just one. I had enough pictures, but they weren't the best quality, so that's my excuse for making it only one page! LOL

There was a baby boy sitting in front of us with his older brother, mama and daddy-I couldn't resist taking a picture of him and include him on this layout. He was such a happy little thing- and when his ear muffs were put on- he really went to town. He sure liked the sound of his own voice, that's for sure! (My guesstimate, when Kyle asked me, was 6-8 months old. His mommy confirmed ((she overheard us talking about him)) and informed us that he was 7.5 months old). Sure stinking cute!!!

I also couldn't resist including the pictures of the girls sleeping on our way into the city that weekend. Even though they weren't there in person with us, I know they were there in spirit! (I especially love Addison clutching her Manny toy while she slept. So cute!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

LCTS Sketch #150

Wow, survived another incredibly busy weekend! I can't believe that in another two weeks, we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving already. Insane! 

While we were gone to the city for the weekend, the next sketch (sketch #150) at Lets Capture These Sketches was posted. I missed the reveal, and am just now posting (here) my take on the sketch. Actually, I looked up LCTS just to make sure the reveal post had actually been posted, and when I saw that it was, I learned (more like clued in) that this is their 150th sketch. Way to go!! 

To see the sketch, and what everyone else did with it, make sure you head over to Lets Capture These Sketches. If the sketch inspires you, let me know, I'd love to see how it inspired you!

Know how some people tie ribbon or string into their fans so that when they blow, the ribbon flies out? That's what my layout reminds me of with the banners sticking out of the side of the picture- its as though the fan is blowing the banners with its own wind. 

I think that for the majority of us, this summer was a hot one. And a fairly dry one, too. In the midst of the heat wave we lived through, I thought I'd take one more picture to highlight the hot temperatures we'd been experiencing- and what we were doing to try and stay sane through it all! We couldn't live without our fan(s)- there was one in our room, another in the dining room window, and yet another positioned at the bottom of the stairs in the basement, pointing upwards- to bring more of that beautifully cool air upstairs. I told Kyle that I would never again whine or complain about how cold it gets down there- its a blessing when the weather is too hot to cope with!

Its hard to see in the picture, but part of the title work says 'can't live without the FAN'. And, truly...we couldn't live without it this summer!

All the paper on this layout is scraps- minus the blue base card stock. The journalling spot is the other half of one that was used for another layout; all the paper from the banners are left overs from another project, and the hexagons (which are so much fun to play with, by the way!!) were made with clip art off the internet (which were first used on yet another project). 

I hope you enjoy! 

Monday, September 17, 2012


Have I mentioned how crazy obsessed with school that my kids are? If I haven't--they are. It all began back in July when we took them to the Whitecourt Airshow. The airport was flooded out, so no parking was allowed. We had to drive up to the rodeo grounds (which is another 5 minutes up the highway), park, and then ride a shuttle bus (which happened to be a good, old fashioned yellow school bus), and my kids were smitten. Next, We took the kids to the jet boat races, and we rode another shuttle bus from a frac site down to the river (which is literally only a 2 minute ride). There is not enough room down at the river for spectators to park. There's only enough room for the competitors, with their boats.

I've began thinking, in the recent past, that getting the kids involved in toddler groups up at the leisure centre would be a good idea. #1- it gets them out of the house; #2, it burns off some of their endless energy; #3- they get to hang out with other kids their age; and lastly, I get to get out and meet some other mama's. Today was our first day. While I was getting ready for the day, I began wondering how I was going to tell the girls what my plans were- and make sure it was in terms or in words that they understood. So, going to our play group has become 'going to school'.

When I first told Maren, she told me she didn't want to go because she was scared. I assured her mommy would be there, her sister, lots of other kids her age, and that it would be a lot of fun. What I didn't bargain for: daddy being there with us!! He called me at 1, and sounded incredibly ODD. I knew right away that he had something up his sleeve; when I heard the train blow its horn through his phone (and clear as day by my own ears), I knew that he was in town, and on his way home. Yup. He got delayed by the train.

I am SO thankful he was there with me on our first day. I wouldn't have gotten the kids out of there on my own! Miss Addison can be so stubborn- I don't know how to properly handle her. Oi!

So, in honour of our first day of 'school', I've got a picture or two to share with you (which will eventually be scrapped, naturally):

We are also adjusting to life with another kitty in the house. And, this kitty is neurotic, to say the least. She keeps us pretty entertained, and on our toes. She's still adjusting to two little people that aren't always the gentlest, so we've had a few scratchy mishaps, but otherwise, we're adjusting pretty well!

Since the girls are still recuperating from the nasty colds they caught, we plugged in the humidifier in the hallway, so that all four of us would benefit from it (its in-between our bedrooms). Neruda was enthralled with it- especially when it gurgled.

I still giggle every time I see these pictures. Silly kitty!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dr. Addison is in the House

Daddy took us all out for lunch today, and while we were out, Addison began to give her 'Germy' a medical check up- checking his ears and throat ('say aaahhh'). The funniest part: when she told him "good girl". LOL

The last few sketches that have come from Lets Capture Our Memories have been so fun to work with- and this one is no exception. There were two reasons I wanted to {finally} use hexagons on this layout: first, because I haven't used them yet (and they are on my scrappy bucket list), and because you'll find them in that pillow right behind Maren's head.

To see what the rest of the design team did with sketch #149, head on over to LCOM

If you decide to use this sketch on one of your own layouts, let me know- I'd love to see what you do with it! I know I had a lot of fun working with it- I hope you do, too!

Friday, September 14, 2012


In a nutshell, this is just detailing how badly I want another baby (to me, my family is still incomplete)

Sharing some fun down at Rotary Park, playing at the splash park

 A couple of cards- the first one is a wedding card for our niece (which I'm sure I've shared already); and the second one is for our other niece, that had hernia surgery a couple of weeks ago

Addisons (but, really BOTH girls') love of spicy food

 And lastly, playing for a while at our 'old' stomping grounds- the campground we lived at when we first moved to town. There's a petting zoo there and a small park, and I thought it would be fun to bring the kids down there for some fun one morning. Anytime we head that way now, they ask for the animals LOL

Just thought I'd share my last latest layouts to get *finally* all caught up! (Minus one, but that one has to wait for a few more days until reveal day!)

The kids are still incredibly sick- last night they puked their guts out, which prompted a trip to emerge (because I really don't like that they're coughing so hard they're making themselves sick to their stomach). Nothing more can be done than what we're already doing, unfortunately.

Have I mentioned before that I LOATHE illness?

On the bright side, Addison enjoys playing 'doctor' now LOL

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Long Time

Hey!! Remember me?! LOL. Its been a while, I know, but its been crazy busy around here!

Last week, the kids were away visiting with their grandparents and cousin (who was also visiting because her mommy had surgery the week before last), and while they were gone, Kyle and I buckled down and got some 'home-work' projects done. Our goal this summer was to get the deck and fence repainted, and last week we finally got it done! Wow, a fresh coat (times 2) of paint has made a dramatic difference. We've also learned that what seemed like a dark stain for the fence is actually fairly light, and doesn't make as much of an aesthetic punch as we would like. It does, however, coordinate nicely with our house!

The other major goal while the kids were gone, was to clean out my flower bed so that I can start fresh next spring with what I would like in there. There was a hot, tangled mess of ferns, bleeding hearts and ivy (I think) growing in there, and just looked hideous. I didn't like it at all. So, now my plan is to start fresh! I've been using Pinterest to research plants I might like to plant there; now I just need to head down to the nurseries and gardens in our area, and pick green thumb brains for what likes to grow best in our kind of soil, and in mostly shaded areas that get late afternoon sun. They No annuals for this girl!!

Now that they've come home, they're both really sick with colds. Poor Maren is so sick, she sounds like a little old lady with severe emphysema. She hardly has a voice! They both have congested coughs, and have had such violent coughing fits, its made them throw up. Not very fun. We went to the doctor yesterday, and got amoxycillan for Maren, and prednisone for both the kids. Our sleep last night wasn't perfect, but it was MUCH better than Monday nights' sleep. I was up all.night. with Maren. No sleep at all for this mama, and barely a nap the next day for all three of us girls. I'm glad the meds have kicked in and we're starting to climb out of this hole! (If only it would cure the fussiness that comes along with it LOL).

And now, for what I'm sure has been utter suspense for all of you- the surprise that I've been sitting on for a couple of weeks. Truth be told, I'd like to keep it a secret a little longer, because the final touches aren't done yet, but it'll be a month when everything is finally said and done. And, I don't have the patience to wait that long.

So, as many of you know, Kyle and I lived in the trailer for the first few years of our relationship- dating and married. Then, we lived in it again when we moved back to Alberta, before we bought our house. I've mentioned before, that Addison referred to it as her 'first home' when we cleaned it out for the last time and tried to sell it.

We've been trying for a few years to rid ourselves of the thing. It served its purpose, especially for Kyle. But, we kind of out grew it. In many ways, it out grew us, too. Kyle's pick up wasn't beefy enough to haul it around, and with a family of four (and newborns), we weren't doing much camping in it. It became a burden and a huge waste of our money.

For a long time, I tried convincing Kyle to just bring it to a consigner and have them sell it on our behalf. We weren't having any luck AT ALL on our own, selling it privately. Anywhere. We tried everything. Finally, Kyle came to the conclusion that he needed to do something with it, so he brought it to the consigner, hoping that maybe we could trade it in on something that was more useful for us. No go. He did leave it there, and the consigner promised us it would be sold within the month. That was near the end of- or the beginning of- July and August.

He was true to his word. The trailer DID sell. Hallelujah!!

In the mean time, Kyle's been driving an absolute LEMON around for the last few years. The diesel, after we moved it to Saskatchewan, wouldn't heat up for him over the winter, and by the time we came back here, it began dying on a daily basis- even over the summer, when it should work with no problem. Nearly every day, he either jump-started it or took the Yukon to work (if he was particularly irked with it). Funny thing was, most days it was gone, I never even noticed. Even if I went outside to take the garbage out. Shows you how observant I can be!

He's put a lot of money into the diesel to keep it running, and finally got to the point where it just wasn't worth putting money into anymore.

We concluded that we would be able to afford a new vehicle AS LONG AS the trailer sold. He deserved a new vehicle- he's never had a new one (new- used).

During this ENTIRE time, I was trying to convince Kyle that we couldn't afford the Yukon. We never should have bought it, in the first place. A good chunk of his pay check, every month, was going to paying for it- both for our loan and for insurance. Not to mention fuel. All the negatives aside, it also served its purpose. Winters in Saskatchewan are incredibly harsh, and we needed a solid, reliable vehicle to keep the kids and I safe- not to mention a vehicle big enough to accommodate a family of four, with a dog that rode around everywhere with us, a dual stroller that was ginormous, and all the groceries I would need to bring home with me when we ventured out to Estevan (one hour away).

When we decided that Kyle needed a new vehicle, it became apparent that we wouldn't be able to afford two new vehicles (a new one for him, and our Yukon). I told Kyle we should trade in the Yukon and we could both get what we wanted- for probably the same amount of money. He didn't think that would fly, for what was still left owing on the Yukon. I told him he would never know unless he looked into it.

Bless his heart, he finally did, and happily it worked in our favour. To make a long story short, we were able to buy two new vehicles because the trailer sold. If it hadn't sold, it wouldn't have worked out. We are indeed a blessed family!!

One last picture of the Yukon. Its actually on the sales lot in Edmonton in this picture, and they'd already detailed it by the time I got this picture of it (sadly, the few small changes they made to Yukie make it look so.much.better!!) They put a bug deflector on the front of the truck, and swapped out the stock black door handles for chrome ones. It looks fierce!!

SO, this is how the story went down. On our last trip into Edmonton, we had a wedding to go to, and I had a hair appointment Friday afternoon. After my appointment, Kyle asked me what we should do until my parents were off from work (we were meeting at their place for supper). I told him it wouldn't hurt to waste time and just go and check out this one particular dealership (I suggested City Ford to him because it always seems like they've got such great deals and sales on. Those living in Edmonton know how annoying the commercials can be LOL. If we didn't find anything there, I was going to suggest Wetaskiwin). It isn't all that far from my parents place, either.

We drove through the used car lot, and suffered immense anxiety by all the vultures, I mean sales men, standing around in the parking lot. He decided to call them up and complain about it, and the man that manages the place, hooked us up with his son (who must be like the assistant manager). When we told him we had our kids with us, he told us to stop in anyways- they've got a park indoors for the kids to play while their parents shop.

While I sat inside with the kids, Kyle browsed and came in after a short period of time. Either time had gotten away from me, or there was nothing that caught his attention (which wouldn't have been bad). In fact, it was the opposite. His truck, which is pictured above, is a Ford Lariat, which is like the top of the line before you get into the luxury type trucks- your Denali's, Navigators, Lincolns, etc. It was everything and more he could have dreamed about having in his next vehicle. For a reasonable amount of money. His was an easy sell.

Me, on the other hand, I hummed and hawed over my car for a while. I knew what I wanted, and I wasn't going to take no for an answer. Unfortunately, it didn't go the way I planned. I had my heart set on a Focus or Fiesta- in that pretty metallic green- or, in this powder blue (metallic, I think) colour (I had seen it on their website a few days prior). By the time we got there, it had sold. Boo. Our salesman suggested the Fusion to me, and I wasn't interested. Until it became apparent that Kyle wouldn't be able to fit into either vehicle. They are too small, and he's too big. LOL. Darn! Although, I asked him if that would really be a big deal. It isn't like we'll be taking my car on any road trips we might take. That'll be for the pick up. (But, now that we know how fuel efficient my car is, that's not quite right).

So, alright, I took a Fusion for a test drive. I really liked the way it drove, but I wasn't sold on the colour. I could choose from either silver or grey. By that time, we needed to meet up with my parents, so we told the salesman we would be back later that evening. (To finalize the deal on Kyle's truck). At this point, I was still really on the fence, and actually leaning more towards NO, I don't want it.

When we came back, I took it for another spin (the silver one), and kept humming and hawing over it. But, instead of pining over what I wanted, I began thinking I wasn't sure I liked the colour. I've always liked charcoal (grey- it was one of our wedding colours, after all, and is now the permanent colour of our bedroom- has been for as long as we've been married), so I inquired about the grey one they had on the lot.

R, our salesman, thought it had sold while we were out having supper.


But, oh well. All that meant was that I would keep looking for something that I would be happy with.

He (R) ran inside to double check, and came back with wonderful news. No, it wasn't sold, and it was a step above the car I had test-driven. Basically, all that meant was a different wheel package and a sun roof. I took it for a drive, and I was sold. LOVE. IT. What I love about it: KYLE.FITS.IN.IT!!!! And, he's COMFORTABLE in it, and he says he DOESN'T MIND RIDING IN IT!!!! (And, and...this is purely aesthetic and superficial, but the cup-holder between the front seats lights up. You can choose between 6 different colours). Its a pretty pimped out little car.

Bonus! He hated riding in my little Cavalier. (Pre-wedding and twinlets). I always told him that he shouldn't write cars off, because they've changed so much since I had that little Cavalier. I hate to be one of those 'I told you so' types of people, but I told you so. About a few things. {Insert grin here}

How can we afford two brand new vehicles, you're asking?

That's the best part of this whole deal. The whole thing would have been off if we had to pay more (or too much more) than we were already paying on the Yukon. (Kyle paid cash for the diesel). We are paying only $14 more TOTAL than what we were on the Yukon. That was about $1000/month on just one vehicle. Can you say SCORE??!

Fueling up for me, now, is only $40 (and it'll last forever, because the kids and I don't go out much), and the rest of what I paid in fuel (for the Yukon) is going to Kyle's pick up (which is about $100). I know. It was sucking us dry. So, even though we aren't saving money, I think its being put to better use now. And, I feel MUCH.BETTER about that.

So, are you wondering about the 'final touches' I alluded to at the top of my post?

I was only going to buy this car if they installed a remote starter for me (which they did- and free of charge), and a rear spoiler. Even though we'll pay for the rear spoiler, they are installing it for me, though that won't happen until we are in Edmonton next, which will be at the end of the month (the 21st). It should have been done when the remote starter was installed, but it wasn't.

Because men are sometimes dunces.


(By the way, you can see the diesel in the picture above of my car).

What has everyone else been up two the last two weeks?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


One of the biggest highlights of the day for the girls is when their daddy comes home from work. That's no secret- you've seen me post layouts in the past covering this very subject. To say the girls love their daddy is an understatement. I think they adore him!

The inspiration behind this layout came from a card. My first thought, upon seeing it, was whether it would convert well into a layout. Well, I think it did. I love the simplicity of it, and I love the clustering of elements off to the side. And, did you know--everything on this layout is scraps? Every.single.piece.of.paper. Yep, you bet. What have you made with your scraps lately?

(You can find the original here or saved to my Pinterest, under "To Scraplift").

We have been incredibly busy over here the last few days. The girls are out at their grandparents, having a good old time hanging out with grandma and their little cousin. I mentioned before (I think???) that I had big plans for while they were gone- sorting through toys and donating them, a few home improvement projects, etc. And, we've made good on that promise, so far.

Some of the improvements I've done/made: buying a tension rod and putting it in the cupboard beneath my kitchen sink, to help un-clutter the clutter down there. Its made a bit of difference, but not much. I need to find a new place to store my cutting boards (I've got a TON of them) and cookie sheets/pans. They don't all fit underneath my stove, and my cupboards are pretty well full already. I bought shoe storage units that hang from the tension rod inside your closet to de-clutter my front closet- which has made a HUGE difference! All my extra shoes where thrown haphazardly into a basket that I had wanted to use to store hats/toques/mittens/etc. Now, my dress shoes are stored in my closet in our bedroom, and my every day shoes are stored in the front closet. My basket is now for all those other miscellaneous items (including my umbrella), and I bought a shoe mat to put the winter boots on (when they aren't going to be stored on the other shoe mat I bought that's just inside the front door). I needed to buy a new plastic shoe mat because it was all cracked and falling apart. I also bought two shelving units to help clean up my laundry room- non perishable food, blankets, comforters, etc. will be stored in them...

Still left on the list: re-painting the fence and deck, sanding and making over Kyle's grandpa's book shelf, and hopefully pulling out the flowers from my flower bed, and the weeds from the bush at the foot of our front lawn. And, come next week, we'll be the proud owners of a brand new shed!

(I'm saving the biggest surprise of all for Friday. A few things need to be completed yet before I can tell you about that. Lets just say, something like this doesn't happen to too many people- or very often- and we are so incredibly blessed that we were able to do it!!)

Monday, September 3, 2012


Happy holiday everyone! How did y'all enjoy your weekend?

Ours was a blast- full of surprises and lots of fun! (More on the surprises later).

I just wanted to drop in quick with the winners of my giveaway:

Congratulations Melissa and Sharon! 

Please send your mailing addresses to my email:

I'll have your prizes in the mail before the week is out!