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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's almost party time - again

Tyler's birthday - it crept up on me.  Usually I have these things planned out weeks in advance.  In fact, often I do most of the planning and prep for his party before Kaitlyn's birthday because I've found I get Party Burnout after hers and I have a hard time motivating myself to put much energy and effort into it.  With the move happening so quickly after Miss Kate's birthday this year I didn't put any thought into Tyler's, other than asking what theme he wanted and randomly adding ideas to my Pinterest board if I ran across them.  So last week it hit me - we are getting really close to the holidays and thus really close to Tyler's birthday!  I'd better start planning!
The kids start school at different times now and Tyler and I tend to have a good 30 minutes of down time between when he is ready and when we have to go out to the bus so it was fairly easy to find the time to sit down with him and start going through ideas to see what struck his fancy.  And man is that kid full of ideas!  It was completely adorable to hear him ramble on and on about what we could do at his party.  Care to guess what theme he chose that had him so excited?

Tyler also wanted to invite his entire class to the party and usually I would say no to that many kids at once.  But we haven't been here long enough for him to have formed many close friendships yet and a party would be a great Get To Know You thing for him.  And since it's right in the middle of the holiday season and on a Friday night, a lot of people may already have plans.  So I said yes to the possible probable chaos and 25 of these invitations went out last week.

Knowing I was going to need a bunch of them I found a good pdf for the base of the invite online then added party details and printed them out 4 to a page.  The fonts are Minecrafter and ProFontWindows.

If you are looking for more Minecraft party ideas I have quite a few on my Pinterst Board (here).  And, of course, I will tell you all about it after the party - stay tuned!  Less than two weeks to go until party time...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

One Little Word - September Prompt

 Sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that we are almost at the end of 2014.  But we are and it truly has been an eventful, sometimes overwhelming and crazy, but good year.  September's One Little Word workshop prompt was about telling our "real" story - not the one that goes on in our head, but how our life truly is.  It was nice to take a step back to look at how I view my life and see how my perspective looks from a different angle.
The photo is one I took over the summer as we were hiking Timpanogos.  I had it printed at  8x10 size and just cut it into pieces to fit the slots in the page protector.  The rest is pretty self-explanatory.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Back to Card Group!

One of the side benefits of moving back home - card group!  The same friend that started up my old card making group has a new one going now and I got to join them last night.  Yay!  I'm completely rusty (and slow!) and couldn't find half my stuff (thank goodness the local "Drug Store" has a small scrapbooking section so I didn't have to run all the way to Walmart for glue dots!) but it was so nice to get back to something that used to be one of my favorite nights of the month.
One night per month, we leave the kiddos home and get together with a small group of crafty ladies.  Everyone designs one card around the theme that month's hostess has set, and makes kits for everone in the group.  Then we all get together to put together our kits and we go home with a handful of new cards for our stash.  It's a lot of fun seeing all of the different personalities and techniques - such a wide variety for one tiny little theme.
 The theme for this month was Thank You cards.  This one is mine:
I was so excited to run across a fun little blog full of FREE cut files for the Silhouette machine. and as soon as I saw the "thanks" one I knew that I had to use it.  (cut file can be found here)  I cut it out of cardstock and used that for my starting point, grabbing a couple of fun patterned papers from my stash and cutting out the "ever so much" sentiment from black vinyl.
The kit looked like this:

 Not bad for my first card club in 4 years, right?  Can't wait for next month!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

OLW - July

Friday I found myself not only with a little free time, but also felt the urge to create something.  I had just unpacked the boxes with my scrapbook paper and my One Little Word album so of course I decided to do a little catching up.  This is the layout for July's prompt for the year-long online workshop I have been participating in (love it - pretty sure I will be doing it again next year!).  I had all the journaling/writing done and had even printed out the photos, just hadn't had a chance to pull it all together.  And before I get distracted by something else, I thought I'd better share it.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

My New Normal

Winter in Utah - I'm not sure I'm ready for it!  Yesterday's light snowfall was gone by the time the sun went down, but we woke up to a few inches of new-fallen snow this morning and the kids couldn't be happier.  The adults, however, still have a few big outdoor projects to finish and the weather sure hasn't been helping with that.  We are just going to grit our teeth and do the best we can, as we can't be truly settled in here until we are finished with them.
As we finish up our third full week back in Utah, I find myself finally settling into what will probably be my New Normal for the next little while.  Things like:
Wearing fluffy socks all the time (generally ones that don't match my outfit because that's all I've got).  Predawn hours in the dark, sitting on the couch with my computer or a book and not making any noise so that the dogs don't know I'm up or they will bark and wake up the rest of the house.

 Extended morning routine for the kids.  It goes like this:  Me, awake at Alayna Time (that means earlier than most people want to be awake) followed by Kaitlyn up, usually without an alarm, by 6:30.  Dad is typically out the door by then.  Kate eats breakfast while I fix lunchboxes and clean up the kitchen.  Then we go downstairs to make sure the boys are awake and starting their day.  Sam keeps Kaitlyn company waiting for the bus while I nudge Tyler along, then Sam leaves for work.  Ty and I generally have another half hour to waste before putting him on the bus and Mom tries to leave for work before the bus arrives (usually she doesn't make it and has to follow the bus the whole way).  Then I have the house to myself - for maybe half an hour before my brother stops by to fix himself breakfast and chat.  Dad usually shows up again sometime before 9:00 to check in before he starts his actual work day.
 Some mornings I head to a friend's house for a yoga workout.  Love that.  Some days I unpack another few boxes, reorganize, or clear out a few clutter piles.  Others I head down to the freezing garage where we I'm all set up to work on drying racks.  Those big projects I mentioned?  Yeah - one of them is finding the old heater from the barn and installing it so that I can survive the winter in there.

Monday nights driving swim team carpool then taking Tyler to karate practice.
Meal planning and dinner prep for 6 hungry people - most of whom are picky eaters.
Not being able to complete the laundry in one day as half the time I find it in use by someone else or I'm too busy and not around enough to switch out the loads as soon as they finish.
Almost-daily discussions with my brother on healthy eating, exercise, and motivation - and still haven't made it to the gym for a true workout yet.
Dogs.  Everywhere.  In the way.  Wanting attention.

 The weekends are for putting the Men to work on projects, and me right along with them while the kids hang out at the house (with or without Grandma).
 This scenery.  Love that part of my new normal.  (this photo is taken from approx where we will be building our new house)
 Taking a break from the hard work and chatting with the husband.  Lots of long chats lately.
 My new work gloves - I purposely held out for something super girly. ;)  And you know what else I realized?  All these years I've never had a pair of my own - just borrowed my Dad's oversized ones any time I helped him out.
Did I mention it's COLD?
And did I mention the snow?! ;)  Ahhh Utah...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

In Transition

I can't get life to slow down!  Some days, I really really feel like it needs to, and others, I look back and am glad it all went by so quickly.  October was one of those - plenty of highlights, but also full of stress and hard work as we finished packing up our lives in North Carolina and moved across country.  Intense.  I think that was the hardest, most labor intensive move to date.  So so many details and To Dos this time around.

We packed up the entire house into two shipping containers and one Uhaul trailer, rented out the house, bid goodbye to good friends, and set out with the kids and the dog on the four day drive across country.  The drive went pretty smoothly - thank goodness! - and with all the fall leaves out, the drive scenery was gorgeous.

We arrived at my parents house on a Friday, stopping just long enough for a potty break then running to the school to get the kids enrolled before they closed the doors for the weekend.

It's been a little over a week since we arrived.  The kids have started school, we took over half of my dad's shop and set up the tools to start working on drying rack orders, helped with some pre-winter farm prep and "fixin' fence,"

celebrated Halloween by watching the elementary school's costume parade and Trick or Treating in our old neighborhood (fun fun!), experienced our first snow of the season (not the first storm here, but we weren't here for that)

 and have been steadily chipping away at the million-and-one things we need to do to get settled in.

We aren't done yet!  Not by a long shot.  The shipping containers will be dropped off today and I'm excited to get our stuff here and put away.  Most of it will need to go into storage.  Did I mention we are living in my parents' house while we build a house on our family land?  Yeah.  Lots of hard work ahead.  Thus the title of this post, "In Transition" - because life is just one giant Work In Progress right now.