Monday, March 28, 2011

Rainy Day Activities

Diem has been bugging me for the past few weeks to build her a tent. I finally I broke down, and made one for her. She kept asking me to make it in the living room.... but I figured, I am supposed to be cleaning the house, and well... she wont leave me alone to get the chores done, so why not build a tent in her room? BEST IDEA EVER, and I am officially the coolest mama ever!!!

I made it yesterday. Just a simple version of it. Two sheets. That lasted great!
Today, Monday, I added on to it. We added MORE sheets, and even expanded it. I am pretty positive that I am going to kick her baby booty out of there so I can give myself a time out and hang out in there. She has been hanging out in there all day today. Which has been a life saver for me today as well I clean house to get ready for Grandma Linda, and Grandpa "Can" to get here later this week. I hope I can keep this tent up so she can play in there while I finish cleaning house, and make sure its ready for them.
I have been writing letters to soldiers. I like to include little comic strips that remind me of Diem. I found this classic Calvin and Hobbes comic that reminds me of her right now. Diem is driving me crazy... she has the worst rainy day cabin fever.  For your intermission of this blog post.... Enjoy!

And now... here is our final product on this tent of Diem's. I am sure we will continue to build on it. You can make reservations ;) You just have to snuggle with Diem.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

March Challenge take 2

I figured, while I am at it, I should try flipping the March Challenge sketch to see what I could do with it again. I once again used the Colour Q Challenge #77.

I used the March Challenge Sketch from Bombshells, and I used my Rise and Shine set. It is probably one of my FAVORITE sets to use.

I hope you enjoy, and hope to keep up with all of the challenges!

Spread a Little Sunshine

I have this book. I read it occassionally when I am feeling kind of bummed. I picked it up at Hallmark. Yep, one of my favorite stores. :) I came across it when I was in a deep part of my life where I felt where I didn't matter to a lot of people. This book is called, "The Rainy Day Book." It is a book of quotes, jokes, short stories that just make you stop and smile, and to clear your mind. I think this was my favorite short story in the book. I read it every time. And now, for your reading pleasure:

Spread a Little Sunshine
Nancy B. Gibbs

One warm spring morning, I was riding down a highway and noticed a creek alongside the road. A tree had fallen over the water, and the sunshine was bearing down on it, making it a prime sunning spot. Turtles lined the tree, taking up every exposed inch of the trunk. The reptiles were basking the warmth of the sunlight as if they were waiting for a magnificent morning show to begin.

I thought about how we humans oftentimes get too busy to bask in the sunlight or appreciate the beauty of each new day. We’re often too busy to appreciate the sunshine in our own lives, much less reflect rays of happiness to those we meet. Here are ten easy ways to spread sunshine to others and say you care:

1. Compliment others for their accomplishments and efforts.

2. Smile at everyone you meet.

3. Say a sincere “good morning” to make others realize that you care for them.

4. Shake hands-- a nice, firm handshake says, “You are important.”

5. Send out a “thinking of you” note every day for a week to a friend of co-worker.

6. Invite someone to visit your church or club and offer to give them a ride.

7. When you bake bread, take a loaf to a shut in while its still warm.

8. Say “ I Love You” often.

9. Invite a neighbor over for coffee or tea.

10. Pray for your family and friends each day.

When we spread rays of the sunshine to those around us, we cant help but be warmed by the light. Although we should give for the sake of giving rather than for selfish reasons, the truth is that when we give, the light of generosity always bounces back to us.

I think you might dispense with half your doctors if you would only consult Dr. Sun more.

-- Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bombshell March Challenge

I normally dont follow any "sketches" to an exact T. I normally just see something, and vaguely GO WITH IT. I have never done a color challenge either. So... Why not kill two birds with one stone, eh? Lets first start with my "Sketch".  My sketch comes from the ever spectacular BOMBSHELL STAMPS :) :) This is their sketch for the month of May, created by the lovely Bombshell Kathi.
Now, on to my Colour Q Challenge. This is CQC # 77 for this week. :) They come out with a new series each week, and this is the one I chose. Maybe, I will keep up the good work.  You never know. I do stash up on the colors that I like, and maybe eventually I will get with the times, and participate more often.
NOW! My Card featuring both Challenges:

Yes, It is a tad blurry, taken with my camera phone, as I am having issues with my digital camera.  This is the Retro Cowgirl from Bombshell Stamps, Punch is MS Border punch, Stars CB Embossing folder. I love the colors and how everything came out. Trust me, it looks better in person!! The coloring on the stars is really neat. I mixed Kiwi Kiss and Bermuda Bay together :)
Hope you Enjoy, and I hope you have a fabulous Weekend!!!

OWH: Operation Mom's Day!

Okay When I uploaded this card into blogger, it wasnt crooked like this. I dont know what the deal is. But you can probably stand two seconds of looking at it sideways.

This card has been made for Operation Write Home. They are currently looking for MOTHER'S DAY cards. The deadline is MARCH 31 to have them to your shipper. Mine is SANDY. :) If youre on the WEST COAST that is your shipper. She is in dire need of MOTHER'S DAY CARDS.

What I like about this card, is that yes, it says MOM on it, but you can use it for any other occasion.

I know as a mom I would love to receive this as a card! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Madness!

Yep, its that time of year for all of us College Basketball fans. MARCH MADNESS will be going on for the next TWO WEEKS. I normally dont catch all the games, just the ones that I actually care about.... ahem... TEXAS! (not A&M though).

Diem's dad's side of the family is really into the brackets, and everyone fills one out to see who is pretty much the ruler of the season if they do the best on their bracket, and if they pick the right National Champion.

I stay true to my team every year. Some people arent so faithful. I say every year that TEXAS is going to win. And since I have been around this family... they havent won, but they have made it to the final four! I think this year they will do amazing, and that is why I picked them as my National Champions! :)

The brackets are so much fun, because everyone seems to have a plan.... and they always claim their team is going to win. I used to partner up with Diem's dad back in the day when we were in Iowa and submit our bracket... but we started fighting over who our National Champion would be and who would beat who, and well... now we do our own bracket.

I asked Diem yesterday if she wanted to do her own bracket. She has no idea whats going on. So I helped her. You will notice I had no say!!! Here is how it went down...

"Diem pick either 1 or 16, Diem pick either 8 or 9...." it went on and on until we got to her National Champion. She picked #14 Wofford.

Like I said, I stay true to my team... TEXAS!!!!  So for your enjoyment... Here are our brackets!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Do you feel like a mom?

A daughter is a gift of love. ~Author Unknown

Diem and I have been doing a lot of bonding lately. With the recent death of Cortney, I have decided I needed to start writing to Diem. Especially during the times she is with her dad. She is the greatest blessing in my life. I dont know where I would be today with out her. Most people know Diem's birth story. A lot of people dont know.

My friend Breanna posted on her facebook today... that she still doesnt feel like a mom. She recently just gave birth to a little girl named Aubrey. I wrote her telling her how I didnt feel like a mom right away. A lot of people experience the feeling of being a momma while they are pregnant. I didnt. I didnt feel like a mom when I gave birth. I didnt feel like a mom getting up at 3 am feedings. I didnt feel like a mom until about when Diem was 3 months old. I think that was the first time I had a AH HA! I am a momma now moment. I still remember that day vividly. I still kick myself to this day.

Her dad and I were getting ready to go to Disneyland during our college spring break week. My dad was living with me to help out with Diem while D's dad and I went to college full time. He had left a few days before us leaving to visit my brother down in Texas. It was the day we were leaving and Diem's dad heard her making weird noises in her crib. She already had cold/flu like symptoms. We were pending on Diem's medical insurance... We called all over town to see if anyone would take her. We lived in Mount Pleasant Iowa and the only place that would take us at that time was in Burlington about 20 minutes away or so. We loaded up my jeep, and off we went to her first real live doctors appointment in Iowa. I am pretty calm... DD was driving, and I was passenger. We get to the doctors, fill out the paper work, and we are getting in really quick. Doctor Paragas wasnt with us more than 5 minutes when he rushed us to the hospital. He thinks its nothing, but he wants to make sure it isnt RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus ). We are in the Emergency Room. I am instantly freaking out. WHAT THE HELL HAVE I BEEN THINKING IS JUST THE COMMON COLD?! We tell the doctors we have a flight we have to catch tonight, and we just need to make sure she is okay to fly. Long story short... she gets a chest xray, and a heel prick. We were told that they were sure it was nothing. They come back with Diem's lab results and they look at us and say. BAD NEWS YOU GUYS ARE QUARANTINED. We get put up in the room, we cant leave. DD runs back to Mount Pleasant to get us all the things we need. I am freaking out, and I dont want to leave her. The doctors in Diem's unit and team were telling us she was the youngest infant they have seen that year with it, and if she wasnt treated.... she could die.

This was probably the first time I realized I was a mom.

During our stay of 4 days, I would not leave her side, I barely left her side to pee. I didnt eat, sleep NOTHING. The nurse informed DD of my behavior, and she gave us an extra meal ticket and told us to go take our time in the cafeteria. DD had to practically drag me out of there. During our walk to the elevator, I kept turning around to look back. Tears constantly streaming down my face. WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MY CHILD? I felt like a horrible person for the longest time about that day. I still feel that way when she gets really sick... Should I over react? Should I underreact? That is when you know youre a mama!!!

Stylish blogger Award

Man do I feel special. I have seen this badge alllllll over the blogger world. I was kind of jealous when I saw a friend of mine have two of them! I must say THANK YOU TO Michelle. She's totally amazing! And a wonderful friend!!! She awarded me with this badge :)

Now, here are the rules to receiving this: I'm supposed to share 8 things about myself and then pay it forward to 8 recipients. 

1. I am adopted, my brother, and 2 out of my 3 nieces are also adopted. I used to not want to know anything about my birth mother until my 25th birthday I had a revelation and decided I wanted to start my journey on finding out who I really am, and who my mom is.

2. I love sports. I couldnt imagine my life with out them. I am highly competitive and I hate to lose. I hate it when people win who half ass things. I put my heart out into everything I do, and when I lose I feel like a failure to not only everyone I know, but more importantly myself.

3. I have a tendency of not letting things just go. I hold grudges. I never fully trust. So its probably not in your best interest to screw me over.

4. If I was only to eat one thing for the rest of my life it would probably be sandwiches. If not sandwiches, soup. I love both. I could eat it FOREVER! :)

5. I am going to go back to school to get my degree in Athletic Administration so I can fulfill my dream of becoming an Athletic Director. Hopefully for a major college one day.

6. (Man this is hard) I love to write, and send mail. I have always done a lot of writing, and drawing. Even though I think I am awful at both.

7. I love Swedish Dreams cookies from Schats bakery. They are my weakness. :) Thanks to my BFF Nick, who works there. I buy a bakers dozen, he throws in like 5 more. :) He loves me.

8. I am too loyal for my own good. I will do anything for anyone. I need to stop doing this, as sometimes I feel unappreciated. I will do anything to let someone know how special they are to me.

Heres my 8 lovely friends with 8 wonderful blogs for your enjoyment!
1) Lena
2) Leah
3) Dawn
4) Jan

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Week Cortney!!!

I hope youre having a wonderful birthday in heaven. Make sure God gives you all the treats in the world.. Especially your favorite cookies! We all miss you terribly, and thank you for guiding us on our path of life. I am thankful youre holding my hand through all of this. I have your strength, and that is what I need right now.

Love you,
Mean it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Stage 2: Add Color

I have been working very hard on this portait of Cortney. I am totally not liking it as much as I was before. I have a tendency to get this way after I add color to something.

This is Stage two of the portait. I added more shading with pencil, and I also added colored pencil and some watercolor pencil to this. To blend, I used Johnson and Johnsons unscented baby oil gel. I blended with my finger, and a paper blending stump. It did smudge some of the lead pencil, but that is okay I guess.

This picture has the wet look as this photo was A)taken with my cell phone B) Still wet from the gel,  and C) the gel takes a while to dry.

I need to add a background color to her... I might actually just do GREEN chalks behind her, so she shines more than ever and not a distracting back ground to take away from her beauty.

Later in the evening, I got really bored. I was watching TV, and I knew I couldnt sleep.... So I decided to pull out some 12 x 12 scrapbook paper/cardstock.

I sat down on my futon, with my ott light, and my sharpie and started "Doodling". About an hour and some change later... this is my final product. Yes, blurry. As once again, taken with my phone.

This was made for Cortney's family. William, Zachary and Zoey. All their names are in this , and I even framed this for them. I hope they enjoy it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I am no artist...

I am no artist, but I sure try.

One of my best friends passed away back in late January. Her life celebration was this past weekend. I was truly blessed to be asked to speak at her celebration. I met a ton of wonderful people. In a few posts back I posted my speech that I had written up. I feel everywhere I go, Cortney is right there.

Yesterday, well late last night I came up with the idea that I needed to take up my art again. I love to draw, and I havent pulled out my sketch book or my canvases in such a long time.

Last night I was also looking through the pictures that friends and family have posted on facebook of the celebration. Then I came across this picture (above). I love Corts smile. She had one of the best smiles I have ever seen. I decided... Hey, I should draw a portait of Cortney. And sooo.... here is part one of my drawing of Cort. Sorry its so blurry, and low quality. It was taken with my cell phone.

I will continue to work on it. I dont know what I am going to do with this one day... But I love it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

With Love, from Leah for Cort!

I have met so many amazing people this past weekend. One of them being this wonderful woman named Leah. She is incredibly talented. I adore her so much! She wrote this on facebook the other night, and I asked her for permission to post it on my blog. So for your enjoyment... Here it is :) Love you Leah!

Cortney was strong, beautiful, talented and open. She was a superstar who will always be with us in spirit. She was a confidant who you could always depend on. Yesterday I attended her wake and it felt so odd. It was like going to a birthday party without the birthday girl. As if she was going to show up any minute, but never did. I wrote this poem after attending the service and visiting with her family and friends that I am proud to call my own (until 2 in the morning). Whether you knew Cort your whole life or only a few minutes, no doubt you could see what a wonderful person she was.

When I look around I see people who loved and were loved by her. I see faces full of strength just like her, but unknown it seems to many of them.

I see beauty in every person radiating out with the love and respect of a mutual friend. Yet many have voiced disbelief of their own beauty.

Her talents were limitless because of the faith in herself. That isn't often the case with me though I wish it to be.

It takes a gifted heart to be open for a world of different yet equally loving hearts. She had this gift and shared it everyday. It is a gift that beats inside the chest of everyone, but how scared some of us are to share it with strangers. It is a loss to the world when we do.

All of have the same strength she eagerly shared, we just have to exercise it more often.
All of us are beautiful when we smile wide and share our voice with the world. We simply must remember and remind each other often enough until we believe it.

All of us can be just as open as her if we will only take the chance each and every day.

My wish is that you will find all these qualities and forever let them shine. If you are hiding, then it's time to step out and show the world what it really means to be strong, beautiful, talented and open.

We may have lost one friend, but we can take this opportunity to make new ones and continue on with the spirit that Cortney was and will no doubt continue through her two beautiful children.

Thank you Superstar. Love you. Mean it.