24 February 2010

a visit to a new park

this past weekend michael was sick with a stomach bug and the hubby was nursing two broken ribs. the weather was really nice - bright, sunny and temperatures in the 60s, so blake and i decided to leave the sickies at home and head out for some fresh air. a new park opened late last summer near our house and i'd been wanting to check it out...so off we went.

the land on which the park sits used to be a working farm in the 1940s and a cattle pasture in the 1990s. today the park consists of some restored farm buildings, a grove of hugh pecan trees, a pond, plenty of open meadows, 3 miles of walking trails and a beautiful stone ribbon wall.

first we checked out the pond...

and then the grove of pecan trees. look how big they are...

and i love the stone wall...

but all blake wanted to do was look for a stick to shoot imaginary bad guys with...

he found one he was really excited about...

and headed straight to the stone wall for cover.

here he is explaining to me that if i put him in the tree he can see more bad guys...

so up he went to "save us".

he was having so much fun - 100% boy and all imagination...

and then when he got shot himself i decided it might be time to go. he agreed only after i told him yes, he could bring the "stick-gun" home too...

it was a really great park and is now definitely on my list of favorites. i bet it is gorgeous in the spring and summer with everything in full bloom...definitely a be-back!!

23 February 2010

photochallenge wrap up, month 2

i'm participating in a year long challenge at photochallenge.org and the month 2 challenge finished this past saturday (feb 20th). i posted the first month challenge photos here and in today's post i'd like to share my photos from month 2.

the theme for month 2 was natural landscape. for this particular challenge the definition of natural landscape was "one that is unaffected by human activity". so the goal was to find location(s) that appear to have not been touched by human hands. and i don't mind saying that when i first read this challenge, i thought it was going to be a little difficult for me for two reasons. first, in north carolina in the middle of winter everything is pretty much just brown. but it did happen to snow here in the plast four weeks so that mixed it up a bit. and second, i typically do not take landscape type photos. i generally like to zoom in, fill the frame with my subject and get as much of the finer detials as i can. so this was indeed a stretch for me. but then again, stretching is why i signed up for this challenge! overall i'm very happy with the four photos i submitted. there's definitley a lot of brown, but i find them all very peaceful looking scenes...

week 1 - carolina forest

week 2 - carolina forest 2. how many shades of brown do you see?

week 3 - some of the white stuff. can you see the beaver damn?

week 4 - carolina lakefront. i really like the sun "flare" in this one.

the theme for month 3 is signs and i've already got some location/ideas swirling around in my head. you can check out the details here and it's not to late to jump in and participate!

22 February 2010

miles completed last week (feb 15th - feb 21st): 12 miles

training is going really well. slow and steady is the name of my game! i got the chance to take things outside this week as we had two days of nice bright sunshine and temperatures in the high 60s. i really enjoyed getting outside and i did my long stretch (5 miles) at a new park very close to my house. there is a 2.5 mile loop that i completed twice. and let's just say that the terrain there is not as flat as that on the treadmill. i was definitely feeling it! still do acutally....

and the news shoes and the new ipod both rock!

and donations towards my $2900.00 fund raising goal have started coming in with lots of words of encouragement and support. thoughts of those words of kindness and monetary gifts definitely helped make it up the last couple of hills this week! great motiviation!

thanks for stopping by!

17 February 2010

one digital sketch, three hybird layouts

i've been playing around with some of the digital templates provided with the class materials in cathy zielske's class called design your life at bigpicturescrapbooking.com. i'm really enjoying this class, even though i'm jumping around a little and creating layouts from photos and stories that are inspiring me at the time. for the three layouts that i'm sharing today, i used the same digital template (the one provided in week 6 for those of you taking this class too) and made three different hybird layouts.

after doing a couple of all digital layouts, i'm coming around to the notion that i like the hybird approach better. i like using the digital templates to organize my photos and to capture my journaling. but once everything is all printed out, i like going back and adding some additional elements/embellishments and sometimes some ephemera. i like the dimension and depth "real" embellishments give my pages - a pop here and there, texture, etc. and i also love including the real life bits and pieces where appropriate - i.e. you'll see that i added a hockey ticket from a trip to see a carolina hurricanes game...

p.s. you can select each layout to view it larger....

digital "sketch" - what i started with

layout #1 - sidewalk chalk

layout #2 - hurricanes hockey game

layout #3 - first day of kindergarten

15 February 2010

(my posts for mondays until june will be my place to share my story of training for the san diego rock-n-roll marathon that will take place on june 6th. my first post about this is here in case you missed it...)

miles completed last week (feb 8th - feb 14th): 10 miles

so training has definitely progressed this past week. it still does seem a little unbelievable to me that i did ten miles in one week and in as little as four months i will be doing almost three times that milage (26.2 miles) in one day. but the expert (my coach) has confidence that it can be done so i am just sticking to my training schedule and hoping for the best...

two big developments this week that did help my progress - a new pair of running shoes...

and this new bad boy from my hubby for valentine's day...

yep - a new ipod nano and i'm already so in love with it! my sweet hubby still found time to pull off this surprise even though he was out of town all last week helping restore power to those in the northeast. how sweet is he??

most of my training so far has been inside and on the treadmill with the exception of one bright-sunny-high-in-the-50s day when i decided to venture outside. i'm ready for some warmer weather so i can move this adventure outside in the nice warm sunshine. come on spring!!

12 February 2010

wrapping up valentine's day preparations

just a quick post to round out the week as we wrap up our valentine's day preparations around here. for those of us with kiddos in school all the big parties are today, so the last couple of nights have been a rush of filling out valentine cards, stuffing bags with little bits of the sweet stuff, and even making a cute little necklace for a special little valentine. and while all that was going on i decided that i wanted to complete a little project of my own....

first the valentine treats for michael's kindergarten class...totally stole this idea from becky higgins and it worked out great. i had michael create a "card". we scanned it and printed them out and then folded them down the middle. he wrote his classmates' names on the back and we stapled them to a ziploc bag of goodies. very simple and very cute. thanks becky!

but there is a special little someone is his class he wants to be his valentine. this special someone was very close to getting my sapphire and diamond necklace from right out of my closet (!!) but luckily someone decided to let me know that he'd taken it before it actually made it to school. so after some discussion about what is appropriate (and what is considered stealing) we decided to make this little necklace for his special valentine. and oh how i wish i could be a fly on the wall tomorrow when he gives it to her - how fun would that be?! but then there is this whole big thing about how he never talks to her because he gets nervous and can't think of anything to say. which is unbelievable in itself as i've never seen him at a loss for words....

and here's a picture of my project - taken right off the pages of ali edwards blog. i pretty much just love everything she does and well...imitation is the best form of flattery....i saw it and immediately thought about this small 8 x 8 shadow frame i had gotten last year. i pulled out my heart punch and a couple of mini brads...love it! thanks ali!

i hope everyone has a great weekend and a happy, happy valentine's day!!

11 February 2010

ten things i gotta have - new scrapping stuff

anyone who follows the scrapbooking industry knows that a lot of new products were released/revealed earlier this month at the craft and hobby association winter show in california. i did not attend, but many of the bloggers that we all follow did and many of them posted photos of the new products and blogged about all the new things they were seeing. and many of the companies also posted previews on their own websites. for today's ten things thursday post i've listed ten of my favorite products i've seen around the blog world the past couple of weeks. there's some really great stuff hitting the craft stores very soon and these items are the must-haves on my list!

1. now i'm not a hugh stamp person, but i do have a couple and i know how to use them. and i love this new set by ali edwards from technique tuesday. i love, love, love that vintage camera stamp!

2. and i also love, love, love this vintage typewriter stamp from october afternoon. another must have!

3. now this 7 gyspies display letter tray is a steal at just under $20.00 and i've got to get this thing too! i have a perfect project in mind for this baby and i can't get my hands on one of these soon enough. here is a link to the entire 7 gyspies winter catalog and they have some really nice stuff.

4. this pad of stickers by the girls paperie looks like a really great deal. i really like letter stickers and word fetti and this pad has seven sheets of stickers including both letters and words. very versatile and for under $5.00. i think that's a deal.

5. There's been a lot of talk in blog land about this new artisan albums by pink paislee. they are canvas covered chipboard albums that come with chipboard pages. the available sizes are 4×8, 6×6, 8×8 and 6×12 and i cannot wait to see what they look like in real-life. if they are as nice as i think they are going to be i may just have to stock up! i've got at least one project in mind already for one of them!

6. i also really like these jenni bowlin journaling cards - love the butterfly one and the "read" one! probably be picking up a couple sets of these.

7. i'm also really drawn to these emphemera cards in the new melody ross line called artsy urban from gcd. i love all the bright colors and the messages on them as well! i'll definitely be buying a batch of these too!

8. also from the same designer and gcd, these chipboard albums are really nice. i especially like the one with the tabs and either would make a great mini album!

9. now there are some really amazing new lines of patterned paper out there and i could probably easily bring home two sheets of the hundred or so i saw online. but this set by cosmo cricket really jumped out at me. (you have to remember that i have two boys so the majority of my scrapping is male related! i have to pass on a lot of the feminine girly looking ones. well maybe not pass completely but i definitely use a lot less of it!)

10. and this last set of patterned paper rounds out my top ten list of must haves. this set is also from cosmo cricket and i love the bright colors and the versatility of these prints. love, love, love the tape measure patterned one and will buying a couple of sheets of that one!

p.s. don't forget to vote for me. see yesterday's post here for all the details. if i win i just might be able to get all this stuff from two peas!! how exciting would that be?!

10 February 2010

vote for me, vote for me!!

remember this little project i did about why i scrapbook?? well the voting has started! use the link here to view all of the entries in shimelle's little "contest" and vote for your favorite. hopefully mine will be your favorite ;-) you can vote once a day until the end of february....

and oh yeah...the winner gets $100.00 is scrapping supplies from two peas in a bucket...fabulous prize!! so go! go right now and vote for me! and come back tomorrow and vote again, and the next day, and the next day, and the next....

09 February 2010

valentine's day mini, mini album

today i wanted to share a cute little "album" i made for my grandmother (aka my "mamaw") for valentine's day.

this april my grandmother will turn 93 years old. she still lives alone and even though she doesn't move around like she used to, she's doing amazing for 93. she still talks on the phone for hours every night with her friends and she can still get lost walking around walmart looking and touching everything she passes. ;-).

she has four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren and when i saw this mini album in my local craft store, the idea for this album jumped into my head - a small album with a picture of each of us. it was really easy to make and i know that she is going to love it.

this is what it looked like when i purchased it. you can see just how small it really is - fits right in the palm of my hand! how cute is that?! and it was only two dollars!

i used my heart punch and some epoxy heart stickers throughout the album. lots of hearts because its for valentine's day!

since the heart shape of the album measured roughly 2.5 inches across, i printed head shots of all of us that were 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches. i then just cut each picture to fit the shape and added some patterned paper from my scrap pile. on a couple of the pages i used my border punches and then some red ink on the edges of other pages.

so easy to make and i really liked how it turned out!!

wishing you an early happy valentine's day! lots of love, hugs and kisses!

08 February 2010

marathon madness

a couple of weeks ago i signed up to train and complete a marathon in san diego on june 6, 2010. i've started training as a member of the leukemia & lymphoma society's eastern north carolina team in training team. (you can read all about the leukemia & lymphoma society here and even more about their amazing team in training program here.)

now i'm not a runner by any means and this will be my very first marathon. for those of you who do not know, a marathon is 26.2 miles. yikes! but as part of the team in training program, you are paired up with a coach and given an extensive training program to follow. at the first meeting the coaches said they could get me "from the couch to the finish line" by the race date if i did my part, worked hard and trained per my schedule. so i've gotten off the couch and have started training! my plan is to walk/run with probably more walking than running. did you know that you can actually walk a marathon? obviously at this point i'm not concerned about my time....my goal is just to finish....

so why the leukemia & lymphoma society? last year one of my very best friends was diagnosed with leukemia just after the birth of her second child. at the time of her diagnosis she was 38 years old and a mother of two beautiful children - a six year old daughter and a seven month old litte boy. immediately following her diagnosis she underwent six months of agressive chemotherapy and in early january she was officially in remission! but her battle with leukemia is far from over.

since the day i found out about her diagnosis i have struggled with the question of why all of this is happening to such a wonderful person. my friend is an amazing mother, wife, daughter/daughter-in-law, sister, aunt and friend. i continue to pray for her and her sweet family, but the truth is that i was and am constantly amazed with her strength, her courage and her determination. she is a fighter, a survivor, and she is my inspiration. i am training and completing this marathon in honor of her....

as a member of the team i am also raising funds to help find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers. my goal is to raise $2900.00 for the leukemia & lymphoma society. you can view my fund raising website here.

so why i am writing about all this on my blog? well i plan to provide weekly updates on my training and fundraising efforts here. just little updates to let everyone know how i'm doing, how my training is progressing, my thoughts on the training updates, etc. so now through june, you can look for a weekly post called marathon mondays. i've even designed a cute little logo for the posts....

wish me luck! i'm going to need it! check back next week to see how things are progressing....

04 February 2010

i haven't talked much about reading here, but i spend a lot of time doing it. i love to read. and i just finished a book that really impacted me and the way i am starting to view my life.

actually i wasn't even planning on reading this book - it wasn't on my radar at all. now i had seen it on ali's blog at the beginning of the year but it wasn't a blog post specifically about the book. she mentioned it in the context of her one little word for 2010. you can read her post here.

fast forward to a week or so ago...i'm in my local barnes & noble looking for another book and i walk past a table in one of the aisle's in the store. i happen to look down and there is the book i saw on ali's blog. i was suprised that it was on a table labelled "spirituality/religion" so i picked it up, read the back and decided to purchase it. boy am i glad i did.

A Million Miles In A Thousand Years
by Donald Miller

this book is about a guy who has an opportunity to write a movie. this gets him thinking about his own life and the stories he's living. he takes the chance to edit his life into a great story and explains the meaning of the little stories we live in context with The Story. the stories we live define who we are and the good news is that we (for the most part) control the stories we choose to live. it is a great read!

it is my habit to highlight passages that i really like or that speak to me when i'm reading a book. needless to say i highlighted a lot in this one! some of my favorite passages are listed below as today's ten things thursday post. if any of them spark your interest, i encourage you to get this book.

1. "If I have a hope, it's that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you."

2. "So I started listening to the Voice, or rather, I started calling it the Voice and admitting there was a Writer. I admitted something other than me was showing a better way. And when I did this, I realized the Voice, the Writer who was not me, was trying to make a better story, a more meaningful series of experiences I could live through."

3. "People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen."

4. "I believe God wants us to create beautiful stories, and whatever it is that isn't God wants us to create meaningless stories, teaching the people around us that life just isn't worth living".

5. "The ambitions we have will become the stories we live. If you want to know what a person's story is about, just ask them what they want".

6. "a story is based on what people think is important, so when we live a story, we are telling the people around us what we think is important".

7. "As real-life protagonists we can control only what we do and say, what choices we make, what words we say. The rest is up to fate".

8. "The thing about writing a story, in real life and on paper, is half the effort is just figuring out what the story is going to be".

9. "the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree...[I] asked God to help me understand the story of the forest and what it meant to be a tree in that story".

10. "The point of the story is never about the ending, remember. It's about your character getting molded in the hard work of the middle".