Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sharing the Love at Barnes & Noble...

I apologize for my absense yesterday. I had a post in my head all ready to go, but I was elbow deep in making Christmas cards.

I know, I can hear the shock and awe coming across the miles, but don't be too impressed or checking your mailbox for your Christmas card from me just yet.

I haven't miraculously changed my ways and am now super-prepared and organized for Christmas. No, I am still the good-procrastinator that I have always been and am working on an article (that is running a bit late--see that's the Christi that you know and love) for Papercraft Essentials. It is going out in the mail today...due in the UK for this coming I am just a couple of days late.

So while I have happily been creating my Christmas cards, feeling confident in the fact that the holidays are still ages helps to think that when it is 100 degrees outside...and the fact that I have ages before I have to start feeling panicked about the holiday rush, Barnes & Noble crushed that notion.

It is Pumpkin Spice time! As I was checking out last night, they had bookmarks at the register announcing that fact. I love Pumpkin Spice lattes, and autumn is my favorite season, but it just seems so early. Summer just started, didn't it? I know that I should have realized when Jacob started school, but they start so early anymore that I didn't even take notice that autumn was coming.

So I was at Barnes & Noble last night (notice that nice segue...), and I have been keeping my eye on a book... planning to buy it once payday rolls around. The last time that I was in, they had two copies so I wasn't too worried, but last night, I got worried.

I found my book and there was only one copy, but even more worrying was the fact that it had been shelved upside down and backwards so that you couldn't tell what the book was. Someone else was eyeing my book and trying to hide it from other potential buyers. You know, I know that because that is exactly something that I would do and immediately thought about going and hiding it in another obscure section of the store like Computers, but I decided that my safest route was to just buy it.

So if you were the one hiding Living the Creative Life by Rice Freeman-Zachary at the Fayetteville, NC Barnes & Noble, your book is gone and you may want to call and special order another copy.

Doesn't this book look fun? It features 15 artists and how they keep their artistic muse flowing. And you all know, I am all about keeping my creative muse happy. I have just had time to glance through it, but I will tell more later if it turns out to be a good buy.

And while I have been very busy making Christmas cards, I have played just a tiny bit with this week's featured products.

This is a journal that I altered using the Cosmo Cricket Dutch Girl papers and Rhonna Farrer's Gypsy-style stamps. The journal is another one of those school supplies for me that just happened to hop into my basket when we were buying Jacob's school came from Target and already comes with the Kraft cover and red book-binding edge...too fun and easy! I am really loving these products and have so many ideas flowing for using them so hopefully I will have more fun stuff to share tomorrow...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Good Monday Morning!

Hello to everyone out there in blogland!! Did you have a good weekend? Things were pretty good around here although I felt like I spent the entire weekend looking for those last few school supplies that weren't on the list.

You know, the ones that the teachers add to the list after school starts which destroys that wonderful feeling of accomplishment that you had for getting your school supplies early, thus avoiding the crowds and out-of-stock issues. And yes, I have a deprived child...we are STILL trying to find composition books in 2 colors...UGH! But the school still isn't ready for students (they are still meeting in temporary buildings and spaces) so I am assuming that it is okay that my child is so ill-prepared.

It was a different kind of crafty weekend for me. This is what I worked on for most of the weekend:

It's a farewell gift for one of DH's first seargents...they have a joke that she rules with a soft hammer so it seemed appropriate. DH is thrilled with the way that it turned out. DS, on the other hand, became more and more horrified with each new girly thing that I added. LOL!

Here is a close-up of the card tag:

This tag was heavily inspired by a tag that Melissa Phillips (lilybean's paperie) posted last week. I truly believe that Melissa is one of the most inspired cardmakers out there. I LOVE HER WORK and could easily stare at it for hours. I keep hoping that she will come out with a book...

Here is a layout that I haven't shared on here yet. This photo of all the kids was taken by the uber-talented SIL Kara...

It was such a fun photo that I just wanted to do something fun with the layout. Can you believe she managed to get a photo with all 4 of the kids looking right at her (even the baby!) She is so talented!

In other news, I am starting a new product grouping today. This week I will be focusing on Cosmo Cricket Dutch Girl collection and Rhonna Farrer's Gypsy Style stamp set.

I love both of these products, but just really haven't used them so I am really excited about the possibilities.

And, I finally finished my first 20 projects until I get new stash challenge so I get to go shopping this week! Yay! But it will probably have to wait until after payday so maybe I can really get going this week and double up on my reward by then by having another 20 projects done....

Do something creative today!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Loving Ichabod

Today's something creative:

The journaling says:
It's no secret. You were not a planned event in our lives and it was a bit of a shock when we found out about you. Shortly after I found out that I was pregnant, we were eating dinner out at On the Border and all of us were trying in our own ways to come to grips with the change coming in our lives, YOU.

The discussion turned to names and what we could name you. I have no idea who came up with it, but Ichabod was suggested with Ick as the name that we would call you. It helped to be able to laugh together about the situation and for the rest of the pregnancy (or at least until we found out you were a girl) we would call you Ick off and on.

Luckily for you, you were a girl so Ichabod was off the table and luckily for us, we fell in love with you so Ick was no longer appropriate. You have won all three of us over with your nonsense rambling and your quick smiles. It is a race in the morning to get to your bed when you wake up and to be the first one to receive those beautiful smiles and cooing that you so generously share with us all. We love you little girl. No, we didn't plan for you, but God did and He knew that we needed you in our lives.

We love you Katherine Skyler Snow.

~Mom, Dad, and Jacob

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Final Collage Press projects...

These are my final Collage Press- Fresh and Purple Onion Designs- Flea Market projects. I have had so much fun with this product grouping that I have had a hard time letting it go, but tomorrow I will be introducing a new product grouping that I will be concentrating on for a while. For those of you that are new to my blog...this is something that I am entirely doing just for me and to encourage me to use some of my favorite products and use up my ever-growing pile of stash. :)

This first project is an Altered Trading Card (ATC) for the ATC swap over at the Cottage. These little cards measure 2 1/2"x3 1/2" and are made out of Kraft colored cardstock. For the base of the card, I stamped the Hero Arts definition stamp (that my mom&dad gave me for my birthday :D ) first and then took one of the swirl stamps from the Purple Onion set and stamped it all around the edge. Then it was just a matter of punching the papers and placing them strategically around the words on the card.

This second project is a layout that was inspired by this week's Pub Ad Challenge. This layout is Kat with her Great-Grandfather. She was completely enthralled with him and I LOVE these photos...

I had a question about cutting the Purple Onion stamps. A lot of people like to use the Kai scissors for cutting their rubber. Personally, I have found that any really sharp pair of scissors will work.

BTW, today was Jacob's first day of Jr. High school and I was telling mom about the fact that he insisted on coming back in after photos so that he could give Kat a kiss goodbye (isn't that just the sweetest!) And we got to discussing what it would be like when she went to Kindergarten and how he would react to that and then we started doing the math. I am going to have Kat going to Kindergarten and Jacob starting his Senior year in high school the same year!?! much heartbreak can one mom stand in a year of milestones, but I am not going to think about either of them getting that old yet! LOL

I'll be back tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Good morning!!!

Here is another project using the Collage Press- Fresh papers and the Purple Onion Designs Flea Market stamps. I just cannot stop using these products. I have one more layout and one more card in mind and then I will try to move on to something different so that you don't get bored. But you know, with all of the projects that I have done using these papers, I have hardly made a dent in my stash of them. I don't think that I have used a full sheet of any of them yet!?!? I think that it may be time to re-think how much I buy of my favorite patterned papers.

This is another circle journal. This one belongs to Linda Peterson. Her theme was Self-Portrait.

Answer for Barb and others that wonder about the Purple Onion Designs unmounteds. Purple Onion Designs stamps are unmounted red-rubber and come to you in a big sheet. When you get them, you will have to cut them apart. I do not mount my red rubber stamps to anything. I keep them stored in a plastic box and when I want to use them, I file through my box. I know what is in that box so it isn't hard...other unmounteds, I keep elsewhere.

I use my red-rubber unmounteds on the same acrylic blocks that I use with my clear plastic acrylic stamps. The difference with the unmounteds is that I mount them using a piece of double-sided scotch tape. This works great for this. Just make sure that when you are done, that you remove the tape and stamp within the first 24 hours or you will end up with tape residue. A good hint, because this stamp does not have any extra cushion (and this is true for your acrylics too,) is to place your paper on top of a mouse pad to stamp it. This will give you a better, full impression to have that little bit of cushion.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Ramblings...

Good Monday Morning!!! This Thursday is DS's first day of school and can I just say that I LOVE school supply shopping!!! There is just something about that aisle...I love it! When I was little and we would go to the store, my brothers would go to the toy section...I would go to the school supplies. I think that it is some sort of wierd sickness. LOL!

So while we have been shopping for Jacob's school supplies, I have been sneaking in a few goodies for me too. One has been, get this, purple graph paper! I just knew that I could do something creative with it and this little project is what I came up with:

This little book is made up of the GinX office supply line...the super steno book coasters. I simply covered them with Kraft cardstock and decorated them using the Collage Press Fresh papers and those Purple Onion Flea Market stamps. I then cut that fun purple graph paper the correct size to fit in the book in the various sections and I have a fun little book to carry around and draw sketches in when I get inspired. I really like it. BTW, I added one of the 7gypsies elastic bands around the center to hold it all together when I throw it in my purse.

Responding to messages...
anonymous...I know that not all the cj's have made it back, BUT I do think that they have all been accounted for, except for, ironically enough, MINE!!! I had posted a thread on the Cottage with the tracking for all of them (and by the way, I spent hours going through old threads and messages trying to figure out where they were in the circle) which unfortunately has been lost with the shutting down of the mb. I don't know why I didn't keep a copy of it somewhere on my computer (duh! moment here!) Hopefully they are all headed home...I have done all that I can do and quite honestly, I GIVE UP! So, unless you want to sign your name, don't anonymously harrass me. I have done all the work on this that I am going to do. I tracked down the one's that were supposed to be coming to me. I think it is sad that this group which was full of extremely talented individuals fell apart to the point of disrespecting other people's art/time and I don't have a problem signing my name to that. Enough said!

Alison...I agree with Theresa that your best option would be to create pockets on your scrapbook pages for your travel brochures. You can create them the appropriate size so that you can slide them in and out. Just cut a rectangle the appropriate size and put adhesive along the bottom and sides. Give me a call if you want to discuss it further...or I can call you. I have been wanting to chat cardmaking with you anyway. :)

I hope that you all have a fun week planned. For those of you that have kids going back to school, go buy some fun new school supplies for yourself too!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In Love with Collage Press

When I chose these Collage Press- Fresh papers for my featured product this week, I knew that I really liked them, but the more that I play with them, the more I truly LOVE them. They are so beautiful and the mix of patterns and colors is PERFECT!!! I have seen that this same line is available in a mix of pinks/oranges and I simply must get if you know who stocks the orange version, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!

I have several new projects to share. The first is a simple Thank you card using this weeks Card Positioning System Sketch.

I need to add a quick note here about cards. I have always been a cardmaker and for the last several years, I have worked for several of the UK magazines doing LOTS of cards. As a result, I was seriously burnt out with the cardmaking and creating cards was becoming much more of a chore rather than something that I enjoyed. BUT that has completely changed recently after the discovery of all the card sketch sites like CPS. Having the freedom to create a card purely for the fun of it (without having to worry about the layout) has rejuvinated my ability to make up my own card layouts again without stress. I am even starting to create my own card sketches, but I will share more about that later. ;)

The only stamp that I used from the Purple Onion Flea Market stamp set was that little pin stamp, but I think that it adds so much to the card.

This second project is a layout of my brother's puppy, Daisy. My SIL, Kara, took this fabulous photo. If you live in West Texas and love your pets, she is the photographer to call because she takes beautiful photos!!! I didn't use any of the stamps on this layout, but looking at it now, it still seems to be missing something so I may revisit this layout in the near future.

Finally, this last project is Shannon Allor's circle journal. This cj has been missing for the last 7 months and finally found its way to my doorstep last week much to all of our relief. Her theme is "Peepers" and all the entrants in the journal have incorporated a photo of their eyes as well as a quote. I found this quote and LOVE it simply because it is so true!!

"Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?" ~Leonardo DaVinci

Knowing the magnificent things that DaVinci created, it is amazing and even a bit reassuring that he had issues with this too!


Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Sharing...

I have a couple of projects to share today. The first is a quickie, fun project. These little books are the perfect size for your purse. They are made simply by decorating one of these little composition books that measure 3 1/4" x 4 1/2" (undecorated version is the one on the left.) The decorated one is made using this weeks featured products (Collage Press Fresh papers and Purple Onion Flea Market stamps...links are below.) I simply added my initial using chipboard and one of the 7gypsies elastic bands and I have the perfect little sketch/idea book for my purse.

The second project is a layout about Kat's first pair of shoes. Just fun stuff here...including a lush new stamp that my mom got me for my birthday (the border swirl). You guys know that I am a shoe girl so I have to share that love with her. :)

In other news, I am so excited because my sister-in-law, Alison, has started a blog... Hmmmm, the sometimes random-ramblings of Alison ...go check it out and give her some love...

I hope that you have a fun and creative weekend planned. I have several projects started that I hope to finish and share this weekend so keep an eye out!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

hmmmm, I am just a couple of days late with this post. I have been so busy this week! Every morning, my to-do list has at least 20 things on it and I am just not getting as many of them checked off as I need to, but I am still getting things done so I am happy!

First, for this week's product challenge. I got these new Collage Press papers a couple of months ago and have been drooling over them ever since. It is time to really start to play with them so I am focusing on them this week...Collage Press Fresh Collection
For the stamp set that I am putting with them (because you know that for my own product challenge, I will always have a stamp set involved!), I have chosen another of the gorgeous Purple Onion Designs sets...Flea Market Set:

I am REALLY excited about this product grouping and hope to get lots done with it!! I already completed one layout using it...

I also have a couple of other personal challenges going on in my creative life. First is a stash-control challenge. I had done this last fall. I set a goal of no new stash until I completed 100 layouts and was doing really well with it until I got pregnant which threw a huge creative kink into the works (in the form of a couple of months there where I was creatively blocked.) I am doing this again, but not quite so ambitious. The way I am doing this personal challenge for the near future is that I can't buy any new stash (excluding the basics and idea books) until I complete 20 projects. When I complete those 20 projects, then I can spend $40 on new stash. If I wish to spend more than $40, then the 20 projects to do count starts over and I can earn another $40. This will be going on for the next few months so help keep me accountable!! Right now I have 6/20 projects done...

And along the lines of getting stuff done, my goal this month (inspired by Ali) is to do something creative every day starting today. This is something that I have believed for a long time...that the more you create, the more creative you become. It has just been more difficult recently to find that creative time, but I deserve that time for myself...even if it is only for 15 minutes late at night or early morning. It just means that I have to be a bit more organized with my creative life and plan ahead since I can't get to my supplies while Little Bit is sleeping.

And speaking of Little Bit...she turned 3 months old yesterday...that deserves a photo doesn't it? :) She was a very lucky little girl this week. She received a gorgeous piece of artwork from the talented Miss Sandy...Kat's gift. It is so beautiful in person!!! Thank you, Sandy! You spoil us!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fabulous Weekend...

We had a great weekend around here! Sunday was my birthday and we went out Saturday to celebrate. We made a trip to Raleigh and did some shopping up in the Triangle Mall area. I got to go to Panopolie and Archivers to purchase my own birthday presents and we had lunch out at Macaroni Grill. It was a lot of fun. It's the first time that we have gone up to Raleigh for a day out since Kat was born and I wasn't sure how she would do, but she did great. We finished off the day by seeing Ratatouille at the base theater. It was a great birthday Day!

To make the weekend even better, I actually got some scrapping/crafting done! Yippeee!

I thought it was time that I did a bit of scrapbooking about Jacob. I have been concentrating on those fun girl layouts with Kat lately, but with his monumental move into Jr. High this year, I needed to document this time for him too!

The journaling says, "You are 2 weeks away from starting 7th grade-Jr. High!?! How in the world did you get so old? I get panicky just thinking about it- so much about your life is about to change & I know that you can handle it. I just hope that I can. I love you! ~Mom"
Supplies used:
*Junkitz Laguna
*Daisy D's rub-ons
*Stamped in Ink custom stamp
*Rhonna Farrer buttons
*Bazzill cardstock
*Scenic Route die-cut arrows

Of course, this doesn't mean that I discontinued the girly layouts of Kat over the weekend. Some of my fun birthday goodies were some of these gorgeous new pink/black Anna Griffin papers which were just perfect for these photos. I used the journaling straight off of my July 3, 2007 post.

I have a couple of personal goals this week/month for my creative life and I will be back to share about them and a new product challenge either later today or tomorrow. I hope that you are doing something creative today!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Art from the Heart...

Wow! Yesterday, the Artful Blogging Party was amazing. I haven’t made it to all the sites that Artsymama posted yet, but the ones that I have been to have been so inspirational and fun. Thank you to each of you that shared your ART.

Today I am sharing something a bit more closer to my heART. I am creating this little album to document Kat’s first year of life. I was a scrapbooker when Jacob was a baby, but I was still awful about documenting all those little things that you simply forget…like at what age they first smile. I decided that I had to be better with Kat and that is how this idea came about.

***The overall design of this book is not mine. I scraplifted it from 2 peas and I wish that I could find the original so that I could give the original artist credit. I thought it was one of the garden girls, but now I can’t find the original artwork to find the name. If this sounds/looks familiar and you know who originally created it, please let me know so that I can give her proper credit.***

The original artist had made this little first year album as a baby gift by gluing together 5x7 cards and originally, I had planned to do the same, but as I started planning the book, I decided that I wanted it a bit bigger. Mine actually measures 6x9 and is made from the Crate Paper Baby Bee line from last year’s release. I am just showing you the pages that I have done so far right now because I am still debating how much to do ahead of time and what else I my add to it. The nice thing about this format is that I can simply glue on another card if I want to add more like possibly the details of her birth or more pages for her at age 1, etc.

This is the view of her birth page and month 1 page together so you have an idea of how the book flows:

Here is a close up of each of these pages:

Here is month 2:

The nice thing about this format is that it is bullet journaling so I can add as much or as little as I want and I can add it throughout the month when it happens so I don’t forget. I will continue to share the pages as Kat gets older. She turns 3 months next week so I should have that page to show you soon.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Artful Blogger Party!!!

Artsymama is hosting an Artful Blogging Party today in celebration of the release of the new Somerset publication Artful Blogging. Go over to her site and check out all the blogs that are posting something artful today. It is already amazingly inspiring and the day/links have just started!!!

For my post today, I wanted to post a quickie PSA for scrapbookers. I was sitting in my scraproom the other day and spotted my box of coin envelopes. If you have never seen these before, they are 3 1/2" x 6" envelopes that were really popular a few years ago for mailing tags. You can get them in any office supply store. But I was sitting there looking at those envelopes and had an epiphany. Those envelopes are the absolutely perfect size for scrapbookers!!!

So I am here today to share with you the Perfect Scrapbookers Card...

These cards are made literally from scraps and because of the size of the finished product, they are perfect for scrapbookers. The finished size of all these cards is 3"x6" and they are all made from either 3"x12" strips or 6"x6" squares. Now, all you scrapbookers out there know how often you have just these sized pieces left over from your layouts so now you have the perfect use for them.

Here are the close-ups of all the cards. They are super-simple and fun to make. It is just like working with an oversized ATC.

This card is a side-fold made from a 3"x12" strip:

This card is a top-fold made from a 3"x12" strip:

This card is another side-fold made from a 3"x12" strip:

This card is a top-fold card made from a 6"x6" square:

Finally, this card is a side-fold card made from a 6"x6" square:

These are the last of my projects featuring the featured products of Basic Grey- Phoebe and Rhonna Farrer's Nature stamps. I will be starting a new featured product grouping sometime later this week. Tomorrow, though, I have a project that I have been working on that is very special. I just have to go get some printer ink so that I can finish up what I have done on it so far.

I hope that you have fun hopping around the Artful Blogger Party blogs today!!

Monday, August 06, 2007


Today, I have a lot of random things to touch on...

First, I actually got to create a second layout this weekend. I am continuing with my featured products from before my vacation...Basic Grey Phoebe and Rhonna Farrer's Nature stamps. I have been playing a bit with ATC's lately so I created three ATC-sized embellishments with the words to "Hush Little Baby" on them. These photos are of Kat asleep when she was 5 weeks old...

I will probably create another project or two with these featured products. Hopefully, Kat will continue to cooperate so that I can actually get those done this week!

Secondly, be sure to check back on Wednesday. Kari (aka Artsymama) is hosting an Artful Blogger party in celebration of the release of the Somerset publication, Artful Blogging. This is a new quarterly publication featuring 30+ incredibly inspirational blogs (Kari's included). The book is full of gorgeous photography and is highly inspirational esp. if you are part of the blogging community. I highly recommend it.
That day, she will be linking up everyone who is playing and there will be lots of art tutorials on the participating blogs. I hope to get a tutorial done for it...I am playing with ideas for it now.

While I was in Barnes & Noble last week picking up Artful Blogging, I snagged a couple of other publications that you may want to check out. The second edition of Somerset Home is out and from what I have seen of it (I haven't really had a chance to sit down and read it), it is worthy of the Somerset name. Some inspirational stuff in there.
The other mag that I picked up is called Homegrown Hospitality.It is from PaperCrafts mag and features lots of paper-based crafts from the home. It has been created by Stephanie Ackerman and has lots of really fun ideas. I am thinking some of my Christmas gift ideas will be coming from this little mag...

Finally, I need some feedback. For the last couple of posts, I have been photographing my art rather than scanning it. Which do you like better? My computer monitor is so dark, I really can't see it well enough to see if it is okay or not. Tell me which you like better...the photos or scans. Thanks!
Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Saturday Creating...

Kat must be really tired or simply going through a growth spurt because she has slept quite a bit today which has meant that I have actually had time to do something creative on top of a bit of housework.

This layout is from this week's ScrapJack layout by Kristina Contes.
The paper is Urban Lily. The envelope is Making Memories. The tag is MME. The stamp and sticker are Heidi Swapp. The photos are of Kat at 1 month old.

This second project is a card that was created from last night's Scrappy Hour class by Rebecca over at Create My Keepsake.I used the gold glitter spray over my base card. The ribbon is Doodlebug. The flowers are Prima. The buttons are Rhonna Farrer. The chipboard alpha are Crate Paper. The skinny tag is Collage Press.

I hope that you all are finding time to create something this weekend!!

Friday, August 03, 2007

PSA...need hair help???

This post should be called "Yet another reason why I love my SIL, Kara!!!" When I was at home, Kara told my mom and I that we should try the new Sunsilk Hairapy products and went on to rave about how soft they left her hair feeling.

Let me explain about my hair...overall I have great hair. I can do just about anything with it and in my family that is a rare thing (cowlicks definitely run in the family) so I try not to complain too much, but I have frizz that is out of control and getting worse every year. I have tried the Frizz-Ease products and just about every combination of everything else out there with no success. But I was in Target the other day and saw the Sunsilk products and at $2.99 each figured it was worth a try.

OMG!!! This stuff is awesome!!! Kara is right!!!! It does leave your hair feeling as soft as when you leave the beauty salon and SMOOTH!!! Yes, that's what I said...I had NO frizz!!! And that was even before I ironed it! And let me just clarify here...when I went to wash my hair with the product, I had two bottles of the conditioner rather than a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of the conditioner (have I mentioned lately that having babies = less brain cells?!?!) So I had this kind of success using just the conditioner. I can't imagine how awesome it will be when I use the shampoo too.

I highly encourage you to visit the link above and get a sample of this stuff because I give it two thumbs up!!! I personally used the purple bottle and I think that Kara said that she uses the yellow formula so it sounds like it is all good. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Did you miss me???

Hi, everyone!! We are home from Texas and I am FINALLY finding the time to resize my photos and sorry for the delay. We had an absolutely fabulous time at my parents house. If Ben had been with us, I don't think that they would have been able to convince us to go back home. It is so nice there!!! Most people don't think much about that part of West Texas, but my parents have such a beautiful home and there is nothing better than a West Texas summer night. Of course, throw in my family and a few family games of aggravation and you have my version of pure heaven! But DH wasn't with us and we were missing him an awful lot so we decided that we probably should get back to life here in North Carolina.

So, without further ado, now I get to share my vacation photos with you. I think I have limited it to 12 of them... out the 300 that came home on my camera. That isn't even counting the 3 other disks full of photos that came off my sister-in-law's and mom's cameras. :)

To start, of course you have to see one of Miss Cuteness herself. I am amazed at how much more interactive that she became in the 2 weeks we were gone. Just talking and smiling and the child was a perfect angel while we were traveling!!!

When we got into town, my grandfather had just come back from a vacation with my parents so he spent the next week in Midland to visit with us. It was wonderful to visit with him (and my Aunt LaRayma who made the trip down for the weekend too). Kat was enraptured with him. She was just laughing and talking to him.

My parents have an amazing backyard that is a boy's paradise. We spent many hours back there fishing and watching Jacob run the remote-controlled boat in the pond.

My parents fishing together with the Barbi know my dad REALLY does have some nice fishing gear...LOL!

This was the first time that I had gotten to meet my niece Mia...she is cuteness personified. I think that Nana was enjoying her grandkid cuddles...

Even when she isn't feeling well, she is just the sweetest thing.

And her older sister Emily is already in training to be the best mom. Here she is snuggling Kat...

And here are just some random shots of my parents yard...

Their back porch is covered with an open trelis that is covered with these beautiful trumpet vines...

And here are my brothers (yes, they are twins) with the two eldest grandkids, Jacob and Emily...

My sister-in-law Kara getting her baby snuggles...

And my sister-in-law Alison getting her baby snuggles...

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