Sunday, January 23, 2011

Now I Sing, and So Does Tabby!

Tabs saw my post "Now I...Sing" and wanted her very own post of her singing. So ladies and gentelmen, here is my budding star, singing a household favorite, Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree!

Now I... Sing

As promised in my post, "I Used To...", here is the start of my "Now I..." series of posts. I used to sing. In 8th grade my mom and I were sitting in the counselor's office trying to decide on an elective for me to take. The counselor mentioned choir and asked if I sang. My mom kinda laughed and said, "Maybe in the shower." That was it for me. My stubborn streak kicked in and I dug in my heels. I wanted choir. I took choir, and I loved it.

I continued to take choir in high school, and loved singing. I started singing on my own too - in church, at talent shows, and my favorite...the national anthem at the Tacoma Dome for the state wrestling tournaments.

In college I continued singing. I was part of a few different church worship teams, and sang the national anthem at the 'senior night' WWU basketball game (which is how my 'true identity' was revealed - Mr Viking couldn't very well sing with his mascot head on!). Even after I was married I sang, mostly for church things. And every so often Zack would ask me to sing to him.

Sometime around the time I moved to Alaska I stopped singing. I became, like my mom had said so many years prior, a shower singer only. And that has where I have remained. I enjoy singing, and will occasionally 'rock out' to a song on the radio, but I haven't really sung just for me (or for anyone else for that matter) in quite a while.

So in lieu of that, here is me...singing on completely embarassing! But, like my last post said, "What would you do if you were brave?" I guess I would post a video of me singing. Ha ha! So enjoy, or don't. Either way, know that its not that I "used to" sing... I still do! (Kareoke, here I come - it is one of my goals this year!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

If I Were Brave

What would you do if *you* were brave?

Earrings, Take 2

Here's the 2nd pair I made. I wore them for the firt time today and got compliments! Fun!

Let's Do 52 - Playing Catch-Up

Soo....there is this photo challenge going on over at Paint the Moon Photography called "Lets Do 52." The basic premise is that there is a new photography challenge each week for folks. I got in on it a bit late, but here's the 'challenges' thus far:

1) What's Your Viewpoint?
2) Togetherness or Metal
3) Abandoned or Doors

I'm going to attempt to 'catch up.' Looking through all the other folks' pictures is a bit daunting because they are SUCH high quality! I've got a little point and shoot camera, I don't know how to use photoshop or any other photo editing software, and well...sometimes I kinda suck at photography. But I have to remind me this is a personal challenge, not a competition! And if the challenge helps me to grow and take better pictures, then its worth it! Plus, it should be fun!

What's Your Viewpoint
This is a picture I took when Dad and Lisa came to visit the first week of January. We were at Hurricane Ridge. I stood at the bottom of a hill to take this picture - I love how it looks like they're crossing a mountain peak!

Togetherness or Metal
I chose togetherness for this one, and took a sweet picture of my daughter and my hand. The photo isn't superb, but I do love that little hand.

Abandoned or Doors
So this is my son's boots abandoned by the front door. I took a bunch of these, but I like the angle on the picture the best.

This week's challenge is Blessings or Tiny. Stay tuned for that picture sometime this week.

I Used To...

I have been in a funk lately, down and out. This is not the way I wanted to start a new year, especially when I had such high expectations for 2011 (read about them here). As I said in that post, at the start of 2011 I made the decision to stop allowing life to happen to me, but rather, to make life happen for me! Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing so well with that thus far.

Last weekend I took the kids roller-skating. We hadn’t gone in quite a while, and it was a blast! When we were taking a slurpie break (gotta love the blue raspberry!) I was telling the kids about how when I was a teenager I used to be a really good skater, and I used to go every weekend.

Later in the week I was talking with a friend, and mentioned that I used to dance. I mentioned to someone else that week that I used to sing, and to another person that I used to write poetry.

I realized that is a lot of “I used to…” Unfortunately, I also realized that I don’t have a lot of “Now I…” I can give you a litany of excuses for this, some of which are really good and very valid. I am the single working mom of a four and five year old. Add to that some OCD tendencies and a desire to be perfect at everything, and you’ve got a woman whose time is generally consumed with work, raising children, and making sure the house and things are as perfect as she can get them with the remaining time she has. In other words, there just isn’t time for all of those things that “I used to” do.

I’ve also got a lot of not-so-good excuses too… I’m too old to skate, I no longer have the body of a dancer, there’s no reason for me to sing, and I have nothing left to write about. They may be bad excuses, but I have been using them anyhow.

The problem is, those “I used to…” things are the things that made me me. They are the things that brought me joy and happiness.

Last night I chose to get a sitter and go skating. Yups, by myself. Yups, at age 30. I think the average age at the rink was about 13, and aside from the guy working there and the 6-yr-old learning to skate, I was the only person on the rink on quads – everyone else was on rollerblades! But you know what, the moment I walked in and smelled that roller rink smell (is that a combination of stinky feet and teenagers who haven’t yet learned the value of deodorant?) I was happy. The freedom I felt when skating exhilarating, and I loved the speed and the grace of it. I felt like me.

So I have decided that I need to make all those things that “I used to” do things that “Now I” do. It doesn’t matter that I’m ‘too old’ to go skating – skating makes me feel young. It doesn’t really matter that I don’t have the body of a dancer – I have the spirit of a dancer. It doesn’t matter that I have nowhere important to sing – singing makes me happy. It doesn’t matter that I think nothing in my life is worth writing about – it’s worth it to me to write.

Stay tuned…I’m going to have a series of “Now I…” posts over the next few months, because like I said in my original post about 2011, I’m ready to make life happen. As a friend and coworker says – it’s time to kick life in the @$$. I guess that means I better get out my butt-whooping boots, and start dancing.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Wandering through the aisles of JoAnne's today I saw some beautiful beads and knew I wanted to do something with them. I've never done any beading before, but figured I'd give it a shot, and I got the supplies for some bead earrings.

Here they are. What do you think? Not bad for my first pair, if you ask me! Anyhow, these took me all of about 10 or 15 minutes, and when I priced it out, cost a whopping $1.60.

Squooshed Planter

I love, love, loved these banged up little planters over at Family Chic (which, by the way is one of the best blogs EVER). Plus, what better way to get out your aggressions than beating up things with hammers?!

I however, have a black thumb, so I opted for silk flowers from the Dollar Tree. Loving the bulbs better, but since I can't kill silk flowers, I'll be content with these.

Several nights ago I took my hammer to a can we'd used that night for dinner (black beans, in case you were curious). It was quite fun actually! I applied a few coats of purple paint that I'd gotten for free from some sort of online promotion months ago, and waited patiently for it to dry.

Tonight I added silk flowers and set it down with the rest of my entryway decor. Ta-da! Happiness in a beat up can for only $2. Now, can you really beat that?

Heart Art

I ran into this great Heart Specimen Art over at Embellishing Life, and I knew I just had to try it to add to my 'classy' Valentines Day decor.

Today during my trip to the Dollar Tree I found a great red frame guessed it...only one buck! I knew it would be perfect.

This was by far one of the easiest crafts I have done. The only 'issue' I had was getting over my OCD for long enough to accept that my hearts will not be perfectly and evenly spaced. :)

This is what I did...
As I watched 'How to Train a Dragon' with the kiddos I used my heart punch to make a slew of hearts out of some old book pages. I then hot glued a piece of tan fabric to the backing of the frame. Using pop dots, I affixed the hearts in as straight of lines as I could, leaving room in the middle for my bigger heart. For that one, I used a chipboard heart, which I inked red. Slip the whole thing in the frame, without the glass, and voila! Heart Art is born! Total time, about 10 minutes. Total cost, $1 plus random supplies I had on hand. Yes, this one was a success.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hair Clip Obsession

They are soooo cute, and soooo easy, and soooo tiny and precious! :)
I think I might be slightly obsessed with hairclip making. No pictures tonight, though, as some of them are GIFTS! Who might the lucky recipients be?!?! Hmmmm...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fun Little Bits!

I've been seeing all these posts on various blogs of folks making cutesy hair clips. So today when I was in JoAnnes getting a styrofoam ball (another craft that may not get posted - its turning out a wee bit ugly!) I picked up 2 bags of hair clips as well. Below is what I've made so far.

Here's my fav one in my hair... I'm calling it 'book love' - I just cut a strip from a page of an old book, and stuck a felt heart on it!

And here's the headband, complete with book page flower and sparkly ribbon! I'm not usually a headband type girl, but I kinda like this one! :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spreading Love and Good Fortune!

When looking for additional things to add to my V-Day display, I found these cute little felt fortune cookies over at Martha Stewart's website. Now, I'm not normally a Martha type gal - way too complex for me - but these looked like something even I could handle.I didn't want to fill mine with goodies like she did, so I glued my edges shut and added a felt 'fortune.'

I made up 6, added them to a little purple pot, threw down a few more mussel shell hearts (I'm kinda loving those little guys), and ta-da! Here it entry way. I'm still going to make a topiary (post to follow at some later date), but that will probably end up elsewhere in my house.

Valentines Day Rustic Wreath

When I first saw this rustic driftwood wreath over at alisaburke, I was totally in love! I knew I wated to make one and asked Zack to pick me up some driftwood from Ketchikan. He did, and I've had a backpack full of shells and wood in my garage just waiting for the right moment to make a wreath.

I was wanting some Valentines Day decor that wasn' and mushy. So I decided to try my hand at this wreath.

I also added a heart made out of mussel shells to give it a bit more of a Valentines Day touch.

As you can see, mine isn't quite as circular, or near as 'filled out' as hers (I didn't have any little pieces of driftwood), but I'm happy with the end result.

Here's a preview of the rest of my V-Day decor as well. I made the people with some of my scrabook stash, and my magenetic board is made with a few pieces of Scrabble paper and some popdots. The entryway still needs a bit of something else - maybe a little topiary or something?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Looking Back on 2011

(inspired by Single Dad Lauging’s post)

2011 was a year to remember and look back on with a smile.

At the start of 2011 I made the decision to stop allowing life to happen to me, but rather, to make life happen for me! I decided to choose to live life and live it for all it was worth! This year I was happy and in control of my life!

I started out 2011 at 172 pounds, but by my birthday I was down below my goal weight and looking the best I had in years. This summer I participated again in “Run With the Cops, Not From Them” and I also ran in several other 5Ks. I am feeling healthy and sexy!

Speaking of sexy, this Valentines Day I bought myself a red dress and went out on the town just because I could! Sometimes it’s important for a woman to feel girly, and this year I made sure I allowed myself to do so often. I also grew my hair out to my waist, and then cut it, donating it to Locks of Love.

Tabby and Zeal had a great year. They both made it through the year healthy and happy. Tabby really excelled in school and Zeal continued to learn and grow. They learned to be kinder and more patient with each other, and I learned as well to be more patient with them. Zack and I worked together to be good parents to the children, and were able to put aside any personal differences to focus on the children.

When the kids went to visit Zack over the summer I was able to take a road trip, enjoy some time with girlfriends, and just relax for a while.

As a family we also did a lot of really great things together – camping trips, hikes, trips to the zoo, and little outings and adventures. We also really tried to contribute to the community and help out others as much as we could.

I was able to keep my job, even in these hard economic times, and continue to enjoy my work. I love seeing people grow and change their lives, and I am happy to be even a small part of this change in their lives.

I spent time with my family, and hung out with my friends. I loved deeply and I lived well.

Yes, 2011 was a year to remember.