Friday, December 21, 2012

A Holiday High Five

I can't believe Christmas is just days away, and I still have three people to shop for and a mile long list of crafts to complete. This week was pretty great, Amelia and I made some awesome memories and just had a blast. Here is my high five for Friday post!

1. Amelia is learning the true meaning of Christmas by giving to others who might not expect it. Yesterday she gave a box of chocolates to our mail man and he was beyond thrilled. It was so cute to watch her walk out there shouting 'Merry Christmas'. We have a few more surprises to pass out so I will post about that later. 

 2. We dressed our cat up as Santa, and he was less than thrilled!

 3. This week we celebrated my Auntie Debbie's 60th Birthday! It was a blast!

4. We headed to the mountain Wednesday to play in the snow. It was freezing up at Timberline so we spent most of our time playing at Government Camp.  

5. This is Spirit our elf... and today he pooped Hershey Kisses onto peanut butter cookies. Too funny! My sister gave me the idea and my mom made the cookies. Amelia cracked up at this. 

And there ya have it folks, a little recap of my week. Now I've got to get back to some serious crafting. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

High Five for Friday

This week was pretty great! I feel like I got a few things accomplished, lost a couple of pounds and spent some time with my Mama!

1. My Mama spent the night last night and this  morning we got up and headed to see Santa. Amelia smiled on his lap for the first time ever and it was an overall fun day.

2. On top of seeing Santa we rode on the Bridgeport train. It just goes around the shopping center (it is outdoors) and it was a blast for Amelia.

3. Our elf Spirit has been pretty funny lately!

4. So this is the doorway going down to our basement... and that is the wall of gates I made to put our cat in kitty timeout. He has been naughty around the tree so he keeps getting in trouble.

5. I know the personal events in my life this week were of joy and not tragedy, but my heart aches for the families and friends of the victims in the two shootings this week. A gunman entered a mall located about 10 minutes from my home and opened fire, killing two innocent people before he shot himself. The shooting today in Newtown Connecticut has me praying as hard as I can. I've seen this picture floating around Facebook and every time I see it pop up again it gives me an uneasy feeling. Tiny little babes were taken from this world by the horrific actions of one person, when they were just starting their lives. I pray that we as a people figure out how to stop this. Things like this should never happen.

As I leave you tonight I ask you to pray as well for the victims, their families and friends, and our country as a whole.

Friday, December 7, 2012

High Five for Friday!

Hey All,
I'm excited to finally write this high five for Friday post! I promised myself I would step away from the Christmas crafting to post today. Lately things have been pure chaos, but I really like being busy and find myself enjoying the late nights. I have a list a mile long of things to get done before Christmas, I feel like an elf!

So here ya have it, my Friday post!

 1. I've been working on some new things for my Etsy shop. I absolutely love these hair clips! They are for sale at AmeliaBug. Keep and eye out for some new items in the near future.

2. Meet our elf Spirit! He has been visiting us since Thanksgiving... and I must say, he causes a lot of trouble. At least today he was only fishing instead of smearing toothpaste all over the counter and writing on our mirrors with lipstick. Oh and let's not forget the day he decorated our Christmas tree with Amelia's panties. I will share the adventures of Spirit with you all in another post. 

3. Our Christmas tree! It is finally lit and decorated. It looks so beautiful at night when it is lit... all 1600 lights! 

4. My little sister Grace graduated from fire academy this past Tuesday! I am so proud of her heading down the path to pursue her dream of being a firefighter. Good job little sis!

5. I have had quite the exhausted little babe lately! This was her on Saturday after her final Nutcracker performance. She is such a little beauty :) 

Well there ya have it, a few snippets of my week. Hopefully you will hear from me a little more often from now on. 

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dear Nutcracker, I love this time of year...

I said I would write a post the other day, but failed to deliver... that just goes to show you the chaos that is my life at the moment. So my daughter Amelia started ballet for the first time in September and immediately loved it. Shortly after she started taking lessons, the owner of the studio decided that he was going to put on the Nutcracker instead of a winter recital. Dancers didn't have to participate but Amelia was loving ballet so much already that we decided to sign her up. I didn't realize how much of a commitment a ballet performance of this nature would be for even a 3 year old, but I am so glad we were a part of the wonderful production. Amelia has had regular lessons on Thursdays and then Nutcracker rehearsal every Saturday for the last couple of months. Usually Saturday rehearsals were about two hours and I got to help a little with costumes and organizing the kids. It was a great experience for both Amelia and myself. This past Friday and Saturday were their performances. The show was held at a local high school's theater and practically sold out both performances (589 seats in the theater). I got to watch the Friday show and then I was backstage for the Saturday one. For a little ballet studio... it was awesome! I was beyond impressed with how everything came together and I am already looking forward to helping out with their next big performance. Here are a few pictures of the time we spent on this.


The Sunday after Thanksgiving we went and got our Christmas tree. It is a beautiful 8&1/2 foot tree and I finally got it lit and decorated on Monday night. My mom, sisters and I are very picky on how we like our trees to be lit. We thread the lights on each branch and even going a little lighter on lights this year, I ended up with 1600 lights on my tree (16 strands). I will have to take some good pictures now that it is finished and post them tonight.

With getting ready for Christmas, doing a little shopping, running all over for ballet, having family over to our house and maintaining our elf on the shelf... this Mama has been busy! I have a lot of craft projects that I need to complete before Christmas and I am beyond excited! Well, this was a quick post but I will hopefully get around to another one tonight or tomorrow morning. I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Absent Ashley

Oh wow, I have been gone for quite some time! I promise to post tomorrow!!! My daughter performed in the Nutcracker Ballet that her studio put on and it has been quite the whirlwind experience. We have been spending hours upon hours at the studio rehearsing and getting things ready. They just had their two performances last night and this afternoon... full update to follow. Right now I have a very sleepy ballerina that wants snuggles.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Thankful Thirty - November 21, 2012

November 21st:
Today I am thankful that tomorrow is Thanksgiving!!! A time for family, good food and fun!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Thankful Thirty - November 20, 2012

November 20th:
Today I am thankful for being crafty... also another thing I got from my mom! Ever since I was a little girl I have obsessed over arts and crafts. I am so glad that Amelia has the same love for it that I do and that we are able to work on projects all of the time together. The possibilities are endless in my mind of things I can do. Just today I went to JoAnn's and brought home loads of supplies for Christmas! I'm hoping once the holidays are over I will be able to spend more time on getting my Etsy shop back up and running.

Fun Ashley Fact: When I was younger and being naughty my parents would take away anything "artsy" as my punishment. Losing my pens, paper, scissors, glue and anything else I could get creative with was definitely the worst form of punishment and it definitely made me want to be a better kid!

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Thankful Thirty - November 19, 2012

November 19th:
I was sitting here thinking about the holidays today, and how it isn't about what Santa brings me. Our holiday tradition usually begins with church on Christmas Eve. I always love going to church and looking at how beautifully decorated everything is, and the happiness on everyone's face. After mass we generally head home and wrap! I know, my family is usually up until the wee morning hours wrapping presents after Amelia goes to sleep(why we don't do it in advance is beyond me). When Christmas morning comes around my family and I are always more excited to give presents than to receive. We take turns opening presents and all watch with excitement to see what the other family member is getting. While our Christmas mornings might look overboard to some, it is not because we ask for a lot, but because we give a lot. I love this time of year, when I can take the time to really thing about a gift for my family members that they will cherish.  Whether it is store bought or home made, the appreciation on their faces makes the holidays magical. This year Amelia has created a Christmas list, which is a first for her. Her first Christmas she was too little to know what she wanted, her second Christmas all she wanted was a stuff puppy, and last year it was a stuffed kitty... no long list and nothing too extravagant. This year, well let's just say it is a little different. It started a few months back when she informed me she was going to get an iPod for Christmas so that she could listen to Lady Gaga whenever she wants, then a few weeks later she needed this castle that she loves... Saturday, well Saturday she said she was going to get a phone or a computer of her own so that she can play games... and then she followed that with "and I am gonna get it because it is on my Christmas list". She didn't say it in a rude/spoiled fashion, just in conversation... but still, she has put quite a few things on this "list". I want her to learn that giving is as great a gift as giving, so her and I are going to get a tag off of the giving tree at church and go out and buy a present for a little kid who might not have as much. Today I am thankful that I was brought up by parents who taught me that Christmas is more than just presents, Santa and how much stuff I get. It is about spending time with the ones we love, giving to others and making memories. After all, Santa didn't even exist when Jesus was born!

 Amelia's 2nd Christmas

 My Grandma Grace, Amelia and My Grandpa Richard
This was our last Christmas with Grandpa

My Thankful Thirty - November 18, 2012

November 18th:
Today I am thankful for lazy days that allow us to relax and enjoy the company of one another. While I was working it seemed we were constantly trying to cram so much into a weekend that we never really had a "lazy" day. I love that I can wake up and sip on a cup of tea while reading a book before Amelia wakes up... or sleep in and then throw on comfy fleece pants after a warm shower, before coloring and playing dress up. When I was working I was taking almost two times the daily allotted ibuprofen and other otc pain meds to help with severe headaches. Now, while I still maintain a headache every day, I can tolerate the headaches because they have eased up quite a bit! So yes, I am very thankful for relaxing days!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Thankful Thirty - November 17, 2012

November 17th:
Today I am thankful for my extended family! I know I've been thankful for my parents, sisters, grandma, husband and daughter, but I'm talking about the many aunts and uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, and the numerous others I get to call family! Each one of them has played some sort of part in my wonderful life, and each one would be there for my family and I no matter what. I truly am blessed to not only have an amazing immediate family, but a huge extended family as well. So... thank you for being an amazing part of who I am.

Friday, November 16, 2012

High Five for Friday

Hey All,
It's Friday!!! I only know it is Friday because the date shows up on my phone. It seems that all of my days run together now and I rarely know what day it is. Here is my High Five for Friday post... Linking up with Lauren over at From My Grey Desk.

1. Amelia and Rudy had quite a long staring competition with a little friend perched up in the tree. It was so cute to listen to Amelia talking to Rudy about how "Santa's squirrel was going to tell him if they were being naughty or nice"

 2. Our little friend. He has been making an appearance non-stop for the past 3 days.

 3. Amelia's yummy treat of a chocolate brownie, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and mini M&Ms

 4. Grace and I went to grab a bite to eat after seeing Twilight last night. Yay for Sister time!

5. You will all be surprised to hear that Tinkerbell lives in my house... and she calls me Mama. I am so very lucky!

Tomorrow Amelia has a 3 hour rehearsal scheduled for the Nutcracker. Other than that, I plan to have a pretty relaxed/crafty weekend.

My Thankful Thirty - November 16, 2012

November 16th:
Today I am thankful for living within my means. So often you hear of people who want fancy vacations and expensive toys... but they can't afford it. I love that my husband and I know what we can and can't do, and we don't rack up credit card after credit card to get the stuff that is out of our reach. This has been incredibly important now that I am staying home.

What are you thankful for today?

Link up below and let my readers and I know...

My Thankful Thirty - November 15,2012

November 15th:
Today I am thankful for great books being turned into great movies! My sister Erica's friend rented an entire theater at the Cinetopia in Beaverton, and we got to go see the final Twilight movie at 9:00pm last night!!! I think it was my favorite of the entire series. I obviously won't give any details on the movie since some of you might not have seen it yet, but I will say... it was great!
Grace and I at the movie! 

I love reading a book and then watching how they do at turning that book into a movie. My all time favorite book/movie combo is Pride and Prejudice! I can't even tell you how many times I've read that book, and the movie is my go to when I just want to snuggle up on the couch.

I am excited for the next Hunger Games movie, and Anna Karenina , but I have to read that book again since it has been years.

Tell me, what is your favorite book turned into movie combo?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Thankful Thirty - November 14th

November 14th:
Today I am thankful for a very very clean house! I've been working on each room one by one, and after a crazy four hour cleaning-fest that my husband and I had today... it is spotless! Well, as spotless as it can be with a 3 year old in the house. I've been working on some decor and such so I will post pictures once our rooms have their "finishing touches" added to them. For today I will just post a picture of the disaster that was our bedroom a while back... please keep in mind I was in the middle of sorting and thrashing so this is not exactly how it always looked :) In a previous post where I used this picture I also said I would post updates once it is done. I will do that before too long.

My Thankful Thirty - November 13, 2012

November 13th:
Today I am thankful for my little sister! Gracie is a pretty awesome person and I am lucky to have her in my life. Back in the day we did everything together, and even though I rarely see her now, I love the time we do spend together. Gracie is a beautiful, smart and strong young woman, and I just hope she sees the amazing person that we all see in her. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Thankful Thirty - November 12, 2012

November 12th:
Today I am thankful for water. I know it might seem a little silly to be thankful for water, but I have a major obsession with it. A few years ago I found myself drinking way too many sugary drinks, primarily Mt. Dew and Amp, so I stopped with it all cold turkey :) and switched to only drinking water. I now drink about a gallon or more per day; I get to the point where I crave it. I am so glad I made the change to water only, and it makes me feel so good. I can always tell when I haven't been drinking my water, usually on the weekends, when I start to get lethargic. So today... I am so thankful for my addiction to water! It is a good love affair to have!

This is the jug of water I had every day when I was still working. Now that I'm home I still drink this much and a few more glasses of water each day. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful Thirty - November 11, 2012

November 11th:
Today I am thankful for music! I have always had an obsession with music, and not any one particular style. I listen to everything; heavy metal, country, hip hop, rap, pop, bluegrass, punk and pretty much everything else but jazz. No matter how I'm feeling, whether I'm down, sad, happy, melancholy, giddy etc, I can always find the right music to fit my mood. I've been lucky enough over the years to not only see dozens and dozens of artists/bands perform, but to meet quite a few of them as well. I hope Amelia shares in my love of music!
My guitar and I