Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Yippee!! A Guest Design Team Member!!

I just read my email and was very excited to find out that I was picked for the Guest Design Team member for July at Coordinates Collections! How fabulous is that?!?! The page about Good Women from Mother's Day. I can't wait to get the kit and design some fabulous stuff!!

It's even more cool for me because July is Annde's birthday and the kit for July is full of red, white, and blue. {You can see the kit on Jamie's Blog } I was totally having a hard time picking which kit to choose (or buy both) and now I don't have to!!

Well, back to work... Just wanted to share my fabulous news!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm back from the Beach...

I am sooooo tired and a little bit red too!

Being on a relaxing vacation with absolutely no plans was totally amazing. Sitting on a raft and floating in the Bay off Virginia Beach was so fabulous, especially when it was coupled with catching up with old friends! (the sunburn was worth it!) The Sangria, sun, and sea were great embellishments to the perfect scrapbook page involving a weekend full of firsts: Annde's first trip to a Beach, Annde's first 2 mile nap on Mom's shoulders, and Jana's first crab bite! All in all, very cool. Look for pics to come. I couldn't decide tonight which ones of the 400 pictures (in 2 days) that I took would be the best to post. I'll save that for later this week. The phrase of the week was definitely: "My boobies are burning!" (Tim got very toasty, and it wasn't just due to the Sangria!)

As normal, the first day after a vacation was horrible and left me wishing I had stayed in Virginia. The crap hit the fan, sending my calm blood pressure through the roof. Sigh! Maybe I should take Robin's suggestion to move there... or maybe Florida. They have nice beaches too!

The good news from today is that my friend had her baby - Amy, Chris and sister Anna were blessed on Sunday with healthy 10 pounder they named Kevin. The delivery was unexpectedly quick and everyone is already home. Congrats!!

I did finally hear back from my sister on her mini-book... She loved it! Here it is for you to see... She can't wait to add pictures to it as both embellishments on the pages and as new pages by themselves. I just love the blackboard chipboard and the EK success line of Harley stuff is great for any female biker to use! :) I love the name of her team: Bikers for Boobies! The Susan G Komen initials actually form the bike. Very clever!!
Well, off to bed... Hopefully, I can catch up on some sleep! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

CK August 08... In MY words...

So I got this email yesterday...

Hi, Jana,
We would love to publish your journaling in the “In Your Words” column in the August issue of Creating Keepsakes. Congratulations! To thank you for submitting, we will be sending you a copy of “Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 2” by Jessica Sprague a month or so after the August issue is published. Please let me know if we should mail it to an address different from the one listed below. Thank you again for submitting to our August question. We are excited to publish your words!

Enjoy the day,

Brittany Beattie
Managing Editor
Creating Keepsakes

Don't you just love winning stuff... especially when it means you get something - even your words - published? The funny story actually is that I submitted both a layout and the wording in the same email. As I was walking up to my daughter's daycare, I was scanning my email and saw the message and assume (Duh, Jana! Read the WHOLE email!!!) that they were publishing both. It wasn't until I went back and read the email (I thought making a decision for August's issue for a layout was pretty late at this point)... I realized I was wrong. Good thing I only told my hubby and BFF, eh?!?!?!

Monday, May 19, 2008

New DT Kit - What a Challenge!

So, I picked up my May DT Kit today from the Zone. It was packed full of goodies: from Felt Matties to Prima Transparencies, from Cosmo paper to Scenic Route (FAVE!!) chipboard, from 7 Gypsies stamps to Pink Paislee letters... Fabulous! I made sure this time that I checked the bag BEFORE I went shopping.

So, on my drive home, I thought about the papers and what I had to scrap and realized something: the Cosmo paper is really heritage-y and baby in theme. I don't have any heritage photos and I am completely caught up on Annde - no baby pics left to scrap! Oh No!! What am I going to make out of this kit?

In rides my BFF Tracy to the rescue! She has tons of baby pics to scrap of her two boys, Aiden and Keegan. She will generously (AHAHAHA) lend me some to scrap. And to think, she's been offering to pay me to scrap for her (to catch her up) for a long time... So, Tracy, here's your first layout...
This page is very special to me. Aiden is such a sweet and amazing boy. He's so smart and kind and giving. But, as a baby, he was the term COLIC defined. In his defense, he's allergic to both milk and soy. But, he could cry and scream for hours and hours and hours... I remember babysitting him so that Tracy and Randy could go out and when we finally got him to sleep on Steve's chest, grabbing Steve's chest hair, I told Steve if he moved, I would kick him in the... well, you know where! The one person who could get him to sleep and could calm him down was Tracy. This is the position that they spent almost every night/nap in. I'll update the pic after the words to describe this picture are written... {NOTE: the picture looks a little grainy on the left but that's just the flash reflecting off the transparency...}

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cyber Crop at Scrap for A Cure!

Hopefully everyone of you had a great weekend. Mine was pretty relaxing. I did a bunch of laundry and then scrapbooked a ton last night. There was a Cyber Crop going on over at Scrap for A Cure and I had a lot of fun participating in it. I still have a challenge (ad inspiration) and a dare (use ugly paper) to do but it was fun to try and spin my style to work with the pictures I had and the challenge that was issued.

This was a Pre-crop challenge: Create your own background paper... I have seen some great papers with circles lately so I created some of my own! It took me FOR-EVER to do this page... almost 3 hours. I didn't think of how long it would take to hand stitch a 8" circle 4 times before I did it. Love the results though. I got this quote from Lisa Bearnson's blog - it was on a gift she received from Heather D. White - and I absolutely knew that I had to use it with pictures from Mother's day... The quote on it is:

Here's to Good Women
May we know them
May we be them
May we raise them

This page was inspired by a number challenge. I journaled about Annde growing and getting ready to go to Pre-school in the fall. Its a simply page but I think it fabulous. I love the fact that the pictures are of the playground for the school where she will go in a year for Kindergarten. Time really flies, eh?

This challenge almost did me in. The challenge was to only use 3 embellishment types on the page: felt, Stamps, and Chipboard. Anyone who knows me knows I love to over embellish! No brads or eyelets? No bling or rubons? ARRGHHH!!!! While I like how it turned out, I won't be able to control myself... I will be going back to add the brads to the centers of the flowers and a rub on "A" to the heart....

I did this page for my All About Me book, using a scraplift layout challenge. I like how it came out... I also like the green stamp at the top that says [1] [2] [3] [4]... I used it as a checklist... It now says [1] check!, just [2]?, or maybe [3] or [4]... (That one was for Tracy who is always teasing me about my multiple factor).

This was for a non-layout challenge. We were tasked with taking pictures of the world around us with a different view than normal. I can't believe how cool this picture turned out. Its my reflection in the back of our Expedition. I've worked on Ford brakes for the last 10+ years and the Expedition off and on for that whole time. I am going to do a page about being an engineer - something about it - using an 8x8 copy of this picture...

So, I definitely had some mojo working yesterday... I really like the results and hope you do too. Hope you have a great day on Monday. Mine's going to stink - I have to spend all day in the pit of MTP taping on little rubber bumpers. Sigh! Is this what they pay me for?

Friday, May 16, 2008

I am a Mother. I am an Engineer.

This posting might offend you so I apologize in advance. But, I have to get this off my chest... I am not attacking anyone directly. I am not responding to a specific person... I just need to say something before I explode. So here goes:

Everyone has those those irrational pet peeves that just jump on every nerve. I admit it... I have quite a few. Who doesn't? Most of mine are harmless: not putting the cap on the toothpaste, people wearing pants that are too short, those who get in the express lane with more than 12 items, those people who think that if you just drive slower when you are talking on a phone, you won't cause an accident...

Most of the time, I mutter/think to myself, "Why can't you just flip the cap down on the toothpaste?" or "did you forget how to count?" and let it go from my mind. Today, with my bad day going and my headache blaring, I have the urge to say something. So, if I offend you, I am truly sorry... This is just my opinion and the opinion of several of my coworkers who are also engineers from lunch today.

Per the dictionary, the definition for engineer is:
1. a person trained and skilled in the design, construction, and use of engines or machines, or in any of various branches of engineering: a mechanical engineer; a civil engineer.
2. a person who operates or is in charge of an engine.

Lately, it has come to pass that "a skillful manager" has been added to the term to use engineer as an verb - not a noun... as in "he skillfully engineered the proposal". It has also been linked to garbage collectors (sanitation engineer) and stay at home moms (domestic engineer) for some reason. It drives me ABSOLUTELY batty when it's attached to a word that has nothing to do with engineering!

A domestic engineer... I think its supposed to mean someone who manages the household and family. It's supposed to sound more professional than stay-at-home mom (SAHM), homemaker, or housewife. When did saying 'I am a SAHM' become such a negative thing? I have read website after website, blog after blog, stating that being a mother is the most amazing vocation in the world. I happen to agree.. and if your choice - the best thing for your family - is to stay at home, than BE PROUD OF IT! Don't use an invented term to make it sound more impressive to others ... do their opinions really matter to you?

I worked really hard to get my engineering degree - 4 years of calculus and 2 years of advanced physics and multiple classes on fluid and soil mechanics, electrical and computer sciences... to graduate with the dual degree of Environmental/Mechanical Engineer. I am very proud to say that I am an engineer.

I am also very proud to be raising my daughter for the last 4 years. When people ask what my job is, I say "Engineer" because it is my job... not my life. Your job isn't necessarily the same as your life. My life involves being a mother and a wife, a sister and a daughter, a granddaughter, an aunt, and a friend. I also happen to work as an engineer.

And why do you have to have a job? Didn't you make this decision when you chose to stay home with your child? Why do we let what we do daily define who we tell people we are? If you are a stay at home mom, you don't have a traditional job in the working world. If someone asks you what you do, simply say, I am a stay at home mom or I am taking time out of my career to raise my children. Be proud of what who you are and what you do. Don't try to fancy it up so other's can perceive your job differently than you think they will if you use the SAHM title. Do you not realize that in their minds, they are translating domestic engineer to be stay at home mom anyway? Why bother saying it then? All you do is manage to annoy those of us who are engineers (by the way, all the coworkers I am talking about are also working moms)...

So the next time someone asks you what your job is, don't answer it as a job, answer it as what you do. Simply say, I am a {blank}. That way, we won't have to come up with fancy terms to say something so others will be impressed. Some of the strongest, most capable women I know are SAHM. So don't be afraid to be proud of who you are and what you do...

I will continue to be as proud of my life: I am a Mom and an Engineer. One is my life and the other is my job. Be proud of what you do, too...

Okay... off my soapbox...

Another Curse in our Lives

It's a curse... a rotton, horrible curse... but it's our jobs!

As an automotive engineer in a "just-in-time" manner, it always seems that the crap hits the fan when a holiday is coming up. Obviously, next weekend is Memorial Day. I have big plans... plans that include me getting on a plane and flying out to see friends I haven't seen in 5 years... and now, the crap rains down from my customer on an issue and suddenly it's like Christmas 2001, or Easter 2006 or Mother's Day 2006 or July 4th, 2006 or... well the holidays go on and on... It seems like each holiday is a magnet for trouble for my job...

Steve's is the same way. He's currently in 80-hr work weeks and will be through the majority of the summer. That's insane, you say? It's the government! Wait until the last minute and everything still has to be done by the deadline, even if the data isn't populated or there are still errors in the code. He's had a headache for 4 days constantly and is so stressed out.

So far, the customer is being "reasonable" by letting me wait until Monday to rework the parts. Who knows if it will last though. Sigh! I am still going though. I want to relax in Virginia Beach with my buddies... Robin says that she's got wireless that "stretches" out to the beach...

Vacation and a day off can't get here fast enough...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Belated Mother's Day


I survived... but just barely! What an eventful week.

Mega Meet was awesome (and expensive if my credit card is telling the truth)... It was fun to be a part of. I got to see some old friends, do some great shopping, and experience the life of retail. I had a great time and I got some fabulous stuff... Look for it to show up here in the next month or two.

The Scrap for A Cure fundraiser came out much better than I had hoped. We had about 20 people there and I believe everyone left with a prize - including me! {I won 2 raffles and 2 auctions. I really wanted that beach bag for the trip next week and I won. AHAHAHA There was no chance I was going to lose it!} I taught two classes: Scrapbook 101 and Using Sketches. Both classes seemed to go over well with the participants so that had me very excited. We had entries for every one of the 5 scrapbook challenges and got to give away some great prizes. Best of all, Tracy was able to raise quite a bit of money towards her 3-Day goals. We have 2 more to do and I am very confident we will be able to get Tracy, her Mom, and my sister to their fundraising goals so they can participate in the 3-Day! Thanks to everyone who donated prizes for the fundraiser. I truly appreciate everything!!Then, Sunday was Mother's Day. My hubby and daughter treated me to yellow tulips, a necklace with earrings, and breakfast at Panera. After church, we hung out, took a nap, and made dinner together. It was relaxing and fun. I wish we could have gone outside to ride Annde's new bike but it was pouring!!! So, we decided to do a Mom's Day redo in June, complete with brunch and the bikes. I can't wait... :) I also bought myself 2 Mother's day gifts: Lisa Bearnson's new book: 50 Moments that Matter Most and some scrapbooking clothes {a shirt that reads "be nice to me or I will crop you out of my pictures" and a sweatshirt that reads "scrapbook queen" on the back"}. The book is sooooo inspiring! I recommend it to all scrapbookers!

Well, so long for now. I must grab some grub cause my tummy is very grumbly!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

the Scrapbook Zone, Sandy and Stacy x 2!

Today, I had my first experience with working retail: the Scrapbook Zone at Mega Meet. Here's the booth - right inside Mega Meet's front doors. {That's Kevin, the owner, doing last minute checks.} Since I have no retail experience, I obviously had never run a cash register before. I guess it's a good thing that I am quick learner on anything technical, eh? Luckily, I didn't have to learn too much to get it going and sell, sell, sell!! I had a blast! There were times where we had lines across the floor and others when we were all waiting for a customer. The paper pack, fibers, and the Jolee's seem to fly off the shelves... what a deal... My feet are a little sore (I guess flip flops aren't the best choice!) and my back is a little stiff from bending down to make change. It was definitely a great experience, though. I just love how excited everyone was to be shopping! Tomorrow, I will be too! While the booth was slow, I ran over to registration to pick up my stuff and ran into Stacy Julien. I really wanted to go to her Opening Speech last night but things just didn't work out. Stacy (fellow DT and Prima flower hoarder) did and said it was very inspiring. I would have to agree from what she passed on from Stacy's message. I truly believe that all would be lost and I would lose my mind if I wasn't as organized as I am.... Apparently, Stacy Julien agrees! Kindred spirits, eh?
Here's a picture of us... (Too bad, I didn't grab my program and get her signature, eh?)The other funny thing that happened is that the whole design team ran into each other at the Zone booth!!! Sandy ran into me at the booth first. She got there early and was shopping - I even had her do a little for me!! {Kevin couldn't believe I was sending her off to buy me a Cricut bag when he was willing to give me a discount! Aahahaha... just joking, Kevin! Of course, I will buy it from you!} Then Prima girl (aka Stacy) showed up and the two of them shopped until the slave driver let me go for lunch. I had a blast at lunch - Sandy showed off her organization system (goin' copy that one!!) and Stacy dished the dirt about the classes she took. Then I went back to work and sent them off to scope the stores. They did some shopping and then I snuck away (with Kevin's permission of course!) and did some shopping. It was fabulous fun!! I can't wait to do more with these two ladies this year!
Tomorrow - I will get to be a shopper and then head over to set up for the Breast Cancer crop. No sneak peeks today, ladies... its getting close and there is still a bunch to do. I really hope it all goes well on Saturday. The 3 Day is so important!! Who knows: The money from this year might actually find the cure for Breast cancer and spread on the cure to all other forms.

Off to catch some ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZs....

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Team Reach's Logo

A while back, I saw a doodle by Stephanie from Homegrown Hospitality of Romans 5:3-4. It's been adopted as Tracy's Team Reach quote. I've been meaning to do something for Tracy using this verse. I've sketched something a bunch of times but it always ends up looking just like Stephanie's. So, since I really like what I've been working on lately for the crop, I came up with this using the same digital components as the name tags (Sweet Genevieve, Melanie Wellman, and R Farrer). Let me know what you think... Team REACH stands for the 5 words highlighted: Rejoice, Endurance, Attitute, Character, and Hope.

It's goin' to be great!!

So, I got to help Kevin, Amy, Katie, and the team set up today at Mega Meet. I can see how it becomes absolutely overwhelming... aisle after wonderful aisle of nothing but scrapbook stuff. I know I'm going to have to hit at least the Piggy Tales, Cricut, and SEI booths - I walked by them on the way out and couldn't believe all the great items for sale. Good thing I get paid Friday when it's my turn to shop?

Anyway, the Zone has a fabulous location: right next to registration. There is so much fabulousness there too. (Is that a word?) There's EK stuff all over, including a massive Jolie's section and paper packs, in addition to the Hero Arts, Scenic Route (MY FAVORITE!!), Clear Stamps by Autumn Leaves (I just love Katie and Rhonna's sets), American Crafts (pens, brads, ribbon, and Thickers!), Prima flowers, and so much more!! I was blown away!! Luckily, Kevin let me pre-shop since I am working all day tomorrow on the cash register and wouldn't get a chance. Here's some of what I bought for me!!

But, I didn't just shop for me... I managed to snag some great additions to the goodie bags for the Crop for A Cure Fundraiser Saturday. Yesterday, I did the sneak peak for the name tags. Today, a show a sneak peak of one of the ingredients in the goodie bags:

And, I snagged something a fellow DT member, Stacy, has been lusting over. That's right, Stacy, I have the new Primas!! AHAHAHHAAHA They are absolutely awesome, in bright colors with raised flourish dry embossing. I couldn't resist!! I'll buy you some, for a small fee, of course! Wouldn't you like to get some in your DT bag, next month?

I did a lot of lifting and positioning today and tomorrow, bring on the customers. I have my badge and I'm ready to roll! If you are there, swing by and say HI! I would love to see you!!

Off for now... back with more tomorrow!

The Excitement starts tomorrow!!

Tomorrow, I get to start experiencing Mega Meet! I am so excited about it. I can't wait to see all the new stuff and find out how I will be helping on Thursday. Then, I get to shop on Friday! I am even picking up some cool things at Mega Meet for the Crop for a Cure Fundraiser for Team Reach. Fabulous! Just 4 days 'til the crop. I finished some really get signs and name tags. Check out the pick below... The names are on the front and a fact about Breast Cancer is on the back of the tag.

Thanks to R. Farrer (Pink Oct 07 Kit), Sweet Genevieve (O'Scraps Nov 08 Grab Bag, Journey of the Heart Kit), and Melanie Willmann for elements of the signs and name tags. Also a big thanks to Stephanie over at Homegrown Hospitality for showing me how cute doodled name tags could be... :)

Well off to sleep... Expect a news report tomorrow! :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Whew! I need a day off from my *EXCITING* weekend...

This weekend was FABULOUS! (My new favorite word...)

My hubby surprised me on Friday night when he took "his girls" out to eat at Applebee's. (They have 4 things on the menu that Annde will eat...) It was a fun and relaxing. I came home and packed my stuff. It was a good thing too because at 3am, we lost power. {Apparently a branch came down on a power line 4 houses down.} And, the dork we live next to decided to start his generator... at 3 AM! Does he really think his refridge couldn't stay cold for 4-5 hours without power so that the rest of the neighborhood could get a few more hours of sleep? ARRGGHH!! Some days, I really want to punch a hole in that damn thing it's so freakin' loud! He ran it the rest of the night and all day until 5pm when the power came back on. And he wonders why he didn't get invited to our little picnic last night!

So, after little sleep, my hubby got up and took my daughter shopping. Yep, Daddy Daughter shopping day. And it went really well. I was surprised because I expected at least one meltdown from one of the them and it really didn't happen. He took her to Osh Kosh and he said it was a "kid in a candy store" - oh no! Is this what I have to look forward to? A clothes hound? - she saw the sundresses and took off... tossing them over her shoulder to my Mom-in-Law and saying, "I want this!" and "This too!!"... then it was socks and undies and shorts and shirts and soon, Dad was $100 poorer. And it took a total of 15 minutes!! ahahaha Then, while they were shoe shopping, she found a mirror on the bench, sat down, pulled the colored lip balm out of her little Easter Purse {she took it along to hold her "Mommy day $" and 5 of her Favoritest Pets (Little Pet Shop)} and proceeded to look in the mirror while smearing lip balm all over her lips (and face of course). My hubby, Mom-in-Law, and Pop-in-Law were laughing their butts off but didn't take a single freakin' picture!! I even sent the pocket-sized camera with him and all 3 of them own camera phones! Sigh... I'll have to find another way to scrap it... :)

Where was I, you ask? I was at the Scrapbook Zone's 6th Anniversary Crop Party! It's the first time I've scrapbooked in a store and it was awesome. I sat with Stacy (my DT buddy), two of her friends, and my BFF, Tracy. We had a great time. I will post what I got done as soon as I finish journaling them (tonight). I only got a mini-album for my sister and 3 pages done but I had so much fun doing the make-in-take and the games (I was the only member of our group not to win! Sigh!!). I will definitely do that again!! :)

After church on Sunday, I planted hostas (thanks, Mom-in-Law!) and went to the silly Neighborhood Membership meeting. I have to go or I can't buy a key for the "Park"... where we drop our boat for the summer... It's a 2 acre park with picnic areas, playground, boat ramp, docks, etc. I say it was silly because sometimes, okay... every year, someone says something that I can't believe they actually said or believe. This year's winner was, "My 18 year old son is responsible enough to have a bonfire with his friends without supervision throughout the summer. After all, this park is an extension to each our backyards, right?" Okay... first of all, that's great you think your child is responsible. Can you REALLY say the same thing about all his friends? Can you really say that all of them should be able to set a large fire in a lush area (although there is a small fire pit) and that with peer pressure, there will be no funny stuff or drinking going on? Are you sure that they will properly put out this fire each and every time? If you are so convinced, keep the bon fire in your own real backyard... not in mine! I could not believe they discussed this for 1/2 hour and then passed it! The park closes at 10pm and the sun goes down at 9-ish. Is someone really going to have a bonfire in 1 hour? AHHAHAHA Next year, I am going to put forth a motion to ban all bonfires unless a board member is present and it ends on time. It will piss off this family and probably a lot of others, but what the heck! I don't like the idea of fire during the summer... We've had enough accidents in this world with underage drinking...

Sunday night, the barbeque with the other-side neighbors - Tim & Jan & Nickie & Kyle - went well! There was so much food and fun. Definitely something to repeat! We ate steak, chicken, shrimp (all but me and Annde), potatoes, corn, asparagus... Everyone was very full and very relaxed by the time it was time to call it quits. It's so nice to have a neighbor to share fun experiences like this on. When we move, it will suck that we can't bring them with!

Well, I'm off but I will try and post my stuff from this weekend with the exception of the mini-book. {My sister deserves to see it first!! I'll post it Friday...} I have to do nametags for the crop this weekend, Steph-style! You can check out her stuff at the Homegrown Hospitality link to the right... She's got the cutest tote bags for sale too... check out the link on her page. I am definitely getting one for me!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Design Team Pages For April and a Little Bit More...

Wow! I can't believe how fast the month of April flew by!! Can you believe it's already May? This month is full of absolutely fabulous things to look forward to (and scrap, of course!).

This Saturday is National Scrapbooking Day and I am going to spend it doing what I love: Scrapbooking!! It's also the Scrapbook Zone's 6th Anniversary so I will be celebrating both events at the Zone all day cropping! For the All-Day crop, I decided to bring my Best Buddy, Tracy as a Mother's Day/You rock gift. We are going to have SOOOO much fun!! This will be the first time that I've done an All-day crop at a store. Stacy, my fellow DT member, and I are going to crop together for the first time too! Fabulous!! I am kitting and printing pages like mad to have enough stuff to do for 12 hrs! Sunday, we're FINALLY having the neighbors over for a Grill-Out Lunch (Poor Jan is working 7 days a week right now and she's on 2nd Shift)... They have been so good to us since they moved in last year and we really want to thank them for everything they've done for us.

Then, next week is the Mega Meet. It will also be my first time! I am going to help Kevin from the Zone set up the booth and then work the booth - I've never done that either and I am sooo excited!! - on Thursday. It gets even better because I am taking my customer on Friday to it too! How great is that? Mixing business and pleasure!! Then on Saturday - IT'S FINALLY HERE! The Team REACH Breast Cancer Crop! I am going to be teaching 2 classes at the crop too: a beginner's class and a class on using sketches. I probably won't get much cropping done - My plan is to finally finish the 2 Cruise books from last year so that Kevin W. will stop harrassing me (just kidding, Kev!)...

Next week is also my Sister's Birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUSAN!! (I am going to finish the last part of your present at the Zone crop and get it out to you super fast!) And then Sunday is Mom's day! I can't wait to spend the weekend with my fabulous daughter and hubby. Even if we just fly a new kite or grill out, it will be great!

Then - to follow up those great experiences, we're doing Virginia Beach for Memorial Day. You better believe I will be taking lots of pictures! We're going to see some friends - the ones who set me and Steve up on our first (blind) date... We haven't seen Tim, Robin, and the girls for over 4 years so I can't wait to see them and catch up. I can't believe they've never met Annde?!?!? Plus - it's Tim's birthday so we will have a great celebration! (aka - parents night out with Aly and Mel watching Annde :) )

So, look for more exciting posts from this month!

Since I haven't posted a layout here in a while so I figured that I would slap some up that I did for the Design Team and for various contests at Coordinates Collections:

This page was done using my DT kit for April. I love the colors and what the page documents: my child's rapid growth over the last year.
This next DT page was done from our first day outside when the weather finally warmed up here in Michigan. I love the felt pieces with the stickles...
This next DT page is not really me but I actually love it! Using the new Basic Gray line, I documented my daughter's likes and dislikes at the age of 4. While she's not quite there yet, I doubt she will suddenly like taking naps or eating veggies! AAHAHAHAH... Although, she did just find out she likes orange and red peppers. That's my girl! I liked the Bazzill paper (pink) that had the flowers and circles punched out of it. Instead of using the whole sheet, I used just a corner of it to embellish. I really liked how it turned out.
This was actually a really fun DT project. It took me 2 weeks to decide what to do with this great package of wood panels. The front is some of the fun Annde pictures from the last 6 months, each documenting an Annde trait. The back describes why I chose those traits. It came together really well... It will be up at the Zone if you want a closer look at it...

This next page was done using the Coordinate Collections Kit "A Few Good Men". I love how bright this paper was and how well it coordinated with the sweater Annde was wearing for the Family pictures taken that day... Here is Annde posing next to the page:

It's almost Friday so I hope that everyone has a fabulous weekend and tune in Monday for the 411 about the Crop... See ya later!!