Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday!

My sister and I have spent the last couple of years starting a new tradition of "Black Friday shopping". When the kids were little, Michelle did this with our step-dad to get the "hottest items" for her kids - I was never patient enough for that nonsense. There isn't anything that I (or my kids) want that I would stand in line outside in the middle of the night in the freezing cold for hours to buy. HOWEVER - now that they are older and the things they want are usually electronic and much more expensive.... those Black Friday deals always look a little bit sweeter.

So here is what we did - first of all, she is so funny, she couldn't sleep! I went to bed at 9:30 and set my alarm for 3:30. I got a text from Shell around 1:30 that she was staying up all night - when I saw that around 3:00, I just got up and texted her back that I was ready when she was! LOL The stores opened at 4:00 a.m. (some of them). So Shell picked me up a little after 3:30 and we headed to Kohl's. We got some good bargains and waited in line for about 45 minutes - the lines are just hysterical, they go all the way to the back of the stores! LOL Then we headed out to Target, but they weren't opening until 6 and the line was wrapped around the store. So we hit Old Navy first, and then drove to a different Target. The thing I needed at Target was an XBOX 360 for my son, and the deal was that it came with a $60.00 Target gift card. So by the time we got there, it was about 6:15, and I had to go to the bathroom, which is right at the front door. Shell said "I'm going over to get the XBOX, meet me in electronics." By the time I got over there a whole 4 minutes later, she was yelling "JENN" and waving her arms at me. I was cracking up - apparently, she got the LAST XBOX360 that they had. Thank God for her - if she had come to the bathroom with me, I would have probably missed out! So that was my big accomplishment of the day. I got him a couple of games, a 3-month-live-card (that enables him to play online for 3 months) and a few other little things, and I am done with him.

After Target, we went and got a coffee and then we went to another mall. I did really good at Bath & Body Works, and got my grab gifts done (for work and my family) and Jeremy's sisters. I have one more paycheck before Christmas, and it's looking like I should be fine. It's so stressful trying to make sure you get everything done - and I do not shop on credit, so once I'm done - that's it, I'm done!

Anyway - we did save quite a bit of money, but it's more about the laughing and the fun we have. All of the people in line with us seemed to be in good spirits, which always helps. The last place we went to was Toys R Us, which was absolutely ridiculous. I didn't need anything there, but Shell did - and after her saving my life by grabbing that last XBOX, I had to stand by her while she waited for an hour and a half in line. Those were the longest lines I had ever seen in my entire life - not only to the back of the store, but then weaving in and out of every aisle. The poor people who were not yet in line could barely even shop. I had a feeling it would be more chaotic this year due to the economy, and I was right. But it was still an absolute blast. Once we finished (ran out of money), we went to our favorite diner for breakfast - of course, by then it was noon! LOL When I got home, I was basically useless. My feet and legs were killing me! I organized all of my Christmas stuff, fixed my "lists" and plopped on the couch for the remainder of the day. I was sleeping by 9:00 p.m.

Now - on a different note - I could kill my husband today. I snore. There, I said it. I snore, and I snore LOUDLY. I cannot help it - how the hell can someone NOT snore? Now, I know it's annoying for the person trying to sleep, and normally I actually feel bad for him. But last night, I was just too tired to feel bad for him. He slept until 8:30 a.m. yesterday - I was up at 3:00. So after he woke me up the third or fourth time by yelling at me for snoring, I was starting to get pissed. Then around 11:30 last night, I heard him get up and leave the room - two seconds later he's SCREAMING my name from downstairs! I jump up with my heart racing thinking the house is on fire or something! But no, he's just pissed off at Trevor because he (Trev) was downstairs pouring fruit punch into an old wine bottle. Yes, it was stupid and yes, he should have gotten in trouble... but - HELLO - did you really need to wake me up screaming over it? I guess what pisses me off the most is how many times in my 15+ years as a mother that I have woken up in the middle of the night to deal with all kinds of things (kids puking, headaches, wet beds when they were little, etc.) and I have NEVER woken him up, not ever. I just dealt with it and then went back to bed, if and when I could. So yeah, I was bullshit. I think today I'm going to try to buy some of that stuff that is supposed to help with snoring. Actually, HE can buy it. hee hee

I am going to finish my Christmas cards this weekend, I promise! And I'll take some pics and post them tomorrow, hopefully. Have a wonderful weekend, my friends! Peace.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Spirit!

I gotta tell you, I usually get annoyed when I start seeing Christmas items in stores before Halloween. Well, OK - I still do. But normally, I don't even want to THINK about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. There's a local radio station here that recently started playing all Christmas music, my husband listens to this station. One day when I was with him, I was about to complain when I realized that I was starting to get into the Christmas spirit. I mean, I think what's always annoyed me is the financial aspect of Christmas - or the lack of my own personal finances! It's hard to be jolly when you are worried about buying gifts and wondering which bill you can skip on this month in order to make sure your kids have a great Christmas. This year, though, I started my shopping early. And when I heard those songs in Jeremy's car, I realized that I really am looking forward to the holidays this year.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not even CLOSE to being done with my Christmas shopping. But I've started, and I have a good idea of what I need to do to finish. My sister and I started going shopping on Black Friday a couple of years ago, and it's becoming a tradition that I absolutely love. It's not just the good deals and the huge sales - it's the excitement and the laughing our asses off sitting in a parking lot with Dunkin Donuts coffees at 4:55 a.m. waiting for a store to open, wondering if we'll even get what we came for. We don't stress over it - we just have a blast. But I do get a lot done on this day, and then I still have another paycheck and almost a whole month to finish. You know what's funny? I feel like Christmas is just around the corner, and Cassidy said to me yesterday that she feels like it's months away! LOL I guess it depends on which end you're on - when your biggest concern is whether you'll get the iPod Touch that you so desperately covet, Christmas seems ages away!

I guess I just feel like things are falling into place - and with the new house we're moving into right before Christmas and the new year starting, I feel very thankful for my life. Even when I'm having a bad day, I know I'm a lucky girl. I count my blessings on a regular basis to remind myself of how lucky I really am.

So I hope you all take some time to enjoy the anticipation of the holidays, the sights and sounds, the smells, the excitement. Donate to a local charitable organization or volunteer your time with one - check with your local United Way or Salvation Army for ideas. It will make you feel good about yourself and get you into the holiday spirit.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's official....

We are moving again! I can hardly believe I'm even saying it, but I'm really excited about this. We are getting a break on rent for a bigger place, and I think I am most excited about getting my stamping room back!!! Jeremy is going to meet with the landlord, Lindsey, today, and firm things up. The house is vacant, so she already told Jeremy that she is fine with us starting to move things in whenever we want. We plan on doing the "big move" the weekend before Christmas. I have the last 2 weeks of December into January off from work, so it's a perfect time, actually. You know, when we moved into the house we are renting now, it was not a happy time for us. We were disappointed and disgusted with the situation we had just come out of - we were in a rush, and had to settle on the first house that was in a good neighborhood and that we could live in comfortably. I've been happy where we are now, but it never really felt like "home" - you know? I never even put curtains up - things like that. It just felt.... temporary. This feels like it's the right thing for us, like this is going to be HOME - hopefully for many years.
It's really quite funny/ironic how things fall into place. A little over a year ago, Trevor was still not even diagnosed with Asperger's yet and he was having so many problems in school. He was miserable, and we were miserable! We had lost our home and life just felt pointless. I was starting to really feel depressed over everything, but I have always tried to hold on to the belief that "everything happens for a reason." Eventually, I just had to kind of let go and leave it all to fate. And that is when things seemed to start working out. Trevor got his diagnosis and I started to learn a lot about Asperger's, which made things better at home, as well. We had him moved to a new class, which also helped. Eventually, we had him moved to the school he is at now, which has been an absolute miracle, as far as I'm concerned. And I look back on all this and realize that everything happened the way it was supposed to - and turned out for the best, even though at the time it would have been really hard to believe that it was! LOL
So on to some fun stuff! My friend Missy's daughter Molli turned 5 yesterday. She had a "purse-themed" cake and party the other day, so I made her this cute card, which I thought came out pretty damn good, considering I made it myself without a template or anything:

I think I told you all how I went out last Wednesday night with my dear friend An, and that we went to this fundraiser that she helped organize. It was at a private country club and was quite ritzy - I had brought $100 with me and quickly realized that I was slumming it! LOL There were pocketbooks for $350, T-shirts for $120, etc. Since the shopping wasn't looking good for me, I decided to throw $20 away on raffle tickets, figuring it was for a good cause anyway. I put most of my tickets into this cool blown-up balloon filled with scratch tickets - and guess what? I WON! I couldn't believe it, I never win anything! The woman finally dropped it off to me yesterday (she had called me Friday and assured me she'd drop it off over the weekend - she was kind of strange and acted almost annoyed that I didn't want to drive to Northboro, where she was, to pick it up - but whatever) and I went home last night and realized there were 40 tickets in this thing! Here it is all blown up and pretty: There were 30 $2.00 tickets and 10 $1.00 tickets. I ended up winning a grand total of $62.00. I was thrilled - it was fun scratching them and it was $62.00 that I didn't have when I started, so I felt like a winner! LOL

Well, wish me luck on packing and organizing my life before we move. I'll take pictures the next time we're there and share them with you. Peace!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I must be insane....

I must be insane. I can't believe I'm even going to say this out loud, but we are considering moving. Again. For, like, the 10th time. OK - if you want to be literal, it would be my 12th time. Seriously. When Jeremy and I first decided to live together back in 1992, we moved into this little 1-bedroom apartment, with lead paint. And then found out we were pregnant like 2 months later. LOL So we moved out of there and into a 3-decker. I had never lived in a 3-decker and as soon as I moved in, I hated it. The landlord lived underneath us and would complain that we "walked too heavy" - HELLO - I'm 7-8 months PREGNANT!! LOL We didn't last long there, and in fact by the time I gave birth to Trevor, we had moved into a small 2-bedroom duplex that we liked a lot. But 9 months after we had Trevor, I got pregnant again. There was no room for another baby, so we moved again.

We moved into a bigger duplex and we liked it a lot. However, I was not working and Jeremy was not making a lot of money, and we couldn't afford it. We were always behind on everything. That was a tough time, having 2 babies at home and knowing that if I DID go to work, I'd be working to pay for daycare. I loved being a mom and refused to do that. So we moved into another crappy apartment in a really bad neighborhood, and we were miserable. We had only one car and I stayed home with the kids - I remember one day Jeremy was at work and Cassidy was about 9 months old. I kept putting her down for her nap in her crib, and she kept getting up and crying. After 3-4 attempts, I was getting frustrated. Suddenly, I heard a thump and Cassidy screaming. I ran into her room and she was on the floor with blood coming out of her mouth - I will never forget how horrified I felt, and how helpless. I picked her up, by now sobbing myself, and called Jeremy at work. It looked like it was her mouth that was bleeding. It took him all of 10 minutes to get home and we drove her to the Urgent Care department. They told us that it looked like she had knocked her front tooth out, and we should go home and look for it and then call our dentist. We did what they told us to, but we couldn't find the tooth! We went to see the dentist, who said "Well, no wonder you couldn't find the tooth - because it's still in her mouth!" We were like, "Huh??" She had actually landed face-first and KNOCKED HER FRONT TOOTH BACK UP INTO HER GUMS!!!! So all we could do was wait and see - and luckily, that tooth did come back down on its' own and everything was fine, but it was pretty traumatic! Let's just say the crib came down that day and my little psycho crib-jumper slept on a mattress on the floor in her room.

We didn't last too long at that place, either - we were actually looking for a better place from the minute we moved in. We ended up finding another place in a better neighborhood, and it was a 2-family house. We moved in there and stayed for a couple of years. We then began to want our own house to live in and we found a house for rent in a neighboring town. We ended up living there for 5 years - a record for us! After 5 years, Jeremy's uncle convinced us to buy his house and the rest is written down in another blog entry, so I won't go into that all over again. You can click on that and go read it if you'd like - go ahead, I'll wait. :o)

So we have been living in the house we currently rent for exactly one year now. We are happy and content, for the most part. I'm pretty soured on owning, don't think I'll ever want to again. Well, Jeremy's dad calls him the other day to let him know that his ex-wife (Jeremy's ex-step-mom) has a house for rent in the next town over, and that it has been vacant for almost a year because apparently no one could afford the rent that she was asking. So she recently lowered the rent and he thinks she'd lower it even more if it was us who wanted to rent it. So we decided to just go take a look at it yesterday. Well, I walked in and fell in love - and so did Jeremy. He had actually lived there as a kid, so I think a lot of memories came back for him. His sister Brittney, who I adore, showed us around, and they were so cute reminiscing about stuff from when they were little. LOL Anyway, we want to live there. The house itself is a little bigger than where we are now - and it's got CHARACTER, which I love. It's an older house -it was originally a 1-bedroom ranch that Jeremy's dad renovated many years ago into a 2-floor 4-bedroom, 2-bath house.

So - I would have my STAMPING ROOM back! The downstairs has the kitchen, dining room, and living room (which is a really long room), then a tucked-away bedroom and a full bathroom. This is the room that would be my stamping room, and I'm practically giddy just at the thought of it! Upstairs are 3 bedrooms, all good-sized, and another full bathroom. It's just perfect, really.

So Jeremy is going to call Lindsey today to inquire about the rent and try to figure out if we should start planning yet another move. I think our landlord would want at least 30 days' notice, so I am thinking we will most likely end up moving during Christmas/New Year's - FUN, huh? I am dreading it already, but a little excited, too. How can I not be? The college that I work at closes from Dec. 23 - Jan. 5, so I'd have that time off to get the move done, and that might actually work out, even though I know I will be an absolute basket-case. LOL I'll keep you all posted - keep your fingers crossed for me that everything works out the way it is supposed to. I firmly believe that it will - and that there is a reason that things happen in the way and timeframe that they do - if we are meant to live in this house, then we will. I just wish I could be like Samantha from Bewitched and just twitch my nose and have everything moved and set up in the new house! LOLI'm off to do my errands and then come home and do some cleaning and stamping. Hope you all have a great weekend. Peace.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My cousin Carissa's baby shower was this past Sunday, so I figured I'd share some pictures of the event, along with the gift that I made her.
Here she is - the guest of honor!

Me and Angela, my cousin but also my good friend (do we look happy and relaxed? You can thank Lorazapam for that... actually, our entire FAMILY should be thanking the makers of Lorazapam... hee hee):

Me and my cousin Shaye, who I don't get to see very often even though we live within 10 minutes of each other!
This is "the baby" and me, Amanda is the youngest of all of the cousins, isn't she so freaking adorable? She's just as sweet as she is cute!
Here is my sister Michelle and Amanda, being silly:
This is Shaye, Shell, and Aimee. Aimee is my cousin Nick's girlfriend, hopefully his WIFE some day, if she's crazy enough to permanently join this nutty family! :o) LOL
Amber and Cassidy
This is my mother with 6 of her 7 sisters, and their mom (Bonnie, Connie, Andy, Sandy, Karen, Debbie, Nana, Pammy - you can't see Pammy's face):
Here is the card I made for Carissa:

And the gifts - this is a box that I re-decorated and filled with baby thank-you cards (it says "Crib Notes"):
And here are the thank-you cards, I made a bunch of different ones (she knows it's a boy - well, we certainly hope they were right! LOL):

Then I also made her a set of baby boy birth announcements, here are some of the different styles:

The shower went well, Carissa got a lot of adorable baby boy clothes and some necessities like a high-chair, etc. She has a couple more baby showers, lucky girl, so she should end up with everything that she needs for this baby. I am so happy for her, it's such an exciting time having a new baby (especially when it's someone ELSE'S baby! ha!).
This is a good week for me - I have Thursday and Friday off, to do FUN stuff, so I'm already looking forward to it. It will be like a little mini-vacation. Tomorrow will be my Friday, sweet! I'm already stressing out about Christmas, too, and driving my poor husband crazy. So my plan is to get started on my Christmas shopping and hopefully be able to get myself a little more relaxed about it all. I do this every year, and every year everything works out just fine, so I don't know why I put myself through this. I guess it's part of the joy of the holiday season! LOL
Hope you're all having a good week! Peace.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Time - ohmygod - it just, like, FLIES by! Seriously, I cannot believe a week has gone by since I've posted. OK - so it was a whirlwind of a week. The elections were Tuesday - Jeremy and I went to vote right at 7:00 a.m. when the polls opened - because I work 7:30-4 and he had school until 7:00 p.m. that night. We waited in line for 45 minutes, I didn't even mind waiting. Tuesday night we went to bed pretty early, as usual. I woke up at around 1:30 a.m. and felt a migraine coming on. I took some ibuprofen and went back to bed. Woke up about an hour later with a full-blown migraine, throwing up and everything. It was awful. It hurts so bad, you can't sleep. So I lay there for a few hours just rubbing my head and whimpering. Jeremy got up at 6 to get Cass up and off to school. I called in sick to work and I stayed in my pj's all day, on the couch. I finally started feeling better in the afternoon - but then after the migraine starts to get better, I always feel like I have a hangover, it's such a gross feeling. I have not been getting a lot of migraines since I lost weight last year, which I am thankful for. I think the fact that Halloween was last week and I had access to tooooooo much chocolate had something to do with it. My migraines are definitely affected, and often brought on by, my diet.

Oh - OK - the election - we woke up and Trevor had made signs in the middle of the night declaring Obama the President of the United States. We were cracking up. It was nice to see him get interested in something on TV besides South Park. LOL Actually, everything went the way that I voted, what a nice feeling. The last few elections had left me sorely disappointed. I actually have hope for the future now.

Trevor's principal called me the other day - I really love this school. She was so nice - she said that they had put Trevor into a homeroom to start out that was some 9th grade and some 10th grade kids, a lot of them are "young" emotionally, socially - so she thought that Trevor would be better off in a different homeroom, one with kids who are 10th and 11th grade (Trevor is 10th), with more mature kids with better behavior for Trevor to model. She also said that he was so bright, she felt he wasn't being challenged enough in the "younger" class - but asked me not to tell him that part of it. I was cracking up, I totally agreed with her. So when I got home and asked him what he thought of it, he was fine. The next day, when he came home, he said he loved it - even more than the one he left. I thought the quick change might be hard for him - I should have known better - he's always so resilient, this kid.

I made some more cards! I've been selling lots of cards lately, which is great - I love to be able to make a little bit of Christmas shopping money by doing something that I totally love to do. I am going to my cousin's baby shower tomorrow, and for her gift I made her this really cute set of cards, 15 "thank you" baby cards, and 15 "birth announcement" baby cards. And I had this box for the cards that I re-covered in designer paper.... can't show you yet, in case she happens to read my blog. hee hee But I will share those later on in the week. Here are the cards I loved the most:

That's all for now - peace. :o)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More cards

Coffee Riley, above, thanks to my Wish RAK friends
Bella, below

More Bella, these are 2 of my favorite cards:

Started playing with some Christmas stamps and made some cards:

Love these ones, too:

Hope you're all having a great weekend! Peace.