Saturday, August 20, 2011

Session with Seelen

Last Sunday we went to Laumeier Sculpture Park and met up with Trisha for Kimber's 1 year pictures. In all reality she was only 10 1/2 months, but I wanted some recent pictures of her to use on her invitations so we booked the session a bit early. Kimber did great! Much better than last time, and I am in love with every single picture I've seen so far! We love her so much we're having her come to Kimber's birthday party to photograph that huge event for us! I don't know a whole lot about Trisha but I know her birthday is 3 days after Kimber's party and that her favorite color is pink, so I told her I'd have a pink cupcake waiting just for her! Ok, now on to the pictures!!!

Photo by Seelen Photography

Photo by Seelen Photography

Photo by Seelen Photography

Photo by Seelen Photography

Photo by Seelen Photography

Photo by Seelen Photography

Photo by Seelen Photography
I had this great idea, to bring balloons along for the photos but all Kimber wanted to do was play with them and put them in front of her face. At least we got one good picture of it though! I found a picture on Pinterest of a kid with a chalk board and had to use that too. I couldn't resist myself! But again, all Kimber wanted to do was play with it. I'm pretty sure Trisha has the fastest fingers ever, because even though Kimber would only hold the chalk board correctly for a millisecond she still was able to get the shot!

I'm beyond excited to see her again in September for the birthday!


I think there's still a stigma associated with tattoos today. Once my mom found out I had tattoos she told me I was a disappointment, and no, I'm not kidding! At that time I only had two, and they were both hidden. The next one I got was one on my foot, which is easily hidden as well but once I started getting them on my arms I started to worry that people would notice my tattoos and judge before even knowing what they mean to me.

After explaining to my mom what my tattoos mean to me, she actually told me that she really liked the owl I got and is now considering getting one herself. For those who don't know her, it's kinda a big deal. She went from calling me a biker chick to now wanting to join the dark side!

One thing I struggle with is what the Bible says about tattoos. I think a lot of what the Bible says is up for interpretation and to prove my point, just look at how the different religions interpret the same story. I think this article really explained a lot to me and how I view my choice to get a tattoo.

Tattoo #1 - location - hip: For my first tattoo I just walked in and picked out something on the wall. A butterfly, and while it's just a plain black tattoo and not really all that fancy it now represents a time in my life when I was free. While I didn't give this tattoo as much though as the ones to follow I don't regret getting it. It still has meaning, and a memory tied to it.

Tattoo #2 - location - hip: A safety pin. I think this is the hardest for people to understand, and that's A-OK with me. However, since you can't see it I rarely ever have to explain myself on this one. I got this tattoo when things weren't very pretty in my life. To me, it's a constant reminder that I can hold myself together. All by myself. I don't need to rely on anyone else to make my life enjoyable, I do that all on my own. With my attitude and outlook on life I can always find something positive.

Tattoo #3 - location - foot:
You can't really see it very well but it's the best picture I have :(
I'm really not a fan of names/dates tattooed on me (and I must admit, on anyone else either :blush:), so coming up with a way to represent significant people in my life is sometimes challenging. One night, while Pat was in college I had him just start doodling on my stomach (which was much flatter back then LOL). He came up with this design that almost looks like crop circles, and we put his brand in the middle.

Tattoo #4 - location - wrist:

My penguin I got for Pat the Christmas before we got married. He also got the word 'penguin' tattooed underneath his wedding ring. The meaning here is pretty simple, penguins mate for life, we are each other's penguins and will be together forever :)

Tattoo #5 - location - forearm:

This tattoo is for Kimber. Once we started a night-time routine I would stick to it. We'd get ready for bed, have a bottle and then I'd rock her to sleep. Most nights we were rocking for 4-ish hours and I was only finally able to put her in bed around midnight. Thus, I started calling her my little night owl and since she's a little girl I got the feathers filled in with pink.

Tattoo #6 (coming soon): I'm getting the phrase 'you were born to be loved' tattooed in the below font:
I think I will be getting it on my other forearm because I am so in love with the font and the words, I kind of want them bigger. This tattoo will have a lot of meaning to me. It's a constant reminder to me, and really applies to everyone. I don't know why I find that phrase so meaningful but I do. To me, it has a huge impact and in a world where kids often get depressed/bullied/eating disorders etc I want to remind my children of this everyday. I love them, Pat loves them, and one day they will have a spouse that loves them too. We seriously were all born to be loved, we go out and look for it and spend the rest of our lives loving other people.

Even though I worry that some people may judge me for my tattoos it will never prevent me from getting more. Bottom line, my tattoos are for me and no one else. They all signify something important to me, or a time in my life and if someone were to judge me before even knowing what they mean then that makes me feel kind of sorry for them. I know they won't look great when I'm all old and wrinkly, but it doesn't really bother me. They represent my life, and I love being able to express certain moments or honor certain people through them.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vent? Here? Why not :)

Blah, I super hate reading grumpy posts so if you're like me you may want to tune out on this one. I just need a little time to vent, get it all out, and move on and what better place to do it than here?

This week has just been crap from day one. Monday I got back from vacation only to find that not one single person covered my desk and I am now swamped! We had training on how to do every state's affidavits so I'm not understanding why they couldn't of been handed out to the team for just one week, I don't think that's too much to ask. Seriously almost in tears, and you know why? Because I freakin care! I care that these things have just sat there for a week since I was gone. I felt like I couldn't take vacation because no one can help me out, and it felt like crap! Luckily I have the best daughter on the planet and she was still able to make me smile that night.

Rewind to the week before I went on vacation. We were told we have to do mandatory 5 hours of overtime a week. So now, I'm working from 6:30 to 4 and I wouldn't be complaining, except for the above mentioned kiddo I have to take care of. I really do not enjoy trying to rush out of the house to try to drop her off at the sitter's by 6, only to not be able to pick her up until 4:15. By the time I get home I only get to see her for 90 minutes until it's bedtime.. but hold that thought... As of yesterday we are expected to work 8 hours of OT! EIGHT!?!?!? So that would basically mean I would need to work 3 - 10 hour days and 2 - 9 hour days, which then in turn means that on my 10 hour days I would see Kimber for 30 minutes... The 30 minutes it takes to do her night-time routine. I'm sorry, but I have a pretty big issue with that.

My job is no longer my life. I enjoy what I do and give my all while I'm there, however, I think taking 40 hours a week away from my kid is enough. Please don't make me give up 8 more hours a week with her! I love her way too much. That's 8 hours of hugs and kisses, discovering and exploring, playing and snuggling and I don't know that I can give that up.

Now for the part that makes this all even that much worse. The part that made me cry last night. I had an opportunity to get out of this department.... and I turned it down... Bottom line, momma needs a raise. We're doing just fine right now, but if I want another kid in the near future I need a bigger raise than the annual one we get so I was going to switch departments, get more money, and it would be a win win. They didn't offer me more money, and thus, I turned the job down. I know it was the right thing to do because I would of been stuck in the new department for a year making the same amount I do now, and to be honest, I really do like my job. Even knowing I made the right decision, now it seems so wrong to of stayed. Now that they are taking away time with my family, which to me is worth more than any amount of money.

So that's where I'm at right now, it's not pretty, but hey, no one said being a working mom would be pretty! Fingers crossed things will work out because I don't know how I'm going to be able to juggle all this...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Last Week's Vacation

Well our sitter took off last week to go to Florida so Pat and I decided to take off work and just relax for a week with little miss. Saturday Pat's brother was in town from TX (woohoo!!!) so we met for lunch before he had to go to a wedding and then did a birthday lunch (for Pat) on Sunday followed by a trip to Cabelas (my favorite place on Earth.... NOT!)

At Cabela's... my worst nightmare... my kid in camo!

My fantastic father-in-law has decided that Kimber deserves a present for every occasion. When Jon graduated, she got a swing. On Father's Day, she got a pool. And at Pat's birthday lunch she got a xylophone:

Monday we took her to the Magic House. It was wayyy too hot to do anything outside so that limited our choices, but it seems that Kimber liked the Magic House, so we did good:

On our way home we stopped by the mall so she could go to Build-A-Bear. We weren't too sure how well this would go over but as soon as we walked in she saw this brown puppy and just HAD to have it! We even walked up and down the wall to see if she changed her mind but she clung to the puppy.

Of course she had to register her puppy... Whose name is... Puppy :)
Then we rented one of these things:
And proceeded to walk around the mall.

Tuesday through Thursday we worked on the house: painting, organizing the kitchen, cleaning out the basement, and donating a bunch of stuff to Goodwill.

Friday we took her to the carousel at Faust Park. You know it's only $1 to ride? That's a bargain price for quality family entertainment!

Saturday, since he lost a bet, Pat took me to dinner at Maggiano's. Words cannot express how yummy the food was and we are already in the process of setting up a date with friends of ours so we can try the family style dinner! On to the bet he lost because that's way more interesting than what I had for dinner... Sunday night Kimber woke up screaming and when Pat went in to get her she was pulling on her ear. We brought her in bed with us and she kept waking up screaming. Pat was sure that she had an ear infection, so we took her to the doctor. Our bet was if she HAD an ear infection I had to take Pat on a date, but if I was right and she didn't have one he had to take me on a date. He even made a comment before we took her to the doctor that if he's right he does have some Daddy's intuition.... Well honey.... Not so much :) It's ok, I still love ya! Thanks for the date!

So that pretty much sums up our week off work! I cannot wait to blog about what we've got coming up this weekend!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Yep, I did it (a while ago). I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon. I have found so many crafty things that I want to do and finally took the time to do some of them, but first, another birthday decoration has been completed:
I am more than thrilled with how this turned out! I picked up some cardstock at Michael's, traced a bowl and cut out circles. I did the same using a smaller bowl on some left over white card stock I had from the wedding and glued them on. Then I printed out the letters using a font I liked in word, cut them out, traced them on silver card stock, cut them out again and glued them on. I love it! You know what's even cooler? I can hang it up every year for her birthday! Total project cost = $7 ish!

Next up is a free project:
We already had these shadow box frames, I stole the scrabble pieces from my mom, and used left over card stock from the banner for the rest! Gotta love free!

Next up is my felt flower project:
I used a picture from Pinterest as inspiration and used a tutorial on there to make the felt flowers. Then I just placed them where I thought they looked best and sewed them on. Embroidery hoop and 3 pieces of felt (even though I could of done with only one white piece), for a total project cost of $2.93!

And finally my 'book' shelves:
This also came from Pinterest (See? I told you there was some neat stuff on there!) I hit up the local Goodwill and picked up 3 hardback books for $1 a piece and then drove over to Walmart and picked up L brackets ($2 for 4) and started this bad boy project! Super simple, put 2 L brackets underneath the book, measure book and place another L bracket on top so the book is essentially wedged in between the two. You can get a better view of the book in the picture of the 'Scrabble Love' up top. This whole wall cost me less than $12 to decorate! Pretty impressive! We have a photo shoot this Sunday so I'm sure a new family picture will be hung shortly, and on the empty bookshelf, I'm thinking a bud vase with pom flowers, and our last name.

And since this sorta ties in with DIY, I started painting the rest of our house last week. We only have a few more projects for upstairs and then we will be finished and can move on to the basement!!! So here's some before and after pics:
Kitchen before - We plan on painting the cabinets white, installing new hardware, getting an OTR microwave, and putting in new counter tops.
This side needs a new window, blinds, and window treatment.
Kitchen after.
Kitchen after.
Living Room Before.
Living Room Before.

Living Room Before.
Post Paint :)
Living Room After.
Since we have an open floor plan and the living room flows into the kitchen, when you walk in the door I wanted everything you see to be the same color. I was tired of the poop brown and love that grey went with the color we wanted in the kitchen (green) and the accent color we wanted to use in the living room (plum). So in the first 'before' picture, the vaulted wall above the stairs will be painted plum, and so will the wall behind the door when you walk in. I love that it's uniform now, and it's really surprising the difference fresh paint can make.

So what's left for the first floor? New paint and hardware for the kitchen cabinets, and a new counter top as mentioned before. New flooring in the living room and kitchen (we are going to do the same floor throughout so it seems more like one big room), and new trim. 4 rooms renovated, 2 to go! Yay for making progress!