Wednesday, December 16, 2009

special thanks.

Let's see...

I have some thanking to do. Thank you, mom, for yet again, educating me that I am not, in fact, "9 months pregnant" as I said I was in my last post. She took me through each month and counted over the phone (which I assume, she was also illustrating with her fingers as she counted (she uses her hands a lot when she talks)). I am actually 8 and 1/2 months pregnant. After her "speil" I nicely told her, "thank you" and then said something like, "When you wear elastic waistbands, over-sized-shirts from your husband, and look like I do at the moment---you deserve to say whatever the heck you want and people should just nod their heads." We both laughed and agreed.

So, correction, I'm technically not 9 months pregnant. My doctor reminded me that I only have TWO more appointments (meaning the next two weeks) and then the third appointment is when the baby will be here! ----insert audible gasp here--- I know. Tell me about it.

While we're in the mood of thanking, let's give another special thanks to Ashley for giving me the BEST EVER white chocolate popcorn recipe. It is so good, in part, because it is SO easy. Ahh, those are the best kind of recipes.

You want to know the POP secret (pun intended)?

Pop ANY kind of popcorn. Yes, I'm talking the microwave-able bags. I did Kettle corn, Ashley did another kind. Both tasted great. Melt a half of a bag of white choc. chips. Drizzle over popcorn and mix with fingers (pre washed fingers please!) to evenly coat. Then, spread on wax paper to cool. Package. You're done. Easy cheesy.

So, I did a *few* neighbor gifts this year. I'd like to do a lot more, because I think it is fun to give people little gifts, but alas, as my doctor so sweetly noticed (another special thanks inserted here) as I was at my appointment yesterday morning--- I'm retaining water. I'm swollen. Nice. Thanks for noticing, doc.

These days I FEEL major pregnant. And, standing for long periods of time (you know, melting white chocolate chips, doing dishes, etc.) just isn't as fun as it might have been a month ago. So, if you got one from us this year, consider yourself blessed. If not, please understand it's not you, it's me (love that line).

Here's a glimpse of what they looked like:

Now, as I type, I realize that my mom is a subscriber to my blog. Thanks, mom. So, I can't really well post images of what I've been up to, because I hate ruining a real surprise (remember how I said I'd post what I did the other night? well, wait. some more).

But, I'll post some snippets of what SHOULD have been finished LONG ago. Yes, this was the painting that was started in Tillie's room before she was born. And, since I had the paints out the other night, I crept into her room and pulled this puppy off the wall and finished her up. I don't like it as a WHOLE (most paintings I never do), but I like a few parts of the whole. Here are the parts I'm more glad about:
And, while we're in the mode of thanking (wow, I guess this should be my "Thanksgiving" post too), I wanted to thank Matilda Mae (yes, my first born) for so kindly biting me. Hard. Two incidents. One on each leg. Mega bruises now. Both times I had been talking on the phone. Can we say attention starved? Wow, let's fix this situation asap.

(here's the most recent picture of the gem (thanks, Becca). Get a load of that darling face. Oh my. She is SO cute. Yes, I know. Super darling. But, let's focus on those chompers!)

When I was asking my mom what I should do about the biting situation (also telling her my fears of a certain newborn being bit), she said, "Well, you know what the books say?"
"What?" I responded.
"Well, I don't know if I agree with it, but they say to bite the kid back."
"WHAT?!? That is AWFUL! I can't believe you are telling me this!!"
"I said the BOOKS say this, not ME!" retorted my mom.

(long pause.)

(me thinking.)

"Well, I hate that idea." And I still do.
(in the end my mom said she can't remember what she did when my sister Becca was a biting terror. in fact, she didn't even really remember that Becca had a biting problem. I remember. Probably because I was the one getting bitten. Nice.)

So, any other suggestions blog land? Let's nip this in the bud before January 8th, okay?
(p.s. I used to think the phrase was "nip this in the butt" and never quite understood why SO many people would use the gross expression. And, more, I never could figure out what it meant! Now, we're all resolved. Good.)

h. e. l. p.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


tillie got her first ever legit hair cut.

she is perfect no matter what her hair looks like (now it's a darling little bob), but I have to admit, I'm a little sad that the bulk of her little darling curls have gone the way of the wind.

Our friend, Bre, was the master behind the scissors, and let me tell you... she is talented. When little Tillie decided that she'd rather die than get her hair cut (she displayed this by constantly turning her head and screaming at the top of her lungs)---Bre was able to do a top notch job. (p.s. don't mind my lovely outfit or large belly).

We went to Walmart and got some grocery essentials in life. That, as always, is a thrill. ... not really. But, I'm happy to have milk & tortillas in my life, and in celebration of Matilda's new do, I picked out some new little clippies for her hair.

Then life happened, like normal, for the rest of the day until I decided that it was time to work on some Christmas presents. Matilda was snug in her crib, Aaron has been busily studying for his big BOARD exam this next week, and I've *somewhat* accomplished my daily "must do" tasks. So, I pulled out most of my paints, my favorite paint brush, some fancy pants paper and got to work.

Four hours later, my back is killing me (hello 9 months pregnant on kitchen chair) but my heart feels good.

Remember how I was a painting/drawing major? Remember how I used to paint for hours every day? Well, life doesn't allow for me to do that very often these days, but when it does happen, it makes my whole self feel so glad.

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret where I am and the path I've chosen (aka pregnant mom and wife)---of which, honestly, lots of days I think, "How do I get to be this lucky? and doing what I get to do each day?"--- but occasionally, it does feel good to pump up some really wonderful Sufjan Steven's Christmas music, leave the dishes in the sink, not worry about anything in the world, and paint whatever I'd like. I realize, though, if I did this everyday, all that would be left is an achy back, dirty home, sad child, and sad me.

So, for today, painting was good. In the meantime, computers are great because I get to still be creative and do things without all the cleanup! Here are a few things I've been able to do lately:

...and there's a bunch more, but I'm not in the mode to take pictures of it all (seeing as it is 11:16 p.m.). But, I'll post a few of the painting I finished and started once I have good light tomorrow.

Well, that was tonight.

Life is good.

oh, and my Christmas playlist is up on the blog for your listening enjoyment. and, p.s. I LoVe the new song "The Christmas Song" by Owl City. You should totally check it out (it's somewhere on my playlist).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

just had to share.

This girl is seriously the light of my life.


Lots of times I wonder how life could get any better?
Just had to share.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

'bout time...

If you've ever watched the movie, The One & Only Genuine Original Family Band, then you'll know where I got the title to my post. If not, then, sad for you (I love that movie. I've said it once and I'll say it again).

Anyway, so, it's been a while since I've posted, no?

Welcome to the mothah-load. I'll do some brief updating, because we've been busy busy busy. You see, remember how we are welcoming a child in a matter of WEEKS, people? Yeah, so that means I'm burning the midnight oil getting things accomplished over here.

And, when you are busy creating things, de-cluttering, laundering, decorating, practicing up for the ward Christmas party (yes, Aaron and I are playing a piano duet), doing stationery orders, etc.---well, the blog has taken a back seat, that's all. We'll get all caught up soon. Don't you stress out, okay? Good.

*Halloween was great. Matilda was as cute as ever dressed up as a teddy bear. Don't worry, I got the costume last year for $2.99 at the Children's Place Outlet and I'm so glad I did. Yes, I am a proud bargain shopper. I love me a good deal. Here she is so cute (oh, this was the try-on day, with no long sleeved shirt under... so she looks a little "red-neck-ish-ghetto-fabulous". but you get the drift).

*This is what Aaron was for Halloween. Facebook. Get it. If you watched "The Office" episode the night before, like we did, then you'll see where we got the idea. I think Aaron's smile is pretty funny in this one. I can see him pulling the same face in 5th grade.

*Our sweet little friend, Dylan, had a birthday party so we made him some dinosaur stationery and a little tote bag (rumor has it he may want to be a paleontologist when he grows up).

*And, this one is to show Matilda's love for not ONE but TWO sippy cups. She likes variety.

*We went to the Zoo with the Jessop family when the boy's had a day off from school. Let's just say this... Tillie loved it! It was a ton of fun watching her and the kids see the animals. I still have my issues with zoo's, and don't love that they cage up animals (I'm scarred from an experience at a Chinese zoo where they had the panda bears in chains and shackles)... but I do like the chance to see such crazy cool animals up close.

We also rode the train around the park. That was lovely too. Here we are waiting for the train.

* My mom came into town for a SUPER quick trip to help me BLITZ the craft room into a baby room. We did all the beginning pieces and I can't believe how much I was able to PURGE (old school work, art pieces, you name it...), and after she left we had a garage sale with our friends. Aaron and I made out with over $200 when all was said and done (craigslist sales included) ?!?! Who knew?!
That was cool. And, makes me excited to get rid of more! Here are some pictures with my mom and her FAVORITE grand-daughter (ok, maybe she's the ONLY granddaughter, but who's asking?).
p.s. I'll post pictures of our handiwork AFTER it is decorated. Right now it's just drab.

* And now on to the most exciting news as of late. Look at what I found one morning as I was pouring some Kellog's Corn Flakes into my cereal! I screamed aloud, "Tillie, we've struck GOLD!" It was like an early Christmas miracle. Look at the size of that FLAKE!

See, momentous occasions really DO happen on regular, ordinary, boring mornings.
The proof is here.

Nice. So, there you have it.
That's what we've been up to, as of late.

Friday, December 4, 2009

busy beavers...

So, it's been a busy last few weeks from us. And, while I've started another post with pictures clear back from Halloween, I thought it would be good to announce what's happening this weekend. I'm doing a booth at a Holiday Open House on Saturday from 11-3 with my melimba stuff.

Here's the flyer for more details (for you San Antonio people).

My good friend, Kristen, is putting it all together and asked me a while back to participate. I've never done a little Holiday Fair before, so I'm not quite sure what to expect. But, I'm gonna be prepared! If you are in the area, come stop by. Because, you see, I made a lot of cookies today (9 dozen to be exact for all the things we have going on this weekend). And, if you come, you can say, "Hi!", do some holiday shopping, and get some treats. Win win, I'd say.
(here are the cookies that are cooling as I type---p.s. Kristen Smith, yes, these are totally home-made from scratch, no Betty Crocker cookie pouches. Crazy, I know. You would love these, because they are the real deal. I may or may have not used both margarin AND butter. I thought of you the whole time I made them and thought you should know).


I've been wanting to clear out all of my old Holiday cards that I made (any leftovers I'll post in my etsy shop). You see, they were all hand-painted and then sewn. And, with Matilda in my world, not to mention another kiddo here in about 5 minutes (or 5 weeks), I've decided that I am going to discontinue these types of cards. So, I'm clearing them out. Here's a shot of some of them in a little display thing I inherited a while back:



Here's what I've been creating as of late for the event:


and I'm especially excited about these new pins (I'm also selling hats and mittens along with them)!!





I'm also selling a bunch of things that I have in my shop as well, so if you want to come on down to check it out, do it!

Okay, one last thing, before I leave, I have to tell you what happened this morning. Aaron has a big interview for school today that we've been anticipating for a long time. Well, as he was getting ready to leave, in his freshly ironed shirt and sharp looking suit, I looked up and noticed his hair was a little different. Like I've shared before, most days Aaron doesn't spend ANY time in the mirror, so I was a little surprised.

So, I asked, "Did you put something in your hair?" And he nodded yes.
I asked, "What was it?"
He responded with, "Some green stuff that you have on the bathroom counter."
Knowing that I have multiple hair products in green packaging, I asked, "Which kind?"
He said, "I don't know, it's the kind you squeeze out in your hand and it's all white."

Now, out of the two of us, Aaron is usually the BRAINS of the operation, but it felt nice that for once I knew more about something. It's called mousse.

Nice. A little hair mousse for a little something extra. Good thinking, Aaron. He looked good. Hope today went well. And, if nothing else, at least his hair looked nice.

Ta ta for now.

Friday, November 20, 2009

decluttering. our. lives.

Obviously the clutter thing has been an issue my entire life. And, by me talking so much about it doesn't mean that I have conquered it, by any stretch. It is a battle I face every day (hA, I'm making this sound so serious, like I have a major illness...).

I guess what I am trying to say is this, when you come to my house, don't have great expectations. Like I said, always a WORK in PROGRESS. ok. thanks for that disclaimer.

My point in writing this morning (yes, it is 5:34 a.m. and I can't sleep, so I thought I'd do something rather than just laying uncomfortably in bed)---is because I stumbled upon this FABULOUS article taken from The Happiness Project blog (thank you, Krista!). Apparently, it is all about finding out what makes your life happier. She is putting out a book too, which I might just have to buy.

I remember our art history professor (Aaron and I took the class together) told us, "Truth is truth, no matter where you find it." I love that statement and think about it all the time.

Well, she has some mighty truths over there. I love something she wrote that will be in her book,

'I said to him, “Someday, we’ll look back, and it will be hard to remember that we ever had
such little kids. We’ll say, ‘Remember when Eleanor still used her purple sippy cup, or when
Eliza wore ruby slippers all the time?’”
He squeezed my hand. “We’ll say, ‘That was such a happy time.’”
The days are long, but the years are short.'

Another great truth.

Anyway, she did a post about de-cluttering. I'll let you read it on her blog in it's full form, but some gems I found are these:

"I believe it’s easier to put things away in an exact place, rather than a general place ('the third shelf of the coat closet,' not 'a closet.')" ---SO true! that is the KEY for me being able to stay organized! no wonder my mom has me use so many little storage bins...

"I can’t get rid of anything that I might possibly need one day." ...Do you have gigantic stores of things like rubber bands or ketchup packets? How many coffee mugs does one family use?

"If you lose a bunch of weight, you’ll want to buy a new pair of jeans, not a pair you bought seven years ago. ----such a great point!

---like I said, find it in it's full form here.

All I can say, is at this point, I feel a lot happier getting rid of things that I thought "defined" me, or clearing out things that didn't hold much value anymore.

And while we're on the topic, why did I have so many MUGS? I mean, I love hot chocolate, but honestly... what was I thinking holding onto so many all these years??

So, I guess what I am trying to say is this, THANK YOU, MOM. I love that she already knew all this stuff. No wonder people have had her come into their homes and help them all these years! How lucky for me.

Now if I can just finish the assignments she gave me to go through those last few boxes that I'm tripping over in my bedroom... oh, but making felt flowers is much more fun. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

it's about that time...

Well, it seems like all signs point to Christmas... and soon!

Yes, yes, we still have Thanksgiving next week (which we're pretty excited about around here), but I must admit, I MAJORLY LOVE CHRISTMAS. all of it. the music (especially love this), the shopping, the decorating, the parties, the reflection, the wrapping... all of it. it's all heaven.

So, my mom was in town this past weekend, and we got some GREAT organizing done. She and Aaron are both SO proud of all the things that I was able to get RID of! I'll take pictures later, b/c I want to show it all in it's FINISHED form. I still have to take down old pictures and put up new frames with cowboy images in them... b/c yes, we now have a spot for our little Texas cowBOY. Not just a spot, pretty much a ROOM too.

Remember what it USED to look like (see below)? Well, get excited for new pictures soon.

We completely moved out my desk (which is currently listed on Craigslist) and folding table and found a big stash of cowboy print fabric that I happened to have in my box (no idea when I got it or WHERE I got it)... but we're transforming the room into a little cowboy's retreat.

---Anyway, back to Christmas fun. My mom and I were at the UPS store the other day and while she was inside I saw a lady come out of the store with a bright red christmas sweat-shirt and beautiful silvery-white-bob-length hair. I thought, wow, she looks like a modern day Mrs. Claus. Intrigued, I watched her get into a big TEXAS sized edition of a Chevy truck. Which just so happened to be GREEN. Looking over to see who the driver was, I opened my mouth and gasped! The man who I assumed to be her husband had a MEGA long white beard and long white hair----with a RED PLAID shirt on, no less! THEN! I saw a little stuffed Santa Claus in their front window above the dashboard....

At this point my mind was racing! Could this really be Mr. and Mrs. CLAUS... in the flesh!?! I mean, they WERE, afterall, leaving the UPS store!?!

Then, the ultimate happened. As they were pulling away I glanced at their license plate. TOY MAKR !!!! Seriously. True story. I saw Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. It was awesome. I was totally freaking out and poor Matilda had no idea why!! I can't believe my mom was IN the store the whole time! She would have died too!!!

So, there you have it. You may have THOUGHT that they lived in the North Pole... and maybe they normally do, but it looks like they are staying in Texas. San Antonio to be exact. Maybe they are here for Thanksgiving?? Who knows. All I know is I AM EXCITED!!! :)

What to do with all this excitement? Spend FAR too long on this site, "elf-ing" ourselves. Tillie practiced LONG and HARD doing these moves. And, unfortunately, Aaron got a big crick in his neck. But, kept a smile on the WHOLE time. What a big boy! So proud. Feel free to watch the show.

Ahhh... good times at the Wood house.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

another find!

Okay, as you all know, I'm knee deep in old stuff from yesteryear.

Well, I happened upon a scrap piece of paper that read:

A recent inability to accomplish anything tangible is about to change.
Someone who is along to help might be fascinated with your approach to work.

Obviously it's a good one for me. No wonder I saved it.
That's why I'm going to immortalize it on the blog-o-sphere.
Hopefully it comes true for me.

And that special "someone who is along to help" aka Denise? I'm sure she'll be fascinated with my work approach. Oh, yeah. Fascinated is definitely the word.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

as of late...

So, I'm curious, why I haven't been on the Cinnamon Toast Crunch train for the last few years? Hello? Weird. Because it is SO delicious.

It re-entered my life via a sale at the local grocery store. And, at this very moment in time, I'm enjoying my first bowl. Ice cold milk to accompany = perfection.

Life is good, even though my front room is a total disaster.

Why is it a mess? I decided to finally go through The Box.

Now, you may wonder how many years I've packed this infamous box around? And, I'll tell you 7 years. Seriously, it hasn't been opened for a LOOOONG time. Do you want to know what is written on the side? Okay, I'll tell. Some people don't use the word I'm about to write, but because it's on the box, I have to disclose:
"Melissa's CRAP box (to organize)". That's the title.

You can see why I've waited so long.

Why did I decide that TODAY was finally the day? Well, my mom comes into town on Friday, and we are determined to make room in our home ready for a family of FOUR. Meaning, I gotta get rid of a lot of stuff in order to do so. Hence, why I am going through old stuff that hasn't been looked at for years. I even had to call some of my BFFs (Sarah and Melissa) to talk me through WHICH things to keep and which things to chuck. Thanks, ladies.

Keep the journal, chuck the notes from Humanities. Keep the jewelry, chuck the broken flashlights and guitar picks. And so on.

Hopefully I'll be ready for our CLEAN SWEEP/ORGANIZE EXTRAVAGANZA this weekend.


In other news, I mentioned the journal I found. It just happens to be from early elementary school years, picked it back up a few times in jr. high, and finished it during high school days. I've spent the evening reading a few gems to Aaron.

I've now determined that my life is chronicled by which boy I liked at the time. I must admit, I look a little bit boy crazy as I'm reading past entries. I asked Aaron, "How am I going to keep track of time now, because I'll have you as my favorite for SO long??" Somehow I'll manage. One can only hope.

And, I've decided that maybe, as some of you parents highlight the darling things your children say on the side of your blog (which I think are truly great and love to read. honestly, i do)---I was thinking maybe I'd put up a few snippets from entries I wrote as a darling little teenager.

What's the vote?

Okay, fine. I'll do it. And, better yet, I'll start now.

Nov. 3, 1991 (seven years old):
"Now we have an new baby sister. She is 3 years old. oh, is she a pane in the neck. but she will grow out of it. Let's go on to Jesse, he is now 10 years old. He is a pane in the neke [neck] sometimes."

April 26, 1998 (13 years old):
"Whitney is sick. I feel so bad. Her throat is like swollen. It started yesterday at play practice... Ms. Shelton said stay off carbonation and sugar so we can do our best. Ha! I had a huge glass of root beer on Friday and I still load sugar on my cereal and scrape it off with my spoon at the end."---note to the reader, I still enjoy doing that from time to time with my cereal.

March 14, 2000 (16 years old):
--talking about one of my sister's friends coming to visit (he was a cute boy). '[As he was leaving] Jesse shook hands with him and I was about to do the same--when he pulled in and put his arms around me and... I wish I could write he KISSED me--but he didn't. He just said, "See ya later, Miss." All I could say was, 'Bye.' I'm such a freak. But really, what would I have said--'I love you. Kiss me you fool!'---I think not."

Ahh, there's more where that came from. A whole bunch of treasures. I don't want to list TOO many right now, though. You understand.

I'm glad I kept a journal. It funny how you forget so many things that happened so long ago, but when you read past entries, you can remember so many details about it all.

Anyway, that's all for now. Let's all hope Tillie doesn't choke on my past Young Womanhood Medallions or trip over the old textbooks bound for the recycle bin. Cross your fingers for us over here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

we have a winner!!

Instead of putting your names into a hat, I decided to go ahead and use this dandy little device on Don't worry, for you who did Facebook and Blog posts, I made sure to assign you specific numbers at the end of the comment section---so we were definitely fair. And, looky looky. It looks like it was LUCKY NUMBER 7!

Come on down, Patrice, you are the winner!

Blogger Patrice said...

My favorite is the Walt Whitman...I love the flowers!!! My 2nd fav is the Merry Christmas. You are amazing and I want your printer!!!

November 2, 2009 9:30:00 AM CST

Okay, you don't need to COME anywhere! I'll get the print to YOU! You have won your favorite print, the Walt Whitman quote. Nice pick, girl.

To the rest of you who entered and gave me some feedback---GRACIAS!! That is so great to hear your thoughts. I'm definitely going to be doing more of these give-aways in the future, because I think it is SO much fun!! I feel like Santa Claus in NOVEMBER! :)

Anyway, congrats. And, thanks again to everyone else who helped spread the word. Hope you all have a WACKY WEDNESDAY!


Speaking of Wacky... We pretended like it was Wacky Hair Day at school---wait, I mean, at home. Tillie's hair is getting longer and I've been trying to decide whether or not to trim it or pull it back out of her eyes each day. Here's what she looked like. Maybe a little TOO wacky. But, darling, none-the-less.




is it me, or when her hair is pulled back doesn't she look like she if FOUR years old? Oh my.



I just love her cute little rear-end. And, how great are these jeans? Man, little clothes on little bums. Too cute.



Cheers to you all! Thanks again!


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