Saturday, July 31, 2010

The One with Braxton Hicks

You know what's a weird feeling? Braxton Hicks. As if feeling something nudging me from the inside out isn't weird enough (seriously, weirdest (but most comforting and reassuring!) feeling ever). I first heard of Braxton Hicks on FRIENDS, of all places. (I didn't take this video, FYI):

I started noticing this curious symptom known as Braxton Hicks a few weeks ago. In a nutshell, it's my uterus contracting and preparing to give birth. But I'm not ready!!! Hold your horses!!! I've still got 11 weeks to prepare and freak out!!!
It's so weird when it happens though, my belly gets really hard and contorts into a funny shape and feels like it's being stretched and tightened.
Pregnancy is just so much fun :)
So. Yeah. I couldn't think of anything to blog about today, so you get to read about my contractions.
Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The One with Closed Doors and Open Windows

My days of working a desk job are coming to an end (at least for the time being - who knows what the future holds?). 15 more days to be exact! Yes, I'm that excited, I'm counting. And while I'm looking forward to being at home more and being able to go to all the fun activities that all the other SAHMs around here go to when I'm usually working, I'm also worried about how we are going to make ends meet. Fortunately/luckily/serendipitously, while this receptionist job door is closing, other job opportunity windows are opening, and we feel so blessed.

I've been working from home for Scrapbook Trends/CARDS/Simply Handmade/Create for just about a year now (and worked for them for four years in Utah before we moved, so we're going on five years now). It's worked out extremely well and I've kept most of my responsibilities from before because I can access the computer that's based at the office from any computer in the world. Technology is a wonderful thing. My only major problem is I'm running out of room to store all the copies of the magazines!
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On the side and here and there I've been helping the fabulous Amy Tan(gerine) with her scrapbooking events and making layouts for clients. So pretty much I scrapbook from home, or I head out to The Hills and attend crazy cool parties, and get paid to do it, and that, my friends, is awesome. Because of all these scrapbooking shenanigans, the scrapbook room/guest room/soon-to-be-nursery looks like this 99% of the time:
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I'm one of those people that has to clean up between every project so leaving the room in this state for days on end makes me fidgety. But it's worth it in the end!

The latest and greatest opportunity to come my way is taking over the position of American Crafts blog hostess starting next Monday.
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I feel like I'm following in Kelly Purkey's footsteps! I filled her spot as an In-House Scrapbooker/Product Designer when she left American Crafts, and now I'm replacing her as the blog hostess. What's next for me Kelly? :) I'm excited to work closely with the Contributing Design Team again, not to mention still keeping my foot in the door at the best scrapbooking company in the world, and of course helping to make ends meet once this baby comes is a great bonus.

Notice that all of these jobs and opportunities are based around scrapbooking. I thank my lucky stars each and every day that I just so happened to walk into that store called Yesterday's Scrapbooking & Stuff (unfortunately out of business now, sigh) when I was 16 years old and looking for my very first job. They didn't even have any applications, they just took my name and number. I truly believe I found my calling in life by working at that scrapbooking store. Look where it's led me! Who knew scrapbooking could become such a major part and theme of my life? I love it so.

And, when it comes down to it, all of these jobs and opportunities can be accomplished from the convenience of my own home. How fortuitous is that? I don't have set hours, I don't have to drive a half hour in traffic to get to work, I can go on vacation whenever I want... As long as I can get my tasks done and done on time, it's a pretty sweet deal. I know when Fox comes my world will turn upside down, but I have high hopes that everything will work out.

Basically, I'm feeling pretty lucky right about now :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The One with Remembering Sneakers

They say dogs are a man's best friend. I concur. Though Sneakers never reciprocated his affection for me which I so ardently wish he had (I was the one who begged and pleaded and begged some more to get a dog in the first place!!!), he was still the unofficial 6th member of our family for the past 13 wonderful and fun-filled years.

My family had to put down our trustee sheltie known as Sneakers last night. Let's face it, he was falling apart. He had been deaf for a couple years and just recently stopped eating. My mom took him to the vet on Monday where they found out he's allergic to flees and his skin was all sorts of messed up and so was his mouth. Then came the even bigger and worse news - his kidneys had failed. They could try a bunch of expensive procedures, but the outcome was not promising. So my family chose the other, most dreaded, option. My mom called me yesterday to tell me the news and it didn't really sink in until about 4:45pm when I was chatting with my dad:
me: What time is the deed being done?
dald: I think 8:30
me: Super sad. It's almost worse having to be there when it happens I think.
dald: I know. I'm going to tickle his tummy until the end.
(And that's what set off the waterworks. Luckily I sit all by myself in the front of the office so I wept in peace.)
dald: I hope we get our pets back in heaven, that's all I can say.

I went to LDS.org and searched for "pets in heaven." A story from the Liahona magazine came up and here is the answer: “Usually, when we talk about the resurrection, we think of people. But the scriptures teach us that man, the earth, and all the life upon it will be resurrected, mentioning especially the beasts, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea. The Savior gave His life so that everything would rise from the dead, even lizards and robins.”
I'm going to have a looooooooot of pets in heaven. I asked Chris if we get to pick and choose, cuz there are some pets I'd like to have for time and all eternity more than others. He said he's sure it'll all work out. I believe him.

I got an email from my mom at 11pm last night:
"We are all so completely sad. Eric wept. Allie wept. Dald clutched at his chest like he was having a heart attack. He said he felt like his heart was breaking. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I want Sneakers to contact me from doggie heaven to tell me he's okay."
Malm - I'm sure he's running around chasing lawnmowers, barking at doorbells ringing, and loving having his hearing back. I'm sure he's one happy dog.

In memory of our beloved family pet, here are some pictures from Sneakers' life:
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Some time in the early fall of 1997
When we first got him we used to call him a Beanie Baby because he was so small. I remember when we were deciding on a name before we got him. It was either between Hawkeye and Sneakers. I'm glad Sneakers won out, Hawkeye is weird...

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Some time in the fall of 1997
Was he really ever that little?

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Some time in the winter 1997
Teenage dogs aren't the cutest are they? They're gangly and awkwardly proportioned. But still. Sneaks is pretty cute.

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February 14th, 1998
Ahhh, the life of a bachelor on Valentine's Day :)

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November 11th, 2000
Love this action shot of Eric jumping into the leaves and his best friend not far behind.

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December 1st, 2002
Pretty much the only picture I have of just me and Sneakers.

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June 1st, 2003
I remember every morning while still living at home, I would hear a "scrape scrape scrape" on Eric's door and he would open it and let Sneaks come in to sleep with him until Eric woke up.

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January 24th, 2005
Sneakers would never harm a fly. He loved other animals and would lick them like they were his own pups. This is shortly after my dad cut a hole in the wall where we heard funny noises and it turned out to be Allie's hamster Ida. Proof that my dad has a soft spot for animals. He cut a hole in the wall!

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November 26th, 2005
These red booties lasted about as long as it took to get this picture!

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September 3rd, 2006
Happy dog! Seriously, it looks like he's smiling!

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November 12th, 2007
This was one of his favorite spots. He loved to sit under this kitchen table chair and rest his chin on the rungs.

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August 4th, 2008
Bring your dog to work day at Google. Sneakers didn't last very long before he started barking. But he did get this awesome sweater!

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December 6th, 2008
Just a pretty picture of Sneakers out in nature.

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January 26th, 2009
Probably my favorite picture of Sneakers ever.

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July 29th, 2009
Almost exactly one year ago.

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July 8th, 2010
This is the last picture I took of Sneakers - in his favorite spot. It's such a new picture that it's still in my "to sort" folder, meaning I haven't uploaded it to Picasa and placed it into the "Pictures-Animals-Sneakers" folder. I'm so glad I got to go home to Washington just a few weeks ago, if only to say good-bye to Sneakers.

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July 27th, 2010
Yesterday the neighbor boys, Eric, Tanya, and Allison helped dig a grave for Sneakers. My mom says they're going to put his doggie bed in first, then Sneaks, then the green blankie he always sat on when they took him up to Lake Wenatchee.

Edited to add this slideshow that Eric made in memory of Sneakers:
We love you and we miss you Sneakers.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The One with Finding Furniture

Chris and I took a trip to IKEA on Saturday to start perusing through furniture for the nursery. No buying anything yet, gotta wait for this month's credit card to close! (Don't you just love budgets and dealing with money...or lack thereof haha...). Now the big question is, how to fit everything on our list into this space:
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Right now the second bedroom is a guest room/my scrapbook space. I've acquired A LOT of scrapbooking stuff since I was 16 years old, but with good reason. Scrapbooking has been my main source of income since I was 16 and got my first job at a scrapbooking store, and today, 9 years later, scrapbooking in one form or another is still how I bring home the bacon. I would like to keep as much scrapbooking stuff in this room as possible, though I'm thinking the biggest dilemma will be those colorful racks of cardstock...

But anyways, my problems, not yours :)

Here's what we've found that we like:
This green rocking chair:
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with this matching footstool:
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I've mentioned before but I'll say it again, this second bedroom doesn't have a closet (!!) so we need to fenangle something. We're thinking of buying this cabinet
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and then rigging it with a few rods to hang clothes on and placing a few baskets with other smaller clothing items like socks and shoes on the shelves below. Blake we might need your mad carpentry skillz with this project :)

My friend Reyanna made a good point changing tables so we're thinking of ex-naying getting a changing table and buying this ultra cute blue dresser which can be part of Fox's room decor forever.
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The drawers are lined with super cute yellow lined paper. I love all the storage it provides and we'll just use the top for a makeshift changing table somehow. Or just use the floor and a changing pad :)

Can't forget about the bedding!
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Love the bright colors of this set (not to mention there's a fox on it!)

And curtains! With banners!
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Have we decided on a crib yet? That would be a no. I'm fine with this simple white crib from IKEA:
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But Chris has something else in mind. We'll see who wins this battle :)

Other than that, I've started collecting little rugs that I'll piece together to make one big rug sort of like this one that inspired the idea:
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And I've got a good pile of bright colored frames going with which to make a photo collage on the big empty wall (currently above the paper racks).

I've also got an entire folder of projects I want to make once I quit my part time receptionist job (in just 17 days...but who's counting??).

So things are coming along. After the annual Evans Family Reunion which will take place here in LA in a few weeks, we'll get rid of that bed (any takers?) and start the transformation.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The One with July American Crafts Layouts

Here are the two layouts I made for my monthly American Crafts assignment.
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Love Birds Maren & Logan

Tips: I've been watching Lois and Clark - The New Adventures of Superman on DVD the past week or so while I've scrapped. "Super" fun! I'm in charge of making their wedding book so I have access to their engagement photos. Must scrap a few of course! These are a couple of my favorite shots. I took the yellow from Maren shoes and went with that for the theme.

Journaling says: Maren and Logan are set to be married in the Salt Lake temple next month and we're not bringing the bird so hopefully nothing will stand in the way from us attending the sealing! (One may recall I missed my cousin Sara Jayne's wedding last summer because my bird flew outside and got stuck high up in a tree...)

Supplies: Cardstock, patterned paper, patterned fabric, brads (glitter, jewel, pearl), buttons, letter stickers, dimensional bird stickers, pen, adhesive: American Crafts; Paper cutter, scissors: Fiskars

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Mom & Eric

Tips: I went with an all blue monochromatic theme for this layout and die cut lots of concentric circles from cardstock and patterned paper for some flowers. I scattered brads, buttons, and badges around the flowers and tied a blue ribbon bow to embellish.

Journaling says: Words can't describe how much I love this picture of my mom and little brother, but I'll try :) I love how young my mom looks. I love the smile on her face. I love the look of adoration in her eyes. I love Eric's little grin and how content he looks. This picture fills me with hope. It's almost like a glimpse into my near future. I hope I look at my son the same way my mom is looking at Eric. I hope we can be this happy and content together. I want to be just like my mom!

Supplies: Cardstock, patterned paper, brads (glitter, jewel, pearl, regular), badges, buttons, ribbon, letter stickers, pen, adhesive: American Crafts; Die cut machine: Cuttlebug by Provo Craft; Scalloped circle dies: Nestabilities by Spellbinders; Scalloped border punch, paper cutter, scissors: Fiskars

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The One with the Pinwheel Card

Once in awhile I actually get the mojo to play along with the weekly challenge that I issue on the CARDS blog. Yesterday morning I had a jolt of creative energy and decided to make a pinwheel card for said challenge:
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How to: Make a 6" card base from light yellow cardstock. Cut a 6" square of colorful circles patterned paper (all of the supplies are from the last Dear Lizzy line), and cut and fold it into a pinwheel. Cut a 4" square from green polka dot paper and cut and fold it into a pinwheel. Cut a 3" square from blue cardstock and cut and fold it into a pinwheel. Layer all the pinwheels in a staggered formation and attach them with a fabric brad set through a crocheted flower; adhere to the card base. Cut out two leaves from brown cardstock, crinkle them for dimension, then tuck them under the left side of the pinwheels. Tie pink ribbon into a bow and set it near the brad. Add letter stickers around the brad to make a sentiment.

Supplies: Cardstock, patterned paper, fabric brad, ribbon, crocheted flower, adhesive: American Crafts; Letter stickers: Making Memories; Paper cutter, scissors: Fiskars

Friday, July 23, 2010

The One with the Third Trimester

What To Expect (the equivalent of the Bible in a pregnant woman's life) says that today I embark on the journey known as the third trimester. It's the final 12-week stretch until this baby in my belly makes his big debut. How do I feel?
Scared.
Nervous.
Anxious.
I'm freaking out.
I have no idea what I'm doing.
What have I gotten us in to?
Not to mention all the aches, pains, constipation, heartburn, indigestion, flatulence, bloating, headaches, faintness, dizziness, sensitive gums, leg cramps, backaches, swelling of ankles, feet, hands, and face, protruding naval, Braxton Hicks, clumsiness, crazy scattered dreams, and more, just to name a few side effects... Maybe I should have read ahead in this book before convincing Chris to start a family! OH, and yesterday morning I found my first stretch marks! But they're totally not in a place I even expected. Not my belly or boobs, but on my left cheek! And I'm not talking about my face...
In the end I know everything will work out and really it's not like all of these pregnancy symptoms happen at the same time or even on a daily basis. I'm actually quite comfortable and happy. For now :)

Then I start thinking of all the things that need to happen in the next 12 weeks and I freak out a little bit. We need to buy a crib, changing table, some sort of dresser or armoire because the second "bedroom" doesn't even have a closet (so technically it's not even a bedroom!), diapers, diaper wipes, creams, ointments, and literally 7 entire pages of STUFF. Babies require a lot of things! On our budget the month of August is appropriate titled "Operation: Baby".

Then I start thinking about actual labor and delivery and I really start to freak out. My OB is....how can I put this nicely....less than helpful. At the beginning of every chapter in What To Expect there's a list of "What You Can Expect at This Month's Checkup." My OB has yet to do any of the things on the list. Basically at each appointment, I walk in, wait for an hour (grrrrr), the doctor mozies on in, she squirts some jelly on my belly, moves the scanner thing around for a few seconds, snaps a picture, and calls it good. THAT'S IT! I'm like HELLO! FIRST TIME PREGNANT GIRL HERE! I HAVE A BAZILLION AND ONE QUESTIONS!
For example:
Where am I supposed to go if I start to go into early labor? I'm totally serious, I have no idea which hospital I'm delivering at. Who is going to deliver my baby? My OB? Am I supposed to be signed up for birthing classes? Sometimes I can feel him move all over inside, but for the past few days he's been waaaaaay down low in my abdomen. Is this normal? Why am I the one who has to ask questions? Mommy I need you. I just wish my OB would be a little more invested in me and my current situation. I get that she sees hundreds of pregnant woman a day, but still, I have feelings and questions and I wish she'd ease my worries and fill me in on what's going on. Thank goodness for family and friends who have been there done that! Just remind me to switch OBs if we decide to have another baby while living here.

With that, all of my feelings and emotions put out there into virtual space, I leave you with some pics:
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The One with Inception

Chris and I were spontaneous tonight (I know, who am I and what have I done with the real Paige?) and decided to go see Inception. I've heard nothing but great reviews about it and I'm always up for a good movie with the hubs.
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I loved it. I give it a 9 out of 10.
I predicted the ending to a "T" within the first 20 minutes and stated my hypothesis to Chris out loud so he can back me up. Of course that's how it would end. But I loved it just the same.
It's funny how many things I realized about my own dreams after seeing this movie. Like I really do just start my dreams in the middle of something, there's never a beginning. And I ALWAYS wake up from a dream if I "fall" or die. Crazy stuff man.
Go see it. That's my review.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The One with Postmarked Wednesday

I've got a couple o' cards featured on the American Crafts blog today! Here is a sneak:
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Make sure you click HERE to see the real deal!

The One with Slide Curtains

My dad likes to send me links to things he finds interesting and every now and again he really strikes gold! Today, for instance, he sent me this link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=338100.0. It's a DIY project making curtains out of kodachrome slides - genius!
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Simply connect old slides together with jump rings. Easy peasy.
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Ooooooh. Ahhhhhh.
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And the reflection they make is beautiful!
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Slides seem like ancient history now that we're in this digital era. I don't even know where I would buy slide film, let alone a "regular" camera! But perhaps I can find some slides on ebay or an antique store and make some curtains of my own.
Add this project to my "some day" list.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The One with the Trendy Fox

Maybe I'm just more aware of the fox trend now that I have a baby in my womb with that name. But I feel like I'm seeing foxes everywhere! I'm especially grateful to those who have emailed me links to foxy things they've come across and thought I'd like - much appreciated :) Here are some things I quickly found on Etsy that are fox-related that speak to me:
Furritales
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Passion Flower
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Niko Art
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Simply Cute by Karin
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Madison Craft
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Khara Ledonne
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De Nardi
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Bird Mafia
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Stephanie Fizer
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Cool Ranch Studio
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Matte Stephens
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Graphic Spaces
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Cosmo Cricket even has a new line called Togetherness with some foxes:
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I want it all.