Monday, December 29, 2008

Big and Glorious!

Oh I couldn't agree more. Bring on the glorious round love!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everybody!

Here is my unofficial Christmas Letter...

Well, it's been a wonderful, crazy, joyous year. We brought home our new baby boy last year right before Christmas and have been enjoying his sweet spirit and contagious laugh ever since. My family started a Home Inspection business in January and we are still plugging away at laying the foundation and getting our name out there. Since then we have been working hard to learn how to be good parents and to change our family tree (as Dave Ramsey would put it). Recently Chad got on a Peachmac and was promoted to Assistant Manager soon after. I have been continuing to work with the Vineyard and several other companies in the area while at home raising our son.

I love my job as a mom and graphic designer. But I think mom takes the cake hands down. Corben's smile is all it takes to make my day better. God is so good to have entrusted us with such a wonderful little person. It was a rough start with Corben's sensitive stomach and possible colic but we made it through and it was all worth it.

We moved into our new house just over a month ago and are in love with it. There is plenty of space for Corben to play and we don't feel like we are all on top of each other! Corben is wanting to walk but hasn't quite gotten the guts up to take those first independent steps yet. Which I'm okay with.... I want him to be a baby as long as possible. I know that might be a little selfish but he can take his time. No rush :)

Today was an abundance of emotions. I am so exhausted, elated, and anxious with anticipation for the new year. We had wonderful news this morning that I wrapped and put under the tree for Chad. A pregnancy test that was positive :) We are very excited. It's a little sooner than we had planned but we are both very happy. On this day especially we see what joy a baby can bring to a family and to the world. So merry Christmas everybody! Surprise!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve's Eve

That one could just go on forever right?

So in the tradition of my other fellow bloggers... A cup of cold water, and sterling and topaz. (Had to throw some link love your way).

I am going to post my christmas letter here. Well really it's the christmas letter I would have sent out. Okay, I'm not very good at the whole mail thing. Email I can do... but snail mail... not my niche. Those of you that have received thank you cards from me months later know this too well. Hey they got there didn't they... took me a while but I did it. This is one of the many areas of my life I am working on. I know the power of a handwritten note or thank you note so I am trying to make them more of a priority. Anyway! Little steps first... this year I did our first Christmas cards! Yay! They are really cute and have Corben's pic on it. I was so proud that I got those ordered and sent out. Okay... maybe just a few days before christmas but they are gone! Grace people... Grace. So next year the goal is to get the christmas tree up on Thanksgiving, Take picture soon after, order cards and have them out by the end of the first week of December with a christmas letter.

This year I got the cards out but no letter. So the people that follow my blog can feel extra special because they are some of the few people that will see my christmas letter this year. I will post after Corben goes to sleep this evening.

So I know New Year's is right around the corner and I've been thinking about some of the things I want to change about my life. Not just because it's new years but because it is just part of my personality. I think it always a good thing to sit back and evaluate yourself, ask God to evaluate you and to even go so far as to write down some of the things you want to improve. So that will be another post soon but you already got a little taste. You guessed it - being timely with thank you notes, invites etc. is definitely one of those things!

Got to go love on my baby ~ stick around... my christmas letter is coming soon!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A reply from the doctor post

I started to reply to the comments and decided it was getting too long so I might as well make it a post.

I do understand the pressure the doctors are under. Unfortunately, I think it leads to bad medical practice. Individual attention is sacrificed because of the assembly line system of care. Same thing happens with labor/birth. Your crazy if you want to do it another way. I think what Kelli is trying to say (correct me if I'm wrong) is that we wish the doctors would appreciate that we want to take an active roll in our children's medical care. They see it as an inconvenience and they are doing us a favor if they treat our child in the way we ask them to. Vaccination is something for each parent to take seriously and its totally between them and God. As long as you are educated about your decision and you think you are doing the best thing for your specific child then that is what you should do. Same thing with labor and delivery.

Your the parent, it should be your decision and that decision should be respected.

I'm not mad at the doctors, I'm mad at the system. Our system of medical care is broken. It's no wonder many mothers I've talked to have stopped doing well visits. The doctors don't want to listen to them or try to understand. Too many doctors have a God complex. And their are too many crazy people out there that don't respect doctors and just want to mow them over with their opinions. If you don't want to listen to your doctors opinion and get medical counsel. Then don't go to the doctor. Obviously you can take care of everything yourself (sarcasm). I know I need second opinions and I have questions... that's why I go. Does that mean I will do everything the doctor says... no. My doctor told me my milk hit a plateau at about 5 months and that I should start feeding him full servings of real food. I called a lactation consultant and she told me something completely different. Your milk doesn't hit a plateau. He's just going through a growth spurt and needs to eat more to get your milk supply up. I started letting him nurse more often and everything was fine. If I would have given him large servings of real food my milk supply would have went down which is the opposite of what Corben was trying to do.

Are doctors wrong sometimes? Yes. Do most of them want to admit it? No.

If you had 10 doctors in a room you would probably get 10 or maybe 8 different opinions.

I know they are doing the best they can with what they know, their experiences etc. But they need to at least entertain the idea that someone may want to do something different than what they suggest.

Medicine and science is ever-changing. One day coffee is bad for you the next day it isn't same thing with chocolate. One day Pluto is a planet and then the next day it's not.

I hope that one day they can without a doubt say that vaccines are safe for all children and that I can vaccinate without any concern. That would be wonderful. But right now.. I can't do that. Corben has already had a reaction to the dtap that he had for the first time at his last visit. You know the beautiful thing about that? If I would have followed the traditional schedule, I would have no idea which vaccine gave him the reaction. But because I separated it out I know exactly which one it was. I have reasons behind what I am doing. I'm not just doing it because its the "thing" to do. I wouldn't go through this much headache just because it's the "thing" to either be totally for vaccines or totally against them.

I want to feel like I can have open conversations with my doctor. I want to know what's going in Corben's body and how it affects my child. I want to give Corben as much time as possible to recover from each vaccine. I want to be able to know that I did everything I thought was right, if something does happen. Even with a modified schedule it doesn't ensure that my child won't be the 1 in 1000 or whatever the statistics are for each vaccine to get a serious reaction like seizures or brain damage. But this is what I have a peace about. I will have done what I thought was best and that is all I can do. That is all any parent can do.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another Doctor's Visit... yay

Okay, if you don't want to listen to a rant then stop reading. You know... I want to go to a doctors visit without being nervous. Why am I always the one choosing the most difficult way to do something. I think it would just be easy to either do vaccines or don't do them at all. Trying to do your own schedule is a pain!

This all stems from Corben's one year doctor's appointment today. My doctor informs me that there is a measles outbreak that has killed 45 people. So they are recommending every child get their vaccine as soon as possible. And if I didn't get the vaccine my doctor could no longer see Corben.

My first thought... "See you later." But I calmed down internally and started asking questions and explaining. Now, my doctor has been pretty good about our choice to do a modified schedule and has been very gracious. I know he is just doing his job and looking out for the good of his patients and his insurance bill. He explained that if Corben had measles and was in the waiting room and a 9 month old caught it from Corben then he would be personally liable. Okay, I want to strangle every person that is sue happy right now. A child could catch this kind of disease anywhere... Come ON! I'm not saying this is not a cause for concern for me. Of course when I hear there is an outbreak I want to do the best thing to protect my son.

So on our personal vaccine schedule we had the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine separated. We knew it would cost extra to do it that way but it is worth it to us. I had Mumps first on the schedule so I asked him if he would recommend to do the measles first instead. He said yes but he could still not see me unless I had all of them done. Wha? Why? I thought it was a measles outbreak? Measles... not mumps and rubella. On my schedule I have them spaced about a year apart. 15 months-mumps, 27 months rubella, 36 months measles. So that means Corben would not be seen until after 36 months if I continued with my current schedule. He offered to bring Corben in and seclude him so he could receive his shots etc. Which was nice. I know he was trying to do everything he could and save his rear-end as well. Which there is nothing wrong with that per-se. I'm just so fed up with the medical community and people that want to sue everyone with a stethoscope that doctors are afraid to pee without asking first.

We are trying to do what's best for our son and the doctor said he was just trying to do what's right for the thousands of patients he sees.

Was he implying that we weren't? Did we put our child in daycare with no vaccines and not try to breastfeed him so he would have antibodies and a strong immune system. NO, we choose to keep our child at home and breastfeed him exclusively. Because we made those decision we thought we were being responsible enough to modify the vaccine schedule the way we thought best. We were being considerate of others. We didn't put our son in a situation where he could easily contract a disease and give it to others. We took every precaution that was safe for our child and beneficial for others.

But we're the crazy ones! We're the inconvenient ones. Don't get me wrong... I'm not mad at my doctor.. a little frustrated, yes. I told him I totally understand where he is coming from... totally.. he's a medical professional. All he knows is what he has been indoctrinated with in medical school. Vaccines are better for the masses so that's what we should do. Vaccinate. No matter what. (I didn't verbalize all of that I just thought it).

I explained we would not be making these decisions about vaccines if Corben was in daycare etc. And I am just trying to do the best for my specific child. HEY THATS MY JOB IM HIS MOM!!!!

You know the first week they want to listen to your motherly instincts but eventually I guess you are supposed to hand over those to the doctor.

I'm just mad, frustrated, and my heart is broken from wondering if I'm going to have to make a medical decision about my child that I am forced into.

I'm looking into getting the measles vaccine separate asap. And I am going to continue to think and pray on the rest. Maybe this is my cue to find another doctor that will actually understand where I am coming from. Or maybe I should just stick it out and do my schedule the way I've already set out. We are both making our choices, him to not see us anymore and me to continue with what I think it right for my son and what I have a peace about.

He's my son, my responsibility, God entrusted him to my husband and I and we don't take that lightly.

Please know that I am venting and I'm sure I'll have this figured out soon. Just feels good to get all these thoughts out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Who knew type was so much fun?

Another cool video. Done completely with typography. Way cool.. okay maybe it's just me. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Corben's Birthday

Well, I think we finally decided to wait until the first few weeks of January to have Corben's first birthday party. I know he doesn't know the difference but I hate to celebrate a month after! Oh well what can you do? Chad isn't allowed to ask off for specific days during the holidays so we never know when he might be off on a Saturday or Sunday. I really don't want to throw a party together last minute either. If you aren't going to do it right then why do it? I hate doing things half way, so we are going to wait... as much as it kills me. I think more people would be able to make it too because it won't be right in the middle of the holidays.

So I'll continue to plan. The theme is still "BEEP, BEEP Corben is turning one," with simple cars in light blue and red I think. I'm finding all these cute things you can make into cars for party favors.I have to admit I'm a little overwhelmed by it all. Throwing a kids party is something I've never done before. I've got all these ideas whirling around in my head and I think I'm just getting dizzy from it all. I think this calls for some hands-on Gifton time. I can always think better when I'm doing a craft with my hands, drawing or painting. It relaxes me almost instantly. I guess it gives my mind one thing to focus on and nothing else!

Friday, December 5, 2008

That's right baby... we're multiplying!!! mwahaha!

I'm so excited I can barely put it into words. I got this email today and it just made my year! This is just too sweet, I had to share...

Hi Gifton,
How are you doing? Looks like you are doing well for yourself. Little Corben is very precious! There truly is no greater gift than the love of your own children. When we (Tj and I)were pregnant the second time around I wanted to name my daughter with a G name to go with my son's Grady. Well I named her Kimberly Gifton. I always liked your name and it was so original! So sometimes we call her Kimberly and sometimes we call her Gifton and sometimes we call her both. But if it weren't for you I would have never have heard the name before, to have named my daughter. We had such a hard time picking names and agreeing on a name, b/c My husband would mention a name and I would say definitely not b/c the name would remind me of some person I did not wish to think about every time we said her name. So With the name Gifton, I said "ok, I only know one Gifton and she was always very kind and smart" so there you go, that is how my daughter got her name. Just thought you might like to
know. Boy this was lengthy. I hope you are doing well and please keep in touch.

This was from an acquaintance that I knew in high school that looked me up on faceboook. She was such a sweet girl and apparently she thought the same :)

So that's right people... there is more than one of me out there... so watch out!
How cool is that?!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Okay, I've finally jumped ship. Of course you know this is going to be another trial of something natural as opposed to some manufactured etc. So... I have been having some issues with itchy scalp since Corben was born. I've just assumed that is was my hormones changing etc. But it is still bothering me and Corben is one!

So I did some digging and some said to rinse your hair in apple cider vinegar and I also found some people that use this as a conditioner.. something about it balances your ph blah blah. So I thought why not?

All you do is put a few tablespoons of ACV in a glass and fill the rest with water and pour it over your hair in the shower.

Itching is mostly gone after two hair washes and my hair is sooo soft. I love it. I think I'm sold. You don't even have to rinse it out if you don't want to. It doesn't smell after you dry your hair by the way. Works like a charm. Next step is going totally no-poo with baking soda and water. We'll see what happens. Sara, I know what your thinking... "What a dirty hippie!"

I guess if the shoe fits.. who can deny it?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Graphic Design Comics

i found these comics that give such great insight into the graphic designers world. These couldn't be more true...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cough Cough

Just sniffling and coughing as I take a break to talk a little bit. I've been fighting off this cold for over a week now... it been really mild. Little sore throat, little sniffle here and there. Usually I can break these kinds of things in a day. Hot tea, honey, yogurt, repeat hot tea and throw in some orange juice and my daily vitamin and I'm back to normal in a flash. This has just been lingering! It's driving me nuts. I was better for a day and then it came back worse. Fever, sore throat, congestion, cough ... yuck! I think it's finally on it's way out though. I actually feel like doing some work today.

I've been thinking about Christmas a lot and I think I would really like to do some handmade gifts for my nieces and nephews. My mom is doing felt food for the twins... it's soo adorable. You can find an example here. I've been wanting to make Corben a hat I really love these that I found on etsy. They look like they would be easy to sew up. I'm going to keep looking and I'll post what I make here and try to give you a little tutorial on how I did it. Well back to my day job. Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh the excitement. Good food, Family and Friends. That pie you only see twice a year on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I'm so ready for the holidays. I have my "best of Frank Sinatra" humming in the background. Sigh. I love the holidays. It always makes me reflect on the year... relationships that have come... some that have gone... new house... my first year of motherhood. So much has happened this year. I've changed so much but am more the same than ever. I'm becoming more like my mother every day. Which is comforting. If I could be some of the woman she is I'll be doing pretty good for myself. She's always been my picture of a God-fearing woman. She gave even when we didn't have very much. If she had it she would give it.. be it time, food, prayer,... She's headstrong but knows when to stand behind her guy, is always quick to tell you to have faith and don't be so negative, will pray through for you like no one else, Can make a few ingredients feed a family of 6 in a pinch :). How she did it I don't know. But they raised 4 pretty good kids. I just hope I can say the same thing someday.

::smile:: I can still hear her voice always speaking positive things over us - "I've raised 3 mighty men of God, and one mighty woman of God." So tomorrow it will be just like it is every year... lots of loud family craziness - politics, tech-nerdiness, business-talk and the tradition of hearing mom say "Take it OUTSIDE!" As the boys try to take each other down. Yes we are all adults... but it never fails... happens every year. One of them says something smart to the other and it begins :) Gotta love big families. We all have our problems, but we're family and we love each other. Thank you God for your many blessings and that we are all healthy and together this holiday season! Don't forget to hug someone and tell them you love them! Happy Thanksgiving! Bring on the Holidays... keep singing Frank...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This is hilarious

Okay you might not find this as hilarious as I do because I'm a designer. But I couldn't help but share this video.

It still astounds me that people hire designers but then assume that designers know nothing and they could do it better. Does that make any sense?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Assistant to the regional manager

That's right! I almost forgot to post about this!

Chad is now the Assistant Manager at Peachmac! We are so excited and Chad is so happy at his job. Well he was happy before but this is just icing on the cake.

God is so good! Showing up right on time as usual.

So did you miss me?

Hello All

We have internet!! woo hoo!

For those of you that may not know. We have been moving this past week so it's been a little crazy around here. We now have a back yard and plenty of space for Corben to run (well for now crawl) around. They couldn't get internet on over here until today so we have been going through withdrawal! It was kinda nice though. I feel like we talked more because we didn't have it.

Moving was a very quick decision and we had to backwards move because of Chad's schedule. We moved the big stuff and now we are slowly moving over the little stuff. I still have about 1/2 of our apartment to pack. It's taking me a while because Chad is working all the time (which is great, don't get me wrong!)and I have to keep baby out of everything while I pack. I am not moving again until I can pay someone to move me! It is so worth it! Especially when you have a little one that is at that perfect getting-into-everything stage. We're making it work and hopefully we will be out of there completely in the next few days and then I will just have to clean everything.

I know it will all be worth it in the end but I am just so exhausted and I never want to see another brown box again!

I do love our new place though. Still a great location - close to I-20 and the park.
Now we can actually fit people into our house! We can actually invite people over to hang out at our place! I really missed that. I love being a hostess! First order of business is Corben's Birthday Party! I'm so excited... I think we are going to do a car theme. I've got the invitations designed already... "BEEP BEEP, Corben is turning 1!"

I'm sure I will discuss the party plans as I get them together. So much to do and so little time!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Imagination is more important than knowledge

Anyone know who said that? Anyone?

Remember I loooooove quotes. They are just so darn thought provoking. Well if you didn't get it I'll give you a hint. Theory of relativity or E=MC2 ring a bell?
That's right Albert Einstein.

One of my most favorite people. He was such an interesting guy. He just fascinates me. He was a scientist that had such a respect for imagination, art and God.

I came by this article yesterday that I had ripped out of one of my Wired magazines. The article was called "The World Needs More Rebels Like Albert Einstein." It talks about what a rebel he was and how he struggled so much in school. He was even slow to speak as a child. He had a defiance for authority and strict learning. His school teachers thought he was lazy and stupid. When he was asked how he came up with the theory of relativity this was his response - The ordinary adult never bothers his head about the problems of space and time. But I developed so slowly that I began to wonder about space and time only when I was already grown up.

Apparently there's something to keeping that child-like wonder. When Einstein was 26 he landed a job as a third-class examiner at the swiss patent office. He alienated him self so much from professors he was unable to earn his doctorate or get any kind of self-respecting academic job. But this was the perfect place for him...

This was the launching pad for his theory of relativity... he saw trains rolling by that had been synched with clocks at the nearby train station and the rest is history. Other scientist had come close but they were too blinded by the dogmas of the time. Einstein discarded the notion of absolute time, one of the sacred tenants of classical physics since Newton.

Einstein knew how to think outside the box and because he had imagination he could take his knowledge and come up with something absolutely impossible (or so we thought) !

Here are some other quotes by him. Really interesting fellow. Encourage that child-like wonder in yourself and your children - who knows maybe they will grow up to be geniuses or have names synonymous with the word.

"The only real valuable thing is intuition."

"A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."

"God is subtle but he is not malicious."

"Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."

"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."

"The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."

"Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."

"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

"Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."

"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding."

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school."

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."

More related to this subject later...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Is everyone else out there as disappointed with this election as I am? I find myself at a crosswords with a decision between two candidates... bad and worse. Should I just pick the lesser of two evils?

Both have shown inconsistencies and want to force me to be generous or in Obama's words "spread the wealth around". But I've earned that money... I went out and worked for it. And now because you think I need to help others you are going to force me to do that. Does that promote generosity or hinder it? No wonder people are stingy when it comes to tithing or giving to charities. The government forces them to give already so there isn't much left. I believe that since FDR the government has tried become "the church" and the church has gladly encouraged it. The government and legislation is the substitute for our morality or our fervor for sharing our convictions.

We have become lazy. The church has become lazy. Why try to convince people that what they are doing is wrong... lets just make a law that forces them to do it! Does it make our society better? Maybe it keeps some people from breaking those laws out of fear. But those that are convinced to do something are going to do it anyway. Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still. I love that quote. We don't try to touch the heart anymore we just want the government to force.

So where does that leave our civil liberties? Do we really have much of them anymore? Our forefathers would be appalled at where we are today.

So we make laws and the church sits on their laurels and gets fat and lazy. No need to do anything... the government will take care of making people be moral. I'm not saying we don't' need laws for some things... but we have gotten legislation crazy. Lets make a law for everything!

so back to the election... I'm still praying about what to do. Either way... these next four years are not going to be in good hands. I'm just glad God presides over it all. But a part of me wonders if this isn't going to be the wake up call this country needs. That's how things changed at the beginning of this country. We were tired of taxation without representation. We were passionate about what we believed, so much so that we would commit treason to fix it. Where has that passion for freedom gone? You know the requirements for the house or the senate was when it was first formed? They must meet at least once a year. Once a year! That's how small they wanted the federal government to be. They knew how dangerous a government can be when it becomes bigger than "We the People"

I'm just very disappointed. God give me wisdom and discernment, because I'm at a loss for what to do.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's LIVE!

Yep that's right. The family biz has a website. Blood, sweat, tears, late nights, and messaging between Garren and I every Monday, Tuesday and Friday night until 10 for the past month all made this happen. Go check it out... look around. If you see a mistake I don't want to know!! Just kidding! We still have a few tweaks left but it pretty much there.

american standard

Then keep watching for a billboard out near grovetown and a billboard off pine log road in Aiken.

We have finally arrived... we exist!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Let the bruises begin!

My boy is all boy. He has his first bloody lip and a little bruise on his bum. He's crawling all over, pulling up and walking around. And of course, with all that comes falling down. I try to let him explore as much as he wants (within reason). And I try not to make a big deal when he falls because then he will see it as a big deal and cry more. He's a little trooper and most of the time just picks himself back up and keeps going. He's definitely all boy!

Also Corben got a wonderful present in the mail the other day! A client emailed me last week about some new work and asked how the baby was doing. She wanted to send a gift for him which was really sweet of her. So a few days later I received three wonderful books in the mail.

The first is "Alphabet by Van Fleet which has lots of textures in it for Corben to feel as I read it to him. He loves it! He is so into textures right now. Then there is my favorite little book so far ...
"I love you through and through" by Bernadette Rossetti-shustak. The little boy in the book looks just like Corben and it is just a wonderful little book.

The third was "My first book of numbers" by Eric Carle. The book is divided into two sections and you have to match the number on top with the right amount of different fruits on the bottom. Very good for problem solving skills. This was such a great gift! Its really neat that Corben is beginning to be able to appreciate/use the gifts that are given to him. I'm so excited to see him grow more and sad to see his baby-ness start to fade.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Braggin on my Baby

I haven't posted any pics of Corben and I think that is long overdue...

Boys will be boys!

Telling it like it is :)

Have you ever been called out? Not really intentionally but after you have the conversation you sit back and think... well maybe they are right? Most of the time this kind of statement will come from family... and it did.

As I've said before I have been super busy with the whole family business. I spend my nights on the computer or on the phone or both. Once I was on the phone, IMing, reading, and nursing at the same time. I know ... I'm ridiculous.

So It's Saturday night and where am I? At my computer then making a call to John about text approval for the website. We get talking about other things and he was telling me he was hanging out with his girlfriend and some friends and they just got pizza. Then he chimes in and says... "you know Gifton, you really should be doing something fun on a Saturday night." I laughed it off and blamed it on him being a slave driver. Then he keeps going... "you really should get out more. Tell you what, this band is going to be in town at such and such date and we should go. Okay."

It's really cool that John would invite me to do that. We have always been on the same wavelength personality wise and music wise. We just "get" each other. However, my family doesn't really "do" stuff together outside of family functions like Birthdays and holidays. So it was really cool that we are making an effort to be more proactive in our family relationship.

BUT STILL! I get off the phone and I stare at my computer. Wow, I'm 24 sitting at home on a Saturday night working.... working.... Having a life is a luxury we don't really have right now. You know what we do for fun? Get out of the house and go for walks in the park with our son. Which is great... don't get me wrong! But you know what I would love to be able to say we do on the weekends? The beach (I can't wait for Corben to see the beach for the first time), mountains, concerts, go for drinks with friends, go dancing all night, snowboarding, kayaking, see a play, go to an art gallery, paint in my studio (I would have to have a studio first :) ).

For now this is where we are.. so you know what I'm going to do? View beautiful seascapes and landscapes on my computer, watch a live concert on utube, have a cup of hot cocoa with a little cinnamon for something different, dance in my living room (with no one around to laugh), snowboard on my wii fit, and sketch my dreams on my sketchpad. This is where I am... My dreams are still alive, some are today and some are for tomorrow. I'm just a work in progress.

Friday, October 10, 2008

We are definitely a MAC family now!

That's right my husband is now a full time employee of Peachmac, the new mac retailer opening in the area. He will be a "Mac Specialist" :). He is so excited and I am so excited for him. I might be more excited than he is. Having a husband that loves his job is sooo beneficial for your marriage. I don't know how many years that Chad has not liked the jobs he has been at. It puts a strain on your marriage when you hubby comes home everyday exhausted and unhappy because he has had to be at a place that he can't stand for eight hours. I wouldn't be peachy either! Reminds me of my serving days... eh lets not go there. I think everyone should have to be a server for at least six months during their lifetime. In hopes that it would give everyone perspective and respect for the people that are waiting on them! It is a tough job, especially when half the people treat you like dirt.

Anyway ... I said I wasn't going to go there and I still went there... typical of me :). So Chad is going to be in heaven and is going to get paid for something he does for fun anyway. Just the other day he helped a stranger who needed more info on macs while he was looking around Best Buy. He's such a dork... but hey those are the people most people end up working for. Gosh I need those etsy buttons!

Oh and another tooth update. Corben now has a tooth on the top and there are two more bumps in his mouth. They are coming full force! This last one pushing through wasn't nearly as bad as the first thank goodness. He was really just screaming when the tooth was actually popping through. Poor little guy. My baby is growing up. He has teeth when he smiles... there is just something about that toothless little smile...sigh... now it's not there anymore.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Post Scriptum

Yep that's what P.S. stands for. Do you ever wonder about random stuff like that? Post Scriptum (Latin: Post Script; an additional message after the main body of text in correspondence).

Seems like forever since I've blogged. Things are good, just going with the crazy flow as usual. I just finished watching P.S. I love you. A movie that has been on my list of movies to see for a while. It was sad, funny and inspiring. Love movies like that. And who couldn't love some gruff and lewd irish humor. Isn't it funny how crude humor is so much more palatable when it is being spoken with a thick irish accent? You just expect irish people to be loud, funny, lovable, a little rough around the edges, and people that love their beer. I know it's a little stereotypical.. but that's the person I picture when I think "irish." They actually traveled to Ireland for part of the movie. Some of the shots were so beautiful. I've always wanted to visit. I am part Irish (don't really know how much) and ever since I've known that I wanted to go there and visit. Anyway... loved the movie.

Lately I can't really explain it or why I'm feeling this way but... I'm feeling more like myself. I met a new person and held a wonderfully interesting conversation and felt intellectually stimulated. Normally I would be really shy... but I wasn't. I was completely comfortable in my own skin. It's like all of a sudden "I'm back"? Whatever that means. I don't care how it happened but I'm here.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
Cecil Beaton

I love this quote. It always challenges me... to be bigger than I really believe I am. I love quotes in general. As a kid I would sit and read through quote books. It's just amazing how a sentence - usually one line long, can inspire and change the way you think. Some people can't accomplish that with a whole article or novel.

Here are some other great quotes:
"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds."
Albert Einstiein

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
albert einstein

"Great dreams... never even get out of the box. It takes an uncommon amount of guts to put your dreams on the line, to hold them up and say, "How good or how bad am I?" That's where courage comes in."
Erma Bombeck

Don't be afraid to be yourself... and if you are... do it anyway... and you just might find that people like you... that you can succeed and that God is on your side. He doesn't hesitate to send little miracles your way everyday...

Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible. I think it's in my basement... let me go upstairs and check.
M. C. Escher

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Okay the last few posts have been serious so I felt the need to have a happy post.

This reminds me of what I do when we are having a horribly stressful day and we are both about to explode most likely at each other. (yesterday was one of those days). When Chad is freaking out and discussing something extremely stressful with me I have to stop him and say "look I can't really take all this. This conversation is way too stressful right now. I just want to talk about FUZZY BUNNIES! Cute little fuzzy bunnies. I like fuzzy bunnies how about you?" He usually just stops, looks at me like I'm the silliest woman alive and then I ask him again... Do you like fuzzy bunnies? He smiles and usually says - you're a fuzzy bunny. I guess it's my way of diffusing the situation before I explode from stress. Who couldn't smile when you are talking about fuzzy bunnies?

I know... I'm a little odd but it works and if you can't be completely silly with your husband then who can you be completely silly with?

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Our apartment is flooded. Water started coming at about 12:30 AM last night so we had to call maintenance and get them to come out and turn it off. But apparently it kept going while we were sleeping. So we had to call again about 6 AM. The carpet is soaked and the bathroom has about an inch of water in it.

About 25 apartments flooded yesterday and we thought we were lucky that it didn't happen to us. Well apparently it was just delayed. The city water people did something to the pipes that caused them to build up pressure and overflow. So, long story short, our apartment is a mess :(

We are just waiting on the carpet cleaning people now. And hoping to take a nap later today.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

9 Months, Vaccines, and Democracy

It's been a full day already. Corben had his 9 month appointment today. I was really nervous about this appointment because he is getting his first DTap vaccine. Let me go over the possible side effects so you understand why -

Number one, it is five vaccines in one - FIVE! And they want you to start this at 2 months! The combo DTap shot contains Polio, Hepatitus B, Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis. Because there is sooo much in it I wanted to separate it from the other vaccines he was given. I just thought it was a little too much for a two month old... well really any of it was too much for a two month old so we started vaccines at 4 months. Even now I wonder if six months might have been better. I think we will probably change the schedule a little with the next child. All you can do is what you think is best. That is all anyone can do, even the doctors. They don't know if your child is going to have a bad reaction, because every child is different. So all they can do is go by what the Pediatrics association recommends and we all just hope for the best. Sounds crazy doesn't it? This whole thing is so nerve racking... anyway back to the possible side effects: Seizures, non-stop crying for 3 hours or more, high fever,coma or lowered consciousness, permanent brain damage... etc. Some of these are very rare but this one has had the most serious "possible" side effects so far. Oh and another great thing, they can have some serious reactions up to a week after the shot.

My question is... are we so democratic that what is good for the masses outweighs what is life threatening for the few? It seems as though mob rule is accepted in this country. Why should we care about the individual when the masses are for it? Who cares that there have been deaths associated with vaccines, who cares that there have been cases of brain damage? That all just annoys me!

Don't get me wrong. Right now I think vaccines have their place... I just have sense enough to know that they are looking out for the masses and not specifically my son. So it's my job to be a proactive mom. Isn't that sad that that has to be a term? Shouldn't mom just imply proactive (I'm genuinely interested in my child's life and wellbeing). Sadly nowadays it is not.

Anyway, I didn't mean to get on my soapbox about all this it just kinda happened. This topic is a parents personal decision to loose sleep over and no one elses. Life would be easier if we just laid down and did what we were told, oh well.

So back to the doctor's visit. Corben is in the 50th percentile for height and weight, his hemoglobin was very high, and had no traces of lead in his bloodstream. He didn't even cry when they pricked his finger and collected blood. He was such a trooper! Everything checked out perfect and so far - no reaction to the vaccine. So I feel a little better. He's getting so big. Sad.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sweet baby girl

There she is, only a few minutes old! Isn't she just beautiful!

Mom and baby are still doing great.

I need to keep my distance or I'm going to get baby fever!

Friday, September 12, 2008

She's Here!

It's been such a whirlwind I haven't gotten the chance to tell everyone that Lanie and Garren's little girl is here!

On Wednesday afternoon sweet Jetta Grace DiPasquale was born. 7 pounds 14 ounces and a full head of jet black hair :) I was supposed to be in the room but sadly by the time I got to the hospital Lanie was already pushing. so they made me wait. I was very disappointed but Lanie was only in hard labor for two hours and only at the hospital for thirty minutes before Jetta was born! She's got it down to an art. She was discharged the next day and is up chasing the boys with Jetta in her mommy sling. She does such a great job. Ever since I've known her I've wanted to be as graceful as she is. She makes it look so effortless. She does have her bad days but she just handles everything so well. She's a great mom.

She was talking about another mom's boys tonight and she described them as
rambunctious yet well behaved. That's the kind of mix I like.
So true... kids need to be kids... with manners and obedience sprinkled in. I hope I can give that gift to my kids. I want them to have a wonderful fun childhood while learning discipline along the way. I hope I can accomplish this delicate mix. I'll need lots of grace and wisdom but I know exactly where I can get that. Lord help me be the mom I want to be and the mom God needs me to be specifically for Corben.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Four Things About Me

Just a little fun waste of time. Thought my readers may want to know a little bit more about me. Here goes:

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:

2. Graphic Designer - Iwanta Classifieds
3. Server - Ruby Tuesdays, Applebees
4. Cashier at Party Store

B) Four movies I would watch over and over:

1. The Holiday
2. Pride & Prejudice (new)
3. Hitch
4. Lord of the Rings (trilogy)

C) Four places I have lived:

1. Apollo, PA
2. Tulsa, OK
3. Beech Island, SC
4. Newberry, SC

D) Four TV shows I love to watch:

1. Heroes
2. Ugly Betty
3. the office
4. House

E) Four places I have been on vacation

1. Hilton Head, SC
2. Daytona Beach, FL
3. Pigeon Forge, TN
4. Atlanta, GA

F) Four of my favorite foods:

1. Mom's Chicken Pot Pie
2. Lime Butter Tilapia
3. Japanese
4. Anything Italian

H) Four things I love about being a mom:

1. Corben's smile
2. Making Corben laugh
3. Watching his new discoveries
4. All the hugs and kisses

Monday, September 8, 2008

The first tooth is here!

It's finally here! What Chad and I have been waiting for since Corben was about 4 months old! A tooth! He had been acting very needy and fussy the past few days and I couldn't quite figure out why. He wasn't drooling a lot or anything... just fussy and needy. Then this morning he starting biting my finger as I was standing him up and there it was, the sharp edges of his first tooth! Thank goodness! We were so ready for this thing to come through. Now we are hoping that the next ones won't be as difficult or painful.

FYI if any of you are thinking about trying the amber teething necklaces. It did not work for us. But I got it big enough so I can at least wear it as a choker. oh well it was worth a try. The homeopathic teething tablets were the Godsend. We didn't have to use Tylenol nearly as much. They work great and are completely natural.

just my two cents worth.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What a cute little girl!

Yes. More often than not. People think Corben is a girl. Even when he is head to toe in blue! What more do I have to do?

I just blow it off and just assume he is just a pretty baby. It is getting kinda old though. Poor thing.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

In the trenches

I don't really know where to start with this post. So much has happened in the last week and we have had to make some life changing decisions. You got to experience a little of my "freak out mode" but I'm feeling better and God is giving me peace.

Throughout all of our trials God has always been there. He is faithful. Sometimes we don't see him or see how he could be working in a situation but he is. We just have to keep having faith and believe that God still sees us and above all know who our enemy is. I'm feeling less alone and know that there are people out there that care about us. We are so grateful for that. We need others to hold us up sometimes. Even though we think we can always do everything on our own and we don't need to burden people with our problems. It's a learning process and hopefully someday it won't take so much to get us to let people help us. I don't think God wants us to be that way. He gave us relationship and fellowship for a reason.

Our lives are going to be changing drastically within the next six months but that's okay, I think we are ready. Ready for a change.

For those out there praying for us. Thank you, you don't know how much that means to us. We are so grateful for those willing to get down in the trenches and fight with us. We are so very blessed. Glory to God for all he has done and all he will do.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Do you ever feel like no one understands what you are going through? No one... no one... no one. You are completely alone... and if someone did know... they would just judge you or wonder why you aren't trying harder. I just want to feel understood... I just want to be in a good place... where is that? Where? Tell me and I'll go.

I'm tired of life... I think I'm going to just clock out. I'm done.

Wouldn't that be nice to just "clock out" and you are taken to this completely white, silent place with a little white couch. Where you can sit in a therapy session with Jesus. God I need one of those... one, ha!

I think if things don't change for us... I'll need a lot more than one.

There is my transparency for the year. Transparency is not my strong point... I'm a very shy person at first and it takes me a while to really open up to people... unless I am in a leadership position and then I can force myself to be more outgoing... but naturally I have always been shy. It seems the older I get the longer it takes me to really open up to people. I don't know why that is ... but it bugs me... Most of the time I feel like such a boring person. I would yawn if I spent time with me. Why can't I just be silly, witty and fun like I am with my long-time friends? Why is it so hard to just be myself? Why can't I just talk about what's going on in my life, how I am doing and what I am struggling with?
If I just keep it to myself then it's not really happening, right? That's always a good logic... same ones my friends used in high school when they wrote notes in class while everyone else was watching a video on how bad smoking is for you. If I don't watch it then maybe I'm not killing myself. Doesn't really work huh?

Monday, September 1, 2008

I'd rather...

Saw this on Etsy and couldn't resist putting it as a favorite.

Too perfect.

What were they thinking?

So we were heading towards our homegroup get together on Sunday and we pass a church sign with these words:

Don't make me come down there.

Now that's how I want to see God. As a non-christian or believer I don't think either one would want to get closer to a God that is just waiting for us to screw up so he can come down here and smite us.


LABOR DAY (a birth story)

Well, I know I have promised the story of my first few months as a mom but decided I wanted to log my birth story first and what better day to do it? I have already forgotten some of the details so I want to have it written down (or typed in this case) before I forget everything! I'll try to not be too graphic but hey it's labor... it's going to be a little graphic.

So here goes... It was a dark and stormy night.

Just kidding. I've always wanted to say that... anyway. That day we were finishing up everything for the baby. Room set up, clothes organized, hospital bag ready etc. Since it was near Christmas we also finished up our shopping at the mall, which worked out great because I wanted this baby to come. So walking was very helpful. The day before (a friday) I had my now weekly visit with my doctor and I was 3 centimeters and still had not really thought I was having any contractions. The week before I was at two centimeters. I was only a week away from my due date so I was ready for the baby to come and hoped that he would come that very weekend. My doctor was also considering admitting me on Monday because I was already progressing. I didn't really want to do that because I knew I would be on a clock and they would expect the baby to come on their schedule. So if i could get things moving myself, that is what I wanted to do. I had to stop and rest a few times at the mall because I was having pains. I assumed they were contractions... but didn't really know :). Now I am sure they were. So everything is finally finished that night and my hubby and I sit down to watch Deja Vu an interesting flick with Denzel Washington. I was so exhausted I had to go to bed and let him finish the movie himself. It was after 1 AM and I was used to going to bed a lot earlier since I was pregnant. I guess I just wanted one last stay up late hurrah or something. So I go to the bathroom and when I stand up I feel a small gush. (Is that what I think it is?) I checked the undies and there was definitely a clear liquid. (Okay, Okay.... don't freak out, okay.... don't freak out the husband, we just need to be calm). Hey Honey? Ummm...can you come here?

Yeah what's wrong? I think my water just broke...

Okay, are you alright? Yes, are you alright? Yeah.

So we started timing contractions. We didn't want to rush right to the hospital because sometimes it takes your body a while to get in a rhythm and we wanted to keep ourselves from being on a time schedule as much as possible. They started off about 11 minutes apart then seven then back to ten. My water broke around 1:40 AM and at about 3 we called my mom and my two friends who wanted to be in the room. We wanted to wait as long as we could because it was in the middle of the night. If we could let everyone get a little more sleep, that's what we wanted. So we called and they were freaking out... your water broke at 1:40??? Why are you just calling? Why aren't you at the hospital?? So Chad had to calm them all down.

During the time that we were waiting to call. I sat on my birthing ball and timed contractions while Chad took a quick shower during which I was ordered to come and get him if things started progressing rapidly. The beginning contractions weren't bad just like painful cramps. I breathed through them which helped a lot. I just tried to focus on my breathing and zone out as much as possible.

Everything was ready to go and Chad put the last few dirty dishes in the dishwasher so we wouldn't have any dirty dishes laying around for days. My contractions were now 5 minutes apart so we headed out the door. On the way to the hospital they were coming more like 3 minutes apart so Chad decided to hurry up a little.

We got to the hospital about 3:45 AM and had to go through the emergency room entrance. We let them know I was in labor and then waited for someone to walk us up to the labor and delivery floor. The nurse asked if I wanted a wheelchair but the last thing I wanted to do was sit with all the pressure I was experiencing... NO THANK YOU! So I waddled along. We got to the room and a nurse was already there. She got Chad to go down and check us in and then she asked me to change into this wonderfully fashionable hospital gown :) and let her check the pad that I put on after my water broke because I just kept leaking. You could tell that the nurse didn't fully believe I was in labor because I was walking around and still smiling :). She came back and said that it was amniotic fluid so they will fully get us checked in.

I came back out into the room from the bathroom and she told me to go ahead and get comfortable on the bed because the doctors usually like you to stay in the bed and try to relax. I quickly pulled out my hospital copy of my birth plan and let her know that I had already discussed with my doctor about being able to move freely. OH, Okay, she said with a smile. I was such a dork. I had a birth plan for every person on my "birth team" :). She went over my birth plan with me and was so sweet. She explained everything she was doing because that's one of the things I wanted from my birth plan. I didn't want people just doing things to me without explaining what they are doing or asking first so I asked to be fully informed of everything they were doing. She did just that... she was just wonderful. Nurses make all the difference especially because the doctor is only there for a few minutes to catch the baby :). She was probably about 50 or so, so I'm sure she had seen it all! And had probably seen more natural childbirths that other nurses have in recent years. So I sat on the bed so she could check the babies heartbeat and check my cervix. The checking of the cervix during childbirth was far more uncomfortable that when they check it at the checkups. So she checked me and had a very surprised look on her face. Your 8 cm. Really? She was amazed that I was up walking around. She told all the nurses about me and they were all in amazement. Up to 8 cm wasn't so bad it just felt like hard cramps and breathing through them was very helpful. After 8 cm it gets a lot harder. TRANSITION - oh you think you are dying. But the beautiful thing about transition is... you are almost there!!!! Yay! I get so mad when I watch a baby story and the women get an epidural at like 8 or 9 cm... and I'm like WHAT?!!! You are almost finished... WHY??!! WHY would you do that? So frustrating!! I just assume it is lack of education and try to calm down :). So back to the birth story.

Chad came back from checking us in and getting the birthing ball and by that time the whole gang showed up. My mom, dad and my two best friends from high school - Jamie and Melissa. Jamie was super excited because she is a nursing student and she was just eating the whole process up. She gets so enthusiastic about medical stuff. Melissa was there for moral support but didn't want to be in the room when it got bad because she had a bad experience with another friend and didn't want to see someone go through that amount of pain again. Which I was totally fine with. I wanted her to be as involved as she was comfortable with. So we all just talked in between some contractions and then they started to get closer and closer together and STRONG. I didn't scream or freak out during the whole process... my one snippy comment was during a contraction once they were getting stronger and I said - Okay can we just not talk now. I had a hard time focusing on my breathing while people were talking in the room. I used the birthing ball and leaned over it on the bed while Chad put counter pressure on my back and that felt good for a little while. Then I sat some more and had some ice chips in between. I wanted water so bad. Ice chips suck!! Your breathing constantly so your mouth is soooo dry and ice chips don't do a great job of hydrating. I remember at one point I was beginning to lose control of my breathing because the pain was unbearable... but there was my mom... breathing controlled breaths in my ear so I could regain focus. I was so blessed to have everyone that I had there. They all contributed to the process and were so encouraging. Don't get me wrong my friends Jamie and Melissa thought I was absolutely crazy for wanting to go natural and they tried to talk me out of it... but I finally had to say, look this is what I really want, I've done my research and I just need you to support me no matter how crazy it seems to you. And they did just that. I know they just loved me and wanted me to not be in pain but when they saw how serious I was they let go and trusted me. So they showed up that night with positivity and excitement. Melissa even decided to stay in the room because of how well I was handling it.

So there I was fully dilated and the contractions had calmed down... so I was sleeping in between them because I was so exhausted from laboring through the night. Little "c" was almost here. I had Chad beside me on my left coaching away, my mom floating around taking pictures and by my right side in between; then Jamie and Melissa holding each leg. Every time I was ready to push they would push up my legs giving me a force to push against. The pushing actually felt good. It made the pain of the contraction go away, so I was all about pushing when the contractions came on. The baby's head was finally through, so all I had was the shoulders so they asked me to push one more time and I told them plainly I CANT! And everyone in the room came back with yes you can! you can do it! So I did. Then there he was... the most beautiful miracle - our beautiful, healthy baby boy on my stomach. Then my life changed forever. I have never felt such a flood of emotions. I had to remind myself that he was mine as the hours went by. I just couldn't believe he was in my arms. He had been in my tummy for so long. Would I be able to take care of him? Would the motherly instincts just kick in? Would I be a good parent? The labor and birth was such a blessing. We had a natural childbirth, it was only a little less than eight hours, we had a positive experience with the hospital, and we got a beautiful healthy baby boy. It was an amazing experience. It was still labor... but it was labor and pain for a purpose... a wonderful, wonderful purpose.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Braxton Hicks!

Our friends just got out of the doctor's office. They still don't know what happened to the midwife because the office called and tried to reschedule their appointment for this afternoon but they didn't leave a message. So they still showed up at 10 and just met with the doctor in the practice.

Apparently Lanie is just having braxton hicks. The doctor said they get more convincing with the more children you have. Everything he described as signs of labor... she is having except that her contractions are not that strong. So she can still go anytime... I have a feeling it will be soon. We'll see... for now we are going to take a nap. We didn't get to sleep very well last night with all the excitement! I'm exhausted!

A Baby is on the way!

Ha! Made you look!

Not me silly, my friend Lanie! Her baby girl will be here any time now... at least we hope so.

It all started last night....
We got a call from them letting us know that she was having contractions and they were getting ready to go to the hospital. The had their midwife paged and were heading to trinity because they are supposed to be very open to natural childbirth. More than some of the other hospitals in the area anyway.

Garren has an Iphone so he was giving us a play-by-play while they were waiting at the hospital. They could not get their midwife to answer their pages and they did not see a doctor for three hours! She was only 1.5 centimeters dilated so they just wanted to leave but couldn't without a doctor's permission. Well if one would show up in the first place, then they could go!

So to say the least they were stressed out because they could not get their midwife. So they decided to leave the hospital and come here to hang out with us while Lanie labored some more. Luckily I still had my birthing ball inflated and some organic raspberry leaf tea just waiting to be sipped :). When they got here Lanie and I took a walk to try to help things move along. They live in Aiken so they decided to just stay at our house so they would be closer to the hospital if things started progressing more. So we set her up some soothing classical music and candles so she could take a bath and relax. Which would hopefully help things along too.

We all ended up crashing and I just slept in my clothes so I could be ready at a moments notice. Since the midwife was nowhere to be found Lanie wanted some more support there so I am going to be her doula (as long as her midwife cannot be found)... I am soooo excited!! I feel so privileged to be a part of this beautiful experience.

So she is still having consistent contractions but they are just not really strong. She has thinned out some more too. They had to go to their scheduled Dr. appointment this morning in Augusta so they will find out more of what is going on with their midwife. Just pray for them. Pray that everything goes smoothly and Lanie doesn't have to be stressed that she is not going to be able to have the birth that she wants and is used to.

I'll give more details later! I'm sooo excited, birth is just such a miracle!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pitchin' the Plan

Okay so I have been super super busy and have neglected my blog :(. I've been sleeping, breathing, and eating this whole marketing plan. But now all that is finally over... well the hard part anyway. I constructed a twelve page marketing plan equipped with graphs and charts as well as a powerpoint when I presented to our "investors." I know its a family biz but if you aren't serious then why are you even doing it? So I got in full business attire and pitched my plan. And they loved it :)

I was just happy to get it over with so I could finally sleep!! I would wake up to feed Corben and I would fall asleep thinking of market segments, product placement blah blah blah.

So the next step is implementation!! We are planning billboards for January and in the meantime we are going to get uniforms, brochures, signs, etc all in the works. I'm excited. I really think the marketing campaign is going to really give us the edge we need.....

oh and just so I can brag a little here is the paragraph describing the marketing slogan....

American Standard’s message for its marketing campaign will center on confidence. American Standard inspectors are trained professionals so the customer can have confidence in the quality of work. CSM’s will guide you through the whole process so the customer can have confidence in the ease of use of the service. Because of this the customer can have confidence in their home – their new home purchase or the home they are trying to sell. Therefore the new tagline behind our marketing campaign is “Confidence in us. Confidence in your home.” This statement presents the two concepts equal to each other; therefore, showing the customer that when you put your confidence in us, you can have confidence in your home as well.

It's sooo beautiful!!!! Oh I get chills every time I read it. Okay enough bragging. I just can't help it... blood, sweat, and tears went into that thing!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The next step in self exposure :)

I have been debating on sharing about the first few months of being a new mom. I went through a lot of emotions and they seemed to go to opposite of extremes all the time. I had a lot of spiritual warfare going on, which I didn't realize until much later. I think I've decided to blog about it in hopes that it might help someone else not feel so alone. It was only after I confided in my husband about the whole experience was the cloud lifted. So I think I need to just let it out no matter how it might make me look or feel. So that will be coming soon. I have to prepare myself and take some time writing and rewriting to make sure it all comes out how it is supposed to.

Besides that rolling around in my brain. I am also working on a marketing plan for the family biz. I'm actually enjoying it. It's really bringing back all of my college training in my business minor. I'm surprised at how much I remember. College now just seems like a haze of papers, projects, exams, lack of sleep, and 30 minute drives to class. But I guess it did something for me :)

As far as baby "C" he is as cute as ever and has finally found his consonants in the past month. Da da is in full force. I see more and more of his personality everyday. I think I am in a "honeymoon" period. We have a schedule, teething has been gone for a little while (I can't wait it's return), He is very happy playing on the floor with toys while sitting up and rarely cries when I walk out of the room to check on lunch, clothes etc., seems to be better about taking naps that are not in his crib again, and is responding to training with the word "no". Yay!!! Being a mom feels like a piece of cake right now. (Which is probably the first time since he was born). I know ... I know... just wait until he starts crawling. But hey I can still have hope and faith that he will be an angel from now until forever right?

I love being little "c's" mommy and I hope he love's being G mommy's baby :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

How-to Mondays: One bird, three meals

Welcome back to How-to Monday!
I thought I would devote today's blog to one of my favorite things to do... save time and money! This is a little explanation of how I take a whole chicken and turn it into three separate meals and then some!

First I defrost a whole chicken which you can get from the store for about .99 a pound on average... unless you get it on sale like this week I got two at .58 a pound woohoo! I fill one of my large pots 1/2 to 3/4 full of water. Add some salt, pepper, parsley and any other seasonings that you like and put the bird in to soak in the hot tub a few hours. While the bird is cooking I will cut up several celery sticks and pick off all the leaves to go in because they have soooo much flavor. Don't throw those puppies away! Add in some Chopped carrots and a whole onion. Let all this come together for a few hours.

Once the chicken is cooked thoroughly, I take it out and put it in a seperate bowl. I let the broth cool and skim the top of the fat. Then I dip out two quart bags full of chicken broth and throw them in the freezer to use with other recipes. I usually add some extra water back into the pot because the broth is so concentrated. Then I skim off the dark meat to put back in the soup. I put each chicken breast in freezer bags and freeze. I usually take one out a few days later and use it for chicken pot pie along with some of the frozen chicken broth. The other breast you can use for chicken burritos, chicken salad etc. Now that my soup has the meat added back in, I put three handfuls of egg noodles in and let cook for another ten to fifteen minutes. Then your homemade chicken noodle soup is ready. I usually take half of it and freeze it because it makes sooooo much! So in reality you can probably get a weeks worth of meals out of this. Pretty amazing and great on the pocketbook.

That concludes how-to Monday!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Wii Fit Woohoo!

Okay so we've had the Wii Fit for about a month now. We played around with it for the first week or so and did all the games and some of the exercises :) So this past two weeks I have been trying to be really serious about working out more and have done 30 minutes every other day or every two days so 2 to 3 times a week :) Good start right? Well I have lost 4 lbs so far and have had two people tell me that I look like I am loosing weight in the past day! So needless to say I am very encouraged! It's nice to know that you are exercising and trying to be healthy but when other people notice it makes all the difference.

I am still far from my goal but am only about 2 lbs. away from loosing all the baby weight then I just have to get rid of the pre-baby weight! Okay no more talk about this weight junk... I just had to brag on my Wii Fit!

Have I mentioned that I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

P.S. Even though I don't like talking about weight... I'll still keep you updated on my progress with the Wii Fit.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More on my book experience....

Okay... so last night I decide I'm going to curl up with the book I have been reading about being a better wife. I turn to chapter 6 or 7 ... can't remember exactly, and begin reading. I'm really seeing a lot of myself in this one.... I'll tell you a secret... I try to be my husbands conscience a lot. I am a very independent person. It's in my genes... all of my siblings are like that... I'm like that. It can be a blessing and a curse.... when it come to marriage, it's a bit of a curse. I don't fully trust my husband to do things the "right" way. I would rather go to the store myself than send my husband because most likely he will get the wrong brand at the wrong price or the wrong amount... etc. And most of the time this is true... but is it really that big of a deal? Should I be nitpicking every single choice my husband makes? Shouldn't I trust his judgment as the head of our household even if it not exactly the way I would do it?

I struggle with this a lot. It's something I need to work on. I've done pretty well in regards to how he interacts with our son. I tried to make that decision before he was born. He was going to do things differently... put his diapers on differently... feed him differently... play with him differently... and you know what ... that's okay. He's going to have his own parenting style. He doesn't have to be an exact clone of myself. However, we do need to agree on important things like discipline and expectations etc... but the small details I just need to get over it. It's not worth causing strife over....I just need to carry that thinking over to other things.

So that was great. The book got me thinking, self analyzing, questioning. Then it just made me mad. I totally get what the author was trying to do but she went a little overboard. So instead of me relaxing on the sofa sipping my coffee I was turning pages with deep sighs and muttering under my breath. My relaxing evening just turned into me being highly annoyed.

She starts the chapter talking about fear... that having fear is healthy, it brings a respect for God etc. I totally agree with that. Then mid way through the chapter she decided to put ridiculous fear in the women that are reading this book. I understand that divorce is looked at as "easy" and being a single mom is glorified sometimes. So she was trying to counteract that... I totally get that.... but... geez did you have to make my reading time so depressing and stressful? I think that level of fear is not healthy. Here is an excerpt to help you understand where I am coming from:

She is talking about single moms:
...They dress cheaply; their hair has a ragged cut, and the dark circles under their young eyes testify to their faded hope...... They are always distracted because they are thinking of their unhappy children or the baby-sitter's new, weird boyfriend who comes over when she is at work. Sometimes they team up with another single mom to share resources, childcare responsibilities, and troubles. Lately, I have been reading how many of these single women are turning to each other for comfort-- sometime for intimacy. Do you think anything might ever drive you to that? A new breed of women. The are independent, in charge and stressed. They grow old early, trying futilely to care for unruly children whom no man wants to stepfather. The grow bitter as they watch eligible men look over their heads at girls much younger than themselves, who have no strings attached. And they grow fearful when they realize that the men who have shown interest in them are hiding perverted intents toward their cute little youngsters. Their kids are angry and often get into trouble.

But all this was not your fault. No, it was your husband who committed adultery, your husband who was angry or got into porn.... He takes the kids every other weekend and spoils them, making them hate you all the more....When you discover a lump in your breast, your teens don't care or understand the gravity of the situation. You struggle alone with your fear and take yourself to the doctor, knowing that even though this might not end in death, it is the end of hope."

Okay, am I the only one that thinks this is a little bit much?? Makes me mad just reading it.... this kind of fear isn't healthy... it's ridiculous....

grrrr..... I have to put the computer down

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Favs and Friends

Okay so I missed the boat again on the whole "How-to Monday" thing! Oh well... it can take a break for one week. I just feel like sharing not giving a how-to, at the moment.

I have found some really great stuff on blogs this week. I am soo addicted to blogs now. It's like reading my morning paper - only it's blogs. Here are a few neat blogs I have visited lately.
a great crafty website with lots of tutorials of stuff you can make
(those get me everytime!)
great ideas for frugal living
lots of great ideas and advice just like your mom would give you :)
a resource for fun crafts/activities that you can do with your kids!
(How exciting is that? I can't wait for little "c" to be able to do hands on stuff with me)

Now that I've shared a few of my favorite finds from this week, let's move on to more important stuff...

I've really been feeling a void lately. Mostly regarding friends. Don't get me wrong I have friends but I don't really have a close friend that I know holds me accountable - especially to God and being true to myself. You know the kind of friend that you can be brutally honest, get in their face and they will still love you... actually probably love you BECAUSE you did that?

I need friends like that because it's so easy for me to get tunnel vision. I get caught up in life, work, etc. and my common sense gets left on aisle five of the grocery store because I accidentally set it down while trying to decide between the cheaper pasta sauce with high fructose corn syrup and the more expensive one with better ingredients. You get me right?

One of these friends that I have had in my lifetime, we used to meet up at a coffee shop once a week and share with each other, pray with each other, and just all around encourage each other. Even though we met early in the morning - I looked forward to those meetings. I didn't have to be someone I wasn't... talk about stuff I wasn't interested in... try to find words to fill that lingering silence.... force myself to ask about something that I know they like but I could care less about...

It was just natural... completely natural to be in each other's company. You only find a few of those friends in a lifetime. Makes me kinda sad.

I have close friends but when you have someone that you feel close with on a God level... it's just totally different.

I don't know if I'm making sense. I'm just kinda having a melancholy moment with the computer :)
It's so much easier to share your feelings on a blog than to a person... kinda silly huh?

Monday, July 28, 2008

How-to Mondays: Organize Your Internet Notes

Welcome to another How-to Monday!

A good friend of mine sent me a link to this new internet based program called Evernote. I am totally head-over-heals in love! Have you ever surfed the web for ideas and had to paste all the links to an email and email it to yourself, just to have a reference of where the ideas came from and a way to get back to them? Evernote lets you take screenshots of the website, Copy pictures, make audio notes, take a snapshot of a handwritten note (I can't tell you how many times I have written notes on a little sticky note and then lost it). Then you can organize them into "notebooks" I have my general notebook which I use for graphic design inspiration. I also have a notebook for craft ideas, recipe ideas, sewing tutorials, etc. It has been a life saver since I offered to help organize a friends baby shower. Every little piece of inspiration is organized into the "baby shower ideas" notebook. It's so easy! Oh and the best part.... It's free! At least for now, it's the beta version so I'm sure eventually they will charge people for it... so check it out now! You won't regret it!

That's it for How-to Mondays! Short and oh so sweet!

Milk does a body good, Right?

So I get this newsletter every so often from "Real Age" It's this health assessment website where you can see your real age according to your grooming habits, nutrition, exercise etc. Basically to see if your a healthy person or not. Anyway, I got my little newsletter and I was reading through it when I stumbled upon this article: "Does milk really do a body good?" I couldn't resist reading it especially since I am on this "knowing exactly what's in what I am putting in my body kick." Reading it gave me more proof that the milk on the market is NOT what I want in my body. I want to switch to raw milk but have yet to find some in North Augusta. There is a organic farm in Aiken that sells it but I am not in Aiken enough or want to spend the gas to go get some. So in the meantime I am going all organic with dairy... something I wish I would have done while I was pregnant but there is nothing I can do about it now. At least little "c" will be drinking organic when he gets to that stage.

The article also got my wheels turning about how much we fall prey to marketing. It is sooo powerful! For example... where do we go to get vitamin C in our diet? Most of you will probably say oranges or orange juice but in reality.... strawberries, kiwi, and red bell pepper have more vitamin C than oranges do. So why do we drink that glass of orange juice in the morning instead of some fresh strawberries? Marketing. Same way with milk... does it really do a body good? Check the article out, there is a great quiz with it to see how much you really know about milk and how much of it is just propaganda. Have fun!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

To Grandmothers House We Go!

This weekend is going to be very exciting. Little "C" will get to see his grandma and grandpa on his daddy's side for the first time! When he was born, his grandma had to have neck surgery around the same time and was not allowed to travel for several months and of course with a new baby we weren't exactly in the best position to drive 7 hours to Florida with a newborn. So now he is 7 months and is getting to see them this weekend. They just sold their house and moved 2 hours from us. So it's very exciting for all of us.

I am a little nervous, to be honest. I haven't seen them in a while and I don't know how "involved" they want to be with the baby... i e. Telling us what we are doing wrong or need to do better. ... you know how parent's are right? My mom does that a lot but once I explain why I do something she's like "oh I didn't know that, okay." I don't mind input... I just want it to be a good experience... especially for little "C". So if you think about it... drop a little prayer in God's ear this weekend for us. I hope I am just nervous over nothing, it's going to be hard to get him down for naps and night time because he is in a new place but other than that he should be happy.

Time to start packing, oh and I'll be reading more of my book on the way so I'm sure I'll have some updates on that soon too.

Monday, July 21, 2008

You Dirty Hippie!

That's right... thanks to my kindred spirit now located in Mississippi... I am now a dirty hippie and I have the lip balm to prove it.

I got a special package this week with a "dirty hippie soaps- kissin' stick." Because of me confessing my fear of being considered a "smell bad, hippie etc" because I like to make my own laundry detergent, use cloth diapers, buy veggies locally, and am considering making my own deodarant etc... She thought of me when she saw this. I must admit it is very tasty! It is the orangecicle flavor and is totally vegan-certified. So a big thanks to my friend for helping me to embrace the dirty hippie inside. I couldn't do it without you!

How-to Mondays: Beans & Rice BABY!

Welcome back for How-to Mondays! I thought I would make a humble attempt to share some info on how I feed my family while keeping the costs down. If you have been through the Dave
Ramsey course then you will totally get the title :)

First you will need a plan! How do you come up with this plan? There are several great websites out there with free meal planning info etc. If you are really on a tiny budget has two full week menus for a family of four; one is a $70 menu and the other is a $45 menu for those times when you are really in a pinch. So that is a great place to start. She also has lots of budget friendly recipes.

I also created my own "grocery notebook" with the scriptures: Isaiah 58:11 and Phillipians 4:19 on the front. I'm not going to write them out for you! Go look them up for yourself. Great security from the word of God. I printed out these menu pages to go in my notebook. I found them while searching around take a look around, there is some great stuff and lots of freebies. I'm not homeschooling yet but if you are I'm sure it would be great inspiration. So back to the menu pages. These help me to organize my meals by day and on the side is a grocery list section so I can write in what I need in order to make those meals. It's such a great help and it cuts down on the "oh I don't know what I should fix... we don't have anything... lets just grab a hamburger or pizza or whatever." When you have a plan there is no excuse!

When on a budget don't forget about those great fillers that you can put into any meal like rice, beans, pasta etc. Instead of making tacos with a whole pound of hamburger meat... use 1/2 pound or less and stir in some black beans. I did this a few weeks ago and my husband loved them and didn't notice there was less meat. I'm sure its healthier too! Also don't be afraid to make some of your own seasonings. Find recipes for taco mix, chili mix etc. It's amazing how easy it is to put together in an old spice jar and it doesn't have the extra stuff like MSG that the stores like to include in the "mixes."

Also don't forget about snacks! It's so easy to pick up the "pre-packaged" junk in the stores - chips, cookies, gummies, cereal bars, pop tarts etc" now does any of that sound healthy or easy on your pocket? Buy big jars of applesauce which doubles great as babies first food (that is litte C's favorite food right now), graham crackers, bananas (portable and healthy), yogurt, raisins, prunes, nuts etc. If you plan these out ahead of time you won't get sucked in to buying that tasty looking bag of iced cookies when it is staring you in the face at the grocery store... then again maybe you will give in... we all need a little splurge now and then, right?

Well I didn't think I had this much info in my brain wow! So I think I should just stop now... this concludes our how-to Monday.

Do you have any meal planning tips??

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

With a little sunshine... love grows.

Baby is sleeping now... after meds for his eye infection and some comforting cold applesauce... his teething subsided and he played for a while. Now it's just mommy and a dirty house. I'm going to clean after a little mini momma break.

An update on the "showing the sunshine challenge" from a few blogs ago. Now that I am more aware of my complaining, pitiful spirit. I have found myself being very thankful for the little things that my hubby does for me and letting myself be happy. Letting the Joy of the Lord be my strength and stop trying to be my own strength. If you rely on yourself for everything its easy to be unhappy and a sour-puss. I can't control everything... even though I would like too... but we all know what a mess that would be. I think God has got it.... I just need a little reminding now and then. I even see a change in my hubby, he wants to help me even more and now that I'm smiling more... so is he. I guess I have more of an impact on the mood/spirit of my household than I thought.

My journey through the book continues. I think in the end it was good for me to read this book. It has challenged me on my thinking. Even though I don't agree with absolutely everything, doesn't mean I can't get a lot out of it.

Time to be productive....

Teething Bites


There it is ... one word to describe the day.

I hate teething! My little boy has been teething since about 4 months - he is now almost seven months and it seems it has only gotten worse. Screaming... and screaming, and screaming. Screaming when I put him down, screaming when I pick him up. He has little scabs on his ears where he has scratched them from the pain. I know he's miserable but could he not be as vocal about it? I'm just at my wits end. I finally plopped him in the crib and walked out..... wait..... silence.... no screaming... no wimpering.... just silence. He must have tuckered himself out. I want to go check on him but I just want to enjoy the sound of silence for one more moment.............. sigh.

........wimper...... wimper.....

here we go again...

Monday, July 14, 2008

How-to Mondays: Self Promotion Website

I know some of you probably looked at the title and were like whoa a website all in one post... not exactly. If you aren't a designer you might not find this as cool but I've finally figured out how to get my portfolio website up! Have another designer do it :) I know what some of you are thinking..."but aren't you a designer?" I think David Arie of the blog "David Arie: Graphic and Logo Designer" described it best:

"Ask any designer if they’re 100% satisfied with their work, and, whether openly admitted or not, there’s a very high chance of a negative response. That’s not to say their designs aren’t successful. Far from it. The statement refers more to the bane of any designers life – being overly critical – especially when designing for their own self-promotion.

When working with clients, they have the final decision, so it’s easier to know when a project is complete. When a designer creates for themselves (a personal logo or website, for instance) it can be tempting to obsess about the details."


So a fellow designer (and long time friend of mine) and I were talking one day and he said I cannot finalize anything on my self promotion website. I keep changing everything! Want to design it for me? SURE!

So we acted as clients. Pretty weird when you are used to being on the other side all the time. I think I am a pretty good client though. I did make the statement I always roll my eyes to (in my head... not in front of the client ) "Yeah, I want it to be boutiquish but not too boutiquish." I can bet twenty bucks that every time someone wants something designed they use that statement... "I want it blue but not too blue... I want it professional looking but not soo professional it looks stale" It's amazing the magic we designers can come up with. We have to be mind readers and invent ways for something to be "red but not too red, cute but not too cute" ... you get the idea.

So anyway... we designed each other's websites and logos and guess what? We both are so happy with the results! Pure genius! So keep a look out-the website is just in the beginning stages so far but I'll post it when it's done. So I guess the lesson to be learned.

If at first you don't succeed... delegate! lol :)

This concludes How-to Mondays!

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