Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Made It and Two Great Days of Christmas

I know with it being the 28th of December this is now a non issue...but I just had to share.  Remember, the revised deadline I gave myself of the 22nd to have packages wrapped and safely delivered under my parent's beautiful tree?  I did it!

Hard to see, but trust me....they are there!
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I was doing a bunch of crafty stuff for small office gifts and a couple of out of town friends, but didn't want to share before I presented the gifts.  As they are.

Gift bags, small treat bags, gift box and a Christmas card.
Close up of the gift bags and gift box (my first "blog friend" loved her gift box)
Close up of the treat bags

The best part of Christmas was that I got my sweet boy back.  He spent the first part of his holiday break with his dad and I was dying to see him.  Zach's dad was kind enough to snap a photo for us when he dropped him off so we actually have one with all four us.  Unfortunately, because it is just the four of us we rarely have a complete family photo on Christmas and I just hate that!!!  This one is definitely a keeper....

Our little family
Zach and I spent the whole day at my parents.  My mom cooked two wonderful meals, we opened packages....

Mimi and Dad Dad gave him 4th row tickets to Mythbusters
A new printer
and we somehow convinced my sweet mom (who is more of a non violence, no bad talking, sweet story kind of movie lover) to see MI 4: Ghost Protocol.  It was awesome!  She was quite the trooper and went along for the ride.

Day 2 of Christmas began with an early morning trip to Best Buy.  Zachary asked everyone for money for his birthday and by early November he was well on his way to having enough money to buy a new laptop.  Last year, I got him a rebuilt one but it definitely left a lot to be desired.  So, even though there was an error on the Best Buy website and we arrived 40 minutes after the store opened - he found exactly what he wanted and all was well in new laptop land!

The eagerly anticipated new laptop.....he loved that I whipped out the camera in the middle of BB - you would think he would have learned by now
Zachary's Uncle Tommy was in town from Boston for the holiday so we all (Zach's dad, Uncle and I) decided to take Zach to Holiday in the Park.  I am so glad that we can all get along so well and do things together for Z.  I think it is good for him and I feel very blessed that we are at a place where outings like this are not only doable but also enjoyable.  It was a little cold and a little damp, but we really had a lot of fun. 
Zachary sledding on the snow hill
Zachary and his dad...Z finally got to actually drive the go karts and he had so much fun!

Robert, Zachary, Me and Uncle Tommy

I am know officially exhausted...I have literally been fighting with Blogger for hours.  Every time I tried to enlarge a picture and add a caption, my picture would be moved to another place on the post.  Success at last!  It appears that I fought Blogger and I WON (well except for that one paragraph that won't left justify even though it says it is...GRRRR)!  I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas....night!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What A Party and Not Quite As Expected (Wraptastic)

Yep, it is hump day (barely) and I am just filling you in on the weekend.  Saturday was a whirlwind.....haircut and Christmas shopping, and then getting ready for a surprise 40th birthday party.  My dear friend Jan was planning her boss' wife's party.  After planning my mom's party earlier in the year, I was more than happy to help.  I can't take much credit....she did virtually all of the legwork, but my crafty side kicked in to help pull things together.  I did table numbers, the seating chart and drink tickets. 
Drink coupons

Not a great pic, but you can kind of see the table numbers
The party was a huge success....she was totally surprised and everyone had a great time.  There was dinner, a lot of dancing and of course some adult beverages.  Jan hired a great photographer (Jesse was already booked for a wedding).  Winn Fuqua was all over the place and I think that he literally took hundreds of photos.  We are expecting the discs any time now and I can't wait to get a glimpse.  There is a good chance that he will show up on my "Photographers That Rock" page very soon.  My photographer freak flag was definitely flying!  I am doing a scrapbbok for the birthday girl and because of all of Winn's hard work that night, I am pretty sure that it is going to rock as well!  Stay tuned for crafty updates.

Here is where the "Not Quite As Expected" (or Wraptastic) part comes in.  I had every intention of having Christmas "wrapped" up by Sunday evening.  Shopping done, packages wrapped and decorated and ready to go to my parent's house.  And, if I was feeling really productive I would get that craft table from really....back to a state where you could actually see that it was made of wood.  It has been buried for weeks.  Late last week a FB friend posted that she needed help wrapping presents for the less fortunate.  Without much thought at all, I responded back that I would love to help.  Although, I didn't get my stuff done, it was a wonderful day spent with good friends.  In the midst of all the hussle and bussle of the holidays it was good to focus on those less fortunate and in return remind myself  how very much I have to be thankful for.  Thank you to Jason and Michelle for letting me share in your generosity and amazing giving spirit, in the true spirit of Christmas!  So, the goal of getting everything done has been pushed back a bit....tomorrow at the latest, but if you know my procrastinating nature you will know that will still be quite an accomplishment.
This was my second pile.

Everywhere you looked there was elfin magic!
Wraptastic 101

In closing, Zachary has picked up a bit of a photography bug - momma AND  her freak flag are thrilled!  Just had to share these photos he took of our less than camera loving Jack....he is very proud.

Yes, those hanging down lights are a result of Jack...he is just one really good bite away from a Christmas Vacation incident.

Jack's close up!
Night All!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weekend Recap

It was a good weekend.  Nothing really exciting happened and no big plans, but none the less it was good.  Zachary and I creeped ever closer to getting Christmas shopping done.  He did a lot of reading for school and this evening he and I plunged into "The Hunger Games" together.  Me for the second time, he for the first.

The Hunger Games (Unabridged) (Unabridged  Fiction)

I am so excited that he has finally gotten interested in them.  I have already read all three books in the series and cannot wait for the first movie to come out in March.  I have not looked forward to a movie opening like this in I don't know how long.  I see a midnight showing in our future!  Even if you don't have kids, I highly recommend these books....great read and they definitely keep you engaged. 

I am making good on my promise to fancy up my Christmas packages this year and really wanted to post a couple of pictures, but I don't want to spoil any surprises so I will keep it under wraps until the gifts have been received.  I am striving to have pretty much everything wrapped and ready by this time next week.  For me that is a tall order.  If you know anything about me, you know that I am a bit of a procrastinator, so if I can make that happen it will be quite the fete!  Stay tuned for updates!

Zachary was horsing around this evening with my readers - yes, my eyes are that old and they are pretty much mandatory these days! I can't resist sharing these fun pictures even though Z said "Mom, they better not show up on the world wide web".  I just can't help myself....

He is too funny

Just love this one!!!!

Night!  Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Good Things Come to Those (Me) Who Wait

Just thought I would drop in for a quick post.....even though my eyes are telling me I should call it a night.  Over the last couple of weeks I have been working with Christine at Smitten Blog Designs to give my little blog a facelift.  Even though my blog hasn't been around that long, I am not blog savvy enough to really jazz it up the way I wanted without a little professional help.  I  am so excited for the installation and I can't wait for you all to see it and hear what you think.  I have only seen a mock up so far, but me likey!!!!  I really didn't have a strong idea of what I wanted it to look like, but Christine exceeded my hopes and expectations.  I seem to be having a lot of luck with very talented "Christines" in the last few months...more on that really soon - I PROMISE!  Hopefully, barring any complications the new and improved "A Beautiful Day", will be up and running sometime tomorrow.    A few extra pages have been added, but have not been completed.  I am making no promises since work is crazy busy right now (translated into "some evenings I can't bring myself to get on the computer"), but I hope to have those finished in the next week or so.  Please stop by and let me know what you think.

And finally, because you know I can't post without at least one......

Jesse Leos Photography

Night all, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Is Overflowing With CRAFTASTIC

Just wanted to do a short (or not so short) post and let you all know that although I haven't posted much lately....I have a bunch of stuff going on that I am super excited about.  I have finally gotten around to taking photos of all the scrapbooks that I have done for my mom, and loaded them on to Shutterfly tonight.  Why is this exciting you ask?  Well because that means I am one step closer to getting all the photos ready for my new Facebook page for Pictures & Pens.  I know, it is about time isn't it?  I currently have a fabulous website, but there is nothing current on it - as in NONE of my scrapbooking.  I am trying to move to a format that my non-techno savvy self can handle - all by myself (at least as far as updates).  I also hope to add some of the photos and information to my blog once it has it's face lift.  That is another area of great excitement.  I got my first mock up today on the new blog.  Christine, over at Smitten Blog Designs and I are not quite on the same page yet but I think we are definitely moving in the right direction.  I cannot wait for the big reveal!  Lastly, a friend at work emailed me yesterday and asked if I would be willing to print names on place cards for her family Christmas celebration.  Apparently, on the down low, she has started a little party planning business.  If you are on Facebook, you should be able to find her here at JR Events and Celebrations.  Anyway, she said in return for the place cards she would mention me on her FB page with a little shout out and pictures of the finished table as well.  Jennifer told me that she just wanted a plain red card with black writing.  I started out making a sample to her specifications, and then the crafty part of my brain kicked in.  Needless to say the samples came out a little fancier than what she had asked for.  After sending a couple of photos, Jennifer jumped right on the bandwagon and gave me the OK to give those place cards a little bling!  She is of course the brains behind the design of her family's celebration, but I am truly honored to be making a tiny contribution to making her vision a reality.  With inspiration from the place cards, I have also decided to fancy up my Christmas packages this year.  Believe it or not, my package presentation is usually pretty ho-hum, but this year I am raising the bar.  In closing, my life right now is overflowing with CRAFTASTIC and I couldn't be happier!

And because I don't like a post without at least one picture, here is another one from Zachary's latest session with Jesse.

Love that he catches expressions like this one!