Thursday, December 28, 2006

Nightgown update

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Betsy did indeed wear her nightgown last night - ALL night. I put it on her at bedtime and she whined for two solid hours and then, for some reason, she got over it. I don't know what caused the sudden change of heart but I think it had something to do with the fact that she and Porter were playing together and watching 'Cars.' Anyway, she slept all night in her flowers nightgown, and she woke up in a really good mood and didn't try to take it off.

Who knows what this child is thinking...

And if Betsy's teeth look especially clean in that photo, it's because she has brushed them five times this morning with her new Barbie toothbrush. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Santa was here!

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Christmas is the best with little kids in the house, isn't it?!

The kids actually slept in (we're enjoying it while we can; all the times Matt and I woke our parents up at 4 a.m. will be back to haunt us soon!) so they came down the stairs together. They ran right to their gifts, knowing exactly what belonged to whom: a basketball set for Porter ("BAAALLLLLL!") and a blue bicycle for Betsy.

They didn't even want to open their other gifts; they just wanted to play with their new stuff! But, I found out Betsy really likes the wooden cars and puzzles that Santa brought to her baby brother.

I gave Matt new slippers, pants, and a new bag for work. Super original, I know. Matt came through as always - he's a really good gift giver, despite annual protests to the contrary - with chocolate, and some other stuff... like a Hobby Lobby giftcard, and a really cool shirt from H&M that's kind of like a corset, without the organ-squeezing and fainting.

We had the missionaries over for dessert on Christmas Eve - they were impressed with the sheer volume of cookies I've produced - but on Christmas Day it was just the fam; we wore pajamas all day and watched Cars and ate, ate, ate. Good times!

And by the way, the pictures are in B&W because I've already started editing them to scrapbook. (I'm a dork, I know.) I was thinking maybe American Crafts paper and ribbons on a black background; but I still haven't ruled out Chatterbox. Because the best thing about after Christmas - besides the sales - are scrapbooking all the awesome pictures of the kids having fun. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The countdown is on.

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Presents are bought. Cookies are baked. The cards were finally mailed today and the ham is in the fridge. We have watched The Grinch and Charlie Brown and listened to the Muppets. We're almost ready for Christmas. But...


It's raining today. Actually raining. And if the weatherman is right, there won't be any snow for Christmas. This isn't a full scale disaster, but it's certainly distressing. Betsy actually told me the other day that we can't have Christmas yet: we have to wait for snow.

And you know, I think she's right.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

...And a PSA from Betsy.

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Those cars have to watch out for me. They must not bleed me. 'Acause they must only drive on the road, and not on me.

So, please watch where you're driving. ;-)

A girl's gotta party...

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Betsy celebrated her 4th birthday yesterday. Yes, we had her party on a Friday, because Saturdays in December are too completely insane, and because none of her friends are in school yet anyway. It was the first birthday party I've ever done, and theough everything was VERY low key, it seemed to go really well.

We started off decorating aprons: I'd gotten some little kid sized aprons for like $3 apiece at Hobby Lobby, and gave the kids some fabric markers to use. Then they all wore their aprons while decorating cookies (helpfully made from that break-and-bake dough; I don't bake from scratch for a bunch of 4-year-olds) with frosting and various candies. We fed them lunch, opened presents (Betsy's really excited about her new Barbies) and let them watch Charlie and Lola for a while. The kids all got to take their aprons and their cookies home: handy party favors that the parents probably won't hate me for. It was easy, required almost no planning, and really fun! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tag! I'm it!

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My neato scrapping friend Carolyn tagged me (check out her blog and try, just try, not to be jealous of her insane photography talent) so it's my turn...

A - Available or single: Married, but that's not one of the choices?
B - Best friend: Besides my Cutterpede? Probably Rebecca, she brought me a bucket of chicken when I was having a hard time.
C - Cake or pie: Oh, definitely cake. With LOTS of frosting.
D - Drink of choice: At the moment, Target hot chocolate.
E - Essential item you use everyday: soap (Aren't you glad?)
F - Favorite color: Blue
G - Gummy bears or worms: Both! I love candy!!
H - Hometown: grew up in Rochester
I - Indulgence: baked goods (ask me about the chocolate cherry cookies, sometime)
J - January or February: Oh, definitely February.
K - Kids & names: Betsy and Porter
L - Life is incomplete without? Scrapbooking!
M - Marriage date: 12/16/00 (yes, our anniversary is on Saturday!)
N - Number of siblings: 7
O - Oranges or apples: Golden Delicious apples
P - Phobias or fears: Enclosed underwater spaces. You know, like the Dolphin Dome? Yeah, it freaks me out every time.
Q - Fave quote: I don't have one. I guess I am not deep like that.
R - Reasons to smile: (According to my children, there are none.) Christmas is only a week and a half away!!
S - Season: the Christmas season
T - Tag 3 or 4 people: um, I don't know? Who hasn't done it yet?
U - Unknown fact about me: I've been pulled over twice this year for speeding. No tickets, though.
V- Vegetable you don't like: Peas. And I like them even less after having to pull 2 peas out of Porter's left nostril last night. (FYI, the second one was really wedged in there - I had to use my scrapbooking tweezers to pry it out.)
W - Worst habit: Twirling my hair. And interrupting people.
X - Xrays: um, if they're covered by insurance, I guess
Y - Your fave food: Oh, I love it all! Is that wrong?
Z - Zodiac sign: Sagittarius

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Happy birthday Betsy!

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Yep, she's 4! She had a pink birthday cake with pink frosting and pink candies (that she helped me with) and opened presents. Good times! Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 11, 2006


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Worked on some stuff today. I hope to get more pictures in the mail soon!

Sometimes, I do wish my kids could actually smile for a picture. From the looks of my scrapbook, I have the most chronically depressed offspring in the world... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

they're done!

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So, I managed to finish the stockings today (in between tutoring and complaining about having a cold)! They didn't take nearly as long as I had thought they would, since I really only started yesterday. I'm feeling a lot more confident now - I was going to say competent, but I think that may be stretching it a bit. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

lucky, lucky me!

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Look what my awesome husband gave me for my birthday!

Yep, he not only gave me a neato kitchen radio/CD player, he installed it while I was at the library with Betsy. This thing is so cool: it has a little remote which is magnetic so it sticks to the side of the fridge. I also got some new slippers which Betsy picked out. They are blue, with ribbons on them.

I've also been busy with sewing. Can you tell which stocking is mine from when I was a kid, and which one I made today? Here's a hint: the one with the cool '80s strawberry fabric, the difficult bias tape along the impossibly scalloped edge, and the overall sense of competence is NOT crafted by me. ;-) I've been sort of 'faux-machine'quilting' the fabric I got on a felt backing, so it at least has the same quilted look as the original (which I used as a pattern template) without adding the bulk that would break my little machine. Anyway, that's Matt's stocking, which you probably could tell because the fabric is all masculine looking and whatnot. I'm hoping I can finish 2 more this week... mainly because I have decreed that I am not allowed to do any more scrapping until the sewing is done!

Monday, December 4, 2006


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Don't they look good?

And does anyone know where I can find some coarse sugar? I swear I have been looking everywhere. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 2, 2006

baking cookies

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Holiday baking continued today with a second (double) batch of chocolate cherry cookies. Betsy was extremely helpful, especially at making the dough into balls and putting a 'perry' on top of each cookie.

I had Matt take some pictures while we were making some spice cookies. We had to roll a ball of dough into a snake, then twist it into a little pretzel shape. Betsy really enjoyed it, although the cookies were shaped with varying degrees of success. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 1, 2006

A scrapbook store and a sick kid...

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This morning I went over to the grand opening of the new Archiver's in Castleton. It was a neat store, although they seriously lack the awesome paper selection of Scrapbook Corner. (For a paper-lover like me, that's a pretty harsh condemnation.) I was sorely tempted by the Rhonna Farrer swirly clear stamps, but I reminded myself that my birthday AND Christmas are just around the corner, and got just a pack of BasicGrey mini chipboard letters. Yes, BasicGrey... while I am less than crazy about most of their paper, I do like their chipboards. Of course, I like chipboard anything, so that doesn't tell you much, does it?

Anyway, Porter, who's had a cough the last couple of days, was falling asleep in his stroller while I was shopping... at 9:30 in the morning. He never does that. His breathing was getting raspy, and he's developed the dreaded Scary Cough, so I took him in to see Dr. Davis. Care to guess what my son has? He's got croup. Yes, croup, like Diana Barry's little sister had in 'Anne of Green Gables.' I think I would have been only slightly more surprised if he'd had rabies or the plague or something, but according to Dr. Davis, it's not super uncommon in kids as little as he is. Anyway, Porter got a shot (he loved that, so soon after his 18-month checkup) but since it's a virus, there's really nothing else you can do. I'll just drug him up on Dimetapp (or whatever the generic purple stuff is), keep him home from church, and stop feeling like a bad mother.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

More things to be thankful for...

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In case leftover pie wasn't enough, Butler's basketball team won the NIT championship yesterday. In order to get there they had to defeat both Notre Dame (TAKE THAT KEVIN) and Indiana (NEENER NEENER MIKE). The best thing about it, for me? The fact that now, maybe people will actually have heard of the school I went to. ("Butler? You're going to school to learn how to open doors?")

Last night, we went downtown to see the Christmas decorations. I dressed Porter in a little fleece Santa suit (that I got at Target after Christmas last year for, like, three bucks). Matt teased me for dressing his son up but I'm glad I did - practically everyone who looked at Porter was smiling. You've got to admit, he is cute.

I started my Christmas baking yesterday also. I have four kinds of cookies in various stages of completion, and a pan of fudge which may or may not turn out. (I don't exactly have the best track record with fudge.) I've already made a double batch of chocolate cherries which is, um, rapidly disappearing.

My house smells awesome because my thoughtful husband gave me a Christmas-tree-smelling candle. This is something that's very important to me: the house has to smell like a Christmas tree, even though ours is fake. It's almost as important as listening to the Muppets (badum-pum-pum).

Also, BYU beat Utah State in the last 3 seconds. Awesome! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 23, 2006


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I am thankful for...

Not having to touch any giblets this year.


The Macy's parade.

That our house didn't burn down in, what was it, 1986? '87?

A huge kitchen to cook in.

My family. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 20, 2006

Shop windows

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We went downtown (the downtown of our town, not the city downtown, if that makes any sense) on Saturday. A lot of the stores have their windows decorated already - it was really cool. I think I need to go back and take more pictures when it's overcast or something, so I don't get glare off the glass.

Betsy had fun though. She made a new friend.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I wasn't kidding...

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... about my kids not being photogenic. I was able to tweak the photos a little using Picasa, but I have yet to figure out how to edit a smile onto their little faces. Oh well.

I made two apple pies last night: one to eat now, because pie is good, and one to freeze for Thanksgiving. I was all set to start peeling the apples by hand when I remembered that I bought a Pampered Chef Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer last summer at a garage sale (five bucks). Of course, it's slightly more complicated than a slide rule, but my friend Rachel has used them before and was able to show me how to set it up. And now we have two gorgeous pies - okay, one and a half gorgeous pies - with the crumb topping and everything. My crusts turned out really good, too; I was really on a roll, pastry-wise.

I also got my NCIS Season 2 last night. Way to go Amazon! I had pre-ordered it with free 2 day shipping, but I wasn't expecting to get it until Thursday, because yesterday was the actual official release. Awesome! I started watching the bonus features last night - they talked about SWAK a lot which made me happy, because that's a really good episode.

I'm trying to finish up my design team assignment for this month, but I can't find a brown cat-eye ink pad anywhere. Why is that??!!

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Catch-up blogging

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So, I fully intended to write actual paragraphs when I uploaded the scary bear pictures, but I totally got distracted. Sorry. Here is a real blog entry, complete with multiple sentences.

Emily and Russell were here from Sunday night until Friday morning. We had a really fun time. On Monday, as you’ve probably seen, we went to the zoo (the weather was really nice that day, except for the rain) and had dinner at Steak ’n Shake. Emily is an SNS-aholic (can you blame her, really?) and Russell had never been before. We all had milkshakes: they have the new holiday flavors in. Yummm… (cue Homer-like drooling noise here)

On Tuesday, I taught ‘Stretch Your Scrapping Dollar’ to 2 people, one of whom was my sister. Oh well. I don’t think I’m going to teach any more classes, even though I’ve been enjoying myself, because it’s a lot of effort to go to for only 1 or 2 people. At any rate, it was a hoot teaching Emily stuff, and I think she really enjoyed shopping afterwards (though Russell may have to kill me for getting his wife addicted). Em got some cool wedding stuff and I picked up two packs of the new American Crafts ‘Thickers’ - they are so cool - I can’t wait to play with them!

Russell cooked lunch for us on Wednesday: hamburgers and fried potatoes with a side of Lipitor. It was soooooo good. Plus, I enjoyed having someone to talk about cooking with (Russell is a regular Martha Stewart, only with more tattoos). I also introduced Emily to the happy place that is Hobby Lobby. They were having a sale on adhesives so I showed her what kinds to buy. And I escaped without any patterned paper, which is a truly impressive feat.

On Thursday, I attempted to take pictures of the kids to send with Christmas cards. Emily was the stylist/wrangler for this photo shoot. They turned out... interesting (I'll post some later, when I finish editing them and everything).

Monday, November 6, 2006


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Emily is a bear. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

My kids aren't photogenic.

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Apparently they don't believe in smiling, or looking at the camera, or holding still for the 1.2 seconds it takes me to take a picture. Whatever.

At any rate, the princess and the zebra went trick or treating last night. Matt worked a day shift so that he could take them out, and I stayed home distribut

ing candy and watching 'Treehouse of Horror' episodes on TV. We didn't have a lot of kids come around, so I got stuck with a lot of extra candy. I got the stuff I like (read: chocolate) so that's either a good thing or a bad thing.

The kids had a great time, although I don't think Porter really got it. His favorite was the one house that had a soccer ball sign in the yard; Porter yelled "BAAALLLLL!" all the way up to the house. (You should hear the way he says ball: he sounds like a Mexican soccer announcer. GOOOOAAALLLL!) For what it's worth, Porter figured out how to say "Trick or treat!" this morning. Good job, buddy.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


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I'm not going to
write this whole post in haiku.
It would take too long.

So, I'm back from Croptoberfest, and what a fun time it was! It took less than two hours to drive to Fort Wayne (hint: do not take SR 32 to exit 19, even if it looks like it is more direct)

so I was only a little late. We had the whole day to crop at the huge tables in the back of Luv2Scrapbook, plus tons of food, free goodies, and more! I got a lot done - 2 double-page spreads and 4 or 5 single-page layouts - but I probably would have gotten MORE done if I wasn't having such a good time chatting!

I finally got to see some of the ladies I've known on the message boards for almost 2 years. I'm thrilled that they came into the store because they knew I'd be there! This adorable lady is Sue, a.k.a. Tinkie - I recognized her right away by her Tinkerbell hat and jacket! Her very patient husband entertained himself while we discussed the merits of DCWV cardstock. Gotta love the white core!

And here you see me displaying my usual sense of dignity, along with Mary, one of the ladies who was at my table. We got prizes by completing various challenges, some of which were scrap related, some weren't. This one obviously wasn't.

Since it was a Western theme, one of the challenges was to ride a stick horse around the entire store. It's a lot less embarrassing if you have someone else to do it with you!

Carrie from the Luv2 message came into the store and I got
to meet her too. Dang it! I totally forgot to get a picture! But I did get to see her adorable KI tin calendar project before practically everyone else in the world, and it is adorable!

The fabulous chick in the orange turtleneck is OrangeKrsssh, aka. Susan. I've been dying to meet Susan at least since the Meijer layout, if not longer. We chatted about photos - I got to see themiraculously returned camera - and scrapbooking in general and Hall of Fame and Vegas and sparkly shoes. Took some pictures which she has already scrapbooked (I know, I'm impressed, too).Posted by Picasa

The last picture is me and Kristy - you can tell it was late in the evening, since I'd pulled my hair back - my friend from the Scrapbook Corner design team. Kristy moved to Ft. Wayne recently (but she still drives down for classes and design team meetings, which is truly impressive) so after joining in the second half of the crop, she not only graciously let me crash at her place, she even shipped her kids off to the grandparents! Kristy showed me all her stuff for the Crop for the Cure garage sale; she made up over a hundred little kits out of her scraps and I feel better now about the amount of paper I have! I got to sleep on Batman sheets, which I'm hoping will give me superhero-like scrapping ability (hey, I'm just covering all my bases here!) It was really nice to sleep over and not have to drive home that night.

But, it felt really good to come home this morning. I swear, the kids have actually gotten cuter.

And, by the way, the shirt? I've had a lot of people ask where I got it. Actually, I bought the T-shirt at Kohls and some iron-on letters at Hobby Lobby, and I did the rest myself. And if you know how much I hate ironing, you know that's a major sacrifice!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's important to accessorize.

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According to the calendar, it's another 5 days until Halloween.

Try telling that to my daughter.

We went to Target today and bought seven bags of candy which I am trying very hard to ignore. Also, I got the treat bags made for the kids. It took me about an hour (and yes Mom, we all know you would have had them done in five minutes) plus Betsy got some accessories made from the scraps. Check out her belt and her little hair tie. Anyway, she knew there was supposed to be a purse to complete the ensemble, so she came in the kitchen and was watching me sew. By the time I got to the last seam, she was so excited she was literally jumping up and down.

I'm glad that it's so easy to make this child happy.

Now we just have to hope it stops raining before Trunk or Treat tomorrow night.

I can't think of a witty title for this post.

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I just realized it's been more than a week since my last post. Geez, where does the time go? Let's see... NCIS was a repeat this week, Betsy is still pooping in diapers, and I still haven't finished the baby doll coat. (I'm having to hand sew all that *&^$%& bias tape, which is a particularly grueling and thankless task.) I did go to Joann's yesterday and pick up some Halloween print fabric for 99 cents a yard. I'm going to sew some treat bags for the kids, since they'll fit more easily into storage than the old school plastic pumpkins. (Not that I don't love the pumpkins, mind you.) I'll need to get those done before Trunk or Treat tomorrow night, but I think they'll be easy. I'm using a 12x12 square of chipboard as a pattern... quick and easy, I hope.

I also went to Old Navy yesterday. I got this really cute pair of black crocheted espadrilles for, you guessed it, 97 cents.

On Saturday, I'm heading up to Fort Wayne for Croptoberfest, a massive all-day crop at Luv2Scrapbook. I've been haunting their message board for almost two years, but I've never been there before. Of course, most of my MB buddies won't be there, since they all went to the Anniversary Crop in May, which was shortly before Porter stopped nursing, the little ingrate. But still, I think it will be wicked fun, and I hope to get a lot done on my Hall of Fame entry. As of now I have all of my assignment pages planned, EXCEPT for the 'Original technique' one, though I'm guessing I'm not alone on that, lol! Anyway, I'm staying overnight at a friend's house in Fort Wayne, which will be my first time away from the kids since... hmmm... Time Out for Women, back when I was (barely) pregnant with Porter. (Speaking of which, TOFW will be in Indy in September /07! Way cool!) And as much as I love the little boogers, I really can't wait to get away from them fro a little while.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Self-portrait time

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The Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame contest rules state that all photography must be your own original work. I want to include some pictures of myself in my HOF entry... thank goodness for the self timer on my camera! These are my favorite two...

The first one is for Assignment C, 'Journal Your Passion.' As much as I love to scrapbook, I have loved to read for MUCH longer. I had to balance the camera on the arm of the sofa! I used Picasa to de-saturate the colors a bit, and I'll probably crop it down a lot before including it in the actual layout. (I have a larger one for the focal point which I took of my bookshelf. It sounds lame, but it actually turned out quite cool.)

The second one is for Assignment H 'Your Scrap Space.' Yep, that's my happy kitchen island. It's not the kind of scraproom you see inmagazines, but it seems to be working for me. And it sure beats living in the apartment, when I had to cram all of my supplies (and myself, if I wanted to get anything done) onto that little stair landing.

Friday, October 13, 2006

It's official: I'm hooked.

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I'm beginning to understand why Mom likes sewing so much.

Bolstered by what could conceivably be termed successes with the Crooked Curtains and the Hammer Pants, I got this brilliant idea that my little machine and I could make a doll dress for Betsy's birthday. I picked up the fabric last weekend - on the theory that it would take me weeks to finish the darn thing - a sweet vintage-style fabric to go with Simplicity 4707, a pattern of vintage baby doll clothes.

Much to my surprise, I actually got it done. All it took was 3 afternoons of neglecting the kids, I mean letting them entertain themselves, while I sewed. I ended up hand-sewing the rickrack, due to my terminal inability to sew in a straight line, which didn't take as long as you'd think (although it would have gone faster if I hadn't been simultaneously watching NCIS videos on YouTube). The collar was supposed to have rickrack along the bottom edge, positioned such that only the points are visible, an idea that I discarded after having a good hearty laugh about it. I still want to put some sort of embellishment on the collar, if for no other reason than to obscure the fact that one side is quite a bit pointier than the other. (And yes, I know that it's a Peter Pan collar and they're not supposed to be pointy at all. Shut up.)

I also made a little pair of panties for underneath - remind me next time, leave the casings for elastic a bit bigger - and made significant inroads into the little red coat I optimistically also thought I was skilled enough to make. Actually, the coat should be easier - no gathers - if all that bias tape doesn't slay me dead in my tracks.

The really hard part is going to be putting it away and saving it for the Bets' birthday, which is two months away.

Speaking of which... Happy Friday the 13th! I know a lot of people consider it bad luck, but I never could... I became a mama on a Friday the 13th!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


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Yep, it's finally here. My very first published scrapbook layout appears on page 138 of the November/December 'Simple Scrapbooks.' I picked up a copy at Michaels on the way home from the Children's Museum, and I couldn't stop staring at my layout the whole time I was in line to buy it. What a huge thrill!

In case you can't squint to read the blurb (I have a blurb! Me!) this is what it says: "As Joni knows, never underestimate the power of a good hairdresser. And it sure doesn't hurt if that hairdresser is your little sister! This page was the result of a must-scrap self-portrait and a happy marriage between the color of Joni's sweater and some gorgeous Chatterbox paper."

So, kudos to Em for all the free haircuts! (Speaking of which, Mrs. B., don't forget to bring the scissors when you come next month...) They have a very good blurb writer at Simple Scrapbooks: they managed to cram in a nod to my sister, my own photo credit (I really did take that photo with the self-timer, and if you think it looks good, you should see the 56 others that I didn't scrap) and of course a tribute to my favorite papers of all time... Chatterbox!

So, I figured I was going to be a one-pub wonder (which I was okay with) but continued to submit my pages. Lo and behold, I got an email from Scrapbook Trends requesting my 'Rough Life' layout for their Baby column! And when I was done squealing and calling Matt, I checked my email again and they wanted ANOTHER layout as well... 'Doesn't Everyone' for the Simple Things call! WOW!! I never thought I would actually see my work appear TWICE in the same magazine... So I will be mailing those two layouts off tomorrow. My album will have a lot of gaps until I get 'I Feel Pretty' back from SS!

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