Sunday, December 18, 2011

An Ode to An Ornament

For a sentimental, knick-knack loving person like me, ornaments are treasures.  They tell a multitude of stories.  Ornaments' greatest advantage, however, is that they come out once a year.  I don't have to find a place for them on my crowded shelf.  (can you tell we have been purging junk lately?  But I digress.

Last year, I wrote a post about how ornaments tell stories. This year, I wanted to share a few more ornaments.  But one ornament especially relates to the Advent Prayer Buddy effort that the IF bloggers have done every year.  In Christmas 2009, my then-Prayer Buddy, In All Things Good/DC Baby sent me this charming woven ornament from Africa:

Inside, she wrote a prayer (I think it is the Christmas novena?) asking God to grant me a child.  Not only was I thrilled to add the first ornament from the continent of Africa to our tree, the prayer touched me greatly.  You see, 2009 was not on my list of good years.  In fact, on New Year's Eve, I enthusiastically bid farewell to 2009.  The year held many crosses: a death in the family, ending of a job, numerous IF medications with no relief in sight, facing the prospect of losing weight for an adoption, the loss of our pastor... Let's just say hope was in short supply.  I looked at that ornament wondering if there was any hope left.

Turns out, 2010 became a year of hope. A nice amount of pounds melted away (I've since gained them back!).  Just as I neared my adoption goal weight, we found out a baby had miraculously shown up in my belly.  I had an incredible 4th grade class.  A new pastor came to our parish.

And to boot, my prayer buddy also became pregnant in 2010.  In fact, we had our babies within a couple weeks of each other.

Today, this little red basket ornament symbolizes that hope remains in the darkest of places.  Especially when I don't see it.  The ornament will forever have a place on our tree.  I think it will keep me grounded, lest I ever forget the Christmases past.  The ones where my heart ached.  Or (without sounding too dismal), the Christmases in the future that may seem darker: I particularly think of my friend J, whose father was diagnosed with terminal cancer mere weeks ago and will celebrate his last Christmas.

Christmas 2011 is a bright beacon in the Petals home: we gratefully celebrate KB's first year of life and welcome our families from both coasts to celebrate.  Two lovely ladies in the SHE group are celebrating magnificent Christmases as well: after 12 years, has become pregnant; the other sweet friend K will make merry with her 2 twin boys, born earlier this year (her first 3 babies are in heaven).

I keep looking at the ornament on the tree, knowing that with the help of God's grace, the love and support of my husband, family, and friends, I survived a dark year.  Should another dark year come again in the future, I hope that ornament reminds me to find HOPE, because it will always have a special place on our tree.

P.S.  My Advent prayer buddy from last year gave me an exquisite mug plus fragrant coffee beans from these monks.  Their coffee is sanctifyingly awesome!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Singing and Signing "Monks"

As Advent continues to wind down, here's an entertaining rendition of Han.del's Messiah to get you ready for Christmas.  :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

10 Lessons in 1 year

You know you’re behind when your baby turns one and no post shows up on your blog!  Like Always Giving Thanks said, the request of the annual Advent Blogger Prayer Buddies campaign to post more has been a good kick in the pants.  So without further ado…

KB turned 1 on 11/11/11.  Such a cool birthday!  I cannot believe a year has passed.  

The entire day I felt like a Zombie.  Looking at photos of her as a newborn compared to now just overwhelm me: joy at the gift of her life, a twinge of sadness that the baby days have passed so quickly. The metamorphosis from wife to mom has been rather steady. Here are 10 lessons that I learned in the first year. 

    1. Slow down and enjoy. So many of my mom friends and family gave this piece of advice. Seeing how fast this year has gone by, I agree with their advice 100%. IF’s many years of waiting and longing helped me value more greatly the time that I have. Also, there are no guarantees that we will be able to get pregnant or adopt in the future. Even if we do, there will be another child around to take care of and less of those quiet moments. So, I've taken extra time this year for more snuggles, holding, and ignoring some of the experts’ advice. 
      2. I’m glad that I worked part time to finish the school year. I didn’t want to leave my 2 classes mid-year. The experience of working helped me make an informed decision to stay home with KB full time. I was rather apprehensive about it. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I’m climbing the walls. But balancing a part time job, babysitters, and a baby was challenging. It also inspires me to help my friends who work full-time. 
    3. Things don’t always work out the way you planned. Good grief, I learned this in a big way with the IF journey. Even more so with the actual birth (C-Section instead of labor; but it was a great experience and I will probably do it again, Godwilling!), b-feeding, caring for a newborn, etc. 
    4. Babies need nutrition and love, no matter how they get it. I was only able to BF for 9 days. The lactation consultant (a mom of a former student) even came to my house 4 times to help me. KB just wouldn’t nurse. That wasn’t very bonding. We bonded far more when she began bottle feeding full time and her tummy was full. Most people were pretty accepting. However, the negative comments from some people really dismayed me. Many implied that I wouldn’t be able to bond with my baby and thought I was doing a HUGE disservice. Gosh, I hope they don’t say the same thing to adoptive mothers who choose not to breastfeed! And how do you think that makes a new mom feel? As my pediatrician wisely told me, babies need nutrition and love.
5. Video baby monitors. Best invention ever. We have gotten extra sleep because of it. However, don’t let the baby play with the handheld monitor!

6. IF still causes guilty feelings. When KB is exasperating me, sometimes I feel bad for getting annoyed. After all, this was what I wanted for so long, right? 

7. A baby forces a control freak realize that you really don’t have that much control. Need I say more?

8. I understand just a little bit more of God’s unconditional love. And I have more respect for Our Lady, especially thinking of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Can you imagine how hard it would be to know that your baby Son would someday die?

9. “Me Time” and date nights are absolutely essential. They have helped me stay grounded. My husband has been so great about watching KB when I go to Irish Dancing. Although those years of IF waiting were painful, we got lots of great "Me" and "Couple" time. Those memories impel me to keep it going!  I look forward to someday taking KB to dance class with me. 

10. Let the baby bring joy to others. Whether it’s the kind elderly lady at the store or a random customer at Starbucks, I’ve found it worth it to stop and let them.

Well, if you've read this far, congratulations.  Thanks for walking this journey with me in the blogosphere.  I continue to pray for my IF sisters who are still waiting. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Quick Takes Friday

I haven't had much time to write, let alone think these days, so how about some quick takes to break the blogger silence?

1.  KB will be 1 next week. This year has flown by so quickly.

2.  Because KB was a November baby, this past Monday was her first Halloween. Her costume was a big hit, especially at Star.bucks (I said she was a pumpkin spice latte).

3.  Tomorrow Blood Test Buddy, my mother-in-law, and I will participate in a 5K to benefit our local VA hospital.  I'm walking (ha ha, no running for me) in honor of my grandpa who served in WW2.

4.  This week we celebrated All Saints and All Souls Day.  KB made it through both evening Masses, much to our delight.  We thought a lot about my grandma who passed away this summer.  I cantored the evening All Souls Mass, and it made me feel like I was singing to her. :)

5.  I received lots of wonderful feedback from my last post on keeping in touch with long-distance family.  Feel free to send any more ideas.  When KB blows out the candles on her cake next week, my parents will join us via so they can see the big moment too.

6.  My husband and I have become addicted to a wonderful way to enjoy SMORES.  Yes, we are among those deprived of an outdoor fire pit.  However, we have discovered the wonders of preparing smores in the oven.  The marshmallows get perfectly brown (instead of burnt, which always happens to mine) and meld wonderfully with the chocolate.  Plus, if you use foil underneath everything, there's no mess to clean up. And those stacker marshmallows work well too!

7.  As soon as November 1st came, I noticed that many stores immediately switched into Christmas mode.  This is a pet peeve of mine, as I really like Fall and feel rather Christmased out by the time Dec. 25th comes around.  Someone posted this humorous cartoon on the other day, so I now pass it along to you.  Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Staying Connected Despite Distance

This is a post that has been forming in my brain for some time.  Staying connected to family is especially important to me, as my parents, siblings, and relatives are scattered across various states.  The following items have helped me tremendously and I'm always looking for more suggestions.  For my IF sisters still waiting, I hope these ideas give you food for thought for when your miracle arrives.

It's hard to live far from family.  However, I find the visits with them are more precious when they do occur.  When KB came along, the separation hurt even more.  Probably the number one worry was making sure KB knew my folks.  My parents live on the west coast, a long flight from where we are here.  I did not want my parents to show up someday and KB look at them and say, "who are you?"  My hubby's parents live about an hour away, so we see them about once a month.

I think often of my ancestors from Ireland and Slovakia who emigrated here, never to see their families again.  Even more close to home, I ponder my grandmas.  Both moved moved to the West Coast from Chicago or Boston within days of their weddings.  They eventually set up roots in Southern California.  Yet they only had scant few visits with their family and phone calls had to be limited due to the distance.  And we all know how babies don't always talk on the phone. :)  We definitely have better ways of keeping in touch now.

These wonderful advances have made the separation a bit less painful.

1.  Skype
Without a doubt, Skype has been the most helpful tool.  Their free video chat has helped us have face-to-face conversations. Now that KB is more interested in crawling around instead of sitting in one place, the webcam captures these fun moments.  Plus, my family gets the joy of seeing milestones such as pulling herself up or learning to wave.  Sk.ype has also helped KB recognize my parents' faces.  She always smiles brightly when they come on the screen.  We talk every weekend, so although they don't get to see her in person, Sk.ype is the next best thing.  I enjoyed seeing their reaction last year when we told them the news of our pregnancy.

2.  The Recordable Storybook
Yet another wonderful invention.  The book is exactly like it sounds: your loved one reads the story and his/her voice gets recorded.  The pages each have sensors, so as you turn the page, the voice reads the words.  My mom and dad each made a recordable book for KB.  She loves listening to their voices and immediately starts looking for Grandma or Grandpa inside the little box.  I appreciate hearing their voices too, especially when my voice is tired.  My favorite nighttime book as a kid was "Good.night Moo.n," so I enjoy hearing the story read to me as well!  I hope to make sure these recordings last a long time.

3.  Invitations even when you know they can't come.

A dear friend in my hometown never fails to send us invitations to her children's birthday parties, despite our cross country location.  It means so much that she has not forgotten us, especially considering her family still lives in town.  She also sends picture cards of her kids at the various holidays of the year.  This simple gesture means so much.  I hope to replicate the same idea with KB's first birthday (in ONE month! YIKES!) and future events.  An invitation always carries the same message: we want you here to celebrate.

4.  The "Look Book."  

A friend recommended this item for my baby registry.  The  soft album is very baby friendly (i.e., chew friendly).  I inserted photos of my and hubby's parents, siblings, and in-law so she can see their faces.  A holy card of St. Catherine of Siena (KB's patroness) completes the back of the album.   The photos have made a big difference in helping KB recognize her family.  Plus, it's always in her toybox for ready viewing.  You can buy the album at Bab.iesRUs and the like.

5.  Special books
My brother and sister each have a special book that they get to read to KB, ideally on skype.  We have the same copy here at home.

6.  Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
I try to email a couple pictures every week to my and hubby's families.  Usually the photos deal with a new milestone, or a cute moment.  Some of my family members are on, some are not.  The pictures are sent in real time so they can get an idea of how much KB is growing.  I hope to continue this weekly ritual in the future.

Also, instead of purchasing cards at the store, I use Shutt.erfly to make personalized birthday/special occasion  cards with KB's picture.  When you post a picture of the card on your blog, Shutt.erfly gives you $10 off your next order (that's why random cards show up on my blog!).

Living far away from family was never our choice, but a decision made due to my hubby's job.  We may not have family living in close proximity, but they do live in our hearts.  I'm grateful that technology has made it a little more livable.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

We love fall!

Ah, Fall.  What a wonderful season of the year, often hijacked by the retailers who are currently hanging up Christmas decorations as I type.  We took KB to a farm/orchard this weekend and she loved it. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Just had to share this card....

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Quick Takes

1.  Tomorrow is the feast of St. Therese of Liseux!!  See my previous post for more information about her. :)

2.  What a difference monthly spiritual direction and confession makes, especially now as a stay-at-home mom.

3.  C.S.I., Crim.inal Minds, and the plethora of crime shows (except N.C.I.S) give me nightmares!! I have to stop watching them!  It doesn't take long for a disturbing scene to get burned in my brain and cause anxiety.  :(

4.  My mother-in-law, a parish secretary, will lose her health insurance if this mandate from the government goes through!  Please follow the link to write an email to your elected officials.

5.  I hate parallel parking, but never knew that inability had something to do with my gender.  harumph!

6.  KB has been teething this week, bringing along all kinds of joys such as the runs, waking up at night, crankiness, etc.  One day, after a late night, she actually fell asleep in her high chair. Guess the food wasn't great either. :)

7.  I really hope to re-do the look of the blog, update the blogroll, etc., one of these days.  Or weeks.  Or years!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Roses, Roses, and more Roses!

The feastday of St. Therese of Liseux, one of my favorite saints and the patroness of this blog, is coming up on October 1st. It's never to late to start a novena, or nine days/hours/weeks of prayer for a specific intention.

O Little Therese of the Child Jesus,
Please pick a rose for me from the heavenly gardens and send it to me as a message of love.

O little flower of Jesus, ask God today to grant the favors I now place with confidence In your hands.  
(Mention specific requests)
St. Therese, help me to always believe, as you did, in God's great love for me,
So that I might imitate your "Little Way" each day.   Amen

St. Therese lived life simply, as a "Little Way."  She really appeals to me because she sought holiness and goodness in little things.  The Little Way is quite refreshing, as I still struggle to identify with the saints who wax poetically about how they love suffering or wrote extensively about metaphysics.  St. Therese helped me through the long infertility journey (particularly the plethora of medication) and now as a stay-at-home mom.  Although so much of these journeys are mundane, she shows how doing these things for the love of God can make one holy.  

One of the coolest perks of asking St. Therese for help is that she often sends roses.  Among her last words on earth: "My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death," she said. "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses."  I've received both as a specific sign and as a "hey, I know your praying this novena" sign.  Some of the highlights:
  • Back in 2002 I had just met a nice guy online.  During a retreat I asked St. Therese if he was the right guy for me.  The next week, he sent me a dozen pink roses for my birthday.  (he turned out to be my future husband!)
  • When I was unsure whether or not to take a job and had asked St. T for help, I came out of church one day to find a rose on a table beneath a crucifix.
  • Several times while praying a novena to her, I will randomly see roses in strange places.
The rose has become my favorite flower, and in honor of St. Therese's intercession, I carried white and pink roses in my wedding bouquet.   

So I invite you to meet St. Therese if you haven't already.  She's a great heavenly friend, and you don't have to be Catholic to talk to her.  St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Picture Reminder

Do you need to see a message like this today (sans the "lucky numbers")?  I do.

It's been a long, rough week.  And my endeavors to exercise and lose weight have started, but remain difficult.  This little slip of paper is actually a fortune from a Chinese food lunch.  Obviously, I don't put much stock in the fortune cookie predictions, but this little message was refreshing.  And it reminds me, morning after morning, quick bathroom stop in between the crawling baby, not to give up. With God's grace!!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quick Takes Friday: Wacky Weather Edition

Seeing as KB has gone down for a nap (oh, the joys of nap training), why not some quick takes?

Many thanks to the commenters who suggested tunes to add to my iPod library.  Please, can you help me expand my horizons with your favorite song(s)? 

So it's only the first complete week of September, but the weather feels like October.  A rather large tropical storm has decided to hover over this part of the country, dumping lots of rain.  If only there was a way to push the cloud towards Texas.

Last week we found a strange visitor in our master bathroom.  We have no idea how this fellow got in:

One of the bloggers at Faith and Family Live is running a donation drive for her infertile sister.  She and her husband are traveling to Omaha to receive treatment at the PPVI center.  The blogger has 6 kids herself and stated how watching her sister's IF journey has affected her.  I was so touched to read the comments of the people who donated (you still can via PayPal).  Truly, an example of a village coming together. :)  I consider donating to such causes (please alert me if any IF bloggers out there have something like this) part of tithing.

You've heard of working mom's guilt?  Try Stay-at-home guilt.  It's a phenomenon that I never expected to experience.  Thankfully it's not 24/7.  Although my husband continues to assure me that my care of KB is important (and I know that), I sometimes feel less useful.  Like there's nothing monetary to show for my labors other than sweeping up Che.erios before someone squishes them.  Part of this is coming from the fact that school has started and I'm not in the classroom.  Not that I regret the time spent with KB; that working part of me says I should be doing more.  And then the IF experience comes back to say, "What's wrong with you?  You wanted this."
For all of you Catholics, there's an awesome priest named Fr. Robert Baron who has crafted a stunning documentary series on the history of the Church entitled "The Catholicism Project."  He also has a complete media ministry via Word On Fire, including an app.  I especially like listening to his Gospel reflections.
I'm trying to go to the gym multiple days a week in order to get back in shape.  Sadly, my weight isn't too far away from my 9MONTHS preggo weight.  :(  Pathetic, unhealthy, not to mention dangerous if/when we start trying for #2 via adoption or natural).  Thankfully our gym has a kid club where KB can hang out.  For added incentive, I'm training for a 5k run for Veterans in November.  Hopefully this will work!

KB has passed many milestones lately.  She will turn 10 months on Sunday.  Oh where, oh where has the time gone?
Crawling lots and lots

No need for the play gym anymore. :(

Pulling herself up like a big girl.

More crawling and exploring!

Curls keep a'coming!

Have a blessed weekend!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Help me out of a music rut!

I'm in a music rut and I need your help.  Life is getting busy and a bit difficult these days (hello, 9 month old who now refuses food from a bowl!).  Aside from my hubby and prayer, music helps me persevere and even get motivated.  Or the tunes at least help to distract me.

The "iT.unes Effect" has taken over the music industry, to my great delight.  What a relief to buy one song at a time instead of a whole album.  During my teenage years, I remember feeling held hostage to buying a $17 CD on which was only one song I wanted.  Singles were equally exorbitant.  A couple of years ago while at my parents' house, I discovered a long-lost single from my junior high days.  For those of you younger than 27, this contraption is called a Record!

So now that we don't have to worry about CDs and the like, I tend to randomly find songs and listen to them incessantly on my iPod.  Then I don't listen to songs on the radio as much in order to find new songs.  Sure, every once in a while I find a cool song via commercials (a trend I think will continue) or TV shows.  One of my favorite bad/sad mood songs, "Breathe," I stumbled on while watching VH1.  That song helped me through rough infertility treatments and my C-Section prep.  The music video is very poignant.

If you would like to help me, please list your favorite(s) in the following categories. No gangsta rap or death metal, please. :)

1.  Favorite song to listen to over and over.
2.  Favorite romantic song
3.  Favorite Christian song
4.  Favorite song to listen to in a bad mood or life struggle
5.  Favorite workout/running song
6.  The "I can't believe I like this song but it's on my iPod anyway" category.

Looking at my iPod, my favorites are:

1.  "NilSenLa" by Cel.tic Women
2.  "You Raise Me Up" (first dance at our wedding)
3.  "Alive Again" by Mat.t Ma.her (although there are many other Christian favorites)
4.  "Breathe" by Sta.r
5.  "Magdahlena" Ser.gio Mendes
6.  "Breakthrough" by Lemonade Mouth (yeah, Di.sney cha.nnel movie.  I admit it.)

I look forward to reading your suggestions and maybe adding them to my music library!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An Update in Pictures

At the end of July/beginning of August, our little family traveled to the West Coast for a family reunion and catch up with friends in Sacramento.  The trip included a lovely excursion to Monterey.  KB enjoyed the wet sand and the wind in her hair.  My hubby and I also marked 5 years of marriage on July 29.

The view from our room at Asilomar.

My cousins and I explored some of the tide pools.

To celebrate our anniversary, my hubby and I took a sailboat ride around Monterrey Bay.  A sailboat ride has always been on his "bucket list."  We saw lots of jellyfish, seals, dolphins, and even a couple of sea otters.

Monterey is still cold in the summer, so it seemed oxymoronic to stand by a fireplace in July!

Carmel Mission, my favorite and one of the most beautiful of the 21 California Missions.

We actually saw blue sky on our last day in Monterey.

KB's first trip to See's Candies.  Ahh, those shops smell so good!

KB's first trip to InNOut Burger. Don't worry, she's just chewing on the straw, not drinking the ice tea. :)

Martha's Miracle

Why not start out the day with some good news?  A Martha Trying to Be Mary has adopted a beautiful baby boy.  Congratulations!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Baptism at Last and Back in the Saddle

Ah, summertime.  We took a 2-week vacation to my California home, so I apologize for the silence in the blog room. My next post will show and tell of the highlights, including a sailboat ride! yea.  Honestly, I think Summer 2011 has been our busiest on record.

Anyway, longtime readers of my blog may remember my friend K, who has 3 babies in heaven (most recently in June 2010).  She gave birth to healthy twin boys in May and they were baptized three weeks ago.  It was such a joy to behold K and her husband holding two babies dressed in white, surrounded by family and friends.  Nearly a year ago, the same family and friends had stood with them in sorrow, beholding the tiny coffin of their daughter, who died at 12 (?) weeks.  We had also gathered to say farewell to their other two babies in the previous years. Those funerals always confounded me:  This isn't right.  They should be holding their baby in their arms, not seeing him/her lay lifeless in a coffin.  (These are the moments when I greatly dislike God's will).

I am so thrilled that God has turned their immense sorrow into joy.  K has also used her sorrowful experiences to reach out to others.  As the priest said to K and her husband, "Many people have been aching for you for this day to come."  I think of the many IF sisters in the blogosphere and beyond (particularly one in Boston :) ) who are still aching.  Many of us are aching for you, too.  May God turn your sorrow into joy someday.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quick Takes Friday: Slacker Edition

I'm surfing the turbulent waves of an 8-month old whose naps have gotten way too short and a heat wave.

1.  Our part of the country is sharing in the "fun" of the recent heat waves. The pool has become my favorite place to beat the heat.  Thankfully, KB likes the water.

2.  I understand the kind intentions of the word, "Stew.ardship."  But that word has become SO overused.

3.  My husband and I will celebrate our 5-year anniversary next week.  I can't believe how quickly time has flown!

4.  Self-serve frozen yogurt chains are all the rage here.

5.  My spiritual director totally rocks.  He was once married, got an annulment, became a permanent deacon, and recently was ordained a priest.  He also has a daughter.  Needless to say, he can relate to MANY of the family struggles.

6.  All ye who hate processed foods, turn away. :)  I bought some pizza dough balls at's Clu.b and used one to make a delicious calzone last night.  By using sauce in a can, frozen peppers and onions, cooked steak, and 3 kinds of cheese, it made a remarkably fast meal.

7.  #6 is an accomplishment as my creativity in the kitchen has waned considerably since KB arrived.

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Tactile and Musical Legacy

Once again, I've been the ever-missing blogger, attempting in vain to get a grip on time management.  So I'm sort of making up for it with TWO posts in one day.  Oooo.  Anyway, it was a blessing to attend my grandma's funeral last month.  Instead of mourning her passing, I rejoiced that God had finally taken her home after such a long illness.  Still, I'm sad to not have a lot of tactile memories of her.  And given the fact I live a couple thousand miles from the cemetery, it will be hard to visit her grave.  My wonderful in-laws gave us a beautiful way to remember my grandma:

The windchimes even have a "Gregorian Chant" tone.  Not only does their sound resonate beautifully, they also remind me of my grandma's patio windchimes.  They often played in the summer breeze while we swam in the evenings. I'm glad for a way to remember my grandma and have a piece of her memory for KB to know.  My inlaws are from a small, close-knit community.  When a loved one dies, the friends and family often give items such as blankets, potted plants, windchimes, etc. to help the grieving family remember the deceased.  I'm grateful they shared their tradition with me. :)

 A few bloggers have posted prayer intentions lately.  If I may add to the list: Please pray for our friends whose mother died in a freak accident in Europe.

Have a wonderful weekend!

(KB is trying to match AYWH's family photo).

A new fertility monitor?

I saw this fertility device on the NCR's blog today.  Very interesting!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Saying Goodbye

In a whirlwind weekend, we flew to Los Angeles.  KB dipped her toes in the Pacific Ocean and caught a glimpse of In.N.O.ut Burger (our first stop out of LAX).  For the first time in years, all of my mom's immediate and extended family were all together.  We bid Grandma farewell in a beautiful funeral Mass, complete with a bagpiper at the gravesite.  What a gift. I have more to write on this later...

 The graves of my two cousins, who died at age 5 and 26.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A personalized 5x7 Folded Card

Father's Day Damask Father's Day 5x7 folded card
Create custom cards for Valentines Day and Easter at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

I wish I would have discovered Shu.tterfly eons ago!!  The personal Fathers' Day and Mothers' Day cards have been a big hit with both of our families.  This is the card I made for my hubby; he doesn't read my blog so this shouldn't surprise him.  If you post a project from on your blog, they will sometimes send you a discount code.  Cool beans. :)