she now has wings...


Grandma Sue Sue and Great Grandma Evelyn came to visit and were here for last couple of nice to have my grandma get to see my home and the new town that I live in, also fun to have her get to see and know Zoesie a bit better too! Zoey enjoyed all the extra special attention that she got from having two grandma's around too! :) Really had a nice time, we had a little Christmas celebration here at the house one evening and then we spent an afternoon exploring some fun shops around town, including a visit to the Thrift Shop which was a very
successful trip for me since I actually got to try things on and look in the mirror! (Things that don't happen very often when I'm alone out with Zoey!). I found several tops and sweaters, a dress and a pair of boots to trek around town in this winter. Love finding deals at thrift shops! :) I've got a bit of scavenger in me I think. Anyways, then we went out for lunch at a cafe downtown, (where Zoey was an absolute PEACH!) :) Again, something that doesn't always happen! It was so neat to all be sitting around one table all the while knowing that it was four generations of women and family sitting there. Made me feel pretty special. Pretty cool thing indeed. Then one evening my Mom and Grandma watched Zoey and Ethan and I got to go out for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants here in town called the Island Cafe. I had the Greek Style Tuna and Ethan had a Grilled Vegetable Baguette. Mmm...mmm! It was so fun to be able to go out together and watch the snow fall, eat warm yummy food and drink hot tea all the while knowing that Zoey was safe and was being cared for at our home. It is SO nice to go out with Ethan again and spend time with each other as a couple again. Really was a special evening for us and it was neat to know that it was special for my Mom, Grandma and Zoey as well. The fairy wings were a gift for Zoey from my Mom and Ross...Zoey was in complete awe when she first saw them. She put them on right away and wanted to fly. When she didn't fly she told me, "It's okay Mama, when it's warmer I go outside and I'll float...that'll be better." She just makes my heart swell so much that I can't quite believe it doesn't burst with all that love the I have for her. If she's not a fairy then she's an angel for sure. -j

Our little gypsy lady...

tonight we just watched Zoey while she dressed herself up in bangles and bracelets, necklaces and hats...for probably at least an hour. It really puts everything in perspective, watching a child learn and play that is. Just this morning we were listening to a show on NPR and they were talking about how children don't play anymore...that "play" is actually being cut out of kindergarten in some communities! The speaker was actually a professor from Tufts University and it was really an insightful and eye opening discussion that he led for the listeners. By reducing or eliminating play in the classroom we are actually skipping important life lessons that need to be learned at this young age and therefore we are short changing them; thereby altering the learning curve later in life. An interesting show for interesting times. -j

Lilac Bush in Winter


Glimpse of Christmas Day

Here is a little glimpse of our family Christmas at home with Zoey. We woke to the sound of Santa on the roof and the jingling of bells on Santa's sleigh, then we heard Santa himself come in and leave goodies for Zoesie. He was really loud and left footprints, (from the snow) and crumbs behind, (from eating all the cookies that we left out for him). It was a very special day for all three of us. We're all tired, but it's the good tired. It's always a good thing to spend the day playing with those you love. God Bless and Good Night. p.s. Zoey is a PRO at opening presents now! Something the grandparents will be thrilled about! :) XXOO -j



Zoey's sleeping and Santa has paid a very special visit! Ethan and I are enjoying some snacks and a beer or two and I am relishing in the fact that I have all day tomorrow to spend with family and share the joys of Christmas traditions with my little Zoesie girl. Loving every minute...can't wait until morning to see Zoesie's to all and to all a good night! -j

From Us To You...




Some pictures of Zoey and her new friend Gracie! :) Today I watched only Gracie, (at our house...a nice break for Zoey), because all the others were home sick with the flu! Errrr...I am praying that somehow it skips our house. It would really be disappointing to have the flu at Christmas. -j

Making Soap

Thought I'd share my first attempt at making soap! I made two different kinds, Honey Oatmeal and a Christmas one scented with pine and cedar oils. It was lots of fun and super added bonus is that it makes the house smell absolutely divine! I will definitely be doing this again. -j



that's pretty much all I can think of to say at the moment. Zoey and I have been hanging out with some other little people this week, (I've been babysitting for a friend). It's been CRAZY! We get up super early and get ready, eat breakfast, take Ethan to school then we go to my friend's house at 7:30 to then prepare breakfast for 3 other little ones and spend the day together until their parents get home from work, (4:30-5) and then we leave, pick up Ethan from school, pick up the mail, run our errands and then come home to prepare our dinner and reunite Zoey with her toys and books, do some loads of laundry and then prepare for bed and start all over again in the morning. I am completely exhausted and am SO thankful that I do not have to do this every day and that I don't have to drop Zoey off somewhere at 7:30 in the morning and not get to see her until dinner time. That's got to suck...
It's been interesting to say the least getting everyone to share toys, keep hands, (and feet!) to themselves during meals and basically function as a group period these past few days. I've got two 2 year olds, one 3 year old and a 1 year old. Absolute chaos with moments of fun sprinkled in for taste...kidding, it's been fun but the crazy part is not an exaggeration. I'm SO tired. Today we decorated some paper ornaments and pasted them on trees and glued some red string on them for a fun Christmas project and I think that if I have the energy this evening, I'll cut some eyes, noses, and mouths out of colored felt and attach some self adhesive Velcro on the backs and bring some of Ethan's old (clean) socks and we can have some fun making crazy sock puppets tomorrow. Something that can double for a group activity and play. :) If this is going to happen, I must go now... -j



getting ready...

Having some fun getting ready for Santa's visit today. Zoesie LOVED frosting the cookies and testing out the sugar sprinkles...not the frosting mind you but the straight up sugar. She knows what she wants I guess! :) We also got the Charlie Brown Christmas video from the library, (jackpot!), and we enjoyed watching that this afternoon as well. Starting to feel like Christmas is indeed on it's way. -j

me right now


Really tired today, just going to post this layout and be done with it I think. Still playing around with my banner header as you can see...can't figure out exactly what I want it to be. Stay tuned... -j

things not related...


I have been having way too much fun playing with pictures lately...I LOVE IT! It seems so silly but since Ethan got me my camera it's like my world has cracked open. I find myself being braver...if that makes any sense, I go more places, (armed with camera) and explore more, I look for interesting angles, colors, shadows and then I attempt to share those things that I find interesting with others. Most of all though I've been having FUN! It seems that it's been a long time coming, this feeling creative business. :) Coming from a super creative family I was always a little tentative to share anything that I thought was interesting because it seemed that everyone else was doing something much greater or far more creative than I. It's intimidating. Lately I've come to the conclusion that the only thing that's really been standing in my way is, (was), me. I am by far my harshest critic...I am trying to quiet that critic and listen to my true inner "voice". I need to live my life while I'm here and have the opportunity. I shouldn't worry too much about what others may think regarding my goals and my ambitions...I am my own person. It's funny, but even just the small reaching out that I've done so far by posting my layouts at the 2peas website, I've already made contacts and connections with published scrapbookers. A girl that I admire, Emily Falconbridge commented on my layout titled Sometimes I Worry, her comment was, " love your raw journalling here, and the paint looks awesome!"...nothing that super or anything but it really made me feel good to have been noticed my someone who has been published and flies around the world teaching scrapbooking classes. :) And then last night I got an email from one of the editors from Making Memories Magazine saying that a project that they are posting on one of their sites was inspired by one of my projects posted at the same 2peas website, they thanked me for the inspiration and when I looked at their site they had mentioned my name, (happydays525) for providing the inspiration as well. Pretty cool I thought!
On another note entirely, yesterday there was a lock down at the high school...the Oneida Co.
Sheriff and Vilas Co. Sheriff was there, a SWAT team and many officers were there searching the school. All students were in classrooms from 11 am until the end of the day. No outgoing phone calls, nobody allowed in or was pretty intense I guess. Ethan was actually in his classroom at 11 for his prep period, (no students), so he had to sit in a chair against the wall in a dark, empty classroom for the entire afternoon not knowing what was going on. There was an armed officer standing post outside his door because his room is located at one of the exit areas. Crazy. Apparently this was all based on some graffiti found within the school and someone reporting that a student was seen carrying a gun on one of the my knowledge nothing was found and things are proceeding as normal today. Scary stuff...I can't imagine the parents worrying about their kids. Apparently cars were lined up well beyond the school's parking lot of parents wanting to pick up their kids and being told they were not able to due to safety procedures. Yikes. Glad to have Ethan home safe and to have Zoesie home and in my arms. -j

altered board book

Here is my first altered board book. This used to be one of Zoey's books on farm animals! :) Now that I've covered it all I am looking forward to filling it with pictures and journaling. -j

something for my Dad...

I put this picture together with the intent for it being a Christmas present for my Dad. The pictures were taken at different places around here with the idea that he can see or will be able to envision the places that I am/and or seeing even though we're not able to be there together.

working on a new header banner...

Is this working for everyone's moniters that's reading this? Want to make sure that I have the dimensions right...for some reason the picture jumps out of the frame when I minimize my screen here at home.

some reading...


Right now I am reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. It's one of those books that throughout the day I'll be thinking of how I can't wait to have some time to get back to it. You can read more about the book here if you want, but primarily it's about female friendship, suffering and survival. I also found it interesting that nu shu-the secret code writing used by women in the remote area of southern Hunan Province-developed at least a thousand years ago and appears to be the only written language in the world to have been created by women exclusively for their own use. Tells quite a bit about their culture and the strength and resourcefulness of all women I think. -j

just a peek...

If you were to peek in our front window at night, this is what you would dressed up Christmas tree, mistletoe hanging, snowflakes made with care on the windows and one very excited little girl jumping with joy at the thought of Santa and his reindeer one night soon, taking flight! Having so much fun sharing in the excitement that Christmas brings with Zoey this year! -j



Proof that there is genuine goodness in people, that there is such a thing as happiness. Proof that things happen for a reason, that for every action there is a definite reaction. Proof that things matter...that there is beauty and that we choose to see it. Proof that love exists in many, many forms. Proof that there is something more, something so very much more. These are things that I'm thinking, feeling, that I'm seeing, that I'm acknowledging. It seems that after college I was looking for this "life" that would be inspiring, fulfilling, full...and when I didn't find it I was very frustrated and disappointed with the "reality" life presented to me and I found myself disappointed with people, the lack of humanity that I saw, the lack of surface value, hypocrisy I thought. And now, living here, living my life here...I am seeing that there is genuine goodness in people, that people are happy. I am seeing cause and effect every day. Things matter. There is great beauty and it matters. There is SO MUCH MORE. These things are present. In me and in others. Am I just choosing to see it now? Has life seasoned me to the point of being able to see things with more clarity now more so now than before? Is this community a place that we can finally call home? This place feels like what I had envisioned home being. I feel like I can be "me" here and it's okay...that it matters, that I matter, that my interests matter. That my family matters. Don't get me wrong, things are not perfect, things still go wrong. Ethan and I don't always see eye to eye on all things, traffic can be annoying here...there are and always will be issues with school politics. But, somethings different. There is a certain respect. A different value system here that makes all things connected in some way. I'm moved to tears almost daily due to something small but extremely significant. It is so good to be in this place, physically and mentally. -j

And, Zoey got a sled...


now she is doing some "prep" work, gotta get it primed and ready for the snow hills!

Small Town Living

Had lot's of fun shopping today, feeling much better now after getting so much accomplished. Enjoyed strolling around downtown for most of the afternoon, shopping, eating hot roasted chestnuts, (hadn't had them this way before!) and sipping warm apple cider. Also was so fun to see the horse drawn wagon rides. A very good day. Tonight we are planning on getting some wrapping done after Zoey goes down for bed. Fun stuff! -j

so much to do...


Starting to feel the holiday time crunch...I have pretty much all of my shopping left to do. Pretty scary. I am having a hard time trying to come up with ideas for people this year, not sure why. Also, it's hard to shop with a two year old along. Go figure! Maybe tomorrow we'll get something accomplished? We'll see. I've also agreed to watch some of my friends children, (3 kids plus Zoey) the week of the 18th and now I'm wondering if maybe that wasn't the smartest of ideas after all. I was thinking at the time that the extra money would really help us out with the holidays and that it would feel good to be helping others, but now I'm thinking, hmmm...wonder if I'm going to actually have the time now to get everything done that needs doing! I've got lot's of baking to do this year, five dozen cookies alone for the MOP's group. Ahh, the art of stretching oneself too thin...of this, I am queen. Hoping that this afternoon will be productive for me. Hoping to get out with Zoey and do some serious shopping...this entails the purchase of a much needed sled for the Zoester. I think I am procrastinating now as well. (It's SO nice out today, it's one of those sunny, snowy days...perfect for finding a good snow hill to go sledding on.) -j

just before sunset...


Our Day

As you can see here we had some painting fun today...or this morning rather. Spent the morning at home having some fun creating together and then this afternoon we went out and about for a bit getting some errands run. Stopped in the bakery for a treat and to check my work schedule, went out and rented the new Pirates of the Carribean movie for Ethan and I to watch this evening. Tonight is our "date night". We've started setting aside at least one night a week to devote soley to time spent doing something together, that be talking, playing a board game, watching movies, reading, whatever. It's so important for us to devote time and energy into us (the couple) as well as the us (the parents), even if for now that means just spending an evening at home together while Zoey's upstairs sleeping! -j

I admire...


My Mom the Knitter

I think that despite the fact that I absolutely CANNOT knit, knitting has brought my Mom and I closer. The understanding that my Mother's passion for knitting is similar to what I feel about scrapbooking is like a bridge in that way for us...scrapbooking is something that my Mom didn't really "get" when I started and it took a while for her to really appreciate it I think. After I shared with her that I was offered a position teaching a scrapbooking class, in my excitement I think I said something along the lines of, "Just imagine Mom, if someone came along and said they wanted to pay you to sit and knit for them all day". I think that's when she really "got" just how much I love to do what I'm doing. My Mom is really such a creative person...when I was just a little babe she played the Auto Harp for church, she designed and made felt banners/wall hangings for the church, I remember her sketching wildflowers in journals and she used to weave rugs, place mats and wall hangings on her loom. I remember hearing the
continuous swish and boom that her movements of working with the loom would make while I would be playing or reading in the living room. I also remember sitting on her lap while she would be working on the loom and how sometimes she would let me take over a bit with the weaving allowing me to see the different patterns taking shape. Also, all the baking and cooking that she did when I was little, now, when I think back to it was really incredible and I'm so thankful to her and her dedication to her family and our well being. My Grandmother is incredibly artistic and talented as well, she does so many things, ceramics, embroidery, quilting, gardening, and of course baking and cooking to just name a few! I am in complete awe of her...she is SO inspiring to me, definitely one of the strongest female role models in my life, (along with my Mom of course!). Anyways, just some thoughts on some of the women in my family today. -j

These Are the Days



Went to MOP's this morning and while I had a productive and meaningful time, to say that Zoey did would be far from the truth. She had a rough time today for some reason...when I went in to get her in the nursery after the meeting was over she was sitting on one of the volunteer's laps and was sniffling and had big tears in her eyes, as soon as she saw me she called out for me with her arms outstretched. I was then told that she had been like that the whole morning. I was a bit annoyed because at the start of this whole thing I told them in the nursery that I wanted to have them come and get me if she was having a difficult time with things. Made me kind of sick to know that she was crying for two hours without my even knowing. For some, (and everyone is entitled to their own philosophy on this!) that's fine, but I like to think that when a child is upset there is a reason and no matter how big or little the inconvenience, the child should be attended to and have their feelings taken seriously. Errrrr..., sorry for my rant! After MOP's the day picked up and we had fun the rest of the afternoon, me trying to make up a bit for her rough morning. I even got some time in to finish a scrapbooking layout (making me happy!) which I will post here later if I get the chance.
On a different subject all together...for some reason this winter I am not liking driving in the snow at ALL! We got more snow today and I really was finding that while out running errands I was driving like a little old lady that was barely able to see over the wheel! Really having a hard time with this...probably doesn't help that at every intersection it seems that there is another huge logging truck barreling through the lights. I'm sure it'll get better, but for now I'm playing it safe and being a slowpoke.
Now, I'm off to watch the movie Miami Vice with Ethan...not sure that renting it was all that worthwhile, but I'll give it a shot for Ethan's sake! :) -j

Popsicle Picnic


A fun little page that I did so that I'll remember Zoey's
"popsicle picnic's". This past summer Zoey was introduced to the joy of eating popsicles...
and I, the joy of the mess that eating popsicles can produce. So, we started making it a habit to eat our popsicles outdoors, (thus saving our furniture from being stick-a-fied) and somewhere along the way Zoey started calling our outdoor popsicle treats, "popsicle picnics". Now, despite the change in weather she still enjoys eating popsicles so we've moved our picnics indoors and they are still a special treat for her, (and the mess is less for me now that her eating habits are getting a bit neater as she is getting a bit older!). :) -j

Family Visit

It sure was nice to have my family here for the last few days...Ethan and I were able to get out this weekend to do some special "Santa" shopping for a certain little someone and we had great success at it too! Lot's of fun looking at and playing with all the toys. I look forward to seeing what Zoey thinks of her Christmas goodies! I can only imagine the look on her face Christmas morning! :) Can't wait! I worked on Sunday afternoon and my Mom, Ross, Bailey, Ethan and Zoey stopped in for some treats and coffee at the bakery...I cannot tell you how it made me feel to have Zoey in the bakery while I was working! It was the neatest thing for me to show her all the cookies and brownies, cakes and pies, all the specialty breads and granolas...and have her be completely amazed! She was especially impressed with all the Christmas cookies, (of course!). She walked up and down behind the counter saying, "I love you Mommy...I love you Mommy" I'm thinking that she was thinking that maybe if she played up the niceties she would get some more bakery treats, as it was I think that total she had two (large) sugar cookies and a good sized portion of Grandma Sue Sue's Mint Brownie! Talk about a little sugar shock to the system! :) After work I came home and we all had a nice dinner that Ethan had prepared and then hung out and talked for a bit. Later that evening after Mom and Ross left for the hotel Bailey, Ethan and I watched the movie An Inconvenient Truth which is an absolutely incredible movie...please watch it! And now, everyone is gone. My family took off for home today around noon and ever since Zoey and I have been a little bit at odds. We'll get back into the routine of things tomorrow again I'm sure. But, it sure was nice to have family here and having a full that feeling. -j

Time with Family


My sister Bailey and my Mom and Ross are up for the weekend visiting and of course fitting in some "play" time with the Zoester! Zoey's soaking up all the attention and loving it as you can see! I also want to say love you and extend a BIG hug and kiss to my Grandma and my Aunt and Uncle in Florida who I think are going to get a chance to view this. We love you! Also, if you click on the link to the left titled Scrapbook Layouts and Altered Images and scroll through the images in the album Grandma will be able to see a scrapbook page that I did of her and Zoey from a while style was alot simpler then but the pictures are great! :) -j



just some thoughts...

I've been reading C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain and while sometimes I've found myself reading and re-reading portions of the book (due to my tired mommy brain's inability to completely wrap around a particular idea or concept the first time around), I'm taking away so far that if we can accept and face our pain, the conflict will strengthen and purify our core character and in time the pain will pass. Therefore implying that if pain is not recognized or faced it has the potential to become chronic.
I was talking last night with a woman about the subject of pain and she said that she believes that when great pain or trial presents itself in ones life, those are the moments of true growth in ones life, (again, if recognized and faced-and the desire to understand its true source is investigated).
I would quote some of the passages that I'm thinking about from the book, but I'm not looking to debate at this point and I know that it's so easy to get to that place when the concept of religion is on the table. I am purely at the stage of exploration at this point...applying ideas to my own life and figuring out what they mean to me.
I love this song, I love the group Bright Eyes and I love the line within the song, "Your eyes must do some raining if your ever gonna grow".
I am learning to be thankful for all that life presents to me. I am finding myself more and more humbled every day and I am striving to be less judgemental of others and myself. -j



anything with color lately. Can't seem to get enough color in my days. For the longest time it seems that I was only in to brown, tan, beige, black and grey. Was I depressed, trying to hide, obsessed with having everything match? I'm not exactly sure but I know that it SO did not work for me! Those colors may have worked as far as the "flow" of the apartment we were living in was concerned and maybe brown is a good color for me to wear but those colors did not make me happy. Now everything that is bright calls out to me, flowers at the grocery store, clothing displays in windows, advertisements, bright Mexican pottery bowls, cleaning supplies, you name it! Not long after we moved here we purchased a couch, (a first full size couch for us) and we chose RED, bright crimson red with throw pillows that have every color in the rainbow on them and every time I look at it, it makes me so HAPPY! Is this all just silly-I don't think so. Color is power. Color is emotion. Color is living. What color are YOU today? :) -j
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