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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday Recovery!

I've been so busy with all the things that go into making Christmas memorable that I've totally dropped sync on the rest of my life including my online friends, blog, tweets and even the business. I'm so sorry.

Christmas was fabulous. Now that my daughters are getting older and they're starting to get on with their lives, I'm trying to savor this time we have together - I know that can all change at any time now. The gifts I got were incidental (although quite thoughtful and nice to have). The gifts I bought for everyone else and the happiness they got from them is what makes it shine.

Our Christmas started on the 24th - we met at Capt George's for seafood feast - all 7 of us. The food was excellent and Melody's skinny little hubby won the King Crab Leg crown at our table - he ate an astonishing quantity of crab legs and didn't even get ill. I think if I hadn't had to say last call, he'd still be there chowing down... but since church began at 7 pm, we needed to leave.

By the time we got there at nearly 7 - the lots were full and we were directed to the overflow in the fields parking. If I had guessed that, we would have driven Mark's truck instead of my Corolla. No harm, no foul, though. The building was packed - we ended up about 7 rows from the top (I think the new building seats 3000 - see http://www.wavechurch.com if you want the visual and real statistics). I gather there were still many people who got there after us and the large foyer was also SRO. The service was great - the singing, my favorite part, was excellent as usual. We made it back out through the mobs and met back up at our house.

Mark had the camcorder ready on the tripod (last year's Christmas gift) so around 9 pm, we began the present sorting and opening. We took about an hour to open everything in a very civilized way with lots of fun discussion and such. Mark had to leave for work around 1030 ish. Melody and Kyle stayed a bit longer and we just had some visit time. I think I got to bed around 11 pm.

As usual, I was up early, around 6:30 when Mark got in. About 30 minutes later, the phone rings... naturally, it's not in the cradle and I am on a search mission - about the time I find it, it quits ringing. Amanda was crashed out on one of the recliners - her phone starts vibrating and wakes her up - it's Melody - she and Kyle are eager for us to get right over there to open our gifts from them that are under their tree... we girls get some clothes on (Maggie went in her pajamas) and head over. We brought the cinnamon rolls that went into the oven and then had the gift opening and some visit with them.

Once we got back home, I got the turkey in the oven and found some time to get a few songs and applications to my new ipod. Very fun. The kids came over for dinner at 3 and we had a wonderful meal and more good social time.

Ah, I'm going to miss this all once they're off and doing their own lives. Family is precious - need to savor it while you can!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's the most busy time of the year!



This layout is a favorite of mine in it's simplicity. The paper is from Urban Lily - with such a great design, I didn't want to add too much. What I did add was a matted photo, the title cut on my Cricut Expression, and some tiny Heidi Swapp bling flowers among the design of the paper... voila. Sometimes simplicity says it all. The photographer who took the event photos even helped by adding the title and date.

I can't believe how much there is to do and how swiftly the year is flying by. I have one gift yet to pick up - that's my lunch break chore for today. I have one gift to finish creating (but it's very simple and I now have all the parts). I'm off tomorrow. I finished my college class (took the final Sunday, got an A). I still have to make final selection of new design team members (there were a large number of exceptional applicants and I can't have them all - narrowing it down is challenging). I'm off tomorrow (yippee - in case you didn't get that this matters to me!) Our plans are in place for Christmas and the money for our big dinner out is set aside. Melody came over yesterday and uploaded a lot of new papers and accessories to the store so that's a load off my mind. I can sleep in tomorrow since I'm off! Life is good, it's just hectic.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Today's Share



More of my using up bits and pieces - not sure about the paper, maybe Foofoola, Hambly transparency stamped with Stazon Black and Ali Edward's Beautiful stamp, some Primas, buttons, ribbon and trim - voila!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today's Share



I've been trying to actually use up some of my stash of papers and such... this layout uses some Jenni Bowlin paper I had on hand - it looked rather antique-ish, so I paired it up with an old photo my aunt sent - she's the older girl, I'm the baby on her back... guessing by my size, this was taken in the early 60's at my granny's cottage on the Delaware river.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today's Layout - American Crafts



Okay, sorry, I don't have the patience to straighten the pic and crop it down to the right size, but you get the idea. The large flowers in this American Craft paper were just too cool not to cut apart. The papers were in the October kit. I made a number of layouts using the supplies and still have tons more to go. Even made a fun card keeper tin that I sent to my mom as part of her Christmas present - used up leftover paper bits from my cut outs to decorate the cards. Too easy.

Happy Creating!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Layout Du Jour


Thought this week I'd share some of the layouts I've completed. I welcome your feedback.

This one uses a variety of Sassafrass Lass papers - no, it's not an original concept - it's scraplifted from a good friend locally that I scrap with, Katherine Glass. She is quite the inspired scrapper!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Love Weddings!

Melody's wedding was just beautiful. See for yourself!



The justice did a lovely job and while it was on the short side, it was quite well done. Mark used the camcorder and recorded the whole thing so we can share with our families. Then we went to dinner at Melting Pot and had a lovely evening together with Kyle's parents. The food was great and the whole atmosphere was just terrific!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sale and Design Team Call!

Yes, I know I have been remiss in my daily updates - tomorrow is the wedding and hopefully I'll have time to breathe after that...

Yes, we all know it would be useful to have a new toaster, but scrapbook
supplies are such a more fun choice! To make your holiday giving and
receiving easier, I've marked down tons of items throughout the store on
sale with discounted prices through 12/15. Take a moment and get yourself
something you'll really enjoy! No coupon code necessary.

Also, we're gearing up for a new season of kit club with monthly
subscription options. I'm looking to grow my design team. I'd like to offer
idea sheets in the kit, so while I do need great designers, I'm now looking
for one or two women to add to the staff that have writing skills. For your
application to join my team, I'd like to see 2 layout samples, a 3-D
project, and some examples of your writing - a product review, simple
instructions for a technique, and something that really shows you have the
passion for the written word. If you want to share your talents, I want to
hear from you.

Due to the cost of shipping, at this time, I'm only accepting US applicants
for the design team since part of your reward for participating is montly
kits for free and some shopping discounts. I really need members who are not
already on other teams and looking for an opportunity to shine. If you're
already overly committed or have a hectic life with little time to access
the computer, please do not apply.

Please send all submission to rizamerk@cox.net. Include your shipping
address and contact information so we can chat if I need more info. The
ladies in my current group are great, but we need a few more to make this
team fully functional. If this sounds like you, give me a shout!

Theresa Merkling
http://www.2scrappychixdesigns.com
rizamerk@cox.net
757-679-5266

Looking forward to seeing your talents!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Calendar Tutorial


Meg did this most awesome perpetual birthday calendar tutorial on the boards. This is one view - she did tons of step by step photos and instructions. Hope you'll take a look and try one for yourself or for gifting... tis the season! Also, in the challenges forum, she's done a calendar challenge for December/January - be sure to share your project to be included in the secret prize drawing! Just click her calendar pic to go to the board for all the instructions!



Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tis the Season

Hard to believe it's almost Christmas already! Last night, my youngest daughter's choir did their Christmas Concert. Margaret even had a micro-solo and did well. The songs were the usual middle school quality, but the spirit was right. It's so interesting to watch your kids grow up... now that she's in 8th grade, she's starting to have the look of her more grown self. Seeing her on the risers with the others her age, I see she's a good height for her age and she looked tall and slender. As a fat mom, I always am happy to see my daughters are not following in my footsteps in that manner.

I'll be doing some photos this weekend of layouts to share here with you. Also, remember, lots of great scrapping goodies on sale in the store to make room for all the hot new inventory I've been ordering.

PS - how are you doing on your Christmas shopping? I'm almost totally done - just 2 guy presents and I'm there!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Staying out of Trouble

Worked Friday so I avoided the temptations of deeper debt although I did manage to finish most of my holiday shopping online. Very satisfying to have it wrapped up. The wedding is approaching rapidly - we now have the time, date and place (12/12 4 pm) and I still have to get the photos for them to send out and set aside party money for after.

Spent most of the weekend marking down many, many items in my store for a year end clearance with discounts up to 40% on a large number of products. Gearing up for the ordering of new releases from CHA January 09. Pretty exciting time in the scrapbook business with all the latest and greatest. Be sure to have a browse and get some goodies to make your Christmas happy too!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pressure Cooker Season

No, I'm not talking about old fashioned cookware, but rather how when we get to this point in the year, the days seem to go into hyperdrive to the new year. The pressure is on... tomorrow is the big turkey cook off. Got through my last big in person event for this year and Melody's birthday. Paid for their marriage announcements. Wedding on the 12th. Still need to take care of the photos they'll be sending out as well as the registry announcements. Need to remember to shop for Christmas for everyone - everyone is expanding at our house with a soon to be new son in law and a boyfriend for my 17 year old. Everyone should have at least one present to open on Christmas eve and I'm in torment trying to decide if I need to get 2 extra stockings this year. Not bad enough - how about the company I work for during the day is doing some layoffs that are being announced Dec 1 & 2. With corporate work force cuts, you never know when they'll decide your department is expendable - YIKES! In week 8 of my 12 week class - almost finals time. Need to finish and upload group project this weekend. I guess I need to let the worry go and move on... Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future... now if I could only in the lottery to pay for all this - guess I ought to buy a ticket once in a while, huh? BTW, the keywords on the labels here suck - they refused to let me have wedding - insisted on the Wedding Date - guess that's a movie?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Whale Watching

The weekend at Nags Head was beautiful (albeit cold!). Thankfully, we had a table near the beachfront window and had plenty of time to enjoy the glorious view. On Sunday, we even caught a glimpse of a whale out toward the horizon slowly cruising by as well as a pod of dolphins frolicking in the waves. It was so beautiful!

Celebrated Melody's 21st with dinner with friends at Ryans. It's a charming restaurant with excellent food. Melody had a pink kitty for her christening drink served in one of their souvenir hurricane glasses. Lynn had a hurricane in the same style glass. After the waitress rinsed them out, Lynn gave hers to Melody as well so now she has a matching set just what everyone needs.

The class went very well. Although collage type classes can get chaotic, between the written instructions and one on one time after the class ended, everyone learned to use the bind it all and went home with bound mini books ready for their holiday photos past or present.

Black Friday - coming right up - I'll be having a sale in the store so those of you shopping from home on Friday can relax and get stuff you really want. Drop me an email at rizamerk@cox.net if you want to be copied on the store sale newsletter.

Gotta get ready for the day job. Check in with you all tomorrow!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Cropping Weekend Away!



Melody and I are off tomorrow for a Nag's Head scrap retreat. We'll be packing up the Explorer and taking the store on the road for some weekend relaxation. I am so hoping the papers I ordered arrive today or we're out of luck on them, but oh well.

We have these really fun Teresa Collins Christmas mini-book class kits that we'll be teaching at the retreat. Melody is building the prototype today. I only have a dozen kits, so it will be first sign ups only get to take it, but I think we'll have fun with it. Need to practice my bind it all technique on scrap so I don't wreck the real book. We'll see how well Melody's sample comes up - maybe she can teach the class.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Taxes and Business

As a new business owner, the state is requiring monthly taxes and I've got to say, it's my most dreaded part of the business. I understand that keeping track of your money in and out is critical, but it's the least fav thing for me. I'd love to hear from other shop owners on how you manage your inventory and keep up with all the paperwork that's required. Somehow, we're not doing well with piece by piece inventory - scrapbook paper and little odds and ends are hard to keep an exact record without a scan system, yet the hand scanner I bought shortly after I got the store died a sudden death in the middle of an event and we were left scrambling to manually price out all the products for sale. Yuck. I have QuickBooks, but entering into that is less than my favorite thing as well. I got 1/2 way through a month of receipts then surrendered in horror at the idea of quantifying each transaction in that detail. There's got to be an easier way... if you have advice, I'm all ears.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas comes early

This school year, my middle daughter will be graduating. She's been deep into a graphic design program at school, so, for her Christmas/graduation/birthday present this year, I got her a Macbook. I let her pick out which one. She says nothing compares for graphics to a Mac. Generally, I don't spend that much money on any one kid for Christmas, but in this story, it seems right. This is actually the career path she's working toward (graphic design) so giving her the right tools seems like a smart choice. She's very happy. We rounded off our Saturday morning shopping trip with breakfast at Cracker Barrel - they have some smooth coffee there.

Another holiday plan we girls have is to take in the Russian Ballet when it comes to town. I think they're doing Snow White - we're planning on the week after Christmas. Should be a very pleasant event. I love the grace and style of ballet. Wish I was lithe and talented, but since I'm not, I'll just get lost in the beauty and share it with my daughters.

Hard to believe Christmas is almost here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Twilight - finished book one

Okay, so, it's not TrueBlood (which unhappily didn't record while I was watching Dexter last night, so I have to catch it after work today On Demand). I guess I'm relieved by that considering that Bella starts out at 17. Took me the first 200 or so pages to find it interesting, but by the ending, I was hooked. After reading the teacher, I had to head out to Target and get the next book. This one is reading much easier now that we've got all the boring preliminaries out of the way. My brain keeps coming up with all these questions and scenarios - what if.. when will.. what about...

Dexter - I think he made a tactical error sharing that deeply with the DA. I see messy stuff in his future and a possible termination of a friendship/life coming up.

Weekend - passed to quickly. I ended up locked out of the quiz and couldn't take it - sent prof an email - waiting for a response. We drove up to Richmond yesterday for a browse through their mall. Nothing much jumped out at me screaming buy me, buy me. It was rather funny, though - the parking lots at the gun shops my husband visited were much more crowded than the mall. I bet the retailers are wanting to cry with the economy as bad as it is. Mark said they were 5 deep in the gun dealer waiting to purchase and that this is a much denser crowd than is normal even for hunting season. We attribute it to the president coming in. His regime is much less gun friendly and the hunters and others who get into guns are worried about what policies they'll bring in next year. Stock up and save, I guess. We had a large venison roast that we did in the crock pot. It was very lean (okay, dry). Anyone know some good venison recipes? Mark didn't get a deer, but his buddy did and since his freezer is full, Mark brought home most of the meat from the last event so even with a bad economy we won't go hungry. At least since it's not all that, it's not a huge overeating temptation for me...

Looking forward to hearing from you, particularly if you know how to cook game that actually tastes great.

Later!

Friday, November 14, 2008

TGIF

It's been a long week at the office and I'm definitely ready for the weekend. While the week was busy, it wasn't all bad. Discovered the joys of pomegranets and got my youngest daughter addicted to them as well. Got a flu shot yesterday. Received the cute pink Susan G Komen lunch bag in the mail from Lean Cuisine (1/2 of the cost goes to research), got in the Christmas paper line from Sassafrass Lass for the store (TOO CUTE!), and got in my order from one of my distributors - rack, all the stickles to fill it, some adhesives and class kits for the crop on the 20th. Ready to go have some fun.

Looking forward to Saturday though... I've got a bit of Christmas shopping on my agenda. Need to take a quiz for my biz class. We're talking about driving up into the mountains to see if there's any color left on Sunday... haven't done that in ages... life is good...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Twilight

Everyone's talking about it... have you read the book? Are you planning to see the movie?

Melody and I had been ignoring it because we usually like our vampire books to be about adults, but since this one is getting so much air time right now, she bought the book. I've just begun reading it... want to find out what all the fuss is about. As long as it doesn't end up as sexually aggressive as TrueBlood (since the story is about high school kids) I'll probably end up enjoying it...

What thinkest thou... ?

We're big vampire novel fans. Some of our favorite are:
Lindsay Sands (funny)
Sheryln Kenyon
Laurell K Hamilton
Charlain Harrison (Sookie Stackhouse series - TrueBlood on HBO)
Keri Arthur

So many more who's names are currently outside my memory - we're serious readers in our house... watching tv is a new thing for me - it's only in like the past year that I've become addicted to evening shows. Before that it was either computer or in my cave with a good book. Who are your favorite authors?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The future looks bright

I know the economy is horrible, but some things give me hope. My middle daughter is one of them. She's a senior in high school completing her advanced diploma. She's in her 2nd year of technical academy learning graphic design and says she's on target for honor grad. Besides doing well in school, she's also working almost full time at Target. She's learning all the departments and becoming independent. Watching your children grow to adulthood is a wonderful, terrible thing. Your hopes grow, but your heart gets nervous about them leaving you. Some birds need to be shoved out of the nest to fly, others practice while they're young and then soar off to their own lives and futures when the time comes. Amanda is the latter. I'm relieved to see she's doing so well and has such great internal motivation. My nest is starting to empty out... who knows what will be next.

Monday, November 10, 2008

End of another great weekend

Ah how swiftly the weekends pass...

Had a great day out cropping with some local scrap friends. I did a nice 2 page spread with some fun Margaret dress up pictures, a one pager with a vintage family photo, made the December overview calendar from this edition of Memory Makers magazine to populate with photos next month, prepped a 2 page Thanksgiving layout in the new Bo Bunny fall line of papers, and set up a coffee page scraplifted from another scrapbook magazine - just need to add the java photo... maybe I'll break down and wear make up one of these days and have a daughter do a photo for me...

Sunday went well too - watched Ghost Whisperer with my youngest daughter - she was weeping at the ending - guess she's growing up. Then I did my mid-term (got a 92), paid bills, and went to a friend's house in the afternoon to stamp a Christmas card and visit. She makes the best baked brie dish. I also got introduced to pomegranets, so now they're on my shopping list. I gather (from Tropical Smoothie) that they're supposed to have a lot of nutritional value. At the very least, it's another fruit to add to my rotation in season.

Got to watch my two late shows last night - Dexter then True Blood. Dexter is excellent as usual. True Blood is kind of making me sad. It's a lot different than the books and I kind of miss the characters I thought I knew from reading all the novels. Such is life, though...

What about you - enjoying your time as it keeps slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Here comes the rain again

Second rainy day in a row. The trees have all turned pretty shades and I really wanted to take time to take some photos of the long, tree lined boulevard that runs through my neighborhood - the wet dark trunks and soft lighting make some gorgeous photos... but the rain just keeps coming. Around here, it's summer for a long time, a few days of fall, then winter, the rainy season sets in. Maybe I would be okay in the Pacific Northwest?

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. My only regret is that the trees won't cling to their vibrant wardrobe for just a few days longer. I love the crisp days. I love the smell of the leaves on the ground and the wisp of wood smoke from those with fireplaces.

Change is good, change is good, change is good. Sure hope that's right...


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Die is Cast

The voting is completed, we're in trouble now - since the Dems took over Congress 2 years ago, the country has been on a downward slide. Some religious crazies called Obama the Antichrist (his charisma, world leader, etc). I have concerns about those advisors closest to him, terrorists, radicals, and those who would turn the US into a Muslim socialist state. I worry about bureaucrats deciding if I'm sick enough or have enough chance for a good prognosis determining my medical care. I'm worried that he'll take away the little incentive I have to work hard and take away even more of my money and raise taxes on my puny little job and business.

The only comfort I have is that if it does turn out he's the AC, at least I'm not going to hell for bringing him into power... then again, I guess if I was more of a history student, I'd know that most likely there have been other world leaders who came into power and the religious thought they were the AC too (Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin)... probably we're not in end times just yet... although if the country goes as badly as I fear, maybe we'll wish it were Rapture time so we could just get out of it all...

Sad but funny joke someone emailed me yesterday... "If Obama gets elected President, I'm moving to Cuba - same government, but the weather is nicer..."


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Off to the polls

It's such an importnat day in our country - today, we the people, can make our voices heard in this most critical decision for President of the USA. I've got to say, I've visited Russia and lived in Cuba, and the idea of living in a socialist country where government micromanages my life, where my pay is the governments pay and bureaucrats decide when and what kind of medical treatment I can get are just too scary to be considered. I'm wondering why everyone is not seeing that Obama will trample over our constitutional freedoms and bring his posse of terrorists and radicals in with him to take over the country.

Anyone from somewhere else besides the USA that can tell us about their great place to live? I'm considering a move in my future...

Monday, November 3, 2008

The busy-ness of life

Friday, Halloween
Saturday, all day fund-raiser crop for a sports group
Sunday, quiz for my International Business class; cleaned 1/4 of my office, watched a ton of the shows I had missed all week.

Frustrations:
I ordered a refurb phone from AT&T online - a cute Samsung pink Blackjack II... sounds great, right? Unfortunately, the only part of the phone that worked was the power and the scroll up and down wheel... today I need to get with them about returning it. Sigh. Some savings, some service... I'm not even going to start talking about my call in to tech support and working with someone who speaks heavily accented English.

Went to run some credit slips from the event - the software from the company I have an account with had a corrupt database error. Called in to an Indian call center - turns out their software is not compatible with Windows Vista Home edition - they recommend I upgrade to the business platform... I don't think so... regular billing and customer service is naturally closed on the weekend. Aggrivating.

Then, I've got a Cricut Expression. I also like and use their software to get better vision with my creations... it worked great when I had the little bug. Now, I can't even get the program to open on my computer. I need to remember to call in to their tech support after work. Thankfully, they're in Utah, so with the time zones, I should be able to sort this out without having to take a weekday off from work.

Life is good, it's also busy... what about yours?


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween


Ended up having a fun day on Halloween. Dressed up as my alter ego and even wore it to work. Several co-workers thought the look suited me. Amazing how your appearance alters how you feel about yourself. As Goth-mom, I was ready to tackle anything and not put up with any grief while doing it. Sometimes it's fun to step outside of yourself and enjoy life.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Photo Tips


Scrapper alert! The season is upon us... are you ready to take those special photos that will rock your scrapbooks? Be sure to include:

Pumpkin carving - guts and all - how about some drama?
Make up application - the transformation process can be fascinating.
Group shot of your favorite family members in costume and poses.
Shots of any awesome decor accents.
Bucket or bag full of candy.
Party pics if applicable.
Focus on the details.
Try to change the perspective - straight on is not always the best view.
Don't forget to charge your camera battery BEFORE the big photo shoot.

Remember, it's better to take too many shots and throw out (or not print) the ones that don't work, but once the moment is passed, it's too late!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Recovered

It seems that once school starts again for the year, you're on the speed track to the end of the year. My date book is getting fuller and fuller. This weekend passed like a whirlwind. I had a booth at a charity crop to help raise money for mammograms for women who couldn't afford one at Sentara Careplex in Hampton. Met some great ladies and had a lovely day with them. Melody and Kyle drove me over and helped with the set up and tear down of the booth. During the day, though, I sent them off to their own agenda since this was a small venue.

While they were out, it appears they visited a jeweler and got an engagement ring! WOW! Their relationship seems to also be moving rather quickly, but they seem to have a good rapport. It's nice to see how they influence each other. I think their furniture for the new apartment is being delivered today. Margaret and I are heading over for dinner in their new place tonight to check it all out.

Sunday, I went to the Stamp and Scrap Art Tour (convention) in Hampton with my good friend Laura and her sister-in-law Lisa. There were only 17 vendors there and not as many shoppers as I'm used to seeing at these events. I was able to refrain from a lot of temptation by being strict with myself and didn't spend very much at all. We had a late lunch at Lonestar then headed home. Laura was driving her husband's convertible BMW with the top down and the afternoon was gorgeous, so those moments in the sun were golden.

Once I got home, I watched one of my shows on the DVR, then buckled down and completed my paper for my business class (that was due on Sunday before midnight). Even found a bit of spare time for some computer games before it was time for TrueBlood and Dexter.

Yesterday, I ended up going back to the dealer - exchanged the Nissan for a 2009 Toyota Corolla S. Now I need a new phone that has bluetooth capabilities - that is a nice feature - it will make my chatting while I drive much easier in the future.

Hard to believe it's already Tuesday. I have another charity crop to work this Saturday, so I guess I'll do my quiz for class on Sunday, but maybe I'll manage a bit of a day off. Hmmm - I could be disciplined and actually take the quiz one evening during the week and actually take Sunday off... what a novel idea. Thanks for stopping by - I'll try to get some layout shots up and posted. I actually have done a bit of scrapping lately and would love to share it with you.

Friday, October 24, 2008

On Motherhood

It's amazing how many different flavors the word motherhood contains. I guess I am somewhat of a traditionalist. When my first daughter was born, I was on active duty in the Navy and because I had taken a re-enlistment bonus, I was committed to complete my contract with an additional year of service after her birth. Before she was born, I thought it would be no big deal. Moms take their kids to daycare daily all around our county and the kids somehow grow up okay.

Then the day came, I even went in that Saturday for some planned maintenance but had to leave due to the pains escalating. My daughter was born. I was changed. After getting home with her, I found out the waterbed didn't work well with my c-section repair, so my husband was sent of to the exchange to get a Lazy Boy. I spent many hours in that chair with a pillow on my lap. I would spend hours with no tv on, no music, no people - just the quiet and this precious child, and I'd just stare at her in amazement and wonder.

My maternity leave ended way too soon. We had chosen the wife of one of my husband's friends for our baby sitter - she was a lovely Christian woman with several children of her own in school. Each morning, I'd drive my darling to the sitter, drop her off, then go out to my car and weep in grief at leaving her. Initially, I'd go to the sitter's house on my lunch break to nurse, but it was too hard for me to leave, so eventually, I'd go to my own quiet house for a pump session and then accomplish some house chores so I'd be free to focus on her in the evenings when I was done at work.

Like most moms, it became a bit easier in time to leave her as I became convinced that she'd probably be fine when I got there for her after work and the anxiety decreased, but for me, I knew motherhood with babies would not be a part time job. Once my enlistment ended, we bought a house in Virginia and I left the Navy.

I ended up having 3 daughters, each abour four years apart and spent a good 10 years out of the work force nurturing my girls. Now, my baby is 13 and the oldest soon to be 21 and once again, I'm dealing with separation anxiety as my oldest is moving out and the middle daughter is in her senior year and planning her college and future life.

Life changes, the love we have for our children endures.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Doing it all

It seems the faster I go, the behinder I get! There are so many things to accomplish in a day and I'm having trouble getting them all done. Super achievers, how do you manage to do it all? Do you give up sleeping? Quit watching tv at night? Skip exercise? I'm really challenged. Hope some of you have some good advice for me - I need more hours in my days...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Shop-A-Thon

Have you checked out Tip Junkies yet? It's one of my daily feed reads and she's always got fun new ideas to share. This year, my store is participating in her holiday Shop-A-Thon. Tip Junkie readers can get free shipping on their orders now through November 30 with coupon code TIPJUNKIE. Be sure to check this out (link in right hand column. Lots of great Mom-preneur shops with fun stuff and great deals.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Team Building at Busch Gardens

My group from my day job are all heading up to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg for the day. With the way the economy is lately, we didn't think we'd manage an event this year, but they were able to give us tickets for the park admission, so we're good to go. I'm bringing my Bonine and plan to hop into the fun with both feet. Josie and I will probably stay a bit late so we can catch a little of the HallowScream fun at the park. The traffic at the end of the day in that part of the world to ours is horrendous, so there's no reason to hurry home at 4 or 5. Ought to be a good day - sure hope it doesn't rain.

Tomorrow is another big day for me - I'm off to an all day crop with a bunch of local scrap friends. I don't know how much I'll get done since I have yet to plan or pack anything, but what the heck - just spending the day with lady friends and sharing creativity is always revitalizing.

I'm bringing my camera to both events, so I'll try to share a few shots with you either Sunday or Monday here on the blog. Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tempus Fugit

Time is just screaming past. Even this morning, as I try to catch up on my boards and email, I can't believe how fast it's going by. My calendar is slam packed with things to do and accomplish by year end. Each day seems bursting to the seams where even my new TV addiction is starting to be challenging. The thing is, life is so short, you have to grab it with both hands while you have the opportunity for none of us know what tomorrow holds. (well, assuming I make it to tomorrow, we have our team building event with my co-workers at Busch Gardens Williamsburg tomorrow - hope it doesn't rain!)

When I was in Stampin' Up! one of the recruiting responses to "I'm too busy" was that busy people seem to be the best organized and accomplish so much. I rather find that true. Since my life has gotten so busy, I've had to start keeping a pocket calendar with my commitments. I keep a small desk calendar that I write my morning weigh in weight each day to keep me on track with that (it's too easy to lull yourself into complacency with only weekly weigh ins.) I'm thinking I'll have to start getting up 30 minutes earlier to give me more online time since I have less of that at work nowadays. Some days, it's hard to remember which end is up.

What do you do that helps you stay organized and on top of your life? I'm looking forward to the day when I can re-organize my life to hopefully change the pace a bit, but for now, running it as efficiently as possible is my best option.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Election Day around the corner

It's tough being a busy woman. There is so much going on this time of year with my kids, my life, my work, my business and now the elections. As a rule, I don't have much for free time for news or staying on top of the issues, but I really need to get in the know before it's time for the ballot. I'm pretty much decided on my big votes, but I need time to research the smaller ones - our mayor, any issues they might have - gosh, I need more hours in my days - maybe if I could give up more sleeping?

Where do you find most of your info that influences your voting choices? Wish I could rely on the internet or media to tell me truthfully the candidates and their issues, but I feel strong bias in what they offer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

GOP Rally Update



Melody and I were so lucky - in our ignorance of what the milling crowds around the convention center meant, we somehow cut in line and ended up getting in rather quickly - enough that we were able to get a bleacher spot six rows from the top, although to the far right of the candidates on the stage. The acoustics were not that great and understanding the speakers wasn't the easiest, but being part of that
energy was amazing. Estimates of attendance were between 12,000 - 25,000. There were just two small bleacher areas and everyone else was standing room only.

I was sitting in front of a row of church ladies from another city and they were disgruntled at how little our local press had promoted the rally. I've got to say I'm with them - I only discovered it myself by dumb luck from an internet friend.

Representatives Thelma Drake and Randy Forbes gave opening speeches followed by Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell. Country music singer Hank Williams, Jr. sang several of his songs starting with "All My Rowdy Friends." Then came the main event.

Cindy McCain introduced Sarah Palin - she spoke well and I didn't catch a single maverick. Then, John McCain spoke briefly. As a former Naval aviator, he found a lot of support as we're one of the largest military (particularly Navy) community in the country. We like his political experience, his military experience, his straight shooter personality, and the core values the party represents.

I got past my crowd phobia to attend and have no regrets. I'm really looking forward to the election and praying that the conservatives are just being overlooked as usual by the liberal media and have decided to just quietly show their support at the poll.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sarah Palin is coming to Virginia Beach!

Bright and early Monday morning! I'm so looking forward to seeing her in person. I was able to get tickets for both myself and my daughter Melody. I've never really been political, but always thought it would be fun to be part of something like this. When I heard she was going to be in town and that tickets were free, I was pretty excited. What a great opportunity to see her for myself. Wonder if I'm allowed to bring a camera? Sure hope I can overcome my crowd phobia for the cause. How exciting!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October Updates - 2 Scrappy Chix Designs

Sent out my customer newsletter today, but my site has the lamest text only editor in the world - it won't even allow paragraphs! So, decided to put the info here on the blog for your convenience.

Sorry to be so long in getting this update out to you – the October kits – yes, I said kits! Are now in the store and ready for you. Check out the link below for a colorful description. I’m working with my web designer to get a better email module for my site so I can send the pretty newsletters you know and love, but in the meantime, this is our solution.



Also, I have a few other fun things to share with you. My daughter, Amanda, is studying graphic design. If you ever thought you wanted a watermark of your own to protect your art from being shared inappropriate, Amanda is now offering custom designs to your specifications in case you’re not really into graphics and want to tackle your own. For more information, check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/4b29bx

We still have a few Love Elsie idea boxes in the store - http://tinyurl.com/5ogejo

And I’ve also partnered with Scrapbooks Etc to bring you a new service – awesome hard bound custom albums. We Are Family Retail Exclusive Book with **FREE SHIPPING**
What’s in a name? Define what family means to you in the We Are Family photo book – a scrapbook Retailer Exclusive offering. When you order this limited time title and have it shipped back to our store for pick up Scrapbooks, etc. will pay for shipping. So order now, and come in for your book and all your scrapbooking needs.
To get started simply follow these 5 easy steps:
1) Go to http://stories.scrapbooksetc.com/
2) Create an account
3) Go to the Retailer Exclusive book
4) Enter in my store code 225CEZPBUA
5) Enjoy!

And finally, if you’re just ready for a browse, the store location is http://www.2scrappychixdesigns.com/zencart

I appreciate your feedback and ideas – email me at rizamerk@cox.net

Thanks for taking the time to read my latest update – please feel free to share with any friends who may be interested.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Life is Hectic, but at least it's not my job to save the humans

Back to my new TV addiction - last night was Sarah Conner Chronicles - John gets some formal training while getting dragged deeper and deeper into his role as savior of human-kind against the machines.

I can't figure out exactly what it is that appeals to me about this show, but it's definitely on my DVR list so I don't miss it. I guess the evolution of thinking machines and AI is just one of those kind of believable concepts that catches my interest.

Sunday night was TrueBlood and Dexter. TrueBlood is kind of interesting, but I still can't figure out why producers think we need that much sex to make a show enjoyable. I wish the story line would stick a little closer to the novel line. I don't recall reading many sexy details in the book - just enjoying the interaction with the other and the humans.

Dexter is wonderful as usual - I'm always amazed by how he's about to get himself out of these very sticky situations. Very good liar. It's kind of off beat, but I get it and I like it. The girlfriend has definitely thrown him a curve - I wonder how that will work out...?

Apparently Big Brother is watching more closely at work so I have to do most of my personal computer usage at home (rather than in between my standard stuff on the job). The last thing I want, though, is to be fired for something like that, so I'll do better. It's not like I spend the day looking at pornography or anything, but I do have a busy mind and need some variety in my day. Guess I'll bring my text book with me and if I have any open time, I'll read some of the class material (International Business Environment). Off to catch up on my emails. See you tomorrow!