why is it that the more holiday cards i receive........the less i want to send mine out?


wish upon a star

when you think you have 48 hours
 but it ends up only 2 
 all you can do is brew some tea...
and call it a day


creating a space

earlier today i made a list.  actually i made many lists - what gifts are left to buy, how many gift cards i need, and what crafts i need to make.  my homemade list is not a long one.  nor is it an unrealistic one to accomplish.  at least not now.......

this is what my craft room looked like when i walked into it tonight.  i've been on a huge purging spree lately - getting rid of clothes and clutter and toys.  what goes to the thrift store goes into my car and gets delivered the next day.  what gets stashed for sorting - ends up in here.  every once in awhile i spend a couple HOURS in here purging and tossing and sorting...but hours is what i do not have right now.

so tonight - little by little i started to clear an area...and area large enough that i can get some sewing in.

and finally - after an hour - i can see my workspace. 

and with just 9 days until christmas...its not a moment too soon


oh my how time flies!

i can't believe its dec 15th and not a single post all month!! computer issues have made the past week an absolute nightmare...so much so that after battling the computer at work all day - the last thing i wanted to do was get online at home!!

lack of pictures is a problem too.  sitting an office 5 days a week for 8 hours doesn't leave me with alot of time (or energy!) for picture taking.  it wasn't until after we started decorating our second tree tonight that i thought to take out the camera and quickly snap some not so exciting pictures. sadly this was the best one.

but like i mentioned the last night of november - i'm still not that stressed about it all...

so what have i been up to?

cards aren't done - in fact i haven't even decided if i want to try and take a picture and make a photocard...or just send cards with a picture inside...or just do nothing!  well - actually i do want to send cards - its the same dilemma i had last year.  i'm curious to see how i resolve it this year!

house is trashed - but what can you do about that...i've finally admitted that since i find myself always saying that followed by some excuse "i worked all day" "we were away all weekend" "we had a party" - that it was time to fess up in that truth be told - i'm just not a great housekeeper!

downloaded some super cheesy ringtones - like "i want a hippopotamus for christmas" and "dominic the donkey" which crack me up everytime they go off at home.....when i'm alone......but embarrass the heck out of me when they go off in public!

am very close to finishing my christmas shopping and i am happy that i did not panic and overdo it on the gifts!

finally made a list of what i am going to bake as gifts and craft as gifts - whether i actually succeed is another thing - i mean christmas IS next week!

but i do plan on blogging every day until then! i love christmas blogging!! posts are so colorful and happy!

now i'll leave you with this

my son so desperate for mistletoe that he grabbed this bunch of berries and told me to take a picture of him pretending to kiss someone underneath it.  how can you resist?


a year ago tonight........

i found myself sitting at this very computer
on the eve before december 1st

and i wrote up this post

there are definite similarities between last year and tonight.  both nights i came home to dirty laundry, dirty dishes and dirty bathrooms.  school papers covered my table then..and looking around me now i find more of the same.  and yep - my calendar is quickly filling up with appointments, events and parties.

i'm glad that some things never change

i found myself reading and rereading last year's post.  i sounded so overwhelmed...so stressed out...so - not fun.  i had just come home from new york - spent a great weekend with my family and our friend - caught up in the hustle and bustle, high energy spirit of manhattan - and yet i wasn't happy.

so what happened between then and now?  then i was only working 2x a week.  now i am working full time.  then my husband worked for someone else.  now we are running our own business.  then we wondered how we would pay for it all.  now - well now we really wonder how we will pay for it all!  then i was assuming that i'd blink and christmas would be over! now - i am assuming i will have just the peaceful season i want.

i'm glad some things do change

i wish i knew exactly why i am in a better frame of mind this year.  if i knew - i'd write a book and make millions!  but i don't know.  maybe its yoga.  maybe its being used to letting go of my expectations - and just enjoying the ebb and flow of the unknown.  maybe its the seemingly endless stack of self-improvment books that find themselves on my nightstand!  maybe i am finally learning to be present.  i don't know what it is.  what i do know is that i like it.  i like it a lot.

so tonight
as i did last year on this night
i will finish my tea
and i will go to bed.

and tomorrow will be another day

and if i'm lucky
it will be a peaceful night
without thoughts


so grateful

our first snowfall - today!

today and everyday i am so grateful for so much in my life. 

happy thanksgiving to you and yours


this - one day - i will miss

i won't miss the socks all over the house
i won't miss the tiny lego pieces that perfectly blend into the carpet
i won't miss picking up the swords and helmets and pokeman cards 100x a day

but finding the star war mini guys
hiding in the hanging plants
on vases and tables and chairs

and lined up - ready to attack - along the kitchen sink

one day
i will miss


teaching an old dog new tricks

the old dog - would be me. for the first time in 12 years i am back to working full time.  back in april we bought a franchise and after months of paperwork to get a state license, and finishing a summer with kids underfoot - we are officially up and running!

i will admit - having to go back to work full time for a business that is your own - is much more exciting than going back to work full time for a business that is NOT your own....but its not any easier.

i am tired.
i am scattered.
i am a bit unorganized.

but i am having fun too!  

for me - the fun part about work is exactly what stresses my husband out - all the money going out (and nothing coming in yet), hiring a staff, setting and meeting goals, the unknown future.  you see - i am a very optimistic person - never really worrying - just 100% sure it will all work out.  sometimes that drives people crazy (like my husband) and sometimes it doesn't (also like my husband) but what can you do.  i like being optimistic and i'm certain more people appreciate it than not. 

the fun part of home is not so easy to define.  yes the house is messy - the laundry piles up - the dishes stay dirty. homework is rushed and nights are filled with activities and there seems to be no time for real family time. how i used to do things - work monday, grocery shopping tuesday, errands on wednesday and so on......well, it doesn't work at all anymore. 

everything is topsy turvy. 
but like an amusement park filled with ups and downs and twists and turns - sugar highs and upset bellys - its wild and crazy
and fun!

oh don't get me wrong - with ups and downs and twists and turns - come moments when i want to scream


and i can't get off - and i'm getting more and more anxious....
my head is spinning and my stomach is churning. 
i can't focus and i can't think straight.
i squeeze my eyes shut and put my head to my knees....

and just then...it ends...
 and the scary part is over. 

you are left with the giddy part - the laughter as the adrenaline seeps away; the happiness at having survived.  all it took - was riding it out. 

so as my days are filled with twists and turns and ups and downs - my rhythm is changing too.  with each change in routine comes a period of anxiety as what once was second nature to me - now is no more.  then the panic sets in as i struggle to find a new routine - trying it first one way...then another.  one day it works - another day it doesn't.  one moment i am ahead of the game - another i am 2 steps back. 

but i know...in fact i am certain - that during this time of transition if i relax and just let go - the scary part will end and the giddy will begin.


Random Act of Culture

Knight foundation is taking the next 3 years to help bring the arts into the streets by putting on random performances around the city of philadelphia (as well as other cities across the united states)

on oct 30th 650 singers surprised shoppers at downtown macy's by singing hallelujah!


31 for 21 challenge - 10/31 it's over!

pics of halloween will have to wait until i can upload them! 
i just had to get this last post in!
i don't even have a picture to go with it!

oh well - tomorrow it shall be

happy halloween!


31 for 21 challenge - Ode to Johnny!

since i assume tomorrow's post will be all about halloween - i wanted to spend today honoring Johnny - who is the inspiration behind this month's challenge for me

 johnny and his remarkable mom cindy

i've referenced my friend's cindy's blog here many times and if you've never followed the links to it before i urge you to visit this time.  in fact - let me point you in the direction of some of her really interesting posts this month about down syndrome and her family's experience with it.

this i loved - the preferred language guide from the ds society

a heartbreaking post about orphaned children with down syndrome in eastern europe

pic of johnny taken quite some time ago - its the best i could find by
stalking cindy's facebook albums without feeling any creepier!

hopefully those of us in the 31 for 21 challenge this month have done our part to bring awareness to this amazing group of children


31 for 21 challenge - gravewalk

here it is - 2 days before halloween and i have yet to  take my gravewalk.  throughout the year i'll pass a cemetary and think "oh - i'll have to remember this place and come photograph it around halloween!"  i'm not obsessed with death - or graveyards - or ghosts - or anything like that.  i just love me a good graveyard around halloween.

maybe b/c its been so weirdly hot this october that halloween kinda crept up on me. in fact - i was just trying to find a picture of anything to blog about tonight when i stumbled upon pictures from last year's gravewalk - and then i remembered that i had forgotten!!

oh well - tomorrow is supposed to be nice and sunny - and sunday too.  not exactly eerie gravewalk weather. i wouldn't have the time anyway - and i highly doubt the boys would want to come.  so no walk for me this year.

if you drive by a cemetary this weekend - take a moment to think about the history in there...maybe pull over and snap a cool picture or two.  i would - bet you won't regret it.


31 for 21 challenge - thankful thursday.....coming to an end and the library

ok - this is a total cop out but i am thankful this challenge is coming to an end! only 3 more days left - and 3 crazy busy days at that!!

so no more words...just a quick tour of one our most favorite places to visit - our local library!  i am still amazed at how many people do not go to their library on a regular basis. 

besides the shelves.....

and shelves of books that you can get for FREE

think about the hundreds of dollars you save by not buying books that once you bring them home - you regret buying!

oh and MUSIC - tons of cds that you can use to fill your itunes library without costing you a cent!

and all the free events - yoga, gardening classes, oodles of kid programs, lectures...you name it 

open spaces to run (or rather walk quickly)  our library tolerates some noise which is nice b/c it is hard to keep little kids from squealing!

community bulletin boards - free advertising!

a place to bring the stuff you don't want to toss but can't figure out what to do with them - esp glasses and cell phones!!! all while helping a great charitable cause

seriously - if you haven't visited your local library in a while - what are you doing? get over there and check it out.  its not what you remember as a kid - its so much better!!


31 for 21 blog challenge - 10/26.......asking for prayers

the power of prayer is great

if you will

for a family member finishing radiation and soon to start chemo

and a friend's 11 month old son undergoing heart surgery


31 for 21 challenge - 10/25...cubscout hayride

its been a crazy beginning of the school year - and because of that our cubscout meetings and events started later than usual.  one of funnest ones i think is the hayride and bonfire this time of the year.  my den was in charge of setting up the 'smores so while everyone piled into the wagons for the start of the hayride

 the parents in our den hung back and laid out the spread. 

  this year we had a huge turnout and needed extra wagons. 
its pretty neat how the wagons leave in the daylight 

and return in the darkness.  then the bonfire is lit and everyone patiently waits to roast marshmallows

and make their 'smores

even though the heat may be too intense at times - the end result is well worth it


31 for 21 challenge - 10/24 - the pennsylvania renaissance faire

yesterday we had the most beautiful autumn day.  last year around this time we hit the renaissance faire.  it was pretty much under the same circumstances - perfect fall day - nothing to do - jump in the car and off we went.

 what was cool this time around was that it was closer to halloween so there was trick or treating for the kids and many really neat costumes and decorations. 

my favorite part still is seeing all the items for sale.  i don't usually buy anything - but i love to see all the talented artists and their creations.

magic wands

mystical puppets 

beautifully sewn wool clothes 

shiny things - who doesn't like shiny things in the sun?

the boys dragged me to every sword and weapon shop

hobbit ears - picture taken by my son! up shots are never very flattering!

 my husband loves the shows.  the human chess match is a favorite.

the fire juggling comedian was a big hit this time around too

it really is such a cool place to visit.

if you ever get the chance to go i'd highly recommend it