Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Time

This is our first real Christmas together and in our own home. Last year we had just gotten back from Afghanistan, so we drove back and forth half way across the country to see our families. This year we decided we'd stay in our own home. It was even more special being that it's Ethan's first Christmas.
Last year we started a tradition, like many families, to collect a yearly ornament for our tree. This year we decided this little rattle represented our year perfectly.
Here's another little ornament I picked up this year. I usually wait until after the holidays when things go on sale to restock my wrapping paper supply or add ornaments to the collection, but this one was just a dollar, so I couldn't resist.
We also started collecting Department 56 Christmas in the City village pieces last year too. The pieces we choose represent our lives as well, like the newly wed couple in the carriage, and the new dad passing out cigars.  This year we are adding a fire station (I am a firefighter), radio station (Vince is a spectrum manager), and antique store that looks EXACTLY like one we visited on our trip to Pennsylvania. I'm hoping to also find one that depicts a nurse pushing a wheelchair with a mother holding her newborn. I'm pretty sure it's a retired piece though. Anyway, Vince and I both LOVE putting the little village scenes together. Vince even built a little snowy platform for them to nestle in this year complete with an asphalt road and cobblestone sidewalk. He used a bit of card stock rolled through the Cuttlebug with an embossing plate. It looks so cute!
Our collection outgrew the sofa table, so we had to make a second section up on top of the armoire.
I think next year I'll end up putting our village in the china cabinet though since little Ethan will surely be walking around by then. I'll be sure to start replacing all of our beautiful glass balls with plastic ones before the tree goes up again next year though. I'm sure we'll be able to pull them back out again someday!
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Four Months

At four months he...
makes raspberry noises.
grabs everything.
passes his toys from hand to hand.
pulls himself to a sitting position.
babbles non-stop.
still drinks 6 ounces at a time.
weighs 14 lbs 6 ounces.
hates to sit.
loves to stand.
watches everything intently.
smiles when ever he sees his dad.
laughs everytime I wipe his face.
is always holding his feet.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dickens Quote Card

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One Year Ago....

I can't believe how much my life has changed since I came home from Afghanistan. It's gone by way too quickly!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Up for the Challenge?

Peggy is! Check her out. She's participating in the XOXO Scraplift Challenge. She scraplifted THIS card of mine. What do you think? I think she did a great job!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Have you ever heard of Bakerella? If you haven't, you're missing out on something GREAT!!! Anyhow, last weekend she came to Franklin, TN for her book signing tour! It's about an hour and twenty minutes away, but I just adore this lady so Vince, Ethan and I drove on over. We were about thirty minutes late due to every mishap you can have along the way, but it was still worth it. She's such a doll. She's been such an inspiration to me from my initial discovery of her blog back during our deployment. She's the reason we started making those midnight cupcakes in the chow hall all the time. It really kept spirits up for so many people. I remember having Soldiers come to the aid station where I worked asking for the "cupcake couple". They were from other bases and had never even met us, but somehow they got the word and they wanted in on the sweet goodness! I made this card just for her with a sentimental little thank-you note inside.

I'm a bit embarrassed that my post-baby flab is still there, but then again... whatever!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three Months

Time is going by way too quickly. He's three months old today!

P.S. Happy Veteran's Day!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November Challenge

Well, I've officially posted my first project to the XOXO Design Challenge Blog. Are you going to play along? You really should because there's a great prize from Scrap Attack Scrapbooking up for grabs!!!
My inspiration came from this Pottery Barn photo:

And here's the card:
(Don't forget to post a link here to your creation if you decide to play along with the scraplift challenge.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stamp & Scrap Arts

Ooo! I'm on a roll! I just got an email from Stamp & Scrap Arts magazine asking for a short bio and head shot for a feature in their magazine. Does anyone subscribe or read that publication? I admit I just happened to pick it up at our local Walmart one day while Vince was looking at woodworking and handyman type magazines. I figured it was a wild shot since I'm not really a "stamper". I know, I know... I'm the "Stampin' Soldier", but I just don't stamp much these days. I really don't know what my handle should be any more. I'm not going to be a Soldier much longer anyhow either, so then my blog name really won't represent me. It's weird thinking that I'm getting closer and closer to the edge of feeling like I don't know who I'm supposed to be in this world. I don't know how to explain the upheaval that's going through me right now. It's like grieving the loss of a loved one, only the one I'm loosing is me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

XOXO Design Team

Did you notice my new "blinkie" over on the left-hand sidebar?! It's true! I've been invited to be a Lipstick Chick for the XOXO challenge blog. Go on over, check it out, and let me know what you think! The first challenge I'll be participating in will be posted here and of course on their blog along with all the other design team members' projects on the 7th of November. I hope you'll play along with me!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Little Cutie

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Snowflake Cards


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Today is a Gift

I won quite a bit of Christmas paper not too long ago, so I thought I'd better start using it. I also threw some in a couple of the boxes for the winners of my last blog candy. Have you started on your holiday card making yet?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Well, we went to the pumpkin patch yesterday. It was a disappointment really. It was a true testament to great advertising. They got our money, but the place was really just a big dust bowl. I didn't capture too many photos, but here are a few...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Flower Mini

Well, here's the last card I made using the one piece of 12x12 double sided card stock. It's not a full size card since I didn't have too much left over. It's a little 3x3 mini. I really like all the cards that came out this past week. They're all so fun and cheery! It was great to use up one whole piece of paper like that. I think I'll put myself up to that challenge again soon. Have you ever used up an entire sheet of paper?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Early Bird

I love the saying on this American Crafts sticker, but I'm not really sure I get it. For some reason I just think of morning breath, and how I would rather not be the early bird if that's what it really means.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Card

Yep, I'm still making cards with the same piece of paper. I punched out some of the flowers on the cards with the little scraps 'n bits. There are still two more to go!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hey Card

I'm really diggin' this card for some reason. Do you ever make a card that you're just really into, or do you always love/hate what ends up coming out? Strangely, the stuff I really love always ends up being the stuff no one else does! :-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hello Beautiful

This die cut title made making this card way too easy. Maybe it needs a little bling though...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Little Birdie

Well, I tried to enjoy a free day off from work yesterday, but not too much. I tried to clean up a bit around here because my grandparents are visiting from Texas! They haven't seen Ethan yet, so I'm really excited. Oh, here's just another card I made with that one piece of double sided patterned paper I picked up the other day. I have three or four more that I'm going to schedule for posting this week, so not to leave you empty-handed while I entertain. I just hate to sit here on the computer while I have visitors. :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Two Months

At two months he...
can hold his own bobble head up.
smiles and laughs at funny noises and faces.
ends up on the other side of the crib after naps.
pushes up onto his elbows when on his tummy.
gets fussy if he's not propped into a sitting position.
really likes to stand up with support.
slept through the night once about a week ago.
eats up to 6 ounces at one time.
loves bath time.
hates having his shirts pulled over his face.
still makes tons of hilarious faces.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Friend Always

I finally got to stop by my dear friend, Beverly's scrapbook store recently. She and her husband built it from scratch while I was deployed to Afghanistan this past year. It's about 40 minutes away from my house, so the trip there has been on delay especially since having the baby. I picked up tons of yummy stuff, and I'm already ready to go back. Anyway, Beverly and I met at a local scrapbook store years ago just down the street from my house, but it closed just recently along with a handful of other craft stores in the immediate area. (So sad!) Anyway, I'd like to share with you what I picked up and what I made with it. The first thing I picked up was a double sided sheet of My Mind's Eye card stock. It's just so cute with the floral on one side and polka dot on the other! Double sided card stock is the greatest invention ever. I ended up making four cards out of it right away, and I still have a good amount left over that I'll keep working with until I run out. I'm determined to use up what I have before I move on to the next thing. Oh, I also got the little die cut journaling piece too. I ended up cutting in in half though to make it go further. I stitched around the border too. That part took me way too long. I think I'll leave the other half as is on the next card. Whew! :-) Anyway, why don't you swing on over to Beverly's blog, leave her some bloggy lovin' and don't forget to tell her I sent you!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Well, I've officially started the ACAP (Army Career & Alumni Program) process. You can start it as soon as a year out from the end of your service term. Mine is next August, but as you know I've spent that past two months practicing my new mommy skills. The first day I went was just registration and orientation to the services available throughout the process. The first workshop I signed up for was a three-day seminar about going back into the workforce. It focused on interviews, job skills, pay scales, interviews, and resumes. I don't feel like I've been out of the "real" world that long, but I guess it has been about 8 years now. Sheesh! The guy giving the course started off making me feel optimistic and excited about everything, but as the next two days passed I now feel scared and super worried about what's out there. I just feel like I'm worth anything or prepared for the outside world. He also stressed how bad the job market was. Have you ever seen the movie The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith? If you haven't you really should, and you have you should really watch it again. It really expresses how this course made me feel. Below is the movie trailer.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Best Friends Forever Card

(Look for this card in the April 2011 issue of CARDS magazine!)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy World Card Making Day!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Winner Day!!!

Well, going to back to work was no fun at all! I left Ethan with Amber again. (Thank you! Thank you!) I'm getting used to him being right next door with someone I know and trust.  It's such a stress-reliever.  My biggest issue with the child care places has been the smoking policy.  Everyone seems to think that going outside to smoke and just washing your hands afterwards is okay.  It's NOT!  Can't you still smell the smoke in your clothes after you've put out your cigarette?  Yes? Then it's still there!  I don't want anyone holding my baby who's skin, hair and clothes are smoldering with toxins. Can you blame me? Ethan can be cured from a cold and immunized against a plethora of respiratory illnesses, but second and third hand smoke effects are not something you can cure or take back. Grrr!  Okay. On to what I really meant to blog about...

And the WINNERS are.....

 april said...
wow, this card is amazing!
Marie said...
A fun and happy card! Love it, Laura!
Cindi said...
love this card! those clouds are so cute!! is it a stamp or paper? :)
Keva said...
Pretty colors! Lovely.
Jennifer E. said...
Beautiful Thank you card! I love that ribbon and the yummy flower treatment you added!
Sheri said...
Sugar and Spice - cute! You've got snips and snails and puppy dog tails, though, right? {grin}
Joanne Gilch said...
Laura, the wee notes are so cute and wonderful. You really need to update us on the "who's watching Ethan?" saga. Seems we all want to know.
Well....I came to your blog because you were in Afganistan around the same time my son was. I enjoyed the pictures you took of the base because even though he wasn't at your base, it still made me feel like I knew where he was. Sounds goofy I know but that year of my life was hard. He couldn't share pictures of where he was due to security (he was at one of those way out there out posts) I stay and follow you because it now seems like I know you but not in a 'stalker' type way ;o)
I feel your pain on childcare. When I had the sons, I had family members who were willing to watch them up. But then they started new jobs, went back to school and I was left not knowing who to call. I ended up with a parent of a student and was totally happy with them. I hope you can find someone soon who makes it to where you're not worried while you are at work.

And the Google Reader winner is...

Congrats, Ladies!!! Just send me an email ( with your mailing address, and just wait for the goodies to come!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Max & Lilly

I just noticed a few of you have asked about Lilly Belle. She's still here. (For those of you who don't know who Lilly Belle is, click HERE for her back posts.) I remember the day I brought her home. It really seems like not so long ago, but then again a year long deployment is practically a time warp. She stayed with my mom during my little trip to Afghanistan, but she's back home with me. She wasn't too fond of us bringing home Max, but she's warmed up to him quite a bit. They're always playing and snuggling these days.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back to Work & GIVEAWAY!

 Okay, so I went back to work today. It was STRESSFUL to leave my little Ethan. We still haven't gotten into daycare, so Vince and I will have to be on the hunt this weekend most likely. My sweet neighbor, Amber, is going to watch him for us in the mean time. She doesn't know what a lifesaver she is!  I really do have trust issues I must say. I guess most new moms are. I just wanna wrap him up in bubble wrap and stick him back under my shirt. Then I might be able to relax a little bit. Anyway, about the GIVEAWAY... just to remind you one last time, I will randomly pick a winner who commented from each blog post from Sept 22nd through today. I will also pick one of my Google Readers for an extra bonus prize. If your name gets picked more than once for a prize that's okay too! I have lots of goodies to go around. Let me know what your favorite part about my blog is, what brought you here in the first place, and what would keep you coming back. I love to hear from you. It makes blogging so much more fun! Oh, and here's a card...

(Look for this card in the March 2011 issue of CARDS magazine!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mini Cards

Reminder: Tomorrow is the last day to enter for chances to win the GIVEAWAYS! Leave your comments on blog entries between the 22nd and 29th. I will pick a winner from each post. If you're not already a follower of my blog sign up over on the left for another chance to win! I'll select one reader for an additional bonus prize. The winners will be announced Thursday.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Smiles Across the Miles

(Look for this card in an upcoming issue of Scrap & Stamp Arts magazine!)

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sugar & Spice

(Look for this card in the April 2011 issue of CARDS magazine!)

Reminder: There are still a couple days left to enter for chances to win the GIVEAWAYS! Leave your comments on blog entries between the 22nd and 29th. I will pick a winner from each post. If you're not already a follower of my blog sign up over on the left for another chance to win! I'll select one reader for an additional bonus prize. The eight winners will be announced Thursday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

You are my Sunshine

My biggest stress right now for going back to work is DAY CARE!  My husband and I are both Soldiers, so he was given ten days of paternity leave and I was given six weeks. After that Ethan has to go into day care. Luckily, we're told the military has a great system. We've looked at other day cares, but no one opens early enough for me to drop him off and get to work at the appointed 0600 hours.  We also never really know what time we're getting off work, so that's another issue with regular places. We put Ethan on the waiting list waaaaaay back in May when I was in my second trimester. I figured that would be more than enough time, but NO! As it turns out, you're not technically on the waiting list until your baby is six weeks old. Keep in mind, you have to go back to work at six weeks postpartum. How is that supposed to work? Oh, and Ethan was born on a Wednesday. They don't take in new babies on Wednesdays. They only admit newbies on Mondays! So that means he can't go to day care until the Monday following six weeks.  Who comes up with this? Does this seem logical to anyone?  Haven't you heard those horror stories about mom's who get arrested for going AWOL because they don't have child care?! Eeek! I really never anticipated that this would be my biggest issue following the birth of a child. Everything else is cake... sorta! :-)
(Look for this card in the March 2011 issue of CARDS magazine!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

PTI Dahlia

I can't even remember when I made this card, but I'm just realizing that it's the first STAMPED card that I've posted in over a year! I stamped another card earlier this week, but it was picked up for publication, so I can't share it with you just yet. I don't know why I don't pull my stamps out more often. I think I've just become a lazy scrapper although I'm really into the sewing machine right now as you might have seen in my other cards lately. I even change the thread color almost every time. I haven't used white thread yet. (Unless you count the bobbin thingy in the trap door under the sewing foot thingy.)  See? I really don't know what I'm doing! :-)

Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a giveaway!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Home Sweet Home Card & BLOG CANDY!

Well, I've decided it's way past time to unload a bunch of my cards. I have three baskets and two drawers full of them. There are also all of the random ones tucked here and there around my scrap room. Before I unload all of these I figured I should at least post them on my blog. Some of them date a few years back, so don't critique my style too much. They're just "retro" now.  And.... since I have to go back to work in one week I figured I'd do another purge by unloading a bunch more of my unused supplies that I've been clearing out.  So, to win some BLOG CANDY leave your comments some time this week here on my blog.  You can post as many comments as you'd like. I will pick a winner for each day over the next week. Tell me what your favorite posts are, your favorite projects, or what you'd like to see more of.  You can even just tell me how your day went. I just wanna hear what you have to say, before returning to Uncle Sam and having to wear those combat boots again!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I like this...

Monday, September 20, 2010


(Look for this card in the May 2011 issue of CARDS magazine!)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Card

I finally started loading cards on my Etsy site that I created FOREVER ago. It looks like my shop has been open forever, but I haven't sold a thing! Eeek! I really don't know much about Etsy, so if you have any tips or suggestions I'm certainly open to advice!

Friday, September 17, 2010

You Make Me Happy