Sunday, November 30, 2008


As of this post, December is about 20 minutes away. And no, I am NOT READY, but I never am, so I am just GOING WITH IT.

Decided I will indeed do the Journal Your Christmas project again this year....feeling in the mood to play with the memories, photos, pretty papers and embellies of the season. So PLEASE JOIN ME! (Go here, if you haven't already: http://

And yes, I realize I am the QUEEN OF UNFINISHED PROJECTS but this is one I want to do for me, so it's going on the (overflowing) to-do list! My gift to ME this holiday season!

Ho Ho Ho....
P.S. And uh, yeah. Before some of you (and you know who you are!) ask...the answer is "YES"...the wreath on the door? That's as far as I've gone in the decking of the halls. And I just may stop there! Think how much more TIME I will have for playing!
P.P.S. Sorry for the crap-o photo! The angle is all wonky (how about that word!) but it's too cold out and too LATE to stage a proper photo shoot!

Sunday Shopping

HO!HO!HO! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

And, Oh what fun it is to shop for a dress for Miss Mikayla!

Our "Black Friday" shopping trip ended up being postponed 'til today...which was just as crowds. First stop...Nordstrom's at King of Prussia Mall....(UGG boots for Miss Mikayla for Christmas...shhhhh!! Don't tell!)
....then Lilly Pulitzer's for a party dress try-on!

She is ready for the runway!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday {#18}

It was so worthy of the "Best Musical" award. I wanna go again!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


(edited: Saturday, November 30: Oooh! Sorry this is SO LATE! Thought I had scanned and posted this already--but no!) thoughts for this prompt were two-fold--one, to try a bit of "Paint Chip Poetry" and two, to make it about Thanksgiving. Even though I have a SHOEBOX FULL of paint chips--I had a really hard time getting these together! (Tho' I could do a hundred with a "seashore" and my blue paint fetish!)

Hope everyone had a happy, happy Thanksgiving! Among my many blessings, please know how very grateful I am for my tribe of bloggin', artsy, inspiring pals.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday {#17}

Is this a repeat? Still love this one. Our "self portrait" from New Year's Eve 2007-08.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gratititude {20 Things, Take 14}

  1. That face!
  2. Pigtails! They make me so happy : )
  3. David! (Happy BIRTHDAY!)
  4. Two more nephews have their own cell phones to text/call!
  5. Shopping with Rob for Thanksgiving dinner ingredients. (Williams-Sonoma Brine? check!)
  6. Maggie at Ruby's Diner (Sirryha's favorite waitress!)
  7. STRAWS.
  8. HAPPY PREGNANCY NEWS (no, not ME you loons!)
  9. Lessons about WAITING.
  10. Getting a few steps closer to an ORGANIZED DESK!
  11. THE O'TOOLE FAMILY (Party of Six!) is joining us for Christmas dinner!
  12. Our family is in agreement on the "No Buying Presents" rule this year!
  13. THIS idea! Who's in with me?
  14. Microsoft Office templates.
  15. Rob doesn't scream at the TV during his football games when Sirryha is here!
  16. Staying in all day.
  17. Rob getting the grocery shopping done in 1/4 of the time I would need!
  18. DRANO!
  19. QTIPS.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gratitude {20 Things, Take 13}

  1. Thankful we live close enough to David and Mikayla that we get to be there to sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY and have cake together! (Thanks for waiting so patiently for us, guys!)
  2. Thankful for kids who say "please" and "thank you" and still call their friends' parents "Mr. and Mrs." (Such nice manners!)
  3. Thankful for my nieces' and nephews' friends who just call me "Aunt Susie/Susan." : )
  4. Thankful Rob and I managed to build the damn organizer thingie for my desk without resorting to homicide (why are the instructions so NON-helpful??)
  5. Thankful for hanging file folders in cheery colors (and 1/3 cut tabs that MATCH.)
  6. ...and time to ORGANIZE.
  7. ...and friends who "play along" with email recipe exchanges!
  8. ...and that Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma and Anthropologie and J Crew are in the same shopping strip. : )
  9. Thankful for SWIFFER dusters!
  10. ...and BIG recycling bins.
  11. ...and BOGO offers.
  12. ...and headbands.
  13. ...and Robert Kain and his 2 friends for creating ETSY (how about they offer craft classes at their offices in NY? let's go!)
  14. ...and finally finding out where the name ETSY came from! ("A magical nonsense word" inspired by Federico Fellini's 8 1/2, according to Kalin.)
  15. ...and free paint swatches.
  16. ...and that I have one of my Gram's journals where she kept entries from 1960 through 1996...everything from visits from friends and relatives to trips taken with Pap to births of her grandchildren and everyday happenings such as "Aug 8, 1960 - I went to Bev Wertz's to play 5.00 poverty poker. Lost $.40. Fern Reardon's husband brought me home." (Gram didn't drive.) And "Mar 26, 1966 - Frank & Dottie came home to tell me they got engaged." (They married that November. Happy Anniversary Uncle Frank and Aunt Dot!)
  17. So thankful for family history records!
  18. ...and legible handwriting!
  19. ...and my sister Jackie's great memory for EVERYONE's birthdates.
  20. ...and a fresh system to record dates and events -- "Journal 10+" books.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gratititude {20 Things, Take 12)

Friday's List of things I am THANKFUL FOR:

  1. Noticing that the lavendar in our front yard is spreading into the ugly jaggy bushes I never liked...and having my MASTER GARDENER SISTER Lisa tell me we could INDEED replace the jaggers with ALL LAVENDAR! sweet!

  2. Luxurious the deliciously-aromatic (almond & shea butter) bar of handmade soap I bought at the Craft Fair at my office today.

  3. ...and this treasure:

  4. Sirryha played pat-a-cake and eensy-weensy-spider with me again tonight (we haven't done that in a while! Love her little FINGERS doing all the motions.)

  5. Singing all the Sesame Street songs with Rob and Sirryha after dinner tonight. She hums and dances along. We LOVE THAT!

  6. Sirryha's squeals of delight when she turns off the light-switches after bathtime (first the bedroom, then the bathroom, then the hallway as we make our way back downstairs.)

  7. My giddiness when tonight Sirryha actually turned off the switches herself! (We had been helping her of course...but she has the hang of it now!)

  8. The simple things. : )

  9. Baby peas -- a veggie Sirryha will eat!

  10. My mom's "invention" (yuh-huh! she did so invent it!) of cinnamon-sugar toast as comfort food (and having it as a trick up my sleeve to serve Rob and Sirryha when needed!)

  11. This picture of me and Mikayla from our shopping day on Tuesday (for our BOOK, Mikay! Plus the NEDLEY book!)
  12. WORDART.
  16. Real Time with Bill Maher (especially "New Rules" - brilliantly funny.)
  17. Wooden hangers in our coat closet.
  18. Our front loading washing machine. (After 7 yrs, I am still amazed how it runs SILENTLY!)
  19. Sirryha's koala bear snuggles, fresh out of the tubby, wrapped in a warm towel. xo
  20. Quality HAIR PRODUCTS!

Favorite Photo Friday {#16}

Crazy fun on the dance floor at Landon's bar mitzvah - 11.8.08.
Don't we look like Elton John and Mrs. Roper (from Three's Company)?
Go ahead and laugh. Because we all know that what I REALLY look like is this:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gratitude {20 Things, Take 11}

  1. I was able to retrieve some favorite pics from my old cell phone that I thought were gone for good!
  2. Rob, NYC, New Year's Eve 2005. xo

  3. Realizing how much BETTER the quality of the pics from my NEW cell phone are compared to my Samsung (sorry Burkie!)

  4. Memory card for my cell phone was on sales at Verizon! weee! (no more lost photos!)

  5. STEEELLLLAAAAAAAA! is going to be in town over the Thanksgiving weekend!

  6. THIS girl who shares her papers and projects so generously with me! I am SO going to do the BLUEPRINT GUIDE in my SKINNY BOOK! Miss you, Cynthia!

  7. The paper organizer I bought EONS ago at Sam's club and never built (a-hem, darling?) has made it's way back upstairs where Rob and I will trip over it until we finally bust it open and BUILD IT.

  8. Gilman cousins are joining us for Thanksgiving dinner!

  9. 13 days 'til we will be in NYC again!

  10. The anticipation of more great Cohen/Gilman family portraits from Landon's Bar Mitzvah.

  11. RAKs

  12. Recipes written in my mom's, grandmother's, sister's, cousin's, aunt's handwriting. xo

  13. SASEs

  14. Online banking!

  15. Home Companion magazine listed the COLOR. OF.THE.PAINT.IN.AMY .BUTLER's. HOUSE in the "getting the goods" guide!! (Glidden Aqua Tint/90 GG 74/108 and Seawall /SR 707 Vaspar--Signature Colors Seaside Retreat...holy CRAP I am going to hit Lowes and Home Depot and snag up THOSE paint chips!)

  17. Sweet emails from my baby sister! (Thanks, LaLa!)
  18. Funny stories my sisters share with us about things their children say and do...oh we should write a BOOK! hee
  19. Uncle Frank keeping me informed about health issues of interest to me (diabetes, vaccines, etc.) xo
  20. Free time to catch my breathe again.

  21. Hugs and holding hands.

Gratitude {20 Things, Takes 7, 8, 9 and 10}

Four days behind means I will never catch up if I don't just do a MEGA post and start fresh again with the "daily 20" tomorrow! So here are my lists from Sunday through Wednesday---all merged together (in no particular order!)

Thankful for:
  1. A wonderful brunch at Lynne & Lar's to finish off Landon's bar mitzvah celebration. xo

  2. Rob getting some good one on one time with his nephews and cousin on Sunday.

  3. Planning Thanksgiving dinner with the Cohens!

  4. Tickets to a show in NYC the Wed before Thanksgiving - a new Gilman/Cohen tradition!

  5. Daily trips to the cafeteria at work with my peeps for coffee/breakfast sandwiches.

  6. Hearing Sirryha say "da da da" (sometimes even on command!)

  7. Sirryha's hugs and kisses and giggles.

  8. Remembering how much I love having NO CAR PAYMENT when I start daydreaming about driving a MINI or a BUG!
  9. When Rob makes me iced coffee exactly the way I like it. Every time. xo
  10. Good news from my Aunt about my Uncle's health following his hip surgery. xo
  11. 30% off magazines at Sam's Club (picked up Home Companion and Quilts and More.)
  12. Amy Butler's free pattern downloads on her website (including items shown in ME's Home Companion holiday issue!)

  13. My own copy of Anna Maria Horner's Seams to Me book.

  14. REALLY GOOD photography.

  15. APRONS being in vogue!

  16. The new blues/purples/berry shades for fall (nail polish and clothing!)

  17. Kal Barteski's Tiny Art & "Bullet-Proof Positive Attitude" inspiration.

  18. J in the IT department at work for talking me down from the ledge when my email threshold was at MAX and I couldn't send emails until I archived....which she helped me do on the phone in less than 10 minutes. Thank you. Sorry I am so impatient!

  19. Having Sirryha with us for dinner/the evening three weeknights in a row!

  20. Bathtime with Sirryha - among the top ten most wonderous routines in a baby's life, no?

  21. Sirryha dancing and humming along to my renditions of "Rubber Duckie" and "I Love Trash" after the bath as we get her into her jammies (even tho' we all know my singing is nothing to be thankful for!)

  22. Another cute photo (thanks, Kel!) to add to Sirryha's "All about duckies" picture book.

  23. Lots of Barnes & Nobel coupons lately.

  24. Funs chats lately with my jr high school friend Marilyn!

  25. Connecting with 3 old school friends this month.

  26. Leftover White Chicken Ranch pizza for dinner when I did NOT feel like cooking!

  27. Stacks of new fabrics waiting for me to CLEAR THE TABLE off so I can SEW SOME THINGS again : )

  28. The sign I saw the other day that read "Both of us can't look good! It's me or the house!" hee
  29. Crockpots & and one-dish/pot meals!
  30. People who answer me when I pull up next to them and ask them to translate their vanity license plates for me (otherwise it will make me CRAZY all day trying to figure it out!)
  31. James Taylor released an album this year! (Covers)
  32. Spending a day at the Outlets with Jackie & Mikayla. : )
  33. Martha Stewart's "Good Things" (first section I read when I open MS Living.)
  34. TXT messages! Have I already mentioned TEXTING? Love it...especially when my nieces and nephews "ping*" their old auntie! xo
  35. *Learning new NetLingo (Thanks, Paul!)
  36. The lessons and rewards of Giving.
  37. Serendipity.
  38. Rob's patience. xo
  39. The reusable shopping bags made from recycled plastic bottles (esp. Ikea's and Whole Foods'.)
  40. Form AND function.
  41. BFFs Tracy & Kelly who always have GUM at work when I don't! xo
  42. Curt (Art Director at work) for saving me graphic design/art/type brochures/books solicitations he recieves in the mail.
  43. Pick of the Week itunes freebies at Starbucks!
  44. Having a hubby who NEVER nags me about my crafty messes/piles EVERYWHERE.xo
  45. Validation when it is MOST needed.
  46. New FLAIR from my peeps (I can't help it...I LOVE IT that much!)
  47. The TWILIGHT movie is only 8 days away!
  48. Pals going to the MIDNIGHT SHOWING of TWILIGHT with me!
  49. Tom reading the Twilight series to humor me.
  50. BFF Brian for getting my perverse sense of humor.
  51. BFF Gene for being my "twin from another mother."
  52. Having GUYS & GIRLS for BFFs!
  53. New fonts to play with.
  54. Embracing the concept of RUTHLESS EDITING in relation to "too much stuff."
  55. Knowing item 52 is a work in progress --and that's ok.
  56. Crossing off items on my mega 'to-do' list.
  57. "Two pieces of paper" letters from/to Rob xoxo
  58. When my nieces and nephews talk about/remind us "it's our tradition!"
  59. David's great advice about bath toys/games for Sirryha. (ohhh that is a whole journal entry! that boy's mind is MAGIC!)
  60. Kids who share.
  61. Forgiveness.
  62. Guardian angels.
  63. Sirryha and Rob loving Honeycrisp apples!
  64. Opportunities to "pay it forward."
  65. Having the perfect colors for my Fall pedicures. (OPI's Siberian Nights, this week!)
  66. Risks resulting in Rewards.
  67. Fortune cookie fortunes coming true!
  68. Leaders who listen to ALL sides -- not just their "YES MEN/WOMEN."
  69. Compassion.
  70. Acceptance vs Tolerance. (Think about it--there is a difference!)
  71. Recognizing Emotional Intelligence.
  72. Finding a stash of candles in the spicy scents of the season - cinnamon, clove, sage....
  73. A weekend ahead with no particular place we have to be on the schedule (so far!)
  74. Rob always there to remind me not to sweat the small stuff.
  75. Perspective.
  76. Clarity.
  77. Focus (when it happens! Wish it lasted longer! hee - I am the "easily distracted queen!")
  78. Rob promising to take the two bags of clothes to Goodwill (they've been sitting in the bedroom for oh-too-long-to-admit!)
  79. Indoor plumbing. seriously.
  80. Fresh starts.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

WASSIMA ART DECK {Week 21 Prompt!}

(edited 11/23/08 - here is my card. Still behind! This week's up soon! )

Sorry! Enjoying such a busy weekend I forgot it was MY TURN AGAIN! (Thanks for the nudge, Aimee!)

OK....still working on to follow...but the prompt is "COLOR ME..." (and you fill in the blank...can be an actual color or a feeling....mine is about the beautiful Fall palette of berry and blue shades for fashion....)

And so to bed! I am BEAT!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Gratitude {20 Things, Take 6}*

*Subtitled: "The One About Landon's Bar Mitzvah!"

Landon, minutes before leaving for his Bar Mitzvah service and party. Cool as a cucumber!
Ok...those who know me well know I am a one of those "oh I cry at Hallmark commercials" types...and this was no exception. Bawled my EYES out watching Landon during the service....It was so emotional and touching and beautiful. So proud of him!
So much to be thankful for on this day:

  1. It went so perfectly...the few hiccups were not worthy of a second's worry. Lar & Lynne - you would be excellent party planners if you ever decide to change careers!

  2. The limo driver who didn't roll his eyes when we knocked on the privacy window and asked "excuse me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" Nice guy. I love a good sport!

  3. I remembered to take some shots of NEDLEY!

  4. The rain stopped while we were having our photos taken outside!

  5. My new Colossal Volume Maybelline mascara didn't RUN!

  6. Even tho' everyone hates the camera---I am always thankful when I INSIST because every once in a while, the reward is shots like THIS: (Ethy--hope you like this one 'cause I am posting it all over Facebook! hee! And Lyndee--told you your hair was fab!)

  7. And this one:

  8. And a bunch more that I just CANNOT GET TO LOAD PROPERLY (sorry!)

  9. And the FRESH FLOWERS that looked amazing ALL NIGHT.

  10. And that grandmothers always have Kleenex in their purses (thanks, Gloria. I knew I'd forget to bring some!)

  11. The photographer who didn't kick me to the curb when I "backseat-photo-styled" her shots (I know that is horrid of me, but why don't they tell you to straighten your necklace, move that comma-curl of hair away from your eye, smooth your tie into place; get the glow-worm green gum out of your mouth!?)

  12. Caricature artists who make me look on paper the way I think I look in my mind! ...and...

  13. ...true friends who play along with responses of "oh yes! It totally looks EXACTLY LIKE YOU! I always wondered if you had ever been a Playboy Bunny!" (hee)

  14. My LAST PAIR of sheer black hose lasted the entire evening without that pinpoint snag turning into a GAPING HOLE.

  15. More FLAIR buttons : ) (Love the colors. Love this campaign. Love that you chose Breast Cancer Awareness as your mitzvah project, Landon. xo)

  16. Thankful that Rob practiced the Aliyah (blessing) with me over and over again in the car on the way to the service!

  17. Thankful for time spent with older members of our families - especially when I learn some interesting or heart-warming fact about our families' history(ies).

  18. Thankful that EVERYONE DANCED ALL NIGHT at the party. I so admire good dancers but I love to watch "the average guys & gals" just going for it! So much fun.

  19. Thankful for the bartender who went out of his way to make me a Shirley Temple (rather than have me walk over to the "kid's beverage station" even though I told him I would! (Instead I was chatting away with someone and the next thing I knew there was my drink! Nice guy!)

  20. So very thankful for the ten years this wonderful young man has been in my life....and that I will be here to watch his future unfold. Love you Landon. Mazel Tov!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Gratititude {20 Things, Take 5}

"T" is for Thankful, Here are 20 more things I am grateful for, starting with some "T's":

  1. TRACY - a total gift into my world a year or so ago - a wonderful BFF! love you!
  2. THANKSGIVING is just around the corner! My favorite family holiday!
  3. TARGET - the nice pharmacy people who are helpful with our questions and getting our rx's when the insurance people don't agree with our docs.
  4. TEAMWORK - having a work project with my BFF Kelly!
  5. TALENT - being attentive to the "best of" in people, and learning from their skills.
  6. My TROLL BEADS bracelet! (Aimee, did you see the new beads for Christmas? Oh my....)
  7. Three hours in Steinmart yielded two black skirts to choose from for Landon's bar mitzvah tomorrow (so tired of my other black skirts!)
  8. Another Steinmart steal of a deal: a deep purple (don't make that face, Sandy! It's pretty not pukey!) corduroy jacket ...I want to go back for one in every color (sadly, they only had one other color that I noticed. Hope it is still there in my size!)
  9. Thankful that NUTS are good brain food (especially when covered with dark chocolate, right? Thank you again, Steinmart for selling Godiva chocolates - and oh how thoughtful that you place them right there on the counter at the register!)
  10. Thankful for Rob's cousin offering hand-me-downs for Miss Sirryha (can't wait for the cold weather to really get here to wear all these fabulous sweaters on her!) Thank you David, Jill and Raya! It was like Cinderella getting a whole WARDROBE from her fairy godmother (as opposed to that one impractical ball gown that freakin' evaporated at midnight!)
  11. AC MOORE's REWARDS CARD! (Come on Michael's - get with the program!)
  12. TWITTER because it makes me feel like STELLLAAA! isn't really living on the OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD now (seriously--why did I not realize ARIZONA is almost CALIFORNIA?!! my geography skills SUCK.)
  13. FINALLY having the perfect inspiration for my nephew's bar mitzvah card (yes, as a matter of fact, I DO need to make them. And that is why cards from me are always late. It's worth it people.)
  14. Rob's memory for dates and names when mine fails me.
  15. Extra burst of energy tonight just when I needed it most!
  16. My wrists stopped hurting (I will not get carpal tunnel...I will not get carpal tunnel...say it with me, people!)
  17. The Acupuncturist helping the BoHo family bring their baby boy along into the world. (I, too, am sending positive thoughts your way....)
  18. Thankful that Rob liked the two ties I brought home for him to chose from for tomorrow and that he didn't insist I return the PINK ONE! (Oh he's not wearing it tomorrow--but I think it will make for a great father/daughter portrait!)
  19. My new 2009 calendar refill for my Daytimer - the ink on the pages is grays and pink ("Pink Ribbon"). Pretty and soothing to my eyes. Love the design.
  20. I made it through to Landy's bar mitzvah without breaking a nail - for once they are all the same length when I need them to be "pretty pretty princess!"

Favorite Photo Friday {#15}

OK, I know it isn't a great photo...but I don't think the tree in our front yard has ever looked this PRETTY in fall in the 7 years we have lived here. So it's a favorite photo. Thanks, FALL, for being so beautiful and sticking around so long this year!

Another pic of the beautiful trees in our neighborhood, taken with my cell phone camera on a walk to the mailbox with Sirryha Oct 17. Again..not perfect photography but capturing the moment nonetheless! :) (sorry--no time to crop either!)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Gratitude {20 Things, Take 4}

20 More Things I am Thankful For Today:

  1. (get your free OBAMA sticker designed by Shepard Fairey here.)
  2. Rob taping the Oprah "Post Election Special" and watching it again with me.
  3. Rob taping the Ellen show with CHER! (is this a trend? hee.)
  4. Coming home to a clean kitchen (thanks, honey!)
  5. Rob making dinner for me when I worked late last night. xo
  6. Cynthia's dad for saying just the right thing in response to a coworker's racist comment - then walking away. Dignity and grace.
  7. Gloria Steinem and this opinion piece for articulating it so clearly and graciously.
  8. Emails from classmates from high school I haven't heard from in years!
  10. Plans for a shopping day with Mikayla and Jackie!
  11. Our fridge with the ice and water dispensers in the door (never had that 'til we moved into our townhouse in 2001 - still feels like a luxury to me!)
  12. Rob pausing the show we were watching to tell me something funny that he wasn't sure he had told me the night before (he hadn't!)
  13. DVR! DVR! DVR! (I wish I had it at the MOVIES 'cause I hate when I miss a part of the dialogue!)
  14. Recently discovering "Mothering" magazine's website.
  15. And this one: "Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers."
  16. My dear friend J for listening so patiently to an update on recent highs and lows of my stepmother situation and reassuringly repeating "you are doing the right thing, don't walk away, don't walk away." Thank you. Thank you.
  17. My cousin JoJo's advice to "Stick to those who raise you up, not tear you down. They are your true family."
  18. The volunteers in my neighborhood who organize the Thanksgiving food drive (dropping off shopping bags at our door--we just fill them and return them and they do all the rest.)
  19. Paying to wear JEANS all month at work as a United Way fundraiser! Win/Win!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Gratitude {20 Things, Take 3}


edited: it is!

Today I am thankful for:

  1. Rainy nights that wash the bird doo-doo off my car windshield when I am out of wiper fluid!
  2. Packages in the mail!
  3. This family & the excitement of Landon's Bar Mitzvah coming up Saturday! (Love you guys!xoxoxo):
  4. My sis- & brother-in-law Lynne & Lar for always including me in the fun bits (and sending me the early proofs of their photo shoot above because they know how IMPATIENT I am! Thanks guys! love you!) [Those in the Philadelphia area needing a great photographer--go HERE: CASUAL CANDIDS - amazing work]
  5. My sister Kristin for playing school with me and teaching me to read before I was in kindergarten, and inventing the "let's pick our favorites" catalog game (more on that later!)
  6. My sister Lisa the Master Gardener (impressive, right?!?), for always knowing the answers to my gardening/composting/plants/flowers/trees/chickens questions.
  7. Finding new "green living" ideas I can incorporate into my life. (Composting on my deck!)
  8. My sister Jackie for always bringing me a water for our car rides, always sharing dinners and goodies she makes, and never complaining that we take forEVER to return her Gladware! (Seriously--I forgive you for ripping my Sonny&Cher poster! hee!)
  9. My baby sister Niki for being my crafting partner and giving me so many good memories and great experience in taking care of babies/kids. (Wish we could go back to being 4 and 11 for a few days so we could read Thumbelina together and I could wash your hair for you! xoxo)
  10. All my sisters for getting my goofy humor (usually!); for keeping the FUN in family dysFUNction; and for being such great examples as PARENTS, especially now when I need the lessons most (as a new stepmother!)
  11. My mom for her soothing cool hand on fevered foreheads (I always felt better when she said "you are fine" - the magic of mom's power of suggestion!)
  12. My memory of my dad's HUGE laugh.
  13. Familytree Maker for having a place to organize all my memories and facts of our very big families (now if only I had the TIME to work on it!)
  14. My WASSIMA tribe of artful, inspiring ladies - and another new project (fabric circle journal!) to work on!! weeee! Thanks STELLA, for starting this one!
  15. My niece Mikayla's skill as organizing and planning and keeping us on track for our playdates! (can't wait for next Tuesday!) xo
  16. My nephew Burke for being PATIENT with my slowness in getting my old cell phone in the mail to him (I should just SEND IT and find the packaging bits/book that goes with it LATER!) Can't wait to TEXT with you again! xoxo
  17. The term "my tribe" to refer to the various groups of people in our lives that we cherish, love, and feel such soothing support from!
  18. Emails from my talented cousin Brooke with pictures of her work from ART SCHOOL!
  19. Having so many friends that accept my "cactus friend" behaviors (infrequent watering - but doesn't mean I have forgotten or love you less!) - I will do better at staying in touch, I promise I am trying!
  20. Looking over this list and knowing how lucky I am to have so many PEOPLE in my life to be thankful for, that I need a list longer than 20 items to capture them all!! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Gratitude Time! {Take Two}

  1. HOPE.
  2. Sirryha Hope {her middle name given to her has more meaning to me now than ever : )}
  3. Leaders who know how to be STATESMEN/WOMEN. GRACIOUS, not gratuitous. FULL OF CONVICTION, not anger. FEARLESS not fearmongers.
  4. Standing in line with a hundred others waiting for my turn to vote and noticing the man directly in front of me and woman directly behind me were NOT born and raised here (evidenced by their accents and our conversations) - and as we progressed into the open area of the room, happily observing the true "melting pot" of people who turned up at our local Fire Department TO ROCK THE VOTE.
  5. Our local ALL VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT and the nice couple who chatted with me about how that works, logistically. (They don't sleep there like Johnny Gage on Emergency One! -but anywhere from 14 to 30 volunteers respond to every call!)
  6. My Grandmother who was the first female councilwoman in her hometown back in the 70's - who took us to the polls with her and taught us to ALWAYS VOTE!
  7. The convenience of CELL phones and texting - so I could chat with my sisters & hubby during the day about their experiences at the voting booth. (Lisa waited 45 minutes in Murrysville, PA - was 997 of 4000 in her district; Jackie waited behind ONE OTHER PERSON at 2pm today in West Chester, PA; I waited about an hour after work tonight and Rob waited about an hour and 15 minutes at noon time.)
  8. My European friends at work and our local pizza shop who though they do not yet have the right to vote -- still engage in conversations about the election issues and asked "did you vote today?"
  9. New artwork at Starbucks today - eye candy to go with the return of the HOLIDAY CUPS. (Ok--it is TOO soon for CHRISTMAS but at least they waited 'til HALLOWEEN was over!)
  10. Hardly ANY junk mail in the mailbox today!
  11. The nice people who always let me "cut in front of them" when I am waiting to pull out of my neighborhood into the morning traffic.
  12. Beautiful colors of the fall leaves this season.
  13. Rob noticing and mentioning the leaves, too, on a recent drive.
  14. Sirryha wanting to stop and pick up the pretty leaves (as well as the fun crunchy dried, brown ones--always one for each hand!)
  15. OPI packaging MINI bottles of nail polish (in packs of 4 for only a dollar more than the price of a full-size bottle!)
  16. Our digital camera which appeals to my need for INSTANT Gratification!
  17. Lots of clean socks and underwear in our dresser drawers!
  18. Noticing that the kitchen clock hasn't "fallen back" yet so I have more time before lights out!
  19. Unearthing two Vanity Fair magazines I had forgotten my cousin gave to me when we were together last!
  20. Facebook FLAIR (why do I love this so much?!?!) and a growing collection of buttons/pins on my inspiration bulletion board IRL, too!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Gratitude Time {20 Things, Take One}

Joining my INSPIRED peeps Stella and Cameron and Heather and Jen and Jilliene to blog about things I am grateful for (some are doing a list of 20 things each day for a week...some are doing a list every day 'til Thanksgiving. I will see how far I can get!)
So...let's see....I have plenty to be thankful for--here are 20 random things in no particular order:
  1. A package in the mail waiting for me on the porch when I returned home from work today! (Thanks, Aimee, for starting the NEDLEY THE GNOME game! weee!)
  2. A new haircut that I LIKE and can DO. (No more witch hair!)
  3. Lots of great creative inspiration from my blogging pals (Inspired girls, WASSIMA girls, Technicolor Postcards Leading Ladies, SISTV sisters....the list goes on!)
  4. A gas fireplace we can light at the flick of a switch (and turn off again as easily!) Nothing like the first fire of the season.
  5. A BUNCH of nieces and nephews who bring so much life and laughter and always something new to learn to our lives.
  6. Sisters and their spouses who share their above-mentioned offspring with us!
  7. Girls' weekends with Auntie Doris --- especially the Apple Harvest Festival in October.
  8. Letter writers!
  9. My HP Photo Printer that helps me be a more productive scrapper/journaler (rather than the "supply collector" I tend to be!)
  10. Crockpot dinners that we make on Sunday and eat for three days!
  11. Hanging with Sirryha and Rob all weekend with no particular plans.
  12. The magic that brought these people together. I don't know Boho Girl personally--but I came across her blog a long time ago and am so happy that she is going to be a mom ANY MINUTE NOW!
  13. Rob always remembering to turn the porch light on for me when he gets home first. : )
  14. A pile of good books to read and share.
  15. Anthropologie's simple return policy and full refund for a purse that "broke."
  16. Anthropologie's CLEARANCE section (which means I can actually sometimes do more than window shop there!)
  17. COLDPLAY concert with Ethy and Rob on Saturday night.
  18. iTunes and PLAYLISTS and and easy access to SET LISTS (to make the PLAYLIST of the aforementioned Coldplay concert!)
  19. BFFs who "get me" and support me, always, in all ways.
  20. The gift of the non-judgemental people in our lives (who remind me that choosing to be kind rather than right is always the perfect choice.)