Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Photo a Day

Most of you know what Instagram is, or have at least seen people post pictures from it on Facebook.  It's a picture app for any iDevice to make your really crappy iPhone pictures look somewhat presentable. And for those who take really great pictures already, they can add an effect to make it look cooler. Some hate it because they think it makes a crappy picture look even crappier, but it actually does the opposite.  You also have a newsfeed where you "follow" people who use the app as well.  You can only post pictures and then you can comment or "Like" your friends' pictures and they can do the same to yours.  I've found I've kept in touch with more people from out of town with this program than even blogs, Facebook or online games (like Scramble with friends or Words with Friends).  It is much more personal, and I seriously love it.  If you have any iDevice, I suggest you sign up. I actually love it more than Facebook and it doesn't take up as much time as Pinterest (even though I'm not on Pinterest, I've heard it sucks you in).  

A fun thing a bunch of us participated in during January was something called "A Photo A Day Challenge." It's continued through March, but it seems like most of my friends and family were doing the January one. It was a bit hard for me because I traveled on January 10 so I missed a few days here and there.  

I thought it would be fun to post them all in order here.  Like I said, there were some I missed, but I actually took the pictures.  And a few have one or two extras, even though the rules said only one a day. I found other ones that would work too.  So I've posted them below and for the most part posted my original "caption" that I used for that day. For those of you who think this post is gonna be "old news", think again! You may see a few surprises. :)  

Last thing-On someone's post I explained why I thought this whole concept of Photo A Day was fun.  Someone had criticized and told us they didn't want us to... that we should be more creative.  Here's what I wrote to them-- I actually think its a cool concept to get people seeing the world around them that don't normally do.  Not everyone stops to look for these things.  And for those who do see creative things everyday, I love being able to see the same topic, but thru everyone's different eyes and surroundings. 

So there you go!
Day 1- YOU
(originally posted on March 14, but I hadn't started the January Photo-a-day so I thought this would be a fun one.)
Blast from the past! I was sorting through pics and came across this.  Anyone remember me when I had a tiny ounce of "cool" (or at least I thought so.) :) woooow...

Spanish Eggs and Rice - A Family Favorite

Found Spencer eating a chocolate St. Niklaus for breakfast. Unwrapped it himself and was just goin to town on it.
(Side Comment-this was actually after Day 2 but an old Instagram picture I posted on January 18... I thought it would fit with this day too!)

Breakfast of champions-French toast with butter syrup
#inevermakehotbreakfastduringtheweek #kidsonbusat655 #mustbetestingweek
(This was something I just posted on March 14 but thought it would be to post here too.)
Seriously, how can you not?

Google it.  aka "geocaching"

This subject was somewhat interpretive.  Some people posted pictures of mailboxes, a sign with an actual "letter F" in a painted box, and the photo letterboxing where there is a black line above and below.  I thought I'd take it a step further and feature Geocaching letterboxing.
Nothing special. I stole it from my mom's drawer
(I was still in California) and I love it. Don't worry I gave it back.

Finding a whole box of my favorite fancy pastries in my dad's catering fridge in his 
home garage. It makes me smile cuz what normal family has a) a catering fridge, and b) fancy expensive pastries just "kickin it" in there.  Just don't worry about where the two missing ones went at the bottom left. I already know. They "might" be in my own stomach.

Day 7-FAVOURITE #1Cafe Rio- in California! Sweet Pork Salad.  Be still my heart.

This is sheer heaven on a plate.  I literally swoon and faint by the mere thought of this dessert.

Day 8 - YOUR SKY
Typical California palm trees. Gonna miss 'em.

Watching YouTube videos of Thomas the Tank Engine. He would do this for hours if I let him. Thank goodness for the iPad so he can choose them himself.

Nighttime shenanigans with Spencer while we jetlag. 12:32 a.m. We won't be going to bed soon. Spencer just slept for 10 hours. Couldn't wake him. When I tried, he told me "leave mommy! Close door!"we'll be up for awhile. :)

Bottom Pic- Mine & Brian's Master Bedroom on top floor
Top Pic- Guest Bedroom #1 2 floors down but also where I sleep when Spencer ISN'T sleeping and Brian is taking over.  I get to sleep uninterrupted. 2 Advil PM's later and I'm a new person.

 As much as I hate waking Spencer from the depths of sleep, he is super cuddly when he's sleepy (well all the time actually)
I promise I literally just took everything out of my purse.  How did I accumulate so much when I was only in California for a little while? My mom lent me this awesome purse she got as a gift from the Emmy's and then gifted it to me.  Yes, I have 3 wallets (one for credit cards and ID I can take on the army base, 1 for coupons and American cash, the other for Euro cash).  And a glue stick? Really?

One of my favorite sights-both girls enthralled in reading. Wanna know what the girl in the front seat was reading? See next picture.

Yup. That's a National Geographic thank you very much! She already read the twins article and was on to deep sea diving discoveries.  And yes, this is something "I'm" reading.  She happened to find it in the car and was consumed.

Happiness is when we're on the mend with sleeping thru the night (jetlagging). 10 hours last night!

Double ear infection for this little boy. The dr said it was a bad one and must've been in a lot of pain. I figured he deserved an ice-cream outing.  He was happy as can be with medicine in him and two bowls of ice cream. (He stole mine. Can you tell which one?)

Day 16- MORNING #1
Spencer's bus comes at 7:05 a.m. Tuesday-Friday.  He's on it for an hour picking up other kids.  He used to hate it but now he likes it
Day 16- MORNING #2
Picking his seat on the bus and saying goodbye.

Day 17- WATER
I found this gem on the side of the house when I came home from the states.  First thought, "Oh, THAT'S the thing I knew I was forgetting something when I left."

All new MAC makeup on an excursion with my sisters in California!

Day 19- SWEET
My favorite everyday German candies
Spencer's early development teacher Ms.Markeson. You have no idea how much this woman has done for us and Spencer. She is a godsend and has a special place in our hearts. 

My date for tonight 

(Actually posted on Valentine's Day)

Day 22- SHOES
My black boots Nikki Schultz gave me for Christmas. I seriously wear them so much. Thank you!

Brian's parents' upright piano from 1812 that never goes out of tune.
#januaryphotoaday #ohthequalityoftheoldendays

Gossip Girl

Quilt for Baby Harlow DeRoest

Yo Gabba Gabba Pajama Pants for Grandpa
(this was a picture in the unfinished stages)

Spencer's first day of playtime, aka Occupational Therapy.  He LOVES the ball pit.

Day 27- LUNCH
Bruschetta Burgers and Italian Pasta Salad

Day 28-LIGHT
(Originally posted on Jan. 12 while we were jetlagging)
1:45 am and everyone is in bed! This is a miracle!

Fridges here are small. Shop at both German stores and American

My freezer is the top picture.  The one on left is a whole picture so you can see the size. The bottom starts at my knees. So of course, being American, we gotta have a big one so the picture on the right is the big one downstairs. Most of my produce, extra milk boxes, and frozen foods go in the big one. I didn't get a pic of the inside but it's pretty empty. 
Need I say more? Although, it only snowed 2 or 3 times this winter. I can't complain. I just don't like driving in this kind of weather.

(Originally posted on January 12)
Loves when my husband picks up the mail and comes home with these babies! They'll be gone in no time.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Going AROUND the leaf.

I'm having a funny kind of week.  I just realized something about myself... sometimes.

Sometimes I'm just like the ants in the movie "A Bug's Life."  Do you remember that opening scene where the ants are all in line carrying their nuts, fruits and leaves, all following each other smoothly, each step of the way in a procession to the end-- an altar of food for the grasshoppers?  That is... until a leaf drops and there's... gasp!... a gap in the line. The ants freak out and don't know what to do.  They just stand there, jumping around, screaming, and totally confused.  

It isn't until one of the manager ants (manager ants? is that what you would call them?) runs over yelling, "Do not panic! Do not panic! We are trained professionals! Just stay calm! We are going AROUND the leaf!  That's it. Good!  Good! You are doing great.  There you go! Watch my eyes. Don't look away. Aaaaand there's the line again. Great job everybody!"

I've just recently realized that sometimes life is like this for me.  I have all the steps laid out for a certain project, or event, or even just the day-to-day routine and while most of the time I'm fine and finish everything smoothly AND on schedule... there are just some of those times where if one thing goes wrong, if something hasn't been quite finished, or I'm waiting on someone else to mail me something or finish their step of the way, I get stuck. 

And can't move past it.  

And when I say "can't move past it," what I mean is--- everything in life just seems to stop.  

I stop answering emails, I stop blogging, I get annoyed if someone tries to sidetrack me by wanting me to do anything else besides this one step and I can barely focus on anything else (besides, of course, getting dressed, feeding my family and the basics.)   I get so focused on how to finish or solve the problem that I  almost forget everything else. I sort of feel like Princess Atta--- Stressed and can't move forward.

The thing is I can't believe I have this quality sometimes. Because most other times I have a pretty cool head. I'd say 85 % of the time (at least that's what I believe of myself.  Others might think differently) I feel I am pretty cool headed.  But then there's this other 15% that just stops all the presses.

I can't really tell you what project it is that I'm working on right now that is causing me to stop life, but just know that it is one of the reasons I haven't blogged in two weeks (and I even get this way with blogging when I have to sort through pictures from a big event), haven't registered my kids for soccer, or haven't sent out my New Year's cards I wanted to send out two weeks ago... I can't tell you because it'll give it away to the person I'm making it for.  

But it was this project that, in my morning fog and ultimate focus on how to obsess about, devote another one of my entire days to make it work somehow... I had a realization, a dawning, and a shake-your-head-embarrassment insight into a laughable and pretty ridiculous quality about myself.  That I needed to just let it go, go "around the leaf," move on, and possibly (is there such a thing? whew. I'm learning there is) do some of the other steps of the project that could be done while I'm waiting.

I get this way about my "To Do List."  Sometimes I get so focused on crossing things off the "List" (yes, with a capital L... at least that's the way it seems since I give so much power to it) that I barely emerge out of my hibernation  house to run errands or go to meetings.  Sometimes I literally have to pull my brain away from the "To Do List" and just relax.

Case in point-There is a project I was working on yesterday (no, this isn't the main project I'm referring to above... this is ANOTHER, I guess, stoppable project... sheesh).  I really needed to make some little baptism bags for a few children who are being baptized THIS SUNDAY.  I couldn't cut them out because I needed pins to secure the material from sliding around.  But I had no pins.  And every time I sat down to my sewing machine, I also saw the shirt I have needed to take in (something I also needed pins for) and fix a rip in the side of Brian's white shorts, that I, too, needed pins for.  But again, no pins.  Oh, and both projects have been sitting on my sewing machine for... about 6 months.

Where were all my pins, you ask?  Well, I'll tell you... stuck around the outside of a quilt that I've been trying to make for oh... about 4 years (since I found out I was pregnant with Spencer What the heck is wrong with me!!!!).  A quilt that is only ONE PIECE OF MATERIAL... a simple piece of green material that I was trying to put some ribbon-like binding around the outside.  Should be easy, right?  Wrong. It kept slipping when I tried pinning it on the past 3 years. So it sat... for 3 years. I set it aside and didn't work on it but it was in my "projects" pile and I just couldn't let it go. So when Brittany came, I asked her to pin it on... 6 months ago. 

Then I tried sewing it and the thread kept pulling out and not grabbing the underside of the ribbon.  

So I set it aside.  

Then came yesterday. I knew I needed pins for these bags so I attempted to sew the dang thing again. It didn't work AGAIN so I tried hand sewing it.  See? Trying to find solutions to plow THROUGH the leaf.  

It looked horrible.  

I picked it all out and just sat there, thinking, all I need are these dang pins, but I can't get them out until I sew this, and I don't want to NOT sew it cuz I'll waste all this material (mind you... it probably only cost me $10 and it was so long ago I don't even remember how much it cost me), and even if Spencer won't like it when it's finished cuz he hates fleece material and will only sleep with flannel I'll just gift it to someone but who maybe Katie but would she even like it if it doesn't look professional and why can't I just sew this dang thing aunt dianne makes it look so easy maybe I need a new sewing machine but I don't really need a new sewing machine cuz I don't sew enough and my serger is great it's too bad I don't know how to use the serger without the cutting mechanism dangit why can't I do this i'm such a loser.... 

(you know all the runon thoughts that just stream through your head... the best were the great self sabotaging ones).

Then I stopped.

Christy... Go around the freaking leaf!  
Just freaking take all the pins out, roll up the ribbon/material and GIVE IT AWAY TO THE DANG THRIFT STORE!!!!  Be done with it and call it a day.  

So I did.  I ripped all those pins out so fast, tossed them on the sewing table, rolled the ribbon around my hand haphazardly, threw it into a grocery bag and chucked it... into my "extra material/play with" bin. (Haha-I couldn't bear to give it a way just yet, right?. :) Maybe someone will want it that I know and can give it a good home). 

Then I took the shirt I wanted to take in and just hung it back up in my closet (it wasn't that bad) and threw Brian's shorts out into the Thrift Store box (sorry Brian, they were old shorts and would look funny if I tried stitching them up. Maybe someday... if you really need it... but not til summertime... it's too cold anyway. :)  Maybe I should have just gone and bought more pins.  hahaha.

Baptism bags.  20 of them sewn and finished.  


(I do, however, need to sew the buttons onto my coat... that one there's no giving up cuz it was a new coat, which irks me even more).  

Now onto going around the leaf for my other ongoing project.  I'll for sure post when I'm done.  I'm gonna have to do some serious channeling to imagine going around the leaf on this one.  I still keep thinking I can fix just that one problem, but alas, I keep running into obstacles.  

Here's hoping to fixing the gap in the line and moving on with life!  I gotta remember to be like Flik and follow my heart, focus on my bigger Plan (I should make it a capital "P" and give more power to that, right?) to make life better and someday conquer the world AND the grasshoppers!

Oh, and P.S. the caterpillar, Heimlich, is my favorite character!!!!

(Remember my little caterpillar?