Monday, June 30, 2008

Celebrate Freedom

Yesterday I went with my sister Jenni and her family to a large outdoor concert. We didn't hear much of the actual bands performing because it was very family friendly outside the arena and we spent a lot of time walking around and letting BittyBit try out all of the bounce houses and slides in the kid area. It was so incredibly hot outside. We had spf 50 sunscreen slathered all over us (Jenni even had spf 70) and we kept having to re-apply it because we were starting to burn. There is nothing like the vicious Texas sun to beat you into submission.

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. I thought it was only fitting that I create a kit for the 4th of July. There are only a few items that are specific to the holiday. Most of the rest of it is neutral enough to use for any occasion.
You can download the papers here, and the elements here. *Sorry, this freebie is no longer available for download. You may now visit my blog store to purchase this kit.*

My friend Shalene of Jordan's Boutique designed this fabulous desktop calendar to coincide with the release of my kit. She is amazingly crafty and does all kinds of hybrid work, including cards and invitations to events. Check out Shalene's blog to snag the desktop wallpaper, and remember to leave some love if you do.

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Other Mom's Birthday Party

Last night was Julie's mom's birthday. She was a second mom to me when I was a teenager, and I almost spent as much time at her house as I did my own. She was in Paris for her actual birthday a few weeks ago (I know, I'm jealous too) so she wasn't expecting a party at all and it was a big surprise. Her family lured her to the party location by saying that a friend called and was at a church building for some sort of activity where there was free food. She reluctantly agreed to crash the event, only to be surprised by the flash of my camera as she walked through the building. I could tell she was doing some of that split-second reasoning as she thought "why is someone taking a picture of me, and why is it so quiet?"

Here are a few party guests and family members
Julie's sister Kara made the cake, I designed the invitations, and Julie planned the entire thing with a little bit of help from the people she recruited for various tasks.

How many people does it take to light a candle on the birthday cake?
Third time's the charm! (Hey, those childproof lighters are tricky!)

Our birthday gal decided to enlist some help from her grandsons when it came time to blow out the candle - just in case it was as tricky to extinguish as it was to light.

Presents are always fun. Note the always useful hot flash extinguisher on the table.
She's probably thinking, "If I'd known you were going to fly back home from college a day early, I wouldn't have worn argyle - I know that's your signature thing, DD."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gym Playdate

LittleMan's cousin Liam invited us to a kid's gym where he goes a couple of times a week to exercise and socialize with other babies. My kiddo was at the top range of the class, according to age, so he was more interested in crawling around and exploring than bouncing on the balance beam or doing somersaults. He had a fun time though and we were able to hang out with Tayton and Breanne and little Liam for a while.All he wanted to do was stand up.
Chin-ups are fun!
Pretty good for a six month old.
But bubbles are the best part.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Texas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament Results

Tyson did an awesome job at the Travis Lutter Texas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Invitational. He competed in three separate divisions and won first place in two of them. You can click on the "match" links to be taken to the video on YouTube. Tyson usually walks around between 150 and 155 lbs. He and a friend cut weight on Friday before the weigh-ins. Tyson only had to cut two pounds to make the 149 lb cutoff and be able to fight in the 140-149 division. His friend had to cut seven pounds, so Tyson stayed in the sauna with him for moral support, but he was losing too much weight, so he got out when he reached 147.

The first division was the Men's Absolute Novice. There were no weight restrictions, but everyone who fought in this group was brand new to the no-gi style of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Tyson finished his first match with a triangle choke.
Tyson's second match in the Absolute division was ridiculous. He had to fight a guy who was 340 lbs. Tyson still had to fight in the adult (18+) and the masters (30+) divisions later in the day. I was worried about him getting injured fighting the huge guy before he even had a chance to compete against guys his size. When the match started, the other guy knocked him down and planted all of his weight on top of him, then tried for the next three and a half minutes to twist his arm into a submission. Tyson couldn't even close his legs around the guy to get him in his guard. He finally managed to flatten Tyson completely out during the last thirty seconds of the round, and Tyson couldn't breathe at all, so he couldn't defend well and had to tap out when his opponent was finally able to catch him with an americana.
That eliminated him from the Absolute division, but he was not too upset at losing to a guy more than twice his size with the same level of experience. Usually when tournaments have an Absolute division there is no weight class, but they tend to group people of similar builds together. The first opponent that the big guy had to fight was 149 pounds, then he fought Tyson who was 147. Tyson didn't care, but I thought it was a bit ridiculous the way it was organized.

The third match was in the Men's Novice division. Tyson won this one by triangle submission. (The guy he beat was the poor guy who had to fight the 340 lb guy in the first round of the Absolute division.)
The next match was for first place and Tyson won that one too, but he was unable to finish his opponent by submission, so he won by decision (7-0). He did manage to possibly re-fracture his nose during this match.His fifth and final match was in the Men's Master's beginner division. He had less than 5 minutes to recover from his fourth match before he had to fight this one. There was only one other man who showed up - the rest of the competitors dropped out. They could have gone best of three, but were both tired from their previous fights, so they decided to only go one round. Tyson finished this fight after about a minute by getting his opponent in an arm triangle.
Overall it was a very successful day and Tyson was pleased with his performance. He was also glad that he was able to roll with so many people who were, with one exception, close to his weight. Almost all of the guys that he trains with are more experienced and at least 20 pounds heavier than he is.

I See The Moon, The Moon Sees Me...

Julie, you mentioned trying to look at the moon Wednesday night when it was supposed to appear larger than usual. I read about it in an article on the Yahoo! main page, so I went outside and tried to take some pictures. I am even more convinced that I want to buy lenses for my camera, but I think the results are respectable.My mom used to sing a song to me when I was small, and I sing it to both my kids before bed every night. The tune is something that is unique to this song (meaning I can't say "sung to the tune of...") but the words go like this:

I see the moon
The moon sees me
Down through the leaves of the old oak tree
Please let the light that shines on me
Shine on the one I love.

Over the mountains
And over the sea
Back where my heart is longing to be
Please let the light that shines on me
Shine on the one I love.

This is LittleMan's favorite activity lately.
He races as quickly as he can to the bookshelf, then before anyone realizes he's there, he pulls as many books as he can off the shelf.

He got his first haircut on Wednesday. I was too busy trying to finish the elements to my kit to remember to blog about it. Here are the before and after pictures.
He's not sure what he thinks about the scissors, but he liked them better than the clippers.
And after, smiling with his favorite hairdresser, Grandma.

Friday, June 20, 2008

New Windows

We had a local company come out an install new windows in half of our house. Tyson previously installed the small bathroom window in the pictures by himself, and he did the windows in the baby's room too. We found such a good deal on windows and installation though that we decided to let this company install the rest of them for us. As soon as we pay off this half of the windows, we are going to have them come back out and do the rest of the house. My house should be so much more energy efficient, and just in time for the hot Texas summer. Next Tyson is going to put more insulation in the attic.

Out with the old...
...and in with the new.

I created a couple of alphas to coordinate with my "Sunshine Day" kit. The one with the dots is a clear epoxy alpha with glitter polka dots. The lowercase letters are in the same font but are solid blue glitter. I also have some bonus punctuation and numbers included in the files. Thanks for all of your encouragement, it makes me excited to design a new kit. Click on the previews to be taken to the download links. *Sorry, these are no longer available as freebies, they are now available for purchase in my Blog Store.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tagged, and the Long Awaited Elements

Sory created a great layout with the papers from my "Sunshine Day" kit. Check it out on her blog.

HeatherMSU and Michelle tagged me. I don’t usually do these sorts of things, but I thought I'd try something new.

1) I’m only 5’3”. I had to shorten the hem on all of my pants until I finally got smart and started shopping in the petite section of the clothing stores.

2) I love chocolate. I know this isn’t unusual in itself, but my husband can’t stand the stuff and objects to it even being in the house, so I have stashes of it hidden all over the house so that I can get my fix without the teasing.

3) I met my husband at Scarborough Faire, the somewhat local Renaissance Festival. It was not love at first site though, as I was dating his friend at the time,and Tyson and I didn’t start dating until more than a year later.

4) I am very particular about how certain things are done around my house. The other night a friend helped load the dishwasher while Tyson wrote up an appraisal and I bathed the kids. When I came out later to add a cup to the dishwasher, I noticed that the plates were on the wrong side and were facing the wrong direction. I tried to leave it alone, but I ended up reloading the entire machine.

5) I have a thing about the textures of my food. My eggs have to be cooked until they are dry. I like my bacon cooked to a degree that most people would consider burned, but I like to think of it as crispy. I do not like soggy bread either, although I am not so crazy as to freak out about the foods touching on my plate. It is strictly a texture thing, but you are probably thinking I am completely OCD!

6) I do not like to clean the house or do chores when other people are around - which no doubt frustrates my husband, who works from home. :) I prefer to clean the entire house while he is gone, so he can come home and be surprised.

7) I love everything about digital scrapbooking. I am enjoying learning how to create my own kits. I really love collecting other people’s freebies. It is a personal mission of mine to teach any of my friends (and their friends, and their friends) who want to learn. I have already taught seven people since last fall and I can’t wait to learn more so I can share what I know with everyone else!

Now I am tagging:

Jenny - She only learned digi-scrapping a few months ago but she is spinning out layouts right and left. In addition, she just moved far away and I miss her already, so I need a Jenny-fix.

Missy – I am super jealous of her mad photography skills. :)

GingerScraps - She is a collector of freebies, like myself and has her own freebie list to feature other designers.

Mrs. Wresh – I love reading her super long blog posts and feel like I know her family personally. Plus she has amazing template designs and gives away great freebies – and yes, I read to the bottom of each post before I snag the freebie. She is such a great writer.

Andrea Gold - another great designer. I love all of her templates and have even found some great commercial use textures lately. I have seriously bought every template Andrea has ever made.

Michelle Coleman/Little Dreamer Designs - Her kits are full of grungy patterns and bright colors and the depth and textures of her designs are amazing. She is also a budding professional photographer and her pictures are great too.

Misty Cato - I love her style, and her tutorials saved me from chucking my computer out of the window when I first bought photoshop and had no one to teach me how to use it.

Here's the part some of you have been waiting for. I finally finished the elements pack to my "Sunshine Day" kit. It took me forever because frankly, I'm still learning photoshop, and I wasn't sure what I wanted my style to be. I'm also just learning how to use my graphics tablet, so I wasn't entirely comfortable drawing the doodles. I took inspiration from a ton of different people, so the elements are rather eclectic. Several people asked for shovel, pail, sand, and that sort of thing. I did not include those items in this kit because I'm going to use all of those items in a different beach themed kit. The drop shadows are for the preview only. So without further ado, here are the elements.

I love your comments and I read every one. Thanks so much for all the encouragement, and can I just say that I am so glad that I am finished with these - I haven't gotten to bed before midnight in over two weeks!

*Sorry, this is no longer available as a freebie. You may now find this and other products available for purchase in my Blog Store.*

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Eight Years

Yesterday was my eight year wedding anniversary. It kind of snuck up on me. Usually I look forward to my anniversaries for a while before they happen, but I woke up yesterday morning and it was suddenly the big day. Tyson and I kept things low key. We spent a lot of time together during the day, and we went to visit my sister in law Breanne and her baby Liam, who came out ahead of Tayton to stay here for the summer. In the evening Connie watched the kids so that we could go out to dinner. We went to an Italian restaurant and the food was good. It was so nice to just sit across the table from Tyson and not have any distractions. We don't go on enough dates, I think, because I can't remember the last time we were out alone without some sort of agenda (like a martial arts tournament or something).

I am working on an elements pack to match the papers, but I'm not sure what style I want to make them. I have a few different things started but it will probably take me a while to finish them.