Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas is Coming

Yep. It is that time of year again. You know, when you think you have all sorts of time and then all of a sudden it is 2 weeks until Christmas and you are scrambling to get everything in order? Yeah, that time.

This year I am happy to say that I am on top of my game and ready to go. The tree is up. The presents are bought and all my custom glass orders have been cut, fired, polished, packaged and are ready to be shipped. Last year I was not so on top of it and barely got the tree up in time for Christmas and was very nearly late on a few custom orders. I blame having a baby and toddler. I always blame something other than my own procrastination. But not this year. This year is simply magical.

It doesn't even feel like work this year. Something about getting sleep at night and not being massively pregnant (my babies came in January and February) make Christmas so much more fun. The kids are old enough to get into it, and I am relaxed enough to enjoy it.

I hope you are enjoying it too. And if you are like me and have a tendency to procrastinate, there is still time to order a custom Expressions pendant for your loved ones. Deadline for guaranteed delivery by Christmas is December 15th.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saying Goodbye

It has taken me 3 days to write this post – not because I am lazy and lack diligence in keeping up this blog – but because the emotions have been too raw and the pain too biting to put into words. My beloved Sweetiedog left us this past Friday after 15 glorious years together, and I am finding it hard to say goodbye.


If you have never known the love of a dog, you are truly missing out on one of the greatest treasures this world has to offer. I genuinely believe God gave us dog to offer a taste and trifle sample of just how great is His love for us. It is no mere coincidence they share the same name, just spelled backwards. A dog loves without failing. They defend without mercy. They forgive without question. They give all of themselves and ask nothing in return. Their love is boundless.

I have known the love of a dog, as have I known the love of God. Sweetie and I embarked upon our journey December 5, 1995 when I carried her home in a cardboard box from a little town north of St.Cloud. It was the beginning of the greatest friendship I have ever known. The little stinker was a Houdini from the start – nearly getting us both killed climbing out of that box the entire drive back to Minneapolis. It was the first of many tricks she would entertain me with over the years. I called her Sweetie, because she was just too cute and I reasoned it would end up her nickname anyways.

We shared countless laughs, and numerous tears. We graduated college together. Went on vacations and shopping excursions – she was the master of ‘stealth dog mode’ in her designer pet bag perusing the produce section at Byerlys. Got married, divorced, then married again. Welcomed a second dog and survived 2 trips to the ICU. We bought 2 houses and had 2 babies together. We lived a lot. We loved a lot.

She hogged the pillow and stole the laundry. She chewed her greenies and charged the fence. She loved to hike and tried to hunt – almost nabbed herself a chipmunk once. She swam like a fish and danced like a cat. She was a unique personality and the sweetest bundle of love in a 3 pound package.

It is a great tragedy the lives of our beloved dogs are so short in comparison to our own. They live so much in the time they are given; they could certainly teach us a thing or two. In the hours after her passing I told my husband I could never do this again. The pain was so intense I could not even cope. But I know that “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” And to avoid the suffering, I would have missed out on the love. 3 days of sadness are nothing compared to 15 years of glorious memories. I thank God for giving me dog and a tiny piece of Himself. Thank you for the memories. Rest peacefully my beloved Sweets, until we meet again.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Casanova

At the ripe old age of 19 months my son has become quite the little ladies man. A dear friend and her girls came by last Sunday for a playdate and some girl talk.

"Look deep into my eyes"
Benno wasn't too impressed with the 3 year old - likely because she is the exact same age as his own sister, and well, we know how that goes. But the 7 year old ... now that was another story. He was quite drawn to her and followed her around the yard like a puppy - mesmerized by her every move.

He waited until the opportunity was just right ... and then he seized the moment. She sat down on the sidewalk to play with Nadia and he moved in for the kill. He seated himself right down on her lap, took her by the shoulders and gazed into her eyes.

"Accept this binki as a token of my affection"
He then offered her a token of his affection - mind you this particular token, his binki, is his most prized posession ever. He does not share his binki with anyone (except mom & dad).




Finally, when he thought she was truly his, he made his final move. He went in for the kiss - a sweet little innocent baby eskimo kiss.
putting on the moves

That's my boy. Watch out girls!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Conquered Fear

We took the kids to a local amusement park to have some fun and burn off some energy. My 3 year old is quite the ride junkie, but the little guy hadn't yet experienced the rush and excitement of the thrill ride.

Knowing he already has an irrational fear of loud & noisy machines (like the lawnmower and vacuum cleaner), it was questionable as to whether my parental judgement was in line or if I should have been smacked for even considering such a thing.

Off to the umbrella cars we went. My oldest hopped in and was raring to go. The boy, on the other hand, not so much. It was a fight to get him in the seat and pin him down long enough to get the seat belt strap on. Crocodile tears poured from the eyes and the sound of sobbing filled the air. He reached his arms up to me as if to say "save me mama! help me! get me out of here!" For a fleeting moment I thought, what kind of mother am I torturing my poor child like this?

I assured him he was going to have FUN, and he was with sister so everything was okay. Mama was going to be right here - outside this fence. Hmm. Brilliant. Strap the poor kid in so he is crying and freaking out and then just walk away and go behind a fence so you can't even hold his hand. Maybe this wasn't the most intelligent idea.

The ride operator asked me if he was going to be okay. I responded with I will let you know within the first 2 seconds if you need to stop this ride or not. And he pushed the big blue button.

Instantly the cries stopped. Before the cars even made a quarter turn around the big circle there was screeching and laughter coming from the same boy whom just a second ago was beside himself in tears. He grabbed onto that steering wheel and a Nascar racer was born. It was nothing but grins and giggles after that.

And then the ride stopped. And the crying began. And the fight to get him off that ride was even worse than the fight to get him on. Fear was conquered and a ride junkie was born.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Where Have You Been?

Famous last words spoken by my mother. In that tone of voice. You know the one. The one that says "you are in big trouble missy. Expect to be grounded for at least a week. Perhaps forever." Yeah, that one.

I'll never forget that night. I had just passed my driver's license test earlier in the day. Mom gave me the keys to her car to drive to a very specific location, from which I would return at a very specific time. You already know how this ends - Mom standing in the driveway, tapping her foot, hand out clicking her fingers in that "gimme those keys right this instant" motion. Come to think of it, I never did drive that car again. Ever.

So where have I been? No place exciting really. Certainly not road tripping across the country in a "stolen" vehicle. Nope. I was at training. I won't bore you with the details *yawn* but suffice it to say my brain is mush and I am happy to be returning to normalcy.

My studio is not pleased with my absence. I got a bit of a scolding last night when I tried to return to the torch only to fry a nice strip of flesh right off my finger. Yeah that felt good. I guess that will teach me to not stay out past my curfew and check in when I am supposed too ;)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

PPP

Ah the magic 3 letter acronym that is supposed to be the ultimate answer for the question "how do I do this?" Practice, practice, practice. Well that is what I have been doing. Now that my lampworking studio is fully set up (I'll have to blog about that journey some other time) I have been spending every free minute - after the kids are in bed, and the house is cleaned up, and the errands have been run, and you see where this is going - at the torch trying to learn how to make glass beads.

I can't really complain. I have been able to get about 2-3 hours a week at the torch so we are making progress, albeit some very slow progress. The beads are starting to resemble beads and not just globs of glass with holes in the middle. The holes are much smoother and can no longer double as a finger pricking device. And I'm even managing to get some almost precise dot placement so they look like something I actually meant to do.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Genetics

One of the neatest (and sometimes horrifying) things about being a parent is witnessing first hand just how much of a role genetics play in dictating your personality. Of course there is that whole nature/nurture stuff too, but some things - especially the really odd things - are just plain old genetics. Thanks mom & dad.

It was most evident to me today when my 3 year old was insistent on playing with finger paints. Being the OCPD type that I am I begrudgingly dug them out of the bucket (that is kept in strict lock-down), suited her up in an apron, set her up outside on the patio table, and let her go to town like any good mother would.

Not more than 2 minutes into her first masterpiece, she is freaking out and yelling "mama dirty. all dirty. wash hands mama." Really? You are three. Most 3 year olds love to get dirty. Nope. Not mine. She couldn't handle having paint on her fingers and needed to be cleaned up. That was the end of her first Picasso.

Poor thing. Looks like she got that lovely trait from yours truly. And no, she didn't just pick it up by watching me. I have been trying extra hard NOT to project that silly little trait of mine onto her, but I guess it didn't matter. She got it from the gene pool instead.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Murphy's Law

Just who is this Murphy guy anyway? And why is he always right? According to Wiki (the be-all, end-all knowledge resource), there is no direct link to any particular person named Murphy, but apparently he is most certainly always right. "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong".

I usually consider myself an eternal optimist. You know, one of those really annoying people who are always happy and always see the bright side of life. Many of my close friends and family think I am mildly delusional and view the world with a different set of glasses, but alas, this week I have to say I side with Murphy.

My employer sent me to training - one of those week-long crash course deals that fills your brain with more knowledge than you can possibly handle in a really short time span and leaves you completely fried for the weekend. Wouldn't you know that THIS week, of all weeks, I have a bunch of orders to ship?

Not that I am complaining. We all love to get sales. But my Etsy store has been sitting there for weeks with nary a sale and no activity. Nada. But the ONE week I am completely out of touch with reality - with no access to a post office, or my shipping supplies, or even my product stash - that is the week I happen to get sales. Go figure.

I just hope my customers are understanding and not too upset with my slightly delayed shipping this week. I promise I am normally a very prompt shipper. Now just you watch. A month will go by before I make another sale. In fact, I'm pretty sure I won't make another sale until I am once again otherwise indisposed and inconvenienced. Blast that Murphy and his stupid law.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So I have a blog. Now what?

It seems as though everyone and anyone has a blog these days. There are blogs about everything under the sun, and blogs about absolutely nothing at all. I figured it was about time I got with the 21st century and made one for myself.

So here it is. Fancy that. It was pretty darn easy. Now finding content to put in here that someone else in this world would find interestesting enough to take 5 minutes out of their day to read, well, that is an entirely different story.

Since I have absolutely nothing of interest to blog about right now, I am just going to put a picture out here instead so there is something worthwile to look at. Here is just a sampler of my work. Click on my website to see more.


Stay tuned. I am sure I will figure out this technology and find a way to feed it into my personal website and all those other networking sites ad naseum so that I am really hip with the technology - which in all reality I should be since that is technically what I do for a living ...