I was going to post something else, but went to the CY365 gallery and was inspired by everyone participating in the prompt (my eyes). Also, here are my new (to me) blue glasses. A friend gave them to me in April 2013 as she wasn't going to wear them any more. I used them with my new prescription in March.
In PSE, I used Pioneer Woman's "Bring out the eyes" action (which makes quite a difference) - and resisted the urge to give myself a fake Botox treatment. I did touch up my chapped lips, though.
I've enjoyed doing this photo scavenger hunt over the past five days! The rules said to "be creative" and I really tried to do that with most of my pictures. This photo hunt was an extra activity in The Phone Photography Project at BPC which I'm loving. Tons of great information and it's right up my alley.
Something summery (waiting for fireworks to start)
The first initial of your name (from a gluten-free bakery called Kneaded)
Something odd (me taking a picture of someone's yard ornament at 6 am!)
A sign (Grow Regina Community Garden diptych)
I took half of these photos on my BlackBerry Curve, three on Neil's HTC Android phone, and two on my iPad. I processed most of them using apps on my iPad: Instagram, A Beautiful Mess, Pic Tap Go, PicFrame, SnapSeed, and HalfTone. I also used an app called 6 x 6 to take the symmetry photo.
I'm posting all of my photos for this class/project on Instagram (@kkbyrns).
Reply to email from OhLife.com - YES (890 entries now); this feeds my monthly roundups - couldn't do them without doing this
Clear collection basket (mail, school papers, receipts, etc.) - Yes&No; I did pretty well the 1st half of the year; not so well after that
Clean up basement - clean/purge/organize one stack, box, or shelf per week - didn't do 1/week, but did accomplish a major overhaul over weekends in August and September, so YES, but not finished
Clean up email inbox and computer files - 30 minutes per week (in
addition to regular reading, replying, and filing of new messages) - Yes&No; did well for part of the year, but email is now sitting around 150 (was over 250 two days ago) and my computer desktop is a mess
Back up computer to EHD (in addition to auto backups) - YES
Maintain photo organization (choose best, upload, print, share) - YES, but the basement overhaul took priority for awhile and then catching up on photos was difficult
Clear 2004-2006 storage binders (distribute photos to category
files, mini albums, photo albums, and cold storage) - NO
Create Photos I Love album - NO
I think I did pretty well: 12 YES, 3 NO, and 4 Yes&No (partial success) -- about 75%. That's fine; I used the other 25% for accomplishments such as keeping our family calendar up to date, doing yard work, learning set dancing, learning about food, and doing my December Daily photo project! In any case, looking back at my plans for 2012 helps me see what works for me and what doesn't.
What about 2013? I'm working on setting goals for this year, but I'm not finished yet. This month has been crazy!
This is what I see when I leave my office, as I walk to my parking spot. The lights in the middle are from the refinery/upgrader.
I had planned to get today's photo at my set dancing class this evening -- and I did take a few photos there -- but I also took this emergency backup photo on my iPad when I left work today. I'm glad I did because my photos from set dancing wouldn't work for blog posting (people shots). We had a bit of a Christmas party at set dancing tonight, with a snack/dessert potluck and some singing and musical entertainment from various members of the class. With a few extra guests, we had three full sets (8 couples per set) and we danced the Connemara, Clare Lancer, and Antrim Square sets, plus the Circle Waltz (one of my favourites) and another two-hand dance. I really enjoy set dancing and will join again after Christmas!
Me on 12/12/12 (close to 12:12 pm) when I took a whole Wednesday off work to do scrapbooking! (Photo taken in my basement; lit by the natural-tone OTT light I use for scrapping.) I had prepared photos and other supplies in advance so I could follow along with BPC's first live event, Mini Albums on Maui, from which they broadcast live every hour on the hour for 12 hours -- 11 am to 10 pm in my time zone. Each segment was about 10-15 minutes long. Neil set up his laptop and Apple TV, so I could see the broadcasts on our big TV. I worked on my 2012 Yearbook album all day, barely taking time to eat! My whole album is set up now and looks great, but I still have to lots of writing to do to complete it. Stacy gave writing assignments for all 12 sections of the book. I'm so impressed with the level of thought and detail that went into the instructions for this project. It'll be an awesome reflection of 2012!
My reflection in the patio doors at work. I thought it was cool how you can see so much of the area outside my office building. I'm glad no one came into the kitchen/lounge area while I was taking this picture! At least I don't think anyone saw me; even though the glass is clear, I couldn't see through it at all. I had my hood up because the wind was pretty chilly today.
It's been five weeks since I've posted here! I'm pretty sure this has been my longest break, by far, in the 8.5 years I've been blogging. In that time, I've been extremely preoccupied with our basement and getting rid of stuff, we went on a week-long road trip, and the girls have started school and all activities except ringette. The good news is: I have July's roundup and half of August's written (coming soon to the blog - I hope). The bad news is: I haven't looked at photos from July or August -- and I don't see a whole lotta spare time in my future. Well, I must squeeze it in somehow! While I'm still committed to our basement projects, I absolutely cannot start October with three months of unprocessed photos. Nope; gotta get it done.
We're deep in the throes of cleaning our overstuffed basement. And we just decided on Monday to have a yard sale this Saturday. So much to do before (and after) the sale! Good thing I'm off tomorrow. I'll be preparing for the sale tonight, too, but first, I wanted to pop in and write something; otherwise, there may be no blog post at all this month.
We're planning to sell children's clothing at our sale, which is something we've never done before. Up to now, we've given everything (up to size 5) away. But the massive pile of clothes (and shoes) we have to get rid of right now is just too much to handle the same way we have in the past. (Plus, we could use the money for school supplies.) We're only selling for six hours, and I'm sure we'll have lots of clothes left to send to Texas.
I don't know when I'll be able to do my monthly photo tasks or roundup for July, and this bothers me! Oh, how I loathe getting behind on these things. But I'm determined to get our house in order before ringette starts (October). (My hope was to do it before school starts, but I can see there's more to do than we have time for before September 4.) We've made some good progress and we can't stop now. Moving is not an option and continuing to live in this mess is not an option, either!
I'm still learning about food during the times when I'm not with other people or working (at work or at home): podcasts while driving; videos during work breaks; reading for a few minutes before bed. I've:
Aside from simply being interested in nutrition (which I've always been; although I didn't always have correct information), I've been fascinated, astonished, and saddened by what I've been learning lately. We now have access to "new" (in some cases, old, but forgotten) information about food's enormous impact on our health, and this information should be turning our world upside down, but I'm afraid mass acceptance is still a long way off.
I'll be reading Wheat Belly soon. Thanks to Neil for buying it for me at Costco today, unrequested, even though I know he has some reservations about me reading it. :) But I don't need to read the entire book to start making a change. All it took was one 42-minute radio show (see link above) to make me seriously consider giving up wheat -- with the possible exceptions of homemade pie (rare treat), homemade turkey dressing (rare treat), and spelt bread* (occasionally) -- and it's not even an issue of weight for me; the other health implications are enough.
*I think the jury is out on spelt; I can't be sure it's not as bad as modern wheat, but I'd like to keep it as an option for my family -- at least as another delivery vehicle for butter. Lucky for us, our friends at Orange Boot Bakery make an excellent 100% spelt bread (bonus: it's fermented/sourdough).
P.S. And, of course, we've been taking in as much of the Olympics as we can! These days are full.
In a private Facebook group for Simple Scrapper members, Jennifer asked questions throughout the month of June. It was a fun exercise and I thought it was worth gathering my answers for an "about me" blog post.
How many times have you moved? I had to look it up in my Me: The Abridged Version album (I had listed all of my addresses)... 20 times! Only twice as a child, and I've lived in the same house for the past 15 years. I moved a lot during my 6 years of university.
Must-haves for your "last meal"? Bison tenderloin steak with cilantro-lime butter, young potatoes roasted with olive oil/s&p, garden tomatoes, cucumber and sour cream salad, crusty sourdough bread, peach pie, fresh raspberries, and vanilla whipped cream. Red wine to start and coffee with cream to end.
I am awesome at _________. I stink at _________. I am awesome at maintaining our family calendar. I stink at going to bed when I should.
Favorite color? Red.
What other kinds of crafts do you enjoy? I haven't been doing other crafts, other than making the odd card and some kid crafts with my girls.
Would you rather be too hot or told cold? Too hot. I absolutely hate being cold -- even though I totally see Tinka's logic! [that you can always add more clothing or blankets if you're cold, but there's only so much you can take off]
What was the first music album you purchased? What format was it? I remember this clearly! It was 1982 - John Cougar, American Fool on cassette.
What was your first car like? Mine was a brown Pontiac LeMans (late 70s model, I think). My dad bought it for me for $700. It was ugly but it worked! I drove it for about four years.
Favorite flavor of ice cream? Vanilla! (Sweet & Salty Caramel Crunch is pretty awesome, too.)
When you were 5, what did you want to be when you were a grown up? I don't remember thinking about that when I was five. I was quite a bit older when I wanted to be a gym teacher. And I did nothing like that! (Part of me wishes I had, though.)
What year did you start scrapbooking? In the early 90s, I put together a big scrapbook of memorabilia from my childhood and university years, but I didn't start scrapbooking with photos until 2002 when my first child had just turned one.
Have you ever dyed your hair a non-natural shade? No - I haven't even dyed my hair a natural shade.
If this was a sorority, what would the back of your jersey say? (i.e. clever nickname) How about Fastidious? It sounds better than fussy -- and other synonyms that describe me.
Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Tough question! [which led me and the girls to look at the Sesame Street website for a few minutes :)] I think... Cookie Monster.
How many times do you check Facebook each day? I think it varies between 5 and 10.
Do you have any phobias? It's not at phobia level, but public speaking is probably my worst fear. And birds flying around my head!
Confess to a scrapbooking "sin" you have committed. I have LOM-themed albums, but I don't organize within them at all. When I make a layout, I put it in the *front* of the album. Otherwise, there's no rhyme or reason to the order. I don't scrap chrono, so there's no correlation between photo dates and when I scrapped them, either. A sin? Who knows? It's just easy. :) [LOM stands for Library of Memories (a system developed by Stacy Julian). The themes are Us, People, Places, and Things.]
What time do you wake up most mornings? I wake up between 5:30 and 6:00, with or without an alarm. I love to get up at 5:30 and have a little more free time before everyone else gets up.
Do you listen to podcasts? Which ones are your favorites? The Digi Show and Paperclipping Roundtable. (I subscribe to a few other podcasts, but I never run out of those two so I guess I don't have time for more.) [Update: Just started listening to Dishing Up Nutrition after running out of the Digi Show and PRT for the first time.]
Complete this sentence: I've always wanted to try... I've always wanted to try using a Wacom tablet.
Share your favorite time management/productivity tip. (a) Use an online calendar (Google Cal for me), so you can access it from various locations/devices; (b) Add *everything* to your calendar that has a date or time associated with it (and add it as soon as you learn about it); (c) Set up an email reminder to "check calendar" every day (schedule it to arrive early); and (d) Check your calendar as soon as you see that email. Do not skip this step! :)
How many kids/grandkids do you have? Three daughters - 11, 9, and 6 years old.
How many siblings do you have? (question added by another Simple Scrapper member) I have one younger brother.
Any strange idiosyncrasies? (question added by me) Yes... for example, I just added this question because ending on "23" bothers me. And, in number 21, the word "tip" all by itself on the second line is driving me crazy (as does every word orphan)!
Since I really love colour photos and was often picking up my camera for Picture B&W anyway, I decided to play along with the Shutter Sisters' Colour Month in June. I managed to get everything but the last three prompts: gold, rainbow, and favourite (red). Those days were just too crazy!
In January, I posted My plans for 2012. I'm keeping track of my progress using a spreadsheet in Google Documents. I enjoy my rainbow of colours!
Here's how I'm doing so far...
Reply to email from OhLife.com -> CHECK. I'm finally in the habit of writing on a daily basis. Before this, I would sometimes let it go up to four days and then it was dreadful trying to remember that far back. Even two days was challenging. Daily is so much better!
Clear collection basket (mail, school papers, receipts, etc.) every weekend -> CHECK. I've done this for 14 weeks straight now, and I'm completely hooked on getting it done weekly. It's so much easier to tackle a small amount. I often wonder why I didn't do this before; I always knew I should, but couldn't make myself do it and then the pile would grow to a daunting 5 or 6-hour task. Never again! (Note: I've paid our bills on a weekly basis for years; these weren't neglected like the other papers.)
Clean up basement - clean/purge/organize one stack, box, or shelf per week -> NOT EVEN CLOSE. I've only done this twice in three months. Perhaps it's partly because I've been more focused on my email inbox, but I think it's also because I don't see much progress each time; it's all just the tip of the iceburg. And there's no immediate payoff like I have with the collection basket (i.e., doing it consistently means each session is brief). I'll just have to keep trying with this one. Or, change my plan to 4-hour sessions, so I can see some real progress each time. That might be more rewarding.
Clean up email inbox and computer files - 30 minutes per week -> CHECK. On April 20, I finished clearing my inbox from well over 800* messages to ZERO!!! (Plus, all new messages that arrived over the past three months; more than 2000 in my estimate.) And I didn't just sweep the old ones into an archive folder as recommended by Revive Your Inbox -- a free course I started when I was already down to about 50 messages. Nope; I did it the hard way. I dealt with each one (though some were tossed in batches) and I'm glad I did. This way, I know I haven't missed anything I needed or wanted to do, and most messages are deleted rather than sitting in a folder. Although I didn't follow that one instruction (because it was too late for me), I do recommend this course. The information is very useful and it will definitely help me stay in control of my email going forward.
*I have to explain this number. The last time I emptied my inbox was in September 2010. The time between then and January 2012 is exactly the time I was developing and running Bite-sized Scrapbooking. BSS generated a lot of email and I always stayed on top of those messages, but then I was tapped when it came to the rest of my inbox. I couldn't keep up. Now, I have more free time and less email burn-out.
Back up computer to EHD (in addition to automatic Time Machine backups) -> CHECK. I've done this within the first week of each month this year.
Maintain photo organization (choose best, upload, print, share) -> CHECK. I was doing this consistently before, but now I'm trying to get it done within the first week so I can focus more on scrapbooking during the rest of the month.
Write and post roundup on my blog. -> CHECK. Although it's a bit time consuming, I'm very glad to be recording these details of our life. I'm trying to do this within the first week of each month, as well.
Do one-on-one activity with each of my girls -> CHECK. I love these dates with my girls, and I know they do, too. I highly recommed this!
Complete 6 layouts inspired by Twelve with Stacy Julian at BPC -> NOT QUITE. I made 1 in January, 3 in February, 6 in March, and only 2 so far in April; I'm not sure I'll get to six this month. While I haven't met my goals, I'm happy to have 12 layouts done! Plus, I have no shortage of layout ideas. I think I need to find a better time of day for scrapping. I used to be able to scrap late in the evening, but now I'm too tired at that time. Perhaps now that my inbox is clear, I could do something scrappy first thing in the morning.
Use at least one Simple Scrapper template in creating the layouts mentioned above -> NOT QUITE. I've only used one so far in 2012. I was thinking I'd use them as digital templates, but I should try using them as sketches instead. This year, I've been doing all types of layouts -- all digital, all paper, and hybrid -- and I'm finding that all digital is my least favourite. I don't mind the end result, but I don't enjoy the process as much. I like cutting and glueing, for real. :)
Take an informal family photo (5x12 - based on Tara Whitney's six-people-twelve-times project) -> CHECK. So far, so good. This takes a bit of planning and wrangling, and the photos aren't perfect, but I'm so happy to have them!
Create and promote BSS Bundle #2 (January) -> CHECK.
Pare down clothing for all five of us (February) -> NOT QUITE. We didn't tackle Neil's clothes, but I'll let it go for now. What we did do was a huge accomplishment!
Complete unfinished layouts (5) by the end of March -> NOT QUITE. I finished a couple of them.
Participate in Picture Black & White with Tracey Clark at BPC (30 photos in May and June) -> COMING SOON!
Clear 2004-2006 storage binders (distribute photos to category files, mini albums, photo albums, and cold storage) -> NOT YET. And I don't see this happening for quite some time. Perhaps I can look at these in the summer and/or fall.
Create Photos I Love album (year-long project in BPC class, Twelve) -> NOPE. I'm letting this one go. I would rather make other layouts right now, and it's challenging enough to get those done. I do want to create a Photos I Love album someday, but it won't be based on choosing a photo from each month.
Overall, I think I'm doing pretty well. The next two months will likely challenge my goals even further as I participate in Picture Black & White. At least I'll be blogging more often!
Ringette ended on March 25 for both Sophia and Madeline. Both girls enjoyed the season even though their teams were at the bottom of the standings (in both divisions, Petite and Novice). Now they're looking forward to wind-ups with their teams. Madeline's team is going to make bath products at Bath Goddess, while Sophia's team is going to use the rock-climbing wall at the Science Centre. We parents enjoy ringette, too, so we weren't particularily anxious for the season to end, but will appreciate the free time on our calendar!
Sophia started playing badminton this week. Both Neil and I liked badminton very much when we were young.
The girls brought their report cards home on Tuesday. They're all doing very well. (Sophia just needs to put a little more work into long division. I found this game for her to practice, and she likes it: Snork's Long Division.)
I've been doing some scrapbooking. Hooray! This morning, I completed my ninth layout of 2012 (4 digital and 5 paper). Now I need to produce another one by Saturday night to reach my goal of six layouts in March.
I'm planning to file our income taxes tomorrow, start to finish. I hope I can do it in under 5 hours. I know it's taken longer in the past, but I'm counting on TurboTax to have saved a bunch of my data from last year.
I can't believe we have NO snow left at the end of March. At this time last year -- after a winter of unusually high snowfall -- we still had a huge amount of snow (see a photo from March 29, 2011). I like this year much better!
I registered all three girls for the QCM Mini Marathon in September. Madeline and I have already walked the 3 km route, and we're planning to walk it as a family on a weekly basis over the next five months.
I registered all three girls for swimming lessons at the university during the last two weeks of July. They'll be in levels 1, 4, and 6.
My current Irish set-dancing class concludes this Saturday, March 31. I was able to attend seven of the eight classes. I really enjoy it and have decided to participate in the next 8-week session -- Thursday evenings beginning April 12 at the Polish Club, I think. Who would like to join me?! (I have also agreed to do some set-dancing on stage at Mosaic!)
I really enjoy Pinterest, but haven't allowed myself to browse it for several months. I've been too busy with commitments. Well, today I finished something I've been working on for more than a year! I couldn't even think about "recuperation" until it was finished. I rewarded myself with a few minutes on Pinterest. :) Picture taken with Instagram on my iPad.
Taken last Sunday (Jan 15). It was 4:30 pm, I was losing daylight fast, and just wanted to get "something" for this prompt. I went outside to look in at my girls (through the front window) and ended up with a picture I LOVE. :)
Our days over the past week have been FULL. Full of various commitments and fun stuff; too full for blogging -- or any other hobby. But I'm still recording some details on a daily basis and I'll share highlights in my monthly roundup. I'm so glad to have that plan in place, as I can't do more than that these days. Okay, off to bed now. Another full week ahead!
This month, I've been doing a great deal of preparing, planning, cleaning, and catching up. I needed to do these things before I could mentally dive into 2012. Now I'm ready. And I have big plans for this year!
Here are my plans for 2012. Some are new, some are things I'll continue doing, and some are things I plan to do more consistently. I don't think I've created such a detailed list before, but this feels right for me, right now. I tried to be realistic, but also push myself to accomplish some things I really want to do -- such as scrapbooking, cleaning, reorganizing, and staying on top of things.
Reply to email from OhLife.com (continue; I have over 500 entries so far)
Clear collection basket (mail, school papers, receipts, etc.) every weekend (more often and more consistent than before)
Clean up basement - clean/purge/organize one stack, box, or shelf per week
Clean up email inbox and computer files - 30 minutes per week (in addition to regular reading, replying, and filing of new messages)
Back up computer to EHD (in addition to automatic Time Machine backups) (more often and more consistent than before)
Maintain photo organization (choose best, upload, print, share) (continue; I'm up-to-date with this task)
Do one-on-one activity with each of my girls (for their birthday this month, they each received "12 Activities with Mom in 2012;" these are scheduled on the calendar on their birthday day, or close to it)
Complete unfinished layouts (5) (by the end of March)
Participate in Picture Black & White with Tracey Clark at BPC (daily photos in April)
Clear 2004-2006 storage binders (distribute photos to category files, mini albums, photo albums, and cold storage) (May-November? may be added to weekly list)
Create Photos I Love album (year-long project in BPC class, Twelve; may be added to monthly list)
*I'm aiming for 3 layouts in January since I haven't started yet, and my schedule is very full for the next two weeks. **Affiliate link. I really enjoy the content Jennifer delivers every month as well as the private community on Facebook. Check it out! ***I've already donated about 1/3 of my own clothing this year. ****I'm taking a week off work in February.
It know it won't be easy for me to stay on top of this list, but I also know I'll be very happy if I can get these things done! I've set up a couple of tools to help me stay on track with my plans: Google Calendar and a spreadsheet in Google Docs. I may also look at Mindbloom as a way to stay motivated for certain projects. (It looks cool!)
This magic moment: I didn't take this picture for the prompt, and it certainly isn't "off the beaten path" (it's just the first photo I snapped Christmas morning, and the colour was terrible, hence the B&W), so I debated whether to use it or not. But, this moment -- opening their gifts from Santa -- is still full of magic for my children, so it fits perfectly.
The day after: Our stockings and some gift-wrapping items we'll use again. I enjoy putting away the remnants of Christmas. Our tree is still up, but I'll have it down before January 1! I won't start a new year with this task unfinished.
A breath of fresh air: When I noticed the sun came out this afternoon, I immediately ran out to the park to take some pictures. I was quite surprised to see it today as the sky was completely overcast this morning. It seems like we haven't seen the sun very much this month.
This picture came to mind when I received last week's prompt. I took it in 2006 at my paternal grandmother's apartment. The baby in the framed picture is me, photographed by my uncle in 1971. Grandma gave this picture to me when we visited in 2010. It now sits in my scrapbooking area.
I think my youngest daughter (soon-to-be 6) resembles my maternal grandmother, so I had her pose with a picture of Grandma, taken when she was about 2 or 3 years old. I almost managed to capture the same expression. After this, Georgia gave me some great smiles to photograph, but I thought this worked better with the picture she was holding.
I've had this blog post in draft for a week, but couldn't find time to finish it. The past week was a doozy -- perhaps my least favourite week of 2011. Glad it's behind me!
Sunday evening, Georgia came down with a terrible stomach bug -- the worst I've ever seen in any of my children. I was up with her for much of the night. She stayed home from school for two days. I stayed home from work Monday morning so I could get some sleep.
Monday evening, I went shopping for specific-coloured clothing for the girls to wear in their Christmas concert (deep purple for Sophia; dark green for Madeline -- not easy to find!). Thankfully, we were able to borrow some items from my niece, as well. Of course, I wish I had dealt with this sooner. #notetoself
Tuesday, I came down with the dreadful stomach bug and had to leave work about 10:30 am. I went back to work Wednesday afternoon, worked all day Thursday, then had a relapse Thursday evening -- while my children were performing in their school Christmas concert, of all times. I felt increasingly ill through the 2-hour concert, but managed to stay seated on a wish and a prayer. The ginger Gravol I took may have helped, too. We arrived home just in the nick of time.
While I was ill at home Tuesday evening, Neil took Sophia and Madeline to their back-to-back ringette practices (same location, luckily). Neil also had to help on ice for Madeline's practice. Thankfully, Georgia was a very good girl at home while I slept on and off.
On Wednesday (when I was feeling perfectly fine), I attended a work appreciation event that included supper, drinks, and a Pats hockey game at the Brandt Centre. I stayed for the whole game as it was a close one. Unfortunately, the game ended with an overtime goal for the other team (Kelowna). In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have gone. Why have an event like this on December 14? Yeesh.
After I got home from the Pats game, and after reading to the girls, I decided to go to Walmart. Madeline was tremendously upset over the pants and dress options we had given her for the Christmas concert, so I went to get her some black pants. I should really know better than to insist she wear something she hates; she's always been very particular. I didn't get home until after 11:30 pm, but I made Madeline VERY happy.
Thursday morning, I noticed the oil light was flickering intermittently on the van. When I got to work, there was a burning smell. I checked the oil and there was NONE! So I had the van towed to Toyota (glad to have my CAA membership!) and hoped for the best. Toyota fixed it the next day (even though they were "booking into next week") and there was no engine damage. We just had to replace a sensor that had failed and released all of the oil. Phew! Close call.
My work group (Customer Self Serve) had a great potluck lunch on Thursday. Neil made Bison Short Rib Stew for me to take (his own recipe; I'll post it sometime). He made it Wednesday evening and then I re-heated it in a crock pot at work on Thursday morning. I'm very lucky Neil will prepare food for me!
The girls' Christmas concert was delightful (of course!). It was held at the Orr Centre, a fantastic venue with theatre seating. The school's music teacher always does an amazing job of planning the entire concert which only happens once every three years (this is just our second one in six years at the school). I'm very glad we can get a DVD of this year's concert. I'll certainly enjoy it more the next time I see it!
Friday, after working almost all day (I slept an extra 90 minutes to recover from my second round of illness) and supper at home, we all went to the Cornwall Centre so the girls could get Christmas gifts for each other. They had been asking to go for weeks. We came out with five out of six gifts purchased. I had set their budget at $6 per gift, but quickly realized there's very little you can buy for less than $6 (at Claire's, anyway). I let them spend $10 per gift. Sophia also got three out of four Secret Santa gifts for one of her classmates.
Among numerous household chores, Saturday included Sophia's piano lesson and ringette practice (Neil took her to both), and Madeline's ringette game (which we all attended; as well as my Mom). We also managed to get started on gift wrapping (just the girls' gifts to each other). The girls were wondering if we'd ever have gifts under our tree. They feel better now.
Today was quite full with lots of dishes, Sophia baking muffins, Madeline's dance class, lots of Christmas shopping (Neil was armed with a list and his efforts brought us into the range of 3/4 complete. Yay!), and Sophia's piano recital at 4:30 pm. It's been a major struggle trying to get Sophia to practice piano this fall (she won't return after this year). Thankfully, she decided a couple days ago that she didn't want to mess up her recital song so she practiced quite a bit yesterday and today, and succeeded in playing Jingle Bells very nicely at the recital. :)
And Picture the Holidays? I've missed six days now. Momentum. Lost. :( I will try to start again tomorrow (I was enjoying it!), but I won't even try to do the missed prompts until I'm off work. Just four more work days (and much to do in the evenings) and then I have 11 days off! Oh, how I need it.
Express yourself: A little reminder for myself. Inspired by Ali Edwards (this post). After I wrote the message, I held the camera in position with my left hand (and the marker in my right hand) while Neil pressed the shutter button. I couldn't have done this without a helper!
Reflecting on the season: This is the season when I see the sun setting on my way home from work (sunset was 4:55 pm on this day). I pulled over to take this shot. And I just happened to catch a small plane in my photo. :)
It's a sign: You can't deny the wisdom on a lululemon bag, can you? (I did a bit of sharpening and added a little edge burn (PW actions) to draw more attention to the main message.) Speaking of breathing, I think I'm feeling slightly better today; I'm hopeful that my second cold is on its way out.
Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart - Unknown
Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice. - Anton Chekhov
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - Wayne Gretzky
You are getting your wants confused with your needs. - Stacy Julian's dad
We are weaving character every day, and the way to weave the best character is to be kind and to be useful. Think right, act right; it is what we think and do that makes us who we are. - Elbert Hubbard
I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter. - Blaise Pascal
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
- Cyril Connolly
To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of
to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
to leave the world a little better;
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is the meaning of success.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson