Sunday, July 22, 2012

Everyday Photos Part 2

It turns out that I am not the only one taking everyday photos in our family! Alex took 899 photos between last Christmas and July 2012 on his Fisher Price digital camera. John took on the task of uploading them today and shared some on his blog.

Everyday Photos


I started scrapbooking to record a large life event, our wedding. I enjoyed scrapbooking more than I expected, so I have continued to scrapbook in various forms for the past seven years. In that time, I have seen an emphasis on recording everyday photos and stories. Ali Edwards does a wonderful job of this, and her annual Week in the Life project goes in depth into everyday life and routines. I participated in July 2011, but missed the project in April 2012. I was starting a new job around that time. I decided to try the project this week along with Stephanie at Scrapworthy Lives. My job is still new and busy, so I did not have the energy and focus to take as many photos as I had originally planned. I still took some photos this week and will share them on the blog soon.

I have also participated in Ella Publishing's Take Twelve Photo Challenge a few times this year. Even though I have missed a few months, I have gotten some great photos of our everyday life in a new place. I am happy to have found a couple of approaches that work for me. I never tried the "Project 365" approach of taking a daily photo since I did not think that I would keep up with it. I tried Project Life as a weekly layout project at the beginning of this year, but I did not get into a flow with it. I like the products and plan to integrate some into my scrapbooks and may try the photo books.

As I collect our everyday photos from life in Texas and California, I plan to print them in some photo books. I have been happy with the photo books I have purchased through Shutterfly. I signed up for their emails about sales, so I don't have to pay full price. The latest deal is for 50% off of hard cover photo books with the coupon code BOOK50 though July 25, 2012. I don't think that you have to be a "scrapbooker" to enjoy recording photos and stories from your everyday life!

Pictured: Sunday morning breakfast with Alex.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Take Twelve: July

Last Thursday was July 12th, which means that it was Ella Publishing's Take Twelve Photo Challenge for the day. I tried to capture some everyday photos of our life.

When I got up, John was still sleeping after working late the night before. Alex was allowed to watch some videos on my computer through Netflix while I walked the dogs and got ready for work.

Busted Paddy! Dogs are not supposed to be on the bed...

Busted Frida! Dogs are not supposed to be at the table either...

This is my favorite outdoor lunch spot at work for the summer. I tried to sit on the other side of the building, but a squirrel kept staring my down. This side is peaceful, except for the construction noise from the student union expansion. I am used to construction on college campuses by now.

I really like the salad place on campus for lunch.

This is my office at San Jose State University.

The summer weather is mild in the South Bay of California compared to San Antonio. We get a few hot days, but the heat wave does not last very long.

Alex made a kite at school and was flying it around the apartment complex as we walked the dogs. John had to work late, so we met him for dinner and then went home.


It was a good night for a treat. We walked to McDonald's for hot fudge sundaes.

Messy Man!

Time to brush our teeth before bed.

We did not move our TV to California and have not replaced it yet. We've gone 6 months without TV and do not miss it too much. We watch shows and movies through Netflix, Hulu and iTunes.



Saturday, July 14, 2012

6 Months in CA



Six months ago, also on a Saturday, Alex and I had one way tickets from San Antonio, Texas, to San Jose, California. Our possessions (narrowed down over a couple of months time) were already on the moving truck. I stuffed as much as I could into our suitcases and carry on luggage. My parents took us to the airport, and I know that there were tears. Alex and I grabbed lunch at McDonalds in the San Antonio airport, and we had to quickly change planes in Phoenix. By the time we arrived in San Jose, I was tired and relieved to see John. Some details stick in my mind, but other parts of our move are a blur. It was the first time that I moved by boarding an airplane in one place and then a few hours later landing in our new home.

As I think back over the last six months, I do feel that we are settling in here. Overall, I really enjoy living in California, especially the Bay Area. There is so much to see and do here. I enjoy the pace of life and the weather in the South Bay. I enjoyed being able to drive to Disneyland in less than a day and foresee more California road trips in our future.

After living in San Antonio for seven and a half years, there are things that I miss. I miss living near my parents. I had moved away twice before, but it is different when you have child and the family has grown. I miss our friends. We built a wonderful group of friends over the years. Building new friendships takes time.

I am surprised by how much I miss my job. I expected to miss my family and friends, but I was open to starting a new job as part of our move. After five and a half years with the same office and seven and a half years with the same university, I thought that I needed a change professionally. Obviously, I cannot turn back now, but I did not expect to miss my job so much. I had found a great fit professionally. I enjoyed my work and my colleagues and had lots of opportunities for growth. Now the bar is set high for all of my future jobs.

Then there are the little things. We have adjusted to living in an apartment better than I expected. Some days I miss just letting the dogs out in the backyard, but overall I do not mind walking our dogs. We are doing fine with less space, but I do miss having a dedicated craft desk. I do not miss having a TV since we can watch shows though Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes.

In six months, I will be reflecting back on my first year in California. I did not plan to live here, but some of the best things in my life are the things that I did not plan.

John and I are pictured near the Golden Gate Bridge on January 8, 2012, shortly before I moved to California. Alex and John are pictured near the Golden Gate Bridge on May 19, 2012.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My 10 Favorite Photos from our Disneyland Trip

It is time for my 10 Things on the Tenth of the Month post. These posts are organized by the talented scrapbooker and blogger, Shimelle, and you can read more on her blog.

We recently took a long weekend to go to Disneyland. Some friends from Texas were planning to visit Disneyland and California Adventure for two days, so we planned to drive down to join them. In the planning process, we invited John's mom and sister to come along. John's brother made the road trip with us to visit a friend in LA.

We had a fabulous trip! I have uploaded and edited so many pictures from our trip and could fill multiple blog posts. For now, I have decided to share my 10 favorite photos from the trip. Some of these photos were taken by my sister-in-law, Jenni. I love taking pictures with my iPhone, but I was really impressed with Jenni's Casio point-n-shoot camera. I may be in the market for a new digital camera, and they make a 14 mp version now.

Alex's first ride at Disneyland was the Astro Orbitor in Tomorrow Land with his Aunt Jenni.

We all had fun on the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

We had fun returning to Disneyland after dark for the fireworks. Alex loved playing with his new Mickey toy ($15 well spent).

I had to get a photo of the castle, Walt Disney, and Mickey Mouse at night.

On Saturday we headed to California Adventure. Alex loved the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail since it is a giant playground. He became a "Senior Wilderness Explorer." (Yes, Alex is wearing both his mouse ears and a Lightning McQueen hat is this photo.)

We headed over to Paradise Pier where Alex wanted to ride Mickey's Fun Wheel, and Jenni wanted to ride California Screamin'. I do not think that I have been on a roller coaster in over ten years, and it was a lot of fun.

"Say Cheese." Alex and I are on the ferris wheel.

Alex also had to sit with his Daddy and Aunt Jenni on the ride.

Alexander "Messy Man" lived up to his name at lunch.

Grandma Mickey was nice enough to stand in the long line with Alex at Cars Land for the Luigi's Flying Tires ride. The best part of Card Land is how they recreated the town of Radiator Springs. We'll have to ride the Radiator Springs Racers on our next trip.



Saturday, July 7, 2012

June Craft Spending

I made a trip to my local scrapbook store early in June and spent my monthly budget there on a Lawn Fawn stamp set, Copic makers, a new white gel pen, and a Perfect Pearls mist. I also picked up a roll of washi tape while browsing at Michael's. My June spending was around $46, which is close to my monthly target of $40.

I also received crafty gifts from my family for my birthday. We are list makers for birthdays and Christmas, so I could let them know exactly what I wanted. I received 2 books (Scrapbook Workshop & Copic Coloring Guide), 2 more Lawn Fawn stamps sets, washi tape, a Tim Hotz die, and a T square ruler. I think that my husband may want to borrow the T square ruler for his projects.

Stephanie Medley-Rath also scrapbooks her monthly spending at Scrapworthy Lives.











Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"I'm not a boy anymore"


I thought that I'd share funny things that Alex (age 3) has said recently. I also want to remember these in the future.

Recently John asked Alex if he knows his full name. Alex said, "Yes, I have two names. Alexander Grafton and Alexander Messy Man." I must call Alex "Messy Man" a lot if he thinks that this is his name!

We wanted to buy Alex mouse ears on our recent Disneyland trip. I think that he tried on every pair in the store before settling on the R2D2 mouse ears. He tried on the princess mouse ears and said, "I'm not a boy anymore; I'm a grill (girl)."

Alex went to the park with his grandma, aunt, and uncle while John and I were at work on Monday. At one point he told a lady in the park, "There's a woman in my pocket." (Actually, he had a walnut in his pocket.) She responded that he was starting early.

Alex is pictured with his mouse ears at Disneyland on 6/29/12. I am still uploading and editing our photos from the trip.