Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Photos with Shrek and Brutus

The first photo taken of Alex with Shrek and Brutus Buckeye was on April 24, 2009, when he was 7 weeks old. I snapped another photo of them on November 26, 2010, for the split second that Alex was sitting still. He is now 20 months old and is no longer Baby Alex. He is running around and starting to put two words together. He is repeating almost everything we say and constantly learning new words. He now looks like a little guy. It is going by so fast!

one weekend 2 shots (extra shots from the long Thanksgiving weekend)

We enjoyed the long Thanksgiving weekend. Friday was the laziest day that I have had in a long time, and it was nice not to set an alarm clock for four days striaght. Alex got sick on Wednesday but was getting better by Saturday. We watched so much football! Alex wore his OSU shirt for the Ohio State vs. Michigan game on Saturday. It was a gift from his Uncle Shrek, so I took some pictures of Alex in the shirt before he outgrows it.

We went Downtown on Sunday for dinner at the Riverwalk to celebrate my parents' 35th Anniversary. Congratulations Mom and Dad and thank you for including us in your celebration! The Riverwalk and Alamo Plaza look gorgeous lit up for the holidays. I had this idea that I could get a good family photo of the three of us in front of the Christmas tree for our Christmas card. WRONG! All Alex wanted to do was run around Alamo Plaza. He was exhausted when we got home.

Taking pictures at night reminds me that 1. I want to learn more about photography and 2. It was would be great to have a digital SLR camera. (It may be worth it in a few years when Alex might sit still for some photos...) I do like having a point-n-shoot camera that fits in my purse though.

We are back into our busy work week. This is the last week of the freshmen seminar class and spring registration for freshmen is about to begin. Our lobby is packed during walk-in advising! I only have two full weeks of work before my Christmas vacation.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


We had a nice Thanksgiving even though Alex is sick. He was sent home from daycare on Wednesday, but he perked up a bit for Thanksgiving. My parents and a couple of friends came over for dinner. Mom and I did a lot of the cooking, and it came together nicely. John made the green bean casserole and Sharis made a yummy pecan pie, which may be my new favorite pie. Pecan is the Texas state tree, but can it beat out the traditional pumpkin?

It turns out that Alex was better behaved than the dogs were yesterday. Frida got herself shut into the pantry and had to scratch at the door a few times to get us to let her out. (I heard scratches at a door and thought some wild animal was in our garage...) One of the dogs pulled on the table cloth and broke a plate. Finally, Frida jumped on the chair in search of some leftovers.

Frida is pictured on 11/25/10. We think that she is at least 10 years old.

50,000 Miles

I joke about having a "5 Mile Radius" that I travel regularly, but it is actually quite true. I work close to home and have many things that I need near my house. For two years we lived even closer to work than we do now. Even my commute for graduate school was not very long. All of this means that my 8 year old car just turned 50,000 miles on Tuesday. I really do not drive far, and my little Toyota has not needed much beyond oil changes, new tires, and tire rotations. I called the dealership down here to schedule some maintenance, but they did not have my car in their computer system yet. This is the first car that I purchased, and I was a graduate student on a limited budget at that time. I think that I have gotten my money's worth out of my first car!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

one weekend 2 shots (Nov. 20-21)

On Saturday I ventured outside of my "five mile radius" to hear humorist David Sedaris speak at the Borders at the Quarry. He was very funny, and I enjoyed the evening with my husband and friends. It was a fun people watching event because so many people tried to cram into the second floor of the bookstore near the children's section. We managed to claim some good seats on the floor. The unanswered questions from the evening are 1. Who gets the reserved seats? and 2. Who put Rudy in charge? We read David Sedaris' most recent book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk for book club.

(I have borrowed the term "five mile radius" from a friend at work. It is so fitting since I live close to work and rarely have to venture far from home.)

Alex is in full blown toddlerhood. He has developed strong opinions about when and how he wants to do things. On Sunday morning, he only wanted to wear his jacket and diaper. A trip to the grocery store that morning was no longer in the cards. I finally wrestled some pants on him. He did not want to take a walk, but he was willing to put on some shoes to go play in the backyard. John finally got a shirt on him when he came home from work around noon. Alex was more cooperative by the evening.

Texas Conference For Women

Here is a link to an article about UTSA students attending the Texas Conference for Women. I decided that I was listed as a student with the photo caption because I look young enough to be a student. I liked reading what the students thought about the conference.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why I Love My Digital Studio

My Digital Studio software can be used to make photobooks, scrapbook pages, cards, journals, calendars, and more. The sotware is both MAC and PC compatible, which makes this MAC girl happy. It is from Stampin' Up! and can be purchased through one of their demonstrators. I purchased the software last June for my birthday. It is $79.95 and comes loaded with lots of digital stamps, papers, embellishments, etc. You can also purchase more items from their website for about $.95 to $9.95 each depending on how much is included in the download. I am part of a "stamp club" that meets once a month, so I was already purchasing products from this company. I have not printed anything from their printing service yet but plan to in the near future. The printed items I have seen are good quality, and they recently made their prices more competitive with other companies. I love My Digital Studio for many reasons: it is easy to use, it is helping me to regularly scrapbook again, it saves space, and it is "mess-less."

I had tried some digital scrapbooking in the past with Photoshop Elements but found the software difficult to use. I would often become frustrated, and it was difficult to get back into using the program after taking a break. I also would have needed additional software or an external hard drive to organize all of the papers and embellishments. The My Digital Studio software is intuitive and easier for me to use than Photoshop Elements. By watching a few videos online, I have been able to learn many features of the software.

Between October 8th and November 14th, I have made seven scrapbook pages using the software. I do not know if I have every completed so many pages in a little over a month! I like the ease of going through my favorite photos on my computer and then making them into some pages. I do not have to worry about sizing the photos until I am making the page. I do not have to think about printing photos ahead of time or where they are stored.

I have a craft desk in our family room, but it has gotten quite full. I enjoy the physical scrapbooking and stamping supplies, but they take up a lot of space. My Digital Studio allows me to access more supplies digitally than I could (and should) own physically. I started using the software to print out greetings for hybrid cards. The software came preloaded and organized with hundreds of digital stamp sets and papers that I did not already own.

I was in need of some "mess-less" scrapbooking and card making. I am a messy crafter with a curious toddler, so I can no longer leave projects out on my desk. I am able to start a project in My Digital Studio, save it, and come back to it later with no mess. I don't have to worry about glue, glitter, or scraps of paper getting everywhere. (I am especially messy with glitter and should be banned from using it. I got green glitter all over myself at stamp club this week...)

You can visit http://mydigitalstudio.net for more details about the product. The website includes great information and inspiration, so I have become a regular visitor there.

Note: I am in no way affiliated with Stampin' Up! I am a regular customer who enjoys their products. This blog post with be linked to the My Digital Studio Blog for the chance to win a free copy of the software. I would love to share the software as a gift to a friend.

one weekend 2 shots (ok, a few shots from Nov. 13-14)

The weeks are flying by! John and I are both keeping busy at work, and the holidays are quickly approaching. Of course, Alex is keeping us busy and has so much energy.

Alex and his Grandma are pictured playing with legos on November 13th. Alex was trying to build the tower so tall that it would fall over.

We gave Alex some water in a cup on November 14th since he has already tried that at school. He did pretty well, but then he just wanted to play in the water.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Texas Conference for Women

One week ago I had the privilege of attending the Texas Conference for Women" with the UTSA Student Leadership Center. The conference is large but extremely well organized. I enjoyed the day trip to Houston, and the opportunity to talk with UTSA Student Leaders.

To be fearlessly resilient. To rebound with purpose and power. To lead with intention.

The keynote speakers were phenomenal and inspiring. Doris Kearns Goodwin discussed the importance of storytelling and our own stories. Leigh Anne Tuohy reminded us that children are "falling through the cracks" and that we can give cheerfully in many ways. (Here is a link to her book. I think that Sandra Bullock played her well.) Judge Glenda Hatchett shared how good things can happen when your purpose and your passion align. You may not find your purpose; it may find you. Dr. Jennifer Arnold showed us how to THINK BIG. Tory Johnson showed us that we must take initiative. Marion Jones discussed second chances and the importance of rebuilding trust. She is now a mother of three and plays in the WNBA.

The breakout sessions were also well organized with expert panels of speakers. My first session was on money. I wanted to learn things that I could apply in my life and for a class presentation. The most important message was to think about how you spend money. (For class I am excited to use some videos from the PBS series Your Life, Your Money.)

The next session was on organization and moderated by the editor of Real Simple Magazine, Kristin van Ogtrop. Even better than a free issue of Real Simple magazine, was the message to let go of perfection. It is nice to commiserate with other women about the dust bunnies and dog hair accumulating in our homes. I bought an organization book, Pretty Neat and am now armed with a weekly chore list to help keep on top of things (while remembering that it does not need to be perfect!).

I highly recommend this conference to others and hope to return again in the future.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beach Layout

I made this layout last night with pictures from our beach trip last summer. I recently made two more digital layouts and a card to submit to Stampin' Up's My Digital Studio Contest. In my five years of scrapbooking, this is the first contest that I have entered. I had to stop fussing over the pages and just email them off before tomorrow's deadline. The entry cannot be published or submitted elsewhere, so I will post those pages in the future.

Vote Early & Vote Often

Friday, November 12, 2010

one weekend 2 shots (November 6)

We had good "family" time last weekend and got a lot done. I found some new glasses at Costco, we stocked up on groceries, and Alex got his second haircut.

Alex enjoyed his Spaghetti O's for lunch and made a mess.

Alex likes to play with our computers, and can now climb on our desk chairs without assistance. No computer is safe now that he has seen Elmo videos online...

This is my favorite Sesame Street video, and Alex seems to like it too.

Kiddie Park Layout

My Kiddie Park layout is featured on Candy's Sweet Stamper blog. It is nice to be able to scrapbook digitally without making a mess! I am going to work on some more pages and then have them printed. Once I have gone through the entire process, I plan to write a review of My Digital Studio on the blog.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

one weekend 2 shots (October 29-31)

Frida and Paddy are pictured on Friday, October 29 waiting to go outside and bark. Sometimes they stick together, but other times they like their space. They are a funny pair.

Alex is pictured on Sunday, October 31 in his Halloween shirt, which says, "All My Friends Are Monsters." He had fun playing with the shape shorter. I put it away months ago when all he would do is chew on the shapes. He is much better at shorting them now.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

Alex refused to wear a costume on his second Halloween. We tried both Elmo and Winnie the Pooh costumes with no luck.

Alex came outside in his pajamas before bed to see the trick-or-treaters. He wanted to sit in his stroller, and then our neighbor brought Alex some candy. He made quite a mess from just one little Hershey bar! Alex enjoyed the chocolate and I got my Halloween photo.