Thursday, September 27, 2012


Currently I am...
Preparing for class. One of the themes that we are working with is the upcoming election. My students are reviewing articles related to topics that will be covered in the presidential debates. (I will have a lot of grading to do next week!) I am preparing to lead a class discussion on politics in a couple of weeks.

Reading. I am reading A Primate's Memoir for class and Why Have Kids? based on John's suggestion. One book is a paperback and the other is a Kindle book that I am reading on my iPhone.

Making cards. I joined a MeetUp group for card making. My first event was this past Saturday. Since moving, I have missed stamping with other crafty ladies. I had fun making cards and chatting. I am planning to attend more group classes and events.

Listening to Alex tell stories. Alex's preschool class reads lots of books, and they have written some of their own stories as a group. On Monday evening at dinner, Alex told us the story of The Three Little Pigs. He mostly focused on the I'll "huff & puff & blow your house down" part. It was awesome.

This post was inspired by a challenge from Ali Edwards, one of my favorite scrapbookers. Her newsletter 52 Creative Lifts is full of good stuff.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Highlight Reel

I say this quote online recently:
"The reason that we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel." - Steve Furtick

I have also heard blogs and Facebook describe as a highlight reel. Yep, this blog and Facebook are my highlight reels for a variety of reasons. The first reason is that I am cognizant of the information that I share online. I also focus on things that I want to share with my family and friends and things that I want to remember in the future. I usually edit my photos before I post them. Things look a little shinier here than in real life. Even when I post about everyday life it is still the highlight reel.

Recently I have been thinking about how it seems harder to make a big move in our 30's than it did in our 20's. But in reality I have probably have just forgotten some of the struggles from 7-8 years ago. I already find the early parts of our move to California becoming fuzzy. I'm ok with this being a highlight reel, and I expect to look back on our early California days with fondness.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Take Twelve: September

I started my September Take Twelve looking for Signs of Fall. I found a few:
Our neighbors have a flag flying on their front porch, which makes me think of the upcoming election.

This is my first Fall in the Bay Area, so I am not sure what to expect. Even if the leaves do not change colors, I enjoy the colors of the landscaping around our apartment.

Overall, the weather is mild in the South Bay. The morning temperatures have dipped a little bit, and I need a jacket when walking to class on Friday mornings.

I think that one sign of Fall is football, and this banner was up on campus last week.

The afternoons are still warm and sunny here.

It is getting dark earlier in the evenings. (I moved my plant to the window sill to give it a little TLC. I have almost killed it twice since June, but it is better now.)

I quickly exhausted my Signs of Fall options, so I moved on to taking photos at home in the evening:

John and Alex were goofing around at dinner time.

I am happy to have a craft desk again!

My computer is often shared with Alex and John.

Paddy and Frida seem to be getting tired of apartment living and caused some trouble last week.

The laundry basket is full, but at least it is clean laundry!

That was my 9/12/12. Take Twelve is sponsored by Ella Publishing Company.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ombre & Chevrons

I made two cards using a couple of popular trends: chevrons and ombre. I made my gradient of color by using Copic markers to color various shades of blue. I used my new embossing folder from Stampin' Up! to make the chevron pattern and texture. It was a fun card to make and will work on a variety of colors. I am glad that I usually make cards in batches. This card went to a co-worker for her birthday and another card is ready to send to a friend.

I am also entering this card in the CAS-ual Fridays Embossing Challenge. I love dry embossing with the Big Shot & embossing folders.

Supplies Used:
Stampin' Up! - Marina Mist & Whisper White card stock, white taffeta ribbon, Happy Birthday stamp from Vintage Labels set
Copic Sketch Markers - B21, B24 & B29
Other - Neenah Solar White card stock, Memento blue ink, tag from an office supply store

Saturday, September 8, 2012

August Craft Spending

I thought about taking a break from my "craft spending" posts, but it helps me stay cognizant of my spending and serves as a reminder to use my new craft supplies. I spent more in August than in the last few months.

I spent $27 on an online class at Big Picture Classes. (I kept up with it the first week, but then I was offered the opportunity to teach my own class this fall at work.) The benefit of online craft classes is that they continue to give you access to the material after the class has run. This class is on design principles, which is something that I want to learn more about. I will finish the class at my own pace. Right now, Big Picture Classes is running a free class that is still open for registration.
Big Picture Classes

Stampin' Up! ran a sale on some fabric, so I placed an order for fabric and other supplies for $27.54. I love their embossing folders, buttons, and dimensional adhesive. I am not sure exactly how I am going to use the fabric (maybe on Christmas gifts), but it is pretty.

One of the craft bloggers that I follow started her own stamp line, so I ordered a set for $19.00, which includes the shipping cost. I think that Neat and Tangled's "Little Tangles" stamp set is fun and unique. (And I love the chevron pattern!)

My total for August was $73.54, which was above my $40 target. Right now, I want to take some online and in person classes even if it increases my craft spending.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Missing San Antonio

I have been missing San Antonio this week. My love for San Antonio comes from the relationships and lives that we built there from scratch. The feeling started as we approached the Democratic National Convention since the Mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, gave the keynote address. No matter what your political leanings are, he made San Antonio proud.

The next piece of news that made me miss San Antonio is actually very very happy news. Dear friends have adopted a baby girl! The tough thing is that I can't stop by their house one day after work to meet her.

I am also adjusting to new routines at work with my caseload of students to advise and my new class. At the same time, my Facebook news feed still shows many updates from my last university, which is gearing up for football. We attended every UTSA home football game last season, so it was a big part of our fall. For now, I plan to make it to one SJSU football game, but it will not be the same as sitting in our seats nearby colleagues from Student Affairs and IT.

Having the experience of building our lives in San Antonio from scratch gives me confidence in our ability to build a good life in the Bay Area, but this takes time. I also know that I have other "homes" in Ohio and Texas that will be there if our lives takes a different route. I am still enjoying the journey.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Three and a Half

Yesterday was Alex's half-birthday, so we now have a three and a half year old. Alex outgrew his "big wheel" bike, so it was time for a "big kid" bike. Since he is tall, we skipped the 12 inch size and went straight to the 16 inch size. He chose a Spider Man bike and has a Cars helmet and pads to minimize the boo-boo's.

Alex likes taking bike rides around our apartment complex, which has some open areas with grass and lots of sidewalks. Alex has make friends with the kids who live right by the "grassy area." The three of them rode their bikes around on Saturday evening.

At three and a half, Alex has a great sense of humor. He likes to make up letters while he sings his ABC's just to make me laugh. We are working on potty training, and Alex is making progress. He is becoming more and more independent.