Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Week of School

My Facebook and Instagram feeds are showing lots of fun back-to-school photos, and the first week of school has come and gone for us.

Alex started kindergarten on Monday, August 18th. We live a short walk from the elementary school, which is a great perk of our current location. Our drop off time is late morning since our district has not moved to a full-day kindergarten. I was not too nervous until it was time to walk to school. I quickly snapped some pictures as Alex lined up and did not get too emotional when it was time for him to go. I was doing well until I walked away from the school and choked up. Now what? It was a LONG four hours as I waited to pick him up.

Of course, Alex did great and is enjoying school. He told me about lunch, recess, and the special toys reserved for Fridays if you do all of your homework. He enjoyed making puppets at school and performed his own puppet shows at home. We are slowly getting into a routine, and his school day goes by faster for me now.

After my big change in employment, I wondered how fast we would see changes in our lives. We are slowly working on decluttering around the house. I do not have an exercise routine yet, but I do ride my bike more. It is easier to keep up with housework, and Alex has started making his bed. I know that change and new habits take time, but there is one big change around here that is already helping our family. Our mornings are less rushed and more enjoyable. I no longer push the snooze button (multiple times) on an alarm clock. We are not all watching the time and rushing our the door. John actually gets to leave earlier for work while Alex and I have extra time to get ready for the day. This is a really nice change for us!

I hope that everyone is having a good start to the new school year!

Monday, August 25, 2014

CASEing, Catalogs, & Classes

As soon as I received my Stampin' Up! Annual Catalog, I wanted to CASE a card on page 145. (CASE = Copy And Stamp Everything) I purchased the Watercolor Thank You stamp and recently made the notecards. It was fun to put my own spin on the idea by adding some sequins and changing up the colors a bit.

Speaking of catalogs, I have more Stampin' Up! catalogs to share. In addition to the Annual catalog, the Holiday catalog orders begin August 28th. If you would like me to send you catalogs, you can comment below or email me at stampacrossthemiles(at)gmail.com.

I am excited to be planning my first stamping and card making class! If you are in the San Jose area, I hope that you will join us on Sunday, September 14th at 3 PM. My idea for the class is to help new card makers get started in this fun hobby and for experienced crafters to see my formula for card design by making 3 fun cards. For more information and RSVP, visit my Stampin' Up! website: http://www.stampinup.net/esuite/home/saragrafton/events?id=1013438 .

Happy Monday!

Stampin' Up! Supplies:
Watercolor Thank You stamp
Blushing Bride and Coastal Cabana ink pads
Aqua Painters (I bought mine on Amazon a while ago and share them with a 5 year old crafter.)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Occupation: Mom

Alex starts kindergarten tomorrow. We met his teacher on Friday, and then I started to fill out some forms. Normally this would have been a mundane task, but there has been a big change around here. A simple line on a form got me thinking.


I was easy to fill in my husband's occupation on the form for Alex's teacher, but I left mine blank. My last day at work was July 31. I quit my job.

It was a decision that was brewing over the summer. I was dragging my feet to sign up Alex for the before and after school program even though we had a good visit. I wanted to pick him up from school. Not at 5:00 PM or later but when the school bell rang. I wanted to walk him to and from school. I wanted to pack his lunches instead of automatically signing up for the easier option to buy them. I wanted to be able to volunteer at school or go on a class field trip. I wanted him to do after school activities. I wanted us all to be less hurried and less stressed.

Our kindergarten is only a half day, but Alex has been putting in full days since he was 3 months old. My work schedule did not mesh easily with the school schedule. My husband's spread sheets gave us an accurate view of our finances, and our interests in minimalism and mustachianism certainly have helped. The door seemed to be opening, and I just needed the courage to walk through it.

The events unfolded in a surreal manner. I needed to meet with my boss for my annual review, so I went in with a letter of resignation. I gave three weeks notice and finished up my ninth summer of freshman orientation as an academic advisor. I wrapped up my last day, and then we got on a plane the next morning to visit family in Indiana and Ohio.

We returned a week before Alex's first day of kindergarten, and I savored this little bit of summer.
We spent a lot of time at parks: playing in the water, running around, Alex climbing, and even grilling out for dinner.

Now the blank of that form seems less intimidating after some thought. I will fill in my occupation as "Mom" and see what else comes along in the future. I've been a mom for the past five years, so I think that I can handle the job.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Display Board

In July, I worked on projects for a display board at the annual Stampin' Up! convention. I was not able to attend this year, but I had the opportunity to contribute to the Fun 'n Crafty Stampers board. I had to work past some perfectionism in this process, but it was a lot of fun to make the projects. Here are some highlights:

I even won some free stamps and framelits for contributing to the display board! My order is on the way, and then I will share some new cards here and on my Facebook page. What have you been creating this summer?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Packing Light

I have been neglecting my blog a bit, so it is time to catch up. I will start with a quick post about our recent trip to visit family in Indiana and Ohio. We only used carry-on luggage for this 10 day trip. We were staying with family, so we had access to washers and dryers. The grandparents also had books and toys to entertain the 5-year-old. In addition, we borrowed some clothes to wear to a wedding. (Thank you Mom and Dad!)

Still, it was not easy to pack in just backpacks and my tote bag. I read some helpful posts online to get started:

The Art of Simple Travel

The Minimalists

Be More with Less

I did manage to squeeze in a few craft supplies to make a card for my cousin on the trip. (I may have strategically sent my mom a paper trimmer to help with this...) I packed precut card stock, 2 ink pads, a few stamps with an acrylic block, twine and a glue stick.

The real challenge will be only using carry-on luggage for winter travel. Challenge accepted! Do you have any packing tips to share?