Friday, November 28, 2008

Heaven Just Over the Border

I know everyone's idea of heaven is different.  Some think of puffy clouds and angels flying about as in the Philadelphia cream cheese ads.  Others think of seeing loved ones who have passed and living amongst days gone by. And still others take comfort in the knowledge that heaven is more like a Salon Spa.  All the facials and full body massages one could ever dream of having...forever.   For my sisters and I heaven is a big old home just over the IL Wisc.'s name you ask?  The Scrapbook Manor.  This is a place of creative bliss complete with comfortable double beds and three delicious meals that are prepared for you and cleaned up after you.  Our little heaven has a Cricket machine, a Sizzix and as many die cuts as we can ever want.  It has a quaint little store that is available 24/7 with papers and chipboard and stickers galore.

Our type of heaven doesn't come cheap.  We are lucky enough to have a "Sugar-Momma" who foots the bill for her daughters to have a weekend of bliss.   I secretly think she loves the idea of her son-in-laws having to "figure it out" for a weekend with kids and meals and the occasional nightmare...something she never got as a young mom.  But she also revels in the idea of her daughters having such a good chunk of special sister time each year.  I believe she says (and I quote)  "It warms my heart."  

During this special weekend we start out full steam ready to accomplish book upon book of wonderful memories.  We set goals and arrive ready to work work work.  But our little heaven has a very sneaky way of settling us down and helping us understand that the creative process is the destination.  All that paper cutting, ribbon tying, journaling and eyelet setting has a certain calming and renewing affect on us that we Bell girls have never found in anything other than ice cream.  We take time to revisit old vacations, holidays and everyday photos that make us smile and laugh.  We remember that we really do love our children and by Sunday at about 3pm...we actually miss them.  It revitalizes us in a way no Day Spa could ever (but just to be fair there is the massage option that 2 out of the 3 of us usually partakes.)

And then there is the Sunday we get home.  Since I am the baby sister I come home to the littlest people in the family and I am always greeted with happy little faces anxious to see what I have created.  That really is the cherry on top of the weekend sundae!  People who actually want to browse through the finished products and "ooooh" and "ahhhh" over each page the way people should over such art.  But what they don't see is the happy times and memories that are created during the creative process...with my sisters!  (And this year with my bestest cousin Sara...brave girl!)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Highlights From the Big Day!

My baby is officially six...and we had a great birthday weekend!!!  Of course it started with the AG Fashion Show for Easter Seals and progressed into a party at our house for the family!  Em had lots of "fans" at the show and was just a bit frustrated when the 4 year old (who was her size exactly) didn't know when to turn and when to stop holding hands.  That kind of explained the sour expression on her face as she dragged her partner down the aisle.  Let's hope some day when she gets married she won't do the same to her husband...although I wouldn't put it past her!

It was a really fun day and Em was so excited to have all her family and her best buds (the Meaghers) over to celebrate.  (***By the way, it was Christine's b-day too...happy birthday friend!)  It was drinks, good food, and of course presents for the birthday girl!  Some of the most memorable was the lovely, sparkley dress given to her by her Godmother and over it, the perfectly "Emily-decorated" jacket she received from the Uncle Bob family....way to go Aunt Lissa!  She just added the sparkley purse from Katie Dow and company and she was ready for a night on the town, or pole dancing...which ever!!!

The sad news is our girl is down today...home sick with a touch of the flu.  But, we both decided while snuggling this morning that we were lucky she wasn't sick all weekend...that's my glass half full girl!

I was called to sub this morning and had to call back a few minutes later to cancel (love that sub job!)  when I learned my baby was sick.  Isn't mother guilt funny...we feel guilty when we work and guilty when we can't work because one of our kiddos is ill.   Of course my amazing, wonderful hubby reminded me that my #1 job is being a mom and that this is where I am needed most, where I am suppose to be and I felt so much better.  I remember when I was little what good care my mom took of me when I was sick.  I hope my kids feel that same complete comfort that they can just be sick and hunker down knowing Mom will take great care of them and do everything to make them feel better.  Like this morning, we snuggled on her bed and read books and browsed through toy magazines and she must have told me 100 times that she loves me...and now she's sound asleep hopefully dreaming about her fabulous birthday and getting better!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Baby is 6 TODAY!

Yep, that's right, six years ago today I had the cutest baby girl on the planet!  The entire delivery was right out of one of those movies where it happens so quickly with no sweat or screaming you just know it's all too fake...well, that was my Emily.  She made her way into the world at 2:47pm looking all pink and tiny and her Grandma Pat and Aunt Kiki were there to see the whole thing.  My doctor (God bless her) let me keep my epidural and try to push and I did...and after 3 very light minutes of barely pushing sister was out and screaming!  (which she continued for the next 2 years unless I was holding her!)  Once she turned about 18 months she was absolutely the sweetest little girl around!  She just clung to me and was so very agreeable(which was quite the change from her brother's toddler years!)  Now she is sweet (sometimes) and sassy (all the time) and still the little tiny peanut she was when she was born...and honestly, she is my very best bud!  A girl couldn't ask for a better shopping bud or kitchen helper or for someone any more fun to just hang out with... God knew I needed a little girl and he couldn't have chosen a better one for me!  And to celebrate?  The Easter Seals American Girl Fashion show where my girl will model the Bitty Baby Christmas dress!  Yes, this is how she wanted to celebrate her big day and after, 35 of our closest relatives for dinner and cake...yum!  Happy birthday my sweet baby girl!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Am a Blogger Loser!

According to my sister KIKI I am a blogger loser and if I don't change my post soon she is boycotting my my reading base will go from 3 to 2.   Therefore, I am making a list of what I am doing right now followed by a photo of one of my children...(request per Kiki).  So here is my list...

1.  I watched The Notebook last night...loved it!
2.  I am sailing through Twilight and loving it!
3.  I have baked and frozen 2 batches of Christmas cookies for the sale Dec. 6th.
4.  I have purchased 2 new pair of Old Navy jeans...the Sweetheart small they stretch!
5.  My new fashion love is (creepy enough) the BLOUSE!  They are cute and comfy! (and good for the girls)
6.  I was a mean 4th grade teacher today...the kids wouldn't stop talking!
7.  My children are making their own Christmas decorations because I am not moving fast enough for them.
8.  I used several birthday gift cards and Nordstrom notes to get some new spiffy Uggs and they came today!!!!!
9.  I ordered Em's birthday cake today...half chocolate, half white with white frosting, HSM themed of course!
10.  I made turkey tacos tonight for dinner and I plan on getting in my pj's tonight after Em's gymnastics class and making some yummy warm soft tacos for me and Uddy!  I may even crack open a beer!

So there...I know it's not thrilling or cliff-hangerish but this is my life right now...I will post again SOON KIKI!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I can't believe it's November all ready!  I will post halloween photos and weekend photos soon but here are my cutie new sofit (sp!  how do you spell it?) decorations.  I am not one for fake plants or knick knacks everywhere for the following reasons...
1.  I don't like to dust up there...come on, I'm vertically challanged!
2.  I want cute stuff up there and it's usually stuff I want to  use with company...the choices!
3.  I like a clean organized look (surprise!)

So I got the idea to decorate OVER my cabinets with cutie plates!!!  Yipee it worked and the entire project cost me about $15.  Really!  The other thought was I could change the plates seasonally to be really cool and on top of it.  What do you think?  I love the outcome and catch myself smiling every time I look up there!  :)  So keep checking my blog because I could just be crazy today and post some halloween photos or some tailgating photos...that was a fun day even though the Hawkeyes were not having the very best day (UNDERSTATEMENT!)  Hey, be sure to vote today...I'm way too excited for all of this to just be over!!!!