Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Getting ready!

Here is our little "Boo Puppy"!!

I am happy with the way the costume turned out!
And Eloise seems happy to wear it!
Halloween Success!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Reveal...

Well, if you read my last post... you'd know that I was nervous to get my hair cut yesterday. I have always had long hair. Even when I got it cut a couple of years ago, it was still past my shoulders. I just have always had it that way. In my late teens/early 20's (yes, I'm over 25--eek!), I never wanted to cut it because I wanted it to be long for my *someday* wedding. But now that that's over with and I'm a mom chasing around a very active 9 month old... I figured it was time for a change. So... without further ado... I give you the:


Long... kind of scraggly - unless I did something with it.
Which, in that picture I had done nothing after showering
but comb it with a big-tooth comb (no hair product).



Much shorter! And a little wet still... but no
hair product here either! I love it!

Sometimes I find myself missing my long hair...
just because I could do a lot with it (if I wanted to put
time into it)... but I am glad I took the plunge...
and who knows, maybe one day I'll go even a little

Cory even likes it! :)

Happy Saturday!! (It's snowing here!)

Friday, October 28, 2011


I'm getting my hair cut today.
I have never had my hair anything but long....
and well, I am going to go above the shoulders!
Wish me luck!

I'll post pictures later (after I've cried my last tear! haha).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Guest Post: An Essay of Sorts!

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you would know that my
father-in-law recently suffered from Esophageal Cancer. He was treated
with chemo and underwent surgery this past summer. The tumor was
gone when the doctors went in (hallelujah!!), however, they opted to remove parts of his esophagus and stomach anyway just to be on the safe side. He also just started his "precautionary" chemo this past week... so this cancer stuff is still pretty close to our family. I know that there are many many people and families suffering from this horrible disease and today I am opening up my blog for a guest post to encourage those who have cancer and for those of you who know someone who does, to take some steps to help make a difference in their lives by being an encouragement to them!

Please read on!

Fitness - A Beneficial Part of a Cancer Fighting Arsenal

By: David Haas

Cancer - six dreadful letters that should never be part of anyone’s personal vocabulary. It is a devastating disease and affects the afflicted as well as their families. However, being diagnosed with cancer is not an automatic death sentence and more people are able to incorporate positive habits and lifestyles that help to improve their quality of life and health. Exercise is often recommended as a means to cancer prevention, however, in recent years, experts have discovered that fitness can benefit those already afflicted with the illness. There are five key benefits in which exercise can help you to fight back against cancer.

The first is an increase in energy. Exercise improves strength and helps to deliver oxygen and key nutrients to your system so that it can run more efficiently.

The second benefit is a boost in mood. Exercise helps to release endorphins, such as serotonin – known as the “feel good” hormone. When released, these neurotransmitters flood your body and help to fight depression and to stabilize mood. This is particularly helpful when patients are feeling down and are depressed about their diagnosis.

The third advantage of exercise during cancer treatment is an increase in strength. Resistance training, such as light weight lifting or Pilates, help to strengthen muscles, while cardiovascular training helps to build endurance. Even lighter exercises, such as yoga, can encourage increased flexibility and help to elongate muscles.

The fourth benefit of exercise is relaxation. Meditation, a mental relaxation and spiritual “exercise”, promotes feelings of peace, relaxation and reduced stress beneficial for all cancer patients. Meditation also promotes deep breathing, which can greatly benefit mesothelioma and lung cancer patients, in particular.

And the last and perhaps most important benefit of exercise, is that it reduces the chances of the cancer returning. Several studies have shown that increased physical activity reduces cancer recurrence and increases long-term survival rates according to Dr. Michelle Holmes, an associate physician at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr Holmes concluded that breast cancer survivors who walked 5-8 hours per week reduced their mortality rate by 44%.

Although exercise is not a guaranteed cure for cancer, its numerous benefits can definitely improve the quality of life of many cancer patients, whether they have been newly diagnosed, are currently undergoing treatment or are in remission.

I hope that this post has given you some encouragement today! Thank you for taking the time to read it! I know that it helped me realize how important health and fitness are in the recovery process that my father-in-law is going through! Hopefully my family can encourage him to keep a healthy diet and moderate exercise regimen!

Have a great day!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

9 Sweet Months

Today marks a milestone...
9 months of having our beautiful baby in our arms.

Well... the last few months have been a little less snuggly...
but we're grateful for what we get!

Have I mentioned that Eloise has been taking steps?
Yeah, that started on October 15th!
Can you believe it? We hardly can!

Eloise has this habit of looking surprised... a lot.
Her eyebrows go up, her head tilts back... and you'd think
she was missing the bifocals on the end of her nose!
She looks like she's peering through some!
I absolutely love it!

She is a bundle full of wonderful!

She loves swinging...

She loves balloons...
(which our neighbors constantly supply us with!)

Her favorite toy is her stuffed Minnie Mouse...
She says "BAH" for Balloon...
"DAH" for Dad...
"BOH" for Boo...
and she randomly says "Mama"...
but I don't think she associates it with me quite yet!

We have recently realized that her love of books wins her over quite easily!
If she is crawling away in a direction she shouldn't be going (like out
to the kitchen or something)
... we just start reading a book and she stops,
turns around and scurries back!

Each day is an adventure... that's for sure!
But we are savoring every moment!!


We love you!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Swing Baby Swing!

Perhaps we have procrastinated a little bit with getting Eloise into her swing. I know, I know... we are depriving the girl... but seriously, I don't like to do Eloise's "firsts" without Cory (if I can help it)... and he has been so SWAMPED with work. The swing just hasn't been a priority. But, now that it's almost about to snow (no, seriously... they are calling for flurries overnight)... we figured we would take advantage of the last few decent days and let Eloise give the swing a try!

She loved it.

... and she loved watching cars drive by!

Yes, we will be investing in a swing set in the next year or so!!

Also... just a semi-quick note. My grandma (with alzheimers) suffered a seizure earlier this week. We weren't sure if she was going to make it. BUT... she did. And it's almost like it sparked something in her brain. She is now alert and awake. She is talking a bit and recognizing people. I know that a lot of times they say that once an alzheimer's patient starts recognizing people, it's the beginning of the end... but you know, I'm OK with that. I think the rest of the family is too. She just needs to go to be with Jesus!!

Anyway, all of that to say that Eloise and I visited her on Thursday. Every time I post about it, I debate whether or not I should be sharing pictures of my grandmother in this sad state of living. However, yesterday was such a blessing to me... that I want to post the picture so that I can remember.

Eloise was extremely chattery. I held her up to my grandma, whose eyes were wide open... and Eloise kept trying to touch her and was squealing. I watched as my grandma locked eyes on her and when Eloise squealed, my grandma went "Ooooh".... like she was mimicking El's noises back to her. It brought tears to my eyes to know that grandma acknowledged Eloise and was aware of her presence (and responded)!

I pray that my grandma meets Jesus soon...
and I am so grateful for her life and what she has meant to so many people!

Go to my sidebar and vote for my ugly floor!!
You can vote once a day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Vote for ME!

Ok... so I entered this contest for Central PA's Ugliest Floor (Thanks Shelby!). I have to admit, after looking through some of the other entries... I absolutely am glad that I have the floor that I have... and not some of the other scary floors out there! BUT, I am still going to post the link and beg you to vote for me anyway!! The prize is $1000 in free flooring... and I would love to get this 70's linoleum out of my kitchen and dining room!! So, if you would.. please vote for me... or go look at the other entries and vote for one of those! (Seriously, most of the other people need it more than I do!) You can vote once a day!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

Due to the hectic schedule from now until... forever... we decided that Sunday evening was the most opportune time to carve Eloise's pumpkin! She got her pumpkin straight from Grammie's pumpkin patch, which makes it even more special!

Since, of course, Eloise wouldn't be doing any of the carving...
she sat and watched... and mostly played!

Cory and I decided on what to carve...
but I got the honors of doing most of the detail work!

And... Eloise played some more!

The finished product... Minnie Mouse and a Balloon!
Eloise's two favorite things... next to daddy and Boo, of course!

Finally we can get Eloise near the pumpkin without her bursting into tears!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Photo Shoot: Fail

Once again... we attempted to get a nice little fall photo shoot with Eloise. Just a few simple pictures with her pumpkin and some fall leaves.

I don't know what it is... but that girl does not care for pumpkins!!

The leaf was a little more enticing...

But that didn't last long...

After she got REALLY mad...

We decided to try to get some pictures while Cory held her...

That seemed to work out better!

And here is one with Pappy, who is starting his next round of (precautionary) chemo on Wednesday!

I hope you're all having wonderful Autumn weather, like we are!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Tale of the Missing Shooper

One day... a beautiful little girl named Eloise was getting ready to go to the store with her mommy and daddy.

"We'd better put on your shoes!" said Mommy, "It's getting cold outside!"

Mommy buckled Eloise into her car seat and slipped on the adorable little pink corduroy Shooper Shoes that her Aunt Katy had given to her. It was the first time she had worn them out of the house and mommy and daddy fussed over how wonderful they looked!

Off to Walmart the family went. Eloise knew mommy would rather shop at the local grocery store... but she also knew that daddy watched the budget and Walmart was the cheaper option. They all let out a collective *sigh* as they pulled into the busy parking lot.

Through the blustery Autumn wind they went, into the store!

Mommy got out the list and directed daddy to the aisles they needed to go through. Eloise watched all of the people as they passed by. She was very excited when she saw balloons tied to some of the shelves. Balloons are one of her most favorite things!

Around the store they went. Eloise was a little bored, so she started trying to kick her blanket off. Mommy didn't like that! So Eloise only did it when mommy wasn't looking!

As the grocery cart filled and the list was ticked off one by one... Eloise's family found themselves at the cheese section. Mommy and daddy LOVE cheese! Maybe that's why they are so cheesey!

Eloise decided to kick at her blanket again... but mommy caught her in the act!

"No, no!" said Mommy, "You're kicking off your adorable pink corduroy Shooper!"

Eloise smiled. She didn't know what mommy was talking about... but smiling at mommy always makes her happy... so Eloise smiled a big toothy grin! And mommy put the Shooper back on Eloise's foot.

Down the aisle they went, past the meat section and over to the produce. Daddy gave mommy the cart while he rushed away to pick up a forgotten item. Mommy picked up some vegetables and was heading over to the fruit when all of a sudden she exclaimed to Eloise, "OH NO! We lost your Shooper!"

Mommy wheeled the cart around to retrace their steps. Surely the Shooper would be somewhere nearby! Dodging other carts and leaning down to look close to the floor, Mommy began to panic! Daddy came by and heard the news. He raced away. They all looked as hard as they could for the missing Shooper. It couldn't have gone far!!

After spending at least 15 minutes searching... and a trip to the Lost & Found... mommy and daddy gave up. They had to get their groceries home and into the refrigerator.

Eloise knew mommy and daddy were sad... so she just kept smiling. Despite her smiles, mommy and daddy still frowned.

When they got home, mommy called Aunt Katy to give her the bad news. "We lost a Shooper!" she said.

Surprisingly, Aunt Katy took it very well! "It's just a shoe. It's Ok!"

But mommy was still very very sad. So was daddy.

The next day... mommy went back to Walmart to see if the Shooper was turned in overnight. But it never showed up.

Later on she got a call from Aunt Katy.

"I contacted the lady over at Mom's Blankies to see if she could make Eloise another Shooper to replace the lost one. But instead of making one... she is going to make her another pair... and send them FOR FREE!"

Mommy jumped for joy! Eloise giggled!

And everyone lived Happily Ever After... awaiting the new Shoopers!

Afterword: Please check out Mom's Blankies on Etsy! What a super nice woman to send out a free pair of shoes for Eloise... and she has some really awesome stuff!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

In My Spare Time....

Most of you are probably in the same boat (especially if you have kiddos)... with all of the hustle and bustle of life... there isn't a whole lot of time to spare for "fluff stuff". By fluff I mean... things to do for *yourself*. Life is consumed by work, kids, dishes, laundry, vacuuming... you get the idea. I know that I mainly only have time for "fluff" when Eloise is down for a nap... and that's AFTER (ok, sometimes "instead of") housework! Often times I take a few moments to sit on the computer (like NOW) or work on a letter to a friend. But now that Halloween is right around the corner, I am trying to focus my attention on getting Eloise's costume together.

I'm not going to tell you what it is. Not because I want to wait for the big Halloween Reveal... but because I'm afraid it's not going to work and I'll have to go to PLAN B (which is yet to be determined!)! Haha! We aren't huge into Halloween, but I know that I always enjoyed dressing up as a kid and I want Eloise to have the opportunity to as well. We definitely don't do the scary, evil Halloween stuff though! (I hope you'll come back closer to Halloween to see El's costume--even if it ends up not being the above project!)

The other evening, a friend dropped by and told me that a neighbor up the road was setting up a yard sale and that I should come check it out. I like myself a good yard sale... but I always feel weird going to them... and especially when it's not officially open. But I guess the lady knew my friend and told her to send me up to check it out and get first dibs on some craft stuff she had. So Eloise and I took a walk up there... and let me tell you... this lady didn't just have some craft stuff.. she had THE MOTHER LOAD! I am talking bins and bins of it! You know, like those big rubbermaid containers! There was fabrics of all kinds, I couldn't even believe it! I mostly just skimmed the surface of everything because there was SO much... but I did find a number of things to bring home with me!

If I had more money, I would've bought lots of fabric... but alas, I only got a couple of things!

I know the Muppet Babies are total cheese... but I just couldn't resist this fabric. I want to make something for Eloise with it (in my fluff time--ha!).

Ok, I admit... I like the Muppet Babies.

So, sue me! :)

I am always a sucker for old buttons... or ANY buttons!

I've always wanted to make fabric yo-yo's but haven't made the time to do it... but heck, for 25 cents a pack... I figured I could do something crafty with these (sorry, the pic is blurry!).

I got a few other unexciting things... no biggie. But it was nice to get out for a walk and browse some good deals!!

Ok... and a little disclaimer here... I am not a fan of animal prints. To each their own... but they just do nothing for me. However, when people give me outfits for Eloise, I'm obviously not going to tell them that I loathe animal prints and hand them the outfits back! And I know that it would be wasteful of me not to use the outfits if we have them... so... my girl has been wearing some ((shudder)) animal prints lately - but please, don't hold it against me.

El is getting tooth #7. Somehow we were blessed with a pleasant teething baby (no crabby pants in this house! -- except for me sometimes --haha!)... but the best part of the teething process, Eloise wants to be held more! She has been wanting cuddled and snuggled... and boy does it make this mama happy! She is usually on the GO, GO, GO!!

I love this little lamby coat!! (Not sure what this face is about!)

Boo and Eloise are buddies... although only on Boo's terms. She definitely runs away if she's had enough of being crawled on and poked at!

This last picture is from today... Eloise loves books! Too bad she doesn't sit still long enough to let us read them to her all of the way through!

I hear some chatter from a special little girl... must be the end of nap time! Thus, the end of "fluff time"!!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And the Winner is....

Well, although I changed the rules so that people who were having problems commenting on my blog were able to email me to be entered into my giveaway...
I only had one person come back to claim 3 entries!

My husband picked the winner out of the bowl...
(don't worry, he didn't peek)

And... the winner is...


I hope you enjoy your digital scrapbooking software!
It's a lot of fun!

Thanks to Karen and Sue who also entered!