Monday, December 31, 2007

Holiday Madness!

Ahh! I'm sitting outside watching the girls play in pink t-shirts, panties and high heels - they are TOO stinkin' cute! The weather is breezy and beautiful. Nice to just relax for a few minutes.... before the group arrives for the New Year's Eve cookout. What else are we supposed to do with all of these little girls? No chance of finding a babysitter, so we better just hang out for some low key celebrating.

All 3 "Christmases" were fun. The girls got EVERYTHING. A computer, Dora stuff, puzzles, coloring books, dolls - and the for the dolls: beds, playpens, clothes, diapers, bottles, strollers, bathtubs, hichairs - I could go on, but you'd get bored - and just to make it more crowded - TWO of everything. Because sharing is out of the question!

We really did have a lot of fun and tons of laughs! My favorite picture of the season is below. Just me and my girls....
Wishing you lots of laughs in the new year!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The next best thing to a tummy tuck

is scrapbooking with your friends. Sure, I was supposed to be celebrating my birthday with tight new abs, but since that was postponed, two friends took pity on me and we had a two-day scrapbooking party! Cori and Angel arrived on Monday morning at Memory Mania and we cropped until we dropped. We grabbed some dinner and headed to my house for more cropping. I crashed at 12:15, but they have more endurance than me and made it another hour. The girls thought "Mommy's slumber party" was hysterical! Then Tuesday we leisurely woke up and headed to Scrapbook and Co. for another day of cropping. I've decided this MUST be an annual event. We have to cherish the calm before the holiday storm!!! Here are all of the layouts/projects I created during the two days.

Shane is a Halloween fanatic! You can barely see the picture of our yard, but Shane built the fence and the coffin (what's a little stolen wood?). Next year, he promises the entire yard will be fenced AND we'll have a cage with a skeleton in it. I keep telling him, it's all fun and games until the girls are too scared to go outside!

The next layouts are of Thanksgiving day. Notice, Avery had a wardrobe change before we even left our house to head around the corner to GiGi's...

then, I have the layouts of "Gumbo Saturday" using the Creative Cafe felt and chipboard

Next, Avery's first two birthday parties. Did we have a school party, a family party and a friend party when we were little? I can't remember, but Avery did. And notice who had to help Avery blow out her candles at school and at home - Mommy? Not a chance!!! Daddy only!

I love this shot of Avery - it's a little blurry, but it's my favorite, and then the other layout shows the MANY personalties of Avery... Always on the move and ready to go!

Lastly, our Christmas tree. The one that I didn't want to cut down! But I take back all of the things I said, because the tree is perfect. The farm grows and prunes a tree for 7 years before it's ready for sale - that just seems incredible to me! Oh, and I got the "tree" shape idea out of Creating Keepsakes magazine - I can't claim that one as my own!

Oh, I almost forgot, I made this Christmas decoration for my foyer table. Susan from Scrapbook and Co. made one last year with the Rusty Pickle letters spelling "JOY". I bought these letters last year - it only took me 12 months to get my version done!

Thanks for checking out my newest layouts!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A pretty fantastic year!

32 was a good year! We have settled into our new home in Geismar, Louisiana. We've made friends with our neighbors (the humans and the livestock). We shop at the corner pharmacy and the independent grocery store. My house actually has custom window hangings (thanks to my godmother Val who can create ANYTHING I think up).

Bellanger and McQuiddy's revenue exceeded our expectations. More importantly, our clients like us (or they say they do!) and send us referrals regularly to prove it.

I'm beginning to figure out that balance of: mommy, wife, business owner and SELF. Sometimes I want to give Gloria Steinem and my mother's generation a swift kick in the ass for proving that Women CAN HAVE IT ALL - why didn't they get 10 hours added to each day while they were at it! But I took time for mysef and FINALLY lost the baby weight ("Baby Avery" is now THREE!). Shane and I have managed a Sunday date every week, thanks to our fabulous babysitters Anna and Lisa. We actually manage some adult conversation (although we are usually hemming and hawing over some "problem" with the girls).

I played golf for the first time. I went to Creative Escape in Arizona with Cori, Angel and Renee, and started teaching at Scrapbook and Co (in my spare time!).

I have three CPA's hired to help out with tax season - minimizing the 80 work week. And my girls regularly play with Molly and Shelby DESPITE the 45 mile commute, giving me and Jen a chance to hang out too.

And best of all, watching Morgan, Avery, Hannah and Ava grow up together is a riot! We can't wait for Jen and Dominick's little "trucker" to arrive in March and throw some testosterone in the mix of estrogen.

I needed to get all of this in writing for the days when I want to throw myself under a speeding 18 wheeler. Because believe me, I don't feel quite THIS thankful everyday!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Lucy made me laugh out loud today

Most of you know that my sister Ashley and I bought an accounting practice last December. When we bought it from GAG, Lucy came along with the deal. She quickly went from GAG's assistant (among a million other titles) to our "Work Mom". She was never shy about much. When I was on the extreme part of my diet, she would question every item I put in my mouth, she kindly tells us when the trash smells, she reminds us to send thank you notes to clients, she always points out when we don't look our best; in general, she just bosses us around. I fire her almost every week, but she never leaves! Seriously though, she can't leave. She knows every detail of every client. I even succumbed to her ridiculous numbering system in the file room! You know how big companies take out life insurance on key employees? Well, we need to find "Lucy" insurance. She found the perfect items for my birthday. Delicious smelling soaps, beautiful hand towels, a hysterical Christmas ornament of me and Ashley and jewelry cleaner (which she knew I needed, of course!) But the ABSOLUTE BEST part of my birthday present was the card!
PS - She doesn't agree with my plans to take two days off for my birthday to scrapbook...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Having these little girls together

ALWAYS makes me laugh out loud! Molly, Shelby, Morgan, Avery and Hannah went trick or treating together. The highlight of the night was when Avery "met" a puppy dressed JUST like her! I thought we would never tear her away. I can't believe Molly and Shelby let Jen put on the face makeup - my girls couldn't even grasp the concept of why they had "green" faces. I LOVE this Halloween line by Teresa Collins - the tiles are precious!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The birthday weekend...

And it wasn't mine - so I'm bitter AND tired! Avery turned three on Friday which meant a party at school, a party at the house Friday night AND the princess tea party on Saturday. I literally want to hibernate! Oh but no, we drove to Zachary, LA to cut down our own Christmas tree (Shane's insane idea, but it actually was cute). The most ridiculous part is that everyone has SHORTS on and we are cutting down our Christmas tree. The air conditioning is on at home - hard to be too MERRY!
Apparently I am the Christmas Scrooge of our house. I LOVE Christmas - but I'm more low key about the hype. An artificial tree would be fine with me, there aren't a zillion Christmas tchotchkes in my house, and I don't have a "theme" tree. I don't bake normally, so that whole Christmas cookie idea is out of the question. Well, for the final nail in my Christmas coffin - Shane makes a Gingerbread House with the girls! Sure, I made two birthday cakes this weekend, stuffed Christmas goodie bags for all of their school friends, bought and wrapped the teacher gifts - but who's the hero? Gingerbread Daddy, of course!
I convinced the girls to put on Christmas jammies so hopefully I can get some cute shots of them "decorating" the tree - I use that term loosely! There are so many layouts I want to work on, but even if I had the energy I have those two little scrapbook interruptors (is that a word?). Seriously though, I have the cutest stuff for our corn maze adventure and I have been buying up all of the Creative Cafe goodies. On a side note - my birthday is Saturday. Most people know that I was supposed to be celebrating my birthday by laying in an operating room having the pregnancy "tummy" removed. Well, it seems that I have a serious anemia problem, and I won't be going near the operating room for awhile. I was SO looking forward to catching up on my trashy books and magazines, and then when I had more mobility, I was going to scrapbook for hours at a time. Since that entire plan with SQUASHED with one blood test, I would LOVE if some of my friends would come and scrapbook with me. I'm shooting for next week, maybe a two day crop-a-thon just for ME! And yes, I did make Shane take a picture of me and my girls in front of our fresh newly cut down tree.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Gumbo Saturday

is a tradition at the Horton house - it's just like Thanksgiving, but instead of Thursday, it's on Saturday and instead of turkey, we eat gumbo. This makes perfect sense, I guess... Anyway, when I was little, I guess you could say I grew up with the Horton cousins. I mean, we didn't see each other everyday like Hannah, Morgan and Avery, but I went to preschool with my cousin Brett and I totally remember being terrified when Brett and Darrell were together. I clearly remember being terrorized when they would look at me and ask, "Whatta ya lookin' at?". For some odd reason, this made me want to cry (probably because I was a ninny little girl). I also remember that they LOVED Star Wars. The only big screen movie I ever remember seeing as a child is Star Wars - with them - so clearly, the thought of R2D2 today makes me break out into hives. Lisa was older and WAY cool to me. Then four years after me came Ashley and then I guess about four years after that came Jenny. So my memories were really about Brett and Darrell (and so was my therapy!).

I GUESS you could say that we are all grown up now - or maybe I should just say that we are older. Lisa has four children, I have two and Ashley has one, so Darrell, Brett and Jenny are basically off the procreation hook. The 7 new little cousins are plenty loud enough!

Before I post the pictures of us "all grown up", I thought I could post a few pictures of us in our earlier years. This should be good for a few laughs!

This picture was taken at Christmas in 1979. My sister Ashley was one at the time and apparently, the only one smart enough to refuse to get into this picture! Does Brett still have that shirt?

I can only imagine that Grandma Ethel insisted that some of the "little ones" be in the wedding. How they picked me and Darrell, I'll never know. My mom reminds me that during the ceremony I took off my stockings because they were too itchy. I figured this out at 4 - so why are women still wearing them?

Ahhh, St. Ann preschool where Brett and I sat next to each other. Hopefully it was Halloween and our mothers just weren't playing a sick joke on us! After college, I walked into my first job and the secretary said, "Oh, I know you, you were in my preschool class and you came with your little cousin. You were so quiet and shy with straight blond hair and he was so loud!" Can you say mortified?

Here is Ashley's first birthday with all of us huddled around the cake, trying to appease the moms with one picture before diving in. Is Lisa's finger touching the cake?

So now that we have had this precious trip down memory lane, check out the shutterfly link to see the pictures from 2007. Enjoy and be sure to laugh out loud!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thank goodness for small miracles

Like my in-laws calling to take the girls to lunch and shopping. Granted, they are CRAZIER THAN ME to take Morgan, Avery and Evan to Cracker Barrell and the toy store on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but hey - I'll take any relief I can get! It gave me the opportunity to get creative. Our neighborhood HOA had a Halloween party and it was the first time we managed a girl picture in ages. I just love it!
Believe me, had I printed the Thanksgiving pictures, I would have scrapbooked these too, but for one, I stayed in my pj's all day and I REFUSE to enter the After Thanksgiving shopping madness - and that includes even fighting shopping traffic to pick up pictures. So, I'll just share these pictures of Morgan and Avery for now.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. We are heading out today for "Gumbo Saturday", kind of like Thanksgiving, Part II at my aunt's house. Have a great day - and AVOID the MALLS!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How could I forget...

To show you the "shopping bags" from By Design? I mean, really, could they be any cuter? Some ladies even scored the gigantic ones. I should have shopped more...

Many of you know about my boycott of malls and big box stores for gifts. In my new effort to ONLY give gifts that actually involve thought and hopefully some meaning, I have made these room decor items for some of Morgan and Avery's friends. Hint: If I called and asked what color your daughter's room is, one of these is headed to your house!

Stop trying to figure out what it spells! Each one is for a different little princess!

I have recently discovered a fabulous website: www.
If I can't make a gift (and since I DO sleep occasionally, I can't make everything!), I love browsing this site for handmade goodies of all kinds. Kind of like an ebay, where "artists" can set up a shop, but you buy instead of bid and it's all handmade. So many of my Christmas list was purchased straight from the site. Check it out if you have a chance.

Have a great Thanksgiving! Thanks to Angel Stormo, I made the yummiest looking sweet potato dish EVER!!! Hope your day involves lots of laughs with friends and family.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Who needs enemies?

Believe me, I only sent the blog birth announcement to "friends" and family. I've listed a few of the comments I received for your enjoyment: (1) BITCH! (2) Where's your ridalin? (3) You are so Type A! (4) You are kidding! And to think, I thought I was sending this to my dearest friends and family. At least every comment made me laugh out loud - and that's the goal of every day!

First layout postings ever!

Since I don't plan on becoming a famous scrapbooker, I don't have to worry about the imperfections in these layouts, photos, or photos OF the layouts.... Just promised a friend that I would show her my most recent pages and it seems like this might be the easiest way. I've been a blogger now for at least 2 hours - that's BIGTIME!

Here are Morgan and Avery in late August - actually heading out of the door to Morgan's birthday party.

I just love seeing how Morgan's handwriting is progressing. And apparently, she thinks caterpillars have human heads - who knew?

There is a corn maze not far from Baton Rouge - so what do we do? Pack up three little girls and head to the pig races! Seriously - there were pig races! Of course Hannah called them puppies and I think Avery wanted to take one home. Don't you love the pic of Morgan showing that she's "this tall". And Jen - have no fear, the pregnant belly next to the John Deere tractor is getting a page of its own!

After receiving golf shoes, clubs, shirts, pink balls, bascially the *works* from Shane over 2 years ago - we finally got out on the golf course. It was our 10th anniversary "date". The big buttons are from Creative Cafe (you buy them by the scoop - I pretended it was ice cream!)

Ashley and I are trying to spread the word that there are no "Misters" at Bellanger and McQuiddy. Most of our clients realize it, but the telemarketers sure haven't. We are sending out 5x7 calendars with this pic on it for Christmas cards. Jess told me I need to journal about how great it is to work together, blah, blah - maybe next time, Jess!

And lastly, how could I choose - I HAD to do a four page layout. This was the Christmas card photo shoot in the backyard. Morgan showing her true "girly girl" with the flowers and Avery showing me that no velvet dress would stand in the way of her fun! Of course, these are my favorites.

By Design store - OMG!

Seriously - I want to live in this store! I actually saw a man napping on the big round pink sofa! This is my Graceland, the Disneyworld of scrapbooking stores, my pink heaven on earth! The products were amazing, of course it was great to see Jessica and I met a bunch of people who will be going to SE. I got the Jessica "juice" while I was there and created 10 layouts - it didn't hurt that she was cropping next to me.