Saturday, September 27, 2008

BOM Challenge 7

(I had a hard time with this challenge, not for a lack of items to include, but because I have never scrapped so many things onto one page. I created 2 1/2 pages - and am still not entirely happy. We'll see, I have to put it away for now, but I may come back to this one...)

The Challenge: {##} THINGS I LOVE ...
For the next two weeks you are going to explore more about your personality - the things that you love (not LIKE, but LOVE) essentially say alot about who you are. You may wish to just use words or pictures to describe your loves (not necessarily photos) but it is as usual, entirely up to you how you represent your favourite things I was thinking that perhaps you could choose the number of "things" that you love according to your age OR you may wish to choose a random number of things, even an odd number if that is what blows your hair back .... I have BUT ONE stipulation - that you choose 21 or more "things" at the least.

Bonus: Include your top 10 dislikes

My Take 1: (The color isn't enough, and I feel like the dislikes almost draw more attention...)


My Take 2: (I love the border, it's the middle I'm having issues with...we'll see what happens!)


My Take 2.5: (I like this. It's just hard to get all the images into the heart and it gets really too crowded on the page)

things love

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Letter

Dear Mike -

In and amongst the craziness that is my life right now, you have been totally understanding and supportive, and I appreciate that. But when it comes to the house, a little less so. When I put in a 12 hour day at the office, I don't want to come home to a sink full of dishes, piles of laundry and a quick pass-off of the three-year-old for bedtime. I'm not saying you have to do it all, but a little more would be nice. Yes, I know you do plently around the house, help out with chores, also have a full -time job and that you want to relax when you get home; but I am feeling like I am doing it all these days.

I have no problem being "super-mom and wife" most of the time - but the stress of 50+ hour work weeks and the insanity of the Walk next week, along with trying to keep the house clean, clean clothes in the drawers, getting dinner on the table, dropping off and picking up the little guy every day and trying to take a few minutes to myself is getting to me.

So, thanks for understanding my work life is crazy right now, but could you please try and help me keep the balance of work & life by making the home part a little easier, at least until next Saturday?



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's SEPTEMBER for cryin' out loud!

Ah, the holiday season - the lights, colors and smells of joy. Not something you would normally find me thinking about in...September. I can't help but feel a little stress and pressure from the world to start thinking about Christmas - and pressure from the family as well.

This afternoon, I ran to Target to pick up a few things for work when I noticed, just past the aisles of Halloween costumes and candy, white lights and the slightest glimpse guessed it, evergreen. I felt the need to look a little closer, and I found two aisles and four endcaps dedicated to Christmas, while a measly 1/2 aisle in and amongst the Halloween decor was allocated for "fall" themed items. The last time I checked my calendar, it was September.


A week ago, it was still SUMMER here in this land we call Minnesota. Sure, we've heard of Christmas in July, and the fact that the retail world starts slipping Christmas in earlier and earlier each year, but I am not ready to start thinking about Christmas shopping when I don't even know what cute-overpriced costume my son will wear in 6 weeks for Halloween, (which, in my opinion is the earliest date that holiday crap should hit the shelves!).

After all this, I remembered the conversation I had earlier this week with my Mother-In-Law. It went something like this:

MIL: "With the way things are's probably best to start shopping earlier then usual this year."
Me: "Shopping? Oh, you mean Christmas. Yeah, I suppose, more time will allow you to find better deals. I might have to think about that."
MIL: "Yes. I think that's my plan. I'm going to need your Christmas lists in the next couple of weeks alright?"
Me: "Sure." (You don't argue with MIL about Christmas lists, you just don't do it.)

So again, it's still basically summer (well, 2 days into fall) and I am being hounded for a list of items I might want in 3 months, a list of items my 3 year old might be interested in 3 months from now and a list of items my husband would like to add to his pile of stuff.

Did I mention it's September?

(Do you start getting into the holiday spirit earlier then most people? Do you get as annoyed by christmas ornaments in the costume aisle as I do? Got any good holiday shopping stories? Please share!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

BOM Challenge 4

The 4th Challenge (Yes, I'm jumping around, challenge 3 is going to take some research) 


Which schools did you attend from Grade 1 through 12? Was it the same school or did you change schools frequently (like me)? Did you love or hate school? Do you have fond memories of any of your teachers? Who were your best friend/s at school - do you still keep in tough with them? Were you involved in any extra-curricular activities? Were you bullied? Were you a bully? Were you a nerd or with the "in" crowd? Any really horrid moments? Happy moments? 

My Take:

The Journaling (I added some doodles throughout, if you're wondering what the weird looking spots are, to make it look more like my notes actually did.): The first day of school was exciting. It started with new clothes, a new backpack and a family picture, it set off the new year in an exciting manner. It aws a tradtion in our family since I started school in 1988 until I graduated (and after) in 2008. I started pre-school in 1988 at Our Redeemer Lutheran school. From my first day here, I loved school. In Kindergarten my favorite thing was to put on shows for the moms and dads and to practice my reading. When I started first grade I was at Locust Lane Elementary and had perfect attendance my first year! I spent the next few years in the same class as my then best friend Lisa. Locust Lane had a tunnel of love on the playground, and everyone in our 4th grade class got to get married. I was lucky and got to marry  Chris Leinenkugel. The summer before 5th grade we moved and I attended Stilson Elementary and Chippewa Falls Middle School. In 6th grade I joined the diving team and volleyball team, but these activities were short lived as halfway through 6th grade we moved again, this time further, to Minnesota. I started at Oak Point Intermediate. I only had a half of a year at this school, but met my friend Chelsea, so I consider it successful! I then moved to Central Middle School for 7th and 8th grade grade. I joined Central Singers and Odyssey of the Mind, while I was there. In 1998 I started High School at Eden Prairie High, I was overly involved here the Speech Team, Prayer Group, touch football, Drama Club, planning committees, post secondary classes and more. In high school I started going to dances and more school activities too. My senior year was extra fun ] as the captain of the speech team I got to give a lot of speeches at school and outside of the school for presentations. By the time I graduated, I was so busy I didn’t know what to do with all the free time I had! School was a great time of my life. I really enjoyed my education and the experiences I had.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

BOM Challenge 2

The Second Challege

"This week requires a little research - use your favourite search engine to find out the meaning of your name or go along to your local library (when last did you enter the hallowed halls of a library?) and research the meaning of your name. Do you like your name? Do you think that the meaning of your name somehow reflects a little bit of who you are? How did your parents select your name - is there a romantic/funny/endearing/strange story behind the selection of your name? If you could change your name which name would you choose? Tell the story. You do not necessarily need to put any photos on this page – you are merely documenting the story of your name."

My take:

The journaling reads: 

Amanda means Worthy of Love, I find this incredibly accurate - I fought through so many bad relationships to find loving ones, both with fathers and partners. My name wasn’t decided until I was born, my mom and biological father gambled with my name: if I was born in the morning I would be Amanda, if I was born in the afternoon I would be Desiree. I am so thankful I was a morning baby, I am so not a Desiree! The middle name was never a debate, it was always to be Marie, a family name. Marie itself means bitter sea, but is a variation of Mary which simply means bitter. You won’t find many that call me Amanda though, I usually go by Manda, which has different meanings. The Indian meaning is river while the Spanish meaning is Battle Maid. My maiden name, L---- means “of the sea” while my married name, K-------, means Innkeeper. I haven’t always liked my name - in fact, I have gone by so many variations of Amanda/Marie and even tried mixing in other names to escape it. I think it was just too popular, there were five Amanda’s in my first-grade class. I guess if you don’t think of me as a lovable, battle-maidesque, water adoring innkeeper, then you just don’t know me at all!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Book of Me

For the past two years, I have subscribed to Scrappers Guide. I get monthly lessons for Photoshop Elements, a monthly digital scrapbooking kit and weekly tips and tricks. In the past two years, I have used bits and pieces of these kits and lessons for very, very minor projects - not for their purpose, and I am disappointed in myself. I decided to pay for this subscription each year to give myself a digital creative outlet, and have failed. Until today. Today I came across Tracy's Charmed Life. A couple of months ago she started a year long challege - A Book of Me (BOM). Basically, every two weeks she issues a challenge, my job is to create a one-to-two page scrapbook layout based around the challenge. After about a year, I will have a book all I was hooked after reading this! With the wedding over, and a little more spare time on my hands I can finally focus on a goal I've had while completing a fun project. So thanks Tracy for this opportunity, I look forward to catching up and working through this challenge! 

Being 7 challenges behind, I have some catching up to do - Tracy suggests starting with the most current challenge and doing one additional one until caught up, but I thought it was important to start with the basics, and the first challenge to get me rolling. From here I can jump around until caught up. So, here you go - the first page of my BOM.


"Introduction to me

This is a brief introductory page about you and must include a recent photo of yourself (eeek). I like to call this a quick "CV" or "brief description of you" page as we will go into much more detail during the course of the next year. This page must reflect who you are at a glance - use colours and embellishments to describe you, along with the words."

The journaling reads: 

i am: a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend, a sister, a granddaughter, a co-worker, a lover, a listener, creative, a dreamer, a reality tv addict, intelligent, busy, tired, employed by the leukemia & lymphoma society, obsessed with purple, a chocolate lover, an alright chef, a newlywed, a blogger, a planner, an aquarius, adopted, a scrapbooker, a designer, a lover of chick flicks and disney channel movies, a country music fan, a cat owner, in love with sweets, an alright driver, easily distracted, a shopping addict, bad with money, learning, growing, twenty-four, beautiful, funny, a secret keeper, a leader and a follower, a wanna-be gardener, a wanna be home owner, not witty, not a big sports fan, imaginative, fun, silly, still a child at heart. i am Manda

Friday Letter

Hey little guy -

Did you know that you make mommy happy? You do. Like last night, when it was just the two of us sitting on the couch and I told you I had a special saw the cookies and wanted to dig right in, but patiently waited while I told you a story about them, how they were one of my favorite treats when I was as little as you and how I wanted to share them with you today. You looked up at me with those big, beautiful brown eyes and said "I want to get big like mommy and share cookies too." It melted my heart and put a smile on my face. Now, I just have to hope that in 5,10,15,20 years you will still want to be like me when you grow up.

I love you!


Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day Mateys!

Ahoy Matys! And what be your name on this day?

Arrr! I be Queen Rapid Munroe of the ship Queen Oncha The Night.

So grab yourself a grog tonight, and be jolly crew!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I <3 my Husband.

So you may remember a post from a while back - and I have an update for you. I have finally been able to gain some weight! I think it's partially to do with the lack of stress in my personal life. I am no longer going 1,000,000 miles a minute trying to finish planning a wedding. It's done, over and now i have more time to sit and do nothing. I also think that the work I have been doing for the past year or so on my eating habits has helped.

I went up a size in clothing! I have more energy most days, and can manage to stay up a little later, run around with my son a little harder and still be able to pull myself out of bed and face the next day. I find myself needing a few less naps, a few less caffeine and/or sugar boosts and a few less breaks to just sit and rest. I am happier & healthier then I have been in a long time, but I still don't feel good about it.

The problem now is nothing fits me. The first place I gained some weight was my boobage - I went from a barely A to a full A cup. Now bras are too small and many shirts are too tight. I also went up a full pant size, meaning I have 3 pairs of pants that fit me - 2 work pants and one pair of jeans.

As thrilled as I am to be at a healthy weight, finally, I am frustrated and feel disgusting. I think the feeling comes mostly from the squeezing into my clothes I have to do. I weigh a whopping 120 lbs (a 10 lb increase, for those keeping score at home) - so I am not big by any means, I am still smaller then most around me.

Now, to the I <3 my husband part. As I attempted to squeeze my new ass into a pair of too-small jeans last night on our way to the park, I almost started crying. "I'm fat!" I yelled, frustrated with everything. (Note: I know I am not fat.) A short while later, on the way to the park, he told me to go shopping, gave me a (generous) budget, and said "Have fun and feel better, I'll be the one to worry about the financial side of things, if I say we can afford for you to spend money on clothes, then you can. Just do what you need to to be the happy, sexy-feeling you again."

So I will. I will go shopping, I will buy pants that fit over my hips without that feeling that my "fat" is pooling over the top of my jeans. I will buy shirts that make me feel good about my body and don't try to cover the fact that I am(was) too-skinny. I will buy a new white bra, one that fits me comfortably and how it's supposed to and I might treat myself to a new pair of shoes, just because.

It's a landmark for me. It's taken nearly 2 years for me to gain back any of the weight I lost when my dad died. (Can you imagine if someone trying to lose weight didn't notice a difference, didn't lose a pound for 2 years-they'd go insane!!!!) Now I just need to adjust my habits to maintain not gain...

Learn from my challenge, anyone out there who is struggling with trying to gain weight, don't give up. It's a slow battle, a struggle. But you can do it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happiness with a side of stress please, thank you!

I returned to work after our honeymoon on Friday, I figured Fridays are easy days, it would be a nice way to ease back into things. I wasn't nearly that lucky. About 2 hours after arriving at the office, I headed into a staff meeting. It was during this meeting that I was informed that my boss will be leaving our organization 1 week prior to our big event.

Does this make me happy? Absolutly. Does it piss me off and make me want to rip out every hair in my head after reading the "edited staff assignment list." You better believe it.

As someone on the lower end of the totem pole, my list is twice anyone elses because my boss's work was passed down to the next in line etc. until the person above me had her work passed on to me with no one to take over my work. Leaving me with neverending to-do lists, tasks I don't understand and late night and weekend hours quickly filling up my personal life.

Come mid-October, when the Light The Night Walk is over for another year, I will go out for a round of drinks with anyone who will join me to celebrate "no more stupid #$%&*ing boss" - but until then...I'll be lucky if there's time to sleep. Now, I just need to hope that the replacement isn't worse.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Letter

I'm going to be trying to implement a few new things, to get me blogging more regularly. Starting today I am implementing my first segment - Friday Letters. This idea stemmed from a blog (I don't remember where) I ran across where once a week she would write a letter to her husband about whatever she wanted. This week, it will be a letter for my husband - but my Friday letters could be to anyone (real, deal, fake...who knows!), it could even be to you! So, here we go!


I want to say thank you to you, you deserve it. You have always been, and will always be there for me - but this week you have been amazing. While fighting your allergies, cold, sinus infection and possible ear infection/s - you were still there to offer your input, advice and support while I struggled with making the right desicion at work.

You always go above and beyond for me, and this is one of the many reasons I love you.

Your loving wife,