1) I'm really glad I posted yesterday's blog post, because I think a lot of people have similar issues in their marriages, but don't discuss them...and hopefully reading some of what Dan and I work with helps those other couples feel hopeful and not alone in the fight! With that said, I feel comfortable posting these insights into my relationship with Dan because Dan and I are in it to win it, so to speak. I can be me and express myself through my blog without the fear that Dan and I are going to implode--no matter the challenges and obstacles we face, we always face them together and eventually come out stronger. It's never a question for me, and I'm so lucky to have our relationship as a constant in my life. I love him to pieces and can't imagine my life without him--and thankfully, he feels the same way about me. We aren't perfect, but we're both good people and we're always trying...sometimes succeeding, sometimes not so much!
|Mr. and Mrs., always|
2) I know you've all been on pins and needles, waiting to hear about my next Challenge...the healthier me (weight loss) challenge. I promised that I would get it started in 2013, and here we are in 2013! I decided to give myself until January 15th to live my gluttonous life, before cutting myself off cold-turkey...when Dan asked me why the 15th, I said that I figured that would be how long it would take me to finish eating all the Christmas cookies. He rolled his eyes at me, but I just can't take being healthier seriously when I have bags of my mom's cookies laying around my house! If you've had my mom's cookies, you get it--must eat them all, then get serious. :) Plus, it's totally cliche to start a healthier lifestyle on January 1st along with all your other soon-to-be-forgotten New Years resolutions. I don't want to be cliche, and I also don't want my healthier approach to life to be a resolution that falls by the wayside in a few weeks or months...so the 15th it is. Be on the lookout for that Challenge to start after I've finished stuffing my face.
Now, on to today's post!
I am not a crafty person at all--I don't enjoy crafts, and I avoid them if at all possible. My moms' group in Texas was all about the craft playdates, and that honestly made me want to cry--I desperately wanted friends and to get out of the house, but my extreme aversion to crafts made those playdates akin to personal torture. I just don't have that type of creativity or patience, and I really hate messes. I get it, all you crafty people--you think my OCD may ruin some fun for my kids...but I promise you, we have lots of fun in many other ways that don't involve glue, pipe cleaners, and glitter. I don't even keep that stuff in my house.
|just a few of the Texas craft playdates...|
So with all that said, I'm not sure why on earth I decided that crafting something was a good idea for grandparent Christmas presents this year. Actually, that's a lie...I do know why--because I think presents from the heart are so much better than store-bought stuff, and also because I hate shopping and am cheap. :) When Abby was little, she and I went to a pottery place with our moms' group in Ohio and made these awesome decorative plates that said "Grandma's Lovebug" on them with her handprint made into a ladybug. Cutest things ever, I actually enjoyed doing it (except for the part when Abby was screaming because my prissy girl didn't like having paint on her hands...not sure where she gets that...ha!), and both grandmothers still display the plates prominently. I was thinking about those and how it would be fun to do something with the kids' handprints or footprints for the grandparents this year. I started googling for ideas, and of course ended up on Pinterest, where I found this really cute footprint snowman:
It is darling, and seemed straightforward and easy enough...except that we don't have any paint in the house. I did a search of the basement and Abby's closet to make sure I hadn't hidden some somewhere (I didn't...we just don't have that stuff in the house!), and then sent Dan to the store to pick up some craft paint and laminating papers. I thought we would make little snowmen of each kid's foot, and then laminate them and make ornaments out of them. Easy peasy. We took one evening and got all the supplies out--we picked pink construction paper for Abby's feet, green for Jake's, and blue for Alex's. Now, like I said, my experience in making Abby's cute handprint plate was great except for the whole painting-her-hands part. I was relatively sure that she would be okay with painting her feet this time around--after all, she was only 1 when we made her plate, and she's a big girl now who loves creativity in all forms. Jake HATES that kind of thing (he's not into weird textures or things on his skin...Band-Aids are a no-go, for example), and I thought Alex might be obstinate about it as well. But I had high hopes for a happy, easy crafting experience with all three kids. I didn't get any pictures because all adult hands were needed to keep the paint from getting out of control, but you can imagine how it went--we did Jake first, because we didn't want to give him too much time to think about it and freak out... He freaked out anyway, but it wasn't an all-out screaming freak-out--more of a whimpering totally-bothered-by-paint-between-his-toes freak-out. That I can handle. We managed to get 3 decent footprints out of him before we washed him up and moved on to Alex...who was an epic disaster! Lots of screaming, very upset to the point where I thought we might not get his footprint at all--Dan and I had to wrench him and ourselves into odd positions to get his foot down on the paper. I got two workable prints and washed him up fast...totally forgetting to get a third print for our own tree. :( He was just such a mess that we wanted it over as soon as possible. Then Dan took the boys into the playroom and I worked on Abby myself--I figured she would be easy. I figured wrong--she was awkward trying to stand on one foot, and paint was dripping onto the paper in places where paint wasn't supposed to be...and I got paint all over my shirt and my pants trying to help her out. Poor planning on my part to not be dressed appropriately for crafting, but at least the paint washed out! I asked my awesome artist husband to interpret some snowmen onto the feet prints for me--here are two that he drew:
|Alex's little feet snowmen|
After the drawing portion was complete, Dan had the task of backing them all on cardstock, cutting them out, and then together we laminated them. Dan said he felt like he was cramming to get a school art project done, because of course we waited until the day before we were going to give these little guys as presents to finish the project. We procrastinate the same as adults as we did as schoolkids, apparently. Here are the finished products, after hours of hard work:
|8 adorable little snowmen!|
A simple little craft art project, which ended up being hours of pre-Christmas prep...this is why I don't craft! But that row of cute snowmen is why I do, sometimes, take the crafting plunge--because these are keepsakes we and the grandparents will keep forever (hopefully!), and will enjoy on our trees every year. We will marvel at how big the kids' feet have gotten, laugh at how little they once were, and not remember the screaming. Okay, maybe that's going too far--I probably won't forget the screaming, especially since I have to make one more Alex footprint for our own tree before his foot gets much bigger...aka, Crafty Screamfest Take 2, featuring a possible Mommy-Alex scream duet!