Monday, December 31, 2007

some semi-recent pictures of people...and a couple andie snapshots

some recent images, i love the family one. andie has been posing a bit lately (especially in those cute boots!) and while they're nothing to write home ab0ut, it's fun having some snapshots of her.

busy, busy, busy around here. i might start doing some commercial work in the future, thanks to an endorsement from a client to his design firm. i'm moving out of the 'portfolio building' stage and thanks to 3 clients in one day telling me i should raise my prices i might actually start making money! thanks for looking :)


Thursday, December 27, 2007

death by holiday

so did everyone have a holly jolly xmas?

it was lovely, family-filled, and joyous for us but it was pretty crazy getting there. i've tried so hard to eliminate added negativity and stress in my life but one thing you can't get rid of is the holidays. it's a love/hate thing really. this year i definitely felt like time was not on my side, somehow i was behind in everything, and nothing seemed to be going my way.

for 1, i'm still getting our cards out. and i'll let you in on a little tip here: once you resign your self to calling them "New Year's cards" instead of "Christmas cards" it's so much better psychologically. i was late in ordering my cards, though i designed them myself. unfortunately, there was a printing error and an entire side of my card was left blank. 100 cards, all missing the side that said "Happy Holidays From Our Family To Yours" and with our names. soooooo, i wrote happy holidays on 100 cards. actually, i wrote personal messages which was kind of nice, and honestly, i tend to write a brief personal note anyway, but did mean that our already late cards were even later. and usually we do a holiday letter, well, not this year. with the the card being enough of a task (and big thank you to erika for putting my last year's mailing labels into an excel file and doing a mail merge thing-y and printing my '07 labels, yay!) i'm just happy that they're done. almost. i still have a couple to get out. oh, and after a couple fun discussions with customer service the printer is giving me a print credit, so that was a relief.

and 2, i swear amazon was trying to sabotage my holiday. i ordered a bunch of gifts online this year. the same things i would get at the store, but why deal with the crowds? the traffic? the icy weather? so, i ordered a bunch of stuff nice and early and decided that even though several things needed to end up on the east coast, i would have them sent to me first so i could personally wrap everything and then i'd send it on. well, everything was late. so late, in fact, that as i tracked it all online i determined that it wasn't going to make it in time and i still had to brave the crowds, the traffic, and the icy weather and get new gifts for everyone i had already shopped for. ugh. and yes, because i must be karmicly doomed-amazon finally came through and everything landed on my doorstep the very day i went to send the new gifts.

this is why i swear, the holidays tried to kill me. it's like a giant rollercoaster, between the stress of the cards and shopping and the relief of Christmas eve & day when we were finally able to sit back and enjoy the togetherness, it's insane!

it really has been great though, seeing all our families and looking through all the cards and letters from everyone we care about. it's a great way to reflect upon the past year. despite the occasional stress, we are so unbelievably fortunate and happy and healthy it seems petty to even write about the stupid cards.

i hope everyone had a lovely holiday season :)


aaahhhh, the gifts. these little gems cost me quite a lot. and i don't mean money. more like my sanity.

and here they are, all ready to be shipped out to loving family members.

oh! and teacher gifts! don't even get me started on teached gifts! here they are, in all their half-finished glory. next time you hear me say something about "handmade teached gifts" please slap me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

vote for my brother

hey--go vote for my brother's blog the food network addict. he's nominated in the humor category here.



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

guess what else everyone on my xmas list is getting?

all is fairly well with us right now, andie has been sick for the past few days and we're trying to lay low for a bit. today was pretty good, although at one point she asked for macaroni and cheese and kept asking me when we were going to put the eggs in. try as i might to persuade her that eggs are not part of the recipe (well, not mine anyway), she just wouldn't have it. she kept insisting she wanted to help me put eggs in. very much like trying to convince her that i don't know the names of every single person 1)in magazines and books, 2)on TV, 3) walking by in the grocery store. she is still always asking me "what's her name? who's that?" recently a book about children getting ready for bed seemed quite silly when i ran through some names randomly...

"mommy, who's that?"
"um, that's george."
"and who's that?"
"who's that girl?"
"that's elaine."
"who's that with elaine in the bathtub?"
"that would be kramer."


so, though she was sick today, after picking kieran up from school andie and i took advantage of getting out of our pajamas and out of the house for the first time all day and we all went to the store. while it isn't as exciting as my buddy dori's new toy, i spotted these:

i never had sea monkeys as a kid so i was excited to get these and soon the kids were pretty pumped. unfortunately, it's not that exciting on day 1. today all we could do is fill the aquarium and add a water purifier, but tomorrow we add the monkeys!

one of the coolest things was reading some of the literature that came with them. i seriously can't tell if this stuff is for real or not but there are some crazy things you can order for your new "pets"! i'm going to take actual excerpts from the order form:

Aqua Leash
"Here is a MUCH NEEDED tool to SAFELY handle Sea-Monkeys! Over 8 1/2" long, it's a Sea-Monkey "picker upper" that works by suction and cannot injure even the biggest Sea-Monkeys that you can grow. BEST OF ALL, when not used to catch a little rascal to move him to another tank or for other reasons, it DOUBLES as a "vacuum cleaner" to suction up the "yuck" that settles at the bottom. Easy to operate and SO USEFUL, you'll thank the day you got it.

wow. this was the first thing i read when i skimmed the sheet--i had no idea you could get a leash for your sea monkeys! just suck those babies up! it sounds like a fun party game. but wait--there's more!

Gro-KWIKLY Sea Monkey Growth Stimulator
"It makes those "runts" who don't want to grow up SPROUT almost OVERNIGHT! It's like sending your Sea-Monkeys to "boot-camp" to shape-up!"

no kidding, they actually have steroids for sea monkeys?

"Take up to six of your favorite pet Sea-Monkeys out for a walk or to "show off" anytime, anywhere! A new, unique One-Of-A-Kind POCKET AQUARIUM with A MAGNIFIER that runs on a track, it follows Sea-Monkeys while they swim. An oversize plastic clip secures it to your belt or pocket. Airways in the cover give full "overtime" protection. An Aqua Leash is an IDEAL way to transfer them from their aquarium to the POCKET PLAYPEN and back.

perfect. i was wondering to myself "gosh, i love my new pets, but how can i show them off to all my friends?" but it looks like the sea monkey people have already thought that our for me. and way to promote the aqua leash along with this one-cross marketing!

For shy Sea-Monkeys afraid of "marriage", his fabulous formula will give them a quick "trip to the altar"! Once "hooked", former "bachelor" Sea-Monkeys will fill your tank with oodles of cute babies-fast!

man, i don't even know what to say about this. is it a pheromone enhancer? aphrodisiac? the equivalent of GHB? i love it, if only the real world were like the sea monkey one.

and you can order a bunch of other things for your precious new babies, everything from medicine for sick monkeys (how do you know? it says it's for emergencies when sickness strikes--for the love of pete, how on earth will we know???), banana flavored treats (well they are monkeys), a handbook (there is obviously waaaaay more to parenting sea monkeys than i thought, we may need this), t-shirts to advertise your love (i'd definitely advise wearing this while carrying them around in that pocket aquarium), a racing game (this sounds awesome! it includes a water pump, a track, a starting gate, non-toxic racing fuel, checkered flag. i'm getting this.) you can even order a diploma that certifies you as a "Sea Monkey Scientist" awarded from" The Crustacean College of Sea Monkey Knowledge". the kids have to have these. they even have a raised seal.

i read about this diploma and these goofy things and wonder about the people who actually work at the sea monkey company. can you imagine writing the copy for these products? or being the guy who opens up the little order forms people (i sure hope that most are kids) send in to get their sea monkey diplomas. and someone fills order for sea monkey leashes. so cool.

so, i can't wait to get these monkeys going! i'll let you know, maybe i can post some sea monkey race reports :)


Monday, December 10, 2007

uh huh

yeah, central illinois, check out all the ice. tell me you don't need a pair of ice shoes. uh huh, that's what i thought.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

love me some skymall

it's cold and snowy and icy lately. and just as i have every winter for several years, i think of one thing i really need to buy: ice shoes. why i haven't purchased them yet, i have no idea. when i worked at the ice arena we would walk on the ice and put on similar cleats that would prevent us from slipping and i always wanted my own pair. finally, i came across this set in the SkyMall catalog on a flight and figured i would order them for winter. well, somehow i never did and every winter i think about it and every winter i forget and never get them (i did however, by these awesome lawn shoes for my dad for father's day one year from SkyMall. he opened them, we all watched him put them on but after he almost stabbed himself in the calf trying to pull the incredibly sharp spikes out of the ground they were packed up and he reverted back to wearing his golf shoes to aerate the grass). and if you think SkyMall is only good for bizarre variations on shoes you are sorely mistaken, oh no, they have so much more! such as this travel pillow, a wine chiller, or a sumo wrestler table. what's not to love???


kieran came home the other day and told me that his class had had a dentist visit their class to do exams. immediately my mind flashed to our last two dentist visits, where only months ago he screamed so violently that we had no choice but to postpone most of the visit. and this was just during the x-rays. so, it wasn't a good sign when i asked about it and he asked me "what does upset mean?" uh huh. i looked at the sheet later that said they were unable to complete the check up, in one box it was abbreviated but perfectly clear :"uncoop." yep. not surprised.

otherwise kieran's doing well in school, i forgot to bring snack to his class the other day. my veteran mom friend assure me that it probably won't be the last time, and knowing me and my memory issues i'm inclined to believe it, but oh well. kieran's excited for christmas and asks for something new every other day. we cannot venture into a store such as target for fear that we may tread too near the toy isle and inevitably there will be disagreements, tears, frustration. and that's just aaron and me. it's horrible. i'd like to move to a remote african village and weave tapestries for one another, is that too much to ask?

if he's not lucky he's getting this from SkyMall.

Health Care Management MBA
Health Care Management MBA
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