Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Still Here, Just Computerless

As the title says, I am still here, just without my computer, which is extremely frustrating. (I am using my husband's iPad right now. Getting a smartphone so I can post photos online is sounding more and more appealing.) We have yet to find a permanent place to live, also extremely frustrating. On the days my husband works, the boys and I are bored to tears. They have some toys and books, but those are quickly growing old. I have no books or computer. We have cable in this temporary apartment, but I don't want us to watch TV all day, especially with all the toy commercials. We have gone to the park once, which was great, but it rained yesterday so we can't go again yet. Nothing else we can do without a car. Please pray we find a place soon so we can finally settle in!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Move Part 1: Packing and Goodbyes

The past few weeks Justin was interviewed several times for a position at Turning Stone Resort Casino in upstate NY. He was flown out there for the fourth, and final, interview, and subsequently offered the job. He accepted, and we started the process of moving--at an accelerated speed. Everything happened so fast. The weekend after Justin came home my family came out to say goodbye and help me pack. We took them out to eat at Bluewater Grill, a seafood restaurant. Grandpa took Caden to the park, and Grandma had fun feeding Gabe. My sister was very helpful packing and playing with whatever child needed it at that moment.

Asleep on Daddy at the restaurant.

They attended church with us, which ended up being very tear filled. I was released from being Primary chorister and the new one was called. I bore my testimony on the divine inspiration of the ward organization and of Primary music. Kesha went after me and bore her testimony on our friendship and how it led to her conversion. Even Marquez shared his testimony.

I didn't let the Primary sing goodbye to me and Caden until the end, because I knew I would have been a mess the rest of the time had we done it at the beginning. Of course, I choked up by the end of the song. My mom made dinner for us before leaving, helping me use up some of our perishable food. I wished they could have stayed another day.

Monday Caden went to his friend's house to play so I could pack. Her mom and I want to Skype to help the kids remember each other (and so we can talk too).

That night, Kesha and I went on our first and last girl's night out, while Marquez played video games with Justin. We had appetizers (and dessert for me) at Applebees and talked about our relationships. For a moment I was distracted from the stresses and memory of having to move.

Tuesday, a sister I worked with in Primary took both boys, and Justin and I got a lot done. Wednesday was crazy. Caden went back to his friend's place.

Two sisters came in the morning, one cleaning and the other packing my fragile kitchenware. At lunch time, three others replaced them, cleaning my apartment, especially the kitchen. We are by no means dirty people, but the way these ladies got everything looking, you'd think we were! I was a little embarrassed.

For lunch we ate at a little place Kesha had gotten us a Groupon for at Christmas. It was delicious Greek food, and we were kinda bummed we discovered it so late. Kesha also brought us pizza for dinner and gave me a gift.

Caden's friend and her family and Adam and Kirsten came, the ladies entertaining the kids, the men helping Justin. Then came the Elder's Quorum to help Justin load the U-Haul pods. He had gotten one of the three already filled with boxes, so mostly the furniture was left. More men than I expected came and the job was done quickly. Adam helped me clean the rest of the apartment once everything was out. I was very grateful for the many people who served us that day.

Titi Kirsten wanted to practice babywearing.

We slept that night on just our mattresses (we didn't have room to take ours, so it went to Goodwill to be recycled). I was surprised I got any sleep. The night before I hadn't, and I usually don't the night before I fly, especially when we have to wake up very early. And I was nervous flying with the boys alone.

It ended up going smoothly, despite some delays. Justin parked and helped me check in. At security, I got to go through a special line and didn't have to take anything off or out. Boarding took a long time because of the plane being late and there being lots of wheelchair passengers. Gabe napped while we were waiting, so I was afraid he would be awake on the plane. After an hour, he fell back alseep for nearly the rest of the flight. I was surprised Caden didn't sleep, but I appreciated him letting me doze on and off while Gabriel slept. And I was so grateful neither had to use the plane restroom. However, once we got off, I took them to the family restroom. Both boys had to go, so Caden got the toilet while I let Gabe go in the trash can. Don't tell! ;)

Auntie Linn greeted us, gathering the luggage and bringing sweaters for the boys. We slept in the car, had lunch at Subway (where Caden got a Muppets backpack sack he really likes), and slept again the rest of the way home to Grandma's. The first part of our journey was complete!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Indian Journals Upcycled Journal Giveaway [CLOSED]

I just did a giveaway for Vandana of Vintage Vandu. Now it's time to feature her lovely daughter, Vishruti, and her shop Indian Journals

My name is Vishruti. I live in Mumbai, India, with a very loving and supportive husband. I have a brilliant family to be proud of. My journey on Etsy began before my marriage, in 2009. At that time, my Etsy shop was an extension of my existing organic cotton fabrics and garments business and was originally named Adya International, like my off-Etsy business. 

As time passed, and my interest in eco, organic, recycled, earth-friendly products grew, I slowly forayed into paper products made from recycled and handmade paper. I also started to show keen interest in re-using and upcycling leftover fabrics into products of art. The journals were a natural byproduct of this idea. 

"Renew, Reuse, and Recycle" has always been our Mantra. Our shop uses upcycled saris , brocade woven fabric remnants, patchwork embroidered fabrics, Indian art screens, and traditional stitched and bound-book stitching techniques to create distinct and instantly appealing journals. We also use recycled paper which is then converted into handmade paper. 

Indian Journals is all about the extensive, beautiful, one-of-a-kind journals that give my customers delight and immense happiness, evident in the reviews and feedback I have received over the years.

Vishruti sent me this beautiful journal to review:

*Eco friendly: made of upcycled fabrics and handmade paper.
*Small enough to fit in a purse to take with you.
*Variety of vibrant colors and patterns to choose from.
*Great prices and service.


One of you lucky readers will win any 6x4 Indian journal you like! This giveaway is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Goofy Gabe & Crazy Caden

It's been a while since I've updated on the boys. Gabe will be eight months in ten days. He has had small tastes of fruits and vegetables with strawberries being his favorite, went from rolling and dragging himself to army crawling, plays with toys, loves to stand up and can do so hands free for several seconds, claws and pinches, and is obsessed with springy door stoppers and wires. He talks a lot, his preferred sounds being "dadadada" and "nananana." He loves to stick out his tongue and blow raspberries. He can sign milk and potty clearly and does it frequently. Bath time still excites him.

He loves getting under things.

Eating avocado.

Sippy cups--he prefers chewing on them than drinking from them.

First time pulling himself up (actually second; the first time happened a minute before, but my camera was too slow).

Not a fan of carrots.

Eating the door stopper.

Strawberry mess.

Caden still has a great imagination, making anything into a toy or game and appreciating any new toy too. He still thinks Gabe is hilarious but doesn't like when Gabe touches his stuff. Caden can count to 30 and sing the alphabet backwards by himself. He can spell his name, yes, no, me, and you (learned from Baby Signing Time), and we're working on Gabe. He can't wait to go to school and ride a bus.

Although they drive me nuts sometimes, I love my silly boys!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mom Daughter Craft Crocheted Necklace Giveaway [CLOSED]

When Sophia contacted me about doing a giveaway, I checked out her shop, Mom Daughter Craft, and the crocheted necklaces immediately caught my eye. I especially loved this one:

So Sophia made me one to review:

*Beautiful, one-of-a-kind design.
*Easy to put on.
*Friendly, honest seller with great customer service!

*Moves around easily, so I had to frequently fix it.

 A little about Sophia:

opened the shop on Etsy last summer and do not sell anywhere else. I was inspired by my daughters and my grandchildren who live naturally on the Internet, have friends, work, and do many more things online. I thought to myself, "Why can't I start my own online journey, which would combine my hobby and new things I can learn in the process!"

So, I started my adventure on Etsy. Although it has been a year, I still feel myself as a newbie here - so many more things to learn! But I enjoy doing what I like and hope many people will!

One of you lucky readers will win any crocheted necklace of your choice! This giveaway is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 7, 2014


The winner of the Vintage Vandu pink bangle bracelets giveaway is entry #115 by Leigh-Ann Murphy.

The winner of the Ali Brown Photography newborn headbands giveaway is entry #246 by Casandra P.

Congratulations, ladies, and enjoy your prizes! I hope to see you again in future giveaways!

NOTE: All future giveaways will be through Rafflecopter, which chooses and announces the winner on the widget. Therefore, I no longer will be announcing the winner in a separate blog post. Of course, I will still email you if you win.

Friday, April 4, 2014


The winner of the Angelorian Tradition stamped spoon & customized key chain giveaway is comment #32 by Katy. Have fun customizing your prize! Sorry I'm behind! More giveaways coming soon.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Goodbye Arizona

Today is my last day in Arizona. Tomorrow the boys and I fly to Wisconsin, while Justin and his dad drive. After a couple weeks visiting family, we drive to New York to a new home and job.

I have loved living here, even despite the scorching summers. I have made wonderful friends and amazing memories. I knew this day would come--in fact, I've been wanting it to come--but once it came I was sad. I'm too busy right now with finishing packing and cleaning to be depressed, but I'm sure I'll cry again tomorrow.

Thank you to all who made my time here so precious. I look forward to my new adventures and new friends!
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