Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good-Bye 2011...

Time to say good-bye to another year and say hello to a new year. Which also means remembering to write 2012 instead of 2011. I am sure I'll get the hang of doing that come June when half the year has already past. lol

I am not sure really how I feel overall about this past year. It was a roller coaster of a ride kind of year for me and my family. I can't say I loved this year as a whole, as some of it was utterly life changing and we are still reeling from those changes that have happened. Still trying to figure out how to move forward and to adjust to the changes in our lives. There have been high points and that is what I try to focus on. Most days I do well with focus on the positive. Most days. The high point of the year for me has definitely been spending so much of the summer with Ava just doing little things and trying to make it a nice and memorable summer overall. I don't know about her, but I definitely feel like this summer we grew so much closer with our relationship. We spent the summer going on picnics, shopping, watching movies, going swimming, drawing pictures, painting, watching fireworks, going swimming some more (we did a lot of this), having sleepovers, staying up late, going to lots of different parks to play, late night trips to eat ice cream at Dairy Queen, cheerleading practice and of course celebrating her birthday. And I know I am leaving out a ton of things we did over the summer. For me that has been the absolute best part of my year. Of course there are lots of other moments, but for me the summer with Ava has definitely been the most memorable.

We've had some downs though when it comes to my Mom and her decline with Alzheimer's. My Mom had a seizure and that was such a scary time. I thought for sure we just might lose her. After that we've had more setback with her and unfortunately the medicine to slow her illness down, just has not been successful for her. We went to her Alzheimer's specialist the day before Thanksgiving and were told essentially there was nothing else to be done to try and help her. She was put on a new medicine to try and help with the aggressive behavior she has been showing on a more frequent basis. We were told she is now in the severe stages of the illness and we should start looking into alternate care for her. We were hoping to be able to continue to care for her at home at least until after Christmas, but 12 days before Christmas we had to put her into the hospital because we were not able to properly care for her anymore. I think that was the hardest day of my life so far. I don't know that I am really able to even put my emotions about this change in our life into words just year. I know my emotions are just all over the place with this still. I am grateful though that this week she was able to be moved to a facility closer to home and is now 10 minutes from us, instead of 40 minutes away. So our prayers have been answered when it comes to her being closer to her family so we can see her on a more regular basis.

I don't know what 2012 will bring for us, but I can only continue to pray for strength and peace for my family in dealing with what is in store for us this coming year. So I say so long 2011, it has definitely been one for the memory books. Now if Illinois just wins their bowl game today, 2011 just might end on a really high note!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Two Cutie Cooks...

Ok well they are really just dipping pretzels into melted white chocolate. My official job, was shaking sprinkles onto them once they were dipped in the chocolate. In other words, I got the boring job, while they had all the fun.

I have a confession to make though, I am not really a fan of baking. Sure it all sounds like it would be a fun time, but baking really just isn't on my list of top 10 favorite things to do. Not sure it even tops the list if we went to oh say 25, or 50 even. But occasionally, I put on my super awesome Mom hat and we do something fun. And though this is not "baking", we did also make snickerdoodles, and from scratch. None of that pull apart the dough and put on a cookie sheet to bake.

I even invited my niece over to join in the festivities, since this more than likely will not happen again, until next year at Christmas. She had a blast and the girls actually got along quite well. Now, keeping the girls from licking their fingers after dipping each pretzel, was quite the task. I had to remind them, other people were going to be eating these, and it wasn't nice to lick your fingers and then dip another pretzel into the chocolate. Nobody wants to eat that kind of food, even if it is pretzels covered in white chocolate. Though I can think of worse things they could do and then handle food, but we won't go there. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Hot Mess...

I wonder if this is how Lady GaGa started out?!?! I seriously hope not! I hope she was a bit more creative and freakish with her clothing choices at the age Ava is now. The other day Ava came out of her room looking like this! It took me a bit to even compose myself and to not start laughing to uncontrollably. I mean who even dresses like this when it's not Halloween. I asked Ava what she called this outfit she was wearing, and her response "a hot mess". Whew! Well at least she knows she looks an awful site in this outfit. She is also aware this would never be an outfit she would be allowed out of the house in. :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why Yes, Yes I Did Make That...

When I think of pottery/ceramics, I think of the movie Ghost. I don't know why, but I do. You know that moment with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. Any woman born before 1980 should know what scene I am talking about. Though thankfully for me and my bowl, it was already pre-made. I can assure you my bowl would not have come out so nicely, if it were up to me to shape it. It would end up looking like some kind of unidentifiable object and I am pretty sure a bowl would not have topped the list of guesses.

Today was the first time I ventured into this place called The Next of Kiln. My cousin enticed me to go and I do believe I am now a ceramic painting junkie in the making. This is the bowl I chose. I think it is best to start with something simple and not a lot of detail. Come on, how hard could it be to paint a bowl.
I wanted to paint the inside of the bowl a hot pink color, but come to find out they do not carry that color, because it has to be made with 24k gold or something like that, which make it super expensive, so I opted for a different shade of pink. Who would have thought it would take gold to make pink. In this day and age you'd think they would have come up with a way around that. I am sure I looked a bit odd whipping out my camera constantly taking pictures, but hey I have to document this moment of me trying to be creative outside of scrapbooking and card making. Even if I have the painting abilities of a small child. Regardless, I was having fun.

I painted the outside black and added some circle looking green thingy-s on the inside of the bowl, along with Ava's name, hearts and swirls. I must confess I tried to free hand some white polka dots on the inside of the bowl, but they were not as pretty as I envisioned. Instead, imagine white chicken pox all over the bowl. It was truly a disaster. So, I added another coat of pink paint to try and cover them up. It kind of did. Not perfectly, but much better than if I had left those sad little white dots. That is why I used the green paint to make the circle thingy-s. The swirls around the inside of the bowl would have been much cuter. We live. We learn. The outside of the bowl I used the swirly thing and that was super cute. I wrote Ava's name and drew the hearts freehand, and those turned out pretty cute overall. Live and learn people. Live and learn!

The final touch was to add the date and the To/From. Not that Ava would't know it was her bowl since I wrote her name inside the bowl. You can see the purple swirls better in this photo too. Overall, I think it went over well, minus the chicken pox disaster. Kind of took some of the wind out of my puffed up ego. lol I do know that I will definitely be going back and with Ava next time. And I saw some finished pieces in there, and there are some ceramic-ers (probably not a word, but it is today) and wow some serious talent. I could only hope to be that good. Maybe I should invest in my own paintbrushes or something. My visions of creative genius right now far exceeds how it actually turns out, that's for sure. Baby steps I guess. Now I just have to wait a week while they fire up this baby and slap on some glaze, or however that process works. I'll be sure to post a picture once it is completely done. Well, er, maybe you know, if it turns out ok.