Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where's Ashton Kutcher?!

Do you ever get the feeling you're being Punk'd?  Like, REALLY Punk'd?

As in, you find yourself in the middle of a volitile situation, and you have NO idea how it happened?

It happens to me far too often. 

I have a theory about drama.  People who SAY they hate drama, are the biggest drama queens out of everyone.  If you ever meet someone, and within your first 3 conversations with them, they mention the word "drama" and how much they HATE drama...RUN THE OTHER WAY!!!  SAVE YOURSELF!  I'm serious.

Let me be the first to say, I can appreciate a little drama.  Sticking my nose in my friend's business?  Don't mind if I do!  Somebody do something negative to any of my family or friends?  BRING IT! 

Nobody messes with a mama bear and her cubs, so to speak.

HOWEVER...there have been times when I've been completely taken off guard by the tidal wave of drama that I find myself in. 

For example...
My brother-in-law "S" is from Ghana.  A pure African.  Great guy.  He is VERY dark.

("S" is the one on the far left)

A few years ago, one of my little brothers was getting married.  I THINK it was my littlest brother, which would have made this 2007. 
After the reception, I was standing around outside (at night), talking with my dad, sister, and whoever else was within earshot.  Somebody asked me if I had seen "S".  I hadn't, but I scanned the crowd, silhouetted against the night sky.  I spotted "S", and pointed him out to the individual looking for him. 

Somebody, (I think it was my dad, but I'm not entirely sure) said something along the lines of "Oh!  I didn't see him there!"
To which I replied "Well, he does kind of blend in with the dark background."

I meant no harm.  I was making a simple statement of fact, to explain why someone who was just as far away from "S" as I was, wouldn't have been able to spot him. 

That is NOT how it was received.  My sister AND my dad unleashed a tirade against racism on me, that did not stop until I fled the area in tears. 

I would have really appreciated Ashton Kutcher entering at any time.  Surely, I could not have deserved such retribution for a simple observation, right?

Bottom line:  You should all be grateful you only know me through blog land.  I should carry around my own safety cones, because I am a MAGNET for drama.  Do I like it?  No.  But, I seem to have stepped in yet another pile of it. 

Since Ashton hasn't shown...maybe I'm on Candid Camera???

Monday, November 29, 2010

2 is Better than 1, and 4 is Better than 2.

You all know that I love a good contest, right?  Of course you do!

Well, I was in the mood to play a game on the 24th, while making my spreadsheets for this month's (and next month's) Quince Quote competition.  SO I posed the question:  "How many TOTAL entries will I have with both months combined?"

The prize would be another favorite Christmas movie of mine. 

Several of you placed your bets, and while nobody got the answer exactly right, I decided to give it to the person who came closest without going over. 

The answer, was 238! 

The winner, with a guess of 201, was SARAH CARDELL!!!  Congratulations! 

So, what does she win?

Make sure to "like" me on Facebook, so you can have a chance to win an impromptu prize too!

Now, onto the answers for the month(s)

First:  November.

The Movie:
Character:  Jack Calahan
Actor:  Bill Pullman
Line Before:  "Ugh!  I don't want any flowers from you, I'm not wearing black underwear, and I definitely do not want to move in with you, Joe...Jack!"
Line After:  "I thought you were Joe Jr."

Alternate lines:  "So he's a charming man, very classy..."  "Who just stepped in doggy poopy."

Once all the entries were put into my trusty spreadsheet, they looked like this:

(Click it to make it bigger, if you need to...)

And the winner is: 
Which means that EVELYN is the winner!  Congratulations!

Now, since Evelyn has already won Quince Quote, (in fact, she JUST won it in September) this means that the prize PACKAGE is still up for grabs. 
Let's move on to December, shall we?

The DECEMBER movie was...

Of course!

Character:  Mr. Parker
Actor:  Darren McGavin
Line after:  "Uh, I think that says FRAGILE, dear."

Alternate lines:  "I can't put my arms down!"  (I cannot believe that NOBODY gave this line.  I use it all the time!)
"You used up all the glue, on purpose!"

Again, I put this in my trusty spreadsheet, and when I did, it looked like this...

(Again, click it to make it bigger, if you can't see...)

Random.org did my dirty work, and crowned:
Which means that EMMY won the package!  CONGRATULATIONS!

But, Emmy included a disclaimer.  She already had BOTH movies, and was only in it to win the bowl, and other goodies, so I opted to pick one more winner, to receive JUST THE MOVIE.  Winning the movie only would NOT disqualify the winner from later winning the prize package, so no worries. 

I set random.org to work again, and the winner of the MOVIE is:


Congratulations to all my winners again!  I think I have all of your addresses, so just keep an eye out for your packages in the mail within the next couple of weeks.  If you don't already "like" me on Facebook, DO IT NOW!  You never know when I'm going to feel the winds of generosity a' blowin'!  PLUS, I'm going to post what I get in my 12 days of Christmas swap package EVERY DAY over there.  You're not going to want to miss that!
Regular Quince Quote will resume in January.  It's gonna be a good one...

Ornamental Bliss!

I don't know about anyone else, but the ornament swap hosted by Evelyn has surely wet my appetite for the impending arrival of my 12 days of Christmas swap package!  Could be because I had a great partner, though! 

I was assigned to Sarah, and I must say that I think she got the short end of the stick on partners. I didn't even have a chance to get over there and say hello until like 2 days before the ornaments were supposed to ship. Definitely not like me. However, she still managed to get to know me well enough to send me the perfect ornament for my family tree!

Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures.  I took them with my phone, because my camera was MIA, and I wanted to get my post up as soon as possible. 

Isn't that cute?!  It is a hand sewn, PERSONALIZED fabric ornament!  I had to black out the names of my family members except myself, so please excuse the unsightly black blobs, but I LOVE IT! 
She included a really lovely note, about the story behind her love for the saying "bless us all".  Her words were touching and heartfelt, and I KNOW that the ornament had to have taken her a while to make. 

She didn't forget about the back either.

My favorite part about it, is that it is not breakable!  I'll often find if off the tree, since Boo likes to use it as a pillow for her doll.  I don't have to worry about it being destroyed, which means it is PERFECT for my house.
Thanks so much again, Sarah!  I LOVE IT! 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Symfully THANKFUL!

Hello all!  This post is going to be pretty short and SWEET, because I am still trying to recover from the Holiday.  BUT, I didn't want to be late, in case anyone was actually more on top of things than I was this month. 
Did YOU remember to do a Symfully Sweet project this month?
It just wasn't done as early as I had intended it to be. 

The original plan was for my project to start at the beginning of November, and then extend until Thanksgiving day.  THAT did NOT happen. 

But I got it done!

Wanna know what I came up with?

It all started with a BIG idea, and a little vinyl...

A simple tree and the words "I am thankful for..." was to be the canvas for our family project.

NEXT, a little construction paper, a template, and some sweet treats combined to help our bare tree flourish...

4 different colors of leaves, with coordinating candies attached.

The idea?

To take a moment, and express the thing(s) you're thankful for.  When you thought of something to be thannkful for, you could pick a leaf out of the bowl, write or draw it on the leaf, take your little treat, and then...

we took the time to hang our "blessings" on our "THANKFUL TREE".

Sissy started off thankful for pets.

Bug was more specific, and named Sadie (our Golden Retriever) by name.

Bubble turned on the charm, and said "Parents"

While Boo scribbled a few lines on a leaf, and said "yummy".  I'm lying to myself, and saying that she meant..."Mommy".

Contrary to the original plan, we did not start the "grateful tree" until Thanksgiving Day morning.  However, in less than 24 hours, our tree went from completely bare, to this...

A little post Halloween sugar shock never hurt anyone.  Especially when it involved teaching my children to count their blessings. 

I think we've found a new family tradition!

SO, now it's YOUR turn!  What did you come up with this month, that utilized Hershey's Miniatures?

Write 'em up, Link 'em up, and let the judging begin! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tis the Season

I love that song.

It takes me back to my childhood.

Tradition dictated that the first snowfall of the season was to be commemorated by playing that old record on my mother's antique Victrola...crackles and all.

While the weather outside here is nowhere near "frightful" at a chilly 60 something degrees, we have been having flurries.  Inside.  Flurries of half dressed children we are too tired to get dressed.  We have accumulation of used tissues spilling out of the garbage can that I'm too worn out to take outside.  We have gale force sneezes, and coughing fits of avalanche like proportions. 

Climbing the stairs to tend to the needs of the children is more akin to reaching the summit of Mt. Everest. 

But, I shall soldier through for you!  Swap registration closes in about an hour, and I am determined to have everyone matched up by the time I go to bed tonight. 

IF you signed up for the swap (Paper Wins!), but never got a confirmation email from me, check your junk mail.  If it's not in there, email me at:  symmetryinmotion616@gmail.com and I will hook you up!  There were a few who registered, but did not qualify for one reason or another.  To find out if you were one of them, email me.  I tried to contact everyone, but apparently some email providers are uber rude, and threw my emails in the trash.  The nerve!

IF you have not linked up your participation post yet, you will be placed on the "standby" list.  Once you have linked up, I will pair you with whoever is left without a partner.  If there isn't anybody left, I guess you're out of the game...sorry!  PLEASE GET LINKED!!!  Linky is over HERE if you still need to do it.

Do I sound stressed?  I feel like I sound stressed.  Pardon me if I do.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Surprise Packages

Early in the year, 2007, Roon and I were having a disagreement.  Bug was approaching his first birthday, and for us, that meant it was time to talk about having another baby.  I wanted one, Roon didn't think he did. 

I guess I should clarify that.  It's not that Roon didn't WANT another baby.  Every time I got pregnant, Roon would go into panic mode.  "Is THIS the baby that's going to put too much pressure on my wife's heart?"  He just didn't want to go through that again. 

SO, we debated.  Roon kept winning, with his sensible logic attained from all my medical professionals.  I was to stay on the mini pill until I finished nursing Bug, and then we would revisit the issue after my next cardiac check up. 

April 2007 came.  I wasn't feeling "right".  Bug's birthday was one week after mine, so I decided that as a birthday present to myself I would stop nursing him one week early. 
April 12, 2007, I nursed Bug for the last time, put him down for a nap, and went in the bathroom to take a pregnancy test.
I was completely taken off guard when it came back positive.  I was on birth control!  I was still nursing a baby!  But I was happy.  I was ecstatic!  After all, I had inadvertantly won the argument about whether 3 kids was enough for our family. 
Roon, with all his "logic", couldn't deny that this was obviously what God had wanted for us, so he got used to the idea.

My due date was early in December.  What is it with us and baby girls coming in December?  That's right, at 20 weeks we found out she was a girl, and we both couldn't have been more excited.  2 of each!  It was perfect!  Not to mention it gave our children a symmetrical pattern, something that makes Roon especially happy.
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I started having some moderate to severe cardiac issues, that had not been present with my other pregnancies.  Several tests revealed that my next open heart surgery was imminent.  I was strongly encouraged by several doctors to call it quits after Boo was born, and for the first time, I was prompted to listen.

October 2007, I was helping my friend Baub with a church craft day (Super Saturday, for those who speak LDS).  Even though I was 8 months pregnant, I tried to help haul more things than I probably should have.  Towards the end of the day, I was having back pain.  A lot of back pain.  Only, it was coming in waves.  About 10 minutes apart. 
Not only was this baby a total surprise to us, but she was now trying to make a surprise appearance 6 weeks early! 
Roon met me at the church, Baub took my kids, and we were off to the hospital after a call to my doctor. 

Several hours later, we left the hospital, no baby in hand, and a diagnosis of an "irritable uterus".  Taking it easy, and drinking lots of water were to be on my agenda for the next few weeks. 

Since my cardiac anomalies cause me to have to drive an hour to a specialist, and her higher tech hospital for delivery, we were given the induction date of November 29th, and the countdown to D-Day began.

November 18th, we went to church.  I was sitting in one of the meetings, and noticed I was having fairly regular, uncomfortable contrations.  But, I reminded myself that my uterus was probably just feeling irritable, and tried to ignore it. 
When I got home, I layed down, drank some water, and continued to contract.  I got up and walked around, and continued to contract.  But, I was being induced in 11 days, I had never gone into labor on my own, and my mom wasn't there yet.  I couldn't possibly be having a baby.
So, Baub and I went to visit some of the other women from our church.  And, I continued to contract.  When it reached the point where I couldn't hold my train of thought, or talk through them, Baub and the sister we were visiting suggest I might be in labor. 

As soon as I got home, I called my doctor, and within the hour we were dropping the kids off at Baub's house, and driving to the hospital. 

My progress was slow, but steady.  I was admitted, with the promise that if labor stopped during the night, they would induce me the next morning. 

By lunch time the next day, Boo was born...

Bug loved her immediately...

And our family was finally complete...

Sometimes, the BEST gifts, are surprises.


On a sidenote, 3 out of our 4 children were born on the 19th of their specific months.  What are the odds?!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Off With His Head!

Technically, I already posted today, but here's another little post to direct your attention towards the most recent acknowlegement of my awesomness. 

Nice to know someone else can finally see what I've known forever!

(Okay, some of you are new here, and might not know I'm totally kidding.  Sarcasm is my middle name, ya know...)

Thanks for this awesome opportunity, Mamarazzi!  It's such an awesome idea!

To my less blog savvy mother, I would just like to say... click on the button.  You'll enjoy it.  I think.

SmallPostQueenButton <----BUTTON
Love you, Mommy!

Forgetful Quote

Have you ever had a day where you go blissfully through it, even signing and dating a form, without ever really noticing what day it is?  That happened to me on Monday. 

Monday, as the rest of you probably realize was the 15th.  Around here, the 15th is usually a pretty big deal.  After dinner was all cleaned up, and the kids were in bed, I went into the kitchen, where Roon was looking ever so sexy wiping off the counter, and  simply said "it's November 15th".  He responded with an "Oh crap."

THEN he suggested I just skip it this month on account of it being the Holiday season and all. 

You know I can't do that!

BUT I also don't want to stress myself out, since I am hosting Christmas for my side of the family this year, and Sissy is turning 8 the day after Christmas, and in our church, that is a BIG deal. 

SO...I came up with a compromise. 
2 movies (1 November, 1 December), 2 winners, but only one prize PACKAGE for me to assemble. 

Many of my readers have already won a Quince Quote package from me, so I thought you all might enjoy a chance to win JUST A MOVIE for once.  Wouldn't you?

Here's how it will work:
2 separate quotes will be given.  You will answer the same questions, or do the same things for each quote.  I will make my spreadsheet (like I always do) for EACH quote. 
I will then use random.org to draw winners, starting with the "November" quote. 
IF the person who wins the November movie has never won before, they will win the PACKAGE.  If they have won before, they will win just the movie. 
Then I will draw for December.  If the package is left, the winner could win the package, provided that they have never won a Quince Quote before.  If they have, I guess I don't have to make another bowl until January...
Regular Quince Quote will resume in January. 
Why only 1 chance for a package?
Because December's movie costs more than I normally spend on the winning movie.  That's why!

Now onto the fun stuff...

"Well, I don't have any flowers, I wouldn't mind seeing the black underwear, but under the circumstances, I don't think we should move in together."

"Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian."

Here are your chances to win:

1 Entry-  Name the movie
1 Entry-  Name the character who said the quote.
1 Entry-  Name actor/actress who played character
1 Entry-  Quote line delivered before or after the quote.
1 Entry-  Quote another line from the movie.  (This is unlimited!  Make me laugh, and get a BONUS entry!)
5 Entries-  Blog aout it!
3 Entries-  Follow me!
3 Entries-  "Like" Symmetry in Motion on Facebook.

You can leave one comment containing all of your guesses for EACH movie if you would like.  I'm going to make my spreadsheet anyway, so we may as well simplify things!  You can also include the info about your followng, blogging, and "like"ing in that same comment as well. 
Please enter for each movie separately.  I am awesome, but let's not test the limits of my awesomeness, okay?

I'll leave this open until TUESDAY , NOVEMBER 23rd, 11:59 pm.  central time.  I will announce the winner next Wednesday. 

Don't forget to sign up for my 12 Days of Christmas swap!  It's going to be legen- wait for it... DARY!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

12 Days of Christmas...Without All The BIRDS!

Everyone who knows me in real life is laughing hysterically at my title right now.  I just know it...

As a kid, my favorite thing about Christmas was the surprises.  The "not knowing" is the part that made it seem so magical.  As a mother, I sometimes feel cheated out of some of that magic, because as you all know...mothers know EVERYTHING.  I still love the wonder on my children's faces as they open that one perfect present...

But I definitely miss the days of not knowing what I was getting from Santa Claus. 
Roon does an awesome job.  I don't want to make it seem like he never gets me anything.  He does.  But, sometimes his best efforts are spoiled by an ill timed opening of a credit card statement, or a two year old who can't keep a secret. 

Am I wrong in assuming that I might not be the only one out there who feels this way?

So I came up with an idea for a SWAP!

Originally, I was going to hold off on opening this swap until the ornament swap was over, but the more Evelyn and I thought about it, the more we decided we wanted to give people ample time to get to know their partners, and then shop for the perfect swap package. 

So, here's the idea.

A swap that would last for 12 days!

Need more?

Here's how it would work:  Think, "advent calendar" for grown women.

Each participant would be assigned a partner.  Each person would give to, and receive from, the same person.  There will be no deadline or specific date you would need to ship your package by.  There WOULD, however, be a deadline on when your partner would have to receive their package by.  If you choose to procrastinate, you'll have to pay for express shipping.  Packages should ship on or around December 4th, but no later than December 7th.

Once you are assigned a swap partner, the idea is for you to create a package filled with 12 things.  It can be any 12 things.  12 things YOU love, 12 things you think THEY will love, 12 red and green things, 12 items that make up a set...whatever!  Each item should be individually wrapped, and be labeled with DAY 1- Day 12.  You can include a little note for each item, explaining why you chose to include the item, why it's special to you, or why it makes you think of Christmas.  The sky's the limit!  You can create your own theme within the 12 days of Christmas theme, if you feel so inspired. 

December 12th is the magical day.  Regardless of when your package arrives, I would encourage you to hold off on opening it until December 12th.  Beginning December 12th, and extending through Christmas Eve, you will open one gift a day from your swap package.  You can write up a post as you go, or write it all at once at the end.  You will only link one post of your compiled swap package, so the details of how you do it, is entirely up to you.  Technically, I'll never know if you open the whole kit and kaboodle the day you receive it.  But I will opt to open one gift a day to prolong the magic.  I hope you'd choose to do the same. 

On Christmas Eve, I will have my 12 days of Christmas swap post up, with a linky at the bottom.  You can link up any time between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day. 
I'm not officially turning this into any sort of contest or competition.  That being said, I must say that I do have a soft spot in my heart for people who follow the rules, and send something incredibly thoughtful.  I reserve the right to use the address I acquire from you to send some good mail your way, if I feel so inclined.  That's all I'm gonna say about that...

What are the rules?
  1. This swap is NOT open to international bloggers.  Sorry!  While I would LOVE to get to know an international, it makes things a little too complicated, and I wanted to keep this first swap of mine as simple as possible.  I hope you won't hold it against me...
  2. This swap is open to ACTIVE BLOGGERS ONLY!!!  This is a lesson Evelyn and I learned with the ornament swap.  It's not nearly as much fun being partnered with someone who doesn't blog frequently, so you must be active.  To me, this means you must have posted at least 6 times a month for the last 6 months.  If you have successfully participated in either Shortmama's or Mamarazzi's swaps in the past, you are also eligible.  If you're "less active", you may be paired with another "less active" blogger...
  3. Private bloggers are welcome, as long as they are willing to invite their partner to read their blog.  IF your partner is NOT a private blogger, she may request that you allow her to post about the things they sent you.  We all want to be able to bask in the awesomeness!
  4. Send your partner a package that you would love to receive.  If you can put together a package for less than $25, and have it look like you spent more...have at it!  I love frugal people!  Just don't be cheap.  The limit for this swap is $50, but please do not feel apprehensive to join if that is not in your budget.  That is the LIMIT.  Not MINIMUM.  This limit is also BEFORE SHIPPING.  I know this may seem like a lot, but Evelyn and I both agreed that it goes pretty fast when you're shopping for 12 presents.  We wanted to make it manageable...
So, now that you know the particulars, you need to know how to join in. 

FIRST:  Click on the "Contact Me" tab, and fill out the swap form. 
NEXT:  Wait for a confirmation email from me.
THEN:  Write up a quick blog post announcing your participation.
AFTER THAT:  Wait to be paired up. 
FINALLY:  Get to know your partner, and put together a completely awesome swap package.

Wanna play?  Get to it!  Once you have received a confirmation email from me, please write up your post announcing your participation, spreading the word, and giving others a chance to join in the fun.  THEN come back here and link it up, so we can all get to know the fellow swappers better. 

Swapping is a great way to make a new friend.  I know Evelyn and I think so!

Sign ups will remain open until TUESDAY NOVEMBER 23rd at 12:00 NOON (Central time)  You will receive your swap partner's information by the weekend after Thanksgiving 

So what are you waiting for?!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Makeover For Me, and A Makeover For You

I was supposed to post the winner of my blog design giveaway yesterday, but 3 hours at the school turned into 7, and I just didn't have time once I got home.  So, I'm posting about it now. 
But not until the end, because I'm mean like that.

Remember a really long time ago, when I told you that Roon and I were remodeling our half bathroom?  If you're new around here, allow me to direct your attention to THIS POST about our stupidity involving our new sink.  You don't have to click it now, but I would encourage you to click it later.  It's a really funny story.  Especially now that we're over the embarassment of the whole thing...

Here are some "before" shots:
 Here is a view of the particle board medicine cabinet we originally had in there.  It no longer closed.  I really hated it.
 Here you can see the floor, horrible pedestal sink, and some of the damage done by little hands trying to wash at the sink. 
 I HATED this sink.  It is the whole reason I insisted on a remodel in the first place!
 Horrible manufacturer mirror, bottom of the line towel ring, and plug in night light.  It ALL had to go.
 Flat paint is so hard to clean!  Houses with little hands that tend to get dirty, need something easier to clean!
 Bottom of hte line toilet paper holder, and another view of our gross floor, and more effects of little people.  I HOPE it's all chocolate...

The remodel is not complete, but it practically is, so allow me to give you a tour of our NEW AND IMPROVED half bathroom!
FIRST, we took everything out.  It was bare.  We painted, and did some other stuff before we laid our new floor...
 We settled on a light blue paint, because our bathroom is so small.  We installed subway tile on the wall behind the sink and toilet, and topped it with some decorative tile.  I love the overall look.  It makes me happy!

 Please pretend you can't see the space between the decorative tile pieces.  The grout we bought was a little less "snow white" than it claimed to be...

 Here's a good view of our new vanity.  Don't you just LOVE the sink?!  I especially love that I have room to store things like extra toilet paper now!  You can also see that my accent color in here is lime green.  I think it's fun!

 We bought, spray painted, and installed a framed mirror.  It's big, it's beautiful, and it adds a nice design element to the room, I think.

Here you can kind of get an idea of the color.  Eventually there will be 2 shelves hung right there, with baskets in blue and lime green.  We bought all new accessories, and everything matches.

So what do you think?  

I know what you're thinking!  Who won the dang giveaway?!
Okay, fine.  I'll give.

For the record, random.org hated me this time.  I did the drawing 3 times, and the first two times it gave me numbers for people's comments who were not entered in the giveaway.  Like...the designer herself, someone who entered after the giveaway was closed, stuff like that.
So, technically, this was my 3rd draw, but my first REAL winner.
That winner is...
If I counted right, (and I think I did) comment #29 was MiMi when she said "And BAM, my post is up! :)"

Since MiMi was not entering for herself, that means that the winner of the blog design makeover is: 
Congratulations to you!  Get in touch with Erin, and she will get started on your design as soon as she can.
Thanks everyone for entering!  I wish I could give away more than 1.  :(

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bill Paying Miracle!

I have always loved paying bills.
No, I'm not a huge fan of the money coming out of my account, but the whole bill paying process has always been very enjoyable to me.
Except for one.
For the past 4-5 years, Roon and I have had a revolving account with a furniture store. 
Every time we needed a new piece of furniture, we would shop at that store, and pay it off interest free.  Every month, I dreaded paying that bill.
Care to know why?  Brace yourselves, you're about to see a whole other layer of crazy in the onion of insanity that is my brain...
The payment coupon was too big for the envelope.
No, I'm not kidding. 
I DESPISED paying this bill because the payment coupon never fit properly in the envelope provided.  It was only off by about 1/8 of an inch, but it was enouogh to drive me out of my mind crazy.
Before ya'll harp on me and say "well why didn't you just pay it online if it bothered you that much?", I must tell you that in order to pay said bill online, you must have a checking account for that particular banking establishment.  Believe me...it would have saved me some SERIOUS frustration over the lifetime of our account.
The bill showed up at our house yesterday, so before I went to bed I settled in to pay it, preparing myself for "the battle of the bulge".
The Hallelujah chorus swelled around me as the payment coupon slid easily into the envelope provided.  You could see the address in the little plastic window and everything! 
And it, was a glorious day.
You know what else is glorious?
There is still time to enter my BLOG MAKEOVER GIVEAWAY, and you can still sign up for the first of 2 swaps hosted by Evelyn and I.  Go do both.  I'm gonna keep buggin' ya until you do...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Swapping Palooza!

I can't think of many things that I love more than Christmas.  I am fighting the urge more than I care to admit to blare my Christmas albums, and curl up next to my nonexistent fire and drink hot cocoa.
We all know what happens when I feel the need to express my love for something...
Like MOVIES, or CANDY.  Oh boy!  What can she possibly have up her sleeve when it comes to CHRISTMAS?!
One day, I was brainstorming ideas of stuff to do with my blog, and I mentioned to Roon that I would like to host my own swap.  Of course, anything I do can't be normal, so it has to have a twist.  So I came up with a fun swap, and then reality hit me. 
Less than 50 followers. 
In fact, at that point, it might have been less than 40.
No, blogging has never been about numbers for me, but how do you pull off a successful swap when you have only about 12 people who actually read you on a regular basis?
I submit that it would be very difficult.
So, I filed it in my "Someday" folder, and went merrily on my way.
One day I was texting one of my very favorite people.
She happened to ask me if I had ever thought about hosting my own swap.
I shared my idea with her, and she loved it!  But there was a snag. 
An inconvenience, if you will.
My idea was BIG and involved the Holiday season.  Would anyone have time or interest in a swap so close to Christmas?
So, we put our heads together, and came up with a plan.
2 swaps.  Something for everyone!
1 small and simple, 1 bigger and more involved. 
BOTH to lift your Holiday spirits.
Today, we are announcing the first of the TWO swaps!  You can participate in one or both of them...whatever you have time, interest, or finances for. 
The first swap will be hosted by the fabulous Evelyn, over at Hanging by a Silver Lining.  The second will be hosted by me, even though we'll each have our hands in both swaps. 
The first swap is a simple, yet completely fun, ORNAMENT SWAP! 
To read the nitty gritty details, head over HERE and leave a comment. 
THEN...send an email to Evelyn at hangingsilver@gmail.com with all your details. 
After you ship your ornament to your partner on November 20th, come back here and read all the details of the BIG swap. 
You all know it is physically  impossible for me to do anything without a twist, right?
The BIG swap is full of 'em. 
Okay, not FULL of them.  But it has one or two.
BUT WAIT!!!  Since Evelyn and I were separated at birth, and SHE can't do anything simple either, the ornament swap is ALSO a contest! 
Yes, you read that right.  A CONTEST!
Be clever, be creative, be unique.  Whatever you would normally think to do.
The top 3 ornament senders (in our opinion) will win a special prize from us. 
Cool, right?
All you have to do is send something awesome, and you might get some extra good mail, just for being you!
You have until Friday, November 12th to sign up. 
But go do it now.
You'll thank me later. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Since Green is Not Your Color...

Is everyone sufficiently green with envy over my new blog design?  Do you wish you could have one too?
Well, you're in luck!
Erin in all of her awesomeness, and Me, in all my generous-ness have teamed up to give you the opportunity to win a total blog makeover!
Okay now, simmer down. 
This is the first giveaway I've hosted that I'm not going to make you jump through hoops for. 
You. Are. Welcome.
All you have to do is leave a comment telling me how awesome you think I am...or just that you really want to win.
Sounds simple, right?
It is!  Now, because most of my bestest bloggy buds already had blog makeovers, I'm giving you a chance to be a philanthropist.
If you don't need a bloggy makeover...NOMINATE SOMEONE! 
If your number comment is chosen by random.org, I will give the prize to the person you nominated. 
Never has it been so cool to have someone say your blog is ugly...
Want extra entries?
Follow me- 1 entry
"Like" Symmetry in Motion on Facebook- 1 Entry (click on the Facebook icon up there)
"Like" Samantha's Day on Facebook- 1 Entry
Blog about this giveaway-2 Entries
Follow Samantha's Day- 1 Entry

That seems easy enough!  Leave a comment for each thing that you do (or two separate comments for blogging about it) because I don't feel like doing math this time.

I'll leave this giveaway open until Wednesday, November 10, at 11:59 pm central time. 
Oh, and leaving me shameless flattery here and on Facebook would not be frowned upon either.  Just sayin'...

This giveaway is now closed.  Winner to be announced soon.  Thanks to all who entered!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Open Windows

Welcome to my much cuter corner of the web!
I gotta say, that a few weeks ago, when my original designer fell through, I completely gave up on the idea of having a custom blog design done at all. Roon and I had even been scouring stock photos, trying to come up with anything that might work for me.
Well, as the expression goes..."when the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window".
I received an email from Mamarazzi on Tuesday with links directing me to a blog friend of hers who has recently started doing blog design.
I immediately went to check her out, and right away I knew I had found my "window". After all, I already knew she had fabulous taste, in that she had named her daughter "Samantha"...
I emailed Erin, and the process started rolling very quickly.
She is her own custom illustrator, and her prices are VERY reasonable. So reasonable, in fact, that I asked her a few times if she was sure she didn't want more money.
I was continuously updated on the progress of my illustration, and she didn't even bat an eye when I asked her to make a change in adding a DS to Bubble's hand.
We got along right away, and even though I've never met her, I feel like I have a friend in her.
You can see from the final result that she is an amazing artist. The most unbelievable thing, is that she got it done, from start to finish, in 4 days while also taking care of her 4 month old daughter!
I cannot sing her praises enough. There just aren't words for how happy I am with the entire experience.
If you need a blog makeover, please go see Erin. She. Is. Awesome. End of story.
You will NOT regret it.
Samantha's Day
Thanks to Mamarazzi for the fantastic referral!
Thank you again, Erin, for all your hard work.  You rock!

Friday, November 5, 2010

25 Days of Thankful

I'm almost nervous to share what an amazing mood I'm in, because that always seems to tempt fate into throwing some sort of garbage your way.  But, I don't care!  I'm so happy, and so incredibly blessed, that I just have to share by linking up with Shawn for her 25 days of Thankful.  Not sure if I'll remember to do it every day, or even every week, but I'm sure going to try. 
Why am I so happy?
Let's get caught up from day 1, alright?
November 1st:
I'm so thanful that I sat where I did in class 11 years ago.  I have the most wonderful husband as a result, who works so hard, and is so smart, and such a wonderful father.  I'm spoiled rotten.  I hit the jackpot, and I know it.
November 2nd:
I'm so thankful for the craziness that is my life with 4 kids.  While some days are easier to be thankful than others, I never take my children for granted.  Before Roon and I were married, my cardiologist at the time told me I should think about "more permanent forms of birth control", as he didn't think I could survive even ONE pregnancy and birth.  I guess I showed him, and I count myself blessed every day that I didn't listen to him.
November 3rd:
I am so thankful for my home.  More importantly...I'm thankful we can afford it.  Moving to Texas allowed us to have more house for our money, and since we bought at a great time, we weren't affected when the real estate market went south.  LOVE my house.

I'm so thankful for family.  Especially since I consider my siblings to be among my BEST friends.  They're there for me through thick and thin.  I don't know what I'd do without them.
November 5th: 
I'm thankful for friendships that can stand the test of time.  This is my friend, Chelle.  We have been friends for 25 years.  I'm also thankful for the realization that dark lipstick is not for everyone...
Along with real life friendships, I'm thankful for the friendships I have with people I've never met. 

What are YOU thankful for?  Write 'em up, and go link up with Shawn, because she's awesome, that's why!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Glad It Wasn't Up To Me...

I am so incredibly excited!  Month 2 of Symfully Sweet has been a HUGE success, and it's because you all are so awesome at helping me get the word out.  THANK YOU!!!  We had 4 contestants this month who are new to my blog, and they definitely brought their A game. 
Before I reveal the winner, I wanted to explain the scoring system...
There are 4 regular judges, or my "Brain Trust" (anyone else get the reference to "Scrubs"?) and one guest judge (the winner from the previous month).  Each judge scores a project in 4 categories on a scale of 1-10.  These categories are:  Originality, Concept, Execution, and Final Project. 
The 4 scores are added together, for a "final score" from each judge.  The final scores are then averaged from all 5 judges, and any referral points are added.  (.25 points per referral, up to 1 point)
This month, one member of my brain trust had to bow out, due to an overwhelmingly busy schedule, so I recruited the help of a super secret guest judge.  Thank you super secret guest judge!
The scores were actually really close this month, so I hope that everyone will give November's candy a shot.  You obviously know what you're doing!
So with that, let's recap this month, shall we?
The linking started with some incredibly adorable Halloween tree ornaments.  We took a break for some Symfully Evil snacks, and a candy corn themed party.
We admired a super cute sign, before we got gussied up in the cutest candy corn skirts I've ever seen. 
We gathered 'round to listen to an epic tale, and learn an effective discipline method, and ended by getting crafty with the kiddos.
Sadly, there can only be one winner, and that winner is:
BROOKS GAILEY for her candy corn themed party.
Congrats to you, Seester! 
Thanks to all who played!
You're next mission, should you choose to accept it...
I posed the question to a few friends "what candy makes you think of Thanksgiving?" to which I received similar responses.  "Chocolate or caramel", "Something classic", then one of them suggested something, and it totally fit.  The colors, the fact that it's a virtual "cornucopia", with something for everyone.  So, the Symfully Sweet candy for November is:

Answers to a few anticipated questions:
YES you can use the bigger versions of these candy bars.  IF you do, you MUST use at least 2 of the 4 choices. 
NO, you do not have to use any of the candy, if you don't want to, but if you don't use the candy, your project should contain 2-3 of the colors or components represented.  (i.e. peanuts, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, rice cereal, yellow, red, brown...etc.)

Please email me with any other questions.  I just make this stuff up as I go along...

UPDATED:  Because I'm blonde, and forgot to mention before, linking will take place on November 27th through the 29th.  Winner will be announced on December 1st, along with the next month's candy.  I think that's all.  You may return to your regularly scheduled blog reading...

Monday, November 1, 2010


I'm not exactly sure what time it was when I woke to the nagging feeling that I had towels sitting in the washing machine.
I do know it was late, or early, depending on how you look at it.
All I know is that the nagging feeling wouldn't go away, and was hindering my ability to sleep.
So...I got up.
At 1:42 AM, I got out of bed, and stumbled to the laundry room.
At 1:44 I crawled back into bed, and easily drifted off to sleep, with visions of my November Symfully Sweet craft dancing in my head.
This morning, I woke to the sounds of Roon and Bubble having a disagreement of sorts.
"Bubble, you are NOT going to school today!"
"Yest I am!"
"No, you are not.  You threw up!"
"No I didn't..."
This prompted Roon to reveal the results of his CSI-like investigation into the situation.
Exhibit A:  Vomit on Bubble's bed (top bunk).
Exhibit B:  Vomit down the side of the bunk beds.
Exhibit C:  Vomit on the very edge of Bug's bed (bottom bunk).
Something tells me it wasn't a burglar.
Something also tells me that the laundry Gods were on my side last night.  They knew I would be inundated with hours worth of pukey laundry, that would require immediate attention.
Thank Heaven for my fancy washing machine that has a SANITARY cycle...