Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bah Humbug

I only WISH I could get more into the "Christmas Spirit" this year. Yes the tree is up - the bannister is wrapped in holly, the stockings are hung on the breakfast bar with care but I just don't "feel" like Christmas. I am just tired. The weather is dreary and its sometimes a struggle just to get my motivation going. *sigh* This weekend may just be the jump start that I need. We are heading down to Kansas City on Saturday - Jackson gets to see his dad and I get to go out to dinner (kid free!!!) with the KC Core 4! Nothing gets you more in the spirit than the plaza lights and free flowing bottles of wine with my 3 best friends.

My November goals ended up being a bit more ambitious than I had original thought but that's not bad - just different. My relationship with Chad is going better than it ever has before - he is being extremely active in the lives of both boys and attentive to my needs too. We are all settled in to the new house - four more loads of stuff have gone to various charities so my life is feeling much more streamlined now. I have been promoted to the Sales Manager at the office which is a lot more responsibility but its also a good way to get my finances in order as well. I have three guys on my team all with their own quirks but its going really well so far!

I'm just hoping for a really happy 2011 to look forward to!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Goals For November

FAMILY: Only 60 min of TV time per day every day. Home Cooked Meals

MONEY: Rebuild Savings to $1000 again, Pay cash for replacement TV.

INTELLECTUAL: Read one fiction book and one non fiction book

SPIRITUAL: 30 minutes of quiet prayer and meditation each night before bed.

BUSINESS: 50% closing ratio. Learn ordering process.

PHYSICAL: 30 day shred. EVERY!DAY!

RELATIONSHIP: 1 telephone call and 1 hand-written letter to a friend I haven't talked to for awhile per week.

Starting Over

This last week has been a bit of a "do-over" so I thought I would start over on my blogging as well. This week my yearly flu outbreak hit and quite possibly at the worst time it could. In the middle of a move - training some new employees and a visit from Jackson's father. Any one of those things singularly would be a lot to handle at a time but altogether was a complete disaster.

But I am feeling better now and I actually figured out that getting sick was a bit of a blessing in disguise. You see for awhile now I have been looking toward November 1st is my "new year"; my fresh start. I am moving into a new house. I am training a new employee so there is a huge opportunity for financial gain in that endeavor. The plan is to embark on a new physical regime as well. I want the new place to wash away all of the heartache of the last few years and really be some place that has a new feeling for the kids and for myself. A true new beginning. So this illness has been - to put it bluntly - cleansing. I haven't been able to keep much of anything down and I slept for 12 hours straight last night but it has left me oddly clear. All of the toxins and awful eating have been literally flushed out of my system and has left me with this burning desire to do and be better in all aspects of my life. I have been purging my possessions in an effort to not have to pack things that I don't want to carry with me to the new place. I am getting rid of all of the excess in my life and starting completely fresh. Internally and in my external "junk" too.

I really want this to extend into all parts of myself. Parenting, money, fitness, emotional/spiritual, intellectual, business, the whole package needs to be overhauled and it started with this unintentional purging of the inside. Just thinking about how I have lived for the last year kind of makes me feel sick. I have not been very fiscally responsible, my eating habits have been atrocious, my energy levels have been abysmal, I have not spent the precious time with my kids that I need to, have not fed my friendships and relationships with any real nourishment. I need to do better. So starting today I am focused on the task at hand - really taking responsibility for all aspects of my life and making TODAY my fresh start.

Thank you all for joining me on my journey.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Know what I love the most...

...about this little "hobby" of mine? The people! There ain't NO people like scrappy people to get you fired up and motivated and creatively charged. I'd like to welcome Lisa Burt ( to my crop circle! Lisa emailed me about my Memory Works consultantship and, after a series of emails we met for lunch and traded stories. I know so many people around me just shake their heads when I do things like pick up friends at the Scrap Store or my online girls on HYWWP but the women that have come into my life through this medium have been the greatest blessings that a girl could ever dream up.

Even MORE inspiration has just been pouring out of our amazing sponsor - Sketch Inspiration I was totally scared of this kit when I first came across it - there is so much glitter and glamour and sparkle and its totally out of the element of where I usually create that - well - it gave me the shakes a little...but I kid you not, after working with it for only just the past few weeks I have used up all but a few scraps of each sheet and ALL of the flowers and brads and ribbons. Skyline and butterfly kisses both came from that kit Every luscious drop has been squeezed out of this kit and I have loved it. Not only that but Sketch 136 was the inspiration for "butterfly kisses" below. I never think of using circles but I think it really sets off that photo. The last one is just for fun - wanted to showcase my HYWWP girls from our Chicago trip a few weeks ago. Miss them SO muchly.

T - 4 days until Derrick arrives and operation redo the house goes into FULL effect! I promise photos will ensue - this is going to be really interesting...

Friday, August 6, 2010

It has been awhile.

So I thought that I would take a few moments and update you on the comings and goings of life at the Stuart household. Insomnia does have its advantages ;)

Starting at the top: I am no longer with Metlife (has it really been JANUARY since I last updated this thing?) I now work for CNA Company in home improvement sales - windows, siding, gutters and gutter protection. I never imagined that would be what I am doing but - here I am and I'm doing great. It looks like I may even be brought on as a trainer for new recruits!

Still scrapping! Never as much as I want to but my page count is up to 80 for the year so far so I can't complain! More importantly I am really enjoying my pages again and have PLENTY of subject matter. Namely our trip to Florida in April, Chicago in June, and two growing blooming boys to keep me in photos!

Here are some of my latest. Family Tree and Smile Marathon are both ALL because of the August Sponsor for Have Your Way with Paper. Trisha at Sketch Inspiration provided our design team with this absolutely beautiful kit full of glittery beautiful papers and coordinating embellishments. I'm so in love with the whole thing. Smile Marathon is based on her sketch 135. Nothing better than a sketch to jump start some creativity! Stay tuned for more.
Next on the docket - My Jackson! Can you BELIEVE that he is going to be in Kindergarten in two short weeks? He has just grown up overnight. Yesterday he had on a shirt that was WAY too big for him in April and it fit him perfectly. He continuously amazes me though. His new affinity is talking on the phone and he just sounds so completely grown up...observe....

And the baby! He hardly even seems like a baby anymore. He started walking at 8 months and hasn't stopped since! He definitely keeps his momma on his toes!! He is 11 months old now and totally rules the roost. I have him enrolled in the Kids Academy in Bondurant starting in October - I can't wait to see how much he learns and grows and gets interactive when he is around more structure and other kids his age!
So that's the update - I will try not to suck so much at updating my blog in the near future.

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Site - New Crop!

There are exciting things happening in the universe of Have Your Way With Paper! I guess I haven't posted but me and Lisa Baldwin took over ownership of the board back in May and this last week we just launched a brand spanking new forum! If you have been missing from the community or even if you have never peeked in on Paper now is a GREAT time to join the conversation on Register today and join in on our housewarming crop Friday through Monday! It will give you a chance to win an amazing prize from this month's sponsor SEI scrapbooking! Come on over and check it out!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Crop till you DROP!

Head on over to Have Your Way With Paper this weekend for a fun filled online crop that you will just LOVE! Contests - challenges - and even a Super Bowl of Scrapping style game that will keep you hoppin'. Not a member of HYWWP? this is the perfect opportunity to jump right in and get inspired! Hope to see you at the crop!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What happened to January?

Two snowstorms, one ice storm and a hoar frost later and the month is OVER! Ok technically its not over for two more days but - you get the drift so its time to review my January goals and look forward to my February ones!

January Checklist
1. Complete 30 day shred
I can say with pride that I am up to level 2 in the shred process - I didn't do it every day like I should - life and kids just get in the way of that all too often - but I did DO IT and that is progress!

2. Get Caught up on Bills and Savings
Here again I can proudly say that all of my bills for this month are paid with enough left over to stash some in savings and plunk down a deposit for the condo for our trip! YAY!

3. Clean up and Clear Out
Not as much progress as I'd like to see but I did institute a "winter things" bin for all of the gloves and hats in the kitchen and have done a decent job of keeping the clutter under control. More is needed but the end of Winter will be a BIG help in that one!

4. Recommit to my job - no comment

5. Weekly Creativity
I completed 17 layouts this month - not quite one a day but I'm definitely on track for a 200 page year if I keep up this kind of pace. AND I have some cropping scheduled this weekend too YAY

On to the February Goals:
1. Take the lead in our MetLife Biggest Loser contest! This couldn't have come at a better time - what great inspiration than a 200 bonus for the winner and bragging rights. It's a 13 week competition that puts me right in "Orlando Swimsuit" territory! Perfect timing!

2. $1000 in the bank and a new debt elimination plan
To help with the finances I have taken on a second job doing home improvement sales. It's working out great and I'm actually really good at it - who knew - with the money I make in this next month I want to go back through my baby steps on the Dave Ramsey Plan. 1st is the emergency fund of $1000 and then putting together my budget and a debt snowball. These medical bills are going DOWN baby!

3. Have a 50% closing ratio on all appointments whether they are Met or CNA!
I know that I can do it - and I know that I can get paid for them so I'm going for it - full force on both jobs and see how much I can push myself this next month. I need the energy!

4. Keep weekly "self appointment"
2 jobs - 2 kids = EXHAUSTED me. So I need to make time to do some self soothing in there somewhere so it is my goal for the month to schedule an appointment once a week for me to spend some time with me. That could be time spent scrapping - napping - doing a devotional or just praying and being quiet but momma needs an hour or so to make sure that I am still Kris not just the J's mom.

I just realized that none of my goals include my kids - of course keeping them happy and healthy is just a bonus of having a happy healthy mommy JT is growing up SO fast he's already sitting up and giving out kisses - he is so interactive! and my Jackson - Oh My Golly! He loves to tell me he thinks that I'm beautiful and I love to hear it! *sigh* I am so blessed.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets

I have a confession and an admission to make today but first I must profess my love for my hairdresser Linda - she took my moppy momma hair and made it kicky and easy at the same time. Check it out just ignore the tired, puffy eyes..Love my baby boy being my photographer I guess it runs in the bloodstream!
Alright got that excitement out of the way - isn't it amazing how its the little things that thrill me these days. OK confession time. I had a very - we'll just say non-proud parenting moment this morning with Jackson. We have a set routine where I go down and take a shower while Jackson gets dressed then he comes down to "surprise" me with his outfit selection. Now - he is a typical boy with a closet full of khakis jeans polos and t-shirts and there are VERY few combinations that he can come up with that actually surprise me but today I can honestly say that today I was surprised...

Yup that's right my sweet little boy found a sweater vest with a polo hanging in his closet and decided that the fashionable thing to do would be to put it on without the polo underneath. So, as I peeked out of the shower curtain to see this lovely ensemble and burst out laughing - right in front of him - I didn't mean to I just couldn't. He was so upset that he shouted "don't laugh at me mom" and stormed out of the bathroom. I felt HORRIBLE. Of course not horrible enough to stop me from taking pictures of him and post them on the internet but I felt awful I have officially laughed in my son's face - awww.

I also had a realization due to a thread on Have Your Way With Paper about why we scrapbook. Yes we tell ourselves that we do it for our kids - that the hours and dollars that we spend on these books are so that the kids will have treasured memories but I came to the realization that that's not REALLY why I do it. I'm surrounded by numbers and gutters all day long and I need this as my creative outlet - I'm glad that I am documenting my kids lives and putting down my thoughts about the photos I take and I love going back through my old books to see where my family has been and where we are going but I fully expect my boys to not really care about the time and effort I have put into these pages. Maybe someone some day will appreciate them but even if nobody cracks the spine of these books again I am satisfied that I was able to progress in my own art and that it has at least been appreciated among my peers.

So here are my latest creations.
Our little tricksters - based on Sketch 106 from Sketch Inspiration
And an attempt to fly through some of my stash:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Now that the cat is out of the bag...

I can FINALLY announce that my dear lovely friends at Have Your Way With Paper have graciously selected me to be the Guest Design Team Member for January -March! I'm SO thrilled to be a part of such a talented team and I am so committed to making each project I do worthy of the title!

January's sponsor is May Arts - I cannot WAIT to get my package of ribbons and start playing with them! Go check out their blog it is totally full of inspiration and some unique ways that I never thought of before. What a great first way to be able to stretch and challenge my creativity to incorporate an embellishment that I don't use very often.

Here are my first creations of 2010 and I'm genuinely happy with the way they turned out!!!

And - just because - some new years cheer from my biggest blessing of 2009!

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 - Best Year Ever!

So - 2009 pretty much sucked with a few outstanding exceptions (i.e. Joseph's birth) but 2010 is going to be the best year ever! It's up to me to make it happen and I have to keep an awesome attitude but I know I can do it with a little bit of goal setting and perserverance. Instead of making over arching "year" goals I have decided to split it up into monthly goals instead. Nice way to tick things off one at a time and feel accomplished along the way. So here we go followers - I'm putting this out there so that I know what my responsibilities are and that you are all going to be cheering me least you are in my head.

January Goals:
1. Complete the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred program
After a couple of weeks of holiday break I'm ready to shred. Each workout is only 20 minutes I know that I can carve that out of my day somewhere and really commit to getting my buns in shape. Disney World is only 4 months away now!

2. Get caught up on bills and restart savings and giving plans
Yup - there are a stack of medical bills from Joseph's arrival, a couple of store charge cards and other random bills that are in need of some attention - with the disappearance of child support and having my mill SLOWLY rebuilding at Met - its been hard to catch up much less get ahead. BUT with the addition of Job #2, I have made enough so far to get caught up now to work on the "getting ahead" part of that equation. I gotta get good at making my tithe to the church and to myself before paying everyone else. I smell a spreadsheet in my future!

3. Clean up and clear out
Shock and amazement but organization has never been my strong suit (insert sarcasm here) But I"m taking the house by the horns and coming up with new ways to organize especially the back entrance to the house for gloves, mittens and papers that come in every day. This week is going to be a test to see if I can get the kitchen in order. Wish me luck.

4. Recommit to my job
Lately it has been way too easy to let Metlife slide...mainly due to a lack of income/paycheck...but I'm trying some new work arounds to try to get me down to one job again! I've zeroed in on the things that I stopped doing that I need to start doing again and I'm hoping that the energy that I will not be expending on trying to keep the house and life in order can be channeled back into making MetLife work and be more prosperous for me.

5. Weekly creativity scheduled into my week.
When Joseph was born I started a Project 365 with one picture representing each day. It's been so much fun! Now there is another challenge that was presented...actually it was just a suggestion that my friend Chelsea put out for herself - and that is 365 scrap pages. One Layout per day! Lord knows I have the supplies and the pictures to accomplish the goal...the next thing will just be finding the time. When I think about the last few months of scrapping activity it does break back pretty close - I've been doing 5-10 layouts per weekend depending on how much time I have set aside to do them. If you add in crops at the church once a month and the digital 365 layouts that I'm going to be working on (which automatically count for 50 LOs right there) - I might come darned close. Hmm...

Here's to a Happy and Healthy 2010!