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Monday, November 29, 2010

Styled Gift Wrap

This year I opted to wrap all Christmas gifts in one uniform way with slight variations. Those that know me, know that I love metallics, colors and things that are "flashy" so my choice may surprise them.  I was inspired by these images:

I found a roll of plain brown paper (for free), also known as parcel paper and made famous for covering your textbooks as a kid, and got to work. On Black Friday I woke up at 6 a.m. (due to movement in utero) so I left the house and went to Michael's for Christmas ribbon and decorations and Joann's fabric for baby fabric. 

This is what $90 worth of ribbon looks like. No way did I pay $ was all 70% off. The thick red sparkle ribbon is for our tree and the rest of for gifts. 

Here is how my gifts look thus far:

Each gift was wrapped in brown paper, wrapped with double sided tape so it is hidden, and the recipients name is written on the bottom. I'd describe it as classic, old world holiday wrapping. I started wrapping before we had our tree up, which is currently being decorated, so I displayed the gifts next to a handsome gilded reindeer for the time being.

More on my holiday decorations to come!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

Yes, I realize that most bloggers today will go through things they are thankful for in their life. At the risk of being like everyone else, I am taking this opportunity to do the same. I try to make sure my family and friends know how thankful I am for their support all year long, but I know I could do much better.

Thankful for my mom who raised all three of us on her own since 1992 without ever making the strains of doing so obvious to us. We have all followed our hearts because of her encouragement and it has shaped us into the adults we have become.

Thankful for my Dat who although I unfortunately didn't know for long before he passed, was a hard worker and great provider for my family, allowing my mom to stay home with the three of us. I have enjoyed growing up and hearing stories about how funny he was from his cousins, like hearing he would've been the "pink hat kid" at UCONN games like my brother is.

My husband who I think is the best man I know. From the day I met him (below) I knew he was the one for me and told my mom 72 hours later that I would marry him one day. I can't wait to see him in his new role as a father this spring.

My first baby who kicks me all day, and night, reminding me how much my life is going to change in March. I cannot wait to meet him/her!

Our beautiful home that really was a labor of love. It is an incredible feeling to wake up in the morning and realize how much you love the home you live in. I cannot wait to raise our family here.

My siblings, also grouped together with my parents above, who although things aren't always "peachy" they are pretty great most of the time. I have enjoyed growing up and having more adult relationships with them. They know that our door is always open for a visit or extended stay.

Of course there are many other parts of my life that I am thankful for. These include (but are not limited to):

- Good health
- Members of my Campbell/Fox and Rhoderick/Houck families
- My friends, especially the lifelong friends I reunite with in Clemson each fall and those few friends (and here) that I talk to several times a week
- A pet cat that loves me unconditionally
- A job that I enjoy (although the commute can wear me down)
- Flexibility to enjoy hobbies such as traveling, photography, and other projects

If the list is too long, it doesn't make those featured seem "as special" so I'm going to stop there, finish watching the parade, and get ready to go celebrate Thanksgiving with lots of food.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fabric Rosette Pin

Since imitation is the fondest form of flattery, I decided to modify a project my friend Emily made. Instead of making a bib necklace, I decided to make a single rosette pin wtih some leftover fabric from a nursing cover I plan on sewing by the end of the year (just add that to the list!). I used a hot glue gun instead of Liquid Stitch and it did make it a bit messier, but I didn't have to purchase anything for this project except the pin backs.

All I did was cut a strip of scrap fabric 1 1/2-2 inches wide and fold it in half, sealing it with dots of glue. I then twisted it so it rolled over itself. Since the fabric I used was multi-colored, this made the rosette a little more random color-wise because I didn't know what would show when I was done.

After twisting, I started to roll it up from the end closest to me, applying glue along the way. I ended up adding an additional piece of fabric after the first one because I wanted the pin to be a bit larger.

I cut out a circle of black felt, enough to hold the rosette, but small enough to not be seen from the front, and glued on the actual pin. All done!

Total project time: Less than 15 minutes!! I am going to make some other rosettes with scrap fabric from other projects I have done/am working on so I have a simple way besides necklaces to dress up some of the solid maternity clothes I have.

Check out Emily's fabric rosette necklace tutorial on her blog, LaForce Be With You.

Linking up to Making  Monday Marvelous, Making the World Cuter, Just Something I Whipped Up, Today's Creative Blog,, Creation Corner

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall Finale

Well, in my mind, next week signals the end of fall. I plan on pulling out the Christmas decorations as soon as Thanksgiving is over to give myself time to enjoy them and also figure out what else I need to purchase or make for the year. In the essence of full disclosure, I already have holiday stuff on the dining room table, and since we're not having Thanksgiving guests I think it is fully appropriate!

Outside, it is still fall and I made my porch a bit more festive a few days ago. When I made the transition from autumn to winter in the dining room, I used the pumpkins that were on the table and moved them to the porch. We already had a large pumpkin and gourd on the porch, but the addition of the smaller multi-colored pumpkins makes a much greater impact. The box is an antique, given to use from Brad's cousin so it is on the porch where it won't get wet.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What a Pretty Face

Last Tuesday we had our 20 week appointments. I had one in the morning and the power went out at the doctor's office which was interesting. Luckily the "heartbeat microphone" runs on a battery so I heard a heartbeat in the 150s and got my ultrasound referral. If I let them cancel the appointment like they wanted because of the power outage, I would have had to cancel the ultrasound appointment I preemptively made to fit our work schedules.

Later in the afternoon, we met at the radiologist and after impatiently waiting for 45 minutes in a room that I thought was hot and Brad thought was cold, the technician came in. She took measurements of all parts of the baby and looked at the organs, especially the brain, heart and kidneys. We could actually see the different chambers of the heart and blood pumping through - it was awesome. She surprised us and flipped into 3D mode while on baby's face so we got a different glimpse of our lil' Squirt with his/her hand up covering one eye.

20 weeks

How far along: 21 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: We don't need to discuss ;) I'm just glad it is staying in the center of my body since I continue to do some activities at the gym.
Maternity clothes: I can still get away with some non-maternity tops, but not pants.
Sleep: I sleep great thanks to my Snoogle.
Best moment this week: Seeing you for more than an hour at our ultrasound! 
Movement: You move alot in the morning and evening. This week your kicking actually woke me up twice before my alarm. You also move around when I talk to you.
Cravings: Still nothing 
Gender: Surprise :)
Labor Signs: No. 
Belly Button in our out? In, but starting to "even out" with my belly
What I miss: My fall clothes and high heels since my back starts to hurt after a few hours 
What am I looking forward to? Continuing to feel you moving around
Milestones: We saw your face in 3D on 11/9, my great-grandma Anna's birthday (11/9/1909). Thanks for telling me Grandma Joanie!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A history of veterans in my life

I have several family members and close friends who are veterans. I thought I'd take today to show you pictures of them (if I have them readily available) and tell you a little bit about them.

On my mom's side of the family, it all started with my great grandfather who used to teach me how to tap dance, Dr. Morris Fox. To be honest, I don't know much about his time in the service, but could tell you all about his post-service adventures.

His son, my grandfather, Dr. Edgar Fox was an optometrist with the U.S. Air Force.

My grandfather's son, my Uncle Mark, served in the military as well.

His oldest son, my cousin Gideon served in the U.S. Army.

On my dad's side, his father, my grandfather, Michael Campbell was in the Army and was actually shot in the hand during the Battle of the Bulge while operating a tank. He received a Purple Heart.

My cousin, okay, second cousin if you want to be technical, Christopher Scherer was in the U.S. Marines and was sadly KIA in July 2007. His family has organized wonderful fundraisers and activities that anyone can support through the Corporal Chris Semper Fi Fund which is all about helping others in need.

My brother-in-law, Justin, just finished his time in the military and continues to work at Ft. Meade in Maryland. He has completed several tours of duty including one to Africa soon after he met my sister-in-law.

Eric, is one of my best friends' husbands and he is currently overseas in Kuwait. Eric is part of the Florida National Guard and was one of the soldiers deployed in the largest Florida National Guard group in many, many years. We are happy he is coming home to his wife and two young daughters before Christmas.

My friend Jim is someone I met in college and is also stationed overseas at this time. He was always a shoulder to lean on while still being the life of the party. He is very passionate about his service, as are all of the men I know and I hope he comes home safely.

The bottom line is if it weren't for men like these, we wouldn't be enjoying the lives we have. I am appreciative and grateful for them and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make.

Monday, November 8, 2010

20 weeks

Well, we are halfway through this pregnancy which is crazy to me. We had a milestone yesterday at 19 weeks 6 days...Brad got to feel the baby kick! We were watching some television and I could have sworn I felt movement from the outside. He placed his hand on my belly and within a few minutes his son/daughter nudged daddy a few times. He may have been surprised at how subtle it was, but with the baby weighing only about 8oz (according to the books), it doesn't surprise me. Plus, we know that the kicks and jabs are only going to get more intense.

I have two doctor appointments tomorrow, an OB appointment to check everything out and then an ultrasound later in the day. Don't ask about the separate visits to different is all insurance related. We will be reminding all the doctors and nurses we come in contact with that we do not want to know the gender of the baby and would actually prefer it doesn't even get written down. That way, no one can slip in the next 20 weeks ;).

Here are my 18 week and 19 week photos. I feel like my shape changed significantly between the two photos because I think the bump "moved up." I will post the 20 week photo when I talk about tomorrow's appointment.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


This week my husband and I celebrated our second anniversary. As one of my friends put it, "it feels like your wedding was a long time ago" and happily/sadly I feel the same way. I am sad that looking back two years later already seems like a long time ago, because the time is only going to grow and I always have fears that I'll forget things. My husband on the other hand remembers everything. And he wonders why I take so many pictures and videos?! It is also happy to feel like it was years ago because we have settled into our life as husband and wife (and soon to be baby). I find a great deal of comfort in loving the home we live in, enjoying our lives together and looking forward to experiencing new things at each others side.

Here is a brief glimpse back at Nov. 1, 2008: