Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Faces of happiness

Two days at camp -- wish I could go!!



Sure looks like she's enjoying herself, doesn't it???


A very productive day.....

I love a day where I can get a lot accomplished -- makes me feel so good!!  So today, we:

........ completed and mailed 135 wedding invitations (yikes.....)......

........ cut ribbons for the little bubble things to use after the wedding (instead of bird seed) and tied ribbons on 100 of them (still have LOTS to go, but a good start!)....

....... and began REALLY cleaning Mackenzie's disgustingly dirty, cluttered room!!  I had promised (threatened) that if it wasn't clean before she left for camp, we would do it for her.  In some respects, I'm glad Morgan and I took over the job, because we were TOTALLY unprepared for how much of a packrat that little girl is.  Every drawer, every nook and cranny were STUFFED full of papers, old art projects, little doo-dads she's created, and much, much more -- a box full of ROCKS (!!); a box full of marbles & the ring tabs off the top of soda cans (why????  I don't know!); dirty clothes stuffed in the back of a toy shelf (again, why???)  Morgan and I worked in there for probably 3+ hours and have removed seven bags of trash, old broken toys and stuff that just isn't worth taking to GoodWill.  Additionally, we currently have two laundry baskets full of stuff for GoodWill, and a basket that went to the basement with all the dirty clothes we found that need washed.  Wow...... what a job...... and we're not finished yet.......  And of course (as you can see from pictures below), when you try to organize this much stuff, first you make an even LARGER mess before it starts looking better....... sigh......

Moving stuff into the hall to get some additional working space....

A view of the disaster as we were trying to organize.....

Starting to pull stuff out of the closet to sort and organize....

Cleaning out under the loft......

A shot AFTER we found the surface of the computer table and unburied Cody's dog crate......

Hopefully, pictures will be posted tomorrow showing a HUGE improvement!!  Plans before Kenzie returns from camp also include taking down the loft and converting it to a captain's bed, moving the computer table downstairs to the school room and adding bookshelves to hold the books and toys.  Mighty ambitious, but I'm giving it my best shot!!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wow....... let's not get this guy too ticked off.....

We took our youngest daughter to camp today; it's a nice drive WAAAAY out into the country. On the way, we passed a very old farm with this sign at the end of the driveway, and we just HAD to go back and take a picture!!

I don't think I'd like to get this guy upset with me........


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Assembly Line Wedding Invitations

How to assemble Morgan's wedding invitations......

Remove outer folder/envelope and unfold --

Add reply card and envelope to side pocket --

Glue ribbon to back of invitation --

Add five pieces of double-sided adhesive tape --

Peel tape backing and place invitation in the folder evenly --

Pause for a moment to admire the invitation --

Add reception card and tie a neat bow --

Fold up invitation and seal --

Add address label for mailing (hi, Grammy & Pop-pop) --

Repeat about 100 times --

Add postage and you're done....... with just one small part of wedding planning....... sigh.....


Friday, June 25, 2010

Even BETTER customer service!!

After writing about Gartner Studios the other day and raving about their customer service, they raised the bar and did even BETTER than I anticipated!!  I followed up with them to see if I could pay something to get the shipment of the labels expedited; here is the company's reply:

Hello Pam,
We just wanted to let you know that your package shipped via UPS.

Your package has a scheduled delivery date of today.

You can track this package online at UPS's website with the following tracking number:  1ZW1957X0350080832

Please let us know if we can be of any additional assistance.

Customer Service
Gartner Studios 

So, I know I said it before, but in case you missed it -- please consider using this company if you are in need of business stationery, invitations for weddings, showers, partys, or any kind of "special occasion" paper goods.  These people are TERRIFIC!!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Funny Product Label Warnings!

My brain is dead today -- nothing creative in there at all!!  But these were sent to me by a friend and made me laugh -- so........  enjoy!!

WARNING: Do not weld can to rim.

Rain Gauge:
Suitable for outdoor use.

RCA Television Remote Control :
Not Dishwasher Safe

Pine Mountain Fire Logs:
Caution: Risk of fire

Home Depot Treated Lumber:
Do not consume.

Hair Dryer:
Warning: Do not use while sleeping.

Road Sign:
Caution water on road during rain.

This camera will only work when film is inside.

Road Sign:
Cemetery Road. Dead End.

Church Parking Lot Sign:
Thou shalt not park.

Another Church Parking Lot Sign:
Trespassers will be persecuted.

Children's Superman Costume:
Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.

Air Conditioner:
Caution: Avoid dropping air conditioners out of windows.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Frustration -- but excellent customer service!!

Morgan's wedding invitations are the type you print and assemble yourself, from a kit.  They're very nice, though a bit complicated and time-consuming to assemble.  However, we've got a good number of them done now, and we were starting to print out and add the address labels.  The problem showed up with the very first label we tried to attach -- the ink started smudging BADLY.  Not a good sign..... So we let them dry a bit longer and tried again.  Still smudging.......  Put them in front of fans; under hair dryers; blotted them with paper napkins...... all no good.  I even tried printing out a sample last evening and just letting it sit all night to see if the additional drying time would help.  Nope...... still smudges this AM.  Great..... now what do we do?

In frustration, I e-mailed the company that created the cards ( this AM, to see if they might have any suggestions or solutions to our problem.  In less than 30 MINUTES, here's the reply I received:

It sounds like you may have received an older version of this kit in which the labels included are a glossy stock. We would be more than happy to send you non-glossy label stock. We do apologize for the inconvenience, and will be sure to forward your comments/concerns onto to the product manager for this specific Brides item.

Please let us know the number kits you purchased, your full name, physical mailing address, and phone number; and we will mail you the replacement product right away.

Thank you for contacting us about this, and we hope to hear back from you soon. 

Wow!!!  OK -- talk about GREAT customer service!!  I couldn't believe such a quick response, let alone one that included a solution to our problem!!  So for those of you looking for nice business stationery products, invitations for weddings, parties & showers, and so much more, please check out Gartner Studios.  I love to pass on information on good companies!!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Busy, busy days

I keep thinking I need to post, but the days just keep getting away from me...... So much going on and so little time!!

On the wedding front:  the gown fitting scheduled for last week had to be postponed due to an "emergency" at the bridal store!  So we're re-scheduled for next Thursday; hopefully, this will work out.  The invitations are being printed by my brother-in-law (a professional printer -- nice to have talent in the family!) and should be done any day now.  The invitations Morgan chose are a bit of an "assembly project" and are going to take some time to put together and mail, so I hope we can get started on them ASAP.  I'll post pictures of them after we get them back..... Other preparations are going slowly, but surely.  I'm feeling strangely calm about all of this -- so why do I get the feeling that I'm either forgetting something very important or it's all going to hit the fan at the last minute???

In addition, our 2nd daughter has decided to get married to her boyfriend.  He's in the Air Force and will be transferred to Texas sometime in mid-to-late July, so it looks like there's going to be a small, rushed wedding in the next few weeks as well...... Just when I thought life couldn't get any crazier....

I needed to have some bloodwork done (complete with fasting..... sigh.....), so I got up early on Wednesday to get to the lab.  It was a quick in-and-out, as I went first thing in the morning.  By the time I came home, it was only about 8 AM, and I was WIDE awake and motivated to get things done.  So I started tackling my office/junk room.  Of course, when you start to de-clutter, you make more of a mess by opening boxes, moving stuff around, trying to re-organize...... you know how that works.  I was right in the midst of this chaos when I got a call from another gal who works at our birth center.  She'd already been at one long birth this week, and was now in the midst of another very long birth, with no end in sight -- and she was beyond exhausted.  She was looking for someone to come in and take over for her.  Even with my disastrous mess, I couldn't say no -- I know that feeling of being drop-dead tired all too well!!  When I arrived at the birth center in Virginia, I found that since we had spoken on the phone, the midwife and pregnant couple had made the decision to transfer to the hospital, so I ended up just staying for a bit more than an hour, cleaned the birth center, and drove back home to Maryland.

Fortunately, I left before rush hour, so the drive home was uneventful.  I was still full of energy and went back to tackling the room and making dinner......... UNTIL........  I got a call that one of MY couples might be in labor!!  Off to bed I ran, hoping to get a short nap -- but the phone rang and rang, and next thing I knew, my couple was calling back, saying I needed to come NOW!!  Yikes -- another drive back to Virginia -- why didn't they do this a few hours earlier while I was still in Virginia???  Fortunately, it was an extremely short birth for a first-time mom; baby was born by 9:45 pm.  We did have a lot of issues with bleeding after the birth, but nothing we couldn't handle; just ended up having to stay for a few extra hours to make sure all was well.  I got back home about 3:30 AM, now VERY tired (sure used up all that energy!!) and collapsed on the sofa, falling asleep immediately.  Only to be wakened........

....... at 7:00 AM by the phone ringing again!!!  This time, another local midwife, one I don't normally work with, was at a nearby Army base doing a homebirth and her birth assistant was tied up at another home with another client -- and she needed someone NOW!!  Fortunately for her (unfortunately for ME!!), I was so tired, I agreed to come, and it probably wasn't until I was several miles up the road that I found myself questioning what on EARTH I was doing, heading out yet again!!!  It was fine in the end; a lovely birth for a 3rd time mom; third son, family very nice and VERY happy.

So in less than 12 hours, I did two births of two nice large baby boys -- both of them were 9 lbs., 8 oz!!

Mackenzie leaves for camp in only a week and a half, so I need to make sure she's got enough summer clothes left that still fit (kid's been growing like a weed) and I need to get busy with packing her stuff.  Additionally, my parents just made arrangements for her to fly back to Florida with them after Morgan's wedding and spend about 1 1/2 weeks at their place, and then fly back solo -- she's going to have a BLAST!!  What a good, busy summer for her!!

Speaking of growing -- just a few weeks back, I took Kenzie out to get some new sneakers; we ended up buying a pair that was a bit large (size 6), but I figured that would be good to cover her for the summer.  Then this week, we went out to find some flip-flops and start looking at shoes for the wedding....... and now she's wearing an 8 or 8 1/2!!!  YIKES!!!  This child may end up with bigger feet than me!!

We have bought wood laminate flooring to replace the ancient carpeting in our house, and had planned to rip up the carpeting and have the flooring installed soon -- probably the weekend of July 9.  But now, daughter #2 wants us to have a family barbeque soon at our place with all her future inlaws -- why do I have the sinking feeling our "destruction period" will be right in the middle of that?  Yup, I just LOVE bringing guests into a torn-apart house -- is THAT really my idea of fun???

I'm still hoping to go to Honduras this fall for my nephew Russell's wedding...... guess I need to start working on those plans as well........

And life doesn't slow down.........  busy, busy, busy......


Friday, June 4, 2010

Back on track with wedding plans.....

....or at least, we're on track with Plan B!!  I don't think I wrote about this before, but we placed an on-line order -- on April 25 -- for the bridesmaid dresses that Morgan liked.  I thought everything was all well and good, and that I had one more item checked off my "To-Do" list.  However, on May 22nd -- FOUR FULL WEEKS AFTER I PLACED THE ORDER -- I received an e-mail that said that the dress order had been placed with the manufacturer and the dresses would be shipped in early August. WHAT??? The wedding is August 20th and at least tfour of the seven dresses will need alterations.  I called up House of Brides, went around and around and around with them, and still haven't reached a resolution yet.  Unfortunately, as in most things "bridal", payment in full is expected up-front and there are no refunds.  So now we were left in the most uncomfortable position of HOPING that the dresses will arrive in time for alterations -- not a comfortable feeling, for sure. 

After much discussion, Morgan and I decided to look elsewhere for other dresses, as "insurance".  This time, however, we limited our search to places like Nordstroms, Macy's, Penneys, Sears -- places where dresses could be returned easily, should the original dresses manage to turn up in time.  We narrowed down the search to three or four possible dresses, and miracle of miracles -- one of them went on a 40% off sale today!!  Yes, you better believe I scooped them up immediately!!! 

The first official dress fitting for Morgan's dress is next Thursday; about 60% of the mailing addresses have been typed into the computer for the invitations; the menu is being worked on; the photographer has been hired....... things are starting to fall into place!!!  Yay for progress!!