Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lost Coffee Cup, Birthday Layout

I'm talking about this:

...later. So scroll down to read about that, or stay here and read about my coffee cup first.

This morning I lost my coffee cup.

I was somewhat beside myself, to say the least. I'm not one of those people who can get overly dramatic about coffee and how it's the "brown elixir of life" and all of that, but I have grown quite fond of having a cup in the mornings. It really does help me wake up. I don't know if it's because of the caffeine (by this point in my life, I'm not sure the caffeine content of a cup of coffee could even matter to my system) or because of the mental thing that happens when I take my first sip. That "ahhhh..." feeling that comes over my brain. This is how I start my day. My day is now started. Before that point, my brain hasn't reconciled itself to being awake. Until I have my "ahhhh..." moment, I'm not too happy. I mean, I'm not a mindless harpy or anything, but I'm not perfectly content.

I think it's really more the mental thing. As of this morning, I had very strong evidence to support my theory. My coffee doesn't taste the same if I use a different cup. It's about the ritual of the thing for me. My coffee, in my cup, with my raw sugar and my fat free half and half is what equals "ahhhh..." for me. I used to be lazier about this. I would just use a different mug. But it would never be the same. I've started washing my mug before I make my coffee if it's not already clean the next morning. I want my mug and my coffee and my "ahhhh..." and it's not going to happen unless all of that comes together. Again, not having this doesn't mean I make it my excuse to be horrible to people in the morning, but I don't have my own inner contentment. I'm just faking it.

I looked on my desk. I looked on my other desk. I looked on the counter. I moved some dishes to make sure that I wasn't missing it behind something else. (The fact that my kitchen is currently in that kind of state is not something I'm entirely proud of, of course, but I also know it's not permanent. I just have been focused on other things lately. Give me 45 uninterrupted minutes and that space will look like Martha Stewart's kitchen. Give me 15 minutes and I'll have every counter cleared. It's not as bad as it looks.) I went into the dining room, I looked in the dishwasher. I looked behind the couch. (With my boys, you never know.) I even went so far as to post on Facebook that I couldn't find my cup. I found myself nearing my end when I pulled the bread machine off of the counter (we made homemade pretzels for Family Fun Night this week) and I still didn't find it.

Just when I was reconciling myself to not having my coffee in my cup with my raw sugar and my fat free half and half and was ready to settle for my coffee in not my cup with my raw sugar and my fat free half and half, I decided to look in the dishwasher one more time.

There it was. No kidding. It wasn't there the first time I looked. I mean, I know it was. But there it was, big as day, sitting exactly where the cups in the dishwasher go, looking all innocent like it had been there all along, and part of me just knows that it wasn't in there the first time I looked. But I know it was. But you know what I mean. I pulled it out, all shiny and clean, with its beautiful green interior (which I love... it's such a beautiful compliment to the color of the coffee... makes the whole experience so nice) and I stared it down for a second, wondering if it was off fooling around with one of the bowls or something the first time I looked. It managed to look a bit sheepish. (I might have caught it.) And I proceeded to make myself my coffee in my cup with my raw sugar and my fat free half and half.

But this morning, I ran out of sugar. So I either have to go shopping or switch to my coffee in my cup with my German rock sugar (from Teavana) and my fat free half and half, which is a good substitution. I can't use white sugar anymore. I've gotten spoiled to the richness of the raw sugars... They taste different. Coffee with white sugar will definitely not make my "ahhhh...".

I guess it's true what they say... as you get a little bit older (Notice I did say OLDER and not old, for heaven's sake. I know I'm not old. No one hit me.), you begin to become set in your ways. People can think of it as high maintenance. I tend to think of it as just being clear about my wants and desires. And the fact that my sweet husband knows all of these little details about me and he can make me a my cup of my coffee in my cup with my raw sugar and my fat free half and half... Well, that's the best "ahhhh..." of all. It gives him another opportunity to know me down to the details, and I love that about him--that he cares enough to know these things about me.

Anyway, on to the scrapbooking:

I am caught up with all of my 2011 scrapbooking for now. Basically, it's May, so my goal is to finish all of April's scrapbooking before the end of the month. Once I complete April 2011, I go back and work on my catchup stuff. I finished February 2009 with this page about my son's 8th birthday.

Basically, I usually start my scrapbooking time with some kind of a challenge to myself. I wanted to use the Basic Grey Nook and Pantry collection, and make most of the design out of paper scraps. (I'm using a non-specific color of light blue cardstock for my background. It was from a textured cardstock pack at Walmart.)

I set up my photos how I wanted them and then cut paper scraps to fill the holes and make a nice grid. Here, I've got everything placed but not glued down yet because I decided I wanted to antique the edges of everything. I'm using Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

One of my favorite things to do with these newer double sided kits from Basic Grey is to cut off the bottom strip of paper from each sheet, where the label is. If you flip it over from the label, you get all of these fun 1/2" strips of the other pattern. I use those on my pages all the time. On this page, I used two of them. I cut across a strip of leftovers with my scallop punch and then used the tiny bit left over from that at the top of the page there. I really, really love the way this all turned out.

I added some fun buttons in the design triangle thing, along with other embellishments (my title, the "tasty" and the journaling block are another triangle). I did two button triangles on the page, actually. I decided to make my title French because I didn't feel like writing "Happy Birthday" up there. It felt lame. So it's "Bon Anniversaire" instead. This is one of my favorite things to do. If you can't think of an interesting title, just make it a different language. (I usually use French.) Get the Google translator to tell you how.

The "8" from my sheet of stickers that came with the collection was totally not the right color for my page or this accent, so I colored it brown with a marker and it turned out great. Also, I felt the page still looked a bit plain once I was done, and I considered adding stitching, but my 10 year old was standing behind me, looking over my shoulder, asking for about the 100th time (don't feel bad for him... it was the 100th time in about 2 minutes real time, which is more like an hour in his time or 10 seconds in my time) if we could play Star Trek Scene-it. I don't like leaving pages unfinished, so I just decided to add some dots with a brown marker around the central block of the page, and that worked out fine.

The stickers and buttons on this page are also all from the Basic Grey Nook & Pantry collection. It makes coordinating so simple if you don't try to match everything yourself. It may feel lazy, but if you actually get pages done, it's worth it, right? I no longer think of it as lazy. I think of it as boundaries that produce freedom, kind of like with your children. You put boundaries down so that they feel safe and loved, and they flourish within those boundaries. Hopefully your flourishing will involve less crying fits, but hey. We all have those days. Especially if we can't find our coffee cups.

(Luckily I found mine today, though...)

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