Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tripped At The Finish Line

I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath to hear how my Super Craft Saturday turned out. Well, that can be summed up in a few words.

All hail procrastination.

I have been running for weeks trying to stay on top of everything going on in my life. But, apparently, I should have started running sooner, treated life more like a half-marathon than a 100 meter dash, or at very least more like a relay and passed on the baton more frequently. At any rate, I tripped at the finish line and fell rather flat on my face. (I think I'm out of running metaphors now.)

We had too many projects to begin with. I knew that. I just didn't know how to trim them down any farther, especially since so many of them involved the same set of skills with minor variations. I'd say at least half of the projects (and the most popular two by far) involved vinyl stickers. We had permission from RM's employer to use their plotter to cut our vinyl. We just had to supply our own vinyl, transfer tape, etc. Life being what it is, we didn't have a chance to actually use the machine until Friday night.

We got there an hour later than expected. We had a problem with the files and had to reformat them before we could try cutting. Then, when we were finally able to start cutting (after 11pm) we discovered the blade on the plotter was so dull that it started to shred our vinyl. (Good thing I accidentally over-bought.) It was after midnight when I texted my Relief Society President and asked her to call me if she was still up. She did and I explained about the dull blade and that all the stores that carry replacement blades wouldn't be open again until Monday. She was very reassuring and said that it would be okay. We'd just have to have a midweek activity sometime soon to finish them up. She told me to come home and go to bed. Which I did. But, not until after 2am.

To add insult to injury, every RS Super Saturday in the valley must have decided to do marble magnets, because the marbles have been sold out for weeks. I called every day last week, 2-3 times a day to see if the expected shipment had arrived. No luck. So, I guess we'll do the magnets sometime after the marbles come in. Sigh.

I was SO looking forward to having this project done. Then I was pretty much off the hook until after New Year as far as big church responsibilities go. I guess now we just do our best to get this project over before Thanksgiving. And, yes, it might take that long because I don't know how to fix our vinyl problem. I have a few options, but I still don't know how to resolve this.

Option 1: Wait for RM's work to replace the blade on the machine. I have no idea when they'll get around to doing this and it's not like I can demand they fix it so that I, the wife of a contract employee, can use it for an outside project.

Option 2: Buy a replacement blade for the machine ourselves. The thing is that they cost $60-70 or more. Not sure this is the best use of my funds. If we are going to lay out that much cash, we might as well look at Option 3.

Option 3: Buy my own plotting machine. We very seriously considered this after using the company's machine to cut out our prototype projects. I really wish I had, then I wouldn't have found myself in the mess I made last week. However, the machines are rather spendy, starting in the ballpark of $300. (You can occasionally find better prices if you hunt online, but if you want the "instant" gratification of walking out of a store with it in your hot little hands, you'll pay more.) Fancier models, sturdier models, larger models can all range into the thousands of dollars. I still haven't quite been able to classify this as a need instead of a want, though I'm not alone in wanting. RM can see numerous applications in his world of engineering and would love to play with the machine too. And, I could, once I owned the machine, make use of it in a part-time business kind of way. But, I worry that I'm not creative enough on my own, without reworking others' ideas, to do that sort of thing and the thought of running the business end kinda stresses/depresses me.

Option 4: Find another plotting machine that someone is willing to let me use to cut my stuff.

In any case, we need to figure out what we are doing soon. I'd love to hear your opinions.

The rest of the projects went rather well, I think. I seemed like I was forever running from table to table answering questions and explaining projects. I also spent more time than I had hoped trying to find all the supplies. They were all in the building, just not all with their kin. (Again, all hail organization, or the lack thereof.) Still, everyone seemed understanding of the situation and rolled with the punches, so I can't feel too bad.

But, truth be told, the after-project-high of a job well done just isn't there.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On My Mind While On The Run

I've been running non-stop for a couple of weeks (or more) trying to fulfill all the responsibilities I've got right now. (The most pressing of which is our ward's Super Craft Saturday which will over for better or worse this week.) All this running is one of the reasons I haven't been around much. But, there have been plenty of things on my mind and in my heart that I want to share. So, until it's over and I have some more time, I guess I'll just have to share these two songs. They are songs that are new to me, one because I hadn't heard it until last Saturday, and one because I'd never paid attention to the lyrics when I've heard it in passing. Both just really speak to me right now. Enjoy.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Princess Bug's Birthday

On Tuesday, my Princess Bug turned 10. Wow. Where did those years go?

Princess Bug came to us after four years of marriage and two pregnancy losses. To say that she was much prayed for and much anticipated would be an understatement. I was induced 10 days early, when it was discovered that she was dangerously low on amniotic fluid (anything less than 5ccm is grounds for induction, she had 1.6ccm). After about 7 hours of labor, Princess Bug began to show signs of stress. After awhile, her heart rate stopped returning to baseline after contractions. I still had several hours of labor to go before she would arrive on her own, so we decided to go get her. Just before 11pm they started prepping me for our unscheduled C-section. (I prefer to call it unscheduled rather than emergency. Emergency was the room down the hall. A nurse popped her head into my room to inform the staff there that they had lost the baby's heart tone and were go in NOW.) Princess Bug arrived by c-section 11:35 pm. She was such a tiny thing, only 6lbs. 2oz.

Princess Bug a few days old.

Princess Bug's safe arrival was without a doubt one of the miracles of my life. She has brought us so much joy. It's truly amazing to watch her grow and learn. I can't imagine my life without her. She's becoming quite an accomplished young lady, with burgeoning talents in photography, art and writing. She's a loyal and sensitive friend. I can't tell you the number of little girls that she regularly refers to as "my best friend". She's smart and loves to read and listen to audio books. Her vocabulary and use of language frequently surprises me and makes me smile. She's developing quite the sense of humor and she has a vivid imagination. And to top it all off, the girl is just beautiful, inside and out.

It's such a wonderful blessing to be her mom.

Princess Bug (3) & Sunshine Boy (almost 1)

Princess Bug at 5. One of my all time favorite pictures of her.

(I've got to run now, but I just didn't want to take any longer to post this than I already have. I'll be back to add more pictures a little later.)

Friday, October 9, 2009


Just before our alarm went off this morning Bob crawled into Renaissance Man's side of the bed. As he settled in for a snuggle he said, "Guess what, Daddy? I came to keep you company."

How can you not feel flattered by that? :) RM replied, "Well, I'm so very glad you did."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Here I Go Again

I guess I've really become a part of the blogging world. I'm posting another link to another give away. :P

I realize that most people don't bother to explore all the blogs that their friends follow, so most of you will not be familiar with my friend Wendy's blog, The Shabby Nest. However, her blog is a must see for any of you with even the remotest interest in decorating. The things she does amaze me and her home is super beautiful. One of her sponsors is giving away a really cool necklace there. Hurry, you only have until Thursday to jump into the pool. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

An Attempt at Family Photos

On September 26th, we attended the baptism of our niece. (Which was a wonderful experience, by the way.) The after-baptism family dinner was held at a park up a nearby canyon. Realizing our family had a chance to get some LONG overdue family pictures taken, I made sure we had on matching clothes. We asked Renaissance Man's dad to take some pictures for us.

I haven't yet had a chance to see the pictures my father-in-law took. But, I'm hoping that he was able to capture something that my camera missed. We were able to get a few cute individual pictures, but I think we're going to have to try again for a family group shot. Here's a few pictures (of varying quality) that came from my camera.

The best of the whole family

RM & Me

The kiddos

Princess Bug

Sunshine Boy



A favorite shot

Ha! I did it!

After much wailing, whining, and gnashing of teeth, I managed to change my background AND create a matching banner. Hope you like it. :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Getting Antsy

All you ladies sprucing up your blogs with new Fall/Halloween duds are making me antsy. I think I'll have to spend some time searching for a new background tomorrow. :P


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