= exhale =

The baby has arrived! Here I am in the grandparent waiting room anxiously waiting and waiting.
Here's the excited mother - she was a champ at "labor and delivery" and is doing great.

And the patient dad - the picture of calm - enjoying a hospital meal.

And grandpa - doing his doctor testing - checking the reflexes, vision...whatever.
We were thrilled to count her fingers & toes and exclaim to all our family & friends, "She's here!"

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+ a new TO DO +

I get frequent emails about the new classes from Big Picture Classes. (Last year my boss Geornana and I taught Cut the Crazy Out of Christmas on Big Picture and we will again next year.) When I got this email, even though I promised myself I WOULD NOT sign up for another class, I just couldn't resist. I just signed up. The price is $35.00 for a four-week class that starts October 20th.

I love Kolette Hall's work and style and voice on her blog...which is named The Art of Choosing Joy, so of course I would like it. She's a graphic designer and creates many of the stamps and craft materials you see in Michaels, Target, Jo-ann, etc. Her BPC workshops are very detailed and well-written, and I recommend this one if you have dreams of crafting or making gifts for Christmas! She'll show twelve projects with instructions, pictures, etc.

Here's the scoop from the Big Picture website for Giving Well 2011. If you go to BPC, you can also listen to Kolette tell about her workshop.

Giving Well 2011

Gift-giving is an art. From the gift tag and wrapping paper to what’s inside the package, you are saying something when you give a gift. Back by popular demand, Kolette Hall has designed a fresh round of fabulous, manageable gift ideas for the holiday season and all year long. This class is literally packed with everything you need to give well for the holidays or any special event throughout the year – and Kolette has designed every idea that you will see in this class!

Every other day you will receive a new idea for Giving Well. True to form, Kolette has also included her exclusive downloadable artwork to help you create the perfect gifts and gift tags. As those of you who joined us in the past for Giving Well know, you will be amazed with what you get in just four weeks of class time.

Whether you are mass-producing one gift idea or choosing to craft a different gift for each person on your list, you’ll get over a dozen ideas for creating personalized home d├ęcor and other great gift ideas. Come join Kolette as she guides you in your new art form: the art of Giving Well.


{ never ending }

Today has seemed like a week - this morning was at least twenty hours ago.

This week has seemed like a month - each day lasted forever.

This month has been the longest September in history.

And NO, the summer didn't go by "so fast."

What am I getting at? If you're my friend or relative you've heard it before; I've moaned about it over and over. And really, Debbie, what's to moan about? But...

Suzie's pregnancy has been the L-O-N-G-E-S-T, slowest pregnancy ever. Suzie is my daughter and she and her husband Winston are going to have a baby girl (little baby Elizabeth) any day now. But getting to this point has dragged on for me in the most unreal way.

I commented to Suzie about this long-lasting pregnancy, and she pointed out that actually, she's been pregnant for about two years - give or take some months here or there. She had two IVFs and two miscarriages and a couple of surgeries and lots of shots and medications in between. Of course, as her mother, my heart has been with her every step of the way. And then...she got pregnant!!! And in her disbelief and excitement she told us, her parents, really early. So all those things have added up to this seemingly endless pregnancy. (I've seriously tried not to express this to her too much.)

It's close now. In fact tomorrow I can say, she's being induced tomorrow!!! And soon after that I'll be able to exhale. Listen closely Sunday night or Monday to hear it - my huge exhale. And before we know it we'll be bawling our eyes out over this little granddaughter. Just as we have with the other five.

Suzie's so cute pregnant. She wondered if she should have "pregnancy pictures" taken and I (and others) voted YES!!! I'm so glad we encouraged her, because the photos are wonderful (photographer information. below). Enjoy. (btw, it just took me nine hours to write this post lol.)

Gratitude runneth over.

Photos by Arika Averett Photography, Logan, UT. Call me for info or message Arika here on Facebook. She's a USU student, so she'll call you asap!


new baby Claire

We were excited all summer and then finally little baby Claire Coleen was born - actually six weeks ago. I delayed my post because I wanted to make it artistic and perfect - fitting this beautiful little girl. But the time is slipping by too fast, and I don't want to forget the joy of that special day. So without flourish or fancy, here are my photos and a new little grandaughter's story...

and Aaron's
and Aimee's
and Brookelyn's
and Bailee's
and Carter's

There's a bit of a pattern going on in this family's names - the kids wouldn't think of naming their sister anything but a name that started with C. When Aimee mentioned that maybe, when she saw her new daughter, she'd think she looked like a Paige instead of a Claire, the girls protested. So Claire it was, and they were so sure of it, they painted it on her bedroom wall.

Scott and I had the fun of tending the girls while Aaron and Aimee went to the hospital (Carter went to Logan with Aunt Megan). We waited and waited then got the call that the baby had arrived!

Through the magic of Apple "Facetime" and Brookelyn's technical expertise, we got our first look at the new baby on Scott's Ipad.

Brookelyn was very excited and said over and over, "She's so cute."

Bailee got very emotional and shed some tears of joy.

And then we went to the hospital to see baby and parents. Aaron is wearing his "lucky sweater"- the same shirt he wore at the birth of each child.

Bailee's first time holding Claire.

Of course, there's always fun to be found.

Grandpa Dr. Scott does his traditional check of the new baby's reflexes.

Aunt (nurse) Becky did her own baby check.

Big brother Carter holding his little sister for the first time.

And Uncle Michael.

And Aunt Suzie who will soon have her own baby girl and a cousin for Claire to play with!

Three darling granddaughters!