Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Very VERY Merry!!!

I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet, and I cannot even tell you how excited I have been to share this post with you! *squeal!!!*

You may not know that sewing is NOT listed among my talents...not even close. Truth be told, I cannot sew on a button, or darn a sock (what does that even mean?), which is pretty sad since I spend a lot of time drooling over tons of amazing sewing blogs- almost as much as I drool over photography blogs...almost.

Lucky for me, I have Sara. Sara is my extremely, amazingly, unbelievably talented friend who can work a sewing machine like nobody's business. Last Christmas when I was over at her house, I noticed that her family's Christmas stockings were basically the cutest things I had ever laid eyes on. It didn't surprise me one bit to learn that SHE had sewn them all. After much begging, pleading, bribing, whining, maybe even tears (just teasing!), she agreed to sew some for my family in exchange for a photoshoot. Um, yes. YES!

They COULD NOT be cuter!!! EVERY person who comes into our home comments on them. I have them hanging right by the door on our staircase (I was afraid to hang them from the fireplace for fear the kids would put their hands all over them or try to hang on them or something.) and not a person can walk by without commenting on them. They are A-MAZING! I am so excited to share pictures! All of our names are hand stitched on, and of course I am blurring out the kid's names so you will just have to imagine the utter cuteness. I love these so much and I am not kidding when I say I would have gladly paid $100 each for them. They are a precious heirloom for our family. Love, love, love!!!

Stockings 2010-7 BLOG

Look at all the precious details! I love how the reindeer's tail hangs off the edge- and her bow and darling jingle bells around her neck.

Stockings 2010-2 BLOG

Love the little 'snowflakes' and the way the scarf hangs off the edge. LOVE the buttons and you should see the material the snowman is made out of. SO darling!

Stockings 2010-3 blog

Love this precious little gingerbread man and his cute candy cane hanging off the edge. I don't know why but he looks black in this picture- he is actually made of corduroy and is a beautiful gingerbread brown.

Stockings 2010-4 BLOG

I HAD to choose the bird for myself, of course. I LOVE birds!! Santa Clause went to Mike. So darn cute.

Stockings 2010-5 BLOG

Thank you for letting me gush and share. I am so in love with these stockings. I have threatened my kids so many times that if they even breathe on these puppies they will be in huuuuuuge trouble! ;) I am thinking about scotch gaurding them. Thoughts? Would that be a good idea or no?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Now Serving...Humble Pie.

Most of you know that I recently had a baby. A baby boy, to be exact. What you may not know, however, is how incredibly FREAKED OUT I was at the idea of having a boy.

You see, I am a 'girl' kind of mom. I love playing princesses and Barbie, Hannah Montana, nail polish, and all things glitter. I do not love frogs, snakes, getting peed on, Spiderman, Batman, or any man in a cape.

For the past few years I really felt it was my destiny to be a mommy to all girls. I fantasized about 'girl' trips in our future, spa vacations, mani/pedi's, and girl talk. LOTS of girl talk.

All that changed when the ultrasound tech told us we were having a boy. Both my husband and I began to cry...him from excitement, me from sheer and utter fear.

Being a mom of all girls, I didn't have a single boy item in the house. I tried multiple times to go out and shop for our new little man. I would wander through the boy aisles, vision sliding out of focus as I stared at all the blue. I would start migrating, hands empty, to the girl side of the store. Vision would slide back into focus and I would leave the store with my arms full of pink. I am embarrassed to admit that I bought ONE boy item in my last trimester of pregnancy. The rest of my boy items came from showers and hand me downs. I just COULD NOT get on the boy train, as hard as I tried.

Then I gave birth to my little boy.

My smooshy, delicious, sweet, cuddly, yummy, warm, snuggly little boy.

I am in love. I love everything about him. I love his smooshy lips, his little coos, his sweet smell, his precious, toothless smiles. I love the way he sighs and snuggles into my arms when he is done eating. I love seeing my girls pour every ounce of love they have over him. I love how they fuss over him and fight over who he is looking at. I love all the blue. The soft puppy and dinosaur onsies, the camouflage socks, the airplane sleepers. I love the blue patchwork bumper in his crib. I loooooooooooooooooooove kissing his smooshy little mouth!!!

lips blog

I feel silly that I ever thought I would not be able to bond with my little man- how foolish was I? He has me wrapped around his marvelous little fingers. I am in trou-ble!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winner Winner!!!

Well, the time has come for me to announce the winner of the $20 gift code from CSN! So, using the random generator I got...
LUCKY number EIGHT!!! Congratulations, Anna! Please send me an email and I will send you the code. (You can find my email in my profile information.)

Thanks to everyone who participated!

If you would like to host your own giveaway, let me know. CSN is great to work with and looking for people to host giveaways for them.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Give Away!!!

It's that time of year again...the holidays are upon us, and in our house: Christmas! Every.single.day from the backseat of the car I hear the countdown...14 days, 13 days, 12 days....a constant reminder that I am grossly under prepared for Christmas morning. What can I say? With a new baby, the holiday has definitely gotten away from me, and the closer it gets, the more anxiety I feel about braving the crowds at the mall.

Thank HEAVENS for online shopping!!!

So what about you? Are you prepared for the holiday, or, like me, do you still have about a million people left to shop for? Well, hopefully I can help you with that! CSN Stores has graciously offered my readers a chance to win a $20 gift code to their online stores! There are so many ways to spend it, CSN has a multitude of products: TV stands for flat screens, toys, strollers, kitchen appliances, rugs, home decor....the possibilities are endless!

So, how do you enter? All you have to do is visit the CSN site, look around at their awesome products, and then leave me a comment telling me how you would spend the $20. Easy peasy, people!

This contest will end at midnight on Thursday, December 16th, just enough time for you to pick up something for the holiday! At that time I will use random.org's generator to pick a winner. Good luck!

Oh, and if you are wondering what I would put the money towards...here you go!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Be Gone, Belly Fat.

*Family blog updated.
I recently ran across this blog: My Year Without Sugar and I thought to myself, This looks intriguing! Cutting out sugar is JUST what I need to get my fat, post-baby self back into shape. (working out is NOT happening right now since I am running on about 4 hours of sleep per night). After looking over her blog, however, I realized just how non realistic that is for me. This girl has WILLPOWER!
Anyway, I am still hoping to start shedding some pounds through diet alone, until I get enough sleep to be able to amp myself up to break out the Jillian (aka the devil) videos. However, all of my typical 'diet treats', like sugar free chocolate pudding, diet hot chocolate with hazelnut cream, low calorie chocolate muffins, all contain one common ingredient that is not conducive with breastfeeding....chocolate. So, I need ideas! Any non-chocolate awesome diet treats? Any tips would be extremely appreciated!!!
One more question. Be honest here. I want to know....who is going to watch Bachelor Brad? Tell me truthfully...because as much as I don't want to, I MIGHT have to just peak at that first episode...just to see. Just to see, people! Don't judge me!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Life As I Know It.

So, before I begin, let me just comment about protecting your images. A long while back, I wrote a blog post about disabling the right click function on your blog so people can't steal your images. Well, it turns out that there are ways around it...like enlarging the image and then right clicking on it. Personally, I host my image through Flickr and mark it to private so people can't click on it and bring it into a new browser window and save it. However, I have been told that some people have had success dragging my images onto their desktop. So, I am sorry I don't have the answer to that. I have had a lot of follow up comments on that post, and I am sorry I haven't responded earlier.

Once you read through the rest of my post, this will become more and more clear...the only way to protect your images is to not put them on the internet at all...and if you must, do it in a private forum.

So. Here we go.

Seven weeks ago, I had a baby. My third baby, actually, and amidst the absolute and complete lack of sleep and the crazy hormonal imbalanced anxiety, I had a couple of real eye opening experiences. Allow me to share.

First, I have to preface this by saying I. am. paranoid...and not only am I paranoid in general, but when it comes to my children, I am pretty much a basketcase. So, moving on....I often have photographers that I have never met 'friend' me on Facebook. This is not unusual for me, and we typically have lots of other photographer 'friends' in common, so I will usually add these requests and stick them in a Limited Profile category. Easy Peasy. Well, the day before I was going into the hospital to have my baby, a photographer I had never met- but had tons of photographer friends in common with- requested me as a friend. I added her but then realized that since I was on my itouch that I couldn't access the Limited Profile function. No bother, I figured I would do it later. However, seeing as how I had my pending labor on my mind, I totally forgot about it.

Fast forward to a week later. This photographer 'friend' has commented on my wall a few times...commented on pictures I posted of my precious new baby, and sent me a private message. The message said:

"Hi Joy, congratulations for new baby!! Your blog is blocked, me too have blog (I'm new in blog)and I wish I could enjoy your blog if there is no problem."

What the broken english? I was so confused and checked out her page, which seemed completely normal. TONS of posts, written in proper grammar, with no signs of shadiness. So, I figured her account had been hacked. Since I hadn't met her, I decided to write on her wall, "Hey, did you just send me a message?" to which she promptly responded, "Yes, Joy."

But something felt off. I decided to go to her business page (which was not listed on her facebook page, which I found odd) and found her business email. I sent her a quick message just verifying that she had messaged me. She hadn't. I told her that her page was probably hacked and that someone was spamming her friends, because they had responded to me on her wall. Her next response confused me even more, "No, I don't have anything from you on my wall....this is bizarre, please send me more information." I took a screen shot of her wall (I told you I am paranoid!) and sent it to her, and her next response was, "OMG, that is me, but that is SO NOT ME!!"

Someone was impersonating her. After much digging we found out that this someone was not only impersonating her, but also her husband, and her sister. And it had been going on for months. This person had created fake pages for all of them, and posting every day as if they were them. Stealing their profile pictures and any unprotected photo albums they had, and posting them as if they were theirs. They even stalked her photography blog and reposted things on the facebook wall that she would blog. This person knew INTIMATE details about this girl and her family, things they had found on her family blog. It was the yuckiest, creepiest, sickest feeling uncovering all of this. I just wanted to jump through the computer and give this girl a big, huge, hug. The imposter had tons of 'friends' who were all under the assumption that this was the real girl, and guess what? As a result, that imposter had access to all of those friends information...pictures....posts....who knows how many people they could impersonate with all that information?

What creeped me out even further was the fact that not only had the faker asked me for an invite to my blog, but had also tried to 'friend' my husband. I strongly feel that we would have been next on the impersonation list. I don't understand what someone would have to gain by doing that, but I do know this:

That is not normal. It is weird, and especially weird that someone in a foreign country would want to do it, which makes me feel that they must have SOMETHING to gain by doing it.

I feel absolutely HORRIBLE that this wierdo had access to all the images I posted of my children, not to mention I was already feeling very mother-hen about my brand new baby. It sickened me that this person had been commenting on my pictures of him, our name choice for him...everything. Seriously disgusting. Again, I can't even let my mind wander to a place that wonders what a wierdo would do with his images. *shudder*

The fact is...any of my 'friends' could be hacked, and lately a lot have (you can tell because they spam your wall), and while that hacker is in their account, they can see everything about my account. Personal information, and (the clincher for me) pictures of my kids. Which is why I have removed them from Facebook. It is JUST NOT WORTH IT to me to not have control over those images.

By the way, this story made the news in Utah. http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=12933972

Okay, so let me interject some personal feelings here. As I said, this happened the week I gave birth, so not only was I totally freaked out, but I was also sleep deprived, weepy, hormonal, and a bit nuts. I felt like it was totally unfair that this had to happen during a time when I was feeling so emotional, I was especially resentful that this person had been able to see all my children, know their names, etc. I felt totally violated, and pretty much felt like in the arena of internet safety, I was completely freaked out. I wanted to delete everything, all my blogs, facebook, just quit the internet all together.

A few months have passed now, and I have calmed down a little, but I still feel like I was taught an important message: If you want something to remain private, don't put it on the internet. I took an internet safety class a few years ago, and the person teaching the class made a very good point. Would you walk up to a strange man on the street and introduce him to all your children? Would you go into a bar or a strip club and walk up to the creepers there and tell them your children's birth dates, where they go to school, where they take dance class, etc? Of course not! For some reason, everyone feels so 'safe' putting all that information on their public blogs, facebook pages, etc.

The fact is, you have no idea who actually has access to the information you put on the internet. Even when you think you are protected, you have no idea if you really are. If someone's facebook account gets hacked...if their email gets hacked...you no longer have control of that information.

Anyway, I hope this strikes a little bit of awareness for some when it comes to internet safety.

I am climbing off of my soapbox now. ;)