Monday, July 28, 2008

Nesting Complete

After weeks of worrying and feeling unprepared, I finally finished up the nursery- which I am pretty sure that my husband is thankful about since he perceived my nesting as crazy obsession. I don't think guys have a clue what's going on, and to tell you the truth neither did I till I find myself there. "Nesting," or an uncontrollable urge to clean one's house brought on by a desire to prepare a nest for the new baby, to tie up loose ends of old projects and to organize your world, has given me a sense of readiness since time is quickly approaching and truth be told I'm not sure how ready I am to enter Mommy-dom. So since my emotions are all over the map right now and the fact that a baby is in my near future seems extremely surreal, at least I've prepared the one thing that I feel I can control- the house. My initial plans for the nursery got nixed when John announced his disapproval of my modern decor for the baby's room. I was planning on sewing the bedding, drapes and accessories but was discouraged by the fabric selection. I had some picked out that John didn't feel it would look "baby" enough, and the "baby" fabric available at the local Joann's was just too "baby." So I sold out and got the little aviators special at Babies R Us. Because of the frugality of my beloved husband (it's an endearing trait that I've grown to love... really), my initial vision of the nursery was challenged and altered several times. I am happy with the end result, despite the changes made.. Besides, it's a baby's room and as he grows older I expect near total destruction of the furniture and bedding that I put so much effort and time picking out! So take a good look now because it's probably the nicest it will ever be!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sprint Haters

John and I recently changed cell phone service providers. We are now with Verizon after hanging in there with Sprint since the beginning of cell phone time for both of us. It started out all happy and fine, but as time passed and problems arose (even the most minor) we gnashed our teeth in frustration as Sprint refused to provide us with any reasonable customer service. A couple years ago, we first debated on the decision to switch and even went as far to get quotes from other providers and check out phones. We didn't want to pay for early termination and we had quite a while left in our contracts, and to force the issue... our phones broke and we needed replacements. So at the time we could either cancel early and pay the horrendous charges, buy phones from E-bay and pay some fee for changing phones, or just buy new phones with Sprint and re-up our contract by default. We didn't find phones that were worth much on eBay and wanting to avoid the early termination charges, we found ourselves in the Sprint store, signing up for two more long and arduous years.

Why do we hate Sprint so much? Besides hidden fees and charges for every little thing, numerous minutes waisted on the customer service line just to get sub-par answers to simple requests, let me tell you about the straw that broke the camel's back! When we moved here, to the Phoenix area, we were annoyed to find out that there were multiple "dead zones" in the area where there was NO coverage and our calls frequently were getting dropped. We figured about 25% of our calls were dropped calls or one of every four! John called to address this issue and after the waiting game to talk to a human being, he was informed that there was a tower down and to call back a few days later. He called a week later and got the same explanation/excuse and was quickly brushed off as not to bother the operator on the line. So a month had gone by and no resolution had been reached and another attempt to get service was made, only this time we were going to use the military clause which allows termination with out the fees as long as you show your orders and there is inability to use the phone. After a long phone argument with the customer service rep, it was determined that we could not be released from our contract because we still had "acceptable" service which was then defined by the representative as 1% or more or service (ie: 1 out of 100 calls were not dropped!!). That's a pretty poor definition of service in our opinion... so we patiently sucked it up for 7 months... Got a number of pleads from Sprint (as it came up that our contract was nearing the end) to get some cool perk (oh and by the way, in small print, re-up the contract for another 2 years)... NO THANKS! Well, June 20th of this year was the end of our two year contracts with Sprint and we've been patiently and jubilantly awaiting this day!!

This is how we celebrated!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Showering the Baby

Well, because I am so anxious (base word= anxiety) about what is to come pretty much any time now, I am pretty much going to resort to picture posts with minimal explanations. I've stayed extremely busy with my sewing projects, preparing the nursery and then entertaining with some family coming in last week to represent for the baby shower last weekend! It has been and is continuing to be a whirlwind of activity! I'm not sure that it will calm down anytime in the near future either. I hope pictures will suffice for a little bit.

Here is the wonderful spread that my friends, Suz and Terri had laid out for baby Riley's shower. It was a brunch and everything was delicious!!!

Suz and Terri! Suz was in Utah while I was there, just in a different squadron and we both remember each other from playing crud as we were on opposing teams! Now that our husbands are in the same squadron, I am blessed to know her warmth and friendship first hand! Terri is actually a twin and I've gotten to know her through her twin sister, Tracy. Tracy just got married and left for Kunsan, Korea to live with her husband- leaving the wonderful Terri here for our friendship-ing pleasure!

Here is a game that Terri headed up- sniffing soiled diapers! It's actually different kinds of candy bars and we had to guess what kind it was based on sight, smell and possibly taste for those brave enough.

Self explanatory... there I am during the ritual gift opening.

The family shot: (Grandma) Paulette, Aunt Betty, Cousin Jen, (Mommy) Me, and (Aunt) Ali Over all, the shower was wonderful and I am so grateful for such a amazing family and such great friends! Just a few more things to buy and put together before I post the Nursery blog.

And you're wondering what John was up to while all this baby biz was going on...
He organized a little boys weekend and took some guys, including brother Matthew, up to some favorite camping/recreation spots to soak in the wonders of God first hand!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Back when I was in college, I had a friend/roommate who I always considered ultra trendy and fashionable, yet still practical. She occasionally made her own purses to match an outfit perfectly, so I took a cue from her and learned. I had some sewing experience since my mom and I would spend time together, sewing different projects throughout my childhood and into high school. Mom bought me a little simple sewing machine when I went away to college, so I was able to continue practicing. I only made one extremely simple purse back then, but I was still quite proud of my creation.

Now, being a military wife there are many very talented women I am surrounded by, and this is my contribution! I had seen a purse made from a flight suit and hinted to John for one. He instead encouraged me to make my own and therefore customize it to my choosing. So a couple of years ago, I made myself my first flight suit purse, or as I like to call them Flybagz- it was rough but I showed it off with excitement. I revised my design and made myself another. By that time, some friends were asking if I'd make them one... and so it began. I started making the Flybagz for my friends at Hill and word spread to the other squadrons... as well as other bases. I soon was getting orders from women I had never met, from bases around the country! There's a questionnaire I'd have them fill out to determine how best to customize the purse for their specific style and personality. Once I got the form and a flight suit from their husband, the sewing would begin. I've settled into a standard pattern that seems to work well, both for me and the ladies that use them. Making the different purses and seeing how each woman wants her own touch upon them really is fun, but I especially enjoy hand delivering the bags to their new owners. I guess that's the downside of making purses for women all over the country- I can't hand deliver the purse.

Funny Story- When I was in Utah, a friend of mine there ordered a couple bags for her friends who were at other bases. After she gave them away, I got an email from one of the new proud owners, asking me if I would make one as a going away present for their Squadron Commander's Wife. I made it and sent it off! Once we moved down here to Phoenix and I was introduced to the wives network, it seems my reputation preceded me since this was the Squadron that I had sent the purse to! Coincidence!

I've been doing this as a hobby and for a little extra money for some time now. The purse pictured is for a friend that just moved from here (Luke AFB) to go to Hill- my old stomping ground. She met me at Joann's to pick out the material for the inside of the purse. I just love how it turned out with the bold and fun lining she picked, and so did she! I got to hand-deliver and had my camera not been dead, I would have had some modeling pictures of her and her new bag! Sorry Em!

My hopes are that I can continue this hobby after the boy arrives, not only to keep me busy and feeling productive, but also as maybe a flexible part-time job at home!! Once Riley is here and I get the schedule down, I hope to build a professional web site to highlight and sell my purses. Although I blog, have multiple internet community pages and feel comfortable on the computer, I am intimidated by building a website for ordering... you know, one like the really cool "Harvey's seatbelt bags"! If anyone has tips or suggestions, I'd love to hear them!!

UPDATE: Check out my website!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

City Slickers, Part 2

It's Sunday before Church and I don't have much time to put into this, but I wanted to quickly highlight the rest of the Texas trip by focusing on a couple pictures!

1. My beautiful sister in-law (Pam) and I. As I've mentioned before, we are due with in 2 and 1/2 weeks of each other which is such a blessing! We couldn't have planned it any closer and the coincidence will ensure that our boys will always have each other to play with at family functions! Not to mention that we will have each other to bounce ideas off of, to vent to when tired or irritable due to lack of sleep, and for support!

2. A picture of my family that I adore! It's been quite some time, maybe even since John and my wedding that we've had the fam together. So it was great having everyone meet at the Ranch for our mini family reunion! The boys typically would wake up and head to their next boy adventure- fishing, going to tractor supply store, etc. while us girls embarked on our own projects! Pam had some very cool embroidered designs of biplanes that her Aunt made her and she wanted to use them to create some unique wall art. So we headed to the little fabric shop where we got the help of my mom and the little 75 year old owner, Frances with picking fabrics to compliment the air planes. We got home and measured, cut, ironed and sewed our wall hangings and the next step is just framing and hanging! We're pretty pleased with them!!

And then, there is the coolest gift ever!! Trav is into wood working and Pam is skilled at stained glass-ing. So put their skills together, along with the Air Force lifestyle, the love for planes, building a baby nursery (decorated in planes- of course) with a need for a gentle, soft light and you get a night light like none other!!! Thanks again guys- we love it!!