Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Happy Thanksgiving

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

He Can't Be 11

Colin turned to me in the car a couple days ago and said "Hey, Mom!  In 5 years I'll be driving!!"  When I told Bo the story later, he furrowed his brow and said "No, he won't."  Then, his face changed as he realized that . . . yes, he will!  (Well, if he's like his father he will.  If he's like me, he won't drive until he's 21.  But that's another story.)

My sweet, intelligent, emotional, intense, considerate boy turns eleven today.  What to say on such a day?  I could tell about my pregnancy (brief though it was -- well, my knowledge of it anyway), or I could tell his birth story (a bit dramatic, but the end result was a red-headed bundle in my arms), or I could tell stories of his first few years (always a tale to remember!)

Instead, this year I think I'll talk about the young man he is just this moment.  I have fond memories of the past 11 years and I look forward to the future.  Right now, though, I want to cherish.  Because he will never be 11 years old again.

At 11, he loves to read.  He prefers fantasy usually, and he especially likes books that come in a series so he can continue reading about the characters book after book after book.  That doesn't stop him from reading other types of books, though.

He loves Pokemon cards, and recently has started with Redakai cards. He enjoys playing games on his Nintendo DSi, and lately he has been building animations with FlipNotes more than actually playing games on it.

He has no care for fashion, or his hair, or anything like that.  It never crosses his mind to brush his hair or plan his outfits.  He'll take care of these things when prompted, but he really has no interest.

He has strong likes and dislikes, and knows his own mind. He is particular about how he likes his food, but mac & cheese remains one of his favorites from when he was tiny.

He is a strong student, but I think he finds himself a bit bored this year.  I need to help him find something to be passionate about (beyond Pokemon).

He loves his family fiercely, and enjoys his friendships.  He likes to be around people and is never shy to share his opinions.

He has a strong sense of right and wrong.  He is extremely sentimental and believes in following family traditions.  In fact, the picture you see is our traditional birthday picture in this family -- when he was 4 he saw this cake at the store and wanted it desperately.  Now, every year, each kid has their picture taken by the inflatable cake.

I'm a bit in shock today that I'm the mother of an 11 year old. I always wanted children, and we went through a time when we weren't sure how our family was going to grow. He was a surprise, a blessing, a miracle -- and he continues to surprise me, bless me, and remind me of miracles each and every day.

Happy Birthday, #1 Son!

Shutterfly Holiday Cards

'Tis the season!  Have you started thinking about your Christmas photo cards yet?  We have a wonderful neighbor who sets up his living room with professional backdrops and takes pictures for the families in the neighborhood every October or so.  I love that he does this, and the pictures he took this year are adorable (as always!)

Shutterfly is my go-to photo processing website, and has been for over 10 years. I have never been disappointed with anything purchased from them.   I love the cards and photo books I've created there over the years, and I appreciate knowing that they offer free storage of my digital photographs with no strings attached.

This year, they have new holiday card designs and I've been trying to figure out which design to choose for our family card.   Last year, I sent out Christmas photo cards and then photo "thank you" greeting cards after the holidays!  I've chosen a multi-photo style the last few years, and will probably go that route again this year. 

Not only do I enjoy sending out photo cards, I especially love receiving them!  It's fun to see the kids grow over the years, and I like to see the different spin everyone puts on their cards.

If you order by November 16, 2011 and use the code CARD40 you can save 40% off your greeting cards at Shutterfly.  Don't delay!  That's an awesome savings! 

*Disclosure: I received free photo cards in exchange for posting about Shutterfly's holiday cards this season.  No additional compensation was provided.*

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Gift

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Review: 1-800-Specs

I have worn glasses (or contacts) since I was 6 years old.  I can't see much of anything without corrective lenses, so there's never an option of leaving them behind.  As I've gotten older, I find myself needing bifocals in order to continue reading. 

My last pair of glasses was the least expensive I could buy at the local eyeglass place and I think they set me back about $300 because of the high prescription and the need for bifocals.  They also weren't very attractive.  Okay, I didn't like them at all.

I wear contacts most of the time, but I have a hard time reading with them.  I have planned for a while to replace my glasses with a nicer pair.

I was offered the opportunity to try out recently and jumped at the chance!  I found a copy of my last eye prescription  so that I could place my order. (I always ask for a copy so I can get the best prices on contacts and glasses.  Did you know that your eye doctor has to give you a copy if you ask?  Those prescriptions belong to you!)

There are lots of choices on their site, even when I narrowed it down to glasses that I could get progressive lenses.  I went back a few different times over a couple days to try and decide which pair I wanted to try. I finally narrowed it down to the pair you see above and entered my information.   I've ordered glasses online before, and knew that the hardest part was figuring out your PD (pupillary distance).  If you google it, there are plenty of sites that help you determine yours, or you can ask your eye doctor to measure it and tell you the number.  That number is never included with your prescription.

The ordering process was easy.  I entered my frame choice, my prescription and my shipping/billing information.  Two weeks later, the glasses were in my mailbox.  I took them out, tried them on, adjusted the nose piece, put them back on and was very happy!  They are so much cuter than my old pair, and I can see out of them perfectly.  I ordered progressive lenses and was a little worried about seeing -- but I didn't need to worry.

If you need glasses, I would check out 1-800-Specs and look at all the frames they offer!  I was very happy with how easy it was to use their site and how quickly my glasses arrived. The quality is better than my last pair of glasses purchased locally, are so much cuter, and cost more than 2/3 less!  Since 3 out of 5 of us currently wear glasses, I know I'll be ordering again!  It's much easier on our budget than local choices.

*Disclosure: In exchange for my honest review, I received a pair of prescription eyeglasses from  No additional compensation was provided.*

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