Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Friends are the Family You Choose

I keep saying how lucky I am because it never stops being true. In March our friends (who are way more like family) Lisa, Mark and Alex came to visit and what a blast we had!!! We got to celebrate Alex's birthday and we spent lots of time in the parks. Between me and Mark we probably took 5000 pictures, it was like Alex was traveling with his own paparazzi!

It is absolute
ly awesome being in the parks with Alex! It's so fun seeing him with all the characters and he is quite the little thrill seeker loving Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain. Hearing Alex giggle and laugh on these rides is the second best thing, it's second best to hearing the little guy call me Aunty Danielle!

While out and about in the parks we shared lots of laughs, private jokes, lots of french fries and popcorn and lots of good times but I have to confess, my favorite part of the Sylva's visit were the nights they spent here at our place. I loved hanging out here in our pjs, cooking, eating, playing Wii and just doing family things. The cooking of course was amazing I made a sauce and Lisa made meatballs and her famous ricotta cake which I actually have dreams about and Mike whipped up some rice balls. I loved watching Alex and Hooper they definitely became buddies and were just too darn cute. And I loved watching the Oscars with Mark and Lisa it was like our own Mystery Science Theater! It was a fabulous week with my extended family! Hope to see them again soon!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Part of Their Story

Sometimes life gets in the way and you don't get to see friends and family as often as you would like. Sometimes you relocate and five years pass before you see certain people and sometimes that reunion is weird or uncomfortable, sometimes all the parties have changed and there is just too much to catch up on, but sometimes you fall into step as if you never said goodbye. Sure there is a certain amount of catching up to do, but it's so nice when that catching up just happens over the course of conversation, that it just works it's way in and you don't feel like you are getting to know these people all over again. I had such an experience when some of our friends from up North came to visit.

When we lived in New York we met some of our closest friends while commuting in and out of the city to work each day, Greg was one of these friends and we became super close. We spent a ton of time together, holidays, weekends, vacations, we knew Greg's family and he knew mine and after the events of September 11th I counted on Greg as my commuting partner and I felt safer knowing he was there with me. In many ways Greg and I were like siblings and he has been very special to us for a lot of years now.

One of our Christmases together

Now I don't like to take credit for Greg's happiness - BUT - one evening many years ago while Christmas shopping Greg and I stopped at the cosmetic counter where my mom worked and we ran into the lovely Juliana, who I had known for years and she is one of those people that you can't help but love and when Greg and Juliana met you could almost visibly see her struck by that thunderbolt of love! Less then a year later these two were married and now have two of the most beautiful children you have ever seen! I love the fact that in my small way I played a part in the Greg and Juliana love story and what I love even more that through all these years and the miles between us these two are still so important to me.

When Greg told me they would finally be visiting us here in Orlando I was over the moon excited, Mike and I planned to spend as much time with them as possible and I'm so glad we got to share in some very happy times and make some new memories. It was nice to spend time talking with Greg and Juliana both together and separately and I loved getting to know the girls who Mike and I both absolutely adore! I felt refreshed being with them and it was nice knowing that even though so much in my life has changed over the past five years that I hadn't changed so much that Greg and Juliana wouldn't want to hang and our friendship hasn't changed in any of the ways that really matter. And it is absolutely no surprise to me that their girls Kayla and Bella are ridiculously smart, well behaved and absolutely beautiful they are everything you would expect them to be with their fantastic parents. I truly hope that it's not another five years before we see them again. In the meantime I hope they all know how much I love them and how very important they are to us Taylors! And thank you for the fabulous new memories - gives me lots of new subjects to scrapbook!!

This Photo of Mike and Bella is one of my favorites!

And could Kayla be anymore beautiful? Happy Birthday kiddo!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

But First a Challenge Update!

Ok so I've been a very bad blogger lately! If it wasn't for the quick photos I've posted right from my phone this blog would be an absolute ghost town but I'm back now and hopefully going to get back into the swing of things. Now I have had a lot of things going on, a lot of friends and family in town and just overall slammed busy. So I do have lots of photos to share and stories to tell but I could never jam them all into one post so be patient and I'll get them all up for you in no time. For right now though it's Challenge time!!

So for the last challenge mom and I completed we used another layout from Scrapbooks Etc. Page Planners magazine. It is on page 76 and it uses many small square photos.

I was scared to death of this challenge it was so out of my comfort zone that I didn't know if I could complete it and I certain didn't think it would turn out so well. I will pat myself on the back though - I think this layout turned out so much better then expected! The easiest part for me was picking my theme, we are big time Disney people as you know and I've taken tons and tons of parade photos but never know what to do with them and when I saw this it struck like a thunderbolt! This was a perfect way to capture moments and details of my beloved Disney parades. Another super easy part for me was getting the photos sized to 1x1 squares and I'll be honest here it was easy because I picked my photos and had Mike do the resizing HAHA!

I placed them much like they were placed in the sample in the magazine, then I used a rub-on title on a black piece of card stock, added some Mickey Mouse embellishments from my stash, a few jewels to give a little bling and I used border stickers that I tore to add a little extra. When I was done I felt the page was still missing something so I inked the edges of the whole layout which I felt kind of brought everything together - you'll notice I use this little trick a lot!

My mom is so funny - when I sent her the photos of my layout she jokingly told me she hated me because my layout came so great and hers was awful. Of course when I saw the photos of her layout I knew mom was out of her mind because her layout is spectacular!! Mom used a square punch to get her photos sized and cut out, her theme was snippets of a recent trip to Williamsburg and she really included a little bit of everything, scenery, decorations, food and people shots and then in keeping with the snippets theme she added tickets as embellishments and also some very cool rub-ons and a very awesome beaded, blinged sticker. I absolutely love how mom's layout turned out! Mom also stretched her challenge to be a two page layout!

Ok so our next challenge was something me and my mom could do together while my parents were in town last week and we decided to take different photos that we could later incorporate into a page. So while out and about in Florida we took photos of different things like clothes in a fitting room and decorations in a fun Disney shop. I will post these and the layouts that they ended up on in an upcoming blog! Stay tuned...

About Me

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I live in Champions Gate, FL with my husband and our four fur babies (3 cats and 1 dog)I spend my time either being creative or trying to get the creative juices flowing. I love to cook, go for swims and take the dog for long walks.