Thursday, December 31, 2009

Remembering 2009

As we get ready to celebrate the start of 2010, I would like to reflect back on the year of 2009. It was an amazing year with many things to remember.

Here are some highlights from 2009:
(in chronological order)

1. Celebrating Valentine's Day at Tenaya Lodge with Steve and Carson - We played in the snow, went sledding, took a horse drawn carriage ride into the winter wonderland, not to mention that when I called, they had us on their friends and family list which discounted the rate on our room tremendously!!

2. Celebrating the lives of ones that passed -
Jim Cheatham - Father, Grandpa, Uncle, Brother, Friend and Helicopter Extraordinaire
Shawna Kilbert - Mother, Wife, Sister, Aunt, Friend and and Inspiration to all that knew her

3. Our Family trip to Newport Beach and Disneyland - Definitely wasn't the most relaxing trip but we did manage to have a good time as we went to the San Diego Zoo, visited with friends, played at laguna beach and wore ourselves out chasing Carson all over Disneyland.

4. Master's National Swim Meet - Steve competed in his first swim meet since High School. Watching him enjoy his passion was truly amazing.

5. The spontaneous purchase of our cabin at Bass Lake -
One Sunday in April - Dad called to ask if we wanted to buy a cabin at Bass Lake with them. I said no.
Monday - Went to Bass Lake to look at the cabin that Dad and Debbie wanted to buy. Told Steve we should go in with Dad and Debbie to buy the cabin. He said no.
Tuesday - Dad and Debbie decided to purchase the cabin with or without us and made an offer on the cabin.
Wednesday - Took Steve to see the cabin. We agreed to purchase the cabin with Dad and Debbie (aka... one of the best decisions we ever made)!!
Thursday - Offer was accepted and we were in escrow.

6. Bringing Brady Robert Schmidt into this world - I call him Brady Boo and he is "Sweet as Pie."

7. Sitting in the boat on Bass Lake, at 8 o'clock in the evening, with Steve, Suzanne and Brady, listening to Beast of Burden while Carson swam in the lake - I think this was my favorite night of the entire summer. It was a calm night with just the family hanging out. No stress. No drama. No obligations. Just enjoying each other and our love for the lake.

8. Potty Training Carson - This summer we potty trained Carson and by September he was completely potty trained. No diapers, not even at night!!

9. Taking the French Boys to Las Vegas - Steve drove Suzanne, Thomas and David to Vegas. I flew and met them there. We stayed at Bally's but partied at the Playboy Club at the Palms. I think my face still hurts from laughing so hard on the drive home.

10. Discovering my Passion for Photography - I slowly learned to use my Canon Rebel, took a photography class and acquired TWO kick ass new lens' for Christmas.

10 1/2. Celebrating the holidays at Bass Lake - We celebrated both Thanksgiving and Christmas at the cabin at Bass Lake. I am excited for this tradition to continue year after year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Three Little Wolves??

So... we are playing CATCH PHRASE and Steve is trying to get Ryan to guess the word. The conversation goes something like this:

Steve: I gonna huff and puff and blow your house down.

Ryan: The three little wolves.

Steve: No, the little girl.

Ryan: Little Red Riding Hood.

Steve: YES!

And they got the point!!!! REALLY????

Saturday, December 26, 2009

'Twas the Day AFTER Christmas

'Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the cabin,

Some creatures were still sleeping yet some were already gabbin’.

The stockings were now empty and ready to be put away,

I have a feeling that today is going to be a lazy day.

When out of the bedroom arose such a scream,

I realized in a moment that it wasn’t a dream.

Carson was mad because his coaches didn’t have an engine,

Too bad he can’t use his new craftsman V-twin.

French toast and mimosas are the breakfast of choice,

While we eat, drink and listen to Brady exercise his voice.

Christmas Morning was the best it could be,

Santa was really good to us, especially ME.

A garbage truck from Santa was his only wish,

Yet Carson scored more toys than a kid could play with.

Brady got some chew toys, a barn and a sippy cup,

While Steve got a bicycle trainer, for when he heals up.

Momma made out like a bandit and got more than she hoped for,

With some champagne glasses and TWO camera lenses that surely made Steve quite poor.

A 50mm and one that extends from 24 to one oh five,

Straight into portrait photography I am going to dive.

How very proud uncle Blaine would be,

I made chicken enchiladas and Mexican rice as you can see.

For Mom and Paul joined us for Christmas EVE dinner,

And a hot game of Apples to Apples where I OF COURSE was the winner!!!

With New Years Eve readily on its way,

We have a few more parties and visitors to come and stay.

Cindy and Steve’s dad Sam are staying tonight,

Which means more presents, this cabin is quite a sight!!

Thank you Santa, Nana and Grandpa, Uncle Stephen and Auntie Ging,

We are still recovering from the ham and prime rib yummy dinner binge.

We have all that we could ever be thankful for,

And with every day I love my family that much more,

So today, I exclaim to you as you read my blog,

Hope you had a Merry Christmas, now I’m going to put on the fire, yet another log!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Top 10 Reasons Patty Schmidt is Wonderful...

written by: Patty Schmidt

1. She can make a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies!

2. She has a pretty cute and sometimes good kid named Carson.

3. She has an absolutely adorable and wonderful baby named Brady. (His wonderfulness must have been inherited from his mommy.)

4. She is getting to be a pretty darn good photographer. She still needs more practice and some fine tuning, but I see some potential.

5. She must be wonderful to have score such an amazing dude such as Steve for a husband.

6. She has a cabin at Bass Lake that she loves to invite family and friends to.

7. She has a boat that she loves to take her family and friends for rides in on Bass Lake.

8. She makes a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies.

9. She really loves her friends and family and tries her best to be the best person she can be.

10. I can only think of 9 reasons Patty Schmidt is wonderful.

Disclaimer... I am not entirely this vain nor am I fishing for compliments. This blog was written entirely as a joke that escalated from some banter between cousins.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Today's blog is inspired by one of my coffee drinking, morning blog reads by Cathy Zielske. Her blog got me thinking and therefore blogging.

Never say never is now an expression of my past. As I brainstormed ideas for this blog, I didn't realize how hard it was going to be to say "I never". I feel as though I should be drinking a beer and drinking to the ones that are not true. However, I made sure these are all true and from the heart. Never is such a strong word and cannot be used lightly. Let's see how this goes....
  • I have never been to Europe but really want to go.
  • I never seem to get enough sleep.
  • I never follow a recipe exactly.
  • I never get tired of Carson saying "I love you." (Today he even told me that I am his best friend as he gave me a hug.)
  • I have never been arrested.
  • I will never forget first night after meeting Steve when he pulled up to the stoplight and I said, "Are you following me?" and he replied, "No, you are following me."
  • I will never have an immaculately clean house. I just recently gave up on this one.
  • I will never have perfect skin, perfect hair or a perfect body.
  • I will never stop fantasizing about having perfect skin, perfect hair or the perfect body.
  • Spending my summers at Bass Lake will never get old.
  • I will never have too many shoes.
  • I have never met a swedish fish that I didn't like.
  • I will never know why God took Shawna and Tammy so early in life, but trust that He knows what He is doing.
  • I have never had an artificial Christmas tree nor will I ever.
  • I never want to grow old without Steve by my side.
  • I never want to relive the moment when I was told that I had Cancer.
  • I never expected to be the mother of TWO boys.
  • I have never seen the movie Twilight or it's sequel.
  • My heart has never not melted when Brady smiles at me.
  • I have never been fond of Spiders.
  • I never cheat at board games.
  • I have never seen a shooting star that I didn't make a wish upon.
  • I never dreamed of having such an amazing life.
  • I will never know what tomorrow might bring.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

'Twas the Week Before Christmas

'Twas the week before Christmas, and my only wish,

Was that my creatures would stop screaming, even the fish.

The stockings were actually hung by the chimney with care,

Unfortunately, St. Nick will not be finding them there.

The baby was all nestled and snug in his bed,

While Carson danced around demanding to be fed.

And mamma in her in her jammies, and daddy with a beer

Just realized that Christmas would soon be here.

When upstairs there arose a Brady from his crib,

I sprang from the computer and practically cracked a rib.

As I ran upstairs and tripped over some toys,

I realized, life is never boring, especially with two boys!

We will soon head to the cabin with hopes of new-fallen snow,

But first have to pack the tree, check out it's beauty below:

With my wishful thinking, I hope should appear,

But a trainer or a lens from Santa my dear.

With a husband who only has one good arm,

I knew in a moment, I would have to use my charm.

Calling on Grandpa and Nana, Suzanne and myself,

Steve, Carson and Brady and even the Elf on the Shelf.

Not to the home on Holly , but to the cabin at Bass Lake,

Hoping Santa’s nice list, is the list that we will make.

As I listen to the Carol of the Bells, and make cookies for all,

My Christmas shopping is done, no more trips to the mall.

The banisters all wrapped with garland, as I sip coffee from a cup,

Carson exclaimed when he saw it, that it really cheered him up.

So I tell you this, with all of my might,
Merry Christmas to you, may you have a good-night.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Unfinished Business

I was getting ready to write this blog and I had an "ah-ha" moment or in other words, "and so it hit me." It seems as though there is so much to do and not enough time in the day to do it. This, my fellow blog readers (all two of you), is the story of my life.

**Let me first make a disclaimer: Steve had shoulder surgery on November 24th to repair a torn labrum, a torn rotator cuff and to shave a bone spur. He is recovering nicely but his right arm is in a sling and has very limited movement. This translates to him not being able to pick up the children, change diapers, do dishes, etc.

Long story short....

Steve + Surgery = More Work For Me.

I have been hustling and bustling and feel as though I am only going in circles. I know I am making progress but at little rate of success. Check out the following examples....

The annual Christmas tree acquisition was quite entertaining this year as it involved Suzanne and I unloading it out of the truck and carrying it into the house by ourselves.

"You want me to do what??" - Suzanne

That was a picture that should have been taken.

So, here the bare naked Christmas Tree stands.... waiting to be decorated. (Notice the one lonely ornament that Carson added himself. He can't wait to get started.)

I opted this year for the simple "just-order-them-off-the-internet" approach this year. Sorry, nothing cute or extravagant this year. :( However, I have been working on addressing, sealing, and stamping these ALL week. I FINALLY finished last night and yet they still sit on my kitchen table waiting to be sent. You will get them before Christmas... maybe...

There they are... The Christmas presents, minus a few that are hidden in the garage and at Grandma's house. I do have to admit that ALL of my Christmas Shopping in DONE!! Can I get a Hallelujah? I did most of my shopping on-line because shopping with 2 kids is impossible. Now I just have to figure how to wrap all this darn stuff. Don't look to hard, you might see something you are not supposed to. (P.S. Those hottie Sorel's are for ME.)

Click here to see what Steve is getting for Christmas: Shhhhh

It is because of all the Christmas activities and children raising that my poor house is being neglected. It may appear as though I am airing my dirty laundry all over the internet, but truth be told, nobody reads this silly thing and it is actually clean laundry that needs to be put away.

This is were my "Ah-ha" moment came into place. As I sit here this morning enjoying a wonderful cup of joe made especially for me by my amazing husband (now there is something he can do with one hand!!), I realized that if I wasn't sitting her wasting time typing this silly blog that nobody reads, I could be decorating my tree, wrapping presents or cleaning my house.

However, filling you in on my "Unfinished Business" somehow seemed fulfilling on this dreary, rainy morning. So be it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Creative Memories "HOW TO"

I frequently get phone calls from friends asking me how to put their Creative Memories albums back together. It is an impossible task to describe over the phone and usually results in me having to fix it for them.

In response to the mass phone calls (which BTW, I don't mind), I have attempted to make a step by step "How To" put your CM albums back together.

Please leave comments and let me know if you were able to follow and understand the directions, but most of all, did it help YOU put your album back together?

STEP 1: Lace the plastic strips through your pages so they look like this:

STEP 2: Add the plastic strip. (Your album comes with TWO. One for the front cover and one for the back.

STEP 3: Add your Cover like this

And pull the plastic strip through, like this:

STEP 4: The next step is usually the most confusing; feeding the plastic straps through the plastic strip. Feed the strap down into the closest hole first....

Then pull the strip UP through the next hole like this and pull tight:

STEP 5: Now close your cover.

Then open it back up and the strip will have moved to the cover side like this. At this point you can give the plastic strap a little extra tug to make sure it is snug.

If you close your album again... I will look like this.

Next, you can add your spine like this by slipping into the cover.

And now... VOILA! Your album is magically put together.

You can add pages from either the front or back cover. This example is done from the front.

Hope this helps! Please let me know if I have confused you even more.