Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Skagway...So long and farewell.

I've been having a lot of sleepless nights lately.  Mostly because of a certain baby that thinks he'd rather not sleep in his crib or even sleep at all.  So I find myself in random thought mode. 

Earlier in the week there was an announcement that Skagway, our long time grocery store in Grand Island will be closing it's doors after millions of years of being open.  This little independently, generational owned grocery store sits blocks from my parents house and hosts many of my memories growing up. In fact, when people ask where my parents house is, I always say "by Skagway North".  People just KNOW Skagway.

I wish I could draw out Skagway from brain to paper and properly illustrate the awesomeness.  It changed a lot from the time I knew it.  But in the glory days of the 90's, it had everything from clothing, fabric, sporting goods, hardware, garden center, luggage, knick knack gifts, camera department, video store, pharmacy, grocery, deli, gift wrapping, paycheck cashing, a snackbar.  It had a bear that walked around handing out treats and a lady that walked around disguised each week that was hired to catch shoplifters!  It was the original supercenter.  Somehow Skagway was kind of weird to walk in an find jeans and a blender all within two aisles.  I don't get how it was any weirder than Walmart but it just had that odd and awesome factor that wasn't Walmart.  It was awesome.

My Dad was one of Skagway's finest patrons.  My early memories start with riding over in his truck bumping over the speed bumps in the parking lot and heading to the hardware department and looking for whatever Dad needed.  We doddled in there big time.  He liked going just to find "treasures" as he called them. He came out with other things than he needed but that was fine and it was fun going to Skagway with my Dad.  I think he just liked the feeling of awesomeness that it had.  Skagway video was pretty great to visit too.  Dad always got a Sasparilla and I can vividly remember Kermit and Gary Burris in the video store just smiling and checking out videos for us.  

Skagway was also my first job.  I started as a super sacker and still have my apron and my brother's apron as proof.  Everyone started out as sacker and boy did we learn how to keep perishables and non perishables separate.  I didn't even know what a perishable was before I turned 14 and started sacking.  We filled bags so they were evenly stacked and full.  There was one memory that I put the ladies two rolls of paper towels in one bag and she dumped it all out and told me there was not enough in it.  The people of Skagway set the standard for how groceries were to be bagged in Grand Island.  We carried out the groceries to peoples cars and loaded them up.  Sometimes we'd get a tip but not very often.  I really did enjoy it.  I moved up to checker after about a year.  That was fun too, scanning and smelling the mexican laundry soap and seeing beef tongue and tripe roll down the belt wondering what the hell was that that I just scanned.  On Sundays, that place was booming. 

The people were all great that worked there.  They employed lots of high school students and people with disabilities, mostly in their late 30's.  T-Dogg was my favorite and he always wanted me to come sit in his hot tub.  I think he may have gotten fired for his naughty talk to his girls but he was employed there for many years and I still got a kick out of seeing him when I'd come home from college. Most of my friends had a job there and it was a great way to meet people from other schools and schmooze with the cute upperclassmen.  Lots of boy crushes back then.  I still see people in Lincoln that I worked with at Skagway and they just have that "good guy" feeling about them and I'll always say hi knowing we shared that Skagway experience together.  Good people.

After I reminisced all of this the other night, I found that I wasn't so mad at my baby for waking me up.  I had this good warm and happy feeling because those were good times at that darn Skagway store.  I'll sure miss going in there when I go home.  There are still familiar faces when I visit and I will miss going to treasure hunt.  Those aisles hold lots of memories and I will always be fond of Skagway.  

Cheers to you Skagway.  I never thought I'd write a post about a grocery store.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

hello 2015

Hello from 2015.  I needed to write, just bits and pieces but to write just feels good.  I looked back on my blog post from last year and reviewed my resolutions, goals for 2014 and I nailed MOST of them.  Blogging sadly did not get accomplished and my photo books/baby books are still sitting on my to do list.  

House:  We did it!  We finally moved out of the 5501 and it feels good to breathe.  

10 Year: We had our party.  Lived and learned.  It was fun but maybe our $$$$, yes, $$$$ would have been better spent on a week away somewhere.  Oh well!

Owl People/Retreat:  I kept up!  It was crazy hectic sometimes but I did it.  I put myself out there for a slew of different things from an event organizer on a show to bringing a craft event to Lincoln.  I learned things about myself...things that I don't want to try again and things that I am willing to attempt again.  I did my craft retreat with the girls again and had so much fun actually enjoying myself this year. I went through a re-brand on my Owl People brand and love my new look of my logo.  

30 Bags 30 days:  I just moved so I am pretty sure I have fulfilled this 10 times over though I didn't actually count them all.

Be a better friend:?? The verdict is out there.  I think :/ I did better? 

__________________________________________________

So 2015.  

I just finished a workshop with a couple of local gals here called Hello Little Clouds.  We worked on our business visions for 2015.  I didn't get very far on my board but gathered that if you are intentional, things can get accomplished.   I have a few specific things I need to work on for Owl People but also want to split my board to include my family goals and house goals.

So... 

Owl People:  3 new products in mind, RECORD expenses and sales better.  It's insane how messy that is. 

Family:  Oh jeez.  Main ones, yell less is my main objective.  I could drill down to each kid which I will since I am getting all intentional here:

Henry:  Yell  less, love more.  I feel like poor Henry takes the brunt of my frustrations.  Since he is the oldest, I feel like he should be more capable, less complainey, stronger, independent...the list could go on and on.  I feel like I am always riding him and on his case about something.  I really want to try harder with him and make sure he really feels loved.  He is a tender hearted guy and I need to respect him more.  We need to get outside more together.  Our new place is perfect for exploring and I want to instill that in him.

Julia: We are pretty good.  I would really like to teach her to sew this year. 

Graham:  Play more on the floor with him.  My dad was always so good about being on the floor playing with us, laying there so we were able to just snuggle up even if we are just watching TV.  It is one of the things that I will always most remember about my Dad.   I feel like Graham kind of gets the shaft with play time and I want to just PLAY more with him.  Go on walks, get out of the house and let him experience things like the other kids got to.

Erin:  I want this to be a year for us that we can go on more dates, get out for some weekend getaways.  Plain and simple.  Now with my mom being retired, this should be more than attainable.  Oh and now that Graham actually likes people other than me, this should be perfectly attainable.

HOUSE:  Awww yes, home sweet home.  I do love the new house.  I know Erin and I made a really good decision with moving.    There is the perfect blend of things we want to change up and upgrade with the things that are already perfectly established.  It is completely fine and live-able but there are things that drive me nuts.

Kitchen:  Paint/Stain cabinets.  Backsplash.  Sink.  Microwave.

Our Bathroom:  Light fixture.  Flooring.  Vanity.  

There is plenty more on my list but I think these things could be done within the year. 

PERSONAL:  Drop the phone.  Be intentional about getting things accomplished.  Don't be a perfectionist in the ways of accomplishing tasks.  Even doing a little here and a little there is better than putting it off and not even doing it at all.  

Quilt:  I have had my Carolyn Friedlander fabric for a year now and have a goal to make a quilt with it.   It is quite typical of me to hoard fabric and wait until the designer has another one or 2 lines out.  Oh well.  Winter has always been for my personal sewing time but with all this house stuff I want to do, I am a little worried about my sewing time being neglected.  

Okay, that's all.  You'll hear from me in May probably when I do my birthday posts.  Ha. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Be Crafty Workshop -Nebraska

:Be Crafty Nebraska:

Do you have any Instagram or Blogger girl crushes?  Come on, you know you do.  Those girls that just have that style, that same decorating taste or that certain language you just get and say, "ahhhh, I know we'd be best friends if she lived here"  Well, I chose to pursue my girl crushes, Amanda Rydell and Lesley Zellers and get them to NEBRASKA for a workshop!  Amanda has that amazing design eye and always picks the best colors, textures and on trend crafts.  She hosts workshops from Minnesota to Arizona bringing together women that appreciate a day off of life and to celebrate a day in color and craft.  Lesley came all the way from Oklahoma and is an amazing Graphic Designer with some serious hand lettering skills that make me jealous.  Some of her work has been picked up by West Elm to sell in their stores. 

After 5 or so months of emailing, we finally got it all organized and it was time to meet!  I knew from the minute they pulled up that we would have a good time.  Both of these gals became fast friends on IG a few years back and you can tell that they are just kindred spirits.  Very genuine and just nice people to be around. They don't have a "I'm better than you" bone in their body.  We shared a lot of laughs over the weekend and a few cuss if you know me. 

Be Crafty Workshop was held at The Pilgrimer in downtown Lincoln.  The Pilgrimer plays host to local entrepreneurs and helps their creative ideas to come to fruition.  They were very accommodating and let us decorate the space as we saw fit.  

There were two crafts that we did as a group of 25.  First, were fun little wish bracelets to send off as happy mail and the second, were creating chalkcloth banners then some instruction from Lesley on chalk lettering.  

Amanda did an amazing job of lining up all of the supplies for us.  There was more washi tape and beads than we knew what to do with.  She taught us how to make our happy mail and we had fun learning how to make tassels with embroidery floss.  Lesley gave instruction on lettering and some really great tips about working with chalk in general, hopefully some of it sunk in for me!

The 3 hours sped by and I think everyone was a little sad when it was all over.  Afterwards I showed them some of Lincoln's bests with a stop into Home & Closet, Little Mountain Print Shoppe and Honest Abes for a nice fatty burger.  We might have also gone curb shopping and dumped a dresser in Amanda's trunk too.  Oops.

I loved playing host to these fine ladies and enjoyed getting to know them more than just through a picture on Instagram.  It was a great weekend and I hope we can do round 2 in the future.  


Enjoy the lovely pictures courtesy of:  

The Leekers  theleekers.com/blog




Donuts c/o Goldenrod Pastries






I would be re missed if I didn't give a shout out to Whipperberry for lending us some beautiful painted furniture and chalk paint samples from BB Frosch and to DBH Boutique in Lincoln who generously donated 30 pairs of earrings for swag.  Goldenrod Pastries, I've never seen a prettier donut in my life!  The photographers, Becky Novacek and Aubrey from The Leekers for helping with photography.  Nebraska friends, you done did good.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bullet Points


Oh writing, how I miss thee.  I don't feel like I have much time to dedicate to it these days.  Life is blessed and busy but mostly plain old exhausting at 9 o'clock when bedtime starts to say hello. 

:Our Life in Bullets:

:Bison Drive to Boulder Drive.  We bought a new house!  We had been looking for a while and were really hoping to find something before winter reared it's ugly head and we were stuck inside with cabin fever...and we did it!  The house went up on the market on a Tuesday afternoon, we looked at it on Thursday and made an offer right along with another couple.  Well, we got it!  It will be perfect for our family to live in, the backyard is a dream!  We close in three weeks and have yet to sell the house on Bison Drive.  Fingers crossed that it sells soon.  Two mortgage payments would be very very bad. 


:Moving is bittersweet.  I love our house, all the work we have done to make it ours over the last 10 years.  I will miss my beloved sewing space, the lofted ceilings, the neighbor kids, our landscape, the bustle of the corner with people walking by, saying hi and catching up with the dog walkers and petting dogs.  Mostly, I will miss is the memories we have created.  I have raised my three babies here, nursed them, rocked them, cried with them, created newlywed memories without kids, watched Erin work on home projects, and even touches from my Dad still remain.  We will really miss it.  

:10 years baby!  Erin and I are celebrating 10 years next week.  We are ringing it in with a party at our favorite brewery and our favorite polka band.  I love my husband and am very lucky to have a man that understands my personality, my faults, my quirks.  He still loves me and I haven't drove him crazy yet!  Seriously, a guy who has to listen to fabric talk, blogger talk, instagram talk and my complaints, he is a true gem. 


:Owl People:  It is very busy for me and continues to get better as the years go by.  I started this thing 7 years ago to have something to do during naptimes and early bed for babies.  Now I wonder what the hell I was thinking.  It is very rewarding for me, the creating part, the sewing part is a little monotonous, but meeting people who share a creating passion and appreciate the time and dedication to growing small handmade businesses is the best.  I wish I could collect all of the people that I meet and have met over the years and throw them in one big room for a party.  I am looking forward to a fresh look for the new year and establish more simplicity with Owl People. 


:Craft workshops and ten million ideas:  I am working with a couple of "famous" or what I call famous in my world-bloggers/crafters to bring a fun creative workshop to Lincoln.  Be Crafty is gaining momentum and I was really excited to nail Amanda down and her friend Lesley Zellers to come to Nebraska.  Be Crafty is here on the 25th and I couldn't be more excited!  I am still on the fence about hosting my retreat called Get The Craft Out for this year.  Sometimes, well a lot of the times, I feel like I bite off more than I can chew in the "lets get everyone together and craft and sell stuff" world.  I might have to pass the torch to someone who I can trust if I am going to make this happen.  I know the girls like to come and really appreciate it but for me, finding balance between family life, business life and furnishing our new house all walk a fine line in the sanity department.  If you could peek into my mind, this is just scratching the surface for things I want to do, my ideas are just all over the place. 

:Henry:  7 years old and just what every boy should be.  He is smarter than a whip, gets incredibly frustrated with the smallest things-like getting his high tops on.  He loves reading, loves his legos and personal possessions, playing soccer and knows his football better than I do.  It's funny how he can rattle off players names and get into it just like Erin does.  Monkey see monkey do.  Henry and Graham are going to be sharing a room in the new house until someone can work up the bravery to sleep downstairs.  That ought to be interesting.

:Julia:  Little girl has been in Kindergarten for a month now.  It has been a hard transition, she is just so incredibly tired when she gets home from school.  Her attitude and fits are all a part of her being tired I think.  I hope that is all it is anyway.  I keep telling myself it is just a phase and a season.  I am looking forward to meeting with her teacher this week for conferences to see how she does in school.  She is a total and complete mommy's girl and will only snuggle up and go to me most of the time which is nice and loving and all, but I would really appreciate her being a daddy's girl every once in a while.  She got new glasses a while back as we found that her vision was very bad.  She loves those glasses and doesn't really like going without them.  She likes to do her homework, play school and look at chapter books because I think it makes her feel "big".  She will have her own room in the new house, so that will be very fun for her.  

:Graham:  Oh, what a little piece of love!  To think that he was pissed off baby for an entire year-you'd never know.  He walks around the house like he is boss.  Stands at the pantry saying "cook cook" for cookie.  Cookies are his favorite.  He has started to sink into our shoulders if there is anyone strange that tries talking to him.  Those little cuddles are the best.  His blue blankie is his favorite, sometimes you will find him with his butt straight in the air and head buried in his blankie.  He loves being outside and cries and pounds at the door until you let him out.  Daycare is good for him and Cindy never has a bad thing to say about him.  It took 5 babysitters but he did it!   I look at him in his crib sleeping at his night just in wonder that he made it through that first year and how blessed I am to have him, even when I wanted to make a return! Ha. 


:Oh!  And Friends:  I was so lucky to finally get my girls trip in with some of my bests.  We have been planning this trip for what seems like and eternity.   We were able to ditch the kids, get some nice vulgar words and have fun just like we used to.  I've had a lot of time to think about friends lately and this trip just made me realize how very richly blessed with what I have.  Just look at these two.  I've had them in my life for 20+ years and that is just crazy awesome.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Baby Girl Is Kindergarten Bound




Julia girl starts Kindergarten, a day late nonetheless.  She wasn't able to start today because she was brought down by a nasty little bout of Impetigo.  Poor little girl had a rotten couple days.  This morning after we dropped the big 2nd grader off, we came home, had our breakfast and sat outside on the deck.  I love being this girls mom.  I love the time that we share together and am going to miss her really bad during the days.  She is so excited for Kindergarten, doesn't know a soul in her class except her teacher but she told me today that she has to go be a big girl and she won't be staying home with me anymore!  Off ya go little girl.  You are going to be great at Kindergarten and all that you do.  Love you so much. 


 
Henry rolled out of bed ready to go this morning.  His pictures always suit his personality so well. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Riding Proud


This guy loves to throw out a million excuses for things he doesn't want to do.  Secretly though, he really wants to do them.  He is afraid of a lot still, working on getting that confidence down, his way of being afraid is to complain about it.  It gets old but it is getting better.     

We ran through those million excuses in the last couple weeks about taking off the training wheels.  The neighbor kids both have been riding with theirs off and we thought it would be a great time for Henry to learn too.  Grandma came and bought him a helmet with the promise that he would give it a really good try.  He started out in the grass (for padding purposes of course) complaining while I gripped the back of his seat.  I sneakily let him go while he was mid complaint and off he went.  About 15 feet before he realized that I let him go, he said "why'd you let go?"  I said "Who cares! You did it!"  And then it was easy breezy from there on out.  He even told his sister, "It just takes a little patience and practice Julia!"  Ha.  This week he has been getting on that bike first thing in the morning and after he gets home.  He loves it.

Sure, he is 7 years old and maybe should have been riding without training wheels 2 years ago.  Whether he learned at 5 or 7, I don't think there is anything he's done that I have been more proud of.  My heart just swelled with happiness.  I saw something that just lit up in his eyes, that confidence that he learned something and could do it!  Way to go Henry. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday Grahambo!!

Happy Birthday to my little Graham.  One year ago I was sitting in a hospital bed admiring the tiny little bundle all swaddled up tight in my arms.  Giving birth gives you a rockstar attitude and I was floating high.  Even getting home from the hospital, life was good, not nearly as crazy as I thought it would be.  The big kids did their thing and all was well.  Fast forward to July and that swaddled sweet baby turned screamy baby.  

Mom's rockstar attitude started to dissipate. 

And screamy baby kept that screaming up for what seemed like forever and ever.  Screamy baby got swaddled up and put back to bed, jostled around in a crazy space pod baby swing, wrapped in a fuzzy snowsuit thing for bed, and whatever else seemed to soothe the crying for even a moment.  Screamy baby went through 4 babysitters and eventually won out with Mom staying home to be the constant caregiver. 

The screaming has stopped and through all this crap that we went through to get to age 1, there are so many things I have learned about myself and Graham.  Number one, he loves his mama.  The way that he nuzzles his shy guy head into my shoulder can't be beat.  He doesn't like to cuddle but those shoulder nuzzles are so cozy.  Sometimes a mothers love is all that a kid needs.  He loves his constants.  Henry, Julia, Erin and Me.  He loves his blanket and being prepped for bed with a bath and zipped up in his sleepsack.  He has taught me how to be routine again and that it is very important for a child to be in a secure, safe and loving environment.  

Things Graham loves: (well besides me)
Graham Crackers (imagine that)
Squeezy pouch baby foods
Henry
Being Outside
Red Car rides

Things he says:
Mamamamama
Dadadada
Buh (bird)
Duh (Dog)
Graham Cracker (sounds like gack-acka)

Little Graham, you may have not shown many other people love over the last year but you have shown me and your Dad an enormous amount of love and we are so happy to have you as our third little love child.  You will grow into a very sensitive and caring soul no doubt.  You will be shy and we will embrace it.  You will be more tenderhearted and probably have your feelings hurt but we will be more sensitive to you.  You will be loved and cared for more than you will ever understand.  Being a parent to you has just been the best.  Love you little B.  Happy Birthday.