What happens when it takes less than five minutes to vote?

So say you go to vote today and are definitely expecting a long wait. In my head I was prepared for an hour or more...at the least. And I had prepared myself for it...cookies, stickers, books, milk, snack, stroller, diapers, etc...all for Moses. I was expecting the worst. So was Doug. Between parking, getting out the stroller, loading up Moses, voting, coming back to the car, loading up Moses and pulling out of the parking lot...we were there for about five minutes. No joke. Pretty sweet. Doug and I had planned very little for the morning...so I say to him "Let's go work on our Christmas shopping". Which we did...very successfully. And then some. Doug found me some great clearance shoes (above). :) One pair was $60 OFF and the other was $30 off (Doug is the best to shop with--not only does he like it but he also finds the BEST deals). And they are ridiculously cute...which never happens if you have huge feet like me. :)
Then Doug showed me this fun bag..."Ooooo", I say, "There is even a place for a sippy cup"...the important stuff if your a mom. :) So I got that too. Would never have done it if Doug wasn't there...he is better at making me buy stuff for me than I am.

I chose to completely ignore the fact that I really NEED to buy a jacket for my ever growing tummy to fit into (I have already outgrown all that I own) (maybe it won't go below 70 this winter?) and a steam vac for the carpets and furniture (which my nesting is saying I HAVE to do before people come before Thanksgiving)...and a dresser...and a glider...sigh...

You can donate to that cause by going HERE. :) I'm off to get some sewing done to alleviate the guilt of making non needs purchases. :)

xoxo
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Who is up for it???!!?!?!?

Just when you thought this blog could not get any more fun...I have TWO super fun announcements for your Monday enjoyment! :)

The first is probably obvious from the photo above...I am hosting another SWAP!!! YAY! :)
Inspired by myself and some friends who have had some rough days lately I decided that the theme of this swap would be "Bad Day Survival Kit"! :) How fun does that sound?

So you want to play?
Here is what you do...
1) Fill in this questionnaire:
Name:
Email:
Kids/ages:
Favorite candy:
Favorite chocolate:
Favorite scent for candles/lotion:
If you ordered from the Starbucks menu what drink would you choose:
Favorite Magazine that you don't subscribe to:
Hobbies:
Do you collect anything for the holidays: (For example I collect red birds)

2) Email the filled out form to me at ricracandpompoms at gmail.com (replace the at with @)

3) Wait for your partner assignment.

4) Make that "Bad Day Survival Kit" and ship it out to your partner. :) Plan on spending $20 or so not including shipping. This swap is limited to USA participants only (sorry). :)

Super easy and super fun, right? You have this week to sign up...I will assign partners next TUESDAY! :) Please only sign up if you really want to do it AND you will follow through...it stinks to send out a fun box and never get one.

NEXT...

I go SO SO many goodies offered up to me for the giveaways that in addition to the regular Friday giveaways, I will be doing spontaneous SuRpRiSe giveaways! These surprise giveaways will only be open for a day each so you have to check in often to enter...I will try to pick a winner of the fabulous goodies within 24hours of posting the announcement. :) Be sure to check in often because there will be one or more a week and you don't want to miss any of these super fun goodies!! : )

So basically my blog is the most fun to be this holiday season right? :)

I just posted a bunch of brand new Christmas cards in the shop...
Along with this nearly edible onesie...my own sweet bird design. :)

And the WINNER of the Lassie Girl item of choice is....(per the random number generator)
SARA of It's Good to Be Queen. :) She also has a sweet little Etsy shop called 2blondeboys!

Yay for Sara! Sara, just let me know that you read this and then contact LassieGirl to get started on your custom item. :)

Make sure you are ALL here for this Fridays giveaway...if you are hosting any kind of holiday party...you DON'T want to miss it...

and keep checking back...you never know when a surprise might pop up. :)

And sign up for the swap. :)

And I am done! :)
xoxo

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I almost didn't bother...

I won't lie.
It's been a rough week here.
I am ready for Moses to get better and back to his old self.
I can't take ANOTHER tantrum.
Over nothing.
Sick = over emotional toddler = over emotional +tired +cranky + unpleasant= mama.
(I am sure that makes perfect mathematical sense to you).
But for 30 minutes, he was enthralled at the task. Then he had a tantrum when we couldn't bring them inside.
Sigh.

Then my WONDERFUL husband came home this morning and gave me a warm breakfast sandwich and a latte...in bed.

I think I can survive one more tantrum. :)
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P.S.

BOGO SALE IN THE SHOP---TODAY ONLY! :)
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Favorite Things Giveaways for the Holidays-Week Two-Lassie Girl

This weeks amazing freebie comes from Ashley at Lassie Girl! :0) They are a small cottage business that is passionate about what they do! They work VERY hard to bring quality and style together for functional AND FUN children's clothing.

Ashley has SO generously offered up ANY one item out of her shop...If you win then YOU choose the item and she will make it up just for you in the style and size that you need! :) How awesome is that?

And she has some amazing choices...get ready for a tough decision...
Super adorable pinnies...perfect for little girls of any age...LOVE these with tights OR with jeans...SO cute!!
Or these adorable lounge pants....*which I would totally wear if they came in my size*.

Or you can choose a batch of the most fabulous scraps that you will ever find on Etsy. You have heard me sing the praises of these before...LOVE THEM! :)
OR there are these adorable little skirts to choose from!! :)

All you have to do to enter this week is to go visit Lassie Girl, then come back and tell me your favorite thing about the shop. :) Make sure you comment on THIS post. :) The winner will be chosen on Monday!

Have fun and good luck! :) xoxo
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Almost 23 weeks.

It's amazing how fast these things grow. :)

Come back tomorrow for a super awesome giveaway!! :)
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Inexpensive peace of mind...

Meet Doggy. This is Moses' best friend in the whole wide world. He goes everywhere with us. Moses eats breakfast with him, they watch TV together, play together, sleep together, go for walks together...do everything together. For the last few months as I watched the bond grow between these two souls I began to worry about what would happen if we lost him...at the time chances were that if Doggy got especially lost then he would be gone for good. Then I got an idea. I hoped Moses would go for it...he doesn't tolerate much when it comes to messing with his Doggy. We went to Target and got Doggy a collar. Moses let him wear it. Good. We then went to a pet store and got one of those dog tags engraved with our phone number on it. We put it on the collar. Moses allowed it. Even better. Now we all breathe a little easier knowing that if we ever have one of those fateful days, Doggy just may find his way back to us. If this seems silly to you, then you don't have a toddler yet. Just wait. You will see.
Each and every day this sweet boy does something to amaze us (Above is how he spent most of Tuesday...in his pjs and rain boots). Monday at lunch Moses told us that he was "all done ears". Hmmm. Usually when he says all done, he means it. We went home and he napped, only to wake up inconsolable. Pointing at his ears, saying he had an ouchie. Doug and I got Moses a doctors appointment for that night and lo and behold, Moses had an ear infection. His first ever. And he told us about it. In fact this was only the 2nd time in his WHOLE life that he had to go to the doctors for a non-well baby visit.

What amazes us even more are all the things that God lined up so that we would take him...I had already rescheduled a photo shoot due to rain, Moses had to show/tell us his need, Monday is the only day that the doctors office is open late, the pharmacy was open until 9pm, Doug was off work...on and on. There is no such thing as a coincidence and Monday God reminded me that His hand is always on my life. :)

These sweet mittens are one of my favorite new creations for the shop...they each have a little pocket for hiding a little treat! :)
And here is my first kitten made from a pattern that I made! I just LOVE her sweet little face. :) Both of these fun goodies are in the shop now...

Speaking of the shop...of late I have had a mix of feeling in regards to it...I love it, I enjoy it but I don't know how to separate myself from it when I need to or know when I need to or if I need to. Some days I even think of closing it down completely. Other days I am SO thankful for the extra funds and sanity it brings into the house. Some days I love everything that is in it...others I feel like I should be mortified that I don't do better. Does that make sense?

Then I remember that I am pregnant and not legally liable for holding a rational thought.

So there is that. :) xoxo
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A Christmas Gift to Make-How To Make a Tissue Cozy

These little cozies are perfect little stocking stuffers or teachers gifts or for your secret santa. :) This project is SUPER easy...I would rate it easy beginner.
1. Start with four rectangles of fabric of your choice, each measuring 5 3/4in by 4in.
2. Lay two of the pieces together, wrong sides together, putting the piece that you want facing OUT (this will be the bottom piece of the cozy) on top.
3. Take the other two pieces and fold them length wise. 4. Lay them on top of the two layered pieces, folded sides facing in. You can pin them together if you would like, I tend to be too lazy for that. :) 5. Sew all around the edges about 1/4in in from the sides.
5. Make sure that the two folded sides are flush with each other. 6. I like to trim around the edges to make it nice and neat. Then turn it inside out...or outside in.
7. Insert package of tissues. :) Voila! A fun and easy present. :)
Please note that I am not a pro...I am sure that there are fancy professional words that are supposed to be inserted here and there but that's just not how I roll. :) Let me know if you have any questions and I would be happy to help. :)

Winner of the super awesome card design from Less Ordinary Designs is.....
MEG!! !:) (choosen at random by Doug). Meg has a handful of sweet kids and was just begging for one less thing to do this holiday season. :) If you didn't win you should do two things...
1. Go get Sara to design your Christmas cards anyway...you can't beat the deal and awesomeness she has to offer and 2. Come back next week to see the next amazing freebie I have to offer...if there is a little girl on your shopping list you DON'T want to miss it. :)

Question of the day...When do you allow yourself to start listening to Christmas music?
Me? November 1st!!! :)
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Sunday

I looked down at Moses during worship this morning at church, both of his little chubby toddler hands raised high in the air. Tears immediately sprung to my eyes.

"How cute?", I thought,"Too bad he has no idea what he is doing."

But how many times have I said that, only to be proven wrong?
Then I realized that I was witnessing the above scripture right in front of me.

It IS entirely possible that my 2 year old son is better at hearing the still small voice than I am AND obeying. Moses can most definitely just DO and not question, trusting that what he is being told is right. Now I am wondering, How can I be more like that?

How can you?
xoxo
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Favorite Things Giveaway! Week One-Less Ordinary Designs


This weeks Favorite Things Giveaway is from Sara of Less Ordinary Designs. :) Sara has so graciously offered up a $15 credit to her Etsy shop! Which means you can get your Christmas photo cards designed for FREE this year if you win!! Once she has designed your card for you, she emails you the file and you can get as many printed as you want...from wherever you want! Sara get high props from me because not only is she a working mom, she has her (super cute)son with her at work all day AND she has this super awesome design shop! That's a lot on a ladies plate, you know! She designed our Christmas card from last year(above), and will do this years too! :) She is super sweet to work with so even if you don't win this freebie I highly suggest you hire her on for your holiday cards! Where else will you get such fun and unique cards?...Walmart? Pshaw!

Sara will also work with you on color, style, wording, etc...she was super nice to me last year when I was picky about the shade of red in our cards. :)
Did I mention she has a blog too? I am a regular reader...go check her out!
She also does baby annoucements, birthday invites, save the date cards and SO much more!

So what DO you have to do to win this fabulous prize? Simply go to Sara's Blog or Shop, say hello and give her a nice compliment if you so desire. THEN come back here and tell me your favorite thing about Sara's blog or shop. :) Make sure you leave it on THIS post!

The winner will be drawn on Monday! :) Good Luck! xoxo
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Things that make me happy today...

1. The fact that this morning before 8am I sent my "works overnight" husband a text message that says "I am testing your psychic abilities" and he comes home with a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

2. Add that to the fact that last weekend, when he was off work, the first thing he did was throw on a hoodie and a hat and went to Starbucks for me then too...and brought me home a fabulous new travel mug in addition to a yummy latte.
3. The fact that Moses likes to sit next to me a craft. That creation up there is all his doing. :) He loved pointing out the different shapes and was actually taking great care in arranging all of the different elements. :)

4. The fact that a couple times this week, Doug has gotten home from work while I was in the shower and took the initiative to not only get Moses out of bed and dressed but make and feed him breakfast too. Somehow that makes me feel tremendously loved. :) Thanks Honey!
5. I bought my first pack of newborn diapers yesterday. I almost cried when I took one out of the package and then again when I put it next to Moses'. Yes, I have already started buying diapers. When Moses was born we didn't have to buy diapers for the first 3-4 months of his life, we had that many stocked up.
6. I have a pile of things I LOVE ready to go in the shop.
7. I have a funky new bird bag that should be arriving at my doorstep any day now. :)
8. I am going to a mom makeover get together tonight...I don't wear makeup so this should be fun. :)
9. The amazing number of responses to my giveaway! I am certain that I have never received so many convos in one day! I have so many offers that I am not sure how I will use them all up...or if I will be able to at all. What I will say is that the items that will be given away on Fridays are AMAZING!!!! You will NOT want to miss some of the fabulously wonderful things that some of my favorite Etsy people have offered up for me to giveaway. Many of these items make me want to come up with a secret identity so I can win them myself! Seriously though, if you win any of the items I have lined up you will be able to check something or someone off of your holiday to do list. :) Be sure to come back tomorrow morning when the fun begins! :)
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A Fun Announcement! :)

So I know that I am no Oprah, but I do have some favorites for the holidays!
Starting this Friday I plan on posting a giveaway a week for some things I think are really great...there is only one catch...I need YOUR help to pull it off! I already have a super fabulous giveaway planned for this Friday! :)

If you have shop, website or are generally crafty and want to donate a handmade item to give away then I need to talk to YOU! :) On the Friday that your item is given away I will do a write up all about you, showing people some of your fabulousness and sharing some of your most wonderful qualities. :) Just contact me via Etsy to let me know you are interested...and please understand if I am unable to use up all of the offers before the holidays. :)

This is a GREAT way to get some free advertising for your shop, blog or just to make yourself feel good. :)

Can't wait to hear from YOU! :) xoxo
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Not Quite One and Not Quite the Other...

So. There are those who go all out for Halloween and those who run the other way with their fingers plugging their ears. We live somewhere in the middle of those two places. I guess I can't quite say that under no circumstances do we celebrate Halloween but I can say that we alter a lot what we choose to focus on as a family this time of year...For starters, here is an article on eHow that helps me explain my stance a little...go HERE for that. I think what makes us different from your average Halloween celebrator is that we refuse to indulge in anything creepy, scary, ghoulish, macabre, bloody, witchy, evil, devilsih, etc. In fact this is a general rule for our household...we don't watch scary movies, listen to unsavory music, watch crude TV, curse, etc. I go out of my way to make sure Moses sees/hears as little of that as possible..even if I have to go ten aisles out of my way in a store to avoid him seeing those creepy Halloween displays. We as a family, view our bodies as a dwelling place for Jesus...and we most certainly believe that what goes in will certainly come out sooner or later...and we aren't just talking food here. As for protecting Moses...the way I see it...a child is like a blank roll of paper...endless possibilities with which to fill him...why would I want to purpose myself to waste an inch of that paper filling it with ghoul and yuck, when I can fill it with light and Jesus? Have I lost you yet?
Now, please, please don't read any of this as a judgment on anyone who celebrates differently than we do...I am not and refuse to be a finger waving Christian who condemns people for celebrating Halloween...I have met those types and they scare me. It all comes down to this for me...everything I do, see, read, eat, touch, love, enjoy, take part in...I want to be for the good and glory of God. I fail all the time, believe me but I try with all my heart and I really want to be deserving of His forgiveness and mercy...though I know I can never truly earn it. Creepy, ghoulish type things just don't settle well with me...I can't fit it into God's glory. Does that make sense to ANYONE out there?
So you may be wondering, how do we celebrate Halloween then? Will we let our kids dress up? Yes, if they want to...in non-scary type costumes. Will we let them trick-or-treat? At the moment, most likely. Will we carve pumpkins? Yes. We will do all the usual things but I want to always be thinking of a way to infuse some light into them...here is a great pumpkin carving example: How carving a pumpkin is like being a Christian. We also hope to continue to learn and educate ourselves and our kids about the true origins of Halloween and learn about the martyrs that gave their lives for Jesus. We want to aim to reclaim the holiday for God's good. :)

Does any of that make sense to any of you? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on the subject, whether you feel the same or not. :)
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