Sunday, November 28, 2010

Here comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus...

So, in lieu of finally updating my blog and posting a little something, I found a way to save a little for the holidays Shutterfly has decided to award bloggers with 50 free Christmas Cards all for a little shameless promoting.

Last year I designed and ordered our Christmas Card through Shutterfly and they were a hit. It was super easy to do, and the most difficult thing I had to deal with was deciding which format I wanted to go with. Here was our final project........

I loved the opportunity to use two photos which included one from our wedding and a current Christmas picture with Santa. Naturally we didn't order enough last year so I'll definitely be ordering more this year.

Currently I am deciding on which photos to use, as well as starting to get ideas of which layouts to use. Here's one I'm a big fan of, but don't know if it would work for us when we only have pictures of us!

Also, I know I have cousins with little ones who may be looking for Christmas gift ideas for Grandmas and Grandpas.... many of them love and still use wall calendars. Just a thought :)

Lastly, for those of you who prefer the more traditional Christmas Cards without photos, Shutterfly has a great selection here. Just as wonderful and creative without including a photo.

Good luck with your Holiday Card Shopping! If you're anything like Steve and I your cards will be arriving in mailboxes around the same time Santa is coming down the Chimney and not a moment sooner! Happy Holidays all!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Done with 2010.

2010 is not going well. In the past five months I have lost an organ, had a cyst removed, had my grandma's husband pass away, and now my dog has passed away. I'm scared to see what else 2010 is bringing my way.

Sweet, sweet puppy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Art Blag!

Hi all-
Shameless publicity here.... Check out the blog for the Grove Art Department at


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Looooong delayed!

I know, I know it’s been a long while since I wrote an update and I apologize! I’m gonna go ahead and blame it on our crazy work schedules. But since it is the end of our Christmas break and we are currently driving back to Connecticut I figure my free time in which to write an update is running out. I say we are driving but in all honesty Steve is driving which I really appreciate!

We have spent the last two weeks back home in Ohio soaking up conversations, memories and hangouts with friends and family. It was wonderful and we so appreciated and needed that two weeks. We spent the first 6 days at Josh and Stacy’s in Cuyahoga Falls and saw as many friends and family as possible. We went to our favorite restaurants (Franklin Square Deli and Lockview), got to spend a morning at Mosaic with our community, and just caught up with people. Christmas Eve was spent in Parma and Lakewood with Steve’s side of the family and included a hilarious family photo, a dying bird, and a great dinner. It was really great to spend time with JoAnn and Steve’s brother Mike and catch up with them in person instead of on the phone. Christmas morning we spent with Josh, Stace, Zig and Murph and had a cozy morning with gifts, monkey bread, and stockings. Steve got his first ever stocking with presents in it and loved every minute of it! Stacer and Josh spoiled us with their love and Steve and I spoiled each other as well. Best gifts of the morning? The “Perfect Brownie Pan” that Steve got me and the flannel and mountain man hat that Josh and Stace got Steve! You’ve never seen a grown man so excited to get flannel and a hat. After packing up we headed down to Columbus to spend the rest of Christmas and the next 6 days with my parents and brother. We were spoiled again by my parents and brother including but not limited to some screaming monkeys who have rubber bands in their arms so you can make them go flying across the room and crash into the wall! Sounds weird, but it was hilarious. The next day both sides of my family came down to do Christmas at my parent’s house. The rest of our days in Columbus we continued to see friends and catch up, spent time relaxing, and even caught a night to go to the Zoo to see the Zoo lights. New Years Eve we headed back to North East Ohio to go downtown Cleveland to celebrate the New Year. We spent a few more days in Hudson at our friend Matt’s watching the OSU Game, hanging out with friends at houses and various restaurants and had another fantastic dinner with the Caspar’s before heading out of town.

It was such an amazing break and it went just slow enough for us to savor it and see as many friends and family as possible. We are glad to be heading back to CT to get settled back into our apartment, we just wish we could take more of Ohio with us!

Even though we were overly ready for Christmas Break we continue to love our jobs at Grove. We have made some really great friends and have really gotten comfortable with our positions in the classrooms and in the dorms. This semester ends mid January and we’ll be starting second semester already! In the art department we are developing new classes for spring including Crafting for Etsy (arts and crafts selling website), Fashion Design and Graphic Design. As well we are working on perfecting an art blog which will allow parents to see what their kids are working on in the art classrooms since we know from experience that not all high school students necessarily communicate with their parents what they’re working on! Steve continues to do great work with his middle school guys and consistently works on building his patience! His guys love him and he often gets “how do you do it?” and “Your dorm is really tough” comments from staff as they are shocked at his patience for these guys. We have both been blessed with really wonderful co-dorm staff who have become really great friends. My dorm will be going through some shifts as a couple girls will be moving out into a dorm which has only 3 female students and no dorm staff and the 3 who were in the more responsible dorm will be moving back into my dorm. If you think about it send a prayer by way of the Emmerich that teenage girl drama wouldn’t ensue as a result of the moves!

Coming Up…

Our one year anniversary is January 24th and we’ll be headed to Boston for the weekend to celebrate and tour the city!

Wedding season for us is beginning! We have one in two weeks, one in April and three in May. We will be doing our best to attend as many as we can.

Spring break begins March 26th and goes through April 11th (plans tbd!)

We love and miss you all and were so glad to have seen so many people over break. If we didn’t get a chance to see you let us know and we’ll try to see you at Spring Break (though we have no idea what our plan will be for then!). We felt so spoiled by love and gifts and time with everyone over break and we head back to Connecticut with full hearts!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Its official. We live in Connecticut. We made the big move Thursday and are in the process of unpacking, emptying the moving truck and buying the essentials needed to make our apartment home. (Find New Haven on the southern side along the coast. We are 20 minutes east of New Haven).

Its still weird, I can't believe we live in Connecticut of all places. CT is a small state. There are only 7 counties, we are about 1hr inside of the state and would take us about an hour to go out the other way and land in Rhode Island. We live on the water in a beach town which is crazy. We are now east coasters, who could legitimately pop their collars and wear boat shoes. But we won't! (Well, I may buy some Sperry Top Siders, but I promise I won't pop my collar.)

In the winter when we were imagining where we might end up, Ohio and the Carolinas were on our radar. I guess we had the East Coast essentially right in thinking the Carolinas... just had our North/South mixed up.

So far, we are enjoying exploring our little state. We have conveniently found the Walmart, Target, Lowes, Ruby Tuesday, Wendys, CVS and Starbucks we'll need. As we've been surrounding ourselves in fixing up our apartment we haven't yet had time to venture into really finding the stores, restaurants and places to visit that are purely Connecticut. Also, Tropical Storm Danny decided to pull through right now so we've been doused in rain instead of sitting on the beach.

Here's a picture of us from when we came to interview in March. The beach is on the other side of the Sand Dunes... hopefully we'll be taking another picture like this soon but in swimsuits and cover-ups!

Our trip out here was uneventful in a way, but horrible at the same time. It was miserable. Steve was driving the Rental Truck and I drove our car. (Yes, we are a 1 car family now). It took way longer than it should have on account of all of the construction we ran into often. Without notice we would suddenly be in 1-lane traffic that didn't let up for a few miles. Not to mention the first few hours of our drive were very rainy, Steve was in a big truck he's unfamiliar with, and there were an unusual amount of semis on the road. All of those make for very stressful driving!

We got here late, about 9:30pm, but were so wonderfully greeted by Tiara - such an amazing, wonderful friend who decided to spend a few days with us here helping unpack and get set up. We would not have as much done right now if it weren't for her. So in a way, it doesn't feel that abnormal yet because T is here. Even when she leaves, my parents are coming next weekend which will be wonderful, and will again be comforting to have family here. After my parents leave, and school begins I think it all might finally set in.

I'll check back in then and let you know. We're in for a crazy, exciting, adventurous ride. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Its that time.

Well Ohio... we'll see ya later. This isn't goodbye, you know we'll be back to visit as often as possible. With all of our family and friends here how can we not. We love you Ohio - and we love, adore, and are amazed by all of our friends and family. We are blown away by the love we've been shown the last few weeks all the way up to early this morning. We love you all - you're with us on our drive and you'll be with us when we get to Connecticut.

Love - The McLaughlins

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sometimes it takes a child.... make you realize how you really feel.

I tucked the best kids in the world into bed tonight for the last time in at least a really long time. I have been babysitting Katie, Henry, Joseph and Andrew since Katie and Henry were 8 months old, and Joseph and Andrew were 3 1/2 years old. Needless to say, I will miss them... a lot. These four kids continuously make me smile, laugh, and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It is impossible to not fall in love with these kids. Its true, they have me wrapped around their little fingers.

Its true, Joseph and Andrew are now cool 7 year olds who around any other people won't show me any affection. I get it, they're going into 2nd grade! You can't act like you like girls in 2nd grade :) But tonight, they both gave me hugs, told me they'd miss me, and told me they'd love me. I don't try to cuddle with them, because I most certainly don't want to embarrass them! But its nice when I get a moment to just talk to Andrew or Joseph when they're not around anyone else because they tell me what they're excited about. They have things they want to tell me and want to brag about, they just want to make sure no one else is looking. I also think I've gained points over the years because I have a slight knowledge of Star Wars, Bakugan, Pokeman and other boy things! Watch out when these boys get to High School Mike and Elena... they will be breaking hearts and setting records for their sports teams!

Over the years I've spent a little more time with Katie and Henry because of so many "9-1" mornings when the boys were in school. I remember when I first started, they couldn't walk yet, and I'd go upstairs to get them from naps and have to carry them downstairs one in each arm. If I wasn't good at multi-tasking before watching Katie and Henry I'm amazing now! I will never forget how they loved Avacado, and watching them move from sitting, to crawling, to standing, to running.... to swinging on the swings, swimming in the pool, and chasing after their brothers during keep-away in the backyard. These two still love to cuddle with me, still give me hugs no matter whos watching, and still have their little kid laughs that make you smile no matter what mood you're in.

These kids are family to me. They were at our wedding, and make me smile when I saw them walking down the aisle. They have made me a part of their life and have become a part of mine. I've always felt comfortable, welcomed and trusted by Mike and Elena which totally allows me to relax and love their kids the best I can. I will miss them all immensely, and you can bet when we come home to visit we'll be stopping by to see my kids :)