Friday, July 29, 2005

Give me money. Please.

I adore being able to stay home with Sean during the day. Some occasional graphics work came in this past year but ended a while ago. With the kitchen chaos, Liam's potential assessment and travel plans for the wedding in October I haven't really had anything come in and haven't put myself out there. Though I don't really know how to put myself out there. And I hate putting myself out there anyway.

Anyone need some graphics work done? Or some cool artwork? Bookbinding? Cards, invitations, scrapbooks... Feel free to browse my Flickr photos at some former projects...

In honor of my new "I must bring in some sort of income or I'll freak" attitude, I've posted my most updated resume.

Stacie M. Sapper

Somewhere in the Greater Washington D.C./Metro Maryland area


A position where my artistic tendencies are recognized and allowed to evolve but where I am allowed to go to the bathroom and eat lunch without a person under 3 feet tall banging on the door or my leg demanding that they need a drink and they need it now.


Mother of a boy/multiple boys
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Cleaning up puddles around toilet on a semi-hourly basis
- Translating multiple dialects of "Whine" and "Wig out"
- Conflict resolution, most notably in the Sapper vs. Sapper case "that's my ball no it's mine" of 2002, 2003, 2004 and up again for appeal in 2005
- Medical training including removing small pieces of quartz (rock) from the head of a six year-old months after the initial impact.

Responsibilities include:
- Co-existing with life form believing that hockey playoffs, The Sci-Fi Channel and professional poker are acceptable forms of television entertainment.
- Ability to detect dirty laundry without sniffing it
- Prioritizing incoming phone calls, specifically those related to fantasy baseball, Atlantic City travel plans and/or random soccer games, practices, clinics and teams.
- Other stuff. That I'm not typing here.

1972 - present
- Artistic
- Slightly pissy/snarky
- Organizational (slightly OCD, but that may be viewed as a benefit in the right career)
- Friendly
- Believer that God is actually going to do something with me at some point.
- Woefully optimistic?


- My friends: A group of wonderful women with resumes startlingly similar to my own
- Our pediatrician, who has seen me take in information about my child's imperfection without melting into a ginormous snotty puddle on the floor.
- My doctor, who is semi-hot though that has nothing to do with anything. But he is.
- Various art supply and stamping companies kept in business by my generous "support" and "belief in their products". Available upon request.

Salary Requirements:

Enough to be able to live in the D.C. area without food stamps, having to rent out part of my house, stealing gas or selling a kidney.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Digital HOME

Digital HOME
Originally uploaded by art chick.
Yep. Another one. Actually did it while chatting with Rusty online earlier today. It'll never replace paper artwork for me, but it's nice to have a way to use the photos until I can get to the paper version!

Linda, you must be so proud.

Play nice

So this morning I was reading another blog (Wendi Speciale's post from today, July 28th). She talks about trying to teach her son to be considerate of other's feelings and how our words can really impact other people. This topic hit a huge nerve with me. Teaching our kids to be nice? A big deal to me. And I don't understand why it's not a big deal to so many others.

Last weekend we had the pleasure of spending time with my wonderful friend Linda and her family. Linda and her husband, Bryan, kept telling us how nice our kids were. Rusty and I were just as impressed with their own children. But during the conversation over dinner with both families that night, I realized that we've been truly blessed in that most of our closest friends have kids who are very nice as well.

Now, for the record, when I use the word nice? I don't mean perfectly behaved, un-childlike or wimpy little people who get walked all over. Kids are, after all, still kids. And they're still learning. When I use the term nice I mean nice. Understanding that other people have feelings just like we do. And that our words have the power to totally tear someone else apart (even if the other person doesn't show it). Nice means to share. Nice mean to tell someone they've done a good job or compliment them on something. I will never forget this past Mother's Day when Liam walked into the restaurant where we met my in-laws. The first thing he said was "I like your dress!" to my niece. It seems so small. And it is. But? It's also one nice comment that she may never remember rather than one mean one she would probably never forget.

Unfortunately, we do have a few rather "not nice" children in our lives (I used to refuse to call a child "mean" or "bad". But I've started to wonder lately). We caught one child in particular teasing Liam and then turning around and telling a friend, "See? I could make him cry any time I wanted to". What is that? The kid that said it? Is five years-old. Five. That just makes my brain hurt. We've started avoiding these children. They are few and far between. But their behavior is uncomfortable to be around for adults as well as children. And when the parents don't correct it? It gives Liam and others on the recieving end the impression that it's ok to be treated that way. And that it's ok to treat others that way. And we are not having that.

Being nice doesn't mean we all have to agree or get along. But it does mean that if we don't agree we still don't go for the other's person's personal traits, looks, habits, beliefs or anything else that can be used against them.

Seems simple. So why is it so hard for so many people to do?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Digital Liam

Digital Liam
Originally uploaded by art chick.
Yeah. I really need a new hobby. I have so much time I don't know what to do with myself...

Digital scrapbook materials downloaded from (Shabby Smiles collection)

Speaking of "my life"...

So, remember how I just said "I have a life... talk talk talk" and such? Yeah, well, that life just keeps sneaking up behind me and slapping me silly when I'm not expecting it.

First of all? I'm not supposed to be here. In Maryland I mean. The boys and I were planned to leave for a week long visit in Cincinnati after church on Sunday. But Sunday morning? I got sick. Really sick. Not-fit-for-travel sick. But by yesterday I was feeling better. Started wondering when I should re-plan the visit. Then yesterday morning my mom calls to tell me that my great aunt, my dad's Aunt Mary, had died. She was 92 years-old and had said flat out that she was ready to go. Hers was a life well lived and she will be greatly missed. Mom said they'd call later with the funeral arrangements and I started figuring that this was probably a good time to go out.

Then it hit me. I was going with the boys on my own. Rusty has way too much going on at work to use his available comp time (and may I say? What a racket! I mean, have him work all kinds of extra time but don't pay him over-time. Give him "comp-time". Which is essentially a joke because if he's working so much in the first place? He's way too busy to use the comp-time! Oy.) Anyway, me and the boys on our own. I wasn't sure about taking them, at ages 3 and 6, to a funeral. Sean would probably be ok as he's still oblivious to specifics. But Liam? He'd be all kinds of interested, slightly freaked, and would talk about it for weeks. We've talked about death and dying and such before. Trust me. This child is not ready to see a dead body.

So I thought, "Hm. Maybe Aimee would watch the boys for the day." Aimee is my cousin (on my mom's side) and has 8 year-old twins and a 3 year-old who is a month or two younger than Sean. Our kids adore each other so that was the mental solution I went with while I went through the day. Until my mom called again. It seems that between the time my mom called about Aunt Mary and 3:00 p.m. or so? Two of Aimee's three kids broke out in full-blown chicken pox. Good times. But that didn't even matter because Aunt Mary's funeral had been planned - the viewing is tonight and the funeral itself is tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday). That's not much time to get there! But? I told her I'd try and to have my dad call because the van was making a funny noise and I wanted to talk to him about it before we headed out. You know, being a responsible, driving-nine-hours-by-herself-with-the-kids-through-three-states kind of mom that I am.

Later last evening. Taken from phone call with dad:

Dad: What kind of noise is it?

Me: It's squealing. No... that's not quite it. It's not that harsh. Sqeaky maybe? I don't know. Squealing but not like grinding.

Dad: When you hit the brakes?

Me: No. Not all the time. Sometimes it's when I'm just driving, not using the brakes. But other times it does happen when I use the brakes.

*Notice how very helpful I am. Dad probably banging his head against the wall at that point.

Dad: Yeah, you need to have that checked out before you drive out here.

Me: Can't I just drive it out there and have it checked when I get back?

Dad: No, that's not a good idea. If it's the [insert car part I can't remember here] then the [insert other car part I can't remember here] can get damaged and it'll cost you a lot more money to fix.

Me: What if I drive it out and have it checked out there?

Dad: No. Get it checked first.

Me: What abo...

Dad: No!

The van needs it's 30,000 mile tune-up anyway. We'd have them do that and check out the noise. So like a good daughter and responsible vehicle owner that I am, I call the dealership this morning:

Me: How much is your 30,000 tune-up?

Dealership woman: $385

Me: [gasp] And when is the soonest you can get us in?

Dealership woman who is apparently smoking crack: August 11.

Me: Thanks? [click]

So, I go to Plan B. Rusty's mom suggested the place they've always taken their cars. I call them:

Me: [cringing] How much is your 30,000 mile tune-up?

Car guy: [asks questions about year, make and model of car which I answer but that's boring so I won't type it] It'll just be a matter of car talk, car talk, car blah blah... it's probably going to run between $80 and $100.

Me: [slightly relieved but still not believing something might actually work out] When is the soonest you can get us in?

Car Guy sent from God himself: You can drop it off tonight or bring it over first thing in the morning.

Me: [stunned] I love you?

Yes, we have an extended warranty and if there is something wrong aside from normal wear then the dealership has to fix it or pay someone else to if they can't do it within the week. Yay, extended maintenance agreement. And yay, Brady's Auto in the greater Washington D.C. area!

So? Of course the visit is still on hold even though the funeral is tomorrow morning. And of course, the van is still squeaky and it could turn out to be something major. And of course, Sean just smashed his fingertip in the retro wooden box for the Sorry game and it's all swelled up and purple-ish. Because that? Is just a big ol' noogie from life itself.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Why me?

So I hope my post yesterday didn't come off guilt trippy or anything. I was just so floored that this man, this African man witnessing so much death, has no doubt that we who live comfortably and get to see our children grow up without much thought to hunger or poverty or disease would answer their call for help. What an amazing thing. What a generous thing. To believe that we are a people who will help rather than blaming us for not helping more quickly.

I felt so strongly about yesterday's post. I woke up yesterday after having had a nightmare. I can't remember what it was exactly but I do remember at one point in the dream having to run for my life while carrying my infant nephew (who is now 1 1/2 in "real life"). Like a lot of dreams, the details were hazy. But I distinctly remember I was so intent on trying to save us both and just overwhelmed with the number of people evacuating the city we were in. There was this feeling of exhaustion, questioning where I would go, wondering where the rest of my family was and a moment of guilt when I wondered if saving this baby was more cruel than good and sentencing him to a life too terrible to live.

When I woke up, Sean (our three year-old) came in to our room half asleep. He crawled into bed with us and I remember this deep gratitude I felt suddenly that the dream was gone. But that was immediately followed by the realization that the dream? Could have been my reality. I could have been born anywhere on this earth. My family could be struggling through starvation, trying to rebuild after war or natural disaster. And for some reason, I was lucky enough - blessed enough - through absolutely no credit of my own to have been born in the United States. To parents who are good people, in a safe neighborhood, where there was education to be gained and a life to aspire to. And that realization was staggering to me. Why me? Why Rusty? Why any of us reading this who have a roof over our head and food to eat? And why those people? Why are they sentenced to be the ones who have to starve or run for their lives or wonder if life is really better for their children than death if that's all there is to their life?

It's a startling feeling, being hit with so much responsibility. To know that as someone who is even "just" middle class, I am still among the richest group of people on earth. It makes me feel helpless, too. What can I do? Aside from donating money, I mean.

So please don't take any of what I wrote to be preachy. It really was just a matter of self-realization for me. A wake-up call. A reminder to not let my life get in the way of the big picture. I know I have a family to love and be loved by and friends to care for and enjoy life with. I have a life. And I truly believe that a part of my responsibility is to live that life to the fullest enjoying every single second. But that life is lived on this earth and this earth is shared by others in need. I'm still working on how to make sure that idea remains balanced. It's just overwhelming.

Monday, July 25, 2005


There are so many times when I think there are things my children need. And most of those times? I am way off. Not because I'm selfish. But because my brain cannot even begin to imagine what's really going on in Africa. Niger to be more specific. My children get chocolate milk in the morning, or a Slurpee when it's hot outside. And there is nothing wrong with that. But? As a citizen in one of the wealthiest countries in the world? And one who claims to love Christ and care for those who cannot care for themselves? I cannot ignore it.

"It's the worst I've seen," said Hassan Balla, a primary school teacher in Tarna, a village just outside Maradi. "What is happening is really ugly. I've seen people eat leaves ... live like animals."

Balla, however, is optimistic.

"The world is generous," he said. "Our friends heard our cries. Do you think they will let us suffer when they are living comfortably?"

Quote taken from story on
Sunday, July 24, 2005

Click here to read in it's entirety

They've asked. Please send help. According to the story? The cost to save one person was $1 per day when this crisis first started. Due to lack of help from the world overall, crisis has gotten much worse and the price of saving one human being has risen to $80 a day. I would pay $80 a day to save my sons, my husband, my family, my friends. These people are someone's children, family and friends.

Donate to any of the following. Donate a month's worth of coffee money, or your Slurpee fund, or more. If you truly cannot donate money, donate time or energy to get the word out.

UNICEF - Click here

WorldVision (Specific aid for Niger) - Click here

Doctors without Borders - Click here

A list of other organizations you may want to check out via the site: Click here

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hubba hubba

Hubba hubba
Originally uploaded by art chick.
Ok. This post is inspired by my friend Linda. Who posted a most gorgeous photo of a young and seriously hot Paul Newman.

We watched a lot of old movies growing up and I have to say, my crush on Cary Grant started at a very young age. He was good looking and funny. And he just got better looking with age.

Favorite Cary Grant movies? Holiday (with Kathryn Hepburn), Indiscreet (with Ingrid Bergman) andHis Girl Friday (with some chick I can't remember). Oh wait. I forgot Arsenic and Old Lace and An Affair to Remember and...

If you have never seen a movie starring Cary Grant? You're totally missing out. Find one and watch it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

New format

So. Can you see the changes? If not, click on Refresh. If that doesn't work, hold down the Ctrl key and click Refresh. Let me know what you can see. And if you like the changes.

There is one mistake you'll notice if you actually look at it. Not sure I'm going to change it though. Kinda quirky.

Also? Let me know if the video was getting annoying.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Link for Wendi Speciale

So. There are these unmounted stamps that I just adore - Wendi Speciale Designs. Super funky cool stamps! I've ordered three so far and use them non-stop (seriously, buy the "Insert Letter" stamp and you will use it for tons of different things). Check them out when you have the time. Also? Check out her monthly kits. The box they come in is worth the money on it's own. So great.

Anyway, I'm posting this because Wendi , aside from a spectacular stamp designer and apparently all around great person? Is also Diabetic. Type I Juvenile Diabetes to be precise. I read her account of the rarity of it's onset at her age and was floored.

Wendi is doing a Diabetes walk in Austin, TX. She has asked for help in supporting her cause. I can't turn a blind eye to it because Diabetes runs amok in my family, on both sides. But most heartbreaking for me (and my entire family) is the loss of my grandfather six and half years ago to Type II Diabetes. I was three months pregnant with Liam when Grandpa Joe died. I'm not sure I'll ever be over it. My grandpa wasn't obese or even really overweight (he did perfect that round "grandpa belly" later on in life, but was not by any means "fat"). When his doctor told him he needed to exercise, especially walking to help the circulation in his legs, I'm not sure how seriously he took it. Grandpa was a baseball player and a Marine. I think there was probably a part of him that didn't think it could get as bad as it did. I know I didn't think it would get as bad as it did. I mean... he was Grandpa.

So for all of you with loved ones, friends, neighbors, teachers, policemen, pastors... anyone dealing with Diabetes... please take a minute to give thanks that you still have them with you. Then head over to Wendi's link and consider donating to her walk. If not Wendi's, please think about donating to any local chapter. I'm sure it would be greatly appreciated.

In case you didn't notice all the not-so-subtle links up there... CLICK HERE TO GO TO WENDI'S DONATION PAGE.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Haircut opinion photos

Rusty and I
Originally uploaded by art chick.
Ok. Y'all are getting rowdy. Personally, I wouldn't ask to see pictures of me. But then... that's just me.

It was hard to find anything that would be of any help as either I'm the one taking all the photos and are therefore not in many, or the photos I am in have me with my hair up or pulled back (see me stuck under the countertop, below).

Click on the photo and I made up a little group of photos that show my hair at various stages. Please forgive the quality as some were GIF's I had to convert back. And some were just bad scans way back when they were originally scanned.

P.S. I'm leaning toward going in and having my hair cut to my shoulders with long layers. But I can probably be persuaded to change my mind...

I finally lost it.

I finally lost it.
Originally uploaded by art chick.
Yep. That's it. Yesterday the counter top guys came back because they didn't cut the hole correctly for the sink the first time. Our plumber friend had hooked up the dishwasher, water lines, disposal, and various other pipes. Rusty and I had to take them all apart again for the countertop recut. Then? To finally mount the sink? We had to actually pull the dishwasher out from the cabinets so I could get back there to tighten the clamps for that end of the sink (Rusty's too tall to sit scrunched up in that small space - Yay for my midget legs!).

Anyway, Rusty and I kick ass. Sorry if you have sensitive ears (or eyes, as the case may be). But we did all of that disconnecting. Then we got it all put back, in the correct order. With no leaks. People? That is incredible. And? I'm now going in to install and hook up the electricity to the disposal. Because I'm cool like that.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

My hair.

So. Every year, right about now, I partake in an annual ritual that consumes my thoughts and tries my patience... "Should I get my hair cut?" Or to put it more precisely, "should I get my hair cut off?"

Oh, say what you will about thick luxerious hair, natural curls, blah blahty blah blah blah... it's hot, people. And it takes three hours to dry on it's own. Three hours. And do you know how not fun it is to blow your hair dry when it's 90-something degrees outside? It's not fun.

But... when you get it cut shorter, you cannot pull it back when you go running. It curls even more. In weird places. And you imagine that a shorter haircut makes you look fat.

So, the dilema. Also? I am in my youngest sister's wedding in October so whatever I do now has to be acceptable. Or grown in by then.

Opinions? Anyone?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


The Nutcase
Originally uploaded by art chick.
So. We bought Liam a new scooter. Took three different stores in four hours to find one. And it was totally worth it. He adores it.

Since we didn't make it to the beach today (trying again tomorrow) we went to the school behind our house so the boys could ride around the parking lot. Sean has inherited Liam's bike so the the boys were biking and scooting (scootering?) all over.

It's 93 degrees right now (at 5:07 P.M.) and the heat index was around 100 degrees today. Which is why the boys look so fresh and crisp in these photos. And excuse Liam's outift. Yes, it does look like Roy G. Biv threw up all over him. But they're play clothes. Don't judge.

(Rest assured, although their faces don't show it, they had cold water bottles, juice and Goldfish crackers to pep themselves up while they played).

Saturday, July 09, 2005


Originally uploaded by art chick.
It's been a long week. But we took a break and took the boys up to Baltimore for the day on Thursday. Hence the funky shark photo.

The first thing Liam noticed when we walked across the street to the Harbor Center? Pizzeria Uno. We drive 20 minutes to Baltimore and he zeros in on a pizza place we have 5 minutes from our house. But it was way early for lunch so we bought our tickets to the aquarium then wandered around the Inner Harbor until our entry time. It took all my resolve to quiet that inner voice telling me that Hard Rock t-shirts are still super cool therefore I must buy one for me and my offspring. I told inner voice that it is no longer 1988 and to shut up. No t-shirts.

Once into the aquarium? It was packed. But people moved along and we saw everything. Liam was totally into it. It's probably the perfect place for him as he was really calm and just engrossed in every single thing he saw. He's Mr. Sciene too, so it was heaven on earth for him. Going to start working Maryland Grandma for a family pass to the aquarium for Christmas this year.

My favorite thing about the aquarium is that it is built upwards instead of outwards. The different floors are all open and you can look down into the ray pool below. The criss-crossing elevators and people-movers were a big hit with the boys. Sean was actually not feeling well, so there were very few photos of him as he wasn't into it and rode on Rusty's shoulders almost all afternoon.

The photos are a bit funky. I didn't want the flash on because it either gives you a big reflective glare or totally distorts the contrast of the what you're shooting. But even without the flash? Everyone else was using theirs and I kept catching it. The shots that did turn out came out kind of artsy so it wasn't all bad. Take for instance the shark - it's real, swimming by the tank we were at. The people behind were using their flash and somehow I got the rainbow effect, which I totally don't mind at all.

A funny thing about our trip? We walked through the Renaissance Hotel on our way in and noticed a few Red Sox fans. Then outside, more Sox fans. By the end of the day, I swear we saw everyone in Boston and their brother in Baltimore. Boston? Had to be deserted last Thursday - they were all in Baltimore for the game. And we saw, what, three people in O's shirts? Way to go, O's fans.

Anyway, we ended the afternoon with a late lunch at Uno's because, you know, Liam's head was going to explode if he didn't get some. We got to sit out on the deck, right on the harbor which was nice. Until the semi-rabid pigeons decided to go all cannibal and go for the left-over chicken wings on the table next to us. Scary. Scary birds.

It started raining as we pulled out of the parking garage. Poor Sox fans came all that way to get rained on in Baltimore.

There are more photos on Flickr, if you click on the shark photo you'll see the entire set.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Kitchen - July 6

Kitchen - July 6
Originally uploaded by art chick.
We now have doors. That's right. The cabinet doors, drawer fronts and hardware are installed. Yay, us. I'm exhausted.

Our plumber friend was supposed to come over yesterday to do the sink and dishwasher. Then it got pushed to the sink today and the dishwasher this weekend. But as of 2:30 this afternoon? No plumber friend. Bummer. Would love to have running water and a drain in the kitchen again.

But we really can't complain. We're slowly making our way toward little things like patching up drywall, painting and such. And you may have noticed the ceiling? It's from the false front that was above the old cabinets. The ceiling will be repainted as well. Then we'll be adding molding around the top of the cabinets to the ceiling.

*When you click on the photo, it will take you to the existing "Kitchen Renovation" set. Just click your way through what you've already seen and start from there. Sean should be the last photo from the last update, if that helps.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Independence Day

Ok. It's 1:37 a.m. as I start this post. I crashed at 7:30 with a sinus headache but when I got up to find the Nyquil, Rusty had recorded "Independence Day". We'd been talking about it lately, how much we liked that movie when we saw it as young, unmarried college students, how it had been on HBO at least five times a day the year we got married, how great the special effects were. We'd seen that the Baysox were having a drive-in movie tonight and it was, in fact, "Independence Day". So of course, I had to stay up and watch it. And you know what? It sucked.

Oh, the special effects are still there. And Will Smith is still as dazzlingly cute as ever. But whether it was the fact that I'm now a wife and mother? Or that it was hard to see N.Y. blown up then a flaming World Trade Center in the background? I don't know. The scenes of people running down the street in terror? It was all I could do to not cry. And I know it's only a movie. Holy crap! Will someone please just smack me and tell me to get a hold of myself already?

When Will Smith's girlfriend is running for her life holding her son? Then when they find the First Lady and her daughter run in and snuggles with her? And then the First Lady dies and the president has to sit with his little girl in the hallway and tell her that her mom died? Tears. Tears streaming down my face, people. Because all I could see was myself, and my family. Is this what getting older and having a life is all about? Or was it my cynsism that now the pilots from all over the world wouldn't be able to get along if the human race depended on it? Because it sucks. Can I not watch a movie without projecting myself and my reality into it anymore?

You know, it's entirely possible that this is just a case of PMS or sinus crankiness or something. But man... talk about bad timing.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Random other stuff

"K Book" 2
Originally uploaded by art chick.
I have so many random photos of little art projects I've done over the last few months that I figured I'd post them here. Why not, it's my blog, right? Enjoy!

Click on the photo to see more.
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