Survival Mode.

Ever get stranded in the middle of nowhere with an empty tank of gas? Or stuck in your house when it was 40 below for a week? That is when survival mode kicks in. What do we have to eat? What essentials do we have in our possession? How can I get through this?

I am currently in this state of survival mode, but my tank is not empty nor is it 40 below (even if it might feel like it at the moment).

I am just somewhere I don’t want to be and I am powerless to change it. And although I don’t love living in Iowa in the thick of winter, I’m not talking geography. The stuck I am currently in involves possible injured neurons or chemistry that is beyond my comprehension. This stuck is hard to fix because there is no definitive root. How does one go about getting out of a situation that can’t even be defined?

Getting out of bed, eating, even bathing are monumental accomplishments these days. See, I’m in survival mode. Do what must be done to survive.

Cards? Gifts? Christmas? Huh? I hear it’s coming, but I just can’t seem to make myself care. Which is soooooo not like me by the way.

But then I realized yesterday that it was the last day for shutterfly's free christmas card giveaway. All I had to do was write a blog post with 200 words or more. I tucked kids in bed and sat to write. But I just couldn't do it. I had almost convinced myself that Christmas cards were so far down on the priority list this year that I should surrender.

That's when my SIL told me about the free coupon code. 50 cards FREE. That was the magic word. I perked right back up and went to work designing a card in photoshop. I plugged it into seehere's blank canvas. And voila! A perfect card. Only the code didn't work. So I tried again. Upon closer inspection I learned that it was only on 4x8 cards, so I went back to photoshop to redesign my card. It took a bit longer than I thought. It was nearly 2AM when I finally got it plugged in at seehere.

I entered the quantity and typed the code. And nothing. Hrrumph! So, I googled it. That is when I found out the code expired 3 days ago. I was beyond frustrated.

And for something I really don't even care about right now...

But I had come too far now. So I continued googling until I found another deal for 25 free cards. It didn't offer free overnight shipping and wasn't nearly enough, but would have to suffice. Then my internet went down.

I stared at the screen. A sign? A curse? Divine intervention?

So, I did what had to be done. I went to bed.

But thought I'd share a couple great things that came out of my unquestionably annoying night.

One, did you know that there are really cool symbol fonts?

For example, this is the letter h of KR Christmas Frames at a size of 383...


Cool, eh?

Add it to your photo. Change the color. Magic.


These were the first cards I made. Remember all those blunders from last week? I plugged them into a collage. Added text. And voila.

Add that cute frame and it makes it a bit more festive. By the way, that snowflake in the middle (in a lower transparency) is another font. It's called WW flakes and is the letter o. Amazing how cool fonts are.

But this is the one that might be sent out. That is, if they ever make it here. I woke recharged and ready to try again. And it worked.

The 25 cards free at is still active. If you are a procrastinator like me, the code is 25cards. It comes with the envelopes, but you still pay shipping. It's something.

So... please tell me that I'm not the only one scrambling here in survival mode. Regardless of reasons it'd be nice to know I'm not alone in this Christmas debacle. Or whatever you want to call it.

Now off to get Pokey to school and get to work. Nothing like a 2 hour delay to start the day off right.


  1. To be quite honest, this time of year I blindly stumble my way through. I think people just expect everyone to be happy and "joyous", but I've found that's not always the case.

    As far as cards go... I didn't even bother this year. I guess I'm feeling a little humbug.

  2. Oh Alicia, I hope today is better! Christmas can definitely be a stressful time - there is so much to do and make, and there just doesn't seem to be enough time. I am trying hard not to get too overwhelmed, but it's not easy!

  3. I don't feel I'm in survival mode... more like autopilot. I expect the crash and burn... I hope it waits until after next Saturday.

    Your cards are way cuter than mine.

  4. You'r enot alone. I just received my cards today. We leave for vacation on Sunday and I have no idea where my address book it. during the holidays is insane.


  5. I totally hear you. I'm totally lagging in any holiday spirit and then feeling totally guilty since I should be overcome with joy to celebrate my little man's first Christmas and all that jazz.

    Oh, I did the 50 Shutterfly cards deal. But by the time I actually designed the cards themselves (three days ago)?? I paid $22 to have them shipped here in time to mail them before Christmas. Crap.

  6. You're not alone, my friend. Believe me.

    I feel that wherever I turn, there's a new thing that needs to be done. Today it was remembering that I promised to bring a dish for lunch @ work tomorrow, plus we all have to chip up a $15 gift for a swap. Plus I think I have plans with a friend tomorrow night (maybe). And I can't even FIND the cards we just bought in order to write them out.

    Holidays = crazy, and it's even worse when you're not feeling it. I know.

    Your card is beautiful - it helps that you have gorgeous kids!

  7. CUTE CUTE CUTE CARD!! Very creative!!

  8. alicia...i love your cards, even if you have hit a holiday road block, they turned out great. i just got the holiday cards out today...usually better than this but at least they are out.
    hopefully you will get in the groove soon!

  9. Your card turned out great, and I feel like I´d love to hug you through the internet. I sometimes do feel like you, yes, though, right now, this year seems to be a lot better than the last one. However, keep your smiles, but if you feel like it, do cry. Crying can be as helpfull as smiling, from time to time, especially for an intelligent woman that got stuck in a region and situation she never wanted to be. Not sure if I´m talking about you, or me now. However.

  10. I hope things are looking up! I love the collage - its perfect. HUGS!

  11. Hey thanks for haaving the courage to share the"survival mode" I was there last Christmas. When I look back now I realize just how stressed out I was. Thankfully, due to alot of things, this year is better. Hang in there!

  12. I love these. You are so creative!

  13. I've been in 'smile and wave' mode for a few months. it's an uneasy feeling, yet i still wake up every day and smile and wave.

  14. Super cute cards! And I love the snowflake font -- who knew that such a thing existed?! Thanks for sharing.

  15. I love the cards - glad you went that way.

    And between you and me? My Christmas tree has no ornaments. And won't.

  16. At home with a recovering Tonsil free fifteen year old. Hubs out of town for three days, and huge dump of snow. Scrambling would be a step up from where I am.
    Hope that makes you feel better.

  17. I love the smile and wave comment. Everyone in my house is not in the mood. My daugther, who just turned 13, told me recently that she hates Christmas. In the meantime I whistle songs in my head and try to create things just to keep sane. I'm usually over stressed and now I'm in the what will be will be mode. It breaks my heart that she hates Christmas. I feel like I've done something wrong. I know it's not my fault.

    Like they say...this too shall pass

    What I say is....I hope 2011 is a better year. I'm buying a lottery ticket on 1/11/11 and 11/11/11 (which will be Natalie's 14th biday).


  18. Your card looks great! It is hard to get into the season so years.

  19. Wow, how annoying! I hope you get into the Christmas mood soon!!

  20. oh wow, poor you! I'd give you a hug if I was near you! I totally relate, because that is how I operate, I am a procrastinator. I gave up on cards a decade or more ago, and I'm pretty happy with that. :) The cards came out really cute!

    Hang in there, and take it easy, simplicity and less can be very fulfilling.

  21. They turned out GREAT! If it makes you feel better I've made mine but have not printed or mailed. So thanks for the reminder I'm on it right now!

  22. You always have the best collages and cards. You're so creative like that, Lish. :) Hope things are beginning to settle down for you. (Hope I didn't just jinx it!)