Sunday, June 28, 2009

Why Not?

You never know unless you try right! So here goes, my audition for Cosmo Cricket. I thought I would go Letterman style to start. Ahem...

Top Ten Reasons I Love CC:

10. Seeing that I am a teacher, I love a good theme. Camping, summer, robots, holidays-they have them all!
9. Since we are talking about me being a teacher and a scrapbooker, can you say blackboard pieces! Right up my alley!
8. Inevitably, one small chipboard item will inspire an entire page or mini-album! This stuff literally talks to me! LOL!
7. I love how the foxy lady from the Snorkel collection has curves! It is great for my self-image.
6. Who doesn't love fishies?
5. I can get my Quotes of the Day just by gathering all the border papers.
4. Dancing Smores! A chocolate lover's dream.
3. I actually wanted to go camping (and I hate bugs) just so I could use Mr. Campy. This made my husband, who is a camping fiend, very happy.
2. Upon seeing the Early Bird collection and Element cards, I had the intense desire to can my own jam. Strawberry perserves anyone?
1. Everafter, Lil' Man, Girl Friday, Early Bird...shall I go on?

Here are some of my favorite projects:
Early Bird:

*To see the insides of the little box, go to my post here!

Girl Friday:


Mr. Campy:

Lil' Man:


Oh Joy!:

If you were interested in seeing more using the Early Bird collection (which is my all-time fav!), please scroll down!

I am truly a fan! It would be a dream come true to represent this fantastic company!
And a girl can dream, right?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Well, That Was Interesting...

...we had a major storm here last night. Sky turned black and the rain fell in sheets. I instantly felt as though I was inside of a car wash when I looked out my windows. Our patio umbrella was up and I really thought the whole set was coming through the slider. Alas, Steve ran out and saved the day, but just then the power failed. Lights flickered on, off, on and then gone. Nathan, my sensitive guy, was a bit freaked out. Meanwhile, it was still relatively light outside. Giggle. We decided that the kids and I would go to Nana's for the night. Steve stayed to bale out the basement. He carried a million buckets of water out of our house, trying to avoid flooding.

The power was out for about 24 hours. I decided that...I am not good with straight down time. I wanted to scrap, wanted to work, wanted to clean...had to sit around. I am not good sleeping on an air mattress. Ouch! I am not good with spontaneous change of plans. And I am a homebody.

But we survived. And now tonight, even though I am home in my fully lit office, I am too tired to scrap. So I will post a layout instead. My creative daughter has deemed Nonnie the teacher of all things. She makes up fairy tales about their adventures and has apparently learned a variety of interesting facts from her. Except that most of it is made up! LOL!

So of course, I had to scrap it! I used the amazing June kit from the Nook. They are having a DT call, so get your stuff in ASAP. I love Cosmo Cricket and the Early Bird collection is officially my favorite!!

And after wishing the lights were on all day, I am now turning them off and going to bed. In my own bed...Sweet dreams!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

So It Begins...

The summer has officially started in my household. Steve is done with school and so I am. Our first day home together was today. Our annual tradition is to take a hike. LOL! That sounds kind of funny. We bring the kids and the dog and just celebrate the start of our very lengthy vacation together. I am feeling more relaxed already. I still hear a song on the radio or flashback over the past few weeks and cry. But overall, I am at peace and cherishing my blessings.

Wanted to share some of them today.

Joy in the simpliest of things.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I am Choosing

This layout appeared in the July/August 2009 issue of Memory Makers Magazine (yes, I am sad that the magazine is closing shop). The theme is speaking volumes to me right now. I have faced so much sadness the past month. My heart breaks for my sister and Jimmy and James. But, lately something beside sadness has been nagging to get in. There is a need for me to look for the positives--to open myself to the lessons in all of this. My sister is beginning to feel this too. When we talk, she is focusing on what the tradegy has HELPED create. I hear her laugh and know that she is on the same path.

I can choose. Take a deep breath and think about the other side of sadness. So, here is what I have learned in the past few weeks:

1. I love my sisters with all of my heart and soul. My need to protect them and lift them up is greater than I imagined. See, we are 10 and 8 years apart, with me being the oldest. I never bonded with them as friends. But now, I have. I thank God for that.

2. There are amazing people in this world. The nurses who cried right along with us all week. I was so moved by them and their generous spirits. An organization known as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep provided my sister and Jimmy with a professional photographer, free of charge, to take bearevement photos. To have a record of James, pure and peaceful has been powerful. Michelle and Jimmy just met with a news reporter about this organization. Now, maybe their willingness to use such an organization will bring someone else direction and comfort one day. If you are ever in the donating mood, please consider this organization.

3. I had to learn to open my heart during all of this. To realize that I am not in control. That sometimes you just need blind faith and have to put things in the hands of others as you surrender to all possibilities.

4. I have learned to hug. I WAS NOT a hugger--too much hurt in life caused me to close myself off. But I needed to hold and be held during my family's struggle. I grieved in the arms of my mother and cried as I held my sister's hands. People want to give hugs to offer comfort and I have taken them. And will continue to. Now, I understand what the appeal is.

5. I have seen and held an angel. Witnessed beauty and the hope of what could have been. It wasn't, but I know now that I need to look forward to life with all of that hope.


I wish things were different.
But they are not.
There are other ways to look at it. There are gifts. I guess if I don't believe it that, then what will I believe in...

Thank you James.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Dad's Day!

My kiddos sure do adore their daddy! So tomorrow is all about him. When I did my guest design stint for the Marks Paper Company, I did these two projects for Father's Day. The papers have some strong, masculine colors and designs.

Steve is off to play poker tonight so I plan to curl up with a good movie. I need a little R & R. Only two more days of school and then it is time to regroup. I can't wait!

I went to a tag sale today hosted by Celeste Smith. Can you say Holy Thickers! I am in scrapbooking heaven and need to overhaul my space...LOL!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On the Path...

So now starts the path to healing. I had the opportunity to spend time with James after he became an angel on Sunday and it was so comforting. He truly is resting in peace and that created such a beautiful atmosphere in the room. There was no grief during those hours because we got to see his beautiful face with no tubes or trauma. I am so thankful that my sister gave us the chance. I know that I will be holding onto that feeling for a long time to come. That is how I want to remember him. I know that he touched our lives in a special way forever. There was a gift in knowing him. I can't put it into words, but I will be able to one day. My sister and Jimmy are my heros with the grace they displayed. They will be proud of themselves one day when all this pain has gone.

I wonder when it is time to post on my favorite boards again, when it is time to scrap. When will I want to blog hop and make comments in galleries? I have lots of people to thank for all their kind words and thoughts. When will I enjoy a Saturday evening just sitting here quietly creating? It will come. I guess this is the first step.

I am looking forward to this:

Only a few more days and Steve & I will be home with the kids for the summer. They are early risers, but I don't think I mind anymore.

I have a happy share. I am one of the featured readers for the Eye Spy posting on the Dream Street blog today. I love that company so much, so I am honored. It is a nice distraction and made me smile, so thanks for letting me share.

Off to make dinner and carry on with night, a call to my sisters in the works.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

heartbroken today
and for many days to come...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sometimes Life Just Kicks You...

...hard, and then gives you a little push while you are down. It takes a few minutes to get your bearings, figure out what is broken. Often, you can't get up on your own, you need to reach out and take that hand that is there waiting to pull you up and help you stand on your feet. You brush yourself off and take a step forward, wobbly as it may be...

I can get mad at Life, curse him out, but it won't do any good. So I remember all the good things Life has offered, all my blessings.

There are many. I have told my sisters that I love them more times in the past week than in the past 20 years. And Michelle and Jimmy will look back one day and be proud of how they have handled things. Be proud that they freely cried and leaned on others when they needed to and that they were stronger than anyone ever imagined.

Life sometimes teaches you that time is short and moments are precious. You never know and can never this weekend, I am remembering to kiss and hug my most precious gifts, Nathan and Ella. I am comforted that they don't know what is happening and that they can smile and laugh. These are the faces I am holding on to...

It is only a matter of time before Baby James goes to heaven. Tomorrow morning if not before then...he will always be our angel. And when Life throws curves, we will pray to him to watch over us. And he will...


Monday, June 8, 2009

Please Send Prayers

My beautiful sister Michelle (shown in the top, right photo) and her husband Jimmy need your prayers right now. What should have been a happy day turned tragic...Baby James was born, but the turn of events was not what any of us expected. He suffered great trauma and is on life support right now. He is beautiful, 9 1/2 lbs and has a full head of dark hair. He looks just like Michelle. I believe in the power of prayer and ask that you send some to the baby as well as my sister's way to provide them with comfort and to help them make decisions during this difficult time.

I sit here wondering why life is so unfair and so sad at times. But I know there isn't an answer to my questions. Doesn't really stop me from seeking the answer though...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Needed a Break

From work, from chores, from life...LOL!

So I watched TV tonight-caught up on the finale of The Hills and watched So You Think You Can Dance (which I love). and just chilled out on the couch!

Felt good and hopefully it will help recharge me!

One thing I can never tire of are the gorgeous kits from The Nook. The June one is just bursting. I love that there are two alphabets as I have been mixing cases! The green Lullabye is the perfect size!

The elements cards have all these great family sayings that have motivated me to scrap! And with the recent loss in our family, I am determined to scrap about everyone! Immediate, extended...I just want to record all the people who mean the world to us! Here is an example-Meet Uncle John!

Journaling: Its not like you name is complicated or anything. But we believe in nicknames in this family. So you are called Unc John by Ella & Nathan.

My kids really do have a nickname for everyone! You know that Nathan calls Daddy his "Big Fella". Well, Ella tried to call me her "Big Girl" tonight.

Uh, we are going to have to work on that one!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It Was Such a Pleasure

...guest designing for this fabulous company...

I truly enjoyed their papers---yummy designs, wonderful colors and they really do look like fabric! I love to handcut and be inspired by the product I am working with and this paper fit my style perfectly! I am so honored to have worked with Stacy and her paper lines---thank you for the opportunity!

This layout might be my all time favorite that I have made (it's okay to have personal favorites right?). I did lots of handcutting and of course, I adore this photo.

Journaling: Ella, I look into your eyes and I realize that there is magic in this world. You have the power to transform my mood with just a touch of your special fairy dust, your smile and beauty. I am totally bewitched!

If you want to check out the rest of my projects or all of the Mark's paper lines, go here! I will be posting the rest of them throughout this week!

Gosh, have I been busy. I have a ton of projects to share and I haven't even checked out the June issue of ScrapStreet! And there is a new prompt over at Category Stories! Summer is almost here right?


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