Tuesday, January 11, 2011


It's a good thing that I didn't decide I was going to do a P365 or daily blog this year, lol. I would have totally failed. I'm just one of these people that if I don't have anything to say...why speak? Right? So basically just don't expect there to be any kind of real schedule on this blog, just whenever I get a wild hair or have something to say or to share. Last week was kinda, not great. As I posted last week, Casey had strep throat, and while she never really felt terrible, she missed 3 days of school so the weekend was spent being kinda lazy and helping her catch up on all the work she missed.

Sunday was a not so great day. A friend of mine had made some choices a few weeks back and ended up having some folks sayin some things about her that weren't so nice, which, me being me, got me all kinds of upset. There aren't a whole lot of things I'll say about myself that are really positive, but one thing I'll say is that I'm loyal, so when somebody who's close to me is having issues, well, I get all tied up. so that really bothered me and I spent quite a bit of Sunday being on edge and doing my best to defend my friend without making the shit storm worse.

And we won't even talk about yesterday. Let's just say major stress, and leave it at that.

A few good things did come though. A few days ago one of my friends blogged about a friend that she'd kinda lost touch with over the last couple of months, and had been reconnecting with within the past week, and how that made her happy. As I read it, I didn't really think she was talking about me, but I thought about how I could kinda fit into that same scenario, and that made me feel pretty good. Anyway, within a day or so after she blogged, we were chatting and I mentioned having read that, and how even though I didn't think she was talking about me, it had made me feel good anyway. She was like, you doofus, it WAS you! lol Well, let me tell ya, that really did make me feel like a million bucks. She's one of those friends that means a ton to me, but I know I don't tell her that often enough, so to know that our reconnection made her feel as happy as I am about it, well, yeah, it was a great feeling.

And another friend and I have also reconnected. Life just kinda got in the way and we hadn't talked much in the last few months, but we've been talking more lately too, and I'm so glad. She's another one who doesn't know how much she means to me, even though sometimes it takes a stressful situation to get us back together again, lol.

Oh oh oh!! And I almost forgot this. Some of you who know me, and know my digi-scrapping addiction, know that I have LONG been in love with Kristin Cronin-Barrow's designs, and have dreamed of being on her CT. Well, Friday night I got a DM from her on Twitter, asking if I'd like to join her team as her ad maker and a promo type girl for her. OMGosh!! Are you kidding me? So, I'm now Kristin's ad maker and I couldn't be more thrilled to have joined her team.

And on that positive note, I'll shut up for today, lol. I'll leave you with some of my recent layouts, well, cause it's my blog and I can do things like that, lol

this one is from Aaron's (Sir Scrapalot) release from last week. Kinda love this kit. It's actually one of my favorites of his.

And one from Traci Reed. This birthday kit is absolutely adorable. I LOVE the little animals in it, and she drew them all herself! How awesome is that?

And finally, this one is from Meghan Mullens. She's doing an alphabet collection this year, and I am in LOVE with this idea. This is the 2nd kit in the series, and it's so bright and girly, I just love it.

That's it for now...I'll have some more stuff to share later. Til then,
Live, Laugh, Love
Life is so much better when you do!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


So on Tuesday, I took Casey to the doctor to have some bites looked at. While she's there, the doctor looks her over (which they do no matter what she's there for, one reason I love my pediatrician's office) and she didn't like the look of C's throat, so she does a quick swab. Guess what? The swab comes back positive for Strep. Sigh. I got a really bad feeling. I hadn't felt good for a few days, so I mentioned this to the doctor, and she swabs me too (another reason I love this pedi). And yup, I have Strep too. Sigh. Casey hadn't been feeling bad at ALL. No sore throat, no fever. So they caught it early, got her on the antibiotics and told me to keep her home from school until today, when she wouldn't be contageous anymore. Ok, I can handle that. But this morning she wakes up, and...you got it...fever and sore throat. Sigh. So she's home again today, puny as all get out. One thing I've realized, when my days are out of routine, it's harder for me to take photos. I just get all out of whack. Add to that me not feeling well, and my camera gets a little lonely. But...I have managed to snap a few the last few days, one of them this morning, of Casey as I've seen her more often than not the last couple of days, sleeping. So here they are...hope you enjoy.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A glance back...and a look forward

I have to say that I'm pretty glad to have put 2010 to rest. It wasn't the greatest year for myself or my family. We've been through a lot, but have managed to come through it with heads held high, stronger than ever, and closer as a family. And, I will say that 2010 wasn't all bad. Despite all the lows, we had some amazing high's as well. I personally have made some amazing new friends. Friends who have been there for me through the lousy times and listened to me whine and moan and complain until I'm sure they were ready to scream, but never once made me feel as though I was imposing on their lives. And they were there with me to celebrate the amazing moments and to be happy for me as only real friends can be.

2010 was also the year that I reconnected with the best friend I have ever had. As friends all through school, we were as close as sisters, but managed to lose touch over the years since high school graduation. But this year, we "found" each other again, and renewed our friendship, and found that our friendship hadn't changed in all those years. I discovered the true meaning of the "words" BFF. At the point of the year when I needed a support system the most, she and her husband were there, in more ways than I can describe. I was in awe to realize that not only had I found my oldest and best friend, but in the process I had found a new and just as amazing friend in her husband. And in them both, Casey found pure, unconditional love and support, also at a time when she needed it the most. To the both of us, J and S are among the most valued treasures in our hearts. If you guys read this, we love you both more than you know.

And now looking forward to 2011, this is going to be a year of growth and change for me. This is going to be the year that I learn to believe that I deserve the good things in life. Not "things" really, but friends who love and accept me as I am. A life that is full and happy rather than lonely and empty. 2011 is the year when I begin to see myself as my friends see me. It's going to be the year that I finally learn to love and be proud of myself, and the year when I actually gain some confidence in myself.

Last year, I set a goal for myself to do a Project 365. This year I have decided not to put that pressure on myself. Instead, I'm challenging myself to take, or have taken, one photo of myself per week, and scrap it. Part of learning to love and accept myself includes my physical appearance, and I figure this challenge is a good start on that process. Now, just because I'm not taking a photo a day doesn't mean that I won't be taking lots of photos and documenting the every day. I'm just choosing not to pressure myself to take a "meaningful" photo on a daily basis.

2011 got off to a fabulous start. Casey and I spent the day with our dear friends J and S and their children. I cannot remember when I enjoyed a day more. It wasn't a perfect day, but it didn't have to be. We laughed and joked and just enjoyed each other's company. And part of what made it so great, was the knowledge that now that we're living only 2 hours apart, this can be a regular thing for us, and that makes Casey and I very happy. Here are a few photos of our New Year's Day.
Casey and Uncle J

Me and S

J and I making a pot holder. Mrs. Crass would be so proud, lol.

And really, the most adorable part of the day, S's new Boston Terrier, Mac. He really is the most precious thing, but trust me when I tell you that he's a weapon of mass destruction, lol

I hope that everyone (the few of you who read this anyway, lol) have a fantastic 2011. I know I'm going to ;)

Live,Laugh, Love
Life is so much better when you do.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Christmas Survey

It's been a long, LONG while since I blogged, but Darcy Baldwin posted this over at Sweet Shoppe Designs, and it looked like fun, so here we go!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate. With mini marshmallows. Yum

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Usually Santa just puts presents under the tree, but there's always one small gift in the stocking (usually a piece of jewelry) that is wrapped.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored. White lights are SO pretty, and I love them, but I'm just a colored light kinda gal, they look more festive to me.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope. My house consists of 3 single women...not a whole lot of point there, right? lol

5. When do you put your decorations up? I usually put up our tree and my indoor decorations on Thanksgiving weekend. My outside lights go up during that next week.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? My mom's caramel nut rolls. She only makes them once a year, for Christmas morning. So yum.

7. Favorite Christmas memory as a child? The year my Grandpa came down from Michigan and spent Christmas morning with us. We had Christmas at home, then went to my Gram's and her husband (who was also Grandpa). I remember loving having both my Grandpa's with me. I was a spoiled little girl that year, lol

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember how old I was, but I'd gone into my mom's room searching for our cat, who had a habit of getting locked in the closet, and when I opened the door to let him out, I saw a camera sitting on her closet shelf. Christmas morning it was under the tree from Santa, and that was that, lol

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? C does. She gets a new pair of flannel or fuzzy PJ's every year, and she gets to open those on Christmas Eve. She always knows what it will be, but it's fun for her to get that "peek" anyway.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Usually, with C7 flasher bulbs, garland, and tons of ornaments. But this year we splurged on a real tree, so we have micro LED lights, a few ornaments, and a blooming TON of tinsel. (C went a lil overboard with the tinsel, lol)

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Snow, I love. Ice...not so much.

12. Can you ice skate? Honestly, I have no idea. I've never tried.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? A silver and gold crucifix that my uncle bought for me when I was 16.

14. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you? For me it's the spirit that seems to fill the air. Giving thanks for family, friends, and loved ones. The goodwill that I feel. Teaching my daughter that the meaning of the holiday is more about giving than receiving.

15. What is your favorite Christmas Dessert? Wedding Cookies. (Pecan shortbread cookies covered in powdered sugar)

16. What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Um...wow. This is a hard one. There are so many. I think I love our Christmas Eve the most. We order pizza for dinner, watch Miracle on 34th Street, then I read the Christmas Story and Twas the Night Before Christmas, then C goes to bed, and I sleep in the living room with the Christmas Tree lights left on.

17. What tops your tree? A star.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? I love the giving. For me, it's all about finding just the right gift for the people on my list, and the look on their face when they open it.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I have 3. I love Oh Holy Night (when it's sung properly, by someone with the voice to do it, like Josh Grobin, wow). I also love Do You Hear What I Hear, my fave version of that one is by Bing Crosby. And Christmas Eve Sarajevo by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

20. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? They're good for stirring into hot chocolate and decorating the tree. That's about it, lol

21 Favorite Christmas Show? I haven't seen it in years, but I used to LOVE the Garfield Christmas special. And who doesn't love A Charlie Brown Christmas? The ending? iCry.

22. Saddest Christmas Song? This is another hard one. The only really sad Christmas song I can think of is Christmas Shoes.

23. What’s your Wish for Christmas? That my friends, family, and loved ones are filled with the peace and joy of the season.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Scrappers Give Thanks

They say that the children are our future. I totally agree. And because children ARE our future, it's super important for us to take care of them. I'm a lucky mom. My daughter is happy and more important, healthy. Not all moms are as lucky as I am when it comes to that. They have children who are ill, facing dreaded diseases. Living through the fear that all moms have hidden deep in their hearts. As we enter the holiday season, I realize how incredibly grateful I am for my daughter, and for all of the children in my life. And it occurs to me that I need to do something to show that gratitude.

This is where Scrappers Give Thanks comes in. SGT is an annual scrapbooking community project that benefits a specific charitable group or organization. Founded by Jennifer Wilson, with support from Anna Aspnes, the first project resulted in over 650 handmade cards being delivered to Operation Write Home in 2009. In 2010, the focus of Scrappers Give Thanks is children in hospitals across the US and Canada. The goal? 2000 cards, giving joy, laughter, and inspiration to these children, and their families. I have set a goal for myself to design and submit 12 cards to this project. One for each child in my extended family.

If you would like to contribute to this wonderful cause, please click the Scrappers Give Thanks logo on the right side of this page. The link will take you to the Scrappers Give Thanks website, where you can find out about how to submit your card. Want to help even more? Spread the word. Blog about it. Put the badge on your website. Tweet about it, share it on Facebook. My biggest reason for being grateful? This beautiful girl right here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Some days are better than others. I have good days, where I don't have a problem being "up" and I roll right on through the day. Then there are the "some days." Some days, things get to me, and I find myself cranky and withdrawn. Today was one of those days. It's hard to focus, my brain seems to move in slow motion. I have a hard time coping with life. I feel tired and just blah. I was told to expect this. Despite the fact that I had the treatment 2 weeks ago, the medicine will be in my body, in my system for weeks. And there will be days I feel it. Days it makes me tired, days I feel sick, days I just want to crawl in bed and stay there. But ya know what? Expecting it, knowing these days are "normal," doesn't make getting through them a lot easier.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Story

Throughout my life, I've had to deal with Cancer. Twice as a child, my grandmother underwent mastectomies for Breast Cancer. My great-grandpa passed away when I was seven from Leukemia. When I was a Senior in high school, a little girl I babysat died from Brain Cancer. When I was 20, my grandfather passed due to Abdominal Cancer. In 2007 my best friend fought the same battle and I lost him too. I've always known Cancer, known its effects on people. And in the back of my mind, always knew that at some point in my life, it would be something I dealt with on a personal level, within my own body. There were just too many people in my family who had dealt with it for me to imagine that it would never strike me. Back in March of this year, I went to the doctor for some small cysts. They weren't painful, or anything like that, just annoying. The doctor agreed that they needed to be removed. He informed me that once removed they'd be sent to a lab for tests, and that this was standard procedure. So in April, I went in and had the surgery to have them removed. Turns out, they were malignant. (Cancer.) I was, to be honest, stunned. I'd expected Cancer, but not now. Not like this. In the span of 2 seconds I became a Cancer survivor. As that sank in, he explained that he needed to do more testing to find out if there were any more abnormal cells. If any were present, we'd need a biopsy. I went in for the tests, and he found three areas that popped for abnormal cells. He did the biopsies and explained to me that from there we would have three options. 1, they would come back as Cancer and have to be removed immediately. 2, they would come back as something we would need to watch very carefully, which would mean biopsies every month. 3, they would come back as just abnormal cells and we'd keep an eye on them and biopsy them every 4-6 months. When the results came in, 2 of the 3 areas were Cancer and surgery was scheduled. He also set me up on one round of oral chemotherapy. He was convinced the surgery would remove all of the Cancer, but the chemo would take care of any that he might possibly miss. I had the surgery, and 5 days later I went in for the chemo. It was all rather anticlimactic. I took the pill, sat in his office so they could watch me for any immediate reaction, and came home. I have had a small bit of nausea from the chemo, though the nausea medication I was given keeps that under control. And I am losing some hair, but I have enough that so far it isn't overly noticeable, both of which I'm very grateful for. And that's where my story is for now. There are days when it freaks me out. When I wake up thinking about how scary it is, how different it could have been. I thank the Lord every day for bringing me through this, for giving me a wealth of friends who have been there to support me, cry with me, chit chat with me to take my mind off things, make me laugh, hope with me, pray with me and stand behind me telling me that no matter what I need they're there for me. If nothing else, my journey down this road has taught me that with the kind of friends I have, the family that has chosen me, I can make it through anything.

**This post approved by Amanda Heimann ;)