Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lots to Share!

Well, if you read my post last Thursday, you know that I had a huge to do list to accomplish over the past several days. And I am happy to say that I checked it all off except for cleaning the house. Erin threw up at school and had to come home on Thursday which was my cleaning day. I decided to keep her home Friday as well just to be safe, but she was much better by Thursday night.

And Friday night we finally picked up this...
We ended up going with the Ford Edge in silver. So now I have a new car and am just a little nervous to drive it. Just wasn't in the plans to buy a car, but that tree didn't give us much choice! I am glad to have the car shopping over though.

Lots of Halloween decorations going up here, too.
and a few from the pumpkin patch last weekend

Plus I managed to finish up four layouts on Friday and one today for the November Mindfullness kit by Scrapbooking From the Inside Out which will be revealed on the site this Thursday, Nov. 1st. So I have a few peeks for you.
And now that I have a week or two before I need to do more design team work, I am going to work on my mother-in-law's Ireland album a bit more. I am hoping to have it done by Thanksgiving. Although I may have said the same thing for Mother's Day :-O

See you Thursday with a new layout!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crafting Ireland Peeks

Issue 14 for Crafting Ireland magazine will be out on November 12th.
My assignment for this issue was a winter layout and a year in review layout.
One will be in the magazine and the other will most likely be featured on their blog sometime in the future.
So today I wanted to share a few peeks of those layouts :)
Coming soon!

I also have a post up at Craft Your Nest with some musical inspiration for your layouts.
Otherwise, I am cleaning house today, trying to get several layouts done for an upcoming deadline, getting a birthday package together, planning a special anniversary celebration for Mike and I, probably finally getting our new vehicle this weekend and getting things ready for Halloween. Feeling like I am in overdrive trying to get it all done.

So if you don't see me around after tomorrow for a bit, you know why! :)
Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Found My Way to You :)

Here is the last layout I created this month using the October Journey kit by Scrapbooking From the Inside Out.
This photo was taken before Mike and I were married. Or even really dating. We look like such young babies don't we? :)
It wasn't an easy path for us to end up together. I had actually been dating someone else for almost seven years. But at one point, he decided that he didn't think he wanted to marry me. Ever. And truthfully, it was a blessing in disguise. At the time though, it was pretty confusing for me. I mean no one wants to hear that the person who supposedly loves you, doesn't want to marry you, right?
So I broke up with him.
At the same time, Mike and I had been friends for several years. And even though we were "just friends" there had always been a connection between us. We had so much in common and just really liked hanging out with our other friends. As time went by, I realized that I had slowly been feeling more than friends for a while. And so we started dating. Briefly.
Because my ex-boyfriend decided it was too hard out in the dating world. And that it would be easier to get back together. He even told me at one point that he wanted to get back together because it was safer than starting over. Once again, who wants to be told something like that by the person who is supposed to love you. And that is when I began to see that maybe he didn't really love me. Not the way I wanted to be loved.
But fool that I am :) I got back together with him. It was just so confusing at the time. And a few friends encouraged me to "do the right thing" and go back. To be honest, it probably *was* for the best. Because it gave me the time I needed to see that we weren't right together. And that Mike was the one who had my heart.

We went through a lot to be together. We were just friends for several years, and I was dating someone else at the same time. But when that relationship ended after six years, we began to see each other. Briefly. Because when Paul decided he wanted to get back together because he was scared of starting over, I was so confused. And a few well-intentioned friends didn't help matters by saying I should give him another chance. So I did.
But it just didn't feel right in my heart. I was so miserable without you. I missed you so much! You had become not just my friend, but my best friend and I knew I couldn't give you up.
After almost fifteen years of marriage and two beautiful kids, I can honestly say I have never, ever regretted my decision. There are ups and downs to be sure as in any relationship. Like car troubles or extended family drama. Life isn't always easy and it's not supposed to be. 
But I know what life is like without you. I've been there, and it is not a good thing. And I like that we can handle the hard times together. I love that sometimes I can still just look at you and fall in love a little bit over again. And when I look at this photo taken on our "break", I remember how much I wanted to be with you."

To the right of the photo you can see the lyrics to a Jason Mraz song that made me think of those early days in our relationship:
All I really want to do is love you.
A kind much closer than friends use, 
but I still can't say it after all we've been through.

And all I really want from you is to feel me.
As the feeling inside keeps building.
And I will find a way to you if it kills me,
if it kills me.

I really am so glad that I took the chance and didn't play it safe :)

Just two tips I want to share about this layout.
For the numbers in 1995, I used a Colorbox fluid chalk ink pad in Yellow Cadmium to color the foam letter stickers. They were originally white.
And for the canvas resist birds, I used Tattered Angels glimmer glaze in blue and Smooch Spritz in Tea Party to color them.

I will be back on Thursday with a few peeks at my projects for the next issue of Crafting Ireland magazine!

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's Friday!

And today I wanted to share two blogs that are featuring some of my work.
First up is this layout...
up on the Crafting Ireland blog. I also have a very small step by step tutorial on there with it :)
I am so glad I was finally able to create a layout about our Trunk or Treat entry at the kid's school last fall. That was a lot of fun!

I also have a Behind the Scenes post on the Scrapbooking From the Inside Out blog.
I was asked a few questions about one of my recent layouts I created for the design team.
So you can see my layout with some extra close up shots as well.

As for this weekend, it is going to be a busy one here! Car shopping, the pumpkin patch, clothes shopping for the kids picture day at school, a fun benefit dinner at the Circus Flora, the crop and more. Mike and I were both talking last night about how crazy it is going to be. But I am glad we are going to have some fun family time!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


So today is Wednesday. And for me that means two things.
What's on Your Workspace Wednesday and Craft Your Nest day.
I have to say though that Wednesdays have become super busy for me in many areas.
So for now, this is my last *official* Workspace Wednesday.
I love, love WOYWW, but it takes a long time to go through the blogs. And most days, I can only make it to about thirty at the most. Which I am sure is fine, but lately with volunteering at school I just don't have time.

So I am thinking that I don't want to stop completely. But I am not going to link up to Julia's blog for awhile. Instead I am just going to try and pop in to visit a few of my regular WOYWW friends. But you won't see a number by my name. Just me coming to visit you on the occasional Wednesday. I am familiar with so many names on Julia's list now, that I definitely want to keep up with what is going on :)

And now for my workspace...
A little messier than usual. I just finished working on a two page winter layout and this is most of the product that I used. Well except for the blue car. That belongs to the kids, and I am not quite sure when it was put there. I am also noticing an unusually large amount of adhesives laying around as well. But I had fun with the layout. Photos from an ice storm that hit in 2006. It will either be featured in the next issue of Crafting Ireland magazine or on their blog. Not sure which yet, but I will be sure to let you know.

And as for Craft Your Nest blog, I have a post up today here. I am talking a little bit about working with foam alphabet letters. This set actually...
and I have a tiny tutorial on how to change them up just a bit.

That is all for now. And I will try and get by to visit as many blogs as I possibly can today. As always, I will come leave you a comment if you leave one here :) Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Monday!

1) My fourth layout using the October Journey kit at Scrapbooking From the Inside Out.
This is a photo of my mom and I from Easter three years ago. Which showes me that I don't have near enough photos with my mom and I as adults. But this layout also shows how much I really love my mom. And what a journey our relationship has been to get to where we are as now :)
Now I Know why when I was little you sometimes just wanted to sit on the side of the pool and relax on vacations while dad played with us. And why you needed time to yourself and would shoo us outside to play.
Being a mom is not easy. It's not a job you can really take a break from. Ever! Even when I am not with the kids, I think of them a lot.
Now that I am a mom, I feel this tremendous love for Evan and Erin, and as a result I have felt closer to you. Especially in the last few years when I think of how you must have felt when I was Evan and Erin's age.
I see how much Evan and Erin love you and how you love them. You do so much for us without wanting anything in return. It has been quite a journey to get to this point. And there are still times we disagree or even fight. But I hope you know how much I appreciate and love you, Mom.

This layout is also being featured along with layouts by the other design team members and a challenge for a chance to win the current kit on the Creating Keepsakes blog here. Deadline is this Wednesday the 17th.

2. I also have a chance for you to win a little package of alphabet goodies on the Craft Your Nest blog and some links to a few fun, free Halloween printables here. Plus Cheryl has another chance for you to win a prize as well on this post.

3. A few posts ago, I shared a photo of the stacked stone wall my husband had finished as part of our basement remodel. Today I wanted to show you the paint color I finally chose for the wall above the wainscoting.
It is a darker gray than we originally planned on, but it looks sharp down there against the white! Kind of hard to tell in this phone photo, but you get the idea, right? :) Another great idea from Pinterest.

4. And as for the car situation, I think we have narrowed our choices down to the Ford Edge

or the Ford Explorer.

As the driver of a mini van for the past seven years, I am used to having all of that great space. Plus room to drive at least seven people. But if we go with the Edge, we will lose at least two seats. Kind of a bummer. But the Explorer seems too big to me, and uses more gas. So still on the fence there. If anyone drives one of these vehicles, or knows someone who does and has a review, I would be curious to see what you think!

I'll be back on Wednesday for what is probably my last official "What's On Your Workspace Wednesday".

Thursday, October 11, 2012

We Learn Together

When I learned the topic of the Scrapbooking From the Inside Out October kit was Journey, I immediately thought of the experiences my son and I have gone through over the years since he was first diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder at the age of three.
It was a diagnosis that explained a lot to us, and helped me understand why he was having complete meltdowns over bumps in his socks. Or trouble transitioning from warm weather clothing to long sleeves, pants and jackets. Why he sometimes walked on his tiptoes. Or the issues he had with food.
Being a preschool and Kindergarten teacher, I suspected sensory issues but just wasn't sure. And it was a huge relief to know that there was a reason for these behaviors. That I wasn't doing something terribly wrong, although others had tried to make me feel at times as if I *was* a terrible mom.

I remember at one point offering to help my sister-in-law with her new babies (yes, twins) and she told me "how can you help me when you can't even handle what you have?" This was in the early  days of Evan's meltdowns. And I learned a lot about how people judge others without really understanding what is truly going on. Or even trying to. But it gave me the ability to empathize with other parents I saw struggling. I wasn't so quick to judge the parent in the mall who had a screaming child throwing a tantrum. I don't always know what is going on in a particular family or person's life, so there may be circumstances I just can't see.

And I thought of these lyrics from a U2 song:
"It's not a hill, it's a mountain as you start out the climb."
So with those lyrics in mind, I decided to go ahead and share a little bit about the journey Evan and I have taken since his first diagnosis. Because it truly is something we have done together.
journaling written to Evan:
You were first diagnosed with Sensory Issues around the age of three. Around the time these photos were taken. And some days were definitely rougher than others. My heart would break on the days when even something as simple as a seam in your sock, or "fumps" as you called them would cause a meltdown. You simply couldn't handle it. And I couldn't help but think, "what am I doing wrong?" 
But since those days we have come a long way! I have put so much time into reading books and getting you the therapies you needed. And it has made such a huge difference. When the additional diagnosis of ADHD came along a few years later, I was ready to learn.
As the years have passed, we have learned so much together. And you are proof that children are so much more than their "labels". With hard work you are often a straight A student and no longer worried about bumps in your socks. I know the world will not always be "fump" free, but I hope you know that I will be there for you whenever you need me. And I will always be open to learning and growing as well!

And I will be. We are lucky to have great friends and family who have been supportive over the years despite a few who weren't so much. There are always going to be doubters or those who judge, but I have learned that it doesn't matter what they think. What matters is that the children get the love and support they need to be the best they can be! And as parents, we are not alone. There is support no matter what mountain it may feel we are climbing. You just need to look in the right places :)

Hope you have a wonderful day! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Journey of Faith

Well, I was away from the blog a few days longer than expected. The kids and I decided to go out of town this weekend to visit Mike down at his job site. And then Monday was a day of unpacking, doing laundry and just recovering from the weekend :)

But today I want to share another layout I created this month using the Journey kit by Scrapbooking From the Inside Out. I decided to tackle another "serious" topic that has been on my mind the past few years. My religion and my faith. Let's just say there have been times that I hit a few bumps in the road. The deaths of two good friends to cancer was a big loss for so many and a huge blow to me. So I decided to do a page about the path I have been following related to my faith. I have to say it was a little bit of a relief to journal about this.

I used some older photos here from my First Communion day :)  I have to laugh though. The one thing my kids couldn't get over about these photos was the size of my cake for my party that day. It always goes back to cake doesn't it? :)

This layout was also featured in a post on the Creating Keepsakes blog with other design team member layouts. You can see the post here along with the chance to receive the October kit from SFTIO just by leaving a comment there.

I hope you have a great Tuesday and thanks for stopping by today!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WOYWW 174 and Crafting Ireland Issue 13

What's on my workspace right now? Nothing. Just my mat. I missed checking in with you all last week due to a tree falling on my car during a storm. I won't bore everyone with the details since I posted about it last Friday. But if you would like to read about it you can check here.

Anyway, in the midst of all that drama I did manage to finish five design team layouts. And then I did a big clean-up so I am between projects once again. I think I will go back to working on my mother-in-law's Ireland album until the next kit comes.

I do have a project I can show though. The new issue of Crafting Ireland is up and I have some Christmas tags in there.
The rest of the article is on page 29 with a bit of a tutorial. And they also featured my craft room on page 64 this issue :)
You can see the whole magazine here.
Lots of fun projects this time around and most are Halloween related. Like Felicia's very cool Haunted House and Aideen's amazing home made Halloween Daybook.
I think mine is the only Christmas article in there this time around. But next issue will have a lot more :)

Since school has started and I will be volunteering some Wednesdays there, I may only be able to participate in WOYWW every other week. But I don't want to give it up completely because I look forward to chatting with all of you and seeing what you have been up to :)
And for any of my readers who don't know what WOYWW is but would like to find out more, here is the blog where it all begins - Julia's blog.

Hope you have a great week!

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's October...

and time for the reveal of the new kit by Scrapbooking From the Inside Out. This month the theme is Journey and here is the inspiration page where you will find a slide show of the design team layouts, link to a music playlist, the pinterest board and quotes.
This is my first layout for the month I would like to share with you.
At first glance it may look like this layout is about my trip to Ireland. But if you read the journaling it really talks about my struggles with anxiety and the steps I have taken to overcome it. Let's just say it has been quite a journey. Photo taken as we stopped to take in the view while climbing Croagh Patrick. We didn't make it to the top this time, but someday :)
Here is a little bit of a closer peek.
And I added just a touch of Tattered Angels Glimmer Glaze that came with the kit to my "Ireland" Thickers. Just to make that part of my title stand out a bit. I love how absorbent the foam Thickers are.
This was such a wonderful kit for me and was surprised at how many "journeys" I was able to document. One or two were a little therapeutic for me as well :)
Here are a few peeks at the rest of my layouts this month.

We had quite a busy weekend. My husband got a lot done on the basement remodel. I posted this photo from my phone to Facebook tonight
That is the new stacked stone wall he finished today with a little help from his brother who was in town. Directly behind that wall is a desk area for the kids that is actually facing my camera. And then the far wall there has two bookshelves, one with shelves large enough to hold our photo and scrapbook albums plus a giant cork board to display the kids artwork. That is going between the shelves. The future tv will go on the stone wall with a console to hold all of the equipment beneath it. I am really getting excited that he is so close to finishing.
And if you look closely on the left, you can see the wainscoting Mike actually built, put up and painted himself. Although I will say that I did a quite a bit of the sanding and wiping down of that wainscoting between coats. So I am making my little contributions here and there :)

As for car news, we will be definitely needing to buy a new car now. It's amazing how much damage one tree can do! But what is done is done and I am ready to just move on and get to work finding a new vehicle.
Happy Monday!