The Power of Pen to Paper

I am a big believer in greeting cards. The real ones made out of card stock with pretty fonts and colors. The ones that you buy at a store, not via a website to send electronically. Don’t get me wrong, that method works well for a lot of people but for me personally, nothing beats a real, hold it in your hands, greeting card. Some people think that they are a waste of money but personally, I am a big fan. There is something about finding the perfect card for that special someone. Maybe it’s for a birthday, maybe it’s a get well wish for a sick friend, congrats on your wedding or new baby. Sometimes I send cards just to let people know that I love them. Cards come in all kinds of styles. The funny. The sentimental. The short but sweet.

A few of my favorite resources for cards:

funny-card

  • World Market – they have a really nice stationary section. I really like these assorted boxed cards

mixed-cards

  • Marshalls – I find great cards here at a $1.99 price point
  • Home Goods – same as Marshalls, pretty cards at a great price
  • Target – especially great for seasonal and thank you cards. I am especially loving these pretty floral ones.

mum-thank-you

Do you still send cards? Put pen to paper and add a stamp. Just do it, you’ll make someone’s day. I promise.

Ramblings

Turning 40 was kinda big for me. Now I am 42 but seriously – 40 was pivotal. In a weird kinda way. I’ve always joked that if I live till I’m 80 and die in my sleep, then I have lived a good life. BUT then 40 became that 1/2 to 80 mark and it felt like I didn’t have enough time. Silly right? Because there are no guarantees and anything could happen to any of us at anytime and we really don’t get the final say so in when, where and how we leave this world. Still. It kinda felt like this change took over me. All of a sudden, life became more fragile. I have always been a bit of an old soul and felt that I could relate to people of all ages. I had this realization that no matter our age, we are still who we are.

Losing friends around my age to sudden heart attacks and seeing my dad pass away – these things changed me. Losing a parent is a deep, deep loss. All morning I have had a song in my head that my dad loved. It’s kinda strange. I heard it last week on the radio but I woke up with it on repeat in my head. What does that mean? Does it mean anything? I am not a religious girl but I’d like to believe that my dad is somewhere good surrounded by his loved ones. I’d like to think that he shows up in my life in silly ways such as music or the random squirrel appearances {my dad had a thing about feeding squirrels so now when I see them, I think of him}.

Sometimes life just feels heavy. The world feels heavy. Human kindness is sometimes lacking. But sometimes, it’s beautiful. Sometimes the news shares stories that literally crush me. Awful, violent stories of people hurting people. The stories of children being harmed completely crush my soul. Some of these things are just beyond comprehension. Why? How can people be so hateful and mean? It’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s so easy to feel consumed by these stories and find fear in them happening to those you love the most. Having conversations with my kids about kidnappers and what to do should someone ever try and grab them. These are the conversations that break my heart. But it’s a part of our big scary world.

And the hate – don’t even get me started on that one. We are in an election year and boy are the haters out there. I have a rule, I don’t talk politics or religion with people Those conversations often get heated and ugly. I am not gonna change your mind and you aren’t gonna change mine. It’s a scary time though. I do feel that we need someone with kindness and compassion to rule this country – and maybe some humor. I think I’ll vote for Jimmy Fallon. Isn’t that an option? 😉 Kidding {sorta}.

As my grandpa would say, “Always keep your guard up”. He always said it as he waved both his arms in the air, I can still visualize it. I miss that man. See? Loss. It’s a tough one. Here come those tears that show up almost daily. The “I miss you” tears. They come and go at the most random times. They might show up for a second when I hear a certain song and then they are gone. I have pretty much resigned myself to wearing waterproof mascara. I have always been a crier. I wear my emotions – good, bad and ugly. So with that being said, I am not an Eeyore. I laugh. A lot. Life is full of good. It really is. I just feel every.single.emotion very deeply. If you know me then you are very aware of this. I cry, I laugh, I use sarcasm and cuss words to express myself. Sometimes I just have to have an emotional outburst {not in public – usually on the phone with a friend – thank you Stacie and Lisa}, to clear my mental space of whatever is consuming it. It’s like an emotional purge.

So my brain is often on emotional overload and I am always talking myself off the ledge. What I mean by this is that I am always trying to push away the worrying of the ‘what if’s’ in life. I am really an optimistic, glass half full kind of girl but people – there are clowns terrorizing our world! They are threatening schools and making children afraid. These are the issues that we could use a lot less of. Seriously, clowns. This has been a big topic with schools even sending home emails to parents about it. Sigh. Can’t we all just be nice and get along and not scare the crap out of people? I guess diversity is what makes the world go round but at this moment, I am burned out on the negative diversity. How about you?

I know that I haven’t been here in awhile and I always vow to write more. This post is obviously a bit raw and real but I just kinda needed to put it out there. Don’t worry, I will be back to decor and recipes soon enough! Thanks for listening.

Life

Hi friends,

There have been so many nights that I have laid in bed and drafted blog posts in my head. Then daylight comes and another day slips away without so much as a note from me. I won’t bore you with excuses about how busy I am because we are all busy. I will say that I pay annually to maintain this blog because I truly enjoy writing, so why don’t I just write already? I think I need to start sharing my real life instead of always spending hours constructing the perfect post. Don’t worry, I will still share fun decorating ideas and recipes as those things are so much a part of who I am and what I love BUT I will also share some of my day to day musings and life happenings. I also plan to incorporate more organizing ideas and inspiration into my posts. My brother tells me that I have a knack for this organizing thing and that should share my talents. Highest compliment ever 🙂

I am a bit of a sharer. A talker. A listener. I know not everyone in my circle is as expressive as me and I am always treading the line of being careful of not sharing my business at the consideration of others but sometimes I feel like that means that I am holding back on sharing me. Each of our stories and opinions are as individual as we are.

This particular post is about as personal as I can get. On June 3rd, my dad passed away. There is a whole book that can be written on the history with my dad. There were some rough years but the before and after those years are forever engrained in my head and heart. I remember a man that would do my hair and make me oatmeal before school. I remember a man who fought super hard for custody of his 4 children. He fought against my mother who suffers from mental illness and a very messed up system. He fought for us and lost when he was the obvious safe parent. I didn’t realize until going through his personal belongings that he fought even after we were all grown. That divorce followed him for twenty years. My mom caused a lot of stress in his life but he didn’t hold it against her. He pitched in money to send her Christmas presents. She never knew. As a mom and a wife, I have a very different perspective and appreciation for him. How he fought for us. He was ornery but loving. He was sarcastic and witty. He was extremely generous. He was Grandpa to my boys and my nephews. We lived close to him so he had been a constant in my boys lives. He taught my oldest how to fish. He taught us all the love of food {although my butt and thighs say I could love food a little less. Ha ha}. Every occasion involved eating. Dad loved to treat us to meals out. He always wanted to give me money for holiday meal shopping. He brought way too many pies to Thanksgiving. He always had cash in his wallet to give to his grandsons, sometimes it was a dollar, sometimes it was $20. He called to check in often. He was the one I looked forward to telling about our adventures. He was my oldest son’s ‘person’. The one he felt the most comfortable being his true self with. He was my husband’s friend. He was my dad. He had cancer.

My dad had cancer. Fuck cancer. I don’t have enough explicates to express my anger towards this heinous disease that steals the lives of so many. He turned 67 the week before he died. He spent his last birthday in the hospital hopped up on pain meds. He spent his past few months as someone who he was not. He had prostate cancer several years ago followed by surgery to remove his prostate. Then he has a small stroke. Then he has a quadruple bypass. Then he has a foot infection cause by diabetes that left him less mobile then he would have liked for the last two years. Two years ago we found out through elevated PSA levels that the prostate cancer had gone to his bones. He tried every medication to no avail. Each one started to work and his numbers went down and then they would start to climb again. His foot would begin to heal and then it would become infected again. He was limited in what he could do. It was a vicious cycle. He was in the hospital for various infections a lot. His eating habits were bad which in turn caused him to gain weight. At Christmas the signs that things were changing had begun but they became even more apparent earlier this year. He stopped driving. My dad was the guy that would jump in the car and just take off. Each of his kids has a little of that in them. We are explorers. He stopped leaving the house for things other then doctors appointments. We couldn’t even get him to come to dinner at our house and we live 4 miles away. He would’t even let us drive him here and then back home. He started to need more assistance. On Easter, he cut his ankle. I spent a few hours in the ER with him. He had lost weight. I knew this wasn’t good and I tried to just be strong and supportive. My dad didn’t do well with emotions and I am incredibly emotional. I cry at everything. It’s pretty much a running joke at my house. “Is mom crying yet?” Happy, sad, mad – I cry.

On May 4th I went to an oncology appointment with him. My aunt, our family friend and his nurse, and I were there. The oncologist explained that we had exhausted all options. We were looking at 6 months. I sat in the corner, unable to look at my dad and just cried. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I had to let my siblings know how the appointment went. We are big on sending each other group texts to keep each other in the know. I didnt know how to send that text. He had just come out of a week long hospital stay for elevated potassium levels. The week of his birthday he went in for a bladder infection. It turned into a lot more. He came home that Sunday, May 31st. He was done fighting. He told us it was over. He knew he wasn’t going to get better and as his best friend said, “If he didn’t have bad luck, he didn’t have any luck at all.” Sadly that was true. he was tired of fighting. I can’t say that I blamed him. He spent a couple of days at home surrounded by his loved ones. By Wednesday, we were all at his bedside. All four of his kids, our significant others, a couple of his grandsons and his sister. We talked to him. We made bad jokes {because dad taught us sarcasm and bad jokes}. We held his hands. We told him we loved him. We told him that it was OK to go. Our last words with him were that morning and then he didn’t talk again. He went peacefully surrounded by those that he loved. Being there in the moment that someone leaves the world is an incredible honor. It was also incredibly hard. When babies enter the world, you are eagerly awaiting their first cry. That signifies that they took their first breath. We cheer when this happens.  It means that they are alive! When someone is dying, we wait for them to take their last breath.  It’s crazy how our arrival and departure into this world are so completely emotional in very different ways.

The last few months were stressful. It was full of what ifs and tears. I didn’t know how to care for my dad and my own family and myself. I felt stressed about what I should and shouldn’t do. What I could and couldn’t do. Thankfully we had an angel of a caregiver step in and take the reigns. This helped us just be able to visit him. I started grieving the moment I heard the 6 month diagnosis. I didn’t know how to be normal. I cried every time I was with my dad. So I avoided any real conversations with him. When he started to talk about giving away his belongings, I had to step away with a giant lump in my throat. I didn’t want every conversation to be emotional. I cried. A lot. I cried at the grocery store when I bumped into a friend. I cried in my car. I cried in bed. I cried. A lot. I didn’t want to be sad. I wanted to enjoy the time with him. The Monday before he passed, I quickly rattled off why I was so grateful for him and how much I loved him. I was glad to have that moment even though it will never be enough. I was trying to say what I had to say in that moment because I knew I probably wouldn’t have another chance. I was right.

I am grateful that he didn’t suffer anymore then he already had.  I am also incredibly sad that I didn’t have more time with him. I am sad that I can’t call him and tell him about our trips this summer. That my boys can’t tell him how they both caught fish. I am sad that my boys feel his absence. I am sad that my boys can’t have sleepovers at Grandpa’s.  I am sad that he won’t be here as I navigate the teen years with my boys. I know I could have used his guidance. I am sad that his diabetes essentially went away and his foot healed when he lost weight from cancer. I am sad that it was too late. I am sad that he didn’t get to take my son on one final fishing trip. I am sad that he won’t see my little sister get married in November. I am sad that his future grandchildren won’t get to meet him. I am grateful that he knows that his kids are in relationships with good people. People who loved him like a dad. I am grateful for the time that we did have with him.

I recently posted a quote about grief on Instagram. Instagram is often my outlet for expressing how I am feeling. A stranger commented that she had lost her dad and that she felt like she had multiple personalities as she was grieving. I totally get that. I am happy and fine one minute and the next, I am crying and sitting in a puddle of grief. Grief is a hard thing. It brings you to a low place.  Then you rebound and are living life and feeling happy. I know grief changes shapes. I know I will be OK. I know my family will be OK but we are in all feeling and dealing in our own way. I have had two friends lose their lives in the last 4 months. Heart attacks at the age of 51 and 43. Heart attacks that left widows and young children fatherless. 2015 has been rough on my own heart. It’s also made me wildy aware of how precious life is. How we need to take care of ourselves. How we need to love hard. How we need to take deep breaths and let go of the petty things. How we need to take care of our own physical and emotional well being. I am a work in progress but I am highly aware of how lucky I am. I am grateful every.single.day. Grateful for the people who fill my life. At almost 41, I am not old. I am also not young. I am in the middle. I see how quickly life passes us by. Grab every moment. Savor every memory.  I will ride this wave of emotions for a long time. Many of us have already felt this loss. Losing a parent is a really weird thing. It’s like losing a part of yourself.

This year, I will serve too many pies at Thanksgiving, it’s what dad would have done. I will love hard. I will allow my dad’s memory to be a constant in our family. I will honor all conversations and stories that can be shared about his life and who he was. I will wipe the tears and embrace the emotions.

To my friends who see my ramblings on social media, I am OK. I like to share my feelings because it is who I am. Sharing makes me feel a little lighter, even if the content is sometimes heavy. I have sad moments but I am allowing myself to feel them. I am also living my life and feeling lots of happy moments and creating happy memories as well. I am incredibly grateful for the people that lift me up and support me. I feel loved beyond words.

In my opinion, the best way to support someone who is grieving is by just being there. Let them express how they are feeling. Give a hug or a listening ear. Nothing that you can say will change how they grieve. We grieve because we love. It’s a process. There isn’s a solution.

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Big hugs to all of you. Make a happy memory today and be grateful.

Thanksgiving 2013 Menu

Thanksgiving-Autumn-Leaves

Happy Fall Y’all! A fellow blogger and friend of mine shared her Thanksgiving menu and I thought, “what a great idea”. So I am being a bit of a copy cat. Hopefully flattery will get me everywhere 😉 Charene’s blog is Copper Lantern Cooking. I actually found her a few years back when she had a local cupcake business and was generous enough to donate to a fundraiser at my kids school. We have since become Facebook friends and recipe sharers. I love social media for just these type of friendships. I get to meet people that I otherwise would not and share fun things like well, food!

So let me preface by saying that I have a pretty straight forward, stick to the classics type of family. However, I like to mix it up so I’ve added a few things with flair.

Appetizers

  • Salami, cheese and crackers – we grew up with this on hand at every family function. My dad is adding deer salami which I do not like so I asked for regular ol’ salami for me.
  • Black olives – you know, for wearing on your fingers.
  • Deviled eggs — another dad specialty

Main Course

Desert

My dad is in charge of deserts. I am the queen of baking in my house but for Thanksgiving, I appreciate the pies that show up in my kitchen. We get various versions of apple pie from Apple Hill, a banana cream pie from Buttercream Bakery and the pumpkin pies are from Costco. Trust me, I make it up with the loads of cookies that I crank out throughout the rest of the holiday season. Oh, I’ll take a little credit cause I do make homemade whipped cream for the pies. Homemade. No canned or Cool Whip {yes, I know some people love it but I have to make the real stuff, I’ve even added a little bourbon for a kick.}

Do you host or travel for Thanksgiving? Do you have a standard menu or do you serve things unique? I’d love to hear about your families favorite recipes.

However you spend Thanksgiving, I wish you a happy one. Count your blessings everyday.

Fall Entertaining

Sometimes I just want to jump into a magazine that features the perfect tablescape. Tonight I was inspired by this amazing photo on Joss & Main.

The+Fall+Harvest

I love this table over at Bird’s Party. The sprinkles of gold confetti are a fun addition to an already whimsical table.

thanksgiving-fall-tablescape-ideasClassy in the City shared this simple yet inviting table for 4.

Fall2 I love this photo on LampsPlus page. I think the whole property just works for that rustic feel that I adore.

Fall3I love how Sew Fine a Seam incorporated some blue into her table. I love adding blue into my holiday color scheme. Light blue, robins egg blue, soft aqua. It’s a soothing color and adds a fun pop to any decor.

fall-tablescape-3-620x1014The Happier Homemaker kept it simple with whites and a burst of green. I love the addition of the initial as a table marker {I have a slight obsession with initials}.

autumn-tablescapeSo there you have it, a few of my favorite fall tablescapes although I have a confession, I grew up spending holidays with my dad, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. so we all ended up eating wherever we found a seat and this involved paper plates and plastic utensils but guess what? It was the best and even though we didn’t have fancy place settings, there wasn’t a lack of blessings and things to be thankful for. Still, I do love pretty table.

 

Little Pieces of July

Something funny about me? I was born in July. However, I do not love summer. I love Fall. So why was I born in the summer? Why did I get married in the summer? Interesting uh? Well I can tell you this, since becoming a mama — I enjoy summer more. I feel like I am transported back to being a kid and feeling the freedoms of summer. When I was a kid, I was a lot more heat tolerant. Now a perfect summer day for me is 85 degrees. Yeah, that hot spell we had over the 4th of July? I was pretty much in a permanent bad mood all week. I tried to fake happy but I was melting on the inside and out. Yearning for a breeze, some fresh air that wasn’t coming out of an air conditioning vent and barely keeping the house tolerable. I won’t go on and on about how Fall is my favorite season. You can read all about that here and here. Before I get all lost in a season that hasn’t even arrived yet, let’s visit July. July was full of fun for our family. Day trips, birthdays, ice cream, July 4th, visits with family — it was an action packed month full of fun memories.

July 1 Collage

 

Some of my favorite parts of July 2013: Day trip to Silver Lake, Planning July 4th with my dear friend Stacie, celebrating my friend Kelly’s birthday {FYI: when the band doesn’t show, use a juke box to have a dance party and singalong}, kayaking with my family, Boeger Winery Sunset Sipping {Hangtown Cooler please!}, doing a little bedroom makeover for my littlest}, kids being creative with Legos, a day trip with my boys which included a hike, some lake time{and crawdad catching} and ice cream at Camp Richardson, back to school shopping, birthday creating and last but not least, celebrating Mason’s birthday on July 26th and wrapping the month up with my birthday which entailed a day trip to Sand Harbor.

I’d say by the looks of things, July was pretty awesome for us! Hope ya’all are enjoying the dog days of summer.

2012 Ramblings and New Year Wishes

I have not been blogging as much. I started a new job back in mid November and it’s also been the holiday season so double whammy. The job came at a perfect time. I had been looking but not really getting any replies to resumes, etc. It’s a tough market and I just had a feeling that something would come via networking. And it did. A friend referred me to another mutual friend who needed a part time admin. {Perfect!} That is what I was looking for. It is a good fit for my family and helps with our monthly budget a bit. I realized how much less stressed I felt when I got my first ‘real’ paycheck. So this mama is acclimating to working out of the home after being an at home mama for 10 years. It’s good though. I feel pretty lucky to have landed this job. My boss and coworkers are all so nice. You can’t beat that. Oh, did I mention it’s an accounting office? Ask me how I feel again after tax season. Ha ha!! Just kidding 😉

December has been full of sadness for so many. It’s really been heavy on my mind as of late. Obviously the tragedy in Connecticut hit close to home for so many. It left lots of questions on how we can make this world safer for our children. It made us question gun control {OK, I have questioned this a lot. I know my views and opinions don’t align with many so don’t yell out me if you disagree!}. It made us question mental illness and how we can better cope with people who suffer from mental illness. I think mostly it just made us feel helpless. It also made us enjoy our own babies more this holiday season.

Another story I have been following in our little community is the one called, Shane’s Village. It’s about a local 8 year old boy battling Leukemia. The updates both make me want to cheer him on and cry for him. Mostly I’d love to give him a big giant hug. And his mama, I want to hug her too. My heart hurts for him and his family as they battle this disease. He’s this amazing little soul who continues to smile through the ‘yuck’ of a serious disease. What an inspiration.

There have also been several deaths from cancer and other serious illnesses this past month. Several people I know have felt loss first hand and they are trudging through the holiday season with a heavy heart. My heart hurts for their losses.

Last night I found out that one of my dearest friend’s has a sick little girl. She is in the PICU with fluid around her heart. They are not sure what has caused this. Medicine has not alleviated the problem so they are exploring other options. My girlfriend has also suffered from various autoimmune issues for years so the stress this puts on her is also not good. I’m sending many get well wishes their way tonight!! Maybe you can join me in doing so?

Then today came along — I was cruising along, running some errands alone as my sister took the boys to spend their Christmas money {awesome Auntie!}. Anyway, my phone rings and it’s her. She says in a tearful voice, “Don’t panic, everyone is OK”. Yikes. Not a call I wanted to get. They had been in a minor car accident. Everyone was OK but shaken up. Of course the 20 minute drive from Folsom to Roseville felt like a million miles. My babies are OK. My sister is OK. It was scary but could have been so much worse. So I am feeling extremely blessed to have healthy and safe kids but I am also hyper aware of how quickly that can change.

So going into 2013 can I ask for world peace and healthy children? Seems like a an easy enough task? Sigh. If only.

With that I am leaving you with a few of my favorite quotes – may you apply them in life. Along the way. When needed.

be kindsource

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let goSource

great thingsSource

live every day

 

Source

 

let goSource

small thingsSource

trySource

And last but certainly not least, I leave you with this:

just loveSource

I am so thankful for all of you that read my little blog. It makes my heart smile to see the comments and the shares. I love when you tell me that you tried and loved a recipe that I shared on my blog. Those of you who know me and read my posts know that I feel things whole heartedly and with this comes my emotions. The good, bad and ugly but no matter what my mood, I am always so thankful for all of the little things that really are the BIG things in life 🙂 I wear my heart on my sleeve and I may go from laughing to crying in a split second. I feel deeply. Then I share with all of you. Thank you for being there for my life!

What are your intentions for the new year? Whatever you do — do it with kindness and love. I wish you a new year with a happy heart and great blessings and love.

 

26 Random Acts of Kindness

Last Friday was a horrific day for a small little town called Newtown, Connecticut. It shook all of us. I still can not even fathom the grief these parents are feeling. Their children and family members killed in a senseless violent crime. I think all of us are just not able to wrap our heads around any of it. I don’t want to get on a soap box about mental illness, stricter gun laws and how much the media focuses on the killer. All of that has been swimming around in my head and I wish there was a solution to stop this kind of hurt from ever happening to another person EVER AGAIN. But, because we can only go forward  – I wanted to share this with all of you and see if you can spread some kindness? I saw a quote the other day while driving on the freeway, it said, “Kindness is contagious, catch it”.  It’s been on repeat in my head. If we could all practice kindness perhaps the world will breathe a little easier.

I know that as a parent I am constantly battling my kids. It’s things like them constantly wanting material things or fighting as siblings do. I am always trying to remind them to be kind and that they are so fortunate to have so many basics that others are lacking. I don’t feel that I spoil my children but a sense of entitlement comes from somewhere. I want to change that. I think this 26 Acts of Kindness will help plant some seeds of kindness. One of my oldest and dearest friends shared this idea with me and now I am passing it along to all of you {thanks Jenn — love you!!}

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Can you do 26 Random Acts of Kindness in memory of the 26 lives lost? Go here or here for some ideas. I’ve also read quite a few different opinions that there are only 26 acts and not 28. I feel that it is a personal and individual choice as to whether you honor the shooter and his mom, who are also both dead. A few people had suggested donating towards mental health services. Again, how you decide to proceed is a very personal choice.

As quickly as this can become a political & religious discussion, lets step away from that and do what we can to honor the sweet souls lost that day. Many of whom were the same age as my baby. Earlier this week I was able to be in the classroom helping to run his Christmas Party. Never have I felt so blessed to be in that classroom surrounded by sweet, smiling faces, an amazing teacher and adoring parents. What a gift.

Can you practice 26 Random Acts of Kindness? I bet you can 🙂 I know we will be starting tomorrow.

Gratitude

Hi friends! I have been in a completely non blogging mode as of late. Not without good reason though! Last year I hosted a Holiday Open House with myself and 3 other fabulous Etsy vendors. I was unsure if I would do it again this year but people kept asking so I decided to go for it. Note to self: Plan ahead. Although it’s tomorrow and I am sure it will be fabulous, I am EXHAUSTED! I have done nothing but craft for the past three weeks. I have glitter and burlap all over my house. Then there are the felt scraps. The awful hot glue burn {yes, I do plan to get a low heat one based on some smart recommendations!}. If someone could have video’d me when the burn occurred it would have been a sight. I was literally jumping up and down waiting for it to cool enough to get it off. When that happened it took a good layer of skin off of my finger. Ouch. I’m almost healed but seriously, glue gun burns HURT!  Aside from that there is the twigs that have fallen from the grapevine wreaths which I love but they also creep me out. Those things grab on to things. Like each other. It’s kinda weird. Aren’t they supposed to be ‘dead’ branches? They seem alive to me! Oh, Mod Podge? It’s fabulous but leaves some messy residue so I just finished using a razor blade to get the gunk off of my counters. Then there was paint. Chalkboard, spray and just regular old white paint. I have been a busy girl and I hope I don’t crash come Tuesday cause that is when I start my new job. Yep, I will be a part time out of the home working girl {cause I am a full time at home working girl already}. Anyway, I am excited and nervous just for the adjustment. I think it’s gonna be a great fit for the fam and me which is the most important thing.

That is what brings me to this post. I am tired and I have been working my butt off. My motive for this event is to make some money for Christmas. Why not? I know I make stuff that sells and it’s the perfect time of year to mingle and sell. But I had this thought tonight. In my self consumption with ‘crafting’ even though it is really not for selfish motives, I have been crabby with the peeps in my house. Tonight after I got the kids to bed I started feeling guilty cause I was rushing them to get to bed. Why? For myself. Because I am trying to take every moment to prepare for 3 hours tomorrow night. I’ve got this. I am ready to go aside from house cleaning and set up but that part isn’t the all consuming part. So basically I had a little talk with myself tonight and it went something like this, “Self, you need to slow down and smell the roses. Rushing won’t get you anywhere any faster. Your kids are growing up super fast and these 5 minutes here and there with them are so small in the scheme of life but they are huge to them and then ultimately they are huge to you. Be nice. It’s not all about you.” Yes, I really did have this conversation with myself. Then I hopped on Facebook for a minute and saw this fabulous quote. It fit my feelings perfectly.

It is now midnight which seems to be my new bedtime as of late. I am tired. What I really want to do is crawl into bed and snuggle with my boys. I won’t wake them but I will be giving them extra big hugs in the morning with a little extra words of love. The hubby? Yep – he has felt my frantic and stressed behavior as well but thankfully for him, he gets to head to work for two days at a time so he kinda misses it 😉 I have to say I am glad he can escape me and my crazy for a few days!! So I dedicate this post to my boys {the littles and the big}. I love them deeply and wholeheartedly. I just have to remember to show them that everyday.

So tomorrow I will start my day off with a Venti iced coffee, a smile and  a grateful heart. Enjoy your week friends. I will be back soon with some of the fun creations that I have been working on.

Feeling Blessed

As I sit here tonight I feel completely overwhelmed. There are so many emotions flooding through me right now. I am just feeling extremely blessed. Aside from the fact that I got a job that I think will be a fabulous fit for the family/life balance today {woot woot}, I also felt an  over whelming amount of support from my girlfriends and family who are my constant cheerleaders. Of course the lead up to just why I feel so lucky to have the friends I have is a whole other long story but lets just say it’s been a journey of love and loss but I found my way to my sister friends. The ones who know me and love me and support me. Sorry, huge run on sentence but I can not explain in words how happy my heart is for the love I feel from my girls!

Now onto another reason I’m a bit emotional tonight. A few weeks ago I received an email from a friend. There were three of us on the strand. Two of whom have never met but I was the common bond. You see, several years ago my friend, Jodi had breast cancer. She started a journal called The Boob Scoop. I sent it to several of my close girlfriends because I was so inspired by her attitude to kick cancers ass. This caused this instant bond between many. I have to say that my friend Kim is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. She is always looking out for others. She is warm and fuzzy and kind. Her and Jodi struck up a friendship over Facebook {which I have to say is one reason I really love Facebook – I have met some very inspiring people there}. Jodi, Kim and I often seem to be on the same page as far as looking our for others and if nothing else, sending love and prayers when needed.

Back to the email. When Jodi first emailed Kim and I, she was telling us her situation and working through the scenarios in her head. Jodi is cancer free but she recently got tested for the genes that causes a greater re-occurrence of not only breast cancer but also ovarian cancer. As a matter of fact her chances for reoccurring are 95%. Wow. What a staggering statistic. This being said, she knew she had some choices to make. She is a mom of two children so I think that in itself makes this a no brainer {although still a big pill to swallow}. She opted for a double mastectomy and a complete hysterectomy. Plus reconstructive surgery. Holy crap. Doesn’t that seem like a lot? Well it is but there is more. Because she recently went through a divorce, she only has medical insurance through the end of the year. She is working hard at a sales job but as of now, the insurance of her ex husband is what covers her medical bills. Here we are on November 5th and she had the first surgery today.

I don’t see Jodi often. However the bond we have on Facebook and all of inspiring notes that go back and forth have her heavy on my mind and in my heart. As a woman, I can only imagine losing parts of yourself that make you a woman {in a physical sense}. They are just parts though. If they are not healthy and could affect your over all well being then is worth keeping them? I wouldn’t.

As the day passed and the clock ticked I did not see any updates so I started to worry. I mean this was a very routine surgery but still. I posted on her wall awhile ago that I was waiting for the thumbs up and shortly after it came. From her. I can not tell you the flood of relief that just washed over me. It took me a bit by surprise.  First it was in the form of ‘liking’ my comment and then the photo of her smiling with a real thumbs up came. Tears.

I know she has a long road of recovery ahead of her. She is strong. She has a support system. She has the love of her beautiful children. She is already a surviver.

So as I trek along in life I realize how easy it is to not remember how lucky we are. We all get caught up on ‘stuff’ but although it is only human of us to melt down over the small things we often forget that sometimes the most basic things like boobs and a uterus are things we take for granted. If yours are healthy and not putting you at a high risk of of being sick then that makes you pretty lucky, right?

So I guess what I am saying is this: parts are just parts and if not having them helps you be healthy then so be it. Good riddance, good bye, adios! But if you are lucky enough to have healthy parts then be thankful for that as well. Be thankful that you don’t have to make big choices like this.

Oh, something else totally crazy about this whole story? I have another friend that went through a double mastectomy a couple of years ago and she recently tested positive for the gene and had a complete hystarectomy as well. Wow. Two friends in a matter of weeks. This yuckiness is way too common.

So that being said, if you are in my circle — I’m gonna cry for you and cheer you on throughout the good, bad and ugly. Jodi — I dedicate this post to you. You ARE a surviver and an inspiration my friend!!