Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Reflecting on gratitude & a blog hop

What a wild ride the past few weeks have been... If you're here for the Counterfeit Kit blog hop, keep reading...

My son Ryan had a bad concussion after colliding with a buddy in gym class. He became very confused and crazy about an hour after returning to class. He didn't recognize me or his brother. He had to be taken via ambulance with lights flashing and sirens screaming. All the while, I tried to comfort him and keep my mind from thinking about how bad it could be. I truly feared some terrible scenarios of brain surgery or worse. Afer cat scans and hospital transfers, it was determined he would be fine. There was no fracture, or bleeding or even swelling. Being told he was going to be fine let me relax. When you're a nurse, it isn't always good, because you know too much. I am so grateful to God that he let my boy be fine. That I have the opportunity to make sure he knows every day how much I love him.

One of my team mates at Coordinates Collections was not that lucky this past week. Her seven year old son, also named Ryan, lost his battle to leukemia. I am so devastated for her and her family. And I am reminded how close I felt to being in the position of losing a child. It's a parent's worst nightmare.

Ryan's favorite color was red, so we at Coordinates Collections wore red on Friday in a show of support as he was laid to rest. I was scrapping with papers from my counterfeit kit - which has a lot of red. I found myself thinking of him as I shuffled papers and looked at the sketch. This is what came together very quickly when I gave into my thoughts, and I will be mailing it to Kim to keep:

At first I thought maybe this wouldn't be a good layout to post for the blog hop, but changed my mind. Why? To remind people to stop today and give an extra hug or smile to their family and friends. To stop sweating the small stuff and just BE, and enjoy sweet moments.

By the way, this is the sketch I was inspired by:

So now go hop to Crystal's blog and be inspired. Hope you have a good week.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Love & stuff

I had a nice Valentine's day here with my family.

My mother-in-law sent us a box filled with the most amazing brownies, blondies and Snickerdoodle bars. I've asked for the recipes, and I'll share them when I get them.

Mike surprised me with flowers, chocolate, and cooked a lovely dinner for us. All of which he did after working all day, going to C's basketball game, and running errands for me on the way home. I'm the luckiest girl. Ever.

Of all the kids, Tommy was the most excited to give and receive Valentine's this year. I wish I could say that he passed out homemade cards, but he went with Toy Story 3 valentines that came in a little mailbox box. He made this for me at school. So cute.

It's my turn this week to post a challenge at How Much Is Too Much? In honor of Valentine's Day, we challenge you to create a page with mainly brown and red, flowers, an arrow, 2 photos and 14 hearts. Hope you'll play along and link up your project!

Here's mine:

The thing that's really cool about this layout - I made it with a "kit" I put together for myself, shopping from my stash. I was really inspired by this new challenge blog, called Counterfeit Kit Challenge. This is what the site is about:"

If you have ever browsed through those great monthly scrapbook kit clubs and admired their beautiful kits...but knew you needed more supplies, like a "hole in the head" know who you are (you're the one with TONS of supplies and
embellishments in your ever growing scrapbook stash)...this challenge is for you!

On the 5th of every month here at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog, we
will choose a kit from a popular kit club (for inspiration) and challenge
you to create a "counterfeit kit", using just the supplies you already own.
And to be fair, just in case you need the "inspiration" kit, we will only
feature current club kits, because we're nice like that! "

The inspiration kit and add ons were these, from Scraps of Darkness:

So here's what I put together:

Some closeups:

You would not believe how much fun I had planning this kit... I set out with the brown red color scheme in mind, and went from there. I got a real homespun vibe from the Jenni Bowlin papers, so I went with that. I rummaged through new stuff and old, and put together a mix of Kraft, red and brown. My embellishments were chosen for texture and theme - home, family, love. The canvas tags are around 7 years old! The colorwash has been in my stash at least five, and had only been used once. The Maya Road doilies are recent, as are the Making Memories Reverie & Hambly papers. Everything else is pretty much in between. How do you think I did?
I'm looking forward to playing along with the mini challenges there, and making a bunch more projects with my counterfeit kit. There's a DT Call going on there too. I'm thinking about going for it, since it would be an amazing way to get some of my big stash used up. Hmm.
Well, it's late here, so I'm off to snooze.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Another couple of busy days have flown by.

Jimmy made his first reconciliation. He chose to go face to face with Father Dennis, who is very kind and patient.

My dad is gearing up for the next step in his treatments. There's been a lot of discussion as to how things will proceed. As it stands now, he will be having a liver resection at Mt. Sinai in NYC. Dad really likes and trusts the surgeon there. However, if he is to change over to a special type of chemo that goes directly into the liver, he will have to go to Sloan Kettering. We've spent a lot of time on the phone, calling around to different places to see if anyone more local could help him, but with no luck.

I have been scrapping more since I've been home. One of my favorite manufacturers these days is Echo Park. I love the playful colors, fonts and patterns in every collection. The Little Boy collection is part of one of this month's kits at Coordinates Collections, along with some American Crafts and Maya Road. This line was made for me. There is not a picture that wouldn't work with this color palette.

Here are my February projects with the Blue Skies kit and add ons:

We're still buried up to our eyeballs in snow. Here are a few pictures of what it looks like at our house:

This is the pile of snow blocking my front steps. Much of this is snow that Mike had to shovel off the roof. See how tall it is? Tommy can almost touch the roof:

The snow is almost up to Mike's waist in the backyard:

Crazy, isn't it? I wonder when it will all thaw...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up & Some new pages

The past few days have been a blur.
Here's some of the highlights...

Friday 2/4/11 On the Road
After dropping the kids off to school, I drove to the Stamford train station, planning to catch either the 10:14 or 10:17 into NYC. I knew I was cutting it close, due to a disabled vehicle just south of Waterbury. The train chugged away as I ran to the platform. Crap. I was going to miss meeting up with my parents at Grand Central.

The next train left 15 minutes later, and I was back on track. I needed a few minutes to get my bearings when I exited the station, so I walked for a few blocks then hopped into a cab to Mt Sinai.

The reason we were there - to meet with a liver surgeon for my dad.

After meeting with him, he sent Dad for a CT scan and labwork. It was amazing to be able to do all the things in one building, all in the same day. So unlike the way my father's care has been managed in Poughkeepsie. More than five hours later, we left with a date for surgery.

A liver resection on March 8th, which is Mike's birthday.

We stumbled out of the building exhausted, but upbeat. It took a while to flag a cab, since it was a Friday evening.
I got home after 10pm.
Looonnnnngggggggg Day.

Saturday 2/5/11
Brenna is better after her stomach virus, and anxious to play at her JV Basketball Tournament.
The whole family goes, to cheer her on to victory.
She was intense, and focused on playing hard.
Here she is strategizing with some teammates:

and going for a free throw:

After, I spend the rest of the day scrapping, while hanging out with the kids.
It's my parents 46th wedding anniversary.
Fun Day

Sunday 2/6/11 Superbowl Sunday:
Scout Sunday. Father talks about role of family in society, in the church, and questions why some view big families as a problem to be avoided. I am captivated and uplifted.
We head home and fold 4 loads of laundry together. Many hands make light work after all...
A menu of nachos, taquitos, chicken wings and hot oven grinders for our little party at home. The kids are excited.

Did you spot Mike, rocking his new goatee? It was so fun to watch the game and halftime show on our new TV. :0)

I promised some new pages, and here they are...

I created these during the crop at Coordinates Collections last weekend...

Some details...

And this old photo of Colin & Bren - were they really this little once?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 31, 2011


Well, another year is underway. Each night, I've thought about my neglected blog and wondered what profound thing I should say for my first post of the year. I know many scrappers have chosen their OLW for the year. I stewed on the idea for a while, and nothing surfaced in my brain.
Until the other day.

While surfing around the web, I came across an amazing website - the Brave Girls Club website. The message and the images really got me thinking. The colors were cheerful and bright, with inspiring stories and creative ingenuity.

That's when it occured to me...
My one little word should be:


and so there it is!(Said with a little bit of a flourish, LOL).

I want to restore...

*my health
*my sense of hope & aspirations
*financial security
*organization at home
*my physical appearance
*my creative freedom

Now this is a tall order, but I've already begun working on all of these items behind the scenes.
My birthday is in December, close to New Year's and a time that I always begin reflecting on my progress in this world.

So I began to think about what needed attention in my life.

I know it will be an ongoing process, but that's what the word means to me. It takes time to restore things to their original conditions. To sand out the rough spots. To bang out the dents. To refresh and revitalize.

I want to surround myself in happy, and to not be such a worrier.

I scrapped a layout that I think reflected my outlook for 2011:

About this layout...

First, this is a rare picture of me. I always make excuses to not be in pictures, like I'm too fat, or
I have no makeup on. Yadda yadda. But I didn't think about any of that when my BIL snapped this picture.
And I'm laughing. I am genuinely happy there. Mike is by my side.
The layout, it has lots of pink. Which makes me happy. And flowers, and frills.
I'm a girlie girl at heart, but seldom let that side of me show.
It has a bird, flying free. Unburdened. The sky's the limit.
It mixed my old and new supplies. It's okay to mix them up and pile them on. To be a bit arsty.
It represents the ideas I have for what to restore in my life.

Happy Belated New Year.