Sunday, May 28, 2006

Thirty Years

This is it. My thirtieth birthday. Ten years ago it seemed so far off, but the time has flown by. I always say you are as young as you feel, but lately I've been feeling old. I've aged so much in the last couple of years. I've gained weight, stopped excercising, become even more pessimistic than I was and I've become a major worrier. I also thought that I would have more accomplished than I do--I thought I would be finished having kids and I thought I would have been on some exotic vacation by the time I was thirty. Oh well, don't mess with God's plans I guess.
But I will say that turning thirty is not near as life altering as I thought it would be. I guess I'm just moving on and up! I can still do whatever I want and I'll probably do it safer and smarter than I would have five or even ten years ago. Age and experience do count for something! So on that note I am happy I've made it this far--God has blessed me in this life and I know that he will continue to do so.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Big Picture

After a long struggle with Barnes and Noble (which is another blog topic altogether), I finally got my hands on this book by Stacy Julian. And I'm lovin' it!

When I started scrapping, I did it totally alone. It wasn't until I went to crops with my friends that I realized that many scrappers have a list of "rules" for their scrapbooking. I definitely have some different views when it comes to scrapping and this is why I like Stacy's philosophy so much. I've only read the first chapter, but I've already said "Amen" about a hundred times in my head! Scrapbooking is supposed to be about the memories, not the design. If someone looks at your scrapbooks in thirty years, will they know you or will they just know that you had a birthday party every year?
I'm just skimming the surface and I can't wait to do more reading.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

"Africa Hot"

That's a direct quote from our friend Russ who lives in Philadelphia--he was describing our wonderful summer weather here in Arkansas. We usually have two seasons--rainy and HOT. We were spoiled these last few weeks with actual spring like weather. It was so beautiful and the temperatures were great. But this week we're back to the same old Arkansas heat. We've had record setting temperatures. Last night at 9:00 it was 85 degrees. Add that to the enormous amount of humidity we have and you get YUCK. To celebrate this wonderful weather we're having, Clayton and I are off to run errands. I'm sure we'll work up a good sweat.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I've Been Busy

I've been very busy for the last couple of days. I've been working on this chipboard book for Lisa at the LSS. She needed some samples done with the new Maya Road chipboard (which is great by the way), and this is what I came up with. Since there were so many pages, I decided this was a great way to show off all my pics of my old/new friends I met at the Scrap Etc. Event. Here's just a sampling of some of the pages:

Monday, May 22, 2006

Small Milestone

Is that an oxymoron? Can somthing be small and still be a MILEstone? At any rate, Clayton surprised us yesterday. When he thought that no one was watching, he decided to roll from his back to his belly! I think he was just as surprised as we were! This is a major milestone considering he's never done this completely by himself. Sure, he can roll from his belly to his back, but never the other way around. I'm so proud of him! Now if we could just get him to do it again and even on a regular basis I would be super excited!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Happy Scrap-versary to Me!

(Thanks to Lori for that catchy title!) This week I celebrate my 1st anniversary in scrapping. It was the week after Mother's Day last year that I did my first page. I used paper I already had from another project and I only bought the letter stickers and embellishments--I was so budget minded back then! I was so excited to get these CUTE pics of Clayton scrapped. He was not a happy camper at his first birthday party!

So to give you a peek at how much my scrapping style has changed, I thought I would post my very latest page (I completed this one last night). I'm still a linear kinda girl, but my style has definitely evolved. I had so much fun doing this page and I still can't believe how much fun we had at the Scrap Etc. Event--I wanted this page to reflect that.

Who knows what another year of scrapping will bring me? I'm hoping to focus on submitting to magazines and really making my classes exciting--I can't wait to see where I am at this time next year.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Woman of the Night

Well, not that kind of woman. More just like a nightowl. Definitely a problem when you have a husband who has to get up early and a son who won't go to sleep unless you lay down with him (and he NEEDS to get sleep since he has therapy every morning). I find myself getting all fired up about 9:00 pm--it doesn't matter what time I got up in the morning or if I laid down for a nap with Clayton--I just am meant to be nocturnal. I wish my sleep time could be from about 2/3 in the morning to 11am. That would be a perfect schedule for me! But since Clayton's therapists GET HERE at 11am, that wouldn't be good. They probably think I'm so lazy because I am still in my PJs when they get here! But I do use the time they are here wisely--I take my shower and get ready in peace instead of with Clayton watching.
I just wish I could go to bed and not sit there and think of every single thing I could be doing instead of laying in bed. Brian and Clayton are snoring and I'm wanting to go run the vacuum or scrap ten pages! Maybe someday I'll be so tired, I will be able to hit the pillow and fall asleep, but I don't see it happening real soon.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tagged by Nancyroo

I'm not a huge fan of these tags, but maybe you will learn something about me that you didn't already know . . .

Four jobs that I've had:
1. Fast food
2. Waitress
3. Office assistant
4. Teacher

Four movies I could watch again: (I've seen these all a gazillion times)
1. Steel Magnolias
2. My Cousin Vinny
3. Raising Arizona
4. Lonesome Dove

Four places I've lived:
1. Arkansas
2. Wyoming
that's it!

Four favorite TV shows:
1. Amazing Race
2. Iron Chef
3. Survivor
4. Anything on CourtTV

Four places I've vacationed:
1. Florida
2. Montana
3. Colorado
4. Las Vegas

Four websites I visit daily:
4. and a bunch of blogs

Four favorite foods:
1. Reeses peanut butter cups
2. Chicken chimichanga
4. Is Diet Coke a food?

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Montana
2. Gulf Coast of Florida
3. Greers Ferry Lake
4. ??

Four names of your children you may/may not have:
1. Shawn Phillip
2. Clayton James
3. not telling
4. not telling

So there you have it--maybe you've learned some little something about me today. Now I tag my friends Oscar, Lesle and Lori!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Step Up Your Scrapbooking!

Are all your pages starting to look the same? Are you tired of recycling the same old ideas? Then this class is for you! By putting a creative twist on regular embellishments, we will put some punch into your pages.
Our first class will be Step Up Your Titles
What you will need to bring: paper trimmer, adhesive, archival safe black pen, craft knife
What you will leave with: three pages ready for photos and lots of new ideas for your titles
So this is the little blurb that will be sent out to the patrons of my LSS. I'm so hoping she gets a good response--I want these classes to be a hit. Keep your fingers crossed for me! (For you local scrapbookers, the class will be Tuesday, June 13, so I'll be expecting you to sign up!)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day Recap

I had a great Mother's Day yesterday. We went to church and they were celebrating both Mothers and babies. They introduced all the babies from 0-3 years. When Clayton's name was called I met him and Brian in front (I was sitting in the choir) and Clayton got very upset when he saw me--he had his bottom lip stuck out the whole time we were in front--it was so cute! He got really upset when I went back to the choir and they went back to their seats. During the prayer, I heard him holler "MOMMA!" I looked up and me and Brian just looked at each other and laughed! During the preaching he wanted to cuddle with me the whole time--maybe he secretly knew it was Mother's Day and he wanted to spend some major quality time with me! At any rate, it made my day simply because he usually only wants Brian in big crowds. He was all about Momma yesterday.
After lunch at McAlisters (which was so nice since Brian has been working entirely too much lately), we came home and took our usual nap and then got fired up for the survivor finale. Jamie and Allison and my parents came over for dinner--the finale was a big letdown simply because the people we were rooting for got knocked out at the end. Oh well, such is the life of a reality TV watcher.
Not much planned for today, but tonight we have a special band practice. Our drummer and family are moving to Arizona to start a church on a reservation. We are using tonight's practice to have a little party for him. He is such a wonderful man and a great drummer--we will miss him.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Bright, Sunny Day

Hello all! Today is a beautiful day and I've got lots to do. (That didn't stop me from sleeping in, though!) Clayton is outside with Daddy and as soon as I finish some laundry, I have several errands to run. Graduation presents to buy and pictures to pick up. I'm really excited about the pictures because several of them are from the Scrap Etc. Event--can't wait to start scrapping those.

Have a great weekend everyone and Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there!

Friday, May 12, 2006

My Scrapping Buddy

He's such a trooper. The little guy has come to love "helping" me scrap. I spent most of Wednesday working on projects and he was in here just talking my ear off. And then last night he had a choice of watching UFC with daddy or scrapping with Mommy and after one fight, he was ready to scrap! All he kept saying was "Momma," so Brian finally decided to bring him in here with me. He helps by holding the paintbrushes and scraps of paper for me. And he does such a good job of it too! Now we're off to the LSS to deliver our pages for the class I will teach--details on that to be coming soon.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

More Projects Done

Yesterday I worked on a couple of projects for Lisa (the owner of my LSS). This first one was completely her idea, I just put it together. It's one of the new wallet mini albums from EK Success. I used the Dr. Seuss quotes from his book "Oh, the Places You'll Go." It's perfect for a graduation gift--all you have to do is just put some money in the wallet!

I also worked on one of these cool mini albums by Daisy D's. It comes with everything you need to create a cute keepsake album--it has room for lots of small mementos from your baby's first months of life. I liked working on this, but I was a little challenged, simply because I don't have the regular small baby photos that most people have. I had to improvise and use some snapshots of Clayton when he was older.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away

For a region that's in a drought, we sure are getting a ton of rain lately. And in the form of thunderstorms at that. It just seems like we've had more than our share of rain over the last few weeks. Maybe this will help the water supply and we will be taken off the restrictions on water usage. I myself am hoping to make good use of this rainy day by scrapping. I'm working on two projects for my LSS and I've got some other pages in the works. I've also come up with a final plan for my class and I'm hoping to work on a flier for Lisa to put at the store. We'll see what I get accomplished. Clayton usually doesn't like my plan. We always end up doing what he wants to do . . . .

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

RAK'd by Oscar

The doorbell rang today and I was surprised with this great RAK from my friend Oscar the Grouch. She sent me some paper that I love but I have never been able to get my hands on. She also sent a matching album with a beautiful page that she made for little ole' me--made me cry reading her sweet note. There's nothing like getting an unexpected gift in the mail to help make your day bright.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Okay, okay, I'll admit it. I'm an addict. I've been this way my whole life, but it wasn't until my adult years that I realized that I really do have an "addictive" personality. It seems that I can never do anything half-way. Once I start something, I have to be the best at it. This trait is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that I'm really good at several things, a curse in that I'm hard pressed to try anything new simply because I'm not already good at it. Makes no sense, I know. As I think back, there are plenty of times the same scenario played out in my life.

Cheerleading: As a little girl, I played like a cheerleader and did little girl cheers and motions. But when it came time to actually try out for cheerleading in junior high, I didn't sign up. I was totally afraid to because I "wasn't good at it." It took a last minute phone call from my parents to the sponsor to get me signed up for the pep squad. I got my uniform and ran with it. Cheerleading became an obsession for me--I ran around all the time doing motions and high kicks. I eventually served as captain of the squad for two years and was on an all-star competitive squad. I just couldn't be average--I had to be the best.

Water skiiing: I can't remember how old I was when my parents bought a boat, but I do remember that I quickly became proficient on two skis. My family nagged and nagged me to try out the slalom ski, but I wouldn't for the longest time. Again, I "wasn't good at it." But finally, I took the plunge and learned how to slalom. And I quickly became very good. I never competed or anything simply because we didn't have the right boat or equipment, but I can definitley hold my own on a ski. The only problem now is that I'm so out of shape, I can barely get back in the boat after skiiing! But who knew that the girl who wouldn't try would become so good?

Singing: I come from a family that loves to sing. My mom's parents have always sung in their church choir, and my mom has a great alto voice. She plays the piano and I would always sing with her at home while she played. I always wanted to sing at church, but was too afraid. I literally did not want to sing unless I knew I would be good. I would just rather not sing unless I was going to knock their socks off. When we joined First Church, I decided to sing in the choir. I quickly became comfortable with the music and finally told the director I was ready for a solo. The song he gave me was a powerful worship chorus. When I sang for the first time, my family was there and they were floored. They couldn't believe I had been holding back for so long! I am now an important part of the praise team and I've even put a couple of songs on a CD. Again, this is one of those things that I didn't want to do unless I could be the best.

And now scrapbooking: A couple of my close friends have been scrapbooking for a few years. They tried to talk me into it, but I just couldn't see it. I knew that once I started I would be spending LOADS of money on this hobby. Holly did a scrapbook for me with Shawn's pictures and that sparked my interest. It wasn't until Clayton was home and relatively well that I decided to try scrapbooking. And of course, being the loner that I am, I didn't ask for help. I just started researching on the internet and went off to the store by myself. I did my first page and was hooked. I immediately had to go buy more supplies to do more pages. (I was so right about the spending money part). I'm completely obsessed with scrapbooking and like all my other activities, I want to be the best. Why do average pages when you can do AWESOME pages?! I just hope that someday I'll be able to create "awesome" pages on a regular basis. The great thing about scrapbooking is the neverending range of ideas and things to try on your pages. You've always got your next page to do something new on.

I've got other addictions--a lot of them just simply for comfort reasons. Diet Coke and Jif peanut butter, to name a couple. Some of my past addictions on TV have been Law and Order and Iron Chef. I still watch them for "comfort," but I think I've got every episode memorized. I keep CourtTV on most of the day--can't go a day without checking in on the latest court case.

I guess I've learned to live with these addictions. It doesn't really bother me, but Brian becomes a little annoyed now and then. After all, he's the one who has to foot the bill for all the scrapbooking supplies. But he is glad that I've found something to be passionate about. For so long after Clayton came home, I was passionate about nothing. Scrapbooking has definitely helped me heal in so many ways and it's helped to give my life a little bit of a spark that it was missing.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

National Scrapbooking Day

It's a national holiday today--SCRAPBOOKING DAY that is! I wish I could spend it at my LSS (local scrapbook store), but it's closed today due to a local festival we have downtown. Parking would be a nightmare. So instead, I will spend the day doing laundry and watching the scrapbook celebs sell their products on QVC. No buying for me, but I love to watch for new ideas. Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Background Check

Well, for those of you who don't know me that well, I thought I would give you a little background information. I've been married for almost nine years to my best friend Brian. We met while working in Yellowstone National Park. He is originally from Florida, but I talked him into moving here when we decided to get married--I'm good, I know. I'm a former high school math teacher and Brian owns his own business. I decided to quit teaching when we found out we were having twin boys. That's where the "I Never Imagined" part of my life begins. My boys were born at 24 weeks gestation (four months early) and were extremely sick. My oldest son, Shawn, only lived 18 days and Clayton stayed in the hospital 6 1/2 months before coming home for the first time. Clayton has battled many health problems and has Cerebral Palsy as a result of severe brain bleeds. He will be three in August and requires full assistance. He has a wheelchair, a feeding tube and is still on oxygen due to his lung disease. To get the complete and "unedited" version of our story visit my gallery at ScrapJazz and look for the album I did for the BasicGrey Be Bold Contest.
I have good days and bad days but I am blessed beyond measure. I have a beautiful little boy who reminds me of that everytime I see him smile. The Lord has given me a peace that only he can provide.

About a year ago, I started scrapbooking. It has become my therapy and creative outlet, not to mention my obssession. I do something related to scrapbooking every day. I really feel like my scrapbooks are a glorified journal of sorts and I'm recording not only events but what is in my heart. I love this new passion and I love sharing our story with others.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Never Say Never

You know the old saying "never say never?" Well, I'm once again proving it to be true. I once said I would never have a blog, yet here I sit typing the first entry into my very own blog account. Blame it on peer pressure I guess. It's funny how this world of scrapbooking has gotten me into lots of things that I never thought I'd do. Besides, I'll need this thing one day when I'm a super famous scrapbooker . . .