Thursday, April 21, 2011

Catching Up...

Wow it has been a while! The end of last year and the beginning of this year has been very busy and rough on our family. I finished graduate school in December (a huge relief and a huge amount of time regained), then we had a busy Christmas and Anniversary. Throw in a ball tournament and the Christmas break went way to quickly.

On New Years Day, Jess' mom got sick again. After a few days in the hospital we found out that it was time to call hospice. Judy was so touch and go for the next two months and we spent everyday praying that we would have an opportunity to see her and speak to her again the next day. Jess drove many a mile back and forth between home and his parents. She fought hard and finally passed away March 7th. There is so much to say about her, her faith in the Lord, her HUGE fight to live, and the major loss that we feel daily. But those thoughts are precious to me and to our family and this blog, right now is not the place. We are still grieving and living with the pain.

On a happier note, I now have more time to scrap, create, and relax. It is a wonderful feeling. I haven't felt so relaxed for a long time. Cutting and gluing paper is my very favorite "me" activity. I knew I would have extra time this year to do more scrapping so I mentally dedicated myself to a number of things creative.

I am part of the Ali Edward's one little word class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. My word for 2011 is GOOD, which I can honestly say has been a difficult word considering all the bad we have suffered thus far this year. I have really struggled with my word, but I am determined to find GOOD.

I am also more present and active on the boards at Cocoa Daisy, my absolute favorite scrappy place! The community of ladies there are not only inspirational, but they are easy going and loving. I feel very much at home with these wonderful ladies. I am also doing their monthly sketch and technique challenges. Very inspirational.

I am also taking part in the free classes offered monthly through Two Peas in a Bucket. The Garden Girls are quite inspirational and I love the ideas and sketches they offer each month.

The only thing I mentally committed myself to that hasn't happened is this blog. I just haven't felt like sharing. It has a lot to do with losing Judy and my desire to make sure my family is healing and doing well. Death makes us much more aware of how important every day and every little moment is. It has changed me. It has made me more introspective and quiet, less willing to share, but I am coming around. This blog and my creativity in scrapping is so therapeutic and wonderful. What a blessing this hobby is!

I can't leave this post without a few pictures of recent creations:

This first layout was made using some old Bo Bunny patterned paper (basketball) and some discontinued patterned paper from Scenic Route. I loved Scenic Route and I hate that they have stopped manufacturing paper lines. :( This layout was done using Garden Girl Shimelle's 4X6 Photo Love class sketch from February. I love these pictures of Carter. He really worked hard on his free throws this year and his hard word really paid off. He was a very good free throw shooter this year for his Boys and Girls Club team.

The next two photos are of some gifts I made for my best friend, Sarah. We are both avid scrappers and after about 10 years or so we have finally figured out that many times when we purchase items we end up with too many of one thing. Therefore it is not unusual to get little packages in the mail (we live 2 hours apart) with "extras" in it. I love getting scrappy mail from Sarah and she loves getting some from me in return.

On this particular day I picked up some blossoms from Prima at a local scrapbook store and knowing I had too many I quickly recycled some older packaging to wrap them up and send them to Sarah.

The packaging is from some Heidi Swapp and Doodlebug embellishments I bought a LONG time ago. The patterned papers and a few of the other embellishments are from the February Cocoa Daisy kit. Love this much texture and great colors. The ribbons are from my stash and so are the small flowers and bling.

This little project made me so happy for a number of reasons: I was able to recycle (love that), I used up some new and some older stuff (love that too), and most importantly I shared some of my extra stuff with a great friend (that is best feeling)!

Back soon with some more scrappy goodness and an update on the busy lives of little boys!

Love, O