Dec 30, 2012

Hesitant to say goodbye...

You would think I'd be happy to say goodbye to 2012, but I have to admit I'm a little hesitant to let it go. Seeing 2012 end makes me feel like I am accepting that my Mom is really gone. I feel as though if the calendar still says 2012 then she can still come back.

Unfortunately, though, we all know that is not possible. I have to remember that saying goodbye to 2012 doesn't mean that I love my Mom any less or that my heart is any less broken. It just means I continue to pick up the pieces of said heart and try and put them together the best way I know how -- one piece and one day at a time. There will always be gaping holes because Mom took several pieces of my heart with her when she left, but I will carry on and continue to make her proud any way I can -- even if right now that is by just getting out of bed. Even six months later, that is still often my hardest task each day.

I scrolled through my posts in the beginning of 2012 because I'm always so optimistic and excited for a new year and I wanted to see what I had to say about 2012. I found this post. Yup. My signature optimism. I had forgotten that I had picked the word "realize" as my one word for 2012. It sort of took the breathe out of me when I read that ... never did I "realize" that I'd be closing out the year as an orphan. Never once did I "realize" the work that was ahead of me - physically, mentally and emotionally in 2012. 

I'm sure I was thinking more along the lines of realizing my dreams and coming to realize my strengths and joys in life. That being said, 2012 did see me realize my dream of earning my first incentive trip with Stampin' Up -- and that was a much needed escape and a huge blessing. I did realize I was a much stronger person than I had ever imagined and I realized that I have the most incredible siblings on earth. So I am thankful for many things this year -- but it is all just a bit overshadowed.

With that, I turn my attention to 2013. If my Mom taught me anything it was to never be a quitter so while I still quite frequently want to hide and just give up, I will not do that. I will try to conjure up some excitment for the new year of possibilities and press forward.... for her.

I've picked the word DISCOVER for 2013.... mainly because I'm discovering I am a new and very different person. A lot of my thoughts and beliefs have changed. I think I've become a bit more free-spirited and less tied to "rules." I want spend more time with family and live my passions and be happy to the best of my ability. So for me 2013 will be a year for me to discover my new self, discover new opportunities, discover who I am without my Mom, discover what motivates, inspires and feeds me... and move in all of those directions. Afterall, we only live once and we never know when times up.

Sorry for the somewhat sad post to close out the year, but please know that I am wishing you a happy, healthy and successful new year! Be sure to come back beginning January 1 for a countdown to Sale-A-Bration from January 1 - January 22 with new "eye candy" every day!

Dec 25, 2012

Top Five Tuesday: Merry Christmas!

Hello there.... Merry Christmas! I thought the best Top Five list today would be a list of my top five favorite Christmas songs... Perhaps one or two are on your top five favorite list, too? Feel free to share... I'd love to hear your favorites!

1. The Christmas Song, by Nat King Cole - You have to include this one... it's such a classic! This one always reminds me of Christmas morning when I was a kid. I'm not sure why -- Mom always put the radio on Christmas morning so it wasn't like she played it specifically, but since it's such a classic I guess I remember hearing it every Christmas morning as a kid.

2. Santa Baby, by Kellie Pickler - This song has always been a favorite of mine as well -- all versions, but I think Kellie (American Idol alum) has the perfect voice for this song. Although the version by Madonna is a good one, too (I was a child of the 80s you know!)

3. Rudolph the Red Nosed-Reinder, by Jewel - I love the harmony on this one, plus Jewel was one of my favorite singers in high school and college. I love her uniqueness (is that a real word?)

4. Silver Bells, by Bing Crosby - Another classic! It had to be included in the list.

5. Santa will find you, by Tripping Lily - This is a song is by a local group called Tripping Lily. I saw it performed at the Holiday Pops concert last year with the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra and instantly fell in love. Now it has a little bit more meaning to me as my Mom was with me for that concert and she really liked them as well. I hope Santa found my Mom this year and brought her the gift she had wanted for the past eight years -- to spend Christmas with Dad.

I hope you are surrounded by your family and friends this year and that you receive everything you want this year. Wishing you much happiness in 2013!

Merry Christmas!

Dec 17, 2012

Top Five Tuesday: My Five Favorite Christmas Cards

  Hello there. Happy Tuesday and welcome to my very first Top Five Tuesday! I thought I'd start out the season by showing you my top five favorite Christmas cards that I made for this year. I must note however, that I don't think I can find them all (!) -- there were 20 different designs that I made for card class and I could only find like 12 of them... also as another note two of my favorite cards are also the new designs I made to send to family and customers for the holiday... so while they are my favorites, I didn't want to show you and spoil the surprise! I'll definitely show them after I get them in the mail, though, Ok?

Now onto my top five (in no particular order):

This one probably is one of my top favorite this year. It uses the Frosty Friends Stamp set. Love that stamp set! If you love it, too, you may want to order it soon as it is in the Holiday Catalog, which will be done on January 2.

I used a variety of supplies for this card including: Polka Dot Embossing Folder, More Merry Messages, and the scallop trim border punch.

I really like this one, too even though it isn't my traditional style. The woodgrain embossing folder on our Core'dinations Cardstock really just makes it pop (especially in real life). The deer stamp is really cute, too. I need to try and make a couple more cards with it this year because I want to hang ornaments from his antlers!

Here are the supplies I used for this card: Woodgrain embossing folder, Christmas Deer Stamp, Delightful Dozen Stamp set, Early Espresso Core'dinations Cardstock and Early Espresso stitched grosgrain ribbon.

This one is pretty simple and a nearly complete copy from a fellow demonstrator and friend of mine, Ronda Wade. I love to color and this one allowed me to color, but without having to spend hours on each card.

Here are the supplies on this card: Easy Events Stamp Set, Houndstooth Embossing Folder, Be of Good Cheer Designer Series Paper and very vanilla tafetta ribbon.

Honestly, this one wasn't really one of my favorites at first, but it was met with such rave reviews the two times I showed it that I had to include it in the top five!

It's not as impressive in this picture as with the rainy weather lately I couldn't get a good day to take a nice photo -- the glitter is so sparkly on this and totally adds to the overall feel of the card.

Anyway, the supplies for this one are: Ornament Keepsakes Stamp Set, Delightful Dozen Stamp Set, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter and the two way glue pen.

This card has been all over the internet in different variations, but I really loved the color combination on this one. I like that it is simple, but still feels elegant.

The main supply on this card is the paper from the Festival of Prints Designer Series Paper Stack in the Holiday Catalog... be sure to get one before it is gone on January 2. Also on this card is the Lucky Limeade ruffle trim and the More Merry Messages Stamp set.

So that's it... my first top five. Which one is your favorite? Did you have a favorite stamp set this year? I'd love to hear it! Well, I must return to Christmas card making.... I'm hoping I can get them out before the holiday!!

I don't know how this holiday always sneaks up on me as I always start planning for cards at least 3 months prior to it (this year I started in August)! Ah well... I hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends and completely stress free!

Dec 16, 2012

Hello there... I thought I would pop in for a minute to show you one of the tags I designed for a class I had earlier this season.

This tag features the Frosty Friends stamp, which is so stinkin' cute (especially when you add glitter). I attached this lovely group of jolly snowpeople to the front of a hostess gift for one of my recent private classes. (Inside I tucked a cute little mason jar of snowman soup).

I love making tags this time of year to spruce up my holiday gifting and to add that little something extra to those store-bought presents. Plus, they are so easy to make with just a few scraps of paper and a couple of stamps (or in this case -- just one stamp!).

I also used the Apothecary Accents Framelits, my large circle punch, cherry cobbler baker's twine and the bitty buttons. Oh and don't forget the glitter!

Don't forget to come back on Tuesday for my first "Top Five Tuesday" post -- I'm really excited about this new feature. I think it will be really fun (certainly for me -- and hopefully for you, too!).

Dec 14, 2012

Clearance Rack Blitz!

Greetings friends... sorry for my lack of posting.... I promise to be back soon. I did want to alert you to some awesome finds -- particularly at this "shopping" time of year! Whether you're shopping for family, friends or just for yourself, be sure to check out the Clearance Rack Blitz where Stampin' Up has added more than 300 new items and some of them are up to 80% off!

Some of my favorite things on the list:

Happy Shopping! (and don't forget to come back soon for the announcment of my winner and for my first Top Five Tuesday post.

Have a great day!

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