Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Needing backup...

My mom flew in from Mpls. to help us out this week. I am so grateful to her for coming and helping relieve us of some of the stress of what's been going on at our house. Wyndham, as you can see, is still not back to her usual self, and it is hard to know just what to do.
The problem was she had so many things go wrong at once, and her recovery has been very slow. In addition, because of her symptoms, it wasn't clear as to what was actually at the root of her health issues. So, we have been waiting and trying different things and taking a variety of medical advice- all the while seeing her only make small gains.
She is still very weak and only eats when we 'make her'...we feed her every bite- but at least she is keeping food down and is eating a bit more each day. Thanks to many of you who continue to keep her in your prayers. We are still observing her for side effects of her medication and just really hoping that she will start to feel more like her old self soon.
Thanks so much for all the congrats and excitement in regards to the pregnancy news we shared. It is beginning to 'sink in' just a bit more, and we are all feeling comfortable that a new baby will be a wonderful addition to our family. Whoever commented about 'an itty bitty Nitty Gritty' made me smile. I think there will be some fun stories and pictures to tell as a result of another baby. As for details...I am feeling okay. I have been tired- but that is due to my life in general. I delivered Teagan on her due date, and the other 4 kids were all born early. So, although our due date is around Oct. 1st, I think we can anticipate an earlier arrival.
I also have to say that I feel like I am 'starting over' in some respects. I've had more time between this pregnancy and my last baby...and it is funny that even after 5 babies, I seem to have forgotten some of what goes on. Don't ask me how that happens- it's just something that the mind does. I think it's the only way that women have more than one kid. =) And in case it comes up should I ever try to run for presidency...I believe that life begins at conception. The very fact that I am having to wake up and use the bathroom each night at this early on, is proof enough to me that the developing 'cells' are fully human already. When something so tiny has that much control, that is enough arugument to me that at life begins at conception. {I have other arguments as well...I just thought I'd share that humorous thought.} =) And don't worry...I have no plans to run for presidency anytime soon. I'm just not ready for major debates and campaigns in my life- outside of my home. =)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Major Nitty.Gritty. surprise.

It has come as a total surprise to Chip and me, just this past week- in the midst of the stress of aiding in Wyndham's slow recovery and the questions and concerns we still have regarding her health- the surprise being a positive pregnancy test.

Yes. It is unexpected.
Yes. It makes our heads spin.

But it also keeps us humble and we know that God is in control and has plans and purposes for everything in our lives. Even when the ways and the timing seem to be a bit crazy. We are praying for a healthy, 'normal', single-birth pregnancy. =)
Didn't I just blog about how we don't know what life holds for us and that sometimes when we are 'in the valleys' that God is just preparing to give us a "mountaintop experience"?! I guess I had no idea how prophetic my words would become- just a week later.
I have a feeling that I will be adding a few new topics to the sidebar as a result of this latest life development. Including 'sleepless nights' and 'more baby pics'. I hope you're up for it! =)
I couldn't resist!
Oh yes. Life is full of twists and turns.
The timing may be unexpected...but we couldn't feel more blessed!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Looking for inspiration~

While having to spend so much time just watching Wyndham and trying to help her stay comfortable, I have found myself on the laptop a lot this past week. Or I should say, 'more than normal'. =)
I have a long list of blogs and websites that I enjoy surfing through each week just to get inspiration and ideas and sometimes just for a break from my reality- especially with the cold, dreary winter days topped off with illnesses. It's no surprise that I am a fan of colors, graphic design, vintage goodies and just plain fun images/patterns. I thought I would break up the long string of posts here and share with you some links to things that have caught my eye in the past day or two.
One of my new favorite spots to browse and follow links from is the blog of designer Samantha Hahn. She has some free Valentine cards to download...including the "Tossing Cupcake" and "Head in the Clouds" cards pictured here. Just scroll down and you will find a link in her sidebars. I think I just might try and send some cards out this year. There are lots of neat designs to choose from. I hope you find a few that catch your eye too.
The sock monkey seems to be popping up in all sorts of places these days- especially in the scrapping scene as well as in fabric prints. I found the image here from the Purl Soho website...which is a really great place to find unique/high end fabrics and such. I think a sock monkey valentine card would be cute too. I just may have to make one myself.
For the last little bit of inspiration, I will leave you with a link to a wonderful Flickr photo stream. I just fell in love with every single photo posted by Picnic by Ellie. I just love that with a few clicks of the computer I can immerse myself in all sorts of wonderful places/images. Yes, the internet is a wondeful thing when it comes to inspiration. If you happen to have some personal favorites to pass along, feel free to leave links in the comments here. I have a feeling I'll be spending a bit more time helping get Wyndham back on her feet, and with the snowfall we're getting here today, I have no doubt that winter is here for several more weeks. Surfing the net for inspiration just might be the key to getting through this long, dreary stretch of time!
In the scrapbooking world, many people know the name "Donna Downey". She is an inspiration to the crafters and creative people in and outside this industry. Some of you may remember the fun camera bag my friend gave me- especially made by Donna.
She contacted me this week and now is holding an eBay charity auction with the profits of the art canvases going to Hope Network of Michigan in Teagan's name. We are grateful to Donna for her thoughtfulness and her support of our family in such a meaningful way. To view the auction click here. If you'd like to check out Donna's blog, click here.
Thanks Donna, and thanks to everyone who bids on this item as well. It means so much to all our family!

Friday, January 25, 2008

I found this quote...

I was up and going early this morning, and by random link, happened upon a quote that just said exactly what I needed to hear. Maybe it will speak to someone else too.
Wyndham is still needing lots of care and not rebounding like we hoped she would this week. It's been a long 10 days or so...and yet we are told to just 'wait and see'. She did show a few signs of her personality coming back, and she stayed awake longer periods of time. Still, she needs to start eating and drinking a lot more than she is, and we're hoping that kicks in by tomorrow. Thanks for more cards for her and emails and calls. It's nice to know that she has so many people pulling for her. I hope it helps. Soon!
And now, for the really great quote I found this morning...
by Rev. Stacey Rector...
"Our God is not the one who sits high upon a throne in heaven ruling over the world in abstentia but instead bends down low to embrace us where we are. Our God is not one who seeks to be protected from our pain but seeks to be present within it. Our God is the One whose promise to us is that there is no fire so hot, no darkness so deep, no pit so low, no cross so painful that God will not move heaven and earth to share with us."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

When you've had enough...

This morning the day got off to a good start. Chip took Bella and Brock out for breakfast before school, just to spend a little bit of extra time with them and let them know we really think they're special too. It can be hard to give everyone the time and attention they need when Wyndham demands so much extra from all of us right now.
Chip stopped back home before heading into work, bringing with him a muffin for me, which he promptly warmed and served me at my computer desk. The perfect accompaniment to my coffee and devotions today. I was thanking God for His care and feeling relatively on top of things, when Wyndham awoke soon after. However, things began to spiral downward very quickly. She was crying when she woke and had real tears and it just broke my heart after 30 minutes of that. It's so not like her to express such sadness and nothing seemed to be able to shake this emotion. On top of her sorrow, I was supposed to be getting her to take fluids and medication. Which not only didn't go over well, but was met with opposition. She was pushing me away and getting almost 'rough' with me- no matter how gently I tried to encourage her and comfort her.
I called Chip just to let him know what was happening...and ended up choking back tears. Which, if you know me at all, is not like me either. I rarely get to the point of tears anymore. I just felt I had no more strength to deal with yet another day of trying to just stay one step ahead of having Wydham head back to the hospital.
In a matter of minutes, Chip was home and showing Wyndham some 'tough love'. He was making her drink her medicine and making her sit up and try to get a couple of bites of nourishment into her weary body. She was fighting it and showing her sadness some more, but Chip was somewhat successful. At least I felt like we were making a bit of progress.
I, myself, decided to color my hair and put on some make-up...just to feel a little bit more human myself. It's easy to let yourself go when you're caring so much for another person.
I decided to take on a bit of Chip's role and at lunch I 'made Wyndham eat'. She kept down a few bites of scrambled egg, and drank a bit more juice. My head hurt from that place of wanting so much for things to be different, and trying to figure out just what step we can all take to get a bit closer to that end. Today was the day I felt like I had had enough. That point where you throw up your arms and say, "Help me"...does anybody care? You see, it's one thing to dpend on God, and another to simply cry out to Him at times. I don't think He gets angry when, in our human-ness we sometimes reach that point. In fact, I think that's when God hears our cries the most.
That's literally where I was today, when I got an encouraging phonecall from my sister who lives out-of-state. Her voice and care just made it seem like she was sharing a piece of the burden. It was something small...but it meant so much. Just as I was hanging up the phone with her, I saw our mail lady leaving a package on our front step.
Inside the package was a whole bunch of 'individual love and care' for me and all my family members. My group of Michigan 'scrap' friends had sent a bunch of goodies to encourage us and show their love, care and concern. Wyndham got an adorable 'Build-a-Bear' puppy, while the rest of us got personal gifts as well. The words on the card just spoke to me, and I found myself in tears again today. Not just from feeling overwhelmed, but from sensing that God really DOES know and care about the cries of our hearts. He knows when we've had enough, and the timing of this package and the thoughts behind it just affirmed to me that He truly cares and sends people into our lives at just the right time to let us know JUST HOW MUCH He cares.
At this time Wyndham is resting and we just keep hoping that she'll start coming around and start feeling better soon. It seems like it's been so long since she's been her happy self. We're anxious for her to feel better and hope more than anything it starts to happen soon. In the meantime, I just had to post a few pictures of all the gifts we were given, as well as a picture of me and Ava from just minutes ago. I thought I had reached my breaking point and had enough today. But a little love and care and encouragement from friends and family and God has restored my hope and Joy once again. I can't thank God enough for knowing me so well, that His timing makes even the trying times beautiful once again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We had it so easy...

Before there was an "us", Chip and I had it so easy. We had jobs and free time and money to spend on dating and life was fairly easy. Our big concerns were paying off student loans and trying to get the same days off in our schedules so we could be together.
Then we got married. It was wonderful, but not as easy. Suddenly there was a monthly bill for our townhome and utilities. Our commutes were longer and our cars had more wear. I remember how frustrating and stressful it was when one needed a muffler repair and soon after the other needed brakes redone. Our 'fun money' seemed to be constantly spent on things I didn't find fun or amusing.
Along came Teagan. She was beautiful and more than I imagined a baby would be in our lives. She took all my energy...and lots of love too. It was a wonderfully difficult time in our lives. Adjusting to 'we're a family and not just an "us" any longer' was a big step for Chip and me. No one is ever fully prepared.
Then we moved far away from family. I realized about a week into our move that we had had it so easy- when we were 'home'. What were we thinking? Why we moved from all our help and stability to unknowns and more stress never really got answered...but we made do. We could look back and see how we had grown and changed and even laugh at how we used to think we had it 'so rough'.
Over the course of the next few years we grew from 3 to 5. It was wonderful. Three kids seemed as challenging as one had been in many ways. The adjustments were smaller and we learned to enjoy our time at home- much the way we used to enjoy our time when we were dating and having 'fun'. We were having fun- it's just our definition of fun had changed.
After Teagan's death we learned again how 'we had had it so easy'. Before she died we had no clue what grief and pain felt like , nor did we know how 'hard' it would be to live through it. With our tragedy came a lot of 'baggage' and major medical concerns. The most serious of them affecting Wyndham on an ongoing basis.
Bella and Ava have come along and we now appreciate the little things and love that life has become a gift to us to treasure daily. Things like car mufflers and sleepless nights don't cause us the type of stress they once did. We truly can look back and see how we used to have it so easy.
The truth is, easy wasn't better, and we didn't even realize we were living the 'easy life' until it was gone. I hesitate to even dream about the future or imagine what our lives will look like 6 months from now, a year from now and so on. I can only guess there will be more living and learning, and there's a good chance we could be saying, "remember 2008? We had it so good back then".
We are still dealing with a sick little girl. Wyndham was back in the ER last night and treated for deyhdration. She has maybe a touch of an ear infection too, and just can't keep anything down right now. She is so sore from IV sites and blood draws and just the feeling you get when you're tired of being sick and tired. She has been able to keep some fluids down since early this afternoon and we just continue to let her rest, while at the same time try to encourage her to sit up and drink or just be alert for short lengths of time.
We're unsure at this time if she continues to be sick from a flu-like virus, from the new medicine she is taking, or just that her body is worn down from all she's been through. It's a waiting game at this point and we are staying in close contact with her caregivers and hoping for her to turn the corner soon.
It's no fun to watch a little one so weak, so sad, so sick. But curling up next to her for a few minutes of rest today made me realize that no, we don't have it all that easy some times. But I wouldn't trade places to be anywhere 'easier' right now. This is exactly where I feel I was meant to be. Thanks again for so many prayers and emails. Forgive me for not replying to many of your personal notes, encouragements and words of comfort. I hope you can take a little step back from whatever stresses you may have in your own life at this point in time and just feel 'blessed' for a moment that you have just what you have in your life. Appreciate today- just as it is. One day you may look back and realize just how wonderful and 'easy' it really was.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Growing weary.

Today is now day 3 that Wyndham is laying here at home- sick. Chip and I were 'planning out our day' for today's schedule {ie. who would get the kids to school, how my classes would go and when we should try and get Wyndham in to the doctor} and I was feeling tired and worn out by last night. Being concerned for a child's health is hard work. Both physically and mentally. It's just hard to watch her take 2 steps back and one forward and to wait and wonder what to do next.
I was thankful when I got an early morning phone call telling me that our school was closed for a snow day today. I thanked God for one more day of 'rest and recovery' that suddenly came out of nowhere, and asked Him for wisdom and strength for all of us today.
Wyndham has kept down the bare minimum for fluids to stay hydrated...we give her dropperfuls of enhanced water and she has still has a hard time keeping that down. Even one teaspoonful at a time each hour.
Early this afternoon she will be going in to the doctor. So between now and then we need her to keep down more fluids so that she can avoid a hospital stay and IV fluids. I think she is tired of all her aches and just wants to feel 'better'. Thankfully the other three kids have been getting along very well and eating and sleeping well too. They seem to understand that Wyndham needs extra care and that Mommy and Daddy don't have too much tolerance for misbehaving kids.
At times like these I begin to grow weary of asking for prayers and for not having good news to pass along. Wyndham's MRI is now rescheduled for next month and it seems like there just is a never-ending list of things that need to be attended too.
The blessing in such hardships for me is the realization that there is more to life than what we go through...and someday we will be free from these sorts of pains and trials. In one of my readings yesterday, I took comfort and felt my load lighten when I read about Heaven. The writer {Joni Erickson Tada} was talking about how sometimes our momentary troubles threaten to 'blind us' or 'sidetrack us' from the realization that Heaven is real and awaits us. And it's not that too far off- especially when you think of how long eternity is compared to the moments we have in life. The phrase that spoke to me yesterday was something like this, she said, "Earth but cloaks our Heaven...". Meaning sometimes the stuff we face and the things that weigh heavy on our hearts are just that 'stuff'. The idea that this will all be but a blip on the screen of eternity someday is comforting. To know according to 2 Corinthians 4:18 we can have hope if we claim this verse, which says, "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal".
Yes, we are all growing weary at this point. But at the same time we gain a growing sense of Heaven and it helps keep things in perspective. Trials can make us all bitter or better. We thank God that with each testing, our faith and outlook just seems to strengthen and become more clear. That is something that is hard to believe, until you are weary and go through it yourself. That is a big part of why I share so openly on this blog and in 'real life' too. Chip and I both feel strongly that if God is having us walk through life on a bumpy, narrow path, then one of the things we can do along the way is share what He has helped us learn and how He keeps giving us strength for the journey.
My hope is that this is just another 'bump in the road' and that we will all be back on our feet and feeling stronger for the journey. Thanks again for your prayers. I will keep posting updates on Wyndham and really hope I can post pictures of her smiling, happy self again soon!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hanging in there.

In the top picture, Wyndham was 'pretending to be asleep'. She did this most often when a doctor or nurse came around asking too many questions. She would pretend to zone out in hopes that maybe they would just leave her alone. I thought it was cute, and funny that she had such a sense to come up with her own 'coping mechanism' while she was in the hospital last week. The part that helped me really feel a sense of 'everything's going to be okay' during this uncertain time was the fact that she was trying so hard to 'be herself'- even when things were so different and difficult for her. In the photo I took I had just told her "I love you" both verbally and with sign language. She pretended to close her eyes, but as you can see, she still signed "I love you" back to me. It's the little signs of 'normal' that I was seeing in her that helped me to stay more calm and assured that she would be alright.
My personal coping mechanism is seen a little bit in the next photo. After I had taken her picture I was about to turn my camera off, but as I turned to walk toward the window I just felt I had to capture a picture that represented 'me' at that moment too.
I hadn't fully prepared for 2 nights/3 days away from home, and had to re-wear my clothes one day, but I was thankful that I had my 'necessities' along with me that helped me to hang in there for some of the long hours. If you've never spent time in a hospital, consider yourself blessed. Hospitals are really hard to get rest in- even with the best care. There is lots of noise and disruptions and lights and beeps and it just doesn't feel like home. My pillow goes everywhere with me...and it is one thing I have learned to grab on our way to the hospital after several experiences. It's just one small thing that really makes a big difference to me. Even if I only get an hour of sleep a night. My Bible is a tremendous source of comfort, encouragement and peace. I literally can flip open to almost any given page when we are in the midst of trying times and it seems that something 'jumps off the page' and speaks directly to my heart. I find it amazing that God uses His word- written long, long ago, to help guide and give assurance in ways that are timely and relevant. No matter our circumstances.
Today, I am letting some of you know that Wyndham isn't doing so well again. She had a rough day yesterday and we are concerned for her even more today as she has not kept food/drink down and just isn't looking or feeling herself. Her MRI has yet to be rescheduled, so I will be sure to post an update when I know more about that procedure.
We're just really keeping a close eye on her and waiting to see if she just has a bit of stomach flu or if there is something more serious going on.
We continue to appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Sometimes it feels like our family 'gets picked on' more than others in this life. But we feel blessed in many ways and continue to remain confident that even the 'down days' have value and purpose- beyond what we can see.
It's the thought of Heaven and a glorious eternity that we keep our eyes focused on at such times. Life really isn't about coping...but more about hoping. That's what keeps us all hanging in there. I trust it's what keeps you going in the midst of life's storms too. Thanks again for walking through the rough waters with our family. We truly appreciate your friendships, love and support.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Perfect timing.

Some of my friends have perfect timing. They may not even know it, but it's true. Chip, Brock, Bella and Ava all came to the hospital yesterday when Wyndham got her okay to leave and we all rode home together. You would think that such a drive would be a really wonderful thing after the past few days. But it wasn't that rosy, to be honest with you. Wyndham was actually a little 'upset' to be leaving the hospital. She gets nervous when she doesn't know where she is going, and the drive home from the hospital is an unfamiliar one to her. So she was concerned...and that's totally understandable. The part I didn't understand was how two of my kids could be driving Chip and me nuts in a matter of less than 10 minutes of being all together again!
But that's the way brothers and sisters work at ages {almost 9} and 5 1/2.
As soon as we got home Wyndham actually had some tears and seemed 'sad'. This is a result of her letting out the stress she was feeling and the sense of relief of finally being home again. It takes her a few minutes to put everything together that she had been through. We had to comfort her and once her coat and shoes were off she went straight to her room. She smiled at seeing it and then patted her bed- as if to say "I want to sleep here. Right now. I missed my bed."
It was cute and she didn't need to tell me how she felt. I was feeling and thinking the exact same things. =) She managed to take a long afternoon nap. I managed to do a couple of loads of laundry and unpack our bags. Neither Chip or I knew what we were going to make for dinner. He headed off to dinner and I was planning to email him a grocery list when the doorbell rang. It was a friend of mine I know only a little bit through the SIStv website. We scrapped together in Grand Rapids awhile ago.
She was smiling when I opened the door...and was holding a potted tulip, and a big tray of food. After a second trip to her car for more goodies, she came in and we talked for a bit. I appreciated her hug and encouragement. After she left I looked at my kitchen counter filled with more than enough food for dinner. I could have had some neighbors over for an early SuperBowl party! =)
Deli meat and cheese and relishes and assorted breads for making sandwiches and a big platter of cookies topped it all off. It was perfect timing for us. It made me feel like God really does care about even the littlest details of our lives- that at the time are really BIG details or concerns.
I send my thanks in a big way to all my scrap friends at Scrap In Style TV. Both my local Michigan girls and the Fashionistas have been so generous and thoughtful and concerned about the whole family and just wanted to make life a little bit easier right now. It worked!
We were all able to eat a good dinner last night; we all slept really well; and the flowers are opening today and brightening our home as the cold and snow are keeping us in. Today we rested, got some much-needed house-keeping done and there was game time and videos too. Not to mention Hannah Montana and Mario Galaxy on the Wii. =) I found a few minutes to cut some scraps up and make a little card. I'm hoping to be able to make more cards, because the truth is I have lots of people that I owe thank-you's to at this time.
I may not have gotten my Christmas cards all out on time this year. But the good news is that Thank You cards can be mailed and they are delivered 'on time' no matter when they are received. That's what I call perfect timing. =)

Friday, January 18, 2008

I guess I am a Princess...

Last night Chip was home with three of our kids while I stayed at the hospital with Wyndham again. The previous night I slept a full hour and a half...on the foot of Wyndham's bed all curled up. Chip had the 'bouch'...which for those of you who don't know is a chair/couch that turns into a small bed. This particular chair had the type of mattress you would expect to find tucked under the cushion...a little bit lumpy and sunken in places. Chip actually slept fairly well.
As I prepared the 'bouch' last night, I used the extra bedding I had from the night before to sort of make it all 'level. It looked fairly inviting at 11:30 last night...especially following my hour of sleep from the night before. I laid down for about 3 minutes and had tried back/stomach and both sides by then...each position felt different sags or springs that I knew would not feel good by morning.
So I gathered three pillows that were in the room and lined them up on my level surface and covered it with a blanket. It looked like a pillow-top bed. But let me tell you, it was just imagery. Not the real thing. I woke up with different parts of my body not so happy about the bed I had been so proud of 'building'. You would think with my 5-2"/120 lb frame that it would have been perfect. But even after all my efforts I still had tossed and turned and feel I still need some sleep. According to fairy tales, it just makes me a princess. =)

Wyndham and I are heading home with Chip and the other kids soon. She has been discharged and instead we have to follow up with a couple of procedures. We will be giving her some meds to hopefully address the seizures she may have- although her head injury still carries certain life-long chances for them.
We are so thankful that her shunt seems to be functioning just as it should. All of her caregivers here have been amazed that it has never caused a problem or needed a revision. They told us we are VERY LUCKY...some kids have more than 100 surgeries involving similar shunts. To me it just seems another obvious reason to give God praise and thanks for taking care of Wyndham- even when we didn't realize she needed that care.
Thanks again, so many of you, for your prayers, your emails of Scripture and encouragement and calls and text messages. =) We have felt all your support as a family and feel blessed that we can share our needs and have them responded to in such wonderful ways. Life is hard at times- you and I both know that. But it is so much better when the burdens can be shared and we help one another through those times. Thank you for helping us and caring for us at this time. From all the Ferlaak family members, "Thank you".

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Please don't cry.

Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts and encouraging words for Wyndham and all my family. I have come to depend on this idea of 'sharing your burdens with others' since our original trauma and it just is an amazing thing for us to know that God hears prayers, that He shows compassion, that He comforts and gives peace. Those of you who pray on our behalf, I thank you and want you to know I really, 100% believe that God answers those prayers. In whatever way He sees is for our good. Today those answered prayers have come in many ways.
I packed a few things yesterday as we prepared to come to the ER- not knowing what was going to happen, but knowing that I would want to 'talk it over' with God. No matter what. I made sure to bring one of my newer Bibles that I am growing quite fond of-which happens to be the Women's Devotional Bible (NIV Version). It not only is soft and leather {and pink and brown!} but it has a magnetic closure and so many wonderful details inside. It has short devotionals throughout the books, highlighted verses and much more. So, today when I flipped it open randomly, I let my eyes fall on the little box that pinpoints a specific verse, which just 'happened to be' Lamentations 3:22, "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail." It is beautiful all by itself. But it is breath-taking to me when read in context of the chapter in which it falls, specifically verses 1-33. Verse 25 says, "The Lord is good to those whose hope is in the Lord." That is what strikes me at such a time- that God gives comfort and reassurances over and over through His promises. Your prayers help to remind us of that, along with His Word as well as with all the kind thoughts and deeds many of you have done for our family-that God IS good and He can be trusted. Tonight, Wyndham and I are in the hospital yet, as she will have an MRI tomorrow and we wait a few more test results. Today her EEG led us to explore some options and Chip and I are hopeful that this will all be just another brief encounter for us to have to live out our faith according to God's plans. Wyndham has been in good spirits all day. She has had a healthy appetite. She has made us smile and laugh and want to cry at just how well she deals with this sort of circumstance in life. She has loved the buttons on the side of her bed- and is feeling 'powerful', I think, as she raises and lowers it with her little fingers. Not to mention she called the nurse a few times too. =) She knows very quickly what people she "likes" and which she will pretend to be sleeping for when the prod or ask too many questions. But almost everyone of her caregivers has gotten a smile at least once- whether coming or leaving! For some she grins the whole time that it takes for them to walk out the door. It's just heart-warming to me, that she takes so much of this stressful situation in stride...and even makes a game out of parts of it. Her IV arm made the cutest 'tree' as she watched Charlie Brown's Christmas today. She kept signing tree because it was so tall and it's the one sign she can do with that arm. Kids are so adaptable and I give her so much credit, because she is the one who normally has such aversions to new environments and sensory issues. So this has just been one more visible evidence to me that all of the prayers that are said on her behalf are being heard. I thank God for that and give Him all the credit for the peace and calm and assuarnce that we feel in our hearts today.
I hope by this time tomorrow I can write that we are home and soaking up the love and attention that we are missing right now from Chip, Brock, Bella and Ava. I can't help but think that Teagan may have her eye on all of us this whole time too. So, I just have to end by saying, thanks for your prayers and please, I hope none of you shed tears for any of us out of sadness. We are doing so well and feeling such care from so many, that it only makes God more real to us. There is no reason to cry for that! Chip and I have talked about our futures a lot. We trust in the present, we have faith for tomorrow and Hope for eternity. We like to say, "1oo years from now none of the pain and trials and challenges will matter to us, except for those who have come to trust fully in God, as a result". That is the truth...and if you must know, it brings me to tears. Tears of joy.

My day turned into a whirlwind after that.

From the time I hit 'publish post' on my last hadn't even been 3 and a half hours. I hadn't even eaten lunch. I was feeling a tiny bit on top of things. First, because that cup of coffee hit the spot. Second, because I had clean sheets on my bed, and third, there was a load of towels in the wash and my day was going so well.
Until 1:15 when my team conference call with Wyndham's therapists changed all that and they told me she had just had a seizure.
She has never had a seizure since her original closed-head injury in July 2001. She was perfectly fine when I dropped her off for her session. She had eaten breakfast and drank her juice. Everything was 'normal'.
It felt like the best day ever for me after a series of bad days.
Not to go in all the details about the rest of our day...but it was a whirlwind. We brought Wyndham into the ER and she had x-rays and a CAT scan due not only to the seizures, but because she has a shunt that runs from her brain to her abdomen. They all look normal at this point...but she had a second seizure while in the ER, so now Chip and I are staying the night in as Wyndham was admitted.
Needless to say...we have called lots of family and friends and asked for prayers for Wyndham and the rest of our family. We have had a rough week...only to be topping it off with this latest turn of events. Me personally...well, I am tired and weary and had some issues with my heart racing again today. I never did get any lunch today, but at 10pm tonight, Chip ran out for some 'real food' (versus hospital know what I'm talking about if you've spent any time in a hospital) and when he came back, we all- including Wyndham, enjoyed some mashed potatoes and chicken and soup together.
My heart was heavy for Wyndham as she had such a rough day and fought the procedures so hard that it wore us all down. It pains me to see her, so young and innocent and unable to comprehend what is happening, have to go through such things. I admit, it brought me to tears at times to know she has done nothing to deserve such hardships in life. But when she made an effort to sign-even though she has an IV board strapped to one hand and a pulse-ox monitor and light on the other- and then managed to sign "I love you" back to Chip and me...well that kind of spirit and attitude just pierces my heart.
By the time we got settled in our room where I am typing at this time, she was trying so hard to cooperate and then she ate and watched Pooh movie and we snuggled together in bed and I just thanked God that I was given this gift of her. Even if it comes with the price of excruciating pain and unanswered questions and makes me wonder why stuff happens; I am still better for having her and all the trials I have in my life.
At 8:00 tonight my heart was longing to be at home tucking all my kids in their beds and giving them more kisses and just dreaming of how things were the night before. It all changed so quickly. For no obvious reason.
My sister asked me tonight, "Do you sometimes feel you are being tested too much?". To which I answered, "Yes.". But my faith and God are so real to me, that even in this time of unknowing and wondering, I am filled with a sense of peace that just can't be described. I see how beautiful Wyndham is right now, as she falls asleep next to Chip and I know my other kids are all tucked in and sleeping and we are warm and comfortable and it is easy to rest in the fact that God is in control.
He just is. I can't explain to you how easy it is to trust...even when your heart breaks and wants the world to spin in a different way. God gives comfort and peace and it strengthens my faith, if anything. To say-even through tears...even through the pain, I can feel You and I know You will never let me fall.
I hope to have another post- with some diagnosis or direction for Wyndham and our family soon. In the meantime, I thank you in advance for your prayers. And I pray that if God isn't real in your life, that you will seek Him today- this very moment- with all your heart. Because you just never know when your day will turn on a dime. When it does...there's no better place to be than resting and trusting God's hand.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Little things...

I brewed a couple of cups of coffee today for the first time in 2 weeks. I still have Starbuck's Christmas blend coffee grounds- it's been so long. I am sipping coffee as I type this and just have to note how good it tastes. It's creamy and smooth and it is soothing my still-sore throat...but I can tell I am finally on the mend. Isabella is too. She pulled out some crayons and started doodling after eating a PopTart just now. I think we're all beginning to see the other side of this mountain we've been trying to climb since last week.
The good news is that I am looking forward to washing some bedding, towels and just giving my kitchen a good scrub down. I am looking forward to going through some 'piles' of paperwork and hopefully even getting on top of some thank-yous and belated Christmas cards. Which at this point will more likely be covered with hearts and sent as Valentine's cards- a bit early. =)
Some little things I wanted to note about being sick are:
1) It feels good to feel better. Normal suddenly feels almost *amazing*.
2) Chip hopefully appreciates me a little bit more...and was a real trooper jumping in and playing Mr. Mom for a few days. Although I have to admit his cooking skills far outweigh mine- so the kids will be back to their usual dishes and maybe they'll miss Dad's cooking. But that's okay.
3) Speaking of cooking...I lost 4 pounds since Sunday night- which I know will come right back on as soon as I get back in the kitchen. Still, it's nice to know the weight can come off if I ever need to crash diet. =)
4) I am happy to weigh a few more pounds if it means I can do household chores, sleep all night long, and walk up and down the stairs without aches and pains. Yep. I'd rather weigh more than be sick.
5) I've never had so much 'free time' to pray and talk to God than I did the past few days. All the sleepless nights and aching body made my thoughts turn straight to God and ask for help and comfort. Not just for me...but for so many people that are on my hearts everyday.
6) Being sick reminds me that life is not about big houses, luxury cars, designer clothes, latest accessories or anything that our society tries to tell us we need to be happy. I think just knowing you are loved and that you matter to someone is what counts. Contentment isn't even in being in *good health*...but knowing you are loved and cared for no matter what.
My Fed-ex man just brought me a few more scrap goodies today. I am happy that once I get on top of my 'normal life' again, I have the chance to create some fun, new things.
Yep. The cloud is definitely lifting around here. And it feels good.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Being sick...

Isn't half as bad with wireless internet. I can lay anywhere I want to in the house and be online. See? Always looking for a silver lining. What it means for you is that I now added a playlist to Nitty.Gritty.
I know. I'm getting really edgy around here. =) Don't be too hard on me and my song selections. I'm sick, remember? Some of the songs I was looking for weren't available to add...others came to mind and have nothing to do with anything. Except they evoke memories or make me smile. Goodness knows I need a little happiness in my life right about now.
Thanks for all the well wishes. I am looking forward to feeling 'normal' again. Anyday now!

Monday, January 14, 2008

This one's for Chip. And a little bit for Sarah too.

Things are not so pretty around my house these days. I got sick and so did Bella, yesterday, and Wyndham is just barely on the upswing and Chip is nursing a flareup of gout. Nice. But wait, it gets better.
I tried really hard NOT to get sick when I started to feel aches and chills yesterday. I even did my make-up so that I would 'feel better' and thus not end up giving whatever it was a foothold in my body. But it was too late, I guess. By 4pm yesterday, I knew I was down for the count, and so I took some more Extra-Strength Tylenol and went to rest and snuggle with Bella. She never wants to go lay down ever- and she went willingly. So you know she was sick too!
Long story short, my glasses ended up broken before our nap ever got started. Which doesn't seem like a big deal...except we live in such a place that when we type in our zip code, the closest 1 hour glasses place is 50+ miles away.
And my body aches ALL over.
SO it doesn't really sound like much of a joyride for me to get out and go shop for new glasses. My night was rough- awake every couple of hours and either burning up or freezing when I woke. No middle ground.
Bella is feeling a bit better...but she is very dramatic when she is sick- so it means less rest for the rest of us who need it. She demands ice in her cup, pillows to be plumped just so, and wanted to be carried wherever she needs to go. I feel for her husband-to-be someday.
Chip thinks it's unfair of me to not blog about my life when it's not all rosy. SO this post is for him. I think I owe him a couple of apologies too. I'm not the best patient in the world either. {Maybe that's where Bella gets it from.}
And just because I can't bear to leave this post in such a sorry-looking state, I have to add that I was able to eat some fresh guacamole and chips yesterday, before I got too sick. It's one of my favorite snacks. So that was a good thing. In addition, Wyndham has had two very wiggly loose teeth the last few weeks...and the first one came out! She was a bit surprised and not necessarily excited about it. Until the rest of us got excited for her.
Last night the tooth fairy made an appearance. I only wish I would have had her wave her magic wand over the mountains of growing laundry in our house too. But that would have been asking too much.
Now I'm trying to sit and rest and warm up and cool off and read about the mountaintops that are sure to be just around the bend in my week. I'm really looking forward to them. Here's to having to take my own advice. And see, Chip?! Once in awhile I do keep it real around here. =)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Love and chocolate~

My dear friend Wilna has the biggest heart and she is amazingly talented and creative too. I have so enjoyed getting to know her through Scrap In Style tv and feel our friendship is a gift to me. I can't believe how in less than a year's time I have grown to love and respect the whole Fashionista design team- individually and as a whole. I am humbled to know that my simple scrapbooking style somehow landed me in this place and I am blessed in so many ways, as a result.
Wilna is truly gifted and so I wanted to share with anyone of you who may be interested- the link to her blog. The scrap layout here is one that several of us put touches on in a round robin scrap this past July. On this page, Wilna painted our names and the background of the picture so that we sort of 'pop' on the photo. Even though she got to keep this particular page, I still think of it as 'partially mine'. Wilna is offering a Valentine class right now, where she is giving you some unique ideas for projects, delectable recipes, links to music, movies, books and more, than will gear you up and get your heart ready for one of her favorite holidays. =)
It's definitely worth a peek. The rest of the details and info about her class are on her blog.
I'm already loving it and excited about February 14th! And the wonderful thing is that her ideas go beyond just Valentine's. They are inspiring for many aspects of life and just get your creativity flowing!
This afternoon I found myself in the mood for chocolate...and so I searched the internet and found a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. I made a 1/2 batch and modified the following recipe just a bit. It calls for vanilla pudding mix...and I only had the sugar-free box on hand. So I used that, and I also added a 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 tsps. of vanilla. Let me tell you this...I could have eaten half the dough before it was baked! Mmmmmm!
So, as a treat from me, here's the recipe I made today~
Award-winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.

Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla.
Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A time for everything.

I heard a wonderful quote on the radio this morning and it has stuck with me all day. My heart has meditated on it and it just seems fitting to share here on my blog, along with a familiar passage of scripture. I have gotten several emails the past few weeks and so I just pray that these words will fall on the hearts of those people especially, who need some truth to hang onto at this time in life.
I don't know what some of you are going through- the hurts and struggles that life is handing you at this time, but I do know that there is comfort and Hope and Peace- even in the darkest moments. You may not know why or how or what purpose this time is serving in your life, but I hope that you can sense that something better is coming. It may not happen quickly. Or according to your time table...but God can be trusted to see you through. He makes ALL things beautiful. In HIS time.
Here is the quote I want to share with you, as well as some verses from scripture-
"No matter how deep the valley may be, there is always a mountaintop on eitherside. The way out of the valley leads to a mountaintop- no matter which path you may choose."
Ecclesiates 3:1-11
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

To those of you who may need it, I offer my love, thoughts, care and prayer for you today. I don't know what you need to get out of your particular valley...but God knows. And He sees all and loves you more than you can imagine. My prayer is that you won't allow your suffering to turn your heart cold and bitter...but rather that you will seek to take one small step after another, until you begin to see the mountaintop. It's not always an easy journey. Sometimes it's long and difficult and seems to have no end. But I urge you not to give up. There is much blessing and rejoicing when you get out of the valley and look back at it from the top of the mountain. Your perspective and heart will change...and life will never be the same again. That is the gift of the valley. You wouldn't choose to go through it...but it is breathtaking and you will stand in awe as you look back and see the beauty of this place from a different vantage point.
Yes, there is a time for everything. May you embrace the place where you stand today...and look forward with renewed strength for the next step you will take. All my best as you travel your life's journey. ~ Jody

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rainbow Sushi

I'm still playing with my new scrap goodies called Rainbow Sushi from SIStv. It went on sale can buy it here it you like. I've got the calendar to work on next. Hopefully I'll have it finished before this month is over.
I do however, have one sick child at home, and am wearing a heart monitor myself until tomorrow. So I don't have plans to stay up and scrap all night. Although I wish I could. =) This doesn't have anything to do with sushi...but I was thinking about food cravings and how often there is just one thing that sounds "good" to eat. I think it would be fun to read some of your favorite food cravings- whether or not you give into them. =)
One of mine is Perkins pancakes. I used to get cravings for them when we lived in Gaylord...and sadly, they didn't have a Perkins in town. Now that we live near the restaurant I don't crave them all that often. But when I do it's late at night! Besides that, I sometimes get cravings for Reuben sandwiches. Weird, I know. You'd think I could just be normal and crave chocolate once in awhile! So there you go. Tell me about one of your cravings...just so I know I'm not the only crazy one in the world today!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sometimes you miss it...

I've just noticed this week, as I've unloaded and reloaded the diswasher that there are fewer sippy cups in there than 'regular' cups these days. This is a new thing, and too often this is the kind of stuff that goes unnoticed until months or years later and then we look back and see such enormous growth and change.
Ever since Teagan died {and even before then, if you read some of my old hand-written journals} I have tried to make a point of noticing the details. The little, seemingly insignificant details of our lives from day to day. Our family has never been wealthy- in monetary terms- but I have come to see how 'rich' we are and blessed as I've learned to appreciate the details and the seasons of life as we grow and learn a little bit more every single day.
I remember wanting to 'hang on to Teagan' for dear life in some respects, just days before she died. She was gearing up for preschool in a few weeks and I {and she!} were having a hard time coming to terms with such a major change. I was not ready to have her gone from our house a few hours each week. I was sad thinking about it sometimes and dreading how much I would miss her activity and energy around the house. She was one of those kids who didn't miss out on anything that was going on...and she was so happy being underfoot and 'in the way'. She was so full of life and had non-stop conversations and games and ideas coming from her heart and mind. I adored her and the way she interacted with me all day long- and Brock and Wyndham too.
I even held off taking her for the dreaded preschool physical- not just because I hated the idea of her having to get that nasty tetanus shot...but also because it would be yet another 'sign' that school was about to begin and our life would change. {She never did get that nasty tetanus shot. That thought still makes me happy when I think about it. She really did have a short, sweet life!} Now when I think back to those days, in light of how life actually played itself out for us that summer- it makes me nostalgic, for one. But two, it also makes me keenly aware of how fast time goes and how glad I am that I have been obsessed with remembering the details of our lives.
They may not matter to anyone else or even change the course of our lives to any degree. But to me they are like little nuggets of gold when you notice them or remember them. I may not be the wealthiest mom in the world. But I still have treasures and riches beyond measure when I take the time to savor the things that matter most.

Monday, January 07, 2008

My scrappy side. =)

I have some of the most amazing friends ever in all the Fashionistas at SIStv. We have only been 'together' for 10 months and some I have yet to meet in person, but it doesn't matter because we have this bond that just keeps getting stronger and better day in and day out. I am fortunate to be able to be in this mix of creative souls. I'm still not sure how I ended up in the middle of it, and even as I scrapped today I found myself thinking, "how great is it that the papers I scrap with are often designed by my friends!". It's humbling really. Especially for those of you who know the number and abilities of people in the scrap industry. I really consider myself blessed for the friends I have and the team I am a part of in this business. I love it!
This month's Collection was created and dreamed into being by my friend, Ashley Wren. She named this new 'baby' of hers, "Rainbow Sushi" and I have been having so much fun scrapping with it the past few days. You can see my layout of Teagan here, and a bit more of the mini book I am making here.
Besides being one of the most down-to-earth, optomistic, out-going fun mom I know, Ashley just launched a really inspiring challenge blog which some of you might like to stop by and see for yourself. Even if you're not a scrapper, it is a cool concept. One that might make you reflect on your life in a new way. Go "Overlooked" and check it out for yourself!
Another Fashionista friend of mine, Adrienne Looman, is offering a digital photo editing class {Artistic Edge} beginning Feb. 1st. I am excited about this and she makes it sound so fun and easy! I can't wait to start turning my pictures into little amazing creations themselves. If you want details on that you can check out her website and blog. And if you look closely you will see me in some of her funky pictures on occasion. I just love her style and eye for original composition.
One more person that I have to 'brag on' for a minute is my friend, Sarah, who has been inspiring me for several months now and is someone I've bragged on here at Nitty.Gritty. in recent weeks. On her blog, she is offering 'The Best Me' challenge and it is a great thing for those of you who are hoping to enhance your life in all sorts of ways this year. She has kicked it off already, but it is something you can get in on {there's no charge...just inspiration and encouragement!} and have fun doing all her prompts.
There you go. I love sharing some of my friends and inspiration with you. I am getting back into my teaching schedule and regular routine and may not be posting as often as I have been over my Christmas break. But I think with all these links {and I plan to post several on a sidebar so you can find them all in one place} you will have plenty to keep you busy and happy in the next several days. Have fun being creative and finding out a bit more of who you are and were created to be!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

No answers.

A sweet friend of mine that I met and connected with through scrapbooking the past several months has lost her dear husband to cancer this weekend. My heart and prayers go out to Christine and her family. It's times like these that there are no answers- often only heartache and more questions. I'm sure she would covet some of your prayers, as I know firsthand that she will have a long road ahead of her.
When Chip and I were on Oprah just months after Teagan died, Oprah asked us this question, "How do you go on?". That question made my head spin at the time, but Chip quickly replied, "We still have other children and lots of living to do...there's more happiness to be had in life." I remember thinking that I wasn't even sure I believed that at the time. I know I had a hard time even sleeping through the night because my grief was so raw and all-consuming.
But as you can see in the posts I've kept the past couple of years, it's become a truth in my life and the rest of our family. We do have joy and happiness and lots of good things to celebrate. We do miss Teagan and somedays I just wish I could stop the world and turn back time and have a 'do-over'.
It's hard to accept life when it hands us hardships. But my prayer is that for Christine, especially, that she will find strength and Peace and that in time, she will come to believe what I thought was unbelievable in light of death. That there is Joy and happiness and lots of living yet to be had in her life. I send all my love and care to her and her family. Today and beyond.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grandma Karen!

We send love and wishes for another great year, doing all the things you love to do. From sewing to gardening to hanging out with all your grandkids and friends, may it be a year to remember and cherish.
Just to let you have made Wyndham a very happy girl. The rest of the gang is happy too...because the package came and the Hannah Montana game for the Wii is a big hit! Wyndham keeps signing 'my turn' every time someone else gets the remote. It's been fun to see them all learning the moves and having so much fun together. You'd think they were all destined to be pop stars someday!
Thank you for always wanting the best for those you love and for taking the time to show you care. We hope you had a great day...and love and miss you. Happy Birthday...we had leftover cake to celebrate. =)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Happiness is...

Happiness is many things, but today it is Wyndham turning 7! This is the first time in her life that she has been healthy and avoided hospital stays from Thanksgiving through her birthday. It is so neat for us to see that she is growing and building muscle strength and her immune system gets stronger with each passing year.
Today it is hard to believe that she is 7...but she is loving the attention and spotlight on her from all her siblings. I grabbed the camera just a bit ago when the others were off playing and she was having some mellow time in her own room. She seems to know when she's had enough of all the others' antics and games at times and she likes her quiet time.
I let her just play in her room and I would hand her items or give her "prompts". You see her 'calling Grandma', painting her nails and doing her lips {gearing up to be a teen already!}, she was writing a "w"- {it's her favorite letter} and then she was being silly for me. In the last picture here she is making a wish and pretending to blow out candles on her 'w'.
Happiness for all of us was licking the beaters after making Wyndham's cupcakes. I think that's the best part of happiness- sharing it with others.
Happy Birthday, Wyndham Abby. We're so proud of you and love the way you shine your true self to everyone around you. May you have lots more days like this- full of simple happiness.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

It's normal.

I had an EKG today. Not exactly something I had penciled in on my to-do list. But then again, health concerns aren't ususally something we plan for in our schedules, are they?
Anyway, my heart has been racing but everything appears normal up to this point. I have plans to see another Dr. and do some more tests.'
In the meantime, I just wanted to leave a quick update. I really don't fear things like this, because really, most anything that could go wrong or be wrong would be out of my control. I'm a normally healthy person who cares about my whatever this is- it just is.
I have the verses I posted here just a few posts ago to claim and to be confident of...and more. I place all my trust in God- and at times like this- even when there's no 'reason' for something to be wrong with my heart, I know that I can have peace. That's the beauty of trusting and having faith. Nothing shakes you. Thanks in advance for thoughts and prayers that I know some of you, my family, friends and blog friends will say for me. I sure hope it turns out to be normal. =)

So far, so good. My heart rate is staying normal and there's nothing crazy going on right now. I'm not sure what the reason was for the elevated heart rate, but for now it's gone. I feel fine and I'm just going to watch for a short list of symptoms over the next few days. Thanks for your thoughts and concerns.
Funny thing.
I left the doctor's office with a clean bill of health and wanted so badly to go through Starbuck's drive though on the way home. But I didn't. When I got home I told Chip how everything had turned out and then we had to make dinner. I said to him, "I'm in the mood for a big, juicy cheeseburger and fries!".
He just rolled his eyes.
But it really DID sound good to me. I will be happy as I snuggle into my own bed tonight. I will be certain to thank God for caring about something so small- yet so big at times too. Like a normal heartrate.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Two for two.

For you scrappers who are counting...I'm two for two. Two pages in two days. =) But I have to admit that my Christmas decorations are still up at my house. So at this pace, if I keep scrapping like this, I will have a page a day. But I will also have trees up at Easter. =)
This page is for my friend, Rachael. Just because.

Time to get creative.

I printed out a group of pictures and scrapped them together on a page yesterday. You can see it here in full if you like. I am hoping to push myself to create even more this year than I have this past year. The more I surround myself with creative and inspiring people/blogs, the more I see I have so much to learn and so many things to try my hand at.
I am the kind of person who needs ideas in order to feel creative and motivated to make things. Maybe you're the same way... you like to create- you just need a little push! I have a talented, creative friend through the SIS Fashionitas who may have just the thing for you this year. Courtney is launching a new blog called project 52...and I have to say I think it is going to be such a great thing for people like me and you! If you follow the link you can learn more about it, but basically it is a creative online 'virtual classroom' where there will be weekly projects, guest designers, all sorts of inspiration and even a spot for you to share your completed projects.
How great is that?!
I am excited for this new spot that will be a nice mix of ideas and instruction that will certainly keep me busy creating- all year long. If you like what you see and you want to sign up for this, the registration is right on the blog. Tell her 'Nitty.Gritty. sent me'. She would love to have you aboard this fun ride. I just know it!
Here's to savoring, relishing, creating, having fun, being challenged, being inspired and just plain being more in the moment this whole year. I am looking forward to seeing lots of new things in 2008. I hope you are too!