Welcome to a day in my life. I can't guarantee that this will be an exciting read for anyone. My life is filled with all the mundane activities of a stay-at-home-mom just trying to raise her three sons to be the best men they can be.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I love this older picture of my boys with their cousins. It was taken on a family camping trip. It was rainy and the kids  decided to seek shelter in one of the vehicles.
My boys are the three blondies on the left.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why I Blog

I was reading an article online, earlier today, on blogs.  The article is called "Why Bloggers Fail."  I thought it would give me some desperately needed motivation. 

What this article says is this: "According to one source, there are more than 164 million blogs…
Most of these blogs get less than 1,000 visitors per month, and the harsh reality is, the majority of those blogs are, for lack of a better word, failures."

I guess, then, my blog would be considered an epic failure. Even when I was blogging regularly, I would be lucky to get about 300 visitors a month. I realize that the author was talking about people who make money from their blogs, or at least, hope, to, and so I'm not his target audience. However, it did get me thinking about what my reasons were for having a blog.

When I first started blogging, my boys were young(er) and I had family who had moved, or were moving away. I was looking for a way of having them still involved in our lives, and us in theirs. I decided a blog might be the way to go. After blogging for a while, I found that I really enjoyed what I was creating ... a journal of sorts.  I loved the idea of journaling, but trying to keep a written journal in the past was always a challenge. My blog became my journal.

Having people I didn't know checking in on my blog, and leaving comments was a cool side effect for me, but it was never a goal of mine to have a large readership.

Now, I love going back 8 years and reading what I wrote then. I'm in a completely different place now, then I was then, and I love to see how my life has evolved.  I look back and see a mother who was so full of so many mixed emotions of raising young boys. It's wonderful to see how far they have come over the years, but also, how far I have come!

So? Do I consider my blog a failure? Not in the slightest! I see it as a little slice of mine, and my family's history ... a chance to relive memories and remember moments forgotten.

I will continue on blogging ... even though my boys are now adults. I know there will always be more memories to record.  As far as readership ... I'm happy with whoever wants to have a little peek inside my life ... one day, it just might be one of my boys!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Another Christmas Project Share

I remembered, LOL!

I'm back to share the second project I created for the Scrapbook Nerd Celebrate the Season Christmas Countdown.

I made Christmas pillow boxes using my silhouette. I then decorated them up a little using some ribbon I had left over from another project, the Jillibean Holly Berry collection, and some decorative brads from my stash.

I love the way they turned out! They will be perfect for handing out some gift cards for Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Three Months!

Wow! What has happened to me? It's been almost three months since I've posted on my blog!
I've always enjoyed blogging and documenting my life, but it seems that since we opened Scrapbook Nerd, I've let my blogging, and my crafting fall by the wayside.  That doesn't make me happy!

I've tried several times to get it going again, but I just haven't been able to get up the momentum.

So ... they say it takes 28 days to create a new habit, so I'm going to challenge myself to blog each day for 28 days. If that doesn't jump start me again, I don't know what will!

So ...

Today I'm going to share a layout I just created. Over at Scrapbook Nerd we are hosting a Celebrate the Season - a Christmas Countdown right now. We have a very talented Design Team and so I'm looking forward to seeing what they show us each day.  If you want to be inspired, you need to pop over!

On Saturday, I shared this layout. It was created with the Jillibean Holly Berry Borscht collection (which I have been having so much fun with!)

The pictures are from a couple of years ago. Cameron wanted to make Matt's present that year. He made him a sword and shield that went with Matt's character for an online game.  We were amazed with the result, and Matt was blown away!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Today...

outside: after a summer of neglect, we spent about 3 hours out in the backyard on Saturday - weeding and trimming - 4 of us! Whew! What a lot of work, but it was worth it. We have our outdoor space back. 
thankful: for great friends!
eating: after a summer of eating junk, it's time to get back to good eating habits - for all of us!
wearing: yoga pants and a T Shirt - my uniform :D
feeling: a little overwhelmed with all the work I need to do around the house.
creating: layout packets to take away on our annual girls' trip
enjoying: Netflix a little too much these days.
going: errands today - Cameron needs to go to the bank and do some shopping before I take him back to college.
wanting: to get my bedroom repainted and redecorated.  I need to get my act in gear!
thinking about:  God's Grace.
needing:  a few extra hours in my days.
reading: What's So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey
sharing: Another layout from the summer camp on Scrapbook Nerd

 
Now I'm off to get some work done around here!


Saturday, September 06, 2014

What? It's September?

Is it just me - or did the summer just fly by? I know it's not just me because everyone I talk to says the same thing.

So what did you do over the summer?

Mine was a mixture of being crazy busy and doing nothing:
  • Canada Day and weekend at the trailer
  • 16 Day road trip to Newfoundland (amazing - and more on that in a separate post)
  • Time spent with my sister at her trailer
  • playing groupie for Cameron's jazz band for different performances
  • three or four weeks down time in August at my trailer (aka scrapping and hanging out with friends - and my sidekick Cameron)
  • hosting the online summer camp at Scrapbook Nerd
  • Scrapbook Nerd business
  • getting one high school graduate ready for college and living away from home
Speaking of the latter - I can't believe my youngest is now a college boy! He's been my little side-kick (OK, so he's not so little anymore) for so long! My sister-in-law sent me this cartoon and it's perfect!


Over the summer, Scrapbook Nerd hosted a summer camp. There were 18 challenges. Let me tell you, it was a great motivator and kept me going all summer long. It was a lot of fun.

Here's one of the layouts I completed.  This is of Cameron and my two great-nephews playing badminton at the trailer this summer.  I used the Crate Paper Boys' Rule collection.  Have you checked it out?  It's a great boy line!


My scraproom is in a mess now, after coming home, and unpacking.  My goal this weekend is to get it organized again so I can keep the creative juices flowing. I'm so behind!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

It's another beautiful day here in Southern Ontario.  I'm hoping that the weather keeps up. I'm leaving shortly to pick up Rick (see a couple of posts ago) and we're heading up to the trailer until Monday.  My parents and my sisters will be joining us as well. I'm looking forward to a little time away with my family ... but of course, I will be wondering what's going on at home.

It's so nice, now that the boys are older, to be able to take off like this. However, does a mom ever stop worrying? Matt (on the autism spectrum) still needs us there to help manage his schedule. When mom's not home, this doesn't happen in the same way, and his sleep patterns get a little twisted.
Cameron is still needing a chauffeur so as long as the rides are available, he'll be fine. Spencer is back at university for a summer semester (which means one less driver for Cameron.)

Today, I'm sharing a layout I did a couple of months ago.  It was from a cruise we did a year ago.  We went to see a Botanical Gardens in St. Lucia.


Monday, June 02, 2014

Today ...

outside: We have finally started our Spring clean-up!  Yes, we're a little late. We have lawn maintenance guys coming to do the bulk of the work this week, but the weather was so nice yesterday that I was out puttering around and trimming.
 
thankful: for great friends!

eating: trying to do a little better right now. It's tough with teens and early 20s boys in the house who love to eat lots of junk!

wearing: still in my pjs

feeling: a little sore after all the garden work yesterday..

creating: card!  Yes, you read that right. I've been making some cards!

enjoying: a leisurely morning

going: to the trailer for several days this week with my brother, Rick. (see post below)

wanting: to get into our storage room in the basement and start throwing stuff out!

thinking about:  getting a new vehicle - possibly - maybe ...

needing:  to see my chiropractor ... too much work in the garden yesterday?

wondering: if my thyroid levels are too high or too low? The bloodwork results are in and she called to see me tomorrow.  I'm thinking they are too low.

anticipating: a nice week at the trailer.

sharing: Another layout with an older photo. This one is of Cameron and our beloved Oliver (who passed away two years ago - and we still miss him.)

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Yesterday, we (The Scrapbook Nerd online store) spent the day in Cambridge, ON at the Making Wishes Come True fund-raising crop. It was a great day - a busy one for us, but a lot of fun. There were 45 women there.  I love days like that - so many people who all share the same passion for a memory-keeping hobby - all in one place.  I always come home feeling inspired and blessed.

Yesterday also marked the closing day of the Scrapbook Nerd Monthly Challenge. This month the challenge was to create a layout about yourself.

That's not always the easiest thing for me to do - for several reasons - I don't have a lot of exciting things to share about myself, and I don't have many photos of myself since I'm usually behind the camera.  However, I recently cleaned out a storage space in the basement where I found a box of older photos that I had stored away.   In that box was this photo of myself at 17 with my youngest brother, Rick, who has Downs Syndrome. I knew I had to create this layout!!

The Summer That Changed Everything




The journaling reads:

The summer of 1979 was a life-changing one for both Ricky and myself. Ricky had lost his sight a year before that and as a result of his frustration, he had become very self-abusive. He had to wear a jacket that had wood splints in the arms, to prevent him from bending his arms and hitting himself.
I was at the end of my grade 12 year in school and had very little direction. I had applied to a summer job, which I didn't get, and so I was going into the summer with nothing to do, and no clue what I wanted to do after I finished grade 13. There was no one for me to hang around with as all my siblings and friends were away for the summer working. So ... it was just Ricky and I.
I had seen a movie that year about a family who had a boy who was just diagnosed with autism. They had decided to spend every moment with him, trying to bring him out of his inner world - and they were successful. It had a big impact on me and I decided to devote my summer to doing the same with Ricky. We spent every waking moment together, doing whatever we felt like doing. It was a summer I will always remember. We hung out in the backyard, we went for walks, ate ice cream. By the end of the summer, he no longer needed the arm splints, I had figured out my calling to work with Special Needs people, and Rick and I developed a very close relationship that continues 35 years later!





I love this photo, and love what it represents.  I'm so glad I found it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Use Your Stuff

Due to by increasingly busy days, I had to make the difficult decision to give up the Use Your Stuff Blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the great team members there, and feeling so inspired by everyone. 

I made a promise to myself that I was going to continue to play along often, when time permitted.

This week, the challenge is to use bling.

Here's my layout for this challenge.
I've been trying to work on my travel pictures. I have so many pictures that I really want to try and get into my albums. I do a lot of two-page layouts for my travel pics, but I'm starting to find that they are all looking the same. So, I've started to use a pocket page for the second page of the layout.  It allows me to do a traditional scrapbook page, but get more pictures in.  I'm really loving how it's working out. I get to still play and be creative, and get more photos into my books.



I added bling on this layout with the use of sequins.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Today...

outside: It seems that summer has finally arrived. It is sunny, and warm. It feels so good to finally be able to open all the windows and hear the birds singing outside!

thankful: for a quieter weekend with nothing on the agenda.

eating: I haven't had very good eating habits lately - too much junkfood won't make for a very pretty bathing suit season. Yikes!!

wearing: Capris and a sleeveless blouse.  Matt even noticed my blouse because I never wear them.

feeling: very content!

creating: I've been digging into my scrapping supplies this week and it feels good.  I think I need to make it more of a priority to spend more time doing what I enjoy - thus my return to blogger!

enjoying: my new bathroom ... it's almost finished. We're still waiting for the finishing touches.

going: to a crop for the Children's Wish Foundation this coming weekend. I'm looking forward to it.

wanting: more hours in the day!

thinking about:  our summer plans - we need to route out our trip and start making some reservations

needing:  to get some bloodwork done that I've been putting off for too long.

wondering: where all the ants are coming from!

anticipating: a good summer

sharing: While cleaning out one of our storage rooms in the basement a couple of weeks ago, I found a photo box that is filled with older pictures of the boys. I've been having so much fun going through them and scrapping some of the photos.  These ones are of Spencer - 21 years ago!!

Friday, May 02, 2014

What are you up to this weekend?



It's National Scrapbook Day on Saturday. Scrapbook Nerd is hosting an online crop. What that means is that those who are participating will be scrapping at home throughout the weekend, when they can. There will be challenges to do. When you complete a challenge, upload your completed layout to Scrapbook Nerd for a chance to win some great prizes.

Sound like fun?

Join in at Scrapbook Nerd. It's going to be great!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Managing my time

Can you believe that it is the end of April already?? I can't! Life seems to be a speed train lately - and I think I'm ready to get off at the next stop and enjoy the scenery a little!

So, what have I been doing instead of blogging? Well, a lot off work (Scrapbook Nerd), a little scrapping, and some family and friend time (never enough of that!)

I don't know if I just need to manage my time better, or just compartmentalize my time more. Maybe it's the latter - I need to say I will work from this time to this time, I will have this much time for creativity, and I will take x amount of time for my family.

I really don't know how moms who work outside the home manage to fit it all in because I'm really struggling with it.

When I first started on this venture, I knew that I would be able to call my own hours - for the most part. I was feeling that I wasn't spending as much time working as maybe I should. Then ... I started tracking my hours that I've actually spent working. It was a huge eye-opener for me. Most weeks I'm putting in full-time hours - and some of it is evening - and a lot of it is weekends.  So, I think it's time to start organizing my time a little differently so I don't interfere with my time with family.

I had a bit of an eye-opener last week. Matt and I were at the chiropractor together. The Chiropractor was asking me about the business and if I had been away with it. Matt stated that I've been away too much lately.  Now keep in mind, that this was from my 23 year old son who is on the autism spectrum!! If he was feeling that, then I know the rest are as well.

I have been scrapping still. Not as much as I used to, for sure, but enough to keep me satisfied.

Last weekend, I issued a challenge on the Scrapbook Nerd forum. It was a sketch challenge.
The sketch was this sketch by Becky Fleck:

 
I've been working on my photos from our anniversary trip that we took a couple of years ago - the Mediterranean Cruise. So, I grabbed some pictures from that trip for this sketch.
 
 
I still haven't journaled. I will do that at then end when I can do it all at the same time.
 
If you're looking for a fun place to hang out and to feel inspired, join us on the Scrapbook Nerd forums. It's a great place to be.
 

Sunday, February 09, 2014

So much for getting back into a regular blogging routine. Sheesh! There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day anymore.
I know, I know. I'm sounding like a broken record.

Well, I'm here now, right? (Maybe having a phone with a data plan isn't such a bad idea)

A couple of weekends ago our Design Team over at Scrapbook Nerd hosted an online crop. That just means that there are people around the world who are all scrapbooking at the same time and completing challenges. One of the challenges was to do a winter themed project.
I printed off some pictures from the big ice storm that we had right before Christmas.



I was happy to be getting some projects done again.

So, my question to all you scrapbookers out there is do you like participating in online crops?

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Welcome 2014!

What a crazy ride it has been in the past year. The whole year has been pretty much a blur for me.
This time last year, my business partner and I were just embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. We were busy planning and setting up for our new online store to go live on February 1st. Since then, we have been crazy busy, and loving every minute of it.
I was thinking of doing a year-in-review post, but mostly it would looking something like this:
-opened the online store "Scrapbook Nerd"
-attended many day crops and weekend retreats as the onsite vendors
-filled many orders
-my new BFFS are the ladies at my post office
-was overwhelmed with the amount of support from family and friends. (I should really say here that I think I have the best family and friends in the world!!!!)

One the non-business side of things:
-In March I travelled with my sister and son Cameron on a Caribbean cruise for a week - had a blast
-in August, went on another cruise with John and Cameron and then spent a week in Puerto Rico
-In September  I travelled with 19 of my closest friends to the Outer Banks
-In October John and I travelled to San Francisco and drove down the coast to San Diego

So - by the looks of things, I worked hard, and played hard.
It was a good year!


Now, with the arrival of 2014, I'm finding myself looking ahead. Joy gave me a planner book that has a lot of thought provoking questions in it as to what I want to accomplish this year. It's not something I'm used to doing. However, it's a great exercise and I find myself coming back to the main goals over and over again - which brings me to ONE LITTLE WORD.

The purpose of one little word is to chose one word that gives you focus for the year. A word that encompasses your goals.

My one little word this year is NOURISH.
For me, nourish sums up my most important goals for this year. As a mother of grown (for the most part) boys who is now at the point where I'm jumping into the passenger seat of their lives, it's time for me to focus a little more on myself. I want my focus to be to nourish myself in the following ways:

physically - this one is an obvious one for me. Now that I'm over 50, it's becoming more and more important to take care of myself a little better than I have in the past

mentally - the old brain isn't getting any younger.

emotionally - I 'm a pretty insecure person and I allow myself to get hurt very easily. This one is going to be a tough one for me

Spiritually - I'm embarrassed to admit that many times I have let my relationship with God take a back seat while I go about life. I want to keep
my focus is where it should be.

Relationships - it's more important now, than ever before, that I nourish my relationship with the love of my life - John. He's the one person who has seen me at my worst - and yet has stood by me no matter what.
 I also want to continue nourishing my relationships with my boys as we all settle into a new type of relationship of mother and grown son. It's becoming easier and easier.
Relationships with my friends and family are also important to me and I look forward to re-connecting with old friends and nourishing new friendships.

So, that's it in a nutshell. NOURISH..

What about you? What will your word be this year?