and no, I didn't donate.....

Well, I've been out of the blogging and scrapbooking groove that last few days. I still have four scrapbook layouts to show you - and all that journaling I talked about, but I'm going to save that for another day and tell you what I learned on TV this evening. I'm not much of a TV watcher, but lately I've had to rest quite a bit (more than I ever expected) and that's when I appreciate the TV remote. I can flip through lots of channels in a short amount of time.

I stumbled upon one of those PBS fund-raising shows - this one was about developing your brain-power by Dr. Daniel Amen. This guy was really good, and as he talked I grabbed my laptop and wrote down some of his best suggestions. In addition to teaching about how to improve (or destroy) your brain and what foods are best for the brain, he talks a lot about psychological wellness:

Four things to consider when you have negative thoughts:

1. Is the negative thought true? Simply, is it true? Think about a negative thought that you consistently have and ask yourself, "Can I know it's true with 100% certainty?"

2. How do I feel when I have the thought?

3. How would I feel or who would I be if i didn't have the thought?

4. How can I turn the original thought around and make it 'untrue'?

This speaker also discusses brain chemistry. brain scans, ADD and Alzheimer's Disease. In a quick Google search, I found an article on quackwatch.com that really slammed Dr. Amen. Maybe his brain scan earnings qualify him as a quack - I don't know. But I do think that the points about thoughts can be well taken and helpful in most lives.

My closing thought: I AM SO GLAD FEBRUARY IS OVER. I'M SO DONE WITH 33 degrees and holding.


"as good as it gets"

I'm still scrapping...still using the Adornit kit...still posting. It has kind of turned into my mountain to climb. And I've almost reached the top. Four more pages.
Tonight I walked into the kitchen with my journal in hand and said to Scott, "I love myself." He was very surprised, because that's not a statement I ever make. Usually it's more like I hate my hair or I drive myself crazy. Tonight I was trying to come up with the journaling for these scrapbook pages - for me the writing is the most important part - though you'd not know it to look at my pages or read what I'd written as of yesterday. I love myself because I wrote about our trip. Good stuff.

Really, what's a scrapbook for if not to tell a story? The best way to tell a story is to write down details at the time of the story. That's when you get the great conversations, the profound quotations, the moment-by-moment happenings.
Almost as an afterthought tonight, I went and found my journal - to see if I'd written anything about the Island Park/Yellowstone trip. Bless me. I kept a good journal during the trip. I had written several entries. Suddenly my scrapbook pages had hope. So far, the 'good writing' is only on one page - the yellow page above: the one with lots of words. Tomorrow I'll finish typing up what was in my journal entries - maybe there will be a page with just words and no photos.

Annie Dillard, one of my favorite authors, said this about writing about yourself:
"You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment."

horeau said,
"Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your own life."

I'm telling you as I tell myself - if you're in a moment that you know you might want to scrapbook someday, write something down. It doesn't have to be a formal journal entry - some people are so frightened of keeping a journal. (I do, however, recommend keeping some kind of journal or notebook, not necessarily daily, but certainly during important times.) You can simply grab a 3x5 card and jot down what someone said - then drop the card in a card file. Grab a scrap of paper even - write the words then copy to your email and email it to yourself or put it in your email notes. Keep it safe and someday you'll love having that story. I'm so grateful I wrote down Aaron's words as he put Carter in the backpack that day in Yellowstone: "That's as good as it gets right there."

Those are the kind of experiences I want to circle round and round


[ still scrapping ]

Finished four more pages of my Yellowstone/Island Park scrapbook using the Adornit Busy Women Scrapbook Kit (for links see previous post). All this and there's still more 'stuff.' I can't believe it. The only thing that isn't from the kit is the alphabet letters I used for titles i.e. Henry's Lake. And, I know, I need to learn to bounce the flash off the ceiling or something so I don't have to take my photos on an angle. Georgana?


- I'm scrapping -

I'm trying something new and different for me - scrapping a whole trip. Challenging myself on my blog yesterday really helped my determination to DO THIS today. I just finished two layouts, with four more half done and four more planned in my mind - and the photos are printed ready to go. I decided to use the entire Adornit Busy Women Scrapbook Kit to scrap our family vacation last summer to Island Park and Yellowstone.

I got a little distracted today and ended up organizing photos instead of actually scrapping. We have a good system of photos in binders - thanks to Scott - but we're behind (who isn't, and it's mainly because we take sooo many photos now with our digital capabilities). SO I spent half the day separating and labeling photos. It's a good sitting-down job that I can do right now. It was quite a trip down memory lane. I'm glad I don't feel compelled to scrap every event in our lives. (Thanks to Stacy Julian for her liberating philosophies.) I pick and choose a select few and have a scrapbook of really special memories. - like the day Scott and Brookie were artists together on the banks of Henry's Lake.


:: Adornit's sweet kit club ::

Adornit (scrapbook company) has started a new SCRAPBOOK KIT CLUB. I'm so excited about this new venture for them. They promoted the first kit in an email blast last week, and it sold out in five days! If you got in on that deal you're a lucky girl.

Belonging to a kit club assures that you get something happy in your mailbox each month. (Since all the good magazines are closing or going bankrupt, finding fun stuff in the mailbox is getting harder and harder - unless you're an insomniac who loves QVC.) Adornit allows you to order the kits on a month-by-month basis, or you can pay for a six-month subscription and just wait for the fun to automatically arrive.

Kit clubs are businesses that are usually run by women who love scrapbooking so much and are so good at putting things together that they want to do it 'professionally.' So they fix up kits with coordinated contents and clever names, start a web-based business and send them out. I've tracked kit clubs for a year now and it's interesting how many of them come and go.

Adornit is different because they are an established scrapbook manufacturing company and the kits come from stock already in the warehouse. Adornit's kits are called "Busy Women Kits." I love that they aren't based on holiday or seasonal themes, but rather a general themes that anyone can use in a scrapbook. This month's kit is called "My Favorite Things." Janet Parker wrote up the blurb to advertise it and did a great job. I was thrilled when Carolee and Georgana gave me a kit to play with while taking some time off. Opening the kit and seeing what was inside made me want to start scrapbooking right now. And since everything was included - papers, ribbon, rub-ons, tags, stickers, letters - I don't even have to tire myself digging through my cupboards of scrapbook supplies.

So there you go - my excitement for today. Tomorrow I'm going to finish at least ONE scrapbook page using stuff from the kit and post it on this-here blog. That's my challenge. I'm going to bed right now, so I can get rested up for my big day.


{ Valentine's Day revisited }

Just had to post a few precious photos from Valentine's Day. The shot below is me opening the card and gift that Scott got me. He gave me a gorgeous fluffy red robe - because I was so embarrassed in the hospital by the old ratty blue robe that I took. (Didn't realize I'd be shuffling around the corridors doing my three laps every morning and afternoon.) So Scott knew what I wanted and got it for me, wrapped it up and also gave me a very sweet card with a recorded message.

The thing that is funny about the photo of me is my goofy eye - and then Scott imitating my 'squinky' eye in the next photo. He could hardly take my pictures he was laughing so hard at how for me, unless I really concentrate, one eye is always more open than the other. It's not funny - I could be quite traumatized by it. What's more, he's an eye doctor, and it's very undignified for an eye doctor to tease someone with a squinky eye. Good thing I'm such a good sport.
On to some more Valentine happiness. Pitt has a great tradition of sending tulips to Becky for Valentine's Day. This year they were in Logan so he had them delivered to our house and I got to watch the opening. The combination of tulips and iris was beautiful - and as the flowers opened they just got more and more breathtaking.
This was a fun Valentine surprise that Suzie sent from Las Vegas. She made a bunch of these wood block sets with her twelve and thirteen-year-old girls in church. Cuter than anything I found in blogland (see previous post) and a fun gift from the heart.
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"Start slow and taper off."

"How lovely it is to rest and then do nothing afterward." Spanish proverb

"Start slow and taper off." Walt Stack

"Life is a series of relapses and recoveries." George Ade

Oh, the heaven of it - to be forced to relax! I have a stack of books, a few new and several old favorites, that I've been reading the past week. This book, Change Your Life without Getting out of Bed, written by Susan Kennedy, otherwise known as SARK, is one of the best. It's full of nuggets of wisdom and good advice - accompanied by cute hand-drawn illustrations.

SARK writes: "As adults we need naptimes. We replenish and repair during naps. Napping softens all the edges and smooths the shredded places. Rest adds strength to our souls."

"Nap deprivation is rampant in America. Other countries have siestas. In India, people wrap up in bright cloths and lie down. In America, people keep on doing and going and become very crabby without naps. More naps would result in greater safety, more money and happier people."

"Napping without guilt takes courage, practice and determination. People judge themselves and others for napping - we must free ourselves from nap guilt."

It really is a cute book. I've been napping without guilt lately (it's easy when everyone around you tells you to rest). I hope YOU (and you and you and you) can be inspired to go take a nap too.


happy valentine's day - stuff I found in blogland

From Teresa Collins's blog - http://teresacollins.typepad.com/ - scrapbook layout by Lori Renn.
From Teresa Collins's blog - http://teresacollins.typepad.com/ - card by Danni Reid.

Cute Valentine decorating idea from Lisa Bearnson's blog - http://www.lisabearnson.com/blog/

Wall hanging created by Berdien Weideveld, a scrapper from the Netherlands - http://www.scrapfrombemmel.blogspot.com/

Wreath (or a darling banner) created by MARGIE HIGUCHI on Teresa Collins's blog.

Cards above and below created by Berdien Weideveld - blog address above.


~ amazing quote ~

"Join the great company of those who make the barren places of life fruitful with kindness. Carry a vision of heaven in your hearts, and you shall make your name, your college, the world, correspond to that vision. Your success and happiness lie in you. External conditions are the accidents of life, its outer wrappings. The great, enduring realities are love and service. Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form and invincible host against difficulty." Helen Keller

Illustration credit - webresourcesdepot.com


* I'm convalescing * (try spelling that)

So, when my good friend, Sue Crookston, called to ask me if someone had died, I knew I had to explain the post about the flowers. I had surgery last week. I'm ten days post-op and I'm amazed at how good I feel, and yet at how bad I feel. I don't know what I expected, but I'm still really tired and haggy. AND YET - I'm encouraged, and I think the surgery results were good. Yippee!

Over the weekend, I heard Scott on the phone to someone and he said, "She's convalescing - from female surgery." That made me laugh 'til my stitches hurt. Actually, I had a hysterectomy and bladder repair, and I don't mind saying it out loud. I opened the Ladies Home Journal, January issue today, and turned to the article called, "The Health Problem Women Won't Talk About." Whaddya know, the problem is just what I had: bladder incontinence. To quote, "it affects almost half of all women over 50. And about 80% of these can get relief." I'm excited to get relief. I'm determined to follow all my doctors' (I had two docs.) instructions about being careful and taking it easy for six weeks, so I can be one of the 80%. And for those of you killing yourselves to gag down "eight to ten eight-ounce glasses of water" or "your weight in ounces of water everyday," or whatever, every doctor I talked to said we're all overdoing it on water intake. Just thought you'd want to know : )


snowtime scrapbook layouts

These are the scrapbook pages I made for the class I taught at Paper Creations in Salt Lake last month. (It seems like it was months ago.) I need to thank Aimee and Aaron for the photos - they built a great-looking snowman, dressed Brookelyn and Bailee in matching outfits, etc. We've gotten a lot of mileage out of these photos. Keep snapping, Aimee.


{ flower power }

I couldn't wait to see how our photos turned out of the beautiful flowers sent to me by dear family. They brightened the outlook of anyone who looked at them.


hello computer : )

I am happy that I finally feel well enough
to spend some time on the computer.

I have missed checking my emails
and cruising through my blog bookmarks.

"Start here...go anywhere,"

I say to myself as I click on a blog link - and then another and another.

And then I stop and realize I have no idea how I got here
and why I'm reading about some English woman who crochets,
or worse yet, some guy who loves to cook in Singapore.

So I click back back back on my cool little mouse, trying to find my way home.

This is a great way to relax for an hour. Far surpasses TV for me.

After awhile it gets tiresome and I bring myself back to reality -
refreshed and rejuvenated by all the wonderful bloggers out there!

Thank you for waking me up!


good eats with the Sew & Sews!

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Superbowl - the best of times, the worst of times

Watching the Superbowl is great fun if your team is winning. Today's game was everything the Superbowl should be - except the wrong team won. In spite of that, we had good company, good food and lots of laughs (when the talking babies came on). Oh, and for Scott, lots of anxiety. He really gets into these games - which makes it more fun for all of us. Below are me, Matt and Michelle, Derek and Nikki, Jennifer, Zach.