Accordion to Me CTMH Card

Good morning! It’s a wet and dreary morning here in northwestern Canada, which is great because I’m going to scrap today! I’m going through crafty withdrawals. I figure it’s high time I get back to it. 

As you know, I held a kid friendly scrapbook workshop on Saturday. If you missed my post about it, you can find it right here.

I thought it would be nice to make cards for each of my guests thanking them for participating and sharing info about my next planned workshop. Today, I thought I’d share it with you. 

To create this card, I used one of the patterns from my CTMH Originals Card pattern books (Lucky Three, pg. 59) and used up some more Little Dreamer and Jack patterned papers. I also threw in some CTMH glitter paper that I’d trimmed down for my Christmas cards and a bit of Sea Glass cardstock for the matted image. The stamped image and sentiment cane from an upcoming stamp of the month. Stay tuned for that!

PRODUCTS USED

– X772B Jack

– X7219B Little Dreamer

– 1385 White Daisy cardstock 

– Sea Glass cardstock (retired)

– Z3238 Gold Glitter Paper

– Z2818 Desert Sand Exckusive Inks

– Z2810 Blossom Exclusive Inks

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The Real Reason For Make it Monday

We’ve finally made it. 

While other kids started yesterday, others last week, and still others at various intervals throughout the rest of August, my kids are going back to school today.  

*Cue a sigh of relief.  

I’m not sure what my day holds yet- my husband is home but is gearing up to leave town again for the next 3 days (so he says…I won’t be surprised if it turns out to be longer), and the rains are coming. We had severe thunderstorms roll through Tuesday overnight and more is forecasted for today. 

We will return to walking- as long as the weather holds until later in the morning. Freddie and I (my white, four legged fur baby) need to get back to our morning walks. He’s going through withdrawals similar to my scrappy withdrawals. 

This year, our walk will be longer than last year (and I thought the walk was long then, lol). The twins’ entrance is on the furthest side of the school from our house. It’ll be great exercise- for all four of us! I think after I drop them off, I’ll take the “long” way home again, instead of going the easiest, most efficient way. At least, until the weather becomes unbearably cold. Then, I’m heading to the gym.

(I had intended to share a layout today, but it appears the universe had other plans!)

Why do I mention all this talk about walking and exercise? Well, for the same reason I started sharing Make it Monday- for inspiration. I had wild success sharing what I’m about to share with you to my Instagram- people found it profoundly inspiring and encouraging, so maybe the same would happen here? It’s worth a try.

If anything, it’ll be a good reminder for me, and source of encouragement. It all began with the strain of our economy and finding ways to save money. But, at that point, what I had to do was just in my head, and hadn’t been put into action, yet. Mostly because I was lazy and comfortable- I’ve always struggled with motivation and self-restraint. I have very little will-power. Can anyone relate?

In the midst of trying to sort out some health problems my husband was (and still is) battling, my husband was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. As a result, his doctor wanted him to take some health classes at our local hospital. He asked that I go along with him. I obliged. 

I never thought what the dietician would say would have such a profound impact on me. I took her words- and advice- to heart. I made two small changes, and the result has been incredible. 

The changes? I cut pop from my diet, though I do indulge in the occasional one every so often. The difference is I don’t drink them like my life depends on it anymore. In addition to cutting that sugar out of my diet, I began walking. 

I began walking to 1) save money by burning less gas through driving and 2) to help my body turn the fatty and sugary foods I was still eating into energy instead if letting it be stored as fat instead. 

By March of this year (I began making these changes late last year), people began asking me if I was losing weight. By April, my clothes- especially my jeans and a skort I own- started becoming looser. 

*Note: undies included! I used to tease my babies about having “droopy drawers”- now I do! Lol

I also started recording my weight. By the beginning of this August, my father in law told me I was “wasting away”. (My jeans are absolutely annoying to wear, now. I really want to go shopping for new clothes, but I’m scared to. I don’t want to jinx myself.)

When I began, my goal wasn’t to lose weight. I only wanted to become a little more healthy, in an effort to cut the chances of developing serious health problems- and worse. We’ve experienced losing enough close friends to unexpected deaths for various reasons, I didn’t want to be another statistic. Losing weight was (and is) an added bonus. I am trying to teach my girls to be healthy- what we weigh shouldn’t matter, as long as our bodies are healthy. That means keeping everything in balance. Eat your sweets, but get your feet moving to facilitate your body’s job of absorbing and breaking down the food you eat. I hope that I can live by example for them, and I hope that’s enough to foster a positive body image for them. I hope the same for my husband, too.

Even though I am making a big deal about losing weight here on my blog, we don’t make a big deal about our weight or what each of us looks like in real life. Our main thing is eating fresh and moving our bodies. We all come in different sizes and shapes; it’s what makes us unique and beautiful. I will never have a flat tummy or a space between my thighs. That’s ok. As long as I’m healthy. My daughters may not either, but they’re still beautiful. They should never feel ashamed of how they are built or look.

I was overweight when I began this journey. I don’t know what I weighed at the beginning- I avoided the scale like the plague. We also did not own a scale, so ignoring the obvious was easy. I think I weighed around the 200 pound mark. When I began recording my weight, I honestly thought I’d lost 15 pounds. Maybe. When we were at the hospital for healrh class, or to meet the dietician, i woukd use hwr scale to record my weight. I was elated to find I had begun losing weight. 

Until recently, I  didn’t think I’d lost as much as I have. When I finally took a before/during picture, I was astonished to see I’d lost closer to 30 pounds. My husband was astonished to see the change, too. I like how he looks at me now. It’s flattering and insanely encouraging. 

Since the picture on the right was taken, I’ve lost one more pound. I’ve added eating more fresh fruit and veggies into my diet since my journey began, as well. Which is why I began sharing recipes with you. I am still the girl with no will power and a sweet tooth that’s larger than she is, so youll sometimes see comfort food, unhealthy recipes. But, I’ll also share better for you recipes, so when I find ones that are quick and simple to make and are super tasty, I have to share!

So, where am I going with this? I’m not really sure anymore. Lol. If you’ve had a little thought in the back of your brain that’s urging you to make a change, do it. Your future self will thank you for it, and your body will thank you for it. Not to mention your family. The last thing they need is a life without you. (And who wouldn’t like being oogled by their husbands?!)

One important thing to remember is to start small- choose just one thing to change. Keep on it until you master it. Then add something else. Once that’s habit, add something else. Don’t overwhelm yourself by cutting everything “cold turkey” and set yourself up for failure. I think that was the key to my own personal success. I set myself up for success for once. It’s easier than you think!

Need more proof?

(My first skinny girl outfit). And, for the record, I’ve wanted a form fitting denim jacket for eons. I scored one yesterday at Reitmans. Head to your local Reitmans to get your own.

I’m not done yet. I will keep making changes, and I want to lose more weight. For instance, with my newfound love for smoothies, I’ve unintentionally cut my bread intake in half, probably more. It’s another change that I unintentionally made by deciding to eat more of something else. My goal is to lose 29 more pounds by next August. (It was 30, but I’ve lost another pound since setting my goal and making a plan to achieve it). If I don’t lose as much as I want? I’ve already surpassed my expectations with where I’m at now. I’ll be satisfied with wherever I end up. The point is making my body healthy, not looking like a model. 

Anyone want to join me on my journey? Do you have a weightloss/get healthy story you’d like to share?

Snail Mail Saturday

Good morning! Welcome to snail mail Saturday!

I wanted to share some of the goodies I got in my most recent incoming mail haul. Maybe it’ll inspire you (it’s inspired me!)

The card I’m holding open- I think those are post it notes. Aren’t they adorable??!

There’s stickers, journaling cards, ribbon and washi samples, a bookmark and more!

I felt spoiled and I loved it! 

How do you spoil your penpals?

Spicy Day

Hello dear friends! Once again, the week is coming to a close. My kids don’t have school tomorrow, so I think we’re going to relax and take it easy. On Saturday, we’re meeting Elsa, Olaf and Anna from Frozen, then heading to a birthday party. We’re pretty stoked about it!

I promised you a spicy post today. Grab a chair and get comfy- you’ll need it!

***Disclaimer: These photos are not mine***

(I am going to scrapbook them one day, though!!)

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A little ways down the highway from my town, this happened. The jr/Sr high-school had to be evacuated as well as a mobile home trailer park that was within close proximity. All I know about it is a 12 year old child accidentally set the blaze, CN rail doesn’t plan to rebuild (although it’s an iconic piece of Alberta history), and no one/nothing else was damaged from the blaze.

My heart is so sad. I love history and historical buildings.

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Mayerthorpe, the town this happened at, is in the background.

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In my lovely hometown- actually, mere blocks from my home, a massive grass fire swept a field behind our Walmart and Staples. It was mere feet from homes when our Fire Department and Forestry teams got it under control. I still don’t know what started this blaze.

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This picture both gives you a general idea of how large the blaze was, and how close it came to decimating one of the mobile home parks in town. (My house is somewhere in the top background there).

Lastly, here’s a couple of my own pictures.

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View from my backyard.

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We jumped in the truck to see if we could figure out exactly where the blaze was (at this point, we weren’t exactly sure), and we wound up sitting next to the pond one of the choppers was using to fill his bucket. It was really impressive to watch- the twins thought it was out of this world!

Their appreciation and respect for our first responders tripled on Wednesday afternoon- as did mine! (When this took place).

Oh- and even though we’re on the “edge” of town, we were sitting in a construction zone. It’ll be a near- future new subdivision. 😆

How was that for spicy? The blaze in our little town had us worried for a bit. I’m so glad no one was hurt and no one lost their homes or businesses. What a blessing!

Join me again tomorrow for more scrappy goodness!

At Peace

Hello friends!

Well, the phone call I’d been waiting for finally came late Monday afternoon. My Oma passed away peacefully at 4 pm.

I still haven’t heard from my mom, but I imagine I’ll get the details I’m waiting on soon enough.

I’m certain my Oma visited briefly this afternoon. I heard a grandfather clock chime and I wasn’t at home. (Grandfather clocks and my Oma were synonymous, in my mind. Also iced tea and lemon cake. Mmm.)

I’m not sad, really. Oh, I should say grieving. Of course I’m sad she’s no longer here. I’m at peace with the entire situation. I’m glad she’s no longer in pain and no longer anxious. I could see it still in her last days. Her movements and certain mannerisms seemed to indicate she was struggling with something.

I’m just so relieved she’s in a better place. That struggle is finally over. She’s now reunited with her sisters- along with Opa, uncle Rudy and the aunt/uncle I never met (that died in infancy). Her quick wit and feisty spirit will be sorely missed here, but celebrated over in heaven.

Rest easy, Oma. Our loss is heavens gain.

Till we meet again.

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The future is now. I finally understand.

#future

Family Shenanigans

Hi everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Easter- what did you do? We spent the weekend with my family in Edmonton. Here’s a peek at some of our shenanigans!

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I’ve also been working on a secret, and keeping the details hidden is a true test of endurance for me! I’m bursting to tell you, but since I can’t, here’s a teaser:

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Sketchabilities #134

Hello everyone! The kids here in our hometown have an extra long weekend due to Professional Development days (their teachers seem to always need.) When I was a kid, we rarely had long weekends. I think “PD days” was just becoming a thing- now, every time I turn around, my kids have another long weekend. I find it mind boggling! Kids need to be smarter these days- we put an incredible amount of pressure on them to perform and be smart- and yet, half the school year is holidays and other professional development and academic improvement days. How does that work? I don’t see how it’s fair- even with a longer school year. It saddens me, a bit, that our little 3 and 4 year Olds need to have a basic grasp of printing and knowing their alphabet. I wasn’t introduced those types of skills until kindergarten. My preschool children know their alphabet from A to Z, can count up to 30 by ones and up to 100 by tens and are able to print some of the letters in the alphabet. Most of that is due to their thirst for knowledge; the rest is learning at school. The point I’m trying {poorly} to make, is our kids are learning a lot of what we learned earlier than what we did. I hope it isn’t setting them up for failure, or feeling as though they’re failures.  Then again, maybe I’m just confused and have this viewpoint as a result of my own childhood and the shortcomings I perceive myself to hold.
Anyways, I am here today to share with you another layout, which I’m happy to report is not a personal shortcoming or failure I perceive myself to hold (creativity). I’ve always been creative; I used to be teased (some of my earliest memories) for always wanting to color. The creative side of my brain definitely dominated my life right from my earliest memories. I realized in the shower this morning, that it wasn’t- and should never have been- something to be ashamed of. I am a creative being, and that’s how I was programmed when I was conceived. I am meant to be a creative being, and I will not stop being so. I will embrace it and run like the wind with it! For me, it’s been a blessing and my lifeline. I am #grateful for it!

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As a mom, I have a lot to be grateful for. First and foremost, I am grateful for the two little miracles I call my daughters.  They are my pride and joy and my ultimate undoing. When the dust settles,  I am grateful for the sweet silence their nap brings (and now their presence at preschool). I’m grateful for their passions, their desires and their sweet and tender hearts. I see my own creative tendencies recreated in its own ways in their little personalities, manifesting itself in a desire to sing, dance and make music. I’m in constant and total amazement at them. Creating little people really is the most magnificent of miracles!

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This sketch was my inspiration.

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Sketchabilities has a challenge happening right now; I’ll actually be playing along. Will you? Find it on my Pinterest here, or follow this link right to their website.
Enjoy your weekend- whether it’s a long weekend or not!

Gratitude Days 42 to 53

Welcome to another weekend! Are you doing anything interesting this weekend? We are taking it easy today, but plan to head to our friends’ house tomorrow to help her celebrate her 8th birthday. We’re pretty excited, I think. I made her a birthday card- if you missed it, you can see it right here.
I’ve gotten pretty far behind in scrapbooking what I’m grateful for, so I sat down to catch up. Annnd I ran into a huge (in the heat of the moment) problem. I was recording them daily on my Facebook group page, or so I thought. When I scrolled through my posts, I could only find my last few entries! By then, I was totally freaking out! (Sometimes, Peg Plus Cat quotes are the best way to explain a predicament!) After I took time to count backwards to one from five, I realized that all was not lost- I would just pick up wherever my posts started again (without duplicating entries). I also decided that in the future, I’d scrapbook my entry first! Then- no oopsies!!
I’ve also noticed that my gratitude posts seem to be popular among my readers, so I felt it was important to keep up the momentum!
So, to catch everyone up, including me, here’s the last few pages I created:

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What are you grateful for?

They’re 5!!

I just thought I’d drop in and share pictures of our birthday party this past weekend. Sit back and enjoy!

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I don’t want to share pictures of the other kids from the party we had on Saturday, for confidentiality purposes; the rest of my pictures- from here- are of the party we had with the grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousin.

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Our 5th birthday was a lot of fun, a lot of crazy, and a lot laughs. The girls feel so proud to be 5 years old now. I think they feel like they’re pretty grown up! We’re definitely past the toddler years and entering childhood. My ovaries and I are mourning the fact there’s no more babies in the house. *Sniffle*.

#tbt

I’m dropping I’m with a quick Throwback Thursday picture. 5 years ago, this weekend, marked the end of a very long week before bringing my babies into the world. They were absolutely worth that week of utter boredom!

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Roughly 4 weeks before the twins were unexpectedly induced.

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                       –> Miss M

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                    –> Miss A
Happy birthday, my beautiful, strong, delightful miracle babies!!