Monday, August 17, 2015

on quitting my Thirty-One business

Some things are better together.

Like peanut butter and chocolate.

Sunshine and coconut oil.

Snow and mittens.

Diet Dr Pepper and crushed ice.

Some things are better one at a time.

Like running a home business.

After 4 years with Thirty-One Gifts, I have come to the conclusion to close that chapter of my life and close my Thirty-One business.

I came on board Thirty-One when my former scrapbooking business was going through some major changes/restructuring.  I'm happy to report that has all been straightened out and Creative Memories is back with completely new ownership and management. Creative Memories is no longer a party plan business but I will be offering Workshops and Special Events throughout the year as well as my new YouTube channel where I will be sharing tips and ideas on memory keeping!  After 20+ years in the memory keeping business, it is good to be "back!"  

This past Fall I also started teaching Preschool part-time. Plus having 4 kids in 4 different schools...well, something had to give.  I was just being spread too thin!

My Thirty-One website will be up in August and September. I will have an Appreciation Event for my past Hostesses in October and then officially done.  I am actually super energized by this decision!  I should have done it earlier but I truly do love the Thirty-One products and people and I am eager to try to do it all.  But I would rather try to do a few things well than too many things weakly.  Memory Keeping fits right in with my other interests - such as writing, blogging, preschool teaching, helping, playing with paper and encouraging.

I learned a lot by being part of Thirty-One and I do not regret the diversion. It is a chapter of my life I will cherish (and probably put in a scrapbook)! Thank you to all my wonderful hostesses, customers, team, and upline leaders who made this possible. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cleaning house...

Sometimes things that are hidden come to light.

Sometimes those things break a mother's heart. And a child's innocence.
And a family's hedge.

Sometimes those things shake a foundation or threaten a faith.

After a personal "crisis" Sugar and I took down the Miniature House that had been collecting dust up on our stair landing . It had been placed there, high up and out of reach, because my 4th child (a Boy!) was a very active toddler (aka "demolition boy). Now he's an active, respectful boy and can be trusted with said Miniature house. 

Sugar and I took the Miniature house down with the intent of selling it.

We dusted it off, cleaned it up and found a project – Restoring the Miniature house to something beautiful. We both agreed that we didn't want to sell it. Instead we got busy making plans. 

Sometimes things that are hidden come to light.

Sometimes those things give healing to a mother's heart. And a child's innocence.  And a family's hedge. 

Having creative projects to do together can be a healthy distraction during difficult times. 

Shrinking our world down to one bitty corner of one miniature room ... 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Feeling grateful on Father's Day....grateful my 4 children have a father who is hands-on, adventurous, faith-filled, hard-working, fun, fit, able to forgive, and able to ask forgiveness.

grateful my children have a father who loves his wife - aka their mama.

grateful that although their father travels around the world, he always comes home with a smile and a kiss and lots of hugs all around!  

I love doing life with him.

Happy Fathers Day, love!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ghost Boy book review

If you are a physician, caregiver, teacher..... please read this short memoir, Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius. (Actually every human should read this book!) This once healthy 10-year-old boy very quickly became sick to the point of being unresponsive. He basically became crippled and mentally incapacitated almost overnight. For years he was in this state with everyone 'assuming' his mind had regressed to a 2-year old level. 

And yet...many years later his mind slowly awakened to find himself trapped in his own body - unable to speak and no longer control his limbs, and under the mercy of "caregivers" who treated him as less than human. 

Except one...and it only takes caregiver who sensed there was more to this boy than a shell.  Without giving it all away, it involves her intuition, willing parents, keen testing, cutting edge voice technology, and a miraculous discovery that he was in there all along - with a full vocabulary and awareness of every conversation spoken over him (and every abuse perpetrated on him).

His escape from this 10-year prison will give you pause....pause to look into the eyes of those you may have previously dismissed. 

There is always hope.

I was especially encouraged that he didn't lose his Faith in God through his life fact, he says he felt God's presence during that time in a way that he can't describe adequately but it solidified his Faith. 

And I am encouraged that with his limitations he has gone on to do incredible things in society! Oh, you just have to read this book. It's super short - like just an evening you can devour the book. It skips around a bit but it's a powerful testimony!

God Bless You Martin! Thank you for getting Better and not Bitter. Thank you for sharing your story.  And God Bless your family as well as this was devastating to them - to see their vibrant 10-year-old disappear with no hope of healing. The way you described your father's faithful care, brought tears to my eyes. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Princess Tea

Sugar is 13 years old and wanted to host her own table at the annual Princess Tea this Spring.  She wanted to do a Little Mermaid theme with a live fish. She found some fun containers at the Dollar Store and I gathered some material remnants and burlap I had stashed at home. It turned out really sparkly and magical!  

The tables were simpler than in years past. I noticed a lot of the girls who attended years ago are wanting to host their own tables now. I love that! The moms were able to step back and let them decorate, bake and host. In fact, a few of our Middle School mentors held a meeting once/month for a few months leading up to the tea with topics such as: Picking a Theme, Table Decorating, Hostess Tips, Baking Cupcakes, etc..

Here are some of the fun table themes....from Belle to Cinderella....

 and the gorgeous cupcakes....

There was even a carriage photo-opp
for sweet friends!!

I wasn't able to attend (it was the same weekend I was attending Blondie's Mom's Weekend at her Sorority). I helped her set the table the day before the Tea but I missed seeing her actually host the table.  I think it was for the best though because I tend to reach in and take over sometimes when Sugar would prefer to do it herself and in her own unique, sweet way.  Her grandma and several of our friends were her honored guests. I am so very proud of sweet Sugar - the "Hostess with the Mostess" and my beautiful Princess.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Mother's Day Weekend

This year was one of the best Mother's Day "weekends" I've ever had!
Up until this year my favorite Mother's Days have been when I held a newborn in my arms...

19, 17, 13, and 10 years later......the first of my 4 "babies" spread her wings, dove out of the nest, and it nearly broke my heart. It's something every mother must go through I suppose but it sucks. I mean you pour your life into these precious babies and they just grow up and leave you? What is that?! 

But a little time and through a few tears and heart-to-heart talks, I started to see the pendulum swinging back toward home.....not all the way, of course, but closer to the middle - where I could see glimpses of the girl I raised and her character, kindness, beauty, and strength shining through. It was there all along of course, but through my own insecurities and inexperience I had some difficulty watching her fly away...

Here are some highlights from Mother's Day weekend which included a college visit to spend with Blondie. We explored her little college town and ate at some very delicious restaurants. It was fun to whisk her away to a hotel suite and give her the gift of a good night sleep (I'll always be her mom). We rented the movie "Big Eyes" which we really enjoyed and had a great discussion about women's rights and relationships and how far women have come yet how far we have to go.  (What? You didn't talk about grades or homework or tuition or nutrition or future plans? No, and it was awesome! Haha!)

Blondie's sorority welcomed us and so did our hotel....

Blondie gave me a super cute sweatshirt - that combined some of my favorite things - the color blue, a flower lei, and a nod to mama: 

"I got it from my mama"

Cuz you know when I walk next to my model daughter everyone can clearly see that she gets if from me....I wore it anyway.... 

I nearly gave up climbing this 'easy' hike (it's only 3.5 miles but it's up, up, up to the top of the summit). Blondie is just like her dad - works out every. single. day. and then some! She patiently let me take my own pace just like her dad treated me when he and I were walking up the hills of San Francisco all the way to the Coit Tower. I am fortunate to be surrounded with loving support. After watching the movie "Big Eyes" - I was even more grateful for supportive family. 
 The view is always worth the climb.

FUTURE SELF BREAK: "Hey, self, you better get in shape before your 4th born attends college and wants you to summit for a view of his college will be 8 years older, will you be 8x stronger? Your own father climbed the highest peaks in the world up into his 70's...what's your excuse?" 

After the hike we did some shopping at a local boutique and then we took over a pottery studio. The boutique owner was very smart - advertising 10% off to the sorority moms and then serving us champagne when we arrived. Oy! My credit card is getting more of a workout than me!

Mother/Daughter painting party...we packed the place!  We had another delicious dinner and then I drove home. Most of the other moms were staying for Mother's Day Brunch the next morning before they flew home but I reminded them that I did have 3 other children at home who might want to see me on Mother's I said goodbye but was sooo grateful I had that sweet time with Blondie!!

My other 3 kids were happy to have me back home but only 2 wanted to get a photo with me (why is Mother's Day always the same weekend as Prom? Don't they know that high schoolers stay up all night whether or not they actually attend?). My Hero had planted fresh flowers in our yard and hung some pretty flower baskets while I was gone, then he bbq'd steak. Yum!

One of my favorite parts of every Mother's Day is the hand written cards I receive:

from Jelly

from Sugar (she made me a book of mom-isms)

 and from the Prince...something he made at school
I love the coupons he made! Can you tell he's the son of a scrapbooker

 And we invited this little chick momma

Happy Mother's Day!