Birthdays are not for the Weak of Heart

This photo says it all. 
Where does time go and so quickly?! 

Baby #1 is celebrating his 19th birthday today. As a mom, I take some time on my sons' birthdays to reflect on the awesome milestones and personal growth experiences [my husband and] I had as parents throughout our family's lives. From figuring out sleepless nights, diaper changes, tiny arm holes, teen fashion these days, the tooth's fairy exchange rate, sports, homework as far as we could go with the kids on the subject matter, figuring out how to pay tuition, figuring out how to pay for extracurricular activities, figuring out if allowances made sense, keeping them clothed, fed, sheltered, well educated, inspiring their imagination, their love for travel, their taste for the refined as well as the rudimentary, figuring out the social network situation and our rules, how to parent with technology, if girls were a thing or not yet, being okay that the kids are taller and loving they are taller, figuring out healthy meals, figuring out when not-so-healthy foods were okay and not getting them in the habit or hoping they don't eat too much junk or processed food, family prayers, cultivating faith, cultivating beliefs they could stand behind, teaching them cleanliness habits, teaching them to appreciate different cuisines, teaching them to cook, teaching them to respect, be well-mannered, be compassionate, learning from them, listening to them, teaching them to drive, teaching ourselves to be patient, learning how to get mad on purpose, learning to set an example, learning to parent with compassion, learning about what kids learn about these days, seeing what my kids are passionate about, excited that my sons are concerned and want to vote, want to save the environment, recycle, compost, seeing my sons appreciate Broadway shows, different kinds of music, different genres of the arts including TVs, film and news sites, and the list still goes on. 

Bringing up another person is an insurmountable amount of work ... but I don't even see it like that. If I think about it, I recognize it, but to me, I'm just a mom/a parental unit and this is what I/we do. I know it's his birthday, but what a great day for me to sit back and say "WOW - We both Survived! And you turned out pretty nicely!"  LOL


Shaker Challenge at SSS

This week's challenge at Simon Says Stamp was a shaker card. That is right up my alley!

Sometimes you have a uber cool design in your mind's eye and sometimes you can execute it flawlessly. Sometimes you get it mostly right. That was this time.  I had just an hour (a whole hour!) to make this card for a birthday party on the same day. I envisioned larger gears, but didn't think about the fact that I was making an A2 card. Duh. My own gears were a bit off I guess.

In the end, I was pretty happy with "mostly" right. The elements came together as I wanted even if the size of the shaker was smaller than I had wanted, and I couldn't fit all my uber cool Papergloss sequin mix in the shaker.

I love the way Wow Embossing Powder's ultra high gold melts so thick and smooth!


Handmade Cards for Friends and Co-Workers

I was on a card making streak.

It started with a simple sympathy card. I hate to think I need a stash of these, but I probably do.
I love the elegance of the black and white floral paper. I fussy cut a few of the flowers and popped them up over the same shapes in the background. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the paper since it came from my scrap stash (as did all the others shown in this post).

Since I was in my paper scraps stash anyway, I made a several more cards for a team at work. I hand delivered them all the way in Utah. 

I see all kinds of possibilities with the Memory Box Modern Border Trim die. 

And I'm still crazy for Tim Holtz's Crazy Bird stamp.

This is one of my favorite cards. One particular co-worker is a Dr Who fan. I love the galaxy colors in the background, and I really really love the hologram effect from the embossing powder that layers on top of this whole card. I don't think the images do it justice!

Products Used:


2015 Year in Review

My little word (AKA 'my one word') for 2015 was "live".

My intention behind this word was to remind myself to put less energy into work and more into life. I love my job and company, but being in a high profile, warp-speed and stressful environment for years was taking it's toll on me and my house. It was time to change before I/we hit a wall.

Looking back, just putting this specific lens on my life enabled us to enjoy many amazing moments. Here's a recap of our household highlights from 2015.    **WARNING - LOTs of photos**

The Top 5

  1. Harrison's 18th
  2. High School Graduation 
  3. Conner's 15th 
  4. Off to College! 
  5. Azores, Portugal Vacation

The Next 5
  1. Tim's 40th
  2. Water Polo CCS Champions
  3. Ski Trip
  4. Enjoying my hobbies and interests
  5. Christmas at Home

Fun with Family & Friends 
It was so nice to spend quality time with friends, family and colleagues. I spent time getting to know our newest extended family members under the age of 5, making new friends through my volunteer work as a Team Mom for Baby #2's water polo team and leading the seamstress production efforts for his school's annual scholarship fundraising fashion show, honing my culinary skills with my Cooking Club peeps, and working on mad board game skills.

Fun @ the Office
I went on my usual tour of trade shows right after the new year for work and Wow! Embossing Powder: Consumer Electronics Show (CES) & Craft Hobby Association (CHA).

One cool moment at CES this year was having a business meeting with the infamous Shaquille O'Neal to work on potential partnerships. The other cool moment was winning eCommerce Retailer of the Year from Monster (well know for their Beats headphones) and seeing the Steve Miller Band at their private concert right after. (Yes, I know all the words to their songs. My parents played a lot of music over my childhood.)

In April, I moved from the Deals team to a new team where I focus on growing retail businesses on our marketplace. I work across all sizes of sellers from small to enterprise, and my flagship service/product was a promotions-based service. Being on this team inspired me to amp up my own retail game and I opened up Papergloss on Etsy and at Amazon Handmade. I sell other goods on eBay, but hope to have Papergloss here soon.

I was able to take, not 1 but 2 convention trips for Wow! Embossing with the UK team in 2015! Bonus points for making it out to Boston for the first time! Checked Massachusetts off my bucket list, leaving 9 more states to visit.

I am positive 2016 will present us with a new and different set of memories, experiences and learnings. I plan to be ready to see new perspectives as I 'focus' on what is important. What about you? 

From all of us to all of you, we wish you all the best in 2016! 

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