Monday, September 1, 2014

Paper Camellia September Kit Reveal

Now for your regularly scheduled programing….

It's Paper Camellia reveal day. These kits sell like hotcakes so my advice to you is to subscribe so you can be sure to get your hands on one. Seriously, Ria does such an amazing job picking out the contents. Both the traditional Scrapbook Kit, and the Everyday Life kit are wonderful every single month. You really can't go wrong with either of these on your doorstep.

Here are the Pocket Pages that I made this month…

July 14th to 20th

Right side...

Left side...

 Here's a little close up...

July 28th to August 3rd

Left Side...

Right Side...

A couple of close ups..

Pretty cool kit, huh? I had enough of it left over to make three traditional 12x12 layouts. I'll share those soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

thank you

I just wanted to take some time today to express my gratitude. To say I am floored by the outpouring of comments, care, and concern, would be an understatement. I felt all warm and fuzzy reading your supportive words. I know it's not something that people often blog about openly, and I really appreciate your kindness, and understanding.

Writing that post felt scary but also strangely cathartic. Like I was coming clean with something. Like giving the monkey on my back an eviction notice.

I want to re-assure anyone that might be worried about my well being… My husband has promised to make an appointment with a therapist in our area for me. Once I explain what's going on to her we'll work together to figure out a medication and/or plan to get me back on track with feeling normal.

I also want to tell you that although I have no doubt that I'm clinically depressed and need help I've never had any thoughts of hurting myself or those around me. That's just not one of my issues. I don't want anyone to worry about that with me.

I know I am loved. I know people care about me. I know that there is a lot to be happy about.. and I plan to take care of myself, with the help of my husband… & take the steps I need to to be myself again and live life to the fullest.

I promise to give you updates here and there on my progress. I would like to go back to blogging as usual too. It feels good to be able to share my projects and random bits of life, so I will continue to do those things. Thanks again, your support and advice means the world to me.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

so here's the thing...

I've been thinking about writing this post for a long time. At least a month. A lot of things have held me back… I like to keep it light and fun around here, I don't think I'm great at expressing my feelings with writing (it comes of scattered), I don't want to be judged, I don't want people to think I've been hiding things or trying to paint a rosy picture when in reality…. it's not roses most of the time right now…

but there comes a time when none of the above really matters. A time when I just have to get out what I've been feeling and going through. I have to share my story because it's part of me.. good, bad, or ugly, this is my life and my reality right now….

So here goes nothing. I am depressed. 

Not just, oh man this is a bad day or week and I'm pretty bummed out about it. Full blown, deep and dark depression. I'd like to say it came out of nowhere but the truth is it's been creeping in for awhile now. For the past month it's become worse and worse and now I'm to the point where I need help. I need a counselor and probably medication. Not probably. I really, really think I need help with medication. 

I'm just not myself anymore. I find it hard to smile. I'm impatient with the kids. I find it extremely hard to take care of myself. I don't feel lovable or even likable right now. I cry daily. I don't even recognize the person in the mirror any more. I don't like that girl, where did she come from? Sometimes I find it hard to get out of bed… I swear, if I didn't have kids and obligations with them I probably wouldn't get out of bed at all.

I've dealt with brief bouts of depression in the past… had my run ins with the blues that last a little longer than I'd like.. it's something that runs in our family. I know it well. But in the past I've always been able snap myself out of it in one way or another. 

I try to keep things into perspective. Sure our family has gone through hell this year.. but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We are so close to rebuilding things…. I have my health, my kids, the love of my life… I know, I so know all of that. I remind myself daily that it's ALL that matters. I tell myself that everyone alive has problems, great and small. There are people out there dealing with more struggle than I could even begin to comprehend. I know that too. Absolutely. But somehow right now it doesn't help.

For awhile leading up to this I was making a painstaking effort to snap myself out of what I knew was coming. If I felt down or negative I would do something for myself. I'd text a family member or send an email to someone in my life to tell them how wonderful and important they are. I'd buy myself a fancy coffee. I'd spend extra time with the dog. I'd pick out a movie or do something involving the new house. I'd blog and work on my goals. I'd scrapbook and focus on the good things in life, the happy little moments and memories. It would work for a time, even though it was taking a lot of work. It was working, a little. Like a tiny bandaid plastered over a gaping wound..  

but not anymore. There is no snapping-out of this. The depression is palpable. 

I can't see the forest through the trees. I'm in the thick of it. Sure I have good moments. Times when I can laugh. Things I can post on Instagram. Moments when I see glimpses of my former self.. but I'm telling you it is shocking how infrequent they are. It's like my reality has flopped places… I have as many "good" days as I used to have "bad" days. I hate it.

For some reason I finally decided to share it here on my silly little scrapbook blog… it felt like it was time I owned it. It's why if you're a family member I probably haven't answered your calls, or made any effort to call you. It's why if you're my husband I've questioned why you would continue to love me through this when I am at my worst, over and over. It's why if you're my kid you wonder what the heck is wrong with Mommy… and I am so truly and deeply sorry for those things. Please believe me, if I could fix them right now I would.

I don't know if anyone will even really read this… I guess I just wanted to share with anyone who stops by to check in on what I'm up to. I guess I don't even know why.. maybe it's my way of reaching out.. making the first step to getting help.. maybe I just want you all to know that I am trying so desperately to be happy again. To get myself back to normal… even if you didn't really know that anything was wrong. 

I'm grateful for so many things in my life. We have a long list of things to be happy about.. and I intend on getting to a place where I can start doing that again very soon. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First Day Of School

Welp. It's that time again. Time to send the kiddos off to their new schools. I'm excited to see the school year begin (because it means I'm FREEEEEEEEE! J/k..but it does mean I have a couple of sweet, sweet hours a day where it is just Dez and I.) It also means that I morph from stay at home Mom to taxi cab Mom. This first month of school I'll be shuttling them around until we move into our new digs. I'm in the car at 7am, 9am, 12pm, 2pm and somewhere in between to take Aidan to and from work. Ah the things we do for our kids.

This dude was looking forward to beginning the 7th grade. He loves a fresh start. I hope he has the best year yet. He deserves it….

Middle school moment: "Mom, seriously, how many photos do you need, it's like 6 in the morning."

Evareaux has been looking forward to Kindergarten for the past two years. No joke. I guess it comes with the territory when you have older sibling and you are convinced that school is the coolest thing ever. 

"Hey Evareaux, are your ready to go to your first day of Kindergarten?"

The only person not loving this whole back to school thing is Dezmond. Poor kid. Each day when we drop Evareaux off he becomes heart broken all over again. As soon as she leaves his side and walks into the classroom he just loses it and tries to chase her. Then I scoop him up and carry my wailing baby through the school in order to leave. The way he cries about her you'd think he was losing a limb. Maybe one of these days he'll realize it's ok to be stuck with Mommy… then again, probably not. ;)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Our House

"When are you going to move out of that dump you live in??", you ask. Well, in March we finally sold our Kentucky house. Sometime before that we made the leap and committed to building a home here. I remember putting this sticker on the plot of land we carefully chose. The nerves were outrageous. Such a leap of faith to do something like this and not know how or even really when things were going to work out. So many things had gone wrong for us.. It was hard for me to believe that everything would end up happily ever after.

Back then everything was just a dream… and seemed like a sort of ideal (NOT ideal in the way that we would have to extend our stay in the rental nightmare we live in now) solution since we just couldn't find a house in our area that had everything… or even close to everything we wanted. Building covers all the bases for us, ticks all of the boxes, and allows us to have something cool and positive out of the nightmare that has been moving here. Here's the blueprint (Note: not blue.).

I'll also never forget the day we first told the kids and went to show them the land. They were surprised and excited and wanted to move in immediately. Uh, yeah, me too… sadly we have to wait for walls and, you know, a foundation and stuff.

Here's a couple of phases of the project. I desperately want it to be done already, but will admit that it's pretty cool to see every step of the process… each week brings a new project completed.

We were there earlier this week and the siding and stone are up. There are some cabinets in there, dry wall and the primer is up, the countertops should go in too. It's starting to get really real. We're a month away from actually moving in and I can hardly believe it and hardly stand the wait at the same time. 

I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about the whole building a house thing. I'm going to let them percolate and swirl around in my brain until we actually move in. That way I can share our experience in entirety.. for anyone who might care to hear it. But I thought I'd share for now because we are so close, and also because this is a bright spot in some pretty dreary weeks for me lately. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

End Of Summer

I had some grand plans for this summer. Mostly in the interest of getting out of the (nightmare of a rental) house, but also to keep busy and off of electronics, and to build memories with the kids. Yeah, it pretty much stopped there. My long list of things (mostly free) to do in our area has about 3 things checked off.

This has been a really tough summer (more on this later, I bet you can hardly wait).. instead of being hard on myself and feeling like a failure for not "doing enough" I'm going to allow myself to say I did enough. Also, I'm going to blame the weather because honestly there wasn't much of a push to go to the splash pad or water park when it was a pleasant 70 degrees (totally not complaining there. I've LOVED the mild weather this season.)… also, there's always next summer.

All that being said as I looked back and began to compile some photos of the things we did do I was surprised to find so many…. most of them simple and some of them even very lazy… but we are together and healthy and that's the most important thing...

Next summer I'll be the cool Mom and schlep my kids all over town in the interest of their entertainment. (maybe.) I won't yell as much or threaten to take their prized possessions away if they don't get a long. (is this possible?) I won't declare over and over that I can't wait for school to start. (who am I kidding.) I'll ship them off to summer camp. (yes! now there's an idea!)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Scrappy Blog Tour

Last week I was tagged by the incredibly talented Paige Evans for a fun little scrappy blog tour. (See her post here.) I was so excited when she asked me to play along. This tour is a great way to see what some of your old favorite scrappers are up to and be introduced to some new ones! First up is answering a few questions…

1. What am I working on right now?
Oh boy, I wish I would have taken a photo of my desk last night. I had 3 layouts and 2 project life spreads going at one time. That's what happens when I have a Paper Camellia kit assignment.. I spread the contents over as many pages as I can and then add embellishments here and there until everything is used up! Here's a peek at the layouts…

2. How long does it take you to create a project?
I work pretty quickly. A layout can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on what elements I choose to include. Sometimes it takes "days" to actually finish a project but in reality I only worked in 5-10 minute increments over the course of that time. (ah the life of a stay at home Mom!)

3. What are your favorite things to create with at the moment?
I've been having fun playing with gelatos and water colors a lot lately. I tend to use enamel dots, bows, tags, and sprinkled confetti of some sort on just about every project.

4. How does your process work?
I typically start with a photo. Then I pull out whatever supplies work well with each other and that photo. Once I have a nice little pile of patterned paper and embellishments I start to push things around the page until I like the basic look. I adhere some things down and then start embellishing and pretty soon it's journaling time. I don't spend a ton of time "planning" anything out, it just sort of happens.

5. How do you become and stay inspired?
I like to look at other blogs and galleries to see what people are coming up with.. that inspires me to keep scrapping. For color or design inspiration I hit up Pinterest. Usually just seeing bright colors and shapes put together will get me going. New products also really light my creative fire. I get super nerdy when I see a new line that excites me and makes me want to use every single piece. Ideas swirl around in my head and I can't wait to get my hands on it! (like the Crate Paper Notes & Things line. TOTALLY nerded out over inspired by this one!)

So now it's my turn to tag a couple of my favorite scrappers! You can look for their posts next Monday as the blog tour continues. I chose:

The fabulous Jen Ritchie. She does some really cool stuff with the Paper Camellia kits.. and have you seen her wedding photos?! I die. So gorgeous.

and the wonderful Meghann Andrew. I love the clean, elegant look of her pages. (and as a bonus she posts the most delicious recipes on her blog. two words: pine nuts. you're welcome.)

Thanks for stopping by today and make sure you see what these two ladies are up to next Monday! :)