Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Back in January I talked about how I chose the word "Resolve" as my One Little Word for the year. Honestly I haven't felt a huge connection to the word. I haven't done a lot of work on actively incorporating it into daily life… but it has always been there hanging out in the back of my mind. I chose it for a reason. I've plodded along, one foot in front of the other, taking things a week at a time, sometimes day by day if need be. I've kept in mind that it will take a lot of Resolve to get myself mentally back on track and back to the happy person I used to be. Resolve to turn things around for our family, determination to put us all into a better place physically and mentally. We are taking steps to do that (more on this later). We are headed in the right direction.

Last night was the first time that some of that underlying Resolve came into play. It smacked me right upside the head and I couldn't be happier about it. 

Practice last night was my first opportunity to test into contact and the ability to participate at 100% in my roller derby league since a Grade 2 MCL tear in my left knee. I was nervous. I didn't know what to expect, I was worried that something would go wrong and I wouldn't pass. But I also knew that I had waited for my knee to heal properly and that I was capable of doing any skills that I might be challenged with, so I pushed on. I was able to test in with flying colors. It felt amazing and I was so happy to be back in full capacity, feeling no pain, doing all of the derby things that I love so dearly….
but that's not the part that I'm really meaning to share…. the coolest thing happened. Bear with me…

So before the injury, three months ago, I would play derby and sometimes I would find myself in the right place at the right time, or sometimes I would hit a person perfectly, or do a cool thing that I didn't even know I could do… but these things were fleeting, glimpses into what the game could be for me. Mostly it was just a blur every time I stepped onto the track. This sport is insane.. there are a lot of nuances and a surprising amount of strategy. I've heard it described as "playing Chess while bricks are thrown at you"….When I decided to try out initially I really knew nothing about the game and so I was learning as I went, on top of trying to master all of the incredibly difficult skating skills that playing entails. I wasn't really understanding what was going on around me, I was just kinda there… trying my best. 

This is where the Resolve comes in…..

When I was injured and learned that I would be out for a few months I decided firmly to make something good come out of it. I wasn't sure how to make that happen, or what it would be, but I wasn't going to just sit around and feel sorry for myself. I was going to become better in some way… I felt like I was losing so much precious time that I could have used to strengthen my skills, become a better skater, etc… but something else happened instead….

I began to understand the game.

It's thrilling. Ever since my injury I've been attending every single Travel Team, Home Team (I'm on two teams), and Scrimmage that I possibly could. I listened attentively and stuck by the Coaches sides. I payed attention when the whistle was blown and everyone stopped to talk about what just worked and why, and what should be improved upon and how. I Resolved to become a sponge. I wasn't able to get in there and work on things physically but I could see them happening. I was taking it in and everything was becoming clearer. I began to see things happening as the coaches were.. I understood all of the sudden why the whistle was blown.. more and more I could see missed opportunities and epic little moves by my teammates that would have gone unnoticed to me in the past . 

About a month ago things just clicked. I totally, 100% get it.

And now I can totally, 100% play. I was a little worried that this newfound knowledge wouldn't translate to the track… sure I can understand who needs to do what and be where, when, from the sidelines… but would I be able to do that in the thick of things?… add roller-skates to just about anything and it makes it ten times harder. Last night I got my answer. During scrimmage I had more awareness on the track then I have ever had before, easily. I was able to yell to my teammates, put myself in the right positions (most of the time), and most importantly understand fully what was going on around me the entire time I was there. 

So that's what my Resolve has earned for me as it pertains to derby… I made up my mind to do something, even though I couldn't "do" what I wanted to be doing at the time, and it served me well. I will come out of this injury a better player than I maybe ever would have been without it… and I can't even begin to explain how empowering that feels. What I've learned in 3 months of dedication from the sidelines can never be taken from me, by injury or anything else. To turn something that was so frustrating a debilitating in my life around to be a positive… well, I'm beginning to see just how powerful something like Resolve could be in all aspects of my life… and I will be more actively putting that into practice. Can you imagine the possibilities?  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sneak Peak

So I planned on posting my Me Series: April today because it's been done and ready to go for a week now (go me!)… but the photos are turrible, turrible (said like Charles Barkley)… I used a background page that I made using egg dye coloring and I think between that and the poor lighting and obviously failing epically to pay attention to the metering.. well, they suck. They look like a bad combo of grey and purple and not bright and white like they actually are in real life. So I promise to share when I get that all figured out, which won't be today because it is overcast here. again. It's a thing here, overcast 6 days a week for most of the day. boo to that. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share a couple of sneaks… and also, I just felt like posting something today.

Also my computer is on the fritz, like parts of it are all pixelated and the mouse isn't really tracking and maybe that's part of the picture problem come to think of it… huh. uh oh. hope not.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Happy Together

How great are the photos of those moments where your kids are actually getting along harmoniously and connecting all on their own accord. Love those fleeting moments (wish they weren't so fleeting). Honestly most of the time these kids are driving my nuts! -- having four kids is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. But there are these glimpses of their undeniable bonds and I treasure those and hold them close to my heart & try to remember them during just about every other second of the day when I want to pull my hair out! haha.

Playing with some different elements and layering them on this layout was too fun. I wanted to make a very special background so I started by painting a layer of water color and then drawing roughly over the top of it with a brighter yellow Gelato color and brushed water over the strokes to blend them together. Then I used a neon mist to pour over the page. The final layer was a heart stencil and gesso. These layers make a very happy background!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

American Crafts Blog Assignment

It's Sports Week on the American Crafts Blog! I was tasked with making 2 layouts. I think we allll know what sport popped into my head. Would you believe this is my first roller derby layout?

Photos of me actually playing are a must, stat… especially since I am on the cusp of being 100% again (finally). For now all I really have are photos of my skate-clad feet, which it turns out make a great background for a title….

And then there was that one time I ran a marathon in torrential downpour (my first ever race, cuz I'm a lunatic)… at first I felt a bit of guilt for not documenting my kids sports prowess-es instead but then I thought, hey, I do cool stuff too! (arguably cooler, sorry kids.) Scrap it right now (said like stop it right now, cuz I like to yell that at myself in silly voices and look around and see if anyone else gets it.. no one does.). hehe. haha. ahhhhhh. here's the page…

What's your favorite Sporty Scrap? (See what I did there? Sporty "Scrap", Sporty Spice… Spice up your life… SPICE GIRLS… anyone? no? ok, me either. I'm weird today. That is all!)

Monday, April 21, 2014

That Happened

So Easter happened. I can't say I was all that ready for it, but I did my best, and the kids didn't seem to notice so I'm calling it a win. Seriously looking forward to next year when we can do lots of fun activities and holiday traditions like hiding eggs and baskets safely. I didn't really manage to take any good photos yesterday but luckily I did snap some last weekend when we attended our community Easter Egg Hunt. So I'll just share those! :)

She was so cute during the hunt.  There was candy scattered EVERYWHERE, right in front of her… but she would just do this cute little prance around it with her basket and then move along… no rush, no persistence, she was very choosy about what she picked up but somehow managed to grab a bunch. Fun to watch, I wish I would have gotten video.

Little Mr. hunts like a boss. Dude ran over to the pile of eggs and started hoarding them immediately. He couldn't put enough in his basket, quickly enough. It's like he knew what he was doing! (Although in the 2 and under area they are only supposed to pick up 2 eggs that are empty and trade them in for a prize, so he was way off.) I just let him do his thing for the photo opp.. and then when I went to grab him and empty his basket he clung to them for dear life.

Oh and I dressed him in suspenders AND a bow tie. CUTEST! Seriously, the rest of us need to up our fashion game because he is putting us all to shame.

Mr. Nakiah was too old to hunt. TOO OLD TO HUNT! (How did that happen?) He did consider trying to pretend he was 10 but in the end agreed to a bit more chocolate in his basket Sunday in exchange for being honest… and he didn't seem to mind at all. He giggled and fawned over his little siblings experiences.

And while we were all thinking eggs and bunnies my stepson (our oldest) was taking a driving course. YIKES! So. That was pretty much our Easter experience. Baskets in plain sight, meals lacking ingredients (and too many meat ingredients. really, I planned bacon and sausage and then ham for dinner. holy meat eaters, batman!), missing family, feeling lonely but making to most of it. That's what happened! How was your weekend?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Hunting

Happy Easter weekend ya'll! Holy cow, is anyone as overwhelmed as I am? SO much left to do before the guy w/ the ears hops on down the bunny trail. Time to crack the whip on that to do list! One thing I did manage to complete were a couple of Easter pages to share. (Isn't it funny how there is magically "time" to do the fun stuff but not so much the nitty gritty ones?)

Here are a couple of layouts featuring photos from our community hunt last weekend...

Love the grey cardstock background, a departure from my typical white… and who needs bunny ears and little chicks? (I mean, they ARE super cute, I just didn't have any on hand.) You can still give a page an Easter feel by using patterned paper to weave a design reminiscent of a basket. So Easter-y!

For this one I started with the two cute photos and had fun layering elements around them.

So. Hoppy Easter. Time for this girl to put her bunny ears on and start stuffing some baskets.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easters Gone By

Whenever a holiday rolls around I find myself having the desire to look back at photos from years past at this time. It ends up being a fun activity to see the differences in the kids, our surroundings, and a reminder that I really should take these holiday opportunities for more group photos. Turns out this will be the 5th Easter in a row we've spent in a different house. (well, one rental we were there for 2 Easters, but still.) Crazy right?

Here are some fun snapshots from over the years… 





love this one... typical group kid shot… boys w no shirts, eyes closed, some not so happy faces. the best.

One thing I really noticed when looking back is how many Easters we have spent surrounded by family. We've made so many fun memories together. In the year of the photo above we filled water balloons to ambush the kids. Afterwards we treated them to an ice cream bar that they had to enjoy with no hands.

We've attended egg hunts, filled up on brunch and mimosas all day long, planned games and activities for the kids. Even last year during our first Easter away from any family my Mom came out for a visit. So this is officially our first Easter alone as the 6 of us. In a big way I am dreading it. I miss family. I miss all of the cousins being together and getting messy with egg die and eating too much chocolate (although we will probably have the latter two handled). I miss cooking a lot of food and looking around a room filled with family.

That being said I'm glad to have had the time together that we did… and just because we won't be hunting together this year doesn't mean that we won't again in the future. Until then I'll look at these photos with fondness, and eat my own weight in deviled eggs and ham, because who else is going to eat all of these eggs?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Paci Problems

Hello, his name is Dezmond and he is a pacifier addict. Seriously. Dude sometimes has two in his mouth at once… he collects as many as possible to carry around with him… and HAS to have one to sleep. So I documented this before it's time to correct the situation (it's probably past time)...

Can I just say that while I do view this as a bit of a problem I'm not that worried about it. Nakiah was big on the pacifier too. I think around 18 months or so two I just started limiting use to sleep times and then took them all away one day completely. I would say, "uh oh, no more binky." It was no biggie for him, and I'm thinking it will be the same for Dez. (although, now that I think of it I don't remember Kiah being this attached. oh well.) At the end of the day it's easier to take a paci away then a thumb, (Evareuax. ugh.) right?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Holy Crate Paper, Batman

I have been diving head first into my Crate Paper stash lately, and am loving every second of it. In fact, I currently have no less than 3 layouts on my desk in progress with a mixture of Crate lines. Can't get enough! My recent favs are the Maggie Holmes Style Board and Boys Rule collections. 

Crate explosion….

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Many thanks to those of you that commented and read my last post. I feel the

I feel this way about creating...

and I feel the same way about blogging… I will do it for as long as I enjoy doing it, and I will blog more freely and with less constraints on myself from now on. Woot! (bring on the dance videos) It feels good to know that people actually do care and like my content. YAY!

..and to share something totally random that you might find silly or you might totally get ... I had a TOTAL fangirl freakout moment the other day… so much so that I took a screenshot to commemorate it. (and prove it really happened) One of my gallery layouts on Two Peas was pinned by Maggie Holmes!

I may or may not have squealed when I saw that! She is my scrappy HERO! Seriously, I want to be her when I grow up… ok. maybe not so creepy sounding… uh, I really, really admire her work and her style and her. So you can imagine my delight when I'm just scrolling around on my Pinterest feed and I'm like, "oh! thats the layout I just posted! OH HOLY FREAKING COW MAGGIE HOLMES PINNED IT!" haha. random. but that totally happened. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

if it smells like funk it must be me

I'm in a little bit of a blogging funk lately. Truth be told I get a little bummed about blogging from time to time… I don't have a lot of followers or commenters. I mean, I can even count the number of my own family members who read it regularly on one hand (maybe even three fingers).. so sometimes I feel like maybe no one even really cares. Why should I blog? I don't have one of those perfectly written or stunning photo kind of sites.. the ones where every shot and sentence is perfection. I don't have a ton of inspiration to share, or beautiful things to talk about. That's just not me. But then I was thinking, that doesn't really matter. I didn't start doing this with any of those intentions so why do I expect myself to do those things now? Whose standard am I not holding up to? My own? --well, that's just stupid. haha. 

I blog because I enjoy it. I'm not really trying to inspire anyone, though if someone finds inspiration here for any aspect of their lives I'd consider it a bonus. I like to share little pieces of my life. I like a place to post my latest projects and talk about them. I have fun raving like a fangirl over new scrappy projects and posting holy crap moments about roller derby. I even get a big kick out of posting silly dance videos, with no shame whatsoever I might add. (In fact I've considered changing my blog name to Scrappy Dance and making the videos a regular thing.) 

So the blog funk has been a good thing, maybe. I'm reassessing why it is I'm doing this… what kinds of things do I want to share? Is it ok to share all of my silly little thoughts and stories along with all of the heavy stuff I've been handling over the past year side by side? Can this really be a place where I can just let it all hang out? --- I mean, in theory, if no one is reading or commenting anyway it shouldn't really matter what the heck I post, right? Bueller? Bueller? 

Ok. SO. Here's the thing. I've always tried to keep it real here... but the thing is if I'm in a real funk or something really crazy happens, or I'm in the mood to vent I don't do it here. Like I don't share the stories about the one time when I *almost* pooped my pants in a Target because I thought the bathroom was in the back of the store but it was actually in the front (keeping it classy in Cleveland, y'all)----- I mean, I don't post because I don't want you to judge… but the reality is, that s- happened. I mean, it really didn't actually happen.. like I didn't actually go, but I was so close I swear I had one of those Bridesmaids (the movie) moments where I felt like she did when she went running for the bathroom and just sorta crumpled into the middle of the street and well, *spoiler alert*, went… except I was able to save mine… but it was a close one. I mean, how could I not share that story? It's funny! And we've all been there, right? Am I RIGHT?! hello? anyone?

Anyyyyway. Now I'm embarrassed… and rethinking this whole post, actually… because here I am whining and complaining, "whaaa, how come nobody cares about my scrappy little bloooooooog!?"-- and then I'm like trying to tell you that it will be better and different and I go into a story about poop… and I bet you are all convinced that I am totally not being honest, and that I did in fact have to buy myself so new undies that day.. and I swear I didn't. Maybe I should rethink my tactics.

But, what the hell. That's me. I'm going to let it all hang out from now on. (and now are you just picturing a lot of bathroom issues with every sentence?-- shoot. not my intention, but I can't blame you… I mean everything is just coming out wrong… oh, I did it again.) Bottom line (she said bottom, this girls hilarious--- thats what you're thinking, right?) I'm going to post photos of my epic-ly dirty house… and photos with my kids in their underpants (why won't my 4 year old keep her clothes on?!).. and cry into the computer when something doesn't go my way…. and yes, there might even be more poop stories, cuz they really shouldn't put Starbucks into Targets, ok? Just saying. ---so if you're into that kind of thing then you're in luck. and if not… well, were you ever really here anyway? Either way I'm guessing it'll still be Cricket City so I might as well have fun blogging for myself! :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

American Crafts March Gallery Projects

Each month the American Crafts Design Team creates two gallery projects. See the rest of the wonderful creations here

This is what I made….

Working a lot with the Crate Paper Boys Rule collection (I LOVE every bit of it!) with some Amy Tangerine and DIY Shop mixed in….

Somehow I lost my creative juju this week. I was able to get through my March Project Life and then it just sorta fizzled. It might have to do with the rain or gloomy sky and mind lately… we will have to see if I can do something to jazz it up as we come into the weekend. I hope! I think some fun is in order to help hit that reset button. Then maybe the juices will start flowing again.