Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Creativity Lost

OK, so one of the other things that has gone by the wayside of late is my creativity. In the last couple of weeks, I have been missing it more and more and thinking about how to get back into it. I finally saw a sale on photo processing last weekend and ordered over 200 prints. My plan to to play with my Project Life again.

I have also been playing with another 30 day photo challenge for the past few days. Heidi Swapp has been a stalwart in the scrapbooking community, but is facing an incredibly difficult family situation, She is also trying to turn it into a way to celebrate and help other people do the same. Capture Life is a prompt and photo challenge I`m playing along with and you can watch the video above. You can find the prompts on both her Instagram and her Facebook page. If you want to add your pictures to Instagram or check out other people`s, you can check out #hscapturelife. 

These pictures (above and below) are the prompts and my pictures from the first couple of days.

This is today`s prompt and I haven`t figured out what I`m going to use for this one yet. The great thing is that she recommends looking through older pictures and using them as well as maybe taking some new ones. I have sort of done both so far though most of the pictures are at least recent.

Let me know if you`re doing this so that I can see what you`re up to as well! I`ll be posting some of my creative stuff hopefully soon once I get my picture order and have a little chance to play... Yeah!


Tuesday, August 04, 2015


*I actually wrote this yesterday and then questioned whether or not I should post it, but this is the reality I've been living and this is about documenting the hard times along with all the good as it's both that make us who we are...

I think the biggest reason I haven't been blogging much is that the last few years have been full of tons of amazing little moments, but have also meant a lot of loss for me. It's really only recently that I've begun to fully realize the extent of that and what it means and has meant for me that last few years.

It began in the latter part of 2012 when I found out that a friend, Jason, had cancer. This seemed unfathomable to me as he was only a couple of years older than I was. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I didn't understand that people of all ages get cancer, but it just hits so much harder when it's closer to home.

Jason was so full of life and loved travel, his family, and friends and so much more. I could go on for ages about him, but it was that SMILE... Yes, that smile is how everyone knew him! When he got sick, they went through all the usual processes and things looked relatively good in the beginning, but that didn't last long and within months, he was gone. I didn't know how to wrap my head around it and maybe I still don't in some ways.

At almost exactly the time (the same week) Jason passed away, we were waiting for some test results for my mum. As it turned out, they weren't good. My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer (after having had a serious bout with melanoma more than 20 years earlier). She simply took it a day at a time and listened to what people had to say about her treatment and followed through as she and her doctors saw fit. Her attitude was that every day was a new day and she was going to live in that moment putting one foot in front of the other. Never once heard her complain or ask why me? I don't really have the words to describe the love, respect and admiration I have for her.

Now, while all of this is happening, we had more loss of some of the most amazing women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and who were role models for me. We lost my great Aunt Edith (my grandma's sister) first. I remember spending Christmases at her house as we would have separate family dinners and then everyone would end up there for dessert. My cousins, sister and I would run around her old farmhouse and explore the creaky, old rooms upstairs. I have so many good memories of annual family barbeques and the amazing gardens she kept. Everyone brought something for the potluck and we all shared, laughed and just spent time together. She was so lovely, but yet she could certainly make her opinion known too as I found out one Christmas. I had come home from Japan for the holidays and had brought pictures with me so Aunt Edith, my grandma and a few other people were sitting around chatting and looking at pictures when the two of them got into a very heated discussion about the Japanese internment camps in Canada. I admit that I developed a whole different perspective of these woman after this discussion - each so passionate about their opinions. An amazing woman...

While my mum was fighting her cancer in the absolute bravest of ways, she faced one of the greatest losses a person can have - the loss of a parent. My grandma became sicker over time with growing health concerns and eventually my mum got the call that no one wants to get that my grandma didn't have much time and that she should come now. She and my dad went over to see her and thankfully mum got to spend the last day or so with her before she passed. She was one of the feistiest women I have had the pleasure of knowing. She was passionate and opinionated. I have so many wonderful memories of spending time with her on Gabriola Island where she lived for many years. Tracy and I would go pick blackberries and she would make apple and blackberry pie. She was a foodie and made the most delicious meals when we'd go visit. So many good memories... Tracy and I went out to mum and dad's after she passed and took apple blackberry pie and reminisced. I can only imagine how hard it really was for mum...

And it kept getting harder, as then one of the women I was closest to got quite sick. It was in the latter part of 2013 and she was 97. We all knew that as feisty as she was that she couldn't live forever. I can hardly put into words how I feel about her. I grew up in the town that she lived in and spent countless hours with her - probably making her crazy sometimes! She looked after Tracy and I at times when mum and dad would go out. We had sleepovers and she made us watch Lawrence Welk with her, but the upside to that was that she'd then let us watch Love Boat and Fantasy Island! It's funny all the little things I remember about her. For some reason, I feel like I can still picture her hands in my mind's eye... those hands that raised 6 kids and worked in the public library for many years. When I started high school, I would often walk the couple of blocks to her place and she would make me a warm lunch and we would chat. I'm so very grateful for those chats. She finally passed in January 2014 only hours before her 98th birthday. She was simply one of a kind and I'm so thankful for having had her in my life for so long.

And then... there are no words really. I find it hard to know where to begin as I once again sit here crying. Grief is a funny thing as it comes and goes at times when you least expect it and just when you think things are getting better, they aren't. I'm not going to dwell on her death other than to say I'm thankful that only weeks before she passed that she was vacationing in Hawaii with dad.What I want to do every day is celebrate her life and the life she gave me. As her brother said at our family get together after she passed, it wasn't through her day to day life that she taught us how to die, but how to live and be present with the people you love. He also described her as having "grace and grit" and I think that sums her up perfectly. Always a smile and a hug, but always there to listen and tell it like it was when you needed to hear it. Maybe those are the things I miss most.. just the long chats we'd have - sometimes about seemingly nothing at all and then sometimes about things crucial to our lives. We were always able to talk for hours given the chance!

Sometimes too, I think we get so wrapped up in our own grief (and understandably so!) that we forget the impact that it has on all of the people that love those that are no longer with us. I'm learning more and more how important it is to reach out to those people as well. We've all suffered the same loss even though the relationships may be different.

So, as you can see, life has been both amazingly wonderful and heartachingly difficult as we have gone through this crazy life in the last few years. My family and support system have been truly wonderful and I'm once again grateful every single day for the people I have in my life. I think we sometimes forget on a day to day basis how important all of these people are, but give someone a call or thank one of them today. And just try to remember that everyone you encounter is going through something, so let's just try and be a little kinder to each other as well.


Sunday, August 02, 2015

Happy August... already!

Well, here we are at the beginning of the 8th month of 2015 (and, yes, I do realize it's already the 2nd!) and time seems to keep rushing by. Sooooo many things have changed over the past while since I stopped blogging (more on that later) and I feel like it's time to get back to doing a better job of documenting our lives. I haven't been doing very much scrapbooking or Project Life either and got inspired again yesterday in that vein too, so let's hope this is a creative rebirth of sorts after being on hiatus.

As a result of my creative inspiration, I decided to go back and print off a bunch of pictures to do some Project Life stuff and I quickly realized that I haven't even been taking a lot of pictures lately - so not like me! I want to try and get some of our memories documented again as I know how wonderful it is to look back at my blog posts and remember all the little details I've forgotten.

Yesterday was a great day and it was all because of this guy: Dr. Scott Sampson! Yes, Dr. Scott is my uncle and he was doing a show on dinosaurs at Science World yesterday and invited Tracy and I and families to be there. This was the first time I'd seen him speak and it was so much fun to see how all the kids there reacted to him.

Of course, we also had a chance to walk around for a while and there's an exhibit there right now called Ultimate Dinosaurs. Amazing to see the size of all of these and just great to have the kids hanging out together too.

It was also Scouting's International Scarf Day, so Kyle and George wore their scarves!

After the show and our exploring in Science World, we met Uncle Scott and Auntie Toni and walked around to the Olympic Village to a restaurant so that we could catch up. Poor Matthew was running and jumping as usual and managed to wipe out and give himself a good scrape on the leg, but he did bounce back eventually. It was just great to catch up and and see them! It would be so great to have them closer, but we just have to enjoy the time we have when we do get to see them!

I ordered almost 200 photos for printing last night, so hopefully that will lead to some creative stuff too! Have to wait a week or so to get them, but they were on for 9 cents a print, so I won't complain! I can work on getting something organized in my crafting space, but that's another story for another day.

Have had a quiet morning with my coffee and might even go and have another cup. George is still sleeping, but the boys are up and watching an episode of American Ninja Warrior! Not too many plans for the day really. Need to go water plants where the boys go for daycare since they agreed to do that. The weather is supposed to be warm again today (about 30-31 degrees), so we may not get up to too much other than a few chores. I want to go to King of Floors too, but will write more about that later too!

Have a fabulous day!


Friday, June 01, 2012

Happy 10th Anniversary!

Wow!  It really is hard to believe how quickly 10 years can go by!  The good news is that not only do we still love each other, but we like each other too...

It really has been a great day!  I was able to take the boys to school, got lots done at home today and then the boys played at the school for almost an hour after school with their friends. Went out for a nice dinner and George gave me a nice card and a lovely necklace.

This was the picture Nathan drew for me at dinner.  He drew the necklace George had given me and then added his own message.  So darn cute!  After dinner, we came home to homemade cake and Starbucks! Wonderful way to celebrate 10 years together!

Love you hon...  And here's to many, many more!  Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy 2012!

Yes, I know it's already the 12th and I'm a little late with the Happy New Year wishes, but for whatever reason, I just haven't been feeling the writing lately.  I'm feeling great today though even after getting up early and I'm using the energy for good!  There are always so many things to work on, but here's a little of what I got up to today...

 This is the title page of my Project Life and is thanks to Cathy Zielske!

As you can see, we've had a fun and busy first week of the year.  It also included a couple of trips to the dr for Nathan and I'm going to add a little layout about that to this book as well.  Hoping to add a small layout on the back of the title page about New Year's as well as some pictures on the "backside" of the of the left side of the layout above - actually the first page with picture slots in the book!

Just a matter of keeping up with it and having a bit of fun adding the bits of our life!

Well, it's gorgeous out again today and I think I need to go take advantage and have a walk before picking up the boys.  It's the 12th today, so I'm planning on taking 12 pictures today (probably more and then deciding which are the best!).  My plan is to pop back tomorrow and post them too. 

Would love to hear from others doing Project Life and see what you're doing with it!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Sick Monday...

Yes, we've finally managed to catch something in our house too!  Stuff has really been going around and we did well until the end of this past week.  Nathan had 8 kids absent from his class on Friday!  Now not only have I been sick for days, but am now on antibiotics after going to the doctor this morning.  Nathan is home with me today too since he started getting sick yesterday.  The dr said if he's not better by Thurs, to bring him back!  I sure hope he's better by then!!! 

Kyle was mad because he still had to go to school this morning, but little does he know, that's probably a good thing!  He was at a Cubs event all day yesterday too, so he has been out of the house and that may be part of why he's still healthy at this point.  Kyle has a great time at his Cub Skills event though and was learning things like knot tying and how to light a fire.  Pretty cool!

Haven't been doing too much creatively lately though I did have fun with my classes on Saturday - especially the Exploding Box!  I did want to share a couple of cards done by my friend Alexis though!  The card above and below are just a couple of the hundreds she and her mum made to sell to raise money to help support a needy family over the holidays!  Amazing job Alexis and hope everything went really well yesterday!

Well, thinking that's it for today.  Going to go hunker down and relax.  Hoping the meds I'm taking don't upset my stomach too much which they're apparently prone to do.  One of those great things where they tell you the more you eat, the less likely your stomach will be upset, but if it's upset, you don't want to eat!  Such is life!  It's one of those days where you're thankful for the little things and I was reminded of that while in the doctor's office this morning.  Even though I'm not feeling good, it could be much worse. 

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it."
~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Random Thursday!

OK, so I actually have 5 minutes (literally) to blog before I have to go get the kids, but it's been a great day!  Got the kids off to school, some work done and then went for a walk and even got something accomplished while doing that!

OK, so I was reading blogs for a few minutes and came across a post on Creative Organizing that really spoke to me.  It was a little project, but something doable and worth the time!  She talked about creating an area for all your Christmas card stuff so that it was together when you had time to get some sent.  I walked up to the dollar store and found a cheap box (*after looking at home and not finding one!) and then came home and organized!  It was great!  Got all my cards together and foing out I had more than I thought and then pulled my enveloped, addresses, labels, pens, stamps, etc all together so that if I only have a few minutes at a time, it'll still be easy to do!  Also finally set off the boys' school pics to get developed so they'll go in this box too to be sent to people in cards!  Awesome!

Another nagging thing on my list has been putting up more pictures.  I take all these great pics of the boys, but haven't been putting any up around the house.  We have a couple of picture walls and I finally for a picture from the first day of school blown up since I thought it was cute, but it's been sitting on the counter for ages.  Didn't have a frame and didn't want to spend a lot, so I decided to get a $2 frame at the dollar store when I was there and it's now up on the wall! 

Proud of myself for just getting it done!  One more thing to cross of my list and now I can actually enjoy the picture too!

Well, better go get the boys.  Weather has been quite cold and now it's raining.  Just hope it stays rain and nothing else.  Had our first taste of some sort of mixed stuff yesterday!  I'm teaching tonight, so I'm hoping the roads stay OK!

Have a great night everyone!