Friday, September 30, 2011

Word of the Month

One of my assignments for My Mind's Eye was to pick a word that described my month and create a layout about it. I had the hardest time picking a word. This month has been filled with sickness, stress, scrapbooking, and work. Nothing overly exciting to scrapbook about. When I looked through the photos I have taken this month these ones caught my eye.

I got to spend quite a few days with these two cuties this month. They have some big changes happening in their life and even though they are too young to fully grasp the changes coming their way they have been troopers. In the photos above Josalyn was shedding some baby tears and Bryce immediately ran off and brought her back her binky. He knows just what brings her comfort. I can think of many times when he has brought her binky, blanket and Meow (stuffed cat) to her when she was sad or upset. Josalyn also comforts Bryce when he is sad or upset. I love it when she gives him a hug for no apparent reason. So cute!

They are both great examples to me of relying on those you love.  So my word for the month is together. They have been there for each other and it reminds me that I need to make sure that I'm there for those that I love and care about.

Time with Josalyn

This week is one-page sketch week at Sketch Support. It really is such a fun sketch and the Creative Team has made some great layouts based off of it. If you would like a copy of this sketch head over to Sketch Support to print it out.

Here is my take:

"Time with Josalyn"
Supply List - Patterned Paper: Heidi Grace Designs, KI Memories, American Crafts, Little Yellow Bicycle; Letter Stickers: My Mind's Eye and Heidi Grace Designs; Journaling Spot: My Mind's Eye; Border Punch: Fiskars; Ribbon: American Crafts; Floss: DMC; Pearls: Queen & Co.; Pop Dots: EK Success; Other: Wooden Skewers

These photos were taken almost a year ago. It was just my second day watching the kids and at the time I didn't know that it would soon be something that I would be doing every week. My friend Ashley was their babysitter but she was sick so I thought I would help her out and watch the kids for her. I guess you could say that I pretty much stole her job. Paige pretty much offered me the job before I even watched the kids once. I told her she would have to work things out with Ashley first. Ashley is not only a friend but I'm her first counselor in the Primary Presidency in our ward. I definitely didn't want to jeopardize our friendship or working relationship.

Well Paige talked to Ashley and then she officially offered me the job. If I had been Ashley I would not have been happy! Ashley was very understanding. She had just found out that she was expecting her second child and felt that this was what Heavenly Father wanted for her at that time. Bless Ashley's heart!

I love it when Heavenly Father sends us blessings that he knows we need before we even know that we need them. I wasn't looking for a job. I was really nervous about just watching the kids for two days for Ashley. This experience has really helped to increase my faith in that Heavenly Father does really know what is best for us. It has been nice to earn some extra money but even more than that I have been greatly blessed to spend time with Bryce and Josalyn. This experience has also reminded me that even when my time with them ends at the end of the year that Heavenly Father has other wonderful blessings in store for me.

Forever & A Day

Earlier this month I participated in the 3 products / 2 ways challenge over on the My Mind's Eye blog. Jana Eubank and I had to use the same three products on our layouts along with anything else we wanted to use. I am the one who actually chose the three products so I guess it was more of a challenge for Jana than for me. Though I did have a hard time choosing three different products from three different collections that I wanted to use. :)

I have been wanting to scrapbook this photo of my grandparents for some time. I actually bought patterned paper that I wanted to use quite awhile ago but when I saw the Lost & Found 2 "Sunshine" collection I knew that it was the perfect match!

I have to say that this is probably one of my favorite layouts of all time. I had so much fun putting it together. When I scrapbook I don't think just about paper, adhesive, embellishments, etc. but what memories I want to preserve. The whole time I was working on this layout I was thinking about when my grandparents paid my parents a visit for two weeks and I joined in on the fun. This photo was taken by my dad during that visit.

Memories that came to mind while working on this layout:
  •  I was a little nervous about seeing my grandpa when we first picked up my grandparents from the airport. It was my first time to see him knowing that he wouldn't remember who I was. Grandpa came right up to me and gave me a great big hug. He had been told that I was family and that was good enough for him.
  • Grandpa and I playing cowboys and Indians. He would shoot me and I would fall to the floor. It always cracked him up. I ended up with a lot of bruises.
  • Watching the salmon jump up the falls. It was beautiful and amazing seeing some of the salmon trying over and over again until they made it.
  • Grandpa flirting with me all of the time. Ha ha ha!
  • Grandpa flirting with the cross country girls running through the park. He actually whistled at them.
  • Seeing my grandparents as much in love as ever. Even through all the trials that bad health and memory loss brings.
I am very blessed to have Grandpa & Grandma Shurtliff as grandparents. I will love them forever and a day.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to School

Typically when the kids in Eugene start school again it doesn't change much for me. The biggest changes in the past have been that I need to remember to slow down in front of the school on my way to Ben Franklin's and just that there aren't many kids out and about during the day.

This year is different. Bryce is now in kindergarten and he goes everyday all day long. That means on Thursdays it is just Jos and me. There are pros and cons about this new arrangement.

  • I am less tired at the end of the day. I'm not running around trying to entertain a 5 year old boy.
  • I get some time with just Jos which I love!
  • I get some time to myself when Jos goes down for her nap. I sometimes get caught up on some sleep myself.
  • It is a lot more quite around the house. I miss interacting with Bryce.
  • I miss watching Bryce and Jos interact. They get along so well (usually) and it is so fun to watch them play together and just cuddle on the couch while watching Nick Jr.
  • Getting the boys off to school is sometimes a challenge especially when Jos starts crying hysterically when Bryce is getting ready to head out the door.
One of the biggest changes is going to start taking place next week when Tom starts school. Tom in the past hasn't taught or had classes on Thursdays. It has been a huge blessing to have him come and play with Bryce in the late afternoon when I'm worn out. Bryce always looks forward to playing with Tom.

This term Tom teaches Thursday afternoons and so he won't be able to visit us anymore. I'm going to miss having him visit and I know Bryce is not going to be happy when I have to tell him each Thursday that Tom is not coming over to play. Bryce doesn't understand why Tom has to be at school when school should be over since he is done with school for the day. :)
Even though change is sometimes hard I am so thankful that the biggest change to come is still a couple of months away. There is still time to make memories and time to enjoy "my" kiddos. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cherish Banner

A little over a year ago I created my very first banner for a design team that I was a part of. It was quite the challenge for me, but I loved how it turned out. The sad part was that I had to send it off in the mail never to see it again. I made a promise to myself then that I would make a banner for myself to display in my apartment. I knew right where I would hang it too.

When the original Lost & Found collection came out I was in heaven! I started to collect the Union Square line knowing that it would work perfectly for my banner. My kitchen & dining area is made up of the color palette red, black & white. I gathered all the products I wanted to use and set them aside knowing that I would start to work on my banner soon. Well months have gone by and finally my banner is complete! It feels so good to have it done and hanging up for me to enjoy.

To see more pictures and to find tips and instructions on how to create a banner like mine visit the My Mind's Eye blog.

Happy Birthday Sawyer!

Sawyer turned one on July 6th. Hard to believe that he is that old now! Christina stayed with Tom and I for a week in May and then spent another month with my parents in Battle Ground. Tom and I were able to go up to BG and stay for a week to hang out with Christing and Sawyer some more. We decided to celebrate Sawyer's birthday a little early and throw a cake smash party. My cousin is a professional photographer and so I got a lot of the ideas from some photos she took of her daughter's cake smash.

When I saw this two-page sketch I knew that it would be perfect to capture my favorite photos that my dad took of Sawyer and his first cake. I love how it has a focal photo and then tons more photos.

To get a copy of the sketch go visit Sketch Support. Lots of great examples are being shared this week of how to use this sketch.

Click on the photo to see it in more detail.

Variation #1 - Instead of stitching lines across the pictures and embellishment squares I just stitched around each embellishment square. That took more than enough time!

Variation #2 - I omitted the brackets on the embellishment squares. My paper strips take up quite a bit of room so the brackets would have been lost.

Variation #3 - I stitched around the large bracket on the left side of the page. I think it adds some subtle definition.

My strips list 10 things about Sawyer at age one.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Were You That September Day?

I will never forget waking up and immediately going to my computer. I started to chat with my dad on MSN messenger, and he told me that a plane had just flown into one of the World Trade Center towers. I thought he was pulling my leg. He told me to go turn on the news.

I went into my apartment kitchen and turned on the TV and immediately saw footage of a plane flying into a tower. It was no joke. I called my roommates to come into the kitchen and we sat starring at that TV for hours. I will never forget watching the second plane hit the other tower and then eventually watching both towers crumble to the ground.

I had only once class on Tuesday and decided I better go. It was dance aerobics. We spent most of the class time talking about what we had all been seeing on TV. It did not feel real. There were a couple of students not present because they were waiting to hear about family or friends that may have been present in the Twin Towers.

I also spent the one year anniversary of September 11th in front the of TV. This time I was living at home. The TV program that stood out the most was about the mothers who had given birth since September 11th without their husbands present. Those babies would never know their fathers in this life. I found it thought provoking and depressing.

I don't think about September 11th everyday but every time I hear a plane fly overhead that is quite loud my thoughts go to those who lost their lives that fateful day. I also think about those who are serving our country and put their lives on the line to help us enjoy the freedoms we have today. I feel very blessed to live in the United Sates of America.

May God continue to bless America, my home sweet home.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Blog Challenge #27 @ My Mind's Eye

I found out Thursday night what assignments I would need to complete this month for My Mind's Eye. The first two were to use the sketches provided and create a layout and a card. Doesn't sound too hard right? Well then I saw that the deadline was yesterday (Sunday)! I am not a quick crafter by any means and so I started to feel a little stressed out. Plus I was also in charge of Sharing Time (teaching all the kids at church) yesterday. My anxiety levels haven't been that high in years! But I focused, worked hard and conquered!

The theme for the card is Friends. I completed it first since it didn't need as much planning as the layout. It was so much fun to go through the big box of goodies My Mind's Eye sent me trying to decide which products I should use. It felt like Christmas! Go here to see the sketch and what the other team members created.

The theme for the layout is Back to ____. I really really really struggled with this layout. I was asking everyone to fill in the blank to give me ideas for what topic my layout should cover. My first thought was Back to School but we don't have any kids and Tom doesn't start school for a couple more weeks. It was constantly on my mind and I didn't figure out what I wanted to do until Saturday morning.

I have been watching the White kids for almost a year now. I decided to do my layout about Josalyn and some of the things she has taught me this past year. I had a lot more journaling written out but I didn't have room for it all. Boy am I going to miss her when she moves! I'm trying my best to make the most of the time we have left together. Go here to see the sketch and other examples.

Every Moment With You is a Gift

It feels like it has been forever since I've shared a project from Sketch Support. Last week we featured some of the reader's projects for the fifth week of the month. It is fun to see how different people use the sketches.

This week is card week over at Sketch Support. It is one of my favorite card sketches that Allison Davis has created. Could be used for so many different occasions. I know I will be using this sketch again in the future.

When I first saw this sketch butterflies came to mind. I LOVE butterflies. :) I originally was going to use my punches but when I saw these cardstock stickers by My Mind's Eye I knew that I wanted to use them on this card. Plus it was a good excuse to buy some new goodies.

"Every Moment" card
Supply List - Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye; Cardstock Stickers: My Mind's Eye; Ink: ColorBox Chalk Ink and Inkadinkado; Pearls: Queen & Co.; Floss: DMC; Other: White Cardstock

I stayed pretty true to this sketch. I followed the measurements pretty closely since I just loved how it looked! My main variation is that I used butterflies instead of hearts. Now I just have to decide who to mail this card to. Anyone needing some loving snail mail? :)

Sweet Serendipity

As many of you know I won a blog challenge on the My Mind's Eye blog over a month ago. The prize was a paper line of my choice. Well I sent the email off and didn't hear back from them. I thought maybe the prize would just be mailed without notification. Nope. Nothing showed up. I decided that I probably should shoot off another email but would worry about it after my birthday.

The eve of my birthday I received an email from Amber apologizing. She had somehow missed my email. I think it ended up in her spam. The paper line I was wanting was out and so she asked me to pick another one. She also asked if I would like to be the Guest Designer for September. I read that far and immediately started jumping up and down on the mattress that was on the floor. My mom and Kari got really excited for me though I'm not sure if they knew what it really meant. I didn't really know what that meant. But of course I said yes! :)

It got me thinking about the little things we do and how we don't always know what outcome they will bring. For a couple of months I had wanted to try out the blog challenges on the My Mind's Eye blog but never found the time. I almost didn't again but pushed myself to at least try out for the card challenge. It was very exciting to win but I didn't realize that guest designers are often chosen from past winners. It is a HUGE honor to be featured by such a successful company. I am feeling very blessed. Check out my info/bio here.

If there has been something that you have wanted to do for sometime just go and do it! Who knows what "happy accidents" will come your way. :)

Thirty, Flirty, & Thriving

It is hard to believe that I'm the BIG 3-0! Of course there isn't much of a difference between 29 and 30 but it just sounds A LOT older. I can remember when my older cousins started turning 30. I thought they were so mature and smart. I am definitely not feeling that way! :)

I decided to spend my birthday in Florence, OR. It is on my mental bucket list for Eugene and I thought it would be a fun outing. I am very lucky that my mom and BFF Kari were able to drive down to spend the weekend with us. We also got Tom's office mate Chris to join us and he is a lot of fun to have around.

Chris brought his frisbee with him and we had fun throwing it around. Chris and Tom are far better at frisbee than my mom and me. Good thing they are patient.

The water was pretty cold! But since I grew up swimming in the nearby rivers I didn't mind it...too much.

My mom is good at spotting sand dollars. We weren't expecting on finding any whole ones but we did! Tons of shells on the beach that had been left by the seagulls.

Another fun find made by Tom. He saw them burrowing in the sand and was able to grab one. We enjoyed putting it down on the sand and then watching it dig away. Then we would grab at it again and repeat. I don't think it enjoyed as much as we did.

I was wanting to visit the lighthouse and the beach nearby but it was closed. Just means we will have to take another trip to Florence in the future.

Kari and I have been friends since I was 11! I am so thankful that she was willing to come spend the weekend with me. Love you Kare!

We ate lunch at Mo's! Boy was it yummy! I'm not a seafood person but I do love fish and chips. The exciting part was that my mom was able to find something on the menu that she could eat.

After lunch we went down on the dock and watched people go crabbing. It was fun to watch them pull the baskets up and see how many they had caught. I can now tell the difference between a male crab and a female crab. I'm sure that new found knowledge will come in handy. :)

Ice cream is a must for me! We stopped at BJ's to cool off. So many yummy flavors. It was hard to choose just two! Thanks LeaAnne for suggesting it!

My birthday treat was a homemade blackberry pie made by my mother. Delicious! I pretty much get the whole thing to myself since Chris & I are the only ones who will/can eat it.

A trip to the beach = dirty feet. I got out the foot scrub and let our feet have it.

Here is to hoping for a most fabulous year of being 30!

Friday, September 2, 2011


Our final destination was Seaside. It has been years since I've visited this beach. I had forgotten how busy it is! Our first stop was The Candyman a shop that boasts having 170+ flavors of salt water taffy.

I think this was my first visit to The Candyman. I don't remember ever going here before but I could be wrong. Look at all this salt water taffy!

Brittany was in 7th Heaven! Brittany spent a little over $10. I should ask her if she has any left. :)

I assumed that Tom & I would be sharing a bag. Nope! It took me a while to realize why Tom didn't share. He doesn't like fruity flavors and I LOVE them. Between the two of us we spent close to $20! One of my favorite flavors was Black Widow. It is a combination of cinnamon and black licorice. Yummmy!

We also got ice cream as well as the salt water taffy. Ice cream is a big weakness of mine! If I lived in Seaside I would visit this ice cream shop everyday and try every single flavor. Good thing I don't live in Seaside huh? ;)

After all that sugar it is a good thing that we took a long walk along the shore. I love the feel of the waves coming in and going out.

The perfect end to a perfect day! So glad that we were all able to visit the beach together. This is one trip I will always remember. Thank you Mom, Dad, Spencer, Kimber & Brittany for making this day so special! Love you!

Fort Stevens

I am so behind on blogging. :) Part of me just wants to share links to my sister's blog so I can just be caught up! I am not so sure she would like that though. So here we go...

After eating at the Bowpicker in Astoria we went to visit Fort Stevens. Before checking out the bunkers we stopped to see the shipwreck on the beach. It was fun to take pictures and take a walk along the shore.

Brittany and my mom

Brittany was clever and put her flip flops in her back pockets. Don't have to worry about holding them or losing them. Genius!

I'm a big fan of jumping pictures! I'm not really sure why. :)
Kimber, Brittany & Me

It was so fun to have Spencer along on this trip. It is nice to have someone else taking pictures too! Plus that means I actually end up in some of them. Thanks Spence!

It still was a lot of fun to run around Fort Stevens even as an adult. There were some girls running about and they kept trying to scare us. :)

This is a great place for spying on people without them knowing you are there.

Brittany jumping for joy or maybe because I told her too. :)

Well since I made Brittany do it I decided I better jump for joy! Plus it will be fun to scrapbook.