Monday, January 29, 2007

Day 2 in California!

So while I am in CHA shopping , walking and is a little visual of what my Mom , Josh and Kate are doing....just being silly and having fun!! Day 2 in CA and the weather was great for them to go to Disneyland and California Adventure. Josh was so cute last night as we went in the Lego store, he turns to me after finding a Star Wars lego set and says to me ...Mom is Declan's birthday coming up? He would really like this. I just loved it that in the whole store of things he loves he was thinking about his friend back home. Makes me just so proud of him.
We went to ESPN Zone for dinner and they had this 200 foot screen , or close to it and Josh just loved watching the sports thru dinner. They also had a ticker going across the top and we had them Put Happy birthday to Josh on it. It was really cool when he saw it come across the ticker.
We kinda decided that each night we go out we are celebrating his birthday this week. I still am trying to grasp that he will be a 7 year old on Saturday! More tommorrow!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cheesy at its finest!

Ok so how fun is cheesy fun!! I have to tell you it is the most fun you can have!!!

Last night we got to California and I had already planned this night of pirate fun! We have done the medieval times where they joust and have a whole night of fun. So this time I had found another way to have fun. There is nothing much better then being entertained while eating.

So off we go to the Pirates Adventure Dinner. We were greeted by this 7 foot pirate, not kidding and I will have to scan the picture we got taken with him. He was a 20 year old college student ( yes of course I asked) He was so friggin tall. So then we stepped into the years of pirates and princesses. It was like being on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean. It was very cool. We had snacks, shrimp, meatballs , pasta salad, cheese and of course drinks. Kate had this beer called Flat Tire. She enjoyed it. I just liked the bottle!

Then we were entertained with a little show

Then we met our Pirate...while not a great shot this guy was cut!! My mom's little heart went pitter patter. She was quite excited! ( weird to see your mom get excited about a young man) but it was funny too. She said BONUS!
So we ate, we drank, we were entertained.
It was a little sad , I think this is the last of the cheesy nights out. (Well except for Kate wanting to go again!) Josh of course couldn't take his eyes off all the action , but I not sure it was his ideal night. Hard to tell sometimes, but made me a little sad when we got there and he said, " it's not real pirates, it is just fake" . I fear some of the thrill of fantasy is leaving my little boy. I know you only get so long with Santa, and all the other things. It is amazing how sadden you can get when you realize those years are ending way too fast.
But there is always Kate, who had smiles on her face bigger then I have seen in a while. She is such a kid at heart and loves this kind of stuff. I love that it doesn't take much to make her happy and that a little bit of a fake Pirate battle can make her smile. I love her for that!
So on to the convention today to look , see and buy some new products. Can't wait!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

California here I come.....

not exactly where I started from.
But a place I have always wanted to go.
Kate , Josh and I board a plane in the morning and it is part business, part pleasure.
A much needed mini vacation.
It has been a busy start to the year and I can't wait till Wed and Thursday to do a little
riding down the coast of California in our rented SUV!
We will be going to LegoLand on Thursday, not sure what we are doing on Wednesday,
maybe a day at the pool of the hotel!
Thanks to everyone that has been reading my blog and commenting, here and in person.
I feel good about my bloggin right now, it is what I want it to be. Random thoughts , the
real me. I write here for me and me alone. I hope to inspire and also maybe just make
myself think a bit sometimes. And if I can do that for others along the way that is a BONUS!
Have a great week and who knows....maybe I will have a random thought or two in CA!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I've Learned....

I've learned that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I've learned that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. The same goes for true love.

I've learned that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I've learned that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be

I've learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I've learned that you can keep going long after you can't.

I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I've learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I've learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I've learned that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I've learned that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I've learned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I've learned that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I've learned that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

I've learned that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them, and less to do with how many years you have lived.

I've learned that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I've learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I've learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I've learned that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do love each other.

I've learned that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I've learned that two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different.

I've learned that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I've learned that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you you will find the strength to help.

I've learned that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I've learned that the people you care about most in life are sometimes taken from you too soon and old.( but young!)

Gotta love a buddy that would take a picture even to spite the hat! Trish just a shout out to you today, you help me so much during these S.A.V.E. Weekends! More then words can express. You are there whenever I can't be. You stay up with the girls that want to crop into the weeeeee hours. But besides all that , you are that one friend that calls me just to make me laugh. You call me to share a funny bumper sticker with me , or tell me the latest "Patrick" episode. We have shared great times of my favorites was the Ikea trip! Never forget the laughter of that day. You were on my mind today and part of my random here's to you girlfriend!

Still recovering from the 4 day world win called S.A.V.E. I have received so many wonderful emails from people telling me how great a time they had! I have also received some emails that made me tear up , because of the beautiful words written . After all the excitement Saturday night I was reviewing the pics I had and noticed I didn't have one picture of Ali and I on my camera. So how smart of it was it on my part to say ....lets get a picture....3 days into the event. Oh yeah we were just looking so awake and pretty! (Well Ali still looked good!) So anyway, this is my one picture with Ali, but looking back at it now it is all OK ....this is the look of two very exhausted woman that just did amazing things. It is all good! I calculated about 10 hours sleep in 4 days and it is now Thursday and am starting to feel like I am not in a fog. It is feeling good!!

We leave on Saturday morning for first time there! I will be at the CHA show purchasing and taking in all the new product for 2007. Sarah and I will be on the phone allot over the 3 days and I am so glad I have unlimited calling!! Can't wait to get back and show all the new product. Feb 10th, 2-5 pm we will have our annual mini CHA!

Have a wonderful day! I am going to leave a poem here that I just love. It reminds me that no matter if a friend is only minutes away or miles away they are still a friend.

Sometimes in life, you find a special friend;

Someone who changes your life just by being ! part of it.

Someone who makes you laugh until you can't stop;

Someone who makes you believe that there really is good in the world.

Someone who convinces you that there really is an unlocked door just waiting for you to open it.

This is Forever Friendship.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What it is all about!

"my little sunshine, you make me happy when skys are grey"

So I often wonder in the day what Josh is doing in school. I hope he is learning and in the back of my mind I hope that he thinks of me once in a while and maybe misses me just a little. Well my little amazing guy blew me away again! Tuesday he came home and started unpacking his backpack and was very excited to give me what you see above. Yes of course tears welled up in my eyes and I think I might of squeezed him a bit much. He made this during some free time he had in the morning at school. A time when he could play with his friends or do a number of other things, he sat down and wrote out the song I have been singing him since he was a baby. A song that I sing less often to him now, but still every once in a while when I tuck him in.

After a weekend of high emotions and focus on alot of different things, this little piece of paper grounded me. Once again my miracle boy brought everything back to center. He is just one amazing little boy that I am so lucky to have for a son. He pays attention to the little things and he was so proud of himself, knowing he had made my day. Damn I am so blessed!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." ---Oprah Winfrey

I love that quote from Oprah! It is something I wrote down when I heard it years ago. I was looking thru some things last night and came across it.
After a weekend of spending time with 200 woman and getting to know Ali a little better. I have been thinking alot about the dynamics of friendships and acquaintances. I also realized alot about the people I do call friends.
I found new friendships developing this weekend. Some got alot stronger this weekend.
I observed alot this weekend also, amazing when you get to just step back and watch.

I hope some of the friendships and acquaintances made this weekend turn into some amazing relationships. I know I felt connections getting stronger this weekend. Now I only hope that people take the time for each other.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The other winners...

The Real winners, will be the amazing kids like Simon that this money will go to help. But below are the wonderful pieces of ART from some amazing ladies. These pieces were all donated by each lady. All I did was ask them to make something to auction off for Autism Awareness. I didn't give them any rules , the sky was the limit ...and as you see they took it to the moon! Again thanks so much ladies, without you this wouldn't have been as great as it was.
Cookie Tin Calendar , Artist Lisa Fitzell

Tote bag handmade by Julie Boardman , Won by Ali Valentine !( yes my Ali squared Picture)
Calendar and card organizer made by Colleen Fennessy , won by me :) (sorry Leslie)
Altered Window and Frame, Artist Mary Snyder, won by me! ( it was made for my room!)

Donna Downey's d! , Artist Donna Downey, winner Deb Dimino ( seeing a "D" theme here!!)

Very cool Stuff hanger, Artist Sarah Larson, winner Amber Johnson
100 Cards w/box and Address book , Artist Deena M. and Trish D. , winner Lisa Howard
Ali squared again !!! It diserved a second look!
Transperancy Tag book , Artist Sarah Larson, Winner Kim "Mcgaw" Tacconi
Decorated distress kit, Artist Marlene Shaw, Winner Trish Daly

Journal, and Journal Jar, Artist Renee Lecastas, Winner Trish Daly (hope the mac & cheese is good)

Autism puzzle piece , Artist Christina Ketterer, Winner Chris Epstien (Happy Birthday Chris)

Altered Cupboard, Artist Ruby Johnson, Winner Deb Dimino

Altered Clutch Purse , Artist Donna Gunia , winner Chris Freeburn

ART Letters and Shelf, Artist Patti Seiger , Winner Debbie Gaither

Life is ART canvas, Artist Ruby Johnson, Winner Debbie Gaither

525, 600 minutes ......5192 dollars.....autism awarness....Priceless!

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love

As I sit here, crying....and this song plays(how fitting)...letting it out ....not sure I can stop anytime soon and that is ok! I am thinking of the past year in my life. Actually not quite a year ago I went to Las Vegas and my first CHA. It was a great experience and I just loved being there and seeing all what was new. I also met this lady , Ali Edwards, all I knew was everyone wanted to be around her. I had seen her work on 2Peas and also in Creating Keepsakes magazine, but didn't know much else about her. We met and I felt that little "click" but sometimes you just feel that click , and the other person doesn't. Well then she again turned to me and said " you have a happy face". We laughed and I didn't think much else about it. Not sure why she thought that , never been told that by anyone else, but just went with it. I was really looking to meet Stacey Jullian more then anyone else since I had just read THE Big Picture. It had given me a new light on scrapbooking and I just wanted to thank her in person for writing her thoughts down in a book, and being who she was. Well needless to say we didn't meet, she was probably in so many meetings she never got to be out on the floor.
So fast forward a few weeks and I write to Ali asking if she would like to come to PA and teach. We corresponded and she said she would if the dates worked. So we worked that out and decided she would come to Scrappin Away Vacations in January 2007. From that day I started planning the event.
I started reading more blogs and also created my own. WOW a year ago... so one Sunday I even decided to go back to when Ali's blog started, to get a little insight into her life. I was going to have this woman at my event for 4 days, thought I better do a little research. Well it turned into more then research, with each blog post I started seeing this amazing person, that was a mom to an amazing boy. A mom that took me thru the process of discovering that her son was autistic. It was an amazing journey written in her own words. Right then I knew that we would be raising money for autism at our event. We pick one cause or charity at each event and this was a no brainer as they say.

Shortly after we got to planning my dear friend Denise also called me and she wanted to help in anyway I needed to raise money. She just took the ball and ran with it. 2 Great baskets came to light. Great ladies answered my call to have some art pieces for the auction as well. Raising over 1500 dollars because of these ladies! Raffle prizes donated 2400 dollars and the baskets almost 1300 dollars , making a grand total of $5192.00 raised for autism awareness.

Still can't stop crying, I didn't do this alone, 210 woman in one room for 4 days did this! Ali did this! Simon did this! Josh did this! I am blessed with an amazing little boy, I am so so blessed. Ali is also blessed with an amazing little boy, who needs our help and awareness so that he just becomes more amazing everyday.

So to Ali, you are (yes I am going to say it again) a TRULY amazing lady, that I am so blessed to have in my life and one that I hope to continue to grow with, we can have a virtual cup of coffee every so often and continue to share in each others lifes, (Just don't keep me up till 2 am!)
Simon, you don't know Josh yet....but you will meet him soon. I know you will become life long friends as well!

To everyone that made everything possible this weekend, bless you! You are a powerful group of woman and you have and will continue to accomplish great and wonderful things. As we leave here this weekend, we will take a little piece of love with us. Knowing that we have shown our love to amazing people that may not be able to tell us or express this to us, but maybe just maybe we will make more aware and we can be the voice that is needed. Still I had allot to let go, it was very emotionally wierd this weekend. Pictures will get downloaded hopefully in the next few days...stay tuned this story is not over!

Saturday, January 20, 2007


There are not many people that totally blow me away as I get older and wiser in my years. I know the word Amazing is slightly overused. I can see how many can get caught up in all the "celebirty" thing. But when it comes down to it, there are some frigin amazing, blow your socks off kind of people out there. It isn't because she is one of the most creative people you will ever meet. It isn't because she works for Creating Keepsakes magazine. It isn't because 100's to 1000's take her classes every year. It is because this woman is as true and real as they come. The hours I have got to sit and talk with Ali this weekend have been some of the most honest and truthful moments I have got to spend with a person in a long time. No drama's just down to the gut laughing and talking. A REAL conversation.
Now she will have to brush up on her Wii Skills before we challenge her again, but Josh got her off to a great start! Josh just loved teaching her the ropes of the bowling (in which he won 206 to 133.) Then it was off to try thier luck at Rayman and the Raging Rabids. All ended with a quote from Josh that we all had to agree with . " It is a weird day" And with that we were all off to bed! More pics and stories from the amazing weekend coming soon!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Oh when the Saints .....come marching in....

Oh I just can't get that song out of my head!!!

Yes this is your eagles hating blog for the day!

Can't help it, too fun!

I do love my eagle fan friends, and this is always all in fun, (altho some of them get a bit touchy.) All of them go else where to watch the playoffs. They don't like my snickering and cheering when they are otherwise quiet. Or yelling bad words. Which I find Eagle fans do alot.

I do also understand why they are so frigin angry all the time and a bit touchy. Wouldn't you be too if your team just couldn't win the big ones? I would too if I didn't have anything to even look back at ( Like the 3 superbowls the Raiders have one) and smile about. Knowing at least once (or 3 times) your team was the Best of the Best and you could take pride in that! So don't give up hope my little Birdie friends...remember your motto.... .NEXT YEAR!!! You really should have the t-shirts printed.

Ok now on to fun things...well that was just a little fun!

Yes , Josh has lost his 2nd was so funny he came running down the hallway and he was a little freaked out that his tooth was missing and ummmmmm he had sallowed it. We explained it wasn't the first time someone had done that and he would be just fine. It is so weird to think that it happens all the time. I don't remember it and actually don't want to.

We are off to our next wrestling match today, I am signing off here to go get the donuts and pretzels for the snack stand.
We also just signed Josh up for Lacrosse starting in May ...oh this is one sport I am not so sure of but I am sure he will love it. Going to go buy all the protection there is for him! LOL oh yeah that includes a "cup" oh this should be an interesting conversation between Josh and two moms!
Hey Have a great day and PEACE!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tuesday .....lets go!

So it is done, the holiday season is over and we are into the playoffs! Well I am having more fun heckling my Eagle fan friends then anything else , since my boys sucked the big wad this year...this decade. It was so funny talking to Josh this year, he REALLY got into watching and following football and has lots of opinions about the NFL. We got talking about Tampa Bay and I got him a ball that shows that Tampa bay won the superbowl in 2002. He was so excited since this is his favorite team this year. It all started last year , Pirates are all that and so Tampa Bay became his team. Yes it broke a piece of my heart, but I also loved that he was making his own choices. Now he knows his teams key players and loves watching them. Well except when they lose (which was alot this year) he had days he actually cryed. It was kinda cute he was that into it.
Well anyway in explaining that TB won, I had to tell him who they beat. THAT HURT! To relive that day again. He was only 2 and doesn't remember that superbowl. But I will say his dislike for the Eagles does make me proud!! It is all in fun but we do love teasing our Eagle fan friends.

So we watch the last few weeks of football and cherish all the games even tho our teams are done. We hope for next year!

Getting ready to go to the store, with list for my list. Lots going on right now with S.A.V.E. coming up , then off to California for CHA . Get back home in time to have Josh's birthday party! I just can't BELIEVE he is going to be 7 YEARS OLD!!! UGH someone make it stop!!!

We will have his birthday party on Superbowl Sunday and then the Superbowl party following. Should be a nice full day. He will love that we are celebrating on Superbowl Sunday , he loves football so much.

Have a great day and take 5 pictures today, just of ordinary life.....create a page about today!

Monday, January 08, 2007

The new year has a lot in store for me.

Josh WINS!!! It was so amazing yesterday to watch Josh wrestle, we have been having a real life lesson this year with wrestling. It is a bit hard for a 6 year old in his second year of wrestling, when the avg age for a 60 lb wrestler is 8 -11 years old. So this means he has to wrestle kids that are in their 4th to 6th year of wrestling. His first win came yesterday! He never stops trying in a match no matter what. He shows so much determination and will to win. I have been shown by this little guy more about life on this wrestling match then most adults have taught me.

He knows these kids are older, he knows they have been wrestling longer, but that never stops him from trying to beat them. It is amazing to watch him, he is really learning moves and learning how to think of what to do next. Wrestlers have to be very quick , very strong in both mind and body. The conditioning that they go thru is amazing. I never knew all this before 2 years ago. Josh has probably learned over 30 moves in just the short 2 years he has been doing this and he can name them and show them to you. You will find him sometimes just practicing moves at home. He can do real pushups, situps and he is getting little muscles on that little body.

It is something else to sit there and watch your little guy on the mat , knowing you can't do anything and they are on their own. Sometimes are harder then others. Josh is also getting lessons from Bobby Weaver, an Olympic gold medal winner in wrestling. Bobby is so great with the boys and getting individual attention from a gold medalist is pretty darn special. I can see the difference in Josh this year, I think we are in for a long wrestling career if he can get thru the tough years of being bigger and younger. Again he amazes me so much. I hope he knows how proud I am of him, I make sure I let him know all the time.

On another note, I got a new addition to my scraproom this weekend. Isn't it PRETTY!! Kate picked it up for me and I hope to do alot of great creating on it. I have a great space now to spread out what I am doing. My room is going to see alot of action this year. Thats about it for now, January is a crazy month with ordering for the store, S.A.V.E. weekend coming up for 4 days and then off to California for a week of CHA!

Oh and I have picked a word for 2007....PEACE !