Monday, March 20, 2017

So, it's Been Awhile.....

Well, I don't know where to even begin.  I know it's like I just disappeared off the blogging, crafting scene and well, I guess I did. 

Right after my last post, my mother went into the hospital for a 5 or 6 day stay. I am not going to go into a lot of details, but she and I decided that it would be best that she stay in long term care.  The goal was to get her to assisted living eventually if she could build up her strength.  Here she and I are a few days after she was moved from the hospital to the nursing facility.

Mom and i

I am an only child.  I do have step siblings, but they were older than I was, so it was basically just Mom, Jack (my stepdad) and I.  I don't talk about family much, because well, I just don't.  Jack passed away almost 20 years ago, so Mom had been living by herself for awhile.  I had offered to help, but she was stubborn, proud and wanted to do things her own way and in her own time.  Well, now became the time for me to help.

These past few months have been a journey, one that I didn't plan, anticipate, or imagined that I would have to take.  But, I am so GRATEFUL for these past few months.  Mom and I have never been the "close" mother/daughter duo that I see a lot of people have.  We were both just too much alike I think.  She said push and I would say pull!  That's just the way we were.  But, she and I had to come to terms with what was happening, talk about things, make plans and go forward together.  

Caregiving is hard, I am not going to lie.  I felt like I needed to be at the nursing home every day, to check on her, make sure she was ok, etc.  It takes it's toll and becomes the focus of everything.  I cannot imagine if I had to have done this without Carleen at my side, taking care of the dogs, things at the house, helping me keep my head on straight, etc.  I just couldn't have done it.  And forget creating, because my creative side was non existent.  After talking with Carleen, I did sign up for the Adult Sewing Club at the sewing studio that I took lessons from, which I started in January.  She encouraged me to take those 2 hours and just go and forget about things.  Well, I didn't forget, but it did change my focus, at least for a little while.

Caregiving is a rollercoaster of emotions, things that need to be done, etc.  Mom lost her glasses at the nursing home and they were never found. So, we had to get her new glasses.  Here she is drinking her first frappucino while we were waiting on the transport van to come pick us up from the mall after picking out her glasses.

Mom's first frap

Mom and I talked and decided that we needed to sell her house.So, that became another focus. Luckily, I work where I work and they helped me find someone to help clean it out, so that I could sell it.  I found an investor, but then didn't feel comfortable about selling. I reconnected with a friend from school, who was a realtor, and she helped me find the perfect buyer and we sold/signed within a week.

Mom was doing great and we had finally gotten her settled into a room and got her into a routine.  If you don't know, changes are hard for the elderly and she had been moved EIGHT different times in the facility to different rooms.  Some of it was necessary and some of it wasn't.  This is where I had to put my foot down.  Carleen and I went and bought a bunch of stuff to decorate her room and she had so much fun watching us put stuff up, etc.  I prepaid for a few months of physical therapy to help her get stronger and be able to hopefully walk again.  Here she is in her new glasses and a couple of days before my birthday.  And she was sporting a new hairdo from her beauty shop appt. that I had set up for her to have done every week. 


I went and saw her on Wednesday, March 1, and sat with her while she ate lunch.  I was there about two hours and reminded her that I was going out of town to Branson the next day for a "crafting" retreat with some of my crop buddies that we had planned back in the late summer.  I told her Carleen would come and check on her and she told me to have fun and not worry about her, she would be fine.

I got a call at 5:30 that night and she had tried to walk to the bathroom (or that is what was thought) and she had fallen and broken her hip.  Carleen and I headed over to the nursing home to see if the ambulance had picked her up yet.  It's hadn't and Carleen gave her trouble for trying to walk without someone there.  Mom threw her pillow at her!  I told her that I wasn't going to Branson and she said she was sorry.

Trip to the ER to confirm and determine that she would have to have surgery. Total hip replacement. I left her about 10:30 that night and told her I would be back in the morning before surgery.

When I arrived at the hospital, she had went into respiratory distress and surgery was a no go for that day.  Mom had smoked for 40 years (didn't quit until she went into the nursing home) and she had COPD, a fib and plus a mass in her chest/lung area that they found back in November when she was first in the hospital.  That was one of the the things we talked about, she didn't want to do chemo or radiation, so there wasn't really a need to determine what it was and put her thru that.  The mass had grown significantly in the four months since they had done the first chest X-ray.

After talking with doctors, we all agreed to wait to see how she did over the weekend before surgery. She was high risk for the surgery in the first place, and the anesthesiologist was very worried that she would not be able to come off the ventilator once she came out of surgery.  So, we were waiting to see if she would get stronger.

By Sunday, I knew that I needed to make the decision that I had hoped I would never have to make. They were talking about putting in a tube to give her medicine that she really needed to talk orally, not by IV.  I talked to the attending doctor when he came in and told him that I didn't think surgery was a good idea and that I couldn't put her thru what was going on and that we should call in hospice.   Mom was a DNR and I had to take into consideration what SHE would want.  The doctors and care staff were amazing and supported my decision and said they would do the same thing if it was their family member.  I believe in my heart, they knew it was hard, but that I was trying to honor Mom by doing what she would want.  And honestly, if she had the surgery and never came off the ventilator then that decision would have been much harder to make.

The hospice nurse came and talked to me to make sure I understood everything and what steps would happen next.  I called Carleen and she came to the hospital to be there also.  They took out all the iv's and took the bi pap mask off.  I bent down and told Mom that I loved her and she said "I love you" and then mumbled something I didn't understand.  She then reached up and kissed my cheek.  The hospice nurse said Mom told me "I love you very much" and then Mom told Carleen she loved her.  Then she went to sleep.  We were moved to another floor for hospice and she passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 6th, with me sitting right beside her.


Gosh, I miss her something crazy.  And honestly, I am not anywhere near even having the ugly cry, ro anything similar.  There are so many things that I wish we could have done, but I am so thankful for the last few months we had.  

I have more to write about including the celebration at the end of her funeral, but I am saving that for another day and when I am ready to share.

So...that's where I have been, right where I needed to be.  For mom AND me.  I am slowing getting back into creating and I cannot thank my amazing teams for allowing me to take the time and let me do what I needed to and letting me slowly get back to my design team work.  I have missed it, I just didn't have the energy to do it all.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hello Fall-Playing With Digital

It's Wednesday, which means two things...Hump Day (aka ready for the weekend!) and it's the SOSN sale over at The Lilypad.  I decided to play with a digital template and a little mini kit that is in the sale for a digital layout.  I swear, the Pollys are all so talented with all their digital creations, that I feel lame playing in that league!  But, no time to print anything to work with and I wanted to play!

So, no close ups or anything, just the page!  I used most of the Mommyish template that is actually like a quick page that you can just drop photos into and mixed in a some papers from Amy Wolff Designs to make it a little different.

Digital Products Used: Template-Mommyish This Month Captured Dolled Up Templates October 2016; Kit-Amy Wolff Designs Not So Spooky Mini Kit

So YAY!!!  Go grab them while they are on sale thru Wednesday night at 50% off!  And I am going to throw another digital layout in here!  I did this one last week with some of the October 2016 BYOC (Build Your Own Collection) and a Fiddle-Dee-Dee Designs template.  The templates help me with shadows!

Fall Day-1
Supplies: Template-Fiddle-Dee-Dee Designs Today is the Day Dressed Up Template; Kit-Lynne-Marie Russet Bundle; Embellishments-Forever Joy Noted Pretties

And that's all from me today!!!  I will try to pop back in at the end of the week!  Happy Wednesday, humpday and weekend ahead!!!  HUGS!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sunflower Field-Lilypad Blog, Amber LaBau and Paislee Press

One thing I love when I see digital layouts is how many pictures they can get on a page if they want!  And it doesn't look cluttered!  So, I have done this in the past, but using a digital collage template is a great way to achieve that in traditional or hybrid scrapbooking!

I have an entire post over on the Lilypad blog about this layout and you can find that post HERE.  So I will just share highlights and pictures for you on this little blog!

Supplies: Digital Kit-Amber LaBau Designs (Cozy); Digital Photo Template-Paislee Press (Addendum|Collage Templates); Paper-Epson Ultra Premium Presentation Paper; Twine-May Arts; Doily-Hobby Lobby; Enamel Dots-Freckled Fawn; Adhesive-Therm O Web

The thing that drew me to this Paislee Press photo template was the fact there was a place for journaling and a title.  These are great for when you have a lot of similar pictures, but want to use them!

And I love mixing my traditional goodies with hybrid elements.  It's just a different creative process that mixes things up a little bit!

And I love Amber's handwritten elements.  I am not sure if it's her handwriting, but I wish I could write that pretty!

Well, that's all from me.  (It's Wednesday night and Criminal Minds plus Designated Survivor are getting ready to come on!)  Have a great Thursday!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Fall Leaves Home Decor With DecoFoil

I thought I would share this altered pallet I did for ThermOWeb.  I love fall decor, end of story!  I don't know if it's the colors, that the weather is getting cooler or what!  I just makes me happy.  And you know I love cooler weather, so I am sure that plays a part of it!

Supplies: Pattern Paper-Cocoa Vanilla Studio; Twine-May Arts; Adhesive, Toner Sheets, Decofoil-Therm O Web; Pallet-Jillibean Soup

I started by cutting a bunch of different shaped leaves out of my Silhouette.  I used three different shapes I think and I made all three the different colors of DecoFoil that I used.  I used a cut file from Juliana Michaels/17 Turtles that you can grab from HERE.  Love that cut file!  

I put the pumpkin on first and then layered the leaves around it with the 3D foam adhesive squares.  The more the better for this project!


I used a couple of the new colors of DecoFoil that came out over the summer.  Emerald Watercolor and Amber Watercolor, along with the Pumpkin color.  Honestly, when I was doing this I was trying to figure out how to get the watercolor foils in the project, but then everything just came together.  I was over thinking!


I am hoping over the three day weekend to schedule some blog posts ahead.  I have more than a few projects to share.  A lot are hybrid, but there are some paper ones also!  Have a great Wednesday and thanks for stopping by!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Baby Girl-Amber LaBau Designs

So, you know I love Amber LaBau and her awesomeness!  Her new collection Brave New World is out at the Lilypad.  It is part of the BYOC and I fell in love with the colors as soon as I saw it.  One thing, it's a baby collection!  

You know me and how I love to change things up, so I had to make a layout with it.  And there might be a little announcement along with that layout!

Supplies: Pattern papers, die cuts-Amber LaBau Designs; Paper-Epson; Adhesives-Therm O Web; Silhouette Cameo with print and cut feature; Doily-Unknown

Yep!  I am on the team as a hybrid girl.  I love her style and use of color so much, this is going to be a fun ride for the next year and a half!  AND I am floored by all the talent on the team.  Look these girls up, because they are amazing!!

So, let's see some close ups of the layout about Miss Ella and her cart!  I took these pictures pretty quickly after we got her cart.  She does love it, but she is a little on the "lazy" side, so no extra effort if she doesn't have to!!! This smile just melts my heart!


The saying was perfect for this page.  I created a cut file out of one of the elements from the kit and then just backed it with some paper.


And the feather paper with those colors.  I will be using that a lot I do believe!  Thanks for sharing in my happy news and for stopping by today.  I am at a work conference most of the week, so it will be a little quiet here, since I won't have a lot of time!  Luckily, close to home, just busy!!   Have a GREAT Wednesday!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Back to School Card-The LilyPad Blog

I shared this hybrid card over on the LilyPad blog a week or two ago.  You can find the post HERE, if you want some in depth details about how I did it!

For some reason, I am loving black card bases!  You will see, I have another one coming later in the month.  I think it's just because the colors pop on black.

Supplies: Digital Kit-LilyPad Collab (Wicked Smart); Cardstock-American Crafts; Twine-May Arts; Adhesive-Therm O Web; Silhouette Cameo; Paper-Epson Ultra Premium Presentation Paper; Chalk Paint.

That little owl was just too cute not to use!!!

I used chalk paint to mimic chalk dust on the blackboard!

That's all from me today.  Just a short and sweet post, kind of like the owl on the card!  Have a great day.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Using Digital Paint Elements in Hybrid Scrapbooking-The LilyPad

Did you know that you can use digital paint/masking elements on your pages?!  Even if you don't want to do a full blown hybrid layout, you can add a little to your pages in a few steps! 

This hybrid layout is up over on the LilyPad blog today and you can see all the details HERE.   This layout also has new products by Etc. by Danyale and Scrapping with Liz in the shop along with a bunch of other goodies!  

Supplies: Digital Kit, Paint Elements-Etc. by Danyale (Time Teller); Digital Template (Artsy Journal Templates 13)-Scrapping with Liz; Twine-May Arts; Doily-Hobby Lobby; Adhesive-ThermOWeb; Cardstock-American Crafts; Silhouette Cameo

Here are the three products I used from the store. I did flip the template, because it worked with my photo that I had already printed out before I had a plan!  Click on the pictures to go to the store!

Isn't that notebook paper cut fun?  And the splatters are perfect, without me making a mess!


The banner was so fun, I had to print it and use it.  I used the print and cut feature on the Silhouette with all the digital elements I used out of the kit and the template.

And another set of paint elements.  I used ivory cardstock and I love how soft they look on it.  

That's all from me for this Friday!  Have a great weekend and I will be back with some more projects next week!