Welcome to my blog!

I invite you to share your thoughts, but I do ask you to keep your comments appropriate. I won't feel badly about removing comments that are offensive. That doesn't mean you can't be honest—I want honest feedback—but I also like to fill my life with positive people and positive things. I guess that means if you have to say something negative, say it nicely! :-)

More than anything, I want you to leave here feeling inspired and valued—and like we've had a fun chat!



You Are Loved!

I just returned from a quick trip to southern Utah and have heard that there are a few demonstrators who are disappointed with their experience at the Catalog Premiere (which I blogged about here). I understand that the issue is that our demonstrators in Long Beach, where the event originated, got a bonus session and additional free product. While we didn’t detail what demonstrators who attended the Long Beach event would receive (we never specify at any of our events what the prizes and giveaways will be), we did communicate that there was an additional presentation there—and we also charged more for that location. Any demonstrator could attend, and we had demonstrators who traveled to Long Beach for that experience.

I also mentioned in my earlier post that we were short catalogs in a couple of locations, which really was inexcusable. We’ve fumbled a bit in our attempt to make that right, but it’s my understanding that every demonstrator who didn’t go home with a catalog in hand has heard from us by today as we’ve tried to correct that situation.

I’m so sorry if some of you were disappointed—I hate it when everyone isn’t happy. I don’t want any of you—regardless of where you attended—to feel undervalued or unappreciated. The Long Beach event was slightly different, but it wasn’t because the demonstrators there were more important—it was simply because we had more space and more time (the movie theaters wanted us in and out quite quickly). I would have loved to have all 7,000-plus demonstrators there with us. But that wasn’t feasible, so we did our best. . . Please know that you are loved and valued, whether you were in Long Beach or San Antonio or Calgary. . . or any of the other locations.

I also wanted to share a bit about the past few days in southern Utah, but I’ll save that post for tomorrow. . . 


A Stampin' Up!-Style Premiere

Last night was our 2014-2015 Catalog Premiere, a first-ever catalog launch event that was amazing!

Let me describe it—we broadcast the event from the convention center in Long Beach, California, on a live satellite feed to 40 movie theaters all over North America where approximately 7,000 demonstrators had gathered together.

Talk about pressure!

We actually had a full-on, complete rehearsal earlier in the day, which we never do! Our presenters practice their presentations for all our events, and we have onsite rehearsals, but I can’t ever remember having a “from beginning to end” rehearsal before. But because it was a live broadcast, we had to get it right—and on time! (That might have been the biggest challenge, since some of us like to ad lib a bit. . . )

The rehearsal went great, and the actual event was even better, because we had our demonstrators with us! Talk about energy and excitement—the air was practically electric in Long Beach, and I’ve heard from various people who were at the different locations, it was the same everywhere.

The broadcast was two and a half hours, but the time flew by! The presenters did a very nice job and covered a lot of ground—sharing dozens of samples, in-depth catalog strategy, ideas for sharing the catalog with all different types of customers, and, of course, lots of stamping. . . plenty for both the business-minded demonstrator and the demonstrator who simply loves to stamp.

And we didn’t stop there—we had prize patrols, all-attendee giveaways, and a copy of the new catalog, as well as the new Celebrando Creatividad and the newest issue of Stampin’ Success. No wonder everyone was so excited!

There were only a couple of glitches that I’m aware of: We had to cancel the event in Birmingham, Alabama, because of the weather (thoughts and prayers going out to those impacted by the tornadoes and terrible weather), and we were short catalogs in a couple of locations. I honestly don’t know what happened there, but I do know that everyone felt terrible! Catalogs were shipped out first thing this morning, and I know we were doing all we could to make that right for the demonstrators who didn’t get to walk away with a new catalog in their hands!

Because really, that’s what this event was all about—celebrating what is one of the highlights for any Stampin’ Up! demonstrator or customer—the release of a new catalog. We all know the anticipation that we feel as we finally get to see what’s inside and start envisioning the projects we are going to create.

And the chance to gather together and do that in such a fun way was wonderful! Even though we weren’t all together in one location, we were definitely gathered together, and it was a fabulous feeling!

I wanted to give a shout out—and heartfelt thanks—to the many people who worked so hard to make this event happen. We have a great group of individuals at the home office who have been planning this event for months, and then we had at least one (and in many cases more) home office representative at each location to make sure things went as planned. Kudos to you all, as well as our thousands of demonstrators, who really are the reason we all do what we do! Thanks for being there with us—and maybe we’ll do it again next year. . . .



A Wedding Weekend

Note: I tracked down some photos from this weekend and have added those to the blog. Enjoy!

My brother Kurt and sister-in-law Joni were here this weekend for the wedding of their daughter Alli. It was a wonderful weekend full of family and celebration. Kurt and his family stayed with us, so it was especially fun to spend some extra time with them. We all had plenty to do—they were getting ready for the wedding and I was getting ready for the new catalog launch today—but we loved having them.

The wedding and reception on Saturday were beautiful, and it was great to be part of it all. We visited with a lot of extended family members, and we even had all our grandchildren who are living in the area at the reception.


And, of course, I forgot to take any photos! I had my phone and everything. . . just didn’t think about it. I’m kicking myself now, but I was having too much fun chatting with everyone. I guess there are worse things. . . Alli (and her photographer) graciously said I could share a few of their wedding photos with you so you could see the beautiful bride and moments of the day. These photographs are all courtesy of Travis Richardson.

Congratulations, Alli and Jordan—and thanks for letting us be part of your special day!



I'm a Graduate!

I “graduated” this week from occupational therapy—a great milestone in my recovery! I’m very excited (it will be great to have one less thing to fit in my calendar) but kind of sad.

I’ve been working with Andy, my occupational therapist, for months, and he has made it enjoyable. You can tell he loves what he does (and we all know how important that is!), and I enjoyed getting to know him. He was patient yet firm; he took it seriously but made it fun. I looked forward to going to therapy (even though I knew it would hurt) because I knew I’d learn something new from Andy and make progress towards “graduating.”

And now I’m there—woo hoo! I’ll definitely miss Andy—but I won’t miss therapy! There are plenty more things on my list to work on!



The Good Life

On Easter Sunday I was invited to guest blog on Becky Higgins' "The Good Life" blog. For those who didn't get a chance to read it, I'd like to share it with you: 

I enjoy Bikram yoga and practice at a studio located in a gorgeous garden setting. During the past couple of weeks, I’ve looked out the studio window and watched spring arrive—different flowers pop up almost daily. Spring makes me happy and so does the idea of new life and new beginnings. . . the beautiful spring flowers bring joy to my soul, and I can’t help but think of the beauty of the world around us and my Savior Jesus Christ, who makes it all possible.

I understand that not everyone believes in Christ, and I hope that by sharing my personal feelings about Him, I don’t offend anyone; personal beliefs are sacred and I honor and respect everyone’s right to choose who—and what—to believe in.

This Easter Sunday is the perfect opportunity to share what truly has made my life good—and that’s my relationship with my Savior. Whether I’m in a happy or sad place, sailing or struggling, surrounded by loved ones or curled up in a corner all alone, everything is better when I invite the Savior into my life.

And it is an invitation I have to extend. One of my favorite images of the Savior is Him standing at a door, knocking. If you look closely, the door has no doorknob. The idea, of course, is that He is always ready to enter our lives but will never force Himself into our lives. The decision to open the door is ours alone.

When I try to do things on my own, it gets pretty lonely, but when I remember to open the door, I am overwhelmed with feelings of love, peace, and gratitude. Dark moments become brighter and happy moments become more joyful when the Savior is part of them.

Turning to the Savior—a higher power, a source of endless love and encouragement—allows me to accept myself as I am while hoping every day that I can become better. That is what makes my life good!

Image: © 2014 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.