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!



Founder's Circle 2013

Note: Because I was unable to attend Founder’s Circle, I asked Sara to guest blog—here’s her report. Also, most of the photos are from the last night; we had a hard disk problem and were unable to retrieve photos taken from the other events. Sorry wasn't able to show photos from all events, but enjoy the one of the entire group plus our last event.

Got back yesterday from Founder’s Circle—what a blast!

I’ve attended Founder’s Circle before, but this one was a little bit different without Mom. We missed her. I always enjoy talking to demonstrators, and this year I especially wanted to visit with as many demonstrators as possible and make sure everyone felt appreciated and valued. Since there were more than 100 demonstrators, that meant I was pretty busy! But it was a good busy!

I arrived on Wednesday and jumped right in, chatting with demonstrators over lunch and welcoming them all to the event. The theme was cowboy chic, and Mom had been particularly excited about that so we took lots of pictures and I’ll make sure she sees them!

Thursday was kind of a hang-out day. . . I spent a lot of time at the Horseshoe Lounge, chatting with demonstrators. While visiting was definitely the high point of the day, I have to admit the treats were amazing too! There was a great combination of healthy and yummy; we even got to make our own trail mix! We also had lots of fun with Make & Takes, which featured sneak peek products.

Thursday night was our share & swap night, which we did a little differently this year. We gave each Founder’s Circle achiever the book “How Will You Measure Your Life” by Clayton Christensen, and then invited three demonstrators to share their thoughts with us. The discussion was touching and inspiring, and I think it was a great way to reinforce how important it is for our demonstrators to know what matters most to them and be able to fit in Stampin’ Up! where it makes the most sense. Of course, the evening ended on a high with everyone exchanging swaps (Mom and I always do one swap together, which I handed out. . .she had signed every one with her left hand!) and homemade ice cream sandwiches.

Friday was our Kanab day; we did that a little differently too. We split into two groups, took a tour of the facility, stamped more Make & Takes, and ate with employees. After that, most of us spent the evening at Tuacahn, where we watched a great production of “Mary Poppins.” (Tuacahn always does a fantastic job!) The theme of the play had a lot to do with priorities and balance as well, and several demonstrators asked me if we’d planned it that way. Not on purpose, but it was a nice coincidence.

Saturday was another casual day, with lots of free time. Some demonstrators went shopping, sightseeing, or on other fun adventures, while others stayed pretty close to the hotel and pool, just relaxing. The Horseshoe Lounge was busy too. In the evening, we dressed up in our cowboy chic getup and spent the evening wrapping things up at the Staheli Family Farm with lots of fun western-themed activities (corn mazes, wagon rides, archery, Bingo, horseshoes, roping station, petting zoo, cow milking, etc.) It was great! Everyone had the opportunity to win free prizes (more free product), then we ended the evening with a tasty Dutch Oven dinner and Hired Guns, a two-man cowboy band.

I think what I loved most about Founder’s Circle was the chance to visit with these amazing demonstrator leaders on a very personal level. . . get to know them better and find out what we can do to better help them. I appreciated the honest conversations I had and the chance to communicate with them about what they were thinking, as well as what we are thinking. I also saw the value of them rubbing shoulders with each other, talking and sharing ideas, inspiring each other, and learning from each other.

It really was an amazing few days, and I hope everyone returned home feeling renewed, spoiled, and thanked—because we definitely appreciate these women and everything that they do!



Incredibly Blessed. . . 

I’ve enjoyed a quiet, reflective day—it’s been wonderful!

I have missed being with our Founder’s Circle achievers this weekend. . . Sara is there and will be guest blogging about the event. I’ve been thinking about those wonderful women a lot these past few days and hoping they are feeling pampered and appreciated!

I have also been thinking about how incredibly grateful I feel. I continue to improve, and while things are still difficult and I move slowly and tire easily, I am so aware of how blessed I am. I will recover from my injuries. . . many others who suffer serious accidents deal with lifelong challenges and permanent changes.

 I spent some time last night reading the many, many cards I’ve received from so many of you around the world, and I was touched to the point of tears at the expressions of love, support, and concern that I’ve received. It’s been three and a half weeks since my accident, and people are still thinking of me, reaching out to me, expressing their encouragement . . . if my recovery were determined by the love I felt from those who surround me, I would be completely healed by now!

Last year I was amazed at the power of cards as so many of you sent me birthday greetings for my big 5-0. I have been reminded again how powerful a heartfelt (and handmade in most instances) greeting can brighten a day . . . I love being part of a community that understands the difference a card can make! Thank you to everyone who took the time (and who is still taking the time—cards are still arriving) to let me know they are thinking of me.



New in 2013 Creative Challenge

Because of this accident, it's taken me a little longer to post the winners for the New in 2013 Creative Challenge. I appreciate your patience--and your willingness to share your projects with me! What wonderful ideas you all had. . .I'm not stamping right now, but I definitely have some great inspiration to look at when I'm ready.

Also I noticed that someone asked about winners of a previous challenge. I sure thought I'd posted all the winners, so I'm going to do a little homework and see what I can find. If I missed posting one of the creative challenges, I'll definitely be doing a long-overdue winner announcement soon!

Congratulations to the winners, who all receive a free stamp set of their choice from a current publication! Woo hoo!

July 10--Lori Rider

Click here to see Lori's Thoughts of You Bring Smiles card.

July 14--Ashley Marostica

Click here to see Ashley's gift tags.

July 15--Margaret Raburn

Click here to see Margaret's Happy Birthday pansy card.

July 15--Vanessa Farkas

Click here to Vanessa's Thinking of You card.


My New Digs

Thought it was about time to let you see my new digs. We moved a hospital-like bed into the great room off our kitchen, and this is my new home for the next several weeks.

Initially I was going to just post one photo, but Sterling thought it might be more entertaining for you to see me walk to the bed. . . I can even get my feet up on the bed all by myself now with my little blue pick-up thingie (I’m sure there’s an official name for it, but I don’t know what it is). It sounds silly, but I couldn’t do that a few days ago. Every day there are tiny bits of improvement that are cause for celebration!

And moments that are cause for concern. I woke up this morning with symptoms of a blood clot in my leg. After calling my doctor, he said he wanted me looked at, so we almost had to go back to the hospital. Thankfully, my sweet bishop (the leader of our church congregation) is an ER doctor, and he was more than willing to stop by and check it out. . . .saved us the trip.

He wasn’t too concerned, said the symptoms were fairly localized and to just watch it closely. We sat and chatted for a few minutes and shared some thoughts and feelings about the past couple weeks. He encouraged me to write down some of those, even though I might not feel like they’re very significant. . . said someday I might wish I had them recorded. So in the coming days and weeks, I will probably share some more reflective, thoughtful posts. Hope I don’t bore you too much!

Another highlight today was going outside for a few minutes. My sweetheart can get me down the stairs in my wheelchair, and Jon built me a step so I can get into the car with Sterling’s help. So we don’t have to rely on anyone else being here for me to be a little bit mobile. Today we went for a short ride (I can’t sit for a long period of time, mostly I reclined in the car seat) up the canyon, and it was fabulous! Beautiful almost-fall day. . . crisp air, gorgeous scenery, much appreciated!  I’m appreciating a lot of things these days, but I’ll save those thoughts for another post.





I'm Home. . . 

Those are words I’ve been looking forward to writing for days, and I thought I’d feel a lot better when I finally wrote them. But coming home has been a long, exhausting adventure, and I’m worn out! I actually got home last night, but struggled most of the day yesterday with dizziness and nausea, so just didn’t feel up to blogging last night. I thought I’d feel better today, but unfortunately, I’m still dizzy and sick. Feeling a little better today. . . or maybe learning to cope with it better.

The doctor says it may be related to the accident (crystals in my inner ear getting displaced) or may be a germ that’s going around (a friend mentioned that she knew of several people complaining of the same symptoms) or simply vertigo.

Regardless, he’s not worried. . . just another hurdle to get over.

I had thought I’d post a photo of me in my digs (hospital bed in the middle of our living room) but that’s not happening tonight. Just not feeling up to it.

Maybe tomorrow. In the meantime, I am thrilled to be home. . .better view, better bed, and closer to people I love. I’ll take it. . . even with the spinning room.