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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!



A Leadership Dry Run

Sterling and I love to go to Hawaii, especially when it’s freezing here! We’ve enjoyed all our visits and find it’s one of the few places where we can get away and truly relax.

Most of our visits there, especially recently, have been purchased at charity events—it’s always a treat when we’re able to bid and win on a trip to Hawaii and support a worthy cause at the same time.

This is one of those trips, but after my accident, I didn’t think I’d be up to it, so we called to postpone and were told nope, use it or lose it. So almost from the beginning, my goal was to be well enough to make this trip.

And I did.

We just got back on Sunday from a wonderful week in Hawaii.

We weren’t really sure I’d be ready until the last moment; we didn’t make flight arrangements until the week before we left! And it was harder than I anticipated. . . I’ve become pretty comfortable with my arrangement here in my own home and car and office. But in different circumstances, there were some unanticipated challenges, and I considered it a great dry run for leadership (which I am SO looking forward to. I MISS our demonstrators!)

The flight was tiring, but when there’s nothing to do on the other end but read, relax on the beach and around the pool, eat great food (we discovered a wonderful gelato place so had to take turns—shaved ice one day, gelato the next), and enjoy fabulous company, you recover pretty fast! I did work a couple of hours every day to stay on top of things, but overall, it was another amazing Hawaii vacation!

Jon and Shalae went with us this time (most of the couples have had turns), and it was a fun surprise to discover that Vonna and Sean were there for a few days as well. I had no idea they had planned a trip until Vonna texted me one day and said, “Wanna do lunch?” It was great to spend a couple hours with them.

And now we’re back, missing the gorgeous weather but feeling refreshed and renewed. We landed Sunday , and I had a board meeting first thing Monday morning, so it was business as usual. I haven’t seen our board members for months though, so I enjoyed catching up with them. And with the holidays looming right around the corner, days will be pretty packed for the next little while. It was nice while it lasted. . .



Perfect Packaging

Christmas is getting closer. . .I hope you’re more ready than I am!

Ready or not, though, it’s coming!

I thought I’d quickly share these three gift-wrapping ideas with you.  Brick Canvas is offering gift-wrapped gift cards this year, and these are the three packages that people can choose from. They’re super simple (the hardest part was actually finding the pine cones and berries) and very festive.

They’re perfect for gift cards or any other smaller-sized items (jewelry, candy, etc.). As you can see, each one starts with our Kraft box, and then we’ve added a different belly band. I love them all, and thought you might enjoy them too!



Kona's Baptism

We gathered together as a family yesterday afternoon to celebrate a special event: Kona was baptized by his dad, Jason.

It was stormy and cold, and we all had to allow extra time for traveling because the roads were so bad. But while the weather was cold, the spirit was warm—the music was beautiful, the talks were inspiring, and watching Kona get baptized was awesome. We had a wonderful afternoon together.

Kona was excited to have his family there to support him. . . most of our family was there, as well as most of Jason’s. We are proud of Kona and his decision to be baptized, and are so grateful that he’s part of our family!

Congratulations, Kona!



A Brick Canvas Holiday Party

Attended the first of several holiday gatherings last night. . . we got together with all the employees at the Brick Canvas studios and kicked off the holidays with a simple but fun holiday party.


We had a nice dinner, some giveaways, and one of our employees sang for the program. (She performs in community theater and is incredibly talented. . .she did a great job!)


Santa even showed up briefly; he was at another party in the building and just dropped in to wish everyone a merry Christmas.

I love the people who work at Brick Canvas, so it was wonderful to spend an evening with them. . . am looking forward to spending time with more amazing people in the coming weeks as we continue to celebrate this special time of year.




Sara on TODAY

Note: Stampin’ Up! was  invited to appear on The TODAY Show again this year as part of the show’s annual Holiday Toy Drive. We’ve donated as part of a group of DSA companies for years, and we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to be represented. I’ve been several times, and last year, it was Sara’s turn. She went again this year, and I am so proud of her! I invited her to share the experience. . .

Like Mom said, this wasn’t my first appearance on the TODAY Show, and it was nice that this time wasn’t as nerve wracking as last year. It felt a little more familiar and comfortable. . . I knew where to go, who I would be talking to and meeting with, the way things would go down. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t nervous—I was PLENTY nervous! I don’t know how you can’t be when you’re on live TV (there’s always the possibility of bombing it), but it definitely felt better than last year.

It was fun to chat with everyone. I even got to do a little sales pitch for our kits off camera when I was chatting with Kathie Lee and Hoda about how people like to make things that are quick and easy.

The actual appearance was short and sweet (click here to check it out), and afterwards, I thought of all the things I wanted to say and didn’t get to mention, and then overanalyzed the things I did say, and basically just had a little emotional letdown. But that’s probably pretty typical for anybody who has that kind of an opportunity.

I was especially excited about the gifts we gave this year—some scrapbooking kits and stamp sets that I think kids can really have fun creating with. As part of our 25th anniversary, we’ve focused on making a difference this year more than ever before. As a company, we’ve donated approximately $1.5 million worth of product this year to different organizations—not to mention the personal efforts of our demonstrators all around the world who have been supporting various causes of their own choice. Ending the year with our annual TODAY Show Toy Drive donation (which was more than $650,000 worth of product this year) was an ideal way to cap off our celebration of 25 years of making a difference!