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!



Tanner's Man Card

Note: My oldest grandson, Tanner, went to his first school dance tonight—Homecoming—with his good friend Madi. He was telling me how he asked her and I asked him to share the story with you.

Madi lives in our neighborhood, and we’ve been friends for a long time. She comes over sometimes and has my mom do her hair (Mom’s a stylist and has a salon in our house). A few weeks ago, I was listening to her and my mom talk while she was getting her hair done, and she found out that I didn’t have my driver’s license yet. She started giving me a hard time, telling me that not having a driver’s license was like not having a man card. I kidded around with her, but I have to admit our conversation was a little motivation for me to think about getting my license.

That’s the first part of the story.

The second part is that when I found out she hadn’t been asked to homecoming yet, I decided to ask her. My dad went commando on it, bringing out the “Dude, You’re Welcome Kit.”  There’s this sticker in the kit that says “Official Man Card,” so it worked perfectly. I wrote a note saying, “I know I don’t have my driver’s license, but here’s my man card!” We put it on a lanyard and everything. It was perfect.

She replied by putting caution tape on my front door and string all over the yard, then hiding a note that said, “Sorry for stringing you along. I would love to go to homecoming with you.”

So, I’m going to the dance with her tonight. I’m not driving, of course. . . but I’m working on it!




A Too-Brief Advisory Board Visit

One of my goals since my accident was to progress to the point that, when our Advisory Board members came into town for their annual retreat, I would feel well enough to see them. I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend the entire retreat, but I did want to spend a few minutes with these amazing ladies. . .

Well, I reached my goal last night! Our six Advisory Board members arrived on Sunday for their meetings here in town, and I was able to spend a few minutes with them last night. They had had all-day meetings on Monday and Tuesday, and they came over to the house for a brief visit last night. It wasn’t as long as I would have liked, but it was wonderful to hug them and visit with them and get to know them a little bit better.

Part of the Advisory Board Retreat tradition is My Favorite Things, where each board member shares a few of her favorite things with me and the other members of the board. I look forward to that part of the retreat every year and felt badly that I would miss most of it this year, although I did share a few of my favorite things with these women before they left my house.

Because I knew I wouldn’t be able to spend the entire evening with them, I chose to treat them to one of my favorite things—a service at Brick Canvas. So after they left our house, they headed to Brick Canvas where they enjoyed either a facial or massage. We had worked them hard the two days of the retreat, so hopefully the service helped them relax. (Maybe it will turn out to be such a great idea that from now on, board members will hope I’m not available so they can do it every year!)

The retreat ended last night, and our board members headed home today. I enjoyed meeting them ever-so-briefly and am grateful for the time I spent with them. In addition, Sara took careful notes last night during the remainder of the My Favorite Things activity, and she shared those notes with me today, along with the gifts they shared. So although I wasn’t there in person, I do feel like I know these leaders and appreciated so much all they did the past two days. .  . and I look forward to getting to know them even better this coming year.



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.