Welcome to my personal blog!

Just as I share some of my personal thoughts and views, I invite you to share yours. All I ask is that you 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 like to fill my life with positive people and positive things. I guess that means that 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 nice visit!



Convention Is Just Around the Corner

It’s coming! And we can’t wait!

At this month’s company update meeting, our own Robynn Rowen was invited to talk about next month's North America convention. Robynn is on our Events team, and she’s deeply involved in making convention happen. She isn’t, however, often the center of attention, and she was a little nervous about her moment in the spotlight—even if it was just in front of her fellow Stampin’ Up! colleagues.

She did amazing!

If I hadn’t already been excited about convention, I definitely would have been after hearing her! She talked mostly about how rewarding it is to attend convention and interact with our demonstrators. We all love our demonstrators, and the opportunity to meet so many of them face-to-face and share our enthusiasm and passion for the work we’re all involved in really is one of the highlights of convention for all of us.

She also talked about the long hours and the hard work and feeling dead-tired at night. . . and she made it sound fun! Not sure how she did that, but she did.

And then she ended her presentation with a little surprise treat bag for the hundreds of employees who attended the meeting! She had stayed up the night before, tucking a Bliss chocolate (“Attending convention is bliss!”) and a Laffy Taffy (“Lots of laughs at convention!)” in each bag, then tying each one up with a piece of ribbon. What an act of heartfelt love and commitment—to her job, to her coworkers, and to Stampin’ Up!

I followed Robynn and, frankly, didn’t need to say much. She’d said it all!

I love working with people like Robynn; Stampin’ Up! is full of fabulous individuals just like her who are so committed to loving what they do and sharing what they love.

And we’re all VERY excited about being at convention in THREE SHORT WEEKS with more people who feel the same way we do!


Summer Family Picnic

Sterling and I took a whirlwind trip (left early Saturday morning and returned home Sunday morning) to Washington this weekend for Clearsnap’s annual summer picnic. We haven’t been able to attend for several years, so it was nice to just relax and visit with Clearsnap employees and their families.

Everyone seemed to have a fun time—the food was tasty (a catered BBQ dinner); pony rides, stamping activities, and games set up on the loading dock kept the kids entertained; and the weather was PERFECT! We’ve been traveling to Washington for years, and I’ve never seen it so gorgeous. The entire 30 hours we were there were clear and warm; I never even put on my third layer! (I had a light sweater on over my T-shirt, but I had come prepared with a heavier sweater, which I knew I’d need.)

An added bonus was the presence of Bill, Clearsnap’s general manager. He was involved in an extremely serious accident several weeks ago and almost died, so we were so grateful that he’s been able to recover to the point that he could be with us.

I was reminded, as I so often am, how important people and relationships are in our lives. They really are what matter most, and the opportunities we have to connect with people—whether family members or friends or neighbors or coworkers—are sweet. A great way to spend a summer weekend!


Congratulations to Connie--Our Million-Dollar Achiever!

I’ve spent the last couple of days celebrating Connie Heisey, our fifth Stampin’ Up! million-dollar achiever. What a huge milestone for her to reach in her career—it was a pleasure to honor her and recognize her hard work and dedication.

We kicked off the celebration with the home office visit on Tuesday. Connie and her daughter Heather arrived to an enthusiastic welcome from our home office employees, who met them in the atrium and applauded Connie’s incredible achievement.

Connie received flowers and that exciting $10,000 check, then we all enjoyed a gelato treat (Connie’s choice) while employees got to interact with Connie and Heather personally, introducing themselves and thanking her for her great work.

Next they both enjoyed a tour of the home office (especially memorable was seeing new product and getting to design a stamp set!), and then Sara and I joined Connie and Heather for an enjoyable mother-daughter dinner at Valter’s, a nice Italian restaurant.

Traditionally, the million-dollar achiever gets to choose an activity to do the next day; I’ve been honored that they have all opted to spend some time with me! When I talked to Connie, she too indicated she’d love to spend some personal time with me but instead of stamping she wondered if we could spend some time at Brick Canvas. Of course! Who wouldn’t love that, right?

Connie sent a list of things she’d enjoy doing, and we made the appointments. It was a FULL day, and I hope a very enjoyable one!

Connie also wanted to visit Dear Lizzy (she knows it’s one of my favorite boutiques), so Laura (the owner) graciously opened up early, and we started our day there. Next we headed for Brick Canvas, where Connie and Heather enjoyed a massage, facial, haircut and color, and makeover—what a great way to spend time together! I didn’t do everything with them but was always nearby, and we enjoyed lunch together at Fraiche. Sterling wanted to congratulate Connie as well, so he surprised us by showing up and joining us for lunch! After the spa day, Connie and Heather were whisked off to dinner with a few of the Corporate Team members.

I didn’t get as many photos as I wanted at Brick Canvas—either I forgot or the time wasn’t right. (Who wants a photo after a massage and facial? You feel great but you’re not always looking great!) And at the end of the day, we were running a little behind, so taking photos wasn’t on the top of the list of priorities. But at least we have a few. . . )

Everywhere we went, people congratulated Connie on her amazing accomplishment (they all knew why she was here and what she’d done), so I hope she felt like she was the star of the day! I know we are all proud of her and so glad we are able to recognize her for all that she’s done as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator.

The highlight for me of the past two days is getting to know Connie and Heather better—that’s always what I enjoy most about these million-dollar visits. We talked some business (what she loves most about Stampin’ Up!, what she might change, what challenges she faces) and some personal (I got to see photos of her family and chat about the upcoming wedding), and I gained an even deeper respect for this amazing woman who has consistently built her business and made the most of the Stampin’ Up! opportunity! She’s incredibly positive and steady, and I am grateful for the opportunity to get to know her better!

Congratulations, Connie!



A Winning Weekend in Nantucket

I mentioned it in my previous post, but I spent a long weekend on Nantucket with my sister Leslie and a couple of friends—Lorraine (my best friend from high school, who lives in Nantucket) and Laurie, Lorraine’s sister-in-law and a good friend of Leslie’s.

Leslie and Laurie came up with the idea, and I was totally on board! I can’t remember the last time I’ve spent time with Lorraine, and I was excited for the chance to catch up with her. Plus I was super excited for some sister time with Leslie! Throw in the opportunity to do some sightseeing on Nantucket, a cozy summer destination full of history and fascinating architecture, and it was definitely a winning weekend!

We did plenty of sightseeing, checking out the local whaling museum, walking cobblestone streets, taking pictures of the architecture, and spending relaxing time on the beach. It was a little chilly for beach weather, but that didn’t stop us. The first day we bundled up in blankets while watching the sunset, and the last day we got adventurous and took off our socks and shoes.

We also discovered a wonderful corner ice cream shop, which specialized in homemade ice cream and homemade waffle cones. You could smell the cones a block away, and we couldn’t resist stopping there! In fact, all the places we ate were yummy. So I guess you could say it was a weekend full of food, fun, and friends and family.

Loved it!



Lesson Noted

Leslie and I are in Nantucket, along with two dear friends, for a girls’ long weekend. We knew we would miss Father’s Day and planned on finding a fun little Nantucket treat to send to our fathers when we got here on Wednesday.

So much for planning. . .

Our flight Wednesday was cancelled (bad weather apparently), so we  ended up staying the night in New York and flying here on separate flights yesterday; we didn’t all get together until yesterday afternoon. A little late in the day to find those Father’s Day surprises.

So we set out today, knowing we had to get them sent today in order for them to arrive tomorrow. We found a couple of things we thought were perfect and headed to the FedEx store, where we asked the girl at the desk if they could arrive by tomorrow. “Sure,” she replied. “You’ll pay for it, but it can happen.”

We figured it might be double the regular cost or something like that. . . didn’t bother to ask the exact cost. We found some boxes, bubble wrapped the gifts, filled out labels, and headed to the counter—where we received quite a shock. I won’t share the exact amount; suffice it to say that it was more—much more—than double the regular shipping. In fact, the price of the gift itself was paled in comparison to the price of shipping!

I also paid to overnight Sterling’s Father’s Day card. I’ve had it picked out for days, just haven’t taken the time to write in it. . .again, thinking I would just overnight it to one of my girls so they could include it with his Father’s Day gift, which we’re all going in on together. That, too, was pretty pricey.

So, that’s what we get for procrastinating! Lesson noted. . . .although probably not learned. (smile) I’ll share more about this fun weekend when we get back, but in the meantime. . .

Happy Father’s Day, everyone!