Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back to creating...

Here are a few things I have been working on since I have been home and as back to normal as I can possibly be... First up, I made a card for the Card Challenge for technique. This technique is called Bargello Technique and the directions for it can be found here on the Split Coast Stampers website. They have the best tutorials. I thought it almost had a "quilt-like" look to it and wasn't so sure I would like it, but I love the way it came out in the end and seeing as I need all kinds of thank you cards, that's what I decided to make.

The scraps from that card, came from this layout from Taylor's birth. I LOVE this paper line from Cosmo Cricket. The quote on the left says, "Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." I was at a friend's house the other day and they had it on their wall and it is apparently a quote from Winnie the Pooh! Isn't it weird when things like that happen? Like when you do something and then you see it somewhere else? My sister would know exactly what I'm talking about! LOL! Anyways, the journaling here says, "We have very few pictures from your actual birth because it went so fast and we left the camera in the car. Here you are under the heat lamp while the nurses did your footprints." By the way, I don't scrap in order, I just scrap whatever inspires me that day!

Next up, I finally got around to scrapping Madison's preschool pictures from this year. Here is her picture and her class picture. The crayons, scissors, and little drawing are just stickers. The journaling here says, "You started preschool this year and absolutely LOVE it! Miss Celia is your teacher and she always says what a great listener you are. She also says that you love to paint and really take your time. I am so proud that you have learned to write your name. Your preschool is right next to my school and I love being able to take you every morning. But when I come to pick you up, you never want to come home, even when you have been there all day long. It makes me happy that you like it so much!" I used my Cricut for the title that just says Preschool, but I did the shadow cut which I LOVE to do. It is very subtle, but I love the look it gives. Here is a closer look at the title, so you know what I mean. The shadow color is light pink, so you can see it if you click on the picture to make it bigger.  
Finally, I did a layout based on the sketch for this week at Sketchy Thursdays.
Here is their sketch and then my take on it. These pictures are from my Uncle Dick's birthday on October 1, 2009. Madison was helping him blow out the candles. I turned the sketch sorta, and instead of circles, I made half circles from the flowers that I cut out from coordinating paper. Of course, I had to pop dot them for dimension. For those of you that know Uncle Dick, isn't that middle picture just a classic Uncle Dick pose? I just think it screams his personality when I look at it! It makes me laugh! I have lots more to share... in another post, on another day! I sure have missed scrapping, but I love being back to it!!! Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Trauma Brain

So after my accident and once I was stable, I was moved from Sharp Hospital to Tri-City because that was back in my network for insurance and well, of course I wanted them to pay for everything, so I had to follow their rules. Once I arrived at Tri-City, I had a very difficult transition. Most of the time I was at Sharp, I was on morphine, and believe me, I needed it! But once I moved it was time to down-grade the pain meds. So when I arrived at Tri-City, I wasn't in the clouds anymore. Unfortunately, then came depression and it hit me hard. I think that was a part of me that was disappointed that I wasn't able to go home, but I knew on the other hand that I wasn't independent enough to be going home either. I knew that if I came home, I would be a huge burden on my family, and for that reason I needed to stay in the Rehab Facility. In my heart I wanted to be at home, but in my mind I knew that I needed to be in the hospital longer.

My first night there, while eating my dinner, I turned on the tv and was trying to eat. I seriously thought that I was going crazy! I was getting so confused. I couldn't concentrate on anything, the tv was too loud and noisy... I felt like everything was spinning around and I couldn't focus on anything. I turned off the tv, and got rid of the food. Then I laid in my bed having a panic attack and trying to relax. I called the nurse and talked to her about what was going on. It was very hard for me because I felt like I was going crazy and I didn't know how to explain it to someone. I was scared that they would think I was crazy... and maybe I was. Luckily, she was an AWESOME nurse! She sat with me until I felt better, she also put in a request for me to speak with the psychologist/psychiatrists (WHOEVER!). Throughout that night and the next day, I did very little. I tried to read a magazine, I would get so confused. I tried to watch tv, confused again. Play on my phone, nope. It seemed that I couldn't do anything, other than lay in bed... and even then I would have panic attacks in the middle of the nigtht... I'd just try to relax and thank goodness for my friend, Jeannie, who helped me A LOT!!! Even when I was texting her at 3am. Thank you, Jeannie!

Those few days felt like a lifetime... and then FINALLY came my insurance approval... and I could talk to someone. The moment she walked in the door, I started crying. I just spilled it all... every emotion of the accident, every feeling I was having, the guilt, the fear, the anger, the disappointment, the frustration, and all of the confusion and feels of losing my mind. She spent probably over an hour with me, and then she told me about what she called "Trauma Brain". She explained it best to me as to say that it's like someone has gone into your head and shaken it all up. It's all still there, it just needs time to settle back down, and accept what has happened. I came to realize, I wasn't losing my mind, I didn't need medication, I just needed time. If you know me well, you know how hard that was going to be for me, but if time is what I needed, then that was what I was just going to have to do!

I was in that hospital for about a week. By the time I was ready to go home, my brain was not back to normal yet, but I was able to do a word search book that someone brought me (I don't know who, sorry! But thanks whoever it was!) At the time of going home, I was doing A LOT of word searches because it seemed to be the only thing that I could focus on. Still no reading, still no tv. Once I was home, the transition wasn't easy. I was so nervous about everything, the change, the burden on my family, the wheelchair fitting in the house, my girls understanding how little I was going to be able to do for them, my Mom being able to change EVERYTHING to spend everyday with me, having to ask her to do that... it was a lot!

Lucky for me, I have an amazing family, and an even more amazing Mom! I owe her big time! Once I was home, I decided I wanted to try doing a puzzle, thinking THAT was something that maybe I would be able to handle. It was!!! My mom and I worked on a puzzle and sometimes we would spend most of the day at her card table she brought over working on the puzzle... and another puzzle... and another puzzle. She bought more puzzles (we didn't really own any and my Mom had just recently gotten rid of all of hers!) and we did those too! My aunt brought us more puzzles! Kathy brought more puzzles! My first few days home were spent between puzzles and word searches. Everyone kept trying to be so positive about my extra time at home and how I could scrapbook... I tried! I sat at my table, and started to panic about all the things I have and became very overwhelmed... even cried, because I just wanted to be normal again. Usually I would LOVE this chance to spend days at this table, but instead it was making me have a panic attack.

There is a saying that I heard once at work that said something about "a sorrow takes a 1,000 tellings." Basically it means that you have to tell your story, cry about it, relive it, share it, dream it, exc. 1,000 times before you are able to move past it and allow it to no longer cause you so much pain. I cried, a lot, and sometimes I still do. I relive the accident over and over, probably on a daily basis. I dream about it every single night. Last night's dream I had a new car, but same accident. I woke up to pain in my ankle because I was trying to push the break. I figure that rather than worry about these re-occurring, I'm counting them up on my 1,000 tellings, which is also what the dr told me. She said the more and more I experience it, the easier it will be come for me to accept it.

I think that I can officially say that my trauma brain is now GONE! I have started scrapping again and I will even have my music going while I am doing it. I will be back soon with some scrapping things to share with you. I have completed 6 weeks, and I have 6 more weeks to go without walking. I truly believe that if I can pass this time scrapping, which is something that I LOVE to do, it will greatly help me. I still struggle EVERY SINGLE DAY with the need and want to just get out of bed pain-free and WALK! I cannot wait to WALK again! I didn't realize what a gift it is to get out of bed each morning, and I hope that I remember to treasure it when the gift is returned to me. Depression still lingers in those moments, and when I'm in pain, it is even harder to fight, but honestly paper is therapeutic for me. I'm so happy that the trauma brain is gone and I can now pass the time working on some paper products, cards, layouts, and whatever! I believe that scrapping will help me heal and I'm looking forward to it! How fun!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Life changing accident...

Well, here we go, let's see if I can brave this post, it's going to be a long one... On April 7th, while driving home from work and after picking up my girls, we were in a major car accident. I think that my cousin Alana said it best on her blog at Milton Memories when she said it was one of those phone calls no one likes to get. I'm still not sure HOW it happened, and I will never know, but we had just been sitting at a red light. The light turned green, everyone went. We were the last car and thankfully no one was behind us. Apparently two cars at the front of the line had a fender bender and everyone slammed on their brakes. I must have looked away, because when I looked up the truck in front of me was right there and I knew I wouldn't have enough time to stop. I knew in that moment that we were going to hit him. I also had enough time to think that this was not going to be good and that we were not going to win this battle because the truch that I hit was a huge Ford F550 all steel back work truck. From there, everything happened in slow motion. We hit, I watched the air bags deploy, I could see every tiny spec of dust and powder flying through the air and all I could think was please let my children be okay...

After the immediate shock, I opened my car door to get out of the car. Madison kept asking me, "What did you do, Mommy?" I knew that she was talking but Taylor wasn't saying anything and I needed to see them, to see that they were okay, and to talk to them and reassure them. Immediately after stepping out of the car, I fell to the ground. I hadn't felt any pain and hadn't even thought that I might be hurt. I realized that I was having difficulty moving my legs. My left ankle was obviously broken and basically going the opposite direction of my leg. My right pant leg was cut open and blood was all over my pants, but I couldn't really see the extent of the wound. I slid on my hands to Madison's car door and opened it. She wanted me to get her out but I couldn't stand up. I told her I was going to get help. I continued to slide across the ground dragging my legs. SEVERAL cars were driving around the accident slowly... no one was stopping to help. I was yelling to cars to please help, to please call 911. I still can't believe how many cars drove by... must have been at least 20-30. The guy that I hit called 911.

They took Madison out of the car in her booster seat and she stood right up, walked over to me and sat on my lap. She only cried a bit and told me her arm hurt. I saw them take Taylor out, as well, also in her car seat. Her head and hair were covered in blood. They turned her away from me. I didn't like that... at all.

Thankfully, the ambulance and fire truck arrived. I don't know that I have ever felt such relief in my life. Knowing that there were people arriving who could help us, all of us. I would not allow them to look at my injuries until they had worked on both of my children. They wanted to cut the sleeve of Madison's shirt and that cute adorable thing looked at me frieghtened and said, "But I love this shirt, Mommy! It has a hood!" I promised to buy her 20 shirts with hoods and that it was what they needed to do, and the scissors went to work. They informed me that Madison had a broken arm and would be transported by ambulance to Tri-City Hospital. Next, they evaluated Taylor and I kept asking for her to be brought to me. Poor baby had already been fighting a fever that day, so she was already sick. She had several gashes in her head and head wounds tend to bleed quite a bit. They said she was tracking just fine and all vitals were good but they still recommended that she be airlifted to Rady Children's Hospital. I knew that I was very hurt, and would eventually end up at a hospital somewhere... but my mind was so worried about my two girls and that they were going to two different hospitals, probably without their Mommy.

And then another gift arrived... Kathy and Wayne Harlan... Kathy and my Mom have been best friends since 1st grade, so I grew up with them like an aunt and uncle. I teared up as I saw Wayne come around the ambulance and over to me. I asked them to please ride with Madison in the ambulance and to check on Taylor. Then I finally let them work on me, once I knew people were watching over my babies. Originally, there were two helicopters ordered, one for me and one for Taylor. I was being taken to Sharp. I asked the paramedics over and over if we could please go in the same helicopter. I just wanted to be with her. She still wasn't talking and I was still worried about her. They finally said, "Yes!"

As I was being loaded into the helicopter, my cell phone rang and it was Josh. I hadn't been able to reach him until then. I can't imagine what he was feeling, learning everything that was going on, I asked him to go be with Taylor, to meet her at the hospital. Once in the helicopter, I asked them to let me hold Taylor's hand. I couldn't really see her because she was beside me and we were both strapped down, but they put my hand on hers and I tucked it under her fingers and told her everything was going to be okay and Mommy was right here. She rubbed her fingers on my hand and I realized in that moment that she knew I was there and it brought complete joy to my heart. I also realized that she was helping me, just as much as I was helping her. When we landed at Children's, it was just like on television, the helicopter door flew open, a team of people took Taylor away and a nurse asked me a few questions about her. Within one minute, the door was shut again and we were lifting off the ground. I took a deep breathe and put all my trust and faith that those amazing doctors and nurses would take good care of my baby girl. That was very difficult.

Finally, I arrived at Sharp and there were several doctors working on me right away. I tried to just relax and let them do their jobs. I just kept telling them, "Please let me walk again!" I knew that Kathy was with Madison and I knew that Josh and my mom were on their way to Taylor and that it was now time to take care of me. After a while, a nurse who had taken off my wedding ring and taken my cell phone came and told me that my cousins Tim and Alana were in the waiting room. I couldn't see them or talk to them, but another gift of knowing that they were there, for me, made me feel safer and loved. Thank you, Tim and Alana (and Addy, too!) for coming, even if you couldn't see me! And for guarding my wedding rings! Josh arrived later and they let him in to be with me. Ah, he is amazing! So strong! I just kept telling him how sorry I was. He held my hand through everything.

In the end, Madison had a broken arm, which also ended up being a broken clavical, as well. Taylor received several stictches on her face, but they were both released from the hospital that night. I have a fractured vertebrae in my back, received several staples and stitches for the gash in my left knee, and I had surgery on my right ankle where I received 2 metal plates and 7 screws that you can see here:

Here is a pictures of the car:

Taylor at Children's Hospital:

Madison visiting me at the hospital, you can see that her arm is not in the sleeve of her shirt:

A HUGE thank you to everyone who has been helping us! I have a new love of life! I have a big family who are all very close, at times it can be difficult because everyone has their own opinions, but on days like April 7th, I could not have appreciated each person more! With the 3 of us all going to different hospitals, having a huge family meant that everyone split up to support us all. You are all amazing and please know how much I appreciate it! I will never be able to express my gratitude! We are on the mend now... I'm home now after 10 days in the hospital, and working on healing. This post has been very theraputic for me, sorry it was so long! Thank you for being a part of our lives! You are all important to me! I love you!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Play until you crash...

      Due to the state of the economy in my house (LOL!), I am going to be trying REALLY hard to make better use of the scrapping items that I have in my house. Last Christmas my Mom bought me these stitching templates and I think that I have only used them once... until today! My lo for today is based on a sketch from Sketchy Thursdays. They have THE BEST sketches, in case I haven't told you 100 times yet! LOL! This week the sketch is only available for viewing if you are a fan of the Facebook page. So although this lo took me ALL DAY LONG to finish, it is finally done... it's slightly difficult to scrap with a 2 and 4 year old in the house but I will forgive them only because they live here too! And because they are super cute!!! So here it is...

I did just get these American Craft papers the other day with a gift card to Ever After Scrapbooks (my LSS, for those not in San Diego) that Santa left in my stocking! (Thanks, Josh, if you read this) But the stickers for the title are ancient. I've had them FOREVER... just got lucky that they matched! And finally, the journaling... again, I'm always worried about writing on a lo because I don't want to mess it up. And I think I've said it before but I know how well I recognize my Mom's handwriting and I want my girls to know that I wrote this for them... something sentimental about it that hopefully they will appreciate later on. I know printing it out on the computer would be neater, but hey, this is for my girls, not a magazine! LOL! :)

I left that part of the picture in so you could check out her dress-up shoes still on her feet, hanging off the bed. She calls them her dancing shoes! Well, it's back to work tomorrow! I'm not ready, but I never am... but I did miss my 1st graders! I LOVE how different they are after Christmas break and how their reading just takes off!!! I'm looking forward to that!!!!!!! Thanks for visiting!!!

1st card(s) of 2011...

And I'm off... working hard on that goal of 52 cards this year and ACTUALLY sending them to people! I think that a hand-written note sent via snail mail has so much meaning, especially when it is totally unexpected. I used to write to my Grandma about once a month but since she passed away over a year ago, I seem to have lost that habit and I am hoping to gain it back this year! I want to remember to appreciate people in my life, near and far.

Today's card is for my friend, Rachel who just had her baby yesterday! I used the weekly sketch from Mojo Monday for this card. I love that in scrapping right now there is a lot of negative space. It took me some getting used to but I love it. I also like clean lines and simplicity so this card goes that direction as well. Mojo Monday offers up a card sketch and lately they have been giving you a shape card as well. I went with the square.
I just realized that I never posted about the baby shower... hmm... I'll need to get to that! Well, this card was made from the scraps I had left (and I have A LOT so you'll be seeing more!). I made the one on the left for Rachel and the one of the right will go to a card swap I am doing on Finally, also on my friend Tarynne (check out her blog), does a monthly card challenge with several categories. This card is for the theme category where you had to make a card for something new, this is for the beautiful new baby boy, Griffen Hank!!
I doodled around the circle... always scary for me because I'm afraid I will mess up the entire card, but I like it! Thanks for visiting!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolution...

Happy 1/1/11!!!! Such a fun date!!! My friend Rachel had her baby this morning at 3a.m which means her beautiful baby boy will have a fabulous birthday every year!!! How fun!!! And he was the 1st baby of the year at the hopsital so they got some extra special gifts including a $300 gift card to Babies R Us! Super fun and to a family that will put that $$$$ to GREAT use! Extra special!!!

On to the REAL reason for this post... I am a person that LOVES resolutions. I'm not ridiculously obsessed with completing them, but I love goals and accomplishments. I think they are great things to keep us focused. And if you can't accomplish them, then oh well! But if you can, AWESOMENESS!!! So this year I have three resolutions...
      1. Run the half-marathon again with a BETTER time!!!
      2. Make 52 scrapbook layouts!!!! FUN!!!
      3. Make 52 cards and send them out!!!!

In all honesty, those are the same exact ones as last year (minus the better time part) but I failed at #2 and #3. So what-the-heck, let's try them again!!!!! Do you have a New Years Resolution this year???

Friday, December 31, 2010

Wine Charms

I love everything having to do with paper... and I love wine... so why not make the two things come together??? Well, I do!!! LOL! I know that it is silly, but if you are a visitor in my home, you can pretty much count on the fact that I will offer you a glass of wine. It may not be the best kind, but you can count on a glass nonetheless. I have become obsessed with making wine charms for all events held at my house... well, heck, I'll even make them for events at your house, if you want me to!! :) Anyways, this post has been LOOOOOONNNNNGGG overdue because I've been making them forever but here are some examples of the charms I have made....

I made these for my best friend who was going to a baseball themed bachelorette party. Didn't know the girl getting married, but each girl attending had their own numbered shirt so I made these for each girl.

Christmas 2009, added a gem to the top of each tree, but you can't see that here.

Christmas 2010, made the leaves from a circle punch, tutorial I saw somewhere...

For Alana's baby shower, this monkey was on her invitations so I scanned in the picture of her, cut them out and mounted on a scalloped punch.

Tupperware party!!!!! LOL! I cut apart one of the catalogs ahead of time!
I have done them for my girls' birthday parties too! Care Bears, Dora, exc. Ah, but so much fun for me!!! It's a blend of two things that I love! :)

And finally, look what my hubby did to our cupboard because he knows how much I love my wine and all the glasses...
Ah, love the organization!!
He's the best, in case you didn't know! :)
Thanks for visiting!