Monday, October 31, 2011

My Cute Little Scooby Doo

Just wanted to share some Halloween pictures.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Winner of Big Blog Candy Giveaway

With everything going on, I had almost forgotten about the big giveaway. I have been trying to clean and organize everything in the house and I stumbled upon the boxed up goodies. So I figured I should probably draw a winner.

According to Mr., the winner of the Blog Candy Giveaway is . . .

Congratulations, Tina! Email me your mailing address and I will get your package out to you as soon as I can.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moving Forward

It has been 2 weeks since I lost my husband. That is such an odd expression, isn't it? It sounds like I have misplaced him, like a set of car keys. Or that we have been separated while shopping in the mall. If only that were true. That he had just been temporarily misplaced, and would soon reappear. This has been the longest 2 weeks of my life. And yet, in some respects, I can't believe it has already been 2 weeks. I never in a million years thought that I would be a widow and single mother at 35. It still seems so unreal, even as I go through each day without my beloved husband. I have been keeping extremely busy, which is a big help. There is so much to deal with, so many little things that you don't realize. And my husband didn't have a will (we thought we had plenty of time to get things in order). So there has been a nightmare of paperwork and legal hoops to jump through.

On the positive side, there has been an incredible outpouring of love and support. From family, friends, classmates, business clients, online friends, etc. The cards, emails, prayers, comments, etc. have been a great source of comfort to me. I have read each and every one of them several times, and I will continue to turn to them as needed. I have had a lot of company, which I appreciate so much. People stopping by to check in on us, to bring us food, to play with Alex and talk to me, to just be here for us. I really don't want to be alone at all. That is when my mind has time to wander and think and contemplate my incredible loss. So I just try to keep busy so my mind can't veer off in those directions.

It is odd what brings up the emotion and tears. I had to run to the store to grab a few essentials the other day. As I walked past the dairy section, I was brought to tears. Keith drank soy milk on his cereal and as I glanced at the soy milk and realized that I didn't need to buy any now, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I miss him with all of my heart and soul.

There was a wonderful turnout at the calling hours and funeral service. Family, friends, business clients, old classmates, etc. And some people traveled so far. We live in central New York and there were people there that traveled from as far away as NYC, Philadelphia, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. It really shows how much people care that they are willing to take time out of their busy lives to come and honor Keith's memory and support his family during this difficult time.

The day of the funeral was a gorgeous day, unseasonably warm and very sunny. As we drove to the cemetery, the fall foliage seemed brighter and more colorful than I have ever seen it. In recent months, my husband had been on a spiritual journey, finding his way back to God. In the weeks before his passing, he said he was the happiest he had ever been. And he was excited to start on the next chapter of his life, a new season. So the vibrant colors of the leaves seemed so appropriate, signifying a new season for Keith. We had thought the next part of his journey would be with us and it is still more painful than I can even describe, but there is some comfort in knowing how at peace Keith was in his last few weeks. That God had helped him to find an inner peace and happiness before he had to leave this world, and me. So in some ways it is comforting. But I also have moments of incredible anger. How could God take him from me now? Keith was so excited to share his story and his journey so that he could help others. And we had so many plans for our future together. The fact that there is no future for us brings me incredible sadness, anger, and regret.

Thank you for all of the sweet comments. They truly do help. And thank you for your continued prayers.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Love and Loss

My life has been wonderful and blessed. At least until Wednesday, October 5, 2011. That is the day that my world was turned upside down and nothing will ever be the same again. That is the day that I lost my best friend, my soulmate, my husband. That is the day that my "everything " was taken from me. It started out like any other day. I was taking the recycling out to the curb. My husband said he wanted to take a walk. I put Alex down for his nap and hopped on the computer. And then there was a knock at the door. And there was a cop standing on my front porch, telling me I needed to come to the hospital, that someone had seen Keith collapse while on his walk. And then we got to the hospital and I saw him lying there on the table, not responding, with so many people doing everything they could to bring him back to me. But his heart had given out and it would not start beating agian. He was gone. And a piece of me was gone as well. I am left incomplete, no longer whole.

To better understand Keith's place in my life and in my heart, here is a little backstory. I met Keith when I was 16 and he was 19. It was the summer before my junior year. He was friends with my best friend's boyfriend. The four of us spent a lot of time together that summer, hanging out, playing mini golf, going to the local Renaissance Fair. We got to know each other as friends and then it blossomed into so much more. That is the summer that I found the love of my life, the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And I felt so blessed that I had found him at such a young age so we would have a lifetime together.

We dated throughout the rest of my high school years, all through my college years. I came home from college every weekend to be with him. He had started his own computer business just before we met and I would work with him there during the summers. After I graduated, we moved in together and I went to work with him full-time. Ever since that time (June 1998) we have been together practically 24-7. Over the years, many have asked how we managed so much togetherness. They were amazed, like it was some sort of challenge to be together so much. We relished it. Why wouldn't you want to be with your best friend all of the time? In 2003, we finally made it official and got married. Keith has told me he felt married to me almost from the beginning, so to him it was just a piece of paper. And our life didn't really change after the ceremony. The only real difference seemed to be my last name. Otherwise, our life together marched on happily just as it had before the wedding.

We spent many wonderful years together, just the 2 of us, and then we decided we were ready to bring another member into the family. In December 2009, we welcomed our son, Alex, into the family. And then we were 3. Keith was so excited to be a father and he was an incredible, loving, wonderful father. He was the one to give Alex his baths, he made sure he told him how much he loved him every day, he loved to play with him, and take him for walks, and to the park. Earlier this summer, we took Alex to the circus and I don't know who had more fun, Alex or Keith. It was such a joy to watch them together. And Alex looks just like his Daddy. Everyone always comments on that. And now it is so bittersweet to see my son's sweet face.

We have been together for 19 fabulous years. And before Wednesday, that sounded like a long time. But it isn't. It is such a short, short period of time. We were supposed to have another 50 or 60 years together. We were going to start trying for another baby. Keith wanted to buy an RV and travel around the country as a family, seeing all that the country has to offer. We were going to grow old and grey together. And now all of those hopes, dreams, and plans have vanished.

Keith was a beloved member of our families, of our friends, of our business clients, of so many in the community. There has been such an outpouring of love and support from so many. I have been hearing from our high school classmates that we haven't spoken to in 15 years or more. And they all still remember what a truly incredible man my husband was. He is the smartest person I have ever met. He is kind, loving, sweet, fun, wonderful, incredible. And I am going to miss him so much. He has always been my rock, my anchor, my support. How do I go on without him? How do I raise our son to be the man Keith would want him to be? How do I get through each day without a hug and kiss from my husband? Without hearing him say I love you? Without feeling his hand holding mine? How do I get through the next minute, the next hour, the next week, the next year? How?

Please keep me and Alex in your prayers. We have a long, difficult journey ahead of us.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Batty for You

For my Big Blog Candy Giveaway, click HERE.

I am sharing a Halloween card with you today. This is a square 5x5 card, rather than my usual 5x7 card. It is based on a sketch provided by Creative Craft Challenges. The background paper is Green Crepe Ruche paper from the Paper Temptress. I love the texture of this paper! The patterned papers are from K & Company (the glittery orange swirls) and Cloud 9 Design (black swirly paper and orange paper with swirls). The Halloween ribbon is from Walmart. The cute little bats are from Filekutz by LisaJane (Cute Halloween Faces). I used orange Stickles for their noses and added googly eyes. The smiles were drawn in with my white Sakura Gelly Roll pen. The sentiment is from K Andrew Designs (Fall-O-Ween Stamp Set). Orange rhinestones and buttons were added to finish the card.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunflower Birthday Card

For my Big Blog Candy Giveaway, click HERE.

Today is my friend Sue's birthday (Happy Birthday, Sue!) and I want to share the card I made for her. Hopefully she received it in the mail already. Otherwise, this may spoil the surprise. Sue really loves sunflowers, so I used a great file I have from Jen Adkins Designs (Summer Sunflower). The background paper is from KI Memories. I cut the sunflower out of yellow cardstock and the leaf out of green cardstock and then added pen stitching (Jen already has the lines in the file so you can use your pen tool or cut them as dashed lines). For the center of the sunflower, I used 2 layers of brown embossing puffs on top of the brown cardstock. This stuff is really cool and I like the effect it gives here. I used some brown grosgrain ribbon from my stash on the left edge and tied a cute little bow. The sentiment is stamped using the Amazing You set by K Andrew Designs. Then I added a few clear rhinestones to finish it off. I am very pleased with how it turned out and I hope my friend likes it.


* Whimsical Wednesday (Challenge: Anything Goes)
* Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenge Blog (Challenge #63: Anything Goes)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Spider Halloween Card

For my Big Blog Candy Giveaway, click HERE.

I have another Halloween card to share with you today. This is such a fun holiday to create cards for. I only sent out 2 or 3 Halloween cards last year, but at the rate I have been making them, I think a lot of people are going to be receiving them this year. And besides getting yummy Halloween candy, I guess getting a cute card in the mail will be the next best thing. :-)

The background paper on this card is K & Company (Tim Coffey Halloween). The spider web is from Jen Adkins Designs (A Tangled Web) and I cut it from a sparkly silver vinyl. The spider is from Shelly's Art (Vampire Spider). I adhered the body using a foam circle and then glued his feet right to the card. The sentiments are from K Andrew Designs (Fall-O-Ween Sentiment Stamps). I also used a Stampin' Up ribbon and some black gems to decorate the card.


* Love to Crop (Challenge: Use Your Scraps)

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Birthday Rosette with Buttons

For my Big Blog Candy Giveaway, click HERE.

Can you believe it? I'm back again the same day. It is World Card Making Day after all, so I guess it is only proper that I should post another card. :-)

I am sharing a birthday card this time. The background paper is from KI Memories. I added Stampin' Up Ruffled Ribbon in Lucky Limeade. Using my Bazzill In Stitch'z template, I created the stem and leaves for my flower. The flower itself was made from a file by Sam & Hailey Designs (Rosette Fold Flowers 1). I added 2 buttons for the center of the flower and a few more buttons as accents on the card.


* Birthday Sundaes (Challenge #28: Who's Got the Button? Birthday Card)
* Party Time Tuesdays (Challenge #35: Anything Goes)

Thanks for stopping by!

Poinsettia Christmas Card

For my Big Blog Candy Giveaway, click HERE.

I have a Christmas card to share with you today. The background paper is from the Seasonal Paper Pad by Cloud 9 Design. At the top of the card, I layered a Stampin' Up ribbon on top of a plain red ribbon from my stash. Then I used my Creative Memories oval templates to create the tag. The sentiment is from K Andrew Designs (Winter Wishes Stamp Set). The poinsettia is a digital stamp from Just Laury at Paperthreads. I printed it out on a shimmery white cardstock and colored it with my Marvy LePlume II markers. The center of the flower has gold gems adhered with my i-rock. I also used green gems on the tag and in the lower left corner.


* Card a Day Blog (Christmas Card Blog Hop)
* Celebrate the Occasion (Challenge #32: Any Occasion - Must Use Ribbon)
* My Craft Spot (Challenge #26: Ribbon)
* Party Time Tuesdays (Challenge #35: Anything Goes)
* Scrapalicious USA (Challenge: Anything Goes)

Thanks for stopping by!