Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Write. Click. Scrapbook | December Gallery Sneak Peek

I took a break last month from the write. click. scrapbook monthly gallery, but I'm back and here's a sneak peek of my layout for the December Gallery. Watch the write. click. scrapbook Facebook feed today for more sneak peeks from my fellow contributing team members.

Next month's gallery will be revealed on December 1st.

Monday, November 19, 2012

December at Elle's Studio

I can't wait for December over on the Elle's Studio Blog

(...And I'm totally geeking out about my photo being up there with Kelly Purkey and Ali Edwards.) 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Little Black Dress Kit Club | November Kit: Handsome Pretty

What an amazing kit this month! Lots of October Afternoon Midway in this one and a whole roll of washi! Great little bits and pieces, ribbon, and baker's twine too! Here's my first layout—clean and simple with lots of white space.

Little Black Dress November kit--patterned paper: October Afternoon & My Mind's Eye | alpha stickers: October Afternoon | epoxy stickers: Glitz Design | baker's twine [non-kit items- cardstock: American Crafts | shipping tag | small alpha stamps: Hero Arts | Silhouette SD] 

Next up, a three photo layout with a fun circle cut made with my Silhouette.  I love taking a simple shape, repeating it, and filling it in with stamps, bits of paper, and embellishments.

Little Black Dress November kit--patterned paper: October Afternoon, My Mind's Eye, Studio Calico | alpha: October Afternoon | epoxy sticker: Glitz Design | baker's twine &  bingo markers [non-kit items- white & kraft cardstock: American Crafts | number stamps: Elle's Studio | ink: Stampin' Up | Silhouette SD | tiny attacher]

From three photos to four photos. There's even a mask included in this kit! I handcut the circles from the October Afternoon paper and then cut slits between each piece of the "pie" for a little added dimension.

Little Black Dress November kit-- patterned paper: Studio Calico & October Afternoon | alpha stickers: October Afternoon & Glitz Design (red) | epoxy sticker: Glitz Design | mask: Studio Calico [non-kit items- mist: Studio Calico | cardstock: American Crafts]

This patterned paper from Webster's Pages was my absolute favorite this month. Had to use it on the page with the babies. I used my Silhouette to cut an envelope out of the kraft notebook page included in the kit. It's perfect for tucking away the journaling.
Little Black Dress November kit--patterned paper: Webster's Pages & Echo Park | ribbon: Crate Paper | washi: October Afternoon | epoxy stickers: Glitz Design | buttons, baker's twine, kraft colored notebook sheet [non-kit items- cardstock: American Crafts & Bazzill Basics | brads | tiny attacher | Silhouette SD  & font: Sofia]

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Quietness

Are you ready for this....this is a lot of personal and a lot of real. It's not easy for me to get this personal and this real. I was afraid to post this—to share something so personal. This post was sitting open on my desktop for days. I couldn't get myself to push that bright orange publish button.

Mid October it got pretty quiet here on the blog. We went from a family of three to a family of five in about eight hours. We had our first foster care placement. We got a call about newborn twins and said, "yes." When my husband relayed the message, "newborn twins" my first thought was an apprehensive, "Really? Twins!?" Most women get 9 months to prepare themselves to care for twins, but I had eight hours. I was excited, but scared. I definitely felt inadaquate, "God, I can't believe you are entrusting me with not one, but two precious little babies." It felt too good to be true, and turns out it was. How is this going to work...going from a family of three to a family of five? But with His help I succeeded, we succeeded, and it was actually a piece of cake—they were the best babies. And Lucas....Lucas was such a trooper. He stepped right into that big brother role. I was worried about him. We hadn't really prepared him, but how do you prepare a three-year-old for your first foster care placement? My other mom friends have growing bellies and 9 months to get their firstborn used to the idea of a sibling. And we wouldn't have been able to say yes without the awesome support system we have. Our family and friends were and are 100% behind us in this decision to take a path less traveled—foster care and adoption.

Sadly, our first placement only lasted eleven days, much MUCH shorter than anticipated. Six days in we got unsettling news that due to a judge's ruling and thrown out appeals, the babies must be moved to another foster family in another city to be closer to the parents (and now much further from their siblings). It was heartbreaking. We know the ultimate goal in foster care is to reunite parents and children, but we know it doesn't always work that way. When we said yes to those babies, we were saying yes to the possibility that they could be a part of our family forever. I know eleven days might sound like nothing, but those sweet babies stole our hearts. I dropped everything, I left my comfortable life as a work at home/stay at home mommy of an awesome, low maintenance three-year-old and willingly took on newborns again. Babies that were not mine and might not ever be mine. I suddenly found myself back in that routine of late night/early morning feedings and speed showers. Back to diapers....diapers x 2. Wondered how I would ever be able to go grocery shopping again. I tried to soak up every minute of it. Little sleepy baby snuggles are the best. It was such a joy having babies in the house again. We loved them and cared for them the best we could and welcomed them into our little family. It was so hard to see them leave.

I'm still picking up the pieces. I know it all happened for a reason, but the feeling of loss is overwhelming. I know it has stretched us and we have grown and it has brought us closer together. Our own little boy is so amazing and resilient and he has grown too. I remember sitting on the couch with a baby in my arms, the other sleeping a couple feet away in a bouncer, and looking at Lucas playing on the floor. Who was that big boy? He looked so much older all of the sudden.

We did exactly what we were called to do. We gave those babies a safe and loving home. And oh how we loved them! I got to be foster momma to newborn twins for eleven days. And it was amazing. And they are amazing.

And now we're back on the list. We are waiting and praying for that next phone call.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Orphan Sunday

Today, November 4th, is Orphan Sunday.

Orphan Sunday 2012 from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

We are not all called to adopt, but would you please consider doing something for the orphan today? It doesn't require spending a penny—you can simply pray. But if you have some extra pennies, please considering giving or look for an Orphan Sunday event in your community.

If you don't know where to give or who to give to, Lifesong For Orphans is a great place to start. They are a reputable organization headquartered right here in Central Illinois.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Elle's Studio | November Design Team Gallery

Another month, another great design team gallery full of inspiration over at Elle's Studio! There's a lot of Halloween in the gallery this month. I made some super easy treat bags using some Spooky Tales items. My other two projects feature The Sweet Life collection and are so not Halloween. Come on, what are you waiting for?! Go check out the gallery!

And thanks for stopping by!