Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What a difference four years makes.

Four years ago, right this moment, we were sitting in a doctors office being told that Cole had cancer. CANCER. Well, technically, we were told that Cole had a brain tumor and honestly at that time I wasn't even considering cancer - it was JUST a tumor. Little did I know.

I remember the day very well and have probably already talked about it here, but feel the need to do it again. So sorry if this is a rerun. Cole had an MRI. He refused to fall asleep. I mean, seriously it took forever for the sedation drug to kick in. I did everything. Rocked him and sang to him - all my tricks that normally worked, did nothing in that stupid little prep room. Well, finally he goes to sleep, we've missed our appointment and now have to wait for the current MRI to finish before we can get started. We sit in the MRI room with Cole, while he's going through it all. He's sound asleep and the MRI is just buzzing along. I was studying for a test I was having the next day. It was pretty hard to study through this though. Jason paced. A lot. Now we were told before hand that they rarely have to 'run contrast' and when they do it's because they 'need a better picture of what's there' - meaning something IS there that they need a picture of. So, the tech comes in and we're like, what are you doing? He's running contrast.

We knew.

We didn't say a word, but we knew.

I remember driving home and getting a call from one of Jason's coworkers - telling him the pediatrician called. Jason calls back and the doctor goes right into 'we suspect your son has a brain tumor'!! Jason almost took out a mailbox. The doctor didn't even start with 'are you sitting down?' - just jumped right in. That was actually the LAST time we spoke to him. The whole process of Cole being diagnosed was long and painful - for us and him. This isn't a pediatrician I ever wanted to see again. EVER.

So, we flipped out. Actually, Jason sort of flipped out - he was angry, really mad. I went into Mother Mode - you know - what do I have to do? how do we fix this? we can fix it, right? and trying to hold it together for Cole. He didn't need to see us come apart.

It was several hours later before we met Cole's life saver. He made us feel at ease. He made me feel comfortable with him. He told us to pray and that he would be praying, too. THAT meant so much to us. So much.

The next day, we left for the hospital. We spent the evening trying to survive. Trying to understand. Trying to figure it out. We had no idea what was ahead of us. We worried.

I didn't know what the next days would hold, or weeks, or months. They were hard - in so many ways. They were wonderful - in so many ways. I mean we had some great times in Memphis, despite the fact that Cole had no hair, could barely eat, and had lost lots of weight. Despite the fact that we were miles from home, miles from family.

The next big anniversary for us is Saturday. Cole will be cancer free for FOUR years on Saturday. I can't believe it's been four years. Some times it seems like a million years, sometimes like it was just yesterday.

He is so amazing!!

Thanks for reading,

Monday, January 26, 2009

look at this:

the van is going in the shop and we borrowed my younger cousin's car so we wouldn't be down to one car - anyway, jason drove it home with cole and stopped for gas. cole wanted to pump the gas so jason let him. isn't that the cutest thing?


Sunday, January 25, 2009

making memories

i love making memories - the company, and well, making memories - anyway - go check out their blog today. they are giving things away and talking about new stuff all day!!

making memories


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

what a crafty afternoon!

i've been in a crafting frenzy today!! lots of valentine goodies!!

I saw this in a house we were looking at (the one we DID NOT get) and just had to take a picture. i'm assuming it was a christmasy item but it's still out - it's cute for valentine's too, but i think she should add some hearts somewhere - or something. maybe she could do what i did:


it's not perfect - my marshmallows were a bit sticky for some reason. but i still like it.

then i just took an acyrlic frame and did a little layout for the inside, but added the words, bling, heart and two of the paper pieces on the top of the frame.

this is something i'm struggling with - i wanted to make a take out box out of felt, but my piece wasn't quite big enough - it just wasn't working for me, but i'm still playing with it. i haven't made the fortune cookies yet - maybe this weekend. you untie that top ribbon and you can pull the flaps apart. the tulle is just for fun :)

I found this little cup in the holiday clearance at hobby lobby - it was 19 cents. so, you know, i had to get it. the label reads 'my cup runneth over'

I love using the AccuCut to cut out envelopes. i didn't realize there was a die that would cut this one - i just saw it today and had to cut it out! now i would like to cut out a bunch and make a little mini album with all those pockets on the side or maybe the top..........hmmmm

this first one is a card - you turn the little part that's orange with arrows, and the words change. totally stole the idea - you can see a tutorial here: you tube

i've always wanted to make those cute cones out of dollies - and i finally did it. covered some mini chocolate bars with paper and made a matching tag.

hmmm, this is an ice cube tray. it was so cute though - i just had to make something with it. so i glued the words on the bottom, added some bling and brads, doodled a bit around the one heart and added a button, tulle, and a flower to the top!

stole this idea too - from Virginia - she made some for Christmas last year, or maybe the year before, i don't remember.

and this is a heart paper chain. i saw one in a gallery that was way fancier than this one - the inside strip of paper was polka dotted and the outside was a strip of photos - super cute, but i didn't have photo strips so i just used double sided paper. the one i saw also was strung together with some of that clear maya road ribbon - very cute. then she made an ornament that matched - so cute, but i lost the link - i know i have it somewhere on this blasted computer.

Wow, I'm a bit tired - i guess from sitting hunched over the coffee table crafting. i'm pretty sure i didn't even eat dinner - but i did feed Cole - no worries!! well, i should go and attempt some chores. i'm subbing tomorrow and have to get clothes ready, jason's at school until 9:30 and i try to have his work clothes ready on his work nights - if not he'll have to turn the light on in our room to iron and sometimes, i'm already asleep - so that's not good.

oh - i did mention that we're buying a house, right? well, it's in hueytown - just down the road a little from my mom and dad. it'll also be about 10 miles closer to jason's work (he's working in tuscaloosa now). so we're excited. I'm sure it'll be a few more days before we know about closing, but i think it's in March - the 2nd is stuck in my head for some reason. or the 7th - heck, i can't remember what's on the contract. the owner wants 7 days after closing to vacate - so that means spring break will be spent moving in - that's what we did last year for spring break too!

okay - now i'm really going!
good night!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

why oh why

would anyone want kanye west to perform at an inaugural ball?


Well, we're movin' on up.........

Nope, not to the East Side. Not to a deluxe apartment, either.

Not to the first house we really loved but the second we really loved.

So, they took our offer, well, changed one little thing - which was so not a big deal - and we're good to go. No official word on closing yet, but it won't be long.



Monday, January 19, 2009

Do you feel like you need to be a bit more organized?

I do!! So, here's what I did about it:

Get Organized!!

Do you have a million things to keep up with and no where to keep them? Well, me, too! I can't find the stamps, I don't remember where I stuck that one receipt for that one thing I need to return, and I always seem to have a list going, but sometimes can't remember where I left it. In my attempt to control the stuff in my like, I made this little organizer for my purse. It has pockets for my lists, envelopes for things I need to keep like receipts and business cards, and even a pocket for postage stamps. I'm so excited about being able to keep all these things in one logical place - not just crammed somewhere in my purse.

So join me on the 31st of January and you can make this cute little organizer that has room for everything!!

Class time: 11:00 to 1:00 (you'll have a little time to grab some lunch before the photography class at 2)
Class cost: $20
Supplies needed: adhesive (I suggest an adhesive roller and the super line, terrifically tacky type adhesive - there's plenty in stock at the store), scissors, and a bone folder (if you have one - I actually didn't use one at all, I used my fingernail).

That's all you need! Call the store to sign up, and if you have any questions - just let me know: lisatanner@charter.net

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Still no word.

Isn't that just the strangest thing. In this current housing market - it seems nuts that these people haven't let us know anything. Well, I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason - so we continued to house hunt this weekend. We drove by several yesterday, one I had saved online for a couple of weeks now - still close to my parents, and bigger than our last house in Mobile and the one we just bid on.

So we looked it yesterday with the owner home, which is always strange, but we looked anyway, quickly. It's big and full of stuff. That sweet lady has a million things in that house - seriously - there were about 200 beanie babies. YES - all in individual cases and ALL bears - not the other animals or critters or whatever - but bears. She has several of the Irish bears I collect, too. I only have five I think - those are the only ones I'll buy :)

Anyway, we really liked it. We went back today and measured and really nosed around - since the owner wasn't there. We're planning on making an offer, but have to wait to officially do it once our realtor is back - he's out of town this weekend and not returning our calls actually. Maybe his cell is dead, or missing, or he has no service?? Who knows.

Anyway - we'll see what happens. Keep your fingers crossed. I still won't have a scrap room in this house, but i'll have a big ol' closet that i can put things in and a bar in the kitchen i can scrap on. I'm still thinking about Virginia's suggestion about the desk, too. I'm hoping I can make it all work without spending any money, too. I really think I have enough boxes and baskets and stuff to make it all work. BUT there aren't really any shelves in that closet - I'll need that.

Alright, off to find something to do while Jason watches football!


Friday, January 16, 2009


we found a house we like. we really like. we made an offer. it was a little too low, i don't think they thought we were serious. so we made another one WEDNESDAY. so that means thursday evening, at the latest, we should have heard something. guess what? go ahead, guess. we didn't hear a thing.

so finally we get an email that said the owner wanted to meet with his again tonight to go over the offer. well, it's TONIGHT and still NOTHING. how frustrating. our guy is out of town, but his wife called earlier to let us know she'd call us as soon as she heard something - and still nothing.

i mean - this isn't how you sell your house.

maybe tomorrow?
or maybe we just find another house we love as much.
if that's possible.

it's so cute.

i have my furniture already rearranged in the smaller place - well almost - in my head anyway.

i hate waiting.


I {heart} Creative Cafe

This is not news to any of you Scrap Etc girls - ya'll know I love this stuff!! Go check out their blog and see the CHA 2009 peeks they are posting. They showed some really cute AccuCut dies today too - I wish I had an AccuCut in my house - with all the dies that Creative Cafe uses. WOW!!

Check it out here: Creative Cafe Blog


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

organizational update

virginia totally rocks - i was secretly hoping she would give me some tips - so thanks girl!! andrea also hooked me up with some info over at scrapjazz - so i'll be looking into that - and a great tip about hanging storage!! thank you for that!!

so - i just dropped off loads of paper and stickers and such with cole's teacher. she loved it and wanted to pay me!! crazy girl!! i have lots more to go through and clean out. i'm glad virginia said to be brutal in my purging because thats exactly how i was looking at it and now i feel like my thinking has been validated!!

virginia also suggested a roll top desk - i have an old desk that the top folds down but i think it's going to be in my living room and my scrap storage may be upstairs - so now i think i may reevaluate that. the only thing is it's smaller and i don't think there's even room to leave a layout laying in there, much less anything bigger i'm working on. that's really something i want to look into and see if i can make that work for me. great idea!! i need to just hang out with you Virginia and you fill me in on all that cool stuff!!

and if you don't know virginia - you are missing out! she's super cool, makes me feel cool when i'm around here, even if i'm not real cool lol - she seems super organized in lots of ways and i am striving to reach organization in lots of area. its a struggle for me. the lists, i can make - the execution, not so much.

anyway - if you have no clue what i'm talking about here - go to my previous post - and please leave me more tips!!!


oh and you can go back to that post and read the tips v and andrea left me - good stuff!!


Okay, that's what I'm doing - simplifying. Right now I have a whole room dedicated to crafting - all kinds of things. I would say 80% is scrapping, the rest is classroom stuff, other arts things and magazines.

So I know I don't have a million people who read my blog, but I'm hoping that out of the three or four of you - someone can give me some tips and ideas. We are probably moving in the next few months, maybe sooner, maybe later - who knows. And right now I have that whole room, but I won't have that once we move. I'll most likely have a closet and some drawers. So, tell me your tips and ideas on making it all work in a small space.

I may even have to share the small space I have with our home computer - so that means a space for Jason to do homework. I have really felt like simplifying things for a long time - but just haven't had the motivation to jump in, but now I am - jumping in head first. I really want to be able to use what I have - I feel like I'm wasting supplies - not using them, losing them in the chaos - whatever - but I've decided that I like certain things in a certain way. There's no reason to buy two pieces of one patterned paper - I won't use it. Unless I'm doing a mini album, I'm not going to use all eight pages in a line. It's just not going to happen, sadly. That's just me. I found pieces that I saved, just knowing I would use them eventually and eventually still isn't here.

It's time to let go.

So, please please please - give me some tips. Tell me something you do that helps you keep organized in a small space. Tell me your very favorite tip. PLEASE!! Enlighten me.

Leave me some great comments - I need more motivation to keep the process going.


Monday, January 12, 2009

like the cupcakes?

I'm back on the diet - yes THE diet - the Atkins Diet. Can I get a 'GO MEAT'?

Anyway, saw this cute blog template and thought since I can't have any carbs - I'd let my blog have them!! :)

So, there ya go - yummy cupcakes. Oh how I wish I could eat one. Just one!


Change is in the air

We are house hunting. We have found one we really like but I don't want to spill details since nothing is certain - ever - in this economy!! But we're hoping it'll work out.

Speaking of change - I came up with my resolutions last week and did a layout about my growing resolutions - things that I want to accomplish this year and it will be a growing process - I'll grow if I can accomplish all those things.

This time of year always brings about the thoughts of how you want to proceed with the new year. What you hope for, what you want to change, what you don't want to continue with . . . it's a lot to think about. Jason and I have both said we want to get more involved in St. Jude fund raising. We've looked into finding a group here that does fundraisers but there isn't anything. There was a whole group in Mobile that was dedicated to doing fundraisers throughout the year and by the time we got involved with them, we moved. So that is something we are looking into - even if it's just finding some St. Jude families in this area - we know they're here!! And making sure we get to take part in the net radiothon here in Birmingham. And we also want to get into the small group at church that does things for the children's hosptial here - they go to the Harbor every month and do fun stuff with the kids. We went to the Christmas party year before last, but just didn't make it a priority - but we're going to! I hope!!

An all those scrappers out there know about picking a WORD for the year. I put this off, I keep saying NO I'm not doing it. But more and more things are pushing me into a word - with no help by me at all. SIMPLIFY is the key. I think there are so many ways I need to SIMPLIFY. If this house works out for us - this will be HUGE - because it's smaller than what we have now - but we love it, so we'll make it work. Simplifying what we have and letting go of things (toys and toys and more toys) and organizing better (the scrappy stuff will also be minimized tremendously). I'm actually looking forward to it.

If it all works out.

Please let it work out!!

Okay, I've got things to do - school books to buy for Jason - laundry is waiting. UGH


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Look was I got...........

This Blog gave me that award!
She's so sweet - go check her blog out!
I am to answer these questions with ONE-word answers.
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Where is your significant other? tuscaloosa
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? organized
5. Your father? funny
6. Your favorite thing? Cole
7. Your dream last night? forgettable
8. Your dream/goal? teacher
9. The room you're in? dark
10. Your hobby? creating
11. Your fear? cancer
12. Where do you want to be in six years? independent
13. Where were you last night? couch
14. What you're not? milionaire
15. One of your wish list items? house
16. Where you grew up? Hueytown
17. The last thing you did? read
18. What are you wearing? clothes
19. Your TV? big
20. Your pet? gone
21. Your computer? laptop
22. Your mood? energized :)
23. Missing someone? hmmm
24. Your car? minivan
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? Scrap
27. Your Summer? fun
28. Love someone? absolutely
29. Your favorite color? red
30. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? hmmm
Now I have to pass this award along to other worthy bloggers. And I pass it to:
Virginia - because she inspires me in about a million ways
Gretchen - because she's my FAV
Mandy - because she makes me laugh - often
Melanie - because her daughters are adorable and she has mad jewelry making and scrapbooking skills
So girls - do what I did - answer the questions and then pass on the award!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Let's Eat Cake

This is something really cool I just found out about today - I'm copying this information from another blog - check it out!!!
Masterpiece Weddings, an event coordination agency founded by Melissa Margarita-DiStefano, is working really hard to put on an amazing fundraiser in February called Let’s Eat Cake! – which will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – an incredible organization that’s dedicated to treating children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

The goal of Let’s Eat Cake! is to donate at least $50,000 to this deserving organization (Wow!), and 100% of the proceeds will be directly donated to St. Jude. Let’s Eat Cake! will include a cake design and taste challenge, as well as a live cake auction.
Professional pastry chefs from all over the southeast will be competing, and aspiring pastry chefs and at-home bakers will also be invited to compete in the amateur division. Local and celebrity judges have volunteered their time to judge the event! Click here for full details (PDF).

Melissa & friends are making such a great effort here, and I wanted to reach out to HWTM readers and encourage you to support Let’s Eat Cake! and St. Jude. $50K is a big goal – let’s help them reach it! The event is a little ways off, but it will definitely take some time to reach the goal! Every little bit helps…and there are a few different ways you can get involved:

1. Sponsorships - Sponsorships range from Cake Lovers! ($100), which includes 1 ticket to the event and an acknowledgement on the Let’s Eat Cake! Blog all the way up to Cornerstone ($5K), which includes everything from tickets and co-branded marketing to VIP access to celebrity attendees, VIP tasting, and so much more! There are also several levels of sponsorship in between. Click here to download the PDF for full details.
2. General Donations - You can donate any amount you’d like via PayPal. This is great if you’re not in the area and would still like to contribute. You can access the donation link via the right sidebar on the Let’s Eat Cake! Blog.
3. In-Kind Sponsors (product & service donations) - If you’d like to donate products or services either for the event itself or to be utilized as prizes for the winners, that would be great! Please contact melissa@masterpieceweddings.com to work out all the details.
4. Help spread the word! If you’re a fellow blogger – it would be great if you could help spread the word on your own blog. If you’re a PR specialist, please consider reaching out to your clients for participation via prize donations or financial sponsorships – they’ll receive recognition for contributing - not to mention some good karma! And even if you’re neither of the above, you can still help by telling friends and family about the event and directing them to the website!
5. Volunteer to help with the other “Wish List” items for the event, which include: pastry chefs to compete, advertising and marketing for the event, celebrity judges and endorsement, printed t-shirts, decor, and actually working the event.

THANKS SO MUCH for taking the time to read this post! And I’d also like to thank Masterpiece Weddings for taking the time out of their busy schedules to organize such a worthwhile event… it’s so nice to see people come together for the sole purpose of helping those in need…and we can all be part of it!

Okay - all of that was posted on this other site. Now - here's more info - I read this blog - Hostess with the Mostess (love it) and she's doing something fun, too! If you blog about this event and post this photo below (or something else you created that does the same job) and talk all about the event - Melissa - the one in charge of it all, will give a dollar to St. Jude for every blog that posts about this.
Check it out:

Most of you know that my son, Cole, is a patient at St. Jude. We would do anything for them. Of course, we haven't hit the lottery or anything, so we aren't able to help on a level such as this, but we do what we can. So, PLEASE, do what YOU can - just blog about this and either comment here and let me know you did and I'll send a list of everyone to Melissa or you can do it by going to her blog and following her info there.
Thanks for considering this - it's just a blog post - so I hope you'll consider it!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Top eight from 2008

I've seen several scrappy girls post their top ten layouts from 2008. I thought I would try and see if I can pick ten - the thing is some are on my laptop and some are on the desktop - hmm, I think I've only got 8 that I really love as favorites. But eight for 2008 is okay I think!!
This was one I really loved!! I loved Cole's little plaid shorts!! And the paper from this kit was so fun!

This one was for a challenge at Scrap Etc. I think - I'm thinking it was to use a song title, I can't remember. I think this was one of my first layouts with glitter and man did I go glitter crazy!! But I loved the picture the most!!

I did this next one for a design team try out. Didn't make it - but LOVED the layout anyway!!

Jason said this picture of Cole wasn't that great - but I loved it. It was Easter and we watched the sunset together - it was really beautiful - I think the picture is just fine!!

Loved this one, too - I was totally inspired by an ad on the back of a magazine and immediately made this layout based on that one ad.

Loved this one too - the picture was sweet to me - and the journaling was important to me. Any layout about our time in Memphis is meaningful to me.

Another picture I really loved.

This is a favorite just based on the journaling.

It seems that most of my favs are just based on the journaling or picture - not always about what products I put on the page!!
I hope I have more favorites from 2009 - One of my resolutions is to really work on my creative side - not to just scrap a picture to get it on a page, but really put a little more time and thought into my layouts. I've slacked on that lately - but mostly I think because I wasn't inspired enough. There is so much inspiration around though - I want to really grasp it all and take it all in.

Okay - time to go get some stuff done. We're heading to the library today to return over due books and then to drop off some stuff at Scrap Etc. I mean, I haven't been there since last year :)


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