Odds and Ends

I made my blessings mini-book and it is all set to start adding pictures to tomorrow. I used an embroidered binding, inspired once again by Amy Tan, using a mixture of fallish patterned paper.

I also made some number spots to add to the pictures by day. I’m not sure if I’ll use all of them but I think I’ll like having them premade and ready to go. And if I don’t use them all, I can use them on my December Daily album.I also have a few layouts to share. I spent most of my time thinking about my projects this weekend, not a whole lot of actual crafting so I don’t have much to share for my crafty time. But it’s all part of the process. At least that’s what I keep telling myself…And last, but certainly not least, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

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Caring for the Caretakers

Yesterday I spent some time after my infusion chatting with a friend while she finished her chemo. She actually works at the cancer center and had scheduled us at the same time so we could hang out a bit. As we chatted, she mentioned that I was one of only two patients that she had told about her cancer because she feels like it is her job to care for her patients and if they know she is sick she won’t be able to do that as effectively. She is a caretaker by nature as well as by occupation which makes the transition to being cared for all the more difficult. She talked about the sympathy her patients need, the comfort that she provides them whenever she spends time with them, all the while chafing at being on the receiving end of that same comfort. It’s a hard transition. Yesterday I also brought in a cookie for my chemo nurse. I have the same one every time so we’ve gotten to know each other well and she is very involved in my care. I always know when my lab work looks bad simply by the look on her face because she truly cares about my health. When I gave her the cookie, she was so surprised and kept telling me how sweet it was. To me it was something so simple but it made me realize that she is so busy caring for others that she isn’t used to anyone caring for her at work. All of this got me thinking about the wonderful people who I share every other Friday afternoon with and the amazing care they give me, sometimes without me even noticing it. It is their job to not only draw my blood, hook me up to the infusion pump and make decisions about my health, but to also ask me about my week, bring me a warm blanket and worry about me. I want to do more to return that care so that they know how much I appreciate it. I doubt many recognize how much they do, especially since most of them are incredibly sick. Yesterday inspired me to show my caregivers just how much I care about them.

Current Randomness

1. Last night I cooked up a storm. It was spectacular. Homemade spaghetti and meatballs with cheesy bread, yogurt, and these pumpkin cookies with cinnamon icing. Everything was delicious, especially the cookies. The icing was perfect, took pumpkin cookies to a whole new level. My stomach was very happy, and will continue to be thanks to the leftovers.

2. I love the Halloween episodes of my shows. I’m not a huge Halloween person. This year I have two Halloween parties to attend and am wearing more of a costume than I have worn in years, a badge that says “Louis Lane” (to match J’s Clark Kent get-up). So yeah, I don’t get into the holiday too much. But I do love the shows. They’re always so fun and hilarious, especially Big Bang this year. Ahhhh Sheldon, you crack me up.

3. I’ve decided I’m going to make my thanksgiving book. A fellow blogger friend said I inspired her to make one which pushed me over the indecisive ledge. I’m going to put it together this weekend.

4. J and I have full two days this weekend without any plans and I could not be more excited. I’m sure I’m starting to sound like a hermit to you all but I assure you, time at home has been a rare and precious thing as of late. I’m so looking forward to doing some scrapbooking, riding, cooking, long walks with the pup, and being snuggled up with my loves at home.

5. And lastly, here are the rest of my recent scrapbooking layouts I wanted to share. Some of them didn’t photograph very well. I am convinced I will never figure out how to make them look right.

Updates From the Scrap Department

1. Last week, my favorite scrapbooking line, October Afternoon, had a warehouse sale and they just so happen to be located less than an hour away from me. So I off I went, with my sister in tow to be my trusty box holder as I chucked all kinds of goodies at her. The only thing I love more than scrapbook shopping is bargain scrapbook shopping. I was in heaven. I got packs of 12 sticker sheets for $2 which retail for $2.49 for 1. Having multiples is also incredibly good for my scrapbook hoarding issues. It’s a common illness many of us scrapbookers live with, the eternal fear of using up our supplies because… Well, I’m not actually sure why we’re afraid of using them up. We all know we’re going want the latest and greatest goodies when they come out. Yet I live in a state of constant angst fearing my stocks will never be replenished. It’s absurd. I have issues, as I think is becoming clear on here. Anyways… I spent about forty bucks and came home with well over $500 worth of awesome scrapbooking goodness. It was amazing.

2. I am debating making a blessing mini-book for Thanksgiving. Basically, I’m thinking of taking a picture a day in Nov up to Thanksgiving and putting it in the book, along with a little description of why I’m thankful for that. I thought it would be a fun way to really get into the actual thanks-giving aspect of Thanksgiving. My only concern is that I really want to commit to the December Daily project this year and I don’t want to burn myself out before I start that. Maybe it’ll just be a good way to get in that mode… Hmmm… Decisions, decisions.

3. One of J and my favorite ways to spend a quiet Sunday evening is with me scrapbooking in the living room while he watches movies that I don’t actually want to see (think scarey movies…). We didn’t get the chance to do much of that over the summer because we were just too darn busy but we’ve finally gotten back it and I am loving it. It’s a fun way for me to do what I love with the one that I love.

4. And now for some scrappy shares. I did not enjoy my time in Grand Forks last week, to say the least. We got stuck in a less than stellar hotel which really takes the fun out of things. But I did get some scrapbooking done and made some pages that I really love.“My New Toy” Obviously I had to scrap about my new iPad right away!A page about our little exploration of Al Capone’s old lake house. I printed a picture of Capone that I found online. Bet he would have been surprised to learn he ended up in somebody’s scrapbook. Ha!That’s all for now. I’ll be back with more later, along with my Thanksgiving mini I’m sure.

Blog Your Heart

Stephanie Howell issued the blog your heart challenge again, kind of a monthly thing, so here we go.

1. I am feeling oh so very happy to be home right now. I am incredibly blessed to be able to travel with J but I also love to be at home, especially in the fall, so I am very happy to have a bit of a break from the traveling. We were gone a lot over the last two months which has really turned me into a homebody. I am just loving snuggling up at home and having the time to catch up on things around the house and actually do some cooking.

2. I am feeling frustrated with my disease right now. Sometimes I am not really bothered by all of it and just feel very passive towards the whole thing. But other times it can start to feel like a straight jacket that’s constantly restricting me. Lately I’ve been falling into the latter case. I’m frustrated because it doesn’t seem like the drug is working, at how much it costs, at the fact that I feel rundown all the time and doing 25 minutes of yoga takes all my energy for the day, that we never seem to be able to find any real answers about what’s going on… There’s a rather long list of PNH frustrations in my world right now. Add on to that our health insurance changes next year to a $1500 out of pocket total per person, which means I will have a $1500 bill by the end of January. Not exactly the most exciting way to spend our money. Like I said, lots of frustrations.

3. Having vented about the frustrations though, I am reading a book called The Land Between that examines the Israelites journey through the dessert that has been serving as an excellent reminder that these challenges and frustrations will help mold me into a stronger person if I let it. I’m doing my best to remember that and to do everything in my power to use my struggles to make me a better person, into the kind of person that God wants me to be.

4. I am kind of struggling to find my voice with this blog. I want to be a better writer, the kind of writer that I would enjoy reading. I am also struggling in what exactly to share here. I started it to share my PNH and childless experiences, but I worry that talking too much about those things will make me sound whiny. I want to tell my story so that others out there who are going through similar experiences will know that they are not alone. And I want other PNHers to be able to see what my life with the disease looks like so that we can compare and learn from each other. But I worry that people are going to read it and think “oh here she goes again, droning on and on about her problems.” I also want it to show what my life looks like without kids because I feel like it’s hard to find other scrapbookers specifically, but really anyone in general, that share their lives without children. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading other blogs where mother’s share their experiences and funny stories. I just want to feel like there are others out there who don’t have kids and are still living and scrapbooking.

5. I am still hopelessly in love with my iPad. I don’t think this obsession is going away anytime soon. Every time I think I’ve discovered all I need to know about it, I find something new and completely amazing that I can do with it. Last night I took a bubble bath while watching a show on it. The height of relaxation, I assure you.

6. I hate shoe shopping. Apparently my mother and sister got all of the shoe love in the gene pool because I absolutely do not enjoy looking for shoes one bit. So, to eliminate the need for much shopping in that department, I follow a general rule of one brown pair and one black pair for each kind of shoe I need (essentially flip flops, fake uggs, and boots). My mother thinks I’m crazy. Every once and awhile I will breeze by a shoe rack and something will catch my eye and come home with me, and when it does, they are amazing. That is how my awesome high boots ended up in my closet. But, I have been without black boots for two years now and I have been unable to find anything I like in the limited amount of time I’m willing to look. The last pair I bought were roughly 6 years old and were incredibly out of style, and the only time I felt motivated to replace them was when I wanted to wear a black/grey sweater and couldn’t because I didn’t have any shoes to match. It should be added that I put about a $35 limit on my shoes. I don’t like buying them, therefore I don’t want to spend money on them. This makes my best friend think I’m crazy. Apparently my shoe issues are crazy. Anyways, I finally scored an adorable pair of black boots, on my budget at Marshalls today. I am a very happy girl who will not be going anywhere near the shoe racks for some time. I am already dreading needing to replace my favorite brown flip flops of all time next summer as they are on their last leg.

7. My shoe issues seem to stem from an incredibly high level of practicalness that I cling to which can be debilitating at times. Spending money stresses me out and so I am incredibly practical with how I spend it. It can make it a bit difficult for me to buy things that I don’t necessarily “need.” It can also lead to quite a bit of overanalzying every single purchase I make, which gets a bit exhausting. Do I really need to justify the $3 bottle of nail polish I bought? Probably not. These are the things that keep me up at night. Then add in an unexpected big expense like a vet bill and I am sent over the moon with anxiety. J is constantly yelling at me (in a nice way of course) to lighten up and not worry so much. I’m working on it. In the meantime, it saves us a lot of money.

And because posts are just so much more fun with a picture, here are a few from Sioux Falls that I haven’t gotten around to sharing yet.

Craft Therapy

Today was just one of those days. It was cold and rainy and I was in a grumpy mood. I did yoga, a feeble attempt at keeping one of my 30 year goals, and it sucked every inch of life out of me. I don’t know how to tell if I’m just out of shape or if it’s my disease kicking my butt. Which made me grumpier. And so the day went. Until my BFF came over with some delicious Asian food for a crafty night. It is amazing how a good friend can completely turn your day around. I am so thankful that I have such a great friend in my life to share the good and the bad with. And then you throw in time playing with paint and glue and you’ve pretty much hit perfection. So, without further adieu, our pinterest inspired Halloween decor.

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I mean seriously, who can stay crabby while making mummy candles that adorable???