Monday, September 16, 2013

A LONG overdue update on my life!

Hi!  I've been so busy I haven't posted much about my life and I know many of you like to keep in touch with me and my family through my blog so here's a tremendously long post about all that's been up with me! 
Right now I am getting ready to leave on Wednesday for my very first Founder Circle Retreat.  I'm looking forward to relaxing by the pool, eating and hanging out with the top demonstrators in the company.  The weather is supposed to be summery-hot so I'm thrilled about that!  I am not a fan of the dreary cold weather we've been having here lately.  Of course I can't go to Founders without making sure I participate in the swap.  I've been told that I need to make 120 swap cards.  No problem.  Right.  Yes!  Big problem!  The problem is not the number of swaps.  The problem is that I love to CASE cards which means I get inspired from what I see on other people's blogs and websites and copy them.  Typically I am copying from a lot of the big name stampers who will all be at Founders Circle.  I think it might be uncool for me to swap with them a card that they actually designed.  Sooooo....I spent many long weeks trying to come up with a Founders Circle worthy swap card.  First I thought this card would be fun to swap because it's actually a card but also a bookmark. 
But then I talked myself out of it since it wasn't using any New product so I thought that might not be so great.  I really liked the card/bookmark idea so I tried one using new catalogue stuff.  (the simply sketched hostess set and Eastern Elegance dsp (130131) and I knew I wanted to incorporate some glitter somehow (see the berries using dazzling details?).  Kevin gave a scrunched up face when he looked at the card and when I showed the team stic girls on our facebook page I didn't get any excited feedback.  So, that card didn't make the cut.

Can you tell that I absolutely was overanalyzing the whole thing and by now the time available to make 120 swap cards was ticking down to almost nil. I finally came up with this design and I absolutely LOVE it!  This is the ONE!  (never mind that it's got 6 layers and a billion rolls through the Big Shot!)  I finally got around to ordering the supplies for the swap, (using the expedited shipping option since I was so late) and Island indigo cardstock was back ordered!  Fortunately it arrived late last week so I'm safe.  Whew!  Just a little stampin' drama to keep life exciting!

Here's the ingredients for this card in case you want to CASE it!
Colours: Pool party, island indigo
Stamps: Festive Flurry (131778 w)
9131781 c)
Greetings of the Season (128033 c)  (128030 w)
Other stuff: Festive Flurry Framelits (132193), Jumbo Rhinestones (129324), silver glimmer paper (124005), fancy fan embossing folder (127751)

So, today is dedicated to getting everything cut out and stamped and rolled through the big shot.  I figure at the very worst case scenario, the assembling can be done on the airplane.  :-)

I really am looking forward to this Founders trip.  I've heard so much about it and how wonderful it is, it will be nice to experience it myself.  I'm sure I"ll post pictures as long as the internet cooperates so stay tuned.
Right after Founders circle when everyone else is flying home, myself and 5 other demonstrators will be flying to Salt Lake City for our Advisory Board Retreat.  If I'm not sure what to expect from Founders Circle, then I'm completely in the dark about the Advisory Board Retreat.  The only thing I knew about it was that we would get to visit Shelli at her home.  Well, since she's had that horrible accident, that part of the retreat has been taken off the agenda so I'm completely in the dark about what to expect.  I am mostly looking forward to getting to know the 5 other ladies better who are serving together with me in this role.  Since we are working together for the year, we are looking forward to bonding and sharing.  We've been getting to know each other over facebook and we've ordered matching tshirts and have talked about getting pedicures.  Sounds like it will be a blast!  Can't wait to see what's in store!

So, I kept meaning to share my summer adventures.  I had a super busy summer.  I realized that I had 5 different vacations/getaways over the summer!  No wonder the summer flew by!  Here's a quick recap!
First, knowing that the summer would be busy, I scheduled a little weekend getaway with Kevin (mom watched the kids).  We just stayed at the skydome hotel and explored downtown Toronto.  It was relaxing and rejuvenating for our marriage.  We checked out the distillery district, took advantage of the summerlicious menu at a restaurant called Fred's Not Here and generally just hung out.
Next was my trip to Salt Lake City for the annual Stampin' Up convention.  All the pictures from that are already in my blog in earlier posts but here's some better pictures of awards night that were floating on facebook :

After the whirlwind of convention came our annual family vacation in Horseshoe Valley.  The kids look forward to this vacation every year because we just hang out at the timeshare resort and watch movies, play games and do little day trips.  Here's the kids swabbing the poop deck at one of the historical sites we visited. (sorry the name of the location escapes me right now)
Then we got more history at St. Marie Among the Hurons.  A re-creation of a French missionary settlement. 

The kids LOVE the annual cookie decorating activity at the resort.  It's like a 15 minute activity involving a lot of candy.

We managed to get home from Horseshoe, get some laundry done, then off we went on a family camping adventure with 5 other families.  I believe there were something like 37 of us on the group campsite.  This was a new experience for our family.  We are not campers.  Fortunately we went with friends who have been several times before and had learned from experience.  I was not at all a fan of sleeping in a tent surrounded by trees, poison ivy and bugs.  (very large bugs everywere!) but I did really like seeing the kids have good wholesome fun playing with their friends, and enjoying the outdoors.

One of the best parts of the camping trip was that it was right near a beach so on the days that it wasn't raining (camping and raining are not good combination) we took the kids over to the beach and was able to hang out in the sun and relax.  Kids and grownups had a great time.

To end the summer we went to our favourite vacation destination: Disney World!  I think it's fair to say that we are Disney fanatics.  The level of hospitality and fun can not be matched!  We ate, played, laughed and enjoyed a perfect family vacation.  It's always sad to come home after Disney. 

People often ask me how I can handle standing in lineups at a theme park with three kids in the hot summer.  Well, when you're at Disney, most of the lineups occur in shaded or air conditioned areas so you don't notice the heat that much.  Also, even in the lineups there are often fun activities to keep the kids (big and small ) entertained. Here's the boys playing with an interactive screen while lining up for the Winnie the Pooh ride.
I love eating and Eating at Disney is even more fun when you have characters visiting your table and beautifully plated food.

So, now we're home and back in the swing of a routine.  You probably won't hear from me again until Wednesday when I'm off to Founders.  Make sure you check out the clearance rack on my website as it's been updated with all sorts of great things ( and Keep in touch! 

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