March 31, 2007

Good Mail

I wanted to share the good mail that I've been receiving. This is the first time I've ever posted about my good mail, so I have to admit that this goes back to January. I have been spoiled quite a bit lately, which is always a nice treat!

My husband's sister hosted Christmas this year. Her husband's parents came to town to meet their new granddaughter, Josie. This is the thank-you they sent for the gifts we gave them. I love the photostamps of sweet baby girl!

A cute and sweet thank you from Kristi for the birthday gift she received from me. I'm glad that she and her girls enjoyed the scarf.

Sweet little Josie had her mom send us a thank you for all of the gifts she's received from us. If you love the stationery, you can get your own right here.

One of my Longaberger customers sent this cute card and a sweet note along with her check for something she had purchased from me.

A kind note of thanks from Jill for the good mail I had sent to her.

A kind note from Michelle thanking me for some good mail I sent her way. I love the card... so cute!

Tasha sent this thank you card for her birthday gift. How appropriate that the girl from Hershey uses the kisses stamps!

Amy W. sent this pretty little thank you for her birthday good mail delivery.

Kristi is so darn clever! She sent these adorable St. Patrick's Day greetings to her blogging friends! She sent something equally cute for Valentine's, but I couldn't put my hands on it to photograph. I love them both, Kristi! Thanks so much for thinking of me.

I got this fantastic article and a very kind letter from Karli. She had read one of my SPT posts and sent this good mail to offer me encouragement and support. This meant so much to me. I had never seen her comment on my blog, or really anyone else's - so when this arrived, I was completely amazed. I forget what an impact we can have on each other until something like this happens.

Carlo sent this card of support and encouragement with some words of inspiration painted on these great river rocks. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!

Liz B. sent this cute card and note of thanks for her birthday good mail delivery.

One of my sorority sisters sent this pretty little card and a kind note with her payment for our upcoming annual luncheon. Everyone else has just popped a check in an envelope, so it was such a nice surprise to see that she had sent this. Thanks Pat!

Amanda S. sent this darling Easter package. Unfortunately, I didn't get the picture taken before Riley made off with the giant egg filled with chocolate eggs... that dog! Thank you Amanda for thinking of me! I love those Peter Rabbit playing cards - what a cute idea for a gift tag!

I tell ya, posting about all of this reminds me that I need to get some good mail packages together and in the mail myself. Thanks to all of you for brightening many of my days with your thoughtfulness!

March 22, 2007

100 Things About Me

  1. I love to paint – I am amazed at how it transforms a room. Just imagine this room... all brown and not the pretty kind of brown. The drugs must have been really good in the 1970's!
  2. My high school graduating class was made up of 54 people.
  3. I went through pre-school, elementary school, Jr. & Sr. high school and college with my best childhood friend, Hannah. Here we are on the left - Girl Scout Camp 1983.

  4. I played the clarinet. Didn't I have great school spirit?
  5. My high school band was one of the best ranked bands in the State of Illinois and was invited to play for Pres. George H. Bush during a campaign stop at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale for his 1988 campaign.
  6. I have won several vocal competitions, but hate to sing in front of other people.
  7. I wish I had a job I enjoyed more.
  8. I have been designing stationery since I was a little girl.
  9. I learned to knit when I was 10.
  10. I taught myself to crochet four years ago.
  11. I am addicted to Coca-Cola Classic.
  12. I love to have a super clean house, but hate to clean.
  13. I have a tendency to become obsessed with things (crafts especially).
  14. I can’t control my spending on craft supplies.
  15. I had so much fun in college, it took 6 years to graduate.

  16. I am a proud member of Alpha Gamma Delta.
  17. I miss my college friends.
  18. I am not great at keeping in touch. So I really have no one but myself to blame for #17.
  19. I bought my first home when I was 27.
  20. I procrastinate.
  21. I sell Longaberger baskets.
  22. I have lots of baskets throughout my house, but always want/need more.
  23. I wish I sold as many baskets as I buy.
  24. I want a big house with a big yard someday.
  25. I met my husband on
  26. I wanted to elope – he wanted the wedding – he won.

  27. I love red roses.
  28. I would live in Chicago if it didn’t get so cold.

  29. I hate to wear shoes. I was barefoot during my wedding cermony - it was at the beach, afterall!
  30. I love to cook.
  31. I collect cook books.
  32. I am slowly seeing my dream of a successful stationery business come to life.
  33. I hope I will be a good mother when I finally have children.

  34. My first vehicle was an orange Jeep truck. I still take it for a drive through the country everytime I go home for a visit.
  35. I was in a serious car accident when I was 19.
  36. My nose was broken so badly, it required two surgeries.
  37. If I had it to do all over again, I would have seen a plastic surgeon for the second surgery.
  38. I love the beaches in Destin, Florida so much that I was married there.
  39. I had the big permed rocker hair in the early ‘90’s
  40. I figured out permed hair wasn’t cool anymore when I went to college.
  41. Now my hair won’t hold a curl at all.

  42. I have an older brother, Daniel, who is an airline captain. I am so proud of him for living his dream of flying planes for a living.
  43. I have two nieces and one nephew.
  44. No one can make me laugh like my Dad.
  45. I have season tickets for the Tennessee Titans.
  46. I didn’t become a football fan until I moved to Nashville.
  47. I wish I had more friends to socialize with here.
  48. I am a celebrity news junkie… but I don’t like the made up stuff in most of the tabloids.
  49. I spend way too much time on Wikipedia reading about all sorts of things.
  50. I want to know everything about everything… I’m very curious.
  51. I can install and repair toilets.
  52. I am the handyman around the house – my husband isn’t good with fixing things.
  53. I love kitchen gadgets and have at least one of just about everything.
  54. My husband thinks I have too many silicone spatulas.
  55. I don’t think you can ever have enough silicone spatulas.
  56. I make great margaritas with fresh lime juice.

  57. I enjoy decorating cakes.

  58. I miss my grandmothers and wish I had spent more time with them as an adult.
  59. I love Santa decorations.
  60. I enjoy making things for other people.

  61. I need to do something crafty everyday to keep my stress levels down.
  62. I suffer from migraine headaches.
  63. If I don’t drink one Coke per day, I get a migraine.
  64. I am in the process of remodeling our home. We're really gonna miss the harvest gold counters, floors and broken down cabinets.
  65. I love ribbon.

  66. I visit Amish Country in Ohio every summer.
  67. I admire the Amish way of life, but could never live that way myself.
  68. I own a Cricut and I love it!
  69. I love listening to live music.
  70. I think the Ryman Auditorium is the most beautiful building in Nashville. It is the original home of th Grand 'Ole Opry. I took my grandmother there to see the Opry for the first time in her life six months before she passed away. It was always her dream to go to the Opry. A gigantic sofa sized photo of the Ryman now hangs above the couch in our den.
  71. My favorite genre of music is Country.
  72. I loathe doing laundry.
  73. I want to get my weight issues under control.
  74. I wish I enjoyed exercise more.
  75. I LOVE paper products.
  76. I think everyone should have a set of pretty stationery with their name on it.
  77. I want to open a paper goods/stationery store one day. For now, my website will have to do.
  78. I am a proud conservative.
  79. Tivo has revolutionalized my TV viewing habits.
  80. I wish I took better pictures. When I use a flash, they look blurry and shaky.
  81. My husband had my engagement ring custom made for me. It has a diamond from his Mom, a diamond from his grandmother, and a diamond for me. How sweet is that?
  82. I’m happy to have the first year of marriage behind me.
  83. Netflix is one of my favorite things.
  84. I think every family needs a dog.

  85. I can’t imagine my life without My Riley.
  86. I was a Girl Scout Leader for six years.
  87. As a child, I would go to Vacation Bible School for the crafts.
  88. The population of my hometown is 750. I am floored that they have a website!
  89. I knew when I was in high school that I wanted to make Nashville my home.
  90. I hope to learn to quilt one day.
  91. I hate knick-knacks.
  92. I want to vacation in Sonoma Valley, California
  93. I really enjoy a nice red wine.
  94. I have really enjoyed getting to know more people through blogging.
  95. I wish I lived close enough to come to the blog party.
  96. I can’t wait to go to D.C. so Kristi can take me to the ribbon outlet.
  97. I enjoy scrapbooking, but rarely do unless it’s a weekend crop.
  98. I hosted a weekend crop for 30 women this year.
  99. I started this list in January – it is now March 23, 2007
  100. I can’t believe I’m actually finished.

March 21, 2007

SPT - Luck O' the Irish

this week's challenge is to show us a lucky charm. perhaps it is a piece of jewelry? or a talisman you carry in your pocket? do you have something on your desk or in your home that brings you good fortune? is it a baseball hat or a smelly old t-shirt? did someone give it to you? why is it meaningful to you? will you tell us about a time when it brought you good luck?

I am not a superstitious person. And I don't necessarily think that anything tangible can bring good 'luck' or good fortune. So, for me, this challenge was.... well, a challenge. So I thought I should post about something that is very meaningful to me.

This is my Alpha Gamma Delta badge. To most, it is just a beautiful piece of jewelry, but to me, it signifies a lot about who I am. I have worn this badge for over 13 years. I was a junior in college when I finally decided to pledge. At the time, I couldn't have imagined what an impact this would have on my life.

For those of you who have never been in a greek organization, you may have a slanted view of what we are all about. The media, television and movies do not paint a flattering picture of Greek life. While some of what they show is accurate, it is a small part of who we are.

My dearest friends are my Sisters. They surrounded me with love and lifted me up during what is to this day, the darkest time of my life. They are my strength and I can't imagine my life without them.

Joining Alpha Gamma Delta gave my life purpose. It shaped me into the person I want to be. I am challenged everyday to live up to the ideals of our Purpose.

  • To gain understanding that wisdom may be vouchsafed to me

  • To develop and prize health and vigor of body

  • To cultivate acquaintances with many whom I meet

  • To cherish friendships with but a chosen few and to study the perfecting of those friendships

  • To welcome the opportunity of contributing to the world's work in the community where I am placed because of the joy of service thereby bestowed and the talent of leadership multiplied

  • To honor my home, my country, my religious faith

  • To hold truth inviolable, sincerity essential, and kindness invaluable

  • To covet beauty in environment, manner, word, and thought

  • To possess high ideals and to attain somewhat unto them

  • This shall be my purpose that those who know me may esteem Alpha Gamma Delta for her attainments, revere her for her purposes, and love her for her womanhood

March 11, 2007

Never Give Up

Last summer this plant was vibrant and full, overflowing out of the pot. It had a nice warm, sunny place on the patio. Here in Tennessee it usually is very late in the year before we have our first hard frost. Last fall, I left this guy... along with another beautiful plant, out too long.

When I brought this plant into the house, it was pitiful. The leaves had been frozen and were dark and wilted. My husband said... they are dead... just throw them out. But I was convinced that if I warmed them up, that I would be able to salvage something.

After I clipped off all of the dead, there was nothing left. Not a single green anything. Just dirt. I put them by a sunny window in the living room and continued to give them a little water and some Miracle Grow. The other plant came back to life about a month ago, but this one was holding out. Last week, I caught a glimpse of this new leaf coming up out of the soil.

I have begun to make changes in my life so that I can be the person I really want to be. I will have to apply the same hope and determination to my life as I did these plants. The work that I am doing now may not make any changes that are visible right now, but if I stick with it, one day they will be.

If you are wondering why I was so determined to bring these plants back to life, these were very thoughtful gifts from two of my dearest friends and sorority sisters. They sent these to my maternal grandmother's funeral in 2003. They are a living reminder that I have people in my life I can count on when life is hard.

March 08, 2007

When will my reflection show who I am inside?

So, I am a few days late in the Self Portrait Tuesday challenge. Better late than never. What's interesting to me, is that I took this photo last weekend while I was out of town on a business trip. Before you start thinking I'm some crazy person who goes around taking pictures of myself, I do have a valid reason for doing this. I just purchased a new camera and I was getting myself acquainted with it and there isn't much to photograph in a hotel room. Back to the matter at hand...

This challenge actually came at a time when I've been doing a lot reflecting. For the past few months I've been thinking a lot about my life. The good... the bad... trying to find what it is that will make me truly happy and fulfilled. When I saw this picture, my first thought was that I shouldn't use it because it's blurry and out of focus, making it hard to really see me. Then I had an "Aha" moment.

This photograph is very symbolic. Right now, I feel like there are many parts of my life that are blurry and out of focus, making it hard to see the real me. To me, this was a powerful realization. Unfortunately, there is no 'auto focus' switch on life like there is on my camera. Without a doubt, my weight is the primary issue that is causing me to be out-of-focus.

I have been overweight since my early teens. Back then, it was a minor problem. It is now a major problem. I am morbidly obese. There, I said it. I have done this to myself... all by myself. I don't like the person I see on the outside. I am desperate to change my life, but I am scared to death of failing. To be honest, I am even more scared to succeed. I am sure that sounds ridiculous to you, but I know how to be the cute, funny, personable fat girl - anything else, is unfamiliar territory for me. The journey I am embarking on will have life-changing effects, and it is frightening. But, I can't continue to live this existence. There are too many things I want to accomplish that will never be possible unless I conquer this problem.

This kind of change will take a long time and won't be easy, but I have to have faith that it will be so worth it. I can't wait for the day when my reflection truly shows who I am inside.

March 07, 2007

Life & Love with the World's Worst Dog

Cover of book
Ugh! Where to begin...

For those of you who have read Marley & Me, the story I am about to tell you will sound familiar. When I first saw this book last year, I was instantly drawn to it.

Riley 9 weeks old - 2001

As you can see, I have a beautiful dog, Riley, who looks almost identical to Marley. So of course, I had to buy it. It was a beautiful story about a very mischievious dog and the life lessons learned by the owner. I laughed, I cried, I wept uncontrollably - but mostly, I felt like I was reading the story of my life with Riley.

Before I go much further, I have to say that I LOVE RILEY. He has been such a blessing to me and he has many great qualities. Most of the time, he is well behaved, but then there are days that test my devotion. If I didn't love him so, he would be living on a farm somewhere... trust me.

Riley has some behavioral problems... to be specific, he has severe separation anxiety. So... slight changes in the normal household routine can result in a complete melt-down. When he gets stressed, he likes to make a mess. Apparently today was a stressful day.

I couldn't believe what I walked in on today. If I hadn't been completely enraged, I would have taken some photos so you could share in my experience. The neighbor probably thought I had gone completely insane... I was screaming at the top of my lungs.

The trash can, which belongs in the kitchen, is one of those big heavy stainless steel kind. It has a lid that he cannot open... or at least so I thought. Apparently, when you push it into the dining room and tip it over, the lid just comes up on it's own. Trash everywhere... in the dining room, in the kitchen, in the den, in the living room and even in his room.

He managed to find time to get my small Longaberger canister down and chew it to shreds. And, Rich will be so happy to know that he got in his golf hat samples and pulled out the big straw hat and shredded it too. Wasn't that nice of him?

It's days like these that I seriously question my desire to have a dog. Rich is back to travelling again, which leaves me here alone and the dogs (yes, there are two and the other one has a totally different set of issues that I won't bore you with) completely stressed out and anxious. I seriously don't want to have to medicate the poor pup, but I am coming to the realization that that may be the only way that we can get through these rough days when Daddy is on the road. Calgon, take me away!

**Anyone else have a bad dog?**
**Have you read Marley & Me?**

March 06, 2007

You've Gotta Be Kidding...

I am completely bummed out. My website and online store is currently shut-down. My hosting service is doing some routine maintenance, and I think I'll be down until sometime tomorrow. For those of you trying to log on to shop, try again Wednesday. If there is something you just gotta have right way, shoot me an email

I am currently working on a large wedding project that I need to finish up, so I will take advantage of the down-time to get that wrapped up and out the door.

Thanks so much for all of the wonderful bloggers who have visited my store and made purchases. I have lots of new goodies to share including new colors, new card styles and very soon I will have two new product lines that will knock your socks off... so cute! I will also be adding the 'Everything Wedding' section as well as all kinds of cute invitations. I can't wait to share it all with you!