Tai Chi with Dr Paul Lam

Sunday, April 17, 2016

DECEMBER FIFTEENTH?!? (fast forward)

How sad is that? I haven't posted a thing, here on my blog since December 15, 2015? Wow. I knew that the holidays were a mess and I sorta shut down, but I had no idea I hadn't been back here in all that time.
A lot of things happened last year. We joyously welcomed Hunter Reed Cooper into our lives on March 30th. We celebrated an absolutely wonderful day, when Shawn and Lacy finally got married on May 1st. Then the world came crashing down when we lost Shawn on May 28th. Everything kind of spiraled after that. The summer came and went. So did fall. Every month, every day brought new heartaches as we though of all the things we'd planned and weren't able to fulfill due to Shawn's death. I tried to keep my head, but often that didn't work.
Everyone dealt with Shawn's death differently. We tried to hold it together. We tried to be supportive. We tried to help when we could. Sometimes things just didn't work. I don't want to blame anyone here, publicly. It just is what it is.

Thanksgiving everything just BLEW UP! For the first time, in my life, 55 years, I left my mom's before dinner, didn't spend Thanksgiving with my family and didn't intend to spend Christmas there either. And we didn't.
Freddy and I chose to go to Florida for Christmas. One of the hardest choices we've ever made. Didn't want to be home. Didn't want to be at Mom's. Didn't want to be with either of the girls, for VERY different reasons. So we bailed. We went somewhere that reminded us of no one. Somewhere completely new and different and NOTHING like Minnesota at Christmastime. It was wonderful and terrible. We had a great time and forgot about all our troubles and strife... for a little while. Christmas was really hard, without the family and chaos. I'd never do it again, like that. But it was worthwhile to get away from everything and everyone this year.

But we came back to all of the same'ole'same. So, it was just a respite. And it took several months for things to begin to figure themselves out. We saw Kolten in January, for lunch and a movie. My therapist told me to write Lacy a letter, so we wouldn't get into a verbal argument and I could say all of the things I'd been needing to say. I did. And then I re-did and re-did and re-did. It began as a thrashing, getting it all out, blaming her for everything. Then I rewrote several times and even had my therapist look it over and change several things. It had to be about my feelings because that's what hadn't been taken into account. I couldn't blame her for how I felt, but she needed to know how her actions made me feel. I gave it to her and told her that we didn't have to discuss it until she was ready. Guessing that will be, never.
Anne and Tyler figured out that they'd gotten way in over their heads in ND and decided that they had to make a move. Their seller graciously allowed them to get out of the contract and move by March 31st. Lacy and Kolten were getting on with their new "normals" and doing a pretty, darned good job. Lacy reached out to Anne and attempted to mend fences for their sake and the sake of the cousins. We started to come back together, as a family. So far, so good.
Anne, Tyler, Caddie and Hunter (oh yes, and Gauge) came to live with us in between houses. They found a nice place in MacGregor, IA. A good hour closer than Valley City, ND, thank goodness. Still too far away for Grammy, but closer.
And we lost BettyJane two weeks ago. Wow. She went into the hospital on March 6th, with pneumonia and respiratory and heart failure. Three days later, we put her in hospice, thinking it was only a matter of days. Well, that spunky, spicy, little spitfire pulled out an additional three weeks. She wasn't happy, but she just didn't want to die............ and then she did. She was so weak. She was so unhappy. She wanted to be with her Jackie again. We had a beautiful service for her, right at the Fountains, where she last lived. The Atrium was FULL! It was so moving to see so many people who really loved her.

So, now you are where we are. It's April in Minnesota. One day gorgeous, windows open, in the 70s. The next day (or previous) you're back in your winter coat! Gotta love it here. I'll try to keep up more often. I'll try to show off some more scrap layouts and kits. I'm on five different CTs (creative teams) is several different capacities, so I don't do nearly as much designing anymore as there are SO many who do it better than I.
That's All.
Love and Blessings.
Stay Safe.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

PS Let's Get Festive Blog Train!!!

It's the MOST wonderful time ..... of the year!!!  Sing it with me!  Well, okay. Maybe you're not quite ready for the seasonal onslaught of shopping, wrapping, singing, and family.  I get it.  So, let's escape to a marvelous hideaway called Digiland!  The folks over at PixelScrapper have done it again.  You will not believe the fantastic offerings that the designers have created for you.  Paper, embellies and templates, OH MY!  (ooops, wrong season)

I had a lot of fun playing with this template.  While doing so, I created a layout for my own 2014 Christmas album.  My Aunt and Uncle always put on an amazing spread for Christmas Eve.  They don't let the reason for the season slip by either.  Every year, before any of the festivities, the children gather at the dining room table and sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.  Last year, you'll see, that my cousin even created a real, edible Yule Log!  All of the papers and elements that I created and used in the layout are also included for you in the template zip!

Please be sure to share the love with the amazing designers over at PS.  They appreciate every word of thanks.

Head on over to my FaceBook page, aka Coop's Custom Creations, and snag a QuickPage made from the same parts and pieces.  Here's what you'll get.

Hope you like it as much as I enjoyed making it for you.  Well, as I said, it is the most wonderful time of the year.  We've had a tough year, but we've survived.  Thanks to the love and support from friends and family and all y'all here in Digiland.  I can't tell you how much your words of comfort and encouragement have meant to our family as we've navigated this new world of life after death.  We're getting stronger everyday.  I want to share two additional things with you.  The first is a poem I was given after my Daddy died.  Then I took the picture on a vacation years later and the two just "fit".  It's now the card I give to anyone who's suffered a loss.  I "give" it to you, for any of you who want or need it.  Please feel free to share it with anyone who you believe needs it.  The poem has given me comfort all year long, but it means so much more at earthly Christmas time, when we can celebrate together.

And this is my Christmas Wish For You.  Health, Happiness, Joy, and Peace.  God Bless us, everyone!

Stay Safe.
Love and Blessings.

Winter Wish 3

Sorry Expired.

December 1 - January 10 then it will expire.

Stay Safe
Love and Blessings

Saturday, November 7, 2015

PixelScrapper Thankful Harvest Blog Train

Late again!  So what else is new.  HAHAHA!  I just had ZERO motivation this month, so when push came to shove and I really wanted y'all to have something, I created this template.  It's similar to one I created for a summer vacation and I may provide that along with a blog train next spring.  No additional QP on my Facebook page this month.  But please, Enjoy!  Have fun.  Can't wait to see what you do with the template.
There IS a huge PixelScrapper Blog Train going on right now too, so head on over and collect as many as you like.  Be sure to share some love with the talented designers along the way.  

Take care.  Stay Safe.
Love and Blessings.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

PixelScrapper Teenage Life Blog Train

I am SO sorry this is so late.  I had ideas, but none were coming together the way I wanted.  So this weekend was the BIG PUSH!  I got it done and sorta please with it.  Hope you like it too.

Working on a QP for my Coop's Custom Creations FB page as we speak.

Thanks for your patience. 

Head on over to Pixel Scrapper Teenage Life Blog Train to check out the rest of the posts.  
Enjoy, leave some love and have a wonderful trip.  HOO! HOO!  

Take care.  Stay Safe.
Love and Blessings.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hummie's World September Digi Hop

Time for another blog train. It's what I do. Well, to be fair, this one's called a digi hop and it's "sponsored" by a great group of scrappers at Hummmie's World. The theme is TODAY and there are a bunch of kits for you to choose from and enjoy. The palette is pretty, subtle fall tones.

Here's my portion

Head over to HW Facebook Digi Hop page, click on Sept 2015 DigiHop to grab the rest and make sure to leave some love for the designers as you pass through.

Take care. Stay safe.
Love and Blessings.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

PixelScrapper Bohemian Breeze Blog Train, Baby!

OH MY GOSH!  The rich colors, the amazing theme, it's SO ME!  I truly think of myself as a forgotten flower child, so this theme fit me so well.  And I've had a sneak peek at what the other designers have to offer and YOU are going to have a GREAT TRIP!

Head on over to Pixel Scrapper Bohemian Breeze Blog Train to check out the rest of the posts.  Enjoy, leave some love and have a wonderful trip.  HOO! HOO!  

Take care.  Stay Safe.
Love and Blessings.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

DBTL Facebook Blog Train is Leaving Now!!!

A buncha neat ladies have put together a Facebook Blog Train for your enjoyment.  The theme this month is Deaf awareness and the kits are wonderful.  

Doesn't this look amazing?!?

Here is my portion.  

Here are the links to the entire train!

Whoo-Whoo!!!  Swing on through and don't forget to leave a little love for the designers as you pass by.  Thanks!
Take Care.  Stay Safe.
Love and Blessings.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Pixel Scrapper A Bug's World Blog Train

It was a great palette and a cute theme, but I just couldn't grab any wonderful ideas to come up with a full kit, so I went with a template.  Sorry this is so late, but at least it's something.  You can find the entire Blog Train here.  Pixel Scrapper A Bug's World Blog Train

I'll have another template for another blog train around the 20th of the month, so come back to check it out.  I'll also try to get something on my FB page for either one or both.  Check over there at Coop's Custom Creations FB Page.

Take Care.
Love and Blessings.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Pixel Scrapper July Blog Train, All Aboard for Summer Splash!!!

SO much has happened to our little family in the last two months, in the last 33 days!
It was with AMAZING joy that our oldest daughter, Lacy, married her son's father after five, long years of ups and downs, backs and forths, and wow.........  Shawn was never dishonest.  He said from the get-go that he'd never get married.  He never left.  He became a great dad and eventually a steady partner.  Imagine our surprise when you told us that you both had decided to make a "forever commitment"!  Huh?  What did that mean?  Shawn LAUGHED!!!  "We're getting married!!!", he laughed!  We began making plans for a beautiful, small wedding on May 1st and a HUGE party on August 1st.
It was a beautiful day.  The rain stopped just before the ceremony.  Not too bright that pictures were perfect and then the SUN broke through just as we finished!  We began coordinating for August, hiring a caterer, renting tents, tables and chairs, discussing decorations.  Life was good.
On May 28th, our entire world came crashing (no pun intended) to a horrible, life-shattering end.  Shawn was driving to work very early that morning...  and never arrived.  He died instantly, which was a blessing once we got a look at the car.  All the plans came to a halt.  Tears fell like waterfalls.  Families that had, at times, been at odds came together in grief to hold and support each other.  Although I knew the bottom would fall out eventually, Lacy amazed me at her strength.  From having to tell her son that his daddy would not be coming home to dealing with the details at the funeral home.  All we were allowed to see was Shawn's right hand.  She studied it as if studying for a final exam.  It was a gloomy day in Alma, WI when we went to deal with the aftermath.  We went to the funeral home, had lunch at the local diner, placed a roadside memorial, went to the top of the cliffs to "play" and then went back to the funeral home to bring Shawn home.  It was quite amazing that, when we walked outside again, with Shawn in Lacy's arms, the sun again broke through!  It gave us all such warmth and joy to feel like Shawn was shining down on us, telling us that he was okay.
Which brings us to today.  Scrapping has always brought me such joy.  Throughout the last couple months, the last seven years of digi and the last 30 years of my life, scrapping has been my outlet, my release, my creative home.  I have found it hard to scrap in the last month, except for a very few pages, out of necessity.  But I do enjoy creating new "stuff".  Here's my portion of the Pixel Scrapper July Blog Train.  The theme was Summer Splash.  Perfect for July and perfect for me.  Bright colors, happy feelings.  I hope you enjoy this kit as much as I enjoyed creating it for you.  

Now, head on over to the PS Blog Train and collect the other portions.  Be sure to leave some love along the way for those wonderful designers who have taken time out of their busy schedules to create for you (and me).  When you're done perusing the offerings, cruise on over to the Coop's Custom Creations Facebook page to grab the QP over there.  (if you do, you'll also have the opportunity to snag the QP from last month, that I never got posted...sorry)
Anyway.  Have fun, always.  Tell the people you love, that you LOVE THEM.  Tomorrow is never promised.  I'm reminded of the "poem".  
Yesterday is History.
Tomorrow is a Mystery.
Today is a Gift. 
That is why they call it the Present.
Love and Blessings!

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