One week ago today was my 50th birthday and we celebrated with a BIG wonderful party!  I have a bunch of photos and will be getting more from several friends over the next few days, so I thought I’d share a few of them with you today. 

 Last week was quite a week!  The excitement started on Saturday the 28th as I headed out to Anaheim to meet up with Taylor, Melody, Regina, and Wanda for CHA.  Both Sunday and Monday were spent on the convention floor, with dinners with very special women each evening.  Tuesday I was home to get back on track with all the final party details – and boy was there a lot to do!  Fortunately I had a ton of help from both local friends and from two very dear friends from out of state.  We worked all week long to insure a good time would be had by all!

Oh and just to make things even a little more interesting, the Rocket Scientist had lithotripsy on Thursday to have 2 GIANT kidney stones blasted.  Poor guy had to have a stent put in and the recovery has not been nearly as easy as he had been led to believe.  There was some doubt if he would even make it to the party, but fortunatley he did make it and did well most of the evening.  He had to be taken home just a little while before things ended.

The theme of the party was “Life is Sweet” and the colors were black and white, fucshia and pink. Guests were invited to enjoy decadent desserts and live music.  Here are the favors that were set at each place.

Thes cute little jars (from Specialty Bottle) were filled with pink and white taffy and I had custom stickers printed with my party logo for a personal touch.  As guests walked in they were greeted by my sweet friends Lisa and Lori and they could find their table assignment on this poster. (Papers are Echo Park Be Mine Collection and that was the jumping off point for all the party decor.)

Tables were indicated by a number as well as different photos of me throughout my life.  Some people expressed surprised at having table assignments, but when I host a party I’m all about doing everything possible to make sure guests have fun.  I think part of that is making sure people will get to sit with people they know or people they will be likely to enjoy.  (No one who knows me is surprised that I’m a bit of a control freak!  LOL!)  Here’s what the tables looked like. 

I couldn’t have been more thrilled with how everything looked.  It was really stunning!  We had two dessert stations serving crepes and ice cream sundaes over warm cookies or brownies, plus there were mini cupcakes.  My one party regret is that I never got even one cupcake!  I heard they were yummy though!

We had a photo booth set up where people could get their pictures taken for my guest book.  They could go serious or silly or both.  It was a HUGE hit!

There was a live band called The Balcony Boys and they were awesome!  Everyone loved them!  Curt and I found them playing out on an apartment balcony in Seal Beach last Summer.  I hadn’t origianlly planned to have a dance floor, but decided a week before the party to add one and I’m so glad I did.  More people got up and danced than I had expected.  You know, I managed the Long Beach Arthur Murray Studio in my 20’s and have been missing dancing quite a bit.  My BFF, Ruth, worked there with me as well and we got up and danced a few songs together at the party.  What a blast, despite the fact that we both had trouble remebering the man’s part to lead.  LOL!

We called up everyone at the party that will turn 50 this year and had a special toast.  I’ve known some of these girls since elementary school or Jr. High.

Here I am with my nieces Kira and Britta and their mom Lill.

Here are some very special friends Lisa, Stephanie and Darla. 

And sweet friends Lori Craig and Taylor VanBruggen who I’m sure all of my blog readers know well!  What a blessing to have them here from Missouri and Iowa.  Taylor gave me an incredible gift that I didn’t get to open till the next day.  It included handmade cards from over 25 different “internet friends”.  It was so amazing to open each one of them.  I haven’t had a chance to thank each person, but please know that if you sent a card, I love it and appreciate it and am so grateful!

My BFF since high school came down from Vancouver, WA.  She and her hubby stayed in SoCal for almost a week and it was wonderful to spend time with them.

All in all we had about 90 guests come from every realm of my life to help me celebrate the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!  There are lots more photos and maybe I’ll share some more next week. (I’m hoping someone has a good one of Curt and I together.) From everyone at the party, to everyone who sent cards, to everyone who left me birthday wishes on Facebook – THANK YOU! And a huge thank you to my Uncle Bernie and my Mom and Dad for hosting this big shindig and to the friends on my “Party Planning Committee” who worked tirelessly and kept me sane! It’s been a week and I’m almost recovered. I feel so loved and so special and so happy and so BLESSED!!!!  Really really so BLESSED!  Who knew 50 could be so fabulous???

End of an Era

January 11th, 2012

I know I promised to blog more regularly and here it is Wednesday evening and I haven’t posted anything since Friday. I actually have 2 cards ready to share, but just haven’t had the time as this has been a crazy week.  This is a NSR post as it was my last day at California Billing Specialists where I’ve worked for over 18 years and I just feel the need to write a bit. 

CBS is a medical billing company that is owned by my Mom and her business partner, Carol.  When they brought me in, so many years ago I didn’t even know what an EOB was. (That’s Explanation of Benefits – insurance statement – the most basic document in the industry.)  The company only had 3 employees when I started.  I learned the ins and outs of insurance and patient collections and as the company grew I became the Collection Supervisor.

A few years ago when my Aunt was seriously ill (and subsequently passed away), I cut back to working just one day a week.  Somehow I just never went back to a regular full-time schedule and eventually I took on my part time position with Taylored Expressions and worked both jobs.  CBS has been a security blanket for me.  It was a godsend when our family went through several tumultous years of illness and loss.  It’s a company where everyone is hired in because they are a friend or relative of someone already there.  It’s been a place where I can go in and sit at my desk and know the answers to almost all the questions I’m asked, where I can enjoy the company of those I work with, and where I can take pride in what we accomplish for our clients.

So, why would I leave?  The Lord presented an opportunity that I just couldn’t refuse.  I’ve been asked to take the position of Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to the Senior Pastor at our church as the Office Manager of 28 years prepares to retire.  I was completely stunned when I was asked, and the Lord so graciously made it clear to me through so many confirmations.  He knows I do not gravitate toward change, no matter how good it might sound, and He knew that I would need the path to be incredibly and totally clear to take this leap of faith.

I will be working at Bethel Grace 4 days a week (2 full half days and 2 full days) starting in mid-March and I will contiue working for TE from home.  It will be a huge adjustment, but I know it will be great!

I’m thankful and excited for what’s to come in the next couple of months, so today was a bittersweet day.  To be totally honest it was more difficult than I imagined as I cleaned out my desk and found all of my time sheets going back to 1996 – WOW!  My Mom has been an awesome boss and so gracious and supportive about my moving on.

I wanted to share a few photos taken at our office Christmas Party last month.  Unfortunately my Mom wasn’t there, as she now works in a different job while still owning CBS.  But my Dad is in these pictures – I told you the business is a family affair!  I will miss seeing him weekly.

And here I am with the 3 of the Collectors that work in my department – Jessica, Yoly and Sarah.  Yoly and I have been friends for over 15 years and she is the one taking over my position.  I know she’ll be great!

Here’s everyone –

Thanks for letting me just share my heart this evening.  I promise I’ll be back soon with those two cards.  I hope you are having a great week!

Nope, that’s not Tessa!

November 15th, 2011

What a weekend! (photos below)  I had planned to spend a good deal of Saturday creating samples for my stamp class this week.  We realized we were out of bird food so a trip to Fran’s was in order.  Curt could see that I was in the zone (stamping zone) and offered to go to the store by himself, and although I really didn’t want to stop what I was doing, I truly just wanted to spend the time with him so I said I would take a break.  We went to the bird store and stopped for an early dinner.  It looked like rain.  On the way home I suggested we take a different route so we could drive by the condo complex I lived in when we met.  I have no idea why I did this, you can’t see much from the street (it’s gated) and I wasn’t all that interested as we drove by.  It would be dark soon…dark and raining.

This route took us by the park where we like to take Tessa to walk.  As we drove by, I looked at the park and saw a small dog sitting on the steps…all by himself…with no one around…and it was starting to rain.  Curt whipped the car around and parked.  I tried to get the scruffy little guy to come to me, but he was frightened.  At one point he jumped into a cardboard box and we saw there was a fleece blanket inside.  We tried to call Animal Control, but they were closed.  We couldn’t just leave him there.  Curt stayed at the park in the rain while I drove the 5 minutes home to get a leash and some food.  Driving back I pictured us chasing this pup all over the sizeable park.  I prayed that we would be able to catch him.

When I arrived at the park Curt had the pup in his arms, holding him inside his jacket.  We stopped at the 24 hour vet to check for a chip – nope.  Had him weighed (just over 11 pounds) And we brought him home.

He looks a lot like Tessa, huh?  This whole thing has an eerie similarity to how we got Tessa.  Roger was quite dirty (oh yeah, within the first hour home we had named him Roger after a good friend who Curt had to cancel plans with that night) and we decided a bath was in order.  After his bath he cuddled up next to Curt on the couch.

We have found him to be very playful – he loves all of Tessa’s toys and I’ve given him a couple of his own.  He loves to go for a walk.  He’s well-mannered (except today he decided he needed to protect his territory when anyone would come to our backdoor) – he doesn’t beg or jump up while we’re eating.  He’s housebroken with no incident over night, although he did piddle in the house today.  We think he’s just having a little trouble with the new environment.  He’s loving.  Overall, he’s a great dog.

So, I know what you’re thinking and what you’re going to say.  Everyone for the past two days has been telling us we should keep him.  And believe me, we’ve thought about it.  But we just can’t.  Why?  Well the main reason is that Tessa is not at all happy to have him here and it breaks our hearts to see her unhappy.  We have been blessed with the most wonderful and joyous relationship with Tessa and we just can’t stand the thought of jeopardizing that.  Roger wants to play with Tessa, but he is twice her size and rather bouncy and she is intimidated by him.  When she tries to meet/greet Curt at the door, Roger bounds over her and blocks her.  He’s not doing it on purpose, he’s just excited.  But she is crestfallen not to get to her daddy.  Could that change and could they become friends?  Maybe, maybe not. 

I had to trap all 3 of us in the laundry room to get this photo of the two of them together.  Roger is a good boy and I know he’s going to bring a great deal of happiness to someone.  So we are looking for a wonderful person/family for him.  If you are in SoCal and interested, please contact me ASAP.  Also I’d love it if you would forward this information to anyone you think might be interested or even post a link to this post on your Facebook wall.

We did put “found dog” posters up tonight, although we really think he was most likely abandoned.  You never know though.  I find it hard to believe in our current world of technology that is it so difficult to get lost pets back to their owners!  I mean seriously – we’re taping posters to light poles?!?  We did register him on one website.  We checked out another one, but it had a $25 fee.  Really?


Roger has been neutered, but of course he’ll need shots.  We have no idea how old he is, but I’m sure a vet could give you a good guess.  We just put a dose of Frontline on him so that’s taken care of 30 days.  He could really benefit from a professional grooming.  He’s adorable and he’s a sweetheart.  Would you like Roger to live with you and be your companion and friend? Look at that face!!!!!

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for reading about Roger!

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

October 14th, 2010

My sweet and wonderful Rocket Scientist had a birthday on Tuesday, but he’s been out of town all week on Rocket Business so we haven’t had a chance to celebrate yet.  He’s on a plane now winging his way home so I thought I’d go ahead and share the birthday card I made for him.

I used Mercy’s Tuesday Sketch Challenge (MTSC95) for the layout.  The image and sentiment are from Whipper Snapper by Anna Wight (I love pretty much everything Anna does!) and the papers and ribbon are all from the TE Make a Wish Project Pantry papercrafting kit.  Image was colored with copics.

I have lots of stuff to share from our niece’s wedding last Friday – photos, the invites we made, the wedding card I made for her and her new hubby  – I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and edit photos and get it all together to post.  It was a truly wonderful wedding and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a more beautiful bride.  Anyway I hope to have all of that for you very soon.

Thanks for stopping by.

SC298 Weigh to Go Honey!

September 16th, 2010

Happy Thursday!  I’ve mentioned that Curt and I are dieting and excersing with weight loss goals in mind.  Well Curt hit a significant intermediate goal of losing 20 pounds!!!  I am so proud of him!  All of his pants and belts are way too big for him, but since he’s still losing weight we don’t want to invest in a lot of new clothes.  So I decided to take my Kohl’s coupon and buy him just a couple of things – a pair of Levi’s and a belt – to keep him going.  He started out in 40’s (and some 42’s).  The new jeans are 36’s and they fit perfectly – not even a smidge tight!  I am soooo proud of him and all the effort he is putting in – especially with all those bike rides.  Of course I wanted to make a card for him to go with the new jeans.


I haven’t played the SCS sketch challenge in while.  I always want to, but then never get to it.  When I saw the sketch this week (SC298) I just had to play with it!  I’m short on time this morning, but here are a few design notes:

stamps from Taylored Expressions –  In the park and Weigh to Go (also a random small alpha set for the numbers).  Inside I stamped the scale from Weigh to Go along with the sentiment “I am so proud of you!”

paper – Cosmo Cricket Togetherness 6×6 pad along with Wild Wasabi and Basic Black cardstock.  Image stamped on TE Choice Buttercream

other – image colored with Copic Atyou Spica Glitter pen and Sakura glaze pens.  Grass fringe was hand cut. Wasabi panel was embossed with a CB folder.  Spellbinders Labels 13 was used to die cut and mat the image. Black KaiserCraft pearls finish off the design.

 Most all the supplies can be found at TE.

Thanks for stopping by.


O Christmas Tree!

November 30th, 2009

For the past few years the month of December has seemed to overtake us and we have struggled to keep up, much less get ahead of the game.  As much as I adore Christmas trees (real live ones!), I have even uttered the suggestion that we skip getting one altogether *gasp* a couple of times in moments of exasperation.  Fortunately my husband knows me well and has never let that actually happen.  This year I was determined to get a tree and get it early, so we went to our very favorite tree lot yesterday and picked out a beautiful flocked tree a bit larger than we normally get.  Since we will have it for a full month it seemed worth it to splurge a bit.  It’s not even December and we have a Christmas tree!  I realize this is normal expected practice in many households, but this has NEVER happened before at our house!  We have a super busy week ahead so we don’t plan to get the tree decorated until next weekend, but it’s in our living room and I am truly thrilled!


Before we brought the tree in yesterday we were playing with Tessa and I commented to Curt that I really don’t need anything for Christmas this year because I got my perfect puppy!  I still maintain that she was a gift from God dropped into our lap by angels and we both feel so blessed to have her in our family!  So it just melted my heart when I looked up from the computer last night to see Tessa plopped down under the Christmas tree with her bone.  She’s laying on the white sheet I always put down under the tree before I add the tree skirt.  And you can get a little glimpse of Beaker on his play tree in the background.

Both birds love the Christmas tree when it’s all lit up.  I can hardly wait to get the lights strung on this gorgeous tree.  And I’m anxious to see how Tessa will do with ornaments and presents…another new adventure for us.  LOL!

Now Christmas shopping is another story – I’m feeling pretty behind in that department.  And of course I still need to finish stamping cards…uh..I better sign off before I start to hyperventilate again!  Before I go….



Today Curt and I are celebrating our
18th Wedding Anniversary!

I’ve always said that I married my husband because he makes me laugh and that still holds true. No one can make me laugh like he can!  Thanks for being with me through good times and plenty of bad times. I’m so glad you married me! I love you honey!
Happy Anniversary!


Halloween Hot Dog!

October 31st, 2009

I hope you’re having a fabulous weekend and Halloween!  Personally I’m not really into Halloween.  Curt and I used to always go to a movie until he got into helping a friend with his crazy haunted house the past few years.  I did intend to create that Halloween card I had in my head for yesterday, but I had the opportunity to help in the kitchen at church for a memorial service today so I didn’t get any stamping done.  I do however have photos of Tessa in her Halloween costume as promised!



Yep  – she’s a hot dog!



She’s really been a good sport about having her costume put on her whenever we’ve had friends over the last couple of weeks, but I think she got a little tired of the whole thing during our photo session this morning.  LOL!  I’m actually getting ready to put it on her one more time to take her over to visit Curt at our friends’ scary house.


R.B was begging to have his photo taken when I was working with Tessa this morning (he kept saying “HI!” and blowing kisses) so, although he and Beaker don’t have costumes, I snapped a couple of quick pics of them to share with you as well….


R.B. (short for Red Bird) our Green Wing Macaw



Beaker our Red Fronted Macaw

(he plucks some so he’s partially nekkid, but I still think he’s beautiful!)


So that’s our whole flock…yes we consider Tessa part of *the flock* since the birds were here loooong before her!  OK – I’m off to take her trick or treating.  LOL!