1.23.2012

Documented Collection!

It's CHA week and Simple Stories is revealing all their new products!  I love this time of year!  Documented is an amazing new mini album system similar in design and theory to their original Simple Stories concept, just on a smaller scale! 

Documented Album
Mini page protectors with divided sleeves are perfect for quick and easy page building --

PP

This and That pages are perfect for journaling or creating mini scrapbook pages -

Album Yearography Pages

Memorabilia Pockets are a fun way to save fliers, tickets, or special mementos:

Pockets 2

The best part is that you build it yourself!  Your album, journal, or mini book is all yours, it will never be like anyone else's!

Of course, Simple Stories is giving some of these goodies away today on their blog!  Be sure to head on over, learn more about this wonderful product, and comment for your chance to win!

1.22.2012

Almost Forgot!

I almost forgot that I had a chance to play in my art loft last week and I choose to work with the fun monthly sketch from My Mind's Eye.  Anam Stubbington created another fun one:

MME2012_sketch_layout01_Jan

I choose to play with my FUN DAY Kraft line that I can't seem to get enough of! 

After 25 years with David, every day still feels like NEW love!





Of course, I have new photos of baby William today:









Meet William Seamus Britt!



What an experience.  I can't even begin to describe the emotions in that 48 hour period.  But let me try:

Thursday evening, we got a call from Mike that Sarah was being induced 9 days before her due date due to slight hypertension.  Even though she new that this would make labor harder and possibly ruin her ability to go natural, she agreed.  In part because she knew that would guarantee me a chance to be at the birth.  For that sacrifice, I am forever grateful. 

We had planned to get some sleep and go to the hospital on Friday morning, but I was restless, couldn't sleep, and couldn't shake the feeling that I just needed to be there with her.  So off we went to the hospital just after midnight on Thursday evening.  The drive was amazing - 12-14 inches of packed snow and ice - the beauty was abundant and the drive was easy --- we arrived calm and excited!

After a quick check in with Sarah & Mike, we all tried to sleep knowing that the next day would come with lots of exhaustion.  Everyone catnapped except me --- to many things running through my brain.  Friday morning arrived quickly.

Sarah was doing great - still able to chat through the contractions, 3 cm dilated, and the oxytocin was continually being increased.  By 9am, the drug was at full strength and active labor had started.  Jordan, Erin, Mike & I were her team and we quickly fell into a smooth routine.  Sarah was amazing! 

By 12pm, Sarah's water had broken and contractions were intense. Things continued to get harder.  She is at 5cm.

By 2pm, she was still fighting through every contraction and  was at 6cm, almost.  They tapper off the oxytocin because normal labor has taken over.  Fighting to go natural.

Fast forward till about 5pm...exhaustion has set in --- still at only 6cm. Still fighting to go natural.

Fast forward till about 8pm...constant pain --- still at only 6cm.  Disappointment ---- time to start thinking about an epidural, but no one is talking about it yet.

At 9pm, I take a break and go to the bistro with David for soup and coffee.  Tell David how strong his baby girl is.  Tell David I couldn't be more proud of her.  Tell David that she needs help.  Tell David that I don't know how to bring up the subject of an epidural because she is so determined.  Tell David that Mike is amazing and the love in the room is intense.  Tell David that I am scared for her. 

Head back up to the room after a few prayers, still trying to figure out how to help my daughter.  Because after 24 hours, she can barely stand or hold her head up.  But the Lord intervenes.  I am greeted at the elevator by Jordan who tells me to get in the room.  Erin meets me in the hall and tells me to get in the room.  Why are they out here and not with Sarah?  I get to the room and the midwife and nurse are outside the door waiting for me.  What is going on? 

The midwife tells me that after 9 hours of hard labor, she has only progressed 1cm.  She tells me that Sarah need to rest and that she recommended an epidural for her.  Mike & Sarah are alone talking about it.  Sarah is distraught, she wants to go natural and doesn't want to give up even though she is not really able to labor any more.  She tells me to get labor progressing, she would have to up the oxytocin again and that Sarah would never be able to handle that.  The midwife tells me that I need to go in the room and convince them.  She tells me she doesn't recommend it lightly, that she believes it is the only thing to do. 

As I enter the room, tears are flowing and Mike is telling her how proud he is of her and how much he loves her.  Through tears, I tell her how proud I am of her and that she is amazing.  That she needs to do this for her baby -- and that she has given it every possible chance to work.  That it isn't her fault, that the induction made it impossible for her.  She reluctantly agrees and the midwife makes the order.

By 10pm, Sarah is resting and out of pain.  She has already jumped to 7cm.  Mike is smiling again.

By 11pm, Sarah is at 10cm, and they put her in a position to "labor down".  They make her sleep until she feels the pressure to push.  We all try to get some rest.  Okay, not all --- again, I am unable to sleep.

At 1:30, we all go back to the room, because she is ready.  She starts to push - she is amazing, excited, and strong.  She has renewed energy and within the hour, William joins the family.

Meet William Seamus Britt - 7lbs, 8.9 oz, 19.25 inches long:



So thankful for Cindy for the above photos!  Of course, I brought my camera to the hospital without the flash card in it and by the time I realized it, there was nothing I could do about it! 

After 6 hours of sleep and a fresh shower (boy did I need that - just check out my hair in that photo!), we were back at the hospital.












That is one loved little man! 

Mike & Sarah are already amazing parents and I learned a lot about their love in that 30 hour period.  Abundant, is all I can say.  The tears are flowing again as I type this - I am so thankful for being able to share this with them, so very thankful.  I am so thankful for the Lord and his faithfulness.  He is always there when we need him, and wow, did we need him.

Thank you to everyone who prayed, encouraged and thought of them!

1.20.2012

Simple Stories FAN Blog Hop!


This is such an exciting day!  The Design Team at Simple Stories is joining with 7 of our FACEBOOK fans for the first ever SIMPLE STORIES FAN BLOG HOP!  How were they choosen, you ask?  Well, they were the first 7 commenters on our FACEBOOK page announcement.  So, if you haven't "liked" Simple Stories on facebook, do it now!  You don't want to miss the next announcement because we plan on making this a regular feature and you could be one of our FAN Bloggers next time! 

There are amazing prizes to be had for both the hoppers and the FACEBOOK fans, so be sure to comment on all the blogs and especially on the Simple Stories Blog!

So, without further delay, here are the details:


BLOG HOP SCHEDULE:

1.            Simple Stories 

2.            Martha Saenz

3.            Simple Stories design team member,  Kim Holmes

4.            Amanda Albright

5.            Cindy Pittman

6.            SimpleStories design team member,  Emily Pitts   

7.            Sara O’Shea

8.            SimpleStories design team member,  Allison Landy 

9.            Kate Blue

10.         Simple Stories design team member, Wendy Morris 

11.          NaomiArmenta

12.          MichelleBrekke

13.          SimpleStories design team member, Liz Qualman 


What did you think of those announcements on the Simple Stories Blog?  Pretty exciting stuff!  I can't wait to share with you all the fun stuff we created with the new collections!  You are going to be amazed at the new products - SIMPLE AMAZED! 

But, until then, Year.o.Graphy continues to be one of my go to paper lines of ALL TIME!   The Simple Stories Year.o.graphy element cards make the cutest and simplest cards ever!  Here are a couple I created:

Year_6x6






But, the real project I wanted to share with you was created by my daughter, Jordan!  She joined me at a recent creative retreat weekend. She is getting married in May and wedding plans and preparations are in full swing.  Most of the weekend she spent working on different wedding projects, but before she got started she needed to have a planner.  She wanted something small and fun to document 2012, both before and after the big day.  So, I grabbed for my Year.o.graphy stash and she was in Heaven!  Just look at this cute planner that she created:





A piece of chipboard, some lined paper, a little twine and some stickers and paper and she had a cute little wedding planner!  I love how she stitched in little pockets to hold goodies that she finds throughout the year and this paper is perfect for the distressed edges that she added. 

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today and I know you are going to have so much fun hopping by all the other blogs too!  Don't forget to leave me & Jordan a comment here for a chance to win!  Every comment you leave on one of our blog hop stops will get you one step closer to winning some Simple Stories products! 



1.16.2012

California Adventure!

We took the younger kids to California for a few days last week and I am trying to sort through over 700 photos (most of which didn't turn out due to user error)!  However, there are still enough to tell our story:

We arrived into Orange County (John Wayne) airport at around noonish on Day 1:



After picking up our "cool" mini-van, we headed to the city of ORANGE.  This has to be one of my favorite cities in the U.S.  I love all the cute stores, the relaxed atmosphere and the great food!  Our first stop was lunch at the "BEACH PIT BBQ" - if you ever get a chance to eat there, DO IT!








Once our bellies were stuffed and happy, we started cruising the circle - first stop the BARBER shop for a hair cut for Luke.  I always cut the boys hair and they don't really know the good thing they have going.  Well, Luke does now.  We ran out of time to cut his hair before we left, so we left it up to the barber:



Take a look --- he is now very THANKFUL for the fact that I cut his hair and he doesn't have to go to the barber!  Okay, so, it isn't really that bad --- we restyled it to look more like Luke!

A coffee stop:


A rest in the middle of the circle:



We did a bunch of window shopping - Luke got dog tags at the Army-Navy Store - Chase got new shades - Jordan got an adorable new dress at a local boutique - Austin found fun birthday presents for Rachel - I got tons of new ideas at all the antique stores - and David got rewarded for his patience with cupcakes from:



After leaving Orange, we checked in at our hotel (absolutely nothing fancy!), dinned at SHAKEY'S for dinner (yummy!), and did a bit more shopping at the Garden Walk in Anaheim.  Turns out you get an extra 20% off on your birthday.  I may have taken advantage of that! 

That's it for day #1 --- even before we had gone to Disneyland our feet hurt!



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