Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What a bad month....

I just found out this afternoon that one of my good friends, Tracy, passed away this morning totally unexpected. Her son found her. She was young...just a few years older than myself.

I've known her for years.....ummm...13 years I suppose. She took me in as a fledgling scrapbooker...they had just opened up the Scrapbook Hideaway. I worked for her and Gina and from that I grew such a huge respect for her. Such an amazing, strong woman with this HUGE love for her boys. They were her entire being. She was the mom that I've always wanted to be.

Throughout the years we became really good friends. She would always just hug me so hard everytime I saw her...I told her everything. We were the kind of friends that we could go a couple months without talking and when we did it was like yesterday...she was that comfortable. She always used to giggle and tell me I was just like her at that age...and I would always respond that I'm glad since it meant I would grow into an awesome person. :) She got me through some really tough times...always encouraging me and being there to support me.

The last few years we were really close and I remember getting one email where she told me that she was so thankful I was in her life and that she has always considered me one of her closest friends....which she could count on one hand. That was such a huge thing.

But I don't think anyone ever knew what good friends we were and at first I was really confused as to why. Then I's because we were never 'hang out' friends...we didn't go shopping (she didn't like shopping any more than I did!) we never caught a lunch together...we just talked and confided in one another. Sure we would get together from time to time and scrap but never did anything beyond that. We were working on our own theme song....our little inside joke.

About a month ago she emailed me and told me she was sorry she hadn't chatted in awhile but she was going through some health issues but was certain they had figured something out and it should get better from here on out. It freaked me and I called her that night. I left a message and never did hear from her. I called two more times...with no response. Then everything happened with my grama and I failed to call her again.

I wish I would have called her just one more time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

just a little update....

So I didn't get a picture of the church...but I do have one somewhere. It's such a beautiful church....sitting on top of a hill. You can see it from a mile away and it always gives me such a sense of peace. I'll dig up the picture I's so pretty.

The service was difficult....I cried hard. My uncle Vic just hugged me and whispered in my ear...I cried like you at my grama's funeral. For some reason that made everything okay. Oddly enough. My cousin Ryan and I just clung to each other and cried. And Eric as well. My brother had a really hard time too....but the rest of the kids were pretty much dry eyed. You could certainly tell which kids were the closest. I had pretty much cleared up my eyes walking back down the aisle until Joy Rasmussen grabbed my hand as I walked by. She was grama's friend..and I used to spend hours at her house playing while her and grama drank coffee and visited. When we moved...Joy and Gordon took my puppy for me so that Sooner had a place to grow up. :) All that history...all those familiar faces from the past. Watching my grampa take off his glasses to dry his eyes. Turning to look at Shawn and see his face streaming with tears...tears that came from my pain. It was just hard...very very hard. But no family drama for which I'm extremely grateful. I had bought some sidewalk chalk and these huge tubes of bubbles for the kids after the that kept them all entertained for awhile. It was really nice seeing all the family and I was able to get a picture of all the great grandkids together...although Tucker wasn't cooperating very well!! I had wanted one of the grandkids but that didn't happen...I should have just made it happen instead of letting it go unnoticed. Oh well. I'll post some pictures as soon as I figure out how to get them off of my new camera. :)

Long long drive. Quick weekend. And now I'm swamped with work..inventory. Good grief I hope things just slow down a little bit for me. The insane and I just haven't had time to do kids are officially out of socks and I'm down to my uncomfy underwear...not a good sign!! Tonight is Mathew's baseball practice...and Friday is inventory day for me at work. I've been working after I get Mathew from school and just feel so dang frazzled. The scrapbook store garage sale is Saturday and things are due in today and I still have things to price. *sigh* Wonder if I'll get it all done? Breathe Jenn...breathe. :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Well I'm off....

Leaving this afternoon after I get the boys from school/daycare and heading to Malta where we'll stay the night. I'm guessing we'll get there about 10ish tonight. Then in the morning we get up early and head to the farm. Grama's service is at 2pm. I will have to take a picture of the church that I grew up in. It's beautiful...the prettiest setting ever. It's an old fashioned (well it's been there forever) church with a steeple...white of course...and it sits atop a little hill. You can see the church from miles around (remember..this is NE Montana where it is very flat). And the farm is only a mile from the church. I've always loved just seeing it..the peace it gave me knowing that it's there...standing strong and proud against the big Montana sky. It will be nice to have the entire family there although I wish the circumstances were different....the last time we were all together was at grama and grampa's 50th wedding anniversary which was only days after Mathew was almost 8 years ago. Yup...they had been married for 57 years.

I created a couple layouts to display at the's been kinda struggle with the family because grama never liked her picture taken or to be the centre of attention. I'm sure the service will be short and sweet without those musical slideshows (which I hate because it just makes me cry that much longer and harder!). But we'll see. I have these two that I'm taking as well as one that I created a LONG time ago of their wedding photo (not my best work but was about 9 years ago!!).

(and yes...I hate to plug at a time like this but need to give credit that all supplies are from the May Sweet Pea Scraps kit)
Thanks for all the well wishes, thoughts and prayers that you all have given me!!

Monday, April 7, 2008


Apparently my grama is now a chicken. Yes...that's a joke. A bad one made by my mother. Around the same time when my grama passed away....the ranch where she was staying (which doubles as a horse ranch) had a mare that foaled WAY early. They name the foal Shirley Ann after grama. And my Uncle Vic (I will tell you the story in a moment) had a chicken hatch, also a the same time, 3 days early. So my mom's logic is that grama came back as a chicken. :) No we don't believe in reincarnation...but it WAS funny. Or maybe it was just my mood. Anyhow...when I type it all out and reread's just near as funny as it was at the moment. *sigh* Toldja it was a bad joke. Thanks to everyone who has given me so much support through this time. All the thoughts and prayers are so appreciated at this time. The funeral is Saturday and I'm SO thankful it won't be drug out for 6 months like originally thought. So that means we will have 24 hours of driving in 2 days. Fun stuff. My grandparents farm is in the VERY far NE corner of's a 12 hour drive from here...and STILL in Montana if that isn't crazy. :)

The Uncle Vic thing. :) My aunt's name is Vickie...and I guess when I was little I didn't like calling her aunt Vickie (my cousin ALWAYS did...he still does...calls all the girls aunt and their name...cracks me up)...I told her it didn't sound right. And it doesn't really when you say it out loud. So I started calling her Uncle Vic. That is what she goes by to this day. I'm 31 if that gives you a clue!! She STILL signs things Uncle Vic. :) With everyone's kinda funny. I think I should probably record that somewhere so generations down the line don't see Uncle Vic on a girl and wonder what the heck!!

So my weekend was REALLY nice. I cried a lot...and my eyes and head just ache. But the weekend was good...gave me really great time to grieve without the distraction of my kids etc. The retreat was AMAZING. The lodge is just fantastic and SO pretty. It snowed the entire time we were there. My friend Deanna and I sat near a window and it was just so pretty and peaceful. you are curious. GORGEOUS location..and the food. UGH...was amazing. I actually completed TWENTY FOUR pages!! I've never gotten that many done at a retreat so that was awesome as well!! I think it really helped that beforehand I picked pictures out with paper and put them in packets. So I didn't waste all that time looking for the perfect paper (you know what I'm talking about!!). I took 22 packets and only came home with 20. (some of the packets had more than one set of photos). So that was really great. I think I might start doing that again. AND...I was able to go through and get rid of MORE paper. (Yes...out of the KF paper holder I have...after I've already unloaded almost 400 sheets I have more that I don't think I'll ever use!!). But the local scrapbook store is having a 'garage sale' so I think I'll just take it all over there. Anyway..that's my story on that.

Friday my camera arrived. It's BEAUTIFUL!! Seriously I'm in love. Although it has so much info on the screen that I have no clue what it all means. I'm going to use that driving time to read the manual and figure the sucker out. I cannot wait!! I'll share some photos once I've gotten it all perfected. :)

Here's one of my 24 layouts...I forgot to do my Random Chaos challenge but luckily I did a layout that completed the challenge!!

Friday, April 4, 2008


my grama passed away with my mom and Uncle Vic by her side. I'm so thankful her two daughters were there for her....holding her hands and telling her she was loved. I'm thankful she's in heaven, in a body that is healthy...she's probably already up there painting or knitting dishrags. :) Gotta laugh through the tears....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Is it Friday yet???

I mean seriously?? UGH.

First I want to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has emailed/commented to me about my grama. Your kind words mean more than you know!! The hospice nurse thought that grama would pass away today...but she held on. A harpist came in late morning and played for her. My mom said that she could see her relax but she still wasn't ready to let go. Talked to my grampa and found out something I never knew....that my uncle Rory was grama's favorite...her pet, as grampa called him. He thought that she was holding on for him to come say goodbye...and today he did. Makes me cry some that I know about my grama's special bond with her son, that he arrived at 2:15 this afternoon and left at 4pm. He didn't even spend 2 hours with her. It just makes me sad. But...I'm no one to judge as I'm not there either. My mom is staying by her side again tonight...she says that if grama passes away she doesn't want her to be alone. This is so hard.

Auston woke up this morning....ran into my bathroom crying, and instantly threw up. He insisted on going to school though as his mom is mean and makes him stay in bed all day without any fun if he's sick. :) Got to work at 8:30 and at 9:00 I had a phone call from the school...apparently he didn't quite make it to the restroom. So off I trek back to Creston to pick him up. At 11am he happily informed me he was much better and ready to go to school. *rolls eyes* School gets out at 11:45. :)

Soooo.....since I didn't bring home any work...I proceeded to get ready for the retreat. I started with my paper and picked photos to match. I know..totally backwards but I have so much paper I've never thought maybe this would work??? I have, so far, 22 zippered baggies of paper, cardstock and matching photos. :) I only have a few bundles of photos left to baggie up and I'm done!! AND...through all of this I've decided I will PRINT out my photos right away instead of just dumping the memory card. That's another goal for the new year. I can't believe how many discs of photos I have that arent' scrapped. Now that makes me feel way behind!! So in the process I'm going through my paper, once again (remember I already unloaded 398 sheets!!) and will baggie up for the store garage sale. Then I have permission to buy some more. Alrighty...gonna finish picking up some stuff...tomorrow my truck will be loaded and ready to go. Cannot wait!