Starting Over – This is Long but hopefully worth the read!

Can we get real for a minute? Life is HARD! Sometimes life is harder than other times. The last 21+ months have been some of the hardest of my life. But at some point along the way I realized what I need to do to function and get by and slowly, ever so slowly, I came out of the fog and was able to start piecing together my life that felt like was crumbling all around me. In 2014, my hubby was diagnosed with psoriasis, age 28. Ok, we can deal with that but the Psoriatic Arthritis that accompanied it was not what we would have fun dealing with. When he was FINALLY diagnosed he had lost 35% of his jaw joint bone (essentially making opening his mouth rather painful), his neck was starting to stiffen and he had extreme shoulder  pain on top of the skin issues. Shortly before that we had found out we were expecting our 2nd baby with our oldest being a little older than 4. It was hard for me to help. I was sick all the time. ALL THE TIME. I was not sick the first time (I know counting my blessings). We dealt with it all pretty good, found a new normal until in August I was put on unexpected bedrest at 31 weeks along. I was having contractions pretty much 24/7. I ended up in labor and delivery a couple times a week (at least once but usually more). Heavenly Father knew that I couldn’t do it alone and sent my angel SIL to help for 4 1/2 weeks! She brought her two boys to UT from CA to help me with my 4 year old and house for 4 1/2 weeks. She stayed with my in-laws but would pick up my little boy every morning and take him to daycare most days and then come clean, make dinner, etc for me thru the day while I slept and crafted some.

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#PLSU that I made while on bedrest.

 

I managed to make it until 37 1/2 weeks before my water broke and only had to go 2 weeks without her here (my amazing MIL stepped in and helped when my SIL left) before our precious Brady Blaine joined our family.

 

I had a c-section and he had a bit of respiratory distress but over all it was a great delivery and we settled right into being a family of 4. We had a great few months and I returned to work in November and then the boys got sick and stayed sick pretty much all winter. The baby had RSV off and on and had to be deep suctioned SOOO much. The big boy was getting sinus infections and dad was in pain. We decided in January that Bubs (our now 5 year old) needed sinus surgery and his adenoids out and that has helped so much. Unbeknownst to me I had fallen into a deep postpartum depression. It lasted almost my baby’s whole first year. Mostly I think because the hubby was sick and the boys had been sick all winter, but I was tired. Work was really stressful as we were switching our payroll processing companies and I was working long hours and not sleeping well at all. I quit nursing at 7 months because it was just too much. I had quit ALL my craft classes after having to constantly cancel at the last minute for either another sickness or I just couldn’t get out of bed. Regardless, a very dark time. Brady stayed sick all summer with ear infection after ear infection until we finally had tubes placed in August.

The boys had birthday’s in September. Bubs started Kindergarten and I started to do better. Bubs was diagnosed ADHD about 4 weeks into Kinder (we knew we were most likely headed down that road) and finding the correct medication was terrible. It took us from Oct-Mar to find the right dosage of the correct medication that had the least amount of side effects with the most results.

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Boys birthday pictures!

Then November came and I tripped on the baby gate and fell down the stairs and broke my tailbone and beat up my arm right before we went on vacation for Thanksgiving where we were going off-roading the whole time.

AND then the boys got REALLY sick. And Brady stayed sick the whole winter, even being hospitalized with RSV in January. He’s since been diagnosed with asthma like his Big Brother which has helped keep him fairly healthy.


In February, the hubby and I escaped to Moab for a overnight getaway. And that was when I realized something had to change.

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I started crafting and swapping with this Art group on Facebook and realized that crafting and creating was my release. It helped me put up with the sick kids all the time, the sick hubby, the hubby in pain or the hubby not super happy – I mean who would be when you’re in pain all the time.

I’ve slowly crafted more and stamped more and I’m finally to a place where I can start my classes again. My blog will share all the ups and downs of the health of my family and how I cope thru crafting. It will be my sounding ground and I hope to help others that struggle with depression and/or chronic illnesses know that you can find a light in the bad and you really just have to take things one day at a time.

 

I wouldn’t change my family for anything and am so grateful for them. I’m grateful for the trials of the last 21+ months and am grateful for all I’ve learned. I’m grateful that I could find some peace and that I will continue to grow as a person and as a paper-crafter.

 

Much Love,

Cortney

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My Creative Entries

It’s really hard to pick your FAVORITE or BEST projects when you’re limited in the number of items you can submit. I would love this opportunity. So here are my creations.

 

The following banner is one of my favorite banners I’ve made. I combined the snowflake kit, the canvas banner kit and the add-on kit. I also make 3 extra rosettes. I added some bells to give it some more flair. I LOVE it!

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Some close-ups!

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Curled Ribbon Wreath – This wreath was so much fun to make and so so easy. I completed it – start to finish in one night (just a couple hours). You just take you bone folder and lots and lots of 3/4″ strips of paper and curl them and then you use straight pins to attach them to a foam wreath. So much fun. I gave this as the final gift in a secret sister holiday gift exchange at work – along with the fun banner below.

Christmas Curled Paper Wreath

I received a box of “FREEBIES” for participating in a contest…Now, I’m not remember which one 🙂 I got the stocking die and some paper and the embellishments and the sweater trim ribbon. I braided the ribbon to add a bit of detail to the banner. It turned out really fun!
Christmas Mini Banner

We do a Valentine’s Charity event at work to support a charity run by a board/committee of employees. The asked if I would make some Valentine’s cards to sell. I made these cards and made matching envelopes. The sold out in the first half hour of them being in there.
Valentine Pop Up Card

The group that I’m apart of prides itself in the quality of swaps that we do. We don’t really have to give guidelines to our swaps – we just say “Queens Standard”. This was the card I made to swap for our last gathering. It was actually chosen by my peers as the best card! I did CASE part of the idea from a card I saw on Pinterest but really stepped it up. If you click on the link you can see.
Gold Goddess

I wish I had a big/better picture of this card! I made this card for my hubby for Valentine’s this year. He is a VERY manly man. Likes to get his hands dirty working on projects in the garage, whether it be a truck, a wood working project, etc. It’s REALLY hard to make cards that don’t yell girly in some sort. This was what I came up with. He LOVED it and thought it was the best card I had ever made (because it was the most masculine).
I Freakin' Love You Card

 

This is one of my favorite scrapbook pages I’ve made. I made them for Convention Swap last year. I love it!

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A close up

 

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This is the matching card I made for that swap. Enjoy!

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