Monday morning after one of “those” weekends. You know the kind that leave you more stressed out than relaxed? Yeah. One of those. In fact, it’s been a hectic few weeks, with some major health concerns with my husband happening, trying to get to the bottom of that while also dealing with my own low energy due to adrenal fatigue.

Finally, I’d had enough and decided what I really, really wanted to do was to create something pretty. So that’s exactly what I did! I had this Basic Grey card kit that I’d been hoarding for a while, and when I finally got to sit down to scrap, it just seemed to catch my eye.

“That’ll be easy!” I thought. Well, if you’ve ever assembled a Basic Grey kit of any kind, you know that simple they are not, but I had the best time cutting and scoring and folding and putting this paper together with that. I just got to lose myself in the creative process for a while, and it was amazingly therapeutic.

Sometimes mojo’s just hard to find. Even if you have a handful of kick-butt prompts to guide you. Sometimes life’s just hard. When it is, give yourself a break from all the stress and worry. Sit down and play with pretty papers. See if it doesn’t make you feel profoundly better. I bet it will.

 8 great Basic Grey cards – that just so happen to fit this month’s color scheme perfectly! Do you agree?

Color Scheme

How do you get going again after one of “those” weeks? I’d love to know – please leave a comment below.

Dustin Doris Jen

Nephew Dustin, mother Doris, and niece Jennifer during happier times.

Today, my family said our final good-byes to my niece. She was my sister’s child – only 32 years old. We lost my mom about this same time five years ago. They both are pictured above, along with my nephew, who died in an accident 18 years ago. To say that these losses make the holiday season extra tough is to make a tremendous understatement.

I was on a podcast recently talking glibly about all the things I love about the Christmas season. I wasn’t being dishonest – I truly do love all those things. But this year, it’s just not jiving for me.

So, what about all my December Daily plans? What about all those cute foundation pages I made back in November? Well, I have a plan. See, I’m going to go back to school and celebrate with my third graders. And I will take photos. I will go to the family gatherings as planned, and, yes, I will take photos.

And come January, I will print them all 4×6 and slip them into those handy-dandy SN@P page protectors I somehow had the foresight to buy. I’ll add in a few of those adorable Simple Stories 3×4 cards, and I will call it good. My December Daily will become my December Maybe. And that will be good enough.

If you’re walking through something tough this holiday season, I just want to encourage you. Be as gentle with yourself as you would with a friend in the same situation. Give yourself lots of grace, and lots of “good enough.” Hugs to you.

And if your December is untouched by the troubles of this world, take a moment to remember those who, for whatever reasons, just aren’t feeling it this year. Give a smile, a kind word, a cup of hot chocolate. You never know when a simple act of kindness might be just the thing to turn around someone’s day. Hugs to you, too.

So that’s my plan for making lemonade this year. I’d love to hear about yours. Please share in the comments.

At the beginning of this sometimes hectic, sometimes stressful, but hopefully joyful holiday season, I’d just like to take a moment to express my gratitude for you, my readers.

Thank you for stopping by, leaving comments, and allowing me to share my creativity in this way. Thank you for sharing yours with me, as well. I am always humbled and blown away when a reader takes the time to share a project or inspiration with me – it makes me feel all kinds of happy knowing we can connect through something as simple as our pages and projects. Creatives are truly some of the most generous and inspiring people, and I am so lucky to have developed relationships with so many of you.

I appreciate each and every one of you, and I wish you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. 🙂


You may have noticed that things have slowed down around here this summer. Or maybe you haven’t noticed at all. I’m not actually sure which is worse…

At any rate, it’s because all summer long, I’ve felt like I’ve been trying to wade through molasses. Usually, it takes me about a week after school lets out to bounce back and be ready to take on summer adventures. But this summer I never have bounced back. I’ve felt sad, tired, and the entire gamut of emotions between those two.

I finally put together that something wasn’t right – could it be the early stages of the change of life? So I decided to visit a new doctor, one who practices a slightly different type of medicine. I’m not sure if holistic is the accurate word, but she does an extensive blood panel before the first visit, and then uses that to inform decisions about which medications and supplements a person needs. I’d used a doctor like her in the past, and credit him for bringing me out of a hypothyroid, B-vitamin deficient slump several years ago.

Anyway, long story short, she hit me with some news I wasn’t quite expecting. My DHEA levels were super-low, and my D-vitamin was, in her words, “tragically low.” Which all means that I’m stressed out, I don’t get nearly enough sun, and to top it all off, the symptoms I’m experiencing mean that my hypothyroidism has developed into Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Or the other way around. I’m not sure which came first. Bottom line, quoting her again, “Start saying no. Tell them your doctor says you can’t take on anything else until you get this under control.”

The problem with that? I’m my own worst stress inducer. I’m the one I have to start saying “no” to. And that’s really hard, because I seem to *need* to always have several irons in the fire. Take this website, for example. I’ve been working my tushie off trying to get it “up and running,” though I’m still not sure what that should look like, while working my full-time job. Something’s got to give.

So you may notice things slowing down a bit more than they have been around here. For example, I’ve been trying my darnedest to get the July workshop kit ready. I still need to finish the PDF instructions for the layout kit and the card kit, and I’m working on a video for the first time ever to go along with the layout kit . Next week I’ll be in Atlanta for the CHA PaperArts show, so you know what? July’s kit will have to become August’s kit. And that’s ok. It will have to be.

The good news is – this condition is treatable. I WILL feel better at some point. I WILL regain my energy and spark. But it’s going to take time, and I’m going to have to learn a new system of self-care. I hope you’ll stick around with me while I do that. There are great things in store, just you wait and see.