Sunday, August 31, 2008

~Missing Ian~

I still can't believe that Ian is gone. Everytime I think about it...I get that sick feeling deep in my gut. That feeling of when you think of your child being hurt or killed...that feeling that you wake up in the middle of the night after having a nightmare about your child being harmed...that sick feeling that you force to go away.... You know that one that I am talking about...
Well, I get that. Not anywhere near where my in-laws get it....but I have it to. I didn't really feel maternal towards Ian..but I did feel like a big sister. I miss him.
Ian was a gentle soul. Really, he was. Sensitive, loving and kind. If you pulled up in driveway, he was the first one out there helping you unload your stuff...makes me teary just thinking about it.
He loved his nieces and they loved him back.

I just can't believe that he is's so final. I miss him so much. Deb and Scott are missing him horribly. How do you get through this? Time, I guess.
When we went up there for the Memorial and funeral...I couldn't sleep in his bed. I couldn't...I slept on the couch and an air mattress. Derek couldn't do it either. While we are old and don't do so well not sleeping in a bed anymore...we couldn't bring ourselves to sleep in his room. Then a couple of days before we left...I didn't see Derek anywhere. I went upstairs to check on him..and he was wrapped in a tight ball in Ian's blankets on his bed asleep. I wanted to touch him...or wake him up and snuggle with him...but I felt like he needed this time to be as close to Ian as he could, without me there. So I left him. He slept all night in Ian's bed and then he slept there the next night too.
Last time I went up there (they live just over an hour from us) I did sleep in Ian's bed. It was much more comfy than the couch. It felt weird...his room is SO him....all his stuff, movies, video games, clothes hanging in the closet...little special things from his brothers hanging on the wall...the big Polish flag hanging over his bed....I felt him but not his presence. Does that make sense? I was OK.

My heart is heavy this morning. It really is. I wish I could be right by Debbie and give her a big hug. She's very sad this morning. Love that woman, she's one of my best friends. She's wise and kind. I always know that I can go to her for advice. She thinks about what she says and always gives you such honest good advice. I love my Mother-in-law, alot. I'm a lucky girl.
Hannah was listening to Carrie Underwood the other day (her absolute most favorite singer ever...) and she was singing her favorite song. It's called Jesus take the Wheel (It will play for you-2nd song on my playlist)...any way it's about a girl that is driving and loses control of her car and slides off the road....and my little sweet Hannah just started crying her eyes out. It made her think of Ian and the crash...and losing him. She was so sad. I hugged her for a long time. She loved Ian alot. He has always been there. Always. I hope her little heart heals eventually.
Anyway...just needed to write today. I'm not sure if it made me feel better. Anyway, Ian I miss you. I miss you alot. Our family is crushed but if it makes you feel any better we have pulled together as a strong unified unit. We are dealing with your loss together. I love you. Please tell my brother hi for me!
Love, Katie

Saturday, August 30, 2008

~The Perfect One~ New October Afternoon

I Love, Love, Love October Afternoon. Their booth was right by ours (Maya Road) at CHA summer. It killed me to not go over there every spare second...I think I just wanted to lay flat on their floor and say, "I'm NOT moving until you give me some product!!" Lo and Behold....I DID get my hands on some though....Oh and did I tell you that I LOVE October Afternoon?
So....I worked with the Hometown and WeatherVane lines....I could just eat them...that's how pretty they are!
Here is what I created.

OK, now to talk about the new Maya Maya Road. Let me just tell you this...AWESOME!! Seriously, they are awesome. I have some cool things that I have done with them. I'll save that for another post...but on this layout, if you look at the vintage music will see the brown mist. It's such a cool look. It dries in seconds. Love it. It kind of adds a vintage artsy look.
I also used some Jenni Bowlin labels (new product), Carolees tiny aqua letters, vintage music sheet, blue roses (remember my big thrift store flower find? These are straight from the Goodwill!), scalloped border by Pink Paislee, brown gingham by SEI (dog paper line), brown scalloped ricrac by Maya Road and some crepe paper. Well, enough blabbing! Thanks for looking and I hope you have a great day!!

Oh yeah...I forgot to tell you all...Maddy gave her own bangs a little trim for this picture....they were AWFUL...the wind is blowing her hair in this picture so they don't look AS bad...but those bangs took like 6 months to grow back in...WHEW, that Maddy!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

~Blog Awards~

My good friend Wendy Vecchi chose me as one of her 7 blog choices...I don't know if I should thank her or cut her off :) but now what I get to do is post my favorite 7 blogs. Here are the instructions pulled off Mrs. Vecchi's blog
This award is for blogs you really like to visit. As most of the awards go, you are to nominate seven blogs with their blog links, email them, post this award on your blog with the link going back to the person who awards you the award, and then they nominate or award seven blogs.
so here goes......

1) Vintage Girl at Heart - this is my new friend Sharron Sudhoff . I haven't known her very long but she's one of those people that you feel like you've known forever. I love her blog because she is down to earth, real and shows lots of shabby pretty things! Plus if you want to go bloghopping, she has a huge list of great blogs to click on!
2)Create Something Today by a super talented girl named Karla. I don't even know her last name and have never met her but her blog is such a good read. I emailed a link to a friend of her blog and said, " this girl just has something special about her" and she does...She seems like the type of person that I could be good friends with. Oh and not to mention....she is WICKED talented! Really amazing!
3) Just Me and My two little chicks by Stephanie Howell . She has a way with words...short and simple but they pack a punch. She's also an amazing scrapbooker. She loves vintage just like me and her hubby is gone for military duty...just like mine. Gotta love a girl like that!
4)Pamela Garrison Seriously, Need I say more? Really, just check out her super inspiring work. Eye candy.
5)The Pink Paislee Blog OK, I know that this isn't one's a group of people..owners, designers, product designer etc....but man does Pink Paislee keep up with great posts. The DT takes turns doing the they are always fresh, inspiring and easy on the eyes!!
6)Anabelle O'Malley - love her work also. She is a talented gal. But she is also super sweet and I like that about her! She is on the Pink Paislee team with me and she is also a new MMM, congrats to her!!
7) Last but not least....All Things Pink by Holly McCaig. Holly is the designer behind Pink Paislee. She has also done work for Bo-Bunny and had her own line of stamps. She is amazingly talented...really a genious when it comes to photography and design. I think she is very "behind the scenes" and doesn't get the recognition that she should....she is very nice and also a person that I feel I could be friends with easily. Wish I lived closer to her! Anyway, she is funny and charming and "real" (which I appreciate so much)and so talented!

Well that's it for my I gotta let them all know that I have nominated them...which then means they have to nominate 7 we can all blog hop for days!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

~Hey, remember those Goodwill Roses??~

Well, I did my blog project for Pink Paislee using them (a tiny sneak of the top of my project posted above!).....pretty cool stuff! I started a mini-album for my blog post but didn't get the inside all that will have to wait! But here is the link to the Pink Paislee blog...and scroll down because there are some pretty projects done by other DT members! Pink Paislee Blog

Monday, August 25, 2008

~My sweet little Cupcake~

Sorry out for can see it in the March issue of Scrapbook Trends!

Monday, August 18, 2008

~Vintage Purse album~ My 7Gypsies CHA booth project...all about my Grandma Montana

I did this chipboard purse for 7Gypsies. I don't get it back and so I thought I would post it here on my blog so that I can look at it anytime I want to.

My great-grandma was named Montana. I love that name....she was the first child born to my gggrandparents in America. They moved to Montana, which is where she was born. I wish I had known about her when I had my kids....I would SO have a little girl running around named Montana. It would have to have been Hannah...cause she has a sweet and gentle soul like Montana was said to have.....ha funny, Hannah Montana....

Anyway, this is all 7Gypsies product with some vintage pieces thrown in for good measure!! The pictures are NOT in html codes are all in one big chunk...and I'm too lazy to figure out each wrong order, I'm sure you'll survive the chaos!! Thanks for looking!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

~Everything is coming up Roses~

Wow!! All I can say right now is WOW!! Back to school shopping sucks.......bad...with a testy teen and two impatient girls.....not the best shoppers....but today was worth it all! We walked into my local Goodwill (I find the BEST treasures there) looking for some men's plaid shirts for Cory (he loves vintage plaid) and saw pink roses everywhere......I couldn't get my cart over there fast enough...anyway, each bunch of these pink roses was 99cents....but even better, I get a 10% military 90cents each....!! 5 stems on each bunch but tons of flowers on each stem!!

I bought a lot...but didn't buy them out....but may go back. When you teach at your LSS....good buys like this MAKE a class!! Don't know what I'll do, if anything...but just in case!!
Anyway....the weird thing is that I have been looking for roses like this. I am always inspired by artists who use the vintage looking flowers...the kind that you would picture on your Grandma's floppy summer hat.
Last night I stayed up late and looked at blog after blog of vintage Carolyn Peeler
(which by the way inspired me to buy the book listed on the right hand side of her blog...Postmark L.A. , which is a totally fun little book, I got it the other day in the mail), Bibbi , Rebecca Sower, Ranjini and other random blogs....... and I kept thinking about where I could get some roses.... I went to the Prima site and looked on there but no luck....and then today just happened into these roses!!! Hmmm.....makes you think about the path that you take each day and if it's destined or not... which I've been thinking about alot lately....destiny or just random luck or bad luck....but today, I'm happy...cause I finally have ROSES!!

Maddy insisting on being in the picture but blowing a bubble at the same time! Silly girl!!
They also had a ton of these kind of roses.....a TON of them...

Just wanted to share my lucky day with you all!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

~Back from the Beach~

~ For the 2nd summer in a row, we stayed up at the Marine base in Oceanside on the beach. They rent little cottages for 4 days at a time. My in-laws got a hotel right off base and spent the first few days with us. The kids had a blast. It was good to get Deb and Scott away from the house but I think it was hard....last summer Ian was with us and I think they were reminded of that frequently. Here are a few pictures that I wanted to share.

This is the girls and their second cousin LeAnn. They had so much fun being pals.

Here's Cory....KING of the waves.....scared me a bit....big strong crashing waves...but I guess it's a guy thing!

Deb and Scott....snuck this photo of them...Deb hates having her picture taken...especially right now. She's not much in the mood for posing.... They just looked so "real" looking out at the ocean. Grief is silent.
Have a great day!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

~Guest Designer at Patti's Sketch Site~ ~Just in case you want to check it out! I did feel a little creatively blocked this last week.....but finished these 3 projects based on Patti's lovely sketches.... She's a sweet gal with even sweeter sketches! Take a look!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

~Ode to the Blue Chair~

You see.....even weird blue Goodwill chairs have major potential. I just couldn't pass up this chair at the Goodwill....$30 minus 10% for my military ID. However I did pass it up.....and then came home and thought about it....dreamed about it....and went back and bought it.
This is my son, Cory...he is a guitar playing 17 year old....I thought it would be cool to get pictures of him in this odd chair in different places....mountains, actually this is on Deb and Scott's week it's the beach...when the first snowfall hits...then the blue chair is making another road trip. It is a cool thing to do...and fun.
I did a bad job editing this photo...I need the help of a person who actually owns photoshop to help...but for now this will do.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


OK, so this is a random thought scrappy stuff...just questions??
Let me give you a little background.....I lost my brother when he was 19. He had Muscular Dystrophy and some other medical issues. He wasn't supposed to die young though....He didn't (questioning this now) have the form of MD that made you die it was a shock. My brother's name was Ben. I was 21 when he died. He died at a friends house...he called my Mom in the middle of the night...and said he couldn't sleep...he just couldn't get comfortable. They told each other "I love you"....then the next morning...he was gone. Trauma...BIG flight etc...
So...I marry age 27. He has 2 brothers...Jake and Ian. So eventually Jake meets Chandra. She has been in our lives for 8 years (Myself, Derek and the kids)....and then her only brother gets a brain tumor...and dies at age 24. Jake and Chandra get married....
Are you following me here? So now the 2 wives have lost our only brothers....and now now BOTH of our husbands have lost a brother at age 19..
Do you think this is weird?? Were we meant to be with these guys to guide them through this process? Now all 4 of us have lost our brothers.
So, then I look at this ...and it's this horrible deja vu...Cause now I question heaven...and how could someone be here and then just NOT here. What happens when people die? How does it work?
I know that nobody can answer these questions...and TRUST kids are asking me...and I don't know what to say.. I'm trying. Really I am. But I just feel my chest crushing...and I give a lame, OH....Heaven is peaceful and the guys are just hanging out up there listening to Bob Marley...and watching us down here struggling with daily life...
My girls keep writing him notes....they are everywhere in my house. They are stuck to my fridge with magnets....and I wonder, can Ian hear the messages? Or did he just end when he was killed?
And why? WHY this family? You see, Ian's death is different....cause the thing is that I found peace with Ben's death. It was his time (or so I convinced myself)...and he was whole again....and happy. For Chandra, losing her brother is still pretty fresh and I honestly don't know where she is at with it....sad, I know..but we've been away for a long time. Now we live in the same city but don't get to see each other much...but that's a whole different story...
OK, back on track for Ian, it's different...cause he was "killed"...being killed and dying are 2 different things.
Why the "HELL" was this guy on the road? 2 people are dead because of his decision to drive that night. When we saw him in court on Friday...he just stared at us....with this blank weird look. No compassion for this grieving family. Just weird...flat. Why is that? Does he know what he did? I don't get it.
He pleaded "not guilty"...what the heck is that all about? He was almost double the legal limit....and his skid marks start way before Ian even got to that horrible spot on the road. They go into the other lane, back to his lane and then a hard left turn right into Ian's car.
SO now this guy has a know what? Just take responsibility and just say, "I did it..." Why do people NEVER take responsibility for what they's a blame game all the time.
I'm not worried that this guy won't get convicted..His bail is $400K. He has a suspended license and like 14 "failure to appear" and other traffic violations...the judge tacked on $500 for each of them...there were people at the scene that saw him...etc....hard facts...but I just don't want my in-laws and brother-in-law to be dragged through this. Derek is back on his ship..and gets back at the end of his only access to the trial is email with us....but he'll be dragged in NOT want this for my family.
I honestly love my husbands family so deeply. They are the kind of people that DO not judge..they just accept. They are loving to everybody. They really are special people. It's a pure love. Really. So, I ache so much for them. I don't know what to do...I just want to wrap my arms around them and take it all away.
You know...I remember when I was little...we lived in Florida (yep, my Dad was a Navy pilot also)...and I shared a room with my sister. I was a night owl...for real...My bed was right next to the window. I would lay awake for hours...hours and hours. I would look at the stars and wish. I would wish that God would take my brothers illnesses and pass some of them on to me and Jodi (my sister)...that we would all just be a little "sick" he wouldn't be the "only one". I also blessed my dog...the neighbors...I would pray for World peace and for all the starving people in Africa. The normal prayers I guess...except for the ones for Ben.
So, I now feel that same I just want to absorb this pain...but don't know how.
I'm sorry for all this rambling...Something is wrong with me tonight....I just feel ancy and I can't sleep....I miss my husband so much...and I ache for my kids because they miss him so much too...and I'm just not sure what I am supposed to do with all this....I guess just process it...and take it minute by minute.
Any advice would be so great. Please don't think I'm crazy...with all this rambling....Really, I'm just a frumpy stay at home Navy wife..who likes to scrapbook and collect vintage stuff....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

~To God....Love, Maddy~

The girls are dealing with Ian's death pretty well considering that he was their favorite uncle (don't take it personally Jake, Ian is way cooler then you!! :) )....they understand that he is gone. I don't know how much they get of the situation though. Anyway, Maddy (she's 6) brought this note to God down to me the other made me cry. Remember, she's I'll translate for you.

God, Please Take Care of my Uncle. He has a great soul. He was 19. He is very handsome. Please, please take good care of him.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

~Saying Hello and Goodbye~

Well, what a week. Not only a busy one but a very emotional and sad one too. I have so many updates and so much to say....but time is an issue, as usual. So, I'll just update on the important ones today...

First, Derek got home last Friday (our 10 year wedding anniversary). He traveled halfway across the world to come home. The reunion was bittersweet. We were so excited to see him, as he was 2 1/2 months into his deployment....but his reason for returning was so sad. The girls were beside themselves to see Daddy...he got in about noon, looking tired, heartbroken and sick. He did manage a smile for the girls and put up a brave face.
We came home and let him sleep for a bit. We held off on going to his Mom's house for the night as he needed some time to catch up with everything...time change, details, looking for pictures, packing, spending time with the girls and grieving.

We went up to my in-laws house on Saturday. Derek stayed up half the night and went through boxes of pictures trying to find pictures of Ian. He scanned a bunch and uploaded them to Shutterfly. We went and picked them up at Target to take to Debbie and Scott. So hard to look at those pictures with all those memories and think for one second that Ian is just doesn't seem real or make any sense. How could someone so sweet and so alive, be gone like that?

This photo was taken by my other BIL at Derek's going away party. So it's the last time Derek saw Ian about 2 1/2 months ago. Ian Kinney, age 19. We had the memorial service on Sunday, up in Julian (the mountain town outside of San Diego where my husbands family lives and where he grew up). It was a beautiful service. About 450 people showed up to honor Ian. It was a very emotional time for all of us. Family friends, relatives, theater friends, Ian's friends and schoolmates showed up. The townspeople brought food by the truck load. When the service was over we wrote messages to Ian on notecards tied to white helium balloons. All at once we let them go. The sun was reflecting off the white so it was a heavenly sight. I hope he got all the messages.

The family had a private service on Friday. Just my in-laws, Debbie and Scott, Jake ( middle brother) and his wife Chandra, Derek and I and Cory, my 17 year old son (Derek has been his stepdad since he was 7 and he and Ian were buddies). We buried him in the town cemetary. It's a small town pioneer cemetary that overlooks town. It's really quite beautiful and he's buried in the town he grew up in. The wild turkeys were running through and a blue jay was watching us from a surrounding fence. Peaceful and serene. Exactly as a cememtary should be, I suppose. Derek and Jake shoveled the earth on top of his urn. I guess in small towns, they let you do what you need to do to make yourself feel better. It was good for both of them to be able to do that for Ian.
Debbie and Scott picked out a few things to bury with Ian. He was a blankie boy...oh man, do I have some good blankie stories with him....but once he gave up the blankie, he attached to a pillow...that went everywhere with him....for the last 9 years, that pillow has been all over the country on visits to us, to Mexico, to Ireland and to countless friends and families it seemed right to place the pillow inside the earth under Ian's urn. He will forever rest on that pillow now. The boys (OK, men) put some special things inside the urn with him. Derek had bought some little things for Ian on his deployment that he would have given to him when he got home...he put those with Ian. His high school graduation tassle, some pictures and a few other odds and ends went with him. The monkey did end up staying out...we ran out of room quickly.

When the headstone comes in, I will take the girls up there to say goodbye again. We didn't take them to the funeral, as they are just little girls. They were at the memorial service though. It was just too much for the adults to handle...add in 2 little silly girls and it would have been way too much. We wanted to be able to mourn without worrying about making the girls upset.
Well, that's it for now.....Oh trust me...I have WAY more to say...but bedtime is approaching and I got up at 3:30am to take Derek to the I'm wiped and a bit emotional...and need to go to sleep.
We had a court hearing yesterday morning....I'll tell you all about it in the next couple of days.....
Thanks for all your kind comments and supportive messages. There are a few of you out there that sent cards and helped out alot. You know who you are, and know that from the bottom of my heart..that I thank you.