The past month has been crazy and awesome and crazy and sad and crazy and filled with change, and also - crazy.
Our dear friend and my children’s longtime babysitter passed away suddenly at the end of April, which I think was the beginning of the month of craze. It was my little family’s first experience with the death of someone close, and so there have been lots of discussions about why Ms. Linda isn’t coming anymore, where she has gone, whether she lives in space (from Elliott), and where heaven is, exactly - is it in space? (from Elliott again). She will be so greatly missed.
We attended the visitation with our children, and so many of Linda’s friends came up to them (not us), and asked if they were the ones Linda “kept”. They recognized them, because Linda always showed them photos of “her children” and talked about them all the time. The casket was closed, but they had a lovely portrait of Linda surrounded by flowers. We held each kid up so they could look at her photo and say what they wanted to say to her.
Rowen said, “Bye, Ms. Linda! You were my best BEST babysitter!” And she kissed her picture on the cheek.
Elliott said, “Bye, Ms. Linda. Thank you for making me all those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” And another kiss. And yes, I totally lost it at that point.
She was a huge part of our lives for the entire time we have lived in North Carolina, and so many spots in our house hold memories of her. She was kind and gentle, generous and patient, and she loved my kids like they were her own grandkids. I will honor her forever for that.
The day after the visitation, the kids wanted to send a balloon. They have written notes on balloons a few times before, and sent them “to the sky angels” to read. So on the way to the visitation, Rowen asked if we could write Ms. Linda a note on a balloon so the sky angels could take it to her. It was a wonderful way to make sure that Ms. Linda knew how much they loved her.
The interesting part about this is that we weren’t left alone for childcare. Just two days before she passed, I had talked on the phone with a friend who is home from college for the summer, and she was looking for work as a sitter. So it all came together beautifully, and the transition has been as smooth as possible.
The first week of May I officially hired a Managing Partner, Jen Warneke, to run the business-side of JessicaSprague.com. I am so excited to be able to offload all the businessy stuff to someone who’ll be so good at it, and be able to focus on the creative side. :)
The second week of May I went out to Phoenix for the weekend to attend the Creative Escape Preview, at which all the CE teachers present their classes, and we iron out any issues we might find. My hybrid class is the first of its kind at Creative Escape, and I’m looking forward to it, although a little nervous. Meeting Heidi Swapp, Claudine Hellmuth, Teresa Collins, and the other teachers was a lot of fun, too!
Came back and I truly have no idea where the entire next week went, and then we started the Art of Digital Design class and I blinked, and it’s Saturday before Memorial Day. Spring? Where? It feels like it should still be early April, doesn’t it?
That’s what my blog says, anyway. I’ll still be totally surprised when I post this and it says May 29 on it.
Last Friday, May 21 was Elliott’s last day of preschool. I went to pick him up just like I have done with one or the other kid for three years now, took a photo of Elliott with his teacher Ms. Pattie, put him in the car and burst into tears. :( In just three months, Elliott will be starting kindergarten. In just a few days he’ll be five years old - 5! no longer a little boy but a big boy. And I feel that same kind of bittersweetness of being a mama that I felt when I registered Rowen for kindergarten. Little ones - my littlest one - don’t stay that way.
Jen and I met this last week with the folks who’ll be making our booth for our Very First Trade Show Event, the Craft SuperShow in Chicago! It’s the consumer event that follows the CHA trade show, where crafters from all over can come and do tons of make-and-takes, buy stuff, go to classes and crops, etc., and we’re presenting for the first time. I’m so excited! It feels weird and cool that our name is on the floorplan for the show, right across the aisle from Michael’s. :) The Craft SuperShow is the very last weekend in July in Rosemont, IL. Incidentally we are having Spraguefest right then, too - here is more info on both!
Oh, also this week I participated in a discussion over at Paperclipping.com called the Roundtable. We talk quite a bit about Stories and the storytelling approach to scrapbooking. Check it out right over here.
This month has definitely been one of change, in so many ways. Of growth and renewal, of refocusing, of grieving, of meeting wonderful new friends and feeling the true strength of old ones, of watching almost before my eyes, my children grow, of trying to remember and work on what is needful, and above all, to see how incredibly, amazingly blessed I am. I have been shown again that God knows my name, and that despite the vastness of the universe (which I know more about, thanks to Elliott and his YouTube videos), there is a Great God whose benevolence, whose personal-ness, and whose love surpass all.
I have photos and other items, but just wanted to catch up on the big stuff as I start again. :)