So I turned 35 years old today. 35. A point at which I am starting to be comfortable with myself. At which I have enough life to look back on and marvel at my blessings. And I spent today - and every day since Wednesday - here in Phoenix, AZ at the Creative Escape event. What a time!
I was shocked when Heidi Swapp called me and asked if I would teach this year. Especially when she said I would be offering a hybrid project that required the students to complete their homework in Photoshop before coming to the event. but the most surprising thing has been how many people actually tried it. If I didn't think this skill was worth it, I would never have asked them to try something so different. But we had a great time in the 6 classes working on our hybrid project and talking about why we scrapbook. I cried. No surprise there. And I met some amazing women. They are all amazing. Each of us just making our way, sometimes through darkness and tough times, but all with a love for telling our stories. I am a different person and a better teacher because I came to Creative Escape. As a weekend event it was unparalleled. Right down to the formal dinner we had this evening (I wore my new Fluevog heels and a sequin top I picked up at the mall last night), along with a charity auction to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. As the bidding began, I was moved to stand up and tell the crowd for one of the bids that would match the highest bid. My grandfather died in 1997 from non-hodgkins lymphoma, and it was in his memory. It then proceeded to rise to a winning bid for the item of $3000.00, which I am so happy about! We'll match the donation, and it is an honor to be part of such a cause.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, "to worthy causes and needy people, we can give time if we don't have money, and we can give love when our time runs out."

I am 35 today, and if I can't be hanging with my family, the best place on earth to be is with a crowd of scrapbookers, who love and celebrate the art of memory keeping, and whose energy and excitement shone through every minute. I love it. Love talking about our craft. Love answering questions about Photoshop, love the time of life I am in right now, feeling, like the wonderful 10,000 Maniacs song, "blessed and lucky, that you are touched by something"

Raising a glass of diet mt dew tonight, and spending a few extra minutes in grateful prayer to my loving God who gave me this life,