Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Big Reveal!

Happy Thursday! …

ok … I have to admit … I'm not particularly happy this morning.  Actually I'm grumpy as hell … sooooooo freaking tired today.  The last 3 days in a row I've been awake between 3:30 and 4:30 am … and not going back to sleep.  Someone has a nightmare … the cat is after the gerbils … or, as was the case last night, my knees were KILLING me!  Yes my knees.  Spaz-girl here still has trouble walking and talking at the same time … was walking with a friend yesterday and caught my sandal on the 1 mm raised sidewalk block and down I went …. %(%^($%*!

I am WAY too old to be falling.  Argh!  Naturally once I got home I cleaned it up a bit … then posted it on Facebook to get lots of sympathy from my friends lol.

What REALLY freaked me out as I was "going down" was that I could have sprained my ankle … or broken my wrist … and THAT would have been bad!  Why?  Well … cause next week I'm going on a little trip.  Remember last week I mentioned I was working on something .. and that was motivating me to get all my pictures printed and in my Project Life albums?  Well … now the cat is out of the bag and I can tell you all about it!

My eldest, Rebecca, turned 13 on Monday.  For months, when we asked her "what would you like for our 13th birthday" she had a standard reply.  "Disneyland with Mom or a pug".  *lol*.  Well … to make a very VERY long story short Momma here made it happen.  Thanks to my family working together Rebecca is getting her wish and on Wednesday she and I are flying to Disneyland for 3 full days of awesome.  I'm SO freaking excited I could BURST!  Anyone who knows me knows I would happily got to Disneyland twice a year if I could.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it there!!!  My kids also love it there.  Craig … he'd rather stick pins in his eyes than step foot in the place ever again but me … well … to me it IS the happiest place on Earth.  This trip is SOOOOO much more than "just" going to Disneyland, though.  It is a dream I have had for about 3 years now.  I have looked SO forward to the day when I could take a trip with just each of my girls - just the two of us - alone.  Just me and Rebecca … just me and Alicia.

I know exactly how, and when, this dream came about.  It came from three people who very briefly, but very deeply, touched my life - Shirley, Carmela and Todd.  All three of these amazing people had children around the same age as mine.  All three of these amazing people loved their children beyond words.  All three of these amazing people lost their battles with cancer … and their deaths touched me in a very profound way.  I didn't know any of them terribly well … but well enough to know that they all fought their battles with dignity … and that they would have given ANYTHING to spend more time with their children.  2 1/2 years ago I quit smoking.  I had smoked for about 25 years.  I just stopped.  I thought about these three people and how there was nothing they could do to prevent the cancers they had (they all had different cancers).  I thought about how unfair it was.  I thought about having a conversation with MY kids one day … where I may have to tell them I had lung cancer … and yeah … I may have been able to have done something to prevent that .. but didn't.  I couldn't bear the thought of ever having that conversation … or of leaving my girls without a mother … and I quit smoking.

I also saw what these three people did before their passing … they took pictures with their kids … they worked on scrapbooks for their kids to look back on … and they took holidays with their kids when they were still healthy enough to do so.  I realized I wanted to do that.  No, thank God, I don't have cancer … but you never know what is around the corner … and we all take time for granted.  We don't MAKE time for what is truly important.  Making memories, spending time with the ones we love and just being happy.  That's when my dream of taking a one-on-one holiday with each of my girls was born.  I hope Shirley, Carmela and Todd are looking down and know the impact they had on so many people … the impact they had on ME … and are smiling :)

Rebecca is over the MOON with excitement!  It will be SO great for her to get away from her stresses and anxieties and just be ridiculously happy for 3 whole days!  Craig and Alicia will have loads of fun too!  Naturally I have spoiled Alicia with presents she will get while I'm away (books, a jar of candy, robot kits for her and Craig to put together, a sleepover with two of her best friends …).  It's just going to be so awesome for everyone on so many different levels.  Best.  Idea.  Ever!

Craig took a video of the "big reveal" but Alicia is very hard to hear so I won't bother posting it.  I WILL, however post a few screen shots … not the best pics but it's all I have (I like to "live" the moments and not watch them through a camera lens so never have too many good shots of moments like these!)
Alicia had made a scavenger hunt for Rebecca.  There were 4 clues hidden in envelopes - they were the letters WISH punched out in silver glimmer paper.  She had to rearrange the letters to spell the word.  Alicia then read a noted that told Rebecca we put all our love together to give her a magical wish for her birthday.  She had to close her eyes, make a wish and that the wish would come true.  (As I feared she made her standard wish that "my entire family would like forever" but Disneyland would have been her next wish lol)
 Above she opened the card that held the Disney tickets ...
 … and it's starting to sink in ...
… and I was SOOOO glad she hugged Alicia first.  Rebecca loves deeper than any person I have ever known … but she has resistance to telling Alicia that she loves her … or ever hugging her.  Today she gave her multiple hugs.  This shot makes me well up every time I look at it.  Just LOOK at Alicia's face!  That sweet girl was SO torn.  She is very jealous that she doesn't get her trip first … but she is SO happy for Rebecca.  She was so gracious about it all but I knew her heart was so sad :(
Rebecca was crying too - naturally my mom and I were a total mess!

 Another hug!!
Happy, happy teenager!

Oh!  Wanna see the card I made her?  Here it is …
Perfect!  I used the Balloon Celebration set for the strings (actually the strings are currently LOST (!!!) so I had to freehand them by tracking them with a marker on the case, turning it over and using the CASE like a stamp … then going over them with a Sharpie!  Guess I'm sifting through my 2 bbs of garbage soon *sigh*).  Then I just punched out balloons with the Balloon punch using my black, red and Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper.  Tied a piece of White Baker' Twine, attached it with a glue dot, stamped the perfect sentiment (from the retired "Word Play") and put it all together.  Rebecca later realized the red, black and white "tease".  Love it!

I think that's about all I wanted to share for now. I have a few other projects I'd like to post before we head off for our fun-filled holiday so pop in again soon!  I'm off to CAREFULLY walk the dog (can you imagine if I would have sprained my ankle yesterday???  Gah!  Disaster!!!).

Whatever you get up to today, make it a stampy one!!!




  1. Tamara, what a fabulous story... oh my gosh! ( How funny, too! I loved reading the choice for a pug as I've got my own Frankie!; lol)! Your story and photos are really great, I wish you the most magical trip EVER!!!! And I totally love your birthday card for her, too! TFS! (I hopped over from SC!)

    1. Thank you, Donna. Yes, I think I should just stay in bed for the next week just to be safe! lol. Stay tuned for all the pictures and stories. Gunna be amazing!