Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holid-- Nope - I actually MEAN Merry Christmas!

I don't know if you have noticed this where YOU live... but I have been noticing how shockingly FEW times I have heard someone say Merry Christmas to me. It's been so few times actually - that I am surprised when I DO hear it! Happy Holidays is safe and that has been spoken out often... but it is so vague. Sure - it includes all the 'winter holidays' but, especially in retail - what they are REALLY hoping we are celebrating is Christmas! While I have been known to light a few Hanukkah candles, and I admit that I have no idea what Kwanzaa even really is - I think most of us, even non-Christ followers at large - are comfortable celebrating Christmas in general. I saw a photo posted on facebook the other day in the same vein as those Black billboards with 'messages from God'... it was bright red and it said:

"I miss hearing Merry Christmas." ~Jesus

EXACTLY what I was thinking!!! So - whether you celebrate the Christs birth - or simply the message of peace and love during this season, I boldly say, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


And because you KNOW I can't not post some pictures - here are a few more layouts that have helped to get me once again all caught up!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Busy, busy, busy - so that now - I can Enjoy!!!

It's true... If you have been a friend here at Blessed Memories for any amount of time - you know that I set a 'deadline' for myself to get all things Christmas done by December 10th every year, and almost every year - I make it! Sure - it means that there will be those last few hectic stressful crazy full days right before the 10th arrives - but usually it results in having 2 FULL WEEKS before Christmas to actually be able to chill, unwind, and truly enjoy the holiday season!

This year was no different! Well - maybe a LITTLE different... but I made it! I actually had a few Stocking Stuffer items to get yesterday and so now I am really truly DONE done! No more stores for me! It feels so great! What was different this year was I skipped (gasp inserted here!) the handmade cards and went over to the dark side... yes - it's true... I took the printed photo card approach! I did, however, design the card myself digitally and uploaded it so it IS custom, one of a kind... but it saved us so much time and money... I am hoping next year to get back to making at least SOME of the cards by hand! I did participate in a fun Christmas Tag Swap... I know? Me? A swap? It is a rare rare occasion - but I am so glad that I did it!

Here are a few of the fun tags that I made for the Swap:

Here are a few more Digi LOs I have done... and no - I am no longer 'caught up' but have some fun pictures to scrap from November and December! Maybe tomorrow I will get to enjoy some Scrapping time!?

And, as mentioned, I skipped the individually handmade card route - and uploaded a Christmas Photocard. Here is that card, along with our family Christmas letter!

Happy Holidays 2011

This year we have pulled out Christmas decorations little by little over time, but yesterday we finally finished. As I sit down to write this letter, I must admit – it’s not ‘feeling’ a lot like Christmas to me! Even with the lights on & the presents wrapped, rereading our letters from years past, & the background music of ‘O Holy Night’… the sun is brightly shining – not the stars so much – & it just hasn’t felt like Christmas. This truth got me to thinking of the reality of the Kingdom that is near… even when we don’t FEEL it! I know by looking at the calendar (& all around me) that Christmas is, in fact, upon us & it will do me no good to pretend otherwise! In the same way – while we may focus on politics, world events, health, relational issues, the economy –the list can go on & on – the reality that the Kingdom of God is at hand does not change – and it does us no good to ignore it! We may not ‘feel’ it or see it – but the fact is, it is there – so thinly veiled from our own world – ready for us to reach through & grab hold of… to pull Heaven to earth & share the Love that truly makes Christmas time feel like Christmas! Now, all of the sudden, I am feeling a little bit Christmassy! The very heart of what we celebrate at Christmas time is the extravagant, abundant, incredible Love of God… a simple shift in our perspective can set our minds at rest & loose our hearts to sing! Jesus walked among man & saw the stress & worries that this life can throw at us. He never once discounted the validity of our emotions – however He constantly lifts our heads & calls us to look up… to see Him, and see things from His perspective. Rest in knowing that He is good & that He is for you. Whether you feel it or not – He loves you & the Kingdom of Heaven is nearer than you think! Reach out… grab hold… & share the Love!

Last year I wrote all about how we were anticipating Change… how we longed for it not even knowing what it was that we wanted to be different… & while many things remain the same – many changes have begun! The New Year brought the comforting return of routine – back to school & work & prayer meetings & our day to day schedules. Kaye is involved in DECA at school & took a trip in January & later went on to compete at the State Level. We took a great trip to the Portland area to visit with family, Dave continued to volunteer at The Seasons, & by late March, tennis was in full swing for Kaye. She worked really hard & made Varsity despite missing a few days of tryouts for that DECA trip & from late March through May, we were all rallying around her & the team & loved every match! She did great… she got to move around a bit - playing Singles & a few Doubles matches too & even got her first Bagel win (6-2; 6-0). My friend Robbin & I decided to take an impromptu trip to Boise to visit Darcie – a last minute girls weekend. In May, we went to Seattle to see “Stories from The Shack” & a few days later our baby girl turned Sweet 16! She was thrilled to get her license & a taste of freedom! We also traveled to Whidbey to visit my sister & her family. In June we had more family gatherings at home then Dave, myself, & Lorraine attended a meeting to get more information about SOAR – a Bethel Supernatural School of Ministry satellite school being hosted at 1st Pres. here in town. This was one of the changes that we had been hoping for. When I went to Redding a few years ago, I left part of my heart there & while I would LOVE to attend the BSSM there, to find that God was bringing it here was such a gift! It was not even a question if we would apply… & I was pretty sure God would get us in since it seemed like He was bringing it here just for me! I took a fall and sprained my wrist and also went through Sozo training over the summer – an inner healing prayer ministry. In July we enjoyed great music and friends at the Folklife Festival & Jazz in the Valley too!

In August, we had interviews to attend SOAR & were accepted. We kicked off our annual beach trip by stopping in to see the Niles & Matthews in Clackamas – we had SO much fun! Then we met up with the Parsleys & enjoyed an entire week in our beloved Manzanita! It was WONDERFUL! We came home in time for a new school year to start – for our whole household this time! We also had change in our home in transforming our living room with new carpet & furnishings! I LOVE it… it’s a totally different room… so warm & cozy & peaceful! Dave took a fishing trip before school kicked off. We meet once a week in the evening for a few hours & are absolutely LOVING it! Dave helped out at The Seasons enjoying Pat Metheny live among other concerts & we went on a Retreat at the end of September to get to know our fellow students. In October we took a day trip to Leavenworth and then found ourselves in the beginning of the onslaught of all things college! Kayelyn went to a few college fairs on the west side & ever since we have been getting pamphlets & info from various colleges. Reality is hitting that she is almost a senior & from there – who can know what God will do! We had a magical winter wonderland weekend with friends in a cabin outside of Walla Walla (say THAT one fast!) in November & enjoyed about 2 weeks of ongoing Thanksgiving celebrations with all sides of family to kick off the holiday season! We were thrilled to host family for a gathering in December – lots of visiting, laughing, game-playing, shopping, oh yes – & eating!? It was great! Kayelyn & I went with friends to see/worship with Kim Walker Smith – so good! Yesterday, as I mentioned, I finished up our shopping, picked up our Christmas cards, wrapped the gifts, decorated the tree, & fell into bed exhausted but with a sense of accomplishment! You see – even though it hadn’t FELT like Christmas – my goal each year is to be ‘done’ with all the madness of the holidays by Dec 10th. That way I can actually slow down & ENJOY Christmas – drinking in the true meaning, filling up with Him, & pouring out His Love to all those around me! As I wrap this up – Pandora is playing “You’re Here” by Francesca Battistelli… nothing can make it FEEL like Christmas time faster than a shifted point of view! This song is written from Mary’s perspective! Read on:
“You`re here, I`m holding You so near
I`m staring into the face of my Savior, King & Creator
You could`ve left us on our own, but You`re here
I don`t know how long I`m gonna have you for
But I`ll be watching when You change the world
I look at Your hands, they`re still so small
Someday You`re going to stretch them out & save us all
Noel, noel, God with us Emmanuel.
…someday I`m gonna look back on this
The night that God became a baby boy
Someday you're gonna go home again,
But You leave Your Spirit & flood the world with joy “

Christmas is here, & the Kingdom is near…
Reach out, grab hold, share the Love, & be filled with Joy!
~Dave, Karrilee, & Kayelyn ~

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Just For the Sake of Scrapbooking...

It has been quite some time since I have posted here... and really even longer since I have posted for the sheer joy of scrapbooking!

Business is nearly non-existent right now... and while I would love the income, life has gotten so busy that I really can't complain. Of course - I would MAKE time for clients... but after stepping down from the creative design team I was on and trying to keep up with a new task (attending school) - it had been a long time since I had sat down and scrapbooked just for the sake of scrapbooking!

However- over the past weekend - I 'dug out' some photo's from our summer vacation and started to do a little Digi scrapping. Once I got started - I was on a roll! That felt SO nice... and in the end was so productive! I got SEVERAL Layouts done... I am still behind (snicker if you must!) but I am getting back on top of it all...scrapping my September/October pictures this week!

I did get a Custom card order a few weeks ago from Etsy and I usually have a Christmas time client that I am expecting to call... I would love to be busy crafting again - whether it be Scrapping or cards or invites... but I have decided to enjoy whatever 'free' (ha!) time I find and get back to my love of crafting! I will get 'caught up' on my digi scrapping... I will make some Christmas gifts and Christmas cards... some Thanksgiving Placecards... maybe even try my hand at painting... I have been doing some portrait sessions as well - I love that! I am also hoping to get back into my 'other' desired occupation - writing! I finished my first children's book but am still looking for an illustrator. I am starting to wonder if that illustrator is supposed to be me? That will probably require more schooling/classes and to be honest - I would rather just do the word parts! At any rate - I am finding joy in the thoughts of creating again... it's a welcomed return!

Scrap Happy!

Oh - you didn't think I was NOT going to post my Layouts, did you? There is even a few more than this - but this should help you all feel 'caught up' on all our happenings as well!

Monday, September 05, 2011

New Kit... Great Vacation... and Back to Reality!

Soooo - we are wrapping up Labor Day Wknd and that means an official end to summer vacation, and back to a regular routine! It also means early mornings, bossy schedules, and actual
(semi-enforced) bed times?! That has ALWAYS been my weak point... my girlie is and has always been a night owl! She hates sleep... it is the enemy... there is ALWAYS something better to do! Except - that is - at around 6:30 am on a school day!?
THEN she wants to sleep!? Go figure!?

I got to play a little bit with a new Build A Kit from The Sc

rappy Kat over at Stuff to Scrap. A SUPER fun kit - with lots of goodies/elements for FAIR and Circus pictures! However, our fair isn't for a few more weeks... so I choose to showcase OTHER ways you can use this kit! Here are my two Layouts that I did this evening
(while watching some AMAZING tennis via the US Open!)
Check out this fun new BAK!

We thoroughly enjoyed a full week at the beach this year... went with our best friends again and that is always fun and relaxing. It was hard to come back to face reality this year... just lots of stuff going on! Most of it good - but all of it hectic! The BONUS in coming home was the week long project of redecorating my Living Room! I will post pix soon... it's almost livable again!

Hopefully with the return of routine - I will be more on top of this blogging thing again! Hope to post again soon and just simply chat about life...

Scrap Happy!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

New Layouts... Summer already almost gone?

I can't even BELIEVE that it is August already!? It barely feels like Summer has started and now we are knee deep in Back to School ads and Class Schedules... ugh - it's just too soon!!?!

I have not been around much mostly because I have been pretty much One Handed all summer... I went out and FINALLY gave Trail Running a go! I was seriously LOVING it! A few friends from out of town were visiting and talked us into going with them... I was somewhat familiar with the hiking trail and as I said - I was loving the run... just going a nice easy pace -
when all of the sudden, I stepped on loose ground, my footing slipped, and I braced myself with my left hand - snapping my wrist. OUCH!? I am pretty tough - and just thought I was in shock a
bit - and kept walking down the trail. It was not swelling much - but it was starting to throb a bit - and I realized I could make it to the bottom - but coming back up would possibly prove to be a problem. So we managed to yell loud enough to get our big group to turn around before reaching the bottom of the trail. That was in June... we iced it and babied it and did all we knew to do... pretty sure it is just a serious sprain! I can move it all around and bend and grip - but I have no strength in it yet - and certain twists give me shoots of pain still! Of course - I am left handed... and you just never really think of how much you USE your hands until you actually CAN'T? Grocery shopping, cooking/chopping food, pouring, scrubbing, folding... yeah - too bad I haven't been able to ENJOY all this laziness?

Luckily for me - most of my digi scrapping is done RIGHT handed (with the mouse!)

Here are a few of my latest Digi LOs using kits by The Scrappy Kat over at

These are using her Kit "Hello Spring":
...and these are using her kit "Birds & Blooms":

I actually have quite a few more photo's - but I have yet to scrap them...
Yes - you read that right... I, Karrilee, am not all caught up!?
Enjoy the moment... ya'll know it will not last!

On another note - head on over to STS and participate in the Featured Designer Challenge... each week, a different Designer will host a challenge! It's a fun way to get you back in the swing of things - you know I will be playing along to get all my photo's scrapped again! You can check it out HERE - and don't forget the HUGE Retirement Sale going on...

Scrap Happy!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Summer in Full Swing...

Happy July! Can you even believe it? It's crazy how fast this summer is flying by!

I got a LOVELY new gift for my birthday in June but have yet to put it to a LOT of great use... my hubby took all my hints (and my dd simply coming right out and telling him what I wanted!) and he bought me a new camera! I loved my old one... it was just a simple digital camera... an Olympus that actually took AMAZING pictures. However, I think I got it maybe 7 years ago and
about a year after I got it, "someone" (above-mentioned dd I suspect) dropped it and broke the latch to the battery cover. So - ever since then - I have been all Ghetto like and duct taped it closed. It still worked great - but I was getting tired of it... PLUS I had the luxury of borrowing my brother in laws nice camera whenever I was asked to take portraits. Well - he moved away and I was left with no options. So - all of that to say I am now a proud owner of a really nice Nikon SLR that I am still learning how to use! I am REALLY hoping to get to learn and capture some great 4th of July shots... we shall see in a few days!

I took my dd out with her 2 bff's and we had a photo shoot... I took the fam' out to the Arboretum and we shot some Roses... I WANTED to take it out on a hike, but got talked into trail running and leaving it behind. Well - I should have insisted on walking and taking the camera because then I would have not slipped and fell, spraining my left (dominant) wrist... which has proved to pretty much immobilize me all week long!

I will update again soon but I wanted to let you all know about the July Build A Kit over at Stuff to Scrap!
It's super cute - a gardening/farming BAK - perfect for summer fun! Here are a couple of Layouts made from The Scrappy Kats offering to the BAK this month:

Check her out here: The Scrappy Kat - July BAK

And here are just a few of my fav shots from my new camera (to date!) :

Scrap Happy!