Mike's hernia surgery went well. No complications. Everything went as planned. He's back to normal, except for the fact that when the kids even feign an attempt to touch, punch, or jump on his stomach he turns into some sort of a wild-animal-stabbed-with-a-cattle-prod type person. Hopefully that will pass with time. *wink* (love you, sweetie!)
A week after the big surgery I left for the annual Stampin' UP! convention. It was amazing, as always. There were a number of BIG announcements. My favorite of which was this:
Stampin' Up! announced that they are partnering with Sizzix to offer the Big Shot die-cut system! They will offer 7 exclusive dies designed to coordinate with SU! stamps and 29 Sizzix dies. The Big Shot can be used to cut an impressive variety of different materials. It's a wonderful tool for paper crafting, home decor, and much more!! I'm super excited to show it to my customers and use it in my own crafts and decorating projects! I'll share more about this fun tool later.
There were many more exciting announcements at convention. Here's a run down:
- Shelli Gardner - Co-founder and CEO of Stampin' Up! started her own blog! You can find a link on the left under the "Crafty" category.
- Shelli announced the launch of her signature collection of products.
- We saw a preview of Phase 2 of the Decor Elements product line.
- Stampin' Up! announced another partnership with Country Living Magazine which will include a 20-page layout in the December issue featuring an exclusive stamp set and coordinating accessories.
- UPS donated the Ronald McDonald Charities stamp set to every demonstrator who attended convention.
- There was a bunch more stuff that probably only demonstrators would care about - next year's convention location and dates, leadership dates, incentive trip information, combination of SU! publications, etc. If you want more info, let me know.
All in all I had a wonderful trip. I got to spend some quality time with my aunt and several cousins who live in Salt Lake. They were wonderful hosts to Carrie and me. Speaking of which, Carrie did NOT have her baby while we were at convention. She did keep me on pins and needles the whole time though. Here's a picture of beautiful Hannah Lilly who was born a week after we got home. She weighed in at a tiny 5 lbs. 12 oz. You can see more pics on Carrie's blog here.
A few highlight pictures from convention:
And here is possibly the worst picture of me EVER with one of my stamping heroes - Kristina Werner. Thanks for letting me be a bit of a stalker!! *wink*
Ok, so what I didn't tell you before I left is that Carrie and I drove home from Salt Lake Saturday after the last general session meeting. That meant that I arrived home at almost exactly midnight. The next morning, my family left for a week-long vacation on the Oregon coast. We had a blast, but leaving for vacation less than 12 hours after getting home from 5 days away from home was a little hectic!! And we did forget more than a few somewhat-important things. We spent a day at the Oregon Zoo in Portland and then 5 days near Newport, Oregon. We stayed in a house that was about two blocks from two wonderful beaches and right near Otter Rock and the Devil's Punchbowl. It wasn't the most age appropriate accommodation for my kids in that the beds in the loft were not what I would consider "safe" for them. But we made do and the location was ideal. Here are a few pictures from our trip.
We saw some neat stuff in the tide pools.
We climbed the Yaquina Head light house. The boys got a pin that said, "I survived the climb." The weather was foggy the whole time we were there, so my only regret is that the boys never saw the horizon so they could get a feel for how big the ocean is. Other than that, it was really ideal weather. We had highs in the low 60's and high 50's and were comfortable with just a sweat shirt. I was also a little nervous about so much driving and how the kids would do in the car for so long, but they were troopers and survived the 9+ hour trip home with very few complaints.
Well, school starts a week from Monday, so there probably won't be a third installment in the "What I did on my Summer vacation" saga. Thanks for sticking with me. I promise to be back with some crafty fun soon.