Archive for 5/1/12 - 6/1/12

Remembering Spencer...

I've tried to write this post a hundred times.

About three months ago, our beloved golden retriever, Spencer, was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in his abdomen. And it had spread. Not good.

We were devastated.

I've felt as if I've dropped off the face of the earth since then. So where have I been? Work has been good but busy and in our spare time, we have been nursing our sweet boy. And although I wanted to write and share my sadness with all of you, thinking it would be cathartic and comforting, every time I sat down to update you all on my life, I couldn't spare the energy. I just couldn't find the oomph to write out the details. It was just so sad and I wanted to enjoy the time I had with him, not focus on the negative.

So why now? Well, Spencer lost his battle last Thursday. We said goodbye to him on a beautiful, warm afternoon - it was an agonizing decision, but the end was peaceful. My husband and I are both veterinarians and we have helped people with this decision for years. I've cried alongside patients and friends as they said their parting words to their furry companions. We even had to say goodbye to one of our own a year and a half ago. But it was different then. As sad as it was, a year and a half ago, Freya had emergency surgery for a twisted stomach. She never woke up from anesthesia. So she made the decision for us, even though it was so hard to let her go. With Spencer, we had to make the decision after we felt that is quality of life was non-existent and when we thought we were keeping him going for us, not him. Finally, his hind end gave out on him and my husband and I decided it was time. I cried for a day and a half. I could see he was tired. I could see he was uncomfortable. But the guilt and pain involved with making this decision was so overwhelming. I'm sure a lot of you know what I mean.

Now that all is said and done, we are so sad but there's something else. No guilt. I know now, even though it feels as if there is a hole in my chest, that it was the right decision. He is free from pain and weakness. He is free from cancer. I firmly believe he is reunited with Freya. He has all the tennis balls he can handle. He is himself again.

I still cry; when I look for him in his "spot", when I see a toy or his bed, when I think of saying goodbye. But we laugh and smile too. Thinking of him and everything he meant to us. He was with us for 11 and half years. Before we were married. Before we moved, again and again and again. He's been with us through graduation from veterinary school, our first jobs, my residency… he was always there. I even helped deliver him as a pup :)

He was so interwoven with our lives. He and Freya. And it feels like there's a huge emptiness now they're gone. But they have left our hearts so full and our lives more complete. As Roger Caras so aptly said, "Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole".

So in memory of them both, here's a little list of all the things I've learned from Spencer and Freya.

1. Live each and every day. Greet the day with gusto. I've been guilty of letting life pass me by from time to time. To busy to do this or that. But now, because of them, I'll try to enjoy more of the things life has to offer. To earnestly try. And sometimes that might mean relaxing and taking a bit of "me" time too :)

2. If I'm with someone I love, BE with that someone. No matter the day at work, every time I stepped foot through the door, there they were. So happy that I was home. And that was it. They just wanted to be with us. Well, let's be completely honest, dinner time was part of their excitement :) Instead of focusing on other things, I want people I love to know how important they are to me.

3. Forgive and move on. No need to say more.

4. Wag more, bark less. I am in control of how much things affect me. And while there is a time and place for you to stand up for yourself or others, there is also something to be said for not letting angry or unhappy people drag you into their emotional pit.

5. It's the little things that matter most. Like tennis balls :) Little things like "I love you" before bedtime, every night. Saying a word of encouragement or praise to someone who does an really good job. A note to say "I'm thinking about you". These are all small things but can mean so much.

6. Accept people for who they are. We are not all the same. We are not made the same way. But we are all human and deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. This is so cliche, however, you never know someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes so we shouldn't jump to assumptions based on an action or how they look. Dogs don't judge based purely on appearance. Dogs really don't judge. A good lesson indeed.

7. Love unconditionally. Boy, that's a tough one. Mostly because as humans, we all have our own agendas. But dogs truly love unconditionally and should be a model for how we treat each other as human beings. Dogs sometimes approach people, animals or situations with trepidation, and that's ok. We should be able to trust our instincts. But if you earn their trust, which usually doesn't take much effort, the love you get in return is unquestioning.

Sorry for the length of this post but I finally needed to share :) Spencer and Freya were not "just dogs" to us, they were part of our family. Perhaps some may not feel the same way or share the same thought process… and that's OK. But what I feel it boils down to isn't animals vs people and who you should love more or less, it's about love. Period.

Here's to you and yours. I wish you health wealth and happiness :) Thanks for reading!


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CR84FN #55

Time for a new CR84FN challenge!!! Hope all my US peeps are having a fantastic Memorial Day weekend. In Canada, our long weekend (Victoria Day) was last week.

These colors are AMAZING!!!

A while back, I saw a picture of beautiful, purple roses.

That was the effect I was going for with this card. Perhaps I could have gone slightly darker with the purple on the rose but I do like the color when all is said and done.

Hope you'll swing by the CR84FN blog to check out the fantastic samples by the talented DT!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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DeNami Product Spotlight: Happy Father's Day

 Check out the stamp in the newest DeNami Product Spotlight!

With Father's Day right around the corner, this stamp has the perfect font for the manly men in your life :) Don't forget, the stamp in the spotlight is 10% off for one week!!! 

I stamped the sentiment in dark blue and placed it on top of blue card stock that I crinkled with my paper crimper. Then I added some rustic twine for a manly look. Then I placed that all atop a base of kraft.

Make sure to see what the rest of the amazing DeNami DT have in store. 


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May DeNami Blog Hop

For my JUGS post, click HERE.

It's DeNami Blog Hop time!
By now, you're well into hopping and you should have arrived here from the sweet and super talented Lisa Elton's blog. 

If not, head on over to the DeNami Blog for the master list of hop participants. 

You'll want to stay on track… leaving a comment on every blog along the way (including the DeNami Blog) gives you a chance to win one of TWO $20 DeNami gift certificates!!!! Another  $20 gift certificate will be given to a randomly chosen blog hop participant! You have until May 21, 2012, 11:59pm PST, to leave comments on all the blogs (to be eligible for a prize).

That's it from here. Off to your next stop, which is the amazing Wendy Harrill

Happy Hopping!!!


**** To leave a comment, check to the left of the post title above, there's a little pink speech balloon. Click on the number inside and it will take you to the comment form :) ****

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JUGS 137: Color Challenge

It's Saturday and Just Us Girls is bringing you another awesome challenge! Lisa has a gorgeous color combo for your inspiration...

and my card...

I decided to create a paneled look. I stamped lace bouquet in yellow on white card stock and cut two sections. Then I stamped a sentiment on the center panel. I added a ribbon (my ribbon pretty much needed to be dusted off, it's been so long since I used it!).

Check out the other DT gals AMAZING creations over at Just Us Girls!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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CR84FN #54

For my JUGS post, click HERE.
For The Twinery/DeNami blog hop, click HERE.

Time for another round of amazing colors for the CR84FN challenge!

I had so many ideas for this color combo. They're so lovely - just gets the creative juices a'flowing.

I stamped and embossed the flowers from PTI's Summer Jar Fillers. Then I sponged around the flowers with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink (it's a bit easier to see in real life). The flowers are colored with one of my favorite, can't-do-with-out-it, kinda items - my white gel pen. The flower centers and leaves are colored with Copics. The butterfly and sentiment are from Happy Trails (PTI - stamps and dies). 

Hope you like it! Make sure to swing by and check out our sweet CR84FN DT - they've always got AMAZING eye candy and inspiration for all.


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JUGS #136: Generational Stamping

For The Twinery/DeNami blog hop, click HERE.

Hello JUGS fans! Time for a brand new technique challenge over at Just Us Girls and Lynn is our most lovely hostess.

Lynn has chosen to challenge us to use a fabulous technique called Generational Stamping. Not sure exactly what that is? There's a video tutorial HERE and HERE.

Here's what I came up with...

Sorry for such a short post - it's been a looooong week. Hope you are enjoying the weekend as much as I am :)

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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The Twinery and DeNami Blog Hop

TGIF folks!

What do you get when you add The Twinery twine to DeNami Stamps? Colorful, delightful YUMMINESS!!!

I hope you are enjoying the blog hop. You should have arrived here from the wonderful, talented Julie Ranae's blog. If you do happen to get lost along the route, just jump back to the master list on either The Twinery blog or the DeNami blog


For my card, I made twine butterflies :) I first saw these clever butterflies on a beautiful project by Jen Carter and I was smitten! Thanks for the awesome inspiration Jen.

I stamped DeNami's Daisy Trio on white card stock then colored them with Copic markers. Then I took The Twinery's Caribbean, Pink Sorbet, and Lilac bakers twine, made several loops and tied them in the center with Charcoal twine to make the butterflies. The sentiment is a favorite of mine from DeNami's Heartfelt Greetings stamp set.

How about some goodies?!

With every blog hop comes the chance to win fabulous prizes!!! To be eligible, just leave a comment at every stop along the hop. Deadline to leave comments is 11:59 pm, EST, Saturday, May 12th.  Winners will be announced on The Twinery and DeNami blogs on Sunday, May 13th.

Your next stop on the hop is the stunning blog of Ashley Bores. I'm sure you are in for serious eye candy!!!

Happy hopping!


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DeNami Sketch Challenge

It's challenge time! Lisa is the creator of the fabulous sketch featured in the latest DeNami Challenge!

Here's my take;

I couldn't resist using DeNami's rainbow stamp! I stamped two clouds first, then masked them and stamped the rainbow over top. On the blue card base, I stamped polka dots in light blue then I added the wonderful sentiment. We could all use a little sunshine now and then :)

Make sure to see what the rest of the amazing DeNami DT have in store. 

On the run again! Catch ya later!


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