Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There's a first time for everything

Today we had some firsts!

My son Jeremy woke up, got ready, and headed out for his first day as a JR. in high school!
I, for the first time...didn't make a HUGE deal and take a thousand pictures of him and
treat him like a little boy.
I let him enjoy the morning and took only a couple pictures and sent him on his way.
My little Sierra woke up, got ready, and started her first day of school as a 4th grader.
Last night she told me she wanted to try on all of her new outfits and decided on her favorite. I love that she felt so good about herself. She was so sweet looking at herself in the mirror.
Today I am at home by myself...for the first time in a long time.
So I'm going to clean my scrap area. clean the kitchen. vacuum. take the dogs out.
I will thank my Heavenly Father for giving me my children.
I will thank him for letting me have the opportunity to experience these firsts with them and for letting me be their mother.
I hope that today you will experience a first and that it will make you happy!!
Have a wonderful day!!!
Suzy West

we knew the day would come...

I can tell you everything about the day Sierra was born. It was more than NINE years ago and I still remember what I was wearing, what I did that morning, and the look on the face of the dr. that I had met with and told me I was giving birth...THAT DAY!
It was two months BEFORE Sierra was due and even though I wasn't ready...she needed to be born. I could barely move. My blood pressure was way high and I had Toxemia and preeclampsia. I got in the car with Angel who had gone to my appointment with me and called Paul to tell them that I was going straight to the hospital to be induced.
There was ONE fear....that her lungs wouldn't be fully developed.

The NIGHT Sierra was born, we were grateful that she was fine and that her lungs were fully developed. There were fireworks in the sky because it was the 4th of July. I was holding her and she was awake looking up at me. Even though I knew she probably couldn't see me clearly I honestly felt as if she was scoping me out.

That same night we saw that she was a little yellow. The nurses took her from me to check her out. They put her under the lights because they said she was jaundice. When she was in the bili machine her biliruben levels would go down. When they took her out they would change and go way up high.
She stayed in the hospital for problem for two weeks. The day before she went home a new dr. came in and asked me if anyone in my family had blood issues. I immediately thought of my family and said no. Then DUH...my dh helped make her...I told the dr. that he had a condition called Hereditary Spherocytosis.
I remember her saying, "that's exactly what I thought you would say".
Through out her life she's been in and out of dr. visits over this very condition. One thing we knew would probably happen one day was that they would need to take out her spleen.

well...we think the time has come to consider taking it out.
We know that our blood dies every 120 days. For people with HS it's different. Their blood dies faster...they say about every 50-90 days (everyone is different). The HS specialists today said they think that Sierra's blood is dying about every 15 days!! She does make new blood very quickly but what they have also found is that her body is working to fix things about 15% MORE the normal rate it should be working. She should be exhausted!
They also worry about her getting gallstones. People with HS get this.
If we take out the spleen it will help her a lot. It will probably take away the jaundice. (She may still have some symptoms because she also has Gilberts disease)
her red blood cells won't be killed off so fast like they do now.
She won't have to worry about anemia, gallstones, and other symptoms.
They say that it may even give her more energy and she'll feel a lot better.

The dr. has NOT decided what to do yet. He wants to think about it because even though she has these issues...she's actually quite healthy. Even though she is jaundice she's full of energy. She has not had to get a blood trasfusion yet.
So he says we have time to think about it and he wants to talk to us as a family. We are meeting back with him next month.
Sierra was a little scared but he made her feel a lot better and she told me that she thinks it might help her.
She was so cute. She took on the challenge I gave out today to smile more. I looked at her from the rear view mirror and saw that she looked a little sad. When she looked at me she flashed me a HUGE smile. She then said..."you remember the challenge". It made me smile.
We joked around and sang the rest of the way home.
We are going to pray about what decision we should make.
If you read this whole thing..thanks for "listening".
Suzy West

Monday, August 30, 2010

Life is too short...smile

I was driving home today from running an errand. I had the music booming to my GLEE soundtrack and was thinking about how lucky I was to have such a beautiful family. Even though I probably looked like a dork, I knew I had a huge smile on my face.
I looked to my left and noticed the driving had a huge frown on his face. I looked to my right and that driver looked more upset than the one to my left.
It made me sad to think that we have only one life to live...and it's a pretty short so,
why waste it frowning?
while I'm on this beautiful earth, I want to try to be as happy as possible.
At church Sunday, one of the speakers spoke about smiling. He was saying how much he loved to smile and that he tried to give a smile to everyone. I thought that was awesome!!!
Thinking of that...I turned to the my left again...and the driver looked at me...I smiled at him...and even though he had been frowning...he smiled back at me. I then turned to my right and smiled at the lady...she looked a little confused...and probably thought I was on something...but she gave me a smile.
It made me feel good to see those people smile. I am sure I will probably never see them again...I probably didn't make what was bugging them a whole lot better...but for a brief second, they smiled and that made me happy!!

I'd like to give you a challenge...and I hope you take me up on this.
this week...smile more...smile even more than you normally smile.
I bet that if you take this challenge...your days will be brighter and that you'll notice more people smiling around you!!

Have a wonderful day!!!!
Suzy West

Shimmerz....and a give away!!!

Love great mail days!!!
I had one the other day. I opened up a package to find these little beauties by
I'm up to something and I can't wait to show you!!!!

Do you LOVE Shimmerz as much as I do? If so, you might want to go to their site...pick your favorite product and color...and then leave me a comment as to which one it is...
and Stacey will send you your favorite!

You have from now until Friday to leave me a comment and Saturday we'll pick a winner.

Stacey knows this is my favorite color by them!
Fiery Fiesta!
I don't know if you can see this but...my nail polish matches!!! I love this color and can't wait to start playing with my shimmerz!
Can't wait to hear what your favorite color is!!
Hugs, Suzy West

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I spy with my little eye (CONTEST!!!)

update: Monday, August 30th

OMG! These tools are adorable!. I Love the Heart button punch. I would use this tool to add some serious cuteness to my new baby book I am working on for my baby girl who will be here in Nov. Thanks for the chance to win. I miss seeing you at your store but LOVE to see how your doing through your blog.

Congratulations Monica!!!! Email me your address and Tricia will get your prize out to you. psajfamily@aol.com

I am so excited!!! Look at what the post office dude brought me!!
Do you see what I see?
I spy some awesome little tools from Epiphany Crafts!!!!
Do you spy one that YOU WANT??
Well YOU may be the lucky winner of one of YOUR CHOICE!!!
Here's what you do:

1. Go to their site(just click on their name above)
2. check out the tool that YOU want. Look at the samples while your there!! Rockin!
3. Post HERE the following: what creative thing would you do with one of these tools?

Tricia, owner of Epiphany Crafts will randomly pick a winner and YOU WILL GET
the one you want!!!

by the way...go to their HOW TO page to see how simple and easy these are!!!
I'm excited!!! I'll be teaching a class this Sunday that is going to have some of these fun little goodies in it!!! Here is the cover...do you see the epoxies? Super cute!!!
Here are the buttons!!
Here's a layout I did using them!!!
You have until SATURDAY night, midnight to post!!!!!
Good luck!!
Hugs, Suzy West

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

reality hits

This morning it hit me at how the kids are really truly getting older.
There's no more words like "potty" or baby talking. LOL

Sierra will be going into the fourth grade in just another week and I still can't believe it.
She doesn't want pig tails anymore and gets embarrassed now if I say "daddY" or "mommY" in front of people. I also have been asked to not dance, sing, and act too silly in front of her friends.

This one scares me more! Not because he does bad things...because honestly, he's been my easiest kid. He's not a trouble maker. He calls me for everything and I have to tell HIM to get out of the house sometimes to hang out with friends.
He's going to be an "adult" in less than 2 years and still says he's not ready to date.
This last sentence scares me the most...not the dating part...but the fact that he's going to be an adult. I told him that I wanted to have another one of our talks...(those scares him). LOL
(picture he took of himself for facebook. LOL)
I know I'm not alone on this. I know there are some of you out there freaking at the fact that your kids are getting older. The thought of having another adult in less than 2 years is scarier to me than the fact that I'll be turning 35! (coughcoughFORTYcoughcough)
So what are your thoughts? Who's going through the same thing?
Who has kids starting kindergarten and can't believe it?
who has someone starting high school or college?
Who's kid is engaged?

Can you believe it? Our kids are getting big and there's no way of stopping this.

Monday, August 23, 2010

When Heavenly Father is by your side

I'm back from our vacation... scratch that... our adventure....scratch that....I'm going to call it our trip of miracles with the beautiful little soul on this planet.

I'd like to say that our cruise was 100% amazing but as you read on...it might not sound like that. In the end you will know why I call it a trip full of miracles and why I say that my Heavenly Father has been by my side.

Sierra and I got to Long beach a "little" late but safe! We boarded the plane and it was taking a LONG time to take off. Why? Because the pilot "felt" like there was a problem, went down to look at the wheels, and saw that there was a huge nail in one of them. So while we were on the plane they came and completely changed the tire. Thank goodness he looked because our wheel could have been flat by the time we landed and it could have caused an accident.

It was a beautiful day in Long Beach and Sierra immediately jumped into the pool and played on the waterslide.
On our day in Mexico, Sierra was excited about ONE thing...riding the horses.
I had booked us an excursion to ride horses on a beautiful trail over looking the ocean. The scene was breath taking! She was thrilled when they told her she was going to be riding one named, Chihuahua. Everything was great!
After the ride we ate tacos and everyone went over to take pictures with the horses that they had tied up.

Here's where it goes bad. My stomach aches just thinking about it.
Everyone was taking turns taking pictures with the horses.
Notice the horse that Sierra is standing next too? Most people took pictures with him. Soon after, everyone starting taking pictures with the horse next to him. We'll just call him horse B.
We were getting ready to leave and started walking away. People were still around the horses. All of a sudden horse B kicked his leg back and even though Sierra wasn't very close. He got her right in the stomach. It immediately dropped her and knocked the wind out of her.
I was standing pretty close to her and yanked her away.
One of the helpers got her and picked her up. Sierra was still not able to breath. It seemed like forever but really it was just a few moments.
We ran over to the bus and rushed back to take her to the hospital.
They were really good with her and stayed with us until we left the hospital.
Here's where I KNOW that Heavenly Father is by our side and miracles happen.
The horse kicked her on right side and just a hair underneath her rib cage. If he had kicked her there it would have caused serious damage.
They were awesome with her in the hospital. They did an ultrasound to see that there was no damage and that there was no internal bleeding.
About an hour at the hospital she was actually feeling a ton better and was smiling when I would talk to her. I asked her if she was okay and what she was thinking and her eyes filled with tears, "mommy, my feelings are hurt because the horse kicked me and he's probably going to get in trouble and I really loved him!" It was nothing about pain, it was all emotional.
I told her she was lucky he didn't get her even harder and on her rib cage. She said, "Mommy it's because Heavenly father is by my side". He really was.

So I'd like to say that the story ends there, but it doesn't. As many of you know, Sierra was a condition called, Hereditary Spherocytosis. She has abnormal red blood cells and the white ones don't recognize them and kill them. The spleen also has a lot to do with this condition and if it's enlarged it can cause more problems and may have to be removed.
The technician came in and should have only checked the side that she was hurt but started checking everything. I noticed that he started spending more time on the opposite side...the side that her spleen in on. I asked him what was going on and he told me that he noticed her spleen was large. He said it was due to her HS and to take her in when we got back home.
This is another miracle. Even though it's not what I wanted to hear, it's good that we found out. In June they had checked her and her spleen was fine. Now just two months later, her spleen has grown and it could mean surgery for her. Not detected? It could mean a lot worse.

We left there with Sierra feeling soooo much better and back to herself. I was SHOCKED!
She wanted to go shopping and play.
I was worried but she promised me that she was okay.
So off we went. I told her we'd hang out for a bit and then we'd go back to the ship.
Sierra had the time of her life! That day she played, swam, went on a scavenger hunt with a group of kids, ate, etc. That night she Karaoke'd! She received an award! LOL
She was spoiled by the Carnival cruise dr.'s who called to check on her everyday. She came home with shirts, back packs, stuffed animals, and more!
So that's the story. My little Sierra is running around right now playing with her dogs and has told everyone how Heavenly Father is by her side and how much fun she had. Best part? When she put her forehead next to mine so she was looking at me eye to eye and said, "mommy, I love you. I had the best time of my life".
Thanks for letting me share my trip of miracles with you!!
Suzy West

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fun stuff with My Paper Tree House Kit

Yesterday I went to a crop at Scrapbook Depot in San Carlos!! A group of us get together every month to scrap and hang out. It's always fun to see everyone and to get projects done.
Here's what I did using the new My Paper Tree House monthly Kit!! The kit is filled with the entire Life is Good line by Echo Park and a lot of different embellishments. You all know how much I love Echo Park so it was easy doing these layouts.

The little blue pearls? I bought regular pearls and just dropped them into Shimmerz Pearlz by Shimmerz. The color is so bright and it looks so cool in real life because it fully coats it and it kinda looks like a little candy that you can eat. LOL
Here's how you do the top right of the page.

Even though I don't get a lot done I certainly have a great time!
Looking forward to scrapping with everyone again.
Suzy West

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fun class at Scrapbook Depot!!!!!

Attn: San Francisco, bay area scrappers!!!!
This class is for you!

I'm super excited about teaching this project that I made for Echo Park's booth at CHA!!
You will be playing with all their fun new papers, stickers, and more!!!
Besides their line...see those little epoxy's and clear buttons? You'll also get to play with Epiphany Crafts little tools!!! You'll make your OWN epoxy's!!!

The class is on: Sunday, August 29th
time: 1pm-3pm
cost: $40.00--everything included!!!

So it get's even better!!!!!!
See this girl right here? Read below....
This is Gina!! She works for Cannon. She's going to be bringing all her printers and after we create our books...you will get to print your favorite pictures FOR FREE!! That way, you can print them the size you want...(lots of cool little sizes--look at my blog post below)
and put them in your fun book!!
So come and join us for an awesome day!!!!
To sign up, call 650-592-2767

Have a great day!!!
Hugs, Suzy West

Monday, August 16, 2010

"the challenge" and my new toys!!!

Last Friday the four of us got together to get our scrap on at Scrapbook Territory! I started playing with the camera and had fun taking crazy pictures.
I told each one that we had to do a challenge and that was to scrap at least one of the pictures that I had taken.

Here's what Sarah De Guzman made
Here's the one that Gina Lideros made
Here's Tricia Wilson's layout
and here are the two that I made.
The first one I made using the products in the For the Luv of Art kit
Here is another quick one that I made using product that April from Studio Calico gave me in Chicago. If that wasn't cool enough already...
Today I got a nice little box full of her NEW MISTERS!!!!! They are awesome!!!
How awesome??? well the box came about 40 minutes ago and I couldn't wait to play with them...so I've created this and now I'm blogging about it. LOL
The product had it's debut at CHA!!!
I'm NUTS over them already!
I love that they dry almost immediately! SERIOUSLY!
They don't have glimmer on them...to me it's like I'm using spray paint. They are so cool!!!
No matter what color you spray on...it's color stays true!
Oh how I love you!!!!! :)

Thanks for looking!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A weekend full of friends and scrapping!!!!

On Friday night I got together with a lot of my good friends at one of my favorite scrapbook stores, Art Inspired in Brentwood!!!!

It was great to hang out with everyone and do a little bit of scrapping...and by little I mean nothing. LOL I did manage to eat, hang out, buy something, and eat some more. LOL

Love this picture of the girls

Here's another one of us just being ourselves. LOL

On Saturday I met up with my good friend Gina who works with Cannon and hung out with her at a fun event in Martinez. It was great to do some scrapping, eat, and really bond with her. I just love that girl!

Every photo in my project is printed with a Cannon printer that I love!!! It's freaking awesome and has a lot of cool features!

I had done a quick photo shoot of my daughter and loved all the pictures so every project I did that night was with her pics.

Check out the cool picture in this layout. Love the fun look of it.

I used Girl's Paperie and used the beautiful blue SHIMMERZ color to color in the measuring tape and the dress form!!!! LOVED IT!!!!

Margie had given me a ton of her Girls Paperie products to create with. Yesterday I went to town!!!! (check out the cute photos in different sizes through out the book: Cannon printer)

I made the project using my newest book: Spunky Sprout by Punky Sprouts.

I also use the Shimmerz to color the flowers, canvas, and more!!! Love their colors!!! They dry really fast too!! if you haven't picked some up you should!!!!!

Thanks for looking!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Beautiful inside and out

This morning we all went over to my parents house to eat and hang out. Angel looked so cute I had to take pictures!! I took out my camera and did a quick photo shoot!

Every time I'd look at her through the camera, I was just wow'd at how beautiful she is.
I love this gal! She's not only beautiful on the outside, she's beautiful on the inside too!
I'm proud to be her mom and honestly....she and my mom are my best friends!
Even though she wakes me up every morning, I look forward to my phone calls.
I love that we laugh at everything and that she's as crazy as I am. LOL
Tonight...I'm so excited that the two of us are going to get our scrap on! It's going to be awesome!!