Friday, July 9, 2010

Live the Life You Have Imagined.........


Below is a promised telling of where I have been the last 8 months -- I warn you, it is long, but I hope you will stay with me - grab a cup of coffee! (Not only did I forget how to stamp, but forgot how to schedule Blogger posts, as this should have been up yesterday!)


Life's events sometimes take unexpected turns, don't they?

If you had asked me one year ago if I thought I would go on an eight month stamping hiatus, and not even enter my stamp room for over six months, I would have laughed unbelievably. I was stamping every day. I did most of the SCS challenges, hosted one of them, was on several design teams, and spent almost every morning in my stamp room.

This week, I went in and cleaned my desk of mostly dust, inked stamps, and piles of ribbon, buttons, pads of Basic Grey paper, and pop dots. There were boxes of things I had just set on the floor, and an order from Stampin' Up! from September that I hadn't even opened. It was a bit like entering a store (well, after the stamp cleaning was done!) and finding all sorts of things that I didn't know I had.

And if you had asked me one year ago if I thought Christmas would be spent without my father, I would have hoped you were wrong. But, as many of you know, he passed away last December 9th, a victim of diabetes that severely affected every other part of his body. He had entered a nursing home in February 2009, as he was unable to walk, and care for him was more than my mom could do. He began to be very ill in October, needing dialysis three times a week. It was hard on him, as the days he didn't have it were spent recovering from the days he did. By the first part of November, the medical team was telling me that I should get my sister from Arizona here. And I did. And she stayed until January. My dad was a fighter and he loved his family dearly. His memorial service was held on the 19th of December, so my son could be home from college. It was a wonderful celebration of his life.


My dad passed away the morning of December 9th, after a big snowstorm that closed all the schools here in town, even the University. On the night of December 10th, the Holiday musical for the community theatre here had Opening Night for "A Christmas Carol." My daughter and husband were leads, the Ghost of Christmas Past and Scrooge, respectively. I was the Musical Director, Choreographer, and was playing the keyboard and accompanying the singers. It was a great Opening Night and the run of ten performances through December 20 was one of the best shows and turnouts we have had in many seasons. It was a good thing for our family to do together and to have something to occupy our minds during that hard time.

During my father's illness, I had put stamping on the back burner. I never seemed to want to pick it up again. I lost interest (and not just in stamping, but in some other things I had been doing - like church music) and began pursuing some other directions that I wanted to try before it was too late for me. I had gained MANY pounds over the last three years (in large part due to sitting and stamping and not being active)and felt that with a family history of diabetes something had to be done immediately. During "A Christmas Carol" I met a wonderful new friend who has kept me on an exercise regimen for over 6 months now. I lost over 30 pounds. The person that hated exercise now can't go a day without it! 20 more pounds to go and I will be at a place where I hope I can stay and be healthy for the rest of my life and for my children and grandchildren to come. For those of you that know me well, Diet Coke is no longer my breakfast, lunch and dinner!

In January, I decided that I would start working on my Bucket List. I didn't have one, but began making one up....

When I was in high school, all I wanted to do was perform. When I got to college, I had two music professors that made me feel as if it wasn't for me. And I listened to them. I wish I hadn't. I have always had that yearning for the stage, but have always done the behind-the-scenes work as a musical director. In January, I auditioned for an acting part in the Community Theatre production of "The Philadelphia Story." And I got it! I played Margaret Lord, the mother of the Katherine Hepburn character from the movie.

I loved it so much that in March I auditioned for a part in "Enchanted April" and got one of the leads: Rose Arnott, a prudish English housewife who blossoms into a vibrant woman on vacation at an Italian villa. I was so thrilled about the role - it just fit.

You theatre people out there know that once you have the bug.....I still do love directing, but have found that I am just as comfortable again on the other side of the stage.

I have picked up some things that I used to do and had forgotten:
horseback riding (my dad's gift to me on my 16th birthday was two horses!), target shooting (I have learned to shoot a .22 Remington rifle and a P22 Walther pistol and those shaving cream cans run and hide from me now!), running (I NEVER ran as a kid unless it was that 50 yard dash in PE), biking (I have biked up to 18 miles a day when before I couldn't even go 5 minutes!), crocheting (I have two afghans going at all times!), and have even driven a John Deere tractor (imagine that, living in Nebraska.....).

Last night I went to my 5th lesson for Argentine Tango where my dance partner and I executed a perfect "Corte." I took my daughter to New York City in March where we spent 5 glorious days immersed in the city's delights (we both LOVE the city) and saw "Jersey Boys" and "Billy Elliott" (Getting there was a nightmare -- that is a story for another day).

In May my son graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in Jazz Studies and Trumpet Performance. It was a beautiful day. We had traveled in April to hear his senior recital and his own jazz compositions and were so impressed with his talents and gifts. We also got to meet his girlfriend, whom we ADORE. Good thing too, as last week he told us they are thinking of a March wedding! I am so excited!

One major thing I haven't mentioned: the night of my son's jazz concert in NC, I began to feel a slight pain in my right eye. I have chronic dry eye syndrome, and am used to my eyes not feeling "right" but this was rather bothersome, as we were out at a great shake and burger diner to celebrate his composition being chosen as the concert closer - it was so good! His girlfriend was with us, as was her family. We were to fly back home the next day. By 4 AM the next morning, I felt as if an ice pick was being jabbed into my eye -- a pain worse than any (including natural child bearing!) I have ever experienced. That was the longest day of my life, as we did not get home until around 10 PM. Two flights, with a 3 hour layover inbetween, and then a 3 hour drive home after landing in Omaha. We immediately went to the ER, where they really didn't know much, but did give me a drop for the pain, which lasted about an hour. In short, I saw an opthamologist on Monday, and began a LONG process of healing an ulcerated cornea due to a recurring condition that I learned I have that has such a long name I can't even remember what it is. Basically, my infection was caused by my eyelid sticking and ripping off the outer layer of my cornea (yeah, sorry about that.....).

It was very serious, so much in fact, that I was sent to a cornea specialist in Lincoln and was seeing the opthamologist here EVERY day - even weekends and her days off. She was AMAZING. At the time, there was a question as to whether I would lose my sight in that eye. The infection I had was deep down in the cornea and all meds we were trying (6-8 different ones every day, every two hours) were not working.

Okay, now keep in mind, that during this time I AM THE LEAD in the play. This is ONE WEEK before we open. I can't even look at light and the pain is so great. But I never missed a rehearsal. I did sport an eye patch all through dress rehearsal week. I was quite upset, as here I was supposed to be this "beautiful woman", and I have this eye that is swollen the size of a golf ball! My cast mates were so supportive - they even all wore eye patches to a rehearsal! But guess what? After ten days of severe pain and light sensitivity, I woke up on Opening Night with no pain. I had fully expecting to be wearing that patch to performances. I even had my picture taken for the newspaper with the patch! So my husband and I went over to the theatre in the afternoon and I tried it without the patch. We had to change a couple of the light cues, but it was really a miracle. No patch for any performance!

The infection has not gone away - even after months. And I have a scarred cornea in the shape of a Nike swish! Thankfully, it is just off my pupil, so my vision is not affected much. There is a permanent blur in my peripheral vision, but I am so thrilled it's not sight damaging. I am still on all sorts of meds, and will be permanently, but the absence of pain and the presence of sight is such a blessing! And instead of daily visits to my amazing opthamologist, I will see her only every 2 months or so. Can it happen again? Yes. Even with meds. So I am VERY careful.

Where did the interest in stamping again come from? I am not sure. All I know is that I am glad I am doing it again. It was really HARD to remember how to do things, and I am slower even than I was before (yes, it takes me two hours to make a simple card!). I missed all my stamping friends. I am sorry I disappeared without much explanation - to some of you, with no explanation at all. But here it is, finally, and way more than you wanted to read, I am sure. I guess I was, in essence, grieving the loss of my dad by leaving stamping.

A special thanks to my wonderful friends who have sent cards and notes. I hope to post some of the beautiful cards I got at my father's passing over the next several weeks, as well as "thinking of you" cards that I have gotten.

To KATE and SUSAN, thank you for your faith in me.

NOW, if you have read this far, I have a special gift for you. In re-entering my craft room after that long of time, I have found that I really would love to downsize and simplify. I have a medium flat rate priority box I am filling with fun stuff - new supplies and rubber I don't need - as well as cards that I have made. I would love to share. Leave me a comment here so I can visit your gallery or blog. I need to catch up on what everyone is making and doing! I will draw a winner of the goody bag on Monday morning (July 11).

And don't forget........live the life you have imagined........it may be something you have dreamed of doing, or wanted to do, or wished you could do. Life is too short.



Stamps: Love, Life and Lemons by Flourishes
Paper: Very Vanilla, Basic Black, River Rock, Basic Grey DP
Ink: VersaMark Black Onyx, Copics, black ribbon
Accessories: brads, Spellbinders Circles and Squares, Angel Wings Shimmerz



51 comments:

Tenia Nelson said...

This is a beautiful card!!! So yes I see a lot went on this year!! You look like you are doing well....I might have to chat with you or so because this school year I am teaching drama....I never taught drama before but I have put on musicals!! So your son graduated with a Jazz Studies Degree....nice!! I just finished my thesis as of yesterday....Masters in Music with an emphasis in Jazz Pedagogy and Piano Performance!! I am still playing tons of music...lol!! Hope you are well and have a great day!!

Cook22 said...

Judy, thank you so much for sharing the last few months with us. I was afraid the long absence was most likely due to your dad dying - I wish I'd known, to send a card. I can identify with not finding it easy to pick things up after a loss like that. I did stamp daily after my mum died, but I didn't touch the piano till I had to practice for a wedding, and it's never taken back the place it used to have in my life.
I have a tear in my eye reading of your miracle of being able to perform with no eye-patch and no pain.
And way to go with all those achievements - you are an inspiration.
Hugs
Sabrina
Oh - and Philadelphia Story - I love it. Have both that and High Society on DVD

~Kristina said...

Judy, what a full spectrum year. I'm glad you are finding yourself again. Sometimes, that is exactly what the heart and soul need.

Jodi Collins aka Kharmagirl said...

What a journey you have been on Judy! I for one am SO excited to see you stamping again...I missed seeing your smiling face on your blog!!! Can't wait to see what you have in store next!!! HUGS!

Becky said...

OMGosh Judi...I have wondered so many times what happened to you and now I know. Thank you for sharing the trials of tribulations that have occurred. Losing your Dad is a traumatic experience...it was for me. I lost mine 6 months after I lost my Mom and it was very difficult. It has been 23 years this year and I still miss them both tremendously. I'm happy for you that your son has graduated (and from a N. C. school) and is now engaged. What a thrill! Don't let his graduation keep you from coming back to N. C. every now and then. We would love to have you visit anytime!

Tami said...

WOW- what a journey your last year has been! I'll be praying for you as you continue on in this year of firsts without your day and WITH the drama side of things! Thanks for sharing your last few months!

Marilyn (mlj-mlj) said...

What a journey~ filled with life's treasures and trials. I am sorry to hear about your father & your eye problems, however, I am so thankful that overall you are happy and well. Stamp as much as you enjoy and that fits with the living the life of your dreams! {{{Hugs}}}

Deb Neerman said...

WoW, what a year! Omigosh, so sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad, how sad. And so sorry to hear of your illness ... glad to hear that it you're doing better. But I'm super-happy to hear that you're back to stamping again! You've been missed ... I've missed your blog posts and fabulous creations. Hopefully, the dark days are all behind you! Sending hugs!

Linda said...

Judi, I wondered why I had not seen you on SCS for so long... so sorry to learn of the loss of your Dad... did not know. And so enjoyed reading your last several months activities... and your son graduated from UNC-Greensboro... wish I had known you were in the area, would loved to have met you as I live in Raleigh. So impressed with your fun theatre activities and roles and that several family members were involved as well. You are a busy, busy lady. So glad you are back to stamping again as I have always enjoyed your talents on SCS... Welcome back and hope your health issues will soon fade...

Hugs,
Linda Fornshell
aka zgirlsgranny on SCS

Joanne (jojot) said...

It was such a thrill to see you back in the galleries and here on your blog. Now that I have read your 'story', my admiration for you has grown by leaps and bounds. I hope you have a long bucket list, cuz you ARE going to be around for a very long time......whether it is stamping, acting, directing, horsebackriding, or whatever......and as you enjoy your life, your dad will be pleased that something wonderful came from his passing......bless you and yours and continue to make the most of your life

hugs
joanne/jojot

i {heart} papers said...

OMG...I am balling. Not much of this was new information but to take it all in again, all at once. I wish I were there to give you a huge hug. I am so happy to have you back but really just want happiness for you, my friend.

terriavidreader (IN-USA) said...

As much as I love blog candy, I am just so happy to hear things are working out for you. I can empathize with the pain of losing a father (I did that years ago) and I personally am dealing with diabetes and breast cancer, I admire your take charge action for your own health! Congrats on doing that, and getting the lead! Way to Go!

Spicey Cat Chick said...

I was SO excited to see some action on your blog. You told your story so wonderfully and my heart is brimming with love and support for this amazing woman I only know via the world of internet crafting. You are a pillar of strength and POSITIVITY which is such a scarcity in this world. I will lift you, your family, the doctors and everyone your life touches in prayer. Keep pushing on and we're all cheering for you. {{{{HUGS}}}}

Marisa said...

Wow.....thanks for sharing!! You have had quite the half a year! It was heartwarming to read about all you have discovered and rediscovered! Good for you for pursuing some "lost" dreams and for letting the lead!! Love how you are living life each and every day - one of my favorite sayings is "Carpe Diem" and how true it is! Thrilled to hear your eyesight was not lost in your eye and thrilled to see you creating again :D I have missed your beautiful cards in the gallery!

Congrats on your sons graduation and upcoming wedding too :D May the year ahead continue to bless you with living the life you imagined (such a great quote). BIIIIIIG cyber (((hugs)))

Tammy Hershberger said...

I've got enough junk of my own, Judy... don't draw my name for your goodie box but I just wanted to say how much I loved reading your story of all that has transpired in your life recently, and I'm so glad you're BACK!!! You WERE missed greatly! God bless you!

Robbie said...

Judy, it is sooooo good to see you back. You have been missed but I would like to suggest to keep up with your new adventures as much as possible. Though I love your projects, don't put aside your health any longer. It's all we have. Congratulations for all the new things you've stepped out and done. I'm proud that you are pursuing things you've always wanted to do!! This is a wonderful accomplishment.

Thanks for the chance to win new goodies (not that I don't have enough, ha) and DO stamp some even if it's not as much!!

sucor said...

I am only an email subscriber but I missed your posts and I'm sorry to hear of the troubles you have had to deal with. Be proud of the changes you've made! Thank you for sharing your experiences. I have lost both my parents, my father when I was young and my Mum last year. Yes, life IS short and can change in an instant! My husband died suddenly when I was forty and I was left to raise our children. I have turned to stamping and card making as my therapy.

Lynnor Goodwin said...

Judy, I am so glad to see this post this morning!! I have often wondered what happened to you and now I know! I'm so glad I took the time to read your long post even though I'm supposed to be in the shower getting ready for a long day with peas at the farm!! Your story is so amazing and inspiring!!! I can't imagine going through the eye infection!! I'm so glad that you are okay...more than okay...you have had a healing of the body and the soul!!! I look forward to seeing your creativity again, but your story has made me think a little about where I am....do I need some changes?? I'm thinking yes! Weight gain, too much time working, and needing to downsize are just a few of the things I need to do. I have entered a church only twice since my mother died four and a half years ago. She used to attend services with me, and I just didn't seem to be able to go without her. Now I think it's just an excuse for stepping back out of my box! Thank you so much!!! I pray many continued blessings for you as you follow your dreams!!! Hugs, Lynnor

Paula said...

oh my, you certainly have had a lot to deal with. I am glad to see postings from you again, I always loved looking at your cards. Hope you get some inspiration back and show some more of your lovely creations.

Chrisd said...

Glad to hear the your journey brought you back to stamping.Sad to learn of the trials you have experienced but glad to learn about the new adventures.Thank you for sharing your life with us. We missed your postings and are glad to see you again. Hugs from Michigan

Debi said...

Judy even though I knew part of your story, I am still amazed at what a wonderfully strong and incredibly talented woman you are! I am glad to see that you are creating again because I have missed seeing your work. So happy you are back in blog land my friend.

Sandee said...

You are an amazing woman Judy! So glad you are finding your way back to stamping as I have missed you! God Bless You!!!

Dawn said...

Judy, Judy, Judy... *said in my best Cary Grant voice*... you've accomplished so much, proud of you!! (and dad would be too!)
so happy you're ACTING! *ouch* on that eye! oh my!! Congrats on the future DIL!!! big hugs from Ohio!

Lorie M aka MelodyGal said...

Judy, thank you so much for your heartfelt post. I am so sorry about the loss of your dad. Dads are special, and there is such a void when the rock of our lives is no longer there. We missed you at SCS, and are happy you are back. You have done an amazing job during the healing process in setting and meeting goals and in experiencing life outside the craft room. You are a wonderful example and inspiration to us all. Welcome back, and lots of hugs to you.--Lorie McMullen (MelodyGal at SCS)

KathyJ (Wattle) said...

Judy, what a year you have had, so many highs and lows. While reading your story I had tears for your bad times and then would smile during your good times. In a few short months you have achieved so much!! It is so nice to see you back and creating again! {hugs}

Chris Olsen, Glowbug said...

Oh Judy, I have so missed you!! You have had such a year full of good and bad experiencing so many highs and lows. Your story touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes!! I am so happy that you have started to act. You seem to be a natural in the Arts!! Wish I could see you act in person. Glad to see you back..you surely have been missing my friend!!

Oh...congrats on all the weight loss! You look amazing!! I sure hope you eye continues to improve!!

hugs,
Chris

msfreida said...

First, your card is most appropriate for this chapter in your life! GORGEOUS coloring and design! Perfect sentiment too! ;)

My heart aches for your loss. I know it is comforting to know he is in a better place and free from his aches and pains. It is evident God has blessed you with many talents, and sharing these talents as you are, has given you new purpose. How incredible this is for you! How inspiring for us!
Hugs~

Francie G. said...

Hi, Judy!It is so good to see you again! So sorry for the loss of your dad! Sounds as if he was very special! Thank you so much for sharing your story! Love your new take on life! Thanks for the inspiration!

Your bright and cheerful card is just beautiful! Please do not include me in the drawing!

GAZ said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It has helped me as I am experiencing the loss of my husband and trying to figure out what I want to do now. I need to make a "bucket list" and find some direction for my future so time is not wasted. Thanks again and Congratulations on all you have accomplished. Your card is beautiful too!

Debra said...

Thanks for such an inspiring post. I hope if you are ever feeling 'down,' you will read through that post again and realize all you have struggled with and triumphed over. You are so inspiring and I was in tears just reading your post and I am touched beyond words. So glad to see you back and hopefully the struggle is far behind you. A huge welcome back!

Angella D. Crockett said...

Judy, wow, so many changes in your life! It was so sad when your dad passed, but now it sure is great to see you living life to the fullest! I pray for your continued healing and for much happiness!! We have missed you at ODBD for sure! It's so great to see you stamping again! God bless, GF!!!!

Wanda Cullen said...

OMG, what a bumpy road you've had for awhile, but you're an inspiration with how you've coped and risen up to fulfil your dreams! It's definitely great to see you in the stamping community again!

Kim Nath said...

What an incredible journey you have been on, but you have seemed to have made the best out of a very difficult situation. What an inspiration you are and I wish you nothing but happiness and fulfillment in all your dreams. So glad to have you back stamping too!

Karinn said...

Sending hugs to you. So glad you are "back." :0)

Bev J. said...

First, so sorry about your father and your eye problems. Glad the eye is better-take care.

Enjoyed the photos you posted and your card is great-you haven't lost your touch!!

Connie M. said...

Judy! What an amazing journey you have been on this past year...you have always been on my mind, and I am so glad to hear you are doing well. So sorry about your eye, but God is good, and He will continue to help you through this! Congrats on your acting and weight loss...how so very wonderful for you!

Missed you lots...Big (((Hugs))) to you!!

Anonymous said...

God has blessed your journey thus far...even with the losses, both of your Father and aspects of your health. But such blessings He has given you in your searching for those IMPORTANT things in your life. Congrats on your acting and your children's accomplishments. And you have blessed us with your story. Thanks and SO glad you're back!! Esther

Glenda said...

Judy, I followed your blog for over a year....I visited each and every morning faithfully and then you were gone. I so missed you and wondered many times what happened to Judy. After reading your story I totally understand. What an amazing journey you have been on....God bless you and your family! I am so glad you have begun to create again! You have such a talent and I'm glad you have begun to share that once again...For me when I stamp, I find peace. I wish the same for you! Welcome back!

Kittie said...

Judy, I just sold tons of stuff on Ebay to clean out my stamping area so don't pick me for your prise. : ) I am sorry the loss of your father. I lost my mother to diabetes and all it's hellish complications and feel your sorrow. I am sad that you have to suffer with your eye. Ugh! Our eyes are so sensitive and so very important. I am thrilled that you took steps to live your dream of performing. How absolutely inspiring to know that any of us could fulfill our life long dreams if we would only believe in ourselves and TRY!!!!!!!!! Your blog post as put tears in my eyes this morning as I have let so many of my dreams go buy the way side. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. I am so happy to see that you can now enjoy stamping again. You have always been one of my favoritge SCS friends. Welcome home!!! Love and hugs to you, Judy.

Gloria said...

Judy, first of all Welcome Back my Shabby Sista'!

I wondered where you were. Thanks so much for sharing the last 8 months of your life with me. Life has a way of taking us down different roadways...I am thrilled for you that you are going after your dreams. How exciting to be on stage...I think I would would pass out from fright! lol
Also, Good for you for taking care of your health with a regular exercise routine....I have 20lbs I need to get off too....you have inspired me...!

I am so glad to see you are creating again.....Please accept my sympathies on your fathers passing....may your many happy memories with him bring you comfort.

Welcome back girl!!!

Mothermark said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! You are truly amazing! I am very proud of you...in awe really! What a couple of months you have had! And you know what? Your Dad would be so proud of all of your recent accomplishments...its a wonderful thing! You didn't have to PLAY that beautiful woman, YOU ARE that beautiful woman! Its wonderful to read about your experiences, some good, some bad, some hard....some painful....but alot of good came out of the last few months......

Its good to have to back....Congrats on accomplishing some of your bucket items!

Emily said...

What an amazing journey you have had over the past months, filled with sweet highs and sorrowful lows. I can completely understand your need for leaving stamping during your grieving journey just as much as your sudden, unexplained need to return. Enjoy all of your life changes and revel in your creativity!

Julie- justwritedesigns said...

Thanks so much for sharing your touching story, Judy! I read about your Dad, long after it happened and wondered how you were doing. You've been greatly missed.

I so understand the eye problem. Several yrs ago, I had a virus in both eyes that stripped the epithelial layer from both corneas. I was totally blind for several weeks and had to have the drops hourly, eye patch and daily visits to the Dr. I was a hair from having to have cornea transplants. Like you, it hurt so bad and I couldn't stand the light. It was almost 6 months before I could see well enough to drive. I'm so glad you're showing improvement and have your vision. It was so scary when I didn't know if I'd see again.

Your pics look wonderful! And you're doing so many positive new/old things. Good for you!

Joan Ervin said...

My heart goes out to you, Judy...you have been on quite a wild ride this year!!!! I am so sorry to hear about your father and all your eye problems...I'm sending prayers your way for comfort and healing!!! I'm glad to hear you are filling your life with many new adventures...you are sooo right about life being short!!! We are living one of our dreams by adopting rescue horses...you are never too old to follow you dreams!!! BTW, I am thrilled to see you stamping again...we have missed your sweet self in the gallery!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh what a year you have had. So sorry for the loss of your father. What a blessing to be spared oyur sight even though it sounds like a terrible road you traveled. Yur stamping - it may have taken you a long time to do these cards, but they look like you haven't skipped a beat - just gorgeous!
Thanks for sharing your story with us. I had wondered why there were no more posts. Keep living life to the fullest and sharing with us -you inspire us.
cindyb

Dawn B. said...

Sometimes one life change creates another.. I am so happy to see you back stamping. I admire you stepping back and taking care of YOU. You have accomplished so much in the last 8 months. I am so sorry for the loss of your father.. It is hard sometimes to realize that life just doesn't wait for us. It keeps on going. Take care of your eye..Keep on exercising...believe and keep on achieving those acting dreams but most of all WELCOME BACK...
Take care.

Stacy aka Twinshappy on SCS said...

Oh Judy... You are such a sweet person. I am so glad that you had all that time to be with family, grieve and just decide what you wanted in life. I am glad you are sticking with the exercise and deciding what is best for your health and your kids. All the pictures are awesome! I love the movie with Cary Grant Philedelphia story and what a cool role to play. Big congrats! You know I missed you and thought about you often. Sometimes God really take a hold and helps you notice what is important, but he does want you to enjoy what you love. Glad you are stamping again. Hugs...

Peggy said...

What an amazing turn of events for you over the past several months! I missed "seeing you" and wondered what had happened. You are really good at "disappearing acts"! I am sorry to hear about your Dad.
Looks like you are well on your way to filling the bucket list and taking new adventures. Have fun with life and best wishes on whatever journey you decide to take!
Hugs!

Amy Sheffer said...

First, Judy, the biggest cyber hugs to you (wish they could be in person!). Second, thanks so much for sharing so much about your time away from your blog. I've missed you and think of you often! So happy to know of all the blessings that have come your way by following your dreams. The Nike scar on your cornea makes me think "just Do It" - which you ARE. Congrats on achieving so many goals and dreams and welcome back to stamping. More hugs!! And I can't go without telling you how AMAZING you look!

Amy Sheffer said...

p.s.... one more thing ... target shooting????? No WONDER you kicked my booty on the Buzz Lightyear ride - not once, but twice! Or was it three times? You stinker!!

Grace said...

Hi Judy! I was away when this posted or I would have been early to the show! I have stopped by your blog so many times hoping to find a post so I could leave you a message, and of course I have emailed you a couple times... but I really missed seeing your work and hearing all that was going on in your life. I knew you had to be grieving the loss of your dear dad... but had NO idea what else you were going through!!! I have read every word of this post and have tears of joy for all the joyful things you have been able to do, and tears of sorrow for all you've been through, but may God be praised that your sight is basically not affected and that the pain is gone!!!! It's so good to hear from you!!!! I do hope you'll be meeting your stamp space more and more!!! Oh and may I say YOU LOOK GREAT!!!! Congrats on the great diet results and exercise!!!! Can you motivate me???? So good to hear!!!!
Hugs,
Grace