It seems like such a long time since I blogged about anything nice, but hopefully this entry will be the start of many nice things.
The year so far has been better than expected - and although there have been some ups and down we are all doing ok.
This weekend I have been on the Sarah's Cards Retreat and what a retreat. From the minutes I set off from Leeds on Friday morning to the moment I got home I have had a ball. Ok, I admit in all my excitement I arrived far too early but the pleasure of sitting in the foyer of the hotel and watching the world go by and the people arrive was well worth it.
The whole weekend was amazing from the new faces I met, to the old friends that were there - from the welcome from the team and the goody bags, to the classes and the make and takes. From the laughter to the tears, from the new friends made to the old friends who will continue to be there.
This experience has been awesome. I have met so many people who knew my story and have shared it through UKS and this blog and I have met so many people who didn't but who cared about it when they heard. I have laughed with my new friends and with my old ones and many of us shared tears of both laughter and sadness over our life stories.
Yet with all this going on I have learnt so much from those teaching (and their wonderful helpers). I have learnt that it really is ok to tear and scrunch paper, that you ink every edge LOL, that you can do 8.5 x 11 LO's and they really are amazing too. I have worked wth acrylic albums and made mini books that go on to your LO, I have cut, folded, distressed, painted, added embellishments, layered and even added a butterfly or two to a LO (thank you Rachael Elliot LOL). I have been told that I look younger than my photo by more than one person but most of all I hopefully have made friends with so many and hopefully for a long time.
I have managed to do 14 LO's - some of my own too which I am incredibly impressed with and will upload hopefully tomorrow. The lessons taught were so inspiring and the fact that the instructions were clear and consise made all the difference. The bonus of having the teachers on hand after the lessons whilst you completed the LO's meant that you never felt out of your depth and from the bottom of my heart I thank the organisers, Sarah and Lianne and all the DT at Sarah's Cards for their friendliness and helpfulness and I hope that I can use your inspiration to continue to produce LOs that may, one day, be as beautiful as yours.
However, the ladies that attended the "conference" (and I haven't a clue what the staff at the hotel made of us all LOL) made the experience whole. I have met so many of those I have spoken to on UKS, I have met some of those who have supported me through the past 18 months, I have met ladies who were a total inspiration and I have hopefully made some new friends.
All the ladies were warm and welcoming but I have to mention some very special ones who made the weekend what it was (and this excludes the list of all the DT because they are automatically included).
Chloe - how lovely to meet you and how lovely to share the experience of driving round and round the Manchester Airport short stay car park - I really did think we were going to spend the weekend there.
Gwyneth - well what can I say - you are such a wonderful lady who I am so grateful to for your continued friendship - but to meet you IRL was a joy - you made me laugh so many times, not at you but with you and I hope your first experience of speed scrapping wasn't too bad - you are a true inspiration and I can honestly say I love you sooo much.
SamG - you have made me laugh and cry - you are such a warm and funny lady and I am so grateful we had you on our table all weekend and we shared our classes - love you too hun.
JulieM and Scrappydog (Helen) - well what can I say - you made me laugh and laugh. You are two of the warmest, kindest, most wonderful ladies and it was such a pleasure to be in your company. Helen, I hope your back op goes well and you are on your feet quickly again and back to your scrapping. I just want to bundle you both up and bring you home wth me because you truly make me smile. I hope we see each other again soon xxxx
Tara - you were lovely to meet, you made us laugh and I think you have a wonderful husband and family - remember you are the parent and you know we are always here for you.
Jane and Denise - well what can I say - Jane, you know how I feel about you and it hasn't changed, and Denise - you are as lovely as Jane says and I felt from the start that I knew you and you were just as wonderful as I thought you'd be.
Trina - how funny that we didn't know each other was going - next time TELL ME and I'll take you over you daft so and so - hope you are feeling better soon hun xxxx
Rachel (W) - so lovely to actually spend some time with you - remember you are a talented young lady and deserve to be where you are - don't forget the promise of a shopping trip xxxx
To all the other ladies I met, far too many to mention - you are all stars.
However my special thanks has to go to Alison - there is noone I would rather share a room with, no one I would rather share a weekend with and no one who makes me laugh as much as you do - you are such a special lady and I am so thankful you are my friend - love you babe xxxx
So now it's 11.30pm, I am knackered and the washing machine has finally finished so I am off to put my washing in the dryer so the kids have uniforms for tomorrow and I am off to bed.
But before I finish there are three special people who deserve a thank you and that is my amazing kids - not only did they make me go away but they looked after themselves whilst I did it - they kept the house tidy - the didn't fall out too many times and without them I wouldn't be who I am - so Jamie, Alex and Gemma - I LOVE YOU ALL TO THE STARS AND BACK AGAIN.
I promise to blog my LO's tomorrow but from me, goodnight xxxxx