Saying goodbye to summer

DSCF1858Summer break is almost over here and we have one more long weekend to enjoy before all of us go back to school.  I have two workshops this week but we are trying to enjoy these last few days as much as we can.

It has been a pretty quiet summer this year since we took a big trip to Florida before Christmas.  Plus the little man had his surgery at the beginning of summer which ate up over three weeks of our summer the poor guy.

What I loved about this summer?  Not having a plan.

We had a relaxed stay at home summer with a few day trips thrown in.  Nothing fancy.  We slept in, stayed up late, played games and watched tons of movies.  I’m sad to see summer go but I know we have next summer to look forward too.  I know we have fun school adventures, and Christmas break too. Then before you know it we will be counting down the last ten weeks of school again.

So here we are saying goodbye to summer… you were simple and quiet but warm and fun.  Until next time summer.

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Getting current | Project Life® Creative Team

With my arthritis illness that hit early this march I fell really behind in my documenting our family life in my Project Life album.  I spent a lot of time catching up this summer while I was off for summer break.  These layouts span April, May and June.  I really loved leaving the weekly format behind.

This layout is from April and features Design A, 6×8 page protector, Design G, Seafoam, Teen Boy and some Studio Calico labels.TMcKerninAugust1 TMcKerninAugust1a

This layout if from May when we were working on some renovations around our house.  My uncle was up and taught us how to tile a back splash.  I used Design A, Midnight, Seafoam, and a Paislee Press QR template.

TMcKerninAugust2This layout is from June as school finally was wrapping up.  It was a busy time for us, getting ready for summer break, Jake’s upcoming surgery and I even had a job interview!  In this layout I used Design A, Seafoam, Coral and Midnight.

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Project Life® is a memory-keeping system created by Becky HigginsI use photos, text and stuff to document our life weekly, monthy and for everything in between.

Living with Arthritis | Part Two

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Still without knowing what was wrong with me, still in constant pain and barely functioning I was lost.  I feared going to sleep at night, afraid I wouldn’t wake up.  It’s amazing how important our health is and how easily we take it for granted.  I started journalling to try and relax myself enough to allow sleep to happen.  It helped calm me.  You most certainly do not want to read it.  It’s pretty morbid, I was really so ill I thought I was dying.

The medication was helping, I had more movement but still swelling and pain.  Plus the addition of the nasty side effect of a constant state of nausea and stomach pain.  Awesome right?

Then my doctors office calls and the earliest I can see a specialist so far is a year away.  A year.  I told them I’ll be dead in a year.  She wasn’t impressed.  Nor was I.

What do I do?  I was afraid I would lose my work contract.  I had no health benefits.  Very grateful for our health care system but no medical coverage equaled very expensive medication.

Finally after a month I caved.  I didn’t take my medication and I went to work.  Lets see how bad this gets.  I worked the school day, by the time I was picked up and tried to get out of the care I could barely move.  I had a long hot bath.  Got ready and left the boys with my Bill and headed to the emergency room at the hospital with my Mom.

Dinner hour is a good time to go just as a heads up.  Oh, and we had bets on how long before I was even looked at.  My Mom’s 6 hour bet was bang on.

I cried telling the intake lady my story.  I had to wait for the intake nurse.  Then I sobbed telling her the story.  My swelling was the worst it had ever been.  I could barely find shoes to put on my feet.  I was taken to the acute care waiting area.

After hours I finally seen by the next nurse.  My swelling was all the way up past my knees. There was no give when you touched it.  I felt like I was exploding.  My pain was horrible.  My blood pressure which is normally amazing was through the roof.  I was just a tad stressed.

I was finally moved to a bed and the acute care emerge.  There we had to wait the last two hours before I was seen.  Someone came in critical with a hip fracture so we had to wait for the next doctor to come in to take over.

When I was finally seen, he was amazing.  My swelling had gone down slightly due to being able to lay down.  He referred me to a local Rheumatologist and said I’m told his wait is rather quick but can be long sometimes so hopefully you’re on the quick list.

That was a Friday night, by Tuesday we got the call and I was seeing him the following Monday.

Miracles do happen.

To be continued.

Exploring the Local Library

I’m not sure why on earth it I don’t go to the library.  I love to read, I don’t do it as much in the school year but I devour books.  In 24 hour periods.  If I’m into it, I’ll polish it off right away.  I’m that girl.

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Our main branch is in the downtown core and I’ve never really like driving there with kids,parking in some far lot, and then walking to the library.  It was always hard to make it back in time to drop them off when I commuted so late already.  I don’t know I just was never comfortable doing it. The books then were never on time, nothing was online, I had to go in to pay late fees.  Ugh.  I’ll buy my books instead.

Fast forward to 2014.  Finally decided after my last score of random $2 books from a major bargain books sale at Chapters.  I could do it no more.  Too many books, no room, no money in the budget for reading.  I caved.  A newer branch had been build closer to our home, and actually Bill helped do the data infrastructure with his previous company.  So we all went.  My youngest was excited because we were going to a play land near buy to play after.  So he was down for everything.  My oldest basically fought and argued the whole way there.  Bill grumbled that we weren’t going to the downtown location.  I was afraid it was going to be an epic fail.  EPIC FAIL.

Then a few things happened, like their great lounge surrounded buy all their DVD and Blu Ray discs.  Oh, they have TV series, oh hey isn’t this the one we wanted to watch but haven’t seen?  Yeah Bill got roped in.  We got the first three discs of season one of Elementary.  So excited.

Then Jake discovered lego books, and picked one out.  He noticed a page was coming out so we took it over to the Librarian and asked her what to do.  So which she made a note in the system, she did a temporary fix and started chatting up Ian.  She spoke the language of graphic books quite well and hooked him into two series and suggested several more.  Suddenly Ian was sitting and reading while Bill and Jake played lego.

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Then it was my turn, I picked out a book to read with each of the boys and snagged one I’d seen at chapters.  It was awesome I finished while curled up on the couch while the day rained, and rained more, and then again.  I got the Rainbow Fish for Jake and I to read.  Love that book.  Then for Ian and I we picked up The Magician’s Elephant.  At some point Bill picked up a book in the mix and we were on our way.

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When we got home I went to write the return dates on the main calendar.  Where was the sheet of paper.  I checked the car, three times.  I checked their website to see if there was a way to check, there was but I needed a PIN.  What PIN?  Long story short I talked to someone, now have access to an only account where I can track, renew and request books.  I currently have three on order and will switch out all the ones we’ve already finished.  So excited already have a list of books to read, three on hold to pick up and even Ian’s browsing the books!

Why did I wait so long again?

Birthday Card | Project Life® Creative Team

Jake is going to his best friends birthday this weekend.  This little girl loves My Little Pony, she also love my Jake.  So I wanted to make something special from Jake for her to go with her gift.  Using the newly release Peace, Love & Sunshine Value Kit I whipped up this card in minutes.  In photoshop I added some words, printed them at home, cut, glue, sign and done!  Super easy and super fun._MG_9704

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Project Life® is a memory-keeping system created by Becky HigginsI use photos, text and stuff to document our life weekly, monthy and for everything in between.

July 2014| Project Life® Creative Team

Here are some of the layouts I made this month.  I needed to play catch up from being very ill for the last few months so I spend two days and got all caught up.  I pulled together 15 two page layouts in two days.  15!

My son’s 5th birthday family party – very low key because he ended up getting sick but we managed a little celebrating before calling it an early day.

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This was the beginning of July – my everyday magic layout.  I used teen boy, midnight and strawberry edition.  Love being able to pull from multiple kits and making it work.

TMcKerninAugust4Project Life® is a memory-keeping system created by Becky Higgins. I use photos, text and stuff to document our life weekly, monthy and for everything in between.

Our trip to Cocoa Beach | Florida Trip 2013

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In November my Mom, my boys and I headed to Kissimmee, Florida for our first real vacation. It was our second time to Florida and my boys first time.  My sister also met up with us for a few days too which was great since she was 2 the last time we were there!

One of the last things we did was drive out to Cocoa Beach for an afternoon on the beach. It was a super fun day and we so enjoyed all of our time spent at the beaches around Florida. Our visit to Cocoa was one of our cooler days but it was amazing none the less.

I found the Alantic side of Florida much cooler this time of year than the Gulf coast side. So no swimming for us unlike our trip to Sanibel Island. Which was fine with us because it was just wonderful to be able to soak it all in. Sun. Surf. Sand. Love. Not to mention is was November and back home the ground was already covered in about 2 inches of snow.

I could spend the rest of my days on a beach with the sound of the ocean crashing onto the shore. That salty tang, sand between your toes, beach hair, boys digging in the sands, oh how I love it. So sad spending our last day at the water, but it was perfect.  We can’t wait to go back again and spend our entire vacation on the beach.

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Project Life App Beta Testing | Project Life® Creative Team

I have been fortunate to be one of the beta testers for the new Project Life App.  I’m using it on my iPad and will test it again when the android app launches on my Samsung S4.

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While I can’t share many details yet I will tell you this, I love it!  I can see using this to catch up on previous years that haven’t been documented.  Or as a planning tool to figure out my spreads in advance before printing anything out (hello money savings!).  I can use it to make simple inserts for my album.  I’m especially excited to use it at work to document my class to make a classroom year book.  It’s just that simple and easy to use.  WIN WIN!

Here are some more layouts – I also opened the two beach layouts in Photoshop to show you how the look side by side.project-lifeproject-life (1)

photo 2double pageImage-1Image-1 (1)Project Life® is a memory-keeping system created by Becky HigginsI use photos, text and stuff to document our life weekly, monthy and for everything in between.

Hello May | Project Life® Creative Team

After getting sick my photos really started to lack.  Other than my son’s birthday images I had a handful of daily images.  So I decided to make it work.  I let go of my weekly process and went to monthly approach.  Groupings, themes, events.  April and May are slim, June and July once I started feeling better are much larger and that’s ok.  I miss my week card but I’m rolling with it.  That’s what’s so great about this project, it’s easy and flexible. TMcKerninJuly3Project Life® is a memory-keeping system created by Becky HigginsI use photos, text and stuff to document our life weekly, monthy and for everything in between.

Living with Arthritis | Part One

I’ve been absent from the blog for quite a while.  One day I was fine and the next I felt like I was getting the flu.  Not the stomach bug but the real deal influenza.  Chills, aching pain, fever, weakness and exhaustion.  Monday I was fine, by Thursday I thought I was coming down with the virus the kids were getting in the classroom.  Maybe I was.  By the end of school I was barely functioning.  I ended up in bed with a 104 degree fever.  It was a long horrible night.

I felt well enough in the morning to go to the clinic, but by the time it opened and I was registered I barely had the strength to stand up.  The doctor said it was a sinus infection as well as a flu virus on top of it.  I was giving a prescription to treat the infection and told to rest.  It took everything in me to make it to the car.  I called my Mom and Bill and he picked her up and they both came to get me and bring the car home.  This was just the beginning.

Each day that passed my joint pain became worse.  I cried in pain, nothing helped.  As the medication worked my sinuses and the flu started to get better but the pain got worse.  It hurt to lay down, sit, stand, move.  I should have gone to the emergency room but I was going to see my family doctor.  I tried to hope that I’d turn a corner.  My wrists, hands, feet, ankles, knees, it had a joint it had horrible pain.  I was swollen everywhere.  I’d had some swollen feet in the weeks leading up to it and was seeing my doctor on March break about it.  I thought it was do to the long work days on my feet.

It wasn’t.  We drove through a blizzard to get to my doctor.  It was here that I saw real concern even though he tried to keep the mood light.  My oldest cried that I was dying and to please save me.  It was here that what I’d been denying was no longer deniable. I was sick, really sick.

He felt I had a viral arthritis attack, and prescribed medication, ordered blood tests and sent off referrals to Rheumatologists.  I was the last patient to be seen by the lab just before they closed due to the blizzard.  We spent 3 hours travelling back home.  Exhausted and defeated.  Praying that I would start to recover before work started again on Monday.  I didn’t get better though.

Lupis was ruled out, Rheumatoid Arthritis was ruled out.  But where did that leave me?  I was barely functioning.  The swelling was horrible, the pain was terrible.  It left me waiting and struggling.  Viral arthritis?

To be continued…