It's truly amazing to think that already I've surpassed the five year mark. Eric's passage to the other side nearly took my life away for good. I never thought I'd find love again, nor feel it in the same light as I had with my first. I'm a firm believer in fate. That hasn't always been the case. I wasn't one to give away control so easily. Of Course, that all changed after losing Eric. Looking back with a keen eye, I can slowly but surely see the puzzle pieces that joined together to form what is now, the basis of the new life in front of me. The big picture is clearer than it's ever been and everything that happened, big, small, temporary, permanent, has served a purpose of grand proportions. The best part...I'm alive, breathing, happy, healthy and living a fulfilling life. That's a far cry difference from how things were five years ago. Just like my father always says, "Everything works out in the end. You just have to wait." So far, he's right. Who knows what fate will have in store for me tomorrow? For now, I'm going to celebrate "what is" and make the most of it. Five Years Strong.
I admit that most my hours are spent nurturing the relationship most important to me (alongside Ethan) at the moment; Eric is a sweetheart. We've been together almost nine months already. His small town mentality, compassionate heart and sincere good will are qualities I adore about him. He has a smile that makes me blush. His laugh is contagious. We can say, and do just about anything in front of each other and it only makes us love, more. Our time together is well 'spent' - and guess what? He's totally cool with scrapbooking and my being a goof once in a while. Love that.
He's great with Ethan, too..and his two darling boys. Last week, we road bikes and Ethan took a leap at something new...
Eric and I decided it was time for Ethan to try his bike without training wheels - here's his first "big" treck without four tires!
Ethan did an awesome job of managing the bike without the extra support. I'm a proud mama! It was like he never had training wheels in the first place. Eric and I both agreed that the wheels should of came off a long time ago. Still, look at him go!! Woohoo! Yeah!!!
I'm going to completely change topics on you and talk about my recent trip to Saint Cloud's gigantic craft store called, "Crafts Direct". This is my forth time checking out the store with it's endless aisles of craft supplies,including miles of scrapbook products from every manufacturer known to man. I brought my camera with me on this last trip. Figure it was time to update you about the place after last year's "Craft Direct" introduction. It is unbelievable!! Check it out if ever in the area...and bring an energy drink! Took me two hours to get through half the store!!
Ok, this is just half the store. I wasn't able to capture the full scope of it's size, but I'd say it's five or six times the footage of Michaels Craft Store...possibly larger. The aisles go on forever and the best part, the product selection is always changing, so you'll only see new stuff on the shelves!!
This section is exclusive to scrapbook supplies. There are about twelve aisles of scrapbook ware to admire and pick through. A Shopping Cart is non-optional. I learned that the hard way.
So, every end-cap hosts newly released product, just like Jo Anns or Michaels, accept what "Craft Direct" calls "new" is the "real deal"; My Mind's Eye, Story Tellers, American Crafts, We R Memory Keepers, Crate, Studio Calico, Basic Grey, Hero Arts (all of it!), Adorn It, etc.
There's also a large area in the back of the store exclusive to new scrapbook releases and die-cutting machines. I spotted Crate's Party Day next to EP's summer collection and Glitz Girls. On the other side of this panel is American Crafts Mayberry...
This Mayberry Chipboard Flip Book is the cutest chipboard I've ever seen! Look at the basket of flowers and "Love you Always" signage!! Can you tell I'm excited?!
With October Afternoon only an hour away (Apple Valley, MN), I wasn't surprised to locate their new travel collection at Crafts Direct. The paper is undeniably a must-have for OA fans, which is almost every scrapbooker on the planet. Look at this "driving miss daisy" paper (totally made-up name!)..wanna ride?
I think I might of forgotten to mention their mighty big stamp collection. Yes, they cater to stamp-oholics, too. I found a couple of stamp sets that caught my fancy (left them at the store though - girl's on a budget!)
I still enjoy the occasional wood stamp from time to time and thought these Hero Art Stamps were charming. Love them banners!
CD also sells the basics if in the market for inks, markers, trimmers, punches, glues, sponges, pencils, etc. This was my first time coming across Advantus's "Vintage Sparkle" glitter jars. The glitter isn't "vintage" per say, but the packaging is pretty, don't you think? I kind of like it :)
Outside the bounds of scrapbooking, sewing, wood carving, etc, is Craft Direct's sizable home decor displays and seasonal florals. For bird and feather lovers, it's a dream come true!
In the end, I walked away with a stash the size of Texas - not even my basket could take no more. I should of grabbed a cart. Too late.
And there you have it - Minnesota's Craft Addict Retailer, Crafts Direct. I'd love to hear what you think!
Gonna leave you with this adorable pic of Rayna, Eric's country pup. The spots on her ears always make me smile. Her ears prop forward whenever she's listening to something or someone. It's laughable and makes me want to be a vet tech all over again.
New Crate awaits in the next room...see you folks later! Thanks for checking in! And feel free to pin anything that is to your liking! :)