Thursday, March 29, 2012


A few days ago, the layout I did of my mom and I on our annual quilt shop hop (which we're starting again today!) was featured on If you missed it the first time I posted, just scroll on down the blog and there it is again! I was very excited and flattered that they wanted to feature my layout!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


So, here's the skinny:
I spoke with my doctor on Monday and my blood test came back negative. Basically, that means that we don't have NAIT and no one really knows what is causing our babies to die after they're born at 37.5 weeks. The feeling I got from my doctor was that we'll probably never figure this out, although we are going to continue on to do some more genetic testing at this time. Frankly though, this is just discouraging. I was so sure we had NAIT and that we'd figure this out and be able to manage another pregnancy. But, if we never find out what's going on, I can't do this again - it's costly to every aspect of my life: physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, financially. I. just. can't.

We are so blessed to have Trotwood in our lives, and we may just have to accept that, perhaps, he was our miracle baby. I am working on dealing with the possibility of never finding out what is going on, but it is so hard for me because I want answers. And I wanted them yesterday. This whole process all takes so long too - my doctor has to write letters of medical necessity to our insurance for genetic tests to be approved and I feel like I'm just waiting on other people to do things for me and if it were up to me, I'd be getting these things done right away.

Okay, so I'll stop being Debbie Downer and instead leave you to watch a funny SNL skit featuring Debbie Downer. It makes me laugh. And lately, laughing is just what I need.

{P.S. Feel free to comment. I could use some comment love.}

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Who Needs Toys?

I just finished this layout last night. It's for the March Blueprint Challenge at DHD. The pictures are from when Trotwood was about 10 months old. I'm still working on his birth to 1 year scrapbook but I think I have the most fun scrapbooking the more recent pictures I take of him because I remember the stories about the pictures a little better. This is one story, however, I do remember from when he was younger!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Back to work

Well, my first week back at work went well. Of course, it was hard to leave Trotwood but I think he hardly noticed I was gone because he had so much fun playing with his friends on the days Mr. Rochester and I both worked. I'm so glad we have such wonderful friends who are willing to watch him for us when Mr. Rochester and I both have to work. Our evenings weren't too hectic either because I cooked a lot over the weekend. I think the key to my not be stressed out in the evenings after work is to have the house somewhat clean and to have something already prepared for dinner. This makes me do more meal prep work on the weekends but then we don't end up eating out so much and it doesn't take me long to whip something together in the evenings after work. But tonight, I didn't have to do anything because Mr. Rochester had a delicious meatloaf ready when I got home from work (it's Spring Break this week).

Oh, and I made it two whole days back at work before I ran into someone who excitedly asked, "So, how's the baby?" It was okay. I have a very visible job on campus so if I didn't work with someone on a regular basis and just saw them every month or so, then they had no idea what happened. They're really just being kind asking about her and honestly, if my daughter were here, I'd want to tell them everything she was doing: how's she's sleeping at night, how cute she is, how she and Trotwood get along. But, she's not here, so I make a short and sweet explanation, thank them for their inquiry, and then change the subject. I think changing the subject at that point does everyone a favor.

We're still waiting to find out the results of my blood test from over a week ago. I expect a call any day now. The doctors told us it would take at least seven days to find out anything. I'm really not sure what to expect. I hope we can find some answers.

DHD Gift Card Winner!

Congrats to Melissa L. for winning a $5 Gift Certificate to Design House Digital! Thanks for participating in our blog hop! (Winner chosen via

Monday, March 12, 2012


I made this for the DHD speed scrap over the weekend. These pictures always make me laugh. Sometimes I think I may take too many pictures of Trotwood's mad faces but they are just so darn funny!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

DHD Spring Blog Hop and Tutorial

Thanks for participating in the DHD Spring Blog Hop! Today, I'd love to show you how to create a text wrap effect in Photoshop when you do your journaling. Something I love about scrapbooking is how you can preserve precious memories by telling stories through photos and journaling on your layouts. In my opinion, the way you present your journaling on your page can add even more to the story being told and by wrapping journaling around different elements or photos in your layout, you create a better flow to your layout.The first thing you will want to do is use the rectangle tool to outline where you want to place your journaling (make sure to choose the rectangle tool and not the rectangular marquee tool). When you make your square or rectangle, include the overlapping element. Choose paths and add to paths when you use this tool.

Next, choose a shape in the paths menu that you want to use to cut out around the element or object that you want to journal around. You can even use the freeform pen tool if you have an irregular shape you want to cut out of the journaling area. Make sure to choose the "Subtract from paths area" option before beginning your cutout. Your cursor will turn into a large plus sign with a tiny minus sign at the bottom. After you've created your cut out shape, by holding down your mouse and spacebar, you can reposition your cutout if necessary.

Last, select the Text tool in Photoshop and move it into your journaling area where you plan on beginning to type. As soon as your Text tool is inside the journaling area with the subtracted cutout, the cursor will go from the normal square text cursor to having a dotted circle where the square was.

And that's that! Here is a page I made using this technique and part of the Spring Menagerie kit, which you will get for free if you complete the blog hop by gathering your scavenger hunt letters! (The area I "cut out" in this layout was around the pink butterfly.)

You can download here a very basic template of this page for free where the journaling text wrap is already done for you. My mystery letter to the DHD Spring Blog Hop Scavenger Hunt is:

Check the DHD blog for updates on Mad March Memories Challenges and great sales for the whole month of March! Also, if you’d like to enter to win a gift certificate to the DHD shop, leave a comment on my blog including your email address before March 18th at midnight. Don't forget to visit the other blogs in the blog hop to collect all the letters to the scavenger hunt! Your next stop is Audrey Neal's blog.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Where we are

I know I haven't posted a real blog post in awhile. Doing the scrapbook pages has been a good outlet for me. It helps me be creative while expressing my feelings at the same time. So, where are we right now? Well, in all honesty, Mr. Rochester and I are doing okay. We have bad days and then we have better days and I think lately, we've been having more of the better days, which is good. We are so grateful to have our little, spunky Trotwood in our lives. He brings so much joy and laughter into our house every day...having him around makes it easier to cope.

Currently, we're in the process of seeking answers to our situation. It took awhile to get copies of all of our medical records together but yesterday, we were finally able to meet with a maternal fetal specialist for the first time. Actually, we ended up seeing two specialists and neither one of them could tell us exactly what our problem was. That was disappointing because after speaking with other doctors, I was already convinced that we must be facing a condition called NAIT. Yet, for different reasons, the specialists we spoke with yesterday were not convinced that NAIT was our issue or that our daughters suffered from the same condition. That was a surprise. The doctors went ahead and got a blood sample from me to have it tested and if my blood is positive for what they're looking for concerning NAIT, then they'll take Mr. Rochester's blood and hooray we will have a diagnosis. However, it may not turn out to be as easy at that - we'll just have to see.

These past two months, I've had some time to recover from my surgery and everything that's happened. I have loved being able to stay home with Trotwood and have treasured our time together. On Monday, I have to return to work and the craziness of life will again ensue. I want to thank everyone again for the thoughts, prayers, meals, cards, flowers and plants that have been sent our way. Forgive me if I did not personally send out a thank you letter to you for any service that you provided us at this time. We could certainly feel the love of others through their service to us and I believe that we have truly gained much peace and strength from all the prayers being offered up in our names.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


This is another sort of art journaling layout. Very cathartic to do.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Crazy Train

I hosted the recent 4play feature at Design House Digital and this is the layout I created for it. It's a fun, weekly challenge if you ever want to participate in it. I just love watching Trotwood play with his trains!