Let’s Get Personal…

I was reading an article the other day, (close your mouths ladies… I know HOW to read I just chose not to that often) so as I was saying… I was reading this article of a woman that wrote in her journal for 365 straight days.  She noted all the things that she was grateful for and how many of these blessing changed her life.  So for family night on Monday, we all started Gratitude Journals, and as I have written in several “blessings” over the last few days I am noticing how each one is connected or come to me because of STAMPIN’ UP!

Me & my babies http://www.handstampedstyle.com

This was taken in the THROWS of my postpartum chapter, you can’t see it… but I am crying!

There are SO many ways that SU! has changed my life, I know I have shared my story of deep postpartum depression before, but many of you may not know it.  I will give you the abbreviated version… My kids are only 12 months apart, and that was not intentional… When I had my son I was battling a small bout of Postpartum and then surprisingly when he was just about 3 mo. old I found out I was pregnant with my daughter.  I literally cried for over a week straight, I remember being in bed for months… I was sick, I was deeply sad and depressed and we were severely financially strapped.  I didn’t realize it then, but being alone with my own thoughts 24/7 – when things seemed that bleak just made things worse.  I didn’t know it then but I needed an outlet.

I could only focus on how hard things were, how fat I was, how bad I felt and couldn’t figure out why or how to get out of the hole I had crawled into… I refused medication at first, thinking I could fix this myself… the truth was that I couldn’t.  I needed help… badly.  My poor husband didn’t grow up with any sister, as if that would have helped, but this experience was completely foreign to him.  He didn’t know how to help me the way that I needed.

It seemed like the longer I was alone the worse I got.  Then I was introduced to Stampin’ Up!, through a workshop… I have to admit, I wasn’t initially impressed- at least I didn’t think I was.  I went home from that gathering and I remember enjoying it but it wasn’t mind blowing.  Then I went to another workshop 2 weeks later, and at that event we colored several cards with the Watercolor Crayons (who remembers those?!) and fireworks went off!!  I felt that rush, that adrenaline rush… it was art class all over again- and that was all I needed.  I don’t think I even realized how badly I needed that outlet until that moment.

#inspirecreateshare2014 roomates http://www.handstampedstyle.com

Top: Krista J., Stacie J.
Bottom: Erica C, ME, and Jane

So I became a Demo just after my second workshop.  I joined simply because the Starter Kit was SUCH a great deal (at an astonishing $199).  I quickly learned that through this crazy paper passion I would meet the MOST amazing women.  I have developed life long friends that I have met at various Stampin’ Up! events like Convention, Leadership and the Grand Vacation (shown above) as well as awesome ladies that I consider friends that attend my classes and follow my blog.  I can’t imagine my life without Stampin’ Up! and these blessed friends!

Hand Stamped Style Classes http://www.handstampedstyle.com

Just 2 of the MANY amazing women that I have been blessed to call friends over the years!!

But if I think about it more, there are endless reasons that I could NEVER picture my life without Stampin’ Up!  I am SO blessed to have the flexibility to be with my kids in the mornings, to make them lunch and make them a warm breakfast before being able to drop them off at school, and pick them up.  The other day my daughter had a “lady mishap” and called me from the Nurses office, she needed a new pair of jeans. In the mid-morning, I was able to drop what I was doing and run those over to her- I don’t think words could express how grateful she was. I am pretty sure that ones going in her journal.  She has told me almost everyday since then, “Mom, thanks SO much for bringing me those pants.  I was SO embarrassed.”

First day of school http://www,HandStampedStyle.com

Thanks Stampin’ Up! for giving me the kind of flexibility that a Mom needs to be a better mother!

Thanks to the flexibility that I cherish with Stampin’ Up! I don’t have to ask anyone if I was time off to take my kids to the pool, or go on vacation!  If I want to pick up and spend the afternoon soaking in the rays with my kids, guess what- I can!  My kids love that they get to develop these awesome memories, and even though they may not see the value in being able to go to the pool- when I worked in an office FT there was no way that my kids could have enjoyed this, at the drop of a hat.

working on our tans http://www.handstampedstyle.com

I never have to ask for permission… priceless!!

Family vacations is not something that we have always done, simply due to the expense.  We have worked really hard over the last few years to get out and stay out of debt.  Now that I have been able to financially contribute to our family budget we are enjoying things that we had put off for so long.  Vacation memories are awesome!

Family Vacation http://www.handstampedstyle.com

Thanks for the once in a lifetime memories Stampin’ up!

If you know me at all, you know that I am almost always saying things that a 12 year old wouldn’t repeat in front of their parents AND that I absolutely HATE to wear a bra and avoid it if I can help it.  That got me thinking too… I posted this pic the other day on my FACEBOOK PAGE

working from home http://www.handstampedstyle.com

This is MY version of BUSINESS casual!

I am SO lucky that not only can I take almost my entire morning and hit the gym and dance (which is my #2 LOVE, second only to SU!), then come home – shower and put my “work” pants on.  My husband is used to this view by now, it took a while.  And YES, the lights are OFF on purpose because aside from the lack of a bra I have NO makeup on… and I love you all but we don’t need to be THAT close. :-)

I could go on and on about how I love thee, Stampin’ Up!  My heart is SO full with gratitude and I just had to share.  If you want to feel this same kind of passion about what you do then check out THIS LINK, or you can give me a call for a NO risk chat (210-376-7639).  I am not one of those gals that is like a leach… pretty FAR from it actually.

It doesn’t matter if you just want to fulfill your personal creative void or if you too want to make a difference in someones life- just think it could be YOU that pulls someone out of depression and brings the BEST gift to them EVAH!!!  I think about the Demo that shared what she loved with me, and changed my life forever- THANK YOU!!! That seems so inadequate but I truly am grateful!!




Simple Stamping Festive Packaging Class http://www.handstampedstyle.com








  1. I love you Erin! I’m grateful for Stampin’ Up! too!! If it weren’t for SU! we never would’ve met! I’m so truly blessed to call you my friend. xoxo

  2. Michelle Brownstien says:

    Wow! I am beyond moved! First your story, then you featuring me as a friend! My heart melts. I would not have been able to survive my move to Texas without you and your creativity and your craziness!

    Love you!

  3. Erin, thanks for sharing. Really. It hit very close to home even though I’m a good 20 years older than you. And thank you for sharing your creative talents – although I’ve only been around for the past year I look at your blog first thing every day!

    • Chrystal,
      You are so welcome, and THANK YOU for being a part of my gratitude journey. I don’t think I will ever be able to put into words the special place that SU! holds in my heart, it is truly life changing. I am so glad that you share your morning with me everyday! That makes me smile like a cartoon character! Looking forward to spending many more with you too~

      Take Care-

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