Happy New Year!

Here we are saying farewell to another year, how is it that with every year time seems to move faster?!

As this year closes I am taking some time to reflect on all the good, bad, exciting, heart wrenching and wonderful things that happened over the last 12 months.

How do you ring in the New Year?  Do you spend the night with friends, family?  Do you get all dressed up attending fancy parties or stay home and watch the ball drop?

Going out to big parties for New Years has never been my thing, Mike and I would rather stay home and spend the evening with our kids playing games and just enjoying a quiet evening.  Some years friends will join us, or quite often it’s just the 5 of us.

This year I decided to add a little pizzazz to our table with this centre piece I made in honor of the big night!

Happy New Year

I used a number of Tim Holtz Sizzix dies to alter this paper mache hat I found at Michael’s.

Here's a list of the dies:
Tattered Poinsettia
Weathered Clock
Poinsettia Texture Fade
Tick Tock
Tattered Banners

However you spend the evening ringing in the New Year take some time to think and dream of the things to come.

On behalf of Lori, Paul, Chantel, the LIITD staff & Creative Team, I wish you all the VERY BEST in the Year to come!!

Happy New Year

Posted under Design Team Inspiration

This post was written by Lisa on December 31, 2012


Merry Christmas!

Yesterday, I could hardly believe it was Christmas Eve, and today, when I first got up, it really didn’t seem like Christmas day either.  Paul is working, Chantel and I are home alone … well, Zero is here too … and we aren’t doing anything *Christmassy* today.  Our Christmas will be with Justin and Katherine when we get there.

Over the past two days, I have had a lot of time to reflect on our year … we did a lot in 2012, we have made a lot of changes.  Yesterday evening, I puttered around the house, and decided to just throw in some laundry and watch a movie.  I chose … A Dog Named Christmas.  I am not sure why I haven’t seen this movie before, being such a lover of dogs I am surprised I never heard of it.  Anyway, I started watching, and within 40 minutes, the tears were flowing.  Dogs and kids, they get you every time, and I have a very special place in my heart for children who are developmentally challenged, so this movie was extremely touching to me.

Watching this movie took me back through my own life, thinking about all of the dogs we have had … what they meant to us … and it made me reflect upon all of the changes and emotions … right from when I was little.


I remember Sadie, she was the first dog I remember, she was part golden lab, she was so gentle … my caring friend … she taught me what it’s like to love an animal … their love is unconditional … no matter what … they love you.  That got me thinking about my Mom … her love was unconditional … just like any Mom’s of course.  Her love of animals was passed on to me, she always told us that she could have a hundred dogs and it still wouldn’t be enough.  She loved Christmas, she loved dogs … well, all animals … and as my eyes welled up with tears, I knew she was right here with me, watching this movie, and letting me know that I had made tough choices, but good choices for me, for our family.


The next dog we had was Kelly, he was an Irish Setter.  I will never forget the day my Dad brought him home.  We were so excited, as much as we missed Sadie, our home was not a home without a dog.  Kelly was sleek and beautiful, he was a breed my Dad has always wanted … and he beamed when he showed him to us.  Thinking about Kelly made me think about my Dad.  My Dad also loved dogs, but he was not so quick to let you know that, not like Mom, Dad didn’t want you to see that soft side.  We had Kelly a long time, and it was me who had to take Kelly to the vet to have him put down, no one else could do it.  I will never forget putting Kelly in my back seat, driving him to the vet.  He was so sick, so weak, but he managed to climb up on the console and put his head on my lap, almost his thank you to me, it was horrible, so sad, yet I knew I had to do it.  Some people ask why we get so attached to our dogs … when we know they are going to pass away … and I can truly say … it hurts, it’s gut wrenching, but the love of a dog is one of life’s special things.  No matter what is wrong, no matter how you look, no matter what kind of mood you are in, your dog will always love you.

This movie, not only was it a beautiful story, this movie helped me reflect upon my year, in fact over many years.  It made me realize that many things come and go, but our memories are deep, they are ours, and nothing can take them away.  We will have reminders that will make us smile, make us laugh, make us cry … make us remember.


The first dog that my kids will remember was Benny … he was a stray dog that showed up at our door, and we fell in love with him.  The owner could not get him to stay home, and he seemed to love us, so he became our dog, our Benny.  This dog reminds me of Justin … when we brought Justin home from the hospital … Benny had to inspect him … sniff him from one end to the other and give him his *lick* of approval.  Benny loved Justin so much … and Justin grew to love him just as much.  An inseparable pair, they became good buddies.  Chantel didn’t know Benny for too long, she would remember Shelby more.  Shelby was a smaller dog, he was our first small dog, and through our years with us, she had a few litters of puppies.  I will never ever forget my kids’ smiles when they would play with those puppies … sad days when those puppies went to new homes … but Shelby would always be with us.  Shelby lived through our house burning down, and when he had to move to town, she wasn’t happy there.  We gave her to a friend on the farm … she was happy there, we visited, she loved us, she was still our dog even though she lived somewhere else.


For a few years we never had a dog, and something was missing … it was a dog.  Justin, Chantel and my first dog together, just the 3 of us, was Buster. Buster was a wire haired dachshund, a very unique dog.  When I brought him home to surprise my kids, they were so excited … he was such a good dog … he had so many unique traits.  Buster makes me think of Auntie Vera.  She loved Buster so much … Chantel would put him in her basket on her bike and drive over to Auntie’s.  Buster loved to visit Auntie, and Chantel loved to take him there.  When Paul and I started dating, Paul became very attached to Buster too.  Buster was everyone’s friends … even the teacher’s at school … sometimes he would join them for their staff meeting.  I will never forget when Buster went missing … it was even announced on the PA system at school … and we were given strict instructions to call when we found him.  We did, the dog catcher had him … just had not called us.  Buster was snooping in someone’s yard when they caught him … and he never ever did that again.  We didn’t have Buster very long … 4 short years … it was horrible when we lost him.  That makes me think of my Dad, Auntie Vera, Justin, Chantel, and Paul … all of us were so sad for many many days.


It was over a year before we thought about another dog … losing Buster was too much.  We looked at a few puppies, but it just wasn’t time.  A lady that I did homecare for, her daughter’s dog had puppies, and they were going to be ready for Christmas.  They wanted me to see one.  I wasn’t sure, I told them I would, but it had to feel right.  They brought one for me to see … he was the runt, so tiny and small … and I took him … and right there, right at that moment … I knew … on Christmas Eve he was coming home with me.  Christmas Eve came, and I went to my Dad’s … tiny little puppy in hand … and showed him.  He wouldn’t look at me, I knew, I just knew that his eyes were welled up with tears.  I told him to come, to come to our house so we could give him to Paul, Justin and Chantel.  With that, we were on our way.  We got them to sit in an circle on the floor and put their hands together, close their eyes … and with that, I placed this tiny wee puppy in their hands.  They were surprised, they were cautious for a minute, and then they all knew … at that moment … that it was okay … Buster was gone … it was time for a new dog.  My kids named the dog … Zero … and you got it - it’s the same Zero that’s sitting beside me right now.  Zero is 10 years old, and we have loved and spoiled him ever since that day.

I have completely got off the topic of the movie, of Christmas, but what I have been doing is reflecting … thinking about our changes … and I have learned that … it doesn’t matter where you are, your memories are yours … you take them with you wherever you go … and you remember.  As I talked about each of our dogs, not once did I say where we were living, it wasn’t important, what was important was the memories.  With those thoughts, I have realized that wherever we are … it’s okay … cause we are together … making more memories.


Merry Christmas to you all … I hope you have all had a wonderful day and I hope that you have made many memories you will cherish in days to come!  Sending love and blessings to each and everyone of you!

Posted under Just me (Lori)

This post was written by Lori on December 25, 2012

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