Saturday, 1 January 2011

A New Year has begun!

I have decided to write up a bit of an overview of 2010 ... overall when I think about it the year is tinged with sadness and feelings of loss but actually there has also been lots of good things and much to be thankful for so that is why It’s good to do this! :D

After our attempts to conceive in 2009 through the assistance of IVF Australia we had decided to try again in 2010... the rollercoaster of TTC and IVF took us to great highs and lows... Early this year we did manage to conceive but sadly I miscarried almost immediately, our second attempt at IVF produced two lovely little embryos which unfortunately after transfer did not stick in there... that was to have been our last IVF attempt but on the day of Egg collection they said they could freeze additional eggs ... we only allow them to fertilise 2 eggs each cycle as due to personal ethical reasons we do not want to have embryos frozen. So We had 2 frozen eggs to attempt another cycle... we did so in October - both eggs thawed and one fertilised successfully however unfortunately did not grow any further, so this leaves us with 6 little ones who have not made it past about 5 weeks old. It’s sad to deal with the fact that we will never see them be born, we’ll never get to hold them in our arms or see them grow up. The loss is not only that we cannot be parents but that for a tiny time we were.. the possibility was open, the lives were started and more!

I am thankful to God that he brought us to know him before this time in our lives, that through many years of reading his word and sitting under great teaching from his word we know that he is good.. we know that he has great plans for his world and for those who love him... we know that the passions and desires of this world, the pain of this world is temporary, we know that he does not want the world to be this way - but that it is due to hard human hearts and the consequences of those... we know and rejoice that he has done something about it in Jesus - his death and resurrection AND that one day things will be better... but despite knowing all this we sit in the here and now and we still have to deal with the hurt and pain and loss... I’m not sure how I could deal with this if I had not already held onto all of that knowledge in my head. I am thankful for godly teachers and friends who have encouraged us to hold onto all these things. I am thankful for the support of our bible study group, of the IVF forum girls and also for family and friends who have felt our pain and given comfort!

What else has gone on this year???
Well my parents up and left for France and spent time there in a little village.. sounded quite lovely and brought back memories of a holiday to Europe in 2007. One day we will get back there again too .. luckily they did come back to Australia :D

It was great to have my sister Shell move back to Australia and then back to Sydney - too bad Manly is an hours drive away though :D

Nic left for France! I Miss her being here and being able to craft together... She also came along to the big paper show in Melbourne with me and was invaluable.. I could not have done it without her!

Sian is still in Brisbane and we have still not made it to visit! 2011 it is!!

It’s been good to see Luc, Liz and the boys throughout the year and spend time with them.. our nephews are growing so quickly (teenager/ almost teenager) and that is fun to watch! We enjoy dinner and games with them when we get the chance :D

We celebrated my Gran’s 90th birthday in September which was quite a lovely do .. a lunch at Dunes at Palm Beach with family and friends of hers!

Guy and I also went over to Nan’s on her birthday for afternoon tea.. it was nice to do so and I think she enjoyed that! We do need to see my grandmothers more often but it’s hard as I am not wonderful at driving myself... it hurts my head... too much concentration etc?

Christmas was good .. having all my family (except Nic - o/s) to lunch at Guy’s brother’s house (who was on hols) with much more space than we do. We also had Guy’s mum with us.. as Guy went to pick her up from Newcastle and bring her here and back .. she stayed with us for a couple of nights.. she is getting more forgetful which is hard for her. We will need to make more of an effort this year to go and see her and check up on her!

Church has been great! We love Wild Street and the people there who are so keen to both grow themselves in the word of God and for others to come to know and love him and grow as well! It’s been fun to be involved in ministry there. Guy has been leading a group which this year has been combined morning and afternoon church. It has been wonderful having a mix of older and younger people and whilst many in the group have had a HARD year it has been great to see the support and love and care for each other happening!

In April I made a flying visit to Adelaide for Lains 30th - the first time in a couple of years that my four best friends from College were all together! Was great to have Ally, Bron, Lain and myself together again! Was fun to spend some time with Lain and Craig and also great to get to go to their church despite the fact it was after a very late night and we were feeling rather :P

In May we went to Adelaide for a holiday.. this was for Guy’s long awaited week long fishing trip on board a boat fishing for tuna!! mmm... unfortunately although there were a few other fish/ squid due to the timing of the trip it seemed there were no tuna to be found ... maybe next time!

During the time that Guy was on the boat I stayed behind in Adelaide with our great friends the Russells and enjoyed life in a big family - love them all!... lots of fun and lots of Chuck... The TV series that is!

the Adelaide trip meant we could catch up with our dear friends the Normans!

It also meant that we could attend The Russell’s newly planted church - St Barnabas at the Platform... and this was a great experience and we enjoyed it immensely!

Guy - who is ever faithful and hardworking is still plugging away at Matthias Media and is happy that he outlasted Warren. He has been there for quite some time now and only has one year to go till long service leave :D
Guy decided he would like a Spit roast and so we celebrated his birthday with a whole lamb :D

He is such a wonderful husband and support to me and I am continually thankful to God for bringing him into my life and growing us together! I am truly blessed!

The year in Craft....overflowing to everyday life...
some highlights:

Oh Alice Challenge blog

in February - Jess Diedrich started the most wonderful Challenge blog ever hehe...
Oh Alice! I was thrilled to be chosen as one of the twisted 13... Loving all things fantasy it was a perfect fit for me... I have LOVED being part of this amazing team and feel like I have grown creatively through the year and the numerous challenges. My love for all things Alice has also grown throughout the year too as each week I think about and read and see more Alice inspired un-nonsense.

Mad for Markers
In January/ February I researched a bit about Neenah paper as I wanted something better to colour with my Copics on... It was only available in the US and I realised that shipping from to Aus was a bit of a killer... so after many discussions with Guy decided to order a bulk amount and then on-sell it (making the postage more bearable and covered by many) ... once the paper was on its way I suddenly had the idea of also selling Copic markers.. having found them hard to get at a reasonable price in Australia...I found and spoke with Copic Australia and things quickly fell into place and Mad for Markers was born in February - March! With a few glitches by me .... on the 21st March my website went LIVE... thanks to the wonderful and talented Shell who designed it for me!! Thanks to to my wonderful hubby Guy who helped me in re-entering all the markers one by one that I had inadvertently deleted right at the launch time! haha
I have learnt so much through the year and am still learning how to run my own business.. but it has been fun - a BIG HIGHLIGHT and I have loved meeting LOTS of people who share my passion for Copics..
Have had some wonderful girls help me out on the 2 Design teams I have had and I am especially grateful for my three permanent DT girls/ friends - Tracey, Emma and Annette - who week in and out create gorgeous Copic inspiration.. and I was thrilled to be able to meet them all in August at Paperific when they came and helped me run the stall we had there.. Thanks again girls for your work and for your friendship too!!!
At the end of May I ran my first ever Copics class.. it was actually really fun! Some of the girls from this class then signed up for my monthly Copic club which has been a lot of fun!! I have run a few classes through the year and find I always get nervous before hand but have fun during the lessons!

The Stamp Spot

Marcia has been an enormous support and encouragement to me in this venture and I’m thrilled about the partnership between Mad for Markers and her online store - THE STAMP SPOT! Marcia sells many wonderful scrapping, card making supplies and I blame/ thank her for introducing me to The Greeting Farm! LOL 
Marcia has become a great friend and I have also been encouraged by her and her wise words throughout the year!

Spesch Stamps

My friend Tracey started her own Stamp Company and It’s been a Great honour to be on her Design team for Spesch Designer Stamps and so amazing to be able to use all these gorgeous images! I Have loved it!! These images are designed by talented artists and are all amazing images to colour too.. lots of fun!! It was also awesome that Tracey allowed me to sell her stamps on the stall Mad for Markers had in August at Paperific - it was heaps of fun setting up and working there together!

Design Teams 

* In March I was surprised and happy to be chosen for the new Artful Inkables Design Team and was challenged weekly in working out new ways to show off their stamp line! :D :D I met some great people through this!

The Greeting Farm

* In September I joined The Greeting Farm’s Critter Crew for a few months.. It has been a dream of mine to be part of the Farm as I adore their images and love the way they run the business.. blogs etc! I’m sad that the Critter Crew is now finished and thus my time working on the farm has reached an end... but I do look forward to joining in with happenings on the farm as an entusiastic frequent visitor to this wonderful fun filled farm!

* in November I was thrilled to be chosen as an “Inkette” for another of my favourite stamp lines Inky Impressions!! And am looking forward to my time on this team and “having” to use these adorable stamps!! :D and also looking forward t getting to know the other wonderfully talented inkettes and lovely Inky Mama too!

*In May I was thrilled to finally be able to attend Copic Certification... the FIRST one here in Australia... and it was run by Marrianne Walker (the creative genius behind I Like Markers - the girl/ blog that taught me my Copic skills over the past 2 years) and Lori Craig from Splicoast stampers.. Thanks to Copic Australia for organising and bringing them out! It was much fun for me to meet some Stamping celebrities and also to meet in person some fellow bloggers ... especially Kylie, Jodie, Michey, Sue and Kerry

Blogging community
I am always surprised at how friendly and supportive everyone is in blogland!! I have made some very amazing friends through this “hobby” and am so thankful for the friendship and support of each and every one of you! I have been thrilled that in 2010 I got to meet some very special people and look forward to catching up for a longer period with them in the coming years (hopefully) as well as meeting more of those wonderful people who live inside my computer... including you girls overseas! Australia/ Sydney is a wonderful spot for a holiday don’t you think!!

Looking forward to 2011 .. Well it is here YAY ... but what will it bring??
1.We plan to continue serving God and his saints at Wild Street Church... we have a new minister for 5pm church and are looking forward to seeing where things go... we hope to keep growing in love and knowledge of Jesus.

2. We hope to grow the business of Mad for Markers and have plans to attend Paperific in April and run a Copic Conference in Sydney in October.

3. We plan to spend lots of time with family and friends and are looking forward to opening up our unit to many for food and fun throughout the year.

The rest is an unknown quantity and we look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store... Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way,but the Lord establishes his steps.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

*If you did get this far congratulations.. I know it was a long read... but it was good for me to write it all out!*


  1. Thanks for sharing your year with us Sammi, I had a tear in my eye, those failed attempts would have been so hard for you and guy, and like you said, for a short time you were parents. Your 6 little angels will be watching over you and one day you will see them. I'm lucky that I have 6 beautiful children but also know the feeling of loss as i too miscarried 2 babies, but i know one day I will get to hold them in my arms.

    I want to thank you too for letting me be a part of the 'Mad for Markers' Design Team, it was such a thrill.

    I wish you and Guy every happiness for 2011, may it be a safe and Happy year for you both.

    hugs always
    Sue xoxoxox

  2. Okay woman you made me cry. I can not imagine how it would feel to loose a babe but I have offered - you can have my three any time LOL - JJ. Loved reading everything you have achieved in the past year and looking forward to hearing about what you do in the coming year. Look forward to sharing lots of highs with you and will be there again at Paperific if you want me there.

    It was an absolute pleasure having you on the Spesch team and to be on the M4M team.

    To many more good times.


  3. Oh Sammi! What a year it has been for you and yours! Thank you for sharing so much, I know it would have been hard to write it all out. I think you are wonderful and see so much love in your work, your home, your craft, your everything. Thank the Lord you have Him in your life!

    I also thank you too for confirming in me that I'm totally hooked on Copic Markers. It's thanks to you I've been able to go as far as I have, get certified myself and find all these wonderful stamping companies I'd not heard of. Yes, addicted to Greeting Farm and Sweet November has been added to my shopping spree this morning too! All the best for 2011, see you online. x x x

  4. No fair ... you are so not allowed to write something like that and not warn me to have the Kleenex on standby!

    Sammi, you both have had such a rollercoaster of a year - there is nothing that anyone can do to take your heartache away. But your spirit and belief on the Lord really shows and he will guide you into 2011, a year that I know will bring some joy. Make sure you are looking around each corner, coz that joy is gonna jump right out and surprise you!

    Thank you so much for being the blessed friend you are, you inspire me everyday with your strength and character and I am honoured to be part of your world.

    Massive hugs, even if I am all hot and sweaty from this heat! Take care Chicka, ♥ M

  5. Sammi I made it to the end...what a wonderful and very thoughtful read. Thanks for sharing so much of your life. I am so sorry for your losses.....I am glad you have your faith and family to help you through this time. Wishing you a fantastic 2011 and can't wait to see your future creations.

  6. Hi Sammi,
    Thanks for sharing the ups and downs of your year with us. I feel awful for both you and your husband going through so much hope and loss this year. I have friends who have experienced similar problems conceiving and it was a heartbreaking time for all of us.
    On another note, thank you for sharing all your inspiring creations this year! I will you all the best for the New Year and am sending lots of virtual hugs your way. It would be lovely to meet you one day.



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