Cool Dude

Today's featured layout is short and sweet - but one of my favorite photos of Caleb!
This photo of Caleb was from 2009, and I thought it was adorable and deserved its own page. I think he looks even more like his Daddy with certain expressions and I could see Dave's eyes staring back at me. 
I used scraps of cardstock to frame my photo and then traced three circles on my page. I used colorful brads to outline the circles and then erased any pencil lines. I used epoxy letter stickers to create my title. 
Not a fantastic layout, but simple and colorful. I like to create fancy elaborate pages, but also want to have the freedom to put a page together in just a few minutes. And sometimes those quick and easy pages become some of my favorite layouts.

Do you have any quick and easy layouts you'd like to share? Post a picture in the comments!

Play Ball!

Since Caleb's diagnosis, I have definitely learned not to take the little things for granted. Playing t-ball in the living room is more than a little thing when you battle a neromuscular disease.
This layout showcases some photos of Caleb hitting a wiffle ball. Before having kids I just always assumed if I had boys, we'd sign them up for sports - little league, soccer, taekwondo, or whatever they chose. SMA brought all those dreams to a halt. New dreams slowly take shape and the perspective you gain is priceless.
We bought a wiffle ball set just to see if Caleb could swing the bat and we were so pleasantly surprised to see him take multiple swings. He seemed to enjoy it, and repeatedly hit the ball. He was so focused and motivated, and he worked harder than he typically did in any physical therapy session. 
Evey picture showing Caleb engaging in a physical activity is absolutely priceless to me! SMA can slowly steal an individual's muscles. No one knows what the future ho…

Card Kit Club Time!

My time has been pretty limited since Caleb had major surgery, but that doesn't mean I haven't spent some time being creative. Nothing makes me relax as much as spending time in my craft room, playing with paper, stickers, scissors, ink and stamps. The week after Christmas, I got some time to play with the latest installment of my Stamps of Life Card Kit Club, and this is what I created:

If you like making cards, you should go to The Stamps of Life website ( and check out their kits. They are a great deal and are so much fun! 
What cards have you made? Post photos of your favorite card creations in the comments by February 28, 2018 and one lucky person will win a Stamps of Life stamp /die set. 

Vikings Fan

In the Cunniff home we've been faithful Vikings fans. That was Dave's team and the boys and I have continuted to root for them, even though we've taken some slack for it. Shortly after Dave died, his sergeant stopped by the house and saw me wearing Dave's Vikings sweatshirt. He teasingly said that Dave would tell me I had suffered enough and could take off the sweatshirt!
After their win last Sunday, we're proud to have been unwavering Minnesota Viking fans - and I've got multiple scrapbook layouts to prove it! These photos were taken in 2012. Dave had four Vikings hats that he rotated wearing. The boys knew they were Vikings hats and that they were Daddy's. But that did not stop Zach from stealing this particular colorful cap (hence the grin) and wearing it the same way he saw Daddy wear it.
When the boys went through Waveriders, our local Hospice's grief counseling program for children, they made up memory boxes. Both boys chose one of the four Vikin…

It's All Behind Us . . .

Well another Christmas season has come and gone but more importantly, Caleb's spinal fusion surgery is behind us. It's been five weeks and Caleb is doing amazing! The first couple of weeks were difficult. It was so hard to see Caleb in so much pain, but after the two week mark his recovery got so much easier.  
The first mornig Caleb was in ICU, his surgeon came and asked him how he was doing. Caleb's reply was, "This is worse than common core math." That gave everyone a good laugh! If you know Caleb, you know that math is the "bane of his existence" as he fourth grade teacher so eloquently said. So for something to be worse than math says a lot.
I did take some pictures of this journey. I want to be able to show Caleb how far he's come. They are not scrapbooked yet, but eventually they will make it into the albums because they tell the story of his life and this has been a pretty major chapter.

I thought I'd share some of the photos with you. T…

A Season of Peace & Hope

Today I do not have a layout to share but this powerful painting. I have a copy of  this painting on a postcard that my grandmother gave me back in 2008. I thought I had lost it, but two weeks ago I found it while I was sorting old photos. The irony of finding this now is that Caleb is scheduled for surgery this coming Monday, December 4th.
Caleb is having spinal fusion surgery to correct a severe scoliosis curve in his spine. When he was diagnosed with SMA back in 2009, the neurologist told Dave and I so many scary things that would happen, one of them being scoliosis. Children who battle neuromuscular diseases and live in wheelchairs are more likely to develop scoliosis, and once it hits a certain degree curve, surgery is the only option. I spent the past year getting second and third opinions, talking to specialists and fighting the insurance company to get the best possible surgeon and medical team to care for Caleb, which means we leave tomorrow for Rochester. 
This is a major s…

"Mom, why do you scrapbook?"

One night I was working in my new craft room, stamping and scrapping away the stress of a busy weekend when I heard grunting and groaning behind me. Zach was pulling a kitchen chair, a stack of notebook paper, and his box of crayons into my room and proceeded to set up on the other side of my already crowded scrap table. He didn't ask if he could join me, and I hadn't invited him. His thought process was he had a project and I would help him.
He got right down to business, creating a comic book very similar to the Captain Underpants book he had recently been reading. He was proud of his creation and was focused and working hard. He worked in silence, despite my attempts at conversation, so I turned Project Runway back on and got back to my work.
A couple minutes later when he was done with the outline of his Captain Diaper character and had started to color it in he asked me, in a very serious voice, "Mom, why do you scrapbook?"
I had one of those moments. You know …