Archive for Military Spouse Chat – Page 2

A Day to Remember…

Kimberly Van Diepen, Stampin Up Demonstrator



Kimberly Van Diepen, Stampin' Up Demonstrator



Kimberly Van Diepen Stampin up demonstrator


I don't have many words today.  It's a day to reflect on what happened to our country 10 years ago today.  It's hard to believe it's been 10 years.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  We had friends visiting us from Iowa.  We were living in Pensacola, Florida at the time and Russ was a flight instructor.  He had gone to work that beautiful morning and I was entertaining our friends at home.  Brandon was just 9 months old and it was time to feed him.  We were all sitting in our living room watching Good Morning America just as I still do today.  We watched the horrific events unravel on the TV from the start. I remember sitting there in disbelief.  I tried to call Russ and I couldn't get through to him.  Once I did he wasn't sure if he would be able to leave the base. It was in lock down. We were glued to the TV the rest of the day. I'm finding myself glued to the TV again today. 


My heart aches for all the innocent people that we lost that day and for those that continue to make sacrifices to protect our freedom.  I'm so proud of my Prince and all of our service men as they make huge sacrifices everyday and sometimes the ultimate sacrifice protecting us. 


This card is for my Prince. I think it's pretty patriotic.  ;)


Sunshine in Our House!

A couple of weeks ago I received an amazing phone call from a fellow demonstrator Sue Martin.  Sue called to tell me she was sending my kids a Sunshine Box and had I ever heard of this before.  I had not and was so surprised at what this meant.  It's the most gracious thing I've ever seen before!!!! Let me explain.  It's the coolest thing EVER!

The day before Irene came to visit the postman delivered this huge box. When my kids opened it they could barely contain themselves.  They couldn't believe Mama's stampin' friend would do this for THEM.  Inside this box are two separate boxes for Brandon and Alexis.  In each box there are 16 wrapped gifts for each kiddo!!!! Each day they can open a gift!!! Not only that but there are little treats all over each of the boxes.  Lollipops and other treats.  The kids were literally jumping up and down.  The best part is each morning at approximately 730am they are by my bedside in my face asking to open a gift.  LOL!  Sue, it doesn't bother me.  Their excited faces are worth it. Each time they open a gift they are occupied for quite awhile. 

Here is a picture of them reading the letter from Sue.  It was the sweetest letter.  *made me cry*

Kimberly Van Diepen stampin up demonstrator



You can see their excited little faces.  You can also tell they are pretty heavy by the way Brandon is holding his.  Just the coolest thing!


Kimberly Van Diepen stampin up demonstrator

Here they are opening their first gift.  Again, excited doesn't begin to explain how they were feeling. 


kimberly van Diepen stampin up demonstrator



I've said for years (8 to be exact) that the reason I'm a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator is for one MAIN reason.  The friendships and the relationships that we build in this community is priceless.  Every year Stampin' Up! gives a Heart of Stampin' Up! award.  This selfless act of kindness towards my kids is truly what the Heart of Stampin' Up! is all about.  Sue, you have brought true sunshine in our house and you are exactly why Stampin' Up! gives an award like this.  You are exactly what are Statement of the Heart states: To LOVE what we do and SHARE what we love, as we help others enjoy CREATIVITY and worthwhile accomplishments… in this we make a DIFFERENCE. Sue made a difference in our lives.


Ironically it came at such a great time.  With the Prince leaving again and Stormy Irene on her way, this was a great distraction for the kids.  I cannot say thank you enough for your amazing kindness. 


I also had another surprise from when we arrived home from vacation! Another new friend, Cheryl Meynig sent me the book Chicken Soup for the Military Wives Soul. Fantastic book with fantastic stories that make you laugh at times you didn't think you could.  All these acts of kindness sure have warmed my heart and soul.  Life is GOOD. 

These are just a few of the great things going on over here.  Truly, we are grateful!

Another good thing… two of my bestie girlie friends are coming to visit this fall. WOOT!

What are you grateful for today?

Time for a Side Note

Before I get into the creative stuff (super exciting!) I have to take a little side note and let you know how my Prince is doing.  Besides dodging sand storms he is doing great.  He's working long days but this makes the time go faster.  He has a few friends with him called his Battle Buddies.  These two Battle Buddies are two little animals that Brandon and Lexi gave Russ to help protect him.  It's been fun to see what the two Battle Buddies get into.  Here are a few updated pics of my Prince:

Kimberly Van Diepen, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator


Russ said this use to be a place long ago where they really hit golf balls.  This doesn't happen anymore but the clubs are still there.  The funny thing is that Russ is not what I call a golfer.  He can hit a golf ball, sometimes. *grin*

Kimberly Van Diepen, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator


You can see the battle buddies are hanging out on the sand bags.  The funniest part of this picture is the Mountain Dew can in the bottom of the pic.  I can see that Russ is still able to get one of his favorite things… Mountain Dew.  The kids LOVE seeing the Battle Buddies go to all the different places.  They are really sneaky!


On another Side Note…


Oh boy!  I pulled something out of my Stampin' Box (AKA- my Traveling Stamp Room) yesterday that I completely fell in love with. I totally forgot that I ordered it and Mom and I had a stamp fest last night.  In fact, we had a little mini workshop too! In my Stampin' Box I found the Beau Chateau Side Notes.  You can find these on page 190 in the Idea Book & Catalog.  If you like the Vintage/Shabby Chic look, these are for YOU!

Kimberly Van Diepen, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator



Here is what I made using the Beau Chateau Notes:

Kimberly Van Diepen, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator



Kimberly Van Diepen, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator



Along with the Beau Chateau Side Notes I used the beautiful Creative Elements stamp set (122647).  I used the Marina Mist and Daffodil Delight inks to stamp and used the Gold Smooch Spritz for a little accent spray.  You can also see where I used the Spritzer Tool with a Marina Mist Marker on the card.  One little Antique Brad just added a little more vintage to the card.  Always remember to stamp your envelope, it's always a show stopper for the Mailman!

Hope you are making plans for a great weekend. 


Lucky 21!

I have so much to tell you and once again I'm not sure where to begin. I always make a lofty goal to blog while I'm at convention but the truth is I try and spend every last minute with my girlfriends and by the time my computer gets opened my eyes shut a few minutes later.  What an amazing time I had with all my friends!  I wasn't sure I was going to make it to convention with Alexis before I left for Florida.  In fact, since we arrived in Florida the kids have been fantastic.  Alexis has been her normal happy go lucky self and Brandon has captured every lizard possible he can find.  It's so great to see them happy and free for the Summer. 

Back to my convention story.  If I had to sum it up in one word… AMAZING! Stampin' Up! really went all out this year.  I think I say this every year because I am a huge fan of Stampin' Up! events.  You have to go to understand but when you see how much time and effort they put into the events you appreciate everything much more.  I love how they made announcements this year and there was tons of free stamps/products given to us this year.  Again, it was amazing.

Awards night was bittersweet. When I left convention last year I walked away knowing this year would be different and there was no way on sweet earth I would retain being the #1 demonstrator with the move and other obstacles that came my way.  In the beginning this was very hard for me to accept.  I think my worry was more of the expectations of others than myself. What would "others" think of me if I did not bounce back from this move? I know, I know! Stupid thinking, but seriously my mind works in a crazy way.  It wasn't until January that I finally came to my senses. More than likely I came to my senses because it was clear this was not going to be an over the top year for me with Russ being deployed.  I knew a few life changes were going to happen and it was going to be okay. While these obstacles have not been easy, I know that in order to be successful you have to endure many obstacles or what I like to call Big Bumps in the road.  I've had so many Big Bumps over the last 8 years and some how I always bounce back.  These Big Bumps have taught me many lessons.  My biggest lesson has been learned this year.  Right now Russ and my kids are the most important piece to my life puzzle and therefore my priority.  Do you ever feel like your life is a puzzle? Ha! Mine is for sure! This doesn't mean I'm not working my business or not playing with the best crafting products known to man… it just means I take a few steps back (or more) and do what I can, when I can.  This brings me to the SWEET part of awards night.  Lucky 21 is where I placed and I am grateful.  I worked hard this year through all the big obstacles and feel like Lucky 21 was PERFECT!  It was NOT luck that got me there.  In fact I think it was years of hard work that paid off during a year I couldn't put 100% of ME into it. 

I'm so grateful for the many friends that I have through Stampin' Up! this year.  From my customers to the many demonstrators that I've talked to, I am truly grateful!! You have been amazing and I am super thankful for your support this year.  It was SO exciting to hug so many of you at convention.  You are special people!!!!

Great things are coming this year with Stampin' Up! It's going to be another amazing year.  I have a team filled with the best personalities and creativity and they are ready to ROCK this Stampin' Up! year.  That is exciting!

Here are a few pictures of my great time at convention. 

These are some of the great ladies on my team.  We are missing a few that were there.  One of my favorite things about convention is watching first time convention attendee's and their faces at the fun craziness that happens there. 

Kimberly Van Diepen Stampin' Up! Demonstrator


Awards night picture.  Glad to be there!!


Kimberly Van Diepen Stampin' Up! Demonstrator


Some of the finest ladies I know. On our way to seriously shop!

Kimberly Van Diepen Stampin' Up! Demonstrator


Cathy and I were VIP's and super excited to make it to the VIP room for the meet and greet with Shelli.  When we finally made it to the room we were about the last in line of 150 people. Cathy and I decided it was best to take a seat and enjoy the donuts they had in the room.  Wow they were yummy.  Two hours and TWO donuts later we finally were able to meet & greet with Shelli.  By this time we were on a massive sugar high and giddy.  Poor Shelli. 

Kimberly Van Diepen Stampin' Up! Demonstrator


We were ready for awards night. These two ladies made me laugh so hard each night! They are the funniest people I know.  We were almost asleep one night and started laughing hysterically one by one.  Oh my word. 

Kimberly Van Diepen Stampin' Up! Demonstrator

My sweet friend Maxine! I could write a book on this fine lady. She is the one person that heard it ALL this past year.  The aches and pains of moving.  The tears when Russ left.  The mommy moments I wasn't sure I was going to make it through… she really heard it all and always turned my negative into a positive.  She always had the right thing to say and always ALWAYS recognized the good things going on in my business.  Even if it was a little thing, she made it a big thing. I can't thank her enough for the listening and friendship she provided this year.  Truly priceless!


Kimberly Van Diepen Stampin' Up! Demonstrator


Last but not least, a little 3 x 3 card I made this week.  Simple and fun!

Kimberly Van Diepen Stampin' Up! Demonstrator

Again, thank you so much for all your support and friendship.  I read every comment and appreciate every single one of them!!

Anniversarry Fun!

On the 11th of July Russ and I celebrated our 15th Anniversary.  Although we were apart, it was still an amazing day! 

 On the 9th of July my entire family went to the Farmers Opry in Chumuckla, Florida.  It's a big barn where they have lots of big name bands come and sing country music.  They also serve dinner there.  It was so fun having all the family together to eat and then have the entertainment.  The Sawmill Band played that night and they were amazing.  Intermission came and they recognized birthdays and anniversary's.  Alexis was upset with me because I did not tell them it was Russ and I's anniversary.  I told her it was okay and went back to watching the show.  Evidently this was not good enough for Alexis. She marched herself up to the Manager and proceeded to tell her it was my anniversary and that Russ was in Iraq.  After a few more songs the band leader stood up and said, "We have another anniversary in the house.  Will Kimberly please stand up?"  I look at my daughter and she has a big smile on her face.  I walk up to the stage and the band leader tells the crowd that my honey is in Iraq.  He sits me on a stool and asked me if I was okay.  I shook my head yes.  I knew I wasn't going to be in a few minutes.  I sat on the stool and they started to sing to me. They sang "Proud to be an American."  Immediately I started to cry.  It's one thing to miss Russ dearly on our Anniversary but then add the singing and I'm a goner. Oh Jeez.  Now I'm balling on stage and everyone in the crowd is standing, and they are crying too.  The keyboard player then placed a flag in my lap.  Oh my! Now everyone in the crowd is singing and crying.  About this time the kids come up to the stage and stand by me.  Brandon pats my shoulder reassuring me everything was going to be okay.  Alexis looks at me and smiles.  That little stinker.  Below is the video of the event.  Grab a tissue.  It's pretty moving.  I was so grateful that night for the determination of my little girl.  It was a fantastic way to celebrate our anniversary from afar. 



Here are some of the photos that the Farmers Opry took for us.  They were so amazing to my family. 

Kimberly Van Diepen, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator



Kimberly Van Diepen, Stampin' Up! Demonstrators



Kimberly Van Diepen, Stampin' Up! Demonstrators



Love the last picture. 

Stay tuned.  I'll be a blog maniac today and catch you up on the last 20 days of our life.