Friday, February 27, 2009

Some Tough Decisions....

This may be a somewhat wordy post and so I apologize in advance. I have a lot to say!

I will be celebrating my 2 year anniversary as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator in just a couple of weeks. These past two years have been amazing!!! As most of you know, I was never a hobby demonstrator. From the time my starter kit arrived, I ran a business. Some of you reading this may recall my first class! I tought a baby album class and it lasted until the wee hours of the morning! I was a bit embarressed. But to my surprise- most of them came back for my second class. And I think they are all still great customers after 2 years and dozens of classes!

Also, in my first month as a demo, I got a booth at the Women's Expo in Glendale. This is a HUGE event. Boothes were not cheep! And I did not have much time at all to prepare. But I worked hard. And several of you helped me! I know someone out there remembers lugging tons of stuff for about a mile around the arena. And someone else remembers me driving home- bleeding. Literally. It was a long and hard weekend! But it was the start of an amzing business!

I have had the pleasure of traveling all over the state to do workshops and classes for friends. I have learned so much! Did you know that I only had one stamp set and one ink pad when I signed up to be a demo?! I have come a long way. I was a complete stamping novice 2 years ago- and today, I feel like I can call myself an artist. I have even been published a few times! I am proud of myself!

But building a business took time. And that meant that I gave up a good deal of time with my family and friends. I was talking to a downline yesterday and she said  "we are still friends." It struck me. We had been friends for years before I became a demo. But after I became a demo- she became my cusomer and later my downline. Now when I see her- it is to stamp or pick up an order. In many way we lost track of our friendship.

And my poor order to run my business, I needed to work Monday through Friday in my office. I needed to design class projects, do blog posts, paperwork, and place orders. And I couldn't do it with the kids around. So I made a tough decision to send them to a preschool/daycare facility. They love it there. And they are very happy kids. But then as my business really grew- I needed to do classes and workshops on the weekends. So I had to leave the kids with my hubby. Many times I felt like the kid's teachers saw my kids more than I did. I would often miss them and wish that I could be at home.

And that is where I am today. I was once a stay-at-home mom, who needed something ....more. And that is when I found Stampin' Up! Having something that was all mine, got me through some of the toughest times as a young mom of 4 babies. It gave me a break.

This past weekend, we took the kids to the park. My five year old, Kyler, was having a blast. And then he ran up to me and said  "Mommy, it is taking me a long time to grow up." I couldn't agree less! How did my "baby" get to be so big?! And why would I want to miss one more day that I don't have to? In just a few months he will be going to Kindergarden! Yikes!

I am the first to admit- I was not a great SAHM 2 years ago. The kids were a lot to handle on my own. I was tired and stressed and not very happy. But I would like to think that I am a different person now. A stronger person.

So with great fear, anxiety, and excitement- I have decided to go back to being a stay-at-home mom! Yikes!

So what does this mean for you? I will no longer be a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. Not even a hobbyist. At first I was going to keep my demo status for the discount. But then I started saying stuff to myself like "I'll just do a class every other month." or "I'll just keep my scrapbook clubs going." And I had to tell myself "no!" I LOVE papercrafting and stamping!!!! I am going to be very busy with my kids and when I do get some needed "mommy time" I want to feel free to make something for me. I don't want to have design something for a class or workshop. I want stamping and scrapbooking to be my get-a-way. Therefore, I will be contacting demo support in the next couple of days to end my career with Stampin' Up!

As for the blog- I am keeping it!!!! I love blogging! I love to hear from all of you. In many ways- we have become cyber friends. And I look foward to logging on each day. But you may see some changes. For one- you are going to see me using my favorite stamps and supplies. So this means- they may be retired and they may not even be by Stampin' Up!  Gasp! Although, I still think that Stampin' Up! has the BEST papercrafting supplies- I am not going to limit myself. If I see something I like- I just may get it!!! Another change, is that I may not be able to posts every day. I am not sure yet how much time I will be able to steal away to craft. We will just have to see!

One more thing for you- I am going to be selling LOTS and LOTS of my stamps and supplies here on my blog!!!! I am going to get rid of any set I no longer like or use. This will include current sets from the catalog. So it will be a good chance for you to get some discounted supplies!

Is anyone still reading this? If you are...then you must be one of my very devoted customers. I want to say one more time- that I have loved the past 2 years!!! You have all made me smile. I am starting to cry now so I know I need to end this ramble!

See you soon friends......



Regina Cornelius said...

stampin up customers and fellow demos will miss you....for sure! i will still stop in daily! our children do indeed grow too fast! i have a three year old...where have those three years gone?!?!? now you truly can just go into your office "for fun!"
hats off to you Jaime!

Stacie said...

Your blog is always so cute! I have 3 small children myself, and have also had a hard time finding a balance between being a mom and a demonstrator. I applaud your decision! Your kids are only young once, and you don't want to miss that! You are a very talented lady, and I am keeping you on my list of favs! Good luck to you!

Laura Bargwell said...

WOW! I some how found your blog - I live in Michigan and also have 4 kids. I have loved your blog and all of your cards and scrapbook pages! You have been such an inspiration to me! I totally understand what you are doing! I have been a SUP demonstrator for almost a year, but I only do 1 class a month and no workshops. I hardly ever have the time to make cards. My kids are 2,4,6 and 8 and I love being able to volunteer at school and playing with them!

I wish you the best!! and always look forward to visiting your blog!

Sarah said...

When I first got my email announcing your decision, I immediately went to the blog and read your entry. On a very selfish note, I am so glad you are keeping your blog. I love the ideas. Enjoy your time crafting for fun instead of for business. There is a difference.

Stephanie said...

awww Jamie! I'm so sad, but you are doing what is best for you and your family! I hope we get together once in a while to stamp and have playdates!!!

:) I'll miss our classes though!

Jackie said...

It sounds like you have thought it all out and made the right decision! Kids grow up too quickly and they are only little once. I am glad to hear you are keeping the blog, though...I enjoy reading it very much.

Marya said...

Jamie, I just wanted to say to you that I love your blog and you ideas, they are always so classic. I completely understand your decision and I say congratulations to you for making it! My daughter just turned 13 last week and I wonder where the time has gone, I was a SAHM and started working in the preschool that she attended 9 years ago, I'm home when she is home and at school when she is at school, it was the best decision I ever made. You are making the right decision as well, the are only litle once!(Your kids are too cute as well) I too have thought about becoming a demonstrator and it does sound wonderful, but I wasn't aware of the huge commitment it would require, at this time in my life I'm not ready to give that precious time up, before I know it my daughter will be 18 and going off to college. Enjoy the moment right now!

Anita said...

Wow! TFS your story. You will love your time with your kids. My kids are almost 14 & 18. I was lucky enough to be a stay at home mom while my kids were young. Now I can spend time creating for me and for others. I will be praying that this change will go smoothly for you.

Cathy said...


I'm sooo-o-o-ooo sorry to hear you are leaving SU!. You are a very talented artist; you will be a loss to them but you must always put your family FIRST. I'm glad to hear you will continue to blog; your designs are gorgeous!! Best of luck in wherever the future takes you!

Cathy from Rochester, NY

Carrie said...

I love your blog! I cannot remember how I found it, but I check in daily to see how you're doing and to look see your absolutely wonderful creation of the day.
I've never seen a real life SU stamp or catalog (or even a hostess/demo for that matter ;) ), but from what I see on your blog, I'm certain you will be missed.

Good luck with your transition and I look forward to seeing your future work!

Thank you for sharing,

~ Carrie
BC, Canada

Carol said...

I know it was a tough decision to make in leaving SU but you will not regret it at all. Think of all the knowledge you have gained the past two years. It will come in use with four kids and their schoolwork! I say 'Congratulations' on the new direction your life is now headed. I am glad that you will be keeping your blog.

Cannie Hunter said...

Wow Jamie, I am SO proud of you! I know this is a tough decision, but it is a great one that I am sure you will not regret in years to come. I just discovered you in Blogland a few months back and have enjoyed your blog and creations ever since! I am glad that you will be free to love, free to watch your kids grow, and free to craft for you. I pray that all goes smoothly and wonderfully for you as you embark on this new adventure...I say new because you're different than you were before and you'll have so many new experiences! Congrats on your decision! I'll remain a regular visitor to your blog...whether you use retired stuff or not- Your work is AWESOME!! Be blessed!!

Nancy L. said...

So sorry to hear that but Family comes first! I would still love to see your creations on your blog!
Have tons of fun!!!

sandy said...

I love your blog and visit it every day but I know you are making the right decision. I have been there...I have 5 children ages 33, 29, 25, 10, and 5. With my first three I had to work outside the home and I missed sooooo much and so when God sent me these last two my husband said immediately, "You are retiring" and I did. I have loved every minute of it, I do miss those people I worked with and became friends with but would not trade it for where I am now. I am 54 years old and I am so much more relaxed with my younger girls and we have so much fun together. You will not regret your decision and I am sure you will grow in more ways than you realize.

Jackie said...

You go girl! My sons are in the late 20s and you are making the best decision for all the right reasons! I am an elementary school principal and when teachers have babies, I encourage them to take as much time off as they can possibly afford because you can never buy it back, I've loved your blog and your projects, but it is time for you to do this!!

Lisa said...

Hi Jamie, good for you! You must do what is right for you and sounds like you have really thought this through, so enjoy!!! I am glad to hear you will be keeping your blog. I must tell you you are one of my favorites to get inspiration for scrapbook pages, so thank you! Once again...enjoy every moment!!! Lisa

Simmy said...

Hi Jamie,
I've been a follower of your blog for a while and you always post awesome things. I'm also a fellow SU demo ... but first and foremost I am a SAHM to my kids (almost 14 and 16). Kudos to you for making the decision to change back while your kids are young. They grow so fast, and just wait a few more years for yours to get a little older; it will go be even faster and all you'll want to do is turn the clock back. Seems like my daughter was just in starting kindergarten at our neighborhood school and this summer she will get her DRIVERS LICENSE (oh the horror!!). And my "baby" .... he will be starting high school in the fall. I treasure the years I have been home with them. They are my priority. If that means I barely scrape by with my quarters, or if it means I don't post on my blog for 2 months ... oh well. I think you can have a happy medium with being a demo (just go hobby!!), but the important thing is the decision you've made to be with your kids. Glad to hear you're keeping the blog, too!!!!

Andra said...

You don't know me, but I just wanted to let you know that your entry touched my heart. I became an SU demo just 3 1/2 years ago right after I had my first son. I now have 2 little boys and am a teacher. I went back to teaching full time in the fall (at the end of my second maternity leave) and the pace was just too much for me and I changed my contract to 1/2 time in January. (I teach grade 1/2 so it's busy!). Despite how difficult that decision was, I'm much happier now, but I want you to also know that I have ALSO considered dropping my SU status. I just don't have the time or energy to do "it all" and really, my boys come first. I admire your decision and reading about your decision will force me to sit down with my "thoughts" and decide what to do.

I want you to know that I subscribed to your blog many months ago and really appreciate your work. You are very talented. You have inspired a lot of my work and I thank you for that.

Andra Donbrook

Gina said...

Good for you! I think the stamps will always stay and be the same, well maybe they'll change but your babys will actually grow really fast and before you know they'll be on High School or College? so family first! specially if you feel like it's time for them now!!! Enjoy them! ;)

Rachel said...

God bless ya...because in 20 years from now that card you just HAD to make or that workshop that you just HAD to be at means nothing without family.

I've been there. done that. You'll love reclaiming yourself :)

Crystal (SCS happy2stamp4ever) said...

Hi Jamie,

Wow, you are a brave woman. Sounds like you've got quite the business! Not only do I love your work, but I love that you took that difficult step.

I too am a SAHM & SU demo of 3.5yrs. I have 2 girls (5yrs., 2.5yrs.). When I started, my oldest was only 18 mos.

I've thought of quitting many times. Even though I have some great repeat customers, a lot of the time it feels like the stress is not worth it. Especially with the economy the way it is now!

I sometimes feel like the SAHM in me is suffering. Or is it my kids? LOL...I think both. I feel all this "pressure" to have samples done of all this new and current product. With a ton of retired stuff that isn't being used to it's potential, I'd love to go back to creating for fun. No deadlines, no stamping stress. :)

However, I do love being at workshops and having that fun - I LOVE sharing what I love!

It's a tough thing, and I totally understand what a difficult decision it must've been. So, thank you for sharing that with us. I will uphold you in my prayers, and keep your example in mind in the future, when considering my options. :)

I'm glad to hear you'll continue blogging! :)