Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here and look forward to connecting and sharing with you! I work best in environments where brainstorming, creating, and developing new ideas is encouraged, so I created it myself 🙂
I was born in Utah, grew up in Montana (Go Griz!), and currently live in Minnesota with my husband (Chris), teenage son and two furkids. I was busy with family and chasing my dream of having a great corporate job.
Then, hubby went into the hospital for over ten days, the last three of which he just slept. When he was awake, he would look at the nurses and tell them how much he wished he could just sleep and then he’d go back to sleep. His kidneys had shut down and his extremities were swollen beyond belief from all of the fluid retention. On Thursday of the second week the doc took me aside and asked if our affairs were in order and if I was prepared for him to not come home. I felt as if I’d been punched.
Chris had been in and out of the hospital over the previous five years as he was diabetic and had dealt with many foot/leg infections and they had already removed his big toes, but he’d always come home. The doctors labeled it all ‘complications from diabetes’, so we did too.
That night as I left to go home and take care of our boy and the dogs, I cried out to God for a miracle and to give me the strength to get through it all no matter what happened.
It was very late as I drove and I kept my mind busy planning how I would have to pack up our home and get it on the market, significantly downsize, let go of my crafting supplies and move the boy and me to a tiny two-bedroom apt. Planning helped me to not get hysterical, although I was crying hard enough to have gotten the hiccups. I was almost home when suddenly, I became aware of the song on the radio. If I’d heard it before, I heard it in a way bigger way right then. I pulled over, turned up the volume and fell apart.
The song was Even If by Mercy Me (Listen on YouTube Here)
It was exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it. No matter what happened, I would trust that it was for the best, but wow did it HURT! I gave it all to God sitting in my vehicle late at night with the radio up too loud. I imagined handing this huge ball of chaos up to God, all of it. It was all so overwhelming I just couldn’t emotionally handle it.
As the tears subsided, I realized I could start back on the road, so I did. I could shower and climb into bed and I did. I could get up in the morning, although with dread and extreme heartache, and I could go back to the hospital and sit by his side as he slept. One minute at a time, one decision at a time and then to the next minute.
I walked into the hospital room that Friday morning and he wasn’t in his bed.
I felt my heart hit the floor! I thought I was prepared, but I wasn’t! Not really. How does one prepare for this? I didn’t know where to turn or who to even ask! What did I need to do?
Then the bathroom door opened and out came my fully awake husband!
He was showered, dressed, and had ordered breakfast.
Wait! What?! What’s going on? The doctor walked in and greeted us with great enthusiasm asking how his miracle patient was doing? Chris said he was feeling great and wanted to go home ‘Today’.
The whole team of doctors came in and evaluated him and at noon we drove home together. Chris told me at some point during the night he dreamt that God spoke to him. He’d been diagnosed with diabetes around 2001 but had never taken it very seriously because he wasn’t on insulin, so it wasn’t ‘real diabetes’. He checked his blood sugar very randomly and still at pretty much the same, although he had reduced the number of treats and sweets he consumed.
In the dream, God asked Chris if he had his attention yet? Chris said he told God that he did, and he would do better and then he woke up ready to go home!
Once home we were faced with dialysis several times a week and he had had surgery on his ‘good foot’ to remove the dying toes there so he couldn’t drive. I’d been laid off from my job and we discussed me not going back to a corporate job but building a business online instead.
You see, I had owned an online Yahoo group several years before with about 1500 members from all over the world and I’d loved it! I would go live on Yahoo Messenger every Thursday and demonstrate a new layout or project and anyone in the group could join me. I had a website (www.tammeybrown.com) and a blog (http://tammeybrown.blogspot.com); which is where the earlier content on this blog comes from.
Back then hosting a website was expensive and Blogspot didn’t allow me to upload files. I did create cutter files and how-to instructions and upload them to the group though.
I was so inspired by sharing with that group and dreamed of how to monetize it. Then we bought a house and I got a better paying, and much more time consuming, job and I had to let the fun hobby group go.
So, as Chris and I sat and discussed what we would do, I got as excited as I was scared! What if I couldn’t do it? What if no one wanted what I had to offer? What if……
Shortly thereafter, I connected to a local life coaching company and became certified as a life coach. Then I learned they needed help with email, I LOVE technology, so I offered to help. Their website needed upgrades and cleanup and I was asked if I’d like to give it a try. I didn’t know how to use WordPress, but I thought anything I do would be better than what was there, so I learned as I went. I created www.bestlifecreationsociety.com
Then I started to apply what I’d learned and moved my blog to my own site. I joined a bunch (way too many!) Facebook groups on blogging and then hit YouTube. I was soon overwhelmed with information overload! There were so many choices and it seemed each person had a different take! One said use this plug in and then next one warned not to. It made it difficult and just deciding on an email provider took me almost six months! During that six months I started going back through posts and cleaning them up some, I removed outdated links to old content no longer available and became an Amazon and Cricut affiliate.
According to the blogging groups, it was important to pick a niche, so I did. The thing that most inspires me is encouraging YOU! I love to encourage and uplift others and family history, aka scrapbooking, is a huge part of that!
All that I’ve been through in my life, and there has been much, I’ve come to realize that the LITTLE THINGS ARE THE BIG MOMENTS in life! It’s not about the trips, although those are great, it’s about what you do and how you connect on the trip that makes it amazing. It’s you being in the photos while connecting that makes it spectacular and paints YOU in your memories!
Now you know my why and the journey I took to get here. How can I help you get started?
The Yahoo Group mentioned above was called ScrapbookingClasses and there I discovered a love for helping others find solutions. If a member wanted to learn how to do something and I didn’t know how, I learned how, practiced it, and then taught it! That philosophy shaped the group.
ScrapbookingClasses – MOTTO: Learn it, Share it, Pass it along!
With social groups becoming so popular, and especially FaceBook, that little Yahoo group slowly faded away, but the impact it had on me, and many others, was profound! We connected from all corners of this big, beautiful globe and it was amazing.
My passion was given wings by that fantastic group of people. I found myself so inspired by their stories, their why, their love of family and friends, and their desire to save it. They shared what they were working on and needed help with and I was inspired to learn and share it back with them.
The most impactful story from that time period was during the first year of that group. During the fall of that year, I began using Yahoo chat and my webcam to demonstrate a unique layout or craft once a week. I created a pdf of instructions, developed templates and even took photos of the craft or layout in progress and I would post that to the group. So, here’s the part that changed me forever.
I found myself exhausted, overworked, and busy raising a family. It was sometime after the holidays, so the end of January or maybe early February. I got an email. At first, I thought it was spam and was going to delete it, but something stopped me.
It was from the daughter of one of the group members. This young mom was thanking me for what I did in the group. She went on to tell me that her mother worked diligently on her album each week as I shared via webcam, she would work on the pages. I’m a huge advocate for people writing, yes – actually handwriting – in their albums. So this member created a layout a week, added photos and then handwrote on the page.
The daughter of the member was writing to let me know her mother had passed, but not before gifting her and her young daughter a beautiful album full of memories and the members’ handwritten notes.
I cried tears of amazement and overwhelming joy. At that moment, I found my passion. I had connected with a complete stranger and through what I was willing to share, she created a priceless gift for her family.
That. That’s my fuel and that’s what brings me here!