Winners of the Honoring Longevity Giveaway!

Thank you for helping us celebrate Karen Morris’s 25 years with Close To My Heart! Your heartfelt comments have touched us, and we’re sure they’ve touched Karen, too.

As promised, we have randomly selected 25 comments, one for each of Karen’s incredible years, and those who wrote these comments will receive a free Sangria paper packet! Here are the lucky recipients:

  1. Carol Welch (posted on Oct. 1 at 2:44pm)
  2. trishkj (posted on Oct. 1 at 2:46pm)
  3. Donna Nelson (posted on Oct. 1 at 3:11pm)
  4. Joyce Shiota-Katayama (posted on Oct. 1 at 3:36pm)
  5. Cindy Adams (posted on Oct. 1 at 3:52pm)
  6. Debbie Gauvin (posted on Oct. 1 at 4:04pm)
  7. Sue McLeely (posted on Oct. 1 at 4:32pm)
  8. Karen T (posted on Oct. 1 at 4:52pm)
  9. kmg2109 (posted on Oct. 1 at 4:53pm)
  10. Sharon Mikulecky (posted on Oct. 1 at 6:07pm)
  11. Vicky (posted on Oct. 1 at 6:10pm)
  12. Peggy Pfeiffer (posted on Oct. 1 at 7:12pm)
  13. Randall & Cheryl Scott (posted on Oct. 1 at 9:17pm)
  14. Kathleen R (posted on Oct. 1 at 10:12pm)
  15. Stefanie Haluk (posted on Oct. 2 at 1:31am)
  16. Tonya (aka: Ms Pooh) (posted on Oct. 2 at 2:45pm)
  17. Carolyn S (posted on Oct. 2 at 11:04pm)
  18. Tonya Stone (posted on Oct. 3 at 4:51 pm)
  19. Jenny Nunn (posted on Oct. 3 at 7:19pm)
  20. Nancy Stephan (posted on Oct. 5 at 3:09pm)
  21. Helena Voss (posted on Oct. 5 at 3:24pm)
  22. Candy Lander (posted on Oct. 5 at 5:55pm)
  23. Gina Frawley (posted on Oct. 5 at 6:06pm)
  24. Connie J Miller (posted on Oct. 5 at 8:19pm)
  25. Natalie Soderquist (posted on Oct. 6 at 9:15am)

If your name is on the list, please email your name and mailing address to ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com. Send the email from the same email address you used to comment and put “Honoring Longevity Giveaway” as your subject.

Again, thank you for your part in making this an extra special milestone for Karen. We’re grateful for all you do to make Close To My Heart a close-knit family.

Honoring Longevity: 25 Years of Awesome!

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Today we want to recognize a very special anniversary: It was 25 years ago that our dear friend Karen Morris signed up to be a demonstrator for a direct sales company called D.O.T.S., Jeanette Lynton’s stamping company that later became Close To My Heart. Her intention was just to earn a little extra money to help pay for Christmas for her two children. From that modest beginning has grown an impressive legacy of achievement, service, and inspiration that has made a profound effect on Close To My Heart.

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Karen’s list of achievements spans every area of the business, including reaching Presidential Director, the highest title at Close To My Heart. She has been the recipient of multiple personal and Team sales awards, Team building awards, and service awards, and has earned her way to many of our incentive trips to destinations all around the world.

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She has been an integral part of Close To My Heart in many other capacities as well. As a frequent presenter at national events, Karen has trained thousands of Consultants on how to build a successful business like hers. Over the years, she has been a member of multiple Advisory Boards, has been featured in various advertising campaigns and videos, and has even been one of our guest bloggers!

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In 2011, Karen received the company’s highest honor, the Spirit of Close To My Heart award, in recognition of her years of service and her countless contributions to the Close To My Heart community. At this year’s Convention, we recognized her 25-year anniversary onstage by presenting her with a scrapbook filled with pictures from her many experiences, friendships and achievements, some pages of which you can see here.

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Anyone who has met Karen knows she has the biggest heart; she has a gift for making people feel special and important. Karen also has the best sense of humor—and a pretty impressive shoe collection! She is a devoted wife to her husband, Marty, who has been by her side through her entire Close To My Heart journey. She has also filled the role of mother to her two children, Ashley and Trent, who learned to help in the business from an early age, and who have benefited in many ways from their mother’s hard work.

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We want your help in showing our appreciation to Karen on this special anniversary. She has touched the lives of so many, and we want to return the favor! If you know Karen in some way, please share a brief memory or story about how Karen has influenced you in your Close To My Heart business in the comments section. For those who don’t know Karen personally, feel free to simply congratulate her on her 25 years with us. Next week, we’ll randomly select 25 comments—one for each of Karen’s incredible 25 years—and send those individuals the Sangria paper packet, which is the featured paper collection for October! Again, congratulations to you, Karen, for all your accomplishments over the past 25 years. We’re so lucky to have you as part of the Close To My Heart family!

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Karen Morris: Memory Keeping Matters to Me

Thanks to our friend Presidential Director Karen Morris for contributing today’s post!

“I will always remember this moment.”

Hasn’t everyone experienced special times that we savor and simply KNOW we’ll never forget? But the truth is, memories fade and those moments are lost. That’s why I am passionate about memory keeping—the complete package of photos accompanied by journaling. They say, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but not really—photos need your words. Saving memories in photo albums and scrapbooks keeps those “snapshots of time” real and everlasting.

I’ve been a memory keeper for as long as I can remember. In my younger years, I started with diaries, adding photos here and there. In my early adult years, I was caught up in the “magnetic photo page” craze and that is where my creativity blossomed as I cut colored index cards to create journaling spots. (Pretty lame compared to all of the creative options we have now, right?)

Today I love and use three types of memory keeping: traditional 12″ x 12″ handmade scrapbook pages filled with photos, notes, and embellishments; pocket scrapbooking with Picture My Life™ scrapbooking programs, which have helped me catch up on several travel albums; and, last but not least, digital pages from Studio J®. As you browse my albums, you’ll see a mix of all three styles and it works beautifully!

Memory keeping took on a whole NEW meaning for me when I became a grandmother for the first time—of twin girls! Babies change so quickly. I adored the sweet smell of a newborn and simply couldn’t get enough. One of my favorite pages is one I created when the girls were newly born. I titled it “Who Knew,” and added words from my heart: “Who knew I’d love this ‘grandma’ thing so much! I figured there would be joy. I didn’t anticipate this immediate, head-over-heels, unconditional love. I didn’t expect every waking moment to be so consumed with those sweet babies. I remember being amazed at the birth of my own children. But the birth of twin granddaughters seems, well, indescribable…magical, precious, delightful. Life will never be the same again, nor would I want it to be. These baby girls have brought a brilliance to life that I never knew existed.”

Who Knew page by Karen Morris

A few weeks after creating this page, I jotted my feelings in a notebook so that I could capture the day’s emotions for a layout to be created later: “February 12, 2007. This is my first trip away from my granddaughters. Who would have guessed it would be so hard? Those sweet angels have captured my heart and I am going through withdrawals. Okay, so the plane is still on the tarmac and I haven’t officially left town. I’m still missing them—their big observant eyes, the drooling milk mouths, the way they snuggle so closely when I hold them. My sweet angels. Our miracles. I love you and will return in 72 hours and 37 minutes. ~Grandma Karen”

Precious page by Karen Morris

Fast forward several years later to an impromptu lunch with my son, daughter, plus my four-year-old grandson—just the four of us. We went to a favorite sandwich shop and Gavin was in such an animated mood that day that I pulled out my camera phone and began snapping away (mostly unnoticed by anyone). One of the first things I did when returning home was to quickly create this Studio J layout titled, “That’s My Boy.”

That's My Boy layout by Karen Morris

Our family also includes the four-legged variety. Currently we have a cocker spaniel and three shih tzus, each with their own personality. Being that they are part of my life’s experience, I also do pages about them. When we unexpectedly lost a previous family pet, Murray, at a young age, I created this tribute to him.

Murray layout by Karen Morris

Scrapbooks are fun to browse through—my grandchildren love seeing pictures of themselves and family members at much younger ages. We love those walks down memory lane and relive stories together through these books. Our conversations consist of, “Remember when…,” “I loved the time you…,” and, “Look how much they’ve changed since….”

There’s also an even more practical side of memory keeping: these are the best reference books ever! More than once my husband and I have pulled out a scrapbook to find a specific memory. “What was the name of that restaurant we particularly enjoyed in Hawaii so we can return there on our next trip?” (By the way, it was the “Winds of Beam Reach” on Kauai, since closed, but they served the absolute BEST blackened Ono I’ve ever encountered!) Or we check dates of the last cruise and locations visited. (“What was that jewelers name on St. Thomas?!”)

I create memory books and fill them with what matters to me. They’re a chronicle of my life, my experiences, and my heart. What matters to you?

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