Monday, January 23, 2023

The roots that gave us wings

 If you wonder at my roots.... or where I was for the last week.... 
My name is Jamie.... I am from California and now live in Indiana.
Born in the Los Angeles area, I split my time between Montebello and East Los Angeles and Santa Maria and the Five Cities (aka Central Coast).  

We are approaching our second year in Indiana, near Fort Wayne.
We left behind many of those we just love... from family to friends who became family to us.
This week, two of my girls and I, returned to California to take time and connect with many (sadly not all of whom we miss) and deal with some family stuff.

Renting a Copper Fiat for the week, this convertible was a small car that zipped around from Ventura to Santa Clarita.  Food... oh the food we missed was so much fun to share with loved ones!
If you are in our old stomping grounds you will reccognize the journey we took on the regular.
From the 5 to the 210 to the 170 and 405 up to the 5 (again) and 14....
Returning to the 805 took us from the 101 to the 23 to the 118 up the 210 and 5 to the 14.

NOW... if this sounds like wacky math... add in 4 or 5 near accidents amidst traffic and it's some of the more popular freeways we drove to and from loved ones.  We averaged 5-7 freeways a day even (welcome to So-Cal life!) in the midst of traffic and back routes to and fro.  

Nothing compares to Mexican food from California (or Mexico but we didn't go that far south).  Here are some of the recommendations and must haves that we had on our list... 

Johnny's Mexican in Ventura... grab the Yukateco (if you love a little spice and that smokey chipotle!) or my girls grab the California and friends love the Ojai (all burritos).

Establos Meat Market (Camarillo and Thousand Oaks) for their Carne Asada or Al Pastor fries and soft tacos.

In N Out is a MUST..... do not miss this classic burger - go wild and Animal style (even on those fresh fries!).

Coffee and delicious artisan drinks, avocado breads and more.... Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters are amazing and I prefer their Mexican Mocha or Burbon Caramel (legit roasted chilli in the dark chocolate or caramel and coffee in burbon casks!).  

The Five07 is in Thousand Oaks and their Maple Ginger Chai (dirty or straight up) and their Ginger Lemonades... oh myyyy!!

Bagels... a legit food group (lol) that we desperately miss in Indiana.  East Coast Bagels in Westlake Village had the fluffy big bagels and I had to score me some with lox, tomatoes, onion and capers on schmere (cream cheese).  

Upon coming home... we are actually excited to go on our elimination Lion Diet again as it was wonderful nostalgia foods that we just can't eat anymore.  sighhhhhh
Why we came.....
Two years ago, the Friday before Christmas, we lost my Mother in Law.  
We moved the following Easter and left behind my Father in Law in the amazing care of my Sister in Law.  As time has grown, we lose him more and more.  Flying out to connect with him, while he can randomly remember us was priceless.  

Gregarious, loud, singing, joking.... it is fading and changing as Dementia takes him from us slowly.  We struggled with the changes, cherished the moments he did connect with us and are in awe of the love and care that my Sister in Law and her children do for him.  

Fellow photographers... my middle and their cousin had wonderful moments of connecting over the art and love of seeing the world through their lenses.  

I am so grateful for my Sister in Law who took on the banner of caring for her declining father, for making it possible for us to spend time as a family with her, her daughter, our oldest daughter and her family and Pa aka Nonno.

There were many tears this week, revelations and heart breaking and touching moments.  What a gift that we could take my girls, they could be brave and face it all with grace and honesty.

When life changes... 
Moving across the United States 2700 miles (give or take) makes the heart long for our roots at times.

I am grateful for our Getting Crafty Family, for many friends who became family and the life journey the Lord brought us.

We will always have our roots in the soil of California.  This and the many hard and blessed times gave us wings to move and start anew in Indiana.  

I am beyond excited at the stage my girls are in.... that we, thanks to homeschooling even, had the freedom to travel this week.  We enjoyed one another, connecting with loved ones.  We saw how we and life has changed.  We were serenaded to by my Father in Law and had connections with their Aunt, Cousin, Sister, Brother in Law and Nephew.  


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What Others are SAYING about Getting Crafty with Jamie

Jamie is so passionate and creative about making cards - and wants everyone else to join her in the fun! She is so encouraging and positive in her attitude, helping me along when I get frustrated - and then rejoicing with me at the finished product! I love going to her classes to get new ideas, learn techniques, and have loads of fun in the process. ~ Christine C.

Jamie has wicked awesome classes! If you don’t like a particular stamp or paper/ink color Jamie wants you to change it to suit your style! I did my sister-in-law’s entire bridal shower from invitations/thank you cards, party favors to decorations, it was quaint and whimsical! Everyone ooh’d and ahh’d! I’ve had lots of special requests for classes and Jamie delivers; she always has tasty treats and flavored coffees too ~Ashley W.

I have been attending Jamie's classes for over a year. Her ideas for cards are fresh and fun. She always tries to have several different styles of cards available, so everyone gets to make cards that fit their personal style. The techniques she shows each class can be used in many different applications. She is very patient teacher when instructing class members on how to use the Stampin Up products. ~ Carol D.

If I looked up the word sparkle in the dictionary, I would find Jamie Albanese picture there. I have had the sweet blessing of knowing Jamie and her family for over 5 years now. Every time I am with her I feel loved and inspired. When I am in one of her classes I feel my creative juices flow, as she encourages me to go outside my comfort zone. Jamie helped our girl scout troop make cards for a soldier who needed some encouragement!!! For any of you who have not been in one of Jamie's classes, please don't let another day slip by. She is a beautiful friend and she will become yours too. ~ Blessings, Karen:-)

Jamie has a great eye for style and flair, and it shows in her work. Yet she can pick up on your own individual style and makes great recommendations. I love that she is always flexible for last-minute decision maker mommies like me! So much fun to host craft events with your friends and family - that personal touch always means so much. ~ Adonna

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