Carole Burrage - TruCarMa
Claremore, OK
In the immortal words of Lenny & Squiggy, "When you least expect it, expect it!" I had totally given up any hope that I would ever get a chance to play on the Dirt Pile, so when I received an email from Jenn Balcer which read, "Well? Aren't you going to call me?" I quickly typed back "Whatchootalkin' 'bout, Willis?" (Hey – I was a latch-key kid… you expect me to be quoting Shakespeare?!) Then I went to the car, found my cell phone, and realized Jenn had called twice. Still, I didn't read anything into it as I called her back. According to SCS lore, aren't you supposed to receive a golden pm in your Wonka Bar/SCS box? Needless to say, I'm thrilled beyond words and utterly humbled to be here.

I'm 38 years old and live in Claremore, Oklahoma, with my husband, Sean. We met at the University of Oklahoma, attended law school together, and as of this coming August, we'll have been married 15 years. We have two sons, Truman (age 11) and Carter (age 3), and therein lies the mystery of my screen name, TruCarMa. After our wedding, Sean and I moved to the Washington D.C. area for a couple of years (and lived within a mile or so of the house where I grew up, in Alexandria, VA), before heading back to Oklahoma. We moved to Claremore (about 20 miles NE of Tulsa) shortly before Truman was born, and Sean practiced law while I taught full-time at the local university. Within a few months of the birth of our youngest, it became clear that Carter had developmental delays. Eventually, he was diagnosed with mild-to-moderate Cerebral Palsy, and would need extensive physical, occupational, and speech therapies in order to reach his full potential. Thus, I've been a SAHM for the last two years and it's the best job I've ever had. Of course, having a little guy who is 100% sunshine helps, and his big brother is pretty fantastic in his own right. I'm not biased at all – those are facts, pure and simple. : )

I've scrapbooked on-and-off since Truman was a toddler. I was in an 'on-phase' when I started seeing all of these ads in the scrapbooking magazines for a company called 'Stampin' Up!' Perhaps you've heard of it? Anyway, after getting in contact with a local demo, I observed one of her stamp clubs in which she demoed a faux postage technique she'd gotten the idea for from a website. I wrote down the address – www.splitcoaststampers.com --- and went there the next time I got on the computer. That was in the fall of 2006 and I don't think I've logged off since!

At that same time, my husband was in the throes of his first political campaign. He is now the state senator for our district, in addition to still practicing law when the legislature is not in session. Having a pretty consuming 'hobby' himself, he's too smart to grumble about the time and money I spend on mine! In a million years, I would never have predicted that stamping would become such a passion. Through SCS and my blog, I have a fabulous group of friends to whom I'm simply me and not first thought of as 'So-and-so's wife or mom'; that creates a nice balance and helps me stay sane (hence the name of my blog, Mother's Little Helper.) None of this would be possible had I not stumbled onto SCS, so it is with enormous gratitude that I have the chance to get Dirty and give something back to this amazing community that has given so much to me.