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Finally a Sport we can all Share

This is my Mix and Match page for My Mind’s Eye in April.

As I continue on my journey of two-6×12 page layouts, I’ve been thinking about this new style and pondering how I feel about it. I’ve received some thoughts and questions about this style and wanted to share some of what I think with you.

1. I love having the room to write longer journaling. When I switched to creating layouts with hand-journaling a few years ago, one of the things I missed was the ability to tell much longer stories. I know that, for me, handwriting my journaling means writing more randomly and naturally. But not always going as deep. I seem to be able to collect my thoughts better on the computer. So I love having this mechanism for telling my longer stories. Making deeper connections on my layout.

2. I’ve been asked a few times, why I like the 2 6×12 over the 12×12. On a purely mechanical level, I don’t have a large-sized printer and would not be able to print my journaling if I did a 12×12 page. But, even more significantly, with this system when I sit to scrap, I am still designing a 6×12 page. I always put the two blank pages side by side but, with the exception of the photos, I don’t think of any overlap until I’ve fully designed the right side. So my brain is thinking of a narrow rectangle (6×12) and not of a square (12×12) and different ideas come to me that wouldn’t if I started with a square. This month’s layout is a perfect example. I’d never have put an arrow in the middle of a square page, but with the split design, the arrow that splits across the pages makes it visually interesting.

3. More than anything, I like the process of doing something different than I usually would. Doing the same thing over and over again can get you into a rut. It might put you on auto-pilot and fewer creative ideas bubble up. Changing your perspective, changing your fundamentals (like the size and shape of the paper you design on) can really shake things up and help you see new possibilities.

So if you’ve been doing the same thing for a while, I encourage you to try something new this month. You never know what surprises you might get.

With that, here’s my page for April:

Here’s the long journaling:
My sweet boys,

When it comes to sports, I am not all that experienced or talented. I’ve never really played soccer, basketball, volleyball or football. I didn’t do any extracurricular sports at school or in my leisure time. I’ve never really had the natural ability or the encouragement at a young age. When it comes to sports, I am usually in the audience, cheering.

There are just a few exceptions: swimming, skiing, skating, and tennis.

I did all three of these relatively regularly as a kid and I while I wasn’t that talented at any of them, I did enjoy them.

Especially skiing.

Over the twenty years your dad and I have been together, we went skiing only a handful of times but when we moved to California, we both knew that we wanted to do it more. And then when you guys came, I knew that it was best to learn it at a young age, like I did.

Alas, the years passed and we never really made it a priority. With Daddy’s insistence we went to Tahoe last year but only managed to do some ice skating and came back home after a very rough twenty-four hours there.

When Daddy said he wanted to make sure we went again this year, I vowed to make the whole experience completely different. I got us a nice family hotel, made sure you had comfortable and cozy ski gear, and got full-day ski school set up for both of you. I figured if we were going to be there for just three days, we wanted to make sure those days were wonderful.

And they were.

In fact, I wasn’t prepared for how incredibly wonderful they turned out to be. All day ski school meant Daddy and I were alone for hours on end. It meant we could go on our own skiing adventures and spend the day just the two of us. I can’t remember the last time we spent so many hours together without you two. (Not that it’s not amazing to have you there, but it was also special to be just with Daddy for a while.) Since Daddy and I are about the same level in skiing, we joyfully went on the same runs and skied our hearts out.

Even more wonderfully, you guys not only loved the skiing but went from never having been on skis to level four for David and level two for Nathaniel. All in two days’ work! By this point David was already doing green runs. Incredible progress in such a short time.

We also loved our hotel and spent a lot of time snacking on the jelly beans, having salami sandwiches, watching movies, and eating yummy not-so-good-for-you food. Oh, and, playing on the iPad, of course.

All in all, I can easily say that this was one of our best family vacations so far. That fact, alone, makes me incredibly grateful and hopeful about our future skiing adventures.

But when I think about this trip, what’s most special to me is that there’s a sport where I don’t have to sit in the audience and observe. I can participate fully and share in the joy and excitement with the rest of you. I am so very grateful for that. I love you with all of my heart and I look forward to skiing together again soon!

and finally some closeups:

This is a Moment of Deep Joy and Gratitude for me

This is a layout I made for My Mind’s Eye.

I’ve been experimenting with making pages that are 2 6x12s where one side is all journaling. Here’s the journaling on this one:

My sweet boys,

As the two of you started growing up and learning new things, I had my own list of “what to teach the boys” which included items like reading, programming, art, writing, and math. I had many non-academic ideas, too. How to be kind, how to always say please and thank you. How to make sure you apologize if you hurt someone. To make sure you look them in the eye when apologizing. And how to say “I forgive you” when someone apologized to you. How to serve others and volunteer your time to the community.

My list was long and layered.

But I wasn’t worried about tackling it. I knew that, with time and patience, we’d make it through each item. I knew that I was capable of teaching those to you. I cared about the list and I was willing to take the time.

But then I had this other list.

The one full of the things I didn’t know how to do but wanted to make sure you learned.This list was much more challenging because, in this case, it wasn’t a matter of time or patience. Even if I had all the time in the world, I couldn’t tackle this list on my own. I didn’t know how to do these things.

While this list was layered and complicated, too, the very first item on the list was what most would consider easy: learn to ride a bike.

Learn to ride a bike.

As someone who never learned it, it was essential to me that my boys would learn to ride bikes at the typical ager most other kids learned. I wanted to make sure this was a part of their childhood experience.

Other people might think I was crazy to worry about this simple task so much, but, to me, teaching you how to ride a bike was a monumental task. How do you teach something to someone that you’ve never learned in the first place? Even though I had tried to learn a few times, I knew that there was no way I was going to master this in a way I needed to, so I could teach you two.

So I enlisted Daddy.

He’s an awesome biker and I told him that it was crucial to me that you boys learn. Daddy told me he’d take care of it.

And, take care of it, he did. He got you the bikes, the helmets, he spent the time and the effort. He ran alongside you for hours and held on and let go all at the right times. While I was vaguely aware it was progressing, it wasn’t until this weekend that I realized he had really come through all the way.

As I stepped outside to snap some photos of the two of you, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Nathaniel was able to ride all my himself, on the big boy bike with pedals and no training wheels. Yes, he still needed a bit of help occasionally, but he pretty much had it down. And David was a master-rider. Biking round and round without a care in the world.

I cannot tell you the joy that filled my heart. This is why I love Daddy so very much: he is the perfect complement to me and helps all my dreams come true. Thank you so much, Daddy, and I am so very proud of you my biking boys!

Remember This - Week 5

Here’s another one I made for My Mind’s Eye.

This page says: you are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

Ain’t that true?

I find that I often tend to think that there’s only one way forward. What I would like to remember instead is that there’s no one way. And that there’s no forward. Life is a winding path. What might look like “forward” might be a detour and what might look like a detour might be the real path to joy. Not that there’s only one path to joy. or success. or bliss. or whatever it is i am after that week.

Regardless of the notion of path or not, it is important for me to remember that I am free and not confined by anything except for the restrictions I am creating for myself. Being free and whole is a core desire for me. To feel whole, I need to remember to tear down the walls I create.

Here’s a photo that shows off all the shine in this page:


Remember This is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Remember This - Week 4

This page says: What is it like for this person?

Yet another gem from Tara Brach.

There’s some journaling here too and it says:
Because we are conditioned to pull away from suffering, awakening a compassionate heart requires a sincere intention and a willingness to practice. It can be simple. As you move through your day and encounter different people, slow down enough to ask yourself a question. “What is life like for this person? What does this person most need?”

How is that for a reminder? I love this thought and I love how it’s serving me and others.

I am not a huge fan of how this page turned out; it’s messier than I’d like but I still love the sentiment and it’s something I need to remember. I want to remember.

In the end, that’s what matters most.


Remember This is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Remember This - Week 3

This is another page I originally made for My Mind’s Eye. It says: the most important thing is to remember the most important thing.

Another quote from Tara Brach and one that I want to remember.

I actually wrote a longer blog post about this one a while back. When I was talking to my coach, I had this idea of a pie chart showing what I care most about if everything I care about could fit inside a circle, how big would each slice be?

So this is my visual. It’s a bit less like what I originally imagined but I still like it.

The sections I have are:

  • creating
  • health
  • read
  • friends
  • work
  • service
  • family

I think this one might be worth doing again at some point. I feel like the categories might be slightly different even now. OR maybe not.

Either way, for now, I still love this. It helps me keep things in perspective. It helps me remember to prioritize what matters most.


Remember This is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Remember This - Week 2

It says: It did not happen to you or because of you. it just happened. remember it is real but not true.

This page was originally done for My Mind’s Eye. It uses mostly scrapbooking papers and paint.

This page came about as I was listening to a podcast with Tara Brach. She was talking about one time when she was working on her book, against a deadline, and the computer crashed before she was able to save the writing. She then talked about how we take it personally and think that something is happening to us. How we blow it all out of proportion and how we construct a big story around what happened and what it means.

I do this a lot.

I make it mean something about who I am. What I am worth. Or more like, not worth.

Since whole is one of my core desires this year, it’s really important to me to remember this one.

It just happened.

a few more shots:

 

 


Remember This is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Savor the Gifts of the Present Moment

Since I will not get to write tonight either apparently, I figured I’ll share a recent layout with you. This one is almost all My Mind’s Eye and was made for the Big Picture Classes’ recent NSD Creative Crop.

My challenge was to use your own handwriting. When was the last time you used it on a layout?

Here are few different shots from it:

I Love My sweet amazing boys and their silly hats in every way

I noticed that it’s been a while since I shared any of my layouts with you. While I am doing a lot less scrapping lately, I am still making some pages and here’s a recent one I made for My Mind’s Eye.

journaling reads:
My boys like to be silly. They put hats on and make silly faces and laugh and laugh. Then can play one little hat for over twenty minutes. I don’t really understand how they can find so much joy and entertainment from such a small thing and yet they do. And I love that about them so much. How the smallest things can create joy in their lives. How they can entertain themselves and laugh and laugh. I love how easy it all is for them. It never was for me and I am so grateful that joy comes so easily to them and how happy they are. I love them so!!

details:

Gratitude Journal - Week 8

Here’s this week’s gratitudes and celebrations:

Before:

and here’s what the page looks like with all the gratitudes and celebrations:

There we go. Just another excuse to create art and remember the present that is my life.


Gratitude Journal is a weekly project for 2013. You can see a detailed post on my goal other details here.

Journey into Collage – Week 51

text reads: you are not bound by the labels others have put upon you. you are free. only you choose who you are. don’t forget. only you.


Journey into Collage is a project for 2012. You can read more about it here.

My wish for you: Make Love of Yourself Perfect

This is a layout I made for My Mind’s Eye.

And the journaling says:
If there’s only one thing you get to have or be, my wish is for you (and me) to know that all you need is already within. Deny yourself nothing. Give yourself inifinity and eternity and discover that you don’t need them, you are beyond. I love the the two of you with all my soul and I wish you endless peace and contentment. May you make love of yourself perfect.

details:

The greatest joy of life comes from the smallest moments

This is a layout I made for My Mind’s Eye.

And the journaling says:
One of the greatest joys of having kids is watching them delight in the smallest moments. Like when Nathaniel found this little toy bucket and sat in it. You thought it was the funniest thing my sweet boy. And when daddy pushed you around you laughed with so much joy (until it was David’s turn of course.) Seeing you two have the best time with the simplest things is a daily reminder to me that I should be grateful for the smallest things in my life, too. There are the moments when we cherish life. Thank you for reminding me what matters most. I am so deeply grateful for the two of you and I love you with all my heart.

details: