Saturday, November 06, 2010

True Stories - Day Two

Okay so I'm a little behind in writing my second assignment but at least I'm working on it before the class has ended.  I just finished my Cathy Z class book and am so proud of it but that's where my focus has been the past two weeks.  Now I'm getting back to my True Stories assignments.  Today's assignment is a writing with numbers.  I am still working on finishing up my "50" scrapbook so I thought I'd use today's prompt to write a bit of journaling to go into that book.  So Here it is.....50 Things I did at 50.
Walked with Russ, lunches with Hannah, thanksgiving with all 6 of the family, San Antonio trip with Hollands, trip to Akron, Clarksville, TN, Jekyll Island in the Spring, Jekyll Island in the fall, Destin, FL, Dinner with Amber, Colorado Springs, Dave & Busters, Garden of the Gods, hiked the Sante Fe Trail, 1,000 Voices in NC, Chipotle with Cory and Stephanie, Tampa, Florida to pick up Hannah, Bowling Green apartment move, Ladies Bible class, Lunches with ladies from church, taught Ladies class, camping at Hunting Island, SC, sunrises on the beach, sunsets on the beach, sunsets at the lake, scrapbook expo with friends, overnight crop with Tiffany and friend, met my grandpuppy, learned I was going to be a grandma, photo shoot with Paula, photo shoot with Jared, Tybee Island, Monday night bible studies, monthly singings, potlucks and game nights with our church family, visits from Barb and mom, Visits with Hazel and Kathy, built a snowman, built a sand castle, flew a kite for the first time, walked in a 5K race, Mountain Voices, shopped in Gatlinburg and Sevierville, TN,  took some online scrapbook classes, read 40 books

Monday, October 25, 2010

True Stories Assignment-Day One

I've decided to use this banner to signify when I am doing a blog post for one of the  class assignments.  Today's assignment gave us four possible themes to write on.  I've chosen the question "What Advice Would you Give someone you would like to help."
"Just in case" are words that go through my mind everytime I work on a  new scrapbook page. When you two were growing up, I always worried that I might not get the opportunity to see you both grow up.  I've always known that life is not guaranteed for any of us and so I continue to write journal entries, produce scrapbook pages which express my love for you and prepare scrapbooks about who I am so that my future grandkids will at least know me if I develop alzheimers or meet an untimely death.  Morbid? maybe but I always have liked to be prepared for all things and one thing that I'm sure about is that when it is my time to leave you, I want to make sure you know how much I love you, how very much you have blessed my life and what I've learned along the way that might help you in your own lives.  I just spent a wonderful week at Jekyll Island with my two favorite girls in the whole world.  I love watching you two play and have fun.  Your laughter is music to my ears.  My wish for you has always been that you three would all be close and learn to rely on each other and share your lives with each other.  The bond of sisters is something to be nourished and cherished.  I hope you will each do your own part to keep up a close relationship with each other.  Call each other regularly.  Try to talk at least once a week.  Make sure that you visit each other at a minimum yearly....more often if you can.  Devote one week of your vacation time to the sisterhood.  Rent a condo on the beach or a cabin in the mountains and just take time to reconnect and share your lives.  My Mom just recently took a trip to visit her sister who is two years older than her.  They are now 86 and 88 and getting feebler with each year. They are both near the end of their lives but they have remained close through 86 years.   I cherish the pictures of them together so excited to see each other and visit and talk.  I wish that for you two as well.  I hope some day this will be you two anxious for a chance to be together and laugh about all your memories.  May you always cherish each other and maintain that bond of sisters no matter what you face in life.  Share your good times and your bad and always be there to help and support each other.  I cherish my time with you both.  I treasure every memory you've given me in my heart.  I'm so thankful that God blessed me with two of the most beautiful daughters I could ever hope for.  I love you both and am proud of the women you have become. 

Another New Class

As fall comes upon us, I've been settling down for a little more serious scrapping time.  I just finished my Cathy Z. class (Me the Abridged Version) which I am still finishing up the album for the class.  And my "Book of Stories" from Big Picture Classes.  I kept up with the reading and some of the exercises on this class but I still need to develop my story saving/sorting book.  I hope to be able to finish up the Cathy Z book this week and then concentrate on the Story sorting system as well as begin to work on the Jessica Sprague Heritage class.  Sometimes I sign up for these classes when things are quite busy so I try to push myself to go back and finish them up as soon as possible so I get my money's worth from the class.  I've got many projects to complete this winter.  Just waiting for the weather to turn colder so I can hibernate inside.  This week I'm starting yet another class developed by my UK scrapping buddy, Shimelle.  I try to support her in all her classes since she is a friend and I want to see her succeed in her business. (Plus, her projects are some of the favorite ones I've completed so her ideas and style) She always inspires me.  Sometimes I follow right along with the class and sometimes I end up playing catch up later.  Some I still have yet to finish projects for.  Her latest class is called "True Stories" and it is a journaling class.  I may use my blog as a place to complete some of the assignments but I look forward to doing more writing this month.  I think I need to just spend a day and thoroughly clean my house so I can sit down guilt-free and have some solid scrapping time.  I can always convince myself of things I need to clean or do before I can sit and scrap.  I got the laundry done and bathrooms cleaned today so after ladies bible class in the morning, I hope to come home and get back to my class projects.  I am really loving my "Abridged Version" book.  I chose to do mine on Russ and I and call it "We" the Abridged Version.  Cathy made the project so easy to complete.  I just need to take an evening and write the rest of my entries and print out my pictures and I will get it done quickly.  Looking forward to yet another Shimelle class.  If I can keep up that's one less project I'll need to do later.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Surprise Package

We received a very special package yesterday from our son and daughter-in-law to announce that they are going to hopefully make us Grandparents in May of next year.  I opened the package and cried when I saw it.  Stephanie has had to go through some fertility treatments this summer in hopes that they would be able to conceive and it looks like it worked.  For as long as I've known her, she's told us all that this is her goal in become a Mom.  I had the same goal and it was the most important thing I wanted to accomplish with my life.  I cried for her because it is a dream coming true for her and I cried for my son because he's going to be an awesome Daddy.  I am so very happy for them and will continue to pray that the pregnancy goes smoothly and our new baby will be healthy.  I'm still smiling today as I anticipate becoming a grandma.  I've been thinking about Grandma names because I really want something cooler than just grandma.  I'm thinking of Nana or MeMe or Nonnie.  I think I'm liking Nana the best though.  It seems to flow with my name.  If Russ decides to follow the Barnhart men tradition of "pop pop" then that will sound nice together....Nana and PopPop.  I'm ordering the "What to Expect When Expecting" book for Steph today and hope it will be as valuable to her as it was to me.  My prayers will be constant in the next 9 months for this little one to join our family in May.  I hope I can be a cool and fun nana for all my grandkids.  So happy for them and looking forward to being a Nana too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Class Musings

Online classes are one of the ways that I am surviving the empty nest adjustments.  Currently I'm enrolled in four and am challenging myself to keep up with them as much as possible.  Basically at this point I am semi- keeping up with two of them and the other two I'm saving for later.  The first two are classes I've done before.  Shimelle's "learn something new everyday" has been quite a fun class when I've taken the time to do the assignments.  I have one book from several years ago done but I thought I would try to do it again this year.  So far it's not happening so I'm still hopeful for catching up later.  The second is Jessica Sprague's "Now we're Rockin" class which I also took several years ago.  She gave us the opportunity to sign up for the revised class for a lower rate so I did.  I've started my first layout but am finding it hard to find solid time to sit and work on it so far so it, too, is sitting in my to do later list.  The two NEW classes I'm taking that I'm attempting to stay up with are "Book of Stories" by Karen Grunberg and "Me-The Abridged Version" by Cathy Zielske.  In Karen's class I'm making a list of stories that I'd like to record or do pages on eventually.  She's given us several exercises to get us thinking so that we will have a huge list to work with once we start the organizing stage of the class.  I'm really excited about this class because I'm constantly dreaming up other ideas to do pages on and I write them down here and there but they are all mixed in various places from notebooks to pieces of paper, to index cards to receipts.  It will be nice to finally get them organized into one place.  In Cathy's class we are starting to write our entries for our pages.  I've decided to change the plan on her class just a bit.  Her class focuses on doing a book about ourselves and since I have several of those ongoing already, I decided to change it to a book of WE and focus on Russ and I together.  I'm hoping I can adapt all the writing to include both of us and at the end of the project I will have a good overview of "us".  Now the challenging thing is to find quiet time to just sit and write.  I have to be in a certain frame of mind to write well and once I'm there, I can let the words flow to the page.  If I try to write when I'm not in that mode, I struggle more.  So I'm trying to take a little bit of writing time each day to keep caught up.  I'm soooo enjoying this class.  I love a class where I feel like I'm inspired to do the project and Cathy is definitely good at doing that.  She has put in a lot of time on her class from the videos to the handouts to the time she spends on the message boards.  It's obvious why she IS so successful at what she does.  She puts out quality classes and work.  She inspires me.  I'm not sure if I'll finish everything by the end of these classes (they are six weeks) but I will certainly have made a dent in the homework and will challenge myself to finish within a reasonable time afterwards.  To end, I will share a few more of my digital layouts from some of my Jessica Sprague classes.  I've got enough catching up to do on her classes to keep me busy all winter long.  I think that will definitely be one of my goals for winter.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What's Really Important?

 I enjoy listening to the Paperclipping Roundtable podcasts when I go on my daily walks.  It always feels like I'm right there in the room discussing my favorite topic with them.  One particular discussion has made me stop to think.  A lady wrote in saying that her husband and kids have no interest in her scrapbooks and so she scrapbooks for herself without the intention of them ever being preserved for future generations.  That made me sad to hear but it also got me thinking.  Which of my layouts will be the important ones to my family.  Will they fight over who gets my books in a good way or a bad way (like who gets stuck with them)  I think I probably changed my focus about five or so years ago with my scrapping.  I no longer feel a need to scrap every picture and every event.  I think it was Rebecca Sower's "Life's Little Treasures" book that started to change my thinking and then Stacy Julian with "The Big Picture" and "Photo Freedom", and I then started to evaluate "What's really important?"  I know how to scrapbook artsy and perfectly designed scrapbooks.  I keep up with the latest trends of papers and tools.  I read the blogs and the message boards and educate myself on all things scrapbook related, but when you get right down to it?  Will they ever look at my layouts and say..."I love the embellishments she used on this" or "That's last year's Basic Grey line."  They look at them now and have no clue if I have a visual triangle or odd numbers of elements on the page.  What they care about is the memory.  The pictures and the story are what are important in the big scheme of things.  So lately, I've been taking a new approach and not trying to see how many volumes of beautiful pages I can create about our lives because, let's face it, would I like to have to store 40+ scrapbooks from my Mom plus my own pictures and memories?  Probably not.  What would mean more to me than anything is to have a few books that tell me about her life and the pictures and stories from our lives with her that meant the most.  I would love to hear about my grandparents and what they loved and how they spent their days and how much things cost for them in comparison to what we pay now.  It's really kind of freeing to let go of the guilt of how far behind I am with scrapping every story.  So I'm taking Stacy's approach from Photo Freedom and have rearranged my layouts into themes of "What we Love to Do",  People we love,  Places We Go, etc etc.  I have an album for each kid with all the highlights from their lives and an album or two on Russ and I and things we do together.  My focus at this point is on my heritage book so my kids can identify who my aunts and uncles and grandparents were when they receive the older pictures.  I'm also focused on my "me at 50" album and plan to do another one in ten years and will continue to work on my overall Book of Me and tell my stories from childhood that my kids won't know unless I record them.  I will always have little projects to keep me busy but I no longer feel the need to see how many pages I can kick out in a year.  I'm just taking my time, enjoying my hobby and keeping my focus on what really matters.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Awesome Things

Jekyll Island, GA 2010

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast online and during the show one of the panel members mentioned a website called 1,000 Awesome things. There is a published book called "The Book of Awesome" on which this website is based.  The idea is that they will add each day another item to their list of awesome things until they reach 1,000. I, of course, had to check it out and I so enjoyed reading through the ones posted so far.  I then started my own little journal of awesome things.  Many I'm picking and choosing from the lists on the website but I'm only writing down the ones that I would consider in the awesome category.  I thought it might be fun to keep this as an ongoing post that I add to now and then and start my own list of awesome things.  These are things that make me smile, give me peace or were just "aha" moments where I learned from someone else. So here we go with my list of awesome things:
1.  The laughter of my children
2.  My husband's smile
3. Sunsets and Sunrises on the beach
4.  The first snow on the mountain tops
5.  The smell of rain on a hot sidewalk
6.  A room full of Christians singing praises in harmony to God with enthusiasm
7.  A glass of iced tea with lemon on a hot summer's day
8.  Walking through a wooded trail to the music of the birds
9.  Letters in the mail from friends
10.  A new scrapbook store to explore
11.  Puppies and kittens
12. A clean house
13.  Freshly washed fabric softened sheets
14.  Walking at the edge of the ocean.
15.  Looking at the view from the top of a high mountain
16.  Phone calls from my kids just to talk
17.  My husband's arm around me when we're sitting together
18.  Watching the groom as he first sees the bride in a wedding.
19.  Sleeping during a thunderstorm knowing that God is in control and watching over you.
20.  Chocolate Chip Cookies Fresh from the oven.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Attitude is Everything

David Kiefer aka Ol' Buddy Dave
I love to be inspired by other people's lives and attitudes towards their trials.  I've seen this video posted on facebook several times and it still touches me when I watch it.  We all are faced with some kind of imperfection in our bodies that can either consume us with self-pity or teach us strength and tolerance. Even those who seem to be the most perfect people in either appearance or life story have their own challenges to overcome.  We sometimes put ourselves in a "me pity party" as if no one else has ever had to face things as rough as we do but when you see videos such as this one, it always makes me feel ashamed for ever complaining about any trivial flaw in my own life.  I'm so very impressed with the attitude of this man.   He is making the most of what he has been given in life and not wasting his time with feeling sorry for himself for what he doesn't have.  I love it.  I'm putting it here so that I can find it again the next time I feel a little worthless.  This video will kick me in the bum everytime.  I had a friend that I met in college with whom I spent quite a bit of time with in my single years.  His name was Dave and he had lost a leg in a motorcycle accident at about 18 years old.  He chose not to use a prosthesis because it limited him too much so he used crutches to get around and hopped the rest of the time.  He made it a point to put people at ease with his handicap upon meeting them.  I remember introducing him to a friend I worked with who was skiing.  We had stopped by the local ski resort to buy his lift tickets and I had tagged along.  As we came out of the lodge we saw my co-worker Julie who had just come down the run and I introduced her to Dave.  He looked at her and asked her if she ever had problems with her skiis crossing over.  She said, "yes, all the time".   He just smiled and said...."I don't".  She told me later that she didn't know how to respond to that but from that time forward she never felt uncomfortable joking with him about his handicap.  Another time we were traveling home from college and he would stop at every IHOP restaurant we passed and go in and ask if they had a tee shirt with the restaurant label on it.  Finally one waitress got bold and asked him why he wanted one of their tee shirts so badly.  He just flipped his one leg up while balancing on his crutches and said "Because I Hop."  Once again, he stunned her and left her with no reply.  I learned a lot from my dear friend, Dave.  You have two choices when life hits you with something can let it defeat you, or you can face it head on and let it strengthen you to be a better person.  I'm thankful for people like Dave and Nick who inspire me to find my strengths and focus on those rather than my weaknesses.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fall Classes- More Inspiration Comin' My Way.

Big Picture ScrapbookingI'm taking a new class at Big Picture Scrapbooking in September with Cathy Zielske that I'm kind of looking forward to. I've seen it offered before and have talked myself out of it several times but this month they were giving a 10% off code for any class so I decided to try it this time. I'm already planning what I want to do and hope to change it up a bit. The class is called "me- the abridged version" and is based on the book "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life". I just got the book out of the library and have been enjoying reading through it. It's giving me many ideas to use in my own book. I think the change I'm going to make is to change the "me" to "us" and do the book on Russ and I. I've already done several "me" books so I don't want to do another one on me just yet so I thought the "us" book would be more fun. It will basically be a little alphabetical book about us, encyclopedia style. I still haven't decided if I will do it digitally or traditional but at this point am leaning more towards traditional. I need to get to Archivers for an 8.5 by 11 album soon. In addition to this class I'm also going to try to keep up with Shimelle's "Learn Something New Everyday" class. I've taken it several years ago (2006 i think) but as a past student we can still participate again each year for free. I'm thinking I may try to blog my entries this time just to get in the habit of blogging more. Then, if I choose I might still make it into an album or add it to my other album. I'm looking forward to September and a few new challenges to keep me inspired to record our lives one scrapbook at a time.

It's Something That We Do

A friend just shared this song by Clint Black on facebook and it really spoke to me. I love a song that speaks some words of wisdom or speaks of something I've learned along the way. The chorus of the song says: "Love's not just something that we're's something that we do." and "Love isn't something that we's something that we do." and "Love isn't something that we have, it's something that we do." Love isn't just those words we said, it's something that we do and not just someplace that we fall. It's something that we do. As I sit here contemplating my almost 27 years of marriage while watching friends young and old, marry and divorce all around me, the song really expresses well something I've tried to tell others. About a year or so ago, Russ and I were at Chimney Rock in North Carolina and had climbed the trail to the top. While there a young couple asked us to take their picture and told us that they were on their honeymoon. We told them we were about to celebrate 26 years. The girl asked as I handed her camera back to her. "What's your secret?" I didn't have a ready made answer and I can't remember what we told them but it really wasn't the reply I would have given if given the chance to think about it more. This song expressed it all so well. Many Many people live with the notion that you fall in and out of love and that saying I love you is all that matters. It's not something that we say, find, fall into or we're "in"'s something that you do. I think I will have to keep that response in my memory banks for the next time that I hear that question..."what's your secret to a long marriage?" Just always remember, Love's not something that you're's something that you do. LOVE THAT! When you stop working at it and putting it before anything else, that's when marriages fail. I think that same sentiment goes for other aspects of our lives as well. We can say "we love God" but when we don't do anything for God, it's really just words. Maintaining a long-term relationship with our God is something that we do. Friendships are the same. Friendships die out when one or both of the friends neglect "to do" anything to keep the friendship alive. Yep, love isn't something that we say, it's something that we do.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

If I Could Spend One More Day with you....

Today is Father's Day and for the past 24 Father's Days I haven't been able to wish my Daddy a Happy Father's Day. When I go into the stores to buy a card for Russ I sometimes look at the "To Dad from Your Daughter" cards and secretly wish I could mail it up to you in heaven. Sometimes I dream of what I would do, if I could spend one more day with you. So today on my little place in cyberspace, I will write out my dream and pretend that for just this one Father's Day, I am spending it with you.

I would start the day lying in bed waiting for you to come to the door with your famous Sunday morning wake up call. I would then lie there a few minutes as I listen to you walking through the house singing an out of tune (but oh so beautiful) church song such as "Hold to God's Unchanging of your favorites. It would start my day with a smile for sure. We'd all sit around for breakfast and laugh at some of our odd family humor. Oh how I love to hear your laugh. I can still hear it in my mind. We'd all get ready and head to church for the morning services. I'd want to sit right beside you and listen to you sing from your heart to your own little tune. I would close my eyes and cherish the sounds. Of course it would be your day to offer the prayer at services and I would listen as you start out your prayer with "Almighty God....our heavenly Father...." You always led such wonderful prayers. You had a way with words. After services, I would then selfishly take you off to spend the rest of the day with me....I would take you to the best restaurant I could find and buy you a big steak and whatever else looked appealing to you on the menu and then we would have an afternoon of conversation. I would ask you about your life and what you learned and what you would change or do better.....I would ask you about your fears and your favorites and what gave you nightmares from the war. And then, it would be the most beautiful blue sky sunny day so we would head out to the lake so that you could teach me how to fish. While we sat and watched the water ripple, I would tell you about my kids. I would tell you about what you've missed and update you on our lives. I would then call Russ and the kids to come and spend the rest of the day with us. You would laugh with the kids and speak a little bit of your wisdom to them. You would tell them what you've learned in your life and listen and advise them on what to do with theirs. They would ask you all the questions they can think of and tell you things they want you to know about them. At the end of the day you would give me your biggest and best hug and a kiss on the forehead and tell me that you are proud of me. You will leave me with a little bit more of your wise advice and then I would wave as you walked back to where you came from with a spring in your step and lungs that breath freely and I would yell, I love you Daddy and you'd turn back and say "I love you too, my little freckle-faced girl." Oh, if I could have one more Father's Day with you. It would be a perfect day and I would cherish it forever.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Few More Digital Pages from Classes

I've got quite a few of my Jessica Sprague classes that I still need to finish up and I've been trying to make that a project this complete class projects. When I get a few minutes I try to work through another lesson. I'm currently taking her "This Old Photo" class and hope to learn a little bit about fixing some of my old photos. It should be another great Jessica class. She hasn't disappointed me yet. I haven't put any of my layouts on here in awhile so I thought I was due for adding some new projects on here. This "Beautiful" Layout was from the Now We're Rocking Class, I think. It was a template for a quickpage. I took the picture with my new camera while playing with some settings from taking the "Get out of Auto Mode" class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. It's one of my favorite pictures from my Hannah photo shoot. The next two are from the Pen Tablet Class which I loved. I bought my pen tablet in 2008 and had not used it much until this class. Now I find that I love using it for all my digital scrapping classes.
It took me forever to get the writing around the pictures the way I wanted it. I was looking at my "Scrapbookers Handwriting Workshop" book to learn a new font for the journaling so I was trying to master that as well as the pen tablet pen. I liked the way the page came out. We made the leaf pattern paper, the bird sticker and learned to merge the title onto a white shadow background. Very fun. Will have to do it a few times before I totally remember how to do it on my own. She also taught us how to whiten teeth and soften skin in photos which I thought was "way cool". I certainly had fun with that new bit of knowledge. The Cory page was one of my favorites. I liked the way we brushed a photo into the background paper on this layout. Somehow during this part of the class I did something to my settings to where everything came out with a low opacity even though my opacity levels were set to 100%. I played and played and couldn't figure out what I'd done to change the settings. A friend finally told me how to reset the tools so I did that and it fixed everything. I should go back and fix all the opaque things on this one now that I've got them reset. The stitching around the layout is supposed to be way darker and the writing under the title as well. I loved the page though and learned a lot with each one we did in that class. She packed a lot of new techniques on each page.
It's always a challenge to change out the themes on the pages since hers are usually geared towards her younger kids and mine are geared towards my older ones. The Russ page was from the Now We're Rockin' Class and it's the same layout I'd done previously on the Cliff Dwellings in Colorado. I started back at the beginning of the classes and tried to redo all of them so that I could add onto my knowledge as I went. It was fun making the same layouts with different pictures this time. I've got one more new layout to do in the NWR class and then will move onto my Digi In Deep class which I've done none of the layouts in. I then will go onto the Type+Writer 2 class which I also have not done any layouts in yet. I probably have a few to finish in Type + Writer 1 too. It's nice because it gives me something to do when I travel with Russ for his job. I sometimes sit in the hotel rooms for days while he works and we go out at nighttime. As long as the hotel has internet, I'm good to go for hours working on my undone classes. The next layout is also from the NWR class with Amber as the subject of the layout. I just finished this one while in Jekyll Island for vacation. The weather was too nice for me to spend too much time on the computer so I only got one page done that week. Again, Jessica's layout was of her son playing with cars and she focused on his hands so I needed to come up with a theme that would allow me to focus on her hands. She's my baker girl and likes to make pies when she comes home which we, of course, love. When I searched back through I found other pie baking pictures where I could focus on her hands so I was pleased with the way this came out as well. When she was little I used to call her "Tweeters". I think it started when I compared her to Tweety Bird with one of her expressions. I then started calling her my "Sweet Tweet". She's still a sweet one who is always doing Sweet things for random people. One more layout to go in the NWR class and I will have completed another one. (I did the first two lessons twice). The Fall page is from NWR and is the same layout done previously of Amber holding a yellow balloon at the Pigley Wigley. This is take two of the week one layout. In this lesson we learned to turn the photo to black and white and bring the color back on something in the photo. In this case it was the pumpkins. We also learned to do the column journaling and how to grunge out the page. The last page I'll share for today is the week two layout from NWR class. I love the way this one came out as well. Jessica's layout was from a "Rock" Concert so I had to come up with another theme that would work with the circle of pictures. I hadn't done any layouts on Cory's wedding yet so that worked out good. The pictures were taken by a friend, Molly Taylor and she took them all in black and white which I loved. I changed the paper colors too since Jessica used reds and blacks to highlight the rock band. I chose the light blue because it seemed more "wedding friendly". I added in a few other elements that I had like the "today and always" stamp. Hers had journaling strips where that is and I thought the stamp fit there better. Loved typing the journaling around the pictures too. That was fun. That's all the sharing for today. I will try to post some of my other "non-digital layouts" in the near future. I think I'm in the mood to scrapbook tonight now.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Gotta Love Relaxing Vacations

For our first big vacation of the year, Russ planned a trip for us to Jekyll Island, GA. He rented a condo which was just the right size for the two of us. I packed all the food we'd need for the week and we've basically been enjoying a pretty relaxing vacation here. I love the island. It's very picturesque with it's large cedar trees (or whatever they are). They look like the perfect climbing trees and I could envision Cory having a blast climbing them if he were here 15 years ago. We went on daily 4 or 5 mile walks along the beach. We had to time them for when the tide was low. One day we had gone for a walk and took too long looking for sand dollars and by the time we got almost back to our section of beach, the tide had come in and we were walking in water trying to get to the nearest dock to climb up to dry land. It came in fast and by the tide tables, the high tide wasn't due for two more hours. We had to dry our shoes out after that walk. Each day we would go on a hunt for sand dollars and would each find about 8-10 good ones. On our last day here we each found about 35 a piece. It was a jackpot day for sand dollars. We kept them on our deck to dry out and hopefully will get them home all in one piece. We went to the dock area and watched the sunset every night and a few mornings I got up to catch the sunrise too. Our afternoons we would find open chairs on one of the piers and spend the afternoon reading. I would also do some writing in my travel journal. I've thoroughly enjoyed this week and feel so relaxed. I also got to experience a first while here. Russ bought me a kite to fly and taught me how to fly a kite. At 50, this was the first time I've ever flown a kite before. It was fun and the wind was perfect for it. We also built a sand castle and it was fun being a kid again. Tonight we went to the driftwood beach area and took some photos with my camera. I love taking pictures right before sunset because the lighting is so much more dynamic. I got some really great pictures of Russ. It's rare that he will pose for me to take pictures of him. I usually get the "put the camera away" looks. Tomorrow we leave to drive back home but plan to spend the morning and early afternoon here before driving home. It's been a wonderful week of relaxing and togetherness with my wonderful husband. I would love to make this a yearly trip. It's close to home and such a nice area. We had the beach to ourselves most of the week. I think this was probably the perfect week to rent here. The weather was even wonderful the entire trip. It's been a happy week.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

So Much to Learn

For my 50th birthday last October, Russ gave me a new digital SLR camera (A Nikon D3000) and for my Christmas gift gave me a new lens with a little more zoom capabilities. Since that time I've been determined to learn how to use the camera. I started out just keeping it in Auto Mode and then started playing with some of the other automatic settings but I knew there was so much more that it could do. In November we took a trip with some friends to San Antonio, Texas and my friend, Paula has a Canon camera similar to mine. We both wanted to practice with our cameras but as we started playing we realized how little we knew about them. We went to a museum that had a sign up that said "NO FLASH" and we didn't even know how to turn our flashes off. So I decided after that that it was time for me to start reading the manual. My daughter, Amber gave me a book for Christmas on my camera and I've been reading that as well as other photography books that I have here. I took two classes at Big Picture Scrapbooking (which were a little disappointing to me) in January. One was called "Get Out of Auto Mode" and the other was "Moving into Manual" mode. I learned a little from them but not as much as I had hoped. I've been watching every photography video I can find and reading books and it's gradually starting to click a little bit. I thought I'd post a few of my favorite photos I've taken so far. I'm still learning about light and shutter speeds and aperatures but it is starting to make a little more sense now. I am definitely enjoying the learning process though. I take a lot of pictures of a lot of random things but each time I end up with a few that I'm really happy with. My friend Paula and I went out on a Sunday afternoon and took a bunch of pictures of each other and of Stars Mill so we could try the various shutter speeds. We will have to do this more often so we can master these things. It is so nice to have the depth of field that you get with a digital SLR camera. I'm looking forward to taking it to Colorado this summer and taking pictures of my mountains and places we loved there. I'm sure I'll find plenty more uses for my new camera in the years to come. It will definitely make my scrapbook pages better when I can enhance them with better photos. I'm looking forward to adding in more lenses and equipment as I get more acquainted with the camera. It's one of my goals for this summer to get comfortable with the new camera enough to where I don't have to think about settings each time. They should just come naturally so I can be more spontaneous with my pictures. I'm hoping to find a photography group in town that I can link up with to learn from other photographers.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Has it really been May since I last wrote on my blog? It looks so sad sitting here waiting for an update so I guess it's time to make it a priority for the new year. The last part of 2009 was quite busy so I guess I truly did have an excuse for the neglect. In May my son Cory got married, my daughter Hannah graduated from High School and we made a big move across country to Georgia. I finished the horrible year without Russ and we are now back together again enjoying life in the south. I spent the summer unpacking and decorating the new house we bought in Fayetteville. Russ and I did quite a bit of traveling with his job and on our own and we became empty nesters with the GA move. We had a busy holiday season too. Cory and Stephanie came to visit for Thanksgiving and I had all the kids here at one time. It's always music to my ears to hear their laughter in the house. Christmas was busy as well. I enjoyed decorating the new house with my santas and did the normal baking and shopping and newsletter/card sending. I always feel like I've put in overtime this time of year. For New Year's Eve we had some friends over to play games. I missed having my CO kids over for the night. They were always good to bang pans with me at midnight. Hannah did reluctantly go out and bang some pans with me but her heart really wasn't in it. So now here we are at another New Year. It's hard to believe we are already 10 years into the 2000's. I love this time of year because after the rush of the New Year it's nice to sit back and relax a bit, contemplate what you did in the previous year and make plans for the New Year. I'm not usually a formal resolution maker but I try to set a few goals for the year or at least think about new goals. This year my goal is to be more attentive to others. I want to write more letters, send more cards, visit more people and call more often. Sometimes in the midst of my busy life I find that I put those things on the back burner and although my thoughts are with others, I don't always let them know. For my scrapping goal, I'd like to finish all the digital classes I started, organize my pictures and produce more layouts like I used to do. I have my own little scrapping room full of every tool I'd ever need so it's time to fill up some of these empty books with meaningful layouts. Who knows, maybe I'll even submit a few if I get really brave. So there you have it. My goals for the year in writing. I guess I'll also try to make it a goal to post on my blog more often. Welcome 2010.