july/august memory makers article

we are now firmly ensconced in summer ... july is just around the corner (wha ... ?!), the kids both have one of their summer camps under their belts, the first round of guests has come and gone, and the second round is just days away. unbelievable as it seems.

it also means that the latest issue memory makers is on the newsstands and i get to talk to you about the "tell your story" article i have in it!


the story i challenge you to get down this time around is about endings. we all keep track of the firsts - first kiss, first date with our significant other, first trip outside the country, etc. - but few of us make mention of the lasts. but aren't the lasts just as significant?  i can write on and on about all the firsts with my kids - their first day, their first solid food, their first step, but i've never taken the time to examine the lasts - the last bottle, the last time i had to rock someone to sleep, the last diaper. and those stories are just as significant as any first.

for this layout, i chose to look at august 2005, the last month of henry being my "little kid;" the next month he would head off to kindergarten, and then from there life would speed up and i would be only a partial participant in his day. the thought of that really made me stop and think.

i spent that month documenting what he did each day, things he said, all the indicators of him still being "little" and the emergence of the "big." at the end of the month, i realized i had an inventory of a "last" - the last month before the first day (kindergarten) of the rest of his life. and i know i will do the same for his sister when the time comes, because tracking who they are before other people become influential on their lives seems like a very important milestone; the "last" time they are solely OUR kids, not the world's.

look around and see what the "lasts" are in your life. and take some time to really think about it, remember and reflect upon them, and create a tribute.

(page made exclusively with the studio calico bibliography kit from jan '09.)

for those who will ask for the journaling, here you go:

August ’05. The last month before kindergarten. The last month before you start becoming who you will be. The last month you will be with me more hours of the day than with anyone else. From here on out, you will be with teachers and friends all day long. From here on out, you won’t let me hold your hand. From here you will start to grow up and away, and that makes me a little weepy. But I will still come into your room at night and stroke your head, and kiss you on the cheek, and tell you how much I love you. That won’t stop till you move away.

in honor of memorial day ...

i admit that i have a very soft spot for our military. true, that a liberal like me probably wouldn't normally say that, but there is a long tradition of serving our country in my family. all three of my grandfathers fought in world war II, my dad and uncles served during vietnam, my cousin was a marine, my sister and her husband are both air national guard, and the list goes on.

i get the pride. i get the honor. i get the sacrifice. i may not always agree, but i could never be anything less than proud and humbled by what my loved ones and all others who serve are willing to do in the name of loyalty, duty, country.

the thought of what our troops do, though, didn't occur to me too much until i met marc. he is a huge military buff and wanted to enlist after high school and go to sniper school. while i do admit that would have suited his personality quite well, i'm happy that he didn't. we never would have met and our lives would have been radically different. and for his sense of peace, i'm glad taking out enemies isn't something he has to deal with spiritually.

Whatifs i reflected on marc's military dream for my book, and the process of making the page about made me cry. it really hit me that our lives intersected by such a thin margin, in many ways. but it also made me think that i am so proud of my husband, who was so willing to join that group of men and women who dedicate their lives to something bigger than themselves.

so while memorial day might be a holiday all about the cabin, the boat, the beach, the bbq ... it is also about something so much more important. take a moment to send a thanks and prayer to all those who have served, who are serving, and who will serve in the future. they carry a load the rest of us can't imagine bearing and deserve our support and respect.

(by the way ... just in time for a three day weekend, the book is now available at michael's!! just, you know, in case you're bored ... ;o) )

(page supplies: collage press, american crafts, making memories)

may/june memory makers

i'm sure by now, most of you (who are into this sort of thing) have heard that memory makers will cease publication with the september/october issue. to say i'm heartbroken is an understatement.

memory makers was the first publication to pick up one of my layouts, about, oh, six years ago. three years ago they invited me to be one of ten masters. two years ago they asked me to write a book. last year they asked me to be a contributing editor. and now, they are no more. and i'm sad.

the people who work on and for that magazine are just amazing. they put their heart and soul into it, and have created some really great issues and books over the years. the web site will continue to exist, so show your love and support and pop over there to keep the forums alive and send a little note of love to those who have made the magazine such a treat over the years.

let's all take a moment to honor what is, what was, and what will no longer be.


and with that, here's may/june:


this issue's "tell your story" article deals with the fact that life isn't always neat and pretty and happy. sometimes there are things in it that are anything but. many scrappers, however, gloss over the bad stuff in order to portray how great life is, how beautiful and sweet their children are, how much they love their spouse every single ding dong day. but truth is, that's not always the case. sometimes your life seems out of whack. sometimes your kids push you to the brink. sometimes you want to drop-kick your spouse into next week.

my challenge to readers in this issue is to journal about the not-so-perfect, the times when you throw your hands up and say, "it is what it is."

products used: basic grey patterned paper and letter stickers; crate paper die cut paper; 7gypsies quote bubble stamp; creative imaginations letter stamps.

march/april memory makers!

welcome to march!! i'm a little in denial that the year is nearly a quarter over already. yikes. even scarier is that i'm currently working on stuff for the september/october issue ... this year is flying by way too quickly!! at some point memory makers is gonna get sick of me, and i just can't face that yet. especially given the shrinkage in the industry right now. i'm a loyal-to-a-fault person, and i adore the people at memory makers/f+w, and will stay as long as they let me. but then there's that saying about fish and houseguests, and it's been three years, not three days. *shudder* i hate saying goodbye.

anyway, let's segue into the march/april article, shall we?

why do i love memory makers so much? well, it was all just shallow fun until CHA-winter '07, when i actually MET the people behind the mag. my first impression of them was nothing but good, and that sealed the deal for me. and i'm happy to report that the first impression was accurate and has only been reinforced over the years.

first impressions can be a great thing to reflect upon when searching for a journaling topic. whether it be the first impression of a new school, a new friend, a new car ... your first day of vacation in a new place, the first time you tasted thai food, the first time you heard the new cd from your favorite band ...

in the march/april article i discuss first impressions and how you can use them to find a story. the story i chose to tell is of my first impression of my now-husband's hands. it may sound odd, but trust me ... there was a story there:

Sadbuttrue my husband is a gorgeous hunk of studliness, but his hands ... oy. trust me, they were worse 16 years ago, when he was all bone and muscle and tendon, and they aren't gorgeous now.

this may seem a strange topic to journal, but given my first physical impression of him, and the fact that we are now married ... and the fact that i now cherish his hands ... becomes a pertinent story.

(and yes ... if you have the march/april mm in front of you, you will note a different layout is in the mag. there was a screw-up with the place that photographs layouts, and i had to recreate it last-minute. i like the original better. bygones.)

what can you think of in your life that created a memorable first impression? how can you use that to create some true and fabulous journaling?

one week of avoiding the blog = ...

1. we now have a floor (ungrouted) in the bathroom
2. the shower surround tiles are going up
3. the "standard" window has finally been ordered. could be here in three days, could be here in three weeks.
4. Contractor will either be killed or charged rent if he's still here in march. can i get a "hell yeah!"?
5. harper now salutes me. cracks. me. up.
6. valentine's are ready to go ... and i may even mail some to the grandparents.

here's where they started:



(imagine them mounted on pearly cardstock - a deep rose for harp's, steel gray for henry's.)
the star wars one was all henry's idea. love it.

7. harp is in this "i very, very love you!" phase. i need to figure out how to get it on tape ... it kills me!
8. henry's trying to grow his hair "like the other guys" again. heaven help us. and his little cowlick-ridden head.
9. is it wrong that i hate valentine's day? nothing like being force-fed a holiday. gah. will i still expect sushi and chocolate, though? um ... yes.
10. just felt there should be a 10.

i'll get back to you with pix of tiling this weekend.

OH! almost forgot ... jill paulson of a matter of memories reviewed my book and gave it a truly lovely write up. she's even offering one in a drawing ... but deadline is midnight thursday!! run!!

jan/feb memory makers now available!

the first issue of memory makers for 2009 is on newsstands, and with it is my first article as a contributing editor! (yay!)

in deference to the calendar, the "tell your story" article for this issue is on writing love letters. but we all know how to write a letter to our significant other or child or best friend, right? this article challenges you to go beyond the obvious and express your love for the other things and people in your life. your favorite shoes ... the lady who makes your morning starbucks ... payday ...

my love letter was to super target, and all the bliss it brings to my life.


to whom or what will your write your love letter? and if you scrap it, please let me know!!

boston pts 2 & 3, indiana - again, and cha. seriously.

i'm so over trying to find the time to blog everything that's taken place this summer. so, cliff's notes version will commence ... NOW.

boston pt 2:

spent day 3 of the trip walking around with my friend suki, whom i've known for years on a private scrappy/photography/chatty message board. we went on a swan boat ride, i took pix of her gorgeous daughter tess playing on the duck statues in the public garden, and ... i have no pix. they were never downloaded. and i didn't know that when i reformatted my card and stuck it back in the camera.

i received this month's issue of popular photography and read a review of data recovery software that has been known to recover info off reformatted disks ... even AFTER the data has been overwritten ... so i'm gonna check it out. i'll report back.

boston pt 3:

while we were in boston, the most amazing thing happened: the celtics won the nba title. i'm not a huge basketball fan, but i'm a huge fan of being in the right place at the right time and taking advantage of it! so on thursday, i headed into the city with marc's uncle, cousin, and cousin's gorgeous girlfriend to watch the celtics roll down the street on duck boats. it was amazing. and even better: kg is now a celtic. all the years we watched him come soooooo close with the timberwolves ... and when he finally wins, i was there to see him celebrate. that was pretty darn cool.

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and i've finally put up a (nearly) complete album. if i ever recover that day and a half of photos, i'll add them and let you know.

indiana - again:

after boston, the kids and i went to my parents' in huntington for a week while marc was in dallas. we went to my high school friend erin's house so the kids could play in the pond with her kids, as well as those of another high school friend. it was like old home week. then i got to meet one of my college best friends and HER kids for a day. then marc returned, we drove home, and breathed for a few days.

until the storm hit. (see previous post.) power returned 48 hours later on saturday, and at 7 a.m. sunday morning i got the call about my grandma. so BACK to indiana we went for another week.

it was bittersweet ... hanging out with all the aunts and uncles and cousins. it was just like old times, and there was much laughing and talking. but for pretty much all of us, it will be the last time we will all be together in grandma and grandpa's house. that was sad. i realized every time i went up and down the stairs that i will always remember the sound of them. very sad, but yet grandma's funeral was so amazing. she was an incredible woman, and everyone in the church knew that and cherished that.



on the way home from indiana, marc and the kids booted me out of the car in chicago so i could attend cha (the craft & hobby association trade show). i was meeting my dear friend katrina for 36 hours of walking the show floor, seeing all the soon-to-be-released scrappy goodies, hanging with friends and making new ones, and laughing until our abs hurt. notice i didn't mention sleeping ... there's a good reason for that.

honestly ... just go read katrina's recap. i would only say the same thing, minus the airport delays. ha. it was a great weekend ... the only thing missing was my lovah, catherine, who was missed dearly.

okay. there. done. now i can get back to blogging as things pop up. keep your eyes peeled this week for entries on ... some seriously cool news about a new assignment for memory makers (coughcoughcontributingeditorcough), a new toy for marc, and insanely delicious and EASY enchiladas, assuming i remember to thaw the meat and make them this week.

i'm all about the diversity, people.