Hello, old friend

My last post here was in February. I’ve missed this space a lot in those months, so I’ve decided to take up blogging again. I have seven months of stories and projects to share, but I don’t want it to be overwhelming.

I’ve devised a schedule for sharing pages here that will revolve around daily themes.

Monday- Me!
Tuesday- Travel
Wednesday- 5 Pages about a particular theme
Thursday- Throwback
Friday- TBD, possibly New Releases, freebies, or general “right now” kind of things
Saturday- Project Life/ Pocket Pages

I also have several projects and classes I’m working on right now, so I might share those in “real time” as I do them.

I’m pretty excited to share all the things we’ve been up to lately!

Since it’s Monday, I want to share an All About Me page. I hesitated to share this one because a) It’s very personal, and b) Who wants to see a New Year’s Resolution page in September?

But I’m working on something that I don’t think I’ve ever shared here. I’m calling it the 37 in 37 Project. I’d like to make 37 AAM pages before my birthday in February next year. I don’t really have a problem doing those kinds of pages like I know a lot of people do. I do have some gaps I’d like to fill in though. It has become even more important to me lately to get my own personal stories told.

So here is #1 of 37, my resolutions for 2015.

2015-01-25 This Year web

The photo was taken by Jason on our trip to the beach on New Year’s morning. This was my first (and last) digital Studio Calico kit. I might try them again, but the pricing, like when most paper companies try their hand at digi, was ridiculous.

Journaling reads- This year I will protect myself. This year I will live my values. This year I will say YES.

(Yes is my One Little Word this year, by the way)

Credits
Inspired by the LO “Start” by Stephanie Bryan
Kits used-
Quinn Storyteller by Just Jaimee
Far Far Away by Studio Calico
January 2014 Storyteller by Just Jaimee

Thanks to anyone who is still reading my natterings. Feel free to say hi!

This is 1 of 37 AAM pages I plan to make before I turn 38 in February 2016. All of my 37 in 37 LO’s can be found here.

December Simple Scrapper layout share.

heidi web

I’m excited to share my first two pages for the Simple Scrapper CT! I have to say, looking through the back catalog of templates and Story Starters was tough- so many awesome designs and prompts to chose from. 🙂

My first page used one of this month’s templates. I changed it up a bit to fit my theme and style. I used an older Story Starter to tell the story of meeting our friend Heidi. I’ve asked Jason to write out a bit of journaling for me about how he met Antoine, and I’m hoping to put them side by side in my People We Love LOM album.

Journaling reads-  I still remember the first time we met Heidi. Jason and Antoine had been friends for years, and we were excited to finally meet this special lady we’ve heard so much about. She was so quiet, I think she said barely five words all afternoon! It’s been a lot of fun getting to know her over the past couple of years. Now she’s just as talkative and crazy as the rest of us! It was an honor to photograph her getting ready for her big day.

Credits: Best Day Ever collab by Mandy King and Seatrout Scraps
Template- Simple Scrapper Premium Dec. 2014 (altered)
Inspired by a Story Starter from Simple Scrapper May 2013

Here’s another page I made last month for their wedding.

hp magic web

For my second page, I used one of December’s prompts with an older template. This page tells the story of our first trip to Hogwart’s.

Journaling reads- Jason and I are huge Harry Potter fans. When we heard that HP was coming to Universal Studios, we knew we HAD to go. We made plans to stay the weekend in Orlando a few days after the opening, in June 2010. The line was insane, winding all through the park. And that was just the line to get into the town of Hogsmeade. That doesn’t count the lines for rides. It was SO worth it though! Seeing Hogwarts for the first time was something that I’ll never forget. We actually didn’t mind the line so much once we got close to the school because there were so many interesting details to look at. The greenhouse was very cool, and the interior of the school was amazing! The ride was almost secondary to the feeling you got of actually being inside Hogwarts! It’s been almost five years, and we’ve been a couple more times, but I still get giddy thinking about that first time. For me, the magic of Harry Potter beats out the magic of Disney any day!

Credits: A Wizard’s World collab
July 2012 template by Simple Scrapper
Inspired by a Storyteller prompt from Simple Scrapper (Dec. 2014)

Here’s another HP page I made, from a different visit. This is totally making me want to visit Universal again!

*I am a Creative Team Member. This means that I receive free products in exchange for making and advertising layouts for designers. However, the opinions expressed here are my own. The enthusiasm expressed here is definitely my own. See more of my CT layouts here.

MOC pages 10-15

I’m participating in The Lilypad’s Month of Challenges this month. I’m excited to stretch creatively, and really want to knock out a bunch of summer pages.

2014 January Storyteller by Just Jaimee

Our 10th challenge was to do a page about our One Word. I must admit, I haven’t done much with my word yet, not even introducing it on here. So there you go, my word is Health. It is very needed this year, especially after December, which I “took off”. Biggest mistake of 2013! It took me all year to lose 25 pounds, but only a month to undo a lot of my hard work. We’ll chalk that up to learning experience and move on.

Journaling reads- This year we are striving for Health. Physical health, financial health, and keeping our relationship healthy. We celebrated our anniversary in December by doing a 5k together. I can’t wait to do more healthy things together in 2014!

2014 January Storyteller by Just Jaimee

We were given a template to use on the next challenge. I love blocky LO’s so this one was a breeze.

Journaling reads- Awkward Family Photo. The mirror in this elevator did quite strange things to my face. Hotel Morgan. Morgantown, West Virginia. 6.9.13.

2014 January Storyteller by Just Jaimee

The next challenge was a template one also. But this time we were given two templates that we were supposed to join and make into one page. Very cool technique that I’ve never done before.

Journaling reads- Maryland Rest Stop. Driving between D.C. and West Virginia, we stopped at a rest stop with absolutely spectacular views. June 8, 2013

All of the above pages, plus every other page I’ve made for these challenges, have been made with the January 2014 Storyteller kit by Just Jaimee. I wanted to see how many pages I could make with one collection.

I love the idea of “killing a kit” that some paper scrappers do. They try to use every paper and embellishment in a kit so that there’s nothing left. That idea fascinates me. I have never ever “killed” a full sized digi kit. In digi, things move so quickly. You use a kit once, then it’s on to the next kit. I’m trying to adjust that way of thinking and make multiple pages with my new kits. I’m not sure if I’ll manage to kill the January kit (that collection is HUGE). But to date, I’ve used a piece of that kit on 17 different pages! That is completely unheard of for me. I’ve definitely got my money’s worth with that one. And I love that woodgrain alpha so much, I’m sure I won’t be finished with it anytime soon.

TLP had a sale this past weekend, so I was able to pick up a few other things, including Just Jaimee’s September kit from last year. I combined that with January’s kit for my next two pages.

Yogi web

The next challenge was to use a fancy shadowing technique to give your layers a more realistic look. It’s a pain in the butt to do in PSE. (I miss full photoshop sometimes!) It’s probably not something I’ll do often unless PSE ever starts letting you separate styles from their layers without a workaround.

Journaling reads- I caught him doing this pose in the car one afternoon..

Not the most deep, thought provoking journaling going on this month…

January 2014 Storyteller by Just Jaimee

The next challenge was to do a page with fourteen goals or resolutions for this year. I took mine from this post.

Journaling reads- 2014 Memory Keeping Goals. Get a photo of me and Jason each week | Project Life | Three Times Twelve (a photo of our family once a month) | Summer Daily | Get (and stay) current with printing | Scan photos | Tag photos | 100 family photos this summer | One Little Word | I Choose class | Inspired Scrapbooking class | self portrait challenge | Organize digi supplies | Print a book

Blessed and Lucky Collab January 2014 Storyteller alpha by Just Jaimee

The last challenge I have to share today was to lift a paper scrapbook page. I was All Over that one! I lifted this lovely page from Adrienne Alvis. I loved the quote bubbles, perfect for a story I wanted to tell about me and Jamie! I used the FWP collab Blessed + Lucky, along with my favorite alpha from the January Storyteller kit.

Journaling reads- Wodehouse Fangirls. Our family has been huge P.G. Wodehouse fans for generations. My sister and I have read some of the books so many times that we have whole chunks memorized. We will often randomly quote passages to each other, which is probably strange to a lot of people. I’m sure not very many people get Super Excited over cow creamers like we do.

Holy balls this is a long post!

Thanks for looking 🙂

Maintaining.

Last year around this time I wrote about our need to get our bearings after a rough year in 2011. We decided to make Maintain be our family word for 2013. We needed a year to catch our breath, adjust, and regroup. And frankly, we needed a year without major purchases. We needed to take care of what we had.

We rocked Maintain. I’d say a lot of that was due to good luck. Nothing major broke, thank goodness. I kept up with household things, badgering our maintenance guys more than I’d like to admit. Jason took care of car maintenance and we made it through another year of commuting and traveling. We both did things to maintain our health, though we need to do more this year. He maintained family relationships, and surpassed them more than we could have hoped in November.

Here are the things I was hoping for our family in 2013-

  • Maintain our home, wherever that is. We made a lot of big purchases this year, so we need to slow down on spending and keep the things we have in good shape.
  • Maintain the healthy habits we started last year. Moving our butts, continuing to clean up our diets, all that fun stuff
  • Maintain our relationship at the optimal level it is now. This has been a seriously stressful year at times, but we remained Team Awesome. It takes work, but it’s the best kind of work.
  • Maintain our sanity in the face of what could be the most crazy hectic summer to date.

I would say we did a damn good job with Maintaining this year!

We haven’t decided on a family Word yet, but I hope to in the next few days.

Does anyone else do a family word for the year?

Thoughts on Strong and Brave

I was talking to Megan the other day and said something along the lines of “I sucked at Brave this year”. Which at the time seemed absolutely true and appropriate.

When I was thinking about a word last year, I couldn’t decide between Strong and Brave. I knew that 2013 needed to be a year for a Big Decision. I needed to either be Brave enough to say “okay let’s do this”, or Strong enough to say “this isn’t right”. Both words, and really many of the choices I made last year revolved around the Big Decision. It was always with me. I was obsessed.

So looking back at that aspect of the words, yes, I failed. But Strong and Brave were with me nonetheless. They didn’t abandon me, though I hated them for a long time. I did not want to be strong or brave, and I certainly wasn’t in any position to be making a Big Decision.

But you know what? I was pretty strong and brave this year. In totally unexpected ways.

I was strong for Jason when he needed me at the beginning of the year.
My body strengthened and I lost twenty pounds.
I had brave conversations this summer with the Little Man about the future.
I had many (many many) brave conversations with Jason.
I was strong and found a new doctor who is not a dick and understands HIPA.
I finished strong on our first 5k.
This has been a very strong year for my marriage.
I was brave enough to try out for new teams, and strong enough to leave one that wasn’t for me.
My communication with my best friend is stronger than it has been in years.
I was brave and met with scary in-laws (who turned out to be not scary at all)
I was very brave twice this year and let someone cut out chunks of my eyelid.

And I’m sure there is more, but that’s off the top of my head.

So while I did fail at my original intentions for my words, I found other ways to honor them. I’m pretty happy with that. 🙂

One funny thing about having two words (well really three if you count our family word). In one recent PRT episode, Izzy was being silly and suggested that someone choose multiple hyphenated words. I totally should have done that! Strong- Brave. Or Strong and/ or Brave. And what I really ended up with was Strong-ish and Somewhat-Brave. That works 🙂

I do have a word in mind for 2014, but I want to live with it a few more days to make sure. It really could have been 2013’s word. Just like Dorothy, I had it in me all along. It was hanging out all year, taking a backseat to Strong and Brave. It is vitally important, but not nearly so scary. And whatever the Big Decision ends up being, it will play a huge role.

Cryptic enough for you? Any guesses?

Two Little Words

It’s that time of year again. Time to think of resolutions. For some of us, resolutions take the form of picking One Little Word. I have been semi-doing OLW for a few years now, without even realizing it. I didn’t read about OLW until late 2011, but I had sort of been doing it on my own. I would pick a word or phrase and try to let it influence me in my life for the coming year. I’ve never taken Ali’s class, but hope to one day.

Here are some of my past words/phrases

2012- Do
2011- Go outside
2010- Keep in touch/ Communicate
2009- Change

This year I put a lot of thought into my Word. I narrowed it down to four words, then two. And then I kind of got stuck. Both are great words. One of them I can totally embrace. The other, I’m not sure if I’m ready for, but I feel like I need it this year. One is safe, one is scary.

So I think I’ll just pick them both, and see where they take me. They are very similar anyway.

My Words are-

Strong and Brave

I’ll get more into why I picked them in a later post. Right now I’m just happy to have them. Excited to live with them this year.