I am sitting on a plane flying to Amsterdam as I type this post. I sit next to a window and can see that the sun is starting to come up on the horizon; there really isn’t much that compares to a sunrise on an airplane. That said, there’s not much to be said about having to arrive at the airport between 3-4 a.m.
Normally I don’t travel much out of the country, but this is my 2nd trip of 2017. Traveling this much was not planned, but not unwelcome either. I had planned a trip to Boston with my daughter as a reward for her meeting some big personal goals as well as shopping for a confirmation dress. After making all of the reservations for our trip, I was offered the opportunity to travel to Holland for work related training. I couldn’t pass this opportunity up, so 45 hours after coming home from Boston, I’m back on a plane heading the other way.
Knowing that I’d want to document as much as possible about our Boston trip (and knowing that I am quick to forget if I don’t document right away) I decided to pack a small kit to bring along. We were only bringing carry-on luggage, so I had to be super picky about what to bring so I pulled together some of my well loved products and prepped the notebook by stamping on a few pages before we left.
The kit that I brought with me included two black pens, some washi tape, small vellum stickers from an Ali Edwards story kit, alphabet stencils, word stickers, a small paper trimmer and my Canon Selphy printer. Everything except for the trimmer and the printer fit into a story kit envelope which was quite nice.
I brought a Pocket Page Notebook from The Stamp Spot with me and it was absolutely perfect for documenting on the go. The pockets are perfect for all kinds of memorabilia and mine are filled with brochures, napkins, ticket stubs, price tags and receipts. I love having a place to put all of these fun little reminders of our adventures.
I squeezed 1-2 hours to document every morning while my teenager slept a bit later than I did. It was the perfect time for documenting as everything was still fresh in my memory and I really enjoyed getting the pictures printed and the words onto my page.
There isn’t much that I’d change about my travel kit, it worked really well for this trip, I knew we’d have a lot of pictures, so having the Selphy printer was really convenient. I would have loved having scissors instead of the paper trimmer, but since we only had carry-on I didn’t want to take the chance of airport security taking them away. The paper trimmer worked out fine though, scissors just would have been more convenient. I also would have wanted more word stickers, but that’s something I can add onto the page once I’m home. I struggled a bit with whether to pack alpha stickers or stamps, but was really pleased with the stencils I brought. They’re flat and take virtually no room, make no mess, and don’t get used up. They were a huge win.
I love the way the notebook is coming together. I didn’t quite finish it, but will work on it as soon as I get home from Holland. I am so pleased with the Pocket Page Notebook, I love having all of the stuff we collected displayed in the pockets and love the where the previous page is peeking out between the “white space” in the pockets.
I made a few changes to my travel kit for my trip to Holland. I left the printer and the trimmer at home and brought along my Instax camera instead. This is a completely different kind of trip, so I figured there was no need to bring the printer and since I don’t have the printer there’s nothing I need to trim. I did add a tape runner to this kit as well. Washi worked fine for my Boston notebook, but I would have liked to have a tape runner with me to get everything stuck down more permanently.
Ok, I'm going to get real with you guys in this post. Strip all the way down to my core and show you where I'm most vulnerable.
Ever since I can remember, all I've ever wanted was to be a mom. That was my whole dream. It was my purpose. I was good with kids, I loved being around kids. I was the babysitter everyone called, and I tutored kids when I was in high school. Kids were my calling and my dream. There was no doubt at all in my mind when I married young that my time was finally here. I was 20 when we decided to try to get pregnant and fulfill our dream, I was so excited and was sure that Christmas 2002 would consist of breastfeeding, cuddles and knitting. It didn't. I didn't get pregnant at all. And we tried and we kept trying. In 2003, I recieved my label.
Infertility. I think that's the ugliest word I know. It's the most hurtful word that defines me. Usually it's not one I choose to focus on, but it's always there, lurking in the background waiting until Kind or Generous or Blessed get a little blurry and then it slaps me in the face and lights up a marquee. No one thinks it's one of their words until they've had to face the heartbreak of seeing their dreams of a baby crushed.
We met with doctors and, a few fertility treatments later, I got pregnant. Pregnant! Seeing my baby's heartbeat was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. The pregnancy was difficult, I was on bedrest almost the whole time and then it ended at 15 weeks. There was no squishy baby at Christmas 2008 like I'd dreamed of. There was nothing.
Every year since 2009, I've bought presents for my babies. I bring their gifts to the mall and place them under the huge tree there. A charity then delivers their gifts to children that otherwise might not have any presents at all. I think it's my favorite tradition. It makes me happy to know that in this small way I can honor the memory of the child that never arrived for Christmas 2002 and my beautiful baby girl that we lost in 2008. Their memory lives on. And I'm blessed to know that they bring happiness to someone else's Christmas.
ETA-In 2004 we fostered a baby girl, the most beautiful baby I've ever seen, with the intent of adopting. We were too young to adopt and had to wait a few years, but never finished the paperwork. When we divorced in 2008, her mother changed her mind about the adoption. Really long, really complicated story, with a lot of hurt and broken hearts all around, but not one I'm ready to share online out of respect for all involved.-
Sometimes it's just a question of getting things done... It doesn't always have to be anything spectacular or even beautiful. These pages were more about finishing than they were about creating. And that's OK.
How funny is that washi?? All I could see when I bought it was "It's beginning|stmas" and of course I thought it said "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas". I laughed so much when I brought it out to use it. :) It's the little things, kids. <3
December has arrived. I'm amazed at how quickly time always passes by and once again we've made a whole journey around the sun. The excitement of the season has burrowed itself into my core and I'm so excited to document this time of year. I'm thankful for the little things. For sleeping in and drinking coffee, for candlelight in this dark month, for music and simple things like making a wreath. I'm grateful for the hand I've been dealt and intend to play it out. Here's to the advent.
I actually kicked the season off with surgery on November 30th, so the next few days will be spent at home recovering. Yesterday I watched a lot of tv, mostly cooking shows and now I can't imagine wanting anything but turkey for Christmas dinner (we never have turkey for Christmas dinner). It's not a very practical meal for two people and if my in-laws decide to eat with us, my brother-in-law doesn't even eat turkey... hopefully this is just a side-affect of the anaesthesia.
I hope your Holiday season is off to a good start. Thanks for stopping by.
December is almost here and for the first time in years I'm feeling the jittery excitememt of the season that will be here soon, so soon. The first of my decorations are slowly emerging from their boxes and my advent candles are ready to be lit for the first of advent.
This year I will be participating in December Daily and plan on telling my December story in a 6X8 pocket page album. I've decided to put myself on a bit of a spending freeze, so I went through my stash and pulled out items I figured would work well with my vision of Christmas. This year I'm gravitating towards classic white, red and gold in my home decor and in my album as well.
My best friend and I travelled to Marlborough, MA in September for some good, quality girl time away from real life. The week was filled with shopping, scrapping and cardmaking. We decided to attend a Stamp & Scrapbook Expo while we were there and took lots of classes. The week long getaway was just what I needed after a hectic summer.
So, if you were to go only by my blog, I obviously died in the end of June. That has to be why I suddenly disappeared. Or something.
Actually, what happened was that I got a job and worked my butt off all summer leaving no time for blogging, but a little time for documenting. I don't know if I should share my pages here, but they're on my instagram for the most part.
Sorry about disappearing. I'm only working one job now, so I'm making a schedule that will allow me to craft and blog along with life. I have a December Daily post coming up soon :) Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet. I truly appreciate it and will try my best to take better care of you.
Pollyanna. My favorite book growing up and one of the books that has had the most impact on my life. The whole story is so believable and the message is one that can not be told too often. It taught me that things are never so bad that they couldn't be worse and I'm thankful that I made my way into adulthood with that mentality. It made everything that happened in my 20s bearable and made it easier to keep my head above water when I could have drowned.
I love Ali Edwards and I love challenges, so when I got the email that she's doing a 14 day giveaway on Pinterest I knew that I would want to play along. It's so easy to play along and I would love to see if you're playing too, so link me up in the comments if you're playing.
I love how much our girls enjoy being together. They are such good friends and when they are together they are nothing but giggles. It's been so fun seeing their relationship develop from just playing together with their pet-shop animals at 5 & 6 to the relationship they have now at 12 & 13. Today's time together consists more of snapchat, movies, and chatting.