Tuesday, August 19, 2008

creative process

I mentioned before that I participated in a Bible study this summer. As a follow-up to the study, I wanted to incorporate what we learned in the study to a scrapbook page. Unfortunately, my August scrapbooking night was not well-attended. The page turned out pretty cool, so I'd like to share it here. But more important than the page itself, I'd like to talk about the process behind creating a page like this.

When I scrapbook, I have trouble creating a page without some scratch paper. I am a visual person (obviously), so I like to write down my title and journaling before it hits the actual page. I also sketch the layout so I can determine if my ideas will actually work within the dimensions of the page.

The sketching is a little trick I learned a few years ago in an adult education class at CCAD. This can be used when you are brainstorming for a painting, sketch, or any work of art. Draw mini rectangles approximate to the scale of the work you are creating. Since I am creating a 12x12 inch scrapbook layout, I make squares. Then I outline where the elements of the piece should go. This way I can resize photos, move the title, and adjust the journaling before the glue comes out. Here is a picture of what that looked like for this project:

Planning out the page brought about more thoughtful journaling related to the topics of the Bible study. For me, I love being able to apply what I learned in a visual way. You could just as easily write a song or make a painting as an application of what you learned.

The page is constructed with a large envelope as the main part of the page. I made the envelope, but if I had a manila envelope on hand, I probably would have just used that. This envelope holds my journal from the study as well as some journaling that is more private. The journaling on the outside discusses the ways I feel God has shown his love for me. Inside the envelope is a note discussing the ways I want to show God's love to others. Call me a chicken, I just wasn't ready to put these thoughts out there for all the world to judge. But someday when I'm gone, maybe my descendants will care what my intentions were.

LO: God is Love

When I finished that layout, I was emotionally exhausted. So I created this page to balance things out. Who says you can't use pink and flowers for boys and alligators?!

LO: Yowza!

Sunday, August 17, 2008



We had a very full, long weekend. We visited with John's family and went to his 15 year high school reunion. It was busy and went quickly. I will never have time to recount all our stories from this life on a blog, in a scrapbook, and probably not even as oral history recited to my grandkids. Let's view that as a blessing.

JT was so much fun. He is learning so quickly right now. He practiced saying CAR and TRUCK all weekend long. He also learned to say DEER and TRACTOR after practicing with Meghan, Aunt Jen, and his Pap. Oh, and it's official, he's a walker now...


Monday, August 11, 2008

at 13 months

water fun at Homestead Park

JT, at 13 months you
  • just got over a horrible bout of diarrhea. Good riddance to that, we say.
  • know how to walk. Tonight you wandered around the grass at the park like a pro. Well, you'd win the gold for walking in circles anyway.
  • are a new fan of Morningstar Farms mini corn dogs.
  • are getting two new teeth, one on top and one on bottom.
  • have been in a clingy, mama's boy phase. We saw signs that the phase may be ending today... as in, you asked Dada to hold you!
  • say a few new words like truck and cat. At least, we think that is what we hear. You love communicating with signs and words.
  • made up a sign for "talk on the phone."
  • go crazy for puppies and motorcycles.
  • quit drinking from bottles. Only sippie cups from now on.
  • like to assert your independence. This means you get a spoon at meals and I get a spoon. It also means you won't ride in the stroller or wagon because big boys walk on their own. (But you will later ask me to pick you up and carry you.)
  • say ni-ni to Al (the alligator) and Mr. Bear and give them squeezie hugs at bedtime.
  • like when I give you squeezie hugs... tight hugs that lift you off the ground and then shake you about a bit.
  • are obsessed with two books: Happy Baby Words and Brainy Baby Animals.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

busy life

beauty thriving amidst chaos, originally uploaded by brungrrl.

Several people have said to me lately, "I don't know how you have time for it all."

"All what?" I ask.

I keep the blog positive, because that's the kind of stuff I like to read. (Not that I am opposed to the negative stuff... just have to find the bright side to things, you know?) And of course, I also like pretty pictures, as opposed to the ugly ones. (Are there really any ugly photos?)

So here is a snap of the reality of my life. A lovely bouquet of lilies purchased at the market on a beautiful Saturday morning out with friends the day before JT's birthday party... losing petals two weeks later amidst the mess of JT's breakfast... a puzzle in the background for entertainment, a bib, highchair tray, plenty of crumbs (more under the table), and likely a pile of the week's mail just out of sight.

There is plenty NOT getting done in my life. I am saying no to lots of things. I have to. JT is awake only a few hours of each day that I am not at work. I set my priorities and spend my time accordingly. Time with him comes first, always. And somewhere in between husband, family, work, dishes, laundry, and errands is photography, scrapping, and blogging. Because one day I will have plenty of time to sit and reflect on these days and I would like to have some words and pictures on which to reflect.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


walking with hippo at the park, originally uploaded by brungrrl.

Guess who took a few steps today when he thought no one was watching?

Monday, August 04, 2008


reading, originally uploaded by brungrrl.

Sometimes when JT is being too quiet, this is what he's doing.

He goes from one book to the next, browsing each one. He likes the ones with pictures of people or animals best. He flips pages pretty fast, but every once in a while, he'll point to something and laugh or babble about what he likes. It makes me so happy to see him lovin' books!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

balance and sore bottoms

JT has had the most annoying virus since Thursday. Yesterday was bad and today was worse. Runny nose, diarrhea, and a diaper rash I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. We must have changed poo diapers 12 times today. He pooped TWICE today as I was trying to put him down for a nap. Can you imagine... he was almost asleep and it hit him.

To make it worse, it takes two of us to change him. One to hold him down and one to do the diapering. He starts crying before we even get to the changing table in anticipation of the pain. I can't even begin to tell you how this is wrenching my heart out. I think I cried half the day at least.

Aside from that, I have been trying to find more balance in my life. Especially on the weekends. I want to get to the end of the weekend and feel like I got a lot done, had fun, and spent time engaged in the relationships I enjoy.

This weekend was heavy on the JT/Mama/Dada relationship. John and I have had to work together taking care of JT's bottom and figuring out what to feed him that won't make things worse. JT has been more clingy and cranky than usual, too. But we did find lots of time to play and had a little fun in between poops.

JT playing

JT playing

We met up with Becka, Jari, and Jessica for ice cream on Saturday after the pediatrician's office let us know that fattening foods would be good for his stomach. We like them a lot and they are not afraid of a little poo.

I also found some time to clean my car (it is SUCH a snappy-lookin' clunker now!). And I did a bit more towards completing the decorating of my house that I mentioned before. This was a seriously small bit of decorating in JT's room... I'll save photos for when it's finished. And lastly, I did some digital scrappin'. As evidenced here:

life is good

soak up the sun and fun