A Time to Scrap
I plan to be away from the computer for most of the weekend...because it's time to make time for another of my favorite hobbies: scrapbooking.
I started scrapping right when Rachel was born - almost nine years ago - and planned from the outset to make one book a year for each child with whom I was blessed. The first year, though, I was so busy learning to be a mom (and, later, managing my pregnancy with Abigail while continuing to learn to be a mom!) that I didn't actually put together any books. Instead, I collected pictures - lots of pictures! - and tried to keep them organized by month. By the time Abigail was born - almost eight years ago - a huge storage box full of pictures stared at me from a corner of my office, taunting, "You won't be able to do this. Stop pretending you will." Almost daily, I wanted to jump in and get started. But I still didn't have time, as Abigail had a rough first few months, and I was simply exhausted. I started adding Abbie's pictures to the box, hoping it really was for a purpose.
The more Abbie was able to move, the happier and more content she got. She didn't sleep through the night until she was nine months old, but she crawled at six months and walked by eight and half - so my life got progressively easier to handle. Some of my usual energy started seeping back into my life, and so one night sometime before the girls' May birthdays, I dove in, sorting through the storage box to choose the best photos.
When I finally started to lay out some pages, anxiety gripped me. What if I did it wrong...if my pages were ugly...or if I made a mistake while journaling? But soon enough my joy at being able to document the girls' lives - and the positive reactions my books received from Jeff and other relatives and friends - squashed my fears, and I got on a roll. My page designs have always been simple - but they're pretty and effective...and they're "me." I finished both girls' baby books right after their May, 2003, birthdays...and immediately jumped into the next year's photos.
Ideally, I prefer to do each month's pages right after the month has passed. Sometimes I've managed to reach that goal for a few months at a time. Usually, though, "life" happens, and I get anywhere from a couple to several months behind. It's a daunting task to stare five or six months' worth of pictures (for each girl!) in the face, but I've done this long enough now - and it brings such joy to keep at what I set out to do nine years ago - that I'm happily determined to persevere.
When I can, I take advantage of special scrapping events to help me catch up. Last summer, I was attended a couple of late-night scrap sessions set up at my church. Then in October, my sister-in-law and I had a wonderful time at the Lake Lundgren Crafters' Retreat; scrapping nearly interruption-free from Friday night through Sunday afternoon (all while getting to spend time with Melisa) was like a little piece of heaven.
Of course, I got behind again through the winter. So when I attended another scrap session at church last weekend, I had six months' work for each girl - along with the knowledge that I must soon tackle my daycare kids' annual books so they'll be done by the time the kids' summer vacations start in early June. But I took a good whack at it, laying out 12 spreads in just about four hours...and also lighting a fire of motivation in me to keep going again.
And so I've got a card table set up in the living room, ready to start my at-home special scrapping event tomorrow. I've got to run morning errands first - a good workout and grocery shopping take precedence - but then I'll tackle my stacks of pictures...including the April photos I'll pick up from Walgreen's tomorrow morning!