Sunday, January 25, 2009

Eli's Scrapbook

I'm sharing about my latest project because I'm pretty proud of it on 2 different levels.

First, let me explain why I created this scrapbook. I have a friend who has been dreaming of being a mom all her life but it has taken quite a while for that dream to be fulfilled and it has been quite a journey. She is now, along with her husband, a very proud parent to Eli.

Of course, we (a collective group of us) were eager to celebrate, so we threw a shower for them and this scrapbook was the gift that I couldn't wait to give them!

I said I was proud of this project on 2 levels. The first is obvious, it's a scrapbook, there is not a better gift that I can give someone and I enjoy it immensely. The second reason I am proud of this project is because I also took the pictures in the book (-1)! My friends did not know I was going to use these pictures to make a scrapbook...they just thought I was taking pictures!

So here is the 'directors cut' of the scrapbook, in that I'm outlining what I did and why. Click on any of the pictures to enlarge and see the detail.

Theme: What I wanted to capture in the scrapbook was that even though this was a long, sometimes arduous journey, in the end, it is a story of hope fulfilled and a future of promise.

Cover & Page 1: The cover didn't scan to well because of the 3 dimensional objects. I wanted the first picture to be one that Eli's dad took, so this is the one I didn't take. I included the 'Believe' charm just to reiterate that you have to believe all things are possible!

Page 2 & 3: I wanted to note Eli's birthdate and stats and I didn't know how much I liked this picture until I really studied it later. I was trying to focus on Eli's feet but what I like is how you can see the rest of his body in the background. Of course, I loved how the family picture turned out with Eli holding his hand up.

Page 4 & 5: This was just a series of pictures of Eli crying and mom comforting him with just a simple statement that captures an unspoken and deep joy...."My Baby".

Page 5 & 6: For scrapbookers out there, 7 Gypsies makes these paper clips you can customize with sticker letters... 7 Gypsies is one of my top 5 favorite product lines. I thought this quote was so appropriate to our friends story, "Every step of the journey is the journey". I wanted to emphasize the word 'is' so I attached black letter beads with glue dots on top of the original print.

Page 7 & 8: Every book I make, I end up with a 'favorite' and 'not favorite' page. This is my favorite. First, I loved how the pictures turned out and second, I love how the tag turned out. I started the tag with "My Son," and then I cut out these 7 gypsies phrases. I imagined these are the things you say as a parent as you go through life teaching your child life lessons "have faith, listen to you heart, do what you love, cherish family, never give up, think big, count your blessings, don't take the easy way, make difference..."

Page 9&10: It seemed like I was getting all these really great shots with Dad but not as many with Mom making me a little nervous, I finally got this shot of her peering out the window with Eli on her shoulder. Again, I just added a simple phrase from Mom to baby, "I love you". Oh the heart clip? You guessed it, 7 Gypsies!

Page 11&12: Eli looking up at his parents in this picture was priceless! And I couldn't resist adding the ribbon bracket that says "Together" because this family is finally together!

Page 12 &13: I obviously have a foot fetish, I took pictures of Nathan's feet too. But honestly, I couldn't believe how cool these shots came out - I got lucky. I wanted to send a little message to my new friend, Eli. It's something I hope he is told often and by many, the fact that he is pure potential and there is nothing he cannot achieve!

Page 13 & 14: This was another great picture with Dad but the opposite page ended up being a happy accident. I originally put the quote sticker on the polka dot paper but it was to hard to read, so I gently pulled it up, hoping the paper wouldn't come up with it, well... a small section of the paper came up. I felt strongly about using this quote so I slapped it on white paper, inked the edges and used it anyway! It works.

Page 15 & 16: Earlier I mentioned that I have a 'not favorite' page in every book I make.
This is it...I don't know why...I just don't care for it.

Last Page: I wanted the last page to match the opening page and to just be a picture of the new family. It took about 7 nights to complete the book and that's it!

Shameless plug: I'm a scrapbooker for hire, if you need a special gift for any type of occasion, a personal, customized scrapbook is the perfect gift!

Home Video Time!

A friend of mine...(Lynn Staffeldt) casually left a note on my Facebook that I had not added anything new to my blogsite in a I thought I would play catch up and post some videos that I've been meaning to put up....

Here is a video of Nathan dancing at home. I had put a folded blanket on the floor and it suddenly became Nathan's little platform to dance on, what you faintly hear in the background is the music he is dancing to and what you can clearly hear in the background is Greg & Josh playing some made up game of throwing 3 balls in the air.

Here is a video of Nathan and I playing baseball as only a toddler can. Nathan likes to hold the bat and he knows the ball is supposed to hit the bat but he just doesn't have the motor skill to swing the bat yet, so what you will see is me counting off and then intentionally throwing the ball so it hits the bat!

Here is a video of our young and upcoming drummer, sitting on Greg's throne and playing the big boy drums, oddly though, he seems like a good drummer to me as if he knows what he's doing. Maybe that's just my mommy pride coming out though.

Last but not least, here is a video of Greg playing with The Rock Eternal church, where our friend Josh leads worship:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Am Second

I admit it. I am guarded when it comes to sharing my faith. There, I said it...rather I wrote it out in public. That's my first admission.

I know that I have life experiences that I'm meant to share with others and I know that I have gifts that I'm to use for a greater purpose. At the same time, I care what others think of me and I probably value others opinions higher than I ought to which makes me very cautious when it comes to sharing my faith. That's my second admission.

I say all this to say that right now, this is one of those times, where I have found something so moving and inspiring that I'm compelled to share it no matter who my audience is.

While Greg and I were in Dallas, we saw these mysterious billboards featuring a person, the phrase "I AM SECOND" and the website address, Sometimes the person was recognizable or well known and sometimes not. The picture below is an example of what the billboards looked like and this particular one is with Brian "Head" Welch, formerly with the well known band, Korn.

The billboards were intriguing and peaked our curiosity. We both looked at the website and what we found was so profound. It's a website with provocative video testimonials of why people have put God first in their lives. Some of the people are celebrities like Stephen Baldwin, one of my favorite videos on this site. There are professional athletes; Jason Witten, Greg Ellis, and Josh Hamilton.

As I researched about "I Am Second", I ran across this picture taken by the professional photographer who worked on this project. I am normally not pro-tattoo, just a personal preference of mine, but I thought this was a cool picture.
" Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands.." Deuteronomy 11:18

Anyway, if you don't know who Josh Hamilton is or you have never heard his story, I recommend you visit the I Am Second website and listen to his struggle with drug addiction as a professional baseball player.

And then there are several everyday ordinary people like you and I. If you go to the site, you have to watch Nate Larkin's video and listen to his story of sex addiction. And you have to listen to Karen's story of life on the streets. And John Meador, who is hearing impaired. And Tony Evans, a pastor. And Joe Gibbs, former Redskins coach. And...well you get the point.

Everyone's story is told in such an honest way and they don't proselytize a specific denomination or religious viewpoint but they simply tell about 'before God' and 'after God' in their lives which is why it is so profound and exactly why I had to tell you about it here. If you have a minute to spare or your just curious, check it out.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!

Happy New Year Everyone!
Here are pictures from our 4th annual New Year's Day Brunch.

Ayn, Allison, Nathan, Julia & Audrey Harris (GREAT picture taking Lynn!)

Mike & Becky Derck

Elaine, Grandma Mary Edith Esau (looked stunning by the way) & Lynn

Our neighbors up the street, Milt & Bonnie

Our neighbors down the street, Dick & Darlene

Derek, Greg, Rich, & Josh

Bunny ears for Nathan!

Lynn and I; this is who we are and this is what we do!