Monday, August 31, 2015

Snickerdoodle Sunday

As I sit and sip coffee, I think back on the week, and in my mind I land on Thursday. It always seems like any day can be national something day. There's an ice cream day, a siblings day, and even the dog days of summer get their turn. National Dog Day was Thursday. My sister teased "Facebook is going to the dogs."  I told her she was so punny.  As we continue to settle in to life in suspended animation, aka life in our apartment, aka life in the clubhouse, we continue to find new things to do each day, new places to explore, new things to hunt for, new discoveries about what is in storage vs. the apartment, all while we grapple with the last few boxes {still} to unpack.

I am not a very patient person. I am not. But I would like to say that since we have now been in the apartment for 4 weeks, and we still have not completely unpacked everything, and I have not gone crazy, that perhaps I am more patient than I realize, or than I give myself credit for. I have *had* time to unpack, but I have chosen to do other things. I have chosen to spend as much time with my boys while they are home in their own brief differing windows of pre-Europe time, I have chosen to create things, to take a road trip to Springfield, Missouri, to get a massage and then brunch with my guys, to visit with a friend, to sit on my tiny patio sipping coffee....As I yearn for things to be completely "settled" in our new life, I have been able to balance that with the greater need for being in the moment and living in that moment, rather than feeding the inner beast that demands to be completely organized. 

I have been wanting to start our evening walks again. Two factors have been against me: the sultry still hot evenings, and the lack of a "new path" here. The weather cooled off a bit, and Truman and I both have been dying for a walk, so Saturday night we decided to just walk around the apartment complex. You should have seen how excited my boo was to finally be prancing around. He was fresh from his beauty appointment Saturday morning, so his step was lighter than usual, as if he knew just how darn cute he was with his new cut and sporty red bandanna. While the walking path was not picturesque or scenic, we made the most of it and just embraced where we were. Isn't that such a life lesson? I think that is how I have handled much of this transition, including the few remaining unpacked boxes. I have made the most of my time, and so be it if we still are a mess here and there in the corners. When given the choice to unpack, or walk this incredibly cute dog, wouldn't anyone choose the latter? ;-)

Truman has been such a joy to us in our days of transition. He has settled in to the apartment life like a champ, and has not once complained about the loss of his big green backyard, full of wild bunnies to chase. He is unsure of all the noises above us, but he will take most of them with a tilt of his head, or a whimper, reserving only the really loud noises for his bark of warning. He is so worried about his momma that he thinks someone upstairs is out to get me. ;-) 

Andrew has been gone two weeks now, and Philip leaves in one week, and this little Truman guy is the one that we get to keep with us. He is turning into quite the rotten little boy. If I had any doubts about that, my husband was sure to let me know just what he thought of my holding this baby in my lap while I did my hair and makeup the other day. Boo was a little scared and my lap is big enough anyway. ;-) Truman has been right there with us during all of his summer moving swirl. 

I had to really chuckle at him on the afternoon we drove back from Tyler. We had run some furniture we were getting rid of over to my sister, and we spent the time there out on the back patio, watching her four youngest children swim. We had taken Truman with us, as it was a day that included an Open House for our home while it was on the market still. We decided he would enjoy the field trip better than being penned up in the laundry room while we were gone and strangers roamed the house. 

And we were right. He just ran circles around that pool, checking out every little change in the kids' activities, and also dealing with my sister's horse puppy, her Grand Pyrenees Scout. We had not been in the car driving long before little boo just settled down to nap, much like little boys that had traveled a decade and a half ago in that same back seat. Yes, Truman is spoiled rotten. But he is my best boo after all, my only boo. Thursday might have been National Dog Day. But in my house, every day is dog day. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

You Are Spoiled Rotten ~ Truman's First Swim Party ~ June 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Happy Birthday, Mom!

The absolute best part about moving and now having a 30 minute commute, instead of my former 10-12 minute commute, is that I have my daily momma time again. For the 7 years that I drove across town to west Dallas, I would spend that hour driving on the phone with my mom. And when I left that job and started my wonderful job that is 3 miles from our house in Murphy, I sorely missed those long chatty drives I took with my mom. Now, serendipitously, I get back just enough chat time to hear all the good stuff. And since my older sister retired, I am banking on keeping all of the days for me instead of splitting them with her, as we did last school year. ;-) We will see Monday when that east Texas school bell rings how my retired librarian sister manages her phone time with mom. I'm thinking early bird gets the worm. Ha.

One never knows the stories you will hear when one talks to my mom. On the last three phone conversations I have had with her {Thursday morning, Thursday evening, and Friday morning} I have heard the same story about her big decision on whether or not to get a perm now, or wait until October. It's cute, because the story stays identical almost in each iteration, and I chuckle inwardly at her quandary over the long lasting durability of her perm, and timing it just right for our next Girls Weekend, which is in December. In Florida. {Yes!! But, that is another story for another day.} See, mom is trying to time her perm so that it will be "just right" for our next Girls Weekend together. I always tease everyone that my own hair issues have deep roots. They stem from my mom being a beautician before she was a mom, and all of us girls having hair situations regularly while growing up. But I cannot fault her for deliberating over timing. Durned if I don't still do it myself, even with my short carefree and easy cut.

Today's phone conversation started with me wishing my mom HAPPY BIRTHDAY. She rejected my wish, stating matter of factly, "Well, today is the day I was born, but it's not my birthday." See, about 10 years ago, mother needed a copy of her birth certificate for some legal matter, and in the procurement of that, my dear sweet mom, youngest baby girl of nine children, discovered that she was in fact born on August twenty-FIRST. For over 50 years, she had celebrated her birthday on August twenty-SECOND. And she decided on that day of discovery that she was keeping her celebration day on the 22nd, and just let that 21st day remain on the ignored list. I have teased her most years since then on the 21st. But this morning's response was by far one of the best ones I've ever received. I told her, "Well, mom, just how many people can say that?!" We both had a good laugh. 

{And mom, I am writing this ON the 21st and setting it to post just after midnight today, which will be on the 22nd, so that you will get the email ON the 22nd. So, I am saying Happy Birthday on your birthday, and you will get it on your birthday. And I know you will think about all of that for a little bit.} ;-)

And mom, even though I gave you your gift earlier, I meant to send you a card, but I, in my full fledged 50-year-old mind could not remember to do it, still being in the swirl of getting Andrew off....But maybe this will make up for it. This is a poem I found by Debbie Burrous and it makes me think of you, and it makes my eyes leak a little, too.

A Poem For Mom

You are the sunlight in my day,
You are the moon I see far away.
You are the tree I lean upon,
You are the one that makes troubles be gone.
You are the one who taught me life,
How not to fight, and what is right.
You are the words inside my song,
You are my love, my life, my mom.
You are the one who cares for me,
You are the eyes that help me see.
You are the one who knows me best,
When it's time to have fun and time to rest.
You are the one who has helped me to dream,
You hear my heart and you hear my screams.
Afraid of life but looking for love,
I'm blessed for God sent you from above.
You are my friend, my heart, and my soul
You are the greatest friend I know.
You are the words inside my song,
You are my love, my life, my Mom.
I love you more every day, and I am so excited to celebrate your 78th year, in my 50th year to be in existence on your birthday. I can't wait to hear about your day and I'll even be happy to hear the perm story again. But even beyond that, I am looking forward to our big trip together in December, while remembering fondly our weekend together in April. 

I am blessed by you, and the gift of my sisters. It is wonderful to be in the presence of beautiful souls, and it is phenomenal to know that you are all my family, my friends. I love every day spent with you, and like weekends, there are never enough of them to satisfy me. I love you! Happy Birthday, Mom!

Beautiful Souls ~ Girls Weekend ~ April 26, 2015

Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation
Paper: Echo Park
Title Fonts: Lavenderia

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Turning of a Page

This morning I am texting with my son who is in Paris. I am perfectly fine with the fact that he is eating real French onion soup while I am sitting at my desk, working to fund the very expense of his school semester abroad. I do wish deeply, though, that I could have a sip of his espresso, and a bite of his chocolate croissant, and see his smiling eyes. And I wish also that he would post another photo on Instagram. I am wanting another peek at something beyond the Eiffel Tower from Day One escapades and the Arc de Triomphe from Day Two adventuring. 

The other night after work and an oil change, I finished putting away the remaining unpacked remnants of Scrap Central Clubhouse, proof that we are settling in. {Scrap Central Clubhouse blog post here.} Now that one birdie has flown the coop for the fall and our resident foodie is abroad, our home life is settling down somewhat. Our oldest son remains at home, but remember he is my game boy, and most evenings I find him either gone to his part-time job, or laying atop his bed, game controller in hand. It is in his DNA. And I completely understand and embrace him. Sometimes I wonder if we are the only family of four that is comprised solely of introverts. It is a good thing that we do all enjoy being introverts together on occasion.   ;-)

Our oldest did comment on Day Three of being in the apartment, from atop same said bed, to the three of us in the kitchen/dining room, about 12 feet away from him, "I like this new space. We are so close to each other." It has been enjoyable to hunker down together, and be together in our little small space, where different rooms still have the proximity and sameness to them to lend to one a sense of community, of shared time...separate, but joined somehow. We have two weeks and four days remaining with him home, and as I count and, disbelieving the number, recount the days, I am surprised that there are so few left, and my eyes once again do the leaking thing.

It has been a tumultuous few weeks, to say the least. A dear friend described them as tender times. Yes, to be sure. The boys rolled into town, post summer jobs, to a frenzy of last minute packing and moving from our home, and then unpacking into the apartment, and then suspending all of that busyness to just enjoy being together for twelve non-moving days, and then the gradual shifting of together time to the final "get ready to go to Europe" last weekend all together at home phase, the reality that they are both going abroad for the fall, to different cities, for differing semester lengths, setting in heavy on the parental hearts. Yes, tender times to be sure.

My summer was so chaotic that it didn't really seem like summer at all. Full of fun, good times to be sure, but opening a conversation about moving on June 6 can do that to a summer. You know, kill it. I am going to try somehow to eek out a few more flip flop, ice cream, sun soaking days. Thankfully, hopefully, the north Texas September weather will cooperate with me, and let me indulge myself with the quiet joy that can be Indian Summer. Whether or not I was ready though, summer has indeed ended and the checkout lines at Target last night, coupled with the incredibly overflowing mess there of notebook binders and pocket folders, reminded me that school has started, as if my putting my son on a plane to Paris wasn't notice enough. I believe the big yellow school buses will begin their routes Monday in the neighborhoods where I live and work and drive. It is nice to not be entirely certain. I have my own reminders and tells to manage outside the scope of the local ISD's bell ringings.

I am so oriented to a school schedule, though, that even though my big man boys will be schooling across the pond on another continent, and therefore needed no "back to school shopping" this year, other than for luggage and shoes, that this time of year always has me pause and savor the moments and memories that revolved around school calendars and assignments and events. I cannot see August on a calendar and not think "Back to School". I am just programmed systemically to recall the smell of notebook paper, to hear the sound of the chalk on the board, to taste the over buttered perennially served green beans, to see desks in straight rows, like soldiers, ready to battle the incoming masses, to touch the pages of a new textbook and turn them quickly to scope out the future adventures.

I have always been a learner and an avid reader. Oh, mercy, the sound of my mother in the car every summer vacation chanting the same dialog is stamped on my brain, "I don't know how you can sit there with your nose in a book while we are driving through all of this beautiful country." Mother was never a reader until her first shoulder surgery, and so she literally could not fathom the deep adoration of a well-developed plot, much less reading non-stop for every waking daylight car riding hour. Me? I would pore over anything I could get my hands on, and eagerly anticipated the choices I would make on our annual pre-vacation you can only check out ten pilgrimage to the public library. Summer vacation to me as a child was as much about reading as it was about sightseeing and touring.

The boys are readers, too. Each in differing levels and genres, but akin in the ability to follow along cult-like to their respective authors and characters, and reveling in certain release dates and having a list of books to hang on to, even long after it has been read. I don't think they are as voracious of a reader as myself, but I attribute that more to the scarcity of genres that appeal to young men as opposed, say, to a female at any given age. I can read almost any genre, and follow quite  few whereas they are limited to maybe one or two genres....

Enough of that, though, except to say that we are at times a reading house, and quiet afternoons where one can sit and read are available as one desires, and we have always made space in the budget for books, never saying no to a book purchase, and even going out on an errand solely for the purchase of a book. We are house, too, that mourned the passing of Borders bookstore, while yet also secretly embracing the electronic book with our other half of our self, and so knowing we cannot have it both ways, we elect still to buy "real" books as we can, and I should also add that my husband refuses to read an electronic book in any capacity. I would confess that I am really the only e-reader in our house, and it is strictly economics to me, of space and money more than anything. My preference is the big bulky real book, but I read so fast that I cannot contain all of their presence, and I cannot afford them either, given their e-cousin is so much more of a cheaper date.

One May 2009 afternoon found both boys reading downstairs, and just in that instant I had the presence to snap a few photos of them, just more of my every day pursuit to document life. As I look back at these photos now, and see them in their metamorphosing wonder years, sitting on a couch that was surrendered to the garage sale in a house that is no longer ours, I am nostalgic beyond belief, and also simultaneously so very happy that this random reading moment was one remembered. I can recall their tickled annoyance with me for taking the photos, their willingness to be photographed, but their unwillingness to stop reading long enough to be bothered to look up for the camera and smile, and the smirking that ensued on their faces over their clever rejection yet once again of mom and her camera fetish.

Oh, to be sure, that afternoon of reading on the couch, pages were turning. Not only were the boys plowing through their book, but it was almost as if they were growing up before my eyes. Physical pages were turning and in just as real a fashion, virtual pages were turning, too. Boys were giving way to men. School days and recess giving way to semester hours and studies abroad. Oh, for the bliss of another summer afternoon spent reading on the couch. If only I could manage the turning of a page.

Reading on the Couch ~ Boys with Books ~ May 9, 2009

Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation 
Paper: October Afternoon
Title Fonts: American Typewriter and Mahogany Script

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Scrap Central Clubhouse: The Nickel Tour

So several of you have been aware that we downsized -- sold the house, bought smaller house, living in apartment until said smaller house is done. That's instant chaos, with a small serving of emotion, and a side order of excitement. Looking long term at Scrap Central 2.0 has been the hardest part of it all...Oh, wait...being in the apartment in between with no cabinets is actually the hardest part....Oh, wait...trying to do anything in the apartment that will be part of the long term solution is the hardest part. Yes, that's it!

I have spent some considerable time on Pinterest in the last 60 days. So many ideas out there. I have been looking in particular for Scrap Central 2.0 inspiration, and have found some great ideas. One idea just blew me away and I shared this idea below for an addition to Scrap Central with some friends. {This new house will, after all, be the house that PEN-Terest built. :78: } This idea is found in this blog post.

So I had to go from this below, on move-in day, to an organized chaos, getting my space ready for the Hemnes dresser from Ikea to be added underneath my 4x4 Expedit from Ikea, as per the above inspiration. Now, my Scrap Central - Clubhouse space is actually in the "dining room" of the 1200 s.f. apartment. Dining rooms are overrated, yes? When we found this apartment, I knew immediately this space would "work" just fine for the 7 months we are here. Bonus, I can see the TV, and my husband, and almost all of the living space in the apartment, ;-) from my scrap chair. 

^Move In Day
11 boxes of albums to unpack and 10 boxes of scrap supplies
I felt like having more boxes of albums than supplies was a win.

^ Day 3 of living here...iMac still in the box...

Hubby and my son ran to Ikea on one of hubbies' days off - Thursday. {At my Ikea, the Hemnes dresser I have is $249.} And my beloved youngest darling son built this Hemnes dresser for me in just over 5 hours on Saturday before heading to Paris Monday...and I get to smile as I recall that each time I use it.  It was a fun day, just he and I home, and we watched Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and about 1/3 of Sky Fall while he built it. He finished it before we finished the third movie. He worked on building it - so strong and so patient - and I sat here in my chair and actually scrapped on a layout as part of a Challenge...and it was bliss for me to be here scrapping, with him right there "next to me" building the dresser.

My boy, hard at work. I am so proud of him because he did this without any mistakes and was very patient and fastidious - and perfect! - with it!! Boy, was his dad happy when he came home from work and found out it was all done!

And so I took Monday night to Wednesday night to unpack the final four boxes of supplies and get them sorted out and figure out what went into the closet and what went into the dres. I am fairly excited about this space. I think it is a great working spaced and it will be just perfect over the next 6 1/2 months!

The view from the living room to Scrap Central.

The Hemnes+Expedit Duo in its glory
6 Stamp 'n Storage paper cubes in the center are the foundational grid, 
and hold all of my Bazzill card stock.
Cropper Hopper paper holders on the left and right handle my patterned paper.
Binders at top left and right hold stamps.
Binders on bottom right hold sticker sheets from collections.
Class binders and idea books and small alphas are also on the bottom row.

A broader angle - showing my Michael's project cart and how it all bumps up against a 2x4 Expedit.

The view from the side.
I grabbed a Kensington keyboard drawer for my iMac to extend my keyboard and trackpad out for better ergonomics.

A broader side angle, picking up the Alex drawer which now doubles as a trimmer home.

A feel for how Scrap Central plays into the living area of the apartment.
Yes - I will be able to "watch" football with the hubs while scrapping!

One more angle of my Scrap Central Clubhouse creating space.

I am really ready to craft here! The apartment is very nearly completely settled, save my winter clothes, but who needs winter clothes anyway! ;-) The "coat closet" is another key to my success here. I *wish* all of my scrap stuff would fit into this space shown above, but, alas, I have a *few* more things. 

The coat closet is large enough to actually hold two more Expedits - a 2x4 on the right side and a 2x2 on the left, that has just a few Iris cases stacked on top. I snapped some photos of the closet. Forgive the lowlight. The apartment seems to have bad lightbulbs everywhere and I need to work on that. I am going to just load the photos I shot of the closet and let you figure it out. ;-) It does need a little more organization, but it is all in there for now, and I know where what I need is when I need it. 

And if you can swing the Ikea Hemnes dresser go for it! Very durable and its solid wood. And it holds a ton! I went with the white stained one and it seems like a great pairing so far! Ith holds so much that I did snap some quick photos of the drawer contents! I think you just might be amazed at how much it holds. And the main thing is that an Iris case CAN fit inside it if you want. Key for me in the long term. Right now, though, Hemnes is mainly handling embellishments that formerly lived in my antique hardware cabinet, and some things that lived in my built-in cabinets (small paper pads and embossing and stamping stuff....)

These photos are left to right order, starting at the top row of 4 smaller drawers, and working down to the two deepest drawers on the bottom:

Solid Brads.

Buttons and extra adhesive.

Washi tape that lives on top of the buttons.

Kraft embellishments and my label maker.
{See the glimpse of the fun gray stripe pattern on the drawer bottoms?!}

Designer Brads and some errant Punches.

Inks and stamp supplies and pens.

Journaling cards, embossing supplies, chipboard, my Evolution.

6x6 and 8x8 pads and twine and some roller date stamps.

Various embellishments stored loosely in Ziploc bags.
These are those things you don't use often, but don't want to let go! 

Thanks for hanging with me this long! It has been a busy time to be sure getting all of this settled in. But, hopefully scrapbooking interrupted time is done and I can be cranking out the layouts here in Scrap Central Clubhouse soon!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Nobody Does Fireworks Like Disney!

When I blogged about "You Only Got a Hundred Years", I mentioned cramming life into my days, and making the most of moments. And here in living color is an example of that. When I went to Walt Disney World for my 50th birthday, I was blessed to serendipitously cross paths with a "Disney Master Photographer". As we sat and waited the hour and a half for the Very Merry parade to start, we chatted about many topics, and my ear caught and held onto the phrase "perimeter fireworks". 

When my brain could finally remember this phrase while I was actually sitting at my computer, I Googled it and had a light bulb moment...The idea to be AT Walt Disney World ON the Fourth of July to SEE the perimeter fireworks was born. And being married to my very own Yankee Doodle Dandy, he was up for the idea and the reservation was promptly booked for 2015. We got lucky, in that my work had attached a floater to the holiday weekend, and with the 4th falling on a weekend, we were looking at a four day holiday weekend without any of my precious vacation days needing to be allocated to such a whim. ;-) The boys working at college during the summer months added to the feasibility of trip. Who wanted to sit home alone, when they could go to Walt Disney World and see "perimeter fireworks"?! Not us!

We opted for the tropical setting of the Polynesian Resort. Whenever we go on super crowded weekends, I'm all bout minimizing transportation time. Monorail properties are the best way to do this. We had never stayed at the Poly, shying away from its dark motif. But a peak at the recent remodel, and the fact that the Grand was booked and the Contemporary undesirable after having stayed there in February, we felt like it was time to try the Poly. {I should add at this point that we have sort of stopped telling people when we are going to WDW. We have annual passes. We have frequent flier miles. We like to go already. ;-)} So, trip booked, and the realization began to set in that we were actually going to take a trip for our anniversary, ON our anniversary!

I should add in here quickly, in case you don't know, that we were actually married ON July 4 in 1987 and it was hot, hot, hot in humid Houston, but it was the Saturday that worked for both our families back then, and, so national holiday aside, a July 4 wedding for us was meant to be. Every since that 1987 Saturday, though, our July 4 holidays have been spent in a whirlwind of extended family cookouts, and excursions with our sons to Sea World, and picnics, and parks, and other various fireworks locations around the state. July 4 growing up was always about family and food and fireworks, and it coinciding with our 1987 nuptials made no matter over that mentality. 

In fact, it wasn't until earlier this year, as we anticipated our July 4 trip approaching, that we even realized we had never been on an "anniversary trip" - just the two of us - ON our actual anniversary! No better way to remedy that than a "tropical stay" in our favorite World, right? ;-) The relaxing atmosphere of the Polynesian seemed to fit the bill perfectly. And being able to watch the fireworks from its beach across Seven Seas Lagoon? Yes, please! It seemed like the perfect agenda for our inaugural anniversary trip. After all, if you get married on the 4th, and want to see some fireworks for your very own anniversary, we learned long ago that nobody does fireworks like Disney!

Would the parks be crowded? Yes - at capacity! Potential of closing early? Check! Would Florida be hot? Yes - it's summer you silly goon! Potential of humid rain? Check! Would we have fun anyway? Yes - absolutely! Potential of new, adventurous experiences? Check! I don't know of anyone that gets more downright giddy about going to WDW than Steve and I. And it is the same excitement for every trip - the same magical anticipation. And we are both perfectly okay with that! Lucky us! ;-) As the days toward July 4 counted down, and as I stared at my Google search of WDW July 4 images, giddy began to describe the mood.

We walked to condition ourselves. We went shopping to buy some shorts out of fabric better capable of handling the humidity. We considered the Chill-e cloth. And passed. We evaluated shoes and regrouped. I planned to go into the parks for the first time ever without a bag. Got shorts with extra pockets. We strategized how we could get there with only carry-on bags, taking just the minimum amount of things. We made our meal reservations. We booked our Fast Passes. We were ready! We were so ready, and so excited, in fact, that we got to the airport an hour before we needed to be there, my aging brain confusing the time we needed to leave the house with the time we needed to be there at the airport. No matter! We relaxed in the terminal, and were ready to go when boarding finally began, and napped on the plane.

The trip was wonderful. It truly exceeded my every expectation.  We loved the Polynesian. Loved. Our "hot shorts" worked great. Reveled in our decadent anniversary dinner at Narcoosee's on the 3rd. We park hopped like young 'uns on the 4th and met Revolutionary Mickey, Donald, and Goofy, Chip and Dale. Took in unexpectedly the Voices of Freedom special holiday concert. Were pleased at the crowd level all weekend.  It was truly a magical July 4th. And the fireworks? The fireworks? Truly spectacular. Stunning. Jaw dropping. 360 degrees of pyrotechnic magic.  I was blown away by the perimeter fireworks, as was Steve. So thankful we saw them July 3 in the park, and July 4 from the Poly beach. We planned immediately to return again for July 4, 2016, wanting more of the big show on our big day. We really learned the meaning of the phrase we coined years ago as a family. Nobody does fireworks like Disney!

Magical July 4th Fireworks ~ Walt Disney World ~ July 4, 2015

This layout was featured in the July issue of Create by Scrapbook Generation which can be seen here on their website. 
Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation 
Paper: Authentique
Title: Silhouette cut file and Kerri Bradford cut file

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

There's Never a Wish Better Than This

I don't actually expect to live to one hundred. I don't know that I would want to. But the question as to the number of years I have in total is out there, and at the 50 year mark, I know I have spent more than what I have left. I always think about that point in the movie, The Bucket List, where Morgan Freeman's character talks about being part of the 1% of the population that wants to know when they die, and then when faced with the truth realizes he was wrong. He, like the vast majority of the others, actually does not want to know. 

I'm not trying to be morbid. Not at all. I accept my age, and all that it entails, and honestly what I am focused on now is making sure I have as much life in my days as I can possibly have. I think about working, not working, about how working is such a *waste* of time....And I think about how I could spend my time if I had more of it, and I think about what is the best use of my time, and I think about what I want to be sure and do while I can, and finally, I think about remembering the years that I have already had. Of savoring the days past, and the days to come, and the one that I have today.

I have always loved compare and contrast/then and now layouts. I didn't know to do them really until Stacy Julian introduced me to the concept at Creating Keepsakes University in Houston in 2006. But, since then I enjoy creating one whenever I get the chance. When my July CREATE assignment rolled in, and included a layout with journaling inspired by a song, I immediately thought of Five for Fighting's "You Only Got a Hundred Years", and I knew it would be a then to now layout, and I decided to actually make it about me. It's hard to scrap about me, partially because there are few photos, and partially because while I don't mind parading my family around, I am fairly private as an individual. ;-) Oxymoron? Yes, please. 

The lyrics of this song are ones I never tire of reading.
"100 Years" 
I'm 15 for a moment

Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

I'm 22 for a moment
And she feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got a hundred years to live

I'm 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm a "they"
A kid on the way, babe.
A family on my mind

I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose yourself
Within a morning star

15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got a hundred years to live

Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on...

I'm 99 for a moment
And dying for just another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

15 there's still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you’re on your way
Every day's a new day...

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got a hundred years to live

And I know not all of the lyrics apply precisely to me. They are, after all, sung by a man. But the concept in the song lyrics strikes such a chord, and the idea of going from 15 to 100, spanning through the years of your life, is so rich to me that I love to revel in the thoughts, and in the years, and to dissect a moment of my life here and there. When I began the layout, I wasn't entirely sure what I would find when I mined the data of my photos. 15, 22, 33, 45. Random integers. Numbers in a string. Ages of my life. Stages of me. 

{I would be remiss here if I didn't insert, in full transparency, a little of my battle with weight gain. I have been on the losing, or winning, end of the diet battle my entire adult life.} So when I say I didn't know what I would find, I literally didn't know what I would find. I was particularly pleased to discover that these numbers represented some of my "lean" years. ;-) I also worked within the {few} pictures I had of me at these ages to select photos to represent the different roles I have had: daughter (15), wife (22), mom (33), and working scrapbooker (45). I loved pulling together this snapshot of segments of my life. Ages on a page. Numbers in a row. Parts of me as I have been.

I have been blessed, no doubt at all, with a "good ride" so far. I can't see ahead. I can only take in this day, make a few plans for the near future, and remember my stories of the past. I do plan to eek out all of life that I can, all that God gives to me. I do hope to get another few decades out. I'd like to need to do a companion layout to this one. Do you think I can? Will I still be scrapbooking in 30 years? I am not certain of what is ahead. But, I know as long as I can, I will be savoring my days, and striving to tell some of the stories therein.

There's never a wish better than this....when you only got a hundred years to live.

You Only Got a Hundred Years to Live ~ Snapshots of Me ~ July 2015

This layout was featured in the July issue of Create by Scrapbook Generation which can be seen here on their website. 
Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation 
Paper: Authentique, Pebbles
Title Font: American Typewriter, Mahogany Script