Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Moment

Today I came across the most amazing story. You know, how sometimes you just have those moments that make you stop and REALLY think...this was one for me. Sometimes when things just stop making sense, the world just becomes TOO overwhelming, and you question yourself as to why you do the things you do...you are struck with such a powerful reminder that it makes all those times that seemed really tough, so incredibly worth it. Now, this story is about being a mom which I for one am not yet. However the message in this piece touched me so deeply that I think it is one we can apply to any aspect of our lives where we feel we pour our heart and soul into something, and often do not recieve the recognition we may think at that time we are so deserving of. This story gave me nothing but hope, clarity, reassurance and loads of faith. So of course, I just had to share it on my blog. I'm invisible. It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going ... she's going ... she's gone! One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just returned from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees." In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: (1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. (2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. (3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. (4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees." I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become." At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there." As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women. God Bless You as you build your Cathedrals! -Author Unknown

Friday, June 26, 2009

Then to Wow!

So it was a crazy week of home renovation. Our kitchen was going to be granted with new cupboards...and now looking back at this "before" photo, thank goodness! Really, these were the cupboards that we were used to, and that was completely fine. I figured, hey...at least I have cupboards! We always made do and that was just great. However, now that all of the work has been completed, and the new cupboards are in...we could not be more thrilled! It is amazing how something like cupboards can make you feel so great, blessed, and almost to the point of feeling like now we have a brand new home! The beautiful "before" shot: The amazing "after" shot.
I cannot get over how massively it has changed our kitchen. They turned out beautiful. We are so lucky and now looking back, you cannot imagine how much I appreciate real drawers and room for my pots and pans! I actually know what I have in here now and don't have to just grab from the top and slam the door shut!!
I also had to paint because the new cupboards did not match up with the old ones. At first I was a little apprehensive about the color I chose, however now I am absolutely loving it. Such a warm tone, it makes the kitchen feel so cozy. The finishing touch will be our new fridge, which is arriving on Monday.
A big thank you to everyone involved.
We are so happy and excited.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Simple Reminders

"Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is the result of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others opinion drown out your inner voice. Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." ~Steve Jobs I fell in love with this quote the minute I read it. Especially since at times I find I can struggle with this. It is hard when you have to face a world that has so many differing views, conflicting opinions and beliefs...all the while trying to find, maintain, and hold on to that sense of self that we all are trying to find. Standing up when everyone else is sitting down. Speaking up when no one wants to utter a word. Lately I have been thinking alot about this and the importance of respect. I believe that we live in a world where people should want the best for one another. I do not believe in jealousy or envy, as I feel that just stands in the way of establishing potential relationships that could very well be life changing, and for the better. It is so important for us to listen to our own minds and hearts, and truly follow what we believe in. Our intuition is so important to listen to. I find myself more and more tapping into this whenever I feel unsure, worried or hesitant. There are also those times, where I have completely ignored it, and of course wish I had not! In the end, it's all a learning experience nonetheless. It is just so important to believe in ourselves, believe in our hearts, stand up and face things that sometimes are not easy to face. It is all here for a reason. It is here for us to persevere through, to grow, to learn, and to bloom into even better human beings. In the end, personal happiness and joy is the ultimate reward. It is so important to never forget that! It is also important to never let anyone or anything take that away from you. Always remember what matters most because in the end, "...everything else is just secondary".

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Latest Creations

Lately I have been feeling so inspired and ready to create. I love it. It beats those down times when a person is completely stumped. I have stashes of photos just waiting to be placed in my scrapbooks, however at the time I had no idea what I wanted to do for a project. Luckily last weekend when I was in Edmonton I was fortunate enough to stop by one of the scrapbook stores and load up on some awesome supplies. I fell in love with the Glitz line and the pink, black, and white combo fit my ideas perfectly. Plus, who can really resist zebra stripes? And bling combined with sparkly letters? Especially on a "girls night out"! I thought it was too fun. So I put together this little mixed up mini album highlighting my favorite photos taken from my stagette in September 2008. It was such a blast spending some time with the most amazing girls I know. I really loved how it all came together. Below are a few pages from the album.
Last but not least is a page I did using some of the photos I had taken of Hannan and I from her maternity shoot. I am loving my new Heidi Swapp stamps I just bought. I think I will be using these alot in the future!:)
It feels so awesome to create.
There is more on the way!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Signs of Summer

What a beautiful day today was. Actually it all started with yesterday and has so graciously carried on. Not only has the weather begun to significantly improve, we've also had brand new additions to our families. Two of the sweetest, most beautiful little baby boy's entered the world this past week. We are so excited. Welcome baby Eli and baby Zander!:) Today Matt and I enjoyed a Saturday, with NOTHING to do. Well, not exactly nothing, however we could just enjoy and do whatever our hearts desired today. After having stuff going on the past 4 weekends in a row, and with an even busier set of weekends ahead, we cherished this time to enjoy one another and spend the day just having some fun. It also did not hurt that this has been one of the nicest weekends on record so far. Therefore, it was time to fire up the ol' boat and head out on the water. Of course it is still much to chilly for me to even THINK about jumping in that lake, but I loved watching the guys ride as well as working on my tan with a good book in hand. It is so relaxing being outside. I just loved this afternoon.
Matthew trying to sport Kevin's "trendy" shades.
Enjoying the breeze. Matthew's action shot of him landing his 360. He is an amazing wakeboarder and can get the most ridiculous height on his jumps. He has such an awesome vertical.
A definite sign of summer. The boat all ready to head to the lake for some riding! Hurley enjoying the sunshine, warm temperatures, and the cool grass beneath her.
Plants on the deck. My most favorite sign of summer I think. I still have not even attempted to do my flower pots in the front yard this year. However, it still is on my "to-do" list. Maybe some time this week. In any case, my lilies are starting to come up and I cannot wait until they bloom. Each year they just get more beautiful I think.
My little family. Sitting on the deck, enjoying a BBQ, and just savoring it all.
Welcome summer, you have finally arrived!
And we are lovin' it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Magic Moments

So I have finally finished going through and editing the photos I took of Hannan last week. I think they turned out so cute, I really hope she loves them. This is just a simple collection of my favorite magical moments I was able to capture that day.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It's About the Message

Another busy weekend has officially come and gone. This time it was to see Rise Against in concert. They put on an AMAZING show. As a band they definitly have alot to say and some may think they are just another punk band, however their songs are full of such amazing messages. I thought it was so awesome how they took a moment in their show to acknowledge this and to touch on the importance of taking this opportunity to learn and listen to what they (and others) have to say, and what their music and lyrics represent and stand for. This truly gave me goosebumps. I believe alot of things that intentionally, or unintentionally happen are here to send us messages. They are here to make us pay attention, learn and maybe change us in a way we have never been before. I love to grow as a person and open my mind to new things and new ideas. Having them express their beliefs on that was just really cool. They are such an awesome band. Who would have thought a punk band could be so DEEP??? Let's just say I sang my heart out last night, and it felt so good. Also a big shout out to Troy for getting us the tickets and such great seats! The rest of the weekend was spent indulging, relaxing, shopping, eating and more eating. I was even so lucky to score some uninturrupted (very relaxing) scrapbook shopping as well....thanks babe! Of course I just had to spoil myself with some new goodies for my stash. Now, to just find the time to put them to use is the next task at hand! I have so many projects I need to either finish or get started on!


"Hope for the moment. There are times when it is hard to believe in the future, when we are temporarily just not brave enough. When this happens, concentrate on the present. Cultivate le petit bonheaur (the little happiness) until courage returns. Look forward to the beauty of the next moment, the next hour, the promise of a good meal, sleep, a book, a movie, the likelihood that tonight the stars will shine. Sink roots into the present until the strength grows to think about tomorrow." Ardis Whitman


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Beautiful Day

Tonight I had the most special job. To take some photos of my best friend before she gives birth to her first child. We had so much fun laughing, re-connecting, and simply just being creative together. It was awesome. Hard to believe that fourth grade seems just like yesterday! We have been through alot, yet our hearts have always stayed connected despite whatever challenge came our way.
I am so excited for her and she looked absolutely beautiful today. This picture is my absolute favorite of the bunch! Only a few more weeks to go!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Heidi Projects

Even though these are not the best photos, I wanted to share my completed pages from Heidi's classes. These were all done using distress inks and masks. The results are amazing! This page below began as a pure white sheet of cardstock. With a little ink, a few masks, and a sprinkling of embellishments here and there, I absolutely LOVE the result! This page was done using her star masks. I also loved the technique she showed us with the clock stamps too. Something I will have to put to use in the future for sure!
This is one of my favorite pages as well. I love the color scheme here. You can never go wrong with pink, black and white!
Another page using the star and flower masks. I just am amazed at the layering techniques and all of the different possibilities that can result. So cool.
Last but not least, my energy journal. I just loved this project and I think it is the cutest thing ever!

Monday, June 1, 2009

I want to play along!

Elizabeth's blog is definitly one of my favorites. She posted some random answers to a little questionnaire she was given. She then challenged everyone else to answer the same questions too. I thought it would make a cute post, or in the near future, a fun scrapbook page! Here goes...."according to me" When I was a child... I loved to write. I would write pages and pages of stories for fun! I can't imagine my life without... smiling If I could be anywhere, I'd be... sitting by the ocean underneath a palm tree My least favorite chore is... laundry! I just don't care for the whole process of it...folding, sorting, hanging, putting away...lol. It really is one of the simplest household chores, yet something I find so difficult to get motivated to do! If I could be on any tv game or reality show, it would be...American Idol for sure! I always wished I could be a famous singer/performer. If a mystery package arrived on my doorstep, I'd hope it would be... scrapbook goodies My guilty pleasure is... pasta I thought I would never...travel to Hawaii If a genie granted me three wishes, I’d wish for... one last conversation with my grandma, that worry didn't exist, and a home on the water with a huge deck looking out, with a swinging chair. You would never guess it, but I... love to spend time alone!

About Me

My photo
Lac La Biche, Alberta, Canada
I am just a simple girl with an absolute passion for life. I love celebrating this passion through my photography, scrapbooking, relationships...whatever it may be that makes me happy! I just want to live everyday with meaning and purpose and a great sense of gratitude for everything I have been blessed to have and experience!