Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Everyday Scraps

Every day matters. 

The students who entered Chardon High School on Monday morning most likely didn’t expect the shock, terror, mourning and loss they’d feel within minutes of walking onto the campus. They probably didn’t expect that an otherwise normal day might affect the rest of their lives.

Because I’ve never experienced a school shooting any closer to home than Chardon, I can only imagine how it would feel to experience one. I do not know any students who attend Chardon High School, but I know people whose children do. Whether you approach the event with the perspective of the high school students, their parents, or even the shooter’s family, it’s hard to avoid such an overwhelming feeling of uneasiness.

I don’t know how I would react if my friend, sibling or cousin was laughing with me over lunch one day and then shot and killed the next. It makes me sick that some people do experience such awful tragedies. But in light of finding even a mere positive out of negativity, violence and hate, the rest of us can learn from this situation.

Take advantage

No matter how big or small, take advantage of the good things in your life, each and every day. These everyday, routine and seemingly normal scraps of life do matter – you never know when to expect your last opportunity to take it all in. So cherish the things that make you happy. Acknowledge them, document them and finally, appreciate them.

I can’t think of a better way to cherish, acknowledge, document, appreciate and of course, remember, the things that matter most in life: scrapbook them.

Don’t be ashamed of even the silly and simple things you love so much. Love coffee? Dedicate a page to your caffeine addiction and include a coffee sleeve from your favorite java joint. Do you run a lot? Write about your passion for fitness and paste your ramblings on a page with a photo of the running shoes that support your feet through every step. Scrapbook your pets, your friends, your favorite Pinterest pins: You name it, there’s a place for it in your scrapbooks and, naturally, in your heart.

My thoughts are with the families of Chardon High School students and community members this week. I wish them well as they grieve the loved ones they lost too quickly and rejoice in the miracles that helped other victims survive.

 

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Refreshed

Water, refreshment

Refreshing.

The sun is shining and there’s a slight, cool breeze in the air – it’s the perfect day to step back and appreciate all that’s good right now.

For one, March begins this Thursday. This means I will graduate in a little more than two months. I’m excited to start this next stage of my life, wherever I end up and no matter the job I’m placed with. I’ll miss Kent State; I’ve had a great four years with the people I’ve met during my college experience. But I’m confident I’ll continue those relationships for many years to come.

I’m proud of myself for keeping up with a healthier lifestyle so far this year. I try my best to make a trip to the rec on most days of the week and when I can’t, I try a little harder to watch what I’m eating. I feel more energized. I feel more motivated to get things done (sometimes). And I’m starting to see the physical results of my effort, and that feels good, too.

Recently I’ve developed a slight addiction to Pinterest. Sure, you can argue the site is a major time suck. (“Do you really have the time to try all those delicious recipes and craft projects?”) But I like the site’s format. I like organizing my pins into separated boards by category. I like how I can bookmark so many ideas for weeks, months, even years to come. Who knows if I’ll ever make those Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie Cupcakes– and do I really need the calories anyway? But at least the recipe is somewhere I can find it when the time comes to start something new.

Amy as Mabel, from "The Pirates of Penzance"

My cousin Amy and I, with my new haircut, after Amy's lead performance as Mabel in Theodore Roosevelt High School's "The Pirates of Penzance."

I tried a new thing with my hair this month: I chopped most of it off. I didn’t plan it; I just needed something different, something I decided that day. I finally decided to let my hairdresser Andy take off 7 inches, and I haven’t been disappointed with it since then. It feels refreshing to have shorter hair, not to mention I’ll use about a third less shampoo and conditioner from now on!

My new hair has somewhat inspired me to look at life with a new perspective. Sometimes it’s necessary – and fun – to take risks and try something different than your normal routine. When Andy suggested I chop my hair off, I figured just because my hair has been long my whole life doesn’t mean I can’t change that now. This next new stage of my life is fast approaching, and I couldn’t be more excited to feel refreshed from the experience. I can already hear birds chirping outside, which makes me happy to know that spring is coming soon. (Allegedly: I do live in NE Ohio.) And spring seems to make everything feel more refreshing.

I’d like to refresh my thoughts on this blog as well. As I transition into some life changes within the next few months, I’d like to record my thoughts within my posts, as well as my scrapping adventures. I used to write in a journal every day but my schedule doesn’t allow me the time to do that as often anymore. So I’ll keep all the scraps of my life here, in one place. I’m looking forward to what I’ll experience in the coming months.

Scrappin’ Update:

The two graduation gifts I’m working on are coming along. This weekend I felt a bit anxious because I realized how many photos I have to use – and that’s after I picked through all the ones we have at home. I know I’ll get everything done, but the books will certainly take a lot of time and patience!

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Home sweet home

Stones, crazy cat eyes

He's always so playful. These eyes look like he's about to attack!

Between classes, homework and job hunting, I’ve experienced quite a few long days lately. But after I spent almost a full weekend at home, catching up with old friends, watching old live concerts on TV with my dad and, of course, enjoying my “cat fix,” I realized how comforting and refreshing home can be.

While I sat in front of the fireplace in the living room, sorting through old photos for my graduation gift projects, Stones and Delilah were either sleeping or snooping nearby. I had a lot of photos to sort through, which naturally takes a lot of time once I begin reminiscing and getting up to show my dad particularly funny pictures. (My favorite funny photo in this particular batch was my then two-year-old brother looking angry/frustrated that he couldn’t find any Easter eggs during a family egg hunt in our basement. I think this is the same anger he often exudes toward me now.)

So as I spent hours warming up in front of the fire, I spent many hours with the cats, observing their odd behavior.

1. The Hunters: Hiding behind pillows on the floor, pouncing and tackling each other

2. The Attention-Deprived: Delilah (annoyingly) meowing a fraction of a second after I stopped petting her

3. The Crazy: Stones racing up the stairs into the dining room and kitchen area as soon as he heard the kitchen door handle rattle (I occasionally heard him slip and slide on the hardwood floor and slam into the wall.)

While I observed them, I snapped a few photos. Stones is clearly more photogenic, but I love Delilah because she has a pretty color and I must admit her annoying mewing is cute. For the sake of not being labeled as a “Crazy Cat Lady” by certain family members and friends on Facebook, I posted a few of my favorites here:

Stones

He's too fat to fit on the piano, but he sits on it anyway.

Stones on cat perch

They ripped a hole on the top, but that doesn't stop Stones from sitting on this either.

Delilah

She is pretty. And pretty annoying, at times.

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Greetings on stock

Here are a few handmade cards I completed a few weeks ago. Looking outside at the falling snow makes me wish it was Mother’s Day already because that would mean it was May!

Birthdays

belated birthday card

A belated birthday card. ("Surprise! Thought I forgot about you?")

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18th birthday card

My brother's 18th birthday card (Inside: "Wait until you're 80.")

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

Mother's Day card

If only there were flowers on the ground now, not snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduation

graduation card

I'm not the only one graduating this spring.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You

thank you card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Because

just because card

I love this stamp!

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