Wednesday, February 28, 2018

To my 21 year old self...

This is a letter to my 21 year old self in regards to my body image. I'm being super vulnerable here.  I've battled with a negative body image for many years.  I was recently encouraged to write a letter to my younger self, when I started to have body image issues.  I know as soon as I post this that I will be uncomfortable with this vulnerability, but I'm serious about my recovery.  I share this because maybe someone else out there is reading this and struggles with the same negativity.  I want you to know there's hope. We don't have to follow the culture's opinion of what's deemed "acceptable".  Through this journey, I've learned to see through eyes of love, grace, and compassion, instead of judgment and criticism. I'm on a journey toward recovery.  There will probably be more posts about this, but it takes me awhile to work up to being vulnerable.  It's scary. But I know it's part of recovering.

Dear Christina,

I sense you feel uncomfortable in your body.  You saw that number on the scale and how it was not the number you were expecting to see.  I see you trying to grip everything to change that number.  Exercise more.  Eat less.  But can I tell you something?  Please listen to me.  There is nothing wrong with your body.  Ditch the scale.  Throw it out.  It’s the tool of a chronic dieter. The number it spits out does NOT define you.  There is nothing wrong with your body.  Diet culture is wrong.  It says to be a certain size and to have that bikini body.  Don’t buy the diet book.  Don’t check out the library books about diet.  When life feels out of control around you, coping with a diet plan will not make it better, it will only exacerbate the issues.  A diet won’t make it better.  Changing your body will not make you more accepted or worthy.  You are already love-able.  That tummy you are so negative toward—it will one day house three babies and stretch in ways you wouldn’t believe were possible.  And one day it will carry a scar about 8 inches long in proof that your life was saved.  Bikini body—it’s not necessary.  You are more than your body.  You are a multi-faceted person and your weight and size DO NOT define you.  Be you.  Be your beautiful self.  A diet won’t fix it.  Excessive exercise won’t fix it.  Remember who you are in God’s eyes—who He created you to be.  Please stop focusing on restricting and counting; eat the donut and move on.  All food is good.  It’s fuel and nutrition for your body.  Let go of the pressure to be a certain size.  Let go of the diet talk.  Smile.  Thank God for all of your parts.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  There is nothing wrong with you.  If you diet, every diet will mess more with your head.  It will cause obsession.  It will make you fixate on your body.  And it will cause you to gain more weight. Leave the diets alone.  Walk away.  Do not turn back to them.  Enjoy your life.  You are blessed.  Move your body in ways that feel good.  Enjoy satisfying food.  Be you.

Love, Your Beautiful Self

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Project Life 2017 :: December


Here's my last Project Life spread for 2017.  Now it's time to plan for 2018.  I wouldn't mind getting some new brushes to work with.  I need to set aside some time to think about what I want to change.  Or maybe I'll keep some things the same.  The sky is the limit!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Project Life 2017 :: November


I'm still alive...

Just haven't been on the computer much.

About a month ago our computer updated and our main hard drive crashed.  Thankfully, most of everything was already backed up on our external hard drive.  I do have to redo a couple of scrapbook pages that I hadn't saved to our external hard drive.  Oh well.

Here's November:

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jeralyn's 6th birthday


I've been working on this spread for weeks (not kidding).  Of course, I wasn't working on it the whole time.  I started it, but then I got stuck.  I made a minor change and decided I was done.

Jeralyn probably thought her 6th birthday was the most pathetic birthday so far (no party), but she was a pretty happy girl anyway.  I just love that easy-going way about her.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Project Life 2017 :: October


Well, now I'm caught up with Project Life.  October has 5 pages!  I decided that was okay since I have that regular scrapbook page about the pumpkin patch that I can have next to the 5th page in the album (once the pages are printed).

Speaking of having pages printed.  I had some pages printed through Persnickety Prints a couple of weeks ago and I realized that I haven't scrapped Jeralyn's 6th birthday.  So I guess that's next!


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pumpkin Patch


My favorite season is fall.  And it's also something I love to scrapbook about.  Maybe it's all of the fall colors (especially orange). It's been awhile since I've created a regular scrapbook page.  I was working on Project Life's October spread and I stopped what I was doing to create this page.  I just couldn't resist!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Project Life 2017 :: September


I'm back with another Project Life spread.  This time it's a 4-page spread since we had so many photos for the month.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Project Life 2017 :: August


I'm back again with another monthly Project Life layout.  I didn't take a lot of photos in August with my regular camera, but I did with my phone camera.  It feels good to be caught up again!

We started our new homeschool school year in August.  Joshua is doing "learning time" with us as a pre-preschooler and Jeralyn is in 1st grade.  So far it's been a good year!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Be Your Beautiful Self

I used to write these muses, encouraging blog readers to "be yourself, it's the best person you can be". I still feel very passionate about that, but probably even more so these days as I've sort of come out of this transformation journey.  I suppose I will always be on this journey toward self-acceptance, seeing my true value, and learning to be loving and compassionate toward myself (and toward others).  I feel like I have a lot to say on this topic.  I have no idea who reads this blog.  I'm not going for popularity. It started as a place to share the cards and scrapbook pages I was creating.  I would like it to be so much more than that.  Over the years, I've shared lots and lots of my creations, but I would also like to share my heart.  I know so many women struggle with body image and thinking they aren't good enough.  There are so many lies out there saying we are too much or not enough.  The pressure to have this ideal body or to look a certain way feels insurmountable.  It's in our face.  All.the.time. We are more than our body.  In fact, our body is the vessel that carries us, but it does not define us.  I have a lot to say on this topic.  In fact, I sort of have been saying things about this in little sprinkles over the years, and I've labeled those posts with a label you will see attached to this post: beyourbeautifulself

I feel like God has given me a voice in this.  I love to create. I love to write.  I also love to read.*  I love to encourage.  I'm tired of the lies and ugly voices out there brought on by diet culture.  So if you are interested, as I am inspired, I will be writing posts all about encouraging you to be your beautiful self.

Until next time, be your beautiful self!  Be you, it's the best person you can be!

*I've always been a reader, but in the last year and a half, I've really become even more of a reader.  It's something I should share more about on this blog.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Project Life 2017: Week July


I finished the pages for July a couple of weeks ago, but haven't had a chance to sit down and post them until today.  July had a lot of photos, so I made a double spread.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Giant Granny Square Blanket


It's been a long time since I've posted anything about what I've created with yarn.  The biggest reason (honestly) is that I'm lazy about posting about such projects.  But the real reason is that I haven't really been able to knit/crochet because of my sternum.  My what?  Yes, my sternum.  Two years ago I started having issues with my sternum popping and coming out of alignment.  The condition is called costochondritis, which is inflammation of the sternum/ribs and weak shoulders.  I had to take a long break from needle-work because of the posture my body likes to be in while knitting/crocheting. And when I did get back into it, I had to work in short increments (20-30 minutes).  I even had to take days off in between those short spurts because my pain would flair up.  It's super annoying.  I'm so thankful for my friend Kate who has inspired me over the years.  I have been knitting vicariously through her for the last 2 years.

When I was pregnant with Jeralyn and Joshua, I knit them baby blankets.  I couldn't do that for Joel, but I still wanted to knit him something.  Last fall I worked on a blanket for him that is more for a toddler bed.  It took me weeks to finish this project.  One of the things I love about crochet is that it's FAST (especially with bulky yarn)!  So even though I was moving slowly, I was able to finish it rather quickly.

If you would like more details about this project, please look at my Ravelry project page.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Joshua's 3rd birthday


Another layout!  I think this means I'm caught up on everyone's birthdays.  I'm having fun creating!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Joel's 1st birthday


I was in the mood to scrapbook this afternoon, but since I am caught up on Project Life, I decided I would scrapbook Joel's 1st birthday.  It's funny though, because I actually saved this layout as Joel's 2nd birthday!  He's only ONE!  I was cracking up!  I even put a number "2" on the page instead of a "1".  And then I noticed what I had done.  Ha!

Joel's birthday was very simple.  We had our friends Jeremy and Kate over to celebrate.  Normally, I like to go all out, but since we just moved and we didn't know hardly anyone yet to have an all-out party, we stuck to simple--but still fun and very special.  Joel was also sick, which is a first for a first birthday in our household.  But boy, did he like his chocolate cake!

It's really fun to be scrapbooking again!  I would love to create more everyday pages to combine with the Project Life pages in our albums.  Since completing Joel's Baby Journal, I feel like I can do anything.  Such a good feeling!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Project Life 2017 :: June


June was a month filled with travel, fresh-picked cherries from our own back yard, family, friends, and sunshine.  So happy to have these memories captured.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Project Life 2017 :: May


I had a lot of photos for May, and I think there are even more on Quent's phone (that I'll have to make another separate page with).  But so far it's 4 pages for the month of May.  It's been fun to get caught up.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Project Life 2017: April


I'm on a roll!  I even managed to remember to write down a few things that the kids did/said this month.  It think it's really fun to add those things to these pages.  I need to do this more.

I'm already dreaming up some regular scrapbook pages, starting probably with birthday pages for the boys.  It's just nice to have goals, but also know that I can do whatever I want.  Yay!

Happy Monday!