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Present Moment - 1 Year Later

1 year ago, Stacy Julian asked me to design my own mini present moment scrapbook with photos as to what was happening in my life at that time.

Here's my post from then, along with some photos:

http://michelle.ogre.com/node/97

It's now 1 year later, and she's asked us to revisit that. As my time these days is really compressed, I'm doing a blog entry instead. :)

1 year ago I was pregnant and didn't know what to expect.
Now, I have an adorable little boy who is my pride and joy, and whom I love spending time with.

Thinking inside the box.

1 year ago I was spending time reading and playing Rock Band
Now when I'm not spending time with my family, I'm doing karate, not only as a student, but as an instructor. (Edited to add new, current photo)

Sensei Michelle

1 year ago Thor was a little puppy, and Loki and Odin were 8.
Now, Thor still acts like a puppy but isn't so little, Odin is the same, and Loki was diagnosed in May with cancer and just finished his 5th and last round of chemo.
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1 year ago my niece, Linnea had just come over from Sweden and was doing a year of school here as a foreign exchange student.
Now she's back in Sweden after going through senior year here, and got to participate in a real American high school graduation.

1 year ago I loved my iphone 3g.
Now, I still love my iphone 3g. :)

1 year ago I was bummed I couldn't snowboard because I was going to have a baby.
Now, we have a ski cabin and are looking forward to using it!

Ski Cabin

It's amazing how things can change in a year. I'll have to revisit this again in another year to see what's going on then.
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It's the Concept, Not the Packaging

I had an epiphany today.

Last week, Creating Keepsakes released a Kit of the Month entitled Project 365.  Now that concept isn't new at all, but they thought to capitalize on it but offering an all-inclusive scrapbook kit which would enable you to basically just take photos, slip them into page protectors, do minimal journaling, and you're done. I've never done the 365 thing, but thought "wow, with the kit that'd make this super easy, and look really nice". I was going to order 2 kits, 1 for me, and 1 for Linnea and we were going to do it together, however with our own photos.

They severely underestimated the demand for this kit, and the website couldn't handle the load when they released them for sale.  Not only that, but people with order numbers and confirmation emails were told they didn't actually have orders in the system, it was taking an hour or more to reach customer service by phone, and they weren't answering emails.  Basically, it was a giant mess with nobody sure of what was going on, lots of people upset over not being able to order, etc...  It reminded me of the Rockies World Series ticket fiasco (which wasn't hackers btw, it was that their site couldn't handle the demand) a couple of years ago.

I got an order number, received 2 confirmation emails, but have no idea if I'm getting the 2 kits I ordered or not since my credit card hasn't been charged (like others have), and I have no shipping info with a tracking number (like others have).

Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I upset? Yes.  Since I don't have a whole lot of time now with Peter, and Linnea has no scrapbooking experience, this was going to be perfect for us.

But then I had an epiphany today.

The whole and entire purpose of scrapbooking is not to have pretty albums, and pretty embellishments, and pretty whatever, it's to tell a story.  It's to tell the story of you, of your family, or of anything you want that story to be.  If all you have are photos slapped on a piece of paper listing the names of the people in the photos, the date, the place, and maybe why you took the photo, that's enough.

It's the concept that matters, not the packaging.  Just the fact that, if I stick with this, at the end of 2009 I'll have basically told the story of my year is enough.  If all I do is print out the photos, put them on a piece of cardstock, with 1 sentence per photo, and the date, and shove the whole thing in some album, that's honestly enough. I don't need all the extras. Granted, they look nice, but there's no point in worrying about that when it's still the concept that's important.

I feel better now.

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Design Your Life!

I have several favorite scrapbookers besides Stacy Julian, and Cathy Zielske happens to be one of those at the top of my list. I love her clean style, and I always look at her layouts thinking "wow, that looks really nice and simple, yet I love it". She started teaching a class over at Big Picture Scrapbooking called Design Your Life, all about becoming a better scrapbooking layout designer. Although I do tech support for BPS, I haven't really taken a lot of classes (I peek in at a bunch though) since I haven't had the time, but this is one that I'm jumping at the chance to do. I figure I can attempt to keep up with it at least until the baby arrives, and then I'll have to finish the assignments sometime next year. :)

In any case so far I'm doing pretty well. The first assignment came out today about balance and symmetry, and I've already completed the first layout.

I'm not 100% happy with my title - I was going to go with "Doggone Weird", but I'm trying to use up stuff in my stash, hence why it's "King of the Castle" instead. Thor does think he's the king though, even now at 11 months. He always has the "I'm so cute, so you can't be mad at me" look.

Part of first assignment

October 1st Present Moment Scrapbook

A few weeks ago I received an email from Stacy Julian. She had this great idea to do what she called a scrapbooking blog blitz. On the same day, a bunch of bloggers whom she invited would all post parts of a mini-album that they did, which she entitled Present Moment Scrapbooking. Between September 17 and October 1, you were to take 10 photos which represented your life at that exact moment in time, and then put those photos into a mini album. On October 1, write a blog post illustrating some of these photos you took and why.

I thought it was a great idea since too often as scrapbookers we're caught up in scrapping events, or people, or anything besides just what's going on at that exact moment in time. Since my life is in complete flux right now, I jumped at the chance to do this, and it will be interesting to look back on this mini album in a year to see what's changed, since I know once the baby is born in December, everything will.

Although I'm only posting a few images here, here was my hierarchy of photos. I'll go more in depth on the ones I post (the ones where the photos aren't linked directly below like the others).

Posing - picture of me
Tugging - Loki/Thor
Slugging - Odin
Waiting - ultrasound and belly picture
Caring - Linnea, Leif
Working - Yahoo, Big Picture Scrapbooking
Playing - iPhone, Rock Band

As I'm a very simple scrapbooker, and a computer geek to boot, I didn't do a whole lot with my cover. I really am missing the creativity gene, which makes it so weird that I like to scrapbook.
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I chose to highlight my "Waiting" page because that's probably the biggest thing going on in my life at this exact moment. We don't have kids, weren't sure we were going to have kids, and finally made the decision to start trying, and then I got pregnant. Both of us are very active people, and it's been extraordinarily difficult for me to give up that lifestyle. Much more than I thought. No snowboarding, no scuba diving, no dirt biking, no wrestling with the dogs, etc... I've encouraged Leif to keep up with our activities, and he has gone dirt biking almost every Sunday, but I wish I could participate as well. Now that we're getting closer (2 1/2 months to go), we're both getting more and more excited, especially as we see the nursery taking shape, and especially as we not only realize that our lives are going to change (hopefully for the better), but as we realize all the cool stuff we'll be able to share with him once he gets a little older.

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The second page I'll highlight is my Playing page. Although I can't be as active as I want to be, I still have found ways to keep myself entertained. My biggest saving grace has literally been my iPhone. It's so much more than a phone. I use it for music, videos, movies, surfing the web, email, todos, games, if it can do it, I probably have as well. I keep it on the nightstand next to me, and since my sleep pattern has lately consisted of "waking up every 90 minutes to go to the bathroom and not being able to fall back asleep", I've been using the iPhone to kind of help me relax again so I can fall asleep. If it angle it the right way, the light doesn't bother Leif at all, so that's been nice to have. Also when I was recently in the hospital, I was able to use it to text people, surf the web, and just generally keep in touch.

Besides the iPhone, I've really been enjoying Rock Band, and now Rock Band 2. I splurged and bought the Ion Drum Rocker for Rock Band 2, and it's so much better than the set that comes with the game. I'm hitting notes I never could before, I'm able to do the 16th notes which I usually suck at, the cymbals are fun, and I almost feel like I'm playing drums (maybe I am. :). Considering Rock Band 2 has songs like Livin' on a Prayer, and Hungry Like the Wolf (I haven't unlocked Round and Round yet), I've been having a grand ol' time with it. Even when Leif doesn't want to play in our band, I'll think nothing of booting up the Xbox 360 and practicing Livin' on a Prayer on Expert mode.

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The Rock Band picture especially is interesting to me since you can completely see how pregnant I am, and I'm still not used to looking at myself like that.

There you have it, my life as of October 1, 2008. As a bonus, I'm challenging others who are reading this to create their own Present Moment Scrapbook. Take 10 photos of your life right now. Compile these photos in a really small mini album, and keep this album someplace where you can refer back to it a lot. In 1 year, create a scrapbook page about your experience, including how much things have changed or stayed the same during the past year.

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