Thursday, September 26, 2013

Five Years


No, not five years of marriage.  Five years since I stopped on my way to Northern California (headed home for quarter break) to meet a man I'd found on OKCupid for lunch in Culver City.  And a quick lunch turned into a three hour conversation and the unfamiliar feeling that capital "D" Destiny had smacked me across the face.

So why a wedding photo?

Well, when we got our wedding photo proofs back, my dad really liked this photo.  And I had to ask, "Okay, yeah, I like it too, but I would have thought you'd pick one where our faces show, you know?"  And that's when he said something very profound about how, to him, the photo represented a young couple at the start of their life together, ready to walk through that gate and into the wide world beyond.

And it was true. 

It was true in September 2008 when we first met and I had that thought of, okay, he might be it.  It was true just a few months later, in December, when the Man Now Known as Papa Beast took a road trip to San Francisco with some buddies and hopped across the bridge to meet my folks for the first time.  When dinner was over, my mom pulled me aside -- she'd gotten the same feeling, the same knowing that this was it, he was the one.

It was true in August of 2009, in the "stretching room" of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, when the MNKPB got down got down on one knee when the lights when out and asked me to marry him when the lights came back on again.

And it was more true than ever in May of 2010, when we pledged our lives to one another before God, our family, and our friends. 

And it's still true now, I think, as we head down the road to adoption together.  It hasn't been the smoothest road on the map -- indeed the map itself seems to change as countries close and open and the news seems uncertain.  Even when the path is clear, it appears to wind, and we know that it could be shrouded in mist at any time.

But the truest thing of all is that I wouldn't want to walk down that road with any other man.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Scrapbooking the Trips: Part One -- Beginning to Build a Kit

Or, alternately...

Something to Do While We Wait.

Some of you may already be completely scrapbook addicted, while others might be exploring the idea of memory keeping for the first time.  Either way, I would like to share some products that I think would work well for scrapbooking the three required trips to Kazakhstan.  Some have a general travel theme, others have maps that clearly show that part of the world.  Other things are more generally family themed.  Because we don't yet know our children's exact ages and genders, I haven't purchased much (okay, just about anything) that is obviously "kid" or "baby" or "boy" or "girl."  I plan to add that stuff later, after we have a referral.  So, expect to see a lot more pink and/or blue in my final scrapbook than there is here.

Please note -- I'm not a digital scrapbooker, nor have I ever done the photobooks from printing services like Shutterfly and the like.  I like Persnickety Prints for photo printing, though, in case anyone was wondering.  Hopefully someone else in the adoption community somewhere out there has talked about digitally scrapbooking adoption trips.  I'm very paper and glue and glitter and pretty things.

I generally start choosing supplies by starting with the papers, but this time I started by thinking of the format I wanted my book to take.  I want to be able to use my computer for a daily journal, written with the intention of sharing it with others later.  I'm not big on long stretches of handwriting -- blame it on being forced to be right handed or on just plain laziness.  So my general plan is to journal on the computer and eventually print it out on 8.5x11 cardstock.  Now...where to put the pictures?  I usually like scrapbooking with a 12x12 format.  So my idea is to use a 3 ring album with both sizes of page protectors, interspersed with each other.  So pictures on one side, journaling on the other.  I will post pictures when I buy the album and the page protectors, which will happen a bit closer to our trip.

Other formats that would work would be dedicating half the page to journaling, or keeping the journaling and photos separate.  Or, even, bringing the paper you want to journal on to Kazakhstan with you if you like to have your own handwriting in your scrapbooks.  (I'm usually big on leaving your handwriting behind for your kids and all, but I also know that I'd rather compose long bits of text  on the computer -- I'm sure there will be handwritten captions and little "love notes" within this album.  Plus there's all the handwriting in every other book I do.)

Or you could abandon the page-a-day idea and just scrapbook what you feel like including in whatever order you feel like including it.  They're your memories, and it's your scrapbook.

After I decided on this format, I went through my "stash" of scrapbooking supplies and put the travel themed papers, including some I bought with these trips in mind, in an Iris 12x12 box from Michaels.  I also ordered a few things from Two Peas in a Bucket and threw them in the kit.  I have a feeling that it may end up becoming two or even more Iris boxes by the time I actually make the album.  But this is just a start.

I also know that there are certain reusable things -- like stamps and Cricut cartridges -- that I will wind up using on this album but that I also plan to use in the mean time.  Those things aren't going in my kit -- in my case, the kit is just for those things that I am "setting aside" so that I don't use them on other projects.

Is there anything anyone wants to know about scrapbooking, memory keeping, or anything else?  Please share in the comments.  :)