Friday, October 10, 2014

Somebody put that Rock there for you...

Today I want to share a little piece of my heart with you.  I'm sharing this because I haven't been able to stop thinking about sharing this for weeks.  And because it changed my life.

On Tuesday, September 23rd I went to Persnickety Prints to be part of a live studio audience for Amy Tan and Kelly Purkey's upcoming Inspiration Live! class for Big Picture Classes which airs on November 1, 2014.  We got some darling kits for each of their classes.  Amy taught a mini album workshop and Kelly taught us how to make three scrapbook layouts.  All the while there were people filming the 25 or so of us that were there for the live class.

Stacy Julian (co-owner of Big Picture Classes) was the hostess and she was walking around trying to see who had a story or a tip or a technique to share that they could later add into the video for the class. (Watch for me if you sign up!) As I was making a page for Kelly's class, Stacy noticed that I had written an interesting title on my photo...

somebody put that ROCK there for you.

She said, "Oh!  I bet there's an interesting story there!  You wanna share it?" And she started waving for the video guy to come over.  

But I immediately shut her down.

"It's a really good story," I said, "but it's kind of long and really religious so I don't think I should share it."  

Stacy looked at me knowingly and said, "You're probably right." And then she said the thing that I haven't been able to get out of my mind.  I've thought about it literally every day.

"Isn't it funny that sometimes we don't share (or are afraid to share) the stories that are most important to us?"

It is.  Why don't we share those moments that impact our lives for good? Why can't we talk about religion?  Why can't I publicly share something that changed my life?

I'm here today because there is a really good story behind this photo.  Why wouldn't I want to share that?

I wrote the whole thing in my journal, so I will just share the entry.  I went to a youth girl's camp with my church (I'm a Mormon!) for four days this summer and it is there that this whole thing happened.  It's slightly embarrassing, but still worth sharing, so here goes:

                “Today was the hike. Boo.  Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not a hiker.  I never have been. But now I’m so darn out of shape that hiking feels like dying.  So I decided to go with the first years.  I thought I heard someone say that the first year hike was more of a nature walk.  Uh-uh. No. It was super hard and uphill all the way. I remembered the hike a few weeks ago with our ward to Stewart Falls.  And I remembered how I didn’t make it.  But Bishop and Bro. Soderberg were very encouraging, and super nice about it, so with that thought in mind I started trudging up the trail. Already the tail end.  But that’s okay.  I was determined to do it this time.  A gentleman named Brother Nelson from the sixth ward stayed at the back. Even when I told him I was going to slow everyone down, he stayed behind me.  Bishop, knowing that I struggled the last time, said, “You got this.  You’re going to do great.  I said a special prayer for you this morning.” That struck my heart.  What a thoughtful man.  I said a prayer last night too and asked Heavenly Father to help me today. Because I knew it would be hard.  I’m so grateful I can go to my Heavenly Father with problems like that.  Nothing is insignificant to him.  I kept trying to think of ways I could get out of going on the hike, but I made the choice to toughen up and just do it.

So I trucked along determined to make it this time.  I had to stop quite a bit.  Those hills were tough.  Brother Nelson was SO patient and very quiet and calm. I would stop for a minute and we would sit there quietly looking around.  In my head I was thinking, “I could just stop here.  This is far enough.” But Brother Nelson was so patient with me and I didn’t want to let him down. Sometimes he would point out different plants or animal trails. Sometimes he would tell me that he wasn’t there to go fast.  He loved listending for the breeze the the trees.  He was very observant and could tell when I was struggling. Often he would tell me encouragingly that I was doing just fine, or he would point out the next resting place or let me know what the next part of the trail was like because he’d hiked it before.  Occasionally when we were resting he would tell me a little story about his hiking experiences.  Early on, he told me a story that I’ll never forget because it taught me a very important lesson.  He told me that when he was about eight he went hunting with his grandpa.  His grandpa would sling his elk or deer over his shoulders and carry it down the mountain.  It was such a heavy load.  Every once in a while he would find a big rock and exclaim, “Somebody put that rock there for me!” and he would take the deer off his shoulders and throw it on the rock and rest for a minute.
After he told me that story, every time we came upon a big rock, he would say, “Somebody put that rock there for you.” And I was able to take off my backpack and rest for a minute and get a drink.  It may have been a good thing that it was quiet and we were away from the rest of the group, because the spirit was working in my heart. I knew that Someone had put that rock there for me, and it was my Heavenly Father.  And that rock is my Savior.  And when I’m weary, and my load is heavy, and I feel like I can’t go on because it’s so hard, I can lean on my rock and I can give up my burdens and have my load lightened and I can be refreshed.

That hike was a lot of uphill climbing, and for me, it was hard.  Sometimes our lives are like that and we have many trials and feel heavily burdened.  But if we make the choice to go on, our Savior will step in and lighten the load for us. Our choices matter much more than our abilities because after we’ve done all we can do, the Lord steps in.  And it’s very helpful if you have a guide.  Someone who knows the way and can warn you of danger and tell you what’s up ahead.  For me, on the hike, that was bro. Nelson and I liken him to our dear Prophet President Monson, as well as our loving Bishop and his counselors. Quietly leading us along the path, not forcing us, but encouraging us to make that choices that will lead us to happiness. 

I’m so grateful for the agency that we have been given.  I’m grateful to know that making wise choices will help me be prepared to meet my Savior when he comes again, and I know that He will come again.  I know our Heavenly Father loves us.  I know that he sent his Son to be our Rock.

I share this experience with you today because it's something that gave me hope.  Something that strengthened me.  Something that brought me peace.  Something that reminded me that I am never alone.  (Something that reminded me why I was baptized into the LDS church 22 years ago today!)  Mostly I share it because, like I said, it changed my life.  And I don't want to be afraid to share the things that are most important to me.

THANK YOU STACY! For saying what you said and for the way you said it.

We don't all have the same religion or the same viewpoints, but I hope that we all have a Rock. Someone or something that brings us peace; that keeps us grounded.  And if you don't, go do something about it.  Go find that.  And then share it. :)

PS - There is an awesome movie called "Meet the Mormons" that hits select theaters around the United States today!  

"Meet the Mormons examines the very diverse lives of six devout Mormons. Filmed on location and across the globe, Meet the Mormons takes viewers on a journey into the day-to-day realities of individuals living in the U.S., Costa Rica, Nepal and beyond. From their individual passions to their daily struggles, each story paints a picture as rich and unique as the next while challenging the stereotypes that surround the Mormon faith."

It's really quite interesting and entertaining and I highly recommend it!

Friday, August 22, 2014

What makes our lives rich...

The past month or so we have seen a bunch of summer storms here in Utah.  I love love love the rain. Petrichor is the best smell on earth.

I recently had the opportunity to take family pictures for my sister and all of her in-laws.  They kind of live out in the middle of nowhere and it's really quite beautiful.  As I was talking back and forth with my sister that week, they thought about rescheduling the shoot because it was supposed to rain. Because of everyone's traveling schedules, they decided to forge ahead and I'm so glad they did. The rain stopped for a little bit and photos actually turned out really beautiful and the colors were so vibrant!

In the past little while there have been several rainy days and I started noticing the colors outside.  On rainy summer days, the grass and the treetops seem greener.

The colors just seem more vibrant and rich and I found myself pulling over on the side of the road several times to snap a photo with my iPhone because I wanted to capture the moments that were so breathtaking to me.

This whole week has been stormy and I've been loving it.  I'm excited to go outside after work each day to see what the clouds look like against the mountains and how green the grass looks.  And without really thinking about it, I started to think about the parallels this phenomenon (yes, I'm calling it a phenomenon) has to our lives.

All of those cloudy, rainy days make the world around me beautiful.  They make it rich and vibrant.

It's the same way with life.  Sometimes we have moments (or weeks, or months) of cloudiness.  And sometimes when it rains, it pours.

Wednesday, my husband's cousin lost her 8-month old baby boy Ryder.  Ryder struggled with heart problems right from the start.

In his short little life he had three very risky heart surgeries and spent most of his days at Primary Children's Hospital.  His parent's spent their days there too.

Ryder's name means Knight or Warrior and he was lovingly referred to as their little Heart Warrior. Although his life was filled with hard times and uncertainty, there is no question that he made the lives of those around him vibrant and rich.  He had the cutest smile and the most amazing eye lashes.  He brought people together to rally around him.  What an amazingly wonderful gift he gave us all.

So even though life is marked with trials and difficult days and months, I will forever be grateful for the beauty and richness that we receive from those experiences.  And every time I look at the grass or the trees or the vibrant, beautiful sky on a stormy day, I'll think of Ryder and the richness that his short time on this earth has given our lives.

P.S.  Their friend Crystal Spencer was kind enough to take some photos of Ryder before he passed and did a beautiful blog post about it.  At the end she posted a link where donations can be made to the family, and I thought I'd share it here as well. Ryder's parents, Jessie and Sam are still left with many insurance deductibles and other expenses which weren't covered.  Please consider donating (even $1).  The website even allows you to take off the fee when you donate so 100% goes to the Cannon family.  You can find it here. Thanks so much!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pants-Shirt + Pants...

A few weeks ago we went on our annual back-to-school shopping trip with all of the little girl cousins on my husband's side of the family.  It's something I look forward to and dread simultaneously.  There are five little cuties, all about a year apart. The first half of the shopping trip is always full of fun and holding hands and skipping and smiles.

The second half is marked by kids sitting on the floor and crying when they are asked to try something on. But.  Mal found this shirt that she absolutely LOVED at the Gap and she absolutely had to have it.

photo courtesy of

She was so excited when she was trying it on.  She walked out of the dressing room and showed her grandma and aunts and cousins how cute she looked and she was smiling from ear to ear and it was really adorable!  I looked at the price tag ($30!!!) and almost put it back, but she was so stinkin' excited about it that I couldn't say no.  She has been known to refuse wearing clothes because they don't have tags or because they were made in Egypt.  Weird. 

So...I bit the bullet and bought the shirt.  

Today was the first day of school and last night when I asked her what she wanted to wear she said, "My pants-shirt and pants."  It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about, so don't feel bad if you are thinking, "What....?"

She looks so cute in her pants-shirt.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I'm Never Here...

I'm sorry I'm never here.  On my blog, I mean.  I have resolved so many times to be a better blogger.  I like doing it.  I love sharing things.  I guess life gets in the way. (Good excuse, eh?)  I thought I'd jump back in by sharing what's going on in my life right now.

Right now...

I'm watching Frasier on Netflix.  I binge watch shows.
I'm learning more about photography and...
I'm wishing for a new camera.
I'm loving my month-old nephew Denver. I'm pretty much obsessed.  Ask my sister.  I think she's okay with it.  I hope.
I'm editing photos of brand new him.

I'm scrapbooking. A lot. Since Two Peas closed, I've been finding a new home and a new scrapbooking community on Paperclipping's new forum.
I'm listening to Coldplay's Magic on repeat.
I'm hoping you all have a good day!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

There's this pretty girl I know...

Nothing steals my heart like a sleeping baby.  If a baby falls asleep on me, don't ask me to move or give the baby up.  I'm not doing it.

My cousin has the most adorable baby with BIG beautiful eyes.  But the other day I found out that she is just as cute when she is sleeping.  She fell asleep in my arms, so naturally I carefully shifted to get my phone out of my back pocket so I could snap a pic for documentation.  And then I scrapbooked it.  Like I do.

And here are some detail shots:

I am obviously still loving the whole "thread nest" thing.  And scattering wood veneers. And paint splatters.  I am a creature of habit, I guess!

Call me crazy, but lately I've been scrapbooking in my bed after the kid goes to sleep.  I have a small kit of supplies (a basket with tools, roller stamps and embellishments & a cropper hopper holder thingy with my 12x12 paper pads + sticker sheets) that I pull from and I'm finding myself very productive.  It's a little bit tricky, but I like it.  And I can just watch YouTube or Netflix on TV while I do it.  Whatever works, right?

Do you have any tricks to keep you creatively productive?  I wanna know about em...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Me and Her + a video

Some of you may know that I have a kid.  Just one.  She is about to turn eight.  I have no idea where the time went.  Holy Moly!!  On a random note - I have a really cool photo shoot planned for her birthday photos, which I will share as soon as I take them.  Collaborating with my friend Erin of Floral Design by Erin and it's gonna be amazeballs.

Anyway...I've been lamenting the fact that she is growing up and trying to keep her little.  I told you that she's been sick right?  I have been making good use of the sick girl cuddle.  :)  I came across an older photo of the two of us that I had never scrapbooked and figured that it was about time. Plus I wanted to use some the Carta Bella Wildflower collection that I just got in the mail...

I seriously LOVE the color combo of the Wildflower collection and it even includes a version of the Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid!

I found that the Maggie Holmes Flea Market collection pairs with it nicely and I layered some chipboard letter stickers on top of some hemp twine for my title.

I created a few layered clusters using some floral stickers from Wildflower, some gold foil stickers from Flea Market, more of that hemp, and a few enamel dots + a dark wooden heart from Studio Calico.

I created a kind-of "messy mat" for my photo with a few patterned papers from Wildflower and Dear Lizzy's Polka Dot Party.  I added a tab to each paper layer and I really like the way they look stacked like that!

Here is that other cluster I was talking about.  You can see that I made what looks like a little hemp pretzel or something to layer beneath that two peas exclusive flair badge.  This is a technique that I learned from a Glitter Girl video and I have been using it ever since!

I created a short little video to show you how I did it.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Horse Bite, a challenge, and a PSA

Hello people!  I am back!  I said I was going to blog about my crafty weekend endeavors on Monday, but I have a sick kid (still) so I haven't gotten a chance until now!  

Well, CHA just happened and I have to say that I'm excited about a lot of fun new products coming our way this spring!  Yay!  Two Peas in a Bucket usually has a CHA social with lots of challenges and chances to win new product, but they weren't able to do it this go round because of some personnel changes, etc.  Sad day. Well, new garden girl, Stephanie Bryan, stepped up and offered us all some challenges to get us thinking and inspired.  There were three, but I just chose the first.  

Here's the first CHA challenge! Be sure to link up your projects for this challenge in this thread.  

Recipe challenge: Use the following on any project....layouts, cards, Project Life spreads, mini album.... 

2-types of alphas 
3-patterned papers 

Have fun!!  

The challenges will close at the end of CHA on Tuesday at 12:00 EST. The winners will be chosen Wednesday and announced Thursday here on the boards. 

Here is what I created:

I have been wanting to scrapbook this story for a while now.  It was hilarious.  My sister-in-law Liz got bitten by a horse that she was trying to pet.  As you can see, she was standing right next to a sign that said, "Watch Out! I Bite!"  Yikes.

I used some Lily Bee tiny alphabet stickers and some Thickers for my Title.

I used stickers, enamel dots, washi tape, and a printed transparency as my embellishments.  Here you can also take a peek at that horrible bruise.  It just got worse with time...

This stamp set by Shimelle Laine was *perfect* for this page.  I filled in the spaces with some of my American Crafts roller phrase stamps.  Also please don't judge the really imperfect stamping.  I may or may not have been scrapbooking in bed with a sick child lying next to me...

And that thumb's down (or up, if you flipped it) transparency from Basic Grey was another wonderful addition. Haha!

This was a fun page to create and I really like the way that a challenge with certain parameters makes me think outside the box or do something a little bit differently than I normally would have done.  I also like when challenges come with prizes, so here's crossing my fingers. :)

Oh, and a PSA: Please read the signs posted near animal could save your life!! (Love ya, Lizzy!!)

I'll be back tomorrow with another page share and some fun tips!