Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I have a hard time relaxing. I guess I should say I have a hard time relaxing in the way in which many do. You will almost never find me getting a manicure, pedicure, going to the movies, getting a massage or anything along these lines. I get my hair done as little as possible. While I want the end result of all of these things, it is the means to the end that I cannot bear.

 One day, I was watching TV and saw an ad for RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). From that day forward, I have been self diagnosed with this condition. I feel this is the reason I cannot sit back and relax. Once Aviana arrived from Guatemala, I began to realize with each passing day that I desperately needed to get out and do something. I knew I needed some ME time, but what was I to do?

 My friend Summer asked me to go scrapbooking with her. I always wanted to learn how, but knew if I even scratched the surface I would dive in head over heels. Since I was a kid, I have loved anything and everything to do with paper. I have always been fascinated with everything “office.” I can lose myself for hours in such a supply store. Envelopes, paper, pens, tape, paperclips, notepads, you name it, I love it.

 In my defense, this particular quality is hereditary. My dad is the exact same way. I think if you combined the number of different pens we both have in our houses it would number in the thousands!! I am not even kidding. I do not have an addictive bone in my body, but actually feared the thought of beginning this hobby. I knew it would be my Jack Daniels.  Sure enough, one day at the scrapbook store and I was hooked.

This is crazy, but before I even went that first day I had decided I was going to start a small business where I would scrapbook for other people. It wouldn’t stop there; I was going to make cards and invitations too. I remember sitting there that first day with my friend. I did not know what I was doing, but I was explaining my "business" in full detail to her. I can only imagine what she was thinking. I was going on and on. “People want scrapbooks, but many times there is not enough time in the day to create them.” “Many people want the books, but do not know how to create them.” “What should I call my business?” “Will you be my first customer?”

Oh my goodness, if I could have only read her mind. This poor girl had to listen to all of this as I sat there staring at one 12 X 12 piece of paper and 3 pictures not knowing what the hell I was doing!!!

This endeavor was going to accomplish so many of my own personal goals. I would create these books so family and friends would no longer have to gather around the computer screen to look at the slew of pictures of Aviana, I would be fulfilling the hobby hole in my heart; I would be able to stay at home with Aviana and do a job which I loved and was passionate about.

I surrounded myself in everything scrapbooking and card making. I learned everything I could. I meticulously crafted album after album. I spent hours working on a website. I was so excited. I would completely lose myself in this new found world. I could spend hours and hours listening to my favorite music while crafting projects. I always felt completely relaxed and at ease during this time.

I have barely picked up a piece of my beloved paper since the middle of June. Recently though, I did make 60 invitations. I quickly realized that I now more than ever need to get back into it. It takes me to another place. It’s therapeutic. Oh, and of course my muse has returned!!! I just purchased some stamp sets and paper that I have wanted for a very long time. I am anxiously awaiting their arrival. Just the thought alone of a delivery which is not from Apria Healthcare makes me giddy : )

I love spending every waking moment with Aviana, but I know I am going to burn myself out. I know I need to be careful and take some time away. I am excited to jump back in the scrapbook game. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year with Halloween being my favorite holiday. I hold the process of decorating my house for the season responsible for this overwhelming urge to create.


  1. Scrapebooking must be take alot of time, my mom is still trying to make a book for my brother and me, if thats the case, you should take some time to yourself and relax and compose yourself in order to completely be there for little Aviana.

  2. oh.my.gosh. Are we twins? I actually started an Etsy store for scrapbooking!!! Sold maybe one or two things but I scrapbooked sooooo much waiting for Valentina to come home. I think I must have made at least 18 scrapbook type calendars and scrapbooked all of my pictures during that time! Me, my iPod and my scrapbook room and I was all set. I've rarely done anything except a card here or there since Valentina came home. We can be scrapbook addicts together! And I love office supply stores too! Trina and I used to play office all the time when we were little. Little index cards, pens, rolodex's, etc.... and we were in heaven. When I worked in insurance and before everything went computerized, I LOVED to fill out all the applications. When everyone else bitched about it, I was offering to fill theirs in. My name is Cameo and I'm addicted to paper.

  3. I have been following your blog since August. I am grandmother to 2 precious girls adopted from Guatemala, so Avi is special to me for a lot of reasons. I have prayed daily for your family. I wanted you to know that I am a CARD ADDICT!!! Since I retired from teaching in May, I needed a hobby. I went to Archiver's for a stamping class. Now I had never stamped a thing and felt overwhelmed at first. I, too, have always had a note paper fetish. I am now totally into it. I do not scrapbook, but I am having a ball making cards. My youngest Guat. angel who is soon to be 5 helped me make Halloween bookmarks for each child in her pre-school class. I think she could end up being an addict too. She went nuts cutting the paper and stamping and picking out embellishments. We had the best time. It won't be long until your sweet Avi will be pushing that glue runner right down the paper at your side. So from one addict to another, blessings and prayers always! Vicki

  4. Scrapbooking too is my passion. It is the only time I am by myself. However, I love doing it with friends! I, too thought of going into business making books for others and even had a website. I now make books for family and friends for weddings and holidays.

    Scrapbooking is so theraputic. I am not afraid to admit I am a scrapbooking addict! You are not alone.

    It is great you are getting back into it.

  5. Jen, I'm a total scrapbooker! I go away twice a year to a scrapbooking 4-day retreat. I, too, get lost in it and can do it all. day. long. My husband can't understand how I can sit all. day. long.... scrapping our photos...and I just compare it to fishing (for him) because he seriously can sit all. day. long. with a pole in his hand, and at the end of the day, even if he catches nothing, he calls it a great day fishing. (??? at least I come home with a finished scrapbook at my retreats!) Anyway, just wanted to tell you that I understand how therapuedic it can be to scrapbook, and I'm glad to read that you are getting back into that passion of yours!

  6. Ok, from my guestimation, Sgt. Merenda and I are the only ones on here who do NOT scrapbook (or so he did not mention). =) Don't go near the stuff. Wouldn't even know what to give you to make one FOR me!

    I was going to say the office product thing must run in the family, but the last time I checked, your dad was NOT related at all to my mom. ha ha! =)

    Re: the RLS, have three words for you....Hyland's Leg Cramps...they're OTC. The quick disolve tablets work faster, but the ones you swallow are ok. My friend who introduced them to me is a major RLS sufferer (has been for many years) and in addition to prescription stuff, she takes these homeopathic tablets. She buys them at Walmart. I've never found them at Walmart, though...I usually find them at a little local vitamin shop (not like GNC). Here's their website: http://www.hylandslegcramps.com/home/
    I don't have RLS but occasionally get leg cramps. Stuff works great! Let me know if you need me to find some for you. If this doesn't work for you, then go see your doctor! Good luck!


  7. I lvoe it to infact I have a room right now so messing just getting caught up, its os much work but I love the books when they are done!

  8. Jen, I first came to your site through the S4O group on yahoo. I can't believe how strong you are. You are inspiring and Aviana is so lucky to have you for a mom. I'm glad you are making the time to scrap, everyone need some "me" time no matter what the circumstances. I will continue to pray for your family. God bless you.

  9. Magnesium helps a lot with my leg cramps. I take it every night before bed and am going to switch to weekly injections soon. (I already give myself shots...no biggie.) Crafting is my therapy, too. I can lose myself for hours making an outfit or shopping for supplies.

  10. Cameo made me 2 scrap book calendars and I love them so much. Keep at it and enjoy the time you get. Continued prayers of thanksgiving that you are all together and doing well. I'm sure it is hard sometimes but you do seem to be a strong woman. V's Grama

  11. Another obsessive scrabooker here!
    yes... it is hugely therapeutic for me also!
    You have been through soo much in the past year that yes... you need to take some "ME" time... and if that happens to be scrabooking and stamping... then scrap and stamp away!

  12. Jen I think you would make a awesome consultant for Creative Memories. You could have your business, make extra money and get a awesome discount! I have been doing this for about 3 years and love it. I used to do just parties but have started creating albums for others and love it! It can be don... Let me know if you want to discuss this further. I am so excited to see the advancements that Aviana is making! I am continuing to pray for your family.