Thanks to everyone for your e-mails and phone calls about Mom. She's home now (came home late Thursday evening), and seems to be doing OK. Even after five days of test after test in the hospital, we never did get any clear answers as to what caused the "event." But we should hear the results of the biopsies and pathology tests on Tuesday. So say a little prayer that it's not cancer and that whatever it actually is is easy to manage, cure or avoid in the future. I'll update you when we hear something.
G and E loved Mom's hospital bed! (But Mom will probably hate that I included this picture! Sorry, Mom!) This was on Thursday, right before she was discharged.
It's events like these that make me realize how important documenting our story is. I could be gone tomorrow, and I want to make sure my kids, especially, know our story — from how Chad and I met and fell in love to what they were like when they were babies to what it is that we value most as a family. These are the stories that make us who we are as individuals and as a family. I think it's so important to tell our story, no matter how "normal" or "unexciting" it might appear to be on the surface. Everyone's story is worth telling.
Keeping this in mind, I have been really working on journaling our story lately. It's very clear to me that I will never in my lifetime be "caught up" with my scrapbooking, and that's OK with me. But if I were to leave this planet tomorrow, I would really want to know that my story—and the story of how we all fit together as a family—was at least written down somewhere for my kids and grandkids to have later in life.
So, here's one project I have been working on.
I am collecting all of my little journaling notes into one spot, formatting them all consistently, printing them on my printer and binding them with these simple binder rings. I have always jotted down notes about the kids growing, but my notes have always been all over the place: in calendars, my blog, a notebook I keep in my purse, MacJournal on my computer, a binder of ideas I have typed out at some point in time, another old notebook from G's baby days, etc. Now I am typing all of my stuff into MacJournal, then transferring it to this little binder. Theoretically, now I'll know what I have journaled at some point and where to find it! And when I'm ready to sit down and scrapbook, I'll already have the story written and be ready to go! (OK, I know this is all great in theory, and that I'll have to actually DO it to make it worth it. But I think I will, because I love the feel of this little book in my hands. It reconfirms that I do have a story to tell. And that makes me happy.)
The thing that got me started on this little project is an online class I have been taking from Jessica Sprague. It's called Stories in Hand, and it was a free class she offered. Most people are probably done with the class—which officially ended today—but I am still on Day 4! Anyway, in the class, we created this physical system of a Stories in Hand binder that has tons of journaling prompts to help you record your story and a little journaling notebook to carry around and jot down ideas as they come to you.
I love this system! The only part that was missing, though, was a place to record the actual stories. So that's where my Memories book idea was born. I formatted it to be the same size as the binder inserts, so I can combine them into one massive book later if I want. But right now, I love that I have a million prompts in one place to get me started recording my story. I even sat down with it last night and wrote out Chad's and my story of how we met, when we started dating, and what our college years were like at two separate campuses. I have scrapped our wedding and our early years, but at the time, I was more focused on the photos and not the story, so I never had recorded our actual story before. Now, there won't be any wondering by our kids later in life. Our story is written down and ready to read whenever (if ever!) they get curious as they get older. (Plus, it helped me jog my memory a little. It's sad to admit, but I had forgotten some details I thought I never would — like where we ate for dinner on our first date!)
Anyway, in the process of collecting my stories over the past couple of weeks, I ran across a really funny story about E at church. It made me laugh. I'll share it in a post tomorrow.