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Archive for September, 2008

Be Here Now – Blog Blitz

Living in the moment.

It’s something we hear often yet can allude us all the same.  Paying attention to this time.  This day.  This moment.  So, let’s change that.  Let’s live in the moment right now.

Stacy Julian, founder of Simple Scrapbooks magazine and Big Picture Scrapbooking has offered us to take part in a challenge.  Today, as you peruse various scrapbooker’s blogs you will find this same idea being talked about.  You will also find, in Stacy’s fabulous “take action” way, a manifestation of how each of us has decided to Be Here Now, or live in the moment with gratitude, awareness and ultimately…JOY.

So, I offer the same challenge to you.  Join us in our efforts to Be Here Now by doing the following:

  • Snap 10 photos of your life right now
  • Compile these photos in a really small mini-album
  • Keep or carry this album with you (in your desk drawer or purse) for one year
  • Promise to glance through the album every time you stumble upon it
  • On October 1, 2009 create a scrapbook page about your experience.  Don’t worry, I’ll blog and help you remember!

Here are a few of the photos from my life, right now, this moment…

It's almost time to put my favorite sandles away!

Time to put my favorite sandles away

Heading into Week 21

Heading into Week 21

Year Long Workshop at BPS

Working on the Year Long Workshop at BPS

Our new fall decor

Our new fall decor

Think of this a present – to yourself!  If you want me to send you a free Bazzill Mono Mini album like the one I used then just comment here and we’ll randomly pick 10 lucky winners (yep, I have 10 to give away!)

See who else in the scrapbooking world that you can find participating in today’s “Be Here Now” challenge and tell us where they are.

Here’s to the moment!  Enjoy!

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Me and Martha

Now that we are settled in our new home and my morning sickness is a thing of the past,  Jason really wanted to have the “First Annual Hall Invitational” for our families.  We golfed 9 holes of our course first then had a BBQ.  I have to say that since we have been in “temporary housing” for quite a few years and haven’t had space to accommodate everyone, I am a little rusty when it comes to throwing parties.

So, I was proud of myself that our plans for our deck were perfect.  We fit 22 people out there – sitting – to eat.  And there was still room for a “Jason Path” which of course, I’m always thinking about.  I loved having us all together because that’s the point, isn’t it?

In honor of the occasion I decided to team up with Martha Stewart and make party favor treats with her “test tubes” out for Halloween.  I fell in love with these little guys and knew that everyone (old and young) would like a little treat for the road.  Since we had a lot of adult males coming, I kept the embellishments simple and stamped a little “HC” logo on the label (our families: Hall and Coleman).  Then I wrapped some hemp around them, filled them with treats and called it good.

If you can still get your hands on these little plastic favors then grab them (check Michaels) because they are a hit for any event.  The sticker labels come Halloween-oriented but are easy to adapt for anything.  I’m adjusting the stamp and keeping the extra ones on hand to give to neighbors or hand out when ever I have a chance over the next few weeks.  Of course, I’m keeping one right here by me, though!

Nerds anyone?  Skittles?  M&Ms?  Take your pick.

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Jason has decided to follow me (ha, I was first for once!) and start a blog.  He’s been talking about it for awhile and has seen how easy it was for me to use WordPress so he has jumped on board.

If you like little messages that are thoughtful and inspiring – and you like a good storyteller – then check it out.  He’s one of the best storytellers I know.

www.jasonhall.com

I designed the header for him and I have to admit, I think it looks totally FAB.  I’m not at proficient at Photoshop as I am in Illustrator so this was a little bit of a leap for me.

Jason is a great example of this quote personified:

I want the [world] to know that I was really here and that I really lived.  -Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Check it out.  And leave a comment if you want – he loves that!

Enjoy!

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I’m a planner.   So I woke up this morning before my alarm went off.  I was thinking.  I have a dilemma.

We’re having this baby in February.  I work from home.  Which is great in itself.  In fact I feel very blessed to be in a position to work from home.  My problem is that my work revolves around deadlines.  Every company I work for has different goals and products that they want to get out and I manage my time based on what is due when.

I’m trying to get prepared – work-wise – for this baby.  The advice I received from Heidi Swapp a few months ago, from one designer to another, was to make sure I paused once the baby was born to enjoy him.  Even though I am my own boss, she said she wished she had taken more time away from work to enjoy those first few weeks especially.

Because we are doing the year long workshop at Big Picture Scrapbooking, it involves developing a great deal of content each month.  And to make sure that the site is ready each month, I have to have content finished at least three months in advance all year. For example – January is due in two weeks, February is due by the end of October, etc.

Needless to say, I woke up feeling just a little overwhelmed.  No wait…I had a much more realistic look at it than just overwhelmed – I really wonder if I can do it.  This is a classic case of knowing that if I prepare myself in advance then I will be much, much happier later – but how do I get myself prepared?  How do I tackle this set of tasks that seems a mile long over the next six months?

Here’s what I came up with while I was thinking it through in the morning’s early hours.  I’ve decided that it’s a good set of 8 steps for anyone trying to tackle something big.

1. Make a Calendar List of Everything and When It’s Due. I have to get my due dates on paper so I know where I’m headed.  I’m going to create a master calendar today and put everything on there until the end of January – no due dates in February to worry about except the most important one!

2. Break It Down. Once I know my due dates, I will break down each one into smaller tasks.  Those will go on my calendar as well so I know week by week what has to get accomplished in order to chip away at the large deadlines.  This also helps me organize the different companies I work for – I do best when I work on one project (such as the next $1 stamp set for Michaels), finish it then move onto the next task.  I have to have a certain amount of time dedicated to each task to do that.

3. Gather Supplies. This applies to BPS – I will need to have project supplies on hand to accomplish each task so I don’t waste time waiting for things to come in the mail or heading to the scrapbook store every other day.

4. Get to Work. I know that I can organize till I’m blue in the face but it still won’t get the job done.  I have to stay focused and get to work.  If I put something off it will only make things harder to make up the next week.

5. Give Yourself Rewards. To keep myself from getting crabby, I will give myself rewards.  If I accomplish one set of tasks then I get to go read a book or take the weekend off or spend the day with my sister…whatever comes up that I want to do that week.  Something to work for instead of just the never-ending task list.

6. Adapt. Does anything ever go the exact way we think it will?  Of course not.  In that case, I am promising myself right now that I will choose flexibility instead of freaking out when bumps in the road come and I have to adjust my calendar to adapt to them.

7. Don’t Forget to Love the Moment. I think I’ve gotten better at this over the years.  Even when I’m working hard I can still love what I’m doing and pause for moments here and there to chat with Jason or play Rock Band with him or call a friend.  My experience will be more enriching if I embrace moments intermingled with the tasks.

8. Just Do Your Best. Discouragement paralyzes creativity so I have to remain positive about how I am doing.  This is a mental control thing – I’ll pause, take a deep breath, and try to let go of those feelings of frustration and negativity, and focus on what I’m doing well.

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.         -Charles Mingus

Does anyone else have a plan to get something done?

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Can you say – BOY?!!!

It’s true, we found out that it’s a BOY!  We are so excited – we would have loved a girl, too but I had always felt like it was a boy from the day the doctor transferred the embryos.  So, I would have been surprised if they had said anything else.

Jason’s reaction was my favorite part of the whole event.  He said he kept saying to himself, “It’s OK if it’s a girl.  It’s OK if it’s a girl.”  Then when she announced the boy he shouted, “Are you serious?!!!  Are you sure?”  It was so fun to have that moment.  Needless to say, he is waaaaay excited for this little guy!

It’s hard to believe that we could start four months ago with these little frozen embryos:

and end up with something that actually looks like a baby growing in there.  We will never know which embryo “took” but I think it was the little 5-cell one at the top – the runt of the entire batch.  I think it was a fighter and hung in there despite the odds.  There is no doubt in my mind that it could happen!

This whole process has been a tremendous exercise in faith and hope and belief that miracles can happen.  It’s been interesting because up until the day of the ultrasound last week, it has been difficult for me to process that I am actually having a baby.  Despite not feeling great and seeing changes in my body, I still have felt like I was watching a movie of someone else being pregnant.  It was hard for me to connect that what was happening was happening to me.

But now that we know it’s a boy, I can’t stop thinking about him.  Seeing a little munchkin in my mind, covered in blue as he climbs and runs and becomes a part of our home.  For the first time, I see this little guy as ours and it has been an amazing feeling.  My love for him has started to grow and become something real to me.  I’m sure it will only increase as time passes but I’m starting to feel the glimmering of devotion that comes with being a parent – love I haven’t felt in this exact way before.

So, we are at about 17 1/2 weeks with forever to go.  But I’m feeling better and actually finished a deadline for my new stamping program (it will be so cool!) that will be released in February.  A week early, even!  It’s been a while since I felt like getting things done early so I’m feeling very proud of myself for that this week.

Now it’s time for a little nap – I still like those in the afternoons!

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Generosity

I promised to write a little about Creative Escape and on this day of September 11, as we remember the events of the World Trade Center, the one word that keeps coming to mind when I think of our weekend together is GENEROSITY.

Heidi Swapp and Mr. Bazzill, Doug Jones, fall into this category of my thoughts.  Their generous philosophy regarding the whole event was incredible.  I mean really, how can you not feel special when you receive a package at your hotel room that says, “Lucky Girl” and “Spoiled” with some little treasure that they have thought of just for us?  Every time I used my specially printed room key that said “enjoy,” in Heidi’s writing I thought, “I will!”  How could I help myself?

Even more so, I was astounded by the generosity of those of you who brought us our first baby gifts.  I really couldn’t believe it when the first gift came (a darling little monkey that is so soft and snuggly) and my surprise only continued as the weekend progressed until we were piled high on the table and floor with blankets and onesies and tiny pairs of socks.

These are the first gifts we have received as potential parents and although I really don’t have a clue as to what to do with most of them (since I just learned what a onesie actually is!), I am humbled by the simple generosity that stimulated your desire to give something.  You know more of what we need than we do – that much is certain.  And as I packed a box full of miniature gifts to ship back to Utah I was overwhelmed with gratitude for your kindness.

This simple act has made me think about human generosity in general.  I have learned through our service work in Mexico with students who have mental and physical disabilities that it’s hard to do it all.  Each time we go down there for another card clinic to teach them skills to create something they can sell I always think, “We need to do more.  There is so much more that they need.”

A quote by Mother Teresa helps me when I feel like that:

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.

-Mother Teresa

I forget that sometimes – we don’t have to do it all.  In fact, it’s impossible to do it all.  But we can do something for the one.  Sometimes we see so many of the big gestures that we think that something small is not enough.  Big is good, we know that.  But I stand by the fact that small is even better.  Each of us can make a difference.  We can be something to the individual in that one moment that we are needed.

Thank you for your generosity.  Thank you for your care of “the one” – us.  We are impacted by your desire to give to virtual strangers.  Granted, we are not strangers any more after spending the weekend together, but we were strangers when you walked into our classroom bearing a gift from your heart.

I hope we get to see you in class at Big Picture Scrapbooking.  I feel like we are all friends for life.

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Winner, Winner, Winner!

Thanks for all of your comments about Finding Good on my last post.  We are home from Creative Escape after having an amazing weekend.  I’ll tell more about that later.

And now for the good stuff: the lucky random winner of the katie & co. stamp set is….

Kathy Wahine #395!

Email me (kolette@kolettehall.com) your address, Kathy and I’ll send those out – I have a feeling they are going to Hawaii????

Enjoy!

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