PRT157 – Equally Awesome

This week we’re talking about a sensitive topic…

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  • hejmammamu

    First, I’m a B-side girl myself and because of that I prefer to buy my patterned papers online since I don’t have the pacience to turn every paper over at the scrapbook store!

    And about more sensitive subjects. Some years ago, when my oldest children began being grown up, I wanted to start a ” My grown up children”-album and planned to make it an album about wedding, children aso, until my daughter said “what if some of us do not find that right person?”. Sometimes we just don’t think the whole way and can therefore hurt people even if we don’t meen to. I have an album about my grown children but celebrate every aspect of their lives and personalities, so much more rewarding that just those big events, even if thy are a great joy too.

    About scrapbooking about yourself, I have for a very long time scrapbooked about myself, why shouldn’t I?! I am a person, with thought and feelings and why shouldn’t I document them? Do women think they are selfish if they scrapbook about themselves? Are we only worth something if we are mothers? I have many children and grandchildren so I have a lot to scrapbook about my family, but I am still me too! Your lives are wonderful, sisters! Celebrate them!

  • Hi, Vishae! First of all, thank you for your membership! :)

    I might separate these two questions for mail at different times, or I might include one as mail and incorporate one into an episode. I’m not sure yet, but I wanted to let you know ahead of time so you’re not confused later about what I do.
    I must answer the very most important question now, though: the rock music is MY pick, not Izzy’s. :) I love electric guitar and grungier alternative rock. It’s all me, totally. Izzy likes music that is more peppy.
    While we’ll probably spend some time with one or both of your other two questions on the show, either as mail or in an episode, I wanted to share some quick thoughts…
    1. Matching photos to stories —

    After the fact, I would probably try to replace the photo. If that looks awful, I would add a 6×6 page that faces the layout and add the photo you wished you had used. You can then get creative and find something else to put on the other side of the 6×6 page.
    To prevent that problem in the first place, this is what I do in steps:
    1. Star all the photos that do a good job of capturing/telling the story. 2. Look at all the starred photos separated from all the other ones. If you have good software you can make a smart folder so you can view your photos separately without actually moving the files away from their original folder. I believe all scrapbookers should have software that can do this. It’s an essential tool IMO. 3. Unstar/remove any excessive photos (ie. ones that are too similar to another and that you really don’t need). 4. Make notes in the caption of photos of stories I know I want to go with that photo (in the metadata).
    At this point, with the photos separated from all the rest, I have a good handle on what photos I’m working with, so I never scrap the “wrong” photo by accident. Then I can still scrap what I’m feeling inspired about spontaneously the way you do. It’s just a little bit of work up front to get clarity on your photos and then it’s simple after that.
    2. Family Stories —

    If there are absolutely no stories your mother wants to share, and if she wouldn’t want her history documented, then I think I might leave it alone, at least while she’s living. If there are certain things she does like to reminisce about, you might just focus on those. It might help if you ask her questions in a very natural, informal, spontaneous way, like if your question is related to something you’re doing together or already talking about.

  • Jersey Girl Anne

    My oldest son and his wife are also childless by choise and people cant believe that they dont want children. People also cant believe that I defend their position but it is theirs to make. I must also add that I am adopted and my youngest son(who has a few disabilities) is also adopted. I need to get that minibook made of his wonderful story!!!

  • Thanks Noell, for taking the time to respond to my mail.

    I so totally couldn’t guess that the opening jingles were your pick! They are just really catchy!

    I’m actually using Stacy Julian’s LOM method of organising my photos – I guess I should have mentioned that earlier. It’s just taking me a long time to star my photos, and I scrap whilst I rate, which is where the problem comes in I guess. I really should knuckle down on rating all the photos before starting anything.

    And thanks for the tip about asking my mother in an informal way. I guess I’ll just have to go about it in a more covert way (been watching watching Covert Affairs way too often)

  • I’m a huge fan of jumping on inspiration and motivation. So buckle down on rating the photos first if it’s super important to you to use the “right” photos. Or let yourself scrapbook a page if you feel like you won’t mind the problem!

  • By the way, we read the first half of your mail in this weeks show. :)

  • I just listened to this episode and thought it was handled beautifully.

    While I am not dealing with infertility, I am currently childless by choice – my husband and I chose the “5 year plan” – be married 5 years before having kids. As far as I know things will go fine when we do, but that is yet to be seen, as I will be 34 at that point. I am a leader in my church, so I get the “kids when?” questions A LOT, and what if I do have trouble when we get there??

    So I loved the emphasis on gratitude about the MANY other blessings in life besides children. I have MORE than enough to scrapbook without children. As someone suggested above, an episode about scrapping things other than children would be great!

    Thanks for great topics again and again!

  • Sara

    I just went through a fertility treatment this morning and boom, I visited the PRT website and wondered from the title if you were going to tackle this very taboo topic on the show. I have read Angie’s blog posts about her experiences with infertility and BLESS her for sharing there and here! This was a discussion I didn’t know I needed to hear today.

    I haven’t been scrapbooking or blogging much over the past couple years. I started journaling privately when I finally got pregnant in January, and then stopped when I thought I might miscarry and eventually did miscarry. It was too much to document, even privately. I did eventually sit in a coffee shop and type out the whole story just for my own eyes, and I’ll slip it in an envelope in a scrapbook.

    There’s still a few people in my life I haven’t told but I am starting to talk about it (selectively) more, because like Angie said, it’s harder not to talk about it than it is to talk about it. I needed to hear that again. One of my biggest fears is facing people who don’t know what to say or who tip toe around me. It’s been the most painful when friends I’ve told I’m struggling with infertility don’t ask me how I’m doing. This seems to be particularly friends with babies, and I think maybe they think they are protecting my feelings by not bringing it up but it actually just makes me feel kinda lonely in an already difficult period in my life. I don’t want to dwell on it, but some acknowledgement every few months helps. It continues to be one of the hardest parts of infertility.

    Thank you all for bringing some light to a difficult experience.

  • LOL @ your response!!! I need to remember that one!

    Yes, you’re right that I have told the story of being asked at a crop what on earth I would have ‘worth’ scrapbooking if I wasn’t married and didn’t have children. Today I would have so much to say to that woman. At the time, I was totally blind-sided. I am so glad that more and more women realise their stories are certain -worth- scrapbooking, regardless of their varied life experiences!

    I also wonder how that conversation would go today, as I’m in a different place in life. I hadn’t met my now-husband then, for example, and didn’t really imagine myself to ever be married at that point. Like other commenters here, I’ve dealt with my fair share of comments about being married ‘so long’ (ha – we will have our fifth anniversary this summer) and not having children. I know a lot of those comments come from people who would never imagine there might be any number of reasons to not have children – I have days when it bothers me more and days when it doesn’t even hit my radar. Interestingly, my SIL reports that after she had her first baby, the questions were always ‘will you have another’, and now she has two and she says that question hasn’t stopped. I was really surprised to hear that! I guess this is just a way to start a conversation or make small talk, because it’s seen as a somewhat universal topic amongst women? But I can only imagine that if one did have a child after a long and painful process with infertility, the automatic question of ‘will you have another?’ could lead to pure exasperation!

    I’ll be honest: I’ve scrapped so long now in the public eye, I can’t help but fear some readers would actually be somewhat disappointed if I had children! No way to please everyone, right? ;-)

    Noelle, I said this already on Twitter, but I just really want to applaud the PRT and all the guests on this episode for presenting this topic and saying everything so well.

  • Rosa M. Neno

    Shimelle, that was a wonderful and heart felt reply.
    It made me smile. It’s wonderful to know someone else feels what you feel inside. My hubby and I will be married 5 years this July also!
    God Bless.

  • HC

    Thank you so much for this episode topic. It was very timely as I too am struggling with infertility. So many of the other commenters have put so beautifully what I felt when listening to this show. I laughed, I cried, and I reflected. Thank you so much to the guests on the show and for being brave enough to share your story with this audience. Your perspectives really inspire me to focus on the good in my life and appreciate what I have. Sometimes when you are dealing with something rough you can get in that downward spiral and it is really hard to pick yourself back up. I know I have been there recently and am trying to get back to my happy place. Luckily scrapbooking is a great way to do that!

  • Michelle

    Hi Noel and Izzy,
    I have not felt the need to comment in quite a while but I have been listening faithfully since the beginning. Anyhow, after hear all of you talk about project life so much over the past few years, I finally decided to do it last June. I decided to go the digi route on Shutterfly and I went back to the beginning of 2012 and did a two page spread each week until the end of the year. In January, when they have the 50% off sale, I ordered my book and I LOVE it! I started this year right at the beginning and was doing a great job keeping up until something bad happened, something really bad…
    I won’t go into details, but we had an extended family member living with us who unbeknownst to us, was battling some serious mental health issues. Things became very scary and possibly dangerous for my family and we had to force the person to leave our home. Things are slowly going back to normal, but that has really changed our whole family dynamic.
    My question is this: how would you deal with this in project life. I don’t feel like I can ignore it or gloss over it, but I also don’t want to go into the details because I write the project life book as a letter to my children, and although that person is physically out of their lives forever, I do not want them to hate this person because of something that I made them remember through my books.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and anyone who has had a similar experience is more than welcome to comment.
    Thank you for all that you do.
    Non-schmo,
    Michelle
    San Antonio, TX
    (Formerly Weiden Germany)

  • Hi, Michelle. We might read your mail over the show but I also wanted to respond here right away b/c this is a subject that is close to me. Izzy and I deal with this by expressing our deep love for the person when talking to the kids about it. We share our sadness at what is happening and explain that something wrong in their brain is causing them to see and understand the world very differently, and to act and feel the way they do.
    I’ve told my kids that as much as we love this person, we have to protect ourselves and we should never allow ourselves to be abused by someone, even if we love them and even if it’s not completely their fault that they act that way. Sometimes we share the good memories we have and express our sadness that we can’t continue to have a relationship with all the wonderful parts of that person.
    I think that by sharing your compassion for that person — AND your strength in protecting yourself and your family from that person — you are acknowledging the reality in a somewhat positive and loving way, as well as in an educational way because it communicates to the kids that they have every right to protect themselves, even against a family member they love or a family member who is older and seemingly “authoritative,” at least to a child.
    In your PL, you could leave out the specifics of what that person did if you want, and just mention that a mental illness caused a massive problem and he/she had to leave your home. You could share your feelings and acknowledge the confusion of conflicting emotions we feel when someone we love and enjoy does awful things.
    Good luck, Michelle! Hugs!!!

  • Michelle

    Thanks Noell, that is pretty much the way I am trying to go with my PL. I am having trouble moving past that week because I feel like I cannot say it right. It was my mother in law and I was her target, so I feel like no matter what I say in the project life, it would seem bitter or angry. I look forward to advice from the panel. Thank you, again.

  • Niki K

    Like many others that have commented, Thank you so much for this episode. I have been a faithful listener since the beginning of PRT and have always found the subjects inspiring, funny, thought provoking. I love everything about it.
    I have been struggling with infertility for 8 years. I related to the comments made the guest panelists. This episode brought me much comfort in knowing I’m not alone and that it’s okay to scrapbook about my life, my husband and my adorable cat. I truly appreciate the panelists opening up about their struggles and for the comments others have left on this board. Izzy and Noell you are doing an excellent job. I recently became an member and I’m looking forward to watching the video’s. What I have seen so far have been very informative and inspiring. Thank you for all that you do.

  • Thank you for the kind words and for your membership! I hope you love it! :)

  • Gina

    I’m catching up on listening to the show lately so just listened to this today. I know this is such a huge issue with so many women – many of my friends have had infertility issues and everyone deals with it differently. If one of my friends hadn’t ultimately been successful having twins, I doubt that she would have remained friends with people who had children. She couldn’t talk to me when I was pregnant. I fortunately did not have issues with infertility and have two wonderful children. I think one of the things that I noticed raised during this episode is a common feeling that many women who are struggling with infertility have when people are talking about their children or about being pregnant and how painful it is for them.

    I know this is different but I guess I just wanted to comment and point out that other people have difficult topics too, not just those who struggle with infertility – in other circumstances as well. My sister died when she was 25 and I was 35. I feel this grief every single day, some more than others. It was 10 years ago and not a day goes by when I don’t think of her and how her illness & death affected our lives. My children will never know her, never get to spend time with her & know what a wonderful & dynamic person she was. We talk about her all the time but they will never get to spend time with her. Many people don’t know I even had a sister because I don’t want to bring it up and put a damper on the conversation but there are times when people are talking about their sister, great times had together and family times that it’s just sad….
    Thanks for another excellent show Noell & Izzy. It’s great that you’re not afraid to talk about difficult subjects.

  • krizbee

    This was a very interesting episode. Honestly, I almost skipped it because I have never personally experienced infertility. I can only imagine what it must like to deal with. However, not to take away from the subject matter, I found myself identifying with the conversation because I recently endured breast cancer and its treatment. It is also a delicate subject and people never really know what to say. I particularly liked the advice for people who don’t know what to say…don’t offer “well-Meaning” advice, just say “I’m sorry you are going through this” Because you never really what a person is going through, what state of mind they are in, etc. One comment, well meaning or not, can send a person dealing with something difficult over the edge.

    Thanks, as always, for a great episode.

  • Jessica

    I know this episode is a year old but I stumbled across it when someone mentioned it as their favorite RT episode on the 2 Peas message board recently. I really needed this episode. I’m in a dark place in life and it has definitely impacted my joy of scrapbooking. I often find myself wondering what the point of preserving memories is when there will be no one to look back at my albums. After years of failed treatments my husband and I have just recently made the decision that our family is complete with us. I appreciate the new perspective I received by this episode. Thank you.