Monday, February 24, 2014

You've Got a Friend in Me


There's nothing spectacular about this layout - except that Dave loved these pictures of the boys. Caleb had gotten the cowboy hat and guitar for his birthday, and they were really into Toy Story, so the title and Woody sticker just seemed "right". It was Dave's idea to change the photos to sepia. Then he asked me to make him extra copies of these pictures to hang in his locker. I think he liked them so much because the boys were holding a guitar! 

Scrapbooking Tip:
This was one of the first pages I made without journaling - I didn't think I needed it - the pictures seemed to speak for themselves. I traced a curvy ruler with a pencil, lined up my letters and then erased the line. It was quick and easy and I really liked the effect - and the best part - this page took less than 10 minutes to put together!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Yook! Monster Books!"



This layout has a special place in my heart. Zach developed a real love of books this past year and I was thrilled! I loved books as a little kid . . . . and still do. I was so excited I could pass this on to my boys.

Where Zach does not take after Mommy is his love of all things monsters - I have a feeling he's going to be a sci-fi fan. When we stumbled onto  the Dinosaur Vs. series and Mercer Mayer's monster books, Zach went crazy! We took them out of the library so much that Dave and I ended up buying them for Zach for Christmas. When he opened the books, he went nuts. "Yook! Yook, Mommy! Monsters! Yook!" He then proceeded to hug Dave, "Thank you, Daddy."

Well one of the books in the series was back ordered and when it came in January, we went through the whole excitement all over again. Dave had to stop what he was doing to read There Are Monsters Everywhere right then. 

I love our reading times, and I love the fact that Daddy read lots of stories to the boys. He did all the funny voices and was extremely dramatic. He made reading so much fun.



Scrapbooking Tip:
I was in Hobby Lobby and saw these adorable alien stickers, which I thought would be perfect for these pictures. Some of them had astronaut gear which I was able to cut off to turn them into monsters. I also loved the bright colors So I bought the embellishments and designed this layout around the stickers. I hardly ever do this, but the stickers just called my name and it really worked for these pages.

Reading Time with Daddy




Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Great Zachinni


Have I mentioned that Dave was a fun daddy? His sense of humor and love of life showed up in absolutely everything he did, even in the most basic parenting tasks like putting Zach in his pajamas. I was busy doing something with Caleb when I heard Dave call me. Zach was giggling as Dave would say, "May I present, The Great Zachinni!" Zach's shirt got stuck on his head and reminded Dave of the turban some magicians wear. Zach just thought that this was hysterical!!

Of course, I had to run and get the camera. . . . and then Zach stopped giggling, but he was still pretty cute! (I love all the rolls on his legs and his pudgy arms but am glad he thinned out as he got taller.)  This is just another layout capturing the everyday moments with Daddy.

Journaling Up Close:

Close Ups:





Monday, February 17, 2014

Sleigh Ride


These pictures were taken on Caleb's second birthday. We decided to bundle him up and take him for a sleigh ride while Zach was taking a nap.

Caleb and I had so much fun, but Dave had a workout! He pulled Caleb up and down the hill in my parent's backyard. I took a ton of pictures but these were the best. Funny story about the pictures . . . .


Close Ups:
For some reason, Caleb did not want gloves on! 

I love the expression on Caleb's face!!






Sunday, February 16, 2014

Caleb Loves Daddy



I found these pages today. They don't record anything momentous, just a playful moment between Caleb and his Daddy. There are two things in particular I love about this layout. I love seeing Caleb in Dave's Viking hat. Dave had just come in and plopped it down on Caleb's head. I also love Dave's expression when Caleb was giving him kisses. There is no denying the love Dave felt for his son.

These pictures were also taken during some of the hardest weeks Dave and I faced together. We had recently been to Shriner's Hospital and the doctors explained to us they thought Caleb had SMA. They had taken a blood test and the results would take approximately four weeks. We were waiting for the call . . . every time Dave's phone rang I held my breath. I can still remember that sickening feeling. Those days were awful, and I'm so glad we don't have to relive them!

Dave was just an awesome daddy. Having a child with SMA made the job a little harder, but Dave rose to the challenge and did a phenomenal job!

Scrapbooking Tip:
I didn't want to trim my pictures or the photo mats down anymore, so I place my title vertically on the right hand side of the page. I liked the overall effect. 

Close Ups:








Friday, February 14, 2014

Mommy's Valentines


This is a page from 2009. Zach was six months and Caleb had just turned two. I had taken pictures on Valentine's Day of them opening up little presents from Dave and I, but they didn't smile and the pictures just weren't salvageable, but I got these great smiles later that day . . . . so they made the cut.

Valentine's Day was not a big celebration for Dave and I. We had a system . . . we would go out to dinner the day before or after Valentine's Day to avoid long waits and inflated dinner prices. Then we would cuddle up on the couch with the computer and we would each "shop" for the other one. I usually picked out some scrapbooking paper and Dave would pick out a guitar accessory. It wasn't horribly romantic, but we grew to love this tradition. (Our anniversary celebrations were similar!)

Once we had kids, we focused more on them. We bought little Valentine's treats for the boys - usually a book and some chocolate treat. Just another day to hug, kiss and cuddle the boys . . . .

Scrapbooking Questions . . . . 
I've been asked some questions regarding my blog so I thought I'd share the answers here . . .

Have I scraped all these pages since January 1st?
No. I have tried to scrapbook a little since Dave's death, but looking at family pictures still can bring on the tears. I have done a few pages, but they focus on my nieces and nephews, or just Caleb and Zach. Seeing Dave's smile makes me miss him even more. . . . I will scrap the pictures, but my emotions are still a little raw.

Do I scrapbook in chronological order?
No. I still have baby pictures of the boys I have yet to do, and they are still in the "to do" pile. I keep my photos organized by year, and I scrapbook whatever "strikes my fancy". The only time I stay focused on a single theme is when I am working on a vacation album.

How do I pick the layouts to post?
To pick the pages to post on this blog I go through my albums and pull out pages. I take pictures of various layouts and post them randomly. There's no real rhyme or reason as to what I pick, unless it's Caleb's birthday or Valentine's Day.

Yes, I know I have an addiction!!
It's no longer a secret I have a picture problem! I never tried to hide it. However, Dave fully supported this addiction and called it my "therapy". When things got stressful, Dave would take the boys out of the house for a couple of hours, and told me to "scrap it out." He totally allowed me this indulgence and encouraged it. A couple of hours scrapbooking did me a world of good - and I was usually calmer after some creative time. Dave would always ask to see what I had done and "ooh and aah" over the layouts, and sometimes he even gave suggestions. He always was encouraging me to try to submit my pages for publication . . . . and start a blog! :)


Monday, February 10, 2014

My Guys


This is one of the rare layouts I got to make with pictures of me! All of these pictures were taken while we were on our Western Caribbean cruise. Me and my two guys sharing cuddles and kisses. 

I always pictured having daughters - I would envision tea parties, dressing up, and reading Anne of Green Gables aloud. When Dave and I found out we were having a boy, I was excited - I was thrilled to know Dave would have a son!! However, later that night Dave and I were in the car and he asked me, "Are you crying?" I was . . . the reason is so stupid. "I don't know what books to read to a little boy. . . . *sniff*" Dave actually laughed at me! Can you believe it? 

As it turns out, I didn't need to worry. I think I'm pretty good at being a mommy to boys. I've learned to play video games, build LEGOS, and have light saber battles. And as it turned out, I didn't need to worry about what books to read . . . Caleb asks me to read him The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Although they are no Anne of Green Gables, I'm happy to be reading classic literature to my first grader! 

Yup, I've adapted to being the only girl in the house. Especially because Dave treated me like a queen. The only time I ever heard him raise his voice at the boys was when they mouthed off at me. Although I've adapted, I'm intimidated at the prospect of being a single parent to my boys. Dave was such a phenomenal daddy, and I'm sad my boys won't have him as a role model as they grow up . . . fortunately I have lots of pictures and stories! 

Scrapbooking Tip:
I "scraplifted" the design of this layout from a Creating Keepsakes magazine. I wanted the pages to take center stage, and I was able to piece this together from paper scraps. Sometimes when I'm feeling especially creative, I'll take out my box of paper scraps and try to piece a layout together just using those. It's a fun challenge - and I'm not wasting anything!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Caleb's First Valentine's Day


Caleb's first Valentine's Day was also his first snowstorm. It snowed all day!! It was the first day since he came home from the hospital that no one was over at the house because the roads were so bad. Dave was constantly out plowing the driveway to "stay on top of it."

I took these pictures as we were trying to wake Caleb up for a feeding. He wanted nothing to do with food. Dave eventually gave up trying to wake him up and decided, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." He cuddled up with his little boy and dozed.

That was such a great day! Lots of kisses and cuddles, and a whole day to enjoy being a family.


Scrapbooking Tip:
I went through a phase where I didn't like my handwriting in my scrapbooks. I wanted everything to look "perfect". So what I would do was type my journaling, print it on vellum and then incorporate it into the layout. Eventually I realized I could get a lot more pages done if I wrote out my journaling. If a page has a formal subject matter I might still type my thoughts. The funny thing is that when people look through my albums I often hear, "What neat handwriting you have." Go figure!

Kisses for Caleb
I love this picture!



Saturday, February 8, 2014

Like Father, Like Son


One comment I have heard throughout the years is, "Caleb looks just like his Daddy!" Even in the delivery room the nurse told Dave that Caleb looked just like him. It has been fun to watch other similarities emerge.

When I walked in to find Dave and Caleb sleeping in the same position, I couldn't help running for the camera to take the bottom picture. Caleb often wanted to fall asleep with one of us with him, and more times then not, Dave would fall asleep first. 

Dave used to pick on me because I would envision a scrapbook layout around the picture I was taking. However, he didn't realize I took so many pictures of the two of them sleeping until I had pictures printed. In fact, he was pretty surprised to see the picture of the two of them sleeping so similarly. 

The funny thing about Dave is that he would tell me over and over again that he didn't "see it" when people told us Caleb looked like him. I would lay pictures of them side by side and he still didn't think they looked alike. 

I, for one, am glad Caleb is the spitting image of his Daddy. When I look in Caleb's eyes, I see Dave. 



Friday, February 7, 2014

Just Like My Daddy


Caleb is seven years old today. When I was pregnant many people told me the time would fly, and during those first few months of sleepless nights, I didn't believe them. But, "they" were right. It does not feel like it has been seven years.

One of Dave's coworkers loaned him a teddy bear in a NYSP uniform. It wasn't a perfect fit, but at exactly four weeks old, Caleb could fit into the outfit. Dave was working down at Division Headquarters and had a Monday-Friday schedule working 6am-2pm. That was the most regular schedule of his entire career. When he got home that day, I made him pose for pictures with Caleb before heading out to SEARS to have "professional" pictures taken.

We really had to work hard to get these pictures of Caleb not crying. He was not so sure about the bright lights and strange people trying to make him smile. At one point we had to take the little plastic gun off of him because it was poking him in the side!

I wish I could go back to this time - even if just for a day. After two years of infertility, we had our precious perfect baby, and we had not even heard of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Dave was home every night to cuddle his long awaited son and to kiss me goodnight. I remember thinking life was perfect. I was ignorant of the trials ahead. I now understand completely the phrase, "Ignorance is bliss."

The life we envisioned for our family was not to be. I don't understand "why" and I no longer even try to understand why. It wastes precious time and energy I need to trust God. I hope when I get to Heaven I will see a greater purpose in the pain my family has gone through, but in reality, when I get to Heaven it won't really matter. Until that glorious day comes, I treasure the memories of the time we were a family of four and the wonderful legacy Dave left me and his sons.

I love how Caleb is looking up at his Daddy!


Trooper Caleb



Sunday, February 2, 2014

Love at First Sight


Caleb's birthday is this coming Friday. He's super excited, but when I think about it my thoughts drift to Dave. After all, it was him and me in the delivery room seven years ago. It was Dave who first held our son. Daddy has been at every milestone. This is the first milestone in Caleb's life he won't witness.

I pulled out the scrapbooks from 2007, and this page caught my eye. My scrapbooking style has changed drastically over the years, but I made this page when Caleb was only a few weeks old. I was sleep deprived and emotional. My goal was to capture the emotion of those first hours with Caleb after a long struggle with infertility.

I remember feeling immediate, unconditional love for Caleb, but I remember looking at Dave and falling in love with him all over again - as our son's daddy. The love shone in his eyes when he looked at Caleb. His smile spread across his face. We were no longer just "Dave and Amy" but "Daddy and Mommy." He fell in love with being a daddy and he was an absolutely awesome at it!