Our family has changed drastically since my last entry! God has abundantly blessed my boys and me and we doubled in size! Last October I married a wonderful man, Jim Bleau, who has two amazing daughters, Alexis and Alyssia. I marvel at God's goodness and provision for me, and have to wonder if during the dark depressing times where I have been broken and cried myself to sleep, God was trying to whisper, "Just wait until you see your next chapter. I'm not done writing your story."
While we have "blended" our family and move forward as one, I find my passion for scrapbooking reigniting. Although we carry the scars of everything both of our families have been through, I can honestly say that we smile a lot more! I find us laughing and looking forward to the future again, but at the same time remembering and honoring Daddy. I look through the pictures that have been too painful to scrapbook, and even though they may still bring a tear, I'm ready to remember all the good and fun times.
To get back into my blogging habit, I picked out a layout I did this past summer. Before Jim and I married we wanted to create some memories as a new family, and we took the kids on a Disney Cruise. What an adventure that was!! (More layouts to follow!) We had adjoining cabins with Jim and the girls on one side and the boys and I on the other. It didn't take long before all the kids were coming and going back and forth like one big happy family. People we met would not have guessed we were a blended family!
Shortly after embarking the ship, the kids spotted Stitch from the movie Lilo & Stitch. That had been a current favorite of Zach's and he kept repeating a line from the movie, "Ohana means family!" When I got home and started putting layouts together that line literally jumped out at me - we were family. These were the boys' new sisters, my step-daughters! I looked down at the photo of four happy, smiling faces and thought, "Yeah, we are family . . . "
I love layouts where I can use any of the scrap paper in my stash and this was one of those layouts! I used a sketch from Scrapbook Generation and loved how the background was composed of thin strips. I was able to use scraps from other layouts I had already done for this album so it coordinated beautifully.
I wanted the title to stand out because of the significance and special meaning to me, so I used one of my Sizzix dies from The Stamps of Life to create a background for it. Without the bright pop of yellow the letter stickers blended into the background. I also added a fun stitched border to complete the look and was pretty happy with the results - but even happier with the smiles in the picture!