Week in the Life Lemieux Style: Monday

Aloha!! I am playing along this week with Ali Edwards and many others and participating in Week In The Life. As much as I thought I was prepared, reading and watching album shares. I wasn’t quite ready for this project. Maybe it was the National Scrapbooking Day Weekend Online Crops that I took part in, or maybe I was so excited about doing this project that, when life in all it’s craziness happened I wasn’t quite satisfied with how it was turning (is still turning) out. I will say I am reminding myself this week, that there will always be next year, it doesn’t have to be perfect, my pictures don’t have to be perfect. This project is about taking a look at our lives. The Ins and Outs. The comings and comings. The messiness of life, the boring parts of life. The things that have a way of changing in small ways and then years down the road your realize your life isn’t the same anymore.

I think about what my life was like three years ago and it was so different. All my children were under the age of four. It was business, and naps and baby talk and bottles. I would have never imagined all that would be my life today. And that is really why I want to do this project so much.

So enough of the gabbing and on with my Monday, because yes it has taken that much time to edit my photos. (I realized I don’t really have much time to do a lot of mass photo editing during the day. I also realize that I don’t need to use the awesome and cool templates Ali has in her store until after my week is done.) It’s document now and then record it later! That is the best advice I can give you!! That and keep a little notepad with you it really helps with recording times if you want or thoughts, and conversations you heard throughout the day!!

 

This is Monday!!

Monday This is Espo

 

09:20am

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I literally wake up with a national scrapbooking day online crop hangover. I did 11 layouts over the weekend, hosted three google hangout sessions (that went for long periods of time) and chatted, posted and hung out online all weekend. It is a blast too!! But I was beat. This is how I felt!! Wanted to stay in bed all day. But we have school… So tie to get up.

10:37am

Monday 1037am

The kitchen is a HOT MESS!! it’s so bad I didn’t even want to take pictures of it. Sink overflowing with dishes, floor needed to be swept, counters needed to be re washed. The is what happens when Momma takes the weekend off from major chores. My coffee had to wait until I did my (and Lani’s ) chores.

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It’s nice to sit down at the table while the kids are playing upstairs hoping I will forget we have school. I let them play while I check Facebook, listen to Megan’s Voxer messages and drink some coffee.

 

11:20am

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I find Darth Vader in our laundry basket. It Monday and I try to do as much of our laundry then. This week there seems to be an overwhelming amount of it to fold. I wonder if Darth is actually causing my clothes to multiply or helping me destroy laundry?!

The kids have actually eaten breakfast and starting on school work. I am not gonna lie. We have about two weeks left of school, and the kids are ready to be done. Lots of stalling is going on.

11:42am

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This darn dog!! He is stealing the kid’s toys AGAIN!! This is the second toy already this morning he has stolen. I really thinks he does it because he wants attention. It’s hard to focus on him when I have housework and school work to do. It’s annoying that he does this!! He has ruined many of things this year with this habit.

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I get this message today from my Hubby. This is part of our conversation. I thought it was quite comical. He told me he was planning a date night tonight at home. And to think of Red. I start naming things that were Red.

12:30pm

Ben comes home for lunch, which normally doesn’t happen (I decided not to get any pictures of him since he wasn’t home long)

Lani is working on Math and Roman numerals and division. (How did she get so big?!!)

1:07pm

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I’m making peanut butter and nutella sandwiches for lunch. That’s Sam and Cayden’s favorite kind of sandwiches. Lani prefers Salami and cheesy bread (she really doesn’t like crust).  This year I have also started switching out some of the foods we are eating to healthier choices. Things like natural peanut butter, raw honey, coconut oil, chia seeds and much more fruits and veggies. I really want to switch to even more homemade foods and less processed junk.

2:00pm

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I made some smoothies today for my lunch. I always tend to make extras, so I share with the kids.

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While the kids are doing their school and drinking smoothies I keep folding laundry.

1:20pm

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The girls are stalling by showing me their boo boos. Cayden has a mark from Sam. And Lani pinched her finger in the door.  I am grateful for the fact that I can still help my kids feel better when they are hurt. I know soon there will be times this won’t be the case.

Monday 120pm

 

2:30pm

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I let the dog out and notice my plumeria flower is getting ready to bloom soon. This makes me so happy, I was thinking that they may not be ready before we go. It has been pretty cloudy this spring and these flowers really like the sun.

2:40pm

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Sam is playing planes in the living room while his sisters are doing school. It’s really hard for him to play without them. There are many days where I have to remind him not to bug them. The girls get easily distracted.

3:30pm

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Dinner Prep for the kid’s. I am using the leftover ricotta, mushrooms and spinach from the calzones Ben made for Mother’s Day. He made lots of filling, and it was perfect for the manicotti shells I had in the pantry.

4:25pm

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The laundry is mostly all folded now, this is all waiting to be brought up stairs.

4:36pm

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The manicotti is ready to come out of the oven. It looks and smells so yummy.

5:46pm

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Ben gets home late from work. Mostly because he stopped at the store to get these pretty roses. Flowers are rare, mostly because I would rather not spend the money on things that die so quick. It is nice for a change though.

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Our date night theme is Red. these are the goodies Ben has brought home. It is nice that he is so romantic!! It makes me feel special after a long day of normal, boring housework.

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Ben also bought me a cute outfit, in red (that didn’t fit me 🙁 I give him tons of credit though. He even looked in my dresser to try to figure out my size.) I took a shower and even shaved my legs!! I found this dress in my closet that was red, since I was trying to fit the theme, and my other outfit didn’t fit.

After getting ready I prayed with Sam, and Ben prayed with the girls. Our routine normally is that I pray with the kids Monday through Thursday, since Ben works during the week. Then on the weekend he prays with them.

7:33pm

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Ben has the dinner table all ready to eat. It looks so nice!! Candles, wine, Crab cakes and Mussels. Ben pulls out the chair for me. We eat and talk. It is nice even though I know the kids are just upstairs going to bed. It still feels like it is just me and him. No phones, no distractions. (unless the kids come down stairs for something, which thankfully they don’t).

Ben puts dinner away and checks on the kids. The girls are still up.

8:45pm

Monday Movie 845pm

We watch the Martian downstairs. Ben knows this is one of my favorite books from this year, which is how he got the red theme idea from. We only rented the movie but after watching it we decided we need to buy it. It was really good, and better true to book.

We eat dessert while watching the movie, and it is perfect. I know they are cheaper cakes, but I the the little pepperidge farms cakes. So moist and tasty. Ben said it was to sweet for him.

After the movie we head upstairs and go to bed. It is getting late. We put in Jurassic Park World to fall asleep, instead of Bones or NCIS (which is our normal show). I kept my phone off and tried to stay unplugged. It is hard for me. But I think it is starting to be important for me to have times when I can unplug and be away from social media and spend time (quality time) with my family.

 

That was my Monday. Filled with highs and lows, good and bad, but overall a great day. I got things done around the house so it was more in order. At first I thought I wasn’t going to have enough pictures to show how our life, our routine but after writing this post up. Really looking at our day. It really shows how ours days are typically filled with good and crappy parts of the day.

Can’t wait to share with you my Tuesday!!

Aloha, Hannah

 

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Let’s take a hike: Waimea Falls

Aloha My scrappy friends!!  As it draws closer to us leaving the island I have been adding places to this mental list of adventures I want to take and see. Hawaii is amazing, and has so many things to do and see. I want to visit them all so I can have a mental memory of them. Even if that’s not really practical!! Even if I should be starting to clean and organize.

I decided that once a week the kids and I would take one day a week to go on an adventure. See and do something here in Hawaii. Maybe re visit a place that was magical or visit a place we haven’t been yet. I am taking along my DSLR and capturing our adventures.

I will be sharing each week the adventures we went on and talking a little about the things we seen. Things we did. Revisiting and sharing just the photos from the day.

This past week I took the kids to Waimea Valley and Falls. It is a trail on the North Shore that used to be a living area for some of the local native Hawaiians. As you hike the trail you can go down other trails and see rock buildings and huts the Hawaiians built so many years. The trail eventually leads to a Waterfall that is fun for swimming. (We didn’t swim, since my kids are still quite little and I didn’t trust getting into the water with three kids barely knowing how to swim. The water did look refreshing though!!) The thing I really like about this hike is it’s fairly easy for kids, and there are tons of flowers and cool trees to see.

I didn’t really take pictures of the huts, though now looking through my photos I wished I had, but I will say with three small kids there is only so many pictures they would let me take… and this is where I share pictures I took of the kids waiting for me to take pictures.

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Sam wasn’t too fond of the hike. He kinda whined the whole way, so stopping often was good and bad. At the end of the day though he said he wanted to go back. Go figure huh?!!

Along the trail there were glimpses of a stream. This stream is from all the rain water that flows down the mountain. The waterfall helps feed this stream.

Where the wild things are

 

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It definitely made me feel like I was in the second Jurassic Park movie and any minute a dinosaur would be spotted drinking from the stream.

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We did see some lizards though!!

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And birds

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And bees

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We even made friends with a local (chicken).

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We took time to smell the roses (or should I say hibiscus)

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The flowers along the way were really pretty though. Here are a few that caught my eye.

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Yes that is the Waterfall in the background!!

The walk is about 3/4 of a mile.

walk in the park.jpgWhen that waterfall comes into view, it is breathtaking!!

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It’s not really big, as far as what I think of as Hawaiian Waterfalls. The rocks and foliage around the waterfall really creates a cool atmosphere though.

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There is just something cool about Mother Nature!!

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We spotted this really cool looking tree along our hike!!

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The Sunflowers were a fun treat. This bee is help pollinate the flowers, He visited each Sunflower in this cluster!!

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These are one of the coolest flowers I seen along the way!! They are star shaped but the color is so pretty. There kinda look like mushrooms before they open up, don’t they!

 

After We finished hiking the kids got ice pops, because I am not gonna lie. It was getting hot!! It’s summer weather here and that Hawaiian sun can be bright!! After ice pops I stopped and took advantage that the shrimp trucks weren’t to far. IMG_6430

The Coconut Shrimp are my favorite!! Yummy!!

I hope you look forward to my next little day trip and mini adventure. (Though with all the photos I take and share it doesn’t quite seem mini does it?!!)

I can’t wait to share with you! Until next time,  Hannah

 

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Capture

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I love this view!! Can I just start off by saying that!! I often look at these mountains and feel SUPER lucky to be able to see them everyday!! EVERYDAY! i just have to let that sink in.

In a little over a month I will be leaving this beautiful Island and moving some place new. I love adventure, and I know that our new place will have tons of that. But a part of my heart hurts knowing I have to leave this behind. When we came here on our honeymoon almost 10 years ago, I never imagined that I would be able to ever come back again.

And here it was some odd years later and we find out our next duty station, way far away from family, way far away from where we asked to maybe move, way far away from all we knew, but just the perfect place for me. It was like God smiling down on me, giving me a little gift because he knew I would never ask to visit again, I would never be selfish enough to imagine myself being able to live in this place that I had loved so much.

I know I am lucky, I had lived in Hawaii as a seven year old, and got to be able to go back for my honeymoon that first summer my husband and I were married. It was so much more than someone like me could really ask for. But I had also fell in love with the beauty of this place. It just calls to you. And you dream about it, thinking if only you could go again.

The day my husband told me our orders, I truly knew it was a God thing. Sometimes you just know when God does something nice for you to say Hey, Hannah I love you. I care about what you love!! Here you go, go live there for a little while.

I was so happy!! I am so happy, that I got to come back here for the third time. Many people never get the chance to view the tranquil breeze, the sunshine kissing your nose and the fine sand in between their toes. The taste of fresh sweet juicy pineapple or smell the soft fragrance of plumerias. I am LUCKY! I AM THANKFUL!!

Now after living here for three years is it perfect, of course not, definitely not!! I hate the traffic getting in the city during rush hour, I hate all the rain in the winter, or during a hurricane, I am not fond of the crowds of tourists not paying attention to where they are walking when crossing the streets. But the amazing things here far outweigh, for me at least (Maybe if you ask my husband he would tell you the opposite) the not so appealing things about living in Hawaii.

Now that we are leaving I feel that time clock ticking down and all the things I want to capture before we go, so I can lock them in my brain vault to remember forever!! Having pictures to prove I really was here, even if in the scheme of life it wasn’t really all that long.

I have the hardest time truly getting the perfect shot I long to capture when taking Landscapes, the wide shots. I feel like things get lost in that lens and all the detail I can see when my eye isn’t showing up. One ion the things I am constantly trying to do is practice taking those shots so I can better show others what I see when I look at these things. Like these mountains.

On my photo walk I actually like for the first time in a while I got a landscape shot I am happy with. It’s not perfect. The lighting isn’t all that great, there is a bit of haze from the vog (it has been kinda bad lately), and I wish frankly the houses weren’t in the shot. I am not one to over edit, to take things out, to spend a lot of time shading and coloring the sky and mountains to make them stand out, even if they were to look natural.

This is what I see out of my lens of my camera when I see these mountains. I just want to enhance it a little.

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So this is actually the original shot I took at the park. much more grass, a little more light and it’s hard to see the clouds that were actually in the sky. If you look at the picture at the top I did just a little editing (spent maybe 5 minutes adjusting the levels). And I like the final look.

 

You know when I set out to do this blog post I was gonna tell you all about this layout challenge I did. All about what products I used. How I went over my time limit. How I used a kit to scrap faster. Where I got the cut file I used for the background. But you know what, I feel that this story was so much more important to tell today. I am embracing my storytelling abilities. Because that is what I want my pages and pictures my layouts to be about, telling my story, all of it.

How I love Hawaii and feel honored that I get to set my feet on this holy red tinged dirt, how I get to breathe in the salty fresh breeze on a hot afternoon, how I get to taste the juicest and tangy pineapple. All these things are little treats that make my life so much better. These things help my soul feel happy.

That is the story I am telling today. I will add some pictures of the layout I made and you can browse through them, but I hope what resonates with you is that I am telling my story, the way I know how, through my lens.

I hope my layout says that. Shouts, I Love Hawaii and I am going to miss it, but I will remember it!!

So here are some close ups of the layout I made and I hope they make you smile!! I hope you feel like making a layout about something you love and that brings you joy!! I hope you take the time to capture in your life the things that matter most to you!!

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I think this acetate word from Pink Fresh Studio is my favorite element. It is perfect in the white space of the sky!!

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I kept the embellishments light, since I wanted the star of this layout to be the photo. I probably would be have printed it off larger if I had bigger photo printer paper at home, but I was out.

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I like the way the journaling (which is only half the story I want to tell), is peeking through the clouds!!

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The different textures in the cluster really gives this layout a natural and fun feel. Vellum cloudy like the haze, Cork like the texture of the ridges in the mountains, blue in the hints of sky that are trying to peak through and red like the dirt!

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You can watch my process video here:

(You can also hear more about the 15 minute layout challenge from my friend Crafty Meggy in her Youtube video.)

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Photo Walks

Aloha my scrappy friends!! I hope you had a great weekend. I had such a productive weekend, crafty wise with fun mixed in too. We went to a fund raiser we have starting participating in now that Leilani has been diagnosed with cancer. St. Baldricks is a non profit foundation that raises money and awareness to childhood cancer research. The kids loved seeing their doctor and nurse shave their head to show support.

As I may have mentioned lately, I am taking Ali’s Edwards Lens of Joy. In February I was able to purchase my first DSLR camera. I am now in love!! I completely love this camera, I barely want to use my IPhone, or even my point and shot camera.

Lately to better learn manual mode, because I am really trying to mainly shot in manual. It is scary, and not every picture I get is good, I often find lightening the hardest thing. Probably because where I live in Hawaii, one minute the sun shine is fully out and then the next minute it’s really cloudy. As difficult it is I am really learning how my camera works together to get the shots I do want to capture.

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Here are a couple of examples of shots that didn’t quite turn out because of the lighting, and wind blowing. The top picture I just couldn’t get a good exposure on these flowers. With the wind blowing and the direct sun, the color and exposure is way off. I tried to fix this in Photoshop a little but there was no way to save this photo. I think on my next walk I am gonna try again. Because these little flowers are really pretty and cute. The detail potential really has me wanting to come back for another try.

This bottom one, I kind of like though, even though I was trying to get the closer flowers more in focus. This one is blurry from the amazing Hawaiian breeze we get. I still like how you can see through the tree though.

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I have been doing a lot of photo walks. They often end up at the parks in my area, because my kids like to play. I actually really have enjoyed this though. I get a chance to capture my kids having fun playing, which is different then shots of my kids up close. I have realized I like to take shots closer, and with less background. I like that I am finding my photo voice. I am trying to take a step back and get more in my lens but I am also embracing this close look too.

 

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Here is an example of me taking a closer shot while my girls were playing on the playing. This bottom photo is me taking a step back and taking wider shot on purpose.

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I thought it might be fun to share some of the photos I have taken on my walks, and what I love about them. Especially since in scrapbooking and story telling photos can be so important for capturing a feeling you want to express. (not that all the pictures I took on my walks are for story telling purposes, because many of them are just for fun.)

Here is an example of a cool shot I took in my yard, on the first day. It was really cloudy and then started raining before we could take our walk. I took these shots anyway, just playing around with my camera. I really love how cool these shot looked.

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I then took this close up. I was really trying to get a spider web that was in between the links. It ended up being to delicate to get a shot of. Maybe if I had a macro lens I could have gotten the shot I wanted. But this link one still was cool.

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Since I apparently am on a kick for shooting pictures of chain links I thought I would share this shot I took on my last photo walk at the park my kids like to play at from time to time.  I was looking through the first link with my lens. obviously these pictures really aren’t for any kind of story but it was still fun to let go and just take pictures of things that were different. (I am actually thinking that some of these cool pictures that I have taken I want to get put on canvases and hang in the house as art pieces.)

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Here are some more of the photos I took on that cloudy rainy day. (Technically this wasn’t a photo walk I know, but I did take a few of photos throughout my yard)

I have tons of flowers in pots in my yard. I love when they are blooming.

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The veins in my plumeria trees are so cool. It will still be a little while before they bloom this year. I hope I can see at least on of them bloom. I planted them from small stubs, and they have grown so much in the three years that we have been here. I am sad I have to leave then behind.

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I wanted to get down low and get so shots of Sam playing with his cars. It was hard to not get all the stuff in the background that is on our patio. It really isn’t that big so it seems cluttered most of the time.

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These last two shots, I took to play around with perspective. Sam loves to line his toys up a lot. There is no order to it, but it’s kinda fun. To get all the background noise if you will, I took this overhead shot, slightly to the side. I really like this shot. But the shot I took up above, was fun too. I got on my tummy. I wanted a kid’s eye view. Because Sam gets all down into his toys when he is playing.

This picture of my flowers was the next day. The sun was out a little more, which helped it not look so dark, like the first picture I got. Also my flowers opened up a little more. This is my favorite shot I took in my yard. These orchids look so pretty and boy are they hearty. If only you could see the shape of my poor pot is in, it’s a wonder this orchid still blooms!!

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These pictures are from the first actual walk I took.

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These water manholes were so cool. They are all rusty and ragged, but the texture and lines on them I just love.

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Can’t forget to get more pictures of the local flowers!! The color on these Hibiscus is so vibrant!!

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Leilani and Sam wanted to hold hands on our walk. They look so sweet together. I love how much all my kids love each other. It’s easy to forget about all the bickering and fighting when you see a picture like this.

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Wide angle landscape shots are the hardest for me to take. I feel like the dramatic look these mountains have is lost in the lens. I really want to change the way I look at these mountains so I can get better shots. I did edit this in Photoshop to make the contrast in the mountains a little more. It tends to be hazy here in hawaii and I find that it really lightens up the mountains in my shots. The detail of the ridges in these mountains is incredible. I will miss looking at these mountains everyday for sure.

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This photo of Cayden is hilarious, which is why I included it. She was so hot from our walk. This shade is apparently just what she needed!! Being in the tree was necessary too!! The life of a six year old!!

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I love the perspective of this shot of Cayden in this tunnel at the park.

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I let Sam and Cayden play in the splash pad, and this picture of Sam running through the water is so much fun!!  This bottom photo is one of my fave at the park. I love the perspective and the feeling of this shot. I love how I got the shot at the exact moment he pressed the water button!!

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I took this on the way home from our walk. I wanted to play around with a self portrait style of photo. I barely am in the pictures of our albums. This is a fun way to add me to the albums along with the kids.

 

These last set of photos are from our second photo walk.

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They are just so cute!! It’s their turn to walk together on our second photo walk. I will admit I was disappointed in the pictures I too on the walk to the park. They really didn’t come out. The sun was shining so bright, I had a hard time getting good shots that weren’t all blown out. But really it’s ok, because the shots I did get and of the kids playing doing the things they love are what matters. Yes, I am hoping to really add to the Hawaii nature shots so I have lots to look at and admire when we leave. But in the long run, I think I will love looking at the pictures of my kids enjoying them selves in the years to come. I really learned a lot about getting good running and moving shots that day. So really I think that walk was a major win, instead of a loss.

Lani wanted to play the drums and apparently they sound cooler when you use your elbows!!

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Here is another example of how I like to take close up photos. I love how the movement of Cayden’s hair looks like in this picture. I think if I had gotten a full size shot of her, that aspect may have gotten lost.

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I got lots of pictures of the kids, especially Sam. He really would get sad when I wasn’t taken his picture. He was loving this fake rock mountain!!

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And the slide!!  Sam kept bugging Leilani to play Tag. I love this shot of them running I got. I love that with a fast shutter, I can freeze frame them!!

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To finish off my pictures is another shot I took in my yard, this last day. My plumeria is budding. I love the detail and color of the buds. I love how all these little buds will eventually be beautiful big flowers, with pinks, oranges and yellows on their petals.
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I hope you enjoyed going on this walk with me. I shared tons of photos. This isn’t even all I took. I really was trying to play and get to know my camera along with capturing my kids. I love how by changing myself I could get a whole new look.

I hope I inspired you to think a little different at how you take pictures. I hope you learn to love this aspect of story telling. I am realizing that I connect  so much more as I focus on new aspects, different aspects of what I am taking photos of. I will say that I will do try to take pictures and then put my camera down too though. I still want to interact with my kids, my surroundings to connect too. I think this balance is most necessary in learning to tell our story.

Aloha, Hannah

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For the love of birthday Pho

Last week I shared with you a new series Crafty Meggy and I are working on. I am so excited about this series, one I find when I do a series or challenge with a scrappy body I am more motivated to keep at it. I think it’s that it an accountability factor too.

This next layout I did end up picking out an extra 6×6 paper that matched my paper more. Though I am happy about the amount of paper I used on this layout in general too. I used a technique, or thing I do often. It’s as Tracie Claiborne (From The Scrap Gals) one off my go to designs. And I really love it, I think because by changing the size of the paper or even just the papers in general it really changes the look. My go to design is using strips of paper layered together. I generally like to use them layered under my photo, kind of like a photo mat.

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I picked out colors that matched this photo I decided I wanted to use. I don’t generally match all my papers to the color of my photo. I couldn’t help it this time though. The bright colors in this picture just called out to me to be used in a bright way on my layout.

The yellow paper from Maggie Holmes Bloom, in my kit reminded me of the lemons in my bowl. The Pink Paislee Citrus Bliss green mimicked the greens in my Pho bowl too. The pops of color in the Pink Paislee C’est La Vie paper reminded my of that spoon. It was like the stars aligned just perfect to document this story.

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This photo was taken on Sept 18th. My birthday. I am the worst at scrapbooking birthdays, I hate to admit it, but I really am. I think some of it is, almost always the pictures turn out horrible. And Really I think a part of me wants to enjoy whatever we are doing, opening gifts or blowing out candles. So I just don’t take many photos. I feel bad though, I mean I love birthdays, they are always fun. Growing up we always (and I mean ALWAYS) had a party to celebrate, the whole big family got together for birthdays. And then even on our birthday we got a special birthday meal. I feel bad we can’t always do this for our kids, for my little family because we are so far away from our immediate family.

Anyways I am getting sidetracked, aren’t I. Moving on. This picture is from my birthday. This year we decided to go out to dinner for my birthday without the kids. We have some amazing friends who can watch our kids from time to time, and our kids love it there and play with their children.  So going out without the kids in tow was actually possible this birthday, especially since we planned it.

I didn’t want to go anywhere fancy this year, I mean turning 32 isn’t a really big deal. It is another year. Not old, not young. I really wanted Pho. I really love Pho!! I mean I could eat it everyday for the rest of my life and be happy as a clam!! It’s so tasty and light and fresh and YUM!!

I wanted to scrapbook about this love, because maybe in ten years I will have a new love!! It’s bound to happen, I am a foodie loving person, I was almost going to be a chef at one point of my life.

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(leaving lots of open white space gave me room to do all the journaling I needed!)

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I love the look of these alphas by Seven Paper. The yellow mixed in the black just looks so cool!

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I love mixing the teals, blues and green embellishments. And I splattered watercolor at the end in these colors too. The look a little like confetti on the page.

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These phrase stickers are really fun too. I made sure I scattered them throughout the layout.

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I love all the texture from these strips of papers!!

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I made sure to curl the ends of the papers so it would lift off the paper.

Here is how it looks together.

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You can watch my process video here

 

I am really having fun with this kit. Even though Megan and I set out to do only three layouts with this kit, I am positive I will be able to get more done, which I will share in my Kill A Kit blogpost in two weeks.

Don’t forget to check out Megan’s Youtube Channel and process video for her second layout, with her kit. Remember her kit is a little different because we each made a kit from our own stash with the same recipe. I love this concept because you can add stuff you love, need to use and things that have been just sitting in your stash. Then we both have different looking kits too, even though we used the same paper as inspiration or start of our Kits.

I hope you have an inspired day!!

Aloha, Hannah

 

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The Joys Of Flying: March Clique Kit layout

In February when I flew back home to New York, we had to book my flight at the last minute. I was so happy I could even get back to the mainland when I needed too. But it was crazy, the flights. Flying from Hawaii all the way to New York in itself is no simple feat. It’s a really long journey.

I had to make three connections across the country. There was definitely lots of walking, even almost running at points to make these connections. I don’t think I have ever walked so long to make connections in all the flying I have done to date. I was however so thankful that I had no children with me to hurry along. I was also just thankful to be heading back home to be with the ones I love and help be there for them.

I really wanted to make a layout about this crazy trip. Especially since it was so memorable, having to recheck in through the airport between some of my flights. plus this was the plane trip I was doing all by myself across the country, without friends or kids. There was definitely lots of coffee ingested too, some good and some just to stay awake.

I thought that the fun nature of the March Clique kit would be appropriate for documenting this layout. This kit was built around the Seven Paper Studio Calico collection Goldie by Ashley Goldberg. There was also elements of travel in this kit too.

I will say I thought I recorded this layout, but apparently didn’t or accidentally deleted the photo age. But I love that I still can share this layout with you.

I decided to change up the size. I do things like this on occasion just to switch things up, it gets my brain to have to think of things differently. I think it’s a good way to stretch your brain creatively. I did an 8 1/2 by 11 layout. It is much different than a 12×12 size, you really have to think about how you are using your space.

I also decided to use more photos on this layout. I tend to be ok with using just one photo most of the time. Seriously, I do. I know it does not help in using all your photos from a certain day or event. It makes it so that you need more albums to tell all the stories that you want to tell. But I have come to terms that I will tons of layouts, and albums. And I know my kids may hate that they have to deal with them, but it’s their history and if when I am gone they want to throw them away, at least they had the option to know all these stories I told for them. (I really want to talk about this more later, maybe another layout later, because going home I poured over family albums and was truly happy they were available to look at. To be able to listen to my grandmother retell the memories of these stories in the pictures. She doesn’t scrapbook but I seen where that seed was started and watered. But that is a whole new layout!!)

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I really like the paper with the triangle sections. I really wanted to use this paper, and I though by having the photos in the center, or near the center, it would draw your eye to where all these triangles meet.

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By placing the photos off skewed I thought it would help the layout feel a little chaotic, which is what the journaling is all about. All about this crazy trip. I mean showing up to the airport over 12 hours before it takes off because there was a big chance for freezing rain. I didn’t want to get stuck in the country on roads that didn’t get plowed until after I needed to be at the airport for check in. So hanging in the small airport all night was interesting, Thank goodness for Dunkin Donuts and a good book!! Or having to spend extra time in the air because of a storm, though I admit the clouds from this Southern Storm looked so cool!!

I also did my classic layering but made them larger papers and just had bits of those papers stick out.

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I stuck many of the die cuts from this kit and January kit (It had Fancy Pants Designs Happy Place stuff in it). I used the wash strips to add bits without adding much bulk. The ALL THE COFFEE phrases strip was perfect for this coffee cup photo I had taken on the way to New York, While I waited in San Fran for the delayed flight. (This was one of the flights I had to recheck in, at 12 o’clock at night too.)

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I used that paper clip from the crate paper on my layout too. I thought it added a fun touch. And isn’t that sequin heart so cute!! I could have used more of those on this layout, if I had more space.

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I added that adventure cut apart on that tab. I even popped up this photo, to help separate the photos a bit, give fun lines, and add places to tuck in embellies.

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(BYW, The Martian is one of my top book reads this year! Though I admit I couldn’t restrict watching the movie first on the second flight. I then bought the book at the third layover!!LOL. They are both equally good!!)

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I had cut up that XO from one of the journaling cards from the add on paper pack from Photoplay. I just thought that looked perfect there. I added my journaling right on the background. I added the title above the photo/paper cluster. I like that it is a bit sarcastic. Though in the end I really didn’t mind all the craziness because I got to see my family and friends that I had’t seen in years. It really was just want I needed at the time, even though I didn’t know I needed it. I learned a lot about why I scrapbook and how I need to make and take the time to take photos that are going to capture the stories I live. The stories of my life and the ones I love to retell.

I hope you are inspired to think out of the box today!! Take some time, think about why you are creative, and if you are conveying the emotions, stories and feelings you want to when you do create. whether you just want to look at pretty pictures, whether you just want to remember the good times with the kids, whether you just want to observe life unfolding around you. Take the time to breathe it in, and see what you can do to recapture that on a scrapbook page, art journal, smash book, or whatever way you know how to get these stories out.

Aloha, Hannah

 

 

 

 

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#Selfie Beauty

Aloha Scrappers!! In my house if I don’t take a photo of myself I am hardly ever in photos. Except for when I am sleeping with my mouth open and my husband thinks thats the perfect time to pull out the camera!!  Do I really want those moments to be what my kids remember of me in photos?! Not really.IMG_3427

Every once in a while I make it a habit to pull those selfies off my phone reel and print a couple to make a layout with. Just so I have a few good photos of me for everyone to look at. Plus some fun details about me that my kids will enjoy reading when they are older.

Plus I love when Itake a selfie and it actually looks good! Half the time I just look silly or goofy! This layout I chose a good selfie that I really like of myself. I have a nice Hawaiian tan and glow about me.
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I used some of the Dear Lizzy Documentary Collection, which is my favorite collection right now. I am trying to use it and not hoard it an let it sit in my stash looking pretty there.

I really wanted to keep this layout simple with those pops of color. At first I tried to use yellow paint behind my layers and it just wasn’t working for me. It was too much color and not enough white open space.

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I added some black and white printable tags, some coppery little arrows and some glittery gold hearts to add a little more to the layout, but stoppeIMG_3430d there.
Here is how my layout turned out.

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You can also watch my process video.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoTJBBrxJsQ]

Thanks for stopping by today and checking out what I am up too!! I am hoping to get into a routine this fall/winter and post videos about 4 times a week. I love sharing and I hope that I inspire you.

Have a great day,

Aloha, Hannah

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Birthdays are the best: Chocolate S’more Cupcake Recipe

Aloha Scrappers!! The second half of September is always crazy in our house. We have two birthdays form the middle and end of the month, then in the beginning of October it’s my sons birthday. Birthdays are the best though. The kids are such a fun age for birthdays. We try to make them special for them, cooking their favorite meal, letting them pick the type of cake and getting a few gifts. They also get to choose what movies are watched that day too. It is really about the little things with kids, right.

I thought to share something different with you all I would share a cupcake recipe of the cupcakes I made for my daughter, Leilani for her birthday. She picked the kind she wanted me to make and I whipped them up. (Sam wants an Ice Cream cake this year, I think I will buy that instead of making it, but who knows, maybe I will try to make an ice cream cake anyway)

I made Leilani Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes with chocolate frosting. She wanted all chocolate this year, and it was yummy too. I admit though if I was making regular S’more cupcakes I would have made a lightly cinnamon cupcake with the s’more fixing in the cupcake and a marshmallow meringue Frosting. Now doesn’t that sound delicious too?!

I make everything from scratch, but I promise it really isn’t that much harder than a box mix, and it tastes so much better. Since I started making from scratch cakes I will never go back to a box, they just don’t taste right to me anymore. And if you make this recipe I think you will agree with me too. Here is the recipe I made this weekend.

Chocloate S’more cupcakes with Chocolate old fashioned Frosting

Cupcake Batter Recipe
( This chocolate cake batter was adapted from the Betty Crocker’s version of chocolate cake batter, I added a few things to up it’s game)
Ingredients

2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 2/3 cups Sugar
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cold coffee
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup butter, soften
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips (save the rest of the bag for the frosting)
1/2 crushed graham crackers (this is optional, also I sprinkled them to the top of the cupcake right before baking)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven 350 F. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners. I was able to make 23 cupcakes with this recipe, you may have a couple more of less depending on the amount of batter you add to the pan. Set Aside.
2.  In a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until well mixed. Scraping sides to make sure the sugar and butter are mixed fully. Now Add the eggs into the creamed butter and mix well. You will want to scrape the sides down, to make sure the eggs are fully incorporated. I find I like to mix until the mixture looks a little lighter in color too.
3.  In another bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda. I like to just use a whisk to get it light and break apart any chunks of these ingredients. You could use a sifter, but I am don’t mind using the whisk and really it usually does a good job getting the ingredients mixed well. Set Aside.
4.  In another smaller bowl or measuring cup, measure out and mix together, the milk, coffee, vanilla, and salt. I like to add the salt here, so it dissolves. I really hate when I bit into a cupcake and get a piece of salt that didn’t dissolve. Set Aside.
5.  This last step you really want to do in no more than three parts, so you don’t over mix the cake batter, or you will end up with tough cupcakes. This also makes not so tasty cupcakes. Add about a third of the flour and mix on low. (You don’t want exploding flour in your face or all over the kitchen) As the mixer is running add a third of the liquid. when the batter is incorporated do this step again. On the last batch of flour and liquid, scrape sown the sides, making sure everything is mixed well. Add the marshmallows and chocolate chips with the flour mixture. Still on slow, mix together and slowing add the last of the liquid.
6.  Everything should be well incorporate at this time. Get your cupcake tins. Now fill the cupcake tins about 3/4 full. I think this is a preference thing though. If you like big cupcakes add a little more batter to the cup. If you like smaller cupcakes, fill it half ways. Just remember if you fill it to high they rise out of the tin and possibly stick to the tin, I hate this which is why I fill 3/4 full. I also like to use an ice cream scoop to fill my pan up too. If you are adding graham crackers crumbs to your cupcakes, now is the time to do it. Just sprinkle the crumbs over each of the cupcakes.
7.  Bake cupcakes for about 20 minutes. When does let cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.
Old Fashioned Milk Chocolate Buttercream

(This is my version adapted from Warren Brown the author and owner of Cakelove)

Ingredients:
1 cup Milk
1/4 cup ap flour
2 sticks butter or shortening, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp powdered instant coffee (I like to Starbucks Instant Italian roast)
1/2 bag semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1.  Make a slurry with the flour and 4 tablespoons of milk. Whisk will and making sure there are no lumps. This is important, you don’t want chunks of flour in you frosting. After this is mixed well whisk together the rest of the milk in a medium sauce pot, and put the heat to medium.
2.  This process is slow going but well worth it, and you won’t be able to leave the stove util it is finished. I use a whisk then switch to a heat proof spatula to keep the mixture moving so it doesn’t burn. This is the point I add the salt too. Again, I hate biting into undissolved salt, yucky! But mix until this mixture is thick and pudding like. Take it off the stove right away after this.
3.  Add the chocolate chips and instant coffee into the hot milk pudding mixture. Stir until all the chocolate melts. Then stick you pot into the fridge while you do these next few steps. It will help cool down your mixture. If you used it hot, it would melt the butter and be no good.
4.  In a mixer add butter and sugar and mix until very light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix for 5 minutes. Make sure all the sides have been scraped down so everything is fully incorporated. (I like to use a mix of butter and shortening, I find I like this combo for my buttercream. The shortening helps it not melt as easily and the butter has a yummy taste. But you can definitely use all butter or all shortening. The all butter will be a lot softer and melt faster. I used this for this recipe, and the heat was not my friend. This is something to think about when making this recipe.)
5.  Once your chocolate pudding mixture is at least room temp, but better when colder, at least for this chocolate version, it is ready to add to the butter and sugar. add all the pudding mixture to the butter sugar and beat for another 5 or so minutes on high. This buttercream will smooth right out and fluff up. being nice and light and silky. I really enjoyed the mouth feel of this, almost like a mousse. The chocolate was on the milk chocolate side of taste. A good balance between sweet, milky and chocolate. Perfect for a kids cupcake.

Here is how the cupcakes look!

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I hope you enjoyed this tasty treat!! Have a great week!!

Aloha,

Hannah

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Blog-tember Challenge: What Am I listening to?

Aloha,

I feel like I have slacked on my blogging prompts for the Blog-tember challenge I am trying to take part in. This weekend has just flown by! I have a love/hate relationship with long weekends. I love that I can sit in my PJs all day and not have to go anywhere. Or Binge watch movies with my kiddos! The thing is, they end. It’s like having a bad hangover too. You want to hit snooze like ten times before dragging your limp body out of bed. The kiddos have crazy energy, and they really don’t want to listen or do a full day worth of school work. Homeschooling probably doesn’t help, because I get just give my kiddos over to a teacher they absolutely Love and make them deal with my kids energy issue.

Though I kick and scream, don’t let that fool you. I really do like the routine of getting up at a decent time in the morning and doing the same thing. Some of it is I know what to expect. And I know when the craziness should end, usually bed time, and I can do all things scrappy!! I live for doing things scrappy!! It helps center me.

The prompt for day 5 is to share with you my playlist. I am not gonna lie this is hard, and here is why. I have a pathetic playlist. I have maybe 8 albums listed on my playlist, and not full albums. Most of this is not being able to sync my players to the same computer, when that was needed. Most of my music is in CD form. Which I love, I love touching the disc, putting it in the player and having music blare through the house on my very very old three disc CD player (it’s seriously from the last 1990’s)

When I listen to music not in disc form I have been using Pandora a lot or sometimes I use ITunes radio. Which is nice because I can listen to music I don’t actually own and then decide to buy it when I love it!!

To make this a little fun and interesting I thought I would pick 10 songs that come up random from the stations I listen too, and random songs that I do own. This should give you a good idea of the things I listen too.

  1. Another One Bites the Dust… Queen
  2. Nothing But the Blood….. Rick Pino
  3. Squeeze Box…. The Who
  4. Running Man…. Hanson
  5. Chains…. Nick Jonas
  6. Hey Ya….. OutKast
  7. Youth of the Nation… POD
  8. I Gotta Feeling… The Black Eyed Peas
  9. Fill Me Up.. Kim Walker Smith/Jesus Culture
  10. Smooth Criminal… Alien Ant Farm

As you can tell I listen to such a variety of music!! You can thank my parents for that!! I constantly got a stream of The Beach Boys, Elvis, Frank Sinatra as well as Vineyard praise songs, Joe Satriani, Petra and so much more! Then you add all the music that has come out in the present.

I hope you enjoyed me sharing some of what I listen too. Come back later and I will have another Blog-tember prompt posted too!! Even if I haven’t posted as much as I would like too I really have been enjoying doing them!!

Have an Inspired Week, almost weekend!!!!

Aloha,

Hannah

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My Perfect Day

Aloha!!

Prompt #2 for the September Blog Challenge (you can go to www.braveloveblog.com to see the prompts in detail)  that I am taking part in asks me to describe my perfect day.

My first reaction was to say spending the day scrapbooking, with my favorite and closest friends that I have mIMG_1479et throughout this year. Maybe even having them all come to Hawaii and we could sightsee, shop, relax on the beach and take selfies. Then go and scrap those fun and amazing moments with them. And while this would be amazing!! Having great conversation in person with these amazing women I have come to know as friends. I feel like thinking about a day when I can meet up with them, is a little too easy of an answer.

True, yes, but really it doesn’t take much thought to come up with tons of things we could do together and have a blast doing them. I think for me doing this blog challenge is really to step outside of how I have been doing blog posts and really bring who I am out in this challenge. I want you readers to feel connected when you read, understand me a little more. When I make decisions in scrapbooking it is from all the collected things that happened in the past bubbling up to create something new.

Anyway back to the prompt for a minute. When I really think about this question, it makes me think about the impossible!

I LOVE history. In high school my favorite movie was Joan of Arcjoan-of-arc, with LeeLee Sobieski. Maybe because I felt like I could relate being a teen or I just love learning about a girl who stood firm when so many didn’t believe her.

Even now some of my favorite stories and movies take me back in time, when things are so different from all the things we have today. And I also wonder how I would fare among such strong people!

After I was married I started looking into my families ancestry. I was always curious about the stories of my family. How history played out for my family. What it looked looked for them, and what traits were based down through our bloodline.

When of the coolest stories I found was a letter written from a cousin to one of my husbands family members. He explained a story of my husbands third time great grandfather stowaway on a ship going from Ireland to Canada, in a hemp barrel with a friend. After being found nearly dead when the ship landed in Canada, someone from Cobh-1830sthe ship felt pity on him and took care of him. Teaching him about mining and his religion. After some time he fell in love with this man’s  daughter and they were married. Later they made the trip from Nova Scotia to Pennsylvania to mine. Along the way his wife had given birth.  I couldn’t imagine doing all those things!!

To meet one of or all of my past family members when they were alive would be amazing. Just to soak up their wisdom, knowledge and fervor to make their lives better for their children.

I mean isn’t that scrapbooking is all about?!! Telling these stories, of our lives, our struggles, our successes, our faults, and our heart. I am reminded of a quote that was used for the inspiration piece for The Crafty Maven Getaway (A Youtube crafty channel). It said,  IMG_1715

And really that really what history is, what scrapbooking is. All these little things add up and become BIG things that steers our future.

My perfect day would be to spend time with my family way back in history. Take in the sights of a world uninterrupted by phones and technology. Breathe in the clean air of the countries my family’s roamed. I know for the most point my family were just normal but their normal is what brought my family to this normal now. They took part in making history for all of us, even if it was living life normally for that time.

I would go back to when my family came across a great ocean and rode to a future that maybe was unimaginable to them but held such promise. I would sit at the royal banquet table of a feast in England, taking in all the beauty of the ladies dresses or the art hanging on the walls. I would sit at the side of my husband’s 3rd time great grandfather’s mother as he kissed her for the last time, leaving so he have a better life. I would watch as my 10th great aunt sat on the witness stand telling of how she saw her brother kill her sister with an axe. I would go back to and help plow tIMG_1869he cold ground at dawn with my 3rd time great grandfather. I would go back and ride the train across New York looking for work in the early 1930s with my great grandfather.

I think all these moments in time would be so cool to witness. Them living their lives no matter how easy or hard that was for them. Them making history for me, my history! I think in many ways this is really why I scrapbook, to keep my history alive. One day my 3rd time grand daughter may want to go back and know what it was like living in a time that she could hardly imagine!!

I hope you are all enjoying getting a look into me. I am really finding it fun to take a different approach this month on some of my blog posts!!

Until next time, Aloha and have an inspired day!!

Hannah

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