I said this today …

on the Library of Memories message board, and when I went back to read it, I liked it.

here’s the original question:

My question is this; how do you balance living life and scrapbooking? I understand that the LOM system is huge in helping to be able to create at anytime. But with 5 children I get so caught up with the struggle of how to balance recording our story and the actual living of it. I don’t think there are any easy answers but I am open to any suggestions you might have.
Thanks for your time!!

this is what I said when I first read the question, last night:

Balance is an ongoing struggle. Right now, I’m pooped so I’m going to bed. I will respond with a more thoughtful answer in the morning!

and this is what I said this morning:


Ok, I think I’m ready.

First of all, living life and striving to live it
in the present is my top priority. The more I learn about my personal
creative process, the more I realize I have to protect and nurture it
– and my creative process by the way is NOT just expressed when
scrapbooking — my creative process is really how I engage with my life
or with any given moment. If I am too worried about tomorrow, or
regretting some action from yesterday I am almost completely blocked
from present living. I don’t mean to wax philosophical on you, but I
cannot be and feel creative or vibrant or happy if I am over-tired,
stressed out, or not spending enough time with the people I care most
for (ie family) so it really is all about balance.

Yes, I push myself to make a deadline, but I cannot do this day in and day out.

I am exceptionally good at delegating household tasks and letting go of
expectations or unrealistically long to-do lists. I am also very good
at getting up the next day and remaking the unrealistically long to-do
list, because I know that I will NOT get it all done, but that I will
get quite a bit done — certainly more than if my original list had
been more "realistic." I am very good at dedicating a limited amount of
time to one task and then moving on — knowing that a little here and a
little there is (for me) much more effective than working to completion
in one area while ignoring other vital tasks. Does that make sense?

I wish you could see how many pictures are in my cold storage boxes. I
wish you could see how many pictures I’ve taken that I’m not printing.
I wish you could see how many projects I’ve started and not (yet)
finished — and then I wish you could see my overflowing library of
layouts and all the adorable theme albums and mini-books and cool
projects I have done! No one cares what I don’t do — they never ask
about the unfinished stuff. They simply say "how do you do it all?" –
so see, it’s not that I do it all, it’s that I don’t give up and I keep
plugging along and I REMEMBER TO CELEBRATE WHAT I HAVE DONE — that I
think is the secret. Because outside of the context of what I could do
or what I have to do or what I want to do, what I have done is pretty
darn impressive.

yeah, I think that’s it.
Just start. Get your system set up and going — and then commit to
doing something each day or each week and don’t worry about what you
are NOT going to be able to do, because what you are able to do is
going to make a huge and important difference.

You know, I learn so much about myself from
having to answer questions that I wonder if we could all do more
personal interviews and do more self-discovery. The more we open up
about who we really are and what we really can and can’t do, the more
satisfied we are going to be with life — it’s a matter of authenticity
I think.

Have great weekend …
be you and be happy where you are.

p.s. did you see what Donna is sending me? Watch the movie too and think about how *FREE* Donna is with her creations — I want to be more like Donna!
(thanks D.)

Also, ordered this …

Angela emailed me the link and I love it.
It’s called SuperNoots and it’s an adorable magnet board designed to help kids track their healthy eating.
I got one starter kit and one add on (for Trey and Taft)
I’m doing my "spring get into shape thing" in April and I’m going to
involve the whole family. It’s been a long, dark, cold winter and we
have got to get moving and eating better. More on all of that very soon.


  1. Have a GREAT weekend!!!

  2. Stacy,
    I love getting the “secret insights” into the Library of Memories class!!MORE! MORE!
    Maybe you could print an addendum to Photo Freedom with some of the most frequently asked questions students ask while experiencing LOM….and, most importantly, THE ANSWERS!
    Ali Edwards challenges her readers to choose a “word for the year”. This year, I chose BALANCE. Your post parallels so many thoughts on balance…that it is daily, it is chosen, yet, one must “roll with it”. Oh, and it is “big picture. ” One must keep the big picture in mind to maintain balance on a somewhat regular basis.
    And let’s not forget balance requires not only “keeping your balance”, but inevitably “regaining your balance.”
    Thanks for another gem.

  3. Heather Crawley says:

    Preach it sister! After beating myself up for not finishing even a fraction of the Heidi Swapp year-to-remember class, I decided I had to figure out a way to balance life, as it happens, capturing it, and feeding my own creative needs.
    I finally decided to spent 15 minutes everyday doing something creative. It might be a page, a small project, or several cards. So far, I have finished a checkbook cover, cards, my daughter’s one-year album, and the album cover for our new family cookbook. I feel inspired after each 15-minute session and I feel a sense of accomplishment.
    Maybe, at some point, I’ll increase to 30 minutes per day…but for now, I am happy and productive with my 15 minute creative breaks.

  4. Michelle L. says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this! I have been really feeling the “how can I get it all done/ do it all” syndrome. You just really put it in to perspective for me. You are a wondeful inspiration to me.

  5. Such a great post! Thanks for encouragement, through your personal experiences. I am slowly learning to let go of the to-do lists that are too long and impossible to accomplish. Since adding my third child to the mix a year ago, I just haven’t been able to “keep up”. I am working on a new definition of what keeping up means. Thanks again!

  6. Wise words — happy to know that there are unfinished projects & pictures lurking at your house too. I agree that putting it all together is a tricky balancing act. I don’t think anyone can do it all. Balance is just finding the necessary pieces & letting go of the rest.
    I think that celebrating what we HAVE done is part of gratitude — gratitude for not only the completed works but for the life that we have been given & the opportunities that are mine. We had a family night on journaling the other night & then looked back on some of the fun events we have done as a family. My kids are finally looking at the scrapbooks after ten long years of playing around with scrapbooking — in celebrating what has already been completed, I have a sudden renewed interest in doing more.

  7. awesome & i think in your podcast from the lom class you said something about not doing laundry anymore – as of today i’m not either! :) still working on the balance thing but i’m feeling better about it all & am delegating more stuff and thats a good thing.

  8. Once again you make perfect sense. I should concentrate on the things I have done and not the stuff that hasn’t gotten done. I hope that you will still have this blog in the future as I look forward to each and every post. Thank you.

  9. MommaBean says:

    I am in this session of LOM but ended up reading your response here. Thank you for your openness and your inspiration. I enrolled in LOM thanks to a friend and one of those feelings of “you are just supposed to do this-right now.” I have to say that the class has met and then exceeded every expectation. I love your statement,”..my creative process by the way is NOT just expressed when scrapbooking — my creative process is really how I engage with my life or with any given moment.” I desire to live life Creatively.
    I finally had my AHA! moment two days ago during a session of photo triage and I can now say that I GET IT!!! The process is coming together and I think my brain might just explode with the sheer volume of ideas! It is a beautiful thing. Thank you for helping me rediscover the joy of this hobby. Have a great weekend.

  10. OMG that supernoots is soo cool…
    I myself have been trying to lose weight and SLOWLY making progress (using LA weight loss and loving it) but that is exactly what I do count my proteins, starches, fruits/veggies etc…
    so I love this for the kids!!!
    Thanks for the link!
    Ordering one for the kids right now!

  11. Thank you for the wise words. I will try to remember them while struggeling through the last cold days of the Norwegian winter. This seems to be a farwell-party, but I really hope that we don`t loose your positiv innput her on your blog.
    Happy weekend.

  12. Tess Davis says:

    Honestly and truly, thank you for sharing what you learn as you live life. I am always greatly appreciative, encouraged, inspired, entertained, and reflective. Thank you for being you.
    Tess :)

  13. Karla in So Cal says:

    All I can say is “Wow”, you never cease to amaze me. I love how encouraging and positive you are. Your words are always such an inspiration to me. It is so comforting to hear that you struggle with balance just like the rest of us. I am going to take your advice and focus more on what I have done and less on what I could have or should have done. My sister and I just signed up for your LOM support class in CA in June…can’t wait!
    - Karla

  14. as a mom of 5 kids I found your first book really spoke to me about WHY I scrapped. And I am about a year behind now and guess what? I dont care! thank you Stacy for making me realize I dont HAVE to be caught up OR doing pages in order. I can put aside the kids books and make a book about my Elvis Christmas tree if I want (and I did!)
    And Donna is wonderful (and free) and so is Tim Hotlz…I learn SO much from them! I LOVED your free mini tin book class I took too. Yeah, free is my price range for scrap classes…see the above 5 kids?? :)

  15. Ceci O Hurtado says:

    Hi Stacy:
    I like your answer and how is totally connected with your news on leaving SS. I have been following you since I took your classes in CKU 02, and I know how many goals you have reach: a magazine, books, marathon, adopting a girl, creating a virtual school BPS, etc etc etc, and you are still so human! I love the way your friends are telling you how much you impacted their lives, I just want to tell you : YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.

  16. So glad you posted this over here, because I totally missed it on the LOM board. Great advice, I definitely need a “perspective check” from time to time!

  17. Thank you Stacy for sharing your knowledge with us,I think since I saw a video of you in your house and they showed all you do since you wake up until bed time I have been impressed and wanting to know how do you do it,BTW I can’t find that video anymore I used to loved checking your scraproom and how incredibly neat it was, I loved Donna’s video too, hugs, Rosa.

  18. Stacy,
    I loved your response when I first read it yesterday morning, and was actually thinking about what you said about an hour before I checked your blog today! Specifically the part about remembering to celebrate what you HAVE done. I have three small children, work full-time, and always have many more things to do than time to do them, so I too struggle with finding that balance. I love the idea of celebrating what I have done (because I DO accomplish a lot every day!) and not focusing on the things I haven’t been able to do.
    On the topic of LOM, I inhaled this week’s material and am absolutely bursting! This class — I mean experience — is AMAZING. I can’t wait to have the pieces in place. I know it will take quite some time to get there, but just knowing I’m on the right track — and that I WILL get there eventually — is such a great feeling. Thank you SO much.

  19. I was so sorry to hear you’re moving ahead and leaving SS, yet so happy for you. I can’t imagine how busy you’ve been and the choices you’ve had to make. I know how busy and wiped I am, and I only have 2 boys! LOL! I will tell you, though, that you must never, EVER, doubt that you’ve made a difference in others’ lives. I’m on my second round of the LOM class (and LOVE IT!), and I’m learning what my limits are and that that’s ok. I’m bringing more beauty into my family’s life (and by doing that, bringing more beauty into the world, which desperately needs all the beauty it can get!), and cuter shoes into my closet. ; ) Thank you so much for all you’ve brought, not only to the scrapbooking world, but to the greater world at large. I know you’re on to great things…and I can’t wait to see what! :)

  20. WOW….I’m printing this for those rough days, when I feel like I’ve done nothing to “be me”. I love it!
    Thanks Stacy!

  21. Wow, that’s so awesome what you said – I love it! I’m definitely printing it for those days when I feel “behind” or when I’m not getting much done. Stacy – you’re awesome!

  22. I also think it is important NOT to compare yourself to everyone else and what they are or aren’t doing and how they do it. I see this happen so often on the boards and blogs and various groups. It really tend to paralyze a lot of people.

  23. Laura Lee says:

    One of the things I started doing when my children were little was a double column list. The things to do that I would put down and then in the other columns the things I did. (So, when I got caught with the bake a dozen cookies for tomorrow’s party, it was not added to the to do list…but to the what else I got done list. :) I got so tired of feeling like I was not accomplishing anything, when I KNEW that I was doing so much! :)
    It helped me keep that balance…the things I do to the things I need to do. :)
    Hugs and thank you for all the inspiration. :)

  24. Stacy, I love your perspective! It’s so true. ~Angie

  25. I am currently reading your Photo Freedom book. I am waiting until I get a new computer to start implementing all the ideas. But I am working on planning ahead and organizing everything.
    I just wanted to say I loved the answer you wrote up to that question. It makes me feel more comfortable with all the unfinished projects and unscrapped layouts!

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