more MISA + my page in the book

Each of the nominees for the 2010 Most Influential Scrapbooker award were asked to create a layout for the “Time to Scrapbook” e-book.
The assigned topic?
10 Things I Love About My Life Right Now.

It’s no secret (to my regular blog readers) that I’ve been through a difficult time this past spring. When I received this assignment, I thought,
“Great, what am I going to do?”
I don’t even like my life right now and I’m supposed to detail ten things I love?

I chewed on my dilemma for a number of days and finally came up with a twist on this topic that allowed me to be authentic without being a complete downer.
My layout is titled … The 10 Things I Love About the Things I Hate in My Life Right Now.

For about a year, my life has been one of change. From the demise of Simple Scrapbooks magazine and a new phase of growth and responsibility at Big Picture Scrapbooking to shifting schedules at home (all a part of growing children) and seemingly small but irritating health issues, I’ve been unable to honor several of my proven rituals that help me both cope and thrive.

Without initially realizing it, I started down a slippery slope of negative emotion and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I eventually found myself dealing with pretty severe anxiety, lack of energy and roller coaster emotions. Rather than admit these problems as being real, I chose to ignore and discredit them—I mean, how could I, surrounded by a beautiful family and amazing opportunities, allow myself to wallow in self-pity. I tried to “will” my frustration away, but this denial only added fuel to my fire of deteriorating self-confidence.

I was teaching Library of Memories right at the height of this craziness. I love teaching LOM, but to add it to my life, on top of everything else, I have got to be on my A game.

I wasn’t.

Only recently have I taken the time to really investigate my issues, uncover root causes and begin the healing process. I’m eager to share some of what I am learning. It’s not easy navigating daily life in this age of information and connection, but I’ve discovered through blogging that I am “never alone,” so as I share my experiences I hope to open a “Real Life” [edited 7.22 : I'm going to call these posts "In Reality"] dialogue about challenges that I bet lots of other women deal with.

Stay tuned …

Today, Ella is spotlighting Maggie Holmes and Jessica Sprague.
Click on either of these images to visit their blogs, get to know them better and of course, make yourself eligible for prizes!

We’re making the final leg of our journey home today.
This is a very good thing.


  1. I just want to tell you that you are a true inspiration for me. I’m so inspired by your way to look at life and the way you spread love, energy and inspiration. I have been home sick for almost two years now struggling with stress, anxiety and panic attacks. A week ago I made a decision to be a little more like you so now I really try to see the beauty in life, I try to be more positive and most of all I try to let myself play and do stuff I like. This has also inspired me to start my day with reading the bible. This was something I always dis before but since I became sick I just haven’t gotten around to it.

    I just thought you wanted to know that you are an inspiring person and I really hope you will feel better this fall and I love that your so honest about who you are and how you are feeling.
    Sending you lots of love from a very warm summery Sweden.

    • Veronica,
      One of the only things that has brought me peace during this struggle has been my scriptures. I especially love the New Testament and The Book of Mormon. When I start my day reading in either of these, there is an almost palpable peace that enters my heart.

      I’m so happy you are trying to make positive changes.
      Thank YOU for reading and commenting!

  2. Candace B. says:

    We know life is full of hills and valleys and I am glad you are currently on a hill. :)

  3. Andrea MacDonald says:

    What a fabulous open and honest post. I think we all go through our ups and downs but hate to admit it. I too have been going through change some good some bad but you just reminded me to stay positive and grow with it!

    • Isn’t that the secret — stay positive and GROW with it.
      Not always easy.
      thank you for reading and commenting.

  4. Stacy thank you for being so honest! I think many of us (me included) can identify with what you’ve been feeling and experiencing. This year I have been dealing with health issues, a sense of things spinning out of control, and true challenges to my faith and purpose in life. Then I think of the blessings in my life and am certainly grateful for those.

    One thing that I’m truly grateful for is discovering your website, blog, and philosophy on life and scrapbooking. It has re-energized me and my desire to scrapbook. As they say, life is a journey, and scrapbooking can help us through this journey. Know that you are a positive force in the lives of so many of us!

  5. 2010 has been an emotional roller coaster for me as well. My best friend’s husband (father to their 3 YOUNG children) was paralyzed in a car accident, a sorority sister of mine lost her life to breast cancer (mother to 2 young children) and several children in our community are living with childhood cancer. It’s been tough to find the silver lining in any of this, meanwhile I found myself eating through my emotions (anxiety, lack of control).

    Rejoining weight watchers (proven to work for me in the past) and scheduling time for myself have helped me, but talking with a counselor, a trained professional, is by far the most helpful thing. I don’t think anyone is weak for admitting their struggles; I think it takes great strength to allow help in your life when you need it.

    Thank you for sharing your story and for always being honest. We can only help ourselves and others with open, honest and shame-free dialogue. God bless!

    • Lori,
      thank you for sharing your struggles.
      I would very much like to find a counselor to talk to–I think that is so smart.

  6. Love that you’re REAL! Praying for things to get a little easier! [I've been there and still have my fair share, and maybe someone else's too, of anxiety issues-]

  7. This layout alone is the reason I will buy the ebook. Thank you!

    You and I are the same age and in the same stages of our mothering careers. Well, you have a little one, and I don’t (I am a preschool teacher, though!) but still…

    This has been one of the worst years of my life. The biggie being that my dad died after a long illness less than 2 years after my mother died from breast cancer. I’m also dealing with health issues, one after the other, that the health professionals can just tell me that “I’m just gonna have to live with it.” or “Well, it’s not gonna kill you.” Sheesh. It can be draining.

    So, thank you for your blog. I read it every day. On the days that you don’t post, I always hope that you are well or are doing something super fun with your family. I get a lot from your posts and thank you for that.

    I also took LOM this year and am still filling storage binders. Never got past that part. I love it that BPS is forever access because I sure need it right now. Never got the chance to do any of the assignments with Darcy’s class either…Maybe I can do the ones for Cathy’s class in September. If not, I know I can get to it when I get to it. Thank you for that.

    Wishing you a day filled with gentle mercies…


    • Helen,
      You are dealing with so much.
      I love that you are NOT creating extra work for yourself with these classes. We will be here when you are ready — just know that you need to create a little everyday. It will help you live with all the other stuff.
      This much I know.

  8. Wow! Don’t we all have things we love to hate? Besides I think it is important to document what is real not just what is good or a positive perception that may exclude the sad, scary or suckie parts of life. Our children will look at and read our scrapbooks and know if they are a lie. But I know that even when preserving those not so happy moments & feelings we can do it in an upbeat way that conveys the feelings and story without bringing the viewer down. I do a lot of this type of preserving and it is both gratifying and healing!
    Good for you!

    • LeAnn — you are so right. Ultimately I scrapbook for myself and my children and they will know if what I document is fluff or not. I love looking back on pages where I’ve recording honest feelings — it helps me see where I’ve been and how far I’ve come.

      Thanks for reading!

  9. Good for you for making it work! I’m sorry that things haven’t been exactly stellar for you lately, but I hope it makes you smile when I tell you that I check your blog every day (well almost!) and it makes me smile. You’ve got talent, girl! Hang in there – good things will happen!

  10. Yes to all of the posts and replies. And I was feeling all alone in my funk thinking and feeling everyone else out there in the big world was moving and grooving just fine. Not the ‘misery loves company’ thing but how validating if we can share to each other about what isn’t smooth easy flowing stream of life stuff but one that has a few too many curves, bends, and rocks and we can hold each other hands to cross to the other side? What a great honest declaration and hope for us all when we put it together on a page to share. Thank you Stacy and the rest.

  11. bea medwecky says:


    Thank you for being yourself. I love your blog and for me, it is even more valuable when you are real. I think people today (mostly women) are under a great amount of pressure to be perfect, to be all things to all others, AND to be ever so super happy all the time. This can create a lot of stress.

    When people ask me why I am not super-duper happy/cheery, my reply is “It’s all about being content.” This gives leeway to feeling super-duper happy/cheer some days or just down in the dumps other days. No matter what my emotions, I am pretty much always content.

    Can’t wait to read more.


  12. I have wanted to be a wife and mother since I was 12 but now that I just turned 50 I realize that dream will have to be fulfilled in the after life. Just recently I realized that I have spent most of my life trying to make up for not being “normal” by trying to take care of everyone and everything around me, being who others think I should be and denying myself. I have started to find myself again and from reading your blog and listening to you on Paperclipping Roundtable I realize that it is okay to like bright colors, to wear mismatched socks and flip flops, and record my REAL life in my albums. Thanks for helping me in my journey to find me.

    • Oh Jody — I’m so glad. My “wake up” year was 2004 and I have loved being me. Three cheers for this all-important effort.

      Thanks for commenting.

  13. Christine H says:

    Part of the reason I love to read your blog is that I often see myself right there in your words and life. Maybe it’s a mid-40s/peri-menopause thing. Recently, I found myself thinking “this is really the best time of my life… far.” It’s a good place to be. Hang in there. (key for me- recogizing the distance I had allowed between myself and God)

    • Christine,
      I’ve generally considered the present time to be the ‘best’ time of my life, until now. That is the feeling I am working hard to recapture.

      I so appreciate your support.

  14. Stacy,

    Your post really hit home for me. First of all, I want to thank you for your willingness to share. You are so wise. I have had a hard Spring, too and, with a complex set of triggers had my first real encounter with sustained anxiety. It totally caught me by surprise and I am still working to figure it out. I know that it was ignited by a stage of life situation. My oldest (who is the same age as your oldest) had a tough decision about summer opportunities. It was a stressful decision and brought into focus that he will soon be choosing a college and egads-leaving home. We have a great relationship and I knew this was coming, but somehow it caught me off guard and knocked me off my game for awhile.

    I would so love to sit down with you, have a cup of tea, and share life stories. Please know that I am in your corner, that you have greatly enriched my life and that I am sending vibes.

    With love, Leora

    • Leora,
      I will look forward to the day that we can have tea.
      I love seeing your name here and on BPS message boards.


  15. Congratulations on being Ella’s 10 most Influential Scrapbookers. You definately make my top 10 so I’m in total agreement.

    I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time with life. It’s best to share that with your family and friends so they can understand how you’re feeling. As a mother of 5 children, I remember going through difficult times trying to adjust to their schedule and mine. There were several times when I felt like I made no difference to anyone as I was literally meeting myself coming and going, lacking proper sleep, and most importantly had no time to myself. Just know that sharing these thoughts and feelings and giving your family more responsibility as they grow will help all of you. Praying for you.

    • I do have such a hard time sharing with my family (and husband.) I am working on this! I’m good with sharing the responsibilities, just not my feelings!

  16. What a real, open post. I also sometimes feel really down when I should feel up. Sending hugs!

  17. Renee T. (italgal on BPS) says:

    Stacy, I was finally privileged to take LOM in 2010, and I just wanted to say that – as an instructor and coach, you certainly seemed on your A-game, as far as class was concerned. I just hope it wasn’t at too great a personal cost to you, and I am glad that you are feeling whole and fulfilled again.

    • Renee,
      I’m so glad you took LOM.
      I survived just fine — just didin’t get to do some of the ‘extras’ I wanted to do!
      thanks for reading my blog.

  18. I know where you are coming from. I am in my (hmmm) forties and am going through many physical as well as emotional changes. The other day while my mother in law was visiting ,I justed started to cry and didn’t even know why. My mother in-law is a tough lady and she is not the type you cry in front of. So I was apologizing while crying. Very strange morning!

    • girl I am with you.
      why can’t the whole world be criers — or why can’t I control my tears better?!

  19. Barbi in Ottawa, Canada says:

    Thank you for such a honest post. I too, have been in a similar funk and really still working on it. I would also like you to know, I find you so inspiring in so many ways and I wish you a clear, peaceful mind to find your answers. Hugs too!

    • Thank you! I will take your wish to heart. When I can connect to my clear and peaceful mind, I know all will be well!

  20. Karen Schmidt says:

    Stacy, I read your blog everyday. You inspire so many of us and I’m glad you got one of the nominees, you deserver it. Hang in there and we love you.

  21. Wow, Stacy, thanks for sharing. Sounds like you are describing my life right now. Seems like everyone around me is coping ell but I feel like a duck – calm above but underneath paddling furiously to stay afloat. Your post and the comments of others has made me realise I’m not alone. I also did LOM this year and would never have guessed that weren’t on your A game. It was an awesome class and I have achieved so much. Putting my photos in storage binders made Darci and may’s classes so much easier when pulling photos. Hope things start falling into place for you soon. Off to check out that e book. take care, Deb (dalex on BPS)

    • If you only knew how often I picture myself as that “serene” duck!
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  22. I’m sorry you’ve had a hard year. I still think of Simple and all that went with it often and it makes my heart hurt. I feel like you and Cathy Z. have been a huge part of my life for YEARS. This this may sound strange coming from someone you really only know online but I love you so much it makes my heart pump peanut butter!!! I am sending good thoughts and prayers your way. Just know that as you said, you are DEFINITELY not alone and there are so many of us out here that truly care about you.

    • Tracie,
      I totally feel your friendship in a very personal way. I’m so grateful we have met, so that I can picture you every time you leave a comment!


  23. Your post is me all over the place….I care!

  24. Stephanie T says:

    Stacy–I hope it’s okay to post the name of a website that has truly been a blessing to me in the past nine years. Yes, my self-diagnosed perimenopausal symptoms began when I was 41 years old. Anytime I am going through a tough time of it, I go to the website. Without fail, I find a community of understanding women who are supportive, knowledgeable, and plain wonderful. During the times when uneasiness, anxiety, health fears, and the like were at their worst, I would go to the website, and invariably end up crying tears of relief (sometimes even joy) after reading through some of the message board posts from other women dealing with the same stuff. I am forever grateful to the lovely woman who started this website. All my best wishes to you–you are terrific, Stacy.

  25. Stacy, you never cease to amaze me. What a wonderful perspective on the difficult times in your life. You are authentic & inspirational through and through, despite or in spite of personal struggles. I too have had some rough times over the past year, and I really like your idea of a real life dialogue. I find that the world of scrapbookers are some of the most loving, compassionate people I’ve ever “met”.
    Looking forward to downloading/reading the eBook.
    Hugs & Peace to you….

  26. Nancy M says:

    Add me to the list of those that enjoy and appreciate your honesty and willingness to put it all out there for us to read about, and to those women who have posted the same. It truely is a help to know I am not alone. I am looking forward to your “Real Life” dialogue and I am sending a cyber hug out to all of us.

    • I really do want to encourage real life dialogue with an emphasis on uncovering our playfulness. Thanks!

  27. I was about to write the same thing as Veronica; so I’ll just say ditto. Just know that your readers love you and are there for you. You don’t realize it but you’ve been there for us pulling us out of our funk with your zest for life. So we are here to support you.

    big hug,
    Angie Kyle

  28. Thank you Stacy, for being so open and honest. As women we so often believe we have to carry our burden alone and I feel that if we would open up and share we would find that we aren’t alone at all. Even on your ‘down days’ your blog still lifts me up. You are an inspiration to others just by being you in all your imperfect perfectness. My prayers are with you!

  29. Vanessa B. says:

    Thank you. Sometimes the endless supply of “yea me” and “what a fabulous life I lead” sb pages can actually get me down – I think your page is a well-needed breath of fresh air! I will definitely be buying this book!

    Thank you also for your honesty. You help me realized that I AM NOT ALONE! And it’s very easy to feel that way when you have anxiety and emotions run amok. I too have these issues and it’s hard to admit that they are very real – even when you look around and see all the blessings in your life. There is a lot of help out there once you accept (and it took me many, many years to get to that place) and take action.

    You’re a special lady and I hope you get back to a happier place very soon!

    • Thank you Vanessa. I sincerely believe that there needs to be move away from “look at me” blogs to blogs encouraging an open forum for discussing essential life-navigating skills and attitudes. I so appreciate you reading and participating on my blog!

  30. There was a reason Ella Publishing picked you as an influential scrapper – and I don’t think it’s just because you are an influential scrapper! I think it’s because you spread sunshine, even with posts like this, and help the rest of us remember that we’re not alone, even “scrap-celebs” get the blues!

    I hope you find your path again (I’m still hunting for mine, but it’s becoming clearer each day), and look forward to reading and sharing more of the journey with you.

  31. this is ok to not feel ok the whole time. we are all human beings and ups and downs are part of life. there are so many people only being happy ever after in their blogs and this is just not natural. Thank you for your post and this is one of the reasons because you are so inspiring to so many people. Take care! hugs from Germany / Iara

  32. Kasandra says:

    Dear Stacy
    Thank you for a lovely heartfelt post! It was especially wonderful because of all the heartfelt comments after it. I want you to know that I still miss Simple Scrapbooks, you and Cathy were always such an inspiration. My heart goes out to you right now, it’s hard to always be “up” especially when people expect it. My 5 kids are grown now, 3 have left home…one married and one on a mission and I think I’m supposed to be less busy but I’m not, life seems even crazier……I too read the New Testament and Book of Mormon and they keep me grounded, reminding me what’s really important! I want you to know that every time I hit the “sprinkles” in a grocery aisle, I think of you and try to be happier! YOU truly are making a difference Stacy, lots of love from Kamloops, BC, Canada!

  33. You are amazing: how you continually share with your readers the challenges in your life, and how those challenges often reflect what most people go through in life. I have had some tough moments this summer-and have “put on the happy face”, held onto God’s plan, or tried to, and that contributed to my inner struggle. Thanks for the insight that 1) we’re not alone in our human difficulties and 2) we can scrapbook it, so future generations will feel they’re not alone. :)

  34. Oh Stacy I so needed to hear this right now as it is all too familiar. It’s good to know that you’re “real”. Thank you for being so open and honest with your readers. I suddenly feel less alone. I look forward to these posts.

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