{grow with love} day eleven

I’m so happy to bring with you our first Grow With Love post and prompt of Week Three.  If you’re just now finding us, welcome welcome!  Please feel free to dive in whenever and where ever you feel comfortable.

The backstory:  Crystal and I have had it on our hearts for a long time to collaborate on a project that was something more than “just” templates.  But also a project of journaling prompts so that anyone who wanted to delve into a special kind of storytelling could join have place to start.  We were inspired by our own real life musings and reflections into our loves and relationships and so Grow With Love: Marriage Edition was born.  It is a series of 20 templates and 20 journaling prompts that we hope will inspire you to scrap about and improve your own loves and relationships.  You can snag the templates and prompts here or here.

To recap:  We are spending 4 weeks or 20 days exploring the journaling prompts together.  Each day (Monday – Friday) we hop back and forth between my blog and Crystal’s blog, exploring a fresh prompt.  Anyone is welcome to join us any time.  You can tackle all the prompts with us, or just the ones that touch you most.  This is a self-paced project.  And you are welcome to scrap with both the templates and prompts or just the prompts, whatever inspires you most. Though if you’d like to be eligible for the prizes (including a fabulous photo book of your very own Grow With Love project!) you will want to check out the Day One post for details.  You’ll probably want to check that out anyway to learn more about the project.  lol.

And so here we are.  We are starting Week Three.  Woot!  We’ve been loving everyone’s pages so far and we’re so happy to see you joining us on this adventure!  So far we’ve gotten nostalgic, we’ve exlplored our notions of love and relationships, we’ve shared our own love “history”, we’ve given thanks, and we’ve started to consider how we look at our loved ones and at ourselves in the good times and in the bad times.  All of this has been gradually building the foundation for some of the meatier prompts.

And that’s where we land today.  Day Eleven builds on some of the reflective prompts we’ve explored.  And it asks us to recount, in a kind of specific way, a moment of conflict (goodness knows we all have those, right?).  Let’s take a closer look:

This one is tricky.  It was for me.  I suppose that’s because reflecting on these less than sunny moments can be uncomfortable.  Also it can be difficult to really get down to the “he said she said” or it may be difficult to even recall these moments well.  I just knew that I thought and thought and thought about this one for days.  And then I sat and sat and fiddled and fiddled with my page for hours.  In the end I was left with a page that has me “confessing” in a way, my own hand in where things went awry.

It’s easy to remember a conflict in a way where you are the protagonist and all the blame lies at your spouse’s feet.  But when you start to think of it and scrap it for all of posterity and for your family to see one day it becomes more difficult to just stick to “one side of the story”.  And so I scrapped what has become “legend” in my own relationship.  It’s one of those conflicts that we can look back and laugh at now, some 10 years later, and of course we both remember the key snippets of obnoxious behavior and all the details are muddied.  And since my husband is sure to make sure I’ll never forget my own hand in the ridiculousness forevermore (and I his), I figured I may as well memorialize it on paper.  LOL!

Today it all seems so silly, but generally speaking this epic fight was definitely a live and learn moment.  We didn’t fight fair here.  We both behaved badly.  And we can look back and see that both “he” and “she” had a hand in things going so wrongly.  And we can look back and see where we’ve grown as a couple and what we’ve done better since then.

This prompt can really be a powerful one if you let it.  Even if you scrap something a little on the silly side, as I have done.  But you are welcome to just scrap as you feel led..go really deep and reflect on something serious, or something less so.

Remember too, that journaling is often really personal, especially for scrapping moments like these.  So it’s not necessary to share everything when you post unless you are comfortable.

We hope that when you finish this prompt, you feel a sense of letting go or a sense of better understanding.  Just try to have fun with it and pour yourself onto the page and I know you’ll be proud of where you end up.

Don’t forget to hop over to Crystal’s blog tomorrow for Day Twelve.

Until then, enjoy planting your story…

{grow with love} day nine

I’m happy to bring you Day Nine of the Grow With Love project.  I hope you’ve enjoyed following along so far!  We’re nearing the close of week two of the prompts and the halfway mark for the project!  Don’t forget you can join in any time and we hope you do!  Crystal and I have loved seeing your pages so far!  What a heartfelt journey!

So, as per usual, we are hopping back and forth between my blog and Crystal’s blog for the prompts and yesterday Crystal had us considering “all the good things” as we focused on and thought about the positive things our spouses and loved ones do for us and with us.  And that exercise in finding the good sets the stage for today’s prompt:

As I looked over my list and considered my page from yesterday, I noticed a common thread woven in and around the things I love so much about my husband and the things he does for me and for our family: integrity.  And so I reflected on that characteristic and scrapped about it and gave thanks to him for it.

And just look at this gorgeous page by Crystal.  It’s so emotive and you can just feel the love jumping off the page.

You’ll notice we call this an “act” prompt because we hope you will actually let this one touch your life in a more tangible way.  Actually literally give thanks to your loved one..maybe by sharing your page, or maybe in a love note, or just out loud as you notice your spouse doing something positive.

This is something I’ve personally been aiming to do more often…because I certainly feel grateful for all that he is and does, but I don’t always put voice to that.  And when I do, even in those moments when maybe I don’t really feel like it because I’m angry or I’m preoccupied, or because I figure he already knows, it really makes a difference.

We hope that you’ll enjoy reflecting and giving earnest thanks to your spouse or loved one through your scrapping and “in real life”.  And don’t forget to visit Crystal’s blog tomorrow for Day Ten and prompt 10.

And then you’ll see me back here on Monday for the start of week three and Day Eleven.

Until then, Happy Scrapping!

{grow with love} day seven

I’m so happy to bring you Day Seven of the Grow With Love project.  I hope everyone had a beautiful weekend and that you’ve been enjoying the journey so far!  If you’re just finding us, you can read back through my posts, starting with day one for all the details about the project.  We hop back and forth between my blog and Crystal’s blog each day and she got you started with week two/prompt six of the project on my birthday yesterday.

Prompt six gave you a taste of one of the deeper, challenging prompts that we hope really got you thinking not only about scrapping your feelings and reactions to the prompts, but taking action too.

For today’s prompt we take a break from the heavier stuff for a bit as we have fun thinking about songs and lyrics.  Let’s take a look at Day 7:

I had a ton of fun with this prompt because I love love LOVE music and lyrics.  I’ve always been one of those people who expresses herself through music and through words and so many songs speak to me.  I knew right away that I wanted to almost literally catalog the “soundtrack of my love” with my husband.  As I scrapped I listened to all the songs that have held meaning for us in our relationship.  The songs played during our wedding collage/video, songs that I’ve included in the mix Crystal spoke of in yesterday’s post, songs that my husband played for me when we were falling in love…all that gooey stuff.  And I was transported to each time and place.  Music can be so powerful like that, can’t it?

And while I jotted down lyrics here and there and listed our “soundtrack”, another option would be to pick just ONE song and really scrap the emotions associated with it, or even just the lyrics.  You could scrap your wedding song, a favorite song, a song you sang to one another, a song that was powerful during a rough time…whatever your heart leads you to scrap.  No matter what direction you take, we hope you will enjoy getting a little nostalgic and letting the words and music fill you up.

Hope you have fun listening and scrapping!!  And be sure to head over to Crystal’s blog tomorrow for Day 8.


{grow with love} day five

Hope everyone is having a beautiful Friday!!  I’m sorry to say this post will be a bit on the brief side.  My daughter has been quite unwell in the past couple days and the only remedy has been mommy loves and cuddles, so my time is short today.

But I really hope you all have been enjoying following along with week one of the Grow With Love project! If you’re just discovering us for the first time, I hope you’ll feel comfortable to just dive right in..either at the beginning or at any time.  This is a self-paced kind of adventure so you are welcome to join us at any time.  to review all the details feel free to peek at the introduction and day one post.  Then you will just hop back and forth between my blog and Crystal’s blog to follow all the prompts.

We have spent week one reflecting on memories and feelings and our thoughts/ideas about love.  All of this has been meant to build a kind of foundation from which we will delve deeper and get a little more specific as we reflect, remember, share, and act in our love lives.

Today, Day Five, is one step into a more specific look back into our love history.  But it’s a fun and light kind of prompt that we hope will leave you feeling both fond and grateful for your loved one.  Here’s our day five prompt:


I know that gifts can sometimes read as “symbols” in our relationships…symbols of thoughtfulness, of caring, of being plugged in, romantic or otherwise signs of appreciativeness and kindness.  I hope that reflection on a gift, or little gestures, or any of the times your spouse/loved one has expressed care and love for you with a gift has you feeling a little warm fuzzy inside.  Here’s a bit of inspiration for you from the ever amazing Crystal who reflected on a gesture that touched her heart.  And goodness is it stunning:

I’ll be back with more inspiration once my little sweetie is feeling better.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy a beautiful weekend.  Remember week two picks up on Monday with prompt 6 on Crystal’s blog.  Until then, have fun reminiscing and sharing!!

{grow with love} day three

Hope you have enjoyed following along with the first couple days of the project as we set our compasses for the remainder of the project and start to get a little nostalgic about our loves and relationships.  We have looooved seeing your pages so far and hearing the positive responses to the project!  If you haven’t started yet, that’s okay, there’s still plenty of time to dive in!  Really, this is a go-at-your-own-pace kind of project.  And if you need to catch up on the organizational posts (schedule, giveaway/prize details and such) feel free to check out the first post to capture all that information.

These first few prompts have been kind of easing us into the mind-frame of getting reflective and remembering the core of goodness that is in every relationship.  I know I’ve really appreciated setting aside some time to consider my hopes for my relationship and in looking back at the earlier days. I’ve been feeling really full of happy, I have to confess, as I think back to beginning.  I’ve been reminded of all the fun little goofy and sweet and romantic moments of falling in love with this man by my side.  The falling in love part is different from the staying in love part.  Both are beautiful, but the falling part is….special.

And that’s where we are with day three.  We’re in the thick and the thrill of the falling.

With this prompt, let yourself really dive into those feelings.  Maybe you still feel them, or maybe they are long gone, but I think there’s a lot of happy and calm to be found in letting yourself relive them a little bit.

Some things to consider…what kinds of activities did you and your loved one do together then?  How did you speak to one another?  Did you give lots of gifts, share lots of affection, get more romantic?  Did you spend hours talking?  Did you spoon?  Did you make people roll their eyes with your gooped-up-in-love behavior?  Could you not stop smiling?  Could you not stop thinking of your sweetie?  Did you daydream about your future?

Start thinking of these things and others and then put the figurative pen to paper and just scrap about those feelings.  Maybe a stream of consciousness kind of journaling, maybe a list, maybe a story of a special moment, or THE moment you knew you were really in love.  This is the courtship page.  We hope you’ll just have fun and get a little giggly and full of fond memories as you remember.

Maybe you can dig up some photos from those first days.  Or if you don’t have many, maybe just use a more recent photo, or go photoless.  I think you’ll find the main objective with this prompt is *mood*.  Most importantly just have fun and scrap as you are comfortable.

Here’s our plays for remembering the courtship…

I just love Crystal’s fun photo and her beautiful use of color and tones to convey a wonderful calmness and cohesiveness.  The whole page has a fabulous love worn look to it that I just fell in love with the moment I saw it.

and mine…which boo! is missing at the moment.  I’ve been fighting with Photoshop this evening (which is mostly why this post is so dreadfully late today) so I will be back as soon as it bends to my will to share my take on this prompt too.  I wanted to get this post up though before today became tomorrow.  lol!

We hope you’ll have fun meandering down memory lane and hope you kind of feel like I did…almost as though I was re-feeling the falling.  Fun fun!!

Please come back and link us to your page for day three, whenever you can.  We’d love to share in this journey with you!

And don’t forget to hop over to Crystal’s blog tomorrow for day four when we start to get into a little meatier (but fun!) territory.

Happy Scrapping!!

{grow with love} day one

Welcome to the Grow With Love project!  Crystal and I are thrilled to dive into this adventure with you!  We’ve I’ve been jibbering jabbering excitedly about it for a few days now (Crystal has been much more calm and restrained and completely less goofy). But we’re both looking forward to challenging ourselves, getting reflective and having fun as we “grow with love” together.  Most of all we hope that, at the end of the project you will have a series of heartfelt pages you’re proud of and that this process reaches out beyond the pages a bit and into your lives in a real way.   We can’t wait to get started!

Whether you’ll be using the templates (you can snag them here and here) or not, we hope that you’ll be inspired to share your heart and stories and delve in to new creative territory along side us!

We will be posting each weekday for four weeks –covering all 20 prompts in our Grow with Love project.

Week One: Monday 12 July – Friday 16 July

Week Two: Monday 19 July – Friday 23 July

Week Three: Monday 26 July – Friday 30 July

Week Four: Monday 3 August – Friday 6 August

Each day we will post a prompt and delve into it a bit more, sharing our own inspirations and pages and hopefully giving you a bit of a creative push for your own pages.  You can follow along at your own pace, or if you’d like to participate for the prizes, post your pages by the project deadline, Friday 13 August, 2010, which is one full week after the project closes.

Either way, we encourage you to share your pages with us and hope you’ll have fun and feel inspired and challenged.

The prizes include one 20 page photo book for one lucky participant (who uses both the templates and the prompts) and gift certificates to zinnias and swallowtails and Designs by Crystal Livesay!!

So let’s dive into Day One, shall we?

Today’s prompt is:

When you’re thinking of your “one word” you want to really delve to the core of how you view your relationship now and your hopes for the future of your marriage.  Think of it as a kind of compass directing your steps each day, each week, each month, each year.  It can be a word that is a foundation you and your spouse hold together or one you hope to focus on for yourself.

This kind of foundation and compass is something that Crystal and I have discussed quite a lot.  And since we often share similar thoughts and beliefs it was no surprise that we were both drawn to the same “one word”.  Here is Crystal’s beautiful page:

And here is my page:

As you can see, we were both drawn to create photoless pages for this prompt, but you can easily incorporate any photo(s) that inspire you.

The most important thing as you select your word, which you can do on your own, or with your spouse, is to really reflect.  This will be a word that can be really powerful for you in your relationships.

For me, I felt pulled to “respect” as a word I hope to personally guide my own steps in my marriage.  One that is rooted in my faith and that symbolizes a foundation in faith for me and my husband.  It is meant to be a daily reminder to myself of what I hope to give my husband in my actions and words and thoughts.

We can’t wait to see what words you feel drawn to.  And we look forward to each new day!!

Remember to be eligible for the prizes, please be sure to share your own pages in the comments section of each day at any time before Friday 13 August, 2010. For example, link us to your Day One page in the comments of this Day One post.  Day Two, for Day Two, etc.  You can use both our templates and prompts, or just the prompts, or neither and just follow along in the spirit of the project (and we hope you do!) but in order to be eligible for the shutterfly album we ask that you use both the templates and prompts.  Everyone is eligible for the gift certificates.  Woot!

update: through the course of the project we realized that asking participants (who were joining along with the hope of winning the prizes) to use only our templates was a little limiting.  Creativity doesn’t always work that way and with such a personal process and personal prompts we really just want to encourage everyone to express and explore themselves in whatever way best suits them and their own story.  SOOOO…we made a change during the process to say: that anyone playing along for the prizes would be matter if they used the templates or not.  We love to see pages with our templates, but the most important thing to us is the journey and the story.  Thanks for bearing with us..this is our first time doing something so huge and it’s a bit of a learning process for us too too.

We can’t wait to see your pages and we are looking forward to “growing with love” with you!  Crystal will be hosting Day Two tomorrow on her blog so be sure to hop on over there for a deeper look at prompt two.

Happy Scrapping and Happy Growing!

ooh p.s.  if you missed out on snagging the templates during Happy Hour at After Five Design this weekend or because of the downtime at Oscraps, Crystal has extended her sale and you can snag the templates at her shop for 20% today and tomorrow.

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