Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Alphabet Project/ B is for Books

Z love his books.  He likes to be read to and he loves to read to himself.  I love to listen to him reading through his books it makes me realize how John and I put different emphasis on parts of the stories because he does the same.  I hope he always enjoys reading.


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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Alphabet Project/ A is for....Anticipation

Last week  the Tiny American visited an indoor play area, they had several things he liked but he LOVED the giant bubbles.  They had the child stand on a circle and then pulled up a hoop around them that when the bubble was created they were inside.   He could not get enough of this. You can see the anticipation on his face and with his body language.  I like that even though he knows what is about to happen he is still anxious about it and doesn't quite understand the magic of it yet.

Such a big smile!
This one looks like he is actually leaning on the bubble.

Bubble Boy


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Wednesday, September 16, 2015


What I want to share today is a little more  personal than what I normally talk about.  My life is an open "Facebook" as long as you don't try and read between the lines. I"ll be the first to admit  that sharing stuff about Laura the mom and Laura the wife is way easier for me than sharing stuff about just Laura.  Don't get me wrong those are the two favorites parts of me.  I love being a mom, I never really wanted anything else, and God has blessed me with 3 boys who I get to be mom to.  The second part, being a wife, I love that too. John was seriously a gift to me....he saved me and I can not wait to spend the rest of my life loving him.

For those who know me well, who I trust enough to let all the way in, you may have seen the other parts of me.  I am a loyal friend, I  have a very soft spot in my heart for tiny humans and rescue dogs, I love to bake, I am creative, I like to document  our little family's history through pictures, and I suffer with anxiety and depression.

Six years ago my life fell apart, all the way apart.  I had done such a good job of making it appear that all was well , no one, not even I saw it coming. It started gradually and then all of the sudden I didn't even recognize myself. Depression consumed me.  I was lost.  I grasped at the pieces of what only days before had looked normal, had felt normal and tried to press them back together. What started as a nagging in the back of my head now consumed my every moment.  I couldn't think.  Getting out of bed was a challenge.  Leaving the house was overwhelming.

Depression is a horrible, dark and lonely disease.  No one wants to talk about it.  Well meaning people who don't really understand it will suggest a diet change, exercise and more sleep, they will tell you to look on the bright side....the problem is, there is NO bright side.  Depression is a disease just like diabetes or any other chronic illness.  Some days you feel good other days you feel awful and then there are days that you feel nothing, those are the hardest days.  You are uncomfortable in your own skin, you want to relax but can not.  Everything hurts, a physical pain. You are dizzy, a constant state of fog and you are exhausted to the point of confusion. It sucks! You want to be happy, you try to climb out from under the weight of the darkness that is filling your head, but you can't.  Believe me when I say we try.  We try really hard and if you are lucky enough to have a support person who is patient and understanding you try harder.

Because I am one of the lucky ones and I have John and my family to support me, I always find my way back when I slip into the darkness. It has been a gradual process.  Some days I have to work so hard just to do normal things that I don't have the space in my head or the energy to enjoy my hobbies. Depression stole my concentration, my creativity.  I used to be a scrapbooker.  I loved the creative process, the completed projects, the fact that I had created something beautiful.  One day it was there and the next it was gone.  I would stare at my paper and pictures and have no idea how to put them together so I would just give up.  Eventually I stopped trying at all.  When we moved to Texas I didn't even unpack my supplies.  When we moved to Taiwan I just left them in storage in the U.S.  I decided that was just a part of me I wasn't getting back.  In January I signed up for a monthly kit club at my hometown scrapbook store.  Every month they were coming and most months I wasn't even opening them.  I am not usually a kit person but I thought maybe it would get me back in the mood.

A few weeks ago the Tiny American got really interested in coloring and creating with his stickers and I felt a familiar twinge to pull out my paper and pictures.  I looked up some sketches and made a layout that I loved, and then another....they are simpler than some I have made in the past, my "stash" is small right now, but I did it!

I know there will still be days that my creativity will be clouded, that I won't have the energy, but right now I'm just so happy to know that it isn't gone.  If you are reading this and you suffer from depression, anxiety or mental illness and feel like you have lost parts of yourself; I pray that this gives you hope that in time you will find them again.

My Hometown Scrapbook Store has an online magazine that they publish every other month, I submitted my 2 new layouts to them for use in their September issue, I am happy to say they are using both!  You can see them HERE in the readers gallery. And if you are near Springfield, Missouri and you love any kind of paper crafting check them out, Scrapbook Generation, or you can shop their online store.

This is one of the last Layouts I made....I will be happy when I fill up my stash again with accessories for my pages!
This is one of the Layouts in the new issue of Create magazine.

This was one of the very last layouts I remember being really happy with.  It was in a very difficult moment of my life.  I love it and love that I have it to look back on and see how far I have come.

See this Layout in Create Magazine


Monday, September 07, 2015

Funny Things we see....

I have contemplated getting a dog.  I know it wouldn't be practical. Living in an apartment with a toddler and needing to take a dog out to go potty and for walks just doesn't sound fun to me. I love the companionship of a dog and miss ours very much. Every weekend when the shelters are trying to adopt dogs out at every corner, John steers me the other direction and reminds me of what a bad idea it would be.  So for now I give a donation when we walk by and try not to look at the sad faces in the cages.  But last night when we went down the alley behind our apartment to get some dumplings at our favorite shop we saw a lady walking her pigs, and when I say pigs I don't mean some cute little potbelly pigs , these were full size pigs on leashes.  It made me giggle.  I wonder how property management would feel about us having pet pigs??


Sunday, September 06, 2015

Tortoise Love

We spent the day at Green World Eco Park in Hsinchu.  It was a VERY cool place.  It is a huge park and it was hot day, but we had a great time.  The Tiny American was super interested in the emus but they made me really nervous.  By far our favorite area was the building that housed the snakes and other reptiles.  Just outside the reptile house on the lawn these large tortoises were wandering around, Z LOVED them!  At first he was skeptical about touching them, and later we found out we weren't supposed to because they might bite...but he did and we left with all his fingers!  When the weather cools off we will definitely go back and explore some more, there is a bamboo forest that is calling our name.

The Tiny American was slightly skeptical when we told him to touch the tortoise.

He got a little more excited about it when we told him the tortoise was nice.

Safe with Daddy.


Friday, September 04, 2015

This is the Life...

The Tiny American loves life!  He approaches everyday with 100% energy.  He wakes up chatting and planning our day, it's one request after another of how we should spend our time.  He wants to go, go, go!! He makes us laugh so much and he KNOWS he is funny. I can't imagine what my life would look like without this little guy. The end of the day we snuggle on the couch and then as we go to bed he is planning the next day. Life is a PARTY for this boy, just the way it should be.