Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Scrapbooking Through the Tough Times

I started scrapbooking many, many years ago.  I wanted to do something special with my photos.  I wanted to enjoy the opportunity to be creative.  And most importantly I wanted a way to share my story.  There is A LOT involved in our stories....from the little details of our lives to the big occasions from the happy times to the sad is ALL part of our story.  We choose what we want to share every time that we sit down to create or to document something about our lives.  What we share is important.

We all love to capture that perfect photo and tell about the happiest days of our lives.  But what about the other days...the saddest days...the days that you wouldn't ever want to live through again.  Those days are part of our story as well.  They make us who we are and one day will tell others about the qualities that we possessed to get through the rough patches.  Life is not always easy.

In all honesty, we have had a very difficult summer.  We have watched our beloved English Bulldog Wiley's health deteriorate and it has been so difficult.  My close friends and family know how much I have struggled with this.  He was our "first child" and we ADORED him.

As our family has grown, Wiley has loved, protected and played with our children.  He was constantly by their side.

On Monday, we said "good-bye" to our beloved Wiley and it was one of the most difficult things that we have ever gone through.

The last few months have been a painful journey but I am certainly grateful for 11 wonderful years with Wiley.  He was such a special dog.  I find great peace in knowing that God is taking very good care of him now.  I woke up in the middle of the night and created a page for Wiley so that I could get my feelings down on paper.

Wiley is a very special part of my story.  I certainly want to remember all of the happy moments that we have shared but I also want to document the difficult journey we have been on over the last several months.  The difficult times tell us a lot about who we are, what is important in our lives and how we get through it. Scrapbooking is about being real and sharing yourself with your loved ones.

What lies behind us, and what lies within us are tiny matters,
compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I want to encourage you to think about the struggles that you have had to overcome and tell that story.  I think there are so many benefits to sharing the difficult stages of our lives.  It gives you the opportunity to voice what you have been through and how you have gotten through it.  It gives you the opportunity to use creativity to help you heal.   It gives you an opportunity to appreciate the amazing gift of life and to savor the incredible journey that we are on.

Give the ones you love an extra hug today.


  1. Thank you for sharing your feelings of Wiley. We have a cat who will be 12 this year. She doesn't play like she used to, but she is still very present in our lives. She IS part of our family. I hope your memories of Wiley help your family through this difficult time.

  2. So sorry for your family's loss. What a beautiful tribute~ Looking forward to seeing you this weekend,


  3. What a wonderful article, Jana and I loved seeing these photos of Wiley when he was a pup! I know you have wonderful memories of him and I adore the page you created. Thinking of you!

  4. My heart is breaking for you and your family, Jana. You've said it so much better than I ever could have.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a member of your family isn't easy. We had to say goodbye to our 14,5 year old Golden Retriever in february and it still hurts.

    We try to cherish all those little moments we remember with her.
    You are so Lucky to have documented his life so well, these memories are priceless and help to soften the pain.

  6. I am crying, it is awful!!! I had to put down our dog, he was my husbands best friend. I knew he couldn't do it. He still has the dogs ball in his car. We did rescue two more dogs, but no more, we just can't go thru that again. We save their lives but it then kills us when their time is up. It is horrible and I thinking of you and feeling your loss.