So you know that song by Bob Dylan right? I adore that song. Times ARE changin' around the Thompson household. Seems that I'm not the only person in scrapbookland re-evaluating and re-prioritizing. I think we all have those times in our lives when reality hits and we realize we need to make changes.. or we step back and take a good look at our lives and say "ok, WHY am i doing this again?"
First I wanted to tell you our good news! I am pregnant! :-) Yesterday we had an ultrasound to determine the exact due date, so I wanted to wait til after that before I announced anything, just to make sure everything looked ok. I'm 10 weeks along. Everything looked good with little peanut. And YES, praise God, there was only *ONE* heartbeat. I told Ethan I swore that I was pregnant with twins with how sick I've been. But the ultrasound nurse said that she already had her twins couple that day, so she guessed we were off the hook. (THANK YOU!!!)
It was SO SO good to see that, yes, little peanut DID actually exist (lol!)... even when you KNOW you're pregnant, it's always amazing to see he/she with your own 2 eyes. Got to see that little heartbeat fluttering. We're calling he/she peanut because that is exactly what they look like at this stage on the ultrasound!
And on to the reason why I've been so MIA lately... I've been SO SO SOOOOOO sick with this pregnancy so far!!! ACK! It's been a pretty miserable ride so far, but I'm dealing with it better. Been through 3 meds for the severe all day nausea and only one works a LITTLE. Only takes the edge off a bit. I don't throw up, i'm just severely nauseous ALL DAY LONG and it gets progressively worse as the day goes. By about 11 at night, i'm about ready to die. Seriously. LOL!
But hopefully this will all start leveling off soon... I pray! I can say that I'm dealing with it better.. just getting used to it I guess. I keep reminding myself that it's all for a good cause. ;-)
So that is the good news.. on to the not-so-good news... with such a life-change as having another child, it really makes you rethink what you're doing with your life.. and that's exactly what I've been doing. And really, it didn't take me long at all to realize what I needed to do. I think this is something I've struggled with for a long time. As much as I've loved scrapbooking over these past 2.5 years that I've been doing it, it's just not FUN for me anymore. Mostly, it's not FULFILLING.
I've gone through these spells of just not being inspired.. feeling like I'm scrapping to just get the assignments DONE. Then I'll go through a spell where I'm so infinitely inspired.. and that was me just recently. Months of just hardcoare creative heaven. Everything just clicked. I was trying new things. But after it all, I think I'm just plain exhausted. The past year since I started doing design work for Autumn Leaves has been one intense year. I've grown as an artist.. I've put that pressure on myself to keep raising the bar - for MYSELF. I put so MUCH expectation on every single page I do. And I think that has always made scrapbooking for me - a bit exhausting. And INTENSE. Lol.
I got into scrapping initially like we all do. I had Cooper. I wanted to document those memories. And it was fun! But then I started getting published.. and over the years, scrapping has been MUCH MUCH more about the ART of it rather than getting to the MEAT of the page, know what I mean? The STORY. I've never been a good journaler.. I always put that off to the last minute. Lol! I have just always LOVED the *CREATING*. The end result. The PRETTY page. :-) And that is TOTALLY OKAY. There's nothing wrong with creating art for art's sake, ya know? And I got alot of fullfillment out of that for a long, long time.
But then I just got to a point, where I wasn't enjoying the creating anymore either. It started to feel empty for me. Just creating "pretty pages". And I really started to ask myself "WHY again, am I doing this?" "WHO am I doing this for?" I didn't want to keep scrapbooking just to "keep my name out there". Just so no one would forget me. Lol. That is not me. So if I wasn't doing it for myself anymore, WHO was I doing if for? And I realized I just needed to stop.
As many of you know, or as any ARTIST knows, being a a scrapbook artist, or artist of any kind, is a passionate thing. I'm passionate about my art. I have extreme FOCUS. Drive. I've always been one to do it ALL THE WAY, or not at all. I have put so much energy, time and emotion into my scrapbook freelance over the years. And I realized if I could put that SAME amount of energy, focus, emotion and most importantly TIME into other areas of my life, life could be much richer, more meaningful and most of all, the PEOPLE in my life would benefit from this greatly. There is no end to the possibilities.
I can't tell you how many times Ethan's parents have taken Cooper for a weekday night so that Ethan and I could have a "date night".. and I can't tell you how MANY of those times that I ended up having to stay at home and do a scrapbook assignment because I had a deadline. I know without a doubt that I've probably missed out on things with Ethan and Cooper because I've been a working artist. I also work a part-time graphic design job.. so my weeks were pretty much taken up with some kind of work... even on my days off from my "real job".. i was doing scrap assignments. And the scrap work ALWAYS ended up leaking into our family time at night or on weekends. Those were days that I could've been spending with Cooper and Ethan, you know?
My family has always been so supportive of the scrapbooking. Especially Ethan. But I've always known that it was almost solely a selfish endeavor. We all know that in publishing or with any art.. the pay is not alot. Let's be honest. ;-) I remember I told Kari Hansen-Daffin one time when she was still Craft Editor at Memory Makers, "I hope they pay you well for all the hard work and long hours you put into your job." and she replied "Hey, it's publishing. I get paid peanuts."
So it hasn't been financially practical for me at least. (of course some people are able to make a VERY VERY good living in this industry. There are ways! :-) So in the end, yes it's been selfish. But Ethan has been ok with that. I've been able to live a dream of sorts. I never thought in a million years when I picked up my first scrapping magazine in 2004 that I'd end up doing it professionally. I never thought in a MILLION years I'd accomplish what I've acoomplished and I feel so incredibly thankful and blessed. I got to be an ARTIST. WOW. WOW. WOW. That is way cool. And I know that one day I'll look back on all of this and say "wow, that is cool that I did that.". :-)
Who knows if I'll ever scrapbook professionally again... you can't ever say never, ya know? But this isn't just a "break" for me... this is measured in years, not months. Unless I just miss it incredibly. I know that one door has been left open for me if I ever want to come back. :-) And that means the world to me. But I can say right now, I'm looking forward to spending more QUALITY time with my family. Being more in the MOMENT with my children. Taking photos to DOCUMENT their lives, not just to take a really cool CREATIVE photo... My focus will change. I want to keep a journal to really get to the MEAT of the memory... write the story behind the photos.. and not have to worry about making a pretty page to go with it.
I know that I'll always be creative. It's in my blood and I NEED it.. but it will take on different forms. And for now, I'm happy with just being a "normal" human being. Putting my creative ambition to rest. ENJOY life. Relax. Take it all in around me. Be IN THE MOMENT. NOT focus on the aesthetics of things. So many areas of our family life need work on. An endless to-do list that has been put on hold for a few years. I want to be a better human being, wife, mother, sister, daughter, Christian... I look forward to this new beginning!
Thank you all that have kept coming back to my blog. Thank you so much for your kind words you've said. I wish you all happiness!! :-) THANKS!!