Your Stories Matter, Document Them.

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(Cover of my 2018 Project Life Scrapbook)


"Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do."-Brene Brown

It all started with a 35 mm Kodak camera that I had since I was about 4th grade. I remember bringing it with me everywhere and getting excited when I would get my rolls back from the photo lab at our local Longs Drugs. Then I would place them in those adhesive type albums, you know the ones where the entire page was adhesive and you would have to peel them back and be extra careful placing the plastic cover. But I would add magazine cut outs and even confetti, so it was always a challenge placing those plastic covers back over.  

 (Exhibit A & B, And I think I used puffy paint! WTH!) 

Growing up, I would document everything! I would fill my albums with stories, photos, magazine cut out as embellishments. Heck I would even cut out our photos and stick them on photos of cars to document our "travels" or "adventures." So choosing a career that resonated with my passion seemed only fitting. I always knew I enjoyed documenting, telling stories + photos. Magazine layouts, posters, typography and photography has always struck my heart strings and I simply love design. 

Looking back, I was at my most content when I was able to add a bit of creativity to my everyday. I started this blog 12 years ago with the intent of being able to write my stories as I did with my written journal entries as a child then copy & paste them to my albums. Scrolling back, I have been doing just that (just a few):

The Need To Create

In The Midst Of Chaos

Another Mini Album Done

There have been a few long breaks in between, especially when I decided to go back to school and get my degree in Communication Design. Although, higher education and my love for learning took the place of my need to create, I always missed it and see how many stories I missed documenting. I realize how quickly life changes without us even realizing it.  We are often great documenters when it comes to the big events like birthdays, or the trips we took, but we tend to miss all the daily details of our everyday life and I believe that it is those little details that make our story uniquely ours. My goal with this blog of over a decade has always been my place to capture my story, our families story, document the details of it, and share them with others. 

Back in 2012 I started this system of documenting the details of our everyday life, called Project Life.

Past Project Life Pages

It simplified the system of scrapbooking, and mind you I've been in this community for a LONG time, way before it hit digital. The best thing about this way of scrapbooking is the simplicity of it. In the beginning I felt that our everyday life wasn't really interesting, but as I scroll back at all the albums, I was moved by all the little stories that I've captured and realized our mundane life was our own authentic life. Life changes quickly without us really seeing it until years have passed and remembering all the little details encourage me to continue to preserve our stories. Project Life encourages me to print my photos and journal my everyday story, and I love keeping my albums in our family room so that they are easily accessible and ready to be enjoyed by all that flip through them. Believe me when I say that documenting your story is something you will never regret and if you aren't doing it already I hope you will feel inspired to start today!

"We take photos for a return ticket to moments otherwise gone." - Unkown

 

 


On Repeat...

Gah... it's on repeat guys!!! And it still gives me goose-bumps!
I love a motivational song with lyrics that set my soul on fire! When I first heard it, I switched over to the lyrics right away and I was "blown-away". (But then again, it is Imagine Dragons) and all their songs get you moving, not so much in a dancing way, but always leaves you inspired and excited about your path in life no matter where you are in this adventure we call life. 

Whatever it takes
'Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I do whatever it takes
'Cause I love how it feels when I break the chains

This will be one of my mantras for 2018. "Whatever It Takes"
When I think of 2017, (some highs but definitely lots of lows) hanging my head down low, feeling defeated, broken down, exhausted, and just ready to give up. I look back and think how could I let this blip in my time line affect me so much? But I get it, I know myself, I put everything I have into something no matter how much it took from me. But this time I had expectations so high that I almost saw my future (retirement and all) in this moment and as quickly as it started, it ended just as fast. 

Forward to 2018, I feel stronger and more confident than I have ever been. There's much to be said about being "broken-down" and left at your weakest. Your character is unveiled, you either come back stronger, more driven, and become a straight up bad-ass or you stay down. Glad to say, I don't stay down for too long. My favorite part of the song is this:

Hypocritical, egotistical
Don't wanna be the parenthetical, hypothetical
Working onto something that I'm proud of, out of the box
An epoxy to the world and the vision we've lost
I'm an apostrophe
I'm just a symbol to remind you that there's more to see
I'm just a product of the system, a catastrophe
And yet a masterpiece, and yet I'm half-diseased
And when I am deceased
At least I go down to the grave and die happily
Leave the body of my soul to be a part of me
I do what it takes

Let that simmer into your thoughts :) I know right...

So, by now you know that I love.. LOVE music! It's a big part of me and I could talk about lyrics, musicians, and playlists all day! So what's on repeat for you?


OLW (One Little Word)

After jotting down a few words that came to mind: 
Onward. (moving forward, progress, accelerate) all with the intention of not looking back. 
Pursue. This came to mind thinking about acting out on opportunities, ideas, and seeking to change.
Thrive. To bloom, flourish, and prosper. To develop or to aim higher from what I already have or a situation I am currently in. 

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But then I saw the word "nourish" and it just clicked. At the end of the year, I realized I needed to do things for me, things that made my soul happy. I began to look back in my life when I felt "at ease" or "content" and every single time I felt my soul feeling "fed" was when I incorporated my creative being in my daily routine. Whether it was writing, scrapbooking, photography, painting, or designing. I always made the time to "foster" that aspect of my life and in doing so, I felt a sense of balance. "Maintaining" and challenging myself physically through exercise, eating healthier foods, and "sustaining" the balance of good food and junk food made me feel whole. 

It took me a while to realize what really matters and I'm not talking about the obvious of the love my husband or the comfort of my family, that is a given and top priority. But its when I recognized the other "Sources Of My Energy" and listened to my feelings or my inner voice, that's when I found my clarity through the noises that surround me. Through this certainty, I seek my balance, and by listening to myself, and nourishing myself, thats when things fall into place and peace will surround me.

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Cheers to a new year! It is 12:20 am on a late Saturday (or early Sunday morning) and I'm finishing up my December album and eager to start my 2018 Project Life. 


Reflecting On 2017

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As I sit reflecting on the past 365 days (as I listen to iTunes tops songs of 2017, Ed Sheeran "Shape of You" playing in the background) I'm wondering if I feel any different? As most naysayers of not wanting to sound cliche on making New Years Resolutions, I don't necessarily equate the new year to "New Beginnings". For some reason or another, that mood comes in the Fall (a lot of reflecting around that season) followed by Winter and the Holidays (that's reflecting + expectations + comparison of the previous holidays). So naturally when that New Year rolls around and the clock strikes midnight and we are ringing in the new year, I've already dived into my wants, needs, expectations, hopes, dreams, goals,etc for the new year. 

I'm still reflecting on my word for the year... I haven't had time to sit and stew on a few words. But these are my past words :

2015 : Grow  (cultivating, harnessing, developing, becoming) -- who I want to be in every facet of my life.
2014 : Observe
2013: Renew
2012: Clarity

This year, we rang in the New Year with full hearts and the most joy I've felt in a while. We rang it TOGETHER as a FAMILY under ONE roof. I couldn't have been more happier. It was then I knew what mattered the most. I've been so hell bent on the idea of feeling unaccomplished (thinking I should be further along in my life by now, somewhere sustainable, where my college degree actually meant something). But, I realize that these MOMENTS are what makes LIFE worth LIVING for. The five of us, together as a family, eating, drinking, laughing, taking photos, making the most of the minutes we have together. 

I'm still processing it all and it's my first day back at work after spending a good week with my family. I'm eager to document them all and get into some rhythm where I'm writing at least once a day. Just today, I was thrown off guard by a new opportunity, so as I sit here editing my resume, I'm feeling both nervous, excited, and afraid all at the same time. There's this feeling as if I'm standing at the edge of a cliff (once again) and wondering if I should take that leap. What does my gut say? She says "Go For It!" 

 


Currently...

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It's been a while since I've done one of these:

listening: Today's Hits (iTunes) "Perfect Duet" by Ed Sheeran & Beyonce; "End Game" TayTay "Him & I" by G Eazy & Halsey; "Mi Gente" by J Balvin & Willy William, "I Fall Apart" by Post Malone

eating: Tacos, Tacos, Tacos (Taco Palenque) and Whatta Burger *I really need to stop! 

watching: Netflix (The Crown, Magicians, and re-runs of Friends). 

 wearing: Rudy's Red/Black Flannel PJ's and Red Hoodie.

feeling: Glad to be home, relaxed sitting in front of the computer, blogging and scrapbooking my December Daily 2017. 

weather: 56 degrees in SA with a bit of a breeze. 

wanting: Besides Crunchy Tacos? More days off, although I've got the rest of the week off. I want to get a good routine going (but I think with the Izzy's Xmas Vacay and Caelan visiting, I doubt I'll find a good rhythm). Contemplating on getting my Bachelors Degree in Business Management. 

needingTO GET BACK TO THE GYM! Shit! I really need to get my ASS back in there!  

thinking: How I called Caelan tonight to ask if he needed to talk about anything (like suicide). I took his Instagram story too literal I guess. But that's the reality of it now, kids don't think twice about ending their life, I see it too much in the news. I just wanted him to know that I love him no matter what! I guess Finals Week is getting a bit much for him. 

enjoying: The minute I walk through the door and coming home to my loves. I immediately call out for my "Isabella Consuela" (inside joke) and jump on Rudy's lap for a "Glad To Be Home" kiss. Don't get me wrong, I do like my job and in all I do, I do my best.  But after 9 hours, it's nice to come home to what matters the most, my family + dogs. 

wonderingHow Kai and Pua will be upon meeting their new "doggy day care provider". This is the first time I've used the Rover App and found a gal to watch the dogs while we go are out and about during the day. I really hope Pua adapts well. I never have to worry about Kai because he is the most easy going dog I've ever met. 


Wedding Photography: Isis + Sam

 

Last week I had the honor of capturing some beautiful moments for a friend, Isis. I met Isis when the three of us here:
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Worked at The Office Depot a few years ago:
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Goodness, I miss working with these two lovelies! It was always a joy to go in and find that I would be working with one of them. I'm fortunate to have somewhat kept in touch with these gals and see them evolve and grow in life and witness their many milestones! (Just a few months ago I photographed Christiana's wedding as well.) 

 I am so overjoyed to be able to capture these moments for friends but also grateful that I can continue do what I love, which is to be behind the camera. Photography has always been my first love, even before design. I hope to one day continue this path/journey that I may be able to grow my photography business once more. (For now, I'm just not sure San Antonio is where I want to pursue this path). For now I will take the many opportunities that I have been given in between work to be a "part-time" photographer. 

 


2017 DECEMBER DAILY | 07

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With Little Snow.. comes a Little Tiny Snowman.

The entire San Antonio was in a frenzy tonight as large flurries of snow fell from the sky. I was quite excited to, but then it made me miss Alaska and real winters even more. Ever since we left our Winter Wonderland, the holidays have been quite the adjustment. Although the hubby and I grew up in Hawaii, where we've always had tropical as our backdrop of our holiday season, I do miss EVERYTHING about enjoying a white Christmas. 

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Kai did love the shift in weather, however the other one chose to stay indoors and was not fond of the cold, let alone big flakes falling from the sky. This big guy grew up in snow and he has always loved it! I wish we could take him back to running through a big field covered with snow! I miss him doing "Krazy-Kai". 

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What an excited and interesting day though! I've been loving the shift in temperature! But I can see by the forecast that we'll be back in the 70's in no time :)


2017 DECEMBER DAILY | 06

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06 | Baby It's Cold Outside.
I've been waiting for this weather ever since I saw it in the forecast last week! So waking up this morning to a crisp 42 degrees, my oh my, I was quite smitten. Quite reminiscent of a cold Winter's Spring's Summer's Day in Alaska! (Yeah that would be relatively warm for Alaskans for sure). But it was a nice change from the constant warm temperatures of 70 degrees (I mean who can stand so much sunshine and warmth! The nerve). But it is winter, and for once, even if just a few days, I'd still like to feel the cold wind chill against my cheeks while I bundled up in a warm fleece blanket. 

The weather was the topic at work, I could not stop talking about it as I sipped my large flask of hot green tea. (But that didn't stop us from getting tacos afterwards). 

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Tonight we went with crunchy tacos (Hashtag) YASSS (Hashtag) TacosGiveMeLife (Hashtag) TacosErrday (Insert Taco Emoji, like 5 of them and worshiping hands)


Continuing.. Project Life 2017

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Continuing Project Life... as you can see I'm pretty far behind.. Considering I started this year with Week 23 (gasp). But hear me out, I am determined! I just bought more ink and more page protectors. I have to say, I'm loving this 6x8 album format. I just may keep that format for 2018. Maybe, I did enjoy a full 12x12. I do have a little more fun/play time on my hands without work being too over-bearing and plus it's my time to relax and do what I love. 

Izzy's a Freshman! Once in a while I will ask (more like beg) for photos from her camera roll just to have something to scrapbook (other than Tacos and our dogs, oh and the sky, I take a lot of sky photos). Every now and then I get a treat like this and I am thrilled that she shares them with me. Most of the time she "snaps" with her friends so none of her pics saves. This was Izzy's first Homecoming (week, game, and dance). I was super excited to (kind of) share it with her.

Looking at these, one (my age) must ask themselves, "How would've my high-school days been different with a phone (aka selfies) and social media be?" Back in 1991, jammin to the latest TLC song blasting through my bright orange Cross Colors pants or maybe with headphones. And always, always looking down because we are on our phones. Bleh, I'm glad we didn't. I'm glad that we had to have conversations in the cafeteria during lunch hours, or had to talk about our day on the walk home from school. I look at all this technology (and although I love it, I live for social media - sometimes) I'm just glad I had the priveleged to pick up a rotary phone and dial my best friends number and push back the number 9 because it took to long. "0-4-9-2"  Her last four digits were that, it just popped in my head, that 9 tho! Kids these days, don't know how much they really missed out on actually having conversations and not these text messages that you can message back when you feel like it. I could go on and on about the differences in our teen years, in fact I will for a journal entry with this photo! But for now, it's time for some shut eye.

As you can see, I'm back to this blog. I just could not part with it, I've been blogging on this 2006! And although some of its features aren't as cool or up to date as word-press, gah, I don't care, sometimes going "old-school" is the way to go. 


2017 December Daily | Day 03

Day 3 | Holoholo Often.

When I was a little girl, I would come home from school and I would see my father leaving the apartment and when I asked him, "Dey" (I never called him Dad or Daddy, it was always, Dey. My mom always called him that, but I think it was a combination of Dad and Teddy, his nickname.) Anyway, back to the story. My father would always reply, "I go Holoholo!" Holoholo is a term us locals from Hawaii used to describe to go out and enjoy the day, either for a walk, ride, or sail. In other words, to go out for pleasure. The more you holoholo , the easier it is for you to stay positive. I've realized when I compare the lifestyle and people here in San Antonio vs the locals in Hawaii. The people of Hawaii seem to be happier, more laid back, and generally more positive. In fact, Hawaii consistently ranks as one of the happiest states in the country. It literally stems from its unique mixture of culture, the authentic spirit of aloha, and our carp diem lifestyle.

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So on my drive home today, I took a snap shot of the sun setting in the distance, and I remembered chasing the sunset in Ala Moana Blvd leaving us in awe of such beauty. Sure sunsets are not the same here and we at times we count the days till we can gather all our belongings and move back on the rock in the middle of the ocean. But for now, we need to embrace where I am, make the most of it, in other words, holoholo often and lasting happiness will follow. Today I stopped by Starbucks to grab one of my absolute favorite desserts of the season. But I didn't get a good pic, so that will be saved for another day in my December Daily. But I did manage to get a coffee sleeve (as I do every year) to put in my album. :)