It’s Not Easy Being Teen

September 26, 2013

 on-being-a-teenager

Sometimes I just cannot believe I have a teenager. I’ve always kind of felt like being a parent in general was surreal but, as time passes, the feeling only intensifies. I often find myself wondering how the heck I got here, how does time move so fast and how it’s possible that my child will soon be off to college. It just doesn’t seem real. And yet, here I am. Here we are.

With all the scary messages out there about how horrible, trying, difficult teenagers can be, I guess I was expecting the worst. I feel fortunate that it really hasn’t been much like what I had heard (knocking on wood). That’s not to say parenting at this stage doesn’t have challenges. But still, it’s not what I was anticipating. In fact, it’s way cooler than I ever thought it would be. And, I think my daughter feels the same way about her teenage years. Sure there’s the quintessential “issues” that are somewhat Universal to the teen experience, but I think she’s putting those into a healthy perspective as she pans out to the bigger picture of  her life’s journey. Not an easy thing to do for anyone, let along a teenager. I give her major props for that!

Last night, at yet another back to school night, my husband and I traipsed around her high school stomping grounds getting the scoop on what is her daily life. It was the 3rd time we’ve attended as my daughter is a junior now (see? I have no idea how that happened) but even as high school veterans, it still totally amazes/bewilders/eludes me. Tracing her steps from building to building, walking the paths, passing through the architecture, sitting in the seats and staring at the walls of her life outside of home is never lost on me. As I listened to each teacher’s jam-packed presentation, tried to keep up with the power points, and took notes of anything I felt like might be of importance for future reference, I couldn’t help but think how hard it must be to be in high school now. With so much academic pressure, so many extra-curricular expectations , and so much  responsibility to keep it all together. They are having to live in the present while focusing on the future, all the time. And that’s not even mentioning the social pressures. We all remember that. From navigating friends to communicating with teachers to hyper-active hormones, it just can’t be easy.

It’s really no wonder then that things can get dicey at home. I get stressed out just watching my teen live her life. True, I might be a little more involved than I have to be (my husband tries to remind me to take a step back for my sake and hers) but even still, I can hardly keep up with her and everything that she’s got to squeeze in every day,  and it’s not even my life. I know that she’s exhausted and often pushed over-capacity. I know that when I get frustrated with her for forgetting things, staying up late, waking up late, wasting her time, it doesn’t help. At all. I know she is doing the best she can under overwhelming expectations.  Which is why that even when I’m fuming mad at 11pm waiting for her to get released from musical theater rehearsal, I try to remember that she needs me. When she calls in the middle of the day in a panic that she forgot her homework on the printer, she needs me. When wakes me, home late from an evening with friends and she wants to tell me all about it over tea, she needs me. For help, for support, for understanding, for guidance, for companionship, for unconditional love. And no matter how fast the time passes, no matter where her wings take her, no matter how grown up she gets,  I am so hoping she will keep needing me for all of that. Today, tomorrow and for always.

I recently shared a story and a project on my Babble Voices blog Reframed that relates to the subject of my daughter and how hard I know it is growing up and being a teenager. If I can continually repeat the uplifting, inspiring and encouraging messages I believe she needs to hear, then I know I’m being the best advocate I can be for her. Plus, I know (and she knows) that these messages ring true even when I’m unable to keep my cool on the tough days. Thankfully, the Rhonna Designs app offers all of these amazing messages and more. It’s a photo app dream come true and helped me say the things I always want to say to my daughter. The collection of cards I made for her (and the ‘how-to” part) can be found at Babble. I also made cards for her that are OF her. using pictures of her that I love, paired with words that I know fit her to a T. These few probably mean the most to her. And to me. Sniff sniff.

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Diving into Project Life with Another Video

September 2, 2013

As promised, I documented my first day experimenting with Project Life. It was one of the most creative, fun and relaxing (yes, relaxing) thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. And who would have guessed I’m learning things about myself in the process of diving head long into uncharted waters? I guess putting it that way, it would go to figure. Anything new, different and out of the ordinary usually does teach us a thing or two about ourselves.

I appreciate all of your kind comments and encouragement on my first Project Life video post. I’m excited knowing so many of you are doing something like Project Life for yourselves and/or are willing to give it a try with me. I know I keep saying it but I think it’s going to make for an amazing, important and transformative part of remembering and embracing my creative joy.

How is your Project Life process coming along?

Elevate the Everyday With Project Life

For more about Project Life, visit Becky Higgins site. Visit Amazon to purchase Project Life Products. If you’re out of the country and are looking to purchase the products, Scrapbooker’s Inner Circle sells internationally. How cool is that?

The PL Products I am using right now:

Project Life Core Kit – Seafoam Edition
Photo Pocket Pages – Big Variety Pack 1 (60 Pages)
Project Life Binder – Seafoam Edition
Project Life 3 x 4 Textured Cardstock – Honey Edition
Project Life 4 X 6 Textured Cardstock – Honey Edition

For more about Picture Everyday at Big Picture Classes, read all about it on the registration page. Class starts Sept 12th. The Project Life part of class will be during the final week (week 8) of class. Hope to see you there!


I’m so Excited to Picture Everyday at Big Picture Classes

August 12, 2013

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It is such a treat to be able to announce my next photo-centric e-class at Big Picture Classes, Picture Everyday: Finding and Photographing the Magic in your Daily Life.  Although this class is brand new, with all new content (including video, photo prompts, teacher interaction and community activity) it’s bringing lots of what I love together into one class. It’s Picture Series class #9 (9!?! Can you believe that?) and it’s the next chapter, so to speak, in my book Elevate the Everyday as the content is inspired from the book. It’s also a kick off of something totally new for me; Project Life. Yes, I have decided to get crafty again (it’s been far too long) and try my hand at this revolutionary approach to scrapbooking. I’m seriously giddy about it! Just to recap; the majority of the class will be guided photo prompts for participants to shoot and the very last week of class will be a kick off of my Project Life inauguration as we put all the images we capture over our weeks together, into Project Life pages.

I do hope you choose to join me as we Picture Everyday together, starting Sept 12th. Wheeeeeee!!


A Story of Love, Babies, and Sisterhood

May 27, 2013

This post is sponsored by Disney Story. To find out more about this brand-new story-creation app – and how it puts the power of storytelling in your hands - click here.

There may be no greater gift than to be able to use our cameras to document and reflect back a moment, a feeling, or memory for the people we love most in the world. As for this Story, I get chills every time I play it because I am taken right back to the magical weekend we spent together celebrating love, babies and our sisterhood.

A very special thank you to my cherished friends Myriam, Jen L, Jen G, and Alex.


Elevating the Everyday on Studio 5

April 26, 2013

Just in time for Mother’s Day I got to share some of my thoughts and feelings about what I consider one of the most important pictures in your family’s photo collection.This one is for all the moms out there! To see what that picture is and/or if you need a little encouragement, take a peek at my segment on Studio 5 on the topic.

For the record, I had the BEST time with the folks at Studio 5. Thoughtful, gracious, encouraging, this team of people is top notch! Thank you ALL for having me. It was a pleasure and an honor.

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And if that wasn’t enough, I got to visit the most charming bookshop ever where I met some wonderful women and talked about motherhood, photography and creativity. Thank you to everyone at The King’s English bookshop for hosting and to all of the ladies that came to say hi, you’re the best. If you missed me there but live in the beautiful area surrounding the shop, they’ve got some signed copies of Elevate the Everyday if you’re looking for a copy. I can’t think of a better Mother’s Day gift to give a mother, if I do say so myself (I can say that, can’t I?).