I’m looking for Real Friendship, capital R capital F.

Flickr /  shhh, it’s a  secret

As I write this, I’m sitting in the corner of a coffee shop I’ve never been to, waiting for a woman I’ve never met to walk through the door. Because I’m a chronic worry wart, I’ve arrived early (twenty minutes, just in case she is ten minutes early), so that I can order my coffee and settle in before she arrives.

This is the first time I’ve reached out to someone online and made plans to meet them in person. I feel as though I’m meeting a potential mate that I’ve sourced through a dating website. Actually, the process of making new friends at my age is kind of like the beginning stages of dating. At least for me it is.

What’s running through my mind is: what if I bore her? What if we find we have nothing in common and the conversation suffers? What do I really even know about her beyond the few things I could decipher from her instagram feed? She has a son, like me. She enjoys knitting, like I do. She lives in Las Vegas and is a health coach. These four things are all that I know about her, and so as I sip on my too-hot, too-strong coffee, my nerves kick into overdrive and I find myself sweating through the navy blue, v-neck tee I chose for the occasion.

Meeting new people in your early thirties is so different than when you’re younger. The stakes are higher now. You don’t want to waste your time with someone who doesn’t share any common interests, or who isn’t looking for the same level of commitment as you are.

There I go again sounding like I’m looking to date this woman.

Let me expand.

I am thirty years old, married with an almost two year old son. When I moved to Las Vegas in January of 2011, I left behind a small group of amazing girlfriends. At this point in my life, I’m looking for people who want to form a real friendship, individuals whom I can relate to, respect, look up to, and find inspiration from. Is this a tall order? Yes and no.

In retrospect, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for. The real issue I’m finding is that women my age aren’t necessarily looking to form a Great New Friendship. They already have a group of friends who fill this role and many others. So when I do meet someone new, I’m often relegated to the Casual Friend category. You know what I mean: the friend of a friend who you only see when a big group of girls get together. The friend whose number you somehow have in your contacts, but you never really text her. You don’t think of her that often because you’re busy, or you have other friends with whom you spend a lot of your time.

I’m looking for a Real Friendship, capitals necessary. And so, when the woman I’ve been waiting for walks through the coffee shop door, I realize just how high my hopes are. I also silently acknowledge that she has no idea just how much hope I am projecting on to this meeting. I make a mental note to chill the hell out.

As I already have my coffee, she heads over to the counter and orders a hot chocolate, and I realize that I like her already. Any thirty-one year old woman who can order a hot chocolate with a straight face is the kind of person I want to spend my time with.

She sits down in the red arm chair across from me and smiles. I think we’re both a little nervous, but that could just be me projecting. I ask her how her day has been so far.

What transpires is that over the next hour and a half we talk about our lives, our kids, our jobs, hopes and dreams. With every minute that passes, I feel a little more comfortable and I open up more.

That she is the first one to say: we should do this again soon, fills me with hope. For the first time, I think: maybe she is in the same situation as I am: craving new friendships but having a hard time finding them. Perhaps she, like me, is also looking for something Real.

I suppose that at this point I can only hope, and only time will tell.

05 + 06 + 07 / 52

 “A portrait of my son, once a week, every week in 2015

DJ –
You are so curious these days, wanting to touch everything, feel it, feel the weight of it all, how it feels in your hands, against your face. We’re running out of ways to keep you out of things. Our things have steadily been moved higher + higher, out of your reach, but we’re at our limits, now. If only you could understand, sweet boy, that there are always some things in life that are off limits.

DJ – The second I snap a photograph, no matter if I’m trying to be sneaky or not, you perk right up and rush over to take a look at the back of the camera. You’re so adorable these days.

DJ I’m sure that a lot of people would think I‘m nuts if I told them how many photos I have of you. But when I hand you a bowl of plain greek yogurt (your new favorite) and you dive in like this, I can’t help but round off ten shots. And yes, I will be keeping them all.

Project Life 2015 | Week 06

Well,  I’m six weeks in to my third year documenting with Project Life. This is the year where burnout is common, where people stop documenting, or get behind. I will admit that I felt a bit of this in the first few weeks and ended up creating spreads that I wasn’t terribly happy with. 

What I’m trying to say, is that it happens, and all you can do is plug along, and I promise you that things will get better. After I got over my slump, I’ve created some of my favorite spreads to date!

Full spread view. Left page is Design F trimmed down and the rise side is Design G.

For the left side I trimmed down a Design F pocket page and used a filler card from my favorite theme kit, A Man’s World. For the title card I simply added in a white rectangle where I could stamp the date. I made the quote card myself.

 The right side is design G, which I’m really loving these days.

I finally managed (read: remembered) to get a photo at my soccer game this week. Small wins!

 And here’s how it looks in my album.

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Products Used: design f (trimmed), design G, A Man’s World theme kit, BCQ Designs journal card (being released next month), Kellie Stamps “hashtag” set, date stamp,

* Project Life is a product, system and a lifestyle created by Becky Higgins. In 2015, I’m creating a spread for each week of the year. Here are all of my pages from 2013, 2014 + 2015.

What’s Real Right Now

      1. I’ve been doing a great job of not working on my Project Life album until the weekends. Up until the beginning of this year I was printing photos and recording notes all through out the week, which often resulted in too many reprints and rewrites at the end of the week when I just wasn’t happy with the outcome. These days, I’m being more patient, and waiting until I have all of my photos from the week together, before printing. It has been making all the difference.

      2. Mamahood is hard, but I’ve found that it really helps to get over the idea of balance.

      3. I spent January really delving into how I feel about my life and what I can knowingly and easily do to change the not so great things. I’m taking what I’ve learned and moving forward with intention. Remember my one little word for the year, grow? Well I’m making good on my goals and intentions this year, friends.

      4. I’ve been going through a cooking slump and simply repeating our favorites over and over. While that’s okay for a little while, I need a little more variety. Trying to shake things up this week.

      5. Our house is a mess and I haven’t had the energy or desire to do much about it. Cleaning up after a toddler is a never-ending battle. Maybe it’s time to practice what I preach and just say screw the mess.

      6. Choosing a capsule wardrobe was one of the best decisions I’ve made lately. It makes everything so much easier. After this ‘season’ is over, I’m definitely going to comb through my closet and get rid of a lot of stuff.

      7. Marriage is hard work. Part of my close look into my life also has to do with making sure that my husband and I are always moving forward and growing stronger. Erin said it best when she said: “There is nothing fair about life, and there is nothing fair about love. There is no method or formula to happiness, except to choose – each and every day – to allow yourself the circumstances you are offered. To welcome them and feel them…

      8. I’m in the process of trying to organize help with DJ after my surgery at the end of next month. My parents are flying out for a visit for DJ’s birthday and my mom will be staying a few extras weeks to help out as I will be limited in what I can do with my son. After my mom leaves, I will be relying heavily on my amazing mother in law to pick up the slack.

      9. I’ve found that one of the best ways to reset my mood and patience is to steal away for an hour, set up shop in a coffee shop, and write or design. I get a short break from parenting and get to flex my creative muscle. I’ve found that it’s really important for myself that I create something every day.

      10. Writing morning pages every day is really helping me to get all the junk and fluff out of my head, leaving room for all the good stuff to pour out of me and into my writing and designs.

      Project Life 2015 | Week 05 + February CT Blog Hop

      I can’t believe that we’re already in our second week of February. Is it just me, or is this year going by so quickly already? The weather has been so mild here in Las Vegas, for which I’m very grateful as most of my friends and family back home in Ontario are freezing their bums off.

      There is so much that I love about this weeks’ spread: the big 12×12 paint photo, the square corners and the overall simplicity to the pages. I just know that this is a look I will come back to again and again moving forward.
      Full spread view:

      Left side,  is a WRMK four squares page. I loved this photo that I took at Hobby Lobby so much that I blew it up real big.

      The right side is a design f page, but I trimmed off the (3) 3×4’s along on the right.

      With the title card I went a step further than last week, read: I went even more simple. Love how it turned out.

      I really had a lot of fun with this week, trying out some more saturated looks to my photos and using card stock instead of a kit, like last week.

      2014 Creative Team Inspiration

      Tara
      Kris
      Krista
      Jess
      Donya
      Bobbi
      Autumn

      If you don’t see your favorite former team member, please visit their individual blogs to see what they are up to.
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      Products Used: WRMK page protector, design f (trimmed), paper source card stock in cement, date stamp,

      * Project Life is a product, system and a lifestyle created by Becky Higgins. In 2015, I’m creating a spread for each week of the year. Here are all of my pages from 2013, 2014 + 2015.

      On Adapting

      Hey mamas, I see you over there, hiding in your closet to shed your tears in peace. I’ve been there. Many times, in fact. It’s so damn hard, isn’t it?  This parenting thing? You’ve never felt so empowered and so defeated at the same time. 

      You finish the last of the three loads of built-up laundry only to find yourself back in the laundry room the very next day, and that corner of the living room that you cleaned up especially for you, so that you could have one single space in your house that you can sit in and not feel like a failure, is filled with toys once again.

      I’ve been there.
      I’ve been the mama crying silently in the shower as I rush to shave my legs that haven’t been touched in over a week. I’ve been the frazzled mama who shows up at the park with the toddler who would rather grab fists full of dirt than play.
      The issue I’ve been struggling with, and maybe you have as well, is the belief that all of my problems will be solved if only I can find some kind of balance. But the truth is that I will never find balance. Working more will mean less time with son, and more time with my son means less money coming in. I will feel guilt no matter which way the wind blows. The grass is greener on both sides, mama.
      I will never find balance, but I will find ways of adapting.
      In March 2013 I came home with a 9lb 8oz newborn baby… and adapted. We were sleep deprived and mentally drained and we adapted. We suffered through thirteen months before my son slept through the night, and we adapted. I went back to work in August 2014, briefly, sending my son to daycare, and we adapted. I left the job after two months, and we adapted.
      What I’m trying to say to you, mama, as you struggle to get some kind of breakfast prepared for yourself while your child screams at your feet, is to let go of the idea of balance. It doesn’t exist. But you can adapt, and you will. You’ll find your place. I’m still looking for mine, and that’s okay.
      I’m here to tell you it will all be okay.

      Project Life 2015 | Weeks 03 + 04

      Wow, did January every fly by in a flurry of activity! I’ve got two spreads to share with you this week so that I can get a little closer to catching up!
       Full spread view:


      Left side, design A page protector, using some of my new designs being released this Wednesday.

      Right side, Design F trimmed down, using midnight edition and some of my designs.

      I just love this photo below of DJ on his grandpas’ shoulders outside of the church.
       
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      Products Used: design f, design a, big city quiet designs, midnight edition, date stamp, 

      On to week four!

      I decided to use some card stock this time, instead of any kits. This is something I used to do here and there in 2014 and 2013. I love how simple and clean it looks.

      Left side is Design F trimmed down. I decided to use a typewriter to do my journaling this month, something I always think is a good idea, and then once the spread is complete, I miss my own handwriting.

      I tried something a little different with my title card this week as well, using the two “week” kellie stamps from the daily set and adding a thicker 4. Then my usual date stamp below. Really love how that looks.

      Rented “What if” from Redbox and watched it in bed one night. I thought it was really cute. I love the pop of color that it gives to the otherwise fairly neutral spread.

      And if you look closely, I have a little sneak peek at some upcoming Kellie Stamp releases!

      Right side, is a WRMK page.

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      Products Used: design f, WRMK page protector, paper source card stock in cement, kellie stamps – dailydate stamp,  tiny attacher

      * Project Life is a product, system and a lifestyle created by Becky Higgins. In 2015, I’m creating a spread for each week of the year. Here are all of my pages from 2013, 2014 + 2015.