My Evolution

by jessicaturner on June 27, 2008

I wanted to take some time this morning to discuss my scrapbooking/crafting hobby. My philosophy has really evolved in the past year, and I think a further evolution will happen once Elias arrives.

Let’s start at the beginning. I started scrapbooking in 2003. Scrapbooking was really becoming popular in Wisconsin, and for Christmas, my Mom bought my sister and I each a box of supplies to get us started. I met Matthew a month later, and my hobby was quickly fueled. You can literally see my skills develop as Matthew’s and my relationship grew (I wish I could show you the dating scrapbook, the engagement scrapbook, the post-engagement/pre-wedding scrapbook, etc.) By 2006 I was submitting layouts and entering contests, which really pushed my creativity (but, I really wasn’t good enough to win anything- lol!).

By 2007, I became consumed with this hobby – I only wanted to use “name brand” products (I bet some of you didn’t know there were name brands in scrapbooking – lol), I scrapbooked almost every day, I was taking more pictures thanks to Matthew getting me a Rebel XT, I was active in online forums like CK and Scrap in Style TV, I was entering a lot of contests and applying for design teams, etc. I also think that 2007 was the year that my creativity and skill-set improved to a higher-level. After reading Stacy Julian’s book, The Big Picture, I stopped scrapbooking chronologically and found such freedom!

Since getting pregnant at the end of 2007, I haven’t scrapbooked very much – mostly due to being sick in the first trimester, then being really busy and then being really tired and uncomfortable. In not scrapbooking, I realized:

  • I really love this hobby. I love it because it makes me look at the world differently. It makes me appreciate the little, seemingly insignificant moments. As a mom, I want to capture those thoughts and moments.
  • Scrapbooking is not getting out all my supplies every day. It is also about journaling/blogging, taking pictures, reflecting and capturing life.
  • If I only make 50 pages this year, that is OKAY. No one is judging how much I do or don’t do.
  • I don’t want to be the next big thing, but I do want to influence others. There was a time where I was applying for a lot of design teams and wanted to become a name people knew in scrapbooking. In taking this break during my pregnancy, I realized that is NOT what I want. I scrapbook for me and for my family and loved ones. If some name recognition happens because of that, awesome. If not, that is okay too. I do hope that the people who come across my work will be inspired in some way.

One of the things we had to do in preparing for Elias was turn our guest bedroom/my scrapbook room into a nursery. I was really bummed about losing “my space” at first. That has all changed. I go in there and can’t imagine it any other way – I want that room to be all about him. I can’t wait to rock him in the glider that sits where my paper racks used to sit. People keep telling me, my whole world is about to change, and I know they are right. I am ready for that change. I know Matthew and I are about to make a whole lot of memories. And I will scrapbook some of them, but not all of them. And that is okay.

My question for you today: how has being a mom (or dad) changed your life?

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Michele Stewart June 27, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Wow what a question!!!
First let me tell you about the first time I had a baby. I was 16- scared and pregnant. After becoming a believer during this time- I knew God was asking me to give her up for adoption. I was so scared and knew how hard it was going to be. But with His love I did. She is now 23 years old.
Now let me tell you about when I first became a “MOM”! It was the most wonderful moment in my life when I got to hold my son Andrew for the first time and knowing he was mine-really God’s but you know what I mean by that now. I was going to take him home and I would be able to love him, kiss him, snuggle with him when it was snowing out. All the great things you get to do when you become a mom. Then 18 months later- Hello then came David. Now I had 2 boys 18 months apart. That was alot of work. Now with them being 19 and 17 1/2 and leaving for college- I MISS THOSE DAYS_ I WANT THEM BACK!!
After many years of yearning for another daughter and the Lord chosing to have me wait (14 years to be exact)- Then came Hannah. The day she was born was the most glorious, joyous, special day of my life!!! When we knew she was a girl after she came out- something in me healed instantainously. God was smiling on me that day- everyone was crying tears of joy. See one day we had tears of sadness and pain that I can not even begin to describe to yo but now because of God’s faithfullness and love for his children- He gave me a another day- a day of pure joy tears. The months after Hannah was born were wonderful. I remember them like they were yesterday. She is now 10 1/2. I thnak God everyday for her. Everyday! I kiss her still every morning while she sleeps and say Thank you as I look up to Him. Then lastly is the peanut of our family. Joshua- he is just a great kid. I was the most relaxed with him because all was done. I could just enjoy him- love him and take it all in.
Being a mom has been the most rewarding experience of my life. You will love every minute of it- when you have days which you will where you see no end in sight- just remember that one day you will have to look back when Elias is grown and graduatiing from high school and you will say to yourself- -did I do it to the best of my ability- did I love him enough- kiss him enough even when he is 6’3and you are only 5’1 as i am? I feel like I have known you for so long. I feel so excited for you. I will continue to pray for you as time draws near to Elias’s birth.
I would love to chat sometime. I would love to send you a picture of my kids too. I will try to do that.
God Bless
Michele Stewart


Cindy June 27, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Interesting about your new philosophy on scrapbooking. There were times when I wanted to be the next ‘big name’ in my area of giftedness too – however – recently the Lord has shown me that living life to it’s fullest and doing what we love and what He has created us to do is enough. If recognition comes, great, but it is not why we do what we do. I think your scrapbooking philosophy is really a reflection of how God wants us to live life in general. It IS truly a freeing place to be!!!
As a mom, who could not have children but was blessed with two adopted boys, I can say some of my greatest moments have been those spent on my knees.
Our children came at 21 months and 4 months, with speical challenges and difficult pasts. They are the blessings in my life. I would not trade a difficult moment for the world. I have grown so close to God through my boys.
Our oldest, now 26, was failure to thrive, maternal deprivation, bonding issues, nearly died at 3 month, 3 homes before he came to us and the list goes on. His emotional issues have challenged us and him but I have seen God work miracles. I have grown to know Him at a level I didn’t know existed.
Our youngest, now 23, came to us with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We were told not to get to close, he would die within a year, he was deaf, blind, paralyzed on his left side, but God had a different plan (and he is none of those!). Yes, he has struggles, but God is a miracle working God.
The life we have lived because of the children God chose for us has been overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time. I wouldn’t change a thing.
What God has chosen for you will be the best – because HE chose it for you!!!!
Blessings to you.
Cindy ~ Phoenix


Jen June 27, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Parenting has shown me that I am not responsible for the person I am today. Sure, I’ve worked hard to be where I am and I am happy, but I was a daughter before I was a wife or a mother. Having a son really taught me that parenting is a lifelong journey. Our parents worried so much about doing the right thing because they saw how much of an influence they had on our lives from the very beginning. I feel that, and I feel incredibly responsible for the person my child will become. I know I can’t make him into someone he is not, but I can provide the foundation for a wonderful future. Being a mother is overwhelming. I’ve never thought so much about another person in my life. Not even my husband. You literally FORGET your own needs if you let yourself, so make sure to watch out for that! Even when he’s sleeping, I’m still thinking about what he will need next. Parents are tired from lack of sleep, but also from just caring and worrying about their children so much. The agony and the ecstasy of having children, I guess!


Kylea June 27, 2008 at 3:51 pm

How Has being a Mom changed my life…..

Wow, at 25 I became a Mom for the first time. My husband and I had been together since we were 15, & had been married for 5 years. The most amazing thing to me was that we were going in to the hospital as 2, and leaving as 3. I should have known what was to come when the nurse came in and said they would be taking me back for the c-section in 5 min. & then we would be “Parents”. My husband looked at me and said “Are you ready for this?”. Hel-lo…can’t change it now , I thought.
Ellis is now almost 21 mos. old and it has been the best 21 mos. of my life by far. The LOVE you have is amazing. I never knew I could be so protective of someone. I never knew I could be so needed a& important in someone’s life! It really made me feel like I had a meaning, a purpose. I Love that when Ellis gest a boo-boo he doesn’t want a Band-Aid or an ice pack, he wants me to “kiss it” & then everything is OK.
PURPOSE, that’s what being a Mommy has changed the most. I have a meaning, I’m needed, I’m a Mommy!

Congrats on Elias, what a blessing. I pray for you to have a safe delivery, and perfect little baby!


Karen June 27, 2008 at 4:31 pm

great post. very insightful. when i became a mom i was very young 20 for the first and 22 for the second. i was super scared. i was still a baby myself but when i had my daughter all that changed. i had to grow up and grow up quickly. i became a less selfish person and i think that is the key. it becomes all about that little person and very little about you. you have to hold on to “you” but you give all of you to your child. my kiddos are now 22 and 20. seems like just yesterday they were babies….cherish the time you have with him while he is young. one day you will wish you had them around for a little longer. i certainly wish i had scrapbooked when they were small. i think you look at the world differently. i definitely would have made time to record all the little moments….most importantly enjoy all that being a mother brings…ups, downs, joy, sorrow. you will cherish those moments for your lifetime.


Joy June 27, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Where do I start?! I was 20 when my oldest was born. I was pregnant our first year of marriage and then we had a baby our second year. It really put a strain on us… but also made us stronger.

I was a poet/writer and avid reader. Those things took the back burner. I did scrapbook when Elaina was a baby. But when I became pregnant with #2 that was shelved. I’m a total amateur at scrapbooking and while I don’t have the ambitions you have, I really do love it and wish I had more time!

There’s so much more but I can’t even think right now.


Kelley June 27, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Hi Jessica!

You have asked a great question. I was 29 when I had my daughter. My husband and I had been married for a couple of years and we had tried to have a baby after our first year of marriage. Obviously it wasn’t in God’s timing. When we found out we were pregnant, I can’t tell you (well you already know)the joy that we felt. It was the most special time in my life. I was sick for the first 5 months. It wasn’t a morning sickness it was an anytime sickness. At the end of my 8th month I was put on bed rest. I got her to week 39 though. She was the most beautiful thing we had ever seen. Now she is two. She has such a personality. She loves to “read”, swim, and play dress up. I have taught her to tell stories at bedtime. She now will tell us “Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named Mary-Kate. She lives in a castle with Honey and Papaw (no mention of her dad and me) and we play blocks.” She has a great imagination. I have learned to slow down. Enjoy life because you are seeing things anew through your child’s eyes as they learn. Children are such a special gift from God. It won’t be long until Elias is here.



Kelli June 27, 2008 at 5:55 pm

so if I just complete 2 LOs is that still mean I’m a scrapbooker? HA

hmmm what hasn’t changed about my life as a parent. I learned that I’m really selfish.
I still can’t completely understand the love of Christ, but now I can atleast know I can come closer, and I know what it means to die for someone or desire to
what else…

no more get up an go, more planning and a Disney vaca is better then a quiet beach vacation with lots of “sexy” people

learning to say no, and having to discipline and teach someone else about grace and forgiveness, over and over and over and over…you get the picture right?

when I was in college I wished I was married. I love my life, don’t get me wrong, but lazy days, sleeping in, a night alone with hubby that doesn’t cost me $100

I could go on…but that’s the down side (although all that is out weighed of course by the upside)

I never thought I’d understand unconditional love until I saw how much my kids love me even when I screw up again and again.

seeing someone else fall in love with something, having fun with a new toy, or playing with their sibling…love.

joy because of them, desiring to just watch them sleep (that hasn’t gotten old yet, from the time they were babies and now at 6…sleep is when Mommy offen realizes that it is I that can screw up this relationship and if not for Christ I’m surely headed that way…)

okay that’s all for now.


Jamie June 27, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Just hopped over here from a link on Angie – Audrey’s – site. Saw you were a scrapper too so I thought I would say “hi”. Love how you are now seeing The Big Picture – sorry I could not help myself – with taking pictures and preserving memories for yourself and future generations.

Best wishes in the next few weeks!


Kristin June 27, 2008 at 8:17 pm

I don’t know that I can answer your deep question without thinking about it for a while. . . but thanks for sharing about your evolution and that you have found scrapbooking to be “freeing.” That’s a relief to hear.

I am expecting my second child about the same time Elias is due. So I’m hooked–can’t wait for you to have your baby. I’ll keep checking back. God’s richest blessings on your final weeks of pregnancy. You’ll love being a mom!
(By the way, I lurked on over here from Angie/Audrey’s site.)

Oh–I just have to add that in a way, becoming a mom was freeing for me because I stopped stressing over so many things that I used to spend so much time on (especially with work). Now I just realize that my job is raising my kids and other things can wait. On the other hand, there are a few things that I stress about even more now, like having a whiny little boy and how I can break him of that habit. But God is helping me to understand his faithfulness, even in giving me wisdom in parenting.


Yvonne&Eric June 27, 2008 at 9:49 pm

Hi Jessica,
I’ve been lurking at your blog for a while now and figured I should come out and say hi. I found you on Angie/Audrey’s site and clicked on your name because I saw scrapbooking beside it:)
I love this post and that picture of Elias is so cute. Our 2nd is due the day after Elias(if I’m doing the math correctly) so it’s been to fun to follow along with your pregnancy.
Being a mom has changed me so dramatically. It’s realizing that a clean house isn’t nearly as important as the tickle time and cuddle time you have with your child. It means constantly thinking about this little person and putting yourself 2nd, moretimes than not. It means an increased love for your husband as you watch him interact with your child – seeing the love they have for each other is a joy I can’t describe. Being a mom is all encompassing. Remember to take time out for yourself, because you are important too:)
Hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well and your labor is as smooth as one can be. Feel free to check out my blog if you want to know more of who I am:)


Rachel June 27, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Hi Jessica,

I am not a mommy, and probably won’t be one for at least a few more years. But I just want to say, what a GREAT post. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the scrapbook industry and trying to stay up to date and trying to be the best! But you’re right, it’s the memories being collected that really matter! Thanks for this post. It really made me do a lot of reflecting on my own, reflecting that I needed to do!


brandiandboys June 28, 2008 at 4:37 pm

parenting definitely changed me for the better and there are only small things i miss.

like being able to spur of the moment run to see a movie or spend the whole day reading in a comfortable chair, and sleeping late.

and i’m sure i’ll be able to do all of those things again before i know it, because unfortunately time flies and the kids grow up way faster than i wish they would!


Paul & Angela Jenkins June 29, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Being a parent changed everything for my husband and I. If anything it make me want to scrapbook more. I was diagnosed w/ a fatal lung disease a few weeks before getting pregnant. I was given a timeline left to live and no option for children. The Lord had other plans. So as I was pregnant and my conditioning worsening I wrote like crazy. I went from bad to worse and wanted more than anything for my unborn child to know me, his past and how much I loved him. I was given no opportunity to meet him so I poured out everything I had in pictures and writing and begin his scrapbook. I wanted him to know he was loved and wanted and that I chose to die for him b/c of love. I didn’t want him to think he killed me.

OK digressing here sorry. Anyway I lived and his scrapbook has so many memories for him. Now I have a daughter and am working on hers. I scrapbook everything and every event. For me I’m not promised tomorrow. The doctors nor I know how long I have so I’ve decided to make sure my kids know their beginning and their family. Plus should I die before they get older I want them to have lots of pictures of me smiling. An added bonus my kids scrapbooks are their favorite book. They love looking at it and would everyday if I’d let them.


Christi June 29, 2008 at 7:18 pm

I first have to say that I think the question really is “How has being a Mom NOT changed your life?” Really everything changes when you have a baby. I’m new to being a Mom, with my little boy just a little over a year now. It’s been a true year of blessings with him in our lives. I’ve really learned to not be selfish but selfless, putting my child first. It can be frustrating because so many things I want to do get put to the backburner. But as I watch him grow and learn and see the joy he brings into me and my husband’s life, I find it really is all worth it. Honestly I’ve thought to myself, “what else would I rather be doing with my life right now?” God put the desire in me to be a Mom, and is now giving me a new perspective on life through my son.

Having a child has also brought me and my husband much closer. To work together towards the commom goal of raising our son, and experiencing the miracle of his birth together has just made our love for each other grow. We still look at each other sometimes and say “We have a son!” because we are just so amazed as we see this little guy that looks like us running around enjoying life.

A baby also brings a bit of chaos to an organized life. I’m a very organized person and have had to chill out since having a baby. Nothing ever goes as planned anymore. We are always late getting places (even later than we were before the baby!). And my now toddler loves to pull all his clothes out of his drawers and get food all over the floor, his highchair and himself. So things are never really in order anymore. But if I step back and just watch his little mind working as he experiences things, trys new things and just explores I forget about the disorganization.

I have been a scrapbooker in the past myself, but nothing close to the beautiful designs you recently posted. But being a working mom, the time has not been there to keep it up. I like your perspective on your scrapbooking and that will help when your baby comes. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not able to do the scrapbooking you’d like. Just take lots of photos, and pray for some time to take some of those memories and get them on paper. I’ve found it’s more important to just make the memories.

Overall, I’ve learned to try not to be overwhelmed by everything, to just live in the moment with my baby, because time moves too quickly. Get ready to just live and love your little guy!


surfmomma4 June 29, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Hi you have any pages online we can look at? Would love to see your work..
thanks and good luck on the new baby.
My son just opened a sonogram studio where they do the 3-d pictures..aren;t they neat?
Take care


mamachristina June 30, 2008 at 2:18 pm

I love your perspective on the different areas of scrapbooking and working at your own pace and enjoying each project, thats how I feel.


Anonymous July 1, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Howdy! I’m a g’ma (who lives in Wisconsin btw). Being a mom and how it changed me…mmm that’s something to ponder. I think it made me more “others” centered, for sure. It also brought me back to the Lord in my 30’s as I wanted to be sure that they had a “spiritual” foundation. So God has changed me big-time, more than my kids, I think.

One thing I want to tell you as a mom, you will be immersed in Baby Elias from the moment he comes out. You will “feel” like these days will last forevr but I need to tell you that they don’t and they really will slip by quickly. Don’t do as I did and wish those years away. We get so taken with all the firsts that we just (sometimes) can’t wait until the next “step”. Once he is in school the years will just zip on by. Relish every moment, build a relationship with him so tha when he is grown he’ll want to spend time with you.
More over, blessings to you and your family! I’m enjoying reading you blog!!!


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