Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Important Things...

The important things is a journaling model that I was introduced to spring a year ago.  I embraced this model and used in during my journey with Leukemia to journal -- for me it served two purposes -- it was a coping for me to write my thoughts and feelings down and it also became a tool to share updates with my friends and family through my Caring Bridges site.

When Close To My Heart announced the guidelines for this year's Layout Contest and that the focus was on journaling, I knew this was what I wanted to create a layout using.  Below is my contest entry, which I am humbled to say, was chosen as one of the winning entries.  I took little bits and pieces of my journaling and pulled them all together to tell my story.  

Full Spread with 4" x 12" Flip Flap closed

Left side with 5" x 7" flip flap open & top 3" x 4" flip flap open

5" x 7" Flip Flap journaling:  
"The important thing about today is that my heart is filled with hope.  Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.  Many words are used for synonyms of hope:  aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, await, goal, design, dream.  These synonyms define my heart right now.  I believe in wishing on stars…my wish is for the Leukemia cells will not return to my blood.  My desire if for the next 2 weeks to move quickly, uneventfully, and with no obstacles.  I anxiously await my next bone marrow biopsy to be clear and to enable me to go home.  I aspire to be home in time to celebrate Nicholas’ 14th birthday.  My dream for when I leave the hospital is to go to the beach, and witness the ocean, in all its majesticness, with family.  My expectation is that this journey will continue to be challenging but my plan is to continue to fight with grace, faith, courage and dignity.  My goal is to lead a life of joy and to find the joy within every situation.  My ambition is to live a life that I design not one that the Leukemia lays out for me.  But, the important thing about today is that my heart is filled with hope."

5" x 7" Circle journaling:
"The important thing about today is that I am alive and I am fighting.  The sun came up again this morning and it is a new day. Yesterday is behind me.  I can see His beautiful mountains from my window which makes me smile.  My medical team are holding my hands and guiding me with compassion, dignity and knowledge.  I am persevering. I am overwhelmed by the love of my friends and family.  My body, and my blood, may be broken, but my heart is full.  I am not where I WANT to be but I am where I NEED to be.  This is ME.  I am filled with hope and faith.  But the important thing about today is that I am alive and I am fighting."

left side with 5" x 7" flip flap open and bottom 3" x 4" flip flap open

3" x 4" Flip Flap journaling:  
"The important thing about today is that my hair is gone and I am still smiling.  My hair has been increasingly falling out and with each clump in my hands, I have found my emotions growing.  So today, my dear friend, who has cut my hair since I moved to Virginia, came to cut what was left of my hair.  If someone was going to shave it I wanted her to be “my person”.  My nurse filled my day with sunshine, and smiles.  She helped ease the way.  She added a little soft humor which went such a long way.  My husband was here for support.  I thought he would have a hard time but instead he hugged me, kissed my head and called me beautiful.  My friend laughed with me and made me feel normal during the entire process.  She was wonderful.  And it filled my heart.  I thought it would be absolutely horrible but really, it was not.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to cope with it, but I am coping.  I thought the reflection in the mirror would be frightful, but it was not.  It was just different. Once my hair was cut, we pulled out the scarves and she taught me how to tie them.  I felt like I was  a little girl playing dress up. There was laughter and smiles. Instead of feeling sad, I found myself feeling empowered and even a little confidant that I could do this.  When all was said and done, I was relieved and felt a sense of peace.  I am sure there will still be emotional ups and downs along this “bald-journey”, but for now, I am okay."

Full spread with 4" x 12" flip flap open

right side with 4" x 6"

circle journaling:
October 7th:  The important thing about today was that the Lord carried me through the day when I needed Him most.

October 7th:  I pray for my children.  They are struggling with my diagnosis - each in his/her own way.  They are just so young to have this on their little shoulders.  I see their tears and I just ask that the Lord provide comfort to them.

October 9th:  The important thing about today is that I have angels watching over me.  I believe in angels.  I believe that there are angels here on earth and angels in the Heavens and I believe there are some of both watching over me,

October 11th:  The important thing about today is that I am alive and I am fighting.  My Halloween costume is now complete - I have petechia over about 95% of my body.   My entire body itches beyond anything I have EVER experienced.

October 18th:  The important thing about today is that my day was filled with sunshine!  My husband hung a string with clips across my window so I could see all the beautiful cards that my friends and love ones have sent - each a little dose of sunshine.  I absolutely have no doubt my room is the most beautiful in the hospital.  Most certainly the most artsy!

October 25th:  The important thing about today is the I know "when I do through deep waters God is with me".  My old PICC line had some infection in it as well as a great deal of damaged skin around it that made it challenging to deal with so I was given a new PICC line.

November 21st:  The important thing about this week is that I am grateful beyond all measure.

right side with 3" x 4" flip flap open

I have had several ask that I teach this layout as a class, and offer it as a kit so I have decided to do so.  I decided because this was such an important journey for me that I would give $10 from each kit/class to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team in Training and all $10 from the purchase of the digital files.  The kits may be purchased in my Square Shop at:  For those who would like the digital file, you may purchase that is my Square shop as well for $10 (all $10 going to LLS) or you may make your donation directly on my Team In Training Site ( to have the receipt for your taxes.  

Supplies used:
X7244B True Love Paper Pack, X5994 Ballerina cs, X6027 White Daisy cs, Documented Dots (retired), Z3230 3" x 4" Flip Flaps, Z3231 4" x 6" Flip Flaps, Z3232 5" x 7" Flip Flaps, X5993 Sage cs, Z4182 Thin Cuts - Stitched Hearts, Z4309 Thin Cuts -  Shaker Window and Confetti, D1860 You Are My Sunshine stamp set, Z2848 Sapphire Exclusive Ink, Z679 Liquid Glass, Z4088 White Alphabet Foam Stickers.

Special note:  the 4" x 12" Flip Flap is not included in the kits however the materials to create this element are included in the event that you have, or have access to a 4" x 12" flip flap as this item is retired.

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