Friday, March 16, 2007

highs and lows of life

Lets begin with my rollercoaster of emotions, a friends kid was operated on and recovered, a friend's dad died, then my friend's cutest son ever -- has left us and I know he is heaven now.. my oh my,... how can ones' heart bear such pain.. no parent should ever see their kids suffer... endure intense pain, face adversities at a young age.. if only we can just take the pain away, if only we can catch whatever sickness that inflicts them.. if only we just let them smile all day and not let them sob uncontrollably.... if only we could be the 'sieve' to rule out all bad experiences so they just merely enjoy life as children... However, that's the natural course of life, we should be thankful we are given the chance to be with our loved ones.. we live on borrowed time yes and for our kids, we act as mere stewards until such time that God reclaims them as his angels, as his own.. we take comfort that they are ok and living in paradise.

I guess everything is a match if you feel so sad for few days, then there are days that we get to feel fulfillment and unexplainable happiness... I wrote this because of some fantastic developments in my scrap group, Scrappin moms, our on a roll (sheer excitement) preps for Scrapfest and the rallying of my egroup Scrapbooks Xchange (during our darkest week),...... I hope for their sake it gets published(submitted it in magazine abroad),.. that the world (U.S.) knows how well our scrapping community here has developed,... both on a personal level and on a creative level.... I hope people will not think this is to brag or to give myself prestige,.. If it gets published -- it would tell that we, here in the Philippines are fantastic scrappers and that we belong in a community that truly has heart and we's what I wrote....

When I try to think of how far my scrapbooking has gone and the great relationships I have formed, I sit here and say to myself "WOW". I am Filipina girl who grew up in Australia and coming back to the Philippines in 1997 (upon meeting my then boyfriend now my husband of 7 years), I had nobody to rely on here in terms of close relationships. I had no immediate family or a close set of friends to help me adjust.

Having been married in 2000, it didnt help my social life since it was only a Newlyweds group that I belong to and of course, that being virtual -- you hardly see this people you read about.

But now as I write this, you can say I am simply flabergasted to think that I can help contribute to a thriving industry of scrapbooking here and at the same time, meet lovely ladies. Some of these ladies became my 'kumares' a Tagalog term you use to say that your girlfriend is your child's god parent. We hold sacred that kind of relationship because as Catholics we choose them to be like second parents to our children.
I never get days off having started building a family in 2003 when my boys Jacob, Jerome and Jorel came year after year. However, my husband Patrick had to accept my self imposed 'time out' from domesticity, to attend my scrapping EB (eyeball) day, where we gather in one club house at a location, center to all members of Scrapbooks Exchange egroup. Every month we hold this meet-up as a venue to learn more techniques, share our new layouts, teach others, and even share our wealth of die cutters and dies. We live in a country where scrapbooking isn't as common yet nor do every scrapper own the latest scrapbooking tools. And so our so called 'day off'', we share what we have with friends. Its amazing, these monthly meetings started in my own house with 6 friends and one little girl Gaby (I have pictures to prove it). Now our egroup has blossomed 20 over 200 members. Thank GOD too, our scrapbook suppliers have mushroomed to be online resellers and another egroup too exists, Pinoy scrapbookers which is thriving in passion and talent in scrapbooking.

I cannot credit myself for singlehandedly strengthening this hobby in our country. However I feel that I have been deemed an 'accomplished scrapper' because my passion for scrapbooking has in fact rubbed off on other people. I have inspired people to make time for their families' legacies. Amazingly, I have inspired others to open up their own online scrapbooking stores. Personally, I would go as far as giving away free supplies to new scrappers, helping them choose materials or merely helping them do a first layout. I sit on the computer using a messenger, talking scrap talk and helping people edit journalling, or adding pizzaz on their pages. I guess scrapbooking changed my life because it made me more generous at heart than what I was 4-5 years ago. I guess I term its as my 'pay it forward' act, because a lot of those I have helped, has in turn helped others... As a mother, it made me more attentive to detail, to ensure I keep those important milestones of my family's life. And not even that, you can call me a magician too,.. some of my kid's shots are not so great pictures but they are now presented better because of the scrapbooking skills I have learned.

My writing has even improved and I have dabbled in writing for local magazines doing craft tutorials (in English and Tagalog) or design. With the formation of my group, with three other mommy friends, Mia, April and SL and I are even able to provide an online magazine on our website called 'Scrapbytes' geared for new scrappers. I contribute articles there alongside other generous and talented scrappers. We hold scrapbooking conventions for scrapbookers here twice a year.. and all this for our love for scrapbooking.

What's more, scrapbooking gave my being 'stay at home mom' more dimension. I can play host during scrapbooking events on weekends, initiate virtual scrap talk on chat. I even have been featured with my group on tv, talking about our beautiful hobby. I was even part of a make over feature of my scraproom with a local magazine. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think paper would let me do that as mommy who is just crazy over he boys and crazy over papers and embellishments.

Best of all, I have also helped bring the scrapbookers closer, bridge gaps and help in providing a support group where people commune in good and bad times. We share so many experiences as first time parents, as married women and as women of substance. If I was to say what I love the most about scrapbooking, its the friendship that has blossomed in my quest to be the historian of my family. For that I am thankful to GOD, because scrapbooking might just be a hobby to others but to me, its a life mission to preserve memories and catalyst to build beautiful friendships that would last a life time. WOW!

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