#joycreated Challenge | DANCE IN THE RAIN

Hello April! It’s a new month and the settling in of a new season- I can’t wait until the snow showers finally stop and the warm rains of Spring become more common place around here. New York City always fulfills the promise of April showers- and I really don’t mind them at all.  Even to this day, I will send the little guy out on a rainy Spring day in his rain boots to happily splash in the puddles, sail Popsicle sticks down the sidewalk gutter rivers and collect worms in our backyard. It’s all good.

So, when I was thinking about the challenge I had for you this month- “dancing in the rain” came to mind- but not in the happy puddle jumping of an 8 year old kind of way.  Instead, I’m talking about documenting the “bummers’ that inevitably rain on our days. I think it’s just as important to tell those stories as it is to document the happy moments, the everyday blessings and the  milestones.
It’s a way to ensure our scrapbooks are a real refection of our lives. Some of the “bummers” I’ve documented are little ones- like my boys falling and scraping a knee or becoming frustrated in their early sports.  Some are a bit deeper- like the documenting the feeling of loss I have, and can’t really ever fill, after losing my dad. Those pages were especially hard to make- but I don’t regret going through the process. These types of pages add a 3rd dimension to my albums and take them beyond being paper and pretties to something real.
Looking back on these layouts that document a hard time I was facing at a particular stage in my life never fails to bring to surface a lot of emotions. Sometimes laugh at how I blew things out of proportion- and sometimes I come away a little impressed at how I overcame that certain obstacle.  I’m also glad I have these pages because as my boys  get older, I want them to remember the hard times – because remembering them will give them strength and maybe a little direction when they are facing tough times of their own.  Remembering them will mean owing them. And truly, I believe that you need to own every part of your life to be real.
I also believe that every part of our lives- good and tough can be filled with joy. It’s something I talked about a bit in this post . It doesn’t mean that you ignore the hurting- or even redefine it. It’s an embracing of the lesson, the survival and the strengthening that comes from it all.
Here are a few “bummer” pages I’ve made over the years:
When Liam was a real little guy- I had a hard time juggling everything in the mornings- and sometimes would just throw anything on him to take Ryan to school. Of course, it never failed that the days he was the worst dressed- were the very days we would run into everyone I knew. This page pokes fun at that feeling of being so disorganized  – even though it was a real stress at the time!
6th grade homework was a reality slap for our family- and many a night was spent with Ryan in tears and frustration about his workload. After I snapped this photo he actually screamed at me that I was out of my mind and what kind of mother takes pictures like this? Now- he cracks up laughing at the photo- the memory and the fact that I was bonkers enough to take photos of everything! 
I was there to take photos of his first motorized scooter ride- needless to say, I didn’t stop snapping when he fell off! Again- I was yelled at- and again- yes- he loves this page. It also helped reassure the little guy when it was his turn to learn the ropes- that it was OK to have a hard time- because his older brother did too!
Ouch. Looking back at this page still hurts a little- but also makes me feel so happy that love was never unspoken in our house.
Sure, I have a ton of photos of the little guy happy on the Soccer field- but this page means so much to him (and me!) because it shows how far he came to overcome his frustration of losing.
This was my little guy going to nursery school. He was miserable- and it was a really REALLY hard time for all of us. We were looking at this page just the other day, and it was then he found out that while he was crying inside the classroom, I was sitting in a little chair just outside in the hallway crying for him. He was shocked. And so happy that mama was there- even when he didn’t know it. Priceless.
I hope you play along with the challenge this month- yes it would be cool to be a featured layout or win a gift certificate to the shoppe- but more than anything I think you will come away with a layout or two that takes your memory keeping to a deeper lever- and that will make you happy in so many ways!


what joy will you create today?


  1. Diane! I loved your layout and gave it a GSO on the ForeverJoy Facebook page! I'm so glad you played along- but please know- we really tried to keep this fun and easy- so you don't need to link up on the blog. )Though I'm glad you did!) 😉

  2. Diane! I loved your layout and gave it a GSO on the ForeverJoy Facebook page! I'm so glad you played along- but please know- we really tried to keep this fun and easy- so you don't need to link up on the blog. )Though I'm glad you did!) 😉

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