Start with the Story: We Overcame

So I'm taking a class on journaling by Scrap Gal Tracie Claiborne. You can find her classes at I'm up to lesson 8 of 12 plus a bonus and I've found it to be very inspiring. Journaling is something I've done all my life and it comes very naturally for me, however, I feel like this class has helped refine my skills and narrow the focus of my sometime spastic brain. Tracie has a way of verbalizing things I have always known but have never been able to articulate. Sometimes she says exactly what I am thinking--it's the weirdest thing.

This is the first layout I have done since starting the class. One of the strategies Tracie recommends is to look past the obvious story of a photo and write about the unseen. 


Here's the journaling:
May 7, 2015
This was a monumental day for Julian and me, on many levels. On the face of it, we had overcome more than a thousand miles in the car, traveling from Texas to South Carolina, taking Grandma Bonnie to visit Great Grandma Hammond, who was in failing health. That was certainly no small accomplishment!

On a deeper level, even though this time at the beach was incredibly short--only a few hours--it was spent in peace, entirely without conflict and full of just plain fun. We walked back and forth along the waters edge, quietly taking in the sacred of the water and the sky and the sand and everything we love about the beach. That, too, was no small accomplishment.

As often happens when I'm on the beach, I was overcome with emotion and cried it all out right there on the beach. Julian and I have walked a difficult path the last two years--a single year ago he was spending time at Vanderbilt's Psychiatric Hospital, learning new behavioral techniques for coping with his anger and adjusting to new medications. I was seeing a counselor for all the same reasons. At that time, I wouldn't have even considered taking a two thousand mile car trip with him. He screamed at me often. Sometimes, I screamed back. We were not good together because we were together way too much. Anger was destroying both of us.

Spending time with Grandma and Papa saved us both. Time apart gave us healing. And life experiences apart. What a gift! Julian got a sense of humor and I learned to breathe again. Moving to Texas made us all feel less alone and brought our whole family into our lives on a daily basis. Our village got bigger and stronger and we are better for it. 

That day, Julian and I had lunch at a little cafe right on Wrightsville Beach, then we walked for a few hours before a spring thunderstorm came rolling in and dropped some rain right on us. Driving back to the hotel that night, Julian took a nap in the car and I had a little time to reflect on our newfound kind of peace and be grateful for it. It was a day of redemption for both of us--a day for which I will always be grateful. 


The 6x6 pattern papers on this layout came from last month's Simon Says Stamp card kit. I do like these papers but this is a definitive example of there being something included in a card kit that I never would have picked out for myself. This kit stretched me, for sure. 

And bonus points: I used that piece of background paper as the base--it's by Creative Imaginations. The line was from approx 2009 called Dead Men Tell No Tales. I can't even remember when I bought it. 

I do love a good scrapbook page that tells a story! Don't you?



CB Kentucky said...

Thanks for sharing Sarah. I know it has been hard for you to share Julien with the world, but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate seeing tiny glimpses of your journey.

TracieClaiborne said...

I just wanna hug you right now. Reading this with tears rolling down my face.

Lola said...

Sarah, You look great in the photo. I'm so glad that things are going well for you and your family. I did not know you had moved to Texas.

Loved your story on this page. But you have always done a great job with your journaling.

LisaDV said...

Beautiful journaling! You're story is amazing! Love the photo of you both too.