Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Anatomy of a Mini: part two

More pages from the 10th anniversary album that I made for the Gutsy Dad. (The cover can be seen here; the opening pages are shown in this post.)

This layout shows a picture from our actual wedding--the one that happened ten years ago. (Photos of me in a big white dress, appearing elsewhere in this album, are from Wedding #2, which happened only 9 years ago.) 

The prompt word "share" reminded me of this favorite quotation from Buddha. I definitely believe that happiness grows when it is shared. (Please see footnote about my Sing & Smile campaign, below, for more on this topic.) But I also believe that the opposite is true: burdens must also be shared. How else can you lessen them?

This has got to be one of my favorite family portraits of all time. Madelyn is featured, um, prominently. Jillson is barely visible. All you see of the Gutsy Dad is his hands. And yet it really holds a whole lot of wonder for me.

One of the challenges I faced in putting this book together is that I could not choose the focus words -- those were chosen for me. I knew I wanted to address certain themes, so I enjoyed trying to figure out which words to use for what theme, and what photos would help augment the theme. 

We live in a strange state of acquiring more, but trying to do with less. It's tricky for me to explain. But there are times when I can look around at the man and girls I love and think this is it; I need no more than this. This is never truer than at the end of a long separation.

Here's a look at the two pages together:

And that's it for today, dear friends.
The GM


The Sing & Smile campaign:
As many of you know, I love singing in choirs. It helps that I also love church music. I know not everyone is a singer (and maybe more people would enjoy church more if they didn't feel forced to sing?), but sometimes--as a choir member--it bums me out to process down the aisles, singing my little guts out, only to see people with their faces buried glumly in their hymnals or--worse--staring into space, determined not to sing, not to even look at any of those weirdo singers walking down the aisle. So, shortly after joining the choir in Kansas City, I decided to launch a one-woman sing & smile campaign. Why should I allow grumpy parishioners to ruin the fun for me? Do I really need to pretend not to see them? Nope. I have enough theater training to know how to throw a dazzling smile. So now I sing and smile and thoroughly enjoy myself. I make it a point to smile and make eye contact with as many people as possible. (Not in a creepy way; more like a "hey, how are you?" way. At least that's my intent.) There hasn't been a single Sunday since I started my smile campaign that I haven't smiled, from ear to ear, while singing the processional hymn. Every now and then it pays off -- one grumpy person gets snapped out of gloominess and smiles back. It is true that these people may be smiling back because I look kind of crazy and they are trying not to laugh or display annoyance. It is also possible that not a single one of them is willing, suddenly, to sing. But it's also possible that these people are actually happy. And that is enough. To me, this is happiness shared.

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