2017 Project Life Creative Team Member

When I was 16/17, my Young Woman’s president and good friend, taught me all about scrapbooking. I needed a project to complete Personal Progress and she felt this would be a great hobby for my creative side. I went on to complete my own scrapbook, did some work for her and other friends, and have since then scrapbooked my college years, married life, vacation, and of course my children.

Throughout all those years I accumulated papers, stamps, stamp pads, scissors, stickers, letters, die cuts, you name it- I owned it. And every time I moved (8x) my crafts came with me. Oh boy! You should see the look on movers face when they see my food storage and craft room. Priceless!

In 2011, I came across Becky Higgins. I had owned a couple of her books she had written about scrapbooking or lettering. When I saw her new product (I wish I remembered where) I said: Self, you need all of that! At that point, I was very behind on my memory keeping. I tried to catch up using Heritage Makers (digital scrapbooking) and that worked pretty well as many of my pictures were now on my computer. But there sat ALL my supplies untouched.  I missed the physical aspect of the hobby. I missed touching and feeling the papers. I missed the glossy picture of my sweet kids faces. Call me weird, but my homies who scrapbook know what I’m talking about. Am I right?

After I found Project Life, I realized I could still use physical products, print pictures, and keep my scrapbooking as a maneagable hobby. I LITERALLY could buy 1, that’s right, UNO core kit that would allow me to complete an entire album. My pocket-book was happy, my memory keeping was caught up, and my creative side was appeased. It was a no brainer. My friends were also happy because I literally gave all my stuff away. Well, I kept some scissors and stuff my daughter could use. But the rest I gave away. They were so grateful and now my life was simplified.

As the company has grown, I have loved watching it and implementing it as part of my memory keeping journey. Becky is absolutely amazing at sharing her ideas. I LOVE when others share their talents. I truly believe that’s what God intended and she’s the epitome of that.

I learned she had a Creative Team and for a few years it literally became a dream of mine. There’s my nerd side coming out again. I tried out for it last year and didn’t make it. I was sad, but not discouraged at all. I had a lot to learn and it was worth the wait for me. At that point, I was doing a hybrid of both physical product and using the app. I use the physical products to catch up on past years and all those glossy pictures I loved to print, but for present time, I use the app. All my pictures are on my iPhone. It’s SO easy to pull up the app and my pictures and create layouts while I sit in my car and kids have lessons or laying in my bed at night. Again: No brainer!

This year, when the opportunity came to try out for the team again, I felt much more confident in using the PL products. I have a groove (that I’ll share soon). My submissions were from layouts I created from the App. I crossed my fingers and hit the send button. Nerd alert. I literally prayed for this. I have a motto that if it’s important to us, it’s important to the Lord. So I try to include Him. Even if it’s silly.

The night I got the email of acceptance, my friend was driving the car, and I squealed so loud she almost crashed. Oops! We made it to the mall safely and I was in such a good mood, Gap was happy to see me make it rain. Not really, but you know what I mean.

And so here we are. That was a long story. Sorry!! But I’m still pinching myself and had to write all my thoughts down because I really am so grateful.

As it states on the site, “In exchange for the latest and greatest products, our Creative Team members create albums and projects to inspire you.”

I LOVE Project Life . It gives me an opportunity to create, to record, and keep it simple. What more can you ask for? I hope as you follow along, it will inspire you to do the same.

Sincerely,

Doorly

P.S. I needed headshots for my bio. My friend, Denise, and Creative Team Member alumni did an amazing job. Thank you!Headshot.jpg

(Layout: Big Shot 8, Kit: Watercolor Journal)

 

2017 Word: Find

It’s interesting how the start of the New Year causes us to reflect on our life and calls us to action to either make changes or start something new or maybe even continue something that is already working.  Why can’t we just make those changes in May or September? Or whenever the still small voice prompts us to?  I don’t know what it is, but I am grateful for new beginnings and will totally take advantage of an opportunity to start fresh.

While running today (one of the things I want to change) I was really pondering on what my 2017 word would be.  I kept thinking of all the words others who inspire me are using: Create, Learn, Believe, Refresh, Enough, etc.  As I looked at the road ahead (which I regret not taking a picture of) and struggled with my breath, since I was sprinting, that still small voice kept telling me: find your stride, find your breath, find your way to the starting point. And there it was. That still small voice to the rescue again.  So without further ado, this is what I will FIND this year.

  1. Find ways to worship our Savior. My faith is very important to me. These last 6 months have been spent in a lot of prayer, scripture study, and fasting. I don’t want to stop that. I don’t want to take what I have learned and the transformation that occurred for granted. I want to continue to get to know Jesus Christ. I want to find more ways to follow Him. Find more ways to be like Him. And eventually find my way back to Him.
  2. Find ways to be a better wife. Kevin will be deploying this year, so physically this will be a little bit hard. BUT, I can write and call him as often as possible. I can pray for his safety and those around him. I can send him packages. I can take care of the home he has provided for us. I can support him in his work, callings, hobbies. I can love him unconditionally. He doesn’t ask for much at all. He is quite amazing and easy to please. I want to find ways to be better for him.
  3. Find ways to be a better mother. I have 3 of the funnest, easiest, cutest, happiest kids.  They too are easy to please.  This last year, I found out that they just want me to love them. That’s it. They just want songs when tucked into bed. They want me to stop and listen to their stories. They want me to wave when the bus goes by. I am sure I can find the time to do those things and so much more.
  4. Find healthy relationships. I love my family and friends. A lot of you can attest to that. Unfortunately I struggled this last year with that. And you know what, that’s o.k. We live and we learn. I learned we all have our agency and we can’t force relationships and sometimes, unfortunately they cannot be repaired. But that doesn’t mean we are not all worth fighting for. So those that are lost can be prayed for and wished well.  In the meantime, I will find ways to be a better friend, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin. I might fail, but not without trying.
  5. Find hobbies that make me happy. Off the top of my head I literally can think of scrapbooking and sewing. I LOVE those two crafts. So I will make time for that. Being on the Project Life Creative Team will help a lot with scrapbooking (blog on that coming soon). I love small sewing projects. I think it will be great to do those again and help Emma along the way in her sewing interest. I have added piano as a new skill to learn this year. I won’t be playing at Carnegie Hall anytime soon, but if I can help my child through a song, then that’s my reward. I would also like to read more. That will help me stop and be still. So I have to find time for my hobbies.
  6. Find ways to serve and help others. I LOVE to serve. It’s one of my favorite things to do. When I can leave someone in a happier state than when we first met, it literally makes my heart leap. Sometimes I serve too much at the expense of my family. So I will find ways to serve more effectively for all those involved. Find ways to uplift either physically or emotionally.
  7. Find my stride. I put running on the back burner this past year. I missed it a lot. I am out of shape, overweight (by my standards), and not as fast as I could be. And that’s ok too. I will now be 35 this year so the Boston qualifying time goes up. Yay! Still have to get faster than my PR. But this will be my year. This year, I will find time to run. Find my best physical shape again. Find my stride and stay there for 26.2 miles.

There are so many other things that I want to do and accomplish because hello there’s 365 days in the year and I can do it all, right? NO!!! Note to self: your husband is deploying, you have 3 kids who need you, and you are moving in the middle of the year. YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL! And you will NOT FIND a way to do it all.

But seriously, friends. I don’t want to do it all. And as you can see from my list, I don’t have super specifics. I have ideas of what I want to accomplish and I will go from there. That’s what works for me. I hope you find all that you are looking for this year. I hope you find what makes your heart leap for joy.

Sincerely,

Doorly

Week 21, 2016

This week has been very soul finding. Yes the saying is soul searching, but so many different changes are happening to our family that it’s causing me to find answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. Correction: I had them but buried them as I focused on other things. 

Though I’m so so so so…so so sad to move (headed to Portsmouth, VA area), I’m excited to see what the future has in store for us. Definitely more Project Life. I cannot wait to document this new chapter in our life.

 I’m currently in the car driving back to MD from our NYC visit. I thought it would be fun to blog our week instead of flooding my awesome IG’ers feed. Let me know what you think! 

                     Project 52 2016 Edition

I am LOVING the Hi, Sunshine Value Kit. So cute! 

                         Everyday Edition 

                 Capture Life Theme Cards

Note about the above layout: if you’re a regular follower you know about our #winegarsafterchurch pictures. There’s a post here some where about that. Anywho…61 weeks later, I have included that picture and scripture in that week’s layout. As my husband and I were looking at our layouts, we realized that when our families see our book, they will read countless spiritual messages on a weekly basis. Our faith is so important to us. It gives us purpose and joy. To be able to share that through our scrapbooks, well, that makes my heart swell! 
Ok…carry on…

Capture Life Theme Cards (another one of my faves)

Thanks for stopping by! 

-Sincerely, Doorly 


Family History- I am doing it!

Yes I know my title is cheesy but you love me anyways!  I have felt very impressed to share a story that happened about 5 months ago.  I actually love sharing this story and I hope you enjoy reading it.

My family is very big. My mother has 14 brothers and sisters and 2 of them have 10 children each.  My father comes from 10 brothers and sisters.  He is the oldest.  They grew up in the humblest of conditions in the Dominican Republic. I only have 1 picture of both my parents as youth and they were about 18 years old.  Each of my aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc., has a nickname.  It’s really hard for them to tell me each other’s real names. It’s really funny to watch them try to remember.  To find out dates such as birth, marriage, death is almost impossible.  So as you can imagine doing my family history is extremely hard and a very daunting task.

Those extended family members are all Catholic.  There is only 1 LDS cousin aside from my immediate family of 5.  In December 2014, I sent her an email and told her that I really needed her help in accomplishing some family history. I told her she was the only one who could help me and understood the importance of doing the work.  She happily agreed but also didn’t have much to go from.  The only information she could give me was the name of my Great Grandfather, his wife, and their 5 children.  That is a great start, but I had no dates or locations.  After receiving the email, I got on ancestry.com and started a search using my Great Grandfather’s name.  However, so many of the same names came up, I didn’t know how to pick which one would belong to me.  With such little information and a feeling of discouragement, I walked away.  

Later that month, the Bishop gave the Ward a challenge to index 100,000 names. Loving a challenge and wanting to feel like I did some family history (even if it wasn’t for me) I gladly accepted the challenge and focused on indexing.  I quickly caught the bug and in the year of 2015, I indexed 11,371 names.  I did records ranging from birth certificates, obituaries, war rosters, to Dominican death records. However none of those were from my area of the country and none of the names sounded familiar.  During the year, I never went back to my own family history.  

In December 2015 as we approached a new year, the Bishop updated us on our indexing goal. We were almost there and just needed to kick it up a notch. But he challenged us again and said he would appreciate it if we could do 500 temple baptisms in 2016.  I quickly thought of my family and hoped I could at least provide 1 name towards that goal.  

While visiting my family in Arizona in December, I received a text message from my husband that the Ward had met its indexing goal. What fantastic news! I was glad to be able to now go back to my family history.  A few days later I sat amongst 24 family members in AZ for the holidays and decided to get my laptop and find some family from the Dominican Republic.  I searched for the name my cousin had provided me exactly a year ago. I didn’t expect to find anything.  I expected to have a sea of names show up, all in the same city, with no relations to me.  I will be eternally grateful that I was wrong.

As I pressed enter on my Great Grand Father’s name, it appeared.  Attached to his name was his wife’s, their marriage certificate, their 5 children, their parents (my Great-Great Grandparents), and more information to help me get started. I couldn’t believe it. I had to go back and forth between the original email and the ancestry record numerous times to make sure that my eyes were not deceiving me. The names matched exactly. My Maternal Grandfather was listed there just as I had remembered his name.  Everything was there! I quickly called my husband over and showed him what I had found and we both marveled at the miracle.  I hopped on familysearch.com and started attaching the information to my tree fearing that if I didn’t do it right away, it would disappear.  Luckily my mother-in-law had experience in family history work.  She helped me get the names ready for the temple. And in a matter of minutes I had 12 names ready for temple work!

To say that I was excited is an understatement! My heart was full! We had an upcoming temple trip with the youth for baptisms.  Both my husband and I work with the youth and love them dearly and saw it as an opportunity to get the work done.  The youth brought other names to do from the ward. They had a couple dozen of their own names as well.  As I sat in the baptistery and thought of all these names submitted, I wondered to myself why my 12 were so special to me. It’s not nearly as much as what everyone else had.  It’s just a few names.  Then I remembered advice I was given as a youth.

While growing up in NYC in the late ‘90’s, I was in charge of the annual Youth Conference one year.  It was held in the Stake Center that is now the Temple.  The guest speaker was Elder Rasband.  He was President Rasband at the time as he was the Mission President.  I was very embarrassed because it was so poorly attended.  I kept apologizing to him because of the low number of youth that were there.  He kept reassuring me that everything was alright.  He reminded me that if I “…bring, save it be one soul unto me (Christ), how great shall be your joy…” He said even if I was that soul, my joy would be great.  Fast-forward 18 years: even if I only have a few names of Family History, the Lord is pleased. It doesn’t have to be dozens of names. It can even be one and its just as beloved.

I want to bear my testimony that I know this Church is true.  The Bishop described this experience as a tender mercy. I spent a year working on other families that had nothing to do with my ancestors.  I never once thought it would ever apply to me. Then on the very last moment of the challenge, the tender mercies of the Lord poured into my life.  It is small miracles like this that solidify my knowledge that the Church is true.

 

Doorly Winegar

January 3, 2016

Germantown, MD

Rest Day

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This time around I chose a training plan (Run Farther, Run Faster) that has me running 3x a week and Cross-Training 2x a week.  That leaves me 2 days to rest, re-group, and look forward to getting back out there.

As a member of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints, I was taught at a very young age to keep the Sabbath day holy.  But being married to an Anesthesia Resident, I have learned to run when the opportunity arises.  And more often than not, that is on a beautiful Sunday morning when my family is all home, I have a few hours before church, and its me, the pavement, and my reflections on the blessings I have received.  Sounds so magical and perfect.  It really is. But as I have gotten injured or not met my race goals, I have often asked myself, “Am I doing all that I can to reach my goals?” I am logging the miles, I am doing the strength training, I am resting when I should, I TRY to eat right.  What else can I do?  Then a dear friend advised me to have my rest day truly be on Sunday.  Wait? What?!?  Did she not realize that’s one of the only day’s Kevin is home after the sun rises? But as I thought about it more and more, the scripture on 2 Nephi 25:23 came to mind, and I was reminded that I can receive the Lord’s grace, AFTER all we can do.

Now the scripture was referring to the Lord’s saving grace, but can’t we apply the scriptures and its counsel to all aspects of our lives? If I study hard for my test, get the rest I need for my mind, sharpen the saw, say my prayers, the Lord will help me remember my answers.  If I work hard at my job, am on time, honest with my employer, prove my worth, eventually I will be eligible for a promotion/raise. There are so many aspects of life that we can apply the Lord’s grace in. Sometimes we do all that we can and the outcome is not exactly what we had in mind, but at least we know we tried, were obedient, and allowed the Lord’s will to be done.

So what have I done to allow Sundays to be my day of rest?

  • A great young adult from my congregation graciously accepted a job to watch my children on Saturday mornings so I can do my long runs.  That has helped a lot to know that this person was willing to be at my home bright and early so I can accomplish my goals.
  • I run Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays.  That’s it.  Kinda scary to not be logging 60+ miles. But its really nice 😉 I get out there, work hard, then I am done.
  • I try to read my scriptures before I run.  But if I can’t then I at least pray.  I pray that my children will be safe while I am gone.  I pray for the Lord’s grace.  Maybe this is sacreligous, but I ask the Lord to bless my efforts in keeping the Sabbath Day holy by allowing my weekly runs to be quality work.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and I fall flat on my face.  But I tried.  And that is all He asks of us- “…after all we can do.”
  • I hang up all my monitors: Heart Rate, FitBit, Garmin, Fitness Pal, etc! Calories don’t count today.  The most steps I take on a Sunday are a whopping 2,500 IF THAT! But they are all charging ready for me to take them out for a spin on Monday morning.
  • I go to church. I spend 3 hours at church learning more about the Savior’s grace.  I teach the cutest, I mean, the cutest bunch of 6/7 year olds about the Savior’s grace. And we strive to apply that grace into our lives.
  • Index, I scrapbook, we have friends over for dinner, play games together as a family, make yummy dinners, watch a family show, face-time with family: pretty much anything that makes my heart happy.

Now please understand that I am NOT, I repeat, I am NOT judging anyone for the activities anyone chooses to do on Sunday.  This is MY choice, a decision I made all by myself, and something I expect only of myself and my immediate family.  My race is still on a Sunday. But I try to not train on a Sunday because that is something that I can control.  I do have to say, I can see the blessings in my life.  Like I said earlier, my family is all here on Sunday, so it makes my heart happy that I am here too. I am not getting home an hour before church hurrying to make them lunch, get ready, and rush out the door.  I can wait for them to wake up and we can be together.  My pace has improved, injury-free (knock-on wood), I can go on, but my heart is happy and that’s what matters more to me than any BQ I could be going after.

I am grateful for Sundays.  They truly are the #bestday.  Best day to be with family and the ones we love.  The best day the Lord could have chosen where we rest from our burdens. As President Nelson said: “…the Sabbath was His gift to us, granting real respite from the rigors of daily life and an opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal.” I hope you too can enjoy this gift and share it with others.

Sincerely,

Doorly

#winegarsafterchurch

09/01/02

09/01/02

Honestly, Friends, I have no idea why we started taking Family pictures after church.  Our first one was on Mother’s Day, 16 weeks ago.  I just wanted to express my love for my family and how grateful I was to our Father in Heaven. The following week, Kevin started a rotation in Baltimore. He is an Anesthesia Resident and rotates through different specialties in the field.  He lived in Baltimore during the week and came home on the weekends.  It was really tough for me because I had been spoiled by having Kevin home and not deploying.

Really quickly: Kevin has deployed 2x not including being gone for work-ups (deployment prep) and I had a baby and he survived a lot in his last deployment. Having him home so consistently has been heavenly because residency is non-deployable.

Ok back to the topic: So when he left, I just wanted a picture to show how happy we were that he was home.  The next week was Father’s Day and he deserved a selfie with his family like I had the privilege of getting.  The next week, the riots in Baltimore started and Kevin was there.  Ah man! Talk about anxiety.  Just goes to show you don’t have to be in a war zone to have those dangers in your back yard.  We just had to take a family selfie and state: “We can choose to be grateful, no matter what.”  Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

And then… it just kept happening and it was a lot of fun. Wether we were visiting NYC for the weekend or had someone visiting us at Church, I was so grateful to have with me my Eternal Family at Church learning how to be more like Jesus.

Its been fun looking for quotes. Sometimes, I find quotes on a Tuesday as I listen to a  General Conference talk that inspired me. Or use a hymn. Or use Pintrest.  I just try to find something that resonates in my heart and hope that someone can apply it to their lives.

Sometimes Kevin joins us. His testimony is ever so strong and he has a deep Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  When he doesn’t join us, he is on call at work.  Sometimes we go visit him and thats a lot of fun too.  But he’s working and we respect and appreciate him for working so hard for our little family.

On August 31, 2002, Kevin asked me to marry him on beautiful Newport Beach, CA.  The next day was a Sunday.  My sweet father-in-law, noted that we didn’t take a picture after we got home that evening.  After church, he brought us outside and took our first #winegarsafterchurch picture.  I realized that this week.  I was nostalgic about his sweet proposal and remembered that picture.  Then quietly in my heart I thanked our Father in Heaven.

13 years later, our testimony is still strong and true. We have had our trials. Oh trust me.  We really have. But, our family is an Eternal Family and we can be together forever if we choose the right and live in accordance to the Gospel Standards.  13 years later, we have 3 children whom we can share our testimony with and some day they too can take their children to Church.  We hope that we can set an example to them to always attend Church no matter where they are, no matter how strong or how sensitive their testimony is.  The Lord’s house is ever so welcoming and ready to teach any one of us His ways and His love.

We hope as you read this, you too can feel the love of our Dear Savior. You can join us in taking pictures.  Share the goodness!

08/23/15

08/23/15

Sincerely,

Doorly

Marathon #8

Yikes! Did I really just say that?!?

Roughly around 2005, I went running with 2 amazing women.  One was a runner and has run numerous marathons and has a few Bostons under her belt.  The other is the epitomy of being healthy and active and is the cutest thing ever.  Anyhow…  we went on a morning jog and I was not excited.  I just went because I wanted to spend time with them, but I didn’t care much about running.  About 15 minutes into our run, we hit a construction zone that smelled of Tar.  You know that smell that you can barely breathe of Tar?  Well I saw that as my way out. Score! I quickly said I couldn’t breathe and just had to turn around.  I remember their faces like it was yesterday.  They were so confused and I know they were disappointed that I gave up so quickly.

After I had Joey in 2006, I wanted to lose weight and feel better about myself.  Very determinedly I went up to Kevin and told him that I was going to start running and that I was going to run a marathon.  He laughed. Like literally. Like LOL laughed.  “You have no idea how hard running a marathon is.  Do you know how far a marathon is?  I don’t think you can do it.”  I got up to 4 miles, then I got pregnant with Emma.  Oh well…

We moved to Maryland. I had Emma in 2008.  My sweet friend was very helpful during my bed rest and after I had Emma she offered to help me get into running and would help me train.  I told Kevin that I WAS going to train for a Marathon.  I knew how far it was, and I was going to do it. He had strict instructions to support me, to push me out of bed despite me hitting the snooze button, and to be there for me when I crossed to finish line.  He agreed. I am sure he had his speculations, but bless his heart, he did not express any.

One year later, Marathon #1 was in the books.

This was taken with First Generation iPhone. Wow!

This was taken with First Generation iPhone. Wow!

16 races, 3 moves, 2 deployments, and 1 more child later, I am training for Marathon #8.  Many have done 10, 20, and lots more.  But 8 to me.  I just can’t believe it.  I am grateful to be able to push myself a little farther.

I don’t know what I hope to accomplish with this blog.  I have tried for Boston 3x! Yup, 3x. And have gotten so close but…nope. Didn’t do it. #8 will be my 4th attempt. So maybe having this blog will help me be a little more accountable. Maybe it will help me go back and review what worked and what didn’t.  But most importantly, I hope it will inspire YOU to push yourself a little farther in whatever you wish to accomplish.  And whether its your 1st attempt, 4th or 10th, DON’T YOU EVER GIVE UP!!!