Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Oh hi.
Remember me.
The girl who used to be the author of this blog.
Sheesh: )
This year has been our year of many changes
and apparently for me with change comes a HUGE adjustment period.
And even though all of the changes have been great, incredible even,
I feel like I've been treading water since March.
Happily treading....like a crazy lady: )
You see, when I get thrown off my game, apparently I get THROWN OFF MY GAME.
And it takes me a while (read FOREVER) to get back in the swing of things.
But I am SO ready be back in the swing of things.
So here I am.

I've had a lot of interesting thoughts and feelings stirring around inside of me the last little while.
Feelings that have pressed on my heart strong and long enough to capture my full attention.
Bits and pieces of a bigger puzzle that have been slowly gathering, connecting, and coming together over a long time; years even.

Part of that puzzle, that bigger picture, has particularly come together lately in a way I never expected.
Funny how things most often come together in ways you didn't imagine.
But over and over this thought has come to my heart and mind...

"Make a video of you and your family's life every day for the next year of your life... and share it."

Man, that sounds like no big deal, lame even...
but you have no idea how scared I was to just speak that out loud.

Scared of what speaking it out loud entails.
Scared that is sounds ridiculous.
Scared of committing to something so big.
(For me it feels big, HUGE even.  As a mom of three little kids, I choose what I do with my time so carefully.  I recognize how precious this time is.  Adding something that feels so big to the things I'm already racing to accomplish feels like crazy talk.  Remember my whole treading water confession?  Imagine treading water while trying to record, edit, and post a video everyday.
Pretty much obvious drowning ensues; am I right?)
Scared of failing; of not following through.
Scared that it'll get hard.
Scared of giving up.
Scared of putting myself out there.
Scared to show you our crazy, goofy lives.
Scared people will see how weird we really are.
Scared to look like a fool.

But also scared to live bigger, deeper, wider.
Scared to leave this nice little comfort zone I've built for myself.
Scared to share my thoughts and heart.
Scared of rejection.
Scared to become more.
Scared to dream.


But despite all those things that sound like pretty darn good reasons to pack my little camera away forever and to not even try....
I can't deny the feelings I've felt to do this.
And to do it now.

I've thought a lot lately about reaching for dreams, about taking our lives in our own hands and living beyond what we thought even possible;
Of taking this one shot we have at life and making the absolute most of it,
Of loving and living to the fullest, of making a difference....a BIG difference.
And you know what?
We can never get to those places without stepping through those fears and just going for it.

So this is me...
stepping through those fears.
(Oh dear. Just keep breathing.)

I guess in reality, this is us stepping through those fears.
But pretty much Chad's not scared of anything.
Not even being home alone in the dark all night.
: )

And you know what, as much as I'm afraid, I'm also excited.
Excited to follow my heart.
(because so far it has never led me astray....cross your fingers)
Excited to do something hard and scary.
Excited to face some fears.
Excited to share this crazy little family of mine with you.
Excited to live and love bigger and deeper and wider.
Excited to connect.
Excited to reach out.
Excited to capture and cherish the moments.
Excited to somehow stop time for my kids.
Excited to create something that will mean so much to us someday.
Excited that maybe, just maybe, someone else out there is excited about this too.
(Even if it's just my mom:  ) Hi mom!)

I have to be honest though.
I'm not the first person who wants to jump in front of a camera or film myself.
But I've had a couple experiences that have got me thinking.

One day a girl I know posted something on facebook that really got me thinking.
She said, "Every day do one thing you're afraid of"
And then she posted a picture of herself makeup-less.
She was makeup-less and beautiful and brave.
And stronger than she was a day before.

Around this same time I read an article and had some discussion with my Power of Moms group about challenging ourselves to 'be in the picture' with our kids.
'Be in the picture' figuratively and literally.
Be in their lives today so you can be in their memories tomorrow
as well as, "Quit being camera shy and worrying about this or that and get your buh-tooty in the picture with your kids.  Someday these pictures will be priceless."

We've been following a family that has been making daily videos for a long time.
And as much as they're just entertaining and fun to watch and talk about and share a lot of really cool things, there's something more to what they're doing.

I remember one day watching one of their videos where they were at their son's band concert.
It was a simple moment really.
The dad was just filming his 8 year old son jamming out on the guitar, the whole time just cheering him on and saying how awesome his son was.
And suddenly my mind went back to the day after Chad's dad passed away.

We all got together in his sister's basements, the whole family, and watched home video after home video; reminiscing, laughing, remembering.
Every time Chad's dad made an appearance or some comment from behind the camera everyone would laugh and get excited.
You could just feel it, the room thick with love.

There were only a handful of videos with his dad in them; a priceless handful.
In fact, we only have one short, little clip on our computer that Chad took when he and his dad went fishing right before he passed away.
I can't tell you how often that one little clip gets played.

So in that moment of this dad filming his son's band concert, and really being there for him, I thought to myself,
"One day all of these daily videos are going to mean SO much to those kids.
More than words can even express.
They will have no doubt that their parents loved them, loved each other, taught them, cherished them, shared so much happiness with them, and were completely there for them
They are creating something so priceless." 

And honestly, it won't only be priceless just for their children, but for everyone who loves them and everyone they have loved back.

So pretty much what we're saying is we love people.
You, our kids, our family our friends, all ya'll.

If you're taking the time to even read this blog,
especially after my MIA,
then you are someone I love and I'm talking to you.
We love the people in our life; you people.
We want to be part of your lives.
We want you to be part of ours.

This is one way we really hope that can happen.

So it begins.
A whole year.
 A video every day.
(You possibly being completely bored out of your mind....highly possible)

But who knows...
This may just be our best year yet!

Here's the link to our Youtube page and our videos so far....
Take a gander and join us for the ride! : )
(due to excessive sick tummies and vomiting last week, we're already behind on the posts!
 But never fear, we are not giving up on this!
We have footage for every day so far and will get 'em up asap!)

Our Best Year Yet : Youtube Channel

"Always ignite your spirit, love life more than you fear it, dream big but work even more, and reach heights you never knew you could before."

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

"You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands: your own."  -Mark Victor Hansen

"You should never let your fears become the boundaries of your dreams."

p.s. Sorry this is so ridiculously long!  Honestly I could have gone on and on and shared things like the fact that I'll be staring down at my precious kiddos and just wish my eyes were camera's and how this will kind of let that happen.....
"Stop, Vandi.  Just stop!  You have 365 days to share your running random brain full of thoughts.  Give it a rest already!" : )

I'm done now.