Unpause | Nicole Reaves

Well hey. It's been just over a year since I last blogged. For awhile I felt bad for dropping off without a word but I needed some time away. 12 months apparently.

Last March my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. For many reasons I have struggled with putting this out there. Mostly, because it is not my story to tell. I can't even begin to put into words all that she has been through and continues to go through. Every single day is so different from the last. The details are something that I will likely never share publicly, but they have no doubt changed my own outlook on life and what I continually choose to put my energy into. For months my creative projects and this space were not just put on the back burner, but completely removed from the stove.

I truly didn't know if I'd ever scrapbook again. Dramatic, I know.

It all felt so minor and silly in the grand scheme of things. So I took a break. I shut the door to my scrap room. I learned the importance of a support system and good communication and taking care of yourself. Months passed and I started to miss it. (That came with a sigh of relief.) I thought about my future and the future of my family. I thought about the things I wanted to leave behind. Not just physically, but memories, character traits and values. What was important to me, and the topics and ways I wanted to document, had shifted. I explored ways to evolve my style and the projects I love. "How can I make memory-keeping enjoyable again?" I asked.

Right now, some days are good and some days are not. Some days I am okay and some days I worry that I'm not doing the right things or I'm not doing enough. Through it all, my urge to make is coming back. To teach what I know. To share my process, my why, in this space again.

The uncertainty is so hard, but I have finally learned that life is full of things I can't just check off of my to-do list and be done with. I'm striving to focus on the things I can control, and trying to freak out less about the things I can't. Love hard and take one day at a time.

Thank you so much for reading and for being here. I'll be back next week to share my December Daily 2016 album.

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