Scrapbook Process – We Almost Didn’t Make It

Life is interesting. Everyday, every month, every year brings about new challenges, some expected, many unexpected. When I think about the story of my life, my experiences, my challenges, I often wonder what pieces of my life’s journey I will leave behind.

In my opinion, scrapbooking is a way to tell the story of our lives. Some choose only to include the happy moments, the joys, the ups, the good times. And while I think it is wonderful to remember the good, I think that is important to share the moments that leave an everlasting imprint on our lives. The moments that are hard, challenging, and sad.

The moments that make us truly human.

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During the summer of 2014, my husband came out as transgender. The handsome, funny, smart, intelligent man I once knew felt trapped, living an existence that didn’t feel right. For years my husband struggled with gender identity; over compensating to muffle the deep yearning to be female. The time had come…the truth had to be set free.

I said goodbye to Bryan.

I said hello to Aubree.

The transition from male to female has been an education to say the least. Our new “normal” began quickly: wigs, dresses, makeup, shoes, a new name…a new existence. Some things remained the same while other things changed. This experience was both exciting and terrifying. I struggled for months trying to find the “perfect” words to describe what I felt about all of this. What was to be lost? What was to be gained?

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During this time, Aubree and I sought counseling and began the work of adapting to this change. I played the role of emotional spouse and fiercely protective ally. In our most vulnerable moments, we questioned if our marriage would survive.

What would our lives look like as a divorced couple?

Where would we live? Would we be roommates?

We have a kid to consider. How would visitation look?

Millions of questions, thoughts, and worries flooded our heads until finally, one day while having yet another deep conversation about our future, we both raised the white flag and said, “No more.” We could not imagine a world or a scenario where we were not together.

We were going to walk through the fire. We were going to FIGHT for our marriage.

And so we did.

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Today, we celebrate 7 years of marriage. And to think that we almost didn’t make it gives this particular anniversary more meaning. We have come so far and continue to have a long journey ahead of us.

We are stronger than ever.

And we are holding on.

Scrapbooking has been my therapy through out this process and without it, I do not think I would have been able to express my feelings. I have learned that it’s okay to be transparent with myself through this art form. I want to leave behind my life’s story…the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Here’s what I used for this layout:

  • Gray and white card stock from my stash
  • Title “Brush Script HT” cut from Silhouette Cameo
  • Frames – Maggie Holmes (Crate Paper)
  • Ephemera – Maggie Holmes (Crate Paper)
  • Gold Puffy Stickers – Craft Market (Crate Paper)
  • Chip board die cuts – Maggie Holmes “Open Book” (Crate Paper)
  • Patterned Paper – “On Trend” by My Mind’s Eye
  • Gold Mist – Heidi Swapp Color Shine

And here’s the process video! Happy scrappin’!

35 thoughts on “Scrapbook Process – We Almost Didn’t Make It

  1. sunnybunny2120 says:

    Hello, Victoria…I wish for you and your family all the best. My heart hearts for you as I can hear the pain in your voice. You exude such a positive attitude and share with us your sweet little angel. Everything will be alright in the end. {{hugs}}

    Donna

    Like

  2. Deb Crauthers says:

    Strength, Dedication and example of following those wedding vows “for better or worse”. I’m not trying to be hurtful with the words “for better or worse”. It is meant to be an encouragement to you and all of us in the world who sometimes struggle in some form in marriage.

    Like

  3. Laura says:

    God bless you for staying in your marriage no matter what. That is amazing and I admire you for sharing your struggles with the world. Happy Anniversary and I wish you many many more. Thanks for sharing you beautiful layouts.

    Like

  4. Maria S. says:

    I can’t imagine how hard this has been for both of you and I admire that you’re working at adapting to your new situation and still keeping your family together. Wishing you success and happiness. Your l/o looks elegant with the colors you chose and the cut-out title. Thank you for sharing your work (and your story) with us. Maria

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Diana says:

    Happy Anniversary!!! Glad you were able to work things out. Love each other in good times and bad. I think the bad helps us grow and love each other more. Embrace the bad because always good will come from it and lessons that forever change our story book. Beautiful page. I LOVE your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beth says:

    I have been watching your videos for a while now but this is the first one to get me to your site. I wish you both nothing but happiness as well as your daughter. I think you are so brave for sharing this and your feelings. You are amazing!

    Like

  7. partyof5inca says:

    I think the most amazing thing is your sharing this with us. You are truly an inspiration. Teaching my youngest daughter to stand strong in her view of what makes her happy, she’s 8 and struggles with so many real worries it boggles my mind, so teaching her as my mom taught me, “wave your freak flag girl!” LOL! I wore my hair different, I dressed different and I viewed life differently. I stuck up for the underdog, held onto my virginity with all my might when other’s gave theirs away, like their life depended on it.So I teach my girls to stand for what they believe, even if it means swimming up stream. So, Wave your freak flag girl, I say that in the sweetest way possible. ๐Ÿ˜‰ You have inspired me in more ways than you will ever know, from scrapbooking, journaling to family and love. In the end, that’s what matters. Love.

    Like

  8. Nicole says:

    I just came across your process videos yesterday and now your blog. Your work is so clean and beautiful. I never expected to come across a story like this but it makes me love you even more. As a daughter of 2 moms (my mother found her life partner when I was 12), I understand the challenges of have an “unconventional” family and I applaud your bravery in sharing your story with us. You have a beautiful family and I can’t wait to see more of y’all as I keep up with your blog.

    Like

  9. Matthew DeRossett says:

    As someone who’s transgender (although I’m female-to-male, as apposed to the other way around), I have so much respect towards you. I’m a teenager right now and I’ve only just finished high school, but this makes me feel immensely more confident in my future. I just want to send some good vibes your way because you and your family truly deserve it.

    I came across your channel and blog while looking for some inspo for my scrapbook. I was surprised to see these two parts of my life coming together in someone else’s as well! I really love the pages you do, and I definitely have some good ideas for my upcoming pages, so thank you for that ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  10. thematthewad says:

    As someone whoโ€™s transgender (although Iโ€™m female-to-male, as apposed to the other way around), I have so much respect towards you. Iโ€™m a teenager right now and Iโ€™ve only just finished high school, but this makes me feel immensely more confident in my future. I just want to send some good vibes your way because you and your family truly deserve it.

    I came across your channel and blog while looking for some inspo for my scrapbook. I was surprised to see these two parts of my life coming together in someone elseโ€™s as well! I really love the pages you do, and I definitely have some good ideas for my upcoming pages, so thank you for that ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    • victoriamarieblog says:

      Wow! Thank you for your kind words. I receive similar comments a lot. It has been very difficult for me to share this part of my life because honestly, people can be very cruel. What I have found is that the creative community is so accepting and loving.

      I am glad that you feel confident in your future…it does get better! Feel proud of who you are, live YOUR best life and just be YOU! You’ve got 100% support from the Calvins!

      Like

  11. Tiffany says:

    It takes enormous courage to be so vulnerable and open about a potentially controversial and personal situation. I appreciate your honesty and insight, as well as your exquisite design skills. Best wishes to you and yours.

    Like

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