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August 2018

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Beautiful page, Karen. Why do we women (myself included...I'm 43 and working on it too) have such a hard time extending grace to ourselves when we can do it so easily for others? I'm just a stranger from the internet, but I can see that those painful years are part of what shaped you (and me :) if I may say so) into a hell of a woman.

heather prins

wow that is a gorgeous layout and i love the honest journaling. I hope you keep scrapping, i love your layouts!

nancy in ks

You are a deep thinker.

God wastes nothing. He will use everything - everything - to teach us and to bring glory to Himself along the way and in the end.

You are such an artist. Love your work on this scrap page. Love that you don't run away from the difficult, deep thinking. It will make you and everyone else around you better.

Ashley S.

I love your layout Karen. Thanks you for sharing such personal things. I appreciate your realness on your blog.

Nancy Wyatt

Thanks for sharing such a great layout and your inner most feelings! hugs from Conroe TX!


OH my.

I feel like I could have written this myself about myself. I just turned 36, too, and your words could be mine. If I could have written the way you do.

It seems like my "late 30's" are bringing out my own discomforts. I have spent a lot of time lately revisiting/reflecting on the past and thinking about my present and future. Your journaling somehow helps me clarify what I am thinking/feeling about myself and God and how what is happening RIGHT NOW in my life fits into everything.

Maybe writing about it like you did will help me let some of it go. Thank you for sharing that page.


Way to express your feelings Karen....Fabulous layout. Here's to the Forties :)



love the page, love that you got to get your scrappin' groove on again, looking forward to seeing more from you........and thank you for sharing your feelings, i think alot of us feel that way about our teens and you made everyone feel 'normal' that we did.......


I think a lot of us recognize a lot of ourselves in what you wrote, Karen. I haven't had the ability to put my thoughts & feelings into words however I do have a plan to do so! I really admire you doing this page (and BTW, glad you got to scrap!!). My forties have been very eye-opening and I'm loving it! You learn somehow to let a lot of "stuff" go... something I never knew I was capable of. In many ways, I've become much more stubborn (in a good way) and much more open (in a good way). I only have 6 years left in the forties so I've gotta make them count!

And I truly had to giggle when I read the part about you receiving the wrong prompt... not THAT'S something that's gotta make you laugh! Ironic, eh?

meg duerksen

karen...are you sure you weren't writing that about ME? it's like you were inside my thoughts.
i have a hard time saying it...finding the words.
but this is how i feel.
especially the part "played out for the whole wide world to see."
but at the same time it helps things become real when everyone knows...and there is vulnerability.

this is beautifully said.

and i love your words about raising ross too.
so well said.
and loving.

Paola Norman

It's beautiful Karen. I love what you wrote. It's healing. Forgiving the self is one of the hardest things to do sometimes. But when you do everything changes and you are left with a feeling of Peace.
I love that so much of you is in it.

Thanks for sharing it with us.

Jen Davis

Absolutely gorgeous...all of it. Thank you for sharing.

Nicole Kberg

your transparency is so relatable. i'm a new fan of your blog and love your entries.

elizabeth holder

love it - can you post photos of your new scrapbook room & office - would love to see it!


I love the layout and how frank you journaled!


i'm 38 and relate, karen - such touching journaling and a gorgeous page!


You continue to amaze me! I'm lots older than 36 but have started to try to journal true thoughts, feelings and memories. It was very difficult at first (and I've quit more than once), but very freeing once I've started to get the hang of it. And in the end, it just shows that I'm/you're human. So take care of yourself and continue to face your journey. You're still my hero, even if I don't get to see you now that you've discontinued teaching (still a sore subject for me!!) Love ya, tho!



I am new-ish to your blog. I stumbled across it from a link that was another blog (I can't remember which one). I usually don't write comments on blogs, but today, I just 'felt' like I should. I enjoy visiting your blog, reading your posts about photography, motherhood, womanhood, etc. I feel like I can relate to many of the events in your life.

Like a previous poster mentioned - I can really relate to you. Thank you for being honest and real.

Jennie T.

Yep. You still got it :)
Beautiful page. Thank you so much for sharing yourself!

Tonia Borrosch

Karen.....this is BEAUTIFUL-everything about it. And it makes me want to scrap! I hardly have been in the last year or two and it makes me sad and worried that I have lost the love of it. There is just not enough time to do all the wonderful things there are to do/see/experience/accomplish in this world! You make me want to dabble again....and I have all of your beautiful kits to dabble with!

Michelle OKeefe

The page is beautiful.
and you got the wrong prompt -
and this line - made me laugh when I read it - "Ironically, I was sent an email that had the WRONG prompt on it...the prompt was actually supposed to be 'What makes you laugh'."
Wow - they must have been surprised to see your layout - not so laughing !

The funny thing about it is actually that you may not have done this layout otherwise.

Glad you are scrapping again! Please share more pages as you do them. I love to see them.


Love your blog, I come for the photos but love the stories too.

What you've heard about your forties, it's true. But I also think where you're at has a lot to do with living with and parenting a teenager. It's humbling and it's raw and it forces you to look inward because really, would you want anything less for him or from him? I know my 17 year old daughter unwittingly turns the spotlight on me, and the truth, whether pretty or not, shall set you free :)

That's kind of deep but your page struck a chord!


I AM in my forties and I made a MESS of my twenties and unfortunately I had 2 beautiful babies who were dragged along for the ride. I UNDERSTAND with all my heart where you are at. Heck, your self description (forgiving too quickly, not understanding your worth)that all could be me. BUT, my forties have been a turning point!!! :) I am giving up the guilt, learning to forgive myself and embracing the lessons and the real value that I have. With the unconditional love of my husband, I'm unpacking my "baggage" and embracing the person God intended me to be. It is freeing. :)

A very wise woman explained to me once while we all want to live on the mountain top, the valley is where all of the fertile soil is and consequently where things grow that best.....

You are already a beautiful person - I hope you will see that reflection in the mirror someday soon.


that is simply beautiful
i love a good ole transparent heart entry!

ps--i've TOTALLY Missed all your scrapbooking . you inspire me more than any other designer


Ya know, I started reading you because of your scrapbooking and design. I love your photography, and admire what you do with a camera. But I stay and read every post because you are an amazing woman. We all have those self doubts, we all still feel like gangly, gawky teenager sometimes. But girlfriend, I have to tell you, my 40's were the most amazing times of MY life, and since I'm so close, my 50's are going to be earth shattering I know!
Just keep on doing what you're doing, you're getting it right. This was my quote of the day the other day. It's so right!
“Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”
—Anthony Robbins

Cindy Welch

love it, well done
If it counts for anything, the pic made me laugh xoxo

Jennifer S

This is beautiful! I am so impressed with your willingness to share with the world. We all have plenty of mistakes to relive in our minds or hearts everyday. But good or bad, it makes us who we are today and WHO can argue with THAT?

You have a beautiful life and a beautiful family and I am so thankful you share it all with us. Glad you got scrappin again to! Its beautiful!

Sherri Rodgers

Karen, I LOVE how beautiful your layout is in both composition and honesty. I felt my own kind of angst in my 30s as I was figuring out who I was going to become. I have resolved some of my personal baggage in my 40s, but am still a work in progress. I sometimes wonder how I am going to apologize to that boy that I insulted in the 4th grade (and I was always such a "nice girl")... ha! We all show different levels of vulnerability to different people-- thanks for showing yours on your blog. :) If you lived in my neighborhood I would ask you to be my new BFF. lol


Oh Karen, it makes me sad to think of you hurting like that. You are such an amazing and talented person. I don't really know you, but it sure feels like I do! (I'm sure many of your readers know what I mean by that!) I did meet you when I took your photography class at the Oasis a year or two ago. You are so real and so funny. I just love the way you share your stories and your life and your world with us. I hope you find the peace you deserve. :)

sasha farina

OMG Karen.. this is so beautiful! thanks for sharing and letting me know I'm not alone.


Wow, beautiful page. Inspiring. Even more profound words on the page. Thank you
for sharing your pain with us. I've felt a bit of it too.


Darling girl, take some advice from someone on the other side of 40 (not too far....). Would you forgive your children? Of course you would, you love them unconditionally. Then why would you not forgive yourself?


wow i have missed seeing your scrapbooking....didnt realize it until i saw this today---beautifully written and so very true about you....i hope that someday you see yourself for who you truly are...because you are one BEAUTIFUL soul my friend :)


I came across your blog at the start of this year. All your posts have been so interesting to read. Today's has been so moving that's it's encouraged me to be brave & leave a comment. Thank you Karen for those words on your layout. I absolutely relate to your thoughts & sentiments. I'm 38 and am sometimes so encumbered by memories & regrets from my teens and my 20's that at moments I find myself physically cringing. Thank you for making me feel normal. And thank you for your time & effort you put into your blog - every post is always full of meaning.


What a beautiful heartfelt scrapbook page . . . WOW! I'd be so hesitant to share my deepest regrets and lack of self-worth and believe you me they are there! That saying does hold truth to it though, the growing older, gaining wisdom, strength and self-worth thing. I'm 37 and feel a great amount more self-worth than I ever did as a kid. I think all us girls go through the turbulent life altering mistakes, of course at different levels but the beautiful thing about us woman is the compassion and love that we all have within us. So eager to make things right, to love, respect and honor those we hold dear and even those we don't know. In the end you're right it's what God intended, the path has been formed before us the moment we're born. We have to hold tight to faith, we end up coming out stronger and wiser on the other end. God Bless Karen and thank you for being you and so open to your readers. You continue to be one of my biggest inspirations.


As always, you are so very honest with your thoughts and feelings and I applaud you for your very public and openess! Hope you and your family had a very wonderful Easter!


that was a wonderful post my sweet!! thanks for sharing!! i'm almost to my 50's (YIKES!) and you are totally right... Gods got you where you need to be. rest in His arms!! smooch!!!

Debbie House

You are not only an amazing photographer, but a writer as well!! You inspire me SOOOO much! I love your blogs, because they always tell a story...and you're not afraid to admit mistakes! Very, Very good! You are WONDERFUL!!
Any chance you could be the guest keynote speaker at Creative Escape this year?!
Thanks for your inspiration Karen!!

Lan Amphone

It was beautiful, the journaling, layout...everything. Thanks for sharing.

maryjo materazo

beautiful page karen, as always. i scrap lift u all the time so glad you're giving me more material :). i'm in my forties & i do agree that they're good times, BUT i also enjoyed my 20s & 30s in different ways. IF i were to do it over again i would change a whole bunch (especially in my young adult yrs), but i still don't have any regrets. don't beat yourself up, b/c u are who u are today, 'cuz of the path u took. IF u had done it differently back then, then u might not be where u are today. and today is GOOD!


Hi Karen-
I always read, but never comment. But today I had to comment, just to say thanks for sharing yourself. I just turned 36 (why does that seem so OLD) and I really relate to the themes you expressed.
So, thank you. I am comforted to know that I am not alone. I hope you are comforted as well.

Karen M.

Take a moment to say thank you for your teenage years. They are what got you here - what an amazing family you have. You must be special for them to be gifted to you like this. In fact say thank you every day. If it wasn't for that journey, you wouldn't be on this one.

Been there. Did that. Grateful to be here.

Erin Gudge

I just have to thank you for sharing this with us all. I am going through a strange time in my life right now, going back to college in my (very) late 20's, with all of these young people in such a different place in their life, I am a wife and a mother to three, these kids are just so carefree. I make it so hard on myself to be okay with who I am, and where I am in life, and I beat myself up so many times over and over about the same things.......... So thank you!

And thank you for your post a few days ago about the mistakes you have made as a mom..... but I think you need to rethink whether they were really mistakes.... I think you've done a lot more right than you will ever give yourself credit for. It's how we are.


Thank you so much for sharing your work! I love your pics. I'm new at this business and need all the help I can get. I would love to be a part of one of your workshops!

Maryhelen Tapio

My sister took your class, I was even her "cooperative human model" for one of the assignments. I am amazed at how her photo style has evolved. I would love to take the class as I have three teenage boys all involved in sports and theater.

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