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i am a big sister. i have a younger brother and a younger sister…but it hasn’t always been this way. sam, the middle child, was recently diagnosed with gender identity disorder. simply put, sam is a boy that was born in the wrong body, a female’s body. because of this, sam has chosen to begin the process of transitioning, which will essentially help her become more comfortable in her own body, by making her body more masculine through a series of events. it is a very personal experience, so i won’t go into any more detail than that. before writing this post, i asked sam for permission to write about her “story” per say, and she gave me the ok. therefore, for the remainder of this post, and for the remainder of her life, i will respect her wishes by referring to her as sam, or samuel, and never samantha. i will also be using male pronouns such as he, him, his, etc.

this is a pretty recent event and change for our family, so before i knew about it, i had started making sam a scrapbook for a graduation present. (hence pictures of sam in his former stages of life.) if you have read some of my previous posts, i am not a scrapbooker. i solely thought it would be a sentimental gift sam could take to college as a little piece and reminder of home. also, it gave me a legit reason to attend scrapbooking weekends with one of my really good friends from work.

well, i found out pretty fast that scrapbooking is a very time consuming hobby. i’ve also been accused of putting WAY too much work and detail into each page so hey, ya never know. anyway, i didn’t get as many pages finished in time as i would have liked, but i figure i can always add more pages as sam partakes in new adventures!

one problem i’ve encountered is that scrapbook pages are 12 inches by 12 inches. standard scanners and/or copiers will not replicate this size, and taking pictures of them are not the best quality. this really awesome and dangerously addictive scrapbooking specialty store close by advertised that they could indeed scan scrapbook pages for you, so i got all excited, drug the book all the way there, and my flash drive didn’t work. so then i came another time, and even though they say they can scan the whole page, a little bit of the bottom was cut off from each page 😦 you can tell, especially on the pages where i’ve created a border. but for the purpose of this post, they will just have to do.

anywho…here are the pages…enjoy!

this is the cover. the colors and patterns really fit sam’s persona and i was so lucky to find it!

picture of sam i chose for the front of the book. really shows his sense of style of happy go lucky personality 🙂

this is a picture of sam at a concert i believe. sam has been lucky in getting to attend way more concerts in his life than i have! i am a huge sucker for quotes. this one is from gandhi and reads, “happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” i’m hoping this transition will bring sam the harmony he has been waiting for. although it may seem excruciating, it was actually really fun punching all these different shapes to create a background.

sam’s style has changed so much over the last 5 or 6 years, but this was definitely the “skater” stage. lol. i loved the checkered pattern of his vans and also the swirls and stripes on his hoodie…it was so fun to coordinate these pictures with the checkered background and polka dotted letters. i think the purple and yellow really pop too. it says, “attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” it could have also said, “you put the ‘U’ in attitude,” lol, but i didn’t wanna take it there 😉

before you adjust your screen, this photo is in fact supposed to be upside down. this is one of my favorite memories of all time. our family dog, molly was very sick and we knew her time with us was coming to an end. it was an awesome summer day and we were all hanging out on the back porch taking pictures of, and with, molly. clearly we managed to sneak in a few of ourselves as well. sam and i were sitting on one of those rocker benches and we held the camera high above our heads and took a snapshot. the quote is by bob dylan, “some people feel the rain, others just get wet.” it was a really sad time for us, but we managed to still be close with one another and make some memories in the meantime.

being the oldest, when my mom turned 50, i thought it would be a really fun thing to throw her a surprise party. this picture was taken then. tori, the youngest, is in the middle in a yellow shirt. in scrapbooking magazines i always see lists…best memories of summer, or favorite fro yo flavors, etc…since this scrapbook was supposed to be all about sam, i decided to list some reasons why i love him…and they were “you make me laugh, you’re creative, and because you’re YOU.” sam has always been true to himself, and that is one of the things i love the most about him.

i don’t really know any of the girls in the picture, but i think it’s darling. this picture was taken on one of their field trips to the ice skating rink. the quote reads, “count your life by smiles, not tears. count your age by friends, not years.”

i love this page and really wanted to keep it for myself, because it doesn’t say anything specific about sam, haha. a few summers ago, being the picture buff that i am, i made sam and tori go get professional pictures with me and they turned out amazing! this is one of my favorites from that session. i really also just like the colors, papers, and layout i used for this page as well. the quote is from dr. seuss and says, “2day is gone, today is done. 2morrow is another 1.” it’s really just a reminder to live each day and be done with it. tomorrow is not guaranteed, but it is a clean slate.

this is probably one of my favorite pages, if not my favorite. during the before said photo shoot, while sam was waiting for me and tori to change outfits, he and the photographer had fun playing around and this is what became of it. the quote, which totally fits sam’s personality and this picture, says, “growing old is mandatory. growing up is optional.” don’t ignore the kid in you, we all have one 🙂

although this page has pink on it, i feel like it still has a masculine feel. this photo was taken during a family trip to yellowstone a few summers ago. sam stopped to contemplate near the fishing bridge and i just so happened to get a shot of it 🙂 the quote says, “we cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” little did i know how much truth there would be to that quote and sam’s life 🙂 perhaps i’m a prophet? nope, just an ordinary girl, lol.

i guess i’m partial and bias because i keep saying that every page is my favorite…but i really love the vintagey feel of this page. “i love you dear sam.” the quote says, “if you don’t understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child.” ❤

i had high hopes for this page, but was sadly disappointed with how it turned out. something about it says greasy bowling lane to me, haha. anyway, the quote says, “life continues to happen…move with it…not against it.” moving…bicycles…get it? lol, yeah i’m corny.

this picture was from the same yellowstone vacation, but we also went to idaho. we took an all day horseback riding trip, and this is a picture of sam and his horse, annie. we all had difficult horses, sam’s was the “hungry horse” that kept stopping to eat, lol. ralph waldo emerson said, “do not follow where the path may lead. go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” pretty fitting for horseback riding eh? yeah i can be pretty clever at times lol.

as you can tell, this is the last page i created, and i had to take a picture of it myself. this is a picture of sam and the dog we got after molly, sydney. i love the quote that can be read across the tops of the little “envelopes.” “peace, it does not mean to be in a place where there is noise trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” that is one of my wishes for sam.

and to wrap this post up, because it is getting pretty late, here are some photos from commencement 🙂

the tassle is worth the hassle! blue cords for being in the national honor society…so proud of you sam!

sibling love

proud parents

whole fam

me and tori chillin before the ceremony, trying to save seats

love this pic because sam looks so happy even though mom is getting very emotional

tori and brian are best buds, lol

however, i think sam is still warming up to him, lol

have to throw a few of these in here too 😉

and one more…

goodnight friends! exciting week ahead with toto…

*xtina

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