Monday, January 30, 2012

Magnificent Monday Vlog #11

It's that time again . . .

Have you poured your coffee? Grabbed your comfy chair? Turned that phone ringer down a bit?

I hope you enjoy it!

. . . and remember . . .


xo xo xo

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Philosophy

So, I had a great conversation with my friend Dawn yesterday afternoon about . . . life. As with any conversation about life . . . it was a long one. And as I started to delve into my personal philosophy, I began to think that this would make a good blog post.

So, here goes it.

Before we begin, I should say that Dawn is a pretty cool person. I've known of her for years, but only recently began talking to her on a more regular basis. She has a great energy that is very motivating, so conversations with Dawn usually leave me feeling quite up beat. Dawn is a single mom, raising two great kids. She has spent the past 10 years (at least) holding various roles with home demonstration companies (direct sales), and most recently began taking bigger steps in leadership programs. I believe her long term goal is to begin some sort of life coaching and leadership company (which I can easily see her doing). While we were talking, Dawn mentioned how she sees such a need for stronger mentors for women in their 20's, and how she sees a big gap in this area.

I told her that I didn't need a mentor in my 20's. Well, let me rephrase that. It's not that I didn't need  mentor in my 20's. I probably didn't think I needed one.

Here is My Philosophy on three decades in this life I am living so far . . .

In my 20's, I knew it all. I knew where I was going. I knew how I was going to get there. And no body could tell me any different. My teachers were unrealistic. My boss was stupid. My parents didn't have a clue about life. My friends . . . well, in my 20's, they were probably the only ones who I thought had any idea about what I was going through. . . my friends, that is, and Oprah. Because in my 20's, Oprah knew it ALL. Yes . . . that was in my 20's. Those sure were the days.

In my 30's, I was surviving all the decisions and things I did in my 20's. By this time, I realized that my boss had a direct connection to my bank account (no happy boss = no happy pay day.) And my Mom became "Mommy" again, as buying a home and having children made frequent calls to my parents more prevalent. In the 30's, the fact that Oprah knew it ALL started to annoy me. Yes . . . that was in my 30's. Those were the days.

Now, I am in my 40's, and I want desperately to find out who I really am. In my 40's, all of the things that I thought were important in my 20's and 30's just don't matter anymore. So many of the dreams I had back in my 20's mean nothing . . . the dream house, the dream car, the clothes, the trips . . . all materialistic propaganda that really have little to do with my spirit or the person I am today. I'd give anything to sit and talk to the teacher I dismissed in my 20's, for I am certain there is much I could learn from them. And I find I am far less concerned with where I am going and much more content with where I am right now in life. Yes. My 40's. These are the days.

It's interesting to look back on the past 20 years and see how much I've changed and how my out look on life has changed. I wonder what you'd see if you thought about your life.

Oh, and here's a little quote . . . from Ms. Winfrey herself. (I thought it would be fitting . . . ) ;)

Darn . . . she's pretty good, eh?

Wishing you Peace, my friends.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Return of the Magnificent Monday VLOG (#10)

WELCOME BACK, my friends!

And WELCOME to the return of my
Magnificent Monday Vlog!
Grab your coffee, pull up a chair, and sit down for installment #10 of our joyeous girl talk!
I think I created a major fashion faux pas . . .
I am wearing the same shirt that I wore in our LAST vlog, back on December 12, 2011.


Note to self: do not wear repeat clothing on blog.
It makes it look like your clothing budget is really really small for your vlogs.


I'm so glad you are here . . . enjoy!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Textured Words

I found my way out of my gloomy creative-less state this week, and I think I'm really onto to something cool here. It all surrounds . . . Words. OUR words. Our Words for 2012.

I've spoken before about how important this whole "Word of the Year" idea is to me. It has kept me focused on things that I need to be focused on for many years now, and this year is certainly no different. I knew that I wanted to celebrate my word with a special piece of art, and I knew that I wanted to do the same for some very dear people in my life.

So, if you remember . . . it started with a trip to the local home improvement store for some letters. You may remember I shared this picture with you last week:

And here are the steps I took to make my are:
  • Glue torn strips of scrapbook paper, die-cuts, music paper, anything that you'd like to a plain unpainted canvas.
  • Mod-Podge the layer for papers and let dry.
  • Stick letters spelling out your word on canvas.
  • Completely cover canvas in white paint and let dry.
  • Peel letter stickers off of canvas and see exposed scrapbook materials underneath.
  • Randomly sand white paint in various places on canvas to expose small hints of papers underneath.
  • Adhere small scrap pieces of same papers on top of white paint.
  • Outline letters with black paint pen
  • Add word "remember"
  • Add thick layer of Mod-Podge over complete piece to set and protect work
  • Enjoy!
Here is another larger photo of my word . . . COURAGE:

My dear friend Peggy's word, TRUTH:

My sister's word, BALANCE:

And my friend Cindi's word, IMPROVE:

I added a key to each piece, to symbolize "unlocking the word in our year". I like that. I'm all about the symbols, you know.

And I'm all about the texture.  There were NO MISTAKES in this project . . . everything goes, and I am so pleased with the outcomes. Here is another close-up shot where you can really see the layers on each piece.

And another one . . . don't you just want to reach out and touch the screen? Go ahead . . .

And a picture of the key . . . I love keys. Mysterious, don't you think? Where does the key lead you . . . if you follow your word in life?

Thanks for allowing me to share this project with you.

I am proud to say that I will be offering MANY of these in my Etsy shop in the coming days. If there is a particular word you would like to see in my shop, please leave me a comment and let me know. I'll update you on when you can add one to your home.

Until then . . . may you unlock much joy and courage in your day!

Peace, my friend.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I remember . . .

Oh, boy oh boy. . . I'm finding it. It's actually all around me today. And I am blessed because of it.


I broke out of my gloomy creative state earlier this week and made the above "Courage" art piece, which will be proudly displayed in my family room. I love it. It's a new style of art from what I've done in the past (which took COURAGE), and it's a big time reminder of what I have in me to do (CREATE).

I made three more for my dear soul sisters (LT, PK and CE) with their words for 2012 . . . I'll share photos of them after tomorrow (when I will present each of them with their pieces.) I hope they like them.


And . . . I signed up for a course today. This course, to be exact. I've had my eyeball on it for quite some time, but felt such inner turmoil of spending the class fee on myself. After a little encouragement from some other creative souls, and a phone call with PG, I registered myself for this class.

I think it is exactly what I need right now.

Speaking of PG . . . have I told you about my amazing husband? Really. When I asked him if I could spend the $400 on this class for myself . . . not a single minute or question or hesitation took place. He immediately said, "Of course!"  That man . . . he believes in me even more than I believe in myself right now. And I love him.

So, Hello Soul. Hello Business!  

I'm SO ready for you!


I think it's time . . . time to return to the Magnificent Monday Vlog . . . don't you think? I can't promise I'll get my act together enough to do one every week . . . but that is the plan. So, come back on Monday, for my return!!! WAHOOOO!!! (You've missed me, haven't you? Well . . . I've missed YOU, too!)


And, Annalee . . . you remember Annalee, right? That adorably awesome little character of . . . me? Well, I've been designing some new cards and magnets and have some other goodies in the works . . . no time like the present, right? So, keep posted on my Etsy shop opening within the next couple of weeks.


Yep . . . it's been long enough, don't you think?

I think it's time to get moving. . . .


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oh . . . Anxiety

Have I told you about my sister-in-law, Maria? She makes me laugh, BIG TIME. Always has. Always will.

I bought these hats for us after we visited the Pennsylvania Amish this past September.
I thought it would be funny if we each wore them when talking on the phone, to connect us.
Hmmmm . . . I wonder if she wears hers.
Maria lives in New York, and I am here in Chicago. While we don't get to see each other nearly as often as we would like, our time spent together is usually filled with lots of adventures and many many laughs. And each visit MUST allow ample time to catch up . . . on our ailments. Yes, the physical ailment kind. It's kind of become our thing . . . almost like there isn't another living soul who would understand the silliness of our deadly spider bites or broken hip bones (both we have diagnosed each other with at various points of our friendship . . . and neither being quite accurate.) I guess that is what makes our relationship so wonderful - we listen to each other and support our hypochondriac selves and then go about our business without any other discussion. Yep. That's what we do.

So, I was thrilled that she was in town last week. We had lots to discuss . . . between carpal tunnel, sore hips, falling into bathtubs (nope . . . not me), reflux, nutritionists, shoulder injuries, Wii injuries, sore shoulders, you name it - we discussed.

The last evening of their stay, Maria, her dear husband Angelo and I sat up for hours having one of our talks. I started, by discussing my reflux.

I have reflux.

Or, I think I have reflux.

So, I updated Maria and Angelo (who patiently listened with concern) on all of my symptoms and the time frame surrounding my most recently Dr. WebMD diagnosis. As any good therapists, Maria and Angelo listened. They questioned. They listened some more. Then, Angelo diagnosed.

"I don't think you have reflux. I think it's anxiety," he announced.

"What?" I asked, totally certain that I did NOT have anxiety.

"It's anxiety. Think about it . . . "

So, I have been thinking about it.

A lot.


I don't have anxiety. Do I? I mean, this is ME. Leanne. I'm in control . . . right? I'm living a happy life . . . right? I believe in PEACE. I strive for BALANCE. I pride myself on enjoying the little things. What do I have to be anxious about? I lost my job . . . yes . . . but I have a supportive husband who is really allowing me as much time as I need to do what I really want to do. I have two healthy and amazing daughters. I have my health. We have a roof over our heads, food on our table, love in our hearts. What in the world do I have to be anxious about?

So, I took to the Internet. But this time, I gave Dr. WebMD a break. Because, you know, this called for serious measures. This time, I visited Dr. Mayo Clinic.

So . . . the symptoms, according to Dr. Mayo Clinic:
  • Constant worrying or obsession about small or large concerns (ummm . . .yep, that's me)
  • Restlessness and feeling keyed up or on edge (check)
  • Fatigue (yep)
  • Difficulty concentrating or your mind "going blank" (uh-huh)
  • Irritability (ask PG . . . he'd say "DEFINITELY")
  • Muscle tension or muscle aches (a few)
  • Trembling, feeling twitchy or being easily startled (did I mention I think I have restless leg syndrome)
  • Trouble Sleeping (have you seen me playing facebook games at 3am?)
  • sweating, nausea or diarrhea (Ok, I draw the line . . . really TMI, don't you think?)
  • shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat (possibly)
So, anxiety.

It could be.

Now, before you go and leave a comment about how important it is for me to seek proper medical care, I understand and I will. Really. But right now . . . TODAY . . . I am going to try and make some changes to my lifestyle and home that might help me get a handle on what I am feeling. Because I've been off. You know that I have, because I keep writing about it here.

So . . . the lifestyle and home remedies, according to Dr. Mayo Clinic:
  • Get daily exercise (oh boy - this is a BIG ONE, and I HAVE GOT TO DO IT. TODAY.)
  • Eat a healthy diet - avoid fatty, sugary and processed foods. Include foods in your diet that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseed, walnuts, soy beans, kidney beans, salmon) and B vitamins (spinach,
    butternut squash, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, beef, milk, cheese)
  • Avoid alcohol and other sedatives (oh, ok)
  • Use relaxation techniques (visualization techniques, meditation, yoga)
  • Make sleep a priority (REALLY need to find a restful state 
So, this is where I am at today.


Thank you, Maria and Angelo, for bringing this to light. And thank you, blog buddies, for sticking by me. I'll keep you posted on my progress . . . by the way, do you ever feel anxiety? How do you handle it? Leave me a comment . . . I'd love to know. Really.


Monday, January 16, 2012

96 Hours of the Good Life

What a wonderful weekend we've had here in our Chaos home!
Laughs, hugs, museums, snow, bowling, Starbucks, birthdays and more.

My dearest sister-in-law, brother-in-law and nephew were in town
(all the way from New York)
and we've been going going going since their arrival.
 Here are just a few of the highlights of life the past few days . . .

It started with that beautiful snow I told you about on Thursday . . .
and oh-boy . . . I loved it.

Dear PG had to dust off the snow blower for the first time this season.

Note to self . . . MUST buy a pair of boots! 

Ella and Katie got to see exactly what it would be like to have a younger sibling.
Katie loved it! 
As for Ella . . . the verdict is still out.  

We took a great trip to the Museum of Science and Industry.
Here is Carlo with his Babbo.
I adore my brother-in-law . . . he is a wonderful man and an amazing father.  

Lots of family photo opportunities at the museum! 
I can't believe how big my girls are getting.

Yes, we are a family of hams (and NOT the pork kind!)
But give us a camera and a chance to act up, and we are THERE!!!
If you are from Chicago, you know that the Museum of Science and Industry has a great little "Old Town" and photo opportunity. They have recently added costumes to the experience,
and we had SO MUCH FUN!

We even had time for a birthday celebration this weekend.
Ella turns 5 the end of the month, but we were so happy to have the opportunity to celebrate her birthday with our New York Family (her Godparents). 
So, Saturday afternoon . . . it was time for a BOWLING PARTY! 

Carlo LOVES his cousins . . . SO MUCH.
And while they love him back, this was a great opportunity for Ella to learn a little bit about not being the youngest, and having to share the spotlight with someone else.  

Still and all . . .
it was a wonderful Birthday party!!!

Oh, how I love these two!
My sister-in-law Maria, and my brother-in-law Angelo.
Beautiful people.

And these brown eyes . . .
they melt right through me. 

What's ONE MORE silly photo opportunity?

Thanks so much for letting me share some of our fun with you.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoy spending time with those you love.

Wishing you Peace, my friends.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Daily Journey . . . a Winter Update . . .

s   n   o   w  .   .   .  

I took the long way home this morning, so that I could drive down my my favorite road. Remember? It is a serene spot in this chaotic life of mine, and it brings me peace each time I drive it.

I love this road.

I think it would be cool to start a blog with photos of this road . . . just photos. Each and every day . . . to see the seasons come and go. Hmmmm . . . maybe.

In the winter . . . it is especially beautiful.

As if The Big Man, himself, came down with palette knife in hand, and a big old tube of paint, and christened each branch with the most delicate edge of white.

Whether you like the snow, or not, it's beautiful.

And Chicago is making up for the lack of it . . . all in one day. They are calling for 6 to 8 inches. That's nothing . . . in my book.

But whatever it is, it is already bringing a sense of calm to my psyche. And it's just what I needed.

I already feel better.

Wishing you a Sparkling White day, where ever you may be.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Letter to Me

Something made me write this letter to myself. Some need to remind myself of how far I've come and remind myself of where I want to go. But primarily, a letter to get myself out of Funkytown. This, my friends, is my Letter to Me.

Dear Me,

Hi there . . . it's me. Well, it's you, actually, writing a letter to . . . you. I mean, me. Myself. I. (Oh boy, if I keep going in this direction, we're going to be here a while.)

The truth is, I think you hit the nail right on the head yesterday in your post. And I think that it's time you have a good long talk with yourself. Because it seems pretty clear to me that YOU are the only person who can get YOU moving right now. So, here we go. You see, now that we realize what the problem is, I think we need to address it and then . . . MOVE ON. Alright?

But before we do that, I think there are a couple of things you need to hear. Things that you need to tell yourself. Out loud. Because, my dear . . . you are just fine. Better than fine.

You are great.

You have a good, honest marriage to a dear man who is truly your best friend in the world.

You have two beautiful daughters who you are trying your best to raise as good, decent, compassionate, respectable human beings. You are teaching them to follow their dreams, and someday you hope they will leave you . . . and do just that.

But, you? You are an honest, dependable, passionate, hard-working woman who loves life. Yes, you are overweight. Yes, you have thin hair and stubby fingers and bags under your eyes. But you are real. True. You have an excitement for life and a yearning to share your outlook with the world. And that, my dear, is your most cherished gift.

Somewhere along the line, though, you started to beat yourself up. As if you feel you are not worthy of this life you are living. My dear, this is not going to work. You must let go of those feelings. LIVE.

You've spent many years trying to make others happy . . . following paths that would make other happy . . . but not always following your own soul. Truth be told . . . you are not responsible for making others happy. With the exception of your two daughters (who did not ask to be brought into this world), give yourself a break. Let everyone else be responsible for themselves. LET THEM GO. And . . . believe it or not . . . someday your very own daughters will be responsible for their own happiness. So, follow YOUR dream. Be who YOU want to be. You may be surprised just how amazing life can really be. 

You see, you've been given a gift. Yes, and what a gift it is. Don't waste it.

For there is nothing wrong with following your dreams in life. The GUILT you have . . . it's garbage. You HAVE to let it go. Yes, money is tighter than tight right now, but this is short term. Stop punishing yourself. It's almost as if you refuse to allow yourself to CREATE, because you feel you shouldn't. You shouldn't do something that feels good to your soul, when you feel you have made a selfish decision in not working right now. Follow your heart. You've made art that says just that. Maybe you need to hang one of those pieces on your wall . . . to remind you of what you believe in.

So, enough is enough. Follow your dreams. Create your art. Be who you have always wanted to be. Don't forget where you have come from . . . but don't ever give up your dream. Only YOU can make it a reality.
I am proud of you.

And I believe in you.



Monday, January 9, 2012

Moments of Peace

I'm focused today. Lots of things on my list . . . and one way or another - I'm going to accomplish them! I've realized that I am the only person who can get me out of Funkytown. So, I'm working on it . . . one moment at a time.

I'm leaning on my *COURAGE* this week. When I picked that word, I had no idea how much I would rely on it. We (COURAGE and I) are standing up for ourselves. We are believing in each other. We are encouraging each other. It's a wonderful thing.

I also have these two amazing little girls . . . you know? These two little souls who continue to remind me of what really matters in this life of mine.

I was having one of those evenings last night . . . watching the clock every second waiting for bed time to come. Just praying for some quiet and the sounds of "Mommy . . . Mommmm? Mom! MOM! Mommy!!! Mom . . . Mom?!?!? MOM!!!!!" to rest their little heads down for the night and leave me with some peace. I was anxious, as getting these sweet souls off to sleep was starting to turn into a bit of a battle. . . Katie was particularly talkative, as I was called back into her room about three times before she finally settled down for the night. But the last "Mom???" from her made it all ok, as her words softened my anxious state.

"Mom?" she called.

"What is it now, Kate?" I answered.

"You know 'Adele'?" she asked.

"Yes, honey. I know Adele," I answered.

"I love to hear her music. It makes me think of you, Mommy. I think of you and can almost hear you singing along with her in our kitchen. It makes me so happy, Mommy. And birds . . . when I see them . . . the red cardinals or blue birds or anything like that . . . they make me think of you, too. I just wanted to tell you that." she said.


I have this memory of sitting at my Grandma's kitchen table . . . I must be around Katie's age (8 or 9) and I am watching her dance, as the sweet sounds of Big Band music play from her radio. I could have watched Grandma dance around her kitchen for hours. If I close my eyes now, I see her. Her right arm in the air holding her imaginary partner, her eyes closed, and her body turning round and round to the music. I can feel myself sway to the music in my mind, and feel as if Grandma is with me. It's a memory of my Grandma that makes my heart so happy.

Knowing that Katie has a memory of me signing in the kitchen to Adele made me stop in my tracks and think of Grandma. And the anxiety I've been carrying for weeks now just left my very soul.

It was a wonderful moment.

I bent down and kissed her forehead, and softly closed her door  . . . with the biggest smile on my face.

"Mom . . . . Mommmmy????" This time . . . it came from the room next door, and from Ella. "Mommy, can you just sit with me for a few minutes, while I fall asleep?" she asked.

"Sure, honey," I said. As I knelt on the floor next to her bed, she grabbed my arm and hand and snuggled up close to me. My hand ended up right on her chest, and I could feel her heart beating right in my palm. lub-dup, lub-dup, lub-dup, lub-dup, lub-dup, lub-dup, lub-dup . . . life. Right there. In the palm of my hand. Life that came from me. This beautiful beautiful being. 


My Moments of Peace. They were with me all along. I just needed to stop . . . be . . . and open my heart to them.

Today, I still feel that peace that both of my girls gave me last night.

It feels oh-so good.

And I thank God for these little girls.

I've got lots to do . . . and lots to create. I've decided that I need to release myself of the *GUILT* (gees, I hate that word. Does anyone else have a problem with GUILT in their life, or am I just a GUILT NUT) . . . anyway, I need to release myself of the GUILT I feel for not taking that job and I need to get back to what I want to do with my life. CREATE ART. CREATE INSPIRATION. CREATE a WORLD that will ENCOURAGE and INSPIRE beauty for ALL.

So, I'm doing something with all of these today . . .

Can't wait to share it with you.

Hugs, my friends. Wishing you Moments of Peace in your day.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Funkytown Funk

I think I need snow. Or warmer weather. Kind of silly, isn't it? To wish for snow in one breath, and then warmer weather in another. It's been unseasonably lovely here in Chicago this week. But I think this whole loveliness outside has my psyche in a tither. At this point in the season, I'm usually hybernating. Locked up, shades down, fireplace on . . . settling in for a *long*winters*night.

It was 55 degrees outside today. I should be happy. Right?

But, I'm lost.

I just sat down and read my dear friend Leslie's blog today . . . so inspiring, so motivating, so full of energy. I LOVE IT. Yet, I feel like I'm so far from that place . . . I've hit Funkytown, folks. You know Funkytown, right? It's right next to Crankville. Ah, Crankville . . . remember Crankville?

 Oh, the good ol'blog days, huh?

Well, Funkytown is right next to Crankville. And it's a completely different place. It's not that "cranky" state of mind. It's that "I'm in a funk" one. You know the sort, right?

I know what has happened to me this week. I know exactly what I am doing to myself. It's called something like, "Wanting the whole darn world to be happy, and when they aren't, finding yourself carrying the weight of everyone elses troubles on your own shoulders so that you can hardly function." Yep . . . that's it . . . otherwise known as "Funkytown".

And I think that's what has been happening to me this week.

But Leslie's blog has me thinking. I want that energy . . . that positivity . . . that happiness. I want . . . THAT.

So, I'm trying, friends. I'm climbing up that mountain. Everytime I think I'm getting some where, I look above and see I've got miles to go. But I'm climbing it . . . one step at a time.

It's time to map out my "Ta-Da's" for the New Year, don't you think? Not that "to-do's" . . . because I think a To-Do list is nothing but a list of goals that remind you of all you have to do. I prefer to call my goals, "Ta-Da's" . . . because I know that they are going to make me feel AMAZING and help me get myself out of Funkytown. (By the way, I don't really like Funkytown. It might sound like Fun . . . but, it's not.)

My Ta-Da's for 2012
. . . (in no particular order) . . .

Spend a MINIMUM of 3 hours in my creative space each and every day. I have GOT to. I'm in a rut on the art front, and this is NOT acceptable for a person who wishes to make great strides living her creative dreams. I need to start this TODAY. So, I will.

• Sketch . . . something . . . each and every day. Again, this is an "I HAVE GOT TO" sort of thing. I am reading an awesome book that is helping me through this process. I'll share more with you when I am more into it, but this is CRUCIAL in the whole "creative life" process.

• Write . . . something . . . each and every day. Even if it is describing my fears. Write the words. Work it out. My blog has been feeling a lack of love for some time, and I need to work it out. Write it out. Come here and share my thoughts. This has always been my avenue to express myself, and I must find it again.

• Meditate. I've done a little bit of it here and there, but nothing consistent. The thing is, when I clear the mind . . . I can function so much better with all the other things that life throws at me. I need to work on this, and this is probably going to be one of the biggest challenges for myself this year.

• Cut out the sugar . . . ALL of it. It's bad. It makes me feel like crap. And I don't need it. Really. Ok. Maybe THIS ONE will be the biggest challenge for myself. But I know that it is necessary. Sugar is bad. period. Bye-bye.

• Keep climbing the mountain. I have so many things in my mind that I want to accomplish. Sometimes I sit and the computer and soak up the inspiration from so many bloggers and artists in the world - and they inspire and motivate me. Other times, they totally intimidate me and make me want to crawl up in the fetal position and sleep the days away. COURAGE. I must find it. I must force it. I must keep climbing. I don't know how others do it. But what I am realizing, is that I cannot take others into consideration. I must only push myself . . . and then and only then will I do the great things that I know I am capable of. I can celebrate the successes of others, but I must stop judging myself simply by the things that others are doing.

So, there you have it. My Top 6 Ta-Da's for 2012.

Tomorrow is a new day, my friends.

I can do this . . .

Wishing you Peace and Courage as you work on your Ta-Da's.

Monday, January 2, 2012

hello courage

I spent hours last night . . . hours . . . sitting at the computer and reading and reading and reading.



By each and every one of you.

I absolutely love the spirit in blogland right now.
This whole renewed and reinvented time of year,
when we celebrate the past and look forward to the future with such gusto . . .

Ooooo, GUSTO . . . that's a great word, isn't it?
Perhaps I'll have to keep that on the list for next year.

So many of us in blogland participate in the "Word of the Year" or "One Little Word" movement, and I love that. So many of us blog about our words and share our dreams as the slate has been wiped clean and ready to start anew. I read some wonderful stories last night. Triumphs. Failures.
All of it.
I'm constantly in awe of the honesty that exists in our little community.

My word for this year . . . . 

I shared it with you at the end of last week
(click here if you want to see that post). 

It's a big word for me this year. 


The courage to keep going.
The courage to stand up for myself.
The courage to believe in myself, when others might not.
The courage to truly look at myself and make a change.
The courage to follow my dreams.
The courage to never give up.

I stood at my countertop this morning, searching for a new coffee cup. I've been using my "Merry Christmas" mugs and Starbucks Holiday mugs for over a month now. This seems the perfect time to pick something new. Then, I found it . . . a travel mug I bought some time last year, from my creative mentor Kelly Rae Roberts.

I use this mug often, but completely forgot what was written on it.

Today, it hit me like a brick.

hello courage! 

I can't think of a better way to start the year. 

I wish you Peace and Courage, my friends.
Peace and Courage.
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