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Showing posts from 2014

I Blinked . . .

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. . . and before I knew what happened, it was December 9th.  Damn.  I wanted to blog so much more in November.  I was there. I had so much to share.  But then . . . a few things happened . . . like, I had this home art party . . .    It was lots of fun.  Then I planned a project for Ella's Brownie troop . . .  It was lots of fun, too.   Then Phil planned a trip to this place . . .   . . . which was absolutely awesome and completely magical .  It was a short little trip.  But it was exactly what we needed.  Because there were lots of laughs . . .  And awesome moments like these . . . The next day, we went here . . . .  And it was heavenly. Because, I was here . . .  and they were there . . .  and it was good. So very very good.  Then we came home, and had some people over for dinner . . .  It was super yummy and oh-so good.  Like, REALLY REALLY good. A couple days later, I had one

Taking Care of my Hyperventilating Hero Self

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Lately, I find myself spending a good part of each and every day trying to not have a panic attack - which is absolutely ridiculous, and I get angry just to hear myself say it. I don't know how other people handle it . . . this thing called life.  How they meet all of their responsibilities and deal with everything on their plates without going into a complete and total breakdown is just beyond me. God Bless 'em.   Some days, as I'm driving in the car, I find myself taking deep breaths in and out and counting to 10 just to keep myself from hyperventilating. The car is when I do a lot of thinking - when it all seems to catch up with me. So I breath in and out, over and over, trying to re-group. It all will get done. It all will be fine. I can do this. I tell myself those things . . . over and over again.   And I've got it so easy, too. Really.  I know this as clear as day. I know that there are  people out there that have it bad. Really bad. I don't hav

Having my Cake . . . and Eating it, too!

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It's so strange how the universe works. Like, CRAZY strange. And I love it. Every stinking bit of it. Really. The good, and the bad parts of it. My friends . . . I got the job. The job I was telling you about earlier in the week. The for real 'wake up and go to an office' sort of job. The job that will deposit funds into my bank account every two weeks (insert cheer of ' yay !' here). The job that will help ignite some old skills, dust of some insurance knowledge, and allow me to exceed in a field that I know I can handle. Yes, I got the job. But back to the universe. I love it. A few years ago, for those of you who may not be familiar with my story, I worked in health care - in health insurance, specifically. I have actually held a job in health care, in one way or another, since I was 16. And since I am not one to hide my age . . . that was about 27 years ago. I did well in health care - working my way up from one position to another, and settli

Burners on HI

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My burners are full right now, friends. All of them. And things are simmering . . . steadily.  In other words . . . I feel like I have a lot going on right now.  While blow drying the 'do' this morning (because, you know, that is when my greatest thoughts and ideas come to me), I came up with this analogy for life: Comparing it to a great chef in one of the busiest restaurants - with every single burner on the stove running at full capacity, and still keeping up with each of them before anything overflows.  That's how I feel lately. I keep stirring them - going from one pot to another, to make sure that nothing boils over. But so far, so good. Nothing is burning. Yet. ;)   One pot is full of Girl Scouts & Brownie meetings and activities, the other is full of swimming and band practices, one is full of Art to work on, the other is planning for craft fairs, one pot has art classes and home art parties in it, and another is filled to the rim with plans

My Carpet of Gold

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I love the sound of leaves crunching under my feet. I love to feel them up against my legs as I walk through a pile of them. I prefer to have socks on to avoid as much itchiness as possible . . . but some days, unplanned walks in the woods are the very best thing for the soul. I've mentioned before how blessed I am to live where we live - not only because we are in the Midwest (which welcomes the seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall with open arms), but because we are just minutes away from a most lovely nature forest preserve. It is heavenly. I find myself taking a drive through it weekly . . . just turning down the street that leads straight into the path of peace . . . more often than not. Mostly without even realizing what I am doing. During many of these afternoon drives, I pull over and step out into the quiet for a quick walk, to just . . . breath. Sometimes I get my best deep breaths of air - in those woods. It's kind of like my heaven on earth. It&

Sometimes . . . I forget

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         It's been a busy, and chaotic couple of days here in our house.  Busy with school activities, Girl Scouts, swimming, broken lawn mowers, doctor visits for coughs that just won't quite, business trips for daddy, art classes for mommy, and a whole bunch of other things that I have already filed in that 'short term memory' box days ago.  In the midst of all of that, I've been trying my best to be a good mom. You know, the kind who stops what she is focused on when she has a moody 6th grader who needs some love. Or the kind who stops cooking dinner and plays school with her 2nd grader when she needs to.  You know, that good kind of mom.  I am not always that kind of mom, though. Because sometimes . . . I just . . . forget.  I forget that it is hard to be 11 and 7. It really, really is. It's hard when your body is changing, when your emotions are going up and down and you can't even begin to understand why you feel this

Anatomy of a Refrigerator Door

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I have never been one of those "blank" refrigerator door people - no matter how much I want to be, and no matter how much I try to be. There is always something that needs to be there . . . even if it is just one little magnet or piece of life that I want to remember. But the thing is . . . for me, it is never just one little magnet. Right now, it's about 18 little magnets. Give or take a few. I took a look at my chaotic and quite cluttered fridge door the other day, and decided it was time to clean it up. The only problem . . . was that I couldn't remove thing. Not one single thing. Because, believe it or not, each and every part of that door means something  special. Truly. So, I decided I should share the Anatomy of my Refrigerator Door with you, my beloved blog friends. Because it is silly, and so something I would do - to "air the dirty laundry" . . . or in this case, "air the fridge door".  Here it is - 1 to 18 - and the meanin

Colors of my Doors

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                        I love the colors of this art journal page that I did the other day . . . bright, vivid colors - they make me happy. We tend to react one way or another to a color that we come in contact with, don't we?   Soft shades of blues and greens often bring a sense of peace. Reds bring a feeling of passion and great enthusiasm. Yellows bring on happiness and joy like no other.  I absolutely love to take those Facebook quizzes that, after answering a variety of silly questions, tell you exactly the color you are. Some days I don't need a quiz to tell me what color I am feeling . . . but other days, I'm not so sure.  And these days,  I'm a variety of colors. Truly . . . every color of the rainbow. Each and every day.  Moments of calmness in my days are quickly taken over by feelings of overwhelm and great concern, then the joy peeks in, followed by worry and despair. It's a never ending ride of a very blessed and colorful time. I'

heART Journaling

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                       So, I'm am ALL into Art Journaling lately.  It makes my heART feel happy.  And I love the play on words - the  heart and art . They truly are the perfect combination for me.  I am a great admirer of those who pour their creative words and creative selves onto the pages of a sketch book. I could spend hours on Pinterest looking at one image or another of someones art journals. And sometimes, I do just that (spend hours on Pinterest). It fills my creative pitcher, and sometimes - it is exactly what I need.  I bought a new sketch book strictly for my Art Journaling. This will not be one full of doodles or zentangles, like my other sketch books. This won't all be happy and sappy. The main purpose of this one will be to art journal . In the coming weeks I hope to share many of my new creations with you here.  But . . . I must preface this by saying the following . . .  - This is an art journal . - I will be sharing some deep thought

The Focus of Fall

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        I am absolutely loving life these days.  Fall. I love it even more this year than ever before.  It has always been a time of family, a time to re-group and focus, a time of great excitement before the wonderful holiday season. But this year, for some reason . . . I am feeling it all even more.  Yesterday, Katie and I had a few rare hours alone while Ella enjoyed some time over at a friends house. We made a quick stop at Target, grabbed a Pumpkin Spice Latte (because it goes with the season, you know), and took a little side ride through the forest preserve near our home while heading home. It was a gray and rainy day, but even in all the gray - the leaves were glowing in the warm colors of fall. As we drove through the park, I was in awe at the magic of falling leaves taking place around us. I usually feel like I miss the whole transformation from summer to winter - as if one day I wake up and the leaves have turned colors, and the next day I wake up and find all the trees ba

Awesome

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"Have you ever seen God?" she asked.  This is Ella. The old-soul, youngest daughter, deep thinker, sensitive hearted, love of my life.  And sometimes she asks me those questions when I am not totally in the right frame of mind. Like this morning, as I was making her lunch and watching the clock, urging her to brush her teeth, pack up her backpack, trying to get her to comb her hair and make it to the corner before the bus was scheduled to arrive . . . in about five minutes.  I think to myself, "quick . . . what was it I read in that book years ago on answering the tough questions? What would our Religious Ed Director say? How should I answer this with the softness that she needs, in a way that would fill her soul in faith?"  "Well," I start . . . turning off the kitchen faucet and drying my hands, facing her - so she knows that this is a serious reply to a pretty serious inquiry. "I do see Him . . . I saw Him the moment I met you, when the doctor han

Fall, Love and Pumpkin Spice Lattes

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Oh, where do the days go?  I can't believe it is October. The leaves are changing colors, the heat has been turned on in the house, and orange and purple twinkle lights are covering our box woods in front of our home. We have entered not only my favorite time of year, but the one when I find myself most wanting to write. So hopefully, with welcomed help from the universe, I'll be more present here and will get back to writing. I miss it. I really do.  For today, just a little "hello!"  A quick greeting from me, to you.  And a new picture of the girls . . . taken just this past weekend. These girls, they have my heart. My whole heart. It's amazing how I fall more and more in love with them each and everyday - when I truly think I can't love them any more. I find myself enjoying them even more, too (which I never thought was possible). They are funny . . . really funny, with such great personalities - full of such good - kindness - caring hearts - smart - deter

Day 1

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As fast as the summer came, it has left us with the beginning of another school year. Day 1. Here we are! And I don't think I've ever met the beginning of the school year with such enthusiasm as I have today. Because they are ready . . . for their next chapter. And I am ready . . . for my next chapter, too. Whatever that may be. Walking to the bus today, Ella stopped and picked up this little piece of crumbled up 'something or another'. She said, " Mom . . . look, it's a heart. You keep it with you all day, so you know that my heart is with you. " Oh, how I love that kid. Both of them, actually, which I realize is a super good thing to say . . . since I am their Mom. But I do. I never in a million years knew being their Mom would feel as good as it does. On good days, or even bad. It is the best feeling in the world. But even with all that love, comes a strong desire to take a break from time to time. And that is what school does for me -

Happy Observations

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I like to start my mornings sitting right here at my kitchen table, with a fresh, hot cup of coffee, and our backyard.       My red cardinal whirlie-gig that the girls bought for me.                   Our little blow up pool.                            The garden, and our sunflowers.                                     Sigh. This is my happy place. . . when the house is quiet, and the sunshine is just waking up the world outside. These are also the colors that make me happy. Lately, I can't get enough of them . . . I realized today, these are the colors of our backyard. Most mornings, I sit and watch my neighbor as he makes his way to his garden (which is right on the other side of the fence from ours.) He is a meticulous gardener, with his organization and well maintained garden so unlike our chaotic mess of a place. But it works for us, and his works for him. He is elderly, my neighbor. These days he makes his way to his corner with a cane in hand. But sti

The Answer is BOTH.

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Years and years ago (waaaaay back in 2011, if you can believe it), I attended an awesomely inspiring and soul filling weekend in Minnesota called " The Creative Connection Event ". It was the most thrilling experience - "a national conference and market celebrating creative women and entrepreneurs", and it changed my life. Truly. It was there, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where I met my very first blog friend, Kiki. Oh, how I adore her!! (And miss her terribly! Haven't seen her since that weekend - my dear friend, we MUST get ourselves in the same state again!)    It was also there where I got to meet mixed media artist Kelly Rae Roberts, who was my first introduction into the world of mixed media art and this whole movement of creative women. I also took a class with THE Brave Girls  Melody Ross and Kathy Wilkins. At the time, I had no idea how amazing these ladies were - but I quickly learned.  I took a big leap and jumped at the chance to stand

Stop. Look. Listen.

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It's crazy how fast life can move some times. Like a cassette tape set to fast forward, or the commercials I zoom through while watching a program on my DVR. Fast. School ended, and as soon as it was over, summer kicked into full gear. It's been good. But sometimes, you just want it to . . . STOP. Really. I'm there today. Drained emotionally. Dragging physically. I stubbed my toe today. Bad. It's black and blue, and hurts like hell. I can't remember the pain of childbirth (you kind of block it out after time). But today, my toe feels like childbirth pain. Really. And all I am thinking is that maybe this is the way of the Universe to get me to do what I so desire in my soul - to STOP. Breathe. Regroup. I like that. Not that I stubbed my toe. But that I stopped. This very day. Stopping. Looking. Listening to what it is telling me. It's easy to get caught up in life. I do it all the time. Easy to get caught up in the day to day hustle. Easy to

A Creative Blog Tour - What Fun!!

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A day late, and slightly more than a dollar short . . . but here, nonetheless! I'm so very grateful to be here with you today, my friends . . . not only because it has been too long since I've been away, but because this week I was asked to participate in a lovely little "Blog Tour" by my beloved friend, Kelly Warren, over at Happy Shack Designs ! Kelly is one awesome lady, with two absolutely adorable twin daughters, and such a creative soul . . . she brings happiness and inspiration to me so very often that even though we have only met through blogland (and never face to face), she is a lifelong friend whose very presence makes me smile! Truly.  As part of the Blog Tour, Kelly sent along a list of question for me to answer. I am so excited about these coming up right about now in life, since I have found myself S.U.P.E.R. motivated in my art, as of late. Because of that, I am really eager to think about it and write about it and share it. So, without furth