do you believe in yourself?

I have been doing a lot of reading and researching.  I think its part of mid-life. Questioning, where I am, how I got here and what’s in the future for me, for our family. I have been reading Dr. Phil’s book, “Self Matters” I’m in the chapter where he has one thinking about the defining events in your life. We can’t possibly remember every single day but there have been some events in our lives that stand out. I thought of a handful of personal and violating things that have happened in my life. I’m not going to share in this space but I will share the few things that came forward that are good. These events are times in my life where someone believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself and turns out…they were right about me.

SHINEWhen I was in the first grade I was very shy, a lot like I’m still shy today. I had this teacher that really, really believed in me. She was going to have her class put on a play for their parents and she had to pick a part for all her kids. She chose me, the shyest girl in the class to play the starring roll. I had lines to memorize that my mom helped me with and when the big day came, I shined. I don’t think anyone would ever know I was the most shy, most quiet girl in the class. I don’t even remember being nervous that day. I know I was very young…but I remember. My teacher had full confidence in me.

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When I was in high school I took art class. I had the same teacher for art as I had for yearbook staff. I thought it strange but when I was in her art class she would tell me I could do whatever I wanted and I didn’t have to do the class assignments. She said she believed in what I had in my head and what I could do with it. I just thought it was because she liked me. I didn’t pursue my talent in art. I stopped drawing and painting by the time I was 19. But she saw something in me. I will never forget that.dont give up

When I was a young married women I went back to college for a time and took a writing class. I love to write. I remember a few weeks in we had a writing assignment. I wrote about Vietnam and I used my father-n-law as my inspiration. My paper was picked and read aloud to the class. She asked the class who they thought wrote the piece. Nobody guessed it was the shy girl with red hair that sat in the back. They all seemed pleasantly surprised and I was noticed that night and received a handful of really nice compliments.

portraitLooking back on some of my inspiring memories, I realize all 3 were TEACHERS who had faith in me. Do we give our teachers the credit they deserve? They shape our lives. Not all teachers are good but some are really great. I’m thankful for these teachers who had faith in me. Now to bottle their faith and make it my own. This is my challenge.

find your inspiration

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I’m inspired in many different ways and I think my top inspiration is through nature but a very close second are people. People inspire me. I’m very shy. I’m an introvert but that being said. I love people and I especially love group projects. Currently I’m in a year-long video time capsule making course. I like to brag about my teacher Xanthe because she is really great and yes, inspiring but on top of that, my creative classmates are co-inspirers. I love to watch the video’s my class mates make and most recently I watched one made by Julia  and she shared a day with her friend via video time capsule and her friend was beach combing and found bits of trash and interesting things and made art out of it. Then via her video and in the comments another classmate who equally inspires me had an entire Pinterest page   dedicated to her street combing finds.  Tara does quite a bit of street combing and has the most interesting and beautiful displays of what she finds.  Goodness, I can for sure admit that I too am a street comber and for sure a sea comber. I find peace and comfort in collecting sea shells, sea glass and bits of goodness I find here or there. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty, that’s what soap and water are for!

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Aside from finding street treasures and making art out of it, I also have a past of wrapping gifts inexpensively but this (big confession) is mostly due to the cheap skate in me. Yeah, I really have a hard time buying pretty ribbons and papers for wrapping, although I admire them very much. Very, very much. My mama in fact is the best wrapper of gifts I have ever been exposed to. She wraps up gifts so beautiful they are hard to open because you know, I don’t want to ruin her master piece.

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My new creative friends have inspired me to start street combing and bring in more than my feathers, so watch out.  Below is what I collected in about five minutes just by walking across the street from my house this afternoon.  I’m thrilled that even that crumpled piece of yellow paper resembles a heart without any of my manipulation.

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from the bottom of my heart

peace to bethThe heart is where the beauty of the human spirit comes alive.  Without the heart, the human would be sinister.  To be able to feel is the great gift.  When you feel for someone, you become united with that person in an intimate way; your concern and compassion come alive, drawing some of the other person’s world and spirit into yours. Feeling is the secret bridge that penetrates solitude and isolation.  WIthout the ability to feel, FRIENDSHIP AND LOVE COULD NEVER BE BORN.  All feeling is born in the heart.  – JOHN O’DONOHUE

Today I got home to a package on my porch.  I thought “I have not ordered anything?”  “I wonder what it might be?”  I opened up this beautifully wrapped package and inside was this framed photograph of a far a way friend of mine.  A friend whom I have never met yet the connection is so real.  She had posted this image and I asked if I might buy this print from her.  I fell instantly in love with it.  It was her and it was peace.  She said she would send me a copy.  I expected it might be a print that would arrive in the mail and in a flat envelope that I would then frame.  She went above and beyond sending me a print.  She had it framed.  I’m overwhelmed with how someone I have never met would do something so nice for me.  Yesterday I was down about my own little skin issues and I wrote a frustrated poem about it.  Today I came home and I can’t stop smiling and it doesn’t mater that I still have sores on my legs, it doesn’t matter at all.  Today I have gratitude in my heart from a far away friend.  Thank you Beth for your kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity.  I will hang your art in my dining room with the rest of my favorite images.  It will look just right there.

just click. just write. just doodle. just draw. just sew. just paint. just make music…just do

“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”

*Salvador Dali*

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This is so very true right?  How often have I sat in front of a blank piece of paper, or decided to take a photograph and thought…..but it’s already been done. It will not be unique or different?  It doesn’t matter if it’s already been done.  The fact is, I will do it different because I am different.  I would be lying if I didn’t admit to the fact that I do have these thoughts.  There is nothing left to do….it’s all already been done before.  That’s the enemy talking.  Don’t listen.  Just do it.  If I don’t…I produce nothing. I’m learning so much by reading that book a million little ways, yes I’m still reading it and yes it’s still great.  As I read it, there is so much validation for my feelings and thoughts.

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me and my best Dali impression;)  So JUST DO.  Okay, all together now.  JUST DO!  which then makes me think of this….

Art inspires Art – it also heals if you allow it

art inspiredI took the image on the left a few summers back while we (our entire family unit of five) were on our way to watch a Pink Floyd laser show atop a building in Los Angeles. Motorcycle man likes to plan really fun things for us to do. This was one of his summer surprises. On the way there I snapped this photo from the cab of the truck (most likely when traffic was at a stand still) The lighting was really pretty and much like this photo, I only enhanced it a little. Carie my cousin by marriage sent me a message one day. She said one of my photo’s inspired a painting. When she finally shared the image with me I was taken aback. Not only did she make the painting far prettier than my memory she also evoked deeper memories from childhood with her pink power lines. When I was a young girl and we were on long car trips, short too probably. I would sit quietly in the back seat and look out the windows. I would imagine myself as a ballerina dancing gracefully atop the power lines. I was always very quiet and caught up in my imagination, or I would just talk quietly to myself. I was an only child for most the time. Carie also added scripture to the painting, in the background is Matthew 5:14 which reads “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” She not only painted a gorgeous painting but she took me back to two really wonderful memories, showed me the city I love and added a scripture of light, which is where I often strive to be, in His light. I like to believe this was Holy Spirit driven. It is that divine and gives me those kinds of chills. Below is another image of that night. Driving through a tunnel with our first born. The first born enjoyed the evening the very most out of the three.

photo(3)This picture of Austin always reminds me of Willy Wonka;)

 

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Apples and Rain….yes more apples and rain;)

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Someone read my blog about CHANGE and she did something about it.  I received the most beautiful handmade necklace today in the mail.  It read “change” and it truly touched my heart.  I have a dear friend who has a name but I like to call her Ocean’s Child, first because she adores anything to do with the ocean and the ocean it reminds me of her.  Second, I like John Lennon, he is my favorite Beatle and well wouldn’t you know, it’s his birthday today!  How crazy is that!  I really love that song Julia so very much and in the this song it has a line “Ocean Child”. My friend has a  beautiful Etsy store called Two Mermaids  and she makes beautiful hand blown beads and she sells fun ocean themed gifts and mermaids of course….everything mermaid!  You should go visit her store, you will not be disappointed.

So remember earlier today I talked about rain and apples?  Well since it rained we wanted to bake of course but not our apple pie, nope.  We decided to make apple pizza instead.  Below are some of the images from our rainy day baking.  I don’t like writing recipes out very much, I’m not a big measurer and things like that so sometimes it’s hard to stop and really think about how to tell someone how we make things but I have tried of course, after all I do have a recipe tab.  This recipe does have measurements though because it’s not really ours, it’s Mrs. Ostgaard’s apple pie recipe from when all three of my kids went through the 5th grade.  They all made this pie, we just happened to use her ingredients and turn it into a pizza instead.  Meaning we just rolled the dough flat instead of placing it in a pie dish.

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While the apple pizza baked, we ran out to play in the rain.  Below are my two favorite shots of the rain girl.

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IMG_6066Singing in the rain….what do ya think?  She loves to sing and dance of course.  She has my mom’s old ski jacket on from back in the day.

TA DA!  Apple Pizza

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Be still and listen, you may be surprised in what you hear

I only took two images I can even share, neither that spectacular and both with my iphone.  As I sit and wait for my youngest to get out of school. I may crack open a book (more rare) I mostly just scroll pictures on IG.  That’s the real honest truth.  I’m a photo junkie and I need to get my inspiration, my fix of goodness from around the world.  I can be having the crappiest day, filled with cramps and lady issues and be the crankiest person on the planet and then I see my “friend” who lives in Dublin and is in the hospital because her bloods too low and she has a fever and she is undergoing chemo.   And already I have seen other friends even closer that have had that same battle and then I see someone post a little heart and dedicate it to that friend who lives in Dublin and is battling cancer and is having a crappy day in the hospital.  I decide, why not?  Why not send this stranger friend some love from way over here, as I sit waiting to pick up my youngest girl.  I bet Vanessa just longs to pick up her boys from school today, but she is too busy battling with cancer and she has to depend on her husband and family to join in and help a mother out.  Then it gets placed right back into proper perspective.

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I have also been paying attention from afar as a young couple sleep day and night at the children’s hospital while their little boy also battles cancer and their lives are turned upside down, yet in all of that they still have such joy, they instead find it as an opportunity to share God’s great gift.  It’s amazing to me what people can teach me.  They have no idea.  Sometimes we don’t realize people are paying attention or even watching the things we do, the things we can do to make a difference.  It’s important to share even when we don’t think anyone is listening, even more important to “do” it matters.

Have you ever got a little thought, or tug at your heart.  Like a little voice telling you, you ought to do this or that?  Easy to ignore and much harder to act upon.  I call that the Holy Spirit while others may call it intuition or the universe speaking to them.  Whatever it may be…I have always found that when I actually act upon it, the most unexpected results may occur and blessing begin to happen.

“There is no happiness if the things we believe in are different than the things we do”   Albert Camus (the guy who wrote one of my favorite books ever….The Stranger)

BAGI leave you with the soccer player who finds a brown paper bag most interesting

It’s fall and fall can feel new

I need 18 more readers and voting will be closed by October 2nd but so far we have a clear winner and honestly I don’t see many more votes coming in but one never knows.  It’s the one thing I thought for sure wouldn’t win. And the one thing I thought would get the most votes barely got any.  Isn’t that the way life goes!  I’m wondering how much time I have to prepare myself before that 100th reader subscribes, it could be months…who knows?

paperIn the meantime I tried my wood photo transfer this weekend and I don’t have the patience to deal with it.  The image was coming off along with the paper and I’m sure if I had more time I would experiment with different papers and different techniques.  I think it will be as simple as having my images put on a foam board.

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Aside from that, I made the conscious effort to NOT read Emma this weekend knowing the month was quickly coming to an end and the deal was to read this book in one month’s time.  I joined that book club and I wanted to try something new.  I ended up realizing the book wasn’t so bad at all.  I actually found myself giggling at some points.  However it’s not what I call an easy read (not for me at least) and it’s not what I call a book I can’t put down.  So the book is due in a few days and I’m thinking the movie sounds like a swell idea.  That too would be something I normally wouldn’t do….watch a movie like Emma.

emma                                                   That’s me, not really reading Emma

Do you know what I did instead of reading?  I finished the first season of Mad Men!  It’s for sure my new obsession.  Ask anyone who knows me really well, I’m always obsessed with something, it’s normally short lived and completely involved.  I do see myself finishing the series on this one though, it’s just too good not to.  And Audrey , I did make it to the carrousel episode and let’s just say Mr. Don Draper nailed it.  I was like “yep, that’s what photos are all about, exactly!”  He does have a heart after all.

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Also I didn’t just watch episode after episode, I decided my fall is a time of NEW.  Fall arrives and  and things feel new again,  the school year begins, new routines work themselves out so why not clean a little and feel that feeling of change/new/.  I’m the queen of clutter; well some would call me that.  I like to say I’m very, very sentimental.  Debbie ,   I still have the fall leaves you mailed me a few years ago in the same glass jar. So I save things, like leaves, shells, feathers, dried flowers, rocks and you know those sorts of things.  So I had to take lots of deep breaths and release a few things.  The leaves were not one of them.  I like to stack books, magazines, papers and leave pens out so I can write a note on a whim.  I have to admit even more than my children,  I’m the biggest contributor for the messes in our home.  My dining table I usually fill, full of mostly my stuff. It takes me a great deal to keep things in order once I get them in order, It’s basically a hamster wheel (neat, piled, picked up, dumped)  I am what I am as much as I try and be the organized, live simple kind of gal….I’m just not made that way.  I can admit though it feels good, like a big deep breath and I’m sure I can keep it this way for at least a few days!

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Check out that clear table, even the top of the hutch is less cluttered

roundempty for now but soon to be filled

And last but for sure not least….the pumpkin, it continues to grow!

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It arrived and not only that….it really is time for CHANGE

My very first MOO order!  What is Moo you might ask?  Well it’s a printing company that makes your things look extra special.  I had no idea the post cards I ordered would be so top notch.  The quality far exceeded my expectations. (and Colleen if you’re reading this, Moo wraps their pretty packages in a purple ribbon) IMG_5957Now I realize why they cost so much?  I had been working on my order for over two months just waiting to have extra money or a deal of some kind.  I finally got 25% off last week and pulled the trigger and even at that they were more money than I thought I should be spending.  But then I had a realization.  How will I get myself out there if I don’t put a little money into this to begin with?  Lilly was telling me that if we get a few little post cards out on art walk night people are more apt to spend a little bit of money on something like that rather than an entire piece of art.  I decided to plug my blog on these post cards as well.  Because for me, more important than the everyday moments inside my four walls in within the perimeter of my yard, and I keep thinking “who would want this as art in their homes or work spaces when it’s just bits and pieces of things I think are important and photo worthy?” So more than getting my photographs out there I enjoy writing and having my photographs accompany my thoughts.  I have always wanted to be a writer since I was young.  I just find writing much easier than talking out loud.  So more than the art I can make with my prints, and now wanting to experiment with wood transfers I want to be able to encourage other gals who are just like me, busy moms who have small breakdowns every so often. All of us moms no matter what stage can encourage and support one another.  The younger moms who I learn from because now days they seem so innovative and far more equipped with tons of information, even more than I had and the older moms who give me their wisdom and assurance that it will all be okay someday.

I also have to stop thinking things that are so negative about me.  That CHANGE word is everywhere right now, my workshop this past week and a HUGE topic last night in my two-hour class.  If I had only an idea it would be my word for next year, it’s no longer an idea, it’s a certainty.  CHANGE is my word, as I’m reminded by Sandi our super cool facilitator, that it will not be overnight, and it will take lots and lots of practice but if I acknowledge I need to change and make steps towards this…it will eventually happen.

MOO CARDSNo it’s not your eyes, it’s not quite straight, just tilt your head a little;)

VOTE!

I’m cracking up at the pole I posted.  So I have 28 votes, that’s mind blowing to me also that 28 people voted, that’s enough for me only I do need more because as of right now it’s a deadlock.  14 people voted for one thing while 14 others voted for another.  If it stays that way I will have to flip a coin and either way be ready for CHANGE, BEcause both ideas involve change.

Super mom or super tired?

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I’m a mom.  I think it’s the biggest most important job I have.  I love my motorcycle man because he helps to remind me of really important things.  You see last night as he cut the raw chicken into strips for fajitas, I chopped the onions and peppers.  I mentioned to him that I skipped tanning.  That sounds strange I’m sure tanning, the red haired freckled Pippi Longstocking look alike tans??  Let me just explain a little about the tanning.  My tanning salon has something called red light treatment; it helps people with a number of conditions, eczema being one of them. So I try my darndest to fit in a session every single day if possible.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.

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So he asks me “why?”  (me) “well my sister she left her ipad here and so I had to come straight home and make sure the house was unlocked so she could get in, then while I was here I decided to do the dishes, and clear off the table, and strip our sheets, water the garden and did a quick blog entry.  Before I knew it, it was time to get Dylan  (Let me tell you. I can get stuff done FAST when I put my mind to it, I think it’s a MOM SUPER POWER)  So…then I picked up Dylan, then I picked up Abbie, then I went to the grocery store to get the stuff for our fajita’s and when I got back, I vacuumed and I snuck in an episode of Mad Men and then…well before I knew it, it was time to make dinner……so I didn’t tan today.”   Rich replies, “The tanning place is right next to Fresh and Easy, why didn’t you just take Abbie and go while you were there in the same parking lot?”  (me) “well Abbie hates sitting in the waiting room waiting for me, so I didn’t want to torture her again”  He so quickly could tell me what was going on here.  “You put your sister and your daughter’s needs before your own, like you always do.  Everyone else is always so much more important than you.  It wouldn’t have killed Abbie to sit there for 20 minutes; you could have just opened the slider for your sister and been back on your way.”  He makes it all so black and white and it all makes such perfect sense when he explains it.  I really took a pause for a moment.  This goes hand in hand with the class I’m taking.  I’m (learning) how to change this about me.  It’s not easy, it feels so natural to me to put everyone’s needs in front of my own, isn’t that what we are supposed to do?  This is not easy, this is really hard but I have to change my way of thinking. I’m not aiming to become a SELFISH crazy woman but you know….balance.

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This year my word was LOVE.  It’s a powerful packed word that can change the world.  The biggest, strongest word I know but next year I think my word should be CHANGE.  It will take action and courage but that’s what we are here for….. growth.  If we don’t change how can we grow? Reminds me of a really great song by JJ Heller.  And strangest thing….change is our word this week in Now You Workshop.

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How many of you have been in this similar dilemma? oh and remember to vote.  I’m keeping voting open for one week.  Just look for the post that is titled VOTE!