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;)





Happy Birthday Mom!

dcI love this image of my mom and our friend Carmel, a candid portrait of who she is to me.  She if full of spunk, and laughter.  Her laughter is big and I love it.

It’s my mom’s birthday today!  Happy birthday beautiful mom!! As I spent the last several days writing out memories and thoughts that I have regarding my mom, I was taken back to special times, I was reminded of how amazing this woman is. As I wrote out these words for her on simple note-cards I smiled a lot and even laughed.  I shared stories with the kids as I remember special moments in my life.  How in so many ways, I am who I am because of her and her example.  I’m very blessed to have been given such a terrific mom.  It was easy for me to focus on the negative things growing up and really, honestly there were not very many but I had a way of keeping those negative things stored in my heart and as I spent the time to write about all the positive things, all the good memories, all my mom’s really good character traits, I realized the good far out weighed the bad, and I mean abundantly so.  Holding on to bad memories is not good for growth.  They must be released so we can move forward.  How is it we can be told 10 amazing things about us but we like to focus on that one bad thing that’s been said?  It’s time to focus on the good and release the bad.

projectsShe is super handy and I believe she can do anything.  She helped me hang pictures of my sister and her family when they moved to France.

One of the most thoughtful gifts I have received was a basket of good thoughts and wishes from a far-away friend I had the pleasure of forming a friendship and bond over a period of one year, just 365 days of sharing moments and thoughts and in that time she was able to get to know me on a level where she could fill a basket of thoughts and wishes that were specific to me.  It  gave me such an amazing feeling, that I plan to give this gift as much as I can to special people in my life.  Just write out things about them that I find special, shared memories and things they have taught me.  This is what I did for my mom, she will get a box of memories, wishes, scripture and things that I admire in her as a person.   This way she could reach into the box each day and pull out a memory or thought specifically about her, about us or simply reach and get a special scripture, one she just may specifically need on that specific day, it sort of works out that way…you know?

kitchenThis moment isn’t clear but I love it.  It’s my mom playing cards with her grand-kids on the my kitchen floor.

walksA while back we would walk nearly every day, even though she lives a good 45 minutes away.  She supports me always.

climb fenceThis is shortly after her gallbladder surgery when she was supposed to be taking it easy.  I was supposed to be helping her hop the fence, instead I took a picture and giggled first. She is the kind of mom who also thought it was funny.  I helped her of course…after I took this picture.

sillyEach year for Mothers Day my mom treats us to a house tour.  The kind where we go to beautifully decorated homes, this is the sort of fun we have.  See grandma there pushing us out-of-the-way to take center stage.  You see where my light heart comes from?

rosieThree generations.  My mom holding her Rosie cat whom she completely adores.

EGO it’s not the bad word one might expect

oct iphone 561A while ago we stepped off the Metro near China town and there you can find this big circle of words.  Some of us walked around the circle and tried to find words that spoke to us.  These words, they felt exactly like who I am.  I often think of them as sort of flimsy and weak but as I read about ego today, I realize these words are actually very strong and powerful and I should be proud that these two words describe me.  I often get caught in the trap of wanting to be more amazing, more daring, more of a go-getter.  However shouldn’t I be proud of the traits I was given, although they feel meek.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”   Marianne Williamson

I get an email from the Lissa Rankin  who I saw on PBS late, late one sleepless night.  She wrote about ego today and it was interesting to get her point of view on the subject.  It was the other side of ego, the side I struggle with.  Hum? Now, I don’t believe in the exact way in  which Lissa believes however, she has some really valid points that I do believe in and I can respect very much.


I’m NOT a runner, repeat I’m NOT a runner but I can do hard things

LA Marathon



The finish line.  This day felt good… first:)  Then it was days of pain and then my toe nails fell off but still it was so great we did it again the next two consecutive years.

In March 2006, almost exactly  7 years ago I decided I wanted to complete my first Marathon….or was it Rich’s idea?   Actually I’m not sure whose crazy idea that was but anyway.  I was game.  I didn’t plan to run the thing or even jog it.  I just figured I wanted to complete it.  I also decided I didn’t need to train for it.  The morning of the Marathon Shauna and Jeff our good friends met us out our house at the crack of dawn to watch our kids while we headed off to L.A. for the 20th annual Los Angeles Marathon.  I had my c.d. player in hand with one c.d. I picked Modest Mouse and their C.D. that had come out two years earlier “Good News for People Who Love Bad News”  Of course my favorite track…Float on which I must have listened to like a hundred times.  Rich and I did this together.  He is the athletic one and he could literally run circles around me but he was kind and stayed with me.  He even would place his hands on my back and sort of push me along when I thought I couldn’t go any further.  Seriously the 12th mile or so I began to think, “what was I thinking?  Why didn’t I train?”  “I am insane” He held my hand, he smiled, he told me I could do it.  He told me together we would finish no matter what.  There were periods during the trek where I just said, “no talking!”  I put my headphones on and just walked,  Float on….just float on, it’s all good.  We finished, it took us just over 7 hours.  All I wanted to do is finish and we did.  That’s when I knew, it’s all mental, we can do anything we set our minds to.  I believe this with my whole heart.  We even hit up a hockey game right after the Marathon, I could barely lift my leg to make a step but we just floated on as we usually do.  I was sore for what seemed to be weeks, my big toes turned black and the nails eventually fell off.  Yet when next March came around, I was up for it again and once again without training.  I guess it’s like Childbirth, one just sort of forgets all that pain and wants to give it another whirl.  We gave the L.A. Marathon three whirls total,  three years in a row. After three years we decided we had enough….for now;)  A few weeks back Rich said it would be pretty cool to run the marathon with Dylan in a few years.  Time will tell.  Last year my word of the year was CAN, our scripture was Philippians 4:13  “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  We had the motto we can do hard things together.  In 2006 I wasn’t picking words of the year but I do know I had the attitude of I CAN and I WILL and Christ has been my source of strength for many years, in fact without Him I know I would be a lost soul. I’m thankful that He knows what’s best for me in this life and he gave me such a great partner who encourages, who is a help mate in every way.  It has not always been this easy, we have grown leaps in bounds since our early days of marriage.  LEAPS!!!