Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thankful & Grateful Moments

I am so very blessed for this life I am living.

For this sometimes stressful, sometimes frustrating, sometimes exhausting, sometimes aggravating, but 100% blessed life.

Because even when the going gets tough . . . and yep, sometimes it does get tough . . . I still know how damn great I've got it.

And this year, I am trying to do it as often as possible - trying to take those moments, the Thankful and Grateful Moments, and soak them up. Because I have many of them.

Tonight, I am sitting at my computer looking through the photo from a recent trip we took to this January to Puerto Rico. I decided to get back to good ol'fashioned scrapbooking and want to start with this vacation, and sitting here looking at these photos - I am feeling my heart swell with gratitude for this trip.

I would love to share a little bit of it with you.

Like, this view . . . right here . . .

Sometimes you see something and you think, "this can't be real" - almost like there is a great big Hollywood movie backdrop someone painted placed right in front of you. This view above - that is one of those places.

Or, catching two sisters share a moment right there . . .


Or, having a Starbucks in the lobby and having a husband who would wake each morning and go to buy you one of these . . . 

Yes, I was spoiled . . . and I know it. 

Watching these three brave souls as they try out zip lining (oh, yes they did!!) was a pretty awesome experience. 

I mean, seriously . . . .

I would never, could never, and will never try it . . . but oh how proud I was of the three of them.

I am grateful for the night when the moon was so bright, it looked like a spotlight was shining down on us all . . .

. . . we sat out there for hours that night - watching the light dance on the water below, and feeling the warm breeze from the ocean go right through us. It was a picture perfect night, and one that I will never forget.

I am grateful for an adventurous boat ride (even if it was a little bumpy) that brought us to a beach . . .

. . . and hours of fun in the sand.

I am grateful for afternoons when it really doesn't matter what your hair looks like, or whether you have cover stick on (or mascara or anything), and when your smile says it all. 

. . . and grateful for my dear husband who loves me as I am . . . 

Oh, how grateful I am for him.

And I am grateful for "strangers" who cross your path (even your online art path) and quickly become the dearest of friends . . . (the wonderful artist Elizabeth Gonzalez). Any time with this lady makes my heart full of joy - and this trip was no exception for that. This was our second trip to Puerto Rico, and my second opportunity to spend time there with Elizabeth, and I just LOVED it. It reminds me of how small this great BIG world really is. 

Finally, I am grateful for the many moments like this . . .

 . . . for watching the beautiful colors in the sky, for seeing the sun go down, for listening to my daughters laugh, for no phones, no ipads, no minecraft or television. For no place to be and no time to be there . . . for the ability to practically stop time, and watch a kite fly way up in the sky one glorious afternoon.

Yes, for this very life . . . I am both Thankful and Grateful.

So very, very much.

Wishing you peace, my friends.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Wide Awake

It's 3:30AM, and I am wide awake.

The hubby is half way through a long business trip. The wind outside is heavy - with the vibration of the siding along the bedroom wall being so strong right now, I become more and more awake with each rattle.

Ella lays next to me, deep asleep. I know it is not a good idea to let her continue to lay with me at night when daddy is out of town, but I have to admit - the company warms my heart. Although, tonight I envy her sleep.

I have been doing better with my sleep in recent weeks . . . my dear friend Peggy gave me an essential oil diffuser at Christmas, with a wonderful sampling of some lovely oils that have helped me find peace each night. I created a little "intention corner" in our bedroom (ok - it's really my night stand with a few little nic-nacs, but i think 'intention corner' sounds fancier, don't you?) I do find myself taking a few minutes each night to enjoy the space - reflect - relax - breath - all those things. It is becoming quite a special place for me.

But tonight, it isn't working.

Work was bothersome today. Well, yesterday really - since it is now 3:30AM. Did I mention it was 3:30am? ;)

I have this need to try and fix things and make everything better for people - and sometimes my "Mary Poppins" desires are not met with as much enthusiasm as I'd like. In all I've grown the past few years - realizing that I cannot be a "people-pleaser" and giving up the control to try and make everyone happy - I still find myself with these moments of when I try to get others to see life through rose colored glasses. But it is not met with such agreement. And then, it takes me over.

And it bothers me.

It's crazy, really. How much I let it affect me.

So, I find myself scrolling through Pinterest this morning . . . finding those words that will help me find peace. Two quotes fly off the screen - they are quite perfect, I think . . .

They're quite great, don't you think?

I am so grateful to the universe who puts things out there to help us, exactly when we need it.

So now, I try to find rest again - remember that the storm will pass, and I must just let it be what it is. Keep focused on me. And move on . . . and remember one of my all time favorite quotes, from Scarlett O'Hara. Because it is oh-so true.

I love that one!!

So, back to sleep I go, friends.

With pleasant thoughts of tomorrow . . . because it IS another day.

Wishing you peace, always.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Don't let this happen

A friend of mine posted this quote on Facebook this week, and the moment I read it - it was as if a stadium of people stood up in my head and cheered, "YES!" and "THIS!" and "BRAVOOO!", each exclamation repeating over and over in my head as I read and re-read the quote all week long. Written by the most brilliant and giftedly insightful Anne Lamott, it sort of became my instant mantra . . . so much so, that I immediately shared it with my Facebook friends.
I can imagine a large art piece with this very quote hanging on a wall in our home. . . not that I want to entertain visitors with thoughts of my jiggly thighs or comfortable tummy . . . but because the meaning behind it all is so damn near perfect.

"Don't let that happen," she tells us.

"Don't forget to live that big, juicy, creative life."


I think it is so fitting for me right now, because at some point during the last year - I think I forgot.


Can you imagine?

Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of it - that big, juicy creative life I was living. Somewhere along the way, I got a little serious. I stopped laughing at my husbands jokes, I started 'shhh-ing' my daughters when they were having a tickle contest, and starting looking forward to the time when I could fall asleep - instead of finding joy in being awake. I starting stressing over what this one or that one said, instead of telling those very people to keep their toxic thoughts to themselves. Somewhere along the way, I stopped writing from my heart and lost my words. I worried more about what others might "think", instead of being honest with my own self. Somewhere along the way, I feel like I lost my TRUTH. Who I wanted to be. What my wish was.

Oh, I know what happened. And it's not that it was a bad thing. It was just that 'life' got in my way. It happens to us all - when we focus so much on the day to day stuff (the job, the house, the spouse, the kids, the bills, the holidays, the cooking, the cleaning, the . . . living . . . ), that it becomes easier to move our true self and our dreams to the back burner, often times turning the heat 'off' and waiting for a more convenient time to start the fire again. They sit back there and get a little cold - and patiently wait for an Anne Lamott quote, perhaps, to warm them up again.

But when the fire starts . . . it feels so good. It's like a wake up call. Like a, "Hello!! Remember me? Your creative soul? Yep - I'm here!!"

So, I kind of feel like I am re-focusing this week - like a sort of re-birth. Because Lord knows, I don't want to be 65 or 75 and wake up some day to realize that I spent my life focused on things like perfectionism or people-pleasing.


I don't want that . . . at all.

So, for now, I am listening to the cheers in my head, and taking a big step in the right direction.

And as always, I thank YOU for being with me along the way.

Peace, my friends.
xo xo
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