Thursday, October 16, 2014

heART Journaling


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 thoughts, and some not-so-deep thoughts.
- I am ok.
- Please do not worry about me.
- If I share a page that is working through some feelings that I have, please do not read more into it.
- It is not a cry for help. 
- It is me, figuring it all out. 
- Like I used to do on my blog - although I stopped doing that, because I would inevitably get that phone call from a worried friend or family member saying, "I read your blog - I am worried about you - are you ok?" 
- Trust me. I will always be ok. 

Because even on dark days, 
I ALWAYS see the light. 
It's just that sometimes I need to turn it off for a bit.  And re-group. 

Does that make sense? 

I started to think about why I have taken such a long break from my blog. A great deal of it has to do with feeling like I couldn't be totally open and honest with what I wanted to write, for fear of worrying those in my life.  I was proud of the fact that my blog was a place of honesty and truth - it is, was and always will beI always said that this blog was a lot cheaper than therapy, and it was my way of working things out in life. The good. The bad. The ugly. Some point along the way, some forgot that. Maybe I forgot that.  I began to feel like some were watching a little too closely, and felt like too many questions started as far as what I was writing, and why I was writing it. So, I needed to break free from the responsibility that I put on myself.  I need to focus on why I kept my blog to begin with. And slowly, I am making my way back. 

Again, I repeat . . . 
I will always be ok. Because even on dark days, I do ALWAYS see the light. 

I feel better getting that out. 


So, back to the Art Journaling. 

I like it. And if you aren't sure what it is all about, feel free googling "art journaling", or spend some time on Pinterest looking at some awesome images. The world is full of some brilliantly talented people - and I feel blessed to take these small little glimpses into each of their lives. Truly. I am in awe of the talent in the world. 

You should try it - really. Pick up a journal and some paints or markers, and just be free. Write your thoughts - your dreams - your fears - whatever it is that you are thinking of. Or look at the photo above for some other suggestions on journal ideas. I just did that page above as the first page in my new sketchbook. If I am ever stuck, I hope to turn to it an find inspiration of one or more ideas of a page. 

As always, thanks for letter me explore my art and my heart . . . all right here. 

It feels so good to be blogging again. I truly can't even find the words to explain how good it feels. 

Until next time, 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Focus of Fall


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 bare and piles of leaves waiting to be raked on our lawn. But this year, I am relishing in changing of seasons - and taking all the time to focus on it as it happens before my eyes. 

My ride brought my "Word of the Year" for 2014 front and center yesterday. Remember that whole "Word of the Year" thing that I like to do? Well, I struggled with my word this year from the very beginning. I felt like I couldn't get a handle on it - I wasn't living it. I actually FORGOT what it was some time mid-April, and was reminded by a friend. But yesterday, it was there. . . 


And I think I truly have been "focused" on it . . . all year long. I think a great deal of that whole "focus on life" is what has pulled me away from the blog - because I didn't want to take the time to write about what was happening in my world, I just wanted to FOCUS on it and live it.  

And yesterday, as I watched the leaves fall straight from the tops of these gorgeous trees, and followed them as they traveled their way in wind and rain to the ground, I was there. Taking it in. Enjoying a moment with my oldest daughter (who is changing and growing faster by the minute). Focused. 

It was awesome. 

I hope that you are taking some time to stop the clock and look at the world around you right now. Enjoy the changing colors, if they are changing by you. Focus on what is most important in your life right now, and give yourself a break from those things that really don't matter. 

It's worth every single second, I tell you. Ever single one. 

xo and Peace, friends. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014


"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 handed you to me. I see Him in the flowers that grow outside - the ones that  share their beauty with us each and every day. I see Him in that sky," I say, pointing out the window to the most beautifully painted streaks of blue and white, "that sky right there. Because I believe that only God could make a sky as beautiful as that. I see Him in all the things that bring me love. Because that is what God is to me . . . He is love. So I see Him all of the time."  

She sat there looking at me with the sweetest of grins, taking in all that I said . . . really contemplating it. 

"Yeah," she said, "I see Him, too," as she turned to finish what she was writing in her little notebook.  

And I exhaled. 

It's hard to understand it all - the whole faith thing. The God thing. It's hard for me, and I am 43 years old. I can only imagine how confusing it can be for a 7 year old. But Faith is something that Ella has always had, too. She has always talked about God and religion in ways I hadn't experienced with Katie. Katie is a much more literal thinker, and it is hard for her to get a handle on it. With Ella, it's just there.  

"I'm sure glad God gave us the birds, aren't you Mommy?" she said, as we held hands walking to the bus a few minutes later. "I love to hear them singing," she ended. 

"Yes, honey. I sure do, too," I told her. 

When I came back inside, I started to clean up the kitchen table, and couldn't help but glance down at her notebook. Her note this morning brought me to tears . . . instantly. 
Yes. She does see God. I am pretty sure of it. 

And I am also sure that Ella is a very awesome Ella.  

Big time. 

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