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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas!

-Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Judy Garland

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gratitude...


"A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure." 
--Sirach 6:14

Gratitude for the sugar and spice in my life... all the girls young and young at heart.  gratitude for my grandmas.  one gave me the gift of faith.  one mothered me with her gentle spirit when my own mother moved away.  gratitude for my mothers.  one gave me life and love.  one welcomed  another daughter into her family.   gratitude for my daughters who completed my dream.  gratitude for my sister who understands completely on those days when living the dream is not so dreamy.  gratitude for sisters-in-law who became my family and my friends.  gratitude for my friends who encourage me to keep dreaming.

Sturdy shelter...made of rubies and jewels...
my friend who encourages me to write.  my friend who doesn't look at me like i have four heads when i tell her words are whispering to me.  my friend, who interprets my dreams.  my friend, who understands my shortcomings and loves me anyway.  my friend who sees me not only as who i am but who i want to be.  i don't know what i would do without the treasured sugar and spice in my life.  they are my soul sisters.
they are my home.

p.s.  oh and what would a home be without some snips and snails and puppy dog tails.  :)

-Home, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy Belated Birthday, Louisa.


A little over a year ago I wrote  this post.  It was my very first post on this little blog.  It was a day I decided to play and discover this whole new world of blogging.
I admired so many creative blogs.  There was one particular artist that drew me in with not only her beautiful mixed media paintings, but with the words in her book.  Her words affirmed that the whispering words that I felt to be following me, were words encouraging me to take flight on my journey.  I wasn't going crazy.  This was how it was for her too.  I found myself stalking her older posts...fascinated with her journey on becoming an artist.  I wondered if I could one day create and inspire.  I wondered if this was what the whispering words were saying..."Come follow me."
I kept asking..."But what am I to do?"  I kept waiting for the inspiration.
But then I thought about the root of why I was so fascinated with this artist...aha...the journey!  That is when I decided to just go for it and blog the journey.  Just maybe along the way, I would find something.
My kids tease me..."So Mom, have you found Louisa yet?" :)
I suppose I'm still searching her.  But to date, here is what I found over the past year...
I've found sanctuary during the summer months of morning devotion on my porch...and I found that this is what I want to bring into my home for the winter months.  I still get overwhelmed with where to start.  But I've found that if I start small, like cleaning out a closet or making a new pillow, little by little a room can be transformed.
I'm finding my voice.  I've found that through writing, the thoughts in my head, that come out all jumbled when I speak, actually settle comfortably on a page.  
I'm finding courage in taking a leap to share this blog with just a few choice friends.  I haven't discovered how to not worry about what they'll think of me, or how to actually believe them when they tell me they liked a post.  But little by little I gain a bit more confidence.
I'm finding kindred spirits.  I've found that when I take leaps on my creative journey, God sends me kindred spirits.  Synchronicity meets me at the poolside and brings me a friend who read the same book that wowed me.  It meets me in my inbox with a friend who wants to take a painting class.  It meets me in a conversation about a new Artist's Way sacred circle forming in town.  It meets me in the answered invisible prayers for a friend.
I've found that I have a quiet and gentle soul who is so excited to be nourished.  For so long I ignored her because I was afraid of what they would think of me.  When I take her by the hand and play I discover a new part of me that is free to do anything.
And in doing all this I've found that my inner child wants to be seen.  She wants people to take notice.  "Mommy, look at me.  Look at what I made."  "Daddy, do I look pretty?"  My inner child loves to play, but she sometimes has difficulty knowing just how to do that.
I've found that I'm living my dream.  When I was little all I really ever wanted to do was to become a wife and mother.  I would sit and draw my plain little yellow house, adding a porch with all the gingerbread trimmings.  Today I'm living in my big yellow house with many porches, with my handsome prince and my little princesses.
I'm finding that change is good.  Dreaming never stops.
I'm finding the joy of possibility...anything is possible with God.
Good Golly, I learned to run more that 3 minutes at a time without dying!  :)
Feeling like an artist imposter, I signed up anyway, for a group forming to discuss and journey through the book, The Artist's Way.  A year ago I would have never sat in a room full of strangers pretending discovering how to be an artist. 
I took an abstract painting class...totally out of my comfort zone.  The class ended with a dreaded critique.  My painting was horrible.  The experienced folks were very kind to this new soul.  I walked home with my horrible painting by my side and with a smile on face.  I was okay.
I am okay.  This is what I've found.  I am enough...today...a mother discovering what's next...a dreamer...a wanna be runner...a wanna be artist...a new soul fluttering about, finding her way.


-I love the little circle of light in the hot air balloon, that appeared in this  photo.  I call it, My Soul Taking Flight.

-New Soul, Yael Naim

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fancy Friday - Mustard

"If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move.'  Nothing will be impossible for you." - Matthew 17:20


































-Yellow, Coldplay

Today is Fancy Friday over at The Lovefeast Table.  The theme...Mustard...cause their lovin' the color this fall.  I'm lovin' the color too!  Here are pops of mustard in my kitchen.
































Our kitchen mascot, the rooster.  Shh...don't tell big yellow.  He thinks he is.
 

 Okay...she's not yellow, but how can you leave out that face?



Friday, September 9, 2011

Yellow Lotus













This story of the lotus began with a  simple post to my new favorite blog, The Lovefeast Table, in response to the question...  
"What gives you life?"
     ..."My morning time with God in my backyard sanctuary space, while my teenage daughters sleep.  It is here that I read my devotionals and daily Bible reading.  It is here that I journal God's whispers.  It is here that I connect with other creative souls across the way."
To my surprise I learned a week later that I was a winner of the Lovefeast Table's Life give away by the featured artist, Gussy, from Gussy Sews!  I was the winner of a cute little wristlet!  And even more thrilling was the feedback the gals at Lovefeast gave me.  They described my blog as "adorable and inspiring" 
     To inspire...this is my hope and dream for this little blog.
So the story of the lotus goes like this...
I needed to respond to Gussy Sews with my pattern selection for my adorable wristlet.  So many sweet ones to choose from.  I finally chose the "Yellow Lotus" pattern...yellow being my favorite color.
Back up a few steps.  Right before I shot off this email to Gussy Sews I took courage and sent an email to a local gal forming a group to discuss The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.  I did the 12 week spiritual journey on my own last winter, and loved it.  But taking this journey with other women scared me and thrilled me at the same time.  I felt the whispers to sign on, but I was anxious to push the send.  But I did  it.  1-2-3 send...and then on to the pattern selection.  Yellow Lotus.












A few minutes later... "you've got mail"...a response from the Artist's Way group informing me of the location of the meetings...  Lotus Center Yoga.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Serendipity, yes.  Affirmation came in a fabric pattern that day, affirmation that I was on my way...the artist's way.
I looked up the meaning of the lotus and found this little flower to have many legends and spiritual significance of purity and resurrection and enlightenment within its petals.  Its roots are in the mud, but it rises through the murky waters to blossom clean and bright.  I was recently reading about the 7th chakra corresponding to the crown of the head, the "thousand-petaled lotus" that is said to explode like a fountain of light at the moment of enlightenment.  I like this image of the lotus as a crown.

So I put on my yellow crown and head to the porch. I take this whisper of affirmation and share my story of the lotus with other creative souls...with the hope to inspire. 

The much anticipated wristlet arrives. Oh so cute!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Savoring Summer...


savoring summer days
morning sanctuary time 
journaling with God on my porch
kids still asleep inside

savoring summer days
afternoon lunch with a friend
concerts on the hub lawn
frozen yogurt with toppings

savoring summer days
evening poolside dinners
a glass of wine on the patio
fireflies dancing at dusk


but mostly...
savoring summer days
of watching her play
    of watching her create
she's still savoring the days 
in the magical land of Terebithia
but there are days...
    when twelve wants to take a leap 
    and cross the waters, 
       leaving childhood and summer days behind.

-drove over the mountain to drop off number one at college the other day.  listening to Ingrid Michaelson's Highway and regret letting her go.  so missing those summer days.   ...savoring today.

-The Best Day, Taylor Swift

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Three is a magic number....


finished day three
of week three
of C25k
jogging three minutes!
and I'm brought back to schoolhouse rock
and it simply 
just makes me smile

thank you
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

for calling on mother nature
   to bring the perfect combination
   of sunshine, breezes, and gentle rain

for aligning the 
   sun, moon, and stars
   to keep me motivated
   
for encouraging me 
   to run and not grow weary
      walk and not be faint
         to soar on wings like eagles 

- Three is a Magic Number,  Schoolhouse Rock

Thursday, July 28, 2011

C25K...










moving mountains today.  day 2 of c25k.  that is couch to 5k, a training program designed to get the non-runner off her butt and out the door! :) i live with a family of distance runners.  my running experience consists of one year on the track team as a high school freshman where i thought i was going to die...followed by 3 years of taking stats. i like the idea of running.  i really do.  but when i try it, that same feeling like i'm gonna die fear creeps back in.  
i've tried the couch to 5k before. the program alternates between walking and running.  the first week you run for 60 seconds then walk for 90 seconds, repeating that for 20 minutes.  then it gradually builds up over the next 9 weeks to more running as you build strength.  i figured i could do this...run for 60 seconds at a time.  the program made sense.  i just grew tired of looking down at a watch every 3 seconds wishing for the 60 seconds to move a little quicker.
well guess what?  now there is a app for that!  c25k!  i can listen to my own music (to distract me from feeling like i'm gonna die) and...ding...i hear my virtual coach telling me to walk...or to run.  he even tells me when i'm half way there.
just completed day 2 of my c25k app with my faithful canine friend, sir leo, and the tunes of ingrid michaelson. (my favorite...mountains and the sea..."you can move me, if you want to...you can move a mountain...") i resisted the urge to look down at ol' yeller, cruising by my side in a brisk walk.  no app for that.
i hesitate to post this, but i do, for the universe and for possibly a follower or two, to hold me accountable as i move this mountain!




-lil' miss mya on the right.  is that a hopeful smile?  ...hoping she will get to go next time.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dreamy...



senior picture time again.  gosh, didn't we just do this?  yep... just last year with daughter #1.  here we go again.  hours staring at a computer screen trying to pick a favorite.  not an easy task. 
we've come along way baby...remembering my senior pic...high neck ruffled blouse, scared smile, permed hair, bangs tightly rolled with a curling iron.
this gal captured my daughter's light, her personality, her smile, her dreamy brown eyes...and she posted it here.  love it!
happy 17th birthday blessings to my brown-eyed girl! may all your dreams come true.

-self-portrait photograph by Lindsay, taken in Savannah where she dreams of going to art school for photography

- Brown Eyed Girl,  Van Morrison


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Middle...

somewhere in the middle is this girl who turned 15, in the middle of the year, in the middle of the crazy spring flurry of activities. she's in the middle, but not forgotten.
this girl, daughter #3, she's a pleaser. she studies hard.  she follows the rules.  before she was born, she tried to come into the world upside down.  the doc was on his last attempt at an external version.  my prayer..."please baby flip."  and with a gulp, she aligned herself in the perfect birthing position. 
i remember this game we used to play.  she'd hold my hand and give me a gentle squeeze.  i'd squeeze back.  we'd mimic in morse code fashion, repeating the number of squeezes.  no words.  just a gentle squeeze, saying "do you see me?  i see you."
gone are the days when she would quietly sit in a corner and line up her crayons or toy cars in an orderly row.  now she wakes early for her morning run.  later she camps out in her room studying, editing videos for her friends, or skyping her best friend. one could forget this girl was home.  but when she's gone off with friends, her presence leaves a void. her quiet, gentle, fun-loving, humble spirit is missed.  











"We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows."
-Robert Frost

-photos by me, my kids, and their friends

-The Middle of the Road, Jonathan Rice

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Create with me my little bee...





















 
i just discovered this.
how cool would it be to one day feature gracey's blog in this magazine?  remembering the day we sat together and began the adventure of creating it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dog Days of Summer...

got a hundred things i could be doing.  got a hundred project ideas running through my head.  and here i sit on my porch swing, browsing for a hundred more magazine ideas, reading a novel, falling asleep between chapters.  i'm learning a lesson of how to rest, from sir leo here... no worries, no guilt...and lovin' it!
also lovin' this new hipstamatic iphone app!  SWEET!

-Dog Days are Over, Florence & the Machine

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spring...

"April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go."
  ~Christopher Morley, John Mistletoe

   spring came and went in a hurry. somehow we squeezed in an anniversary, birthdays, a confirmation, proms, a graduation, a spring play, athletic events, award ceremonies, and sports banquets. all good stuff, finally resting our sandy feet on the beach of cape may, nj, in celebration of summer's arrival. whew!
   my wish is to blog it all. but if i do that all in one post, it may be next spring before i get it out there!  so i'll take it Bird by Bird as Anne Lamott would say...

"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was  ten years old at the time, was trying to get a  report on birds written that he’d had three months to  write. It was due the next day. We were out at our  family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen  table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper  and pencils and unopened books on birds,  immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my  father sat down beside him, put his arm around my  brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy.  Just take it bird by bird."







even the bathrooms at this place are to die for!





if you go, make your dinner and spa reservations early. room in the inn, but not in the spa this trip.  no worries.  we went on a mountain hike that was much better!







a stroll through downtown Bedford...






afternoon tea.


ate good food & kicked up our feet by the healing pool waters.






watched a wedding from our balcony.
said a little prayer for the new bride and groom 
& for 20 more years for the seasoned ones!




married on May 11,1991

-Spring, Tracey Chapman