Thursday, August 30, 2012


in one of the last posts, i wrote about creating a map to find my way. i have not totally got everything mapped out yet, but i have decided on some good stops along the way.

+++ in addition to the "unraveling" class, i signed up for another class focused on project life which i know will help me to get my scrapbooking/photo taking mojo back. coming to terms with pictures and documenting life.
+++ i am going to take a trapeze lesson. i might join the circus after that. i will keep you posted.
+++ i am going to train and run two half-marathons next year. i am not a runner. at all. i should probably be running right now to try and get ready. having something to focus on as a goal in the future is something i need. i want to think about anything other than scans when i think about the future.
+++ i took a class on how to make letterpress cards. so fun. can't wait to make cards and send them to friends and family.
+++ i also took a class on sewing felt projects with two of my favorite girls. super fun. loved getting to try something new.
+++ making fun plans through this fall and into next year. i need fun things to look forward to (not that i don't look forward to day to day life) so i am making it happen.
+++ party planning makes me happy. some good opportunities coming up, including a 21st birthday this weekend and my mom's 70th next month.
+++ i bought a new camera strap which makes me want to wear my camera around my neck every minute of the day. that can only result in more pictures. that is a good thing.
+++ having a new monthly night out with some of my favorite girls. excited.

new steps each day.

a little bit farther down the road.

heading in the right direction.

happy weekend peeps.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

hello again

i have missed writing. august has been busy, and i just needed some time. but i am ready to start writing again and am looking forward to it. more to come soon. i hope august has been treating you well. can september really be on its way? wow.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


it will be gone before you know it.
the fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher.
then suddenly they disappear.
(dorothy evslin)

today was a looong day at work, one problem after another. grueling actually.

then i got to leave to head to malena's soccer practice, and everything turned around. she just started soccer in the beginning of july and she is doing great. it is such a treat on tuesdays to get to watch her play for an hour and a half. smiling. running. laughing. kicking the ball. not using her hands (we are getting better with that one) to get the ball. i love every minute of it. i love to watch her play.

today she got a medal for being a good teamplayer. as we we were walking to the car, i told her how much i loved watching her play with her friends and how well she did at practice. she asked me why i didn't have a medal, and i told her that was because i just got to watch her play. she said "that's ok mommy, i will share my medal with you" and took if off of her neck and put it on mine. i thought that my heart was going to burst wide open.

all of the issues of the day were worth it. i got to have that moment with her.

i am a lucky, lucky mom. i have a medal to prove it.

+++ jill p - you rock, as you can tell from the quote, i got my fun mail today. thank you. thank you. thank you.
+++ i have heard this song more times that i can remember and always liked it. but i never knew the background on it and that it was inspired by cancer. i will never hear it the same way again. thank you wallace, you are awesome.

Monday, August 6, 2012


i still owe you my portland story.

so if you have been following along with me, you know that susannah conway was coming to portland for a book signing of her new (and awesome) book this i know. the book signing was going to be at kelly rae roberts studio in portland. i have been following susannah's blog for about two years, and i have been a big fan of kelly rae's art for even longer. so it was the perfect combination for me, but the session had filled immediately and i was on the waiting list. i was sure that i would not get a spot because i thought that there was no way that anyone who did have a spot wouldn't go. the book signing was on july 9th which was the day of my dermatologist appointment and the day before my scans.

on the night of the 8th, i thought about how great it would have been to have had the chance to go to that signing instead of going to my dermatologist appointment. but i knew it just wasn't meant to be so i didn't dwell on it and mentally prepared for the week ahead.

on monday, i checked my personal email on my phone at work which i hardly ever do. but i checked because i thought that i might be getting an email about my scans with my instructions, etc. i checked my email right around noon, and i had an email from kelly rae's studio assistant telling me that they just had a cancellation, and if i could be there the spot was mine. since i had my dermatologist appointment, i had my car at work (which is not common) and most of the afternoon already scheduled to be off work (which is also not common). so i said yes, hopped in my car, and headed to portland while hoping that traffic wasn't bad so that i could make it in time.

i made it with 15 minutes to spare.

it was one of the best experiences i have ever had. ever. hands down.

i got to meet kelly rae and susannah in person (jen - that is when i told her you were reading her book in bali and she loved hearing that). i got to hear susannah read from her book. i got to see that her own words even make her tear up because there is so much emotion behind them. i got to see where kelly rae creates her art. i got to be in an artists studio and think about how awesome it would be to see your dreams come true. in my dreams, i too would have a studio and could make cards and other paper crafts all of the time and would spend my days doing what i really, really love. it was so inspiring.

i literally could not believe that i was there in that moment, it was surreal to say the least. on the drive down to portland, i felt like fate was telling me that i deserved to have a good day in a week that was going to be a tough one. in my gut, i knew fate gave me monday because wednesday was going to be rough. but i appreciated it nonetheless.

i was forever changed by that two hours that i was in that studio. i left there with so many good ideas on different projects that i want to try. i will of course continue to make cards because those make my heart happy, especially when i know that others really appreciate receiving them (hi jen hutchinson!:)).

the ironic part of going to portland with no notice was that i didn't have time to come home and get my copy of "this i know" which was the entire focus of the event. i love (with a capital L) this book. i there were so many parts of it that resonated with me.

here are a few of her words that i especially identified with:
"as life is one long tangle of todays...i don't worry too much about tomorrow anymore. all we have is today. this i know for sure."

"you don't get over grief - you move through it as you learn to live with the loss. you have to learn how to swim with it."

she also includes in the book some exercises, and i really loved two of them. in one of them she writes "we never know when loss will sweep into our lives, and while we're doing our best to make ends meet, it's easy to let the important things remain unsaid." she talks about creating a list of all of people that matter to you and write down all of the ways that they make your life better, and then doing something to reach out to them. "make a regular date with yourself to continue working through your list in this way, one person each day or week. if there are loved ones on your list who are no longer here, write them a letter and read it out loud. tell them what they mean to you. start today." i will be creating my list this week.

in another exercise, she writes "having something to look forward to is a potent motivator; the promise of a reward has convinced generations of children to clear their rooms. we grown-ups are not that different."she talks about writing down a list of 20 things that that are small treats you enjoy - food, places to visit, sounds you love to hear, things that make you feel good. write those 20 things down on individual notecards, and once a week (or more), select a card and then treat yourself to whatever is on the card. i am going to do that this week as well, i already have a list in my head of the treats that make my heart happy.

taking pictures of the ordinary moments in life is another one of her strong reminders. "pay attention to the smaller moments you'd usually overlook - buying a parking ticket, locking the front door, standing in an elevator-what do you see? bring your attention to the moments that aren't usually considered "beautiful." remember that this particular day will never happen again....look out for the moments you wish to cherish. when you collect your child from school, where do you stand as you wait for them? when making dinner for yourself, do you use a special glass for your wine? or a favorite mug for your morning coffee?...investigate your world as if for the first time."

one of the passages i loved most in the book says "unraveling is not a bad thing. it's not coming undone or losing control. it's letting go in the best possible way, untangling the knots that hold you back, unwrapping the gifts you've hidden for too long, unearthing the potential that's always been there, finally ditching the labels and should-haves, and letting yourself be what you were always meant to be."

since i have felt like i have been unraveling quite a bit lately, those words brought me comfort. susannah has an on-line course by the same name that i just signed up for to give me something to look forward to and focus on. if nothing else, i know that it will make me slow down and take more pictures.

both of those are good things.

i can't wait. let the unravelling begin.

+++ loved this quote
+++ got my copy of elevate the everyday and it is stunningly beautiful, i can't wait to dive in and read about ideas on how to better capture motherhood

Friday, August 3, 2012


long time, no write.

i have debated writing a blog post every day since my last one, just about two weeks ago now. when i start to think about writing, i don't feel like i have anything to say, and so i don't say anything. feeling like there is nothing to say seems so ironic since there are so many things that i know i could say, if no other reason to just get them out of my head. maybe then my head would be a little bit quieter.

yesterday i had a good crying session, one that has been coming since those scan results. it felt good to get it out, it has been boiling and i knew that it was close to going over. the list was long. some more important than others. pregnancy (lack of in the future). work (stress, what to do next). self esteem (very low lately). time (not enough). paralysis (too many things swirling and not feeling like i can grab one thing to hold on to). on and on it goes.

it has been a tough couple of weeks, but life has been so busy i have been able to keep myself distracted most of the time. but in the quiet moments of the day, the tough parts of life creep in and take hold and i can't get my bearings very well.

today i got an email from a dear friend and she hit the nail on the head.

"been thinking of you lately...noticed that you haven't posted a blog entry in a while.  I can feel all the way over here in the middle west...the weight of the world is on your shoulders...I wish I had some good advice or words of wisdom that would serve as a flashlight to help you to find your way.  What I won't say is:  "Put one foot in front of the other and just keep walking" ...because that's exactly what you have been doing and don't want to do anymore.  You don't want to just "keep walking" - you want to be able to march toward something even if it's a place you haven't been want to do the getting ready, the planning, the deciding how and when you will go - with directions in hand, map in your pocket, and a vision of what you will see when you arrive.  I know.  I can see that.  Maybe you should start listening to marching bands or drummers or something?:)"

she was right. i just need to make myself a map and decide how i am going to move forward.

the results left me in a place i didn't want to be.

but that doesn't mean that for the next 6 months i have to stay there.