the year in review

last year i committed to doing 20+10 things in 2010...they were not resolutions (i don't believe in the stuff), but things i believed i could not fail to accomplish.  let's see how i did...

· kiss my husband (passionately) every day

· call my best friend molly more often than i did in 2009  although this was still pathetic and i vow to continue my efforts in 2011

· only sit outside at restaurants

· go to galveston once a month   (i made a good effort...and then we moved there part-time in october!)

· eat healthy foods. (this includes my promise to never again use spray butter!)--> and i didn't!

· read 5 books (in their entirety)  i read WAY more than 5!

· complete a triathlon

· go to at least 1 conference/workshop/retreat, preferably on the topic of writing/creating  (natalie goldberg workshop at kripalu yoga center)

· take one fabulous trip (or perhaps a fabulous staycation)   both.  see above for kripalu (and a week in galveston in january)

· do one thing that scares me (i.e. submitting a query to a big publication)...sadly i never heard back, but at least i tried

· celebrate the 2-yr anniversary of my last cigarette

· laugh out loud   i commit to contuing this well into the new year

· substantially reduce my debt  (uhhhh, let's just skip this one)

· continue the “year of discovery”  (i finished this with 40 posts in july...i'm very proud of my first year of blogging)

· volunteer with teens at bo’s place

· make connections with inspirational bloggers  i even brought 2 to do an art show at our studio in august!

· feel generally calm and peaceful  (uhhh, except for the panic attack, i guess you could say so)

· swim

· learn a poem  (i learned half of the road not taken, by robert frost)

· cook dinner more often

· paint with my sister

· participate in ARToberFEST

· take a mountain bike trip to Austin

· buy a “REAL” camera

· stop feeling guilty about being a bad housewife

· hire molly maids when necessary (to accomplish the above)

· make my own clothes – or modify, alter, funkify the ones i never wear

· limit new purchases

· play with children (or just ride the swings)  thank goodness for my niece!

· live an authentic life

not too shabby.


have yourself a merry little christmas...


holiday flashback

this friday is a special one...one where many of us spend time with family and try our darnedest not to kill each other.  i am no different...although i spend quite a bit of time with my family throughout the year. the trouble is: my father and i are polar opposites with identical personalities. most dinners turn into a conversational battle of the wills, weekends at the beach become destination political debates, a leisurely lunch at sweet tomatoes can evoke high blood pressure and anxiety.

but i'll turn back the clock to a time when i was known only as daddy's girl. i wasn't interested in the dresses mom laid out on the bed, the dolls my sister meticulously dressed in ball gowns and high heels. i played in the park and caught pop flies, preferred my pet hermit crab to the family kittens, and couldn't stand more than a 30 minute back-to-school shopping trip. dad and i did everything together...picking out baseball bats, long rides in his shiny white convertible, practicing putts at wee tee. it wasn't until my teens that this quality time began to dwindle.

so it was incredibly refreshing to spend an entire evening this week watching his dvr'd classics...just the two of us. no discussions about obama, or my career as a social worker, no jabs at my lack of permanent housing, or merlot-induced name calling ("bleeding heart liberal" or "*&%$#@* liberal" his favorites). just like old times...me and dad...and some blue bell ice cream bars, just to make it that much sweeter.



or september?  i still can't get used to the fact that the leaves change in winter...but i sure do enjoy it!


flashback friday

on wednesday i did cartwheels in the sand. it was one of those perfect texas days—70 degrees in december—and we went out for a bike ride. we were explorers that day, zooming in and out of golf cart paths, criss-crossing the highway that divides the complex, through tunnels and grassy patches. at one point, i veered off the path and headed straight for the long wooden walkway leading to the beach. we navigated the curves of the wheelchair ramp—up, up, until we passed the grasslands underneath and landed on the sandy ledge beyond. i was quick to jump off my bike and suggest a walk on the beach before turning back.

as we left the wooden boardwalk, i envisioned myself doing cartwheels on the dark sand. and as quickly as this thought entered, it floated away with the wind, replaced by thoughts of broken bottles hiding out of view, the weight of my grown-up body crumbling on my weakened wrists. but i resisted these negativities…a child doesn't worry about falling in the sand, a few scrapes and cuts…and focused instead on the impulse: i want to do a cartwheel.

and so i did. a few of them actually, trying to point my toes skyward, improve my form, win the 30-40 age bracket for best beach gymnastics. and guess what? there was no glass waiting to slice open my palms, my strong yoga arms easily held my body weight as i pinwheeled toward the crashing waves. this simple act reminded me that if i open my heart to the impulses, and let go of my grown-up worries…i am more than capable of following my dreams.

i will continue my effort to apply this lesson to other areas of my life, and refuse to let fear and anxiety dictate my actions. as adults we tend to be too responsible…identifying every possible {negative} outcome before taking action. sometimes we need to just go for it, consequences be damned. now, i'm not advocating for risky behaviors here, just a smidge less analyzing and a bit more adventure.

what did you do this week to exercise your childlike spirit?



i love this view...

my niece was so happy playing photographer...i had to revert to my phone to capture this one.




day 12

mom and i handmade this advent calendar together...it is one of my prized holiday possessions.


4G? Nope.

4 D. as in, the hubby and i went to see polar express 4D at moody gardens last week. for hanukkah david took me to the festival of lights event and fully encouraged my inner child...we rode around in a golf cart, shooting pictures of all the crazy animals and disney characters, and eating kettle corn from the little booth. but the best part was definitely when we splurged for the upgrade on the 16-minute interactive version of my favorite childhood holiday book.

on christmas day, my maternal grandparents would come over to our house to open gifts, but only after we completed our annual entertainment. first, my sisters and i would take turns on the piano, singing and trying to keep pace with the 6 other voices similarly off-key. after the horrifying talent show ended, we'd snuggle up on the couch or the floor near grandpa's feet, as he'd read from our personal copy of the polar express. the reason our book was so special was that attached like a bookmark was a lovely red ribbon with a life-sized sleigh bell, just like the one in the story.

grandpa's been gone ten years now, but i can still picture him poised on the flowered couch with the bright december sunlight glowing over his shoulder as he read. his slender legs crossed at the knee, slacks always pressed with a crease, cardigan to keep his ever-thinning body warm in the bitter midwestern winter. he became weaker and weaker in those last years, but always made an effort to maintain this family ritual. it was so wonderful that david could help renew that holiday tradition.

with grandpa gone, grandma in illinois, and my family boarding a cruise ship to cozumel, our traditions have changed. i'm glad to revisit this beautiful memory and send some love to grandpa olds this holiday season. and i'd love to know...what unique traditions do you and your family uphold?

i'm also joining in the fun for december views 2010. i had already started my own version last weekend and stumbled across the badge at another blog.  i've always loved checking in with hippy urban girl and excited to join in this project and showcase all my lovely winter images.  care to join me?

hound dogy

(as seen outside a pet supply store)



studio love

i'll try not to cry when i tell you that this is the last week i'll make a mess in our beautiful studio. what a glorious afternoon, playing like i did when i very first fell in love with mixed media. it's been a while since i've posted some of my works in progress. we'll see how they develop over the next few days...

one man's trash...


lollipop palace

this house is straight outta candy land....




any season that includes twinkly lights can last all year long as far as i'm concerned. 


let's go for a walk...

i've been shooting so much these days...but they never seem to leave my memory card.  this is your personal invitation for a photo walk with me this week.  the temperature is perfect...and there may even be apple cider at the end!



it feels like flying when you really get going. the running start to gain speed, making sure the nose of the cart is pointed directly at your destination. i used to look around to make sure no one was watching as i left the store. like my secret hit from the bong, something forbidden; like i could get caught. but now i do it with pride…my attempt at avoiding adultitis, my promise to live fully, my commitment to this blog and my childish spirit.

i did a super run yesterday—almost all the way to the car…and then i turned around and went back to where david was slowly trailing behind me. it was a perfect ride: the slant of the Target parking lot just gradual enough for me to keep up a good speed. the cart weighed down with holiday goodies to keep me from popping a wheelie during my descent. it feels a little like my old skateboard, the tug of uncertainty that it won't hold my weight as i glide along; that at any moment i might find my face kissing asphalt.

but you do it anyway…for the rush. the wind in my face, the simple pleasure of it. not because it will take years off my appearance, increase my chances at the corner office, or offer an instant coupon for 33% off. i love riding the cart because it is FUN. pure, unadulterated fun. and isn't that the point, really? to take a few minutes each day to do something that makes us smile? not for some reward or benefit, except that slight bounce in my step. to show that i'm still young at heart.
i've had a rough few months as of late, and my blog has suffered as a result. but i am reclaiming my playground. i am ready for skinned knees and my new box of dora the explorer band-aids. i bring you this flashback friday with a renewed sense of vitality and purpose. life is hard. adulthood is serious. i am here to remind you that life is also short.  we need to ride the swings whenever possible.

join the cause.





the breeze is cool on my bare feet, sun streaming over my toes like kisses from a lover. my heart thumps a bit deeper in my chest, all those spaces filled with love and power. with determination, fierce love--for myself, my life, this crazy world of which i'm a living, breathing part. the clouds drape the sky, the pure blue broken by wisps and streaks. my plane will divide them this afternoon, tearing me away from this place, but the string remains. i am connected...i will always be connected. to this large outdated building on a hill in massachusetts, to the fresh apple cider filling my belly. to the books, the pages, to anne and armely and jess, to my hamstrings and spine and writing arm continuing to strengthen.

i believe in healing. in the power of this place. of my mind, my spirit, of my place in the universe. of all the particles and energy flow and salty tears leaving a well-worn path on my cheek. i believe in myself. my commitment to this story. to my story. to sharing myself--open wide, naked to the world. vulnerable and broken, the bits of glue peeking through the spaces of repair.

this was written on my last day of a three-day writing retreat with natalie goldberg at kripalu center in lenox ma. i have been home since sunday and still...there are no words.  hopefully a few excerpts from my journal over the next few days will suffice.


i wonder...

does the butterfly feel trapped in the cocoon? does she know what she will be? that with patience and time, she will emerge anew? i wonder: does the caterpillar dream of flying? of beautiful wings and freedom. does she realize her full potential, yearn for the transition to be complete.

oh butterfly, how we admire you--graceful and carefree. do you worry? that you will never break free. of all the time wasted. that you won't survive until that glorious day. or do you enjoy the silence, the solitude, the warmth inside? contemplating your future...dreaming of the flowers, the sky, the trees.

i wonder...


happy halloween...

...from frida and her biker hubby


whimsical women #4

i'd like to apologize for the delay in this post...life has gotten in the way. but i am delighted to introduce you to october's whimsical woman:  kerri arista! i am committed to promoting all types of artists and this month we will meet an artist who has a talent i could only dream of possessing:  a gorgeous singing voice. (yes, i finally gave up my dream of joining the dixie chicks.) so without further ado...welcome kerri!

as i leave behind my old blog, the year of discovery, i'll ask for one thing you've discovered in the last year…

I’ve discovered, or I guess I should say rediscovered, that if I plant myself in a chair and put a guitar in my hands, I can write a song whether I’m “in the mood” or not. It may not be great, but I can create something that wasn’t there before. And if I just do that regularly, eventually, I’m able to find creations worthy of keeping, and sharing. I think that is true with any creative endeavor. Just do it. Often.

how do you bring fun into your life…anything you do regularly that makes you feel like a kid again?

I love going to the movies. More than just about anything I can think of. I have always loved going, as did my mom. I go by myself a lot, which I sometimes even prefer, because then I can pick any movie I want!

how do you maintain balance in your life (IF you do), between creative endeavors and the other parts of your life that need attention?

Well, I have sorta learned to be okay with NOT having balance at times. When moments- (or however long it lasts!) of creative inspiration strike, I try to let that take priority over just about everything else. Then I apologize later. :)

what does community mean to you? describe a community of which you're a part

People sometimes laugh when I say I’m introverted, (because they are confused on the meaning!) but I am! So I’m not really involved in many “group” or “community’ things. I have to say, I am so thankful to the blogging community out there! It was only about 6 months ago I started leaving comments on blogs that I visit. I use to be shy about commenting. But once I started getting comments from others on my own blog that were so meaningful to me, I realized it’s that back and forth that makes blogging so much fun. So now I comment- I want those bloggers to know I’m listening! And I want to be a part of the conversation.

what is the BEST costume you've ever worn?

Nothing comes to mind at all on this one. However, my brother who is in his mid-40s called me the other day to tell me he got the banana costume from Jamba Juice to wear for Halloween. We laughed and laughed. We hung up the phone, and within 5 minutes, he called me back to tell me he had just gotten his hands on the strawberry costume for me. So this year might be a big one for me!

if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? and who would you take with you?

I’ve been wanting to go visit Europe- specifically Italy for years. Eventually, I will. My husband and our best friends, Allyson and Kevin are going with me.

tell us something about yourself that only a few people know…

Well, my sister once told me that if I ever died in a tornado she wouldn’t feel sad because she’d know I had died happy. And that’s probably true. I LOVE stormy weather. I am actually a little obsessed with weather. I love it when we’ve got a big change coming. The weather portion of the nightly news is the only thing I would even consider watching.

That’s another thing--- I really dislike the evening news. I’d much rather focus on the good stuff, and the news rarely does that.

and last, what's something you've been working on…or an upcoming project/event you want to share with us?

I’ve been working on, and just finished, my 3rd CD. It’s called “50 Different Ways”- I have participated now in an online challenge called “50 songs in 90 days”. This upcoming CD is 10 of the songs I wrote during that crunch time last year. It’s about to be sent off for duplication and should be ready within a month. I feel like it’s definitely my very best work so far! I can’t wait for people to hear it.

and i don't want you to wait to hear her....so check this out:

you can also visit her blog here....or buy a cd here.  thanks so much to my last texas woman...stay tuned as i widen my net to catch even more whimsical women to inspire you. and if you have suggestions of artful bloggers who embody this ideal, please share them here!  i'm always looking to expand my community of creative women. happy halloween!


real women have anxiety

oh blog, you know what i love about you? no matter how crazy my life gets, and how much i ignore you…you're still here, waiting with open arms for my return. there are so many things i want to tell you—so much has happened since we last met, i don't even know where to start. i have been learning so much about myself over the past few months…what i am capable of , when i need to ask for help, that it's okay to fail, to be vulnerable, imperfect, human.

you'd think by 33 i'd know these things…and in theory i did. and as it relates to my family, my patients, my friends, it was clear. but apparently i didn't apply the same principles to myself. i always knew that i was a perfectionist, that i set high standards for myself and others. i also recognized that i was very independent, strong-willed, rational, and "tough." and i never thought these were BAD things. i am slowly starting to realize how dangerous they really are in our lives.

in an effort to uphold my promise of authenticity, i will tell a brief story:

there was once a girl who lived in a big city, she had lots of friends and parties and a job that paid the bills. then tragedy struck her family and the girl moved across the country to be closer to them. over time, she grew to love the new city…making friends, attending graduate school, and getting married. but she was growing apart from the family who originally brought her to this place. she had so many dreams, this girl; she wanted to spread her wings and fly in a different direction from those she had known. she longed for someone to understand her, some connection to a community larger than only she and her loving husband.

one day the couple were driving to a nearby town and something terrible happened…the girl could not move her legs. she was terrified and felt as if her whole body was becoming paralyzed. she screamed out for her husband to save her. she gasped for breath, flailing like a fish out of water. she thought she might die in that emergency room in a distant city. but slowly, she regained movement in her legs, and over time, the terror lessened and she could breathe again. the doctors were baffled, they could not understand what had caused these events, the tests proved nothing.

so the girl went on her way, but quietly worried that she might be going crazy. she could not believe that she—an emergency room social worker—had visited one as a patient. she googled "nervous breakdown" and guess what she found…

p   a   n   i   c       a   t   t   a   c   k

she met 9 of the 13 criteria for a severe attack. she could not believe her eyes. could it be true?

i am proud to say that i am in my second month with a very capable therapist. i spend more time journaling my feelings than writing my beloved blog entries. and i am trying to understand the events—and emotions—that led up to such a horrible experience that weekend in august. i am taking baby steps with myself and acknowledging that i am a work in progress. that i still have a lot to learn, and that i am committed to embracing those vulnerabilities that make me so imperfectly human.


draw on yourself

in lieu of the tattoo i suggested and david vetoed...i went ahead and penned this one myself. today was the last day of my unlimited month of yoga (a gracious gift from my little sister)...and my intention was simple:

to be peaceful.

i have also drawn it on the walls...am i getting better at this being a kid thing, or what??  okay, it wasn't the walls, it was my bathroom mirror (with dry erase marker)...but it felt a bit naughty anyway. it makes me think of coloring outside the lines, decorating my mom's hallway in gorgeous crayola hues, all of those things we created and colored and drew all over as kids. doodling in school notebooks, maybe even on the desks, perhaps a bathroom stall in college...no, not me!

but why not break the rules a little bit? do something unexpected. stand facing the back wall of the elevator when you get in. take your kids out of school for the afternoon and let them choose something fun to do. shock yourself with your creativity.

what's one thing you've always wanted to do...but thought you might get in trouble? your homework:  DO IT.  and then let me know how much fun you had.  happy friday!


i love yoga.


whimsical women interview #3

i’d like to introduce you to my whimsical woman of september…jennifer williams of blueskysunburn creations! one of the most incredible things about jennifer is her ability to juggle her creative life with her full-time job and spending time at home. i know most of us are struggling to find that balance between our “two lives” and jennifer’s honesty about the challenge is so refreshing. enjoy all of the art and photos…everything here was handmade by jennifer!

 as i leave behind my old blog, the year of discovery, i'll ask for one thing you've discovered in the last year…
In the last year I’ve discovered that I’m only as limited as I allow myself to be. I made excuses for why I didn’t do any sort of schooling or why my business isn’t as successful as I want it to be and I realized I was the only one holding me back. My 30th birthday was a major turning point for me. I’ve been able to accomplish more in the last four months than I have over the last four years.

how do you bring fun into your life…anything you do regularly that makes you feel like a kid again?
I’m pretty much a homebody. On rare occasions my husband and I will go out to the movies but usually I’m at home spending time with my husband, playing outside with my animals or in my studio creating. It may not necessarily make me feel like a kid again but it’s what brings me happiness.

how do you maintain balance in your life (IF you do), between creative endeavors and the other parts of your life that need attention?
It’s a juggling act, that’s for sure! I currently work full time in mortgage law doing doc prep, I’m in school to become a certified paralegal, head up Etsy Fort Worth which also includes being very involved in the planning their semiannual craft show, the Cowtown Indie Bazaar, and of course my own business, Blueskysunburn Creations. In the last few months I’ve been focusing more on profits from my business which involves going to two or more craft shows every month.

Balancing it all is hard. I’ve learned to multitask like you wouldn’t believe and to-do lists are a must. On my lunch breaks you’ll find me answering emails and working on Etsy Fort Worth, at home (after I’ve answered emails) I’ll be listening to my classes while working on pendants and painting while watching tv with my husband to get some time in with him. I try to spend at least ten or fifteen minutes each day with my pets but it doesn’t always happen. I’ve discovered my house tends to suffer more often than not as I don’t have a lot of time for housework.

what does community mean to you? describe a community of which you're a part. 
To me a community is a support team of people that encourage your endeavors and your interests. Finding the handmade community was very eye opening for me. It led me in the direction of founding a street team, Etsy Fort Worth, in February 2009. It’s a group of roughly 50 handmade artists who meet in person monthly and socialize with one another online. There is so much to be said about the impact on your own creativity when you are around other creative people.

what is the BEST costume you've ever worn?
My best costume wouldn’t necessarily be the best as much as it was my favorite. Last year I was a red Lego block for Halloween. I made the costume myself out of paper bowls, cardboard and paint with instructions I found on the internet. I even one third place at the office costume contest!

if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? and who would you take with you?
Wow, that’s a hard one. There are so many places I want to travel to. If I had to choose only one I think I would choose to go to Italy with my husband. I would love to see the ruins in Sicily or see what Venice has to offer.

tell us something about yourself that only a few people know…
Other than some mundane fact there isn’t much I can tell you that I haven’t publicly posted in my blog, Trial and Error. I pretty much put everything out in the open be it accomplishments, failures, angry rants or vacations.

and last, what's something you've been working on…or an upcoming project/event you want to share with us?
Due to the holiday season and the amount of shows I’ve been attending I’ve mainly been cramming to keep my pendant stock up as they are my best sellers. Just this past weekend I started creating larger pendants with art prints of my work and also I made a handful of pendants with crosses out of demand.

Aside from that I’ve been working on commissions. Come January I plan on working on larger scale pieces to get into local galleries and to sell consignment at stores.

thanks so much to jennifer for taking the time to share a bit of herself here in the playground. if you'd like to see more of her creative process...and her mischievous puppy...you can visit her blog here. and look around in her etsy shop over here.

i am winding up the “tour of texas” next month with my interview of a whimsical singer/songwriter from dallas. after that i will open it up to the women who inspire me from all corners of the globe…i can’t wait to explore the blogosphere for more whimsical women! and maybe some pictures of the spaces in which they create…i love to snoop around in other people's studios.


vacation hangover

i've been trying to get myself to go through the pictures, but it's just too depressing. 
i want to be back there....now.


only in west texas...


wabi sabi

my fingernails are painted. i realize that this may not seem like a big deal to anyone reading this, what with millions of women running around in various shades of nail polish at this very moment. but for me this represents something more than simply a color choice. this means that i actually had (and took) the time to sit patiently and do nothing more than casually flip through a magazine while they dried.

now, it is not news to me that my life had become way.too.crazy. i've talked about it recently in this space, and over the past few weeks, taken great strides toward a simpler lifestyle. but every time i look down at my hands i can barely recognize those elegant fingers. this simple act reflects all of the simple pleasures i have neglected since life got so hectic.

right now i am sitting in the bed of a 29-foot RV in the middle of the afternoon, eating a nutritious snack and staring out at the clouds over the mountains. i am surrounded by simple beauty...there are few buildings in this area, no noise, pollution, distractions. life is slower here in west texas. d and i eat delicious meals we can prepare in two pans on our RV stove, with fresh ingredients packed into the tiny fridge. i see that we don't need much to be happy (and i knew this to be true before we ever left houston). painted nails and my mountain bike, good pens and books to read, healthy food and afternoon kisses.

i am happy here. with the slow pace and sun streaking the sky following an afternoon rain shower. with time to write and take photo walks--and free wifi, of course--a technologically advanced "simple life." my cousin bought me a subscription to whole living magazine as a thank you gift for her recent visit (yes, she is that thoughtful!) an article i read today discussed the concept of wabi sabi, an ancient zen philosophy which celebrates the beauty in life's imperfection. the freedom in abandoning our western idea of perfect is very intriguing to me, both in a physical and emotional sense.

i believe that these past six months have been about my transformation closer to this idea of embracing imperfection. of finding out for myself what is real and celebrating all of the quirks that make me unique. that i like to paint my nails and then go get muddy on the mountain bike trails. that i can love my dad fiercely, yet hold a near polar-opposite life philosophy. that i can be a responsible adult and not have a 401k.

the past six months have taught me that life is much simpler when i make decisions based on my values and expectations for myself rather than someone else's, or worse--society's. this wabi sabi concept appeals to me because it validates that life is incomplete, unfinished. i've always thought that my life would be perfect once i:
a) found a rewarding career
b) met my soul mate
c) completed a triathlon, took a creative writing course, planned a vacation...

but once i had all of these checked off my list, i still felt incomplete. now i see that that's the point. there will always be things to add to the list. and that's the beauty of life. i will always be growing, living, learning--it never ends. but what needs to end is the expectation that i can do it on someone else's timeline, or to someone else's specifications. i will always make mistakes, i will never be perfect.

to live authentically, i need to simplify my life in line with my deepest held beliefs. pare it down to just a few basics, those things i simply cannot live without. and i'm getting there. slowly, clumsily, imperfectly...i'm getting there.



yesterday i was myself again. i've been coming out of this fog for a while, but i finally felt the warmth of the sun on my face. in my effort toward authenticity and  my mission to maintain my childlike spirit...it felt like success. one snippet of my near-perfect day looked like this:

windows down in the black beauty, a car that has seen me through everything: grief, grad school, 4 am shifts at starbucks, marriage, and a fairly horrible commute to my first "real" job in houston. she's more like an old friend than a piece of machinery now. i know my CRV like the back of my hand--there's a comfort that comes with the relationship and she definitely has a special place in my life.

so, the wind is pushing those curly little pieces of hair all around my face. i smile in the rearview mirror...my natural hair frizzing in the late-summer heat. i am happy. the kind of happy where i glide my hand out the window to ride the waves of wind floating alongside me. and when a favorite song comes on the radio, just as i'm picking up speed on the open highway, let out a little scream...just to remind myself that i'm alive.

it was just a moment. a drive i've made a hundred times. but it was in that moment i knew i was coming back. that part of me that seemed trapped in quicksand, the one unable to break free from the tangles of her own life. in that moment, i felt peace.

sometimes i need to scream with the windows open. not worry what the guy in the lexus might think when i weave my arm through the warm breeze.  sometimes, i just need to be me.


today =





flashback friday

it was so much harder to think of this week's flashback friday...mostly because i haven't been feeling very playful lately. it seems that every day has brought new grown-up challenges and limited my time for more simple pleasures. which is exactly why i needed today's adventure...

david and i used to go mountain biking at least once a week...i remember when i first started this blog, i posted this about our weekend ritual. and it was always a time of unadulterated fun. there's something about flying through the trails, wind whipping your face, a sense of true joy when we're in the groove. today i really forced myself to forget about all of my adult worries and just ride. i focused on the glints of sunlight through the trees, the birds chirping happily overhead, and the sound of my breath as we navigated the valleys and obstacles in our path.

riding bikes as a kid, we were never thinking about the homework we had to do later that night or the nutritional content of our lunchboxes. we were solely focused on the task at hand--speed and balance and the ever-popular "no hands" to show off to our friends. now, i may not have a banana seat or streamers flowing from my handle bars, but i do still get that little jolt of fear when we hit a difficult trail, that sense of freedom when flying downhill at top speed, and joy at having my best friend beside me for the ride.

what did you do last week that made you feel like a kid again?


naptime is over

seen from our balcony in galveston, tx on friday

okay, so i really DID sleep most of the last week away. i may have finally overcome the overwhelm that was taking over in august and have enjoyed the first days of september by relaxing and starting a new art journal. i've noticed that i haven't been painting as much lately and since i'm going through a lot of big changes and decisions right now...i thought it was a perfect time to try it out.

i took an old composition book i never used and cut the front and back covers off to use for the journal. then i took a bunch of unused papers and punched holes and found some little binder rings to hold it all together. i'm excited that it's even something i can do after a full 12-hour shift at the hospital (today) and feel productive.  though the paint's still drying and i haven't added my text yet, i thought i'd give you a sneak peek.

hopefully i'll be posting more pages throughout the month. but mostly the next 30 days will be spent planning for our annual anniversary-vacation, or what david has dubbed "our third honeymoon." only this time we will not be in NYC or a small greek island, but in a rented RV traveling across west texas. we are nothing if not unpredictable.  i'll probably post a bit less this month, but plan to get a whimsical women interview in and a bunch of photos of my travels. 

although it's still 90 degrees most days, i'm pretty sure i feel autumn coming...



i honestly don't know what i was thinking this month...my calendar is spilling over with appointments, events, promises, to-do's. {not to mention an unscheduled trip to the ER!} let's just say i will be extremely happy for september 1 to roll around. so for today i thought i'd just share a few visuals of the stuff i've been up to over the past 2 weeks, and what i have going on this weekend!!!  here we go...
i helped to coordinate the 6th Annual Jamie & Andy Schliepsiek Memorial Fundraiser...this is the {party} we throw every summer in my sister and brother-in-law's honor. 

we always do a silent auction...
and raised over $5,500 that night!

the event is held in my hometown of peoria, IL and we spent a long weekend
hanging out with some of my favorite people...

and then back to houston for my very first mixed media workshop last weekend...

and our big art show this weekend...
david and i decided a while back that we wanted to celebrate women artists...and we're so excited that our neighboring gallery has joined us!  it's going to be a great night. {a long, exhausting, carefully planned night.} and i'm looking forward to sleeping well into next week.