Monday, November 25, 2013


Have you ever been in the city or other busy place and just paused?  And then suddenly you realize just how important everyone is.  You realize the significance of their role in making this whole world be what it is.  You realize that you are important and you have an overwhelming emotionally charged sense of gratitude for everything and everyone.  You realize that everything has its place and at any given time that placement is just perfect.  Things may not always be easy but you realize that is just part of the equation, part of the balance.   You feel a strong connection to everything and everyone.  And your heart is simply overwhelmed.  If you've ever felt it you know just how beautiful moments like those are and if you haven't yet then I hope you do someday. And I don't mean someday in the way it's often said. I mean someday real soon. Maybe even today.  
Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

If I could...

I took a class the other day and one of the ice breaker questions we needed to answer was "If you could be any age for the rest of your life, what age and why"
I honestly don't think there is an age I would want to be forever because I like the progression and learning and love that unfolds year after year. 
I do however think I'd like to be 2, like my daughter, for about a week or so.
I would love to experience the delight from her eyes,
hear the conversations in her head about the unfolding world
and understand her frustrations.

What age would you choose to be for a day, week, or a lifetime?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Embracing the journey

With the anticipation of a second child,
there is a little bit of confidence knowing that we have been through
trials and errors with the first child.  Also the anxiety of being first time parents will be no more.
Oh, but there are so many questions.
How can I carry a two-year old, a newborn and a basket of laundry up
a whole flight of stairs?
How is #1 going to relate to and accept #2?
How do I get both children into the cart at I put the rambunctious toddler in first or on second thought, do I let her walk along side the cart?
Will I be able to spend one on one time with #2 like I do with #1?
And this is only about 1/100th of the questions I think about daily.
I know some of the questions seem rather ridiculous and have obvious answers but it does not mean they don't cross my mind.
I am however excited to see the relationship that will grow between these two girls.
I am excited to see the similarities and differences.
I am excited to snuggle a new baby and really see how #1 has grown.
I am excited to see another baby grow and learn.
So I will live with the questions and the excitement
and just wait...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The ever expanding dream

The ever expanding dream.
The one that begins and grows and changes.
And as the dream changes, you change.
And yet it all seems to be right and familiar.
And though you don't choose the circumstances, somehow
they've chosen you, like you are a piece to their puzzle.
One dream develops and grows to accommodate the next one and on and on it goes.
And suddenly you arrive at where you always imagined you'd be.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


As the fog of the first trimester is lifted, I find myself again.
I find myself reveling in the everyday joys and having
energy to do things beyond what I need to do to get by.
I find myself with my camera.
I find myself with light feet and a busy, busy brain.
I find myself lucky to be looking at 3 leaf clovers and enjoying
God's beautiful creation.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dear Daughter: Part 6

Dear Daughter-
I love that you want to wear a dress
for playing in the dirt.
May you always keep a strong sense of self
and throw the "norm" out the door.
May you be respectful of rules
but know when to break them!
Keep your heart young,
dear daughter of mine.
Love, Mom

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dream BIG, START small

We often hesitate starting towards our dreams because
we can't imagine how we could possibly attain them.
We get stuck.  We make excuses.
The key to keeping your dreams alive is to believe in them and start building the path
with small steps.
Dream big, start small.
If you dream of being a rock star- sing, dance, put on a mini-concert for one or two people, then a larger group.  Maybe you dream of a different are working at a desk yet dreaming about being a full-time artist.  Make art when you can, engage in conversations with other artists, show your work online, have a gallery showing in your house.
Maybe you dream about going on vacation, but feel like you just can't afford it.
Put a date on the calendar a couple years out.  Make a jar that says "vacation fund."
Add money to the jar instead of buying that latte, candy bar, ipod tune, outfit.
Maybe you dream of being peaceful but currently feel overwhelmed.
Find a moment to yourself everyday to just STOP.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Relax.
Maybe you dream about writing a book, then just write.
Maybe you dream about opening a coffee shop with homemade desserts and fabulous coffee.
Bake.  Experiment.  Give desserts and coffee as gifts.  Have coffee and dessert parties.
You need not have it all together in order to begin.
You need not have all the answers.
What you do need is a dream.
A dream you believe in.
Write your dreams down and then
just start living towards them.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Go to sleeeeeep!

I rarely have trouble falling asleep anymore but there are some nights when I just want to yell
at my brain "shut up and go to sleeeeep!!!" 
My mind will race with worries, ideas, things I need to do, things I need to say,
things I forgot to do or say.   It's like my brain is puking at the end of the day.
I have tried everything from breathing slowly, counting sheep, studying the backs of my eyelids and nothing seemed to work.
That is nothing until I started repeating the word "nothing."
A thought will come up and I just think "nothing." 
I keep repeating it and somehow it works because the next
thing I know it's 2 or 3 in the morning and I am on my first
middle of the night bathroom trip.
Try it out the next time your brain is trying to keep you from sleeping.
Just repeat in your mind "nothing."
I don't suggest "nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing" over and over but more
like a meditation "" 
Nice and slow and as other thoughts enter, repeat.
Hope this helps you like it has helped me.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Practical tips for positive thinking!

People say that I am a positive person.  It's not that I don't think negative thoughts, it's just that I have developed some "checkpoints" so that my thoughts don't become my words or actions.
I am successful at this at least some of the time.

The first checkpoint is to be aware of your thoughts. 
I try to change negative thoughts at the moment I think them.
Example: The other day I took an ice tray out of the freezer and there were ice cubes that I could tell just started to form.  The ice cubes in the tray underneath were ready.  I thought "why did my husband not put the ready cube tray on top." 
I stopped myself right there and thought "hey, I am thankful he filled the tray!"
We think "why don't they do it how I want them to or in the way I would do it?"  We all do this multiple times a day in varying degrees.
Another example: I see another mother handling a situation in a way that is different than I would handle it.  So I stop and think  "She is crazy" and I follow it with "just like me."  Saying "just like me" after thinking something good or bad about someone is a way to be united. 
If your brain is anything like mine it goes a million miles a minute and it can be very challenging to be aware of all the thoughts flooding through.  Start slow.

The next checkpoint is to be aware of how you feel and how you talk about
what is going on in the world.
How do you feel when you watch the news?
In media today, tragedy is often glorified.  More attention is given to the suspects and to the fear we should be feeling.  We know that a child will misbehave even when the attention he/she gets is negative because they are still getting attention.  If we give our attention to the suspects, then there will likely be more suspects doing crazier and crazier things.
That is how we as a society contribute to what is happening.
The more we talk about how terrible things are, the more that becomes our reality.
How can we solve this?  We can turn the channel on the TV or radio.  We can read a different article. 
When we hear about a tragic event, we can pray for the victims and for the suspect.
We don't have to keep watching the news until we are blue in the face.
I am not saying to not talk about what is going on or to not know what is happening in the world, what I am saying is put limits on how much exposure you have and what kind of exposure you have.
We need to pay attention to how we are feeling and how we are talking about things.

The last checkpoint I want to talk about is to pay attention to what you worry about.
Most of what we worry about has no place in reality.
I could and do worry for weeks even months before something is going to happen
and then said event happens and nothing I worried about even happened.
Like tonight, I took my daughter to her first swim lesson.  Since I signed her up a month and a half ago, I worried about being late, about not finding the right entrance to the school, about being unable to listen to the teacher and follow directions etc.
Then we actually got there and everything was so awesome.
We worry about how we look, what people think of us, if we are doing things "right."
I think there is a certain amount of worry that helps us to grow and prepare.
Example : Worrying about being late helps us to prepare to be on time.
Example: Worrying about how we look helps us to not look like a slob.
The best thing we can do is to not to let worry paralyze us.  Don't let worry keep you from doing the things you want to do.  Instead of always comparing yourself to others, look at yourself and how you can improve you based on your dreams and values.

I hope you find these tips helpful!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

You never fully arrive!

We've heard time and time again that it is the journey that counts and not the destination.
I always thought "yeah, yeah I get it."  But the other day I REALLY thought about
what it meant.  I was driving home from work and thinking a lot about life, which is a usual occurrence. 
I have an amazing husband and daughter and I am so grateful for them.
But what would it have been like if, lets say, at 15 years old someone told me, "you are going to marry this person on this day and you will have
this many children and you will live in this house...." etc.
That may have sounded great when I was 15 because I didn't enjoy getting my heart broken over and over, I didn't like being an awkward teenager, I didn't like my moms rules and I didn't like stumbling.
But through all that I learned about myself.
I learned which qualities I admired in others.
I learned that what I do and think does affect the outcome.
I know now that every trial and triumph have helped me to be who I am.
My character was built along the way. 
The journey is about building who you are.
You never fully arrive at "who you are" because it is a lifetime process.
At this point in my life I am not even sure there is a "destination" other than heaven.
For example, I continue to learn how to be Matt's wife because we are constantly growing and evolving.  I continue to learn about the thinking behind my actions.  We all do certain things without even thinking about it.  We react or act in ways that don't match up with our values.
We are ever-evolving-beings of magical energy!
We are Children of God.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I was looking in my folder where I keep inspirational quotes, stories etc and found these questions
to go with the word live.  I love it.  And honestly I can't tell you if I came up with it
or found it somewhere because it was handwritten and I had it on my wall as a teenager.
Either way, I love it and it totally makes sense to me. 
I hope you can find use in these questions too!
Have a happy day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pinterest Project: File Crate System

I pinned this awhile ago and I finally got around to making it happen.
So far I really like it and think it will work great for our family. 
It is a system that will need tweaking over the years I'm sure.
I decided that a file for each week would be too much so I
just created a file for each month.  I have added 4 other files to the back: activities, donate, work related, printouts.
The activities file has things to-do outside of the house with like story times, children's museum schedule, toastmaster events etc.
 In each monthly file there is a sheet of paper that says
"Important dates/yearly happenings for the month of..."
Yearly happenings are things like in May my business insurance is due, it's
a reminder that doesn't have a specific date.

In the activities file the schedule for the childrens museum!

In the December file, cookie recipes to try next year and possibly
the years after that too!
In each monthly file I have a calendar sheet. 
Then I just hang it up with a command clip.
Being organized is something I have to work at.
I have always been the type of person to know where a certain paper is
among the huge pile of papers; on the outside my spaces don't appear neat =)
I am trying to simplify my life so there is less clutter, it has been great so far!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Two things!

Two things I love: creating and recycling.
Although I love every picture Liberty finger paints, I won't possibly be able
to keep every single one.  So, I've come up with a few ways to use them
without just throwing them away.
I have cut the 8 1/2 x 11 pieces of artwork into 4's to make
note cards for special Birthdays, Anniversary's and Thank Yous.
Relatives love getting artwork from toddlers.
At Christmas I cut small pieces from Liberty's artwork and made them
into gift tags...super cute.
And with the season of LOVE upon us I decided to cut out
some hearts from Liberty's original artwork and hang them around
the house.  I love how a piece of art can transform into something new!

 I found this "Love" bunting banner here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A one word resolution

I got the idea of having a word to focus on for the year from here.  
I have never been much for resolutions but having an overall theme for the year
seemed like a perfect fit for me; it spoke to my true nature.
Carolyn's word for 2013 is begin.  That's a lovely word but it
didn't spark anything in me so I contemplated for awhile.
The one word that seemed to resonate with me was: simplify.
So, in 2013 the word I choose to focus on is simplify.

Visual Essence Photography and Design: Inspiration  simplifyw

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Every day is a new beginning (printable)

It's not just at the start of a new year that we can choose
to refocus, forgive, or replenish our spirit.
We must remember that every moment of every day we have
choices and our choices change everything.
Here is a free printable for you with a quote that I came up with
many years ago.  Just click on the link below the picture
and print it out.  It is standard letter size (8.5 x 11)
Visual Essence Photography and Design: Inspiration  #28w