Sunday, August 31, 2014

{good-bye august}

This is the first year in my memory that I can say I didn't enjoy August.

August is my birthday month and so it has always been one of my favorites. But in the past few years that has changed with having children in school {that starts WAY too early} and my biggest work event smack dab in the middle of the month.

This whole month has been a huge contradiction of emotions. The boys started school on my birthday and that day represented pretty much the entire month...tears mixed with joy, anxiety rubbing up against gratefulness.
In many ways I'm happy to say good-bye to August. It was filled with tears and nervous stomachs and a mind so full that I really didn't know what to do with myself.

I said goodbye to a beloved pet {rest in peace my sweet Melvin} and hello to a schedule way more full than I would have wanted.
I gratefully and humbly accepted the love and support of family and friends when I was hanging on by a very thin thread.

It wasn't all bad, that's for sure. I said hello 36, to being the mother of 1st graders, and to new art adventures.
I'm so very thankful for the constant balance of difficult and defining moments.

But I've felt so out of balance and at war with the state of my life right now. One of my new goals is to find a way to balance my obligations with the very best things that I want to do, all while finding time to rest. Easy enough right?

I can't say I have much confidence I'll find a solution anytime soon, but it is a daily challenge that I need to fight for the sake of my sanity.

So, good-bye August. Hello September. I'm thrilled to see you. And I welcome you to be just as boring as you would like.

XO,
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Monday, August 04, 2014

{fear does not equal failure}


We took the boys to my hometown fair last week and did the predictable things...ate fried food, petted baby ducks, filled our mouths with fluffy cotton candy. We taught Landon how it will melt in your mouth if you have the patience to wait, and watched the look of childhood amazement in his eyes as he felt it disappear into bits of crystallized sugar on his tongue. Man, that is the best.


The one thing that I never saw coming was that both the boys rode a roller coaster. Granted, it was the miniature kiddie coaster, but STILL. MY children rode a roller coaster. If you know me at all, you will understand why this is a big deal.

I was shocked when Landon stopped in front of the dragon-themed mini coaster and insisted on riding it. The look of excitement on his face was contagious. It even transferred over to me, and I would rather clean a toilet than ride any variety of coaster.

Landon has been rather timid lately...displaying anxiety over lots of new life experiences, so the fact that he wanted to ride this thing made me all sorts of proud and freaked out all at the same time. Ben wasn't quite so sure, and I thought that would change Landon's mind. But he didn't care one bit. He eagerly jumped in line and practically ran up the steps and hopped into an empty car.

This is my son who has had major melt-down freak-outs on two different "train" rides, both of which were the most harmless rides you can imagine. 

I have to admit I was waiting as the ride started for him to realize what he had gotten himself into and start screaming for someone to get him off.

But he didn't. He didn't look like he was having the time of his life as the cars bumped around the track, but he didn't freak out. He even smiled when he got off.

His enjoyment was apparently so convincing that Ben decided to ride it next. He was the only one in line, so he had the ride all to himself. Out of my two boys, Ben is the more adventurous, and after Landon's success I was optimistic that he would enjoy the ride as well.

Not so much. After the first tiny hill, I focused in on his face and he was overcome with fear. He was crying and screaming for them to stop the ride. Thankfully, since he was the only one on the ride, the operator stopped it and let him get off.

He thought he had failed. But I was SO proud of him for trying, and I told him that more than a few times on the way back to the car.

Why is it that when we are afraid of something, we equate that feeling with failure?

I'm amazed, at the age of six, how the boys already do this. They define success by completing a task with zero fear and seeing it to completion. If they are afraid, they feel like they have failed. Failure is already a thing for them. This amazes me and makes my heart sink all at the same time.

On our way home , the roller coaster was the prime topic of back seat conversation. Landon said that Ben shouldn't have gotten on the roller coaster because he got scared. I was quick to jump in and talk to them about fear, and how it can be a good thing. How trying something new, even if you are afraid, is a wonderful thing.

I'm hoping some of it stuck in their little brains.

And it was a good reminder for me as well.

What about you? Do you equate fear with failure? Or do you jump into something new with both feet, fear and all?

XO,
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Monday, July 28, 2014

{easy canvas prints giveaway}


I have a fun giveaway for you today friends!


The nice folks at Easy Canvas Prints want to give away a 12x12 canvas print to one of you!

I'm so happy about how mine turned out with one of my doodles. It is the perfect addition to our family room.
And the quality is really gorgeous...vibrant colors and wonderful quality.

Do you want a chance to win one of your own? This is for a photo of your choice, but if you would like one of my doodles I would be happy to order it for you! :)

Enter below and good luck friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway





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Thursday, July 17, 2014

{birthday wish list}


So my big 3-6 is quickly approaching and I have a few items I'm pining over...

1. Saltwater sandals...

These are all over my Instagram lately...they appear to be a summer staple. I'm usually not a "trend" follower but the style is so classic and I hear they are super comfy.

2. This cuff from Kelly Rae Roberts...
I'm a huge fan of Kelly and cuffs, so this one is a no brainer. I'm also a hope addict. :)

3. This adorable mason jar tumbler and cuff from Hustle Mama Handmade...
Mason jar drinking is a big deal at our house these days. I've even converted my husband! And I'm dying over the feather print fabric...so happy!

4. The Nesting Place...
I'm a huge fan of The Nester and have heard such great things about her book. And I need to learn to love our house the way it is...quirks and all.

5. Art, Inc. by Lisa Congdon...
Another major inspiration of mine...Lisa Congdon amazes me. Her journey to becoming a professional artist helps to fuel my fire on a daily basis. This book isn't out yet but you can be sure I'll be grabbing up a copy as soon as I can.

I have about ten other books I could add to this list, but I'll spare you. :)

35 has been a truly amazing year for me, and I can't wait to see what adventures 36 has in store!

What's on your current wish list?

XO,
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

{summer fun giveaway}

I've teamed up with my sweet friend Alyson and lots of other great ladies for an amazing giveaway to celebrate summer!

One lucky winner will receive an adorable summer tote bag full of all kinds of fun things for summer! Gift cards, lotions, nail polish and SO much more! There is even a set of my notecards tucked in there! Good luck and I hope that you're enjoying your summer! 

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Giveaway includes...
"be awesome" Tote Bag from Bow and Arrow Art
Living Magazine
$50 Erin Condren Gift Card
$25 Starbucks Gift Card
$20 Target Gift Card
Beach Towel
Aveeno Lotion
Ultra Glide Ink Pens
Katie Daisy Journal
Phone/Credit Card Wallet 
2 Shades of Essie Nail Polish
Essie No-Chip Top Coat
Nail Polish Art Pen
2014-2015 Planner
Plastic Reusable Straws

Paper Straws
Gum
Nail File
Baby Lips
Narwhall Box gift Set from The Gnarly Whale Shop
Zipper Pouch & Key Fob from Little Ms.Fancy Pants
Steve Madden Aviator Sunglasses
Set of Notecards from This Girl Doodles
JBL Micro II- Ultra Portable Media Speaker
Leather Bow Cuff from Forgotten Cotton
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Monday, July 14, 2014

{a new journey}


Yesterday I shared some of the biggest news of my life...

I am a licensed artist. 

Me! A for real, licensed, artist. 


This stuff only happens to other people, right?


It all started in November when I found an email checking my junk folder from Oklahoma City based METcolors, saying they were interested in licensing my doodles. At first I thought it was spam, but did some research and my heart started racing when I discovered it was the real deal. We emailed back and forth a few times, and then on a snowy morning in January there was a Fedex envelope waiting for me by the front door with a contract. 

Of course I had to document it. I was giddy that entire day...I didn't even care that I had to drive our crappy van in the snow to work. :)
To say this was one of the happiest days of my life is an understatement. 

Fast forward to this week, and my doodles are on display in one of the largest retail markets in the world, the AmericasMart in Atlanta. Insane, I tell you! 


The past 7 months have been the hardest waiting game. There were days when I wondered if this was all a cruel joke...doubting myself and not knowing what was going to happen. I was hesitant to share my news until I had at least a photo of the finished product to share. Yesterday was the first time I had something tangible to show...to finally give this journey a touchable reality. 


Of course doubt will still creep in. Retailers have to like my product and purchase it. But this...seeing my art on a wall in a huge market where so many artists I admire have the same?


Unreal. SO freaking unreal. 

And to think this all started with a doodle.


Actually, it started back in art class at Eastview Elementary with Mr. Robinson and his painting lessons. And in freshman art with Mrs. Scott and her fiery red hair that matched her joy for teaching. And in the countless art classes and camps my parents sent me, despite our limited income. It started on a porch swing on Cherokee Lane where I sketched my Mom's hanging flower basket, and at Shaker Town in Kentucky, sitting on a simple bench drawing the trees and quiet buildings. It started all over again last spring, after so many years away from my pen and paper, in Amy's writing class. He knew it was time to start nudging me again. 


This is real and special and happening to me. And it can happen to you too. That is the lesson in all of this, and what I hope to inspire with my art. 


It can happen to you. 


This finding your calling thing. You just have to be still and listen and feel the small, and sometimes big, nudges. Work through the fear and the doubt and beautiful things can happen. 


You know you are doing what God called you to do when you feel exhilarated and terrified all at the same time. 


Completely exposed and yet the most alive you've ever felt. That's what this journey has been like for me so far, and I don't expect it to change anytime soon. 


Thank you SO much friends, for being a part of this journey with me. I can't put into words how grateful I am for the support of my family and friends, both in real life, and online. This is just the beginning...


XO,

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Thursday, July 03, 2014

{instagram giveaway}


Happy Thursday friends!
Head on over to my Instagram...I'm giving away a set of my Backyard Garden Collection notecards to celebrate reaching 1500 followers!

XO,
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