06 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and so I've got a couple goodies for you.  First is a FREE image download:

There is both color and black and white available to you for FREE here!  Love, me.

Also check out the fun mailboxes my kids get to use for the next week... trying to foster more love, less fighting round these parts.  Sigh.  Good thing is, they love leaving each other notes!

25 January 2012

Spotlight's on me - at Time Out For Women

I am honored to be the featured blogger at Time Out For Women this week!  It's amazing to me that I still have something readworthy to say, after all these years of scattered, unorganized blogging.  Please go say hi to me over there!!!  It would make me so happy if you did.  Click HERE to read my post.
{Major thanks to Time Out For Women for the fun opportunity}

20 December 2011

You can do anything, but not everything

It's been a while since I wrote anything profound on my blog.  I used to do it all the time, and then I became busier and busier and in order to keep it active I simply started posting all the projects I had going on.  It wasn't long before I got really caught up in the "project-a-day" club and had to let that go as well.  Last Christmas I sat in this very same spot and thought about what things I might change in 2011 to make my life feel less chaotic, less "obligatory".  And I made one and only one New Years Resolution in order to help me accomplish that.  To learn to feel content.

2011 started much the same as 2010 ended... with lots of responsibilities I didn't really want or need, and lots of stressing and running around and generally being the person I thought everyone expected me to be.  Slowly but surely I began to let things go... little things... to give the more important things in my life room to breathe (and I continue to work on this).  More importantly, however, my mindset has begun to change regarding who I want to be, how I want to be remembered, and what I want out of life.

My own mother was a busy bee.  She was on the front lines of virtually every school fundraiser, church activity and neighborhood project.  She epitomized a woman who was "on the ball".  But inside she was a mess.  She created such an alluring image of herself and family that it became all that was important to her. And we, her family, had to keep up with that image - no questions asked.  So I recognize where this inbred tendency to keep a dozen plates spinning at all times comes from.  And I, like my mother, have thrived on the reputation of being that woman on the ball.  Its a good feeling, but not one that lasts, I'm afraid.

I wonder at what point this image became so revered.  We each take the best parts of others and compare them to our worst.  "I wish I was as fit as ________." "I wish I was as pretty as _______." "I wish I was as creative as _______." "I wish I had as much money as _______." "I wish my house was as clean as _______." "I wish I cooked as well as _______." "I wish I could save money as well as _______." "I wish I had as many friends as _______." "I wish I was a successful ________ like ________."  And we put them all together and VOILA! that is the ideal woman.  Furthermore we think this perfect multi-faceted woman we've conjured up in our minds is secure, and perfectly happy. When, truthfully, it's the woman who doesn't need to do it all and be it all to be happy that we should emulate.  I envy that woman, who is content to live a simple life, and is proud enough with the respect of her family and loved ones to not go looking elsewhere in order to feel validated.  Is that not what true happiness and self assurance looks like?

I'm not saying we don't need to pursue our own dreams or make ourselves a priority, but I think pure intentions and genuine fulfillment should drive our choices - whether they be to take good care of our body, our home, our family, etc.  I want to get to the point where each choice I make, as to how I spend my time and energy, is a choice I think through.  And a choice I am content with.  I 'm tired of trying to keep up with that alluring image of the perfect woman, above all else.  It drove my mother crazy - quite literally.  And crazy is the only outcome I can think of for someone who can't find contentment in the small things (which ironically, for someone of that mindset, are the most important things).

I have a long way to go towards becoming that woman.  I have lived a full life and experienced many wonderful things.  I want badly to have all those things active in my life, all at once!  But it's impossible.  The analogy of the seasons rings loud and clear for me as I try and determine what is best worth my time and energy at this time in my life:

To every things there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven

I think my zest for experiencing everything life has to offer is indeed a blessing, but also one that I (thankfully) have plenty of time to enjoy.

30 November 2011

Tis the season...

I've found some time to make a few new goodies for my home this Christmas!  You know how you sometimes don't know what you're missing?  Well I've been missing creating with my hands.  Apparently. Because now I can't seem to find a stopping point!  The photography suffices to an extent, but I guess every now and then I just gotta get out the spray paint, scissors, ribbon, glue... :)

I'm foregoing tree skirts this year in favor of something simple and lovely.  I cut up a bunch of burlap and made these sacks for the bottoms of my trees instead, and tied them up with lace.  I'm having a mostly white Christmas this year, so it's just perfect.  Perfect and simple.

My husband finds it amusing that it takes me DAYS to get my house decorated for Christmas.  I find it therapeutic!  I gotta do something different every year, not necessarily with all new things, but I like to think of new ways to display things, and just tweak it from year to year.  It makes it so much more magical!  How about you?  How long does it take you to deck the halls?  Do you enjoy it, or is it a chore?  I'm guessing, since most of you love craftiness like myself, that we are all int he same boat. :)

P.S. I am still posting at Brown Paper Packages every other week!  This week we're talking about Christmas bokeh:

{Ah, that's nice... isn't it?}

Come see how to get the great Christmas bokeh at BPP... should be up tomorrow or Friday. :)

P.P.S. Let's see if I can blog twice this month!  I'm also working on an angel wings project... as I have been obsessed with wings lately!

01 November 2011

Carnival Birthday Party

My Drewby is 7!!!  This year's party theme was "carnival"... so, so fun and full of possibilities.  Luckily, both Hobby Lobby and Party City have a party line of carnival themed items.  Plus I scored several items from Target's $1 spot for party favors.

I kept the decorations pretty simple...

The first thing kids wanted to do was play in the bouncy house we rented for the day:

This was the main attraction!  But we also played some fun old fashioned games.  We had a potato sack race and raced with plastic eggs on spoons.

The kids loved both games enough to play a few times each.

I also had a little photo area set up:

The kids came in and ate pizza, drank kool-aid and had cupcakes/cake.

Each guest took home a treat (circus peanuts or cotton candy in the plastic containers you see above) and a party favor that included these items from the $1 spot at Target:

Drew was one happy boy!  He had such a blast with his friends!