Friday, January 29, 2010

Living vs. Surviving

I heard something today that made me think.  Thinking is always good right?
I heard the phrase -Living Deeply-.  I love that.  I love the idea of that.  And I love how possible it is.  I'm adopting it as one of my mantras.  That is what I want in life. 
The difference between living and surviving?  The living part.

Maybe we're feeling a little abstract?

Spencer saw me working on this and decided it looked FUN so he joined me.
I was happy about how meditative it turned out to be.  I want to do another and another!  I also love that he sat there and enjoyed the process and the conversation that we found went with it.  Connecting with your kids and being able to see a little into them and how their minds are working, is there anything better?

On a different note, I'm so tempted to go pack now for my trip this weekend!  I am so ready to get out of town!  Not leaving until tomorrow morning though and only going for a couple of days, packing will not be a big enough job to start this early!
Girls weekend road trips are something to so look forward to!  Yay vacation!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today's confessions

~confessions, reflections, tidbits, something.

~I love that at any given time I know that there are at least 2 places I can go for support and coffee (aren't they one and the same?)
~I really really really really want a Pepsi.  But I'm not having one.  This week marks 6 months since I had one.  Yes six. MONTHS.   Really.  I think at this point it is as much out of stubbornness as anything else that keeps this resolve strong.
~when I hear the words sea lions the voice in my head always says 'sea tigers' or 'see tigers'.  (something I get from my son, as his 2 year old self)
~I so want to go dancing this weekend but my vacation is with Julie, and Kym who don't like to dance, so I'm wondering how fond they'll be of the idea of going anyway.  I NEED to dance.  Now.
~purple is the color I think I might put back in my hair, I quite liked it when it was there before
~my friend Carey hit too close to home the other day when she said that I can't take care of everyone.  What to do with that bit of knowledge?
~the snow is my enemy, but I'd rather not have enemies
~I'm realizing I can understand (kind of) decisions someone made that changed my life but liking it or forgiving is a little harder
~Save Me, San Fransisco is speaking to me about another time but also about this time, all time, timeless as far as certain connection goes
~embracing the idea of "beginner's mind" is not as easy as I want it to be but each little bit closer I come is soooooooooo liberating!
~even though I know I'm a pretty good mom it still stings when my kid says I'm the worst
~even though I make plenty of parenting mistakes it still feels pretty fabulous when my kid says I'm the best
~when I look in the mirror I'm surprised by what is in my eyes, and not surprised at all
~I've realized and accepted that my path to 'me' to being a healthy stable 'grown up' has been perhaps longer than that of the average person.  But thats ok, everyone is on their own unique path right?
~I've realized and accepted that a big part of my fear in the past was that someone did know me better than I knew me.  Silly fear because really it was a blessing.
~I love that my walls are full of art that my son drew of him riding bulls.  I still miss when they were full of his drawings of Godzilla though
~I've burnt a few of my journals with the idea of 'letting go'.  Now I'm wishing I'd just kept them
~the reason I am keeping the dogs is much more about them being a great love of Spencer's life and stable in his life than my actually being crazy fond of them
~I get honestly emotional and upset when I remember Rita is dead.  Just a show just a show, I know.
~I'm looking at where my life is supposed to go, and what lessons I'm supposed to learn from the journey.  And realizing that I'm not as much of an old soul as I thought because there seem to be soooo  very many of those lessons I have to learn

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I'm really quite lucky.  I have great friends who come over at just the right moment and bring all the makings for my favorite meal.  Sushi. ~They also bring all the makings for great conversation and laughter.  Really I'm quite lucky. 

Life isn't waiting for me to catch up!

There is no method to my photo, it is just an old one that I like, as I have not uploaded anything from my camera to computer the past few days.  Look how cute my almost 2 year old was?  I wanna squeeze him!

This post may get a little 'rambly'.  There is a lot getting sorted in my head and I think some of it may fall out here.  Corie, this is your warning, this may get too long to read, I understand:)

So, between the e-course I'm taking, a movie I watched last week and a couple of other things I've realized some things about me, about my life.  Breaking out of self destructive behavior patterns is so wonderful.  Figuring out what they are and why they happen and then deciding NOT to do them anymore has made me feel a little powerful.  (I won't get into details about my self destructive behavior, but if you know me I'm sure you can make an accurate diagnosis:)  My life is mine, this is the only chance I'm going to have to live it.  Here is a great quote someone shared with me this week:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

Mary Oliver

Keyword that spoke to me: One.  I tend to 'get by' instead of really live.  What am I waiting for?  For some reason I put things off, thinking I can do the good stuff later.  The good things, the life I really want, the life I'd love can wait until later has been my way of thinking but now I realize my reasons for that just aren't healthy.  I've hidden behind "doing it for someone else" but not for me.  I've ended up hurting not only me, but others around me in the process of trying to live a life I "should" live instead of one that really fits and is meaningful.

This brings me to the movie I watched last week.  The movie is Smart People; Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, good movie, I'd say it is worth watching.  Dennis Quaid's character says to his daughter something along the lines of he doesn't think she is happy.  She responds by telling him that he isn't happy...and that he is her role model.  That really hit home for me.  By choosing to 'get by' instead of really live my life what is that showing Spencer?  He is going to learn by watching the grown-ups in his life and I don't want him for a moment to think it is ok to not be happy, to not follow his every dream, to settle for a life that is just 'ok' instead of a life he loves.  I also don't want him to see me letting myself be unhappy or unmotivated.  I want him to know that taking care of himself and being himself is absolutely the way he should live.  

On that note, I've come to realize all this and see what and where my life needs to change.  Now I just need to decide what changes exactly need to be made to get there.  Then be brave enough to make them.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Carried away with Watercolors

Using watercolors and such on too many pages in a row means your journal needs to spend some time in front of the heater to get all nice and dry and ready to be written in!  This was a lesson I learned last week!

Go HERE to find a great giveaway on a blog with beautiful beautiful stuff!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What is on your fridge?

Isn't the fridge a little window into the house?
The fridge seems to be a revolving display of the moments' favorites.  The pictures of Spencer and I when he was a baby seem to stay, I love seeing them everyday.  And the magnet frames that have pictures of Emily and I back in our roommate days always stay. 
Everything else moves for something else to come in.
Right now we have this year's school pictures of some nieces and nephew.  A calender magnet from Eve's Garden in Evanston, cute magnets my friend Amy made for me, a magnet from my friend Teresa's trip to North Dakota, Disneyland magnets from the 2006 trip Spencer and I took to California, stone word magnets I fell in love with on one of my trips with Robert, a Motley Crue magnet that speaks for itself, a favorite picture of Nat and Mak, a thank you note from Mak for the Christmas gift I gave her, a 'son up to son down' magnet from my mom, my recycle bottlecaps magnets and a picture of Spencer with 2 of his cousins this summer that I love!  I just took down all of the Christmas cards and packed them to be put in a scrapbook when I get around to it at some point.
Our hall is the display place for all the artwork that the many kids in our lives make, there is just not enough room on the fridge for all that!
What is on your fridge right now?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lets get creative!

I've been taking a great e-course that started this past week.  It already is helping me in so many ways and I've had wonderful opportunities to connect with like minded people.  I really feel that I stumbled across it at just the right moment.  One day weeks ago I found and bookmarked Hip Mountain Mama's blog because it looked so good but I didn't have time to read that day, so later (last weekend) I finally found time to go read, and This is what I found.  That led me to This and This and I felt the idea pulling me so I jumped in!

There have been assignments each day that really have made me dig into figuring out me, and getting back to being me.  And, happily, have gotten me back to art-ing.  I have had a fantastic time pulling out some art supplies that I haven't used in oh so long.  On this note, I've also taken something I read in The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule to heart and tried harder not to have a segregation of  "my" art stuff and "kid" art stuff.  We've long had these drawers of "kid" art stuff

The drawers aren't going anywhere.  I do like that everything in them is "on limits" to all the kids we often have at our house and they know where to find them.  So my stuff will stay separate because I want to be more 'present' when the kids are using my favorite things than is always possible when we have a houseful of kids going a billion directions.  But, to incorporate this idea that I like, I've let Spencer, Emily and Makaylyn "art" with me and a mix of all the kid stuff and 'grown up' stuff the last couple of days, and its been a blast!  I'm going to let the kids have access to all the supplies when I'm able to be near by.   So much creative going on all over the place!

See our fun creative mess?  The table got full so the kids started using the floor as workspace.

How much is Emmy my kind of gal?  I love love love that almost everything she makes has a peace sign here or there!~

And here is a little peek at one of my "assignments" and of the workspace I had going on Friday before the kids joined me.

It has felt so good to just play and get creative with no pressure!  And I am really loving the guided meditation.  I had let meditation fall away from my life for some reason and I feel much more balanced now that I'm making an effort to include it in my days again.

I so recommend this course to you.  Really, are you listening?  It is good stuff.  If you are ready to go there that is.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A little more done on these projects and a little more to do

Here are a few things that the fabric my Aunt Sheila gave me turned into.  The tote bag started with plans as a purse but I didn't quite like how it was going so it made its way into a giant (suitcase for the whole family size) bag.  Tall enough for my knitting needles so chances are that is what may live there.
The little bags will have big, colorful, fun buttons along the top and will be gifted to our nieces over the next few months as birthday gifts, some will hold art supplies, some make-up.  I'm sure they'll all have a chance at holding some girls' treasures. There actually ended up being enough fabric in this set to make my giant bag and 6 little ones for the girls.  

Save Me, San Fransisco

I am somewhere else in my head lately.  I'm not in the present moment like I need to be.  Regret.  A useless emotion, so why can't I shake it?  I'm spending so much time reflecting on poor choices.  The what if game isn't oh so healthy.  The life in a parallel universe daydreams are ok though, I think.  And of course reminiscing and honoring memories is a good thing.  Just for now I want to be in 2001.  October 18, 2001 would be good.   Oh how I would love a game of pool, cold drinks, loud music and amazing conversation about everything that comes to mind right now.  How can you ever tire of talking about quantum physics and the benefits of breastfeeding?  Yep, I'm so missing all that. 
And have you heard Train's album "Save Me, San Fransisco"?  That album is almost entirely about my world back then.  I do realize it was released in 2009 so it wasn't actually what I listened to then, but almost the whole album speaks to me about back then.  Magical, wonderful.   Now back to daydreaming, listening to this great album and wishing for change in my present moment.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My sewing set up

I thought these were fun.  Here is a little peek into what kind of creators I, my mother and my aunt are today.  I've been able to join them for a couple of afternoons of sewing and I've quite loved this time spent feeling creative and connected to family.

Here is my little sewing station.  We'll call it a creative mess, shall we?  That seems to be how I work best, creatively speaking, all over the place, making much up as I go, often surprised by the outcome (usually happily surprised). 

Here is my Aunt's workspace.  Neat, tidy, efficient.  (Though she says her workspace at her home is much more messy).

And here is my mom's space, something in between.

More than one happy change today.

I'm so happy about this new 3 column set up I have going on here at the blog!  Until now it has been so elusive to me, had no clue how other people had these nifty 3 instead of two columns.  Today I found these easy peasy instructions and Presto changeo!  Here is the link if you need the same help.

Ok, now on to the change we'll start this month in our family life for the One Small Change project.  (and for the good of the planet and our lives:)
Time and time again I've decided to use no more plastic bags when I'm out grocery shopping and the like.  I have so many great reusable bags but lately they are getting used to tote toys, books, knitting, lunch and those sorts of family on the go needs.  I think these are all perfectly good uses for these bags but it has made fewer available when it is time for a shopping trip.

Our change this month will start with me making a few more reusable shopping bags (I have some great heavy duty fabric from the thrift store that will be perfect for this project).  And then, of course, they'll make their way with us to the store, every time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A little snow, all the bettter

I thought I'd share a couple of our new family pictures.  Not sharing the favorites yet, those have to wait, but here are a few of the others.  We had Brittney Brog take them, she was great!  She was brave enough to deal with all of us, in a snowstorm, and the pictures turned out great!  So talented!~
A couple of the kids were slightly disappointed that  the Brittney we met up with that day wasn't Brittney Spears and just some other Brittney but when we were in the car headed home Natalie said "Its ok that it wasn't Brittney Spears I guess, this one is probably nicer anyway, and just as pretty".
We only had a 2 day window to get pictures done, as we don't all live together and only had John's kids over the weekend so we weren't able to wait out the storm but I really like the way the pictures turned out with the snow!  Thanks so much Brittney!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

One Small Change

At Hip Mountain Mama I found and joined the One Small Change challenge.  I've been searching for things to take me closer to the life I want to be living and this speaks to me so much on that level.  You can read more about it and join here.  I'll be posting tomorrow about the changes we'll incorporate into our lives starting this month. 
I'm looking forward to the changes, and looking forward to being truer to myself through these changes.  A breath of fresh air indeed.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A little peek at what I'll be happily working on next week

Here are some fun things that  will make their way into finished projects sometime this next week.  My Aunt Sheila is in town and we have big plans for much sewing!  More photos to come.  Spencer's sewing debut will come this week as well.  He has plans for turning some of Grandpa's old shirts into sleeping bags for his stuffed animals and small cowboy figurines.  Photos of all this for sure will make it here!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Here is an overdue peek at a few of the pajamas that I made for kids this year.  The blue and brown polka-dot with contrasting cuffs and pockets were so my favorite!  I ended up making them for 5 of the girls, I wish I'd done the same ones for all of them!
There were also some great cougar ones for Spencer (that were hard to keep a secret until Christmas, I almost gave them to him early because I knew he'd be so excited!  ~he was!)
And some fun blankets and purses that I didn't get around to taking pictures of before gift giving.  That is a goal this year, more pictures of projects!

A few tears and something to smile about!

I dare you to read THIS without crying.  I dare you.

And on a completely separate note, I am so enjoying this:

Notice how empty those laundry baskets are.  Empty.  With only the clothes currently being worn waiting to fill them.  All.  Caught.  Up.  On.  Laundry.   Sigh.  Oh what a great thing!  Now if I could say the same about the rest of my housework I'd be a very happy girl.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lucky me!

I was lucky enough to get to spend a few hours with some of my favorite people this week.  I love how Emily is looking at Tyson in the last picture here.  Cute hu?  She's such a good mom, her kids are so lucky!  I just love that you can see how much she loves him in this picture!
And look how big Marleigh is getting!  I promise she likes me part of the time, she is much like her brother Carter was at her age, in relation to me, she doesn't see me enough for me to fall all the way out of the 'stranger' category so she's a little leery most of the time, then warms up to me, then is scared because I'm a stranger.
Anywhoo, it was a great afternoon getting to see them and I was wishing I had days instead of hours to spend!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Check out her great saving tips at Freebies 2 Deals

I just wanted to share this blog I re-found!  I used to go get great money saving tips here and somehow in my crazy world lost the address and lost the thought of it from my brain until I saw 'Good Things Utah' this morning while I was being lazy at Amy's and watching T.V. (which we don't have at our own house!).

It is a great blog with sooooo very many great tips, links, etc. for saving.  Saving is always a favorite right?
So go see Freebies 2 Deals  HERE

Monday, January 04, 2010

Sidekick blog

Ok, so that whole project 365 being here integrated onto this blog thing that I said earlier?  Scratch that.  Still doing the project, but now it will happen over yonderCome see!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Another Tradition

Remember THIS?  We love this tradition that comes at least once a year for the past, oh, most of my life!
It is that time of year again, Taffy making with Grandpa.  Looking back on the pictures I took made me laugh, Natalie was Grandpa's little sidekick and was so excited to be helping and in all the pictures she was just next to him, watching and always with a spoon full of candy.  She was the main taster.

Such fun memories we're making.  Traditions run strong.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Day 2 of 365

Because at least one tree picture where the house is a wreck before the tree gets put away is a must.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Almost nothing is better than Sleeping Baby Eyelashes

What a beautiful face, don't you agree?  Those eyelashes are record breaking.
Here's some new news here:

I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and do a 365 project. If you aren't sure what it is here's a fun look into the idea.  Basically I'm vowing to take a picture a day.  I don't vow to post every single day so some days will have more than one photo.  And on that note, I'm going to make it as easy as possible so that I will actually follow through, this means a few things: I'm not going to do a sepearate blog, the photos will show up here so some days will be more than one post days; 
I'm not going give myself limits by choosing a theme, I like the freedom of capturing whatever captures me any given day;
a lot of days of my life one photo isn't enough to take and likely not enough to share, so I'll loosely follow the idea of 365 but it will likely be a higher number in the end....
and probably a few more non-rules I'll make up as I go along.
To start the project here is today's photo, my friend's peaceful baby and her wild eyelashes!

A very Twister New Year to all

We had a fantastic evening hanging out with friends to celebrate New Year's Eve this year.

Here's to a great year blessed with great friends!

Not many a photo for our Christmas

It is still a little crazy to me that my boy is 9!  He is no longer quite as crazy about Godzilla and super heroes as he once was.  He is wild about the wild west these days and loves all things cowboy.  He received a couple of belt buckles for Christmas that he was overjoyed about, and a log cabin for his cowboy action figures to set up fort in.
Christmas Eve was a wonderful day of cooking while watching Christmas cartoons with Spencer then a quick visit to my in laws and dinner with my family.  On Christmas we had my parents over for gift opening in the morning then a great day playing at home then headed over to John's parents house for lunch and visiting all evening. 

I wasn't feeling the greatest on Christmas and somehow (I still have no idea how, I must've really really not been feeling good), I ended up with almost no pictures.  At the time it seemed like not a big deal to skip the picture hoopla and lay on the couch.  Now I'm missing the photos that could have been.  Oh well.  We did have a Merry Christmas and hope you did too!