Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thinking Nursery…

With the appointment that will tell us our little peanut’s sex at the end of the month…and me in full-fledged purge-clean-renew mode, nurseries have been on my mind.

For Jayden’s nursery, I wanted something quite traditional…a jungle theme, very boyish, fun because there would never be another room in our house done in as fun a way as a nursery.

But this time…I’m thinking more transitional…more modern. Something a little less cartoonish and a little more arty…

I was browsing around and found these all quite interesting:

LOVE this boy’s room…Could totally see how a girlish take could be done with a different color if need be and still get the amazing effect…but I wonder how they did that wall!?!?!?!?

You can see more of it HERE

Also love this one…how gorgeous is this!??!?! The high contrast is AMAZING and what beautiful non-traditional colors for a baby girl. Again…I could see how a little tweak in the artwork and accessories could make this a boy’s room.

You can see more pics of this one HERE.

As I was browsing around for something different and fun, I came across these two rooms from Banana Fish. Don’t really imagine myself using ALL of the items available in the pattern, but in both cases I LOVE the comforters…and could see myself using them as jumping off points for something a little more eclectic.

So…what’s on YOUR mind?

Peace, ya’ll!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When Hard Things "win"

This BLEW ME AWAY today...

My reverie was broken as the next realization hit me full force. Somehow, somewhere, unawares, I had been robbed of my joy. The thief had struck; the damage had been done (John 10:10). The constant flurry of running from one thing to the next, always striving to do the right thing, the next thing, the hard thing, had taken its toll. In my well-intentioned efforts to live a life of purpose and passion, I found myself instead drained and coveting the easier life that now paraded before my imagination.

This is an except this entry on The Rebelution Blog.

I was seriously blown away by these thoughts.

I have kept thinking "Life should be easier. This shouldn't be this hard." After reading this, I realize, IS this hard. God doesn't promise us no storms. He promises us SHELTER from the storm.

Amazing Tuesday to you!!

Blessings and Peace, ya'll!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I can paint, play kazoo, and now I can fly!

These words have some sort of huge deep meaning for me. The audacity of innocence is a marvelous thing:

From A Snoodles Tale by Phil Vischer

A Snoodle is a fictional little creature that arrives in a Seuss-like world by flying down a slide of sorts that comes out of the tallest tower in town. The tower has a clock and every other Tuesday (or something like that) a new Snoodle arrives into the Snoodle world. Each Snoodle arrives into his world without parents, sisters or brothers. They are equipped with backpack of tools for their journey.

These are the first thoughts of one little Snoodle after arriving in his new world.

“This is peculiar, “ the little guy said.
“I came from a chute, and I fell on my head.
What do I look like? What am I for?”
He pondered these questions and then thought of more.

“Checking my bag is a good place to start.”
He pulled out some paints, “Maybe I’m good at art!”
The next thing he found was a Snoodle-kazoo.
“Hey, what do you know! I can make music too!”

Then back on his pack, he pulled a small string,
And out form the sides popped two little wings!
“Amazing!” he said, with a gleam in his eye.
“I can paint, play kazoo, and now I can fly!”

So off he goes to ask his questions and try out his gifts. His fellow Snoodles have the answers to his questions and could offer encouragement as he develops his gifts. But as a community, they fail him.

Instead of encouragement, he finds ridicule. Instead of answers, he finds rejection.

The poor little Snoodle ends up leaving his little Snoodle community feeling sad, puny and ugly. He wanders in the wilderness of the Snoodle land until he meets his maker, who encourages him anew and helps him to understand his gifts.

How like US! How like so many communities, families, schools and churches – discouraging the greatness of the gifting in its infancy. How like US to make some one feel small for their attempts to learn how to use the gifts the Maker gave them. How like US to demand perfection from some one who has only just “come into the world.”

We should nurture newly discovered giftings as though they were life itself, encourage false starts and celebrate the enthusiastic joy that results from finding exciting things in our “pack.”

Newcomers to a new thing, babies and small children know for certain that anything is possible and that everything offers hope for joy and fulfillment. Until somebody “more experienced” who “knows better” tells them of impossibility or offers discouragement.

And while I’m at it…we should treat ourselves with this same kindness…perfection is not required.

Or even possible.

All that is possible is that we approach things with passion and commitment, that we give our gifts our full effort and attention.

What gifts have you discovered? What are the things in your "pack" that are you trying out? What have you neglected that brought you joy and excitement, because you were not perfect at it? What in your life are you compelled to think upon, even though you may have convinced yourself not to act?

Peace, ya’ll!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Be hatched or go bad

This is from The Rebolution Blog:

We are like eggs at present. And we cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. – CS Lewis

In othr words, we can’t just go on being ordinary, decent Christians, giving God part of our lives while holding back the rest. Either we are hatched and learn to fly or we are a dud that will soon start to stink.

The first mark of a tragically wasted life is complacency.

This could apply to more than Christianity. This could apply to marriage relationships, friendships, work, relationships with our children or parents, to our lawns and homes, to our cars, to our hobbies, voting and politics, to virtually any place in our lives.

I’m asking myself today – Feleica, are you complacent!?!?!?!?

Peace, ya’ll!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Scrapping and Sneak Peeks

Today I will be scrapping away my afternoon with Berta and Deb. I’m SO excited to have some time set aside each month to make art. In some months, it has been my sole creative outlet.

The cleaning out process with the office is still…well…in process. Which means I do not have a full handle on my creativity energy just yet. But I DO have a better handle and feel like I could venture into some layouts without struggling to find things (as I did a month ago.)

It’s a good thing that I started cleaning out my office and purging the things that I know I won’t use. To be honest I should do it far more often than I do. BUT the reason I’m so glad of the timing is that CHA is happening at the end of the month and I’ve been drooling over the sneak peaks all over the place. I’m seriously in love with some of this stuff!!!

These are my favorites so far:

Pink Paislee:

Jillibean Soup

Cosmo Cricket:

Crate Paper:

Collage Press:

Maya Road:

I’m off to get some food made before the scrapping begins!

Have a FABULOUS day!

Peace, Ya’ll!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Journey to Authentic

It can be hard to be a woman in the world today. Even considering how far things have come, it seems there are constant pressures from every side to do it RIGHT, do it RIGHT, do it RIGHT and NOW. “right” is often a matter of where you are standing and who might be saying you are “wrong.”

There are a thousand ways to interpret how we “should” be and they depend largely upon where you look for your resources. It can be difficult to find the right direction when you look within to find a path. Perhaps nothing is more difficult than being true to yourself, authentic, confident in your choices and above all, confident that somebody else making a different choice that is also “right” does not in any way diminish you following the path God has laid out for you. I find that children are much better at it than adults. Perhaps because they are more genuinely in touch with who they ARE and not who they SHOULD BE.

In my life, I have been subjected to a seemingly endless barrage of information about how to be a woman – Vogue magazine, the feminist movement, college professors, popular (and unpopular) friends, the man du jour (before I got married) my parents, books, habits, rules, music, videos, cigarette ads, movies, the internet. In context it seems like its ALL “right.” None of them are bad sources of inforamtion, really, depending upon what you are looking for. Yet…for me at least…most of them are NOT right. There is simply no way to be all of the things that the world might tell you to be.

To complicate matters in my own life, I was, once upon a time, trying to be a rock star. Talk about an open door for unsolicited advice! This is an arena where people who know NOTHING about you feel completely comfortable telling you what you should do to make it big. Have any doubts? How many of you watch American Idol and have something to say about the performances? How many of you have actually stood on a stage and performed in front of cameras and a huge audience? See…we all do it and we all think maybe we know how to make something better. I’ve been watching “so you think you can dance” and make comment after comment about their dancing. I’m CERTAIN that I could not even attempt the things those amazing men and women do…yet, there I am in my arm-chair dancer stance, passing judgement and making comments…

Perhaps the most obscure unsolicited advice I ever received was to wear tight pants with thick vertical stripes so I could look thinner. At the time I weighed in at a hefty 130 pounds, but felt devastated that all my hard work to sound great and look hot was summed up into a single phrase that I could now interpret as “dress like a circus clown so you can look like heroin addict.”

Odd, no?

Navigating the maze of rights and wrongs in the world is something I suppose I have been marginally successful with. I neither dressed in vertical stripes nor became a rock star. I was closer to the latter when I finally realized that the rock star dream was to remain unfulfilled. I can suppose that means I was closer to “success” than “failure.” At any rate I was certainly truer to the me I felt inside than to the me that everyone around me wanted to create.

Authenticity, tho, has probably been harder for me since becoming a Christian than it ever was before. There is a concerted effort in the Christian community to press women into molds. I think this is because when women come to Christianity, they want to know how to “do” it. They want to learn how to act, whom to admire, where to look for the way its “done.” And Christianity has certainly defined roles for men and women…and these roles are decidedly NOT what the world might dictate.

Yet…in the process of discovery, I think we miss one very important thing. We are, before all other things, children of God, created with unique personalities, gifts, insights and drives to do unique work with other unique individuals. It simply requires authenticity. It simply cannot be fully accomplished by a bunch of people all running around trying to somebody they are not.

It’s a tough thing to comprehend, I guess, when the message of Christianity is that obedience to one God is the primary focus. Still…the obedience is to the very one that created us as we are – unique – and so WHY oh WHY would He want to dictate that we be just the same as the woman down the pew from us? He would not. He REVELS in our imperfection. He REVELS in our uniqueness. He REVELS when we are who he created us to be.

Ok…that’s a wow moment. Did you see it? He REVELS when you are just who you are. I started to really ponder this whole concept long ago. I get little glimpses of who I really am sometimes and its sort of fun and sort of startling and sort of frustrating all at the same time. Its ultimately absolutely exciting.

To reach that person, I have to stop myself from buying another how to book, looking for another person to admire, seeking instructions on this thing called MY life. I have to quiet myself. Identify myself. Look into my own heart….notice the cracks, the broken places, the vibrantly alive parts, the places with spiderwebs I’ve not been in ages. I have to touch my own heart, listen carefully for what it tells me…and then do what it directs me to do.

Being genuinely in touch with my own heart is unbelievable…I start to really believe in things that I question all the time…I’m smart, I’m a good mama, I’m a good wife, I’m an artist and a poet, I’m not a type-A process driven control freak. THAT is a person I LEARNED to be from OTHER people. Don’t get me wrong, I LIKE order…its EASIER than chaos…but to be so in control and so regimented is NOT who I am. I am comfortable within process, but I am NOT energized by constant droning of a life trudged out following the steps of another. My growing dissatisfaction with where I am now in my life has made it abundantly clear that working, earning a living, fitting in bath time and story time at the end of the day and creativity on weekends is no longer ENOUGH of me to make life the exhilarating journey that God intended.

When I get truly authentic, I realize that change is on my horizon again…and this time I’m not as willing to just do what is required of me by my husband, children, boss, etc…this time I’m not as content to settle for what MUST be done. This time I’m ready for somebody besides me to bet he responsible one, so I can get on with being AUTHENTIC to who God has made me to be.

Whew…now that is something to chew on…

Peace, ya’ll!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Cleaning and Browsing

The last six months of my crazy schedule have really taken a toll on our home, my creativity and most of all my office.

Though I set out to embrace my life at the beginning of the year, I think it sort of embraced me and then ran off willy-nilly with me dragging along behind.

So…The last couple of weeks have been particularly blissful in terms of getting myself grounded, rested and back on some kind of a normal routine.

I found that I have a lot of ambition to clean, organize, and dig out from under the accumulation of To-Do’s, To-Reads, To-Fix’s, and To-Call’s. Put simply, I would really like my neat and tidy, orderly life back. I had a good thing at the beginning of the year – the business stayed business, was dealt with swiftly and efficiently and any residual trauma was kept to a minimum. I’m more creative and I sleep better when the little things stay little, when I deal with the every day life stuff as it comes and not “when I have time,” and when I am not surrounded by mountains of scrapbooking supplies, laundry and home improvement tasks.

I started the year with the ambitious thought to clean out and unclutter. Unfortunately that requires consistent time at home, something that I didn’t really have. Now I have it and I’m more determined than ever to clean out closets and get a bit of the “stuff” out of our home. Since finding out another little one will be here by Christmas, I’m even more determined to get rid of old clothes, paint, put up shelves, sort out the things we don’t need or use and replace them with good old space.

I began with my office…I’ll show you pictures tomorrow about where I started. It was ugly. I’m about ½ way through. My donate pile is enormous!!!!

When the office is done, the spare bedroom will be next. Its full of clothing that is either in various stages of being laundered or clothing that we’ve been given for Jayden that needs to be sorted and put into proper bins by age for future use. After the spare bedroom is cleaned out, it will be painted, new bedding will be purchased, and the new desks and shelving will be installed so that my dear husband can move himself out of what will be the boy’s new room.

The next task is the boy’s room – a task that will require the removal of a very ugly border, a very ugly toy-train shelf and then painting. We already have his new furniture, but he cannot have it until we move him to his new digs. Its bigger and he will have a real dresser and lots more space. AND if he has weird talking dreams (like he does now) I’m less likely to be awakened at 3:00 am by his chatter.

Then, of course, is the nursery. Since we don’t know if we are having a boy or a girl yet, I cannot say if we will be doing general clean up and reconstructing the crib, or if we will be painting and selecting new bedding. You see if it’s a boy, he will have essentially what Jay. If it’s a girl, tho, the jungle theme will probably be replaced by something less…ummmmm….jungle-y.

If I still have any energy left, we will paint our bedroom and bathroom and get that in order…I have very little intention, beyond painting, to tackle the downstairs until we have this second one beyond the point where it will color on the table. Living room and kitchen are definitely a bit down the road, although I do want to paint, add some curtain panels and find some art that appeals to me.

While I was making plans and sorting scrapbook paper into colors, I got all inspired to look at a few new books. These are the three that intrigued me the most today…

I think I’ll pop by Barnes on my way home and see what these look like in person…

Maybe I’ll get dug out AND inspired!!!

Peace, ya’ll!!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Let Freedom Ring

Now that I reside in North Carolina, I’ve become fascinated with some of the history.

One of the neatest things I’ve discovered is that North Carolina was the first of the colonies to take official action declaring independence from England. They authorized their Continental Congressional delegates to vote for independence on April 12, 1776.

The Declaration of Independence is a surprisingly modern document – timeless. As I read, I drew parallels with the modern age I could not have imagined our founding fathers would anticipate.

The LA Times blog Top of the Ticket states:
The United States' Declaration of Independence may well be the most cited yet least read or understood document in American history.

Oh, how I do agree…

Especially the part about how all men are created equal…we all know that part, right?

The blog goes on to say:

Some have suggested over the years that each responsible U.S. citizen should take the occasion of the Nation's birthday to read that precious document every year, something like pausing at Thanksgiving to give thanks or at New Year's to ponder what's past and ahead.

I agree with this too…

You can have a read of the text here.

And even look at a side-by side comparison of the versions here.

There is a readable image of the document here.

And if you want to see what it looks like today, try here.

Actually, if you want to really take a good browse through all things US History, this site is fabulous.

Happy Independence Day, ya’ll!

Let Freedom Ring

Friday, July 03, 2009

Heard at our House – Advanced concepts

Jayden: Mommy, what is this day?
Mommy: Today is Thursday.
What is last day?
Yesterday was Wednesday.
What is next day?
Tomorrow is Friday.
No, Mommy. Next day is Fwiday!

Mommy: Did you know there is a Buzz Lightyear costume in your closet?
Jayden: Dere is?
You could pretend to be Buzz Lightyear.
Who is Woody?
I don’t know. Who do you think should be Woody?
You, Mommy.
Ok. I’ll be Woody. Who will Daddy be?
Daddy can be Potato Head.

Looking at the cover of Tennis magazine:
Jayden: Mommy, do you know dis is?
Mommy: Who is it, buddy?
Dat Mishter Rowjer Fredrerer.
That’s Roger Federer?
Yes…dat Mishter Rowjer Fredrerer.
Do you know why he’s famous?
No. His name is Mishter Rowjer Fredrerer.

Trying to inspire use of the potty.
Mommy: I’m going to be so happy for you when you use the potty. I think we will celebrate. I’ll make cupcakes.
Jayden: Cupcakes?
With does color fings on dem?
With sprinkles?
Uh-huh! Wif prinkles!
Yes. Cupcakes with sprinkles. When you use the potty we’ll celebrate.
I wanna use da potty NOW!

Jayden: Mommy! Day going to the park!
Mommy: They are going to the park?
Uh-huh! The baby park!
The baby park? I thought they said Colonel Beatty Park.
Uh-huh. Day said Colonel baby park!

Peace, ya'll.