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Archive for January, 2011

I’m stuck

I’m working on piece right now that is for a Valentines Art Auction for Aids at a local coffee shop that I have been invited to the last five years.
I’ve painted, I’ve gathered little bits of this and that. And I’m still stuck. But I really want to assemble something with this group of things: I like the idea of love found, like finding a favorite leaf or an old letter.

It’s due tomorrow.
And I know I should have turned this done when I received the invite, but this is the one thing I haven’t given up while I’m working, being a mommy, and graduate student.

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This past year has been about letting go.

There are many, many things I have had to let go in order to realize my goals and be a happier, more content wife and mother.
Before this past year I made the choice to walk away from a few friends who were not good for me. It’s funny that being over 30 and mommy to young kids and I got sucked into a mean girl clique that we would want our daughters to stay away from. I, smart, mature, person that I am feel into the same traps many teen girls fall into. The same traps that I managed to avoid when I was younger.

A few years ago, my twins were just over a year old. I was home with them full time and most of my friends had been other teachers who had either moved out of state or were working. Everyone was busy and I retreated further inside my mommy role. The only problem? I liked people, I liked talking to other women, and I missed adult interaction. So I joined a women’s bible study at the church we sporadically attended. And eventually formed friendships with a few women close to my age, who had children a little older. I really thought I found what I was needing, a group of women who’d been in the trenches of mommy-hood, we could laugh and support each other. We’d have mommy nights out at one of their houses once or twice a week.

The reality? Mommy nights out were just an excuse to drink and eat a lot. They were also times to give poor dumb me “advice”. They knew it all, they’d been there and they reminded me often that I was a new mommy and really clueless. These nights would sometimes include some kind of home party where I could be talked into buying some dumb thing I didn’t need.

This went on for a little over a year. And then I started working part time and really felt that:
a) these women were not supportive of me mainly they’d criticize me, my husband and tell me all the things I was doing wrong
b) all I did was drink too much -which if you have as many alcoholics in your family as I do-that’s a bad habit
c) this “relationship” caused more problems between my husband and I who were already struggling as it was.

Breaking free of these women wasn’t the hard part. No, the hard part was letting go the guilt and shame I felt because I was so stupid and needy that I let myself be
influenced by them. Stupid and needy. Not very good self talk right? But I judge no one harsher than I judge myself. I also held on to a lot of resentment towards these women who I considered my friends, who I thought were my support group.

It’s been almost two years since I have spent time with these women and it wasn’t until this last fall when I started working full time that I was finally able to forgive. I have forgiven these women in my heart, but I will not ever trust them or spend time with them. Forgiving doesn’t mean I have to let myself be sucked back into that negative place again.
I have forgiven myself for being an open, honest person, who wears her heart on her sleeve. I am soft-hearted, and what I feel is right out there for you to see. I no longer consider this a
flaw that I need to apologize for.

And I forgive her.


You were an overwhelmed new momma of twins, trying to reach out and make friends, and thought you could trust those friends. You did some dumb things, and maybe you should have known better. But I love you and I forgive you.

Positive self image isn’t something that comes natural to me, negative self talk comes much too easily. I’m working on it. But in the meantime I look at what used to be my little chubby babies and see these two amazing, smart, funny, wonderful little people.

And everything else seems pretty pointless.

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This was my last weekend before my next graduate class starts up: Research Statistics. And yes, it’s probably going to be as bad as it sounds. But I ignored it (helps that I still don’t have my book) and did some last little creating before the pain, I mean class starts.
And I really would like spring to start soon.

I played with two new sets of stamps that I couldn’t resist: nature, birds, and eggs. I had to have these! I was also super smart this time around and made two of each card.

First up a simple card with a raspberry sprig.

Next up a little bird.

A set of eggs.

And finally, a bird cage.

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Winter Water Colors

While on break I managed to break out my old water color travel kit and use the new brushes my sweet husband gave me for Christmas.
Back in my college days, before being employed full time, before babies, I used to carry this little kit with me everywhere. If you are looking to get into water color or get back to it here’s a basic kit:
– small color kit- mine is a set of 12 half-pan colors from Windsor Newton that I’ve had for nearly 10 yrs.
– at least one portable brush. Dick Blick has a few
– water color post cards, or do like I do and rip 3×5 in cards from a large piece of water color paper
– small plastic bottle of water
I have a brush that has a water reservoir built in that works fine and is easier to find than a travel brush, but I prefer to dip and paint

Here are the paintings I did this last week.

Winter Trees with farm cat

Cow Study

Skunk Cam

My dad was trying to catch a skunk that lives under his chicken coop so it would stop killing his chickens, he placed a small video camera on the coop to attempt this.

Mom’s Cabinets

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Stayed the entire two weeks at my parent’s farm with the kids. My hubby stayed the first week for Christmas but had to go back to work. My folks don’t have internet, they’ve had problems getting a good connection and finally just quit trying since they don’t use it much. This is frustrating for my husband and I who both have work to do online.
The good news is that instead of working all break like I thought I would I lived in the moment. And tried to stay warm.

Our daily routine was:
-get the fire going
-keep the fire going
-play, read, watch tv
-paint with kids, do crafts
-sled or 4-wheel
-feed cows with grandpa
-feed chickens and gather the eggs
-make dinner
-keep fire going

A much needed break from the world!

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Mindfulness.
I was inspired by Ali Edwards to come up with a word for the new year. As I still struggle to juggle everything and do what I need to do, take care of my family, work, school, etc. I find that I really need to find a way to carve out time to do something creative. It’s something that I was really missing this fall. And then I look at my half of the shared office and shudder. I have so much STUFF (my new 4 letter word) that I can barely get to my craft table to do anything, and spend what little extra time I do have just trying to find what I’m working on. I also want to lose weight, eat healthier, etc. etc. My life needs to be simpler–who’s doesn’t right?
So as I thought of a word to focus my thoughts on this year I wanted something to reflect thrift, simplicity, intention, and purpose.

Yesterday the word came to me while I was cleaning out the garage with my husband. I explained the one little word thing by Ali and how I wanted a good word, that was more than inspiring. And he really got into and as we talked we realized we were in the same place, wanting to be more deliberate and purposeful. I also want to get out of the habit of crashing and burning when I get home from work. I need to be doing things around the house and with the kids.

This year I want to not blindly stumble around my house trying to find things, I don’t want to be too “tired” for a little adventure with the kids, I don’t want to just eat crap or buy more crap.

I want each thing that I eat, do, and even wear be something I thought about. I will try not to multitask as much. And I will try to clear away the clutter in my house, life, and head. I will try to be in the moment and focus on that moment. Whether it’s being at work, or playing ponies with my girl, or monster trucks with my boy, or having a conversation with my husband. I will be more focused on all of these and more.

I haven’t really made goals for the year and I don’t think I’ll use that “g” word.

But I do have a list of things I want to do:
-drink more water- limit coffee
-drink no soft drinks–bye bye diet coke
-eat no fast food–one of my weaknesses
-eat out no more than once a month with family
-eat no more processed sugar–bye chocolate, sweets!
-workout at least twice a week, try for more
-paint daily- keep my water color kit with me, and try to paint a postcard a day
-take more pictures- a habit I’ve forgotten, so iphone or big camera, I’m clicking away!
-not crashing when I come home from work

I think this is a pretty reasonable list, don’t you?

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