Love Me Some Elizabeth Gilbert!

Have any of you seen Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talks?  Amazing!  Her Super-Soul Sundays with Oprah?  Inspirational!  Just makes me want to jump out there and tackle all things Writing and Creative.

Today, Liz offered inspiration in a different realm of my life… My how to be and think like a better person realm.  She posted the below on her Instagram and it just really struck me.  “It is not what you hate that makes you an interesting person, but what you love…”  Something to think of.

I know I am the type of person who could be compared to a firecracker (or at least that’s the analogy my husband uses).  I am MUCH better now but it is real struggle for me to not instantly react to something guns a-blazin’.  Much like a firecracker, I am lit easily, have the  boom and then its over.  Or at least for me it was over.  I never gave much forward thinking to the aftermath of my impulses.  Instead, I embraced my “firecracker self” for some time.  Justifying it with my childhood, my personality, my age, etc.  I know better now.  Life is funny like that, isn’t it?  Here I am, middle aged and just now getting it.  I certainly did lose people close to me as a result.  And I am sorry for that.  I also am so hopeful and happy that no one is judging the people I lost for behavior they displayed when they were in their teens and early 20’s.  I am sure no one would want to be defined by what they did when they were younger!  My only solution is to try to be the better version of myself whenever I can.  And to remember that its the love I show that is really cool!  The rest is just garbage taking up valuable space in my brain!

So today, I am loving this quote.  To give a brief (and by brief I mean minuscule) history of this from Liz herself.  She said she overheard a father telling his young daughter this the other day!  Go, DAD!

IMG_4690Be well all!  XOXO

Hand-Lettered with Love

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I started this really fun hand-lettering course that I inadvertently found on Instagram. An artist named Caroline Weingeart posted a hand-lettered quote onto Elizabeth Gilbert’s Instagram page. I checked out her website : http://www.madevibrant.com and decided I would sign up for her online e-course.  It has been so fun- I try to do something each day.   It is a course you can work at your own pace. Totally fun and only $20- well worth it for this creative girl!

So I have shown the first hand-lettered print I made the other day. It is a lyric from my husband and I’s wedding song.  Fitting since we are celebrating our wedding anniversary soon!  I really am a lucky woman.

If you get the chance, you should check out Caroline at http://www.madevibrant.com.

I know I’m enjoying the new creative outlet!

*On a side note- I have given myself the challenge of writing one post per day for 30 days.  I hope you will share what you read if you enjoy it and even more importantly- drop me a comment!*

Baltimore

Hello friends!

Given our close proximity to Baltimore, I would be remiss if I didn’t post about what is happening in Baltimore, MD.  If any of you have had access to any news outlet in the last 24 hours, you know the city is in a severe state of unrest.  Worse, tonight it is ablaze in many areas of the city – mostly at the hand of the city’s youth.

The protests turned riots were sparked by the death of Freddie Gray who died while in police custody under circumstances not yet explained.  All that has been determined thus far is that Mr. Gray ran from officers and then was apprehended and arrested. He went into the police transport van  belligerent, uncooperative but intact.  He was taken from the van unresponsive and with a severe spinal injury.

The police have vowed to release all information soon. I feel I am in no position here to really issue an opinion as I don’t have all the facts.  I would have hoped the citizens of Baltimore took the same approach, but the city burns…

In watching the news coverage, I looked at my young children. Ages 3,4 and 5.  So innocent and completely free from hate. Not a bone in their body hates anyone. I think if we brought a diverse group of children the same age as mine into my home, from all ethnicities, they would play and have fun. They may ask questions but the differences would not divide but rather open the door to questions and learning. Our children, mine and yours, do not hate. It is learned. It is not in a child’s capabilities to hate their neighbors, to hate those different from them, to hate police officers, to hate period. It is  taught to them. What are you teaching your children?  What are the lessons being taught around your towns? Wouldn’t it be great to get back to the innocence of a 5 year old? No hatred. No violence. No looting. No stealing. No bullying.

We all need to work on teaching our children to love and respect each other. At the same time, teach them to be men and women worthy of the love and respect they are demanding.

It is a two-way street. Always.

A New Love Letter

I heard such resounding accolades on my post about my love letters to the children! I’d like to thank you all publicly for the support and kind words. They mean a ton!

Last night I was having trouble sleeping and I grabbed my composition book with the intention of jotting down a quick love note to Clever when I had a thought. To best explain this, I need to tell you that Clever is only 5 but he is always talking about the “girl” he is going to marry. He will ask me what I think she looks like, where she lives, what she likes to do, etc.  I am telling you, this boy is an old man stuck in a 5 year old’s body.  A few weeks ago, he brought up this “girl” and said, “I am going to buy my wife a really nice, big and pretty house for her to live in.” My breath was taken away.  He was just being so sweet and chivalrous. Then he looked at me and said, “Yea, I am going to buy her a really great house.  And I’m going to live here with you.”  Priceless, right?

So back to last night… I got to thinking.  This “girl” is most likely alive and out there living her life that is molding her into the person my little boy will grow up to adore.  I realized that there was probably a very good chance that all 4 of my future children (in-laws if we have to get technical) were here on this great Earth already.  And for the first time since starting these journals I thought, “I want to talk to you all too”.  My future kids who will be loving my children throughout their lives. Yes, they are definitely important peeps to our family’s makeup as well.

Last night I began with Clever’s wife.  I won’t divulge all I wrote her. That’s for another time, if ever at all.  What I can share is the deep desire I had that she was living a happy and safe life. That she can run, believe and dream and it is okay.   That her family supports her and sees her. And that they cherish what they see and who she is. I wish these things not only because it will be better for my son but because all little ones should be able to be wild and free. I want those things for her because I know how important she will be to our family and I want her to have had the best life!  Despite the misconception that is out there about in-laws, I wanted to let her know that I was thinking of her, praying for her, wishing for her and loving her YEARS before she would ever be in our lives.

I also wrote to her that I am raising a very sweet, caring, audacious little boy that will be so good to her and cherish her. That it’s her I am thinking of when I am teaching him to open doors as well as to put his clothes in the hamper .  😀.  That I am still working on getting the toilet seat thing down, literally -but I still have time!  I am trying to prepare him to be the best man. He surely is one of the best boys!

After my letter to Clever’s girl was done, I hand-lettered a picture for her.  I hope she loves it and us!

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“Ah…Push it…Push it Real Good”

IMG_4602I am going to ask all my followers and regular check ins a question (though I have to say with a high degree of certainty, I already know the answer).  Do you ever get in a bad mood?  A funk?  A ‘woe is me’ kind of mentality?  Really?  You do?  Gosh, you all suck!  That NEVER happens to me!

HA HA HA HA!  Just joking!  Of COURSE I do!  We all do.  Some of us more than others (and you know the kind peeps I am talking about…)

Well, I was kind of headed in that direction today.  No particular reason.  Just feeling overwhelmed thinking of my “HoneyDo” list and the appointments I have, etc.  I was driving down a back road getting ready to spearhead the pity party when I saw a man mowing his yard.  He was using a push mower and he was sweatin’.  A Lot!  And thats cool, its a gland thing- whatever.  BUT as I am watching him (NO! I wasn’t checking him out – my hubby is still my forever Rockstar- I was stuck behind a trash truck), I realized that not only was this man pushing his mower in the sun and sweating, he had several bees around him.  SEVERAL.  He was swatting at them and he looked to be in a precarious situation.  I was nervous and I was in my vehicle with the windows up.  I can say with confidence he was getting stung.  He had to be getting stung.  Poor guy… And then I noticed something else about this man.  He was smiling and waving to the men taking his trash, to me, to everyone.  He looked like he was happy and having a fabulous day.

It got me to thinking…If this man can be going through just the things I am seeing, the sun, the sweat, the manual labor, the BEES and he is still smiling?  I better be packing up any pity party decorations and plans I had and start smiling as well!

My mantra today when it gets hectic and wild?

PUSH MOWER THROUGH IT!

Try it!  It can be your mantra too…I’ll share!  🙂

XOXO

PREP!

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These goodies were waiting for me when I got home today!  Goodies from Prep Cosmetics!  P.R.E.P. is Powerful. Real.Everyday. Protection.  For Girls!

So many great products arrived in AMAZINGLY cute packaging!  Can’t wait to have my PREP girls try everything out and I am also super excited at the prospect of writing for a company that puts girls FIRST!

Check out this company and its products for your chicas!

http://www.prepyourskin.com

I am gonna report back on the success of my PREP Pampering Parties for the girlies in my life!

Today is a sunny day!  Thanks PREP!

Love Letters to our Little Peeps

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Greetings!!! So a while ago, I got to thinking about people who had blessed my life with their presence and who are no longer here. I was wishing that I had some way to know how they felt about me. Some way to see in their own words how they were feeling and what they were thinking while I was growing up. My father, my grandmother…both of whom I would have loved to have a love letter from to cherish always.

Fast forward to me sitting sadly in the “What-ifs” and the “I wish I had this” moment… I decided that since I thought that I would like something like that, I was going to give that to my children. So I grabbed a typical composition book (not fancy- nothing jazzy or special) and I decided to write LOVE letters to my children. Anytime the inspiration dawned on me me or they did something to twinge my heart, I’ve been writing it down. Sometimes I write funny things they say or do, sometimes I write a letter about something that I’m feeling. My entries are for them. For example, to Clever I have written to always keep his vibrant personality and his inquisitive mind. I think it is so important and so special to him and so unique and it just adds to his character and I want him to know I see that and I love that!   For Dapper I want him to know how his sweet voice has just been music to my ears from the very first moment I first heard it and it melts my heart each and every time.  That he is cherished even though he may feel at times lost in the shuffle of his siblings.    Studious’ letters are a little more intricate since she’s getting so much older and an (gulp) adult. I am able to really delve into serious topics and discuss things that she may not feel comfortable coming to me with.  It also allows me the opportunity to share my feelings and thoughts on them. With  Spicy,  I just want to make sure I’m recording and enjoying everything she’s doing for the first time and that she knows that even though she’s the fourth child, I’m seeing all the many of the things she’s doing and they are all still unique and special to me just like she is. That can get lost on the last child. I don’t want it to get lost on her.

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So now you get the gist of how I use my notebook in terms of content. Now to the basics of what tools you would need if you would like to make these love letters/diaries for your children.

As I mentioned earlier, I used a basic composition book and I decided from the beginning that I would use ONLY ONE BOOK FOR ALL MY LETTERS. This means that I would not use individual books for each child. I thought having four separate books would be daunting and overwhelm me so I stuck with one at a time.   One book held all of my letters. What I would do is make sure that the back of each note was blank so if/when the children want to tear it out when they are older , they will not be taking a portion of a letter/note from their brothers or sisters. As I fill one composition book, another is purchased and the cycle of mad love continues!
I use markers. I use paint. I use stickers. I use pens, pencils and crayons. I cut out applicable quotes and glue them in, I draw- I do whatever comes to me. Whatever inspiration I am feeling. Sometimes I just write something funny stuff they say- other times it’s a letter from me.
It is unique to each of them just as yours will be to your child(ren).

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Doing this has fed so many hungers I have had: The desire to be sure my children know how I feel, the wish to record so many of the funny things they come up with each and every day. It also helps me because I can use my writing as another tool to communicate and connect to these four perfect souls I helped make! Pretty cool stuff over here! Extraordinary!!!