Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Ramblings

I had some ideas for posts that I wanted to do this week.
Until our world was upended on Friday, December 14.
A post on Washi Tape just wasn't going to happen. I can hardly think of what to write a week later. It all seems so trivial compared to the heartbreak of the families in Newtown. 

I have read some beautiful posts that bring some clarity, a sense of understanding of what we are trying to grieve with and for those parents and family members.

 Kelle Hampton brought me back to what is important in this post last night. Diana Trout has a great idea for something to DO. Brene Brown has a fabulous post Here.
From Brene's post, I found this 26 Acts of Random Kindness, which brought tears to my eyes. All of these led to this Friday's Rambling.

I put Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus under glass this year.
I'm not sure if my eldest was horrified or thought it was quite funny.

This set has been at my Mom's for as long as I can remember. 
I have been enamored with this particular Baby Jesus since I was very little. In my mind, this little figurine was pretty close to the real deal. He brought hope and promise. Maybe even the magic of Christmas.

The Baby Jesus figurine has somewhat lost it's allure for me as I have gotten older. Not that I'm not enamored with Baby Jesus. It's stupendous to me to think of God entering this world as a baby.

This year, it's Mary who has my attention.

She just looks so darned tired.
 I mean, really. Who wouldn't be? Riding a donkey right before you are about to give birth and then having to settle for a stable for a birthing room cannot be energetic in any form.
This particular Mary has that tired look on her face that says, "I am quite certain that if I don't close my eyes for just 5 minutes, my head is going to roll right off of my shoulders and land in the water trough."

But then she takes another look at her child, and you can see just a ghost of a smile.

That's what I'm going to do this Christmas.
Take another look at my children.
In so caring for mine, maybe it will honor those who have been lost to us.

We will eat our breakfast together, and say prayers.
We will bake together and I'll watch my children as they interact. I will memorize the shape of their hands as they work, and imprint the sound of their voices on my heart.

I will squeeze them just a little tighter, and linger a little longer with them.

And then I'll pray. I'll pray for those Mamma hearts that are in so much grief right now. And I'll pray for the Daddies that can't tuck in their children at night and for the brothers and sisters that don't understand.

 I'll cry when I need to, and not feel like I shouldn't. Maybe I'll even close my eyes for five minutes.

Blessings to you and yours this Christmas. May you find true joy with your family and friends and be able to take another look at what is meaningful to you.
Much love.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Friday Rambling

A short ramble this week, as my computer is on the fritz and I'm attempting to do this with an iPad. I don't like typing  a lot on the touch screen-it makes me nuts. I keep hitting the letter N instead of the space bar and to go back and correct is a nightmare. Plus, it automatically puts words in for me that I don't want. I'm sure there is a way around this, but I don't have the time or patience to figure it out.
Note to self:
Migraine type headache is not worth the effort it is taking to upload photos from the iPad. Hence the blog from the iPhone. as in, iGive...iWavethewhiteflag...iHavetofinishchristmas.
iHope you don't mind.
****ha. I figured it out. It only cost me $2.99 for an app, but I think I figured out the great "I".

Well, well, well. The Christmas season is truly upon us.

I woke up this morning realizing I remembered what it was I did not want to repeat this year. I did not want to have a billion things left to do when my eldest came home from college for break. I have four days left before she comes home.......

It could be doable, since I am doing Christmas "light" this year.

Speaking of light, check out our tree this year. I decided to only put up the small one in the family room this year. I bought it through our school to support a fundraiser. They delivered the tree to the school and all I had to do was pick it up. It came with a stand and everything. It was advertised as a 3-4 ft. Tree.

The catch? It's about eighteen inches tall.

I learned its better to give than to receive this year.

I have discovered some holiday magic. 

Hallmark Christmas movies, you know the cheesy 25 days of Christmas that the Lifetime channel runs? Well, Brenna and I are having a blast watching hem. We turn on the two strands of lights on our miniature tree, curl up with my now tranquilizer dog on the couch and color together while we watch happy endings for single women, widowed dads and Santa's son.

You should try it!

Seriously, I hope your days are full of hope and expectation for the coming good news of the birth of a baby who came to bring peace....not stress and bah humbug!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Ramblings

This is Baby Step number 4 to bring Christmas to my house.
So far, it's the only decorating I've done and I kinda like it...just a little bit now and then.

My red cup summed up one of my days last week. Thank goodness I share these photos with my sweet friend, Amy. She seriously helps to keep me sane.

Why did I have a snowman-throwing-his-hands-up-in-surrender kind of a day, you ask?
Two Words.
Miss Party.
Oh, yeah. Miss Smarty Pants Me thought it would all be resolved with the full dose of prozac..
Too bad she went beserk when I went to the grocery store the other day and chewed on the door frame to the garage until she bled.
I thought I would be kind and gentle and leave the door open to the garage and just close the screen. You know..so she could see out.
I don't think she appreciated it, as she chewed through the screen and was in the garage to greet me when I pulled in after picking up B from school.
She's lucky she didn't get run over.
Now, when I leave, I make sure to put on her Thundershirt. Or, if I don't have to stop anywhere, I'll just give up and take her in the car for a ride.

I have called the vet and to my surprise, he has a dog that he sees in his clinic that is very similar to Miss Party and is on Prozac and ..... a very small dose of tranquilizers.
Yep. I'm in.
This way, if she chews on the door again, I'll take the dose of tranquilizers myself before I tell my husband.
Hey. Maybe I'll get myself a Thundershirt and I'll change the blog name to Greyskies and it will be all about neuroses.

Next subject, please.

I am keeping up with my card for the day, thanks to Deb.

I did have to do two today, but I'm all caught up.
This one is my favorite. I'm listening HARD. 
I'm listening for joy. For Grace. I can hear it a little bit when it's quiet. 

I got up to take a break and saw this sweet bird out my kitchen window.
How vibrant he is against the green. 
I bet he doesn't need a Thundershirt.
Probably doesn't even need Prozac.
Maybe I should get a bird.

I took a journaling class with Pam Garrison a while back, and I thought I would share what I learned with Brenna's class.
We will be putting photos in our finished project.

The kids had so much fun.

We talked about patterns, covering the paper, practiced on the white board...

It was a surprise to them what we would be doing that afternoon. One student asked if we would be making candy and was a little disappointed when I said no.

I think they were o.k. with the end results..

I can't wait to see how beauty will come from these. Each one is so very unique.
We will work on them a little bit each week.

I wish you could have been there to hear the conversation around the table while we were working.

I can't wait until the color goes on!!

To all of you.
 May your days be full of grace and your hearts be listening to what is important...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Christmas Word A Day.

Time for me to be intentional.

My idea is to write one card a day.

A different kind of Advent Calendar.

A word that comes to mind for the day, or one that I've taken from a devotion or one that makes me think of Christmas.
I've cut Christmas themed scrap book paper into 3x5 cards, written the word...

and doodled away.

It brings peace to my mind and quietness for half an hour or so.

Want to join me?

One card. One word. One day.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Rambles About Love

I'm supposed to be soldering necklaces right now.
I have a million things to do today, but you know when something hits you between the eyes (besides grief or guilt) sometimes you just have to get it out.

A little background:
I'm working on vulnerability right now. Things like trust, perfection, and making sure others around me are o.k. at the cost of me and who I am are something I have done a good job on all my life.

 The thought of letting go is terrifying. The thought of not doing something right is terrifying. The thought of living with my hands open is something I desperately want, but am afraid of. I'm afraid a lot in my life, and have much anxiety. I do a fabulous job of hiding it, and much of life we have to just face wether we want to or not and life happens anyway, which is why my body has rebelled and decided emotions are to be voiced and felt and when they are not, in my case, I developed Ulcerative Colitis when I was 40.

Fast forward to last night.
I was at a Bible study last night with Brenna. It's a pretty cool group. Lots of younger people (I'm facing it. I'm not as young as the college age group.) Just being there with Brenna was a kick. Watching her soak up the energy and loving to meet new people is just up her alley. She is so brave. We were singing Oh How He Loves by David Crowder, and Brenna tends to get fairly emotional during worship. I stepped over to the couch she was sitting on to see if she was doing o.k. and she was fine...so I continued to sit there, listening to the words and watching Brenna snuggle into her newest friend, a gorgeous Japanese exchange student with a sweet heart, and it was like I was struck by lightening.
God loves me.
He loves me enough to send me this GIFT in a child with disabilities. 

To show me through her my vulnerabilities are not going to stop the rotation of the earth. To show through my child how kind, how gracious He is to provide. 
As I look at her and see what she supposed to not be able to do, but does anyway, I see what He does through her. I see how she reaches people in ways I would never dream of. How brave she is to walk through this life with such joy, so much trust.

 I can think I have to somehow pull it together on my own, think that I'm not really worthy, not really. Not worth the attention, the grace, the love. Those doubts that come when I'm trying so hard to figure something out and realize I'm not perfect. Those are the ones that want to slice away any shred of what I'm hanging onto to believe that He really loves me enough to give a rip about my day, let alone my life.

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way...

He loves us
Oh How He Loves-David Crowder

This morning, I read this from Jesus calling:
"In this age of independence, people find it hard to acknowledge their neediness. However, I (Jesus) have taken you along a path that has highlighted your need for Me: placing you in situations where your strengths were irrelevant and your weaknesses were glaringly evident.....You have learned to thank Me for hard times and difficult journeys, trusting that through them I accomplish My best work."

After reading this, I looked at my email and found that a friend shared this song-God Speaking, by Mandisa.
I'm paying attention now.

Brenna and I continued through the Bible study, and sure enough, like clockwork, at 7:45, she let out a huge yawn and looked at me across the room and while someone was talking, she whispered quite loudly, "Can we go now?"
The girl knows how to communicate and get her needs met, yes?
Yet another life lesson to learn. 

I was embarrassed to leave in the middle of things, but I knew time was up, so I made apologies at a lull in conversation and thought we would just slip out the door.
Miss I Love Everyone gave hugs all the way out the door, giving out as much as she was soaking up.
Oh, she was so happy. It was just enough for her. Meeting, loving, singing, leaving. That's all. 
So, home we went, got in our jammies, the dog jumped on the bed and we read a story and snuggled some more and I drank it up. The sweet, pure love and happiness from such simple things.  

Thanks for listening.
I'm going to go solder now..

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Declaration Of Being Intentional

I have said it before, but it's coming up over and over and in full force. 
Grief is confusing.
One minute I'm realizing I don't have my mother at Christmas and thinking my chest will break.
The next minute, I'm realizing I don't have my mother at Christmas and a small wave of relief whispers over me and the guilt hits me between the eyes.
Therefore, I'm resurrecting my "word of the year" from 2011.


"The act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result."

I'm declaring December to be a month of intention for myself in the form of journaling and thinking.
The words need to go somewhere, the thoughts need to be released. What better way than an art journal? I have been working on a meditative way to journal and am enjoying it.

 Lots of repetition is used, focusing on a word or phrase, and as the repetition progresses, the thought process flows. 
I'm also using free writing on a couple of pages and going back over the words and circling different words that keep cropping up, or outlining words with the most passion. 

I'm also being intentional about giving my dog her medicine and walking her. The family is rallying and so far no doors have been harmed in the process.

Along with Intention, Christmas is happening in baby steps.
It started with a candle this last weekend. It seemed doable to put this pretty candle from Anthropologie out and maybe, sort of, think about decorating. 

Baby step number two:

I have had some each day and it is a good thing.

Baby step number three:

I added my favorite Christmas mug.

This always helps:

If you are journaling this month,
leave a link in the comments so we can come and see!!
We can encourage each other through this time to see the joy and goodness and HOPE for the season and that we are not alone in our progress.


I have two art shows coming up this weekend-one Saturday, December 1 in Santa Ana for the Santa Ana Art Walk. I'll be in Studio Crescendoh from 7-10:00 p.m. 

The second one is Artists in the Alley on Sunday, December 2 from 12-7:00 p.m. It is located next to Augie's Coffee House...in the alley!

If you are in the area for either show, please stop by and say hello!