Thursday, October 27

52 Weeks of Creativity: Week 3, Crafting With My Middle Kiddo

Hi, Friends! 

Hello from rainy Buffalo (: 

If you missed my post last week, I’m beginning a personal project called 52 Weeks of Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood. 

(It could be stretched to “Parenthood”  for the dads out there. You needn’t be excluded!)

I’m doing a little bit of catch up  here…Last week was Week 3 of the 52 Weeks of Creativity (I still need to write posts for weeks 1 and 2). Today’s post is about my intentional creative endeavor during Week 3 (last week). I will  always be one week behind because of the nature of the project. I'm going to try to get my new posts up on Mondays, but I can't promise that will always happen. 

I am currently in week 4 and had the pleasure and privilege of attending a Q & A with Ann Voskamp last night, which I will write about for my post on Monday! (What an absolute delight she is, and you should absolutely check out her new book, which I'll tell you a little bit more about next week!) 

So, without further adieu...

52 Weeks of Creativity: Week 3, Crafting with My Middle Kiddo

Week 3 ended up being an afternoon out with my 7 year old girlie, Ella. She’s 7 and loves all things creative and colorful. Scott and I try to do one-on-one’s with the big girls as often as possible. It’s not nearly often enough, but we try. We’re trying to get into a new rhythm where we each take one of them out once a month, so this month I had Ella and he is planning to do something with Ava—next month we'll switch! The one-on-one can be as simple as grabbing a cup of tea at Panera and just talking, having an early morning  (before-school) breakfast, or something a bit more adventurous,  like craft classes or rock climbing. The goal isn’t what we do, it’s just that we do it. 

(We’ll fit Aubrey into the mix when she gets a little bit older, but right now I’m home with Aubrey a lot during the day, so she gets to spend time with me while the girls are at school.)  

So, last Saturday Ella and I ventured out to place in Clarence called Creative Essence. The shop offers adult and children’s classes, as well as birthday parties and open crafting. Because there weren’t any classes that suited our time frame last week we opted to go during  their “open crafting” hours (posted online). Open craft hours allow you to choose from a number of projects in a variety of mediums— from soap and jewelry making, to needle felting, paper crafts and polymer clay projects. If you live in the area you should absolutely check it out.

Ella chose to make a  polymer clay fairy sitting on a painted wooden swing. Super cute! 

It was a fun project and I enjoyed sitting by her side, helping when asked. Michele, one of the owners, gave us a quick demo and then left us to do the project, available if we needed any help. Ella and I had a ton of fun picking clay colors for her fairy and learning how to work with the clay, particularly the small detailed bits of her projects (like the eyes, arms and legs). 

We learned how soften the clay to get it ready by rolling it in our hands, how to run it through the clay press to flatten it out, and how tricky it can be to meld some of the pieces together. I had no idea many cool polymer clay ideas were out there, but after a quick online search I have a feeling there will be more clay projects in our future! Once you create your fairy, or bug, or ball, or whatever it is you've made, the clay bakes in the oven to help it set, making the project  more permanent. 

Here is a photo of Ella with her completed fairy project, and some other photos of the process... 

My favorite part of the day was the ride home, when Ella, completely enthusiastic about her recently created project had oodles to say about art and creativity. 

“Mom! That was SO much fun. I LOVE art. I love that you can start with nothing, a blank page, or just nothing and take stuff, like sparkles or whatever and make something cool.” 

She was beaming. 

I love that too Ella! (:

I told her that it reminded me a little bit of the story of creation. How God started with a blank slate and created the world; animals, flowers, vegetables, humans in all of their bazillion variations. He created it all from nothing. Nothing! 

He breathed life into the world with mere words— as a writer, the mystery and miracle of  that reality is comforting, exciting, encouraging and motivating. When God breathed you into creation with His words it was with intention, and to bring a new and unique beauty into the world. What beauty, life, contribution has He written on your soul to bring forth and express--His creativity shown through you? 

Part of the intent of this project, for me,  is to explore that question on a more personal level. 

Be blessed. Be a blessing. Do something creative this week! 

Friday, October 21

52 Weeks of Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood: An Introduction

photo courtesy of google images

This is the beginning, the first post, in a yearlong pursuit to integrate more creativity into my day-to-day life as a mom: 52 Weeks of Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood. 

I’ve hemmed and hawed about whether or not I should make such a big commitment because the type-A part of me will certainly be frustrated if I don’t follow through.  However, after much consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is important, and worthwhile, and will hopefully impact not just mine, but my family’s life, for the better. 

 I’ve always considered myself a “creative” person. As a little girl I could be found drawing, learning to crochet with my grandmother, asking my mom for pottery kits at Christmastime and spending time on needlepoint projects in 5th grade. I loved colors and crafts, patterns and projects. Art classes fueled something inside of me that no other pursuit could tangibly accomplish. I wrote poems to my parents and friends, drew pencil drawings of tigers for family members, and spent hours making ornaments and yarn angels for craft shows.  My dad still has one of my pencil drawn sunflowers hanging in his bedroom.  

In recent years my creativity has been mostly focused on writing projects and craft projects with the kids in the limited free time that I've had. But, in the last two years, I've found myself too tired even for that on some days. 

This parenting gig, you know,  it’s kind of a big deal and a serious time commitment. If you can't "do it all" (and really, who can?!) it's often the things we love the most (after our kids, of course!) that begin to feel irrelevant and have to be sidelined. Children don’t tend to respond well when you tell them that there’s no dinner or clean socks for the next three days because you have a paper mache project begging to be finished.  

I’m kidding. 

Kind of. 

The reality is that when I first became a mom I was incredibly enthusiastic about a lot of things; especially craft projects that helped to pass the long hours at home with toddlers and preschoolers .  I took my creative instincts, marched myself into Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics and the craft aisle at Target and started buying crafty paraphenalia like it was nobody’s business; markers, crayons, paint, sequins, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, craft sticks, stickers, scrapbook supplies, colored paper, beads, yarn, seven different kinds of glue, blank greeting cards…you name it, I bought it. 

The sky was the limit and craft stores offered me an endless array of options for filling what were sometimes very long days.  We painted, made collages, stuck foam craft kits together, attempted homemade bracelets, mod podged things like leaves to the the side of baby food jars to make seasonal votives, dumped glitter and glue onto construction paper, chalk drawings on black card stock…the list goes on. Fortunately, at that point, either Pinterest hadn’t totally taken off or I was living in too much of a bubble to pay attention, otherwise we might have had to declare bankruptcy due to craft store expenditures. 

But then one day, about two years ago, I walked into Michael’s on a random afternoon and was no longer enthusiastic about being there.  As I roamed up and down the aisles that evening,  I realized how tired, unenthusiastic, and overwhelmed I was. Was this the simply a case of the craft store blues or something bigger that I needed to pay attention to? Who knew a case of subtle depression could come to a head in the bead aisle?!  I didn’t want to buy one more thing. Not one more! It no longer represented possibilities, but potential messes. Lots of them. I didn’t want to buy the stuff, store the stuff, or clean the stuff up. I was DONE! 

In part I was just really tired. Aubrey, our third daughter was one and the day-to-day grind of meeting the needs of three kiddos had taken its toll. I wasn’t reading very much (one of my favorite pastimes), I dreamed of writing something more structured than a tired journal entry at the end of the day, and there were unfinished house projects and never-ending piles of mess everywhere I looked.

 I was in a bit of a funk. 

Scott and I have joked that after having baby #1 we eventually found a new normal. After having baby #2 we also, eventually, found a new normal. Can you guys what happened after baby #3? Never found it. No "new normal". Or, perhaps we actually did find it, but weren't sure we liked the pace of it. The no sleep, never ending domestic tasks, around the clock parenting responsibilities. We both got a little cranky for a while. 

Quite frankly, I can’t say that things have changed that much since then, except that we’ve adjusted to life as a family of five and we’re getting a little bit more sleep…well, once in a while we get a little more sleep. Our littlest one somehow finds herself in our bed way more than her big sisters ever did, but somehow because she's the "baby" we can't bear to send her back to her own bed!  

The truth is that despite adjusting to the busier family dynamics I’ve grown much more comfortable, content and confident in my role as mother.  I’ve done a lot of deep spiritual work over the last two years and can honestly tell you I feel a deeper sense of peace about life in general. God has healed places in my heart that I didn’t even know needed healing and I’m humbled by it and grateful for it. 

I’m not sure how all or this ties together, except that two weeks ago, when I attended the Breathe Writers Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan and then several days later  when I had the opportunity to see Finding Neverland with my husband, a sense of urgency for the creative was reignited in my spirit. In both instances I was awed by the power of the creative and compelled to craft a more creative life for both myself and my family. 

This project came out of those moments of inspiration. 

I started a list of “creative pursuits” in my journal and have been reading our newspaper's  entertainment section with a renewed fervor. In recent years I would read through the list of plays, readings, and art shows in a given week and merely think about how it 'might be fun' to attend such outings. Rarely would I make the time to actually do so. Over the next year however, as part of this project,  I am committed to finding 52 creative things to do--basically, one per week, though they may not fall into place with consistent weekly structure. We'll see. 

I decided to cut myself some slack and allow the writing conference and the play (Finding Neverland) to count as part of my 52 things--so, 50 more to go!  I plan to bring the girls alongside on some of the jaunts and other things will be more solitary pursuits. The reality is that some weeks may simply be a coloring page from an "adult" coloring book. Nevertheless, I am committed to spending at least an hour each week doing something creative I would not have otherwise tried. 

I will post photos once a week here and on Facebook. I should probably figure out how to use Instagram, but that’s a conversation (perhaps a creative endeavor!) for another day. 

There are a lot of other things on my mind in regards to all of this creativity stuff; great quotes, books I want to read, and deeper questions I’ve been pondering like “Is creativity a calling?” and “Is it worthwhile when there are so many important matters and responsibilities to spend our time on?” 

I can tell you that my initial answers are “Yes,” and “Yes!” but, more to come on that. 

I hope you’ll join me in the journey. Read along, craft along, decide to do something crazy and creative yourself. I believe that God, in His infinite creativity created all of us with a creative spirit. Not only is the pursuit of creativity, in any form,  a way to discover things about yourself, but it can be an opportunity for fellowship as well. Perhaps most importantly, if our creativity is heavenly and holy minded it can bring a much needed beauty into the world-- a beauty that reflects the glory of God. 

Our world could use a little bit more beautiful right now. 

So, here's to crafting our way to a happier, and hopefully somehow holier, creative life. 

Friday, September 9

Finding Your School-Year Rhythm Again

The signs are everywhere.

     The cooler evenings, the heavier dew in the mornings, the ransacked school supply shelves at Wal-Mart and Target being replaced with Halloween and Thanksgiving trinkets. There have even been a few moments, either later in the day or early in the morning, when the girls and I have been outside and a cool breeze blows across our bare arms. Their eyes get big as they look at me, "Oh, Mom! It's starting to feel like..."

     "Shhh! Don't say it!" I tease.

     I know. I know.

     I'm just not sure I'm ready.

     It's been a fun summer. A hot summer. A fill your bucket to the rim, squeeze every ounce of  juice from the fruit summer. We've picked berries and made pies. We've been to Cedar Point, the beach, Darien Lake, and kayaking at Canalside. We've stayed up late for  no good reason. We've stayed up late for very good reasons. We've seen fireworks, and visited friends. We've been to Columbus and Sandusky, Whitinsville and Boston. We've climbed the trees at Sky High in Ellicottville. We bid farewell to our first hamster and recently brought home a new one. We rode bikes and took walks, nursed fractured toes and dislocated knees. Scott even ended up on a serious round of steroids for a vicious case of poison ivy.

     But, I won't beat around the bush here...I'm a little bit tired. Maybe a lot of bits tired.  Tired from 10 weeks of unstructured fun, but very full days. Tired from the crazy messes, and lack of order (If school makes me face my paperwork management issues, summer makes me face my inability to instill order in the house with 3 kids at home all-day-everyday issues!). A counselor once used this analogy when I was talking to her about my reaction to summer vacation, "It is like drinking water from a fire hose."

     Yes. Yes, indeed.

     I'm ready to return to drinking my water in smaller sips from a nice, cold water bottle. For now anyways.. I'm sure that by the time May rolls around next year I'll be ready to embrace the tidal wave of firehose water again.

     And so here I am, Friday of the first week of school working to find my rhythm again. I feel like we lost it a little bit over the summer. It's like my  preference for life music is a mix of energetic folk tunes, with a little bit of classical piano, some acoustic guitar and maybe some funky jazz beats...something fun, but with some structure-- upbeat at times and quieter at others. It's as if the radio dial accidentally got bumped by one of the kids and some hair-raising, brain-thumping, hard to understand, aggressive rap station started to play in our house...ALL. SUMMER. LONG.

     A good up-tempo rap song is a fun addition to an occasional dance party in the living room, but that's about where my appreciation for it ends. I am ready for a return to a more natural cadence in our household!

   It seems that every summer I start out with lofty goals to make the kids read daily, make their beds, do chores, help me around the house, etc. I even plan (in my head) all of the fun things that we're going to do, like go to the beach. It all sounds so orderly in my head and on paper. And then...

     Then you get to the beach, and one kid accidentally trips the other kid, and everyone goes flying and then two of them start screaming. You brush them off,  settle them down, assure them that no one intended grave bodily harm and continue your walk to find a spot on the beach. By the time you get the blanket and the chair set up, everyone is ready for a snack.  You dig said snack out, only to realize that someone kicked sand into the snack bag during the whole tripping debacle...and so everyone eats gritty watermelon and laughs that this wasn't AT ALL how it was SUPPOSED to go.

     That pretty much describes life daily with three kids under 10 over summer vacation.

     It has been nice to feel like we're returning to steadier rhythms of life this week. Packing lunches, doing homework, reading books together, getting to bed at more scheduled times, etc.

     The girls are thrilled to see old friends and make new ones. Ava started at a new school this year (Christian Central Academy) and gets on the bus almost an entire hour earlier than last year! I was a bit anxious about the transition, but she has managed it with ease and is enjoying it all so far.

     The start of a new school year makes me face all sorts of things--that my girls are getting bigger, that I have a horrendous track record for managing school paperwork and remembering permission slips.  I'm also not very good at letting go of art projects and schoolwork that I probably should throw away. I never know what the "rules" are for that sort of thing so it sits in cluttered piles in corners of my house.

     I'm trying to put some systems in place...But, I'm also not very good at following through on systems...grrrr...I really would have benefitted from that Time and Home Management class that they should have offered in college instead of Introduction to Computer Science. I mean really, digits and algorithms? I just need someone to tell me where to file a permission slip so that I don't lose it. Is there an algorithm for that?

     If you're a systems guru (not the computer kind, but the house management kind) please stop over any day of the week...I'll make you a great cup of coffee and will willingly take any and all suggestions from you!

     In the meantime,

     Here are my top 5 suggestions for getting back into a rhythm, or at least what I've been trying to do this week...

1. Take a day (or 4 to clean!). I've been catching up on laundry, purging kid's closets, going through yard toys and throwing out the random broken pieces of things that seem to be everywhere. Now that Aubrey is in preschool a consistent two days a week I try to devote one to cleaning and errands and another to writing, or other miscellaneous things I want to get done. Before this year (when I had a little one home more frequently!) I would allow myself the freedom to hire a babysitter on a regular basis so that I could get some of this stuff done while the big kids are in school in order to free up our evenings and our family time when everyone is home!

2. Create some time for planning! I have actually spent the better part of today day going through file folders, looking at my calendar, and trying to integrate many separate task lists into one. I'm hoping this helps me to be better organized throughout the year. I haven't gotten to everything I wanted to get to, but my brain is feeling a little bit lighter and less overwhelmed. For that I am grateful!

3. Try to pull the kids in to help where they can! I've been doing a much better job of having the girls help me pack their lunches and snacks, and I'm trying to be more consistent about having them help around meal times (setting the table, cleaning the table, etc.). It can be easy to fall into the trap of doing everything yourself because it feels easier, but I'm realizing that it doesn't make things easier in the long run!

4. Don't take on unnecessary tasks! I confess, I almost agreed to driving Ava to and from school this year when there is a perfectly fine bus that can take her to and from school. I was feeling bad that she started so  much earlier than last year and that the day is longer.  As her mom, I wanted to make things as easy as possible for her (not always the best parenting strategy, by the way!). Her new school is a 20 minute drive from our house on a route that has heavy traffic in the mornings. I knew it was going to be a chaotic commitment if I chose to make it.   I eventually gave myself a little reality check by reminding myself that there are two other kiddos, with two other sets of needs, not to mention many other responsibilities on my plate. Driving her to and from school was not necessary and it was really going to complicate our lives. I still feel sad, but I've realized that I truly can't do it all, and she has actually made a great friend on the bus already!

5. Take a day to rest! I confess, I haven't actually done this yet, but once I get the house pulled back together and some of my paperwork in order for the school year, I will give myself permission to just go sit and read a book somewhere without any guilt!

    Hopefully you enjoyed some part of my ramblings...It was therapeutic for me, so if nothing else, thanks for listening! (:

P.S. I realize that some of this is specific to my own life rhythms. Many of you (my teacher friends in particular) are back to school as well. You don't actually have time to clean your house, or take a day to rest now that the 'kids are back in school'. Thank you for taking such great care of our kiddos and I pray that  you would have an amazing school year. I also pray that you find some extra time for rest and planning in your days as well!

And to the full-time working moms, I pray that you too would find little spaces and resources for rest and rejuvenation. That God would bless your rhythms and give you wisdom as you work through all of the multi-tasking logistics.

P.P.S. And then there are my homeschool momma friends....oh man...extra graces and spaces and prayers to you! I pray that you would be blessed with wisdom, patience and resources to do your jobs well!

Thursday, July 7

Live, Laugh, Love as Life Moves By!

Ahhh, all of my "recent" blog posts (and paper journal entries) seem to start the same way. Or, at least I have the same feeling each time I begin one. They sounds  a little something like this...

     "Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I wrote last."

     "Where did the last month go?"

     "Where did the last two months go?"

     "I swear I'll be more consistent this time around!"

 And then life kicks in, and two months go by, and while there was a season of my adult life when I  was both a consistent blogger and journal-er, stretches of time seem to come and go faster than I can get pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!), and I find myself wondering how to summarize and encapsulate all that has really happened since I wrote last.

(Photo borrowed from
That's me, in the green, wondering where all of the time has gone...

My last blog post entry was Tuesday, April 19th...a couple of weeks after we had returned from our trip to England. It feels like just yesterday, if that counts for anything.

Of course much has happened between then and now. Much I've wanted to write about, thought about writing about, scratched notes on paper with details to include in posts and so on. But, the time isn't always there. Mostly because when you are in the middle of living life as a family with three young kiddos, you don't have a whole lot of time to write about it. Heck, I hardly have time to take a shower (or two!) some weeks.

But, even though I haven't been writing here, I have been writing. I have a couple of cool projects I've been working on-- some freelance bits and pieces, and one very cool collaborative writing project that I'm still working through details on. It's an inspiring story about one man finding faith and perspective in the midst of challenging life circumstances.  It's someone else's story, but my own faith has already been strengthened in the short time I've collaborated on it.  I believe in this story, and this person to change hearts and lives as they develop their speaking and writing ministry.  I'm humbled, blessed and thankful for the opportunity to be able to participate in bringing such a faith-filled story forward. More on that in the months to come!

I've also had other commitments to follow through on-- a fantastic 29-week Bible study that I just finished, for one. I want to tell you more about this study, called Healing Journeys (because I think everyone in the world would benefit from taking it!), but I'll save that for another day.

Of course there have been more events with the kids than I can even count; plays, picnics, recitals, gymnastics meets, birthday parties,  and many end of year celebrations.

In the midst of life I've also been trying to discern what I want this space to be about. It started out as a "mommy blog" by a stay at home mom who needed a writing outlet.  I'm not sure I ever really had a "focus"--my day-to-day has felt so full of kid antics and family craziness that it is all my brain seems to be able to process when I sat down to write. Some of that craziness has become such a part of the fabric of our day that perhaps it doesn't seem particularly novel anymore. Or, perhaps I've matured as a mom and so I'm thinking about different things.  (For everyone's sake, lets all hope I've matured as a mom in the last five years!). So, we'll see. I won't stop blogging anytime will probably just continue to come in bits and pieces...with weeks (or, months!) in-between.

As I've said before, since I'm not a big scrapbooker (mostly because there just isn't enough time to scrapbook AND blog, otherwise I'd probably attempt throwing an album or two together!), and so this is where I capture long strings of words, based on what rises to the surface of my mind when I finally sit down.

We are in a season of life where I am enjoying watching my girls grow and develop their skills,  interests, and passions. Ava is strong and athletic-- she is truly one of the strongest 9 year old girls I have ever met. I would not be surprised, and I don't say this lightly, if she qualifies to be a contestant on America Ninja Warrior someday!! I keep telling her it might be a good way to get some of college paid for! She has big bright eyes, and is full of wonder about the world. She LOVES ropes courses and roller coasters. While one might say she has an adventurous spirit, and in some ways she does, she also likes to stick close to home. As a matter of fact, just last week we picked her up at 11:30 from a sleepover--her second attempt at a sleepover in the last two months that ended in a late night cell phone call. It's all good. We're kind of relishing the moments when she calls reminds us that she still does need us close by...for a while longer, anyway!

She turned 9 in early June, and is such a big girl now. I always joked with her that she was going to be taller than me before she left elementary school. I lucked out...her current school only goes up to 3rd grade and I've still got her beat by a couple of inches.

She and I also ran our first 5k together last month, which was one of the highlights of June for me!

Ella, who is 7 now, will be the first to tell you that "sports are NOT her thing". I keep encouraging her
Ella was Anansi in her class play,
Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock
to try different things, but quite frankly she is  beautifully independent and creative. She has LOVED her piano lessons this year and even told me she has a "piano brain" (I totally believer her, by the way. I think there are logical creatives and then more spontaneous big-picture creatives. I am definitely the latter. She certainly sees life through a more logical lens than I've ever possessed. I admire that about her!). She LOVES to draw, and paint and create collages out of the craziest things. I find myself saving pieces of paper that I've punched holes out for my own random craft projects. "Hey Ella! Can you do something with this?" I'll ask. Her eyes always light up.  She loves the thrill of making something new out of nothing!

She has finally lost her two front teeth, which is one of those monumental moments when your little ones physically seem to transform right before your eyes. They go from kiddish toothy grin, to toothless grin, to all of a sudden looking so much older over night. I can hardly handle it sometimes! She loves to sing, and get lost in her own world. I find her talking to herself (in a good way!) in corners where she is making up a story about something, and the characters, or animals, or whatever, are talking to each other. She has a brilliantly vibrant mind. I can't wait to see where it all leads for her.

And, then there is Aubrey.

Oh, Aubrey.

For those of you who know Aubs, that's all I have to say. She seems to come kicking and scratching and full of very specific ideas about what she wants to do, every time she enters a room. A lot of times her "want to's" are not really viable and it requires an incredibly amount of patience to explain this. "No, you can't dump all of the electronics and cords out of that basket, to use it as a step stool, to grab for one of the leftover muffins on the counter."

There are so many reasons why that is a BAD idea, but she is usually not ready to understand any of them. And that is one, 3-minute segment, of an entire 13 hour day with Aubrey (she has stopped napping to boot!).

She is a little (or, maybe a lot!) wild, beautiful, and FULL, full, FULL of life.

She's so full of life that she never wants to sleep, actually. Something that has been a wee bit of a challenge for her dad and I. She is hilarious, smart as a whip, and keeps a dance beat way better than her mother. She somersaults off furniture and attempts handstands in her bed. She leaves us all with our eyes wide open, sometimes in laughter and sometimes in shock, as we watch her barrel through her days. She leaves me breathless some days, standing over her bed at night praying, "Dear Jesus, please give me the stamina, patience, endurance and wisdom to channel this kid's energy in the right direction. In a direction that glorifies you and brings a lot of light to the world! Please. Please. PLEASE!"

While Scott and I feel like we are barely making it through some of our days in our attempts to manage the day to day, and cultivate gracious hearts, we have been told by friends and family that "our girls are delightful" and that "we're doing a great job". I don't say that to pat us on the back, I say
that because by faith we hope we are doing enough of the right things that our girls will be lights in this crazy world. We hope that they, and our family, will be representatives of God's love and grace.   Sometimes it's hard to see if you're getting it all (or anything!) right. You come to appreciate the hi-five from other parents who are a few years ahead of you with an outside perspective.

I must say, it feels somehow ironic that as parents you feel so 'in the dark' while you are trying to create "light". Maybe that is how Thomas Edison felt. If that is the case, and hopefully it is, we're all actually creating some sort of beauty we can't quite see yet!

So, thanks for stopping by. Thanks for reading. Thanks for walking alongside life with us, in whatever way that may be. For those of you who are family, hopefully this sheds some inner light on why we don't always answer your phone calls right away (sorry!). If you're a mom of little ones, I hope my ramblings in some way  inspire you to keep up the hard work of raising your kids well (it IS hard work!), and that you feel somehow encouraged that when your life feels a little hair-raising (or hair-graying, as is the case for me these days!), that you know you are in very good company.

Until next time...