December Daily - Day 31


December 31 – Core Story What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.) (Author: Molly O’Neill)

i starkly noticed today, i have a great deal of pain i WANT to write about and it's just under the surface. i hold back. and i sugar coat things. i want to get past that this year. in 2011, i have chosen the word MORE as my "one little word". i want more honesty with myself this year. more truth. more sharing. more detox of the memories and pains that haunt my insides. i want to continue to learn more about myself. i want to write more and not have it sound as though i'm searching for sympathy. it's the last thing i want.

i want to share my stories, so that i might touch one other person who can benefit from my stories. so that i may help someone. the common theme here? i'm aching to help myself in the journey. i have grown a great deal this last year, as i've learned through reverberating and contemplating what's to come. i want to continue this effort, but with fervor and gusto. i want more. i'm putting it out there, because if i say it out loud, so shall it be.

this will be a great year for me, full of more happiness, more surprises, more growth, more believing, more loving, more family, more me, more us. 2011 is more. because i said so.

peace and be good. happy new year.

December Daily - Day 30

December 30 – Gift Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? (Author: Holly Root)

i really can't talk about it right now. i will photo it and write the words at some point.

be good.

December Daily - Day 29

December 29 – Defining Moment Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year. (Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)

this year, my life has been defined by poor health - with a short run of good health during the spring and summer. in the midst of all that internal chaos, i experienced loads of firsts with my daughter.

it's amazing i can do this thing called parenting. it's amazing she's such and astounding little person. shaping her into a sweet, compassionate and caring little girl has helped shape and define who i am today. i want nothing but greatness for my child. i will stop at nothing to help her achieve nothing short of greatness. i have become a momma bear - at the first moment she was bullied at school by the biter (whom i blogged about earlier in the year.) i never knew i could act so swiftly, quickly, and calmly.

every day, i grow and change because of her. she is my daily defining moment. but this year? first school bus ride, first new friend in school, first gym class, did i mention first bus ride? that i allowed a total stranger to drive my child around town? the fact that i did not follow him to school the first day is defining my strength as a momma.

my girl is independent, strong, compassionate and just plain sweet to her friends. as i help shape her, she defines me and makes me a better momm.

peace and be good.


December Daily - Day 28

December 28 – Achieve

What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. (Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

i fully intend on putting down roots in 2011. words cannot describe what this will do for me yet. it's a dream to even imagine it's possible. but i do believe. the only thing i can imagine doing now to feel that, is to continue to nurture my family in the interim. more of them. more time. more love. more focus. the word of the year is more. more on this topic as it progresses.

peace and be good. we're almost to the end!

December Daily - Day 27

December 27 – Ordinary Joy Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? (Author: BrenĂ© Brown)

i have many ordinary, joyful moments each and every day. after all, i do have a 5 year old, who's compelling and amazing and brilliant and compassionate. i digress...

for most people a parent teacher conference is pretty ordinary. eventually. this year, was my very first one. joyful - was the look of surprise in the teacher's eyes that both momma and daddy showed up. i guess most mommas aren't so blessed to have an active daddy. more joyful was to be told, that in 20 years of teacher teaching, she's had 2 extraordinary students, and that kennedy made number 3. she's reading after only 5 weeks in school. she knows 26 of the 30 sight words. the teacher has only taught 10. she's thoughtful, caring, and concerned about her friends in class. she's helpful. and kind.

we had no idea, these simple, everyday tasks done by our daughter, were extraordinary. we thought all children her age knew how to read, and spell, and type, and make art, and draw accurate pictures of events...we had no idea. the teacher asked what we were doing at home to teach her. we answered: "parenting?"  this was extraordinarily joyful. a moment etched into my mind for good. and grateful for such an amazing educator, that by chance, was bestowed upon my daughter.

peace and be good.

December Daily - Day 26

December 26 – Soul Food What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie Collins)

just not feelin this post. talk amongst yourselves.

December Daily - Day 25

December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself: Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you. (Author: Tracey Clark)

hmmm... tough one. i'm always behind the lense. not one that best captures me...sorry!

December Daily - Day 24

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)

i'm still waiting for it. i am not writing this for sympathy or woah! everyone! look at me! no. not at all. writing it in the hopes it just reaches one person. i've had a pretty shitty, almost, decade. and i've written about this several times before. but here it is again.

when things seem to be not going your way, one will often say, "hey! but i've got my health!" yeah. not so much. i can't say that. since i turned 30, it's been one issue after another. grave's disease, surgery, fertility issues, surgery, pregnancy (praise GOD!), surgery, pancreatitis, gall bladder issues, surgery, sinus issues, surgery, breast issue, surgery, sinus issues again, more surgery, asthma diagnosis, pneumonia, bronchitis, one thing to the next.

the latest? another auto-immune disease that leaves me until february before i can see a specialist. a rheumatologist. so many possibilities being thrown at me. i'm just holding my breath and waiting to see what they tell me come february. in the meantime, i'm in loads of pain. i feel downright shitty, but am trying to keep that to myself too. and persevere. as always. and wonder when it's all going to be ok. because i haven't felt it yet.

peace and be good.

December Daily - Day 23

December 23 – New Name Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? (Author: Becca Wilcott)

this is the lamest prompt yet. i mean really? why anyone would want to become someone other than themselves is beyond me. i mean after all, my name is shelley may. say it. out loud. let it roll off your tongue. now say it with a goooood, southern drawl. that's right. uh huh. fabulous right? add in the middle name? you'd think i came straight of the farm. shelley marie may, if you're nice. *snicker*

peace and be good.

December Daily - Day 22

December 22 – Travel How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt)

where to start? well, since the job requires physical travel several times a year... this year has taken me to...
  • chicago, illinois - again and again
  • atlanta, georgia - 2 times
  • toronto, QC - 2 times
  • la palma, southern california - once
  • dallas, texas - 2 times
  • roseland, new jersey - once
  • florence, kentucky - once
and for personal rest, relaxation, and putting down roots, bend, oregon.

mentally, my mind travels daily. to places of happiness and being grounded. i hope to go there more often next year. i'd love to take a vacation with my husband, that does not involve visiting family. i want to see something new. just us. no one else. selfish. i know. but it's what i want more of. new.

peace and be good.


December Daily - Day 21

December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)

Jenny Blake - author of this post... i don't think any of this really matters. what happened 10 years ago is the past. this question is rather contrived and foolish in my quest to reflect and manifest and do more with my life in 2011. i really strive to be present and focus on what's happening right now. i can't determine where i will be in five years, or even aspire to it. because, hell, in 6 months, a new opportunity will present itself to me that will change the next 4.5 years.

let's focus on the now. be present. be real. let go of the past and stop dwelling on it. do more. be more. love more. experience more.

really, jenny, sorry. but kind of lame.

peace and be good.

December Daily - Day 20

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)

i should have gone to visit my father's grave. wow. that was the FIRST thing that came to mind when i read this. this january marks 20 years since my dad has passed. 20 years. and i cannot bring myself to visit his headstone. i think this is the time it happens. maybe i can do so this weekend.

(and did you notice the pattern? 20 years is my thought on the 20th?) hmmmmmm. yeah. i don't think i can say more.

December Daily - Day 19

December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

i know most might intend this to be more emotional and pschological... but for me this prompt immediately leads me to the pure physical healing.

i spent a better part of the first quarter of 2010 very ill. i had surgery end of 2009, that left me very ill for many months. finally, it was a decision to change physicians. i told my new doc, the old doc and i needed to break up. after many years in a relationship, we were no longer in love. no longer listening to one another and respecting one another. it was time to move on. so i broke up with Dr P and fell in love with Dr F. Dr F - in a matter of weeks, stripped out all my drugs, started from scratch, and got me on the path to good health. my sinus and asthma were finally under control by February. in almost one year, i've not had a sinus infection since. all because he listened to me.

in 2011, i want this new auto-immune problem to be diagnosed and fixed. i want more weight loss. i want to feel well. today, i feel like what i imagine an 80 year old woman feels like every day. bent, tired, in pain and sore all over. i don't think this is what your 30's should feel like. so i'm taking control, advocating for myself, and speaking up for a change. whether they tell me i have RA or FM...or some gastro bullshit disease, me and Dr F are gonna kick some ass.
again, say it with me, because i said so.

December Daily - Day 18

December 18 – Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

i want to live a more healthy life. i don't want to say try, because to me that implies an attempt that might lead to failure. i want to say DO. i DO want to live a more healthful, mindful life. i want to do more with myself. i wanted to try countless things in 2010, but i let excuses control me and who i am.

in december, i have made changes already to that end. i want to DO yoga. not try. DO. i bought a package already. in december. that i will use in january. DO. not TRY. more. there will be MORE in 2011.

because i said so.

be good.

December Daily - Day 17

December 17 – Lesson Learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

i think the first thing that stands out for me on this topic is my career. this year was a year of growth for me. i grew professionally, leaps and bounds. i've had some wonderful mentors along the way. one in particular really believed in me. put me in a place i was least comfortable. held me to really high standards. and one thing i learned, was that it is ok to believe that often times people can see more potential in you than you can see in yourself. and you have to trust that they are right.

it's almost as though i had to "hand it over". i had to believe i was capable even when i was still learning to walk. i learned it is ok to be uncomfortable. i learned it's ok to fail. because otherwise, how do you learn? and trust me, i had some big "fails" this year. but on the rebound, several big successes. i handed it over. i stood up for myself and i never stopped believing in myself.

going forward? these lessons will apply personally. i tend to do so much better with growth and goal setting in my career. if i could take only 1/2 of that motivation into my personal life? everything else will fall into place.

be strong. be good.

December Daily - Day 16

December 16 – Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

there are a couple of instances. i don't think i could write about the one that's sitting heaviest on my heart right now... as i wouldn't see through the tears. suffice it to say, it's painful, gradual, frightening, and surreal. i've grown radically in the midst of her pain and suffering. perhaps next year i can put it to words. tonight, it's too heavy on the heart.

peace and be extra good.

December Daily - Day 15

December 15 – 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

ummm, i do this every day without trying. my memory sucks. but really, i can't capture the things i most want to remember. i want to remember each and every bit. the good, the bad, and the ugly. don't you?

peace and be good.

December Daily - Day 14

December 14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

this is a good one. this last year, i have come to appreciate my sister in law, stacey. she is the oldest in my husband's family and by far the quirkiest. she is happy on the worst of days. she is smiling when her world turns to shit on a dime. she is strength. she is perseverance. she is whole. she is honest. she is self aware and comfortable in her own skin. she is an amazing momma who is raising some amazing young women. she finds good in each and every little thing.

and most of all, i've learned... she believes in me. she believes i can be more. she believes i can be better. most will say this shouldn't matter. and you are right. i don't care what people think of me. but everyone needs a little cheerleader now and then. everyone needs that one person who can smack you upside the head and ask you to take a look at your personal behavior and get it in check. everyone needs someone who can teach you and show you a better way. stacey is that person for me. she's the calm in the eye of a storm.

this year, she had an opportunity to work with autistic children. she scoffed the idea and was at first frustrated by it. i told my husband i felt it was a perfect fit for her. in fact i think i said, "it's what she's built for." and you know what? when i talked to her last week, she said she loves it. and she's grateful for the work. she's an example to me.

i don't think i show her gratitude at all. hopefully she'll read this post and see - it's true. it's from my heart. i thanked her over and over again for teaching us so much this summer on vacation. showing us what family REALLY looks like. teaching us it is ok to ask for help and guidance. she was hesitant, until we begged for it. i am thankful to her. to her girls. to her sweet husband. their love for me and my little family is what has carried me through the last several months of question, doubt, and decisions. i show my gratitude in ways she might not see. i brag about her and boast about how lucky i am to have a rockin sister in law who gets me and helps put me back together again. i will continue to show my gratitude for her by standing up and working towards my goals that she has helped me to outline. i will always listen to her when she tells me she believes in me. i will call her more. and tell her i love her. just becuase.

we love you auntie rocket-tips. <3

December Daily - Day 13

December 13 – Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

diagnosis. fixing what's wrong. managing my care. yoga. planning. setting goals. holding myself accountable. is there anything more? i mean really?

peace and be good.

December Daily - Day 12

December 12 – Body Integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

yeah. takin another hall pass. haven't felt this moment yet, but have a strong feeling it's on the agenda for me in 2011.

peace and be good.

December Daily - Day 11

December 11 – 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

  1. Chaos
  2. Disorganization
  3. Clutter
  4. Wasted Time
  5. Debt
  6. Unhappiness
  7. Poor Health
  8. Tempter Tantrums
  9. Lack of creative time
  10. Lack of concrete goals
  11. missing my family
CHAOS: taking time off the first week of the year to clear my home of it

DISORGANIZATION: see above, this is tangible and virtually

CLUTTER: again, see above. tangible and technologically speaking. merging to one email account - finally, managing my blog reading... etcetera.

WASTED TIME: eliminating TV and wasted time on the internet. time on the internet is fine if it's spent writing or reading - other than FB!!!

DEBT: well.. we worked a good deal on this in the last half of 2010. we are making progress. it's time to kick it up a notch. to begin with, debit cards will no longer be used. we will manage a budget and only have cash as needed. there is no reason this cannot be done. at this point in time, i have a very small amount to pay off in order to be debt free. it IS attainable.

UNHAPPINESS: i can rid this because i said so, damnit. i worked very hard on this in 2010. my one little word was happy. i read the happiness project and attempted to incorporate little snippets of happy into my life each day. it's a work in progress. but a better momma, makes for a better home. i've tested that theory and not willing to let the work go.

POOR HEALTH: well, after today's news - much of this i have to hand over to my docs and to God. i will also get back onto herbalife and follow that plan. it's the one thing that worked for me. i have a wonderful support team in lance and marlene. i need to figure out which sort of auto-immune disease has now opened up shop in my body, and then proceed to kick it's nasty ass, just like i kicked grave's disease ass 7 years ago. i know how to fight, and i'm willing to do it again. oh, and i signed up for yoga. yeah, i'm scared as hell. nervous. and don't want to embarrass myself, but it's something i've wanted to do forever and a day. so there you have it. i said it out loud, so shall it be.

TEMPER TANTRUMS: kennedy will be 6 in 2011. the temper tantrums will go away then, right? i mean, they have to. but all of the other focus on me, then feeds into her. it's a cycle. when momma ain't happy.. yeah yeah, you know. so the more i work on me, the more, it in turn, works on her.

LACK OF CREATIVE TIME: i am taking back my tuesdays. i am scheduling crafting time. weekly and monthly. i am hosting two events at my house in january. first one is for my local girls i crop with. second one is a workshop for a friend. both things i've been nervous about doing for ever. for stupid reasons: will my house be up to everyone's standards, i'm embarrassed of what people will think. you know what? screw it. if people want to make judgement, they don't belong in my little world of happy. period. i don't think these women will.

LACK OF CONCRETE GOALS: i'm putting pen to paper. i've never really set goals. a mentor at work told me when i worked for him - i needed to always be setting goals. set some big ones at the beginning of the year that are realistic. and then break down some smaller ones each month, and then each week. put pen to paper. and blog about it! there's my accountability. and i don't need to pay for it!

MISSING MY FAMILY: i am making a more concerted effort this year to keep in touch with my west coast family. i miss them so much in my life. i yearn to have them close and to know what they've done each day. i am working at reaching out more to them in 2011 and not waiting for them to come to us. i love them more and more each day and realized this summer how very important they are in my life.i met such a large and wonderful side of my family i never knew i could love so much. makes me homesick just thinking about it. (yes, it's all you crazy oregon and so cal people! aunts, cousins, sisters, etc...)

and that about does it. peace and be good!

December Daily - Day 10

December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

gosh. this is a tough one. let's suffice it to say, it's one we've made. i can't talk about it publicly for quite sometime. but you'll have to trust and believe me when i say, it's fabulous, it makes the most sense yet in our life, and i can't wait for it all to become a reality. (insert big cheesy grin. and NO. HELL NO. i'm not pregnant.)

December Daily - Day 9

December 9 – Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

ok - taking a hall pass on this one. i don't really have many IRL friends. i don't do the social scene anymore. i don't get invited to parties. (do i doulbe dip and not know it?)

but dear GOD - our Millenium New Year's eve party? BEST ONE EVER. hands down. love and miss you Ted, Sylvia, Brett and Rich!!!!

December Daily - Day 8

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

i am strong. i am kind-hearted. i am witty. i am extremely sarcastic. i am proud. i am human. i make mistakes. i strive to do better. i am funny. i work hard. i am too serious. most days. i am a chronic worrier. i am creative. i am an artist. (not in the paper form) i am a curvy woman. i have beautiful lips. my hair is too thin. my legs are too short. i am not afraid to cry. i yell. i get angry. i do not lie. i pride myself on integrity. i don't like my body right now. but i will again someday. i never feel like what i do is enough. but i know someday, i will be ok with that. i am working very hard to let go of perfection and embrace imperfection. i am ashamed of some of my behavior. i love to make my best friend laugh. and i'm good at it. i have a wonderful soul. if only people would take the time to feel it.

i could go on and on about how i am beautifully different. because aren't we all? one thing i've always known in life, is that i am different. i grew up in a generation when divorce was just becoming the in thing. i was a latch key kid. i was a child model. i was an actress. we lived in a swanky neighborhood. i was all of these things. and they were all different. i've never been one to berate myself or be hard on my looks or exterior beauty. i can honestly say, i do think i am beautiful, and i don't feel vain for an instant in saying so. yeah, i'm overweight right now. does that take away my beauty? nope. yup, i might not any longer be on the cutting edge of fashion - does it bother me? nope. i'm a mom. i don't have time for that shit. i can rock a pair of jeans, cute knit top and an awesome pea coat, and still feel like a rock star. because at the end of the day, my kid will often tell me.. "momma, you're beautiful. just the way you are." this lights me up.

i think i can manage to light people up with my wit, my good heart, and my selflessness. one of my biggest problems my husband tells me is that i worry too much. while yes, i do.. is it really such a bad thing? i often might worry about others. but that worry might cause me to stop for just a moment. on that right day. at that right time. and say a little prayer for someone who at just that moment, might need it. because someone else might have been too self-indulged to notice. i am a firm believer, it's the little things that matter and count. and if one small thing i do can make a big difference in someone else, my work here is done.

to me, i am beautifully different in too many ways to recount. i think we all are. what's your take?

December Daily - Day 7

I lost my way. life happened. things get in the way. and i'm finding my way back to good. in the interim, i'm always true to my word. so i'm going to plug through these prompts, because along the way, i inspired my sweet friend miss lori. so this is for you, miss lori.

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

i have discovered community mostly virtually this year. i thought for a brief moment, in the wake of a fire in the neighborhood - where a family lost everything, i'd discovered community. but even there, i found boastfulness, uncomfortable pride, egos, and a keeping-up-with-the Jone's if you will. i gave up. gave up trying to befriend my neighbors. gave up trying to be a part of this small community. for us, we are just taking up space in this neighborhood for now, on our way to something better. something great. all in due time.

virtually, i've discovered community. i've seen it for the greater good. my friend trish who i just met this year - rallied in an online community for a close personal friend of hers - her daughter molly was facing life threatening illness. trish is a SAHM with more on her plate than one person should handle, and she's out raising money and spreading the gospel to help save molly. and in the grand scheme of things? i think trish had a part in something pretty damn remarkable. all because she didn't give up. trish reminded me what friendship should feel like. what doing something nice for someone you barely know - without expecting anything in return - really should feel like. her small act of kindness towards me? allowed me to feel like a million bucks for a few days. i don't think she knows how wonderful that was for me at a time when i felt pretty crappy.

this is a tough one - because i want to be part of something more. something bigger. more community. more. listen to that word. i bet it's going to come up more on this blog.


December Daily - Day 6

so the day went like this. well - rewind to a brief moment the night before, at bedtime, the little one said, "momma, i'm cooooold." she who is never cold, momma knew it was time to call the doc monday morning. fast forward - monday morning.

wake up. more snow. by monday, it had snowed for three solid days. i called the doc. great, 1100am appointment. it's 900am. it will take me just that long to get ready, un-bury the car, and get out the door with enough time in the event the roads are still bad. the car. is. buried. and i do mean buried. see?

you can get the perspective looking at the windshield where i already started shoveling...

here's a view of the backyard. the snow is just inches from the bottom of the swings. this is NUTS!
 we get to the doc. swab the throat. the minute the swab hits the test strip, it turns pink. positively STREP. wonderful. we head to mc d's for shakes. because all girls with strep need a shake. go get prescription. at this point, she's becoming listless and pretty much out of it. we get home, she has a grand mal meltdown over lunch, i get her all setup on the sick couch. i head upstairs for something, come back, and she's passed out. she sweats through two sets of clothes today. poor peanut. i miss most of the day of work. work from the couch while she's snoring.

hubby comes home, heads to sub for someone on a bowling league. decides to try and see what it feels like to be a nascar driver huggin the wall on a turn trying to take first, and rides the guardrail in my car on 690 for a wee bit. going 30 mph. he's safe. the car is not too bad, and no one else was hurt. but nonetheless, other "noise" in our lives we just didn't need right now.

our december is not necessarily gettin off to the grandest of starts. but reverb10 asks:

December 6 – Make.

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?
(Author: Gretchen Rubin)

make. that was something i took part in this past weekend. making some STUFF. i attended a last minute crop with some dear friends on saturday and was pretty darn inspired and happy. i made a CHEZ inspired wreath...

not as gorgeous as my inspiration... but i'm trying!
 and a card - all my own...

all K&Co... a sweet lil card i'm quite pleased with. I just slapped some stuff down...
 (no - i do not have freakish girl crush on said chez, she just pretty much rocks, is all.)
i am a scrapper, so of course everything i made was with paper, umm what else? and i was lucky to have won a challenge at paper issues that hooked me up with more k&co than i can handle... but dang if i didn't handle it!!! i think i have about 4 sheets left! weather is awful, so i can't get a good pic of the sweet little banner i made... hopefully tomorrow... but the wreath and card... i think came out ok?
the last part of that question, what is something you'd like to make but you need to clear some time for it? i would like to make some fabric goodies. time is not normally an issue, but fear of screwing up with fabric keeps me from just diving in... well - that and not knowing my sewing machine well enough to just wing it. oh well, there's always next time, right?
what have YOU made lately? link it up here, tell me! i'd love to see what you've got goin on around the holidays!
peace and be good.


december daily - day 5

ahhh sweet sunday. and i wish i had my camera on my bedside when i woke up today...but alas, no pics again today. too busy being present.

wow. this day was truly fabulous. i was woken up to a sweet, sweet girl that asked me if i wanted breakfast in bed. well, hullllo? who doesn't? about 15 minutes of a snooze later, she comes back in with a bowl of raisin bran, a cinnamon muffin that she and daddy baked, and a water bottle full of milk, all on her dora tv tray. she gave it to me, then looked at me puzzled and said, "can i share with you?" she ran like the wind back downstairs, grabbed her own spoon and another muffin and came back up.

we sat across from each other, indian style, eating raisin bran. she kept telling me she loved me. she missed me (i was at a crop the whole day before). we got done, she asked if she could get into the "nook" and just hug me and tell me she loved me all morning long. umm, hullllo? of course! get in the nook sister? (this is me on my side, curled up, and her curled into my legs and belly and just snuggled in a ball, facing me. love this) we must have laid in bed for about another 1/2 hour. pure bliss. she then left, and let me sleep for another 2 hours.

i finally woke up to a snow storm. we needed groceries. we had no choice but to brave it together! the prize for being good with momma? a day of craftiness in the studio! BOY - was she ever good! a stop at aldi's, then dollar tree, then home for crafts. we spent about 4 hours just playing and making stuff in my studio. was just awesome - and of course, blaring the christmas tunes the whole time!

this is what holiday weekends are all about. and this is what i'm reaching for this season. letting go of the past, and making memories of the present. i can do nothing else. and over at reverb10 - coincidentally, today the prompt is:

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

wow. a huge one. i have let go of many people and what people think... i have let go of the pain it causes me that they really don't take the time to know me. i've let go of the little girl i used to be, let go of the adult persona i'm "thought" to have.

this has led me to think about judgement. judge me not, for you've not spent the time getting to know my adult self. you've not taken the time to know my life and what really makes me tick. you've not taken the time to see that i'm responsible, passionate and strong. you've not seen how i can take a house and make it into a home. you cannot see how passionate i am about my daughter. you don't see what i enjoy, what makes me tick. you've not witnessed the success i have in my career. you don't see how much i care about others. you don't see that my home is very laid back and stress free (for the most part). you don't see that i don't tolerate drama. you don't see what a wonderful husband i have.

i've been on the receiving end of judgement a great deal the past several years. the hardest experience was a time i spent being judged my other women my age, also with small children and the same momma struggles. things were assumed about me, by a group of women i once thought were friends. i learned about these things and it took me months to regain my self-confidence. months. and these women still have no idea how harsh of a blow their materialistic, selfish, and sophomoric behavior affected a new momma just trying to make friends.

i've let go of these people. i've held my head high. and i've taken the high road every time. in doing so, i've spent a good deal of time alone save for my little immediate family, and you know what? that's ok. it's felt great, actually.

phew. ok. the reverb10 got heavy today. i like it. i say bring it on. right now.

peace and be good.

december daily - day 4

day four in the advent calendar told kennedy that after work, she and i would make christmas cookies! i had no idea this simple little task would provide so much laughter and fun for the two of us! it was grand.

we baked, frosted, sprinkled and listened to christmas music all the while..

and just had a fabulous time. not to mention the cookies were fabulous!


and over at reverb10...check it:
December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

wow. this is a really tough one. i don't think i ever cultivated, really. i honestly feel like wonder presented it to me on a regular basis. a friend kicking cancer's ass, my daughter learning to read, a friend's twin, premature babies getting stronger every day and turning 1 year old. my best friend of 25 years marrying a man with four boys. 3 of them with special needs. this is wonder to see the love in that family.

the more and more i ponder this, i don' think you can really cultivate wonder. i think you need to leave yourself open for it and just see it in the everyday. it's all around you. the wonder in your child's eyes as they read their first book. the wonder she sees when she plays in the season's first fallen snow. it's all around you. all around me. all i'm doing to cultivate - is just seeing it.

it's that simple.

peace and be good.

december daily reverb - day 3

there were no pictures taken today. it was the 5th day of a pretty rough week with my girl. it resulted in some breakdowns - her, me, the nanny. me again. oh and me again. dad came home, and laid down the law. it was a grounding for her of the technological kind, and she needed to give up three toys, which she will wrap and donate. you'd think we cut off her arms and took away bunny. but she was brave.

the three of us then proceeded to the book fair at school. what is it about the book fair that i always loved? i have to tell you, i am so very glad we went. dad was excited to go, and K got to dress up in PJs to go to school, as it was PJ night at the book fair, and since it was the last night - all the books were 25% off! score! we loaded up on some christmas goodies... classics even. love the book fair. love it.

so the 3rd reverb10 reads: (and it's a good one)
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

this one showed up in my mind instantly. it was this summer. we went away to hershey to celebrate kennedy's 5th birthday. we went to some caves and hiked down. when we were done and had hiked all the way back up, my husband told me he was proud of me. a year ago, my health was so bad, and i was so over-weight, i couldn't walk far or really do anything without an asthma attack breaking out. in may this year, i was about 40 pounds thinner, with asthma totally under control. and to hear your partner in life tell you they are proud of you? makes everything a little easier.

sometimes, it's just the little things.

peace and be good.

december daily reverb - day 2

the 2nd day of december. not so good. kennedy clearly wanted santa to see, some days? you just can't hold it all together. her daily good deed, was to say a nice thing to a friend, just because. she said she didn't feel like it today. maybe tomorrow. oh blech. this too shall pass.

the 2nd prompt for reverb10:
December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

you know. this was a tough one. i read this on the 2nd. i wanted to write about it just then. but i had trouble being honest with myself. trouble verbalizing that i don't do a good job making time for writing. making time for the one little simple thing that eases my mind.

then i realized, the things i do that suck this time away from me are technologically related. whether it be tv, facebook, surfing the internet - you name it, i allow myself to be sucked into it. each and every time. you'd think, working in a computer based job, i'd not want to see a computer after 500pm each day. so last week, i disconnected a little bit. not totally but a little. (which is why i'm late updating these.) :)

can i eliminate it? you betcha. will i? that's another challenge to be worked on. stay tuned.

peace and be good.



i've joined. and i'm committed. and as per usual, a day late and a dollar short.

check it out here.

in a nut shell, from the site, it asks you to:
Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10, we'll do both

i really need prompts to help do this. i typically participate in ali's one little word, but tend to keep it very private and secret. somehow, i don't think this approach is working for me. i need to really throw myself into my writing and creative mind this year in order to feel whole again.

the first prompt this month is:
December 1 One Word.

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

(Author: Gwen Bell)
this is somewhat easy for me, as i've been sitting on what this word might be for me for several weeks now. i have been reflecting on the year, and seeing how i worked on my word last year. the word for 2010 was happy. to me, it meant, make room for happy. invite happy in for a cup of hot coffee and know happy. to stop working for happy. to just let happy be. i feel like i did - meh, okay. just okay. and for a bit of a perfectionist creative type, okay is never enough. it needed to be more. more happy. more joy. more welcoming. more easy. more natural. i needed MORE. hmmmm... are you feeling it with me people? MORE.

and there you have it. i'm sailing it out into the universe on a grey syracuse day. for 2011. i need more. i want more. i must have more. more happy. more joy. more present moments. more serenity. more peace. more time with my soul. more fun. i need more.

i hope you will join me on the reverb and all it will mean, along with my december daily posts. i'm back to blogging. more. by the time 2011 rings in new? more will be a habit. and happy will come.

peace and be good.



december daily - day one

warning - picture heavy post!!

wow. it's really here. december. and didn't old man winter come in with a bang today, being the first day of december. i woke up to 62 degree temperatures, to ending the day around 400pm, with 32 degree temps and a wicked snow storm happening. only in syracuse, i suppose.

so - i've wanted to follow along with ali e and her december daily albums for years now, and just can't ever seem to make the time. i stock up on supplies. and there they sit. so i figured, this year, i'd blog about it. we've done a lot of festive stuff so far this season, and i need a place to document it all... so join me. and hopefully we can both get in the spirit.

this year, i explained to the hubby, i needed a joyful holiday season. it's not about gifts, parties, or cookie swaps to me. all those things require time that i'm not always willing to give, but often do so out of obligation. this year, it's about the number three. him, her and i. that's it. i want to continue building tradition. joyful, simple, tradition. so here's how it looks so far:

there's been lots of teaching...
 and lots of hands on baking, all while getting dressed up to do so:
she insists we wear our aprons every time
We then braved the first cold, cold night after Thanksgiving, and headed to Clinton Square for the tree lighting. this was an awesome time for each of us!
summoning more snowflakes. it began to snow the minute we parked our car downtown.

dear sweet stranger who OFFERED to take a picture of us? i love you more than words. joyful.
saturday, we headed out to get the tree. was not an easy task. we ventured out to phoenix, following signs to a tree farm that we could never find, driving into a miserable snowstorm. ended up back in camillus in front of the town hall, buying from a cute little tree lot like you'd see in a movie. we love the camillus optimists club for sponsoring this tree lot and offered a Frasier fir for only 45 bucks. best christmas tree ever.
this was the one she chose.
and it's perfect.
we also put one up in her room...
pink. what else?
and then of course we HAD to have one in the play room... with the cutest lil pom-pom garland ever that i found at christmas tree shops...
the play room tree, complete with a little village and train tracks.
and somewhere along they way? this guy showed up. we don't know how he got into the house this year, but he's here for the season. watching. listening, and flying back to the north pole each night to report back to santa. i am sad to say? santa's not heard a good report yet. oi vey, what a rough week momma has had!
if you don't know the story of The Elf on a Shelf, go google it. you must get an Elf! We named him Eddie May.
And this week marks about the 9th week Kennedy has been in school. we had her conference about a week ago. her teacher said she is soaking things up like a sponge. she said she would begin to start breaking the kids into groups after thanksgiving, to work on reading skills and continue site word work. they need to know 30 before they can advance to 1st grade. Kennedy knows 24 of them. the teacher has only taught 10 so far. today was library day. she came home with this:
and read every single word. without assistance. this is an enormous first. one that had me in tears and one i will never, for a moment forget. the sound of her reading was as smooth as honey and even sweeter. it's all she does these days, read, write and ask how to spell things. phonetically, she is spot on with every single thing she tries to write. i want to scoop her teacher up and swing her around. it's amazing.

and that my friends, is how i kicked off december. not too shabby. and i am praying the joyfulness remains. because it's the little things like this, that make all the rotten things not so stinky.

peace and be good. see you tomorrow. where do you think Eddie will end up tonight?