Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Enjoy EVERY Moment

"If I had to live life over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.  I would go to more dances.  I would ride more merry-go-rounds.  I would pick more daisies."
~Nadine Stair

Here's another one of my favorite quotes.  I actually think about it every winter because I can't wait to go barefoot again and I try to remember to stretch it out as long as I can because once that snow comes that soft, cold grass will be a distant memory. 

Aside from just encouraging me to LIVE IN THIS MOMENT and not have any regrets, these images are so beautiful, whimsical and carefree.  Sometimes those kind of moments get shoved to the side when we go from day to day being busy people.  I don't want to get to the end of life and wish I had done these things more often.  I want to do them now.  I try to do them now.  Having written this poem/saying in every journal I've ever kept gives me the gentle reminder as much as possible as I see it every time I get the urge to write. 

 It is such an inspiring and happy message to remind everyone to live fully and without regrets.  To enjoy the sweet things in life like running around barefoot for as long as possible, dancing, going on thrilling rides and picking flowers.  Sweet and simple, but so thrilling.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl

Today is my daughter's 10th birthday.  I know it's cliche, but wow, does time fly.  I keep telling her I'm not going to let her get any older--she doesn't like that at all--she wants to grow up fast just like the rest of us probably did when we were younger.  I absolutely loved the baby stage with her, so I'm having a hard time seeing her grow and change into a young woman.  I know young woman sounds a bit odd for a ten-year-old, but she's no longer my little chubby baby with tons of sweet rolls all over.  She's closer to young woman than baby now, though she says she will always be my baby.

Isabella, I wish you love, joy, laughter, happiness, silliness, strength, inspiration, motivation and the confidence to be yourself and to do what is true for you.

I'll be honest I worry a lot about what the future holds for her.  I don't ever want her to feel deep sadness, but I know that's not realistic.  I pray that she makes the right choices when big ones come up for her as she approaches her teen years.  I know worrying is a waste of time.  I think I know that.  So I try to live now and enjoy every sweet (and frustrating) moment I have with her.  She makes me smile, laugh and has brought such breathtaking joy to my life.  I'm so lucky to be her mom and be with her to celebrate her 10th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl !

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dream Big Dreams

I'll admit I'm a daydreamer.  I dream about the Caribbean Sea, those stilted huts in Bora Bora and becoming a successful artist, just to name a few.  I also dream of life being easier financially and health-wise as well. 

I encourage my daughter to dream big dreams and tell her that she can do anything she dreams or wishes.  Hopefully this message will stick with her as she gets older and possibly less confident as she enters her teen years. 

I found this inspiring quote by Gail Devers and think it's perfect for my new butterfly painting and for my daughter who will be ten-years-old next Tuesday.

"Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”

I know some people just aren't dreamers.  They are practical and serious, but I can't live that way. 

I have to dream.  I think we all have to dream.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

You Make Me Smile

I just finished this colorful painting and titled it, "You Make Me Smile."  I was inpired by the song "You Make Me Smile" by Uncle Kracker as I was driving home from work today.  Then in turn I thought of my daughter Isabella who will be turning 10 on Tuesday because she truly does make me smile.  (Not always of course--she's quite a spitfire).  But I have truly noticed that I have so much more joy in my life since she's been in it.  I have become a MUCH calmer person.  She's taught me to live in the moment and that it is fun to play board games and color silly pictures with her.  She's also taught me how important it is to really listen to a person and look them in the eyes when they are telling you something, even if it might only  be about a game they played at recess.  I'll admit I get quite sad when I realize how old she's getting because I LOVE babies and she's so far from that stage now.  However, each new age gives us new things to experience and learn about life with her.

When I think of how lucky I am to be her mommy and have her as my daughter, I feel so blessed.  It kind of makes all the other fears, worries and anxieties seem a bit smaller.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wisdom of Gandhi

I found this quote from Mahatma Gandhi and want to think about it a bit.

"Man often becomes what he believes himself to be." 

This is so interesting to me because it sure sounds like we can control our destiny or our present circumstances by our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves.  Pretty powerful.  I wonder how many people follow that principle.  Is it really truthful?  Can we set the tone for our days, our lives just by what we think about ourselves?  Can we work to change the beliefs we've had since childhood?  Can we believe ourselves into a dream career or dream life?  Again, that is powerful if it is true.  How do we get ourselves to actually, really, believe these hopeful and positive dreams we may have for ourselves.  Or would some people say that's a lot of hooey and we can't control our circumstances?

I want to start envisioning some positive differences in my life and see if Gandhi really knew what was up, so to speak.  Is this a daily practice that needs to be undertaken to really "work"?  I'd love to hear what others think about this.  Do we have ultimate control over our lives or is everything planned ahead of time and unable to be changed? 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love, Love, Love

Happy Valentine's Day!  May you receive hugs, kisses and sweet moments with those you love.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

My husband I have been together since the end of our senior year of high school, so we have been through a lot--good, bad and many Valentine's Days.  Though we definitely have our fights, we also have a lot of fun together.  And...he has been wonderful through many tough physical/health times I've had and I really feel so grateful for that. 

Love is what you've been through with somebody. 
~James Thurber, quoted in Life magazine, 1960

Yes, I'd love it if everything was hugs, kisses and romance, but I've learned that's not life, sometimes unfortunately.  But I think those tough times has made us stronger and gives us a stronger history.  Having a daughter has also put a spin on the way we spend Valentine's Day now but I'm okay with that because she's our love too.  She's made our lives so much richer and full of LOVE. 

So, Happy Valentine's Day to you.  May you spend it with someone you love.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Creative Girl

I just received the book Creative Girl, The Ultimate Guide for Turning Talent and Creativity into a Real Career by Katharine Sise.  It was recommended by Bonnie Rose from the blog A Life Unrehearsed and she seemed so excited so I thought I'd give it a shot since being creative is what makes me happy.  I do want to make a career out of it even though I haven't had much encouragement from those closest to me.

The author Sise says it is absolutely possible to make a living out of our creative pursuits.  I can't tell you how many times my mom has told me, "You'll never make a living off of your paintings."  Thanks so much for the words of wisdom, Mom.  People do make a living off of their creativity and I plan on being one of them.

Now I'm not creating just to make a living.  No.  I'm creating because it's what my heart and soul tell me to do.  I'm creating because it makes me feel alive and joyful.  But why not try to make a living off of doing what I love.  I know I have a long way to go, but I'm hoping that this book will give me some direction. 

(P.S.  Isn't the girl on the cover just adorable?)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trying New Things

These past two years have been full, I mean full of changes for me.  I went through 18 months of chemotherapy for my lupus nephritis (kidneys), quit my full-time job as a teacher, started working only 20 hours a week, painting regularly, starting an etsy shop and doing occasional art shows on the weekends.

 So many of these decisions came from my heart speaking to me, but so many inspirational quotes have also pushed me as well, such as this one from Max Dupree. 

"We cannot become what we NEED to be, remaining what we are."

Part of my journey of change is reminding myself that if I want a certain life, I have to do different things.  I've been painting for a few years, but now I'm starting to draw as well which I'm finding so fun because I'm letting it flow out of me more easily than when I paint.  I drew (then painted) this girl today and I'm pleased with it.  Typically I shy away from drawing people at all--faces are hard for me, hair is hard for me and hands are almost impossible.  But today I felt looser and free as I drew her.  I actually love her face and her hair (hands are hiding behind the dress).  For me, she's great, compared to any other peope I've drawn.  It's actually giving me a boost of confidence to try even more people. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do What You Love

I love the follwing quote about your "higher self" telling you what you should do in your life.  Is it possible that we could all be more happy and grateful if we knew what we loved and were able to do it? 

"What you LOVE is a SIGN from your higher self of what you are to do."
~Sanaya Roman
 What do you find yourself drawn to?  What signs are being shown to you?  Are they screaming it or just whispering?  Are you pushing the signs and whispers away?  I'm constantly drawn to visual things, like photography or nature and babies and eye-stopping paintings with vivid colors.  I always felt like I wanted CREATE something, anything.  Now I'm working everyday more and more toward what my higher self is telling me in the form of painting and now I've started drawing too.  I'm not saying this decision has been easy.  A lot of life changes have been made, namely financial, but I know I'm healthier and happier for doing what I love, even if it's just a little painting each day.  Having some serious health problems has opened my eyes to the fact that life goes so quickly and I don't want to come to the end of it and have regrets.

Are you doing at least a little of something that you are drawn to.  If not, why not?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Finger Painting

We are having a great snow day in Wisconsin, even the government offices are closed.  My first prompt from the e-course I'm taking (COLOR YOUR WORLD) was to fingerpaint.  I haven't done that in sooooo long, don't even know when.  Isabella and I each did our own, then we had one canvas paper left, so we made a creation together with her old, goopy watercolors.

This is our final creation.  We each painted the other's hand with a few colors and then stamped them on the paper.  It was a ticklish feeliing having our hands painted with a soft paintbrush.  Then I suggested we just paint a few hearts around it and she dated and signed it for us.  I think I'm going to get a square frame and hang it up somewhere to remind us of our fun getting messy and creating and our togetherness.

How great to just get messy, colorful and not worry about what will turn out in the end!  We loved it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Won! I Won!

I'm so excited I won a spot on Bonnie Rose's (of a Life Unrehearsed) e-course called Color your World

This is exciting for a few reasons.  First of all, I've been reading a lot about putting intentions out to the universe and then not trying to force things.  Well after reading about all that, I've been trying to think about and visualize what I need in my life to help my creativity bloom.  Winning a spot on this course seems to be a great answer to some of my intentions, namely being amidst a group of other artists who I can form a connection with.  Second of all, Bonnie's paintings, etc. are so vibrant and uplifting that I'm excited to get to know her better and work with her creatively (as well as the others in the group).

My creations are colorful already, but this course and this group of other women is the icing on the cake to make my world EVEN MORE colorful in more ways than one.  Thanks so much for being such an inspiration, Bonnie Rose!  Everything on her blog is very inspirational!
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