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Listen with Intent – Week 47

For my last intention in November I decided to pick donate. Donating my time, my support, my attention to those I love. Listening more openly, listening for an opportunity that might need me to donate more of myself to the conversation. It seems weird when I write it down but to me, this intention makes perfect sense :)

Here’s the pin where I got the lettering..

Listen with Intent is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Nathaniel Reads to Mommy – Week 22

Nathaniel Reads to Mommy is a project for 2014 that I am doing with my 4.5-year-old son. You can read more about it here.

Today I Know – Week 46

This week’s inspiration comes from this pin. I used watercolors only on this page, too. i love the cute and simple flowers.

prompt says: today i know that i have incredible people in my life.

Today I Know is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Stitching Circles - Week 26

I found two little incomplete circles in my desk this week. Here’s the last one of them.

Stitching Circles is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

A Book a Week – The Invention of Wings

I read, The Invention of Wings because I’ve read Sue Monk Kidd before and I’ve loved it. I had heard this book was good but I knew practically nothing about the plot until I started listening to it.

It was such a lovely, such a heart wrenching, such an interesting story that I am really glad I read it. As someone who didn’t grow up here, I don’t know enough about abolition, let alone about women’s role in it. This was a really interesting read for me.

Recommended if historical novels are interesting to you.

Savor Project - 2014 - Spread Forty

This is one of the Week in the Life pages I made that will be going into my Savor album for 2014:

this one is all about our typical daily schedule.

Savor Project is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.


I’ve been thinking about beginnings a lot lately. This time of year is usually a reflective time for me, and it’s a time I usually visit the idea of beginning the new year. What my wishes, dreams, hopes, ambitions are for the coming year, etc.

But, this year, I’ve had even more reason to think about beginnings since I just started a new role at work. What’s unusual about this beginning is that everyone else is in the “middle” and I am not.

When it comes to a new year, we’re all starting that at the same time. Or back when we were at school, our beginnings were lined up. But this particular beginning is individual to me. I get to be the new person on my team for a while. And as with most beginnings, there are some advantages and disadvantages to that.

On the plus side, I am enthusiastic and since I haven’t been burned on anything yet, I feel like there are endless possibilities. I feel audacious and willing to tackle big, scary (but useful) projects. I am optimistic. I feel energetic and like I have a lot of ideas. I am excited to learn something so new to me.I feel confident, excited, and competent. I feel like a sponge, absorbing more and more till I am soaked.

The downside is that sometimes I feel soaked. I feel like my brain is completely tapped out. I feel overwhelmed and not sure where to begin. I feel organized and completely disorganized at the same time. I feel alone, like I am trying to climb a new mountain all by myself with everyone watching to see if I can do it but not offering to help. Sometimes I feel tired just thinking about all I have to do. Sometimes I miss being the one who knows it all. Sometimes I feel like I will never actually learn anything. It will never stick. I feel lost.

Sometimes, I feel all of these things at the same time.

This is how my personal projects are to me, too. I tend to pick things I want to learn, not things I already know. So they are hard and fun and easy and frustrating all at the same time. Sometimes I just want to walk away. Some days I feel like I am never going to get it. Another day I am overflowing with ideas. And then I am just tired.

But here’s what I learned: I need to soldier on.

There’s a reason I picked these projects. There’s a reason I joined this team. There’s a reason I do what I do. I love learning, growing, stretching. And none of that is possible without discomfort. None of that is possible without beginnings.

So, we shall begin.

Remember This – Week 41

Before the year is out, I wanted to make sure to share some of my One Little Word assignments from this past year. Here is the one from all the way back to March. This assignment was to do a vision board. We had a similar one last year and I used Pinterest back then to create my own and I loved the results, so when we had it again this year, I decided to do it exactly the same way.

I just love the way these turn out and I print them out to glue them into my notebooks and I also make them the background of my computers. And then when the year turns over and I make a new one, the old one becomes a screen saver.

Remember This is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Learning as a Grownup

David’s teachers sent us an email last week with recommended links related to math work. One of the links they sent us was to an online math class Stanford is offering. I decided we could take that one together so I registered us and we started this past weekend.

So far, a lot of the class is around Myths about Math, recent brain research on learning, and research on making mistakes and the importance (or not) of being fast. Even though I was aware of a lot of this research, hearing it again has been incredibly fascinating and informative.

I can write several blog posts on the things we’ve learned so far but one of the first thoughts that came to me as I was listening was about the difference between how we perceive learning as a kid vs as a grown up. When we’re young, we’re expected not to know much and to always be learning. We send our kids to school and we also try to introduce them to other activities like sports, arts, music, leadership, public speaking, community service, etc. We spend a lot of energy learning, growing, expanding as young people.

We don’t expect them to be brilliant, but we do expect them to keep trying, to keep learning, and to be open. And if they are lucky, our kids don’t get stereotyped as the kid who can do X but can’t do Y. Especially at the younger ages, we encourage them to cast their net wide, to explore, to try and give different things a chance.

But then we are done with official school and expectations around learning seems to change drastically.

By this point, we’re expected to “know” so much. We’re supposed to know what we want to do with our life, what we’re good at, what we’re not good at, what’s worth our time, and on and on. It’s as if up until that moment, our brain was growing, stretching, expanding, but then when we turn 21 and graduate, it’s all over. There’s no more room for growth. Stretching our brain is no longer a priority. And, to make matters worse, we often have very strong opinions on what’s no longer an option for us. “Oh I’m not a math person. It’s too late for me to learn a new language. I can’t draw to save my life. I’m just not talented.”

The Stanford class says there’s data that proves the human brain is very plastic even when we’re adults. We can create new connections and when we practice something new, we do strengthen those areas of the brain, even if we’re old.

So why do we stop learning? Why do we no longer try to grow?

Why isn’t learning encouraged just as much as an adult? Why is it no longer a part of the society’s norm? We encourage our teenagers to gain work experience but we don’t encourage adults to go to school and learn new things.

Maybe I am thinking about this all wrong or maybe I am missing something obvious. Either way, hearing about this research made me decide to embrace the growth mindset and the drive to learn even more strongly. I don’t ever want to be a person who says “it’s too late for me, i can’t learn this anymore.” I want to always keep learning and keep growing and keep stretching my brain.

And I am grateful to know that my brain will continue to respond to that.

Listen with Intent – Week 46

Another way of listening kindly, for me, is obliging. Being willing to do what the other person wants. My kids often want to come talk to me and many times, i am in the middle of something and my instinct is to tell them to come back later. But this week is all about obliging them. Putting them first. Listening to them when they would like me to.

Here’s the pin where I got the lettering..

Listen with Intent is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Today I Know – Week 45

This week’s inspiration comes from this pin. I used watercolors only. It’s nowhere as magnificent as the original but i still like it. Paperfashion is one of my heros, her work is always always magnificent and dreamy.

prompt says: today i know that kindness from others feels.

Today I Know is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

A Book a Week – The Giver

I read, The Giver because I knew the movie was coming out and David had just recently read it so I wanted to make sure I read it, too.

It was a very, very quick read and I really found it fascinating. I thought it was well written and I loved the story even though it was disturbing, of course. I did wish the ending was better and it bugged me until I found out it is a quartet. So maybe if I invest in the other three, too, I might feel better.

The movie was quite good, too, in my opinion, though wildly different from the book in places.