A Book a Week – love water memory

I picked up Love Water Memory because I saw the author’s name in Jennifer Lauden’s blog and I just felt drawn to the book for some reason. I even checked it out from my local library.

I read it really quickly, mostly because I was interested in finding out what happened. I felt like it was an interesting story but it never got as deep as it could have. It felt like the story, the plot, the characters all stayed in the surface most of the time. I really liked the book and wished it had more depth because I think it could have been that much better.

Fifty-Two Stamps – Week 4

Week four is another one of my Core Desired Feelings for 2015. This week’s word was serene. One that I thought would have been easy but it was really hard. I kept messing up my “s” and the first time I was carving it, I cut right through the top of it so it was no longer recognizable as a letter. I thought of salvaging it and tried to, but alas I finally had to admit it wasn’t going to happen.

So I gave up and started all over again, doing a slightly different version and ended up with what you see above. Here are the two stamps below.

the process of carving this wasn’t so very serene but i persisted.

Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Note to Self – Week 4

This page was originally supposed to be a Tam assignment for Life Book 2014. Representing ourselves as an animal that represents growth and strength. But I didn’t feel like drawing any animals.

At the time, I was taking several big leaps of courage and I was thinking a lot about being brave so I decided I wanted to draw this girl leaping from one side of a cliff to another. I wanted her to be doing it gracefully, fearlessly, joyfully. Alas, my drawing skills aren’t that advanced. I tried and tried and this was the best I could end up with. I don’t love it but I also don’t hate it.

It says: the courage is in choosing to leap, not in the outcome, so celebrate the leap.

I wanted to remind myself that bravery is not about not being afraid. But it’s also not about the outcome. It’s about trying. Being willing to try. To jump without knowing what’s on the other side. To have faith.

This is a good one for me to remember as I go on my journey of being brave this year.

Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave - Week 4

This week’s layout is so not my favorite. But I wanted to be honest and not skip things. There are a few more upcoming ones I am not crazy about but that’s the thing about learning a new skill: there are more days of failure than there are of success. But you keep pushing anyway and eventually the ratio starts tilting the other way. Or so I hope.

And it takes a lot of practice. A Lot. At least for me.

On the left side, is the Posche we rented for Jake’s birthday back in September. At least this was my attempt of it.

The right side is a house on the way from my house to the school. I kept passing it and one day I just stopped and drew it. I drew this while I was looking out the window of my car and i didn’t plan carefully so I drew it too large. I don’t like how much of the page it covers. Just don’t like the way it looks, period.

And there we are.

Everyday Brave is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

David and Nathaniel's Books of Happy Memories - Week 2

Here’s this week’s offering from David:

He has his one side of the paperbag his classmates wrote on last year. all the things they like about David.

And one from Nathaniel:

He has his tricky words (sight words) written in rainbow colors.

David and Nathaniel’s Books of Happy Memories is a two projects I’m doing with my kids for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Stories of Twenty-Fifteen - Week 3

Here’s this week’s story:

Title: Breast Stroke Ribbon
I remember the first time we ever took you swimming, David. You were five years old and I was worried that we’d waited so long that you would be completely scared of water and never want to go in. All of my friends had taken their kids swimming for years but we’d listened to our pediatrician who said to wait till you were five.

So we did. But even though I listened to him, I was still worried that somehow I’d messed up and you’d be permanently scarred from my mistake.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. You went to your class, saw the pool and jumped right in. You played with the teacher and all of his toys. You had no problem going under the water. You had the time of your life.

I can’t tell you how relieved I was watching you have so much fun. Once we started, we never stopped having you take lessons. Even though, you’ve only had a 30minute lesson shared across four people, once a week, you still slowly managed to progress through each of the strokes.

You started with freestyle and then moved on to backstroke, which I think is still your favorite. And then you began learning breast stroke. At first, it felt so weird that you said you’d never be able to figure it out. It was so different from the other two. You didn’t kick in the same way. It seemed tough to coordinate your legs and hands at the same time. Since Daddy was the one who took you swimming each week, I never really got to see your progress; just the words you said when you came home each week. And you’re not known for being the most optimistic one in the family.

So I had no idea how close you were to actually getting your ribbon. And of course, it ended up coinciding with a day where we were in a rush and had to leave early. You were devastated not to get to pick it up after having done so much work. But, after the party we were committed to, we went back to the swim school and not only did you get your ribbon but you got to have your picture taken, too.

I love seeing that huge smile on your face, my son, I am so proud of you!

Stories of Twenty Fifteen is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

You Choose - Week 3

This week’s pick is a hand and on the inside of the wrist is a tattoo that says “alive”. I don’t have any tattoos but if I got one, that’s where I would want it to be. I coupled it with some sentences from an old Brave Girl’s class I took. One says “I let myself be a learner” because when I am learning, I feel alive. And the other one says “I cheer myself on” because I want to be my own biggest advocate. I want to root for myself. I want to come fully alive.

here is a side look for the shimmer, you can’t see it very well, but the transparent sequins shine beautifully:

here’s to being able fully alive.

You Choose is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

A Book a Week – An Ember in the Ashes

My friend Evelyn gave me an ARC of An Ember in the Ashes because a friend of hers wrote it and she thought I might like it.

It was the first time I read a paper book in a while and I will admit i read the whole thing in one sitting. Literally. I opened it and never closed it until I finished it.

But that’s because Evelyn told me it was good. Had she not recommended it, i might have given up and not gotten to the good parts. Overall, it was interesting but not amazing in my opinion. I liked the male characters much more than the female.

Fifty-Two Stamps - Week 3

This week is another one of my Core Desired Feelings for 2015. This next one was the longest of my words: abundance. I wasn’t sure how to tackle it and it took a few iterations to get it right so it was readable but not too big.

I thought of not making it cursive but I really liked the way it looked cursive so I kept trying until I got one that worked.

it’s long and hard to spell but i love the word abundance.

Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Note to Self – Week 3

For this first page, I used Alena Hennessy’s lesson from Life Book 2014. Alena’s style is very fluid and intuitive and I wanted to emulate that.

This page also has no text. It’s easier for me to be organized, have a plan, and write my thoughts down. It’s considerably harder for me to just go with the flow. For this page, I painted the whole page first, and then I drew my flowers and painted over everything else so what you’re seeing in the flowers is what was underneath.

This one reminds me that we all have layers. What you see at face value isn’t always all there is. It also reminds me that what’s here now doesn’t have to be the final version of what there will be. Like art, we are always evolving. We are not finished products. And anything can be painted over. We get to choose who we are. If we don’t like what we see, we keep changing till we do.

It also reminds me to be more fluid. To trust my intuition. To trust that beauty emerges no matter what.

here’s a closeup of the left side:

and right side:

Thanks to Alena for teaching me so much.

Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave - Week 3

This week’s page just contains one sketch. I saw this beautiful, colorful house in San Francisco and immediately knew I wanted to sketch it. We were driving by, so I asked Jake to stop so I can take a photo of it and then I sketched it many days later when I was home.

Even though it has a lot of mistakes, I like how it turned out. Overall, it has the feeling of a colorful house even though I clearly took some artistic license in many places.

And there we are.

Everyday Brave is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Weekly Diary – January 18 2015

Still not taking any photos. Let’s see if I can rectify that starting this week. I’d like to say week two was all about getting back into routine but I’d so totally be lying. This week was possibly busier than last week. Meetings, teaching, middle school trips, personal projects and of course lots and lots of work.

And in a continuing saga, Nathaniel now has a double-ear infection. Yum.

All in all, everything ended okay and we’re still chugging along here but I can’t say we’re in any kind of a consistent, reliable routine yet. Here’s to hoping we make it there before the end of the month.

In the spirit of keeping tabs on my priorities and goals weekly, here’s some of what worked and didn’t work this week so far:

Worked Well:

  • I am still sketching my daily girls.
  • I worked on all my My Mind’s Eye work for February.
  • I managed to complete all my weekly projects relatively painlessly.
  • Still doing well with the skin cream.
  • I’ve managed the 5-2 this week without pain, too.
  • Didn’t do as well on veggies but still eating a bunch.
  • I spent a lot of time with David and Nathaniel, working and playing.
  • Started teaching math weekly to David and a classmate
  • Started Nathaniel’s gratitude journal
  • Took Nathaniel to the movies with a bunch of his friends.
  • Went to two middle schools this week to kickoff our research/process.
  • I’ve been really good at saying yes to my boys.
Needs more Work:
  • I only journaled one time all week.
  • I still didn’t start Mommy reading to Nathaniel.
  • I only exercised once this week.
  • I didn’t drink enough water or take my vitamins.
  • Still lacking on the sleep.
  • I want to be more organized about how I spend my time.

So for this upcoming week, the two i want to focus on changing the most are the same two I had last week: blocking my times and exercising. I still think both are crucial and will help me get the other ones on my list done more effectively. Until I get those rolling, I don’t want to pick others.

Here are a few more photos from this week:

Nathaniel working on his gratitude journal.

Family photos.

I love looking at these photos.

silly faces all around.

and lots of laughter.

we loved percy jackson this week. and had to keep reminding nathaniel to look at the camera.

and my very favorite: tickle time!

and here we are. A busy but productive and amazing week. I am so grateful for my life.

Weekly Diary is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.