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Savor Project – 2014 – Spread Thirty

Still catching up from the summer.

so happy.

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

Remember This - Week 35

Life Book week 28 was back to an assignment from Tam. It was about drawing an eye. This one is almost a copy of the art she made for the week. And i do love it so.

It’s all made with acrylics, pens, watersoluble crayons and some sprays.

I do wish I’d written one big message on the page. Eh, we live we learn.

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

The Gift of Awareness

On Monday mornings my sons’ school has a school-wide assembly where they talk about different topics each week. This week was the first one for the 2014-2015 school year. The head of the school talked about awareness. Being more present and aware of this moment. Aware of your choices. Paying attention.

I drove home thinking about awareness in my life. Where I can foster it more. What gets in the way of my being more aware?

Then, later in the day, I was talking to a friend from work who’s frustrated with a situation. As we talked, I realized that he was making a mistake I have made in the past. He was too busy complaining about the other person and how this person had to change instead of focusing on himself. When I asked him what he wanted from his own life, he wasn’t sure. He said “if only I knew.”


So I told him that what was getting in his own way wasn’t this other person but his own lack of awareness about what he wanted. His lack of desire/willingness to get that figured out. It’s tough to do this work. Most of us really want to complain and have the situation fixed in the easiest way possible, ideally where we don’t have to do the work but it’s fixed for us. This is why we complain, point the finger, or whine about others.

It’s easier.

I’ve done it a million times myself.

Looking deep down and understanding what you want, what you deeply desire is tough. Figuring out what you’re willing to do to make that happen is even tougher. And doing it is the toughest of them all. But, sometimes, once you know, it’s really easy to take the necessary steps. It’s as if you’re suddenly propelled forward. What was holding you back was really the lack of articulation. Not sorting out what you really want.

As with everything, it all starts with awareness.

So I am doing the same thing myself today. Making a list of my desires. My frustrations. My hopes and dreams. Things I whine about. And then looking at them through the eye of awareness. What do I really want. What’s getting in the way? What am I willing to risk to get what I want?

Welcoming the gift of awareness into my life.

Listen with Intent – Week 36

For this week, I picked volunteer. One way I can see myself being more social is with a purpose. So if I volunteer to do things that need to be done, to help a cause, I know that I will show up and I will feel like my presence matters. As a side effect, I also get to be more social. In my world, that’s a win-win!

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 35

This week’s inspiration comes from this pin. I used pastels and pen on this page. These are not my colors and this page doesn’t make me so happy but i am still glad I tried something new.

prompt says: today i know that life is good.

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

The Joy and Love of Family is Unlike Any Other

Here’s a layout I made for My Mind’s Eye for September.

Journaling reads:
My sweet boys,

As it worked out, both Daddy and I live away from our parents. After we moved to California and started to grow into a family, traveling long hours with two little kids felt overwhelming so we let others visit us instead. We did this for so long that it got comfortable and I never felt like I was ready to take you on these long trips.

In 2012, my sister’s boys had their Bar-Mitzvah and the occasion forced my hand to take a leap. After much fretting and planning, the four of us took the long trip to Istanbul.

And, of course, you guys were wonderful the whole time.

You watched movies, read, and slept pretty much the whole way. When we arrived, you didn’t even suffer from jetlag. The whole time we were there was joyful but I especially liked watching you with your cousins, whom you hadn’t seen in person in over ten years. You guys bonded as if you were already friends.

At the beginning of 2013, my family asked me if I would be willing to come over again. My dad was turning sixty and and he wanted all of his grandkids together. So I decided to take the plunge once more. I got braver this time and we went just the three of us. Once more, it was a blast.

When we came back from Bodrum, I felt the calmest I’d had in a long time. I loved processing all the photos we took while we were there and seeing the joy in your faces. I loved seeing my family together and happy. I decided there and then that we would make this a tradition for as long as we could. I also decided we needed to show up for your dad’s family, too.

So, this year, we went to Bodrum to see my family and to Martha’s Vineyard to be with Daddy’s family. Both trips were long and complicated. I did not enjoy the travel and both times, I craved alone time and quiet. I had some tough moments.

But I also had the best moments of my life watching the whole family come together. I loved seeing you play football with your cousins. I loved watching you talk about videogames and books. I loved hearing all the laughter.

But, most of all, I loved how easy it was for you to all love each other.

Magical Moments

Here in California, we are blessed with quite nice weather every day. My job, however, is in front of the computer and often indoors. Generally, I go out twice a day: to drop my kids to school and to pick them up. That’s when I see sunshine and remember that I live in lovely California and need to get out more.

I also tend to have this revelation each year during July. I go home to see my family, come back and decide it’s time to sit outside. So I setup camp in our small backyard. I bring out my computers, diet coke, coffee, art, and my audiobook. And I settle in for the day. This generally lasts all summer and comes to an end with the beginning of school.

Last week, when the boys went back to school, I spent the whole week inside and then over the 3-day weekend, I decided I wasn’t ready to welcome the end of summer just yet. So I am back outside. I sit here as the breeze washes over me, typing on one computer and keeping my eye on the other while the boys do their homework (david) and play (nathaniel.)

Transitions aren’t easy for me. I like to live a relatively scheduled life and transitions cause major havoc to my planned days. I think that might be why I am rebelling against the fall. So instead of fighting it or resisting it or just relenting, I’ve been thinking about what I like about these summer days and what, if anything, I might want to bring over to the fall/winter.

Siting outside is not just about sitting outside, of course. It’s about the calmer attitude. It’s about enjoying LIFE and not making all my days just about the computer. It’s about remembering that I am part of something so much bigger. This helps me put my worries in perspective. It helps me remember the transient nature of life. It helps me remember that it’s all cycles and we’re in this phase now.

I also love it. I love the air. I love the green. I love the birds and squirrels and even all the noise. This morning, a hummingbird paused right in front of me for a split second. It was magical.

It’s about remembering that life is magical. And that magical moments happen all day long, every single day.

That’s what I want to take with me as I welcome the fall.

A Book a Week – Wild

I’ve been meaning to read Wild for a long, long time. But what finally got me to read it was the movie, of course.

I won’t see it until I read it.

So read it, it was.

I knew a lot of people liked it and I did, too. But I didn’t love it. It was interesting and I enjoyed reading all about the hiking adventures. But overall I had a hard time relating to the author and many of her choices and that did cloud my view of the book.

I am very much looking forward to the movie, of course.

Savor Project – 2014 – Spread Twenty-Nine

Still catching up from the summer.

so happy.

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

Growing a New Skin

I feel like it’s been months and months and months since I’ve written a blog post. The funny thing is I found myself here last year, too and I remember specifically thinking how I want to write more posts this year. More of these thoughts posts. But then it just doesn’t become a priority. I feel like I make the art a priority. The work, the kids, the exercise, the coaching. But not the blogging. And the fact is, for me, blogging really does help. It’s therapeutic. It’s centering.

So it’s something I want to find time for.

Life’s been passing by really quickly over here. I feel like this year has passed by more quickly than any before. In exactly ten days, I turn 40.


That’s a big number.

I have no qualms about getting older. In many ways, I actually like it. I know this is because I am blessed enough to be in good health and have a job that allows me to support my family. I am grateful for both of these things regularly. I don’t mind the lines on my face or the sagging (well i am not a fan of sagging but more on this later.) I don’t mind the number. I feel I’ve spent my life well and have wonderful things to show for my forty years on this earth. I am proud of where I am and how I got here.


(There’s always a but, isn’t there?)

But, forty is a big number. I am likely done with the first half of my life (if i am lucky and live to be in my 80s) and there are some tangible changes I’d like to make to my second half. Things that were maybe a necessary part of getting here but things that are now holding me back from enjoying “here” and from getting to the next place, wherever that may be.

Here’s some of what’s on my mind: (in no particular order)

  1. Health/Wellness: I’ve spent a lot of my teenage years, twenties, and thirties yoyoing with my weight, eating habits, exercise (or lack thereof) etc. I’ve fretted about my weight, my size, my food… all my life. I am so very ready to be done with this. I don’t want to spend the next 40 years of my life worrying about my weight. About what I eat. About wearing a bathing suit. Or even pants. I just want to be done with this particular worry. To address this, I am trying to figure out if I can make some fundamental shifts in how I eat and what wellness means to me. (I will readily admit to eating Nutella out of a jar as I type this. So I think we can all agree this needs to be addressed.) For me, this is not an issue about being thin (though I do want to be thin, even if it’s not cool to admit this.) but it’s an issue of being aligned. I want what I do and what I say to be aligned. I don’t want to eat badly, be sedentary and then whine constantly about my weight. I want this kind of out-of-balance lifestyle to no longer be a part of my life. So, to that end, I am going to try to do the whole life challenge starting in a few weeks. (one day after i turn 40, in fact.) And I will give it an honest try. I will try to use it as an opportunity to shift my way of living around wellness. If it doesn’t work, I will figure something out. What I know is that I will not carry this issue with me much longer. I am determined to put it to rest one way or another.

  2. Worrying about Work: Over five years ago, when Nathaniel was born, I made an active choice to downscale my career. I decided to work at home full time so I could raise my boys while I earn money and still have an intellectually challenging job. I have a job that I am proud of and love in many ways. I am grateful to earn what I do and take care of my family how I can. I love and adore Chrome and I am incredibly proud to be a part of the product I love so much and the team I respect and the company I love. All of these things are wonderful. I am incredibly grateful to get to do all this while I also raise my kids, take them to school and pick them up from school, and check their homework and on and on. I am lucky. Lucky, lucky, lucky. I don’t want to forget that for one second. I also want to remember that this came at a cost. And one of the costs was career progression, etc. My job is still relatively high pressure and demanding. There are many moments where I am really, really stressed and a lot of hours I spend worrying. In the last few months, I’ve decided that while the intensity of my job might not be alterable, my attitude towards it all certainly is. There are times I yell at my kids because I am stressed about something on my computer screen. And here’s another example of lack of alignment… the fact is, I chose my kids. I decided being a mom and being physically around was more important than being at work and having the benefits of that. So if I am choosing to work at home, I should not yell at my kids. Because I always knew what working at home means. I understand it’s tough for my kids to have me there but not always available. And this is my burden, not theirs. Taking my work stress out on them kills the whole point of being home. So my plan is to worry about work less. I still work just as hard and vigorously. I just tone down the worrying. I remember what matters most at all times. And that’s my boys. My family. My life. My friends. They will always matter most. Work matters a lot. Just not most.

  3. Sense of Self: I’ve spent a lot (a LOT) of my years apologizing for who I am. Feeling less than. Feeling unworthy. Not belonging. Apologizing. On and on. I am done with that. Done. I fully accept that I am flawed. I am not the perfect person. I mess up just as often as I do well. I try to be kind and generous and sometimes I am. And other times I am selfish and manipulative. I yell. I can be cruel. I am incredibly hard working and I can be lazy. I am weird. I have issues (oh, lord, do i have issues.) and I randomly freak out without a lot of reason and apologize not long after. I fail. Sometimes I don’t even try. And sometimes I am awesome. I belong just as much as anyone else ever did. I am worthy just like the rest of us. I have my good sides and my bad sides. I am not saying I am the best person ever but, either way, I made it to 40 and the chances that the core of my being will shift are low at this point. And, to be honest, I still choose to be me over other options, even with my flaws. So here we are. I am 40. I am me. I am done apologizing for who that is. I am done squashing myself. I will still apologize for many mistakes I will undoubtedly make in my life. I will still feel bad many times. But I will no longer subscribe to the belief that there’s something fundamentally wrong with me. Good or bad, I seem to be stuck with this person for now and it is time I honor and cherish her instead of beating her up regularly. I have decided to fully grow into loving my self. Grateful for the gift of being me.

  4. No Guilt Trips, No Arbitrary Rules: Along with the sense of self, I’ve decided I am done worrying about being someone I am not or living my life by others’ rules. If I don’t like to cook and my family is ok with that, it is not of anyone’s concern. I am not feeling guilty about never ironing. I am not feeling bad about things I don’t do. My messy house. I just don’t want to do anything with resentment. I want to do it because I truly value doing it. My time is so precious. We are here for such a short amount of time and I want to use mine the way that makes me (and the people I love) happiest. I don’t want to make up rules about anything. Drawing from a photo is not cheating. Using pencil isn’t either. If I want to do art, I shall do art. If I want to walk away from it all, I will and if I want to come back, I will do that, too. The only rules are the ones I want to live by. The ones that enhance my life and bring joy into my days. I am no longer living my life by some random shoulds.  I am officially old enough to make up my own rules.

  5. More Grace, more self care: Along the lines of wellness and sense of self, I want to spend more time taking care of myself. My soul. My body. My teeth. My skin. I want to treat my whole body, inside and out with more care and love. And I want to make this a priority. For me.

  6. More/Better Connection: As I get old, I realize how much I cherish my friends, family and even acquaintances. Social events are not easiest for me. I usually prefer being alone or one-on-one but I want to put myself out there more and to expand my circle. I want to deepen my connection with my friends. I want to show them that they are a priority with my actions.

  7. Braver: And finally (at least for now), I want to be braver. I feel like courage is a muscle and it needs regular exercise. I want to exercise my courage muscles. More. Deeper. Regularly. I want to try new things. I want to walk away from things. I want to go places I am scared to go. I want to be brave. I want to live life fully. There’s joy that comes from courage. Excitement and freedom. I want both of those.

So here we are. Just a few things on my mind as I approach the big four-oh. I want to look at this as an opportunity to shed one skin for another. Create a new “truth” for myself. No need to carry around the past and stories I made up in my teens.

Here’s to being brave.

Remember This - Week 34

Life Book week 25 was back to an assignment from Effy Wild. Her art was totally different but when I sat down to create, this is what poured out of me. It happens that way sometimes. This lady is made with acrylics. And she is not my favorite but I do like her message:

You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

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

Listen with Intent – Week 35

For this month, I picked “listen socially.” While I am super talkative, being social is not something that comes naturally to me. I much prefer to be alone, doing my own thing. This month is all about getting out there, reach out to some of the people I’ve fallen out of touch with but I still miss and want to reconnect with.

I could no longer find where I got the lettering..

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