Life

Weekend Scene

Ok Fall Allergies, you win!  We made the absolute most of the insanely beautiful weather this weekend, but now I’m paying the price.  I’m surrounded by a cloud of used tissues and my nose looks like Rudolph’s.  I love fall, but fall in Texas makes me really work for it.  Clearly that didn’t stop us from eating the most amazing food and taking a nice ride through the city.

And now onto the week.  Hey October, I’m glad you’re here.

Oct Weekend 2014

Summer Sabbatical

I thought I would pop into this space to say life has happened and gotten in the way of my little electronic creative outlet (i.e. my blog).  I’m trying to strike a balance and want to make sure I’m not ever posting anything because I feel compelled rather than because I want to.  (I don’t know why I feel that pressure…it’s not like I make money doing this…)  Anyway… I may not be in this space right now, but you can find me on Instagram.  Happy Summer… I’ll be back soon!

Summer Sabbatical

The hubs snapped this last summer when we were in The DR.  I want to go back!

Is a “Meditation Challenge” an Oxymoron?

Meditation Photo

For the month of June I’ve given myself a new challenge: meditation.  I know it’s apparently all the rage these days, but it was last fall when my therapist recommended that I try it.  Well I did…sort of.  I was only practicing it very sporadically and at weird times.  Needless to say it felt forced and like me trying to put ice on a pulled muscle rather than a preemptive conditioning for my muscles.  Thus a proactive approach to my self-care has emerged.

Because meditation is hard, I thought I would build up my tolerance.  So starting on June 1st, I meditated for 1 minute; and on June 2nd, 2 minutes.  You see a pattern emerging.  So today is June 20 and I’ll meditate for 20 minutes tonight before I hit the sack.  Sitting for 30 minutes seems much more doable now because I know I can do 20 minutes.

I’ve learned 2 things since I’ve begun.  First, I can actually sit and calm my mind, but it does indeed take practice and it’s (still) hard.  Second, I do a lot better when meditating at night. I’ve tried at all times and places (hello bathroom, couch, floor, kitchen).  But “success” has come to me when I turn out the lights, turn on the twinkle lights (or light a candle), sit on the floor (with a block) or on the Eames ottoman and cross my legs.  In order to help get me calm I use an app — which I really like for background sounds and the fact that it has a really gentle alarm that lets you know when you’ve achieved your desired time.

I’ve really enjoyed my practice so far. But I think I would also like to try this “progressing” meditation while syncing up with my cycle.  That way when when I hit day 30-ish full of cramps, bloating, rage, and other general PMS, I’ll be able to get centered and tackle the introspective beast that sometimes threatens to eat me alive.

And I found this great infographic showing the benefits of mindful meditation.  And here is the full Time article and a response in The Huffington Post.

Meditation Infographic

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WAKING FROM A DREAM

I did a little disappearing act around here and reappeared in Boston, specifically Massachusetts General Hospital.  A dear friend was being induced; and we thought it would be a good idea if she had an extra set of hands around.  I’ve seen both seasons of Call the Midwife; I’m qualified right?!

What an experience, to be in the room when life enters it. It still feels like a dream.

I cannot say enough great things about the entire staff we interacted with.  Momma & Baby are doing very well (Dad too!).  And now I will have more than enough to write about for weeks to come….

BABY DREAM

Documenting My Travels

Despite my wishy-washy feelings about blogging, there is a part of me that is glad that I have this particular form of documentation of the last 5+ years of my life.  I’ve tried to maintain a balanced approach to my on-line presence.  I don’t really do social media (my 10 instagram followers don’t count!) And really, I only post part of what’s going on in my life at any given time.   As I’ve said before, this is just some sort of a creative outlet and thus a record of how I have stretched my “digital art” skills.  Some of the early stuff I really want to take down in shame but I leave it all there as a reminder of how I’ve changed and to hear my voice throughout the process.

Despite my journeying from a DIY-holly-hobbie-crafter to a wanna-be-design-snob, one consistency is prevalent throughout: adventures — great and small.  And I figured it was time I dusted off the archives of this digital time capsule and actually organize my travel photos.  What I found to be most interesting of all is two-fold really: 1.) In my earlier travels I didn’t post a lot of photos after the trip — despite having snapped literally hundreds.  And 2.) I don’t always document trips with photos.  I can think of at least 2 major cross-country roadtrips that didn’t even end up archived here in any way.  My sister even commented whilst in Spain that I didn’t take very many photos even though I lugged my DSLR with me all around the country.  It’s weird — I know.  But I want to have pure motivation while snapping… and thinking about what would be good on the blog before I snap always makes me uncomfortable.  I don’t want to capture something just to put it here — I want to capture it because I want to remember something authentic.

So… all of that qualifier to say that 1.) I’m glad I finally organized my adventures and 2.) they are what they are.  Sometimes I post about the details, sometimes it’s just been the mood.  I would love nothing more than to be a travel writer: documenting customer service, secret back-alley shops, and the best local food.  But… I’m not.  I often like to pretend that I don’t actually have an audience in this space.  (This is all just for me, right?!)  So, I’ve captured what I’ve captured and it means something to me.  But if someone else connected with it visually or verbally, then that’s just the cherry on top.  But, I must admit that it’s been pretty fun to share details of my adventures and the more I share, the more it motivates me to do it again.

If you click on the little tab up there that says Adventures, you’ll see all the places I’ve been (since 2008)…that I’ve actually posted about.

Travel Tags

smitten in the mitten

I’ve been a little MIA from this space (and my other one).  I’ve been wrapping up a couple of time-consuming clients and making a quick trip back to Michigan.  We just returned home (late!) Sunday night (actually early Monday) from a 48 hour trip that felt like we squeezed in a months worth of  activity.  The main reason for our visit though — to meet our nephew.  And we are hopelessly smitten with the little guy.  We caught him at just the right baby stage: 10 weeks.  Old enough to not be too floppy, but not yet teething or squirming.  He was perfect.  I tried to keep my cool around mom & pop, but really this is all I wanted to do!!!

I won’t be posting any pics of the little dude in this space (or any other public forum) respecting the wishes of his parents.  It’s actually a decision I highly respect.  Some time ago I (and his dad) read an article on a child’s digital footprint that they have no control over and subsequently how disturbing that can be for someone.  (If I can find it, I’ll footnote it later.) So darling nephew, you will control your on-line fate once you are old enough (and your parents are ready).  But it’s tough because that little nugget is SO CUTE!  For now though, I’m just glad that we all have iPhones so that we can have our own private photo sharing with stream sharing.

I miss him already.

New Family

along came a (white) spider

White Spider

I have weird dreams on a regular basis.  Wait.  I have CRAZY dreams on a regular basis. (I’ve talked about that before.)  Well Sunday night was no exception.  This time I was walking naked through the grocery story while talking on my cell phone.  And I hated that I didn’t have clothes on, but I thought everyone should just have to deal with it.  Then upon leaving said store I was driving home and was pulled over by a police officer.  I was trying to negotiate getting out of a ticket for flashing my brights at someone who had theirs on.  I was also hoping he wouldn’t notice me being sans clothing.  I don’t really remember too much after that, I think I woke up.  But I do remember that at some point – prior to going to the store — I was standing outside on a deck and there were bugs falling like leaves in the fall.  And these bugs I noticed were white spiders.  I remember thinking in my dream how peculiar it seemed.

Yesterday morning, after I wrote my 3(+) pages, I went to my handy dream interpretation guide to look up the meaning of spiders (no particular color — because who dreams of colored spiders) and I found this:

To dream of a spider represents feeling trapped or hopeless. A negative situation that feels inevitable or impossible to escape. Beliefs about things that you think are permanent or will never go away.

Alternatively, spiders may reflect irrational beliefs. Powerful insecurities that prevent you from doing what you want in life. Irrational fears that prevent you from enjoying yourself, or powerful desires for things you don’t believe you can ever have.

Positively, a spider may represent a positive area of your life that is intricate and patient. Inevitable success based on skill. This would usually be represented by blue or white spiders.

Folks I am working hard these days… and this feels like a good omen that it’s going to pay off!

P.S.  The police officer bit has to do with discipline (hello Morning Pages challenge!).

P.P.S. It took everything in me to be able to search for a picture of a white spider.  Me & bugs (of any kind) aren’t exactly what you would call a good combination.

original image here