Sunday, October 31, 2010

gives me hope

I'm keeping this short and sweet today, as it's (yay!) Halloween, and I'm hoping to get some homemade costume goodness up for tomorrow.

I found this site this summer, and it soon became my go-to site for peaceful and hopeful reading before I went to bed. It's called Gives Me Hope, and it's packed with short stories of courage, bravery, and inspiration. The first few nights I started reading it, I couldn't stop and went all the way to the first post to start from the beginning. I didn't want to miss any. I still go to it a few times a week to help get perspective and to say a few prayers.

Something else I've begun doing in the past month or so: when I wake up in the morning, I read Bible verses for the day from my Bible app and choose a certain one that seems to really stick with me to be my verse for the day. Then I go on Facebook, read the live feed, and pray a blessing for each friend who's posted recently. I mention this because with my absolutely nutty schedule, this way of centering my morning and dedicating my day works for me right now, and if you're ultra-busy, that might work for you too. I also try to catch Paul by the coffeepot in the morning to say a quick prayer before the kids wake up, that we will be a blessing in someone's lives that day.

So here's wishing you some blessings and hope, whenever your day may start.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Rather reluctantly, I recently became a Girl Scout leader for Angela's Daisy troop. One of the leaders was moving, and if they didn't get a volunteer, they were going to disband the troop, and we couldn't have that! I had a thousand reasons to refuse: I was overscheduled, overwhelmed, and also teaching CCD, but I just couldn't let Angela down.

What surprised me is that I absolutely LOVE it!

At first, I have to say, I was very intimidated by the whole thing. But after my initial leadership training session and doing some reading, I was totally fired up. I want to teach these girls to be leaders! I want to bring them in contact with women in positions of authority to show what they could learn and do. And I want all the moms to be involved as well, because I want each girl to be able to see the amazing talents their own moms have that their daughters probably take for granted.

It helps too, that I love my co-leader and she completely knows what she's doing. After we recognized each other as kindred spirits as complete organizers and schedulers, we were like old friends. She makes it fun.

And while I think crafts are great, we are going to be spending more time on skills, as well as planning some fantastic trips. Did you know that NJPAC has a show and a sleepover for Scouts every year, and gives them all breakfast the next morning?! My girls are too young for it, but when they're old enough, I can't wait to do that trip! And don't even get me started on camping trips.

I'll leave you with the new Grace I learned at a training session, that I don't know if we'll ever get to use it with the Daisies, but we sure are enjoying it at home! It's sung to the tune of the Superman theme.

(Raise right fist)
Thank you Lord, for giving us food!
(Lower right fist)
(Raise left fist)

Thank you Lord, for giving us friends!
(Lower left fist)
For the food that we eat (raise right)
And the friends that we meet (raise left)
Thank you Lord
For every good thing!
Bum bum bum bum
(pound fists on table)

Friday, October 29, 2010

give me the works

As some of you know, I have a day job... it's the same job I've had for over 16 years now, and I couldn't be happier at it. Our company is really like a family to me; we look out for each other, we support each other, share in each others' ups and downs.

Oh yes, and we really like to create together.

My good news share for today is that our newly redesigned website just won a Platinum Award from MarCom! More than anything else - the bright colors, useful and interesting copy - our site is really an effort of love from our entire team, and that's why I think it works. There's personality in it, and pride in our work. It says it right on the home page: "We love what we do." And I think that shows throughout the site. We all contribute to the blog and our twitter feed as well, and that helps keep the site fresh and interesting and shows a variety of viewpoints, all focused on making projects better for our clients.

This one was a bit of a challenge for all of us, because it was our first redesign after my boss Rich passed away. I honestly think he would have loved this.

So while I haven't been painting, I have been doing a lot of designing. You can see some of it on the site's portfolio. I should mention also that one of our magazines also got a Gold MarCom Award, so I'm doubly happy about it! I would keep creating no matter what, but it's nice to hear every once in a while that your message is making its mark.

ps ~ For those of you dying to see a recent photo of me from this summer, (HA!) here's my brand new bio.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

...and, we're back

Holey moley, has it been….. SIX MONTHS?! Wow. I’ve never taken that long of a break before. But it was a much-needed one. I apologize for disappearing off the face of the earth for some of you, and I’m grateful for the emails and tweets of concerned people asking what the heck happened to me.

The short answer: Life happened. A big dose of life whacking me upside the head and knocking me for a big emotional rollercoaster of a loop.

The long(er) answer: This summer, after a long illness, my dear mother-in-law died. I still really am having a hard time believing it. Her passing affected all of us deeply, and I’m realizing that while she is thankfully at rest, there is still a lot for the rest of us to deal with, day to day life things. Life goes on, and there are still lunches to be made and bills to take care of and all those mundane things that need to be done. And we miss her very, very much.

For those who have been long-time readers of the site, I’ll also just say that the way I felt in 2004 was the way I spent the majority of the summer. Things are better, and I’m learning how better to deal with things that stress me. One of the main reasons I haven’t posted is that I didn’t have anything AT ALL to show – I haven’t painted in months and months and months. For me, not painting is like not breathing. It’s something I’m slowly working back to.

So… I’m trying again, to post, and share, and to paint, and to allow myself to do awful art, and share that too. And I’m setting myself the challenge to post something nice every day this week, sort of a catch-up of things I want to share with anyone who is still around to hear it.

See you tomorrow. :)