Tuesday, December 31

2013: The Year in Review

I say this every year, but I love looking back and 
and seeing where we were and where we've come
and how much life has been lived along the way.
Because it feels the same.
It feels like I'm stuck in the exact same place I was at this time last year.
It feels like I will never move.
it feels like I will never make progress.

But that's not the truth. 
The truth is that all of these brave little baby steps
 taken day by day
moment by moment
sleepless night by sleepless night, 
it all adds up. 
And there is movement.
And there is progress.

And like a first grader learning
 how to put her thoughts down on paper,
I want to celebrate what I am
instead of seeing all the things I am not.

I gave myself a year to explore the world of art licensing.
I tried a lot of different styles and techniques.
I bought a large format scanner.
I figured out the difference between jpeg and tiff and png. kind of.
I figured out how to add text images in Photoshop.

Honestly, at this time last year I was ready to be rich and famous. 
Okay, maybe just rich. 
Okay, maybe just able to stay working part time for another year. 
But, as it turns out, I'm neither rich nor famous and I don't love painting assignments.
Actually, I would be thrilled with painting assignments if I got paid for them.
but right of the bat, I don't.
So, I'm on the fence about art licensing.

I ordered and loved Lilla Roger's book:
and the one thing she says again and again is:

People buy your joy.

So true.

With licensing, I created  assignments, 
without making time for creating my joy.
And that kind of sucked the life out of me.
it made me not want to paint or play or even be creative.
It just made me feel tired. Like more work.

In January I rocked 31 Days of Scripture Art Journaling
with every intention of finishing.

This January I plan to do the same. except finish.
January 6th -January 17th
It's coming.

I finally made a calendar.

I've been wanting to make one ever since I started creating.
I finally did. It was a ton of work.
I kind of love it.

And I made more scripture prints.

And I made a bunch of free scripture printables.
You can get them here.

The boys grew and grew and grew.



They turned 2 and 5,
Thank goodness . I love these ages.
Can we stay right here, please?
This is the hardest best thing
I've ever gotten to do.
By far the hardest.

My husband made it through a year and a half of his Master's program.
He'll be done in July and we will all say a big Wahooooooooooo!

My two little words were: shameless audacity.
I don't feel like I did anything audacious.
But I started to pray big.
And God started answering.
In one big, humongous way and a lot of little ways.
Thank you, Lord.

My friend Kristi and I decided to try our hardest
 to get our kids serving our community.

Collecting shoes...

Passing out cookies to strangers...

Ummmmmm... with 2 and 3 and 5 year olds, it's hard.
It takes planning and work. But it is so worth it.
Of course it's worth it. Every single time it's worth it.
I'm thankful for Kristi because I would have
 called it a day after the first activity.
But I told her I would and she keeps us going.4
And every time I'm thankful.

That was 2013 over here.
Thank you for coming along for the ride.
See you in the new year!


Friday, December 27

InstaFriday: Christmas Edition

We really do. 
I hope you had/are having a Merry Christmas, friends.

Behold: Christmas pictures.
Thank goodness they only come once a year
because no one would survive it any more frequently.

Kari took these photos and she is amazing 
because my kids were not at their best awful. Of course.
We bribed Slurpees and threatened time outs 
and begged and pleaded.

Joshy had been cranky all day and Jack gets nervous and
 has this self-protective scowl when he's uncomfortable.
Lovely for pictures.
I seriously can't believe these turned out so well.I love them.
With very little to work with.
They were awfully behaved.
I'm not being humble. 
it was just one of those days.
She completely captured their personalities.

Jack: a little old man
serious, always thinking, curious, skeptical, slow to warm up

Joshy: the cutest little clown you ever did see
silly, carefree, social, so squeezable, and grumpy at the drop of a hat.
Stop looking at me.

Anyway, Kari, you are amazing and we are so thankful for your talent!

And for the rest of the holiday... 

We forgot about Santa until December 23rd, 
along with everyone else who forgot to see him. 
My mom and I took turns waiting in line and strolling the kids around the mall.
Jealous much?
But we were on a mission, and we got it. Ha!
That's all I have to say.

They look like they're praying here.
Joshy: Hey Santa, let me tell you what this whole Christmas thing is really about. 
Can I pray for you? Let's all hold hands and bow our heads...

This was the best attempt we could get of the kids in front of the tree. 
Thank you Joshy.

 I'm kind of impressed with myself this year. 
It's the first year I've manged to have decent pajamas 
on the kids for pictures on Christmas morning.

It was the Christmas of 1,000 trains. 
Jack likes them. Josh is obssessed.
He has only put down his little plastic Thomas once in three days.
And that was to take a bath.

Christmas with the cousins...

Josh is trying to kiss and hug Kayleigh.

and here is one of my favorite pics from Christmas.

I don't think daddy ever stopped building on Christmas day

Joshy has to help. Always.

We had some visitors at our Christmas breakfast

and we got a special delivery from Texas. The best! 
Thank you Auntie Cami & Uncle Steve.

One of Jacks favorite things to do at Christmas is go by the singing house. 
It really sings. It's amazing. The kids love it.

I haven't created anything for fun in a long while and my mind and heart 
are about ready to burst open with thoughts and ideas and creations.


Friday, December 20

InstaFriday: Mountain House Edition

Christmas Orders are shipped.
School is out.
And we are up at the mountain house 
for a few days of snow before Christmas. 
I look forward to it all year. 

***Be prepared... ***
I got a new camera for Christmas, 
and I love it. It's 1,000 times better than my old one.
So there are many, many shameless pics of the kids.

We waited for snow all day yesterday. 
And it finally came in the late afternoon.

 We have been playing and hiking...




fire making...

And a lot of this...

and this...

 and making playdough cupcakes...

playing bumper pool...

snowball fighting...


Snowman making...


Lots of coffee and games and pajamas 
and puzzles and cookies.
Too much food. 
Plenty of tantrums and time outs, too. 
Joshy screamed the whole way driving over to the tubing hill.
Hysterical. Crying. Yelling. I don't want to go.
We knew he would love it so we made him go. 
He screamed bloody murder all the way up the hill and all the way down.
People were staring. Um, is he okay?
As soon as we got down the hill: 
That was fun. Let's go again. 
Of course.

That's our week. 
Hope your are enjoying yours.