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Saturday, February 28, 2015

beach life

As you're reading this, we're on our way back here.  Life has been busy lately.  Really busy, and kind of hard.  About a week ago, I called Mr. F at work and told him I needed the ocean.  He agreed, requested a couple of days off, and the next thing we knew, we were planning on a long weekend vacation.

These photos are from Christmas.  My parents drove down from the D, picked us up in Atlanta, and the four of drove down to Florida to join Mr. F's parents for the holiday season.  On Christmas morning, the six of us and the two dogs got up relatively early and went for a long walk on the beach.  The tide was low, perfect for beachcombing.   This might be my new favorite Christmas tradition.  All of the family together at our happy place. 

I have plans to spend hours on this beach this weekend.  Walking endlessly, listening to the crash of the waves, my thoughts, and maybe a few NPR podcasts.  Goodbye real life, hello oceans!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

empty pitcher

While I have always struggled with Depression, this winter has added upon me a heaping dose of Anxiety.  This fall and winter have been some of the busiest seasons I have known personally in quite a while. I have had more responsibilities added to my plate.  Home, work, personal life, church, health, and relationships have been commandeering my attention and efforts.  By and large, I have loved it.  I love having a community that needs me and am so grateful that my business is growing steadily enough that it keeps me on my toes and frequenting the local post office.  But I'm burning out.  And not just because I have a lot on my plate.

Somewhere along the way my Depression met my work load and had an Anxiety baby.  I stopped reacting to things normally.  Panic reigned supreme, mainly in my head and in my relationship with Mr. F.  Nothing was working. Nothing was good enough.  I wasn't good enough.  I wasn't able to do enough, help enough, cook enough, stay healthy enough, clean enough, sell enough.  I was worrying myself ragged.  Sleep was sporadic and unwelcome, as I had dreams about meetings and events from my waking life that would worry me even more when unconscious.  Irascible and inconsolable, Mr. F finally looked at me and said, "Enough is enough."  

He talked me off of the metaphorical ledge and I hope he knows how much his patience and loving support has meant to me through this.  He told me repeatedly that I was enough, that I was doing enough, and that I was just fine.  He encouraged me to take a step back, relinquish a few projects, which was harder than I'd like to admit, and process.

A few years ago in a Sunday School class, someone made the poignant comment, "You can't pour from an empty pitcher."  Those words have rung loud and clear with me as Mr. F's words cleared a path through my Depression-addled mind.  Of course I didn't feel like I was doing things properly!  I had been doing everything on empty!  I hadn't allow myself to recharge, regroup.  I had not been taking care of myself in the midst of taking care of everything else.

I would love to say everything is hunky dory now.  It's not, but I'm stronger enough now to realize that.  Mr. F is helping me a lot, more than I admit.  We've begun discussing therapy to give me the proper tools to combat the anxiety demon, a tool to help me fill my pitcher up again.

I've been pondering also how many of you might be experiencing something similar; allowing everything else to take your energy and attention until you are running on fumes.  Available in the shop now is this handlettered watercolor print of the quote from my Sunday School class many moon ago.  "You can't pour from an empty pitcher."  It's okay to say no every so often, to step back and put your needs first.  Fill your own pitcher and then you can fill everyone else's, too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I don't know where the time since Christmas has gone.  It's a few days out from March and I've still never shared photos from our rockin' awesome holiday with family.  I'll have to work on that....

So what's been keeping me from blogging?  Well, life!  (:  Seems like a simple enough answer, right?  Outside of being an artist, stationer, wife, and stay at home do-it-aller, I have a part-time gig working trade shows downtown.  This happens about once a month and runs for a week solid, during which this self proclaimed introvert works 12-hour days socializing with total strangers and writing up wholesale orders for children's accessories.  Not gonna lie, it's one of my favorite things ever!  It is so time consuming that it's almost like preparing for a week of vacation.  All of the laundry, cooking, errands, order packaging, and everything else has to be done before I hit the trade shows or it won't get done for another two weeks.

Well, I had two shows in January, which definitely kept me on my toes.  Between them and in the subsequent weeks, I have been busy creating new products for the shop.  I'm honing in on my style, creating pieces that I love more and more every day.  It's been such a fun experience to see buckets of herbs and abstract flowers take life before my eyes exactly like I imagined them.  That rarely happens and makes me giddy that it is happening more consistently.

Then there have been hours in the service of the youth at our church, Saturdays hiking Kennesaw Mountain with Mr. F in the suburbs of Atlanta.  Just after the New Year, he turned in all of his MBA applications, freeing up time for normal things like date nights.  I've been trying to savor these moments with him as I know they will be short.  This is a great period of time in our relationship and I hope I don't waste it.

And of course there have been youth activities, where I spend weeks baking and making colorful backdrops for photo booths.  Mr. F and I have been watching a lot of films at home while we wait for it to warm up a bit again.  We wait for news for schools and plod away at the day to day.

I have been thinking so much about our lives here in Atlanta.  They are so full!  So full.  A rich, vibrant community of friends.  Church responsibilities, a growing network for see what i sea designs.  Just the other night we went to a fundraiser for summer camp for local girls.  This was one of the first events we went to a year ago when we first moved into the city.  We knew no one.  It was fun, but mildly awkward.  This year, we were engaged with people the entire evening.  I was working a baked goods table and catching up with friends from the greater Atlanta area over cupcakes.  It is a good life we have here, that I haven't documented like some of our other adventures.  This one is passing us by at a fast clip, and I'm trying desperately to keep up with it.  Take in the moments while I still can.  So this is my challenge to myself to do a better job documenting for future memories.

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