Sunshine On my Shoulders…Soon!

I can’t believe October is almost a memory! So much has happened in the last few months, it’s hard to believe I am the same person. The biggest news also happens to be the biggest life change I’ve ever had…yes, even bigger than picking up and moving to Pennsylvania! OK, hold on tight, there’s a lot to tell!

My husband official finished school at the end of September with his Associates of Specialized Technology degree in Bio-medical Equipment Repair! He thoroughly enjoyed his internship with DaVita and really wanted to go after a position with that company, so he put out his resume at the beginning of October and we crossed our fingers.

October 11th came out of nowhere and we were celebrating our third wedding anniversary before we knew it! Animal lovers that we are, we headed to the Erie Zoo for the day, but before we left the house, Rob’s phone rang. It was DaVita! He chatted a moment or three and when he got off the phone, he had the biggest smile on his face! They had scheduled an interview for the following day for a position with their company. Of course, besides spending the day together, there wasn’t a better way we could have though of to celebrate our anniversary!

Fast forward to today and we are packing our lives into boxes to move once again. Why? Well, Rob has been hired for a position with DaVita and we are ecstatic! I can’t pack fast enough either. I have enjoyed Pennsylvania while I have been here, but I have missed my beloved South something awful. The thing I have missed the most (besides my family and friends, of course) is the ocean. We moved here in February of 2010 and I have seen the ocean exactly once during that time…and for only about thirty minutes. That? is unacceptable. Unacceptable I say!

But all that is about to change, because the position Rob was hired for is in beautiful, sunny Florida! We will be moving close enough to Orlando to smell the non-stop fun, and I am super excited. Not only will we be close enough to enjoy the touristy theme parks for a weekend if we choose…THERE’S AN IKEA!!! (Yeah, I’m a shameless Ikea lover, so what?)

The down side is that we aren’t very close to any of our parents or siblings, but I’m trying to remind myself that there are a lot of families in that situation. For goodness sake, think of the traveling military families go through. I’m sure we will be just fine. I am super excited that I will be within about two hours or so of my Florida family members…people I next-to-never get the chance to see! I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

So, I suppose that’s it. It’s been a whirlwind few weeks, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The final pages of this chapter of our lives are here, and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter will bring!

The beautiful beach I was lucky enough to see last October in Florida…A year is too long to go without the ocean!

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For Today, August 3rd

Wow, is it really August? Already? I just can’t believe it. It seems like just yesterday I was taking down the Christmas decorations and making sure I had plenty of blankets out to buffer against the cold wind blowing in through the cracks in this old house. Summer seems to have flown right past me this year! Sure, it’s still plenty warm enough outside here in Pennsylvania, but the way this year is flying by, it’ll be cold again before I know it. I mean really…there are only four months until December! That sort of puts things into perspective…

So much has happened in the past few week, and I have definitely been super slack about getting around to my personal passions. I know life sometimes gets demanding, but I feel so out of touch lately with myself. I really can’t wait for the tides of life to leave something new in the sand at my feet. I can feel things coming! My hubby graduated last month! It seemed so far away last year, when we picked up everything and moved to Pennsylvania for him to return to school. Now, I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by. He’s starting his internship in the coming days, and after that, we have the whole world ahead of us. There’s no telling where we could end up since he will be looking for a position in his new field. It has been difficult not to hope that we can return to my beloved South Carolina. Pennsylvania is beautiful, but it certainly hasn’t been home. One thing I learned from my first-ever huge move was that I am Southern to the core…and always will be. I know our future location will be up in the air, but I can’t help but hope I land somewhere near home. Hopefully near the ocean.

It feels good to get back to writing for myself again. I have missed this outlet, and I am resolving right now to make more time for it, which means making more time for myself. The best way I could think of to start is by sharing a Daybook entry! I love The Simple Woman’s Daybook. Doing an entry really helps you slow down, take a moment, and really be present in the here and now…

Outside my window… the sun is coming and going. Mostly going. We certainly need some rain around here though, so bring on the showers!

I am thinking…about the future. Yeah I know, I should try not to do that so much since I tend to worry and freak out, but I can’t help it. Honestly, I am trying a new approach to it. I’m consciously making a choice to release strict plans and try to be more open to whatever the universe has coming to me.

I am thankful…for my supportive, loving husband. I don’t know how I got so lucky. He truly supports me and encourages me no matter what. If you look up perfect husband in the dictionary, you’ll find his picture. I am thankful for him every second of every day!

From the learning rooms…life is a learning room around here these days! My hubby graduated in July and I am so proud, I can’t find the words to express it. We are both learning daily that life only gets better when you are lucky enough to spend it with your best friend. I can’t imagine facing the future without him.

In the kitchen…blueberries, blueberries, and more blueberries! We can’t get enough of the amazingly huge blueberries from our local Conn’s Blueberry Farm. We’ve been three times this season to pick. It’s a good thing you aren’t literally what you eat, because we’d both have turned into giant blueberries by now! We’re going again Thursday and can’t wait!

I am wearing…yoga pants and a t-shirt. Hopefully, they will inspire me to work out more than being in jeans, hehe!

I am creating…a whole lotta nothing right now. Life got the best of me, but I plan to get back on my creative streak as soon as possible. Starting with writing, right?

I am going…to resolve to make more time for the things I love. Work, even if it is part time, feels like it has taken over around here! I have to make myself realize that my art isn’t just a hobby, it’s my passion. And, as my passion, it is just as important (if not more so) than things that might hold me back.

I am wondering…if I have the nerve to step out and risk it.

I am readingDuma Key by Stephen King. You should be too.

I am hoping…that everything works out for the best.

I am looking forward to…what is ahead. I have a feeling September and October are going to be big around here!

I am hearing…three sleeping cats. I just love that one sort of snores and the other two purr on their exhales. A napping cat is the picture of perfect relaxation.

Around the house…chore have piled up again. Is it weird I miss doing them? I am so ready to dig in now that I have an afternoon or two free to actually spend time on our nest.

I am pondering…this quote from one of my go-to inspirational books, Fit from Within: “Forever and next weekend can take care of themselves. You take care of today.”

One of my favorite things…hearing my little Charlie Bug’s sing-song meow as she plays with her all time favorite toy – her pink milk jug ring. Yeah…she has loads of toys and her favorite is a free piece of plastic. She always gets a look of sheer bliss when she walks around the house with it in her mouth. Silly kitty…

A few plans for the rest of the week… Well, I am trying not to make too many. The general plan will be to get work done early so I can do at least one or two chores, then at least one thing for myself each day.

Picture for thought… I have had SO much going on! Here’s a storyboard of just a few things that happened in the past month!

I used an awesome Template by Allison Kimball for this layout!

Thanks for stopping by, and if you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me! I really appreciate your visit!

>For Today…May 27th

>It has been far too long since I blogged. I can’t believe it, and I am going to strive to make it not be this long ever again! I have got to start taking time for me! So, the perfect way to focus and be present in the moment is the Simple Woman’s Daybook. Make sure you visit the blog to participate yourself!

Outside my window…the rain has stopped, but I think it may return.

I am thinking… that being positive is the hardest thing on Earth to do most of the time. Why is that?

I am thankful for…my home and family. A lot of people have lost it all in the last few weeks and I know how blessed I am to have a roof, my family, and the things I love around me.

From the learning rooms…the end of school is drawing ever closer for my hubby. I’ll be glad when he finishes because he works so hard at school and work. It’s like having two full time jobs. He’s burned out most of the time and I don’t know how to help. I’ll be very happy for the change and the new things (hopefully) coming after graduation.

From the kitchen…more coffee. Yes, that addition is hard to break! It’s like a warm hug from a friend -something I could really use right now.

I am wearing…jeans and a sweatshirt. No matter how it tries, the weather can’t quite shack off the cool temperatures around here! Get with the program PA weather…it is almost June!

I am creating…well, that’s a loaded question! I have been painting and drawing, but I have also been working on the behind-the-scenes efforts of opening an Etsy shop. Why must fun things be made so difficult by taxes and licenses. So discouraging!

I am going… to take it minute by minute and one day at a time. It’s all I can do.

I am reading… Duma Key by Stephen King. Wonderful so far, but it is making me more and more aware of how much I miss the ocean.

I am hoping… things won’t stay this hard for much longer.

I am hearing…my new kittens making thunder upstairs. So full of energy!

Around the house…same old stuff, different day. So many chores but I put my personal stuff behind other business. Sigh…

One of my favorite things… how soft and warm Charlie and Bean (my new little girl and little boy) are when they beg to be cuddled. They’ve only been here a month and already I’m wrapped around their little paws.♥

A few plans for the rest of the week… see “I am going…”! I’m going to breathe and take things one day at a time.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing… my sweet babies, Charlie and Bean. the story behind Charlie’s name is this: we were told she was a boy, but upon further investigation when we made it home…she was definitely a girl. Charlie really has a rambunctious, tom-boy like personality, so the name still fits her very well! Bean is the sweetest momma’s boy ever, with a curious streak a mile wide! They make me laugh when nothing else can. ♥

Charlie and Bean, our brand new babies…11 weeks old now!

>For Today…April 7th

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Outside my window…the day has faded to night and the traffic light is blinking at me from the corner.

I am wearing torn up jeans and a tee, did more painting today!

I am thinking… how wonderful it is to have family and friends that support your dream. You know who you are, and I love you!

I am thankful for well, see above!!

From the kitchen… hmm. Wasn’t thinking about it until I read that! Now I’m hungry.

I am creating… every day. I don’t have to finish the project or painting, it’s the process. Creating makes me feel alive and happy. It’s my drug and I love it!

I am reading… Duma Key by Stephen King. It’s really making me miss the beach.

From the learning rooms…my hubby had a speech today in class! I wish I could have seen him, but I know that would make him nervous. I am SO proud of him, especially for his speech class. I can not tell you enough how much I fear/loath/avoid-at-all-costs speaking in public…or large groups of people. Ok, pretty much any social situation.

I am hoping…I can keep this train on the tracks!

I am hearing… the TV, both my and my hubby’s typing. Yeah, we’re that couple.

I am going…to take this one day at a time. I deserve this!

Around the house…laundry,dishes,general tidying…and creating, though I wouldn’t call that a chore! 

I am remembering…to tell myself that I AM worth it, I AM valuable, and I DO deserve good things. I shouldn’t be so hard to believe that stuff, right?

Quote to commit to memory… “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~Gandhi   ….and I am SO working on that!

A few plans for the week… getting some necessary things out of the way so I can get more paint on my hands and in my hair!

One of my favorite things…spending a lazy afternoon with my hubby ♥

Photo for Thought… Today was beautiful, and warm enough to go check out the lake, post-winter. Since the weather is warming up, but the water hasn’t, there was an odd ring of fog surrounding town all day. It was clear and beautiful right in town, but by the lake, a defined wall of fog. We walked along the water, so I decided to take a shot or two. 
     Also, I finished a mixed media piece today that I was pretty excited about., so I’ll share that too! Thanks for stopping by my blog, have a great night!
You can usually see for miles and miles, but today, you couldn’t see the water until you were right up on the edge!
There’s still some ‘burgs in the lake, and the birds were taking advantage!
Find Magic, original mixed media (by me!) on 5×7 art board.

>For Today…March 29th

>     It feels so good to have a minute for myself, to sit down and round up my thoughts! I think I may have only blogged once this entire month, not counting today, and that is not OK for me. I really need to carve out more time for myself.
     I have been trying to do just that as far as my art! It feels amazing to be creatively active again on canvas, and I have big plans coming up, if I can work out the logistics. It’s such an exciting time for me right now when I stop to think about it. I’m painting again, my hubby graduates in six months with his degree in Biomedical Electronics, which means we are that much closer to finding another place to move as he applies for placement in his new career…no wonder I feel so wobbly. I don’t know about you, but the change of seasons, coupled with daily life occurrences,  always makes me feel like I’m in a tailspin. Meh…that could just be my weird mind at work too, though. Who knows!
     I thought this would be a great time to start my Daybook up again. you know, sometimes a list to fill out gets the creative juices flowing. It’s sort of like meditating. It gives your mind something to focus on! So, with no further ado, here’s my March daybook:

Outside my window…it is bright and sunny, finally! A bit misleading since it is only 26°F out today! I can’t wait for warm weather…

I am wearing torn up jeans and a tee. Getting ready to paint!

I am thinking… short term. I need to live more in the moment and not worry about tomorrow. While those close to me know, I never stop worrying, trying to just think moment to moment is getting easier all the time. 

I am thankful for my loving, supportive husband. I can’t say it enough! I’m also super proud of him for his hard work in school. My A student is really going places!

From the kitchen… coffee! French Vanilla, you are my warm and comforting friend.

I am creating… again! It feels wonderful. I have a process,which really is a moody one, but as long as I keep plodding forward in the process, I always work it out! I love mixed media, so I’m trying to get more into that realm as much as I can.

I am readingDuma Key by Stephen King. Thought I’d give this one my free time since it’s about a painter! I just finished Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster. You simply must pick up one or all of her books. She is so hilarious! Oh, and follow her blog. Do it now!

From the learning rooms… my hubby is on the cusp of his next school term! After this next term, he starts his extern-ship, and we are super duper excited about the wonderful company he will be working with! 

I am hoping…I can make my plans a reality soon. I don’t want to jinx it, so no hints right now.

I am hearing… The Bold & The Beautiful. Yeah, guilty pleasure. I grew up watching that and The Young and the Restless with my mom. I like to watch them…feels like girlie time with my mom. Is that weird?

I am going…have a great day today. I will, I will, I will!

Around the house…laundry,dishes,general tidying…repeat. 

I am remembering…taking time for me is not a luxury. We all got that idea somewhere along the way, and it isn’t true. Taking time for yourself is so important for your mental health. Believe me, I know!

Quote to commit to memory… “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” ~Gandi

A few plans for the week… finish up this piece on the easel and start at least one more, then just general duties about the house (made easier because we got the dryer replaced! Yay clean laundry!)

One of my favorite things…glue and paper on canvas!

Photo for Thought…I have been so excited about painting again. I’ve been a busy bee, so I thought I’d share. I don’t really have a theme, I just paint things I love or that I feel drawn to at the moment. Anyhow, these are what I have been up to since February!
I did a portrait of a good friend’s cat, Bandit, then went out on a limb with an abstract. I then painted one of my favorite places in the world, The Angel Oak in Charleston, SC.

     Thanks for stopping by today! If you want to participate in The Simple Woman’s Daybook, head on over to the site and get to writing. If you don’t blog, but love reading, you can read other women’s daybook entries there, too. Enjoy and have a wonderful day!

>Finding my Muse

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     I’ve been so bogged down in work and running around lately. Lately meaning, as far back as I can think right now. All the while, I’ve been trying in earnest to be more present and mindful in each day and moment. I always seem to fall right back into worries and stress, no matter how hard I try not to. I know life comes with stress, and that a lot of it simply can’t be avoided…but sometimes I feel like I am wearing concrete boots in the middle of a sea of quick sand. Have you ever felt like that?

     Thankfully, my husband is the best possible supporter I could have been blessed with. Rob never stops picking me up, dusting me off, and placing me back on which ever shelf from which I fell. He is my everything. And, he is the one that encouraged me to start painting again. I never stopped on purpose you see. It’s one of those things that happen when you grow up. I just sort of never got around to it anymore. Sure, scrapbooking or baking occupy me and make me smile. Photography is fun, and I have a penchant for covering anything I can get my hands on with paper, but there’s something about painting. Creating something from a blank slate.
     Maybe it’s the fear I have of not liking anything I do, but I think its a combination of all of my emotional issues. I tend to implode and become still when I am stressed or scared…which is most of the time. So painting something seemed like a lost cause. Why, you know? Why start something I might hate, waste all that time or money on materials? That’s just how my brain works. 
    Well, Rob doesn’t see life that way. He keeps nudging and encouraging me, and so a few weeks ago he made me do something for me. That’s the problem. I have an extraordinarily hard time doing something simply for me…past taking a walk or making a cup of coffee, that is. So when I had a single small pay check from my job at the restaurant, he drove me to the art store and told me to buy myself some paint. The universe had the same idea since the forty-eight tube set of acrylics was on sale for 50% off. After a mini-breakdown in the paint aisle over saving the $24 for something we needed more, Rob marched up front and paid for the paint before  I could change my mind.
    Thank God for my husband. Paint might not cure anxiety or depression, but there is definitely something to this art therapy stuff. Sure, I still have the ups and downs that come with working on the painting…pressing forward to find the piece in that blank space, but I feel so much better after I spend time doing nothing but moving colors around on that canvas. Life goes away for a while and I get to be happy in my own little world. I like that. 
     So, my point is that I have been diving into my painting again! Living here in northwest Pennsylvania and so far from my beloved ocean, I naturally gravitated toward the nautical. I like to think I have an inner mermaid, so I decided to try my hand at letting her come out. I’m pretty happy with the outcome…
     I hope you have something in your life that brings you joy, like painting. It can be anything…gardening, reading, travel. What ever it is, do it. Taking time for yourself is not a luxury, it is a requirement. One I’m learning about daily. Go find your inner mermaid…I sure am.

>For Today…February 20, 2011

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Outside my window…the snow has all but melted, though it is still really cold. I remember last year, we didn’t have any snow past the end of February. I love to watch it snow, but right now, I am so ready for warm weather so I can head to the water’s edge in my flip flops.

I am wearing jammies. I think I have come down with the icky sinus funk going around up here.

I am thinking…random thoughts. Warm sunshine, flowers, loved ones, not wasting a moment with those we cherish. 

I am thankful forlife. No matter how hard it gets sometimes. There might be long periods of darkness or down times, but just at my lowest point, there’s a break in the clouds. If even for a second, to remind me to cherish life.

From the kitchen…nothing much today. Being stuffy doesn’t inspire much hunger.

I am creating…slowly. And in spurts. I did actually do some painting this month and got two pieces I am pretty happy with. I’ll share a picture of one of them, made for my hubby as a Valentine gift. The other is for a project of sorts. I had posted a status on my personal Facebook about a handmade exchange. I didn’t get many takers, since the catch was you then had to repost offering your handmade goodies. But I did have one commenter…and if she’s reading this I don’t want her to see her surprise!

Rob’s gift on my easel.

I am reading… well. I started Digging Up Otis by T. Dawn Richard and You’re Not Who You Think You Are by Albert Clayton Gaulden. I usually only do one book at a time, but sometimes, if they are different enough, I read two. These two aren’t really that engaging…so I picked up a Jen Lancaster book at Borders here in town, and LOVE it! Bright Lights, Big Ass is too hilarious and you should go get it. NOW. And while you’re at it, read Jen’s Blog. it’s just as hilarious!

From the learning rooms…I’m learning to give myself time. For some reason, I have this thing in my brain that I have to do a perfect, finished painting in one sitting. yeah, sometimes it takes more time! My hubby is still doing very well in his classes. I still can’t believe it’s been a year since he began and that he graduates in September! Right now, September feels like a lifetime away, but I know it’s just right around the corner. I’m so proud of him!

I am hoping…to figure out what the heck the deal is with my hormones. It’s been going on for a while, but since turning the big 3-0, it seems so much worse. 

I am hearing…a cat purring in her sleep and the best cooking show on PBS, Cooks Country!

I am going…give myself a break…I swear I will. After doing some writing work, I’m going to make a big pot of tea and cuddle up with my cat and my book for the rest of the day.

Around the house…laundry,dishes,general tidying…how does this much crap pile up so quickly?

I am remembering…Rob’s grandmother, known to most of the family as Grandma Great. She passed away this past Tuesday, and the funeral was Saturday. Since we lived in South Carolina, I didn’t see her much. But, the times I did, I enjoyed thoroughly! She was a vibrant spirit that never lost her childlike fun side. Her apple dumplings were out of this world, and she loved everyone she met. We were still about 4 hours away living here in North East, so we didn’t see her much, but when she got sick we planned a trip to see her on Rob’s next day off. She passed before then, so our last visit was the family reunion last September. I am so thankful I could call her family, and that I met and got to know such a wonderful lady. 



Quote to commit to memory… “There are two ways to live your life. One, as if nothing is a miracle. The other, as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein

A few plans for the week… well, just getting well is first. I’m not what my family always called “Sick-sick”. I’m that nagging, stuffy, wipe-your-nose-every-two-seconds kind of sick. So resting and lots of fluids for me. I’m sure the housework will still be here in a few days…

One of my favorite things…waking up to see my cat all snuggled up next to me. She is mommy’s precious little snuggle bug!

Photo for Thought…I have to share this picture of Rob and his grandmother from our wedding. I just love the story behind it! See, after the wedding ceremony, the wedding party and the family had to gather for the posed shots before the reception. Well, Grandma Grape (as the younger kids called her) had misplaced her teeth in the flurry of getting ready at the house before the wedding. Rob’s mom had told him about it…they had almost been late looking for them! Well, when it was her turn to stand and smile with Rob, he looked down and said, “I guess you found your teeth!” and she just blushed, then smacked him and said, “Oh, Robbie!” Our fabulous photographer, Brendon Sharpe, caught the moment and we cherish this photo! I thought it was a fitting memory to share in Grandma Peck’s honor. She is greatly missed!