Friday, December 24, 2010 cheer to all



Monday, December 20, 2010

monday music inspiration and a birthday

it was my sweet hubby's birthday yesterday.
i am beyond grateful for him.
i know i am a better person
for having him in my life.  
he makes me want to be better
every. single. day.

so my choice today is david gray.
this song is so beautiful and one of my best
memories from 2010 was seeing him in concert
with Scotty (who IS the world to me.)


also...if you haven't read my dear
friend Jennifer's "I'm Better For It"
story HERE...please check it out!
thanks friends.

Friday, December 17, 2010


happy friday!  
today i feel so blessed to feature 
my dear friend Jennifer's story.  
These are her words, her images, her "I'm Better For It."

This is not a story I am proud to tell.  
I tend to keep it safely concealed.  
Ashamed to share it because I know 
that the choices I made were poor.  
The effect it had on another was large. 

            Over the years I have learned that all stories, 
good or bad, need to be told.  
Not all stories have happy endings 
or are filled with good decisions.  
Some stories are dark and riddled with hurt and pain.  
These stories are important to tell. 
Giving them a voice allows the pain to heal. 
            My story is dark and it involves another individual.  One who I dated and lived with for three years.  
This account is purely my own and is 
therefore jaded with my opinions and feelings.  
I am unable to say what he was going through.  
I do not know what exactly he may have been feeling.  
I do not know nor understand the deep plot of his story.  Possibly that is how it all went wrong. 
            From the outside we looked happy, as most couples do. 
We were so in love, 
enjoying each moment that life brought us.
  We worked together and lived together.  
We spent most of our time together.  We laughed a lot.  Played games.  Went on all sorts of adventures. 
 We had a lot of fun together.  Things seemed great.  
There were many great moments, but there were also darker ones as well.
            There were moments of feeling small.  
Unsure of who I was.  
There were moments when I sobbed uncontrollably.  

Unsure of the ground I was standing on.  
Darkness crept into my heart.  
It filled me up so much that at times I struggled to breathe. 
            It was during these three years that I fought an inner struggle within myself.  
My heart and soul revealing little pieces of who I was.  
Excited at the glimpse into this person yet afraid and unsupported in showing her to the world.  
It was a roller coaster ride of emotions.  
Happy when I found pieces of “me” and sad when I was pushed down for showing them.  
I felt like I was struggling to find my way. 
            So I choose a path 
that was not straightforward or honest.  
I choose a path that was filled with lies and deceit.  
While I was still living with this man.  Working with him.  Laughing with him.  Enjoying time with him.  While I was still with him I fell into the arms of another and I cheated on the person that I had spent three years with. 
            No matter how toxic my relationship was.  
No matter what happened behind closed doors.  
What I did was wrong.  Incredibly wrong.  
I did not even have the guts to tell him 
of the horrific thing I did.  Instead he found out because 
of his own gut wrenching intuition. 
            You may be wondering where the 
“I’m better for it” part is coming.  
I was the one who was wrong here.  
I was the one who destroyed another human beings heart.  
I definitely was not a better person for doing what I did.  
What I did was horrific and unforgivable.  
It killed me inside to know and see the powerful effect that human beings have on one another 
and how I was the cause of this destruction. 
            I know now that I am a better person for having gone through this situation even though 
I was the one to cause the hurt and grief.  
I was small then and unsure of myself.  
I was afraid to be seen and heard.  
I allowed things to happen that never should have happened.  And I caused pain that I never should have caused. 
            But it was in that moment when things ended between us that I slowly began to climb into my skin.  
I took the time to learn about myself and pushed myself through my fears.  
I opened up myself to be seen for exactly who I was, 
the good and the bad.  
It was in that movement of destruction 
that I was cracked open.  
My heart on the floor, my soul shattered.  
I realized in that movement that I 
have to always take the time to 
listen to that small voice in my heart.  
That voice is wise and telling.  
I need to listen to that voice and do so 
with grace, dignity, and pride. 
            I learned that all situations no matter how difficult 
need to be faced head on.  
When we dance around them and avoid them they end up exploding in horrific and life altering ways.  
It is difficult to put back the pieces of that explosion.  
We need to gather our strength 
no matter how difficult it may seem and be honest and open.  In this life the best thing that we can do is 
to be honest and share the truth of our story, 
our thoughts and our feelings. 

I made a terrible mistake.  
I ran from that voice and avoided speaking about what my heart was feeling.  
I looked for an easier way out.  
But there is never an easier way out.  
We must face the truth, always. 

So I am better now for 
making that terrible decision because it forced me 
to learn and grow.  
Although it is not something I am 
comfortable admitting up to I know that I 
cannot run from it.  
Rather I must give this story a voice 
and share with others what I have learned from it.  
I am better now for going through it.  
Learning from my mistakes.  
Forgiving myself for my actions and 
sharing the truth of my story.
            - Jennifer Belthoff   

you can visit jennifer here
and read her AMAZING words.
she is an incredible writer and i am
grateful she shared one of her stories with us.
happy weekend.
thank you for visiting.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

....say whaaaaaaaaat wednesday?

well i was reminded 
several times today,
we are 10 days out!

10 days!!!!!
where does the time go?!?!? 

in my family we have a tradition
that i started last year in hopes 
to put a different twist on gift giving!
(i wrote a bit about it here)
we each draw names and 
have to MAKE that 
person a gift.  
i love teaching my children
all about "buying (& making) handmade".

it is so much fun to see what each person
comes up with.  
this year i drew my sweet, sweet Chandler.
he LOVES Disney Land...
his most favorite place on Earth!  so i think
i will come up with a collage full of Disney
goodness and maybe a 
painting of Mickey intermingled...??
(clearly need to get started!!)

so, tell me...


wishing you all calm spirits
and blankets of love and warmth!

thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

....a bit of like

i really like (okay....LOVE) me some yummy
coffee and Borders 
(especially when it used to be an old house in New Orleans!)

i really like creating handmade journals.
working on another 4-5 to take 
into a little boutique where i live
 and hopefully they will sell, sell, sell!
i am also in the midst of making more
for my etsy shop that i am gearing up
to open mid January.

and i like me a little Harry Connick Jr.
while I create and wrap and try to remain destressed!!

hope you are all remaining destressed
and doing things that bring some comfort!!

stay tuned...more to come about my recent little adventure
in New Orleans!  OH WHAT FUN!!!


Friday, December 10, 2010


HAPPY FRIDAY everyone!

Today I am so happy to share with you my 
dear friend Kelly's "I'm Better For It" story.  

I truly appreciate her sharing her story 
as I feel there is power when we are 
courageous enough to share our stories!

Here is Kelly's story...
Her words, Her Journey, Her "I'm Better For It"

When I was growing up I thought 
I was just a normal kid.  
I was sensitive to the energy around me 
even at a young age, 
but when you're
little you don't even think about 
anything but the here and now.  

You don't think you could possibly be "different"...

Well as I grew older I began to notice a 
feeling of fear in my life...
but still I was young, and I just thought everyone felt that way.
The older I got, the more I began to notice 
that these feelings were
not what everyone else was feeling.  
The older I got, the more I realized
 that I was indeed different, and not in a good way.  
By the time I was in high school,
 my daily goal was to get through each day
without a panic attack, or at least one that 
no one else noticed.  
It became exhausting.

Each day began to be a challenge for me.  My moods would depend on the "success" of that particular day.
 If I got through without a panic attack,
 well then that was a successful day and I would be happy.  But if panic took over,
 I would tailspin into depression for the next week or so.
 It was no way to live life.
I started college after high school.  
I had no real plan, as panic had
taken over any planning for me.  
I enrolled into all the art classes I
could possibly fit into my schedule.  
Those were the classes that gave
me peace.  
Those were the classes that I felt I could actually
participate in without a panic attack.  
Then, two years into my college experience,
 I had a panic attack during one of the first days of class.
 I was so humiliated and tired that I said that's it...
I'm done.
I can't do this anymore.  

Well from there my life just sort of spiraled out of control.
  Anxiety had a firm hold on me and wasn't letting up 
 anytime soon.  
I was ashamed and embarrassed.    
I had no one to turn to for help.
  I didn't want anyone to know what a freak.
  Well each day became a huge struggle and pretty soon I
just couldn't keep up the pace.  
It was so exhausting living this double life.
  Trying so hard to be "normal".  
Living each day at the mercy of anxiety and panic.
  It was awful.  I finally hit a low, and I
tried to end my life.  
I just couldn't live with this any longer.  But
my efforts didn't work the way I had hoped.  
Perhaps it was just a desperate cry for help.
   Perhaps there was a guardian angel holding my
hand, and knowing that I had much more 
life to live than I could possibly realize.
  What ever the real reasons are I will never know.
But I will always be thankful.

I learned to struggle with my secret for years more.  
They weren't easy, but I did my very best.
  I fell in love and found a rock in my husband.
 He helped me to realize that my problem was not my fault.
There should be no shame.  
That I deserve good medical help,
just like anyone suffering from a medical problem.  
He put my heart at ease
 and I thank God for him coming into my life.
Well it is years later now...
two kids, and a beautiful life later.  
I am here and I am happy.  

I am growing with new experiences and love.
I no longer have to live in my "protective mode" and I am making up for lost time baby!

It has been a very long, difficult road for me.  
I am finally in a good, safe, health place
 and I do believe I am better for it.  
I feel sympathy and empathy for
 others in this world.  I believe that no matter
 what we see on the outside, 
everyone has something difficult
they are dealing with.  
Kindness matters.  
God loves us.  
Each and every one of us deserves happiness. 
My experience has made me
appreciate the wonderful moments of life 
with such sweetness-I don't
know if everyone feels it as sweet as I do.  
I'm thankful for that.

thank you my friend for your story.
you can visit Kelly here
and see her amazing art and learn more about her.

if you are interested in sharing YOUR story...
please email me:

thank you.
happy weekend friend!!