Friday, February 18, 2011

im better for it....kelly's story

Growing up girl some days just hurts
Until I hit the teens…..
my grandpa jim called me his “little irish”,  
he loved to tease me and I would gobble up his bait

I grew up on the football field, with my dad 
watching  him coach his boys,  and mom almost
always had a hot meal ready for us when we got home. 
My parents had a knack of making others
very welcome in our home. 
I was surrounded by my three siblings, melba and rebebecca  - my grandmothers, 
and many aunts , uncles and cousins. 
My parents would invite single teachers
to our house for Sunday dinners. 
There was always a huge summer garden, big family gatherings and family camp every summer.
 If you have ever seen the movie “hoosiers",
my house is in the opening scene. 
 Yeah…I am famous!

My parents expected us to be respectful,  finish a job and to be kind and welcoming to others. 
No  matter what.  I had a great childhood. 

growing up for me was somewhat painful. 
Like many others I am is uncomfortable.
I would say I was considered a pretty outgoing girl. 
I was involved in sports, student council, and
my senior year I was captain of my swim team. 
And I had quite a wit and sass about me. 
But deep inside I fought so much turmoil.
 I kinda hated myself.

growing up adult = pains…….

my lack of self confidence helped in the loser magnet status.  Sorry boys – it’s the truth.
I knew better, but it was almost as if I couldn’t help  myself.  I have been blessed with
three babies.  They are good athletes, smart, funnier than anything and very creative.
….i am better for it. 

this is also when I began to find my voice. After a bad divorce, I had it with allowing men to 
walk all over me. I went back for a degree in graphic design and met my husband (who by the
way is a jewel)  some like to refer to us as dharma and greg.  He is an athletic director and I am
a true creative.  it seems to work.  Of course we each do a lot of eye rolling to get us through.

when I was 40... (I can’t even BELIEVE that was 6 years ago.),  I found myself spinning my wheels.
I was over exhausted, my head hurt and I seemed to be sitting in the center of a pond – the water
at my chin.  I had been reading about adult A.D.D. so I talked to my dr. and he sent me off to a 
psycho-neurology center  for  testing.  It was such an interestingly  long-tiring process.  Deep down
I basically knew what they were going to tell me.   
In the end, I sat in front of the doctor as he told me
that I was basically dyslexic.  My reading comprehension is terribly low, I transpose letters and numbers,
bottom line is….it makes life miserable most days.  It is hard to follow conversation.  Sometimes, it just
makes my brain sleepy.   
So I left there with some tears. I am not sad that I had this learning disability,

the tears were for the little girl who needed more help, a little more understanding.  The girl hitting  her
teens who wanted to puke before every test, who felt inferior most of her life...but most of the tears were 
for the relief I felt in that instance when 
someone finally looked at me and said –
 its okay to be tired Kelly. 
Go home and rest now.  And I did.

“emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.  None but ourselves can free our minds”   -bob marley

growing up girl the artist……

2008 was a pivotal year for me.  I allowed myself to dream bigger than I ever had. I  gifted myself an
art retreat on a little lake in new Hampshire. …SQUAM. 
I hopped on a plane all by myself.  Met up 
with two chicks I didn’t  know and we drove to the woods. Where there were many smiles,  plenty 
of creative art classes with amazing teachers.  
I also met my two girls sarah and tracey.
 We lived in the Hamilton cabin for 5 days. 
We drank a few beers, shared our dinner table and laughed until we were sick.  They are two of my dearest friends…bonus!  
I would have to say that SQUAM ART WORKSHOPS opened the creative world doors for me.  
So many that I met there the first year 
 have become part of my daily grind.

…….I am better for it

I also finally got to meet a chick I had talked to via emails and her blog – liz elayne. 
And through this
connection I was blessed in 2009 to work for her at the  UNEARTH retreat on the Oregon coast.  There
I had another 23 sisters thrown into my lap. 
……I am better for it.

since I hung out at both these retreats, each year I have found myself growing as an artist.  I see my
art moving  closer to where I want to be.  At unearth I also met up with Danielle.  I have to say it could
be trouble with the two of us.  She has fierce ideas and of course I am the little puppy lapping it up
as we go.  We are currently running an art challenge – artFOOlishness.  

here is where it is good...  
ahold of any one of my tribe
 and they will give me a quick cartoon slap and i can move forward.  

My art has moved forward because of 
the love and support I receive.   
This past fall, I attended squam by the sea.
I sat on different nights, with different friends who whipped me into shape… 
thank you Melissa and Tricia.
 Sometimes that little scared girl creeps up behind you.  I only wish I could name every single one
of you. I hate leaving anyone out. 
Because here is the thing…..

 It is the chicks that I have met along the way and I mean every single one of you – 
who I carry with me, as I paint.
 Every one of you I carry, each day – 
who make me want to do better.   
It is you – that makes me better for it.

there is room for each of us to shine. 
Never accept anything less than this.   
Our words, and our thoughts matter.
 This creative world can be so scary and overwhelming….but it is so worth it  
My family has the biggest part of my heart.
But there is a little door in there that when you open it – you will find each of you who i have met along the way.
 I kinda dig that.....better for it.

p.s…..i met Kolleen at the unearth retreat. 
I was the official picker  upper.  So I pulled the van up 
to the beach cottage that she called home for a few days and immediately she said something very funny and very sassy.
I fell in love. …and I am better for it.

Thank you beautiful Kelly for sharing YOUR story.
  Kelly is an amazing artist and she is
full of love and sass...
go visit her here to see what her latest antics are!
  You can also hit up her etsy shop here.
I totally dig her and am so grateful to call her
my friend, my sistah!! 

if you would like to share your
"im better for it story"...please email me:



  1. love reading these pieces of kelly's story.

  2. Kelly. <3

    Sending so much love to that little girl. And so much love to you.

    I am better for having you in my life. The world is better because you - and your love and your light and your spark and your Growing Up Girls - are in it.

  3. Wow!! I don't know Kelly except for Facebook and her blog and I always thought..... that she was so gorgeous, confident and well...everything I hope to be able to be one day...and there you go, she felt just like me as a child. Does this mean there is hope for me!!? ☺

    And the dyslexic 15yo daughter is dyxlexic and ADD and she seems to attract the loser boys who treat her like crap in spite of having a fabulous example of a good and kind boy in her father and grandfather. This beautiful interview has really touched me to get some more help for her too.

    Much love ♥

  4. I love this I am better for it!!! Kelly your art is so beautiful! I love the voice I hear in your writing. I too have also struggle with how I learn, and the shame that comes with all of that growing up and as a adult. Writing is still so painful for me and I have wanted to stay hidden for so long - until meeting people that have called me forth in love and acceptance. I loved your story thank you so much for sharing and letting us meet you.

  5. oh how i love this. i am better for having you and Kolleen in my life. ♥

  6. Kelly, I loved reading your story and getting to know you more! I wish I could give that little girl inside of you a hug. I think lots of us have those girls that need hugs and support from us, now that we have the knowledge to understand and forgive ourselves. You and your artwork are just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story-xo
    Love, Kelly

  7. I teared up for that young girl...I'm happy she found herself and her tribe of artsy sisters.
    Kelly is so beautiful and inspiring.
    Sending hugs:)

  8. really quickly, i just want to say thanks. my heart is full. wouldn't it be nice it we just all could gather more often for hugs and coffee. i could really go for that about now.
    my cup spills.

  9. kelly, kelly, kelly. Ioved reading your story for it here. It made me smile a big enormous smile. You are such a ray of light in this world. Know that..feel that. I am better for knowing you as well. Keep spreading those wings and flying :0)

  10. I did not know much of your story, Kelly. I've got big tears in my eyes. Wowee, you are amazing. Thank you so very much for sharing this. And thank you for being in my life. Connecting with you has been wonderful. I'm better for it :)


  11. Oh, dear Kelly. I see the big heart and the beautiful art, but I had some inkling that there may be more to the story (isn't there always??) Thank you for sharing these pieces of all the parts of your heart. I am so blessed that our paths have crossed and continue to cross and truly grateful as I read these comments to be part of this amazing community. I love you and love watching you SHINE!!

  12. good morning kelly, i must begin w/how i began today. i woke up & the name kelly came to me & i didn't know why...well, here you are. oh my goodness...i will have to tell my hubby & two sons about you & hoosiers!!!
    i loooooooove your blue haired beauty!!! & i'm sooo intrigued by squam/it sounds like pure magic. i am so w/you about the healing power of both community & creating art!
    thank you for sharing your better for it story.
    i send you a blanket of love. please give that blue dearheart a big hug for me. xox

  13. kelly, beautiful story, so wonderful to find out so much about you. you are amazing and i love you so much!
    kol, you are doing a good thing, girl.
    hugs and love to both of you sassy girls!

  14. Kelly,
    I am so glad you shared your story. You give the tiny puzzle piece of doubt in all of us a boost!
    I love how you expressed, that your art is everyone who had touched you. It is true, it is in these amazing connections we find ourselves and our path~
    Thank you for being brave and sharing; Powerful stuff xXx

  15. Kelly, your writing is very welcoming. Your story has i'm better for it all scattered among it; like little peeks of welcomed awareness. I didn't even know it until I read it but I felt like I was just accepted by your invitation to belong to a beautiful world. Much love and goodness!

  16. Thanks for sharing your story, Kelly. It really filled me with some much needed inspiration.


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