Thursday, March 31, 2011

...fill in the blank (let's play)

i realize i may not know much....
but _________________ i know for sure.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Every single day we have a choice...
a choice to either stand in the light
or stand in the dark.

somedays the darkness feels overwhelming 
and  extremely powerful...
 it is tough to find even a sliver of light...
but it is there.
it is always there.

it is up to us what we focus on...
where we stand from day to day.

i choose to stand in the light.

what about you?


Friday, March 25, 2011

a photo and some words

what are you holding in your net??

happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

say whaaaaaaaat wednesday???

so...i have a little story to tell 
which prompted my question for this week.

my youngest daughter sydnie is full of 
spunk and independence and this curiosity 
and love for life that i admire beyond words.

i had the pleasure of taking her out on a date tonight 
for what she so sweetly calls "tongue" food a/k/a thai food!!  
I had great conversation with her about 
our hearts and keeping our insides clean of darkness.

we talked about how there are times when the 
lights inside of us start to flicker, 
like a light bulb on its last leg....
but how we can pray and ask to have that light "fixed", 
to shine a bit brighter.  
we even talked about how sometimes 
the light does go out...but it doesn't mean that it is forever....
that any type of light, small as it may be,
can overcome the darkness.

we talked about how it is truly our insides
that maintaining and taking
care of what is happening in our hearts is what matters 
the most.

we talked about how what is happening
on the inside will shine through to our outside...
and we should always work on our heart condition.
(i know mine REALLY needs a good 
dusting and mopping now and again!)

so...i was thinking and wanted to know,


i always remember my grandma telling me...
"Kolleen, if you don't have anything nice to say,
don't say anything at all."
and you Grandma was so wise and
SO right.

i look forward to learning about your lessons.


Monday, March 21, 2011

monday music inspiration

"Reach out your hand if your cup be empty, 
If your cup is full may it be again,"

Here's to wishing all of your cups are full.

Friday, March 18, 2011

i'm better for it Friday...GLORIA'S STORY

happy friday my friends.
i am so honored to share my 
dear friend Gloria's story...
it touched me on so many levels
and taught me priceless lessons.
i know i am better for reading 
this beautiful, beautiful story.

So here is Gloria's Truth...
her words, her pictures, her "IM BETTER FOR IT".
Ok...  I was born to a young mother and father 
who I don't think was ready to be a dad, 
or maybe better than that he had a terrible dad himself. 
I see pictures of my father when he was a young boy 
and can clearly see the sadness in his eyes.
( i am better for being able to recognize that)

I am going to share one of my best 
childhood memories of my father. 

We were hanging out by the basketball court 
and I am in this little pink plastic car. 
He gives his friend a quarter and he pulls me 
around the court and when my sees me coming around 
he lights up. 
I was about 3 or 4. 
It was beautiful I had my daddy very present with me 
and because its one of the few memories 
I have of him and I remember it well.

 I know my dad went away for a while after that 
because i don't believe I saw him for a long time.
He would show up once in a while when he was able. 
He dealt with this addiction that 
had a really strong hold of him. 
He was not able to really keep it together 
long enough to be a dad. 
Let me say that when he did show up, 
all I saw was my happy dad. 
I am so glad that he showed up 
even if it was only for a little while .
 ( This taught me to have a grateful heart )

I also remember sitting in his VW Van, 
it was purple with tan interior. 
He played his guitar and sang to me. 
I felt so proud that my dad had such a beautiful voice 
and so much talent. 
What I remember the most about that moment 
was how much passion and heart he had when he sang to me. 
I grew up believing that stair way to heaven was written for me. 
( I love that )

  My dad was an amazing musician. 
He was a talented poet. 
He had a heart of gold. 
My grandmother would tell me ...
"Your dad wouldn't kill a fly if his life depended on it."

He was a sweet man. 
I know he was not around much but I didn't care. 
I adored what I got when I got it.
Much of my childhood was spent waiting,
I don't mean waiting in a sad way, or a bad way...
It was more waiting in anticipation for 
this amazing man that was my dad to call.  
I know he did some time in jail 
because my grandmother would tell me...
"OK we are going to go visit your dad 
he is in grown man school where 
everyone wears orange jumpers." 
I believed that too until I grew up, 
but it was great visiting him. 
He was never sad around me. 
It was all about his skinny little girl.

So, where does the I am better for it come in...
What I learned from not having it all...
Is that I needed to learn keep my heart OPEN. 
When I did not have resentment towards my father 
or bad feelings, everything I received from him 
was this amazing gift. 
I would tell myself...
I know he is going to leave soon when he arrived to see me. 
Then I would say to myself, I want to make how ever 
much time I get with him equal double.
Then I would be really present. 
I would look at the weather and remember is it sunny or not. 
Then I would look at my dad. 
What is he wearing, 
how long is his hair, 
I would look at his smile.
 I would take it all in. 
( I ever really got more than a day with him) 
so maybe that helped. 
I let go of what I thought I should get and 
learned to love what I got. 
I never expected anything so everything I got was a bonus.
I am really better for this experience.... 
My childhood was very colorful. 
I think what I learned was how to take a situations 
and find the beauty in it by taking my expectations out. 

He taught me to love that moment. 
I don't think I have ever felt sorry for myself 
in regard to not having a dad because 
of the attitude I somehow taught myself to have.
That was Love... what you are handed now. 
Love him completely so when he leaves 
you can still hold on to that moment. 
My heart is full of Love for this man and 
I am clearly better for it. 

As timing would have a couple days ago 
I found this letter that my dad wrote to me the day he died. 
I don't remember seeing this letter before this week. 

To my little Daughter,
My Darling Gloria, 
sorry I let you down as your father 
you never let me down as my daughter - Please be happy for me. 
I want you to always be that way all your life- 
When we meet again I will make it up to you 
what I should have done for you but I didn't 
know how to when I was in the physical body-
I am sorry my baby, little thing. 
You will always be mine remember that. 
So take good care of your family for grandpa now. 
Oh my baby girl I love you so you'll never know, 
say hello to them all for me everyday. ok  
Daughter remember I will always be there 
Always your dad

I am better for it...
because i learned to keep my heart open to love,
with out passing judgement....

thank you my gor-juss friend!
thank YOU.
to get to know Gloria better and 
read more of her lovely views on life...
go HERE!

if you have a story to share, please email me:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

say whaaaaaaaat wednesday???

as i edge closer and closer to my last year in my 30's, 
i have been reflective of certain changes 
that have occurred in the last few years....
namely in my energy levels, body, moods, etc....

i talk to many of my friends who can relate all too well....
how much more difficult "certain times of the month" become,
 how we are tired, unmotivated, on edge, 
more emotional during those times.  
(i know for me I tend to have to apologize a bit more to my family!)

so today i would love to know...


i can't wait to hear your answers my friends!
(i need some incentive that will stick!!!)

Monday, March 14, 2011

monday music inspiration & a thought

don't ya think??!!


this song makes me smile ... not to mention i have a 
huge crush on Sir Paul!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

...on this friday

thank you to Kind over Matter via my scarf sister Vivienne...
this really spoke to me.  
i wish i could be a bit more subtle at times,
 as i tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve.

anyone else struggle with that??

HAPPY WEEKEND and countless
prayers and good vibes going out to Japan.
(we never know what a day can bring, do we?)


ps...i hope to be back next friday with an 
"I'm Better For It" story to share....
if you want to share yours, email me:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

say whaaaaaaaat wednesday???

HAPPY WEDNESDAY my friends!!!

i have been so fortunate to take some REALLY
REALLY wonderFULL e-courses over the past year. 
 i was given an abundance of information on how to make your creative business soar in 
(which is now offered in an e-book!!)
i did some digging into my soul with 
learning how to create with lots of textures and paper and making sweet little girls with Christy at SHE ART WORKSHOP
finding out about color and shading and composition 

They are all so FABULOUS and bubbling over with so much 
good stuff to chew on!!!

there are others i would love to delve into like:  
the beautifully talented JULIETTE CRANE 
is offering her e-course "HOW TO PAINT AN OWL" 
which looks like it would be so much fun!!
sounds magical!  
  (aaaaaah if only my time and pocketbook had no end!!!)

so tell me....

what has been one of your fav e-courses and why...
or what is one you are dying to take???

Can't wait to hear!!!  


Friday, March 4, 2011

i'm better for it Friday...LISA'S STORY

Lisa's story. 
I’ve always been a  happy person. 
Since I was a little girl my mom has called me “Sunshine”. 
I’ve always tried to look on the bright side, 
believe the best of people and situations, 
count my blessings and stop to celebrate the little things in life. 
I think living with joy has always come easily 
because I truly love life, people, and simple pleasures. 
Several years ago I purposed to become 
the most positive person I knew. 
I haven’t always succeeded but I have tried 
to remain positive and celebrate life every day. 
Of course there have been difficult times in my life, 
darkness even. 
But through it all I’ve always come out of things 
with a deeper appreciation for life, love 
and and the wonderful things that are available for me to enjoy. 
I write a lot of gratitude lists and 
write a lot about celebrating the big and small things 
that I’m thankful for. 
I try and bring goodness to the lives of those around me. 
I strive and be a loyal friend, passionate wife and loving mother. 

My art is bright. 
Most of my paintings have uplifting words or phrases in them. 
I feel like I do a pretty good job 
at being happy and spreading happiness. 
My blog is called “Happy Mama” for the love. 
I’m happy. 
You get the point :)

Recently a big mess of sadness has entered my heart. 
Old sadness that was never really full acknowledged before 
has come to the surface, and new sadness sets in 
as I begin to unearth the cause(s) of it all. 
As someone who typically focuses everything I have 
on the “good stuff” 
you can imagine how uncomfortable I feel 
sitting with this sadness, trying to listen to it, 
and wanting to learn from it. 
Some of this sadness is coming from seeing someone 
I dearly love in pain. 
In recent weeks I’ve come to realize 
that there is nothing I can do to make it better, 
and that is painful. 
But the main source of this sadness sets in 
as I look back on my childhood years.
There were definitely times of joy 
and happiness in my childhood. 
I've always been able to identify and celebrate those memories. Recently though, I've come to see very clearly 
that I grew up in a house where 
emotional abuse was common place. 
Control was had by one person. 
Only certain emotions were acceptable, and 
if you said or did the wrong thing on the wrong day, 
you’d be sorry. 
Authentic feelings were stifled by fear, control, and manipulation. 
Anxiety became a way of life for two small girls and their mama. Our carpets were made of eggshells 
and our hearts were made of glass. 
It didn’t take more than a few minutes of yelling 
before my heart was broken again. 
Sometimes it only took one cold look from him 
to make me collapse into myself. 
Sometimes it was just the knowing that 
the work day was over to send me into a cloud of dread. 
Dinnertime was coming and we didn’t know 
what to expect from him. Was it a good day? 
Would he be happy to see us? Or was work stressful, 
his life overwhelming, and he would lash out 
at the first person who dropped a cup, 
or disagreed with his opinion?

In the worst of it, usually hours of rage-laced yelling and fear, 
my little self went to a place of darkness. 
A place of hopelessness and fear. 
A feeling like nothing was ever going to be okay. 
I so desperately wanted it to stop, for things to be normal. 
To go to bed every night knowing that 
I wouldn’t wake up to yelling. 
To spend my day thinking about childish things 
and not worrying about what was going to happen next. 
To not see the sadness in my mama’s eyes. 
To not live in a house where tension 
was the fifth member of the family.
When I think of my little self, my sister and our young mother
holding tightly to each other in those years,
I think of a strong bond. 
We loved each wholly and every moment 
of fun and togetherness we had carried us through the bad days.
When it was just the 3 of us, I was on top of the world. 
Life was good and fun and full of laughter. 
I sometimes wonder what life would have been like 
had we always had that safety. 
When I think about all of this, I just cry and cry. 
I cry for what might have been, 
what kind of life would we have had without the fear, 
the sadness, the worry. 
Who might we have been without the 
yelling, the roaring, the raging? 
Who might we have been with stability, 
safety and a true sense of well-being?

Recently I started sharing about my sadness on my blog. 
It’s been a big change since the focus of my blog 
has always been about joy, gratitude and 
enjoying the good things in life. 
It took me several posts to begin to feel comfortable 
writing about these uncomfortable emotions. 
Since I began sharing about this 
I've been delightfully surprised by the outstretched hands, 
open arms, and HUGE hearts of friends near and far. 
I am so thankful for each drop of kindness 
that’s been offered to me. 
I'm also completely blown away by the number of people 
who are now or have gone through something 
so similar to what I'm experiencing. 
It's comforting to know that I'm not alone on this journey 
through the cloud of grayness.  
Others have come before me, and are with me now, 
traveling the path toward healing. 
There is a pureness, and absolute beauty in vulnerability. 

I didn't realize that sharing some of my tender pieces 
would reach out to the tender pieces in others 
and connect our hearts together in such a meaningful way. 
I’m thankful for each word, each memory, 
each painful piece, 
each truth that has been shared with me. 
I cherish it all. 
Hearing the stories of other’s sadness has 
touched me and given me courage to face 
the darkness of my pain.

There is something so stunningly beautiful about the 
power of human connection. 
I am just in awe of it. 
As I face my fears of feeling exposed and 
step forward into the truth of my story, 
I am amazed by the village waiting to embrace me. 
My soul is soothed with every loving exchange with my husband, my family, my friends, and new soul sisters 
I'm having the honor of getting to know. 
I will never again underestimate the power 
of telling the truth, and honoring my story, 
especially the ugly parts.

It’s taking me time and practice to let go of needing 
to always be happy, always wanting to feel good. 
I think I’ll always crave joy, because I just love it :) 
But I’m learning that sadness serves a purpose, too. 
I’m learning that saying “I’m struggling” is a good thing, 
because it allows me to let go of holding everything by myself 
and open my arms to receive the love and support waiting for me. I’m learning that being vulnerable is good, 
when you have people you can trust with that vulnerability. 
I’m learning that talking about the ugly, or broken, 
or scary things is soothing this heart of mine. 
I’m learning that connection is 
amazingly powerful and healing. 
I’m learning that I’m not the only one. 

I’m learning that mothering my own babies is 
helping me heal my broken pieces.  
I’m learning that I can reach deep inside 
and comfort that little me who was scared and sad 
and just wanted her mama to be happy. 
I’m learning I can mother that little me and let her know 
that everything would turn out okay, that she would be alright. 
I’m learning that I can stop ingesting the pain of others. 
I’m learning that happiness is wonderful, 
and joy is at the core of my soul, 
but sadness and gray skies are part of life sometimes, too. 
I’m learning that I can heal. 
I’m learning that some things can’t be solved 
by the end of the day, 
that sometimes I just have to accept it for what it is and let it be. I’m learning that every phase of life is a season 
and I’m in a gray season right now.  

My heart is always full, as I’m a full-hearted person. 
In this moment I'm accepting that while joy is there, 
sadness overflows right now. 
I accept that and I'm trying to embrace it. 
It's part of my path, my truth, my unfolding story. 
The sadness takes me to places in my heart 
that have been unexplored. 
It shows me the beauty of my broken pieces. 
It reminds me that there is always hope, 
that healing is a necessary and healthy part of life.
With courage from somewhere inside, 
and the support of my village, I’m walking towards healing. 
This sadness is making me a stronger person 
and I suspect when I come out on the other side, 
I’ll have a whole new appreciation for my story 
and the stories of others. 
Soon enough the sadness will leave and joy will return 
full force but until that happens I’m here feeling how I feel, 
healing as I go, painting my way through the tears, 
talking about it, and writing it all down. 

And the sadness? 
I'm beginning to think that I'm better for it. 
I am better for it.

Thank you beautiful, inspiring, loving Lisa.
Hop on over and visit Lisa here:

if you would like to share your
I'm Better For It story...please email me at:
remember...we have to deal in order to heal
and in sharing our stories, the healing begins!!

happy weekend!