I kept true and stayed away from the blog for a while. I got a lot out here in the open about my feelings, and I think expressing that vulnerability made me feel I was strengthening my authenticity. But nothing has made me feel more authentic that living truthfully day to day. I enjoy looking inside myself and seeing the person I want to be and the person I think I am, and looking in the mirror and knowing that is who people are seeing. I enjoy coming home to an honest space protected by me, where I don’t have to worry or live with a guard up. I have only had my parents over. No one else has even visited. Not because I don’t want them to visit. I’d have a party. But I appreciate my privacy now more than ever. Trusting myself and the people around me matters immensely. I’ve lived through a time I can’t explain to people, and I’m so glad it’s past me. I’m so grateful. I choose gratefulness daily. I choose forgiveness. Everything around me is so beautiful. 

I feel so safe and secure. I’m whole in myself. I will do everything to keep this wonderful that I have in my life now. I just wanted to take a second to mention how grateful I am. It’s what you make of things. 

11 years

i’ve had this blog for 11 years. this is published post 199; true post 234. i told myself along the way i’d stay raw and keep all my garbage up for the world to see, but even today i moved a few to my private folder because some of my own young thoughts make my stomach turn a little. i like having the spurts of introspection and openness. it serves me well, and i grow. then i feel it ending, and i need to relax and enjoy the world around me.

this has been an extremely reflective time period for me, and with due purpose. i’ve learned a lot about who i am and who i want to be. now i’m going to implement it. my brain is tired from overthinking. i’m so thrilled about being the historian and vice president of promotions for the georgia artist guild of albany. a traditional artists guild that’s been established since the 70s…i just can’t even explain. i am really diving into that. plus, i got initiated back into the kiwanis club of dougherty county this week, which is truly important to me. after serving on the board and being the community services chair a few years ago and having to put it aside, i am honored to be back involved. 

life is good. it might be a while before i write again.

good muddy

i’ve been writing a lot lately. mercury is in retrograde, but that isn’t why. i’m determined to get all of my thoughts out here instead of keeping them so far down inside. for so many years, this blog was a tool for my brain. i became ashamed of myself and my thoughts. my true self. i couldn’t write about who i was. my relationships with others dictated my thoughts about myself, and i retreated. not that everyone should have a blog, but this is so much a part of me and my journey. 

the best part about the past three years was being able to stay at home with vayda. i got to work from home and go to work a few days a week. being a stay at home mom was my dream, and spending those moments with vayda was precious. it’s a little daunting and lonely, too, being the kind of person who enjoys work and people. also, i wasn’t very organized. we sat in our pajamas a lot, played, and watched tv. i didn’t make baby food.

but now that i work full time and only get to see a picture of vayda on my desk, i wish i had spent less time wishing when i was with her. i wish i had gotten down on the floor and played with her more. i wish i had spent less time on my phone concerned with work and other people who weren’t concerned with me. it’s an ache in my heart. i wish i could have photographic memories of her tiny little face every day that i spent with her. all the plump and the wrinkles that melted and grew tall. all the muscles that used to rest against me now barely have a chance to squeeze a hug for me.

i look at her every day, and my heart is mud. mud like i am just a kid myself, how can i be responsible for this beautiful being? mud like i am proud this little person is grown up and talking and smart and thriving. mud like i want to take back time i’ve wasted on anything or anyone else since she’s been alive. mud like shouldn’t this little person still be a tiny thing in my arms? how can the moments she was in my belly be agonizingly long, but these days speed by with no remorse? mud because i got to carry you everywhere for so long, but now i have to miss you for so many hours of the day. having Vayda made my heart muddy. good muddy. 

my mom keeps vayda while i work. it’s a huge blessing. my grandmother helps her everyday. it’s a good feeling to know vayda is with the people who raised me while i’m working on my career. it puts my heart at ease. if i am going to be missing out, i want my mom there to be enjoying her. it’s a hard feeling to resolve. but i have to appreciate the three years i enjoyed, which is why i made the decisions i did in my life.

being a career-minded woman, my job was always the center of my life. since i was 16, i have kept a job or three at a time. i simply love working. i found at my first job that i was driven to work more and go for promotions at any chance. i get super focused and enthusiastic. i just love it, almost to a downfall. when i had vayda, work became less important to me, but i still struggled to balance it in my life. my new position is really the structure i need to focus on all areas on my life. i am feeling a great deal of peace and ability to focus on myself and vayda in ways i wouldn’t be able to in other situations. 

i guess i feel a little inferior, whining after three great years at home with my daughter when many moms only get weeks. leaving a job i knew for nearly five years to step into the unknown was also difficult. moving into a new place in a new county…i have turned my life upside down. but i feel stronger. i’m independent. i’m thriving. the only thing i could want for more of is more time with my child, and i think that is healthy. the rest feels light, and that leaves me blessed.

works, works, works

Check out the album below for some of some of my favorite paintings. I am working on more now! You can click on the thumbnails for larger images. I look at these, and I wish I capture more photos of my chalk projects and work I do for friends. It all just rushes by. I really enjoy using my art for friends and utilizing my creativity for graphics in the workplace. It seems like the ultimate way to meld everything together, but I really want to work on some fine art. Being a part of the Georgia Artists Guild of Albany has really inspired me to work on a project of my own. I must create some time for that.

I have been framing some old prints and really trying to love on the pieces I’ve kept instead of letting them get battered and stacked away.


Check out my facebook page, for more.


packing up my house has been easier than i thought it’d be. i have donated and thrown away countless dozens of piles and bags. i’m amazed i cleared nine large garbage bags of clothes and still have three closets and a garment rack full of clothes. (they’re really small closets, OK?!) i’ve thrown away old, bent art. even things i might like but just don’t find joy in anymore. the massive purge of 2018. i feel so light.

i had a mini existential crisis a couple of weeks ago. all this introspection showed me how far i’ve come over the last six months. i have not quit moving forward. blogging lately is really the first time i’ve looked back and analyzed how much i have accomplished. i made up my mind and i got to today. a couple of weeks ago i regressed a little and thought about retreating. my mind is going through the process i discussed in my last blog. changing, learning new processes, adjusting to new. i believe there is a natural loneliness. a mourning process. a tiredness. maybe even a longing and a reaching for my old mentality. but i’ve ultimately found, it’s gone.

not lost, but altered. i cannot backtrack to that place. this is a beautiful thing. it took me talking to some of my mentors and meditating on my thoughts for a few days to gain a more well-rounded perspective. who wants to keep the same endless mentality? i’d be so bored without the challenge of learning and growing in each moment. in my case, i am so blessed. i look back, and there is a great deal of passion in my interests. following the signs, i look ahead and there is potential for beauty, meaning, and purpose overflowing. 

thinking back to what i wrote about changing from art to business major in college earlier this month, i gave it negative placement in my life. ultimately, it has shaped my ability to make wise art, business, and personal “adult” decisions (financial, etc.). i think it’s human nature to look back on the part of the choice one didn’t make, like not continuing the art courses, and wonder. i spend a lot of time wondering. i want to make the best choices. and i guess now that i have the peace to heal over more recent life events, i am looking even further back and forgiving regrets i didn’t even know i owned.

i owe so much to my college career. i think it was painful for me because the person closest to me was immersed in all the studio classes while i was sitting in business communications lectures, which made me very jealous. plus, university was one big competition for me against my high school mentor’s voice in my head, “anyone who stays in Albany will never graduate college in four years, or maybe ever.” i wanted to disprove that theory. and i did (no one noticing, but me). 

why is this so heavy on my mind now? i graduated from college eight years ago. it’s weird how the mind works……. maybe it’s because after all these years, i haven’t had a job i felt that my bachelor’s degree mattered until the career i have today. i sacrificed my passion, art, to complete a degree program. i got a great marketing internship, which let to all my career choices. i have had profitable and passionate careers, but this is the first time i feel like my education means something.

while i was packing and purging, i found my college diploma on the bookshelf at home just like any other book, and i brought it up to my office. i’m not looking back to regret what could have come from other roads, but looking forward to what opportunities i can cultivate through my hard work. there are so many days within years between college and today that are blurs of waste. i hope i can reach forward with purpose and focus. when i look back.



i’ve spent the last several years distracting myself. maybe eight years or so. with work. i love to work to avoid what’s underneath. it’s an easy way to admire yourself and have others admire my work ethic, when really i’m avoiding a mass weight of life under the surface.

it has also been the ultimate means for presenting my flawed decision making tactic: spontaneity. it’s not that i skydive frequently. it’s more like i overwork and worry on mindless, unimportant things as if they matter to the point that i avoid thinking about crucial issues so that i just make important decisions in the moment. then i overthink the aftermath when i have no choices. 

recently i took a new job. it’s the first job i’ve had since university where i leave work and actually leave work. it’s normal office hours (a shock to my psyche). i’ve had time to think. and write. and evaluate. and be introspective. it’s been therapeutic, and honestly, a little agonizing. but i’m feeling peaceful to acknowledge more within.

when i changed my major from art to business very spontaneously in college, it seemed right. a friend of mine had just died, and i was trying to cope. i could keep my scholarships. i wouldn’t have to spend six to eight more years in school. my artistic mentors even suggested the change, because they said i’d get farther in life professionally and artistically with a bachelor’s in business.

with the flick of a pen, my mentality changed for years and years. as an art major, the world was bright with hues and forms. everywhere i looked, a painting. a project. boundless energy. trading to business, i struggled. there was artistic opportunity. there were people to influence and communicate toward in marketing. but it wasn’t art. at it’s core, it’s science. feeding science to an artistic brain changes it. i became less creative. my ability to paint and my focus on what i loved in career and hobby died a little.

during this same time in my life i had the greatest romantic love i’ve ever known. will i ever know anything as great? i spent so many years denying that it was a love for the ages. but inevitably, it’s shaped all the chasing, running, and comparing i have done these subsequent years. thrilling myself with feelingless flings, jumping into relationships with major red flags, hoping on people who invest little in me. have i even healed properly? i know true love and i have experienced bliss. yet i have recklessly pursued so many situations that are unfulfilling and full of pain.  

business is a great degree. the men in my life are great people. but the choices to invest my life have all been snap. i can see moments like stops in a film reel when continuing the course instead of spontaneously diverging would have benefited my dreams, my health, my heart. hindsight is haunting. but who would i be without the pain of knowing? maybe someone more. maybe someone less.

i am my experiences, so how could i know?

i wouldn’t have my child.
i am a marketer now.
i am an artist still. i’m simply a different artist than i envisioned in my teens. a graphic artist. a practical, everyday artist. i do make a living designing, so my art teachers were right. that paid off. i may not be painting still life or drawing illustrations on a whim like i might have a decade ago, but i’ve learned my mind can be altered by its environment and its training. 

maybe i’ll never know love like i once had it, but i am grateful i had it for a moment in time. i don’t miss a person. it’s a difficult feeling to articulate. when a person is young, they don’t know what’s ahead. they think there is so much of what they’re holding. i was naive to how unique sharing intellectual depth, understanding, connection and chemistry is. spending unsuccessful years trying to grasp that concept in others is maddening and lonely, maybe even impossible. 

diving inward can be dark some days. ultimately, i feel very peaceful. i am in a friendly place with everything that could be negative. all of my triggers are at a distance. i’d rather experience some loneliness and be in an honest, authentic place than cover up with distraction and chaos. i think there’s a place for spontaneity in making decisions. some of my snap decisions have been beautiful. some have been challenging. methinks, for now, i will be more thoughtful.


fortress ’round my heart

“[Your eyes so full of wonder]
I have crossed the horizon to find you
[Your heart, an innocent warrior]
I know your name
[There’s a task for you]
They have stolen the heart from inside you
[My dearest one]
But this does not define you
[And your deep thoughts]
This is not who you are.
You know who you are.”

it’s clear my heart is completely vulnerable when i cry tears of solidarity with the monster/hero *spoiler* at the pivotal moment in Moana (lyrics to song quoted above).  i spent a couple of weeks on my parents’ couch in November. i’d been on my own for eight years, and it was the most depressed i’d felt in a while. i had the option to sleep in my old bedroom, but i couldn’t bring myself to accept the accommodations. my mom got V to sleep even though it was my joy to rock her every night of her life. my world was upside down, and i had turned it that way. i made the decision. there were no surprises. i planned it all to go this way. but i felt like i could barely carry on except to watch tv on the couch. it took me a moment to accept the reality i was creating, because i was creating new for someone else who i want to protect more than even me.

but i made a decision in those weeks that i’ve opted to keep living by. keep moving. sometimes life’s favorable. sometimes life’s miserable. but even if i’m treading water, i’m not drowning. i’ve been barely above water some days. but most always, i have moved forward with optimal outcomes. processing things as they come and allowing myself to move through them in a wise and timely manner has mattered the most.

“are you OK, erin?” i haven’t known what to say, so i give really awkward answers. when people ask me that, i really appreciate it. they really inflect certain parts of the question to let me know they’re inquiring about my personal life. how do i say in three to four sentences that i have been processing this situation with professional help for over a year now so i feel kind of peaceful and clear now? people think i’m in denial or callous. but, if you saw an inevitable future a long while ago, would you face it and protect yourself, or would you lie down and die in it?

when i wrote my last blog post, i decided to be open about my journey through counseling. it was kind of like i was opening the door to everyone, “hey, something is coming. i am grasping for connection. i am living in the now until now is no longer.” i knew when i started the therapy journey over a year ago i had some big personal choices to make and i couldn’t make them based on my own wisdom and understanding. i had to develop tools and strengths. i had to sort through a lot of emotional and relational chaos. i read endlessly, listened to wise counsel of the experienced, discussed with professionals, talked to Biblical counselors. after the final decision was made in fall, i finally opened up to my best friends, who were totally clueless about my personal life. you know, it’s odd that way. i’m one of those people who claims to be open, light and free, but i have hidden so much darkness and pain over these last five years. depression showed me so much truth and humor about the world, but it isolated me into becoming a pitiful sliver of myself.

through my therapists, i have been able to look at my life over and over through many lenses.

looking things in the face and not making excuses for my actions was troubling, but i have experience with people who blame others for their problems. i refuse to become a bitter person who can’t identify my responsibility in a situation and move past things, making the best of a bad decision.

i learned to accept choices made from the perversion of duty in my mind. i embrace my anger and my darkness. i’m fueled and impassioned by feelings, but i have to abide by reason and balance. pushing those energies toward good makes all the difference for me. i can look inside myself and accept me, even if i don’t like aspects. i aspire to be better. i forced myself to find beauty and healing in the choices i made, even though i acquired a tremendous amount of pain. over time, the emotional pain got to be so much that i became numb without noticing, and that was the worst. i would fearfully wonder if i would feel again, being such a sensitive soul yet so disconnected from the realm of emotions. there were months where the only things that brought sparks of emotional energy to me were my child and hip-hop music (weirdly true).

then, i came through it. over time, the numbness dissolved. i feel it all now. i’m grateful for pain. pain means i’m living. and sometimes my feelings are so raw, i’m like a child expressing them. i don’t inhibit myself much. it’s a double-edged sword. not in a tantrum kind of way, but in the way that i almost wrecked my car last friday as my eyes filled with joyful tears as i stared at the blooming whites of the trees against a perfect pink sunset. sometimes i am so scared i will move back into the old mindset that i throw walls up really hard at people to protect myself. so basically, i’m a very free-feeling hermit. i hid behind a facade and a concept of what i was shamed into being for so many years, i lost myself for a while. that was my choice. i forgive myself for giving into those ideas, and now my life is back in the correct direction. i’m rebuilding.

i am not afraid of love. i believe in love more than ever. my ultimate goal has always been peace and authenticity. before this season. throughout my entire life. getting out of unrest was the goal, and moving toward peace is the vision. positive thinking and clear boundaries are helping me achieve this. i have found forgiveness in myself and everyone and every hurt. i am so thankful to look back and take a calm breath at the end of a difficult season. spring is here with the beginning of a lot of “new.”

i have no regrets, and my mind rests.

my mentality on world mental health day

i ran over henry’s brother my last semester of college. i was on the way to my marketing internship to finish my bachelor’s degree, and i heard a loud pop. my heart sank to my guts. i saw my kitten, owen, struggling there as sam and henry looked up at me. i ran inside for towels, wrapped him in my arms and drove him to my uncle’s vet office.

he was dead.

my anxiety was born.

compulsive, obsessive thoughts. literally uncontrollable thoughts of guilt and why. over the cat at first. i read books on coping with anxiety and guilt. i used the strategies sometimes. other times, i gave into my thoughts. it’s hard to explain unless you experience Generalized Anxiety Disorder. my demon is my comfort. my endless, cycling thoughts are my blanket. i get lost in my tight-chested, rhythmic thinking. it helps me connect strategies. sometimes, it’s super me, until it’s tired me. until it’s sick me. until i’m tired of visualizing the awful, terrible sight of that cat dying there. as if me reliving the moment will somehow change or save something. my mind rationally knows that’s an impossibility, but anxiety persists.

it started with the cat and intruded into all areas of thought. eventually, i decided to try professional help. i had a boyfriend for a short time who shamed me for trying to take medication and for discussing it openly like i’m doing right now. so, i let that shame in, and i quit a great course of psychiatric treatment (i mean, we’re talking like a low dose of antidepressants — not straight jackets, here). i won’t go into all the years of suffering i did inside. everyone else loved my high-performing personality. only my close friends saw the truth of the ugly depression when i couldn’t get out of bed to keep my plans when i knew they would forgive me.

mental health became a more taboo subject in our society, and i resolved to myself that everyone has issues of some form, so as long as i was aware and coping in some form with mine – i was doing “all right.” i finally tiptoed around it with my general practitioner when my job got so high stress four years ago that i needed something chemical. i started trying some low dose antidepressants with her. three panic attacks, a case of shingles, a round of antibiotics, which led to a surprise pregnancy later [on no medication]: here we are today.

today, i have been seeing a freaking awesome psychiatrist for the better part of a year. it’s one of the best decisions of my life. i talk to a counselor on top of that when i feel like it. also one of the highlights of my life. therapy has given me the ability to reach mental wellness heights that make me want to kick past-me. therapy is the bee’s knees. it’s just as cool as it looks like in the movies. the thing is, i spent so many years in denial about needing to focus on the wellness of my mentality that i never was honest enough to be evaluated by a mental health professional. now that i have been, i am free. i know who i am, i know my boundaries, and i know my truths.

yes, i am extremely open about my journey. i want others who struggle with anxiety and double depression, like me, or something greater or lesser, to know it’s easy to seek a course of treatment to feel better. in a matter of months, i felt better. i dare say, i’m mighty close to feeling my dang best. i haven’t had an alcoholic drink in 140 days, and i take two medications a day that make me feel balanced, clear, and productive. i’ve lost thirteen pounds without trying. i feel like a child again inside. i feel like the me i was before i was bullied in middle school. that’s how clear and lifted the heaviness in my heart feels.

there were years i couldn’t paint because i couldn’t see through that eye in my soul. that has been so opened to me now. i cannot convey to anyone how beautiful that feels to me, except through the life i’m living today and through this message. and it’s not just a chemical adjustment. it’s knowing i have been strong enough to embark on this journey and continue walking through it with strategies from a spiritual and practical counselor i can entrust with my life. it’s knowing i have that accountability, support and history when i have no one else, even though i have so many more in my support system beyond my counselor and my psychiatrist. there have been people like that ex-boyfriend who have literally shamed me, made inappropriate comments about me and my journey recently to me and my loved ones, and that’s just the name of this game. but i’ll tell you this, nothing feels better than victory over what has weighed down my mind for 7-9 years. i’m leaning into the positive stuff and the positive people who share the same goal. here’s to being more me than i’ve been in a decade. nice to meet you to all those who are confused at the girl you’re seeing lately. Happy World Mental Health Day 2017.

i’ll bite

or write, rather.

i’ve been seeing this thing i like where people are posting very stream of consciousness style and it took me back to a time i was reading a lot of faulkner and i am trying it. although i am already struggling in my mind to quit thinking about what audience i’m writing to and what my eventual message is going to be but the purpose of this is just a writing exercise and maybe also an exercise in vulnerability. if we are really being honest, i can never spell excersize correctly on the first try. i may even get crazy and forget some commas and add some s.pontaneo’us punct!uation, or maybe even write in one big run-on sentence to free myself of the ongoing grammar critique inside of me but anyway, i digress. i have not written in a while on my blog. i will visit my website and think about all the topics i might be able to conjure up a few paragraphs about. but then i wander away in thought thinking that wouldn’t even seem authentic in an age where everyone has a blog and is trying to be as raw, as fashionable, as healthy, as mommerific, as artsy, as creative, as barf me barf me barf me this is exactly why i cannot write about anything quite much at all because all the ideas are taken and how am i even unique? even this little exercize seems overly done “hey look at me i’m different…?”but really the reason i did pop in because i do think noting one’s thoughts is important. sometimes it seems a little weird posting a selfie but gosh i have been loving it lately. i remember when there was some intrigue, spontaneity…what is that word i am looking for? resist google. stretch your mind. think hard. keep resisting google. look out the window and don’t think about it for a second. synonyms…fine, i will google it: ANTICIPATION in even seeing your selfies because you were taking them with a disposable camera and even 24-hour pickup was a novelty. so be cynical all i want to about the age of oversharing and noses stuck in phones but it really is a ‘thing” to be experiencing to a certain degree. after all, we are here in this culture and simply by reacting whether participating, criticizing or observing we are creating a very distinct and necessary point of view for posterity. and as for me. me me me me me. i will partake. why not? i regret way more that i didn’t say in the grand scheme of things and john mayer said to say what you need to say and i will listen to pretty much anything that he says in the key of G. so today i am writing as vayda lays here next to me in the bed. lays lies is laying is lying? i never honestly know but at this point i am not tabbing over to google. i know, you don’t care about me thinking about my grammatical errors, but that’s about 25% of my waking thoughts so they must be included for sheer intellectual honesty. so we are lyyyyyyying here and i feel bad that my baby doesn’t sleep in her own bed. that she has only slept in the beautiful babys dream crib my mom bought her for an hour and fifteen minutes of her whole life. thank goodness its crib to college because i could have bigger things to worry about i mean really you can figuratively spit on me that i am actually worrying about where my child sleeps because she is sleeping and there i go judging myself for caring about the pettiness of my life because it really is an easy, good one and no one cares except you. but anyway i care and i pay for this website and when i started it ten years ago it was just a place to pour my thoughts into an anonymous black hole of eyes that hear with different ears that may never even tell me they see me but i find comfort in knowing they’re around. it’s like writing a letter that drowns in a bottle or a thousand notes and poems and words in a box about you that you or no one will ever completely decipher correctly. see, i enjoy laying here next to vayda every time she naps. i do need a night a week that i don’t go to bed at nine o’clock p.m. but on nights like last night when i sleep ’til 7a.m. and accidentally fall back asleep until noon, i’m able to think in complete quiet besides the soft hum of the fan and the choir of summer birds chirping just behind the bricks that surround us. i’m able to think and reflect and connect instances from today with memories from earlier today or last year or two decades ago if it’s a really lucky day and if i can’t connect them and they seem slightly notable i can record them to be redeemed at a time when i need them. and that is beautiful – that incredibly existential moment when something you’ve kept inside for days, weeks, years all the sudden comes to fruition and makes all the sense it never seemed to could before. all these stories and moments that are individually mine, those are my treasures comma splice. not this blog or your blog that’s popular for a minute or has a lot of followers because of your theme that’s cool and all but it’s mostly about you about me about us our connections our moments our memories and how other people share and relate. so i lie here with vayda gazing out the window thinking about how bright this life really is. how the most ear-piercing noise in this room is your breath moving in and out of your nose in the most peaceful utterly heartmelting way and how i know this moment is fleeting by as i waste time to type some my-mother-is-a-fishy brain vomit as mr. davis coined it, i suppose. but how could i not take just a couple of minutes to be silly and remember the nuances of such a seemingly insignificant moment in the neverending hours inside our familiar four walls? see everything is a circle to me and i look at this circular A monogram that hangs from our window and creates this beautiful monochromatic thing that i stare at as i wonder and doze and begin to dream, probably because it’s all black and white as they say dreams are but i swear i dream in colortechnicolor and everything is a circle. one big circle we all rotate on and our cycles of moods our cycles of habits social circles (need i go on with illustrations) and an astute observer can pick up on them all just by listening to stories and possessing the proper amount of empathy. and i hula hoop in my circle and i can move and work to make my circle bigger and hold maybe your circle inside my circle. i would do that for you, or at least move my circle to rotate at just the right axis that our circles often overlap or maybe we miraculously mirror each other in size and shape and maybe we warp the same way for a time or forever or orbit apart accidentally or excruciatingly but that is just life. if design govern in a thing so small, or could robert frost be right in proposing all those white things sitting there so perfectly kept for the ultimate plot? i didnt even have to google that because it’s one of my favorites other than the discerning eye by emily and everything by ee cummings of course i love writing like this because segueways aren’t necessary how freeing how nonsequitor i see why the teenagers aren’t using punctuation now.  see, i’d write more letters like i used to but mama always told me never to write something down unless you’re prepared for someone to keep it forever. so i end up doing this dance where sometimes i only keep it all in my mind and don’t even write in my journal but what’s the point of being so restrained? why not say something stupid on facebook or share a little meaningless selfie or create something i’m not totally sure i’d even qualify as art? why not? i guess in the end there is a great balance found in doing that dance. to find the great charm, the great interesting mystery in waltzing between vulnerability and restraint but then i guess when i listen to the hamilton soundtrack when v is playing i get really excited to share even this without reading it three times in a row and correcting typos or expounding upon sentences that may have incomplete thought. i will post it just the way it is and pretend i am the girl from awkward. on mtv i wish that show wasnt over because i watched every episode and vayda didnt wake up this whole time

OK, and i know for sure it is OK not being rude all caps but grammatically correct it is OK not o.k. or O.K. or okay or Okay, but OK i did read it over once and i didn’t take anything out but i really wanted to backspace the word comma slice since it isn’t a comma splice but i kept it there to enjoy the irony later on when i read this again when i’m bored or old or never

My Recliner

You act all HGTV and say things to yourself like, “No, we will absolutely never have an ugly, eyesore of a recliner in this home.” But then your husband buys you one as a push present after the baby. He imagines it possibly becoming “his” chair, until you yourself realize why men around the world fight over who sits in the ridiculous-looking contraption every Saturday during football game viewings.

The recliner is mine – to say the least. No one else is allowed to sit in it but me. It has all the perfect lumps and indentations from my favorite sitting positions. It emanates the faint scent of baby formula, pretzels and essential oils. Everything me. i have completed my seventh journal in this chair, filling it with letters to people who will never read them, people who inspire me daily. I rock my baby every day and night in this chair. I listen to my favorite songs in this sweet, soft chair. I devour books, Facebook stalk, gaze out of my picture window and solve TV mysteries here.

It reminds me of those unexpected moments in life. The thing you never expected you’d own, but that now takes up space in your heart regardless. They’re frustrating, unplanned and out of place, yet they are yours all the same. My recliner is my solitude and the best piece of furniture in my house–besides my king-sized; pillow mattress king bed (but that’s another blog).

Current Listening:
1) “Lover, You Should Have Come Over” Jeff Buckley [Grace, Live at Sin-é]
2) “Sweet Thing” Van Morrison, Jeff Buckley [Live at Sin-é]

i need rules.

it’s easy to be really involved with a creative idea in the beginning. ultimately a road block appears where the project is avoided. it just isn’t fun anymore or it’s too complicated/time-consuming to complete at the moment.

the most disappointing part is, i rarely pick it back up. and if i do i wait forever to finish it. life has changed gears for a season, and my aim is producing more with my time. producing more of whatever it is in that moment for me. producing an intentional and finished product. one day, it’s a random craft with repurposed bottles. rearranging our den as a playroom for V. the next day, owning a task at work. organizing a junk drawer. designing a gallery wall. i’ve penned lists in my notebooks: projects at home to conquer, and project tracker with goals for work.

in order to be intentional about working through my grandiose list of possible design projects, i have defined some new personal guidelines…or something like that.

1. choose one project from the list only. enjoy thinking about the project in advance and divide the project into clear-cut steps.

take one of my latest piece for example (pictured). i wanted to do something a little different and fun with V’s birth announcements. don’t ask me why, but i had 12 different cards printed that i wanted to collage on a canvas with some sort of handpainted work included. i started by ordering the cards, obviously, and picked out canvases from my stockpile to use. then i took time to envision the piece and imagine the arrangement, colors and tools i would use. after planning out the timeline, i felt confident and excited about my upcoming craft.

Canvas with paper cards, acrylic paint and modge podge.
Canvas with paper cards, acrylic paint and modge podge.
Canvas with paper cards, acrylic paint and modge podge.
Canvas with paper cards, acrylic paint and modge podge.

2. house must be clean and all work-related tasks completed before i start to art.

my OCD mind will wander to what’s unfinished or undone, and then I’ll inevitably be juggling 15 chores with my designated project. making sure things are in the order before i step into my realm of peace with the piece.

3. communicate with the art.

quite possibly the lamest way to put it, but the most enjoyable part of any creation for me. it sounds nuts (and maybe it is). for years i have pondered God as an artist and how He must delight in the artform of nature, space and humanity across decades and dimensions. could you imagine…? i don’t [think i] have a god complex, but i appreciate the idea of imagining my blank canvas as a creation i’m breathing life into as i work.  so, i enjoy “getting weird” while i paint. fluid patterns and strokes that follow the imperfections of a specific tool. mixing colors to massage their best pigments and making sure they feel good on the canvas. that no stroke or pen mark feels completely awkward unless agreed upon between me and the brush. call me crazy, but those are my favorite pieces. they get the most of me in them.

4. let the stuff sit out.

the house is clean, so i intentionally leave my craft necessities out in a designated, but obvious, space until i finish the project. ‘not wanting to drag the supplies out’ can’t be the excuse not to finish. barring a visit from important company, i allow my supplies to get some fresh air mid-project. why not? my living room, my life. and who ever got much done without getting a little messy? (these questions aren’t rhetorical. i have to motivate myself that a little of art supplies gathered by the bookcase and gallery frames on the table are not the end of my clean house.)


so those are my new four rules for myself, the ultimate procrastinator. this lazy artist with all ideas and not much product to show for it lately has been churning out some stuff recently.

the creative process ebbs and flows, of course –but i’m maturing my processes to get the most out of my creative time, at least until Baby V is stealing the paintbrushes out of my hand.

image(which she can totally get away with being this cute.)


from violet beauregard to mama

it feels like i’m waking up to the world more every day that Baby V has been alive. that’s the only way i can describe it. i am blogging an update about V before our wedding. a little out of order, but that’s kind of like us, i suppose.

pregnancy felt like supernatural forces were battling for my body and brain for nine months. i envy those mamas clad in tennis shoes who lift weights and chomp on celery. not i. i was exhausted and overflowing with crazy-lady hormones from day one of V’s existence in my belly. i had intense all-day sickness my entire first trimester and threw up at least once a day for my entire pregnancy, including the morning she was born like clockwork.

i also learned that hormones create a different scenario for a pregnant lady plagued with anxiety. even when i felt i was holding back, my mood swings were WIDE open. bless my poor family, friends and coworkers who had to put up with me. then the third trimester brought on intense heartburn that kept me awake and sick all night. i slept sitting up for two months straight with a bottle of TUMs beside me.

i’m sure my awesome diet didn’t help my pregnancy. PB&Js for breakfast, chicken salad at lunch and TCBY after dinner…e-v-e-r-y day. yes, i gained 60+ pounds during my pregnancy. i won’t tell you how far i’m stretching the “+” in that last sentence, but all the extra weight made me feel like violet beauregard in willy wonka.

by the time my due date came and went, i was having mild contractions daily. no one could have conveyed to me the frustrating agony of wondering for hundreds of hours, “is this it?!” when my water broke as i was doing dishes that friday, i didn’t believe i was in labor. J had to convince me to go to the hospital around 4PM. surely enough, it was the real deal.


i had a pretty open birth plan, and i didn’t set high expectations because of all the horror stories i had heard about how quickly things can change in an instant. i wanted to try to labor naturally as long as i could. i did. late friday night, i got an epidural which is where things went wrong. i’ve always had steady, and sometimes low, blood pressure – but it was very consistent during my pregnancy. right after the epidural, my blood pressure went to 60/30.

i guess i’m just so naive that i didn’t realize something was wrong with multiple nurses in the room, an oxygen mask on my face and a panic-stricken look on J’s face. V was in a moment of distress, and they were pumping as much epinephrine as allowed into my IV. my blood pressure never went back over 100/50 the rest of my labor, but surprisingly i had no other symptoms and V was fine too.

the epidural continued to give me issues. i had what the doctor described as a “very dense block,” as in the pain was being blocked well. that may sound just dandy in the way of contractions and childbirth, but i had very little feeling below my chest through the night. for this anxious gal, it was hard. my mama massaged my legs all night so i could have some sensation that my legs were still there – because i truly felt the paralysis might last forever. my awesome nurse Ashley was really innovative and into cool techniques, so i got to try laboring down and all kinds of positioning that i had hoped to experience.

after a couple of hours pushing, the doctor ordered the epidural to be turned off to ease up on the block. ever so quickly, i could feel everything. J and my mom were trying so hard to comfort me. my mama was even pushing and straining with me (the doctor had to remind her that wouldn’t help, haha). after some coaching and calming from the amazing Dr. Talley and some minor interventions, i heard my mom say, “she’s coming!”


i worried i wouldn’t be immediately overcome with love and motherly instinct, but i can say that fear washed away quickly as my knowing of this child as mine was instantaneous. it has been growing rapidly ever since.


i didn’t realize the shell of myself i had become until after vayda was born. again, it was like waking up out of a weird haze. but feeling more like my old “normal” self physically and emotionally both came and went as i began to accept that my self and my world were forever changed by V’s life. i have journaled since shortly after she was born trying to articulate the new and tremendous depth i feel. it isn’t only a depth of love – it is a deeper patience (most of the time) and a kinder care for things in the world i had grown cynical toward before.

i often think: how could i love her more than i do in this moment? and then i reflect to realize i love her far more strongly now than i did last time i asked myself that. i’m in complete awe of motherhood experience now. all the moms i know mean so much more to me now – especially my own wonderful, giving mom. i hope as my life goes on i will be the mom she has been to me.