Archives for August 2013

Today I Am…Quitting!

i quit

Sometimes, just sometimes, being a quitter actually makes you a winner. 

It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I realized I could quit reading a book that I hated. I mean, I even called my mom to ask permission. She laughed, like she usually does, and told me to go for it. Wow. That changed my life. I’m not a quitter. I am a finisher. But, there are times when quitting equals winning. And those times are awesome! I totally won when I quit smoking. I was a huge winner when I realized that saying NO to some things was not only possible, but pretty dang awesome.

I’ve quit a bunch of stuff lately and it has made my life a whole heck of a lot better! I’m happier. I miss some things a lot (like Diet Dr. Pepper…ugh, I dream about that fizzy DDP goodness). Other things, like the extra 23 lbs. I’ve ditched since May or some negative people that I’ve finally managed to shake, never get a second thought.

Quitting feels good! I don’t miss stressing about my dissertation, those deadlines, or the black cloud of research guilt that was always hanging over my head. Quitting that was awesome. I do miss the possibility of it all, thought. A lot. It might make me cringe every time someone I know does the thing I couldn’t do, but ultimately the (super totally majorly difficult) decision was the best thing for me, Schmoopy, and any littles that will be joining our family (sooner, rather than later, I pray-and you can too, please! No, I don’t have any news, just a lot of Hope!).

Basically, embracing my Inner Quitter is a new thing for me, but a good one. I’m spending my time and energy being the best me I can possibly be. I’m taking art classes, reading for fun, spending time with the man of my dreams and our crazy cat, and I’m totally absolutely in love with teaching again. It’s all so blissful. YAY!

Did you have to be a quitter in order to find your bliss? I’d love to hear about it!

photo credit: Jillian Corinne via photopin cc

Today I am…Going Back to School & Starting Summer Camp!

I started back to school last week. The kiddos come on Thursday and I cannot wait! I love my monsters! I will get to meet them tomorrow at open house and I’m so excited. I LOVE BEING A TEACHER! Even my worst days are better than most people’s good days.

That’s a blessing, for sure!


I’ve also started Art Journal Summer Camp with Samie Harding. I’ve been indulging in my creative side this summer (all part of our Get Healthy, Get Baby plan) and I’m so happy! I have always loved art, but just haven’t been very creative the last few years. But now, it is so on!  Last weekend, I took two classes with Donna Downey (and fangirled the whole dang time!). I’m still doing Effy Wild’s Book of Days and loving it. I’m also in Life Book 2013 with Tam Laporte, Behind the Art with Christy Tomlinson, and I’m starting Soul Restoration with Melody Ross soon. Am I insane? Probably! But in such an amazingly awesome way! I’ve also started cross stitching–The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery has the most adorable patterns…ahhhhh!

Creative Mandee is rocking it this summer & I’ve totally found my bliss!

My wish is for all of you to find your bliss, too! 

Here are some pics of my favorite artsy creations from the summer!

The Frosted Pumpkin Cross Stitch...Love!

The Frosted Pumpkin Cross Stitch…Love! Huge learning curve going on!


This is where we got engaged. I love this!

This is where we got engaged. I love this!

I love Donna Downey!!

234 250 254 257 260

I made this in Effy Wild's class. Love her!

I made this in Effy Wild’s class. Love her!

Arting it Up!

Look what I made!!
Tonight I took a class at Altered Angel, my ultimate fave store in the universe, with the amazing Donna Downey. It totally rocked!








Just like Hazel

Just like Hazel’s love for An Imperial Affliction, I can’t stop reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I’m listening to it in the car now (I saw it at the library and grabbed it!). It is beauty and magic and perfection all at once. It leaves me, quite like Hazel’s constant state, breathless.

When one of my dear friends mom was diagnosed with the big ugly C, we watched ever cancer movie there was. It helped her cope and heal with the giant suck fest that is cancer. When my dad got a similar diagnosis some years later, our healing time was bad comedy & lame SciFi. I didn’t read cancer books or watch cancer movies. I got angry, sad, and very afraid. So, when I heard Green’s new book was, in fact, about the big C, I ditched it for a long time. I wasn’t going to read a cancer book. But, I love John Green. I love the way he makes me laugh right after he made me cry or scream eff bombs, even though I’m trying not to cuss (you can take the girl out of Jersey…). That’s pretty dang epic. So, of course, it was just a matter of time before TFiOS made its way to my reading pile. It is, like An Imperial Affliction, the book, my book. It has become part of me in a way that a tiny few books ever have or ever will.

This was me yesterday, pulled over on the side of the road, crying, & trying to breathe


I know the story. I know what’s going to happen. It makes it worse, actually, the knowing. And I love/hate it.

What’s your book?

I’m blogging along with Effy Wild this month. Join us!


August Blogalong with Effy Wild

So, I’ve decided to challenge myself to Effy Wild’s Blogalong.

Effy is a super amazing & awesomely creative artist, teacher, and glitter flinger. She is totally one of my artistic heroes! I’m taking her Book of Days class now & WOW! It is so full of win!

I’m not going to make this an icky challenge with lots of rules. Zero criticism from me will be allowed…aren’t we always our worst critics! I mean unless you teach middle school, like me, then you know those monsters can be pretty honest sometimes! It’s all about the fun & happiness these days for this girl! It’s all part of my Get Healthy Get Baby lifestyle! So far, so awesome!

Yay! I’m excited to write, share, & visit with so many awesome people during this August Blogalong! Maybe I’ll even pick up some new blogging tricks!

I’d love for you to join in the fun.