Today I am…Praying and Wishing


Today I am praying and wishing.

Big Prayers and Big Wishes.

One of my favorite people is in labor right now. She’s having a baby. I already love him. I know this.

I’ve been praying for them all day. I cannot wait to snuggle that little guy. Cannot wait! I’m so excited. Cannot wait to hug that brand new Mama and see the sudden wisdom in her eyes.

I pray. I pray that she is strong. I pray that he is a fighter. I pray this and so much more for both of them. And for his Daddy, too. I pray for healthy baby screams and fusses. I pray for every good and amazing thing.

I wish everything for this little guy. I wish every promise and hope and dream. Every good thing. Every magical thing. Everything. Every. Single. Beautiful. Thing.

And I pray for so many of my beautiful amazing friends that are loving and graceful parents raising children that are so totally and completely loved. I pray for patience and wisdom, laughter and love, and the kind of memories that make our world a better place.

And I pray for those waiting to be parents, that are praying to be parents, that are wishing to be parents. I pray for them. For their strength, their dreams, their everythings. I wish for every single one to become true and real life.

And I pray for everyone who never got to hold their babies. Or didn’t get to hold them long enough. Prayers for longings to be filled and rainbows to be bright. I pray for peace and strength, for healing and faith. I pray for compassion for those who don’t understand this pain and loss and just want us and our sad to go away. And I pray that not one more person ever has to understand this kind of pain. I spend my minutes wishing for everyone’s happily ever after.

And I pray for our pain. Our empty. Our far away and foggy glances. I pray for the tears to stop and the loathing to end. I pray for the loss that extends so far beyond our empty arms and frayed beliefs. I pray for our fractured faith that once was whole. I pray for everyone who had to walk away because sad isn’t fun and those that only add more weight to this infinite burden. I pray for full and trues and everything’s. I pray and I wish for Hope truly realized.

Faith. Baby prayers. Baby wishes.

photo credit: limaoscarjuliet via photopin cc

Today I am…Being Guided by Faith

20140101-161715.jpg Last year was the first year I selected a word to guide me. I chose RELEASE. I tend to ruminate and I needed a constant reminder to just let things go. I still get stuck, but knowing that I have the power to release myself from yuck really helps!

This year, I’m going with FAITH. I’m excited to see where it takes me, guides me, pulls and pushes me. Faith means so many different things to me, which I’ll be exploring this year.

Do you have a word to guide you? If so, I’d love to know what it is!


Thanksgiving Fun and Ready for December!

November…where did you go?

We started off our Thanksgiving week at the movies! Schmoopy took me to see the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special in 3D. It was AWESOME! He had no idea what was going on, but he loves that movie popcorn!

On Wednesday night we joined Schmoopy’s family in Amelia Island, FL for Thanksgiving. I’m a lucky girl to have such an amazing extended family.

It was good to get away, spend time with the kids (who are growing up WAY TOO FAST for this girl), hang out with the sister and brother-in law, Schmoopy’s parents, eat, drink, and just be merry! There was a lot of football going on, which meant a lot of reading, drawing, and cross stitch time for me.

We scheduled family pictures on the beach (my idea) and they were horrible. Well, I thought I was horrible in the pics. The selfies I took rocked, but the pros got me all wrong! What a total downer that was! You know how I love pictures, too! UGH! Most of the family pics came out great, so everyone else was pretty happy. I looked at them, cried, and took a nap. Yup. True story!

I’m ready for the Christmas Season to get going! This means I’ll try really hard to finish my December Daily album this year (I always have the best intentions…), complete the December 30 Days of Lists, and two daily prompt-based challenges: FatMumSlim’s Photo a Day and Ello Lovey’s Doodle a Day. Am I insane, yup! Will I make it? Maybe. Either way, tis the season and I’m happily jumping in (with a little bit of Grumpy Cat here and there, I’m sure!)

What have you got going on in December? 

*I use InstaCC for my monthly photo collages, like the November one at the top of this post. It is really cool. It pulls all of my pics from Instagram and throws them into a calendar for me. YAY! Also, I received no compensation for anything in this post. Just me and my crazy ideas.

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!!

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

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

Today I am…Blogging Along with Effy Wild!

Yay, I’m so in!

My favorite art goddess, Effy Wild, is going to be blogging daily in August & I’m going to join her!
I’ll be blogging about anything & everything: books, art, scrapbooking, teaching 8th grade monsters, this crazy baby chase, & who knows what else…(Sharknado, anyone)!


Today I am…HAPPY!

So, I’ve made blissful some changes in my life lately.




Sometimes dreams change. It is strange to admit that my dreams are different now than they were a few years ago, but it is true. So, I’ve had to change a few things around in my world. Thankfully, there is so much love and support all around me!
This is just the best! The. BEST!
I am eating great, real, fresh food & focusing on getting healthy.   Who would’ve ever thought that I’d drink something with raw spinach or kale! Schmoopy is joining in, too. He wasn’t a big green smoothie fan before, not at all, but he is on board now. He feels great, too. YAY US! I’m hooked on These girls are amazing!
I feel wonderful.
We’ve also decided to get this baby thing going again. We had a devastating second trimester loss in 2010 & it almost destroyed me. We call it The Dark Times. Everything crashed and I was really lost for a really long time.
Feeling much more whole than I have since then, we are moving forward. It is a long, sad, difficult, & super expensive process. We are starting with IUI for now. If we need to, we will move on to IVF, & then adoption.
We will be parents. I will be a Mommy. Schmoopy will be a Daddy.
We will do this! And it will be EPIC!
I’m also focusing on being creative again.  I’ve taken a few art classes at my local scrapbook shop, a few online, started scrapbooking and Project Life-ing again, and it is just good for my soul. Really good.
And the biggest change of all…I’ve taken a leave from my doctoral work. It is a six month leave for now, but it may be a forever leave. Earning my doctorate was something that I wanted for such a long time. It was a dream.  A big dream. I used to get so excited about my research, the writing, the discovery, the papers (what?!).  Lately, the whole idea of it has been a source of so much stress and anxiety. The spark is gone. The thrill. The dream changed. I agonized over it for a long time. Schmoopy and I had several looooong discussions about it. I’m not a quitter and this was the most difficult part. I had several discussions with my wonderful Mama about this, too. I was raised by two amazing people who taught me to finish what I started and to do all that I do with my whole self. To say that there was some internal conflict is an understatement. I finally made the decision to take a leave and I’m so happy I did! The gloomy cloud lifted almost immediately. The stress levels dropped dramatically, and my heart felt hopeful again. I may return. I may not.
Either way, I’m ok with it. I can do hard things!
source: tumblr

source: tumblr

Whew, lots of info there, huh!?!? Maybe even a little TMI, but I’m good with it all.
There are going to be some awesome changes around here & I’m totally super psyched!


Ummm, I promise I still live here

So, yup, ummm…haven’t visited in a while. Let’s just call it an extended vacation.
Have I been reading tons of books? YUP!
Have I been reading tons of blogs?
Have I forgotten about my cool little spot on the www?
Not a one!

So what’s up, whatcha been doing, why’d you leave?
Dissertation writing, 8th grade kiddo teaching, Schmoopy love life living, Instagram loving, scrapbook mess making & all that jazz.
But summer’s coming and I’m feeling the blog love again. So, no promises, but I think I’m ready!

Pic proof of the life that’s been happening:
Yay Books!












Today I am…talking about bullying at Uniquely Moi Books!

I stopped by Uniquely Moi books to give my teacher perspective on bullying.

Check it out and you could win a copy of A.S. King’s epically awesome EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. ANTS is an awesome book about bullying, the kind of wounds we can see, and the kind scars that we can’t. (And also because I totally love everything she writes and you should too!)

 Read the post here!

Today I am…joining a LGBT reading event!

Today I am…Joining a LGBT reading event.

The mega awesome Roof Beam Reader is hosting THE LITERARY OTHERS: AN LGBT READING EVENT in October. I’m totally participating!

I’m jumping in because equality is an issue that I am passionate about. Sometimes people ask me why LGBT rights are such a big issue to me when I am not LGBT myself. The short answer is this: I believe that love is love and I believe in always doing the kindest thing. Supporting equality, human rights, love, and kindness are always the right things to me. It is also a great reason to read two books that have been hanging on by TBR pile for a while now. I’m going to read:

  • Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. I just met him at the Decatur Book Festival (He is awesome!!) and I’ve been wanting to read this forever. So this is all win for me! I just started Every Day and I love it already!
  • Shine by Lauren Myracle: I’ve had Shine for a while now. I was going to go see her speak last year, but I was super sick that day. So, now I’m pulling it out again and going for it.  Again, all kinds of win here!!

Go check out the awesome Roof Beam Reader. I hope you join in, too!