Wednesday, May 25, 2016

On Flailing

Things will be feeling great, and then one day you wake up and they stop feeling that way. That's depression in a nutshell.

Ah, my black wolf. He's been hanging around me for a few weeks now, making me weepy and apathetic. And at first, I fought and thrashed and said "This is some unfair bullshit, go away." and then felt guilt and shame for feeling this way again with Orion being so young still, and for being snappy and crabby and apathetic with everyone.

But, over the past few days I've had some long, deep, in the shit rambling talks with my husband and a few very close friends. They're the best for these sorts of talks because, they listen. They don't interrupt, they don't offer pity or advice. They simply listen.

It's a skill I'm a bit bad at myself, if I'm being completely honest.

And in these ramblings, I uncovered some truths I had been avoiding while in the fog. All on my own, with no one pointing it out.

Have I mentioned how much I love good listeners?

I need to find the mother inside of me. Not the one I DON'T want to be, or even the one that I DO want to be. Just the one that I ALREADY am. And embrace her in all of her messy, human glory. It's time to unfollow the parenting advice sites and blogs, unfriend the sanctimommies, forgive the examples I'm running from and just BE in this role and in this life. I can still commiserate, because we all need to commiserate sometimes.

In fighting so hard to hold on and not "lose myself" after becoming a mother (my biggest fear), I actually stifled a new iteration of myself from coming through. I'm so terrified of change and the what if's of what comes after that I've shackled my ankle to an old, ill fitting version of myself where I don't have room to breath, much less grow.

And it feels like I'm fighting myself, constantly. The old snarky version of me who wasn't going to let motherhood change her AT ALL, the consummate rebel who scoffed at "women's work", the misunderstood loner artist and the new one who wants to soften and surrender to this season, who isn't embarrassed by the pride and joy she finds in homey things, and admits that perhaps this wasn't the best time to try to try to become a "serious artist", but rather keep on doing what I do for the sake of doing it. The one the old me thinks is super fucking lame.

Because she's afraid.

She's afraid of dying, and she's afraid of what comes after. She thrives on feelings of not enough. And so she clings on desperately and whispers vitriol that makes me question the simple joys I find, and makes me fear that if I change to much, everything will crumble around me and I'll be left where I started.

Alone and flailing.

She whispers to me that accepting a pill to help is cheating, that it's synthetic happiness, that it's less than real. That it will make me a phony despite my urging and celebration of others for doing what is best for them. Even takings the pills.

That part of me is what's phony. And hypocritical.

And amidst all this, I'm flailing with my faith. I never really understood what a crisis of faith really felt like, though I've been sympathetic with others. It turns out, it's not just limited to followers of organized religions. Even a raising herself on dirt and whispering to nature kinda gal can thrash about, crying for answers with the best of them.

And so I'm searching as I'm clinging. Which doesn't really work out so well.

My hips and lower back have been aching for weeks. I can't get comfortable when I lie down. Walking, standing and squatting are painful. I feel creaky, crooked, and like my legs are going to pop out of their sockets.

I feel like I did the week before I had Orion, when I was in pre-labor.

And while I'm thrashing about with my spirituality, there's one thing I'm still set on: my body is a mirror for what's going on in my heart and mind. It's time to birth someone new. Flailing and confused but comforted instantly by love.

It's time to be brave, get clear on how I want to feel rather than who I want to be, and do what I need to do to get there. Because this thrashing about in the cold gray sea thing is better left to the birds.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Book Review: Incarnation by Laura Davis Hays


Incarnation by Laura Davis Hays


From the publisher:
Kelsey Depuis, Santa Fe scientist, and Iriel, betrothed on Atlantis to a man she cannot love―two young women bound by a single soul.

In Kelsey’s everyday world, three men shape her life: Myron Crouch, the boss of BioVenture Enterprises; Harrison Stillman, a brilliant colleague of hers there; and Stan Dresser, who twists her feelings with his kisses and lies.

But gradually, growingly, Iriel is shaping her life too. Through dreams and visions, she draws Kelsey into the ancient realm where refusal to marry Gewil has driven her to daring flight with fantastic creatures across a strange and terrible land.

As Kelsey joins other BioVenture researchers testing a new organism on a remote Caribbean island, turmoil and violence darken her fate―and Iriel’s presence grows stronger. Worlds shift and merge, danger grows. Past and present, vengeance and love swirl together as the seas rise up, the seas that once swallowed Atlantis.

Tested in life-or-death struggle, Kelsey must face an ordeal she can survive only through great courage and deep karmic understanding.


My Thoughts:

Laura Davis Hay's Incarnation is an intricate tale of souls bound together by love and karma, through centuries and the rise and fall of civilizations. A love story, a psychological thriller, and a mystery all reside in its well crafted pages - it's as complex as the sea that it keeps swirling back to.

The gist of the story is pretty well covered in the publisher's blurb, and to write more about it would probably spoil it.

I'll wholeheartedly admit that at first I had a hard time getting in to the characters - thinking to myself there really wasn't anything new here. But I stuck with it and about halfway through I found myself intrigued. By the last 1/3 of the book, I had a hard time putting it down and I kept telling myself "one more chapter" until I had finished and it was well past my usual bedtime. The mingling of the scientific and the spiritual was a brilliant way to shine a light on how to navigate the chaos of life (or lives) with both reason and an open heart. It needn't be one or the other.

To Find Laura and Incarnation on the web visit:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Incarnation-Laura-Davis-Hays/dp/1938288440/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429812354&sr=8-1&keywords=Incarnation+Hays

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27135323-incarnation?from_search=true&search_version=service

Author's website: http://www.lauradavishays.com


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To visit my fellow tour hosts and see what others had to say about this novel, click the image above.

Thank you to Lisa at TLC Book Tours and the publisher for the review copy of this novel.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cleaning and The Broken Fellowship



This week I don't really have much in progress that is worth showing off.

I'm collecting pieces to re-vamp my Tank Girl costume from a few years ago to wear to the local Comic Con this weekend, plotting a costume for Joe and Orion that I hope to be able to pull off in time (my husband will tell you, I am the Queen of Last Minute Costumes.), and have started coloring in a coloring book I bought a few weeks ago.

I've been suffering from a pretty bad case of the "I don't wannas", the blahs, lack of motivation... whatever you prefer to call it. I'm in a little bit of a low spot emotionally, and for once I'm just floating along on the current and letting it be instead of fighting it. It actually made the whole thing a lot easier to deal with and I feel a lot less drained.

Go figure.

Today though, I had a pretty big burst of energy this afternoon, so I started deep cleaning the kitchen. It doesn't look like much from the photo, but I scrubbed out the dishwasher and have it running an empty cycle with vinegar and baking soda to further clear it out, did the sink full of dishes by hand, swept and mopped the floor, cleaned out the fridge and wiped the counters. All during nap time!

Later on, I want to finish up the dishes, wash the windows, clean out the freezers and *maybe* the junk drawer. But right now, it's a beautiful day and I'm off to play with my son. Housework can wait, like it's been doing. :)

I'm still plugging along on my all-in-one copy of The Lord of the Rings. I finished the Fellowship of the Ring last night and think I'll hold off on beginning The Two Towers so I can watch the first movie in between. When I first watched the movies, it had been years since I read the books, so it'll be interesting to me to see how I feel about them when the book is still very fresh in my mind.

Maybe it'll be like Harry Potter and I'll love them both. We'll see.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Gratitude*Sunday

Each Sunday I stop and count my blessings.

Taking time to honor the things I've been grateful for throughout the week. A quiet, weekly practice of appreciation and positivity. A time to breath and reflect. A small step towards a more simplistic and appreciative outlook. Feel free to join in. <3



This Week I am Grateful For:


* Not having guilt for all the take out and money spent, which helped save my sanity and patience while I was severely sleep deprived this week.
* Finding a deeper well of patience than I knew that I had.
* A very amazing and kind friend offering to come over and help me with Orion for a few hours one evening so that I could get a few solid hours of uninterrupted sleep. Illness + Developmental Leap + Dad being gone = one sleepless toddler.
* Warm weather and a kiddo who was content to hang in the hammock with me for a bit.
* Re-reading Lord of the Rings and remembering SO MANY things that I had completely forgotten!
* All the new sounds that Orion is making and words and signs that he's trying out.
* His first animal sound! He pointed at a crow in the sky the other day and said "caw! caw!" When I asked him, "what does a crow say?" He got this HUGE grin on his face and delightedly said "caw! caw!" again. A corvid lover after my own heart! I'm such a proud mommy! :)
* Reuniting with our favorite guy after a week apart!
* Kiddo's first real Easter festivities. We didn't do anything last year because he was too little to really participate in much. We did an egg hunt yesterday morning. I was a little nervous that he'd get knocked down, be overwhelmed, or not really get it, but he ran all over and delighted in throwing the eggs he found in to his basket. Later on, we went to see the Easter Bunny. And while he wasn't totally sure what to make of him, he willingly sat on dad's lap next to the bunny and petted his hand - so we took a family photo with him. :)
* The look of wonder, delight, and surprise when he spotted his "basket" on the kitchen table this morning! In lieu of a basket full of sugary candies, the bunny brought him a little plastic wagon with some garden tools, bubble stuff, sidewalk chalk, play doh and some sand molds to use with the play doh or his water table. He spent a lot of the day pulling the wagon around, and even put eggs in it when we did an indoor (due to rain) egg hunt after his nap. :)


Thursday, March 24, 2016

One Ring and A Very Pink Gift



It's been a hell of a week around here, so I'm sharing my work in progess Wednesday a day late. Rules are more like guidelines anyways, right? :)



This week I've begun a re-reading of The Lord of the Rings by hobbit friend and lore-master J.R.R. Tolkien. It's been over a decade since I last lost myself in the pages of this incredible work and I've forgotten SO MUCH! I always enjoy rediscovering a beloved story.

As for my work in progress, I bought the materials for my niece Khloe's 5th birthday gift. 5 years! How did that happen already?!? She's very in to super heroes and her favorite color is pink, so this amazing shiny fabric and extra glittery elastic will become a cape, mask, and gauntlets befitting of such a big birthday occasion.

What are you all up to this week?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Art Journal & Happiness


Work In Progress Wednesday - I'm resurrecting it!

There's nothing quite like knowing you'll be checking in with yourself (and others) at a set time to keep you motivated and get some projects done. :)

So here's the deal. On Wednesday, let's all share what we're working on *and* what we're reading currently. That way we can gather inspiration, stay motivated, and add more books to our reading lists on Goodreads or in our journals. (or both. I'm not judging!) Feel free to snag the button in the post and on my sidebar and link your posts in the comments if you're joining in so we can see each other's stuff!



This week, I've been working in the massive art journal I created from old artwork last week. I've got a spread started that I'm just starting to really dig. I love all the texture of modeling paste and old book pages as well as these deeper colors. As per usual, I don't have an agenda with this, just seeing where it takes me!

I *just* finished Hector and the Search for Happiness. I really enjoyed the whimsical, quirky way in which the story was told - it felt a bit like a children's book written for adults which made me happy. There were a few things in it that had me sighing and saying "Oh, Hector", but overall I was moved by the stories of his travels and the things he discovered about what causes happiness.

It was a very quick read and just over 150 pages and if it weren't a library copy, it would have most certainly had a bunch of highlights, notes in the margins, and maybe even some glitter thrown in to it. Definitely something I'd read again.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Gratitude*Sunday

Each Sunday I stop and count my blessings.

Taking time to honor the things I've been grateful for throughout the week. A quiet, weekly practice of appreciation and positivity. A time to breath and reflect. A small step towards a more simplistic and appreciative outlook. Feel free to join in. <3





This Week I am Grateful For:


* Catching up with our friends who we haven't seen in a little bit, and a trip to the zoo with the three amigos. Who all let us know when it was time to go. ;)
* Friends who come over and spend their entire Saturday helping us out in return for food and conversation. This time it was fixing Joe's truck.
* My good friend Jenn taking me to my favorite local brewery to do a glass etching class as a late birthday gift.
* Spending time with creative friends at Cynthia of Spirit Uncaged's house. I so need and refill at these creative women's circles she started. It's a beautiful energy and time to experiment and work on projects. It's been the best medicine for me.


Image by Tina Huba HalseyMae.com Facebook

* Time with my best friend, Michael. We suck at best friending lately, but we're working on it.
* Repurposing old artwork from high school and my time in BIG with Dirty Footprints Studio in to a gigantic art journal by tearing it up and sewing it together. Hat tip to Hali Karla for the inspiration to take the plunge and breath new life in to old work.
* Spending most of our waking time outside this week. It's been too beautiful to be indoors!
* Meeting another Stay at Home mom and Harry Potter fan at the park and skipping small talk and talking about our sons, husbands, hobbies, and lives. I hope to see her again! Awkward penguin here didn't ask for her number or anything. Whoops.