Friday, February 28, 2014

Things I've come to know- Part... I dunno

              Things I've come to know- PART 7
in no particular order or whatever.
-This is going to be a tad long.  I suppose I have a lot to say. 
-It's a good thing when you use your head alongside your heart.
-We are ALL busy. It's not an excuse anymore.
-Grocery bills. Um, reaaallly?!
-I heart Tenth Avenue North band.
-Make sweet time with your kids when they are itty bitty and cherish it.
-Me no likey mindless mind clutter.
-My girls inspire me each day.
-I really want to learn Photoshop or Illustrator.
-It's all gonna be okay.
-Art in many forms can be a true gift to people.
-I heart Jimmy Fallon.
-Spontaneous get-together's are always more fun.
-Tidy house= sanity and peace
-I so so so have a passion to decorate on a budget.
-God will exceed your expectations if you believe, stay hopeful and faithful.
-Art/Yoga retreat with Colleen in Bali. Dreamin'...someday.
-Our dog snores, burps, does high five's....and has a soul.
-It's okay to just listen. It's important sometimes to just listen.
-I want to meditate regularly and not fall asleep.
-When you are free, comfortable and vulnerable- others will be that too with you.
-Facebook. Sometimes I wonder about it. A social hug for many.
-I love intriguing friendships full of heart and life stories.
-We all carry around a layer of protection from pain, to protect ourselves or others.
-People don't surprise me.
-It's hard to run here in the winter. Even with "couch to 5k" app and a good friend.
-The good-ole things that I grew up with are now called "vintage or retro".
-Men can be good cooks. That includes Josh.
-Love. It's for taking and giving.
-Dropping your iphone is not good.
-Every thought or worry is bigger in the middle of the night.
-You can have a huge vitamin D deficiency even in the sunniest and most outdoorsy state.
-Modern learning curriculums in schools are a good thing these days.
-I miss my Dad more and more.
-We are all born EXACTLY how we are supposed to be.
-I need and so really really desire a cleaning lady.
-Super Soul Sunday. Love.
-Marriages need playful silly giggly fun and adventure among the chaos of everyday.
-I'm convinced that sections of a 11-14 year old brain stop working due to growing up too fast.
-Technology can be such a waste of life and a time sucker.
-Pray. More.
-Screen-free days for my kids are a good thing.
-I heart my new blender and good-fer-you smoothies.
-Politics: I wish we would all just get along.
-It's hard to dream brave and bold.
-It's hard to stay patient and confident.
-Sprituality: I wish so many would know the real truth.
-I want to love and feed homeless and hungry children. Kisses from Katie.
-I am convinced that some women have more time, endurance and energy than me.
-Brene Brown, Anne LaMont= fabulous.
-One day we will have a shower that doesn't grow anything or need any huge amounts of human power or toxic fumes to clean. One day.
-Men. Their hearts soften as they age.
-A 14-year old and a 40-year old can get along remarkably well.
-It's a good thing to feel free.
-It's okay to have moments of "OMG is this for real, i AM getting old."
-Be sure to step away from our frenzied, frantic, pressured, too public, too fast, overachieving, materialistic, over-scheduled, over-digitalized world.
-Pioneer Woman rocks.
-Buddism= not a religion, not a way of spiritual worship. Rather a way of being awake and mindful in the present.
-A good movie to me is one that leaves your heart with thoughts and ponderings.
-Those small voices tell you a thousand times over. Calling you. Don't resist them.

This was fun for me to do!
Go here for more if you feel like it.

Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.   -Ephesians 2:9-10

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


So what do you do on those long winter days?
Be prepared: this is long.
You shovel and make caves.

You chip off large icicles from your roof that might kill someone.

You make adorable mini snowmen.

You have your Daddy pack you a way too big lunch to put on that winter layer you need.

You write yourself happy, encouraging words on your lunch napkin to yourself.
 (this was Lauren!)

You read a ton of novels and then do "Battle of the Books".

You paint your cousins nails. 

You paint penguins on your nails.

You teach your cousin how to drink tea.
Properly, I might add. Look at the pinkie!

You bake Broncos cupcakes for the BIG game.
(I thought football fans were big in TX...nope. They have nothing on Bronco fans.)
You sleep with way too many blankets and furry things.

You need more sleep.

You cover every inch of your body.
You dress warm to snowshoe in the mountains.

You enjoy Uncle Joel coming to visit.

You dress in layers so you don't sweat when the sun shines.

You cheer for the Olympian's at the training center here.

You enjoy winter wildlife.

You snuggle up, keep your head up and a good attitude...

You only hope and wish to go somewhere warm for Spring Break.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

a butterfly.

For the past 6 years since my Dad died, I have given a butterfly gift to each member of our family at Christmas. Not only to remember him, but to remember life in general. The life that has been given to each of us through Christ. I wrote this letter in the middle of the night as my heart was full. I gave it to those I love with the butterfly gift, so that everyone would fully understand what the butterfly connection is to my life. It was received with tears, reflection and love. I thought I would share it with you all. It is a deeply personal part of my heart and spiritual journey.

What a tiny butterfly represents to me and why each year I remember:

In 1994 after my head injury I was recovering. I would walk at the same park of my accident to rebuild my strength, quiet my confused heart…. and a tiny white butterfly would always be fluttering beside me. Like an angel that was there through it all, to save my life. To help me find my way. To give me hope and soften my heart. To honor my new unique story in life. To remind me to flutter along on a brand new path set before me with a grateful heart and a renewed sweetness, grace and love. Butterflies have been a part of my story ever since.

I walked to release, to pray, to get some energy and feel free after Dad’s death. It was my quiet moment (and still is) in the day with no distractions. A tiny little butterfly accompanied my steps many times. Giving me peace and letting me know that there is so much more to just the days we have here.

Steve’s new exciting walk into a covenant of marriage. A butterfly that fluttered with Steve on his wedding day. Oh, how Dad was there. He wanted Steve to marry Heather for years. He was that butterfly when the photographer was shooting and the one that landed on his flower for a long time during the beautiful ceremony.

He would always say when greeting me on the phone or in person, “How’s my butterfly?” and then say “How are my two little butterflies?” (Referring to Hannah and Lauren) This is a dear memory that I hold close to me.

A tiny little butterfly surrounded me in my deep sorrow the day Dad passed away. It fluttered above me when I was in intense sadness and tears laying outside on the patio that Dad loved so much.

He carried around the prayer that Mom so lovingly wrote on the Thanksgiving of my head trauma. He carried it in his wallet for close to 15 years. We had no idea of this until he died. It was folded up and worn and tattered. It was his love note to his butterfly. A gift that is one of the most special I have ever received in my life.

He always loved Christmas. It brought him so much excitement. After all the hustle and bustle and the paper and bows, he would say “Oh, I think there is just one more gift….” He would jump out of his chair with a wide grin and go to his secret spot and bring out a gift that was always the grandest of the day. The real gift to me was his expression of love and joy.

Dad’s boat. His pride and joy named “The Butterfly Barge” for all his butterflies that he loved so. Butterflies surrounded the girls as they tubed out on the lake the day of his memorial with family. Precious.

He always believed in me. All my crazy and big dreams. Almost as if he gave me wings to fly within those. That is a big deal to a “Daddy’s girl”. I will always carry his encouragement and love with me. 

A reminder to me that a butterfly is free. That we are free. Free to be the person you are. Free to have  gigantic faith and flutter about in this life. For us to keep our wings strong and beautiful. Spreading them wide in knowing that God has each of our days held in His hands. All of us.

That we all go through transformation. We are everchanging. The caterpillar that we were born into grows and changes through the years. After some cocooning in our experiences and  journeys, we eventually find our wings. It might not be on our time or what we planned, but we get to the point in our life where we are truly born. To flutter about in this life. To awaken. To remind ourselves of the dazzling and spectacular color and beauty that is the here and now, and to remember the eternal life beyond the clouds.

I am slowly opening up my new Etsy shop. It is called “One Tiny Butterfly”. This new illustrated shop is a huge part of my heart. Almost like a beautiful, creative prayer from me to whoever receives the art. I draw and paint about my roads. My life and love so far. My beautiful path of being a Mom to two incredible girls. My faith. This kind of art expression has filled me and I know that it is right. I am ready to share my words and heart with a paintbrush and embrace it with courage and freedom just like a butterfly.

So if you see or think of a butterfly, remember it’s on  journey like you. It represents life. It represents a celebration of life. A rememberance of life. A gratefulness for life. To keep your heart brave and be free.

Go fly with sweet winds underneath your unique and colorful wings.

And always look for that tiny little butterfly…and remember.

There are countless ways the analogy of a butterfly has appeared through my days. 

Here are a couple more that stick with me:

We were boating on Memorial Day weekend and this little butterfly landed (and stayed) on the boat for most of the day. (It's was Dad's boat, named "Butterfly Barge" you know.) Lauren took such good care of it (that is the picture above of her). She thought it might have had a broken wing. She decided to very carefully and tenderly bring it home and let it go at our house. What a beautiful analogy of life. We are all just floating around and catching the breezes, sometimes broken, always taken care of by Bigger Hands, and sometimes just needing to "let go".

                           "Faith: In your darkest hour, look for a white butterfly."

I won't go into the long story of our Colorado move and how we got settled with initially being clueless and pulling from all sorts of strength and faith and such. You can read some about it here if  you'd like. This message above was on the master bedroom wall of our house that we have now. There was NO question that this home was supposed to be ours to start our life again here in Colorado. 

Crazy how things all come together when you have faith through the chaotic and questionable times in your life.

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