Penland Tree Farms / Nature's Sway Sling /
posted on: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
The chilly air, on this late afternoon in early December, some winter sunshine, a Christmas tree farm and sweet friends, made up a perfect day of memories for us this year.
Life with little souls, is an extra special experience during the holidays. And sharing that wonder with people who have the same heart as you is priceless. We all eventually found ourselves lost in the rows of trees, searching for just the right one. Forest Kael kept calling out at the top of his voice for his buddies, Dash and Ollie. They'd find each other and be off again, avoiding tree stumps, begging for the right to hold the saws and talking like big boys about who knows what. They ran throughout the groves with sticks, laughing and scheming. Marshmallows were roasted, hot chocolate was sipped and the wild, happy squeals from these little rascals were like Christmas bells to our ears.
It was a golden day to my heart. Memories made and stored away in my treasure box to be brought out for loving, on another day.
Penland Tree Farms / Nature's Sway Sling /
posted on: Monday, December 30, 2013
oversized tee: h&m
sweater: forever 21
boots: seychelles -anthropologie
posted on: Wednesday, December 18, 2013
These arrows are really sweet and magical. The color combinations are endless and it really is my favorite craft of the year. Even if you think you're not a crafty person, you can make one of these and feel quiet accomplished afterwards.
This is a great project to do with a group of friends or family, parties or get togethers. I have made these with several groups and every single time, every person is glowing and having the best time, enjoying their new little treasure, regardless of how they view their own artistic abilities. How sweet would it be to make these Christmas eve with your nearest and dearest? I'm using them as trimmings for gifts and ornaments this holiday season. You can make them full sized with wooden dowels or you can snap them in half to make mini arrow ornaments for your tree. We made these full sized for a best friend's baby shower and she turned them into a mobile for her little girl! So many fun inspirations!
paint, paint brush
washi tape or narrow duct tape
feathers or felt cut into feather shapes
glitter card stock paper for the arrowhead
hot glue gun
Merry Christmas friends!
posted on: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
I love Christmas and I love creating my own decorations, to add to the merriment and cheer of the season for my home. Here are two super simple, paper garland DIY projects that you can use, not just for the holidays, but all year long. A strand of garland, packaged with love can also make a really sweet gift or stocking stuffer, as well. And, it costs pennies! I've been making them like crazy!
I have a few other holiday DIY videos that I'll be posting this week. So, be on the lookout. ;)
~Merry Christamas sweet friends!
posted on: Monday, November 4, 2013
-Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts
The book 1000 Gifts changed my world and brought my heart back to itself, a couple of years ago. I first read it in the fall and it's become my tradition to pour over its pages once the leaves start to turn.
Starting my morning off by filling my soul with reminders of beauty and creating something lovely, almost always is a guarantee that the day will be a bit brighter and my heart all the more patient. It's like a caffeine high and motivation booster but, 100x better. So, right now I'm revisiting this book, Psalms and a beautiful collection of thoughts and verses on motherhood, to start the day. Whichever line sinks into my soul, I write it out, so I can look at it as the hours slip away.
Lately I've had lots of commissions for script tattoos and logos, which makes my heart kind of sing. I'm learning as I go about organizing a business, investing my heart and time into the following; 1) Things that make my heart happy and 2) Things that work with my current lifestyle as a mom; as well as refining my hand at this craft of modern calligraphy. As long as I can remember, I've loved old forms of calligraphy and penmanship. I'd practice for hours, every style of handwriting possible. It feels good to be putting time into this again.
There are changes coming that I'm excited about. Broadening this blog, adding new branches, ideas, hopes, dreams. Because, why not!? This is my open space to enjoy and have a creative expression for my soul to ponder, dabble in spontaneous urges and whims, and journal my heart about the seasons. So I'm excited to grow and explore.
Samuel and I are relaunching a new film venture together as well. Talk about a dream. Creating and scheming in the name of art with this guy, my favorite. We work really well together, which to me is a gift.
Change and dreams can be so overwhelming though. And sometimes I feel like they take more than ourselves to make happen and come to life. But the journey is as enriching as it is taxing. Deadlines can get pushed out and stress might slowly become the prominent emotion driving the dream. That's when I start to get bug-eyed and things get moved to the back burner. But, I really believe that we are alive to enjoy and be enjoyed with and by those we love and have yet to love. Every hope and goal we have of creating is towards enjoying and loving.
Life is a short journey with endless trails, paths and roads to explore, in love and hope. Where small hope can turn into a world of endless love, living over and over and over again in the eyes of your family and people that you've shared moments with, small or great. I want my boys to see Samuel and I doing things that we love, and always in a place of dreaming and conspiring for simple or extravagant adventure; whether that's climbing the neighborhood oak tree or scaling a mountain in South America. My heart's motto has been "why not!? why the heck not?!" *insert smirk here* Yay for living.
I'm glad I'm alive to love and to live.
If you have questions about my calligraphy shenanigans just drop me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org
posted on: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
|Sparrow and her little best friend Isabel. They both have been friends with each other and with Kael since they were born, and they go to school together. photo by anna naphtali|
Today, in just under an hour actually, one of my favorite little souls is having her third and final open heart surgery. It's 6:45 AM and in just 10 minutes, Sparrow Song, who is 3 years old, the daughter of one of my best friend's, Jessie, will be taken by the doctors and their angel hands to begin the surgery. This is as close to home as it can get for me. Jessie and I were pregnant together, and I've walked with her through her previous two surgeries. This one is the heaviest to me. I love this little girl as if she were my own. Kael and Birdie go to school together, her little fire of a personality is a part of the tapestry of our lives. Her adorable, small, raspy voice is kind of my favorite thing ever. (You need to hear her sing Katy Perry's Eye of the Tiger. haha!) Sparrow is a strong, bright little thing. You know it for a fact, if you've ever met her. She is a miracle and will continue to be in all of our lives.
As I pulled into the parking deck of the children's hospital, it started to hit me. This is actually happening. As I walked in, the sinking feeling in my stomach got heavier. But, once I saw her in her little hospital gown and I heard "HEY JESS!" with that classic coy smirk and her getting down from her daddy's lap to give me a hug...my heart was completely lost. I left the room, through the double doors and sobs took over my body. I kept telling myself, "One more. Just one more surgery and then it's done. "
Today, we are setting up camp at the hospital to wait, to pray, to love, to cry, to laugh and to support our friends and our favorite little song bird. We'd love you to be a part of that with us! We're going to overload this waiting room with love, guys!
Surgery is 4-6 hours long (it's the Fontan with a fenestration.) They stop her heart, put her on a bypass machine and repair what was defected before she was even born: double inlet left ventricle, a transposition of the great arteries and an interrupted aortic arch. She'll be in the hospital for at least 2 weeks.
Here is a link to Jessie's (Sparrow's mom) post CLICK HERE
Hearts to pray for and lift up:
Jessie and Mark Mathis (her parents)
Noah Mathis (Sparrow's 4 year old brother)
You can send your tweets to @Jessiemathis or you can send them to mine and I'll retweet them. (@bohobabybump) Put the hashtag #sparrowsong
You can leave a comment to bird or her family under this post and I'll send them to Jessie.
You can send a snail mail surprise letter or treat to:
401 Hawthorne Lane
Suite 110 #200 Charlotte, NC 28204
To help out financially click HERE!
posted on: Saturday, August 3, 2013
|T-shirt is a basic v-neck from urban outfitters, necklace: mala beads from tiny devotions .|
I love fringe and I love free flowing garments that move with my everyday. So, when one of Samuel's t-shirts got ruined in the wash, 10 minutes with a pair of scissors and a bit of bleach, saved it from the trash bin. Now, it's one of my favorite go-to's for casual summer days.
I simply cut a bit of the neck, then the sleeves, just past the seam and then, I fringed the bottom hem line to my desired length. I put a cup of bleach in the sink and dipped away. I was really happy with how it turned out. So much so that I might have raided Samuel's old t-shirt drawer. You know, those old shirts that guys refuse to get rid of? ;) Hello new gems of my summer wardrobe.
Have you tried anything like this yet? There are a ton of tutorials on pinterest that I just haven't taken the time to actually do them (yet). Any success stories or pictures?
Happy Summer days to you.
posted on: Thursday, August 1, 2013
What are your tricks and methods of keeping your wee ones happy for long rides in the car?
Peace to your heart
Today is also a day that my heart is overwhelmed with an intense desire and need to pray, love and comfort. A best friend of mine will be at the doctor's today with her little girl, Sparrow. Many of you have been following along her journey, since she was born with a major heart defect and has undergone 2 open heart surgeries the last 2 years. Well, today they will give her mom, Jessie the date for her last and final surgery sometime this month, which is Sparrow's birthday month. She will be 3. If you have a moment, please pray for and send peace and love her way today. I love this girl as if she were my own and the reality that the most perfect little bird, bursting with personality and soul, has to go through this once more is more overwhelming than I can describe. You can read about Sparrow's journey HERE on Jessie's blog. I know she would love any and all encouragement this month.
posted on: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
I can count on one hand the moments of snuggles, sweetness and tender interactions between them. Kael's just not interested and that's ok. I try to be understanding to Kael, not putting expectation on his small almost 3 year old heart. He shouldn't be old enough to disappoint me. That's ridiculous. And if I find myself in that emotional place, I need a serious heart check. They will find their own way and friendship, down the road. Until that season comes, I'm enjoying them in their own individual way. It's amazing to me the amount of love for these boys that fills my heart. In all the crazy, the hectic, the mess, the tears, knocks and bruises, there is so much love. And saying "my boys" thrills me to the core every time. I wouldn't trade this time for anything.
posted on: Monday, July 29, 2013
This has seriously been the rainiest summer I've ever remembered. I love rain, but when it's everyday, my mind starts to wander back to the longing for sunny times and the smell of coconut from my sunscreen. Wishing the soppy mush of mud and humidity away won't make it disappear so, we've tried to make the best out of it. If we can't go swimming, then why not plan on making a different kind of outing and mess? Any time we get one of those crazy summer showers and the kids are awake, I grab a couple of towels, open the door and out we go. They love it. I love it. Yeah, we track mud and water in the house, but better to clean up a happy mess than a depressed mess right? It's my rainy summer policy.
I came to this decision, after being cooped up inside for 3 weeks straight. I was buried in projects, planning new things, keeping my small souls fed and happy. The gray gloom of rainstorms wasn't helping. I was starting to feel like I was becoming the stress I was creating for myself. Not really "stress" but, when the enjoyment of something is replaced by obligation, it's the breeding ground of stress for me. That usually happens when I put too much on my plate, thinking I can somehow do it all without any real system of managing my time. I was just the next mess of dried banana I had to scrape off of the floor, those 5 batches of photos I still need to edit, the new blog design that needs to be finished, the logo I have to decide on, the 15 tattoo commissions I need to respond to...oh and planning birthdays, vacations and launch dates for upcoming ventures. Whoa. Stop. Slow down. I have to feel alive. I can't be a passionless machine that resents the things (or people) I'm passionate about. It overwhelmed me like a wave, all at once. I looked out my window. It was pouring rain. I let myself just feel. I was all of a sudden running out my front door. Within 30 seconds, I was drenched. And, it was amazing. I walked down our street, and with every raindrop and wipe of my eyes, (who cares if my mascara is all over the place?) I could feel the color coming back into my soul. It was my reset button.
When the down pour turned into light sprinkles, Sam came out with the kids and we just played. Puddles became our magical ponds, leaves became boats to sail and everything was a new. The mushy feel of the grass and the smell of warm wet concrete was better than any anthropologie candle. Thus began my summer policy of playing in the rain. It's spontaneous, and we make it an adventure.
I was a spontaneous nut all the time, before children. Why not now? I always pictured my kids jumping in puddles and making mud pies, before I had them. But, I find myself pulling away from the messy spontaneity of moments like that so often because of the clean up, the aftermath, the inconvenience. I kind of woke up to the fact that schedules and the easy of the predictable and manageable was in a way, running my show and smooshing who I am as a person and a mother. Isn't motherhood just an extension of who we are? Why change so much, just for the sake of what's expected or because I'm tired? I'm going to be tired for the next 20 or so years! I'm not throwing my system and schedules to the wind, but definitely not letting them control who I am as a fellow life adventurer with my boys.
Life is so short. There are so many puddles waiting to be muddied by tiny toes and, one thousand giggles waiting to set free from my little boys' souls. I'm making it my mission to not let one of those laughs be forgotten in the name of structure or order.
Cheers to enjoying.
posted on: Saturday, July 27, 2013
I'm reeling. Reeling in the wonder of today. I got to journey along side a best friend, through the storms and heavens of labor, birth and new love. Tears, laughter, pain, joy, expectation and the mystery of a wee new heart, waiting to be known, filled every space of today. My heart is still processing the beauty of it all. I've been up for almost 24 glorious hours. I've never seen a woman labor and conquer like Lauren did. I couldn't help but feel like I was up holding the arms of a queen as waves of contractions would hit her. I have so much more to add. There is still so much of a lovely story waiting to be told, but my eyes hurt so bad that I can barely type. I've cried so many perfect tears with this heart today. Perfect tears. Today was magic. As I say goodbye to one of the best days of my entire life...I'm filled with such an awe and joy.
Happy birthday Imogen Flora Snow! Your momma is a rare jewel, your daddy a hero and I adore and love you with all of my heart.
Farewell July 27th, you were truly a perfect day to my soul.
posted on: Thursday, July 25, 2013
I wrote this on July 8th.
"The word "tradition" itself derives from the Latin tradere or traderer literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping. "
Today, it rained, then the sun came out. It rained again and once more, the sun decided to have the last act of the day, not much different than most days this month. But, July 8th is a day that will forever be noted on my calendar. It was the projected due date of my baby, Windland, that we lost a year and a half ago in a miscarriage. I wrote my heart about that time here and here.
I cried only once, maybe twice today. I realize that I've come so far and grown so deeply. I've grown in love, in pain, in joy, in compassion, in questioning, in peace, in empathy, in beauty, and in the raw realities of living. I've lived in the darkest canyons of grief in the deepest ocean, craving water instead of air to fill my lungs and I've been pulled up to the surface of the living, of light and oxygen and love. Cedar really was my rescuer. He's been the sweetest of sweet joys that a soul could be, given to help comfort and heal. I cannot put into words the love and adoration that I feel towards this happy little boy. In the same tone though, there is a piece of my heart that will always be missing and aching. I made sure that today, I did something to remember my little love that breezed by our lives a year and a half ago.
Recently, one of my closest friends lost her baby in a miscarriage. It was a tragic and devastating loss. While in the process of grieving with her, I had a dream. I don't typically dream much. But, in this dream, I dreamed of a little girl with curls, like Kael's but a bit longer and lighter. She was around 2 years old, but was speaking more like a 5 year old. She was showing Cedar and Kael how to skip rocks on a creek bank. Almost being a little momma. All 3 of them were giggling. She turned around and smiled at me and I saw her face. She was mine. "Oh, you're my Windland!?" I said. She nodded and smiled, then went back to playing as if it were the most natural thing in the world. I woke up. I didn't want to wake up. Whether that was a real dream or not, it comforted my soul immensely.
Creating beauty in the mundane and seeing the good in front of me, instead of only the awful is a driving part of me. I like to think that this passion is in all of my children; a bit of my wild love for life and people, living and thriving in them. I live to celebrate and to love. So, to pass by today with only tears, didn't seem natural to me. I had to do something. I thought to myself, Windland was and is my child, a small spirit that I want to blow a kiss to. A kiss with love and maybe somehow an embrace. So, this afternoon as the boys played, I went outside and thought about the winds of love this baby created. My Windland wasn't a purposeless life. There's something about making traditions, physically doing, saying or singing something that attaches the dreams, loves or aches of our heart to reality and something good, some kind of hope? I wanted Windland to have one. I needed to have one.
For the short time my baby was here, Windland's sweet breeze created beauty just by her presence. The wonder of winter turning into spring, heart break fading into love and disappointment evolving into hope is something I know. Cedar wouldn't have even been a possibility if I hadn't miscarried, seeing I got surprisingly pregnant with him 2 short weeks later. Cedar is my springtime, my love, my little hope that carries the gentle truth of redemption. Am I still sad? Yeah, I am. Can I imagine or think of life without my Cedar baby? Not even for a second. That's the complicated reality of life and love, I suppose.
by: Songs of Water
We hung our harps on the willow tree, still the wind formed hands and plucked out its melodies.
Our hearts rejoiced as if it were a dream, when the seeds of our tears became a field of wheat.
Look what he's done, look what he's done for us. He turned our songless night into a symphony of praise.
This was written by a friend of ours, who lost his best friend in an accident right before finding out he and his wife were pregnant with their first child. The first verse is my favorite: "We hung our harps on the willow trees, still the wind formed hands and plucked out it's melodies." The first half of that line is referencing Psalm 137:2, when the Jewish nation was forced out of their land to live captive, pretty much as slaves, in the land of the then current super power. They had lost all heart, joy and hope. "Hanging up your harps" was like "throwing in the towel." They were done with expecting good. The grief and heartbreak was too much. The part saying, "Still the wind formed hands and plucked out it's melodies..." Good lord. I listened to this song again, randomly after I had already named Windland and gotten pregnant with Cedar. I burst into tears when the words spilled over into my soul and the gently, haunting chorus filled up my car. Somehow, they were good tears. It comforted me. In some way, a song settled the confusion of my heart, as I was looking for a place to put my emotions. It gave word and tone to the meaning of my disillusioned state. My brain thinks in imagery so, it was the language I needed to hear. Even in the sadness, my little breeze played a melody. A perfect little song, named Cedar.
As I am sitting here, writing the thoughts of today, both of my boys are laughing and screaming as loud as they possibly can, as their daddy tickles and chases them around the living room. Cedar, the pure delight of my soul, goes from moods of happiness to frustration, as he realizes he can't run and jump like his big brother can, although he's walking. What? How did that happen? Kael's curls are a glowing crown of wild, in the early evening light, and I want to kiss his chubby cheeks a thousand times over. I'm soaking up this sweet moment, as if it were the last time my ears would ever again be able to hear the sound of joy. Soaking in the moment has become a gift that has been strengthened in my heart. The art of clinging to the good, pausing and acknowledging the beauty that is in front of me has become my moment by moment practice. Telling my children that I love them is my mantra, holding them to my heart is my physical prayer. Life has taught and is teaching me this gift.
Today, I'm remembering. I'm remembering the joy of telling my best friends that I was pregnant, jumping around ChickFila like a crazy person. I'm remembering the elation that I felt, when calling my friend Kristina in Florida, squealing on the phone and talking forever that night about this baby being redemption, after such a sad season. There was joy. I'm remembering the look on Sam's face and him instantly telling me girl names that he loved. I remember feeling Windland's goodness inside of my soul, at the kitchen sink and singing to her. I remember loving and dreaming. This is what I'm remembering today.
You were and still are a beautiful dream. Our dream... my dream.
I love you forever.