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Fairy Garden No. 2

12 Apr

We visited the local nursery and picked up supplies to make a second fairy garden, along with some miniatures – the wagon, fairy, unicorn, shovel, watering can. My daughter loved picking out the items and it was so hard to resist buying everything. But then I remembered I used to collect these little animal figurines, and I had saved a handful all these years. Now they have a home in the fairy gardens, instead of in a beat-up Charlie Brown lunchbox wrapped in tissue paper.ImageImage

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They seem happier here, somehow.

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I told you fairy gardens are addictive.

All in a Word

27 Mar

These are some words that are inspiring me to be the mom, the wife, the woman I would like to be. To lead a more intentional life.

Family

Resourceful

Creative

Adventure

Cozy

Connection

Simplicity

Mindfulness

Peaceful

Explore

Garden

Weathered

Handmade

Home

Warm

Texture

Grow

What words inspire you?

Something a Little Different…

3 Mar

I was feeling inspired this morning by a post written by Mama Pants of The Family Pants. It stirred something inside of me, a reminder that the best things in life happen when you focus your attention outward. Sometimes I feel this wave of discontent, and I know it has nothing to do with my life. I am blessed with an amazing, loving husband, two beautiful, hilarious children, and the kind of family and friends that make life worth living. But my attentions have been focused on material things more than I would like. So I would like to start turning that attention outward, one step at a time.

Today I am going to auction off a HollowGlen clutch. This was my first clutch and I love it. The outer fabric is by Moda and the inside is a sweet blue and green polka-dot cotton. The frame is antique brass and very lovely. This is a big clutch – the frame is I believe 10 inches. It can easily double as a purse, but it doesn’t have a strap.

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Until I come up with a better way of doing it, I am going to ask you to write in the comments your bid. Keep an eye on the comments or subscribe to them so you’ll know if you are outbid. Tell your friends and family! The winning bidder will get the clutch, and their entire bid amount will go to the charity of their choice. Please include your charity when you place a bid. Bidding ends at 10 p.m. PST Sunday, March 11. Payment will need to be made via PayPal and I will pick up the tab for shipping the item.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. It’s lovely here in Southern California today, lots of sunshine. 🙂

Why I Stopped Writing

7 Jan

When I was much younger (you know, like 20), I knew deep in my heart that I was destined for something great. If not great, then really, really good. My confidence as a writer and editor was strong and possibly off-putting to others. It was only a matter of time before I would land a job at a large daily newspaper, or write a novel. You know, the novel I never started. (Rather, started 20 different versions of. If you have trouble staying focused on a storyline have I got a book for you!)

I graduated from college, then completed an internship at The Sacramento Bee as a copy editor. A hiring freeze in the industry meant none of the interns would be hired that year. I updated my resume and found a job as an administrative assistant. I wrote here and there, toyed with the idea of attending graduate school for creative writing, submitted my resume halfheartedly to companies seeking skilled copywriters. But I never really tried. Not with the dedication that I imagine real writers have.

Over the years, my dreams of success, fame and fortune drifted back and forth like seaweed at the shore.

I wanted it to be easy.

Nothing worth doing is easy, blah blah, etc.

Years and one child later, I created a blog. First it was just about my daughter. Then I wanted to show everyone the things I was working on at home, as the ultimate housewife who cooks! Bakes! Sews! Then I started reading a whole bunch of other blogs. These blogs had amazing photography. They had well-designed pages with sponsors and lots of readers. I wanted to make money from my blog too. And that’s when I made the leap and started seeing writing as a job instead of a hobby. Obligation instead of meditation.

Writing had become so…. boring. Something to be started with a sigh of resignation.

I avoid things that bore me. So I started to avoid writing.

It didn’t feed my soul. Checking page stats and earning pennies on an ad click didn’t fulfill me. I wasn’t making the world better. I wasn’t helping people do meaningful things with their lives. Monetary incentive was destroying my passion. And I believe that translates in the written word. I believe a reader can tell when a writer is passionate and when she is just counting the words.

I didn’t make any resolutions this year. I have hopes and dreams though.

I hope to rediscover my passion.

I dream that I will write something that touches just one person’s heart.

It is becoming clear to me that real “success” has nothing to do with money and everything to do with doing something that you love. Every day.

Not for money. But for the soul.

Home

31 Oct

It is the night before Halloween and we are moving in less than three days. Kaitlyn has a fever and Jackson is teething. I had to run into Target 15 minutes before closing to buy more candy since I have eaten a third of the Costco bag we bought earlier this week. I finally packed up the sewing machine and the iron. I am nervous and I feel it churning in my stomach.

Five years. We have lived here, on Hollowglen, for five years.

We moved here less than a month after getting married. We came home from our honeymoon in Mexico, stared at the tower of wedding presents like it was our very future in front of us, and said, “Now what?” So we moved. Newlyweds.

Then we had a baby. Well, not right away. But eventually, on Hollowglen, two became three. And then three became four. On Hollowglen we became a family.

We had birthdays, lots of them. We mourned deaths, and worried about cancers and the health of our loved ones. We watched Kaitlyn learn to crawl, then walk, then talk and run. She took her first steps here. My sister got married. We lost a baby. We brought Jackson home. We made friends – wonderful, amazing, dear friends. We all grew – up, out, inside.

There are fuzzy times and there are times I can recall so clearly. Like working on a puzzle with Ben in the wee hours after this past Christmas, my belly hitting the vertical blinds every time I tried to squeeze past him to find a piece. Jackson arrived three weeks later and I holed up with him in the bedroom, trying to figure out why nursing a second baby was so hard. Or bringing Kaitlyn home on Christmas day almost four years ago, and waking up every few hours to feed her and change her diaper and logging everything down because it seemed vitally important to know when she peed. Fourth of July walks to the bridge to watch the fireworks. The kids playing outside with their flashlights. Watching movies. Sick days. Just a normal family life, with our future in front of us.

So many, many memories.

Not all glamorous. There were the ants (OH! so many ants), the black widows, the mold, the asbestos. I spent a fair amount of time searching for a new place but could never find a good enough reason.

And then Ben was promoted, and transferred, and the days grew longer and longer, and we missed him. How we missed him. And I started to realize the importance of being together, no matter where we gathered.

Home is where we are. Not where we live. And I’m a mom. I can make a home anywhere.

So I will. Wednesday we will move, and I will unpack frantically, and put away the dishes, and our clothes, and their favorite toys, and we’ll slowly rebuild until we feel just as at home there as we do here.

And then we’ll stare at our new back yard, at the open space where our children can run, and play, and dig, and grow, and we’ll say, “Now what?” As if our very future was laid out in front of us.

Home.

We’re Moving! In More Ways Than One…

20 Oct

Among the wreckage of our very real, rapidly approaching move to a new home, you’ll see signs of a different sort of move. Stacks of fabric, piles of snaps and clasps and bobbins, sketches and patterns – something tells me these will be among the last to be packed when the movers show up in a little less than two weeks.

It has taken me a long time to take the first steps, but I finally opened my Etsy shop this week. I’ll be adding new items to HollowGlen weekly:

  • Children’s toys – I Spy bags, crayon wallets, preschool backpacks, pretend play
  • Wallets, wristlets, purses and pouches, checkbook covers and business card cases
  • Patterns
  • Great gift ideas for the holidays
  • And more!

My Domesticated Mama blog has moved here, also. That site will be up for a bit longer to make sure the transition is smooth but it won’t be updated after today.

To summarize, we’re moving. A lot!