Thursday, December 8, 2016

how to be kind to yourself in this season...

find quiet
layer on the blankets
binge watch your favorite show
holiday themed or not
enjoy endless warm drinks
cup the mug and feel the heat transfer
feel it come alive in your hands
read aloud
to yourself, a pet, a loved one
feel the words on your tongue
and how they long to be savored
change traditions to bring joy
save traditions to bring joy
throw out traditions to bring joy
bring joy
feel sorrow as it comes - it will
stand outside in the frigid air
 and watch your breath swirl around you
listen for sleigh bells
remember there is a season for everything
take a bath
let the steam surround you
feel the pull of water over and under the body 
as the tub drains
linger over dinner
over dishes
over life
share your expectations
if you have them
but try not to have too many
don't wallow in 'why didn't they'
ask 'can you?'
listen to your body
as it tells you to rest
allow yourself your feelings
honor what rises
what swells
what calls for attention
find space in the cracks
find joy in the sorrow
find quiet
and savor

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

at our sewing table

Earlier this year we gave our daughter a sewing machine for her birthday.

At the very thought of teaching her how to sew, a feeling of dread swept over me.

But, it was the only gift she really, truly, wanted, and the pros outweighed the cons, and so we bought her a sewing machine.

You see, I know how to sew. I don't remember ever not knowing how to sew. But knowing how to do something, even being good at something, doesn't mean you enjoy it.

I'm a perfectionist in some ways, and yet I'm not a very precise person. These two facts make my enthusiasm for sewing, well, non existent.

So I worried I would bring all sorts of baggage to the table when teaching my daughter how to ew. I worried that I would get frustrated, that I would hold some unattainable level of precision or perfection above my daughter's head. That I would yell. That I wouldn't be able to let go and let her lead the way. That I would need to control the situation.

But I forgot two other very important facts: that our relationship is unique, and as in every single thing she does, my daughter doesn't need a teacher. She needs a guide. A sounding board. Someone to look to when she has a question. Not an instructor. A mentor.

The first time we sat down at the table to sew, her new machine straight out of the box and shiny, the bobbin freshly wound, I showed her how to sew two pieces of fabric together. I over explained and spoke loudly, enunciating like I was speaking to someone who's native tongue was not my own. She watched closely, rolled her eyes, and said, "let me do it." I slipped out of the chair and stood, crossed my arms and watched.

And she did it.

And when my voice got short and my shoulders pulled up to my ears, my husband walked into the room. He put his hands on my shoulders and whispered, "she's fine."

And she was.

Over the last few months we've learned how breathe safety and space into our sewing time. We play Christmas music all year round, we sing loudly and off key as the sewing machine whirs. We tell jokes and laugh as we iron. We say I love you, and you're doing great, and keep going. Both of us. We stop before we get tired.

This week we're knee deep in homemade Christmas presents. Time constraints for shipping are pressing, and yet we're still able enjoy ourselves, both of us. Somehow we bring a certain lightness to the table, little expectation, and most importantly a deep respect and appreciation for the process and our relationship. There's no room for baggage at our sewing table. Only room for possibility, creativity, and some double over with laughter jokes.

"So, how are you doing, Mom?"
"Don't you mean sew good? Get it? So, like sew?"

And the laughter is contagious, the smiles infectious, threads cover the table and floor, pins prick our fingers and the sewing machine hums on...

Sunday, December 4, 2016

getting back...

I don't even know where to start.

Or where the beginning is, or where the end was.

It's been months, and so while I want to say hello, I'm feeling the need to just keep going. To honor the time not written here, but to move forward from where we're at. Meet myself, and you, here.

Meeting each other where we're at.

That's not something that's all that easy to do these days, I know.

Between the social and political climates, the holiday season whirring by, and life. Life seems busier these days. More complicated, these days. More everything.

And yet, I want less. Or, rather, I want a bit of calm in the storm.

Which I suppose is why I'm here.

In the early days of blogging, writing felt like a safe place. A place to come and look at life in a different way. A place where I could figure things out, alone and then together with readers. I walked through life with eyes that were a little more... careful to catch things. I was more observant in many ways.

Late in October I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo for the third time. Less than two weeks before November first, the starting date. I pulled together a hint of an idea for a story, and I ran with it. It was the most difficult NaNoWriMo I've participated in, and "won" by reaching the goal of writing 50 thousand words. Partly because of the story and how I went about writing it, partly because of things that happened completely out of my control, partly because I'm trying to figure out what role I want writing to play in my life.

Is it as a teacher?
A creative coach?
A writer of fiction?
A writer of non fiction?
A writer of essays, blog posts, or simply (importantly) morning pages and journaling?

These last few years writing has been a constant. But, I haven't stuck with any one project long enough for it to come to completion, fruition. I tend to stop as soon as I start getting ahead. Fear of failure, or maybe fear of success.

I have four novels that are half finished.

I can't even believe I just typed that. Four. Half finished. Novels.

There are a lot of things I realized last month. About my process, my fears, my strengths and weaknesses. But I also realized that it's getting harder and harder for me to drop into the writing mode. I used to be able to do it at the drop of a hat. Five minutes? I'll use that, no problem. Now? I'm distracted easier. I'm pulled in a million directions, easily.

It's easier to write a Facebook post, an Instagram caption, or a 40 character tweet than it is to write a blog post, an essay, a book. And it's easier to read the quick snippets as well. Time wise, attention wise.

I'm looking for practice in going slow. In writing longer. In listening. In attention. I'm looking for action instead of reaction. I'm looking for subtle nuanced conversation instead of yelling and aggressive debate tactics.

So I'm here. Looking for all of it. Hoping to create some of it. Longing for creating and making and work. And perhaps this is a way of doing just that. Getting back to listening, sharing, crafting rather than spewing.


I'm looking for intentional thought and action and kindness.
Will you join me?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

exploring the grey...

{unsure where this image originated from... 
but saw it on Instagram on a friends account}

I saw the above image on Instagram the other day, and it's been on my mind ever since. I've been missing the truth telling blogs, the honest, authentic stories that used to be the rule in blogging, not the exception. I've missed the stories that show who we really are. 

After many recent, amazing in person discussions about honesty, and the importance of sharing our stories, I want to tell you a story I've been sitting with the last few months. 

Those of you who have been reading here for a while, or who know me well, know that I quit drinking over six years ago. Back in January I hit six years of sobriety.  I celebrated this milestone quietly, I didn't want it to be a big deal, as other years had been. Somewhere along the lines I became disenchanted with my identity as a sober person. At six years sober I started asking myself, what am I doing? Why am I not drinking? And my answer was much, much different than it was six years ago. 

Six years ago I needed to not drink. A young mother with two babies, a head full of lifelong anxiety, and perhaps a bit of postpartum depression, my drinking was a problem. And the only way I knew how to stop drinking, and to keep myself from being wishy washy about it, was with a sweeping gesture by way of a declaration of alcoholism. 

Now, looking back, I know I needed to do that to stay safe. To stay sober. To figure my stuff out. And when it comes to alcohol abuse, there's a very limited vocabulary that is available. 

But there's a whole spectrum of alcohol abuse. 

The word alcoholic never fit for me, but nothing else came close and so that loaded word kept me sober for six years. 

And it's a good thing. During those six years I learned how to handle myself, how to be a mother, how to be an adult, how to cope with and diffuse anxiety attacks, how to be me. 

Around my anniversary I started wondering about my sobriety. What it meant. If it was forever. What would it feel like to have a drink now, verses all those years ago?  If it was an alcoholic's brain making me question all this, or if I really could safely have these questions and conversations. I talked with my husband, my cautious and thoughtful, well meaning and patient husband, and we had several discussions about what it would mean if I had a glass of something at some point. 

And then I knew that I needed to. I needed to know in order to keep evolving as a person and grow into myself.

Now, if you've read this long, I want to tell you something very important: this is my story. This is my journey. Please don't compare yours to mine. This conscious, deliberate exploration of the grey area is NOT for everyone. And even talking about this makes me nervous, because there are people who have stopped drinking who should never, never, explore what it would be like to drink again. 

But I'll tell you something else, it doesn't do anyone any good to hide their truths. I've done a lot of truth telling in this space {and other blogs... I've changed them so many times...} and only good things have come of it. Opening the door for discussions, and making human connections is what I'm striving for. We're all struggling with something. We're all human, I think sometimes we forget that fact. The strange part of these last few months has been feeling like I'm hiding something, or holding back, because I haven't written through this journey like I have through many other aspects of my sobriety. Where there's hiding there's danger. And there's no need for that in my life.

Back to the story... 

Over the last few months I've been exploring the grey area of my place on the spectrum of alcohol abuse. 

There was no bender, no relapse, no drunken nights or hungover mornings. Every now and then I'd have a drink. A glass of wine when we were out to dinner, a cocktail when I was out with a friend, I cooked with wine for the first time in years and tried my brother's homemade mead, all in safe environments where my anxiety was low.

A funny thing happened when I started to explore this area, alcoholics popped up everywhere. Not necessarily in person, but in the shows we watched and the books we read. There was Flaked on Netflix {a really fantastic series that both Lucas and I enjoyed} in which the main character is Chip, an alcoholic who bikes around Venice Beach. Then Because of Winn-Dixie, with an absentee alcoholic mother. And I know there were a few more, but I can't remember for the life of me what they were {and neither can Lucas, I asked!}

All cautionary tales. All reminders. All warnings.

What did happen during this experiment? I learned that red wine gives me migraines, that any alcohol messes with my much needed and beloved sleep, that my anxiety ramps up with even one glass of anything, but also that I can have one drink and stop. That was something that never happened six years ago. 

{Something I was also noting through all of this, was how often alcohol isn't really the issue. Alcohol is so often a numbing agent for the root problem, for the mental health issues or trauma that often starts it all. This of course is highly controversial to talk about... getting down to what is the disease of alcoholism and what isn't, who has it and who doesn't. I'm entirely unqualified to go down this road, but it's something to note.}

Most importantly, after having a tiny taste of life with alcohol, I'm choosing to go back on the wagon.

I may not be a textbook, classic alcoholic, but I am certain that I've abused alcohol in the past, and it's something I need to be very careful about. My relationship with alcohol is not cut and dry, but I am better off dry. I'm more able to be present, to enjoy life, to be me, when alcohol isn't involved. 

But I need to have that choice. To ask myself what kind of a place I'm in, to asses situations for what they are, including who I'm around and what purpose a drink would serve. If it's to numb or to check out? Nope. If I'm stressed? Nope. If it's because my brother poured his heart into his new batch of mead? Maybe. If it's because it's fun? Nope. Champagne toast at a wedding? Possibly. Is my anxiety even a tad bit high? Then absolutely not. Do I need to sleep? If yes, then no. 

There are very few times that I can justify drinking, for me {I promise I'm not passing judgement on anyone who drinks. Cross my heart!} 

So. Sobriety.

Coming back to sobriety needed to feel less like a confining box, and more like freedom.

And so, I am reserving the right for myself to explore the grey area. To not say forever, but instead for today. 

I'm better off dry, navigating the world through sober eyes. 

And knowing that? I feel totally, utterly, happy and free. 

As a note to all of this, please know that I take alcohol abuse and addiction very seriously, and because of that, and the respect I have for all of those who have issues with alcohol, I want to reiterate that this is my story. There are so many paths, so many ways to get sober and stay sober. And as I said within the post, I would absolutely hate for this post to be taken as permission for anyone to drink. I've written this post to further the conversation, to share my story, and to be open and honest, which is the best way I know to live. The blogging/internet climate is so different than it was when I was first writing about sobriety, that I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't nervous about posting this. But here it is.... in the name of truth and authenticity!

If you are struggling with alcohol know that you are not alone. 
There's so many places to find help. 
Here's a few:

Thursday, March 31, 2016

currently... {1}

Today {two days late} I'm joining in with Katy Upperman who writes these posts every other Tuesday on her blog...


...I'm loving...

The sunshine. The wind. Time spent outside laughing, talking, blowing bubbles and reading. The breeze on my face and the sound of bubbles popping... you have to listen closely, and when you hear the gentle pop it's like you're entering the fairy world... it's pure magic. I'm loving... early mornings, and early evenings. Having the windows open and still keeping the flannel sheets on the bed. His smile when he walks downstairs in the morning, the way he laughs with his eyes when he sees me squinting at the computer screen in the dark early hours. The way we're growing older together. The way we're staying young together. The way we laugh and love together.

...I'm reading...

... {rereading}The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, this time for a book club. I'm happy to reread, as I've been going through books a second or third time to figure out the way some of my favorite authors write. How they structure. How they move a book along... {the biggest issue in my own writing!}

I'm also slowly working through A Gracious Space Spring Edition by Julie Bogart, Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark, Wild Bird Guides: Black-capped Chickadee by Susan M. Smith, and This Cake is for the Party, stories by Sarah Selecky. I've never had as many titles going at once. But. They are all different, both in subject matter and genre, and so having the variety to choose for whatever mood I'm in has been a nice change of pace from my normal read it start to finish manner.

I have to note, A Gracious Space has been a pleasant surprise. I've found it difficult to find a secular daily... devotional of sorts for homeschooling parents. And half way through, this is fitting the bill. Julie Bogart is kind, thoughtful, funny in her own way, and gentle. With the reader, and with her ideas for homeschooling families. Love it.

...I'm watching...

...lots of YouTube videos....
Minecraft videos
The Daly Show {Tim Daly... his YouTube show... not for everyone - language, content... but good lord, I laughed until I cried, especially during the episode with Nathan Fillion...}
Our Queen at 90 {yup, you know I love it!}

...and planning on watching the new season of Grantchester in the very near future...

...I'm listening to...

...the children having deep conversations with each other about how they are individuals and yet it's strange to think about how everyone has their own thoughts. The birds laughing. The Lumineers station on Pandora and Modest Mouse's Float On and Coldplay's Us Against the World: "And if we could float away, fly up to the surface and just start again, and lift off before trouble just erodes us in the rain..." The tea kettle boiling. Bubbles popping...

...I'm thinking about...

Beach days. Floating on the waves. Sandy toes. How I need to find a big water jug so we can stay at the shore long past we drink our individual water bottles empty on hot summer days. Connection. Intentional connection. Intentional everything. The story I'm writing. The characters. Orchards and chickadees. How early mornings are wonderful but I wish I could work around being a night owl... but the kids. And time. Time. I'm thinking a lot about time. End of the homeschool year write ups and evaluations. Lilacs and allergy season and warmth. Sandy toes. Wet beach towels. Crusty, salty mermaid hair. Floating...

...I'm anticipating... world - our world - in bloom. 

... I'm wishing...

...for kindness. For a gentle wave of kindness to spread across our country. For people to think before they act or react. For calm nights and days where ease spreads in front of us like a picnic basket of space to breathe, kindness, and thoughtful approaches to challenges to feast on. I'm wishing for some movement. Some stillness. Some quiet. Some heart thumping, loud music. For everything and nothing. 

...making me happy...

... tea. Always tea. The 1000 piece puzzle we're working on as a family, how we each come and take a stab at it, and then retreat only to be called back to it. Sometimes at the same time, sometimes on our own. The changing seasons. Texting with friends. Walking into town for the first time this year, holding hands with my babies who are no longer babies; seeing our streets up close and personal. How their hands still reach for mine, they still sneak into our bed, and they give big hugs and say big things and feel even bigger things and they want to share it all with me and him. Amazing, this life we're living. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

starting from scratch

I always come back here.

I know. It's been a while. But still. This space is forever in my mind. I don't know what place blogging has any longer, with the insta this and the facebook that. In the past few years, it seems like that's what most of my posts here have been about... is this still a thing? Can I do this? Does it matter? 

It does. It all does.

As I've said time and time again, writing begets writing, and I'm writing. So I'm here.

Last October I said I wouldn't tell you where I've been.

Not much has changed. Except that I'm spending this year, 2016, working on one specific project. My novel. I started from scratch, outlined, and am knee deep in the writing of it. It feels different this time. Deeper. Fuller.

I'm giving myself this year. To dive in deep with the writing, to make it my job {aside from the whole homeschooling kids thing...} and to see if I can hack it. And if at the end of this year I'm fed up? It's not working? Then I'll know that I've given it my best shot.

Nearly two months in, and I'm pretty sure I've got my answer.

So here's the thing. I may write here, still. But I'm not pursing any new Creating in the Midst interviews unless someone truly wants to share their creative journey with homeschooling. I'm not going to plug my writing, or share writing how to's - because truth be told I find that whole scene incredibly noisy and overwhelming. I may write blog posts the way we used to, soulful stories and posts that mean something.

Or maybe I'll simply be back when I'm done my book.

Either way. If you're here, as many of you always are, I'm humbled that you still read my words. Most of them are being shared over on Instagram these days, but I'm feeling less enthralled by that space as the days go on.

What do you all think? Is blogging a thing of the past? Do you still read blogs? And if so - how? I'm using Bloglovin, and I'm not thrilled... I miss the good old days of Google Reader. I'd love to know if I'm barking up the wrong tree by even considering blogging again. Perhaps it's just another form of procrastination? Self indulgence? Screaming into the ether?

Either way. Hello. Again.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

creating in the midst: Gina Kimmel

Welcome back to Creating in the Midst. If you're new to the series, all of the posts are located here. Thanks for joining us!

This weeks guest is Gina Kimmel. Mother, writer, photographer, Gina captures ordinary moments in beautiful, extraordinary ways through her words and pictures. She's someone that I would love to sit and share a pot of tea with, and talk and write alongside each other for hours. She exudes grace and thoughtfulness, and I'm thrilled to share her words here with you all.
Welcome to this space, Gina!

~ What does an average day in your house look like?

 Each day looks a little different for us, depending on the weather and what appointments or errands we have to run, but what do look similar are our mornings. Mornings are sacred to me. It is my absolute favorite time of day. From the soft silence that I have before my son wakes up, to the first light that touches the sky - our mornings take on a slow gentleness as we both allow it to unfold before us. About a year ago, I decided to start waking up around 6 o’clock so that I would have some peace and quiet before my son jolted out of bed. I found that having that time, whether it’s a half hour or two hours (depending on how long he decides to stay in bed) helps me to be a better mom. I use that time to write, to read, to work on a project, and always to sip tea. If it’s nice, you can find me on a rocking chair on the porch with my mug and notebook in hand. Once he wakes up, he’s ready to start the day. We use that time for morning journals, a drawn out breakfast (my favorite meal of the day, of course) and whatever else we want to do together. I try to extend the mornings for as long as I can, often times not getting a shower or getting ready for the day until 11 or 11:30. The flow of the morning is peaceful. Unrushed. Untethered. We flit around the house or stay rooted to the rocking chairs on the porch to observe our own little piece of the world, while discussing what’s in our midst. After lunch is when our days become varied and sometimes harried, depending on what we have to try and get done before dinner.

 ~ What projects are you currently working on?

 Right now, we are getting settled into our new house in the mountains. I’ve been trying to transform our house into a home, while also working on finding a daily rhythm for our homeschooling now that the little one has turned 5. Another project that keeps drawing me back in is a book of poetry about ordinary moments that I’ve experienced as a mother. I love to pair my photographs with words that I’ve written as they come to me. As I look back through my pictures, those words linger on my mind and help transport me right back to the moment I captured each image. I intend to weave letters and recipes alongside of the images and poems to bring the story of our family to life. It’s an offering first and foremost for my son – one that I can hopefully share with others someday, as well. And I’m always, always sharing pieces of my life and writing, and lately my morning views, on Instagram. 

~Can you tell us a little bit about your writing life?

 About four years ago, I found writing again. It began to develop into a daily practice that has sustained me and led me towards discoveries about myself I never dreamed of making. Whenever I’m feeling off, I know that it’s been too long since I picked up my pen to write. Over the past year or two, I’ve been finding my way with poetry and nature. I’ve reconnected with them both on a deeper level. Often times you can find me staring outside my window in search of the moon, lounging on the porch listening to the bird songs as greet the day, or simply walking with my camera – putting miles behind me as I pass rocks and trees and water sources that all open my eyes to the beauty found in this world. I feel that the earth is always communicating with us, if we take the time to pause and listen to her guidance. We can always find messages from the universe scattered among the stars. These messages and the ordinary beauty of the space we inhabit all move me – it moves my pen across the page, it brings words to my lips, and fills me with joy. Each day I try to slow down. To take several pauses amid my day to notice the everyday, ordinary beauty that surrounds me, not only in nature, but in my connections and interactions with the people in my life. It fuels my creativity. It brings me clarity in so many different aspects of living, especially parenting. And if I let it in, I am never at a loss for words. The poetry writes itself, all adding to the pile of notes that I’ve been collecting for a book I hope to share with others, someday.

 ~What measures do you take to protect your creativity?

 I keep a pen and a notebook by my side always {I’m the type of person that favors the written word to typing. It all has to be hand-written first.} If I notice that it’s been a few days since I’ve written, I make sure I either get up a bit earlier or ask my husband to watch the little one so that it gives me some time to write. I’ve encouraged my son to pick up his notebook when I do, if I find myself penning a poem when he’s around. I guess what I’m saying is that I just do it - as often as I can. I make it a priority and it’s become just an everyday ritual in my life, whether it’s filling up two pages at a sitting or jotting down a few short lines of poetry that came to me while we were eating breakfast that morning.

 ~Do you need absolute quiet to write, or do you prefer noise? And how does that impact your day?

 When I’m just scribbling down memories as they happen or when inspiration hits me during a sunrise, as I watch a leaf fall from the sky, or when I truly notice the curve of my son’s smile, I can usually write as the moment is transpiring. Sometimes I ask him to give me a moment of quiet so that I can record the words a bit more quickly, but often times he’ll get out his notebook to “write,” too. Whenever I go deeper, whenever the words pierce my mind and I am able to tap into the flow from someplace outside of my Self, I need silence. I can’t listen to music, I don’t like to be constantly interrupted, I just need myself, the paper, and the pen.

 ~Do you have a set time of day, or of the week, that you set aside for your creative pursuits?

 The only time I truly have set is first thing in the morning. I wake up around 6:00, probably six days a week (sometimes seven), so that I have that time to write. I’ve found that if I don’t set the alarm and pull myself out of bed before my son rises, I feel off all day – moody, tense, and just out of balance. I use that time for whatever I feel called to do, whether it be to read, to write, to art journal or even catch up on my favorite shows on Netflix – whatever it is that will fill me up and allow me to begin my day with grace and allowing. Besides those precious moments in the morning, I also try to fit in time for myself throughout the day. A half hour while my son plays on his own, an hour after my husband comes home while he is deep in some sort of household project that my little one helps out with. I think it’s so important for children to see their parents making time for that which brings them joy. Whether he is asked to find something else to occupy his time for a while or he asks to work alongside of us, he sees creativity in action.

 ~What is the most challenging aspect of being a writer and a homeschooling mother?

 For me the challenge is creating space for everything. For writing, for editing, for actually living the moments that I will someday write about – all this while still keeping the connection to my son and my family that I hope to have. Some days I get so caught up in the words or the projects we are doing together that I realize I haven’t looked, really looked at the people I am interacting with. I haven’t given them my full attention; I haven’t looked deeply into their eyes or absorbed the words that they are sending my way. I find that there is so much that I love experiencing as a writer and a homeschooling mama, that it’s difficult to find the space for it all.

 ~What is the most rewarding aspect of being a writer and a homeschooling mother?

 I think that because creativity and exploration are such a huge part of our homeschooling life and our life in general, being at home with my son has afforded me the time and inspiration to dive deeper into my writing. Being at home with him, watching him learn and grow, has been such a rich experience – full of ups and downs, littered with insights into how I hope to support and encourage him as a homeschooler, as well as time to self-correct when we discover what actually works or what we need to rethink in our everyday ritual and routine. I try to capture these moments of joy, as well as the moments of struggle within my writing to share with others. I feel that speaking the truth about what mothers may go through opens the doors for sincere communication between parents around the globe, as well as allowing others to know that they are not alone as they walk through the difficult aspects of creative family living.

 ~How do you feel about the word balance? Is there such a thing?

 Hmmm, I’m not really sure, yet! I do know that if I take some time to reflect over the past couple of days and realize that I haven’t given myself much time to work on my writing, then I don’t feel guilty take an hour or so to myself during the day while my son plays on his own. If I notice that the last few days have been packed with nature hikes, reading, Lego building, and errands, then I don’t feel guilty for giving us both a day to relax with a movie, or just keeping the day entirely open for staying put inside the house to play in our own ways. I try to sprinkle in moments here and there for things that are important to us, activities like baking together or hiking, if I notice that they haven’t fit in naturally with the flow of our week. Perhaps that’s all the balance we need.

 ~What advice would you give to someone who is passionate about their creative pursuits, and just starting out on their homeschooling journey?

 What I try to keep reminding myself is not to lose myself in the process of homeschooling. We are all learning together as a family. Every day, each year, we are all growing and shifting. It’s important for me not only to facilitate learning for my son, but also for my Self…to carve out time, to grasp those moments of unexpected stillness, and utilize them for any creative pursuits that are calling to me at the moment. I recently copied this quote from “Conscious Living” by Gay Hendricks:: “You wonder, am I courageous enough to tap the deep wellspring of my creativity and express it boldly in the world? As you walk along, ask yourself, what would I most like to create, both for my own nourishment and for my singular contribution to the world? Life reaches its full flowering when we bring forth our creative desires and the treasures with which we have been blessed and act on them in the world.” For me, this quote not only encourages me to act on my creative desires, but reminds me that it’s necessary for my own soul’s contentment.

And last... a few quickfire questions:

 ~What was the last book you read? 

I just finished rereading Project-Based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert.

 ~The last thing you made? 

I'm in the progress of making a monochromatic mixed-media canvas. My son and I both started one after reading Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans.

 ~Daily indulgence?

 Lately, my daily indulgence is an episode of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I love relaxing to one of my favorite shows in the evening.

 ~Least favorite daily task? 

I'm on a cooking low. Some weeks I'm at a loss for what to cook for dinner, so lately that's been my least favorite task.

~If you had an entire day that was just yours, how would you spend it? 

 I would spend it on the beach in the sun with a stack of books and magazines (after spending the afternoon before at a bookstore selecting some from my list)

 ~Favorite movie? 

 My all-time favorite movie is Dirty Dancing, my recent favorite movie is About Time.

 ~Coffee or tea? 


Gina ~ thank you so much for sharing your words and thoughts here! I loved getting to know you better through your answers. Reading about how you weave your creative pursuits through your day reminds me that I'm not alone in this daily struggle/joy to create in the midst, it sounds so familiar to what happens in my house as well. And of course, you know About Time is one of my favorite movies, and I love that we have that in common!

Links for Gina:

If you or someone you know, are a homeschooling parent who is in the midst of creative pursuits and would like to contribute to this series, please contact me at crnnoel(at)gmail(dot)com.