Thursday, February 16, 2012

Light52: Week 6

Have you met Kelly Rae Roberts?  Her light shines so bright. I became a fan of her kitchen first (I’m a little obsessed with her white, light-filled kitchen and its dutch door), and then fell in love with her creative spirit, her art, her combination of  the whimsical and true.

When I read “no dimming necessary” my heart leapt up, the way it does when I need to pay attention. Then when I clicked to Kelly’s post  with the image, I read one of my all time favorite quotes by Marianne Williamson:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others" - from Marianne Williamson's book, A Return To Love

Kelly’s print also reminded me of final chorus of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”:

Sail on Silver Girl,
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Light52: Week 7

sean's handful of hearts

Sean’s candy heart says exactly what I’ve felt all of February saying: GO GO GO.

Going is a good thing, but somehow February turned into this vortex of time commitments---an evening sewing class, a daily 750 words writing challenge (tied to some money just to “keep it interesting”) between friends, a new 6AM workout routine that is kicking my butt, swim classes for the boys (which mean I’m in the water with Nolie), all of the same and never-ending commitments of home-keeping and meal planning/preparing, and a completely unexpected work opportunity that has me thrilled and desperate for more time.

I like a wide margin to my days, as Thoreau so wisely put it. I’m a homebody at heart, and don’t like to rush. I wouldn’t wish away any of the demands on my time; most of them involve caring for people I’m madly in love with or creative pursuits I’ve been dreaming of. I just wanted to spread things out more, or to be honest, hide from what began to feel like an avalanche of responsibilities and pressure.

Then I read this The Myth of the Missing Moon as told by Karen Maezen Miller.

I’ve quoted Momma Zen here before, and her most recent post is exactly the kind I struggle against most---because I’m a striver, someone always looking for a challenge, looking for improvement, wanting to change, improve---hmm, funny that word “improve” because, at least for me, at the heart of my “alchemy” as Gretchen Rubin described it, is a desire to prove, once and for all, to myself that I am good and that I have a right to be here.

“There is something you think you don’t have. A virtue, quality, or substance you need to acquire. Courage. Strength. Patience. Wisdom. Compassion. Wholeheartedness. As soon as I name it, you see it as missing from you, quick to disavow the suggestion that you are complete.”

The thing I most often complain that I don’t have is time. Karen’s writing on time is even more frustrating/enlightening, depending on my frame of mind. “I often tell people they have all the time in the world,” she wrote here. “ They look up from their frantic scramblings, their scattered minds, feeling overwhelmed and bogged down, and they think, to put it nicely, She’s insane.” Um, yes, that was my reaction.

“At the moment I’m in the muck, at the moment I’m doing anything, it is my life, it is all of time, and it is all of me.”

Somehow it took the story of the missing moon to bring that line to light for me.

“One evening she opened her eyes and saw the moon. It was full, of course. It was full all along, doing what moons do, reflecting light. Only our perspective changes. We rob ourselves when we mistake the unreal for the real.

Your heart is always whole, just as the moon is always full. Your life is always complete. You just don’t see it that way.”

I am okay. The pressure, the time crunch, mostly comes from me. I have an impressive ability to take opportunities I originally embrace as fun and turn them into work (if you define work as pass/fail opportunities to reveal yourself as inadequate).

I may disappoint some people, but that’s doubtful as I’m the one with the expectations. There is nothing to fail at really, other than missing the moment because I’m rushing to the next the one in fear that there isn’t enough time. Missing the chance to dance by the light of a moon that is always full.

Light52: Week 5



“Let your boat of life be LIGHT

packed with only what you need

a homely home & simple pleasures

someone to love & someone to love you

a dog, a book & a cup of tea*

enough to eat & to wear

& a little more than enough to drink

for thirst is a dangerous thing.”

Words by Jerome Klapka Jerome

(*except for my slight substitution of a book and cup of tea for a cat & a pipe)


And the very cool letterpress is by Lesley & Pea, found at

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Arbitrary Deadlines

Back in January, it seemed like a great idea to merge Elizabeth Dillow's 12on12 project with Rebecca Cooper's Month-in-Photos.

But now that it's Feb. 12th, capturing 12 photos of just today seems more doable than going through a month's worth and thinking about how to capture all those stories in one layout.

I was going to just bail on the whole project, but my trustee friend Angie convinced me to keep it simple and just get it done.

It's not done...I have five more photos and some journaling to do on a 2nd page, but it is a good start. This weekend could not have been more packed and less conducive to playing with photos. Still, that's the whole point of arbitrary deadlines---because there never is a good time in this season of my life.

And, by getting started now, I'm already motivated to pick up my camera more this month, and capture the bigs who are very under represented in the month of January!

You can download Rebecca's free template at her website via the link below.

ETA: Page two

Saturday, February 4, 2012

12 for 2012: February Check-in

A review of goals for 2012: a = Progress, not completion

I wrote this on January 31, but didn’t get #6 done until last night. 3 days late for February.

2012 01 29_my4favoriteguys

1.Take at least one family photo per month. a

I was counting one taken of us at the bowling alley on New Year’s Eve, until I realized that wasn’t quite 2012. Thanks to this self-appointed deadline, and Brian’s help with the tripod, we got one this last weekend. I was playing with the idea of spot metering and back lighting, but ended up putting us in too little light. It’s not great of any of us, but it’s great because it has all of us.

2012 01 29_1of12ourfamily2012 copy

2. Adopt and train a puppy.  a

We put a down payment on a puppy from Kanosh Labs this month. A couple years ago I reconnected on Facebook with Jenny, an old high school friend who is now in Arizona. She often posts adorable photos of her beautiful dogs. I was so excited when she told me they came from a farm in Utah. Owen at Kanosh Labs has been so kind about answering endless emails from me for the past year, as we inched toward being dog-ready. We have a LOT to do this month. Biggest challenge---the play room (ie: LEGOs) and a teething puppy.

3. Prepare our family for our next trip to Chicago. No real work here.

4. Learn the basics of my sewing machine and complete at least two projects. a

I registered for the 4 week class that started this week. Already learned so much in just the first class!

5. Submit two resumes. Other than a ton of research and email exchanges, no real work on the actual resume.

6. Start every month with a clean desk. a

Before and After copy

Here’s to self-imposed deadlines! Brian always says that those organizational shows on HGTV has the owners mess everything up even more before they shoot. There was no need to do that here. I have two goals fantasies for this goal: that some month, the before photo shows a still-clean desk, and that some month there’s a new white desk there.

7. Lose and keep off 12 pounds. a

I started using again on the 23rd, and am avoiding all sugar & flour. Total loss for January: 5 lbs.

8. Create a home binder. No real work here…other than piling more things on top of the binder.

9. Grow herbs inside my kitchen. a

I ordered basil, flat-leaf parsley, thyme and chive seeds, which have already arrived. Next up: planting.

10. Create a Shutterfly book of 12 on 12.

I’m dying to scrap but haven’t made any time. I normally don’t share my layouts online because they’re not original or very creative. But public deadlines are a good way to move things up my to do list, so there’ll be one here on Feb. 12th.

11. Go to the Telluride Blues & Brew Festival…

or see a concert at the Red Rocks or camp in Zion National Park. I really wanted to see Mike Birbiglias’s stand-up in SLC this month, but it didn’t happen. Still trying to figure out which one of these is most compatible with the unpredictability of wildfire season. We may have already missed the window for reserving a camping spot in Zion.

12. 52 Weeks of Light. a

Four weeks posted. I definitely have my dark moments. Recently read this quote by Abraham Lincoln that is especially apropos of all these goals: “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have.”

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