Monday, December 31, 2012

My 2013 Journal Intentions

It's been a while since I've posted anything about my journals. To be honest, it's been a weird year for journaling. I had a loooong Skype date with Betsy a few days ago, and she provided not only the kick in the pants I needed to start something new, but also the inspiration, and the wisdom behind the 'why'. December 31st seems to be a pretty cliche time to be posting about my intentions for the New Year, but I believe my family and I are about to round the corner into a new season that will coincide with the turning of the calendar, so I guess you're just stuck with a New Years-ish post about journaling!

This last year I've keept a journal full of painted pages:

This is a format I picked up from Betsy, during a season of my life where I had graduated with a degree in music, but was about to walk away from all things creative, go get "just a desk job" somewhere and abandon my true gifts and calling out of utter frustration and burned-out-ness. In that season I met Betsy and was immediately drawn into the world of  art journaling. It became my sole creative outlet; I spent a good year of my life with nothing to do with music. My journal became a part of me in that season.

I love the painted page, and actually think some of what I have created in my little sketchbooks is quite compelling; I've even turned a few pages into artwork for my new home. But the painted page has kept me from getting to the actual work of documenting my life and my heart. In order to get a page done, I need a desk, and paint, and time for paint to dry, and a whole host of other things. I end up waiting to have time to spread out, while collecting ephemera and odds and ends. It's a beautiful book that offers nothing in the area of portability, or real-time documenting. [And here's a truth; when you spend more time organizing your piles than doing anything with the stuff IN the piles, something is broken in your process and workflow.]

So, thanks to Betsy's encouragement and gentle ass-kicking, I spent the morning creating a quick little journal. Made out of things I already had around [paper bags, scrap paper, binder rings], I'm hoping it will be the container I need in this season; portable, easy to staple/tape/glue odds and ends into, not too fussy, but still kind of lovely and graphic. [Ironically, the day before I spent a few hours organizing all my ephemera by color ... and then putting it back in a drawer.]

The cover is made from a file folder that I covered with old book pages and a magazine graphic I don't even remember where I picked up. Edges bound with cheap washi tape and packing tape from Home Depot. Quick and dirty were the key phrases in making this guy.

Paper bag pocket-pages

A Chipotle bag I had saved from who knows how long ago. Maybe 2013 will bring my dream job!

Hud wanted to make a page - that's a drawing of our family [and The Hulk] on a rocket ship.

The three-ring style makes it easy for me to add pages if I need it, but I intend on creating quick new journals when I need them, and then binding the whole lot of them at the end of the year. I'm already excited to jump into it, but can I make a confession? My perfectionist heart is already intimidated by it. What if every page isn't shareable or beautiful or lovely? I think the fact that this is my first reaction to it means it will be a good new thing for me. You can ask my husband ... my perfectionism needs a good shaking up this year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Advent, Day Eight

Falling a little behind here, but you'll forgive me, won't you? I'm enjoying jumping in with both feet to my first married Christmas [and my first Christmas with kiddos. It's better than I could have imagined!]

See the rest of the series here: 1 2 | 3 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Monday, December 17, 2012

Advent, Day Seven

Simple today; love well, love much. 

Philipians 1:3-11
See the rest of the series here: 1 2 | 3 4 | 5 | 6

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent, Day Six: Advent In Light of Tragedy

I opened my Bible yesterday to read the verse for the day's lettering project {Luke 1:68-79}. When I read the last few verses, I immediately choked up. It's hard to read about 'God's Mercy' in the light of a tragic event like the school shooting Friday, but there it is, in black and white; He grants light to those sitting in the shadow of death. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. The paradox of God's grace and light in times of darkness is sometimes infuriating, but always true; the grace he grants in our darkest darkness is always the sweetest.

See the rest of the series here: 1 2 | 3 4 | 5

Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent, Day Five

Advent, Day Five. I kind of adore the simplicity of this one. Today's reading was Malachi 3:1-4. This is my extreme paraphrase. Because isn't that what Advent is? Preparing the way?

[For a killer read on the season of Advent, I've loved Erika Morrison's article on Deeper Story this week]

See the rest of the series here: 1 2 | 3 | 4

Thursday, December 13, 2012

An Advent Pause

Oops ... I missed a day! But I'm okay with that - I spent yesterday doing some serious catching up errands, and then [then!] got to spend the evening with my boys getting our very first Christmas tree! Now that, unfortunately, I don't have photos of [yet] but I have seriously been enjoying our home at Christmas. And that I have a few little photos of.

Be back later with an Advent verse!

Mantle - made mostly from wedding leftovers and odds and ends. The glitter trees are made from cereal boxes!

My sweet sunshiney kitchen window

Christmas books on the coffee table

Sweet boys from this weekend

Tags for our stockings. Our stockings! So fun

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Advent, Part Four

Advent, part four. Today's is much cheerier than yesterday's was! Do you ever have an impossible day?  I think every day since we've been home from our honeymoon has been an impossible day for Brandon and I. Today was another impossible day, actually, but sometimes you just gotta buck up and believe that, I don't know, the fact that the sun is shining in the sky means that everything is gonna be okay.

Yeah, I just rolled my eyes at me, too.

But you know what? Yes, everything sucks right now. Yes, I just said sucks, it's my blog, I make the rules here. And yes, things seem to only be getting harder, and the tide seems like it will never, ever turn. And yes, it's Christmas and that only seems to magnify every tiny [or massive] problem. But. But! We both woke up alive this morning. I drank coffee in bed - one of my favorite luxuries on slow mornings. I just talked to my husband on the phone [he's at the office 'till at least ten tonight. so gross, right?] and got to tell him that I love him, and hear him say the same thing. Thanks to the sheer amount of completely awful things that have made their way onto our plate this season, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I married the absolute right man, and that marriage is the best thing to ever happen to me. So those are all things that bring joy, right? Right. I'm hanging onto those things today.

And this verse. This verse brings me joy.

And may He pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God.

See the rest of the series here: 1 | 2 | 3

Monday, December 10, 2012

Advent, part three

A short late-night post. Today has been a long, very difficult day. Confession time? This verse is actually tomorrow's reading, but I cheated and switched the two days. I read ahead and just knew that this one was meant to be shared today. A light is coming. That truth might not ring in your ears tonight; I know that tonight, it doesn't in mine. But that it doesn't feel true doesn't make it stop being truth.

A light is coming. A light is coming. A light. is. coming. 

See the rest of the Advent series here: 1 | 2 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Advent, part two

Today's reading was Psalm 25. I picked this center section out because it reminded me a little of Brandon's wedding vows to me. And shouldn't the love you find in marriage mirror the love you find in the Bible, and the other way around? I'm learning how to wait expectantly on God because my husband waits expectantly on me. Waits with patience, waits with wholehearted love and affection. Waits with expectation without weighing me down with expectations. 

I'm one of the lucky ones; this I know.

{Side note: Brandon gave me a copy of his wedding vows on our wedding night, and I gave him mine.  I went to read over them when I was waiting for the ink to dry on this piece, and totally cried, then cried again reading the letter he wrote me on our wedding day. One of these days I'll tell you guys our love story, because it's a special one. In the meantime, I need to go kiss my husband this minute!}

See the rest of the Advent Series: 1

Friday, December 7, 2012

Advent, Part One

The other night, I was talking to Mr. Fiddler about Advent; he told me he had never heard of it! Growing up, my family always did either an Advent Wreath or an Advent Calendar, so I thought it was a normal Christmas tradition. Doing a little research about it, I'm finding out that it's a very Catholic tradition, which struck me as funny because my family is not Catholic at all. Now that I have my own family, I don't even know where to buy an Advent Wreath, and Advent Calendars don't exactly fit in a home where kids aren't here every day [which hello, have you been on Pinterest? Advent Calendars are taking over. Next to Elf on the Shelf, which I kinda find just a little creepy.]

In a season that can so easily be derailed by business and expectations, Advent is such a beautiful way to reset your soul. Mr. Fiddler and I laid in bed the other night talking about Christmas; who was going where what day, what gifts we were buying, what dinners we were going to. It quickly escalated to tears [for me]. What eucharisteo is to my heart in the Thanksgiving season, Advent is to my heart at  Christmas. A shift in focus; from the kind of expectations that bring me to tears, to the kind of expectation that fills the soul with hope. A light is coming

And so for you, my friends, and for me; I'm lettering my way through the Scriptures of this year's Advent. I hope it brings to you what Advent means; expectation, hope, love and joy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Farm Days, Fireplace Nights

It's officially the last week before the wedding. I can't believe it's almost here! We spent this last weekend with the boys taking their annual trip up to the Pumpkin Farm. We couldn't have asked for better weather; sunny, clear, and crisp. It was the perfect 'last weekend' before our family changes in a major way. 


trying to find just the right one
i don't know what this squinty face is, but he makes it all the time.

my guys

that laugh!

H couldn't smile with the hay in his mouth.

crazy about these two!

Monday, October 15, 2012


I just started using Bloglovin to follow my favorite blogs. I had previously been using Google Reader, but would like to connect more with bloggers I love, and Reader just kept me from doing that. Now you can follow my blog on Bloglovin!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I can't stop journaling and I can't stop writing on things with pretty pens. [although, can you see where one of my 'pretty pens' exploded on my journal page? not a happy thing!]

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Everything's Amazing

This week [or month? or series of months?] has been really, really hard. And I can't really explain it, but this is a season where I feel like we should have Midas' Golden Touch, everything happily falling into place, but instead it seems like everything we touch is breaking. Getting into the house we already own has been tricky. Finalizing wedding details has been tricky. Boys are having meltdowns, we're both sick, work has been a nightmare for both of us. We've fought this month like we've never fought before.

And yet ... everything is amazing. Nothing is going the way we want it to, but it's somehow forging us; creating Us. We've fought and realized that we can't do this life without the other being our biggest advocate. Our house will mean a whole heck of a lot to us once we get in it, since we've had to fight for it. Our wedding ... who cares! We're getting MARRIED. It won't be exactly what I've dreamed up but it will be beautiful, and people we love will be there, and at the end of the day we'll be married.

Everything is terrible and we're happy. Or crazy, who knows.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

a new name

I've been dating this guy for eleven months, had a crush on him for over a year, and am marrying him in about ten weeks, but today marks one of the first times I've filled a page with doodles of my first name and his last name. I'm trying to put together a design for a custom address stamp and a monogram stamp for wedding invitations. So much to do, but this season is so so SO fun. Can't wait to be married to my love!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Art Journaling

So I have a confession; I'm falling behind on things on my real-life to-do lists because I'm spending every spare second that I can find dabbling in my art journal {if i'm not spending it with my amazing fiance. although last night i just packed up a whole basket of art supplies and worked on my journal in the floor of his home office while he worked late into the night, and it was totally the best of all worlds. happy face!}

I used to art journal extensively, for a few years. I could always be found with washi tape in my bag, and plethora of pens for my messy messy journal. Then, last year, the journaling kind of just ... stopped. The need to document my life, to find paint colors that matched the way I felt, just faded away. Maybe instagram took it's place, who knows. 

All I know is that a few weeks ago, I met up with one of my dearest friends Betsy. As I knew she would, she plopped down at our lunch table with two HUGE art journals, and opened a page she had already prepped to take notes on our {three hour} lunch conversation. I'm entering a huge transitional period in my life {becoming a wife, becoming a stepmom, moving, moving again, changing jobs} and Betsy questioned whether or not I was giving myself space to dream. I wrote her questions in my {plain, black and white} notepad. 

I wasn't giving myself space to dream. I've been drowning in other people's creative work for me, and not nourishing my own. Not at all ironically, fiance and I had a big bonfire the following week, and I took an entire box of old journals and purged them in the firepit. {i ripped out the good stuff first} I went a bought a new art journal the next day and now ... I am obsessed. I need it. Words make me think too much, but finding colors and splashing paint helps me sort out whatever I'm working through. It's better than therapy, really. Or at least somewhat cheaper.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Two Weeks


My sweet stepboys. I only get to see them every other weekend, and occasional weekday evening. Having such limited time with them truly makes you appreciate every minute; every little run by the park, learning how to use the monkey bars, meals, bedtimes, baths ... even meltdowns and tough parenting moments. Can we also talk about how crazy it is to be inspired by a three and five year old? These little dudes have barely even scratched the surface of their lives, but they are bold and brave; both in their climbing and jumping, and in their loving and sharing.

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