Tuesday, November 16, 2010

an attitude of gratitude

"wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving." ~Kahlil Gibran

i have much to be thankful for in my life and for that i am grateful! Above all else, it is my family that keeps me afloat and fills my well full of love and support. when i stumble i always have a soft place to land and someone waiting there to hold my hand. when i fly i always have someone there cheering me on and encouraging me to go farther and farther.

today i take pause to thank my lucky stars for my family.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

In the Sweetness

"In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
Kahlil Gibran

who would have guessed that early november would bring such beautiful, sunny days to the northwest. usually by now, we are holed up in our cozy houses, breaking out the rain gear and hunkering down for the drizzly season. but this year we have been graced with some of the most beautiful days i have seen in a long time. the air is crisp, the trees are golden, red, orange and every color in between. my heart is bursting and i am every so thankful for these sweet days. especially the ones where i take sierra to one of my favorite places and we have hot cocoa, drool over all the beautiful plants, and play hide and seek amongst the trees.

life is sweet!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

no matter how you look at it

when the dawn is still dark, hold fast to those dreams, for the light is on the horizon and it will shine upon all those who lift their faces to the light.

Shine on my friends!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

and then she was 4

Dear Sierra,
It brings tears to my eyes thinking of how much you have blossomed in this last year. With every day that passes you grow stronger, more sure of yourself and absolutely, positively more adorable. your laugh is infectious and you spread joy wherever you are.

right now you:
*love stuffed animals (especially swirly the pink dolphin and pookie the unicorn)
*are passionate about gymnastics (you're going to rock at this dear one)
*have started circle preschool and are making a few great friends
*love to draw, paint and craft. Can't wait to do more of this together
*start every sentence with: "actually....." or "you know what"
*are very strong willed and are starting to let people know just exactly what you think!
*you are best buds with Jackson and watching the two of you together melts my heart. except when you're fighting (sigh), but I'm willing to overlook that because i know it's all part of the process of growing up.
*are becoming a beautiful little girl whose love of life is inspiring and contagious!

spread your wings sisi ryder! the world is waiting for you and i know you are going to do great things. i know you're only 4, but it's never to early to start.

Shine on girlfriend

Monday, October 11, 2010

brave girls club

have you ever had an amazing experience that you just can't wait to share with your friends and family? one that transforms your spirit and outlook on life? one that will forever be in your heart and puts a huge ole' smile on your face everytime you think about it? and then you get home and try to put into words and everything you say just doesn't seem to paint the right picture or do it justice. well i am fortunate to have just had one of those experiences at Brave Girls Club in mccall, idaho. i have been thinking of the right words to express my feelings and gratitude for everything that happened in that retreat and i just can't do it yet. maybe I never will, but for now, i wanted to share a few images that shed a light into one of the most incredible weeks I've experienced yet.


so for now, until i find the words to tell the story i want to tell, i'm going to bask in the goodness and unconditional love that surrounded us all as we weeded through our lives. i'm going to hold a candle to that dark place where the demons live and know that i'm loved, really deeply loved.
i am!

and i'm going to go out and DO IT ANYWAY!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lesson learned


there is actually a method for mowing the lawn. who knew? apparantly, not me! i was pretty proud of myself for taking on the machine. me vs. a HUGE amount of wet grass. i actually had a good time doing it. until i was all done and realized that now, the lawn is mowed YES however there are huge piles of wet grass all over the yard. UGGH. not only does it look bad, but if you leave it there it rots and ruins the grass growing underneath. '


so this afternoon, i brought out my rake and got busy. as you can see, this is going to be a lot of work.

no, that nice, large and fancy house is not mine. it is my father in laws. and yes, we love living next door to grandpa.

this is our house:

nice, tiny, yet still lovely in it's own way.

oops, i digress. back to the task at hand. RAKING. lots and lots of raking. luckily i had some helpers.

one hour later:

i'm not even close to being done, but my arms and abs are TOAST.

time for a glass of wine!

have a great weekend everyone. we'll be celebrating both Sierra's 4th bday and Sam's 38th on sunday. i'll be back with photos of that but probably not for a week or so.

why you ask?

cuz, i'll be at Brave Girls Camp next week with these two lovely gals, along with many women i've yet to meet.

i am over the moon excited!


i can't even sit still.

it's a problem.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"These are the days of miracle and wonder" ~ Paul Simon

one of the things i love best about being a mama are the moments that i am drawn back into the world of being silly again. we must of spent 20 minutes with me spraying the hose at the kids while they remained safe from getting wet behind the door. they truly thought this was one of the funnest things to do in the planet. it's moments like this that turn me into a giant puddle of sappy love.

there is nothing better in the world than a giggle fit!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


"When I asked for all things, so that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, so that I might enjoy all things."
~unknown author

I love those quiet, blissful moments when i forget all my worries and life comes into focus so clearly that i can appreciate and acknowledge just exactly all the blessings that i've been given in my life. lately, my mind has been noisy, restless, constantly searching for answers. it wears on a gal.

but for now, right now, i am quiet; at peace with what my life is and the amazing abundance that i have been given.

i am here.
i am now.
i am enough.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

you spin me right round baby, right round

i'm in self discovery mode over here. my head is spinning. i'm afraid if i don't settle myself down, i just might spin myself into a tizzy. ahhhhh, hold on girlfriend.

hands up if you've ever gone through a phase where it seems like every corner you turn, there's a lesson to be learned, a new book you just have to read, new people to meet, dreams to create, walls to break down, restless nights, fears to face and, and, and.......
yup, that's me right now.

As soon as i can stop my mad mind from spinning, i'll be back. hopefully with some clarity, some new directions and a newly found ability to "just please myself."

hee hee....why do i feel like a teenage girl when i say that?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Just who does she think she is

A beautiful soul whom i met last october at the be present retreat blogged about how she was inspired to do this exercise. i was touched by her honesty, inspired by her answers and was curious how i would respond to these prompts. i'm sure if i did this on another day, my answers may differ. but today, this is who i think i am:

i am. learning how to be me

i think. i need to lead with my heart more and not think so much

i know. that i'm a lucky gal

i want. a big red barn

i have. an amazing family

i dislike. judgemental people and luke warm coffee

i miss. my family who live in colorado

i fear. i'll never live up to my potential

i feel. inspired by community

i hear. tweety birds and kids laughing

i smell. spraypaint

i crave. joy

i usually. cry at almost any movie i watch

i search. for bargains

i wonder. where it's all going

i regret. nope.... not really

i love. flea markets and all things thrifty

i care. yes. I care, even if sometimes i don't show it

i am always. up for an adventure

i worry. that i'm not a good enough role model for my kids

i remember. the day i said i do

i have. enough

i dance. cuz it makes me feel good

i sing. cuz i love to

i don't always. believe i can

i argue. not as often as i should

i write. not as much as i'd like

i lose. with grace

i wish. there wasn't so much conflict in the world

i listen. to what you say

i don't understand why. some people have so much and some have so little

i can usually be found. at the computer these days (sigh)

i am scared. of cancer

i need. a lot of time to myself

i forget. almost everything (hee hee)

i am happy. when i am living boldly

if you feel ispired too, i would love to hear just who you think you are. just let me know where i can find you.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude and inspiration." Brene` Brown

I trust that the universe will provide me with what I need

I'm grateful for the things I've been given

I'm inpsired by the beauty that surrounds us all the time.
Sometimes we just need to put rose colored glasses on to see it in a new light

Our family is headed out for a little mini vacation to eastern washington.
Wishing you a joyful weekend and a happy heart!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Berrys in the garden

This past weekend, the warm sun finally showed up, which means-----GARDENING.
Hip Hip Hooray!
Last year I planted my first vegetable garden. I had no idea what I was doing. Actually, I still don't. But I've decided I don't care and it was proven to me last summer that all it really takes is some good soil and a seed. It's amazing. It was was so much fun and I learned a lot, so I'm hoping this year I'll have even better production and yummy super fresh veggies to feast on. Which also means I get to find new recipes to use up all the veggies. Another thing I love to do.
The cast of characters for the first act.

The leading male offering his expertise and gardening prowess
The leading female carefully sows her seeds
A guest appearance from mr.frog, which when entered the stage, the audience all squealed in delight. For there is nothing more entertaining than a small green slimy frog.

That's all folks. Ya'll come back now ya hear!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Welcome Spring

Oh, how I have waited for you to appear. Now that I have felt your sun on my face and warmth on my skin, I am renewed and filled with hope for future sunny days spent adventuring, gardening and soaking up all the goodness that comes along with summer in the Northwest.

Be well my friends!

Friday, March 26, 2010

through the eyes of a child

There is just nothing better or sweeter than looking at life through the eyes of a three year old.

Sierra, you rock my world. may you always see life through a three year old lens and run with wild abandon towards your dreams. i am so very proud of you! i have so much to learn from you and consider myself to blessed that you chose me for a mom.

and you know what..... I want a star tree in my backyard too.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


wow, wow, wow.... I just put something out into the universe and already it's starting to come alive.

all for now. I'll just have to keep you all on the edge of your seats. I's not fair. I'll let you all in when I know more myself.'s amazing what can happen when you put yourself out there. I highly recommend it.

It's better than sex......shhhhh, don't tell my husband.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

an unexpected quiet evening

and ohhhh boy was it needed:

I was having one of those days. The ones where my patience level was zilch, zero, NADA! It just so happens that my kids woke up on the extra needy, extra whiney side of the bed. Needless to say- these two frames of mind do not agree!! We struggled through the morning until I finally gave in, packed a picnic, loaded up the bikes and headed for the park.
I'm still grumpy mind you. really grumpy. It's days like this where I question my parenting abilities and feel tremendous guilt for my lack of attention. I just couldn't pull it off today, no matter how hard I tried.
so....I bought myself an extra large latte and headed for kid land (sigh).

Luckily, once at the park, Jackson and Sierra snapped back into their happy 5 and 3 yr. old selves and played with wild abandon. Instantaneously, all was right in the world again. I sat myself down on the bench, sipped my latte and watched my crazy tikes race down the walkways. It's crazy how one minute I'm ready to sell my kids to the gypsies and the next I'm huggin and squeezin them like there's no tomorrow.

That's parenthood for ya!

So when we returned home, there was a message from Laura( my MIL) saying that her friends who have a farm close by have new baby lambs and that she wanted to take Jax and Sisi to go see them tonight.

woo hoooooo! I'm doing flips over here. Perfect timing. I just love when Sam and I get unexpected time together. Just the two of us. It was so refreshing and needed.
A glass of wine on the porch watching the sun fade out, a couple rounds of seat wars on the trampoline(kicked his butt), a nice quiet dinner reading magazines while Sam was tying flies, good music on the stereo, and now, I'm headed out to the studio for some more great quality me time. wow. I didn't realize how much I needed this.
It's days like this that I'm reminded of how great life can be. Even when it starts out so rough. In this time when life is gauged by work, my kids and their moods, their schedules, my constant wonderings of where life should go next, that when things are the most simple, most pure, that I thrive. I get my sense of self back and the feeling that yes, tomorrow is another day, another chance.

Another chance. What more could we ask for?

And who couldn't love these two faces?

Or this one for that matter: I'm just sayin'

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wholehearted Living and being worthy

i recently came across this amazing woman's work and was immediatly drawn into her words. as i started reading, it was like i was home. not home in the physical sense, but home within my emotional self, right where i should be, where i was meant to be, where i am naturally, wholeheartedly meant to be. i am extrememly blessed in my life, for where i live, for my family, my amazing husband, for my friends, but there has continued to be a part of me that just hasn't found IT'S way yet. i have drifted over the years, taken many paths, taken on many roles and i have to say that I've only read some of her blog, but her words and message are just what i need right now in my life. I'm starting to feel the shift, a movement towards becoming the more authentic me and am slowly discovering what it is that makes me tick. A shift towards living wholeheartedly, bravely, courageously, confidently and most importantly feeling worthy of feeling fabulous, amazing and talented, not for anyone else, but for myself. I am enough. For me.
Of course, i will falter, i will have days when i feel terribly insecure and lost. but i think i'm learning that this is part of the process, that feeling lost doesn't mean that i am, it just means i need to keep searching. and that's ok. the searching part is pretty amazing anyways.

so there it is: I am declaring myself worthy and will continue my pursuit of wholeheared living. If you haven't heard of Brene, go check her out here.

This is is how she describes wholehearted living:

Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone; I am enough.

pretty cool, right?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Start Close In

Start close in,
don't take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step you don't want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own
give up on other
people's questions,
don't let them
smother something

To find
another's voice
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don't follow
someone else's
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don't mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don't take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step you don't want to take.

~David Whyte

My fellow retreaters will remember this powerful poem from our first night in Manzanita. I remember sitting there with the room filled with candles and all of us huddled together, sitting closely, even though we had just met. The beautiful and oh so calm Liz ,sat down to welcome us and read this poem. I sat quietly with my eyes closed and let the words pour into me. They hit me hard. really hard. I'm not sure why. They just did. maybe it was because it's such a simple concept, but yet, for me seemed like such a difficult task. Take the first step, the one you don't want to take. I often find myself having the hardest time executing the tasks that appear to be the easiest. Am I the only one?

But wait. I was there. right? I DID take a step. I was sitting in a room, hours away from my home, surrounded with gals who were there for the same reason I was. It felt like home, even though I had never been there before, even though I didn't know a single soul there. I did take a step. I had taken a step towards what my heart was calling me to do and it felt good. oh. so. good.

It still feels hard, even though I have proven to myself that it really isn't. So, I must remind myself daily to start with the first step, the one I don't want to take and see what the heck happens from there.

Monday, February 1, 2010

right now

february is the month of love and i can sense it in the air (especially the cyber air). i thought i'd join in and share what i heart right now.

* This amazing artist and his beautiful words. especially love his joy painting and reading about his process of creation. i had a personalized print made from him for one of my best friends baby and it is truly unique and special. those of you who read my last post, the print that hangs in my bathroom is from him and he sent it free along with my order for my girlfriend. HEART.

* receiving a handmade card in the mail from this beautiful gal. oh how i love snail mail. please don't let die. Thank you miss K.

* this musical artist is on heavy rotation, getting me through my days, dancing in the living room with my two, little booty shaking, dance partners. especially love "something great"

*heart this artist. so lovely

*kisses- although i prefer the real thing, herseys extra dark tide me over and put a smile on my face. love me some chocolate.

*my little three year old princess who adores her tutu and fairy wings. the look on her face when she comes out of her room dressed up like a princess is precious and something i'll treasure forever. pure.sweet.innocence

* my new art piece in progress. loving this one. i'll post pictures soon.

sending love your way
be well,

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I have been trying for days to sit down and write a meaningful post. I can't seem to narrow or focus all of thoughts in my head these days. So, I'm just going to let it be and share a photo of the print that hangs in my bathroom. It's a great daily reminder to keep striving to do and to be better.

Hope all is well in your world,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

a creative weekend

this past weekend was a dream for me. sam took the kids out to lunch and a movie on saturday. the brave guy sat through an hour and a half of squealing chickmunks just to give mama some time alone. thank you babe! i went into town, actually sat down to enjoy my latte, perused the local thrift store and gathered a few new supplies for messy art making. i then headed home and out to the studio to get started creating. i had been working on a piece for awhile with intentions of giving it to a friend for her upcoming birthday. but i got stuck with this piece. i heard
Kelly Rae's voice in my head reminding me to keep pushing through but I just couldn't do it with this one for quite some time. so i put it aside and started some other projects. with the help of some good music and lots of coffee, i was actually pretty productive and happy with what transpired. by the end of the day i came back to the piece that was frustrating me and jumped in. after some fiddling and adding, i finally came to the "done" feeling. good times i tell ya. love my studio. love it!

when the kids came home they came out to the studio to see what mom was up to. they are so cute when they come in there. looking around and at me like "what is going on in here?" they are also very respectful of my space and somehow know that it is mom's special place.
sam and jackson went to work on the road a little bit and i invited sierra to stay with me and make some art together. she was so excited. so went stood side by side and started getting messy together. she started putting paing on the paper and i would add a thing here or there. then i began to add words and asked her what word she wanted to put on there. "funny" was her answer. gotta love that. i was just having the best time and i realized that i was so much looser and free while creating with her. when i am doing my own stuff i am often so much more critical and trying too hard. so this was a good lesson for me. i need to let go of trying to make good art and just let whatever comes out happen. and i loved what we made together.

then it was jackson's turn. he came in and saw that sisi and i were painting and he wanted to join in. so we made room and got busy painting. at first i just let him paint and then asked if i could join in. i absolutely love what came out of that. i wished that i had given him a canvas. i'll have to find a way to frame these paintings. they are so dear to me and it brought me so much joy.

Sunday was a wonderful day too. Gym, grocery shopping (i know.... most people don't enjoy grocery shopping, but i do. especially if i can go without the kids), cooking, a new coffe mug (heart), football, watching sam learn how to tie his own flies. taking a long walk with the kids in the grand forest, and having sam's dad and girlfriend over for dinner. new 24 season. oh yeah. just lovely. wish all weekends could be this good.

All for now.
Be well friends

ps. if anyone out there knows how to edit photos after you have added them to the blog and feels like giving a little tutorial, I'd be much obliged. still trying to figure out blog jargin.