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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A brush out of my comfort zone

I recently participated in a Paint Nite event at a local bar. You have probably heard of this but if not, it's a program where local artists conduct a 2 hour art class teaching a group of people how to create a certain painting. They are usually held at bars and  people can enjoy some wine or other beverage while painting. I do not drink so unfortunately I couldn't blame my lack of talent on drunkenness! :)
By the way, they tend to have Groupons for these events if you are interested! 

I had been nervous prior to the event, wondering how in the world I would be able to see what the artist was doing. Before that night, I don't think I had painted since childhood (unless pottery painting counts.) In my family, my mom and my sister are the ones with the artistic talent. In fact, my sister is probably the most talented artist I know. My parent's house is full of her beautiful and unique artwork. My friend, Shanna, who went with me is also very artistic so I was a bit intimidated going in. 

But luckily, when I got there, my  nerves settled a bit. The room was set up in a way that there were seats very close to the artist, so I snagged the closest one. I then told the artist and the event assistant that I am visually impaired. They were very cool about it and suggested I snap a photo of the finished painting. This was a terrific idea. And the artist actually suggested it to everyone.
The artist teaching the class was awesome! He was encouraging and non-judgemental.  He made me feel more at ease than I thought I could be. He explained each step clearly and was open to questions. The painting we did was called "Blue Twilight" and according to him was very easy and "forgiving" (meaning you could basically do no wrong with it.)  He was not the original artist of the painting. The finished product depicted a foggy forest at twilight. I feel like mine portrays a "Spooky Old Tree" (Berenstein Bears reference) but I am pleased with the outcome. It will not win any awards but I am actually okay with people seeing it!  

I am glad I gave this a shot!   I now feel a bit more comfortable with a paintbrush in my hand. I am actually looking forward to trying again!  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My kids teach me to "see" what matters

It's been a while since I have posted on here! Not even sure where to begin. So I will start with what is on my mind.

Right now I am in Rockport (a small beach town in Massachusetts)and the kids are taking a walk with their Nana. I have a few minutes so I figured I would get a bit of writing in.
It's crazy to think back to three years ago when my parents insisted I come up to Rockport every week because they were worried about my mental health. And to be honest.. So was I! Ayla was only 1 month old and was a pretty cranky baby. Alexis was 2 1/2 and very happy and active. I was suffering from postpartum depression and basically just going through the motions of life. I felt hopeless and  could not even imagine feeling like myself again. Thank God that after a few months and lots of help, those feelings subsided.

Now it has become tradition to come up to Rockport for a few days a week during the month that my parents are here. In fact, for a while Alexis would list the seasons as: Winter, Spring, Rockport and Fall!  Now Ayla is three and VERY happy. Luckily her mom's depression at the beginning of her life did not have a lasting effect on her ability to enjoy life.
I still do get overwhelmed with life but it is very different than those dark days. I find myself stressing about money, the house, the future, etc. Bu when I just sit back and watch my kids, I am usually able to push through the anxiety and not allow it to take over.

A few nights ago I had a moment that made me realize I needed to let the stress go and enjoy life as it happens. I was putting the kids to bed and Alexis noticed that I was wearing my new "Life is Good" shirt. She said "It should really say 'Life is Great!'" 'I realized that she was right and I am so happy she feels that way. It makes me feel like I am doing something right if my children are this happy.  And it shows me that feeling happy and loved is what matters. Somehow things will work out.. Bills will eventually get paid.  The house will probably stay messy.  But we will be OK.
Everywhere we go people comment on how happy Ayla is. It's probably because she never stops singing no matter where we are or who we are with. I am curious to see how she adjusts to preschool when she can't just belt out songs at the top of her lungs whenever the urge hits!

It's wonderful that my parents share their vacation with us.  The kids absolutely love coming here - playing on the beach, taking walks, getting ice cream and cupcakes, watching movies and more.  I love spending time away from my house for a while!  (Of course we miss Chip!)  It's hard being stuck at home for days on end. This way, we enjoy a few days playing in our yard and a few days here... Breaks up the routine.  And being with my mom and dad is always a treat!

I am going to try to get back in the swing of writing more regularly. There is no excuse for not being able to set aside some time for something I enjoy.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful  summer!