Wow. For whatever reason, I really struggled with this week's prompt of "finding a symbol that is meaningful to you"...Emily's was actually the peace sign too so I was really trying to come up with something other than that, but it's what I kept coming back to over and over again. Instead of fighting it, I just decided to go with it as my symbol too but I wanted to share the story behind the symbol and how it came to be as well. -j
My Dad's birthday was on Saturday. He is one of my biggest sources of inspiration, feedback and support. Not a day goes by that I do not own the fact that I am who I am because of him, his love and support that he has shown me daily. Many of the life lessons that I adhere to my life as an adult were ever so delicately presented to me by this man when I was a child. He showed me that to be angry didn't mean to be loud or forceful, to love didn't always mean hugs and kisses, and that we all have a soul and that it's worth the fight to discover and protect it. That it's the understanding that everything in life cannot be understood that sometimes makes the path before us make sense. That sometimes the the things that we hold most dear will disappoint or fail us, but that it's no reason to give up but a chance for us to grow, to open our hearts to something new and other windows of opportunity. Thank you Dad... I love you. Jenny
History of the Body
Body within my body, I shape you out of almost nothing, give you a tight envelope to surround your soul. I deem you female-eyes cobalt blue, fingers long and translucent-without even realizing it. And after the quantum leap from a single cell to complex organism, much of your body's life is beyond my conscious thought: your waking, your sleeping, the small objects of your complete desire. Complete as the perfect wings of the jay above your head or the pale stars that mark your birth with nothing but pure light. Daughter, I cannot give you anything so complete or so pure. But I can give you something better. Your body, which is your life. And the fierce love of it that no one can take away. And these words that will remind you of that love. And your father's broad hand that opened the door to it. And the blankness of the rest of this page for your own words, your own history.
This is one of my favorites from the book titled I am Becoming the Woman I've Wanted. Not very well known and hasn't won any awards or anything but is and has been one of my favorites since my early college days. One of those books that I would pick up when in need of a little comfort, reassurance or inspiration.
I'm really feeling blessed right now with all the love I'm feeling from family, friends and even complete strangers lately. It's so easy to come here and write thinking that I'm just punching keys for myself, and, really I am, (this has really been good for me), but I sometimes forget that others are reading and looking on with me and for that I thank you. Thank you for not judging me, thank you for applauding me or just nodding in understanding. Your support means so much and I guess I just wanted to thank you for getting to know me a bit better in this way while I am getting to know myself as well. Does that make sense? Hope so! When I was a little girl I used to practice thank you speeches while in the bath tub using shampoo bottles as my microphone, (didn't we all???...please say yes!) and I'm starting to feel a bit cheesy like that right now so I think I'll call this the end of my post! :) Have a great Friday!
The meeting for the Mom's consisted of a lady showing us how to make easy, healthy and fun snacks for our kids, it was informative and fun because we got to sample everything that she was making. I made another connection with a Mom and discovered that a woman with whom I've been communicating with for some time now here is the MIL to a girl that is cousins with one of my good friends from my home town! Talk about a small world! I was also asked if I would like to be in charge of the Arts & Crafts sessions next year for Mop's. I'm flattered that I was asked but haven't committed to anything yet. It would mean going to an additional meeting once a month and planning a project, getting supplies for every member of the group and working with the budget committee, all that stuff will add up quickly I'm afraid. I really want to make sure that I am staying true to what I want and that means making sure that I have time to commit to my family, myself and then others...starting to feel a bit of anxiety about having offered more time to the bakery in the summer months as well as starting another job, (which I'm really excited about!) at the scrapbook store teaching this summer. I have such a hard time saying no to people and then I become resentful when things start getting pushed back in my personal life, whether that be having one day a week to spend on family time or just having the energy left at the end of the day to even just think about a creative project that I am interested in pursuing. I feel that for so long I was hoping for that "spark"...the drive for a certain direction to go in and now that I've found it I feel the need to fiercely protect my resources so that I can have the time and the energy to put forth the effort...for myself, so that I am able to move forward in that direction. Obviously I know that this is not a unique struggle, that everyone struggles with commitment, sacrifice and balancing things that make up our lives. I am just extremely aware now in this moment that people make their own choices and that I shouldn't assume responsibility for them and their decisions but only for my own. Now I just have to make them! :0 -j
Had a very nice visit this weekend with a friend here in town. Discovered that she is into scrapping, card crafting and photography! She actually had a booth in an art fair last summer and was inquiring whether or not I might be interested in joining her! It's so fun to be around someone else that's passionate about creating as much as I am...she has a little boy who is 1 and a half so Zoesie was happy to have someone to play with as well. Very nice morning for us both and a good start to the weekend.
Saturday Ethan, Zoey and I traveled to Sayner and did some exploring there. Checked out their library, discovered a very cool art supply store, (okay, I knew about this before traveling to Sayner!), some other neat little shops and totally by accident we discovered a sweet little white clapboard church...the smallest church that I've ever seen, completely operational with Sunday services and everything and what really got me was that there were little candles lit in every window! It was so sweet and charming and made me feel all warm and cozy inside. Who needs fancy stained glass and temples to praise the Lord...one of the things that I remember most about attending church camp was the services held in the chapel and the sound of all our voices together with just bare bones acoustics accompanied. Gives me chills just thinking about it. I imagine the sound of people's voices singing in that church is quite similar. Wish I had taken a picture...would have been a neat one.
And then last night after logging on to the old computer I discovered that Emily Falconbridge commented on my mini journal! I am pretty excited and flattered! Made me feel really good...also to have other fellow scrappers commenting as well. Pretty neat community of people out there if I do say so myself! -j
Lot's of things are inspiring me right now, this sounds so corny but when I sit back and really think about the things in our world and what people are doing, and what we are all capable of...I am struck with how crazy-amazing it is...what's being put out there by people and what's possible these days...so many creative people doing really small and really big, all totally awesome things. I'm realizing more and more that everyone has a dream and that what matters is their vision, their version of success, I really want to be respectful of others and their lives. Just because something doesn't strike me as interesting doesn't mean that I should discredit it because it means something to someone else and that in itself is the really cool thing. Am I rambling? Just really want to remember to be kind I guess, we're all in this life together after all and sometimes, (at least I've found), it's the really small instances that mean so much. A compliment, someone starting a conversation with a stranger, a smile, waving someone through a stoplight. You get the idea...
Anyways, some of my inspiration as of late is coming from 1. rediscovering music by Tracy Chapman, I SO love her voice and her lyrics speak right to my heart...(I think the first time that I listened to her music was from a mixed cassette tape that one of my older sisters made that I listened to on the sly when they were visiting!) 2. loving playing with all my new scrap goodies that I got from my in-laws over Christmas, thank you! :) 3. discovering the works of Bill Sullivan...WOW what an interesting concept, not only visually but about people in general! 4. Sabrina Ward Harrison's photography is AMAZING! Check it out here. 5. and yes, this website and magazine is something that I enjoy, what can I say, she has lots of great craft projects! 6. I love checking out the gallery at 2peas to see what other scrapper's are doing 7. love spending the afternoon hanging with Zoey...that's always inspiring! Just watching and listening to her makes me stop in awe so many times throughout any given day. :) 8. Loving spending Saturdays with Ethan and Zoey and doing "family" type things together...very thankful for that. And I guess finally, life is inspiring me...so amazing, so fragile, so crazy, and so short. May we enjoy more and complain less. -j
Went to the Northwoods Children's Museum today in Eagle River and had a blast! Not sure who enjoyed it more, Zoey, Ethan or I. So much to see and do...and everything is interactive for the kids. Such good stuff, can't believe it's right here for us to take advantage of! Zoey got to pick vegetables in a garden and then prepare them on an old wood stove and set the table for her babies to eat...she could then put the babies to sleep or take them out shopping at the market...once there she purchased dry goods and meat from the butcher, (played by Ethan!), and then she checked out her goods using her own money! Then we explored a river with two currents flowing in opposite directions...experimented cause and effect by throwing in some boats, frogs and sharks in the river. She also got to fly in a space shuttle, drive an ambulance and work in the E.R. After a long shift at the hospital she took a break to read in the tree house and then we had to visit the babies again in the log house. There was so much to see and do it was unbelievable! We didn't cover half of what was there just because there was so much. Both Ethan and I think that this place far surpasses what Madison's Museum has to offer. And, this place has things of interest that will grow with Zoey. There's an art's and craft's room, a building room, a music room, and lots of little fun hiding places to just chill and hang out in. Good stuff! You can see all the photo's from today's exploring by clicking here. :) -j
You really need to read it all in context to get the idea but it really spoke to me today, for whatever reason. I think that we as women need to embrace the idea that we DO NOT have to be perfect. It is okay to need more, to ask for help, to have days that we are sad for no reason. It is okay to be just who we are and nothing more and nothing less. We should be able to complain to one another and have the other say, "I'm sorry." and that is all. No remedies no recommendations...just acknowledgment of knowing that things are tough right in this moment for this woman. That should be okay. If only I can remember this and be there for Zoey in this way down the road when she becomes a woman. -j