Posts tagged life
A day of satisfaction

Satisfaction is a funny thing (keeping it clean here, friends).

I am rarely content. There's always something I want to do, or something I don't want to do, or something I wished I hadn't done. I'm a pretty passionate, driven kind of person.

I am rarely satisfied.

Except for one day of the year. And that is my birthday. Today is my birthday.

And today I allow all the memories of joy flood my interior space. It's a day of virtual scrapbook flipping, remembering all of the people and events that have brought me to this day. And likely, if you're reading this, you're involved in one of those memories.

Even if we haven't had the pleasure of face-to-face meeting or even engaging in witty banter on social media, I'm thinking about you today and grateful that you take the time to click over to this space to see what's going on. Your clicks, your reading, and your encouragement have given me the trust that this space can flourish into something I really want it to be - a piece of heaven and a piece of me.

Indulge me here, it is my birthday, on sharing two snippets of wonder wisdom from my deep old age of 39:


A very hard lesson for me to learn, but I have re-learned it again and again in my decades is to be grateful. A great saint once said, "Problems, too, have their purpose. Be grateful for them." Sometimes, most times, I hate conflict. I no longer shy away from it, but I still detest it. And what I'm oh so, so, so slowly learning is that I learn in conflict. I grow in a challenge. Even when I screw up big, life goes on. Might as well be grateful.

And so I am.


I live in a world and in a time when anything can happen. When seen from a negative angle, this is terrifying, but when seen from a level perspective, this is pretty exhilarating. I laugh when I think back to my little girl dreams of being a ballerina (I took one ballet class when I was 6) and being an artist. My dreams are so much bigger now, even more fantastical perhaps, but many of them are coming true. Take for example this space. Pars Caeli has given me friendships with very talented and encouraging people and given me professional opportunities that I didn't even imagine.

I have moments - maybe you do, too - where I'm physically struck by how good my life is.

I had one last week, walking in from the garage, with the smell of fresh herbs in my hands. I was struck and fell back just slightly. No one around me likely noticed.

We'd just returned from the nursery, where we went as a family, to purchase our future garden. My children come alive around plants and flowers, and they were sniffing their way around the place, running down the aisles of color, and making up songs to celebrate the joys of summer on its way. I watched my husband carefully peruse each vegetable, considering which could handle our lack of open sunshine in the backyard now that the trees we've planted are so tall and lovely.

I realized that I am living the dream that I had not fully formulated as a little girl. And I am so grateful.

Lovely people have asked me what sort of special something I'm doing for my birthday. I'm headed into work, taking a break to go to the orthodontist with C, and then heading into three hours of dress rehearsal for my daughters' ballet performance.

And, you know what? I'm just delighted. Because this is my "normal," and this is my dream.

And I am completely satisfied.

xoxo, MJ

Living life

Hi friends, Man, oh, man, it has been busy around here! I've been away with work while my husband hung out with our kids as they developed the stomach flu. I returned on Sunday evening to a clean house, healthy kids, and a warm welcome home -- nothing short of miraculous.

I'm working on two projects that I can't wait to show you, but they're not quite to the show-me stage.

I'm also monster tired. And in need of a little refresh.

But I've been thinking alot about the quote above. And how my best laid plans now look quite different, and I still think I'm living the life I'm intended to live. It takes me a while to adjust to different plans and the emotions I lay on that transition.

But here I am. In an unexpected place, ready to embrace something new heading my way.

You just never know, you know?

xoxo, MJ

The Happiest Monochrome You Ever Saw

Hi, hello! How are you, friends? I feel like I've been on a silent retreat for a week, and now all I wanna do is gab and give you a hug to tell you how much you've been missed!!

Welcome to the new monochromatic Pars Caeli. I'm a girl in love with color so this is going out on limb for me, but I'm hoping this new ste up will allow all the colorful creations and inspirations to pop right off the page and into your life. I have some great fun planned for the coming weeks, and I'm completely grateful you're taking the adventure with me!!

Here's the skinny on what's up: for the fall semester (I still live my life according to the academic calendar), I'll continue my three days a week posting - Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. A funny thing happened to my waistline over the summer - it expanded! And instead of putting on my freshman 15, I put on my indulgent summer 15, so I'm vowing to use my time away from the blog to animate this body back into motion. Yes, my friends, there's some nutrition, running, and yoga in my future. I don't one regret one s'more or second plate of pancakes - I let myself enjoy the loveliness of food - but now it's time to get back in the groove. Are you feeling it, too?

My hair got nine inches shorter with a bit more sass, and you're going to see some of that same busting out around here, too. We're talking weekly projects, new series, fresh collaborations and a whole lot of good time. Ya with me?

Are you ready for fall and the amazingness it brings? Check this out for a little bit of inspiration.

I'll see you here tomorrow to share our fall bucket list (is yours ready yet? Here's what we dreamed up last autumn). I'd love to hear what you're up to..

xoxo, MJ



I know what the tooth fairy brought me

C, age "almost-five", has her first wiggly tooth. My babies all teethed early, like at three months, and now these markers of childhood are wobbling their way out to make room for big, better, stronger, grown-up chompers. 

I was ready for this to happen two years from now. 

But I guess that's not really how life happens - when you're ready for it.

M sat in the backseat with her little sis this week, and softly asked, "Are you a little scared and a little excited about your tooth?" As I watched in the rear view mirror, I saw C hesitantly nod a smiling affirmation to her sister (now a boasting owner of 8 adult teeth). 

New adventures bring out these same emotions in me. I'm a little scared and a little excited for all that is to come, and I am a whole lot grateful for your presence in the journey.

Many deep and shallow thoughts (did you see the big banner and Instagram additions?!) going on around the blog this week, and I've loved hearing from so many of you in comments and tweets.

Thanks for your inspires.

Fun is in store next week with a little DIY and a giveaway (sneaky peaky below:)

 Thanks for coming over! Let's chat again soon.