Posts tagged words
Frustration

MJ and the horrible, no good, very bad day.

This is how I would title my Monday. Midafternoon, sitting at our second gas pump, also empty of gas, I turned to my 6- and 8-year old daughters and said, "Remember that book 'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day'?"

C, the 6-year old, "Mommy, you're having one of those days, aren't you?"

I'm grateful she gets me.

I should have smelled the stress of the day in the morning when THE totally dependable friend was unable to pick my daughter as we had planned. Now as the primary chauffeur I needed to take her (already an hour late) into art camp which then delayed the golf camp and then delayed the preschooler activities.

And then at work it was, of course, the day that we all really needed to meet to discuss a large project. I arrived just in the nick of time to begin the meeting but then had to remove myself gracefully after 15 minutes.

It was already time for me to begin again and drive to pick up all the campers and deposit them in their respective homes.

And all this driving created an immediate need for a gasoline.

And apparently hundreds of other cars also needed gasoline as I tried to squeak out the last drop of two pumps run dry.

Anyway, let me skip through the chapters of the horrible, no good, very bad day and simply say that all the small things in life that could go wrong, well, they did go wrong on Monday.

Of course this was all amplified by the absence of my husband and the huge help he is to calm me, to care for the kids, and to wrap his arms around the troubles of life.

Despite my low-grade frustration all day long, I found myself laughing internally as if asking the universe, "What are you sending me next?"

I started to play a game with it. I dared the Universe to show me just how spent I would feel after the next event.

And the more I made a game of it and the ridiculousness of it all, I found myself smiling, laughing, and making deliberate efforts to change my perspective on the day.

Life can be one big ball of frustration and rapid-fire challenge.

But truth is, we have each other (like I did with the friends who offered to watch my children longer), and we have our sense of perspective (skewed as that may be at times), and, a real gift to me, we even have laughter if we can allow ouselves to be open to it...

 

Unclenching fists

Relaxing shoulders

Finding the light-hearted in every situation.

 

This is my wish for you today.

xoxo, MJ

 

 

 

 

Make It: Washi Tape Frames

Hi there, lovelies. It's wonderful to have you back here again. I missed you at the end of last week, but I promise I've been working some magic behind the scenes to move Pars Caeli to a new level of fabulous.

I had a wonderful birthday - thanks for all the wishes - that was topped off by a fantastic performance of Wicked. Though I'd heard the music and read the book, it was my first time seeing the musical, and I loved it!! Many other special, special moments continued throughout the weekend and into Mother's Day.

PC_mothersday.jpg

I have definitely grown into motherhood and grown from motherhood. Lately as they are now 3, 5, and 8, I find myself staring at my kiddos, amazed at the people they are becoming. Where did these lovely souls come from, and how did I get so lucky to share in life with them? I'm not sure, but I am most definitely humbled and grateful.

And on that note, I have an easy DIY I want to share with you. I made these cheeky notecards with vinyl letters last week that I'm stuffing in packages headed out to some of my favorite bloggers who joined in For the Love of Blogging series.

One of my favorite parts to these bundles are some sacred words.

These inspirational quotes come directly from the writers themselves.

I wanted to create something special for these writers, photographers, artists, and stylists. And as any crafter knows, washi tape is the most forgiving medium around so I was able to adjust and rework the prints as I wanted.

PC_washitapeframe_!.jpg

Here's what you need: cardboard, fun paper, glue, washi tape, and a bulldog clip for hanging.

I treasure the words these bloggers shared with me. And I hope they treasure their own words in the same way. Sometimes we discount our own wisdom, don't we? I think with these prints around, it will be a lot harder to do!!

PC_washtape)2.jpg

STEP 1: Design your print. Load paper. Print.

STEP 2: Trim print and cardboard to the same size. These are 5x7 but make them in any size you'd like.

STEP 3: Glue paper to cardboard. I used rubber cement just because I love it.

PC_washitape_6.jpg

STEP 4: Add washi accents. Make sure that you use the washi tape around the edge to combine the cover the cardboard/paper seam.

STEP 5: Add a washi either right next to the framed edge or a bit closer into the center for more of a matted look.

STEP 6: Attach a bulldog clip for hanging!

PC_washitape_5.jpg
PC_washitape_3.jpg
IMG_1725.JPG

Have you ever framed your own words?

xoxo, MJ

P.S. A brand new Celebrate the Normal is headed your way on Wednesday; don't forget to tag your photos. And, I'll be joining in Anne's Love Yourself in a special Tuesday post tomorrow. Hint: The temptations of Photoshop.

Sacred Moments

Happy Tuesday, friends! I'm sorry I missed you yesterday and Itty Bitty Lovelies.

I'm still recovering from a full weekend. We relished in soccer games and family fun as well as celebrating my oldest daughter's First Communion. It was both a small and a large happening.

I was the lucky one who got to sit next to my daugther during the Mass as she fidgeted with nervousness and smiled small smiles of reassurance to her inquisitive, overbearing mama.

I had expected her to grin from ear-to-ear, like she'd been doing the last week as she talked about how grown-up she'd been feeling with this sacred rite ahead of her. But instead my first baby, my now mature 8-year old, was very deliberate, specifically focused, and, one might even say, intense.

At times during the Mass I tried to get her to giggle to lighten her mood, and she shushed me to quiet.

I looked down at those long eyelashes and blushing red cheeks, and I remembered that sometimes falling in love is serious. And the most sacred moments of our lives sometimes come with a clarity and beauty that makes joy seem obsolete.

I feel particularly blessed to witness this lifelong love story of faith.

Sharing these words of wisdom that have been particularly comforting to me as of late.

xoxo, MJ

Celebrate the Normal: A New Series

First off, my dears, thank you so much for all the insightful comments throughout the regular (sort of, right?) Tuesday/Wednesday series, Chat It Up. My intent behind the creation of Chat It Up was to have a space to listen and converse like old friends, and you all have been so gracious to engage in all sorts of different topics and posts! Now we're ready to move into something new, and I'm excited!!

Can I share something I've been trying to work around for a while?

I lead a normal life.

 

Alright, there. I said it.

I'm married and a mother of three children. I have a full-time job in communications. I drive (wait for it) a dark blue minivan (ahk, the horror! :)). I don't have a lot of opportunity to travel. I don't eat at amazing restaurants often or bring together meals that would amaze you. I haven't (yet) created photoready interior spaces to gawk at or crafted something that would stop you in your tracks.

But.

I have a knack for appreciating the mundane and celebrating the ordinary. Perhaps it's my Catholic faith and my love for Ordinary Time over the high points of Easter and Christmas. Or perhaps it's my desire to always support the underdog, the underappreciated around us. Or maybe it's because this is my life, the one I've been graced with, the one I've worked quite hard to create, and I love this normal.

When I began taking art lessons in high school, my first instruction was to begin really seeing and looking at everything. Noticing shadows and changes in tone. Examining the saturation of light and the details of texture once overlooked. I remember driving home that afternoon and finding the lines created by telephone wires and the pattern that emerged from the curbside rocks all freshly intriguing.

So here's where you come in.

Tell me, are you normal, too? Hipsters and desperate housewives need not apply.

Every Wednesday on Pars Caeli, I'll be celebrating the normal and ordinary through words and photographs and images. I'd love for you to join me because it's a hashtag party.

Snap away on Instagram and use this hashtag - #celebratethenormal - to capture the beauty of the ordinary around you. Images of people, places, and things are all welcome. In fact, you might be one of those 'Grammers who is more about the caption than the photo so bring that on, too!! I'll be featuring these beauties on Wednesdays (along with links to your account and/or blog if you're cool with that. If you'd prefer to submit anonymously, too, please do).

You've got the whole week, and I'll check in every Monday at midnight to pick some selections for that week's Celebrate the Normal.

What's your extraordinary normal look like? Show me. I bet we can elevate it to something pretty amazing.

xoxo, MJ