Coming Out of Hiding

Kelly and the girls at the Northeast Florida Fair in Callahan...Yee Haw!
Well hello there, little blog. Yes, I realize it’s been nearly three weeks since I popped in on all you wonderful friends out there in blog land. This try-to-do-it-all superwoman has had a very difficult month, so I’m breaking one of my personal blogging rules today: don’t blog when you are not in a happy place (my blog, my rules; your blog, your rules). I’m not in a happy place not because I’m not happy (and you’ll soon learn I’m also heavily medicated so I might not make total sense right now), I’m just in a sick as a dog place. September, October and November are always my busiest months at work, and they are compounded by my love of Florida State football and two-three large juried arts festivals. This Fall, I’ve actually tried to cut back some…just two shows (St Simons Oct 9-10 and Halifax Nov 6-7) and just three games, only one of which I’ve made it to so far and took the girls with me…but I’ve had more and more put on my shoulders at work, so the cutting back just didn’t seem to work. This week, I have been sicker than I can remember being in quite some time. Today is my fourth day out of work. The last time I was out of work due to illness for four days straight was when I was on maternity leave with the girls seven years ago.

Saturday, I took the girls to the fair with a friend and her daughter, and that’s where I believe Olivia and I picked up the intestinal virus from hell. We both started feeling poorly Sunday and by Sunday night were running high fevers. Suffice it say things got worse from there and we spent all day Monday and Tuesday either in bed or in the bathroom. Livvie’s started clearing up Tuesday afternoon, and she was actually able to go back to school yesterday. But mine showed no signs of letting go and I was also becoming very congested and developing a very bad cough. I finally broke down and went to the doctor yesterday; I must admit I was honestly afraid to be away from the bathroom for the 30 minutes it takes to get to my doctor’s office. He diagnosed me with a severe intestinal virus (duh!) and a severe sinus infection….two totally unrelated illnesses that just happened to attack me at the same time. He put me on an anti-viral and a Z-pack and sent me home to drink lots more fluids and go back to bed. I’ve lost seven pounds since Sunday. Luckily, so far Sarah and DH have shown no signs of either illness. Hopefully that won’t change!

Yes, I know that’s my body speaking to me…telling me that I’m overdoing it. Yet you know what? I look back at the past two months, and there’s unfortunately very little I could have done differently. (This is the same issue I have with the whole “you make time for what’s important” line of thinking I so often hear…frankly sometimes there is simply just not enough time in the day). I cut things out this Fall.  I made a conscious decision to cut out one show and chose a show close to home for October so I could sleep in my own bed; I chose not go to any September games, so I had no travel in September; and I told my guitar teacher that I’d have to forego my lessons the entire month of October, but none of that helped. It was my work schedule that put me over the top, and that, unfortunately, short of quitting my job, is out of my hands. And this week was a big one, with our biggest Fall term event plus two screenings of a national film we’d been planning for months plus a very important college-wide training for which I am one of the process leaders. And nope, the world did not come crashing down because I wasn't there (at least as far as I know…I’m not at work after all, but I haven’t gotten any “the world has come crashing down” emails from my assistant, God bless her).

My point in all this? Not sure, but I’ll give it a shot. First, to the moms out there who are in the same boat as I am, working a very demanding full-time job while also trying to raise your wonderful children and work on your creativity, whether it’s a business or a hobby, listen to your body when it starts telling you that you need a break, and take it. You deserve it, and you need it.  And while you’re at it, listen to your heart when it’s trying to tell you that maybe you need a change, and see what you can do about that too. I’ve been working on that part, but I haven’t come up with a workable option yet. It makes me sad to think that I may have to give up some of the things l love (like my art or music) because my job can be so draining.

And for the moms who live very different lives from me, who work from home or whose creativity is their work, and have time at home with your children…even when you may feel like pulling your hair out because your toddler has smeared spaghetti sauce all over your kitchen cabinets (or your couch), revel in the idea that you have the freedom to be there for that, that you are not in that 8-to-6-plus grind, that you are there for all those little moments working moms miss. It may not seem like the cat’s meow to you, but sister, I know many a working mom out here who would love to lick out of that bowl.

For me? Something’s gotta give. Not sure what that’s going to be yet, but I’ll keep working on it. Right now though, I think I’ll go drink some more Gatorade and go back to bed. Hope you are feeling well!

Today Seven, Tomorrow Fourteen

Sarah in field
DH and the girls drove up to St. Simons Sunday afternoon to play at the lighthouse a bit and then help me break down and pack up. Since my wonderful assistant Whitney is a new mom, I’ve been on my own for shows, and I have to say, it’s really a heck of a lot of work setting up and breaking down by myself, not to mention manning the booth for two days by myself, so the family coming up to help me wrap up was a very welcome sight! This show had a lot of volunteers on Saturday, so I was able to take those much needed bathroom breaks without leaving my booth unattended, but the volunteers were few and far between on Sunday. Overall though, it was a nice little show in a very nice little town, and since it was just 75 miles up the road, I was able to sleep in my own bed each night!

I took this picture of Sarah at the Chickamauga Battlefield back in August while we were up in North Georgia visiting Aunt Livy. I love the contrast of Sarah’s hair and clothing against that rolling green field. On the drive back home from St. Simons last night, Livvie road with DH while Sarah kept me company. Since my back seats were out to make room for all my festival gear, Sarah had the pleasure of sitting up front with me, a first, and she was in hog heaven. We had a very nice hour and 15 minute drive home, singing along to the radio and eating our snacks. She was wearing my sunglasses because she was too small for the sun visor to do her any good. She loves to sing, and she was showing off her seat-dancing moves all the way home, cracking me up. This will be one of those moments that sticks with me, picturing her sitting next to me, feet propped up on the dashboard, wearing my way-too-big sunglasses, singing at the top of her lungs. It’s so true: they do grow up so fast. I know I’m going to blink and tomorrow they will be teenagers.

Taking a Ride with Kellie Pickler

My dad came up this past weekend in his shiny new Corvette. He’s been itching for a new toy and had been trying to decide between a Chevy SSR and a Saturn Sky. So he got a 2002 Corvette. :-) I thought it was an excellent choice, with its Florida State Seminole garnet and gold vibe, though I’m partial to old school convertible Mustangs.

So the funny story behind this picture... Dad took the girls for a ride and had his favorite CD. He asked the girls, “Have you ever heard your Mom sing?” (So yes, I’ve recorded a CD, all covers, long story I first talked about here.) Of course, the girls did not believe it was me. Sarah said something like, “That’s not Mama. That’s Kellie Pickler, Granddad. I know Kellie Pickler when I hear her, Granddad. Livvie, tell Granddad that’s Kellie Pickler.” “Granddad, Sarah said that’s Kellie Pickler. Do you know who Kellie Pickler is?” said Livvie.

Granddad tried to convince them, but to no avail. When they got back, Dad told me to take the girls for a spin, and “By the way, I have your CD in. They think you’re Kellie Pickler.” And by the way, I just WISH I could sing like Kellie Pickler.

So I hopped in the ‘Vette with the girls and Kellie Pickler. When I asked them if they thought that was me, they both replied, “No, Mom [rolling their eyes], that’s Kellie Pickler.” So, I just grinned and picked out a song in which my voice sounded closest to my speaking voice as possible and then sang along with it. Livvie looked at me like I had morphed into an alien, but she was convinced after one song. Sarah still wasn’t convinced by the time we got back to the house, so the Granddad pulled the CD cover out of the trunk and showed it to her. I think she is finally now convinced. And Olivia now likes to sing B.F.D.

I uploaded four of the songs here: B.F.D. originally by Kathy Mattea, Bringing Out the Elvis by Faith Hill, Fever by Peggy Lee, and Nobody Love, Nobody Gets Hurts by Susy Bogguss. Be kind. I’m not Kellie Pickler.

Tuesday Treasury Shout Out—Walk-in Studios

etsy treasury
Isn’t this gorgeous!  Thanks to Ruth and Jesse of Walk-in Studios for including one of my glass tile pendants, third row right.  Click here to visit the treasury site with clickable links to all the gorgeous rosey items included! 

Summer is Fleeting

It’s gorgeous here in north Florida in October. Though Summer is my first love, Fall is a close second. A little taste of crisp air after the heat and humidity of August and September is always welcome. This weekend brought us lows in the upper 50’s, highs in the upper 70’s. Just perfect for us Floridians! We’ve finally been able to turn off the a/c and open the windows. I captured this picture in Boca Grande earlier this summer and just stumbled back across it. I chased this lonely beach ball down the beach for nearly 30 minutes shooting away. Coming across it today reminded me of those fleeting days of summers as fall sets in. I came across this beautiful poem searching “summer is fleeting.” It’s credited to britishkid16 on this poetry website.

The greatest days
of my life
were born and dead
with the passing summer.

There was so much I loved
about those long days
in the time when I knew no worry,
and lived with no haste.

Freedom, and love of life were both mine
when the sun conquered the horizon each morning
The clouds had no bravery
to keep them alive in the sky.

I cherished the thunder that rumbled low
after each bright day
the rains came and went
washing away impurities of the past.

I listened to the ocean,
while I pondered the change to come
Soon I would have to leave,
These celestial summer months.

With time, I started once more on my journey,
to seek what other seasons had for me
I was soon cast away into the gloomy autumn,
with summer left to memories.

Ah, to be a poet...not a writing skill I've ever been able to master.  This week I’m getting ready for my first big Fall arts festival, the Glynn Arts Association Arts in the Park in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. I love St. Simon’s, just over an hour from home, but this will be the first time I’ve participated in this show. In my usual procrastinating fashion, I’ll be up late all this week working on last minute pieces to add to the show. I’ll share a few with you later! Happy Monday!

October Free Bling Friday!

Time for Free Bling Friday! picked lucky comment number 13 as the winner of September's Free Bling, so congratulations to Lola from Murfreesboro, Tennessee!

For October, how about a pair of lovely fall earrings?  I created these with some gorgeous organic silvered lampwork beads, topped with amethyst Swarovski crystal, all set in sterling silver.  They hang approximately 1 1/4 inches. 

To be eligible to win, simply visit either of my Etsy shops (here for jewelry and here for photography) and leave a comment in the comment box below with the link to your favorite piece along with a way to reach you and where you’re from by midnight Thursday, November 4, 2010. Want more entries? Tweet, blog or Facebook this giveaway and leave another comment with the link. The next winner will be drawn via Friday, November 5, 2010. Don't want to miss a single Free Bling Friday? Click here to sign up for free weekly email updates or subscribe in the reader of your choice in the right column over there. Be sure to join my Facebook Fan page for Fan specials! Thanks for stopping in!