In Gratitude

Out of the dark night, the sun still rises to once again cast light and warmth to all. The sun has risen. I may bask in it or turn my back. The sun will shine either way. I am free to focus on the shadow or the light that creates it. I always have a choice.


Joy Journal No.10

JJNo10So, I took a little break from life with a fabulous girls trip to Vegas. WOW. We had such an amazing time. I went with my best friends, I’ve known them since the second grade. They have always been there for me through thick and thin, and I am so greatful every day of my life that they still play such an important role in my life. And this trip had it all ;)  We laughed, we cried, we fought, we shopped, we danced, we sang, we stayed up until the wee hours of the morning. It was just what my spirit needed. I felt so Blessed.



There is also something to be said about four beautiful women painting the town red in Vegas. Everywhere we went we had ‘suits’ coming up to us to put us on the guest list for this club or that club. We had no lines or covers to get in anywhere and sometimes even had open bar. PRETTY SWEET!! Vegas really knows how to hook a sister up :)  And while I do have stories that I WON’T be sharing here ;) Man, we created some fabulous memories.. My stomach still hurts from laughing till dawn.  We are already planning our next trip together. Look out NYC, here we come ;)

Joy Journal No.9

JJNo9Ahhh. With so many things that bring me joy I decided to focus on friendship and fun today :)

Kind of a two-for-one.

First joy today; premium cable, yep. True. I don’t watch very much TV, I don’t really even Tivo anything anymore. But I have a handful of shows on HBO and Showtime that I am 100% addicted to.. Oh, they make me happy :)  I am a HUGE fan of Dexter, Weeds, and Big Love, was a super massive fan of The Sopranos, I LOVE PREMIUM CABLE>> These series are like little mini movies that just keep you HOOKED.. They are brilliant.

I recently started watching the first season of Breaking Bad, I’d never heard of it before, BUT, wow, after the first episode, I just wanted to sit and watch the entire season straight through. It’s fantastic.

_MG_8561So, part two of today’s joy. Is watching said episodes with a good friend. I don’t know why, but somehow it just makes them better. A glass of wine, good company, it’s just fun. I have a great friend with whom I get together a few times a week and we watch Breaking Bad together. I think we both look forward to it, where we can rehash our day and then watch someone else’s disfunctional life for a while.. Yep.

Truly good times :)

Joy Journal No.8

JJNo8So I am having a blast sharing my joy journal with you :) It’s refreshing to shift your focus once in a while and really think about the things in your life that make you happy. Little or big… The things that bring you joy. It does help to put what you have into perspective. And this journal has been very good for me.

Today’s little joy, is food related. [Yes, I’m a foodie and PROUD of it!] But let’s zero in, shall we? Today’s little joy is more accurately known as.. Sushi… YUM.

Yes, Sushi just makes me happy… It’s almost like eating an art form. How cool is that?? I mean just LOOK at it?? It’s beautiful. _MG_8540


_MG_8534 Couple that with a bowl of yummy edamame and I am in serious foodie heaven. Oh yeah, it’s that good. I’ve even been able to get my girls to try some sushi too. Nothing too ostentatious, Brenna loves most things tempura, so she LOVES Vegas rolls, and Lorynn will actually eat a California roll or two before she decides she wants something else ;)  Start them young and by the time they are old enough we can enjoy Sushi and Sake together.. Cool Beans.


Joy Journal No. 6&7

JJNO6and7Yep, it’s the weekend, so since I’ve been spending it playing with friends I am combining ;)

Today’s joy is pretty simple, but quite honestly something that can turn a bad day into fantastic. I am not sure why it is, but I LOVE driving… Not just any driving though.. I like to drive fast with the window’s rolled down and the music cranked up as loud as my speakers will allow me. It just makes my heart sing. Yes, I’ve eluded to this before. There is seat dancing, loud belting of tunes and the occasional air guitar; and cold weather doesn’t stop me.. If it’s cold; you just crank up the seat warmers and the heater. It is instant satisfaction… And happily my girls enjoy it with me. Yes, sometimes the music is different when they are DJing, but nothing makes my heart smile more than to hear Lorynn singing along as loud as she can in the back seat..

Today was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the roads were clear, and it was just me and an ipod full of happiness.  Good times.


Joy Journal No.5

JJNo5Today has been kind of a hard day for me. I seem to be trucking along as I often do, doing what needs to be done, then WHAMO. I get side swiped by a rush of emotions. [What is that about??]

Today was just hard. At one point. I had both of my daughters crying in the backseat on their way home from visiting their dad’s house because they missed him, and they didn’t get to snuggle him.

Sometimes divorce is heartbreaking. Then, me; sitting in the car, listening to music that was just too melancholy. Letting it take me to that place… Wait a minute.. This is a JOY JOURNAL. Snap out of it.

Today’s little joy is COLOR. Ahhhh. Ok, it’s a big joy for me. I find that if I surround myself with color, it breathes creativity into me. I need it. It’s like a silver cocoon wrapping around me, feeding me, filling me. We’ve been in our cute little house for a bit over a month and I’ve painted 4 rooms :)


ColorJoyThis is the painting that sits directly over my dining room table. It’s painted with metallic acrylics, and it’s so gorgeous it SHINES>> It literally brings sunshine to my soul every morning :) It has all of my favorite colors in it, although this photo doesn’t show it very well.. Rusted Orange, Aqua, Limes and Browns. Its just yummy. Couple that with the calming blue-green on the wall.. Yes.. Pure Happiness :)

Joy Journal No.4

JJNo4I finally stopped into a shabby chic consignment store today that has been calling my name since I moved to my new place. I ooooed and ahhhhhed for a good hour. It was fantastic :)

Chatted up the cute little store owner, and talked about the possibility of me selling some art to her… Hmmm. The wheels are turning, for sure.. I’ve been wanting to dive in more to painting. I’m still unpacking all those supplies (OMG, you should SEE my garage!!) But the plan is to organize the second car garage into a workable art space.. YEP, that makes me giddy with excitement. All my supplies have been tightly packed for over a year. They need to get out and stretch their legs, breath a little.. Poor babies.

monkeysI also fell in love with a sock monkey today. It was so cute, it needed a photo taken.

The colors alone make me happy :) Other items of joy today.. Tomorrow is Friday, and I have plans to have NO PLANS. AHHH :)  And while Friday holds NO PLANS for me, Saturday and Sunday are looking to be jam packed with excitement and fun.. I love weekends like that :) Best of both worlds…

Been getting into a good routine at the gym. I’m determined to be bikini ready come summer.. Yep, that brings me mucho joy. I am spending the weekend with my two best friends, nothing like a little wine, lots of laughter, deep conversations and heartfelt confessions to make a girl feel right with the world.. YOU KNOW?

Joy Journal No.3

AH.. Wednesday :)

Today’s little snippet of joy was walking down the scrapbooking isle, and seeing one of my favorite Christmas lines EVER.. Almost completely sold out ;) I love it when yummy paper goes to a good home :) It makes me so happy. And I love seing my work in other people’s art. It’s such a great feeling!! Flipping through any scrapbooking or paper magazine, I always see pieces of something of I’ve created… It’s uber cool.

IMG00080-20100203-1525I created these papers originally for a digital line as ‘Merry Kissmas’ and then was asked to redo them as a paper line for Fancy Pants, ‘Frosted’.  Either way, the colors in them, the snowflakes, the delicious distressing.. well, it all just makes me happy. Some of my favorite layouts ever have been created using these papers :) I just dig it..

So. Other things that have brought me joy today, in easy to read bullet form, oh YEAH ;)

  • Texting with some of my new friends :)
  • A Soy Chai with sugar-free vanilla YUM.
  • Almost finished unpacking my office (it’s getting there baby!)
  • Drinks tonight with someone COOL.
  • Lots of creative ideas to keep me busy
  • A gorgeous blue wall just calling out for some photos to be taken.
  • Cleaning Day! (yep, I went there.)

And Tomorrow is Friday! Then I’ve got a weekend spent with my girls.. I think we are going to do squeeze in a movie night, and perhaps some shoe shopping… SWEET!

Joy Journal No.2

JJNo2Ahhh :) It’s a long day today.. But it’s been a good one.

Today’s little snippet of joy was the arrival of my canvas. Seeing  it printed, ordered from WHCC on their new float wraps (15×30), it looks AMAZING in real life. (printed on metallic with gloss finish)

I made this art for my bedroom, it’s good feng shui, my own personal spell of happiness and love. Hung in just the right place to bring me good energy. It’s the first thing you see when you walk into the bedroom. I love it.

It makes me happy to see it. Yes, hanging this will only fuel the fire in wanting to paint my bedroom, but I’ve only got a few more rooms to paint and then I will be done for a while. I’ve decided to go red, black, and grey in the bedroom. It’s dramatic, and vibrant. Hmm.. Just talking about it makes me want to paint. I think the only thing stopping me … the dilemma of moving my ginormous kind sized bed.. BUT, where there is a will; there is always a way :)

Joy Journal No 1

Welcome to February.. Can the calendar REALLY be true? Wow.

So I’ve decided for the entire month of February, I am going to share my Joy Journal here. In many ways it is much like a gratitude journal, but with my own little spin.. There is so much that I am thankful for, little things that bring me joy. This journal is a way for me to celebrate that, to help me recognize and see all of my little joys, my little truths for what they are.. It’s all about the big and little things that make me smile.

JJNo1So today I was happily blessed with the opportunity to visit with one of my best friends for a lunch date. Kristie and I go way back.. (I’m talking second grade here!) And no.. I am NOT going to drudge out those photos to prove it..(Lee, you had better not either!) I am so fortunate to be surrounded by the very best of friends. People who get me and see me as I am.


JJLeeWe are there for each other through all of life’s ups and downs. It truly is a beautiful thing and I couldn’t imagine my life without my best friends. Kristie and I see each other often, even though she lives an hour away. Today I made the drive and the drive itself made me happy. Blue skies; speckled with clouds, (OMG could spring be on the way??) music cranked up as loud as my speakers could handle it. I found myself flying down the highway with a HUGE grin on my face, god; it was just what I needed today.

JJDrive (1)You will excuse the crappy snap shots.. I only had my camera phone with me today.. It did however make me realize how much I LOVE photography, and how I NEED to be doing more of it. For a while there, I took a break, wasn’t even packing my camera in the car with me when I was out and about. Today that changes.

I crave taking images. I love the excitement it holds for me. People, places, things.. It doesn’t really matter. I am vowing to make it more a part of my daily life. It fulfills me.

So, a few more items to add to my Joy Journal today..

Recognizing I need to start packing my camera with me ALWAYS because I crave images more than I crave most anything else. Learning how to use my camera phone because even though a girl may have her principles, every image does not always have to be perfection ;) Driving down the freeway at speeds of 95+ miles an hour, just feeling free, happy and alive, blasting out one of my favorite songs over and over again.. Learning all the words to said favorite song, and belting that sucker out for all to hear :)  - Can you say, seat dancing in the car??




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