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Archive for February 2012

favorite things . Taped

I’ve been adding to this collection for a while and I finally settled on a few of my favorites to include. I’m also experimenting with a  new digital collage approach to sharing them — could be a trend!

1. Sketchbook tissue tape — butterfly illustrations & handwriting from PaperSource.com
2. Japanese washi paper tape from HappyTape.com — love the turquoise and red combo
3. Alphabet tape from House Industries — I think I love everything from this foundry.
4. Red & blue ticking stripe fabric tape from PaperSource.com
5. Semi-transparent washi tape from Top Hat — for an overlapping pattern

photo essay . Stone

I love the multi-colored grayness that stone and concrete adopt as they age. Time seems to soften even the hardest of materials.

favorite things . Feathers

I’ve been noticing some lovely feathers lately — both in the plump late winter birds outside my window these days and in some of my wanderings across the design sphere. Feathers always have a delicate and tender quality to me, and I think these well-designed items capture that. Enjoy…

Porcelain tiny cup from Villarreal Ceramics (her whole collection is beautiful)
Letterpress card from Papyrus (just in time for Valentine’s Day)
Embroidered linen pillow from Aldea Home
Hand screen printed table runner from Elkhorn Design (some bolder feather pillow designs too)

field trip . Magnolias

Earlier this week I took a little field trip to the Mississippi State University campus. There are some beautiful and sweet-smelling Magnolia varieties in the center of campus that simply burst in Spring. Even though it’s only early February, we’ve had enough mild Mississippi weather that the varieties are already in full bloom. I thought I’d share a few of the images. We’re expecting a hard freeze this weekend, so these petals will distract me from the cold. Hope you enjoy!

photo 020712 . First Blush

Starkville, MS — Mississippi State University campus

Tantrums

Being a Mommy can be tough. I admit, along with Mommies and other people everywhere, that sometimes I just completely mess up with my kids. I know that when I choose a battle, as their parent, I need to win it. An older and more seasoned mother gave me that advice once. But, sometimes I choose my battles all wrong. Sometimes I inexplicably dig my heels in on some insignificant issue. Some ridiculous stance that has no meaning beyond “Mommy said so” — and I’m the Mommy in the room. Sometimes it’s about not wanting to stop what I’m doing. Sometimes it’s about being tired. Sometimes it’s about being tired of being needed. Sometimes it’s about wanting to be in charge at any cost. Sometimes it’s about being annoyed. Sometimes it’s about being ornery with some frustration entirely unrelated. Whatever it’s about, it’s almost always a stubborn, stand your ground, kicking and screaming tantrum. Mine. Not theirs.

Yeah, it’s an internal tantrum. It occurs in my thinking where I insist I’m in charge. Where I scream that it’s my way and everybody’s gonna know it. On the outside I may speak with a more rational facade that “mommy said no,” or “you need to obey,” or “mommy’s not going to change her mind,” or “this is all you, sweetie.” But on the inside, the bottom line is “this is what I want to do.” And we’re going to do what I want to do. My way.

And later, when the tears of this particular battle have been shed and the disappointment absorbed, I realize. That was all ME. Being an idiot. Focusing on something silly and staking my whole world at that moment on it. For in that moment, my world became about some stupid bandaid or special sippy cup or the time to rewind or the extra handful of cheese from the fridge, or whatever they wanted that I wouldn’t give. I let my whole world be about stupid instead of about them.

I chalk it up to misplaced frustration, or an overworked day or just a bad mood. I own it. And I go back to them. I give them what they wanted. That silly thing that mattered to them, but somehow mattered to me more than those amazing little hearts. And I tell them. Mommy tries to do it right, but sometimes I handle it all wrong. Mommy wants the very best things for them, but sometimes I make the wrong choice. And I tell myself again. Sometimes mommy messes up. All mommies do. All kids do. All people do. And their whole lives won’t be colored by that moment when Mommy did it all wrong. Their hearts and minds and spirits are way too big and wonderful for that.

In those moments I realize that perhaps the greatest lesson I teach them is that Mommy isn’t perfect. That imperfections make us real. They show us we feel and think and choose — even if it’s all wrong sometimes. And in feeling and choosing and thinking, we gain the unexpected privilege of offering compassion and patience and forgiveness and mercy.

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