Friday, October 26, 2012


sometimes i am overwhelmed by the power of words & the feelings they have the ability to evoke, no matter how simple. and that's exactly what the following did for me. i felt compelled to share, if anyone is reading. 

the radiant meteor storm of October 9, 1933-Larousse Encyclopedia of Astronomy
    "be gentle with yourself. 
    you are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars; 

    you have a right to be here.
    and whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

    therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. 

    with all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    be cheerful.
    strive to be happy." 

    -Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

healthy & encouraging reminders.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

fulfilling my wanderlust- issue one: lagos

A year and a half ago, I set off to Europe for two months to backpack across the continent. I visited nine countries. I met a countless number of people. I fulfilled my wanderlust (though now it is back again.) I realized just recently that the reality of what I actually experienced is just now beginning to sink in. In the moment, there is so much going on-so many emotions & new sights, smells, sounds, feelings- that it isn't always easy to see it all for what it's really worth. Now that I have had time to separate myself from the intensity of it all, I really see how truly freaking mind blowing that adventure was. I have not shared much about my trip on this blog- really only a snippet here. I decided today to begin a series in which I would share simple stories & photographs from my adventures.
people I met
places I visited
lessons I learned

fulfilling my wanderlust- issue 1

We were laying on a secluded Portuguese beach, one that lined the cliffside, & feeling absolutely at one with the world. Well, I can only speak for myself, but I certainly was. I decided to take a solitary walk down the beach to soak up the rays, dip my feet in the saltwater, & fully submerge myself in the amazing moment I was experiencing. I never even knew that I would ever go to portugal...but there I was just days before, taking a road trip across southern Spain and over the border, through miles of sunflower and olive tree fields, to stunning Lagos.
So there I was.
I continued to walk until I could no longer even see my sister & friends behind me. Only cliffs and ocean. And ahead of me...only cliffs & ocean. It was liberating & frightening at the same time. But honestly, I was so enamored by the enlightenment I was feeling, that fear never even struck a chord in me. I found no reason to feel fear. Sometimes beauty blinds you. 
Complete solitude next to soaring cliffs & humbling oceans. 
I just came to the realization that I had my camera with me that day, tucked away in my backpack that I had left behind, yet i didn't take a single photograph of that walk. At first, upon realizing that, I was a little bummed. It didn't take long though for me to become aware of the fact that i wouldn't really want it any way. I was fully focused on where I was in the moment that the image of what was before me is incredibly vibrant in mind. I really wouldn't trade that for a photograph. 
I think that sometimes we can become wrapped up in documenting an experience that we forget to actually experience it fully. I absolutely love to document moments in my life...I have since I was gifted my first film camera at thirteen. But, I am reminding myself here lately to find the balance between immersing myself in the present & documenting it for the future.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

weekend wonders

now that I have an eight to four, monday through friday job for the first time since i first got a job at sixteen years old, i truly savor every minute from four p.m. friday to eight on monday morning. i absolutely love my weekends...especially now that nick & i share a home. this past weekend was ripe with the nostalgic smell of autumn(my very favorite season) & full of really amazing moments with some of my closest friends. 
friday night, we watched our friend's band play at Arts Fest in downtown conway & took advantage of the free photo booth to have this made:

 on a side note, thirty of my students had art in the Arts Fest proud! they were all so excited to find out they would have work hanging for the weekend.

(photo cred to the Baum Gallery of Fine Art, as i only got photos of the inside)

 saturday, nick & i met up with dana & reece to visit the Mirazozo Luminarium. i had been waiting for this day since early this year when i found out it would be coming...and i had no idea it would be as amazing as it was! the Mirazozo is a brilliant piece of art made by a group of artists from Australia who call themselves the "Architects of Air." The entire thing was hand- sewn and uses only natural light to illuminate it's interior. It is a maze of tunnels & alcoves & vibrant domes. this is stuff of dreams, you guys. the intense change of environment i experienced when i walked into the first "room" (the green one) was quite the psychedelic experience.

(laying on the ground, looking up. they didn't know their hands were centered perfectly around this point)

Ever since we moved into our house in mid-august, nick & i had talked about having our first get-together when the weather changed to fall. so, we decided that afternoon that we'd have it this night- the night of the full harvest moon. we cooked way too much amazing food, ate razzleberry pie, drank beers with our friends around the fire pit, & actually felt a little chilly outside in the crisp air (totally a good thing.)

 i am so in love with our little home & it's location. when our fire wood ran out, all we had to do was head to our woods to clear the trail of branches in the moonlight. seriously, so in love.

(mark & hunter are home from their summer in brooklyn!) 

sunday was a lazy day, as sunday's around here usually are. a lazy day to spend with either his family or mine & i love it that way. 

here's to many more free weekends & nights in our backyard with good company & warmth.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I was listening to Mexican Blue by Jolie Holland (one of my all time favorite songs) today when the most glorious thing happened...
it started to pour!

We have been experiencing quite the drought here in Arkansas & as much as I completely adore a summers day bursting with sunshine, rainy days have a magic about them that I feel is so very good for the soul. 

And now I am refreshed. 
Simplicity at it's finest.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

three sweet notions

Upon graduating from college, I was given the most thoughtful gifts from some of the most significant people in my life. I wanted to share them here, as they are so special to me.

1) The book Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin- given to me by my sister in order to encourage me to stay inspired in my quest to fulfill one of my life goals-becoming a doula (or a midwife if I have the time for schooling.) I'm only a short way into it, but it is a beautiful book-full of birth stories, midwife/doula experiences, and valuable knowledge about birth and the human body.

2) Handmade crystal pendants made by my sweet Nicholas. The blue-ish purple crystal is an aura quartz crystal he picked up in Austin, and the other is a delicate Arkansas quartz crystal he discovered here in our home state. He found the bullet shells on a friends property in the Ozark Mountains. Although they look stunning in the photographs, even those do not do these beauties justice. I'm so in love with them.

3) A handmade tissue box for my desk from my amazingly creative momma(seriously, this woman has some talent...she is working towards opening an etsy shop to fill with her quilts and other sewn goodies & i'll be posting about it when she does.) If you are not already aware, I have been studying art education for the last four years & now have my teaching license, as well as hope that by the end of the Summer I will be employed in a school. My mom made me this darling tissue box for my future desk. So cute.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flynn & Ruby

I am a nostalgic person by nature. I am constantly reminiscing, daydreaming about past experiences, missing childhood magic. My personal journal is full of stories from my past, the things I have thought i'd forgotten forever...and then suddenly remembered.  My nostalgia has been at a high point lately, as I think is normal after ending a "chapter in life." Because of this, I have been spending a lot of time looking through all of the old scanned film photos I have on my computer. Since I got my first vintage film camera at the age of 14, I've shot countless rolls & i treasure each and every one of them for their magic and uniqueness. They tell a story in a way digital photos don't. 

Stories like this one that is so dear to me:

 About five or six years ago, my sister & i were playing with our little cousin, Flynn (who might as well be our little brother.) In my parents garden, he discovered a sweet, pitiful baby bird who had just recently passed away. Flynn named her Ruby (possibly because it was much more simple than the last bird we buried, who he named "dirty birdie red fred john") and we promptly carried out a funeral in her honor. 

 We said a few sweet words and a simple goodbye. Flynn buried her with wildflowers he found in the yard, and then covered her in earth. 

   At the end, he found a stick to place over her grave so that he could "know where to find her."

Flynn is now ten and still has a huge heart.
He makes me proud.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

four years

The Greenbelt-Austin, TX

And just like that, four years have passed.
This Saturday, I will graduate with my B.A. in Art Education. 
I started this blog as a freshman, not knowing exactly how amazing the next four years of my life would be. Not knowing how much I would learn, do, go. 
I learned an invaluable amount about the world, the mind, art, myself.
 I went to nine countries.
 I made some friends & lost some, too.

 I am wrapping up my experience at UCA feeling incredibly fulfilled in a myriad of different areas of my life. I was part of, in my opinion, the best program at UCA. Our art department is brimming with talented & inspiring professors (& students alike.)  Being part of such a tight knit community wasn't something i expected, but something that changed my experience in the most positive way. I'll miss so much the Thursday art openings, late nights in the darkroom, the talks after events over pitchers of blue moon with Mark, the constant source of inspiration.
This is such a bittersweet time in life. 
But now, I'm officially an art educator. & i am so incredibly thankful that i chose to take this route. I spent the last four months with the best mentor teacher & 450 kids, age five to ten. I taught them about art & hopefully instilled in them an appreciation for one of the most important things in our lives as humans.  None of them know that they also taught me something-they helped teach me how to teach art to kids. They taught me to think like my seven year old self again & always live life in a carefree manner. My last week at the school was heart-warming...I don't think I have ever received so many hugs! I left with flowers, a sack full of cards & letters...and also a few tears. 

Although this is bittersweet, when I break it all down, the sweetest takes precedence. Closing a "chapter" in life always has it's sad moments, but I have so much to look forward to in this next one. A career, more time to pursue creative ideas & spend time with people I love, and eventually a move to a new & invigorating place.
I can't wait.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


saturdays are my slow mornings...the only morning of the week that allows me to lay in bed for as long as I want, eat breakfast as slowly as I want to, take my time doing whatever it is i want to do. I really do cherish it (and of course wish for more.)