Oliver’s Meadow: Edited

My children’s book, Oliver’s Meadow has been sent out and edited.

This is an exciting step to have completed, along with the hope of launching our Kickstarter Campaign this coming week. With the money raised from our campaign we will be able to fund the rest of the illustrating and design work and to get it listed on IngramSpark for printing.

This is the cover of our book, a beautiful watercolor done by a very talented artist, Hannah Bradford based out of Utah. She has been a gift to work with and through her work my vision for this story is taking shape.

Stay tuned for more details on our campaign!

New Christmas Tradition

I’ve been browsing Pinterest recently (well actually I often do) and fallen in love with the crazy different advent calendars that show up.

Now that my eldest is getting to age where he understands the holidays a bit more I have been wondering what sorts of traditions I want to make in our household with our children.

I mostly like the idea of doing activities with them as opposed to buying them any certain item or taking them shopping. So this year I decided to try the Advent Calendar and to include an activity for each day in December to make the season more memorable for him.

He was so excited each “pocket” I sewed on and will be even more excited once we start on the daily activities. I found a blog on Pinterest, which you can find here to print off activity cards if you don’t have an interest in making a list and creating the cards yourself.

The outer piece of the calendar is made from duck cloth. I happened to pick it up on a remnant sale from Joanne’s for around $10 and maybe used about half of the piece. The fabric I used for the pockets I had on hand. They are a mix of cotton (black and white checker, cream), linen (green) and wool (grey). The fabric I used for the numbers was a canvas material. I used a stencil and craft paint for the numbers.

I didn’t follow a pattern, just liked the look of many different size pockets all places together, so I cut differing sizes and then pieces them out before sewing on the numbers.

Do you have an advent calendar? If so, did you buy it or make it?

Black and White: Week 1

Wow, I really go in spurts with blogging. I’m going to try to post my favorite capture of each week.

This photo was from last week when we celebrated the twins first birthday. At this stage of life it’s nearly impossible to get both of them in the frame and clear. So here is twin beauty, a little hazy and unclear but beautiful just the same.

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New Children’s Book: March 2019

im. not. a writer.

she said.

what are you?

im. a feeler.

what does feeling have anything to do with it?

it. has. EVERYTHING. to. do. with.it

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The other night as my husband and I were finishing story time with our three boys my mind was bursting with many differing thoughts. I asked him: “do you think writers feel emotions deeper.” 

It’s funny, how we can be engaged in mundane tasks and all of sudden feel the need to release a deep thought to find out what others think. His response “I don’t know, why?” with a quizzical expression on his face. 

I replied with: “A moving and powerful story isn’t made with correction punctuation and following all the rules, but rather it is made by telling the story that provokes emotions within you.”

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After thinking about this more, I wrote the piece above. And I feel that it is in the heart of all artists. Art is feeling, its the expression of feeling. The more vulnerable we are to our sense of feelings the more our art reflects what is happening in our life and who we are. 

We, all art in different ways, some through a canvas and paintbrush, others through the art of cutting wood and stacking it in neat, distinct piles. But, lets be honest, it goes back to being vulnerable. When we create, explore, emit feeling we are embracing vulnerability. 

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I had been taught and observed that to practice any amount of vulnerability was to adhere to weakness. I later learned that some individuals chose to not feel or expose themselves to vulnerability as a means of survival, which in essence prohibits them from feeling true joy and unconditional love. 

At first when learning to be vulnerable, after spending sometime shoving it away and banning its existence from your life, its fearful, downright fearful. But just like love, the act of feeling vulnerable isn’t in itself fear, but rather the repercussions, the falling out the love, the possibility of pain or backlash is what creates the fear in us. 

And so the idea of my next children’s book was born. Out of embracing vulnerability, feeling and grieving loss and learning from the best teachers that walk our earth, our children. They don’t think twice about what to express and not to express, they just feel and they express and make peace with all that comes with each and every step of our journey. 

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Each obstacle we meet and each trial we endure is meant for us, for our journey. And last year when we had to say goodbye to a tiny, loving baby boy nephew we questioned, we mourned, we lost, we stumbled, we fell and we broke.

But.

We also were given the chance, to love harder, to cry more openly, to embrace our roles, to reach for dreams, to grow closer to each other and to embrace being vulnerable, so that every aspect we are granted in life, we can absorb more and give more. 

We are here to give our gifts, share them with each other and impact someone else’s journey. My heart aches for all of you mothers and fathers out there who didn’t get to hold your child in your arms, or held them for such a short time. I know that ache is your companion as you journey through the remaining chapters here on earth, and despite knowing its there, I do not know what it feels like. I cannot imagine it. Cannot. 

I can envision my nephew, happy and carefree in his place in heaven, sending us reminders, that we will find peace, that our ache will ebb and our sadness will remain, but happy moments and days will ease it. And that no matter which corner of this earth we call our home, he will be there with us, for we will always carry him in out hearts. 

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The book tells this story, of carrying him in our hearts, of finding reminders in the beauty of nature of him. Explored through the innocence of children, it brings to the life the other side of loss. The acceptance and peace that slowly comes, and the thoughts that he is in a better place. And that when we welcome sunshine back into our hearts and try to walk our journey through our children, we think of him skipping and running through the meadow.

Oliver’s Meadow.

Releasing March 2, 2019.

Thank you for joining us on this journey, please share with all of those who are grieving their loss and missing those little loved ones.