Valentines Day Art!

I found an awesome company via Instagram, Now Yours Deals. I love them, they have new cute stuff every day! You can follow them @nowyoursdeals or sign up for their email list at http://www.nowyours.com

Today they have this SUPER cute chalkboard printable for sale. It’s only $4 and it’s available for download instantly! It can print up to engineering size prints! I’m loving these lovey dovey prints to work on re-doing our master bedroom, check out the art here

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5 Years Is A Long Time

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To me grief can become a bit of a slippery slope. I don’t mean the normal process of grieving the kind that is healthy an necessary and different for everyone. I mean the darkness. The unstoppable sobs, the inability to function, the deepest darkest places that my heart goes if I let it.

One of the hardest parts of grieving for me has been finding a balance. Working through the pain without letting it consume me. When grief is like that, like the big monster, I need help to see my way out of it. Like a sponsor of sorts. Someone who knows exactly where I’ve been and exactly how I’m feeling and can remind me of the light and the goodness that is still here, right in front of me. And even though they may be struggling too, they always know exactly what to say to bring me back to the land of the living. I am blessed enough to have a few of these wonderful people in my life, and I’m grateful to no end.

My journey with grief began exactly 5 years ago. Almost to the moment as I’m writing this post, although I think when someone has a terminal illness in some ways you begin to grieve long before they actually go.

My memories of Jan 14th, 2009 and the days and weeks immediately after are the worst kind of nightmare. The kind you can’t shake off when you wake up, the kind you keep dreaming over and over and over again. Except unfortunately this isn’t just a horrible dream, it’s just life. It’s what they tell me is my “new normal”.

I should have made a list of all the things people say when there is a loss. Some of it was incredibly compassionate and wonderful and some of it just sucked. I recently read and reposted an incredible article on what to say and what not to say and I wish I had it 5 years ago. 🙂

But really, the whole point is there is nothing that helps, there are no words, there is no action to be taken that can replace what has been stolen from you. So even though sometimes it wasn’t the best, I appreciated people for any time that they tried.

I would like to acknowledge every single person who cared for my broken heart over the past five years. I tried to write it all out, but I couldn’t stop crying and it was a hot mess so I gave up. You all carried me in different ways, and tonight I am so so so very grateful.

The harsh reality of life is that some times it is horrible and sometimes you will suffer immeasurable loss. Not everyone is blessed with amazing people around them to support them and help them transition to a functioning happy life. I am one of the lucky ones. My heart is aching especially hard for my loss at this time, but beyond that pain and brokenness I see the light of the people around me, and I am full of thankfulness.

Beau, until we meet again I will miss fiercely every day and try my best to be a person who would have made you proud.

xoxo,

jess

Making 2014 Count

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I’ve been on a kick lately to follow new people in Instagram. I’ve been finding this amazing group of women who are these strong, successful, creative and beautiful people who are moms and work and do everything in between. Recently, one of the lovely ladies I follow encouraged everyone to write a blog post on how you want to make 2014 count. You can read more about this kind of amazing lady on here blog at http://www.thewiegands.com/ .

I have been struck these last few days by my feelings of excitement for the new year. This overwhelming sense of freshness and newness gets in my soul in this week between Christmas and New Years Day, and I make lists and goals and organize things and even get crazy and throw out the sugar leftover from Christmas. My main goal for this year is to keep this feeling inside all year long, and to translate it to every new day, every new week, every new hour. It’s so easy to get beat down as the year trods on and you’re not where you want to be, or things aren’t how you would like them, and life just seems hard and blah. (This is usually  my April and August….) I want to channel this energy to the reality that every new day is a gift, and worth being excited about.

I’m in love with the idea of a new year bringing new opportunities and the chance for new goals and aspirations for myself and for my family. I love the idea of a word for the year, a word to live by that would encourage me and keep me focused on what can often be a long 365 days.

My word for 2014 is HOPE.

Last year was a rough one, and I so often found myself with no hope. The words that would have described most of my 2013 were those of hopeLESSness, sadness, bitterness, anger and even a little hate sometimes. This year I want this truth to characterize my year,

“…We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”- Heb 6:19

I have a hope that reaches beyond my circumstances and beyond what my eyes can see, a hope that is the deepest and truest anchor while my soul is tossed around by all that life throws at me.

I’m learning a little bit at a time, day by day, that while God’s plan is a mysterious and painful one at times, we have been given the power to be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer”. Joyful in hope, not anxious and worried and annoyed and angry. Joyful. I feel like I used to be a joyful person. Life kind of wears me out and I find myself sad, tired and empty. I think it all goes hand in hand. Hopelessness brings out so much sadness. But the good news is, I can choose to have hope, I can choose to be joyful, and I can choose to embrace my limitations and my situations and have hope that at the end of the day, its all working out for good.

So this year, 2014, with all of your bright and shiny new beginnings, I am going to make you count by having HOPE. Every day, even the hard ones, every hour, especially the hard ones. Obviously I can’t do it alone, but here’s my rough plan

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion”, says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” – Lam 3:21-24

I’m sure I’ll be chanting this verse a lot the coming year, so if you see and/or hear me, don’t be jealous of how cool I look.

Here’s to making 2014 count, one hopeful day at a time.

xoxo,

jess