TGIF // 08


Trust: Lately, I’m really trying to trust my body. Trying to remind myself that pregnancy is normal and that billions of women have been pregnant and survived. I love this quote from Ina May Gaskin:

“Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic….Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”

Gratitude: This week I’m feeling grateful for my Mom. Mother’s Day is Sunday, and because she’s in WI and I’m in TX we never get to spend it together – but it doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of her. She’s always willing to listen to my problems or complaints, and still babies me a bit by feeling sorry for me – which, come on, everyone needs that sometimes. Also, now that I’m 7 months pregnant I have a whole new appreciation for her (and all moms)…and I’m sure that appreciation and gratitude will only continue to expand over the coming years.

InspirationThis podcast episode. “The best self help is self compassion.”

Faith: I recently came across the work of a man named Richard Rohr. He’s a Catholic Franciscan priest with some really interesting and fresh perspectives on Christianity and religion. Recently, he was interviewed on a great podcast called “On Being.” If you have an hour I highly recommend you listen. He and the podcast host, Krista Tippett, talk about a wide range of topics such as dualistic vs. non-dualistic thinking (specifically in Christianity/religion but also in our general culture), how Jesus was the first non-dualistic religious thinker of the West, how life has changed for the current generation vs. pre-1968, a concept Rohr dubbed “father hunger” and the implications of raising men in today’s society, the wonder and awe of nature and how that ties into our spiritual experience, among many other things.

I was mostly interested in the portion on dualistic vs. non-dualistic thinking because I think dualistic thinking is such a sickness in our culture and current political and religious climate. It was refreshing to hear my own recent thoughts articulated well by someone else, and to know that there are other young people who are interested and exploring this concept of non-dualism (not that Rohr is young, he’s 73, but he talks about a recent retreat he held for millennials). Regardless of how you identify (religious or not, liberal or conservative, etc.) – I think this podcast will speak to you in some way or another. There’s an edited and unedited version – of course I recommend the unedited (and yes, I listened to both – I’ve never claimed to be cool).

That’s it! Hope you all have a great weekend. And Happy Mother’s Day ❤

Things I’m Liking Lately


Image by WoodLucker

Hey guys. How are you? I’m doing well…always tired but really glad that Wednesday is almost over…it is Wednesday right? ANYWAY. I thought I’d put together another little random post of things I’m liking lately.

S-Town. Have y’all heard about this podcast? I started it last Friday and by Tuesday had finished all 7 episodes. I was listening in the car, on my walks, and while working – I couldn’t stop. It starts with an unsolved mystery in a small town, but the series takes a turn and ends up being about something else entirely. It was just a really interesting exploration of a complicated life, and despite all the vulgarities I thought it was good. It’s refreshing and eye opening to get a glimpse of another person’s existence that is so different from your own.

This article. It came to me at a really good time. I would say being pregnant means I have more uncertainties in my life than maybe ever before, and it also requires a lot of letting go of an old way of being and an old life. Not that life stops or anything, but it changes entirely for sure…so the tips in the article were helpful reminders for me.

Currently reading this, this, this, this, and this. It’s no secret that I’m a nerd about self help books…and non-fiction. I’ve read a few works of fiction this year but nothing that really stands out, sadly. Anyway, I don’t know when I became the person who reads 5 books at once – that would have made me crazy 10 years ago – but I enjoy jumping around now.

Enjoying this artist’s feed. And also enjoying following along with this artist’s “plants on fabric” 100 day project.

Alright, that’s it! As always, feel free to leave suggestions of things YOU have been liking lately.

The 100 Day Project

This last week I started something called The 100 Day Project. The 100 Day Project was started by an artist named Elle Luna and is an open invitation to any creative person who wants to commit to doing something (anything) for 100 days. It provides motivation and accountability to make time to create something small every single day and then see how that work adds up over time. Progress > perfection. It’s free, and everyone shares their project on Instagram using the hashtag #the100dayproject. Last year I drew a different circle each day for 100 days (you can see the full set of 100 circles here).

This year I decided to focus on gratitude. The project started on April 4th and ends on July 12th, which almost perfectly coincides with the last 100 days of my pregnancy. I figured it would be a good idea to focus on the positive and remember what I’m grateful for each day over the next 3 months. You can see my first 6 days below – and if you want to follow along you can follow me on Instagram here, or visit my personal hashtag for this project #lookseegratitude.

I usually try to post a little blurb about what I’m grateful for, or what the picture/illustration means, on the Instagram post itself. But I thought it would be fun to post my work here as well – it’s nice to have a record of it.

It’s refreshing to have a creative exercise to focus on, and I love that it forces me to stop and remember what I’m grateful for, and find the good moments in each day. It’s easy for me to be cynical and negative, and that’s not the impression I want to leave on people…

The project usually gets interesting the longer you go because you start to run out of ideas and have to get creative. I’m excited to see how it evolves over the next few months. At the end, I’d like to bind all these pages together and make a book…I’m looking forward to seeing the full 100 days together and have a feeling it will be something I can flip through any time I need a pick me up.

What would you do for 100 days? It’s not too late to join..

TGIF // 07

Heyyyy everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve checked in here, didn’t mean to disappear. I have to say….pregnancy fatigue is real. I’m only about a week away from entering my 3rd trimester so the aches and pains are starting to creep in. The next three months will be interesting, haha. I’m trying to cut myself some slack and be kind to myself as my body morphs into something I don’t recognize from the neck down, but being kind to myself is really hard to do. It’s hard to not feel down or bad when I’m not as productive as I once was…or when a hike tires me out so much I feel like crying by the end of it (or maybe, if you’re pregnant too, you do cry a little because you’re hormonal and exhausted and too hot? that definitely didn’t happen to me, just hypothetical…). I’m trying to stay positive and be excited and not overly terrified about the future, but sometimes that takes more mental energy than I’d like to admit.

Anyway, I’m very grateful for this whole experience. Really. Feeling the little kicks and jabs has been pretty magical and sweet. Despite the fear…I’m really excited about, and seriously attached to, this little human already. And I’m so grateful that so far everything has been “normal” and the baby is healthy…but it’d be a lie to say it’s been a picnic. Mentally and physically it’s been tough at times. I mean, how do you mentally prepare for bringing a new human into the world? If you know, let me in on your secrets plz and thx.


Free Pattern by the lovely Juliet Meeks

This week I’m trusting that I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I’m trusting that all those emotions and thoughts I just expressed are completely normal (and I’m told they are). I’m trusting that I’ll figure things out as I go, just like everyone seems to. And I’m trusting that it’s going to be life changing and beautiful and difficult as most good things are.

Lately, I’ve been feeling grateful for daily walks, rest, and prayer. These things have kept me sane. It’s amazing what a quick walk does to clear my mind of negativity and reorient my focus on the goodness in front of me. It’s also amazing what a quick nap does for my mood (does 2 hours count as quick? no?). And of course prayer…I don’t know how people center themselves without it. I’ve found a lot of peace and comfort in saying prayers all throughout the day, and I like to try to remember to say thanks as often as I ask for help. Gratitude is so so important to how my day goes….which ties into a new art project I’m starting soon, but more on that later.

This week I’m finding a ton of interior/home design inspiration online. I hadn’t really thought about how into design/decorating I’ve gotten over the last few years – but most of my favorite blogs and TV shows are design related.

Here are some of my favorite posts from the week:
This room refresh. Love how light and airy it feels, and that she kept all her current furniture – and stayed on a budget.
This Shibori tutorial. I love the colors she mixed, I’m really wanting to give this a try.
This simple candle DIY. I used to make candles all the time in high school with my sisters. It was so fun to experiment with. Seeing these pretty jars, and being reminded of how easy it is, makes me want to pick up the hobby again. Not to mention all the pretty/quality candles these days are like $20 each. No thanks.

And last but not least, my faith update. My faith and my relationship with God are things I’m always working on. My spirituality is a constant learning and growing process – I guess like any good relationship usually is and should be. It shouldn’t be stagnant, and you never really reach a point where you have it all figured out…it’s often 2 steps forward, 1 step back…or 5 steps back. And that’s ok. I’d like to devote more time to prayer, reflection, and being quiet/still. Some days I feel disconnected and wonder why, but then I realize I haven’t even given 5 minutes thought to my spiritual life…and yet I’ve spent countless hours online or looking at my phone or complaining to Brent about something or worrying about something I can’t control, etc. etc. So anyway – those are just some rambly thoughts about my faith this week. I’m so thankful to have a spiritual life again, and I can’t believe I neglected it for so long. I’m enjoying and looking forward to the continued journey – and getting closer to God through each step. (Insert footprints poem, lolz).

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. Thanks for being here. Xo.

-Marci

Checking In


Hey guys. How’s your week going? Mine has been pretty uneventful and relaxing so far. Juuuustt the way I like it. I’ve been able to do some work on the nursery, cook a healthy dinner, and get lots of reading in. The digital detox is going well. I definitely haven’t been super strict, but I’ve mostly stayed off my phone and haven’t been on Instagram at all (except for like 30 seconds on Monday?). And you know…it’s been kind of awesome. I feel like that brain space has been so needed. I also feel like when I’m not checking it at all, I really couldn’t care less about what people are doing (sorry, friends). I mean, I care. But I’m not comparing, or wondering anything, or feeling like I’m not doing enough…and that has been pretty great. I’m more focused on my life, the present, and what the people in front of me need. I’m hoping to continue beyond this week.

Last weekend I was able to get the nursery wall painted. It turned out better than I thought it would and only took a couple of hours. I’m so happy with it. I also got some shelves up on the wall and got a new rug for the room. Yesterday, we put together a crib. It’s all starting to feel a little more real; which is both exciting and terrifying. Here’s the nursery wall ❤

I hope the rest of the week treats you all well. Brent and I are taking a half day on Friday and heading out to a 10 acre ranch in a small town south of Austin. We’re going to stay in a trailer/camper and then hike around on Saturday. I’m looking forward to getting away, even just for the night. 🙂

p.s. Top image is a drawing I did a while back, it’s currently for sale in my Etsy shop.

TGIF // 06

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Illustration by Austin Kleon

Happy Friday!! Isn’t that little illustration good? So simple and so true. I hope you’ve all had a good week, I’m looking forward to the weekend. Brent and I are going to do some work on the nursery, which is currently serving as the music room. We’re going to have to find space for all of our instruments…and possibly purge a lot of junk in the process. Getting rid of stuff is one of our favorite things to do though so it’s all good, haha.

This week I’m trusting that there are really good people in the world who are showing love to the people around them. Like this teacher who greets each one of his 5th graders with a unique handshake. I mean…maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones, but I def teared up a little.

Lately, I’m grateful for Austin winters. Growing up in Wisconsin makes you appreciate living in a place that never really drops below 20 degrees and has, on average, 300 days of sunshine a year. The mornings have been chilly here (like 30s to 40s) but by the afternoon we’re in the 70s and it’s sunny and wonderful. Sorry to rub it in if you’re in a tundra, just know I’m not taking it for granted!

This week I’ve been having fun finding decor inspiration for the nursery. I’ve been pinning ideas, and even though we’re keeping it simple it’s fun to look and be excited about the little stuff. There are so many scary things I could focus on so looking at cute baby stuff helps. I’m planning on painting an accent wall this weekend – thinking something like this:

Close up, front view of small black triangle vinyl wall decals on white wall behind baby playing in white painted crib.

Also planning on doing a mini version of this book shelf idea, because MY CHILD WILL LOVE BOOKS:

Book Display:

And lastly, faith. I’ve been reading a lot about contemplative prayer – it’s pretty interesting and I’d like to start incorporating it into my day. After doing some basic research on it I see that it’s a pretty hot topic in the “Christian community” (whatever that really is). It’s funny that some people are scared of it and call it un-biblical or un-scriptural. Do some Google searches and see for yourself. It sounds refreshing to me!

I hope you all have a great weekend. I’m planning to start my digital detox on Monday – let me know if you plan on doing one, I’d love to hear how it goes.

-Marci

Planning a Digital Detox (And a Personal Announcement!)


Helllloo. How are you guys? I’ve been doing pretty good. Last week I announced on my personal Instagram that my husband and I are expecting a baby (!!!). It’s my first, and his second – but his son will be turning 20 shortly after the baby is born so it’s kind of like he’s doing it all for the first time again. We’re all excited. And scared…and excited. 🙂

As expected, I’ve been navigating a lot of things these last few months. My mind has been consumed with personal things like finances, lifestyle changes, obsessing about the future, etc…and then add in the noise of social media, the news (ugh), podcasts, and endless blogs and I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed and mentally exhausted.

So I’ve decided to do a digital detox. I’m writing about it here to give myself some accountability, because if I don’t then I’ll most likely bail after a day – or an hour. It might seem odd to blog about a digital detox because obviously I’m on a computer and using the internet as I type this….but it makes sense to me because blogging means I’m writing and focusing my mind in order to create content rather than consume. I’m so sick of consuming – I mean I love it, and it sometimes offers great inspiration, but then I never do anything with that inspiration because I’m so busy consuming 24/7. Anyone else feel this way?


I’m planning on starting Monday and ending Sunday the 26th (end of day). Brent and I have a trip planned for the 24th and 25th so that should make it a little easier since I’ll be occupied – but it will be nice to make it a point to put my phone away and focus on my time with him.

Things I’ll be avoiding:
Instagram
Podcasts
Blogs
News
TV

Things I’ll be allowing:
Email
Blogging
Exercise related videos
Kindle
Music/Spotify

So that’s it. I’m thinking I’ll be flexible on the podcast thing – I just don’t want to listen to 5 a day like I have in the past (seriously, it’s crazy). I’m looking forward to getting some brain space back, reading/writing/creating a little more, and spending time with my husband. Let me know if you want to join in, or have any experience with doing your own digital detox. I’m assuming the first couple days will be hard, because I’ll be reaching for my phone out of habit, but hopefully as the week goes on it will get easier and I’ll be able to see the benefits. Wish me luck!

TGIF // 05


Hi guys. How are you? Is it weird to start a blog post that way? I guess it’s not like you can respond, but I do genuinely want to know how you all are. Also, I’ve always liked writing letters and starting a post this way makes it feels more like a letter – so whatever, I’m sticking with it. Hah.

I’m feeling a little drained today. I’ve been brainstorming about this post a bit throughout the week and as of this moment…I have NO idea what I’m going to write. So let’s see what comes out, here goes.

This week I’m trusting grace. I guess this goes with last week’s theme of not trying too hard to be worthy or perfect – but the theme continues and I’m trying more and more to rest in grace. I feel like when you really grasp the idea of grace it’s life changing…but then the concept slips away and we forget. It’s kind of like when you try really hard to imagine eternity or infinity…sometimes, for a second, you get this glimpse of it and feel sheer terror or awe…but then it goes as fast as it came. You know? So sometimes when I really understand grace I get this overwhelming sense of rest and peace..but then life goes on and I return to my neurotic self who is constantly striving for something I can’t earn. So I’m trying to meditate on it more, and trust it more…we’ll see where it leads.

This week I’m feeling grateful for nature. I know, sorry, I’m not trying to be all deep or get hippie on you (even though I am kind of a hippie at heart), but nature is something that can always calm me down or lift my mood. I leave the house for work at 7am, just as the sun is starting to rise, and this week I have seen the most AMAZING sunrises on my drive in. I love starting my day soaking in that beauty and being in awe of how amazing this planet is. It’s funny how you can watch a million sunrises and it never gets old. It’s always striking, always different. That being said – I’ve been saddened by some things this week going on in Washington that show very little regard for the Earth, it’s beauty, and it’s importance. But more on that another time, maybe. For now, this poem – because she is the BEST at capturing the subtle miraculous moments I often experience when paying attention to the world.

Lately, I’m finding so much inspiration in music. I tend to go through phases with music where sometimes I don’t listen to it very much. I mean, I’ve always loved it and it’s been a big part of my life, but I can get kind of burnt out and occasionally just appreciate silence instead. But right now I’m devouring album after album – I’ve had fun exploring new stuff and returning to old stuff. You can see a playlist I posted here.

Lastly, faith. I was listening to this podcast on finding our calling and heard the speaker say this,

“God is actually most near to us when everything is falling apart. In those times, when God is most near, the people trying to help us access the nearness of God are sometimes so profoundly in the way.”

*Side note: this quote came after a clip he shared from the movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople – if you haven’t seen, it’s so good!

I think this quote is, sadly, so true. And I see it happening again and again in most organized religions. The focus is on doctrine or theology or rules – and those things can often just get in the way of people actually experiencing God. At some point we were told not to trust our experiences, but to trust in what someone at the front of the church was telling us instead. I think it’s a good thing to be aware of – and if you’ve experienced that kind of thing…don’t let it turn you off completely. Don’t let someone else ruin something that can be so good and beautiful. Discover it for yourself.

That’s a lot of text. Thanks for sticking with me to the end.
I hope you all have a good weekend, wherever you are!

Yours,
Marci

*Main image is a painting I did recently, you can see more of my artwork here.

January Mixtape

mixtape-cassette-mixtape

I thought it would be fun to link to a playlist I made recently in Spotify. Unfortunately, I can’t record my favorite songs from the radio on to a cassette tape for all of you, or burn a cd that I can decorate with a sharpie – but here we are in 2017, and this is what I can offer.

A lot of these songs are from the 2006-2012 era; I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been revisiting a lot of the albums I liked then. There’s something about the music you listened to at 18 or 20 that sticks with you. But there are some newer gems on here too, and some oldies for good measure.

Hope you enjoy, and as always…suggestions are welcome!

TGIF // 04


Whew. Finally Friday. How are you guys? I hope this week has treated you well. I’ve had a slow, somewhat difficult, start to 2017…but I think I’m turning the corner on all of that and I’m excited for what the rest of the year has in store. It’s going to be a big year…like as big as it gets, but more on that another time.

This week I’m trusting that I don’t have to try so hard. That all I need to do is get out of my own way. I’ve been seeing this same idea come up again and again this week and I feel like I’m supposed to be listening. First, I watched this little video by Gabby Bernstein about non-interference. Then I listened to this podcast, which is a recent sermon from a church in Austin, and it was about consenting to love. Lastly, I randomly listened to an old Bonnie “Prince” Billy album called Lie Down in the Light. As I was listening I started thinking about the title and how it encapsulated what I’d been thinking about this week. I mean, one of the lyrics is literally “why do you try? why don’t you lie down in the light.” Watch the video below for the title track, and click here for lyrics.

Lately, I’m feeling grateful for my health. You kind of forget how easy life is when you’re healthy and everything is as it should be…I really feel for people with chronic illness or any kind of prolonged pain. I’m so so grateful to be healthy and active.

This week I’m gathering inspiration from the book I’m reading, I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons. It’s been interesting to read a fairly in-depth account of his youth. He seems to have always kind of been the same – an old soul – who everyone loved and who could pierce you with his poignant words. He’ll be missed. Reading artist’s biographies/autobiographies is always a major source of inspiration for me. I’m so thankful for the people who create, and are brave enough to put their creations out into the world.

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Image result for leonard cohen rare pictures

Image result for leonard cohen rare pictures

This week’s faith update ties into what I wrote about trusting. I’m trying to cultivate faith that it’s okay to rest. It’s okay to not be constantly evaluating my life and picking it apart so I can see where I can improve, where I can do more, or how I can be better. I think there is a time and place for all of that, of course, but I also think it can be exhausting.

Rest, instead of being something passive, is actually an act of resistance. We live in The City That Never Sleeps — so resting may be the most countercultural and spiritual thing we do with our lives.

Quote found here.

I hope you all have a beautiful, happy, and restful weekend.

-Marci