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.

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!

Things I’m Liking Lately


If the title of the post didn’t give it away, here are some things I’m liking lately.

My sister’s new blog, The Rootchord. My sister has always loved music (like more than the average person) and now she’s sharing her old favorites and new finds in one spot. It’s been fun to follow along, and I feel like I’ve been looking for this kind of blog for awhile. New music suggestions without the pretentious writing.

Revisiting some favorite albums…such as this, this, and this. I can’t believe some of these came out 7 years ago already!

Currently reading this and this – really enjoying both so far. I’m hoping to keep track of monthly reads again like I did in 2015 (you can see everything I read in 2015 here).

Feeling inspired by all kinds of artists. Like this one, and this one, and this one too (love this designer’s unique jewelry).

So there it is. Some things I’ve been liking lately…I’m also liking that it’s almost Friday. I’ll have a new TGIF post up for y’all tomorrow. Do you have any fun plans this weekend? I’ll be praying tomorrow…inauguration day. Eek. I wont lie, this post brought a little tear to my eye.

Yours,
-Marci

P.S. If you have any music/art/book suggestions feel free to send them my way!

rambles, rambles and rambles

i just watched a webinar put on by gabrielle bernstein (she’s a teacher, life coach, writer, speaker…all that hippie stuff) and i loved it. the webinar was focused on how to do what you love doing and finally take action. one of the things she suggested doing in order to get started was to share your story.

i’ve never really thought much about this…or i should say, i’ve never really thought that i have much of a story to tell. so i’m going to figure this out as i go, because everyone has a story right? they just have to figure out how to tell it.

i’m 27 years old. i’ve been married for 3.5 years to a really sweet man. all of my immediate family lives half way across the country, which is hard. i love to paint and draw. i’m obsessed with reading. i have a small little rescue dog named elsi…she’s a chiweenie (yes it’s a real thing). and i struggle with a lot of anxiety. ok. now you say, “hi marci” like we’re in a twelve step meeting, because that’s what it just sounded like in my head. haha.

ok so this isn’t really my story, i guess. but in the loosely interpreted words of robert plant, i’m just going to ramble on here.

the thing on my mind the most lately is anxiety, because i’ve been having a lot of it. sometimes the anxiety isn’t so bad and i almost forget all about it – this can happen for months at a time. but sometimes, it’s completely crippling. the most frustrating part about this is that i dont really know what’s causing it. it seems like there are times when i handle normal stress, or even extreme stress, really well. and then there are times when it seems like nothing major is going on and i completely break down. it’s frustrating to say the least, and embarrassing.

i think some of the anxiety stems from not feeling like i’m living up to my potential. i’ve been stuck at a really boring office job for the last 5 years, which isn’t exactly the dream. and it’s really hard to have a good attitude when you’re surrounded by fluorescent lighting, stale air, and corporate policies. but it seems like a lot of people can relate to this…a lot of people feel trapped in their 9-5..i mean, dolly wrote an entire song about it.

Dolly Parton

so, i’m trying to figure out where this leaves me. how can i move forward, away from my office job, and serve other people who are on a similar path? i want to give inspiration to people who may feel the same way that i have for so long. i want to make people’s days a little brighter. either with my words, or my art, or both. i want to stop focusing on the negatives of my current situation, i want to stop saying “i’ll be happy when”, i want to stop dreading my day as soon as i wake up.

i want to focus on the positives. i want to be a light to people around me, including the people at my boring office. i want to stop waiting for the future for things to be perfect, and realize that i can be happy now and simultaneously work towards my dreams. and mostly, i want to really believe that i’m capable of these things. that i’m capable of succeeding. capable of changing my life, and capable of reaching people with my art or my words.

one thing i really loved about the webinar i mentioned at the beginning of this post was that she kept mentioning…who are you serving? how can you serve others? what are you doing to be a light to other people? and up until this moment it’s not something i’ve really seriously considered, especially in regards to starting a business. but it makes so much sense. 
so, i think i want to reach people who are like me. people who’ve grown up to realize that adulthood is a lot different, and sometimes less exciting, than we might have thought it was going to be. we don’t all grow up to be oprah or beyonce, but that’s ok. more than ok, right. we can have happy, joyful, fulfilling lives by pursuing the things we love and being a light to the people around us.

i’m going to continue to meditate and pray about who i should be serving, and how best to do that. and i’m going to try to make that more of a driving force in all of my business day dreams. and maybe it will look a lot different than what i’m expecting, it probably will actually. and maybe i won’t be super successful, or reach a lot of people, but i believe that i can. and i think going into something with the mindset of serving…means it doesn’t really matter if you’re successful or not, you’re on the right track regardless.

so y’all…if you read this entire post…thanks. i’m impressed. i’m really just trying to figure things out, and for some reason i’m doing it in a public way. seems like a greeaaat ideaaaaa. but it feels good to write it down, get it out, and let it go. and hey, at least you got a dolly picture out of it.

yours,

marci

 

 

 

100% happy

  
i was laying in bed the other night running the usual mind race that so many of us run as soon as the lights go off. it’s the only running i do. anyway, my mind was bouncing around and i was having a hard time taming it enough to drift off to sleep. it settled on my uncle randy. randy passed away at the end of october…and every time i think of him/his death a really heavy sadness descends.

i understand that people die. i understand that people die unexpectedly. i understand that really really good people die, while others who maybe aren’t so good live on. it’s weird, and i’ve accepted that. i’ve seen more than my fair share of really bright amazing people go too soon, and whenever i think about it…i feel so sad. there’s two people in particular: my uncle randy and a woman i consider my second mother, sue. i loved them. they were so giving and full of light. and they’re gone. i’m not mad at God. i’m not mad at the world. just sad. i miss them.

anyway, this isn’t my point of writing. although it feels good to write about. my point is that as soon as this sadness descends on me the first thing i want to do is distract myself. i usually reach for my phone…i play a game, or check instagram, or watch something. i do anything i can think of to not feel the sadness. the other night while i was having that urge to reach for my phone i stopped myself. and i leaned in instead.

  
i’ve read a lot about meditation, and leaning in to your feelings. learning to be uncomfortable. learning to accept discomfort. and that’s what i did. i allowed myself to be sad. and then i started thinking about how sick it is that our culture is CONSTANTLY  pushing happiness. if you’re not 100% happy then something is wrong with you. you probably need to travel the world, or take some more me time, or find a new career. and hey, any of those things could be true…but is it really such an atrocity to feel sad sometimes? i dont think so. i think it’s worse to mask that feeling with instagram and pretty pictures and likes on facebook. i think it’s worse to tell yourself you shouldn’t have those feelings..it’s worse to feel kind of uncomfortable..like “hey, this doesn’t feel good” and then run the other direction and deny yourself the truth of that pain.

it’s really sad that i lost my uncle. it’s really sad that a ton of kids aren’t going to learn to love nature and do it while laughing hysterically because he’s not around to teach them anymore. it’s really sad that i lost sue…i wish i could write her letters and tell her about my life, and my husband, and what an inspiration she is to me especially as i get older.

so let’s allow ourselves to process these things, and just admit that sometimes things are really freaking sad. i don’t want to believe that the way to have a good life is to have a 100% happy life. i genuinely believe that allowing ourselves to feel sad may not make us happier overall but it will make us more fulfilled, loving, authentic individuals. so i’m going to try not to run to my phone the next time i feel uncomfortable. join me?

xo

marci

p.s. depression is a real thing! i’m not talking about depression. and i’m also not suggesting that we wallow in our sadness, simply that we allow ourselves to feel it.

 

how to find motivation and stop procrastinating

i often see lists online of how to do this and how to do that…how to be more creative, how to eat healthier, how to have a good marriage, 30 things to do before you’re 30..

i have to admit, i’m kind of a sucker for these lists/articles and i love reading them…BUT how helpful are they really? there have been so many times when i’m reading an article on..let’s say…how to stop procrastinating. and i’m thinking…isn’t reading an article about how to stop procrastinating just another form of procrastination? yes. yes it is.

so my advice to everyone is to stop reading about how to be better or do better and just go do it. i know it doesn’t seem like it should be that easy, but i’m starting to think that maybe it is. so anyway, here are my tips on finding motivation and ending procrastination once and for all.

  1. stop reading this
  2. turn off your computer/phone
  3. go outside and/or do that thing you’ve been meaning to do

happy weekend 🙂

lately

last week i found out that my uncle randy passed away unexpectedly. i was completely heartbroken and shocked – he was the picture of health and so full of life. i can’t remember the last time, if ever, i’ve felt grief quite like this. most big losses i’ve felt at least came with some warning…but this was so sudden that i’m still struggling to comprehend the reality of a world without randy in it.

the first few days i felt physically sick. in his book, a grief observed, c.s. lewis talks about how he didn’t realize grief felt so much like fear until he experienced it when his wife died. anxiety, butterflies in your stomach, adrenaline…it’s weird how physical emotions can be.

anyway, i wanted to mention something about it here because it seems odd not to. it seems odd to move on to the next book report or music post and not at least mention how my world has shifted. we all have to go, but it seemed too soon for randy. he had a lot left to give and i just have to trust that there was a reason for it. i’m really thankful for the time he had here and all the hilarious stories he’s left us with. i was lucky to know him, and extra lucky to call him my uncle. 

^^ whenever i feel down or need a pick-me-up, heading to the natural gardener always helps. they sell lots of plants, flowers, and trees, but also have some animals and let people wander their grounds for free. here are some pictures i took today…the monarch is for randy. when we were kids he would bring us a little plant with a monarch caterpillar on it every year. we would watch it eat the leaves and get ready to transform…it was always a bit like christmas morning when it finally made its cocoon. a monarch chrysalis is beautiful, by the way, google it if you haven’t seen one. when the butterfly emerged we’d let it go free…it was such an awesome way to learn about nature and science. ^^


^^ she was pooped after a long day of exploring. ^^



^^ this gal’s name is biscuit and i don’t think she liked our dog, haha. ^^


^^ so thankful for brent. not sure what i’d do without this man in my life. ^^

xox,

marci

on birthdays

27flowers

my 27th birthday came and went last week…and i’ve been wanting to write down a few thoughts. you can see some thoughts/goals i had for my 26th year here…i managed to check off a few things on that list, but not everything, and that’s just fine with me. i think one of the best things that i’m acquiring more of every time i take a trip around the sun is letting go of perfectionism. good enough is sometimes, well, good enough.

last year i wanted to paint 26 paintings using only gold and turquoise paint. i got through 19…and then got kind of bored and never finished. but you know what? i went on to paint, draw, and create more in the last year than i have in the last five years. so to me, that means success. the whole point of the project was to get me inspired again – and it worked. i recently just started a new instagram account that i’m using solely for blog and art purposes (see here: marci.eliza) and so far it’s been really fun. i’m not so concerned with things looking perfect, i’m just enjoying the process.

birhtday

so looking forward, here are some goals and thoughts i have for the coming year.

  1. learn to enjoy cooking: i rarely cook, and i’ve never really enjoyed it that much. mostly because i’m kind of impatient, and waiting an hour for something to be ready when i’m already hungry is torture. but…i’d really like to change all that. plan out new meals, start cooking before i get too hungry/crabby, and try to enjoy the motions. put on a podcast or new album…drink a glass of wine…hang out in the kitchen by myself and make something awesome for my family. i’m also pretty certain that if i stop eating out as much as i do i’ll probably lose 15 pounds without even trying and save a ton of money. the food in austin is a little too good..
  2. let it go: we all have things we need to let go of, right? this year i want to focus on letting go of insecurities, comparisons, and perfectionism. it’s such a weird ego-driven thing to constantly be comparing yourself to others, and it’s such a huge waste of time. we all know this and we all do it anyway…this year i want to spend time meditating and praying about it. i want to want the best for people, i want to genuinely feel happy for other’s good fortune. i’m committed to getting there, and i already feel like i’m on my way to that. each year my confidence grows and it get’s a little easier.
  3. start an etsy shop: i already mentioned that i’m working more on art lately. i’d love to open an etsy shop and sell originals and prints. even if i only sell a few here and there, i think it would be a great way to motivate myself to maintain a creative lifestyle…and it’d be fun to have a little extra cash too. we’ll see..

coffee27

so that’s what i have in mind for the next year. it’s always fun to feel like you get a fresh start on your birthday..i’m a total nerd about new year’s resolutions and setting goals. sticking to them is another thing, but it’s fun to dream and plan. i have about a million other things that i could add to this list…but i’m trying to keep things simple. you can’t get anything done if you send your energy in a million different directions….i’ve always wanted to do too much, and at some point i realized this was causing me to do nothing. oddly, sometimes putting limitations on yourself can be the most liberating and motivating thing. so i’ll stick to just 3 things this year…wish me luck.

currently (in pictures)

i thought i’d post some pictures from the last week-ish. a lot of these are actually from last saturday…it was a good day. brent’s sister, rebecca, was in town from tennessee so all of us girls got together on saturday morning for brunch.

hillside1^^ we went to one of my favorite brunch spots in austin, hillside farmacy. this place is a gem…i love every single inch of how it’s styled/decorated ^^

americano

IMG_2268  ^^ as rebecca pointed out on her instagram – we took the classic “white girls in front of a painted wall after brunch” photo. haha. i love these women, all three are my sisters-in-law. i’m also about 5 inches taller than them so you can see me trying to crouch down – i need to stop doing that, it looks like i need to use the bathroom. ^^

lobsterroll^^ i noticed that a band we listen to was playing on saturday night. i bought some tickets for me and brent, and decided to make it a date night. this was a lobster roll we shared from a food truck at draught house (a favorite pub in austin) before the concert. i mean…austin really knows what’s up with the food truck thing. ^^

secretsister^^ secret sisters. they played at cactus cafe, which is a staple here, and i’d never been before. it was just their voices and that guitar that they passed back and forth. the harmonies were incredible, if you ever get a chance to see them you should!! you can check out a video i posted on my instagram here. ^^

doors copy^^ yesterday was brent’s sister’s last day in town…so we met up with all his siblings after work and walked around/ate dinner. these doors are behind a shop called a-town on burnet, and i love them! ^^

VWbug^^ brent and i were dreaming of driving this to wisconsin for our trip next month (my brother is getting married!). but then we realized it probably doesn’t have air conditioning so we let the dream die. ^^

hope y’all have had a good week, tomorrow is friday and i couldn’t be more ready. xox -marci

marriage

last week brent and i celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary (12.21.12).

it’s only been two years…so i definitely don’t consider myself an expert, or anything close to even resembling an expert. but i have learned a lot about myself during our marriage and thought it would be fun to share two pieces of advice i’ve learned over our two years together.

1. go to bed angry.

seriously, do it. it’s possible that you’re fighting and acting like a little snot solely because you’re tired. and the other person is probably really tired too. if the fight is deeper than just a minor misunderstanding then it likely won’t be resolved in 30 minutes or an hour anyway. so take a break and go to sleep. i guarantee a little sleep and some distance will only do good things.

2. say you’re sorry. a lot.

i know this one is obvious…but it’s so.freaking.hard. i struggle to do this on a weekly (daily) basis. it’s so hard to swallow your pride and just say sorry. it’s so easy to want to defend every little thing TO THE DEATH. and i have done that. a lot. and it never gets me anywhere. and it never gets us anywhere. obviously, it’s good if both people are working at this…and can both say “sorry” on a regular basis. but either way, own up to your mistakes. own up to when you’re a jerk because you’re crabby, or you know you’re taking something out on your spouse that is completely out of his or her control. just own up. i’d like to think this will get easier as i get older and we’ve been married longer – but i’m not holding my breath. seems like pride is a pretty permanent struggle.

the last two years have been eye opening, hilarious, sweet, difficult, and really really fun. i’ll take it all.

anniversary

on the actual day (last sunday), we went here. it was beautiful, can’t wait to go back. ❤ ❤