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

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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

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.

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

TGIF // 03

Happy 2017! Hard to believe that in a few years we’ll be hitting the 2020 mark…I feel old every time i think about that, so let’s not. Last year I started a series called TGIF and only wrote 2 posts before disappearing. Whoops. It’s hard to stay focused, and it’s harder to find motivation after working 40 hours a week at my job. But after listening to this podcast episode – I’ve decided to change my mindset. My real life, the one I cherish and am proud of, is the life in which I’m a writer and an artist. My side life is the life in which I work 40 hours for a corporation I don’t really care about. So instead of thinking of my hobbies and passions as the secondary or even tertiary parts of my life, I’m ready to put them front and center. It will take some work and time, but it’s an important mental shift that I’ll be working on.

So on to the TGIF portion…

This week I’m trusting that all of the unknowns in my life will work out just as they should. I’m trusting that I already have everything I need, and I’m trying to not focus on lack – but on abundance. Because I have so so much, and am very lucky – regardless of what my ego tells me sometimes (you need more money, that person is more talented, look how much they’re doing with their life!, etc. etc.).

This week I’m feeling grateful for family and friends. The holidays can be intense, and I always really miss my immediate family this time of year because I never can make it home to see everyone over Christmas. But how lucky am I to have people to miss; people I want to be spending time with and people who love me and make that known regularly (and for technology that makes it possible). I’m also extremely grateful for my in-laws. My husband’s sisters are some of my best friends – and his parents remind me so much of my own.

Lately, I’ve been finding so much inspiration in textiles. I love the deep indigos of shibori dyeing, I love the simple but beautiful designs of mud cloth, and I love the intricate mix of color and pattern in many traditional weavings. I’d love to incorporate some of these things into my art – my wheels are turning.

Vintage Medium Indigo Tie Dye, African Mud Cloth Pillow, Shibori Tie Dye,  Cotton Linen Pillow, 20 inch, Rose Gold Zipper, Bohemian Decor
you can find this beautiful pillow here.

ariele_alaskochair
read more about the history of mud cloth here.


Moroccan rug

This brings back some memories - a Navajo woman taught a class of us in high school how to weave blankets because
Traditional Navajo weaving

Lastly, my update on faith. I recently heard an Anne Lamott quote that really struck me, so I’ll leave you all with this.

“I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me–that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.”

The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Whoa. If only someone would have told me that at age 15…although sometimes the truth isn’t truth until you’re ready to hear it.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

Yours,
Marci

P.S.If you’re curious about the origins of my TGIF posts you can see post 1 and 2 here.

TGIF // 02

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last week i mentioned starting a new series titled TGIF. You can read more about what this is and why i’m doing it here. but essentially, each week i’ll be writing about four things: trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith. i’ll recap how each of those words/practices has come into play over the last 7 or so days.

so without further ado…

this week i’m trusting that things will work out in their own time. brent (my husband) and i are waiting on a few big life changes to take shape at the moment…and every time we think we’re about to get an answer…it’s really just a postponement. but all the changes are great and beautiful things and i’m trusting that everything will fall into place when it’s supposed to.

this week i’m feeling so so so grateful to have a husband who takes care of the less-than-glamorous household tasks. such as…killing the freaking gigantic texas bugs that have been finding their way into our cabin lately. we live in the woods. and it’s been raining a lot more than usual. and in texas, no matter how clean your house is, you will probably have cockroaches. and we’ve had so many and i want to die. BUT i haven’t had to kill a single one because i have someone who does it for me. sorry, it’s a really gross thing to be grateful for but i had such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude as i watched my handsome roach hunter go to town last night on our behalf. yeah. moving on.

this week i’m finding inspiration from so many artists on instagram:

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^^ beautiful ceramics by willowvane ^^

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^^ amazing floral design/art by flora.forager ^^

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^^ colorful, fun, and cozy interiors by thejungalow ^^

faith. this week i’ve been thinking a lot about slowing down and paying attention. we have the tv on at home more than i’d like to admit, my phone is basically a part of my body, and anytime a slight feeling of boredom looms i resolve it by looking at a screen. yuck. i mean…i do read a lot, and draw…so i’m probably making it sound worse than it is. but still, we can probably all relate to the feeling when hours disappear with nothing to show for them. so i want to start being more present..when i’m with people, when i’m outside, etc. i think the screens serve as distractions from more meaningful moments, and i’m on the hunt for those. i have faith that they’ll appear.

the top image is a little sketch i did today while laying in the hammock. you would think now that it’s september the weather would be pretty pleasant…but it’s still in the “feels like” 100 degrees season in tx. looking forward to cooler temperatures and more time outside.

i hope you are all having a great holiday weekend! it’s crazy how much of a difference one extra day makes, right?!

xo,

marci

TGIF // 01


happy friday, friends! it’s been awhile since i last wrote here…and not for lack of things to say, but lack of energy to put my rambling thoughts in to comprehensible words and sentences. sometimes i just feel like keeping my swirling thoughts in my head, and sometimes i’m just plain lazy…BUT it always feels good to check in here and get some things down on “paper.”

i started reading the gifts of imperfection by brene brown recently, and it’s so good! i recommend it to anyone who enjoys self-reflection and wants to live a more wholehearted life. in one of the chapters she talks about doing a gratitude exercise every week that she calls TGIF, hence the title of this post. every week she writes down what she’s Trusting, what she’s Grateful for, what Inspires her, and how she’s practicing her Faith. i love this so much that i’m going to copy her and start doing my own TGIF post each friday. so here goes…

this week i’m trusting that real change takes time. i’ve had a lot of ideas and fantasies about how i want my life to look, and every time i stumble or fall short i feel disappointed. but i’m trying and (slowly) learning to extend grace to myself, and trust that progress is more important than perfection.

lately i’m feeling grateful for my free time. i work a 9-5 and often resent the lack of flexibility…but i dont have children yet, and i have every weekend off work, and i get to spend all my free time reading, writing, and creating (or binge-watching netflix with my husband). and i’m so so thankful for that privilege.

this week i’m feeling inspired by all the books and podcasts i’ve been devouring. i’m always on the look-out for new and inspiring things so if you have any suggestions send them my way!
books: present over perfect, the forest house, the wander society
podcasts: happier, the smart passive income, and this vox veniae message on contentment

this week i’m practicing faith by defining it, and getting comfortable with it. in her book, the gift of imperfection, brene brown defines faith as this:

“faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”

She then goes on to quote the theologian Richard Rohr:

“my scientist friends have come up with things like ‘principles of uncertainty’ and dark holes. they’re willing to live inside imagined hypotheses and theories. but many religious folks insist on answers that are always true. we love closure, resolution and clarity, while thinking that we are people of ‘faith’! how strange that the very word ‘faith’ has come to mean the exact opposite.”

AMEN. i dont know everything, and i dont need to. the whole point of faith is to believe something despite not having all the answers. and i’m not going to bring other people into my joy by listing off all the “answers” that i think they should live their lives by. it’s personal. it takes time. and some things just aren’t clear. some things are – yes. but a lot of things aren’t. and that’s ok.

welp. that’s all i’ve got for you this week. i’m hoping to make this a weekly series. it’s good to meditate on these prompts and really get in touch with what i’m thinking and feeling. if you decide to do something similar let me know! i’d love to hear your thoughts. i hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

xo

marci