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

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.

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:

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 6.02.45 PM

^^ 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

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.