Archive for the ‘motherhood’ Category
Remember the Printable Lunch notes from last year? My kids loved them, and I’m finally making more!
I’m a diligent lunch note maker. Are you? I grew up with my mom always sneaking in little reminders, happy quotes, funny one-liners and just plain “I love you’s.”
It always set my day right.
And now with my own kids, I’m always drawing on my kids napkins, making sweet little hello’s, and I thought I’d make them available to you too!
This is a FREE download. I’ve included the printable from last year as well in case ya missed it.
Happy Lunch making!
So, I’m not really sure how 2 weeks has gone by since Anders made his appearance. How does time fly like that? My goodness. I’m missing those earliest moments with him already!
As I’ve mentioned before, my pregnancy was on the difficult side to say the least. It was just one thing after another. And it never seemed to let up. First the morning sickness that kept me in the bathroom most mornings and nights, and then the pre-term labor contractions that put me on partial bed rest starting about 20 weeks. Then came the Symphasis Pubis Disorder which is a premature separation of the pubic bone that put me on total bed rest mostly due to the pain factor. I had excruciating pain and my movement was very limited for the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy that physical therapy couldn’t even fix. I used electric carts at the grocery store for the first time, and I found a new empathy for anyone who has ever needed a wheelchair. I won’t lie and say I was tough girl. I tried, but this pregnancy got me on my knees a lot. Trying to keep it all together and be a mom to my 3 others, and still illustrate and design at the same time was so incredibly challenging. My kids were troopers and my husband was a rockstar. We made it through! Every day was a mountain, and I can honestly say it stretched in ways I never planned on. No pun intended.
I don’t say that to vent or complain at all. I say that because when my water finally broke at 5:04 am August 1st, I felt like I’d won the Boston Marathon.
It felt like Christmas morning. I just started crying.
All my worries and fears and discomforts were put aside, and he was finally coming! A calm trip to the hospital, a peaceful start and a beautiful delivery. He spent a bit of time in the NICU, but everything was as it should be. I just burst into tears with joy that first moment I saw him, grateful for him, and grateful that the two of us made the rough and hard journey together. It was all finally all worth it.
There really isn’t anything that can describe those first few moments holding a baby. Those first few hours are so magical. The smell. The sounds. I’d have a million of ‘em if it didn’t mean pregnancy and college tuition for each one:) And teenage years.
Having my kids be old enough to really appreciate everything about Anders has been so awesome. They just dote on him. All. Day. Long. And while 4 feels like a circus right now, it’s amazing how much easier this phase is with older kids who can do things like grab me a blanket from across the room, or help a sister to the potty. Circus, but happy circus.
Thank you for all your lovely well wishes and sweet notes. It’s been wonderful to hibernate with this little guy for the past 2 weeks and life is starting to get back in gear just a tad. We’re all still in Babymoon phase, and there is definitely a slower pace around the house. But school is starting, new projects are rolling in and life is moving us forward. This time with 4 kids in tow! It’s amazing.
So, say hello to Anders. He’ll be saying Hello right back.
Glad you are introduced.
Thanks everyone for the well wishes the other week when I posted about our big news! And thanks also for the sweet comments and encouragement about my rough start to it all! I’m feeling SO much better. But I tend to have other complications with pregnancy, that I can only assume will be coming around the corner soon. All my babies wanted to come early. Too early. And while all three have been early (35-37 weeks) they all stayed that long because of either hospital stays or just good old fashioned bed rest. Here’s to hoping this one isn’t as intense!
In the mean time, I’m really loving this time right now with nothing too urgent going on. It’s marvelous!
And I’ve decided. Pregnancy clothes are just so much cuter, aren’t they?
So I dropped off the blog world last week, maybe you noticed. We’ve been hit a second time by this stomach flu virus, that I am really hoping has moved on for good! We were super healthy last fall/winter so I guess it’s our turn.
I have to laugh a little, because this weekend marks 5 YEARS since starting my business. And the irony is that the night I opened my shop, my husband was out of town leaving me with two babies with the stomach flu. All at the same time. And I didn’t sleep for 3 days straight. And this weekend, exactly 5 years later, Kenneth was out of town again, and this time Ella and I were down and out. What a way to celebrate.
But Sunday night, after a wonderful weekend of inspiration, we were finally all together and healthy again.
I love this time of year. There is a magic I can’t really ever seem to put my finger on.
Guitar. Sunset. Yellow leaves. Crisp air. Blankets. Sun spots. Grass. Togetherness.
And after what seems like forever, I’ve brought out my camera again. I don’t know…something about sick kids and school starting has kept my camera away. Nothing like October light to bring it back out.
But to finish up, you’ve got to watch this video. Totally spontaneous Sunday evening….Ken’s been teaching himself how to play Ho Hey on the guitar, and the kids started learning it too. They had no idea Ian was being such a ham. And Addie made her own guitar. Check it out:
Come back tomorrow for some major 5 year birthday celebration!
Oh gosh. Today is a big day. I’m standing by the front door having just sent 2 of my 3 children to full day school today, and I just can’t get a grip on how I feel about this.There is one (really adorable) one left. But just one. Not as noisy and crazy, and I’m finding it rather like being naked in a way.
Part of me is so ready. Last year, I spent most of the day back and forth in the car between full day school, and part day kindergarten, and between that and regular mommy stuff, I couldn’t get 2 seconds to myself during the day. Forced to start my work at 8pm, I was exhausted. Plain beat. I don’t do well on little sleep, and that’s all I could get last year. And the year before that! And…well, you get the idea. We’re full speed at this house:)
This year, with both children in school all day, I just have Ella at home which will free me up considerably (and she’s even starting preschool…so this is a huge change!). It will be good to spend time with just the baby. Although, she’s not so baby anymore!
So, I don’t plan on working nights like I have the past 4 years. It will also mean I can get the gym, lose the weight I’ve gained from the past couple years of no sleep, and get a working day rhythm. I’m really looking forward to that! Illustrating and working in the daylight hours? That’s gonna be weird.
But not working when the kids are home has been my goal. That doesn’t always happen, especially in the summer, but I really try and just be “home” when they are. With work becoming more and more important for us to sustain, this change really does come at the perfect time! But, oh it really has always been a conflict for me. I love doing what I do, but deadlines drive this industry and it can often make for a stressed out Mommy. So a quieter house will be a welcomed guest.
….at the same time, I’m feeling so lonely. We’ve been together, the 5 of us, ALL SUMMER and man we have had so much fun. They are my muses. We spent 6 weeks on the East Coast at my parents house, with no other playmates but each other. It was amazing. And now it’s going to be really quiet. Do I really have kids old enough to leave home for 7 hours a day? I’m starting to see the wrinkles in my face already:) Gosh, a Mother’s heart is so complex, isn’t it!
Bottom line, I’m going to miss having everyone home all the time, but I do love creative projects. And it will be VERY good for me to really work without the guilt of squeezing in time when they don’t notice, or staying up super late. I really want to build this little space that I’ve created in Sarah Jane, and I’m ready to hit the drawing board. I’ve got a lot of really great opportunities and ideas, but with this new start, I also want to hear from YOU!
What would YOU like to see this year at Sarah Jane? I’ve got more time carved out, and while it’s never big enough for the dreams in my head, I really would love to hear your wishes and ideas too.
So are you ready? Ready for a great new year here in the studio? I’m going to be posting a survey where you can share your ideas with me. I’ll probably have it up sometime in the next 24 hours, but I wanted to give you a heads up so you can be thinking. I really want to consider the wishes that you have!
So stay tuned, and know that if there are any other mothers out there with that first week of school mother heart syndrome, I’m with you. All the way. Now to get busy making fun and pretty things for them to ease my Mother Heart.
Ok. I need some major help here. This baby of mine turns 3 by the end of the month, and I don’t really know what to do with myself. The other day, she woke up from a nap, and I grabbed my camera because she is growing up too fast!
She’s not a baby-baby any more, and I’m going a little bit crazy. Suggestions??!??
Thank goodness she has the cutest baby faces, and she cuddles me like she’s still an infant. She calls me “Moth-er” and nuzzles me like a puppy. She’s my angel baby.
But three years old? There has got to be a ban on that sort of thing.
Happy Easter Weekend everyone! I’m super excited to be celebrating. It’s a favorite weekend for us, with lots of traditions that I love. Have a mentioned that my husband’s family is German and Russian? So we have some great food traditions that we get all worked up about. It’s the best.
I’m going to be honest here and say that running a shop isn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done. In fact it’s one of the hardest. Even after 4 1/2 years, there are things I just can’t seem to smooth out. There are so many uncertainties and so much work that goes on behind the scenes. Maybe I’ll write more about that later, but this week I’ve found myself particularly curious about the balance of it all, feeling rather upside down really, and I just am really so grateful that I even have wonderful friends like you who support what I create. I am just so humbled sometimes when I realize that I get to offer people what I illustrate, and that it makes other people happy. And thank you as well for all the sweet notes you have sent me, the emails, comments, etc. running a shop (even with my assistant Ann) can be a lonely road…full risk and decisions to make at every turn…so I just wanted to take a second and thank you so much for your constant support! It means so much!
And on some other random notes, I’ve been featured with some interviews out and about, think you’d like these.
Today, Gussy Sews has a HOW TO LIVE CREATIVELY feature with insights by yours truly. Love her blog!
And I never did mention an interview I did with illustrator Julie Olson talking about illustration and my personal path to publication.
OK! Have a great weekend!
Today is a fluke snow storm (yikes!) but I’m looking so much to smelling saffron in the kitchen from Easter Bread.
Love to you all!
You know when you have one of “those” weeks? It still seems ironic that I’m speaking on the balance of home life and work life this next week at ALT.
Maybe this week came as a reminder at how precious that balance can be!
Ella had the croup (including major breathing scare), stomach flu and head cold
Ian: head cold and stomach flu
Addie: Head cold
Me: Stomach flu and head cold
Kenneth: miraculously steered clear, but was designated laundry doer
I finished a fabric line due this week (oooh! It’s cute!!) and managed to pull 2 all nighters and several other rather intensive nights of work
I finished a chapter book illustrations due this week
I spoke in Relief Society (my church’s women’s organization) on entrepreneurship
My trusty $$$ printer of 5 years died on me right in the middle of a very long and important job
Prepped for speaking at ALT this week (boy…do I have a lot to say on family balance!)
And managed to really start my sugar free living. It’s awesome by the way.
* * * * *
Let’s just say I’m pretty pooped. And in very good spirits because we have a 3 day weekend.
But in thinking about this MYTH of work life balance, I really do have a lot to say.
I’ve had some really awesome discussions with my fellow speakers, Brooke from INCHMARK, Kathryn from SNIPPET AND INK, CHRYSULA from Chrysula Winegar …… and they all have such wonderful insights. But I think we’ve all come to agree that “balance” doesn’t mean do all things well all the time, on time and in time. Rather, it means that you shift from section to section in your life, in good communication with those who support you (your spouse, etc.) and that you are realistic about what you need to do and when.
This week was one of those exception weeks when it all comes to a head and all energy is focused forward.
There are other weeks when the home is the main project. And then maybe work deadlines fall into the next week’s focus. There really isn’t such thing as doing it “all.” And that I guess is a big part of what I’m speaking of on Thursday.
When I am working really intensely on designing, my laundry piles up. High. And then when I’m getting house projects done, I get a little behind on work. But it’s an ebb and flow, and that’s called balance.
I think for a very long time I was plagued by this false notion that to be a good mom and to keep a good house, I’d have to be all things for all people. Ha! That idea didn’t last long.
Now, my family is just as much a part of my work as my work is a part of my family. It’s a dance that is hard to really outline, but it’s worked out so far due to a fantastic husband who comes home from work and cooks dinner, and my kids who are so incredibly supportive of their artist mom.
Just yesterday Addie proudly came out of her room wearing all her Sarah Jane attire. She hugged me and said “I love wearing all your art, Mommy.”
I’m still in game of learning how to swing less dramatically from project to project, and I’m pressed on capturing those “still” moments and holding onto them as long as possible. Being still, taking time to enjoy each moment for what it is, is so vital to balanced living. My home will never be Martha Steward ready but my home can be happy and filled with laughter (even when one of the family members…I won’t say who….dropped all the fresh eggs from the day on the floor yesterday) which to me is a perfectly balanced home.
I won’t say it’s easy. There is a rhythm that is so personal to our home and to Kenneth and I. He’s out in the garage designing a trade show booth with the kids, while I have Addie on my studio floor drawing while I work on a deadline. But that’s the way we roll. Most days my work is done when the kids come home from school, and I won’t touch it again until they are in bed. But work still creeps into family living, and it’s been a learning curve these past couple years. But it’s all beautiful!
I’ll be sharing more of what we discuss at ALT during our panel. If you are attending, be sure to come! It’s going to be powerhouse. Lot’s of ideas for sure!
And, because I can’t post without a sketch of the day:
Slow and steady wins the race.