Time {and a summer hiatus}

I sat at her kitchen table and she poured me some wine.  The kids were in and out of the house, up and down the stairs.  She and I stayed in that spot for three hours, though our stories carried us through decades and across continents.  That’s an afternoon I can get down with.

Summer is officially here.  There are things planned, peppered through the summer weeks; but mostly there’s a lot of open space in our days.  Which is perfect.  Because summer.  I find myself checking (and re-checking) the calendar frequently as new rhythms are forming.  Did I miss something?  Did I forget something?  I don’t quite know what to do with myself.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  There is still everything that goes into home life so, in some ways, not much has changed.  But I feel a change.  And I want to work with that.

Space is opening up on the calendar and space is opening up within me.  It’s a space that sometimes feels cramped by the laundry, the meals, the cleaning, the blog writing.  Those first three must go on, but the last one…I can shift that.

I often catch myself thinking that there’s just not enough time.  As soon as I think that, however, I remind myself that there is indeed enough time.  It’s more a question of how I spend my time than it being a question of enough/not enough time.  It’s no small task to decide what gets attention on any given day, but if we are to live with intention and attention…well, we must think about where (and how) we expend our energies.

I decided months ago that I would take a hiatus from this space.  And so that is what I will do.  After today, this space will be quiet for a bit.  I would love for you to join me on Instagram if that’s your cup of tea.  And, if you don’t already receive my monthly notes, I’d love for you to receive those.  Short and simple and, I hope, sweet…on the first of each month.  Click here to sign up. (I’ve got a special downloadable gift coming in the July Notes.  Just sayin’.)  You can also find me contributing here and here.

This summer, I choose conversations at the kitchen table and bike rides with the kids and trips to get ice cream…and, yes, cleaning our house (sigh, it never ends). I also choose my writing and my photography and my heart.  I’m making conscious and heartfelt choices about how I spend my time.  I’m asking the questions and finding some answers.  There is time.  There is time, my friend.

Will you make it??

 

Sending a little love your way (always), m

 

 

 

An Interview + A Giveaway {Heather Mattern}

Today we continue our monthly interview series. A series in which I introduce you to some very special people…individuals who work equally hard at their craft and at living an intentional life. Someone new each month, sharing thoughts on creativity and discussing current work dear to his/her heart. Each individual who joins us will also generously offer some sort of giveaway. It could be a handmade item, a spot in a workshop, a collection of stones or crystals…anything that’s connected to the feature artist’s work and life. Their gift to you is of their choosing. This series will, I hope, create space to explore what creativity looks like to different people; I hope it will also create space to spread a little love through the gifts of our guests.

Today we’re visiting with Heather Mattern.  Like many of the women with whom we’ve talked in this interview series, Heather explores multiple creative media…to name a few:  collage, photography, writing.  You’ll learn in this interview that she’s now working creatively with essential oils.  I kind of love thinking about her mixing these potions the way a painter might mix paint, the way a cook might stir ingredients, the way a poet might blend words.  I have always felt Heather to be passionate and free.  I think you’ll feel it too after reading our conversation.  I’m very happy that Heather joins us today. Are you ready? Here we go…

Can you tell us a bit about your creative work?

I love that you call it creative work. Mmmm. My creative work is intuitive, whatever makes my heart sing, I chase. Typically, my intuition speaks through my journal — which is my FAVORITE tool for creative work. My ideas are vast, sometimes a poem arrives and knocks on my soul that I can’t help but write, other times, it’s gift ideas for my oily tribe. My newest passion is creating custom essential oil roller blends for sisters with specific health concerns. All this to say, when creativity knocks, I chase it intuitively until another leads the way.  I love every moment of it.

What does creativity mean to you?  What role does it play in your life?

Creativity to me is all about capturing the beauty amidst the chaos in whichever way one feels led. Some paint beauty, others write it, teach it, dance it out, etc.

Is there a project on which you’re currently working?  What’s lighting your fire these days?

I’m super passionate about my new wellness biz. With the combination of journaling and Young Living Essential Oils, I’ve found full body wellness and it feels amazing! I’m leading workshops, sharing my story about leaping from fear to passion, and giving away handmade journals along the way. It feels amazing to be here. I was born for this!

Are there particular relationships in your life (to people, to nature perhaps) that inspire you to create?

The trees inspire me. Always the trees. There’s something so peaceful and sacred about them. I’m often found staring out the window, listening for answers and inspiration. They are full of them.

Do you have any rituals surrounding your creative work?

Every day starts with black coffee and my journal. After I scribble down my rambles, I end with gratitude and wishes for the day. This little ritual of sending wishes out into the world gets me excited and giddy.

What does a typical day in the Mattern household look like?  Where do you fit in (and shine) in all of that?

Oh boy. Let’s see. Mornings are ours. Mine and my loves. Coffee, journaling, and the gym. After our “gym date,” it gets a little crazy around here. Homeschooling three teens – you never really know what’s going to happen. I have one day a week blocked out for my biz and creative work. On those days the kids are left to themselves to get their schooling done and other responsibilities. It’s my sacred creative time. Sometimes I’m upstairs while they are downstairs. Sometimes I stay in the living room or kitchen creating my blends or writing love notes to my tribe. My kiddos know – every Tuesday is mommy is not to be bothered. J  And for the most part, they are great at respecting my “work day.”

 

Now some fun ones…

What did you eat for breakfast?

Today I ate half a banana before heading out to my gym date. J

Do you have a favorite day of the week?

Thursdays! Because my husband doesn’t ever work on Thursdays so our weekend gets to start early!

I know you’re a fan of essential oils!  Do you have a current favorite oil and/or oil blend?

Oh it’s so hard to choose a favorite. But I’m never EVER without peppermint! It’s like magic in a bottle.

What makes you smile?

Road trips! With my family, with friends, or even by myself.

What music are you digging lately?

My daughter introduced me to Andy Black recently and I’m sorta  kinda  maybe —  a little bit obsessed.

If you close your eyes right now, what word comes to mind?

Passion. Right now I’m all about passion. Chasing it, claiming it, living it.

 

And now for the giveaway…

 

Heather is giving away a custom roller blend of essential oils + a handmade journal (US shipping only, please).  The winner will correspond directly with Heather so that she can create a blend that supports whatever the winner is craving from life at this moment.  Awesome, right?!

To enter the giveaway, here’s what you need to do:
Leave a comment below.  Share a passion you’re chasing right now.  Or tell us what you ate for breakfast this morning.  Or just say hi. And, even if you live overseas (because shipping is for US only for this giveaway), feel free to leave a comment if inspired.  Comments will close at midnight PST on Monday, June 19 , 2017. The randomly-selected winner will be announced here in this post on Tuesday, April 20.
 Comments are now closed.

The winner is…pumpkin sunrise!  (email coming your way)  Special thanks to everyone who left a comment.  

And…Thank you, Heather, for being here with us.

Sending a little love your way, m

***

Heather Mattern is a romantic, she lives with her high school sweetheart in NC where they homeschool their three teenagers. Addicted to road trips and wanderlust, Heather travels around sharing wellness bliss with women, teaching them how they can have full body wellness. You can find her at ramblingheather@gmail.com and on Instagram.

 

:: Randoming ::

Some random things.

An optimized life.  This tongue in cheek essay will have you laughing by the end.

More humor.  But it makes you kind of sad at the same time.

I was talking with someone the other day and, while we were talking, an email came through on her phone.  She actually picked up her phone and read the email.  What?! Just stopped our conversation, and read the email. And it wasn’t like she was waiting for an important message from someone. It was a random email; I know this because she told me about the email after she finished reading it in the middle of our conversation. Really? Really. Here’s a great read on the addictiveness of smart phones. FYI, the f-bomb appears multiple times.

Love this idea for hanging art.

Whether doing yoga or sitting in the park, we’d all do well to think along these lines. (thanks, d)

For the parents of older kids, click here for a reminder that it’s really going to be okay.  (thanks, b)

Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, it’s so important to listen to each other.

Father’s Day is June 18, here in the U.S.  Here’s a beautiful poem in honor of all fathers, wherever you live.

For the love of color.  And food.  Click here.

I just started reading this book the other day.  So far, it’s provocative.

 

Enjoy the clicks and
Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

The Kids Are Growing Fast

On Wednesday, we took a day trip with friends to an amusement park.  Let’s just say, I’m not a fan of most amusement park rides, and I’m not a fan of the crowds and noise and general commotion.  But…in the interest of stretching myself, and in the greater interest of doing something super fun for my kids, that’s just what we did.

They had a blast.  I had fun too, just watching them have fun.  I did only two rides myself (a, perhaps laughable, small kid roller coaster (not the monster you see above) and bumper cars.  I almost got coaxed into a medium level coaster, but the ticking clock and frenzied decisions of what to ride in the last minutes left my daughter forgetting to check if I still might ride that coaster with her.  Oh darn.

The kids have been on a handful of small coasters and various rides at boardwalks and the county fair, but this was their first foray at an amusement park (save the time we took my son when he was a toddler).  They weren’t sure they’d like the coasters; I wasn’t sure they’d like the coasters.  Um…they liked them, my daughter especially.

There was a special camaraderie that arose with the group who rode Skyrush (above).  They got off that ride with big smiles.  And then they got back in line again.  And, when they came off the second time, they got back in line for a third ride.

To me, it looked crazy.  I told my daughter that you’d have to pay me (a lot of) money to ride that coaster.  I have zero interest in a 212 foot drop and a 75 mph ride.  But they were thrilled, and they relived the experience on the car ride home, and again with their dad that night.  Future trips to any amusement park will certainly find the three of them on the coasters and me on the ground, holding the bag with waters and phones and sunglasses.  They seek thrills; I seek steady ground and shade.

As we left the park the other day, we passed the carousel and my daughter begged to squeeze in a ride.  Unfortunately, our meeting time to head home had arrived and I had to say no, but I was happy for her interest after the thrill of the coasters.  If there’s a next time (and there likely will be), I hope the carousel will be requested again.  Her request held a little sweetness in it.  After the excitement of speed and hills and loops and corkscrews, I was touched that, at 12, she still wanted to sit atop a carousel horse and go around gently, quietly.

Yes, fingers crossed for next time.  Gosh, they’re growing so fast.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

Dear Thursday

Dear Thursday,

Thank you for tea.  Thank you for time to hang with my kids.  Thank you for chocolate chip cookies. Thank you for time to plant our garden. Thank you for the tenderness with which my daughter tucked her strawberry plant and Irish moss into the soil. Thank you for not raining till evening.  Thank you for sandwiches for dinner. Thank you for a hot shower before climbing into bed with a good book.  Thank you for our library.  Thank you for starting out like any other day but then turning into the day that you were. Thank you, Thursday, for being kinda spectacular.

 

What was your Thursday like?  Share in the comments below (because we’d love to hear) or jot down your memories in a journal or notebook.  Sometimes it’s nice to look back as we begin to move forward.

Sending a little love your way, m