I don’t normally like to be in the spotlight…I’m more a “behind the scenes” kinda lady. But since this blog began in the spirit of sharing, I thought that just for today–while it might be extremely awkward and uncomfortable for me–it’d be fun to continue with that tradition, step out of my comfy little coccoon, and share a few random facts about me and my little world.
It’s sort of long, so if you’re not interested in reading it ALL, feel free to skim. If you’re not interested in reading it AT ALL, I hope you enjoy all the pretty pictures…
I learned to draw from my mom & dad. My parents are both artists, so I learned early on the importance of shapes, shading, fine art, a respect for the traditional masters…and always rinsing your paintbrush.
A have a younger sister. My sister is a few years younger than me, but has two teenage daughters (I got a late start in the kid department). Aside from our mom, my sister’s been the biggest mom-spiration to me when I had Myla. She’s very talented, creative, and WAY tough. I go to her when I need the flat-out truth about whether or not I should be worried about something, or if I just need to “suck it up” (as they say in the army).
I spent four years in the U.S. Army as a Photolithographer. Basically, I printed maps and scowled a lot. I dealt with some VERY difficult people, but I also learned that I’m pretty stinkin’ strong. Despite the difficulty, it changed parts of my personality forever–for the best. Plus I got to roll around in the dirt in the woods. And remember that time I found a 5-inch centipede in my field gear?? Good times.
I got a late start. My husband and I were married for SEVEN years before we decided to have a kid. Best decision EVER. I never really considered having kids, I just never really gave it much thought. It was my husband’s awesome idea, really, so he deserves a million high fives. I just needed some time to give it some actual serious thought. She wasn’t an accident, though–she was VERY thought out…probably TOO thought out. But once I’m in, I’m all in, and she’s been the most challenging–and most absolutely magical–thing to ever have happened to me. I always say that if I’d never had her, I’d never know, so I’d be quite happy and fulfilled, thank you. But I can’t even begin to explain how much happiness she’s brought to me, and how intensely ecstatic I am to be her mom.
I played roller derby for a few years. I wasn’t super great or anything, but it felt REALLY good to skate around and knock other girls down. And when YOU got knocked down, you didn’t even mind. It was worth it, as long as it was a good hit. I sprained my collarbone and my jaw in derby, got countless fist-sized bruises, separated my fibula from my kneecap area, and twisted my ankle, and it was all worth it. You could all hate each other, and then get on the track and still play a great bout, and hug each other afterward because of the general respect it takes just to get on the track. I can’t explain how much I love derby. (Sadly, I don’t play anymore, but I still love it.)
This also might explain why I started putting Myla on skates when she was two…
I tattooed myself. Not something I’d recommend to everyone, but I have some prior tattooing experience, and I felt confident I could pull it off. It was awkward, and at one point I was afraid I was totally going to mess it up, but I love it. It’s from a retro photo of a girl roller skating with a pillow strapped to her butt, except I drew my own derby skates on her. It sort of signified my whole “all out–but carefully” attitude about most things, especially in derby. Bonus: the little girl had SUPER curly hair like Myla.
Although someone recently told me I don’t LOOK like it (whatever that means), I have many tattoos. I even trained a little to learn to tattoo from artists in different places we’ve lived. I never really developed this skill the way I would have liked, but I have had some very brave friends who let me tattoo them over the years.
Myla wasn’t always interested in drawing. We spent three LONG winters in Fairbanks Alaska, which is well below negative temperatures for 8 months out of the year. My husband was deployed. Myla (who had just turned two) and I spent a LOT of time indoors. We had to find ways to entertain ourselves. This usually involved tea parties with water, stacking up megablocks, baking soda & vinegar volcanoes, and trying not to climb the bookshelves. Eventually, it turned into fingerpainting and drawing on ourselves. It was hard, but it was fun. By the time she was three, she began turning her little doodles into “monsters,” and was suddenly VERY into drawing (and has been ever since).
I like to sing. I don’t have a picture for this…but I learned guitar in high school pretty much so I could have something to sing along to. I have an alternate-life fantasy that I could play Fantine in Les Mis, Judas in the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar,” or Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors (mainly because they have the coolest songs). Bonus trivia: I get teary-eyed at the National Anthem and some spirituals. Basically anything with the big feels.
If I could have dinner conversation with any of my favorite inspirational figures, I’d want Terry Gilliam, Sia, Jim Henson, Amy Poehler, Maurice Sendak, Beck and Tom Waits. Okay, so it’d be a pretty big dinner party, but think we’d all get along.
I am a horrible cook. I am not domestically skilled in the slightest. Anything I do in that field is purely functional. All of the creativity I have in so many other mediums stops dead cold at the threshold of the kitchen. One thing that has helped: getting one of those services that sends ingredients to your house for you to make your own DIY weekly meals by following a set of instructions. It’s a worthwhile splurge. It’s like paint by numbers: I don’t really know what I’m doing, but BAM–I have a delicious meal when I’m done.
I’m a perfectionist. The funny thing is, I THOUGHT I was pretty “laid back.” This line from my sketchbook explains it all: “I didn’t want to be perfect. I just didn’t want to make any mistakes.” …Yeah, I actually SAID that to a counselor once, and it wasn’t til those words came out of my mouth that I realized THAT was what being a perfectionist IS. I think it got worse with the deployments, and having full responsibility of the happiness and care of our kid on my own in Alaska. That’s a lot of pressure! Nothing in our lives is perfect, of course. But the fact that it wasn’t (and couldn’t be) and I expected it to be, frustrated me and made me feel bad about the way I was handling things. It’s weird, but I’m working on it.
Random tidbit: If you had asked me when I was five, I might have told you I wanted to be a ballerina and a vet. Which is funny, because I’m completely clumsy (and I’d just make a horrible vet).
I hate magicians. I repeat: I. HATE. MAGICIANS.
Another random tidbit: When I was a kid, I used to think if I practiced hard enough, I could learn telekenesis. Don’t ask me why. It was a combination of a bunch of sci-fi movies and strange books. I was a weird kid.
In my natural habitat, I have a potty mouth, which sort of blossomed during my time in the military. Despite this, I DO NOT swear in front of Myla. Sometimes it’s hard, but I’ve learned to appreciate words like, “goshdarnit” and “DANG.”
We have two dogs. A boxer named Scout, and a boston terrier named Adie. They are both old ladies who love and tolerate eachother. And we love and tolerate them immensely.
Adie (the boston) was my “hairy baby,” so she especially took awhile to warm up to Myla when she was born (mainly this occurred when Myla became old enough to eat–and floor drop–solid food). Scout, however, has always been a big sweet teddy bear (except with other dogs. She has dominance issues, probably from being bossed around by the boston).
I’m forty-one. Yeah, you heard me. If you’re young, I know that sounds ancient, but you know what’s awesome about forty? I. Don’t. CARE. I know who I am, and I’m pretty happy with that. I’m introverted, but I’m not shy. I’m awkward, but I can handle myself. I’m like a happy little snail with my shell, and I come out when I want, and I tuck in when I want. And I’m totally comfortable with that. Now the fun part is getting to know OTHER people!
I have a back disorder that I discovered after an injury in the army. I have some fairly rare thing called B27 in my blood that they don’t really understand (my sister has it too, surprisingly). They classify it as “spondyloarthritis,” which basically means “ongoing chronic back pain that we don’t understand and can’t really do anything about.” It’s always been a sharp pain in the same exact spot. Sometimes I am fine, and other times I’m in so much pain that I can barely walk. It’s become such a normal thing to live with, that even I get tired of complaining about it, so I just grin & bear it, because what else can ya do? But it basically means I’m in some level of back discomfort AT ALL TIMES. I’ve tried every treatment I have access to–from injections to infusions to medication–and they’ve all either had horrific side effects, or didn’t help in the slightest.
I love my job. I work from distance as a graphic artist for the army’s MWR in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. I design posters for all of their events & facilities. I worked in-office for a couple of years, and when my husband was relocated with the army, I was lucky enough to have them keep me on. I love the people I work with–they were a great group when I worked in-office and they’re a great group from far away. Working from home sometimes means that my “desk” is occasionally on the floor, surrounded by dogs, and that in between work orders, I can throw a load of laundry in, or empty the dishwasher.
So that’s about it. And now I feel a little…exposed. Not my ENTIRE life in a nutshell, by any stretch…but enough to have fun with. So while I hurry and wrap myself up tightly and snug back in my snail shell, what are some strange and interesting facts about you? Think of three things, and comment–tell me some trivia or quirks about your own life!
I don’t have three things. Well, maybe I do. We’ll see how this comment all wraps up. The comment I do have is actually more of a question. Following directions, big challenge for me. I’m a beekeeper. I know nothing about your disorder and, because you said it was rare and little understood, I didn’t even try googling it. That said, the bee stings I have received the past few years while beekeeping have evaporated my arthritis and my husband’s carpel tunnel. I have no idea if venom therapy would work for you, but chronic pain sucks joy, whether you’ve learned to live with it or not, so maybe you might want to consider a bee sting or five. I can help you find a local beekeeper if you want to give it a go. It might help a lot, but even if it doesn’t, working with bees is awesome and would totally be worth the experience of hanging out around some hives. I guess that’s only one, so here’s two more. I got a late start with kids as well. Now I have 2. Waiting was the Best decision ever. I suck at art, but love love love it and wish I could be even a little bit fantastic at painting. The tricky thing is that my girls are actually pretty good. I homeschool them so trying to foster their artistic talents is HARD! Anyhow, reach out if you have any questions about apitherapy.
Thank you so much for sharing! I have not tried bee stings…although I did say I’d be willing to try an alien sandwich if it meant 100% no more back pain… 🙂
I love sharing your life! Your talent and Myla’s is SO MUCH FUN to be part of.
1. I’m not a mom – but I have a gazillion heart kids. SO thankful for that.
2. I love photography – driving around and looking at stuff. My “artist” comes out via that venue
3. I have a good life
Thanks for sharing! That’s wonderful–I have a good life, too! And it may sound cheesy, but I think looking at the good side of things is contagious. 🙂
This was an awesome post! I always feel it’s brave for bloggers to talk about themselves specifically, especially when you claim to be an introvert (of a sort!). I’ll give you one quirky thing about me (since I’m at work and I have to make this short!) I was also a very weird kid, and when I was about eleven I joined up with three of my best friends and we formed a witch coven. It was great fun, doing things like saving our eyelashes and toe nail clippings to make potions with. Nothing “witchy” ever really happened, but we sure scared ourselves to death plenty of times! Oh and I have two dogs as well, two teenaged kids, and I couldn’t live without any of them:-D
I’ve had little clubs like that! Not witch ones, but…Um. We lived in a cul-de-sac near a field, so we were the “frog saver’s club,” and used to try to bring squished frogs from the road back to life by wrapping them up in leaves and burying them. (My sister says I was the weird one and everyone else just went along…)
And you know what’s weird–I’m an introvert who loves to share… I think that’s why online sharing works so well for me! 🙂
Cheesy or not, you’re right. Nice to meet you — I applaud your bravery in sharing your life — I will try to be inspired by that!
1. I’m on career #4. They’ve all been exciting adventures that took me to some pretty cool places, but now I’m a fine art photographer and it’s a really good fit. It allows me to look for beauty absolutely everywhere and it encourages travel & exploration. I’m in love.
2. I’m a fully recovered back pain sufferer for nearly 15 years. I no longer think doctors have the answers — they are guessing. After one intense bout on oxycontin for three months and winding up looking like a heroin addict, I tried a psychiatrist. We had a few nice chats and then she changed my life by suggesting what I really needed was to meet a physical therapist she knew. Six months of PT (the first three weeks I cried through every session). My therapist specialized in one thing: backs and back pain. She changed my life and even though insurance didn’t pay a dime, it was worth every penny. I still have the MRI’s showing the “damage” to my neck and spine that the doctors said required more emergency surgery. Uh huh, right.
3. I believe in kindness, love & magic: flying reindeer, Santa Claus, aliens, ghosts, faeries, pookas, etc. I also believe the same wild, wonderful energy makes every single thing (including humans), which is why I occasionally hug trees when hiking.
I always enjoy your posts — keep ’em coming!
Well that’s amazing news about your back pain!! Every MRI and scan has shown “inflammation,” and that’s it. I’ve had doctors inject my back muscles with sugar water, I’ve had pain pills (at one point I was on the same stuff–but lower doses–of the stuff that killed Heath Ledger), infusions and injections. Pilates helps. They say exercise helps, so I’ve been working through the pain, but it makes it worse. I try to keep positive, though! Thanks for sharing!
Exercise may keep you sane, but I strongly urge you to find a physical therapist (maybe a sports therapist – mine worked with the Philadelphia Eagles players) that specializes in back pain. Within 15 minutes of my first visit with her, mine knew exactly what I needed (after nearly five years of visits to doctors who offered nothing but pills and surgery that didn’t help). I cried with the relief of knowing I wouldn’t spend the rest of my life in pain and then I cried through the first few weeks of exercises she put me through! But she gave me hands on direction and encouragement to safely work through the pain with a series of specific, targeted stretches & exercises. You can do it too. I’ll be thinking of you.
This is a great post. You’ve achieved so much! 🙂
Thank you so much!
Love this! (I’m a compulsive reader so I read every word). You are the same age as my younger daughter, and I wish she was as together as you are. Three things: I was born in England and came to the U.S. at age 8, so I’m still somewhat bi-cultural; I also have tattoos, four of them (a stargazer lily with leaves (earth), a dolphin (water), a bird of paradise (air) and a compass rose sun (fire), but none were self-administered! Only the sun was done on purpose to complete the four elements. As an artist I’d like to be able decorate cakes and arrange flowers, but I’m terrible at both. But I am a fairly good home cook. Thanks for sharing yourself. Inspiring! And I love your art.
Since my dad was in the military, we grew up in Germany, and I’ve always considered myself sort of bicultural…even though I haven’t been back since college. I miss Europe altogether, and have been trying to get back there. Thank you for making it through the full read–and thank you for sharing!
1. I had the telekinesis thing too, and I also believed I would be able to levitate if I concentrated hard enough. I still have dreams where I’m levitating and sometimes nearly flying but I have to concentrate and I rarely have much control (I’m more of a pinball than a bird).
2. I’m learning Japanese and Romanian and ukulele. 🙂
3. I’m a female nerd: I love science and I used to be a computer programmer but I like to wear long skirts. Is that unusual? These days it seems unusual for middle-aged women to wear long skirts.
Spent long minutes deciding whether to press the post button or the delete button…
Well good for you for hitting post! I was so hesitant to push the “publish” button, but I’m glad I did. So nice to hear what everyone else is up to! And PS: I think if you wanna rock a long skirt, you go ahead and do it!! I have spent a lifetime trying to dress like a grownup, and just recently realized that I’m okay with t-shirts & cardigans, and bluejeans with Chucks. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Being grownup is overrated! 😉
VERY true! Took me FORTY years to figure THAT one out!
~I am introverted like you are. Reserved but not shy or timid.
~I’m an only child.
~When I was little I wanted to be a famous scientist (like Isaac Newton or Robert Boyle) or a famous artist (like Leonardo DaVinci). I got the artist part, but I’m not famous, and it turns out I’m totally okay with that.
~I lived in Brazil for four years as a child. In addition to providing some excellent stories (I fell into the Amazon river right next to where we had been fishing for piranhas and was scared but unscathed), it has forever changed the way I see the world (in a good way).
~I married my high school sweetheart at the tender age of eighteen, and had my first baby a month before I turned 20. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I’ve had so much fun growing up with my kids.
~I am mildly synesthetic. So when I drink tea, I have to choose a mug that matches (or at least coordinates) with the color I think the tea tastes like.
I know you don’t know me from Adam, but I really think we could be fabulous friends. 🙂
Oh what fun things! I’m okay with my level of artistic achievement , too: if the most I’ve done is create with our kid and encourage others to do the same, that’s amazing! I sometimes feel guilty that Myla’s on only kid, but she’ll be just fine. Thanks so much–sounds like we’d have a great time with a cup o’tea! (In coordinated cups, of course!)
i loved this post! I will be 42 this year and feel the same way. life has just kept getting better, thankfully!!! you are amazing and i am so glad you shared this post with all of us. and all the photos, i love the one of you on the computer with the dogs laying down with you. Hilarious and i can totally relate. 🙂
Well, I love this post! Thanks for sharing yourself! I’m 60 (gasp) and enjoy your world and started following you because I’m an artist and a grandmother. Actually I’m a “Cracker”. Funny how you just never know what grandkids will end up calling you. 😀 I also have RA and feel your pain. Have heard good things about bee therapy and am considering.
Thanks for being so awesome and putting yourself out there!
Thank you! I know I’ve tried acupuncture with no luck. And funny: my nieces call my mom “G-ma,” partly because one didn’t have enough room on an art piece to spell “grandma,” but more hilariously, because my mom once came home with a new computer bag, covered with shiny, embellished emblems which–on closer inspection–were actually the logo for Fiddy Cent’s “G-UNIT” brand. Teeheehee!
What a great post! I have an appreciation for your carefree spirit about your age. 47 years here… and I wouldn’t change a second of them! Here are a few things that not everyone knows about me.
1. I have a tattoo that a friend of mine did for me…. and I love it! I was one of her guinea pigs “back in the day” and have remained one of her biggest fans to date! (Hint: You MIGHT know the tattoo artist!)
2. After raising a family and following my military husband for 20 years, I am finally following my dream to become a teacher!
3. I have a Judge Judy addiction… at least, I think it is an addiction. Is it an addiction when you DVR her show every day and enter every contest she has? Ahhhh, one can only dream of winning!
You are a wonderful artist and a fantastic person. While you always share so much of yourself with us through your work, it was great to “see” more of you! ❤
Ah, Rhonda you’re awesome! I’m glad you’re following your dream. And I hear you on the Judge Judy addiction! I was on a JJ bender once, although I haven’t watched it in awhile. I love her!
Take care! 🙂
I am 45 years old. I have 3 Cockatiels, 7 Budgies, 2 rats and a gerbil. Last year I quit my job of 6 years to become a cake decorator. I love that owl cake by the way. I am a very good baker and cook. My favorite place in the universe is the public library.
Awesome, good for you!! I love a good library, and I like to pretend I’m a cake decorator sometimes. 🙂
The key to becoming a cake decorator is practice and maybe a Wilton cake decorating class or two. It also helps to remember that cake decorating a skill you learn not a talent you are born with so sometimes things just aren’t going to be perfect and thats okay.
That was a great post, thanks for sharing with us. I know how hard it can be to open yourself like that, whenever my posts touch on the personal it makes me really uncomfortable. I also shared your belief that telekinesis would be possible if I practiced enough (I blame Roald Dahl’s Mathilda for that though). You shared so seems only fair to share in response, here are my three weird things:
1. When I was about 10 I wanted to be a priest.
2. I have a weird lump in my knee from an irresponsible shopping trolley mishap when I was at university.
3. I really really love ice-skating even though I’m pretty rubbish at it.
Thank you so much! It is hard to share, and it is awkward, but I’m glad I did. When I was a kid, I read a book called “The Girl With Silver Eyes” or something, and she would stare at things until they finally moved. Sooo….there ya go. And I love a few things I’m rubbish, at too! Thanks so much for sharing!
It’s always good to get insight into creative people’s lives, to understand what shapes us. I really enjoyed your post. Someday I hope to make a living somehow by fusing my own musical and scientific interests, but I’m a long way from there… Since I read your whole post, and as a special favour to you because I also love Judas’ songs in JC Superstar, I’ll play your game:
1. Apparently I’m the only man reading this blog, but I read quite a few mom-oriented blogs (didn’t fully realise this until scrolling through the comments here)
2. I have 2 daughters and I’m pretty terrified of them growing up. I adore them so much, it’s crazy.
3. I’m a Christian geologist – most Christians probably think I’m a heretic because I believe in an ancient earth and evolution, while most geologists probably think I’m a heretic because I believe in God, but that’s alright.
Hahah! Well, I do seem to get more female readers comment than male (I like to think they’re just all quietly reading without comment), but I have heard a good great deal from both. So I hope you don’t feel alone! And I try to keep mine mainly an art blog, but it HAS sort of evolved into a mom-art blog! And oh GOSH I hear you on being terrified of your girls growing up–so am I, although she has promised us she will stay 5 forever, and that if she DOES have to grow up, she won’t be a jerk. Love it all, thanks for sharing!
I love your blog, and admire how you have learned to share yourself. I really love how you have grown to love who you are, and understand that your nerdy (as you say) and uniqueness are what make you who you are. I was in awe of both you and your sister, who although are very different souls, each special in your own ways. I tried to not “own” you, but to nurture the special souls that were put in my care. I hoped for you to see yourselves as I saw you. I tried to respect and nurture the uniqueness I saw in each of you and help you each bloom into who you were, not who I wanted you to be. It can be confusing, and challenging to be a parent, for sure intimidating! I always took my roll seriously, made it a priority, I tried to respect that by given two wonderful souls to tend, my job was to do my best to teach them the basic skills in life, (which are sometimes influenced by your own beliefs) (which is OK because that was who I was), to try and guide you, protect you but not put you each in a bubble (which I would have loved to do) to protect you from those kids, and in some cases teachers who did not see your souls, as different in a good way, unique to who you were…To value your individuality and help you find your strengths and love yourself, to see your talents and appreciate yourselves for who YOU each are…and to guide you to be a positive force in our universe!— Despite all of my mistakes, and shortcomings (because I am only human, and was flying by the seat of my pants too)! You both evolved into the wonderful people I dreamed you had the potential to be, and you both rock…if you could only get children to see, (as has been pointed out many times) all of the things the kids harasses other kids over, because they are different, are the very things that make you that outstanding person others want to be around, when you are “grown” because they are….DIFFERENT!–I am thankful for having been the one entrusted with watching over you and your sister until you could fly on your own! …..Now that you are grown, and can see this all for yourself, I can say to you with humility (and a bit of self satisfaction), I told you so….
You rocked it G-unit! 😀
Regarding Myla being an only child – I am also an only child. The only drawback I s loneliness when I have gotten older. There is no one to lean on, which makes you learn to depend on yourself. It can make you a stronger person. My mom taught me to intertain myself. I learned at an eary age NOT to say I was bored. There was always a floor to scrub or bathroom to clean. Anyway, I know your mom and dad have done a wonderful
Job instilling values for both you and Mica.
I am so glad you obtained the artistic values. I still have a number of things your mom painted for me. I still treasure them.
Hello there! I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months now, but have never commented here! Obviously, I save the best remarks for Instagram, where an over enthusiast winkie/kiss face is universally understood. (insert said winkie/kiss face here)
You are pretty fantastic to all of us out here wanting to catch a glimpse into your life. Thank you for your posts and your art.
I’m 27 and have 2 kiddos. I never, ever wanted to be a mother and have always hated children. I was a ‘smart kid’ and knew I was destined for world domination or riches, travel, etc. I was also terrified of everything before age 10, including bicycle riding (still strongly dislike) and dark rooms. I joined the Border Patrol when I was 20. My son came along and suddenly I changed. Everything. Resigned from work, dove head first into bfeeding, cooking, cleaning, you name it. I was more surprised then anyone in my life! It turns out, I’m a pretty good Mom and I’m okay with that.
I have a heart condition, supra ventricular tachycardia and had an ablation on June 12 of 2014 to correct it. It’s been a scary uphill battle back to healthy ever since.
I’ve been in love with vintage toys for years and have been collecting items for an etsy shop for the past 4 years. I finally opened my shop this past August and love it.
I hope you continue to share with us and further your artistic talents towards whatever makes you happiest. You are a great Mom by the way and your daughter is very lucky. (winkie/kiss face, some sparkle hearts and a laughing til I cry face just cause)
Thank you for sharing your life, true real stories always pull me in to keep reading. Thank you and your husband for your time of service to our country! I raised 4 children and currently have two grandsons who i completely adore. I have worked in manufacturing my whole life and dislike it but it is a life long sacrifice i have to make for my family. I love piano, not good at it because the first time i played a instrument i was already 40. Self taught by ear. I compose my own. Together with my wife about 30+ yrs, married going on 29 years. I am kind to everyone deserving. All i know is work and work hard. I am happy with my family but not happy with where life has taken me so far. I am not a worrier or think much about future, today is all i believe in making the best of. Sorry i keep going on. I wish you and your family the best!
Looks like you’re enjoying your life to the fullest! 😀
Great thing. Have fun! 🙂 Keep Blogging.