Tuesday, January 17, 2012

whew. glad I got that all out.

I hope you will read this. It's kind of important to me.

Someone once admitted to me, "I really liked [having a handmade shop] but I was never really good at juggling things."
I immediately thought, "Yeah, I am not good at juggling things either." But did I keep trying to juggle? Yep.

Someone once commented on a picture, "You guys always look like you are having such blast." 
My thoughts, "Ha! You mean we are as fake as facebook?" I say that very sarcastically meaning we only show what we want people to see. Even when we show our "real life" pictures we only show a fraction of real life. My response to that comment was an email reassuring that person it's a blast alright - a blast of messes and tears and lack of sleep and chaos. I wanted to make sure I wasn't giving the wrong impression.

A friend, someone I consider a close friend, said to me in an email, "I was wondering how you did all you did... I was wondering if you were superwoman or something" (paraphrased). That hit me hard. I didn't want her, or anyone, to think "How does she do it?" about me. 

I share all this because:
I know what it is like to feel like you are not enough. 
I know what it is like to feel like everyone out there has this perfect life going on and yours doesn't look half as sparkly.
I know what it is like to feel everyone is successful and accomplishing their dreams and quitting their day jobs and you are standing there trying to get someone to notice your talents and hard work.
I know what it feels like to go all day wiping noses and rear ends and have the house be a wreck and you can't even remember if you have brushed your teeth.
I know what it is like to feel that everyone around you is wearing a cute outfit and is a total trendsetter and you just hope you fit into your mom jeans that aren't supposed to be mom jeans but you blinked and now they are. (hahaha I am laughing b/c it's funny but true)
I know what it is like to feel everyone out there is feeding their kids healthy, organic, gluten free fantastic meals and you are struggling to get your kids to eat a (blankity-blank) peanut butter sandwich and raisins.

I know what it feels like to be left out.

I know what it is like to (you fill in the blank) - because even if I haven't gone through it you have and you know what it feels like and it doesn't feel good.

When I started this blog in 2008 it was literally just a place for me to post pictures of my art. I didn't have any knowledge of Etsy or blogging "communities"; I had a personal blog that like 3 people read, and I wanted to have a place on the in-tra-net to share examples of my paintings.
Shortly after I discovered Etsy, connected with other bloggers and this little corner of the world wide web grew.
Then my shop grew. Then my family grew. Then, well then I realized I wasn't ready for all this.
I put on a happy face. 
I tried to make this blog a fun place to share our "real life", the art I discovered, the art I was creating, the crafts I was doing, etc.
I worked really hard. I tried to juggle it all, but something had to give.
Something was always lacking because I was trying to give too much of myself.
Thankfully I took a little break over last summer to refocus. It helped so much, but when the break was over I was back in over my head.
Finally towards the end of September I realized I had to make a decision. I was at a place where I knew things had to change and I began focusing on my family, myself, my friends.
I was scared though. I worked really, REALLY hard to grow this blog and had developed some amazing friendships and felt like we had all become a part of each other's lives. I worked really, REALLY hard to grow my shop, to come up with original ideas, to develop my State Love Paintings, to make good connections. What if people used my ideas? What if I lost connections? What if everyone forgot about me?
Well, what if?
What if I spend more time playing and teaching my children?
What if I spend more time learning how to do new things?
What if I spend nap time exercising and doing things for myself?
What if I spend more time taking care of my household?

So here I am in 2012 sharing that things are going to change.
I enjoy blogging. I think it's a good thing, but for me, for now, it's not one of those things I want to juggle (as you may have noticed you haven't gotten much other than Instagram pictures for the past few months).
I enjoy painting and having my shop. I think it's a good thing, but for me, for now, it's not one of those things I want to juggle.
Like I said, I am not good at juggling.
For now you will see me when you do and you can miss me when you don't ;)
I frequent Instagram with photos of my kids and my coffee so if you are on there come find me @paintmeapic
You can always email me if you want to chat or have a question. I still like to talk a lot.

And please know, I am not sharing this to condone or condemn how other folks juggle. I am share because I want those of you who read my blog and connect with me here to know why things are changing and how I am changing.

That is all.

Friday, January 6, 2012

InstaFriday 12/16/11 - 1/5/12

Friends in real life.
We get together once a month to craft and be silly.
It is such a wonderful time. 
I think everyone should get together with their girlfriends to do something like this.

Two weeks of Daddy home! It was awesome.

One of the crafts my friends and I chose to do was monogramed glasses.
Super fast craft. Like under 10 minutes. 

Day date in Tallahassee ♥.
I love this man.

How we wrapped presents.
I never have gift tags so using letters worked out great.

A serious discussion about Santa coming down the chimney.

My very beautiful coffee cup from Alison and a pretty little mug rug she made.

We are all saddled up for adventure.
Charlie got real cowboy boots for Christmas from my mom.
{I laugh every time I see this picture.}

The biggest painting I ever did.
It's 30x40 inches and almost as big as my kitchen table!
I made it for Alison and demanded she pick it up in person.

AND she did :)
You should know she lives 7 1/2 hours away.
And she is like a foot taller than me.
And I am standing on a step stool here.
And I saw her three times in 6 months.

I know, he's sooooo cute.

Packing up all the red and green.
Isn't this wreath my sister made for me awesome?!
I didn't want to put it away.

That's okay Charlie, all the Play-Do colors are meant to be mixed together.
After finding Play-Do in my shoe, hidden in corners of my kitchen, and in the toy box I decided we will save this toy for later.

Yes, this is the same yarn I used when I first learned to crochet.
I undid the "project" for the last time and am almost finished with it.

Life with boys.

Happy Friday!

Monday, January 2, 2012


This is the second (or maybe third) time in 
Team Hop history a Christmas card hasn't gone out.
Well, I waited too late to get free ones from a Shutterfly offer like last year.
Then I just waited too late to even get some from a one-hour photo center.
And honestly, the thought of spending extra money on postage and cards wasn't at the top of my list.
What was at the top of my list?
Spending time alone with my husband. So instead of sending you Christmas cards we went on a day date and everything in the world was right.
But I do have a sweet Happy New Year card for you.
[see above]
I am excited about 2012.
I will turn 30 this year. What what!
I will learn new things this year.
I will be happy this year. Not that I am not happy now, 
but I want to be even happier.
That is our theme (yes, we pick themes for each year).
2012 is the year of happiness, so watch out and 
put a smile on your face.
Happy New Year friends, Happy. New. Year!