I've stopped and started this post numerous times, not entirely sure what it is, exactly, that I have to say today.
There's much to process, but to pick the morsels that you might actually be interested in, ahh, therein lies the challenge.
Between the Moxie Fab World and Cath, etc., sometimes I just don't know how much more there really is to say. I mean, to be quite honest, as much as I enjoy it, I get really tired of hearing myself write sometimes.
But the other day I got an email from one of my readers, Jo, who said:
I was driving to Mass yesterday morning. I live in Michigan and it was quite a foggy morning. About a mile or two down the road, through a heavily treed area, you could just see a very light colored sun coming up. It almost looked like the moon, but it definitely was the sun, coming through and breaking up the fog. I immediately thought to myself...if I was Cath I would be doing some serious "creative writing" or poetry about this sunrise. You didn't even know that I was thinking about you and your talent...but I was!
These words touch me deeply. That she would think of me in that little bit of time when the sun broke through the trees sends me to that place inside myself where grace and tenderness live. That she would take the time to share this with me is a gesture that transcends all the ordinariness there is in the world. And even though she thought of me and how I might write this scene, she has captured it perfectly. I am there, seeing the sun break through the fog, sharing this early Sunday morning moment with Jo, a woman I have never met.
...and yet, I was in her sunrise.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. There is power in the blog. Power in the connections that we make as strangers who then become friends. Power in the knowledge that over the miles and through the air, we are a part of one another's lives despite the fact that we have never met and may, indeed, never meet.
This seems to be the theme to my week. As I celebrate the blogiversary of the Moxie Fab World, I have been reminded of the connections that I am making in that blogosphere, too. My heart is warm and full.
Thank you for listening. For coming back day after day as I struggle to make sense of it all. For allowing me into your world through your comments and emails. For indulging my seemingly growing need for cadence and rhythm in the words that I write.
Thank you for reading these words that attempt to express how lovely it is to know that I was in her sunrise.
It's been one of the most fun projects I've ever worked on and I've made a ton of new friends in the journey. Maybe you're one of them. :)
I'm still pinching myself when I think that I actually get paid to find trendy inspiration and write bippy posts for my readers.
And while I know that you, dear blogfriend, might not be a paper crafter, I did want to let you know that as part of our blogiversary celebration, I'm giving away 12 b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l holiday projects created by some of the most talented paper crafters in the industry today.
And I'm talking b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.
All you have to do is hop on over and leave a comment in order to be eligible to win.
So drop on by! I'll be the one with the funny hat on. I hope to see you there!
My computer has another virus. Oh wait, you didn't know about the first virus, or maybe you did because I got it by clicking on something stupid on Facebook that sent all my FB friends porn. That's a whole other story which has another story attached to it as well. And the fact that you don't know about said story(ies) means that I've been a bad blogger.
Which is part of my *ugh*.
So I've been stuck upstairs in my incredibly neglected office amongst the sad and cluttered relics of my card business on my dinosaur of a computer realizing that it has none of the stuff I'm used to working with/on since I got my laptop almost two years ago and being frustrated because I can't adjust my chair right so I don't get shoulder cramps from using the mouse and I have to wait for-absolute-ever just to wait for it to accomplish the simplest of tasks not to mention the mass amounts of time it needs just to become functional after I boot it up every morning. I haven't had time to clean off the virus because
I've been c-r-a-z-y busy at work, working overtime full-time not part-time at all which makes me wonder if this whole voluntary simplicity thing is for me whatsoever. And while I have had a lot more than usual to do at work--OK, to be fair, a WHOLE LOT more than usual to do at work--I seem to gravitate towards that whole perfectionist, push everything to its limits, and let everything else slip aside kinda mode.
I swear that's where I feel most comfortable. And I hate it when that realization rears its ugly head every so often. Because ultimately it's completely unmanageable and leads me to burn-out.
I had two book club meetings in one week, both of which I put the reading of the book off until the last minute so I was reading non-stop for about 5 days the second week in September. Largely due to the *ugh* that pertains to work.
My father-in-law had surgery and then an emergency rush to the hospital a few days later and I've been worried and concerned about him and my mother-in-law all while having to stay focused with my nose to the grindstone. He's doing better now, thank goodness, but it sure has been hard being so far away, especially when they are having such a difficult time.
I haven't been working out regularly, just about one or two times a week which makes me feel like a slug.
As a result, in spite of losing 14 pounds, it's now only a 12-pound deficit and I'm at a plateau that my body hasn't wanted to bust through in, oh, say, a decade or so.
And every time I write in this blog I feel like I'm just so negative, but I guess anything would feel negative compared to the "bippy" girl I become when I write in the Moxie Fab World.
So I'm just stopping by to say *ugh.* It's been a long month, I couldn't even really tell you where it's gone, because I woke up one day and realized it was fall and I wasn't much aware that summer had come and gone. But then, when I really think about it, September has belonged to my beloved Paper Crafts, where I've been enjoying myself immensely, like when I found this poem in my morning cereal, and developed another Big Idea somewhere as I was walking between Fort and Relation Streets which will reveal itself in the Moxie Fab World beginning tomorrow, and a lovely editorial board meeting with our new Go-to Gals just a couple of days ago.
None of which are *ugh*s whatsoever.
But I didn't include a picture in this blog post. 'Cause my camera batteries all need charging and everything else is on my laptop. Which, as I mentioned, has a virus.
...obsessive-compulsive, all-or-nothing, constantly fighting a tug-of-war battle that causes me to dive in so deeply I can't breathe I tell ya I've never been one for balance but I'm going to find it if it kills me. ;)
...staying away afraid that in my new life with my new schedule if I let myself dive in to this blog the way I really want to I might dive in so deeply that I won't be able to breathe (again) and that will have defeated the purpose of slowing down altogether.
...ever aware of my history with such things. Like trying out card-making and it wasn't enough to just make one card since coming up with the design is the tough (fun) part and you've got that stamp or that brass template and all that cardstock and patterned paper and a whole package of brads so why not just make six or a dozen? And then the suggestion why not sell them? and before I know it I've got over a hundred designs and 12 people working for me until I became the creative editor of Paper Crafts and now I make no cards whatsoever. I've got a lifetime of stories just like this one.
...enjoying the Moxie Fab World finding new ways to inspire and loving the inspiration that's happening to all of us over there.
...so in love with my job that I can't stand it sometimes I am such a lucky girl to have the opportunity to do what I do.
...disappointed I haven't lost more weight but am stronger than I've ever been in my life because of strength training twice a week and aerobic exercise at least four. In fact, I've gained a little weight but stayed in my skinny clothes. My posture's better. My outlook's better. I am better. And there's nothing like a brisk walk on these early summer mornings with the Russian Olive so fragrant my absolute favorite thing about living where I live.
...missing Nicole she's really got her own life going now and she's relying on me less and less. Which is good. It feels strange to be glad for her distance on one level but sad for it on another. That's parenthood in a nutshell. You'd think I'd be used to it by now.
...excited for tomorrow my paper crafting friend Kim Kesti is going to be in town so we're having a party on the porch in her honor and I can't wait to catch up with her and hang with my PC Peeps away from the office.
...missing you my friend I'm searching for that balance and through that journey quickly realizing that I'll never find it without you.
If you didn't know, I host another blog, the Moxie Fab World, for the magazine I work for, Paper Crafts. I don't talk about it too much here because I think that many of you Cath, etc. readers don't paper craft or scrapbook or do anything much whatsoever with pretty pieces of paper.
Which is fine. I certainly don't hold that against you. ;)
But I wanted to let you know that there are some exciting things going on over there this week and on the Paper Crafts blog that you might want to check out.
We're celebrating the release of our moxie fab special issue, Stamp It! Cards. It's our best Stamp It! issue to date and I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty stinkin' proud of it. It's chock full of stamped cards that will just tickle you down to your toes. Not that I'm writing marketing copy or anything, it's just true.
I mean, just look at the cover:
If that doesn't make you happy, I'm not sure what will.
But I digress. The cool thing is that there are tons of prize giveaways on both blogs and even if you aren't a stamper yourself, I'm guessing you probably know someone who is--and wouldn't they just love to receive a gift of stamps from sweet little ol' you?
But maybe what you'd be even more interested in today, in particular, are the 10 original free handmade cards some of my favorite designers (who are also some of my best friends) in the industry have worked up for a giveaway. That's right. 10 original handmade cards that you could enter to win and give to someone yourself. Click here to see what this fun giveaway is all about.
So hop on over, give it a look-see. Leave a comment on any of the posts this week. Get picked as a random winner. See what I do in my day-job.
And share a little moxie fab love, from me to you.
I'm back from 6 parties in 5 days, 3 of which I hosted at my home. It all began last Wednesday in which my Classics Book Club gathered for a fine meal and a discussion of what books we'd like to read next year. More to come.
Thursday was the Paper Crafts team party hosted by our editor-in-chief, Jennifer Schaerer, in the midst of which I was presented my birthday cake...
On Friday, I went to work and discovered this sign hanging above my cube:
...once again, prepared by the multi-faceted Stace. I was presented with a gift card to REI on the way to our company holiday party with which I plan to purchase some Yaktrax so I can hike this winter.
That evening, we attended a super fun party hosted by our friends Jill and Randy. I'm sad to say that we were so busy having a ton of fun that I have no pictures whatsoever.
Saturday was my birthday (not Friday as my birthday blog post would have indicated. Since when does 12:00 AM 12/20/2008 become a December 19 post?) Nicole, Beccah, and Mark pulled out all the stops to throw me the best party evah! (Thanks, guys!) Whilst they were making preparations, my mom took me to lunch and we went shopping. I don't have a ton of photos, but here are some of the highlights of the party:
The luminaries on the sidewalk leading up to the house.
Beccah and Barty
Jennifer, Nicole, and Jennifer
Jennafer, Stace-the-talented, and Susan
Jennifer & Nick
Vince & Charsti
One of the many highlights of the evening--the surprise 6th annual visit of the Tuba Carolers, friends of Nicole's from high school who play Christmas carols on our front porch, the surest way for anyone to be dipped, no dunked, directly into the Christmas Spirit.
Staci, Nan, Yours Truly, and Charsti--Seriously good times
On Sunday we hosted 28 for the 6th annual Crazy Cousins Christmas Caroling Convention in which we were surrounded by love, warmth, and beautiful music. The highlight of that evening was the moment in which I invited the little girl cousins, the big girl cousins, and the aunts upstairs to raid the Cards by Cath stash. Some left with 3 bags of cards overflowing!
This morning when Mark received an invitation to a work cocktail party for this evening, I respectfully declined. He is there now, and I am home with you. For I have had the time of my life in these last few days. There's nothing like celebrating the good friends in our workplaces, the everlasting pals from our pasts, and the kinship that lies in those to whom we are born. I am writing this wrapped in a glow that will last at least until the next time we meet.
May your holidays be filled with the love and peace of good friends, close family, and the laughter and warmth that fills each day with joy.
For these are the times to remember. And I will, gratefully, remember them well.