Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"To Be Set Free" - A Colored Pencil Drawing And A Work In Progress

"To Be Set Free"     Colored Pencil on Paper     11" x 20"

"To Be Set Free"     Detail of her face
So here's the next installment of "To Be Set Free." I still need to go back and add some fly away hairs in the front like I did in the background, and the Bokeh (the circles of light and darkness) needs some serious blending, but other than that, I think all she needs next is her wings. I'm not sure if I'm dreading that or looking forward to it, to be quite honest... But I do know it's going to be a challenge to get those textures just right, especially getting them to look further back behind her without blurring them out or making them appear too detailed. This could be interesting...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"To Be Set Free" - A WIP (Work in Progress) in Colored Pencil Over Graphite

This originally was a graphite drawing I started in college, but I saw my friends black and white colored pencil drawing and immediately fell in love with the way it made everything look like a photo, and so I set to work right away on re-drawing it right over the original with colored pencils. Right here it's in both phases, so you can see the hair is graphite, as well as from her shoulder and collar bone and down, and the rest is colored pencil, just of white and black, though I'm adding grey in later as well. It's got a long way to go before it's even close to being finished. Definitely a Work in Progress at this point. By the way, the blackish brown lines around the outside are just my couch. Not part of the picture. Just really wanted to get this posted because I miss blogging sooo much!
God has been working on my heart in ways that you wouldn't even be able to believe or imagine. He's brought some absolutely amazing women of faith my way that have been such needed encouragers of the faith and speakers of God's truth through LOVE  that they have taken this wretched woman in me who has been engulfed in bitterness and anger over losing soooo much in my life - nearly everything I hold dear - and I mean it - when my illnesses hit, it was like our lives stopped dead in their tracks - both Tyler and I are still reeling from the suddenness and severity of how intensely we lost nearly everything we held dear to this absolutely mind boggling constant and excruciating pain. I know I've said it before, but my pain is literally so insanely bad that nearly every specialist I've seen - like my Dr. at the pain clinic, my rheumatologist AND Sleep Study Therapists have ALL said is off the charts it's so bad - that I have pain so severe they've never seen anyone with it worse than me for what I have, and that it literally doesn't get any worse than what I have. And to add insult to injury, the sorrow on their faces as they empathize with us over our age and the fact that we have two little babes at home is just heartbreaking. They all tell us how sorry they are for us - it's been crazy to finally be validated, and yet heartbreaking in it's own right because not only am I the worst they've ever seen, but usually you start out really bad and get better each year but for me it's not been the case. It's gotten worse and worse each and every year - it's just crazy town. But God gave me this burden to bear, and I am convinced wholehearted that He is going to do AMAZING things out of it!!!

Detail of her mouth, chin and some fly away hairs - still working on it - needs it's highlights for sure on those lips and a lot more blending to make it smooth. Loving to work on this again. God is sooo good!

And what's even better is that God is now speaking hope into my life again. Showing me that joy and praise, not bitterness and anger, are the way to a happy, positive and God-filled life, even if it's a life lived on the sofa just about 24/7. And yes, that means it's my lonely little bed if you're wondering... Anyways, God is teaching me that to let go of all the pain of the past AND present, of all the hurt I have over abandonment by friends, or loneliness, or any other host of issues. But to hold on to the pain is to give Satan a foothold over my life, and I just WILL NOT HAVE THAT ANYMORE!!! I RENOUNCE HIM FROM MY LIFE, AND I CHOSE THE LIFE OF REPENTANCE FOR ALL MY OWN SINS, FOR THE UNFORGIVENESS IN MY OWN HEART, THE BITTERNESS, THE ANGER, THE DARK PLACES I GO TO WHEN I FEEL SO MUCH PAIN THAT I JUST WANT TO BE REUNITED WITH MY KING! I CHOOSE JESUS, AND FORGIVENESS, AND LOVE, JOY, AND HAPPINESS. To try to be a peacekeeper instead of stirring up drama, to try to love others and realize that when they sin or hurt me they do it out of their own brokenness, and I'm no different. I want to be FREE and POSITIVE and full of HOPE again, SO THAT I CAN SERVE God in MIGHTY, MIGHTY WAYS,  AND BRING HIM AS MUCH GLORY AS I CAN - TO BE A CONQUERER FOR HIM, because I LOVE Him sooo, soooo very much.

What I found very odd about all this, is that when I started making these choices in my life and asking for forgiveness, forgiving others, uprooting these ugly roots of bitterness that so deeply entangle me, well, I started getting passionate about my art again. And I mean VERY passionate about it. I've been drawing again, with a Godsend of a friend who met because I saw one of her gorgeous drawings and immediately had to introduce myself, we immediately hit it off right away, and now she comes over just about every week to draw together. And now I have the blessing of being able to try to paint again as well because of another one of my Godsend friends who was sooo sweet that she sat down in Hobby Lobby for like who knows how long and literally sat with EVERY lap easel in her lap to find the lightest one for me for my birthday knowing that I can't paint because of my pain, and so she knew that if the easel was light enough, I could do so (isn't that such great love?) that I might be able to paint again - I am soooo truly blessed!!!

In fact, we're hoping to start up a little group of artists who can come and pray and read the bible and do art together we're sooo inspired by all this. God is soooo good!!! And what I've noticed so fully and truly is that in order to truly get rid of all the filth inside - the anger and bitterness and unforgiveness - is to fully fill our minds with praise and all that is pure and lovely. As the Bible says:

 Philippians 4:1-9
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Final Exhortations
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

So basically, I've learned that I have to get my heart right by forgiving those who hurt me, by becoming a peacekeeper rather than someone who tries to constantly fight or be "the one who's always right all the time" and by giving up this spirit of arrogance and rebellion that I've had for FAR too long - something that at times I'd confuse with confidence and pride and get all mixed up until I was all twisted up inside. But by coming to God DAILY first with a heart of praise, thanking Him for all that IS good in my life, praising Him for His Glorious creation - one that is soooo breatakingly beautiful and that I have the privelage to try to re-create WITH Him as I do my art and spend time with Him in worship. There is almost nothing more that I love to do than to sit alone with God and paint with Him by my side, or draw with Him out in nature, marveling at all the glorious beauty that he has created! My, what a Majestic and Artist and Gifted God do we serve!!! <3 The more you sing praises to Our King, the more that peace and tranquility creeps into your heart and soul, as the light, the GLORIOUS LIGHT pushes out the darkness because where there is LIGHT no darkness can reign. Halleluiah! I am so on FIRE for our King, let that fire NEVER falter, let it never grow dim or burn out, but Lord, let it grow and grow until it is all that people see when they see me - You and Your light in me. AMEN to that, right?!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Owen's 3rd Birthday - Happy Birthday Mr. Giggles!!!

"My Sweet Little Owie"

I can't believe my sweet little baby is already 3 today! Through all the prayers for him from the moment we prayed about even considering having another child considering how difficult and potentially deadly the first one, had been for me, and Levi as well, though he was quite the trooper I'll tell ya! But oh man, when we finally did feel God's blessings on trying, and the month before we were going to start trying Tyler sneezed on me or something and I got pregnant, it was a rollercoaster ride from then on, and we still are stuck on it - seems the workers all left and we're stuck in some kind of dreamy/nightmare ride that twists and turns and just never ends.

Praise the Lord God Almighty though that he gave us such a blessing in this little bundle of joy who has lived up to his middle name, my prayer for him, prayed out of fear and hope that someday I would hear his laugh, for his middle name literally means "he laughs," and as you can see above, he laughs so much that he even laughs during mommy's incessant photo shoots - and it's one of the cutest, richest, purest belly laughs I have ever heard in my entire life!!!

So sweet little Owen, on your birthday, I just want you to know that you are such a sweet and wonderful blessing from God in our home!
"Mr. Giggles"

Dear Owen on Your 3rd Birthday:

You have the gift of encouragement, you always know how to give the most amazing cuddles, and I pray so much that God has chosen you to be saved as soon as possible. You love meat, cars, planes, and are an all American boy at heart, and have finally learned the art of swallowing your bites of apple instead of just chewing them and spitting them out all around the floor for mommy to step on (thank you baby! Haha!). You absolutely LOVE Dumbo, Little Bear (which you call "The Owl Movie" for some odd reason just because an owl is in it), and just like Mommy, you LOVE Owls. =D You look up to your brother like he's the bee's knees. And when I said you liked cars and planes, perhaps that was an understatement. You spend most of your day either sitting at the train table, sitting at the couch, or lying flat on your tummy lining up your cars one by one very methodically. It's quite adorable, I must say! You are such a blessing to us in so many ways, and a miracle in your own right as well!

I'm so thankful that your Dr. was able to save your life during delivery - that she was able to force her fingers under the cord that was so tightly wrapped around your neck even before you were outside in the real world. I remember each time that I wasn't able to push hard enough, and everyone's faces would turn a ghastly shade of greenish grey, as they all shouted at me to push harder than I had ever pushed before. You would crown, she'd get her fingers between the cord and you so you could take a breath, and then you'd slip back inside, unable to breathe, me exhausted beyond belief, thinking you were dead, since for the last 15 minutes no one would tell me if you were alive and the staff in the room had gone from 1 Doctor and 2 Nurses to 2 or 3 Doctors, a NICU Doctor, and about 8 other Nurses or RN's. I was terrified, heartbroken, overwhelmed with feelings I can't even begin to explain. But eventually, with a cut, a vacuum, and the Lord guiding every step, every movement, every breath and heartbeat that day, out you came, the most beautiful little boy, crying and blue, with a terrible APGAR score. Oh, but when I got to hold you for a only moment before my Dr. friend from the NICU who had taken care of Levi only 2 years before, assessed you and said you were good to go, I had already fallen deeply in love, smitten at the very first glance. Whoever says love at first sight isn't possible, clearly has never had the joy of parenthood. OH, GLORY TO GOD ON THE HIGHEST!!! I know how blessed I am - for I know that others don't always have that same blessing, and the fact that God fulfilled that prayer that I would hear your laughter one day is something I don't hold lightly. I treasure that in my heart greatly, just like I treasure you Owen. You are my sweet little Owie boy, and I love you more than life!!!

My greatest hope for you is that you live your life with great passion for God, that in all ways you would seek his will, and fear Him and love Him with all your heart. May you have great wisdom to do the things that God asks of you, and do them well, and live your life loving others with great compassion, seeing them through God's eyes and not your own. Selah! I love you my little Owie. I love you so very, very much, and I am so excited to continue to paint and draw (which, by the way, you have an amazing, and I mean AMAZING gift!) and giggle and cuddle and worship with you for the rest of our lives!

With the greatest of love,

Friday, December 19, 2014

"The Wire Zombie" - An Update on Me and My Health - AGAIN... Lol! =0)

Haha, oh man, I know I keep saying I'm going to try to start painting or drawing more consistently, but I this year has just been absolutely brutal for me. I recently had some HUGE updates on my health, so if you missed any of them, here they are: I found out that as far as people with Fibromyalgia go, not pain scale, but seriousness scale, I'm as bad as it ever can get. I also found out the same goes for my Myofascial Pain, and that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that is out of this world to boot. But, on a weirdly positive note, if you can see it this way, as I'm choosing to do, I found out something today that might change everything, and that explains so very, very much as far as all of my health is concerned!!!

We did a miserable sleep study a week and a half ago - miserable for me in that they woke me up at 6am (I DO NOT DO 6AM!) and then had me sleep for 2 hours and then stay awake for 2 hours back and forth. Problem was, they couldn't even try to keep me awake - and it was as if they had never seen anyone like that before. The nurse would come in and tell me to find an activity I could do that would keep me awake for the full 2 hours, but my problem was, that's exactly WHY I was there. There is nothing I can do that CAN keep me awake. She was so perplexed, like I was some oddity, and I couldn't figure it out.

...That is, until the specialist called today. She immediately said the words I've come so accustomed to hearing, "Your test restults were absolutely astounding in a number of ways!" (Gee, aren't I the "if it can happen it will happen to you" girl? Haha!) Anyways, she went on to tell me that I have quite the intense case of obstructive sleep apnea - so much so that they weren't even able to test me for Narcolepsy because of it. Apparently it's severe enough that I'm waking up EVERY 3 MINUTES ALL NIGHT LONG!!! That's absolutely INSANE!

So if you can, I would love for some prayer, because the next few months could get a little interesting. I have to go back for at least one other sleep study to be fitted for a CPAP machine to wear at night. It's the same breathing machine poor little Levi had to wear when he was born prematurely, because his lungs weren't developed all the way. So I'm a little scared due to PTSD, to be honest, and could use prayer to calm the anxiety, and yet at the same time I'm also sooo very thankful that God is faithfully providing sooo many answers for us right now. So now we know why I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so badly, and potentially may be able to help fix some of my pain issues if we can get me even an ounce of Restorative Sleep.

So if you will, will you pray with me, and praise God for the answers, the validation, the new avenues to follow, and for the peace and trust in Him to give it all up to Him to handle, without anxiety or worries of my own? Thank you all so much - you have no idea how much you all mean to me - I thank God for you and your powerful prayers that have helped keep this family together each and every day! Thank you and God bless!!! =D

Oh, and just so you can get a good laugh, here you go. A chilling glimpse at the scarcely seen "Wire Zombie", and her better side, seen only on good days. Hope you get a good laugh out of this, because I'm sure this is going to bite me in the bootie sometime in the future:
I felt so terribly miserable that night, can you tell. But then again, that's how I feel just about most of the time... =P
A much happier version of me and my super hot hunk of a husband. Oh man, he's crazy gorgeous, right!?!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"Flowers for the Broken" - A Pen and Colored Pencil Floral Drawing

"Flowers For the Broken"     4" x 4"     Pen & Colored Pencil on Coaster
Gifted to A Sick Girl in the ER

Wow, I just can't believe it - for the first time in years I got to experience true and absolutely blissful 100% pain relief thanks to a visit to the ER after feeling pain so intense that it honestly felt like deep active back labor, with rolling contractions, stabbing pains, and a whole body ache like I had the flu as well. It was awful. But praise the Lord I got a compassionate Dr. and an amazing nursing and admitting staff - it was like I was in a dream, and not at all like at the ER. Everyone was so sweet and compassionate - perhaps because I was literally walking as slow as a 90 year old, covered in a blanket, shaking pretty intensely from the pain and having to hold on to anything close enough to me to keep from passing out from it. Or perhaps God was just being insanely gracious to me, I don't know, but I do know that I was so flooded with love while I was there that it just felt like God's presence was filling that place, it was so powerful!

While I was there, before being fully admitted, while sitting in the waiting room, there was such a poor sick girl in her late teens just violently coughing into her mothers arms. I felt so bad for her that my heart as a mom, no, just as a person of this earth and especially as the salt and light of the world, just felt broken for her and I felt so helpless - I wanted to help cheer her up in what was obviously such a painful and horrible time for her. I wanted to give her flowers, but having none, yet always carrying my drawing stuff with me, I remembered I had this little semi-tangle/pen and colored pencil drawing on me, and I just hoped and prayed that perhaps just this small, miniscule gesture might brighten her spirit even if only for a moment.

The smile on her face and her mother's was priceless - I can't put into words what it felt like to see the impact of such a seemingly small gesture to a complete stranger. I don't know why on earth it made them so happy - it was strange to see someone so moved by something so small, but it definitely moved me in return. It was such a strange sensation - I wish I could explain it better - but somehow that feeling must have shown on my face for the rest of the night, even amidst the pain before the doctor was able to help me, because somehow it gave me the confidence to actually start showing my art to strangers again, which while that may sound silly to some people, it's huge for an artist. Without confidence in your art and the confidence to show it off without being shy or embarrassed but being brave and outgoing is the only way I can think of that people can actually make a business out of it, and even though this last year has made me feel like there's no way on earth that there's ever going to be a chance for me to have a career in art happen for me because of my health, I sooo don't want to give up on me quite yet. I just had such high hopes and dreams for myself, and my momentum was building up so much until, WHAM!!!! It was just gone in an instant because of my searing pain and it feels like my doctors have just kind of given up on me already, because my case is sooo complex and so severe and they just don't know what to do or where to go. So where does that leave me? I've always felt that one should dream big or go home. And I want to dream big again, but the question is, can I?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Walking Among the Dandelion Wisps," "J & J's Wedding Tree," and an Update on my Health and Life


"Walking Among the Dandelion Wisps"     3.5" x 5"     Oil Pastel on Paper
Hi there, if there is anyone out there who still might possibly follow my blog anymore or check it from time to time. I am so sorry for my straight up abandonment of my little artistic oasis here - I can't even begin to tell you how horribly sick I've been this year, nor do I want to bore you with all my complaining. So if you're interested in reading an update on what's going on with my health - a TON has changed unfortunately - then read on through to the bottom of the post. If not, I'm just going to post my paintings up top for those more interested in the art and not so much an expose on my health.

I've gone through such feelings of loss, and then feelings of guilt because I think of those people out there who have things worse off than I do. But I still can't shake that feeling. I'm not really making art anymore - it takes so much effort to do so - it just hurts way too much most of the time, though I have had some blissful moments to create. Plus, when I feel even a tiny bit good, I want to try to love on my kids and family, because I miss them sooo! But like I said, I have had some chances to create, and so here are some of the things I did this year, but up until now I just didn't quite feel up to posting them by the time I was done.


"Walking Among the Dandelion Wisps" in my Awesome Mini Art Journal - I LOVE that thing!!!
So I'm not quite finished with this one yet - and honestly, it really was just supposed to be a simple sketch to see if I wanted to make a painting of it and OH YES, I DO!!! There's something about the combination of the colors that is soothing and riveting for me - I'm not at all trying to toot my own horn, trust me - I've been feeling like a terrible artist lately, but for some reason this piece really speaks to me, even though I made it. I always feel a little guilty when I'm proud of my own work - any other artists out there struggle with that? 

By the way, this idea for this pastel painting was taken from one of my sister's beautiful picture's that she had taken while up in the mountains. So thank you sis for letting me use that!!!  


This is a Wedding Tree, done in collaboration with the mother of the groom, Paula, and the groom himself, Jeremy, who wanted a very specific layout being an artist himself as well. The space that was left blank on the left side was done so on purpose so that they could put the bride and groom's thumbprints there standing up together, in paint, and make them into little love birds, adding a veil and sparkling diamond to the bride and a hat and bow-tie to the groom. Isn't that sweet?

"J & J's Cherry Blossom Wedding Tree"     11" x 14"     Acrylic on Belgium Linen Hardboard (which was like absolutely to work with!)
I'm not sure if you can see it anywhere on the tree above, but I hide my signature leaf insignia and a heart in the branches as well. Also, there's a few Dandelions (can you find them all?), a Snail, and Two Mushrooms. I added the Dandelion with floating wisps to signify the dreams they have that they are sharing with each other as they start this new journey together. The two Mushrooms, one big, one small, was to represent the groom shielding her from the storms that will rage ahead, as he is her protector now, and you can see the little one moving in, seeking that protection, cuddling close to her love. As for the Snail, well, he's just kinda gonna be my trademark. I think you'll be seeing him and little Inch-Worm a lot more often in my paintings from here on out... =0)

Detail with Branches

I'm not sure why the photo above is so pink - I kept trying to change the color balance and hue on it but it just wouldn't give, so you'll just have to imagine it like the picture below. The background was completely white with a little bit of texture so that there would be texture in the people's thumbprints as they were using paint.
Close-Up Detail of the Bottom of the Tree


This last year has been quite a doozy, let me tell ya!

So over this year my symptoms have been widening and my pain has been worsening and unrelenting, meaning I haven't had a break this entire year for more than 5-6 days tops, whereas last year I would get my pain down to a tolerable level (say in the 3-5 range or the 5-7 range) for weeks and months, but this year it's been a steady 8-10, and if I'm lucky I get the 6-7 range instead for a bit. But that's not all - my Myofascial Pain, Fibro, and other disorders have made a new and very perplexing friend.

At first I swore it was MS (Multiple Sclerosis), because I would wake up completely paralyzed for hours, unable to speak beyond the tiniest whisper. Then I started having spells where I would fall asleep or pass out in the middle of doing things - whether talking to someone, walking across the room, instantly after sitting down - it was terrifying! Even this week I walked into the middle of the room, stopped and just stood there. I heard Ty talking to me and saw the room but he said my head was down and my eyes were shut - I fell asleep standing in the middle of the room at 8pm - and I'm a night owl!!! It was kinda creepy! He guided me to the couch, laid me down and I woke up the next morning - so weird!!! Anyways, so we got the testing done, saw a Neurologist, did multiple sleep studies and MRI's (in fact, I still have one more sleep study coming up - the 24 hour one inside a monitored room - that's gonna be interesting!) and I was happy to find out that at least I don't have MS!

And of course, as all things go, the Neurologist asked if during the sleep spells I had ever fallen - I had said, "Nope, not yet." Then, of course, as Murphy's Law would have it, the next night after seeing him I had my first fall and it would have been even worse if we hadn't already been scheduled for acupuncture the following morning (Praise the LORD for that!!!). I hit my shoulder blade hard againt the tub, as well as my hip and my head, screamed in agony, then screamed repeatedly for Ty who was asleep in the attached room, but couldn't wake him in the end and ended up passing out again from the sheer pain of it all. I woke up about 5 hours later in screaming pain as the sun was peaking it's sleepy head over the horizon. From then on I've fallen quite a few more times (it's quite terrifying) - and even though Ty is super quick to spot me when I look like I'm going to pass out now, we still miss a few and I white out and end up passed out in strange places. As you can see, it's been straight-up crazy over here!

So this year's been quite a drastic and scary shift from last year for me and my family, and frankly I'm having a hard time trying not to be terrified about this coming fall and winter since they are always sooo much harder than the rest of the year, but I know deep down in my heart that I should just have faith in Jesus and know that He is in control no matter what, because it's true. However, sometimes those truths, though comforting at times and at other times the pure air that you breathe, well, sometimes they can also feel so foreign and underwhelming - even though you want them to give you comfort and rest and ease, for some odd reason, it can feel like reading a book where all the words are out of order and nothing makes sense. These last 4 years have most definitely challenged my faith - but I am grateful to say that I will ALWAYS hold fast to my creator, my counselor, my almighty King, my Joy, my Life, and my Lord, JESUS CHRIST. Without Him, there is no way on earth I would be here this day with all of you. But I would love some prayer that I would be passionate in my walk with Him each day, and that I would fully trust in this Word:

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, 
I am he who will sustain you.
 I have made you and I will carry you;
 I will sustain you and I will rescue you."
Isaiah 46:4

It's hard to believe at times that God will sustain me and carry me and rescue me when honestly for most of my life I've felt abandoned. It's one thing to say that you believe and you trust and it's a whole different thing to live in pain every single day (pschological, emotional, physical) and try to believe that the upcoming hard months are going to be easier, and then despite that TO CHOSE TO BELIEVE THAT because you KNOW GOD IS LOVE. For I know that God is pushing me to learn to truly trust in Him with all my heart, pushing me to grow, to change, to become more like him, to polish off all the rough edges (boy are there a lot of those!). But I need to trust Him to sustain me, carry me, and most of all RESCUE ME with ALL OF MY HEART. May God's will be done and not my own.

I pray God blesses you today/tonight - that he carries you when you are weary, that he sustains you when you feel broken and when you feel like you can't possibly go on , that He would provide for you in your times of need in amazing and miraculous ways, and that if YOU need to be rescued, that HE WOULD RESCUE YOU! All you have to do is ask. The Lord says, "Come near to [Me]* and [I]* will come near to you." James 4:8a NIV  (*Me was substituted for God and *I was substituted for He in the brackets within the verse). That's seriously one of my favorite verses of all time. And there's so much weight to it. No matter what you've done, or how far away you feel from God, all you have to do is draw closer to Him, pray, get out your Bible, dust it off and flip open the cover and read - perhaps the Psalms, or Matthew or Philippians, and start a conversation with God. That verse has helped me soooo many times when I felt my soul running dry. I pray it helps you too. So I hope your day/night is going well and I truly hope to see you more often now. Man, I sure miss this place (if you can't tell be the ridiculously long posts - don't worry - the posts will be WAAAYYY shorter here on out! And I most of all I miss all my internet friends and buddies!!! May God bless you and keep you. HAPPY CREATING EVERYONE!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Sister Kirsten - Portrait Photography

***Oh, and by the way, I did these all off the size of an image that at 300 pixels/inch was only 3.2" x 1.8", just so you know why the image isn't super duper high-def in certain areas. =)

I don't know what came over me tonight, but I saw this beautiful picture of my sister that she posted last night on Facebook(which I did NOT take by the way) and I just HAD to play around with it! I hope you don't mind sis, but you are absolutely gorgeous, and not to mention you look like you're still in your teens even though you're three years older than me - no fair! Lol! =D

But  I hope you like what I did with these Kirsten, and anyone else who cared to venture out here to my blog today. Here's the original one that she had posted earlier yesterday, pre-edit (By the way, I totally did NOT take the original picture, remember, I only edited the picture below):

So my sister and I had the most amazing relationship as little ones. Like the stuff dreams are made of, because she had such an amazing imagination and I was so lucky to be blessed with a sister like her who made everyday play feel more real than the real world did at times. We'd spend hours playing dinosaurs - she had named every single one, I helped of course on a minimal basis with silly names, but she went so far as to make up little cards for each one that spoke of each dinosaurs favorite foods, hobbies, occupations and more. It was amazing! When we played, the dinosaurs weren't just little toys on the ground, they stomped and towered above us, with deafening roars and the excitement gripped us as if we were on the edge of our seats - it was thrilling to play with her, and the memories I have with her will never die - they are some of my most treasured memories of my entire life!!!

As we grew, like most kids, we grew apart as she grew into adolescense while I was left behind wanting so desperately for her to still just play with me. I found out only a few years ago that it hurt her just as much as it hurt me that she no longer wanted to play dinosaurs or barbies anymore - but that time had passed for her, and she just couldn't force it, she was growing up, and I just didn't understand. It took years and years for our relationship to heal - mostly due to lots of dysfunction and abuse in the home that sent us all reeling for years, that still has me reeling in fact - that pain runs deep and doesn't die easily.

But as we both became Christians again, and yes, I mean again, because we both fully walked away and then fully recommitted our hearts to God after some very painful years later - my story of childhood and adolescence is riddled with deep, searing pain, it's hard to even want to talk about it on here, honestly - but when we both recommitted our lives, we were able to reconnect and grow close once again, with little hiccups here and there as all relationships seem to have that are worth having.  She is one of my best friends, someone I highly respect not only for the way she raises her girls as a Godly woman and how she tirelessly homeschools all three of them, one who's in elementary school, one who's in middle school, and one who just started high school - it's crazy!!! But she is such a blessing to our family and I love her so much! I love you sis, and I hope you like what I did with your picture - I just couldn't help myself - I've been on bedrest all week with this wretched flare and this totally made my night to play around with (and hope you don't mind that I did this either...!)! =0)

So yeah, sorry I haven't been around much everybody! I guess you can tell why now - I got slammed on Easter with another wretched (and boy do I ever mean wretched!) flair because of the impending weather change. I sobbed my way to church because it was so hard to get myself to go because I felt so miserable, and normally I'd just stay home, but I like to try to at least make the holiday services if I can. But oh man, my body has been literally freaking out for an entire week before the storms hit, so I guess I can tell there's a storm coming a whole entire week before one comes - it's insane!!! So we've been miserable over here and could totally use some prayer, as usual. What's the saying...? Happy wife, happy life? I'm pretty sure that's about as accurate as it gets, and I'm downright miserable! Super weak, super uncomfortable, been on bedrest for almost a whole week, sleeping like crazy because the pain and weakness is so intense - it's just ALL BAD! Oh well, we need the rain, so I'll just have to suck it up and get over it. I hope you all are having better weeks out there than me. Hey, at least the Easter Bunny brought me a very yummy Dove Chocolate Bunny - Oh Yum-Yum!!! =D

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful day today and that God blesses your day! Take care! =)

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