Saturday, January 14, 2012

Let the Creativity come....

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if she is to be ultimately at peace with herself." Unknown

Pretty excited about my day.  It may come as a shock that the picture above I created for a bride a few years ago when I was helping her with her makeup for her wedding. I am trying to return to my creative self right now.  I miss music and singing.  I miss playing with makeup.  It's funny, most people in Austin, TX know me as the girl that does non-profit work and has completed a few triathlons.  I would say the majority of my friends back in Orlando, FL where I lived for 9 years would say...oh, she is a singer, actor and part time make up artist.  It's true.  I love playing with color and see that come alive on other people's faces.  Don't be fooled, I am not someone who loves to wear makeup all the time.  It's a hassle.  I am good with some mascara, a dash of eyeliner and a good gloss or lip stick.  But when my husband and I take off on a dressy date night or when I get to return to my roots on singing and gig it up.....I love to bedazzle my face as well.  (and I do love my false lashes ladies)

That would return me to my day.  I am headed out on not one, but 2 makeup appts for some amazing ladies.  I am headed first to my friend Melissa's house to do her makeup for her Save the Date photos...which happens to be with one of my fave photographers in Austin.  Natalie of Hazeled photograpy.  She did mine and Sam's engagement shoot and are some of our favorite pictures in our home.  And then I am headed to an appt with a girl that is going to do trash the dress.  That is where a bride takes her gown that she surely won't wear again and does a daring photo shoot with it...I love this because I will get to use much color at this shoot.   She is doing something with finger paint and her 2 children, so I am excited for this consultation.  (Below is an example of trash the dress.)

I pulled a few more photos of past makeup I have done as I used to free lance for MAC Cosmetics.   
This was from a tribal event, hence the strange jewelry.

This is one of my favorite creations.  I did her hair and makeup as if she were a peacock.  So fun!

Trying to sing a little more.  Create a little more.  Love a little more each day....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Not Once, but Twice today...enough already.

Today I had to practice some serious courageous vulnerability.  2 different time.  I mean...I am already being stretched..ONE time is enough each day, I don't want any more than that. 

It went like this at the gym this morning... lady (who was not in the know): oh, are you Colleen that does yoga?  me:  yes, I am.  lady:  Oh! you had your baby then.  me:  No.  I didn't.  And then I had to swallow a thousand times to keep the tears from pouring down my face.  I was determined to stay and finish the workout for the day.  I then talked with said lady on our warm up run and explained to her in very quick details that I had to deliver...but the outcome was not what we had hoped.  She, of course, felt horrible and knew she had stepped onto tender ground. 

It was after that I had to fill out some forms for some counseling.  The question, "Do you have kids?" Gulp.  Well no, but yes, but no.  I guess that is why you go to counseling, huh?

It was a hard day.  No doubt about it.  I put on a smile at work and just got through the hours that I could.  Now I am home waiting for my Sammy to get done with work.   I am guessing moments like this will sting for a very long time.  They make me feel like we delivered yesterday.  They make me want to crawl into a hole. 

I try to return back to what I know about love and pain.  There is no safe investment.  To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.  If you want to be sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will not change. It will not be broken.  To love is to suffer.  To journey through love is to journey thru sadness.

Tomorrow is another day.  I will try again.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rescue me!

Rescue me
Oh take me in your arms
Rescue me
I want your tender charms
'Coz I'm lonely and I'm blue
I need you and your love too
Not much to say except we finally found a perfect rescue dog that fits into our home.  We have been looking for the right match with Pug Rescue of Austin and in December we met Thelma.  (formerly know as Trudy, Little Pug, Tootsie....) She is now home with us and her big sister, Eloise, is loving her as much as we are.  She is 2 years old and was abandoned with a horrible eye infection.  They couldn't save the eye, but she has enough love in the one eye for our entire family.

It's funny, you rescue the dog but let's be's me they are rescuing.

Here is Thelma.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's only fear...

It's been an interesting couple of weeks.  I haven't posted anything on here since December 27 about our journey through this grief, however, I am filling up a journal each and every day.  Transferring all of those thoughts and realizations might make me seem really neurotic and today is the first day that I have had some down time.  On December 29 we flew to Virginia to visit my sister and her family, we flew back on January 4th and January 5-6 were my first 2 days back in the office.  This morning, Sammy and I went to church to what ended up being one of the most profound messages we have heard in a long time.  (coincidence?  we don't think so)  Immediately in the car, Sammy and I had a very emotional conversation around approaching the 2 month mark of losing Juliette.  What God has taught us in this and how do we continue to move forward.  It was nothing short of an incredible dialogue with him.  I love that Sammy.

In the last few months I have noted every mother that has experienced a similar loss.  You have bravely and kindly shared your experience.  You are what gave me my mantra for 2012.  (I am not resolving to do shit this year.....except to continue to move through the shit)  Every day I wake up and see the words..."Practice courageous vulnerability"  As these women have called, emailed, or left messages your sharing does breathe some strength into my soul.  You have continued to walk the path set in front of you and you have courageously shared it is not easy and that the loss will fade, but never go away.  You see, whether you miscarry or lose during pregnancy in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd trimester, it is a LOSS.  What has saddened me is these women usually start off with, "I didn't tell anyone, but I miscarried at......"  And one woman even said to me, "When I miscarried, the Dr. said this happens often.  I wish I would have known."   Before now, I have just seen the wait until the 12 week mark to tell people as normal, but now I think its crap.  Why is it so secret?  Why do women hide with this pain?  I am sure that deserves a much larger post....but I have no answers right now, it just angers me that women are embarrassed when they miscarry.  WHY?   How can we all change this conversation so that women feel supported through such a significant loss?

I still struggle with immense emotional pain.  I still struggle with lost dreams.   And to be honest, many moments that are quite obsessive.  **note: I didn't expect this to be gone by now, I am just stating the obvious.**  So many questions for us, for our future.  That question mark has turned upside down like a fishhook in my heart.  And then there is fear.  And sometimes that fear is a fog that I can't even begin to walk through, afraid of what might be on the other side.  Because, WHAT IF it really isn't what I want, what we want.   And then I have moments where the dreamer in me takes over...I long for a new adventure, another pregnancy, and a different outcome.  and then...I read something I have read a hundred times....

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace."  Buechner

And that is where the message at church this morning came into play.  Our pastor talked from Genesis 22, Abraham and the sacrifice of his son, Isaac.  The faith of Abraham in trusting.   We sat and listened and then sang these words....
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if Our God is for us, then what could stand against?

Is this easy to fully believe for us right now?  No.  But this is a huge part of our journey.  I won't silence my longing.  I won't stop dreaming for us, even if that means more pain down the line.  Life goes on, right?  And so must we.  And as Alexi Murdoch wrote so beautifully in his song...It's Only Fear...

Don't hold your head too high,
Don't be afraid to cry,
Because you know my dear, it's only fear, it's only fear,
Yes my dear,
Do you hear,
It's only fear, only fear, it's only fear
Keeps you locked in here.

Sisters, Sisters....

Sam and I just went to Bridgewater/Harrisonburg, VA for 7 days to see my sister and her family.  Shannon and I are 1 year and 12 days apart in age.   During some time at home in December I had a project of labeling and cleaning my external hard drive as I hadn't labeled pictures properly and they were hard to find when I went in.  I found many amazing gems from growing up with Shannon.  I am going to post some pictures as well from our week in Virginia with her and her family.  It was some much needed time with my side of the family.  A BIG thank you to my Aunt Becky for offering her Southwest miles for us to fly up to see them.  That was really really helpful.  Shannon is the best older sister a girl could ask for.  She has always been supportive in every area of my life. And this time has been no different.  She has allowed me to vent when I needed to, called to check in on me and cried many tears for Sam and I.  I just wish we lived closer.

During my wedding weekend

On a church retreat in high school

Evening gowns. yes, we did pageants. very briefly.

On a visit to Hburg to see Phoebe get baptized