Tuesday, September 16, 2014

{Wordless Wednesday} Tree of Life

I painted this picture of the Tree of Life. For those who know Divergent, the inspiration came from "Amity: The Peaceful." I have always been fascinated with trees and so it all fits together for me. I'm not sure if it is finished yet, but I'm also not sure what to add. Nonetheless, I'm pretty excited about it.
Link up and join in the Wordless Wednesday fun!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Power of Words: A Book Review of "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

photo credit
I read a lot of books about a lot of different things. Ideally, I would like to write reviews on all of them. However, most of the time I just start a new book instead. Books affect me in all kinds of ways. Sometimes, it is a quote that sticks out or an idea. Sometimes there is a character that I fall in love with over and over again. Sometimes it is simply the entertainment it offers. But then there are books that completely change you perspective. "The Book Thief" is one that will stay with me for a long time.

I remembered hearing about the hype of the book when it came out and then again when it received awards. I saw it go through the lists of best-sellers and just kept on reading other things. It wasn't until my Aunt told me about this particular book that I really even gave it a second glance. I'm glad I did.

photo credit

"The Book Thief" is set in Germany during the Nazi Reign. It begins with a little girl who sees death take her brother. This wouldn't be the last time she sees him. The narrator of this book, much to my great enjoyment, is none other than death himself. This perspective of WWII, from the eyes of death, is enough to easily make this book a favorite on it's own. He speaks with such eloquence and such heart. The imagery is breathtaking and the impact is heartbreaking.

The journey of Liesel as she goes about her days while surrounded by war, are full of ups and downs, victories and defeats. The one that connected to every moment...books. Words fuel the soul and no one was more passionate about them than Liesel. Going from the complete inability to read to reading to family and friends during raid night, she found power and comfort in words. They even saved her life, more than once.

photo credit

When everything around you falling apart, there is stability in books. I found this out in my move across the country. Even without Internet or furniture, there were still books. I have read so much lately because of that particular point. Whenever I feel unsure or alone I pick up a book, even new books are great friends for the soul. Even once things got settled and I became fore sure of myself again, books were still there encouraging me. Books have been a background in my entire life, much like the story of the book thief.

"The Book Thief" was a story that opened my eyes once again to the horrendous nature of the Nazi Regime and the dark truth of the loss faced during that time. Even among the darkness there are rays of light and reasons to laugh and of course, books to read. This book had me from the very beginning. I made a connection with the love of books and the power of the written word. It ranges from the most happy to the most devastating tragedy, but just as it was Liesel's life, in big and small ways it is all of our lives.

photo credit

As I began I mentioned that I like writing reviews, but for some reason I don't. Sometimes I don't know what to say or don't have much to add other than, "that was a good book." This book, "The Book Thief," held me in its grips long after I read the last sentence. This was a book that I could not carry on with my own life until I wrote down what the book made me feel, which was every emotion you can feel all between two covers of one book. This was a book that made me fall in love with reading all over again. This was a book that inspired me to write again. Not many books can accomplish that.

Yes, this is a book that will stay with me for a long time. There isn't much more to say other than everyone should read "The Book Thief." If for no other reason than to remember what being human is all about.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

{Wordless Wednesday} First Day of Kindergarten

Zoey was a little nervous and a lot excited as she began her first day of Kindergarten this week!

Link up and join in the Wordless Wednesday fun!

Monday, September 8, 2014

And So A New Chapter Begins

I quit working one week before Zoey was born. Technically, the day before her due date was my last day. However, she decided she wanted to show up fashionably late...five days later, she was born. Ever since we brought her home from the hospital, I have stayed with her. Of course she had her times for playdates, sleepovers, and a special trip with Daddy, but for the most part we spent our days together. For the last five years, my days have revolved around my daughter and how we can get the most out of our day together.

When she was still an infant, I would just spend time holding her. As she grew and became more and more independent our lives shifted, but only slightly. Our days were still spent together. Whether we were at the library or the park, whether we met others there or just spent the time as just the two of us, we spent our days together. Whether we were learning letters and numbers, shapes and colors or how to cook or bake, we spent our days together.

Today is different. Today we won't be spending the day together. Today is Zoey's first day of school!

Zoey has been looking forward to school for two years now. She wanted to go to preschool last year, however, it was not meant to be. So she waited, relatively patiently, until this year. She has been looking forward to making new friends, playing and learning. I was so excited for her with the time had finally come.

During the last year, we have moved across the country far away from our previous friends and family. We also moved away from the school she thought she was going to go too. We did all the pre-registration, having no idea at the time we would move, and she was ready to go. When we landed in our new city, she was unsure of her new school. We went to visit it, she was so excited to know what it looked like. We met her teacher, a wonderful lady who Zoey is already getting along with even before the first day. She made a friend, it was at the open house and she isn't even in her class, but it made all the difference. I am glad she was excited about her new school.

We live in Seattle, WA, now and are taking full advantage of the public transportation. Zoey speaks up one day saying, "I want to ride the bus all by myself." I said that it just so happens she will ride the bus all by herself when she goes to school. She loved this idea. She was ready to go.

There were moments of nervousness, I could tell because she asked a hundred questions. But her excitement won out. I am thankful for that. I love that she isn't afraid of new things and embraces her independence.

This morning she was ready to go when the bus got here. She wasn't nervous or shy...she was ready. When the bus pulled up (and we made sure it was going to the right place) she took my hand and climbed on. She let go without a second glance. With a smile she was off on her adventure. As the bus pulled away her eyes were wild with wonder. She got to ride the bus all by herself.

I think she will love school. She gets to go on the playground first thing. She has no trouble making friends and getting along with kids. She is a sponge when it comes to learning. The school has a wonderful atmosphere with people who really care about the kids. I hope she has a magnificent day.

Today is a day like no other. Today is the beginning of a whole new chapter in our lives. Zoey is in school now. I no longer have my shadow. She has come into her own self and it now lighting up the world around her all on her own. I am so proud of her.

I sit now on my computer writing and thinking. I'm trying not to wonder to much if she is having a good time. If she has found her friend again. If she is obeying her teacher. If she will remember where her snack is. I won't be there to tell her, she'll have to figure it out on her own. And I know she will. I know there will be others there to help her, just as she helps her friends. These thoughts fill my heart to overflowing. I know she knows what to do and that she will do it.

I sit here with a million things on my mind to do. I've been waiting for her to go to school so I could get several things accomplished without interruption. Keeping this blog updated is one of them. But I sit here, sipping coffee and listening to music, and don't really know what to do first. I am full of emotion - happy emotions. I am so proud of Zoey for becoming her own person. Now it is time for me to define myself in a new way as well.

I've been a stay-at-home mom for five years now. That feels like a lifetime (a least of my daughter's life) I would not trade it for the world. However, it is time for a new identity. I don't know what that looks like yet. But I can't wait to find out. Today it starts with a real heart to heart with myself. I begins with a blank page quickly being filled with words. It begins with allowing myself to change. It means taking chances and becoming myself all over again in a whole new way. We redefine ourselves many times in our lives. There is beauty in change and life in discovery. I can't wait to ride the waves of this journey and find out, once again, who I am.

I am constructing my resume to hopefully obtain a job in the near future. I yearn to have time to keep up with this blog and a couple other journal projects I have begun. I am excited to be able to sort through pictures and put the final touches on our house. I can't wait to have time to write again and to paint. I want to do so many things. I am excited about my new journey, just as I am excited about Zoey's.

photo credit

Time is just an illusion. It marks the passage of days and lives. Big changes like this day, this moment in our lives where our daily lives change so completely, that lets me remember just how important every moment is. So today, I am happy to sit at my computer while Zoey goes and has a grand adventure. I will eat lunch with my husband. I will wash dishes and laundry. And I will be waiting when Zoey gets off the bus, ready to give her my undivided attention (something that has been hard to do lately with so many things to do on my mind) wanting to know all about her day.

We have been side by side for five years. However, it is those times that you are apart that make you appreciate being together. I am excited for her adventure and for mine. And when we come back together, we will form a whole new relationship, built on the strength of our five years together. I pray that relationship becomes even stronger than the one we had when we were together all day every day. She knows her Mommy and Daddy love her and we will always be right here when she comes home.

photo credit

I love you sweet girl. I hope you have a fantastic adventure at school today!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

{Wordless Wednesday} Rose of Summer

A sign that even as we gear up for school and football that summer is still blooming.

Link up and join in the Wordless Wednesday fun!