Hello again. I've given myself a little time off lately and it's been good. Even when the thing you do everyday is the thing you love with all your heart and would do no matter what, it's still nice to have some time off. Tuned out, turned off, disconnected and reconnected.

I'm not sure I really even meant to take time off, it just kinda happened.

After our magical night with Feeding LeRoy at Bem General, we spent time catching up with old friends and hanging out. We said goodbye and then continued to relish the visit. Even now thinking about it, I can still feel it. A good friend summed it up best in her note to me, Feeding LeRoy at Bem Gen was a night of pure magic and love all mixed up together. I don't think my feet hit the floor all night.

I never really got back into full routine that week. The weather turned bitter cold the day after our friends left town and then I caught a nasty bit of the junk going around. So I took full advantage and retreated, curled up, and shut down. I'm so glad I did. I needed that time and didn't even realize it.

Ready to get back to work and back to our routine this week, I got THE BEST surprise in the mail. I'm still pinching myself. One of my photos got published! In an international print publication and I had no idea it was coming! Holy crap, awesome!

When my husband came to pick me up monday night because our car broke down (not awesome) there was a package on the truck seat addressed to me that said "complimentary artist copy." Hmm, artist. Let's just say opening that package was better than Christmas! I jumped out of the truck to go back into my parents' house and tell my family. My husband insisted I at least wait until the truck stopped moving and off I ran.

The farmhouse erupted with cheering and hugging and jumping up and down.
It. was. awesome.

Good news was just what we needed, and this was some fantastic news. It feels so good to see something I've created be enjoyed and appreciated by others. What a rush to put yourself out there and then have it come back to you. This post is the one that spurred it all. I wrote this just a few days before submitting my photos to "Somerset Digital Studio." I took a leap of faith and just put it out there, let myself be vulnerable and brave. I couldn't be happier I did and that April 1st this issue will hit the stands with my little photo from Bem, MO in it.


Feel the Presence

Let's be honest, February has never been my favorite month. I've enjoyed the quiet recovery and new beginning of January. I've thought about plans for the year, what I'd like to have more of in my life, changes I will make, and I'm ready. Then comes February. It's that awkward little in between moment, not yet spring and with little enthusiasm left for winter. We try to cheer ourselves with little pink and red hearts, but that doesn't quite do the trick either. This is the month that typically leaves me feeling antsy, chomping-at-the-bit to get out of town, take a break. I dread it.

This year there is something different about February. I'm enjoying it. I haven't quite figured out if it's my willingness to be more present and mindful of my experiences just taking them for what they are, or if this is just a really good February. It's a bit of a chicken and egg thing, right?

It is a really good February for us at Bem General and Be Well Studio. We are already seeing some of our plans and intentions for the new year flourish. We have live music coming to Bem on Tuesday the 10th and a Community Health night planned for the end of the month at Be Well Studio. Everyday we work together and fill our hearts fuller with wishes and dreams and love. Some days are harder than others, but every day we are grateful. Grateful for each other, for the moments of a good life, and love always.

Love is especially on our minds this month, how can it not be as we make valentine's boxes for school and plan treats and games and snacks for parties, see little red boxes of chocolate around every corner, balloons and flowers and glitter in every aisle.

Instead of being overwhelmed by the stuff, which I can be, let it be a reminder to love more. Shift these signs from being a reminder of all the things we have to do, to a reminder of the only real thing we have to do. Take a deep breath, breathe love and warmth into your heart center, close your eyes if you have to, and feel it there. Then breathe out, letting go of your to-do list, your should-do list, your need-to-do list, just for the moment. Feel the presence, feel the love that is there for you, know that it is always there for you, and you can access it at any time.

Love yourself, love your heart, and live with boldness.