Behind the Art with Felecia

Brave - what is brave?  What do we do that could be classified as brave and courageous.

To me, choosing to raise another human being is brave thing...small people...huge responsibility.

In all honestly, choosing NOT to raise another human being is just as brave, but for completely different reasons.

For my life, my husband and I chose to raise not just one, but two human beings. As luck or fate or blessings...or God's very wry sense of humor...would have it, they are both male.

If you have boy children in your life...or have ever been someplace where they are allowed to be themselves...you will note that it is a chaotic, energy-filled experience filled with baffling things like the love of bodily noises (mine seemed to be born thinking they were funny) and baseball hats.

My first project for the Brave Kit was to document this crazy beautiful choice and what it means to my life now.

I used two photos that are far from perfect, blurry and in motion, but well show my smiley little men. I also chose to distress the edges of all my pieces, cross the pieces in a somewhat haphazard way, scatter my embellishments across the layout (kind of the same way I find things scattered all over my floor!)

The final embellie I chose was the "you amaze me" button...partly because THEY amaze me and the experience of raising them amazes me.  But also because I amaze me...mothering them is the toughest job I have and the most rewarding. It carries with it my biggest challenges and more love than I ever imagined! Its hugely risky - more risk that I would normally take - and full to overflowing with joy and laughter.

For me, definitely a very BRAVE choice.


Behind the Art with Jen

Hi Friends!!  I have my first page of the Inside Out "Brave" kit to share! This page is all about being brave enough to do something that scares you!
 So many times, we avoid what is hard, what is scary and what is different.  It's easier to stay in our comfort zone.  No risk involved. No heartbreak, injury or rejection.  BUT if we live only in that comfortable zone, we don't grow and evolve.  We just stay stuck in one place.  Growth requires moving forward!
 It's hard to be brave.  It's really hard at times!  For so many years, I did the same weight loss roller coaster.  Down and then up and then down... it was always the same.  I never got to my goal and I felt bad mentally and physically.  I had to take the leap one day to try something I've always thought of as impossible for me!  Running... who knew that one person coming into a Weight Watcher meeting to talk about a 5K training program would click with me?  Who knew that I would have to courage to show up by myself and try this.  I didn't think I'd like it or even stick with it.
 Well, it's been almost a year and I've run 7 different 5k races!  I started small but I started and stuck with it!  I took a chance... all by myself!  It was not easy and there were a few days that I made excuses to not go but ultimately, it was a challenge and I did it!
 I actually enjoy running... okay, maybe not sprints or hills but i enjoy the peace and quiet, the alone time, the time to think about the day.
  I can't believe it's been a year. I wish I had started sooner.  I wish I'd had the courage and the confidence to believe that I COULD do it!  I always told myself that I couldn't run and that it wasn't for me, but I've changed.  I'm 40 now and that jump started my need to change and make a better me!
 I'm so proud that I stuck with this new path and that I had to guts to try something new and stick with it!  I'm coming up on my year "anniversary" of starting running  and I'm 40 lbs. lighter and have a whole new outlook on life!  I make exercise a priory and now I'm working on clean eating.  It's difficult but so worth it trying something new!  I've made a lot of new friends who feel this way throughout the process!

What have you wanted to try but haven't done yet because something is holding you back?  What have to done that required you to be brave?


Brave You

Hi everyone,

Our Brave kit is live!

We want to see you be Brave. We really do. What can you do to step out of your comfort zone and get BRAVE?

Allow me to help give some inspiration by sharing a little bit more about one of my pages.

This kit is so full of amazing symbolism... not to mention amazing product!

Recently, I have taken the step to take back my health. A group of friends and I have started the Whole30. Some might say it's scary, difficult or takes some guts but, I have not felt any of those things.  In fact, I'm so tired of living in this body and feeling the way I do, I'm actually excited!

I think what makes me Brave, is my willingness to share and be transparent. What I have learned is that by stepping out of my comfort zone, I find that there are others in this world that are experiencing the same thing and that is invigorating!

God. My friends. A good attitude. All these things are helping me step out of my comfort zone and, not only improve my health but, also be public and transparent about it. I plan to retake a photo of myself in the post after the 30 days. And, I'll repeat. If taking care of me is Brave... then it's pretty easy.


Behind the Art with Felecia

One of my commitments to myself in 2015 is to go and do and to keep it simple. 

Upon the recommendation of my sweet husband, I gave 9round a try - a little kick-boxing based HIIT program.

On those early early mornings I crawl out of bed, head out the door, drag myself to the gym, and proceed to sort of physically torture myself, I leave with my heart full (and beating really fast!) 

I wanted to symbolize both my literal going through the door and my sort of mentally going through a door with the whole 9round process.

The glorious truth about this program is that I don't really have to be in my own head too much - the workout moves too fast (simplify!).

And the glorious truth is that this program is done in 30 minutes (simplify!).

And the glorious truth is that when I leave, I am physically alert, mentally ready for just about anything that the world throws at me, and fully in the moment of "now." 

I absolutely love it. Big huge heart love it.

Here is what is sort of shocking to me - and part of my journaling because I wanted it documented - I never thought  I would love it. 

I never thought it would do for me both physically and mentally what it does for me.

I never thought it would bring me so fast to a place where I MISS it when I miss it. 

I'm completely surprised that this of all thing is restorative for me. and hello - Pink gloves...how can you ever go wrong with pink gloves?

Peace, ya'll!


Behind the Art with Jen

What can I say?  Little things make me happy.... Like pedicures and pretty feet.  It's snowing and in the negative digits outside right now!  I don't care... I want my toes to look pretty!  So, I take a little time for myself once a month (okay, sometimes twice a month!).  It is my time to relax and have someone pamper me.
I love the warm water, the soft lotions, the massage chair, and the time to sit and read alone.  It's such a  funny thing to go to my favorite nail place and see, not only women but men who are getting their feet smoothed and polished.  The last time I went, all the chairs were taken by 30ish year old men.  It was a riot!  They loved having their feet done!  It's good for everyone!
 The journaling of this page was almost entirely from one of the cards in my kit.  I loved the statements of relaxation... the list of reasons to chill.  So, I underlined or set off a few that really captured my page.  I only added a few written statements under the photo.  I also love the rub-ons to add to my photo!

 The cork and kraft accents made me so happy!  I love them so much! 
 Do you get pedicures to escape reality or to relax?  Does it revive you?  I know if I didn't go at least once a month, I would have nasty looking feet but also not have that time to unwind.  Take time to revive yourself!


Behind the Art with Stacey

This is my last layout for the month.  I made it to celebrate a man who has restored my faith in love, safety and loyalty.  He has been everything to me as a little girls and gave me a gift I needed, security.  He restored my faith in fatherhood as a concept, which helped me develop trust.

He is my father.  Technically, my stepfather but I never looked at it that way.  He has loved me unconditionally and fully.  His love has restored my faith.  I built my title using the wooden letters and the love arrow.  I used the rub-on under the photo because those are the perfect adjectives for him..

In this life, both when I was and little girl and today, he has been my rock.

I can't tell you how this man has helped to heal me.  Parents have the power to make you who you are.  When I felt confused or abandoned, he was there to make me feel better.  I told that story.  I am glad that I did!


Behind the Art with Felecia

“Everything begins with a decision. Then, we have to manage that decision for the rest of your life.”  - John C. Maxwell.

When I heard John Maxwell explain his statement about decisions, I found it profound. it got me thinking about some of the things I may have decided long ago that I am just managing - good or bad. 
I really started paying attention to how my decisions make me feel  - some make me feel helpless while others are empowerin. One of my decisions has been to plant good things in my brain - Garbage in, Garbage, out, right?

For me, that means my Bible - and a cup of coffee. This daily ritual, something I do every day...even if its at my desk with an on-line Bible. I find things like Proverbs and Psalms so inspiring, and honestly, quite practical. 

I have often used butterflies to symbolize the lightness and freedom that certain things give me. My Bible time does this for me...it gives me lightness and a great sense of excitement. I look at my world with a sense of expectation that something wonderful is going to burst forth.

These small moments of restoration refresh my eyes and my spirit to pay attention to the marvelous things that happen in the world, to focus on joy and kindness, to see and be excited by the spontaneous goodness around me. 

Moments of restoration don't have to be long spa days or days at the beach (although i'm never going to turn either one down!)- they can be moments of simple grace you give yourself in the midst of your day...

Peace, ya'll!