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Showing posts from April, 2014

Interview: Alisha Sommer

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You guys, I am so excited about the guests who have agreed to stop by Live Wonderstruck lately! I just want to jump up and down with each new "yes."

Today's guest is Alisha Sommer, a writer and mom with probably the best Instagram feed I've ever seen. Be sure to follow her there and on Pinterest (where her pins make me swoon). Links are at the bottom of this interview.

Enough from me. Please welcome Alisha...



What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

I have three beautiful children but the youngest, the 2.5 year-old, has a speech delay. Over the past year we’ve worked with a speech therapist once a week to help him learn how to form sounds and words. A few days ago he started saying “bye-bye.” It’s such a simple little phrase but it sounds so sweet coming from his mouth. There are so many conversations we can’t have and questions he can’t ask, but every tiny piece of language he acquires brings us closer together. Every new word leaves me wonderstruck.

What part of you…

Inked

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It's time for the big reveal! You may remember that my husband gave me a gift certificate for an amazing tattoo artist for Christmas. (If you don't remember, catch up by reading my Word of the Year: Badass post.)

I'd been thinking about getting a second tattoo for the last few years (my first was nearly 17 years ago when I turned 20). I got that one because I liked tattoos on other people. I thought it would be a cool thing to have and quite unexpected of me. I was in that wanting-to-do-unusual-things place.

Fast forward and I'm 36 and wanting a new tattoo- a work of art that will be colorful and totally me. Something on the back of my shoulder that can peek out from tank tops.

After a lot of talk on my part, my husband found an incredible tattoo artist - William Webb of Evolution Tattoo - and my journey to new ink began.

Billy (because I prefer his nickname) is a true artist. The level of shading and detail he can achieve on skin is amazing to me.

And I guess because he…

Flecks #22

As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.

It's been a bit crazy this week. On one hand, I got through a lot of errands and appointments. On the other, I got very little work done, hardly any writing, and few photographs. Trade-offs, I suppose.
Things I learned this week:

It's important to properly lock up the ducks at night. On Wednesday night, I left a circular fence around the opening of their pen. When I went to bed they were still in the kiddie pool. In the morning they were gone presumably where the fence had moved away from their pen. I drove through the neighborhood looking for them and by the farm behind our house, but couldn't find them. Thankfully they came back that evening all on their own. I fed them and locked them up properly to keep them safe from predators.
Making eye contact with a three-year-old while they excitedly tell you something is a surefire way to make you smile.
Time together is good (and necessary).
Time alone i…

Interview: Susannah Conway

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You know that book I raved about earlier this week? It was written by one of my favorite bloggers, Susannah Conway.

She's honest, she's open, and I love the way she sees (and photographs) the world. I took her Unraveling course last year and it was a great experience. Be sure to follow her links at the end of this interview to see more of her work.

After finishing Susannah's book I had to reach out to her to let her know how much I enjoyed it and I asked if she might be willing to be a wonderstruck interviewee. And you know what? She replied to that message with her answers. Incredible.

More and more I'm learning that sometimes all you have to do is ask.

Please welcome Susannah Conway.

[caption id="attachment_3055" align="alignleft" width="245"] Photo credit: Xanthe Berkeley[/caption]

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

My 4-year-old nephew. That I get to be his auntie is just the most incredible thing to me. I was there when he was born…

This I Know - Ordinary magic in an extraordinary book

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There are a handful of books that I've read that leave me in a weird state when I'm finished: equal parts awe, inspired, ready to act, and like there is a void now that it's over that can't possibly be filled with any other book. These are the books I return to again and again to flip through and revisit. To curl up with like a dear friend.

This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart by Susannah Conway is one of those books.

I've had this book sitting on my shelf for almost a year. Not because I didn't want to read it, rather because every time I picked it up, it felt important. It felt like I needed to be in the right headspace. I could tell it wasn't a book I wanted to dabble in. I wanted to sink in wholeheartedly.



Finally I knew it was time to pick it up, and I am so glad I did. This book is amazing. It's beautiful. It knocks on the doors of your heart, mind, and soul to see if you're paying attention to life. It makes you question if you really unde…

Flecks #21

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As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.

So, let's talk about this week.
Things I learned this week:

Even if the calendar says it's spring, and even if you have an 80-degree weather day, it can still snow the very next day. I know. I'm confused by this, too. But it happened. We had a good inch of snow on the ground the next morning.


Things I'm celebrating this week:

The Carry On, Warrior giveaway winner! Congratulations, Liv Rancourt! I will be sending you a copy of this great book by Glennon Doyle Melton. Check your email for a message from me.
New ink. Yep, this was the week. I'll be sharing the story and photos in a couple weeks after it has healed. (If you don't remember the back story on this one, be sure to check out my Word of the Year: Badass post.)
Spring blossoms!
Feathered visitors! The bird feeder reclaimed its status as the local hangout.
Spring break. I'm celebrating this one for my teenager who is thrilled to be…

What Makes a Long Marriage? (No, really. I'm asking.) - My Messy Beautiful

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Marriage, partnership, coupledom- whatever you want to call it, it's been on my mind a lot lately. This post will probably give you a glimpse of me that you haven't seen before. (Oh, and there's a giveaway at the end for those who make it through.)

I got married for the first time at 22. I was still in college and probably had no business making such a big decision. At the time I wasn’t even sure about my choice of majors. But we married and had some good times and some not so good times.

At 28 I decided it probably wasn’t going to work for the long haul and not-so-elegantly jumped ship. Being divorced is not something I like to think about, and nearly a decade later I still carry a lot of guilt.

My grandparents stayed together their whole lives- more than 60 years of marriage. And while my first marriage lasted longer than most celebrity weddings (probably combined), it was less than a tenth of my grandparents time together.

At 31 I married for a second time. My husband Jeff …

Flecks #20

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As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.

So, let's talk about this week.
Things I learned this week:

If a banana peel flies through the air and lands in your lap, you may need to watch your toddler more closely.
Our ducks have gotten brazen in their exploration of our yard, the neighbor's yard and, as of this morning, the neighbor's neighbor's yard. So... we need a fence or something I think.
That I don't need to have a vegetable garden area. That I can use some weird, slim strips of yard for "edible landscaping."

Things I'm celebrating this week:

A visit with my best friend. She drove four hours each way to see me last weekend (reason number 1,426,792 that she is awesome).
Feeling good.
Progress.
Spring weather!
Buds on the trees!
Beginning a new journal.
Newsletter and Wonder Seeker challenge sign-ups! Thank you to all wonder seekers! (Want in? Details and sign-up are here.)

Things that are resonating with me this week:

This…

Interview: Ksenia Closson

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Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

This week's interviewee is Ksenia Closson, founder and publisher of Simply Happy Me, an online magazine devoted to fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

My daughter. She surprises me every day. She is genuine, clever, talented and wise. She is also sarcastic, but not intentionally. When I look at her I see my kid, but when I look at her actions I see a mature, intelligent person with her own thoughts and amazing skills.

For example, she loves making pancakes on the weekends. It’s kind of a tradition – making pancakes together as a family. On the weekdays I don’t have time, so we usually have a quick breakfast like cereal. She kept asking for pancakes on weekdays. One of these weekday mornings she got tired of waiting. She crawled into my bed at 7:00 in the morning saying: “I made the batte…

Gray Day for Working on My Work

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Gray days are mood changing. Yesterday's gray had me feeling a little sad, a little introspective, and a lot sleepy.

Today's gray is different. Today's gray feels just the right amount of hunker-down-in-my-office-while-everyone-is-out-of-the-house-and-work-on-my-work. (Yes, I know I said "work" twice, but that's what I'm doing.)



Because no one can do my work but me. And because I have a Wonder Seeker Challenge to polish. (If you don't yet know about the Wonder Seeker, seek the details and sign up here.)



And if I get stuck, I can look out the window and watch Squackers and Buttons explore.



How could a scene like that leave anyone feeling sad?



I'm thankful for this space and for these precious quiet two hours of just me.

Wishing you a wonderstruck day and a moment of quiet with just you.

Growing Green Onions

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I heard you could re-grow green onions from your grocery store leftovers. It sounded easy enough, almost like magic.

Well, I've had people tell me things are easy before and it doesn't always turn out to be true for me. This, however, actually was super easy, so I'm sharing. Here is what you do:

Step 1: After using the green ends from your onions, take the leftover root parts and put them in a glass of water on your windowsill.

Step 2: That's it. There is no step two. (Okay, maybe step two is to change the water every few days. It will evaporate or be soaked up anyway, so you'll see it needs refilling.)

I did just that and here is what happened over the next week...











That's all there was to it. Within one week of going in the water they looked nearly like what I originally brought home from the store.

Since then I cut them again to add to one night's dinner, then stuck them right back in the water. So far, they are growing again.

Perhaps re-growing green onions rea…

Want Some Snail Mail?

I have this collection of cards that I go to when I want to send someone an impromptu note. I'm talking actual, physical, paper cards.

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal for myself to use my entire stash of cards by the end of the year.

In part, this goal helps me rid an overly full box (as the stash has grown faster than my taking from the stash has diminished it). Mostly though, I thought this would be a great goal to make sure I'm reaching out to people. To brighten someone's day with something pretty in the mail along with all those pesky bills and ads.

Here's the thing. Instead of sending cards repeatedly to the same few people (though I'm sure those people would be quite happy), I want to spread the cheer.

Would you like to receive some pretty snail mail? Yes, you! I would love to send you a note that doesn't ask anything of you, that doesn't require a response, that simply puts a little color and life into your mailbox. You deserve it.

If you thin…

Community Gardens

NOTES OF THINGS TO ADD..

I've joined a few meetings with a group at church that is interested in starting a community garden outside the church. We also have a food pantry and some were concerned that the people that come to the food pantry don't want fresh produce. The pastor has a different vision, though, which is to build a garden as a tool for learning. It could be a way for people to learn how to grow their own food, learn about the benefits of fresh food, and maybe even lead to some cooking classes.

I've grown a few gardens over the years and plan to grow one again this year. I don't know much about gardening. I get excited when I see plants at the home improvement store. I push my cart up and down the rows saying things like, "ooh... peppers, I like peppers. Let's try those," and, "how can there be so many kinds of tomatoes? I just need a big tomato and a little tomato. Umm... maybe these." I fill my cart with plants and sometimes seeds, t…

Flecks #19

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As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.

This week on the blog has been so much fun for me! First, I want to thank Anna White for (1) giving me an early e-copy of her new memoir Mended to review, (2) doing a wonderstruck interview, and (3) offering another free ebook to one Live Wonderstruck reader.

THANK YOU, ANNA!

To see the winner, keep reading. (Hint: It's in the Things I'm Celebrating section.)

So, let's talk about this week.
Things I learned this week:

Feeling healthy (or at least healthy-ish) feels sooooo good.
Spring might actually be a real season. This week I've witnessed warmer temperatures, April rain, and buds on a few of my trees. You know what I haven't witnessed this week? Snow. Hooray!

Things I'm celebrating this week:

The Mended giveaway winner! Congratulations, Jenika Conboy! I will send you an email and put you in touch with Anna for your ebook. Enjoy! And thank you, Jenika, for stopping by and taking the time …

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Interview: Anna White

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Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

Following on Monday's book review and giveaway post for Mended: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Leaps of Faith, today our wonderstruck guest is author Anna White.

Remember, we have a giveaway going on this week for a copy of Mended. To enter, leave a comment on Monday's post: Mended Book Review and Giveaway. But be sure to leave a comment here, too, to welcome Anna.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

I drive my husband to work every morning and I am often wonderstruck by the rays of filtered morning sun shining through the dusky clouds and the dark little birds that are still clustered on the wires trying to sleep. This is a small thing, but it makes me smile every time!

What part of your day are you grateful for?

At the risk of sounding like bad-mommy, I am grateful when my kids finally go to bed. That means that I get to spend a l…