Monday, May 19, 2014

Pausing

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Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.
~ Guillaume Apollinaire

This is a quick post to let you know that I am taking a short hiatus from blogging.

Don't worry. Nothing is wrong. I'm just feeling the need to back away from technology and really sink into the world around me. To experience it with all of my senses.

What have I been up to?

I've been working on my garden. No, working isn't the right word. (My husband recently told me he's trying to not use the word "work" when he isn't talking about his actual job. He's changing his mindset. So let me try again.) I've been spending time in my garden. Moving rock, loosening soil, and planting vegetables.

I've also been serving with some other people to set up a community garden. The kale sprout shown in the above photo is from there. I'm really excited about that project.

I also recently finished my first ever painting class. It was a watercolor class offered through my town and it's the first time I have ever painted (outside of middle school art class where we got to paint for probably a week each year). I'm really proud of my painting, and I still have some more to do on it. I'll share it with you when I return.

So while I experience life and refill my soul's well, I'll be absent from here and probably quiet on social media all around. I suspect I'll stick around on Instagram (find me as @smhutchinswriter). I may be on Twitter (@smhutchins) or on Facebook (smhutchinswriter) a little bit.

The newsletter will still go out on the first Sunday in June. If you're not already signed up, you can do so by entering your name and email in the fields at the top of my sidebar.

The "card of the day" will still go out on Facebook and Twitter each morning.

How long will this pause be? At least through the end of May. It could extend through the first part of June. I'm not sure yet. I'll take whatever time feels right.

In the meantime, I wish you all sorts of wonderstruckness and ordinary magic.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Flecks #25

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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:



  • I can shovel rock. It made me feel a little badass.

  • Working with other people toward a community goal feels good.

  • To keep my mouth shut. Unfortunately this lesson comes after not having done so.


Things I'm celebrating this week:



  • Progress.

  • Abundance.

  • Badassery.

  • Community.

  • New offerings. (If you're feeling a little overwhelmed in the web world, let's work together to get you calm, comfortable, and empowered. You'll find details by clicking "Web Work" in the main menu.)


Things that are resonating with me this week:


What If the Fear Isn't Going Anywhere? by Victoria Brouhard with this wisdom:

If I wait for the fear to leave, I will never do the thing my heart wants, the thing I believe I’m here to do.


I’m left with two options:


1. Abandon my dream


2. Figure out how to step forward despite the fear



How to Access Our Inner Wisdom by Susannah Conway wherein she says:
So if we translate that into journalling, first you get everything out of your head onto the page. Concerns, worries, half-baked ideas, preoccupations. He said this, she said that. The what ifs? The resolutions. Get it all out. And then keep writing. Start asking the questions and see what you come up with. Once I’ve dumped everything out of my brain I find it’s much easier to start looking at things from a different perspective. Sometimes I’ll keep my notebook by my side all day, adding more notes as they occur to me. What started as chaos in the morning might look very different by the evening.

Your turn:


What did you learn this week? What are you celebrating? Leave a comment and I'll share a "Woohoo!"

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

For Moms of All Kinds, Sizes, and Shapes

I wrote this a couple of years ago and it still stands true, so I'm re-running it for Mother's Day today. Enjoy the day, everyone!

Mothers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are biological, some are stepmothers, some are adoptive mothers, some are mother-like figures for children's friends, and some are a combination of these.

Mothers hug and heal. They bend down and lift up. They teach and they listen. They know when to hold tight and when to let go.

As a mama and stepmama myself, I understand how hard it is. You don't always know what you're doing, yet there's pressure to appear that you have everything under control. So, you do your best and hope your children are better for it.

In the book The Middle Place, Kelly Corrigan explored the dichotomy of being a parent while also still being your parent's kid. After publishing that book she created a video with Borders (so sad they are gone!) sharing a story about her own mother. I watch it every year and every year it makes me laugh and tear up at the same time. Today, I'm sharing it with you. It is still my favorite mom story.

To mothers of all kinds (including my own mama and stepmom), Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Flecks #24

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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:



  • Advanced preparation makes almost all things better (or easier or less stressful).

  • Time alone wandering a bookstore, then sitting in the cafe with hot chocolate and my journal is restorative.

  • Happy faces are beautiful faces.

  • How to assemble a kite. It came with instructions which were completely unhelpful to me because I didn't understand the terminology. For example, I'm pretty sure a "bridle" is something you put on a horse and I don't know what that has to do with kites.

  • I love apple trees and apple blossoms. And the smell of apple blossoms.


Things I'm celebrating this week:



  • My birthday!

  • This blog's birthday!

  • My newsletter launched!

  • My first program (the Wonder Seeker 3-day photo challenge) launched! (I like to launch things the week of my birthday.)

  • New possibilities

  • Beautiful weather- the sunny days, the gray days, all of them. Temperatures have been wonderful.

  • My teenager found, interviewed for, and got a job- all by himself. Yay for him! (He's totally psyched about it.)


Things that are resonating with me this week:


Show Me Family by Amanda Magee at Brain, Child.

Creating a Community When You're a Lone Wolf by Teresa Reed (aka The Tarot Lady).

Your turn:


What did you learn this week? What are you celebrating? Leave a comment and I'll share a "Woohoo!"

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

I'm 37 and Live Wonderstruck is 2!

It's a big week here. Lots of growing milestones. Okay, really just two. Or maybe three. Or four. I guess it really is a big week.

First, my birthday was this week. I'm now 37 and I feel really good about that. I'm not even sure why. There's just something about that number that feels right.

As has become my custom for the past five or so years, I held a self portrait session in my backyard. This year instead of battling with the timer on my camera, I let my three-year-old stand behind the tripod and click the button to his heart's content. (I highly recommend this method, by the way. He was super excited to take pictures. Who cares if some were blurry or aimed wrong? That happens when I take them with the self-timer, too.)

Actually, I guess that means it wasn't so much of a self portrait as just a portrait. You get the idea.

Anyhow, this is what 37 looks like. Unfiltered. Un-retouched.

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But I wasn't the only one with a birthday. Live Wonderstruck turned 2 this week! HOORAY! (*Cue confetti and dancing and sparkles and whatever other merriment you think of.*)

I started blogging in 2007 quite randomly and haphazardly. I dabbled here and there in different topics. But it wasn't until 2012 that I narrowed in and the idea of seeking wonder in everyday life. Thus began my Live Wonderstruck journey.

Let's review some of the most visited posts during those two years.

My Pinterest recipe reviews make quite an appearance in the top ten including: apple cider sangria, cookie dough balls, cherry pie poppers, and blackberry cider.

Some of my most visited posts are older posts like Happy? I'm Too Tired to Be Happy, When You Don't Have Anything to Do On a Friday Night So You Buy Ducks (that's one of my favorites, too), and The Best Part of Pink's Concert.

But some of my most recent posts are also among the most viewed: Inked and What Makes a Long Marriage? No really, I'm asking.

Then there's the interviews. The most viewed are from addiction expert Veronica Valli and middle school teacher and writer Alina Sayre. This is probably a good time to say thank you to all of my interviewees over the past two years (and there have been many!). Thank you so much to all of you who said yes and took some time out to answer my questions. Thank you.

In related news this week I launched my very first newsletter! Did you get it? Make sure you're on the list by entering your name and email at the top of the sidebar. You'll get wonderstruck inspiration right to your inbox on the first Sunday of every month.

Also launched this week... my very first Wonder Seeker Photo Challenge! We wrap up today. It's been fun coming up with prompts and seeing what we find out in this world that maybe we hadn't paid much attention to before. I'll be running a week long version of this program toward the end of the summer. Make sure you're on my newsletter list to get early details!

Now it's time for me to thank you. Yes, YOU! In these two years you all have supported me and showed up, read and commented, emailed me and shared some link love. Thank you for that. I so appreciate it.

Thank you for making my life a little more wonderstruck. I wish all the same magic for you.

 

Monday, May 5, 2014

You Are Taking Steps

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No matter how small and unimportant what we are doing may seem, if we do it well, it may soon become the step that will lead us to better things. ~Channing Pollack

Your work is important. Whatever it is you do with your day - bookkeeping, managing, selling, healing, driving, cooking, laundry, hugging - your work is needed.

Do it well. Be proud of it. Know that you are making a difference.

And if there's something you want to be doing that you're not, take a step toward that today. It can be small. It can be for only 5 minutes. But step into it.

Step into yourself and own who you are now as well as who you wish to be.

You are important and your work is needed.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Flecks #23

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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:



  • Just when you're getting back into routines and carving out time for work, life will throw curveballs to disrupt it all.

  • Even though I am extremely perturbed by the curveballs, things will get done.

  • I'm grumpy in the mornings. (This is nothing new, but I am rediscovering it about myself this week.)

  • To leave white space on my watercolor painting as highlights.

  • That excitement and anxiety can coexist.

  • That I love my husband. (Also not new, rather another rediscovery that I hope to rediscover a gazillion more times in this life.)


Things I'm celebrating this week:



  • Love and partnership.

  • Day-to-day life works out one way or another.

  • Snuggles.

  • My second watercolor class.


Things that are resonating with me this week:


Overwhelm - It's an Epidemic by Ginny Lennox in which she practices changing the thought. "I am so overwhelmed" becomes "My life is really full right now." I'm saying this to myself over and over in these last few days.

10 Habits You Must Quit to Be Happy like procrastinating, making excuses, trying to control the uncontrollable... guilty, guilty, and guilty. I have some practicing to do.

In case you missed it...


I wrote two new articles for Simply Happy Me. Check them out here:

Developing Good Eating Habits for Kids

Active Kids are Healthy Kids

Last chance:


wonderseekerHave you signed up for my new monthly newsletter? It starts Sunday and if you sign up before then, you get my brand new Wonder Seeker photo challenge (running next week) for free!

Sign up for both by entering your email in the box at the top of my sidebar OR on the Wonder Seeker details page (one sign up gets you both).

Your turn:


What did you learn this week? What are you celebrating? Leave a comment and I'll share a "Woohoo!"

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