Hello! I'm slowly easing back into blogging again over on my website.

I'd love to see you there!


Around Here Lately...

around here lately

It's waaaaay past time for another update! We've been busy here in snowy Colorado--mostly snuggling the new baby Lucy-Grace, celebrating birthdays and enjoying a visit from my Dad and Step-mom. We're squeezing in time for art (of course!) although it's mostly kid art, which makes my heart happy too. But my biggest job lately (and always) is just being a good Momma, making home a cozy place and trying to figure out how to keep these growing girls and hard-working hubby fed in the midst of it all. Little helping hands have been pitching in with the dinner prep, which has helped make it fun--the most important ingredient in avoiding the "dinner drudges," don't you think? 

I have put off opening my Etsy until Spring. But as you can see by my new logo up there, I have been working on my own artwork a little at time! The baby will be six months old in mid-April; a good time, I think, for me to slowly get back into a working routine.

Thanks for checking in now and again, friends! I hope to be updating the blog with some new artwork very soon! Lots of love and warmth to you wherever you are,



A Girly Summer

Summer 2013

In May, my daughters--ages three and four--and I moved home to Colorado from where we had lived in Hamburg, Germany for three years. Husband had to stay behind and work all summer. So it was just us three girls--plus another on the way! I mentioned in my last post that it was a precious but challenging time that partly explains my extended absence from blogging--it was all I could do just to focus all my energy on taking it one day at a time. 

Summer 2013 Summer 2013

My husband is SUCH a good daddy that even from the very beginning he has made my job as mama super easy most of the time. I depend on him so much (especially when we lived in Germany) that I knew some time apart would help restore some of the balance between us. Now it is behind us, I know that the time on my own with my kids this summer was essential in boosting my strength and confidence as a mom. 

On the morning we were to fly out of Germany I was finishing up some last-minute packing and feeling nervous about the next 24 hours. I sent up a simple prayer: "Ok, God. We're gonna need an extra measure of grace for this trip home." I stopped dead still in my distracted frenzy when I felt Him answer in my heart, "Just an extra measure? Why not ask me for all of it--ALL of my grace--for today and every day." WOW. 

Summer 2013 Summer 2013 Summer 2013

I believe that this simple conversation shaped the entire experience of the summer that lay ahead of us. There was such palpable, abounding GRACE surrounding us while the Daddy was gone--it's the only way I made it through! And the most important thing that I learned was that God's amazing grace is available to every one of us each and every second, day-in and day-out, in easy times and hard times and all the times in-between.

Summer 2013
all photos by my dear friend Esther Cummings of Blue Thistle Photography

Now that my sweet husband is back home, I am trying not to forget to continue making that simple but powerful request at the beginning of each day--"I need ALL of your grace today, Father." I am reminded to ask again even now, as I am somewhat nervously over-analyzing every ache and twinge, awaiting the beginning of "real" labor "any minute" now. Baby Girl #3 is not due until Sunday, but I'm eager for her to get here TODAY! Looking back at these photos from our girly summer reminds me to live again in that desperate, moment-by-moment need to be held and carried through by Arms stronger than any earthly arms I could lean on. 


Happy October (And a Long Overdue "Hello!")

happy october deer in progress2 deer in progress

Soulfully serene and silent. Those are the words this deer brings to mind. And I guess those would be good words to describe myself these past few (almost six!) months. It was a challenging summer--a wonderful summer, but a trying one too. And I think my way of getting through it was to curl up within a shell of calm and silence, to block out the world a bit and just focus on mustering the strength not "just to get through it" but to really savor and learn from it. More on that later this week.

Being an introvert, the cocoon of extreme inward focus has been the norm throughout my life for the way I deal with pressure or stress. But I think it is also a necessity in the creative process--the place where new ideas, dreams and inspirations are "birthed." Perhaps this summer was doubly inwardly focused since I have been intensely working on a new collection of artwork (planning a new Etsy shop to open in November with an upcoming blog address change--stay tuned!) PLUS literally growing a new little person inside of me who is due to greet the world in just two weeks! Eeek!

I love the change in seasons, especially the beginning of Fall. My senses feel alive again and I'm waking up, ready to emerge from this cozy cocoon and to connect with the world again! Thank you and lots of love to you for checking in on me now and again--please visit often as I am excited to resume sharing weekly glimpses into my studio (and into my soon-to-be crazy new life as mama-of-three)!


The beginning of a new season...starts with an end to the old one

tenderness a little dish of springtime delicacies Endlich, haben wir den Frühling entdeckt! We finally found springtime!
a peek at my latest collage/painting. stripes really seem to be my thing lately!

My girls (and their mama!) have been so thrilled this week that we could finally venture outside without coats and hats! We like to count the crocuses that grow wild around our neighborhood. Yesterday I finally caved to their enthusiasm and allowed the girls to pick just a few for me. And of course, the charm of this season inspired me to create a bit of my very own spring magic. This is just a peek at my newest collage--the first in a series of flowers, still in the works. Hope to add a print of this to my Etsy shop next week!

We savor our daily walks home from Kindergarten, especially now that spring has finally arrived and we only have a few more weeks to enjoy it on this side of the Atlantic. If I could take the tree-lined path and the quaint nooks and hiding places of our little corner of Germany home with us to Colorado, I so would!

Since announcing my pregnancy and our move back to the States two weeks ago, the reality of both has come crashing down upon me in alternating floods of excitement and tears. It feels like I can barely put two thoughts together as I pack and try to process the changes that are coming. So I appreciate all your kind words of encouragement and congratulations, my friends! And your patience with me as silence tends to reign more often than not these days on my blog. I can't tell you how much it helps us get through the more "bitter" part of moving again, knowing all the "sweetness" that lies on the other side--all of the people who are truly happy for us and sharing in our joy!

Today I forced myself to sit down and connect the thoughts, because I want to tell you a bit of the story:

You never know what surprises life has in store for you. Just when you think you're settled and content, God whispers in your ear that He is doing a "new thing." That's what happened to us at the end of 2012. I had begun to feel a restlessness at the end of the summer, but then I wrote this post, celebrating our two-year "Germany anniversary" and the new sense of peace I was feeling. That's when the whispers began. It was a whole new brand of homesickness--one I had not yet experienced. It wasn't a desperate feeling or a sudden need to run away, to escape. It was just a quiet sense of knowing. All this time I've been learning that no matter where we go, we carry with us a home in our hearts and in the hearts of the ones we love. But suddenly I knew that this same love could also carry me back to the place and to the people with whom my heart most feels at home. And since there will be more of those people soon--I'm going to become an aunt this summer!!!--the choice became clear.

I kept quiet about it for a while, didn't even mention it to my husband for at least a month, thinking the feeling would go back into hibernation as it usually does. Instead, the peace grew more palpable, the pull towards "home" stronger and stronger, a sense of belonging there greater than I had ever known. Turns out that in his own way, Tobi had been feeling it too. Of course, he is German and here we live closer to his side of our family. But Tobi lived in the US from the ages of 17 to 27--most of the years of his adult life, and nine of the nearly twelve years of our life together. Anyway, there wasn't even much of a "discussion" about it. It was simply one of those moments in our marriage when we were almost instantly of the same mind: we would be going home sometime in early 2014. Actaully, it was a moment not unlike the one in which we knew that we were suppsed to move to Germany. And even though regret is often such a tempting place, in no way do we regret our time here; rather, we cherish it. Our hearts are even bigger now because of the precious friends and family whom we love in Hamburg! We had to live in Germany for a while to figure it out, but now we know where we belong.

Of course, the timeline has been pushed up a bit since we are now figuring one more Schilling into the adventure! And quite a few other things served to confirm this direction for our family and show us that the time is now rather than later--even when most of this looks absolutely crazy to our earthly eyes. But we say, "Yes, Lord!," trusting in His provision and in His promise that "the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are unseen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18). 


Blessed with Good Things....Good, GOOD Things!

baby announcement 
mama owl close

When I started working on this little family of owls a few months ago, I had no idea my art was coming to life inside of me! But before it was even finished we discovered the wonderful news--this fall we will be adding a third baby "chick" to our own nest! What a very special piece this will always be to me--it's incredible the way art imitates life...or is it the other way around?

And the other news: in just SIX WEEKS we will be spreading our wings and flying back home--to stay! Ahhh, I can't believe it; I've been on the verge of tears the whole of this gray Hamburg day (not merely at the sight of the snow flurries blowing around outside my window). It is certainly bittersweet and I'll share more of the story soon. But mostly I'm teary from the anticipation of warm hugs from family and friends, most of whom we haven't seen in nearly three years...and the warm, bright, beautiful, healing Colorado SUNSHINE!!! What a banquet of precious gifts; thank you Lord! 

"He has brought me to His banqueting house
and His banner over me is love."
Song of Solomon 2:4

"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty...
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection."
Psalm 91:1,4


Finally, Sunshine and BLUE SKY!!!

The last few days have dawned with blue skies and my spring spirit is on the rise! My little four-year-old is getting so big! upload upload "ice climbing" to the top of the slide! And this face is sunshine itself!

The sun is finally shining from blue skies in Hamburg
and we are enjoying it--never mind the snow and freezing temperatures.
But looking at those two sweet, happy faces reminds me
that in my daughters I've already got the brightest sunshine
any ol' gloomy day of the year!