One at a Time...

This has been my mantra of late, attempting to pause and hold the weight of each piece, each moment of my life in my hands--one at a time--and to count all of it as blessing:

toys 007

Managing the chaos of a household with two toddlers one thing at a time...because this mess will not bury me--I never would let it get to that point!  The messes that I let overwhelm me are made one dish at a time, one sock at a time, one toy at a time.  And really, I do clean up--all the time!  It's just that I'm only managing to stay one step ahead of the tiny twin tornadoes.  And for now, that has to be ok.  I've said the words "overwhelmed" and "stressed" far too often during this past year and I've decided that it stops here and now.  Because the truth is that I enjoy making the messes almost as much as my kids do!  Maybe the answer is to try and enjoy the cleaning up too.

E and P in boxes

I've been giving myself little pep-talks: "Yay! You put the pepper shaker away!  That's one less thing out on the kitchen counter, good for you."  I'm serious.  I celebrate like this: "Yay!  Hubby stepped on and broke the big black 3-D sunglasses the girls look so cute wearing but never put away.  Now we can toss them, and one less toy will be littering the floor at the end of the day."

toys 005

Enjoying one child at a time...since the little one persists in being an early riser while the bigger one is a night owl AND suddenly a non-napper.  This means my new schedule is usually about 15 hours straight of (mostly) quality time with at least one of the girls, whereas before I had 2-3 hours to re-charge during the beautiful blessing of a double nap-time.

toys 003

Yes, at first I parted reluctantly with my precious alone time.  And oh how I miss painting and blogging! (I'm approaching this too with my new, careful and leisurely no-pressure-attitude--I'm still managing to post at least once a week, and I even have a drawing on my worktable that I'll have time to start painting any day now.)  But when I accepted no double-nap-time as the new "normal" and stopped fighting to get my own way, I realized that hanging out one-on-one with Eowyn in the middle of the day is actually way more fun than my "alone" time ever was!

poppies w pencil frame

Connecting with people and selling my artwork one postcard at a time...because you never know where that postcard might go and who it might meet.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent an eight-hour day at a craft fair and sold only a single postcard, which, of course, did not pay for the gas it took to drive there, much less cover the cost of renting the booth or make the days of prep-work worthwhile.  Or did it?  I'm choosing to believe that it was worth it, especially since in the two weeks since that fair I have sold two more postcards in my Etsy shop, PLUS 11 prints!!! Yay!!!


After all, I have rejoiced to build the readership for this little blog one precious person at a time (I am truly grateful for each person who checks in on my blog now and then!)--and although I really try not to get wrapped up in the numbers, I celebrated in my heart when I recently reached the milestone of 100 followers!  It's still sort of unbelievable that anyone would be interested in what I have to say :).  Thank you, by the way!  I hope you'll continue to come visit me even though lately I can't be online all that often.

lollipop trees and reverse

Since my own creative life is somewhat hit-and-miss these days, I've been sharing the stories of other interesting artists, one at a time.  If you haven't already, please check out my recent interviews with Suzanne Millius and Juliette Crane--there's even still time this week to link up (at the end of Juliette's interview) and share a story of your own!

Linking up today (it's been a while!) with my friends at Imperfect Prose and Studio Sneak Peek.  Happy weekend...let's hope I can get some Christmas shopping done!


  1. I'd love to be in your shoes at this time in your life. I remember when I went through what you're going through now and thinking, "When am I going to have some quiet time?" Now all I can think about is how did time pass so fast? I raised my kids and helped raise my grandkids and now I have more quiet time than I really care for. Live in the moment and the mess of having those dear little ones demanding your time and making messes. All too soon you'll be left with nothing but a tidy quiet house. Happy holidays to you and your family.

  2. Your mom was the master of having an unbelievable amount of 'stuff' on her plate, but strolling through life, enjoying those moments with the most relaxed approach. I often think of her when I'm racing from one activity to the next requirement forgetting to enjoy each little part of life. You honor her with your commitment to embrace each moment. Love you -- and her!

  3. @maddyrose Thank you for the reminder of how quickly the time passes--I think of this often and see the longing in the eyes of my friends (who have older kids) when they look at my little girls. I hope you get the chance to full your house with people and happy messes this holiday season!

  4. @bethg Thank you, Beth! My mom really did know how to "stroll" through life, didn't she?! I miss her--love you and miss you too!

  5. Good morning from New Jersey :) reading this post was a great way to start my day. I love your attitude and the lovely pictures. I can relate to the stress of constant mess/clean up, as well as putting your art into the world, knowing it matters, even if you sell one little piece at a time.

    Wishing you a great day.

  6. kids need that one on one time too...i know it will be good for them as well as for you...and messes they happen and if we fight it we only get frustrated...clean up can be fun too...having kids is figuring out how to live again at times...and then again as they get older...

  7. I was reading a post yesterday, her barn will be her new studio and I felt myself turning green around the edges, I have a corner.... I thot, maybe one day I will have a WHOLE room or like my mother, half a HUGE basement. But immediately I realized, the only way that is going to happen is when the house is empty- I am so so blessed to have a little one again, our youngest was 16 last year when the adoption was final. I NEVER would have thought there would be toys,laughter, fingerprints, sesame street, little shoes and socks, toys in the bathtub. I choose to embrace it- yes, even with all the blessing, I still have to choose it on some days. I am human. It is all grace isnt it?!( I too have been stepping away from the blog and choosing to create, choosing to embrace the moments, the sands of time are slipping through our fingers......)

  8. Love this, Sadee! These moments are so beautiful and we're so quick to dismiss them. Thank you for sharing your sweet moments and reminding me to savor mine. Your photos are gorgeous--I always enjoy perusing them. I'm proud to be among your followers; your words and art inspire me.

    As for your comment on My Blog, I encourage the art notebook; sometimes we need to play without expectation!

  9. @Brian Miller Well-said Brian: "Having kids is figuring out how to live again." So true! Thank you!

  10. @Anna That's so wonderful, Anna! It's all grace, so true. Glad you're enjoying your off-line time, creating and embracing all the little moments. And I'm glad we can still stay in touch here now and then!

  11. @Catherine Denton Thank you, Catherine. You're always such an encouragement. And I just might have to make the art journal my new year's resolution!

  12. oh sadee i loved this post, every bit of it. i'm in the same stage of life, and on the days my two-year-old doesn't nap i find it very hard to give myself pep-talks. i laughed out loud at the part where you praised your hubby for stepping on the glasses :) and the joy in your daughters' faces speaks volumes... you're doing well, sweet friend. i hope you find time to make some more of your beautiful art. love e.

  13. @emily wierenga Thank you Emily, your encouragement means a lot to me! My daughters ARE veeeery happy little girls (most of the time) so I also give myself pep talks like this: "I MUST be doing a good job as a mama, otherwise maybe they wouldn't be so wonderful!" It helps to know that others can see the joy in their faces too. Thanks again--hope you're still finding a little time to paint too! :)

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. this is a beautiful way to live Sadee
    you are in a very busy season indeed, but a rich full season as well
    enjoy it
    breathe it in
    it really does pass by quickly

    love the images of the toys on the window sill...magic!

    Love and Light

  16. Dear Sadie,

    I received my first notice of 'a Picture Book Life' in my inbox this morning! *Big Grin*
    LOVE it! LOVE your spirit! Still smiling. And, sooo looking forward to catching up on more of YOUR 'art+words'!

    Your story resonates with my memories of my little ones. Our youngest is now thirteen! Ouch. Yes, I find *a little* more time to clean, move about my day, write. (HERE is where I thought I always wanted to be.)

    Now that I have that time to pursue my dreams, I realize more than ever, it's hard letting go of that most special time in my life. The difference between the *me* then and the *me* now is that NOW I KNOW, no matter where you are in life ~ Live! Love! Laugh! And you will have no regret.

    I see you.
    And, of course, I am very interested in what you have to say.


  17. @Scarlett Scarlett, I can't even tell you how much your comment encouraged me today :). Thank you for the reminder--I have two friends in my German class who have 13 year old daughters, and everyday they look so longingly upon my giggling little girls! They both say they wish they could go back...it really IS such a special time!

    Thank you for reading and for being my newest follower! It's so nice to meet you! :)

  18. Oh my goodness I can relate and way too many levels! Self-pep-talks? Me.

    This: "I've said the words "overwhelmed" and "stressed" far too often during this past year and I've decided that it stops here and now. Because the truth is that I enjoy making the messes almost as much as my kids do! Maybe the answer is to try and enjoy the cleaning up too." Me.

    Learning to accept new phases that my son goes through (that I initially protest) as the new normal and OKAY? Me.

    Learning to take one thing at a time (and literally learning to NOT multitask)? Me.

    I LOVE your postcards, too! :)

  19. @Carissa Sounds like we have a lot in common, Carissa! :) Learning NOT to multitask--I love that, it's so true. I thrive on multitasking, but it's dawning on my that multitasking is NOT good for RELATIONSHIPS! Thank you for reading, and your comments put a big smile on my face!

  20. Oh goodness, thanks for saying that part about loving making messes as much as your girls do! Kinda spoke to my own guilt-trip ways, and I too say "crazy" and "busy" a lot in apologetic ways, even though in reality, that is what normal is like. And that is OK right now!

    Beautiful pictures. And who knows but that this is a vibrant, important stage and season for your art even when it doesn't feel like it! ~Frances

  21. @eggthoughts Frances, thank you for that encouragement--I think you're right that this is an important stage for my art. The "waiting" is often just as important as the "working!"

  22. Hi Sadee, I saw a saying once a long time ago, when my girls were little and like you I was living one thing at a time...

    "Cleaning up after children is like shovelling snow whilst it's still snowing"

    Let's hear it for the mess...Yippee...mess is fun. totally agree, tiding up is pants!

    Thank you for popping by.. I'm trying to look at Christmas as just another day. My youngest daughter is still with me so have to make extra effort to make it fun for her... Next year we are going to pack our little bags and seek eldest daughter out... Hugs to you, enjoy Christmas :D

    ps...love your other artist features..

  23. Sadee your art work is SUCH a joy to my heart. I agree that the many little moments with a surprising sudden BIG MOMENT OR TWO is what it is all about. Your work truly touches lives...

  24. Oh Sadee... your attitude is lovely. I just love it. A no pressure attitude is exactly what I am working on too. Congrats on all the sales... that is awesome! I was so happy to see you link up for 'in the studio' this week. I love to see what you are working on and read your thoughts! :)


Thank you for being kind with your words and generous with your time!