January 6, 2020

A Wedding in Perry

Just a happy little shadow that lives in there. Just a little indication. Maybe there’s a little something happening right here. Nature is so fantastic, enjoy it. Let it make you happy.

Give him a friend, we forget the trees get lonely too. I’m going to mix up a little color. We’ll use Van Dyke Brown, Permanent Red, and a little bit of Prussian Blue. Sometimes you learn more from your mistakes than you do from your masterpieces. The more we do this – the more it will do good things to our heart. Talk to trees, look at the birds. Whatever it takes.

Anytime you learn something your time and energy are not wasted. There it is. The first step to doing anything is to believe you can do it. See it finished in your mind before you ever start.

It’s life. It’s interesting. It’s fun. Fluff it up a little and hypnotize it. Just let your mind wander and enjoy. This should make you happy.

It’s cold, but it’s beautiful. All you need to paint is a few tools, a little instruction, and a vision in your mind. Making all those little fluffies that live in the clouds. You got your heavy coat out yet? It’s getting colder. Trees get lonely too, so we’ll give him a little friend. There we go.

There’s not a thing in the world wrong with washing your brush. With practice comes confidence. In your world you can create anything you desire. We’ll lay all these little funky little things in there.

We don’t have to be concerned about it. We just have to let it fall where it will. Don’t hurry. Take your time and enjoy. You can’t make a mistake. Anything that happens you can learn to use – and make something beautiful out of it. In painting, you have unlimited power. You have the ability to move mountains. Let’s get wild

Because I think we should all be talking about mental health as much or more than we do physical. After a few years of tentatively dipping my toe into therapy and not finding the right person, I finally found a therapist that I love. I can’t imagine where I’d be trying to navigate the last year without her, and I’m excited to continue on with my weekly appointments. Every week, I look forward to 50 minutes of time to talk through things that weigh on me with an impartial but compassionate listener. I asked her in the beginning to give me constructive suggestions or “homework” because I felt like I wanted to “do something”… and while she does that, I’ve realized with time that her just listening and asking questions I’d never think to ask myself is a huge gift. 


I’ve become super interested in the power of nutrition over the last 5 or so years. I did a Whole30 6 years ago and it completely changed everything that I believed about what a “good diet” should be. I discovered that my decade of stomach and headaches were completely related to gluten, and I also discovered how great I feel with consistent healthy eating (importantly, in a way that does not feel at all like deprivation.)

What I am curious to discover this year is: what if I just kept going? What if I could feel like that all the time? What would that level of energy do for my relationships, my work, my happiness? While I’ve kind of kept up a Whole30-ish way of eating, there’s been a lot of sugar going down around here and lots of sad leftover kid food as my own meals the past few years. I know I can do better for this body of mine and feel more energy for myself and my kids.


I have big plans to make some major shifts in my business. I’ve loved the privilege of putting art and illustration first over the last 4 years, but over the last year I’ve felt a pull to return to my roots in design and branding.

In full transparency: I am the queen of winging it with my business. But that’s not doing me any favors. As a part of this shift, I’m committing to regularly looking at the health of my business, even though it makes me SUPER CRINGEY to even think about doing regular reviews of my finances or like… marketing planning. If you never make a plan or look at the numbers… you never have to make a plan or look at the numbers!

If you think that’s insane, I get it. But I think I might not be alone in the company of other small business owners, here. We’re all in it to do the work we love, and it’s easy to neglect the business behind it because it feels scary and overwhelming and all on me. But I’m ready to put on my big girl panties, in the words of an old, male boss who I regularly thank for the inspiration to never ever work for someone horrible again. So here’s to analytics and sales funnels!


My relationship with my husband. Gosh, is it easy to lose sight of a marriage in life with young kids. More date nights, more time to remember that we are the foundation of our family.

My relationships with my friends. Ditto to the above, really. It’s too easy for a month to go by without seeing a friend nearby or MONTHS to go by without hearing the voice of a friend that lives far away.

My community. I don’t have this very flushed out yet, either in my mind or in a plan of action, but it is obvious that there are lots of highly complex issues at play here in Chicago and the US, and there is work to be done to create a stronger, healthier community in the long term. I used to volunteer for a couple of different causes, and I’d love to do more of that, even if it’s just a little bit. Better than zero!

The earth. Beyond a pretty average recycling effort, I admit to not having much of a clue about what I should be doing for what is an obvious crisis at this point. I’d love to come out of this year feeling more educated and like I took tangible steps to do better for the health of our planet and our children’s future.

So: to health in 2022. Mine, and yours. To feeling better, learning more and doing things that make me feel good and strong, physically and emotionally. I wish you and your loved ones the same.


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