Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'm Mom. And that's enough.

PLUNK.  That's the sound of my hind end hitting the hardwood plank on dirt ground after choosing to get off of this internal seesaw ride I've been on with Time Magazine since their  recent May cover story.

I get it.  
I get the freedom of speech.
I get the shock factor value too.

Heads turn.  Google heats up.  And, voila. A hoopla is born.

But, there are some things I just don't get.  

I do not get the lack of respect for the role of motherhood.  I do not see where a headline and cover photo such as this gives honor to the journey of parenting.

All women are not the same.

Promoting Attachment Parenting is terrific.  Landing a center stage like Time Magazine with a sold-out audience is rock solid too.  But promote all of this in a way that shows respect and honors the role of motherhood.

Who me?

It must be that I formula fed my babies.  If not that, then clearly I am a woman insecure with my body and excessively private with my parts.


My stat records with the title of mom include a first born who traded thrush with me back-n-forth, back-n-forth for almost 3 months straight.  More blood shed {by me} than I care to recount in areas most tender to a first time mama learning to breastfeed. An off-the-record documentation of my sister-in-law straight up lying to my on duty day witch nurse when asked if my son received his 6:00 feeding.  This falsification due to my lack of mastery in getting Eli to latch on. Countless nights awake and co-crying with an infant who needed more nourishment.  A husband waking every single feeding for the first 2 months to help me figure it out.  3 months of nursing.  6 months of just pumping.  By 10 months, my first born was drinking whole milk.

And furthermore, when my second son arrived, crazy enough, breastfeeding was a huge success. I nursed Casey for 20 months introducing him to whole milk in his eleventh month.

I have nursed in public with respect to my body and to my baby as well as to the others around me.

I have skinny dipped in the broad day light too. So there.

I am woman. We are women.  

And within each woman is a world of diversity. From the choice to conceive, to getting pregnant, to potentially dealing with and grieving miscarriage(s), to delivering the baby, to making the decision to breastfeed, to what their family's care and nurturing system will look like all reads completely different with any given woman's story.  And, that's just taking into consideration one process of one baby.   Our experiences with each birth can be so very different too.  Just take mine for example.

Whether you are an avid fan of the order and schedules that the popular book Baby Wise promotes or a strong supporter of theories like Attachment Parenting that leave rhythms and routines more loose and general, we all need to remind ourselves as mothers of our number one goal. This is to provide quality care to the best of our abilities in our environments.

My environment as mom has been one at home.  I cannot tell you the respect I have for working moms doing their very best to provide both financially and emotionally for their families.  The idea of of o'dark thirty, a breast pump, a brief case and a pair of heels sends chills up my spine.  Shoot, I work within the confines of my home and there are days when the last thing I want to do is prepare a meal for my family.  I can only imagine how a working mom might feel coming home only to replace a pencil skirt with an apron.

Moms have enough on their lists of to dos.  I don't think adding the unwarranted guilt and/or anger derived from a misrepresented theory of parenting showcased in a highly skewed smack-in-the face slanderous headline and image has a place anywhere in between "pick up milk", "clean out closets" and "6:00 ball practice".

I'm Mom.  And that's enough.  

The journey of parenting is one helluva ride.  It is all things good and hard work too.  It's not for the faint of heart.  It's for the ones ready to share a space in their hearts to lead and love on growing ones with hopes of training up men and women of good character and great abilities.  Our end goal as parents is to make this world a better place.

In your way.
In your time.
In your struggles and successes too.
All out of love.

I'm Mom. And that is enough.

No more edgy headlines to hustle up hate.  No more drama to deploy differences that breed doubt.

Find a way to sell your magazines.
Tell your story.
Report your reviews.

I am putting my foot down to your wickedly twisted ways of defiling the art of motherhood, Time Magazine.  

I'm Mom.  And that is enough.


Sunday, May 20, 2012


The role of teacher is one I hold in high regard.  The pay is miserable, the workload is obtuse and, at times, unattainable to complete.  The recognitions are few and far between and the respect is often a worn out woven rug tattered, tugged on and torn.  

But, the rewards?

They are invaluable.  

I was honored to fill a custom design need for one very special teacher from a client of mine this year.  This precious client was so very sweet and vulnerable with her desire to give this teacher just the right gift.  She was looking for ideas both practical and genuine. Together, she and I designed a gift propelled straight from the heart.    

At the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year, my client and her husband had been ushered along with the notion that their son might need to repeat kindergarten from the get go.  They were told that their son just might not be able to master all that was necessary in just one year's span.

But this boy was lucky.  He was in Mrs. Book's kindergarten class.  

Mrs. Book assured my client that her son was ready to learn. That her son could do it.  And, that she would do absolutely everything possible along every step of the way to encourage and strengthen this little boy's success in kindergarten.

And, that's just what happened.  

Through hard, hard work at home with huge doses of love from mom and dad, this little boy was sent off each day where Mrs. Book matched that step-for-step at the schoolhouse.  Tears and time-n-again tries were exercised, and this sweet boy climbed mountains and lept big tall buildings when the projected status said it just wouldn't happen.

believe |biˈlēv|
verb [ trans. ]
1 accept as true; feel sure of the truth

Mrs. Book did in this boy.

And, upon time to find a way to honor her awesomeness as an educator of young minds, my client and I designed for her.
My client sent me a traced hand of her son who took on kindergarten like no other.  I chose red and navy as a color palette.  Red for the power that transcends into potential from Mrs. Book to each of her students.  Navy representing an unwavering vision and a steady pursuit of success.

My hands worked to reproduce a little boy's hand.  A hand symbolic of countless writing assignments, a whole lotta high fives and "You can do its!".  A hand holding onto the bigger ones that told him he was awesome each step of the way.

Mrs. Book's name was to be placed right underneath this 5 fingered success story as without her holding him up, this little one might not have had the wonderful kindergarten year he experienced.

A pillow for Mrs. Book's rocking chair.  The place where she sits and inspires.  Where she settles down and serves up inspiration and excitement with each new adventure read.

My client had the wonderful idea to quote one amazing children's author.  These words are the heart inside of Mrs. Book.  Dr. Seuss' s words-in-action-by-her provided this little boy the opportunity to stretch out and grow from the place where his learning began.  

I sent a fabric marker with this custom design for my client, her husband and their KINDERGARTEN GRADUATE to leave personal handwritten notes around the quote housed on the backside of Mrs. Book's pillow.

Mrs. Book believed.
She believed in a little boy who needed nothing more than that.
And for this, our world is a better place.

Thank you to all the wonderful Mrs. Books out there.

.mac :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

{open doors}

I have this metaphor for my mind and my days.  It's lived with me for as long as I can remember.  Even as a little girl, this method has been been buried deep in my soul.  

{close doors}

My husband and many family members now even know the visual aid occupant in my noggin.  You see, I look at my list of things to accomplish as doors that are open.  And, my days from start to finish are centered around closing these doors.  

Yes, visually I see my brain with all these open doors. Their wavy glass windows are etched with each chore or task.


All of these doors are just waiting for me to shut them.  And, my day is centered around the goal of lying down at night with all doors shut only to wake up with a new set of doors open and waiting on me.

This is my mind's metaphor.   

And, in this job of homeschooling, homemaking & creating, I am learning so very much about my open doors...

Sometimes taking the time to stop and peer inside those doorways can be very rewarding.

For, if I'm not careful, I will loose sight of the beauty that is right here before me in all of my hustle and bustle to shut a door.
The boys and I were working on our journals inside.  Lunch was served, preliminary warm-ups were done, and the time to create & write was now.  But the view out our kitchen doors was powerfully profound.  In my muffled covert militance of a teacher trying to motivate and encourage and complete, I caught myself and my 2 students, gazing out and so very sluggish within.
It was at that moment that I knew my mind's metaphor for my days was on many levels bogus.  While it served such great purpose for production and task mastery, it slighted inspiration; it seriously sank in the waters of experience and memories.

So, the back doors of our kitchen physically kicked the tail of my lifelong mindset that day.  

They opened.

And, as fast as the boys could move, our creating went out those open doors.
Immediately, I watched as inspiration and influence took a precious hold on my boys.
Without any motherly maintenance, Eli and Casey set up make shift tables and began to create.
Sketching and colors were peppered with laughter and talks about their day and what to draw next.
Ignited and infused with their surroundings, the boys found meaning in their midst.
And, so did I.  With camera in hand and bare footed, I soaked in my surroundings.  I felt the sun rays sink into my shoulders.  I crinkled grass between my toes.  I snapped shots of my boys being together and intentional with their projects.  I listened to brothers speak words of affirmation to each other and even giggle about silly somethings that I was but a stranger to.  It was then that I decided to settle in to the open doors around me.  

Laundry half folded and not put away, a rug still waiting to find its home back where it belonged after being shook out, an empty wall ready for pictures stacked nearby to be hung.
Effortlessly, the boys' time of creating drew to a close as I sat in a chair nearby.  Half hazard, their supplies were filed back into the correct compartments.  Journals still lay in wait for the words to follow to describe and detail the pictures drawn.  Half way into the yard, Casey yells out, "Mom, we're gonna write our stories in just a minute, okay?"  And, I settled into those words.  They get it.  They get it far more than me.  Life is about making the most of your nows.  It is being responsible and not neglecting. Not neglecting both the need to accomplish and complete as well as not neglecting the need to feel and be filled with what matters most.
 I replied, "Sounds like a plan, Casey Face.  How about I remind you of your writing time in about 10 minutes?"   
Casey, "That'll be good, Mama."
For the next 10 minutes, I sat unmoved watching bare footed boys race in the back yard.  I watched them tag and tumble and tackle too.  I looked over at unfinished work, and then reminded myself of the joy in the journey.  At the 10 minute mark, I made my call to write.  Fast feet came running and Eli handed me this single flower and said "Mom, I love you."  
May this day serve as a reminder that there is joy in the journey.  And, sometimes leaving doors open for just a little while will serve you with such a greater purpose and production than you ever intended.  

.mac :)

{week 36}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012



Yes, that was a month that expired 15 whole days ago.  I have been tardy.  I am well aware of my absence in this space here that I love.  

Shew.  April.

Stripes are very symbolic to me.  I am mesmerized with the way they succinctly have their own status side-by-side-one another.  Be it a pinstripe, a chevron or just a plain ole-strip-by-strip pattern, I am hooked by their repetition.  And, crazy enough, you can stare at stripes in any venue long enough and find the two as one collective pattern.  Two entirely separate color ways partnered together to create a complete look.  

For those just joining my year of rhythm, go here to understand just what the heck is going on.  For those already with boarding pass in hand and a warm seat by the window, here we go:

Ensemble statistics:


Merona brand
Goodwill $.25

  • has a huge rip in it right on my left breast from a pin removal gone terribly sour (thank goodness for padded bras or I potentially could have had a handmade tattoo right on the breastical.)  
  • I wear it anyway as an undershirt because well, it is the absolute best undershirt.  Perfect length, perfect give to it, but not total suction to where all you are doing is tugging at it to stretch it out.  {Ever met anyone that has that habit of pulling at their shirt because they are self conscious of it being too snug and it showing areas of their body they are nervous about?  I have.  I want to longingly pull them aside and tell them that pulling at their shirt obsessively only draws attention to their insecurities of a form fitting garment.  I also want to remind them that the tugging is most often unnecessary and a good dose of posture would totally kick that habit.}
  • This shirt also has that super smart mid-bi-cep length.  I am not gonna lie.  I feel all kinds of cute in this cut.


$1.25 Goodwill

  • This sweater is rocktastic.  {Yep, totally just made that word up.}
  • I adore the color.  It's all a cross hybrid of coral and salmon.  Now, that.  That's my happy place on the color wheel.
  • Shut the front door.  IT HAS A BOW TO TIE.  Totally stylish and all the trend right now. 
  • It also has HIGH END hidden hook-n-eye closures just down the front.  Love the versatility of closing this bad boy up if I wanna.  
  • Love the boat neckline.  I have worn this sweater with tanks and with a strapless dress and "gawded" up my neck with chunky jewels.  Bare skin + chunky jeweled necklace + boat neck line + bow tie = A WHOLE LOTTA PARTY.  And, the outfit hasn't even made it to my waistline yet!
  • The length of the sweater is tricky.  It's that "Hmm, is it too short? Or, am I still loitering around in the early 2000's with this fashion choice?" {Remember the short sweaters that just wrapped around your back and stopped right under your chest?  Yeah, like those.}  But the color and bow tie totally trumped that fashion insecurity and I went for it.


  • My Mom's.
  • vintage
  • It's glossy pink jewels and green jade intertwined to make a floral design.
  • I can remember being a little girl and going not once, but three times to the local antique shop in Tullahoma, TN {Ole World Antiques, I think} for her to gape at this pin behind the glass case.  
  • It was $36 then in 1988.
  • My mom would never pull the trigger.  My Mom-Mommie bought it for her.
  • I love that my grandmother bought it for my mother.  I love wearing this pin and recalling my little girl eyes watching this pursuit of beauty and this transaction of love from a mother to a daughter.  I love that my grandmother and my mom were such wonderful examples of seeking out the unique and finding the beauty there too.


  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • $2.25 Goodwill
  • There a stone washed navy and white pin stripe.  
  • They have a boat leg bottom which totally is stage for "Wear some killer cute shoes, okay?".
  • Being 5'9", it is difficult nearly impossible to find extra long length in pants at GOODWILL.  
  • These pants can only be worn with a heel.  That's how long they are on my stature.  


  • I have spoke of these bad daddys here once before if you will recall.
  • Nashville Goodwill $4.00.
  • That's high price in my world, but totally worth it with the WOW factor these puppies provide.
  • Now who puts a stripe with a stripe?  Um, I do.  And, who thinks that's rocktastic?  I do.  
  • A lot of times I will wear my ensembles and get some sideways looks.  My best friend can gladly attest to this when I went through my late 90's phase of wearing socks with my capri pants in the dead.of.winter.  Ask her.  She'll tell you.  Sideways looks.  
  • You have 2 choices when it comes to sideways looks if you ask me.
  • You can shrink back and do the proverbial pull-at-your-shirt {see above} or you can stand up and LOVE the choice you made.  I choose the latter.  And, I like to think, that my latter choice may just help someone else find the you in their unique and stand up just a little taller too.  Don't make me break out my capri pants and socks.


  • I've said it before, I'll say it again.  I am the Mr. T of bracelets.  
  • I borrow from the Lay's potato chip ad: "Betcha can't eat just one."  Only I like to replace eat with wear.


  • These were my great-grandmother's.  
  • They're clip-ons. 
  •  These babies are chunky rhinestones that create a floral design.  
  • I was given her costume jewelry box after my aunt had the opportunity to go through it.  
  • My aunt loved all the necklaces and took those.  I really loved the earrings, so it worked out perfectly.
  • I kinda lose lobe feeling about hour 3 of wearing them.  
  • Ole school clip-ons don't mess. 
  •  It's all good though; beauty is pain sometimes, peeps.

my hair:  

  • Riding the day 2 wave of washing/drying/straightening/fixing.  
  • Men will never know nor fully comprehend the work in preparing long hair from start to finish. 
  •  It's sweat.  It's labor.  
  • It's fully worth a good 3-4 day wear before washing in my book.

Total outfit investment:  $7.75 (not counting the inherited items)

April 2012

My word:  
My personal word of growth for April 2012 was stretch.

My mission:

My business:

I wanted to take more of my ideas for products and see them into reality on the retail platform.
I wanted to work more on my advertising avenues and define the k.Mac brand a little clearer.
I wanted to push myself to meet deadlines and greet new cliental with energy and enthusiasm.

 My boys:

I wanted to stretch them into more self prompted learning.  
I wanted to step away from them more as they are learning to become writers/readers and watch them create and decode more phonetically on their own.

The business & the boys:

I wanted to see more of what it would look like with a FULL load of designs and creating with a FULL time job of teaching too.

My Kenny:

I wanted to have more time to just be with him more.  Sitting beside him.   Talking with him.  Little things, you know?

My family:

I wanted to surprise them with some little things.  Things not anticipated or expected.  

My mom:

I wanted to stretch my feelings out to remember her passing.  It was important to take the time to re-visit my past and remind myself of the hurt in losing her.  For, it's within that hurt that beauty of now grows.  A lot of times, I think, people shy away from painful memories as they are so very hard to sit in.  But, they're real.  It was my hope that this unwanted realness of my past would prick my heart more for the hope of my now.

My God:

I wanted to love on Him more.  I wanted to give Him what He deserves from me.

My status:

* * * 
3 out of 5 stars

My memories:

My business:

It grew.  I gained so many new clients.  It was so unbelievably awesome to see product ideas in my head turn into cliental purchases.  It validated my designing eye.  It warranted my place as a one who creates even more.  Meeting deadlines is tough when real-life-unplanned-for-situations arise when you are the sole employee of a small business though.  

My boys:

Casey is reading.  Reading unseen material!  As in, he no longer reads just the books we have re-visited through repetition.  He writes on his own (no longer having mama write what he wants to say and then him copy it) and does a stellar job of using word chunking and phonetic rules to create his sentences.He officially will be considered kindergarten age this Fall.  Eli is fluent in a 6 sentence story.  Above average in his spelling and word choices as a writer.  He is reading on a 4th grade level entering into 2nd grade this Fall.  They both groan and moan when it comes to writing, but I am proud as punch when I see them lost in their story and watching their words move from their minds to their papers.   

The business & the boys:

THIS IS TOUGH.  I am pulling off 2 FULL time jobs under one roof.  These 2 professions are ones that I am equally passionate about.  I want to be sure to give my best to both.  There are several mindsets to consider here. The whole flexible homeschooling schedule is a perk, but I want to be sure my kids are getting just what they need and deserve.  The month of April had me working into the wee hours of most mornings to be sure that designs were complete and so that days of learning were carried out too.  I am watching something I love as a designer grow, and I want to be sure I don't slight my kiddos in the process.  Kenny and I are taking this summer to mindfully pray and decide what the best route for the boys is as far as their learning structure.  I do still want to homeschool as teaching and my boys is my heart.  {insert a heavy heart and hopeful mama here}

My Kenny:

I miss him.  We have always operated as an independent couple.  This has been our strength and our weakness.  With a full plate of teaching & creating these past few months, I have realized just how much I want him just for me.  The few times he mandated my bedtime the same as his or coerced me into sitting beside he and the boys as they watched "a little bit of Ope" {as we like to call it in our non-cable home}, were times that reminded me of just how much I don't want miss out on enjoying one another.  Definitely room for improvement in this area of my life.

My family:

I surprised my sweet sister-in-law with my niece Mallory's diaper bag and baby bundle to match!  I was all covert and sneaky calling on a wonderful k.Mac client of mine to help me out with delivery.  I loved doing this!  Now, if I could only get her nursery bedding done.  My niece will be 3 months old in 2 weeks.  ACK!  I also tried to love on my mother-in-law and Larro a little more.  We had them down for dinner and dessert 3 out of the 4 weekends.  The boys and I also did a hit-n-run treat drop off to her at their home where the boys dropped the goodies, rang the doorbell and took off!   I even tried squeal tires as she appeared at the front door.  Super fun!

My mom:

Done.  The proof is documented here.  The pain of reliving these moments that turned into my now was so grief stricken as I wrote this.  I am glad I did.  The fresh look at what I lost has only propelled me more to live for what is right before me.

My God:

He needs more of me.  More of me in mind, heart, and spirit.  I fail Him in living out His love on many levels.  My mindset is most often His greatest disappointment in me I would imagine.  Much work for me to do for Him is before me.  

Stretching myself down to reach is good.  I just gotta remember to look up and out too when I do so.

Much like the love I have for stripes with the way they succinctly have their own status side-by-side-one another, I am stretching my own passions to do just the same. My hope is that this collective, striped look of me is aesthetically pleasing to God's will in my life.  

.mac :)

{photo credits:  Eli G. Cobble}
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