just a minute, you are art.

IMG_2951it’s been awhile.
I’ve missed this place, this photo & song bit.
like grown-up show ‘n tell.
sit down in my circle, here next to me.

what I’m into lately is potential.  who we are, what we’re intended to be.  breaking out of who we think we should be to who we really are.  knocking down the bullhorns of culture that prescribe (for me) what a thirty-something woman should look like, literally & figuratively.

I stared this stigma squarely in the nose this morning.  I was sitting on the floor playing cards with two of my kids (which, don’t get all goosey, never happens.  truthfully.) when a vehicle drove up.  one of andy’s t-shirt customers was slated to pick up her order, & he’d just left to buy toilet paper.  i raced up, scooping up the laundry the little boys had used for a war & shoved it back in the basket, pulling it behind a wall on my way to the door.  I answered the door to a truly gorgeous woman, with the jeans & the hair & the smell.  (do you know what pretty smells like?  I do.).  I had managed out of my pajamas, but as I watched her glance into my kitchen, I saw it through visitor eyes (so different from we-live-here eyes): huge scrap bowl of apple peelings & egg shells alongside bills & houseplants, with a couple pantyliners on the side.  leif had been pulling off the sticky backs & plastering them on his tummy, saying, “owie”.  & that’s where they landed when i unstuck him.  nice.
also, I hadn’t brushed my teeth.  (it was only 12:30.  not like the middle of the day.)

after pretty woman left, I had my mini breakdown, feeling my feelings of inferiority, blah, blah, blah.  & then I got back to it:  cards & chaos & countertops housing miscellany.  this is who i am, & i’m good with it (usually).

striking, how quickly the bullhorns scramble to shout me down.

so, usually “just a minute’s” are succinct tidbits, but today had more.  & while i’m pacing back into myself, I want you to know who you are, too.  you may not be Revlon in skinny jeans, or you might be.  you might be home with your kids, or you might be busting your bum in the ER on weekends because that’s what makes you tick.  maybe you won’t leave the house with lipstick.  maybe you’re good with a solid tube of chappy.

one thing i do know about us is art is who we are.  I am art, you are.  what we do is art, or can be.
I used to think being an artist meant that I could draw.  which i abslute cannot, except at pictionary.  (I rock pictionary.)  but the farther I walk this road, the more I understand all of life is art because it was created.  we have a Creator who formed us out of some pretty funky stuff, & then knit into us an individual artistry that the world needs.  it needs you, because if you look around when you stroll wal-mart for chicken broth, there ain’t a whole lot of happy going down.

we could use a little more happy.
take a look at the little ones.  ever notice how little kids go deep into their creating, going slow (because they have not learned “better” yet) & putting their whole selves into it?  & then when they run up to you, sticky paint hands & a wonder-filled page upheld, they are glowing? they have done what they were meant to do.  they have created.

I can do that, too.  create, I mean. how I made that chili last night with two kinds of (canned) tomatos?
cornbread to go along, hot butter sliding off?
absolute artistry.
my four kids + huz gathered around our small wooden table on mismatched chairs beside the picture window?
call the Guggenheim, my friends.
it’s getting lovely in here.

& this idea of art everywhere, in you, around you, comes down to noticing.  I spend a lot of time reigning myself in to go slow enough to see.  we’ve talked about this before.  but if you’re going too fast, cruising down the interstate of your life, if you don’t slow down a bit, take ten minutes off in the afternoon on tuesday before you take the kids to karate, you’re not going to see the art. you have to go sloooooow.  or at least a little bit slower than the culturally-appropriate warp speed.
if you don’t notice it, you can’t enjoy it.  & if you can’t enjoy it, you can’t realize that you have the opportunity to create art every day.  in all the tiny & small things.  (ha,ha.  shameless plug.)  because you were intended to be amazing.  & you are. 
so, go be an artist today.  pour cereal in a pretty bowl.  take an extra minute to make coffee just how you like it, & drink it from your favorite mug.  take the time to unearth it from the back of the cupboard.  don’t have a favorite mug?
we can’t be friends.

& if you need a little inspo, listen:
(you’ve heard the song if you’ve been alive recently, but have you seen the video?  it’s on repeat ’round here.  you’re welcome.)

happy creating, my friends.  you are art.
(“just a minute” is a once-in-a-blue-moon post on fridays, in which I offer up a photo & a song (two of my most favorite things) that hit me between the eyes recently.  if you’d like to leave a scrap of what strikes you, please do, either in the comments or on facebook.  love love.)

just a minute. summer’s on, yes?

cheeks pinking, bronzing by morning,
after sleep’s medicine.
the magic of dreams.

sunshine, always the sunshine producing
shorts & bare little-boy chests,
pigtails & sundresses for the sweet miss.

bare feet, dirty feet, little tiny toes in dirt.
sand box as playpen,
sand dumped on the door step,
leif’s gift hauled to share with mama.

roadtrips with windows down,
audiobooks & library books.
a good novel.
drawing paper & endless miles
to think it out.
the creativity of mobility.

sprinklers & the first trip to the pool.
popscicles dripping off chins,
washed off in sunshiny waves of chlorine.
swimsuits hung to dry.
beach towels back in circulation.

windows open at night,
falling asleep as the world whispers.
birdsong to wake.

the season’s first watermelon
& even the ants that wander
that sticky trail
across the wood floor.

we are all here,
happy inside our long-awaited summer.

[“just a minute” is a friday post in which a quietly offer you a bit of my favorite things: usually photography & music.  but, with the cacophony of four small children in summer, i’m turning down the music just a bit, to better hear the summer itself.  i’m certain to have an accompanying theme song soon enough, though.  i hope you don’t mind.}

just a minute. the ordinary.

lately, i’ve been taken in by the ordinary, more than usual, anyway.  the light through morning window across the wood floor.  thick warmth of a teacup sinking into my hands.   the dimple in kieran’s cheek when he’s just a little bit mischievous.   leif’s simple adoration of his “key” (kitty).

& then, sometimes, the ordinary is so very ordinary.  the afternoon dragging, the dinner to be made again, the laundry.  oh, the laundry.  but i try not to dwell there.  when i notice myself setting up camp in that place (& sometimes it takes minutes, sometimes hours, occasionally days — let’s be honest.), i attempt to shake off the webs & see again.  see the beauty for what it is, hear the tiny voices in cacophony around me in sweet tones & not irritating ones, enjoy the slowness because it is just that.

i don’t mean for this to be long, it is just a minute, after all, but i think part of this awakening has to do with our downsizing.  four thousand things have left the building now, 4046 to be exact, & there is something bright & clear left in their wake.  i feel that i can see more clearly.  that somehow, when there was so much more in every corner & crevice (& strewn across the floor), i got lost in all that stuff.  now, with more & more gone, i’m not as distracted.  i’m enjoying the kids more than ever, the novel i pick up for just a moment when leify’s nursing, that snuggly toddler i hold just a few moments longer when he’s rocked to sleep in my arms.

i don’t know exactly;  i haven’t sorted this all out yet.  it’s new territory to me.


music this week:  the piano guys.  javin came across this duo a year ago, & what fun.
we love them & play them often these days.  these sacred, ordinary days.

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, 
And every common bush afire with God, 
But only he who sees takes off his shoes.

–Elizabeth Barrett Browning

{“just a minute” is a friday post in which i offer up a kid-sized portion of two of my favorite things:  photography & music.}

just a minute. hellos & goodbyes.

we were sitting at dinner, wiping up milk & balancing the toddler who will eat if he sits on my lap, when andy looked across the room & noticed this, an artwork of kid handprints on the window we walk by when we come & go from this place we call home.
he said, “it’s like you can see all the ‘hello’s’ & ‘goodbye’s’ on that window.”
i like that.
we found a new-to-us band this week.  if you’ve ever loved a toy, tarry not, my friend.

my favorite lyrics:
“i’d like to make myself believe
that planet earth turns slowly
it’s hard to say i’d rather stay awake when i’m asleep
because my dreams are bursting at the seams.”

dreams bursting at the seams.
that’s what i want, isn’t it?

{“just a minute” is a friday post in which i give you a dollop of two of my favorite things:  photography & music.}

a minute on mother’s day.

in my true mothering fashion, i am late.
in the spirit of what motherhood has taught me rolled up into a succinct just-for-you package, i’m letting it go.

(go ahead & start singing “frozen”.  i’ll be here when you’re through.)

now then, a bit more cheer for  the holiest of holidays mother’s day.
i have no doubt you’ll be able to crack the code on which kid corresponds to which card.

with lift-up flaps for secret messages.  awwww.  the goodness rolls on!
when i snuggled into kieran’s bed to thank him for his mother’s day card, he said, sleepy-eyed & disheveled, “it’s you & me walking.”  (cat out of the bag on the last one.)  (also:  insert heart-shaped hand sign & a tear in the eye, yes?)  yes, sweet.  it most certainly is.  on the most 5-year-old appropriate stationary. obviously.

& music for mother’s day!  Go Fish used to be a big grown-up band when i was in college (they played our spring banquet on a boat in minneapolis my senior year), & then the band members all grew up & had kids.  now they do kids music.  awesome.

happy mother’s day, whether you are a mom, a mommy, a grandma, an auntie, or a guy who loves one of the aforementioned!

you rock, & everybody knows it.

{“just a minute” is a (mostly) friday post in which i give you a spitball of two of my favorite things:  photography & music}

just a minute. (i’m 2!)

my tulips are going to be dynamite.  with all this rain, after all this chill, those purple & peach blossoms are going to be beacons of freaking happiness. it was hard to imagine, shoving those bulbs down into the ground before it froze hard & fast into winter. but now?  now i can see six inches of thick, green leaves, promising to shove up petals soon.  soon.

i’ve never grown tulips before, kind of had it in my “that’s-probably-hard-to-do” folder in my head.  but tulips are my very favorite, tall & strong, substantial, not fragile or easily broken. maybe because that’s how i’d like to be, i don’t know.

so last year we planted bulbs, thalia & i, in warm hats & coats, holding out a patch of hope against the winter.  i can see a solid six inches of leaves now already.  i’m sure when they finally get here, they will rock.  for all of ten minutes before leif finds them, anyway.  i’ll bask in those ten minutes, i will.  {wink, wink.}


my music for the week is mat kearney (pronounced “carnie,” like “carnival”) + the band “leagues”.  the fun part of this video is that i know tyler, the cool guy in the black shirt playing the guitar.  his wife, ali,  was a close friend of mine in college.  we used to hang out & drink coffee all the time, until one night late ali knocked on my dorm room door.  tyler was moving to nashville to play with audio adrenaline.  she needed to tell someone.  they managed, & when they got married, i was in their wedding.

which makes me think of a hundred other stories i’d want to tell you, if you were here with me today, at the end of this rainy week with plenty of rainboot-to-puddle ratios.  i’d make you coffee in my french press & we’d talk about cool people that we’ve known in life.

& i’d make sure you knew that you were one of them.

(thanks for being here, for coming back here over & over.  yesterday, i turned 2 in this space.  two whole years of writing a blog.  two whole years of this great conversation you’ve chosen to engage in with me.  i am so grateful.  happy two years old!)

{“just a minute” is a friday post, where i give you a bit of two of my favorite things, photography & music.}

just a (few) minute(s)

heck, i should probably say something already.
i’ve been meaning to get here all week, & well.  sometimes your best intentions + a toddler = not what you plan on.

so, instead of a regular “just a minute,” i’m going to give you a tour through britzville this week. do you mind hanging out a few minutes longer?

first we got our easter on.

this is the easter bunny in our tree house, in case you weren’t sure.

& colored eggs, of course.

we made gram & papa color easter eggs, too, though they didn’t need much coercing.

notice the egg yolk smeared on my hat.  your welcome.

& then the illustrious egg hunt. this year we added coded eggs for each of the kids, which sounds impressive but isn’t. javin looked for footballs & soccer balls, thal’s all had pink, kieran’s looked like bugs, & leif’s were big.  this meant nobody was whining that javin found them all.

call me grinchy, but we curbed the sugar with some coinage.  

then, after the jelly beans were eaten, the cadbury eggs wiped off little faces, & my parents safely home again, we continued in our downsize/readying-to-move endeavors.  we had been meaning to go through books & donate some.  one afternoon andy looked sideways at the bookshelf he’d made me & realized if we gave away all the books in it, he could take it apart & use it to trim out the basement.  so we did.

this. . .

quickly turned in to this. . .

but allowed for this. . .

which usually allows for this.

leaving us with this.

that, my friends, is a good feeling.

AND.  if you hang out with andy or me on facebook, you already know that
praise the good Lord, yes?

so after all that, we’ll need our song.  (you thought i forgot. . . .)
this is my week’s theme song.  obviously.

happy weekending, friends,
& thanks for hanging out a few minutes longer.