Up For A Challenge

Life has been challenging, to say the least.  Both my mind and body feel like they are purely in survival mode.  But there's something to be said about a challenge.  Isn't it amazing what you can accomplish in the hardest of times? I mean survival in itself is pretty remarkable when life really knocks you down, but then everything you do on top of merely surviving - that's just amazing. And then when you eventually come out of the tough time, as you always do, you're THAT much stronger.  And life is THAT much easier.  Because look at ALL THAT YOU DID when it was THAT HARD.  

And don't get me wrong.  I love my life (even in the hardest of times).  I have the best, most loving husband who is more my best friend with each new day.  I have a beautiful daughter that makes me laugh and smile each and every day, even if it's an IMPOSSIBLE day for both her and I.  I have the joy of being able to stay home with her, soaking up all of these moments as a first time mom, and being able to work on my own thing on the side.  Am I getting done as much as I want to with my own work? Absolutely not.  But that's okay.  I remain hopeful that that will come with time.  And in the meantime, I can soak in those small glorious little moments of uninterrupted, exhilarating work.  

And spring.  I mean there is just something so rejuvenating and renewing about spring.  With this new season, I feel a new me approaching each new day.  And it feels good.  Putting in all your effort, making the absolute most out of all the tiny moments of each day, and feeling so exhausted at the end of each day that you could just sleep for a year - yea, I'm currently digging that lifestyle.  Because you know what? Each day is truly a gift.  And having a baby girl growing up so quickly has really put time into perspective for me.  It is OH SO fleeting, and I want to grab every moment of it I can.  

Spring, in all your glory, I'm welcoming you with such open arms it's not even funny.  Okay, maybe it's a little funny.    Happy Friday Folks! 

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After such a busy weekend, I'm really trying to slow things down this week and it feels SO good.  I'm getting things done, but taking my time, and I swear one day I'll master this art of slow living.  Because it is for sure the way to live.  So here's another piece I've slowly been working on.  And guess what - slow REALLY is good. 

Just about halfway through the week and that is GOOD too.  

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Things feel like they're falling into place and it feels good.  My goal was to get my studio set up by the end of October, and here we are, in the middle of November and it's not even close to being set up, let alone done.  But - I am getting work done.  And that's the important thing.  So hooray for that.  Oh and it's Friday.  So major hooray for that one. 

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Another new study completed and I finally feel like I'm getting back into the flow of things. This fall has been so amazing and I am trying my absolute best to savor each and every moment of it.  The seasons fly by way too quickly and now that there's a baby in the picture, I seem to close my eyes and we've already moved onto the next. 

There are still quite a few weeks left for this beautiful autumn and I am going to eat them up. Along with pumpkin bread, hazelnut coffee, and deliciously chunky baby thighs. 

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This is the FIRST piece I've finished in probably six or seven months.  And it feels awesome. And also awful.  And not awesomely awful.  

Selling a house, moving into temporary housing, moving to a new state, moving into more temporary house and then into our home all while being pregnant and having a baby has taking its toll on my creativity.  And not in terms of the urge to create being there, but more in terms of time.  

I'm hoping that things get easier and not harder with time.  But so far balancing baby and work is hard.  And although I didn't have expectations, I think it's harder than I expected.  Isn't it funny how those expectations somehow still creep in? 

But the main point of this all is - I finished a piece! And I have a happy, healthy, beautiful baby that I can't get enough of.  Now, if only I could lose that baby weight! 

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The amount of unfinished pieces I have going on is a bit insane that I don't even know where to begin.  The initial process of starting a new piece is so fun and exciting and QUICK, but finishing them, that's a whole different story.  

So here's to yet another unfinished, currently working, no end in sight piece that's been sitting around begging for some attention. 

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It's funny how quickly reality hits.  We had every intention of making some trips to the beach once the baby was here, but all of the sudden that seems like a whole lot of work.  And lounging at home with baby and balancing work and daily chores as I can just feels blissfully good. So for now, I'm looking back at some of my Sea Studies, daydreaming about where our first REAL trip will be as a family.  

Daydreaming - it does the body good. 

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Time has seemed to slow down, which I suppose is good when you're moving into a new home. But it's a strange time funk waiting around for this little girl to make her appearance and balancing it with trying to get a million things done on the house.  And please, don't even get me started on my own work.  That's at a major standstill. 

Sure, we got our beach time in last month, but right now, lounging on the beach and watching the waves roll in sounds wonderful.  Next time we'll venture back to the beach, our little girl will be by our side.  Life is about to drastically change and it's currently just a weird waiting game having no idea what to truly expect. 

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Currently slowly working on this diptych for my new Surface Studies series.  I thought I'd be getting a lot more work done in these days before the baby comes, but I am actually embracing the art of slow living and it feels really good.   Feeling thankful for this time and putting in the work when I feel it, but also taking the time to just be when I need it. 

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We are finally settling in to rainy New Jersey days and stupidly, we kind of imagined this time as a nice three month vacation.  You know -- sunny weather, relaxing by the pool, going to the beach, reading lots of books.  So far, I've done none of those things, and also have managed to get no work done.  Moving is a process! And now it feels like we are in the homestretch of the baby coming (nine more weeks left!) and everything just feels, well, chaotic.  

So for now, I am just trying to embrace this weird, in between time.  One day in the near future we will be settled (with a crying newborn) and that day will feel SO good. Now - time for a hospital tour! 

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Just a few random pieces of some of my newer work.  I'm pretty terrible at remembering which pieces are new and which pieces are old because for the most part, as soon as I finish a piece, it feels like it's been part of the series for forever. 

Can anyone else relate? If not, maybe it's just EVERYTHING I currently have going on. Hello New Jersey, it's been awhile.  Really though, how much does the process of moving suck? Can't wait to be settled again! 

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These week has been super busy, but definitely not the most productive.  Luckily, so far pregnancy seems to have taught me to just go with the flow, which is something I used to struggle with.  And you know what? It feels good.  So "yay!" for getting work done when I can and "oh well!" when I can't. For now, that will do. 

And at least it's Friday.  And that feels DAMN good! 

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I've FINALLY been back into a productive workflow after they craziness of the past few months, and although I am grateful for it, it's going to be cut short as our next (and still temporary) move is right around the corner.  

I so terribly miss having a designated studio space, BUT I am making it work.  And I am terribly excited to see what the rest of 2016 holds for me.  It certainly is going to be an exciting year. There is something nice about that anticipatory excitement of things to come, especially being completely and blissfully unaware of what lies ahead (something I am usually no good at, but that pregnancy has taught me to fully embrace).

Happy Wednesday all.  Hope the sun is out and treating you well.  I love this time of the year!