HAPPY FRIDAY + HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

mothers-day-01Happy Mothers Day to my amazing mom, my Grandma, my mother-in-law and all my lovely friends who are moms! What a fabulous weekend to celebrate all of you.

All these women are an inspiration and I truly feel beyond blessed to have all of you in my life. Sending lots of love and prayers especially to my mom, as my Grandma’s health isn’t good, and her and my Aunt are having to make uncomfortable arrangements. Also, my mom was such an unstoppable force during Tim’s roller coaster health issues a few years ago. Putting her job on hold and flying out here to take care of both Tim and myself! I’m truly blessed to have such an awesome mom.

What are your plans for Mother’s Day? Sending big hugs and lots of love to all you mothers out there. Enjoy your weekend!

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Photos of my mom and grandma by me. Tim and his mom photos by Brian Finch. Scrapbook collage created by me for my mom’s 50th birthday photo book.

 

 

 

 

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DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF

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For those that don’t know me well. I’m a Virgo. Have you ever read its description? We aren’t the most fun and interesting horoscope sign. This funny site, takes a twisted turn on defining Virgos, but you can get a sense on what I mean:

 

You are the logical type and hate disorder.
This nitpicking is sickening to your friends.
You are cold and unemotional and often
fall asleep while having sex.
Virgos make good bus drivers and pimps.

 

Sounds sexy and exciting, huh? Wow, bus driver and pimp. Thought you’d enjoy this description too. And no, this isn’t how we really are…

Well, because of my Virgo-ness of being über perfectionist, I tend to be über harsh on myself. I have high expectations for myself (not others) and I sometimes forget how far I’ve really come.

Because I’m right in the trenches of redesigning my life— strategizing and creating my own studio business, working on a few new awesome client campaigns, dating and trying to find love again, spending quality time and exercising Oliver and co-leading graphic design ministry— my plate is full. And I can overwhelm myself with all these tasks, my expectations for every bit of them, and trying to race to the finish line. And instead I need to ask myself these two important statements:

1) How grateful I am for myself

2) To know what I have accomplished (today, this week, month, year)

 

I thought that maybe you needed to hear this bit of wisdom too. To not be so hard on yourself. That the we need to be more grateful to ourselves. That we are creatively unique. That you are so worth it. And that life is a process. That we are ready for checking things off our lists, accomplishing big goals, and overcoming major tasks. But the more we rush and burden ourselves with doing so much in such a short time, it causes the opposite effect – we can overwhelm ourselves. That it causes burnout. Doubt. Fear. Judgement. Pain. Regret. Anxiety. Stress. Disease. Death.

Let’s try to be kinder, gentler to ourselves. To be proud of who you are. To see the beauty in the mess of life. To see failures as a source of blessing, humbling us and giving us empathy. To enjoy being comfortable with permanently being uncomfortable. That we are all a work in progress. To be present and full of intention. To see the truth of what each moment teaches us. And to let go of “perfect.”

Photo above from here

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THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COUPLE IN MUSIC

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Happy Friday peeps! One of my favorite parts of the Catalyst Conference (see my full post here) a few weeks ago was Johnnyswim.

Johnnyswim is Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez. She’s stunning— the daughter of Donna Summer and Bruce Sudano— and he’s quite handsome (!) and originally from Jacksonville, Florida.

They first met after Sunday service at a church in Nashville. Four years later Sudano attended a songwriting workshop held by Ramirez and became interested in writing songs with him. So frickin’ cute, right?

What I loved about them, is that they reminded me of a modern-day Johnny and June Carter Cash, but their music flirts with folk, soul and rock.

They were so flirty and engaging on-stage. Such great chemistry together, you can really tell they have a deep love and admiration for one another, and she has a fun, little sway and dance as he play guitar.

Now, go and check out this link to listen and download new music. My favorite is “Home.”

Have fun dancing to their music and enjoy your weekend. xoxo

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 Photos from Johnnyswim.com. Last photo by Tec Petaja

Johnnyswim At Catalyst from Luke St. Lucas on Vimeo.

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CATALYST WEST 2013

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A few weeks ago I attended the Catalyst West Conference. Catalyst is a leadership conference filled with diverse speakers, musicians, artisans and food trucks to empower heart-centered leaders of positive change. It felt like a mini Christian-version of TED with a flavor of Coachella. I’m currently co-leading the Graphic Design ministry with Cathy  and our church invited all the ministry leaders to attend. (that’s us above in the black and white photo, the morning of the first day).

All the speakers were fantastic but here’s some you may recognize:

Jim Collins
 
Tom Shadyac
Hillsong
Christine Caine
The David Crowder Band
Rainn Wilson

It was such a blast! I really enjoyed the attention to detail, it was full sensory experience, and to be surrounded by so many interesting and like-minded peeps. So much great inspiration and wisdom, my head and body ached the following day! To see my favorite stuff from the event, click here and download my Catalyst recap here: Catalyst.

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The biggest thing I learned from this conference is to take our “joy” seriously. To not get caught up in being too serious, to really have fun and love what you do. That we are all in a process—we are all growing, learning, healing— and each of our individual experiences, circumstances, however painful, and full of sorrow they may be, they are for bigger lessons we must go through, to discover our purpose. We must trust in what lies ahead. We must be patient and trust that good things will come. To not strive for happiness, because that can be broken, but to be joyful, that endures. To be the love. And be the ambassador of God, so that this joy and light can be continued and embraced for generations.

We were are all in the process of being made. We were made to make a difference. 

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For more info about the event check out this Catalyst Highlight video or Trip & Tyler’s Wrap Up video.

 

 

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BECAUSE EVERYONE MATTERS

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REWIND:
Last November, I attended the amazing Identity conference — which is like a mini Christian TED event — filled with inspiring, go-getters and do-getters, genuinely making positive changes in our communities and worldwide, with speakers that included Rick WarrenPromise Tangeman and Dale Partridge, among many others.

This conference was one of the catalysts that made me more determined, moving forward to be selective about the type of clients I work with and how I run my studio. That I want to collaborate and create brand campaigns that empowers and connects others with purpose, and not just design for the sake of designing. Anyways, more to share later — the deets on my biz.

I also met a super sweet and talented creative, named Josh Avis from Nicehaus. I’ve emailed him a few times and he’s always followed up and shared great design insight. I also follow his instagram.

AND NOW:
I just found out about this inspiring campaign that Sevenly launched this week, called Blessed not Burden to help support adopting children with down syndrome. Josh and his beautiful wife, Heather are proud and inspiring parents. You must watch and share the video below, and support their cause by snapping up an awesome shirt!! Go and do it!

They have adopted two wonderfully active, and fun children—Macy and Truly. And Macy has down syndrome. Josh and Heather have such a deep love— its so inspiring, contagious and empowering. They see the value in everyone. I hope to be as unconditionally loving as a mom as they are as parents.

LET’S DO SOMETHING:
We all need to remember this. To love ourself. To love others. To make the most of our life. We are so quick to judge ourselves and others. But instead we should see all our differences as blessings not burdens. So, take a minute and:

Watch this cause video

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Share it with others

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Buy Sevenly’s one-of-a-kind shirt
to help many others like Macy find a loving, sustaining home.

To learn more about Josh and Heather’s story, follow Heather’s blog here.

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And as another awesome ironic-ness to this week and how my life is happening lately, I’m hoping to meetup with Josh and (finally meet) Heather, if time allows today or Friday at the Catalyst conference. Can’t wait to catchup with them and meet other awesome do-gooders. That’s what life is about. Connection and love.

Anyhoots, enjoy the rest of your week. xoxo

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