Freebie Halloween Desktop Wallpaper

Freebie Halloween Desktop Wallpaper

Who loves a fun wallpaper? ME! I wanted a cute wallpaper to welcome me every time I open my computer so I painted these Halloween illustrations and played in Photoshop.

My illustrations are some of my favorite things! I get so excited seeing them on paper after I’ve finished them and sometimes even more excited seeing them online.

Fun Fact…. I have a hard time parting with my paintings. I enjoy making reproductions, sharing or selling them, but I’m rarely excited to part with them.

I used Winsor Newton Pan Watercolors and I love them! It took me a few years to invest in professional watercolors and I’m so glad I did! The paints are so pigmented and bright. In the future I want to try Winsor Newton tube watercolors and Acryla Gouache.

Download your Halloween Wallpaper here.

SAHM to Empty Nester’hood

A few weeks ago it occurred to me that 4 years from now, September 2024, I’ll be an Empty Nester! My youngest, of 7, will start college and I’ll be home a.l.o.n.e. I won’t lie….it’s gonna be the best everrrrr! It will, trust me, I’ll be walking around my house naked just because I can, and my husband will take a long vacation to join me! And, with all money we save from not buying groceries, I’ll have a pool put in the backyard, skinny dipping duh!

but….

Going from a 17 yr 24/7 SAHMom to an Empty Nester has me a little rattled. I welcome change, I value change, I enjoy new adventures, but this isn’t only a change, it’s an end of a chapter, the end of my Stay at Home Career – the only career I ever wanted, and retirement is just 4 short years away. I’m ready but I’m not ready.

I’ve spent so many hours, days, months, playing with hobbies, certifications, a class here and there, but a blank slate is coming.

So, after brainstorming, blog reading, and binge watching YouTube, I came up with a list of things I’m considering working towards:

  1. Go to school. I’m looking into Ensign College.
  2. Professional Pool Installer
  3. Full-time Artist & Graphic Designer
  4. Dog Walker, for only my dog
  5. YouTuber, that would be hilarious
  6. Professional Tourist
  7. Contemporary Dancer
  8. Chocolate Taster
  9. Lifestyle Blogger

So many great options! I’m excited to see where I end up.

Articles, Books and Blogs I’m reading to better prepare me for Empty Nester’hood:

  1. Pen & Parent article
  2. Empty Nest Blessed blog
  3. From Mom to Me Again -Melissa T. Shultz book
  4. Doing Life With Your Adult Children, Keep Your Mouth Shut & the Welcome Mat Out – Jim Burns book

I started an Etsy Shop

This is a painting I did for a friend of mine who’s dog isn’t doing so great and he’s blind in the left eye. The very best way I can help ease the pain of an aging pet is to paint a timeless piece to remember them by. This has been on my mind for years so I’m just doing it!

I’m offering Pet Portraits for pets living or who have passed on, over on Etsy! Check it out!

Super Mom Interrupted

A few years ago I was sitting in church thinking of how I wanted to write a 10 minute talk to carry with me, in case I was asked to speak or if I met someone who needed to hear my message. I don’t remember where I heard about the ’10 minute talk idea’ but I liked it so I wanted to try it. I didn’t know what the talk would be about but I let my mind wonder, said a prayer, and within minutes I was typing away on my iPad. The words just flowed onto the screen so I kept typing until I felt like I was done. Not 10 minutes worth but it’ll do.

This is my story. Not just a story I wrote, it’s My Story. I didn’t realize I felt this way about my role as a Mother until I typed the words. The first time I read it, I cried….the ugly kind of crying, not the single glistening tear kind, it was ugly.

SUPER MOM INTERRUPTED

“In my house, behind my bedroom door, is a hook where my invisible cape hangs. Over the years, its become more and more tattered and torn. The edges are frayed, the fibers are thinning, and the sparkle is more of a light shimmer. It collects dust in between use and each night before bed I notice my cape and hope I’ll feel worthy to wear it the next day. Every once in a while, when the time is right, I put my cape on and wear it for the day. Then, hang it up and wait for the next day I’ll feel worthy to wear it again. 

“If you ask my kids about my invisible cape, they’d know exactly what it is and where it hangs, and that it’s not so invisible at all.  They’d say it sparkles and shimmers as if it were brand new and that it flows gracefully behind me wherever I go. They might even comment on how the cape can change, almost like it shares my personality; becomes warm and caring in times of needed comfort, firm and straight when choices are off course, and on most days….flying high almost as if it was filled with joy and dancing in the wind. They’ll remember countless memories of me wearing the cape and I’m guessing they will all agree that it sometimes smells like homemade cookies.

If you asked them why it hangs on a hook most days, they’d look confused, and ask what you mean. Confused yourself, you’d ask again and they’d say, it doesn’t hang on a hook, or a hanger, or stored in a closet, it only hangs from my shoulders as it always has. “

What if we could see in ourselves, what our children see? Can you even imagine it? I asked my 7 kids to read the story and give me feedback, they all agreed, especially about the homemade cookies. 🙂

Since writing this story I’ve worn my cape with honor everyday! Motherhood didn’t get any easier but it got more fun and I’m much nicer to myself than I used to be….making me a better mom.

If you’re a mom struggling, I see you, I understand. I hope this story helps you see how important you really are to your kids.

Until next time….

Not Just a Mom

Several years ago I found myself sitting across from a therapist. I went to get help with being a bit scatter-brained so no biggie right!? After a couple sessions I was getting comfortable with the idea of ‘talking’ to someone. About my 3rd session I learned more about myself than I’m excited to admit. I’m here, writing this post, because others might feel similar.

During the beginning of my 3rd session I was asked several questions about life and stuff, and I was doing well answering in a correct way as if i have it all together, ya know. She asked if I had siblings, yes I do….2, sis and bro. She asked what they did for a living, and being the proud middle sister I am, I boasted that my sister is a Nail Artist with a cult following and a bunch of other fun stuff because she’s amazing. Then I went on about my younger brother and how he was to smart for High School and graduated early and went onto become a Computer Genius and all the wonderful things about him. 

Then….in an instant, I burst into tears and said, 

“I’m just a Mom”

Before I could think and stop the words from exiting my mouth, it was done, it was said, my face full of tears told the whole story. I tried to say I didn’t really mean it but we both knew that an emotional outburst like this says only one thing, I felt like ‘just a mom’.

I’m not excited to show sad emotion unless it’s unavoidable because #1 I don’t want to, #2 I don’t have to, #3 It’ll mess up my mascara! But, this was out of my control. My tears didn’t ask permission, because I would’ve said no-way, but my heart knew I had something to learn.

I was crushed! Disappointed in myself. Embarrassed. defeated.

The realization of this was difficult to handle. I LOVE being a full-time Mom! Motherhood was my career choice, the only job I ever wanted. When I was 12, I asked my Dad what I should be when I grew up, he expressed his admiration for Motherhood and said it’s the most honorable of all jobs. His love for the role and the prime example of my own Mother set me on a path to making a career out of Motherhood and being a full-time Mom. So, how could this be? How could I feel like just a mom?

I knew this had nothing to do with my siblings because they are extraordinary parents and I knew my parents were proud of me. 

This was all me. 

The days after this session hurt my heart and, I’m not gonna lie, my ego took a hit too. I talked to my husband about it and he was a huge support! But, he kinda saw it coming. Well great!

I knew I needed to reconnect with my ‘why’, why did I love being a Mom and why is it so important to me? I also knew I needed to invest more in myself and redefine what success means to me.

I started with taking care of me, my mind, and body. Mothers can’t give from an empty cup. I ramped up my self-care, turned Date Night up a notch ‘cuz that’s for me too, started volunteering on a regular basis, invested in my education and certifications, and many more things. It didn’t take long before I was back to feeling like ‘my self’ again.

Next, I needed to stop comparing to others and change how I thought of success, so I went to the dictionary.

suc·cess :: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

Woah! I realized I was successful! Dude, I’m a stellar Mom, my kids say so! What I had to convince myself was, which didn’t take too long, I was already a Professional Stay Home Mom and I was killing it! I realized my office was bigger than my husbands, ahem….I have the WHOLE HOUSE! Not that I’m comparing or anything but I totally am. I have a ‘company’ car, I get to shop for part of my living, throw parties, take naps, etc, etc.

When I was young my Mom reminded us often that when we’re saying something, “It’s All in HOW you say it.” Whether we’re talking to someone else or to ourselves, it’s all in how we say it….

I’m NOT Just a Mom. I’m the Mom! I’m their Mom! I’m The Sassy Mom!

I’m so grateful for this experience and for what it taught me. I was humbled that day and I’m forever changed and grateful!

Have you had similar experiences about how you feel about Motherhood? What helped you? Leave a comment below.

Get Over Yourself, he said….

For the longest time I’ve been trying to plan out my business and blog so it’s just right, it’s seriously been years.  I wanted to get all the details in place so it’s ready to go like a ‘normal’ person….

For me, it doesn’t work that way and I’m far from ‘normal’….

In my everyday life, I’m spontaneous, with a ‘let’s go’ or ‘we can do that, let’s do that’ kind of attitude – throwing caution to the wind. Sometimes, ok often times, my husband has to talk me down and pull me out of the clouds to get some kind of details and plans before I tell our 7 kids they have 20min to pack an overnight bag and get in the car because we’re going ‘somewhere’, again.

So why don’t I use that same kind of attitude in my business adventures….

Fear. of. Vulnerability. Fear of Failure.

Last night my husband said, in a very kind way, “Get Over Yourself. Stop using other things as an excuse to not get started. You know what you need to do, or maybe this isn’t what you want to do after all.” Normally, I’d fire back and defend my fears and excuses but I knew he was right.

So, here I am, no more excuses and quieting fear as best as I can. See you soon!

 

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