10 Things that make me TERRIBLY happy

{i don't remember where i found this cutie "beard of love" artwork but please comment me if you know so i can give credit!}

1. Meaningful and perception-altering conversations
2. Our wedding: 10.10.10
3. Rearranging furniture and decor so that our home feels new again
4. Writing/Sketching/Creating
5. Visiting the family back home
6. Intensely productive days
7. Blog-searching
8. James' unmatched love for me (bc I definitely don't deserve it)
9. Days off of work
10. Games!






nice to meet you.



art courtesy of christina vantzou

*some days, i feel like this.

[do you?]

Late at night, but never late enough...

art courtesy of mydeadpony

"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go. Things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they go right. You believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart, so that better things can fall together."
Marilyn Monroe


so. onward it is.


We could be heroes...

courtesy of jess gonacha

*I promise I will [go outside and play]
*I promise I will [sketch without abandon]
*I promise I will [dream bigger than before]
*I promise I will [make my dreams come alive]
*I promise I will [write and record the song lyrics of my soul]
*I promise I will [craft and create]
*I promise I will [stop making excuses and make it all happen]



Yes, sir, it was a finnnnnnnnne day...

*Final class with one of my favorite professors (sad to say bye but nice to leave behind the couse load!)
*No work :)
*Exercise! Yay for walking to class and back (although I maybe cheated by catching the bus when I was halfway home...)
*TONS of work done on assignments and projects (finished with my part of a 4-week unit plan, began and finished a 4-page essay, and e-mailed a literature activity and self-evaluation to my adolescent lit professor). Ah, how I adore productivity.
*James had a super good day :)
*Jessie and his girlfriend Ashley came over; we talked about jobs and tattoos and then admired/showered love on/played with lil puppy Jelly Bean
*Healthy eating! Sometimes I eat too much when I get lonely (James was gone all day at work) but I overcame that and kept myself busy!
*"Jeopardy!" with dinner
*A quick walking break to the mailbox; two observations: one kid playing with a remote control car, another kid playing with a bubble wand...which reminds me--I need to PLAY MORE!!!
*Extra time spent with the Lord this morning (when you start out with Him, how could it be a bad day?)
*Returned my dad's sweet voicemail message from when he called while I was at work the other day



A treat from StoryPeople

image courtesy of nicholas haggard

The singing on her belly dance records reminded her of the cattle auctions she used to go to with her grandfather & she would sing along softly, fourfiftyfourfiftyfour seventyfivegorgeous gorgeousgorgeous myohmy, she would say & then she would raise her hands above her head & ripple her body like trees in the wind.

Brian Andreas

Movin' on up!

Yay America! First we get our first black president and now Disney's unveiled their first black princess! Isn't she cute? I'm pretty sure she's gonna be in the new film "The Princess and the Frog"--and I cannot wait! :)


More beautiful than you can imagine...


i love her…

…heart, that center of her, beating drums and fire pits and starless skies, both fear of the dark and intimacy with it. i ran my hands along her sides to feel the blood pulse like lightning striking when she got anxious and knew the strength there was older than she is.



*Do you also love randomly connecting with complete strangers?
[how surprising life is]

*One week of classes left...
[it's okay for some good things to come to an end]

*Just hired two new girls at work
[what a relief]

*I'm reading Uglies and can't wait to finish
[how homework-filled life is before I can get back to it, however]

*I'm learning to be okay with my body
[it's nice to like yourself, even if just sometimes]

*Loving 90.5 Spirit FM at night, when they play Christian Rock & Rap & Alternative
[good stuff, my friends, good stuff]




*Inspired by Scott Westerfeld's novel Uglies; I haven't finished reading it yet, but I certainly recommend it! One of those wonderful makes-you-think and censorship-sucks novels...

Two new creations

*I miss my family more than I can say :(

*I created my first Wordle! Try it, yo! :)


Whatcha thinking about?

*Jamal here is thinking about:
  • only this moment
  • dreaming big
  • being brighter than they think
  • making it better
  • flying away
*I'm thinking about:
  • not thinking about all the end-of-the-semester stuff there is to finish up
  • getting something to drink
  • "I used to apologize for every little think I said or did, or hadn't said of hadn't done, or fogotten to say, etc.; I used to apologize for living. Now I've given up--I mean, apologizing. Not living; I've only just started that." Cary Grant
  • hopefully finding relief when I hire two new girls for the store tomorrow
  • shutting down the computer and laying in his arms...
[What are YOU thinking about?]


Let's make beautiful things out of our mistakes

*Sometimes I just want to destroy myself--
what do I do with that?

*give in, don't give in, give in, don't give in...

*Brian Andreas' Story of the Day:

They left me
with your shadow,
saying things like
Life is not fair

& I believed them
for a long time.

But today,
I remembered
the way you laughed
& the heat
of your hand
in mine

& I knew that
life is more fair
than we can
ever imagine
we are there to live it

*Don’t worry about mistakes. Making things out of mistakes, that’s creativity. --Peter Max


He's so great.

Why makes my fiance fantastico?

*he does the dishes and takes out the trash every day (seriously, I don't ever have to do either)
*he tucks me into bed every night
*the tv is mine when i want it--he NEVER says no to "Jeopardy!" or "The Ellen Degeneres Show"
*he refuses to judge me
*i have funny eating habits, but he still doesn't judge me
*he takes the puppy out when it's too cold for me outside
*he drives me and picks me up anywhere/anytime i need him to
*his newest ambitions are really wonderful (to become an EMT and get into the medical field)
*he doesn't buy into weight or hollywood obsessions
*he knows how to not worry and i wish i were just like him in that respect!


What do YOU love???

*Today, I love sketching random people.
*Today, I love lemon pepper seasoned green beans.
*Today, I love productivity.
*Today, I love "The Office", "Fringe", and "Jeopardy!"
*Today, I love James' newfound fascination with cop and ER shows.
*Today, I love that I started to shop online but realized that I don't need anymore crap and didn't buy anything.
*Today, I love quotes...

Don’t worry about mistakes. Making things out of mistakes, that’s creativity.
Peter Max

To understand what happened at the diner, we'll use Mr. Papaya. This is upsetting, because he is the friendliest of fruits.
Walter, "Fringe"

When I was nine years old, I think I wanted to be a brontosaurus.
Peter Bishop, "Fringe"

It's like she only wants to hook up when Ryan comes around. It's gotten to the point where I get excited every time that little dude walks through the door.
Daryl Philbin, "The Office"

What do YOU love today???

"Educational" Television

*Important things I learned from watching seasons 1 & 2 of "Hey Arnold!"
  • Never sign the pages of your diary (or else you'll spend all night in someone else's closet, waiting for a chance to get the diary back)
  • Grandmas can be super cool and suave (remember when Arnold's grandma helped him bust Lock Jaw outta the aquarium?)
  • Don't let pretty people use you (those sixth grade girls can be SO manipulative)
  • Vacant lots make great baseball fields, among other things
  • The "perfect" Saturday? No such thing...
  • Take the time to actually LEARN stuff--'cause those fancy smancy electronic devices won't always work when you need 'em to
  • Stealing = not cool
  • You and the pigeon man might not be so different from one another after all...
  • Not getting an "A" doesn't qualify for depression or pity
  • Don't mistreat your teachers, even if they're too "sensitive"--the alternative might be a butt-kicking ex-army general!
  • You're never too old to learn how to ride a bike
  • No one's life is as perfect as it may seem
  • Plagiarism = statue hauntings and nightmares
  • Think outside the game board (especially if the game is Chinese Checkers)
  • Don't believe everything--or everyone, for that matter!--you see on tv
  • Cheaters never win in the end!
  • Sacrifice = feel-g00d-deep-down feelings


::what a wonderful world::

*wonderful weekend =
birthday dinners +
tons of family time +
a visit from the Easter Bunny +
wedding dress shopping +
"Chloe" time +
"Heroes", "Lost", and "The Office" +
excitement in promises for the future +
a living room full of black balloons


Hello, my name is Monster.

*the world is full of so much beauty and messes at the same time...inspiration is everywhere...but why do i feel so...blah? ->perhaps a revival is in order...


don't be a jerk.

*life lessons
  • put people first, always
  • chill out
  • move your body
  • give it everything you've got, every time
  • make messes
  • clean up after yourself
  • create--be original
  • indulge in inspiration
  • sing. LOUDLY!
[Inspired by a post from Naturally Nina]


*i know that i'm bigger than my body
*i'm trying to live, this moment, right now, that's all, that's all
*prioritize: people, creations, school, work

Kaizen: Finished most of my LEP (Limited English Proficiency student) project for my ESOL class & wasn't too mean to myself when I messed up my plans for the day. Plus: more doodles finished today and to be posted soon!


sharpie love

inspiration and beauty from (ellipsis):


i love her…

…and i told her i’d write a letter with all the things i loved about her in it. i used her back once, blue Sharpie, and wrote all the words that belonged to her. i ran out of skin before i ran out of words. we left the stains all over her couch in sweat that night. she never read it.



there's a delicacy to life that i'll never understand...i only want to live so that every day does not slip through my fingers and shatter to bloody beautiful messes upon the scuffed but sacred hardwood floor...


"Speak" Alternative Book Report

"The Wisdom of Mr. Freeman"

"Welcome to the only class that will teach you how to survive. Welcome to art."

“This is where you can find your soul, if you dare. Where you can touch that part of you that you’ve never dared look at before. Do not come here and ask me to show you how to draw a face. Ask me to help you find the wind.”

“Are words or numbers more important than images? Who decided this? Does algebra move you to tears?”

“If you don’t learn art now, you will never learn to breathe!!!”

"The opportunities are endless."

“You just chose your destiny, you can’t change that.”

"Enough! Please turn your attention to the bookshelves."

“Kahlo, Monet, O’Keeffe. Pollock, Picasso, Dali. They did not complain about subject, they mined every subject for the root of its meaning.”

“Want me to tell you what I see? I see a girl caught in the remains of a holiday gone bad, with her flesh picked off day after day as the carcass dries out.”

“Art is about making mistakes and learning from them.”

“Art without emotion is like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag.”

“The next time you work on your trees, don’t think about trees. Think about love, or hate, or joy, or rage—whatever makes you feel something, makes your palms sweat or your toes curl. Focus on that feeling. When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time. You’d be shocked at how many adults are really dead inside—walking through their days with no idea who they are, just waiting for a heart attack or cancer or a Mack truck to come along and finish the job. It’s the saddest thing I know.”

"I think you have a lot to say. I'd like to hear it."

“You are getting better at this, but it’s not good enough. This looks like a tree, but it is an average, ordinary, everyday, boring tree. Breathe life into it. Make it bend—trees are flexible, so they don’t snap. Scar it, give it a twisted branch—perfect trees don’t exist. Nothing is perfect. Flaws are interesting. Be the tree.”


A modern love story

So flippin' cute!!!


i'm obsessed with creating these crazy doodles; can you tell? :)


love love LOVE this post from naturally nina:

Weekend Wisdom

silly = good.

flossing is better than cavities.

pale is the new tan.

kissing is a great way to burn calories.

drinking water = yummy.

playing scrabble while sipping wine is always a good idea.

doing laundry on a saturday is a no no.

eating slowly is impossible if you're eating the right food.

your mom is the reason you are here. thank her.

being yourself + doing the best you can = okay.

check 'er out at www.naturallynina.com

Church Bulletin Doodle

mmm. sorry it's so blurry; i'm not so good with taking and posting pictures, but i hope you enjoy it all the same!

p.s. thank you so so so much for all of your super kind comments! you guys rock and i love you! :)


For Chloe, my darling of darlings:

Very Creative (like my Chloe)...

Look at all those lil peeps!

Do it.

Hehe her favorite movie. We don't know why, exactly. But that's okay.

I think this is cool and we should try it (decorating over pictures and such).

"Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, she'll still be there."
Amy Li

Chloe's a giver and she looooves saving the environment. :)

Hey! Now you can have meatballs AND be a vegetarian! XD

Oh yeah.

...with God, that is...