What's been going on...

After a break from painting I am finally trying to get back into a regular painting schedule. It feels really great to be painting again. Whenever I take a painting break and then get back into it, I realize that it is to the core a part of me. Part of my make up, expression, and it helps me process life. The process of painting teaches me a lot about life. 

So, the last few years have been sort of nuts. Honestly, I dont think I have written on this blog since we lived in Austin. Almost 2.5-3 years I think. Wow. That is a long time. A lot has happened since then. We lived in Austin a year, moved back to San Diego a year, and now we have lived in McKinney a year. Just writing all that causes me anxiety!!!!

Our last move to San Diego, we knew like right away that it probably want going to pan out as expected. We went back for a job opportunity, but we knew pretty quick in it probably wouldn't sustain itself. A year later we were at a crossroads again. Should we stay in San Diego, find a job here, or open the door to moving back closer to family and pray that a job opportunity would open up. We were feeling the tug to get closer to family. A great job did open up in the last hour, that is how we got to McKinney, TX. Michael my husband works for a honey co. here called Nature Nate's. I also do creative work for the company. 

Last year I felt the need to homeschool. Honestly, it's not that I really was delighted to do it but we needed a reset button. A time to reconnect as a family. A time that we could invest in the kids and ease into another move. Transition is hard. Moving to a new place is hard. I thought, this will be really good for them to homeschool. Really, it was me that had the reset button through the process of homeschooling. Talk about sanctifying. I knew when I stepped into homeschooling  that my art would have to be on the back burner for a bit. 

Hopping into the homeschool world was really challenging for me. I think if I were homeschooling in San Diego, actually, I did homeschool Beck in Kindergarten(really we just went to the beach a lot and explored:), it wouldn't have felt so hard. Lots of new change again. McKinney is not like San Diego. There is a lot of concrete here and not really much water to see. Its really hot and humid and there's lots of bugs. Im from Arkansas, none of this was a shock to me, but it felt jarring. I know it sounds like I am complaining....because I am! I was! I say all of this because I have had a perspective change now. San Diego has my heart always. Its my favorite place on earth and Im thankful I got to call it home for 4 years. Its beauty inspired me every single day. When you are an artist and sensory driven, its hard to say good bye to a place that inspires so much. I also knew and know now McKinney is where we need to be right now.

Back to homeschooling art and stuff. I have suspected for a while that my daughter Sallie-Jewel may be dyslexic. I am totally aware and am in favor of every kid learning at their own speed and their own way. She is 8, so we did second grade. She has always really struggled with reading. Long story short, we had her evaluated in May. She is dyslexic and has a learning disability in reading. We decided it would be best this new school year to put both kids in our neighborhood public school thats 2 blocks form our house. She is getting aid there and I feel a huge burden lifted off. I am thankful for her to have what she needs that I felt was hard for me to provide her.

I think homeschooling is wonderful. Honestly, its something that if I need to do again, I would do it. But, I think its not best for our family right now. I love public school too! Im excited for my kids and Im excited to get involved with their school and our community.

I wrote all of this because I went into last year, the move, homeschooling, and stepping back from my art for a bit, with the idea,"This will be really good for the kids, a reset button." Honestly, I say this will all certainty, I had the reset button. It was good for the kids, Good for our family at the time. But hard for me. I had a year of feeling not my self, out of sorts. I felt a big part of me was gone and I didnt see that coming. I felt like a bad teacher, mainly because I felt like I couldn't teach my daughter the way she needed. I felt bad because I would rather be painting than homeschooling my kids.We were a part of 2 coops 2 days a week and we started tournament baseball(New for us, Texas is serious when it comes to sports), mid year I realized, I am around people every single day. I am more introvert than extravert. So I was totally drained and never refilled. I painted some commissions this year, but never got into a creative mode. I never had some alone time to fuel my creativity. This is not a good way for an artist to make paintings.

Through out the year I felt like I was being worked on. After a lot of tears and days that were plain hard, I noticed a change in me. I love painting, its my passion and a big part of my calling. But I got to a point this year that I could care less about my career, getting my art out, selling work and figuring my next career move. Like I said I love painting, I want to do it most all of the time. But when I started to have a change in my perspective I realized for a long time my art had been too important to me. At times, more important than my family. Before I homeschooled my days were filled with working full time as a painter and Im thankful. There were lots of days though when I couldn't hang it up and just be with my family or be there for them the way they needed. It is all part of being self employed and balancing work and family. But  this year, I feel like I am approaching work with a different perspective. I'm still working through my approach, but I do feel more of a sense of balance.

So now my kids are in school and I love it! I love them! But i'm glad to not wear the teacher/mom hat anymore. They go to school 2 blocks away so we can walk, they still feel close. Plus, I'm so excited at the end of the school day to see them and catch up on the day I am starting to paint again and work on commissions. I am in the process of mapping out the year a bit, organizing business, thinking about some new ventures, and producing some new work. I'm dreaming about the future, I haven't done that in a long time. McKinney is growing on me more too. I actually like it here now. It's still not San Diego and thats ok. We live off the square near the historic district. I enjoy the small town feel and I love living life in a small radius. 

I'm really excited for this new year and what it will bring!