So…I had a baby! Meet Ava Rose Shannon! She was born on February 20th at 5:27 PM. She weighed 5 lb. 10 oz. and was 18 inches long.Read More
Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s 2019!
2018 was a big year for me. I signed with an amazing art agent, got my first art licensing deal, sold some artwork to some pretty awesome companies, traveled to Canada and Hawaii, and got pregnant with our baby girl! I already know that 2019 will top 2018 because I’ll become a mom and learn to become a work-from-home mama. It’s such an exciting (and anxious) time!
My word for last year was “growth.” (Not gonna lie…I had to look up that blog post to remember what my word was…I didn’t do a great job of trying to apply it to my day-to-day life.) I definitely did grow last year, in my business, my relationships, even physically (have you seen my belly lately?! ;) )
For this year, I knew exactly what I want my mantra to be. I’ve been doing a lot of self-growth lately, reading lots of books and listening to lots of podcasts about how to be the best version of myself.
My word (or phrase, rather) for 2019 is “be present.” This phrase kept popping up everywhere I looked in the past few months, and I know that it’s something I need to strive for during this new year.
It started when I decided to really try to take control of my anxiety and stop letting my negative thoughts get in my way of being productive. My mind tends to be three steps ahead of where I currently am, always trying to figure out what needs to be done in the future. It’s always been hard for me to truly be present in whatever moment I’m in, even if it’s a relaxing, happy, or fun moment. I always catch myself thinking ahead. Does anyone else struggle with this? It’s so hard for me to truly be in the moment, but I desperately want to try in 2019. Having a baby is going to force me to be more present. I know that the only way to be a truly happy mom and raise a truly happy baby is for me to be fully engaged in whatever I’m doing at that specific moment.
I recently read an amazing book called Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke, and it introduced me to the idea of mindfulness. Nancy defines mindfulness as “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” It’s the practice of paying attention to all of your senses, being in whatever moment you’re in, and not judging your feelings, thoughts, and perceptions.
Obviously, this book is about getting through labor and birth while using mindful practices, but this mindset can (and I believe, should) be used in everyday life. I plan on reading more books about mindfulness and being present this year, and I’m excited to start doing some mindful meditations every day.
Basically, I just want to be able to slow down, breathe deeply, and be fully present in whatever moment I’m in. This goes for working, spending time with family, enjoying a vacation, even doing the dishes. Just paying full attention to the task or atmosphere that I’m in, and training my mind not to constantly wander to the future and what I need to do then.
I want to write about my journey throughout the year, and I’m going to hold myself accountable to this. I love getting my thoughts out, and I want to share more on this blog too.
So here’s to 2019! Let’s make this the best year yet!
I always claim I’m going to be more consistent with blogging, and it never happens. Oh well…I’ve been super busy over the past few months, so let’s just let it slide.
The huge news is that I announced on my social media a few weeks ago that we’re expecting a baby girl in March 2019!
We’re SO excited to welcome our baby girl into the world! I’m currently about 22 weeks pregnant, and the pregnancy has been great so far. I was pretty nauseous in the very beginning (as expected), but that tapered off, and I’ve felt pretty good up until now. I go through bouts where I’m extremely hungry or extremely tired, but I’ve been feeling pretty good overall!
We’ve had a couple of ultrasound and the baby looks good! She’s been moving a LOT lately, and I’ve even managed to get some videos of my stomach moving (I won’t share those here…that might be a little weird haha)
We have a couple of trips between now and my due date, and I’m excited for the holidays too. We’re going to Hawaii for Thanksgiving as a little “Babymoon” (I’m cringing while typing that. My sarcastic self can’t use the phrase “babymoon” in a serious way) and we’re heading back to Alabama to visit family for Christmas. After that, I’ll be past 31 weeks and we’ll probably be staying around here until the baby comes. We’ve been working on figuring out ideas for the nursery and trying to keep our baby registry as simple as possible. I don’t want to go crazy and buy ALL THE BABY THINGS, so I’m trying to be as minimal as I can.
As far as work goes, I’ve been working away at new collections for Surtex (which has been moved to February…which means I can’t go since I’ll be VERY pregnant then :( ) I’ll try to share some new work whenever I can. I’d like to work on some personal projects too (if I have time) so I’ll be sure to share those too.
That’s all for now!
LONG time no update! I've had a super busy past few months, and I haven't really taken the time to sit down and update my blog with everything that's happened (oops!)
Back in late February, I signed on with an awesome art agent team Pink Light Studio, and I've been working hard to grow my portfolio, edit existing collections, and have lots of artwork ready for Surtex (which was at the end of May.) Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go to Surtex this year (hopefully next year!!) but I was thrilled to have the opportunity to have my work shown. It's so exciting finally seeing my work become licensed, such a dream come true! I'll definitely be sharing examples of my work on products whenever I have them available.
So for now I'm still working away at new and revised collections and trying to stay inspired. (I plan on writing another super-honest blog post about the struggle I sometimes feel as a creator. I think other people in creative fields definitely understand this feeling as well!)
I'm going to be more consistent with blogging and sharing on social media this summer. I kind-of fell off the radar for awhile because I was so busy with getting things finalized for Surtex, but now I'm ready to get back out there and show everyone what I'm working on!
I hope you had a merry Christmas, happy holidays, and happy new year! I think I speak for all of us when I say that it's time for a new year. For a change. For some reflecting on this past year, but also for some goal-setting for this year.
I just got back from a loooong trip visiting family and friends in the south, and now I'm back in my little office, ready to tackle some planning for this new year.
I've noticed in the past few years that people are starting to use specific words for the new year, not resolutions. I really like the idea, because...who actually follows through with a resolution?? It takes a detailed plan, daily determination, and specific goals to reach an overall goal. For example, if you want to lose weight in 2018, it isn't specific enough to say "My new year's resolution is to lose weight." It isn't even specific enough to say "My new year's resolution is to lose thirty pounds." Good luck with that. I know I'd fail miserably. Now, if you write down specific goals for each week like "I will go to the gym at least 3 times this week" and "I will give up fast food for this whole week" then you will start seeing some results that can push you further into your overall goal.
My word for this year is growth.
This is just vague enough to cover all areas of my life, but very specific when applied to specific areas that I want to grow in.
I want growth in...
1.) My business. I want to work with more clients, create more design work, and take on and complete new projects. I want to be even more authentic in my business because I am drawn to authentic businesses myself. (Of course I have even more detailed goals, lists, and plans for each of these areas. I won't bore you with all of that info ;) )
2.) My relationships. I want to nurture my current relationships and make new ones this year. I want to always be open to meeting new people and making new friends (online and in the "real world"!)
3.) My faith. I occasionally write about my faith on my blog, as it is a huge part of my life. I want to grow in my relationship with God and try more and more every day to live out the life He wants me to live.
4.) My creativity. I want to be creative just for the sake of being creative. I want to play around, experiment, and create without trying to tie it into making money or growing my brand. I want to create just for myself.
5.) My relationship with myself. This may sound weird, but I really want to grow in understanding myself better. I am a naturally anxious person (and I've recently come off of an antidepressant I was taking for a couple of years...another story for another day) so I need to find better ways to monitor my thoughts and feelings. I want to get into meditation. I want to start journaling every day. I want to read more psychological books to get a better understanding of my personality and why I think/act/react the way I do. (I'm an INFP in case you were wondering ;) )
6.) My health. I have been trying to cut out animal products for the past 4 or 5 months (and it feels great!) I want to continue to find creative (and delicious) ways to eat healthy foods that fuel my body rather than drag it down. I also want to be more active. I've been regularly going to the gym for the past couple of years, but I want to add in more exercise, more hikes, more biking, more yoga. Exercise helps my anxiety and helps my body at the same time!
7.) My contribution to the world. I want to find more ways to give and serve others. I'm currently working on a list of organizations I'd love to work with and contribute to. I'm also looking for ways to serve in my community and neighboring communities. We all have something to give, and I want to really focus on putting time and effort into giving back this year.
Those are the main ways I want to grow in 2018. I know..it's a lot. But I think that by getting all of that out of my head, I can begin to make achievable goals and action steps to get there, little by little.
What are your goals for this year?
Here's to an amazing, happy, loving, giving, creative, positive new year!