Why Minimalism? #JTM

Not related to this blog, but today is my 6 year anniversary of signing up with WordPress and creating this blog! HEYO!! Okay, done celebrating, onto business.

Just like the title, why minimalism? Why would my husband and I decide this was something we wanted to work towards? Like I’ve said in previous blogs about myself and us as a couple, I think so much of what we are working towards today was always buried somewhere inside us. We have only now been given the tools to really embrace the lifestyle we ultimately want. So why do we want to dump everything in our house and move into a tiny house in the middle of no where and live like weirdos? Well, we aren’t quite there yet. And I don’t know if we’ll ever actually be at that point. But we are well on our way to downsizing and living happier with less stuff.

About a month ago we watched “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things” on Netflix. Man, was it eye opening. It was one of those movies that makes you question everything you’re doing in your life. When I was finished watching the movie, I literally sat and looked around the room taking inventory of all the things I didn’t need. And it isn’t just about not needing things. It’s about not needing things because they don’t bring any value to my life.

I’ve mentioned before that we grew up in the gigantic city of San Diego, where “stuff” is important. I’m not saying that we were super spoiled assholes, but we grew up with a decent amount of stuff. And once we were on our own we were definitely in that mindset that the more stuff we had the better off we were. TV’s in each room, kitchen gadgets, and a new stereo, not because ours was broken but because we wanted one. There’s only thing that lead to, and it wasn’t happiness. It was debt.

Over the years we have been making a lot of changes. First we dumped cable. Then we didn’t unpack the TV for our bedroom. Do you know how nice it is not to have a TV in your bedroom? We also stopped frivolous purchases. We stopped going shopping for the sake of buying something because we were bored. Most of the time we didn’t have money to spend anyway, but we thought buying something new would make us happier. We’ve started to learn how to live off the land. Of course we still go grocery shopping and buy food, but we have chickens so we don’t buy eggs, and we have a super awesome garden started so we will be buying less produce. It’s all part of living happier and living within our means. Oh, did I mention we are also credit card debt free? Yeah, that’s huge.

I am not going to go into all of it just yet, but the next couple posts will be about the purging stage. Dumping the stuff that doesn’t have any meaning to me anymore. The purge is strong! And it feels sooooooo good!!

The Journey Towards Minimalism #JTM

Hey all. I’m starting a new hashtag for future posts.  #JTM will follow any posts I write about my family’s Journey Towards minimalism. First post starts tomorrow. I’ll add these posts to a new page as well.

Embracing Change: A Love Story

This post has been brewing for a long time. It all started with a question quite a few months ago; I’ll get to that. I was going to write it yesterday but the day came and went. But here it comes.

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated 18 years of being “John and Chrissy.” 18 years as a couple. Our story began in 4th grade when we sat next to each other. I moved to a different community for middle school but then came back for high school. The rest is history. We started dating freshman year and have been “us” every since.

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Freshman Year, 1999

A few months ago I went to have a coffee date with a new friend. We were doing the usual “get to know each other” question and answer session. She asked me, referring to my husband and I being together so long, “Have you guys changed a lot?” My immediate response, with a laugh, “Pshhh, no!” I didn’t realize the impact of that question. I have thought of that question almost every day since then.

When I initially asked myself the question again, my reasoning for the NO answer was this: I am still the goof I was in high school. He’s still the muscle that can pick me up and swing me over his shoulder. We still listen to the same music. He still drives and I passenger. We are still together so of course we haven’t changed. But then I continued to ask myself the question over and over since then and I keep realizing, we are totally NOT the same people that we were when we first met, or got married, and we definitely aren’t the same couple after all these years.

The easiest change to see, we are now parents. And even that has changed in the 9 years since we had our daughter. But the other changes might not be as obvious, even to the people who know us best.

The first thing I think of is the way we eat. On our 1 year dating anniversary, John took me out to a super fancy seafood restaurant, not realizing I didn’t eat any sort of seafood. I filled up on bread and ordered a chicken meal. It took me a good 15 years to live that one down. “Remember the time I took you out for fish and you ordered the chicken?” When we were first married I don’t think I ever cooked a vegetable. We ate meat with rice or pasta. We ate out a lot. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago we decided to make changes in our diet. And it wasn’t until just last year that we really decided we were going to clean out our cabinets and start from scratch and start eating clean. Vegetables are now one of our favorite things to eat! And I LOVE seafood!! And I cook wayyyy more often than I ever did; we rarely eat out.

We grew up in southern California. I am not trying to say that there are only two types of people in SoCal, but for this blog there are two types of people; fancy people and hippies. Maybe instead of fancy I could call them lavish. In my opinion, lavish people want a perfect house, the perfect clothes, the perfect tan. Hippies are carefree, they differentiate between wants and needs, and they care more about other people than themselves. I would say we grew up being a healthy mix of those two. We lived in a pretty great neighborhood with all the things we wanted, could go to the beach to get our perfect tans, but were also pretty grounded with good heads on our shoulders and good morals.

When we were first married I think we wanted to be the lavish kids we thought we were. We bought all the things we wanted. We had a tv in each room. We HAD to have cable with HBO. When we could afford to, we spent money on new clothes and new things for the house because we wanted them. And when we had our daughter we wanted her to have all the latest and greatest gadgets because that would be the best for her. We aren’t those people anymore.

We’re the hippies now, 100%. We were slow and steady to make this change. Moving out to the country away from everyone was the first big step. Wanting to live off the land and not have to spend all our money on food when we could grow our own. We realized we wanted to spend more time with each other doing things outside rather than watching tv, so we kept extra tv’s in the moving boxes. We discontinued cable. We had very limited internet (this wasn’t a choice in the beginning but it was a blessing in disguise). We took away our daughter’s tablet (another thing that we didn’t realize was a blessing). We’re in the process of downsizing all of our stuff. We are heading in the minimalist direction, hoping to one day maybe be those weirdos who live in a tiny house with just a bed and a stove on a huge plot of land with chickens and a garden (I’m not kidding, it’s become our dream).

Growing up we weren’t raised religious. We had some church background but nothing that I would say was enough to form us into the people we are today. We still aren’t religious, like Bible religious, but we are both very spiritual. We are constantly learning and sharing ideas with each other that build on our spirituality. It’s something we have grown to share.

And then there’s our relationship. We have always loved each other, no question. And we’ve always been best friends; we GREW up together, how could we not be best friends? But when we were first married, and only 19, we still had growing up to do and things to experience. We did everything together but we still had those moments when we wanted to get away from each other. I was that annoying nagging wife at times. And he was the worker bee that I wanted more attention from. We fought over dumb things, like any new couple, we kept grudges, and would dwell on things we had no control over. Today, we not only love each other more, we LIKE each other more. There’s totally a difference. You can love someone but not enjoy being around them. We enjoy each other. We want to spend time together as much as possible. And we definitely don’t hold grudges. We agree on a lot but when we don’t, we figure it out without being assholes to each other. We laugh A LOT more, me especially when I think we’re fighting over something stupid. We work together. All while still maintaining our independence.

The point of all this is that the answer to the question, “Have you changed?” is most definitely a, “Hell yes, we’ve changed!” And the best part is, we’ve done it together. The second best part is, we are happy. Like, really happy. The happiest we’ve ever been. When talking about us and our lifestyle, hippie-ish, I always tell people that I think this was all in there deep down but it just took a while to really embrace it. Deep down we wanted all this but maybe just didn’t know how to make it happen. And all the roads we’ve taken together were all eventually going to lead us to this point. And now, this is the new starting point down our next road of adventure. Will a lot more change in another 18 years? Who knows. I would guess that we will just further embrace a lot of the things we are moving towards now. And the best part is, we’ll still be doing it together.

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April 13, 2017. 18 years

Adios 2016

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So yeah,  this is totally me right now.  Not just in life but in the blogging world. Is it #NamasteTuesday? Is it #FarmlifeFriday? When’s the last time I actually did yoga?

My husband has been working half days and everyday after work we’ve been building a chicken coop. When we weren’t building we were shopping for supplies.  When we weren’t doing those things we were eating.  And if we weren’t  eating we were out spending gift cards from Christmas. My point is,  we’ve been thoroughly enjoying winter break!  So much so that I dunno what day it is and I  haven’t sat down to blog. So….

Here’s my lasy blog of 2016! I hope everyone has a marvelous last few days and a Very Happy New Year.  I’ll be back in 2017!

The Christmas Spirit

I don’t really know exactly what it is, but this year I am really feeling the Christmas spirit. I am not stressing about the holiday. I am not a scrooge (not sure I’ve ever really been that against the holiday). I am just really enjoying this time of year and I can’t really remember ever feeling this happy about it.

I’m not trying to say that I have always been unhappy around Christmas because I love Christmas and I love the holidays, but I can’t recall ever having the feeling I have this year.  I am going to try to explain why I think this year is different. And just so you don’t get all pissy with me, I’m not saying everyone should do, or not do, all these things, I’m just explaining how I think they’ve worked for ME.

First, Santa is no longer real. I cannot tell you how happy I am that we finally got that out of the picture. My daughter knows that at some point in time there was a guy like Santa and that’s where the story comes from, but she now knows for sure that WE are in fact the ones that put presents under the tree. I am so glad to be over that. And I think this has really changed how we go about the holiday. We aren’t spending time writing Santa letters and seeing him at the mall. There is no lying!!! I don’t have to coax her into telling me what she told Santa she wants for Christmas to make sure I find that specific gift and wrap it in different paper. And she isn’t worried about being good all the time. You know, when you take that pressure away, it’s easier to just be good. Which brings me to the next thing we don’t do.

The Elf on the Shelf. We never got into that and I am soooo glad we didn’t. It’s cute, I really do enjoy seeing my friends creativity with their elves, but you know what? That shit’s creepy. An elf watching your every move so he can go narc to Santa. Awesome! And what is this doing to parents? It is making them 100 times more stressed than they need to be. Not only do parents have to remember to move the elf, they have to create super awesome things for the elf to be doing. And then, you forgot to move it! What do you do? Lie to your kids again. And what if the kids touches it? Tears and tantrums because you broke the magic! Heartache is what that elf is. I am glad it’s working out for some families, but again, take that stress off the kids to be good and they might just surprise you. And take the stress away from the parents.

One thing I tried to do a couple years ago that I’ve tried to stick to is buying gifts early or at least spreading out the buying. Not having to spend a crap ton of money all in one month helps soooo much! No stress!! We also sort of stuck to that gift buying guide you have probably seen online…something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. It really does work out well and takes away the idea that Christmas is just all about toys. It makes the toys more special. I also did a ton of Christmas shopping at the Book Fair. Rather than send our family members lists and having them buy books, maybe buy duplicates, and then have to spend money on shipping, I had them all Paypal me money and I shopped for them. I knew the books my daughter wanted, so I bought them, wrapped them all in different paper and labeled them from each family member. And this was in October! Done and Done!! That takes the stress off me annnnddd my family.

Enjoying the holidays also makes the “giving” aspect much more enjoyable. Rather than feeling like I HAD to give gifts, I WANTED to give gifts. I was already a pretty giving person, but this year still felt more giving.

I really think there is one pretty significant thing that has made me really feel the spirit of the holiday this year. People. The people that we have surrounded ourselves with here in Virginia, and the friends we have kept during all our moving adventures, are really some of the most genuine people we have ever met. There is no drama. No one has any hidden agendas. These people are 100% good people. And that makes all us happier and makes my daughter happier and we just get to be happy and enjoy life.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!

 

3 Years Stong

3 effing years, guys! One hundred and fifty-six weeks! One thousand and ninety-five days! That’s how long it’s been since I gave up soda! I am happy to report that I have been soda-sober for 3 years today! And man, it feels soooooo good!!!!!

Starting in my teenage years I pretty much drank nothing but soda. I remember giving it up in 11th grade and drinking water and lemonade and that was it. It was a good change. But I went right back. I’ve gone back and forth a gazillion times but never stuck to the goal.

When my husband and I first did a low carb diet we stuck to diet soda. I drank a LOT of Diet Mtn Dew and Coke Zero. Like, a LOOOOOOTTTTTT!!! If you knew me back when, you knew that my morning pick-me-up was a soda. I could go most of the day without eating if I was drinking soda.

When we decided to get healthy and were doing all kinds of research on food and stuff, we decided to limit our soda intake and we quit Diet soda. If we were going to indulge we were going to just go for the real sugar stuff, no fake sweeteners, and have a real Coke or Pepsi. But we were most definitely lowering our intake. We didn’t buy soda anymore and only had it in mixed drinks or when we ate out. But then a family gathering happened.

Thanksgiving 2013 was our first time having a family holiday (we finally lived close to family). I figured that since people were going to be staying at our house and eating and drinking we should probably provide some soda. It had been a while since I had a soda and in a couple days I think I drank 5 Dr. Peppers (like Forrest Gump). My body revolted against me.

I felt like shit!!! I thought I was getting a flu. My body hurt, my head hurt, my arms and legs felt weird. I did not feel right. It was the soda. It was the only thing that was different in my routine. So I quit. Cold turkey. I am not kidding when I say that it took a good week for me to feel better. I don’t wish that feeling on anyone. It was draining physically and mentally. Physically, my body was screaming at me for drinking poison! Mentally, I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I had spent so much of my life drinking poison and it finally caught up to me. I haven’t looked back since.

I don’t drink ANYTHING soda related. I even stay away from carbonated water. I don’t order a mixed drink if it contains soda. I have not had a single, itty bitty sip in 3 years. And I don’t miss it. Physically, I will never put my body through that shit again. Not drinking soda has mentally messed with me a bit, too, but only in my subconscious. I don’t dream of soda like I miss it, but I do have dreams that I accidentally drink it and I am so mad at myself. I had one dream recently where I took a drink of my daughter’s drink not knowing it was soda and I started yelling, “That doesn’t count! I didn’t do it on purpose!!!”

Maybe that’s part of why I stuck to this as well. It wasn’t a goal of mine to quit soda. I didn’t say, “Man, I feel bad. I should try to cut out soda.” Instead I said, “Eff this! I’m never drinking that shit again!” Sometimes just doing something is better than trying to make a goal. You can’t fail at something that you just DO.

 

Thankful For Yoga #NamasteTuesday

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, here’s what you missed!!

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Everyone is doing “Thankful” challenges so I decided to do my own. I’m going to be thankful for yoga and all the things it has brought me!! To start off day 1, I’m Thankful for Yoga. Period.

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Today I’m thankful for the opportunity to share yoga with others in the form of teaching/guiding. I get such a thrill out of people coming to my class and experiencing yoga with me. I never thought this road was on my path, but I’m so glad it was.

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Today I’m thankful for the community center where I practice and teach yoga. I happened upon the building looking for the library when I first moved here. At the library I learned of the yoga and exercise classes. I immediately became part of the community. We frequent the community center as often as we do Starbucks (if you know us you know this is a LOT) and we get involved as often as possible. If I didn’t see the yoga sign that day, life here would be very different.

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Today I’m thankful for the opportunities my yoga teaching/attending has given my daughter. When the hub is home I go to yoga alone and the two of them get dad/daughter time. When hub is gone the daughter comes with me and spends time in the library. It’s so awesome! I don’t think about her the entire time. I know she’s reading, crafting, or busy gabbing with the two librarians, 60ish year old Ricky and 32 year old Mary. Gwen even says Mary if her bff. The opportunity this gives Gwen is so much more than library time. It’s time away from me and time for her to be extremely independent and adulty. Annnnddd, if one lady hadn’t ever come to my class, we wouldn’t have been invited to a Hoe-Down at a horse ranch and we wouldn’t have ever gotten Gwen involved in the FREE horse therapy/riding lesson program. Annnnddd I wouldn’t be the new craft coordinator for said program. All thanks to the yoga classes in a tiny community center. p.s. my money tree isn’t dead. She’s sad because she was outside in a freeze.

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Yoga in the biggest, comfyest (totally a word) pair of sweats I own. Today I’m thankful for what yoga has done for my soul. I feel like the philosophy of yoga (there’s so much more to yoga than being stretchy) unlocked a part of me that was always there but maybe not right on the surface. Ever since really embracing the yoga lifestyle I feel 100% myself. It’s a missing piece I didn’t even know was missing.

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Today I’m thankful for what yoga has done for my body. Not only am I stronger and more flexible, I love my body for both it’s flaws and awesomeness, and I’m more in tune with my body. I read somewhere that “it’s isn’t about using your body to learn a pose, it’s about using a pose to learn about your body.”

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I tried something new today. I’m continuing to try to figure out new things to do with my legs while in pincha. This was tough but I held it for a couple breaths.

Today I’m thankful for what yoga has done for my spirituality. I’m not religious, never have been. But I am spiritual. Not believing in one specific idea allows me to be open to a gazillion others. And yoga philosophy has really opened my mind and made me feel, again, like I am finally 100% me. I’ve been living this life for 30+ years but I am finally living it fully.

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Today I am thankful for what yoga has done for my marriage. I know that seems weird. But yoga gives me time away, mini breaks, time for myself. Yoga has taught me not to sweat the small stuff. Again, it’s one of those things that was there already but yoga has enhanced it. Yoga has really taught me that there are so many other important things in my life and to really enjoy everyday things. Which in turn has helped in the marriage department. Been married 13 years today (11/22)

#ThankfulForYoga

 

It’s My Anniversary!

My husband and I are celebrating 13 years of marriage today! Well, we aren’t actually celebrating because he isn’t here, #militarylife. He’s on a trip and won’t be back until tomorrow. But that’s cool. We’ll see each other tomorrow and celebrate.

The last 2 days have been spent revamping the blog, yet again. I sat and went through every single post I’ve made since the beginning in 2012. It was time consuming but actually really awesome. I may not have blogged as often as I kept saying I wanted to, but I do have some pretty good ones in there and a lot of great projects I forgot about. It inspired me to get back into crafty blogging. Which is what this post is about.

Last year we celebrated 12 years of marriage and being the cheeseball that I am, I like to try to do traditional gifts. Let me rephrase… after our 10 year anniversary when I made a really super awesome gift encompassing 10 years worth of traditional gifts (that I really need to blog about because I never did), I decided to try to stick to traditional each year. 12 years is linens. I did not want to go out and buy new bedsheets or something, so I made my husband a quilt with old tshirts.

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The bottom right corner is a white tshirt where I wrote a special message (pictured on the corner). Fun right?

Because we are a 1-car family and I didn’t really think about this gift ahead of time, I had to work with whatever I had in the house. I didn’t have felt or batting for the inside and I didn’t have enough tshirts for a backside, so I found an old blanket that we weren’t using. I cut it to size and used that as the backing. It worked out well. I only broke 2 sewing needles in the process of trying to sew the super thick edges. I think I remember having to hand-sew one or two of the edges because I ended up not having more sewing needles. Good times!! But it’s an awesome, and warm, blanket!

This year the traditional gift is lace. I am not buying my husband lace so I went nontraditional and painted him a picture. You guys have seen the Pixar short called Lava right? Go ahead, click the link and watch it real quick…..Super adorable right? Well, again, we are cheeseballs and totally love it so I painted it. But shhhhh….don’t tell him. I’ll give him the canvas tomorrow. 😉

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If you’re interested in seeing updates for my blogs on Facebook, give me a LIKE. I just made a new page yesterday. @thelifeofachrissy

 

Yoga in a Chair

I had no idea that this yoga road was on my path called LIFE. The very first time I took a yoga class I loved it. It was slow and calming. The poses were easy. If I got tired I could just go into child’s pose and rest. But the second time I tried? I hated it. Like, super hated it. They did planks all the time and down dog was a resting pose. How is down dog a resting pose? It would be about 7 years until I decided to try yoga again. The only reason I did was because a new friend was the instructor. Boy, am I glad I did. My life is forever changed because I got over my yoga fear and took a chance.

Flash forward to another road on my path…teaching yoga. I never ever would have thought this would be something I would do. I never thought I would get such a rush out of people showing up to my class and letting me guide them through a practice. And I really didn’t think that I would have my own beginner class where I teach yoga while sitting in a chair. It continues to amaze me how life works. How one little thing can lead up to so many bigger things. How one trip to the local library to print something in a town with no internet would help mold me into the yogi I am today.

The town I live in is in the middle of nowhere. Lots of farming, lots of open space, no neighborhoods, no sidewalks. It’s also an area where houses are occupied for generations. You don’t find a “new” family living in the houses. Well, I take that back, because we are THAT family. You don’t normally find that because these houses aren’t normally rented out. Families have lived on properties for generations and they continue to. The people I meet at the library/community center all know each other and their kids know each other and their grandparents all knew each other. The reason I am telling you all this is because it paints a picture of the yoga community, or lack there of. There are no fancy studios. There are no expensive memberships. And there aren’t too many youngsters. I think I might be the youngest person who comes to the classes.

The other yoga teacher, who also teaches an exercise class, practically begged me to teach. She had mentioned needing a sub someday and I volunteered. I thought my teaching days would just be that; the occasional leading. I taught one class and she was telling me to have my own class. I thought about it, tried to tell myself not to do it, and then I was like, “F*** it! Let’s do this!” Sometimes that’s the best way to do things; jump right in! I found out later that part of her agenda was to try to get more people to come to the community center. Not only that, she knows the benefits of yoga and knows that yoga can really help with strength and balance for the older community. She wasted no time trying to recruit people to my class.

The downside? They see me, young yogi, and get scared. It does not matter how many times I tell someone that I didn’t look like this when I started or that you don’t have to be flexible. I can shout all day that I won’t fold you into a pretzel but they just won’t hear it. That’s when the idea of chair yoga came up.

Do you know that you can do a ton of yoga while sitting in a chair? It’s true! And you still get a really good workout while stretching and breathing and working on balance and flexibility. We decided to try the class for the month of November to see if we got any fresh blood. We advertised a bunch and talked to a ton of people about it. November 1st was the first class. I walked in and there were 8 people in my class! 8!!! My normal class usually has between 1 and 3 people. I walked in and shouted, “Oh my gosh! I’m so excited!!!” It was so fantastic! This week will be my 4th class and people are still coming back! It’s not 8 people every time, but it’s not 1 or 3 either!! People coming back is such a huge compliment!! And the feedback is all positive too. One lady says that she can already feel her balance getting better and (don’t tell the Tai Chi teacher) she likes my class more than the Tai Chi class! Ahh!! So awesome!!

My Tuesday class is now going to be Chair Yoga every week. There has been such overwhelming enthusiasm that there is no way I would switch it back now. And it gives me a chance to continue to share yoga with others. That really does bring me joy each week! And I get to see people’s progress. Once I start adding new things into our routine I am excited to see how everyone starts to gain more flexibility. I’ll bend these ladies into pretzels in no time!!

Dia de los Muertos

Feliz el Dia de los Muertos, everyone!!

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If you don’t know this about me, this is one of my most favorite holidays. I didn’t grow up knowing about this holiday, but as an adult I celebrate and love teaching my daughter and the younger generation about it. It is such a beautiful idea; the idea that your loved ones who have passed will come back to visit you for two days. It is believed that Halloween is the day when the veil between the living and dead is lifted. Souls can pass from one plane to the other and spend two days back with the living.

On this holiday, alters, or ofrendas, are made with photos, food, and flowers to honor our loved ones. Many people visit cemeteries in hopes to spend time with loved ones. Marigolds are planted or put in alters as they play a major role in this holiday. Marigolds are nicknamed the “flower of the dead.” They are so named because one, they remind us about the fragility of life and how quickly it can end, and two, the vibrant color and smell are thought to guide spirits to the homes of their loved ones.  (Below are mine in my front yard)

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One of my favorite translations of this holiday comes from the Yucatan. They celebrate Hanal Pixan which translates to, “The path to the soul through the essence of food.” The path to my soul is most definitely food. I love to make food, eat food, and share food. I think about this translation often as it plays a part in my daily life and also reminds me of this holiday.

In 2012, I wrote a blog post celebrating the life of two of my loved ones. You can read it here. Feliz el Dia de Los Muertos

In 2013 and 2014, we were fortunate enough to live close to San Diego where they have an annual celebration in Old Town. It started out as a few alters being placed around the businesses and has turned into an entire street fair with activities! Below is a photo from 2013. Myself, my mom, my grandma, and my daughter.

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The next year my husband celebrated with us as well. Of course we painted our own faces because we are fun like that. My husband had so many compliments on his. I tried to mimic “La Muerte” from the movie “Book of Life.”

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My kitchen theme is also Day of the Dead. I love the idea that the afterlife is filled with your loved ones and is a constant celebration. It makes me happy to know (or believe) that my husband and I will be together even once we have left our living existence. I have statues of skeleton couples as well as sugar skulls and other colorful items, but the best piece is a new painting I had custom painted by my friend Kim at KD Fine Art.  She took an idea I had in my head for years and made it come to life. It’s the centerpiece of my dining room.

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The entire painting isn’t pictured here, (we’re surrounded by an alter of vibrant colored flowers) but this is the main idea. It’s us! On our wedding day. Another reminder that we will get to spend life together even after death.


 

This year I am far away from family and celebrations, so I decided to celebrate in a different way. I currently live in Virginia on a large plot of land, and next to our house is a vacant old house. It’s been nicknamed the “Creepy House” by our friends. I don’t think it’s creepy at all. I think it’s fascinating! Below is what it looks like when you drive up during the day.

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Here is what it looks like from the side with a fun filter added to it to make it look old. I love this photo.

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The lady that used to own the house we live in was the tenant in the Creepy House up until 1996. I am not sure about all the people before her, but I do know that parts of the house date back to Civil War times. Somewhere between then and the little old lady, a family by the name of Baird lived there. I know this because about 500 feet away from our house is a small cemetery where the family is buried.

I decided to pay homage to the previous land owners and celebrate the holiday by sprucing up their final resting place. I weed-eated (weed-ate?) as much of the overgrown grass as I could.

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I even found a small teddy bear that was left, I am assuming, for the newest member of the cemetery who passed away in 1998. Below are all the headstones.

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Once the grass was cleared, I planted a single marigold in front of each headstone. I also sprinkled seeds all over in hopes that more will grow; marigolds are pretty easy to grow from seed.

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As I said before, I love teaching my daughter about this holiday. She was excited to wear her skeleton shirt and earrings, and was more excited for me to paint her face after school.

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And since I like to have fun, too….

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I hope that everyone who celebrates was or will be visited by their loved ones.

Happy Day of the Dead!

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