A {Harmoniously Late} SBOW

I’m only five days into the New Year and I’m already embracing my ONE WORD – HARMONY.

PB117153 Photo Art by Alphabet Photography

As you can see this week’s Sound Bytes is a tad late, because I needed to keep the harmony in my life and my family. There were just too many things on my plate this week – work obligations, bowling league {yes I’m old}, a sore throat, more Christmas shopping and family dinner.


So, something had to give and it just so happened to be this …


And I’m cool with it.


A year ago I would have been stressing trying to fit it all in and then making myself and my family crazy, but not this year. Nope …


Speaking of last year, I took a look at last year’s goals and was pretty impressed that I accomplished most of them …


Compete in three triathlons this summer {ok so I did only two, but I did complete the TRIFECTA}


Cultivate my writing {can we say horror novel}


Attend a Blog Conference {Bloggy Bootcamp x 2, Social Rev Up and our first Bigger Picture Blog retreat CREATIVE SOUL}

 Artist Finger

Meet more bloggers {Well that’s inevitable when you attend conferences, and I met my idols Meagan Francis and Heather King – swoon}


FINALLY close my dad’s estate and scatter his ashes {It’s official, all we have to do is submit taxes for last year and I can finally get rid of all the paperwork, and put him to rest}

 Sail Away 2012

Take the boys outside and PLAY {Everyday and we had ice cream a lot too}




Find a triathlon coach so I can finally finish a tri in 1:30


Run a mud run {like dirty girl, warrior dash or run for you lives}


Go to BlogHER


Host a Creative Soul event in Iowa City


Audition {and hopefully perform} at the CR production of Listen To Your Mother


Pitch a story to a magazine


Stop checking my phone, email, Twitter and Facebook ALL THE TIME


As for those Emotional Items…


Well, those are an ongoing work in progress, but I’ve made tiny bits of progress


FORGIVE others and myself {I often say it out loud now, so it really sinks in}


Listen more {goes hand in hand with disconnecting in order to reconnect}


Open my heart to love {working on it}


Find my definition of faith {this is a BIG one and I’m taking baby steps toward finding faith – I might even go to church once in a while – gasp}


Live in the Moment {A constant battle}


Oh, and the last one LIVE IN HARMONY


It’s just a few goals…


Goals are good though they help guide us, and to use a harmonious analogy I’d like to say they are the instruments that make our story sing.




Now it’s time to share this week’s Sound Bytes of the Week.


3. “Farewell Christmas I will miss you, but I know you will come again.”
Both boys are in L-O-V-E with Christmas, if E had his way we would keep the tree up all year around.

 Christmas Joy 2012

2. “I have a super huge brain like a Triladon, I remember everything.”
I’m not sure on the size of his brain, but he DOES remember EVERYTHING!


1. “I tried to slurp it into my mouth and instead it went POP right into my eyeball.”
Oh, the hazards of eating spaghetti.

 Noodles 2012

Well, there are this week’s harmonious sounds from our house.


Happy New Year!


I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

2012-12-28 17.20.01

Make sure you listen for the harmony amidst the chaos

*I’m not going to host a link up, but if you wrote a Sound Bytes post or have a sound byte you’d like to share just make a comment.

My One Word: Harmony

This year on a sunny fall day, it was abruptly brought to my attention that my priorities were out of wack and the people I cared about were feeling neglected and unloved.


Deep down I knew it was true, but I was growing, and stretching toward the sun felt so good. It became an addiction. I thought that if I didn’t keep blooming life might just pass me by.


However the sun was so blinding I ignored everything else, and like a plant in a drought, the rain of love and comfort never fed my roots.


I wanted to have it all, but I was risking losing everything.


In November, as I sat in another blog conference, I met Heather King {aka Heather of the EO} and I she said, “We couldn’t have it all, and we didn’t NEED to have it all.” I let out an exhale and at that moment I knew, something had to change.


See life isn’t about finding balance; it’s about finding the HARMONY in the chaos.


And that my friends is this year’s ONE WORD



Harmony Alphabet Photography

Artwork by Alphabet Photography


For a split second I debated the word balance. But…


Let’s be honest maintaining balance tricky.


It’s hard to equalize the scales of life, one minute work will be going well and at the same time your home life is a raging chaos or vice versa. It’s like walking a tight rope every day and personally I don’t need the added pressure.


So, HARMONY it is.

1: The combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords and chord progressions with a pleasing effect.
2: A pleasing arrangement of parts.


This year, as my life becomes a crazy mix of musical notes that resembles speed metal, cheesy pop music with a little country thrown in I’ll stop and take a moment and really listen.


If I listen well enough I’ll find the song amidst the chaos.



Easton Family 2012


Scenes from My Life: A Year in Bloom

The New Year is here and before I can move forward, I need to take a moment and wax philosophic about last year’s One Word – GROW.

On a cold bleak day last January I cultivated the groundwork to plant the seed for Project Grow. It was a small seed, full of hope and excitement for the upcoming 2012 year.

For the first two months of the year it was all about preparation, tilling the soil in my soul and finding the perfect spot to plant my seed.

I plotted out the year, setting goals, signing up for races and conferences. Looking for ways to nourish my seed emotionally, professionally and physically.

Once the groundwork was set, spring had sprung and in March, I attended my first blog conferenceBloggy Bootcamp.  That conference was the tipping point, which turned this little space from an online journal into a money-making, soul screaming juggernaut. The best part was building relationships IN REAL LIFE with other lovely bloggers. These relationships have formed my net and on more than one occasion they have caught me before I fell.

April 2012 Project Grow

April and May were all about watching my boys bloom. As they both celebrated birthdays it was a roller coaster of emotions watching them transition from littles into bigs.

May 2012 Project Grow

The June trifecta was the point at which my physical and professional soul blossomed. After competing in a two triathlons and playing football at Kinnick stadium, I finally found the courage to call myself an athlete and triathlete. In the same month, I also won the friendship “lottery” when I was asked to join Bigger Picture Blogs as a contributor. Another bloom and vindication for all those who never thought I could write.


By mid-summer my seed had grown and blossomed over and over. It was more than I could handle. As the blooms from June faded I grew tired, and needed a break. My pot was overflowing and instead of growing I was suffocating myself. It was time to disconnect and melt in the sun by the pool.

My reprieve allowed me to focus more on family, and my son’s upcoming progression into Kindergarten. We knew it would be rocky, but nothing had prepared us for what we have encountered over the past five months. However, I vow to help him bloom, and find his way, just as he does for me everyday.

In the fall as he made his way to Kindergarten, I celebrated my 39th birthday and realized that age is just a number.

Road trips dotted my schedule and I pulled up my roots and hit the road, heading to Chicago for girls’ weekends. Letting my inner teenager roam free as I saved friends from carnivorous dresses, ate green ice cream and tossed bags of coffee from moving vehicles.

Chicago Summer 2012

As summer took her final bow our family traveled north to the land of lakes to say goodbye to my dad. My heart grew with love for my own family and yet a bit died as we dropped my dad’s ashes into the crystal blue water of Lake Superior.

Sunshine on the boat 2012

I soon realized that while my roots love road trips they also love the road home, so I planted them back in familiar soil among those I love.

The Boys

While the blooms in June were my greatest rewards, growing pains were apparent.

Each day I had to stretch for the sun, and with each stretch I felt heartache, fear and confusion. My family sometimes felt the same. For as the flower blooms and changes it can be hard to comprehend. To them the flower must remain the same, but the reality is that each bloom, each leaf and each moment in time is different. Nothing can remain unchanged, especially if it’s still growing.

As confusing as it was they still nourished my growth, with kind words, understanding hearts and wake-up calls that brought me back to my roots.

With the snow sheltering my little plant from the harsh cold winds of winter it’s time to stop.

I have grown enough.

My plant has blossomed and it will grow, but slowly now for its roots are firmly planted.

As I embark on a New Year, a new ONE WORD must be chosen … what will it be?

Check in tomorrow as I reveal my ONE WORD for 2013.

What are your thoughts and feelings about 2012? Was it a hard year, a rewarding year, a blooming year? If you have a year-end recap share it with us in the comments, we’d love to hear how you ended 2012.