Saturday, September 30, 2017

I Am So Much More Than A Work At Home Dog Mom...

A couple of months ago I flirted with the idea of creating DIY Dog Mom Projects that weren't necessarily doggy themed. I was inspired when someone reached out asking if I could make a sign for their wedding. I immediately said yes and I was excited to embark on this project. The finished product was gorgeous. Since then, I've viewed photos of their wedding and received a special photo of that sign displayed at their wedding.

Not too long after, a dear friend of ours who we consider family joined us for dinner. After dinner, while sipping wine, we were discussing life. She mentioned a quote she had stumbled on that she wanted to find in a plaque or canvas form to display on her wall. I was very familiar with the quote as it's one I've embraced over the past 5 years or so.

"Don't get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life." 

Our dear friend's birthday was inching closer. I searched online for a pre-made plaque or canvas that displayed this quote. I wasn't impressed with the selection. I attributed part of my dissatisfaction to the fact that I had already contemplated handcrafting a plaque myself.

The only thing that stood between creating this plaque and opting for store-bought was time. The middle of this month marked the beginning of a 1 1/2 month long project for a client. Between work, my Dog Mom life, making lots of changes on the blog site end of things, tackling my to-do lists, and everything between, I didn't have a lot of time to commit to an extra project.

However, I happen to love our dear friend. Taking the easy way out and purchasing a plaque or canvas with this quote didn't feel right. I wanted to personally handcraft it myself and add a personal touch.

So, that's what I did. 

It took a total of 3 days. That included painting the backboard and slabs with several coats of paint, distressing all 5 pieces, hand-painting the lettering, painting the flowers, adhering the slabs to the backboard, coating the entire piece with 2 coats of satin finish, adding the twine hanger, ordering photos, and putting it all together.

All throughout those 3 days, I was nervous. Would she like it? Not everyone likes handcrafted gifts.

I remember a story my mother told me several decades ago. She had made gorgeous handcrafted, quilted wall hangings for my father's parents one year for Christmas. When they opened the gift, they apparently put on a poker face acting as if they loved and adored the gift. However, they never displayed the wall hangings at their home or their camp on the lake.

Several years later, they gave a few boxes of items to my parents filled with items that they didn't have a use for. In one of those boxes was the wall hangings my mother had made.

Yesterday was the big day. We had our second annual celebration of Life and Love to celebrate the birthdays of 3 of our dear friends who have become family and a wedding anniversary. Their birthdays and anniversary all fall within a week.

The moment came. In addition to a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and a homemade, jumbo heart shaped chocolate chip cookie, we presented her with the handcrafted creation.

I'm not going to lie. I was a bundle of nerves.

Within seconds after opening, she had tears in her eyes. No words needed. I knew she loved it. And, I knew she was a bit surprised I had remembered that particular conversation when she recited that quote.

There were hugs, kisses, and gratitude to follow.

The following day, she posted a photo on her Facebook wall of the plaque hung up on the wall in her living room.

Aside from the joy of giving her a gift that meant a lot to her, I was also inspired.

While I'm partial and genuinely drawn to DIY Dog Mom Projects, that's not all I'm capable of creating. That's not my full potential.

To better explain this, over the years, as I've kept updated with several Mommy of human kids bloggers, I've witnessed many of these women coming forth and saying, "I'm not just a Mom. I'm so much more. I'm a woman with a vast range of interests and talents that don't involve my kids, this blog, or anything that bounds me to such."

I can relate. 

Yes, I'm a work at home Dog Mom. Lisa, our kids, our home, our well being, our health, and everything that resides within that is my priority.


I'm so much more. I'm a writer. Artist. Baker. And, my creative side isn't just limited to doggy themed items. I visualize creations in my head. I sketch them. I want to bring them to life.

What stands in the way?

Fear and expectations.

I'm expected to create items that fit into the realm of my Dog Mom Life. Because of that, my fear resides in creating and presenting something outside of that box.

I need to let go of both. 

While my main focus is everything and anything doggy themed, from homemade dog treat recipes to home decor, I may just create something amid that. Something out of the ordinary. A surprise. And it won't have anything to do with furry kids. Paws. Dog bones. Dog treats.

That's okay.

This is my evolution. My balance.

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