What Inspires You?

At this time of year I always feel a strange desire to reflect, look forward, and most of all…..PLAN. Those of you who know me know that I’m a BIG planner. As many famous people say: “how will you know where to go if you don’t know where you’re going?” (or something like that).

In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about what I’ve done this year and what I hope to accomplish next – things I need to do better, do differently, or not do at all!

The pictures below are of my inspiration board that hangs above my desk. I confess that though it’s hung right in front of my face I don’t actually stop and look at it all that much. Because it has some important things on it I thought it was worth a post – this also helps me to remember why I put the things I did on the there.

The whole thing….photos, quotes, memories – all serve to inspire 🙂


Of course Jeff and the pooch figure heavily into what inspires me, but lucky for me I can look at them in person on a daily basis and remember why I love them.

The photo of Jackie Kennedy and Caroline (top middle) is from an old Life magazine of my Mom’s. When I was in middle and high school I loved reading books on Jackie and even did my Junior Term Paper on her. There is just something about the movement and freedom in that photo I love.

The quote on the purple piece of paper to the left of Jeff’s photo in the middle row says “all rising to a great place is by a winding stair” – Francis Bacon. This helps me to remember to take it slow and enjoy the journey 🙂

On a similar note the quote to the right of the yellow piece of paper at the bottom says – “Hang in there, young grasshopper, you are earning your wings!” My cousin Will wrote this to me in an email when I was still working a full time job and starting my business. Another reminder at patience 🙂

The quote on the bottom right is from Real Simple. It is a photo of a dog who has just chewed up the toilet paper 🙂 The quote reads: “It is no trick loving somebody at their best. Love is loving them at their worst” – Tom Stoppard, The Real Thing

Now to zoom in a bit further……

My friend Wendy (pictured above in the orange jacket) who I met at the dry cleaners 10 years ago and who married us this summer silk painted this for me. This I do look at a lot since it is literally at eye level – it reminds me to go with my gut and trust my instincts when making decisions or charting a course.

This I picked up at a gallery a few years ago when I was still quilting regularly. I thought it was such a neat way to combine inspiration and art and hopefully someday when I get back into quilting I’ll make a few of these myself!

“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

This I tore out of a desk calendar years and years and years ago – it’s an old Far Side (Gary Larson) comic. Even then I recognized the rat race and knew that I wanted to get out before I got in! It always makes me laugh

This quote has probably been the single biggest driver of decisions I’ve made in the last few years. I first discovered it at a friend’s house and then a different friend kindly bought me this magnet knowing how much it meant to me.

What I take from it: take a chance….the worst you can do is fail.

Another good message for me and small business owners in general – you chart your own path so get to creating!

And finally the dedication from an old yoga studio I practiced at when I lived in DC – Tranquil Space. If any of you live in DC I HIGHLY recommend this studio – similar to the lake my blood pressure just drops and I take a deep breath and say AHHHH whenever I walk in there!

Hope this inspires you to do great things in 2009! Happy New Year!

Happy Accidents

While we were packing up the car on Sunday Strider happened to be peering through this beautiful wreath at my Dad’s house. I hadn’t really thought about doing “holiday” photos of him in this way but when I saw it I said “stop the packing! we need to make this work!” Jeff acted as my very able photo assistant and was standing by with treats 🙂

Wait – this is all I have to do and I get a treat?



Sometimes when Strider knows he’s getting a treat his mouth shuts quickly and his lip gets caught in this position – he looks so goofy and we of course think it’s hilarious 🙂

What a handsome holiday dog!

Since we were on this track I spotted this as I was walking by the sideboard and stuck it on his head….he was thrilled 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Style Me Pretty :)

The wonderful editors at Style Me Pretty have struck again – two of my weddings (Chris & Leigh and Kevin & Vanessa’s) are featured this morning!

The ring shot from Chris & Leigh’s wedding has always been one of my favorites as I have a soft spot for gnomes 🙂

And if I love one color it is blue so I adored Kevin & Vanessa’s flower arrangements.


Morsman Family

Mimi’s grandchildren were in town for Christmas so we took the opportunity and did a photo shoot! The kids have grown a lot since LAST YEAR and it was fun to see them again!

They were drawing cards for their friends when we got there.

Mimi had mentioned that she was planning to decorate a gingerbread house while the kids were there….I suggested that that would be a perfect activity for a photo shoot! It’s always fun to plan something to do during the shoot – either something special or just a few things that happen everyday that will remind you of that time in your kids (or grandkids!) lives.

I think as much candy ended up in their mouths as on the house 🙂

Everyone worked very well together 🙂

The finished masterpiece was QUITE impressive 🙂

There is a lot of wrestling and tickling that goes on 🙂

The boys especially love it 🙂

A serious moment 🙂

But not for long!

We ended the shoot with some couch jumping photos 🙂

I hope you guys had a fun Christmas!


Christmas Day!

We had a great day yesterday – slept late, ate AMAZING meals, went for a big long walk, and just hung out and enjoyed each other’s company.

This year we decided to pretty much not do presents. When we told our Dad about our idea he said “there’s just one problem….we’ve already gotten something for Strider” 🙂 In the end we got one present each and are taking our Dad and Annie out for a yummy dinner somewhere tomorrow night.

We decided that was ok so with two presents Strider was the most gifted doggie on Christmas 🙂

His first present was a girormous bag of treats. Even though we encouraged him to stick his nose in it he was very good and waited for my Dad to dig out a treat for him.

My Brother bear

His second present was a big ball similar to the ones he loves – this one has an even better squeaker and Strider enjoyed carrying it around and making it squeak!

Strider is a present every day 🙂

Jeff opens our present

My Brother did this painting for us in honor of our wedding and my Dad generously framed it for us.

As a special surprise my Dad gave Jon his signet ring with the Harris family crest on it. They examined it with Dad’s magnifying glass 🙂

Jeff meanwhile contributed to the delicious dinner by making yeast rolls from scratch (no rolling pin around so he used a wine bottle!)

Merry Christmas to one and all!