May was a good month. That’s a simple, but true way to say it. I’ve loved the cool spring weather in Minnesota. I enjoyed being out on walks in the mornings and sitting on the porch in the evenings. And, while it’s been stressful at times, I have been loving work. I am working on all sorts of new things…things that make me uncomfortable in a good way because they are vulnerable and pushing me into spaces where I’ve been scared to go. But, I’ve been working diligently, pushing and praying through any fears that rear and any anxieties that taunt me. And it feels good.
I am launching one of my newest projects to my newsletter subscribers tomorrow (Friday, June 7), so if your curiosity is piqued, make sure you’re subscribed and you’ll hear all about it tomorrow. You can subscribe HERE (and get the Personal Retreat Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs.)
Anyway, here are some of my favorites from May…
If you follow my Instagram Stories, you know I was watching this nest of house finches on the wreath hanging on my front door. Well, two finch babies hatched and the other three eggs (two finches and one cowbird) didn’t make it. I’m not sure what happened to them, but they just disappeared.
I watched the babies grow up and then leave the nest. It was such a fun process and Jeff and I had regular conversations about the babies and how they were doing. We were glad to take it down, though, and use the front door again. The nice thing is that house finches were friendly and relatively tidy. I just had to wipe down the front door right where the nest was, but it was otherwise clean and they never dive-bombed us. I would welcome them to share my porch again.
Do you follow Emily on Instagram? She has painted watercolors for a while but decided to commit to daily painting this year and I have just loved following her journey and growth. If you’ve enjoyed my oil painting journey, I think you’d enjoy following her. You can follow her HERE.
I read this book through the month of May and finally finished it while traveling home from Florida. It is such a good book! As someone who is a multi-passionate multi-tasker, I can be all over the place. I’m incredibly productive at my best and scattered and overwhelmed at my worst. While I bristled at some of this book when it made me feel like I needed to focus on one thing and one thing only, I relaxed and embraced it (most of it) when I realized that the key was focusing on one thing at a time. Focus on the priority and what’s essential.
Panama City Beach Trip
I loved the weekend I spent with Shaunna at Panama City. Having my toes in the sand and the surf, working on projects, and just having some girl time was good for my heart.
I’ve had a great time working on some new projects with her, too.
(I was trying to get a good screenshot of both of is during one of our Instagram live chats, but it was an exercise in futility.)
Now that the delightful weather has settled on Minnesota, I have been sitting outside on the porch in the evenings. Sebastian lays in the grass, the boys play with the neighborhood kids, and Jeff reads a book or works on organizing the garage. I sketch and listen to music, taking breaks to chat with neighbors and observe the dog-walkers. I’ve been working on sketching from life and also working through a book, Beginning Drawing Atelier by Juliette Aristides (the sketches below are studies from that book).
I have thoroughly enjoyed this time, watching the sunset and staying out until the streetlights turn on.
THIS is the playlist I listen to when I’m sketching, but it’s ever in flux as I find new songs I like or drop off ones that need a break. I call the list “standards” as it’s mostly Sinatra, Bublé, Ella, Nora Jones, and music of that flavor.
Every May, I eagerly stalk the produce section of the grocery store, waiting for cherries to make an appearance. When I spotted them at the store a few weeks ago, I could contain myself and exclaimed, “They’re here!” I rushed to the display. My reaction was apparently so entertaining that two employees stocking the produce section came over, encouraged me to taste-test, and helped me pick out the best bag. I have been plowing through cherries every since.
War & Peace
I’ve shared this series as a favorite before, but I just rewatched it in May, so I decided to share it again. It is a beautiful period miniseries and one of my favorites. If you haven’t seen it, yet, you should! It’s available to watch on Amazon Prime (I think you have to subscribe to a channel) or you can buy it on iTunes.
If you need more period miniseries to watch, HERE is a list of my favorites.
I also tripped across the 1940’s era movie Their Finest on Hulu and I loved it. I enjoyed following the creative process of propaganda/screenwriters on the British homefront, but I also loved the characters, costumes, and poignant moments. The only bummer, and I’ll share this for my more conservative followers, is that this would’ve been a PG movie, but it ended up being rated R for a few completely unnecessary swear words and one brief bit of nudity.
That aside, the movie was wonderful. It’s made me want a functioning antique typewriter, too…
I hope you had a wonderful May, too. What were some of your favorite things?