A lot has changed since I last posted. For starters, my husband and I moved to Texas this spring. We left Chicago for Drew's new job opportunity in the Houston area. If someone had told me 10 years ago I'd be moving to Texas, I don't think I would have believed it! While we will always miss our family and friends back home, we were both ready and excited about the opportunity.
We are fortunate that his job is located in suburb called Sugar Land. It's a vibrant community located 20 miles southwest of Houston. It's a wonderful place to raise a family, that is culturally diverse and one of the top places to live in the state. It reminds us of the midwest; friendly people, great food, and safe neighborhoods. We love our new home and having more space. Our dog Harvey especially loves his new yard! The weather has been a huge shift from what we were used to in Chicago but we welcomed the warmer climate with open arms. We will definitely not miss our snow shovels this winter!
The other major change in our lives is that we are expecting a baby GIRL this October! We are incredibly grateful for this blessing and are beyond excited to meet her. I am now into my third trimester — time is flying by! I have had a very healthy pregnancy so far and continue to pray everyday for her health and safety. I did experience constant morning sickness and nausea for the first 20 weeks but as long as she's healthy I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I don't typically get very personal on my blog, but lately I feel those barriers are limiting. I want to share more of my life and insight into what inspires me to create at various times in my life. While we are excited and anxiously awaiting the birth of our baby girl, it also comes with sadness to share we experienced two devastating losses last year. I could never imagine the pain and shock we experienced during, after, and still to this day. Even though doctors say miscarriage is very common and that "it's not your fault," I cannot explain how hard it is to believe that. Or believe that there isn't something wrong with me. My healing has taken time, which does not mean the sadness has gone away. It has taken awhile to put everything in perspective but challenges can help us grow if we allow them to.
I also never planned to share this news publicly. But the more time has passed the more I feel it is important to talk about. So many women experience miscarriage in their life and are silent and may feel alone. I know everyone's experience of miscarriage is different. Let this be a little reminder to be compassionate to others — we can never know everything that is going on in the life of someone else.
Life is a miracle. We are blessed to have been given a third chance. We are grateful to have a healthy baby girl on the way. No matter how much we planned or how much we hoped and prayed, we could have never expected such unpredictable events. But it was God's good plan and we believe it was all in His timing. Change has a funny way of making you better, stronger, more appreciative. I welcome you to share your own experiences or thoughts in the comments below.
As you may have noticed via Instagram or Facebook I have been working with acrylics during my pregnancy for safety reasons. The fumes produced from heating encaustic paint (beeswax and pigment) can be toxic for baby. While it was difficult to step away from encaustic and oil paint, I quickly learned that I couldn't let the medium define me as an artist and most importantly, that I couldn't NOT paint for the next 9 months to a year. This change inspired me to challenge myself to do a 100 day project, a painting a day for 100 days. I assumed that by painting every day I could experiment with acrylics and it would help me find my way within the new medium. I've enjoyed the process and the work I have produced.
Here are a few images from the 100 days that can also be seen on my Instagram page.
One benefit I am enjoying about the process of working with acrylics (as compared to encaustic) is the amount of time spent on set up. It used to take 45 mins to 1 hour to heat the wax thoroughly before being able to start working. Now I am loving that I can just open a tube of paint and begin immediately. As I near the end of the 100 day project, I am working to post my new paintings on my website shop. I will send out an update as soon as everything is posted and ready for purchase.
Thank you for following my progress during the past 100 days and supporting me throughout this change in my work. Again I welcome any comments or thoughts on any of the topics I discussed today. Thank you for reading!