I can’t believe that tomorrow is THE TOMORROW….the day that I send my youngest, Chachi off to kindergarten… full day…. 5 days a week. How can it be here? Like all parents at these milestones,  I have such a bittersweet taste in my mouth and my eyes have welled up with tears off and on all day. I talked to my mom today and she said she remembered that day well for her, too. Believe me I am looking forward to having 30 hours a week to myself, getting to work in my studio and picking up paint jobs to help feed these growing boys. Or perhaps I will find a job and become part of something that I have yet to imagine yet.  I am thrilled to not be driving 3 hours a day getting boys to different schools all over town. I am not delusional, there will still be plenty of running boys here and there. But, for this year at least, it will be a lot less.

As I watched Charlie take in his supplies to school and meet his teacher today, he instantly seemed smaller and younger than I normally think of him. He was nervous and quiet but curious to find his name on his cubby and locker. He didn’t wander far from my side but managed to spot a Dalmatian stuffed animal tucked away in a basket that looks like one that he sleeps with each night. He seemed relieved to see something familiar and he flashed a big smile. He has been checking in with me a lot to show me the progress of his first loose tooth or just for a hug and I am pretty sure he has a hard time breathing as I squeeze him as tight as I can.

My role as a mother is shifting, as it should. It is still hard to let go though and know how I will fit into the days ahead. But tonight we have slipped back into our evening routine. The boys are tucked into bed while it is still light out for the first time since May. Their school clothes are laid out for the morning and their clean and beautiful faces are lit up by their reading lights. In 20 minutes, I will go down for lights out and give lots of hugs and kisses and whisper something special in each of their ears. I am grateful I have years left of this part of motherhood.

I know Charlie is ready for tomorrow. I am as well. But, I have much more confidence in him than I do in myself. Can I really take this time and use it well to create this part of myself that has been bubbling to the surface for years? Will I have have the self discipline needed to push myself forward and move through the scary parts?  In my head, I have been using tomorrow as a starting point for big dreams. Now it is here. Now it is time to step up and get to work. I am going to honor this day by painting my studio door a vibrant red and set my intentions with each brush stroke. Then I am taking my friend, who makes me laugh and smile, out to lunch for her 50th. My mom agreed that tomorrow will be bittersweet, but she said it is definitely more sweet than bitter. So with her wisdom,  I will welcome sweet tomorrow with an open heart and mind.


Work in Progress

I had a to-do list a mile long. Chris was taking the boys to Virginia for a week and I was going to get sooooooooo much done. HA!

That was the plan in my head anyway and shockingly organized on paper. I think I got two things crossed off my list. I am trying not to beat myself up about it. After all, I had a wicked stomach bug for the first two days. I actually got some work done on the third. On the fourth day, I took myself on a date to Denver… banner day.. more on that later. The fifth day, I got the second thing crossed off my list before my friend from SC arrived. We then played and had too much fun. On the 6th and 7th day another friend arrived and we played and had too much fun as well… time well spent!  And then my sweet family finally came home and my house is buzzing once again.

But, I wasted so much time the first half of the week… or did I?

 Perhaps, what can’t be written down and crossed off the list is the constant work in progress. I learned how very important it is while working on a decorative finish to stop, take a break, step back and get a bigger perspective on the work in progress. It is important to see the whole room, and get a feel for what is working and what needs to change to get the right effect in the space.

 Last week ended up being just that. A step back and looking at the big picture. It was important to do. Within the quiet, I got a clearer picture of my strengths and limitations. I understand where I am really going to have to reach in order to take some necessary steps forward. That doesn’t mean I know how I am going to do that, but I know that I have to figure it out to keep moving, even if sometimes it is backwards.  I also realized that I have some foundation in my strengths and values and that I can learn and reach safely from here. And when I fall on my face, I am going to be able to get back up again. I know these thoughts are nothing new, but in the constant go, go, go of life, they are good to remember.

Thinking back to where I was a year ago in my whole art journey… well… it was only in my head, a dream. And now I am planning for two art shows, hopefully the studio tour and about to launch my website. The work in progress is layer after layer after layer… often like my paintings. Somehow they all add up and come together. Even the mistakes along the way are valuable. They can add an extra hint of color that make the whole thing work. So I am off to add more layers to my work in progress…. both on the canvas and in my life. Thanks for joining me along the way. You are the best layers of this journey.

A current work in progress….more layers needed… stay tuned… 

Plantaholica Incurablis

This morning my nephew, who spends some summer days here with us, came running in the door only to gather us all out front to see a broad-tailed hummingbird.  It was stunning to watch her (I know this because of my brother in-law, Seth a.k.a “Birdie” is an incredible ornithologist with Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory) dance among the golden rod and lucifer’s tongue. She stayed a few minutes as we stood in awe.

A hummingbird’s playground… not fast enough to get her in the photo.

 I thought of my friend Laurel and her girls and sent love to all who miss them terribly. Then took a moment of gratitude to be surrounded by a gang of sleepy-eyed boys who are worn out from non-stop summer play. Seth passed me an unexpected treat….. a yummy Chai he picked up on his way over. We talked about all of the transplanting and splitting we both need to do in our gardens next month. And, how some  plants were getting too much shade, the daisies were taking over, etc… and I found myself thinking of where to put in new beds and get rid of more grass and glad to have someone to talk to who gets excited about moving plants.

The daisies have taken over the roses.

This time of year means maintenance. It’s too hot and dry to plant in our high plains desert. So I happily weed bind-weed, grass and thistle from my gardens. Last week, when I drove up into the mountains to pick up the boys from camp, the thistle were in full bloom. They were gorgeous… since they weren’t in my yard. I stopped and soaked up their stunning color. Grateful for a quiet moment and pause in my excitement of seeing the boys again and hearing about their week.

Thistles, Red Feather, CO

Chris has built two beautiful vegetable gardens giving us the space to grow some of our own food. Last year he designed and lovingly built one in the front yard, where we get the most sun. I love it. It is deer and rabbit proof, has its own sprinkler system and we have managed to pack a lot into the space. The boys love to go pick raspberries and cherry tomatoes and sit right there and enjoy them. We still have a lot to learn…I can’t grow cilantro or dill and it is better to let the 5 year old plant potatoes instead of carrots!  This year he built another garden on the hill of our backyard next to the house. I can hardly wait to eat the sweet corn straight from our yard.

Our front garden… potatoes, rhubarb, raspberries, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers,
kale, arugula, spinach, carrots.. lots!, beets, radishes, and herbs
Side garden…. corn, squash, zucchini, greens, sunflowers, radishes,
watermelon..maybe, pumpkins, beans, strawberries and basil
As those sleepy boys nap this afternoon, I have just picked a huge bucket of weeds. It is nice to reflect on how we are slowly but surely taking our little bit of land and making it our own. Adding color, food, shade and special places to be outside. Hopefully, we are teaching to boys to care for it with respect. That even if it isn’t a lot, it is precious. So much can be done in little spaces with lots of love. The time I spend gardening is quiet, centering and rewarding. I am so fortunate to have the bit of earth in which to grow… and I am not just talking about the plants.

Alex’s Zinnias
You can never have too much lavender.
Sweet Woodruff from my mother’s garden in VA


My favorite spot in the yard, Ry’s Peace Pond (more on that later)

Reaching with Grace

Reaching With Grace

This morning, my two older boys are at camp, Chris has peddled his bike into work, and Chachi is sound asleep in our bed with the sunlight pouring in on his golden head. I just folded two loads of laundry, got another one going. Got some sweet affection from my dogs, who now have gone back to bed. I came to the computer to do some homework (long over due)  for my Evolve class, which is learning the business of art, while I wait for Chachi to come stumbling in for a hug and some breakfast.

A cool, gentle breeze is coming in the new window Chris put in. The sprinkler is showering our garden for a much needed water bath. And my mosquito bites from a fun time at the lake a few nights ago itch like mad. I keep staring out the window into the massive Blue Spruce wondering what the boys are doing up on top of the mountain and what is in store for their day ahead.

What I am avoiding is the fact that class last night was uncomfortable. I can’t see how these corporate, and I know necessary ideas and models, will fit into my little art world. Or rather, how I can fit into them. I feel like I am reaching far beyond my reality to try and make this work. The list of all there is to be done is getting longer. There are licenses to obtain, accounts to set up, web content to pull together, files to figure out, social media to learn, market collateral to come up with, proposal templates to make sense of and then use, and still so much more to think about, research and learn.

I miss hours on end of painting.

I often hear and have conversations with others about “finding the balance.” I can’t seem to find that place. A good friend of mine uses the word harmony instead.  I like that image. That you strive to have all the pieces of your life come together like a beautiful orchestra. Giving each instrument it’s solo and spotlight, but ultimately creating a piece that is cohesive and fills your soul. I feel like I am playing a beautiful bass, an okay clarinet, a too loud trumpet, a big, fun drum, a sweet flute and a very squeaky and out of tune violin all while trying to hold the conductor’s wand… baton?….what are those things called? and be an attentive listener in the audience. Anyone else feel this way?

I love the feeling of mountain pose in yoga. Finding strong grounding in my feet with my toes splayed and firm, balanced front to back as well as side to side. Lifting my bones with my muscles up out of the earth and reaching with my huge wing span up towards the sky. I want to feel this way in this whole manner of the business of art. Firmly grounded but reaching. Reaching with grace.

Last night in class, I so very ungracefully fell off my mat and wanted to curl up into child’s pose and fall asleep. I felt like I was in eagle’s pose, all twisted up, trying to balance on one foot and just fell over on my face. I couldn’t begin to see the answers to the questions that were being asked. My classmates sat quietly writing, focused and in a flow. I just stared.. doodling on my worksheets and writing profanity that I really wanted to scream at the top of my lungs.  I wanted nothing more than to go home. The instructor and my friend noticed and I gave her a pleading look that I was totally stuck. She was helpful and calming and I stayed the duration but still feeling like a poser. A Ted talk was shown about the power of body language. I had seen it before. Can you use strong body language called power poses to change your mind set and get different results? Can you fake it until you make it? or rather fake it until you become it? hmmmmmm?????

Exhausted, I drove home under a beautiful full moon, climbed into bed where Chachi was curled up in Chris’s arms and snuggled in. Ahh….. rest.

Chachi is now here. He sits on my lap slowly waking up. I can find some grounding in this. Today will be about finding footing again and growing some roots before I stretch again. And that is enough.

Wobbly Wheels

Do you remember that feeling when you were little and when riding your bike so fast, your wheels felt like they might come right off? As they wobbled and wove across the road, I would get a pit in my stomach knowing that if I hit a rock or the brakes wrong, I was in for a big crash. But, at the same time the wind on my face and the blurring of the trees was just too tempting. Sometimes I would make it down the hill, managing to avoid ending upside down in a ditch. But there were times when my wobbly wheels would throw me right off. I have scars to prove it.

My life feels like it is going so fast right now that my wobbly wheels are about to throw me over the handle bars. The pit in my stomach is constant and I can’t figure out how to put the brakes on in way that will slow me down without crashing. I am hitting bumps left and right in the forms of letting friends down, being spread so thin that I am not really present with anyone (including myself), crossing boundaries with people I shouldn’t.. pushing, pushing, pushing.
I am going so fast I can’t even pedal anymore, but yet I still try and the pedals do that wonky thing that say, “Don’t even try! We can’t go any faster!” I have friends saying, “Please stop! Not appropriate!” with a look of desperation and anger in their eyes.

I am not thinking.

I am just letting it fly.

I am feeling like a reckless adolescent spinning out of control and putting scars on my heart instead.

I know a big crash is coming at the bottom of the hill. Hopefully, I won’t do too much damage and hurt anyone else.

I have to find a way to stop.

I need to remember that I no longer fit on that banana seat bike. I now own a big yellow cruiser with sunflowers all over it. It has a big wide seat, no gears and is comfortable. It won’t let me go too fast. I think I need to take it out for a long spin… to remember where I am going and gently wave as I pass people by. I need to feel the big sturdy wheels and listen to the whirrrrr as they pass over the pavement. Listen to the whirrr of good friends who are telling me to slow down, pay attention and be better. For them, I am ever grateful.

My bike… time for a cruise!

In a few weeks, my family is traveling to Virginia. Chris has a conference and the boys are going to visit grandparents, cousins and aunts and uncles. I am staying here this time. It will be the first time in 12 1/2 years that I will spend a night… actually 7 of them in my house alone. I am putting a big red X through the week and going into hibernation. I am putting myself in time out. I am not going to commit to a thing, unplug from the world and let each day unfold. I feel anxious about it, but also know I need this more than ever.


Insomnia 3- Stars…. home again.

Yesterday I “took the day off.” It was great. I managed to talk myself into not feeling guilty for not getting much of anything accomplished (but that in itself is a big accomplishment).

 I wandered around the yard, read a bit, did a few loads of laundry (which is now a heaping mountain on my dining room table waiting for me), played on some canvases in the studio, took TWO naps, watched a movie, took a bath,  meandered to the grocery store for Chris (and bought myself a chocolate bar of which I ate half on the way home and then tucked the other half in my desk….. shhhh.. don’t tell the boys), sent some emails, watched a Ted talk, flipped through a magazine and called it a day. A much needed day off. I should do this every Sunday.

On Saturday, Chris put a new window in our bedroom above our bed where there had just been a wall.

Chris working to frame in the space for the new window!

The light that now pours in is wonderful… hence the naps. Our bed, now bathed in that glorious sunlight was just so inviting. I couldn’t resist. So Zander and I had a good snuggle. After my multiple naps it was no surprise that I wouldn’t be able to sleep well last night. But what startled me is that I woke suddenly from a dream that was more of a memory/snapshot of hiding places from my childhood.  The sacred crevices of the farmhouse were so clear in my mind and heart. I could see every detail from those spaces that I would tuck away during a game of hide and seek. These games went on for what seemed like hours. I loved it. It gave me a time out to just sit and be quiet and not have to do a thing. One of my favorite spots was under an overhang where my Old English Sheepdog would sleep. She had made a little den and I would crawl in behind her and lay in the cool dirt with her. A feeling of knowing exactly who I am hit me. I need to listen to that young girl more often. She was confident, strong, clever and spent a lot more time alone. I need these time outs. I felt so grateful for remembering. A feeling of home washed over me and it didn’t have to do with a place. It was myself.

Now wide awake, I looked above my head and out the new window. I could see stars! The last time I had a window that I could watch the stars from my bed was in that same farmhouse. I have been an insomniac my whole life. So when I couldn’t sleep and it was a clear night, I would watch the stars. I can’t believe that I get this gift again. I have missed this space and how I feel in it. I feel home again.

* A good friend of mine recently told me when she feels overwhelmed she looks at the stars to get perspective and centered again. She is right. I had forgotten what a comfort they are at 3 am.

The Longest Day

Yesterday was one of those “terrible, awful, no good, very bad days.” I didn’t think it would ever end. The clock slowly moved forward. I couldn’t for any reason talk myself into a different frame of mind. Even though I know both in my head and heart how very precious a day is. The lessons have been long and hard and I know they are far from over. I guess I just needed to be in that place. I needed to feel the intensity and the weight of everything. And it felt like EVERYTHING. It was overwhelming and I couldn’t see a way to take a step away from this spot. I felt trapped. I felt guilty. I felt defeated. I felt sad.

I managed to steal 20 minutes in my art room. My chest unlocked a bit. I can squeak in some air.

 On Thursdays we are invited up to the lake near our house for a potluck dinner with the most incredible people. The kids splash and play in the water and we end up sitting in these grand circles soaking it all up. Catching up from the week and waiting for the spectacular sunset that never fails. I wasn’t going to go as I have no poker face. None. I can’t do it. I can muster it a bit when need be, but yesterday it wasn’t going to happen.  I so needed out of the house. And, I knew my friends were a safe place to be. It would be okay. So I went.

I took in hugs, ate incredible food and watched the kids dance and splash and play together, silhouetted against the setting sun.

Photo by Christin Gallagher. Sunset at Long’s Pond June 20, 2013

I was quiet.
I was loved.
I was grateful.

I could feel my chest unlock a little more.

I love the solstices. I love these pivotal days. They are sacred to me.  I love how light is celebrated. I am a sun lover. I need it and thrive on it.

Last night, my sweet friend JOYfully, took me aside and said, “I have a solstice gift for you.” And she dropped a beautiful ochre ring made from stone into my hand with the most loving and proud look on her face. I couldn’t find the words to tell her how grateful I was for her and this symbol. This perfectly smooth circle. The color of it spoke to my core reminding me of the light. It slid onto my finger and I felt my chest open more.

I sat rubbing the ring with my thumb as I sat in the grand circle surrounded by this clan of good people. How did I land here?

Ryan then popped over with the tiniest little heart rock. A stunning venetian red color. He dropped it in my hand, gave me a kiss and ran off. I held it in my other hand. It was light as air, but had tremendous weight of love. I felt my chest rise and fall. I can breathe.

I watched a little boy play with my friend who is now an empty nester. Both feeding each other’s souls.

I realized I was completely and totally exhausted. So, I went and got hugs and kisses from everyone and filled up on their love. I now felt drowsy. My feet were heavy as I walked home, but my chest felt lighter.

I kissed my boys goodnight, slipped into my cool sheets and set intentions for today.. the summer solstice. The longest day. Bittersweetness on my tongue but love and light in my heart.

*my day started with the sun peeking in between the space of my curtains… half awake, my phone soon buzzes. It is my sister, Chrissy. She has sent me a text…

           “The sun woke me up at 5 this morning…. instead of going back to sleep, I thought of you and got up. Home you enjoy this longest day of the year! XO”

It is going to be a wonderful, lovely, no bad, very good day!!


Slot Canyon Oil on wood, 35" x 12" Private collection
Slot Canyon
Oil on wood, 35″ x 12″
Private collection

I am so sick of myself. This class I am taking has me looking at my life from every angle possible and I am tired of thinking about… me. Ugh.

If my coach through the Evolve class weren’t so frickin’ awesome, lovely, smart and kind making me trust her completely… I would have easily gone back to hiding under my rock. She has set my world off axis. She has me writing about fear. I did an exercise for her last week and it took all I had to put it all out there and then actually send it to her. Now I have another… and I am not sure I can stomach it. It is due on Friday and I have done everything to avoid it. Painted the front porch, went through the boys clothes, weeded the entire yard, scrubbed the kitchen for three hours, and even made a big dinner much to Chris’s surprise!
So today, I decided as the boys happily played “Wolf Den Hotel” in the basement, I would go work on a canvas that is literally haunting me. It is a puzzle that I just can’t figure out. I have spent hours putting layer upon layer and while I like the essence of it, it is just not coming together. So after another hour and completely frustrated I decided to just remove it from my studio. I went and shoved it in the other room as it seemed to tell me that it needed a break from me as much as I did from it.
AHHHH>>> out of sight! Good.
I grabbed a tall skinny panel and began to take some of the paint left on my palette and smear it.
Not feeling the brushes, I reached for my blades. I love my blades. I have had them for so long now. They are worn in well and feel like an old friend. I began to squeeze out insane amounts of paint, letting intuition guide my color choice. They are dark. They match my mood. They look like fear.
Damn. There is that assignment again.
Okay, fine. Let’s do this.
 I am going to paint my fear and give it a place to live. I am going to let it remain powerful, but give it some beauty.  I am going to let the glimpses of light shine through the darkness. I am going to learn to hold onto them.
 A swirl of thoughts and memories flood.
How I love to pull my blades across the thick, shiny paint revealing a bit of the layer underneath.
 I think of my friend who goes into the deep slot canyons of the earth year after year. His pictures are stunning and when I see them, I think there is no way I could ever… fear. But those perspectives……

I think of the fires raging in Colorado and the fear others must be feeling. What a quick frame of mind adjustment.
I think of swimming in the quarry in Richmond as a little girl. That dark, deep water and all of the unknown… fear. But how I miss water….. I want to jump in and cool off. 
Vermillion feeds my soul. To many I imagine it is a color of fear, but I find comfort.
I love to paint… I feel whole. I feel peaceful.
I put my blades down and let my fingers begin to dance in the paint. I feel connected. I feel focused. I feel so very grateful fear brought me to this moment.

Growing Pains

It is June 3rd. I am pretty sure yesterday was April 30th.
May is such a blur and all over the place. Time is such a funny and overwhelming thing to me. I think I have touched on this before. It is amazing to me how 30 days can seems so long and then whoosh.. in a flash it’s just gone. It freaks me out. I am so grateful for photos that prove that something happened and I didn’t just dream it all (or even better, have proof of why I am so exhausted and deserve some chocolate. hee hee).
May started off with a great snow storm.  In self defense, I filled my house with some fantastic friends from the neighborhood and their kids. These woman came armed with leis, margaritas, pink flamingo swizzle sticks and scary napkins with Telly Tubbies on them.

My snow angels!!

These were all great distractions for our spring fever now covered in 18 inches of snow. We sat by the fire all day while the kids ran the neighborhood. It was great. And now 34 days later everything is in bloom, green and thriving because of that dreaded snow that set me off kilter.

 Time. Patience. Perspective. All good lessons.

As I work through this Evolve Class through AIR I am finding that these three elements are ones that I really need to focus on to get to my goals and set up the life I am so itching to put in place.  I just wish that I could stop time for a bit so I can get organized, and focused in one swoop and be done with all of these pieces that are uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and tedious.

But then I would miss the perspectives I gain in my normal life. They are becoming more valuable daily for this shift I am working on. May was packed full of them.. big and small!

In midst of soccer games –WOW! When did he learn to be so good in goal? How his confidence is growing! Wonderful!

Ry making a save. It is easier to watch him in goal through a lens.

At end of school parties –What incredible teachers who pay attention to the whole child and not just test scores! Grateful.

Ms. Betsy guiding Charlie’s Montessori Preschoolers through songs. 

Trying to figure out how hard to push a child –Should I make him go back onto the track? He came in dead last in every sprint. Yes, push him- only to have him place 1st and 2nd in long distance races. He is beaming! Proud

Believe it or not, this is at the track meet where Alex lost in everything. He was so happy we were all there.

 A morning snuggle –with my youngest and a pile of books who is on the verge of learning how to read. Such curiosity!

A single glance- from my husband that says I love you. And one back that says I miss you and sorry we haven’t had 5 minutes to have a conversation in weeks. Grounded

Holding my newborn nephew-okay not so much daily normal life, but such an incredible joy and reminder of all that is important and that I really have no regrets (not to say that it was easy either…) having stayed home with my boys. Validation. 

Caring for my child with pneumonia-getting to spend extra time (even just to watch him sleep) with my son who is pushing and pulling and all over the place as he begins to find his own way. Connection.

Last day of school pictures-looking at them side by side with first day. How fast they grow! Bittersweet!

Digging in the dirt-my happy place. All is well here. So grateful for this space to breathe. Peace

Especially during this time in my life when I am reaching, striving and then recoiling and pondering towards a new chapter, it is good to remember that there are lessons at every turn. Choices. And remembering that even as I begin to find small successes with my art as well as falling flat on my face-OUCH!, I am making great connections and growing. The summer before I turned 14, I literally grew 6+ inches in less than 3 months. It hurt and was uncomfortable and awkward. It took a long time to appreciate my new perspective. But I can see over a crowd, never need a step stool, it will take longer for my boys to pass me in height – HA! and the best, I have a tremendous wingspan for big hugs! Growing pains hurt, but the new perspectives are well worth it.

I need some AIR….

Tonight I began the Evolve class through AIR. It is a six month long class that helps you define a project through the design thinking process. We each had to give a minute and a half pitch of our project. More on what that is later…..I am going to need your help with my interactive homework. YIKES!

I realize that most of us don’t like speaking in front of groups of people, but my fear of it absolutely takes over. I knew this minute and a half would feel like an eternity. I practiced in my head what I was going to say over and over again. And Ryan even caught me mumbling to myself a few times wondering who in the world I was addressing. His big brown eyes had a look of pure concern expressing my thoughts exactly.  But, I felt I had it and was proud of myself for being so prepared.

HA! Joke is on me.

When I got to class, it was like my mind was a dry erase board that had just been wiped clean. It was gone. And all I could think of was the rainbow screen that use to come on the TV at midnight once programming was over. There is a painting of that at a local restaurant that drives me insane. I can actually hear that endless monotone note that I am sure was designed to wake your ass up so you could wipe the drool from your face and force yourself to bed.

Focus Catherine.

I listened to others as they gave their project ideas. Great things! Inspiring ideas! What wonderful people!
Wait. What is my name? 
Everything including my name felt like a blur. I could feel my body firing nervous adrenaline and I had the shakes. How do people do this? How are they so comfortable? poised? articulate?
Oh no!!!…… only two people before me. And they are both REAL artists  What am I doing here? Good thing I am closest to the door. I can make a run for it. 
Uh-oh. I can’t feel my feet.

Wow! Her collaborative installation project sounds fascinating!

Damn, it is my turn. My face feels like it is inches from a roaring fire. My voice sounds like one of the Charlie Brown adults except not that confident….. shaking. Whaa whaa wha whaa whaaaaa…. and I am hoping that the next sentence that comes out of my mouth relates to whatever it is that I just said. And, I hope that I can find some oxygen soon. The more nervous.. the faster I speak.. I mean ramble. AH!!.. I need AIR.. pun intended. The shakes take over and I just have to apologize that I am so nervous, as if they couldn’t see?!?! But I am able to inhale and continue.  What a mess. Whaa whaa wha whaa whaaaa……. done.
I now think my project should be public speaking….. or not. 
Now onto the work of mission statements and vision statements….oh good…. we get to share those too. I think I am just going to be uncomfortable for 6 months. But, it is worth it. I know I am going to learn a ton and move forward with a plan, direction and guidance. There is definite benefit in that. Plus, I figure being in a room with such smart, creative and interesting people, I can’t go wrong.