Archive for January, 2010


January 23, 2010

She came home a few months ago with a permission slip to join the spelling bee team for her school. “I really want to do this Mama…you get to stand up in front of the whole school to do it”.

I love that Gaby embraces so many things in her life with courage. Spelling doesn’t come naturally to her. She does A+ work in spelling ONLY after she studies for a week preparing for her tests…in other words…she works for it. For this reason I was thrilled when she came home asking if she could spend the next six weeks practicing for the spelling bee after school…not because I care that much about improved spelling, but because I appreciated that she was signing up for something that wasn’t a slam dunk for her. She was taking a risk, stepping outside of her comfort zone, and she was doing it without hesitation.

The morning of the spelling bee Gaby walked up to the podium with a big smile on her face, lowered the microphone to meet her lips, and listened for her first word. Her teacher looked down at the spelling list and spoke into her microphone…”O.K. Gaby, your word is TERRIBLE“. “Terrible”, Gaby repeated. “T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E …Terrible”.

“Very good, you will progress to the 2nd round.”

This was amazing considering the night before I asked her how she thought she would do and she told me most likely she would be out on the first round. YIPEE….Good for you… that wasn’t so TERRIBLE.

After the first round was over, six children left the stage receiving a huge round of applause for their efforts. Remaining were 24 children ready to continue.

“Gaby….your second word is COURAGE. “Can you repeat the word please?” Gaby asked. “COURAGE. “Can you provide the definition please?” COURAGE…the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

“Courage”….C.O.R.R.A.N.G.E…Courage.” she spelled loudly into the mic. I am sorry Gaby, that is incorrect.

As I walked out of the 2010 spelling bee, I smiled. Even though she spelled COURAGE incorrectly, COURAGE is the most CORRECT word I can think about when describing this young person. As a mother, COURAGE is at the top of my list for what I dream about for my children. With courage you can conquer your fears, stand up for what you believe in, and make a difference. Gaby has a courageous heart. My dream for her is that she can continue to look at her opportunities, passions, and beliefs with LOADS AND LOADS of C.O.R.R.A.N.G.E.

Run as fast as you can…

January 8, 2010

While touring Middleton Place my littlest petite started tugging at my jacket to get my attention. “Just a minute”, I said as I was listening to our guide and taking in the beauty.
“Mommy…I need to ask you something”, she said again.
I leaned down so that she could ask her very important question. “What do you need sweetie?” I asked. “I want to run….I need to run!”, she exclaimed.
The sprawling french garden lawn was speaking to her in a different way than it was speaking to me. My eyes saw the symmetry, the ornamentation, and the beauty. Her experience was more like a whisper calling her…“come…run on me…run as fast as you can”. I looked at her little face and then I looked up at the garden. “Go”, I whispered. “Run”.

And so she ran….making a wide loop circle toward the water. Giggling and free, she enticed my other petite to join into the fun.
And together they ran…circling and twirling on the wide-open lawn.
This was my favorite Christmas 2009 moment. Their observation of the garden tour was creative and beautiful. As I watched them run, I relished in their freedom, their laughter, and their moment. It reminded me that at one time we all had that feeling and I wanted to bottle it and make it last forever!

Buttercup Barn Babies

January 5, 2010

Oh, lawdy…is there anything cuter? Ok…my kids were cuter…and perhaps my puppies…but seriously…

We saved our new babies from a local shelter. As soon as they are a little bigger, it gets a little warmer, and they are spayed and fully vaccinated (responsible pet owners we are!!)…they will be moved out to the barn studio where they will have an interesting life surrounded by art, dancing, and a few mouse friends. They will have freedom to come and go as they please, doze in the sun, and leisurely stroll around the farm.

But for now…they will be spoiled rotten…….

Menagerie at Middleton

January 4, 2010

2009 December Vacation Adventures
Postcard No. 2 - Menagerie at Middleton Place
The visit to Middleton Place in South Carolina was a feast for the eyes. I was especially enthralled by the Menagerie available for our enjoyment. The “barnyard” was full of delight and surprise including a ram who acted more like a dog…running up to the fence to collect affection.

Thinking for 2010

January 3, 2010

Starting something new is a wonderful excuse to THINK. Thinking is a discipline just like exercise or learning a musical instrument. Without practice in the art of thinking one can easily proceed through life without pause, measure, or adjustment, simply by way of obligation and expectations. One of the best pieces of advice I heard years ago from John Maxwell was to own a thinking chair. A quiet place to sit for 15 minutes everyday to sort through your thoughts. I find that my best thinking is done during rote activities in my day. I am oddly flooded with thoughts and ideas during showering, doing dishes, and blow drying my hair. I have learned to keep paper close by to capture what is flowing from my brain, otherwise I risk losing them forever. It is also during these time that I allow myself to dream.
When I look back at my 2009 Dreambook, I am inspired to dream again.
My 2009 dream highlights can be directly related to me thinking and dreaming in 2008. Writing down my dreams inspired activity. Dedicating a little time each and everyday toward my goals helped me to reach so many of them. Here are few of my favorite 2009 dreams come true:

  • Relearn how to play the flute. By taking a lesson once a week and practicing an hour a week, I have advanced to playing at a Grade 3 (eighth grade level). Not bad for someone who last played the flute in 7th grade 28 years ago. The level of my playing doesn’t mean much to me except that when I play it sounds like music. This little dream I wrote down last December brought me a lot of joy in 2009…especially since my daughter and I are learning together.
  • Save Buttercup Barn. Limited by both time and money, for years we watched this beautiful building crumble and dreamed about bringing her back to what she once was. 2009 turned out to be the year to tackle the barn renovation. Each morning for 4 months I met with a team of wonderful barn restorers to plan, order, and arrange. Fixing the barn was one BIG dream that ended up encompassing additional dreams 1) Farm Enhancement 2) Making creativity more accessible (art studio, dance studio). 3) Bring people together in “memory making ways”. We hosted our first annual Harvest Moon Party and several other events in the barn including a big Irish Dance practice for a group of 30 girls.
  • Build up the Buttercup Farm Gardens. This year we tackled and completed the Cutting Garden.
  • Travel with our children. We had wonderful opportunities to travel to Charleston, Dominican Republic, Williamsburg, Florida, Dallas, the beach, camping, Vermont.
  • Launch Avenue P business website. My business partner and I developed, wrote and launched our new business website. For 10 years we have worked with many clients helping them achieve their business goals through marketing and business development. Our dream of sharing our business and marketing knowledge with more than our current client base has become a reality through the creation of the new website and blog.
  • Live a more creative life. When I launched the Life at Buttercup Farm website last December I didn’t quite realize that it would become my playground for creativity. Having a place to write and share my photography has opened creative doors I never knew possible. Additionally, in 2009 I attended my first ever creative workshop, INSPIRED. I met some amazing people, learned some new creative skills, and lost some of the fear of I had of doing art.

I am grateful for each and every moment of this past year. With as much as was accomplished, it was a transitional year for me. I had to spend a lot of time learning how to use the software to run both of my websites. My husband and I had to spend an extraordinary amount of time in our businesses adjusting to the changes based on the economy. We worked hard to set into motion a new 2010 business plan. In part, 2009 has been a year of building the foundations needed to build for bigger dreams.
Dreaming is about dreaming of the possibilities. As I am formulating my dreams for 2010 and beyond, I am thinking bigger. My new dreams are about touching more lives.
Using my writing, speaking, life and business experience to make a difference to others, both personally and professionally, is the path my dreams are taking. I look forward to what the future holds.


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