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    You're four! You're free! You're busy as a bee.

    Gracie's got this amazing spirit, and a confidence that amazes me. She's bold and she's brave and sometimes a bit of a bruiser. She just goes for it -- and her imagination takes her everywhere. And yet, often times her most favorite place to be is at home, and even in her room. She's got a creative soul. Her dancing and her drawing and her imaginary friends are all unencumbered by life, and schedules and Lucky for her she's a spring break birthday. She'd rather piddle around the house all day, singing, sometimes loudly, and PLAY. Gracie really knows how to play. And so it goes, time passes, and she grows up and surprises us every single day. And today she turns 4. I love this photo of her holding her drawing as it (literally) illustrates her inner-artist. I know Gracie's spunky spirit will take her far in her life. And I hope she'll never stop imagining...and creating...and being full of grace.

    Her sense of fashion at even 2 years old always amazed me. She can take a darling, perfectly matched outfit from Gymboree and mix it up with a contrasting pair of leggings and a tutu and insist that's what she's wearing. (The teachers at school would often say, "we think it is so great you let her dress herself!" All the while I'd smile and think, "someday she'll be designing that little outfit you're wearing!") Instead of one imaginary friend, Gracie has a whole fleet of imaginary engines (all of the trains from Thomas the Train) and she will take them all with her wherever she goes. (I know, I've had to stop the car before when we've forgotten an engine or two.) She also turns her suffed animals into imaginary pets who jump up on her and others and even have personalities of their own. So, today we say happy birthday to our Tabitha Grace! She's a moxie girl all the way, so watch out world! Here comes Gracie and she's 4!



    Be the owl.


    Last night I was tweeting (how ironic?) about the owls in our backyard. On an unseasonably warm March night I wanted to sleep with my window open, and was at first enjoying the breeze when the owl(s) started up -- yes there were at least two, possibly three. And really, how cool, right? "Whoooooo Whoooo" and then "Who-Whooo!" and "Whoo Whoo!" But, let's be honest -- I do not speak owl. And after a while I went from intrgiuged to annoyed. I wanted to be the owl. She is strong and smart. She is confident and still. She can spin her head in all directions and never miss a thing. She can eat whatever she wants and even get rid of the bad stuff. (OK that part is kind of gross, but still, she lives in a treetop so she is the bomb.)

    Which got me to to think about all of the preconceived notions I have about myself. Like being creative but not that creative. Or artsy but not artistic. What kind of things do you let define you? And do those things limit who you are? How about letting go of those things and searching for more?

    I created this owl to remind us to be the owl.


    My other bliggity blog.

    I do love to write. It really was my first love -- way before I even knew what graphic design was. I was voted "Most Likely to Recieve a Pulitzer Prize" in 6th grade. I was asked to start blogging for almost 6 months ago. I enjoy it. I do. Sometimes coming up with the "perfect" idea is hard. So I try to not be perfect.

    This week the girls and I have had so much fun on the trail behind our house. It follows the banks of Indian Creek, and really has some of the best bird watching ever. (Note to self: check out bird book from the library). So, I made up a nature checklist that can be printed up and taken with you on your outdoor adventures this spring and summer. It includes sights and sounds, so you and the kids can look and listen and mark down what you've seen and heard.

    This is a photo of Gracie running across the field in our "back back yard." (That's what the girls call the green space between our backyard and the creek. We are so lucky to live in an area where our kids will grow up in the fresh air, collecting sticks and riding bikes on the trail. We see woodpeckers and hear owls, and we run into friends on the trail, and at the playgrounds. It is sort of how I grew up, and I guess that's why I love it. So, get out there and play! See what you see. Report back.




    Growing up I always wished my name were Zoey. It was the most exotic name I had ever heard. I didn't dislike Lori, the nickname my parents gave my immediately after naming me Lauren, which is the name I took back after graduating from college. Even though by then everyone I knew called me Goldie, short for my maiden name, Goldberg. And still short for my married name, Goldman. All that to say I've always had sort of an identity crisis. I am not the typical creative. But, I am also not the typical suburban mom of two, living just minutes from the wide-open prairies and big blue skies of the Kansas plains.

    I started out as a writer. I was supposed to be a journalist. I ended up a designer. I still think of myself as a journalist. See, I design magazines, I layout editorial and I create communicative design. But I also make stationery and sew and paint furniture and love type.

    Also, I married a writer. But, he's still a writer, definitely a journalist, and specifically a magazine editor. Along with making lots of magazines, we also made two little girls. As it turns out, the marriage of art + copy = lots of creative inspiration! And I hope it will inspire you. So, get out there! It's a wide-open prairie and the creative opporunities are plentiful. Let's play, inspire and create. The idea is yours so grab it up!

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