Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I started a post on December 20th, and here I am finally getting something posted. The holidays are behind us, and although we had a good Christmas and New Year celebrations, it has also been a rough time as we dealt with an ongoing illness with my youngest son. Three trips to the doctor later, we were admitted to Nationwide Children’s Hospital with a diagnosis of pneumonia. We spent the weekend in the hospital watching him slowly improve and we got to come home for New Year’s Eve. He is definitely doing much better now!

As many people do, I have been looking to the new year and wondering what it will have in store, as well as reflecting on 2018. This past year was a great year of firsts for my illustration journey. I began this blog, I started my Instagram account, I got involved with SCBWI and the kidlitart chat community on Twitter, I even travelled to Los Angeles to the SCBWI summer conference! I produced dozens of illustrations throughout the year, made lots of new friends, and felt my confidence in my abilities increase.

In 2019, I plan to get back swing of doing colour collective illustrations at least 2x per month, as well as get a few sample pages for a book dummy complete. My biggest step forward that I’m going to work on is mailing out postcards. For real, guys, postcards are going out this year. With a less definite goal in mind, I’m also going to be giving some use to some Christmas gifts I received: some watercolors and a watercolor sketchbook! I have missed traditional media and look forward to getting familiar with a new medium.

What this means for me is compiling my mailing list! I am going to try to go back to what Giuseppe Castellano suggested: add three names to your list per week. We will see how many I can come up with.

The near year holds a lot of opportunities for us all! What are some attainable goals you have for yourself? Don’t be afraid to dream big!

Happy Birthday.

I turned 28 this week. It is not a particularly remarkable age, and my birthday was not a particularly remarkable day. Highlights included birthday breakfast with the ladies at work and dinner out with my husband that night. (I love food.) Lowlights included a baby diaper blowout in the wee hours of the morning and forgetting to leave an ice scraper with my husband who then had to take our son to the eye doctor in the car that he scraped clean of snow and ice with his bare hands. (Side note: it is the end of March and it is still not done being winter yet! So over it.)

I’ve never thought of myself as someone who is opposed to getting older. It is the progression of life, and I have always tried to embrace the changes it brought. Yes, even when family genetics blessed me with my first gray hair before I graduated high school. As more have come in over the years, I have been keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll develop some sweet gray streaks at my temples. That is where most of them have come in, but it’s honestly more like this:

For some reason, though, thirty has become increasingly intimidating. It’s like taking a ramp with a sled. Approaching the ramp is fun and exciting, but it’s that last little stretch where the ramp actually starts and you are about to leave the earth when your brain starts sending out alarms. These last two years of my twenties are like that ramp, lifting me off into full-blown adulthood. Not that I don’t think I’m an adult now, but I feel that there’s greater pressure associated with being in your thirties. When I hear that someone is “in their twenties,” I usually picture someone young, maybe inexperienced, finding their way into adulthood. Mistakes happen because you’re still learning and that’s ok! If someone is successful, it’s impressive because “they’re only in their twenties!” “In their 30’s,” on the other hand, brings to my mind images of established professionals, confident in themselves and their careers, managing households and enjoying life like they have themselves together. The bulk of my children’s childhood memories will be while I’m in my 30’s, and I want to be remembered as that strong, confident, organized person enjoying life that I picture in my head.

The good news is, I feel like I’m on my way there. I definitely don’t have it all together, but I am becoming more confident in myself and pursuing my dreams more actively than I ever have. Even if my house isn’t always clean and my career isn’t established, I think I’ll be able to be happy and confident in who I am, and that is memory of me I think will matter most.