A moment

It’s Sunday morning. It’s almost 9, but it’s so quiet and overcast out, so still kinda dark. BBE is still asleep and the dogs are lazily sleeping all around my feet. My kids left with their dad yesterday for Texas. I talked to them when they were just outside of Austin or Dallas. Noah didn’t know which place they were using as their stopping point and I am sure he has hardly looked up the entire car ride instead playing Monopoly on his ipod that he is addicted to. Ah well, as long as they are safe. It took me a while to get through to them and I only had one major panic attack when I realized it had been 9 hours on the road and neither the kids or his dad were answering their phones. I won’t get into what things go through a mom’s head when that happens, but the voice of a groggy 12 year old finally answering the phone on your 6th time trying sounds just like a slice of heaven. No one can tell a mom not to worry when her heart and soul is driving for two days in a car across country. When they call to tell me they are there safely I can breathe again. Until then I will be holding my breath thankyouverymuch. I’m a mom, it’s just how it goes.

I finished the fourth book yesterday. Sent off the final two edits they requested. I got all the text done during the week. I literally yelled out when I pressed the send button on the email. “WOOOHOOOO!!!DONE!!!’ Sure I scared the dogs a bit, but it was a good moment. I had also finished up the web design freelance project I somehow agreed to do earlier that day. It was actually very easy and you can’t turn that kind of money down for a job that easy.

All I have left is to paint three mini pet portraits and to package them for the mail tomorrow. That’s it! Then it’s done. Only two more days of the cubicle kind of work and I am outta here and off to the gulf coast baby! I can hardly wait to do a whole lotta othing. I’m already planning the movies to go see and the books I want to read. Yummy.

But there is a bonus today. BBE booked us a couples massage today at 11:30am!! I am beside myself at the thought. Cannot wait. So when I get home later I will be all loosey goosey getting to do one of my most favorite things in the world – painting someone’s dog for a gift for them to give to someone they love, watching some tv, Oh! maybe Elf is on! – I LOVE that movie! “I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite!” and enjoying the slowing down of the craziest two months of this past year.

Now, if I can manage to talk to my kids in just a bit I can do all this and breathe at the same time too.

Almost there…

Well I got 8 hours of sleep last night and I feel positively giddy! The night before I had only slept for 4 hours and was sorta zombie like. But. I FINISHED! All the illustrations for all 4 books are done!!!! woohooo! All i have left is to colorize the last of them on the computer and write the text. Here is what has kept me busy for the past 45 days. I have not had a day off in 45 days – researching, writing, painting, scanning and creating vector files from scanned paintings then coloring them. After this I just have to finish two mini pet portrait commissions and one web freelance job that I somehow said I could do while I was telling the client that I was too busy to take it. Funny how that works, huh?

I should be able to finish all the work for this last book tonite. BBE and I give the kiddos their Christmas presents tonite since they are leaving Saturday for Texas for two weeks. I am SO excited to give them their gifts. I saved a little bit here and there for the past 5 months to get them what I wanted to. But what I am MOST proud of is that this past Saturday I got them to sit down and hand make presents for all of their family for Christmas! I know they are going to feel so excited to give their own handmade gifts to all their family. I would post pics of what they made, but family reads this and wouldn’t want it ruined.

But here are some pics of what 45 days worth of illustrations look like:

And can I tell you? I cannot WAIT until December 24 so that I can DO NOTHING for 2 weeks!!! Two words people: Rum. Eggnog. (and really? I don’t caresomuch about the eggnog.)

Birthday Success!

We dined, we wined, we danced, we laughed and I hiccupped and giggled all the way home. I have to say, it was a pretty fantastic birthday!

It started with dropping off the kids at their dad’s house then coming back and painting my nails with a glass of wine and watching Sex in the City. Let the decadence begin! See the photo essay to see the progress:

Festive toes! With oddly large spaces next to my big toe! (this actually makes wearing my favorite footwear – flipflops- much harder actually. Irony.

Festive fingers! And yes I’m a dork. I know. I’m ok with it.

Me and BBE all fancied up.

Skyler was watching us take pictures and looked to cute not to share. (That’s the dog couch she is on – they love it and take turns on it)

On the way to the fancy shmancy country club place. Before all the free wine. Yep, that’s right, I said FREE WINE. Happy birthday to me!!

WE EVEN DANCED! Our first dance was to Brown Eyed Girl. LOVED it!!

In front of the not politically correct Christmas Decorations! They really did it up right for my birthday! heh.

I lost track of the free flowing, poured right to the tippy top glasses of Merlot…I giggled and hiccuped all the way home…

Friday Ramblings

It’s Friday. Afternoon. I had a huge presentation to give this morning at work. It went well, but was exhausting. I left work and I picked up The Dude, ran to Publix for hair color (roots are showing) and came home. I am now laying on my bed ‘resting’ until I go get The Soph from her aftercare. She instructed me very specifically not to get her until close to six. They watch movies on Friday and are allowed to play chase inside. I dare not interfere. I should close my eyes and take a minute to rest, but really, my mind will just keep going round and round on all I have to do anyway, so I may as well be productive and update the ol’ blog.

This week has been a rough one. For many, many reasons. Most of which I won’t get into, but a break is very much in order. I realized this week that I most likely will never have a psychotic break due to stress. Because if this week’s events did not do it, nothing will. Trust me on this.

This weekend is the last work weekend for the big projects for the big arts and crafts chain prototypes. I will have to photograph the stack of illustrations I have done in what a month? I took it out to show a friend the other day and even I was shocked at the deepness of the stack. I really have no idea how I got it done. Done, I need to be careful. It is not done until the fat lady draws the last damn dog. Hmm, did I just call myself fat? I am a wee bloated perhaps, but fat? Squishy maybe, not much running in the past month…oh never mind. I will be done Sunday. DONE.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 36. Will someone please tell me when I will feel like an adult? Or that I even remotely have my act together? I was sure it would be when I became a mom. At the ripe old age of 23. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! How about when I became a mom of two at 25? CHORTLELAUGHGUFFAWHARHAR.. Even now with two kids and a job that pays my bills and my very own car that I bought myself thankyouverymuch, I still feel like I am fooling the world. Playing “grown up” in this adult world when inside I still have that same voice I did when I was 9 saying, “Michelle, um what the hell do you think you are doing, you have no IDEA how serious this life stuff is, now take that flyer down and go watch cartoons like normal kids!!”

Ok, so the flyer reference is to when I made a bunch of clay animals, mostly dogs, when I was 9 and I decided that I was GENIUS and these MUST BE SOLD TO TO THE PUBLIC!! So I made about 20 handmade flyers describing my wares and inviting every Tom, Dick and Pedophile right to my front door – not only wrote my address but DREW A MAP. Mom put the old kabash on that and I was sure that she just did not appreciate the dreams of an artist! I was so mad and cried and cried and cried. It was not until I was an adult that I ever looked back on that little entrepreneurial adventure for what it was. Ah well, I always did leap before I looked.

Anyway, while I still feel very much like an imposter adult, I have to say 35 has been a pretty amazing year for me. I can’t wait to see what 36 brings. There is a meeting on January 8, 2009 for a large order of products to be placed with art I created with passion, love and just a little bit of crazy. Cross your fingers for me. Maybe my 9 year old dream of sharing my animal art with the world is about to finally happen. Without inviting every crazy person over for dinner.

And if all else fails, tomorrow night I will take a dog drawing break to put on a killer dress and heels and drink lots of wine and dance and eat and celebrate one more year of managing to trick this world into thinking that I am an adult or have any idea what the hell I am doing.