My Saving Grace

Once again life moves more quickly than I can possibly anticipate. This last month our lives have been filled with even more love in the most beautiful of ways. Miss Amelia Ruth was born on April 13th at 10:35am. She has stolen all of our heart and our bed…and our sleep! Lol! But, we wouldn’t have it any other way! She is a wonderfully calm baby. Her beautiful face and all her charm already has us wrapped around her little finger. A little southern belle in the making!

As a parent you always wonder how you could possibly love anymore than you already do. Having another child come into your life instantly grows your heart. You create a space nothing and no one else will ever be able to fill, dedicated specially to this tiny little human that you created.

Sidenote: she’s a month old and I’m still holding her up like Rafiki in Lion King saying “Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba Sithi uhm ingonyama”! Amazed I made something soooo beautiful three times over!!! #brushmyshouldersoff

Now on an art note: Art, ArT, and more ART!

I have completed more work since January than I have the two previous years combined! I have some exciting commissions lined up as well. I’ve had so many requests for prints of the bourbon series art that I’ve been printing and shipping them all over! I’m definitely spreading the whisky love! Never underestimate the power of alcohol to bring people together, especially during quarantine! 😉

Since we are on the subject of quarantine…..my two older children have adapted to this life change in very different ways. Asher has become very emotional in the later days of distance learning. Kindergarten is such an important year socially for children and the disruption has been hard on him. He is a such a smart kid. He learns very quickly and loves school….but he is not so keen on online class. He misses his classmates and teacher so much. Some days he just starts crying for no reason. I hold him and tell him he’s doing a great job. He still does his best to wake up every morning with a smile on his face, regardless of how redundant our days have become. He’s begun planning for the next day every night. Right before bedtime he lines out what we wants to accomplish. He started doing this on his own and it’s keeping him excited and positive when he wakes up each morning. He tells me most days “I can’t wait until this Corona Virus is over and I can hang out with my friends.” I feel you son….I feel you.

He just had his 6th birthday and my husband and I completely spoiled him. We got him everything on his list and met every want he had…plus some! We don’t normally do this…actually we’ve never done it. We try really hard to not over spoil them to ensure they don’t act entitled.

We are raising them to be respectful in all aspects of life…but, sometimes they just need to feel over the moon, especially during this time. We don’t know how this pandemic will ultimately impact our lives, changing the way we see the world and ourselves. Every little joy is emphasized and family is as important as ever.

As for Abby Rain, she is taking it a bit better. Her caring nature and instincts to make others comfortable has blossomed. Having a new sister has given Abby the opportunity to shine. I am so very proud of her dedication and hardwork. She is such a kind beautiful person. I am finding myself lean on her everyday for all the little things I need help with, which in the end adds up to the biggest thing- being a family and having each others back. Josh and I could not be more proud of the both of them and how they are adapting and handling this chaos.

Looking ahead and trying to anticipate what the future holds becomes more and more uncertain but, what I do know is being quarantined has brought our little family closer together. We have learned how to make moments special and fun in creative ways that we may not have ever thought of before. Taking our minds off all the negative at least for a small while.

Of course, there are days that I am extremely short and irritable, days I can’t handle being home every single second, and days I break down like Ash and cry just because. But, ultimately I am so grateful we are healthy. I’m grateful my small business, as well as my husband’s, has not halted to a stand still like so many others around the world. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity our children have in distance learning. We are seeing the truly wonderful way we can connect through the internet. If we didn’t have technology this quarantine would be a entire different experience. It has kept me somewhat sane the last couple months.

As we adapt to our new norm I find that my creativity has been my saving grace. It keeps me mind grounded and reminds me that I can always turn a negative to a positive. It’s all in how you look at things.

Valentine’s from an Artist

This is how I show my love. ❤ Ever since I was little I’ve loved making things, especially for the people I love. I feel that a gift from the heart means the most when it is created with special thought. Real love is shown through time spent thinking about what another would like and appreciate.

I’ve always been a giver. I get more joy out of showing my love than anything else. This is the reason I really love Valentine’s Day.

Self Love

Once again a restless night. Haunted by the dread of disappointment, anger, and hopelessness. When will I stop hoping for a different outcome? When will I look into your eyes and not see sorrow? Will I ever have you back?

I fear for you in the realist way my heart can feel. I know you’re scared and lost. I know you don’t want to be like this. Yet, I hold your hand begging and pleading and all I see is emptiness in your eyes. Complete abandon. I’m scared for me too. Terrified I’ll end up the same. It’s in my blood. Coursing through my veins just waiting until I’m weak enough to let the demon take control.

I don’t want to be this. I don’t want to watch this. I don’t want to lose anymore. Haven’t we all lost enough? I can’t save you. Hope is always my greatest heartbreak. I remember the way you were and physically hurt from the pain of losing that version of you. The only love great enough to save someone is self love.

A Year of Growth for the Kitterman’s!!!

2019 has been massive for our family and turned our lives inside out! I couldn’t be more excited!

Starting with our surprise announcement of baby number 3 on the way! I was so sure I didn’t want more children. I was completely happy to have Abby and Asher. Yet, as I’ve gotten older I began to feel differently. The beauty that our babies bring into this world is beyond anything I could ever have imagined. I felt that adding to our family would only bring more love!! And why would we not want that?!

Growing our family felt right. So, my husband and I discussed it for quite awhile and decided now would be the best time. Once I became pregnant I immediately knew! Seasoned moms have this sixth sense about these things! Lol! For this reason I’ve had the “pleasure” of enjoying every single exaggerated symptom of being pregnant with our third child. It hasn’t been the easiest but, we’re making it through. Baby A is healthy and that makes me happy. My husband, Josh and our kiddos are so excited and have been angels in helping me with everything I need. I am into the second trimester and can’t wait to see if we will have a boy or girl! We may or may not already have names picked out! 😉

The other milestone reached this year has been starting a business! Josh has relentlessly pursued his dream and it has shown to be worth all the blood, sweat, and tears put forth. I have stood beside him believing in his vision, pushing him and tugging him when needed but, always knowing he would do amazingly. A decade long dream has finally materialized into the Spud Doctors food truck! Josh, with his business partner Mark, are taking our little country community by storm!

My husband is a chef at his core. There is nothing that makes him happier than feeding people. It’s the way he loves and it shows 100% in his food. He effortlessly makes a dish and watches me eat it with the biggest smile in his face knowing there is nothing I love more. That kind of love isn’t taught or achieved through time. It is just in him. It’s who he is.

Seeing him grow as a person and as a business owner this last year has given me such a huge level of respect for him. I will support him in all he wants to do and help in every way I can to aid in his success!

There is no doubt 2020 will be crazy but, I’ve never been more excited for a new year and new challenges!

Psst….a second food truck could possibly be in the works! 😉 …sssshhhhh though! No announcement of that just yet.

So what do ya say, wanna change the world today?!

Perspective is nothing if not life changing, a fundamental shift in the train of thought that you base your values on. As I get older I am embracing new perspective more and more. I crave it. I want my mind changed. I want to grow. I want to understand more and see the world through eyes that are not mine.

I feel that there is a rising up of new thinking that creates more inclusivity within society. People are not afraid to stand up. The time is always ‘now’ for the forward thinkers. The people that say, “If I’m not the voice then there is no voice. If I don’t make change for the future thinkers of the world then we will never change.”

I want to be part of change. I want to say I made a difference to a better world. A world where more people are letting other perspectives influence their thoughts and actions. Having the openness to not being right all the time. Believing that there is always a way of doing something that has never been thought of.

Supporting those that are brave, especially if what they represent is a perspective that eyes have never seen, is all about opening your heart to others. Vulnerability is always seen as a bad thing. A thing that makes someone weak but, vulnerability is what changes the world. It’s that one person standing up to say “I think, feel, or want things to be different and here’s why. Let’s find ways together to make it so.”

These brave people and those who support them are my heroes. It simply starts with listening. Truly listen to what others have to say. So what do ya say, wanna change the world today?!

My Truest Friend

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead.
Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Walk beside me; and be my friend.” -Albert Camus

We haven’t always been this way. We have seen both sides of the path we promised to walk together. Many times I’ve searched for your hand knowing you needed mine more. Struggling to understand how to be there for you when I barely managed to be there for myself.

I’ve realized that in this journey we have vowed to take together there are three parts. The us part, the me part, and the you part. We are not always on the us part. We have our own journeys to take as we navigate life.

We promise to always be strong and always be the “perfect” support. Life doesn’t go that way. Love rarely knows what to do in the times that we don’t seem to walk the path hand in hand.

Slowly with time, I’ve learned to not fret when we aren’t in sync. To have patience and always tell you how I feel. I’ve learned that being on a pedestal is so very lonely. When you step up to hold my hand it’s the best feeling in the world. We always find our pace again. I grab your hand and we are us. You are my best friend and I love you so very much ❤

The Wall That Heals

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.

Many Northern states held commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I.

It became offically known as Memorial Day and observed on the last Monday in May in 1971 as a federal holiday.

This Memorial Day my family and I had the opportunity to visit The Wall That Heals. It is a two-thirds scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, honoring the lives of more than 3 million Americans who served in the Vietnam War.

The wall rises above you as you walk towards the apex in a chevron-shape. The names of 59,220 fallen soliders are listed in order of the date of casualty and alphabetically on each day.

It was brought to Crystal Bridges in honor of Memorial Day 2019 and is displayed on thier front lawn near the Bucky Ball Sculpture. Seeing the wall at night was so touching. I am humbled by the experience and beauty. It is a stunning tribute.

I am grateful for all who have served and for the sacrifice that every family has made. You deserve the highest of honor. From the bottom of my heart thank you for service and dedication.

Beautiful Mess

Our house is always changing. I never keep something in one place for too awfully long. I would love to say I have it in order…like ever but, I do not. Art is always leaning against the walls. I collect weird things and live in a old house. I have an obsession with mirrors and for things that glow softly.

But…..right in the middle of my crazy mess is my husband. Loving me for my need for change, my haphazard way of acting like I have my shit together and the never ending crazy that is me. He is my constant, calls me his beautiful mess and finds my artistic brain endearing. We grow together and learn more about each other everyday.

Our journey is definitely not perfect but, I find these moments and am proud of this beautiful life we have created. 💛

Convos Between Siblings

They chat through their own bedroom windows about the cars passing by and what they are reminded of. Bruce and Teddy Love have a side convo about bear things and all I can think about is how beautiful this moments is. Standing in the hallway silently watching my two favorite people live out their childhood…..just smiling about how happy I am to be part of it. ❤

Seeing the bond between these two, I find myself incredibly happy to be their mother. Happy I can provide them with things I never had as a kid. Happy moments and beautiful memories. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

These Moments

This is a watercolor painting of my daughter in a moment we shared one week into parenthood. The illumination is a perfect representation of the new parent high I was running on. And, of course includes that baby smell. 😉 I swear it’s like catnip for women!

How could I not be inspired by her beauty? As I slowly layered the colors I could feel incredible warmth coming from it. I knew I had accomplished exactly what I intended.

In these moments of creative clarity adrenaline fuels me. When I look at this painting I can imagine that memory perfectly. I feel her in my arms and can remember how the golden sun made its way across us.

That moment is perfection. Creating artwork that draws me in and keeps me intrigued is what makes it important for me. I love these moments. They are priceless.