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.

Letting the Good Outweigh the Bad

Hello again y’all! I felt it was time to get back into my blog posts. Sorry, for the absence of art goal updates and life things. I’ve just felt unable to write due to not even knowing how to organize my thoughts this last little bit. February not only concluded with the beginning of the COVID-19 virus spreading in the US and shut down of the world’s economy but, the passing of my Grandmother. Cancer and eventual liver failure finally gave way and took her. She was such an integral part of my childhood and someone that shaped who I am as a person. I am so grateful she was always there for me and miss her dearly.

March has passed and we are now in April. Despite everything right now it is an extremely joyous time of year for my family. Amelia is due any day now! My creativity and art production is truly at an all time high as well.

But, as it is for so many across the globe my mind has been completely consumed by the world wide virus pandemic COVID-19. With the shutting down of the kid’s school we’ve been discovering the world of online learning. We are adjusting to a new normal that has been forced upon us so suddenly. The kids are resilient and seem to be handing everything about this better than I am.

Not only has the spread of this virus changed our lives but, I am terrified of what the hospital visit with Amelia will be like and result in. I already know family and friends will not be able to join us for this wonderful time in our lives, but the mere thought of doing it alone, without my husband, is panic inducing. Although I am scared I have to remind myself to have faith in the medical team and respect that they will do the very best job they can to keep Ameila and myself safe.

So, now that I’ve acknowledged all the stress inducing issues surrounding life I’ll get to talkin’ about the goodness that is happening! And there has been so much!!!!

My and Amelia’s health is perfect! Which gives me peace of mind amid the scare of the virus. Although I am extremely ready to give birth I have had little to no unusual issues with this pregnancy! Josh and the kids are crazy excited to see her! I can’t wait to see how she changes our lives and what kind of little person she will become!

On another good note my art reception in Downtown Bentonville turned out awesome! Met some new people and got to talk shop with other fellow artists! Being part of the local community is so important to me and it made my heart happy!

Creatively I have been overwhelmed with the value and production of what I’ve been doing lately. The bourbon series has taken off so well that my time has been filled with creating art and sending it all over the country for others to enjoy! So much so that I haven’t had time to complete the 10 in the series for myself or continue on into another project! I know I haven’t stayed true to the original art goals I set but, I am not disappointed with my progress or what I’ve been accomplishing.

Below are some of the works I’ve completed! Not only including the bourbon art but, a few other pieces I’ve worked on. I’ve been trying really hard to get all of my commission work done before Amelia is born.

Now y’all are all caught up for the most part I’m going to do my very best to write updates more often and not cram so much into one post! I will end with a huge outpouring of love and support for everyone being affected by the virus, which at this point is the whole world. It is truly amazing to see communities support one another.

The generosity and love we all need to get through this is essential. My own family has seen it first hand. With our food truck being our livelihood, community is everything. So, thank you Northwest Arkansas for the love you’ve given us, as well as the donations we’ve received in our free meal program! We are able to provide food for anyone in need. My heart feels heavy but, very much hopeful! I love you world!

If anyone is interested in donating to help feed families contact @spuddoctors on Facebook and either make a donation through Venmo, over the phone, or by simply stopping by the food truck.

903 SW A st in Bentonville, Ar.479-257-0681

https://www.facebook.com/spuddoctors/

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 ❤

Celebrating Individuality

Both of my children have very big personalities! As they grow and establish their own uniqueness, I feel that it is very important to nurture that. They have ownership of their own body, soul, and mind. I find letting them choose how they want to express that builds character.

We must guide them but, not decide who they should be. I want my kids to feel confident and proud of who they are! I want them to love what makes them different from others but also bond over similarities. I celebrate them everyday by supporting and believing in them.

This photoshoot is about just that! Celebrating these beautiful little creatures that I love watching grow!

Abby Rain

She has grown so much in the past year! I can see her think about things more deeply than before. I notice little things here and there where her mind is opening to greater thoughts and creativity. I love her excitement to share what she loves with the world!

She is fierce when it comes to her baby brother. “Ain’t nobody gonna mess with bubba, momma. Nobody!” As she looks at me with fire in her beautiful blue eyes. She is my little super star and very much uniquely Abby.

Asher Dean

My little heartbreaker. This boy and his eyes make me just swoon! He has the kindest heart of any person I’ve ever known. With his infectious laugh and bright personality he naturally draws people into his happy little bubble.

As he gets ready for kindergarten, in a little more than a month, I find myself wondering where my baby went. He is so full of ideas and excitement about what school is going to be like! I am super excited to see him blossom but, also feel that twing of heartbreak that my kids are no longer babies.

My fears mostly come from a selfish place. Not wanting them to get older and start needing me less and less. But, I begin to realize isn’t that what we want? We want them to grow and be strong on their own! This thought immediately puts the more selfish one to rest and my excitement builds in knowing I get to be part of their beautiful lives and help guide them through it!

I believe as parents our role is to never force identites on to our children. It grows resentment and bottles up who they really are. One day all that built up pressure will explode. Some parents feel because they have similar DNA, that they own their children. Every move their child makes is decided on and they have no say in the matter. No human being should feel that way especially our own children. Let them think for themselves. Let them believe they are amazing the way they are. Let them decide!

When I say this I do not mean let your kids do whatever they want, obviously. -just don’t take away who they are. It’s important to teach them perseverance, strength in character, dedication, and compassion but, not force anything on them that isn’t in their nature.

No one is perfect. Not our children and definitely not us. We must celebrate our differences and teach our kids to be proud of who they truly are!

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. 💛