excuse my radio silence, but i'm back...

hi everyone. i know it's been a while. as you may or may not know, i've been a little m.i.a. on here, due to my brother's passing in may. it's been the longest and shortest summer of my life. if you've experienced grief, you know what i mean. grief has a way of making time do that - fly and stand still and all at the same time. just a few days after my brother passed my brother-in-law asked a few family members {myself included} - what is something your brother has said to you before and would say to you now? well, i had two things i knew he would say, one i'm keeping to myself, but the other one was not to be afraid of hard work and that hard work pays off. he was a hard worker, that brother of mine. so, that said, i am ready to get back to work on here. okay, maybe i'm not ready, but it's something i must do - slowly continue to move forward. in all honesty, it's scary to move forward when you've lost someone close to you. perhaps i'm afraid moving forward means leaving him behind. logically, i know it doesn't mean that at all, but i haven't been greatly logical this past three months. typically, i'm a very logical person, sometimes annoyingly so. i must say, it's exhausting being emotionally driven.

i think i've learned a lot this past three months - about myself, others, life, at least i hope i have. i feel a slow growth and sometimes i feel completely stunted. i know, i know - all normal. i've needed to receive a ton of grace as i'm in this state of madness {hopefully temporary madness} and i've had to extend some grace as well. grief is scary - to the griever and to those around the griever. it's this awful, unfamiliar, untamable, unpredictable, unwanted companion. i am raw. i am sad. i am angry. i am thankful. everyday, i have to choose to be thankful and often i say aloud the things i am thankful for; having a brother, a pretty badass brother at that, for my daughters, my husband, my mother, my sisters, my nieces/nephew and their kids, my dogs, my friends, my family, my faith, the photographs, the voicemails i play over and over again, my brother's beautiful artwork, the kindness of friends/family/strangers, the peace God has allowed me, nature, golden sunsets, rainbows, butterflies, roses, {the last four are direct reminders from the week after my brother left}, hope, texts, music, my brother's ashes. i told my husband that never have i been so physically aware of my heart's presence as i have since may 19th. i mean, i physically feel my heart pretty much constantly. it feels like a stone in my chest weighing down on me, ready to errupt. it hurts. it actually physically hurts.

i wanted to give you a short update as to where i've been before delving back into the "norm" here {perhaps it's a new norm, i just don't know yet} and let you know that i'm hoping to post here again in a week or so on more design related stuff, but i couldn't pretend the last few months haven't happened before doing so. i tried to get back into the swing of things here earlier in the summer, but i just couldn't continue. i think i'm ready now though.

i also hope to share my brother's story one day...just not today. you guys, i am so incredibly thankful for the continued love, prayers, and support you have been sending my way - you have no idea. thank you so, so, so much. you have shocked and overwhelmed me with your continued compassion.

i know it sounds cliché, but show love and kindness to someone today, with zero expectations in return. show it to those closest to you and to a complete stranger. it can make all of the difference. you can make all of the difference.

p.s. - i wear a lot of rose patterned clothing these days. it's simply a beautiful reminder of him.