Friday, February 5, 2016

the biggest DIY of my life

I'll admit I got into real funk around the holidays.
I did.
Not gonna lie.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are usually my faves.
Not last year.
Life happened last year.
It sucks and its real but there's no changing it.
Then suddenly the new year came and my heart felt lighter
and I got this feeling like
let's get 'er done.

New year, new beginnings and all that good stuff.
And you know me, even without
a so called   "goal list for 2016"
I still have a running list in my head of stuff I want to do.
Lists make me happy
and scratching stuff off the list exuberant.
Well here's the thing.
I started noticing how I was procrastinating about doing
And anything.
Even writing here.
I knew I needed to do something to get out of my funk.
Around the holidays I moved the goal of reading two books 
I thought sounded interesting.
up to the top of my mental to do list.
I mean with titles like that 
how could you go wrong right?
They're both by a local Houstonian named Brene Brown.
I first heard of her a few years ago,
during long hours 
spent in a hospital waiting room in Savannah.
You might remember  when my dad fell 
while working
{he turned 78 last week and still goes to work every day ;)}
and due to complications of diabetes lost his leg.
It was touch and go for a while with him.
I spent more one on one time with my sisters
since leaving home for college back in the late 80's.
One of those "best of times, worst of times" scenarios.
Lots of time just waiting for news,
 hoping and praying for the best, 
reading and chatting to pass the time.
This was before my iPhone days began
but my sisters had them and I was mesmerized.
Brene's now infamous TedX Houston talk
and she found it on her phone for me. 
It touched a nerve with a bit of a sting.
So I made a mental note of her
but then filed it away.
Another one under the "procrastination" label.
Over the years I've followed  her blog
and saved her quotes for inspiration. 
Then I put her books on my list of things to do.
As you might guess they never made it to the top of the stack.
Funny thing too is that I had been thinking of signing up
for one of her classes at the University of Houston
but of course little things like finding my college transcripts
kind of made me, well, procrastinate.
Right around New Years
I saw a reminder on Instagram that she had an online class starting.
The next day.
So I pull up the class description
and took my iPhone to the hubs
and suggested we watch her video 
because I thought it was a class he we should take.
So good man that he is
he watches it with me.
I think the tears began to fall at about 14 seconds in.
The whole time I'm crying.
Not making a sound
but tears are streaming down my face.
God love this man.
He said without missing a beat:
"um, I'm good but I think you should go sign up for it right now."
The course title is, wait for it, wait for it..."Living Brave."
You can see a little video about it here at
Deep breath here.
So here's the thing.
I know I'm a work in progress.
If you've been here a while  you know I'm trying.
Trying in parenthood, in friendships, in DIYing, you name it.
You know I have a running list of things to improve upon.
Because I don't think you ever get to a point in life
where you stop learning.
That's just my opinion but I'll tell you this...
I've personally never met anybody on earth who knows 
I've met certain people who act like they do.
They might think they know but they don't know.
I promise you that.

This is hard to say but here goes...
I've lived a lot of my life in fear.
The reasons why aren't important
{though they do matter and I'm digging into them}
but as I've said before
I want to be done with fear.
So I dove into this class with a heart wide open
because as she says in the video I linked to above
"the price of staying afraid is too high."
This class is no ain't play time.
Its kicking my butt but I also know its making me whole.
For those of you who've asked
this course is 12 weeks long
with a new lesson available every week.
The lessons are part reading assignment, 
part classroom videos by Brene,
and part written exercises 
with a group message board
where you can interact online with others classmates.
I can only really describe this class as life changing for me.
I saw someone I follow on IG yesterday
make mention of how Daring Greatly is on her reading list.
My comment to her was that taking this course
is like a major reno on my heart and soul.
Quite frankly 
I'm pretty sure this could be the biggest DIY project 
I've ever
and will ever do.
Because I went in to this course thinking 
that I needed a push in one aspect of my life
{we'll get to that in a sec}
and instead I see that its really a ripple effect.
In the very first lesson, part of the assignment
is to write down an area in your life
where you want to be more authentic,
where you want to 
show up, be seen, and live brave.
For me personally this started out as a bid
to get my mojo back towards a career.
But here's the deal.
Deep in my heart
I kept hearing this voice
Who do you think you are?
You want to do what???
Find a niche in the design world?
Uh? You're a chemist though?
Remember that degree you don't use any more?
Yeah who's gonna hire a chemist to do design work?
{insert the sounds of mad giggling here}
You've lost your cotton-picking mind.

So I did nothing.
I've been talking about,
thinking about it,
procrastinating about it.
But I started Brene's class.
Then in another sign from the universe 
I stumbled upon this video  about two weeks ago.
Go watch it and then come back here.
I'll wait for you...
Trust me...its one to add under favorites.
I watched it and knew what I had to do.
I may sometimes let fear stand in my way
but I guarandamntee you 
that planted deep inside me
are roots of a steel magnolia from Georgia,
raised as one of five girls
by two hardworking parents
who may not have had the show up chip
but they instilled this little gem of a gene called the
"you do anything you put your mind to
and don't let anyone tell you otherwise"
with a "damn it" usually added on the end for emphasis.
The universe just gobsmacked me on the head as I'm typing this.
I called my parents out for their lack of a show up chip right before Christmas
and here I am afraid to show up in my own life.
And ah ha!
Because I'm fixing my chip y'all.

Here's what I said in my first week's assignment...
my declaration of the arena in my life
where I want to 

always in a southern state of mind

Drumroll please...

"I want the courage to start my own interior design business."

There it is.
I put it out in the universe.
Just like when I overcame my fear 
I jumped...

Maybe a little bit too soon mind you.
I'm still working on the website,
you know,
the little things
and its a work on progress,
{just like me}
I put it out there for real last week.
As in I hit publish.
Here's the link to my new business website 
I figured it was time to face the fear and jump.
I'm not sure what it will evolve into...
selling treasures I've found?
sourcing items for those with no time to do it on their own
or no ideas where to start?
yes and yes.
And who knows what else?
I kept thinking I had to know all the answers before I started.
In part because I found I was comparing my beginning
to someone else's middle.
I have so many designers I love and look up to.
And guess what?
They started somewhere, not knowing every little thing.
I know I've got a lot to learn,
about many things in life,
not just design and decor or DIY.
And in whatever time the good Lord gives me
I'm gonna keep on leaning in 
to the discomfort {for me} of not knowing
and try my best to live bravely,
in every aspect of life.
Life is so short,
too short not to show up
and be brave.


  1. I read your blog frequently and had to share..I am taking the same class. I'm really happy for you...stepping out in your arena. Way to be brave! You are inspiring me.

    1. Hey Kim! Thanks for reading and for sharing. how cool is it that we're classmates :) feel free to email me if you want to chat more. your words inspire me more than you know.

  2. You are brave and talented and the world is your oyster!!!

    1. You make me want to cry Mary Ann every time you comment here. I hope you know that you are one of the designers i mentioned above whom i love and admire. you inspire me on a daily basis. <3 <- that is supposed to be a heart :)

  3. Amazing! I always feel like you say just what I need to hear when I read your blog. The Steve Harvey video is soooo good. I am thrilled for you in your new endeavor. Keep living BRAVELY!!

    1. hi! i have to admit that i came back to my blog today to take this post down and then i saw the comments here. like it was too much to share and putting it out there was nutso, or so y'all would think. just fear talking i guess. i'm gonna do what you said and keep living bravely, even when its scary, because i know i'm not alone. thanks for your kind words. they mean more than you know. :)

  4. Ok girl, this hit home! While my current fear is not a business endeavor, it is something I have said I want to do for years now. But, the FEAR. Fear of failure, and yes, the comparison to others who are further along than I, who have already done the hard work. I FAIL to realize they too started somewhere, probably a lot like where I am now. Thanks for sharing Steve's video. It is very convicting. A fellow member of our Bible study spoke about fear this week in her devotion as well. It was funny because that one word seemed to be on half the groups mind at the time. We need to replace Fear with FAITH! I am proud of you girlfriend.

    1. Thanks so much for your note Lauren. We're learning about self-compassion in this class and as part of it you have to click over to a certain website and take a little self-test. According to my test answers i suck at self-compassion ie i am hard on myself and too critical. um, hello hit the nail right on the head like a jackhammer. we need to talk to ourselves just like we would if our girlfriend or daughter came to us with the same thoughts we're having. we would encourage them to no end! just like you did with your sweet note here. I dont know what your fear is and what you want to accomplish but just know that I BELIEVE IN YOU LAUREN!!!!! And any time fear or self doubt creeps in your head let me know because i will be there to remind you how awesome you are! everyone was a beginner at one point. every one. remember that! i will to ;)

  5. You are 'daring greatly' and that is a message we all need to hear.
    Congratulations on your new endeavor! And aside from everything we feel when we step outside ourselves and do something our soul has always needed us to do is the fact that YOU HAVE GIFTS. You don't need to become a designer;you are one.


    1. WOW! Thanks so much Laura! You're a gem and please know i appreciate you and love your blog!

  6. I'm excited for you and share much of the same feelings, but I know I won't be happy unless I try. I figure it's better to try and fail then live life with regret wondering what might've happened if I'd stepped outside myself and tried. Almost ready to jump...

    1. Hey Sharon! you're is better to try and fail than never try at all. but i KNOW you're gonna fly when you jump. i have no doubt at all about that!


  7. Hey I just discovered your blog and I love it. Thanks so much for including me in your blog roll. I relate so much to this post and I admire you for putting it all out there- being honest and brave. I love so much of what I've heard about Brene and I really want to read Daring Greatly!! You have just tipped me over the edge and I will be ordering it right after this, so thanks! :) Also, I'm in the Houston area too! Glad to have found you. xoxo Bethany

    1. Hi Bethany :) Thanks for your sweet comment. I found you recently and am so happy I did. So cool you're local...going to send you an email.

    2. Hey... I knew I had read this before!! LOVE IT. Thanks so much for your comment and I'm SO thrilled that I'm going to meet you in the flesh. And guess what, I did actually read Daring Greatly. Loved it.

  8. I loooove this post! Nancy i'm so moved by your inspiring words, and yes, i agree. We have to keep learning and keep challenging ourselves at every stage of our lives. Good for you! I want to know more about The Décor Detective. :)

  9. I loved this post the first time and even more the second! You are a brave soul and I'm happy to be part of your tribe. :) hugs,

    1. hi Leslie, thank you for reading this post TWICE! i love that you're my tribe!

  10. I just jumped over from GwenMoss and I haven't clicked thru all your links but I will... and I wanted to introduce myself and say... "I hear you"!!!

  11. I just jumped over from GwenMoss and I haven't clicked thru all your links but I will... and I wanted to introduce myself and say... "I hear you"!!!

    1. gosh marcy. i'm so sorry i'm just seeing this comment. thank you so much for stopping by.


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