Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A new season...


Coming up with a new name for my blog, and workshop series, wasn't an easy task.  There was a lot of thought that went into it.  Because it would be an extension of Flowers on Footprints, I wanted the name to be meaningful and serve a purpose, just as Flowers on Footprints had done so many years ago.

Originally, Flowers on Footprints the blog, was created to be a journal of my journey from darkness to light.  A place where I would walk in the present day, leaving footprints, and planting seeds that would eventually bloom into flowers of my future.  And that place served its purpose for many years. To this day, it still amazes me to go back and read through my posts...from where I was to who I am today, journaling definitely proved to help me move forward.

https://www.facebook.com/imysjoy/


But now, I find myself in a new season of life. C.S. Lewis once said, "There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind."  And though I've had many challenges over the years, I've also had many great opportunities and experiences along the way.  I'm learning to accept that in order to move forward, I have to leave what once was...in all aspects of life, behind. This has been hard on so many levels, especially since I sifted through pictures of the past recently. However, it's time to go back to the vision board and start planning for the new season that is upon me. A season that holds so much hope.  A season where I plan to grow and bloom, personally and professionally, in a way I never have before. A season that I'd like to share with you.  

https://www.facebook.com/imysjoy/
In the dictionary, blossom is defined a few different ways.  Here, we will define blossom as this: a peak period or stage of development.  As we all walk our own paths in this life, may we empower, encourage, and support one another to grow--to promote the development of AND bloom--a state or time of beauty, freshness, and vigor into whatever flower we choose, reminding each other daily that this is not a competition.  We are all in this together and we all want to be successful. Hence the title: the path of a blossom: empowering you to grow and bloom on your journey through life!









https://www.bryananthonys.com/soul-sisters-arrow-necklaces

In saying that, today I'd like to recognize my dear friend and co-founder of inspire.joy, Sarah Kruer. Sarah is also the owner/artisan of imy's joy.  She creates unique, inspirational word art canvases and wood home decor items, many of which can be found in my home.  I often call our meeting serendipitous...Serendipity--the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. However, I also know that God had a hand in our happenstance because He knew I would need someone like her in the coming years and oh was He right! Throughout my treatment, heart issues and cancer, Sarah has been my girl. She gets me in a way that no one else can and supports ALL of my outlandish ideas...no matter what.  She has been there through thick and thin, to celebrate my greatest achievements, and to encourage me through the darkest of days. I wouldn't be who I am today without her and for that, I am truly grateful. 

I recently read an article posted to facebook that talked about how important it is to have girlfriends as you grow older.  It suggested what most of us already know...that our true friends, our tribe which many of us call them, will be there for us no matter what. They're the ones who are ready for wine and laughs when the sun is shining or will drop everything and lend you a shoulder when the storm comes through. I am thankful that Sarah is part of my tribe and I am blessed to call her my soul sister.

I'm not sure what direction I'm going or what surprises are waiting for me around the next corner, but I am excited to share the path with you as we lift each other up and move forward together on this incredible journey called life.

Until next time, 
~Nicole O.
<3 NO fear




Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Where flowers bloom, so does hope." ~Lady Bird Johnson

I've been enjoying the sunshine and bits of good temperature we've gotten the last few weeks. It's a sign that spring is coming and I don't know about you, but I'm so excited! Blooming flowers, green grass, new life...a fresh start and along with it, so much hope!

It's been almost a year since I wrote my last blog post.  At that time, I was recovering from open heart surgery and, like now, getting excited about spring and all the new things that were coming. However, that was very short-lived due to my cancer diagnosis.  If you haven't been following along on CaringBridge, you can get caught up by heading over there to read my journal entries.

It's taken me a while, but I'm finally feeling motivated to get back to work...though I'm still trying to figure out what that looks like exactly. Reflection has been a huge part of the healing process for me and I think what finally brought me closure was an article I just finished for Haute Life Magazine. While writing, I did some soul searching and the other day I had this "A-ha" moment! For the longest time, I've been putting pressure on myself to get back into the studio, to pick up where I left off.  But what I've realized is there really isn't a way to do that, too much has happened and I am in a completely different place now.

Though I have so much to tell you about all of that, it would actually be too much to put in this post. So instead, the plan will be to write here as I continue moving forward.  I'll share how things are coming along, personally and professionally, but will also be narrowing my topic to focus on what the blog was intentionally created for...empowering you to grow and bloom on your own journey through life! If you're not already following along, please consider doing so!  You can subscribe by email or join with your blogger account on the right side of this page. Please invite your friends to do the same!

I have a new hope for the future. So many seeds have already been planted. Excited to see where the flowers bloom!

Peace and Love,
Nicole O.
<3 NO fear


If you're interested in learning more about Haute Life Magazine, please click here. My piece will appear in the April-June issue! You can get your subscription here.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Update!

It's been a while since I posted an update, so I thought I'd share a few things here.

All things considered, I'm feeling pretty well.  February 22nd marked four months post-surgery.  My incision is healing and looking good.  It continues to be very sensitive at the top and bottom and a bit itchy, but that is all part of the process.  I've also been keeping up with my rehab exercises.  I've worked up to 45 full minutes on the treadmill at 3.0, along with the weight lifting reps and stretches they taught me.  It's exciting to see my body changing positively from doing this!  It also makes me feel so much better overall.  The main issue I'm struggling with is the constant ache/pain in my neck and shoulders.  This is also part of the healing process and I've been told it could take up to a year before I feel relief.  Prayers it comes sooner!

On the job front, I'm feeling very much at peace with my decision to decline the offer from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as a per diem consultant.  After a lot of thought and discussion with my family we decided it was going to be too much for me right now.  I am, however, very excited to share that I did join the product development team at Catapult Learning as an independent contractor/writer!  I'm really enjoying this! It's been the perfect position for where I am right now and I feel so thankful for the opportunity!

I've also been doing a little writing of my own.  I've decided to write a novel!  Can't share too much, but I'm very excited about the idea and seeing how it unfolds...even if it takes me forever!

As for Flowers on Footprints, I'm not quite sure where we're headed.  I've been praying a lot about it and I'm hopeful, in time, He will lead me to its purpose.

I'm looking forward to a few trips in the coming weeks!  I can't wait to be back on the beach with my uke, playing songs as we listen to the waves crashing in. It's hard to believe the last time I was there, I was prepping for the biggest, scariest week of my life...and now, it's behind me.

Taking each day as it comes, enjoying the moments with family and friends, and allowing Him to be in control.  I'm thankful. I'm at peace. I'm happy.--and really, that's an amazing thing!





Saturday, February 13, 2016

This is the life of a Police Wife: a short story

There’s a dim light coming from under the bathroom door and the sound of a running shower.  I roll over, check the clock—3:47 am.  It’s Saturday.  Yes!  I think to myself.  I might get a few extra minutes of shut eye before the kids wake me up.  I doze back off, waking up to a sweet kiss on the cheek and an “I love you” from my LEO (law enforcement officer).  The door clicks and locks. I look at the clock—4:01 am—and drift back off to sleep.

I’m awake!  The Superman theme song ringing loud from my phone—it’s my LEO.  It’s still dark. What time is it?!  I answer—feeling groggy and unsure of what is happening.

“Hello?” I say, glancing at the clock—4:32 am. 

“There’s an active shooter", he says. “An officer was shot.  I am on my way there now.  I will call you when I know something.”

Did I misunderstand?  I’m so confused.  “An officer was shot?”

“Yes, I will call you when I know something.”

And silence…as the empty, nauseous feeling enters my stomach.  Worry sets in.  The unknowns, the what-if’s, the waiting for a call back. I know the drill. I’ve been here before. But I can’t predict how it will end.  And the awful thoughts of vigils… and funerals… and processions…quickly fill my memory.  

I’m now wide awake, the clock staring back at me—4:46 am.  I send off a quick text: “Please be careful.  I love you.” 

My mind wanders.  Should I get up?  Make coffee?  Watch the news?  No.  That won’t help.  I decide to pray…for my LEO, his fellow officers, for our police family.  I pray for their safety.  But most of all I pray they are all alive at the end of this stand-off. 

And then I wait…

6:57 am—I finally get a text, “It’s over”. 

Oh thank you, Lord!  My heart is racing.  I take a deep breath.  I feel so relieved.  I pray again, thanking God for taking care of them and asking for His presence as the officer undergoes surgery. 

Then, I slowly drift back off to sleep.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

If you are ever unsure of the choices in life or scared of the future, look to me and I will help you through. ~God

It's been a while since I posted an update.  I've been working on getting back into the swing of things
:-) I've had 2 exciting job offers, both part-time/work from home education positions, which is perfect while I continue to recover.  I'm not sure both of them will work out, but I'm just thrilled about a writing project I've already started working on and I know if the consultant gig does/does not work out...then it was/was not meant to be.  To be honest, I'm not sure I can handle both!  But I'm relying on Him to show me the way and taking these leaps by faith, not by sight. <3  

Last Friday I celebrated my 35th/1st birthday!  It was a BIG one for me that's for sure.  I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so much love.  AND I am so thankful---for this life, for such a positive outcome, for a successful surgery, for the prayers and encouragement as I continue to recover.

I know I may look fine on the outside, but on the inside I'm still healing, physically and emotionally. I have constant aches and pains in my neck/shoulders, my incision continues to be very sensitive to the touch, making it hard to sleep, and I seem to get angry/upset over things that really aren't a very big deal in the big picture.  I think some of it is the uncertainty of it all.  Just praying it gets better with time. He continues to teach me patience, that's for sure! 

Overall, the cardiologist is happy with my progress.  I continue to work on my rehab exercises--I've worked up to 45 minutes on the treadmill--and I'm now looking forward to spring, our beach vacation, and an eventual opening of the pool!


   

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Exciting news for 2016!

Good Morning, friends!

First, I want to say thank you!  The Flash Sale was fun and a good reminder of the reason I started my own jewelry line in the first place.  With that said, I want to share with you some exciting changes you'll be seeing for 2016!

For the past few years, I have been blessed with opportunities to share my work with you through small shops in and around Indianapolis.  Without  their guidance and support, Flowers on Footprints would not be what it is today and I am so grateful for that and for them.

One of my BIG life dreams is to have a studio space that I (and fellow dreamers/creators) can make and sell our pieces from.  But after looking into many options, that doesn't seem to be part of the plan right now.  And I am okay with that.  I also know that "nothing changes, if nothing changes".  So, I'm taking a step forward--a new leap of faith--and praying He will take my hand and lead me in the right direction. <3

Starting in February, I will offer open studio hours from my home studio.  I will no longer be taking custom orders by phone or email, but instead will offer times that you may come shop and/or have me make on-the-spot custom pieces for you.  I want to be honest in saying that this will eliminate much of the stress for me that comes along with custom orders. It will be so helpful to have you here, looking at my selection of items, choosing your own pieces, and showing me exactly what you'd like to make the perfect 'journey inspired wearable' for you or someone you love.  I'll be sending out more information about this in the next few weeks!

Please know, I am so thankful for your support and encouragement as I continue recovering.  I still have good and bad days, but I'm working through it with faith, hope, love, and the inspiration that your stories bring me each and every day.

~Nicole

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy."
~Guillaume Apollinaire

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

CaringBridge link if you're interested :-)

Instead of trying to manage several social media accounts, we have decided to share updates via CaringBridge. Please click on the link to follow along!

Nicole's CaringBridge page

Posted my first journal entry today!