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 here. So instead, the plan is to write at least once weekly.  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!

Monday, September 28, 2015

"I'm gonna live like tomorrow never comes"~Zac Brown Band

*Patience-the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

Patience is something I thought I had...up until the last few weeks.  The wondering; the waiting; the worrying.  It has all added up.  And though I feel like I have finally gotten to the acceptance stage as far as the surgery is concerned...I have not been too accepting of the delay with insurance.  Truth is, I do feel upset, and maybe a little angry, that this is taking so long.  I'm so ready to be on the other side; to wake up; to get through the hard part; and to be home with my family resting and recovering.

I get that this is God working.  I've been spending my mornings with Him and my devotional, Jesus Calling.  He has reminded me that I need to trust Him and refuse to worry; that I need to be here--in the present; that He is my strength-empowering me to handle tasks as they come; and my song--bringing me Joy as I work alongside Him.  And yesterday, He even reminded me that my weakness is an opportunity to grow stronger in His presence; that my neediness is building trust in our relationship; and that if I look back on my journey, I should remember that on my days of extreme weakness--those were the days I feared, but learned and grew the most.

Getting through this doesn't have to be the end of my story--and doesn't mean the journey is over.  In fact, lots of people have given me hope that this will be a new beginning to both--a part 2 to my story as I head in a new direction on this journey--and that both excites me and scares me at the same time.

I will ask that you continue to pray for me--for strength and courage in the days ahead; for doctors and nurses that truly care about me and my well being; that my fears will be replaced by His peace; that I wake up and can handle the pain; that even though some things will be hard and embarrassing, I can be accepting of both and thankful for those taking care of me; that He will be there for Chad, Caylee, and the rest of my family--He will show them His love, His compassion, His grace; and that He will comfort us all every step of the way.

Still 'patiently' waiting on insurance approval to schedule the date.  We'll keep you posted as we get more information.

~Nicole <3