The Bright, Beautiful Side of Age

February 5, 2014

The Bright Side of Aging by Tracey Clark

I remember turning 40 and feeling on top of the world. I felt wise and confident, beautiful and even ageless. So, this is what everyone that had turned 40 before me had talked about? “Life begins at 40” some would say, and I could feel it in my body and my mind. I was ready to begin another amazing chapter of my life.

But, now I’m 46 and I have to say, over the past few years I think I have been mourning the quick-fleeting agelessness I felt at 40. I figured I’d have most of my 40s to feel it. But, that hasn’t been the case. Perhaps it’s because the last few years have brought with them some challenges from personal struggles to body breakdowns to hormonal changes. I mean, at least 2 of the 3 of those do have something to do with my age but for some reason, I just wasn’t anticipating them to happen to me. Not so sudden anyway. It’s been an adjustment, to say the least.

When I got the invite from Susannah Conway to share my thoughts and feelings about my age, and all the awesome things about it, I will admit I laughed out loud. But, it was the kind of laughter that comes from knowing that it was no accident that the invite came now, in the midst of my “adjustment” process. Thinking, reflecting, and writing about all the awesome things that have come with age is exactly what I’ve needed to stop focusing on the negative things and start acknowledging and appreciating all the positive things. I recently read a quote that said something like, “Which side has the greener grass? The side you water.” Well said.

And with that, I am choosing to get out my watering can. It’s true, my age has brought with it so many wonderful gifts. Regardless some of my physical and even some mental complaints (damn you hormones!) I wouldn’t change where I’m at for anything. I am more grounded and self-assured, and sure-footed than I’ve ever been. I’ve got a better outlook. I’m kinder to myself. I’m more resilient in almost every arena. I’m sure of who I am and what I believe. And perhaps where all of these things come to light for me—in the brightest and most beautiful ways—is through motherhood. As I have gotten older, so have my children and I now have two daughters—10 and 16—who I know are benefiting from me being a more experienced and balanced woman than I was when they were younger. I feel more confident in my guidance, more wise in my tutelage, and happier with myself, who I am and where I’m at than I was years ago. And the woman I am now makes the mother that I am now so much better for myself and my girls. I can feel it deep down. And that is an amazing feeling.

Although I might still be adjusting to the older me in body, I can tell you true, that I’m feeling pretty awesome in heart and soul!

Happy Birthday Susannah and thank you for encouraging us to celebrate our age. I’m so glad you did.


Where I’m at on New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2013
new years sunset

image courtesy of my husband

I’ve been working on my end of the year post for days now and I’ve written and rewritten. I’ve rambled on and have been rattled. I’ve contemplated things and confused myself.  I’ve almost published and then I’ve hit delete. Over and over. I guess I’m not certain of what to say. I’m not really certain of anything. Heading into a new year, I usually have a strategy, a road map, a plan. But, the start of this year feels a little different. Because instead of standing on the threshold of a new year holding my well-designed map, I’m holding hands with the Great Unknown.

Over the past few months, my focus has been on wrapping things up, creating space, making room, and slowing down. And truth is, it’s feels strange. I’m just not used to it. Not yet anyway. Truthfully, I’m feeling a little lost. But, not without hope.  Realizing that this is exactly the place I need to be right now is comforting but it’s not comfortable. Not being certain of exactly where I’m headed is unnerving but it means I’m having to embrace uncertainty.  And because it might be hardest thing for me, know it’s going to be a great exercise.

And with that, I wish you a Happy New Year and hope that you are exactly where you need to be and that you find some comfort in that place, whether it’s comfortable or not. Just know, that no matter where you’re at, you’re not alone.


Let’s Play in the new year

December 6, 2013

play big

I’m so excited to start the new year with a little Play! Actually, with a lot of Play! Check out all the details online at the Big Picture Classes Play page and start packing your bags for the live event. You deserve a trip to sunny So Cal for an event like this. And besides all the scrapbooking / crafting / photography fun, you can join us for a day at Disneyland (jumping up and down shrieking like a little girl). And what’s more, is my sisters, the Disney Sisters are going to share a little part in all of this too. Swoon. Who loves Disney? We do! We do! Details on that to be revealed soon. There’s so much magic happening, I’m floating on air! I’m telling you, it’s gonna be so much fun.

And if the trip isn’t in the cards for you (although I so wish it were) consider the next best way to Play! The online version of the event. Yes, it’s true, you can enjoy Play right from the comfort of your own home/office/studio. Wheeee! There’s a $10 discount code being offered right now too which makes registering for the online event even sweeter. Use the code HULAHOOP to get the $10 off your online event registration.

The details for both of the Play! offering can be found on the Play! Event homepage. Scroll down the page and you’ll see the Live event option on the left and the Online option on the right. And scroll a little further down for the new video that pretty much tells you everything you need to know and will hopefully convince you that this is an event you’ll want to be at! Wink wink.

One way or another we want you to kick off an awesome 2014 with Play!


Feeling Lightheaded (in the best way) with a Lightheaded Beds Giveaway

November 4, 2013

The Glow of Lightheaded Beds

I’m big on sleep. As in, bordering on the obsessed. Since the start of my adult life, I have been a huge sleep advocate. From afternoon naps to sleeping in late whenever possible, sleep for me has always felt like the best gift I could give myself. I distinctly remember driving across country in my 20s and taking every opportunity to sack out in the back of the VW bus, as I listened to my best friend say, “I can’t believe you’re sleeping through this”.  But, I didn’t let that stop me. I just, unapologetically fell asleep.

Many years later I had my first child and the patterned continued. Not as much for me and my sleep, but for hers.  Ever since then, my family can attest that sleep has become one of my main motherhood “things”. Since my kids we’re just babies through today, I have fixated on the importance of sleep, doing everything in my power to keep to any shred of a sleep schedule that I could grasp. For some parents it might be food, for others maybe play, but for me, it is and probably always will be sleep. From keeping track of napping hours to being vigilant about regular bed times, I have been a mother on a mission to ensure my kids are getting the sleep they need, and maybe even more than they need. I did admit it borders obsession after all.

Once my daughter started High School I had to start letting go of my tight grip on her sleep schedule. Freshman year was a huge transition for all of us, with my teen’s busy schedule, rigorous homework load and never ever enough time in the day for her to get it all done. So, the days turned into nights—late, late nights—and I had to helplessly watch as she slowly weaned herself off of the sleep routine I had pushed so hard to set. It wasn’t easy, but I had no choice. And now, as she’s headlong into her Junior year, it’s just as bad, if not worse as on many nights I go to bed long before she does, although I will admit it still pains me to do so. At least now, she’ll sleep in on weekends (when she doesn’t have something going on) and she’ll nap whenever possible (I believe she might be coming around to my way of thinking).

Thankfully, I am still able to somewhat regulate the sleep schedule of my 10-year-old which now I know will be short lived. Alas, I will do what I can when I can. Viva la Sleep!

It would stand to figure when I was recently given the opportunity to give my girls the experience of new—and awesome—Lightheaded Beds, I was pretty excited. My draw to Lightheaded Beds is obvious to anyone who knows me. Beyond the emphasis on style and variety of the beds themselves (beds, headboards, footboards, storage) they feature the coolest way to feature photographic images IN the headboard of the bed itself. I know, it’s brilliant, right? For sure one of those, “why didn’t I think of that?” inventions. Anytime I can “create my own” anything and use my own photography it’s a plus! And it’s not only the photo part that I love, it’s the glowing nightlight part that made it that much more awesome.  Sure, I have a teenager than doesn’t sleep as often as I wish she would, but with her new Lightheaded Bed, she can be in bed while studying, reading, using her laptop, ipad, iphone with this beautiful glowing photography (her beloved NY at night skyline that I shot on a recent trip) illuminating her as she works and eventually drifts off to sleep. Yes, there is a timer that can be set for the light to go out all by itself. Swoon. If you don’t have your own photos to use, but you love the whole idea of a Lightheaded Bed, you can order from their huge selection of options right from their website.

As for my 10-year-old, this is one of the best beds I could have ever asked for for her, mainly because of her love (and need) of a nightlight. The glow of her photo (a shot I took of the Disney World skyline on our visit) not only comforts her but helps ease her to sleep. One of the most exciting things about this bed for her (and I would imagine children even younger than her) is not just the choice of what photo she can display but having her very own remote control where she can set the strength of the light and the timer, all by herself. It’s pretty sweet.

Lightheaded Beds Disney

Want to check out a Lightheaded Bed for yourself? Besides being available online, Lightheaded Beds are now available at your local Sam’s Club. Coolio!

And drumroll please…as a part of this sponsored post, Lightheaded Beds in partnership with Today’s Mama is offering an awesome giveaway right here on my blog so that YOU can win your own Canterbury style Lightheaded Bed in white or chestnut and a coupon for a few photos of your own or from their library of options. Huzzah! You’ve got 2 weeks from today to enter. And hint: for a way to get an extra entry,  just follow Your’s Truly on Instagram. Easy-peasy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!!


Collages from The Click Retreat

October 13, 2013

Back from an excellent adventure in the Outer Banks I am, like always, already diving headlong into life as I left it. Being with my family, getting back into the usual routine, and catching up on work that has piled up while I was away. But, I promised more photos and I certainly have them so I wanted to share before I get swept up in the things that often keep me too busy to get photos uploaded.

Needless to say, The Click Retreat was amazing as best illustrated by some of my favorite iPhone images of the week. Here you’ll get a glimpse of just some of the awesome ladies that were there, a small visual snippet of the magic that happened in the two gorgeous beach houses that stood side by side on the Atlantic, and the uniquely beautiful landscape that surrounds them.

The Click Retreat 2013From LAX to ORF by way of Southwest Airlines. Love being welcomed by the LOVE sign at the Norfolk Airport.

The Click Retreat 2013My dear friend Ali Edwards  and I totally windblown (have you seen the video??), a view into our room and the view from the house.

The Click Retreat 2013Me and the hostess with the mostess, Today’s Mama Rachael Herrscher, Click friends and I making memories on our Wild Horses excursion, signs of the weather with this shot of me nearly blowing off the balcony by none other than Erin Oltmanns of Today’s Mama.

The Click Retreat 2013Print of us by HP who announced HP Create,  on fabric by Spoonflower, darling beach house print by Alma Loveland, Casey Mullins and I with hand-made mustaches made by Marie-LeBaron, and me and Me Ra Koh (who brought the magic of Sony with her) catching up and enjoying the sunshine.

The Click Retreat 2013Ambiance and parties o’plenty, sponsored by Southwest Airlines and Avery.

Thank you Today’s Mama and all of the creative and generous sponsors at The Click Retreat. What an experience! I loved every minute of it.