365/ week 32

 

A week without kids is like a dream, even though I've been overtly busy, I won't lie, its felt like I was walking on a cloud.

This week I've been kid free. Kid free because as I continue to be a "single" mom with the hubbs working out of state, I had literally zero way of pulling off the week I just had with two adorable mini me's tugging on each arm.  And even though I've been over the top busy with the Art Affair event I coordinated with my team, photo shoots, friends coming into town, and a little something something I'll reveal in my next blog post, to be able to just eat leftovers and flop into bed when I got home has been ridiculously refreshing and renewing.

Art Affair was on Wednesday, and though hauling bricks was a pain and I most likely will postpone any further installations that include bricks for a long while, it really got some wonderful reviews and I got to do one of my favorite things in the world...talk with my viewers.  Most art shows I've participated in, the set up is made for people to look at the art, ponder, and then move on.  This event, being each artist takes over a hotel room, was perfectly set up so that the viewer could come talk to the artist one on one.  And I loved it.


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Oasis | Heather Woolery | 2017 | Mixed Media Installation


And though I may have been kid-free this week, I had my fur babies to contend with, including the newest edition...Ms. Emma...who is reminding me that house training is so dang hard!  We've got the kennel, the puppy treats, going out every couple hours, cutting her water after 9pm etc etc etc and it is still kicking my butt. So honestly call this my cry for help on this matter because I am so smitten with this little hound that I hate that I'm getting so frazzled over one thing.

This weekend I'll be check off some more on the 365/list and I can't wait to share (follow along tonight and all tomorrow on my Instagram account @heather_woolery if you want an inside scoop!)  But for now it's coffee, left over Easter candy I found and working on that something something I can't wait to share with all of you soon.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

adam + sara / vancouver b.c. family session

 

Recently I took a trip to Vancouver B.C. unplanned and unbeknownst during Canada Day.  These four days were blissful, with perfect weather, amazing food, and perfecto company.  

Towards the end of my trip, I got to do a special photo session with this adorable and precious family.  Their not quite one year old son and I hit it off as he stole my heart (and the show).

We went down to Cleveland Dam first thing in the morning, with the sun high and that sweet little boy fresh with giggles we got to it.  I'd love to share with you every moment but that just isn't practical.

Adam + Sara thank you again for being open to the last minute suggestions, walking barefoot and all the sweetness and kindness you shared with me.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

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365/ week 31

 

I'll be straight with you, I absolutley cannot stand the phrase "for those who cannot do, teach."

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When I first moved up North, one of my first jobs was being a daycare teacher at my daughters daycare.  But what ended up turning into was me being the art coordinator and organizing art projects for kids ages 2years old to 8 years old.  And what surprised me the most was how much I loved it.

Fast forward two years and I got a work study at the local gallery and ended up helping the art education director to get extra hours...once again loving it.  This turned into me helping her for the two summer camps two years in a row, starting an after school program called ASAP (After School Art Program) all the way to this week where I organized, planned and taught my first summer camp.

This would be the main reason of my MIA on Instagram and Facebook.  I've been exhausted in every way and yet so grateful to be up to my neck in creative endeavors.  Because I don't just teach, with me in current two shows (in Idaho and Oregon), booked every month photo sessions, coordinating art events, designing for million $$ clients and chugging that coffee, i'd say I'm living that hustling artist life.  Which takes me back to my first statement.  I really don't like that phrase about teachers.
- Teaching is HARD work
- You can't teach unless you actually "do"

Now to curl up and finish my 2nd book of the summer while eating leftovers..  If you haven't discovered Miranda July yet, she's a MUST.

With Grace+Guts
-H

 

365/ week 30: full steam ahead

 

Here I am...30 weeks after graduation, swamped in laundry, birthday party to-do's for my son, art event wonderful madness praying somewhere in all of this I'll get to sleep in one day this summer and eat nothing but stoffers mac n' cheese.

But this past week has been a crazy ride.  I got back from B.C. Monday, drove down to Boise, ID Tuesday for the fourth with family, drove back on Wednesday back home and nose dived into work yesterday.  

I'm quite sure I'm about 98.9% coffee at this point.

Wednesday night at about 11:30, my little North Idaho town got two sets of tremors from Montana's 5.8 earthquake which caused me to not be able to sleep till way later then anyone who has to get up at 5:00 am should.  

But here I am chugging away coffee, chasing after the new puppy, organizing a huge art event, spending countless hours in the studio and folding laundry (as such happens when laundry has been neglected for over a week) and just overtly greatful for this trip, for the wonderful clients I have and for all the puppy kisses I'm getting swamped in.

I promise I'll get the 2nd session up and my trip to B.C. on the blog as soon as possible...but for now...It's full steam ahead to make 5-year old Car's birthday party dreams come true, catch up on laundry, and make like a crazy artist.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

greta+cody / stanley park engagement session

 
 
 

When the lady who came to the rescue to make sure your own wedding was sheer bliss gets engaged…it doesn’t matter where on God’s green earth she lives…you get your butt there and you do an engagement session STAT.  Even if she, in fact, lives in another country.

This past Saturday, I was in Vancouver BC ironically and completely unplanned on Canada Day (it’s like the 4th of July…just waaay cooler!)  This was also the day that I met up with one of the bestest people that came into my life because of school and her fiancé at the most gorgeous “park” I’d ever seen.

Stanley Park is literally smack dab in the middle of North and South Vancouver BC as a island wedge of ocean, playgrounds, water parks for kids, the aquarium etc etc etc (I’ll make a post about my trip soon, I PROMISE!) But this was the place we all decided to meet at for this lovely session.

There was 90’s kids jokes, desperation for Mexican food (which just doesn’t exist in Vancouver!!??), hockey paraphernalia and a lot of smooching. 

I’m so thrilled for my lady and her man. 
The wedding might not be for a smidgen, but these photos sure make the heart grow fonder of these two and the life their building together.

So Cheers to Greta + Cody.

With Grace+Guts,

-H

Greta+Cody | Stanley Park BC
 
 
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365/ week 29: hello BC

 

Sometimes...you just need to get away to reconnect with everything...

Heather Woolery | Vancouver BC | Lynn Canyon Bridge | 2017

Heather Woolery | Vancouver BC | Lynn Canyon Bridge | 2017

Nope. Canada was not on my #365 list, but travel was.  Ice Land has been moved to next summer when I go to Europe to visit family and get Italy crossed off my bucket list.  This has left some room for other trips, including this very extended weekend to Vancouver BC with my mom + daughter. (I also have several photo sessions I'm doing while I'm here...but that's going to be saved for later...)

As our first official full day in BC we decided to brave both the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge and the Capilano suspension bridge.  There was live music, lots of laughter, bravery, inhaling all the good air...food...and treats.  Our Air Bn'B host is the absolute best and you can believe I will be recommending them to every single human I know who's planning a trip to Vancouver BC. And I have not died driving in a foreign country for the 2nd time...which I think deserves 10 points for Gryffindor.

Some peoples "thing" to relax and reconnect with themselves is sports, or scrapbooking or going for a walk.  All things I enjoy, but just getting in a car or plane or boat and just going somewhere for a couple day's is honestly, my thing.  Just 24-hours into this adventure and I feel like I can breathe where the past few months I've really felt like I was in a box.  A tight box.

For someone who's claustrophobic, tight boxes are not a good thing.  And this trip is just me busting that box to pieces.

OH! and while I'm away - our puppy is one major step closer to being offcially in our home and Monday we get to pick up our little Emma. So go right ahead and check that one off the list and say hello to our newest member of the familia.

So stay tuned for some photo session goodness, oh! and Happy Canada Eh!

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

365/ week 28: summer solstice

 

First and foremost...Happy Summer Solstice.  I cannot explain how happy I am to know and have summer officially here.  Since summer came to North Idaho, we've had warm afternoons with tapered and fluffy white clouds dancing in the blue sky and warm breezes.  It's almost like the long, dark, cold winter didn't even happen.

Summer Solstice 2k17 | Heather Woolery

Summer Solstice 2k17 | Heather Woolery

Last week I promised you I was going to self propel myself out of the gloomy rut that I've been in and I can tell you, though I still feel swamped and still trying to find direction that I am not 10ft stuck in a rut.  I started off the week with getting accepted in a show in Portland for a photo I took while I was traveling in Germany last year, which just set the tone for the week of "I will do this, I will not give up."

So Tuesday, I picked up 100? bricks which were donated to me for an upcoming installation I'll be doing, I purchased new sheet music for that piano of mine, spent several late nights in the studio, made my first sale on Etsy, and cheered that daughter of mine on at T-Ball.

Somehow the universe knew that I have been struggling with being a single mom, an employee, and an artist who just is dying to travel.  A friend of mine which I met in school sent me an adorable IG account of a mom/designer/traveler, my mom and I confirmed our trip to BC next week where I've got some photoshoots set up, and I was accepted into three art shows in the next four-months.  

Ellen Vieth | "Beauty Escapes From The Every Day" | 2017 | Photo by Heather Woolery

Ellen Vieth | "Beauty Escapes From The Every Day" | 2017 | Photo by Heather Woolery

And if thats not solidification enough, yesterday while I was at work, a local artist came in to instal a new piece of artwork to the ever growing

gallery that has consumed my office.  My boss asked if I would interview her for 5-minutes so I could write about it on the blog and add her to our summer article.  That 5-minute interview blossomed into a 30-minute conversation and us swapping contact information.  

Being an artist is hard.  Being a mom is hard.  Life is hard.

took an afternoon off this week to go to the movies sponsored by my office | June 2017 | Heather Woolery

took an afternoon off this week to go to the movies sponsored by my office | June 2017 | Heather Woolery

And the struggle is always, "Am I on the right road?" "How will this affect my kids?" "Am I being too selfish?" or even "am I giving too much and forgetting myself?".  This is a dangerous cycle of self doubt and it isn't healthy.  The only thing that any of us can do is to just keep walking.  Somehow I think getting in the rut, holding still, is far more lethal then making mistakes.

Picking up bricks for an upcoming instal | June 2017 | Heather Woolery

Picking up bricks for an upcoming instal | June 2017 | Heather Woolery

It’s better an ‘oops’, than a ‘what if’
— unknown

So instead of sitting still, I have a weekend of being swamped ahead of me.  Of copious amounts of coffee and BBQ chips as I hustle to get as much work done as possible before I head even further up North.  

On that note, if you've been up around Vancouver BC what are some spots/places to eat/coffee shops that I cannot miss out on? Let me know...this will be my first time in that area.

Have a wonderful first summer weekend, and please, just don't stop moving.  Somehow, it will work out.  Just keep moving.

With Grace and Guts,
H

Makeup done and coffee drank = mom win | Heather Woolery

Makeup done and coffee drank = mom win | Heather Woolery

 

365/ week 27

 
Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

There are times where I feel like a champ at my list of things I challenged myself now 27-weeks ago, and there are patches of time where I feel like I'm utterly failing at this thing.

I made this list before we found out my husband would be working out of state, and I would be left to play "single mom" while he was away.  And 6-months deep into this all while trying to keep up with language lessons, piano lessons, working on my book and art work etc just at times has become the impossible all while being dance/swim mom, working full-time, and keeping my house from looking like it should be on the TLC show Hoarders.

But I recently read an article (I know SHOCK, I got to have a 30-min bubble bath reading a magazine!) where the author explained how every birthday she makes a list of things she wants to do.  But it isn't the law of the land, but more of a beacon to remind her of what she wants in life when she feels derailed.  And let's be honest, everyone get's derailed a few times a years, it's just a fact.  

Right now, I am derailed.  I thought I would have been moved to Portland, Oregon by now.  I thought that I would be neck deep in editing my already finished book, and almost fluent in Italian while playing the piano with ease and grace. Oh how wrong I was.

This past weekend, we took a one night camping trip, and just the smell of the camp fire, and hearing the crickets and bullfrogs brought a sense of peace and calm.  I've been spending so much time in my studio and sketchbook, praying...HOPING that this funk I've been stuck in will pass.

So today, I put on the dress I wore when I got to meet Brett Dennen for my birthday last year...once again praying and hoping that it still holds all the magical Brett Dennen powers to bring into this Monday.  I remembered to renew my kids books from the library (versus the dreaded fines because I forget to do this often.)  I've drank two bottles of water and only one cup of coffee.  I also got an e-mail informing me one of my photo prints from my trip back home to Germany last year was accepted for a show at the Black Box in Portland.

So, even though this post is 4-days late, it's a Monday and I've got a to-do list that I could swim laps in, I refuse to let my Brett Dennen dress good vibes only, hey I'm a damn artist/photographer for realsies, bad ass mama, kicking butt taken names fail me now.

So for now...here's some photos of my weekend, and soon I'll have the most magical BC engagement photoshoot photos to share with you.

With Grace+Guts,
H

 

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Heyburn State Park, ID | 2017 | Heather Woolery

 

year 26

 

today, i woke up one year older, with a cat named waffles glued to my side and tears on my pillow.

Lapawai, ID | June 9. 2017 | Heather Woolery 2017

Lapawai, ID | June 9. 2017 | Heather Woolery 2017

i am an only child, meaning, i have perfected being able to function on my own.  i don't mind sleeping by myself, and even going to the movies by myself isn't the end of the world. when i was younger i played outdoors vigorous games full of imagination: cave men, jungle jane, farmer, little mermaid on the swing set slide as the hose poured water down it's two-foot decent.

now as an adult, whose husband is gone most of the time between being a forester and an army man, i play vigorous rounds of ring-a-round-the-rosy as i get one child to swimming, another to dance, both to school, sneak in dinner, make it to work on time, and sometime's i'm badass enough i'll get a shower, shave my legs (well to the knee but, hey, husband's gone so what's it matter?) and possibly i'll remember deodorant.

but sometimes, being alone, isn't all the glory that some people have made it out to be.  sometimes, you wake up on your birthday and realize no one is going to take your picture so you can remember in 10-years turning 1-year older. no one is going to make you cake, or let you take a nap.  being a mom means, i'll still cook all of the meals, wash and fold the laundry and will prep the meals for my kids activities this week.  and because of this, its really easy to fall into the "poor me" rut. i know this, because i was there all day yesterday, and even the majority of the morning.

but pitty just doesn't get you much further then smothered in a heap of pillows, soaked in tears and snot, and a bed head.  this past year has been a really tough one.  it has.  and ever so often, i give into the pitty and i wallow for a moment.  but there was also moment's this past year that brought me that much closer to knowing who i am as a human, what i am supposed to do with my time here on earth, what makes me happy, what goals are more pertinent then the rest.  i had to go through all that personal "hell" to get me one step, one year closer to knowing all of these things.  and i still have no full-life plan.  i still haven't bought a house, and i have no idea half the time what the heck i'm doing.  and maybe, one of these birthday's i'll wake up and know what the heck i'm supposed to be doing, in a house i own, but for right now, waking up to 26, all i know is i want to make myself a cake for breakfast, and refuse to wash the dishes, while i plan trips to get me out of this rut that has sucked me in over the past year.

year 26 is yes, starting out horrifically rocky.
but in the end, year 26 is going to be the best one yet.

with grace+guts,
-h

 

365/ week 26: ain't all bliss

 
my little piece of heaven on my patio | Heather Woolery '17

my little piece of heaven on my patio | Heather Woolery '17

As the first unofficial week of summer (as in no school for my kids/warmish weather/summer rain storms...we'll chalk it up to summer) I was reminded on the simplicity and the complicated moments that comes from my mini's being home.

I worked from home this week, while I devised a plan with activities each day that would allow them to get some TV time but not couch potato in front of it all day, got them plenty of time to play outside and still got their chores done.  Sounds fabulous doesn't it?

At times, Yes It Was.  One of those day's my son even took a nap! (Which if you followed my Insta Story Monday you would have seen the hilarious state I found him napping in.)  But there's no way to be the perfect parent or raise perfect kids.

Saturday, while my daughter had one of her last dance practices before her recital, my son decided to throw one horrible tantrum in the car which eventually lost him his voice.
Sunday, I tried practicing Italian and Piano but every two seconds my children had an "emergency" and I never tried again the rest of the week.
Tuesday, I found a plant that was thriving last week to be near death.  I quickly gave it new soil, but apparently my green thumb isn't as green as I've been bragging it to be.
Wednesday, my daughter didn't screw on the lid to her bubbles and threw the container onto my grandmothers 100+year old antique dresser...allowing bubbles to leak and forever destroy the wood.

And yesterday...yesterday while I was just inside and had gone outside to check on them, give um a snack...etc...decided to displace 4-baby robins from their nest and then try to play with them.  There was other things involved, but needless to say they had to burry one and the other three are back in their nest...and this mama was completely crushed.  I talked to them through their sobs, made them sandwiches and then sent them to bed at 6:30.  By grace the three are doing okay, but my kids have two weeks of volunteering at a local animal shelter, a report due on robins, 2-weeks without TV and some other "mom was so mad she just started taking everything away" type stuff.

To top it off, some less then great stuff happened to my bestest yesterday and I got into a world of a fight with my husband.

Some weeks, just ain't all bliss.

I'm no Italian speaking fool yet, not Beethoven.  Apparently my green thumb is struggling and spending time with my kids came crushing down yesterday as I questioned my own parenting after they'd gone to bed.  The money that was saved for the travels is now having to be allocated elsewhere for my daughters custody case and our move to Portland and even though it's only 7:00 am, my coffee just doesn't feel strong enough.

On Sunday, I turn another year older.  There will be no bells and whistles, no party or balloons.  I will be spending it solo with my son as we go pick my daughter up from visitation.  There will not be cake, or cards or well wishes.  But what there will be is a determination to switch all of this that was raised to my attention this week around.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

WTF did I do wrong? | Heather Woolery '17

WTF did I do wrong? | Heather Woolery '17

 
On the patio journaling | Heather Woolery '17

On the patio journaling | Heather Woolery '17

A view through the sunroof | Heather Woolery '17

A view through the sunroof | Heather Woolery '17

Tuesday's Sunset | Heather Woolery '17

Tuesday's Sunset | Heather Woolery '17