It's our Anniversary! and notes about "doing it all"

Happy Anniversary Everyone! Well well well... It was around this time last year that I posted my first entry on this blog. Needless to say a lot has changed in the last 365 days. I moved out of my huge, beautiful, sun-filled studio into a newly renovated space in my home, bringing my whole life under one roof. I gave birth to my first child, sweet Claude last July and I've spent the last 7+ months trying to figure out what it means to run a business, be a mom, and keep everything in balance.

The question I've been asked more than any other in the last year is "how do you do it all?". Well, the only honest answer is: I have a lot of help.

Most people don't have the luxury of demanding creative time in their day whether it's not lucrative, not valued or there are to many other demands which are inflexible - it becomes the thing that is pushed aside. I've carved out a space in my life for making in large part by splitting my days with Jay. Since we're both artists our schedules are fluid and we're able to give each other more or less time in the studio depending on our current work load. We have nannydays once a week, and I have an assistant who comes in a few hours here and there to help keep the studio tidy and running tiptop. Even with all the help, trying to get everything done is a daily challenge and I've found that readjusting my expectations has been the hardest thing about parenthood.

It all comes back to balance. That elusive, desirable, and oohh so difficult to attain sweet spot. I find the harder I try to hold it all perfectly together in preconceived order, the quicker everything falls apart and I'm left feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. On good days I'm able to float though with grace and ease- caring for Claude's needs, getting a post on the blog, sewing a bit, answering all my emails, and if it's a really good day maybe getting a little knitting in before I settle into bed. Those are good days. The bad days look a little different- I'm frazzled, running around seemingly aimless, getting nothing accomplished and all the while not being the best mom either. Really, most days fall somewhere in the middle.

I hate the idea that I've created some unrealistic example for women to- get it all done- all the time- with the full time demands of caring for children. While I feel unqualified to be dispensing words of wisdom... I guess this is what I come back to when I've had a bad day:
Just keep simple.
  • Enjoy being with my child when I'm with him.
  • Focus all my attention on work when I have the chance to be in the studio.
  • Take full advantage of nap time.
  • Make time for myself.
  • Family Day!
  • Cultivate gratitude for the love in my life and the joy that's all around me daily.
That may sound overly simplified and it is, but I think that may be the point- and today that's the best most honest answer I've got. Thank you all for spending the last year, months, days with me on the blog... it's been a very good year and I'm glad I've been able to share it.


  1. Happy Anniversary! Love the pictures of Claude playing with the bears, Too cute! I wish I could be his nanny and your assistant- dream job!
    You have your priorities right! Nobody can do it all. We all do the best we can everyday, one day at a time. We are only human in our journey of life.

  2. Congratulations Jennifer
    You know how I like your work!
    I do not write comments, but I visit it religiously every day!
    I can not wait for your new update!
    Your child is becoming more beautiful ... you are an inspired person in every way ...
    I hope I've made me understand, rsrsrs ..
    Malu, your number one fan in Brazil!
    PS: My bear Quinton sends hugs and kisses

  3. I am so glad i found you out there in the blogosphere....Happy Anniversary to You and Yours!

  4. Congratulations, on your first blog anniversary. The year has gone by so fast. It has been such a joy to follow you and your life on your blog. I am such a big fan of your work and love seeing pictures of your creative progress, your studio, and now the last seven months watching Claude grow. He is so adorable. I think he likes your bears has much as we do.
    Take care and enjoy the journey. It goes by way too fast.

  5. Congratulations on such an exciting year and your big blog milestone! Thanks for taking us with you on your creative and mothering journey. :)

  6. Great post! You make everything in life seem easy, not that you are saying it is easy. It's just your nature to do difficult things with grace I think.

  7. Great post, Jen! wow...can't believe you've had this lovely little space in blogland for a year already. congrats!! you are doing a wonderful job and I enjoy your sentiment about motherhood and being an artist. with that said, let's get together. miss you! there are estate sales out there calling our names. let me know when you can go!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. When I read other people's blogs, I try to keep in mind that what I read isn't everything. Sometimes it is hard to think that someone else is getting it all done when sometimes I can barely manage to make meals and do laundry. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your philosophy with us.

  9. How great! My 1 year is in a week or so! Congrats! It is as fun to see your boy as it is to see your creations!
    Hugs, Lisa

  10. Jennifer,
    This is a beautiful entry. I remember so well having a child and trying to work. It was difficult to say the least. That was in the era when we were told we could "have it all."

    Your Claude is looking just adorable, as usual. I loved having him at Silver Bella. I see you will be teaching at the Where Woman Create conference. Unfortunately we will not be here! With a big conference in Minneapolis...darn!

    My daughter and I just started a blog site. She made it for me as a gift (I am not very technical). Come visit...if you have time!


  11. Thanks Jennifer. I appreciate your candour regarding the way you arrange your time/life/work. The point you made that really struck me was reminding us of the way in which creative time gets pushed aside for so many reasons. I think that is key. Making time for creative endeavours, rather than finding time (because it never gets "found", does it?)
    Thanks so much!
    Ann (with the 15 month old!)

  12. great post Jen and happy blogversary! Its not always easy to balance our busy lives... but it seems you have a great plan!
    have a sweet weekend

  13. Happy Anniversary Jen,
    I'm a lurker and I guess I have been for your whole year! Thanks for your honesty and candor. I think the imperfection of life/ourselves helps the "good days" seem like perfection itself. Motherhood just makes creation mean so much more I've found. Thanks for your inspiration and goodness. Claude is a very lucky little baby.


  14. I have just read through your blog and have really enjoyed it!! I have to say I love your sons clothing.....please share where you shop, his clothes are too cute but simple. Thanks

  15. Hey!
    I think it's really hard to find good boy clothes. It's been a bit of a challenge to find good new pieces but I occasionally buy things from Zutano, Tea, or Hanna Anderson. Mostly I do a lot of thrifting and I hand dye everything (socks-onesies-anything white). The biggest trick- I use all of our clothe napkins around his neck- they protect his shirts from drool or spitup. Somedays I change them more than 10 times- but they're all cute and they keep him clean and dry.
    Dressing a boy didn't seem like it would be all that fun- but I guess I've begun to really enjoy the hunt for simple but cool boys clothes.