Ann-Margaret's Visions » A little glimpse of the world through my eyes as I run my business, enjoy photography, share my crafting creativity, enjoy designing personalized gifts, spend time with my sweet hubby, love my furry baby Tucker the Westie, and continue to grow in my FAITH.

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I have been feeling a bit of a nudge to get back to blogging. When I started this blog years ago, I can remember telling myself to just write…put it out there, and if people read it that would be great. But, I also remember telling myself to acknowledge that as the “cherry on top” because I wanted to make sure I was first writing for ME. And, so that’s what I did. I wrote from my heart ~ really the only way I know to write. I shared it all ~ sweet, funny, difficult, sad, adorable, and all of it was straight from my heart and soul. People did start to read, to show up, and leave me beautiful comments and “hellos”. This made my heart so happy! YOU showed up, you joined me on this journey, and I felt as though we were sitting at the kitchen table sharing our hearts, our stories…together. And, I loved this. Sometimes life gets busy, crazy, or just difficult, and blogging can often take a back seat so other things can be priority. And, I admit, there have been times in my life when the words just didn’t come. I just didn’t have the energy or the desire to try to put it all together. It takes time to create posts, and sometimes it just wasn’t what my heart felt called to do at the moment. But, I would begin to miss it because I have learned that I must write…I must share my heart. And, whether that is via words, painted girlies, or photography…well, I must have an outlet for my heart to speak.

It took me awhile to show up here after we lost Kaylee, my precious niece. I felt her gently nudging me to show up on these pages again, but then, I also heard her understanding when it didn’t become a regular outlet for me during those days. I shared my heart in other places, and that seemed to work then. However, I’ve always felt a pull to write more, to come back to this space where my heart seems to spill out so effortlessly. And, once I began to hear this voice more and more, I realized I would know just when it was time to show up again in this space. And, I knew Kaylee would have something to do with it. I knew in my heart she would help me to see when the timing was right. And, yet again, she has shown up in the most beautiful of ways.

The other day I decided to check out a few things in the admin area of my blog, as it has been on my heart to update it and start writing again here. I was actually shocked to see I had not written a post since last year…yes, October of 2016! Wow!! I don’t think I even realized it had been that long. I suppose I share a lot on Facebook and Instagram so that does feel like mini blog posts at times so I can see how I wouldn’t even realize how much time had passed since I visited this spot. As I tried to login, each attempt failed. I finally went to check to make sure I was using the correct info. All checked out so once again, I tried. The attempt failed again. Imagine my surprise when I finally clicked on the “forgot password?” option to find that my username did not even work! What??!!! Oh, dear! At this point I am completely puzzled. I had verified all my info, and everything I was attempting to use was accurate and what I used the last time I logged in. Hmmm…quite frustrating, I assure you! So, I finally called Bluehost, the company that hosts my blog. I have used them since I began this blog and have always loved their great customer service. It seems any time I have ever called them I have gotten a rep that knew much more than I was initially asking and able to answer even those questions that started with, “I know this may not be your area, but would you know about…”. A rep by the name of Jesse answered my call that day so off I went in explaining how crazy it was that I couldn’t log in to the admin area of my blog. So, he began to check a few things out, and he could not even get into it. He finally had success and mentioned I was using the wrong email. “Ah, what??? ~ NO, I’m not!!” was my quick reply! Then, he said that the first part of the email was my username so the username I was trying to use was not what my blog was set up with. What???!!! Now, let’s just stop right here for a moment so I can say, bless his heart as he had to deal with my upset. LOL This made absolutely no sense to me. He continued to spell the name and repeat the email again, all the while I am telling him there is NO WAY this is even possible. He told me the username he stated was the one that set up the account and had done all the posts. I replied, “Ah, I don’t think so!!! Are you kidding??? I am the ONLY ONE whom has ever had access to my blog…I am the ONLY ONE to have ever written posts…they all came from MY HEART AND SOUL…NO ONE ELSE has ever written or done anything with my blog!!!!” Seriously, one must be careful when you have to try to relay the news of such to a southern chick that is quite proud of the sharing of her heart in this sweet little home that has housed all sorts of memories and moments that only she had the knowledge to write! LOL So, we continue along this path, and of course, it seems to Jesse that this other person has been in charge of the blog because it is that person’s name showing as the admin user since it began. I just cannot believe what I am hearing, and then, I get into the account and cannot believe what I am seeing ~ yes, this person that I have not ever heard of is showing as the admin user of MY BLOG!!! I am quite upset by this point, to say the least! 🙂

Every time I have ever signed in and updated my blog, I have always used the info I attempted to use the other day so this just made no sense. I haven’t ever had any issues, and my computers even had the info saved so I didn’t have to input it each time. And, MY INFO always worked. So, as we chatted more, and Jesse continued to research the account and look for issues, I said it must have been hacked. Since I had not been checking and updating it, then, I had not even realized there was an issue. It is a terrible feeling to realize something of this nature has happened to something you have worked so hard on for several years ~ it just feels as though I’ve been violated. I started my blog back in 2009. How crazy that “it looks as though” this other person is the one that started it and has his name showing as the admin of it. And, the even more frustrating issue is that I can’t even change it back to MY username at the moment. So, how in the world was this person able to remove my name and replace with his??!!! Ugh!!! What a mess! So, Jesse had some ideas of how we can correct that so we’ll work on that later, but for the time being, I was so thankful he was able to get me back into my account.

Throughout this process as Jesse had been researching the issue, he had seen the last blog post and others and commented that I have a really great blog. He shared some nice compliments about it, which of course, pleased this writer’s heart! At some point in the conversation {this was a long chat, as it took awhile for him to get into the account and do all this researching ~ thank you again, Jesse!}, he asked me if I was going to write about our call. A bit puzzled at first, I began to respond, “Why, ah, yes, I guess I should!” 🙂 He replied, “Well, I was just seeing where you wrote about that lady at Verizon.” I smiled inside as I thought back to that call with a sweet Verizon rep. You can read the post prior to this one to see what a special call that turned out to be. I began to share a bit more about that call with Jesse, and he loved the part about the rep offering to tell me what her name means. So, of course, the door opened for me to share with him a bit more about Kaylee. He listened and kindly said, “I am so sorry for your loss.” Before I knew it, I was quickly sharing with him about Granny Birdie, Kaylee Birdie, hellos from Heaven, and other sweet signs that bless my life. He listened intently, and often chimed in with a “Seriously…really…wow ~ that’s amazing!” I had told him how I felt Kaylee orchestrated the call with the Verizon lady and how it sure felt she was a part of ours, too. My mind was still reeling with how this issue could have happened with my blog, but I found myself feeling Kaylee’s presence more and more as Jesse and I chatted. During those moments, I find that I am not feeling as stressed about the admin issue, the frustration is leaving my voice, and I feel this excitement in my heart over the opportunity to be able to share with him about “Kaylee Joy” and what it means. Before we ended the call, he said he had two questions for me…one was regarding something technical about the blog, and the other one was this, “When can I expect to see a new blog post?”. So, I thought for a moment and replied, “Hmmm…well, ah, Wednesday!” 🙂 I couldn’t help but smile later as I thought about him asking me that question. I felt it was a sweet nudge from Kaylee…I don’t ever know who she will choose to be her messenger! 🙂 I often hear her encouraging me with all my creative endeavors and especially with my writing so it comes as no surprise to feel as though she was trying to cheer me on about getting back to this spot that houses thoughts from my heart. I told Jesse he added a dose of “Kaylee Joy” to my day, and I hoped he would remember to have eyes that are willing to see ~ doses of JOY that fill our days if we are just willing to look for them and be amazed by the ones that take us by surprise when we aren’t even looking. He said he would and that it had been a delight to chat with me. Well, the feeling was mutual!

I just love it when something happens in my day like this. There I was feeling so frustrated about my blog issue and a bit frenzied even as I tried to assure Jesse early in the conversation that I was the ONLY ONE to have had access to my blog, and then, the call ends with a smile on my face and a whole lotta new “Kaylee Joy” filling my heart! I sure wasn’t expecting it from that call as I dialed the number. That’s what makes it even more fun and unique! Don’t you just love how JOY can pop up anywhere, any time, and in the most unexpected places and with unexpected people?!! Joy holds the key to a whole lotta magic, and “Kaylee Joy” is the most magical JOY I have ever experienced! My wish for you and for Jesse is that you will find “Kaylee Joy” sprinkled about your days ~ you’ll take notice of it ~ absorb how it makes your heart LIGHT up…and, then ~ the most important part…SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!! 🙂

Jesse, thank you again for your time, patience, and perseverance as you worked to find a solution to my blog issue! 🙂 I just love that Kaylee chose that call…and you…to send me a little hello and a big dose of encouragement to get back to blogging! I have been thinking of doing so for quite some time but kept allowing things to get in the way of making it happen. Thank you for your interest in my blog, and most importantly ~ thank you for asking me that 2nd question!! I could just hear Kaylee giggling later and saying, “Well, Auntie, I knew you needed a bit of a shove…didn’t want to let you off the hook! Jesse and I had a job to do!” 🙂

 

Copyright 2017 Ann-Margaret, Artist~Writer~Photographer/Ann-Margaret’s Visions
Please do not copy/use text, photos, or images (graphics) without permission.
Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

 

As I prepared everything so I could transfer to my new phone the other night, the most important thing to me was making sure I didn’t lose any of my sweet Kaylee Girl’s texts. Everything looked as though they should all transfer fine, but I wasn’t taking any chances so I found a great app to buy for my computer. So, I have a copy of them on it…and, on 2 external hard drives…and, my other computer. You get the picture ~ these words are more special to me than I can truly express. These words…her words…hold so much love, understanding, compassion, giggles, encouragement, grace, and “just between us” conversations that bless my heart allover again each time I reread them. And, yes, I reread them…a lot! 🙂 One of the most special text messages from her holds the words “JOY, heart, love, and LIGHT” in it, and yes, I’ll probably share it one day because it is so very special to me. It amazed me the first time I came across that message again…think it’s from 2014…and, realized those words were in it from her. Her words…her heart…describing how she feels about me. And, then, to think about what I came up with to put on her bracelet! Wow…yep, that’s our soul connection!! She and God helped me create those bracelets ~ “Kaylee Joy” ~, and it just makes my heart smile allover again every time I think back to that precious text from her.

kayleejoy-kaylee-cooper-westie-sweetestloveToday I have had to be on the phone with Verizon trying to get help with some issues with my new phone…yes, my NEW phone! 🙁 The first lady that was helping said to turn it off, and she would call back to help me further. Well, even though my phone was in my hand or right in front of me, it didn’t ring. Then, I see a message saying I have a voicemail…yes, from her! Ugh!! She says she tried to call me back three times, but I didn’t answer so I can just call back to tech support. Ugh again! 🙁 This time I get a sweet lady that promises me she will keep calling me back even if my phone doesn’t ring for me, and she has to call me 10 times…she keeps assuring me she will call me back and keeps saying “HAVE FAITH”. 🙂 So she finally calls me back after I had to take the SIM card out and wait. I couldn’t quite understand what she had said her name was so I thought to ask her so I could write it down, as I like to always do this when dealing with customer service. She said “Luz” and spelled it for me. Then, she said, “Would you like to know what it means in Spanish?” “Oh, yes!”, I said…because I love to hear the meanings of names and hear about symbolism and such. Luz means LIGHT!!! 🙂 Oh, my goodness!!!! For “realz”!!!! 🙂 Have mercy!! So I begin to share with her about Kaylee and “Kaylee Joy” and tell her about her bracelets…and tell her that while I was waiting for her to call back I was creating a special pic to share. I told her the words I included on this pic, and she couldn’t believe it all. She said I was making her cry! 🙂 So, I told her the most amazing thing is to give “Kaylee Joy” and also receive it at the same time, and that we had just done this!! 🙂 She was so touched and told me she always makes sure to SMILE every day…even at people that may not want to receive it. Well, you know me, so you can imagine how I told her how much I agree with this and how important I feel it is that we LET OUR LIGHT SHINE!! 🙂 And, the best part is that I told her Kaylee chose her today to be her messenger to get a “Hello, Auntie ~ I love you and am with you!” message to me!! She loved that! And, yes, I so believe…and, I have witnessed and experienced it so many times…that Kaylee often chooses someone that I would not expect to be the carrier of a message from her to me! 🙂 I told you her “Kaylee Joy” is so fabulously amazing…yet again, this sweet chick has added the biggest dose of love and JOY to my day! 🙂 Hope YOU have a blessed day, sweet friends! 🙂 *And, with her ANGELversary being at 11 months, I can assure you her message comes right on time for my broken heart that misses her so!

Let YOUR Light Shine ~ you don’t ever know who’s heart may need to be touched by it today! 🙂

Hugs!

I’m having a cuppa and linking up with other inspirational bloggers over at Holly Gerth’s blog ~

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Copyright 2016 Ann-Margaret, Artist~Writer~Photographer/Ann-Margaret’s Visions
Please do not copy/use text, photos, or images (graphics) without permission.
Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

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Today I am reminded of something that I already knew…that God has already shared with me, and that I feel I have reflected on through messages with my precious Kaylee ~ that this journey of grief is not one to overcome…to get through. Rather it is a continual journey of healing and unraveling…healing and unraveling. It also involves continual accepting. Some days I think I put alot of pressure on myself to make it through the day, the sadness, the pain, the missing her so much, and I think I need to kindly remind myself that “flowing” is going to be my friend more than “getting through” ~ because when we grieve for someone we love we don’t ever “get through or get over it”. No, it is more about learning to lean into the pain, accept the sadness, remind ourselves that this is part of the journey, hold God’s hand tighter, and allow ourselves to be hugged by His peace and comfort. And, it’s about allowing ourselves to be ok with the “not ok”.

Some days I feel my heart has felt even more broken since Kaylee’s b’day, and I struggle with anxiety and stress more…I am quite certain my mind anticipates the one year anniversary of her receiving her angel wings. It will be painful ~ so today I’m gonna give myself a little hug and tell “me” that it’s ok to not be ok…that she is walking with me each day and God is always holding my hand. And, I am going to breathe a little deeper a few extra times and realize my need to share my heart and healing is part of this journey. I can’t help but smile sometimes if I think about how I may appear to someone that I pass as I’m out walking Cooper…smiling, saying “hello”, maybe even stopping to chat a moment or let our fur babies touch noses {if I feel the other fur baby is safe!}…yet maybe only moments before exiting my house I was dabbing at tear filled eyes and encouraging myself with cheerleading affirmations that I will be ok and can get through this day. 🙂 I share this for me…but also because there may be some of you trying to “flow” with something difficult in your lives. More and more I feel nudged in my heart to share with you ways I am coping, trying to heal, and just move through the days when my heart feels so very overwhelmed. I often bounce back and forth between a million artistic ideas and thoughts, some days feeling so “itchy in my skin” as I like to call it ~ just not ever feeling like I’m accomplishing even the beginning of what I had hoped to.

My sweet mama has often said to me, “Be kind to YOU, Ann~Margaret…I don’t think you are being very sweet to YOU!” 🙂 I smile because she would be saying this during a time when maybe I was putting alot of pressure on myself for this or that, pushing myself with late hours and little sleep, or something of this nature. She still has to say this to me sometimes! LOL But, you know, our precious mamas have alot of wisdom to share with us so I think I’m going to take her up on her suggestion. I’m going to try to be kinder to me…to not allow myself to feel that I am not doing such a great job with this grief thing, to let go of the frustration I am holding onto because some days my focus isn’t where I need or want it to be, and to realize that it’s ok to not be ok…it’s ok for my heart to hurt, for me to miss my sweet Kaylee more than I can ever express, it’s ok for me to cry on the pickle aisle 🙂, and by golly, it’s ok for you, too! 🙂 I’m hugging you today, and I hope you know that you aren’t alone if you also have some of these moments or feelings with things you struggle with in your life. The hard stuff really can be so very hard, but God is holding our hands…the most promising and reassuring thing I can share with you is that He is going to keep on keepin’ on! I’m so glad because I sure am squeezing it tight! 🙂 *And, just look at how He creatively reminds us “Hello…I’m right here with you!”

*I’m having a cuppa and linking up with other bloggers at ~

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signature fleurdelis2Copyright 2016 Ann-Margaret, Artist~Writer~Photographer/Ann-Margaret’s Visions
Please do not copy/use text, photos, or images (graphics) without permission.
Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

Cooper and I hope you had a fabulous and fun 4th of July! 🙂 We’ve been busy in the studio, enjoying sunny walks out and about in Old Town, and possibly even dipping our toes in the water of our favorite beach spot! We’re working on new videos to share with you about the happenings in the studio, details about some yummy new paint we’ve been creating with, and as usual, doses of sunshine and “Kaylee Joy” to add smiles to your days! The past few months have been a bit busy so we’ve gotten behind with blogging but are exited to be getting back to it ~ oh, my, we have lots to share with you! 🙂

If you want to catch up on what we’ve been up to, follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook! 🙂

Scroll down to the previous post to get a little dose of inspiration to fill your cuppa in the meantime!

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Hugs!

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Copyright 2016 Ann-Margaret, Artist~Writer~Photographer/Ann-Margaret’s Visions
Please do not copy/use text, photos, or images (graphics) without permission.
Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

I am a firm believer that there is so much truth to the phrase “we become that which we think”.  When our minds are filled with negative thoughts, frustration, agitation, and the like it becomes way too easy for these things to take over and push out the good stuff ~ the positivity, hope, and joy.  Of course there are things that life deals us that we just cannot control, but we do have a choice about how we respond to things…we have a choice about what we let take residence in our minds.  Yes, we have a choice about what we fill our {heart and soul} cuppas with! 🙂

cuppa-serenity-inspirational-artwork-sketchFor me, starting my day off with the good stuff…inspirational reading, time with God, reminding myself to stay in the present, and putting on my armor to protect my serenity…is so very important.  From great beginnings come good things!  🙂 That’s right…let me start my morning in this way, and I am much more likely to be able to deal with the crazies that might pop up during the day!  🙂  Come join me below for a CUPPA ~ I hope it will add a smile to your day, and most of all, I hope it might be a reminder to make sure you’re adding the sweet stuff to your cuppa! And, remember…you are so worth it…do these things for YOU!

Need a cute reminder every day? You might love framing the above print for your office, kitchen, or favorite spot! 🙂 Find it in my shoppe ~


“Kaylee Joy” ~ my phrase for the year in honor of my precious niece ~ helping her love and joy to continue to spread! SMILE ~ Let YOUR light shine!
See a special video about our special soul connection here!  🙂

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See more of my videos on my Youtube channel! I love for you to stop by so we can have a cuppa tea and a chat!

Hope you have a Sunshiney day!  🙂

signature fleurdelis2Copyright 2016 Ann-Margaret, Artist~Writer~Photographer/Ann-Margaret’s Visions
Please do not copy/use text, photos, or images (graphics) without permission.
Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

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  • Dawn - March 3, 2016 - 2:31 pm

    The way we think is immensely powerful, you are so right. We need to engage positive thinking and choose the joyful in order to keep our hearts buoyed up above the world’s pessimism.

    Cute graphic!
    Blessings,
    DawnReplyCancel

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