Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 27th

I know I'm stating the obvious, but last Friday was December 27th. It was a very busy day for me.  I spent some time with my mom, had lunch with an old high school friend, and got to watch a former student marry the love of her life.  The day had no significance to me until I was at the wedding.  It's events like that, along with the end of the year approaching, which makes us reflect on our life.  I began thinking about the year when the date dawned on me.  December 27th, 2012 was a horrible day for me.  My father had his first chemo treatment and it was during the procedure the doctors discovered what we were truly facing.  It wasn't a single tumor we were fighting against, but multiple, tiny tumors.  As a family, we were not ready to hear the news that we were told.  Up until that moment, everyone was extremely optimistic.  It was so hard for me to hold it together; to be the rock for everyone else.  I think I was barely grasping at any hope that was left to hold on to.  So, 2013 began with feelings of sadness and heartache...and a desperation for hope.  I can't exactly tell you when all of that began to change.  I think each one of us found a way to accept the situation.  The year progressed and I came to a point where I had to make some choices; moving, exercising, etc.  All of the choices I've mentioned in previous posts have led to how I felt December 27th, 2013. But here I was at this wedding and I felt amazingly happy.  The wedding was unlike an other I've attended.  I mean, every wedding is really nice and you can see how much everyone loves each other, but this wedding was different.  When you walked into the church, you could feel the love and support from everyone for everyone.  It was unusual, but very uplifting.  The ceremony was light-hearted and emotional, and the whole time I kept thinking "This is so Christy!"  She was a stunning bride!  To think she was once my art club president painting murals around campus with me.  She had already amazed me when she was a student, but I am in awe of the woman she has become.  I was honored she invited me to share this day with her.  I can't wait to see where things take her next.  

That whole day really got to me.  I began realizing the huge difference from last year and this year.  And I began to appreciate even more the life I have made for myself, along with all of the people who are in it.

As an artist, I did a show with RawArtists and began showing my work at the Santa Ana art walk with Orange County Creatives. I never know where my art is going to take me, but I've been pleasantly surprised.  To think this all began a few years ago because I started an etsy account just to get rid of the paintings stacking up in the corner of my room.  I didn't have a real intention of showing my work.  It kind of just happened.  Then doing one night showcases, which led to showing at the art walk.  Now, I am beginning 2014 showing my work at the Orange County Creatives Gallery in Laguna Beach!  I can't wait to see where this will lead.  

I know everyone is reflecting and coming up with resolutions for the new year, but I'm truly grateful.  I'm glad 2013 is ending on a very positive and light-hearted note. It is a nice change of pace for me.   As for resolutions,  I refuse to come up with "resolutions."  I think that term makes things doomed to automatically fail.  I do have goals for myself, but these have been on going goals.  I am 30 pounds from my goal weight.  I am positive that with my trainer Alex at the Transformation Center, and his team I'll definitely be able to get there. I've already lost 20 pounds with his help, so the next 30 should be do-able. I'd like to do this by my birthday, but I don't want the pressure of that.  I feel like I'll set myself up for failure.  But I know I'll get there.  I'm pretty determined and Alex has been really good at keeping me challenged during the workouts.  He never lets me get away with being lazy.  Another goal is to self publish my children's book.  The plan is to do my research on various self publishing companies and see what is going to work best for me, but to fix up and begin illustrating my pages at the same time.  This way when I'm ready I have everything done and ready to go.  And my last goal is to learn how to let go the anger, resentment and hurt feelings I have towards my half siblings.  It's not a good feeling.  I'm not one to react this way.  It is just more apparent now because of my dad's health.  And I can't deal with it directly as I would like to because it would upset my dad a lot.  His health and positive state of mind are extremely important to me, so I'm going to find an alternative way to deal with it.  Maybe this will lead to a new art series???  I mean, artists do make their best work when they are heartbroken, hurt, or depressed, right?  It takes some kind of tragedy for an artist to grow.  The Mizzles came to being around a tough time in life and look at where that has taken me. 

We'll just have to wait and see.  2013 goodbye!  Thank you for challenging me and teaching me all I needed to learn this year.  2014, let's see what you have in store for me.  I think I'm ready for it!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in my all ages coloring contest!  Here are our winners:

Ages 5-11:

Jade was our winner!  Jade will be receiving a Mizzle Doll and a Print!

Honorable mentions go to Tulsi and Madilyn.  Both will be receiving a Mizzle Doll.

Ages 12-17:
Ivan and Erin were our winners!  They will be receiving a Mizzle Doll and a print.

Ages 18 +:
And Vanessa is our winner!  She will be receiving a Mizzle Doll and a print.


Again, thank you so much for participating!  


Monday, December 16, 2013


2013 has been full of ups and downs like every year, but this one seemed to have the greatest of transitions than in years passed.  The year began with this need to hold on to hope, then transitioned to a need to stop and take time to breathe; and then moved on to a need for change. I think this year I grew the most as a person.  I've learned to stop, take a deep breath, and let go.  I've learned that I am of no use to anyone if I don't take the time to take care of myself.  I've learned that even though I'm a valuable part of my family that they are fully capable of handling tough situations on their own.  And I've learned that it is okay to put me first.  Since July, I've been busy accomplishing some small goals that I have been making excuses for not completing in the past few years.  Moving helped me with this.  It took me just far enough away from what I used as excuses.  Now I have only myself to blame if I don't accomplish anything. 

In July, I began running again and had signed up for the Surf City 10k as a goal to accomplish.  I've run many 5k's with my best friend and I have run one 8k.  I figured a 10k would be a good goal for me. It has been a long while since I had seriously run, so training wasn't quite as easy, but I loved it.  I made it a goal to run a certain distance (2-4 miles) and then I would take my running shoes off and walk home in the water.  Walking home was my treat for completing my task.  I would collect shells, watch the birds run from the water, watch the surfers catch waves, and take in the beauty of living by the beach.  I had fulfilled a lifelong dream of living by the beach.

As the summer began to wind down, I figured it was time to reclaim my body and lose some weight.  In the past 5 years, I've done fitness kickboxing, running, hiking, yoga, and boot camp, but I never did them to lose weight.  I participated in those activities to be active, to relieve stress, and to feel good.  Plus, I really loved the environment I was in and the people who were there with me.  But, it was time to change that state of mind.  I stumbled across the Transformation Center.  It's a boot camp like I did before, but this place does more light weight training.  I signed up for the 6 week weight loss challenge. It was tough at first.  I had cravings for things I never really ate like Red Vines.  But by week 3 those cravings disappeared.  I'm surprised how easy it is to say no to a lot of foods that are not healthy.  I still struggle with saying no to Dr.Pepper.  I just love it too much, but have managed to keep away from it.  Luckily, I love drinking various green teas. At the end of the 6 week weight loss challenge, I didn't lose 20lbs, but I did lose 15.  I've slimmed down and am developing muscle tone where I had none before.  It has been such a great experience.  And I'm still working towards losing more weight.  It isn't going to happen overnight, but I am thrilled to see the small changes along the way.

Oh, and the 10k... well, I did better than I had anticipated. When I began my training at the Transformation Center, I found that I was too tired to go running and had stopped. I didn't run the entire 6 weeks before the race. My 10k was the last weekend of my weight loss challenge, but I felt I was in decent enough shape to do the race. My only goal was to finish it. Luckily, my co-worker/ high school friend decided at the last minute to join me.  She bought us fairy wings and headbands to wear.  Plus, one of my neighbors rode his bike alongside us to keep us company on the run.  The race was a lot of fun.  I was extremely sore for a few days.  I don't think I'll be doing another 10k any time soon.  I think I'll just stick to my 5k fun runs.  But I am glad that I was able to finish it.

The great thing about exercising is how feelings of accomplishment transfer to other parts of your life.  I was able to accomplish another goal I had been avoiding... I finally finished my dummy book.  It isn't the best, but I finished it.  The story has altered A LOT from the very first version I began writing.  Now that I have that finished, I have another story I need to make a dummy book for.  And I've decided my goal for 2014 is to look into self-publishing; just another step in my journey.

I ended 2013 showing my art with Orange County Creatives Gallery at their Santa Ana location in the Santora building.  I like showing my art because it keeps me accountable for continuing to make new art and to not give up on my own dreams.  Plus, it is such a great feeling to watch the expressions of strangers as they first experience the world of the Mizzles.  I will not just be ending 2013 with Orange County Creatives, but I will begin 2014 with them as well.  This time I will be in their new Laguna Beach gallery! I'm excited about this opportunity.  I have no idea where it will take me next, but so far the adventure looks positive.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Electric Run

I'm a little late in posting this, but at the beginning of November I ran the Electric Run with my best friend.  We weren't quite sure what to expect.  We have always enjoyed the participating in the Color Run.  A 5k + tons of messy color = An artist's dream come true.  So, a 5k + glow in the dark everything = To our surprise, it was absolutely MAGICAL!!! It was invigorating and inspiring.

This was my favorite part:

When I saw it I immediately thought "This is where the Mizzles live."  It was unbelievably serene!  I could have stayed there for hours! It took us over an hour to finish the 3.1 miles and not because we are slow... because we took our precious time walking and taking in the color, light, and magic.

I cannot wait for the next one!  This was far more fun than the color run...but I'll continue to participate in those as well.