The end of a thing…

So, I want to preface this post with a statement…this post is not me throwing a pity party so please don’t feel sorry for me…it’s also not some sort of weird boast where I want your praises either…this is just my perspective of what life as an adoptive mom looks like…it’s a little bit of our reality.

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The last 10 days have held a lot of changes for my family. I’m no longer Mrs. Dizon the art teacher I’m just Katie again. My boy is no longer a middle schooler he has become a high schooler. And we will both no longer spend all our days at Calvary Christian Academy.

Reading that, it might sound like a little thing to you…and in the perspective of eternity it is… but to us right now, it feels REALLY big. CCA is where we, as a family of three, became a family. Most of our days as a family have been spent under that one roof; teaching, pastoring, and being a student.

This change is a good change, it means good things both for us as individuals and as a family. The transition from middle to high school is a natural and necessary one, the transition from teacher to wife/mom/entrepreneur is a good one. These changes hold excitement and opportunity…there is a lot of hope wrapped up in these changes…but as it so often is with changes, they are hard! They mean saying goodbye to the way things were.

The hardest thing about the change is the affect it will have on relationships…because things just change when you go from seeing someone every day to having to make time to see them. 

Most of us know this grief, the grief that comes with change. Those things in life that are hard and hurt, the things that are the end of something, a letting go…we’ve done these changes. Most of us spent our childhood learning grief in this way, in the growing up kind of a way. But last week, as I watched my boy on stage at his graduation I found myself overwhelmed by a different kind of grief, a deep, sorrowful, painful grief.

I suddenly saw this series of joyous moments in my sons life… graduations, weddings, births…and realized that each one of those moments will carry with it this same grief. The grief that comes with the absence of my counterpart.

You see, 2 and a half years ago my boy lost his mother she wasn’t the one who carried him, he lost her 15 years ago, but she was the one who chose him. She chose to love him and to raise him. At 12 my boy had to walk through the incredible grief of loosing his only parent and watching his entire world change around him…him name, his family, his home, his pets…

Whenever life’s joyous occasions happen for my boy…someone will be missing.

Whenever I feel proud of him I am reminded that someone else would have been so proud of him.

I sometimes wonder if this is a bit of how a widow feels, to look at their child and with every proud and happy moment to be reminded that someone else would have been so proud and happy at this moment too. R.A. was my boys mom, but so am I. She loved him so much, the way only a mother could…and yet so do I. It is a strange thing to be linked to this woman in this way, to feel the grief of her absence, to feel a longing that she was still here…when her very absence is what allowed me to be his mom. It doesn’t make sense, and I don’t understand it, but it is the reality of my life.

And for my boy…change and grief will not remind him of moving schools or houses. Grief will not immediately be associated with these growing up things of life…but of death. He will have to remind himself that this change is different than death. He will have to fight to keep the perspective that as friendships change, as he changes schools, even as he gets rid of shoes and buys new ones…that these changes are not death.

This week I have found myself meditating on a verse shared at graduation.

“The end of a thing is better than its beginning;

the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”

Ecclesiastes 7:8

It rolls through my brain over and over. There are moments when I think back over the years and I see the truth of it, and there are moments when I scream inside IT DOESN’T FEEL BETTER RIGHT NOW! At moments it is a comfort, sometimes as encouragement, sometimes as a reminder to focus on truth and to not let my feelings overwhelm me.

My family finds ourselves at the end of a lot of things, and the beginnings of others. Someday we will look back on this and remember again how sweet it was to have begun it, and all the things that came as a result of our patience in pursuing it.

 

The Frizz

Mrs.Frizzle

I have always loved and I mean LOVED Mrs. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus series of books. She always was so interesting, so cool, and had such amazing outfits! There was just something about her that I found so fascinating. Honestly I still find her fascinating.

Becoming a teacher helped me to understand what drove my love of the Frizz. It was her excitement and willingness to allow her students to learn.

She was always more of a side note to their adventure than a main story line. She facilitated the experience, but the learning happened through the kids themselves, through their choices and actions.

She was excited and passionate and just so chill. As someone who has probably never been described as “chill” I particularly appreciate her ability to not freak out when her students get baked inside a birthday cake or swallowed by a fish. I had to learn how to not freak out when a self portrait ended up with a green face and purple hair or a kid though it would be better if their polar bear was dancing on two feet instead of walking on all four.

There are days that I walk into the bathroom after work and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror; my hair is usually crazy, my already colorful outfit now covered in paint, sometimes pencils or brushes in my hair…and all I can think is Mrs. Frizzle!

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Recently I started to wonder, did I turn into Mrs. Frizzle because I loved her so much? Or did I love her so much because I am Mrs. Frizzle!?!

This week is my last week teaching, not just for the summer, but for now. I have loved and served these families, instructed and inspired these kiddos for 5 years. It’s longer than I’ve ever lived in one house, longer than I was ever at a school as a kid. I think that’s part of why this transition is so emotional for me.

For the last couple of weeks I have found the moments when I am in my classroom alone almost unbearable. It’s like my room is suddenly filled with an ocean of memories and they are threatening to drown me. But this morning I sat in my classroom with tears flowing freely from my eyes and I choose to let the waves of memories crash into me.

I remembered the kiddos who came to me young and chubby as 4 and 5 year olds and how much they’ve grown, what incredible 9 and 10 year olds they are. I remember the girl who covered herself in paint, the boy so scared to get his hands dirty with paper machè and after just a mild encouragement was suddenly covered from head to toe in it. I remember the conversations, the tears, the laughter. Oh, and the dancing, you can’t forget the dancing! Some of my most precious memories are of the times that we were all working and dancing and signing.

This school is in a very real way a part of my family. For reals though, my son came to me through this school, so it’s not just an expression. I have celebrated with our families, laughed with them, and grieved with them. I have had the privilege as the art teacher of having the same kiddos year after year, of building relationships, of getting to know them all. Of knowing all the siblings and most the moms and dads. And not just knowing their faces, but knowing their stories, their trials, their sadnesses, and their joys.

As I step in faith away from this and towards what God has for me and my family next I am both excited and sad. I know I walk in obedience, and I trust God’s plan…but my heart is heavy as I go.

I hope that I was of the same breed of teacher as Mrs. Frizzle. I pray that my students came to my room excited, anticipating what we would do next. I hope they have been filled with a sense of wonder and curiousity about history and science and math. I hope that they have left my art room marveling at the beauty in this world and the awesomeness of our Creator. Because that’s what they did for me.

the Jill

I really thought the whole writing about who inspired the jewelry I’m creating thing would be easy…but it’s not. It’s so personal and real and I have to be pretty vulnerable in it, and that’s tough. Capturing who these women are to me in a few brief words has been nearly impossible.

Case in point…Jill.

When I made these earrings for my lovely friend I was a little worried she would never wear them. They aren’t something I think she would buy for herself, she may not have even given them a second look in the store honestly, but they are so her.

Over the last couple of years Jill has become my best friend, actually more than a best friend…family. I have so much fun with the girl! We are very different, but we have this mutual appreciation and respect for who the other person is. We’ve shared tears, prayers, loss, and laughter…lots and lots of laughter.

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She hated me taking these, but was such a good sport about it!

Her and the hubs walked the whole adoption journey with us. She talked me through the insanity of feeling like God was calling us to adopt a 12 year old boy, and showed up at my house to help me clean and get the room ready for the boy that was the answer to the question “am I crazy for thinking this is the Lord”.

Side note, Jill has had my boy as her student two years, one before he was ours and one after.

She is the most real and genuine person I know. She’s not afraid to be vulnerable, not afraid to enter into someone else’s pain with them. She’s eager to help in any way she can, to do whatever she is able, to relieve other’s burdens. And, she comes as a package deal with this amazing hubby and preciously wonderful kiddos.

And, Jill is cool. She has somehow transcended the natural rules of coolness by living a life fairly oblivious to most things pop culture, not really caring about fashion, and walking around thinking she’s not cool. Yet, she’s always adorably put together and totally relatable. I have not seen anyone rock running gear the way this girl does!

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I love these earrings, because they remind me of Jill. They are real and natural, and cool, and beautiful. They go with everything, but they are anything but plain. The crystal is transparent, but not perfect, the labradorite catches light to show you different colors.

In a world of putting on faces, of pretending, of hiding reality to show an ideal…I am daily blessed by my bestie Jill. She is something very different and so very real, she daily lives out her faith and where she walks she brings peace and love and joy…lots and lots of joy!

The Jill is available now!

Mommy bootcamp

Business planning, designing, market researching, designing logos and business cards, social media networking…these are the things that now rule my free time. They have taken the place of reading books, and sometimes even sleeping. It’s been difficult working a full time job and working towards the Frippery House launch. But, this weekend it was kind of like I got a little glimpse into my future as an entrepreneur mom….mompreneur if you will.

I had the privilege of watching two little kiddos for friends of ours while they got away for some kid free time. I had a blast with them! They are so sweet and so funny and really probably the easiest kiddos ever to watch…but I realized something. Now don’t judge me when I say this because it’s not like I didn’t already know this, I just realized it on a new level.

Kids are a lot of work!…especially little kids.

My teenager; he dresses himself and brushes his own hair, he doesn’t get scared of the dark anymore, and he can turn his jacket right side out if it’s messed up. This littles thing was tough! It was so difficult trying to get everyone out of the house, dressed and fed.

In the spirit of full discretion, I did forget to feed my own twice this weekend…but he is almost 15 and can make his own breakfast if he needs to right?! And…I forgot that church started at 6 and not 7 on Saturday so we ate a super late dinner that night.

But as I was driving around this weekend in the minivan; grocery shopping with an entourage, and watching my son read the kids books until they fell asleep so they wouldn’t be scared anymore, I felt a little like I was seeing into our future. And I have to tell you, my boy is going to be an awesome big brother, my husband is going to be an incredible dad to little ones, and me…well, I’ll figure it out too.

I’ll figure out how to shop with little kids who need to go potty right as you get to the checkout line. I’ll figure out how to have business meetings and entertain the kids. I’ll figure out how to work during naps or late at night when everyone sleeps. And some days…well I won’t have it figured out at all…

There is one thing I have positively figured out after this weekend, and it’s that the Dizon family is definitely more than just a party of 3! This last weekend left me with an even deeper sense of longing to meet the rest of our kiddos than I have ever felt before, a deeper urgency to pray we are all brought together.

 

Sometime in the next week I will have the logo completely finished! I’m so excited to share it with you guys. 

 

 

Drum roll please…

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Late night typing and editing the big name reveal.

Today’s the day! Now is the moment! It is finally time to share my business name with the world…drum roll please…

Frippery House Designs

Frippery, is at it’s simplest defined as finery. It is all those things in life that aren’t essentials, but they add so much beauty. Jewelry and artwork, scarfs and home decor, china and picture frames…this is frippery.

It’s all the little things that make an outfit your style and a house your home. 

As for the house in Frippery House…a house is more than just a place to live. To me it’s a symbol of family, of warm food, of laughter, and messes. It’s a place of growth…and of love. It’s the place where life happens, the place where we are our most honest and true selves, where we have the most influence.

Currently, the Dizon house sleeps 5 permanently, a few more if it’s only temporary. There is so much room in this house for gatherings, for life…but, we are out of room for children. Our first goal is to finish the basement and create more bedrooms, the second to adopt more children.

My heart in starting this business is to create beautiful, lovely, unnecessary, but oh so wonderful things…but to create them with purpose. I want to be intentional about making each piece of jewelry special and unique. I want people to know that when they purchase from Frippery House they are growing our house, and that they have become a part of our story. I want customers to remember when they wear their pieces, that it’s not just jewelry…it’s a story. I’m hoping in some small way, that through this purchase, through my blog, through our stories, to see people’s hearts open to adoption.

Frippery House Designs will begin by focusing on jewelry, and hopefully expand into all the other things I love to make…hand lettered signs, refinished furniture, and other pretty things. 

I am so excited! I feel as if I am taking what God has placed in my hands and doing what He asked me to do with it years ago.

Logo coming soon…so keep an eye out for it.

Thank you for joining me on this journey

Katie

Frippery House: intentional beauty

 

 

 

3…2…1…

I am getting closer and closer to launching this business of mine! Today is kind of a milestone for me in the creative business world…I registered my business name! It took me weeks of filling out the forms online and then erasing everything and closing windows before I could really commit to it…but I did it!

The process of naming this business has been challenging to say the least. We…this was a family event…made lists of words, then more lists of more words, then I translated that list into a variety of languages, combined all those words in a variety of ways to create yet another list, then we narrowed it down, recombined, came up with a few more words, polled our closest friends and loved ones, and finally found just the right name.

It captures both the heart and the purpose of this business, and I just can’t wait to unleash it on you all…

Stay tuned for the name reveal early next week!

Thanks for following me on this journey.

Katie

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the Faye

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the Faye on Grandma’s china

When my wonderful hubby and I began the process of naming my business we spent hours and hours pouring over words and names and concepts and ideas. One concept we loved was the idea somehow naming the business after the dedication page of a book. We ended up going a different direction for the business name. But we loved that idea so much because it really captured the heart of what I am trying to do; create beautiful things inspired by the people in my life, because without them I wouldn’t be so inspired to create. So, I’ve decided to do a series of blogs…dedication pages. I’ll introduce you to the jewelry, to the women they were inspired by, and hopefully you will get to know me and my heart in the process.

Dedication page #1…the Faye

This first dedication page has been a difficult one for me to write, putting this woman and her influence in my life into words has been a struggle. My grandma VanZant was a character! She was always in charge, always telling everyone what to do, always yelling at my grandfather. I know this doesn’t really sound so inspirational yet but just stay with me for a minute. My whole life I’ve been compared to her, both in looks and personality. Most of the time it’s when I’m telling my brothers what to do or stealing food off of my dad’s plate without asking. But underneath the bossiness and the getting on my grandpa’s case, was this incredible thing that drove her. She loved.

First let me tell you a bit about me, I’ve always been a bit weird. I’ve never really fit in anywhere, always a bit difficult as a child. But, to my grandma I was the world. I was the first grandchild, and after raising 3 boys, having a granddaughter was her dream come true. She use to tell me how she was in bed when she received word I was born and she began jumping up and down on the bed she was so happy. I always knew I was loved. Always knew she enjoyed me. Always knew I was the special one, the one she loved the most. And yet, when I asked my brother if he always knew she loved him, even though I was her favorite he responded, “We were all her favorite.”

Grandma V had this way of loving people, of taking care of them, of protecting them…it was fiercely intense. If you were one of her own, you knew she loved you. She was quick to let you know you were loved, to let you know she was proud, to give you the things you needed, and she did her best to give you everything you wanted…and sometimes even the things you didn’t want. This little tomboy had more girly frilly dresses than I EVER wanted. 

This first necklace was inspired by my grandmother, by the woman who loved fiercely…but it’s also inspired by another side of her. By the woman who raced around town in her little MG, who dyed her hair red, who was quick to laugh, who always had the most hilarious stories of the “adventures” her and her siblings got into on their motorhome adventures, who loved to travel, and who screamed out loud that time they brought her shrimp with their heads on in Indonesia.

She’s been gone from this earth a long time now, but I find myself reminded of her daily. My home is full of reminders of her and she has been so woven into my heart and who I am that even though my son and husband never met her they know her very well through me.

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She was born Helen Faye Hill, but dropped Faye when she married. I always loved that name Faye, for me it was like my Grandma’s alter ego. The fun, hilarious, exciting, and unique woman who was my beloved grandma. That’s what I tried to capture with this necklace. There is something very comforting and inviting about the colors, the textures, and even the heaviness of this necklace to me. At the same time it’s fun and unique, the accent stone is actually two different minerals that have grown as one stone. It’s inspired by Faye, and by me…it’s the two of us together, the things we share in common. It’s a reminder of the woman she was, and the woman I desire to be.

the Faye is available now!

 

 

Organized chaos 

Organized chaos is usually a state I thrive in. I have always had a messy room, a messy locker, a messy work station…organized, but messy. It’s as if my brain needs the mess, all those colors and textures and shapes and patterns all falling and tumbling into one another, it’s in those things I find my inspiration. I saw a book recently on organization that was geared towards the creative. I flipped through it and I was impressed, it seems there are others like me who live in this state where messes seem to be required in order to create.

Currently, my system has collapsed! It is no longer organized chaos…just chaos! I never set up a work space for me in the new house and it seems life turned into a cyclone lately and it’s left my house in a state. So, I find myself working amidst the mess at the kitchen table, carting jewelry supplies in and out of the garage…creating in the center of the chaos.



SO uninspiring!

I keep reminding myself it’s just a season. There’s a desk facing a window that will be perfect once it’s no longer an unorganized mess. I just need to organize it, and come up with storage, and…

I never knew all the silly little daily challenges that would go into starting a business…or owning a home…or being a wife…or being a mom. Funny how I once thought I knew it all!

It begins…

I have been spending MONTHS working on a blog…just to scratch it all and start again. 3 steps forward 2 steps back. That seems to be the pace of my life currently. I come up with a design, put it on paper, start making it and then have to remake it three times before I can get it done. Sometimes that’s just how my creativity works. Sometimes I can read how to do something, watch tutorials and get it done, sometimes I can just think about it and sit down and make my idea come to life. But, sometimes, I have to jump into it, fail, jump again, and repeat until I get it right.

“Mistakes are proof that you are trying” or so the saying goes. But, it just seems that I’m trying (and failing) a LOT!!! I’m making mistakes all over the place. It’s been a discouraging time. I just haven’t felt like I’m achieving much or really making any progress towards this goal of starting a business. I just keep reminding myself I am making progress. And then today…a little gift from Heaven arrived…a snow day! A day that allowed me to catch up on teacher stuff, design jewelry, take ornaments off the Christmas tree (don’t judge), and oh yeah, I have a blog now!!! So, I am making progress, I still don’t have a launch date for the business, don’t even know for sure how I’m going about this business thing anymore (not sure if Etsy is the place for me). But, I am making progress, and today it is tangible. Yay!