What IS this blog any way?!

The past few years have been interesting to say the least – in good and bad ways…  A miscarriage, building new businesses, family illnesses, losing grandparents, dreams coming true for my husband’s business, a viral photo, dreams coming true for my own photography business, and then the unexpected death of my husband.  All in less than 24 months.

I have learned so much about so many things – how to build a business while holding down another job, building a creative business, managing social media chaos, dealing with major grief and PTSD, and how to have a sense of (inappropriate) humor in the mix.

During the whole process I have been completely open about how I feel, and I have been taking notes during all of these events.  Taking notes and processing things in my brain by writing them down has always been one of my major coping mechanisms.

This blog is a mix of all I have learned – and am still learning.  Resilience, the creative process, managing grief in the age of social media, inspiration, and how – to’s for things you’d never think you’d have to do… (post funeral thank you note etiquette of all things… 😉 ).

None of this is sad.  Life is adventure, and we never know what will happen – good or bad.  That adventure is what this blog is all about!  Right after Jim died, I said this: “Life is short, pursue your dreams, do good things”.   I’m doing just that.  And I’d love for you to join me :).


Life is short


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4 Comments on What IS this blog any way?!

  1. Alison
    May 9, 2014 at 8:17 pm (8 years ago)

    Hannah, Your “mantra” rings true; it’s been part of my life for years, even before a frightening car accident landed me in a cemetery ditch and I came to looking at all those gravestones. Before that I had survived an abusive childhood, my mother’s suicide attempts due to her mental illness, an abusive marriage, and nearly dying with one of the pregnancies. But the greatest loss and sadness was the kidnapping and permanent loss of my children. This rings especially true every Mother’s Day or family holiday. I can relate to PTSD, depression, overwhelming sadness… because loss and sadness remains with one on their journey in life, for grief is equal to the love and happiness one had. In time it becomes easier to handle, but we have been forever changed.

    The reality is that we are left to cope, we realize how precious each day is, we strive to make a difference; we count our blessings and find gratitude and happiness in simple acts. My type A personality has always been a list maker, a do-er, finding ways to be creative teaching, and in doing random acts of kindness.

    When we are young, we think we are invincible, the future is a vast road ahead of us. As we mature, we see there are no guarantees, life is a journey of peaks and valleys. What we make of it depends on our attitude , our hope, faith and having compassion for all. Each day is a gift.

    Thanks for sharing and letting me share. I’m not much into social media, but your photo of John and Schoep brought me to being a fan of your work. Your work speaks to a vulnerability in all of us, to be in the moment, to cherish that unconditional love whether it be pets, family or friends.

  2. Melissa
    May 13, 2014 at 7:51 pm (8 years ago)

    Hannah, what you say rings so true. In the last 9 years both my mother and older sister were diagnosed with cancer, so as a family, we lived through all of what that means – including the painful choices those with cancer must often face. In the last 3 1/2 years I’ve experienced the death of my older sister (we and our younger sister were supposed to be old ladies together – some lost dreams still ache); the badly broken leg and loss of a dog; the death of my mother; the deaths of my two remaining dogs (one very sudden, one related to advanced age); and a sudden, unwanted divorce.
    The variety of losses has taught me that it’s OK to grieve in whatever healthy way is appropriate for me; I can say yes OR no to those who offer help; tears are gifts; broken hearts can open wide, making even more room for love; and dawn really does follow even the darkest night – it’s just a different day than the one we expected, for loss has changed more ‘overnight’ than we dreamed possible. We all go through grief and bereavement differently, but laughter and a sense of humor (even of the dark kind!), optimism, hope, and support from people wise enough to take our cues for what we need, can help.

    What, beyond my faith, was helpful to me? Writing – my style was to privately write out my grief; and reading – every well written novel about the loss of people or pets (I couldn’t relate to the “professional” books). Reading those books helped me cry. I grew into the truth of the insight we all “know” – that risking love means risking loss. Over and over.

    Addendum for Alison, May 9: Some griefs seem or are never ending. Thank you for writing from your wisdom. You’ve taught or allowed yourself to live around such pain – as I read it in your post, focusing on what you can do, for yourself and for others. Such may be the nature of making an uneasy peace with loss – we do what we can do, and learn to smile the hard won smile.

  3. Melissa
    May 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm (8 years ago)

    Meant to add (hit submit too quickly!) – that allowing myself to move from grief to bereavement to a kind of peace with life – has also allowed me to rejoice in new things – primarily, my dear 6 month old granddaughter, but also the small joys I notice and am grateful for – friends who stand by, family, work, giving back, happiness, the feel of sand in my toes, the weight gained (apparently so I would slow down and pay attention to my needs) and the weight lost (allowing me a tangible measure of emotional progress). Not that the focus is on weight – it’s on the process of losing oneself, and regaining oneself. Of feeling dull and dead, and feeling alive again.

  4. Cheryl "Outdoorgirl"
    May 14, 2014 at 2:12 am (8 years ago)

    Your words, experiences, ups and downs have helped so many and will just continue to keep doing just that! You are one awesome person! You are you and you lay it all out there. Not an easy thing to do! This is how everyone should be in my opinion, it would make the world much easier. Love and support you kid! <3