Aug 01






A project I’ve been working on for a while is my word wall in my little office space.

As a writer — one of the new ways I choose to describe myself — I love words.  I think words can have a lot of power and I wanted to surround myself with words that matter to me and to my family.

I’m not very good with home decor projects or crafting in general.  I’m really good at ideas, and shopping for supplies, but I’m always a little bit (or sometimes a lot) disappointed at the final project.  I really, really wanted to love my word wall, so I’ve let it sit and sit and sit and thought and thought and thought about how I wanted it to look and function.  I was afraid of it looking cluttered and junky, afraid of it being too matchy, and afraid of it not being matchy enough.  I decided to go with the picture ledges on the biggest wall so that the design can be fluid and change with time/season/whimsy.

I’ve had art leaning in various corners of the room for an embarrassing number of months.  Seventy percent of what’s in the room was gifted to me–something that gives me great joy.  It’s framed love.  Another twenty percent are pieces that I’ve owned since pre-cancer but they worked their way into the room, so this really was not an expensive endeavor.  It was more of a mining for treasure project.  My favorite part of the planning was an impromptu art evaluation with Maren when she and I were cleaning her room one day.  We took down all of the art in her room: every hang-able thing that she’s accumulated over 7 years.  Most of it was chosen by me, but as she gets older, she creates and brings in her own pieces that matter to her: birthday party canvases, hand painted things, school projects, even a street vendor piece from our NYC trip that she wanted for her room.  We laid out everything on her floor… it covered nearly all of it, and she took everything she didn’t want–nearly half– into the hallway.  I was relieved that everything that should have been sentimental to her stayed: handmade pieces from relatives, gifts from friends, etc.  Then we filled her picture ledges and I walked around with a hammer and nails while she directed where everything should go.  Her face was priceless when we were finished.  She was so pleased to see her own treasures all around her, and I knew I wanted the same feeling when I finished my space.

Rather than feeling sad that Maren was casting aside some of the pieces I had chosen for her, I was actually quite pleased because I knew they were meant for my space.  The twirly girl in the picture below is my favorite “Maren cast off” because I love that twirly girl.  Also up in my space: the champagne cork from the pot of gold at the end of my chemo rainbow, a written sweet nothing from Brad, a clock from my dad, stars from my friends, several Happy Thought Bubbles, gifts from eight-year-old friends, and gifts from haven’t-seen-her-in-eighteen years friends.  When I look around I see a few photos from the happiest of times, some special cards I put in frames, words from people I love, some M + G originals, treasures from days well-lived, and a beautiful (to me) reflection of who I am and who I want to be.



The timing on my little word wall is good because we’re having a little stretch of quieter days this week.  I ended up having that toenail surgery–a chemical matricectomy–on Wednesday.  It was starting to hurt and once the procedure was over, my podiatrist expressed that it was a really good thing I’d gotten it taken care of: I set some kind of record for ‘hidden toenail’ for him.  All you people who were praying for my toes were doing a really good job because he was seriously awestruck that it wasn’t infected.  Oh well, better to be special at the podiatry office than the oncology office, right?  So I’m on the mend… once again trending in the right direction.  I got to camp with my sisters with no toe drama, and I’m being conscientious to promote super-healing so that I can resume normal activities ASAP.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying my quiet space and soaking the love that literally surrounds me.  Thank you.


  1. Glad your toes are healing! Inspiring me to work on my little space. Just need to carve it out…Hmmm….

  2. Simply outstanding! How have we all lived without these deeply inspirational places in our home? you should be proud of your vision and follow through. I am so inspired!!

  3. Lori6NV /

    It’s beautiful! I’m putting a word wall on my to-do list! Good to hear your toe is healing!

  4. Julie /

    I love it! Clean, simple and each piece is unique. I love the twirly girl picture….reminds me of your girls….glad you found a spot for my frame too….smooch!

  5. Bonnie J /

    Thank you Jesus for healing toes !! Loved your sister getaway as well – I had one this week too. Family is so precious and valuable 🙂 words, photos and music are my inspiration, in fact I have the word Remember in my laundry room above BE Still and KNOW that I am GOD……. I’m trying and I will. Have a great day jen