Stacks of letters.

Usually a stop at the mailbox means bills, junk mail and maybe some kind of advertisement. Honestly, most everything that is delivered to me on a weekly basis goes right into the trash. In this day of technology we forget the simple art of writing a letter. It is too easy to pick up our phones and send a text, email or message on any number of social media platforms. We are too quick to go to our keyboards before picking up a pen. For this reason the next generations will never be given a stack of letters written by their parents or grandparents, and that is a shame.

I never remember having a pen pal as a kid, but not long ago I was reminded of the joy of sending things through the mail, and now I am hooked. The inspiration actually came from a few sources almost simultaneously. The first, ironically, is a Rebecca, friend I met on social media who is a big lover of letter writing. She would post pictures of the amazing things she received and I was envious. The second influence was a selection of letters my grandparents wrote while they were dating. Reading those letters you can see their relationship grow as they fall deeper in love with each other.


My friend, Rebecca is the creator behind Grace & Salt ink, a small business in England specializing in leather travelers journals. One of her promotions is a challenge called “I sent love in an envelope”. This challenge was a huge inspiration to create and find some pen pals. I have written letters to friends and family, and sent out packages near and far. Each envelope I send out  is adorn with the hashtag #ISentLoveInAnEnvelope. Sometimes I get something mailed back, but most of the time I get a text message or social media response. Either way I truly hope getting something in the mail makes the recipient smile and feel loved.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1

img_5029Since I started my crusade of letter writing I have gained pen pals from South Africa, Germany, England and across the country. Some of them are old friendships expanded to letters, others are people I only know from the pictures they post on Instagram. I always look forward to checking the mailbox each day to see if there are any goodies from near or far. Not only do these letters serve as a way to communicate, but also to be creative while still working within the confines of an envelope. Every letter I look forward to see what I will find inside. I have received pictures, washi tape, creative little pieces and so much more. Each letter challenges me to come up with new ideas to put a smile on their face, and I do my best to send letters that inspire.

img_5200img_5203As my list of pen pals has grown I was having a difficult time keeping up with the coming and going of letters. In my search to find a solution I came across people creating journals to track their pen pals. To me this was the perfect solution, and so a new journal was added to my inkDori and the tracking began. I decided to keep my tracking simple, I list the pen pal, if I sent or received, the date and notes. It is fun to watch the page fill up with each letter.

My upcoming letter writing adventure will be starting in April. I have decided to take up the challenge of writing to one person a day for National Letter Writing Month. That means a minimum of 30 letters in 30 days. If you are thinking this seems like an intimidating task, I agree with you, but I am hoping with some pre-planning and organization it will be achieved.

img_5221My first step was to create a plan. I knew on the average day I would not have time to write a letter, so I decided to send out postcards. In the words of Lord Byron, Jane Austen, Lewis Carrol and Phyllis Theroux I found inspiration. Each quote embraces the best parts of letter writing and I am excited to send them out to friends and family each day. Second, I started a tentative spreadsheet with names and address of those to send letters to. I am sure before April gets here I will end up adding a few extra names to the list, but I am happy to have a starting point. My hope is that if there is a plan in place that I will be able to follow through on the 30 day challenge.

I know I will never have stack and stacks of letters like my grandparents, but hopefully I will have something tangible to share with future generations to show that letter writing is not dead.


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An infusion of excitement

I got a call tonight from some of my favorite kids, they got a package I sent them full of some goodies for easter. It was a quick conversation and kind of difficult to understand, but that is what do you expect from five kids all talking at the same time. No matter what there excitement was intoxicating. There are few things better than the happiness of a grateful child. At the end of a long tiring week it was nice to have an infusion of excitement to carry me through. Now I need to start planning my next package to them, I wonder what goodies I can find.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Surprise Laughter

On my way back to work from lunch my mind was wandering and I suddenly started to laugh. It took me a short bit to process what my mind thought was so funny, and it was not what you would expect. Honestly, it was not what I expected. Yet there I was giggling to myself on the same route that used to be filled with tears and a brave front.

It is no secret that the week before my wedding was unconventionally stressful. The day before when my family and friends were helping me set up for the wedding that would never be, I ran into my office quickly. I was obviously distraught and very stressed and off handedly said that I would tell them the whole crazy story in a year or so when it became funny. Well, many parts of it just became funny.

I will not be recounting the story here in any farther detail than I already have in the past, but it is now just over a year and I feel an odd sense of peace. That day was like the start of a really bad romance movie (if anyone wants movie rights please let me know), but it was not the end of anything. It was the beginning of everything. I am stronger, wiser and getting better each day. It is unfortunate that sometimes we need to go through unbelievable pain to find our path, but I hope someday when I get where I am going I can look back and smile about how far I have come.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

So very fortunate.

We are all a work in progress, like wet clay being shaped. Each person we come in contact with leaves their mark on us. Whether we know each other in person, from social media, or you simply follow this blog for one reason or another, my hope is that some of you reading this can say I have been a positive influence on your life. When I started this blog my main reason was to crate a form of mass communication and attempt to alleviate questions. I had secretly hoped a byproduct of my words would be to help others in pain, and I think at times I have.

In my recovery process there were many times that woman have stepped out of their comfort zone to tell me their own stories of loss. Each one had a particularly special impact on my life, because they showed me that the other side of this pain is full of possibilities. It is because of them that some days have been less difficult, and my hope has never faltered.

Every day I am thankful for the amazing women in my life. From friends to family there are many role models and inspiring woman who have been through thick and thin with me. I have been so very fortunate, and I hope each of you can say the same about the woman in your lives.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Happy mail Monday.

Monday’s are the best day to receive happy mail. Today, I was double lucky and had two letters waiting for me in the mail box. One from my little cousin, arguably my favorite pen pal, and the other from a new west coast friend. Writing letters is such a fun way to get to know someone. It is like having a long drawn out conversation with no end in sight. Each envelope holds a new chapter in the relationship.

Both of these lovely pen pals are amazing, and I love seeing their return address on unopened envelopes. Until we started writing my little cousin and I knew each other mostly from holiday get togethers, now she has become a huge part of my life and I hope that connection continues to grow. Her creativity and ability to push boundaries is inspiring to me. My new friend is someone I would have never known if she hadn’t asked to be my pen pal. I am so honored and glad she did, because she is an amazing person who I can not wait to get to know more with each passing letter.

I hope every once in a while my letters make it to their destination on a Monday to brighten up someones day, because everyone deserves a happy Monday.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

The seven year quilt.

My favorite place to make quilts is at one of my Aunt and Uncle’s houses. My Aunt has her basement all set up for sewing, cutting an ironing. Quilting with my Aunt has the benefit of her expertise with all things sewing and the fun of spending time together. I have had some pretty crazy sewing experiments that we have tried with mixed reviews, but always end in some level of success. I have a habit of starting out making a baby blanket, and ending up with a full. What can I say, I like boarders, and hate patterns.



I am not sure where the idea came from to make a quilt out of men’s dress shirts. I had it somewhere in the fall of 2011 when I bought a stack of dress shirts at second-hand stores. They were mostly blues and greens, striped and plaid, large and small. Each one different with a unique past and a common future. The original idea was to make this quilt for my boyfriend at the time, but it was a gift that was never to be.

While visiting my Aunt and Uncle October of 2014 the process of making the quilt began. We got the entire top made, it is composed of 3 inch strips at varying lengths sewn together at random. Remember, me and patterns have a sketchy relationship. We carefully sewed each row together leaving some of the of pockets intact. The finished top was a beautiful combination of colors that keep your eye moving around making connections and bridges from line to line. The goal was for me to go home and finish the quilt, but after that October weekend it would stay folded up for the next four years.


Now the quilt is finally finished and is on my bed. On my distraction weekend adventure my Aunt and I finally finished it. In true form it is HUGE! We used fabric from my Aunt’s stores to make the back, pinned it together, machine quilted and bound it in less than 24 hours. The good thing about making huge quilts is that oversized blankets are so cuddly, the bad side is that you have to take the extra time to finish them. In my opinion the end result was well worth that extra time.

So much has changed in my life from the concept of this quilt to its completion. I have been in three relationships and have had two different jobs. There has been loss and gain, and so much love and support woven in between. Sometimes, you never know where life will take you, but the good thing is eventually you end up with a masterpiece composed of it all.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.



In the three days I spent with my cousins two year old twins I was asked “why?” more times than I can count. It was often exhausting and difficult to come up with answers that their curious little minds would accept, but when you came up with something, and the “why’s” finally stopped you felt accomplished to have won. Sadly, I think I only won 2 times, but they were such sweet successes.

As kids get older they stop asking as many questions. Possibly they are able to answer many without asking, or have been discouraged from being as curious one too many times and gave up wondering. No matter what the reason I think it is sad that at some point we become accustom to what is, instead of questioning what could be.

Over the years I have noticed that I am sometimes the annoying two year old to those around me constantly asking why. Fortunately, I have google to ask when someone around me is tired of questions or has no clue the answer. I was raised to be curious and have a desire to learn. I am thankful every day that my parents instilled and encouraged that constant wonder inside of me.

At one point this past weekend I realized how much I missed being asked “why?” in sweet little two year old voices. Despite the frustration it causes, it is such a wonderful thing to be around people, big or little, who crave answers to questions that can not always be explained. Sometimes it is not the questions that matter, it is the fact that we choose to ask why.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.