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Friday, March 13, 2015

Please don't take my sunshine away

Hello, everyone. I just wanted to check-in with you all and let you know that while I have seemingly been anywhere but here, I'm doing OK and I don't want you to worry about me - especially if you have been. I've been taking a break from as much of being online as possible because I have not been well though everyday has brought with it a little more hope and a little more healing for me.

While I have tried to keep up with my etsy shop, it's the only thing that I've really put much effort ot that is online. Also, recently I decided to put it in vacation mode so that I can finish out the orders that I still have open and get things to the wonderfully gracious, patient, and understanding customers who ordered them. I will probably stay in vacation mode until at least the end of the school year though. This is because 1) I'm really behind with school and 2) there have been some individuals who have been particularly harsh and unkind by contacting me through etsy since that's one of the only ways to connect with me since I'm not on here or instagram so much. This is particularly troubling for me because of what I'm about to tell you about why I have been spending so much time offline. 

Without me going into too much detail that would definitely make me very uncomfortable and I'm betting would do the same for you, I have been dealing with something personally that is basically the worst thing that I could never even imagine. I have been having to deal with a situation where some individuals have deliberately targeted me for the purposes of harassment that ended up with me suffering from not just emotional harm but also physical harm. Some of the people that did this are people know me (and are even related to me) and I know that despite what they have done/might still do to myself or others, they need forgiveness and love more than they need to have more hate and violence stirred up. This is because I have learned something important and true: Hurt people hurt people. Confusing? Basically, it means that if people are hurt? They can/will hurt others because of their own hurt. Being in pain because of being hurt is a terrible thing since I obviously know it from first hand experience. If I could have anything come from what has happened to and with me, it's that I want to be a part of there being less pain and hurt in life and not more of it. 

Please don't contact me to ask for details about the nature of what has been done to me. I won't go into details about what exactly that is.  This is because while it might not have been my choice that they did this to me, it IS my choice to not have to keep putting this on myself more often than necessary. The conversations that include details about what I have been through are kept private and had only with people who have made great effort to gently care for me and protect me - doctors, nurses, therapists, even law enforcement and attorneys, and a select few members of my family and very, very close friends in real life.  

Because of what has happened to me, I have had to get A LOT of outpatient treatments. This has clearly been incredibly disruptive to my life. There was even a point when I could have gone inpatient for treatment. I didn't/haven't/won't though because what happened to me has already disrupted so much of my life and tried to rob me of so much of who I know I am, I refuse to let it take anything more from me. This is because I am not the type who is ever willing to let what others do or say to me keep me from doing the things that I truly believed I was created and called to do - whether that's going to school, being a good friend, loving and forgiving and praying for others despite what they might seem to "deserve" because of mistakes they have made. 

I do not believe in being angry or hurtful even when people are that way to me. I do not believe in retaliation or revenge. I do not believe that even when people try and hurt you or even threaten to take your life, that they are allowed to nor will they be successful at doing that. I do not believe that nightmares that might happen in your life have to become realities that you can't escape. 

What do I believe in? I believe in goodness, kindness, bravery, perseverance, LOVE, generosity, mercy and forgiving others, and JOY. I believe in selflessness and honesty and in being hopeful and taking time to be silly. I believe that even if the past or the present brings challenges, tomorrow can and will come and it can always be better and different in wonderful and beautiful ways. 

I know very well that as much as life can be amazing there can and always will be things in it that will be hard or feel impossible but that's not the truth. I know there have been and there still might be days when I might have to go through so much pain that it keeps me home from school even when I sometimes feel like being home is a place where I feel the most vulnerable and the least safe. I'm thankful to say that the days where there have been a lot of pain and fear in me are gradually becoming less and less but this is only because I have been faithful in prayer, being kind and patient to myself and others, and not letting anger and frustration grow inside and takeover me.  

So, this is why I haven't been online so much other than trying to do my etsy. The people who love me and care for me and know what's best for me have encouraged me to try and do etsy as much as I might be able to (for the same reason why I refuse to just check into a hospital) but because of the ugliness I have recently had to deal with on etsy, it's time to tidy things up there and take a break from that as well. While it might not seem like it, I am a real individual with a real life and real feelings and real challenges enough without having to deal with others trying to create more for me because it makes them feel better by trying to make me feel worse. 

I haven't really talked about this openly with big announcements or anything but I wanted to clear the air so that once and for all you know the truth about how and what I'm doing. This is especially for the people who have taken the time to write me messages or contact me directly at my email address and have been so loving and kind toward me rather than assuming the worst or saying negative things about me. Because I find that my life is best by focusing on the positive instead of the negative, I share all of this so that those who have positively interacted with me can know how much it means to me and how much I love and appreciate them. 

Thank you all SO much who have prayed for me and have been patient, gentle and kind with how you have interacted with me. You are a major part of the reason why I am able to heal and move on with my life the way I have and continue to do.

Anyway, I just wanted to come on here to tell you everything I did and I am going to keep spending a little more time offline. I want you to know that I do really want to come back and do my best to pick up where I ended up leaving off (somehow, some way... I'll figure it out when the time comes). Thank you so much for your care and concern and support. I hope that I can be back here soon and not just to say hi and then have to disappear again. Take care and don't forget to be kind to yourself as much as others...

P.S. If you want to/need to contact me, it's best if you email me: fromEchowithLove{at]gmail{dot}com - I'm sorry in advance if it takes me a little bit of time to get back to you. Thank you so much for you patience and understanding. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas was AH-mAH-zing!!!!

Hi, friends! I'm totally sorry that it seems like I ditched out on you for Christmas this year. Truth be told, everyone in my house got SUPER sick from the cold-flu bug going around my area (and my school) and I got really REALLY sick and then wasn't really even feeling close to better until yesterday. Then earlier today I started feeling sick again and we were meeting my grandparents at Cracker Barrel for breakfast (I LOVE breakfast food!!!) and I almost got sick in the parking lot. It was so embarrassing. So... I guess I might not be better yet?

Anyway, despite the fact that I was sick and my family was sick, we actually had a really good Christmas and I'm excited to tell you all about it as well as share the pictures from my tree trimming party with my friends - Jillian (my best friend), miniSaige (my other other best friend), Ramsey Rae (another other other best friend), and all of the doll friends (of ALL of my best friends put together).

I got some pretty fun things for Christmas from my family but I'm still not done celebrating Christmas because I still have to give all of my best friends their gifts!!! I just love giving gifts to other people. I honestly think it's even more fun than getting them myself. I mean think about it: GIVING is a gift to you that you somehow give to other people but really you kind of give it to yourself, too, because giving to others is fun. (Did that make any sense? Well... it made a lot of sense to me and in my head... *haha*)

Anyway, I will try and be back on instagram and on here to finally share all of my pictures and also share things from Jillian and Ramsey Rae, too. Both of them said that since it's so hard sometimes for me to keep up my blogsite that they would help me and this coming year they would help out and maybe share stuff from their lives, too - that way you can get to know how awesome and why they are both my best friends. :)

I guess that's it for now. I'll talk to you next time!! Thanks so much for being my friend and I really hope you have had a good Christmas, too.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Burning the midnight oil warms my HEART

Check out the other free gift ornament I'm giving away for the month of December! Isn't it so pretty?

By the time you read this, I will have gotten far less sleep than I probably should have this past weekend. But I can hardly complain because this weekend I got so many things accomplished and I also was able to prepare so many orders that have been coming through my etsy shop. :)  

Hard to believe that it really is December and I'm only two months away from my first year anniversary of having my etsy shop open. I've learned so much about how to run my little business and though I haven't made a super ton of money... well, I always knew that I wouldn't be rich doing it. *shrug* And honestly? It brings me great joy to put in good work to bring you things that help bring you a little bit of sunshine in your days (and with your dolls). *wink* I always have felt like giving is way more fun than getting so the extra hours and extra effort that I put in is something that I feel like is a gift in and of itself. I'm very thankful to have work to do and I'm very thankful to have customers who keep coming back to visit my shop and check out the new things that I put in it. 

Speaking of new things, I decided to design a few pretty Christmas tree ornaments... 

Ramsey Rae is sharing a very pretty camera ornament. She loves how it sparkles!

Jillian LOVES this silver-toned ornament that's kind of like a Christmas flower almost. 

One of my favorite things in the world is to collect AND share Christmas ornaments with others. It's so fun when I go traveling to look for something that will be a Christmas ornament because then when I go to hang it on the tree at the end of the year, I can remember back on the fun that I had earlier in the year. I don't think that people enjoy ornaments nearly as much as they ought to so? I'm all about helping to raise the awareness of the awesome of Christmas ornaments. *high five* 

I'm going to have a very limited amount of ornaments available in my etsy shop this year just to try them out and see if people like them. I will (of course) be giving two different kinds as *free* gifts with every order that is placed but then I will have just a few other ones that are pretty nice as well. You can think of them as "limited editions" since I won't have very many and I might not do ornaments again next year - especially if it doesn't work out so well this year. Something else? I'm also going to have ONE extra something for your Christmas tree...

Can you tell what it is? I'll give you two hints - 1) it's something that can be worn (but not by you) and 2) it's something that you could otherwise create beautiful artwork with (if it were real and not made of fabric as it is). Give up? Here's the answer: It's a mini Christmas tree skirt!!

I made designed and made it for my own Christmas tree but then I had extra material left so I decided to make an extra one and I'm going to be putting it in my etsy shop so if you're an artist like me? You can have a fun and cute painting palette as your Christmas tree skirt. So neat!

Anyway, thanks again for all of the orders that you are placing with my etsy shop! I so appreciate your support of my little business and I'm thankful that you like the things that I work so hard to design and create. Hope you have had a happy Monday!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Get your shopping done in time for me to ship it to you!

Hi, everybody!!  Just wanted to let you know of my holiday shipment schedule for my etsy shop. I have posted this in my etsy shop but I also thought I would share it here for you just in case you were thinking of buying something from my shop.

This information applies for Christmas/Holiday orders that you wish to be received in time for Christmas/Holiday time and apply ONLY for Domestic orders. At this time, Canadian/International shipments can no longer be guaranteed in time for Christmas/Boxing day/New Years no matter if they are standard or Priority shipping. *Sorry about that!*

Please read below for how shipping will work for items in my shop. If orders are placed after the dates indicated below, the processing times for the items (as indicated in the individual listings) will be specifically followed...
Made-to-order T-shirts/Hoodies must be ordered no later than Wednesday, Dec. 10th for Christmas delivery.  
Made-to-order Hand-painted Moto jackets, "make-an-outfit" options and Story Charm Bracelets must be ordered no later than Friday, Dec. 12th for Christmas delivery.   
❤  Macarons (individual/single/multiples and rainbow sets) must be ordered no later than Saturday, Dec. 13th for Christmas delivery.  
Ready-to-ship necklaces must be ordered no later than Sunday, Dec. 14th for Christmas delivery. 

*** Priority Shipping upgrade is available and is encouraged for all orders in order to ensure BEFORE Christmas delivery. Thank you! ***

The shop will CLOSE for Christmas/New Years on Monday, Dec. 15th in order to ensure that all orders placed are completed and shipped out in time for them to arrive before Christmas morning. Thank you!!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

This is going to be the best Christmas EVER

Hey there! Just wanted to check-in with you and say that I maybe might start blogging a little more often. I know I've not been the best at blogging but... I kind of like it. If it means that we can get to know each other better? Well, putting more effort into blogging is a small thing for me to do because I like YOU quite a lot (and I hope you like me) and being friends with someone means you really spend time getting to know each other better so if I want good friends, I sure have to BE a good friend to you. :)

This is one of my new favorite ornaments for my tree. I love hearts so much. 
That said, I wanted to just say 'Hi!' and show you my tree before it's all decorated. Isn't it so pretty? It's pretty tall and I need a chair to put the star on top because I already let my tree try the star on one time. (I couldn't help myself!) 

It's really one of the prettiest trees I have ever seen and... I have a secret to tell you... It's NOT real!!! *shhhhhhhhhhh* 

I actually picked it out and bought it from Amazon. It looks like it's not available anymore though. Hmmm... I wonder if I got the last one - sorry about that! Didn't mean to do that because that's not fair - it's like taking the last donut or something. *oops*

Anyway, I really hope you have a good weekend!!! I'm looking forward to getting through today and to the weekend because I'm going to be able to decorate my tree with my best friends - Jillian, miniSaige, Frank, and Ramsey Rae. I'll try and take pictures so that you can see the fun we have while we are doing the trimming. 

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