Oz is …

Promo oz is

This week I launched a labor of true-love by posting a link to an event site on my facebook page.

We are dedicated to community, championing great stories, and living on purpose.

So what is Oz any way? The feedback we’re getting is varied – some people are completely surprised by this new idea, some know me so well this seems logical. Is it a women’s support group? Is this a faith based company?

March 8th, our first event, is simply dinner. (And our second event just went live: you can see it here.) It’s an evening out – wonderfully curated, artfully catered. Nothing more, nothing less. Our intentions for the future are that we are able to grow into a brand of empowering individuals to do the things they’ve always wanted to do. Does that look like workshops or mini-conferences? Does that look like specialized catered dinners? Does that look like for-hire styling needs with visual storytelling? Does it look like coffee with friends? Or learning how to paint? Will it ever feel as good as the photos look? When the vision is cast does it stop at meals? Can it grow to be hosting on a larger or different scale?

I sure hope so.

Right now it feels like fear. As if I’ve just allowed myself to say these things out loud to more than the people I know who will always support me. It looks like the people I’ve reached out to are reaching back and it looks like we have our first event on the books. It looks like a lot of hard, worthy work. It looks like breaking my own apathy and flying past those inner-demons who always plead with me to stay quiet just a little while longer.

It looks like I don’t have to do this alone, in fact I’m not.

The name Oz was born over a bottle of wine with great friends we’re allowed to dream with. The wild dreams. The dangerous ones. By the end of the night we had drawn all over our craft-paper table cloth with ideas, business plans, logos. If the world ended that night: we would have been fulfilled.

But this idea … it’s been something I’ve been doing for a long time. I just didn’t know I was doing it yet.

Things that are good
A place to throw parties
You go. We go. Let’s go.

Each of those essays or stories are just background as to how I got here.

Valentine's from the #tinyhouse. Our blizzard look out can't be beat.

Morning notes. And prints! #SwimInGrace prints $10 each (plus S&H) - 9X6 limited run 110# stock professional prints. I wondered this morning if I woke up and asked myself this one question "Who can I inspire today?" if that would be enough. And I think it

Saw this phrase as graffiti a few years ago and I think of it often. #handlettering #sumiink #slinginink #art

This is how I #cowork at the @cofactory


And I don’t want to be so afraid of this that it dies with me. I want to let this go, too. It’s just a dinner, after-all. But it’s so much more because … I believe we feed people with our hearts.

And most of us are starving.

Holiday Open House recap

Last month, last year … a while ago: I hosted a Holiday Open House in our charming shed outback with ReKnew. The weather was perfect and the night was magical.

Holiday Open House

Holiday Open House

I think we had fantastic prices on one of a kind items, and almost everyone who came left with something to call their own. We had workshops and food and dance-off’s with the motion lights above our garage. It was a rip-roaring good time. So fun that I still haven’t completely cleaned out my shed or garage.

Setting up for the event was probably one of my highlights. Being able to finally “do” so many of the little ideas I’ve compiled over the years … like making a simple tree out of twigs and garland:

Holiday Open House

Cost me nothing: but it got people thinking and asking questions. Which was my goal. I wanted to share my ideas.

Holiday Open House

We ended up having a couple other talented women include their work in the open house and the variety of custom made works was especially fun for me to see. We all have a different idea or taste or execution and it was so fun to look admire and to shop around the creative spirit of the night.

Holiday Open House

I promised the recipes would be up on the blog – and those are coming in the next few days. I can’t wait to do another one – maybe the next one will be planned for Spring and we’ll have workshops on gardening or “freshening up your home decor” … the ideas are endless.

April 19th, 2012 – wait for it.

Hey! Let’s get to know each other. Ehum.

A few weeks ago I tweeted a reference to my Life List and wanting to learn botany. My lovely friend and most oft-partner in crime, Stacey, responded:

twitter conversation, the beginning

Enter Pat’s Eurepoean Flower Market in Holland. Stacey and I went right in and proposed the idea of our ability to shadow Pat all the while explaining our idea without sounding like complete crazies.

Hi, we have this dream and if we could just be your free labor for a day, would you let us, um you know, learn about arrangements and then deliver the flowers to your customers?

Stacey had more grace than me, per usual. I mostly giggled. And you better believe I’ll be bringing my camera and telling you all about it.

You can order flowers from Pat’s anytime by calling (616) 796-3221 and any orders fulfilled on April 19th will be created and delivered by myself and Stacey. (HIGH FIVES)

Pat’s European Fresh Flower Market is located at 505 West 17th St. in Holland, Michigan.

So, friends and strangers and anyone interested in getting flowers – you have a job to do: Call Pat’s and order some flowers for delivery on April 19th. We’re forever grateful.

I think I'd like to intern at a flower shop. #learnbotany #lifelist

And we cannot wait to see your faces!

Slumber party is underway

I have only 2 more children with us tonight than my mom had with her for twenty some odd years (She had 4, tonight I have six). I now know how she did it. These kids are seriously comedians, insightful little professors. Totally ahead of their time.


We’ve had conversations ranging from their love of dictionaries (No, really. That’s how you learn the state capitols and did I know that Uncle Joel lives in the capital of Arizona … which is Phoenix. Just in case.) to what exactly did I mean by “No tattle tailing” and we’ve had plenty of impromptu lessons on division and solving story problems. There has been plenty of drama and screaming and running around outside. The drama has nothing to do with people not getting along and everything to do with five females breathing air in the same 25 feet.

It’s like perfume. Not the scratching your face kind. Just the lovely scent of happiness wrapped tightly within what’s cool or not, pretty and who can do it better.

We took a Short-Bus to the Little Ceasers drive-thru, then went to a t-ball game and ran the caffeine off. Just in time for the sugar overdose of ice cream and then back home for a movie and popcorn, gummy bears, jammies and animal crackers.


I plan to read stories with the most outrageous accents I can come up with later. I’ll be acting out the Sneeches and Are You My Mother? with everything I have.

So far the only project I’ve accomplished is buying the supplies for the Fort Kits as their take-home gifts and putting groceries away so I can be ready for tomorrow morning’s feast for Princesses.

There was plenty of dress-up and reading books, checking out the apartment and having our daughter lead her friends and cousins all over like a tour guide.

I can’t wait for the lights to go out and the giggles (and probably snoring) to heat up. I’ve already heard whispers of the girls telling each-other who they’re in love with. Prince Eric is at the top of that list.

There are 16 possible seats and yet 5 of the six chose these one and half.

My cup overfloweth.

Fathers Day 2011

Another holiday is upon us. Grills prepared, steaks marinating. Boats gassed up and old cars getting waxed for the big day. If there’s a motorcycle around, we’ll hear it. An airplane in the sky? We’ll see it. An adventure to behold? We’ll overcome it.

Dad’s unite! The one day a year where jokes about your wife are laughed at, you can sit on the couch watching sports and eating hot-wings and she’ll swoon at your from afar. The only day of the year that you’re doing nothing is actually a turn on for her. Celebrating fatherhood … the other aphrodisiac.

So what the hell do you get him?

Thats a toughy. Aaron doesn’t wear ties. So ….

For starters I made this:

I SPY ...

Which can be downloaded here.

It’ll give the kids something to do with dad without feeling like they have to finger paint yet another card. Which is totally Mothers Day material … but Dads? They need meat. Emotions? Hand prints? Aww … baby kittens. THAT ARE EATEN BY BULLDOGS EVERYWHERE. Give dad a break. He doesn’t know how to tell the kids one more time that this picture of what? is that him? the house? it’s an airplane? Oh of course it is! is a wonderful gesture. Which it is, Billy and Sally. You did great.

Dad just needs to lie down and have his Scotch via I.V. before the days events begin.

Let’s put Political-Correctness aside for one day and shout about how awesome testosterone is. You like them apples? OH YES YOU DO.

So, now that we’re all on the same page about our 1940’s MadMen style father figure. Let’s buy Him the gifts.

He drinks coffee every morning and by 1pm he’s not sure if he’s ready for another espresso or just a tilt of the wrist of something stronger. You married an entrepreneur 101: Stress is what’s for lunch.

Source: urbanoutfitters.com

The guy walked the 100 mile forest of the Appalachian Trail for crying out loud. I bet he still likes adventures. I also bet there’s a Zipline near you. Is he afraid of heights? Oh, I’m sorry – the conversation about what to get Him for Fathers Day is over here.

Source: notventures.notcot.org

Last Valentines when you finally bought something new for the “special drawer” he was pleased. As always. I’m willing to bet though that seeing you in short shorts with one of his old college T’s and some awesome orange converse shoes on one of these? Tops that special drawer … and you won’t even be naked. Take him down the hill you’ve always coughed at when he reports his route to you? Emergency room bill notwithstanding … you just renewed your wedding vows, the guy is reminded all over again why you’re the one he wanted to have kids with.

Source: etsy.com

He doesn’t have a ton of hobbies? Not into football, golf is boring, the occasional hiker, would bike on a league if he had time, doesn’t have a gym membership because he doesn’t have time? I’m guessing you probably don’t own a boat then either. You could rent one just for Fathers Day. (We did that a couple years ago) and spend the afternoon on the water, with or without kids.

That could be a budget booster though, too. So maybe you can just bring the dingy from the junk pile out back into your living room and dress up Junior as the pirate. Serve fish for lunch, watch something boaty or fishy on TV and have a nerf gun water fight for dessert.

Source: littlelovely.typepad.com

And at the end of the day of longboarding, zipling or boating he has room for one more surprise you can get away with this.

Source: deskstore.com

After he sees all the thought you put into the One Day All About Him he’ll be sure to finally say yes to hosting that Wine and Cheese Party you’ve been talking about for months. Which he’ll be ok with because at least the decanter does cool shit.

If at the end of the 17th of June you still have no idea what to buy him? Try replacing his tennis shoes, buying him car washes, lotto tickets or a certificate for an interior car cleaning. He’s always wanted to try lobster? Make it. You want to cash in on the Christmas money and buy him that new tech-thing … I bet he’ll appreciate it. Letting him off the hook for lawn-care this week or putting the kids to bed while he reads yesterdays paper for the rest of the month … those count to.

Whatever you do for the Father in your life – whether that means you had children with him, he raised you, is 1/2 your DNA, married in to raising your kids, or is a really special man in your life: treat him right, respect him. And break the personal barrier – give that guy a hug.

Then slap him. Of course. And dare him to drink the entire bottle of Screaming Ass Hot Sauce.

Beer’s will be on ice by the grill.