a few updates and a TDOY giveaway

Each break, I forget how crazy my life gets when a semester begins. It didn't help that I had bronchitis for 2 weeks including the first week of classes. I have a few posts I've been writing in-between but am struggling to carve out some time where I can think beyond my job.

I had a wonderful birthday and was surprised by my presents and by the turnout at my get together. M and I made adorable owl cupcakes. Though they didn't turn out perfectly, they were cute and tasty and it was fun to make them with M.

Owl Cupcakes

Continuing with the owl theme, M got me one of those charm bracelets I really wanted and she found an owl charm!

A reminder of all the good things in my life; a lovely birthday present!

I appreciate everyone who showed up and those who sent birthday wishes via Facebook or text. I continue to feel blessed by the people in my life: I am lucky and loved.

I've written before about how important community has been to me, feeling a sense of belonging and feeling encouraged. A big part of my community is virtual, blogs I read, friends who live across the country, around the world and various communities online in which I participate like forums, e-courses etc. I've participated in several e-courses and I pretty much thought I knew what to expect but The Declaration of YOU surprised me every day. I was more open, more vulnerable and more committed that I'd been before to putting myself out there on the page/screen. What was so amazing was so was everyone else. I loved the course and the way it challenged me to think about what I really value. There was a lot of support from Michelle and Jessica and I ended the class feeling as close to them as I did the other participants. There was fun and whimsy alongside the serious and thoughtful. It was exactly the class I needed at the time.

And they're about to do it all over again. The next class begins Feb. 21 and they're giving away a free spot in their next class. If you have never looked into The Declaration of YOU then you may have never met the "mascot" Pierre. Pierre is very much declaring himself from the clothes he wears to the various animals and friends who are his companions. The giveaway, of course, involves Pierre. From the website:

“Where In The World is Pierre François Frédéric? is a new contest that The Declaration of You is running where you can win a free spot in their upcoming e-course (starting 2/21!) or a free copy of their illustrated workbook. It’s gonna let you do the very thing that many mademoiselles have only dreamed of - printing out Pierre François Frédéric, putting him on a stick, and taking him with you everywhere you go. Click here to get the details (hint: get your camera ready!), but hurry – the contest ends on Feb 6th at 11:59p Eastern!”