Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Reclaimed Canvas

I started a painting back in May and it was a bust. 
Somedays you just have them.

But it was driving me crazy to have this really bad half completed painting just sitting there.

So yesterday I scraped the thick and heavy parts off and started over.

I love how the old painting provided depth for the new painting.

And I have to say, I love what I came up with!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Being a whole person

There are days when I feel frustrated with myself, my eating habits and my overall self. But those days are becoming fewer and fewer. When I get down and start focusing on the love handles that don't budge or the size of my hips, I remind myself of where I have come and that I am STRONG, I am HAPPY and that I am a good role model for my children!

And being strong and happy are the absolute best things I can be for my children. Sure I'd love to have smaller hips, but my girls are not going to learn to be strong and happy if I focus on the size of my hips. These days when I catch myself voicing negative thoughts about my body, I try to quickly shut down those thoughts. My girls don't need to start worrying about the size of their hips! And that's what they will do if that's what I model.

So how am I squashing the negative body thoughts? Running of course, but also riding the bike, swimming and lifting weights. I feel like I am becoming a complete athlete! And I have to say feeling like a "real" athlete is the best way to rid yourself of a negative body image.  Through this process I feel like I am finally being a whole person.  Not that I wasn't trying to be a whole person before, but I was too scared. I was too scared to try to be healthy. I had tried and failed. And tried and failed.  That trying and failing repeatedly with my weight transferred to being to scared to try to do new things in every other area of my life. What if the failing with my weight translated to failing with my job? And on and on. Sure I could talk a good game, but deep down, I was scared. 

But I'm not scared anymore. Conquering my weight opened the door for me to try new things. I found that I love competing in triathlons. I found that I can run a marathon. I found that I love painting, and am good at it! I found that I can be me without having to feel like I have to apologize for it or try to hide my shortcomings. I found that I can be me.

And that's what I am trying to teach my girls... I want my girls to know that they are strong and whole people, just as they are. I want my girls to try new things and to not be afraid to fail. I want them to know that they don't have to hide their weaknesses or measure their success in life against the size of their hips. I want my girls to understand that they are complete people. I pray that my girls will KNOW that they are WHOLE people.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Not a Quarterback, but a Tight End

I took Maddie to a new doctor today. We saw a pediatric rheumatologist/sports medicine doctor at Cook Children's. This is our third rheumatologist to see and as difficult as it is to change doctors, I have learned over the years that having a good fit is vital to good care.  Our other rheumatologists weren't bad, they just didn't seem interested. And given that we were driving a couple of hours to get to the previous doctor and the new doctor was half the distance, I was ready to change!

And I'm so glad we did!

First off.. Cook Children's Specialty Clinic is new and a fabulous building complete with complimentary valet parking!! LOVE! 

Second, we waited in the lobby maybe five minutes. If that. And as soon as the nurse was finished with us, Dr. G was in the room. WOW!

Dr. G was great! We have met a lot of specialists in the last 14 years and many of them are too important or busy to look over the chart before they walk in the room. Not Dr. G! He came in knowledgeable and gave us a summary of Maddie's health report and asked if he got it right! No notes, or anything. That makes him credible from the start in my book!

Anyway, Dr. G asked lots of questions and did his evaluation of Maddie and then just talked to us a little while.  He said he wished he had a crystal ball and could tell us what Maddie's health would be in the future, but since he didn't he would just be a part of her care team.

I told him that was great. That Doug had told the last rheumatologist that we needed a quarterback, but she wasn't interested in the position. Dr. G said he didn't want to be the quarterback as the quarterback was the one that called the plays and made the decisions. He felt like we/Maddie should have that role, but he would be the tight end. 

It's interesting. We ended today learning nothing new, but feeling so much better. Dr. G really listened to us and made us feel like he considers Maddie's health important. I am thankful that we have him on our team!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Running Family

Saturday night we went and ran a local 5k and kids 1 mile fun run that benefited our local football team. It's always fun to run a race, but so much more when the family does it together!

Lexi and I ran the 1 mile together. She has decided to train for a kids triathlon, so we are working on her mile pace. We did last night in 12.34. Given that it was past her bedtime, 90 degrees and at least 50% humidity, I think she did great!  Kylie ran the first 100 yards with my sister and niece before she backed out. She's still thinking about this race stuff!

Then after all of the 1 milers came in, we did the 5k. Maddie, Doug and I ran along with two of my sisters! It was so much fun! Here we are before the race. It was a "glow run" so we had lots and lots of glow bracelets and such!

The race was fun. It was sooo hot and humid, but we live in Texas, so what can we expect in July! My sisters and I ran together and that was great. I felt really strong which was surprising as I had run 13 the day before. We ran my favorite 5k interval (4 min run/40 sec walk) and just kept moving through the night heat.

Here Doug and I are after the race.

I finished 3rd in the 40-49 age group. I have to say, I love medals! 

And here are a couple of my running buddies! Courtney (in the middle) won overall female and Kenya won 1st in our age group. I love running with fast women.. they motivate and inspire me!

Up next? 

Another tri.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Instructions for Oil Pastel and Acrylic Resist Color Wheel

I have saved the instructions in jpeg.
But I have it as a pdf.
Loadiing it as a pdf takes work. 
So if you want the pdf, email me at 
emilymclemore [at]

Art, Theatre and Photography Camp Wrap Up

Art, Theatre and Photography Camp was a last week. This week I have recovered. So I'm ready to share some of the highlights from the week.

It was a great week and the kids had a wonderful time. 

This is pretty much a photo dump on this post, but I'm going to go over the highlight art project in my next post.  (The oil pastel and acrylic resist color wheel!)

It's always fun to create a banner with hand prints!
Neon hand prints are even better!

The first day I had the kids make insects from clay and wire. They LOVED it! But then who doesn't love clay!! 

Sculpture was a great first day project as it got everyone involved immediately and was good for all ages.  Some of the campers had time to make multiple insects and were happily surprised that we let them!

Here is one of the finished insects! (We didn't really paint until Thursday as they had to dry..)

On the second day, I had the campers create insects from their names. I printed out their names on a white piece of paper and then they used that to write their name in oil pastel on a transparency. Then they transfered the mirror image onto the other side of the transparency. Once the names were completed, they created an insect from their imagination.


even the volunteers wanted to make an insect name!
And the finished projects.

On Wednesday, we made coffee filter flowers and watercolor paintings. 

On Thursday, we screen printed bags! I was worried about how it would turn out as it was so humid and raining, but the clumpy paint was perfect!!  65 bags screened and not a bad one!!

There is something so gratifying about screen printing with kids. It's like magic to them. And for the campers that were there for the third year in a row, they asked about screen printing from day one! I was very glad to not screen their shirts.. but I enjoyed teaching them to screen print without the pressure of needing the outcome to be perfect. But as it turned out, all of the bags looked great!

Friday came quickly and I wanted to finish the week with one last "real" art project. Granted, the kids created sculpture, used oil pastel, acrylic paints, watercolor and learned all kinds of stuff.. but I wanted something that parents could look at and say.. that's a "real" art project! 

So the kids created an oil pastel/acrylic resist color wheel. It was messy and a lot of work.. but WORTH it! Here are a couple of pictures. I'll post the process later!
me teaching the volunteers? who knows!! probably, they wanted to make the projects too!

So that's what I did all week. The kids also went to theatre stuff! They worked on a mini-musical called BUGZ, went to rotations for costuming and set and had a ball! Here is Kylie and her group practicing.

And not to be forgotten, Lexi spent half the day in photography camp. She LOVED it!! She took some great pictures. Too bad I don't have copies of them! oops!

And finally, the performance! The show started at 5:15. By 4:50 this was the auditorium... front row seats were in demand!

We had a stage FULL of campers!! Wow. With all of the kids broken into groups when they came to see me, I didn't realize just how many little bodies we would have on stage!

Kylie was a ladybug.

Lexi was a firefly.

The show was a huge success!

And we are already working on next year's camp!