love series

THE LOVE SERIES #12: Earth Love

Well, I missed Earth Day in April and I’m a little early for next year, but as my favorite baseball cap says “Every day is Earth Day.” This is the 12th installment of my Love Series and how the woman in the picture looks is how I’m feeling today – full of love for our Earth.

I’ve recently been watching the new Cosmos with Neil Degrasse Tyson and reading the original Cosmos by Carl Sagan. And I must admit, it fills me with awe for this Earth, humanity, and the entire Cosmos. Those great works have also reminded me of how precious and unique (as far as we know) our Earth is and how we must care for it because, right now and for the foreseeable future, it’s the only one we’ve got.

So maybe go and do a small thing for the Earth today. Plant a tree. Pick up that piece of trash (yes, I know you didn’t leave it there, but someone has got to do it – why not you?). Volunteer for a beach clean-up. Give a little extra effort to recycle that (fill in the blank here). Start composting. Hug a tree (it’s not just for hippies). Or go do a naked gratitude dance in the woods (this one might be just for hippies). I don’t care what you do as long as you do something. One small step. One small act for this pale blue dot we call home.

Marker and colored pencil. © 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved

 

THE LOVE SERIES #11: Booby Love

This 10th installment of The Love Series is dedicated to breastfeeding aka Booby Love. 😉 I drew this picture only a couple weeks after my daughter finished weaning so it’s a bit bittersweet. My goal was to make it to at least 2 years old and we made it to 2 years and 3 months. Did you know that there is a such as thing as post-weaning depression? I had no clue (despite many La Leche League meetings and breastfeeding blogs) and was a little blind-sided when I decided to reduce my daughter’s free-for-all nursing schedule to only one nursing session in the morning. I wasn’t even ‘weaning’ in my mind, just putting down some boundaries. But not long after we made the change, I felt awful. I was moody, crying all the time, anxious and depressed. I had no idea what was going on and was obsessing about why I was feeling this way and how I might ‘fix’ it when I stumbled upon post-weaning depression online.

After knowing why this was happening to me, I was able to relax and just accept that this was a temporary hormonal shift and to give myself a little break. A few months later, when I decided to wean fully, I was prepared. Thankfully, going from a 5-minute nursing session per day to no nursing wasn’t as large of a hormonal shift (I’m assuming) as I didn’t have such severe symptoms – only mild depression and anxiety that lasted a couple of weeks.

While I was pregnant, I’d heard many women recount their experiences of postpartum depression and anxiety, but I’d never heard a woman discuss post-weaning depression. So this is my little PSA. Post-weaning depression is a thing. Maybe if you know it’s a possibility and that it could be coming, you’ll have a better system in place to cope until it passes.

These 2 years of breastfeeding have been quite a journey. Those first couple of months of figuring breastfeeding out were complete hell (the postpartum depression and anxiety didn’t help either!) but I’m glad we persisted.* There have been some truly wonderful moments – one of which is captured in the drawing below. It was in those first two months of hell that my daughter was nursing and laid her hand upon my chest with her pointer finger, pinky and thumb extended forming ‘I Love You’ in sign language. The significance of this is that my husband and I had made that sign to each other since first saying “I Love You” to one another. We still make that sign to one another and now my 2 year old daughter does too.

Marker and colored pencil.
© 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

*This statement is not meant to judge, criticize or shame any mother who could not or didn’t want to breastfeed. Every person fights their own battles and must do what is best for them and their baby and I 100% recognize that was is ‘best’ for me may not be ‘best’ for you. You do you. I’ve got your back.

THE LOVE SERIES #10: Mama Love

This is the 9th installment of The Love Series and it’s a celebration of the love a mother feels for her child. I did this painting when I was pregnant with my daughter and in complete awe of how much love I felt for someone I hadn’t even seen with my own two eyes.

My love for her now is the same as it was then: powerful, fierce, and deep. Any person is capable of feeling this kind of love whether they are a biological parent, adoptive parent, step-parent, animal parent, grandparent, auntie, uncle, or friend. May we all know the joy of giving and receiving such a love.

Acrylic Paint on a tiny canvas. © 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

P.S. This post happens to coincide with the e-book release of my new book of poetry – Hummingbird Heartbeat: Poems of Pregnancy and Beyond. You can find it on amazon.com for $3.99. It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Lending Library. I hope you enjoy it. <3

 

THE LOVE SERIES #9: Houston Love

If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know by now, Houston and all of Southeast Texas and parts of Louisiana have been ravaged by Hurricane and then Tropical Storm Harvey. It has been a harrowing experience for many and the areas that were affected will be recovering for months if not years to come.

Amidst all the flooding, rain, and chaos, Houston and it’s surrounding areas as well as many across the nation have united to help those who have suffered the most during this record-breaking storm. As I watch the news and social media and see the stories of citizens and first responders saving and caring for one another, my heart breaks open again and again. I’ve essentially been crying for the past 4 days.

So this 9th installment of The Love Series goes out to Houston, it’s surrounding areas and all the citizens, civilians, officers, fire fighters and first responders who are spreading the love any way they can.

HOUSTON LOVE. #HoustonStrong © 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

If you’d like to give a little love to Houston, there are many ways to do so. Here are just a few:
1. JJ Watt of the Houston Texans is raising money to get direct aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. You can donate HERE.
2. Over 160 police officers have had their homes flooded but have still been working. To help officers whose homes have been damaged, consider donating to Assist the Officer HERE.
3. Brene Brown, author, UH professor and all around badass, has suggested donating to Undies for Everyone on her Facebook page. It’s an often overlooked area. You can donate HERE.
4. Lastly, if you are here locally, consider volunteering your time, your washing machine (so much needs to be washed), or resources to shelters, neighbors, family and friends in need. So, essentially, keep doing what you’re doing Houston. #HoustonStrong

THE LOVE SERIES #8: How Love Works

This 8th installment of my Love Series came to me during my morning meditation. As I was imagining myself as a big ball of love, spreading love to each person I met, this image popped into my head. I like it because it helps to remind me that each small act of love I do ripples out and reaches much farther than I can see.

How Love Works: The Ripple Effect. (Also, how infectious diseases work just FYI.)

© 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

THE LOVE SERIES #7: L’Amour Art Car

Well, she’s finally done. The L’Amour Art Car is complete!

C’est fini! (Translation: It’s finished!)

There is a reason it’s been a while since my last Love Series post – this baby took me a month and a half to complete and was a serious undertaking. Now she gets her very own Love Series post.

The L’Amour art car is fully electric and covered in over 250 (!) quotes, lyrics, and poems all about love. Here’s just a little taste:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. -Martin Luther King Jr

We accept the love we think we deserve.- Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being A Wallflower

“I love you.”
“I know.” – Leia & Han, Star Wars

There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled.
Like, telling someone you love them. – Mary Oliver, Moments

At last my love has come along
My lonely days are over and life is like a song. – Etta James, At Last

For a full list of all quotes included on the car and more pictures and information, visit the L’Amour Art Car page which can be found HERE.

This car is my daily driver, so if you’re ever driving around Houston, be on the lookout – you might just spot me driving my kiddo around and jamming to some love songs! 🙂

[UPDATE: I just got word that I’ve been accepted to be in the 30th Annual Houston Art Car Parade! 🙂 It’s April 8th at 2pm – Hope to see you there!]

 

THE LOVE SERIES #5: Partner Love

The husband and I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary so this 5th installment of the Love Series post is dedicated to partner love.

At our wedding reception. Photo Credit: Austin Miller Photography.

At our wedding reception. Photo Credit: Austin Miller Photography.

My wonderful husband and I had a date very early on where we visited the beautiful Mecom Fountain. It was lovely and romantic and less than a year later it was also the place he proposed.

Another year later, on the morning after our wedding, we had a lovely breakfast at our hotel’s restaurant and could see the cascading fountain from our table as we sipped coffee and orange juice.

To say that this fountain has played a part in our romance would be an understatement. So when the time came for me to procure a ‘wood’ gift for our 5th Anniversary I decided to paint our beloved fountain on a wooden canvas with the words “I will always say Yes” painted at the bottom. Here was the result:

I mixed glow in the dark paint with the white. Because I'm a grown up.

I mixed glow in the dark paint with the white. Because I’m a grown up. Acrylic on Wood. 

© 2016. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved

The husband had no idea what I was getting him so what do you think he got me? A wooden jack knife easel that he burned our anniversary date and other sweet nothings into. We gave each other complementary anniversary gifts without even realizing it. And in case you’re wondering, yes, yes, we are this lovingly disgusting all the time. 😉

And for those of you looking for a partner to love (not that you need one to be happy or whole or anything in between) here’s some advice I got on my 21st birthday. Take what you like and leave the rest:

“It takes 3 things for a relationship to work:
1. The spicy taco might look nice but it’ll give you heartburn. Go for the baked potato.
2. The man has to love the woman more than the woman loves the man.
3. You have to be friends. Somedays you won’t like each other, but you’ll still have to get along.”

Not sure how #2 fits for same sex couples or if I agree with it at all but I especially like and agree with #3.

THE LOVE SERIES #3: Uterus Love

This is the third installment of the Love Series and one that I drew back in 2014 when my husband and I were trying to get pregnant.  After we decided we’d like to start a family, I thought things would happen pretty quickly after that – oh how naive I was. Month after month dragged on and still there was no plus sign on my pregnancy test and Aunt Flo was still visiting.

Well, I got mad. Then sad. Then mad again. I was so frustrated and distraught. “Why was this taking so long? Why hadn’t I eaten better? I should have never tried pot that time!”

For months, I tried to somehow fix it. Fix me. This was one of my dreams, to become a mother, and I felt like somehow it was my fault that it was slipping through my fingers. That somehow the choices I had made up until this point in my life were causing all of this. “This is probably happening because of all my stress. I should have worked harder to be less stressed!”

One day, I was feeling so glum and frustrated and realized that I needed to chill out. Let go. Trust the Universe. I decided it was time to send a little love to the area of my body that I had been not so silently seething at for months. Actually, I started to realize, the fury at my uterus had begun 7 years prior when, almost every month, I’d have debilitating cramps during my period. I decided that whether or not I got pregnant, sending a little love to my uterus would be good for the both of us. And it was. 

A few months after I drew this picture, I became pregnant. Months later, during my unmedicated homebirth, I realized that those “debilitating cramps” I’d been having for years were actually very similar to labor! It was all worth it though because we now have a beautiful little girl and I don’t have period cramps anymore. 🙂

#3 in THE LOVE SERIES. Sidenote: Not a drawing of MY uterus. I have no idea what that thing looks like.

#3 in THE LOVE SERIES.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sidenote: This drawing was based on a medical picture, not MY uterus. I have no idea what that thing looks like.

© 2016. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

THE LOVE SERIES #2: Acts of Love-ism

Though this Love Series has been brewing for years, it is the most recent terrorist attacks that have broken my heart and urged me to start this series now. When I read about these attacks in France, I felt dismayed and helpless.

So this is me helping in my own little way. This is me saying, “I’m so sorry, France. My heart breaks with you. I’m here for you.”

This is my act of Love-ism.

#2 in THE LOVE SERIES.

#2 in THE LOVE SERIES. Click the image for a clearer, larger picture.

© 2016. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

%d bloggers like this: