Well it's been a week now and maybe tonight I'll actually get some sleep. Focusing on the positive is my mission in this bizarre and horrible chapter of my life and the funny thing is, before Wednesday I had been so happy and excited about so many things in my life. I'm giving myself permission to focus on them again and feel good about it.

First of all, I got into the Atlanta Gift Mart - one of the biggest wholesale shows in the country which means if I have a good show, there wil be less traveling to craft shows! That prospect makes me a little sad since craft shows have been such an adventure but now it means I only get to do my favorite ones, right? Staying at home more is the goal so that I can be all grownuppy and maybe pop out a freshie junior or two... scary thought.

Then I got into the Philadelphia Buyer's Market of American Craft! Rock on! Suck it American Craft Council! (who by the way, if they ever invite me to apply again I'm going to let them know I think they're scamming artists nationally for their jury fees - oops i guess i just told them) This is a handmade-only wholesale show a month after the Atlanta show so I should be a very busy girl next spring. And Amy of Olaria Studio will be there so I'll ge to hang out with her again hopefully.

And if that wasn't enough, Greggars and I closed on our house on Monday so it is official - we have a house we can call our own! Wall St crisis shmisis! We are practically doubling our space and I will have an entire room dedicated as a studio space. I can't wait - I've been picking out paint colors for weeks and getting decorating ideas from Domino magazines I have collected over the years. There is a sweet back deck so I am also so happy to be able to entertain friends at my house again - the condo was just too small and cramped to have people over, let alone more than two and now we could invite the entire neighborhood!

my future studio

We also now have a fenced in back yard that is quite large which leads me to one of the most positive things that have come out of this - I have Zero back! I gave Zero to my brother about 4 1/2 years ago because he was driving me insane since he was such a demanding personality and I did not have enough space for him to roam around in. Plus, he refused to be housebroken since he would pee out of spite. It's a little weird to say that I inherited a dog, but the minute I heard about my brother I knew I would take care of Zero again. And the only reason I knew for sure was that we were getting a big yard that he can play in. There are all sorts of doggie neighbors that he has already met (including a hilarious territorial chihuahua) and I know he'll be very happy. He's also mellowed out a ton and will actually sit still and even behave (!!!) - I may even take him to a craft show one day...

So now we are at the Pink Palace Crafts Fair in Memphis and I miss Zero already. I'm totally happy to be away from all the gloom and doom at home, though, although my brain only lets me escape for a few hours at a time. I'm coming to terms with everything and I know my family and I will be okay. I'm convinced it has to do with so many people loving us and praying for us. My heart has opened up so much to not only my nearest and dearest but also to long lost friends, not-so-close relatives, and even strangers. It's sad that it takes a tragedy of epic proportions for facets of your life to be revealed to you but it's awesome that I have reconnected with people I thought I had truly lost. To the Toy, nothing between us has changed and that's the way I intend it to be. This experience has also taught me a lot about grief and for better or worse, I can empathize with people when they have experienced any kind of loss whereas before I could never really face sorrow, especially when it was other people's.

So having said all of that, keep your eye out for updates about all of these really amazing blessings in my life because truly - my life overall is very blessed! God gave me talent and a brain and I thank Him (almost) every day for that. I'm going to be like Fawkes the phoenix and rise from the ashes. Hmmm... maybe it's time to reread Harry Potter again...