the news

So for our anniversary on September 20th we are going to get a puppy! I'm so over the moon excited and Ronald and I have been keeping it a secret for a few weeks until yesterday. We are thinking of getting a cocker spaniel, miniature schnauzer, or beagle. We have two pups already but our house, yard, energy level, and hearts can definitely handle one more, and I think our girls will love having a new sister. it will be so cute to see them play with a little fur baby.

We are going to get a female and a have a few name ideas but we will have to meet the little gal first.

Here are the names on our list:

Harriet (Harry for short)

What name do you like best?

Love, C


"You say this life is giving you nothing"

I still have been struggling with hopeless thoughts even though things are definitely improving and getting better. I am still devastated that I have had so many years of depression and horrible struggle, I would say I have had twenty-seven and a half years of this nonsense (I am twenty-eight). This is all so unfair and makes me want to cry. I never thought this would be my life. The thing is no one is guaranteed a good life. That is what I am learning. And I was definitely dealt a baddy. But that doesn't mean it can't improve with lots of work and effort.

My one piece of true good luck: Ronald.

I still have mood swings and am realizing they are worse when I drink alcohol (sad sigh). The last two nights I have been so grumpy and sad, I have just wanted to go to bed and not face life anymore. Life can be so hard. The main thing that is hard for me now is that I don't know how to fill all my hours on earth. I feel lax and hate being caught in my head. I think too hard, I think too long, I think until I get hopeless and feel horrible about myself. I don't know what else to do though.

Love a little melancholy Catherine.


more alive

It's afternoon. I'm sitting at my very neglected, rarely sat at desk. It's weird how sitting here wakes me up and makes me feel creative even doing nonsense. I always wanted a desk, a place of my own, and now that I have one I don't use it nearly as much as I want to. I really do need to sit here every at-home morning.

I'm listening to good, thoughtful, strong, sad music. This is what it feels like to be a person, to have a reason. To live for livings sake.

Hello crazy-weird-living-thing, good afternoon.

xx, C

lots of thoughts

It's early. I have somehow become a morning person and feel sort of old and out of place because of it.

I have and haven't been thinking a lot. Life is more about doing than figuring things out. This is something new and I think good in the long run. There is only so much time I can spend in my own head before I get melancholy and desperate. I wish I liked my own company more than I actually do, I also wish I could think deeply without going into those clever well-worn veins of depressed thoughts. But for now this is how it is and it's ok.

I'm enjoying feeling more purposeful. I also am waiting to hit the wall of feeling and thinking that I cannot do what I have decided to do or what I want to do. That is usually when I give up. It is fear of failure that leads me to the wall, it is also my fear of losing my identity and personality.

I am so afraid to work. At the moment I am not getting paid and not officially employed, this is just a trial run where I am helping Ronald out. But back to the fear. I have never been able to hold down a job...I mean never. I have only been able to work a few weeks before giving up. I start to panic in the office setting, I start to lose myself in what I am doing, I over-commit really easily and then have a meltdown, I feel like I lose my sense of creativity. This is why I am happy Ronald is in charge of my work-load as he knows more about my fears and limitations than I do. The truth is my limitations are more like mental road blocks than actual limitations in capability.

But I can feel the panic at my back of how working is going to ruin me and make me inauthentic. The truth is, I can be myself and still work. I want to prove this to myself to lose this horrible fear I have of not being able to support myself financially. So here I am sticking with it.

Do you give up on things easily, or are you a fighter?

xx, C



Today is day two of helping Ronald at work. It is going well, although I find I work a bit too quickly on some projects and end up done with my work early. That I guess isn't the worst thing. 

I am looking forward to the rest of the week where I will watercolor some birds for the shop! 

This weekend we are going to the beach where we got engaged almost nine years ago, I can't wait!

How is your week going?  Done anything lovely lately?

xx, C


last night over cocktails...

I have been feeling incredibly directionless lately. Friday night I cried and sobbed about it until I nearly had a panic attack. It's scary to not have a clue as to what I want to do with my life.

I know eventually, and god willing- and all that, I want to be a mom. I know that sincerely, and deeply. But with our fertility issues and our wait for insurance to be upgraded in February there is a lag time. Also it may take months or even years for us to have a successful pregnancy, and there is no guarantee that that will ever happen. So here's to hoping and waiting and being so damn patient it hurts.

Since that is on hold for the moment and I don't want to be a mom who is fully and only identified by my children, I have to find a life and place of my own. This scares me, this making of my own life, but I have to take some steps forward otherwise I will just flounder.

I have been really bored lately. My whole life has been boring to an extent, and with the depression eating me away for so long I had to live in that boredom because I was spending all my energy fighting to stay alive. Now that things have settled a bit in the mental health department, I am free to fill my days with something other than battling bad moods. So last night Ronald and I went to a bar and had some delicious whiskey sours and discussed what I want to do. without further adieu, here are some of my ideas and plans.

1.) Start my Life Collection Etsy shop. I am going to sell my original ink and watercolor bird art. To start in this goal I am going to have thirty original paintings ready to go before the shop opens. That sounds like a lot but I already have several done and want to have a variety.

2.) Help Ronald out in his job as a sort of assistant. This will get me out of the house since I will go into our office now and then and help me gain some office skills and most of all confidence that I can do "work" type things, but without a ton of pressure at first. I will try to help out ten hours a week. I will do editing, spreadsheets, and work on some marketing ideas. The one thing I am most excited about is decorating our office with things that express our business model and point of view. We have a training room in our office so I want to make that special and reflective of who we are to our students.

3.) Continue with the Life Collection newsletter. This is something I'm really enjoying and I do hope you will join me in developing it! If you have any topic ideas or content to send in email me at catherine(at)life-collection.com.

There are a few other things in the works that I can't quite mention just yet but they are pretty exciting.

What do you do that helps you feel a part of something? What direction is your life heading? Are you happy with that?

xx, C


weird bug

Life is a weird bug. Last night for example I somehow forgot to pick up my sleeping pill at the pharmacy so was up most of the night. The little I did sleep I had dreams about a giant watermelon attacking our house, so that was interesting. I woke at 5:30 this morning, well I don't know if "woke" is the right word as I hardly slept, so I guess I will say that is when I got out of bed.

I drank one cup of coffee and here I am still awake, and just finished cleaning the house, I even swept the floors (how did that happen?). If you really knew me you would know that I despise sweeping. It gives me a back ache so Ronald usually does it, but I did it and survived. That is something.

May I briefly mention that I have the most adorable dogs in the world? Well I do. I love Amelia's dance for her breakfast (she does flips and runs in tiny circles) and how she almost ran into our tv stand today but put the brakes on just in time to basically touch her nose to the television. Isabelle is the hugest ball of fluff on earth and loves an old crushed up water bottle like it is her child.

Anyway, enough nonsense. It's nice to feel a coming back of life.

xx, C



I'm going to be sending out the newsletter tomorrow! If you want to receive it sign up on the sidebar on the right! I have to admit, tomorrow's newsletter is looking pretty snazzy! Can't wait to send it out :)

xx, C

sad little day

This silly Isabelle pup was slightly photogenic yesterday, she usually runs from the camera so I got as many pictures as I could. She is in terrible need of a bath and trim at the groomer which will happen next week.

It's a down day. Not feeling good at all. That's about all I can say.

xx, C


"its quiet company"

Things that are keeping me going:

pretty things around the house
two pups

The bottom has sort of shifted below me and is threatening to fall out. I feel detached, scared, like a lost girl, like I don't give a shit about anything, directionless. I'm trying to keep myself together but it's not all that easy.

It's Monday. It's okay.

xx, C


flower and newsletter

Hello my darlings!

Volume 2 of the newsletter should be in your inbox on Thursday! Don't forget to sign up for it on the sidebar at the right, it's super easy and I promise you won't get any spam. :)

All the flowers around the house are dying and droopy. I think that kind of sums up this morning. My mind is going in too many directions, I feel detached and a bit sad, and on top of that I'm dizzy and lightheaded. Not the best start to the day but I will cheer up eventually.

Love, C


not my best

Hello my loves,

Once again I'm feeling like there is something wrong with me physically. It just started the last three days. Severe lack of energy, dizziness, and lightheadedness. I went to the doctor a little over a month ago for this and we found out it was just a little issue that was easy to treat, but this shouldn't be happening again, the antibiotics should have knocked whatever was going on out for good because it isn't an ongoing condition or anything. So I don't know what's wrong this time. :(

I have a doctors appointment Wednesday for something unrelated so I will mention this too.

I wanted to work on writing my newsletter for next week today. I keep putting it off but I really have no mind to write at the moment. I feel so dizzy and just weird.

Anyway, this should make for an interesting weekend I guess... I hope you are all doing well.

xx, C


30 things

things to do, ways to improve as a human

1. be more self-reliant

2. keep a daily journal

3. write when I feel like it, no pressure to write constantly

4. write true words, write the bare bones, no fluff, no lies

5. ask these questions when deciding what I want
       Is it really going to happen?

Do I want it?

Is it healthy?

Is it based on obligation?

Who is in control?

Will it enrich my life?

Will it get me to my goals?

6. set simple and achievable life goals to get momentum
7. read at nights, read poetry twice a week

8. stick to who I am, stick to what I want
9.it’s okay to be/do whatever I want, even if society or people around me don’t like it

10. learn to make bread from scratch

11. paint for god’s sake

12. sketch and write out inspiring words, fill a notebook with inspiring quotes and ideas

13. try a new recipe twice a month

14. take care of me, wear clothes that make me feel expressed and happy

15. don’t do anything that causes me to lose sight of my identity or convictions

16. shop less, instead stay home, go to a coffee shop to write, or a park to take pictures

17. work on the newsletter even when I feel shy or pressured with a deadline, I can do 

18. don’t avoid things because they are hard

19. express my feelings even when it isn’t easy

20. talk to Ronald when I want, ask for his undivided attention when I need it

21. reply to comments more regularly, comment on new blogs

22. let go of the belief that people are judging me and that their judgement matters

23. slow down when I get overwhelmed and don’t avoid activities that overwhelm me

24. it’s ok to be scared and not know what I want in my life

25. don’t let fear paralyze me, keep going even when it is scary

26. remember how much I have fought to get here, don’t write off my struggles because  
       they aren’t normal, they are real and legitimate

27. be brave, let go of jealousy

28. be an individual, don’t worry about blending in, it isn’t worth it

29. it’s not okay to sacrifice who I am for others

30. let go of what truly does not matter

Family Portrait By Bouxwho

After seeing The Quiet Owl's awesome family portrait I couldn't help but contact Daisy of Bouxwho To do a portrait of our little family. She has really reasonable prices and her art is lovely. I totally recommend working with her for your own portrait!

Isn't this so cute? I can't wait to print it out and frame it!



Ronald is starting a masters program, and today is the first day of class! Luckily it is online so he can balance it with his busy work schedule. I really was tempted to buy him some school supplies (especially highlighters), but realized he already had some. :)

I'm excited for him as he is really looking forward to the program. But am also a bit overwhelmed about  how our life will change. I already feel like I don't get enough time with him, so this will make things a bit harder. The thing is, I never feel like I get enough time with him, I guess it's because I like him so damn much.

In other news, I wish I knew what the hell I wanted to do with my life. I feel a bit lost and directionless now. I wish I had something I knew for sure I wanted because I really wanted it, not because I think it is what I should be wanting. It's all a pinch frustrating but I'm trying to stay open minded and hopeful.

Do you know what you want to do with your life?

xx, C


not so perfect/perfect house

 Here is our new set up and furniture:

Couch, new coffee table, and rug (dog not included in purchase). ;)

I love the coffee table so much!

I really like how the colors blend yet stand out a bit too.

The couch is really, really comfortable. I usually don't like Ikea couches as they are too low to the ground and stiff but this one is really nice.

New orchids

I love the orange in this one.

Clean desk. I use the jars to store little odds and ends and it has made my desk so much cleaner!

Two antique pictures. I am smitten with that dog!

New curtains in the dining room. It's nice because this room gets super hot and bright so having a bit of shade helps.

Our darling kitchen. Maybe my favorite room in the house...



Vintage record player/radio as our entryway table. It doesn't work anymore but is lovely.

I love how vintage it looks. We hide our keys and nonsense in the mirrored jewelry box, I use those everywhere for storage and love them.

Re-arrainged art wall.

It's a lot more simple which I like.

We moved a bookshelf from our room to our unpainted hallway. I like having my poetry here.

New bed, and lace curtains all from Ikea.

Quilt and body pillow from Target. I love the shabby chic line at Target even though it can be overdone if you decorate everything in flowers. The bedding is super soft when you buy it like it has been washed a ton which is nice.

The bed frame was only $99!

Our room is pretty girly...but I love it.


My nightstand.



New wardrobe for linen storage and new dresser.

We are going to move the wardrobe against the wall once we take a shelf down so it will not look like it is taking over the room.

Peony picture (taken by me), pom pom (yes I have party pom poms in my room...) and Ronald's lucky coin that told him to ask me out.

Us on our first date (swing dancing) and bracelets.

The curtains are silver grey but look black.

This dresser has so much room! The drawers are really deep.

I love the simplicity of the wardrobe, it's perfect.

It even has a lock and key!