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Monday, May 14, 2012

My Mother's Day - "A day of pure joy!" 

Instead of expensive bouquets of flowers and expensive gifts for me, I wanted to spend that money on a whole day filled with our family giving "Random Acts of Kindness." At first the kids thought the ideas were crazy and they didn't understand, but in the end they LOVED every minute of it and didn't want the day to stop. For me, the feelings of joy I felt all day doing these things combined with the fact that the children didn't want the day to end was PRICELESS! 

Below is a summary of our day:

6:30am - Rise and shine. Quick breakfast, so we could hit the road!

1. Our first stop was our neighborhood park. We hid plastic Easter eggs and left two baskets for the lucky early risers of our neighborhood. The eggs were filled with toys and flower/vegie seeds and notes of kind things to do. For example: Make your parents smile and pick up your toys today! or Make a card for your neighbors telling them to have a great day...after our kids got over the fact that they were hiding toys for other kids instead of getting to keep the toys, they really started enjoying it.

2. Tony and I were in need of Starbucks coffee, so we bought our coffee and the ladies coffee/breakfast behind us. We wrapped a gift the night before and gave it to the cashier. (One of my bird paintings.) The look on his face and his smile was sooooooo GREAT! The kids were curious as to what the lady thought about us buying her coffee and breakfast. I told them, "I have a hunch she smiled." Below is one of the birds we gave away in trade for smiles.

3. Off to Springfield we go. This "Act of Kindness" is for Grandma and Grandpa.
We gave them an egg hunt, some flowers and some muffins. The intent was to ring the doorbell and run, but they just woke up and heard all of our giggle as we hid eggs in their beautiful garden. Unfortunately, we had to hug and run.
So much to do! Below is an image of all the flowers we delivered in our day.

4. Off to Bristow we go! This "Act of Kindness" was for my Sister-In-Law - Colleen, niece and nephews. You guessed it - another egg hunt and we gave Colleen some sunflowers. They were not home, but their dog, Bailey, enjoyed our giggles and egg hiding very much. As soon as the kids got buckled in to the car we hear, "THAT was SOOO much fun!!!"

5. Time to head back to Leesburg for one of our soccer games for the day. At the game, the kids handed out a tulip stem to all the moms and we hid eggs at the school playground. Cole gave his coach a pretty flower too. All the thank you's and smiles continued filling our hearts up with an incredible amount of happiness. I looked around at the field of soccer families and everyone was having happy, laughing conversations....not saying that the flowers did this, but I'd like to think that it added to it. And yes...I get choked up with this kind of stuff.

6. Time for a quick fast food lunch at Mo's. We gave a generous 40% tip. Tony enjoyed seeing the cashiers smiles and joy. I think he was starting to get into this day and truly enjoyed this.

7. Off to 5 and Below. We hid dollar bills around the store, mostly in the toy section with notes on them. "For you. "Random Act of Kindness." The kids got so silly doing this!!!! It was fun being sneaky with lot's of customers walking around. 

8. Off to a Senior Living Center in Leesburg. This is when my eyes swelled up with tears. The kids made cards and we had gifts for a few people at the center. We asked the coordinator who needed a visit the most. She was so grateful and so sweet. We completely caught her off guard and she was visibly touched by our visit. You could tell she loves these sweet seniors. We gave a wrapped painting of a bird to a women that only receives a couple visits a year by her nephew. We sat and talked with her for a little bit and she loved talking to the kids. She was so kind and so thankful for the visit. I think I will go back and give her some more visits. We also met a couple other ladies and gave them slipper socks and flowers. They needed a little more care than most and were in a special part of the center. They were wonderful and we got smiles from ladies that don't smile much according to the director. The director took a ton of photos of us and the kids with their seniors. Below are some pictures documenting our wonderful visit.


9. Time to pick up Cole from a birthday party and Hailey from her soccer game. Hailey and Cole missed the Senior center, but I will take them soon. Our Next stop was a thrift store managed and ran by the Leesburg's women shelter. We brought one of ladies working behind the register flowers and thanked her for her work and we gave her an envelop with money in it that she can give to someone she knows that needs it most. The kids really enjoyed this and were amazed at all the smiles we received. The store was busy with shoppers and they all saw the kids do this act of kindness. I think kindness is contagious.

10. Our last stop was to have dinner at Fireworks Pizza. The kids handed out the last of the tulip stems to all the moms and wished them all a Happy Mother's day. More smiles and many people came up to our table to thank us for the sweet gesture. We gave our waitress a generous tip and ended our day with roasting s'mores in our back yard fire pit and camping out in the back yard with the kiddos. It was a perfect day. The kids couldn't stop talking about how fun of a day it was!

And the "Acts of Kindness" continued the next day...Tony mowed a neighbors lawn for them. (Single mom with a broken lawn mower.)  He got many thank you's. 

In the end I'm thankful and grateful that I was able to share a day like this with my family. It will become a tradition and we are already looking forward to doing this again next year.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Collaborative Alphabet Doodles by Logan and Natalie Spinelli

Killing 4 birds with one stone: 
  1. Logan learns his alphabet
  2. Logan learns how to draw and watercolor
  3. Natalie gets creative release & INSPIRATION by collaborating with 3 year old son
  4. We laugh and have fun
While in transition into being a SAHM + designer + Illustrator + Fine Artist  + entrepreneur (YIKES!)  here's what Logan and I have been up to. He tells me what to draw and I try to draw on the fly. Drawing quickly on the spot makes us both laugh! I had to edit some of his "wants". For example he said, "P for poop! Draw poop mommy!" How about a pink pig for p who likes poop?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Latest Progression and Status of My Paintings

"Una is Safe Up Here." 24x24 Acrylic on Canvas. This piece just sold!

Almost done with Cherries!!! I just have to add another layer of paint to the ground and apply some shadowing.
This piece is a gift for my Sister-In-Law.

I will be in the Studio all weekend working away! (It's supposed to snow...perfect time to lock myself indoors.) I have 4 commissions to start and several birds to complete along with the MuSHROOM painting. Pure bliss! :-)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sketched tonight. I don't have titles for the paintings yet...

Hoping to get some studio time in each night this week.

Little Bluebird (for now)
Bluebird 2 for now...
Fuzzy Yellow Canary
Taking a break for some daughter love.

Cherries. Worked on this last night a little while teaching Courtney how to paint roses.