Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Listen. Learn. Adapt.

I've noticed as I've grown older that I do less talking and more listening. This is a good thing. After all, I know me. I've known me for 32 years. I'm more interested in things that aren't me; things that help me to be better, do better and see things in a different light.

As the youngest of six kids, my role was often that of the listener...but I wasn't always a good one. I try harder now.  I make an effort to trim the noise and listen.  Really listen. 

It's a great way to learn; learn about other people, methods, process, insight, ideas, best practice, new practice, etc. Learning enables me to change, improve and adapt. I've found that I do my best work when I follow this formula.  

Listen. Learn. Adapt.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Winning A Rooster

Rent Pony Team: Andrew Evans, Chris Morris, Igor Kantor holding SPN Prairie Dog, Chris Lewman, Albert Tong

This is the story of how my girlfriend kicking me out (for a weekend) led to a rooster being pardoned in Iowa.  

Monday evenings in KC is known to a circle of designers, developers and entrepreneurs as "Geek Night."  Anyone who wants to join is always welcome.  We geeks meet at various venues around town to work on side projects, collaborate, ask for advice, give feedback and of course, take advantage of happy hour.  In other words, Geek Night is my poker night.  It's the night that my girlfriend lovingly kicks me out of the house and tells me to get the "geek speak" out of my system.  Oh, how I love her...and Geek Night.

A few weeks ago, fellow geek, Chris Morris, said to me,
     "Hey, let's go to Iowa."
     "Dwolla is hosting something called the Old MacDonald Hack Day and the first three prizes are a cow, a pig and a rooster."
     "You want me to road trip to Iowa with a car full of boys to win a farm animal?  I'm a vegetarian!"
     "So what!  Did you hear me?  We could actually win a cow, a pig or a rooster."

When I got home, I told my girlfriend how funny Chris was.  "Drive to Iowa...Old a cow, a pig or a rooster."  By the time I was done rambling, she said, "I just signed you up.  You have to do this!"  I know, I have the coolest girlfriend in the world, right?  She buys me video games, too...and looks up cheat codes.  I'm lucky, to say the least.

The boys and I met to discuss potential ideas and landed on a top 5 list.  The challenge was to use fresh code and build something really cool that best utilized Dwolla API.  Dwolla makes paying anyone, anywhere easy, and it's better for business.  Unlike traditional payment networks where a business is charged a percentage (2.0% or higher per transaction), Dwolla charges .25 cents for transactions over $10.  Under $10 is free.  Learn more about Dwolla, here
Friday rolled around and the boys piled into my car.  We had a 3 hour ride ahead to choose our hack and decided on Chris M.'s idea: to build something that made paying rent easier.  We all chimed in expressing current frustrations about the tenant/landlord process and the fact that rent is one of the only checks that we still write.  We discussed how cool it would be to build a messaging component for landlords and tenants to communicate that would solve everything from late notices to maintenance requests, electronic reporting options, building neighborhood discussions, and the list goes on.  It was settled.  This was our idea.

The last hour of the trip was spent annoying each other with potential names for our rent app:

Rent Rooster.  
Rent Mate.  
Rent Daddy.  
Rents Due.  
Yo Rent.  
Rent Pal.  
Rent Mart.  
Rents Paid.  
Rent Ferret.  
Rent Dawg.  
Rentwa (mashup of Rent and Iowa).  

You get the idea.  We started looking up synonyms for "Money" and "Paid" and found "Pony up."  Suddenly, we yelled out, "Rent Pony."  Maybe it was the drive, maybe it was the full moon, or the fact that we'd never said "rent" so much in our entire lives, but we all agreed: Rent Pony it is.

Friday night, we partied with the Dwolla staff, and pitched our idea to Ben Milne, Dwolla CEO.  He loved it...and that was all the confirmation we needed.
Rent Pony Team with Ben Milne and Michael Schonfeld
The hackathon started at 9:30am the next day and since we were first to arrive, we snagged a private room with a view and a door.  Twenty-four hours later, we were sleep-deprived but full of caffeine and had a pretty cool looking app.  As designer for Rent Pony, I spent my time very wisely creating some playful buzz by turning Dwolla employees into Rent Pony pictures.
Building the Rent Pony Logo

Turning Dwolla Employees into Pony Portraits
As we listened to the presentations on Sunday, I was overwhelmed with the creativity and great ideas that filled the room.  I knew how hard my team had worked on Rent Pony, but I had a strong appreciation for the work that everyone had put in that weekend, especially the Dwolla team.  Several team members stuck around and spent the entire 24 hours with us.  They emptied our trash cans, brought us drinks, fed us milk and cookies at midnight, let us wake them up at 3am to ask questions, and more.  There was a great sense of community and collaboration.  Though we felt like we could fall asleep standing up, I was proud to present Rent Pony with my KC crew, not just to the distinguished judging panel, but to everyone who was there in support of what we were doing.  At the end of the day, we were just 5 geeks from Kansas City, hacking alongside geeks in Iowa, working together to build cool stuff.
Sneak Peek: Select Rent Pony Screenshots
After much deliberation, the judges announced the winners.  Full story recap on Dwolla (here) or Silicon Prairie News (here).  "And the rooster goes to....Rent Pony!"  We also received the runner up award for the Best Photo of the weekend (here).  
We were hoping to at least get a picture with the rooster.  Instead, we left Dwolla with strict instructions for our prize: pardon the rooster and donate prize money to charity on behalf of Rent Pony.

More to come on building out Rent Pony and publishing our app.  If you're in KC, stop by Geek Night where you'll be sure to find some of us speaking geek. Just look for a bunch of people with laptops and we'll welcome you with open arms.

Rent Pony Team:
Rent Pony Links:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Facebook Breakup

I admire those of you who have figured out how to Facebook like a champ.  Those who have successfully integrated it into your lives and thought "How did I ever live without this?"  Sadly, I am not one of those.  

A little over a year ago, I quit Facebook.  I unliked.  We broke up.  Why?  I was becoming less of a friend than I wanted to be.  Seeing everyone's photos and posts was great...for awhile.  Reconnecting with people that I grew up with was actually pretty cool.  But then, ironically, it seemed (to me) that when face-to-face, everyone had less and less to talk about.  I didn't feel like I needed to "check in" as often because if I wanted to know something about someone, I could probably find it on Facebook.  Phone calls had been replaced by posting quick congratulatory or other messages on a Facebook wall rather than having a real conversation. When I sat back, I realized that for me, by being too connected I had become unconnected.  
So I unplugged.  
I broke up with Facebook.

What followed was more than just un-liking Facebook.  It has been an attempt to reconnect with "my connections" in a more meaningful way. I needed time to try and figure out what that meant for me.  And I'm still figuring it out.  Mostly, it's an ongoing effort to be more present.  Paint it Forward is my way of journaling, figuring out my path, what works, what doesn't, and learning how I can do better. 

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to help a friend.  After the loss of her best friend, Beth began painting.  But painting hardly describes it.  Beth has a way of telling a story, both through her paintings and the amazing "words of art" that she sometimes shares with me.  She needed a way to post her growing portfolio online and update it without hassling with HTML and extensive website knowledge. In just a few evenings, we setup an easy to maintain blog and designed a business card together.  But it was more than just helping someone accomplish a few things on their business to do list.  When we spend time together, we really spend time.  And I love that.

What I received when painting it forward in this way far exceeded what I gave.  There is a common theme here.  When giving, I still end up on the receiving end.  It's funny how that works.

In all fairness, Facebook wasn't my nemesis.  I'm not telling anyone to quit.  It just didn't work for me.  I've learned that being unconnected gives me more opportunity to connect in ways that are meaningful for me.  And I'm okay with that.

Check out Beth's work at

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Never Stop Learning

Never stop learning; when we stop learning we stop growing.

I've noticed that when I sit still, without any life seems to fall into place. It's clearer somehow.

Today, I found myself missing my Grandpa Jack and wondering what my life would look like if he was still here.
I miss the stories,
the laughter,
his jokes,
his insight.
I even miss the way his leather chair smelled when I would fall asleep in it,
or the warmth I felt when he would walk by and cover me up with a blanket.

My grandpa was one of my best friends growing up. He was present...always. The last thing he said to me was "Never stop learning; when we stop learning, we stop growing." These words have served as a mantra in my life.  They played a major role when I pushed myself to graduate from go for my start my own open my heart.

I've noticed that when I sit still, without any distractions...I sometimes hear his voice in my head telling me to keep going...that there is more in store for keep learning.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Who You Are

I was at a networking event recently when someone asked me the question, "What are you about?"  Naturally, I started talking about what I love to do in a business sense.  He stopped me and said, "No, I mean you...what are you about?"

Great question.  Not everyone asks this question point blank.  In fact, it's rare to be asked such a thing in these situations.  But even when people ask what you do, they are really asking who you are.  They are trying to gauge whether you're someone they want to stay connected with.  As business professionals, we are conditioned to format what we do (not who we are) into a 1-minute elevator speech. 

Think about the information that you lead with.  It's not always about what you do.  People want to connect with who you are. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Local Love

LOCAL LOVE | I pride myself on trying to find unique gifts, especially for birthdays.  I love it even more when those gifts support local artists.

Earlier this year, I fell upon a story about two artists living in a cool space by the Plaza (full story here: At Home with Grace Townley and Spencer Lott).  Grace is the goddaughter of Fred Rogers (yes, Mr. Rogers) and Spencer is a puppeteer.  I was immediately intrigued so I visited his website (here) and shot off an email to inquire about a birthday project for my girlfriend.

What followed was truly one of the most fun projects I've ever worked on, and what Amanda now refers to as the "best gift I've ever given her." 

Spencer Lott is an artistic gem -- and he was a pleasure to work with.  He asked for photos, details about us, things we like to do, personality traits, etc.  From those, he successfully turned our family into funky finger puppets housed in a vintage airstream.  He also included a hand-drawn family portrait that included every single detail I'd given him. The outcome far exceeded my expectations.  Neither of us like to have photos of ourselves displayed in the house but we now consider this our family portrait and proudly display it on our mantel. 

If you're looking for a cool gift, check out Spencer's work at  He lives in KC, but is happy to work with people out of state, too.  Whether it's a family of finger puppets or a stuffed animal for your kid, Spencer has ideas that remind you what gift giving is all about.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Old to New

We finally finished our restoration project and couldn't be happier.

After nearly a year of searching for the perfect piece, the lovely blonde found a vintage Baker Sofa on craigslist.  We thought $100 was a steal of a deal.  Only one owner who bought it brand new in 1960 and after several years in the family, they were ready to part with it.  The piece meant a lot to her because it belonged to her mom and was the couch she grew up on.  She shared stories and told us that it was originally called a "conversational" sofa because of its size (9 ft long) and the way it was designed with a curve which made it easier for people sitting on the ends to converse.  

We knew we had our work cut out for us, but we decided on a restoration project rather than paying upwards of $5-$10K (no joke) for something similar that someone else restored. The sofa was originally a yellow/green color that we loved, but the fabric was pretty worn.  We decided we wanted something more durable and a little funkier.  We searched online and in every local fabric store until we finally found this really great orange pattern.  It fits perfectly with the vintage/modern vibe we dig right now.  Another three weeks later, we had all of the foam replaced, restored a few broken legs and had it reupholstered just like the original tufted design.

We entertained family over the weekend and were happy to show off our "new" piece.  Made me wish we had one more so they could face each other and be even more conversational.  I love breathing life back into old furniture.  Sometimes it's better to go out with the NEW and in with the OLD. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Ring of Fire

I am often overwhelmed by the natural awe that surrounds me.  Like this sky.  It's sort of like a blended beauty of simplicity and complexity. Living in the Midwest has its downfalls -- no beach, which my brother in FL always rubs in.  Likewise, my sisters living in UT would chime in with "and no mountains." But, one of the positives is the amazing sunrise and sunset. If you're not paying attention you could easily miss it. While taking the dogs out this morning I noticed what looked like a ring of fire in the sky. It was still there on my way to work an hour later.  The longer I stared at it the funnier it was to me.  Why?  It was like someone grabbed a cloud, wound it up in a softball pitch and threw it at the sun.  The result?  A really cool sky blended from orange to dark blue.  The rays were just beaming all over the place and I couldn't help but smile.

It's moments like that when I realize just how small I am in the grand scheme of things.  It's a humbling feeling to say the least.  It makes me happy to be exactly where I am right now and it also reminds me that no matter how busy life gets, sometimes you just need to  

look up, 
breathe it all in, 
and feel your feet on the ground.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Do Something

"Do something for someone else."  

I was raised by an amazing mom who always encouraged spontaneous good deeds.  Small ways of helping others by thinking beyond yourself.  She planted this good deed seed with all of us at a very young age.  Throughout my life, I've heard the whisper of those words countless times: do something for someone else.  It's how the idea of Paint it Forward came to me three years ago.

I'm also a huge fan of Simon Sinek.  Over the past year, I've taken on several projects based on a question he posed during his 99% Conference Speech -- watch the whole 30 minute video (below), but for this portion Que up minute 18:49. Sinek asks, "What are you doing to help the person next to you?" 

Simon, my mom and I share a common belief that personal growth is even more profound and fulfilling when you build communities and relationships based on good will, expecting nothing in return

I'm a firm believer that big ideas or big moves start with crazy dreams.  I think this is why I love working with startups and small business owners so much.  That's where the magic is.  Most entrepreneurs start with an idea to fulfill a need that isn't being met the way they want it to be.

They dream of doing something.
Bigger. Better. More meaningful. Innovative.

Enter Jaime Lyon.  Jaime is my sister's best friend and I've known her since I was a kid.  If you've had the pleasure of talking to Jaime, you know how amazing her energy is.  It's infectious.  Jaime is someone who supported and encouraged my nerdy-artistic side when I was an awkward, tomboyish kid.  She made me feel normal.  Better than normal...accepted.  She knew I was different and took interest.  My earliest memories of her include small acts of kindness, encouragement and wickedly awesome support.  When you're young, you don't realize just how lucky you are to have someone like Jaime in your life.

Recently, Jaime made a career change.  After more than 12 years in the advertising business she  decided to refocus and do something she's always wanted to do.  In her words, "I want to motivate our youth to be confident, kind, positive and strong communicators. If you feel good you do good!"

How great is that?  Jaime is an artist and motivational speaker.  She paints colorful, imaginative,  original artwork for kids rooms, and she has amazing inspirational workshops in store for teens.  You can learn more about her on LinkedIn or visit her shop at

I'm always honored to spend time with Jaime.  We learn from each other and our conversations seem to get better and better. Collaborating together, we were able to translate her vision into branding material.  In retrospect, to #paintitforward in this way is the very least I can do for someone who truly helped shape my inner artist from such an early age.  I can't wait to see what's next for Jaime.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What the Dave Matthews Band Can Teach Businesses About Customer Loyalty

DMB message to fans who contributed to Mercy video
Lessons in Customer Loyalty Courtesy of the Dave Matthews Band

A customer relationship is typically one sided: go to a business for a product or service, receive that service. Depending on your experience, you may or may not go back.  The same is true for the music you love.  Find a song or a band you love, buy the song or album.  Depending on whether you like it, you may or may not buy something else.  Future correspondence generally consists of "the push."  Businesses pushing one-sided information to tell you more about what they do, what they offer, and how they are different.  More often than not, the push is followed by a discount to give you a reason to come back.

As a marketer, I know "the push" all too well.  So I love it when a business FLIPS THE SWITCH.

They flip the switch by reaching out and asking brand advocates to put their creativity to work.  They ask to use their voice.  What better way to build your brand than to request fan participation in something really cool, right?  Businesses that think outside the box and get their fans to truly participate in something (not just "like" them) are those that get what the new marketing age is all about.

These businesses get that their brand is whatever their customers say it is.

DMB (Dave Mathews Band) is the latest example with the world premier of the "Mercy" video just released today.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE DMB fan.  See bucket list for further evidence.  About a month ago, DMB reached out to their fan base and asked for help creating the Mercy video.  "Send us a photo/video entry and it may be included in our fan-based video."  Pretty simple, right?  What follows is the coolest music video I've seen in a long time (not to mention a really great message in the lyrics).  And soon to be, probably the most shared music video of all time.

DMB gets it.  They practice what they preach and their brand of band delivers every time.  As a fan, I continue to share and spread the word about my favorite music group...without being asked.  In the end, that's what true customer loyalty is.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

We Be Jammin'

I came home on Friday and the lovely blonde was jammin' - literally.  The boombox was blaring and she was dancing in the kitchen with our kiddos.  Few things make me happier than seeing things like that.

If you haven't changed the channel recently, I highly recommend it.  Here's a few oldies but goodies pumping from our playlist:

Otis Redding - anything, really...but I've Been Loving You Too Long is a personal fav
Nina Simone - Do I Move You
Penny & the Quarters - You & Me
Solomon Burke - Cry to Me (also equally great is If You Need Me)
Etta James - I'd Rather Go Blind
Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers - Little Bitty Pretty One
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - You've Really Got A Hold On Me
Temptations - I Wish It Would Rain
The Dells - Stay in My Corner
The Impressions - It's All Right
Anne Peebles - I Can't Stand the Rain
Wilson Pickett - In the Midnight Hour
Jackie Wilson - Lonely Teardrops
Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
Van Morrison - Into the Mystic
Al Green - Let's Stay Together

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ideas 2 Share

One of my favorite things to do at the beginning of every week is watch/listen/read a few inspirational talks:

TED99%commencement speeches

There are so many great messages out there -- so many people that have something to teach and pass on.

I recently stumbled upon a newer site (to me) - Creative Mornings: a global, monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types.  If you only have an hour to spare today, check out this talk from designer Aaron James Draplin of Draplin Design Co.  He gives an insightful view into his personal journey, hands out hilarious life lessons, and tells it like it is.

One thing that stuck out is right around 32:50 in the video where Draplin talks about Knowing What Really Matters in the End.  For him, it meant finding the time to help out a friend.  He touches on this more than once in his lecture and reminds us to leave room for the free stuff -- not just the things you're going to get paid for.  Passion projects aren't always money makers...but often times, they become the projects that you're most proud of.

Portland/CreativeMornings - Aaron James Draplin from CreativeMornings/Portland on Vimeo.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Shark Week

Shark Week has now become the longest running cable event in history.  25 years of jaw gripping, bone chilling, crazy-number-ranking viewership.  

I read a story last week that said the phenomenon began, like so many others, as an idea that was scribbled on a cocktail napkin (full story here).  Just a couple of colleagues, a couple of beers, kicking around ideas about cool programming. 

The best ideas always come about that way, right?  

Here's to collaboration...and next year's weeklong event, of course.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Zombie Chase

I hoard biz mag rags like they are family heirlooms.  I catalogue stories on entrepreneurs, startups, and other creatives for inspiration.  While reading Entrepreneur magazine this month, editor Amy Cosper (@entMagazineAmy) shared an extremely personal experience regarding losing everything in a recent fire.  Everything.  There's always an editor's note.  But this one was special...perhaps because it was so raw, open and honest.  It made me reflect on what holds me back from doing certain things, and how I would feel if I lost everything tomorrow.

Blame it on reading in bed at midnight, or that the new Resident Evil commercial was playing on TV in the background...but this was my thought: If you were running from a zombie, what would make your list of would've, should've, could've?  More than that...if you survived and had the opportunity to "reintegrate," how would you build your newly invigorated life?  I realize this is an extreme example to jump start the thought, but extreme is often necessary to provoke change.

Like many, there are things that I want to do but haven't found the time.  Why?  I'm stuck in my routine.

Today, I changed the routine.
I woke up an hour earlier.
I spent more time with my family before work.
I meditated about weaving all the things I want out of my dreams and into my reality.
I drove a different route.

I'm building my "would've, should've, could've" answer slowly...but I think I'm finally asking myself the right questions. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

My 32nd...

My 32nd birthday was this week and the lovely blonde spoiled me rotten.  Flowers at work, homemade dinner (scallops cooked to perfection), thoughtful presents, oatmeal chocolate chip cookie cake (my family fights over her cookies) in the shape of a heart.  While cooking me dinner, I was instructed to stay out of the kitchen so I relaxed on the couch with Son & Rosie listening to Ray LaMontagne, Nina Simone and Van Morrison on the record player.  Does it get any better than that?  Everything was amazing.  But honestly, my favorite part of the entire evening was the card she gave me...and just seeing how much she loves my birthday.  She also hooked me up with a new do (hairdo) for 32 by sending me to her stylist (thanks to Tim at the Skyline Salon!). 

I have this really cool book I picked up during one of our book store adventures called "Now is the Time: 170 Ways to Seize the Moment..."  It's full of great little nuggets to seize the day.  I stumbled upon this passage on my apropos.  Here's to 32 and loving life!

Now is the treasure your memories.
We each have a unique album of personal memories: 
mental snapshots of the key moments in our lives.
Every so often, look through your album.
Relive them.
Learn from them.
Hand them down to your kids.
Then go and add to them.

"Every man's memory is his private literature."
-Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

On this birthday...

On this birthday, I am thankful for the twists & turns that brought me to this place at this time. I wouldn't change a thing. by chrislewman

I am thankful for the twists & turns that brought me to this place at this time. I wouldn't change a thing. Here's to 32!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Shared Space

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few -- and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.  True friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the application."  -George Washington

When I was young, I always wanted time to speed up -- to get me to the place I had envisioned.  Move faster.  Now, it's the opposite.  I wish time would stand still for awhile -- let me breathe it in; sit on top of the world and observe the entire picture -- not just the scene I'm standing in.

So much of life seems like a rat race -- get where you're going faster, bigger, better, stronger.  You work so hard and sometimes forget to stop and appreciate what (and who) is around you.

I spent time with a very dear friend this week who paid me one of the best compliments I've ever received.  She said, "I can't tell you how great it is to just be in the same space with you."  

How simple.  Shared space.

The feeling was mutual. The time dedicated to sharing space with others seems rare...and at times, almost impossible.  We discussed growing older and how it's strange to reflect on the people that fall in and out of your circle.  They're like ghosts; a movie you think you've seen but can't remember the ending.  The friendships that remain -- those that resurface no matter how much times passes -- these are the friendships that are generally more meaningful.  They've become more valued.  More present.  More poignant.  Perhaps the application of shared time is just as rare as the intimacy of shared space.  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Like Ridin' a Bike

"Life is like riding a bicycle; to keep your balance, you must keep moving." -Albert Einstein

Einstein was right. But maybe he was also wrong. I think sometimes you have to stop moving so you can fall off.

In falling, there is also balance. A sense of being grounded. A clean slate.

Falling gives you the chance to stop going round and round. To start over and move in a different direction.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Meet My Fam

Before we get too far along, it's essential to introduce the people that frequent my doodles, otherwise known as my weird little happy family.  Introducing Emerson (aka Son), Chris (I'm the curly one), Amanda (the lovely blonde), and Rosie (aka Nubbie).  For more about us click here.


As I get older, the hours that once seemed to endlessly flow are now overbooked.  Twenty-four hours just isn't enough to accomplish everything that I need to in one day.  After staying up into the wee hours, I often find myself squeezing a "to do" list in at 6am or any other random time throughout the day that isn't devoted to something else.  I'm constantly striving for more work/life balance.  

While sitting in the Starbucks drive-thru today [checking my gmail, ical, work email, work calendar & twitter] I began to think, "Is balance really possible?"  Balance for me could be imbalance for you.  And vice versa.

I think Susan Sontag said it best, "The truth is balance.  But the opposite of truth, which is unbalance, may not be a lie."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Finding My Why

It's July 10th, 2012 and I am making a comeback to my much deprived blogosphere.

A little over two years ago, I took a hiatus after ending a 10 year relationship.  My life for all purposes should have been thrown off track.  But as it turns out, life has a way of showing you that the "here" is always exactly where you are intended to be.  I told the world [and anyone else listening] that I was perfectly fine being alone and figuring it out on my own.  In fact, I cursed relationships and was on a mission to "find myself."  No sooner than those words could escape my lips, I met the love of my life.  She has shown me the true meaning of "partner" in every sense of the word.  It's the kind of love that I never dreamed could exist beyond the movie screen.  

I could go on and on about the love in my life and I probably will in future blogs so I apologize now.  More to the point...

The original intent of Paint it Forward was to journal my creative nourishment project -- artistic or small acts of good will that I put out into the world, expecting nothing in return.  I can't say that the future intent has changed much.  

So my mission is this: align the rest of my life with the passion and inspiration that I've found in my love life.  Over the last year I've been in search of my "Why".  (I'm a huge fan of Simon Sinek and love his book Start With Why.  It is a MUST READ.)  I'm using this space as a journal of sorts to discuss projects that I've taken on over the past year -- aka current work (professional or other), mini "paint it forward" projects, and random thoughts and doodles.

I face timelines every day, so this will have none.  I am a work in progress and I own that statement proudly.  Here goes...something.