Friday, November 15, 2013

7 things you don't know about me

My dream car 1958 Corvette
Ok, so one of my friends on Facebook posted this list of things people didn't know about him, the viewer was to then post the numbers that they knew and then you were given a number to make your own list. He gave me the number 7. 
So here are 7 things most people don't know about me.

  1. It took 3 towns to make up my High School.
  2. I love to take things apart and make them better. Closet handy-woman who owns a Dremel and lots of other power tools.
  3. I am a kitchen beautician. I have been doing my own hair for the better part of 20 years.
  4. I am an art supply hoarder. Everything from screen-printing to ceramics, photography, painting and so much more.
  5. I have a patent and a registered trademark for my graphic design biz.
  6. I am one of the very few Black Homecoming Queens for Clemson University. (I was the second or third in school history)
  7. My dream car is a 1958 corvette. Baby blue with white detail to be specific. The one pictured above, was spotted while on vacation with my husband. (I so need to learn how to drive a stick shift)

This lead me to think of all the other things people don't know about me. Then I realized, there are so many people that just don't know me! I have 977 friends to date on Facebook and but who really knows me. Well, really knows ALL about me.

My High School friends/classmates know the HS stuff, the college friends know the college stuff (cheer/sorority/BFAs), the National Cheerleader Association friends know the cheerleading stuff, my just-out-of-college-Dallas friends know all about that stuff, the grad school friends know the grad school stuff, my various co-workers know the things that happened in my life while I was at that job, my Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader teammates and friends know about that side of my life, my Atlanta art friends and neighbors know all about that, my military friends know about deployments and the Air Force life, my family knows about it in bits and pieces. My new friends in Georgia MOPS, Mil Spouses, gym, daycare and church friends are just getting to know me too.

It's kinda crazy how fragmented my life is and how little continuity there is. It makes my head spin a bit. But one thing for sure my sweet husband gets to see it all.

So here's a big secret that most people don't know about me.

I can be VERY insecure about my looks, my talents and my ability as an artist. I find it very hard to share my successes.  It makes me feel like I am bragging or adding labels to myself, ironically, before people get to know me!
  • So even if the topic is about dancing, I don't mention I was an Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader (One of the coolest things I have ever done). I say I used to do dance and I love Zumba.
  • Or if someone is talking about their child cheerleader, instead of saying I was an instructor for 10 years, worked in NCA's headquarters,  a national TV commentator, national judge,  a Head Instructor of the Year,  on college staff, performed in the Olympics Opening Ceremonies, and have friends in the Cheerleading Hall of Fame. I say I used to cheer and really loved it.
  • When someone mentions pageants or modeling. I don't mention that I have been a spokes-model, had my face on billboards, buses, websites and was a former swimsuit model. I just say that I have some experience with modeling.
  • When people say they like country music, I don't tell them that I danced on the Grand Ole Opry stage. I just say there is some country music that I really like too.
  • When people say they love ESPN, I don't tell them that I was in an ESPN/NFL commercial representing Atlanta. Or many of the other things that I can hardly believe that I have done myself. I just say yep, especially when Clemson is playing.
  • When people say they like art. I rarely mention that I am a Fine Artist! Isn't that crazy! I just have a hard time saying "Fine Artist". Sometimes I say I am a painter. So of course I get asked if I paint houses. Yikes!!! I don't tell them that I have sold work all over the country. That I have done numerous shows and commissions for a wide variety of galleries and clients. I have sold work to professional athletes, an award winning actor, scholars, business people, friends, family and the Atlanta Falcons own a painting of mine that was purchased for $3500 at auction. I just say I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and a MS in Graphic Communications. Graphic Designer is so much easier to say.
But, when I describe myself in code, people don't really get to know all of me. And no, I don't have to tell these thing at first meeting, but it's sad when people learn more about me on Facebook then they do with me in person.

So, I am a work in progress. I am trying to own my story. Maybe I just need to pinch myself and carry on. Maybe I can break some of those cheerleader, artist, model, country music, pro dance sterotypes along the way too.

Be Blessed,
Purchase originals and prints

Monday, September 2, 2013

Where do I begin?

Love is in the air! February 2013, MJ (6 months old) and KJ (2 yrs old)  at dinner.

I  can't believe my last post was February of 2013!

Ok, I am going to try and catch you up! In March 2013 I started to get the hang of my husband being deployed. I knew who to call when I needed help, my mother was figuring out how to use the washing machine, the remote control, how to assist at the potty and how to calm a crying baby. I was working on running a 5K, freelancing part-time as a graphic designer, taking KJ to gymnastic class and making it to my Diva Dance class once a week. My husband was managing his deployment and always made time to talk to the family each and every day.

Then late in the month seasonal allergies and illness seemed to overtake my home. By the end of April, I had taken everyone to the doctor at least once. April also was the month that I delivered my husbands birthday gift. A video of friends and family wishing him happy bday. His care package included a DVD I made of over 30 videos, cake in a jar, balloons, candy and Avengers party favors for his new buddies. By the way, the 5K training ended and my Diva Dance teacher started working at a new gym, so that stopped too.


The end of the month was the much anticipated 3 year old Princess and Pirate party for my KJ. The night before the party, was one of those infamous trips to the ER. KJ got into my medicine cabinet and thought the Tylenol was candy. After trying to unsuccessfully ingest charcoal, we had to wait in the ER until 1am to make sure there wasn't anything in her system. With an all clear from the doctors, it was back home for me to try and set up for this party. I began to arrange party favors, hang banners, streamers and a little princess and pirate dress up table with booty for the little party goers to take home. I went to sleep at about 6am. The baby woke up at 6:30am. Needless to say, I was exhausted, but thanks to some great family friends we pulled it off and had a wonderful time. This party included a bouncy house, the Fairy Godmother and Princess Tiana (who read stories, turned our guests into offical princesses/priates, did face painting, make up and helped us sing the bday song)! Yes it was total overkill, but as one of my good friends said on her daughters birthday when she received an expensive gift, "hey her daddy is deployed!" It did end up being a great time for us all.

In May, I continued to have a runny nosed little boy, which kept causing infections. More trips to the doctor, a trip to the ER due to a high fever and more antibiotics. (Did I mention that my husband is a doctor and all of this medical stuff is happening while he is in another country?) Any-who, we took a road trip for our upcoming move. Sorry this is so out of order, but at some point we learned that we were going to be moving to Georgia. We would be closer to home, but leaving our new family in Louisiana. It was bitter sweet. So I took the family on a two week East Coast tour. I packed up Grandma and the kiddos in the backseat and drove 9.5 hours to Georgia. We stopped at children's museums and took our time getting there spending the night in hotels to break up the trip. KJ fell in love with her family and was so excited about moving to Georgia. I interviewed schools for the kids and found a good part of town for us to look for a home.

June was full of excitement. We could really start to countdown Daddy's homecoming. The jelly bean count down jar, the daddy deployment doll and anticipation all came back out too. It was time to prepare for our move, look for homes and think about the future. I started to nest like my husband was a new baby coming home. I cleaned the attic, our closets, the pantry, the playroom and any other area I could get my hands on. Grandma was preparing for her trip home as well. We couldn't believe that she had been there almost an entire year. And we tried to take time to reflect on the great experiences that we shared.

Home sweet home. July 15, 2013 reunion after 7 months away from the family.
Before we knew it, it was July! My husband was coming home. I was so excited, my girlfriends took me shopping. Since I basically look like an episode of "What not to wear", I am totally one of those moms that wears grey work out clothes everyday for comfort. They said that just would not do for his homecoming. I am so thankful for them. It was so thoughtful and he really appreciated having a cute wife at the airport. MJ started to walk a week before my husband came home, but I decided not to tell him. He saw him walk for the first time at the terminal. It was something that I will always cherish. It was not like the commercials, I was actually in the bathroom when he got off the plane. I was so nervous, I had to keep going to the restroom. It was classic Kristye.

My mother went home the next weekend and it was another bittersweet time. The kids love their "Ga-ma" and I really learned so much about her and got closer to her during our time. I think she found an independence that she forgotten she had. She went home with a great report from the doctor and a new sense of pride at how well she had taken care of herself. I am really proud of her.

In August, we took at two week family vacation. We spent a week looking for a house, which we found and were so happy to check that off our list and to do it together as husband and wife. Then we went to the beach! That trip was full of great times and laughter. We celebrated MJ's first birthday, enjoyed the beach, played games, went to a nature museum, rode a ferry, had pool time and didn't want the vacation to end. So, we went to New Orleans for two days too! We walk through the french quarter, had beignets at Cafe Du Monde and finally made the drive back home. We got back just in time for the movers to pack us up and move to Georgia.

That is where I am writing from tonight. We are in temporary housing as we finish unpacking our boxes in the rental house. It's just too crazy in there for our toddlers, so we are still living out of our vacation luggage and feeling a little bit like gypsies. But I do see how gypsies have a care free life. We really don't need that much stuff. We have lived for a month off of two suitcases, food coolers and lots of love. We have had time to "reintegrate" my husband into the family and today we celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary on the road after visiting Mark's mom in SC.

Well, that was a seriously watered down overview of the last 6 months. I left out lots of tears, therapy, the details of my "deployment diet" and my spiritual/creative struggles. I will try to fill in those gaps in the coming months.

Thank you for all of the prayers and posts on Facebook.
Be blessed,
Purchase originals and prints

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Are you a secret hoarder?

Untitled © Kristye Addison Dudley
Have you ever watched the show hoarders and immediately wanted to throw away everything you own? Now that we are in the military, we are sort of gypsies. We will move every few years. Keeping lots of stuff doesn't work with this lifestyle. Yet and still, I keep collecting.

I watched one Hoarders episode last week and I felt the need to purge things I hadn't worn, used or looked at in a year. Then I watched a documentary called Beautiful Losers. It's about outsider contemporary art culture. I looked at the studios of the artists and thought back to what my studio used to look like. Simply put, organized chaos and at times could have been its own episode of art hoarders.

I used to collect things that inspired me. Magazines, toys, pictures, fabric, equipment (screen printing, laminating machine, book binding, cutting boards, seeing machine and more), history books, music and whatever else I found.

Recently, I found some of my magazine clippings. They still inspire me. The colors and textures are still things I want to paint, but I have found so many excuses not to paint. My husband is deployed, the house needs cleaning, I need to spend time with the kids or I am busy with my freelance work.

Truth be told, I need to draw and paint. It's like something is missing. Painting does mean collecting more things, but it also means creating more things. So I will have to be a more meaningful hoarder.

Be blessed,
Purchase originals and prints

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pizza or Sandwiches?

Reflections © Kristye Addison Dudley
purchase prints

This painting is called Reflections. I painted it years ago during a time when I was just pondering what my life would be like. Would I get married? Would I have kids? Those questions have been answered, but there are so many more like...

Which do you prefer pizza or sandwiches? I have always been more of a pizza gal myself, but recently I seem to always end up with sandwiches, or actually IN sandwiches. What's my affinity for pizza? It's an open in your face complete meal. Sandwiches are sort of sneaky. Even though you know the ingredients, there are always surprises when the whole thing comes together.

Right now my life is like that. It used to be sort of like a pizza. It was pretty easy to see what you were working with. But now, I am totally in a sandwich. I am in an interesting little tortilla wrap that is my family. It's odd being sandwiched between your kids, your deployed spouse, your parent and everything else. But it is what it is.

In a general update. My husband is doing well, but we miss him. We get to talk often, but it's not the same as having his sweet kind spirit around all the time. My mother is doing well and trying to adjust to a house with a toddler, an infant and of course to me. :-)  KJ is really growing way too fast, but I am pretty impressed at her resilleincey, event when that means she's not listening to me. And the little guy, will be 6 months old next week. He is trying to sit up and he is just a little ray of sunshine, smiling at me everyday.

I am hanging in there, some days are better than others. I had a stomach flu earlier this week that felt like something out of the exorcist. But I am so glad that the bug is outta here and no one else was sick. But that didn't stop me from taking KJ to see Sesame Street Live this week. We had a great time and we got our groove on with Elmo. Today, I did look a little like an episode of what not to wear, working the  jeans, tennis shoes and sweat shirt with the pony tail to boot. I am hoping to get my mojo back by tomorrow. February is looking up!

There is something new everyday around here. Sometimes the sandwich it's great like when you've got the right amount of secret sauce. And sometimes is not so great, like when you bite into a soft tomato on an otherwise crispy snack. But, it all goes the same place and it is nourishing to know that I do have a sandwich to be in at all.

Be Blessed,
Purchase originals and prints