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Guest Post: Making Art + Making Memories

A friend of mine recently posted a photo of an art project that caught my eye.  I love the piece, and more importantly, I love what it stands for.  I asked her if she’d be willing to share her story on Wellfesto, and she wrote the following guest post.  Thanks so much, Dalton McCurdy, for your beautiful story and reminder for all to keep our eye on what counts.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. We are encouraged to do it all. Down time is lost time. Productivity is calculated in actions and, as a result, attention and outputs are stretched thin. I am completely guilty of being affected by this. With three kids five and under, a full-time job and an active lifestyle I am so often simply trying to survive and check things off the list. And often times, I get so wrapped up in the “surviving” that I forget to take time to appreciate what is most important to me and my family. As I’ve recognized this, I’ve tried to figure out ways to take a step back, simplify, and focus as much time as possible on doing what makes me happy. To do this, and create a permanent reminder, I schemed up an art project to complete with my oldest daughter. Two years ago, my daughter’s teacher passed along a set of letter stamps that the school was going to get rid of. We used these stamps along with a large blank canvas and a little paint to pen a family mantra — a series of reminders and actions that we all love, make us smile and collectively find importance in.

Be present.

Make pancakes.

Fly a kite.



Make art.


Go on adventures.

Take chances.

Ski big mountains.

Eat cake.

Ask questions.

Make mistakes.

Let go of what doesn’t make you happy.

Love fiercely.


My oldest daughter is currently in kindergarten. Every day she learns more about letters and sounding out words, which made this such a fun project to work on together.  Going over sounds and word structure put even more emphasis on each reminder.  As we printed, we talked and shared stories, and as each word came to formation, we’d say it out loud.   The final product is now hanging in our stairwell. It serves as a great reminder to us all to slow down and remember what’s important in life; to focus our actions and energy on what makes us happy and let all the other stuff melt away. My five-year-old is proud of her creation and feels invested in the printed words she put to canvas. And the piece has made an impact on the rest of the family as well. Hearing my three-year old say, “be present” as we walk up the stairs past the canvas to go to bed at night (even if she is just pleased with herself for memorizing the words) is incredibly grounding. It serves as a reminder to appreciate the simple things, stay focused on what makes us happy and not get caught up in filling our time with the unimportant.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. vrein11 #

    I LOVE THIS!! Great memories and even better, an awesome family wide reminder to BE PRESENT!!

    January 8, 2015
  2. Francina #

    It’s so true and easy to do. We just need to be aware of these facts, and act on it, with or without children at home. It will keep us happy and healthier!

    January 8, 2015

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