11 August 2011

TODAY is the day. Hooroo, hooray!

"You are born with two things: existence and opportunity, and these are the raw materials out of which you can make a succcessful life." ~ Charles Templeton

This week I wanted to share with you those things that move me the most. So perhaps today it is fitting that I share with you the people that give me wings, help me trust that I can soar and sometimes even kick me out of the nest with a hearty 'huzzah!' and a blind faith that I will spread those wings and fly!

My parents, John and Gail Prais. They taught me to be generous and kind, to treat everyone as a friend, to give of my talents freely, to appreciate music and food and laughter.They likely kicked me out of the nest as fast as they could, but I knew that I had a safe place to land and the confidence that I could do whatever I wanted.

My family gives me the space and time to chase my dreams. They know what is important to me and support me making my way. Tiny Dancer, Rocket and my husband Paul at my Gallery Q exhibit that opened one year ago today. I know there is nothing finer than their love and that spurs me to do that best that I can.

My best friend, Paul Hintz. This is a picture before our first big date, the Homecoming dance, October 12, 1985. And I can tell you that if I knew at the moment that this picture was taken how that night would change my life, I couldn't have been smiling more. This was the start of something wonderful. That is the day that I had the first inkling that I might spend my life with someone. He is my rock, my guidance, my cheerleader, my lover and my very best friend. I am proud of who he is and to have the honor to be called his wife. He believes in me and that makes me want to do more to show him that I can. I love you, babe!

My Tiny Dancer. She has laugh that I love and a smile that makes me giggle. I love to watch her doing what she does best and has fun with and that encourages me to find those things that bring me joy. And to dance even when it seems that all around me is falling apart. To trust in the beauty of my body and my mind and to be genuine and true.
My son, Rocket. He is a model of perseverance and determination to me. I admire his tenacity and strength of purpose. He is able to dig his heels in and get the job done when it needs to get done. He shows me that with practice I will achieve the skills needed to be successful. I want to learn that sort of focus like he has on the ball field and his easy way with making friends with everyone.
My sister-in-law, Mary. She is the best shopper in the world! She is great at finding deals and seeing the possibilities. She is a generous soul and someone that I have really become so fond of. I love the way she is always putting special touches on everything for everyone (everyone needs an Aunt Mary!) and I hope that I can learn from her example.
Graduation, May 1986
Lynn(a) has been my very best friend since I moved here when I was 10. She has been a constant companion through all of my life's ups and downs and curves and bend. Even when we don't see each other for a long stretch I know she is always there. Now that we are in the same city with kids of a similar age, we have the chance to be together again like we were back then, even if it is not enough for my tastes. She is like the other half of me. She balances me out (analytical to my creative) and spurs me on. It is good to have a best friend from the past still in your present, and I recognize that as very rare.

Lynn(a) and me 2010 at Pacelli Homecoming

And my newest bestie and birthday buddy, Heather Powers. The fates were aligned when we first met and it has been a wonderful ride ever since. Heather gets me in a way that other friends and family just don't. She is a mentor and role model to me but also the best kick in the pants that I have ever had. I feel very blessed that I took a chance and emailed her after seeing her gorgeous design in a beading magazine. This teaches me that you never know where your next friend will come from and to treat every relationship as special.
"Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest." ~Larry Lorenzoni

Things with Wings
Vintaj brass bird
Vintaj brass butterfly
brass bird charms
silver plated dragonfly
tiny golden bee
Green Girl Studios pewter dragon
Earthenwood Studios ceramic wing
Chinook Jewelry ceramic bee pendant
resin butterfly button
MoreSkyeJewels decoupaged butterfly wood tile
Humblebeads green resin wing
vintage reverse painted cabochon
'simple truths' butterfly 'grace' charm
VALUE: $80


For today's birthday giveaway, I will share this entire package of Things with Wings in honor of the people who mean the most to me and give me wings to fly. Ready to win? All you need to do to enter is answer one of the following questions. Winner will be chosen at random from all comments on this post through Saturday, August 13th.You MUST have your email turned on in your profile to win, or provide your email in your comment. (A good way to know if you are entered is if I reply to you by email. I make a point of answering every comment ;-)Winner will be announced next week.

Who gives you wings to fly? Who kicks you out of the nest? Who nurtures your soul, encourages you, makes you want to keep going? Do tell!


steufel said...

Oh, Erin - Happy, happy birthday, my friend! And thank you for sharing your awesome family & friends. It is great to see the people who nurture all that incredible creativity of you that I deeply, deeply admire. I'm glad to say that my mother (my dad, too but unfortunetly he died years ago) and Matthias, the love of my life, always encourage me and give me wings to fly. It is so great to have people who love you for what you really are, isn't it?

Unknown said...

I like you my friend have my sweet husband, precious daughter, and adoring son. Times were very different for me as far as parents go and since they are both no longer here it is hard to keep those memories in tack some times. My sweet husband Michael has been my savior, friend, lover, and my rock. Shelby and I are each others cheerleader and friend. She encourages my creativity and I have given her the wings to fly. Derek is my cuddle bug and seems to know whenever I need a cuddle. I also have to tell you that most of my old friends and I have grown so far apart that I was almost jealous reading about you and Lynn but then I have been so lucky in this blog adventure that I have really made some of the best friends I ever have. They have even adjusted that negative tape recorder in my head. I am very blessed as well.

My gift for you today is "friendship". I give to you my ear, eyes, and shoulder for whenever you are in need or just want it. I love this blooming friendship more than words can express.

Happy Birthday Gorgeous Soul!

JeannieK said...

Happy Birthday Erin! What a great way to celebrate the people who give you wings. Thank you for sharing these precious people in your life.

Today is your day, Enjoy It!

SummersStudio said...

Happy Birthday and wishing you many more to come with the years filled with all the love and more than you can hold in your heart.

Alice said...

What a wonderful group of people you are surrounded with! There's nothing better in this world than family and friends.

My mom was the one who encouraged me, cheered me on, listend to me, and became my best friend. She's gone now, but I know she continues to cheer me on from her place in the heavens.

Hubby is the one who gives me the kick in the pants when I'm feeling insecure about starting something new, or feeling discouraged about my biz.

And you, dear friend, are my blog cheerleader who guides me and reminds me to just do it. I count myself lucky to have met you (though it would be awesome to actually meet you in person).

You are a lovely, gentle and giving person. You deserve the best birthday celebration ever! Enjoy your special day!

rosebud101 said...

Who gives me wings to fly? I've learned to fly on my own, and I'm very proud of that fact. I choose to nurture. When I need to be consoled, I seek the spiritual. God has never let me down!

Christine Altmiller said...

Happy Birthday Erin!
What a beautiful testimony to all who help keep you YOU!
Enjoy your big day :-)

Erin Siegel said...

Happy, Happy, Birthday, Erin! What a lovely post. You are always so thoughtful of others and the special people in your life. They are all very, very lucky to have you in their lives.

My husband does a great job in supporting me in my creative endeavors. He is so enthusiastic about my jewelry and the book, I'm so lucky to have him. But, I would say that you and the rest of the online beading community here keeps me creating and staying constantly motivated!

Cillaw said...

Happy Birthday Erin! Thank you for sharing your amazing network of Love.
I would have to say my family too are big supporters of me. I am lucky to have them.

KayzKreationz said...

My husband first and foremost. He has never doubted I can do anything I want, even when I sometimes doubt. Both my sons. They are always there to back me up, take care of me, love me. My daughter-in-law who keeps telling me "You bead" even when I say I don't. LOL My parents who have always been there for me and continue to encourage and love me. And my sister, who is always encouraging me and telling me I can do more/figure it out, whatever it is I need.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday my dear! I hope you have a lovely day. It's really nice to see an insight into your life and your loved ones.

My husband-to-be is my rock, my best friend, the love of my life. Without him, I wouldn't be here (literally!), and he encourages me every day in whatever aspect of my life, whether it's my PhD or my jewellery making. Indeed, he's just made me a studio so I can do my jewellery stuff!

Marcie Abney Carroll said...

My mom.


Kim Stevens said...

First let me say Happy Birthday my friend, and I hope you have the very best day ever!!

I must say that my wings come from many places, but God gave me my first set of wings - a set that I find myself afraid to use. He always keeps them mended when I have a bad landing and I'm working on using them with confidence. See the thing is, strangely, I am not afraid of falling, but of soaring. I am working on that . . .

Doreen said...

OMG, Erin! What a nice post! Happy birthday, again! My husband is my rock. He is my best friend, my place to fall...he lifts me when I'm down. He's the soft spot in this hard and crazy world. I am so blessed.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Erin!! I know your day will be filled with so much Happiness and Joy! Huggs across the miles from me to you!

Your familys so Beautiful! What alot of wonderful people in your life..you are so Blessed. Many people dont always have that..Life is so good isnt it?!

Go out today and divide the day..Rule and Conquer it with such joy and Happiness!!

And the bluebird was so tried from flying sooo far! But she had herself a deep drink and delivered her Birthday wishes to Erin with many tweets..ox

Who gives me Winds to fly? My whole family. They say Oh Mom your Lampwork is getting better and spur me on always. Alice said it so Best about you..you sre such a Blog cheerleader Erin. Your families SO Blessed!! Truly they are.

DVArtist said...

Huge birthday wishes Erin. I absolutely love this post. I can feel the love in each word and photo. It is wonderful to see how blessed you are.
The people who most gave me the wings to carry out all passed away in less than a year. My sister, brother, and my dear wonderful grandmother. OK so my husband is always here for me. Now I have friends who are like family and I am so blessed to have them in my circle.

Dance and sing today for the music surrounds you.


Lupe Meter said...

Happy Birthday, Erin! Loved your post today! You are certainly blessed! Like you, I too am surrounded by people who support me and can give me a good kick to get me going again when I am down. My husband has been my angel since the first time we met and continues to be. He supports my art most of all, which I didn't get into till about 6 yrs. ago. My sisters (I have 4) also are a great support group and great listeners...they are the ones to give me a good kick in the rear when I have all but given up on things. We help each other when one of us is down. My kids are also great supporters and listeners! I couldn't ask for a better family...the Lord has truly blessed me!

mairedodd said...

'in katroo, every year, on the day you were born, the birthday honk-honker blasts the big birthday horn.' - dr. seuss
enjoy your birthday (and your birthweek - we have that, it extends the celebrating! and it's official)
wishing all the best to a very very generous spirit...

Noemi said...

What a beatuful family you have!
I find m strenght and helps me to stretch mysel in my husband.
He is very supportive and I love him to bits!
But also my sister who is always very excited with every new plan or project tha I get into.
I am also very blessed with the people who suround me.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday!!

I find my strength in my other half.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Erin!!! May you have a wonderful day and a fabulous year. My parents gave me wings and have always had my back and they are some of the most loving, kind and generous people and I feel very blessed to have them in my life. My mom has always been creative and I think that is where my need to create comes from and she is an inspiration to me from being beautifully dressed, to having a beautiful home and creating beautiful things.

My kids and husband are always behind me when creating and support all my creative endeavors.

Happy Day to you, thank you for the generous gift that you are sharing with all of us.

Take care,

Anonymous said...

How can anyone read this post, see those smiling faces and NOT smile back? Happy Birthday Erin and thank you for reminding us to stop and take the time to remember all the love shown to each of us!

I too had a birthday last week. My Dad and I share a birthday, he passed away two years ago and it never occurred to me that someday I would have the day to myself... :( While I was born on my Dad's birthday I am much more like my Mom and I'd have to say she's the one that gave me wings. Although lately it would be two of my sisters-in-law that have provided the warm, gentle breeze that lifts me up. I am grateful for their positive energy and encouragement and of course to the two brothers that brought them to me! Happy Birthday Erin ~~T CreatingCures at gmail.com
P.S. I've tried to post this several times and it isn't cooperating with my google account so my apologies for the Anonymous and if you receive it more than once!

moonlitfantaseas said...

I have to say that it would be my hubby Edward, He believes in me when I don't, He has faith in me and pushes me when I need it and supports me in everything I do.........
Happy Birthday Erin, I hope its a wonderful and joyious day!

Holly said...

Happy Birthday Erin! May your day sparkle :)

Who nurtures, and encourages, you ask? Those are complex questions, but with really simple answers once you think about them for a bit. For me, it'd be my family, of course, husband, kids, parents, siblings, the whole works. But it's also friends, both those who we find doing something similar to what we do (as you and Heather are), but also those old friends, as you also expressed! Support comes from many different sources, within and without ;)

Cynthia said...

Happy Birthday Erin. Your photos of your loved ones are great. You are so photogenic - a co-worker, looking over my shoulder, said you have a great smile (I must agree).
My husband gives me encouragement to spread my wings, but I think I get much of my inspiration from all the blogs I read, including yours. You, and everyone, give so much of yourselves, I can't help but try to soar, along with everyone!

Maneki said...

Happy birthday, Erin!

Tough questions. Like Cynthia above, reading blogs by and seeing the work of other creative people inspires me and make me see new possibilities and it's also from them I get positive feedback on the things I do. The people you find online and interact with personally or through different communities means a lot. My parents encouraged my creative side as well as my love of studies as a kid and that of cause meant a lot, but nowadays I'm kind of an socially clumsy loner, like it or not, that apart from what I can get through online aquantancies mostly have myself to rely on when it comes to find the things I need to go on and to dare try new things.

Do Be Do Bead Do said...

What a wonderful post, Erin! My sons give me wings. They are my inspiration. Also, my dearly departed mother, who taught the neighborhood kids crafts in the summers of my youth, gave me my love for all things crafty, arty and beautiful. Happy, Happy Erin Day!

Heather Powers said...

I love seeing all these happy photos of those who love you! What a sweet tribute on your birthday. I'm so happy you emailed me all those years ago too! Have the most amazing day ever.

Mary Harding said...

Happy Birthday Erin. Wonderful to see all the pics of your family. They are lucky to have you and so are we.

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

My inspiration is my husband. He is sweet, smart, handsome and my biggest cheerleader. He tells everyone about my handmade jewelry and encourages me when I get down. Thanks again for the chance to win these wonderful goodies!


rockcreekcreations said...

Hope you are having a happy b-day!!

My friend Nancy gives me wings! She encourages me and pushes me to be more than I am! In a good way!!

Mellisa said...

Hope you have the most wonderful birthday! You're always inspiring and encouraging to all of us who read your blog :)

I would have to say that my husband is the only person who fits the bill for your question- I know he'll always back me and he thinks whatever I do is great!

I hope you enjoy YOUR day!

Rebecca said...

What a great post Erin - thanks fir sharing all these important people with us! My wonderful partner, Helen, gives me wings. I am so lucky to have her. She supports me and my dreams and Hopefully I do the same. Hurray for our family and friends!

Stories They Tell said...

Wonderful Erin! of course you would celebrate your birthday by giving instead of receiving! I am so privileged to be your friend and to have you in my life. To answer your question, my wonderful husband's nickname is "Wind Beneath My Wings". He is always there for me, to support me and love me and critique me and encourage me. He loves me more than I deserve but everyday I try to be worthy of it. Happy Birthday-- everyone was glad the day YOU were born.

Regina said...

A Very Happy Birthday to you! Thank you for sharing your life and your loved ones with us. My kicks me out of the nest best friend and everything else is my husband, Mike!

Jenners said...

Happy Birthday!!! Thank you for sharing all the important people in your life … it was so fun to see the photos!

Tracy Statler said...

Happy Birthday Erin! Hope it has been wonderful! You are one lucky gal! Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. My husband, kids, mom and sister are all very supportive of my creativity - even if they don't totally understand the obsession sometimes. For comaraderie in the love of jewelry making and creative inspiration I reach out to my online friends - which I am grateful for!

EmandaJ said...

Hi Erin, Happy Birthday -- What a great post. My husband is my rock and my parachute. He gives me roots AND wings. My former colleague, Bill, spurs me on in new areas. And of course my parents have always been there for me with encouraging words and a few dollars as needed.

Enjoy the day!

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Happy, happy, happy birthday Erin!! Lovely post, I hope your day is everything you wish it to be!

I had to learn to belive in myself and give myself wings first (and kick myself when I've needed it). I've made it my life's mission to support my kids so they believe completely in themselves. They are young adults, flying with very strong wings toward bright futures and I couldn't be happier!

Michelle said...

Happy Happy Happy Birthday to Yooo-uuuuu! I hope you have a wonderful birthday. Now I know why you felt familiar to me (the way you talk and the vibes you send out)--you remind me of my dearest friend who lives far away in TX and her b-day is next week. You have the same coloring--and the same generous spirit. Again, have a very wonderful day with all of those that you love.

Alice Howe said...

Happy Birthday! A good friend of mine says our birthday is our "New Year" and that's when I make resolutions, or reflect. Who rocks my boat? My husband is really my support, makes my laugh, checks out EVERY piece I make. He's the real deal!
Happy day.

Rebekah said...

Happy Birthday Erin! I really enjoyed this post. You have some very wonderful people in your life. I count myself very lucky to have discovered your blog. It's been a real joy to follow along on with your journey these past months. Yes, I've been reading for quite some time and I hardly ever comment... I think I must be a serial non-commenter! But I've so enjoyed it and getting to know you... you're a very wonderful person yourself!

So, since I've gotten this far in commenting I suppose I should answer your question! There are two people that come to mind first: my Aunt Lindsey and my Auntie Linda. They're like two extra big sisters to me and they've both played such an important role in me becoming the artist I am today... and the artist I strive to become tomorrow.

Have a fantabulous day!

Brandi Hussey said...

What a fantastic post, Erin, and Happy Birthday!!

As for who gives me wings, and who kicks my butt when I need it, it has to be my group of friends from high school. There's six of us that have managed to stay together, stay connected throughout the years. Through high school, college, marriages, births, divorces, dress sizes. We float in and out as we need it, but when we all get together (which will be happening this weekend, I'm SO excited), it's like no time has gone by.

I never really understood how valuable those friendships are till recently. There's something wonderful about having those years to stand on; they get me in a way that few people have. They get my moods, my facial expressions, my random trains of thought, and where I'm coming from, and that level of understanding is so incredibly precious. They support me unconditionally and have no problems delivering a swift kick when I need it.

Thanks for the opportunity to write that - I've got a big ol' smile on my face right now just thinking of them.

Angel Whisperer said...

Happy Birthday Erin- Generous spirit!!
and I feel quite sure after reading the poetic lovely post that You do have a wonderful day surrounded by all those who love You!

My parents gave me so many things in life, love encouragement strength showed me a lot by the way they lived there lives......so that is my base...my children helps me to develop in life and all the nice people/spirits and angels I meet has something to give..Thank You all

Dawn Doucette said...

Oh Erin, who gives me wings.... the list of people I owe so very much gratitude toward is so long. I don't possibly have enough room to write it all on your blog. It would read something like an acceptance speech at the grammy awards. :o)

However, I do have a HUGE (like really, really big) amount of gratitude to my sweetie. He gives me the freedom to pursue my creativity and jewelry design. He also allows me to be a stay-at-home doggie mommy, and that in itself makes me feel so very, very blessed!

Love the tribute to all those you love! This was an incredibly special post! Happiest of Birthdays to you!

Sally Anderson said...

Oh, this is an easy one to answer. My family. My husband, two daughters, SIL, and two adorable grandgirls. My husband and daughters are my best friends and I love their honesty and support and, when I need it the most, their gentle kick in the seat of the pants. I'm so lucky to have this incredible family.

Kym Hunter Designs said...

Happy birthday Erin! I would have to say that my husband, my dear friend, is the person who gives me wings to fly. He was brought up in a very creative and talented household and mine was the opposite (art and creativity were a waste of time). He encouraged me to take pottery class in college, which I loved and he saved up and bought me a wheel and kiln. And when I had trouble finding jewelry to go with outfits, he suggested that I learn to make my own. He encourages me to think out side the box and try things that are outside my comfort zone. We've been together 30 years and I think I'll keep him around a bit longer :-)

Have a wonderful day!

swopemelmel said...

Happy Birthday Erin. You are so AWESOME!!!
My Husband and my family are always there for me. My friend Jaime is the most positive and uplifting person I know. And I cannot forget one special friend who is always cheerful and loving beyond words, our dog Pugsy. Pets really do find places in our hearts. swopemelmel@aol.com

Laura S Reading said...

Happy Happy Birthday! What a great tribute to the wonderful people who love and support you. And even if you left out your sister here she got the spotlight in her own post. While you do look stunning in the red dress, WOW- that black dress - you were the star of any gallery opening.
A beautiful family all around.

CraftyHope said...

This post is so heartfelt and WONDERFUL. It almost brings tears to my eyes.

The person that most gives me my strength and support is my husband, Pat. He is my everything. If it weren't for him, I probably wouldn't be pursuing this whole making-jewelry-as-a-job thing. Coincidentally, our wedding anniversary is October 12, the same as your first date with your honey. Weird!

Erin S said...

My word, your daughter looks just like you! What a great family!

My husband George is the one that gives me wings AND pushed me out of the nest. If it hadn't been for him, I doubt I would have ever had the courage to open my own business. He knows when to push, and when to stop pushing. (before you have a nervous breakdown, but after you actually accomplish something.)

Shannon Chomanczuk said...

Happy Birthday Erin! I was too busy celebrating my own birthday to see your giveaway so I am glad I had time tonight!
My husband has been my head cheerleader. When we met I was in sales making a great salary and gave it up to work at a photo developing shop. When that gig ended I went into banking. I rose to the top very quickly, made very good guaranteed money and had job security. Or so I thought. One day out of nowhere I lost my job. Hubby said do whatever it is your heart wants to do. I started nail school 3 months later. I have my own salon now and when I wanted to start making jewelry he took me to class after class and has walked countless bead shows. He is the first I called when I found out I made the cover of Bead Trends September.
He is my best friend, my rock, my cheerleader.
Shannon C

Grubbi said...

Happy Birthday Erin! (And Heather too!).

My daughter makes me want to be a better person, she spurs me on when sometimes I just feel like staying in bed. She has the most amazing soul. A smile that lights up her whole face and a good, good heart.
I want to set an example to her so that she doesn't make some of the same mistakes that I have.
I recently took the very big step of getting out of a very bad relationship. I wanted to show my daughter that you don't stay with someone you're not happy with, you don't put up with unacceptable behaviour and that it's ok to be on your own, to give yourself time.
I couldn't have done it without those thoughts spurring me on or without the support of my best friend...another person nurtures my soul...makes me feel like I can do anything, encourages me, cheers me on, listens and has shown me over the years that nice men do exist because he's one of them.

Cheryl K Roe said...

You have a wonderful way of expressing your feelings. I enjoyed reading this post. My mother and father were very supportive early and prepared me to stand on my feet and be independent. My husband gives me the latitude to be my creative self and my daughter and son give me even more reasons to be my self.

Lisa said...

Beautiful post! My momma and daddy have always been my rock and inspiration, and they still are at ages 80 and 76 (young!). They are both still keeping the road hot, working their garden and store, and loving their grandchildren! I hope I am just as half as awesome as they are when I am their ages! Also, my two children ages 20 and almost 16 (this Fri!) are the ones who keep me going, too! They pick me up and believe in me when I have trouble believing in myself. They are my cheerleaders, and I am amazed everyday at their own creativity, perserverence, and tenacity! Thank you once again for making me stop and think! I am one lucky lady! Happy Birthday week again to you!

Susanm said...

Happy Birthdy week. My "team" is my husband, my son and my mother. I am also blessed with some great friends.

Lucid Moon Studio said...

Happy Birthday!! I hope you had an awesome one and still are! My husband is definitely my rock and supports me in everything I do. My parents have also always been very supportive of whatever I do. I have been very blessed to have so many great people in my life!

Creations by Kari said...

Happy Birthday! My family- husband, mother, sister, best friend, 2 precious nieces and 2 pug children give me wings- just writing this makes my heart swell with love and joy! Thank you for this question, it made me take a minute to appreciate the people I most love in my life :)

Lubna said...

Happy birthday. My parents initially gave me wings to fly, by instilling a value system and then letting me free. Post that, it was up to me, how to use my wings. Our environment is the current, that makes it easier or tougher to fly. Make it be smooth flying for you in the year ahead.
lukathewriter (at) gmail (dot) com

Shai Williams said...

Happy belated birthday! May your upcoming year be filled with much joy.

My husband is my rock. I know that whatever happens, he has my back.

Maxine Bootht said...

My honey, my homey, my hubby D is the one who lights my fire, lights my way and lights up my life. He is my rock and my biggest supporter. I'm so glad we found each other.

substitutionqueen (at) gmail (dot) com

Unknown said...

I love this post, so sweet.


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